December 29, 2011

quick drive-by healing in Dubai

as I was walking back to our hotel, I noticed a couple of muslim men walking towards me (from Pakistan), and one of them had a wrist brace on.  I stopped them and asked what happened.  I asked him if he would like to see the pain disappear.  He was intrigued by the question.  At first I said I would lightly put my hand on his wrist and ask God to heal him.  He was hesitant thinking I might somehow grab it and hurt it.  So I backtracked a bit and told him that he could put his own hand on his wrist and I wouldn't touch him.  (Don't know what I was thinking - I normally don't ask to put my hand on someone in public anymore).  He did, I prayed a quick prayer breaking off the shock and trauma from the injury and releasing God's Kingdom in Jesus' Name.

The moment of truth came.  I asked him to check it out.  He started to move his fingers.  He looks at his friend saying nothing (always a good thing).  Next he takes off the wrist brace still looking at his friend.  The realization hits - he hand is pain-free and healed.  So fun to see the reaction!

It was a quick interaction and they were ready to go.  I'll bet their conversation turned to Jesus and His healing touch.  A Kingdom "drive-by".

Hint:  you can ALWAYS stop someone to ask them what is wrong if you see them in a brace, with a crutch, a bandage, etc.  it is never not a great way to break into a conversation.

Gulf Arab woman "surprised" by revelation

while walking through an area of restaurants in Dubai, while we passed a table with 2 Emirati muslim women, I got a word of knowledge for a neck problem on the left side.  I told my wife about it and she approached the woman as I walked on.

when I do this I am always thrilled when Desert Princess gets "delayed".  if my wife rejoins me quickly, that usually means nothing happens (the word is wrong, they aren't interested, ect.).  sure enough she is delayed and doesn't rejoin us for about 5 minutes.

the woman had the condition and was again most surprised that God would "reveal" something so specific.  she was healed after Desert Princess prayed but kept asking "How did your husband know?"
In that brief interaction, my wife was able to share with these muslim women about the Kingdom and the power that Jesus has given His followers to know things and to heal the sick in His Name.

They didn't ask for my wife's number so she just left it as a seed sowing opportunity.  One thing these two muslim women discovered was that followers of another faith had power and revelation that their faith lacked.

December 09, 2011

healing right before our very eyes

my wife and I have been working with a group of teenagers at Church for a couple of months.  much of what we have emphasized has been fundamental stuff - Lordship, Love and the Kingdom of God.  we've been teaching them what the Kingdom looks like - when there are sick, it looks like healing.  when there are the demonized, it looks like them getting set free.  it looks like God speaking prophetically.  it looks like those who are rejected, being loved.

we've done some praying for the sick and also we've shared a number of testimonies throughout the weeks of people being healed.  today was a golden opportunity to "swing the bat" as one of our youth limped in and could barely walk.  a bad collision in his basketball game had left his knee swollen, painful and unable to be bent.

one of the youth join me and we began to pray.  after the first prayer, he said it felt "cold" (not the thing that happens when people are laying hands on you in a warm room).  after the second prayer, the same sensation.  I had him get up and begin to walk to test it out.  It was still painful.  He was walking with a significant limp and still was in pain, but as he walked, it looked like it was getting better.  Back to prayer once last time.  We prayed again and spoke "peace" to those inflamed areas.   Then before a group of teens (some who haven't seen this kind of dramatic healing), he got up and began to walk normally.  He turned around in total disbelieve.  He knew that God has touched him.  That was enough though.  He knew that what he had to do was to try to go up and down stairs, something he couldn't do at all before.  He leaves the room and then returns with a huge smile on his face.  No pain, no problems on the stairs!

it was a glorious morning.  as teachers to these youth, we realized that more was "learned" in what happened than we could have ever taught them.  

December 07, 2011

it's as simple as....

this morning I'm thinking of how GLORIOUS it is that God has made our assignment so incredibly simple.  the Jews had counted up 613 commandments from the OT.  How absolutely confusing!  (of course, Paul tells us later what the purpose of all those laws was, "tutors to lead us to Christ").  Jesus comes along and boils 613 down to 2 - nice Kingdom math!  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength AND Love your neighbor as yourself".  Paul thinks about it and decides some years later - "still too complicated"!  He boils it down to 1 single commandment in Galatians 5 - LOVE OTHERS.  That's it.  Just go and LOVE and as we love others with the Love of God, we are in fact LOVING GOD with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  I used to hate math, but I love this Kingdom math.  1 simple equation - Go and Love and in doing that we are fulfilling EVERYTHING God requires.

November 27, 2011

waging war on personal unbelief

this is definitely a theme of this blog, but there is no doubt that "unbelief" is my biggest, single problem as I seek to live this Kingdom life of the miraculous.

even as many of us will wage war on other things in our lives in this season, be that war on consumerism as Christmas approaches, or the war on our waistlines and fitness levels as we are confronted with our massive amounts of our favorite foods along with weather that makes us prefer our couches, let us recommit ourselves to warring against our unbelief - our unbelief that circumstances won't change, that sicknesses aren't going to be overcome or even that our unbelieving family members will ever open their eyes to see the truth of who Jesus really is.

this is the season TO BELIEVE - to dare to think that God will invade our lives and relationships even as He invaded the Palestinian countryside so long ago.

surprising encounters for a hindu man

a few months ago my wife led a hindu woman to the Lord.  over the past few weeks her husband has attended several "Encounter God" meetings.  The first one he was more of an "observer", but in the last two meetings God has met him in remarkable ways.  this past week he was taken into a visionary experience where he saw Jesus.  He knew after it that he has a "choice" to make.  The other option in the dream was a demonic presence.  He is now actively seeking.  We are watching in amazement as God does things that we have personally never encountered (i.e. the quality/type of visions).  

I feel so "cheated" that I had no idea that God would pour out His Spirit on unbelievers in such remarkable (and truly Biblical!) ways.  Seeing them come to faith is so much easier when God Himself is pointing them to Himself and confirming the Word they are hearing.

fundamentalist muslim healed, asks for phone number

while out with my son, I walked by a muslim man and got a strong word of knowledge for the left elbow.  it was one of those words that was unmistakable!  I walked 10 feet past the man and stopped telling my son to hold on a minute.

i approached the man who was clearly a fundamentalist muslim (long beard, short mustache, bruised forehead).  i asked him if he had a problem with his left elbow which he did.  I proceeded to tell him that God showed us he had this condition and wanted to heal him.  I held his elbow and prayed a quick prayer for healing in Jesus' Name and the release of God's Kingdom.

he began to test it out and it was pain-free.  he seemed a bit taken back and wanted to get my phone number.  I haven't heard back yet, but I am sure I'll hear from Muhammad soon.

November 18, 2011

Egyptian muslim woman healed and prophesied over

Isaac of Ninevah and I were visiting a muslim couple the other night.  the man had been touched by the Lord last year on the streets when we prayed for him and he stayed in touch.  as soon as his wife entered the room, a word of knowledge came for a problem in her left foot.  she had broken it and it hadn't been properly treated.  we prayed and all the pain left.  she checked it thoroughly.

Isaac started to prophesy over the couple and saw some significant things - broken relationships with family and WHEN they occurred (accurate).  another relative's NAME and that she was depressed (accurate).

all in all we were able to share so much of God's heart - when He is healing and revealing, the sharing part is sooooooooo easy!

another appointment will soon be set up for our wives to go and minister more deeply to this woman.

the Kingdom is coming!

November 14, 2011

a weekend of healings and encounters

this past weekend we had a series of renewal meetings with a team from N. America - during the 6 meetings we saw many people healed (young and old), we had many who had powerful encounters with God and even saw a number set free from demonic bondage.

I love it when we can't even count/remember all the people who were touched/healed - so many were being used (our large ministry team and others) to released the Kingdom.

unbelievers were also present and saw God's power and glory for the first time.  

waiter's shoulder healed

a group of us were having dinner.  I asked one of our servers how his health was, if he had any pain.  he said his shoulder had been injured and wasn't right.  I didn't lay hands on him; I didn't touch him at all.  I had him lay his hand on his shoulder and then quickly released the Kingdom in Jesus' Name.  he started to test it out and said it felt better.  as we were leaving, I went to find him and he testified that it was fine - no more pain.

moral of this story - ASK people how their health is and then PRAY for them.  something will happen.

November 11, 2011

when God reveals a name

it doesn't happen very often, but over the past 10 years the Lord has given me the names of 6-8 people.  He then had a significant word or healing for the person involved.

last night while we were waiting on the Lord some prophetic words for a youth meeting, God highlighted a young lady and began to give me some things for her.  after some time as I asked the Lord for more information, the name "Diana" came to me.  I dismissed it because early in the evening a group of us had been ministering to a woman named Diana in another nation over Skype - so I didn't think it meant anything for her.

to my surprise when I sat down next to her and asked her her name, she said, "Diana".  I explained to her that the Lord had given me her name and began to give her a prophetic word.  she began to cry.  probably not because of the word, but because the Lord had called her out by name.  It is an amazing thing when He does that.

More Lord!

November 09, 2011

miracles in South Asia

on our recent trip to Sri Lanka, we saw a number of miraculous healings and had some opportunities (or at least my wife did) to deliver some from demonic bondage.

I don't remember to be honest all the people we prayed for because in the course of about 4 days we prayed for probably 50 different people from Buddhist, Christian and even Muslim backgrounds.  Mostly Buddhists though.

