Testimony - What happened to me in 2011
"Servant of the King, Lover of God, Passionate messenger of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ... missionary of the Spirit of God!"
In April of 2011 Gerhard had an encounter with God that would alter the course of His life forever. He physically died as a result of thrombosis in his right leg. As he began feeling how he was slipping away and how all life was draining out of his body, the Lord appeared and stood by his bedside.
What happened next would change his life forever. "God and breathed on me. His breath felt like a burning fire, but also at the same time like electricified life that was flowing through my entire being, from my head down my body."
Radiant life as it began to flow through his entire body. He was totally weak at this time and incapable of moving at all. A sensation that can only be described similar to "blowing boiling water through a straw", began flowing from just underneath his heart, crossing his shoulder blade and along his back, all the way down along his swollen leg until it reached his ankle where it ended in what felt like an "explosion" in his foot. This process also repeated itself in other areas of his body.
During this time he was not at home, but in Cape Town South Africa, where he stayed over at the house of the Morkel's, a pastoral family. What was supposed to be a short stop over, turned into a week never expected or anticipated! Sister Morkel, a highly qualified nursing sister for the past twenty years, cared for him during this time.
"It was as though someone had taken a hot poker and ran it down my veins. I laid there not knowing whether I will live or die, completely paralyzed!
Then God spoke to me. His Presence was so overwhelming and so real that it felt as though I would die anyway! It was almost impossible to bear, it felt as though I was melting in His Presence. I remember how I mumbled, oh God I never knew that it was possible for anyone to come this close to you and live!
What the Lord had to say to me was not pleasant to hear.
I had been in ministry for a long, long time. I had served the Lord faithfully and pursued Him with all my heart. I had been faithful and loved him with all my heart. Two years before He had asked me to walk out of a multi-million rand company that He had entrusted to our care in order to follow Him and to fulfill what He had called us to complete 21 years ago. I did it without any hesitation walking out with what I walked in with nothing except God! He asked us to give up our house, and all we possessed to follow Him wherever He would lead us to go. I did. We let go of everything and followed Him with a tent for two years, going wherever He would lead us and trusting Him to supply in all our needs when we got there. He did. We as a family, after living in million rand homes, for months stayed in a 3 x 3 meter room with broken windows and a curtain separating the bathroom from the the rest of our "home". We did it joyfully and whilst being there encountered some of the greatest revivals, moves and outpourings of the Holy Ghost!
In spite of all of this and in spite of our life journey and having encountered God in such extraordinary ways in our own lives and in ministry. In spite of seeing blind eyes open, the deaf hear, the lame and cripple walk, in spite of seeing the possessed delivered and encountering God in such a way as that His manifest Presence would visibly and tangibly fill the place.
In spite of all of these things, God began speaking to me in a way that would transform my life forever. That day I stood in the LIGHT of His Presence! What seemed pure became filthy, what seemed holy became unrighteous, what seemed good became sin stained in the Light of His Presence. The Lord began showing me my life, He showed me my family, He showed me my pride, He showed me everything that I could never see, but that was always seen by Him. I saw myself in the Light of His Presence and all I could see where the blotted stains that appeared on a seemingly white garment that was brought into the Light of His Presence.
I no longer saw my wonderful track record, my great walk with God, all the miracles, all the signs and wonders, all the wonderful en-counters, all the sacrifices made. I saw what God saw and it was shocking and shaming!
God said, My message has been perfect, and perfectly delivered, but my messenger flawed!
I began weeping in the Presence of the Lord, so intense was the Light of God and what He showed me that I wanted to cover my head with the blanket on my bed, ashamed of what I saw, ashamed of what He saw!
Oh there was a lot of shameful repentance happening in that bed. I was not repenting over sin, but over the stains of a flawed character that was every bit as much dirty as any sin! The sinful nature of the flesh in all of its ugliness and its stench! Oh God, it was as stench in His nostrils, and in mine!
That day God told me, Unless you die in this bed today, you will never be able to do what I have called you to do, or to accomplish what I have called you for! There is too much flesh in you to ever be or do what I have called you to do or to walk where I have called you to walk! You have preached revival, and ministered My Fire, but the message has never touched you and My Fire has never consumed you! And unless the work is completed in you first, unless the message of revival touches you and unless my Fire consumes you, it will never be able to touch anyone else through you!
There was a lot of weeping and confession and repenting going on in that room!
Then He said, Today Gerhard van der Hoven "dies" in this bed! From today you never be "Gerhard" again, I am making a new man out of you, you will walk with Me where you have never walked before, you will never be the person who you were before.
Since that day I have endeavored to use my second name Johann, rather than my first, as a reminder of what God had said to me that day. Since so many has known me as Gerhard for years, this has been rather difficult to accomplish!
While lying in that bed, God told me to look at my foot. It was excessively swollen from my calf, ankle down into my foot. As I watched my swollen foot, I saw the Hand of God pressing into my foot. I saw the motion of His Hand under my skin (as you would see a hand move underneath a sheet) and I witnessed how He pushed the swelling right out of my foot!
The Lord said to me, This is what you will see happen in meetings from now on. People will see My Hand and My Glory in manifestation, they will SEE Me work and it will cause them to crumble in My presence!
(Since then we have see God do all that he said He would! Tumors have vaporized out of bodies, complete cripples have been called from the street and minutes later were completely restored, broken legs have been instantly mended, breast and stomach cancers and growths have vanished, tonsils have been physically removed by God's Hand in meetings, and many more extraordinary things have been manifested by God's Hand in meetings as well as outside of them!)
I called the nursing sister to come and have a look, she was startled to see my foot's swelling was completely gone!
I got out of bed and walked out of my room for the first time in a week and left for home the next day! Instantly and completely healed by the Hand of God!
GJ vd Hoven