On a Saturday morning when I and my hosts arrived at the office of the International Church where the Elijah Challenge Training would being taught, we found no electricity in the office. This is our “nightmare” in Third Word countries when teaching. No electricity means no air conditioning or even fans to ward off the stifling heat and no microphones for sound amplification when needed. But far worse—as anyone who has attended the Training knows—no projector for the Powerpoint Presentation which is an integral part of the Training. As we climbed up to the third floor of the church office where the Training was to be held, I twice uttered “let there be light.” Arriving at the third floor, we began to prepare the room for the day’s training—which included opening all the windows in the room since without electricity there would be no air conditioning.
I of course was concerned about the mechanics of teaching without the projector and our Powerpoint Presentation. I happened to glance up at the projector where it was suspended from the ceiling and saw a small red light glowing from its underside. What was that!!?
“There’s electricity!” I blurted out to my hosts who were setting up the chairs in the room. Sure enough, the power had somehow been restored, and the little red light on the projector shouted to us that power was flowing into it and it was ready to be switched on. Praise the Lord, we had lights and air conditioning and Powerpoint for the Training last Saturday.
Two days later we were to begin our first day of Training for the fellowship of house churches in the city, and the venue would be a certain house church located in an apartment building. Before climbing up to the third floor where the house church was located, we were invited by our host to stop by on the second floor to sit down for a few minutes while waiting for more people to arrive. It was hot in the building even with the fans running. Suddenly all the lights in the building went out and the fans as well. A blackout!
Our host told us that blackouts were extremely rare in that building. Other Training events had been held in that building in the past, and there had been no problem with the power. But for the second time in 48 hours in two different venues we had no electricity before the start of the Training!
Shrugging off this obstacle we plowed on ahead anyway. Since both of us had brought our laptops with the Training Powerpoint file on our hard drives, we arranged them in different areas in the room and turned them around to face the people so that at least they could see the Presentation on one of the laptops from where they were sitting. Sweating profusely in the heat I began to teach. Local disciples mercifully took turns fanning me furiously with hand fans as I taught. We would not allow the enemy to stop us from equipping the Lord’s disciples.
At around 10:30 in the morning the lights mercifully came back on, and along with them the use of the air conditioner, the fans, and most importantly, the LCD projector. We finished the session running away at top speed by doing a demonstration of healing for a sister who had suffered from pain in her knees for the past five years. Two sisters came up to lay hands on her, and after the third time the sister was able to do deep knee bends without any pain whatsoever. Praise the Lord for His wonderful grace!
Miraculous healings at Lucille’s afternoon session
In the sweltering heat the Lord was gracious to perform many miraculous healings during Lucille’s afternoon training session. As the disciples ministered to each other with authority and the laying on of hands, people testified of being healed of knee problems, back problems, stomachache & headache. One woman had a heart condition resulting in little strength and tightness in her chest. After sisters ministered to her, the tightness disappeared and she could breathe without difficulty. After the session Lucille saw her at work sweeping the floor. As far as Lucille could see, just about everyone who received ministry also testified of the Lord’s healing power.
The owner of the apartment building where the house church was located had suffered from a stroke and walked with difficulty as if weighted down. After being ministered to he felt much lighter. The disciples were greatly encouraged by how the Lord had used them and rejoiced at the goodness of God. Without a doubt they are going to use what they have learned for preaching the kingdom of God to the multitudes of lost souls in this gospel-resistant area.
Blackout again on final day
On the final day of The Elijah Challenge Training for the fellowship of churches, the electricity went out for a third time in four days although blackouts happen very rarely—even during past training events. But this time the enemy’s efforts were in vain. I was in the process of completing the morning session in which I warned about the proliferation of false prophets and teachers in the last days. The blackout had virtually no effect on this teaching. It is possible that if the enemy cannot stop the restoration of power and authority for the Great Commission during these last days that he will at least seek to infect the Church of Jesus Christ with deceptive and distracting teachings and practices?
In Matthew 24:4-5 Jesus warned us, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (KJV) This warning as it is rendered is difficult to understand. If anyone, including a servant of the Lord, comes to us disciples and claims to be the Christ, certainly none of us—let alone many—would believe him and be deceived. Moreover, in the mainstream Church there is no one who dares to claim that he is the Christ. But Jesus says that there will be many such deceivers. So the verse as translated makes little sense. Let’s look at the Greek New Testament originals. It happens that they were written completely in capital letters. Differentiation into lower and upper cases of the Greek text did not occur until the 9th Century. Therefore the first letter of the word “Christ”—although of course used predominantly to refer to the Lord Jesus and therefore to be capitalized—could have been in lower case especially when used to refer to “false christs” as in Matthew 24:24.
In Greek “christ” literally means “anointed” or “anointed one.” If we use the latter rendering instead of “christ” in Jesus’ warning, then we will have the following:
“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am anointed (or the anointed),’ and will deceive many.” Rendered in this way Jesus’ cryptic words can be understood, especially in the Church during these apparently last days.
In the Church today there are increasingly more and more servants of God who claim to be “anointed” to minister to others in some special or supernatural way through the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately the New Testament is completely silent about this special “anointing” on selected servants of God to minister to others. This unscriptural teaching on “the anointing” which originated in the west has been imported to this Third World country.
For more on this teaching please go to:
Could it be that with the blackouts we have been experiencing, the enemy does not want his deception to be unmasked?
Disciple called by pastor to account for healing the sick
In Lucille’s afternoon session on that final day, the infirm were ministered to with power and authority and testimonies were shared. One disciple had attended our training on our trip here some years ago. He began, somewhat reluctantly, to apply what he had learned. Once he was boarding a bus where he saw a woman with an injured ankle. He was reminded of what he was trained to do, but was too embarassed to approach her to minister healing to her. But she ended up sitting right in front of him on the bus. So he engaged her and ministered to her during the bus ride. The Lord healed her and she was jumping up and down on the ankle. She had injured her ankle in a motorcycle accident.
The Lord began to use him to minister to the infirm in the church where he was a member, and many were healed. He also ministered healing-at-a-distance effectively as he was taught to do in our training. The pastor of the church heard reports of the miracles the Lord was doing through him, and called him in to question him. All he was doing of course was minister healing just as Jesus did and as he commanded his disciples in the gospels to do what he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God. But the pastor reprimanded him, telling him “we don’t do it that way here.”