I just wanted to highlight a few of the healings we saw.

I approached a man in a cast and prayed for him one afternoon and all the pain left.  a bit of the pain returned (stiffness too) and he called me the following day to meet again.  we prayed again and all the pain in hand and wrist (which were broken) left again.  he was quite taken back.  a Buddhist man and his wife.

another man had pain in his side and leg - we prayed and he could walk normally again without pain.

while on a trip to the south, I prayed for a young Buddhist man whose arms had been affected by an accident he had while a teenager.  I prayed and all of his arm began to tingle and wouldn't stop.  we didn't see the healing completed while there, but I told him that the Lord had begun a work and would complete it.  He will get back to me via email to report on what happened.  following that, I got a word of knowledge for a back problem of another Buddhist guy standing there.  we prayed for him.  it wasn't hurting at the time, but I assured him that "the Lord reveals things to heal things".  finally another man with a stomach problem asked us to pray.  he too felt the presence of God.

after teaching about the miraculous to a group of Christian workers, I asked if anybody wanted to go out and "see some miracles".  A group of 3 decided to join me.  we walked out onto the streets and met a group of soldiers/guards.  one of them had pain in his heels.  we prayed and he was healed.  another Buddhist man had a shoulder problem.  I had another Buddhist man (who we prayed for and who wasn't healed) to join me as my "ministry team".  I figured if he wasn't healed, he would at least get to be a part of another man's miracles.  And so he was!  the shoulder was completely healed.  another one of our team prayed for a man's stomach that was healed.  and finally we met a man who had been a Catholic as a young man but was somewhat syncretistic now (believing in Buddha too) and the Lord healed his shoulder and neck problem.  we also prophesied over him and encouraged him strongly to return to Jesus and worship Him alone!  he was listening as it was Jesus who had just healed him!  that was all in about 1/2 hour of just walking 200 yards outside our hotel.

while at the airport when leaving, I found myself standing at the "Buddhist Information" shop (basically the shop that has all the books to propagate Buddhism and convert non-Buddhists).  what a place for a word of knowledge!  I got a distinct word for a problem that started in the back and came clear through to the stomach.  the woman had that condition.  I asked my wife to come over and she began to pray for the woman who was healed!  we got a great photo of her ministering with the "sign" in the background!  that led to a series of others - we prayed for 3 women and another man who all received healing - all Buddhists!  one man was a real seeker but just needed someone to really walk him through things and introduce him to Jesus.  he was healed of an 8 year chronic lower back problem.  another woman was healed of a headache.  that was just a fun time.

we got to pray for a number of others - a woman who was bleeding was healed, another woman who had some demonic bondages was set free as the demons were cast out (or off?) of her.

I should also say that there were many we prayed for who were not healed which is always heartbreaking.   I don't want to give the impression that we don't also have encounters where we don't get the result we are praying for.

October 29, 2011

death to self, so that....some thoughts

the message of death to self has been central to historic Christianity.  all Christian traditions have emphasized this teaching.  Jesus dropped the first bomb on self, "If anyone would come after me, he must DENY HIMSELF, pick up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23) and later "I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20) being perhaps the most concise verse expressing this teaching by the Apostle Paul.

I think that for the most part this teaching has fallen on hard times - being neglected, seldom taught and only rarely modeled. our culture promotes self at every level - and much of the Church is following the culture.  let's face it a strong emphasis on laying down our lives, denying ourselves, forgetting about our own "rights" and getting our focus off of our all important "feelings" isn't going to fill seats in the churches.  "self" is catered to all over the Body of Christ - to our detriment.

I've gone through seasons in my Christian life where I have gone after this message (or have tried to) and it seems that I haven't gotten very far.  Far from "it is no longer I who live..." self continues to be the biggest problem I see in my life.  I continue to live a "self-centered" life most of the time.

I didn't realize earlier that there was "purpose" in dying to self.  that wasn't emphasized in my tradition.  the "it is Christ who lives in me (lives through me)" wasn't really an expectation.  I didn't know what that would even look like.

i'm in that season again - death to self if something that I am going after again.  It truly is the door to everything else I long for in my Christian life.  self must get out of the way; it must be crucified, so that Christ can be manifested through my life.

October 22, 2011

morning "spill" session - part 2

after leaving the donut shop we walked past a couple of Muslim guys and a Filipino woman and overheard them say to her, "you need to take medication for your back".  we stopped and inquired.  Isaac of Ninevah prayed for her - both her back and her stomach were hurting.  God began to touch her - we prayed again for her and then Isaac gave her his wife's number to follow up.  I don't know if she was completely healed because she needed to check it out over a period of day.

then while praying for her, I got a word of knowledge for one of the Arab muslim guys' left shoulder.  he was from Lebanon.  he let me pray for him.  it wasn't hurting at the time, but only when he worked out.  he said he would test it out later that day.  I told him it wouldn't be a problem anymore because what "God reveals, God heals".

finally we followed a Sudanese muslim guy into a shop as I thought I had a word of knowledge for a problem in his bicep.  he didn't BUT he had a shoulder problem.  I asked if I could pray for him and he agreed.  I prayed and asked him if he did a push-up would it have hurt before.  He said it would have so he then was willing to get down and do a push-up for us in the shop.  NO PAIN.

so in the course of about an hour, we approached many and ended up getting to pray for 4 people openly - 3 muslims and a Filipino woman.  all of this in a muslim country.  love to see the Kingdom come!

October 21, 2011

morning "spill" session - part 1

yesterday Isaac of Ninevah and I decided to head out and see what the Holy Spirit would do.  We probably were out about an hour just wandering in and out of different shops.  while in a donut shop, I got a word about a left hand/wrist issue.  neither of the employees working there had that problem and thought it strange I was asking.  when leaving, a Gulf Arab muslim man walks in with a wrist brace on his left wrist!  I returned to the counter and while he was ordering asked the woman if she remembered what I had just asked her about smiling and pointed to the new customer's wrist.  I asked him about the wrist and explained that God had shown us that somebody had a problem with their wrist.  He let me pray for him and took off the brace to test it out.  I don't know how much improvement he got but at the end he said, "In our culture when somebody has blessed us we honor them by kissing them" and proceeded to kiss me on the forehead.  I gave him my number and said goodbye.  I've never received a kiss before for praying for the sick!

October 19, 2011

drive-by healing late last night

after spending time talking with a Coptic friend about some of the things God has been doing amongst muslims in and through his Church, Isaac of Ninevah and I were heading back to the car.  we'd had a great time "talking" about what God was doing, but we hadn't been "doing" anything.  As I walked past a group of Filipinos who had just gotten off of work, I "tuned in" and asked the Lord to highlight something He wanted to do.  A word of knowledge came for a back problem in a the center, upper back.  I stopped and turn to the group of 5 or 6 and asked who had this problem.  The man in the middle replies, "I do, are you a pastor"?  At least Filipinos recognize the Kingdom's presence!  I sat down next to him, we prayed quickly and he was healed.  He was a believer and we were all encouraged.

Interestingly, before this yet again we heard about a muslim friend of this Coptic man coming to faith after Jesus visited him.  There was a process involved where he studied the Bible for some months, but in the end, the key factor that brought him to forsake Islam was a personal, supernatural encounter with the Risen Christ.  He also shared a number of exorcism stories where muslims were delivered from their demons in Jesus' Name.

October 15, 2011

plug for Roger Olson's new book, Against Calvinism

Watch out John Piper, Mark Driscoll and your Reformed friends, your “thorn in the flesh” just got a whole lot sharper! Roger Olson has done it again! After reading Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities, I didn’t think his work could get any better, but then Olson releases Against Calvinism.  After the first book, I was convinced that Roger Olson was in fact a Godsend to a Protestant Evangelical world that is crawling with militant Calvinists who have convinced others that doctrines like "grace" and "sovereignty" and even the term Evangelical itself somehow belong to them.  This first-rate theologian took aim at such notions showing that historic Arminianism is equally as grace-focused and God-centered as Calvinism.

Whereas Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities exposes how completely dishonest Calvinist writers have been in characterizing Arminianism, which amounts to bearing false witness and requires their repentance, Against Calvinism truly seems to strike a death-blow to High Calvinism.  I have come to appreciate, that in this theological battle, Roger Olson fights fair which as I’ve already stated can't be said of many of his Calvinist opponents. He seeks to represent their position accurately in a way that they would acknowledge is a fair representation. However, he tries to help them see some of the logical conclusions their belief system leads to, which tragically many of them do not seem to grasp. A quote from Olson's blog sums up the most important reason for this book being written: "[Calvinists] talk endlessly about God's glory and about God-centeredness while sucking the goodness out of God and thus divesting him of real glory. Their theology may be God-centered but the God at its center is unworthy of being at the center. Better a man-centered theology than one that revolves around a being hardly distinguishable from the devil...this would make Him unworthy of worship."

Olson demonstrates that he thoroughly understands Calvinism from Calvinist sources and opens up the closet to reveal the darkness inside as it concerns the nature of God.  I don’t see how anyone could study this topic with any depth and objectivity and still remain a Calvinist.  Olson in my assessment when you put these two books together dismantles their objectionable doctrines entirely.

