Dr David Yonggi Cho is the senior pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea. This article is reproduced from his message “Speaking God’s Word for Church Growth” published in the Church Growth Manual, No. 7.
Even though you may have
no ability in yourself, say
“I can do all things in Jesus.”
One day the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart, “God sent his word, and he healed the people. Why don’t you give the word boldly to the people?”
This must have been the idea of the Holy Spirit. “Speak the healing. God sends his word through your mouth. God asked Ezekiel to speak to the air: You life, go into that body. So, why don’t you speak?”
At first I was scared, but then I was determined to speak. After I saw those impressions, then I began to boldly speak that such and such a person was healed, and such and such a disease is disappearing.
Miracle after miracle began to occur. The person who was healed came to me saying, “When you spoke that word, it shook me hard. Suddenly I felt the healing power flow, and I was healed.”
Through my own experience, I found the wonderful secret that through our mouth confession God’s creative power is working. In the book of Genesis, God spoke and the light appeared; God spoke and the firmament appeared; God spoke and the earth appeared. Jesus spoke and the people were forgiven. Jesus spoke and the sick people were healed. Jesus spoke and the devil left them. Jesus spoke and the turbulent sea became calm.
When you read the Bible, sick people were not healed just through prayer in the New Testament. They were healed by ‘speaking’. Peter said to Aeneas, “Rise up” (Acts 9:34). To Paul Jesus said, “Stand on your feet.”
They always spoke healing to the people. From that time until now, I would always just speak the word, and God created tremendous miracles.
In 1992 I went to the eastern part of Russia. It was very dangerous there. Russia was in a great turbulence, especially in eastern Russia. It is so far away from Moscow that the discipline was very loose. It was very difficult there. I went to a stadium filled with about 35,000 people. The Russian Orthodox Church was out there to attack me. The Communists were scaring me. On the second day I was ready to leave my hotel and was being carefully watched by the KGB. However, I could not leave my hotel because they were trying to assassinate me. They constantly intimidated me so I was incarcerated in the hotel. I was sitting in the hotel the whole day, and in the evening I would go out.
That evening when I took up my Bible and was ready to leave the hotel; I heard a voice. It was a very clear voice. It was almost audible. It was ringing in my soul: “You are leaving as a living man, but you will return as a dead man tonight. You will be assassinated. You came as a living person to our city, but you will return home in a casket. So don’t go to the meeting or you will return home in a casket.”
Every day people in Russia were being killed by shooting. So, I was preaching behind bullet‑proof glass that the Russian government had given to me. If I would be killed, it would become a diplomatic problem, so the Russian government commanded me to stand behind bullet‑proof glass. They could shoot me from the back. So while I was preaching, I was very conscious of the people behind me. It was a terrible feeling.
When I heard that voice in my hotel room, I had to decide if that was from the Holy Spirit or from the Devil. If you don’t clearly discern this right away, then you will be in trouble. At that time I began to see the predicament of Paul. When Paul was returning to Jerusalem, the government and prophets said that Paul would be arrested and bound and put in jail. These things would be waiting for him, so he was admonished not to go up there. But Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem, knowing that he would be arrested.
Before my experience in Russia, I always thought that Paul made a great mistake. He should have listened to the voice of those people. Still Paul went because he discerned the right voice of the Holy Spirit.
Almost instantly, I said to myself. “I should not go to the service tonight. I do not want to die. I want to see my wife and children.”
I prayed, “God, what shall I do?”
I began to hear another voice, a still, small voice in my heart with great assurance. Then I heard two distinctive voices. That was some experience. The first voice was coming strong and loud in my soul, “You are a dead person. Tonight you will be shot at. They will carry your dead body to the hotel. Don’t go.”
Then the Spirit said to my heart when I prayed, “Go to the meeting tonight. You will have great miracles in the service tonight.”
So I said, “You Devil, in the name of Jesus Christ, get out of me. To live is Christ. To die is gain. So if tonight I go to heaven, it is okay. I am ready to accept that.”
I went out of the hotel trembling. I was really afraid. The people were packed in the stadium and as I sat on the platform, I was constantly looking behind me.
Just before I stood up to preach, an ambulance was coming to the stadium. Usually an ambulance would not be permitted to get close to the stadium. As the ambulance came closer, I could hear the siren and thought, “Oh, they must have heard that I was going to be shot at and they have come to take me away.” I froze in my chair.
