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.