Aug 29, 2015

God's Perspective on Excellence

 My wife and I were entertaining friends when we got on the subject of writing books. I told our guest I was not the best healer in the world. "If you want to see a really gifted healer," I said, "Go hang out with David Hogan."

I'm not the most knowledgeable or the most proficient healer, but with the little knowledge I do have, I was able to write a decent book on the subject, because in all honesty—I'm probably a better writer than I am a healer. There's still so much about healing I don't understand. Sometimes I feel unworthy of the questions people ask me. That night I had a dream:
In the dream, I was taking care of patients with a strange medical condition I didn't know anything about. They had this fluid in some kind of container that was somehow attached to their body. I was supposed to monitor this fluid. I didn't know what the fluid was and I didn't know how to monitor it. I felt very uncertain about how I was supposed to take care of these patients. So I did the best I could and tried to make sure nothing bad happened to them while they were in my care. At the end of the dream, I was given an award for providing excellent care for my patients. That was the end of the dream.
patient safety excellence awardWhen I awoke, I was a little shocked. How could anyone give me an award for providing good patient care when I had no clue what was wrong with my patients, what that fluid was, or how I was supposed to monitor it?
It didn't make sense.
Later that day, as I thought about the dream, I also thought about the book I wrote and how I still don't have all the answers to the questions people have about healing. And then it dawned on me what the Lord was saying in the dream. (This is a word of instruction for all of us):
It doesn't matter to God if you have things all figured out. It doesn't matter if you can answer people's questions correctly. It doesn't matter if you feel pretty clueless about healing or deliverance, or anything else He's asked you to do. It doesn't matter if you feel incompetent or incapable. What matters to God is that you do the best you can with the little information and talent you have.
Be a good steward of what resources and knowledge He's given you and He'll fill in the gaps of your knowledge and skill. Excellence doesn't require complete understanding. All it requires is diligence and a sincere desire to serve in whatever way you can.

Aug 4, 2015

American Sniper: Lessons in Spiritual Warfare

This is an except from my latest book American Sniper: Lessons in Spiritual Warfare.

The main character of American Sniper is a Texas-born redneck named Chris Kyle. The film opens with a scene of Kyle perched on a rooftop in the city of Fallujah, Iraq. U.S. troops have been told that the city was ordered to be evacuated and any military-aged men they find are assumed to be enemy combatants, until proven otherwise. Kyle is checking out the path of a U.S. military convoy through the scope of his sniper rifle. He sees a man on a rooftop in the distance talking on a cell phone. The man appears to be watching the convoy, which Kyle reports to his command through his headset. The man then disappears from the rooftop and a few moments later, a woman and a young boy exit the doorway of the same building and begin walking toward the convoy. Kyle reports the woman and boy to command, and notes that the woman is not swinging her arms as she walks and that she appears to be carrying something. Kyle watches through the scope as the woman removes something from her cloak and hands it to the boy and he realizes it’s a grenade. He reports what he sees and again gets the green light to shoot, but his marine guard warns him that he’ll be sent to prison for shooting a child if he's wrong. The film then cuts away and the next 20 minutes are vignettes of Kyle growing up as the son of a religious father who stressed the ever-present threat of evil, the virtues of aggression, and the supremacy of the hunt.

As a child, Chris learned to watch over his younger brother, Jeff. When someone picked on him, Chris came to his defense and in one scene, he gave the bully a beating he wouldn’t forget. As an adult, he spent most of his time riding bulls, drinking beer, chasing pretty girls and getting into fights.  In the same way that Chris drifted from one misadventure to another, many Christians find themselves drifting, spiritually. We go to church on Sunday, read our Bibles, and try to avoid getting into trouble, but inevitably, trouble seems to find us. We wrestle with various problems and seem to make little progress, no matter what measures we try.

The first seven years of my life as a Christian I traveled down a dozen different paths leading nowhere. Though I felt at the time I was a passionate believer, I had very few victories over the enemy. I lost more spiritual battles than I won. And perhaps more importantly, I never felt a great sense of significance; I felt like I was just another believer. In many ways I was drifting spiritually, with no real course or destination in mind, other than getting into heaven when I died.

No child dreams of growing up to be insignificant. We all want to do something great. God doesn’t create us to be ordinary. He’s placed a desire for significance in our hearts—a desire to do something to change the world for the better. It’s apparent early in the film that Chris Kyle knew he was destined to do something extraordinary.

