March 10, 2007

A Night For Backs

A week ago Friday night the leader spoke about understanding some views on healing, and how we can see healing in ourselves, and others. At the end of his presentation he asked all those who were unwell in one form or another to sit in specific places and then all the others present were to go to each person and pray for them, for healing and also for prophetic words. At least 3 people present were having problems with their backs, and none of these 3 have chronic back conditions. Desert Princess’s back was healed (and she reports no more pain to date), a guest received healing for pain in the back, across the shoulders and in her knees (as of today – 4 days later – she reports continued health in all of the areas, being able to climb stairs without support, which previously was not possible), and received healing for lower back pain that had begun 3 days previously. After I was prayed for, we went to a bedroom to “check it out”, as I hadn’t been able to turn over from one side to the other without using my arms for leverage and support. Indeed, the healing was complete!!! I slept pain free Friday night, and there has been no pain since! Truly God is good ALL THE TIME, and all the time GOD IS GOOD!!!

March 07, 2007

Holy Spirit comes on Buddhist woman

I had the chance to follow-up with the Chinese woman that DJ had received a word of knowledge for the night before. The following day, I met with this woman and she had never heard about healing today and was was really afraid. Muslims come all the time trying to convert her to Islam and somehow she had us in the same category.

She asked if God would heal her if she didn't change her religion. I told her that God wanted to show her that He loved her and that she was important to her. She couldn't really grasp that concept. We talked for a while and I explained how Jesus is more concerned about our internal condition that merely the outer appearances. She liked that He was mostly focused upon love - upon us loving others. It seemed to disarm her.

The fact that I didn't want anything from her was shocking. When she realized that all I wanted to do was to give her a gift, she allowed me to pray for her.

We were in her restaurant so I didn't have a lot of time to pray. She had us sitting in a room by ourselves as she was quite self-conscious about what her staff would think.

Again she asked me what she should be doing while I prayed, and I told her to just be still and receive. I laid my hand on her throat and prayed for her healing and that God would bless every aspect of her life. I felt power coming out of my hand so I felt a surge of confidence to ask her what she was feeling (in other words, I KNEW she was feeling something). When I took my hand away and asked her what was happening, she just stared at me and I could see peace and relaxation all over her countenance. She said she felt something "soft" on her throat and her mind was totally clear and peaceful - obviously something that she didn't have before.

Her mother became a Christian a few years ago in China and had been sharing about Jesus with her whenever they talk. I also discovered this condition in her neck had been with her since she was a child. I know that God is going to confirm to her in a second supernatural encounter, like a dream, who Jesus is to her.

March 06, 2007

conversation with a man hungry for reality

In this blog, we seek to portray miraculous encounters between people and God. But the greatest miracle is still when a person gets a revelation of who God really is.

Six days ago I did a very risky thing - I gave away an Arabic New Testament to someone in my care, right in my office. Today he tells me that he and his wife have already finished reading it! (I know he got to the end because he told me about the part where it says that curses will come to the one who adds words to or removes words from this book). He had never laid hands on this book before, and he could barely put it down. He had so many comments and questions for me today, such as:

“If this book describes what it truly means to be a Christian, then there are very few Christians in the world today.” (Ouch!)

“Why are there differences in some stories between how the Quran tells it and how the Bible tells it?” (e.g. events surrounding the birth of Jesus, and how the Quran says that Jesus could speak even as a baby). I said “You yourself have read that the Bible does not allow even one word to be added or removed. We believe the Bible to be authentic. It was written at least 600 years before the Quran.” He said “Then logically the older book would be more trustworthy!”

He asked “What is a Christian service like? What does one wear, how does one have to wash, can one wear perfume, how long does it last, how does one sit?” (“Come to our meeting next Friday and see”, I said.) He said “I will come alone the first time, and if I like it, then I will bring my wife the next time.”

“How can one know which religion is right (Christianity, Judaism, or Islam)? It is as though you are in a room with no windows, and there are three people in there with you, and you ask each one what time it is, and they all give you a different answer. You need to know because you have a plane to catch. You only have a 33% chance of guessing the right one.” (I said that I would pray that God would speak to him directly so that he would know.)

“Why did Jesus come to earth?” (I explained about the ancient system of recurring sacrifices for sin, and how Jesus was the perfect and final sacrifice for sin.)

“Who was this Paul who wrote so much?” (I explained he started out as being one who hated anything to do with Jesus – until he had an encounter with Jesus that changed him!)

