24 October 2007
Wednesday Night – 8.00 PM
Elijah Challenge School of Basic Ministry Training (SBMT)
End-Time Model of Evangelism
Organized by Grace Charismatic Centre
Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
Sixty plus participants from four churches gather at Grace Charismatic Centre to attend the first training session of Elijah Challenge End-time Model of Evangelism. This is the first time such training is presented to these people from Kuantan, a state in peninsula Malaysia.
Pastor Richard Ong is instrumental in getting this series of meeting on the road. During our last trip to Kuantan in June 2007, we met with this pastor who has been the Senior Pastor of Grace Charismatic Centre for 18 years. We shared with him what God had been doing through Elijah Challenge and Pastor Richard was sold to the vision of Elijah Challenge..
Pastor Richard Ong, Elijah Challenge Coordinator
East Coast, West Malaysia
The first session commence with a cautious start as the participants are not sure what they would be learning. They are told that this seminar healing approach is different from the normal healing seminars. The atmosphere is that of quiet anticipation – without much display of open enthusiasm. Everybody is polite and listening well. I remember that was my response when I first listened to Pastor W. presenting Elijah Challenge. I was sceptical of his teaching and wondered what new things from the Bible he could teach me. So what goes around comes around. It is my turn to receive such on-the-fence reception.
As there is also Chinese interpretation, the training progress is laborious at best. I really appreciate Sister Rose, the Chinese interpreter, for trying her best to follow my train of thought. I know if I find the progress laborious, she definitely finds it exasperating. Thankfully, as the session continues, both of us manage to find our momentum.
Fifteen minutes before ten, I have only gone through half of the lesson. The participants learn about the challenge that Elijah gave to the 450 prophets of Baal. They are told that believers do have similar type of authority to challenge people from other faiths to prove whether theirs or our God is the true God – simply by asking God to do miracles. When I say that at the end of the session, I will demonstrate this fact by healing the sick, few people actually catch the idea.
However, they do love the story of David and Goliath. Through this story, I explain about the three different anointings that have been given to the Church and how the modern churches are tied up with only the Priestly Anointing and the Prophetic Anointing without giving heed to the Kingly Anointing. The participants laugh when I show them how when praying for the sick, they have so often mix the Priestly Action with the Kingly Action. God does not want us to pray to Him and at the same time, take authority over the diseases and demons. I can see the participants are beginning to doubt whether I am a heretic or some kind of cult teacher. The little illustration, of a soldier having to make unnecessary and ridiculous calls to his Prime Minister even though he has been authorized to use his M-16 to kill the enemies, makes good sense to them and enlightenment begin to appear on their faces. However, the best proofs are from the words of God and they are visibly relieved when they read that both Jesus and the early Disciples hardly pray to God before they heal the sick or cast out demons,
I emphasize on John 14:12 as the passages of the Lord’s miracles are expounded one by one. They are told Jesus is known as the Man of the Spirit and we are known as the Church of the Spirit. That is the reason why we can continue to do greater things in the kingdom of God.
They are excited when I show the pictures of the healing testimonies that occurred in the Philippines, Niger, Egypt, Ho Chi Minh and Uttar Pradesh in North India. They are especially thrilled when they see the slide showing Pastor William escaping, on a motorcycle, from the police at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
The faith level rises by the minutes. The participants lean forward to catch every word – especially after I say that this is not a healing ministry of superstar preachers but that of the “nameless and faceless” modern disciples of Christ. Later, after the meeting, quite a few come to me and happily declare themselves to be the “nameless and faceless” disciples. As the time is getting late, I quickly explain the difference between the gift or healing and the authority to heal. They also got a brief introduction to the “faith of God”.
When it is time for the demonstration, I am a little hesitant because I sense that the level of faith among the participants is still at a very low level. Grace and I have to lean heavily on our own faith of God to make sure that people are healed. When I ask for the people with pain in their bodies to raise their hands, few cautiously do so. With some encouragement from Pastor Richard, the infirm come out to the front. A few volunteers also come up to learn how to take authority over the sick. When everybody is organized, I give the first round of command. Then I turn to a young lady and ask her whether she is healed. She announces a loud “no”! Then I move to the next patient and receive another “no”. Some have some improvement but no one is totally healed. My worst fear comes true – nobody is healed.
