We hope this Discipleship Course curriculum is usable to you for training and equipping. FREE DOWNLOAD (document) is available at the end of each lesson.
As you enter this next phase of our Discipleship Course please carry all that you have already learned with you. We have laid a solid foundation of basic (yet profound) biblical discipleship truths. You have been learning to die to yourself and live in Christ. He is your foundation.
In this next module you will learn about doing ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. It should be very interesting and exciting. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you remember the basics. Especially when it comes to humility, holiness and love. Apostle Paul reminds us in 1Cor. 13:1-2 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
Throughout Church history, especially during times of Revival, anointed servants of God, filled with the Spirit have carried His glory to their generation. They operated in the power of the Holy Spirit and demonstrated amazing signs and wonders. Multitudes were saved, healed and delivered. Sadly, many of them buckled under the weight of this heavy mantel. Some burned out, others fell into sexual sin, or pride, or the love of money, or began to teach false doctrines. We do not want you to fall into these traps, beloved.
People will oppose you and the enemy will attack… but God will be with you and bring you into abundant fruitfulness if you will walk humbly and obey Him. Jesus clearly told us to count the cost. Are you willing? Never be satisfied with anything less than God’s perfect will for your life. Nevertheless, you can be sure of this: It will cost you everything.
Rise up sons and daughters of the Most High! Be filled with the Holy Spirit and do the work of the Kingdom. Great adventures await you. Just keep saying “YES” to Jesus as He leads you to the harvest. Do mighty exploits in His name, for His glory and honor. You will find great fulfillment and receive eternal reward. He is worthy of your best… your everything.
“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1-2
Lesson 1: Holy Spirit Baptism and Ministry
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Exercising the Gifts
Keys to Ministering in the Spirit
Practical Guidelines for Personal Ministry
Lesson 2: The Five-Fold Ministry Gifts
God’s Hand of Ministry
Women in Ministry
Lesson 3: Kingdom Authority
Lesson 4: Power Evangelism
The Process of Evangelism
Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Evangelism
Ways to Present the Gospel
Lesson 5: Preaching the Gospel
The True Message
The Narrow Way
Presenting Your Message
The Altar Call
Lesson 6: Healing the Sick
Facts About Healing
Faith and Healing Scriptures
Lesson 7: Prophecy
Receiving From the Lord and Delivering a Prophetic Word
What is Prophecy?
Delivering a Public Prophetic Word
Order in the Meeting
Delivering a Personal Prophetic Word
Processing Prophetic Words
Exercising the Gift of Prophecy
Lesson 8: Deliverance
Deliverance By Appointment
Areas to be Renounced
Teach Them How to Stay Free
The Deliverance Minister
Preparing Yourself for Doing Deliverance
Lesson 9: Spiritual Warfare
What Spiritual Warfare Is and Is Not
Effective Weapons of Warfare
Preparation for War
The Full Armor
Spheres of Authority
Lesson 11: Persecution and Martyrdom
This awesome gift of God was not only promised in Joel 2 but also promised by Jesus “But you shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost (Acts 2) and fully experienced after Pentecost (Acts 4:31, 10:44-46, 19:6).
Baptism in the Spirit is the POWER for service and for witnessing… not only in words but healing, deliverance, prayer and in understanding the Word… and the power to overcome sin and live a victorious life (Romans 8:26, John 16:14, Luke 24:49, Acts 9:17-20). Even Jesus ministered by the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). It is the power for your specific ministry. Re-filling continually…Eph. 5:18
Of course, you must be a surrendered vessel, willing to do God’s will. You can receive the infilling of the Spirit in a variety of ways… as mentioned in scripture:
There is no formula for receiving Him… but it goes something like this:
Focus on Jesus and surrender yourself to Him… then ask Him to fill you with His Spirit, begin to praise Him. Remember, He wants to fill you to overflowing. We have the assurance of God’s word that if we ask for this Precious Gift we will not receive anything evil but will receive His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:11-13). You may or may not feel anything initially, but some can sense peace, warmth, or overwhelming joy. You may hear a strange sound or word in your mind. Speak it out…and continue to speak it. Like priming a pump, this usually begins the flow. Sometimes only a few words come at first, but as you continue to speak in faith the Lord will give you a complete vocabulary to praise God.
God’s gifts are given for a purpose. Praying in the Spirit edifies or builds us up in the Lord (1Cor. 14:4). We also build our faith by praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20). You will later find this is one of your weapons in repelling the attacks of the enemy (Eph. 6:18). Speaking in tongues is an important gift; you don’t want to refuse it. To refuse tongues is to refuse to yield yourself completely to God.
Paul lists nine gifts or manifestations of the Spirit (1Cor. 12). These are the supernatural tools for Christian service. All Spirit-filled Christians can manifest any of these gifts as the Spirit directs.
The exercise of any of these gifts requires your cooperation with the Spirit. He gives the gifts as He wills and lets you know in a variety of ways when you are to exercise them… for example:
The prophetic gifts… He will sometimes put a few words in your mind. You speak these and more begin to flow. You may also sense excitement or nervousness before you are to prophesy.
Word of knowledge… You may see a picture or receive a word/thought that suddenly jumps into your mind.
The word of wisdom can flow amid normal conversation. You find yourself speaking God’s wisdom… and both you and the hearer are surprised when it flows out from you.
The healing gifts… Your hands could begin to feel warm or you may get pain in a certain part of your body. Sometimes the word of knowledge and the healing gifts work in tandem to build faith and bring healing. We must be willing to lay hands, speak a word of command or do anything else as Holy Spirit directs us.
Know Who You Are in Christ
Connect with The Person… And with God
Your Spiritual Attitude
Use Verbal Commands
It is best to pray in teams… husband and wife, 2 men, 2 women. It is not wise for a man to pray for a woman alone or a woman to pray for a man alone.
Treat people with respect
Prepare People to Receive
Stay Sensitive to the Holy Spirit
Possible Manifestations as You Minister
When possible get feedback from the person you ministered to. Ask how they feel after prayer (or their pain level) … have them test their healing. Be willing to pray again… ask for feedback again. It’s OK to pray several times.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:1)1.
These five ministry gifts are not about having a title, but about ministry functions. There is nothing “elevated” about these gifts (see 1 Cor. 4:9-13). One is not better than the other… only different. Each has a special purpose.
“for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). These five leadership gifts were not only given to do the work of the ministry but to enable God’s people to do the work of the ministry.
” till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13). The five-fold ministry did not pass away at the end of the first century but was given until the maturing of the Body in unity, knowledge, and expression of Christ’s fullness.
The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” (Ephesians 4:7). All ministry is simply the ministry of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Christ is our Apostle (Hebrews 3:1), Prophet (Luke 24:19), Evangelist (Matthew 9:35), Pastor (1 Peter 5:2-4), and Teacher (John 3:2). Every ministry – including that of the five-fold – is an extension of the ministry of Christ Himself. The five-fold ministry is not self-commissioned, nor are they simply leaders of a church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole.
“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” Ephesians 2:19-20. The foundation of the Church is the apostle and the prophet (note Ephesians 3:4-5). Ephesians 4:12-13 indicates that these two ministries continue in that foundational role, so it is vital for us to understand how each of these ministries works.
An apostle is “one chosen and sent with a special commission.” The 12 apostles chosen by Jesus were witnesses of the resurrection (Acts 1:15; 4:33), but there were many other true apostles (Acts 14:3-4; Romans 16:7; 1 Corinthians 15:5-7; Galatians 1:1,19), as well as false ones (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Revelation 2:2).
The ministry of an apostle can include pioneering new churches (1 Corinthians 9:2; 1 Corinthians 3:6), grounding the Church in truth (Colossians 1:25), preserving unity in the Body (1 Corinthians 3:3-5), laying foundations in the Church (1 Corinthians 3:10), setting things in order (Titus 1:5), fostering a vision beyond the local church (2 Corinthians 8), fathering new ministries (2 Timothy 1:6) a breakthrough-type ministry of miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12) and powerful prayer (Acts 6:4).
The ministry of the prophet involves being “moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21) in prophetic utterance, which can be:
The prophet operates best in teamwork with the apostle (i.e. Paul and Silas). A prophet is not just someone with a prophetic anointing, but a recognized ministry to the Body at large. In this hour the true prophet is calling the Church to repentance and exposing heresies. They are not afraid to boldly speak the truth.
Note there are levels of prophecy: the word of prophecy – limited to “strengthening, encouraging and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3,31) and the ministry of the prophet (1 Corinthians 12:28-29). All believers are encouraged to move in words of prophecy, but only a prophet should exercise the authority of predictive, directive, and corrective prophecy, and even then only within clear protective guidelines.
Evangelists extend the frontiers of God’s Kingdom (see the ministry of Philip in Acts 6:3-7; 8:5-40; 21:8). They preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit in their region… or around the world as the Spirit leads.
