E.W. Kenyon & Don Gossett

B. Childress
Apr 29 2012

God’s Word assures us that we will face persecution if we walk uprightly with the Lord.  What do we do when we face
persecution?  As soldiers for Him, we can endure hard times.

    All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  (II Timothy 3:12 NKJV)

I’ve already shared how my father ridiculed me when I was a stuttering seventeen-year-old for wanting to preach.  
Ironically, when the Lord loosened my tongue so that I might speak with relative fluency, the same man encouraged me
to use my speaking ability by pursuing a career as an auctioneer!  Eventually, my father became a Christian, we
reconciled, and he encouraged me in the ministry.  Praise God!

A God-given vision is greater than all of man’s persecution.  Neither my father’s biting words nor the fact that he didn’t
believe in me could stop me.  I had met Someone greater than my father.  My father’s attitude was the first taste of the
many persecutions to come.  As the Lord of the harvest has sent me to evangelize in fifty-five nations, opposition has
often been present.  I have learned to overcome
“by the blood of the lamb and by the word of [my] testimony”
(Revelation 12:11).

To encourage you to face opposition and overcome it, I share with you four episodes of persecution from four different
nations.  The efforts to exterminate our crusades and to drive us out of these countries were great challenges.  The
hostility took many forms, from physical confrontations to verbal abuse to menacing crowds.

    Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (Romans 12:14)

I pray that as you read these true accounts, you will find faith to stand firm against the schemes of the evil one.

Chicago, Illinois

During a crusade, I endeavored to minister to a man who was visiting the arena where I was preaching each day.  After
my first encounter with the man, he returned the following night with these sobering words: “When you shook my hand
last night, something came over me, and I wanted to kill you.”

As I continued to interact with this man, I worked to win him to Christ.  Each time, however, he refused.  A few days later,
without any provocation on my part, he sprang upon me like an animal that has gone mad.  His blows were severe.  My
face was bleeding, and I heard the man announce that he was going to cut out my eyes with his knife.  I knew my life
was on the line.

Boldly, I commanded the man, “Go down that street!  Leave now, in the name of Jesus!”

The man left, only to appear at my hotel to further pursue his evil intentions against my life.  The police arrested him
and took him to jail.

When the man’s trial took place, I was required to appear.  He told the court that he had never laid a hand on me.  
When I testified, I described how the man had struck me three damaging blows.  The man jumped up and shouted, “I
only hit him twice!”  Eventually, the court sentenced him to serve time in a facility for the criminally insane.

Jesus said,
“If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).

    For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:…casting down imaginations, and every high thing
    that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
    Christ.  (II Corinthians 10:3, 5)

A key to overcoming persecution is “casting down imaginations” of any violent actions that have threatened your well-
being.  God’s children should walk without fear.

Georgetown, Guyana

After arriving for a crusade organized by the churches of this South American nation, I was violently attacked by a
member of a notorious mob known as the “Choke and Rob Gang.”  Their method of operation was to put piano wire
around the throats of their victims and threaten to choke them if they did not give up their money.  In our confrontation,
my arm was cut, my watch was taken off of my arm, and I was warned of imminent danger at the third-class hotel where I
was scheduled to stay.

After this traumatic experience, I announced that I was going to stay at a hotel with better security.  When we arrived at
the Hotel Pegasus, I was informed that there were no rooms available.  I told the clerk, “These pastors and I are going
into your coffeehouse to have tea.  When someone cancels his reservation, come and get me.”

The clerk insisted, “Mr. Gossett, we are completely booked for many nights due to a convention in the city.”

Still, the Holy Spirit gave me an inner witness:
A room will open for you.

After about an hour, the same clerk came to me and said, “We do have a room for you, Mr. Gossett, but only for
tonight.  You will have to check out tomorrow.”

It so happened that the Lord kept that room available for me the entire time I was in Guyana.  In declaring that I would
stay only in the hotel with the best security, I was walking in faith and wisdom.

A key to overcoming persecution is consulting the Lord about your problem and walking in His wisdom.  He is a practical
Father.  With His instructions comes His provision.  Walk in patience while waiting for His supply.

Jerusalem, Israel

A Christian film company from Seattle, Washington, invited me to make a documentary of the holiest places in Israel.  At
the famous Wailing Wall, while the camera was rolling and I was explaining the significance of this historic site, an irate
Israeli approached, cursing me and screaming.  As he drew near, he angrily spat in my face.  Several Jewish leaders
nearby came to my defense and then apologized for the man’s rude behavior.  Even though the episode was defused
within minutes, it was disconcerting to be the recipient of such hatred.

A key to overcoming persecution is not to allow hatred to lodge within your heart.  Your overcoming faith works only if
you walk in love, or by
“faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6 NKJV).

Bombay, India

For eighteen consecutive services, our crusade in India had been blessed with many people being delivered from sin,
sickness, demons, and fear.  Then, hell itself seemed to break loose as a band of several dozen radical Hindus stormed
the crusade grounds, brandishing swords.  They announced that they had come for “the North American evangelist who
is turning many Hindus to Christianity.”

I was that evangelist.

They cut the electrical power, plunging the athletic field into darkness and confusion.  The local pastors used a bullhorn
to try to settle the crowd.  With my daughter and two Indian coworkers, we awaited directions from the local crusade
leaders as to what we should do.  I will never forget what happened in our hotel room later that evening.  I read aloud
from Acts the stirring accounts of the apostle Paul being stoned, imprisoned, and beaten.  Yet Paul was not dismayed at
all he had suffered.  In fact, he later referred to it as “our light affliction” (II Corinthians 4:17).

Later, when the pastors drove us in their jeep to the Bombay airport, they said they felt not unlike the Christians at
Damascus as they lowered Paul in a basket over the wall to help him escape from those who wanted to kill him.

A key to overcoming persecution is walking with a consciousness that the Lord dwells within you.  Walk confidently with
the vision the Father has instilled within you.

A God-given vision is greater than all of mankind’s persecutions.  I experienced II Timothy 3:11:

    Persecutions, afflictions,…what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Regardless of the opposition you face because of your faith, expect God’s miracles for your life as you walk out His keys
to overcoming persecution.


KEYS TO RECEIVING GOD’S MIRACLES, by E.W. Kenyon & Don Gossett, Copyright 2011, Whitaker House.