The time has come for the novel doctrines of St. Augustine, which were only to be found amongst the Gnostics before him (something most Calvinists didn’t know), to be exposed. Calvin and his theological descendants have taken these doctrines and have effectively misrepresented God to countless millions of Christians since the time of the Protestant Reformation. Calvinism was NOT the Apostolic and therefore NOT the Biblical understanding of "election", "predestination", and "free-will" and Olson’s contribution here helps set that record strait. Against Calvinism articulates better than any other why I am personally “against Calvinism" and my prayer is that many who've been infected with Augustinianism/Calvinism will somehow be "healed" by reading it.  Olson directs the Calvinist reader to other less reprehensible Protestant options; I pray many will follow his counsel.  I also know it will help many of the “as yet unpersuaded” to resist the ridiculous claims of this new breed of  Calvinists in modern Evangelicalism, and to know that they can affirm the best of the Reformation’s doctrines without having to embrace the diabolical implications of the sub-Biblical ones.

October 11, 2011

pinching ourselves

my wife, Desert Princess, met again with a former Hindu woman who came to Christ after being healed.  the types of encounters this woman is having are on par with anything you've read in the Scriptures or heard about.

just yesterday morning while in our living room, during a time of prayer and waiting on the Lord she went into a vision/trance? (sometimes we just don't know) and was taken to heaven.  she went on to describe things that she has never read about before like the "sea of glass" mentioned in Revelation.  The first time we saw this was several years ago with a Moroccan Muslim man who would go into these types of visionary experiences and then I'd open up a Bible passage and he'd say, "yes, that exactly what I saw".

this woman also has had multiple visitations by either Jesus Himself or an angel (she wasn't sure) before she came to Christ.  she only realized this when she in frustration asked the Lord why He hadn't come to her earlier and led her out of the idolatry of Hinduism's false gods.  He then "reminded" her of the visitations and experiences.  God is so good.

these are truly special days in which we are living.  God is pouring out a level of grace that may be unprecedented from any other time in history.

October 06, 2011

neo-calvinist vs. emergent - two ditches?

listened to an interesting podcast this morning entitled "The Christian Humanist" which was three guys talking about the phenomena of the neo-calvinist and the emergent church movements in North America.

I don't personally "have a dog in this fight" although I have many friends who would be fit into one of these two camps (some even unknowingly), although I am probably more critical of the neo-calvinists because they hold a vision of God that was not only NOT shared by pre-Augustine Christianity, but was actually held by the Gnostics!  I have never met a Reformed person who is familiar enough with pre-Nicene Christianity to realize how ridiculous some of their claims to upholding "historic, Biblical" Christianity!

as for the emergents, these guys were able to articulate some of my concerns/observations in ways that were helpful.  Forever asking questions, and discussing possible answers, but never seemingly able to come up with any definitive answers.

what I found interesting is that these men who have had their feet in both of these camps at different times and in different ways would seemingly view them as ditches on either side of the road (which one of those ditches they believe to be deeper is up to you to decide).

why put a blog post up on this subject on a blog committed to the pursuit and documentation of the miraculous?  for one thing, and I've already hit on this above, the neo-calvinists are saying something about the nature and goodness of God that radically affects the expectations (aka faith) of Christians for the miraculous.  on the one hand, if God somehow is "allowing" cancer (aka sending it as part of His plan), then I will never rise up and be able to fight it.  "Who can oppose the will of the Almighty?" (as Augustine/Calvin and their descendants would ask).  In other words, what we believe about this issue of God's goodness and what He does/doesn't directly control in the world is a massive concern for those who want to move in supernatural, Kingdom ministry.

on the other side of the street, the emergents are so skeptical about everything - it is "cool" to doubt in their ranks.  let's question the doctrine of hell, or the exclusivity of Christ, the Virgin Birth or sexual orientation, or....(fill in the blank).  I know literally hundreds of Christians who whether they know it or not fall into the same philosophical camp and disbelieve much of what I write on this blog, or at least question the vast majority of it.  "How do you know they were 'really' blind"?  The glazed look comes over their eyes when talk of miracles is brought up.  I think Bill Johnson's famous description of "unbelieving believers" is maybe the best way to describe them.

I too am a product of many of the same influences, both theologically and philosophically that these two camps have arisen from.  they did not "emerge" (to take one of their terms of 'self-identity') out of nowhere.  whatever that "road" is that is in the middle, that avoids the pitfalls of the ditches on either side of the highway, may we find it and walk on it faithfully "until He comes".

October 02, 2011

i had a dream

last night I had a dream in which the Lord clearly was encouraging me to be more explicit in my invitations to people I meet to surrender their lives to the Lord AT THAT TIME.  I guess He will be bringing people to me who are more prepared and ready to make that commitment.  I'm excited to see what this week will bring.  I also guess that since it is the "old men [who] will dream dreams" (Joel 2/Acts 2) that I am getting to be more in that category now than in "young men will see visions" one.

we have been seeing that as soon as people are ready to be free from the demonic forces that are tormenting them (and believe me, many are being tormented even in the West regardless of the whether the Christians who are ministering to them believe that is the case!) they are ready to invite the Lord to come into and take control of their lives.

it is a new day - I really believe the Lord's dream to me last night was a reminder to cast the net and bring it in at that very time and see what's He will bring.

Christ told us that the harvest was ready - that was 2000 years ago.  I assume that we will continue to do more sowing and casting the net broadly, encouraging people along in the process of coming to Christ, but I need to, we need to assume that more of the people we are encountering are ready now to cross over and leave the Kingdom of darkness for good.

September 30, 2011

in WHATEVER city you enter, heal THE SICK who are there (Luke 10)

could God's Word be CLEARER and yet God's people in general be more UNCLEAR than the commission to heal the sick as Christians (meaning "Little Christs/Anointed Ones).

Jesus sends the UNNAMED 70 in Luke chapter 10 with the commission to bring the Kingdom:

Where? in WHATEVER city you enter.

To do what?  To heal THE SICK who are there.  How many of the sick?  THE SICK.  In what cities, WHATEVER cities.  And what if the people don't have faith?  Jesus didn't mention that as being a barrier - so nor should we.  Our faith/expectation might be a barrier, but we aren't ever to put that on the people we are praying for.

Is this being preached/emphasized in your Church?  Is this the way your pastor is admonishing you to live every day.

I'm not trying to be negative - it's not entirely his/her fault.  He didn't go to a Church that taught or expected that Jesus meant what He said on this occasion for us today.  It hasn't been his personal experience either.

So we come up with elaborate theological excuses.  Here are a few you might have heard:

  • "That was THEN; it's not for us today.  We "aren't the 70".  
  • "Miracles were needed before there was a Bible"
  • "It might not be the Father's timing for healing"
  • "It isn't always God's will to heal"
  • "God is trying to teach us things through sickness which is why people aren't healed"
  • "What about Job?"
  • "There's the now and the not yet"
  • "God's sovereign and in control"
  • "We'll all be healed perfectly in heaven"
  • "God's ways are not our ways"
  • "I guess God just wanted that child to come home early"

(Note: some of these are truths that are used in a perverted way so that they become "excuses" for why something like healing doesn't happen)

Funny, that you can't find Jesus ONCE using these excuses to explain away why someone doesn't get healed during His ministry.  He didn't EVER pull out one of these excuses that pastors, Bible teachers and theologians recirculate today again and again.  I might not have put the version of the excuses you've heard in exactly the same words, but I'll guarantee that they are essentially a version of one of these!

Let's just own up to the fact that we've allowed our experience to trump the teaching of God's Word.  We've found verses that "appear" to support our experience and we find comfort remaining in our conditions of profound unbelief.

Maybe we need to dust off our Bibles once again, re-read some familiar stories and dare to believe them to be true.  Dare to believe that Jesus might have been right and a pastor/teacher/theologian today is wrong.  I know I am speaking direct, but the fact is we need to be awoken from our slumber.   We need to have the cold water of God's Word thrown on us afresh each day and respond, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief".

September 27, 2011

a couple of muslims healed

yesterday we did some "spilling" here in the Middle East.  prayed for an African muslim man who had tooth pain.  He said all the pain left and wanted to get together with us again.  in the evening, I got a word of knowledge walking by an optician shop.  I walk in and there is a Filipino optometrist, an Iranian shi'ite woman and an Egyptian (presumably muslim) working there.  I ask who had the pain in the wrist and hand.  It was the Iranian woman.  So my ministry team became the Catholic Filipino woman.  She took the wrist of the woman, and I prayed for healing in Arabic.  She starts feeling tingling in the wrist.  By the time we were done (we prayed twice), she said she was healed.  I told her my wife was an exorcist and healing that if she needed any further ministry, she could contact her.  then the Egyptian guy asks to talk to me privately.  We step outside and he ends up being a Coptic Orthodox Christian.  He asked me if I was a "missionary"!  This whole event is beginning to sound like I could set it up as a joke - an American Charismatic Protestant, walks into a shop with a Filipino Catholic, an Egyptian Orthodox and an Iranian shi'ite muslim....

