Sunday, April 24, 2005

Going to the Next Level...

We had some cool stuff go on these last two weekends.

The first thing was a major confrontation with a God-Hater. This guy was violently opposed to the Gospel, his anger barely concealed under the surface. It was all he could do to not fly in our face and get physical. We persisted, patiently explaining and preaching the Gospel to him and his friends. They mocked us, ridiculed us and told us how stupid we were, but we persisted. We all received some words of knowledge and when we spoke them to him, his demeanor changed, a strange look came over his face and he hardened. There are times when you know that what the Lord is giving you is right, even though you get no confirmation from the person you are talking to and this was one of those times. It’s not a safe practice to assume you are right even when the person you are talking to you is saying you are wrong, but this was the exception. The Lord gave us some extremely detailed information about this guys’ past, we spoke it to him and he denied it. But it was clear that it hit home.

Finally, after contending with them quite a bit and standing our ground, we got an opportunity to prove that what we were saying was true. We always ask them for an opportunity to prove it by healing the sick or casting out demons. We found out that this God-Hater’s girlfriend has a skin disease and growths on her ovaries that cause her a bunch of pain. We made a challenge; If she doesn’t get healed, then what we are saying isn’t true, they can disregard it all. But if God heals her, then what we are saying was true and all of them (about 5 of them) would have to give their lives to Jesus. The readily agreed. We prayed right then and then fasted the next weekend and now we are waiting for the results from her Doctors appointment happening in a week or two. We believe that they are going to go in there and see that the growths are gone and that this skin disease is cleared up. That will be a good one.

Also, we ran across a group of kids, told them that Jesus was King and His Kingdom was on the earth and then started prophesying to them. One of the guys on the team got a word of knowledge that one of the kids in the group (about 5 of them) had been watching a loved one get physically abused by their family. As soon as he said that, a girl in the group started weeping. Apparently, one of her close relatives was being physically abused by their family. This set off a chain reaction as the Holy Spirit began moving on the whole group. Some folks on our team start crying with compassion and the rest of the kids were undone that the Lord would be that specific for the young girl. In about ten minutes, all five of them got born again and gave their lives to Jesus!

Which leads me to my next point.

We have been plugging away at the same group of kids for about six months now. We go out just about every Friday and Saturday night, weather permitting. During this time, we have seen a bunch of people give their lives to Jesus, a few awesome miracles, some healings, and a lot of heated confrontations. The Lord has made clear to us that we are to take this thing to the next level. What do I mean by that?

Church planting.

The Lord is giving us a strategy to not only make converts, but disciples. We want to build the Kingdom of God, one solid believer at a time. At the places we go, we are known; whether that’s a good thing or not depends on the person you are talking to. Almost every week now we are running into people that have been affected, changed, healed or born again through our witness and preaching. We are getting to know them, talk with them, answer questions and move them closer and closer to Jesus. The next step is to begin their training to be a soldier for Jesus Christ.

We’ve invited them to our church, but none of them have come. Many of them have been going to their home churches, the same ones they left years ago, but that’s not going to last very long. It didn’t work out the first time and there is little chance it will work out this time. Most churches preach abstinence from sin and the things of the world, almost completely neglecting the gifts and calling that God has given to every believer. We know that to serve Jesus, the best defense is a good offense. The Gospel is offensive. It’s not about what you can’t do but rather what you can do. These new believers can preach the gospel, winning their friends and family to the Lord, they can heal the sick, they can cast out demons and they can raise the dead. It’s only as they get rolling in what they can do that they will discover all that they possess in Jesus.

So, we are praying and believing God to get these guys in a home fellowship, where they can be taught the Word and experience the presence of God with other believers. It will start as having dinner together at Steak and Shake, but will become a church of radical new believers that will carry Gospel fire back to their friends and families. As of this writing we have two of these groups in action, but our goal is to have at least ten by years end. Yeah, it’s a lot of work, a lot of time and extremely exhausting, but it’s worth it.

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A Little Bit of Persecution...

But not from whom you would expect…

Things have been heating up out there. We have had several confrontations recently that almost got physical. Not on our end mind you, but some of the people we are talking to have grown hostile to the Gospel. It’s not the “sinners” either. The kids who are God haters, the atheists, the drunks and the pagans are just fine. They still meet the Lord and get their mail read. It’s the religious kids that have started persecuting us. Mainly good old Baptists with a few angry Catholics in there for good measure.

