Select Page
Pleasure Dome Thunder BW

Off With His Foot

Tuesday, 2 February 2016 — It was nighttime when my brother Phillip approached me with grave concern. He asked if we could pray for Pieter, the father of some church friends. 

Pieter was scheduled to have his foot amputated the next morning at 3 AM. The elderly man had stepped on a tiny nail, and gangrene had set in. Several medical opinions concurred that amputation was necessary. They ordered a trans-metatarsal amputation where the front half of the foot is removed to prevent this dangerous condition from spreading.

This testimony is a string of wonders and miracles which started with a vague prayer request in an obscure email.

At 13:48 that same day, a church bulletin email with the subject “Midrand Chapel Prayer Letter Feb 2016” landed in Phillip’s email inbox. Him reading this email that afternoon at around 5 PM was the first miracle or, at least, a noteworthy prelude to one. Phillip admits he hardly ever reads those emails. After seeing the email for myself, I realized why.

The email was a long wall of text, with six sections and many sub-sections, each with wordy paragraphs. My brother is not the book reading type. Under the section “Personal Prayer Requests” and sub-section “Extended Family” were the following words:

A number of us have extended family members with serious health issues. In addition to praying for their healing, pray that they would turn to God for salvation, strength, hope and comfort (2 Cor 12:9). [six other names redacted] Danelle’s father, Pieter.

Phillip and I both acknowledge God’s divine hand in getting him to notice “Danelle’s father, Pieter” which was virtually lost in a sea of words.

Phillip was friends with Danelle and her husband, visiting them often. After noticing Danelle’s name in the email, he phoned her to inquire about the prayer request. That’s when he heard time had almost run out for her dad, who was scheduled for a foot amputation that same night. Talk about short notice!

Thoughts about this man loosing a foot disturbed Phillip greatly. Asking her if they could perhaps visit Pieter in hospital, he was disappointed to hear visiting hours were over. He told her he would pray for her father.

Despite all signs showing nothing could be done, concern for Pieter’s foot never left Phillip.

My brother lived in the house adjoining ours, and he came over to see me fairly late that night, around 9 PM. I was tired. When Phillip initially asked me to pray with him, I had zero compassion for this stranger named Pieter. My only desire was to retire for the evening.

The matter concerned the father of a friend of my brother—all rather detached from me.

I specifically mention my state of mind, emotions, and exhaustion, because it shows God works through even the slightest willingness to be of service, despite how we may feel at that moment. On more than one occasion, God’s amazing Spirit has altered my thoughts, feelings, and even physical state, to align with His excitement, energy, compassion, and love.

In just a few minutes, this would become another such case.

We sat down in Phillip’s lounge, allowing him to explain Pieter’s condition and predicament. Gangrene had set in some time after Pieter had stepped on a rusted nail, and the foot was about to be amputated this very night. Phillip desperately wanted to minister to Pieter, desiring God to heal his foot.

In contrast to my brother’s concerns, I felt distant and uncaring. The brutal reality of an amputation, scheduled mere hours away, pushed my exhausted mind into a pragmatic and unsympathetic mode. A part of me questioned the point of even praying; however, my spirit man knew all too well what God could do if we sought Him out.

Being at the end of your human ability at the outset of a matter, means you turn to God sooner rather than later. Being tired has the proven effect of heightened spiritual discernment—it’s like that for me at least.

I told Phillip there’s only one thing we can do, the rest is totally beyond us: Let’s pray and ask God His will for this man. While approaching God, my silent prayer was typed in the journal kept on my tablet.

Here’s that night’s entry:

21:06 I’m sitting with Phillip Newman in his lounge, praying for Pieter, Danelle’s dad, who may have his foot amputated tomorrow morning.

21:07 Heavenly Father, King of Heaven, for You all things are possible. Here is this man Pieter, Danelle’s dad, whom I do not know, but You know him, Lord. Please reveal Your will regarding this man and his current predicament, current torture actually.

21:09 My son, this man is celibate and without intercourse. You say I know him but do I know him? Where is his foot and who governs it now? Do the powers of darkness not control his members because of his unforgiveness? Who has seen this man’s love? Why has he withheld his love? Love would bring healing to his bones. He was waylaid and is now held captive. Shall a prayer release him? No, a prayer shall not release him. Shall he be granted clemency and a stay of execution?

