Ayyah and Sister Lawrie had elaborate plans for 1969, among other things to visit various countries around the world. These plans were not realized, as God had other plans for Ayyah and instead took him alone to the United States. An invitation came for him to attend the seven days ‘Kanuga Conference’ at Hendersonville, North Carolina, held by a group of Brother Branham's followers. He was to be one of the main speakers. This trip beginning in June, 1969, was Ayyah's third missionary journey abroad. At this time Ayyah was having a clear conviction that the 'Bride Age' had begun and that soon the Lord would take His Bride in glory.
Brother Branham was in a fatal automobile accident and died on December 18, 1965. After a great leader passes, there is always a lot of confusion among the followers. Historically this is shown to be so in many cases. There will be struggles for power to gain the leadership, or to gather for themselves some followers of their own. When Ayyah arrived in U.S.A., he found this condition of power seekers and confusion among Brother Branham's followers. At the conference there was an effort among the organizers to cut Ayyah's influence and preaching time, not wanting Ayyah's powerful gift demonstrated fearing the people would gather to him. They were even calling him and his supporters as 'dangerous people.' Even so, many came to Ayyah's room to listen to him. When he prayed for them, many were healed of their infirmities and were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Brother Dale, with his daughter Sister Suzannah Nivedita, at the last minute decided to attend these meetings, driving 450 miles from their home. They were not aware that Ayyah also would be there, so they rejoiced when hearing this news on their arrival. At the conference they were asked to meet Ayyah's airplane. Ayyah was delegated to share a room with Brother Dale, and Brother Dale was asked to see after his needs. Of course it was a thrill for the 'common believers' Brother Dale and his daughter to be given this great honour. At the close of the meetings, they brought Ayyah to their home in Ohio where he held several meetings. It was at this time, that the memorial event of Ayyah being transfigured into a glorious being, with flames coming from his eyes, took place. This meeting took place in the home of Brother and Sister Yingst, on June 18, 1969, and this was exactly three and one half years from the date of Brother Branham's death.
Clarence Holsinger was attending the meeting, having been brought by his wife, as he himself was not a believer. During the meeting he had gone out for a smoke. When he returned inside, Ayyah was preaching on Psalm 23. Ayyah felt himself come under a terrific anointing. As Mr. Holsinger was standing in the back of the room, he suddenly saw two flames of reddish orange fire leaping out of Ayyah's eyes, with the intensity and power of thousands of candles. While he stood stunned by this sight, he saw Ayyah transfigured into a person more dazzling than sunlight. Brother Holsinger recognized that person as Jesus. He spoke to Brother Holsinger saying, "I will not allow you to turn your head until you accept me as your Saviour." On hearing that, Brother Holsinger tried to shift his head away as he did not want to look at this brilliant being. But he was unable to move until he accepted Jesus as his Saviour. Brother Holsinger was so stunned about this experience, he could not come forward to confess what had happened until the next day.
After the meeting, during the ten miles drive back to Troy, Ohio, Ayyah kept on remarking the unusually powerful anointing he had experienced while, he was preaching. It was noticed by the others, as they were discussing, that Ayyah seemed to be mostly looking to one person all the while he was preaching, rather than to all of those assembled. That evening Ayyah was not aware that Brother Holsinger had seen him transfigured into a glorious being, he only knew he was under a powerful anointing from God.
Ayyah relates that in that same night in his room he was not able to sleep, as he was still feeling the power of that anointing. Suddenly the room was filled with a shimmering light. It was at this time the Lord spoke, telling him to be ready as He was going to come down into him. Ayyah was astonished at what was told him and stayed awake most of the night, wondering what 'coming down into him' might mean. He even worried that maybe some other spirit was trying to confuse him.
The next morning Brother Holsinger came forward and related what he had seen the night before, how he saw Ayyah transfigured into a glorious being. That day Brother Holsinger was baptized by Ayyah and was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was cured of a tumour and an immediate effect was the distaste for cigarettes. He gave up his long time habit of smoking, throwing them into the dustbin.
Ayyah spent another sleepless night pondering over this strange incident. He tried to recollect whether such a thing as flames of fire, coming from anyone's eyes, had ever been recorded or reported historically. He was pondering over and over how to explain his being transfigured into a glorious being, a glorious being that Brother Holsinger recognized as Jesus. During this meditation the voice of God was pointing to the Bible verses: Rev. 1:14, Dan. 10:6, Rev. 2:18, Rev. 10:1-4, and Rev. 19:12. He felt the presence of God in such a way as never before in his life. Ayyah's faith on what God was telling him, that He would come down into him, was increased.
