God led Randy Clark into global revival ministries, particularly from the Toronto Blessing of January 1994. “The Lord said, ‘They’re not wanting you. They’re wanting Me.'”
Revival blessings continue to explode worldwide in evangelism, healing, miracles and signs and wonders as in the New Testament.
Randy Clark reads from his personal journal, recounting the events that lead up to the Toronto Blessing. Before revival comes, it starts with a group of people pressing hard after God, crying out for His presence to come.
Randy Clark wrote:
From the very beginning, the ministry that God gave me and my team has demonstrated that everyday Christians can operate in the supernatural. Today, the power of the Spirit is flowing everywhere from mission fields and shopping malls to grocery stores and even aboard airplanes.
Join me as I read from my personal journal on November 8, 2019, at Global Awakening School of Supernatural Ministry, recounting the events that led up to the Toronto Blessing. Up to that point, I had never journalled before in my life.
THE MEETING ON OCTOBER 27, 1993 IN MISSOURI, JUST WEEKS BEFORE THE TORONTO BLESSING (January 1994), WAS A VERY STRATEGIC TIME IN MY LIFE. MOVING IN THE POWER OF GOD WAS A DREAM COME TRUE. I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE ABLE TO PRAY FOR PEOPLE AND SEE HIS POWER COME ON THEM. THAT NIGHT WAS AWESOME. IT WAS LIKE WALKING IN ANOTHER DIMENSION. I ONLY HOPED THAT IT WOULD NOT BE A RARE OCCASION, BUT THAT GOD WOULD ALLOW ME TO VISIT THAT DIMENSION FREQUENTLY. I THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE HEAVEN.
Before revival comes, it starts with a group of people pressing hard after God, crying out for His presence to come. I believed God wanted to touch the leadership – the pastors and the wives – of our region. I prayed in general for the Spirit to fall on the meeting. The great theme of my prayer time beforehand was, “Come, Holy Spirit.”
The meeting was drenched in prayer ahead of time. At the meeting, I shared on “those who are thirsty may come to Jesus and drink” from John 7:37, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Revelation 21:6 and Acts 2:15. It was obvious that the Holy Spirit was at work among the pastors and their wives as well as many others who attended the meeting.
In total, I shared at the meeting for about 40 minutes telling a story of how God had come again into my ministry in a wonderful way and how He was touching people in my church. I also told a story about how far I had fallen from the work in the Spirit that had characterized my earlier ministry when I had first gotten involved with the Vineyard Church in Missouri and how I had repented of that to the church.
The first person I and a team member prayed for was a woman. She came and stood right in front of me. She was very hurt and nothing happened to her initially. She later finally broke through and was touched by God about two hours later.
The next people I and this team member prayed for at the meeting fell quickly to the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit. Some began to cry. Others, laugh. And others were just quietly ministered to.
Interestingly enough, I wrote of these occurrences in my journal: “I anticipate this may occur in my ministry in the future.” But I concluded: only time will tell if those were isolated sovereign incidents or whether they will be the beginning of a ministry of revival for the church.
The next two hours of the meeting were like stepping into another dimension, or like living in a dream. I kept thinking to myself, I need someone to pinch me to know this is really happening. (Be sure to watch the video to this point in which you will hear about some of the more notable incidents that are still deeply impressed upon my memory today.)
In the video, I recall a story from the 1980’s in which the whole choir at a Baptist church in southeast Missouri was being “wiped out” by the power of the Holy Spirit while they were singing a worship song. I point out how you could hear the wind—literally, “like a mighty rushing wind”—and the church service went until mid-afternoon. I will report how within a few weeks, every miracle you can think of that you would see in the New Testament—including raising the dead—happened.
My friend Happy watched the meeting happen for some time. He had gotten scared and hidden under a chair. At this point in the story, it’s important to know that “Happy was Mr. Control; he had to have everything figured out down to the last second.” But Happy finally approached me and said, “I’ve received things from you in the past. Now I want this. I want to drink.”
I began to pray for Happy. Happy began to bow his body backwards under the power of God and, instead of falling, Happy began to shuffle his feet backwards to keep from falling. This was not safe because the floor was covered by people who were “slain” in the Spirit. Before I and my team would begin to pray for someone, we had to find a place to position them so that when they would fall, they would not fall on someone. It was like “falling trees”!
I told Happy not to walk out from under the Spirit’s power but to stand and fall. But, not to back up to keep from falling. I prayed again, and Happy fell under the power of God. After about 15 minutes, Happy came up and said,”I want another drink.” Happy was prayed for again, and he began to shuffle backwards under the power of God again.
I and a team member pushed Happy up and continued to pray for a few seconds. Happy fell on the floor under the power of God again. This time Happy began to double up with his knees to his chest and his feet sticking up in the air, as he began to belly laugh. It was quite the sight! You couldn’t help but laugh in the natural at what God was doing in their midst. It was funny, because Happy who was “Mr. Control” had now given God the control.
Then I felt led by the Holy Spirit to kneel down beside Happy as Happy was laying on the floor, laughing. I said, “God, take control of Happy. He wants to control, and I ask that you take control of Happy.” When I prayed this, Happy stopped belly laughing and quickly grabbed his shirt at his belly button area. Happy was gripping his shirt and his hands were clenched. I knew by an unction of Holy Spirit this was a stronghold of the enemy in Happy’s life. Then I and my team member prayed for the power of God to totally take Happy and for the stronghold to be broken.
Slowly Happy’s grip began to loosen and he began to relax his hands. Then I began to pray, “Lord, birth Your work in Happy. This [grabbing of Happy’s shirt at his belly button area and not laughing] is breach. Turn it around, and let it be born.” Very soon, there was a breakthrough in Happy. The joy and laughter returned, and he was once again laughing and enjoying the refreshment of the Holy Spirit.
After about 30 minutes, Happy came up to me again and asked for another drink. I prayed for Happy again and within seconds, Happy fell under the power of God again; enjoying the Lord’s presence. At this point in the story, it’s important to realize that simultaneously others were receiving prayer and being touched by the Holy Spirit as well.
Happy later helped start two of the Vineyard churches in the Midwest. So there’s a history between Happy and me. In fact, the most powerful touch from God that I ever had was when Happy blew on me at his church in 1999 when I thought I was going to die. (You’ll want to watch the rest of the video to hear more stories like Happy’s.)
