Meetings in Kansas City at the International House of Prayer that have been happening since November ’09, known as the IHOPU Student Awakening, have resulted in the baptism of over one thousand people that had either just been converted to Christ or not yet been baptized, since they began the meetings in November. According to an IHOP leader (quoted from the March 27th meeting):
From the time that we started in November until now, we have baptized 1,259 people.
You can watch the meetings live, and view past webcasts and testimonies, by clicking here.
Meanwhile, at meetings of the likes we can barely fathom in America, over half a million people gave their life to Jesus over the course of just a few days in Nigeria! According to Evangelist Daniel Kolenda:
Just a few days ago we held a mass Gospel Campaign in the city of Numan, Nigeria. Over the course of 5 days more than 800,000 people attended the meetings and 557,860 decisions cards were registered from those professing their newfound faith in Christ.
What does a meeting like that look like? Below is a picture from Day 3 of the CFAN Crusade:
God is on the move in Kansas City, Nigeria, and around the globe!
On September 25th, 50,000 Muslims will be gathering in Washington D.C. for a historic event called Islam on Capitol Hill. A small group of Jesus-followers will also be there, handing out over 1,500 copies of “More Than Dreams,” a film about 5 former Muslims and how they came to faith in Jesus, to the attendees. Evangelist Fabian Grech will be leading this band of 25 as they travel to the largest Islamic gathering in America’s history. According to Grech:
More Than Dreams is a very powerful DVD made to reach Muslims. The DVD is made of five powerful testimonies of Muslims that were saved through literal dreams and visions of Jesus, and after each testimony there is a gospel presentation. … We will not be doing any form of aggressive evangelism, but we will be going with compassion and humility, and we will be telling them “I have a free gift for you, a DVD of dreams Muslims are having, feel free to watch it at home.” …. Our main goal is to get them to keep that DVD and take it home, and if they want to follow up with questions, they’ll be able to contact us through an email address we’ve set up and included on the DVDs. … People are fasting and praying in different parts of the U.S. for this outreach, and a team from Chicago will be joining us too.
We’ll be following up with a report of how things went with the team and with Friday’s gathering. To learn more about Fabian and his ministry, go to www.freedomtocaptives.com.
The Angel in Acts 11 told Cornelius to send for Peter “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”There is an incredible power in words.James says that “Life and death are in the power of the tongue…” and in no context is this more explicit then in the preaching of the Gospel. On Peter’s words hung the eternal destinies of Cornelius and his entire family.What a solemn and most severe responsibility we have to communicate the Gospel with clarity and irresistible persuasion.
In Matthew 13:19, Jesus is telling the parable of the sower.He says, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.This is the one on whom the seed was sown by the way side.”This is what I call, “Way-Side Evangelism”.Some preachers preach to hear themselves talk.Paul said that the time would come when people would want their ears tickled, but I think some preachers only care about tickling their own ears.These “Way-Side” preachers are infatuated with their own brilliance and charmed by their own eloquence.They love to impress people with their deep insight and advanced theological understanding.Meanwhile those listening to their message are as confused as a rabbit at an Easter egg hunt.What good is a message like that!?Preacher – save your cacophony of hermeneutical mendacity for the elephant-waxing tournament!We want to understand The Message!
Jesus said that when a person hears our message, but cannot understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.The Gospel is salvation articulated.If the world could only understand it, I am sure that they would find it utterly irresistible.But if we don’t make it plain someone listening to our message might walk right past the narrow gate to eternal life and never know that they missed it!It happens everyday…what a crime. We must not give the Devil an opportunity to snatch the seed away by preaching a Gospel that is confusing or hard to understand.When we preach with clarity, with poignancy and with precision, we stomp on the Devil’s grubby, pilfering fingers, the sown Word takes root and produces fruit that will remain in the lives of those to whom we minister.