Clemency : disposition to show forbearance, compassion, or forgiveness in judging or punishing; leniency; mercy; an act or deed showing mercy or leniency.

Stay of execution : a stay of execution is a court order to temporarily suspend the execution of a court judgment or other court order. The word “execution” does not necessarily mean the death penalty; it refers to the imposition of whatever judgment is being stayed.

I tell you that this is a matter between him and Me and what he holds against others at this time. Intercession shall not move anything in heaven to this man’s aid, for he has brought this upon himself. He may avert this trouble himself if he were to forgive wholeheartedly now and write off debts against him and wash himself with all the mercy which I have granted him, until love and mercy flowed from his heart unto others like a river. I am not moved, because he is not moved. Only he will move Me. Can you and your brother do anything for him? No, you cannot.

21:25 This man is being saved. Let him be. His heart turns towards Me. Do not consider his foot as important but consider his heart as infinitely more important. For what man can walk the halls of heaven with half a foot but a black heart? Even a whole foot is of no use. Even two whole feet are useless for such weighty matters and for such lofty endeavors! Consider then rather this man’s heart in your prayers and disregard his foot entirely. So it is. 21:28

After receiving this Word from God, my apathy dissolved. I was now fully engaged in God’s will for this man, my fatigue washed away. To me God sounded like a physician in the hospital room, stating a prognosis of his condition, the loss of the foot almost inevitable, and not nearly as weighty as the state of his heart.

Phillip would later comment how this Word from God was a wake-up call for him in realizing what’s important to God, and how much that differs from his usual approach to address the obvious physical need.

Still seated in Phillip’s lounge, I was no longer cold to this stranger’s cause. In my heart I was stirred up with divine knowledge of God’s will. Glistening golden strands of hope were woven through God’s Word for the man. The fire of my heart was stoked by divine inspiration. Crucial to any further prayer and intercession, my heartfelt compassion for Pieter had been ignited by God Himself.

Concerning the above Word of God specifically spoken to Pieter, in-between harsh physical and spiritual realities, God had spoken several promises.

In the book of Mark, Jesus said:

Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear.

Mark 4:24

We’ll carefully study, reason about, and meditate upon each of them, milking them for all they’re worth, exactly as Mark 4:24 tells us to do. Let’s study God’s divine Word to Pieter in hospital.

Why has he withheld his love? Love would bring healing to his bones.

God’s first promise for Pieter’s healing was spoken early on, and remained the theme throughout. If somehow Pieter would have a change of heart to love others, he would be healed! But how to get an elderly man, already in hospital—due for amputation—to undergo such significant inner change before shortly being wheeled in for surgery?

Shall he be granted clemency and a stay of execution?

Despite clearly telling us what won’t work, God asks these crucial questions, and is then quiet, not offering a yes or a no. However, since this is our ever-loving God speaking, He leaves us with hope for a positive outcome, despite all reason to the contrary.

He may avert this trouble himself if he were to forgive wholeheartedly now and write off debts against him and wash himself with all the mercy which I have granted him, until love and mercy flowed from his heart unto others like a river.

God now adds to that hope by stating what will avert this trouble of losing a foot which, according to God, isn’t the worst of Pieter’s trouble. Again, the onus is on Pieter to first love others, which implies a change of heart in God’s sight.

I am not moved, because he is not moved. Only he will move Me.

Here the Lord repeats this is all on Pieter, but admits He is open to be moved! By implication this reveals God’s will to restore and heal Pieter, although—crucially—it remains conditional, exactly as stated in the Lord’s Prayer and verses following (Matthew 6:9-15). This is God inviting Pieter to deal with the matter of his loveless heart. A divine opportunity is granted!

Can you and your brother do anything for him? No, you cannot.

Besides making it clear that we cannot help Pieter, God hinted that someone else (you know who He is) can indeed help. Not even the doctors could help Pieter, except make a radical attempt to prevent further infection and atrophy.

This man is being saved. Let him be. His heart turns towards Me.