He is so impressed with Jesus. He saw the movie 'The Passion of the Christ' when it played in theatres here a few years ago, and recalled how Jesus loved and prayed for his enemies. “Christianity must be the religion of love” he said.

“What if a very bad person asks for forgiveness – will he be forgiven?” (“Yes”, I said.) “But that is not fair. He does not deserve to be forgiven – he should not go to the same paradise as a good man."(I said “Suppose there is a very nice house for sale, for one million riyals. Perhaps you have one hundred riyals, but I only have ten riyals. You are much richer than I – ten times richer – yet neither of us can buy that house without help. So it is with us – we may see one person as being much better than another – but as God sees us, no one is good enough to reach heaven by his own goodness.”) “Oh, I see now” he said.

“When I read the Quran, it is hard for me to understand it unless I ask an expert to explain it to me. But this Bible – the Arabic is so good! – it is easy for me to read it!” (Thank you, Holy Spirit!)

“Some day I may become a Christian.”

Healing opens family to receive more ministry

About two months ago, while walking to Church in a neighboring country, I noticed a Yemeni Muslim man walking with a walking stick/crutch and stopped to pray for him. He allowed me to pray right then and was healed. This opened the door for a couple of missionaries to visit the family and minister more healing to the family as well as to boldly share the Gospel.

I was encouraged to hear that two months later, the problem he had had has never come back. As encouraged as I am when someone is healed, I am even more encouraged when I see them (or hear about them) weeks or months later and they are still healed!

Chinese Buddhist woman shaken by revelation

As we were about to leave a restaurant, I received a very strong/distinct word of knowledge for a neck/throat problem as I was looking towards the woman who is the manager of the restaurant. I approach her and asked her, "what is wrong with your throat right here"?(and pointed to the area on my neck). She gives me one of the most astonished looks I've seen - a mixture of fear and surprise. She asks me if I saw her doing something to her neck. I explained that I saw nothing but that God showed me she had the problem and wanted to heal her. I asked what her faith was and she said she was a Buddhist.

I asked her to come and sit down at our table for a moment so I could explain more. She agreed. As she came, you could tell she was quite nervous. As I spoke about the word of knowledge and how I had gotten it, she said that I must have 'heard' her speaking to someone about her problem. Isaac assured her that we hadn't heard anything from her. (Interesting how unbelievers will look for so many alternative explanations before acknowledging that God has spoken)

At one point, she asked "Do I have to change my religion now"? I explained that all we wanted to do was to pray for her healing (we'll of course introduce her to the healer once she is healed!!). She said that someone had given her a Bible in Chinese.

I had an idea - I said, "why don't I have my wife come back tomorrow and pray for you". She seemed more comfortable with that and agreed.

Keep posted - this neck is going be healed.

The Holy Spirit drops in video shops!

Last night, through some prophetic pictures the Lord led us to several places where there were 'pyramid-shaped' architecture in our city. Also, He had given us several words of knowledge that we were asking people about.

At the first location, as I was walking past an Palestinian Muslim man I got a word about his right knee. He had the problem but would not let us pray for him. Also at that place we were able to pray for a Filipino Christian man and the Lord gave Isaac of Ninevah and myself a couple of prophetic words for him. We also talked with Gulf Arab Muslim man that had both of the problems, an eye problem and an ear problem, that the Lord had shown me. He was very interested in how I "knew". I trust I will have a chance to meet him again. Finally as we left we prayed for a Syrian Muslim man who had a problem with his left leg - which was a word that Isaac had gotten earlier.

After a couple of other stops, we ended up in a small shopping mall with video rental store. As we walked in, I got a word of knowledge for someone with a chest problem related to breathing. A young Filipino girl said it was for her and we prayed. Next the man running the shop said he had some needs and so I laid hands upon him and the Lord showed me a back problem that he had - we prayed for that. Also, I got a word about a stomach problem which he had. Isaac also saw that it was caused by stress/anxiety. We prayed for that. Next I turn to another young Filipino across the shop and say, "The Lord has something for you tonight". As I approach him, the Lord gives me a word about a left elbow/arm problem. He is visibly stunned as he has that problem. We prayed for him and he was healed (after 3 times of prayer with improvement each time). The final guy in the shop (there were 4 total) hadn't gotten a word yet, but now it was his turn. Earlier I had gotten a word about a jaw problem and it came back at that moment - he had one and we prayed for it and he testified that it felt different. Also the Lord showed us another word for a leg problem that he had too - we prayed for that as well. Before leaving we also gave him a couple of prophetic words.