The film cuts away to a scene of Chris and his brother watching TV. They saw the news of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Chris was infuriated that U.S. citizens were being attacked and felt compelled to do something about it. His anger over the attacks compelled him to visit a Navy recruiter’s office. The recruiter suggested he might be interested in the SEAL program and handed him a pamphlet, but Kyle remarked that he wasn’t much of a swimmer. The recruiter took the pamphlet out of his hand and said it wasn’t for most men. Kyle grabbed the pamphlet back and proudly replied “I’m not most men.” He didn’t envision himself in a routine job as a sailor. That would be too safe. He set his aim high and endured the brutality of Navy SEAL training.

A new Christian has very little that they bring to the spiritual battlefield from the world. We learn all kinds of ways to defend ourselves and attack our enemies as we go through life, but the Apostle Paul taught that the weapons of the believer’s warfare are not like the weapons and tactics of the physical world. Spiritual weapons are spiritual in nature and it’s only these weapons that can be used effectively against spiritual strongholds. Because spiritual weapons are so different from the weapons we’re familiar with, they require special training and practice before they can be used effectively. My introduction to spiritual weapons was illustrated by the following dream:

In the dream, I drove my car to a pawn shop with my children. I took some old things that I owned into the pawn shop and traded them in for a strange type of handgun. My kids waited a long time for me to come out. I left the shop with my new gun, but didn’t want my kids to see it, so I walked around behind my car, then took it out and examined it. The gun had a laser sight built into it. It was wide, with a round bulge that seemed to be for the ammunition, though it wasn’t a revolver and it didn’t have a magazine. I didn’t know how the ammunition was loaded. I began trying to figure out how it worked and decided to aim it across the street at a vacant lot. The gun fired two rounds, which I wouldn’t have known, except that I saw puffs of dust rise from the ground where I pointed the gun. It made no sound and didn’t seem to have a trigger, but seemed to fire by my thoughts. I put it in the trunk of my car and that was the end of the dream.

InterpretationIn the dream, I traded in a bunch of things I had obtained from the world for a new, spiritual weapon. I believe this speaks of acquiring a new way of thinking and living. I had to leave behind the way of thinking I had acquired from the world and learn the way of thinking used in the kingdom of God. I also had to learn how to defend myself and wage an offensive attack differently. I had no idea how my new gun fired. I didn’t yet understand how spiritual weapons operate, though I had obtained one that could be used effectively, once I was trained to use it.

You can read more by clicking the link to American Sniper: Lessons in Spiritual Warfare, or click on the image below.

Jun 23, 2015

Steve_HarmonMy guest blogger today is Steve Harmon.

My sister had Neuroblastoma as an infant. There were 13 lumps on her body. My mom was a new believer at the time. The church she was going to didn't believe in healing. My dad's brother talked to her and said that his church believed that God heals today. His pastor prayed for her and the baby over the phone. When she hung up the phone, my mom felt the sensation of heat going over her head and down her torso. From that point on, she knew the baby would be healed. She told her mother over the phone that Jesus was going to heal her daughter. There was this silence on the other end. She said to my mom, "Cynthia, can you put your husband on the phone?" My dad got on the phone and she said, "You need to watch Cynthia, she's losing it."

One day, at LA children's hospital, my mother told the doctor that the baby would be healed by Jesus. The doctor said, "Mrs. Harmon, you don't understand how serious this is." My mother was praising God down the hospital hallways. When they left the hospital, they parked their car in a parking structure far away from the hospital. They were leaving the structure and came to the arm gate that requires a token to leave. As they were pulling up, a black man was sitting on the wall right next to the arm. My dad is thinking he is going to ask for money. As they pull up, instantly, the guy asks my dad, "How's your kid?"

My dad looked at him puzzled. And said, "Huh?"

The guy replies, "Well, you don't have to worry about a thing because the Lord is going to heal your baby." My mom's heart skipped a beat,  and my dad blanked out because he really wasn't a believer.

My mom said to herself when they left, "I think that was an angel."

A few days after, my grandmother noticed the lumps were getting smaller. Within two weeks they were completely gone. There was no trace left. They did every test to check. It was so healed, it looked like it never existed. My dad asked the doctor what happened. The doctor replied, "I guess you just call it a miracle" and shrugged his shoulders. On the paperwork, the final note said, "Unexplained."

