December 18, 2013

prophetic ministry - some thoughts

Back in the year 2000, God turned our world upside down in a small Church meeting when a prophetic woman from South Africa gave us a prophetic word that was so accurate, and so detailed that there was simply no way that we could deny it was truly from God.  As for the  future aspects/elements in the prophetic word, they have subsequently proven to just as true as what the Lord had shown the women about our past and present.  It changed our lives and ministry completely – and I would say that the best way to "weigh" (or judge) a prophetic word in addition to obviously its accuracy, would be the fruit that it produces.  Just this week a lifelong friend relayed a similar experience he had this past week with a guest minister at his church who gave him a prophetic word that was similar in its accuracy and detail.  

In hindsight, I believe as I reflect back on that initial prophetic word that served to be a major turning point in our lives, I would have to say that it was more than simply a prophetic minister using her "gift" (1 Cor. 14:1), but it was actually a time when my wife and I received an impartation of a gift/gifts by means of the prophetic word.  In other words, one of the ways that God gives gifts of the Holy Spirit is through what has been called "prophetic impartation".  A prophetic person prophesies over someone and through it, the person receives a spiritual gift.  The Scriptural basis for this is 1 Timothy 4:14 - "Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you."(NIV)

This is clearly one of the reasons, in addition to the many other reasons for the New Testament gift of prophecy, that Paul commands us, "Don't despise prophesies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good." (1 Thes. 5:20-21).

In a day when many well-meaning Bible teachers continue to misunderstand the Old Testament teaching of what characterizes a "false prophet", believing that if a prophet ever made a mistake or if their words didn't come to pass that they were therefore "false prophets" and should be killed.  Not only was this application and penalty NEVER carried out in the history of God's people, but when prophets spoke words that didn't come to pass, they were NOT called false prophets.  For example, the Prophet Jonah said, "40 more days and Ninevah will be destroyed" (Jonah 3:4). We all know the story.  Ninevah was not destroyed.  What is interesting is that Jonah's book was included in the Canon of Scripture and he was not called a "false prophet".  

The New Testament also speaks about "false prophets" but in spite of what anti-Charismatic Bible teachers want to contend, a "false prophet" in the New Testament is NOT a Christian who in his/her attempt to prophesy makes a mistake.  Not only was that NOT the case in the Old Testament, but it is even clearer that this isn't the case in the New Testament.  In the New Testament, we are commanded to "test" or "judge" prophetic words.  If New Testament believers, seeking to obey Paul's commandment to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1), were somehow under the impression that the "one mistake and you are OUT" then you would never find a Church that would give place to the exercise of this gifting of the Holy Spirit.  

The fact is, a "false prophet" in the New Testament, as was interestingly also the case in the Old Testament, always refers to an unbeliever or to a apostate who has abandoned the faith.  It wasn't a believer attempting to grow in his/her gifting who made a mistake.  It is EXACTLY the same thing with "false teachers".  What is a false teacher in the New Testament?  Similarly, it is not a Christian Bible teacher who makes a "mistake".  I can't tell you how many Bible teacher I know today who would say, I use to teach something that today they believe to be wrong or false.  I can think of many things that I believe and teach today that are different than what I taught 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.  That doesn't make me a "false teacher".  And nobody I know would consider me one.  Similarly, a "false teacher" in the New Testament refers to an unbeliever or to someone who has abandoned the faith and teaches things that are leading people away from Christ.

We train and equip a lot of believers who want to grow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Some are new believers, and others are those who have been in Churches that do not emphasize the gifts or who even teach against them.  Can you imagine me having this kind of discussion?  "I'm excited that you want to grow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  To learn about healing, to see if God wants to give you the gift of tongues or the interpretation of tongues.  Wow! There are so many tools that God has given His Church to expand the Kingdom and to build up His Bride.  BUT you need to realize something about two of these gifts.  The gift of prophecy and the gift of teaching.  There is a "zero tolerance" policy in the Church.  Basically this is how it works.  I know that God has commanded us to pursue these two gifts – to prophesy and to teach.  There are many verses exhorting us to receive, to grow in and to use these gifts.  The impact can be remarkable – people getting saved, unbelievers crying out that God is real, and of course the all-so-important edification and instruction of Christians.  But this is the deal.  If you make one mistake, you will be branded a "false prophet" or a "false teacher" and so….."

I know it sounds silly when you play out the conversation in this way.  But when you see the people out there who are declaring people to be "false prophets" who are godly brothers and sisters, some of whom I know personally, it is tragic.  The number of other clear New Testament commandments that these people are violating by treating their brothers and sisters in Christ in this way should horrify them.  The fact that they are doing exactly what Paul commands us not to do, "Don't despise prophecies", is particularly ironic because they are the ones crying, "We are just being Biblical".  

I am thrilled that in spite of a lot if immaturity that has been demonstrated in the Body of Christ in regards to prophetic ministry, that the Lord in His mercy allowed us in that meeting so many years ago to see the proper use of it by a gifted prophetic person.  There is also immaturity demonstrated in the Body of Christ from Bible teachers, but somehow we all know that this is no reason to reject or to neglect the proper use of this other gift of the Holy Spirit.  We are actually instructed to discern, to consider, to be good Bereans and examine the Scriptures to see if things are true.  That is exactly how we should weigh/judge any and all prophetic words that are given.  We weigh them against the Word of God, we pray about them, we discuss them with mature brothers and sisters and then we obey Paul's final exhortation; "Hold onto what is good" (1 Thes. 5:21).

At the end of the day, prophetic ministry is all over the New Testament.  It is commanded, expected, regulated and neglecting and/or disallowing it is considered a sin.  Just because something has been misused and even abused, in no way justifies its disuse.  It is because it is Biblical that we as Christians should embrace prophetic ministry.  I'll end this with Paul's most direct command regarding prophetic ministry that we would all do well to pray about and to obey - "Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy." (1 Cor. 14:1)


gulf arab muslim woman healed

The day after seeing several muslims healed in a Middle Eastern mall, I noticed a muslim woman with her husband in a supermarket had her hand bandaged – it looked exactly like the Egyptian muslim man's hand from the night before who was healed.  I found them a few minutes later and quickly shared the testimony of the night before and asked if the husband would mind putting his hand on his wife's hand and that I would ask God to heal her.  They were willing.  I prayed a quick prayer in Arabic, including a part of the Lord's prayer, closed the my prayer in Jesus' Name and then asked the husband to take his hand away.  She was completely healed.  No more pain.  I shared a bit more with them .  They were so thankful.  

It is not always easy to offer prayer for muslim women when I am not with my wife, but the Lord provided a way for me to pray, utilizing her husband as my "ministry partner" and God touched her with healing pointing them to the authority and power in the Name of Jesus.

