Former Pentecostal Details Stunning Healings As Well As Eucharistic Miracle (4 stories)
By Michael H. Brown
A non-denominational preacher who was a Protestant for 33 years and has now converted to Catholicism says he has experienced Eucharistic miracles in addition to stunningly miraculous healings.
The former pastor, Dr. Bob Rice of Santa Fe, New Mexico, first began a healing ministry as a 26-year-old truck driver living in California. Raised a Baptist, Rice was a lukewarm believer and former Marine when one night in 1967 he "heard" God speak to him in his thought pattern. "The voice woke me up, and told me He wanted me to go to the Full Gospel Rescue Mission in San Diego," he says.
The remarkable thing is that Rice had never heard of it; he didn't know if such a place even existed. He didn't know what to think and tried to push it out of his mind, but that day during lunch the same voice spoke the same words to him! "It was so real," he says, "that I had to do something about it."
Rice decided to do as he was told and went with a friend to San Diego, looking in the part of town they thought might have a rescue mission. It did. When they asked a man on the street, he gave them directions to a mission with the precise name Rice had heard. "I didn't even know if it existed," he says. But it did indeed -- by the very name he was given -- and after explaining what had happened to him, Rice stayed for the service that night. He shocked when the pastor of the mission, Winnie Smith, announced to the congregation that Rice -- who had never preached a word in his life, and didn't even know the Bible that well -- would be the speaker.
Startled and afraid, Rice took to the pulpit with no idea of what to talk about or even how to formally pray. "I had absolutely no clue what I was going to do," he says. "When I got to the pulpit I opened my Bible and just laid it down on the pulpit -- opened to no particular place, because I didn't know anything about it. I prayed a very simple prayer, telling the Lord these were His people and that if there was anyway He could use me, there I was. Use me.
"I then had this thought going through my mind. I didn't know if it was Scripture or something I had read, but there was this thought going through my mind, and when I looked back down at my Bible, I couldn't believe my eyes: I began to read the same words going through my mind. It was Mark 16:17, where it says signs shall follow those who believe, that 'in My Name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues... they shall lay hands upon the sick and they shall recover.'"
Suddenly, the same voice that had spoken to him that morning spoke to him again. "It said, 'Bob, there's a woman out there tonight who's blind and I want to restore her sight.' I thought, 'What?' But it was so real I told them that I believed there was a woman out there who was blind and God wanted to restore her sight."
When Rice asked if there was a woman who was blind, a female way in the back corner of the mission raised her hand.
Rice was "scared stiff" but did what came naturally. He asked her to come forward and asked if she really believed she could be healed. When she said yes, Rice reached out, touched the woman on the forehead, and said, "In the Name of Jesus, receive your sight."
"The next thing I knew, the lady was laying on the floor," recounts the former truck driver. "I said, 'Oh, my God, what have I done now.' I had never seen anyone rest in the Spirit. It was the first time. A few seconds later, she started to cry out, 'I can see! I can see!'"
It was the first of three remarkable healings that night. "Then the same voice spoke to me again and said there was a man who was deaf in his left ear," says Dr. Rice. "I saw what happened the first time and decided to try it again." Announcing that he was told there was a man with the ear problem, another hand went into the air and a man stepped forward. Rice asked him if he too believed he could be healed -- getting the same affirmative answer -- and repeated the prayer, touching the man on the forehead. "Boom. He was laying on the floor. Here this guy is laying on the floor and he got up a few minutes later and he had his hearing."
Lastly was a woman with hands and knuckles gnarled with arthritis. "the Lord told me to have her stand there with hands raised where everyone could see her hands and to praise Him, and that's what I told her to do. As she started to praise Him, we saw those hands just open up and those knots on her knuckles just dissolve before her eyes. That's how my healing ministry was launched 37 years ago."
But that was hardly the end of the story. In fact, it was just the beginning. He became a pastor -- taking over a church with but three people. "I started finding everything I could in the Bible and preached healing, healing, healing, healing -- and every time I preached, somebody got healed," he says. "It wasn't long before I was knocking walls out to accommodate the crowds."
There were more healings: first dozens, then hundreds, then allegedly thousands.
