Mar 16, 2010
Mar 13, 2010
Mar 12, 2010
Mar 10, 2010
Mar 9, 2010
Mar 8, 2010
In our second video, a group of believers testify about their experiences while attending Bethel's School of Supernatural Ministry.
Mar 7, 2010
This is the story of an Indonesian Muslim woman who developed breast cancer. Her Christian husband and the Indonesian branch of the 700 club began to pray for her. A short time later her cancer vanished.
The video below was filmed somewhere in Asia. I don't know where, exactly. It seems to be an authentic video revealing the appearance of God in a cloud of glory during a prayer meeting.
Mar 5, 2010
Mar 4, 2010
This post has the potential to hurt a few people, but faithful are the wounds of a friend. I've written this because I love my friends.
I have some acquaintances that I correspond with on occasion. They present a challenge to me. They often post passages of scripture after making a comment on something I’ve said. It’s rare for these brothers and sisters to make any comment without some kind of reference to the bible. They frequently request others to provide ‘chapter and verse’ when they make statements having to do with spiritual life.
I’ve become increasingly concerned with this behavior and I have a confession to make. I was one such person, not long ago. I’ll describe this from my own experience.
After coming to the Lord in 2000, I began a 7-year journey; relentlessly devouring everything I could find to help me understand the bible. I became an expert of sorts. People used me as a resource for theological questions. I was always quoting chapter and verse. I questioned (and sometimes criticized) ideas, statements and positions that didn’t square with scripture…or rather, my understanding of it. If there were a banner over my life it would have said, “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good.” It was the word, not the spirit that was leading me. The letter kills, but the spirit gives life.
It was during this time that God showed me how dead I was. I had been born again, but not baptized in the Holy Spirit. I had a dream in which Luis Palau was present at a meeting. A woman at the meeting informed me I was spiritually dead and told me I became spiritually alive when I registered for a Kim Clement concert. That gave me reason to re-evaluate a lot of things. One of them was my obsession with biblical accuracy. I heard pastors say you could be so right that you were 'dead right'. Who knew they were talking about me?
I began having experiences that were hard for me to understand in the context of biblical Christianity. Although the bible has much to say about dreams and their interpretation, I’d never had a dream I remembered as an adult and never hear a sermon on dream interpretation. Suddenly I was having many dreams. God showed up in a few and He had a lot to tell me. Some of the experiences I've had while sleeping defy explanation. I have no memory of seeing, hearing or feeling anything. When I wake, I have an awareness that something 'spiritual' happened. But I can't find words to describe it. I know my spirit man was up to something, by my natural mind had no clue what was going on. I retained no memory of it. I have no chapter and verse for something like this.
It was also at this time that God began speaking new words to me, like 'prophet' and 'healer'. I had no grid for these things. But this was my new identity, like it or not. I reluctantly began the process of transformation, and in this new life I moved from servanthood, to sonship. Having my identity confirmed from the Lord freed me from the insecurity that compelled me to prove to men who I was.
I began having visions, visitations, angelic encounters and seeing miracles. Some of the images I see in visions aren’t found in the bible. Am I supposed to ignore them? How can I interpret them? This is where we have to lay the bible aside to come before God and ask what He’s saying, what it means, and how to apply it. As I hear the voice of God and declare His rhema word for a person, group or season, much of what comes from my mouth doesn’t have chapter and verse attached. Biblical principles should be found in it and the heart of God should be revealed through it. Prophecies must be judged. The question then comes – how do you know you’re hearing from God?
This is a case where relationship must have priority over the written word. I'm not suggesting experience trumps the logos. But God isn't a book. As His children, we must believe that we’re hearing the Spirit of God and trust that He is revealing the truth to us. Unfortunately, there have been errors in the past and there’ll be more in the future. I’ve missed my share of interpretations, and learned from the mistakes. I’m new, and making mistakes is part of the process of maturing.
I see problems in always demanding ‘chapter and verse’ to support statements. The first is, not all ideas and experiences have biblical references. The second is the fact that we don’t all have the same familiarity with the word of God. Most of the people who do this are very skilled in handling the word and know how to use electronic bibles to gather a mountain of verses to support their idea. They scan people’s blog or Facebook posts, looking for ideas that seem out of harmony with their understanding of the bible. When something hits their radar – they make a corrective observation, insert an adequate supply of bible verses and wait for a response. They are not intimidated, but seem eager to engage in a battle of words. They seldom back down. And that bothers me. Remember, I once did this myself.
I know there is much exhortation in the word to avoid false doctrine. But this behavior resembles what a bully does on a playground. Bullies look for those who are weaker and beat them up. It’s usually done out of a weakness or insecurity that torments them. When bullies grow up they become thugs who terrorize everyone around them. The people I’m referring to in this post could be called intellectual bullies. They go around looking for people who are intellectually weaker and beat up their ideas with a superior set of ideas. The references to scripture are nothing more than an iron bar or a baseball bat that says, “Don’t mess with me.” Is this the kind of life Jesus would have us live?
