Someone else’s faith and a mustard seed

It was the early 70s. The Beatles, public demonstrations and disorder (sound familiar?), gas shortage lines1, and the Vietnam war were in full swing. It was the “sign of the times.” 

In 1971, the Jesus Revolution was Time magazine’s featured front cover.  It was a period in history of soul searching, of looking inward. We were trying to figure out who and what we were, and where we were going as a human race. For me, I wanted the assurance of going to heaven when I died and not to be left behind.

In January of ‘72, I became a believer in Jesus Christ during the Jesus Movement. The ‘turn on, tune in, drop out’ counterculture was discovering a new way to live as many “long beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen, give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer2 haired hippies began to embrace the gospel. I was now “getting high on Jesus,” “Peace and Love.”  Hey, what about “God is groovy” and “Smile God loves you.” 

On my college campus I made friends with a charismatic group of Jesus People who believed in miracles, signs and wonders, faith, healing, and powerful works of the Holy Spirit. Many testified to having supernatural experiences similar to those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, especially speaking in tongues. I wanted what they had. And so, I began attending an Assembly of God church which operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

At first, my faith to believe in miracles was … well, let’s just say, challenged. In my previous church, I was taught miracles, signs, and wonders ended with the apostles. Many denominational churches and pastors are trained in skeptical unbelief and rejection of the supernatural. They do not believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as healing and words of knowledge, that they are for today. In Christianity, the word of knowledge is a spiritual gift listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8. It is simply the Holy Spirit transmitting His specific knowledge to you about someone or something that you would have no ability or means to be able to know otherwise with your limited intelligence and knowledge levels. It is supernatural knowledge and insight being given directly to you by the Holy Spirit Himself, not by your mind or your intelligence. These words of knowledge, that you can receive directly from the Holy Spirit, can literally cover an infinite number of things in your daily life from simple things such as where you misplaced your car keys to having a supernatural revelation about someone or yourself. Have any of you had a prophetic word of knowledge shared with you that was spot on?  Ever wonder how they knew? 

My faith is challenged

Back to the story. Eddie Smith, an evangelist faith healer, was coming to Kearny, New Jersey to lead a weekend healing revival service. I had heard of faith healers before, but mostly by hearing and reading accounts of famous people such as Smith Wigglesworth and Oral Roberts. There were numerous claims of divine healing during their ministries.  Now I would get to see one.

Was freedom from disease God’s will on earth? Was the kingdom of God now and not yet in its fullness? Meaning that healing and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today and not just when we are resurrected with new bodies. Perhaps these questions would be put to bed after this weekend. No more questioning. PROOF that miracles, signs, and wonders were for today!

I asked my younger brother, who was also a new Christian if he wanted to go with me. He replied that he would.  So, the two of us on a Friday evening hopped in my Forest Green 1968 Volkswagen Beetle and drove to the church where the revival was happening. If you weren’t looking for it, it was easy to pass by. The small suburban white clapboard Assembly of God church on Elm Street had no parking and sat nestled between houses no more than 20 to 25 feet apart on a tree-lined street resulting in it blending in with the other houses. The church, as you can see from the picture below was neither attractive nor spacious, although, it comfortably accommodated a small congregation of people just under a hundred. There were no ornate stain-glassed windows, church bells, or an inviting entranceway or vestibule as many might be accustomed to. It was plain to look at on the outside, but on the inside, there was something extraordinary about to happen.

My brother and I waited momentarily under the aluminum awning behind other attendees ahead of us. As we approached the door, a man warmly greeted us. “Welcome. Glad to see you.”  We acknowledged his greeting and then went in.

Inside, the room was already packed to overflowing. We were fortunate to find a couple of seats on the end of a pew about 8 rows back from the front where I could stretch out my long legs into the aisle. We then sat back and waited for the service to start.

There was a buzz in the air with people talking loudly while others sat quietly, anxiously waiting for the service to begin. Not long afterward, the senior pastor of the Assembly then quieted the room and opened with prayer and singing before introducing Eddie Smith.  Like most churches, there was no clapping to welcome the guest evangelist and faith healer, as would have been customary if this were a theatrical production. But this was not theater; this was a REVIVAL!   

