January 04, 2013

deliverance AND healing in the mall

I guess we should just call our ministry what it seems to be – Ministry in Malls.  Living in a hot, desert Middle Eastern country it is where many people congregate.  After seeing the Egyptian muslim man's back healed.  I met up with the "Annointed Deacon" (read Acts 6).  We met to see what God would do.  After a bit of a ministry time with a Christian family, we decided to hit a Starbucks.  As I was interacting with one of the staff, I got a word of knowledge for her back.  I had her put her back on her own back and prayed for her healing.  She was a Christian.  However, her colleague was a hindu from N. India.  As she watched, I got another word of knowledge indicating a demonic assignment against this woman.  She was in fact being attacked by some type of demonic presence that manifested in her being choked and constriction in her chest (which was the precise word of knowledge I had received).  I had the Christian woman lay hands on her as I prayed prayer of deliverance declaring this assignment broken by the "power of the Blood and the power of the Cross".  Something lifted and I told her she was now free.  The Christian woman I explained would follow up with her.  I will be sure to encourage one of our community, a former hindu, to stop by and also explain how a hindu can remain free!  Deliverance session in a Starbucks – has a nice ring to it!

The most dramatic healing we saw was in a sporting goods store (the real reason men go to malls).  I was following up with a group that had been healed the last time we were in the mall and met an employee who had "heard" about the healings.  She was a part of Church that didn't believe in modern-day miracles.  That was about to change!  She explained that she couldn't lift her arms since giving birth.   She showed us and could maybe reach high enough that her hands reached only the level of her head.  I had grab her arms (to lay hands on herself) and prayed a quick prayer.  She was completely healed and could lift her arms all the way straight up.  She simply couldn't believe it as she was trying to explain what she couldn't do, she was doing it!!!  I'm sure her Church will try to explain things away, but thankfully Jesus has better theology than they do!

Egyptian muslim's back healed - Coptic Christians to follow up!

As I was walking into a mall two days ago, I was stopped by a taxi driver who wanted to know if I needed a taxi.  I didn't.  I thought he might need something I had though.  I asked him about his back.  Did it hurt?  No word of knowledge needed – most taxi drivers I have ever asked have back problems.  He did.  I asked him to put his hand on his back.  I asked him his name.  I prayed the Lord's prayer in Arabic, substituting "on earth as it is in heaven" with "in Abdullah's back as it is in heaven".  He took his hands away after I said "Amen" and testified to all the pain being gone.  He was visibly shocked by what had just happened.  I shared a bit more with him and then gave him a little bit of a homework assignment.  I asked him if he had Christian friends.  As most Egyptians do, he did.  His assignment was to go and testify to what Jesus had just done to him/for him.  He agreed.  I want to honor and express my gratitude to the Egyptian Christians, in particular the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church.  Many of the muslims that I know who have come to Christ, have done so through the witness and testimony of Coptic Christians.  An uncanny number.  Praying for the sick, handing out Arabic Bibles, casting out their devils.  Thank you Lord for them.  Thank you for their work in the Kingdom.  

January 03, 2013

from Dan Mohler to those distorting the message of grace

From a leading "Grace teacher", Dan Mohler, taking aim at those who are distorting the doctrine of God's grace.  Thanks Dan for preaching/teaching the WHOLE COUNSEL of God's Word

"There's a movement of grace out there right now that is perverting the grace message; that's just saying "It's a big party and everybody's O.K."  YOU'RE O.K. WHEN YOU LOOK LIKE JESUS.  You are O.K. when the dictates of flesh are so crushed by the Spirit of God in you that they have no voice.  You're O.K. when you've surrendered in the secret place.  There's a [so-called grace ]doctrine that's coming out there.  It's really spreading out there. Be careful.  It says that men don't have to even repent; they're already saved; there's no hell, [because] God's mercy endures forever. And it's sweeping [the Body of Christ] because people want an easy out without the stewardship of life. They just want to party. Be careful! It will be like in the Days of Noah and they'll be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage and then the rains will come.  It's in your Bible.  "But haven't we supped with you? Haven't we walked in the streets with you? Haven't we…"  It's not about a party.  It's about transformation. It's not about 'easy grace'. It's not about saying, "Well, everything's fine. God knows my heart".  No, God knows your life! It [the Bible] says you'll be judged for your deeds, for your life before Christ, not your heart BECAUSE YOUR HEART REVEALS YOUR LIFE!  It's a cop out. My life lived IS my heart revealed.  Hello.  I'm not being mean right now; I'm being realistic.  I'm being real.  Come on, Jesus talked like this because He loved us enough.  He says, "You're either for me or your against me. You're either gathered to me or your scattered"…"

December 31, 2012

Dubai malls - Tunisian muslims - Day 4

Not only had we tried to minister to the Emirati men, but I had also spoken with the Egyptian muslim manager of the coffee shop to send us any of his employees (there were probably about 10 or so) to us if they needed healing.  He said he would, but then like some of the managers we make the same offer to, he didn't keep his word.  Later he told me that he was simply busy, but after the Emiratis left, I decided that I would approach his staff independently.  I spoke with one Filipino server and she didn't have a problem but grabbed her co-worker standing next to her and said she had a back problem.  I asked the first woman to lay her hands on the area where the pain was and I prayed a quick healing prayer.  Quick because they were working and the place was busy.  She was healed and they were both thanking the Lord. 

It was like that changed the atmosphere for us in the place.  Sitting next to us was a Tunisian family, who like us had made this coffee shop a bit like their "base" - in other words we had all been there for quite a long time.  I had earlier begun to engage them over their son's interest in professional soccer and after some more small talk, I basically explained that the woman with us (our other female team member was snowboarding) was a healer and asked if they had any need of a miracle.  They were very open and allowed her to pray for the man's neck after we got a word of knowledge.