Whether it is imagined or real, all eyes are staring at me. They seem to ask, “What are you going to do next?” or worse, “What can you do next?” I have seen such scepticism before and what can I do but smile. I explain that if Jesus had to take authority the second time over the blind man who saw men as trees, I declare that I am willing to go 20 rounds until these infirm are healed. Without fear of failure, I give the second command and miracles begin to happen. Back pain disappears, arthritic pain goes away and headaches also left. The third command brings in more healing testimonies. Then in the fourth round, I ask each group to appoint a leader to give the command over the infirm while the rest of the group members follow in unison. Testimony after testimony – the faith barrier has finally crumbled. I can see the satisfying look of those who have successfully healed their patients in the name of Jesus. After the training is declared over, pockets of believers are still taking authority over different people with infirmities and declaring their victories with loud applauses. It is a good and most rewarding night.
During the trip to Kuantan from Kuala Lumpur, the sky was overcast and the heavily laden clouds threatened to pour their load. We remember your teaching about Jesus calming the sea. He was upset when the disciples called Him to help them. So, we decided to tell the monsoon rain clouds to be blown away from the roads that we were using. We had a very dry journey except for a 2-minute rain when I was on the phone. After the call, I scolded the rain saying, “How dare you come down when I was on the phone. Stop now, in the name of Jesus!” Believe us when we say that the rain stopped and we continued the journey without a single drop of rain until we reached Kuantan. After we checked into our room, the rain came in absolute fury.
Coincidence? Guess not.
The reason is because on the way home to Kuala Lumpur, we were also caught in a heavy downpour. Using the same “faith of God,” we commanded the rain to stop. The rain kept coming down and refused to obey. Finally we got “mad” and screamed at the rain and commanded, “Stop. Not one drop must come down!” You know the result? Not one drop came down after that. Though the heavy clouds continued to try and frighten us with heavy downpour, they could not do anything. Our journey home was absolutely dry.
Friday Evening, Ocotber 26
The second session was held after we came back from ministry in Kerteh. New participants had joined the present group and the excitement was in the air. It was a marked difference from the first session. Our fellow Elijah Eagles, Brother Alvin Chong and his wife, Sister Maggie, had driven up to help us. I began the session by referring to Luke 9 and 10 where Jesus gave authority to both the apostles and ordinary believers to heal the sick and cast out demons. Once again, I reiterated on the difference between “praying for the sick” and “healing the sick”. I asked the participants, “Is it easier to pray for the sick or heal the sick?” Everybody was spontaneous and said, “Pray for the sick!” My students had learned well because many of them were instrumental in healing the sick during the last session.
To maintain their attention, I explained that the purpose of going through the verses was to build their faith. They were asked to be patient if I were to repeat some pertinent points “19 times”. It was my spiritual mentor, Rev. Florence Beck, who advised me that for the congregation to grasp an important principle, I must not to be afraid to repeat it “19 times”. The participants also learned that the healing method taught by Elijah Challenge is not the same as some of the healing methods taught in the Charismatic circle. We would never stop applying the authority to heal as long as the pain or disease remains. No one is to claim healing “by faith”. They must be healed by faith. The patient should not go home pretending that he or she is healed if in reality, he is still in pain and not feeling well. I emphasized that we have to believe in real healing. Therefore we did not allow those who were only partially healed, to testify. Pastor Richard and I literally sent them back to be ministered until the pain was completely gone. We really insisted on complete tangible healing.
One of the difficult parts in training long-time Christians is to help them undo what they had been taught about the ministry of healing and casting out demons. Many think that the demons only submit to God and Jesus. That was what happened with some of the participants in this session. They were still very much confused about to whom the demons and diseases would submit. To clarify that once and for all, I expounded on Luke 10:17 – the seventy-two ordinary disciples returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” So I asked “To whom did the demons submit?” The enthusiastic audience shouted, “To us!” I added that the Church does have authority over the demons and diseases and therefore, it would be appropriate to expect them to submit to us. They almost fell off their chairs when I told them that they should let the demons know their names. They laughed when I told them that hell has one of the most sophisticated computers and in it, the demons recorded all the names of Christians. With reference to Acts 19:15 where it was recorded that the demons said to the seven sons of Sceva, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” And how the man who had the evil spirit overpowered self-styled exorcists and gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. That was why I insisted that the participants should live and serve in such a way that even the demons of hell are afraid of their names.