May 16, 2015

My Interview With Mark Rayner

Mark Rayner interviews me on the first episode of the new SBNR Show. We begin with a discussion about my early years as an atheist, how I became a believer and how God called me to healing the sick. Next we talk about keys to success in healing, and what it means to operate in the supernatural from a place of rest. We move on to a discussion about why anyone can see in the spirit and I share a few of the craziest things I've seen God do. We wrap up with a look at some future book projects me and my friends are working on. The SBNR Show is hosted here.

May 11, 2015

Lee Stoneking - My Resurrection

Lee Stoneking addresses the UN General Assembly and, after sharing his resurrection testimony, proposes that Jesus is the solution to world violence.

Apr 20, 2015

Can Everyone See in the Spirit?

This is an excerpt from my latest book Seeing in the Spirit Made Simple.

Although many good teachers have taught that seeing in the spirit is a gift that is only given to a few people, the thesis of my book is that seeing in the spirit is really an innate ability that we all possess, which for many of us simply needs to be developed through exercise. (I realize that some people are born with a fully-developed ability to see in the spirit, while others are not. I explain why this is so in the book.)

Visions, dreams and trances are but a few of the ways in which God speaks to us. Although  some of us find it hard to recognize His voice as He speaks through visual language, the problem isn't that God is not speaking. The problem is that He is a Spirit, who speaks in a spiritual language that is received by our spirit, and many of us have not developed our ability to perceive this spiritual language yet. Most of us have had our spiritual senses dulled by sensory input from the physical world, which makes it difficult to recognize input from the spiritual world. The key to perceiving and understanding spiritual communication is having our spiritual senses trained and refocused.

I believe everyone receives revelation from God, including revelation in the form of visions, but many of us are not aware that what we’re  seeing is from Him. We tend to attribute it to our imagination, or we pay no attention to it at all. The problem for many of us is our awareness and sensitivity to God's voice.

Just as our physical body is aware of things happening in the physical world continually, our spirit perceives things happening in the spiritual world continually. Any spirit being can interact with any other spirit being at any time, and these interactions never cease, even though we are often unaware of them. And it is our awareness, or where our mind is focused, that determines our perception of what is happening in both the physical and spiritual worlds.

When the physical body dies, the spirit and soul interact with other spirits and see things in the spirit world with ease. It is not as if at death, our spirit is suddenly empowered with abilities it never had before. It is simply that at the point when our physical body dies, its shell is removed, revealing the true nature of our spirit and soul as they always were. The spiritual body has no difficulty seeing in the spiritual world, and communicating with spiritual beings, but when the physical body is out of the way, it's easier for the soul to focus on the realities of the spiritual world. Every spiritual being has the ability to see in the spiritual world.

If we are spirit beings that are created with spiritual eyes that can see in the spiritual world, then the problem with seeing in the spirit is not that we don’t have the visual apparatus to do it, or that we lack the proper anointing or a spiritual gift. The problem is that our soul has not been conditioned to correctly perceive what our spiritual eyes are already able to see. The goal of this book is to help believers become more aware of what is happening in the spiritual world.

For more information, check out the book Seeing in the Spirit Made Simple.


Mar 31, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Visit Me to Be Healed

PHX Airport
I occasionally receive requests from people who either want me to travel so I can pray for them to be healed, or who ask if they can travel to see me to receive prayer. While some people have a list of reasons why you should let them take a crack at getting you healed, I'd like to tell you why I'm not that person. In order to illustrate a problem some of us are wrestling with I'd like to share an exchange typical of the ones I have with someone who needs healing:

Them: Is it possible I could come to your place and get healed? I'm really suffering.

Me: Where do you live?

Them: Canada.

Me: I need to ask you a question and I need an honest answer: How would you feel if you came to Phoenix and I prayed for you and you were not healed?

Them: Honestly, I'd be disappointed, but it doesn't matter. Many people have prayed for me and I haven't been healed.  I know that Jesus will heal me, so I'll keep looking for the right person.

I don't want to seem insensitive to the suffering of others. I feel deeply for anyone who suffers. I also don't want to play the "You don't have enough faith" card, because the problem we're dealing with has nothing to do with having enough faith. The simple fact is that people like me can't travel all over the world to pray for the sick, and it seems like a waste of money for the sick to have to travel the world in search of healing.