One of the most in-depth times of ministry we have had in our entire time in Dubai ensued.  We were able to prophesy over them.  The man was extremely touched at one point when one of our team laid hands on him and began to speak in tongues (we wanted to know if he could interpret them).  He used the Arabic word that is equivalent of  the Hebrew word for "shekina" to describe how he was feeling.  He had a profound encounter with the peace and presence of God right in the middle of the coffee place! 

At this point, Isaac of Ninevah who had also been prophesying over him (he described some of his gifts, a situation that he had left in Tunisia, some problems with co-workers and how the Lord was going to give him strategies to solve them through dreams), and got some words of knowledge for his mother back in Tunisia; one was specifically for her right knee which was accurate.   So what could we do???  How about calling her on the phone right then and there and see what God would do.  That was the plan.  So he calls her, and gives me the phone.  I instructed her to put her hand on the affected knee and proceeded to pray in Arabic - a very basic prayer that any educated Arabic speaker could understand as the Tunisian dialect is quite different than the one I speak.  I give the phone back to him and it turns out she didn't understand a single word of what I was saying/praying.  She spoke French and a particular dialect of Arabic but was not educated in Arabic.  So what next?  I come up with another idea.  His father was educated in Arabic and so we call them back in Tunisia and his muslim father becomes my ministry team member!  I have the father lay hands on his wife's knee as I prayed again and released the Kingdom of God in Arabic praying clearly in the Name of Jesus.  I give the phone back to the son and he inquires as to what is happening.  She was feeling heat in the knee and from what the son indicated she was healed.  Obviously I had no way of testing it out or seeing what was happening, but the reason I believe she was healed is because a little while later, we were on the phone to Tunisia yet again to pray for his wife's mother who couldn't walk properly.  We did the exact same thing, because her mother also hadn't been educated in Arabic and this time had the wife's sister lay hands on their mother and I was able to minister again from Dubai, to Tunisia via a Qatar-based mobile phone.  We won't know the extent to which the mother was/is healed until she checks it out on a long walk.  Who says we are limited? 

Beyond that, I told him I would "construct" some French prayers of healing (through some of our community who speak French) so that he could pray over some of his other sick/hurting relatives.  I also told him I would send some of our friends in Tunisia to visit their relatives.

What was crazy is that this muslim family spend the next couple of hours with our team.  Their two young daughters could not stop hanging on the women on our team.  When we were setting up the second phone prayer session, I had left to go get my son and they waited and then brought their whole family across the mall where I was and then because we didn't have good cell phone reception we walked all over the place and ultimately put their phone chip in another phone to make sure we could pray at that time.  I am reminded of the guys who were so desperate that they lowered their friend through the roof to get him to Jesus.  This was truly hunger and desperation in action from this muslim family.

We exchanged contact information and will have people follow up with their relatives in Tunisia and with them in Qatar.  My experience with many North Africans is very similar to this Tunisia family, extremely open to the Gospel and no reservations whatsoever to receive ministry through the hands of Christians.

Our time in that particular mall really ended up becoming about ministering to this one family.  What a blessing it was to befriend them and to share with them the supernatural love of God and to demonstrate the revelation and power of His eternal Kingdom.

December 30, 2012

Dubai malls again - freedom to say "no" - Day 4

i don't particularly like spending hours and hours in malls, but that is where the nations congregate in Dubai and our intention is to love as many people as we can - so we found ourselves at yet another Dubai mall. While a few of the team went snowboarding, the rest of us headed for another coffee place and that became our little "ministry base" for the next few hours.

At first it was a bit of a slow start. I tried to connect with a group of four Emirati muslim men who were sitting next to us. I had a word of knowledge about a neck problem and yet none of them said it applied to them. As I explained further and spoke about the way we pray for the sick and see all types of conditions healed, they were extremely polite but clearly not interested. They even surprised us by buying a pastry we had ordered after they had recommended it and I offered the Kingdom yet again. Again, no interest in having us minister to them. One of them said a very interesting thing, albeit completely false, when I told them yet again that according to our Christian faith we are commanded to pray for and actually heal the sick wherever we find them (see Luke 10:9). He said, "In Islam we are commanded to do exactly the same thing". I can't tell you how many times I have heard a muslim completely contradict or in this case "invent" an supposed teaching/tenet/belief in Islam after hearing what we Christians believe (famously when I tell them that we are commanded to love our enemies they will often say that Islam commands that as well when in fact the command in the Qur'an is to slay them). After so many muslims have been healed and willing to receive prayer for healing in the past week or more, it was a bit frustrating that these lost men, who undoubtedly had a number of health issues just judging by their ages, were so totally uninterested in receiving from us.

To be fair, muslims consider Christianity to be a corrupted religion and that we are corporately deceived which when I think about it that way I should be more amazed when they do allow us to pray with them and for them. I would never allow a follower of a false religion pray for me or my family. I think also that the encounter with these men illustrates something else. God freely allows His creatures to reject His offer of love because love never coerces or manipulates and His essential nature is that of love. God's love persuades and draws but unlike what some Christian theologians have mistakenly taught His grace is not irresistable. These men were being drawn. God was persuading. In addition to the word of knowledge for the neck (which I believe was actually for one of them but they simply wouldn't acknowledge it) there were other words of knowledge pointing out some of their other pains and conditions. I was probably a bit over zealous to "make something happen" due to their fact that they belong to some of the most unreached and unresponsive people groups (the tribes/families of Emirati Arab muslims) in the world. I guess I was trying to hold the door open and the Lord although grieved was simply allowing them to do what so many of His creation has been doing for thousands of years, resisting Him.