This meeting was just a foretaste of a new move of supernatural Christianity characterized by signs, wonders and healing miracles that God ignited around the globe and that He caused to transpire in my and my team’s four decades of ministry that followed.
P.S. I believe the events that led up to the Toronto Blessing are a prophetic sign to the culture that God can use everybody. Over the years, I and my team have developed two conferences that provide a solid foundation in living a supernatural lifestyle. It’s my heart that people everywhere will be empowered to see a fresh revival come to their spheres of influence.
Randy is the founder and President of Global Awakening and author of books on healing, impartation, and revival history. He spends his time writing, traveling, speaking at events, and hanging out with his children and grandkids. His life’s message is: “God will use anyone who’s willing to take a risk in faith.”
Nepal: Deaf-mute boy miraculously healed by Jesus.
The boy who could not read, is now studying the Word of God. The boy who could not hear, is listening to teachings and growing in his faith. The boy who could not talk, is now proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ among those who have never heard.
In Nepal, a majoriy Hindu country in the Himalayas with 266 unreached people groups, Christians form only 1% of the population.
In 2017, the Nepali government passed a law that effectively outlaws conversion to Christianity, evangelization, and harming ‘religious sentiment.’ But the more governments try to hinder the growth of the church, the faster it seems to grow, often with miracles. Take the story of 18 year old Tilak, a deaf-mute teenager.
One day Pastor Biju, a church planter affiliated with The Timothy Initiative, stopped to pray with him. As the pastor prayed for deliverance and healing he witnessed a bewildered look on Tilak’s face. Something amazing happened to the deaf-mute boy. Tears streamed down his face, as he discovered that he could hear and speak for the first time in his life. A miraculous healing had just taken place.
Tilak rushed to his mother, who heaved sobs of joy and relief. Her boy was healed, and it was all because of Jesus. The entire family surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ that day.
Tilak and his family became eager to learn more about the God, so they began attending the very first church planted among their people. Now Tilak’s voice was able to join others in worship. As he listened to the teachings of Jesus, he was awed by the miracle that he could hear and understand what was shared.
Then a third miracle happened in Tilak’s life. When he opened God’s Word, he instantly was able to read, without any prior instruction. The symbols on the pages of Scripture came alive and he was given his own Bible to take home.
Tilak, the boy who could not read, is now studying the Word of God. Tilak, the boy who could not hear, is listening to teachings and growing in his faith. Tilak, the boy who could not talk, is now proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ among those who have never heard.
Source: The Timothy Initiative. Joel News, # 1115 , February 25, 2019
North America has hosted many great revivals over the last few centuries. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield led the First Great Awakening in the colonial United States in the 1730s and 1740s. In the early 1800s, the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky kicked off the Second Great Awakening. People came from around the world to witness the Holy Spirit’s power at Azusa Street Revival of 1906. And in the 1990s, thousands flocked to the Toronto Blessing and the Brownsville Revival.
Now, mere miles from the site of the original Cane Ridge Revival, seeds are being planted for the next great move of God—and maybe even a Third Great Awakening. Earlier this year, traveling evangelist Rick Curry visited Mt. Carmel Christian Church in Paris, Kentucky. The church was founded in 1818 by a man denounced by his former church for attending the original Cane Ridge revival. Curry was invited to preach at Mt. Carmel’s 200th-anniversary celebration, which happened to fall on Pentecost Sunday. During his message, revival broke out and hasn’t subsided since.
But this Kentucky city isn’t the only one experiencing revival. In fact, it’s just one example of an insatiable hunger for God’s presence breaking out in cities and towns across America.
At New Life Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, pastor Mike Fehlauer says an incredible move of God has taken place since he and his staff decided to “get out of God’s way and give the Holy Spirit room to work.” Since June, New Life has seen more than 300 baptisms, numerous salvations, and physical and emotional healings and deliverance.
Christ Fellowship Church in Dawsonville, Georgia, has experienced revival since February under lead pastor Todd Smith. This charismatic church of 350 people has witnessed more than 865 baptisms. Smith says people have travelled hundreds—even thousands—of miles just to “walk into the baptismal waters and feel the presence of the Lord.” As a result, many have been miraculously healed and delivered from addictions and emotional scars.
Even the U.S. military base at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, is feeling the Spirit’s fire. The Baptist Press reports that chaplains have seen “an incredible hunger for God,” with nearly 2,000 soldiers giving their lives to Christ since March. In Greeneville, Tennessee, a tent revival led by evangelist D.R. Harrison has lasted over five months and led to hundreds of salvations.
Pat Schatzline, an Assemblies of God minister and travelling evangelist who has studied revivals and written books on the need for spiritual renewal, says these revivals show the church is on the cusp of breakthrough.
“It is the embryonic stages of the Third Great Awakening,” Schatzline says. “… I believe that with all my heart.”
Baptisms in Georgia
The Dawsonville revival began when God gave Schatzline a vision of a mysterious pastor. Schatzline didn’t know who the man was, but he could see he was wracked with despair, sitting alone in a dark room. Hundreds of miles away, pastor Smith was doing just that, crying out to God and looking for a sign that he should continue to lead Christ Fellowship Church.
“If You don’t move, I’m done,” Smith said.
Smith got his sign when Schatzline reached out through a mutual friend. Schatzline gave Smith a message: God is coming to Christ Fellowship Church, and He is going to restore the promise He gave you eight years ago.
Then Smith received a prophetic vision of his own. He saw the church’s baptistry—the baptism pool was full, and a strip of fire appeared on top of the water. Shortly after, Smith says, God “sat down in our building and rocked our world.” Christ Fellowship hasn’t been the same since, attracting visitors from South Carolina, Minnesota and even California.
“The presence of God and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost have just erupted here,” Smith says.
Prior to the revival, Christ Fellowship conducted only a handful of baptisms each month. But since February, more than 40 people often experience water baptism in a single service, pushing the services well past midnight. One Sunday night, 114 people were baptized. Such high numbers of baptisms didn’t start immediately. But Smith says they quickly multiplied as the power of God manifested and people hungered for healing.
“The fame of his name and what He was doing in those waters began to spread,” Smith says. “When we would give the invitation, you would see 30 or 40 people run to the front to get baptized. The power of God was violent in the water. People would thrash around. Fire confronts what is going on in their lives. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen. And it has nothing to do with us as a church or any personalities involved. It’s simply God’s presence and His power.”
Some are calling the meetings a “baptism revival,” a term Don Allen, lead pastor of The Church at War Hill, says he’s never heard before. But after preaching several times at Christ Fellowship, Allen’s seen it for himself.