December 16, 2013

first timer sees many healings in muslim country

Last night I took out an Arabic-speaking Christian who had expressed an interest in learning about a supernatural lifestyle.  I had no idea that we would have so much "fun" in only a 1 hour visit to a Middle Eastern mall.  We saw 7 or 8 people healed – including 4 muslims.  It was such a "grace-filled" hour as we simply offered the Kingdom to people who might have needed healing.  All the words of knowledge I got were wrong except for one – but that didn't seem to matter.  In the first shop, I asked about a muslim man's shoulder and he didn't have a problem but pointed to his middle back.  I had him lay his hand on the affected area, prayed in Arabic and all the pain left.  After some further discussion, we moved on to another shop.  

Next, I walked into a store where I wanted to do some Christmas shopping.  I felt like I got a word of knowledge for a problem in the right lower leg – it ended up being wrong (unless one of the employees wasn't being totally honest).  I offered to help someone with this problem one of the employees, an Egyptian muslim man told me that while he didn’t have that issue, he did have a shoulder problem.  I had him lay his hands on the affected area and prayed for him – first in English (so the other employees could understand) and then in Arabic, his mother tongue.  It wasn't hurting/bothering him at that moment but when I asked him what he was feeling, he said, "I feel heat all over my body"!  Btw – this is a GOOD THING!  I told him that it was God's presence and that his problem wouldn't be returning.  He took my number and I look forward to hearing from him soon.

As we walked through the mall, I felt "drawn" to go into a department store.  As I walked in and began to engage one of the Filipino employees, I found the person to whom I was being "drawn".  An Egyptian muslim employee had his hand wrapped.  I asked about it and it was an injury from a car accident 2-3 days earlier.  He was in pain.  It was sprained but not broken.  It hurt in two places – the thumb and the wrist.  That was all about to change.  I prayed and all the pain left!  His reaction told the story – he was looking over at another woman who worked there and telling her, "Seriously it is all gone".  Who was it?  His wife, a Tunisian muslim woman.  I went over to her next and she had also been in the accident and had bruises around her right eye and the area was swollen.  I asked one of the Filipino Christian employees to hold her hand and I prayed for all the pain to leave and sure enough, she was pain free after praying!  The great thing here is that there was a Christian working with them who could now answer all of their questions!  She was so grateful.  

Our final stop was for donuts and coffee – all of the employees were Filipinos and I knew they wouldn't be given Christmas off (working in a muslim country), so I asked them if I could give them their "Christmas presents".  They were intrigued and interested.  I asked about any physical pain.  One woman had back pain – I had another one put her hand on her back and prayed.  She was healed!  Next the only male employee wanted to be next – he had a bad headache.  I grabbed his hand (the only person all evening that I personally touched) and prayed a quick prayer, counting down "4, 3, 2, 1….Jesus" - and he was healed!  Next the manager was about to speak up about her need and before she spoke, I asked, "It is your neck/shoulder isn't it?"  It was.  That was the ONLY word of knowledge I got right all night, but that didn't seem to matter.  I had the woman whose back was healed lay hands on her and I prayed a quick prayer.  She too was healed.  The final employee had fatigue in her legs and we waited until some new customers were finished being served and the Lord released strength and refreshment into her legs – she said she was all good after prayer.  They were one happy group as we left.

In each of the cases with the muslims, I was able to share more about our faith, why we pray for the sick and also point them to Christians they knew for further follow-up.  I also gave several my own number to contact me in a few days to see how they were doing.

It was equally as encouraging to take out a young Christian man with me who has "heard about" the miraculous all of his Christian life.  He'd attended a Charismatic Arabic-speaking Church but had never personally be trained to pray for the sick, and additionally, even if training was available, it was only for "inside" the Church or Church meetings.  Nobody had ever taken it "outside" the Church.  This was a powerful evening, a paradigm-shifting evening, for this man.  I am excited to see the ongoing impact of him seeing how easy it can be to release the Kingdom in public places in an Arab muslim country.

What I had wanted to do, was to model for this young man the same way Jesus would have modeled to His disciples.  I told him that this night was a "freeby" - he could simply be an observer.  I told him that the next time, he would be "in the game" as a player because EVERYBODY PLAYS!

December 07, 2013

Healings at Cheesecake Factory in the Middle East - Part 2

After DJ finished praying for the man whose knee was healed, I noticed one of the hostesses limping badly and asked her what happened.  She had just fallen and had injured her hip.  She was actually just going to tell the manager she couldn't work.  I had her put her hand on her hip.  Prayed.  And she was healed instantly - all the pain left.  Her reaction was exactly what we want to see -  "Oh my goodness, it's gone!  it's gone! How did you do that?  Who are you?"   She then started telling all her colleagues.  

She was a Christian and wanted to know where I lived, where I went to Church.  She asked for my number and kept testifying!  It was awesome.

Then I went back to our table and find out that our server needs serious prayer for some deep heart stuff and even starts to cry.  We exchanged numbers because it wasn't the venue to minister to her in that way, but she knew it was a divine appointment.

The woman whose hip was healed keeps telling the other employees and a Sri Lankan staff member needs prayer for his neck and shoulder. I have the healed woman put her hand on the man's shoulder and his neck and shoulder are healed after praying two times.

Finally another woman who works there has pain in her stomach.  I prayed and all the pain left.

Not a bad visit to the Cheesecake Factory!






December 06, 2013

Healings at Cheesecake Factory in the Middle East - Part 1

As we were finishing up our meal at the Cheesecake Factory, I got a strong word of knowledge for a knee problem and I called over the first server that I noticed after getting the word.  I asked him about a knee problem and at first he said no.  I asked again and sure enough he had a major knee problem and was actually considering a surgery to address the issue.  He was a buddhist and I asked him to put his hand on his knee and I prayed for him in Jesus' Name.  After praying once it was considerably better and after a second prayer he was completely healed.  I gave him my number to follow up with him and also asked one of the Christian staff  there to talk with him further about Jesus who had healed him.

However we weren't done at the Cheesecake Factory.

November 27, 2013

Gulf Arab woman's ankle healed after 2 words of knowledge

I was out to dinner with my son and two Gulf Arab muslim women were sitting at a table close to ours.  I got a strong word of knowledge in my "right ankle" and yet wanted some confirmation.  I texted my wife and asked her if she was getting any words – she said "dizziness".  I asked her for something else and she said, "right ankle".  I texted back that this was what I got and proceeded to approach the women.  I explained that my wife got a "revelation" that one of them had an ankle problem and that she would pray for the problem and it would be healed.  One of the women had a left ankle problem and so I called Desert Princess and gave the woman the phone.  She instructed the muslim woman to put her own hand on her ankle and she prayed for the woman in the Name of Jesus.  The woman told my wife that the pain was almost gone after the prayer.  She was visibly impacted by the invasion of God's Kingdom touching her life.

muslim student's neck healed over the phone

One of my students had on a neck brace two days in a row.  When she came up the second day, I gave her my wife's phone number and told her that she could help her.  She called Desert Princess and after a short prayer in Jesus' Name, she was healed and told her all the pain was gone.  The real test however was if she would come to class the following day without the neck brace.  Sure enough, she showed up today without any neck brace and showed me with a big smile on her face.  She came up and said, "It was like magic!"  I corrected her and told her it was "faith" and she said, "I know" with another big smile.  Something has started with this young woman.