Knowing this man’s life and heart, and the physical situation in the hospital, God tells us He is doing something significant, and that Pieter’s heart is turning. If this latter point may be considered spiritual, then the former may be God telling us the foot is being saved. Whatever the true meaning of it, it’s all mysteriously wonderful as God is working!

Consider then rather this man’s heart in your prayers and disregard his foot entirely.

Here the Lord reiterates in different words: “Disregard his foot entirely. This man is being saved. Let him be.” Instead He tells us to pray for Pieter’s heart, or spiritual state. Note here that God calls for us to pray, so that He will hear and do. This confirms our hopes: prayer for the spiritual condition of another is not futile, because God hears and answers.

This Word from God for Pieter inspired my hope—even faith. At least faith that his heart would change. If Pieter’s heart changed swiftly enough, his foot (which we were to disregard) would be healed.

Here’s another thing to ponder. Most others in the prayer network for Pieter would naturally be praying for his foot and quite likely not for the root cause. This echoes a common problem: we generally do not know what to pray for, since we do not specifically know God’s will for any given situation.

Until God speaks to us: 

Shall a prayer release him? No, a prayer shall not release him.

To press home His point, God also added:

Intercession shall not move anything in heaven to this man’s aid for he has brought this upon himself.

How now? This was 5½ hours before the scheduled amputation. We were at home in our lounge, while Pieter was in hospital awaiting the imminent amputation. It was late, after visiting hours. Again we’re confronted with our utter lack of strength in the matter.

I prayed again, this time verbally, an impassioned plea to God, not typed into my journal. Since we could not visit Pieter before the scheduled amputation, I asked God to personally enter into his room, declaring that God is Spirit, able to visit anytime where others cannot. I asked Him to start ministering that very moment, and keep ministering to the man, to show Pieter that he needed to forgive, how to forgive, and whom to forgive. We gave Pieter into God’s hands. While I prayed, I saw God doing this, moving through the hospital’s walls, personally visiting Pieter in bed.

After I went home, at around 10 PM, Phillip retired to his bedroom when God spoke to him:

Go and administer healing.

Then Phillip saw a vision of a foot and a leaf.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016 — The next morning, Phillip phoned Danelle. Earlier that morning she had phoned her dad for news. The theatre nurse had somehow neglected to put Pieter on the list of operations. The amputation had therefore not taken place.

Later the day, Danelle and Phillip went to visit Pieter between 2 and 3 PM. It was a hospital room shared with other patients, one whose foot had indeed been amputated.

In that one available hour, Phillip started ministering to Pieter. He told him about God’s Word we received the previous night, requiring his forgiveness and love toward others. Phillip also shared the testimony about The Train Driver, a wheelchair bound man with legs wasting away due to an unknown and untreatable disease. With only 5 minutes remaining before visiting time was over, my brother prayed for Pieter, that God would show him whom to forgive.

Shortly after the two visitors departed, Pieter started praying. He experienced an urge to forgive and he kept on forgiving people, one after the other as God brought them to mind. Afterwards Pieter recalled his surprise at how many people he was shown to forgive:

There were not just thousands of them, but millions!

Although a numeric exaggeration, it shows that God meant business with him, helping him see whom to forgive. Names, faces, and incidents appeared to him while he forgave them one after another for the hurts and offenses they had caused him. He was releasing them before God. In turn, God was also working, fulfilling His Word and promises to Pieter.

Thursday, 4 February 2016 — The doctor revised his prognosis. The gangrenous foot was looking better than before, now showing clear signs of life! Instead of amputating the whole forward half of the foot, as planned, he simply cut out the minimum of dead flesh, and sent Pieter home.

About 2 months after ministering to Pieter in hospital, Phillip visited Danelle and her husband to return a battery-powered drilling machine and some drill-bits he had borrowed. To his surprise, Pieter and his wife were also visiting there. He greeted them excitedly, and asked how the foot was doing. Pieter, already barefoot, invited Phillip to come see for himself. The gaping wound had grown closed on both sides, above and below, with a small scar visible. Asked how it was to walk on the foot, Pieter reported only slight pain.

