The Elijah Challenge in a Christian Missionary Alliance Church
My host for the Basic Training here in Seattle was Pastor Quang Nguyen and the Vietnamese Christian Community Church, a congregation belonging to the Vietnamese Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination which is conservative and non-charismatic in its doctrine and practices. Leaders and believers from other churches, including Southern Baptist as well as Assemblies of God, also attended the event. The believers were very receptive to the Training, especially when I challenged them to go back to communist Vietnam to proclaim the kingdom of God in the spirit and power of Elijah.
After six hours of Training Saturday morning and afternoon with translation into Vietnamese, we held an evangelistic healing service Saturday evening. I proclaimed the Father as the only true God and Jesus Christ as the only way to His house; and that all other ways lead to condemnation in hell. To demonstrate the truth of the message, the trained believers came forward to heal the sick in the name of Jesus Christ. Many were healed and came forward to testify publicly. The first to testify was a woman whose poor eyesight had been restored. At the very end of the service a woman at the front who had a powerful demon fell to the floor and began to convulse and roll around like the demonized boy in Mark 9:20. She was later set free by the trained disciples as they commanded the demon to leave her in the name of Jesus Christ.
At the end of the meeting, I challenged the people to repent of their sins and lukewarmness and to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. “The kingdom of God is near.”
An “Elijah Challenge Alumni Club” has been formed by one of the leaders, Ted Dang, to provide organized opportunities for the believers to apply what they have been trained to do—to heal the sick as the gospel is proclaimed to the lost in public venues. Ted also hopes that The Alumni Club will eventually train the Vietnamese disapora scattered all over the world in many other countries with The Elijah Challenge. It is important that after the Training, believers continue to “heal the sick, and tell them ‘the kingdom of God is near you.'” as Jesus commanded his disciples in Luke 10:9. If they don’t continue to do this, the Training will have been in vain. This Alumni Club is a new concept which we hope will prove effective in making “The Elijah Challenge” a permanent part of the lives and witness of Vietnamese believers around the world for Jesus Christ.
“The Elijah Challenge” is not a program which belongs exclusively to us. Rather, it is an integral part of fulfilling the Great Commission which Jesus Christ gave to the Church. While he was on earth, Jesus authorized and sent his disciples out, commanding them to “heal the sick who are there, and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God is near you.'”
In the Great Commission, Jesus commands the Church to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Therefore, every disciple of Jesus Christ today should be taught, in addition to obeying the Lord’s other commands, to obey his commands to heal the sick and to proclaim the kingdom of God. This is what The Elijah Challenge does in obedience to the Great Commission. In accordance to Matthew 28, this is what the Church should be teaching every disciple of Jesus Christ.