Testimony of Brother Ben Howard
Now I want to tell you what happened to me before we started the church here. I was raising chickens and couldn’t be gone very long from that job; for I had to be on duty most all the time. So I was praying, “Lord, what should I do? What would you have me do?”
Then late one evening while praying and fasting, I walked into the chicken house to turn the lights on and to check things out one more time before retiring for the day, when suddenly there appeared someone that looked exactly like me. Now it wasn’t me; but it was me. It was that inner me expressing Himself. And He knew more about the will of God than I did. In other words, that spiritual mind knew more about God than this natural mind. The one that appeared said unto me, “Do you know me?” I don’t know why but I answered, “Yes, I have looked for you all my life.” Then we immediately ran to each other (this was reality; not a dream or vision) and embraced. And He said to me, “This shall be your last bunch of chickens.” He came with the answer.
So after this visitation I stopped raising chickens and started the church in Dawsonville, Georgia (USA), as I was instructed by the Lord. After we started the work, I asked Brother Raymond Jackson to come for a meeting, in which he did. This was shortly after I had fasted for 40 days and nights. During this season of time, Brother Jackson came on two different occasions and ministered for us. It was also around this time that Brother Claude Loggins and his family had begun attending church here at Dawsonville, at which time Brother Loggins had a dream about the work here. He saw in the dream that the “thing” that we were “getting out of here on” comes from this pulpit. He said it was the Word of God being preached here.
It was shortly after this that I had a strange experience; something similar to what had happened that one day in the chicken house. I was preaching here at the church and I was standing behind the pulpit, and I had wandered over to the organ. But while at the organ I could see myself standing behind the pulpit just preaching away. I couldn’t differentiate if I was here or there. This was showing that our theophany is within us; it’s that inner man. That’s why we want to be good to that inner man, because the inner man is Christ. That’s our Life and that’s our Light. So what I had seen was myself in both places—one of them was expressing the inner man and the other the outer man. Jesus Christ made a similar statement in John 3:13 when He said, “He which came down from heaven is in heaven while here on earth.”
That is the same way it was with Christ in Revelation, Chapter 10; for Christ came down from heaven to earth and we were baptized into His body. So this is the Christ down here in the earth, which is the part of the Lord that has come to earth; while the Lord Jesus is sitting on the throne in heaven.
The real you lives inside of you; just using your body to get around with. This body is going to be changed and we are going to live in it throughout eternity. It is going to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Paul spoke of our inner man in 2 Corinthians 5:1, saying, “For we know if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” That’s speaking of the inner man of those that went by the way of the grave before Christ came back to this earth. And we find that Christ brought them (their theophanies) back with Him to the earth to be united with their resurrected bodies; while the theophanies of the living members of the body of Christ remain within them (their inner man) as their outer bodies are translated into glorification without the inner man never leaving their body. That’s why it’s necessary for us to present our body a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God. (Romans 12:1) These theophanies do not have to be brought back to earth, because they have never left us. Yes, they remain in us, as the glorification of the body is accomplished without dying. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53)