In a continual search for error they have become known as ‘heresy hunters.’ Bill Johnson made a profound statement that forever impacted how I see heresy. (I’ll paraphrase) He said that if you react to error, you won’t arrive at truth – but another error of a different kind. As long as error is your starting point – you can’t arrive at truth. The truth stands on it’s own ground, independent of and in no relation to error. Man wasn’t designed to react to error, but to respond to truth.
God wants us to be a culture that honors its members. Intellectual bullying dishonors everyone involved. This behavior needs to end. In some, a lack of identity may be the cause. Allowing God to tell us who we are can begin the healing process.
Mar 3, 2010
If you're not familiar with the orphaned spirit, but want to find out more, Bill Johnson does a nice job of explaining it here. If you're a heresy hunter - I'm pretty sure it isn't in the bible, so it'll keep you busy for a while. The problem is one of identity. The orphaned spirit is a mind-set in which we believe no one is able to protect or provide for us, leaving us orphans to fend for ourselves. It isn't just a problem outside the church; many believers are not yet fully convinced of who they are and who their Father really is. The problem of identity is critical to our mental, spiritual and physical health. The two videos below don't mention the orphaned spirit, but I believe they show the effect of it. In the first interview, heavy-metal rocker Kirk Martin shares about his deliverance from darkness and the belief that he needed to be in control of his own destiny. In the second, former Korn front-man Brian "Head" Welch tells how Jesus redeemed him from a life of self - destruction.
Mar 2, 2010
Mar 1, 2010
As we waited to buy tickets, my wife thanked me for going to the home show. Some of our friends were doing something like this tonight, and she knew I wanted to be there. But I love my wife and enjoy being with her regardless of where we are. Besides, I had the notion of smuggling Jesus in with me. Shortly after we arrived, we met a woman named Joan. As we talked, she handed me a mint patty. My wife declined and mentioned her gluten - intolerance. Joan had it. too. I shared a story from this blog about the woman from Redding who was healed of it. As we talked the Holy Spirit descended and I began to sway gently back and forth. Joan was a believer so we prayed, believing for a miracle. She gave us her card and thanked us. We hugged and departed. (Joan, you owe us a testimony if you were healed. :)
One way I know God wants to heal people is when I feel His presence increase. It's a green light that says 'go for it'. Later we met a man named Bill, a vendor for Conner remodeling. He teaches pottery and loves art. We talked about the product he was selling and about art. As we were ready to leave, he asked if we had our art on a website. I told him about this blog and about some of the testimonies I've posted. That made him curious. He told us about his knee replacement, carpal tunnel, torn rotator cuff and a few other problems he could live without. I told him we could pray for healing right now. He was a little uncomfortable having us pray for him in public, so I assured him I could do it quickly and discretely. I asked him to continue talking to my wife while I put a hand on his shoulder and prayed. He thanked us and gave us his card. We went by his booth later and he said he was beginning to feel better. (Bill, if you read this - let us know what happened )
One key to ministering to people in public is respecting their concerns. Some people are very modest and healing can become something like a circus. Keeping things low-key can help. There's a benefit you receive when praying for people. If God's presence is there, you're continually being filled with the Holy Spirit. I wouldn't normally be filled with joy, peace and love at a home show. But that night, I was.
Not far from Bill's booth we met Heather. She asked if we needed a security system for our house. We told her we already have one. I asked if she had any pain or sickness. She had neck and back pain from a car-accident. I told her what we were doing and she was happy to let us pray for her. (Heather - if you read this, would you report back on what happened?)
On my last shift on the ambulance I prayed for 3 patients. Two had terminal cancer, one had a spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage. I have no idea if any of them were healed and probably never will, and I'm fine with that. God touched all three with his love and that's what matters.
I've been convicted of not having the passion I should have for those who need to know about God. We're in a critical time right now. We can't afford to be lukewarm about the things of the kingdom. Some of my dreams have been telling me it's time to be on fire. So I've been stepping out of the boat more. My faith and boldness is growing, I hope yours is, too. The more I see people healed, the more I want to move in the miraculous.
I wanted to share one final revelation. My wife had a dream from God a few weeks ago. The interpretation was easy - the age of big-name healing ministries is coming to a close. This was confirmed by a word from a local prophet. We believe this word is seeing it's fulfillment now. We aren't saying that God is done using well-recognized people. But the anointing for healing is increasing on divine nobodies like me, who are on the streets and in stores healing the sick. God is willing to do miracles through anyone. Anywhere. No experience required.