In the baptismal waters, numerous individuals have been healed of longtime physical ailments. Smith says the church is careful to record and follow up on them with health-care professionals so as not to minimize God’s glory.
One example is Amanda Boan, an 11-year-old who shunned foot surgery to remove an extra bone in her foot that caused her foot to twist to the side, leaving her with great pain and a limited ability to run. Boan was baptized during a Sunday-night service and continued to believe for her healing. At a service soon afterward, Boan went up to the altar and experienced instant healing: “It was like my foot was tight and then it was loosened.”
She could place her foot flat on the floor and run around the church without pain. Doctors confirmed she no longer needed surgery.
Amy Ransom also received healing. For almost three decades, Ransom suffered debilitating migraine headaches that also affected her financially due to the out-of-pocket medication costs. During a Sunday-night service, Ransom knew after fasting and praying she had been healed.
“I have gone from having daily migraines for 28 years to none,” Ransom says.
And Donna Posey, a longtime Christ Fellowship member, says God healed her of bone loss in her mouth during the second revival service in February. The condition had lingered for years, and because she didn’t have enough bone to support her dentures, implant surgery was her only option. After fervent prayer for the affected area, Posey visited her dentist, who confirmed 30 percent bone gain in her mouth. Posey says her dentist “looked at my X-ray and asked me if I believed in miracles.”
But healings and deliverance aren’t all this move of God has produced. It has had a profound spiritual effect on other churches in the region.
“We’re watching people from all faiths come here and receive what the Holy Spirit has for them,” Allen says. “Not only are we seeing salvations and miracles, but we’re seeing reconciliation among the churches here, the body of Christ really working together. You are literally seeing the miracle of unity. Our church has seen renewed prayer exponentially. Our people are now interceding for Todd’s church and for others. It’s amazing.”
Renewal in Kentucky
After the Cane Ridge Revival sparked the Second Great Awakening, revival spread across the American frontier. Now Mt. Carmel Christian Church has become the site of a new revival.
After Curry preached at Mt. Carmel’s 200th anniversary celebration, he says, the altars were filled at the conclusion of the first service in May. The meetings became so popular they had to be moved to a bigger facility, nearby River of Life Ministries in Paris, and the house is packed three nights a week.
“As worship filled the old sanctuary, we heard a remarkable sound,” Curry says. “It sounded as if every person in the sanctuary started simultaneously stomping their feet on the old wooden floors. I felt quickened in my spirit that it was the sound of the Lord coming upon the land. The sound of jubilant breakthrough resonated from the hearts of the people in that service, and it was as though we all knew revival was being birthed.”
Ministers from throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma and New Jersey have reportedly visited the revival in Paris.
“We have seen hundreds, a thousand come to the altar,” Curry says. “People have been saved, delivered and many are returning to the Lord, surrendering their yielding hearts. We have seen many miracles and healings that are really stunning in this stage of the revival. We have seen pastors and leaders repenting, weeping and laughing in an outpouring of the refreshing.”
Repentance in Texas
Fehlauer says Jesus has always been the focus of New Life Church’s kingdom purpose. The multi-campus church grew from 650 to nearly 3,000 members since he took over as lead pastor in 2011.
But he admits something had been missing from the South Texas church’s services.
“I believe that Jesus has always been at the centre of what we’ve done, but I think our bandwidth was too narrow as far as the anointing and the presence of God is concerned,” Fehlauer says. “We weren’t giving Him time or enough room to do what He really wants to do here. God directed me to preach about the presence of the Lord and the hunger for Him. It’s His words, not mine, and I would say unequivocally that one of the biggest reasons we’re seeing this is that these people are hungry for more than the status quo. Since we started this, the presence of the Holy Spirit has been thick, and the expectancy for God to move has been very strong.”
At the first meeting, Fehlauer says more than 100 people responded to the altar call for repentance and salvation, and 10 people were baptized. The next week, another 100-plus people came forward. Soon after, many individuals expressed to church staff their desire to be baptized.
“Most of these people who come to our church are new Christians, and they don’t have any point of reference for any of this,” Fehlauer says. “But these people are spontaneously running to the altar because they’re desperate for everything God has for them. I’m talking about real Acts 2:38 repentance, when Peter said to repent and be baptized and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. People addicted to pornography and some to drugs have come to ask for forgiveness, and they have experienced deliverance and healing. We’ve had men come clean about adulterous affairs. It’s inspiring to see them repent of the hurt they’ve caused others.”
Fehlauer recalled the testimony of one woman from another church in Corpus Christi who visited New Life this summer. After one service, she approached a wife of one of the pastors. She told the pastor’s wife she had visited a couple of Brownsville Revival meetings in Pensacola, Florida, in 1995. The woman said she hadn’t experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence like that again—until now.
New Life’s executive pastor, Dan Goodson, 59, lived through the Jesus Movement in the 1970s. He also spent 12 years as the COO at Joyce Meyer Ministries and several years as the executive pastor at Destiny Church in St. Louis. But he says he’s never seen a hunger for Christ like the one New Life is experiencing.
“It’s really incredible how authentic this is. It’s not man-made,” Goodson says. “People are coming to the altar and just laying their burdens down. We’ve had people come to the altar, and they don’t know why they’re even coming because they’re unsaved. They’re wanting to get water-baptized because they are hungry for something they’ve never had. That’s how heavy the Holy Spirit has been in our services.”
Third Great Awakening
Schatzline, who has preached multiple services at Dawsonville, says what’s happening in Georgia, Texas and Kentucky is “a sovereign move of God.”
“Unfortunately, many churches have learned structure, systems and ambience,” Schatzline says. “They remove one-third of the Trinity—the Holy Spirit—and one-third from 100 is 66.6. That is the spirit of the Antichrist. What I think these pockets of revival are proving is that God is going to do things differently than many people think. It’s happening on the backroads and not the crossroads. It may sound like an odd term, but I feel like God is kissing the faithful—the ones who are pressed in, the ones who still believe. Those are people who have stuck to the core values of fasting, prayer and preaching the cross, and the results are now visibly manifesting in these churches.”
Allen agrees with Schatzline’s assessment of revival.
“I have personally begun to study the significant movements of the Great Awakenings,” Allen says. “When prayer increases and people repent to God and each other, that’s when the Spirit moves and great things happen.”
Curry says he has little doubt that a Third Great Awakening is on the horizon.
