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
Morris continued to minister in various countries of the world, as led by God.
The trail was often rugged and challenging. Morris wound up traveling to many places around the world where evangelists typically did not go. For example, India was a country known as a place for evangelists to avoid. Many who had tried to break through that spiritually inhospitable land wound up retreating, including such outreach giants as T. L. Osborne. When Osborne had attempted to hold crusades in various parts of the Hindu nation he had met with stiff resistance and violence and literally had to run for his life.
On several overseas trips Morris had passed through India and had stayed overnight while waiting for a connecting flight the next day. Those evenings alone pushed any thought of ministering in India out of his mind. He could feel the spiritual oppression and evil spirits all around him. He was rarely able to eat his meals there; the demonic pressure was so fierce that his stomach would be twisted in knots. He invariably left the country feeling spiritually nauseated.
He prayed that the Lord would never send him there.
But, of course, when He felt that Morris was ready for the supernatural conflicts that would confront him there, the Lord did send him to India.
When the Lord placed India in Morris’s mind, he fought it. They went back and forth, one of the very few times in his life that Morris dared to resist the will of God. Ultimately, of course, he lost the argument.
His first series of meetings were to be held in Madras. Several team members went to do the advance preparations before Morris’s arrival. When he arrived he went directly to his hotel. He could already feel the overwhelming spiritual oppression in the country. Pastors from all over the area had sought a personal meeting with Morris, but he told his team that he was not to be disturbed for the next few days.
He fasted and prayed every waking hour during those days. One of his encounters with the Lord was a seminal moment for Morris’s ministry. The Lord provided another core truth on which to build his ministry: To achieve lasting victory in any circumstance, you must deal with the root of the problem, not settle for superficial solutions. This was one of those significant, life-defining moments that further set Morris apart. Each time the Lord blessed him with such a revelation it invariably changed the course of his life and ministry. This new wisdom would prove to have such an effect. Sensing the importance of this new disclosure, Morris devoted the rest of his prayer and study time to meditating on that truth.
On the first night of meetings seventy thousand people jammed the stadium — and the numbers grew from there. Throughout the week amazing miracles happened, stunning the Indian crowds. Because Indians believe in millions of gods and are a very religious and superstitious people, there was widespread interest in Morris’s words and works. Several hundred thousand people were ministered to that week. The spiritual fruit from the Indian meetings was unprecedented.
Yet, during the midst of the first meeting the Lord spoke clearly to Morris and told him not to take an offering at any time during the crusade events. India was one of the poorest nations on Earth, without a doubt, but Morris had fronted the money to rent the massive soccer stadium, the complicated sound system, the extensive security force, the airfare and hotel rooms for his team, and so forth. The expense was substantial. Morris was confused by the Lord’s command, but he was also determined to be obedient.
For ten days he never mentioned money. When Indian pastors asked if they could take up a collection for him, he adamantly refused to allow it.
At the end of the crusade he had a telling conversation with one of the pastors.
“You know, we pastors were expecting you to take up an offering. If you had done so, the Hindu priests would have come forward to tear apart your platform and beat you and run you out of India. Thank God that you did not take up an offering.”
Once again, the miracle-working power of God had intervened to protect Morris and extend the legend.