The Greek word for pastor poimen means “one to tends sheep or cares for flocks” (read 1 Peter 5:1-4; John 21:15-17). But this word is used only in Ephesians 4:11. Elsewhere in the New Testament, other words are used: “shepherd,” “elder” and “overseer”. This is significant…a comparison of these ministries should be made.
The word “elder” – presbuteros – refers to any leadership ministry. An elder may be one of the five or an “overseer” – episkopos – over a local church. But whether a person is a pastor (one of the five-fold ministry) or an overseeing elder (in charge of a local body), both are called to be shepherds. Following the example of the Chief Shepherd (John 10:1-16), a shepherd’s ministry is to feed (verse 9); protect (verse 12), guide (verses 3-4), and love (verse 15) the sheep.
A teacher is not just someone who teaches but is a 5 fold minister who brings instruction to the Body at large (note the “watering” ministry of Apollos in Acts 18:24-28; 1 Corinthians 3:2-10). Only when the ministries of Ephesians 4:11 begin functioning as God intended – both as individual ministries and as apostolic teams – will the purpose of their joint ministry be fulfilled. By Paul Bunty and David Collins
It is not God’s intention for pastors to attempt to equip and build up the body alone. There are no scriptures that even suggest that one senior shepherd has been given everything necessary to perfect a particular congregation. Fivefold ministers are meant to cooperate in their special giftings and abilities and together govern, guide, gather, ground, and guard God’s people.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God… “ (1 Pet. 5:6)
When Christ ascended, He took His whole ministry mantle, divided it, and gave it in five parts to men and women. All five are needed to perfect, mature, and equip the saints “till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of… the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). The function of these gifts, also sometimes called equipping or ascension gifts, and how they fit together can better be understood through the analogy of how a physical hand functions.
The thumb is not in opposition to or over the fingers, but it is designed to complete the full function and power of the hand. Apostles function in administration and together with prophets lay the foundation with proper doctrinal and spiritual structure (Eph. 2:20). Apostles move primarily in the gifts of healing, faith, working of miracles, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, and prophecy. Their authority may be regional or national. In a modern church setting, they would oversee the development and sending of apostolic teams for miracle ministries, as well as activating, imparting, and demonstrating the apostolic anointing to other bodies of believers. They would participate in going to other regions and nations to establish new churches and help local pastors restore order and unity in existing congregations.
The forefinger is often called the pointer finger—the prophet functions in revelation and points the way for believers. The office of the prophet is different than the gift of prophecy—it carries a governmental authority and role with higher responsibility. The gift of prophecy is for edification, exhortation, and comfort, whereas the prophet flows in areas of guidance, instruction, rebuke, repentance, judgment, and revelation—whatever Christ chooses to speak for the purification and perfection of His Church. Prophets are also given the special ability to recognize God’s gifts and callings on individuals and can activate people into their ministries. Not everyone who prophesies is a prophet (just as not everyone who moves in miracles is an apostle). In a church today, prophets would oversee the development of qualified prophetic teams to be able to give accurate and timely personal prophetic words, and form prophetic presbyteries—groups of ministers and elders who come together to minister prophetically to individuals or a church body.
The middle finger extends the furthest on the hand—it represents the outreach ministry extended to evangelize the world. An evangelist in today’s church would oversee evangelism teams and outreach, and maintain passion and vision for winning souls to Jesus, in addition to training other evangelists.
The ring finger is the wedding ring finger, symbolizing the pastor’s commitment to his flock. Prophets and evangelists might come and go, but the pastor is bound to the local saints in a shepherding relationship. Those in the pastoral department of a local church would oversee home group leaders and assist the senior pastor in duties such as weddings, funerals, visitations, prayer, counseling, and other ministerial capacities.
Although it’s the smallest finger, the little finger is essential and provides balance. The teacher grounds the church in truth through instruction in the principles of the Word of God. The teaching department in a modern-day church would oversee the educational and training ministries, including writing and developing curriculum and performing teaching duties.
May we—as a church—humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and recognize those He has empowered to represent His heart.
By Generals International… Diane Lake
1Cor.14:34-35 “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.”
1Tim.2:11-12 “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” Many churches and denominations don’t permit women to do ministry or be in leadership. Sadly, some Christian leaders even use these verses to dominate women. Just like some husbands use Eph.5:22 “wives submit to your husband” to dominate their wife. Most of these husbands ignore Eph.5:25 which tells them to love their wife as Christ loves the church. These are serious errors… and God is not pleased. Honestly, I too felt that women shouldn’t be in ministry because of these scriptures that seem to prohibit it. For sure, I wanted to obey God’s word, but this posed a conundrum for me. I knew of anointed women who were leading churches where salvation, healing, and deliverance were flowing. And there were many other examples:
During the 19th century in England, Catherine Booth was an evangelist, preacher, theologian, and co-founder of The Salvation Army. Her husband William said, “Some of my best men are women!” Half of the hundreds of churches birthed by the Salvation Army were planted by women. And what about Kathryn Kuhlman in the 20th century? She was incredible! Millions of people were healed through her ministry… and there are many more. Thankfully, even with this error in place, the Lord still raised up many anointed women throughout Church history and used them mightily!
Before you point to the failures of certain women in ministry as proof that they shouldn’t be there, let me remind you of the multitude of men in ministry who have failed. Please know that I’m not trying to be a champion for women’s rights. I am simply bringing clarification, teaching the truth of God’s Word. Feminism is unbiblical. Christian women AND men should not demand their rights. We must humble ourselves, die to ourselves, surrender our rights and submit to God. If we will do this, the Lord will make a way for us (1 Peter 5:6).
Of course, the Bible is true… the inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word of God. But this statement only applies to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text. It is evident that all translations of the Bible are not 100% accurate. You may wonder how this grave error could have remained a Church policy for so long. Remember… for about 1000 years, the Church was teaching that salvation was earned by doing good works until Martin Luther had the revelation of salvation by grace through faith. And for over 1000 years, believers were forbidden to read the Bible. Only the Church hierarchy was permitted to read it in Latin. Let’s not continue in error, beloved. God has called and anointed both men and women to do the work of the ministry.
I had earnestly asked God to reveal the truth about women in ministry and then I read this article about 15 years ago. It quickened my spirit and opened my eyes to the truth. I hope it will do the same for you.
The following article was written by Dr. Gary Greig, “Biblical Foundations for Women Alongside Men in Ministry.” Gary is a Greek and Hebrew linguist and Bible scholar. He reveals that much of this prohibition hinges on the mistranslation of 2 Greek words “aner” and “gune.” “Aner” can either be translated as man or husband. And “gune” can be translated as woman or wife. In these verses, they were translated incorrectly. This is what he says:
“1Cor.14:33-35 appears to forbid women from speaking in public worship. But a close reading of the Greek text shows that this passage forbids wives, not women in general, from speaking out disruptively in the context of their husbands judging prophecy. Greek gune can be translated as “woman” or “wife.” It requires the translation “wife” in this passage because husbands are mentioned in 14:35. The sense “wife” is the clear connotation of the Greek gune in 14:35. So we are talking about husbands and wives in this passage and not women in general. What we are talking about here are women who were not recognized with this authority, speaking disruptively. It is a matter of order, not gender. It is a matter of respecting their husbands.”
In 1Tim.2:12 Paul says literally “I am not permitting a wife (gune) to teach or to domineer a husband.” The Greek word aner can be translated as “man” or “husband.” “To have authority over” is not what the Greek verb authentein means. The NT Greek-English Lexicon of Bauer, Ardnt, Gingrich, and Danker (Pg. 121) gives good evidence for the fact that authentein means “domineer.” It does not mean simply exercising authority. Paul could hardly say that women were not permitted (to teach) or exercise authority over men if he was aware of Priscilla with Aquilla teaching Apollos (Acts 18:26) and if he was commending Phoebe as a diakonos minister that exercised a certain amount of authority in the church of Cenchrea (Rom.16:1). What we are talking about in 1Tim.2:12 is domination. The use of authentein refers to a domineering spirit that these women had… a wife dominating her husband. I think the sole translation of 1Tim.2:12 required by the context is “I am not permitting a wife to teach or to domineer a husband. She must be silent.”
Paul could not have meant all women in Ephesus since Priscilla had been his co-worker along with Aquilla, and Paul certainly knew Priscilla and Aquilla had taught Apollos. Also, Paul cannot be referring to all women in Ephesus or in the church in general because he is no longer speaking of women in the plural as he was earlier in the chapter in vs 9 and 10.” Mentioning Priscilla before Aquilla probably meant that she was the primary teacher (Rom.16:3). Remember in that day it was not “ladies before gentleman.”
“The language of the prohibition then reflects the original problem. A woman or a restricted number of women in the church of Ephesus were being contentious and argumentative. The woman/women were also domineering her/their husband(s). This scenario and Paul’s correction of it is a far cry from the idea that Paul was issuing a blanket prohibition against all women everywhere teaching or exercising godly authority to which God is calling them to in the Body of Christ.”