“I truly believe this is the seedbed of awakening,” Curry says. “I believe America’s greatest awakening lies ahead of us and not behind us. I believe that transforming revival will come to this nation soon.”
Shawn A. Akers is a content development editor for Charisma Media.
“Can I take some bread home?” asked a tattooed young man at our communion service in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya, East Africa. God’s Spirit had prompted me to buy a few loaves of bread, bottles of drink and plastic glasses for the congregation.
We shared real drink and some loaves of bread together among 30 people in their corrugated iron shed where I was the guest preacher.
“It’s your bread,” I answered. “You decide.” He quickly shoved a handful of bread into his pocket. Then most of the others did the same. Two weeks later, Frank, the young pastor, emailed me: “I’ve visited the slum homes of those people and they are still eating that bread. It’s still fresh.” Apparently, God multiplied it.
Frank and his wife Linda then offered free bread and drink each Saturday for hungry, skinny slum people, usually catering for about 50 people. Sometimes many more turned up but they always had plenty. God kept multiplying it as needed.
A young pastor in Ghana in West Africa invited me to hold meetings there. So I arrived with three others from Brisbane during our college break in July, forgetting it was monsoon time in Ghana. We flew into a deluge of rain on the Monday. Our hosts planned night meetings in the market from Tuesday, with morning teaching in a local church.
“Can we hold the night rallies in the church?” I suggested.
“Oh, no,” they said. “Only church people go there. Meetings in the market attract the crowds.”
“What about the rain?” I asked.
“God sent you, so he’ll do something,” they responded, full of faith.
We drove for over an hour in pouring rain from Accra, the capital, to the town of Suhum in the hills for our first meeting on Tuesday night. The heavy rain had flooded the power station there so the whole town was in darkness. We prayed earnestly, asking God to take over.
Within 15 minutes the rain stopped, the town lit up with power, and we began. Those excited Africans sang and danced for over two hours, attracting hundreds to the service. All that week we had clear skies and large crowds. Church teams prayed for hundreds of people. Many were saved. Many were healed. One man testified, “I came to this meeting blind, but while you were singing I found I could see.”
Heavy monsoon rains began again the day after our meetings ended.
A friend of mine worked with the United Nations in Nepal. He loved to help and support pastors and leaders there. We visited him many times and I spoke at pastors and leaders meetings in Kathmandu, in West Nepal and in East Nepal. Some of those pastors walked for two or three days across the high ranges just to attend.
Their churches are saturated in prayer. I prayed in their “Power House”, the upstairs prayer rooms of their church in Kathmandu. Those small upper rooms, open 24 hours a day, had many people going there to fast and pray, sometimes for many days.
We saw God’s Spirit move beautifully and powerfully in those meetings. Many were filled with the Spirit and healed. I heard a young man from one of their church bands praying eloquently in beautiful English – but he cannot speak English. They pray for one another with strong faith, expecting God to save, heal, deliver and anoint them.
The dedication of those Christians impressed me. Most of them have been imprisoned for their faith many times. One young pastor conducted a Christian wedding which infuriated relatives so they complained to the police and he spent a month in prison for disturbing the peace. Our host had been severely beaten while in prison. Two young evangelists were shot to death when we were there. They had returned from Bible College in India and were accused of spying. God gives those Christians amazing peace and joy amid the persecution, just as in the Book of The Acts.
Our team visited Grace Bible College in New Delhi founded by Dr Paul Pilai. Paul had stayed in our home in Brisbane when he visited Australia. He was converted after a young Christian girl prayed for his healing while he was very ill in hospital and he recovered miraculously.
He told us how his students and teams started new churches in villages and towns. They often faced angry opposition. One fanatical group burned their meeting tent and attacked them, hitting them with clubs, trying to kill them. They broke Paul’s arm and burned the tent. Suddenly some handsome Indian men surrounded Paul’s team and miraculously moved them away to a safe place nearby. The team could see their burning tent in the distance. Those angels told Paul that God would send him back there. A few years later they were invited back and started a church there in a home.
Grace Bible College, the largest in India with around 600 students, trains people to evangelize and plant churches, especially among unreached peoples. Their graduates often face persecution and some have been martyrs. What a humbling privilege it was to pray with the staff there and speak to the crowded hall full of such committed students.
I taught on revival at a seminary in Manilla in the sweltering heat of the Philippines. An assignment I gave my M.Th. students was to report on revival and miracles. One pastor, who was also a police inspector, reported that a church he visited sent groups of young people to sing and speak at hospitals and nursing homes.
One of those teams held monthly meetings in a mental hospital. The staff said that their patients may not understand much, but those patients did enjoy the singing. Over 40 came to the first meeting. The team offered to pray for anyone who would like prayer. They prayed personally for 26 people. The next month when the team returned, all those 26 had been discharged and sent home.
I visited China with a student from college. His parents worked there. The woman pastor-evangelist of a house church invited us to her church in a high-rise unit. The young man who met us at the gate could speak English.
He feared that the security guard might ask awkward questions, but as we walked in around 7pm, the guard had his back to us, talking to someone else. When we left after midnight, the guard was gone, probably sleeping.
Around 30 people sat on the floor and sang softly in worship. We spoke and then found that no one would leave until we had prayed for them personally. That took a while! They were happy to slip away one-by-one, just as they had come. Most were new Christians who believed because a Christian prayed for their healing. They believed in prayer and miracles just as in the Book of The Acts. Their simple, strong faith and humility moved and challenged me deeply.
We visited Elcho Island in the north where revival broke out and spread through Aboriginal communities all across northern Australia. We invited a team from Elcho Island for a Pentecost weekend in Brisbane. Two dozen came! They told us about the revival and prayed for people after each meeting that weekend, just sitting on the carpeted platform floor, aboriginal style.
That revival began after aborigines on Elcho Island prayed desperately for revival amid increasing crime, drink and drugs. The night their pastor, Djiniyini Gondarra (photo), returned from a holiday they met for Bible Study and prayer in his home. God’s Spirit fell on them as they united for the closing prayer. That prayer and ministry went all night. People were filled with the Spirit, discovered many spiritual gifts, and saw healings and reconciliations. Everywhere their teams went they saw God moving on the people in local revivals.
South Pacific Islands
Many revival movements have swept the South Pacific islands. I saw some. God’s Spirit fell on the Law School of the University of the South Pacific just after Easter 2002. The Law School is in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. Many law students were saved and transformed at their open-air rally.