In the majority of cases where someone desires to receive something from God and they haven't received it, (including things as diverse as dreams, the gift of tongues, or healing) the problem is actually one of how we view God and how we view ourselves. Let's use the gift of tongues as an example:

Many people aren't speaking in tongues because they believe that God is the one who controls the process. They believe that if they're going to speak in tongues, God will take over their body and make it happen. If you believe God is the one in control of the process, it gives you no reason to try speaking in tongues yourself. The truth is that God does not take over your body and force you to speak in tongues. You are the one in control of the process. All He does is inspire the things you say. So many believers are a stalemate; they're waiting for God to do something that they must do themselves.

This wrong view of God prevents people from having what they desire. In a similar way, many people have not been healed because of wrong views they have about God, themselves or the healing process.

Some of us see healing as something like opening a combination lock. We might believe in healing and we may even believe God wants us to be healed. So far, so good. The problem (or so we think) is finding the right combination, and with healing, it seems to be a matter of visiting as many people as you can until you get the right person to lay hands on you. Many of us embrace this model of healing because we've heard of people who have been healed after having hundreds of people pray for them. Such stories make us think healing is a game of numbers. You just need to play the game long enough and receive prayer from enough people until you hit the jackpot.

What we fail to consider is that in most of the cases where someone was healed after receiving prayer from hundreds of people, something was uncovered in the final prayer session that was unrecognized, and once it was exposed, the person received their healing. It isn't a matter of finding the person with the right anointing as much as it is discerning the root of a problem and removing it. (Go here for an example.)

I usually tell people that if they've received prayer from many believers and they haven't been healed, the chances of me getting them healed are rather slim. It's likely they're going to spend a lot of money buying a ticket to visit me and be disappointed when they aren't healed.

Failed healing can be due to a number of reasons. Success in healing difficult cases is generally a matter of finding out what's preventing people from receiving their healing and removing it. For most of us, finding the right combination is a matter of making ourselves just as able to receive healing as God is to give it.

And this is where things get interesting...

Unless you're willing to investigate the possibility that your healing is being blocked by something like emotional trauma or a mental stronghold involving your thinking (or any number of other things) you're probably not going to be healed no matter how many anointed men of God pray for you. In these cases, it's not a matter of anointing. It's a mater of getting to the root of an issue the enemy is exploiting, bringing it into the light and letting Jesus deal with it. Most of the time, the problem is that we're believing a lie that is empower the enemy. These lies are nearly always things we believe about ourselves, about others or about God.

We tend to think that because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we're less prone to believing lies than non-Christians, but the truth is that because we listen to more teaching about God (some of which is true and some of which isn't) we're more likely to have wrong ideas about Him than non-believers by virtue of the fact we're exposed to more theology. It's surprising how many lies Christians believe about God and about themselves. The good news is that once the lies we believe are exposed and removed and the truth is allowed to take their place, we can receive healing just as easily as anyone.

Here's one last reason why you shouldn't visit me to be healed:

It isn't my calling to heal all the sick and injured people I encounter. While I love seeing people healed, and watching the power of God at work, and I rejoice every time a demon is made homeless, my main calling is not healing the sick, but training people to heal the sick.

This calling involves writing blog posts and books and connecting with the few people I come across who are passionate about healing and miracles. If I had to choose between seeing 100 people a day healed through my prayers or seeing 5 people a day trained in healing, I'd spend my time training. Those 5 people, once they're trained, are going to heal thousands and some of the people they minister to will learn to heal as well. While it's good for me to spend time healing the sick, it's better for me to develop materials that train and equip the saints for ministry. That is my real calling and it's the main reason why I seldom travel or pray for people in person upon request.

So before you buy a ticket to Phoenix, why not spend a little time with doctor Jesus and ask Him what lies you believe about yourself or about Him? Let Him reveal the lies and ask Him to show you the truth. Believe what He tells you and ask Him to heal your body and soul. Then send me your testimony. And maybe when we meet it will be to celebrate your victory.

For more information on healing, check out my book Divine Healing Made Simple.

Mar 14, 2015

I Am Your Tower - Rob Coscia

Photoby Adam Schallau
Photo by Adam Schallau
My guest blogger today is Rob Coscia.

I had a dream a few nights ago in which Jesus took me to a stone tower, somewhere between a city and the edge of a desert. We climbed the stairs about 50 feet to the top windows. I could see miles farther than I imagined. The wilderness was beautiful, from mountains and mesas to canyons and rivers, and was dotted with gorgeous oases. From this window, I could see most of the roads connecting them. He asked me, "What is a tower for?"
I thought about it a moment and said, "Historically (yeah, I used the word 'historically' talking to God in a dream- I know, I'm such a nerd), a tower has been used to watch for the enemy."