Acts 2:17… Peter quotes Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 21:9… speaking of Philip the evangelist’s daughters: “Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.” 1Cor.11:5… “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head…” It is clear that women were prophesying in the churches. Paul was not saying that all women must be silent and should not do ministry.
Just one more point for you to consider: “Paul mentions Junia and Andronicus in Romans 16:7. He says they are prominent among the apostles. “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles and they were in Christ before I was.” Junia was a common Latin female name in the Roman Empire! That Junia, as a woman, was recognized among the apostles is understandable. They had Deborah as a prophet, senior judge, and a mother of Israel and Miriam as a prophetic leader under Moses and alongside Aaron. Huldah was a prophetic leader and advisor under King Josiah. And Esther was a leader in the late period. This wouldn’t have been a problem in the New Testament Church with this history of women in leadership in the Old Testament.”
Some will say that Paul told Titus and Timothy (Titus 1:5-9, 1Tim.3:1) to appoint men in church leadership. That is true, but you should know this was a male-dominated society. They didn’t even count the women when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish (Matt.14:21) to feed the 5000 (men). It was presumed that men would take the lead. Nevertheless, there is nothing stated here that forbids women from leading. And as we have just said, women were in leadership! Phoebe was a deaconess in Cencherea, Priscilla taught Apollos and Junia was an Apostle. And don’t forget about Debra. She was a leader, a Judge… mentioned in the Book of Judges. God would certainly not contradict Himself.
Currently, more than half of professing Christians are women. Wouldn’t it be just like Satan to try to prevent over 50% of the Church from doing the work of ministry? It’s time to accept the obvious and correct this error – the evidence is quite clear. God has called women to serve alongside men in every aspect of the fivefold ministry. I have now ordained several well-qualified women who were called by God. They love the Lord and are faithfully serving Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. Many are being blessed through their ministry. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
Assignment: Memorize Ephesians 4:11-13
Your Father wants you to know who you are. You are a son or daughter of the Most High God! He has been preparing you to carry His glory, to be His representative to this generation. He wants to give you this responsibility. Will you accept it?
Through Jesus, the sinless Son of God, the authority or reign which was lost through our sin has been re-established for all who submit to God’s grace and reign through faith in Jesus. These points outline the significance of Kingdom authority restored through Jesus.
Having deposed Satan, Jesus reinstated those who He has brought into relationship with God through faith in Him, and thereby gives us authority:
(Matthew 10:8; 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-21; John 20:21; also 1 John 3:1; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:4-6; Luke 10:19; Acts 1:8).
If you narrowly escaped driving into the river because the bridge collapsed, of course, you would praise God. But would you then simply turn around and go home? Wouldn’t you try to block the road or wave and shout to prevent others from going over the edge? What if you were walking at night and noticed a house on fire; would you just walk by? Or would you start banging on the doors and yelling to wake the family who lived there? There are so many who are headed for destruction… backsliders and the unsaved. Their house is on fire and they are unaware. Will you warn them or just walk by? There are serious consequences for sin… and hell is very real!
Evangelism is the proclamation of salvation in Jesus Christ. Simply put: Jesus suffered and died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. By believing in Him we have forgiveness of our sins, a restored relationship with the Father, and the free gift of eternal life in heaven.
Everyone is not called to be an evangelist, preaching crusades and approaching people on the street. But everyone is called to be light and salt in this world… according to their gifts and calling. Every Christian should, in some way, be intentionally drawing people closer to the Lord. There are so many ways to do this… and many types of ministry.
Consider Mark 4:26-28 “And He said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
You may be sowing a seed or watering one that has already been sown. Sometimes an individual may need several gospel encounters before they are ready to receive Christ. That’s OK! Pressuring someone to say the sinner’s prayer does not save them. They must believe first.
If you understand this process you will not become discouraged when someone does not respond to your gospel invitation…or become proud when they do. If you get the privilege to harvest a soul, know that many others went before you praying, sowing seeds, and watering them before you came to reap the harvest. However, the operation of the gifts of the Spirit can dramatically stir faith, accelerate the process and bring genuine salvation.
There are some basic mistakes we sometimes make in communication that turn people off to the gospel. The best way to reinforce good conversational skills in witnessing is to study the approach and methods Jesus used.
Jesus demonstrated the reality of God’s kingdom with power… public evidence that the Kingdom he was talking about had come. Signs should validate our evangelism too.
The Son of God came to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8) and His miracles were evidence that the devil was retreating. As Jesus put it, once the strong man has been overpowered his possessions can be taken from him (Matt 12:29; Luke 11:22).
Apostle Paul sums it up so well: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1Cor.2:1-5).
The Church should announce and demonstrate the Kingdom of God. This involves a presentation of the good news of God’s reign accompanied by the manifest presence of God. Power evangelism is spontaneous and is directed by the Holy Spirit. The most common form of evangelism is through personal relationships in which the gospel is shared with relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. But whether through personal relationship or divine appointment on the street, bus or plane… answered prayer, especially when healing the sick, has led many to faith in Christ. Words of Knowledge and Prophecy are also powerful tools. The unsaved stand amazed at these supernatural encounters and must truly consider the reality of God. Always look for an opportunity to pray for someone. Lay hands on them and see what God will do. So many times I have seen people begin to cry or feel peace or warmth when I begin to pray for them. Power evangelism is that gospel presentation that is both rational and transcends the rational; it comes with the demonstration of the power of God, with signs and wonders and introduces the reality of God.
Holy Spirit and His gifts are given for us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Prophecy is useful for edifying believers but also to show the power of God to unbelievers (1Cor. 14:24-25). Paul says that prophecy is a sign to unbelievers as evidence that God is real. Jesus did prophetic evangelism with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). He told her things about her life that He could only know supernaturally. As a result of this word of knowledge she opened her heart to Him and led her whole village to believe in Jesus. There is no formula for prophetic evangelism… It really must be learned through trial and error. It is usually uncomfortable to approach someone you don’t know… but if you want to be used by God you must be willing to take a risk.
Another thing to consider: If you are with a Christian friend in public (standing in line, sitting in the mall, waiting for a movie to start) purposely talk about what Jesus has done for you… Share your testimony with each other… just loud enough for those around you to hear. I call this “third party” witnessing. Some people will block you out when you tell them about Jesus but if they are listening to others talk, they will receive every word. Are you ashamed to talk about Jesus in public? Ask the Lord to give you grace and courage. Also, develop conversational relationships with some of the employees in the stores where you usually shop. This can open doors for healing prayer, spiritual guidance, and repentance. The Holy Spirit is very creative. Therefore, we should not try to reduce our ministry to a group of simplistic techniques or formulas.
Different Ways to Present the Gospel
In every instance… look for an opportunity to demonstrate God’s power… Pray for healing, a word of knowledge, or prophecy. I believe the time is soon coming when evangelistic/healing/prophetic teams will travel to cities and villages … preaching repentance, salvation, and ministering in the power of the Spirit. Would you like to be one of these? Start practicing!
By God’s grace, I spent years preaching the gospel in the streets in America. I’ve also preached on the streets of Jerusalem, London, and Kenya. I have also preached evangelistic crusades in several countries… not huge meetings like Bonnke but powerful meetings nonetheless. The Lord has taught me things that I want to share with you.
I started by sharing my testimony at Christian meetings and then learned to preach in my bedroom and the forest. I would preach my heart out with tears streaming down my cheeks. The Holy Spirit was my teacher. Some of you may already be preaching. Some of you may be aspiring preachers. Either way, I hope this is helpful.
The True Message
Over the years many people have believed “if Johnny is a good boy he goes to heaven. If he is a bad boy he goes to hell.” Nevertheless, this whole premise is so wrong. Some weigh their good deeds against the bad they do… or think, “I’m a nice person; I will go to heaven.” Wrong again. There will be many “nice” people in hell. Here is the truth of the gospel: Almighty God made a way for us to come to heaven. He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die to pay the penalty for our sins.
By believing in Jesus our sins are completely forgiven and we receive the free gift of eternity in heaven. Everyone who refuses to receive this pardon will spend eternity in hell. It’s not about being good enough to get into heaven. It’s all about agreeing with God that we have disobeyed Him, asking for His forgiveness, AND turning away from our sins. We must accept Jesus as our Savior, make Him our Lord and cover ourselves in His righteousness. This is the ONLY way to be acceptable to our loving God who is also holy and just. To be clear, Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven.
During the 1st century, when someone became a Christian, they were making a serious commitment. They would be rejected by family and friends and possibly imprisoned or killed. They understood the cost and embraced their cross. This is still true today in Muslim and Hindu countries. Christians living there really know what commitment means. Sadly, in the West, many evangelists tell the people what Jesus will do for them instead of telling them to count the cost. They invite the people to ask Jesus into their hearts without repentance and without embarrassment (just raise your hand while everyone closes their eyes). And then we wonder why we have such a lukewarm, compromised Church. This has to change. The gospel message is about Jesus shedding His blood to save us from our sins – saving us from hell. It’s not about how much He wants to bless you and make you happy. Becoming a Christian should be a life-changing commitment, surrendering your life completely to a loving Lord who purchased you with His blood.