I'll never look at video rental shops the same way again - the Holy Spirit wants to invade even those places where we Christians are often renting videos we shouldn't watch. I can tell you that there was NO VIDEO in that shop last night that was as entertaining as what the Holy Spirit wanted us 'to watch'.

March 05, 2007

It Takes a Kingdom

One of the biggest blocks to the widespread release of power in the church is the lack of a widespread release of power in the church. Before dismissing this statement as a meaningless tautology, wait. Until the people of God realize they are the "you" of the New Testament, the power seen in the New Testament (and beyond) will, in my opinion, be unmatched. Lots of people want to receive healing and even a gift of healing, but how many people actually give it away? It is the laity/clergy dichotomy that has hindered even the free-est of churches throughout time. In these last days it will be imperative for the lowliest of church members to walk in apostolic power. We are training an army and we better get started now.

These thoughts have been wandering around my head for a long time but have been brought to the forefront after a teaching/training session we had last week. In this meeting, I saw 10 year olds getting prophetic words and physical words of knowledge for healing-- with accuracy. I saw adults praying for each other and later heard testimonies of the healings that had occured. Praying for healing isn't mysterious and magical; it's simply asking God to come and heal. According to the Gospels, He doesn't normally do miracles without an invitation, so we provide Him with one: prayer.

If this still seems a little vague, let me describe what we did.
1) Had a teaching session on how understanding divine healing is intimately linked with one's worldview.
2) After some discussion, we then presented a model for healing which goes something like this:
1. Ask the person their problem and then ask them how long they have had their illness/pain. Be in touch with the Spirit about discerning possible demonic influences, unforgiveness, etc.
2. Pray and invite the Holy Spirit to come and heal the person.
3. Interview the person again and see if he/she felt anything and ask them to check out their condition by doing something he/she couldn't do before.
4. If still no healing, continue praying and interviewing and bring in some more people to help.
Throughout this process, be open to a prophetic word for the person; God ministers holistically.
3) We, then, asked the people in the room if anyone had some pain and/or illness. There were several so we divided them into different parts of the room and had everyone else take a shot at using the model on each person. That way everyone who was ill or had pain got prayed for numerous times enough to experience the model and everyone else got to use the model enough to remember it as well.
There you go, nuts and bolts.

Almost everyone in the enitre room witnessed a miracle first-hand.

For the teaching notes from that night's session, check out my webpage at: http://isaacofninevah.blogspot.com

March 04, 2007

Thoughts about the way the Gospel has been spread amongst the followers of false religions

As I left the Himalayas, I was struck by the fact that basically 3 false religions dominate the landscape - Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism. Christianity is almost nowhere to be found in the regions that I was visiting.

When I met people and demonstrated God's power - by a prophetic word, by bringing healing or some other supernatural act, the hunger and desperation I saw was incredible. I didn't bring a Gospel of words alone, but a Gospel of demonstrating God's Kingdom authority - it was then that they wanted to hear what I had to say, it was then that they wanted an explanation for what had just happened.

As I flew out of the region, I was struck once again by the sad fact that the only religion in the world where God's power is being manifest, has all-too-often attempted to penetrate regions like these with no demonstration of God's miraculous power whatsoever. No wonder we haven't seen the breakthroughs! How we ever came to the conclusion that words were enough, I'll never understand. Clearly it isn't an idea we got from the Bible.

Final Day of Himalayan Adventure

In the last hotel I staying at, I was able to pray for the owner for his chest pain, and like most of the others he felt God’s presence. He asked me about his wife who had Parkinson’s disease. I gave him a short message about the Kingdom of God and the fact that there is NO SICKNESS there. I asked him to give me his hands and I then prayed that this Muslim man would carry a gift of healing to release in his wife when he saw her. He wanted to know exactly what he should say. I told him that God doesn’t work via formulas. Formulas are the realm of magic and satan’s kingdom of darkness. God’s Kingdom works on the basis of relationship. I only explained to him he should ‘wait’ until the Holy Spirit comes upon his wife. He will contact me to tell me what happened.

Before leaving, he brought one of his employees who needed healing and I got to pray for him. Since he wasn’t currently feeling pain where the injury was, he wasn’t able to tell me what had happened.

