She walked in, her mother was there. She had not even yet had a chance to tell her police husband. And as she came into the room, her mother was watching me on television; and saw Lindsay and me sitting there, and me say, “There’s a woman who’s pregnant, and the doctors have just told you that you have cancer, and they’re going to have to abort the child to do immediate surgery to save your life.”
And I said, “Put your hands toward the television screen, I’m going to send the word to you.” And she did. And she later told us that she felt the power of God go through her body. Several days later she went back to the doctor, and they performed all the same exams and tests again. The doctor was so shocked; He could not find a trace of cancer in her body. He sent the Word and healed them, the Bible says, and delivered them from their destruction. Jesus said these words, “Go thy way, thy son liveth.”
Now, there are several things about this great event, this great miracle in the Bible, this second miracle that Jesus did, that I want you to notice. Number one, God wants to be in the middle of your life. Listen to that. He wants to be right at the center of everything you are. You are important to Him, and when you have a need, you can call upon Him.
I had been aggressively seeking the Lord for His will in my life, and He led me to the Richard Roberts School of the Spirit®. One morning I was adjusting the television for my mother—she’s 87 and I take care of her—and I saw an old clip of Oral Roberts ministering in the big tent. I sat down and began to watch, and then Richard Roberts came on the screen and began talking about the new School of the Spirit®. I was so excited. I enrolled in the online classes right away and started with the first class on September 7, The Healing Ministry of Jesus. I have been blessed to enjoy all the courses since then—every single one!
Both My Mother and I Have Received Healing!
God has done miracle after miracle in my life since that day. In January during the Holy Spirit class, Richard Roberts gave a word of knowledge about someone being healed of pain in their hip—I put my hands in the air to receive the word and said, “That’s my healing!” I had been experiencing severe pain in my left hip for over a year, and I was instantly healed!
What I have learned in my life is to fully obey the Lord. Sometimes I do not understand all that God has spoken to me to do, but when the Lord says, “Richard, jump,” I don’t question Him. I just say, “How high,” on the way up. Now, you’ve heard me say it on television. About two years ago, I was sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon. I was not preaching that weekend, and I was watching football on television. I love to watch football. And I was sitting there watching, when the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “I want you to have a crusade in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.” I went to the internet; Google searched Port Harcourt to find out where it was. I knew it was in Nigeria, but I didn’t know exactly where it was.
I found that it’s in the southern portion, and that it’s the oil center. And the Lord said, “I want you to have a crusade there.” I began to research, and I found that there had not been a crusade in fifteen to twenty years in Port Harcourt. It is a devastated area where there is great need. There’s a tremendous need for food among the widows and the orphans. There’s a great need in the surrounding villages for medical care. There’s a tremendous need for the healing ministry of Jesus.
And I said, “Lord, I’ll do it. I don’t know how, but I’ll do it.” It was not on my schedule, and the Lord began opening doors, and suddenly I began hearing, out of the blue, from people from Port Harcourt. Now, when God opens a door, He usually sends people to me from that area that I’ve never known before.
You’re gonna have to cooperate with my prayers. Some of you feel about a million miles away from God. I believe my prayers can help you, but if you don’t let me pray, there’s nothing my prayers can do. The Bible says all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Sure, we all make mistakes, sometimes we even commit sin. The good news is the Bible says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But, unless we repent, we lose. We lose out. Hell is filled with people who never repented and gave their lives to God. Hell was not made for people, hell was made for satan. I know there are many in hell today, but that was not God’s wish. It’s His wish that none perish. And there’s some here tonight, you’ve never made a commitment of your life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m gonna ask you to do something. And if you’re sincere, when I do it, I want you to respond. And I believe if you will, there’ll be a glorious salvation and rededication to God in your life. I’m asking every man, every woman, every young person, tired of sin, if you’re tired of the lifestyle, you want to repent, you want to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, or you want to recommit your life to the Lord because you’ve been running from Him, and you want me to pray a salvation, rededication prayer. If you do, if that’s you, if I’m describing you, then take the first step and hold your hand up high. I want to pray for you. Hold it high, don’t be ashamed. Now, step out in the aisle, if you raised your hand, and come to this altar. I’m gonna pray a salvation, rededication prayer. Come on, you may never have this opportunity again. You have no assurance of tomorrow, but you do have the assurance of God’s love; and He is a saving, healing God.
RR: Fro the newspapers, and the radio, and the television in Honduras as I said. Wednesday, the day after tomorrow, I will be in Honduras, and look for me live from Honduras. We’re gonna do a special, satellite is it? We’re doing it by satellite, Wednesday night, live from a television studio there. Adrian will be with me there. Part of our team will be with me, and pastors and other guests will be there with me as well that night.
But, we’re missing a special event, and I was very, very concerned. I was concerned especially because I didn’t know exactly how Lindsay would respond to that.
LR: It’s just a family tradition that we’ve done for literally thirty years.
RR: She’s said, “Look, we’ll postpone that event for a few days. The lives of the people in Honduras are much more important.”
LR: Yup, yup. And it was tough; I’ll be honest with you, because we sit at our family table for this one event.
