Victory Fellowship, an unusual evangelical church led by Pastors John and Fran Neal (see photo below), owns, operates and meets in a multi-screen movie theater in Safford, Arizona—where a significant portion of the population is Mormon. They warmly welcomed The Elijah Challenge, hosting us during a weekend in April 2016. During the training sessions on Saturday, believers from Victory Fellowship as well as other area churches were taught how to heal the sick exactly as Jesus did and as He commanded his disciples in the gospels when He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God to the lost.
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Luke 10:9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
During the training sessions in the theater believers came forward to minister healing to those with infirmities in the same way. The Lord’s power and authority were manifested dramatically through the believers.
- Jennifer was a thirty-something mom who had had pain in her body virtually for as long as she could remember. She was suffering from lupus, fibromyalgia and arthritis. She came forward to the front where two ladies hands on her where she was experiencing pain. Jennifer could actually feel the wondrous power of the Lord Jesus Christ healing her, and deeply touched, she wept before the people. Immediately afterwards she testified that she could not longer feel the pain. She performed movements that would normally have caused pain and discomfort, but there were none. Even as Jennifer returned to her seat in the theater, she could still feel the Lord’s healing power present in her body. The next day (Sunday) she felt fine, and testified at the morning service what the Lord had done for her. For the first time in her life she felt no pain or discomfort.
- Jennifer’s husband Dustin had fluid in his right ear for months. When he shook his head, he could feel it splash back and forth. Two men came forward. They inserted their fingers in his ears and exercised authority over the infirmity by issuing commands to the ear in the name of Jesus Christ. At that time Dustin began to feel the fluid coming out of the ear. When the man on his right side withdraw his finger from the ear, it was wet with the fluid. After that during the ensuing break Dustin took a Q-tip to clean out the ear. All the fluid came out.
- A gentleman named Greg came forward with a hernia as well as other problems including a bacterial infection which had kept him feeling constantly tired. Believers came forward to lay hands on him and to rebuke the infirmity in the name of Jesus. As they did, Greg physically felt the power of the Lord Jesus Christ healing his hernia and elsewhere in his body as well. The believers who laid hands on him could also feel the the Lord’s healing power flow into him, just as Jesus did in Mark 5:30 when the woman with the bleeding touched the hem of his cloak. Afterwards Greg jumped up and down to determine what had happened to the hernia, and he could no longer feel the hernia in his stomach. (Normally he could feel the hernia as he moved around.) Neither could he feel the symptoms of the other physical problems from which he had been suffering. And the tiredness from the bacterial infection had disappeared.
At the Sunday morning service the next day, visitors came drawn by the announcement that the sick would be healed by our Lord Jesus. (Moviegoers were also at the theater to watch movies being shown on the other screens in the theater.) Because of the considerable Mormon influence in Safford, we preached the gospel in a special way. Mormons of course do not believe in the Jesus of the Holy Scriptures, but rely rather on the Book of Mormon which teaches another Jesus. Paul warned us about such teachings.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, …or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
After sharing from John 14 that Jesus is the only way to the Father in heaven and that He is one with the Father, we emphasized that the Jesus who saves is the Jesus of the Holy Bible and not any other Jesus—for example, the Jesus of Mormonism. The Book of Mormon among other things teaches that Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan (http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/does-mormonism-really-teach-that-jesus-is-the-spirit-brother-of-satan/). We would provide visible evidence to the people present that morning that only the Jesus of the Bible can save. The proof would be the miraculous healings that we would witness that very morning in the name of Jesus of the Holy Scriptures, miracles that the Jesus of Mormonism would be unable to perform.
John 14:11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
After that we prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus of the Scriptures, asking Him to manifest His great healing power and authority through His trained disciples for those with infirmities as evidence to those present that only the Jesus Christ as taught in the Scriptures can save us—and not some “other Jesus.”
Following the prayer the trained disciples stepped forward to the front and stood in a line facing the people. Those with infirmities came forward to be healed in the name of Jesus of the Holy Bible. The trained disciples laid hands on them and spoke over them with authority as done by Jesus and his disciples in the gospels and Acts. Many were promptly and powerfully healed and came up to the stage to testify.
