The Elijah Challenge & the Modern Jesus Army in England
In December 2011 we visited Modern Jesus Army in Northampton, England. It was to say the least eye-opening. This large group of disciples, as led by the Holy Spirit, have actually lived out what the early believers did in Acts 4.
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. …And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Act 4:31-35)
Modern Jesus Army owns approximately 60 homes in England, large and small, where families and disciples have chosen to live together in harmony under one roof. Some of them have voluntarily chosen to give their entire income directly to the Church (there’s no teaching on tithing, which in any case is not clearly commanded for New Testament believers) for the Church to provide for the daily needs of the people and the ministry. They share everything—even automobiles which are owned by the Church. Among them are professionals like doctors, lawyers and accountants. Those who serve in the Church all make the same salary—whether the Senior Pastor or the staff under him. The Lord has also blessed Modern Jesus Army with impressive business enterprises which make money to support the ministry. Everyone employed by these businesses makes the same wages, from top management on down to the laborers.
All this is done cheerfully and voluntarily and unto the Lord—which of course makes it completely different from communism which is forced upon people by government decree. Rather they do it because the Lord has transformed them and given them a heavenly perspective on their earthly meaning and existence. They have radically obeyed Jesus’ command to “sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33) They have decided to heed Jesus’ very challenging words: “in the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” (Luke 14:33)
Why England of all places?
It is refreshing to see disciples in “post-modern, post-Christian” England who have chosen to follow Jesus in such a radical way. We have not seen such a thing accomplished on such a scale anywhere else in the world. Could this be taking place in England because God remembers pioneer missionaries like William Carey, J. Hudson Taylor, Robert Morrison, and David Livingstone who heeded the Lord’s call to the nations at the outset of the era of modern missions and took the gospel to those who never heard? All these heroes of the faith were sent out from none other than Great Britain.
Some traditional churches reject them, and not surprisingly even call them cultic. But from what we have seen, they are simply being obedient to what the Lord has shown them in Scripture. Not every believer will be able to do what they do. But they are indeed a powerful encouragement and inspiration to the body of Christ to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to what is revealed to us in the Scriptures.
The Elijah Challenge Training
On a cold autumn evening during our visit the Lord was gracious to enable Brother Bill to train their leaders. Perhaps 150 leaders and disciples were present. After the teaching we asked for people with heart conditions to come forward to be healed. One man came forward with a condition that resulted in blood in his urine. Two brothers came forward to lay hands on him and exercise their authority in Jesus’ name. Immediately afterwards he went to the toilet to see what the Lord had done. Upon his return a few minutes later he reported that his urine was clear with no trace of blood as before. Another man came forward with a heart condition that somehow resulted in pain, lumps, and dark blotches on his legs. After the two brothers ministered to him, he reported that the pain was subsiding and he could not find some of the lumps. The dark discoloration was also subsiding. Later in the evening more people with infirmities were ministered to, and there were testimonies of healings as well as improvement.
Below is feedback we received some from participants about the Training.
Our host wrote
“I can’t express how great it was to have both of you with us. Also there has been a lot of excitement after the Wednesday night Elijah Challenge training – I think our faith-thermometer shows a good rise! Also many people who could not make it to the evening (because other responsibilities) inquired about the recording. The general feedback was that the teaching was excellent, very applicable and in-line with the Bible. So the church is taking it on board now. I think our people feel that you are a couple with a lovely, warm heart and we all felt that you are very close to us in your spirit. So I think the Modern Jesus Army is definitely going to adopt you two!”
“Thank you for your amazing ministry, I was the lady with the back problem constantly over 18 years [and I testified that the pain had disappeared during the demonstration of healing at the end]…”
“I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for your ministry to us and with us this week. Your devotion and witness to Our Lord is compelling and fragrant with holiness. I hope that we can keep in touch in the days to come as we serve the Saviour together. It feels like God has awoken something in me as a result of your time here…” (from the Manager of the Northampton Jesus Centre)
“I am part of the Modern Jesus Army and was at Cornhill on Wednesday, December 14. It was amazing!..”
“I came home full of excitement, told Erica my wife, and already have been asked to talk at house-group about your teaching and how it feeds into the discipleship of believers. I have promised my house-group leader your training materials and asked him for opportunity to meet, and perhaps also with the church leader to discuss how this teaching can impact our church at a strategic level, i.e. using house-groups one by one to become the storm troopers for the Church. I have also floated the idea of training by them some time next year, (I’m afraid that I took a liberty).”
“Firstly – thank you very much for your teaching on Wednesday! It was a real eye opener to us and I believe it has challenged our mindset significantly! I enjoyed it immensely and I’m up for Gods training in it… Thank you once again – your engaging authority and humour really put this across well and its taught me much I want to apply!”
“My wife and I were struck by the sensible, unsensational way in which you delivered material which, in some hands, could certainly be given sensationalist treatment. Everything was biblical, and repeated to ensure understanding.”
We now fully expect the committed disciples of Modern Jesus Army to boldly obey the Lord’s commands to heal the sick and cast out demons as confirmation of the gospel to the lost. The Lord will use them to perform many powerful healings to draw people to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior during these last days in fulfillment of the Great Commission in England.
Already one of the MJA leaders, Peter Pap, led a team of trained believers to heal the sick boldly in the open-air at an Umbrella Fair in a public venue in Northampton. Click on England: Disciples boldly heal the sick at open-air community Fair to read Peter’s report.
The following month a blind brother sees
“You may remember that Tom has gone blind about 6-7 months ago, and medically there was no hope for him. The doctors could not do anything for him really other than put him on the usual help for the blind programs and allocating a guide dog to him. He was quite put off by all this, felt rather frustrated. Tom recently started to “pick himself up”, made sure his life did not stop just because this disability, he laughed a lot with the others, started to go to the gym and so on. After months of ministering and seeking the Lord about him, last night he was still blind with not even a sign of improvement. But last night Tom re-committed his life to God. It happened that there were two children next to Tom and they were ministering to their mother commanding her finger to be healed and they said something about it “being healed by tomorrow.”
Tom woke up this morning to go to the toilet and found himself being able to clearly see! He quickly woke up his brothers in his community house others, they tested and confirmed the miracle (by making Tom to make a cup of tea for everyone, which was done perfectly done!).
Now we are rejoicing with our brother and praising God for His wonderful ways!”
Tom now sees well
July 15 Update
“Your teaching and training video has been circulating around our church with great success. We have heard very good results from all over the UK – people being healed on the streets and so on. Of course we still see this as a beginning only – and our apostolic brothers very strongly encourage the church to take it further, to keep it rolling and look out for opportunities to use this authority.”
Their desire to connect with other groups or churches
“We are constantly looking for groups and churches around the world where there is a Holy Spirit movement towards the vision of Kingdom culture. We would like to link up with these churches for mutual help and support. The criteria is not very complicated, they need to be evangelical in terms of being faithful to the Gospel and just generally have a clean and simple vision of advancing the Kingdom of God. We are also looking for men who have an apostolic calling who proved to be servants of the Master and their brethren.”
If you would like to contact Modern Jesus Army, please email us at [email protected] and we will connect you with them.