RR: And it’s something we’ve not ever missed.
LR: And we’ve never missed it, and it’s just been a lot of fun, and it’s just been something we committed to ourselves, and to our family that we would do, and we would do it until the Lord returned. And lo and behold, we didn’t get to do it this year. But, you know what? When we had that opportunity, I had to sit and think, and you know what? I decided that I wasn’t being left out of something. I decided that I had the opportunity to sow even more seed.
RR: Being added.
LR: Because I’m not only sowing my money, which I am, but I’m sowing my family. So I think that’s something God will reward.
Now, students, if God will do this in my life and since the Bible says He is no respecter of persons, He will do this in your life. Don’t say, “Well, you’re Richard Roberts. You’re the President of the university. God treats you differently. God speaks to you differently.”
I have two words for you. The first word is bull, and the second word I won’t repeat. That’s a lie that satan puts in your mind. The last time I checked, I put my pants on one leg at a time. I put socks on this morning just like you guys did. I have other kind of clothing on. I shaved this morning. I combed my hair. I used deodorant. I’m just a normal guy, okay?
Don’t say, “Well, you’re special. God operates differently.” That’s a lie from the pit of hell. He is no respecter of persons. And I’m telling you, if you’ll plant your seed to God and plant it every chance you get, every chance you have of giving something to God, sow it to Him. And don’t think of your offerings as just money. Yes, sow your money, but sow your love and your time and your prayers and your smiles and a pat on the back. And count those things as seed.
You help somebody with an assignment, you help somebody study for a test, say, “God, I’m sowing this as a seed, and I’m releasing my faith. I am believing that the day is on the way for my harvest.”
Yesterday I got a $700,000 gift for the university. I can’t tell you how bad I needed it. Okay? The first thing I said was, “Prepare a $70,000 gift, because I’m sowing 10 percent right off the top.”
Now when you get a gift like that, you say, “Well now, Lord, I might not want to give—that $70,000 is an awful lot of money to give away.” But, you see, it’s the same math. You see, you get a dollar and you give a dime, it doesn’t seem like much. You get $100 and you give $10, it doesn’t seem like much. You get $1,000, you’ve got to give $100 of it, “Well, God, that’s a lot.”
And I didn’t know, and I was dumber than a box of rocks anyway. I didn’t have any idea. I was just a guy, you know. And there’s probably still some here on campus that are as dumb as I was when I was eighteen.
But, nevertheless, you know, I got up there and I found out, my, these guys are—wow! And suddenly, man, I’m getting propositioned. I’m having everything under the sun come at me. Wow, where is this coming from? Hey, I like girls. Man, it was wild, you know.
Well, I was not a Christian, and I wasn’t a witness. So I didn’t have any impact on their lives, except, no, you know. But my point is—the reason I’m saying that is because you have to go where people are. Okay, are you following me? You have to go where they are.
And instead of cursing the darkness, you have to light a candle. And so we’re going into that dance world to make an impact for Christ. Okay? And to help bring change.
You heard me in chapel yesterday say that I have a dream of opening a PhD program in the seminary. Why? Because most of the 220 seminaries in the United States are not really godly at all. They don’t teach the Bible, that the Bible is the true Word of God. And they’re raising up ministers who have no anointing and don’t know God, not even Christians. And they’re coming out of these theological seminaries.
Well, if you want to touch ministers in that traditional world, then you’re going to have to raise up Holy Spirit filled PhD’s to go into that world and to teach, to send them as missionaries literally, to go into those seminaries. Because the teaching degree, the only way you can get a job teaching in a seminary is if you have a PhD. You can’t just get a BA from ORU and go teach in a seminary. You can’t do that. You have to have not only a master’s, but you have to have a PhD.
Now I have a doctorate. I have an earned doctorate from ORU. It’s a doctor of ministry degree. We offer it. I’m teaching the fast-track session of the doctor of ministry program this afternoon. There are about 12 or 14 guys that are pastors across the country that are here this week. You may have seen them from time to time in chapel.
In fact, one of them, Frank Damazio, who is over 700 churches in Portland, Oregon, will be speaking in chapel tomorrow, a real good friend of mine. He’s in this group. And I’m speaking to them this afternoon.
Now you’ve heard of caveats? Not caviar, but caveats. A caveat is an explanation in advance to get you off the hook for something that’s about to happen. I want to apologize to you in advance because if you want what came into my life, it will no doubt begin to manifest in many of you in this room in a moment. So I’m going to apologize to you in advance.
I’m also going to tell you that I’m not going to do anything to make it happen, because it’s not me. I don’t believe in manipulation. The Spirit of God is the one who’s in charge.
But I promise you if I do what I’m about to do, something will spontaneously begin to happen. It usually starts—and I do this every year in this class—the class usually becomes a disaster zone. It’s not unusual when it spreads over into the cafeteria and in classes in the afternoon. But I apologize to you in advance. I want you to know that it is not me. So don’t blame me. Okay? You understand? We got a deal? Don’t blame me for what’s going to begin to happen.