Dear evangelist, please consider your methods. Many who answer your altar calls may not be truly saved because you haven’t preached the gospel. And remember this: Salvation isn’t only about getting someone to say the salvation prayer. Christianity is all about following Christ. Altar calls are great, but they’re only the doorway. We must make disciples, not just converts.
You have a choice. Will you love money and materials or will you follow Jesus? Will you love yourself and your life or will you follow Jesus? Will you love porn and illicit sex or will you follow Jesus? There is a way that leads to heaven and one that leads to hell. Will you choose Jesus and obey His word or will you choose the cheap thrills of this life and spend eternity in hell.
I preach the narrow way because Jesus did (Matt.7:13-14). I warn about hell and the fear of God (Matt.10:28) and preach repentance (Matt.4:17) because Jesus did. We must proclaim the full truth of God’s word in this hour. If not, we will be held accountable.
Dear preachers… Some of you are well experienced and others not so much. Here are a few tips that may be helpful. Of course, this is just a guide. Feel free to preach and minister as you are led by the Holy Spirit. Be blessed with faith and hopeful expectation. God is going to use you mightily!
Invite the people to turn away from sin and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior… something like this: “Will you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? God loves you so much that He gave His only son, Jesus, to shed His blood for you. No matter what you have done, if you are willing to turn away from your sins now, He will forgive you. He is merciful and kind, but there is eternal punishment for those who refuse to receive Jesus’ sacrifice. Surrender your life to Him now.”
Be sure that church members are available to get the names and addresses of those who come forward. Invite them to your church and/or make a home visit. Remember, the altar call is only the doorway to the kingdom. You have been called to make disciples, not converts. This is important: Be alert! While you are preaching God may give you a word of knowledge about healing. Just speak it out: “There is someone here who has (pain in their right arm). God is healing you now.” Sometimes He will heal several! Praise His wonderful name!Here are some good points taught by an experienced preacher. But above all else… when preparing and delivering the word of God you must be led by the Holy Spirit. Spend time with God and preach with confidence the things He wants you to say.
One: P-R-O-J-E-C-T your voice and get rid of inhibitions. Stand before the class and shout your favorite scripture! Let’s preach it under the anointing! Homework: memorize John 3:16-17 and John 14:6
Two: Go with the Flow! 3 minutes of preaching using memorized Scriptures…including changing topics. Homework: memorize Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 6:23
Three: Exegesis…Using the scripture while preaching, take a passage and explain it line by line while preaching. Homework: preach at home (to others or your chickens) memorize Romans 10:9-10
Four: Content… Present a 5-minute evangelistic message to the class incorporating memorized scripture, including a reminder of hell. Give an invitation to receive Christ! Homework: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel!
Man was created to be both a spiritual and physical being… to access the natural and the supernatural. In the beginning, he communed with God in the garden, but relinquished this glory and digressed to a carnal existence. Because of Jesus’ shed blood, man’s spirit was regenerated and is again ready to commune with God’s Spirit. Jesus preached about God’s supernatural Kingdom… a message that taught miracles were possible if we would only believe. Dear believer, understand who you are and allow your spirit to take the lead – not your flesh and emotions. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and follow His leading… become naturally supernatural. How do you get to that place? You completely surrender your life to the Lord and allow Him to live His life through you. You die to yourself – deny yourself. Do you understand? Self always gets in the way of the Holy Spirit. Concern for what others think of us, doubt, fear, selfishness hinder the work of God. You must surrender your life, beloved if you want to be consistently used by God.
Over the years, I have seen God heal many people, young and old… on the street, in churches, or during conferences and crusades. God loves to heal. In the Philippines, I saw a 5-year-old boy who had never walked, leap and jump after laying hands on him and simply saying, “Be healed in the name of Jesus.” Another boy, about 11, whose arm was paralyzed, was instantly healed in the same way. I have also seen the Lord heal the blind and the deaf… in the name of Jesus! In Bolivia, a teacher in a Christian school with a very large swollen foot and wearing a much larger shoe was instantly healed in the name of Jesus, her foot shrunk and the shoe fell off!
In Kenya, Lori was invited into the home of a woman who was dying. She had not been out of bed for 2 years. Lori spoke the word of the Lord and told her to get out of bed. She did! We saw her 7 years later at a conference where she testified how she was healed. She is now a pastor!
I have never raised the dead, but others have. Nevertheless, I have seen 3 people who were in a coma, expected to die, wake up after receiving prayer in the name of Jesus! Several of these healings came after the Lord gave me a word of knowledge. You can do this too, beloved. Have you asked God to use you in this way?
You may have tried to pray for someone and nothing seemed to happen. Don’t give up! It will take persistence and practice. Someone once said, “If you pray for 10 people and only 1 gets healed, pray for 100 so 10 will get healed.” Keep praying and let your faith grow. Keep practicing and learn new methods. The percentage will increase. Believe me, I have prayed for plenty of people and saw no apparent results. But I wholeheartedly believe that God answers our prayers and began the healing process because we asked Him to.
It is also important to know that some healing occurs instantaneously. We call this a miracle! But sometimes the illness requires more prayer. (Jesus prayed for a blind man twice.) Don’t be afraid to pray more than once. There is also a method I call “soaking prayer.” John G Lake used this in his Healing Rooms. A small group of people would pray and lay hands on someone continually for several hours (even a few days) while the sick or dying person lay in bed. They would continue until the person was completely healed. There are volumes of documented healings of terminally ill patients using this method. Keep praying, believer. God hears and will answer.
John 4:12: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. “
Matt 10:7-8: “And as you go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons: freely you have received, freely give.”
Success in physical healing ministry, so many times, is dependent on our willingness to ask questions before praying. Many times before physical healing manifests, healing for the soul must occur.
I have found in praying for thousands of people that most sickness has some sort of trauma as a root. It is astounding how trauma begins to manifest itself 20-30 years later. Examples of trauma are accidents, abuse, death, but also trauma we afflict on our hearts through willful sin.
Repentance and forgiveness are two huge factors in healing trauma. This shuts the door of demonic interference and removes their right to operate and remain. Without a legal right to operate, when we command them out they leave with little to no struggle.
The next step is to pray for the wound. It is a beautiful thing to watch the love of God flood their hearts, causing healing tears to flow. Many times at this point pain levels have dropped. Then we command complete healing and restoration to come. This process paves the way for complete healing. Below is a testimony of the effects of recognizing and dealing with the root of trauma:
“I met a woman today who was suffering with just about every kind of arthritis there is. She could not use her hands. She could not move her right thumb at all. She had excruciating pain that shot from her biceps to her hands. She had severe spinal stenosis and arthritis in her back. She had psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis in her hips and knees. She could hardly bend her knees causing her to barely be able to walk. On top of all of that, she was dealing with depression and anxiety from her sickness.
We got on the topic of God. I shared my testimony with her. She told me she was a believer, but due to her physical condition, has not been able to attend church. I told her that I felt that God was going to do something amazing for her. I began to ask some questions. She told me that she was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when she was 8. I asked her if anything traumatic happened to her around that time. She told me that a month earlier her father died unexpectedly. She had been extremely close to him and his death was very painful. She said that a few weeks later she began experiencing arthritic symptoms.
I lead her in a prayer to renounce the spirit of trauma that gained access when she heard her father died. Immediately she began to feel things happening in her body. I also led her to renounce pain, affliction, infirmity. I began to command them out. She began to feel things leaving her body where she had pain. She said, “this may sound strange but I feel so light that I feel like I could float away.” She then started opening and closing her hands, moving the thumb that had been dead, bending her knees, straightening and bending her back, and finally, she got up and walked unhindered! All of the pain was gone! I then commanded depression, heaviness, anxiety, and fear out of her. She pursed her lips and blew them out! I then prayed for her to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Pretty instantly she began praying in tongues! Jesus came to bring release to the captives (those who have been traumatized by others) and to open prison doors (those who have traumatized themselves). Jesus heals trauma!”
James 5:14-15: ” Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
Isaiah 53:5: “He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him. And by His stripes we are healed.”
Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Matt 9:35: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.”
Luke 6:19: “And the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.”
John 4:12: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. “
Matthew 7:7-8: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Joshua 21:45: “Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”
Psa 89:34: “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.”
Psa 103: 1-5: Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psa 107: 19-20: “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
Psa 118: 17: “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the LORD.”
Matt 8:13: “Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.”
Matt 8:16-17: “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.
Matt 18:19: “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
Mark 11:22-24: “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
John 14:13-14: “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
John 15:7: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
John 16:23-24: “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Rom 4:17: “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were.”
I John 5: 14-15: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
Mark 16: 17-18: “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”
Matt 10:7-8: “And as you go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons: freely you have received, freely give.”