November 20, 2013

muslims are "recognizing" the Kingdom within us

I feel like something is shifting in our outreach to Arab muslims.  Because we "temples of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 6:19), I have always believed that our very presence amongst muslims should be apparent.  We carry something that Islam doesn't have.  This has been something we have prayed and I think that this is something we are beginning to see happen.  For example, I've gotten to the women in a muslim Bedouin family.  I have prayed for them on several occasions and both the mother and her adult daughter were healed in Jesus' Name.  The last time time I went to visit, a relative was there and all of sudden the two women who had been healed, tell their visitor that I will pray for her and she will get healed.  They urge the other muslim woman to come sit next to me without even giving her a choice.  It was like they forced her!  She had a lot of pain in her arm and I prayed for her and released God's Kingdom in the Name of the Jesus the Messiah.  She looked really shocked as she could feel something going on in her arm (excessive heat).  I told her that it was sign that God was healing her.  

Once the woman left, they told me, "every time you come to visit, something good happens to us" and proceeded to give example after example.  They were asking for my advice and counsel.  I prayed with them for guidance about a specific matter.  However, what is the most shocking is that they are looking to a Christian as the one who prays and people healed, who seeks God and receives answers and/or wisdom – it is truly that they are recognizing the presence of God in my life.  On a couple of occasions these muslim women have gotten up in the middle of a visit come over to me and hugged me announcing how much they love me.  I've been in ministry to muslim women for over 20 years now and I have never seen this kind of response.  We are praying for the Kingdom to come and God is answering this prayer.

November 18, 2013

Omani muslim woman healed after word of knowledge

There were two Omani muslim women working together and I was specifically drawn to one of them. For this woman, I got a word of knowledge as a thought or an impression for "ear pain", specifically the "right ear".  The other woman I was with also got the same word of knowledge where she physically felt it (it was her first word of knowledge that she'd ever "felt" like that).  The Omani woman had the right ear pain and after prayer she was healed!  The Omani woman took the number of the woman I was with as we offered to answer any further questions  she might have had.

Don't ignore your "cravings" - they might lead to a miracle!

I felt a craving for a soft drink.  We went out to get one and got a word for one working in the shop for a pain "in the side".  One of the men had a kidney stone that hurt him.  He left and returned the next day and the man had had no more pain.

When "observers" get to do more than observe

I took out an "observer" who only wanted to "watch".  We also took an Omani muslim who wanted to come along and watch God heal people.  We got a word of knowledge for "knee" for the Omani Muslim who came to watch. His knees would hurt when exercising.  He asked for prayer for a shoulder problem that hurt right then, and I said that the "observer" has a gift of healing and will bring healing.  He prayed and all pain left the muslim's shoulder!  So much for coming along to only "watch".  The first-time "observer" was so impacted by the healing.  The Omani muslim man was able to articulate Christian truths about God's love.  "Out of the mouth of babes" has a new meaning – how about "out of the mouths of the yet-to-be-born-again"?

words of knowledge and healings in a muslim nation

Waited on the Lord for clues - "glasses", "back pain",  and the shop – "Claire's" - We went to Claire's and a woman, with back pain was healed!  Next word about "headache" - saw a woman, she had a headache and was healed.  Then into H&M – got the word for "pregnancy".  We were drawn to two woman – one was pregnant and the other wanted to get pregnant.  Prayed for them.  Felt led to go into a Mothercare and saw a woman with glasses (one of the first words of knowledge).  She had diabetes and they prayed for her.  Next word for Dunkin Donuts – got a word for "shoulder pain" and saw another woman wearing "glasses" who had the shoulder pain. They prayed and she was healed. 

November 17, 2013

"We muslims also pray for the sick, BUT YOU CHRISTIANS ARE PROFESSIONALS", says Egyptian muslim man after being healed.

We were at a Chili's restaurant and I got a wrong word of knowledge for Egyptian muslim waiter (arm) but he said, "No, but my knee hurts".  I explained words of knowledge.  He had seen it before in Egypt from the Coptic Christians who had come and brought healing and done an exorcism.  "We muslims also pray for the sick, BUT YOU CHRISTIANS ARE PROFESSIONALS". His knee was completely healed!

muslim woman healed of 3 things after initially denying something

I was out with someone who's never seen a healing.  We went into women's shop interacted with local Omani muslim woman.  Got a word of knowledge for a "back".  I asked the Omani woman if she has back pain who says "No".  Her Algerian muslim co-worker jumps in, "Yes, you do, what are you talking about"?  As we continued to talk, she begins to share about how she "sees" things in dreams that are revelatory.  She gets "overcome" with a spirit that she can't control and this causes her to sweat.  

I realized it is clearly a demonic gifting.  I then shared about my dreams.  "If I see something bad", I explained, "it is so I can prevent it and pray".  I said, "I know you are a muslim but next time you have one of these demonic encounters, you need to cry out to Jesus to help you".  She agrees. Then I  got another word of knowledge about ear pain and this time she doesn't deny it and admits that she has that problem.  I asked her to put her own hand on her ear and as I am praying, the ear becomes hot and all the pain left.  Then she said her knee hurt.  We prayed, she felt God's presence in her knee and then the pain left her knee.  Then the woman with me gets a word for upper back (her first word of knowledge) and the muslim woman's back was healed.  It was my friend first word of knowledge and first time she's seen a healing outside of a Church or meeting context.

October 31, 2013

muhammad's wrist healed

I love it when Jesus heals a muslims whose name is muhammad.  

Last night a group of us were meeting in a coffee shop when I noticed a muslim guy whose wrist was wrapped.  I asked him what happened and he told me he was in a fight.  I told him that I believe God would heal him if I could pray for him.  He put his other hand, as per my instruction, on his wrist and I prayed a quick prayer in Arabic.  After praying part of the Lord's prayer and closing in Jesus' Name, he looked at his friend with "that look" (that look that said, "seriously, something just happened and I'm kind of freaking out").  Most of the pain left and he was really thankful.  I told him that as Christians we are commanded to pray for the sick and injured whenever or wherever we find them.  I gave him my number and asked him to call me to tell me how it was the next day (he hasn't called yet)

P.S. As much as I love to see muhammads healed, I love it even more when muhammads become Christians.

