Restoring Desolate Heritages
By Paul Keith Davis
This past June I had the privilege of preaching a Sunday morning service in the Church located on the old Alexander Dowie homestead. It was quite invigorating to recount the many historical events that transpired in Zion, Illinois at the turn of the 20th century. There remains a well of healing and a forerunner anointing to catapult us into the fullness of our destiny for this generation. That was the essence of the message I shared that morning.
Being on the Dowie property brought back many revelations the Lord shared with me in 1996. He instructed me about the importance of this man's ministry in relationship to our present calling. Although there was an unfortunate proclamation made at the end of Dowie's life, he remains a pivotal figure used mightily by the Holy Spirit to introduce an entire generation to Jesus Christ as Savior and Healer. He, more than any other figure, helped pave the way for the many healing ministries that emerged during the 20th century outpourings.
A Wonderful Confirmation
In the summer of 1996 I had several dreams and revelations involving Alexander Dowie. Unfortunately, at that time, I had only limited resources involving this man's life and ministry. At the end of that week, Wanda and I flew with Rick Joyner in his private plane to Charlotte for a conference Rick was hosting. When we arrived at their facility, I passed Steve Thomson's office and saw a book lying on the corner of his desk written by Gordon Lindsay on the life of Alexander Dowie.
I told Steve that I was actually looking for that book because of revelations the Lord had given me that week concerning Dowie. Steve informed me that during the morning the Holy Spirit spoke to him concerning this book and he brought it to his office and set it on his desk moments before my arrival. I felt this was a confirmation of the importance of understanding this heritage that can be brought forward into our day.
Following the conference, Rick flew us back to Alabama and I took the opportunity on the flight to browse through the book. With the book open in my lap, I noticed a picture in it of a human clock set for the nine o'clock hour. It was taken from an elevated position where hundreds of their followers positioned themselves like a clock with the hour pointing to 9:00 o'clock, as a reminder of their call to an hour of prayer at that time.
At the moment I saw this picture in the book, I peered out the co-pilot seat of the plane and noticed a farmer's field of about 160 acres that had been uniquely cultivated and fashioned as a clock with each of the twelve hours of the clock highlighted. I am not even certain which State we were over but the odds of such a thing were incredible while looking at a picture taken in 1900 of the exact image.
I knew this was God's additional confirmation concerning something important we are to capture from Dowie's ministry.
Discovering Jesus the Healer
One of the most important revelations given to this man came at a time of great desperation. While pastoring a small church outside Sydney, Australia, a horrible plague broke out in the region. People were dying by the scores with Dowie performing over 40 funerals among his own congregation.
Finally, late one evening in complete exhaustion and desperation he turned to the Lord for an answer to this excruciating dilemma. Dowie wrote of this encounter saying:
"I sat with sorrow-bowed head for my afflicted people, until the bitter tears came to relieve my burning heart. Then I prayed for some message, and oh, how I longed to hear some words from Him Who wept and sorrowed for the sufferings long ago, a Man of Sorrows and of Sympathies. Then the Words of the Holy Ghost inspired in Acts 10:38 stood before me all radiant with light, revealing Satan as the defiler and Christ as the Healer. My tears were wiped away, my heart was strong, I saw the way of healing and the door thereto was opened wide."
Acts 10:38 declares, "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."
At the moment he read this passage a supernatural revelation was imparted to his soul. Although he had read this verse numerous times before, this time he read it with Spirit eyes that brought it to life. He recognized that the devil was the author of sickness and oppression while Jesus is the Healer --- Jesus went about doing good and healing all who are oppressed of the devil.
That revelation created hatred in Dowie's soul for sickness and oppression. No sooner had that revelation settled in when a knock came at the door requesting his presence, because another young lady stood on the brink of death from the plague.
Dowie recorded in his periodical "Leaves of Healing" how he bolted from the house without overcoat or hat, running to the bedside of this young lady, but this time with supernatural faith for her deliverance. The young lady was writhing and grinding her teeth in agony when Dowie arrived. Although the doctor present gave no hope for her survival, Dowie rebuked that report and commanded the illness to leave the woman.
He did not merely pray a wishful thinking prayer but had the revelation in his heart that it was the devil who was tormenting this young lady and that the Lord desired to heal her. Instantly the young lady fell into a deep sleep. Many present felt she had died but Dowie assured them she was healed. Later she rose from her sleep and ate a full meal. From that day forward, not another one of Dowie's congregation died from the epidemic.
This revelation, born out of desperation, launched one of the greatest healing ministries of the late 19th and early 20th century church. Alexander Dowie went on to establish numerous houses of healing, founded the city of Zion IL and prophesied many technological advancements such as the development of television and radio. Numerous notable leaders of the early 20th century emerged from Dowies ministry and mentorship.
This is the desolate heritage that is to be restored in this day as we press in to the Lord as both Savior and Healer during the harvest age.