Experience shows power of prophecy
MOST of us form our ideas about God from three main sources: what we hear in church or wherever we go to worship, what we read or see in the media and what we physically experience. Some close their senses to any ideas about God, and some pursue all sorts of avenues to find him. I've spent more than 40 years learning about God, and some of those lessons are amazing.
Before moving to Hawaii, I went to church every Sunday night. There was nothing unusual about that to me, though there was a guest speaker one night in 1982. His name was Dick Mills, and I had never heard of him. His preaching was nothing out of the ordinary, but after he was finished, he took a portable microphone and went down into the audience and, one at a time, invited individual attendees to stand.
As each person stood, Mills quoted a Scripture to that person and then interpreted the verse. The verses all had to do with the future and the things that God had revealed to him that were in the offing for that person. My genre of Christianity calls this prophecy, and though I did not know it, Mills was an established prophet in my denomination.
I was intrigued and hoped he would call me out. We all like to know our future. I tried to make myself as appealing as possible. I sat up straight and put on my best expression, but he walked back onto the platform, handed the mike back to the host pastor and church ended.
Six months later I saw an ad that said Mills would be at a Hispanic church in another section of Los Angeles. I went to hear him. I tried for a seat close to the aisle but to no avail. Mills preached in English, and the pastor translated his words into Spanish. Sure enough, when he was done, he grabbed a portable mike and went into the audience. He spoke to many but not to me. When he began to close the meeting back on the stage, he stopped, turned toward my section of the audience and said, "You there."
IT TOOK a few seconds to establish that the "you there" was "me here," and I stood. Mills said, "You are a businessman," and I agreed. He then said my Scripture verse was Job 11:6, that God would double my wisdom. He said my business would double, triple, quadruple and that since my wisdom would double, I would not have to work any harder. I drove home wondering if I had heard a prophet from God or just some happy words.
My sales that year were $3 million. Four years later they were $12 million. I sold my interests in the firm and joined the pastoral staff of the large church I was then attending.
My work was to oversee the radio and television ministry of the Rev. Jack Hayford, and that meant I attended the 1987 National Religious Broadcasters convention in Washington, D.C.
Mills was at that convention doing a book-signing for his new book. I bought one and stood in line. When my turn came, I handed him the book. He glanced up at me, said hello and wrote on the fly leaf. I had not seen Mills since the Hispanic church five years earlier, and he had no idea who I was.
He gave the book back and I walked away. I looked to see what he had written; it said, "Dick Mills, Job 11:6 Double Wisdom." Astonishing! Prophecy is alive and well in the church today.
The Rev. Murray Hohns is an associate pastor at New Hope Christian Fellowship.