October 23, 2013

when a "Kingdom bomb" explodes and the shrapnel of His love hits others

Yesterday a few of us ended up in a restaurant and I got a word of knowledge for a problem in the left arm and hand.  I asked a manager about it and he said he'd check with his staff.  A few minutes later he brings out his supervisor, an Egyptian muslim came out with him.  I guess he wanted to make sure everything was fine with his boss!  Anyway, at that point I explained in Arabic to the head manager that God revealed to me.  I used a word for "revelation" (Arabic - ilhaam) that he as a muslim would understand.  A few minutes later he brought out an Indian man who worked there a problem with his left arm.  I asked him to sit down as the 2 managers watched.  The Indian man was a Christian and I had him lay hands on himself as we prayed.  He was healed right away. He was so thankful and wanted us to keep him in prayer.  The managers were grateful and walked away "thinking" about what just happened – especially I felt the Egyptian.

A few minutes later another man comes out – a buddhist from N. India.  He'd heard the testimony of the other man's healing and came out – he had two cysts – one on his eye and one on his finger.  He wanted prayer and so I had him sit down.  We prayed a couple of times and we did NOT see a difference in terms of the cysts disappearing.  I gave him my number and asked him to call me today (I am waiting for his call as I write this) to tell me what has happened in the last 24 hours.  Many times we pray for a situation (and I believe that when Spirit-filled believers lay hands on someone, something MUST happen) and we see the breakthrough later.  

What happened in the restaurant yesterday ended up impacting a number of people – 2 managers, one Indian Christian man and another who was a buddhist.  I love it when a "Kingdom bomb" explodes and the shrapnel of His love hits others!

October 22, 2013

muslim's hand and wrist healed

i saw one of my muslim students had injured her hand.  I asked about it and her hand had been slammed in a door.  she was in pain.  the first day I saw it I had no opportunity to pray and waited till today.  during class I was thinking how I could acceptably get a chance to pray.  she left class earlier than some students so I thought I had lost the opportunity but decided to send her an email requesting her to stop by my office during my office hours.  she did and I asked her to put her hand other hand on the spot where it hurt.  I prayed once in English.  it seemed to get better and I asked her to put her hand back again and the next time I prayed in Arabic.  All of the pain left except in the wrist.  One more prayer and all the pain was gone!  Her comment as she was leaving was "Thank you sooooooo much sir".
notice that sometimes people don't get healed after praying once and also that God will make a way when we seek to honor Him and bring His Kingdom even in the workplace.

follow up - the day after I prayed I noticed that she was still wearing a wrap on her hand and was a bit discouraged thinking somehow she hadn't told me the truth.  I was just about to actually delete this post but today I asked her about her hand noticing that she had no wrap on the hand.  She told me that all the pain had left the day I prayed but that due to some medicine she had put on a cut associated with the original injury, she wore the wrap the day before.  So I asked directly, "so you had a miracle then?" and she replied, "yes, something like that with a big smile on her face".

October 19, 2013

a week full of healing

Last night our community gathered and the testimonies shared of the people healed this week past week went on and on.  Our basic rule for testimony time is this – the testimony has to be something that took place during the week leading up to our weekly meeting AND that it needs to be miraculous/supernatural in character – a healing, accurate prophetic words or words of knowledge, dreams or visions, an exorcism, etc.  In some places the testimonies will come from just a few people, but this is NOT the case here in the muslim country in which we are living.  There are regularly as many as 10 different people sharing testimonies in a single meeting – and sometimes even more.  It is just a thrill to see what God is doing and I am always encouraged to see how many, men and women, old and young, who are being used by God each week to demonstrate God's Kingdom to the lost every single week.

As we have believed this is to be "the norm", it has become normal.  


October 17, 2013

thoughts on the "one man show"

We don't seem to change very much even though we claim to know better.  Jesus didn't come to be the one man show, but chose 12 others, then 70 others and broke it open on the Day of Pentecost by pouring out His Spirit on "on flesh" and you'd think the rest would be history.  However, the "one man show" continues to be be model perpetuated by many and bringing people to "the special meeting with the gifted individual" continues to be the predominate model that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are being used.  I know there are notable exceptions, and the explosion in the past 30 years of "ministry teams" have been one of the healthiest things that ever happened to the Charismatic Church.  That however hasn't put the "one man show" model out of business.  It doesn't seem to matter how many of these individuals (which can of course be either men or women) crash and burn, fall into error or in some other way get off track and become unhealthy, they seem to emerge again and again.  The conferences are full of the new "names", promoting their "anointing" and the show goes on.  I was reminded again even today by this model because it is happening again in a local Church in the city I live.  It isn't a model that empowers the community – and in many cases has exactly the opposite effect.  People think "my job is to invite my friend to the special meeting" and not for them to personally get equipped to move in the same power and gifting that the so-called Christian celebrity (be them evangelists, revivalists, prophetic ministers, healing ministers, etc.) demonstrates.  It is one of the main reasons that I personally stopped going to most conferences.  In my own journey, they served a purpose early on to cast a vision for what is possible.  I saw things I had never seen and it really caused me to get hungry for more.  If that is the goal/aim of the minister/ministry, then I can and do endorse and promote it.  If it is somehow about an individual and doesn't lead to training/equipping of the rest of the Body to do the "same works", then I'm no longer interested.  Jesus came and left the building after 3 years.  The Apostles themselves would leave a deposit and move on – in other words, it was NEVER about people getting dependent in an unhealthy way upon an individual.

Just me thinking out loud.

October 13, 2013

12 characteristics of Apostolic Ministry

1. Apostolic Ministry is "in Christ" - Jesus is the Chief Apostle - the focus is upon Christ and NOT the Apostle/s.
- Heb. 3:1 -­ "consider (fix your thoughts) Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession"
- 2 Cor. 4:5 ­ - "for we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake"

2. Apostolic ministry begins in humility & continues in humility - Consider the Incarnation. God left heaven can became a man IN HUMILITY
- Phil. 2:3 - "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves"

3. Apostolic ministry honors women ­ Mary "birthed" Jesus' earthly Apostolic ministry, women followed Jesus.
- Gal. 3:28 - "there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus".

4. Apostolic Ministry is "team-oriented"­ Jesus built a team, Paul built teams - even the Trinity is a "team"!

5. Apostolic Ministry is "released-oriented" / It's about Fathering & releasing sons and daughters to carry on the ministry in an even greater way.
- John 14:12b - "Greater works you shall do".

6. Apostolic Ministry is Kingdom-focused (not just Church-focused) ­ is part of something GREATER. The Church is PART of the Kingdom. Jesus is PART of the Trinity
- Jesus spoke hardly anything about the Church and almost exclusively about the Kingdom.
- For example, the "Church" is mentioned 2X in Matthew and the "Kingdom" 50X!