About a year after his release from hospital, I visited Pieter to get details of the story from him and his wife. His walk appeared normal as he opened their driveway gate to let me in. Their warm smiles and hospitality radiated an instant welcome. A delicious spread of eats waited on the dining table. We sat down in their lounge to get their side of the story. With permission, I switched on my audio recorder.

His wife shared that, before the incident, Pieter had so much hatred in his heart towards people who had offended him, betrayed him, and stolen from him over years of doing business. To emphasize how awful his resentment had become, she repeated the prior state of her husband’s heart several times during the interview.

Pieter recalled his spiritual transformation in hospital. When he started praying and forgiving, so many people came to mind that he couldn’t believe it. The next morning, despite being in a hospital bed with the grim prospect of foot amputation still looming, he felt like a completely new person!

His wife showed me her photos of the infection before treatment and how the doctor had cut out large infected areas, leaving a gaping hole through his foot, with bone and ligaments visible. Pieter took off his shoe and showed me his foot. It was a perfectly whole and normal foot, with a barely perceptible scar, perceptible only after he pointed to it.

 After seeing the ‘before’ photo mentioned above, it was hard to believe. My mind considered in amazement how missing flesh—muscle and skin—regenerated like that, and so much faster than predicted. The doctors indicated 3 years until full recovery. Instead it took only 2 to 3 months.

Pieter and his wife are wonderful people who loved God and who helped others. Yet, hatred after years of offenses in life and business was the underlying cause. As soon as Pieter forgave, his heart changed to the point where a few hours later he felt like a new person. His dire medical problem was reversed, and fully healed relatively shortly afterwards.

What is most noteworthy about this testimony is our inability to go in and minister. In a wondrous way, God postponed the amputation, and bought Phillip one hour to testify and minister to Pieter in person. After that it was Pieter making business of his life and heart with God. Our loving God, who moved him to forgive, how to forgive, and the persons and incidents to forgive.

What part of this testimony is the most incredible? The foot that was saved or a heart miraculously changed?

The ‘harsh’ Word which God spoke when we prayed revealed much about the man’s condition, much about God, much about the dark forces at play, much about the reason for the man’s torture, hope for restoration, and exactly what we were to pray for—which was not the foot.

This provides incredible insight into how the spirit realm governs this material realm, flesh and bones, and other aspects of our bodies. Medical science may name all the body parts and various diseases. They may even state the infection originated from a man with diabetes stepping into a small rusted nail. What they cannot say is how the man’s physical condition correlates with his spiritual condition, nor what exactly would have prevented it, nor a remedy for the root problem. 

Although science can offer names and some understanding of certain things, it does not invalidate nor supersede the spirit realm. Both science and God have their place. The former describes the physical realm in terms of human knowledge, while the latter describes the spirit realm, granting insight and victory into the underlying root cause according to God’s perfect wisdom, flowing from His loving willingness to liberate, save, and heal.

Not only did Pieter retain his foot, he also received spiritual healing. He was set free and renewed to enjoy a clean and loving heart, free of hardness, hatred, and bitterness. God is truly the Great Healer!

You also can receive healing like this, even without someone like me or my brother (or anyone else, for that matter) praying for you. God even said as much:

Shall a prayer release him? No, a prayer shall not release him.

Intercession shall not move anything in heaven to this man’s aid for he has brought this upon himself.

Spiritual victory is for us to claim in person from God. It’s each person’s heart before God. It’s a personal private matter before God. We should not put our trust in people, but cry out to God, and then trust God. We should not abdicate our responsibility to ‘experts’ but instead turn to God’s perfect will and wisdom. God may use people in a matter, like He used my brother and I, but it’s important to acknowledge Him above all. Take action yourself. Make your business with God today!

I encourage you to confess Jesus Christ as Savior, who died and rose from the dead for exactly such victory in our lives. Let’s repent of our sins, and heartily forgive all those who hurt us in various ways, big and small. What amazing wonders and miracles will result from our hearts being cleansed by God? Not only does God restore soul and spirit, He also heals the body.

Consider the following Scripture from the Last Supper:

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and was going to God, arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”

Jesus answered him, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.”

Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.”

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus said to him, “Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.”

