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!