September 17, 2011

a day full of Kingdom stuff

starting this morning at Church where the Lord highlighted a number of things prophetically and then we got to pray for people who responded to the words.  while leaving Church, the Lord gives me a word of knowledge (right shoulder) for a man walking in front of me.  when I asked him about it, he said his wife had encouraged him to go for prayer during the service, but he declined.  God got him on the way out - and his shoulder was healed!

tonight's meeting in my home got even better.  the Lord healed several different conditions (a right ankle, a right knee), and spoke prophetically to all the first time visitors.  their testimonies were quite similar - basically they said, "everything that was prophesied was accurate" and also that the very things that they were thinking about or that was on their hearts was revealed.

the accuracy of some of the words could only have been the Lord - while looking at a person, the Lord highlighted several times a condition they had, an issue they were struggling with and even in one case that it was a "spirit of affliction" that was causing one of the physical problems.  then when the unclean spirit tried to come back and afflict the person again (a former Hindu who came to the Lord only one week ago) the Lord highlighted the condition again and dealt with it once and for all!  it was just such a night of God's Kingdom presence.  

September 13, 2011

former Hindu woman having amazing God encounters

an Indian woman from a high caste Hindu background came to Christ last spring after we prayed for her to be healed. immediately she began to have "encounters" - dreams, visions, OPEN visions, audible voice, etc. we'll it hasn't stopped and this past Friday there was a new one. she hasn't been to our "Encountering God" meetings that we hold on Fridays but this last week her husband agreed and she was all set to come. the enemy countered and her husband went to sleep at 4:30pm and couldn't be woken up. like a spirit of slumber came on him. she was so discouraged and went into her bedroom to read the Scriptures and pray. she was taken into a vision and was somehow "at our meeting". I was totally dumbfounded as my wife and I listened to her describe our meeting exactly! she knew where people were sitting, she was confused when she saw certain people laughing. Actually the laughter broke out in a strong way this past week and she doubted the vision/experience because somehow she thought we were "only praying". one of the women she knew actually was laid out in the middle of the room laughing like no one else. she saw that and described it all. we are truly in awe of what God is doing. now our friend gets to add "translocation" to her list of crazy, Biblical experiences.

September 09, 2011

just a few "thoughts" from Luke 10

Jesus sends out the "nameless and faceless" Seventy in Luke 10 and there is just so much relevant "glory" on this passage for us to consider today and to live by.  As I've argued in other places, the excuse that some theologians and Bible commentators have given that the commandments given to the Apostles don't apply to ordinary believers (then or today) has been handled by Luke in this passage.

I don't want to be too critical, but the reality is that Matthew 28 actually destroys the "those commandments were only for the Apostles" argument because Jesus Himself commands the 12 Apostles to teach others (which includes us today) to obey ALL of what he commanded them!  Not SOME of what He commanded, but ALL - which would include chapter 10:8 - "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons and raise the dead".

However, the Luke 10 passage comes in as a strong counter-punch.  Surely the Holy Spirit anticipated that believers in subsequent ages and generations would fall into the kind of unbelief we see today when it comes to the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit and knew that Bible teachers/commentators would come up with incredible theories (i.e. the miraculous gifts "ceased" with the death of the Apostles) to explain away their own lack of power and so we get this beautiful passage to wage war yet again on our unbelief.

He sends them and tells them, "whatever city you enter...heal in it those who are sick".  Somebody might want further clarification.  "Lord what city or cities are you talking about?".  His reply, "WHATEVER city".  And more importantly, the believer might inquire, "So Lord, exactly who are we supposed to pray for?  Those who you give us a word of knowledge for?".  Jesus continues, "No, not at all.  I'll give you words of knowledge to be sure, but actually I just want you to heal THOSE WHO ARE SICK".

Wow - whatever city and those who are sick!  Could Jesus have been any clearer?  Could the Church through the ages have missed somebody's intention any more than we have?  For years, I had absolutely no idea that this passage even existed.  Sure, I'd read it dozens of times.  I loved the Bible - in fact, I could have been accurately described as what Jack Deere would call a "Biblidolator" - someone who had elevated the Bible and the study of it to an idolatrous level.  We don't worship a book, we worship God who's revealed Himself through His Word.

Let us purpose in our hearts to actually go back to the teachings of Jesus - including Luke 10 and do whatever it takes to "obey" His commandment to "heal those who are sick" whenever we "enter whatever city".  Seems simple doesn't it?  Probably our one problem is UNBELIEF.  He'll help us with that too - "Lord I believe, help my unbelief" (what has become arguably my favorite and most relevant daily prayer from the entire Bible).

hearing stories from the summer

as a group of us scattered all over the world during the summer and are regathering back into the Middle East, I am beginning to hear stories/testimonies that are blowing my mind.  it seems that this outrageous Kingdom just can't be contained.

stories out of London where God's glory would manifest with gold on people through one of our Lebanese sisters EVERY TIME she prayed for someone.  I often don't understand why God does what He does and the gold dust phenomenon often seems to offend Christians (who seem to have God all figured out/what He will do and will not do) but if the Lord sovereignly chooses to cover people supernaturally in gold dust when a believer prays for people in Jesus' Name is free to do so as far as I am concerned.  if this offends someone you know, ask if you can pray for them and see what the Father will do!!

stories out of South Africa were equally as remarkable - healings, people coming back to Christ repenting as they listened to the testimonies of one of our S. African sisters.  At times, people were being hit by the power of the Holy Spirit and it would last for hours!  weeping, laughing and receiving prophetic revelation.  this sister also would get some of the most accurate words of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8) for people and saw a number healed.  I would say she carries something that is producing Godly hunger in others and then ultimately repentance.

this is just a "taste" of what I heard from just a couple of pilgrims in our community.  can't wait to gather and see what else God has been doing.

"armed and dangerous" - offering the Kingdom wherever we go

last night Desert Princess and I were out to dinner and as has become our habit she asked our server if she had pain in her arm (she had gotten a word of knowledge).  sure enough there was an arm issue and my wife asked if she could ask Jesus to heal her.  she agreed.  what happened next was yet again OUT OF CONTROL.  just a quick prayer and this Indian woman declares "I go to see Jesus now!".  she had some kind of powerful encounter right then and there.  the language barrier was an issue but clearly this woman couldn't put into words what the Lord had just done for her.

Desert Princess encouraged her to go to Church.

I just trust this short testimony will help you realize that you are "armed and dangerous" and can offer and release the Kingdom of God wherever you are!

September 05, 2011

God HATES cancer

sometimes we need to be reminded of some simple truths.  One of those truths is that "cancer" is not (has never been nor ever will be) a part of God's Kingdom.  It is NEVER His "plan".  He isn't "allowing it" for some purpose.

cancer is a demonic destroyer - and Jesus came to confront it, to heal it and to one day totally destroy it.  it tortures people whom God loves and creates fear in the hearts of God's people.

Perfect Love (another great Name for God) CASTS out fear!

may Christ's Church rise up in its Kingdom authority to see this despicable plague confronted and healed. Jesus NEVER faced a cancer patient He couldn't and didn't heal.  May we BE LIKE HIM.

August 29, 2011

the "new "normal"

how long could someone have walked around with Jesus and NOT seen a miracle? a day? less? more? I guess in times/seasons when He would commune alone with the Father away from people the healings wouldn't be happening.

the question today is: how long can someone hang around US (YOU and ME) and not see a miracle? tragically, many if not most Christians don't really seem to expect that we can look like and live like Jesus today. we might say we "believe" we are supposed to, but in reality, what does our life look like? are signs and wonders FOLLOWING us as the Scripture declares should ("those who believe"). maybe we don't REALLY believe the Book we consider to be the inerrant Word of God. I know that I struggle daily to really believe what I say I believe, what Christians say they believe.

The EVIDENCE of real belief are the miracles characterizing our lives. As one man asked us this summer, "Is the evidence of faith speaking to the mountain or is it the mountain moving"? of course it is the latter.

let the life of Jesus manifesting through you today be the "new normal"

August 23, 2011

healings in a mall

a group of about 15 of us decided to just love people in Jesus' Name for about 2 hours yesterday afternoon. I had some teenagers who had "never seen" God use them to perform a miracle - that all changed!

we saw a girl's sprained ankle healed, a lower back healed, a woman's foot healed a several other healings. Many others got prayer for other needs. Jesus' Name was lifted up as everything was done in His precious Name!

The coolest thing for me was to hear one of the junior high girls who said she wanted to see "one miracle" that she was involved in. Guess what? she saw 4 of them!

healings in the youth group

yesterday we saw a number of physical healings - a head, a couple of backs, vertigo/balance, legs and arms that weren't the same length come into Kingdom alignment and some other things too. We had so much fun that about 15 of the youth decided to join me for a "power spilling" afternoon at the mall. youth hungry to see God move miraculously. what happened is for the next post.