Eddie Smith opened with a couple of jokes in typical British humor. “Who here has a crick in their neck?” A guy in the audience stood up. “I am suffering from a pain in the neck,” he said. “Well,” Eddie Smith replied with a sly smile, “will you please ask your wife to approach the altar?”  Sounds like Smith was trying to get to the real source of this guy’s “pain in the neck.”   LOL.

Eddie Smith was a heavyset man with an authoritative presence. I looked curiously on as he had words of knowledge of healing for those in attendance. “Who in this room is suffering from one leg being shorter than the other?” Unequal leg length is a rare condition where the legs are either different lengths or appear to be different lengths because of misalignment.  “The Lord wants to heal you,” he said.  A person stood up and made his way to the front of the room. There was an abnormal gate to his stride. Smith asked him to sit down in a chair and stretch out both legs so that he could assess his condition. There was an expectancy in the room that something miraculous was about to happen. I looked on in wonderment, hoping.  Would one of his legs actually grow out?  “In the Name of Jesus,” Eddie Smith commanded the one short leg to grow out, and it did! The room erupted in loud shouts of praise and raising of hands. Many more healings also happened that night. This made me want to come back the next evening. What miracles would God do again on Saturday?  I looked forward with expectancy.

The second evening of meetings was also packed to overflowing. You could just feel the excitement and expectation.  Much the same as the previous night, Eddie Smith had words of knowledge for those who needed healing, and again many were healed. Then I heard, “Who in this room has plantar warts?”  I was stunned, shocked into disbelief. How could he know that I suffered from plantar warts?  Plantar warts are small growths that usually appear on the heels or other weight-bearing areas of your feet that can cause extreme pain.  It was true that I suffered from plantar warts, but I thought Eddie Smith couldn’t mean “Little, Ol’ Me.”   I reasoned it must be someone else. And so, I did not respond, nor did anyone else answer the invitation to go forward for plantar warts. When I didn’t respond, Eddie Smith continued inviting others to be healed for other ailments.  Why didn’t I go out on a limb? Was it because I might risk failing, or look foolish? I didn’t like being the center of attention. But mostly, I believe it was to deflect disappointment if I were not healed of my plantar warts.

Final Invitation

Again, Eddie Smith made the same invitation as earlier – “There is someone here with plantar warts.  Won’t you please come forward?” Nothing. Crickets. No one moved. Deep inside I knew the invitation was for me, but I still didn’t respond.  “Nope! Can’t do it. No way!”

It was not until the third and final invitation of the evening when my brother nudged me.  That’s you, bro. You have to go up.”  I was stubborn and refused to budge.  “This is the 3rd and last time I will make this invitation for someone with plantar warts to come forward. I want you to come up here right now!”  Finally, my brother then got this brilliant idea to push me out of my pew. Next thing I knew, I stood frozen like a deer in headlights for everybody to notice. It was too late for me to retreat, so, I tepidly approached Eddie Smith. He was expectantly waiting.  

As I stood there, Eddie Smith laid hands on me and called on all of heaven and the Name of Jesus to heal me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. It was not some feeble prayer lacking strength or boldness. “O God. You invite all who are burdened to come to You. We therefore implore thee Almighty Father to heal, should it be your gracious and sovereign will.” It was instead with authority that Eddie Smith commanded.  “In Jesus’ Name, plantar warts leave right now! GO! In the Name of Jesus.” There was no reservation or doubt in his voice, only a complete and unwavering faith that I would be healed by the blood of Jesus.

Reaching out His hand, He touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean,” and immediately the disease left him. (Luke 5:13)

What was I feeling? To be honest, I felt nothing short of nothing. Crazy, huh? I didn’t fall to the floor and start to shake and roll. I didn’t feel a surge of electricity go through me or tingling in my extremities. My eyes didn’t flutter, nor did I hear God’s speak audibly or even in a small still voice to my spirit. I felt nothing. I heard nothing. Absolutely, NOTHING!  I was more self-conscious of being the focus of everyone’s attention and looking foolish, that I moved rather quickly back to my seat after Eddie Smith finished praying for me. Phew! That was embarrassing.