I simply cannot believe how hungry these Muslims were for the healing power of God. After one was healed, they would all bring their friends. There was a desperation – they all wanted me to pray for them ‘at that moment’. Obviously they had not seen God’s power before. Their religious ones had failed them. They hadn’t experienced or seen the Lord’s miraculous power. I wondered who were the Christians who either lived in this remote Himalayan region. Who could demonstrate God’s Kingdom to them? Who could in their own language explain the deep things of God and the message of His Kingdom? I suspected that there had been very few Christians who came to this region with a vision to release God’s Kingdom. May they come because these people were hungry and there was no one to feed them.

A Muslim 'Nicodemus' comes to me in secret

I knew that this one particular man, who had experienced several healings, wanted to get me alone. I also knew something was very special about him because he hugged me as I left the ski lodge after our time together. Later in the day, as we skied to the bottom of the ski resort, he asked my ski guide, another Muslim, to ride on a different ski lift, so that we could ride alone and talk openly. He told me that he perceived I had a close relationship with God, and that he wanted me to pray for him because he said he had always been a “loser” and nothing he did ever succeeded.

He had demonstrated the most refreshing openness I’ve seen in a long time in a Muslim man. He of his own admission had not been a very religious Muslim, but he was a man who said he was “a lover of my God”. This had opened up a powerful discussion about our motivation for obeying God – was it fear or love? Islam seems to use fear of punishment almost exclusively. This man had a deeper revelation, interestingly as he seemed to really agree with me as I explained to a group of about 10-12 Muslim men that God wants us to obey him, not as slaves but as sons who do so out of love, not out of fear.

Nicodemus (as I will call him) was supposed to meet me at my hotel that evening. He was hungry. He wanted to come for the completion of his healing, and to learn more about God’s Kingdom. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding and he didn’t come, but he found me on my final day at the ski resort. He insisted we have lunch together, but he came too late and I missed him again. God however had a way to get us together.

As I was sitting in a car, waiting to leave the village my driver ended up delaying us for an hour to wait for 3 other passengers. I am rather frustrated and just then this man comes up to the car window and we got to spend that time together. I was able to pray again for his ear problem, which is caused by ruptured ear drum. I prayed for a creative miracle. He felt the Lord come again and touch his ear. I told him I wanted him to contact me in the next couple of days to tell me what God had done in his ear. I am eager to hear.

I will be sending him a Bible in his own language as our final meeting allowed me to get his address. I told him that what he needed was to have God’s Holy Spirit come and reside within him. I believe this man will be a ‘man of peace’ who will lead many of his people to Jesus once he himself enters God’s Kingdom.

Deaf ear opens for Muslim man

After about an hour, I came back into the same lodge where all the healing had occurred and the man who was deaf in one ear asked me for prayer. We sat down and began to pray. As I prayed, he felt intense heat in his ear and God began to open his completely deaf left ear. We would test it and then pray again. A small crowd of Muslim men had gathered and watched as he testified to his healing in stages. Each time there was improvement. By the time I left he was hearing from that ear fairly well, although not yet 100%. The presence of God remained in his ear even as I was leaving. I told him to let me know the following day if it was completely normal, and if not, we would pray again.

On my final day, this man came to find me at the ski lodge requesting further prayer. His ear had opened from being totally deaf, but his hearing was still not 100%. I was able to pray yet again for him and again he felt God touching his ear. I don’t know why healings are sometimes progressive, but I’ll leave this one up to the Lord.

Himalayan Healings at 10,000 feet

While skiing high in Himalaya Mountains, I found myself waiting for the weather to clear in the mid station lodge, I began to speak about miracles of healing with about 8 Muslim men. I figured if I couldn’t ski, then I should get about “My Father’s Business”. I told them that instead of them telling me what their problems were, that I would ask God to show me what they were. This is what happened.

My first volunteer sat in front of me and as I held his hand, God gave me several words of knowledge about areas in his body where he needed healing. The first two words were for his left elbow and right ear – both of which needed healing. He was shocked, as were the others – they didn’t know how I could have known these things. God’s Kingdom was breaking in. I prayed for his elbow first and then his ear in which he had hearing loss for over 35 years. The Holy Spirit began to touch him and he felt God’s presence. In his ear, which had about 70% hearing loss, he felt tingling and we saw his hearing improve about 20-30 percent. He is coming back tonight for the complete healing.

There was one particular problem he had that he wanted to see healed. I waited again for God to speak and God showed me that the problem was in his right leg, near the knee. As I prayed for that, the Lord healed him.

Another man watching had a neck problem, and I as I prayed for him, I felt strong electricity in my hand while praying for him and he felt intense heat. I knew that he was going to be healed for sure. He did.

