Belgium – The Belgian border was just ahead. Joshua and I were walking with the cross along a small winding road in France.
“Daddy, Daddy, that’s the place there like I saw in my dream. It’s where I saw the glory of God coming down.”
We walked on along the tree lined road, going down a hill. A car stopped and a radiant man got out. He was smiling and happy with a special glow. I asked him if he knew Jesus and he replied, “Yes, yes, I know Him.” He gave us no name, but drove off. We could feel the glory of God.
The response in this area had been very cool for days, but just up the road was the border. When we arrived there crowds greeted us. Deep was their conviction as they began to cry. We prayed with them and started on our journey through Belgium.
A man dashed out of a bar with a beer in his hand. He stuck it right in front of our faces and waved us in, offering beer and Cokes. Joshua and I left our cross at the door and walked in. The place was filled with laughter. I began to explain our mission, which the owner of the club, Wally, interpreted. After interpreting for awhile, Wally walked to a phone and had the local radio newsman come to interview us. The radio station began playing the interview during the night. The next morning Wally and his second-place world champion dog walked with us. Everyone in Poperinge knew him. The radio announced our progress along the road every hour.
Cars began to come and stop. Car after car greeted us. We preached in the city center, and then I was asked to preach on the radio station. The place was shaken with an awakening. Wally and many others met Jesus. The glory had come just as Joshua had said it would.
As I preached beside beautiful Lake Geneva at Lucerne, Switzerland, people started crying and clapping, they were so deeply under conviction. It was necessary to stop the message and lead a person to Jesus before I could finish the service.
One day as I was carrying the cross, I shared Christ with an importer/exporter businessman.
“Jesus loves you,” I said.
“I hope so,” was the man’s reply.
I said, “We have good news for you,” and proceeded to share the gospel with him. I’ll never forget saying to him, “Jesus wants to come into your heart.”
“Oh no,” the man replied. “If He looked into my heart, what He’d see would be so bad .He would not dare to enter nor would He want to enter.” Tears filled my eyes as I invited him to the house where I was spending the night. He came and received a clean heart and Christ came to live within him.
Norway August 1980 – I was with my sons, Joel and Joshua, in a little place in Norway called “The Farm.”
One morning, around 2:00am after I had finished a late night meeting of ministering, teaching and sharing, my sons and I were walking towards the house where we would spend the night. There was a big wooden cross planted in the grounds of the Christian Camp. Joshua said to me, “Daddy, earlier I was out here in the yard. I was doing something and looked up and saw two glowing white crosses on either side of that big wooden cross, what did it mean?”
Joel said, “Daddy, he couldn’t talk, he was just stammering and stuttering and was real pale.”
I thought about it for awhile. You could feel the very glory and presence of God covering the whole area. I said, “Joshua, I don’t know what it means, but tomorrow why don’t you go out and walk a little and ask the Lord to tell you what it means, He will tell you.”
The next afternoon after I finished the meeting, Joel brought Joshua to me again. Joshua was having difficulty speaking. I asked, “What is it?” and finally, I got him to talk.
He said he went out to the field and asked the Lord, “What do those two glowing crosses mean?” Jesus spoke to him and said, “Go over there, all the way across that field, on the other side by those trees and I’ll tell you.” So Joshua went across the field where the trees were and then the Lord spoke to him again, “My glory is upon you.” (I wonder how many others would walk across a field when God speaks.)
Once a lady asked me, “Why doesn’t God speak to me? I’ve been a Christian for over 50 years.”
I said, “Has there ever been once that you were in a restaurant and felt an impulse to speak to someone across the way you didn’t even know, that you felt embarrassed and you refused, but you had felt compelled to do it. Or while driving down the road you saw a house and felt you should stop and speak to the people there, but you didn’t?”
“Oh yes,” she said, “But I never did it.”
“That’s the problem,” I said. “When you obey and don’t quench the spirit, you become attuned to His voice and His message becomes clearer and clearer. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them.”
Amsterdam -I was carrying the cross through Holland. Arriving in Amsterdam, I ministered together with a missionary on the streets of the City.