"I started operating in the gifts of the Spirit and didn't even know there were gifts of the Spirit," he says -- recalling another case in which a man had terminal lung cancer and had only three weeks to live. Rice asserts that he was "told" these specific details without knowing the man, and the man confirmed them, explaining that he had to get special permission from the doctor to even be there -- to be released from the hospital for the healing service!
"We went ahead and prayed for him and it felt like the Lord touched him," says Rice. "As soon as it was over, he had to go back to the hospital. But three weeks later, he came to the church again to testify that the next morning, they had run some tests on him and could not find a trace of that cancer. It was gone."
Rice says the Lord spoke to him again and told him the man was missing a rib. "I asked him why he was missing a rib, and he told me that when the doctors worked on him, they took the rib out because they had to take the lung out and put it back in. But the rib they couldn't put back. We prayed for him again and he felt this tremendous burning going around his chest. He came back several weeks later with a set-up of before and after x-rays. God had put that rib back in that man's chest."
The claims are extraordinary -- even by the standards of those in the healing ministry. We submit them for your discernment. But did not Jesus do such miracles and grant the power of the Holy Spirit for us to follow in His footsteps?
In all, Rice started six different churches. He described himself as an independent charismatic preacher. In 1994 his first wife died, and Rice, who by now was in the state of Washington, moved to Arizona to be near a son. There he eventually met a Catholic woman and remarried. The members of a new church he pastored resisted the fact that his wife was an "unsaved" Catholic, and Dr. Rice decided to leave the church and become a Catholic -- "one of them."
Former Pentecostal Relates Miracle That Occurred With The Precious Blood
By Michael H. Brown
When we left off, we were speaking of Dr. Rob Rice, a Pentecostal minister who converted to Catholicism. That occurred five years ago this coming Easter. Before that, for 33 years, he was a healing minister in non-denominational churches -- a gifted man who says he had seen hundreds, even "thousands," of miraculous healings.
When his first wife died and he remarried, it was to a Catholic woman, and this eventually led to his conversion -- and a continuation of the remarkable events. Those at his Pentecostal church wouldn't accept his wife, and so he left and began exclusively attending Catholic Mass. About three months after resigning his church, he began feeling uncomfortable that he couldn't receive Communion, and so he began his journey into Catholicism.
Still, Rice wasn't convinced that Communion was really Christ's actual Body and Blood. He looked upon it as symbolic. At the same time, he kept thinking of the biblical passage that we must eat His Body and drink His Blood. And also 1 Corinthians 11:23-33, where Jesus said "this is My Body, this is My Blood."
"The Lord began dealing with me that this occurs when the Catholic priest consecrates," he says. When he asked why a Protestant minister couldn't do the same, he says, it was given to him that only a priest can do so because a priest is in the apostolic line of succession. "It's because a priest is in that succession that he has the authority to pray over the bread and wine," says Dr. Rice. "When Martin Luther was excommunicated in 1520, that broke the apostolic line of succession. Every Protestant denomination is a split from a split from a split. And they all stem from Luther."
That doesn't mean God isn't in the Protestant community, notes Rice (he saw many miracles there himself; the Holy Spirit was present), although he maintains that there is no way that Protestants can have Communion that is anything more than symbolic.
But getting back to his story: it was after being a Catholic for about a year that Rice, a former truck driver and pastor of six churches, happened to encounter exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. "Now what is this?" thought the former minister, who still possessed a few anti-Catholic biases -- and still had his doubts about the real Presence.
But they were to be dispelled that day. "As I sat there looking at the Blessed Sacrament, all of a sudden the face of Christ appeared to me in the center of the Blessed Sacrament," he asserts. "I said, 'All right, Lord, I get the picture!'"
Now -- as a lay Catholic evangelist, when he and his wife conduct a healing service -- the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and they drape a cloth around the base of the monstrance, hanging it over the front of the altar. "That cloth is to represent the hem of His garment," says Dr. Rice, who travels across America conducting parish missions. "We pray a prayer of agreement with the person. It's a simple prayer saying, 'Father I agree with my sister in prayer. I ask You Lord to grant unto her the desires of her heart. Lord let Your healing virtue flow, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,' and I touch them on the cheeks and say, 'Be healed, in Jesus' Name.'"
