In The Beginning
When a Biography is written about a person, there are certain questions that arise. Whom is this Biography written about? What is the need to write about this person? Why is he considered important enough to have his Biography written? What had he achieved for mankind? Does he find his place in the Scriptures?
The Scriptures tell us about the Coming of Christ to take the Bride in the Rapture. There are hundreds of references in the Bible to this Second Coming of Christ. According to Dr. Manley O. Dobbins Jr. of USA, there are 318 such references. The Son of Man is to appear on earth in these last days and reveal Himself to the Bride of Christ and prepare her for the Rapturing faith for Glorification.
If Scriptural signs are any indication, this is now time for God (Messiah) to come back to claim His Bride and then present Himself (make Himself known) to Israel. Thus we see God again stepping forth in these last days to assume a Physical Relationship to man as the "Son of David, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and Bridegroom of the Gentile Bride."
The Old Testament and New Testament are replete with prophecies concerning Him. He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Righteous Branch, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Man-Child of Revelation 12: 5 who will rule the world with a rod of iron. He is the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of Man, the Son of God and the Son of David. It is God who chooses His man for every age and moulds his character to suit His purpose for which he is raised.
Prophet William Branham had the Call, Ministry and Message to forerun the Second Coming of Christ. He had given a number of prophecies and hints concerning the time, signs, mode and etc. of the Coming of this Great person who is also the Man-Child mentioned to rule all nations with a rod of iron and to be caught up to God and to His throne.(Revelation 12: 1-5). One of his quotes is given below:
CHRIST.REVEALED.IN.HIS.OWN.WORD_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-10 SUNDAY_ 65-0822M
114 God had selected the man for the age, and selected the message, and even the nature of the man and what would go over in that age--what He could put over, how He could... With the nature of that certain man, He could blind the eyes of others. The words that that man would say, the way he acted, would blind others and open other's eyes. See? He dressed the man in the type of dress that he was, the nature, the ambition, and everything, just the way he had to be, just perfectly selected for that certain people that He'd call for that certain age. While others would stand, and look at him, and say, "Well I can't... There's... I--I can't..." See, they were blinded.
Brother Rasiah Paulaseer Lawrie is believed to be this anointed and appointed one of God to claim Adam’s birthright on the basis of the Scriptures. He is the theme of this Biography and fits into the entire criterion set forth by the Scriptures and also by the prophetic predictions of Bro. William Branham, the Prophet Messenger of this age we dwell in.
This makes Bro. Paulaseer Lawrie a Very Important Person who is to become the greatest, mightiest and most highly exalted personage in the whole history of mankind and hence the need for the writing of his Biography. This Great Person Paulaseer Lawrie was born on February 24, 1921 in Lakshmi Tea Estate, Munnar of Kerala, South India.
His ancestry can be traced to old Travancore Region, now parts of the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He is said to be of the Jewish stock - a splinter group of the Israelites scattered all over the world, and of the tribe of Judah in the lineage of Nathan a full brother of King Solomon.
His predecessors landed at the ancient port of Puvar, which was the Ophir of Biblical days where they traded gold and silver to buy the spices of the east. (Ref: Booklet - India - page no.13 - published by the Department of Tourism, Government of India in 1970). They settled in Kanyakumari District (Cape Comorin) which was the southern part of the Travancore region.
During the reign of the Travancore Kings, a persecution arose in these parts to suppress the local people. A government edict was promulgated that the women of this community will not wear any covering dress above their waist thus exposing their breasts. Also members of this community were forbidden to walk on certain streets.
This ignominy drove them from those parts and they settled at the area now called Adayal Mudalur (Meaning - The First Village) because the people of this village were the first ones to embrace Christianity later. They worshipped the local deities and intermarried with those who had earlier migrated to this area. It was a fulfillment of what was spoken by Moses that they would be carried away and worship wood and stone (Deuteronomy 28: 36).
Bro. Lawrie's great grandfather, Sudalaimadan Natan, was the seventh child of the family. He had such a craving in his heart to know God that in his quest he made a coffin (casket) and lay in it, refusing to eat or drink till such time God revealed Himself to him. He was blessed with the vision of the crucified Christ (just like the vision Sadhu Sundar Singh had of Christ) which gave him great peace of mind and remission of sin. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and became a Christian and took on the new name, Swamiadian. Infuriated by this his folks drove him out of their fold and declared him as the “Lost Son”.
All his life this great-grandparent of Bro. Lawrie stood firm in his belief. He was a mighty witness for the Lord Jesus Christ having a healing ministry. His grave at Mudalur is venerated by people of every caste and creed even today after nearly 200 years. They carry away handfuls of soil from his grave site as it is claimed to have healing power.