Arriving on the Battlefield
I would be remiss, if I failed to address the other, equally significant side of this coin.It is not only the message that is important, but also the medium.For much of the world’s history the major medium for communicating thoughts and ideas was verbal transmission; anecdotes and parables passed down from one generation to another.This began to change however around time of the Protestant Reformation.Neil Postman points out that, 1“Beginning In the sixteenth century, a great epistemological shift had taken place in which knowledge of every kind was transferred to, and made manifest through the printed page.‘More than any other device,’ Lewis Mumford wrote of this shift, ‘the printed book released people from the domination of the immediate and the local;…print made a greater impression than actual events…To exist was to exist in print…’ 2” The Church was on the cutting edge of this shift with the very first printed book being the Gutenberg Bible.The following generations would see the Bible translated into more than 1,000 different languages and become the best selling book of all time.
In our generation there is another shift occurring.Today, electronic forms of communication are the dominant voice in the world.In the U.S. nearly 100% of households have a television and on average each dwelling has more than 2.More than a trillion Internet URLs are in indexed with Google alone, which performs over 2 billion searches daily.Consider that if Facebook were a nation, it would be the 8th largest in the world with over 150 million members.Everyday over 100 million videos are viewed on You Tube and the list goes on.In America we have seen a striking example of the power of electronic media in our recent presidential election.It has been said that President Obama won the election, 3“because he understood new media.”
A couple of years ago the Lord spoke to me and said, “Every generation has a battlefield.If the Church fails to arrive on that battlefield, she will loose that generation.Your generation’s battlefield is the world of media.”President Obama showed up in that battlefield and won because his opponent didn’t even know what the battlefield was. Francis Schaeffer said, “Each generation of the church in each setting has the responsibility of communicating the gospel in understandable terms, considering the language and thought-forms of that setting.”Our responsibility of making the Gospel understandable goes beyond simply saying the right words…it demands that we show up in the right forum.As a street preacher I used to look for the most populated place in town to go preach…a park or a street corner, anywhere the people were.I would have been an idiot to set my soap-box up in an deserted parking lot.
Not only must we communicate in a way that the people can understand. We must also take the Gospel to where the people are!Can I tell you where they are?They are in front of the Television and the radio and the computer. But for too long we have downplayed and even demonized these electronic communication mediums.And even those who have taken advantage of them, for the most part, have done so poorly (don’t get me started on Christian television).How can we win the battle, if we are not on the battlefield?How can we reap a harvest if we are not on the harvest field? Reinhard Bonnke says, “If you want to catch fish, don’t throw your net into the bathtub.” The seed of the Gospel is too consequential to be cast by the way side.
In the days of oral tradition, many generations faithfully communicated, with solemn commitment, the scriptures that we still cherish today.In fact it is evident that Biblical oral tradition has been among the most enduring in history. In the sixteenth century, the new world of printed literature was dominated by Christians who seized this medium for God’s glory.Now it’s our turn and I fear that we are not doing as well as our predecessors.We must trouble ourselves to communicate the Gospel with clarity to our generation where they are that we “…may by all means win some.”
1 Postman, Neil.Amusing Ourselves to Death.New York: Penguin Group 1986
2 Mumford, Lewis.Technics and Civilization.New York: Harcourt, Brace and World 1934
3 Lewin, James. http://www.podcastingnews.com/2009/04/16/
Hindus in Madhya Pradesh, India, have accused Pastor Kamlesh Tahed and three other Christians of murdering a young man who was killed in a fight between two locals, according to Compass Direct News.
On Aug. 8, Roop Singh Baria was killed during violence between the Baria and Tahed clans regarding 1,000 rupees (US $20), which had been borrowed by one of the Tahed family members. When members of the Baria clan filed a report with the police about the incident, they implicated Pastor Tahed, Kasna Tahed and two other believers, Ramesh Tahed and Vasna Tahed, in the murder. The four men and other locals insist that the Christians were not present when the murder took place.
Following the incident, Pastor Tahed said, “I once was one of them, but in the 20 years since I became a Christian, they have been dragging me into false cases and hate me for my work of evangelism.” In 2001, Pastor Tahed was jailed for 20 days on false charges of “forcible conversion.” He was released after a costly court battle, which proved his innocence. At last report, he was in hiding and the three other accused believers were in police custody.
God, shine your light of truth and righteousness on this situation.
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.