7. Apostolic Ministry is relationally, NOT structurally-based ­ begins with the Trinity.

8. Apostolic Ministry is "marked by signs wonders and miracles"
- 2 Cor. 12:12 - the signs/marks of a true apostle were performed among you with all perserverance, by signs wonders and miracles.
- 1 Cor. 2:4 - "my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power"

9. Apostolic Ministry doesn¹t build on another man¹s (churches) foundation - it is evangelistic.
- NOT SHEEP STEALING, Not Church "Transfer" growth, Not "collecting" other Churches into a so-called "Apostolic Networks"

10. True Apostles "have seen the Lord" and are chosen by Jesus Himself - they are NOT self-appointed, or Apostles because people "recognize" them as such.
- 1 Cor. 9:1 - Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?

11. Apostolic ministry will attract problems / Persecution
- 2 Cor. 4:8-11 - "we are afflicted in EVERY WAY, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus for we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus¹ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh"

12. True Apostolic ministry doesn¹t focus on money.
- Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give"
- To the Rich Young Ruler, who did Jesus say he should give his $$$ to?? The Poor!

October 10, 2013

Gulf Arab Girl Healed & Hungry for MORE!!!

I was shopping in a store in the mall when I had strong sense that one of the employees there had pain. I didn't feel clarity as to what it was, and she was in the middle of working with two other employees on the design of the store. I didn't know what to do since she was focused and occupied with work. I walked away hesitantly, though I felt like God was highlighting her. I was a little frustrated at myself, but I went on to pray for a few other people who were touched and experienced healing! 

Probably an hour or more later I was walking in the main area of the mall, and I glanced over and noticed the girl from the store whom God had highlighted. I almost ran to her because I knew that this was a divine appointment. She was with her friend, and they told me that they are both from the country we are located in. I explained that I had seen her in the store, and I asked if she had pain. She said yes, that she had back pain. I asked her to put her hand where the pain was located, and looking into her eyes, I commanded all pain to leave in the name of Jesus, and I released the Kingdom of Heaven over her. I asked how she felt, and she enthusiastically proclaimed, "Woah, the pain is gone. Oh my, it's kinda creepy that it just totally left." She kept going on and on about how amazing and strange it was that the pain just left. Her friend said, "I want it too."  I asked if she had any pain, and she said no, so I asked if she needed anything else. She said she had lots of problems. The girl who was healed asked, "Can you heal emotional pain too?" I told her that indeed Jesus heals all things. I explained that Jesus loves them so much! They didn't want to share right then, but we decided to meet up later to pray for emotional healing. 

They got my number, and about two hours later they gave me a call. The girl who was healed asked if I could make the pain go away over the phone.  She said the pain was back a bit. I told her that Jesus could heal her anywhere. So I asked Him to touch her, and immediately she told me that the pain was completely gone! In a text a little bit later she confirmed there was no more pain, and without me even suggesting it, said that she and her friends would like to experience church for the first time. Asking God to bring salvation and life transformation to both of these Arab women!!!

October 09, 2013

Gulf Arab muslim woman on crutches healed

At school this week one of the young Gulf Arab woman on the staff slowly shuffled by on crutches with a big bandaged up knee! She said she had just fallen down the stairs and was going to make her way to get X-rays taken, as the nurse had thought her knee cap might be broken. So I asked her if I could pray for her and she was so open and happy to let me pray! While praying her eyes got big and her mouth dropped open- she said she could feel so much heat!! However she shuffled off, still in so much pain! I felt God saying don't let your eyes let unbelief in- so I continued to pray for her during the day believing God was healing her.

The next day I saw her get out of her car and run, yes run across the road, from my classroom window- no crutches! No bandage! She said her knee is 'all good!'! God is amazing!!!! I pray for an encounter with Jesus for this young lady!!!

October 08, 2013

muslim student complains of ear pain and then...

Yesterday one of my muslim students was complaining about his ears. I had already had this particular student meet with a friend for some other prayer regarding his allergies. He was so touched by that prayer time that his shi'ite muslim mother also wanted prayer and subsequently met with my wife for ministry.

After a quick prayer, my student's ear completely opened up and he told me it was 100% as we packed up to walk out of class. This student and his mother have now heard many things about Christ and His redemptive work. I believe they are closer to the Kingdom than they realize.

October 07, 2013

sustaining the ministry of Jesus in our lives

A question I am often asked is "How do you keep a lifestyle of miracles going"?  Many at one time or another in their Christian lives have an encounter, experience things and/or see something that they find is no longer happening 6 months or a year later – or even longer.  I am amazed as how many believers I meet who tell me about things they were "doing" (seeing people healed, having supernatural encounters, etc.) at one point but that have somehow stopped or ended.  

I am getting this question again from several different sources – in particular, from some believers who saw some powerful stuff happen over the summer and want to ensure that things continue and don't die out.

I did almost an hour podcast today to help answer that question from our own experience of having been pursuing a lifestyle of the supernatural for like 13 years now.  We aren't "changing the channel" as Bill Johnson has said.  We continue to run with a group of believers who share this "one thing" pursuit – to see God's Kingdom released in the way that Jesus modeled it and expected His disciples to as well.  

If you are interested, fire us off an email and we'll send you the link to the podcast – or you can google it - "Keeping the Fire Going" @Joel2generation

October 04, 2013

muslim man calls back to tell me what happened - waiting to hear from another

Today there were a couple of opportunities to pray for muslims who I gave my number to for them to call me back and tell me what had happened after prayer.

The first one was a Gulf Arab muslim guy with a huge knee brace on (don't need a word of knowledge for that!).  I asked him about what had happened and it was from a soccer injury that was 5 years old.  I followed him out to his car and he let me pray for him in Jesus' Name.  He didn’t feel anything at that time (like tingling, heat, etc.) and so I gave him my phone number and asked him to call me back tomorrow with a report.  I am waiting for that call.

In the evening, I thought for sure I had a word of knowledge for a right wrist problem (turns out I didn't) and asked these two muslim men sitting at a table outside of a restaurant.  After assuring me that neither of them had a wrist problem, they wanted to know why I had asked.  I explained a little bit about words of knowledge and the people we see God heal.  One of them said, "Can you heal other problems or only wrists?"  He had a problem with his colon and he asked me to pray for that.  I laid my hand on his hand which he placed on his stomach.  I prayed for him in Arabic.  He told me he would only know if there was a change when he used the bathroom which he didn't need to use at that moment (yes, I asked!).  I gave him my number and told him to call me later.  Sure enough about 45 minutes later, he called me to tell me that he was "pain free"!

A few things to take note of – first of all, give people a way to get back to you (email/phone number).  You never know what has happened, or will happen after prayer.  I can't tell you how many times there was a "delay" in the answer to prayer and I would have never known had I not given the person a way to get back to me.  If it is a woman, of course I will give them my wife's mobile phone number and not my own.

Secondly, just because a word of knowledge is wrong, doesn't mean God won't "get it right" so to speak.  Again, I can't begin to tell you how many times we have gone in on a wrong word of knowledge and the person says, "I don't have that problem but can you heal this problem…."?  It has happened more times than we can count.  