Basically, there beef with us is, and I quote, “How can you come out here, thinking that what you believe is right?” Or, “How can you come out here talking to people? Religion should stay in the church!” We almost can’t believe our ears at some of the things coming out of these “Christians” mouths. They have started now to openly oppose us, telling us that we can’t reach young people like this; we should just wait for them to come to church. They are offended that we would say that Jesus heals, saves and delivers. They tell us that God isn’t inside of us (Antichrist) and that God doesn’t heal anymore. They tell us that we shouldn’t read the Bible literally. They tell us that they are going to heaven, so leave them alone, ignoring the fact that there is absolutely no discernable difference between them and the “sinners”. They all smoke, get drunk, take drugs, sleep around and cuss us out. My favorite line from last weekend was, (screaming at the top of his lungs, mind you) “I GO TO CHURCH, I AM GOING TO HEAVEN, NOW F&*% YOU!”

Classic. Absolutely classic. Paul was right when he wrote:

Know this also, that in the last days grievous times will be at hand. For men will be self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unyielding, false accusers, without self-control, savage, despisers of good, traitors, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it; even turn away from these. II Timothy 3:1-5

We have already had a few moments of terror as they (the powerless “Christians”) have threatened to beat us up with baseball bats. We stare them down and tell them, “Do what you have to do and we will do what we have to do”. They hate us because we remind them that attending church is not having Jesus King and Lord of your life. When asked if they are serving Jesus with all of their heart, they reply, “I go to church” and we fire back, “So does the Devil!” That really doesn’t make them happy, but we are reminded of this fact: Jesus was crucified by the morally elite, not the “sinners”.

The sinners love the Gospel, because they recognize their need. The religious think that church attendance and dropping a few bucks in the collection plate automatically qualifies them for eternal paradise. They have no desire whatsoever to live for God here on earth; it’s all about making it to Heaven with them. So, we have drawn the line. We will win. The power of God will triumph over dead religion. The hypocrites have a choice: Repent and give their lives completely to Jesus or get out of the way.

This is War!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

God Moves In The Church Too!

Nothing major to write about this week concerning God moving on the streets. We went out for outreach a couple times, but don’t have any crazy stories to tell. The other possibility is that we have become so accustomed to dramatic displays of God’s power, that it takes a radical explosion to get our attention anymore.

What we did get was reports of God moving in the church! Below are some reports of what God did at a couple recent conferences where Pastor Marc and some other folks from the church got the opportunity to minister to the sick. Just look at this laundry list of what God did over two weekend conferences, not only with physical healing, but also with financial miracles, and there are still more reports coming in!

Healing Miracles

  • 24 year old lady with deafness and ringing in her right ear received complete healing.
  • 75 year old woman was healed of arthritis in her hands. She was unable to make a fist without pain and can now make fists with no pain.
  • 19 year old rodeo rider with severe back pain from a broken back received prayer and now the pain is totally gone and all flexibility restored.
  • 13 year old girl with severe ear problems and fluid build up, with blocked hearing received prayer and now all symptoms have cleared up.
  • 28 year old woman diagnosed with cervical cancer received prayer and after having new tests, all the cancer is gone!
  • 48 year old woman with limited motion in her back now has full mobility and no pain.
  • 58 year old man with ringing and hearing problems in his right ear is now completely healed.
  • 36 year old woman with growths in her upper arms prohibiting circulation in her hands received an instant miracle as God dissolved the growths, restoring circulation to her hands!
  • 52 year old woman received an instant miracle as pain from a car accident over 20 years ago disappeared immediately!

Financial Miracles

  • Eighth grade girl was presented with a full college scholarship after her parents received prayer for financial blessing.
  • 44 year old woman was named outstanding insurance rep in area and has an influx of new clients after receiving prayer for financial blessing.
  • 45 year old man was blessed with a new business that is prospering beyond targeted range after receiving prayer for financial blessing.
  • 50 year old woman received $396.00 in mail from the government’s found money dept. after receiving prayer for financial blessing.
  • 30 year old man was willed land from a distant relative after receiving prayer for financial blessing.