He didn't speak, but part of a scripture popped in my head. "You are my strong tower. You are my rock." I looked at Him.

"This tower is Me. It is a manifestation of My presence in your life. Every stone represents a time in your life in which I demonstrated My love, grace, and glory to you." As soon as He said that, I could see it. I also knew that the tower was continually being built up, stronger and taller.

Then He said, "You have been taught that intercession and prayer are a watchtower in which you must keep a constant lookout for the enemy. You have built your own towers to guard yourself against all that you believe will hurt you." I nodded. "This is My tower. It is the only one you need. My people are more concerned with what the enemy is doing than what I am doing. Like Elisha's servant, they are panicked at the weak forces of the enemy, instead of living in My glory that surrounds them. This must change." The truth of that crushed me.
"Look out this window. What do you see?" He pointed to an area far away. At first I saw nothing. But as I stared, the image came closer into view, like a telescopic lens. There was a young family I did not recognize, struggling to walk down an old path. The parents were each carrying a child. They were exhausted, hungry, and thirsty. I looked at Jesus.
"What else do you see?" I could see that they were very near an oasis, a gorgeous one with clear water and fruit on the trees. But there was a hill blocking their view, and they were heading away from it.

"What do I do?"

"Intercede." At first I had no idea what to say, but another scripture popped in my head. "Every mountain and hill shall be made low. The crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth."

"Lord, I agree with that scripture." I put my hands on the stone of the window sill and leaned out. I could feel His love for this family, and His joy at what was about to happen. "I pray that the hills around them shall be brought down."

There were streaks of light in the sky, which I assumed to be angels rather than lightning. They flew to the family, and a moment later there was a small earthquake. I could see panic on their faces, but they were completely shielded from harm. When it was over, the hill blocking their vision was gone. They could see the oasis, and headed straight for it.
I looked at Jesus. He was smiling at the family as they reached the desert garden. "Lord, what is this place? Where are we?"

"Don't you know? Look again."

When He said that, I could see. The revelation took my breath away. When I began treatment for cancer, I had a dream of being in the "valley of the shadow of death". It was dark, stormy, red with fiery mountains and very scary. In that dream, Jesus came to me as I sat on the ground weeping. He reached out His hand, and smiled at me as He lifted me up. I had that dream repeatedly, and would see it in my mind when I was awake. We walked together every day. He led me through every dark place until I was healed. He still walks with me like that. As I looked around at the hills and paths, I realized that this tower was on the spot He first lifted me up. But it was so different. It was wilderness, but it was beautiful, alive.

Knowing my thoughts, He said, "Wherever you walk with Me, that place is transformed. That is what you get to do. My people get to walk with Me through the darkest places and change them, to occupy them with My love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, generosity, power, grace, and glory. They get to see Me every day. They get to look out at what I am doing and join me in it. That is what will transform this world, and them.

"You are my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in who I take refuge." (Psalm 144)

"From the end of the earth I will cry to You. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever! I will trust in the shelter of Your wings." (Psalm 61)

Mar 7, 2015

Jesus Teaches Me to Relax While Healing the Sick - Ken Nichols

My guest blogger today is Ken Nichols. If you read my book Divine Healing Made Simple, you may remember Ken's dream where Jesus instructed him about His will for healing. This is Ken's story about another encounter with Jesus.

In a dream, the morning of 1/29/15, what I recall was that Jesus and an Angel were teaching and encouraging me in healing the sick. All three of us were standing in an area with lots of green trees and bushes around us. It seemed we had been walking along a path, but at this moment, we all paused so that they could share a point with me before walking on again. They seemed very much in a fun, light-hearted, smiling, manner (almost chuckling as they looked at each other and then back at me) telling me to just have fun while I am here. Their primary point to get across to me was the emphasis on persistence.
"Do you believe it is really My will to heal, ALWAYS?"

"Yes," I said.

"Then just keep going until you get results with each one".

