THE TRUE STORY OF A MAGNIFICENT GIFTby Finis J. Dake
I rejected Christianity in my youth, until I found some believers who lived the life they professed. Faced with truth backed by Christian example, I knew I had to make a decision. After weeks of struggling with my conscience, I chose to serve God the rest of my life and do His will, whatever it may be. I had the witness of the Spirit with my spirit that I was a child of God, the blood of Christ having cleansed me from all unrighteousness. I was baptized in water as an outward symbol of an inward work of Christ in my life.
But I was more hungry for God than ever before. I cried out for a closer walk with Him, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I spent hours in prayer and worship, seeking God.
After three months of wholehearted surrender, I received a great anointing of the Spirit. A cool and rushing wind came over me. From the depths of my being came the “rivers of rushing water” that Jesus promised in John 7:37-39. Torrents of praise began to flow from my lips as I received in measure what the disciples had on the day of Pentecost. It was May, 1920, and I was seventeen years old.
I was immediately able to quote hundreds of Scriptures without memorizing them. I also noticed a quickening of my mind to know what chapters and books various verses were found in. Before conversion, I had not read one full chapter of the Bible. This new knowledge of Scripture was a gift to me, for which I give God the praise.
From the time of this special anointing until now, I have never had to memorize the thousands of scriptures I use in teaching. I just quote a verse when I need it, by the anointing of the Spirit.
I then began to study the Bible without ceasing, and have now spent around a hundred thousand hours digging into the wealth of its teachings.
From the first of my studies, I found the Bible to be simple and clear. Daily study, coupled with my ability to quote the Bible as I yielded to the Spirit, helped me “rightly divide the truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Difficult passages in prophecy and elsewhere did not seem mystifying to me, for what was unclear in one passage was made clear by other scriptures on the same subject. Hours of study provided a rich storehouse to draw from as I yielded to the Spirit. When I was eighteen I enrolled in a Bible Institute to prepare for the ministry. I soon learned that one must either believe what the Bible alone teaches, or spend his life wrestling with the confusing and varied interpretations of men. The professors did not agree among themselves on some of the basic truths, and a number even disagreed with what the Bible plainly stated on certain subjects.
I thus became acquainted with a perplexing array of doctrines. Some of them were in agreement with Scripture and could be proved when all passages dealing with the subject were examined. But others turned out to be “hand-me-down” theology from a former generation of preachers, many of whom were great in spite of their doctrinal errors.
I had to decide either to respect my gift and depend on God and the knowledge of the Word He had given me as a guide to determining scriptural truth, or go along with the crowd.
My decision was firm. I vowed to the Lord never to teach one thing I could not prove with two or three plain Scriptures, agreeing with Paul that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Cor. 13:1). Believing also that “no prophecy . . . is of any private interpretation” (to be interpreted without comparison with other Scriptures, 2 Pet. 1:20), I reasoned that the Bible is God’s Word in human language and means exactly what it says. Any interpretation which is out of harmony with what is plainly written must be rejected as the theory of man.
It was a big decision for a lad, and cost me a few friends now and again - friends who preferred to listen to almost anyone who had gray hair, rather than a youth just emerging from his teens. But my hair is gray too now, yet my decision remains the same. The prophecies, promises, admonitions and doctrines are there in the Bible the same as they were when I began quoting them years ago. They are in plain language, understandable by anyone who can read and will take time to look up an occasional word in the dictionary.
My early decision has paid off in many ways, one of them being letters I receive now and again from someone who says, “I didn’t have much use for your teaching years ago, but now I find your writings a great help and inspiration.” Such testimonies are my reward for carrying out my early vows to teach exactly what the Bible says on all subjects it deals with.
If I have inspired you to study God’s Word with an open mind; if I have influenced you to take Scriptures literally; and if my testimony has made you hungry for God, His Word and His anointing, then I have accomplished the purpose I had in mind - that of blessing your life!