During the next week while Ayyah was in Ohio unusual clouds and storms were happening. Driving home one night after a meeting in Columbus, Ohio, there was a fearful lightning storm. It was so terrific with lightning striking all around the car. Many in Ohio died that night of this thunderstorm.
While in Ohio with Brother Dale, there was a call from Los Angeles from a Rodger Gerard, whose wealthy family was well known among the different Branham centres. He had met Ayyah at the ‘Kanuga Conference’ and was so impressed with him, he wanted to take him for a tour to some of the Branham groups. Ayyah flew to Los Angles and the Gerards took him to Tucson, where he preached in the ‘Tucson Tabernacle’, a main centre for believers of Brother Branham. Here again there were signs of lightning and mighty thunders, which shook the place. Instead of the usual crack of thunder, it was like a steady roar, lasting for some time. One day while standing outside after a meeting, suddenly a bolt of lightning struck the ground and a ball of fire rolled across the ground stopping right at Ayyah's feet. They were all amazed that no harm came to him.
After several meetings in that area plans were made to drive to Canada to attend the ‘Moose Lake Conference’, another gathering of Branham followers. Before leaving for Canada, Ayyah was asked to sleep in a certain place. A timely warning by God made him change and sleep in a different place. The next morning he was surprised to find that the man who slept in the bed allotted to him was shot and the police were investigating. Many notable miracles had been observed during Ayyah's stay. The shooting incident shows how jealousy comes into play. Seeing Ayyah's growing in popularity, a drastic attempt was made. As the caravan of cars came to the border to cross into Canada, the border police confiscated a gun from one of the cars. It was found to belong to a prominent preacher who was travelling with the group.
On the way to Canada for nearly 300 miles there was an unusual sight. On both the sides of the road, tall pillars of whirling dust were encountered almost at every furlong.
During the conference the Lord blessed Ayyah abundantly. He was given the opportunity to give his testimony and pray for the sick. He gained many new friends there. Ayyah found that this conference was the same as ‘Kanuga Conference’, with much confusion caused by the dissension and differences of opinion among the members and leaders.
God told Ayyah to leave the conference early and go to Chicago where he had been invited to preach at the Chicago ‘Life Tabernacle’. As they were going, the Lord spoke to Ayyah in a special way, telling him that one hour before man would step on the moon, He would descend to earth. They hurried on to Chicago where they were scheduled to have meetings for three days and three nights.
At the first moon landing, the idea that man could walk on the moon was so incredible there were great doubts and speculation among many, if it would be successful. Almost everyone all over the world was tuned into the radio or television, watching the approaching astronauts. God was telling Ayyah He would come down in him before man steps on the moon. Ayyah himself was still trying to understand what all this meant. During this period, Ayyah had not revealed to Brother Dale or his daughter what God was telling him about the 'coming down into him.' But knowing something wonderful was going to happen soon, he kept close phone contact with them, saying again and again: "Be ready, be ready. Something is going to happen."
According to most Christian thinking, the return of Jesus widely proclaimed as the 'second coming,' was, that people from all over would suddenly leave, being taken up in the sky like Elijah. In their imagination they would picture cars crashing and so many other similar calamities that would happen when people are suddenly taken away in a rapture. It really was the common belief, and Ayyah's previous thinking was also similar. In 1960, God had told him that he would see His coming. During this month he kept advising Brother Dale and his daughter in the many phone contacts, "Be ready, something is going to happen." And comfortably he was also telling, "I think you are ready." It was a time of great anticipation for Ayyah.
As he was heading for Chicago, he again phoned and asked Brother Dale to meet him in Chicago, saying, he would never in his life regret it. Brother Dale immediately flew to meet him there. In the three days meetings the thunder was so unusual that whenever Ayyah opened his mouth to speak, one could hear a peal of thunder off in the distance. This presence of lightning and thunder and storms had followed him all through his U.S.A. journey. On the way to Chicago dark clouds covered them, raining in every place they stayed for a night, and lifting when they left the place. Many noticed a strange transparent white cloud above the dark clouds that moved along with them, till they reached Chicago.
The following is a quote from Ayyah, speaking about what happened:
"It (the cloud) did not travel along the road; it cut across the road and went and stood above the place where we should go. And when we came to Chicago at the proper time, we found out that the Lord was moving. We were preaching in the ‘Life Tabernacle’ for three days and three nights, and on Moonlanding Day I had a small television set in front of me. As man was about to land on the moon, one hour before, according to their announcement, I could see the sky open and a terrific power come into my heart."
Immediately Ayyah felt himself transformed into two persons: One was Jesus Christ, and the other himself, yet fused into one, within the mighty presence of the power of God.