August 21, 2011

miracles in the mountains - part 4

at the end of our evening, we were walking by some more shops and one really caught the attention of one of our group. she felt led to really pray for this rather "dark" shop with lots of occult stuff inside (it was closed). she sensed some demonic presence. as we prayed for the shop, we asked God to release His light into the darkness. as we closed, our friend discerned that an angel had come. why do I share this? wait till you hear what happens next.

we turn the corner and there are two women and man loading up a car. I got a word of knowledge for a right wrist condition. I approached them and asked and one of the woman had the problem. i asked if her friend could put her hand on her as I prayed, but she wouldn't let anybody touch her! she was adamant. I asked if she would lay hands on herself - she agreed. we prayed and something began to happen in her wrist. then she left with her husband but the other woman remained.

who was this woman? she was the OWNER of the shop we had prayed in front of just 10 minutes earlier! I immediately got a word for her and said, "I just get the words, 'country music'" - she then tells us that she is from Texas. my friend began to prophesy over her about her creativity and artwork - it was all true. we also got a word of knowledge about her neck - which was hurting her and she let us pray. this woman was very, very open but obviously was open to lots of stuff that wasn't from Christ and His Kingdom. In many ways, she may have been one of the most open and receptive new age people I had ever met. we spoke to her for probably 1/2 hour about many different things. she really like angels (as many new agers do) and we told her about our time in front of her shop! we told her many things about the Kingdom of God. one of our group spoke clearly with her about Christ's death and the cross. I spoke with her about deliverance from "dark spirits" and the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. She really was having a major encounter with God throughout all of this. we got to pray for her at length and God really touched her.

clearly she needs now to go through some serious deliverance and invite Christ ALONE to come and live within her. However, our time with her was a powerful foretaste of what she is going to experience in Christ. We prophesied her destiny - she loved that God wanted to give her a gift of healing! she was so sincere and so hungry. and sadly, we don't think she'd ever met Christians in her life who ministered to her supernaturally. she was "convinced" as soon as we approached her and her friend with the initial word of knowledge. she knew we carried something that she needed and was open to receive all we had to offer her. our friends are going to be following up with her in the next few days. we are thrilled with what God is going to do next!

I just trust that this short testimony will provoke anybody reading this to re-consider any of their friends and relatives who are involved in new age spirituality - approach them with love, with revelation and with healing - see what happens when you do.

all in all that final encounter was just an amazing end to such a glorious day in the Kingdom.

miracles in the mountains - part 3

at night we headed out again to see what the Lord would do as we reached out with His Kingdom. we went to an arcade to drop our kids off before we launched out thinking we we going to visit some bars to pray for people. while at the arcade the Lord gives me a word for a young woman who happens to have been in the youth group my friends had led. it was for a problem in the head and I felt that there was dizziness involved. she had this problem and actually a number of other health issues that we got to pray for. It was just a powerful divine appointment to minister Christ to this young woman and reconnect her with our friends.

a few of us then headed out and as we approached a bar, I got a word of knowledge for a problem in the lower right arm (below the elbow). there was a man and woman standing outside the bar and I approached them and asked. the man actually had the condition. he asked me "are you a healer?". I told him I was. He then say asked, "and you sense things?". I told him I did. Knowing he was most likely a new age guy, I told him that I had been involved in "Divine Healing" for a long time. He then said he had lots of pain but didn't want prayer. Kind of strange. We moved on.

after approaching a couple of more people and even ministering a Christian man out witnessing and handing out tracts, we headed into a fast food restaurant. I thought I had a word of knowledge and my friend approached this young couple and asked them. The first word wasn't right, but while talking to them the Lord gave me another word for the woman's knee. She had a problem. We shared a couple of testimonies of knees being healed and she let us pray. I had her put her own hand on her leg while we prayed. She actually was really touched as she held back tears. She had been involved in Church and we knew that she was away from the Lord. God sent us into that restaurant to remind her of his love and concern for her personally (a specific word o knowledge from total strangers!).

We also met with the manager and asked him to check with all of his employees to see if anyone needed prayer. Nobody took us up on our offer.

miracles in the mountains - part 2

in the second leg of our outreach, we decided to go to a marina where there was wake boarding - why not mix miracle and fun sports activities?? as we were signing our kids up, I asked if anybody had an pain and that we would "take it away for free". The man who signed us up had back pain. He let me pray for him in Jesus' Name and after praying two times his pain was gone!

another guy working there also had back pain and let me pray for him too - he too was healed!

my friend was also able to really share Christ with a third guy who worked there and explained what we were doing as we prayed for the sick and saw Jesus heal them.

miracles in the mountains - part 1

yesterday we headed up to join some of our friends to "spill" up in a mountain city. we headed out in two groups to simply love the people we would meet and see what God would do.

as we started out I was drawn into a tattoo shop (light just loves to shine into darkness!). I started talking with the owner(?) about Celtic crosses and told him how Egyptian Christians would often tattoo the cross on their children's wrists so that the muslims couldn't take their children and claim their were theirs! I thought I got of knowledge (for neck/shoulder) for the man but he took a phone call and I couldn't ask him.

I asked another guy who was actually a former employee of our friends who were with us and he didn't have a neck problem but did have a back of the knee problem. I told him I was a pastor and we talked a little about the Kingdom and I said, "watch this". I asked him to put his own hand on the back of his knee and prayed a quick prayer in Jesus' Name. I asked him to take his hand away and his first words were "wow"! That's always good. He was healed. Very exciting that our friends will get to follow up with this man.

Next we walked into another store where I got another word of knowledge for neck and upper back for the owner of the shop. He had chronic neck and pain and actually had to retire from his career because of this. He let me pray for him and the Holy Spirit came - I could feel something happening in his back. We don't always feel that as the people praying, but it is so fun when we do! Anyway, after prayer he began to test it out and could do stuff that he couldn't do before without pain. He let me pray one more time as there was still some pain/stiffness. After praying again he said things were really good. He was still feeling tingling in his back and I told him that when that subsided the healing would be complete. Again our friends can follow up with this man in their small town!

August 14, 2011

a crystal-clear clarification - IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS!

last night I was horrified to discover that a friend of mine had shown this blog to some of her Christian friends and they dismissed it and were very critical of what we are writing because somehow they thought I wasn't talking enough about Jesus!!!

Now, first of all I want to publicly be as clear as I can be - none of the miracles that we have seen and documented here have happened EXCEPT by Jesus, through Jesus and for Jesus. I pray ALWAYS in the Name of Jesus. I talk with those who are healed about Jesus. I clearly identify myself as a Follower of Jesus Christ.

Secondly, I will be more clear in all future blog posts as to what I have mentioned verbally to the people we minister to about Jesus. Sometimes I throw up a quick testimony and give a "summary" of what happened. I guess I "assumed" that the people reading would know that I have clearly pointed to Jesus EACH AND EVERY TIME we release the Kingdom of God.

It is true that I am content often to minister healing to someone in Jesus' Name and not AT THAT TIME share anything more about the Gospel with that person. I have had many discussions with people (and email dialogues) about this very issue. First of all, I find it massively hypocritical for people to criticize this who aren't praying for unbelievers to be healed and who don't share the whole Gospel with each and every person they interact with!

I believe that for the most part this is just a critical spirit and also a spirit of unbelief (mostly by non-Charismatic Christians) who are just trying to find a reason to disregard or find fault with those of us who are seeking to OBEY JESUS. I would ask you to get out your Bibles and read Matthew 10 or Luke 10 - you are COMMANDED to heal the sick wherever you go and declare that God's Kingdom is "at hand".

I absolutely LOVE to share as much about Jesus as people will allow me to share - and sometimes it is the time to share a lot, and other times it is the time to love them in Jesus' Name and allow a Sovereign God to use the seed we have sown and then bring someone else into their lives to water it at a later time. I have to say that many who are the most critical of our approach to ministry (which we believe to be the Biblical & Apostolic one) are the ones who champion the doctrine of God's Sovereignty the most (often to the exclusion of other doctrines). What I find the most ironic is that they often are the ones who seem to trust in His Sovereignty the least - i.e. "well, I know they were healed in Jesus' Name, but did you get a chance to preach the Gospel to them in its entirety?". Do they believe God is in control or not? Aren't these the ones who emphasize that God's purposes and plans will always prevail and be fulfilled perfectly?

Because I live and work in one of the most unreached regions on the planet, I am keenly aware in each and every encounter with people how likely it is that they have heard the Gospel before or have access to it. I ALWAYS give people in the Middle East a way to find their way back to me (at least) for follow up on the ministry that we are doing. However, (and this would be the case with many of the most recent blog posts while we have been in N. America) when I am in the West, I know that many of the people I minister to (because THEY TELL ME) have Christians friends, are somehow connected to a Church or minimally have access to Christian radio, television and the internet all the time. In these cases, I am far more confident that Americans not only have access to the Gospel, but in many cases have heard it preached to them many times. What they often have never seen/experienced however is God's Power being manifested through some type of miraculous occurrence - in other words, they have never seen what people who encountered Christ when He was walking the planet saw all the time - miracles!

What we are discovering (as Jesus emphasized as well as Paul) is that when the message of Christ is coupled with a "demonstration of the Spirit's power", then people have truly HEARD the Gospel and then respond. As my mentor, Jack Deere so strongly states it, "if miracles were needed in the physical presence of the Son of God, how much more are they needed in His physical absence".

So in conclusion, now that you know that we are always emphasizing Christ and giving Him the glory for what happens, please re-read as many of these blog posts as is needed to break off the chronic unbelief that plagues so much of the Body of Christ today. Unbelief is a sin and needs to be repented of. "Lord I believe, help my unbelief" - a Biblical prayer that God will answer!

August 10, 2011

dental miracle in restaurant

I gave a wrong word of knowledge to our waiter last night in the restaurant (I asked about his foot). I then "broadened" it a bit and asked if he had any pain in his body (Rev. 21:4 says there is "no pain" in God's Kingdom - so we are to establish "pain-free zones" in people's bodies!). He had a tooth that was killing him. He said it especially hurt when he ate/drank cold things.

