Paul Cain was the most unusual prophetic person I ever met. His gift was extraordinary. I was honored to meet him and to know him. John Wimber wanted us to meet. Paul said that when he heard my name, he was more anxious to meet me than anybody he ever knew. He even said I would be the brother he never had.
We got off to a good start. It began with lunch with Lyndon Bowring, Paul and me. Paul gave me a prophetic word that was so relevant that I knew I should affirm him. I immediately invited him to speak at Westminster Chapel. He was well received from the beginning. He later asked to become a member of the chapel, saying he wanted this "more than anything I have wanted in my life." We broke the rules and made him a member. If I could turn the clock back, I would not have allowed this. After he was made a member, he stopped returning my phone calls. His attitude toward me changed. I could not understand what was going on. This gave me as much pain as the pleasure he previously gave me by his prophecies.
In those early days, he and his assistant, Reed Grafke, had become like family. We laughed and laughed a lot together. We spent hours and hours together in London and in Florida, where they would visit our family on our fishing holidays. We spent days bonefishing over two summers in the Florida Keys. He was present when I first spoke at the Toronto Airport Fellowship—the night I was literally unable to string two sentences together intelligibly in front of 2,000 people; that is, until I changed my text to Hebrews 13:13. I have written about this embarrassing experience elsewhere.
Hearing Paul Cain stories was like reading accounts from both Elijah and Elisha. The extraordinary words of knowledge and prophetic utterances—often in puns—he gave to people defy a natural explanation. No doubt other people who knew him will recount the amazing stories. It is only a matter of time until a book about him will come out.
There is no way to verify the story that his mother had cancer throughout her body when she was pregnant with Paul—that she was visited by an angel and was miraculously healed by the time Paul was born. What is undoubted is that from an early age, Paul was given a supernatural gift of healing and words of knowledge. In the early 1950s, he was a "boy wonder"—a healing evangelist who paralleled the early era of Oral Roberts. He said that the "healing anointing" that was present in several people in those days lifted, but his prophetic gift continued on. He also became a recluse after that for many years.
I refer to him in the opening statement of my book The Anointing—that I had been influenced largely by him and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, strange as that may seem. But it is true. A conversation with Paul in a restaurant in Victoria Street, London, began the Word and Spirit ministry that I have sought to carry on. I said to him, "Paul, you need my theology; I need your power." He said, "You have a deal." Our first Word and Spirit Conference was held at Wembley Conference Centre in October 1992. But what many people remember was not anything Paul said but my address about Ishmael and Isaac. It was largely rejected, but Colin Dye, pastor of Kensington Temple, accepted it.
Paul was, however, a blessing to Westminster Chapel. He gave us timely words that were greatly needed. Nearly all he prophesied came true; almost all his words of knowledge were astonishingly accurate. You can read more about this in The Anointing and In Pursuit of His Glory—an autobiographical account of my 25 years in Westminster Chapel, which includes a whole chapter on Paul Cain.
"Thank God for the least thing," he would say when you were praying for someone's healing. By that he meant we should not be ashamed to pray for a common cold as well as cancer when many cynics are critical. "The more God uses me, the less I am able to enjoy it," he used to say. I know what he means by that, having just finished preaching in Korea during a 15-hour jet lag with little sleep. Arthur Blessitt used to say the same thing: "The tireder I am, the more God uses me." I could write a lot about Paul's ministry to the chapel, to my family and friends. One thing I will share is, when Rodney Howard-Browne preached for me, Paul said I would lose some people (20 members resigned in 21 days, as it turned out), "but they will be replaced by pure gold." He was right.
Paul Cain was not an intellectual, but he was very intelligent. Dr. Lloyd-Jones used to make a distinction between being intellectual and being intelligent. "A cockney taxi driver will often be intelligent whereas an Oxford professor will be intellectual but often not be intelligent" (that is, lacking in common sense). Paul was conscious of having little or no education. He was sensitive to any criticism, would worry more about one person in the audience against him than a thousand who were for him.
I wrote a book Is God for the Homosexual? It was widely accepted by the gay community in London for my sympathy toward one's sexual proclivity, but not for the fact that I said the Bible teaches total abstinence from sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage. In researching this book, I learned a lot. One thing was that a person often becomes gay by the absence of a father and the smother-love of the mother. Paul Cain's background was precisely that. And yet I had no idea he was gay. Knowing how he related to his father should have made me see the obvious, but I simply did not see any evidence of it.
This was almost certainly why he avoided me in those years; he would not return my calls. When I finally caught up with him years later—with my friend Jack Taylor —I said to him, "Paul, you are supposed to be accountable to me. But I have no idea who you are accountable to. I would lovingly warn you, if you do not listen, you are going to be yesterday's man." He wept. He seemed grateful. But I knew the next day that he was staying aloof from me. Two years later, Jack Taylor said to me, "Have you heard the news about Paul?" "No, what do you mean?" Jack then told me of his moral failure. It was the worst news I think I ever received in my lifetime.
The gifts of God are without repentance, that is, irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Paul's gift pretty much continued on in his old age, although the last time I heard him he mostly reminisced and had minimal fresh prophetic words.
I am not Paul's judge. God will bring to light what is absolutely true (1 Cor. 4:5). But if I am totally honest, it seems to me that Paul was an example of one who blew away his inheritance. He will be saved but by fire (1 Cor. 3:15).
I loved him, liked him, admired him, do not regret knowing him. I kept praying for him daily. Louise and I prayed for years that he would finish well and achieve more at the end of his life—like Samson—than in the whole of his life. Our prayers were not answered. He went to heaven under a dark, dark cloud.
RT Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England, for twenty-five years. Born in Ashland, Kentucky he was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Oxford University. He is well known internationally as a speaker and teacher. Dr. Kendall is the author of more than sixty books, including In Pursuit of Wisdom, Total Forgiveness and his recent release, It Ain't Over Till It's Over, a book endorsed by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra.
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