17 November 2007
Saturday – 9.30 AM
The enthusiasm level of the participants had increased tremendously – much higher than the previous two nights. After a half-hour worship session led by Brother Elly, everybody was charged up. I began by challenging the Christians in Kerteh Charismatic Centre to take Kerteh for Christ. Using the topics from my book, Seven Keys of Success, I encouraged them to trust God and take definite steps to achieve spiritual victories in their lives and also win souls. After that, I was on my way to explain the benefits of the Elijah Challenge version of evangelistic meetings as compared with the conventional ones. Contrasting the cost factor, ease-of-preparation, convenience-in-frequency and effectiveness-in-follow-up, the Elijah Challenge version has beaten all the modern high-tech and expensive evangelistic meetings hands-down. In business term, the ROI (Return on Investment) of our ministry is extremely good! To prove this point, I showed the slides of Pastor William’s open-air evangelistic meeting in Arua, Uganda . Without much financial expenditure, the Ugandan disciples were able to affect many and win them to Christ. Then I showed slides of a small-scale healing service that I had conducted at the neighbouring town of Chukai in Terengannu and also the one-church healing service conducted by my church.
The participants were especially attentive when I shared about deliverance. There were discussions of the terms “demonised” and “demon-possession”. They were particularly concerned about Christians being “demonised”. I also made it clear that demons may afflict the Christians with diseases like in the case of Job; influence with suggestion such as in the situation where Peter tried to persuade Jesus not to go to the Cross; obstruct as in Daniel’s experience; oppress as in the experience of King Saul; possess as in the demoniac whose demons were driven into the pigs.
I also mentioned that there were many “fake” or “fabricated” demonic activities especially among the Christians because they were taught that they could be “demonised” by demons. They were told to ignore the very words of Jesus found in Luke 10:19 – “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you”. I told the participants to trust the words of Jesus rather than the words of some visiting evangelists or self-styled prophets. Jesus said to these ordinary disciples who were not apostles and assured them that they had authority to “trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy”. Snakes and scorpions were symbolic of the demons. He did not say that these Christians could only overcome “some” of the power but “all” of the power of the enemy. However, the recent teaching that is prevalent among the Charismatic circle is that Christians should be very afraid. Not only they do not have “authority over all the power of the enemy”, they themselves can be demonised. To me, this is erroneous teaching because it clearly rejects what Jesus had said, “Nothing will harm you!” Moreover, I could not find any instance in the bible where a believer (except for Judas who became an apostate) was “demonised” or possessed by demons. One has to really make some exegetical gymnastic to come out with this kind of theology.
Some preachers say that if the demons could demonise the Israelites then they could demonise the Christians. This is wrong because if the early Israelites were on par with the Christians, then why did the early Church need to evangelise them? Why were they asked to repent and accept Christ as their Saviour? It was because they were not saved and they needed the Lord just like people of any race. Therefore, we can safely state that the early Israelites could never be used to identify or be the equivalence of Christians. When they were possessed by demons it was because they were not disciples of Christ and thus did not have the protection of Jesus the Lord.
Some of the participants were visibly troubled because what I had taught seemed in direct opposition of what they had been taught. One of them said that they had witnessed actual cases of “Christians” being “demonised” or possessed. My only reply was that not all “Christians” are Christians! I pointed that out that in Matthew 7:23, even those who claimed that Jesus was their Lord and were given the power to cast out demons and heal the sick in the name of Jesus were not accepted as genuine believers. On the day of Judgement, Jesus would tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” These people thought that they were believers but because they did not live a repented and sanctified life, they were rejected. In short, they were not true believers. The bible is very clear that not all who proclaim Jesus as Lord will enter the kingdom. The reason is that the grace of God cannot be appropriated upon unrepented life!That is why Jesus shared about the parable of the narrow gate. Not all who claim that they have dined with Jesus and known him intimately will be saved. They all have to repent! Unrepented “believers” are not Christians at all and therefore would be fair game for demons to “demonised” or possessed.
Explaining what the Charismatics usually call “strongholds”, I explained that such sinful actions usually have to do with the works of a person’s flesh or carnality. The devil may do the tempting but the person involved must do the agreeing before he or she can fall into sins. I explained that “the Lord wants us to bear the fruit of the Spirit because only that can overwhelm the works of our flesh”. Using 1 John 2:16 as scriptural reference, I explained that the three dominant weaknesses of the flesh – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – are the ones that we have to overcome. To blame all our misdeeds on the devil means that we conveniently shirk off all our responsibilities. Once again, the devil may do the tempting but we have to do the resisting. The devil can never force us to sin. Neither can God force us not to sin. The freewill of man is sovereign and therefore, the responsibility to sin or not to sin lies squarely on his own shoulder. Holiness is ultimately the responsibility of every saint and that is why God has allowed the New Testament to be packed with so many didactic epistles about the fruit of the spirit and how to live an overcoming and victorious life. Not a single epistle talks about “casting out the evil spirits that create the spiritual strongholds”. Some may think that 2 Corinthians 10:4 which speaks about “demolishing strongholds” means to cast out demons. The context of that portion does not permit this interpretation. Paul clarified in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that the strongholds are the “arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God”. Paul was attacking the teachings of the false apostles who had been shaking the faith of the saints in Corinth. The teaching that one can get rid of “spiritual strongholds” by just casting out the demons had somehow come to Kerteh. I believe that I had rocked some boats by teaching otherwise.
After the very interesting session, I explained about the two types of distance healing. One is to be exercised when the infirm is not present but in a faraway place. Another that is known to Elijah Challengers as “mass healing”, is appropriated only when there is a gathering of a very large group of infirm with not enough helpers to lay hands on them. Then I showed them slides of some “mass healing” events that I had done with other Elijah Challengers. The participants were greatly encouraged.
As the whole purpose of the seminar was to build their faith and establish their confidence in the promises of God, I used biblical narratives such as Jesus walked on the water and calmed the storm. To explain that sometimes instead of just using kingly authority, the believers would need a two-part approach. Referring to the narrative on Peter raising Dorcas, I explained that Peter first used the “Priestly Authority” and prayed. Then he used his “Kingly Authority” and commanded Dorcas to rise from the dead.
I concluded the final session by teaching them how to take authority over the flesh. Explaining from Romans 7 and 8, I gave these important pointers:
• Bring your body into subjection
– I Corinthians 9:27
• Make no provision for your flesh
– Romans 13:14
• Mortify your flesh
– Colossians 3:5
• Walk in the Spirit
– Galatians 5:16
• Crucify your flesh
– See Galatians 5:24
• Sever All Bad Influences
– 1 Corinthians 15:33
• Set No Wicked Things Before Your Eyes
– Psalm 101:3
• Take Heed To What You Hear
– Mark 4:24
• Speak To Your Flesh With The Voice of Authority
– Galatians 5:24
• Take Authority Over Your Mind
– 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
• Flee From Temptations Of The Flesh
– Genesis 39:7-13
• Surround Yourself with Believers Who Sharpen You Spiritually
– Proverbs 27:17
• Submit Yourself to a Season of Prayer And Fasting
– 1 Corinthians 7:5
After the session, a visitor approached me and wept. He was convicted by the teaching and wanted to repent of his sins. He used to be a committed believer and even healed some people in his previous ministries. However, something happened and he became discouraged. He left the church and went back to the world. When he was talking to me, there was stench of alcohol in his breath. After he had prayed a prayer of confession in his own words, he left with peace in his heart.
The whole training ended without anybody needing to be healed. The participants did say that they would be healing the sick and preaching the Gospel to the lost in their little town of Kerteh.
Rev Albert Kang
Elijah Challenge Asia