October 01, 2013

muslim student's hernia healed

This is a unique healing miracle.  First of all, I've never seen a hernia healed before.  I had a student who asked if he could go to the bathroom.  Class had just started and so I wondered why he needed to leave so urgently.  I discover after class that it was because he had a hernia and it had popped through his stomach muscle lining (which he told me happened all the time) and he had to go to the restroom to push it back in.  Yes, pretty disturbing thought!  As he described the problem after the lecture and how it just pops out all the time, I decided I had to do something.  I asked him to put his hand on the hernia and I began to pray breaking off the shock and trauma, releasing healing and asking for pain to go in Jesus' Name.  He felt nothing at the time.  But today he comes to me and says, "Whatever you did to me worked because it hasn't popped out again"!  I was thrilled for him and told him that God had done something very special for him.

September 27, 2013

A week of causal Kingdom living

Desert Canuck and Pyromaniac were running errands together at a local mall.

As we stopped at a Tea shop as Pyromaniac had a word of Knowledge for one of he girls giving away samples. She prayed over her and he was healed. DesertCanuck asked he second sales lady if she had back pain; she said yes but not at the moment. Anyway she prayed over her trusting The Lord to heal her.

Then we headed to a furniture store - we had Words of Knowledge for pain but failed to identify the correct individual to approach.

Next was a clothing store. Pyromaniac was ministering to a Muslin Tunisian woman with knee pain. We prayed and she felt heat in her knee and the pain left. She wanted to know how we could do that. DesertCanuck explained that God loves her and that Jesus teaches us to heal others. She tried to argue that she was Muslim. DesertCanuck repeated that God loved her and this is what Christians can do to  show others God's love for them. She was so excited she called over all the other workers. One Phillipino man with shoulder pain was healed; the store manager who was Christian had back pain and was healed. A young Phillipino woman asked for prayer because of headaches and confusion. As DesertCanuck was praying 'horoscope' came to mind. This woman daily checked her horoscope. Then the prayers changed to confession; repentance and deliverance. She promised to immediately delete that App off her phone.

Meantime Pyromaniac was ministering to a sales woman at the front of the store. Her husband was sick; so Pyromaniac imparted a gift of healing into sales girls hands - (she felt them get heavy) to take home and pray over her husband.

As we were walking through the Food Court; Desert Canuck felt a strong pain in her shin; we circled around and she had same Word in the same place - so we approached the two men eating at the table. They were Christian Phillipinos and one did have the shin/leg pain. After we prayed the pain was gone.

We then stopped for dinner. We asked our waiter if there was any way we could pray for him as we were going to bless our food. He said yes his back hurt. As he came between us while pouring water we prayed right then. He felt heat on his back and he pain was gone. He was so excited. He then showed us 3 crosses that he wears under his uniform. That ended our evening out.

A few days later DesertCanuck's 10 year old daughter prayed for her best friend during P.E. as her friend had twisted her ankle. She prayed and taught her friend to ask the Holy Spirit to heal her ankle in Jesus name. As this young girl repeated the prayer over herself she felt ice run down her leg- when she stood up the pain was gone and she could walk normally and join back in with the class.

A few days after that DesertCanuck was in a meeting; the woman sitting next her complained of a really bad headache. DesertCanuck prayed as the headache left. The woman looked up in total shock that it was gone. Her whole countenance changed to sheer joy. I reminded her that God really does love her and he keeps His word.

September 25, 2013

two more muslims healed

As I was getting my coffee in Starbucks, I noticed a muslim man had a wrist brace on.  I was thinking about the healing last night of the young man's broken hand and approached him and told him the story.  He was quite interested and I told him I'd like to pray for him.  I had him put his other hand on the affected wrist, prayed in Jesus' Name and all the pain left.  He checked it out and his girlfriend was celebrating with him.  As he was leaving, I waved and he came up with his muslim girlfriend and said, "she has pain too".  We went and sat down and I asked if he'd put his hand on her back.  I then prayed, breaking off the shock and trauma and releasing healing in Jesus' Name and all the pain left her back.  I gave her my wife's phone number and I know we'll be hearing from this couple again soon. Can't wait to tell them more about the Healer Himself!

another soccer player healed - this time a muslim youth

While walking to watch my son's soccer practice, I noticed about a 15 year-old muslim player with his hand wrapped.  I asked him what happened and he told me he broke it fighting about a week earlier.  I asked him to put his other hand on where the pain was.  He did and I prayed breaking off the shock and trauma and releasing the Kingdom of God in Jesus' Name.  I asked him to check it out and he began moving it around – a big smile on his face and he tells me that there is no more pain.  I told him that God had just done a miracle for him.  I look forward to following up with this young man.

September 21, 2013

nearly 2 hours of testimonies!

Last night as our community gathered, testimonies were shared of miraculous healings that happened THIS WEEK for nearly 2 hours.  The testimonies came from a number of different people.  The days we are living in are truly incredible!

September 20, 2013

healing in a muslim country

Last weekend Dancing Girl and I went to the mall for a little lunch and an adventure with Jesus! While we were waiting on our waitress, I got a word of knowledge about her eyes. There was nothing visibly wrong, but when she came to our table I asked, and she said that she has had eye problems since moving here. She was experiencing both pain and vision issues in her left eye. I got her to put her hand on her eye, and I released healing in the name of Jesus. She said that her vision was clear, and there was no pain! She was excited! She explained that she had been very sad and depressed. We told her to put her hand on her heart, and we asked God to pour out his love on her. She was eager to get connected with a church here. Next, Dancing Girl got a word of knowledge for back pain. We talked to another waiter who said he didn't have back pain, but his hand was hurting really bad. He told us he was Buddhist, but he was very eager for us to pray for him because He had received healing previously when someone else had prayed for him in a coffee shop.  With eyes opened we commanded all pain to leave in Jesus' name, and it did!! We continued eating, and a few minutes later the same guy brought his friend over to our table to get prayer. This guy had pain in his upper arm. He put his hand on the place of pain, and as Dancing Girl prayed out loud, I specifically asked for heat to be poured out. After a quick prayer, he said that he felt some kind of warmth in His arm. We told Him that it was the Holy Spirit touching him and bringing healing. We were wrapping up our lunch, but we still hadn't found the back pain. There was only one other waitress in the restaurant so when she walked by we asked her if she had pain in her back. She did indeed! As we prayed the pain left, and she told us that someone had also prayed for her before. She was a believer, and we explained that she could pray for healing for her co-workers or friends just like we had. We walked out of the restaurant laughing about how fun it is to live life with Jesus!

