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John Alexander Dowie faces the plague in the 19th century.

Excerpt from God’s Generals for kids volume 3 - John Alexander Dowie By Roberts Liardon & Olly Goldenberg


Soon after John arrived in Newton a plague swept through the region. People were becoming sick, coughing and dying all around. People were dying so quickly when they got the plague that there seemed to be no escape and they were very afraid. John had ministered at forty funerals in just a few weeks. It looked like the only reason he was there was to bury the dead people.


John sat in his study and thought about the situation. Thirty more of his congregation was sick and dying. Where was God? He was praying for the people to be healed, but it seemed like God just didn’t want to answer. John knew that God could heal people, so why wasn’t God doing it. Sickness was winning. Death was destroying lives and there was no one there to deliver people.


John sat at his desk, his head hung down into his hands as great sobs shook his body and tears poured like a river down his face as he thought about all the people in the church who had died … and for all those who were about to die. That Sunday he would have to stand up and speak to the whole church. But what sermon could he preach? What was the point of sharing empty words that didn’t really bring change? How could he give anyone hope? As the tears flowed down his face he felt a bit better, and then this Scripture came into his mind.


Acts 10:38 says: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” John got it: The devil was causing the sickness and God was still in the business of healing. John rejoiced in his new found knowledge and prayed, “Lord help me to preach this message to everybody.”


God Is With Him


As John was praying and talking with God there was a loud knock on the door. Someone was desperate to see him.


Healing wall at the front of John's church“Mr. Dowie, come at once. Mary is dying. Quick, come and pray.” John ran out of the house. He did not even stop to pick up his hat, but ran down the street. All the time Acts 10:38 was burning in his mind. (“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”) He burst into Mary’s room and paused. She was lying there in pain, her teeth were grinding together and she was making a loud groaning noise. He looked at Mary and felt pure anger. How dare the devil hold her under his power! Acts 10:38 was still burning into his mind and he realized that this verse was a sword that God had given him to kill the disease.


The doctor was in the room and he knew that Mary would soon be dead. When the doctor saw John run into the room he looked up and said, “God’s ways are strange, aren’t they John.”


John replied, “God’s way! God’s way! This is not God’s way! This is not how God wants people to die, with all this pain. How dare you even suggest it! This is the work of the devil. It’s time we called on the one who came to destroy the devil to stop this sickness. Can you pray for her to be made well?”


The doctor didn’t know what to say. John had been so rude to him. Didn’t John know how many people were dying? What could God do to help? The doctor was a Christian man, but he did not know God’s power. The doctor said, “John, it’s better to pray that God’s will is done here. You are far too excited.” Then the doctor picked up his bag and walked out of the room.


John said, “I’m not excited, I’m mad at the devil. This is not God’s will, this is not God’s way and it is time this is stopped.” John turned to Mary’s mother and asked her, “Why did you send for me?” Her mother tearfully replied, “I wanted you to pray. Please pray that God will heal her. Pray that she won’t die,” she begged.


That was all that John needed. He walked over to Mary’s bed where she was rolling around in pain and knelt next to her. He felt like his heart was going to explode, Acts 10:38 was all he could see. John cried out to the Lord, “Lord, teach me how to pray. You are the God who heals, you don’t change. You say that when we lay hands on the sick they will get better and I know that your Word is true. So heal her right now, God. Only you can do it.”


John Dowie in later lifeWhen John opened his eyes Mary was not moving. For a moment there was no sound in the room. “Is she dead?” her mother asked. “No,” John replied, “The fever has gone. She is healed.” John turned to the nurse and said, “Can you get me some hot chocolate and some bread and butter?” When the nurse came back John woke Mary up.


“I feel so well,” she said as she sat up.


“And hungry too?” John laughingly asked.


“Yes,” Mary said happily.


John gave her the food and after she had eaten she fell asleep. Next door her brother and sister were both sick with the same fever. John used the same verse from the Bible to pray for them and God did the same thing. The next day all three of them were alive and well.


John was amazed. God really was doing the same things today that He did when Jesus was walking on the Earth. From that day on not one single person in John’s church became ill with the plague. They had come face to face with death and God had now stepped in with His healing power.


This excerpt is taken from early in John’s life, when he was obeying God fully. Later on John lost his focus and things started to go very wrong for him.


To read the rest of John Dowie’s story order the book from www.childrencan.co.uk.

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