The grandfather of Bro. Lawrie, Mr. Suvisesha Muthu Ponnuswamy, was a Tamil Pundit (Master of the language, Tamil) and taught the language to the foreign missionaries. He had a bakery in Nagercoil. One day one Mr. Lawrie Muthukrishna of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) came to the bakery with his tale of woe that some one had picked his pocket and that he had lost all the money. He was a famous fingerprint expert and Chief of the Polytechnic & Government Auditors of Sri Lanka.
He had lost all hope of returning to Sri Lanka. Mr. Ponnuswamy Nadar helped him out of this predicament by lending him the needed cash. It was in repayment to this act of kindness that this Government official of Sri Lanka took Bro. Lawrie's father Mr. Rasiah with him to Sri Lanka and took on the responsibility of educating him.
Bro.Lawrie’s grandfather, on his mother’s side, is the famous “Siddhar”, a legend in his life time. His descendants are even now called the “Siddhar family”. The story goes that this Mr. Siddhar met an unknown Rishi (Sage) and received from him the secrets of setting broken bones and of valuable medicinal herbs, all written on foils of palm leaves. (Like scrolls of Jews, the ancient Tamilians had recorded their valuable documents on Palm-leaf manuscripts called Yedus). This art of bone setting and medicines has been handed down from generation to generation and is carefully guarded as a family secret.
His father, Mr. S. Deva Rasiah, under the aegis of Mr. Lawrie Muthukrishna became a teacher in the Polytechnic College, and later worked in the Galaha Company as the Secretary to the General Manager. On an official visit to the Company’s Tea Estates in Munnar, India, he happened to stay with the Head Clerk at Lakshmi Estate, whose daughter he married later. He took a long leave and stayed with his wife’s parents till Paulaseer was born. The child was named after Lawrie Muthukrishna and was baptized in the Church of England, Munnar by sprinkling of water and was christened Paulaseer Lawrie Muthukrishna.
Soon after the baptism, Mr. Rasiah took his wife and child over to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). One evening young Paulaseer (18 months old) was sitting on his dad’s lap as he came home from his office. A Sinhala (Native of Sri Lanka), who must have had a grievance against Mr. Rasiah, advanced towards them with a drawn knife with an intent to murder them both. As he closed in on them, a bolt of lightning intervened and the Sinhalese man rolled on the ground screaming with fright and cringed to be forgiven.
Taking this as Divine intervention to save the life of his child, Mr. Rasiah took extra pains to bring him up in the fear of God. He used to take the boy to the Galle Face Green by the ocean in the evenings for prayer and meditation. On one such evening when his father was deep in meditation, Paulaseer who was about five years walked right into the sea waves and would have been drowned if a passerby did not pull him out in time.
When Mr. Rasiah and his wife had more children, the parents decided that the mother should go back to India with the children and get them all into schools. They built a house at Nazareth where the mother and children lived for many years while the father commuted back and forth from Sri Lanka whenever possible. When Mr. Rasiah was leaving Nazareth, young Paulaseer was so adamant and insisted that he should be with his father that he clung to the wheel of the departing vehicle refusing to let go. His father then relented and took Paulaseer with him to Sri Lanka.
Mr. Rasiah was recruited into the Salvation Army and rose to the rank of a Sergeant Major. He and his wife had wished very much to be inducted into the Salvation Army for full-time service and even had the necessary uniforms made for them. When his wife went over to India this plan had to be dropped. Mr. Rasiah joined the Galle Face Christ Church instead and worked for the spiritual uplift of the Church members. During this time, young Paulaseer went to the Methodist School in Colpetty, Colombo.
As a child Paulaseer had been passed under the banner of Salvation Army and later they dedicated him to God's work in the Christ Church, an act considered to be most unusual. Mr. Rasiah got bitter about the factions and cliques among the Church elders. Their bickering and strivings for power during the election to Church offices and their misappropriation of the Church funds embittered him so much that he resisted them openly. He reproved even God for allowing such things to happen in his Church. He got so worked up that he spent sleepless nights.
He attended office regularly but had no sleep during the nights that he cracked up with nervous breakdown. During these days of sickness, Mr. Rasiah searched his heart that he came closer to God as never before, and found greater peace and tranquility. This had a direct bearing on young Paulaseer, as every evening after his father’s recovery, he went along with him to the seashore for prayers. The elder imparted his spiritual experience to his son.
