Overview of The Elijah Challenge
The way in which Jesus trained and then sent his disciples in Luke 9 and Luke 10 to proclaim the kingdom of God is now being restored in order for the Great Commission to be fulfilled during these Last Days.
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Earlier in our ministry in India, we depended exclusively on Evangelistic Feeding Events (click on link for many reports) conducted by our trained workers to preach the gospel of the kingdom to the many people groups in India.These Feeding Events were very fruitful, resulting in we estimate hundreds of thousands of people raising their hands to accept Christ. In 2017, however, the Lord showed us another approach to evangelism which follows Scripture very closely: the Luke 10 approach as commanded by Jesus to his 72 disciples. We have now added the Luke 10 approach to our traditional Feeding Events in India. Below is an introduction to this very scriptural approach.
Training “Luke 10” workers for the Lord’s harvest field during these Last Days
Missions during this modern era has not followed the pattern that Jesus laid down in the gospels for his disciples and which was continued in Acts.
In the gospels, Jesus gave to the Twelve power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick (Luke 9:1-2). The Twelve then went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere (Luke 9:6). Then in Luke 10 Jesus sent out the 72 disciples, commanding them to heal the sick and then proclaim that the kingdom of God has come near. They later returned from their short-term mission trip rejoicing that even the demons submitted to them in Jesus’ name.
In Acts when the disciples left Jerusalem to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, they continued to obey the Lord’s command to heal the sick as they went out to his harvest field. Time after time Acts records that they performed miraculous healings as evidence that Jesus is the Son of God often leading many to put their faith in him.
The pattern among contemporary missionaries contrasts sharply with the gospels and Acts. As just one example, a typical outreach conducted by the leader of a YWAM school in North India consists of a project where they go out and do some activities for the children, etc. The majority of mission outreaches around the world involves friendship and humanitarian good works in hopes of eventually drawing the lost to the Lord. Moreover, one estimate has only 5% of the 400,000 missionaries and workers around the world actually reaching out to those who never heard—with the remaining 95% ministering to Christians.
BUT contemporary workers trained—as were the 72 in Luke 10—are few indeed
Why are contemporary missionaries and harvest workers not going out to heal the sick and cast out demons as overwhelming evidence to the lost that Jesus is the Messiah—as the Lord commanded the Twelve and the 72 disciples in the gospels?
The primary reason for this: it is not taught in the Church. We do not teach disciples how to heal the sick exactly as Jesus taught and commanded his disciples. Rather we teach them how to pray to God for the sick—something which Jesus never taught or commanded. There are various reasons for this, one of which is an unspoken cessationist bent—of course not necessarily a conscious one—among believers of all stripes. We are not Jesus, so how can we possibly heal the sick and do the miraculous works that he did?
.“We doing the works that Jesus did? No way…impossible!”
Simply put, when it is not taught as Jesus taught his disciples, the sick will not be healed. There will be only occasional miracles (if any) confirming the truth of the gospel; there will be no compelling evidence to gospel-resistant people groups that Jesus is the Son of God (John 14:11).
Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Indeed there are few workers—in the sense that Jesus meant it. Although around the world there are hundreds of thousands of gospel workers, extremely few of them are trained as Jesus trained his disciples in Luke 9 and Luke 10. Although there are indeed many “workers,” few of them are trained in the effective use of the Lord’s supernatural power and authority to cast out demons and heal the sick miraculously as Jesus commanded his disciples. Missions today is generally not even a dim reflection of what is recorded in Acts when the gospel was proclaimed to the Gentiles.
When workers are trained precisely as Jesus trained his disciples, we will be able to send out workers into his harvest field in answer to what he commanded us to ask in Luke 10:2 above.
During these Last Days the Lord is restoring the understanding of how he taught and trained his disciples. A careful study of the Scriptures with the help of the Holy Spirit reveals it quite clearly. Missions as recorded in the gospels and Acts is being restored—as we are now seeing in India, soon to be the most populous nation on earth.
100 house churches planted in one year by 72 newly-trained workers
What happens when the harvest worker is lacking a sharp sickle?
Why are there so few miracles on the mission field?
Elijah Challenge “Evangelistic Feeding Events”