As we entered the mall, Dancing Girl got a word of knowledge for a right ankle, and a couple minutes later we saw a boy on crutches with a cast on his right ankle. We asked his father if we could pray for him, but he refused.  We prayed silently as we walked away. We stopped at Starbucks to grab some coffee, and Dancing Girl got a word of knowledge for back pain. The barista was pregnant and had back pain. We released healing. We went into another store, and as we were browsing, Dancing Girl got a prophetic word for a lady that change is coming! The woman was hit with the Holy Spirit. She couldn't explain what she was feeling, but it was very evident she felt the tangible presence of God! She had a huge smile on her face and tears in the corner of her eyes. She leaned over on Dancing Girl and said, "Hold me!" We gave her information to get connected to a local Church! Next, I started feeling a lot of pain in my upper back. We went into a pharmacy, and I asked a lady if she had pain in her back and shoulders. She said yes, and just as I was about to ask for healing another lady walked up to me. I turned to her, and I asked her if she had back pain. She did so I told both of them to put their hand on their place of pain, and I released healing in the name of Jesus. They both said the pain was gone! What a sweet adventure it is to partner with Him!! 

September 18, 2013

word of knowledge - man's foot healed

I was picking up my coffee when a strong word of knowledge came for a left foot problem.  I asked 2 of the employees and they didn't have it.  Then we asked another colleague of theirs but she didn't have it.  She however points to another employee who is coming out of the back room and he has the problem.  I ask him to come over, I take his hand and pray quickly in Jesus' Name.  I asked him to check it out and sure enough all the pain is gone.   Later he came to our table and thanked me testifying to being pain free.  I told him how much God loved him.

September 17, 2013

back to the restaurant - another healing

Last week we saw a number of people healed at a new Italian restaurant we visited.  Today I was there again and one of the women healed last week told me she was still fine.I asked her if anybody else needed healing.  So she went and asked another server who had back pain.  I asked the woman who had been healed to put her hand on his back and I prayed a quick prayer.  After that, I asked him "What are you feeling?".  He said, "Nothing".  I asked if he meant nothing had happened or if the pain was gone.  He was healed – no more pain!  He walked away moving his back all around with a big smile on his face

September 15, 2013

Another student's testimony - Healed from a Panic Attack & Headache

Here is another student's testimony from the Christian University:

"In the beginning when school was just starting, I was stressed out, unable to sleep well, having panic attacks, and the worst of all, I had these horrible headaches that were inhibiting me of any kind of relaxation. About two or three days before class, I had a panic attack so severe, that it was getting hard to breathe. So I called out to the Lord and he rid me of my panic attack immediately. That was honestly, I feel, my first real encounter with God healing wise. Then when the guest speaker called out and said out of words of knowledge, "I am feeling that someone is having pain like headaches towards the back of their head, almost like a migraine."

That was exactly what I was having and in the exact area. Even after he had said that, I could already feel some kind of sense of relief. Then when he wanted the people he called out to go to the back of the room, I was a little too nervous and timid. After I emailed my professor, and she told me to read the prayer email with faith, and I did, I had this sense of almost full relief, and the pain in the top of my head was receding! I must have read that prayer at least eight times. Then I continued to pray further and thank God for my healing. That was my personal experience with God that day. I feel that what God did, truly furthered my want and need for him. Before as I would pray at night, I would almost feel as if I was talking to thin air, not necessarily losing faith, but beginning to feel as if He wasn't listening, or He wasn't paying attention. After my encounter, I truly know that He is always with me and never leaves."

September 12, 2013

a soccer player's quad healed after two of her teammates were healed

Here is another testimony from one of the other soccer players that was healed

Last Friday I was extremely skeptical about the whole healing process that was being explained to me. I listened intently to the speaker and genuinely was interested in what he had to say but I did not know if I could believe all that he was saying since I had not seen it with my own eyes before. When my teammates and I decided to stay after and see if a couple of our injured players could be healed, we were presented with incredible emotion.

Both my teammates Angie and Veronica had been healed and I was slowly beginning to feel the presence of God all around me. Never had I been surrounded by so many people who genuinely wanted to be a part of God's work. When it came time I finally stepped up and asked to have my right quad healed. As soon as the prayer began I felt an overwhelming amount of emotion and the pain had gone from my leg.

Even still I had been a little confused but when Rick had asked for prayer for his stutter and God answered him with an amazing gift, I was completely in awe. I was shocked and could not believe what I had just witnessed. This was honestly the most amazing moment I have experienced in my Christian life.

September 10, 2013

muslim student healed saying, "What did you just do to me?"

Today I saw a muslim girl coming into the coffee shop on our University campus and she was limping pretty badly.  I asked her what happened.  She told me that it had been like that for 2 months.  I told her I could help her and she went over to a chair and sat down.  I told her that I was going to "read" over her (this is language that muslims would understand) and she asked, "Are you a muslim?".  I said no and explained I was a Christian.  She was was fine with that as I learned her mother was a Lebanese Christian, even though she was raised as a muslim.  I had her lay her hand on her lower leg (where the pain was) and prayed a quick prayer in Jesus' Name.  She began to move it around, and then got up to walk a bit.  She looks back at me startled and says, "What did you just do to me?"  I told her that HE, as I pointed upwards, did something.  I told her how much God loved her and left it at that.  She is a new student on my campus and will surely have lots of questions for me in the wake of her healing!

September 07, 2013

one of the soccer players healed in her own words

After her friends knee was healed, this is what happened to another soccer player in her own words,

"I was prayed over for healing of my right ankle which I had injured a few weeks prior. After the prayer, I felt way less pain than I had ever been in and I was able to start practicing at soccer again the next day. At first, I did not believe that just laying a hand on someone and praying could heal them, until I saw it with my own eyes. It really made me want to dive deeper into my faith and get to know God on a more personal level."

another restaurant healing & muslim healed in electronic shop

I don't know what it is about restaurants, but they seem to be one of the best places to see the Kingdom come.

We were out with our good friends to lunch today and I had inquired about a wrist problem which none of the servers seemed to have but they asked me why I had inquired.  I told them I was a healer and they asked how I healed.  I said, "If somebody has pain, I'll show you".  One of them had back pain.  I had him lay his hands on himself and I released the Kingdom in Jesus' Name – he was instantly healed!  The other 5 or so watching were intrigued.  Two of the women asked if I could heal their hearts and so I had my wife come up and take over that discussion.  Numbers were exchanged and calls will be coming.  "What Church do you go to?" one man asked as I was walking out.  I told him and he'd heard of it!

Next in the electronics shop I got a word of knowledge for a back problem for the muslim employee who was helping us.  He had the problem.  I had him lay hands on his back, prayed the Lord's prayer over him in Arabic.  And the Lord began to touch him.  Then I asked this Egyptian muslim if he knew any Coptic Christians – he pointed to his right and standing 10 feet from him was a Coptic Egyptian friend of his!  I couldn’t believe how easy the follow-up was going to be.  I told the muslim man that I learned a lot about healing from my Coptic friends and that the prayer I prayed was also their prayer.  The muslim man was very appreciative.  I then stopped by to see the Coptic Christian and told him to ask his muslim colleague what the Lord did for his back.