I further explained why, after the ordinary disciples testified about their victories, that Jesus said, “I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven.” The power of satan over a particular area would fall, if we would heal the sick and cast out demons in that area. When people turn to worship God, the powerful grip of the devils in that area would be loosened and ultimately destroyed.
To further increase their faith, I referred to Luke 10:19 – “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions”. Since snakes and scorpions represent diseases and demons, the Christians have been given divine authority to destroy them. Then I twisted the second half of Luke 10:19 with “And to overcome SOME power of the enemy!” The participants were silent for a while and then sought to correct my mistake. They pointed to the slide that had the verse clearly displayed – “And to overcome ALL the power of the enemy!” The more I insisted that the Christians only have the authority to overcome “some power”, the more they voiced their disapproval in unison: “All the power”. Finally, after concurring with them, I asked whether Jesus was a liar. Now they were all charged up and shouted, “No!” Then I queried why did some of them behaved as though the demons were having the upper hand with their lives. I added that then why were they afraid to cast out demons and heal the sick. When I want to the last sentence of Luke 10:19 and said, “something will harm you!” They were ready for me and retorted with “nothing will harm you!” I asked if they really believe “nothing will harm” them and their positive answer would make the early disciples proud.
Soon, it was time for demonstration. I invited the infirm to come forward and this time, they moved quickly. Those who were sceptical during the first night of training were now the ones who encouraged others to come forward. As the trainees laid hands on the infirm, I used applied the kingly authority and commanded the pain and diseases to leave. This time, miracles happened instantly. Once again, people with arthritic joints were healed. A couple of bad backs were healed. One sister with breathing problem was relieved of that. Hearing problems were also miraculously made well. I was literally relieved that the faith of the participants had increased tremendously. The exciting healing testimonies of this session once again confirmed that our Lord Jesus Christ is alive and well. We thank our precious Lord for allowing us the privilege of having such powerful ministries.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
The third session began with worship in both English and Chinese. The participants arrived early and apparently ready for the final lesson. Pastor Richard asked Brother Alvin Chong to greet the people. After that, I moved quickly through the profile and ministries of Elijah Challenge Asia with the trainees. The purpose was to assure that if they would need any help concerning Power Evangelism in the future our organisation would be nearby to assist them. Another reason was to show that there is a wider group of Elijah Challengers, located in different parts of the world, who are most willing to work with them – the latest Elijah Challengers.
Brother Alvin Chong & Maggie greeting the participants
The participants nodded in agreement when I said that the current model of mass healing evangelism is not only costly but also focused on specific gifted “superstar” evangelists. There are hardly any healing ministries where the laity is involved. A big crusade held in a large and expensive facility like a stadium would cost lots of money. Moreover, the follow-up of new believers is not effective. Few are added to the local churches for discipleship.
I then offered a better alternative – churches that apply the Elijah Challenge End-time Model of Evangelism would conduct relatively small and less expensive evangelistic rallies in their neighbourhoods. I got them to start thinking that “smaller is indeed better”. What is more exciting for such method is that the local “nameless and faceless” believers can heal the sick at these evangelistic meetings, thus confirming the truth of the gospel to the lost. There is no need for superstar pastors or even ministers with the gift of healing. Such local meetings can also be held as often as necessary.
The trainees seemed very receptive to this “home-grown” idea. To confirm its advantage, I showed them slides of the healing conducted in our church and also the one conducted by Pastor W. in Uganda. In the slides, he was shown speaking in a marketplace with the sound equipment hooked up to a pick-up truck. The trainees saw many people at this open-air marketplace giving their lives to Christ after they witnessed or experienced miraculous healing. The whole evangelistic event cost the Ugandan church almost nothing. The sound equipment and pick-up truck belonged to the Church and her members and so there was no need to raise extra money for additional equipments or rentals. After the rally, within 15 minutes, everything was packed and the team could move on to another destination. Imagine what kind of impact if hundreds upon hundreds of such low-cost evangelistic meetings were to be conducted in Asia and across the world.