Those committed students went on missions to other South Pacific nations and to Australia. Now they are lawyers and leaders. A president of their Christian Fellowship became a Member of Parliament in Fiji.
Some of those teams came with me to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. God has been moving there in unusual ways for a hundred years. Vanuatu people first evangelized the island, one becoming a martyr. A wife of the highest-ranking chief returned to life after she died and told them that she had seen God and they should leave their heathen ways and become Christians. Many revival teams have served God there in local revivals. Large numbers repent, are filled with the Spirit, and receive many spiritual gifts including revelations, words of knowledge about hidden magic or sins, and deliverance and healings.
God poured out his Spirit on children and youth in the Western Solomon Islands from Easter 2003. They loved to sing and pray daily in the church after school. God gave them visions, revelations, words of knowledge about hidden sins and bad relationships and they received many other spiritual gifts such as healings and speaking and singing what God revealed.
God revealed to a young boy the name of a man who stole a chain saw from the timber mill. A church member had been wrongly accused of that crime and sacked. He was reinstated after the man who stole it was confronted and confessed.
A mother asked me what it meant when her young boy had a vision of Jesus with one foot in heaven and one foot on the earth. I immediately remembered Matthew 28:18 – All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
We saw God touch around 1,000 youths at a National Christian Youth Convention in 2006. One night at the convention they responded, running to the front of the open-air meeting. For half-an-hour their worship team sang “He is Lord” while we prayed for them. They fell like dominoes. Many testified to healings, visions and revelations. One young man returned to his village that night and found his mother ill, so laid hands on her and prayed for her. She was healed. His brother then asked for prayer and he too was healed. The young man had never done that before. A whole group from the Kariki Islands, further west, saw revival begin in their islands on their return. God moved powerfully in every meeting they held and in their personal prayers.
I discovered that we Westerners are often too busy to pray, too worldly to listen to God, too proud to repent, and too unbelieving to see revival. We Christians – called by the name of Christ – need to take God’s promise seriously:
If my people who are called by name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
You can do that right now – at your computer or with your phone. You could take time right now to pray and seek God, to pray and obey.
John 3:16 was the highest-ranked Google search term over the next 24 hours, generating over 92 million searches, after Tim Tebow wore it.
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:38-39).
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (Acts 3:19).
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Brief examples and illustrations:
In every revival, God’s people repent and pray, & trust and obey
1. Repent – means turn – turn to God
2. Pray – anytime, anywhere – thinking, responding
3. Trust – just believe – knowing God hears & knowing God acts
4. Obey – falling in love – “If you love me you will obey”
The Lord poured out the Holy Spirit on Elcho Island in northern Australia on Thursday, 14 March, 1979. Djiniyini Gondarra was then the Uniting Church minister in the town of Galiwin’ku at the south of the island. He had been away on holidays to Sydney and Brisbane, returning on the late afternoon Missionary Aviation Fellowship flight.
He was travel weary and just wanted to unpack and get to bed early. Many of the people, however, had been praying for months, and especially every day while he had been away, so they wanted to have prayer and Bible study with him in his home. This is his account of that Pentecost among Australian Aborigines in the Arnhem Land churches across the north of Australia:
After the evening dinner, we called our friends to come and join us in the Bible Class meeting. We just sang some hymns and choruses translated into Gupapuynu and into Djambarrpuynu. There were only seven or eight people who were involved or came to the Bible Class meeting, and many of our friends didn’t turn up. We didn’t get worried about it.
I began to talk to them that this was God’s will for us to get together this evening because God had planned this meeting through them so that we will see something of his great love which will be poured out on each one of them. I said a word of thanks to those few faithful Christians who had been praying for renewal in our church, and I shared with them that I too had been praying for the revival or the renewal for this church and for the whole of Arnhem Land churches, because to our heavenly Father everything is possible. He can do mighty things in our churches throughout our great land.
I then asked the group to hold each other’s hands and I began to pray for the people and for the church, that God would pour out his Holy Spirit to bring healing and renewal to the hearts of men and women, and to the children.
Suddenly we began to feel God’s Spirit moving in our hearts and the whole form of our prayer suddenly changed and everybody began to pray in the Spirit and in harmony. And there was a great noise going on in the room and we began to ask one another what was going on.
Some of us said that God had now visited us and once again established his kingdom among his people who have been bound for so long by the power of evil. Now the Lord is setting his church free and bringing us into the freedom of happiness and into reconciliation and to restoration.
There was a great revival that swept further west. I would describe these experiences like a wild bush fire burning from one side of Australia to the other side of our great land. The experience of revival in Arnhem Land is still active in many of our Aboriginal parishes and the churches.
We would like to share these experiences in many white churches where doors are closed to the power of the Holy Spirit. It has always been my humble prayer that the whole of Australian Christians, both black and white, will one day be touched by this great and mighty power of the living God.
On Sunday night, September 26, 1965, in Soe, Timor, people heard the sound of a tornado wind and saw flames on the church building which prompted police to set off the fire alarm to summon the volunteer fire fighters. Many people were converted that night, many filled with the Spirit including speaking in tongues, some in English who did not know English. By midnight teams of lay people had been organized to begin spreading the gospel the next day. Eventually, about 90 evangelistic teams were formed which functioned powerfully with spiritual gifts.
Nahor Leo, the young man who testified that night in the Reformed Church, chose 23 young people who formed an evangelistic group, Team 1. They gave themselves full time to visiting churches and villages and saw thousands converted with multitudes healed and delivered. In one town alone they saw 9,000 people converted in two weeks.
Another young man, Mel Tari witnessed this visitation of God and later became part of Team 42. He reported on this revival in two widely read books, Like a Mighty Wind and The Gentle Breeze of Jesus. Healings and evangelism increased dramatically. Specific directions from the Lord led the teams into powerful ministry with thousands becoming Christians. They saw many healings, miracles such as water being turned to wine for communion, some instantaneous healings, deliverance from witchcraft and demonic powers, and some people raised from death through prayer.
The teams were often guided supernaturally including provision of light at night on jungle trails, angelic guides and protection, meager supplies of food multiplied in pastors’ homes when a team ate together there during famines, and witch-doctors being converted after they saw power encounters when the teams’ prayers banished demons, rendering the witch-doctors powerless.
Dennis Balcombe, pastor of the Revival Christian Church in Hong Kong, regularly visits China. He has reported on revival there.