The next one came and I felt the Lord was saying he had a tremendous amount of anxiety and fear. It was true. I didn’t get a word of knowledge for his condition, which was a heart condition, but He had shown me prophetically what the condition was doing to him. As I began to pray for his heart, I got a strong word for his heart and I told him that the Lord was healing it. I then had a strange word of knowledge wherein I knew he also had a breathing problem. He confirmed that he did and I prayed for that as well. I encouraged him to have a doctor confirm that his heart was healed.

Then a man sat in front of me who had several things that needed healing. He had responded to a word of knowledge I gave about a neck problem and I prayed for that and the Lord took away all the pain. While praying, I got a word about some problem in the area of his ribs, which he confirmed was hurting. The Lord healed that. Finally, he had a pain in his throat that I had to pray for about 2 or 3 times, but eventually we saw the breakthrough.

At this point I really needed to go, and yet there were more who wanted healing in their bodies – what a problem to have!! I told them I would come back, especially for a man who was deaf in one ear.

Nearly every man I prayed for experienced something of God’s presence while I prayed – either heat or tingling. None of these men knew anything about Jesus or His healing power. It was an awesome afternoon to have a “show and tell” time with them.

Man who gives massage, gets one from the Holy Ghost

I had one of the hotel guys who gives massages come and work on my legs a bit after a hard day of skiing. He had skied that day and told me he had two physical problems that affected his ability to ski without pain. The first problem was his lower right leg, which was causing him considerable pain at that moment. I laid hands on his leg, prayed and it was 50% better after the first prayer. After praying again, all the pain left his leg.

Next I prayed for his right elbow and shoulder and all the pain left after prayer.

Others come when they hear the healing testimonies - and are healed too!

As I was at breakfast this morning, the word had gotten around about the healings of the other night, and the Muslim hotel manager asked if we could meet tonight for another healing service.

When I got back from dinner, the hotel manager asked if I could help one of the employees who had a lower back problem and also pain in the center of his chest. I laid hands on his back and asked the Holy Spirit to come. He began to feel heat and the Lord took away all the pain. The same thing happened when I prayed for his chest.

After seeing his employee healed of two things, the manager wanted me to pray for his lower back too. All the pain left as I prayed. He also asked me to pray for his heart and the fear he had of having a heart attack.

On my final day in the Himalayas, I was asked 6 or 7 more times for healing prayer. The word had spread about the healings in the hotel and the healings at a ski area restaurant. The presence of the Lord was felt by most of the people who received prayer. Pain left people’s bodies and these different Muslim men discovered that followers of Jesus have been given authority to heal.

4 Healings in the Internet Room

While waiting to send emails in the room where the hotel had internet access, I asked a few Kashmiri Muslim men if they needed healing or a miracle and they all said, “No, we are all fine” (a common response when I ask people that question). After a while, I got a fairly specific word of knowledge in my lower right back – I stood up and asked the room, “OK, who has the pain in this part of their back”. The man whose office it was said he had a pain in that exact spot. I laid hands on him and prayed for the back and it was healed. He was actually quite surprised. I had also gotten a word for the left shin and this was for another man, who also happened to have a back problem in the lower back. The man whose back was healed testified to this man about his healing and I got to pray for this man. I began to pray for his shin. I prayed once and most of the pain left, and then I prayed again and ALL pain left. After that, he asked me if I could pray for his right leg – the knee and the lower leg was full of pain. I began to pray, but during the prayer I got a word again for the lower back, and shifted my prayer to his back. I prayed once and there was significant improvement and then I prayed again and the pain left. I went back to the right knee/lower leg and after prayer, he testified that all the pain was gone. 2 men, 4 healings – not a bad night!!!

Healing in Kashmiri Tea Shop

I asked if the owner needed a miracle in his body and he said he had pain in his stomach (seemed like a problem with an internal organ). He let me pray for him and the pain decreased slightly (he said 10%). I prayed again and we got a 20% improvement (not very encouraging). While I was praying, I got a word of knowledge for his lower back, and he had a problem. I prayed and the pain left completely - praise God. I also got a word of knowledge for an older Kashmiri man (right-hand side of the neck). He told me that he would like prayer so that the problem would go away and yet he didn’t give me a chance.

I of course wasn’t satisfied with 20% improvement, and so I told him that maybe the Lord would give one of us a dream tonight to reveal more of what is the problem. I went back twice to see him, but wasn't able to reconnect before leaving the city.