“If any man would come after me let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me.”
Christianity is not a religion, it is a revelation that brings transformation. It is the switching of kingdoms. From one rule to another, “out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2.9).” There are only two rules or governments, God’s rule and everything else that is not God’s rule. We leave the management of our own lives and enter into His management of our lives. The good news is that He saves us from our own rule, and everything we deserve from being our own ruler.
Our lives are to be “living sacrifices (Romans 12.1-2).” Leonard Ravenhill said, “the only true freedom is to live in bondage to Jesus Christ.” “You are not your own you have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6.20;7.23).”
God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever places his trust in Him would posses eternal life (John 3.16, my paraphrase).” Faith is the essence of everything in God. Faith is this; the absolute refusing to trust in yourself and the casting of yourself totally upon Him. It is the Cross! Faith and the cross are inseparable. They are synonymous. Why? Because the resignation of yourself is the death, and that total surrender is true saving faith. This faith of death is the ignition of divine life! The gospel isn’t turning bad men into good men, but making dead men come alive(Ephesians 2.1). This is divine life; Christianity is not a change of life but an exchange of life. We become men in whom the Spirit of God dwells. We are no longer human, we are supernatural. We are the new race in the earth (1 Cor. 10.32). The Holy ones consecrated unto God and inhabited by God!
His love has wonderful benefits. “Forget not His benefits, who forgives all our iniquities and heals all of our diseases (Psalm 103.3).” What wonderful effects of Salvation; “Surely our sicknesses He Himself bore…by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53.3-5).” Everything that is not perfect health in your body was put upon Jesus at the cross. “Sickness is to the body is what sin is to the soul. It is already paid for by Christ Himself…every law that applies to salvation applies to healing (John G. Lake).” “God cannot choose not to purchase your healing, He already bought it (Bill Johnson).” He is not questioning, if He will buy your healing for you, He already bought it. It is God’s will to heal everyone, every time at all times. Some of the effects of the atonement are cleansing from sin, power over sin, healing from sickness and power over sickness! The fullness of His love is not just shown to us in the suffering of His death for us as a substitute, but also in the realization of all the effects of that death. He entered into every part of man and reversed the poison of death that Adam’s rebellion had set in motion. The end goal of everything is for us to be just like Jesus. He is “bringing many sons unto glory…(Hebrews 2.10)”. The cross is the only instrument that He uses to fashion us into His image.
Eric Gilmour is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Revival & Evangelism.
In Acts chapter four we see the disciples standing on trial. They are commanded to stop preaching Jesus. Look at part of their response. They said, “we can’t stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” There seems to be the reverse effect today in the American church, because we can’t start speaking (for the most part).
The reason that there is a divide between the apostles, who couldn’t stop speaking, and the modern American church, who can’t start speaking, is because the issue of speaking lies in the issue of seeing and hearing. Jesus said, “What you have heard in the dark speak in the light.”
Many modern American Christians haven’t been hearing the voice of God and very rarely see anything in God. Their spiritual eyes are darkened and because of this, they having nothing living inside of them to speak out. Not only that, but because they don’t speak out they don’t see anything happen that would build their faith. As Bill Johnson noted, “The first step to growing in miracles is to pray for the sick.”
I believe that if we really spent quality time in His presence, consistently depending on Him for life, our ears would pop open. I believe here, in the place of hearing, our eyes would be unveiled to see. And having seen and heard from the Lord we would have a bursting spring of the love of God inside of us for a lost and dying world. We would be leaking deliverance to our surroundings.
Brother, if you have an issue getting yourself to speak, take care of the root issue and go get with Jesus. Let Him show you His heart and place it inside of you. I promise like the apostles of old, you will have a hard time passing people on the street because you are burning to tell them of His wonderful love for them.
Today I was walking around the park with a friend of mine talking about the wonderful revelation of Jesus that has been burning in the secret place of His presence. We saw a man sitting on a bench by himself. We figured that he was waiting for us. So we brought the gospel to him. Not only did he give his life to Jesus as we told him of the wonderful Savior who didn’t come to shame sinners but to save them, but he told us that he had a torn cartilage in his knee and it was in a lot of pain and as we prayed for him, all his pain left his knee. Also, a word of knowledge about his religious past broke his heart and his eyes filled with tears as the presence of God came upon him in power and love.