When I got home that night, I went straight to my room to get ready for bed. As I sat on the edge of my bed, I began taking my sock off when my hand rubbed against the bottom of my foot. I was completely taken by surprise as I wasn’t expecting to be healed.  Miraculously, the bottom of my foot felt smooth and without blemish. God had completely healed me of plantar warts!  To this day, they have never returned!

Multiple faiths at work

God works in miraculous ways, despite our inadequacies and little faith. Did I believe in healing for myself?  I wasn’t sure.  However, there had to have been a mustard seed of faith to bring me and my brother to the revival meeting.  

Matthew 17:20 “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

It took my brother’s little faith to push me and encourage me to move from my seat so that I might experience more of God.

It took Eddie Smith’s great faith to command, with the authority he had in Jesus’ Name, “Be healed!”  As the disciples were empowered to do the things that Christ did, so are we today. John 14:12-14 is a wonderful verse that we must believe is for TODAY.

Sometimes it is also through God’s prophetic word and other’s testimonies of personal healing that move us to greater faith to believe.

Ultimately, however, it was because Jesus heard the Father’s heart for me. It was because of the Father’s tender kindness, His grace, His compassion, and His constant love for me that He chose to heal me. (Psalm 69:16).

Has this whet your appetite to hear more?  I want to create hunger in you to desire more Holy Spirit as it did for me following that evening in 1973.

Take a moment to sit quietly with the Lord and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about God’s heart for you. God desires to not only save us but to empower us and commission us to do the things Jesus did.  It is God’s will for you to grow in faith. God desires to heal your body and soul. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you His truths in scripture.

“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father! For I will do whatever you ask me to do when you ask me in my name. And that is how the Son will show what the Father is really like and bring glory to him.  Ask me anything in my name, and I will do it for you!” – John 14:12-14

Have you personally received healing in your life or administered healing in the Name of Jesus? What was your experience? Would you share it?

Copyright 2020 by Bill Hutzel

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FOOTNOTE
1 America Out of Gas – A Lesson in Patience by Bill Hutzel, 2016
2 “Hair” by the Cowsills, 1969

A God Wink

On the last day of our mission trip to Brazil, I randomly opened my Bible to the following passage in Luke 10. I looked down on the page and this is what I read – “When the seventy missionaries returned to Jesus, they were ecstatic with joy, telling him, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we commanded them in your name!” Jesus replied, “While you were ministering, I watched Satan topple until he fell suddenly from heaven like lightning to the ground. Now you understand that I have imparted to you all my authority to trample over his kingdom. You will trample upon every demon before you and overcome every power Satan possesses. Absolutely nothing will be able to harm you as you walk in this authority. However, your real source of joy isn’t merely that these spirits submit to your authority, but that your names are written in the journals of heaven and that you belong to God’s kingdom. This is the true source of your authority.” Then Jesus, overflowing with the Holy Spirit’s anointing of joy, exclaimed, “Father, thank you for you are Lord Supreme over heaven and earth! You have hidden the great revelation of this authority from those who are proud, those wise in their own eyes, and you have shared it with these who humbled themselves. Yes, Father. This is what pleases your heart and the very way you’ve chosen to extend your kingdom: to give to those who become like trusting children” (Luke 10:17-21 TPT).

I’ve never encountered before a people so hungry for the Word of God. Truly, they came like trusting children (Luke 10:21) and for it, they received. There’s a revival going on in Brazil that is transforming the nation.

Wow! There could have been no other passage in the Bible that could have more accurately summed up our mission trip this week and the great number of salvations, and physical and emotional healings, further substantiating what Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14).

Our team of 39 people, representing 5 different countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia and Switzerland) met together the morning of Tuesday, March 19th at the airport in Rio to bus transfer to our accomodations in Niteroi. From there we were bussed to various locations during the week to evangelize and bring healing and revival to hundreds of Brazilian’s.

On the first day, we immediately hit the ground running as we received impartation that afternoon by Blaine Cook and Kim Maas, and were already doing ministry all together that evening at a church service. For the rest of the week, 4 ministry teams with 9-10 people each were allocated to rotate doing ministry among 5 different churches. As I did not speak Portuguese, except for a handful of phrases, I was provided with a translator. I was grateful.

