September 30, 2006

The Word of Knowledge

Paul writes in 1 COR 12:8 about the gift of the 'word of knowledge'. John Wimber defines this gift as "God revealing facts about a situation concerning which the person (ministering) had no previous knowledge"(Power Healing). Through them God will often reveal where a person has pain or where specifically they need healing. Sometimes a word of knowledge seems very general (i.e. when someone gets the word for 'lower back pain' and there are 35 people present) while at other times it can be much more specific. (i.e. lower back pain comes when you are with a one or two individuals). The latter of course is far more risky to give:)

This past week I have had several times where God gave me some specific words of knowledge which really encouraged me. On one occasion I was sitting with 3 Omani Muslim men when the Lord gave me a word that one of them had pain in the left knee. When I inquired, one did have that problem, and I told him that God wanted to heal him. Until now he hasn't given me the chance to pray, but they were a bit shocked at the way this Christian was able to 'know' that.

Secondly, I was with an Iraqi Muslim man on another occasion. He has a significant degree of deafness in both of his ears, which I was offering to pray for. He was very interested to receive healing prayer, especially after sharing some testimonies of God healing deafness that we had seen. While we were leaving, a very distinct word of knowledge came about a "right knee". I just asked him directly, "By the way, what's wrong with your right knee"? He said, "Oh, you are very attentive". I told him that I noticed nothing in the way he walked that would indicate a knee problem. I explained it was a word of knowledge and that the Lord was going to heal his right knee FIRST when I came to pray for his ears. For both of us, the result of the word of knowledge was a release of faith. Something I definitely want more of as I go to pray for his deafness to be healed!!

Finally, in one of the church meetings we had, the Lord gave me two very specific words of knowledge back to back for two women. The first woman had responded to two general words of knowledge that I had given earlier in the meeting and the Lord had healed her of both problems. While I was praying for her for the release of gifts, I got a word a knowledge that she had a problem in her left knee - when I asked her she was a bit surprised. It was related to her having diabetes. It was hurting at that very moment. We prayed and the Lord took away all the pain. First there were the two general words (given to the church), which resulted in her being healed, and then the specific word for her alone which also resulted in a healing. Another woman was watching while we prayed.

She came over and had pain all throughout the left side of her body. She was quite young and it was unusual. I began to pray for her, when all of sudden a word of knowledge came about the 'middle of back on the left side'. I stopped praying for her left side and asked her about the back pain. She verified that she had back pain in that very spot. We prayed - and all the pain left almost immediately. After that, with a new release of faith and expectation, I prayed again for the pain that was all throughout the left part of her body and the Lord completely took it all away. She testified that she was completely healed.

So, there you have my experiences this week with the word of knowledge. They don't always come a specifically as they did in case as the last two women, wherein I was with one person and the word came that related to them personally. I wish they did always come that way. Of course, as good "fruit inspectors" we want to see the Kingdom come (and in these cases that meant physical healing). In each of these cases, there was good fruit produced - for the Muslims, they became far more interested in 'my message' when they saw the Lord speak through the words, and in the case of the Christian women, they faith grew and they received the healing touch of the Lord.

NORMAL KINGDOM LIVING - HEALINGS, etc.

In the past 10 days, we’ve had the privilege of ministering in 4 different church services, wherein our “…preaching (was) not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 COR 2:4). The testimonies of healings and prophetic words are simply too many to try and write about them all. I will share a few and hopefully the others who were involved will add their too.

In each of the services, I would give would I came to refer to as a “Kingdom now guarantee”. As our team would began to minister, I would say that if we didn’t do the works of Jesus or if we didn’t come with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power (which of course we left up to the Lord as to what He wanted to do), then they didn’t have to believe anything that we were saying. In each and every service, God faithfully poured out His Spirit and gave us prophetic words for the people, words of knowledge, and healed many different people from a variety of problems.

Additionally, we would pray for the impartation and/or release of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Lord came upon people in a powerful way and on several occasions when He was releasing a prophetic gift, the person being prayed for had a vision right at the same time.