In 1989 Henan preachers visited North Anhul province and found several thousand believers in the care of an older pastor from Shanghai. At their first night meeting with 1,000 present 30 were baptized in the icy winter. The first baptized was a lady who had convulsions if she went into water. She was healed of that and other ills, and found the water warm. A 12 year old boy deaf and dumb was baptized and spoke, “Mother, Father, the water is not cold the water is not cold.” An aged lady nearly 90, disabled after an accident in her 20s, was completely healed in the water. By the third and fourth nights over 1,000 were baptized.
A young evangelist, Enchuan, 20 years old in 1990, had been leading evangelistic teams since he was 17. He said, “When the church first sent us out to preach the Gospel, after two to three months of ministering we usually saw 20-30 converts. But now it is not 20. It is 200, 300, and often 600 or more will be converted.”
Edward Miller tells of revival breaking out in Argentina after God told him to call his small church to pray every night from 8 pm to midnight beginning on a Monday. Their little group prayed for three nights, mostly silently except for their missionary Ed Miller. No one seemed to have any leading, except one lady felt she was told to hit the table, but she wouldn’t do anything so strange. On the fourth night, Ed Miller led the group in singing around the table, and hit it as they sang. Eventually others did the same. Then the lady did. Immediately the Spirit of God fell. They were baptized powerfully in the Spirit. They heard the sound of strong wind. Their little church filled. People were convicted, weeping, and praying.
By Saturday teams were going out in powerful evangelism. A young man, Alexander and his band of rebels sat in the front row of a revival meeting aiming to disrupt it. God convicted him and he repented. His gang began to leave but fell under the Spirit on the way out. All were converted. Two of them went to the Bible School.
Ed Miller taught at the Bible Training Institute in 1951 in the little town of City Bell, near Buenos Aires. In June he was led to cancel lectures so the whole Bible School could pray every day. He announced this on the first Sunday in June. That night Alexander, the former rebel leader, a teenager of Polish descent, was praying long after midnight out in the fields when he sensed something pressing down on him, an intense light surrounding him and a heavenly being enfolding him. Terrified he ran back to the Institute.
The heavenly visitor entered the Institute with him, and in a few moments all the students were awake with the fear of God upon them. They began to cry out in repentance as God by his Spirit dealt with them. The next day the Spirit of God came again upon Alexander as he was given prophecies of God’s moving in far off countries. The following day Alexander again saw the Lord in the Spirit, but this time he began to speak slowly and distinctly the words he heard from the angel of God. No one could understand what he was saying, however, until another lad named Celsio (with even less education than Alexander), overcome with the Spirit of God markedly upon him, began to interpret… These communications (written because he choked up when he tried to talk) were a challenge from God to pray and indeed the Institute became a centre of prayer till the vacation time, when teams went out to preach the kingdom. It was the beginning of new stirrings of the Spirit across the land.
Prophecies given to the Bible School told of God filling the largest auditoriums and stadiums in Argentina and in other countries.
In 1952 Tommy Hicks was conducting a series of meetings in California when God showed him a vision. While he was praying he saw a map of South America covered with a vast field of golden wheat ripe for harvesting. The wheat turned into human beings calling him to come and help them.
He wrote a prophecy in his Bible about going by air to that land before two summers would pass. Three months later, after an evangelistic crusade, a pastor’s wife in California gave that same prophecy to him that he had written down. He was invited to Argentina in 1954 and had enough money to buy a one way air ticket to Buenos Aires.
On his way there after meetings in Chile, the word Peron came to his mind. He asked the air stewardess if she knew what it meant. She told him Peron was the President of Argentina. When he went to make an appointment with Juan Peron, the dictator President, he prayed for a guard who was healed and so the guard arranged an appointment with Peron. Through prayer the President was healed of an ugly eczema and gave Hicks the use of a stadium and free access to the state radio and press.
The revival campaign shifted into the Argentina’s largest arena, the Hurricane Football Stadium, seating 110,000 which overflowed. During nightly meetings over two months 300,000 people registered decisions for Christ and many were healed at every meeting.
Some of the signs of revival we saw there included a whole mountain ‘on fire’ (with nothing burned) during revival meetings at their Bible College,witchcraft items revealed then removed and destroyed by prayer teams, everyone prayed for in ‘custom’ villages healed, and angels filling a village church with songs in the night in a small village where the worship had been strong, lasting for many hours. Everyone prayed for in that village was healed and all unbelievers repented during the worship and many were baptized.
Tomas Tumtum had been an indentured worker on cane farms in Queensland, Australia. He was converted there and returned around 1901 to his village on South Pentecost Island. He came with his friend, Lulkon, a new young disciple from a neighbouring island. They arrived when the village was taboo because a baby had died a few days earlier, so no one was allowed near the village. Ancient tradition dictated that anyone breaking taboo must be killed, so they were going to kill Tomas, but his friend Lulkon asked Tomas to tell them to kill him instead, so that Tomas could live and evangelize his own people. Just before he was clubbed to death at a sacred Mele palm tree, Lulkon read John 3:16, then closed his eyes and prayed for them.
Tomas became the pioneer of the church in South Pentecost, establishing many Churches of Christ in the villages there. Revival movements have increased there since the 1980s, continuing to now.
We had revival teaching at their Bible College and every weekend revival teams led meetings in village churches. Many of these village revival meetings went late as the Spirit moved on the people with deep repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and prayer for healing and empowering.
The Bible College buildings in the bay (photo) are surrounded by mountains. We saw those mountains filled with supernatural fire one night.
A law student team from Port Vila, led by Seini Puamau, Vice President of the Christian Fellowship, had a strong impact at the High School on South Pentecost Island with big responses at all meetings. Almost the whole residential school of 300 responded for prayer at the final service on Sunday night October 17, 2004, after a powerful testimony from Joanna Kenilorea. The High School principal, Silas Buli, has prayed with some of his staff for many years from 4 a.m. each morning, praying for the school and nation. Silas became a Member of Parliament for South Pentecost in 2016.
Mathias, a young man who repented deeply with over 15 minutes of tearful sobbing, became a main worship leader in revival meetings. When he was leading and speaking at a revival meeting at the national Bible College, a huge supernatural fire blazed in the hills directly opposite the Bible College chapel in 2005, but no bush was burned. They told us it was supernatural fire, with no smoke and nothing physical being consumed by the fire.