Where his healing used to occur during Pentecostal services, now they occur before the Blessed Sacrament.
Rice sees the Catholic Church as a "sleeping giant." "The longer I'm Catholic and the more I study it, the more I become absolutely convinced that the Catholic Church is awesome," says the former Protestant. "The Catholic Church always has been the apostolic church -- and we ought to be acting like it. Signs and wonders and miracles and everything that took place in the Church 2,000 years ago should be happening today, because the Church hasn't changed. In Matthew Chapter 10 He called the apostles together and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and heal all manner of sickness. In Mark 16 He says in My Name they shall cast out devils, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, they shall lay their hands upon the sick and they shall recover. In John 14:12: 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth in Me the things that I do, he shall do also.'
"The Catholic Church is the apostolic Church. If people would understand what the Catholic Church really is, people would not be leaving the Church to look for greener pastures. When people leave the Catholic Church, they go to the Pentecostal or charismatic churches because they're looking for something that they're not receiving at home. They need to study their Bible and their Catechism. If they were to study that and discover what our faith is really about, they would not be looking for greener pastures. And if our Protestant brothers and sisters knew the truth about the Catholic Church, they would no longer be Protestants."
"On the day of Pentecost," he continues, "when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the 120, there was not one person there from the First Assembly of God. There was not one there from Four Square Pentecostal Church of God. The ones who were there were the founders of the Catholic Church."
In the two years that he has been conducting Catholic healing, Dr. Rice has logged 39 testimonies of people who had cancers that were healed, four blind who allegedly received their sight, and three who have come out of wheelchairs.
"I do everything I can now to lead people to the Eucharist for healing," he says. "My main message is being healed through the Mass, because if Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist -- which He is -- and if Jesus is God -- which He is -- and if God can't be separated from His power, which He can't, then that same power that was available 2,000 years ago, that caused the blind to see and the deaf to hear and the lame to walk, that power that cast out devils, cleansed the lepers, and raised the dead, that power that spoke this entire universe into existence, is also present in the Holy Eucharist because Jesus is the Holy Eucharist."
In fact Dr. Rice asserts that on one occasion there was an accident victim who was thought to have been dead for about an hour -- declared so by the police, ambulance paramedics, and upon arrival at the emergency room -- and "woke" after Dr. Rice's visited his body at the hospital, put his hands on the man, and rebuked the "spirit of death."
He says many remain ill because they are wrongfully and unworthily taking the Eucharist. Other reasons include unforgiveness in the heart -- or simply because a healing is not yet in God's plan or timing. "I believe that God can heal anybody of anything," he says. "Believe me, there is nothing that God can't do."
Dr. Rice relates an incredible miracle that allegedly occurred at St. Paul's Church in Damascus, Maryland. "What happened was that the priest asked my wife Anita if she would like to do the readings and me if I would like to serve the Precious Blood," recounts the former pastor. "Well, when it came time to serve, there were about twenty people left in the line, and there was this young boy, maybe 12 or 13 years old, who came up to me. I went to serve him and there was probably an inch or an inch and a half of the Precious Blood still left in the cup, and this kid just chug-a-lugged it.
"I was looking at this empty cup, and I was mad. I said, 'Lord, this isn't right. Some of these people are going to want to receive you and they're not going to be able to. Lord, could you see to it that everyone who wants to receive can?"
What happened next we submit for your own discernment.
"I saw this woman starting to walk towards me and I looked up at her, looked back at the cup, and there was this sip of the Precious Blood at the bottom of the cup!" says Dr. Rice. "I went ahead and served her and saw another woman walking towards me. I looked back at the cup, and there was another sip at the bottom. That happened seven times. Every person who wanted to receive the Precious Blood was able to receive it!"
At the cathedral in Venice, Florida, Dr. Rice says that the pastor dropped a Host without knowing it, as he was administering Communion to one of the servers. It fell out of the ciborium without his noticing it. "So when Anita and I went up to receive Communion, I leaned over to the priest and said, 'Father, you dropped Jesus on the floor.' He got this blank look on his face, just stunned, and I said, 'May I have the privilege of rescuing Our Lord from the floor?' and he said, 'Yes, of course.'