July 8, 1983 – I spent part of this morning teaching about witnessing to the Y.W.A.M. young people. About 300 were there. Floyd McClung, who is the European director and a tremendous witness for Christ, and Barry, from Australia, who also works there, and I were at a tram stop after the training session was over. As we were waiting, a girl came running up and said, “Arthur, Arthur, you are needed over here, come quickly.” We started toward where she was leading us and there was a crowd of people watching a man trying to kill himself. He had run his arm through a plate glass window and was pouring blood. He was beating his head against a big steel container and his head was pouring blood. Barry grabbed him. Then he turned to hit Barry. I tried to grab him and cut off the blood flow from his arm. He turned to hit me. We were witnessing to him in English. He had begun to curse in English so we knew he could speak it though we found out later that he was Dutch.
He was about thirty years old, strong and muscular and we were saying, “In the name of Jesus, you don’t have to kill yourself, Jesus died for you, He loves you.”
He would turn back and start beating his head and we would grab him and he would turn to hit us gushing blood all the while.
Finally I said to him, “Listen, we are not going to let you die alone. These other people can watch you die, but we love you, we are going to grab your arm and cut off the flow of blood. If you want to beat us to death we will die with you, but we are not going to let you die alone.
Jesus has already shed His blood for you and you don’t have to shed your blood to kill yourself. He has already died to save you.”
He drew back his arm to hit us, then he turned and fell into Barry’s arms, then he shook himself and looked at me, drew back his fist again and then fell into my arms crying like a baby. We led him to Jesus as he prayed and invited Jesus Christ into his heart.
An ambulance came in a few minutes and some of the people with us were going to follow up on him later. I had blood all over me so I went back to my room to take a bath I started washing my hands in the sink. The blood on my hands was mixing with the water in the sink. I remembered how Pilate tried to wash his hands of the blood of Jesus. It seemed like the Lord was saying to me, “Arthur, you can’t wash your hands of the blood of the lost, sick, dying world.”
Tears filled my eyes as I thought, “We are responsible for them. We can’t isolate ourselves into spiritual clubs full of joy and praise having no involvement in a hurt and painful world. We must be in the world but not of the world. Jesus did not remain in heaven. The love of God commanded action. Jesus came in the flesh, he got involved, so must we.”
Jesus said, “As my father has sent me even so send I to you.” How many of us stand trying to wash away the world? Standing like the crowd in Amsterdam watching others die. Oh God, have mercy on us. May our prayer be the prayer of Isaiah, “Here am I Lord, send me.”
Hanover, Germany. May 25, 1981 – I carried the cross into the middle of the train station, and then out front where I began to preach. Crowds of people were waiting and then others gathered and they mobbed me, pushing and shoving to get Jesus stickers, and eager to hear what I had to say. As I preached the people were crying and being converted. It was absolutely glorious! It was something that had never happened in all my time in Germany and the German people with me were shocked and astounded. They could not even believe it was happening in Germany. It was almost like the jungles of Papua New Guinea.
I was tired and worn out for I had been on the road nonstop through the country for weeks, but the Lord poured out His power. It was unbelievable. There was real power and the release of God’s Spirit. It was a break-through in Germany and it was a day again that the glory came and the Lord’s power was poured out-hallelujah! Many had told me that the Germans would not respond this way, that they will not mob, they will never push and shove and gather like that to hear the gospel, but the Lord did it. I saw it with my own eyes.
Hamburg, Germany, May 30. 1981 – The Lord had me carry the cross on a Saturday in Hamburg, Germany. I preached in a church, then we had a rally and after the meeting I went with some believers to the prostitution and pornographic area called St. Kilden. It is one of the worst places of sin in the entire world! Pornography is horrible, open sex on the stage and crowds of soldiers. American, French, British and other countries that are in Germany. It was about 2:00am in the morning. I had just walked over to the side of the street and asked a man to hold the cross for me for a minute. I was hungry and I was approaching an outdoor serving window, when I heard someone scream. There was a man with a big knife in his hand. He was threatening the guy holding the cross. I stepped up and said, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” and he whirled and looked wildly at me, waving his knife in my face as I kept saying “Jesus.” He turned and ran back to the foot of the cross and started stabbing the cross tire, making a big slash in the tire, then he ran into a nearby bar. The crowd was very upset with him, but I was just glad no one was hurt and he hadn’t stabbed me or anyone else.