For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, “You are not all clean.”

So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?

You call me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am.

If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

John 13:3-15 [World English Bible]

God saves the soul, but that doesn’t make us immune from getting soiled while walking through this world. Dirty spiritual feet can lead to gross sins against God and people.

Now imagine if such cleansing of the spiritual man doesn’t just happen when it’s nearly too late. Imagine cleansing is done frequently, such as weekly or even daily.

Here’s what Paul writes in the Scriptures:

“Be angry, and don’t sin.” Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath, and don’t give place to the devil.

Ephesians 4: 26-27 [World English Bible]

Each day, take account of offenses and forgive others heartily. The sun setting not only refers to a physical day, but to a period during which God shines His light onto our spiritual hurts and sins, a grace period in which we can come clean without demonic tortures befalling us. Sunset is just before darkness falls. Therefore, let’s make work of our sins. In my testimonies it is clear that sunset (the grace period) can be minutes, hours, or a day later. We shouldn’t disregard or toy with God’s grace. Make quick work of acting Christ-like, letting His Light shine through us onto others, even our enemies who may deserve wrath but so desperately need grace. We shouldn’t block out God’s light; this brings spiritual darkness to our lamps, by snuffing out the flame.

Read below what Jesus said in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant to understand that (1) God grants us amazing grace, (2) this grace period is limited, and (3) God hands us over to evil according to our unrepentant and unforgiving hearts by which we call evil upon others.

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.

Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants.

When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

The servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’

The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

“But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’

“So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’

He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due.

So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done.

Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me.

Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’

His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him.

So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”

Matthew 18:21-35 [World English Bible]

Take note that “seventy times seven” means until perfection, i.e. until your heart is perfectly clean, healed, and filled with only love and joy for each offending person.

Also note it is God Himself who hands unforgiving people over to satan’s tormenting demons. If God is love, why would He do such a ‘horrible’ thing?

The answer is liberating, filling us with divine wisdom for victorious future living.

He does it both out of LOVE and JUSTICE.

Justice, because the devil—who is the accuser—brings a valid accusation against the unforgiving person. Even though they are a ‘saved’ Christian believer, instead of forgiving as Christ forgave them, they hold grudges and seek hateful vengeance, even cursing their enemies with malicious thoughts and words. In God’s sight, thoughts are as good as deeds, hatred is counted as murder (and more). Will murderers enter into heaven?

Love, because heavenly justice must prevail, through which the sinner (even though a believer in Christ Jesus) is at risk of eternal judgement. Someone must pay the price for the sin. We all know this. However, the unforgiving person actually refuses Christ’s payment on the cross, and demonstrates this by not forgiving the offender as Christ forgave them. Stop and think for a moment what this means before God, and before all the heavens… the person denies Christ, denies Christ’s saving grace unto them, denies Christ’s teachings and commands. They achieve this by refusing to selflessly pay Christ’s forgiveness forward to others, even their enemies (which may even be close family and friends). To save this unforgiving person from eternal damnation, God graciously allows them to pay for this sin themselves, by handing them over to the devil for a while, temporarily, until this particular matter is settled according to the settlement in heaven’s courts by the Judge’s decree.

Therefore, if believers suffer torture by the devil, do not think “where is God, why has He abandoned me?!” Rather thank God that He has not abandoned you, but once again saved your from eternal damnation, making a way for you to be united with Him for eternity, despite temporary suffering. When believers get handed over to satan, thank God! Rejoice in your suffering, like the Scriptures say! It is unpleasant, but it’s a temporary affliction of our bodies in this Earthly life we’re passing through. Praise God, because He brings us Home to Him forever!

We should not oversimplify life and end up blaming God, nor fall away from the faith when things are hard to bear or understand. We should discern and appreciate the mysterious complexities of the spirit realm interwoven with the physical—realms where God and His adversary are at war for our souls.

My advice to you is to forgive daily, throughout the day, until perfection; fully healed, full of peace, joy, and love towards that person. Keep your feet clean from this world’s mud, and help others clean their muddy feet.

Do not trample on the atonement Blood of His Lamb. What we sow, we reap. God is not mocked.

God’s peace be with you forever.