July 2012 Update
One year after The Elijah Challenge was taught in this Baptist church in July 2011, it was reported that the congregation had grown from 700 to 1,500.
On the morning of July 16, 2011 after arriving from Houston, I spent but an hour and a half training the hundreds of disciples who had gathered at a Baptist Church in Sao Bernardo. According to John 14:12, the believers here would do the same works. By 11:30 AM I had people with knee problems come to the front to be healed using the principles we had learned from Jesus Himself in the Scriptures. About a dozen people with infirm knees came up. Then I asked for disciples to come forward to lay hands on them in Jesus’ name and to heal them using the authority over disease and demons He has entrusted to His followers.
By the time the dust settled, all but two of the people with knee problems had ascended to the stage to testify that the Lord had healed them. The crowd was delighted at the wonderful works of the Lord. The remaining two were much improved, and only needed to be ministered to again until they were completely healed. We had run out of time.
After lunch they went out to the city to heal the sick and preach the gospel from home to home. Then at the beginning of the evening service last night about a dozen of them came up to the stage to testify of what they had seen. It was out of the ordinary. Some were awestruck and testified that as they put into practice what they had been taught from Scripture, they witnessed miracles of healing for the first time in their walk with the Lord Jesus—not “miracles” they had seen on Christian TV, but miraculous healings which God had used them personally to perform.
Miraculous healings during the afternoon Visitation of God from home to home
One brother who came from another city for the Training used the words “amazing” and “incredible” to describe what he had seen as he went from door to door. One team encountered a child which had been born with a twisted, deformed body. As they ministered to him in the name of Jesus, the power of the Lord was manifest and the child’s body began to straighten out. Another team ministered to a man who was blind due to diabetes. After an hour of exercising their authority, the blind man could see clearly. There were many other testimonies which I could not remember or understand because they were in the Portuguese language. Precious souls living the homes accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as they witnessed the miracles and heard the gospel. This is what the Visitation of God is all about.
More powerful miracles confirming the gospel in the Saturday evening evangelistic service
After that I preached the gospel to the crowd from Mark 2 where Jesus proved his authority to forgive sin by healing the paralytic. Then I asked the trained disciples to come to the front to do what Jesus did—healing the sick in His powerful name to demonstrate His authority to forgive sin and grant eternal life. The ensuing miracles were extraordinary by any measure. One gentleman with a badly misshapen forehead because of a brain tumor was blind. He was able to see perfectly after a trained disciple ministered to him.. One woman clutching tiny hearing aids cried as she testified that her little deaf daughter standing by her side could now hear. A woman who been stricken by depression of such severity that she could not longer drive and had lost much weight testified with all smiles that the depression had lifted. Two older woman who came (one in a wheelchair) unable to walk were now walking by themselves. There were many other testimonies as well.
The miracles demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus can save us from our sins. Later my host Pastor Joseph Carlos gave an altar call for repentance and salvation, and the front of the sanctuary was filled with people crying out to God.
Sunday evening evangelistic healing service
On Sunday we completed the Visitation of God here with an evening evangelistic service. When I arrived at the meeting at 6:30 PM, the trained disciples were already lined up on the stage testifying of what God had done through them as they went from door to door to preach the gospel and heal the sick earlier that afternoon. Although I couldn’t understand their testimonies spoken in Portuguese, it was evident that they had seen the glory of God as the lost were healed in their homes and received Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Lord is doing an extraordinary thing here in Brazil. John 14:12 is being fulfilled. May it spread to other countries for the fulfillment of the Great Commission during these last days.
Then I went up to preach the gospel according to John 14:6 where Jesus claimed to be the ONLY way to the Father. And our Father in heaven was gracious to confirm the message as the trained disciples ministered to those with infirmities at the front. As the night before, people were healed and ascended the platform to give glory to God. The second person to testify said that his deaf ear was opened. An elderly man danced on the stage while holding his cane high over his head. Before the meeting was over, I returned the microphone to my host pastor and he took over while I returned to my hotel to rest.
Greater miracles after I left the meeting
I was later told that many more miraculous healings took place after I left. Apparently the Lord had saved the best for last. The blind saw, the deaf heard, and a tumor on a person’s neck disappeared. It was good that I went away.
I was told a total of about 150 people accepted Jesus Christ during the Saturday evening and Sunday evening evangelistic services.
But it’s possible that the greater miracles took place during the door-to-door Visitation of God on Saturday and Sunday afternoon when trained teams went out to heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God. One older woman was confined to bed recuperating from her recent surgery and also suffered from blindness. The disciples ministered to her. God opened her blind eyes and she got up out of bed. The next day the disciples saw her outside walking in the neighborhood and enjoying her day. Another woman was blind for years and had never seen her young children. She also had tumors growing on her leg. As the disciples ministered to her the tumors disappeared. Her older daughter wept seeing the miracle. God also opened up her blind eyes and she was able to see her young children for the very first time. The next day her neighbors were astonished to see her pushing her toddlers down the street in a stroller.
These are only the few reports which I heard. The Lord knows how many other powerful miracles He did through His disciples as they obeyed His command to “heal the sick and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God is near you.'”
Two hundred Brazillian churches trained by July 2011
Since we began The Elijah Challenge Training three years ago with Visitation of God in Brazil, two hundred churches have been trained by the Visitation of God leaders. He said that there has been great impact for gospel, and that it is multiplying.
God is doing something unique in Brazil
We do not witness such miracles often. God is doing something special here. I was told by one brother that evangelicals are growing so quickly in Brazil that one estimate has evangelicals increasing to 50% of the population of Brazil within about ten years. That is highly significant when you realize that Brazil has the world’s fifth largest population. Brazil is not a poor, underdeveloped nation which knows only how to receive missionaries from other countries—which is the case with other Latin American countries. No, she has become a sending nation which sends out more missionaries than she receives from the outside. This is pleasing to God, and I believe we are seeing here the manifestation of His pleasure. He is preparing the Brazilian Church to do even greater things during these last days.