As the days drew near when Bro. Lawrie should leave this earth, he gradually started giving hints about his departure from his earthly body just as Jesus was telling his disciples (Matthew 26: 1-2). The main things he was preaching about were, “My time in this world is finished” (John 17: 4), “I am no more in the world” (John 17: 11) and etc.
He often told the believers that the glory was already inside him. It is like a butterfly which is still hidden inside the cocoon. Many times, just before his departure, Bro. Lawrie spoke of the Bible verses in John. “A little while, and you shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father”….. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: And ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy” (John 16: 14-28). But just like the disciples of Jesus, 2000 years ago, Bro. Lawrie’s followers could not understand what he was telling them; that he would soon be leaving for a time.
In the year 1988 August, after the July camp-meetings, Bro. Lawrie was feeling weak and was resting at the home of his eldest son Deva Evu Lawrie at Gandhinagar, Tirunelveli for nearly a month. During that period he used to feel that he would depart from this earth soon. He was throwing hints to his eldest son who could not understand it at that time.
He used to call his eldest son frequently everyday and tell him that a conspiracy was being hatched by unruly elements in the ministry to take over the Ashram after his departure. He said he was going to do something about it before he left. He also told his eldest son Deva-Evu to wait patiently since a great blessing was on the way.
As the day of his departure was drawing closer, he even mentioned in his messages that 75% or even 90 % in the ministry were not really for the Word of God but for some personal benefits and that they would be left out in the Rapture. The last two gatherings (apart from the Ashram) he addressed were one at Tuticorin and finally at Coimbatore. Thereafter he did not address any public gathering.
During those gatherings, the eldest son was asked to preach the crucifixion message before Bro. Lawrie spoke finally. But the eldest son was reluctant as Bro. Lawrie was going to preach the message meant for the Non-Christians. But Bro. Lawrie told his son that he had taken his son there for the purpose of preaching the crucifixion message and that people would be judged accordingly. Deva-Evu obeyed his father and preached the message of crucifixion.
He had instructed his eldest son to dispose of his petrol motorcycle and book for a new diesel motorcycle. It took a long time in arriving and finally it came on February 22, 1989. Bro. Lawrie came to his son’s home and blessed him and the bike. Then he told his son, “Evu, be persistent in doing the ministry. There will be opposition from within and without after I am gone. But never leave the ministry at any cost. A great blessing is on the way” just the way Apostle Paul had instructed Timothy before his departure (II Timothy 4: 1-8).
Deva Evu had no idea of leaving the ministry at all and he was wondering why Bro. Lawrie told him these words. Later after the departure of Bro. Lawrie when the unruly elements took over the Ashram making life miserable for Deva Evu and all other sincere believers that he understood what Bro. Lawrie meant. These were the last words Bro. Lawrie personally spoke to his eldest son.
February 24, 1989 was the birthday of Bro. Lawrie and many believers started arriving at the Ashram a couple of days earlier to meet, greet and hear him. Bro. Lawrie never used to give importance to his birthdays but many believers insisted on seeing him that day. They had not realized that a rude shock was in store for them. This was his 68th birth anniversary.
On the night of February 23, 1989 Bro. Lawrie suddenly developed a cardiac problem and was taken to the hospital for rest and treatment. He was not speaking much to anyone. Even on February 24, 1989 those who went to see him at the hospital were prevented from speaking to him.
Mr. V.G. Raja Simeon, Bro. Lawrie’s friend, brother-in-law and believer had come on a casual visit from Mumbai. When he went to the hospital, Bro. Lawrie suddenly opened his eyes and spoke shortly to him and told him that the door closing message was not for him and that it was for the outsiders. He was the last person to have had spoken to Bro. Lawrie.
In the evening he suddenly developed a breathing problem and at about 8.00 pm on February 24, 1989, Bro. Lawrie breathed his last and left his mortal body. After a life span of 68 years (From February 24, 1921 to February 24, 1989), he departed from his earthly body on his very birthday which is a rare occurrence. It was a rude shock to everyone since it came at a time when no one expected it. His earthly ministry thus came to an end. He was buried on February 26, 1989 in the Manujothi Ashram Campus.
The departure of Bro. Lawrie resulted in a great vacuum in the Ashram and the ministry. There was emptiness everywhere. The believers were in a condition similar to that of the disciples of Jesus after His death when they were all much depressed. Some people lost hope and went back just as the disciples went a fishing.
The differences among the followers started coming to light. A few took the Word message for the Bride. Some big people in the ministry started spreading that Bro. Lawrie had been glorified and had been caught up to the Throne of God. Many innocent people fell for this ploy and started following them.
According to what Bro. Lawrie had foretold, the unruly and treacherous elements in the ministry started the process of taking over and occupying the Ashram. They were led by a close associate in the ministry who played the part of Judas (Psalm 41: 9, John 13: 18). They were the ones who started saying Bro. Lawrie had been caught up to the Throne of God. This was questioned by Deva-Evu Lawrie since there were no eye witnesses.
When Elijah was taken up Elisha saw it and received double portion of Power. When Jesus was received up, the disciples and those with them saw it. They received Power on the Pentecostal day. But there were no eye witnesses for this. Therefore these people started saying that Deva-Evu was off the Word and spread it among the so called believers. They all started boycotting Deva Evu Lawrie.