Memorize (2) of these Faith and Healing Scriptures
Pray for 2 people for healing. Be sure to use the things you have learned in this lesson… and expect God to do something wonderful.
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied…” “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.” 1Cor. 14:1-5, 39
What is prophecy: A word from the Lord that brings edification, exhortation, and comfort… to build up, stir up or cheer up (1Cor. 14:3)
Who may prophesy: All believers!
Who is a prophecy for: the church and unbelievers (1Cor. 14:4,24)
Sometimes the prophetic word is given in tongues. The Lord will then have you or another give the interpretation. This is not a word-for-word interpretation as you would translate Swahili to English but it is similar to giving a prophecy as described above. On occasion, a strong presence of God will bring a spirit of prophecy. Many are filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to prophesy, each in turn. Even those who have never done this will find it easier to do.
“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1Cor.14:29-33).
Many misinterpret Paul, saying that only 2 or 3 can prophesy. He is saying 2 or 3 prophets can speak… but then goes on to say that all (with the gift of prophecy) can prophesy one by one. He is not saying to quench the Spirit… just to do things in order, not having several people prophesying at the same time, interrupting one another.
Teresa Seputis / GodSpeak International
The exercise of any spiritual gift requires your cooperation with the Spirit. He gives the gifts as He wills and lets you know in a variety of ways when you are to exercise them:
The prophetic gifts… He will sometimes put a few words in your mind. You speak these and more begin to flow. You may also sense excitement or nervousness before you are to prophesy.
Word of knowledge… You may see a picture or receive a word/thought that suddenly jumps into your mind.
The word of wisdom can flow amid normal conversation. You find yourself speaking God’s wisdom… and both you and the hearer are surprisingly pleased.
You must know that demons are real. They are not simply the manifestations of mentally unstable people… as some would suggest. They are malevolent spirit beings. The scriptures describe many demonic encounters. Of course, demons are not the cause of every problem but they have ruined many lives. Make no mistake, Christians can be oppressed by demons. Dear believer, don’t close your ears to this vital subject. The Church must learn to do effective deliverance ministry!
There are two entry points to receiving deliverance ministry 1) a person has manifested after a spontaneous encounter, after receiving prayer or answering an altar call 2) they have asked to receive ministry. The latter could be someone who was referred to you or voluntarily recognized their own need. This is usually done by appointment.
The term renouncing is simply the act of declaring that the contract with the devil is null and void. It is the act of taking back any authority given to the enemy through a demonic contract. This can only be done by the one who made the contract in the first place. This also must be done verbally to declare to the holder of the contract (Satan) that the contract has ended. Christ already purchased our freedom (Col.1:13) and we must simply apply the power He has ALREADY given us to be free by declaring that freedom.
“I renounce ______ and take back the authority I gave the devil through believing the lie______ from a spirit of ________ . I place it under the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ. I repent of this and ask God to forgive me.”
The idea is to tell the devil he no longer controls you because of what you did. This revokes the permission he had in that area of your life.
“I renounce unforgiveness and take back the authority I gave the devil by not forgiving ______. I place it under the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ. I repent of this and ask God to forgive me.”
The enemy can gain authority in 3 specific areas of a person’s life… Soul (mind/emotions) Body and Spirit. All of these areas should be reviewed.
Anger/Hatred- Who has hurt you? Explain to the person that whatever you hate, you become like (Prov. 14:17, 29)
Murder- Have you ever thought about killing someone? Have you ever wished someone was dead?
Depression- Renounce specific events, if possible. What events started it?
Fear/Worry- Explain that whatever you fear has authority over you (2Tim. 1:7)
Lying- Lying can be a spirit or a character flaw. When did you begin lying? Did you ever lie so much you believed it?
Pornography- Lust brought by the internet, magazines, movies, peeping at neighbors, etc.
Rejection- From a parent, at school, boy/girlfriend- also, if they are adopted, an orphan spirit and a spirit of poverty coexist… believing the Father seeks to punish and demands performance.
Shame/Condemnation- From different sins, especially sexual encounters, or abuse. Ask them “Is there anything that you have ever done that you have said, “I should have KNOWN better”? Or, is there something you could NEVER tell anyone? (Rom. 8:1)
Unforgiveness / Bitterness- Have them declare that they chose to forgive the person and then have them ask God to give them the ability to forgive (James3:14) Renounce unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, etc. Say “I choose to forgive this person for what they did to me” Pray, “God help me to forgive this person, in Jesus’ name”.
Be sure to ask- “What was the most traumatic experience in your life?”
Abortion- Have you ever had one? Have you ever advised or paid for one?
Abuse- Verbal, physical, or sexual (MUST forgive and release the person who abused).
Explain to them that praying for the person will help release them.
Adultery- Physical, Emotional, Visual and Fantasy (Matt. 5:27-28)
Eating Disorders- anorexia, bulimia, over-eating. When did you begin overeating?
Drug/Alcohol Abuse- Specifically look for anything traumatic that happened while they were under the influence, (bad trips, car accidents, demonic presence, anger, suicide). When did YOU start and WHY? Renounce the use of drugs in general.
Perversions- Masturbation, bestiality, homosexuality, child molestation, S&M, fetishes. These usually have shame and condemnation attached to them.
Sexual Unions- Tell them that when two become one flesh there is a transfer of authority from one spirit to another. Whatever had authority over that person, may now have authority over you! (1 Cor.6:16; Mark 10:8)
Sleeping Problems- When did this begin? Do you have nightmares? (Ps. 127:2)
Accepting the lies of the enemy: You will never be as spiritual as so-and-so. You are not going to succeed. Fear of generational curses such as cancer “runs in your family, you are going to get it”. (Gal. 3:13).
Anger toward God- Ask: Was there ever a time in your life when you felt that God did not protect you? or Was there a time in your life when God let you down? (finances, deliverance, sickness relationships) Have you ever asked, “Why did God let this happen to me?” Did you ever blaspheme or curse God? RENOUNCE UNBELIEF HERE
Demonic Activity- Have you ever seen a demon? Have you ever had a demonic dream?
Idolatry/false religion- Idol and saint worship. Have you ever prayed to a statue- Allah, Buddha, Mormonism, Jehovah’s witness (Deut. 18:10-11)
Unbelief- Could be connected to a religious spirit. Ask- “Have you ever felt like God did not answer your prayers?”
Occult Activities- Ouija boards, tarot cards, psychics, role-playing games (example: dungeon and dragons), satanic music or films, witchcraft books, blood pacts. Anything that would cause a fear of the satanic.
We know the scripture teaches that whoever the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36). Why then do some fall back into the very bondages they have been freed from? Consider the role of the minister and the individual being ministered to… in their staying free.
Explain to the person that the devil will try to get them to believe that they are not free. Or, he will try to get the person into new bondage. When the person leaves you they MUST be able to renounce things themselves. Have them practice renouncing one or two things with you right then until they are comfortable.
Educating is more important than just encouraging them not to return to bondage. Here are some practical steps to explain the how-to:
Go above that which is required of you. Give them scriptures that fit their situation. Call them to see how they are doing a week or so later. The person should not be relying on you for their freedom when they leave you. It is important they can stand on their own. Be sure to tell them to remove all objects from their home that will attract demons… pornography, false gods, occult items like Ouija boards, horoscopes, etc.
A minister of deliverance is a unique person. This servant of God must:
Ask God if you are to be part of a deliverance team. Find someone who is already doing this ministry and ask if you can be an apprentice. You can just watch and intercede while they minister. Deliverance ministry is best learned in this way. Do not attempt it alone.
Do you know that Jesus called Satan, “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30) and Paul referred to him as “the god of this age” (2Cor.4:4)? John says “the whole earth lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1John5:19). And we wonder why this world is so messed up?
At various times in history, in various countries, it was the Church of Jesus Christ who pushed back the enemy… bringing the light of Truth into the darkness. First, Missionaries plowed the ground with prayer, fasting, and worship… and remarkable self-sacrifice. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Rev.12:11).
They boldly proclaimed the truth of the gospel and souls were saved, healed, and delivered. Then churches were planted and schools established. As well as hospitals, orphanages, justice systems, and government. They maintained the ground by continuing in the faith, walking in holiness, and teaching biblical principles. Nevertheless, when the Church is not vigilant we can lose the ground that had been taken. Consider the American west… Soldiers take the ground and build a fort. Settlers come and build homesteads and villages. What happens if the fort closes down and the protection leaves? The Indians return, destroy the homesteads and reclaim the land. I hope you get the picture.
Much of the Church is compromised, complacent, and backslidden. Our prayers are ineffective and we have little influence on our culture. Much of America and other countries no longer want Christian influence anyway. Biblical Christianity hinders their “progressive” agenda. When you push Christ out of your home, city, or nation, Satan will quickly fill the void. As the Church declined… everything evil has increased: violence, murder, rape, anarchy, addiction, disease, mental illness, etc. We must continue to fight, Christian, with love and prayer and worship … boldly proclaiming and affirming the truth of God’s word. If not, things will get much worse.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1Peter 5:8-9).
