Manifest Presence of God - Part 1
Several years ago, the Lord asked me to shut myself in with Him. I found a place where I could be totally alone with the Lord, in fasting and prayer.
Sunday afternoon, I realized that I had spent 48 hours in prayer, fasting, and seeking the Lord, with no results. I had neither felt nor received anything, nor was I aware of His presence. I knew the Lord wanted to speak, but He did not do so.
Then I said within my heart, “It takes God a long time to speak.” No sooner had I said this, than the Lord spoke to me in a voice that was as clear as a bell, and as sharp as a razor. This was a voice which was not audible, but a voice that I heard. He said, “To hurry God is to find fault with Him.”
The Lord said I was criticizing Him because I thought He was too slow. I apologized and asked Him to forgive me. As soon as I did this, the Lord walked through the door into the room where I had been waiting upon Him. I did not see or hear Him, but it was so real that sight could not have made it any more real. The Lord walked in, and His presence followed behind Him, which was as a Royal Dignitary walking to His Throne with a long robe following which spread throughout the entire room.
The Lord came and stood to my left, approximately an arm's length away, and He stayed there for four hours. During this time, He taught me from His Word on the subject of “Knowing God.” I was given a Scripture, which I found and read. Then it would marvelously unfold so I could see its beauty, depth, and purpose.
The next summer, I was in Bangkok, Thailand. As I walked along the street, I saw a lotus bud lying on the side of the road. I picked it up, pulled the petals back and delighted myself at the beautiful arrangement of the lotus within. This was as the Lord did, as He marvelously unfolded His Word in all its beauty and fullness. Our knowing Him is very near to the heart of God. This is a “knowing” that includes the knowledge and personal experience of the “manifest presence of God.”
At six o'clock, the Lord turned, faced the door and said, “And the Lord left him to try him.” With that, His presence collected from all over the room, and followed Him as He left.
These four hours of “personal teaching” from a “personal Christ” on the “true knowledge of God” were beyond anything I could have anticipated. I did not know that later He would send me into more than one hundred countries to share what I had learned during that time.
In sharing the experience that followed this visitation from the Lord, I am very carefully choosing each word. This is the absolute unembroidered truth, recounted as accurately as I know how.
The Lord had said that He “left him to try him.” In school, we teach, and then give a test. I thought that since the Lord had been teaching me, He would test me on what I had learned. I waited, but nothing happened, so I thought I would go to bed. It was only eight o'clock, but I had slept very little since Friday.
Then Satan walked through the door into the room, as if the door had not been there. I was standing by the bed and recognized him at once. He entered precisely as the Lord had entered, and stood where the Lord had stood. Behind him followed a satanic presence, like a regal robe of some sovereign, which spread throughout the entire room exactly as the Lord's presence had done. I was not aware that I had any fear as Satan spoke. His voice was not audible, yet it was a clear distinct voice that I heard.
He said, “The Lord did not visit you.” I answered out loud, “Yes, He did.” Next, he said, “The Bible is not the Word of God.” I responded, “Yes it is.” Then he said, “The Lord did not teach you,” and I replied, “Yes He did.” Following this exchange, he said, “Why don't you deny God?” I said, “Why should I?” He responded, “Because God is not a real God,” and I said, “I know He is real.” Then he said, “You are not saved,” and I said, “I know that I am saved.”
After this, he said, “You are praying too much,” and I said, “No, I am not.” Then even stronger, he said, “You will lose your mind because you are praying too much,” and I answered, “I am not praying too much, and I will not lose my mind.”
This went on for some time while I stood by the bed. Then it seemed as if the room began to turn, and I was in the center of a merry-go-round that went faster and faster. Then he said, “See, you are losing your mind.” I said, “No, this is only an illusion - nothing is moving - you are trying to deceive me and make me think the room is moving when it is not.”
This was a very serious matter, as I began to see triangles, circles, squares, trees, rocks, and mountains, as everything moved around in the room. Then he again said, “Are you ready to deny God,” and I said, “No, I will never be ready.”
I firmly held my ground as he attempted to cause me to deny all that the Lord had taught me. Then he turned and went out through the door. As he did, the whole satanic presence collected, and followed him like a regal robe out of the room, and I was again with the Lord.
I noticed that it was now ten o'clock, and thought I would now go to bed. Then Satan walked in the second time and stood where he had been, and again his presence followed him and filled the room. This time, everything seemed to be much stronger. We went through the whole thing again with one difference; there was a tremendous power that came from him. When he spoke,
“Are you ready to give up?” It came with an authority that was frightening.
I noticed that I was weakening. I could tell that my answers were no longer as resolute as they had been. He kept hammering away to cause me to give in, and I resisted until I had no more will to resist. Finally, I said within myself, “I can resist no longer,” and threw myself on the bed, seemingly in defeat.
Just as I struck the bed, I felt something stir within me. I knew it was the presence of the Holy Spirit. I now concentrated on this presence that was inside of me. Satan was still there, but I ignored him and concentrated on this presence of the Lord. As I did this, the presence began to slowly expand and sing. It was not me that sang, but the Holy Spirit within me. I clearly heard Him sing the chorus, “Isn't He wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, isn't Jesus my Lord wonderful.”
As the Holy Spirit continued to sing, His presence became larger and stronger. I listened, and presumably the devil listened also, but said nothing. I was occupied with what was going on inside of me. Finally, His presence reached my throat and I joined in and sang with Him. Satan still had nothing to say, as I sang out loud while the Holy Spirit sang within me.
Then the Holy Spirit stopped, and I waited. He (the Holy Spirit) spoke and said, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, then the Spirit shall raise an arm in defense against him.” With that, Satan turned and quickly left, and the glory of the Lord filled the entire room. The Holy Spirit came to my defense at the very moment I had become too weak to resist. Now it was midnight. The next day, I returned home.
You may wonder, why did this happen? For four hours, the Lord had been teaching me things about the knowledge of God, and about His personalized manifest presence. The enemy sought to destroy the very thing the Lord had given me. The one thing the devil hates is for us to personally know God. He does not want the Lord's people to experience the “personal manifest presence of God” in their lives.
I believe the reason the devil tried so hard to defeat me is due to the vital importance of this message concerning our “personally knowing the Lord,” and the “reality of His manifest presence.”