Our Elijah Challenge Coordinator in Orissa informed us of a new law in India whereby a pastor can be imprisoned if a Hindu converts to Christ under his ministry. On top of that a pastor is not allowed to lay hands on the sick to minister healing as taught in Scripture—because it is considered “black magic.“ Reportedly, baptisms have also been banned.

Perhaps in India it is time for believers from a Hindu background to go “underground,” as some have done in China.

The second law prohibiting the laying on of hands might be a reaction to the many miraculous healings taking place during these last days confirming the truth of the gospel and leading many Hindus to put their faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior. The logic is that by stopping the miraculous healings the government can stop Hindus from putting their faith in Jesus Christ.

But Scripture already provides an answer to this law. Man’s puny law cannot stop God who created the heavens and earth. “But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:39)

In the gospels we see Jesus most often ministering healing to the sick through the use of power and authority. He used power by laying hands on the sick through which his healing power flowed into the sick person. He exercised authority by issuing authoritative commands to the infirmity/infirm person or to the demon.

Jesus also entrusted both this power and authority to his disciples—to be exercised in the context of proclaiming the kingdom of God to the lost (Luke 9:1-2, 10:9). We normally encourage the believers we train to use both the Lord’s power (through the laying on of hands) and his authority (through commands) to minister miraculous healing to the sick. But if for some reason we are unable to use the Lord’s power, we can use his authority to heal the sick as evidence of the truth of the gospel to the lost.

In the gospels Jesus on various occasions used authority alone without the laying on of hands to minister healing to the sick (e.g., Matthew 12:13, Luke 7:7). In Acts we see the disciples at least on some occasions ministering to the sick in the same way, using authority alone (e.g., Acts 9:34, 14:10).

Therefore servants of God and disciples in India today need not lay hands on the sick to minister healing to them. They can use authority alone.

This has already been done time after time by our Elijah Challenge co-workers in India. During their evangelistic outreaches they will minister “healing-at-a-distance” over those with infirmities through the use of the Lord’s authority. They will issue authoritative commands from the front over those present with infirmities. In this way, powerful miraculous healings have taken place. Those who were touched by God in this way then testified as evidence of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who had gathered. Such miracles have brought many Hindus to Jesus Christ.

Aside from these considerations, however, we should take note that the two prohibitions in India are against pastors. No mention in new the law, however, is made of “ordinary” disciples leading people to Christ and laying hands on the sick.

The calling of The Elijah Challenge is precisely to train such “ordinary” nameless disciples how to proclaim the kingdom of God to the lost with power and authority—or if necessary, with authority alone.

October 2016