In his book Spirit, Soul & Body, the late American evangelist Lester Sumrall shared an amazing story of how a Filipino movie celebrity had become a Christian and was miraculously healed by God, but later died in a fit of uncontrolled temper:
When we lived in Manila, Philippines, one of their movie idols was converted. He had had a stroke. His tongue hung out the side of his mouth, and he was almost an idiot. They brought him to our services where Brother Clifton Erickson was the evangelist. God miraculously healed that man. His tongue went back into his mouth. He got up and began to talk. They brought him in a wheelchair, but he walked out of there while someone else pushed the chair. God had totally healed him. I went to his house to see him. His beautiful wife said to me, “Brother Sumrall, this is not the first time he has had this. He gets this way through his temper. I’ve seen him scream until he foams at the mouth and falls on the floor.” I turned to Carlos and said, “That is your natural Adamic nature. If you ever do it again, you may die.” He said, “I promise not to.” He was dead in a month’s time. His wife said, “Brother Sumrall, he was so angry and screamed so loudly that people could hear him a city block away. The very moment that he dropped dead, he was bellowing like a bull and cursing as loud as he could curse.”
In sharing this story in his book, Bro Sumrall wanted to illustrate the importance for Christians to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, and to no longer be controlled by their sinful Adamic natures (or the ‘flesh’, as the bible refers to it):
“If you do not control that Adamic nature and subdue it with the power of the Spirit, it will ruin you and send you to the wrong place,” wrote Sumrall.
Indeed, Romans 8:5-8 (NASB, with emphasis added) says:
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Bro Sumrall observed, “Did you know that millions of Christians have no idea whether or not they are living in the Spirit?”
“Did you know that every church problem that has been was born in the soulish part of the church, through the Adamic nature and not Jesus?”
“We must learn to have the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ is a spiritual mind, not a carnal mind.”