The back door of the ambulance was opened, and they carried a man out. He looked like a rich man and one who was in high authority. They put him into a wheelchair and pushed him out among the crowd. The Communist young people came and began to argue. They said, “Why do you come to this kind of meeting? He is preaching false doctrine. There is no living God. You cannot be healed. You are bringing shame on us. We are Communists. We do not believe in God. He is telling a lie. Go back into the ambulance.”
At that moment, many Christian people came and said, “No, Christ is living.”
These two groups of people were surrounding this man in the wheelchair and arguing back and forth. I got inspired and said, “Oh God, if you don’t heal this man in the wheelchair now, I will be in great trouble. I will be shot at for sure then.”
I stood up and preached under the unction of the Holy Spirit. When I asked for those who wanted to be saved, all 35,000 people stood to their feet.
I said, “Everyone sit down. You misunderstood me.” So I said, “All those who want to be saved for the first time, please stand up.”
The 35,000 people stood up again. I asked my interpreter, “Did you say my words correctly?”
He said, “Yes.”
I asked, “Then why do they all stand up?”
He looked at me and said, “Pastor, these people have never heard the Gospel before in their lives. For 70 years we have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are all newcomers. You are from the Western country. You don’t know our situation. They all heard the Gospel for the first time this evening, and they all want to be saved. So, just accept them. Don’t question them.”
So I had them stand up and led them to Jesus Christ. Then I began to pray the healing prayer. Usually, I have great success in divine healing in Russia because the people are so humble and so easily believe. However, that night I was concerned about the Communists’ gang. Though I preached strongly, and prayed the healing prayer strongly, I was afraid to announce the healings that took place.
God had clearly put in my mind that a miracle was going to take place, but I was afraid. So I just said, “This man with a deaf ear was healed. This man with arthritis was healed. This man who has stomach trouble is healed.”
Actually, I could not say that the man in the wheelchair was healed, but my interpreter said, “Yes, everyone knows this person. He is a great man. He was in an accident and has a broken backbone. He has been in a wheelchair for seven years. They tried every way, but he could not be healed.”
I have been trained medically, so when I heard that I thought, “That is impossible.” It is impossible for that man with a broken backbone and broken nerve chord to be healed.
The people began to stand up and testify of their healings. This strengthened my faith, so I said, “My brother, who is sitting in that wheelchair, you are healed.” That was not an easy job at all. That man started to rise up. He sat down again but struggled to rise up a second time. He sat down and a third time struggled to get up. Very wobbly he started to walk a few steps, then he began to run, then rushed onto the platform.
He hugged me with a typical Russian bear hug. I was being choked. He hugged and cried saying, “I am healed. I was sitting in that wheelchair for seven years and now I am healed.”
Then I began to hear a roaring sound as the Christian young people chased the Communist young people. The Communists were running from the stadium, and the Christians were running following after them.
This man who was healed was so excited that he jumped off the high platform. I was scared then. Then he went to where his wheelchair was and hoisted it into the air and began to walk. The entire stadium was in an uproar at this time.
The Communists had completely failed that night. What a success for the Christians! Before I left my hotel, the Devil scared me. And, if I had not heard the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart, I would not have come to the stadium. Since I prayed and heard the Holy Spirit. I could come.
A positive announcement is very, very important. If you speak negatively, you will stop the current of the Holy Spirit. But when you speak positively, you release the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, when people begin to talk negatively among your cell leaders – “”I have no power. I have no strength. I have no confidence.” – they can do nothing. They are already defeated. So I tell them not to say negative words. Always say, “In Jesus Christ I can teach. I can win. I can preach. I can do all things in Jesus.”
Even though you may have no ability in yourself, say “I can do all things in Jesus.”
Your attitude is very important. If you don’t teach your cell leaders to have the right kind of attitude, after two or three tries in their cell meetings they will give up. The number of casualties is too heavy.
Give your cell leaders strong teaching on having visions, and living in the vision. Then make their attitude to be positive, let them see Jesus. Don’t let them look at the wilderness. Don’t let them look at themselves. Make them look to Jesus. Then make them confess an affirmative confession. This is very important for church growth.
(c) Church Growth Manual No. 7 published by Church Growth International, Yoido P.O. Box 7, Seoul 150‑600, Korea. Used by permission.
Some books by David Yonggi Cho
Successful Living (1977)
The Fourth Dimension (1979)
Prayer, Key to Revival (1987)
Praying with Jesus (1988)
Successful Home Cell Groups (1988)
The Holy Spirit, my Senior Partner (1996)
More than Numbers (1997)
How to Pray (1997)
Prayer that Brings Revival (1998)
Unleashing the Power of Faith (2006)
© Renewal Journal 8: Awakening, 1997, 2nd edition 2011
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