Man of God restores hope to the masses

This is one in a series of daily excerpts from “The Legend of Morris Cerullo: How God Used an Orphan to Change the World.”

By Morris Cerullo

Hong Kong could easily have served as the highlight of any evangelist’s life. Starting from scratch, the small team that flew to the crowded island nation managed to cobble together a surprisingly smooth event. Several hundred thousand seats had been filled over the course of the meetings there, and thousands of people had received the miracle of salvation as a result. A new church opened in the nation as a result of the crusade, a megachurch from the day it opened its doors.

Morris was just twenty-eight years old at the time.

But God was just getting started with him. The young man had passed every test the Lord had thrown at him, so He continued to orchestrate bigger and more amazing events through the born-again Jew.

The Morris Cerullo World Evangelism team arrived in Manila, the sprawling and impoverished capital of the Philippine islands, exhausted but awestruck by what God had done through them among the Chinese people. And, as in Hong Kong, they touched down in this next nation ill-informed about its culture and ill-prepared to put together yet another set of massive meetings.

But, by the grace of God, that’s exactly what they did. Again.

The miracle that emerged in Hong Kong was the astonishing number of salvation decisions. In the Philippines, a country filled with nominal Catholics, the remarkable result was the number and nature of miracles performed.

As usual, Morris spent hour upon hour praying intensely to God before ever taking the stage. He refused to deviate from his standard practice: praying and waiting for God to inhabit the premises and then lead him in ministry to those who attended. He was not about to change that practice in the Philippines.

Even Morris was struck by the magnitude of the miracles God performed through him in Manila. Much like had happened in Greece, once word circulated that a man of God was doing miracles, poor and crippled people jammed the massive public park that was the site of the crusade. These were people who had no hope. If the man of God could address their pain and suffering, their hope could be restored.

More than thirty thousand people showed up every night praying that this white man from another country, a person whom they had never heard of, could help them.

The drama started when Morris finished his first sermon and implored them to be healed in Jesus’s name, by His power alone.

Looking out at the mass of people stretching the length of the park, Morris was blown away by the ocean of dysfunctional bodies waiting for a wave of God’s power to transform them. There were untold hundreds of crippled, diseased, blind, deaf, deformed, and otherwise handicapped people staring back at him. Some were in wheelchairs, some had been carried on pallets. Many were bent over canes or walkers, others had been thrown over the back of a friend or relative, and a few had metal braces holding their joints or bones in place. Most of them were adults, but a large number were children, ragged and unkempt.

The man of God looked up to heaven as his heart shattered into a thousand pieces.

The procession of hurting and hopeless people continued to fill the park for three consecutive weeks, seven days and nights each week. On the closing evening of the crusade, lying just a few feet away from his podium was a badly crippled man. His body was grotesquely twisted and deformed. He lay on the ground watching Morris out of the corner of his eye while curled up in a ball on the trampled grass. His family, who had carried him to Roxas Park and pushed their way to the front of the gathering, were pleading with God, their arms stretched high, as if they were striving to touch the hem of Christ and draw healing power from it, as others had done two thousand years earlier.

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Dumbstruck, Morris stared in fascination at the man. His legs were wrapped up tight like a pretzel, and his thin arms were nestled in toward his stomach. He was the most hideously deformed human being Morris had ever encountered.

Moved by the magnitude of the man’s needs, Morris focused on the debilitated man and began ministering to him from Isaiah 53:1–3:

“Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected — a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.”

As Morris recited these verses and prayed over the man, with one hand stretched out toward the cripple and the other lifted to God, the motionless life form on the ground started to move.

Morris’s eyes widened as he watched the invisible Spirit of God answer the man’s silent cry for mercy. Morris looked around at his colleagues on the stage. They, too, were riveted by the scene unraveling before them. Tears of compassion and joy were on Theresa’s face.

Then Morris heard the man’s bones cracking as God began to reshape and reposition them. As if watching time-lapse photography, Morris saw the man’s legs straighten. The women surrounding the man screamed in shock. His arms began to unravel, straightening for the first time in many years. Again, the crackling sound of bones breaking and reconnecting filled Morris’s ears.

Suddenly supernatural occurrences spread like wildfire. People all around the front of the park experienced miraculous healings of all sorts.

Morris turned to watch the tumult happening in a section of the park that had dozens of children in braces. The mothers of those children were removing the braces and yelling at their children to “walk, in the name of Jesus.”

Morris had never witnessed anything like this. Nobody had!

Watching these youngsters try to walk reminded Morris of footage he had seen of young calves attempting their first steps after birth. The children took a step and would wobble to the ground. Then their parents would pick them up and encourage them to try again. Their mothers kept moving the children forward as they put one, then two, then three, then multiple steps together. After a few minutes several of those children were running and jumping, whooping for joy and swirling their arms in the air. Another little girl pretended to be a ballerina, clasping her hands over her head while leaping and turning in the air. Her mother sat there with tears coursing down her face, gasping for breath at the spectacle she thought she would never see.

A few feet to their left was a group of older people who had hobbled in with the use of crutches and canes. The area looked like a battle zone as their crutches and canes were being hurled to the side and thrown overhead as formerly crippled people now walked without hindrance.

In another part of the crowd a woman shrieked in amazement as she and others watched a man with a shriveled leg gaze in astonishment as his shorter leg grew to the same size as his longer limb.

On the other side of the field another woman cried out as she slowly and agonizingly stood up straight for the first time in decades. Her backbone was now straight, and the large hump that had been so prominent only moments ago was suddenly gone.

Dozens of people could be seen looking skyward and all around them as their previously blind eyes had vision for the first time. People whose hearing was healed were laughing at the plethora of sounds they heard, some even covering their ears from the volume of noise.

While the entire place went wild with excitement and astonishment, Morris stood at the center of the stage sharing in their joy. He had been privileged to participate in miracles before, but even he had never seen or dreamed — of anything like this. Scores of people were simultaneously being healed by God. The evangelist stood there weeping like a baby at the spectacle.

As the healings and rejoicing continued Morris didn’t know what to do. God’s presence was so powerful and palpable that he felt he was not needed. As emotions swirled through his body, he did the only thing that made sense to him in that moment.

He ran off the stage and hid behind a huge tree.