"I know it's Your will always, but what I don't know is if I am in a place to get those results each time, like something is wrong with me, because at times it seems nothing is happening at all. "

Jesus replied, "Well, you are a new creation in Me, all things have passed away and all things have become new and all things are of God, and We don't make defective and broken children. There is nothing wrong with you. A carpenter doesn't hit a nail one time and if it doesn't go all the way in, he throws away his hammer thinking it defective or doesn't think his nails are good enough. He hits it again, and again UNTIL it is all the way in. They know if they hit it over and over, eventually it will go in. Builders use many types of fasteners: screws, nails, rivets, bolts. If they want to remove a rivet, they can't use a wrench or claw hammer. They need to use the right tools to remove whichever item they are working with. Depending on what the person has going on with them, an injury involving simply damaged or dead tissue, a sickness or disease caused by an infection, or body chemistry out of balance, a missing body part, a spirit of some category; you have been given tools which are appropriate for and able to remove any of these condition and bring the healing. Remember how you have been told that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to discover and search out a matter? You have heard it said that these things are hidden for you, not from you. So use your toolbox, of power, authority, gifts of the Spirit such as the word of knowledge, to know what is going on and what to do, and other gifts. Declarations of faith, and all of these working by love, and find which tool is the best fit to remove the problem you are facing. The more serious you get and harder you concentrate, the more it becomes your works, instead of just having fun, relaxing and placing your faith and confidence in My works. If one thing doesn't work, try something else, but always be listening as we may give you clues or guidance that will help you discover the answer. But it's no fun at all if you give up or quit after only trying a short time. Sometimes you may come across a suborn nail or a screw with a stripped out head and you'll have to be ready to do something outside the box. I sent people to wash mud from their eyes. Sometimes I had to deal with a spirit of infirmity first, sometimes I just told them to do something, so don't make it a formula, just do what you know and then if it becomes a challenge, have fun and explore and listen for clues and directions, kind of like the 'Hotter or colder' game you used to play when finding a hidden item." He took hold of my shoulder and rocked me back and forth saying, "You're so tense. Relax and have fun. So many have forgotten how to have fun. It really is easier than most make it. If it seems hard, then you're doing something wrong. Does this help?"

"Yes, it does," I said.

Feb 28, 2015

To Every Messenger a Message

sealed letterGod has taught me a principle that helps me deal with criticism and praise from those who read my messages. It's a bit of personal instruction He offered to help me see my efforts to advance the kingdom the way He sees them. Maybe it will help you see yours in the same light.

We're all given messages from God to deliver to others. While every Christian has the same King, and we're all asked to bear witness of Him to the world, the way in which we do it is unique. Your message and mine are not the same. Some of us are called as healers, some as writers, some as pastors, and others fix cars and teach their children about Jesus.  Every believer has a unique set of messages to deliver, and every message has an audience.

One of the problems I struggled with for years was knowing how I would tell people about Jesus. One day God said to me, "I'll show you what's wrong with your patients. You pray, and I'll heal them." I'd be willing to bet that none of the 6 billion people on earth have received that exact same message. You have a message or two from God that are unique, just as mine are unique to me.

God has given me a number of different messages. I have a journal where I write them all down. When time allows, I write them up and post them on my blogs. My blogs allow the people who are interested in my messages to access them whenever they want. The blog followers are the audience God has provided for the messages He gives me. Not everyone is able to deliver their messages through a blog. I have my way to deliver my messages and you have your way. The way in which a message is delivered is unique to each messenger.

When I write a blog post, I try to limit myself to only those subjects that God has authorized me to speak on. When we're obedient to speak only the messages He gives us, to the audiences He provides, the ones who hear the messages are likely to receive them with gladness and they'll bear fruit. When I want to give my audience a message I haven't received from God, I recruit someone else to deliver their message on my blog. In this way, I'm able to provide my readers with a variety of topics, without going outside the authorization and revelation God has given me.

My messages have critics who occasionally post negative comments. Thankfully, God showed me how to deal with them. In a dream, people were leaving comments on the things I posted. Most of the comments were positive, but a few were negative. In the dream, I knew I had to keep posting my messages for the sake of those who were blessed by them. I didn't let the critics get me down, and neither should you.

What is My Message?
One of the problems is knowing what God has authorized us to speak on. Sometimes the issues we're authorized to speak on are given to us as passions that we have for certain subjects. Generally, your message will be on the subjects that God speaks to you about in your conversations with Him. I should give you fair warning: The subjects of these conversations are not always dictated by Him. I've been surprised at how talkative He can be and how much instruction He's willing to provide on subjects that I've brought up. Some of the information I've received has been for my benefit only. I don't always receive permission to speak on these subjects, publicly.