Jesus Christ’s cosmic, eternal victory over all evil on the cross is a central theme of the whole Bible. The Old Testament points to it, and is fulfilled in it. The Gospels announce and proclaim it with vivid details on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The Epistles explain its importance. Christ’s victory on the cross is the only basis for salvation in all its fullness, including the place signs and wonders have in demonstrating the power of the cross in all things.
From This Topic You Will Learn
There is a direct relationship between The Cross and the Power of God.
The significance of the cross is shown in how God reconciles all things and all peoples back to himself through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The death of Christ on the cross has overcome the powers of darkness and through belief in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross; we receive that same power over the devil and can live victoriously.
Isaiah Chapter 53, the prophetic word about the Suffering Servant and Messiah, was fulfilled by Jesus Christ during his ministry (Matthew 8:16-17).
BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS CONCERNING THE CROSS
Isaiah 53: The Messianic Prophecy of the Ministry of Jesus Christ
Isaiah chapter 53 portrays the character, ministry, sufferings, death, and exaltation of the Messiah. Isaiah’s prophecy also anticipated the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. As a fulfilment of that prophecy Matthew wrote: 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.” (Mt. 8:16-17, cf. Isaiah 53:4).
Jesus quoted from Isaiah 53:12 at the Last Supper Passover meal: ‘It is written: “And he was numbered with the transgressors”; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfilment.’
The Substitutionary Atonement of Christ on the Cross
Throughout the scriptures we find evidence of the supernatural and miraculous signs and wonders pointing to the power of the cross and authenticating the preaching of the Word of God. Interestingly, there is a significant relationship between the Gospel and the Atoning Work of Jesus Christ on the cross. “The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross is the heart of the gospel.” That is the reason why “we preach Christ crucified” and nothing else lest we nullify the message we proclaim. In fact, “Christ’s atoning work on the cross is the centre of gravity in the New Testament Faith” (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 12:27,31-33; Rom, 3:22-25; 5:8,9; 2 Cor.5;21; Gal.3:13; Col. 1:21-22; 1 Tim.2:6; Heb. 2:14; 9:14, 26-28; 10:10; 1 Pet.1:18-21; 2:24; 3:18; 1 Jn. 2:2; 3:5, 8; Rev.12:11) (Greig & Springer 1993:22).
Furthermore, “the power of the cross is first and foremost in the atonement and the forgiveness of all sin that the cross provides” (1 Jn. 2:2). Christ’s atoning work is also the “basis for all God’s work in our lives” as he sanctifies our soul and restores us from the brokenness of sin to wholeness (Greig & Springer 1993: 22).
The apostle Peter applies Isaiah 53:5 to the forgiveness of sin. He says of Christ, who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:24).
Jeffrey Niehaus explains this: Just as Isaiah portrays sin as disease (Isaiah 1:5, 6), Peter uses Isaiah’s words to inform us that the “healing” of Isaiah 53; 5 is first and foremost a healing from sin. That is the healing we find in the atonement. In the same vein, Peter goes on to quote Isaiah 53:6: “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25).
The work of the atonement is to heal us from sin and to return stray sheep to God, as Peter’s application of Isaiah 53:5, 6 makes clear. It makes physical healing possible (“He took up our infirmities” Isa. 53:4 and Matt. 8:16, 17) but does not necessarily guarantee it in this age to God’s people (Niehaus 1993: 50).
The atonement is central to our faith. Hence, if Christ and what he has done on the cross is the “cornerstone of Christianity” then the time of Christ’s incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension is the pivotal time in the Kingdom of God. Everything in the Old Testament – especially the sacrificial system – points to the cross, and everything since then looks back to it. That is the mystery of Christ’s death and the love of the Father for us (Wimber 1986:165).
The “Already-Not-Yet” Tension of Healing and the Miraculous
According to Gordon Fee, “healing is made possible by the atonement of the cross but is not necessarily guaranteed to be fully experienced by believers in this age.” (Greig & Springer 1993: 22). Fee says: Healing is provided for [in the atonement] because the atonement brought release from the…consequence of sin; nonetheless, since we have not yet received the redemption of our bodies, suffering and death are still our lot until the resurrection (Greig & Springer 1993:220.)
In other words, there is the “already-not-yet” tension of the kingdom of God in relation to healing and spiritual gifts, and the supernatural and the miraculous (Greig & Springer 1993:22; David 1993:125-127). This raises the issue of whether “healing is in the atonement” or not. According to R. A. Torrey, “healing is in the atonement,” that is, “based on what Jesus has done on the cross, we may experience 100 percent healing on earth.”
On the other hand, J. Sidlow Baxter asserts that “healing for our mortal bodies is not in the atonement.” Colin Brown agrees. He believes that “forgiveness of sins is based on covenant grace: God intends that everyone who trusts in him will experience forgiveness of sins. But, physical healing is different: many are healed, and many are not.” (Wimber 1986:166).
Both Brown and Baxter believe that divine healing is available today but the “atonement is the basis for physical healing.” Baxter explains: “it is still true, however, that divine healing for sickness comes to us through the atonement, just as all the other blessings of salvation do.” This explains why some people do not get healed (Wimber 1986:166-167; Niehaus 1993: 48-49).
Moreover, healing as a part of salvation does not rule out the place of suffering in the life of the believer. Suffering, when rightly and meekly borne for Christ’s sake will refine character and strengthen faith, thereby playing its part in producing wholeness (Rom. 5:3-5). The problem with this is that many Christians assert that because of the suffering aspect, disease is to be accepted as part of God’s perfect will them. The Lord can and does use disease and disaster to chasten his children in the short term (Ps. 119:67-71), but Peter definitely states that Christians should not regard this as God’s perfect will (1 Peter 1:24). In other words, by New Testament standards, asking for and receiving healing is the norm not the exception (MacNutt 1988:88).
The Power of The Cross
The Gospel could and would have been believed apart from any miracles for the Word of God is complete, not deficient. It is “the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16). Christian miracles and healings are a gracious gift from God and may serve many functions including the authentication of the Gospel message, but they are not a necessity – on their own they mean nothing (Deere 1993:114; Greig & Springer 1993:23).
The cross of Christ is the solution to every problem on earth. However, healing and spiritual gifts are not the solution to every problem nor is the cross limited to or equivalent to spiritual gifts and healing. As mentioned earlier, the atoning work of Christ on the cross to forgives sin is the fountainhead, the cornerstone, from which all other blessings flow including healing and spiritual gifts (Greig & Springer 1993:23; cf. 2 Peter 1:3)
Love: The Motivating Power of the Cross
When we view ourselves as failures and unworthy of the love of God, we will not want to draw close him. The fact is that he not only loves us but also cares and accepts us just the way we are. Not only did Christ die for our sins, he died for us.