So I had him put his hand on his mouth where the pain was. We quickly released the Kingdom and commanded the pain to leave. Then we gave him a task - to go eat/drink something cold and come back to tell us what happened. After about 10 minutes, he comes back looking really puzzled (which we knew was GOOD). I asked what happened. He said he drank something cold and there wasn't a problem, but he didn't believe it could be possible so he had to then go and eat something cold to really test it out. No more pain! He was seriously touched - it was awesome to just tell him about the Power of the Holy Spirit and the nature of God's Kingdom.

iranian muslim man healed

I heard a group of Iranians speaking Persian and introduced myself as "a healer". I asked if anybody needed healing. 2 of the women did so I ran to get my wife - she came and prayed for them. One of them felt about 50% better. Then the oldest man, named "Mahdi", asked for me to "do healing" on his neck and back. I started with his lower back. I prayed in Arabic (which he understood) - his back was healed after praying once. Then I prayed for his neck - it was healed immediately. He walked away thanking me in his broken English. I love Iranian muslims - they have to be the most open muslims we've ever encountered.

August 03, 2011

sprained wrist healed

so I pull up to check out a waterfall (in Big Sur) and there's a group in their 20's and one guy is holding is arm. i asked him what happened and he said he'd just fallen on the trail - like a sprained wrist. I ask him to let me see it, grabbed his wrist and prayed a quick prayer (didn't tell him what I was going to do). After releasing the Kingdom, I ask him to check it out. He starts by saying "it feels better" and as he checks it out more, "it's a LOT better". I asked if there was any more pain and he tells me "no".

July 30, 2011

carpel tunnel healed OVER THE PHONE

so I'm ordering a case for my new computer, and I ask the customer service rep if she had carpal tunnel. she did in the right wrist - and there's pain.. I released heaven's power over the phone and she's COMPLETELY HEALED declaring over and over, "that's so cool"!!!

July 27, 2011

broken toe healed

i walked into a shop this morning and saw the manager in a cast. I asked her what happened and she told me that she had broken a toe. She said that it was hurting. I shared the testimony of the woman whose knee was healed the day before. She let me pray and the Lord completely took away all the pain! she was shocked. she got up and started walking around - NO PAIN!!!

Gotta love healing the sick!

July 25, 2011

a week of miracles

this has been a difficult season in the sense of not being able to keep track and record all the miracles of healing that the Lord is doing. we are honestly forgetting what has happened! good problem though.

this past week we had the privilege of hanging with some of the leading power evangelists in the nation in Colorado. it was CRAZY! we saw so many healings that we lost count.

some of the miracles we saw included legs growing out (up to 1 inch), backs & necks & knees & an elbow healed. I was arthritis pain and stiffness leave. God touched a woman's TMJ, prophetic words came in clearly (including another name!). I'm just summarizing here.

However, what struck me the most was just the LOVE - miracles flowing out of love. The entire message of the conference was just die to yourself and let love manifest to everyone around you - in this way miracles happen, but they flow from the place that God intends for them to flow from - LOVE.

torn meniscus healed

this morning while working out on a stairs, a mother and her teenage daughter show up and the daughter is wearing a knee brace. I knew that I wanted to ask them to pray for her healing and as I was asking the Lord to set that up, I get a word of knowledge of exactly where the injury is, and in what knee it was (I had noticed the brace but didn't remember which leg it was on). When I asked the Lord for even more detail I felt it was the "meniscus" that was actually damaged.

sure enough it was the knee and the place/condition that the Lord had revealed. I asked if the mother would put her hand on the knee while I prayed. I spent less than a minute releasing the Kingdom - after prayer, I asked what she was feeling. She said it "feels like liquid is moving around inside". I then took the big risk and asked if she'd be willing to remove the brace (something she'd been relying on / having "faith" in) and test it out going up the stairs. She agreed. I also shared a couple of testimonies of knees that we've seen healed too! (the power of the testimony).

A few minutes later, she is climbing the entire set of stairs (239 steps!) WITHOUT her brace. I asked her as I passed her on my way down if she was feeling better - she said that she would really know on her way down. As I passed her again, the answer came, "No more pain"! Glory to God - huge healing. So encouraged.

July 18, 2011

a number of recent healings

we've been seeing God move in a number of different places. in a recent outreach, we saw the Lord touch a number of people - including 5 miracles that included healings. God revealed things - including the name of a person. several conditions were revealed by word of knowledge as well.

in a house meeting this past week, the Lord revealed many different conditions by word of knowledge and we saw most of those things healed that the Lord had revealed. For one woman, the Lord not only revealed and then healed her shoulder problem, but also gave us her birth name in another language. one woman had chronic pain in her foot that we saw healed after the Lord revealed a root that was hindering the miracle. It was a powerful night where others also received new gifts of the Holy Spirit by impartation (Rom. 1:11).

a couple of nights later we had a miracle and healing service with probably 75 people - it was powerful to see all the things the Lord healed - jaws, backs, eyes and we even saw an arm and a leg that was clearly shorter grow out. it was particularly special to see the way people reacted when they were either healed or saw a healing. don't know how many were healed in total, but I keep hearing testimonies of what God did that night.

Desert Princess decided the next day to have another healing service in the place where she gets her pedicures. God healed 4 different conditions - backs, necks and a thumb.

even this morning in a youth meeting we saw the Lord healed two girls' backs.

it has really been a good week - lots of supernatural, Kingdom stuff - in other words, NORMAL CHRISTIANITY.

June 22, 2011

healing service

in a healing service, it seemed that God was all about touching knees. I had called out a word of knowledge and one guy testified to being healed during my message. then we prayed for a young girl who had been injured snowboarding. The Lord healed her knees almost instantly. she was amazed. we then prayed for another woman who had knee problems and she was healed. it was powerful what the Lord was doing. we did go after some other knee conditions that we didn't seem to get much breakthrough. I'm not sure why. we had so much faith after seeing 3 sets of knees completely and dramatically healed.

that night the Lord continued to heal many different conditions - back pain, shoulder pain, stomach pain and other conditions. It was encouraging how the Lord would so faithfully reveal a person's pain/condition without us asking. they would walk up and then we we would wait on the Lord and he would reveal by word of knowledge what they needed. I LOVE IT when the Lord speaks like that. It makes praying for the sick so much easier!!

more of God's miraculous kingdom

tonight was another night to see God's Kingdom break into our midst in miraculous ways. as Isaac of Ninevah and I are ministering together with the Dallas Maverick, we saw saw God speaking prophetically, healing the sick and releasing tangible encounters of the Father's love into the lives of men and women.

I have no idea how many were healed, but the Lord revealed many conditions by word of knowledge and proceeded to do what only He can do. an update with more details will be forthcoming when I can compare notes with the others.

recent "Treasure Hunt"

on a recent trip a group of us went on a "treasure hunt". we gathered some "prophetic clues" and launched out to see what God would do. one of our first clues was for a man with a shaved-head and tatoos. we had nothing else. we immediately came upon a man with a shaved head but could see no tatoos. we approached him and told him why we had approached him. immediately he lifts his arms to reveal two arms full of tatoos on the inside. we asked if he needed prayer for anything. he wanted to be free of his addiction to chewing tobacco. we prayed for that and moved on.

next we approached a young guy who was sitting alone and showed him our "treasure map" (the clues). he found one that said injured right shoulder and upper arm. he was discouraged because it wasn't the left shoulder and upper arm. he had injured himself and was in pretty bad pain (we could see the bruise) we told him that we'd pray anyway. we prayed once and most of his pain left. we prayed again and he said "I can't find the pain any more".

after that we approached a group of skaters. they always have pain of some sort. they did. one guy let us pray for his elbow. as I prayed nothing really happened, but when one of the teens (on his first treasure hunt) prayed, he could feel something significant happening. it really encouraged our team member. the boy we prayed for still had pain when we left, but we knew that God had done something significant.

finally we meet a couple from overseas (he was Dutch and she was Australian). while talking to them, the Lord gave me a word of knowledge about a problem in one of their feet. we asked and they were silent. they acted like there was no problem. a few minutes later the wife pulled one of the women on our team aside and confided that she in fact did have foot pain in the exact location I had described. she prayed and then we prayed again. she could sense something had changed because the constant "tingling" sensation that she had left. it was just a great opportunity to encourage this Roman Catholic couple (who incidently had just walked out of a Pentecost Catholic service) with the work and power of the Holy Spirit. numbers and emails were exchanged.

June 02, 2011

angels STILL visit people today

i think most of us are so "used to" the Biblical accounts of angels visiting people that we really have no idea how radical it was for some category of glowing, angelic being to appear to people bringing a message from heaven. no wonder they seem to always say, "Do NOT be afraid"! Let's face it, we would ALL be afraid. I say that knowing that many people in Charismatic circles these days talk about "visiting heaven" like they went to rent a movie. If Paul couldn't talk about his experience of visiting the 3rd Heaven FOR YEARS, then I would question many of the so-called experiences that people "claim" to be having. I know that people might be having prophetic experiences but let's do ourselves a favor in the direction of restoring credibility and stop cheapening the currency. The bottom line is that in the Scriptures when people visited heaven or heaven visited them (i.e. an angel) it changed EVERYTHING. I met a man last night who had an encounter like that. I believe it was genuine. Do you want to know why? I bet you do.

First of all the man WAS a muslim. I say WAS because he immediately became a committed follower of Jesus after the encounter he had with the angel. He's been threatened by more radical muslims who he has told about this experience. He is sticking to his story, his experience and most radically, he's sticking to being a follower of Jesus! This alone would convince me of the validity of the experience. He is suffering already for this encounter and is willing to joyfully.

