On Friday, December 26th, 1952, I told Tommy Hicks, a guest in my home: “Tomorrow morning is the last meeting of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship.” After fourteen months of meetings, thousands of miles of travel, phone calls, letters, “free breakfast” ads to entice men to attend, and 100% of my energy, the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship seemed dead. Our most recent Saturday morning meeting at Clifton’s on December 20 had… SIX FEWER men attending than when I had started the Fellowship fourteen months before!
Nothing MAN could do made any difference! No amount of careful planning, enticements, or even personal effort could launch this Fellowship. On that lonely Friday evening, just before midnight, I told Tommy and my wife, Rose, “I am going into the living room and will GET DOWN ON MY KNEES UNTIL I HEAR FROM THE LORD about this.” When I started to walk into the living room, it happened. The air around me became suddenly heavy. Overwhelmed, I fell on my knees, then my face, stretched full length on the floor. I knew GOD’S SPIRIT WAS UPON ME, pulsating through the room in endless WAVES of power. Time stopped. Place disappeared. Then I heard His voice:
Demos, will you ever doubt my power?
Lord Jesus, forgive me, I sobbed.
I am the One, Demos, WHO ALONE CAN OPEN DOORS.
I am the One who removes the beam from unseeing eyes.
I understand, Lord Jesus. And I thank You.
And now I will let you see, indeed.
With that the Lord allowed me to rise to my knees. Lifted me, almost, as though the power which had put me to the floor was now pushing me up. At that moment, Rose, my wife, came into the living room, did not say a word, but walked over to our Hammond organ and began to play.
As the music swelled through the living room, the atmosphere grew brighter. To my amazement the ceiling seemed to have disappeared. The cream-colored plaster, the ceiling light – they were simply gone, and instead I found myself staring up into the sky, a daytime sky although it must have been pitch dark. How long she played while I gazed into the infinite distance I don’t know. But all at once she stopped, fingers still resting on the keys, and began to pray aloud in tongues. She paused a moment, then spoke in English:
My son. I knew you before you were born. I have guided you every step of the way.
Now I am going to show you the purpose of your lifespan.
It was the Spirit’s gifts of tongues and interpretation, given together. And as she spoke a remarkable thing began to happen. Although I was on my knees, I felt as if I were rising. Leaving my body. Moving up, away from the living room. Down below me I could see the rooftops of Downey, California. There were the San Bernardino Mountains, and over there, the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Now I was high above the earth, able to see from the west to the east.
Whether the world was turning, or whether I was traveling around it, I do not know. But now beneath me was the continent of South America. Then Africa. Europe. Asia. I could see people on the earth – millions and millions of them standing shoulder to shoulder. Then, just as a camera can zoom in at a football game to show first the stadium, then the players, then the very laces on the football, my vision seemed to move in on the millions of men. I could see tiny details of thousands and thousands of faces. Everywhere it was the same.. Brown faces, black faces, white faces – every one rigid, wretched, every one locked in his own private death.
Lord! What is the matter with them? Lord, help them!
Afterward Rose told me that I said nothing. But in the vision it seemed to me that I wept and pleaded aloud.
Suddenly Rose began to speak. Humanly speaking, of course, she had no way of knowing that I was seeing anything at all. But what she said was:
My son, what you see next is going to happen soon.
The earth was turning – or I was moving around it – a second time. Below me again were millions upon millions of men. But what a difference! This time heads were raised. Eyes shone with joy. Hands were lifted towards heaven. These men who had been isolated, each in his prison of self were linked in a community of love and adoration. Asia. Africa. America – everywhere death had turned to life. And then the vision was over.