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There are various ministries which train believers how to minister physical healing to the sick effectively. The Lord has called The Elijah Challenge to teach this subject from a very specific perspective.
Not traditional “charismatic” teaching
Those ministries who teach believers not simply how to pray for the sick, but rather how to heal the sick as Jesus did in the gospels, are invariably classified as “charismatic” in nature. However, the teaching the Lord has entrusted to us is not charismatic in nature inasmuch as our focus is not on the Holy Spirit and His supernatural gifts—especially the gift of healing as is emphasized in many circles. Unlike traditional charismatic teaching we do not bring up the role of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the evidence of speaking on tongues with regard to healing the sick. Over decades these subjects have been covered exhaustively in charismatic literature.
Rather we focus on the power and authority over disease and demons which Jesus gave to His disciples before He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick (Luke 9:1-2). Today there is very little emphasis on this very important subject. This power and authority delegated by Jesus to the disciples in the gospels predated by years the gift of healing brought by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They are separate and distinct from the gift of healing, and are more basic and foundational. Those trained in the use of power and authority can minister healing very effectively apart from the more special gift of healing which operates very differently. Sadly and to the detriment of the gospel and the Great Commission, this power and authority have for the most part been neglected by the Church.
The many charismatic ministers and disciples who have attended the Training have left with their spiritual eyes opened.
Primarily for the reaching the lost
Whereas many approaches teach how to minister healing to sick believers in the context of building up the body of Christ, The Elijah Challenge focuses on healing the sick miraculously as evidence to the lost that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. Most of the world’s seven-billion-plus inhabitants live in regions dominated by Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, witchcraft, and tribal religions. To them Christianity is a western religion imported by the imperialist European nations which conquered and colonized them centuries ago. Thus these peoples are generally resistant to the gospel when it is presented in the traditional way. But when supernatural evidence for the truth of the gospel is presented to them as Jesus did for the Jews (John 14:11), many otherwise resistant hearts will be open to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Our focus is equipping the Church to preach the gospel effectively to all creation and fulfilling the Great Commission before the great and terrible Day of the Lord. (Having said this, however, we should add that what we teach can definitely be applied for ministering healing to sick believers as well.)
We follow Scripture closely
While we are of course not cessationist, we are conservative in that the teaching closely follows the model revealed by Jesus Christ in the gospels as he healed the sick. Any methodology, practice, or supernatural manifestation not strongly supported and observed in the ministry of Jesus and his disciples as they ministered to the sick we do not teach. For example, we do not look for people to be “slain in the Spirit” when we minister healing to them. We do not teach on the supernatural occurrence of gold dust or gemstones during meetings. Neither of these is seen in the Scriptures when Jesus or his disciples ministered to the sick. (Demons, however, were known to throw people down to the ground as in Luke 4:35 and 9:42.)
We teach and minister in a middle ground in between evangelicalism and cessationism on the one hand, and the opposite extreme seen in some charismatic circles on the other hand. Thus evangelicals who have rejected cessationism but want to follow Scripture closely in reaching the lost for Christ can find The Elijah Challenge acceptable. In fact, our hope is that the Lord will someday use us to train many fervent non-charismatic evangelicals to reach the lost more effectively and fruitfully by preaching the gospel as Jesus did—as recorded in Scripture.
Endorsement from Distinguished Pastor with D. Min. from conservative Westminster Theological Seminary
Training the trainers
Finally, our intent is not to raise up “one-man superstar ministers” or “lone rangers” who come in with much fanfare to minister with great signs following, and when they leave the supernatural signs follow them and also leave. Our primary goal is to train an army of servants of God who can eventually go on to train other disciples what they have learned from us, and so on ad infinitum. In this way, every disciple in the nations of the world can eventually be taught to do what Jesus commanded his disciples 2,000 years ago: “Heal the sick and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God is near to you.’”
We have already trained many trainers around the world in this way. Reports from trained servants of God
The Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)