While within this glory filled canopy of the heavenly power, God broke open to Ayyah those secrets and mysteries kept hidden away by Him for this end time. The side of Jesus inside said in that awe-inspiring voice, "I am the Resurrection." To this the response from the side of Ayyah was, "I am the Life." Jesus' side continued, "He that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live." The answering voice from Ayyah's side said, "He that liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." "I will not die!" Thundered Ayyah immediately, when he came out of this glorious oneness with Jesus. Ayyah explains that the whole plan, from before the foundation of world to the end, was shown to him at that moment. But, like when one awakens from a dream, he could not recall it all. Over the years, slowly, God again brought forth all these deep revelations.
This was such a unique experience, Ayyah felt the inadequacy of words when he tried to tell about it. Whenever he tried to express it he always failed. He would attempt to explain it by standing close to someone and going through the motion by his hands to show people how it was, and again he would fail. Jesus, when He walked this earth 2000 years ago said, he would come back again; but down the ages, mankind had misconstrued it to their own imagination. When it happened quite different, against their thinking, most people are not able to comprehend, and thus they reject God's move. This momentous event happened on July 20th, (21st in India) 1969, on the last day of the meeting.
During the weeks before God coming down, the cloud was always with them and the thunderstorms never ceased with heavy downpours. It can be mentioned that in July, just before the Moonlanding Day event, in the Troy, Ohio area, there was a big storm and three large trees were hit by lightning. One tree was hit at the home of Brother Dale, one at the home of his daughter five miles away, and one at the home where the transfiguration event took place, 10 miles away.
After finishing the Chicago meetings, God warned Ayyah that he should leave for India immediately. He then cancelled all the future engagements, cutting short his stay in America. Ayyah along with Brother Dale and the Gerards, travelled by car to Brother Dale's home in Troy, Ohio, to make the preparations.
What happened after Ayyah, with the Gerards and Brother Dale, returned to Brother Dale's home the previous night, is described here by his daughter:
"When my father left for Chicago, I was disappointed that I was not able to accompany him. The night before they returned I had a vivid dream. I saw my father's car come into the driveway. Then Ayyah emerged from the car. He was surrounded with a bright white light. Early the next morning, it was with great anticipation that I went to my father's home. As I entered, I found them all sitting having breakfast. As I joined them they were talking and laughing and in their good humour they began to speak about 'God coming down' and laughing, when they heard the distant thunder every time Ayyah spoke. They would say, 'Oh, there it goes again.' As they talked on and on, telling me, God has come down and looking for my reaction, I was pulled into this joy saying, 'Oh that is Wonderful, God has come down!' It sounded nice, so I agreed: 'God has come down'. Actually I didn't have a clue what it was all about. Later that morning while Ayyah was bathing, God spoke to him and said, 'Go and tell her, who I am.' After his bath Ayyah came to me and told me what God had spoken to him while bathing. Then he looked so deep into my eyes with a lovely smile on his face and said, 'Don't you know who I am?' At that moment I felt such a terrific presence of God and almost without my own power answered breathlessly, 'Yes, I do know who you are.' At that moment I really knew, I was standing in the presence of God. But at the next moment, thinking, 'How is this possible?' I clutched my hands to my head and said, 'Oh I cannot understand this.' It was an experience that I could not at that moment comprehend. As the messages came forth and by God's leading, soon I could understand that in truth, God had come down into His chosen man."
Before his return to India, Ayyah left the three days Chicago Moonlanding Messages with Brother Dale and his daughter, giving specific instructions on how they should print and distribute them. The evening before Ayyah made this request, Brother Dale's daughter, Sister Suzannah Nivedita, heard the voice of God speaking to her saying, "I want you to do these messages, I will vindicate them." On the following day, when Ayyah asked them to print the Moonlanding Messages, she knew surely that it was God's will for them to undertake this task. When great opposition came for sending out these messages, God's promise to vindicate them gave them the faith to stand firm. God Coming Down in Ayyah was so new and sudden in their thinking, they did not fully realize the deep meaning of everything immediately. They could only realize that this was a move of God and that Ayyah was speaking the Words of Life. God then slowly began to reveal to them the full magnitude of what was happening. When they did fully realize, they would comment over and over to one another, how such a great privilege should be granted to such as them, to be able to have a part of God's Coming Down and to print and send out these messages all over the world.
The Gerards then accompanied Ayyah back to India. The cloud followed them to Rome and then on to Greece. The whirlwinds lashed the place in Greece, as they prayed at Mars Hill, thanking God for the spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles through St. Paul. They made their plea to God to make the Jews accept the Gospel in the same way. The next stopover was at Tel Aviv, where the cloud was still there travelling along with them. They continued the journey to Bombay and then on to Madras. The cloud never left them all through the journey.