"And so I went up to the sanctuary area, leaned over, and picked Jesus up off the floor, then went back down around the front of the altar and bowed before the altar and consumed the Eucharist. I went back to my seat and sat down and then knelt forward.
"When I did, a flood of the Presence of God hit me like I have never felt in my life. Never have I felt His Presence like that time. I was bouncing off the walls for three hours. It was just awesome." And this former Pentecostal knows why: "When we consume the Holy Eucharist," he says, "we are consuming the God Who spoke this entire universe into existence."
Bring The Church Alive: Ex-Pentecostal Cites Chapter And Verse From Catechism
By Michael H. Brown
Oh, how sweet it is: a man who was a Pentecostal pastor for more than three decades, quoting chapter and verse -- from the Catholic Catechism!
Here he is, on page 330, excited about Confirmation. Did you know that Confirmation is supposed to be the beginning, he asks? Do you realize that it involves laying-on-of-the-hands? Do you appreciate that the confirmed are then to go out an exercise gifts of the Spirit?
This is Dr. Bob Rice, and when we met him the other day -- in the nation's oldest parish -- what he spoke most fervently about was how the Catholic Church, to which he converted five years ago, is a "sleeping giant."
We Catholics, he says, don't realize what an incredible faith we have; we don't realize that we are the original Pentecostals. We forget that we go back to the Upper Room where there was descent of the Holy Spirit.
The result is a venerable institution for sure -- the true Church -- but one that too often struggles under the weight of bureaucracy, of intellectualism, of philosophy.
When we conduct our rituals, we have to pray from the heart; we have to evoke the Spirit!
It's the Sacred Heart -- not the Sacred Intellect.
And such is what Bob Rice -- a tall, burly man, a former truck driver, now a healer (and what a healer!) -- is focused upon. Take his teaching on Confirmation. Does the modern Church really make use of it?
On page 330 of the Catechism it says that when the bishop extends his hands over the group, it signifies "the gift of the Holy Spirit." This is done by the laying on of the hands. Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti. Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
"Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit -- His actions, His gifts, and His biddings -- in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life," says the Catechism, which Rice, now a Eucharistic minister, finds to be an amazing document.
How many do this? How many step from Confession as prophets, as healers, as prayer-warriors against evil?
How many follow that? And if we had, would it have quashed scandal?
In the Bible it says that the signs of Christ's followers would not be that they spewed theology with impressive polysyllabic words but that they cast out devils, that they healed, that they converted others. These days, it's even hard to find an exorcist!
And so it is that Bob Rice -- whose own healings take place during Eucharistic Adoration -- points to the Catechism where the wisdom of the Church describes Confirmation not as an end, but as our initiation into gifts of the Spirit.
From the time of Confirmation, we have new abilities to work wonders (if only we used them).
And those wonders are described throughout the New Testament.
"Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts," says 1 Corinthians 14:1.
"These signs will accompany those who have believed," adds Mark 16:17. "In My Name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Based in New Mexico, Rice travels with wife Anita across the U.S. in a trailer, conducting healing services in Catholic churches and urging that we simply listen to the documents from the Roman Church -- from the Vatican -- which he calls "awesome."
If we follow those, if we truly listen, if we turn rituals into real effects, we will solve many "intractable" problems. We will even bring unity. We will bring the Church alive.
Ask Bob Rice. There are hundreds, thousands, who testify to his healing. Before he became Catholic, he was a pastor for (count them) 33 years. There are at least 47 cases of people healed of serious cancer. There are blind who now see. It is not the product of dry ritual. It is the product of bringing life to rituals that were meant to do exactly that.
Want to see unity in Christianity? Bring the Spirit back. Want to see an end to scandal? Want to see pews fill?
Indeed, time to get back to the early Church. Time to live through the heart instead of the brain.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ," says Colossians 2:8 -- in case there are lingering doubts about the course He set for the Church and in case there are any doubts about where we have to return.
In The Miracle Of Healing, There Is A Link Between The Eucharist And Forgiveness
By Michael H. Brown
Every once in a while I run across a little book that can have a great impact, that seems to have an "anointing" beyond the number of pages. I've written about the Scriptural Rosary. I've written about some of Father Robert DeGrandis' short little books. Real grace flows, grace that can affect us personally, if we diligently accept it.