Personally, for me I have been asking the Lord to increase my accuracy as I give words of knowledge. Generally, I will get a word for a certain physical condition that a person has (or people have). I have asked the Lord to give me more details and on several occasions, the Lord did in fact give me further details, i.e. the gender and what had caused the condition. One experience was particularly encouraging which began by the Lord giving me a word of knowledge for a jaw problem. I then asked the Lord for more and He gave me the impression it was for a female. Then I got the name “May”. To my shock and amazement, when the offering was about to be taken, the woman who would take it was introduced as “May”. This was one of the only times I have been given a name that was actually ‘on target’!!! When I was giving some of the words of knowledge, I turned to this woman and explained that the Lord had given me her name. I then asked about a ‘jaw problem’. She said that it was for her newborn grandson (who was present). Even as we prayed for the child, I could sense the Holy Spirit was ministering to him. We will of course see what the doctor says about the jaw after he is examined. The Lord also gave me a prophetic word for May that was a confirmation of another prophetic word she had received while in Asia.

I don’t know exactly how many miracles we saw all in all – we tried to get people to raise their hands who knew that they had been completely healed and my estimation overall was that it was close to 50 people. Many others received spiritual gifts, accurate prophetic words and powerful touches by the Spirit of God. This is our definition of ‘normal Kingdom living’ – I don’t want to go back to what used to be ‘normal’ ever again!

September 24, 2006

These Signs Follow Those Who Believe!

I remember hearing some teacher or preacher noting that the last part of the book of Mark, "isn't in the oldest manuscripts." Even my Bible notes that verses 9-20 are "bracketed in the NU-text as not original. They are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them." Nevertheless, the same passage contains Mark's version of the Great Commission and is frequently cross-referenced with the other Synoptics. However, verses 17 and 18 don't get a lot of press unless they are being used as ammunition against snake handling communities (and even coming from the sticks of the US I still haven't seen a snake handling community). And, of course, as ammunition, they are referred to as "not in the original text" and therefore, not really in the Bible even though they are in the Bible. I, however, think there is something more afoot than textual criticism. There is a remarkable amount of opposition to using the supernatural works of the Apostles and Jesus as standards for ministry. This is both disheartening and sad because the Body (and the world) benefits so much from the Holy Spirit's presence.
This past weekend, we did a marathon of renewal meetings with different bodies of believers. In each of these meetings, the Lord showed up simply because we asked Him to come. Prior to these meetings, we met together to pray and ask the Lord what He wanted to do. During that time of prayer, I, for one, received many words and pictures for the weekend. I am going to make a list of words I got on Wednesday night that met with faith in one of the three meetings. Before I do, however, I want to add a disclaimer here that this is just my testimony and part of the pilgrimage I'm on. I'm not boasting, just rejoicing that I could be part of the Kingdom in these concrete ways:
heartpain: meeting one
right wrist pain: meeting one
right base of the neck pain: meeting one
left lower jaw pain: meeting two (with this one, the man later testified that the Lord healed him two minutes before I gave the word)
gallstones: meeting two (actually got the word, finally in meeting three, but was told the person was prayed for in meeting two)
Those are all of the physical words I received, I also got two names:
Peter: which turned out to be one of the leader's middle names. He received much prayer concerning apostolic preaching.
Donna: no Donna's in any of the meetings, but met one today at work.
I also felt the Lord wanted to pour out a Davidic anointing on the worship team. As I was praying for them, I encouraged them to write down the melodies they hear in the their dreams. One guy responded with, "I already do!" Awesome.
I had also seen a black and white shirt on Wednesday night as I was praying and then again in the middle of the night on Thursday. So, I made sure to pray for each person with a black and white shirt on: one in meeting one and one in meeting three. Oddly enough, in meeting three, the man wearing the black and white shirt was highlighted by another prophetic person even before I talked to him.
Moreover, I gave two accurate prophetic words. One concerned children and another happened as I was praying for a lady and she started laughing really hard. She later testified that everything she had been wanting in the way of spiritual gifts I had just prayed for.
Finally, I had the opportunity to share the Word. Now I haven't done that a lot, but I'm starting to gain a sense of when the Holy Spirit is present and speaking through me and when it is just me blowing hot air. As one can imagine, it was a short message.
In conclusion, I certainly don't write all of these testimonies as way of making myself look really holy. It's as simple as asking the Lord to come and taking some risks. Just a few years ago, I didn't think the Lord did such things anymore and I was in the camp of believing that Mark 16:9-20 wasn't really in the Bible although it is. So, I want to encourage anyone out there reading this that "all things are possible to them that believe." Let us press in together.