Knowing which subjects you've been given grace to speak on (and which ones you haven't) is critical to reaching the audience He's prepared. It also determines whether your message will bear fruit. While it may be tempting to speak on an issue out of what we understand about it from our personal experiences, it's best to speak from revelation we've receive directly from God. He can tailor our message so that it addresses the issue from His perspective, expresses His heart, and makes a positive impact on the audience who hears us. There are many subjects we might be authorized to speak on. You may or may not be called to speak on healing, but I  know it's one of my messages. You may be called to speak on abortion, while I may have no personal revelation from God on that issue. Whether we have authorization from God to speak on an issue does not make it any more or less important to God. We should avoid thinking that a subject is less important because God has not authorized us to speak on it.

Who is My Audience?
The other problem is speaking the right message but delivering it to the wrong audience. I have many friends who engage in heated debates on a daily basis, simply because they haven't realized that their message is not intended for a universal audience. They believe it's imperative for everyone to receive their message, but in reality, God has prepared the hearts of certain people who will receive their message and bear fruit from it. The two keys to bearing good fruit as a messenger are knowing your message and recognizing its intended audience.  Generally, you know you've found an audience with ears to hear when your message is received well by those who hear it. That's not to say we should never expect resistance if we're delivering our message to its intended audience. A skeptic, who is actually part of the intended audience, may initially resist your message. God may try to persuade them to consider a different point of view through your message. Over time, their heart may soften and they may develop hears to hear your message. But if hostility, rejection and quarreling are things you continually face, you may need to re-evaluate your message or the audience you're trying to reach. The apostle Paul was convinced that he was called to preach to the Jews, but God's intended audience for him was the Gentiles. His was a case of having the right message, but delivering it to the wrong audience.

I don't know what messages you're called to deliver and I don't know your audience. That's between you and God. All I can do is urge you to ask Him for the message He wants you to deliver. Once you have your message, trust that He will provide an audience who will receive it—no matter how small they might be. Some are called to speak to millions, some to thousands, and some, to only a handful of people. The size of your audience isn't important. What matters is your obedience to God. If you obey, you and your message will bear much fruit.

Feb 25, 2015

My Friend’s Deliverance – Kazuko Onishi

This testimony was sent to me by my friend Kazuko Onishi. I’d like to introduce her to those who don’t know her. Kazuko lives near Kobe, Japan. She was the first person in the country to purchase my book Divine Healing Made Simple. We became friends on Facebook and she asked if she might translate my articles and parts of the book into Japanese for her friends as there is very little written on healing and deliverance in her language. I agreed and before long she was teaching her friends what she was learning, mostly from my writings and those of Bill Johnson and Randy Clark, which she is also translated for her friends. This is the message she sent me about her first deliverance session, which came unexpectedly while having dinner with friends:
Hi Joseph, (That’s what she calls me.)  :)
I don’t know if you are interested in my story but I want to share it with you. I had G4 summit meeting last Saturday.  Two months ago I received a FB friend request from a woman I’ll call Tina who lives in New Zealand. She was impressed by your “Power and Authority” in Japanese on my FB.  She asked me if she could talk with me about healing and deliverance when she comes back to Japan. She is from Osaka. So I asked her if I could invite Robert too. (Robert is a mutual friend of ours.)
She came back to have a wedding to a man I’ll call Dan whom she met in New Zealand. Dan, who used to be a Muslim is now a fervent Christian too. So Tina, Dan, Robert, and I met together in Kobe. We had a great time talking, praising God, sharing testimonies, and praying together at my favorite cafe (The coffee there tastes so good).  We were talking for three hours and more and then Robert had to leave.
Dan invited me to have dinner with them so we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant.  After eating, I asked Tina if could pray for her because at the café she had said she always had pain in her toes. I asked about her pain level and she said she had no pain then because there was God’s presence around us.  Whenever there’s presence of God, she has no pain but only stiffness.  So I prayed and commanded her stiff toes to be flexible.
“Strange to say,” she said, “the pain came back to my toes.”
So I laid my hand there and commanded the pain to leave in Jesus name.
“It’s very strange, but it moved to another part,” she said.
“Where?” I asked.
It moved to her right cheek, then to her right neck and lastly to her throat. I prayed each time when it moved.  We were convinced it was the evil spirit that caused her pain and I commanded it to come out and leave from her mouth.  It became smaller and smaller but it was still stuck inside her throat.  I felt something in her throat moving under my hand.  Her body twitched a few times. I switched praying in Japanese to tongues and then she exhaled something. Finally it came out from her mouth and she said she saw a snake leaving in her vision.
It is the first deliverance I’ve ever had.
I sent a mail to Robert about it yesterday and he said he could see the snake manifesting in her at the cafe but didn’t say anything. He asked the Lord to show him the way to deliver the snake from her that night. He says that deliverance from a snake means much to us.
Robert is a seer and I always wanted to be like him. But now I think God gives each of us a different gift. I think God gives me a gift of healing (Of course I know every believer can heal the sick in the name of Jesus. But mine seems to be stronger). Tina’s headache was instantly healed when I laid my hand and prayed at the Café (she said my hand was so hot). Dan’s running nose was completely healed when I laid my hand on his nose and prayed twice at the restaurant. I’m sure Coreen has some special gift too. (Coreen is a mutual friend of ours.)
Good night, Joseph!
If you know anyone who might benefit from the material Kazuko is translating into Japanese, she can be found on Facebook, here.