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph.6:12).
We can see from these scriptures that Christians are at war! Satan is very real and his demons are prevalent on planet earth. We are living amid millions of demons! If we are to be successful in ministry, we must learn how to avoid demonic traps for our well-being, but also know how to pull down strongholds that hinder entire regions. The Lord wants you to be effective at spiritual warfare and will prepare you for battle. “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1
For sure, it is not just shouting at the devil and calling him names! Demons are well-organized malevolent fallen angels cast out of heaven after they rebelled against God. They have a well-organized hierarchy. Satan is the leader, and there are principalities over nations and cities. Demons are the foot soldiers who generally inflict pain and cause problems for the children of God. Nevertheless, Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and He has now given us authority over them. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19).
You have learned how to take authority over demons and cast them out of individuals. Let’s take this a bit further. You must be led by the Holy Spirit and equipped before trying to push back the enemy from a city or region. This is not a game and not some religious activity. It is a very real war and you could be seriously wounded. I have been. You MUST be led by the Lord and hidden in Him. I hope you understand. You put on the full armor of God and stand in your God-given authority with courage. In the power of the Spirit, you pray, fast, and declare the truth of God’s word. You worship and use the name above all names, Jesus. You apply His precious blood… and persevere until the job is complete.
Over the years I have ministered in many nations. When doing evangelism, teams would be sent out before the crusades and they would fast and pray and worship (sometimes for 2 weeks) pushing back the enemy and preparing the ground for a harvest of souls. When this was done there were good results. When it was not, there were usually poor results. The great revivalist, Charles Finney, would send his intercessor, Daniel Nash, to travail in prayer for weeks before Finney would come into a city to preach. He cried and groaned in warfare until he gained the victory. Nash would then send Finney a telegram, “Come, I have broken through.”
Do you understand? In any given region, the sins of the people living there give the enemy permission to stay. They have opened the door for demonic oppression. These strongholds must be broken. (In the first part of this course I shared a testimony of “an open heaven” while in India.) Many times, this requires angelic assistance. They are dispatched as a result of our prayers (Daniel 10:13).
Rev. 12:10-11 “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it, you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:10-18
As you know, we are to put on the full armor of God. You probably have heard of the first 6 listed here. Nevertheless, there are 7. Be sure to pray in the Spirit!
It is wise to understand when you do warfare that there are various levels of authority. You should be faithfully pulling down strongholds in your assigned field. Then you graduate to a new sphere of warfare. (e.g. The life of David.
First the bear and the lion, then Goliath, Saul, Judah, Israel, then the nations.) Don’t be presumptuous. You must first deal with the demons affecting your own life before you pull down strongholds in your church or city. You certainly don’t want to come against demons if you have unrepented sin in your own life!
Memorize 1Peter 5:8-9 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
You can and should claim the promises of God and stand in faith, but remember that God is still sovereign and His plans for you are greater than Him protecting you from every unpleasant and difficult thing. He will certainly allow or bring tribulation into your life (John16:33) to refine and prune you and conform you to the image of Christ (Rom.8:29).
How will you respond… with praise and thanksgiving or with grumbling and complaining?
1Thess.5:16-18 — “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Nehemiah 8:10 — “… for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
In this hour everything that can be shaken is being shaken. Will you pass the test?
Trust God, beloved… and praise Him even when things are difficult. Have complete confidence in the fact that whatever God allows in your life He will work for your good (Rom.8:28). He loves you and will remove everything that hinders you from drawing near to Him. This is where I find my peace: God is in control of all things… and I trust Him.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:14,15
“It is not the experiences in our lives that change us. It is our response to those experiences that change us.” – Elisabeth Elliot. We can either respond by the Spirit or react in the flesh.
“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe”- Heb.12:28
We can truly see the heart of the Lord in the following scripture. His heart for his bride and His longing to do whatever it takes to bring her back to Himself.
“I will visit her for the days of the baals when she used to offer sacrifices to them and adorn herself with her earrings and jewelry, and follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me,’ declares the Lord.” Hosea 2:13
It is easier to soften our hearts amid suffering knowing that His divine purpose is the removal of those things that keep us from being close to Him and loving Him. If Love sees those it loves going wrong, it must, because of that love, do what it can to save them. When the Lord sees His children resting their souls on things that can be shaken, He must remove those things from their lives so that they may be driven to the one thing that cannot be shaken- Himself. This process of removing is sometimes very painful and without understanding can be despairing. No one can rest comfortably in a shaking bed, or sit in comfort on a rickety chair. We can only find our security in unshakeable things.
Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of the Lord is a Strong Tower- the righteous run to it and are safe”
This magnificent Holy, awesome, loving God is ALSO known as the God of ALL comfort! If you’ve ever laid down on a feather bed or pillow or covered up with a feather quilt, it’s like floating on a cloud.
Psalm 91:4– He will cover me with His feathers and under His wings will I trust.
The “foundation of God stands sure,” (2Tim. 2:19) and it is by “shaking” every other foundation that we are forced to rest on the foundation of Christ alone.
Exodus 34:14 “For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous…”
“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband for it was better for me then than now!’ For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. Hosea 2:6-8
The Lord is obliged to put an end to it all, and our prosperity crumbles around us like a house built on sand, and we are tempted to think He is angry with us. But in very truth, it is not anger, but tender love. This very love is what compels Him to remove any outward hindrances that keep our souls from entering into the interior spiritual kingdom He designed for us to reside.
Understanding of the loss of all things brings a heart of gratitude knowing we seek a homeland that this world cannot provide.
Habakkuk 3:17, 18– “Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”
Rejoice (Hebrew- Gil)- to spin around under the influence of emotion
Jeremiah 2:13 “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
The church, the bride of Christ has done the same. In Jeremiah 2 you hear the cry of the Lord and His heart as Israel wanders away from him…. “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, the love of your betrothals, and your following after Me in the wilderness”
This is the essence of Jesus’ words to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:4- “But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love.”
Jeremiah 2 records the heart of the Lord for Israel to and His heart for the church today:
The Lord will cause the removal of things to bring us back to Himself and He will open our eyes to the very things we have kept from him. He will show us the areas of our lives that are not surrendered to His will.
Often the answer to our most fervent prayers for deliverance comes in such a form that it seems as if the “very foundations of the hills are moved and were shaken” and we do not see at first, that it is by this very shaking that the deliverance for which we have prayed, is to be accomplished. And then we are to be brought forth into the “large place” for which we long. Hannah Whitall Smith
Hebrews 12:28,29 – “Therefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire.”
It is the fire of God’s love, that must consume everything that can harm His people; and if our hearts are set on being what God would have us be, His fire is something we will not be afraid of, but will warmly welcome.
“He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He shall purge us as gold and silver are purged… that they may offer to Him an offering in righteousness” Mal.3:3
And we will become “pleasant to the Lord, and all nations shall call us blessed, for we shall be a delightful land, saith the Lord of Hosts.” Mal.3:12
As we suffer the loss of all things, do we blend in with the world and grumble and complain, or do we take up the cup of salvation with thanksgiving.
We bring the sacrifice of praise to the house of the Lord (Psalm 27:6)
The current pandemic, and the more serious shaking to come, will bring forth this promise: “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”- Hosea 6:1-3
Because we are Christians our response to pain, suffering, sorrow, trials, trouble, and loss should separate us from the rest of the world. Will you react with complaining or respond with gratitude in the midst of it?
As we allow Him to bring us into the fellowship of His suffering we can say like David: “But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; for I do not know the sum of them. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone.” Psalm 71:14-16
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you…” (1Peter 4:12-14).
Right now, there are tens of thousands of Christians around the world being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. In Nigeria, 43,000 Christians have been killed by Islamic extremists over the last 12 years, and 17,500 churches have been attacked. Thousands have had their homes and land taken. The government does nothing to help them because the president is Muslim. We could write volumes about the persecution in North Korea, China, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, etc. Those who live in these countries are asking for our prayers. BUT, most of them are not asking for us to pray that the persecution will stop! These Christians want us to pray that their faith will not waver, that they will continue to trust God and have the courage to share Christ with others, even while under the threat of imprisonment, torture, and death.
You need to know that many of the churches in these countries are vibrant and powerful. These Christians are 100% committed! The power of God is flowing in their “underground” house churches and many are being saved, healed, and delivered! They can see that persecution is good for their faith, keeping them close to Jesus, walking in holiness. Throughout history, persecution has been good for the Church, it purifies and empowers; this is why God allows it. The Holy Spirit flows freely through a completely yielded vessel, through those committed and dependent on Him. What will it take for the Western Church to get to that place? Genuine repentance and complete surrender would bring us there, but it will probably take persecution. One more thing: Please stop calling Covid restrictions and mandates “persecution.” You are insulting our brothers and sisters who are being tortured for Christ.