I think such can be said of a new little book by Bob Rice, at least for me: there is prayer in there that can lift bondage, that can cause actual healing, that may even change the course of our lives.
It's called The Holy Eucharist, and its power is the way it weaves the healing force of Communion -- the Eucharist -- with the power of forgiveness. As Rice points out, many things that trouble us can be traced to the fact that we still harbor "unforgiveness."
That's not even a real word, but you get what I mean: when we haven't yet forgiven somebody something, it holds us in check. It binds us. It may even be responsible for failures in our lives (many hidden problems), and is often the reason for illness.
This has been asserted by many other healers (including Father DeGrandis, a healing priest) and now Dr. Rice -- a former Pentecostal, now a Catholic lay healer -- combines the idea with the Real Presence.
"Lack of forgiveness can and will eat away at you like a cancer," he writes. "It can hinder us from being healed and having our prayers answered. Forgiveness, on the other hand, can open the doors to you and bring you health."
He should know: as first a pastor and now a Catholic evangelist, Rice has logged what he asserts have been hundreds of remarkable cures, from sore backs to cancer. It's a "gift" that came upon him unexpectedly as a young man, and countless numbers have flocked to him since. One of the more remarkable cures allegedly occurred when he went to minister in Indonesia.
There in Ku Pang was a woman with ugly sores all over her body.
"When I prayed for her, the most amazing thing began to happen," writes Rice. "I do not know how to explain what this looked like, other than to say that her skin began to boil. It looked like someone had poured peroxide on her sores. Within about five minutes, we could see no trace of the ugly sores!"
Many are "slain" in the the Spirit even when he is still across the room. It's the power of prayer.
When he heals now, Rice does so in Catholic churches with a cloth representing the garment of Christ flowing from the Blessed Sacrament. People touch it in a callback to the biblical woman who was healed of her issuance of blood, and there are reported healings.
Rice is in awe of the Eucharist. He is a Eucharistic minister, and says that he once saw the multiplication of drops of wine in the chalice he was holding, as well as the Face of Jesus in a Host. "I now believe that when the Catholic priest consecrates the bread and wine, they really do become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ," notes the former Pentecostal. "Since this is true, then, Christ's power to heal the sick is also present in the Holy Eucharist!"
But in many cases, first there must be that forgiveness. Is not the Eucharist something we are to receive only after we ourselves have sought forgiveness?
When we harbor sin or have not yet released others from transgressions against us, there is blockage -- a roadblock to the Holy Spirit.
As Matthew 6:14-15 tells us, "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your transgressions."
And for that reason, Rice has adapted and expanded upon a prayer of forgiveness originally propagated by Father DeGrandis and contained in the little book. It's why I recommend it. Do we absolutely require that specific prayer? Of course not. We can devise our own. The important point is to pray and forgive.
But it is an anointed prayer and it can take you through your entire life, allowing you to forgive every single person who in any way may have offended you. It's remarkable what forgiving that person -- those persons -- can do!
You'll feel healed. You'll feel liberated.
"As you are praying this prayer, ask the Lord to search your heart to show you anyone and everyone that you need to forgive," writes Dr. Rice, a former truck driver. "Pray this prayer every day for at least thirty days. Pray it until you mean every word sincerely, and something really wonderful will happen to you.
"You will feel the peace of God as you have never felt it before. While you are at it, ask the Lord if there is anything of which you need to be forgiven. Then go to your priest and get things reconciled with God!"
[resources: A Former Protestant Pastor Speaks Out on the Holy Eucharist, by Bob Rice; Fr. DeGrandis's books]
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Note: Dr. Rice is available to conduct multi-day retreats, healings with the Eucharist, or for speaking to your group or parish in both English and Spanish. His ministry has received a papal apostolic blessing.
10/21/04 updated 3/21/05
[Dr. Rice's email] email@example.com
Dr. Rice's website: http://www.ihopministries.org
[resources: Video interview with Dr. Bob Rice]
[Bookstore resources: Secrets of the Eucharist and Praying in the Presence of Our Lord]