Now usually it starts small. It will start in one section of the class, and it will begin to spread. And I just walk around and look and observe. Now some of you have come from staunch backgrounds, and you may look askance at what’s about to happen. Don’t be critical. Don’t be critical of something you don’t understand.
If you say, “I don’t understand that,” if you say, “I don’t want to be a part of that,” I respect that. But don’t be critical. Don’t ever be critical of a move of God. Don’t ever be critical. That opens you up. It opens the hedge of protection around you. If you don’t understand it, that’s fine. I understand that. I’ve got no qualms with you. But don’t cheat someone else out of a move of God in their life.
Is there anyone here who has a need, a special need for the joy of the Lord in your life? All right, put your hands on your belly and repeat after me. Ha, ha, ha. Now just start one more time. Put your hand right here. Now say, ha, ha, ha. Now, see, I didn’t do anything, did I? I told you, I didn’t do a thing. I very seldom know where it’s going to start. It will start.
He’s already out of his chair. Why are you laughing? What? What’s happening? Why are you laughing? Isn’t that a wonderful testimony? Why are you laughing? Did he say something? And then what happened?
Lay your hands on him right here. Now I know that it’s unusual. Do you want a drink of that? Do you? Take hold of that finger right there. I know it seems unusual. I know it sounds strange. But this is what happened to me.
And I’ll never forget the fact that my wife said, “Yes, you’re going. God’s going to change your life while you’re in Lakeland.”
And it is the joy of the Lord that sustained me. Yes, there’s some times that I’m happy, and there’s some times that I’m sad. But that doesn’t interfere with the joy of the Lord, which is my strength. Some days I feel better than other days. I’m sure you do too. But that doesn’t interfere with my joy.
And there are times when even after all these years, I’ll be in a service, or I’ll be in a situation where all of a sudden, for no reason, I just break into spontaneous laughter. And I can feel the refreshing. I can feel the revival coming up in me. And it gives me strength.
Doctors say—well, of course the Bible says, “Laughter doeth good like a medicine.” And the doctors have proven that. I don’t have a copy of the document that St. John’s Hospital produced, but they talk about the endorphins in your body and they talk about the good things about health. Dr. Brainard, I don’t know if you have a copy of that. I didn’t bring it with me. Well, if you do, fine. If you don’t, it’s all right.
I’ll just kind of paraphrase it. It talks about what it does to you. It talks about how it releases painkillers. It talks about blood pressure rises during laughter, but lowers below where it was when the laughter stops. It talks about why you get a pain in your side when you laugh. It talks about how you can go into almost uncontrollable spasms when you laugh. It talks about how you can lose control and fall out of your chair when you laugh. There are lots of medical documentation.
And they’re using laughter therapy in clinics and hospitals now. The doctors and the scientists are understanding the principles of the Bible, that laughter doeth good like a medicine.
And there’s a study—I forgot to bring it this morning—there’s a study from St. John’s Hospital, a little Catholic hospital here in town, of the effects of laughter. And one doctor says, “It’s like taking the internal organs on a jog.” It does such tremendous things. I left it at the house. I forgot it this morning. I’ll bring it back one of these weeks.
But, anyway, this is how God has been a tremendous blessing in my life and how it’s changed me. Now we’ve got about 20 minutes left. Is there anybody here this morning who is a candidate for the joy of the Lord? Anyone here who’d like to have a touch of the joy of the Lord in your life? If you would, would you just stand up.
And the fear that was in me left, and I really have not had another moment of fear over finances since that day. God has delivered me. And whenever I face a financial situation—and, by the way, I face them all the time. The question is, is how I handle it. And I handle it with the joy of the Lord. I handle it with praying in the Spirit.
I had a session just the other day on that because we’re facing a particular need in an area that I don’t have any finances for it. And something’s coming due, and I don’t have the finances for it. But I didn’t freak out. I didn’t panic. I began to laugh. I began to have the joy of the Lord in my life. I began to pray in the Spirit. And I know that God’s going to provide the answer.
Since that day down in Florida, I’ve not had a sleepless night. I have not had a nightmare over it. I have not seen any of that. God took all of that away. And I have been a person of joy.
Now, students, there’s a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is not joy. Happiness stops about here. Joy penetrates from here. And that’s the major difference.
Now the reason I’m giving you this testimony this morning is because I have always made this a part of the curriculum in this course since I started teaching it nine years ago, to let you understand how God brought a deliverance in my life and how the university and the ministry has prospered since then.
And you can see the results. If you had known me then—that was 44, here I am now 58 years old—if you could have known me then, you would have known a different man than you know today.
The Bible says, “When the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul to become the first king in Israel, he became like another man.” Well, that’s the story of me. My life was transformed in Lakeland, Florida. Anybody here from that Central Florida area? That’s a very tender place in my heart because I felt like I was born again again in Lakeland, Florida. And I’ll never forget the Strader family, who had such a tremendous impact upon my life and that church, which has gone through much tumult, as I’m sure if you’re from that area you’re aware of, lots of problems in that area. But they have survived. And they sowed into my life.