Dear Christian, are you prepared to deal with persecution? The little that has already occurred: bakers fined because they won’t make cakes for same-sex weddings, Christian symbols banned from public display, anti-Christian sentiment in the media, etc. is only the beginning. Some of the persecution will come from family members (Matt. 10:21-22) and from the “Church” itself. Those who have compromised will hate you because you believe the Bible. Humanists already think they are more righteous than you because they help the poor and accept everyone’s sexual preference. Ask God to prepare your heart and give you courage. There are dark and difficult days ahead.
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which can make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2Tim. 3:12-17).
It is now time to prepare the people for the difficult days ahead. Adversity and persecution are necessary to test your faith. Don’t be surprised when it comes. (1Peter 4:12-19). Biblical Christianity is very unpopular in this hour. We are being called haters and extremists. Will you continue to be a Bible-believing Christian or will you succumb to popular demand?
In 64AD, the Roman emperor Nero ordered some merchant shops to be burned to make room for his new palace. The fire got out of control and burned two-thirds of Rome. Nero then blamed it on the Christians. This turned Roman society against the believers and unleashed a wave of persecution that caused many to be tortured and martyred, including Apostle Peter.
Be aware; Bible-believing Christians will be accused of things they did not do. (This happened to the Jews in Germany and Christians in Russia, China, etc.) How should we respond when this happens? There’s nothing wrong with defending yourself in court, but should we argue and fight as the world does? Absolutely not! We should rejoice! It is time to be courageous. The Church must not give way to the ungodly practices of our society. I hope you understand.
Over these next years, there will be increased pressure for the Church to accept abortion, homosexuality, and transgenders. This will not only come from the local and state government; it will be coming from within the Church. They will speak of love and acceptance, even using the scriptures to present their case – don’t be deceived. Pastors from several denominations have been forced to accept same-sex marriage or they lose their church and their pension.
Christian students in high schools and universities in America are denied their rights and risk failing grades. Christian business owners are being fined for not submitting to the gay agenda. Stand strong, Christian. Christians are to love everyone, but we must also speak the truth in love. There is a line being drawn in the sand. Will you stand on the side of truth? If you turn your back on the truth of Scripture, you are turning your back on Jesus Christ.
The wheat is being separated from the chaff. This sifting will prove who is a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. The Lord showed me from scripture that in these last days many will be persecuted and even martyred because they believed in the Word of God.
Revelation 1:9 says that the Apostle John was imprisoned on the island of Patmos, “…for THE WORD OF GOD and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 6:9 says, “… I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for THE WORD OF GOD and for the testimony which they held.” And Revelation 20:4, “Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus AND for THE WORD OF GOD…” Why were they martyred? For believing and proclaiming THE WORD OF GOD.
A recent study by the Observatory on Intolerance Against Christians in Europe (OIDAC) shows that five historically Christian countries are now the most likely to infringe on the Christian’s freedom of belief. They are France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. Anti-Christian hate crimes have risen throughout Europe by 70% in the last two years. France and Germany were found to have the most occurrences, but they were the most severe in France and Spain. In the UK, there has been a growing trend of prosecuting religious speech as “hate speech.”
The WORD OF GOD is considered “hate speech” because it reveals sin and calls sinners to repentance. Very soon, Bible-believing Christians will be censored and lose the right to call sin, sin; they will also be considered narrow-minded and intolerant for proclaiming that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
I have been watching conditions deteriorate in Europe over the past several years, as secular humanism and hedonism increased. Their decline was typically a few years ahead of what was happening in America. Heads up, America! Anti-Christian sentiment has already begun to happen here, and it will increase. Many will fall away because they aren’t grounded in God’s word. They won’t understand what is happening when they can’t make it all go away by claiming a few scriptures and making some decrees. You need to prepare yourself. But remember, God has allowed this and will use it to test you and to purify His Church. We must not be fearful or shrink back.
Pastors, please teach the people how to stand in difficult times. Let me encourage church leaders again to start home fellowship groups now, as this is an excellent way to make disciples and do neighborhood evangelism; it will also be good to have these groups up and running when it becomes necessary to meet in smaller venues.
Over the years, the enemy has gained influence in education, government, media, entertainment, and business. Christianity and the family are seriously under attack, and we are losing ground. Can you see these things? When you push Christ out of your home, city, or nation, Satan will quickly fill the void. Man’s good ideas and good intentions will not even hinder the onslaught of Satan.
The evil one is now launching an all-out assault on the Church. He has been emboldened by victories he has already won, and he is now using the news media, some politicians, and the entertainment industry to lead the charge. These individuals and organizations will bully, and badger you, and call you a hater or an extremist. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you..” (Josh.1:9).
It is essential that you not become distracted in this hour. As a citizen of God’s kingdom, your goal is to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Far too many of God’s children have been focused on an earthly kingdom and leader, and have been deceived by conspiracies that are of no importance. All of this is a distraction.
Simon the Zealot was one of the original 12 apostles. The Zealots were a political movement in the 1st-century which sought to incite the people of Judah to rebel against the Romans and expel them from the Holy Land by force. Simon probably expected Jesus to start an insurrection against the Romans and establish an earthly kingdom. He must have been confused by Jesus’ teachings that commanded His followers to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).
Simon eventually forsook his carnal ideas, humbled himself, took up his cross, and followed the Lamb of God who reviled no one, even when He was unjustly accused and crucified. Please don’t be distracted by vaccines, government mandates, and conspiracies. Keep your focus on Jesus. He never came against the oppressive government of His time, nor demanded His rights. Your freedom and democracy, in general, should not be your primary goal. Loving and obeying God, calling the backslider to repentance, and the salvation of souls should be. Time is running out – don’t get distracted!
Of course, you can be a Christian who loves your country, but Jesus never taught anything about quarreling and demanding your rights. Draw near to Jesus, and pray for those who come against you. Be a witness for Christ, help the poor, visit the sick, etc.; this is what Jesus taught us to do. God has surely used nations and governments throughout the ages, but “All nations before Him are as nothing and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless” (Isa. 40:17). What God is looking for is a people who will truly love Him and will do what He asks them to do.
If you are serious about advancing the Kingdom of God, count the cost. “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:35). It’s time to grow up and understand the ways of God. We are totally unprepared for persecution. The Lord is now calling His Church to the fellowship of His suffering (Phil. 3:10). This does not yet include the shedding of blood, as is happening elsewhere, but it’s time for the Christian to suffer reproach, rejection, ridicule, financial loss, and loss of reputation (at home, in school, the workplace, and church) for the sake of Jesus Christ. Are you willing?
In many countries, Christians know they will be mistreated and could even be imprisoned for their faith, and yet they commit their life to Jesus. What has happened to the western Church? What happened to personal sacrifice for the sake of Christ?
Do you know the difference between “phileo” and “agapeo” love? Phileo is the Greek word for brotherly love or affection, friendship. Agapeo is Greek for “self-sacrificing love.” This is how God loves us (John 3:16). There is an interesting discourse between Jesus and Peter (John 21:17), after the resurrection when Jesus asks Peter three times if He loves Him. The first two times Jesus asks, “Do you agapeo Me?” Peter answers with, “Phileo.” Sadly, both of these words are translated as “love” so we entirely miss the meaning.
Before Peter denied Christ, he boldly declared that he would die for Him (that would be “agapeo” love). After running away and denying Jesus, Peter was humbled and broken. He could no longer declare a self-sacrificing love for Jesus so he answered, “You know that I phileo You.” Then Jesus asked him (the third time) if he even had affection for Him; this is why Peter was grieved. Jesus then restores and encourages Peter by telling him that he will surely demonstrate his sacrificial love for Jesus by eventually dying for Him (John 21:18).
My point: How many of us claim to have a deep love for God, but when tested, we run away. Many are even ashamed to mention the name of Jesus in public. Why do we give an invitation to accept Christ by asking everyone to bow their head, and close their eyes? Are we afraid that someone will get embarrassed? It would be much better to say that others won’t like them and they could be mocked, and persecuted for believing in Jesus. If they still come forward, then you will have someone who is genuinely committed to Christ.
Are you ashamed to call yourself Christian? A lot is riding on your words and actions during this season. Don’t be a coward. It’s time to break your silence. Jesus saved you by suffering and dying. He hung publicly on the cross for you. Won’t you acknowledge Him before others? I’m not saying you must preach on a street corner, but at the appropriate moment, in a private conversation, why can’t you say, “I love Jesus Christ. He has changed my life.” Ask the Holy Spirit to help you do this.
It’s not a bad thing to be insulted or abused for the sake of Jesus; it is very good. You should rejoice! But it’s very bad to sway with the wind so people will like you. “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26). Over the years, while ministering on the street, I have been mocked, threatened, spit at, had things thrown at me, and was attacked by someone who smashed the equipment.
One time, while preaching on the street, a man began to yell, rant, and spit at me. He grabbed our gospel tracts and tore them into pieces. I was both angry and afraid. But then something wonderful happened! The Holy Spirit began to speak to me, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…” At that moment I was filled with such joy that it must have caused my face to shine. The attacker looked at me and then walked away. The Lord was there to comfort and encourage me during that difficult time; He will do the same for you. I am so grateful for the awesome privilege of serving the Lord Jesus Christ!
