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Garrison, Testimonies Proclaim God's Miracle-Working Power

Alton Garrison shared a dynamic message and a trio of amazing testimonies to bring the reality of healing through the power of the Holy Spirit Aug. 3, at the 58th General Council.

ORLANDO, Florida – Assistant General Superintendent Alton Garrison used a dynamic message and a trio of amazing testimonies to bring the reality of healing through the power of the Holy Spirit to the forefront Saturday night as he ministered to the General Council attendees in the Orange County Convention Center.

Garrison, who chose not to pursue re-election with Rick DuBose being elected in his place on Friday, opened the evening defining light as goodness and darkness representing evil.

“Satan wants to weaken your faith, he wants to drain you of your hope, he want to kill your joy, he wants to break your relationship with your heavenly Father,” Garrison said. “He wants you to believe that the days of miracles are over.”

Evil has been at work prior to the creation of mankind, when Satan, our adversary, led an insurrection against God, Garrison says. And above all, he is a deceiver, targeting believers’ minds, questioning Scripture (2 Corinthians 11:3).

“Many times he will disguise his attack so you will not recognize him,” said Garrison. “His weapons are lies. His purpose is to make you ignorant of God’s will.” Then he will substitute his lies in place of God’s Word.

Yet, Satan doesn’t just limit himself to mind games.

“If Satan can’t defeat you by deceiving your mind, if he fails there, then he’ll come to another level of attack — he’ll attack your body,” Garrison warned, identifying Satan’s weapons of choice as physical and emotional suffering.

His purpose is to make you impatient with God’s will, he explained. Prolonged pain, he explains, opens the door to Satan’s lie: If God really loved you, He wouldn’t let that happen to you.

Sharing the tragic story of his father-in-law whose entire family and small Dutch village was mistakenly wiped out in a bombing run by the Allies in World War II, Garrison retells how his father-in-law shook his fist at heaven and screamed, “You are no God of love! I make a vow I will never bow my knee to you again — ever!”

Satan had accomplished his objective.

Garrison then shared about how his preacher father died of Alzheimer’s, shriveled, curled into a fetal position.

“Satan spoke to me,” Garrison said. “‘How do you tell people that God is a good God?’”

Not having an answer, Garrison took God’s Word and began to quote it. A battle waged until he read 2 Corinthians 5:1 and realized that the devil can’t win because if his father died right then, he would wake up in the presence of the Lord.

Whether it be health, family, finances, relationships that look hopeless and darkness is clouding in, Satan's goal is to lead you to think that your miracle will never come.

“And if deception can’t detour you off the faith path, if suffering does not discourage you so you give up, he has another level of attack. He will attack your will. When he attacks your will, the weapon he uses is pride,” with the purpose of making you independent of God’s will, Garrison warned.

Warning of moral relativism and excessive narcissism in society, Garrison uttered the mantra so often heard today: “I have my rights.”

Although many may be quick to look at secularists, agnostics, and sinners as those leading the way in darkness, Garrison throws a harsh dose of reality on that belief.

“Barna said in one of his research studies, ‘in virtually every study we conduct representing thousands of interviews every year, born-again Christians fail to display much attitudinal or behavioral evidence of transformed lives,’” Garrison quoted. “Those who say they believe in Christ are not acting any different than those who say they don’t believe in Jesus.”

Despite the daunting task before them, Garrison urged the audience to never give up, reminding them that, “Compared to Satan’s limited power, God is completely off the charts. He’s omnipotent, He’s omniscient, He’s omnipresent!”

Garrison shared a keen response to someone who claimed they never had a problem with “bumping into” the devil. “Don’t say that — you very rarely ever bump into somebody when you’re going in the same direction.”

Identifying Jesus as a source of light (John 8:12, 9:5, ESV), Garrison made it clear: “The darker the night, the brighter the light.”

Garrison pointed at the power of the Holy Spirit and encouraged believers to begin expect and look for God, the One who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist (Romans 4:17, ESV), to perform miracles.

“He’s the Creator,” Garrison said. “Every He made. He can make miracles out of your mess.”

To further illustrate the power of God, Garrison listed physicists’ laundry list of compounds required to “make” the human body that God made out of dust. He then spoke of the complexity of the body — it’s muscles, bones, nerve fibers, the heart, the hundreds of thousands of miles of vessels, veins, and arteries. Not to mention the trillions of blood cells, each containing millions of molecules which each have an atom oscillating 10 million times a second.

“If you want a reason tonight to believe that we can get a miracle in this place,” Garrison said, “just pull out your little compact mirror and look at yourself — that’s all the reason you’ll ever need.”

The video testimony of Elly Marroquin, a church planter with her husband, Sergio, and who is currently the AG national director of Christian Education and Discipleship, was played. Marroquin was declared medically infertile. But God gave her a miracle pregnancy after 11 years, but things got very difficult. She landed in the hospital for months. Doctors gave her a choice, it was either abort the baby or she would die. She chose life for her baby and clung to God’s Word. Despite the doctors’ prognosis, Marroquin survived when God touched her body. Her baby was born but had many complications, with doctors not expecting the baby to survive. “We began to pray and every day I sat by that incubator and read the Word to her . . . As the days progressed we saw God do only what He can do,” Marroquin said.

Garrison then explained that not only Jesus and the Bible were sources of light, but Christians were also a source of light.

“Your ability to be light is not because of any goodness of you — not because of your capacity or ability. It’s not any of that,” Garrison explains. “But 2 Corinthians 3:18 says as you behold Him, in other words, as you look into the face of God, you become like Him. And as you become like Him, you begin to beam Him out to others.”

Quickly clearing up that being a source of light isn’t just for certain Christians, Garrison emphasized that everyone can be a source of light.

The movie trailer of Breakthrough then played. It’s the true story of John Smith who fell through the ice on a frozen lake and drown — he had no heartbeat for an hour. With the doctors about to call for the time of death, his mother’s earnest prayer to the Holy Spirit brought John back to life. Doctors still gave no hope for John’s survival, but time after time, God answered prayer while impacting the lives of countless people.

Garrison then posed the question: What gave John’s mother the courage to pray over her dead son, in front of all those medical people, and command life back into him? She was light in a dark place.

In closing his message, Garrison introduced Elly Marroquin with her miracle baby, Caroline, who is now 12; and John Smith and his mother, Joyce, with their pastor, Jason Noble, to the service audience.

Garrison then invited Alarid, Marroquin, and Noble to come pray for those needing the specific miracles of deliverance, healing, and resurrection, respectively. The altar wasn’t expansive enough to hold all those who began to respond, so the auditorium became the altar.

To view the complete Saturday evening service, including the Backstage Production, see that Assembly of God USA Facebook page.

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.