On his arrival in Madras, Ayyah visited the house of a Brother Thomas. As he was knocking at the door, his wife had a fleeting vision that a beggar was knocking at the door and when the door opened, Jesus was standing there with flames of fire spurting out of His eyes. After the vision, there was in reality a knocking at their door. When they opened the door, it was Ayyah standing there. Another woman in Chengelpet was favoured with the revelation of God coming down. As she was in the open fields collecting firewood, there was a fierce whirlwind and she heard a voice telling her that Jesus Christ had come down to earth on Moonlanding Day. She wrote to the Ashram to enquire about it. The confirming news was passed on to her.
A Startling Vision
Mr. Sashikant from Gujarat who came to the Ashram in 1970 tells about the vision his wife saw:
In the days when they did not know who Brother Lawrie was, Mrs. Sashikant dreamt that she and her husband were at the foot of a great mountam looking up and they saw Brother Lawrie stand at the top of the mountain. As he stood, the mountain split into two and she remembered Zach. 14:4 which speaks about the day of the Lord, when His feet shall stand upon the Mount Olives and the Mount Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the East and toward the West and half the mountain shall remove toward the North and half of it toward the South. They did not know at that time who the person was. It so happened that Brother Lawrie was having meetings in North India and Mr. Sashikant and his wife who happened to attend those meetings were amazed to find that the person who stood on Mt. Olives was none other than Brother Lawrie. They believed his message of God coming down in 1969 at Chicago and straight away settled their affairs in Gujarat and proceeded to the Ashram.(A quote from the booklet 'Amazing Grace' by Brother V Jothipackiam.)
Covenant with God
Soon after their arrival, the Lawries, with the Gerards and a few others, went to Nazareth where Ayyah had spent his boyhood days. From there they went to Kanyakumari District and stayed in the Cape Hotel at Cape Comorin. They addressed some meetings there in that district. Wherever they went, God vindicated them with the cloud in a special way.
There the group with Ayyah made a covenant with God, promising Him to surrender themselves totally, to re-consecrate their lives, and be ready to be taken off any moment. Immediately before the covenant, they saw a circular rainbow around the sun, and after the covenant a circular rainbow around the moon, indicating to them that God makes a covenant with them, as he had done with Noah. God also gave them a new anointing which changed them completely, an experience they never had in all their lives.
Ayyah always said, others can believe but it is more difficult for his wife to believe. When they arrived in India saying God had come down and stories of the cloud following, it was hard for Sister Lawrie to instantly accept. Finally she said, that if this cloud would continue to follow as they went to her father's house, then she would believe. Sure enough the cloud came along with them and she could not deny it. It was then that the Lawries prayed for a vindication of this new move in the ministry. If God was doing this, then their two sons who were still studying at the time, should come to full surrender. That prayer was immediately answered. Devadayavu came leaving his studies to give his all to God full time. Then Deva Aseer, who had just a few months to finish his veterinary doctor's degree, wrote to his father that he too was quitting studies to serve God. Their eldest son Deva Evu had already earlier left his studies to join them in the ministry.
In all of Ayyah's dealings there was always an unseen power backing him that was awe-inspiring even to him. When they were at the Cape Hotel (India), a person told him a deliberate lie. Suddenly this power struck him and he fell down screaming and was carried out of the hotel. A believer told a casual lie and in that night he was tormented so severely that he went running to Ayyah and confessed his fault. A brother in the Lord was casually talking to Ayyah one dark night as they sat on a lonely bench. He was surprised to see a bright light on Ayyah's face. When he looked again the light was gone. This so frightened that brother that he re-consecrated his life to God. These strange experiences made everyone want to draw nearer to God.
There was a wonderful baptism service at Vellore after a series of meetings. A photograph was taken of a group of about 50 people after that service. The same cloud was there as usual, and a big ball of light was seen right above the head of Ayyah and was recorded in a photo. It can be added here that as the years passed, many other photos of the light have been taken.
Many youngsters and families were touched by God to leave all their worldly possessions to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. A cloud was always seen towards any of the coners of the residence or at the places where Ayyah was staying. In the night, flashing lightning without any thunder was witnessed at regular intervals. This phenomenon was noticed often in the nights, displaying continual flashing from six in the evening to six in the morning.
God was revealing many things from the Bible those days. At a meeting as Ayyah was boldly giving out what the Lord had revealed to him, saying, 'God has come down to meet the Bride,' a terrific thunder shook that place. This took place during the daytime when there were no visible rain-clouds in the sky. People present were awe struck by the thunder, which gave witness to what Ayyah was saying.