The moral desolation in America and the stagnation in America is not due to the strength of Humanism, it’s because of the weakness of evangelism. People don’t get born again when they come to the altar. They come down then they leave it down. They’re not born. People can’t be born in 5 minutes, put off ten million sins and transgressions and violations of the law of God. They can’t change a way of life, put off the old man, put on the new man, by just standing there in tears.
As we continue to put forth efforts to reach the lost, confront evangelistic atheism, and build a “stone wall” of intercession to confront gay activism in society, we must remember that we’re not part of an institutional religion but a powerful spiritual community of people that have encountered the Living God and are forever changed. Have you had that encounter? Have you died to this world and been risen in Christ?
It was in 1978. I was a “party-boy”. I made a lot of money and drove an expensive car. One of my employees, who was a follower of Jesus Christ, began to pray for my salvation in secret. I began to think about my wicked lifestyle. I wondered what would happen to me if I should die in my sins. Then, one afternoon while alone in my office, the presence of God entered the room. I fell from my seat to the floor and put my face in the carpet. I screamed out that God might be merciful to me. I surrendered my life completely to him. Everything changed. I lost all desire for sin. I forgot that I smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day. The desire was gone. I had no longer any inclination to sin. I had been born of God.
How would you describe your ministry?
My ministry is to equip the Church to do the work of ministry. To train them to heal the sick through proclamation of the Kingdom of God. And open the eyes of those whose eyes have been blinded by the god of this age. To turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among those who have been set apart by faith in Jesus.
What evangelistic efforts are you involved in?
Currently, I am involved in street ministry. Healing ministry outside the church setting, and training believers to do the same. Prison ministry in over 12 prisons. Most of my ministry is done outside the 4 walls of a church building – out where the sinful and sick are.
Below is a video of you dragging a giant wooden cross through the downtown areas of large cities across North America, what was your purpose in doing this?
Few things grab people’s attention like a person carrying a 10 ft cross in Uptown Charlotte. It has a way of stirring curiosity in people and many will come up and ask why I do it. It makes it easy to talk about spiritual things. Whenever a sinner asks me why I’m carrying it, they are not surprised or offended when I talk about God or Jesus Christ or sin or Hell. I have seen many fall on their knees in surrender to God publicly after a few moments of conversation. No one can be neutral when it comes to the cross of Christ. The cross demands a response.
Could you share a story of someone on the street responding to the cross?
There have been so many. One night, when carrying the cross in Uptown Charlotte, a group of young college students approached and asked about the cross. We shared the truth concerning sin, righteousness and the Judgment to come. Conviction came upon them. We then shared with them concerning the cross of Christ and His resurrection from the dead. In a few moments, they all fell on their knees there on the sidewalk, with people walking by, and surrendered themselves to Christ. As we walked a little further, we passed by a bar. A group of young men ran to the window to see the cross. One of them came outside and began to ask questions. After a few minutes, his friends called him back inside, but not before we had a chance to pray with him and to urge him not to sleep until he had unconditionally surrendered himself to the Lord Jesus.
As we were returning to the truck, a young man came running up to us, asking about the cross. We stopped. He was astonished, saying that he had just been on the phone with someone for over 2 hours talking about God. I asked him why he did that. He said he had been searching for the way to God for years, but that something would always distract him. I told him that this time God was distracting him. That his search was over.
After taking him through the Law to awaken his conscience and allow the Holy Spirit to convict him, we talked with him of the sacrifice of God’s Son. This man burst into tears, fell on his knees and began to repent and confess his sinfulness. He was so overcome, he literally forgot where he was. He stayed there on his knees for quite sometime. When he came to himself, he looked up and said, “oh, I forgot where I was!” He then began to rejoice and hugged us several times. He kept pointing to the spot where he had been kneeling as he would say, “I left them right there! I left my sins right there!”
It was a holy moment, and one I will never forget.
What do you want believers to walk away with after watching the video and listening to the testimonies?
I greatly desire that believers will be inspired to a life of radical faith, audacity and daring boldness so that we can all see the glory of God manifested and for His Kingdom to come, and His will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.
How can people take part in these evangelistic efforts?