September 06, 2013

when the Spirit falls and the Kingdom comes...(and now what???)

Having just spoken with the Professor who teaches at the University, it is so encouraging to hear that things are continuing.  I heard that the soccer players that were healed are now back on the soccer field.  I heard that during the next two lectures others were healed - another soccer player after praying several times had his knee healed!

They have started a blog now where students are/will be posting their testimonies - http://vanguardmiracles.blogspot.com - check it out and be sure to leave comments to encourage them.

A couple of things that have come up that are important for them (and for us) to consider:

1. It is ALWAYS God's will to heal.  There is so much bad/poor theology out there that isn't rooted in what the Scriptures teach, but rather are rooted in people's experience.  This is also related to unbalanced concepts/ideas about God's sovereignty.

I could list dozens of NT Scriptures here to illustrate why I believe the statement I have just made, but Jesus reveals the Father.  If you consider the number of times that the Gospels record, "and Jesus healed them all", we should seriously reconsider why our own lives look so different than His life.  At the very end of the Book of Acts, far from Paul's healing gift somehow diminishing (as some have erroneously taught), EVERYONE on the Island of Malta was healed (Acts 28:9 - "and the REST OF THE SICK ON THE ISLAND came and were cured").

2. Faith is A FACTOR, but not the only factor.  There was an incredible amount of faith on the Friday that the Holy Spirit fell at the University.  The faith rose up through several means.  One of them was that a message was brought with a challenge that "if we don't do the works that Jesus did, don't believe our message".  And then, words of knowledge were given.  Beyond that, once people started to be healed, even more faith, corporate faith, was being released and faith ALWAYS attracts heaven.  It is one of the currencies of the Kingdom.

Why did I say it is "a factor"?  Because, sadly there are those who have taught extreme notions of faith making it somehow the only factor and even blaming people who aren't healed for the "lack of faith".  I'm going to be completely honest - when it came to the young man who was stuttering, I really had no faith for that to be healed.  We had seen so many healed before that, and so my faith level was up and surely the students' faith was high in wake of the healings and the powerful encounters people were having with the Lord.  But, I had never seen stuttering healed before and one of the reasons I ended up praying a second time for the young man who had been a lifelong stutterer was because I was struggling.  Can we be honest here?  It doesn't help when we aren't brutally honest.  Even when I asked him as he was having a powerful encounter with God to "go away and continue to let God minister to you", I was stalling.  I was still not in a place of faith - I wasn't in a place of faith to ask him, "So, what has happened?"  And yet, in spite of my clear lack of faith, God healed the young man.  All this to say, the core basis for healing is GOD's LOVE.  Check it out - see how many times it says that "Jesus was moved BY COMPASSION and healed the sick".  Faith is "a factor" but clearly not the only factor.

3. The devil is a liar and wants to "steal" everything he can from the life of the believer.  In the wake of the students being healed and walking away pain free from that Friday, some of them began to "feel" their symptoms again.  This isn't uncommon.  The cynics (and some reading this blog) will say that people weren't actually healed but only "thought" they were.  That is an issue of profound unbelief that each and everyone of us needs to wage war upon.  I emphasized in those lectures that we are all, every single one of us, in a lifelong battle to "have faith" - remember what Paul says in Galatians 5 - "the only thing that matters is faith working through love" - that is a foundational verse identifying our two most basic challenges in the Christian life - overcoming our lack of faith and our lack of love.

So what do we do when the enemy comes back and begins to lie to us - "you weren't really healed", "God doesn't really love you like they said He does", "you aren't worthy of...", etc. etc.  And then a slight symptom comes back, a twinge, a little bit of pain.  What do we do?  This is a key thing - a vital principle.  Stand in your healing.  We aren't "enemy focused" - this isn't a time to go into intense spiritual warfare.  The enemy is trying to come back; he wants to get you to believe a lie (or lies).  So we simply say, "Jesus, THANK YOU for what you did and that you have healed me".  That's it.  We are to be Jesus-focused and thanking Him for His work, for His healing and as has been said, this is the "submitting to God" that results in the the "devil fleeing". (James 4:7).  There were some students who thought that their healing was gone, or wearing off, or...BUT once they did this, they were again pain free and walking in their freedom.

4. The power of the testimony - word is getting out.  A blog has been started.  It was even mentioned in chapel several days later about "a revival that was starting on campus after an OT class".  I think the word "revival" is a bit premature to be using, but there is simply no reason why that cannot and will not be the result of what God has started.

This goes back to point #1 - there are those who erroneously teach that God only sovereignly starts/ends revivals and that we don't play a role in that equation.  This is just blasphemy.  Jesus left heaven, came to earth to defeat the enemy, remove the barrier between God and man, returned to heaven and sent His Spirit to subsequently see the advance of God's Kingdom until His return.  What would be the problem then?  Everything has been provided and supplied.  The problem is that God's people actually don't believe it.  So much so that we had to "invent" theologies that explain away why we don't see God moving like we see in the pages of Scripture.  As Bill Johnson has so convictingly said, "Jesus opened up the heavens and there is NO RECORD of Him ever shutting them up".

The enemy wants to extinguish the sparks that God has lit.  He wants to divide and conquer.  The power of the testimony is one of the ways we combat His lies, and a way forward that will lead a spark into a flame that will become a fire that will lead to.....  If God is truly a "consuming fire", then His very nature is revival!  To say that revival isn't always God's will (and by God's will, I mean "God's will right now") is like saying that God isn't always loving.  We know that it is ALWAYS God's will to express and communicate love, because His very nature is love.  In other words, He can't help Himself - He can't NOT love.  So if revival is also His nature (and I guess I would define revival as "God's presence and power consuming everything and everyone in It's path"), then it can't ever not be His will to bring revival.

At this point, the question becomes, "What will the students at this Christian University do with what God has done and is doing"?  Will they become a "one thing" community? - namely that the "one thing" that matters is God's Kingdom in their midst.  Will they "co-labor", will they "cooperate" and "steward" what God is doing?  Will they cry out and say, "whatever it takes, whatever it costs"?  These are the questions that God is looking to be answered.

If you are a student reading this - I want to say this clearly.  Don't look at the others right now.  What will YOU DO?  One living sacrifice is all it takes for the true fire of God to fall upon?  Will you be that "kindling for God"?  Will you be the one who God will use?  The fact is, I know there are more than "one" - others are responding and the "ones" will find the other "ones" that will become the "twos", the "threes" and so on.....

This post is long enough.  I'll leave it at that for now.  We are now 9000 miles away contending for revival in a part of the world that is on the brink of literal war here in the Middle East - but I