Let’s get alone with Jesus. He will speak and show us Himself. This is the only inflow for such an outflow!
“…. while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” -Ez. 1.1b
For Ezekiel, who functioned as a young priest of Judah, the bank of the river Chebar was hardly the ministry opportunity he would’ve had in mind when he laid his life down for service in the temple. The river Chebar was the territory of Babylon, and he was laboring among a people who had been exiled, and who were under the judgment of God.
It would’ve been a remarkably trying time for him, where all his expectations and ideals for God’s people had been shattered, and his own priestly desires had been walled in and suffocated by the cold reality of exilic experience. He was not where he had hoped to have been, and his people had totally fallen short of that for which he had prayed and labored.
…. the young priest had to pass through a waiting period of agonizing tension in which hope and fear alternated.
(Walther Eichrodt, EZEKIEL; Westminster Press, p. 54)
Ezekiel was likely being tossed to and fro by encouraging days, when a few of his kinsmen would come alive to the Law, and radically discouraging days, when others would curse him and the word he presented. Had God forsaken he and his people altogether? Was there any way to live as His people in the midst of Babylon? Could he bear the light of God in the soul-chilling surrounding of such darkness? Little did Ezekiel know that his own presence by the river Chebar would be the very extension of God Himself to a people in radical need of prophetic reality. Little did Ezekiel know what was coming. God Himself would break into the maze of questions and struggles to reveal the glory of His enthronement. And this is just what Ezekiel needed in such a time of shaking.
The coming of Yahweh to Ezekiel and the sending of the prophet to Israel show that God was still concerned with His mysterious and special purpose for the ‘house of Israel.’
…. God’s coming to keep faith with His people knew no barriers. In the full splendor of His regal glory God met His people in the midst of a heathen land.
(EZEKIEL 1, Walther Zimmerli; Hermeneia, Fortress Press; 1979, p. 140)
Perhaps you are reckoning with the same alternating emotions, going from hope to fear, from encouragement to discouragement. Perhaps you feel trapped in a type of Babylon, and you are wondering if there is any sense to your life and calling. Know this, dear saint: Just as the Lord was “still concerned” for His “special purpose for the house of Israel,” He is intensely concerned for you. He will “keep faith with His people.” Indeed, “He who began a good work in you will complete it, unto the day of Jesus Christ.”
You may be in the midst of a heathen land, but God will meet you even there. He will wash your feet, your hands, and your heart. He will be the balm of healing to your cracked soul. He will purify your lips and restore the praises of God to your mouth. He will mold and commission you, in the unique way He has appointed, to make you a voice in this generation. You need only to lift your eyes away from alternating emotions and distracting thoughts, and to see Him enthroned on high, “in the full splendor of His regal glory.” When the breakers are rolling over you and there seems to be no possibility of breathing, He is still enthroned, and extending His hand to you. He calls you today, even now, to come up above the tossing waves, and into the clear air of fellowship with Him.
A group of Christians praying for random people to experience the supernatural presence of the living God on network television? That seems to be the goal of a group affiliated with Randy Clark’s Global Awakening Ministry. They explain their idea for the potential show entitled “The God Squad Show” below:
…through relationship with God being able to see future events in peoples lives… being able to paint and show future events or unlock mysteries and draw the viewer into a greater understanding of life…with the laying on of hands restoring life to the recently deceased…
Sounds like a great conference! It’s not. It’s descriptions from some of the 6 Primetime dramas on the 3 Major Networks! We can’t get enough of the supernatural… because innately we know, there has to be more…
It’s time for us to give the viewing public more. It’s time for a reality show that doesn’t highlight our greed, fickle hearts or ability to withstand pain and hardship, but a reality show that shows His ability to provide, restore and heal our pains and hardships.
God Squad is a half hour reality show that takes us to city streets all over America and allows us a front row seat to individuals experiencing encounters with the supernatural in a way that has never been seen on secular television. We follow our cast members as they encounter random individuals in daily life and bring them into a supernatural experience.
In our travels we will see sight restored, aches and pain relieved, people healed by art drawn for them, about them before we even met them… broken lives restored to peace and love… watch people feel the supernatural Presence on their bodies in a physical and undeniable way.
