Lost and Restored
March 1908 — Full Gospel Assembly, Chicago IL
“That which the Palmerworm hath left hath the Locust eaten; and that which the Locust hath left hath the Cankerworm eaten; and that which the Cankerworm hath left hath the Caterpillar eaten.” — Joel 1:4
“And I will restore to you all the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you.” — Joel 2:25
While in London, England, waiting for the boat in which to embark for China, I was asked by a certain preacher one day if I would not speak to his congregation that night. Inquiring of the Lord, I felt it was His will, and told the man that I would go. That evening a beautiful limousine, with liveried attendants, called for me, and I entered with weak and self-conscious steps, crying: “Oh, Lord, do help me do Thy will tonight. On the way I gazed upon the beautiful streets and buildings, till at last the car stopped in front of an imposing and spacious edifice.
As we went up the steps and into the side door of this immense building, I remember taking a hurried glance at its size and vaguely wondering whether some small room therein was used for a mission. Great was my surprise therefore, when being led through the door and on the platform, I found this whole building was packed with people, and I was to speak to them at once. My attendant whispered into my ear that we were late, and then I heard the voice of the man on the platform saying: “Now our sister will speak to use and bring the message.”
Before I realized it, I was standing, dazed and confused before the largest audience I had ever spoken to. The gallery, the balcony, the pit, and the rostrum were all filled; and to add to my confusion, just then the footlights flashed into brilliancy all around me and there aI stood, a slip of a girl, with my bible in my trembling hands I had prepared no sermon, trusting God to speak through me at the moment. But not a thought came to me. Lifting my heart to God in silent prayer, I said:
“O God, if you ever helped me in my life, help me now!”
Just then something happened. — The power of God went surging through my body, waves of glory and praise swept through my soul, until I forgot the throng of eager faces that had, a moment before, seemed to swim before me, forgot the footlights, and the learned men with their long-tail coats, forgot that I was only a child of eighteen, and that many there with their gray hair knew more in a moment than I in the natural course would know in a lifetime, and “I was in the Spirit.“
All this takes a long time to write, but it happened in a moment, for those who put their trust in God shall never be put to shame. My mouth opened; the Lord took control of my tongue, my lips and vocal organs, and began to speak through me, not in tongues, but in English. The Spirit spoke in prophecy, and as He spoke, I did not know what the next word was to be; certainly the water did flow, not form my head but form the innermost depths of my being, without my having aught to do with it.
As I spoke thus for one hour and a quarter, there did not seem to be a stir in all that vast audience, and as I spoke I saw a vision of a great circle, composed of ten smaller circles, as shown in the preceding picture. This big circle seemed so big that its top reached the sky; it was the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, from its opening on the day of Pentecost to its closing at the coming of the Lord Jesus. The vision was so indelibly stamped upon my mind that I have had my husband draw it from my description that all may see it as simple and plain as the Lord showed it to me. Before starting to speak, I opened my bible with closed eyes, trusting God for my text, and my finger was guided to a certain verse; when I opened my eyes and read it this was the verse the Lord had given me:
“That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.” Joel 1:4.
Just so when I came to the bottom of the circle, and the ark ages were pictured in their horror, my hand automatically turned the page over to the icon chapter and placed my finger upon the following verse:
“I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, and the cankerworm, and the caterpillar and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.” Joel 2:25 …
It is He, not I, who is worthy of praise forever.
Source: McPherson, Aimee Semple. “Lost and Restored: As I Saw it in My Vision,” In This is That: Personal Experiences, Sermons and Writings of Aimee Semple McPherson, (Los Angeles: Bridal Call Publishing House) 1919, pp. 380-382.