The next topic had to do with distance healing and mass healing. With reference to Luke 7, the participants learned how Jesus used “distance-healing” to heal the centurion’s servant. I shared with them my experience in conducting distance healing. Our Chinese pastor, Rev Chui’s mother-in-law was in a coma for four days at a hospital at Raub, Pahang. When I learned about that, I took authority in the name of Jesus with Pastor Chui, commanding her to wake up. That was at about 3 PM and by 5 PM ; Pastor Chui received a call from his wife that the mother-in-law had awakened. In another incident, my good friend, Brother Aaron was healed of his intense back pain through an “authority to heal” (SMS) text message that I sent him. I explained that if a general could give an order to his subordinate face-to-face, would the general’s authority be diluted if he were to order this soldier through the phone or (SMS) text message? Of course not! His authority would remain exactly the same.
Then I explained about mass healing – using the same illustration – if a general has authority over one soldier, won’t he also have authority over many? In a mass rally when there are hundreds or even thousands of infirm, there are not enough trained believers to lay hands on them. The only best alternative is to have the sick lay hands on themselves and usually on the affected areas and then one of the trained believers or the pastor would take authority and give the command for these infirm to be healed in the name of Jesus. The diseases and demons have to obey the authority exercised by the believers. I said that during my last trip to the Philippines, many were healed with this method.
Pastor Albert teaches
Touching on the difference and relationship between authority and power, I explained that authority which is known as “exousia” in Greek is normally used for healing at a distance, while power (“dunamis” in Greek) is used for healing the infirm by the laying on of hands. I made it a point to mention that it would be better if the trainees learned how to exercise “exousia-authority” over the infirmity as well as impart “dunamis-power” by laying hands on the infirm person simultaneously.
To avoid any doubt on the concept of imparting “dunamis-power”, I mentioned that the woman, who was bleeding for twelve years, received healing when she touched the clothes of Jesus. The fascinating portion was found in Mark 5:30, when Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. The crowd was pressing around him and yet he wondered who touched him. Through this episode, the trainees learned that through faith, tangible healing “dunamis-power” can leave a person and be imparted to the infirm.
As time was running out fast, I moved quickly to the topic of taking authority over the flesh. The participants were asked if they loved Jesus. Everybody said “yes”! I then read John 14:15 out loud, “If you love me, you will obey what I command!” Emphasizing what it meant to obey the commands of the Lord, I showed them Mark 10 – the story of the rich young ruler who claimed that he had obeyed all of the Ten Commandments until Jesus exposed his hypocrisy. The young man failed even to obey the first commandment –his wealth was his god. Then I explained that even though we are no longer under the laws, the Ten Commandments have become the Ten Principles. For any born-again Christians, the result of our salvation would be to live a life of obedience in consistent with what are required in the Ten Commandments. I was very cautious in my approach because I did not want the people to think that we were going back to the laws. However, I made the emphasis that some “Christians” may go to hell because the grace of God would not be appropriated on unrepented heart. True repentance means to turn away from sins. Those who stole should steal no more. Those who committed adultery should stop. The best guideline to a fruitful Christian life would be to produce fruits of action in alignment with the Ten Commandments or Ten Principles. At the time of temptation, the Christians can take authority over their flesh. To give the assurance that those who have confessed and repented would always find deliverance in Christ, I showed Romans 8:1-2 – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death”.
By the time the session was over at 12.30 PM, all the trainees were able to memorize the Ten Commandments by heart. As the trainees began to leave the sanctuary, Pastor Chandran, the pastor in charge of the Indian ministry at Grace Charismatic Centre, brought a teenage girl to me. He said that this girl was possessed by demons and had been manifesting lately. He wanted me to cast out the demons in her. However, I found out that the girl had already accepted Christ as her Savior and so I explained to her that the Lord was able to help her directly. When I asked Pastor Chandran to lead her in salvation prayer, she repeated every word with evident sincerity. After that I commanded the demons to come out, there was absolutely no manifestation. After a few times, I concluded that either she never had a demon or that the demon had left her after she said the sinner’s prayer. The young lady smiled widely because she was so happy that she was no longer under the power of demons. Later in the evening, she was to receive divine healing to her other physical infirmities.
Even though there was no healing demonstration during this final session, I knew that the participants would be ready to face the challenges in the evening’s Evangelistic Rally. I felt a sense of relief that another group of Elijah Challengers had been trained. At that juncture, the only best thing to do was to rest up and get myself spiritually ready for the evening’s battle.
Praying for & preparing the trainees for the healing rally