So what exactly was the experience? About 1 year ago, while he was awake in the night a brilliant creature entered his bedroom in the middle of the night. He's told many people about the experience (mostly muslims who think he is crazy). Every time somebody tried to relate to the angel's brilliance of light, he would say it was like "no light that is found on earth". I told him that God dwells in "unapproachable light" and that the angel came down clothed in the light that surrounds God to shelter His even more brilliant glory. He said, "finally someone who understands what I saw and experienced"! Actually, I don't understand (experientially) but I know what the God's Word teaches.

I find it extremely interesting that the ONLY people who believed him were Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians (the only Christians he knew). Muslims don't believe that angels can or do visit people any more (that ended in their view with their prophet who was the last person according to their theology to ever receive direct revelation from heaven/God).

The second reason I believe him is the nature of the encounter FITS what I know of angelic visitations (both in Scripture and throughout Church History). Angels come with "a message". This one came to declare something that no muslim would EVER expect God to say to them or about them (at least before Judgement Day). This angel came to tell him, in his own language (Farsi) that he was "pure and acceptable to God". Why would that be significant? Because he had been questioning islam for a few years (he was no longer 'buying it' - the violence, the fear-based admonitions, the character/nature of God in their concept, and the lack of freedom muslims had to follow another path if they so desired. In other words, it really bothered him that islam killed people (or are supposed to) who leave that religion. In case you don't believe me, Google "the law of apostasy in islam".

Angels in the Scriptures would come to do exactly what this one did for my new friend - to assure him of God's favor and leading in his life, to confirm the Word that he was beginning to believe and to confirm that the Christian message was in fact the truth of God for muslims and all mankind. As he sat there telling me that Jesus is truly the Son of God (something muslims vehemently disbelieve), I knew that this couldn't have been anything other than what he claimed it to be.

this man had been listening to Christian satellite television being broadcast in his own language and essentially the angel appeared to "confirm" what he had begun to believe. Could it really be that by following Jesus, his sins would be declared forgiven and he would be deemed acceptable in God's sight? that is not something islam offers its followers. in short, there is no assurance of salvation in islam. to declare that one "knows" they have been accepted by God and are assured of heaven is blasphemy in islam.

The third reason I believe him is that he couldn't talk about anything else. For him, his life essentially began on that night 10 months ago. Just so he knew he wasn't crazy, the angel actually appeared to him a second time. not with a message, but just to let him know that the experience was genuine. As we sat in a public place, with many muslims walking by us (and some seemingly listening in to his recounting the story), I knew that this man was unafraid to talk about this encounter with anyone and everyone who would listen.

Actually, I told him while we talked that his experience is actually one of the primary ways that muslims leave islam and become followers of Jesus - either angelic visitations like his, or Jesus Himself appearing to them and inviting them to follow Him.

Truly this man was "touched by an angel"!

May 30, 2011

an afternoon of miracles and an evening of encounter (part 2)

just when we thought a day couldn't get any better, we joined a group of others for our weekly encounter God meeting. after seeing God heal so many people at the healing service (we tried to "add up" the miracles and counted like 30 people healed), we were expectant that our time of seeking God would be something special.

there were also some visitors with us that night. many began to have experience the Lord in powerful ways. prophetic words were coming for people, including the visitors that were especially impacted by the words the Lord gave.

one of the people in attendance who recently gave her life to the Lord out of Islam, had a very special encounter with the Lord. she was totally overwhelmed with God's love and His peace. this is exactly what former muslims need - not words and concepts, but ENCOUNTERS with God's love.

an afternoon of miracles and an evening of encounter (part 1)

this past weekend we saw the Lord move in miraculous ways. first of all a team of us were invited to minister in a healing service. there were a number of different nationalities present and the Lord began reveal different conditions, even for specific people. first the Lord highlighted one of the Africans in the worship band and gave a word of knowledge for the back of the head and neck. she had that problem. she was healed. there were a number of other words that the Lord gave us - right shoulder, right wrist, left calf and stomach pain in the lower left abdomen. Each of these conditions were healed. one man had a chronic condition for 20 years that the Lord healed after he responded to a word of knowledge.

Also, people came forward for others conditions that were unrelated and many of them were healed as well. by the end of the meeting, many were touched as God took pain out of people's bodies.

probably the most encouraging thing was that it was a "team effort". we would get a different person involved in praying for healing each time. not only from our team but also with people in the meeting. we had one healing where a four year-old boy prayed for a seven year-old girl and she was healed.

then came our evening of encounter...

loving people with God's power in manifestation

this past week we saw more healings than I've seen in a while. it began with a "treasure hunt" where I took out a young couple and we got to see God touch a number of different nationalities - Iranians, Arabs, Filipinos, Indians and I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple of others. it was just so good to be "out" doing what we were created for.

we saw a number of accurate words of knowledge for people who then let us pray for their conditions. one Indian man was healed on the spot and told his Iranian co-worker that all the pain had left his foot. a Gulf Arab muslim woman was surprised when the Lord revealed her shoulder pain - she also let us pray for her. a couple of filipino women were healed in a small restaurant.

it was just a great night living life the way Kingdom people live. loving people with God's power in manifestation.

May 15, 2011

a word of knowledge and prophecy bearing fruit

In February, while in a coffee shop, I casually delivered what felt like a rather “average” word of knowledge and prophetic encouragement to a Filipina employee. She reacted with wonder and happiness, as many people do.

In early May I returned to the coffee shop, and the employee told me she'd kept wondering when I would come back! We sat down and talked for a while, and she completely unburdened her heart on a number of topics, saying I was the only person she could talk to about this. (A pretty shocking statement, seeing as this was now the second time she'd ever seen me!) Since we'd met the firsttime, she'd started reading a friend's Bible (for the first time inher life). I prayed for her mother, encouraged her in the faith (sharing basic truths about Jesus and the kingdom), and promised to bring her a Bible.

Since then, she has been zealously reading her new Bible, gotten connected to the church, and encountered God in significant ways--dreams, visions, physical healing, inner healing, financial miracles, answered prayers, and so on. She feels inexplicably joyful, and since she can't keep the joy and the answered prayers to herself, all her friends are wanting to “get what she's got”!One particularly sweet answered prayer concerned her mother, who'd had a stroke months earlier and thus couldn't walk and reportedly“wouldn't know” her daughter when she came to visit. The day after we prayed for her, she began to walk, and her mental condition improved such that she was able to even recognize her daughter onthe phone!

specific back healings

in a service on Friday, we got a very specific word of knowledge for the particular part of the back. 2 women came back in response to the word. both were healed. in fact, the first one who was healed joined us in praying for the second one.

May 09, 2011

and what about cancer?

What follows is a response I had sent to a Christian friend who has friends and family members facing cancer and thinking through the issue of God's will and cancer.

Response: the questions you raise about cancer and God's will are of course very relevant. for years I would have somehow believed/thought that things like cancer (or any other horrible thing) were somehow "allowed" by God in some mysterious way as part of His sovereignty. I know "allowed" is a loaded term, but I know that when Evangelicals use that term, it is stronger than it's absolute, philosophical meaning. Of course by definition everything that happens must somehow be "allowed" by God because He created everything including the free wills that both humans and angels possess. Most of my thinking as an Evangelical would have put the term "allowed" in almost a Job-ian sense. Satan checked with God, God said "O.K." and Job gets afflicted. God allowed it, but didn't directly cause it. I think the Calvinist/Augustinian perspective, albeit cruel and to me evil, is actually more intellectually honest - they don't bother with trying to water down terminology. God causes everything because He is in meticulous control (omni-control) of everything that happens. They interpret any and every passage that somehow contradicts their notion of sovereignty as essentially meaningless. Thank God no Christian believed that before St. Augustine! Only the Gnostic heretics believed that before the 4th century. If only Piper knew that!

I am personally of the perspective that many things happen in this world that ARE NOT God's will. In that sense, He isn't "allowing" them for some purpose (not that He can't bring great good out of each and every tragedy). When an child is abducted, raped and horribly tortured to death (to take the worst possible scenario I can conjure up), very few would appeal to God's will, God's allowance, or some "divine purpose" being fulfilled in such an event happening. In other words, when it comes to that type of horrific evil, no right-thinking Christian would puts God's authorship on it, no matter how indirectly (i.e. "allowing it for a purpose"). We know better than that. It would be a blasphemous thought. I put cancer in the same category. It is an evil disease that tortures people to death. I've lost far too many friends at this point to this wicked enemy to ever put God into an equation with the word 'cancer' in it. Does that mean we always see it healed? No. And yet, I believe that it is always God's will to destroy cancer and heal it. The fact that His will is not always done on earth "as it is in heaven" is precisely why Jesus commande us to pray for it. There are many other factors involved in this fallen world - beyond the factor of God's will. This is the world He created. A world where crap can and does happen and He has NOTHING to do with it. I don't look to the mysterious sovereign decrees of God for the answer to this question. That does more to erode my belief in his goodness than anything else. He seems good, but secretly He isn't!? If we've seen Jesus, we've seen the Father. Jesus never secretly gave people diseases - He healed them!

Greg Boyd wrote a classic little book entitled "Is God to Blame?" - it is arguably the best book on the problem of evil that I've ever read. Calvin and Augustine would hate it. Sproul and Piper hate it. But those who want to somehow reconcile that an all-powerful God is also perfect love in a world full of sin, sickness and evil cannot find a better answer to the 'problem of evil' than this short work.