God showed up in power throughout the week, bringing the passion of Jesus and revival to the Brazilians through teaching, impartation, and ministry, spreading the good news of God’s love, mercy, grace and compassion. Many were emotionally healed, physically healed, delivered, and saved. We saw 13 blind eyes opened, 7 deaf ears opened, 13 tumors and cysts disappear, 4 metal miracles and 1 lame person walk. These were just some of the 339 physical healings, 28 sovereign healings, and 315 emotional deliverances that we saw. Hallelujah!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

If you would like further details and testimonies, please click on the following links and we will periodically be posting more under the menu item “Brazil Mission Trip 2019.”

Seeing the Miracle Happen
2 Healing Stories
Boy with Hearing and Vision Loss Healed

If you sowed into our ministry via prayers and/or finances, you have reaped ALL the blessings along with us. As is usual, we often think we are going to bless, but God in His kingdom does the reverse and HE blesses us!!

“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father!” (John 14:12, TPT)

Copyright 2019 by Bill Hutzel and Peggy Castorri-Hutzel

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2 Healing Stories

There is substantial biblical evidence to show that healing ministry and miraculous spiritual gifts are for today. So, the more we understand the Bible, the more we will see the manifestation of the promises of God available to us. God wants us to realize that the potential for releasing the supernatural is in and through The Cross. The cross is the fountainhead from which all blessings flow, including miracles, healings, and the power of the kingdom.

Everything that belongs to the Father belongs to me” (John 16:14, TPT). “Jesus said that the Father had given him everything as an inheritance, and it is the Holy Spirit who transfers everything to us through His declarations. “It is said that when a kernel of corn is planted, every kernel that grows on the resulting ear of corn has the exact same DNA as the original kernel in the ground. Jesus became the ultimate seed that was planted in death, and we were born again of the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead. Every born-again believer has the DNA of Christ!” (Bill Johnson and Randy Clark, The Essential Guide to Healing, Equipping All Christians to Pray for the Sick, p. 147).

I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father! 13 For I will do whatever you ask me to do when you ask me in my name. And that is how the Son will show what the Father is really like and bring glory to him. 14 Ask me anything in my name, and I will do it for you!” (John 14:12-14, TPT)

Simple trust in God, plus obedience, opens the door to His miraculous provisions for you.

Here are a couple of accounts where I personally witnessed God’s healing miracles during my Brazil 2019 mission trip.

GLORY FOR GLORY

Glory came forward for prayer with severe pain in her left shoulder. The pain traveled her entire arm to her hand. The level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10 was a 10. Interestingly, God brought me someone who was experiencing exactly the same pain that I was healed for at Voice of the Apostles in October 2017. And so, I began praying over her repeatedly, “pain go now” and “thank you Jesus”. After a short while I asked her if she was feeling anything. No, she replied, the pain was still a 10.

I knew from experience that if the pain had not decreased, there was very likely a deeper reason for her not being healed immediately. So, I asked her if there were any known curses on her, and/or unforgiveness. To both she said yes.

The Bible is very clear that harboring unforgiveness in our hearts is sin. And, if we are not actively seeking to forgive those who have hurt us, it will break our fellowship with God. We won’t experience everything God has to offer us, and that includes God’s healing in our own bodies. I prayed the curse off her first and then asked her to forgive those who had hurt her.  I prayed again and asked her after a short while if the pain had left. Her eyes were wet with tears. The pain was completely gone!  Glory received both emotional and physical healing. 

BACK HEALED

Renato was experiencing pain in his lower back and legs and was unable to bend at the waist without much pain. His level of pain was pretty bad. I began praying for him, and after a short while, I asked him again what he was feeling. His pain had slightly diminished. I continued praying until it was almost gone, and then gone! I asked Renato if he could do anything now that he couldn’t do before. He then proceeded to bend at the waist and touch his toes. He could also turn side to side at the waist. The pain was completely GONE! Thank you, Jesus! Glory to God!

Copyright 2019 by Bill Hutzel

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