When we look at the atonement of Christ, we look not just to the work that was done but at the Person of Christ who is the embodiment of love for God is love. In doing so we get a better picture of the personhood, nature, and kingdom of God. Our Christian faith rests not only in what Jesus has done and will do but also in who he is. Jesus is love and power at the same time.
Jesus never used his power either to show off or to serve his own ends. Jesus’ use of spiritual power was always a means, never an end. He used God’s power always to demonstrate the love and nature of God. The purpose of spiritual power in Christianity then is to show love and compassion for others. It also gives us opportunity to serve them and God. Jesus has the authority and power to forgive sins. Likewise he has given all believers the authority to forgive (John 20: 23). He also graces them to receive forgiveness anytime (1 John 1:9). Satan frequently uses guilt and condemnation to cripple Christians, even after they have supposedly repented and asked for forgiveness. Knowing that in Christ there is forgiveness and no condemnation, we can come boldly to him for we have access to God (2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 8:1; Heb.10-19-23).
THE EPISTLES ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CROSS
The Apostle Paul emphasised the significance of the cross in many of his letters. These are some of the main passages on the cross from the epistles.
1 Corinthians1:17-18, 23-24
For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect… but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and the Greeks, foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
There is a direct relationship between the cross and the power of God as well as the unfathomable wisdom of God – far beyond all human power and wisdom.
But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
The Galatians had problems with legalism. Today, we also slide into rules and become legalistic. For example, we are ruled more by the clock rather than the promptings of the Spirit in our meetings.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ. For he himself …has broken down the middle wall of division… so as to create in himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity…. For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
In the New Testament time, this enmity was the division particularly between the Jews and the Gentiles. For them and for us today, the significance and importance of the cross is that it reconciles us back to God.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…a servant, and … as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In the biblical times, the cross was meant to be cruel and despicable yet God used it for his redemptive purposes. Here, the focus is not so much the individual salvation (which is very important to God) but it is about bringing the whole cosmos and universe back to God, himself through Jesus death on the cross.
For it pleased the Father that in him all the fullness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of his cross.
The cross is the focus of how God reconciles all things to himself. The victory of the death of Jesus on the cross is far greater than salvation for people, although it includes that amazing triumph. It involves reconciling everything to God or bringing everything into harmony with him.
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which as contrary to us. And he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
The legal right of the devil and his demons has been removed by the Cross. Therefore, we can repent and their legal right to afflict and torment and influence us is removed from our lives. To experientially know and understand this truth is important in moving in signs and wonders.
This is a paradoxical truth because most of the time, it is when we are most helpless, that God demonstrates his power and authority over the devil in our lives. For example, this can be seen in the life of Moses as the redeemer of Israel in the book of Exodus.
For us today, culturally, we can live lives independent of God. The cross rips all of this independence away and in our weaknesses we are strengthened by God. God comes to us in our weaknesses – so quickly. God is not so much impressed by our best strengths but in our frail weaknesses God comes to us immediately – right there and then. It is then that it becomes a knowing that it is not us but it is God working in and through us.
The volume of our emptiness determines our filling in…Heaven does not run out, earth just stopped being empty and hungry…When you get hungry, He gets close. Brokenness on earth opens heaven for He is near to those with a broken heart. – Tommy Tenney
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus, who both was 100% God and 100% man, became incarnate. He took on a human body and all it weaknesses yet resisted temptation and remained sinless. He lived in holiness and outworked all that the first Adam had fallen from and he became the second Adam who is a life giving being and spirit.
Jesus through the cross conquered, overcome, triumphed and won the victory over all the forces of darkness, death, sin, sicknesses and diseases, and all the obstacles in obtaining salvation for all who would believe.
Reality is this: what he did on the cross provided redemption for mankind. It’s a free gift for all. We simply need to appropriate it. Our understanding of who we are in Christ must be awakened and quickened to this reality. Only in understanding this reality will we be able to walk victoriously just as Jesus did who is the author and finisher of our faith.
The prayer of faith (James 5:15) can only be exercised in the light of God’s will. Faith is based upon a word from God and not merely on positive thinking. It is not that we believing something so strongly that we make it come true – or that God must do what we believe will happen. The prayer of faith can only be prayed when God speaks to reveal his will and intention. Occasionally, God makes his will known clearly. In all the cases, it is exciting to pray a prayer of faith – and watch God work.
Major Points of this Topic
Jesus’ death on the cross, validated in his resurrection, is central to all Scripture.
The victory of Christ Jesus on the cross has secured for us freedom, authority, and our victory over sin, death, and the powers of the evil one.
The cross focuses us on God’s redemptive plan of reconciling all people and all things to himself.
Review or Discussion Questions
Explain the relationship between the cross and the power of God.
Give some of the Pauline scriptural verses that explain the significance of the Cross.
Why is the atonement the cornerstone of Christianity and the heart of the Gospel?
Discuss: The offence of the cross. Refer to 1 Cor. 1:17-18, 23-24.
Discuss Isaiah 53. Why is it called a Servant Song or the “gospel” chapter of the Old Testament?
Discuss: Salvation is in the atonement but healing is through the atonement.
Further Readings or Research
Lake, John G. 1994. “The offence of the Cross.” Chapter 26 in John G. Lake: His life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith. Published by Kenneth Copeland Ministries, pp. 277-283.
The Kingdom and The Power edited by Gary Greig and Kevin Springer. 1993.
Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere. 1993. pp. 109-110
A Theology of the New Testament by George Eldon Ladd. 1989. Chap 3#.
Power Healing by John Wimber. 1986. Ch. 8 .
Renewal Theology by Rodman Williams. 1996. Volume 1, ch.14: The Atonement.
See also The Lion of Judah (4) The Death of Jesus, by Geoff Waugh (2015)
Much of this Study Guide material is adapted with permission from materials used in the former Fuller Theological Seminary course taught by John Wimber, MC510: Signs and Wonders and Church Growth (1984). John Wimber and Kevin Springer adapted some of that material for their two books Power Evangelism (1985) and Power Healing (1986). Geoff Waugh attended that course in 1984 as did John White who then further researched this topic and in 1988 published his book with InterVarsity Press, When the Spirit comes with Power: Signs and Wonders among God’s People.