Ask the Lord to do whatever He needs to do in you to bring you to a genuine self-sacrificing love for God – willing to be uncomfortable, inconvenienced, and embarrassed or, someday, even to give your life for Him. Look forward, with joyful expectation, for this glorious time to come! Remember, your hope and encouragement are in Jesus Christ. If you continue to trust and obey God and endure to the end (Matt. 24:13), you will spend a glorious eternity with Him. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1Cor. 2:9). We must get this right, Church! Before you tell the Lord you are willing to die for Him, I encourage you to be willing to live for Him, to be uncomfortable for Him, to be inconvenienced, embarrassed, and rejected for Jesus. Seems like a good place to start.
I think you’re aware of the scripture, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This is often quoted when teaching about the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
The obvious: We are to be empowered by the Spirit to share the gospel with others. Nevertheless, there is something here that you may not be aware of. The Greek word used for “witness” is “martus;” it means to tell what you have seen or experienced. However, the word “martyr” is derived from “martus”- “those who have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death.”
Martyrdom is the ultimate witness for Jesus, to give your life for Him, willing to die rather than deny Him. This is an awesome privilege! Are you willing? Lord, prepare us for the difficult days ahead and help us to be willing to lay down our lives for You. When we hear about Christians being persecuted in other countries, it’s difficult for those in the West to understand their plight. Please take a moment to consider this: How would you feel if your neighbors gathered outside of your house and began yelling at you because you are a Christian? Then they throw stones at your house and begin threatening you. Would you be afraid? Would you be angry? How would you respond? I hope you wouldn’t get your gun.
We have brothers and sisters around the world who endure things like this. They try their best to trust God and remain faithful to their Savior. Some even find ways to help those who hate them, expressing the love of Christ and proclaiming the truth of His Word. They have even led some of their oppressors to the Lord. God gives amazing grace at times like this. He will do the same for you.
Cling to Jesus. Seek Him for instructions on how to prepare for the days ahead. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3).
How will the Church gain victory in this hour of darkness? By the blood of the Lamb, the truth and power of God’s Word, our testimony, and the power of the Holy Spirit using our spiritual gifts. We must surrender our life to Jesus and obediently follow Him, COMPLETELY laying down our life by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you understand? “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…” (Matt. 5:10-12).
Martyrdom is one of the most prominent themes in the Book of Revelation. Consider Revelation 6:9-11, “When He (Jesus) opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.’” God has pre-determined the number of martyrs!
One of the purposes of the great tribulation is to bring the Church to maturity by taking the saints through a similar experience that their Savior had. Jesus never spoke of a pre-tribulation rapture. In Matthew 24, Jesus is preparing the disciples to be hated, persecuted, and martyred. The Church is very prominent in the Book of Revelation; it has not been raptured! Pre-tribulation rapture believers will say that these are the ones who had been left behind, but this is NEVER stated in the Scriptures! Remember, our hope is not in this life; it is in the world to come. Our call is to follow Jesus even unto death. To love Jesus more than anyone or anything, more than our own life.
The Church WILL face the Antichrist. We WILL be martyred for believing the Word of God and testifying to the truth. Remember, martyrdom is the ultimate witness to those who are not saved. Because of this, there will be a great harvest of souls during this gross darkness. Here are more scriptures that speak of martyrdom:
Revelation 7:9-14, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’”
“Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So, he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'” I believe these are the martyrs dressed in the white robes they had been given (Revelation 6:11). They are standing before the throne not by rapture but by martyrdom.
Everyone around the world will hate believers. Nevertheless, some will be saved by the witness of the martyrs. The Church at the end of the age will not only proclaim the gospel, but we will also demonstrate the gospel by laying down our lives. The pre-tribulation rapture teaching causes the Church to be detached from the greatest time in Church history. As we lay down our lives for Jesus, multitudes will be saved!
Revelation 12:10-12, “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God, day and night, has been cast down.’ And they (the saints) overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.'”
Revelation 13 and Daniel 7, 8, and 11 tell of martyrdom at the hand of the Antichrist. We give our lives away during this time, as Satan attacks the Church; this is how we overcome him! Please don’t think you should fight against the Antichrist forces. Lay down your life, don’t try to save it!
Throughout the Book of Revelation, we see the blood of the saints being spilled. Nevertheless, the truth of Scripture has been whitewashed. Many preachers portray a nice, comfortable church being rescued from all of this, but this is not the truth. It will be a glorious honor and privilege to give your life for Jesus Christ. This will be the church’s finest hour! Jesus was brutally tortured and crucified shedding His blood for you. If you obediently follow Him, you will suffer persecution. You may even suffer and die for Him.
It is unbiblical to think that God will spare you from suffering. Millions of Christians have suffered, and are now suffering, for their faith in Jesus Christ. Remember, a fruit of the Spirit is long-suffering! There is great value in suffering. Sadly, much of the western Church will not survive the persecution to come because they have foolishly believed they will not have to suffer. Our mandate is to overcome. Those who endure to the end will be saved.
The following is a quote from Corrie ten Boom, a wonderful woman of God, who was in a Nazi concentration camp where only 20% of the women survived: “There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.
In China, the Christians were told, ‘Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be raptured.’ Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, ‘We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first.’ Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes – to stand and not faint.’” I hope you understand. Draw near to Jesus and have your heart and mind prepared to suffer and die for Him. Ask the Lord to make you ready… and consider it a privilege! Your reward will be great in heaven!
Thank you for the honor of allowing us to pour into your lives. We bless you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to live out all of the things you have learned, by the power of His Presence. There will be many trials, triumphs, persecutions, and glorious things ahead. Through it all, give Him thanks and praise, and do not lose heart, knowing that He is in control of all things and will surely work it for your good! You have been called; you have been chosen to follow Jesus! Your walk is designed to bring Him glory, in everything you do, no matter how small or great the task.
We pray that your heart remains true to Jesus, your first Love and that the revelation of His love for you will overshadow every area of your life. As you remain in Him, you will bear much fruit. We pray that you will fix your eyes on Jesus and run the race set before you in such a way, that when you see Him in heaven, you will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…”
Go forth now in the power of His Holy Spirit… doing mighty things in the name of Jesus!
God bless you abundantly in Jesus Christ,
Peter and Lori Whitehouse
“I often boast about being one of the weak and foolish that God uses for His purposes. I was raised to know the Lord but ran away from Him… becoming a drug-addicted hippie in the 60s. I finally blew my mind using psychedelic drugs and ended up in a mental hospital after wanting to kill myself. Nevertheless, my mother prayed and wouldn’t give up… and eventually at 28 years old, I was gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit. Since that time the Lord has taken me on extraordinary adventures. I told Him I would be willing to go where others wouldn’t… and then found myself going down the Amazon River, in the Andes Mts., a leper colony in India, and villages in Africa where no white person had visited. I have witnessed great poverty and have seen the Lord do incredible miracles, signs, and wonders. I have also been mocked and spit at while preaching on the streets of America, almost kidnapped in the Philippines, threatened by an armed soldier in Liberia, and almost died from malaria contracted in Uganda. I have fumbled and failed and burned out… and have seen great victories. Our loving Father has been so faithful! There is nothing special about me… I am an ordinary man that God has chosen to use. I have simply said, “yes” and have allowed the Lord to stretch me. Over 40 years I have had the awesome privilege to minister in many nations, preaching and teaching at conferences and crusades, and have helped establish discipleship schools around the world, an apostolic network in Africa, and authored a few books. I am a bondservant of Jesus Christ…and I love to make disciples. God will surely use the weak and foolish things of this world (1 Cor.1:27). That’s how I got the job! Remember, you can do this too.”
“I entered this world with nothing. I never lived in a house I could call my own and be frequently plagued by fear and insecurity as a child. Being raised by a single mother and having no father caused me to walk with and believe an orphan spirit. Many nights I would go to bed and suffer torment from the demons that surrounded me. I had no church life and knew nothing of the Gospel. In 1980 my partying life came to a screeching halt as I landed myself in a Salvation Army shelter where prostitutes and drug-addicted women became my family. In a few short months, I was saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit and went into full-time ministry with at-risk youth. God has given me not only the heart of a mother but the awesome privilege of raising 4 children. I have traveled around the world, seen signs and wonders, taught bible studies, and led women’s groups and conferences. Jesus has also taken me on a journey in the secular world. I’ve learned many skills and have been promoted with no formal training. I have been successful and failed. I have triumphed and seen tragedy in the death of my oldest son from a car accident. The Lord has allowed me to operate in deliverance, healing counseling, teaching, administration, and the prophetic. He has also given me a heart for discipleship and to speak into the lives of broken youth and women. He has gloriously changed me from the inside out and healed my wounds and a broken heart. I am often asked where I went to college and if I came from a rich family. I laugh. Glory to God, I am made in His image!”