Among the testimonies was a man who had suffered a severe back injury in a car accident, and was unable to bend down or move about freely. As the trained men laid hands on him, the Lord’s healing power flowed into his back and he broke out with a big grin. On the stage he wept and testified about the miracle, demonstrating it by jumping up and down freely.
An eight-year-old boy named Mason (Jennifer & Dustin’s son) had broken his right wrist and had a cast over it. It was hurting and he could not move his arm for the pain. In the name of Jesus of the Scriptures the pain in his wrist disappeared as trained believers ministered to him. Little Mason was overcome with astonishment and wept as he testified on the stage what Jesus had done for him. He wept as he waved his arm up and down without any pain. Earlier Mason’s little sister Marly had testified that for a long time she had been unable to breathe normally. But the Lord had healed her when a trained disciple ministered to her, and she was able to breathe freely—even demonstrating it by taking several deep breaths.
A man named Johnny in his late twenties or early thirties walked with what appeared to be a permanent limp following an accident. After trained disciples ministered to him in Jesus’ name, he came up to the stage jumping up and down with no trace of the limp.
A young boy was deaf in his left ear and could hear nothing from that ear. In the name of Jesus Christ of the Holy Scriptures, his hearing was restored and he could hear through the ear.
A woman named Monica had broken her hip two months earlier. She came up to the front shuffling forward step by step, completely dependent on her walker since she could put no weight on the leg. Even so the pain was terrible, constant, and kept her up at night. A small group of women ministered to her in Jesus’ name. After several minutes she was able to walk by herself without the walker. With a bit of help Monica even climbed the steps up to the stage to testify of what the Lord had done for her. Later after the service, she was seen walking in the lobby of the theater among the moviegoers on her own sans walker.
There were also other compelling testimonies of miraculous healing as the trained disciples ministered with the Lord’s power and authority—just as they had been trained to do the day before.
Then we asked the people present if a Jesus other than the one in the Holy Bible could do the miracles we had just witnessed. A resounding “no” was heard. We asked who wanted to put their faith only in the Jesus of the Bible—and not in some other Jesus. Hands went up all over the theater. They prayed to accept the real Lord Jesus Christ. (We did not ask and so do not know if any of these people were Mormons.)
Can the Jesus of the Book of Mormon perform the powerful miracles which the Christ of the Scriptures did through his disciples that morning? No. The gospel can be preached to Mormons in this way at any time by trained disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Just as Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel in the Old Testament, disciples of the real Jesus Christ can challenge those who believe in other gods or other Christs.
Testimonies received in the aftermath of the Training
“A teenager at Sundays service broke her foot and called Jennifer to minister healing to her. Jennifer and I went and ministered to her and she said she felt no pain and was walking on it and I think running around after we left. She was very excited.
A man Byron at our church thought he was having a heart attack. He went to Tucson to go to the hospital. On the way there Gregg ministered on the cell phone and [at the hospital] they sent Byron home telling him he strained something because they could not find anything wrong.”
Feedback from the believers
“Thank you so much for coming down and teaching us The Elijah Challenge. This weekend was a powerful weekend and we have some sharpshooters ready to go out and heal the sick in Jesus’ name and proclaim the kingdom of God [Luke 10:9]. I will keep you updated on what we do. You are incredible servants of God and it was such a pleasure and honor to meet you both. Brothers and Sisters in Christ like you really help me and get me so excited to see what can be done through the Most High. Pastor John could not say enough good about you both, and I thank you again. I know God set this up and I thank Him so much. Now we know the power and authority Jesus gave us and we will use it and not lose it.”
“Today was amazing! We learned so much from you today! Thank you so much for taking the time to teach others about this!” “Thank you again so much for everything! You guys are an amazing man and woman of God and we are so blessed and honored to have met you! Thank you!”
“I learned more than I learned in forty years [as a Christian].” “You are the best teacher.”
“Thanks again for coming…you guys were a huge blessing to the church and to us.”