Jan 31, 2015

Are You Authorized?

My last post had to do with the subject of authority. The take home message was that each of us has been granted authority from God in a number of different areas. Metaphorically, these areas can be thought of as mountains. While it's helpful to know what specific subjects Jesus has given us authority over, it's also good to know the areas He has not given us authority over and what the consequences are when we get involved in things outside our scope of authority.

A few years ago I had a dream where Jesus came to the church to check the credentials of people who were teaching others about God. Those who were teaching without being authorized by Him were in a bit of trouble. The primary issue He was concerned with was authorization.  A secondary issue was the content that people were teaching. Many false ideas about God were being taught by people who weren't authorized by Him. Along with the Lord's authorization of someone to speak on a subject, came the content of their message. The fact that they needed to be authorized to speak on certain subjects came as a surprise to most people, even though Jesus warned us about this.

Social networking has become a global platform for anyone who wants to share their opinions about God. You don't have to look very far to see people publicly preaching their ideas about what or who God loves and hates. We're bombarded with theological opinions everywhere we go, and apparently, Jesus is listening to what we're saying.

Over the last few years, I've learned that Jesus is very interested in the things I say. What I'm authorized to speak on as a representative of my King is pretty limited. I'm authorized to speak on healing, deliverance, prophetic ministry, dreams, and a few other things, but the list is fairly small. I have opinions about things like tithing, the rapture, abortions, etc. I think I know what the bible says about them and I could offer my views if I wanted to, but God hasn't authorized me to speak on them. He hasn't given me specific revelation on them. Since I know that His authorization on a subject carries with it His revelation, the things He shares with me I'm willing to share with others, but the things He's silent on, I try to remain silent on. I don't want to to step outside the realm of authority He has authorized. One of the sticky points of  being granted authority is that in addition to giving us freedom to speak on certain issues, it restrains us from speaking on other issues. Jesus modeled this restraint by only saying what the Father authorized Him to say and doing what the Father authorized Him to do.

Due to our unique personalities, gifts, talents and life experiences, God authorizes each of us differently. Those who have been authorized to speak on a subject are given God's heart on that subject, the right life experiences and the right message. God also provides an audience with ears to hear the message. Having God's authorization to speak on a subject creates a favorable environment. Those who speak on subjects He has authorized tend to bear good fruit. Those who speak without His authorization bear the fruit of the flesh. Their messages tend to create discord, division, and enmity. Since God is not the author of confusion, if there is confusion surrounding a message there's a good chance that someone who is not authorized is doing the talking.

I'm often asked questions about things which God has given me no authority to speak on. An example is generation sins and curses. While I know people who have personal revelation from God on these subjects, I can't think of a single thing God has revealed to me about them. So when people ask me I simply tell them, "I have no revelation on that," and point them to people who have received revelation on it. There's no shame in admitting to your ignorance on a subject. If you give people counsel that isn't from God, you're probably going to lead them astray. I think it's wiser to say nothing on subjects we're not authorized to speak on.

My suggestion (if you're looking for one) is pretty simple: Check with Jesus and ask Him what you are and aren't authorized to speak on and make a list. Once you have clear direction from Him, ask Him to reveal His heart on those issues and confine your conversations to those which He has authorized you to speak on. Then watch how He moves through you.