April 29, 2011

Spiritual "Sobriety"

a very sad situation involving some very close friends led me to the following message. i feel like the admonition to be alert and sober-minded is more critical in this hour than ever before. may the Lord use it in your life and the lives of those you share it with.

April 16, 2011

vacation with a Kingdom purpose

on a recent trip to the United Arab Emirates we saw a number of people healed as we visited different malls and restaurants. in one California Pizza Kitchen, I got to pray for a number of different employees and 3 people were healed.

in another restaurant, DJ got a word of knowledge for an employee, and I prayed for the woman's arm and shoulder. She was completely healed and was so happy that she wouldn't stop hugging me.

There were a few other opportunities that the Lord opened up for us in the 5 days we were there. Some of the others we ministered to had major encounters with the Lord. He is so good!

the week culminated in a Church service where we saw God heal many people of a wide range of conditions. many were called out by word of knowledge - arms/shoulders, knees, backs, and other things too. Some were chronic long term conditions. It was amazing to see God move in peoples' lives so powerfully.

April 06, 2011

yet another "End Time" perspective

There are a couple of common "Eschatologies" (doctrine of the End Times) that most Christians are familiar with - one is known as "Futurism" (which would include Mike Bickle and IHOP, Calvary Chapel and the Left Behind Series) and another is called "Preterism" (which is being advocated now by Bethel Church in Redding, R.C. Sproul and C. Peter Wagner as well as many "Amillenialist" scholars).

Futurism argues that the majority of the prophecies in Scripture will be fulfilled in the "future" (i.e. Daniel, Matthew 24 and Revelation). Preterism argues that most (if not all) of those same prophecies were fulfilled in the "past". A third position is called "Historicism" which may not be so well known. This position views those same prophecies as being fulfilled "throughout Christian history".

Since this 3rd position (which was the dominate Protestant one at one point), is not well known, I have included before a rather lengthy summary below. I will say that I personally do not subscribe to any one viewpoint, but appreciate aspects and elements of each one.

Source: End Time Delusions – Steve Wohlberg (Treasure House Press, 2004)

A. The Historicist position on the origins of the Preterist and Futurist positions as they subsequently developed.

Context: In the midst of the Protestant Reformation when the Roman Catholic Church was losing a lot of ground and was being identified as the “Antichrist”…

”papal Rome rose to its own defense in what became known as the Counter Reformation…During its many sessions (which continued until 1563), the leaders of the Vatican develop a highly sophisticated “game plan” to counteract the reformers. Up to this point, Rome’s main method of attack had been largely frontal – the open burning of Bibles and of heretics. Yet this type of warfare only confirmed Protestant convictions that papal Rome was indeed the very beast which would “make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7). A new tactic was needed, something less obvious. This is where the Jesuits came in….

At the Council of Trent, papal leaders and Jesuits brainstormed about how to counteract Protestantism and bring defectors back to the mother church. Behind closed doors, they decide this was to be done, not only through the Inquisition and torture, but also through theology. What kind of theology? Here’s the answer: By reinterpreting the prophecies about “the man of sin,” “the little horn,” and “the beast”!

Two very intelligent Spanish Jesuits rose to the challenge, Luis de Alcasar (1554-1613) of Seville and Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) of Salamanca. Their strategy was, in a nutshell, one of reapplication and diversion, yet they went in opposite directions. …Alcasar decided to apply the Bible’s antichrist prophecies to the ancient past while Ribera applied them to the distant future…By reapplying these prophecies to the past and to the future instead of to the present, these two tricky Jesuit scholars sought to divert the prophetic finger light-years away from the Vatican. Their views quickly became official positions within the Roman Church – even though these two views contradicted each other!

….[George Eldon Ladd concurs saying] ‘towards the close of the century of the Reformation, tow of her [Rome’s] most learned doctors set themselves to the task, each endeavoring by different means to accomplish the same end, namely, that of diverting men’s minds from perceiving the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Antichrist in the Papal system. The Jesuit Alcasar devoted himself to bring into prominence the Preterist method of interpretation to show the prophecies of Antichrist were fulfilled before the Popes ever ruled at Rome, and therefore could no apply to the Papacy. On the other hand the Jesuit Ribera tried to set aside the application of the prophecies to Papal Power by bringing out the Futurist system,…

In 1590, Ribera published a commentary on the Revelation as a counter-interpretation to the prevailing view among Protestants which identified the Papacy with the Antichrist. Ribera applied all of Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end time rather than to the history of the Church’ [The Historicist understanding and interpretation] (quoting Ladd, pgs. 37-8, The Blessed Hope: A biblical Study of the Second Advent and the Rapture, Eerdmans, 1956)

Even the Catholic writer, G.S. Hitchcock, confirmed the origin of these anti-Protestan counter-theories:

‘The Futurist School, founded by the Jesuit Ribera in 1591, looks for Antichrist, Babylon, and a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, at the end of the Christian Dispensation.

The Praeterist School, founded by the Jesuit Alcasar in 1614, explains Revelation by the Fall of Jerusalem or by the fall of Pagan Rome in 410 A.D. (Hitchcock, pg. 488, The Beast and the Little Horn 7)

[summarizing Preterism/ the Preterist position]…Preterism sees the majority (or all) of the prophecies found in Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation as having already been fulfilled in either the fall of Jerusalem in 70A.D. or in the fall of Rome. For preterists, “the end of the world” usually means “the end of the Jewish world.” Full-preterists believe even the second coming of Jesus Christ somehow mystically occurred in 70A.D., whereas partial-preterists still believe in a future, literal return of the Savior. Concerning the core issue – who is the antichrist? – preterists usually see the Roman Emperor Nero as the number-one candidate. Compared with futurism and historicism, preterism has always been a minority viewpoint within the church, yet it is now making increased inroads in 21st century Christianity.

[summarizing Futurism/the Futurist position]…futurism usually sees the majority of Revelation’s prophecies (from Chapter 4 onward) as yet on the horizon. Concerning the antichrist, instead of preterism’s application to Nero in the past, futurism generally applies the prophecies…to a single, yet-future Mr. Serpent…Compared to preterism and historicism, futurism has by far the most adherents in the 21st century as the majority report.

[summarizing Historicism/the Historicist position] In staunch opposition to both preterism and futurism is historicism, which is what the vast majority of Protestants used to teach. In essence, historicism teaches strait-forward, chronological progression by saying that the major prophecies of Daniel and Revelation find fulfillment throughout Christian history while pointing toward the climatctic, visible second coming of our Savior. Historicism also places special emphasis on the ongoing struggle between Jesus Christ and satan inside the Christian Church… [the author goes onto to list the following Protestants who held this view – Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Zwingli, Wesley, Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, John Foxe, Matthew Henry, Spurgeon, and Martin Lloyd-Jones].

In the minds of true historicists, sincere preterists and futurists have had at least one of their eyes poke out concerning this unquestionable historical reality. [referring to the errors within Roman Catholicism, especially in the Middle Ages]. Futurism, which is by far the most popular school today, possesses the incredible ability to sweep 1,500 years of living prophetic history under the proverbial rug by inserting its infamous GAP into the visions of Daniel and Revelation. In a nutshell, the GAP or parenthesis theory teaches that when Jerusalem or Rome fell, prophecy stopped, only to continue again near the time of the rapture. As we have already seen, futurism also stops the clock between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel 9:24-27…According to most Futurists (and Preterists), how many prophecies were relevant fulfilled during the Dark Ages when literally millions of God’s people were burnt to ashes in wars against the saints? None. Zilch. Zero. Historicists see something terribly wrong with this picture!

At its best, historicism also recognizes that there were indeed prophecies fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem (thus preterists aren’t all wrong), yet it also stands for the reality of future events such as the mark of the beast (see Revelation 14:9-12), the seven last plagues (see Revelation 16), the battle of Armageddon (see Revelation 16:16), the return of Jesus Christ (see Revelation 14:14-16), a 1000-year period (see Revelation 20), the final judgment (see Revelation 20:11-13), the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:15) and the new earth (see Revelation 21:1). Thus futurists have some truth also. Yet again, the hallmark of historicism as a prophetic system is its ability to discern prophecy fulfilled in history…with NO GAPS!

…Think about it. Preterists say most (if not all) of God’s great prophecies came to a screeching halt almost two thousand years ago. Does this make sense? Why would God inspire such a wonderful Book as “Revelation” and then stop its application around 70 A.D. (or with the fall of Rome), when He knew time would continue much longer? In essence, preterism’s view is: From Nero until now there’s nothing! How about futurism? Is it any more reasonable? Why would God leave His Church “prophecyless” from John’s day until the end times? To futurists, there’s hardly anything from the resurrection to the rapture to be prophetically fulfilled. Futurism leaps over Rome’s demise, the great apostasy, Islamic origins, papal power, the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, and the Reformation almost entirely. [I would add the genocide by the Mongols, the Black Death, the Ottoman Empire, World War I and II, the Atomic Age and resurgent Islamic radicalism] Historicism responds, “Wait a minute! This makes no sense.” With Holy Ghost perception, historicists not only see mighty prophecies fulfilled through church history – in papal and Islamic scourges…the activity of antichrist.”

(End Time Delusions, pgs. 113-120)