Bro. Lawrie had appointed the eldest son Deva-Evu as the Managing Trustee of the Ashram in the Trust deed he had registered. But these unruly elements did not like this idea of accepting Deva-Evu Lawrie as the Managing Trustee since he would not dance to their tunes. Therefore they slandered him and isolated him in the ministry.
They started using violence and let loose a reign of terror among the Ashramites in order to drive out the sincere ones who stood for the Word of God and the Message. They also drove out the ones not agreeable to them and also those who wanted unity among the three sons. Even the eldest son Deva-Evu and the youngest son Devadayavu were not spared and were prevented from entering the Ashram premises.
For this they used the second son Devaseer as their spearhead since he was a member of the family. He probably did not understand the evil designs of this coterie around him. He was misled into believing that he had attained a great and top position in the ministry and cooperated with this evil coterie. The violence they used brought forth criminal and civil cases and these people are occupying the Ashram even now.
There was nothing that could be done unless the Lord had intervened. But the Lord had allowed this coterie to have their way until the time comes for the move of God leading to the resurrection of the dead saints. Therefore Deva-Evu and Devadayavu were left to fend for themselves.
Devadayavu could create another Ashram similar to the Manujothi Ashram and called it Lahari Nagar meaning - City of Divine Music (Sound Waves). A large group among the followers of Bro. Lawrie was behind him. Since he is a musician who is able to play about eight instruments he has a wonderful musical orchestra to take with him for the meetings.
Bro. Deva-Evu had confined his activities to Gandhinagar and from there he has been doing His ministry based fully on the Scripture - The Bible. Those who stick totally for the Truth of the Holy Bible as revealed by Bro. William Branham and Bro. Paulaseer Lawrie have been in fellowship with him.
After the departure of Bro. Lawrie, many people started saying many things as they liked. When the coterie around Devaseer Lawrie started spreading that Bro. Lawrie had been caught up to the throne there were many so called believers fell for this gimmick.
When detailed enquiries were made among those people concerned, it was found that there were no eyewitnesses, nor proofs nor any signs whatsoever regarding this so called ascension. It was done presumptuously. The proof of God coming down to the earth rests with His going up or Ascension (John 6:40, 41, 51, & 62, John 12:23-30). Most of the people did not care to check and verify those things with the Bible.
In 1969 people had witnessed a "Mount of Transfiguration" incident and the Lord God descended with a great and Mighty Message and a New Ministry (Matt.17:1-6,Gen.11:1-8,Exodus 3:9-10,Acts.7:34,Gen.18:20-21,Luke 17:28-30). It was in full conformity to the messages preached scripturally by the Prophet William Branham earlier.
But there is no type or shadow of example in the Bible to show that the Ascension of Christ takes place without any eyewitnesses, proofs nor any signs or trace. The Resurrection of the saints dead in Christ should also take place before that (I Thessalonians 4: 14-18).
When Elijah was taken up Elisha saw it and received a double portion of the Spirit of Elijah (II Kings 2:1, 9-15). When Jesus ascended up to heaven, the disciples and those gathered together with them saw it with their own eyes. They received power in the name of Jesus on the Pentecostal day (Luke 24:49,Acts 1:1-11, 2:1-3,John 6:62,John 14:12,13,16: 23,24,28).
Any doctrine should be compared with and tested by the written Word of God. Bro. Lawrie had always emphasized this throughout his lifetime and ministry (II Tim.3:16-17). Even if he had been with us today physically, he still would be preaching from the Word of God and not from his message books. Therefore to know the Real Truth of the matter, Deva-Evu Lawrie was waiting on the Lord for many days.
Then the Lord showed him a vision (not a dream) concerning this in the first week of July 1989. According to the vision, the glorification of the Son of Man takes place only after the resurrection of the dead saints. This vision was found so real according to the Scriptures that it made a deep impression in his mind. You can see it in his own words below. Kindly go through it carefully.
THE VISION AND THE SECRET
I woke up from my sleep at about 2.00 am early morning. I sat up on the bed and started praying. Suddenly I saw a vision which brought me a great surprise and happiness. Even to this day this vision is still green in my memory. It had a great impact upon me. I found the vision to be perfectly Scriptural too.
In this vision, I heard a great blast that opened the earth and threw the rocks to great heights. I found human figures in white dress coming out of the earth. In a few seconds I found hundreds of thousands standing around me. I felt as though resurrection had taken place. My late wife Joy came and stood next to me. In front of me stood Bro. Lawrie appearing as old as he was at the time of his death. Near him stood a lady with her head covered (veiled). Dad shook hands with me and introduced the lady to me as so-and-so.
After the introduction, suddenly, Dad’s old face started changing fast and in a few seconds his face became so young and bright. I immediately shouted and said “Dad, your face has become so young and bright all of a sudden. Please tell me how? Please tell me the secret". Then Bro. Lawrie with a smile started explaining and when I strained my ears to hear it clearly, the vision was over. Now I have to wait until the day of resurrection to know the secret.
Therefore through this vision the Lord showed me that Christ is glorified only after resurrection of the dead in Christ. The dead saints are now waiting in Paradise. After the earthly ministry, Christ has to go and bring the dead saints in Paradise down to the earth, which we call as resurrection (I Thess.4: 14-18).
Then Christ, the Man Child is caught up to the throne (Rev.12: 1-6, John 16:5-7, 16-24). Even the vision of Bro. Branham about Paradise confirms this truth. When I mentioned this after the demise of Bro. Lawrie, very few people with scriptural and spiritual insight agreed and understood this Truth. The rest of the people followed the majority crowd.