The people who were watching were so moved, they charged into the bar and in a little bit they came out with 50 marks (about $20.00). They had made him pay some money to fix my tire. Of course there was no place to fix it at that time of night, but we continued to witness, with many finding hope, peace and salvation in Jesus Christ. I’ll never forget that night; we knelt on the sidewalk and prayed with eight British soldiers in uniform that they might know Jesus as their Savior.
Berlin, Germany, June 6, 1981 – There was a big rally in Berlin called “Berlin for Jesus.” I had been carrying the cross through West Germany and the Lord had used me to make a powerful impact through the news and the press. It had been so tremendous. I had been featured in every major newspaper with several pictures and good stories.
Reverend Volkard Spitzer, a pastor in Berlin, and others, had arranged this meeting. We were meeting at the 90,000 seat Olympic Stadium. About 15,000 people gathered there on a Saturday afternoon. I was to speak about 15 minutes. I spoke in the real power of the Holy Spirit. When I came to the end of my message I said, “This stadium was built by Hitler to commemorate the 1936 Olympics. It was built to glorify man, there was a flame lit to commemorate the start of the Olympics. In just a moment I am going to take this cross and carry it across this field, up the steps, and we are going to raise the cross above where the torch once burned. I pray that those who hunger and thirst will be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Another fire will be built today, but its flame didn’t begin today. It will never be extinguished. It began on the day at Pentecost and it will not die!”
Everyone on the platform was stunned. I had told no one my plans. I stepped off the stage, took the cross started walking. I’ll never forget it, the glory of God upon me, everyone in the stadium was roaring, people were standing, clapping, praising God, cheering as a man with a cross walked across the playing field of the Olympic Stadium. Then I started walking step by step by step, up, up, up, carrying the cross higher, higher and higher. All the way people were trying to get onto the playing field by climbing over the railing. Hundreds of people began to pour toward the cross. No, I didn’t ask the people to join me there, this was spontaneous. Only Johannes Czwalina, my dear German friend from Basel, Switzerland, and a friend of his, were meeting me there.
When I arrived at the top, Johannes gave me a boost and I climbed up to the top of the platform where the torch was located. I then reached down and pulled Johannes up as the other guy gave him a boost. He handed the cross up and then we raised it above the torch that had been lit for the 1936 Olympics. As we held the cross up, the people exploded in praise and tears. People were weeping and praising God. It was one of the most glorious moments I have ever experienced. Everybody’s mind, like mine, went back to the history that had happened since this stadium was built by Hitler. World War II, the bombing of Berlin, concentration camps, war, death, chaos, the division of Europe. Everything that happened since, and yet, here is the cross raised above the Olympic Stadium for the glory of God. No matter how dark the hour there is hope! Even when faith fails, out of the rubble of war a flower grows where a bomb fell. The cross stands where Hitler’s torch is extinguished. High over Berlin stands the cross and hope.
June 20, 1981 – I spent the night at the East German West German border. My daughter, Gina, was with me when our car broke down at border just inside East Germany. I prayed for God to fix it and He did not. We tried to get it fixed or towed into West Germany, with no results.
At midnight I was still praying, “God, you have me in here for a purpose, what is it?”
Then I felt the Lord speak, “Arthur, you’ve been praying about when to carry the cross behind the Iron Curtain. Well, I don’t have an Iron Curtain.”
God had finally gotten through my hard head. The term “Iron Curtain” is a political term, not a Biblical term. The Iron Curtain is in our minds. Iron Curtains of disbelief and impossibilities. Oh, if only we had a group of people who didn’t know what God can do, but who would dare to believe. How we could change this world!
I said, “Lord, that word is gone from my vocabulary except to use when I’m preaching or when I write about it.”
A few weeks later I flew into Poland and on to other Eastern European countries. The Iron Curtain was gone from my mind and I was carrying the cross in Eastern Europe. Hallelujah!