Paulaseer outgrew the school he was studying at in Sri Lanka and he returned to Nazareth to further his education staying this time with his mother and younger brothers and sisters. There were eight children in all, five boys and three girls. Staying with the mother the children lacked the controlling factor of their father who was at Sri Lanka and visited the family for short spells only.
Thus unbridled, Paulaseer accumulated all the bad habits of the local boys. He became virtually a leader of young boys who were uncontrolled and unruly. They played pranks which were a menace to many houses. Being the eldest son, his mother doted on Paulaseer and gave him all the money he demanded of her which he spent unscrupulously and for mischievous deeds. Yet deep down in his heart he had the fear of God.
In studies, Paulaseer was well ahead in his class except Mathematics. His flat plumpy body earned him such nicknames as “Roller”, “Barrel” and “Dwarf”. His younger brothers too became unruly and even ganged up against their teachers. At times Paulaseer and his friends went into the Church and set traps for squirrels, in which Paulaseer was an expert.
Getting into the altar of the Church by anyone other than the ordained priest was considered a sacrilege in these places during those days. And the Church wielded such power over the people, that the priests ruled Supreme. No one could have Independence of thinking. Talking or acting against the Church and its representative, the priest was not tolerated.
One day caught setting the traps in the Church, the boys were bound to the trees and were beaten by the villagers by the orders of the pastor. This incident, early in his childhood, had its adverse effect in his attitude towards Church authority and he tempered his will never to bend to the religious tyranny.
Another gruesome act that impinged deeply into his young mind was the murder of an illegitimate baby perpetrated in one of the Christian homes. Bro. Lawrie recalls this with revulsion even to this day. In another incident in a Church elder’s home he witnessed the black act of witchcraft. The evil spirit that had been commissioned to destroy another family was offered eggs and blood of an animal which it gobbled up.
Having done these satanic deeds to his neighbours, this Church elder and his family were the first to the Church on following Sunday with hypocritical long faces and ‘holier than thou attitude’ towards others of the congregation. No wonder Paulaseer began sinking in the morass of sin (Rom. 1:29-31; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-6; I Tim. 6:4-5; II Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 3:3; Rev. 22:15).
He did get punishment for his misdeeds. Caning the students was common in those days. Teachers mercilessly thrashed the boys at times just to exercise their authority. Paulaseer came under severe cane blows one day that he told his mother about it. She pleaded for her son and got the teacher’s word not to beat him thereafter.
The next day Paulaseer was relegated to the Mappilai bench (Bridegroom Bench). Whoever sits here could come and go as he liked. The teachers would never bother to take notice of these pupils. A few days on this seat unnerved Paulaseer so much that he went screaming to his mother to request the teachers to resume beating him and be taken off from that bench.
As his mother found it difficult to control him, Paulaseer was sent to the boarding house of the school where he learnt much more mischief from the boys who had come from other parts of the districts. He had a bunch of keys with which he could open the boxes and take the sweets and snacks of other boys who were keeping them only for themselves. He would then distribute the treats to all the boys.
The monitor of the boarding house was assisting Paulaseer as he agreed that it was unjust for some boys to be eating the sweets in front of those who had none. The selfish boys complained to the warden about their missing sweets. When the warden unraveled the mystery of missing sweets and traced the mischief to Paulaseer Lawrie, he confiscated the bunch of duplicate keys and threw it into the well nearby.
The death of an intimate friend of his, Charles Kanagaraj, gave him a rude shake up and made him contemplate on ‘life now’ and ‘life after’. Though he had a rough outer crust, Paulaseer had the inner urge to know God. When he was a choir boy in the Nazareth Church, he used to nudge the boy next to him whenever they sang the response, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51: 11).
He would ask everybody, with mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “When did you receive the Holy Spirit so that you sing “Don't take it away?” Most of the people dodged him from answering that question. Bold in the knowledge that no one could give him a proper answer, he approached the local pastor and asked his pet question to him. He in his officious tone told him, “Lawrie, you are asking me a dangerous question. I can't answer you”.
When he questioned his headmaster on this subject, he wisely replied, “It is difficult to answer. Since you don't have it, you ask this question”. He asked his father too. Everyone had evasive answers. Later in life he realized what the Psalmist meant when he sang that prayer. Little did he realize then that he would be laying hands and ministering the Holy Spirit to thousands and thousands later in his ministry (Acts 8: 17, 19:6).
As a small boy, Paulaseer used to be the drummer for the S.P.G. Church gospel team. One day as this team went to preach in a dominant Hindu area, the Hindus came in a band to attack them. Seeing them every member of the gospel team ran helter-skelter. Young Paulaseer outdid others having thrown away the drum!