In each episode we will visit several cities and go from story to story of supernatural encounters taking place in peoples daily lives right in front of us… in real time.
Reality is often just a lie agreed upon, its time to bring the truth to reality and to confirm what we know in our hearts… that just like we imagine in our weekly fictional dramas on TV, the truth is… there is more.
Below is a clip of someone from the group praying for a woman with no cartilage in her knee. While we cannot verify the long term results of the prayer on the woman’s knee, she does say to the crew that though she is not a “religious person,” she found that as she was being prayed for, her knee felt progressively better, and she felt a strange feeling rush through her body (I found one of the comments on the youtube page for the video amusing: “r there more video’s like this?? and how the **** is it so possible…. i dont ****** get it “): [Link to Video]
People were made to experience the supernatural. Let’s hope that this and similar projects succeed in displaying the power of God to the world.
Daniel Kolenda, a new writer here at VOR, is a fifth generation Pentecostal preacher who received a calling to take the gospel to the nations as a young boy. In 1997 his life was radically changed after an extraordinary encounter with God’s power at the Brownsville Revival. After attending the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and Southeastern University, Daniel began to travel with evangelist Reinhard Bonnke as an assistant, seeing multiplied thousands of people physically healed and put their faith in Jesus. He is now on the senior leadership team for Christ For All Nations, and regularly preaches at CFAN crusades.
What does an African CFAN crusade look like? The following video shows the crowd at a meeting in Nsukka, Nigera during a message from Dan on who Jesus is (an estimated 300,000 people were in attendance):
I was raised in a pastor’s home. In fact I am a fifth-generation pastor’s kid. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not love Jesus. I was born again when I was 6 years old and have followed Him ever since.
What do you believe God has called you to do?
As a young boy I felt the calling to preach the Gospel. I used to ride on my bicycle from house to house knocking on doors and witnessing to anyone who would listen. As a teenager I started street preaching. Today, I do the same thing I have always done, just on a larger scale. Along with the preaching of the Gospel, I have a desire to inspire and equip people to do the same. This is done through conferences, writing and any other means available.
What drives you?
I just want to hear Jesus say, “Well done”.
You preach to hundreds of thousands of people at Reinhard Bonnke’s gospel crusade events in Africa. Describe what that’s like.
Contrary to what many people imagine, I do not feel nervous at all. Instead there is an overwhelming sense of responsibility. To stand before half-a-million people and realize that, for many, I might be the last chance they have to find the “Narrow Gate,” is a sobering reality. But when I hear the massive crowd praying with me, receiving Jesus, many with tears, I feel as though all of Heaven is watching and listening. It is without question the greatest privilege in this world to lead millions of people to Jesus. My eyes well up with tears just thinking about it.
Unbelief often infiltrates our hearts in the most covert ways. Sometimes we don’t even realize that it’s there. It is good from time to time to take stock of our own belief system to see what is based on God’s Word and what is simply something that we have heard repeated, even by godly leaders, and accepted as fact.
One of the most common questions that people ask me is, “Why do these incredible miracles happen in Africa but not in the western world?” I have heard very well known and well-intentioned ministers give entire teachings about why God doesn’t do it here. I have even heard one use Reinhard Bonnke’s crusades (where I preach) as an example. Some of the explanations I have heard are actually very rational and really explain in detail why it works this way. I must admit, for a long time I also had various answers to this question. And then one day, it occurred to me…the problem is revealed by the question itself.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “…He that cometh unto God MUST BELIEVE.” Anyone who approaches God with the preconception that God heals there but not here (wherever “here” and “there” may be), has already prophesied the outcome of there own request. You cannot approach God like that. Faith is the fundamental basis upon we can and must approach the Almighty.
Where did we get the idea that God does greater miracles in third-world countries than he does in the west? Many people, in asking this question, have just accepted this notion as fact, but what data is it based on? There is certainly nothing in scripture to support it. I can tell you from my own anecdotal experience, as one who ministers all over the world, that THE POWER OF GOD IS THE SAME in the Western world as it is in Africa, Asia or any third-world country. I just returned a couple weeks ago from a tour in the United Kingdom. We saw incredible miracles in every single service. Tumors were disappearing, deaf ears opening, arms, legs and eyes instantly healed. In fact, given the relative numbers, I would say that in many places in the west I have seen more healings then even in Africa – you can’t tell me that miracles don’t happen in the west!
Psalms 78:40, 41 gives us some fascinating insight on God’s frustration with the Children of Israel in the wilderness. It says, “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, AND LIMITED THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL.”
Of course the Children of Israel had seen great wonders and signs unlike any generation of human beings before them. They knew that God was powerful, but they subjected Him to a set of parameters and constraints based on their own experiences. God was provoked and grieved by their limitations and allowed their doubt to become a self-fulfilling prophecy (ie. Ex. 14:11 the Israelites say, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?” – Num. 26:65, God says, “They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.”)
Even Jesus had a taste of this in His own ministry. When He returned to His hometown Mark 6:5 says, that He was not able to do any miracles there. I can just hear the locals asking each other, “Why do miracles happen in Jerusalem and not in Nazareth?” Their unbelief was literally enough to limit what He was able to do in their midst. Their unbelief had become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The philosophy that God doesn’t do it here, is nothing more than an insidious, demonic doctrine of unbelief, and I, for one, refuse to humor the bogus assumption discretely tucked into the question any longer. How has Satan managed to get us to buy into this baseless lie wholesale? It was in the west that the Great Awakenings took place. It was in the west that people like Smith Wigglesworth, Kathryn Kuhlman, William Branham and all of the great healing evangelists of the 30’s 40’s and 50’s witnessed some of the greatest miracles in recorded history. It was in the west that the Holy Spirit was poured out in Wales and Azusa Street and the Hebrides. The Charismatic movement, the Jesus People movement, the Toronto outpouring and the Brownsville Revival, all happened in the west.
It’s worth mentioning that this is not a uniquely western problem…it is a human problem, a problem of unbelief, a problem of limiting God. You see, for some reason, many have subconsciously bought into a philosophy that says miracles can happen everywhere except here. Those in the west find it easy to accept that something miraculous can happen far away like Africa or Asia. But I have also heard those in Africa and Asia talk about the wonderful things happening in America. The voice of unbelief says that anything can happen…somewhere else. This is not faith and it does not please God.
What other notions have we adopted into our belief system that limit God? Maybe we will find that some of our great questions have a very simple solution, one that we have actually known all along, “He that cometh to God must believe…”
One man told me recently, “I consider myself a ‘Chari-skeptic’.” He apparently took great pride in his unbelief – two sins for the price of one. I know people who feel it is somehow noble and a great service to the Body of Christ to question everything that God does. Every healing has to be verified by a doctor, every manifestation needs a logical explanation, and every miracle must be approached with skepticism and cynicism. Their default setting is to doubt their “beliefs”.
While I am certainly not one who endorses mindlessly swallowing everything that comes down the line, I would like to see a new breed of skeptics arise; skeptics that question uncertainty, doubt doubts and are cynical about unbelief.
Jesus was this kind of skeptic. In Mark 6:6, we read that Jesus “…marveled because of their unbelief.” Jesus couldn’t believe that they couldn’t believe. Why are the unbelievers always on the offense and those with faith always on the defense? Isn’t it more logical to trust an all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere-present God rather than the six inches of grey matter between our ears? I say we should be skeptical of anything that hints of unbelief.
As mentioned earlier, many people ask, “Why do more miracles happen in Africa than in the west?” My response, “Who says that more miracles happen in Africa?” I’m skeptical about the premise of that question.
Here’s another question I get asked often; “Why doesn’t everyone get healed?” My response to that is the same as the one above: “Who says everyone doesn’t get healed?” A valid question might be, “Why didn’t everyone get healed in that particular setting?” But to just assume, based on your own experience or something you have heard, that in every instance, only a percentage of those sick receive a healing, is in my opinion, founded in unbelief.
Another question I often hear is, “Why don’t miracles happen like they used to?” You see, just like it’s easy to believe that miracles can happen…somewhere else, it’s also easy to believe that something miraculous happened in the past, or can happen sometime in the future. The only thing people have difficulty believing is that God can do it right here, right now…but here and now is all we have.
I think that often these questions, and others like them, are really nothing more than a subconscious attempt to let ourselves off the hook. But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His Word, His power and His promises are the same. What’s more, there are plenty of people who are seeing God’s mighty power demonstrated here and now. Bottom line: there is no excuse.