During his school days Paulaseer had a narrow escape from being rundown by a speeding car. He was crossing a road on a bicycle when he felt himself being pushed out by a strong hand and fell with his bicycle off the road, when the car careered past him and crashed to a stop. The hand that pushed him off the road saved him at the nick of time. When he looked around, there was no one there who could have pushed him. It can only be the protective hand of God that previously protected him in other incidents.
As a boy Paulaseer had another accident in which the antlers of a deer hanging at the entrance of their house dropped while he was playing under it, and the nail-sharp horn drove so deeply into the skull, that people thought it would impair the mental balance of the boy. But there was no ill effect even after the wound healed.
Typhoid, in those days was a dreaded disease, as there was no drug to fight this infection. Strict dieting was the only prescription the doctors had for this sickness, many succumbed to it. When Paulaseer contracted typhoid, his father was in Sri Lanka. He had to be summoned home by his mother as the illness became critical.
Ironically Paulaseer’s uncle was daily hoping for the boy’s death, because an astrologer had given a prediction that if Paulaseer died, his epileptic fits would disappear. His mother was giving him a health drink for his sickness. When his father arrived, he discovered that some one had adulterated the health drink by adding flour and it had been making Paulaseer worse instead of better.
His father, however, talked to Paulaseer of the importance of surrendering his life to the will of Jesus Christ. Reluctantly Paulaseer gave his word of consent to serve God if he was healed. That night he saw a vision of a glorious man in bright colour coming down and light the lamp near him and saying, “You will live”.
According to this promise he was healed. But ever since, his philosophy of life took a different turn. He loved everyone. He confessed that his affections were not always pure but sometimes scattered in all directions. He would give anything away to whoever asked. His mother would not dare to give him anything of value fearing he would give it away. This love for his neighbour drove him even to gamble to help persons in financial need, when his mother refused to give him money for such philanthropic purposes.
When his mother, brothers and sisters all went to Sri Lanka, Paulaseer stayed back in India to study at St. John’s College, Palayamkottai. At this college Paulaseer not losing his love for fun and games he used to play many practical jokes on the lecturers. His friends joined with him in making funny noises or in throwing paper balls and peanuts at the lecturers.
He captained the college football (soccer) team since he was the best player. At the football field he sometimes would rather kick the man than the ball if anyone tried to put him out of action by premeditated foul play. He used to come across his college mates who could remember their old days, showing the scars of wounds sustained playing football with him.
Paulaseer found a High School Student called Raja Simeon sitting and cheering him during the football matches he was playing and this surprised him. So Paulaseer told him, “You have much enthusiasm cheering for my football!” And from that time on, he used to address him as brother. They were friends from then on. At that time Paulaseer did not know that his sister Ebenezer Natchathiram would turn out to be the girl the Lord was going to show him to be his spouse years later.
After finishing the Intermediate Class of University studies, he went over to Sri Lanka and took up Commercial subjects for one year. During this trip to Sri Lanka, he learnt the art of self-defense and unarmed combat. Boxing, wrestling and ju-jitsu became as important to him as was football.
He remembers with affection the family next door, especially Mrs. Oppillamani, who would talk to him of the love of God. Her children too loved him as one of their brothers. Many years later this Mrs. Oppillamani returned to India and stayed at the Ashram founded by Paulaseer in his ministry. After a year of study of Commercial subjects, Paulaseer went to the Wesley College to gain the London Metric Certificate.
He went back to Madras (Chennai) and joined the Madras Christian College, Tambaram for the Bachelor of Arts Degree. Still having his traits for mischief, he played a practical joke one day on his Physics Professor by ducking him in dirty water, and was fined. While throwing gooseberry seeds on one of the Professors, the Principal Rev. Dr. Boyd stealthily crept upon him from behind, caught him, and fined him heavily. He also used to play ghosts on the inmates of the college hostel. One student got so frightened that he became deliriously sick.
His football games improved match after match. The special feature was that just before the team got to the ground, they all huddled together when Paulaseer would pray for their victory. They invariably won all the matches and became champions. He was so mad after football that he neglected his studies. The Physics Professor once remarked in the class room, “Lawrie is Centre-Forward in football but Right-Back in the studies”.
As the World War II began, a vigorous recruiting for officers was afoot. Paulaseer wanted to join the Army and took some training. On knowing this, his father came over and forced Paulaseer to accompany him back to Sri Lanka. Here he used to attend the Sunday School and scored the highest marks and got the first prize.
His father was very proud of the achievement of his son. Little did his father realize that Paulaseer had stolen the question papers before the start of the examination and had all the answers prepared even before he sat for the tests. Paulaseer came back to India to continue his studies. He got a seat in St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai.