Signs and Wonders: Study Guide

Signs & Wonders

Signs and Wonders

 Study Guide

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Each Study Guide in these Blogs refers to a paperback and eBook Study Guide for each of these seven subjects. 

These Study Guides are adapted from former Distance Education materials produced by Citipointe Ministry College, the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia. Now they are adapted into these books for your benefit. The current courses use different and updated materials as part of internet resources for students. 

For information about current courses, contact the Principal,

Citipointe Ministry College, PO Box 2111, Mansfield, Qld 4122, Australia. Email: cmc@citipointechurch.com or study@chc.edu.au 

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Signs and Wonders

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Compiled by Geoff Waugh and Cecilia Estillore Oliver

Cover photo: © ‘Inagako In Fall’, Japan, by Chris Asche – used with permission.

Welcome to this Study Guide on Signs and Wonders.

Signs and wonders occur throughout the Old and New Testaments. They express the magnificent creativity and sovereignty of the Lord, described in the Bible. They are also expressions of the power, goodness, mercy, grace, compassion, and love of the Lord, and show the nature of our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God.

Signs and wonders point to the One and True Living God, and also demonstrate that this Living God is a Personal God who is very interested in people, both individually and corporately. This same God described in the Bible is very much alive and active today just as he was then.

Our hope is that through this subject you will encounter God and be transformed in this encounter. We pray that you will be challenged and stirred up to move in faith and obedience to God who can empower you with his Holy Spirit to do what Jesus did and even greater works (John 14:12). As you learn to move in God’s power and in ways that are naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural, may you become more Christ-like in your personal life, ministry, and vocation in this world. And may you be an instrument in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth as you become filled with passion and clothed with power from on high.

We especially thank Cecilia Estillore Oliver, a medical doctor and B.Min. graduate, for her work in helping to compile and write this Study Guide.  Cecilia prepared and compiled the information in this Study Guide from materials gathered and arranged by Geoff Waugh for the degree programs of Citipointe Ministry College, the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia, and made available here with permission of the college.  This book reproduces the content of that former Study Guide, adapted here for general use.

Contents

This Signs and Wonders study guide includes

Biblical Foundations:

Old Testament

Jesus’ Ministry

The Epistles

The Cross – see blog

Theological Foundations:

The Supernatural

Worldview

The Kingdom of God

Spiritual Gifts

Ministry Foundations:

Church History

Case Studies

Practices and Pitfalls

Integrated Ministry

Much of the material is developed and adapted from the course at Fuller Theological Seminary conducted by John Wimber in 1984, titled MC510: Signs and Wonders and Church Growth, used with permission.

Class Testimony

Reproduced from the Signs and Wonders Study Guide Appendix

A student we prayed for one morning in class went to her doctor that afternoon for a final check before having a growth removed from her womb. That afternoon her doctor could find no trace of the growth after checking with three ultrasound machines, so he cancelled the scheduled operation.

“My class at college laid hands on me and prayed for me,” she explained to her doctor. “I believe God healed me, and that’s why you can’t find the growth any more.”

“I don’t know if God healed you,” he responded. “But I do know that you don’t need an operation.”

Our class studied this Signs and Wonders subject. We usually began each class with prayer, and that day our prayer included praying for specific needs such as that woman’s health. One of those praying in class was Cecilia, a medical doctor. She prayed with strong faith, joining us in laying hands on the ‘patient’ student, knowing that God heals through prayer as well as through medicine. What rich resources we have for ministry – right there in the group.

See an article (a former subject assignment) by that student Cecilia.

I love hearing medical people pray for healing. They have medical skills as well as faith in God. A nurse in one of our week night meetings prayed for another lady who had severe back pain.

“L4, be healed in Jesus’ name,” the nurse commanded as she prayed with her hand on the woman’s back. It takes medical knowledge plus the revelation of a ‘word of knowledge’ to be able to pray like that. All pain immediately left the lady being prayed for. Apparently the problem was in the Lumbar 4 (L4) section of her spine.

Many people are not healed so quickly. Perhaps most are not healed so quickly in our materialistic Western society. There are many reasons for that, including our Western scepticism, lack of compassion or faith, and our sinfulness such as jealousy, competition or failing to forgive others freely as God has forgiven us.

We all can learn more together about effective ministry. That learning is enhanced and expanded rapidly when we share our experiences and learning together. The ‘teacher’ usually shares from his or her experiences, but others can do also. So the more that our ministry education fosters mutuality, the more we can learn from one another.

We call this open education, or open ministry education. It is open to everyone and everyone can be involved. It is not just for leaders. Our leaders can help us, but their main job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). We can do these things in classes, small groups, seminars, training courses and home or church groups.

A Learning Together in MinistryThis testimony is also included in the Introduction to

Learning Together in Ministry

Mutual Education: from compteition to co-operation

Learning Together in Ministry – PDF

See also Renewal Journal 5: Signs and Wonders

Words, Signs and Deeds, by Brian Hathaway

Uproar in the Church, by Derek Prince

A Season of New Beginnings, by John Wimber

Preparing for Revival Fire, by Jerry Steingard

How to Minister Like Jesus, by Bart Doornweerd

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BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

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BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

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Miracles in PNG highlands by Johan van Bruggen

Miracles in PNG highlands

A selection from Flashpoints of Revival and Revival Fires
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Kambaidam, Papua New Guinea, by Johan van Bruggen

Johan van Bruggen

Then came Thursday, August 4, a miserable day weather wise, although we had great joy during our studies. Evening devotions not all students came, actually a rather small group. I too needed some inner encouragement to go as it was more comfortable near the fire. We sang a few quiet worship songs. Samson, a fellow who by accident became one of our students last year, well, this Samson was leading the devotions. We had sung the last song and were waiting for him to start. Starting he did, but in an unusual way. He cried, trembled all over! … Then it spread. When I looked up again I saw the head prefect flat on the floor under his desk. I was praying in tongues off and on. It became quite noisy. Students were shouting! Should I stop it? Don’t hold back! It went on and on, with students praying and laughing and crying not quite following our planned programme! We finally stood around the table, about twelve of us, holding hands. Some were absolutely like drunk, staggering and laughing! I heard a few students starting off in tongues and I praised the Lord. The rain had stopped, not so the noise. So more and more people came in and watched!

Not much sleeping that night! They talked and talked! And that was not the end. Of course the school has changed completely. Lessons were always great, I thought, but have become greater still. Full of joy most of the time, but also with a tremendous burden. A burden to witness. …

What were the highlights of 1988? No doubt the actual outpouring of the Holy Spirit must come first. It happened on August 4 when the Spirit fell on a group of students and staff, with individuals receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit on several occasions later on in the year. The school has never been the same again. As direct results we noticed a desire for holiness, a hunger for God’s Word which was insatiable right up till the end of the school year, and also a tremendous urge to go out and witness. Whenever they had a chance many of our students were in the villages with studies and to lead Sunday services. Prayer life deepened, and during worship services we really felt ourselves to be on holy ground. …

We have been almost left speechless by what God is doing now through our students. We realize that we have been led on and are now on the threshold of a revival.

Acts 2 all over again

A young student, David, in his early twenties from the Markham Valley had a growing burden for his area of Ragizaria and Waritzian which was known and feared as the centre of pagan occult practices. He prayed earnestly. As part of an outreach team he visited nearby villages and then went to his own people. He was concerned about the low spiritual life of the church. He spent a couple of days alone praying for them.

He was invited to lead the village devotions on the Saturday night at Ragizaria. Johan van Bruggen told the story in his circulars:

Since most of the Ragizaria people are deeply involved in witchcraft practices, David made an urgent appeal for repentance. Two men responded and came forward. David put his hands on them and wanted to pray, when suddenly these two men fell to the ground. They were both praising the Lord. Everybody was surprised and did not know what to think of this. David himself had been slain in the Spirit at Kambaidam in August 1988, but this was the first time that this had happened to others through him. The next morning during the Sunday service scores of people were slain in the Spirit. Said David, “People entered the church building and immediately they were seized by God’s power. They were drunk in the Spirit and many could not keep standing. The floor was covered with bodies.” It did not only happen to Lutherans, but also to members of a Seventh Day Adventist congregation (former Lutherans) that were attracted by the noise and commotion.

David reported that there was a sense of tremendous joy in the church and people were praising the Lord. Well, the service lasted for hours and hours. Finally David said, “And now the people are hungry for God’s Word and not only in my village, but also in Waritzian, a nearby village. And they want the students to come with Bible studies. Can we go next weekend?”

We all felt that some students together with Pastor Bubo should go. …

Pastor Bubo told me, “Acts 2 happened all over again!” For three days all the people were drunk in the Spirit. God used the students and Bubo in a mighty way. On Saturday night the Holy Spirit was poured down on the hundreds of people that had assembled there. From then on until the moment the school car arrived on Monday noon, the people were being filled again and again by the Spirit. There was much rejoicing. There were words of prophecy. There was healing and deliverance. And on Monday morning all things of magic and witchcraft were burned. Everybody was in it, the leaders, the young, yes even little children were reported to be drunk in the Spirit. … The people did not want to go and sleep, saying, “So often we have had drunken all night parties. Now we will have a divine party until daybreak.”

This area had been a stronghold of evil practices. Many people received various spiritual gifts including unusual abilities such as speaking English in tongues and being able to read the Bible. People met for prayer, worship and study every day and at night. These daily meetings continued to be held for over two years.

That revival kept spreading through the witness and ministries of the Bible School graduates.

Acts 3 all over again

In November 1990, Johan van Bruggen wrote:

This is what happened about two months ago. A new church building was going to be officially opened in a village in the Kainantu area. Two of our last year’s graduates took part in the celebrations by acting the story in Acts 3: Peter and John going to the temple and healing the cripple.

Their cripple was a real one a young man, Mark, who had his leg smashed in a car accident. The doctors had wanted to amputate it, but he did not want to lose his useless leg. He used two crutches to move around the village. He could not stand at all on that one leg. He was lying at the door of the new church when our Peter and John (real names: Steven and Pao) wanted to enter. The Bible story was exactly followed: “I have got no money, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Well, they acted this out before hundreds of people, among them the president of the Goroka Church District and many pastors and elders. Peter (Steven) grabbed the cripple (Mark) by the hand and pulled him up. And he walked! He threw his crutches away and loudly praised the Lord! Isn’t that something? What a faith!

Their testimony was given at a meeting of elders when Kambaidam was discussed. Mark was a most happy fellow who stood and walked firmly on his two legs. He also had been involved in criminal activities, but in this meeting he unashamedly confessed his faith in the Lord Jesus.

Later I talked with them. Steven (Peter) told me that the Lord had put this on his heart during a week long period of praying. “I had no doubt that the Lord was going to heal Mark, and I was so excited when we finally got to play act! And Mark? He told me that when Steven told him to get up he just felt the power of God descend upon him and at the same time he had a tingling sensation in his crippled leg: “I just felt the blood rushing through my leg, bringing new life!” Mark is now involved in evangelistic outreach and his testimony has a great impact.

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Bougainville Revival, South Pacific, by Royree Jensen

Amazing revival stories from Bougainville in the South Pacific.  New Testament events still happen. Walking on water to witchcraft island and back.  Magic discovered and destroyed.

Selections from revival stories in South Pacific Revivals. Share this page to inform and bless others – great stories for messages, youth groups and study groups. See links below to share on your Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linkedin & Emails.

 

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revival Blogs

See also Revivals Index

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Church

Renewal Journal 19: Church

Renewal Journal 19: Church – PDF

Also in Renewal Journals Vol 4: Issues 16-20
Renewal Journal Vol 4 (16-20) – PDF

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Renewal Journal 19: Church

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Renewal Journals Index – 20 issues

All Renewal Journal Topics:

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,
3 Community,   4 Healing,   
5 Signs & Wonders,   
6  Worship,   
7  Blessing,
   8  Awakening,  
9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
   12  Harvest,   
13  Ministry,
   14  Anointing,   
15  Wineskins,   
16  Vision,   
17  Unity,
   18  Servant Leadership,  
19  Church,   20 Life

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Contents: Renewal Journal 19: Church

The Voice of the Church in the 21st Century, by Ray Overend

Redeeming the Arts: visionaries of the future, by Sandra Godde

Counselling Christianly, by Ann Crawford

Redeeming a Positive Biblical View of Sexuality, by John Meteyard and Irene Alexander

The Mystics and Contemporary Psychology, by Irene Alexander

Problems Associated with the Institutionalization of Ministry, by Warren Holyoak

Book Reviews:
Jesus, Author & Finisher by Brian Mulheran
South Pacific Revivals by Geoff Waugh

Renewal Journal 19: Church – PDF

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Editorial

Church Now

Church in the 21st century is changing.  Previously the rate of change has been gradual, spanning many generations.  Now change is rapid in all areas of society, including the social expressions of “church.” 

Charismatic renewal and revival continue to powerfully transform church and community life.  Home groups, cell groups, interest groups, and mission groups proliferate.  They can thrive without budgets, salaries, or church buildings. 

China and Africa lead the world in radical expressions of being the church – often without church buildings, salaries, and traditional services.  Latin America provides increasing examples of community transformation and Christians celebrate together in fiestas and all night united prayer and worship festivities.  Local governments often underwrite the cost of these celebrations because of the enormous impact for good they have on the whole community. 

This issue of the Renewal Journal explores some growing edge challenges emerging now in being “church” in the new millennium. 

Ray Overend finds fresh hope for “The Voice of the Church in the 21st Century” because secular university culture is beginning to change and throw bright light on the very foundations of Christianity, and on just why the Church has lost spiritual authority in the world. 

Sandra J. Godde, Founder and Director of Excelsia Dance Company, calls for Christians in the Arts to give the church a prophetic voice in her publication, “Redeeming the Arts: visionaries of the future.” 

Ann Crawford examines the presuppositions and processes that distinguish Christian counselling from other forms of counselling in her article, “Counselling Christianly: implications for pastors and church-based counselling professionals.” 

John Meteyard and Irene Alexander engage in “Redeeming a Positive Biblical View of Sexuality,” showing how human sexuality and spirituality are very close to another, both dealing with intimate relationship, deep desire, and being known for who we truly are.  They outline theological principles for a positive and integrationist perspective for human sexual experience and expression. 

Irene Alexander explores the relationship of “The Mystics and Contemporary Psychology” to show how the mystics experienced God’s reality in the depths of their being and have often passed on profound truths that can enable us to be close to God.  

Warren Holyoak examines “Problems Associated with the Institutionalisation of Ministry” particularly the difficulties imposed by hierarchical structures, inappropriate distinctions, and inappropriate roles in leadership and ministry. 

Most of these articles were presented and discussed at the 2002 Contemporary Issues in Ministry conference held at the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia. 

The Renewal Journal Publications in the 21st century include inspirational books on renewal and revival on www.renewaljurnal.com.  The books continue to explore stories of renewal and revival.  Here is another. 

Miracles in PNG 

Matt Ransom tells of the beginnings of a new ministry for Fr Charlie Kape.

I have to tell you of the amazing story of Fr Charlie Kape, a Papua New Guinea Catholic Priest.

In Feb. 1998 he visited our church, St Thomas the Apostle Canberra, to take part in a school of evangelization. At the same time a number of revival meetings with being held with Randy Clark and his team. Fr Charlie got absolutely blasted as a result of Randy’s ministry and went back to PNG full of God’s FIRE.

The day Fr Charlie returned, he was at a meeting and he prayed with a woman with a broken arm. Her arm was instantly healed. The next day he was asked to go and visit a man with tuberculosis, he was bedridden. He too was instantly healed.

As a consequence crowds began to seek him out, and again many were healed.

At one meeting, Fr Charlie was in an area where he didn’t know the language. So he spoke in tongues. All the people understood him speaking to them eloquently about Jesus Christ.

Early in 1999, he organized the procession of a cross around his part of the country, to evangelize people. It ended at Port Moresby, the capital (and ravaged by violence and poverty). The procession travelled through an area where any cars that travel are held up, and many killed. The young men who conducted these crimes were touched by the worship, the cross and the message of Jesus. As a consequence, 50 turned to the Lord, handed over their guns and weapon, and stopped their violence. There have been no holdups in that area since. The police superintendent went to visit the young men, burned up their criminal records and invited the young men to become police cadets. 30 said yes!!!!

Fr Charlie has also suffered many attacks. In June of 1999, he was attacked by a group of young men. One attempted to pierce him with a sword and another bashed him with a sword. He ended up in hospital and showed us the scars in his head.

He has a lot of support from his Catholic church and is training up his people. But he needs our prayers.

Finally, Fr Charlie told us how at one powerful meeting of 3000 people, at one stage, he felt to extend his hand toward the people. As he did so, power came from him. People just fell over under the power of the Holy Spirit, and many were healed (he didn’t even lay hands on them). Praise God.

©  Renewal Journal #19: Church (2002, 2012)  renewaljournal.com

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All Renewal Journal Topics

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,   3 Community,   4 Healing,   5 Signs & Wonders,
6  Worship,   7  Blessing,   8  Awakening,   9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
   12  Harvest,   13  Ministry,   14  Anointing,   15  Wineskins,
16  Vision,
   17  Unity,   18  Servant Leadership,   19  Church,   20 Life
Also: 24/7 Worship & Prayer

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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An article in Renewal Journal 19: Church:
Renewal Journal 19: Church
PDF

Also in Renewal Journals Vol 4: Issues 16-20
Renewal Journal Vol 4 (16-20) – PDF

 

 

Gospel Essentials, by Charles Taylor

Gospel Essentials

by Charles V Taylor

 


Dr Charles
V. Taylor is a well known Australian linguist, Bible teacher, author, and Christian magazine contributor.  His doctoral studies researched the Nkore-Kiga language of Uganda in Africa where he served as a missionary.

 

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Gospel Essentials, by Charles V Taylor:
https://renewaljournal.com/2011/07/22/gospel-essentials-bycharles-taylor/
Renewal Journal 10: Evangelism
https://renewaljournal.com/2011/07/22/evangelism/

Renewal Journal 10: Evangelism – PDF

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we can sort out a basic set of beliefs

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Evangelism these days isn’t always simple and straightforward.  Sometimes we mix with people of different traditions and in so doing it is possible to compromise the simplicity of the Gospel.  No one should be against co-operation between different fellowships, but that isn’t the point.  We must guard against a sort of ‘Jesus plus’ approach to evangelism.

Different fellowships may place emphasis on different aspects of what they perceive as truth.  If that particular emphasis dominates evangelism, or even if it is just an optional extra, it not only makes for a bending of the Gospel message, but a disunity among evangelists.  For this reason we should try to find a kind of nuclear Gospel; a message all can, indeed must, agree as basic.

What then are the essentials of the Christian faith?  There was a time when most Christians would recite their creeds weekly.  Pentecostals and many others, such as Baptists, tend to play down creeds as too binding.  Yet the church has always defended its basics from the very start.  The New Testament epistles spend a fair amount of time defending the faith.

I believe we can sort out a basic set of beliefs which should be regarded as binding on those who seek the proclaim the faith to a disbelieving world.

Some of us have encountered situations where a non-Christian is told, ‘Jesus loves you’ but where the reply gives the impression, ‘Anyway I’m a lovable person, so what?’  This is possible because no indication was given of any need, and no awareness of need was present.  Before it can be accepted, the Gospel needs both repentance and faith.

Not only can we add to the Gospel message.  We can also subtract from it by concentrating only on the love of God or of Jesus, according to the approach used.  This is another reason why we should have a minimum Gospel message.  We don’t want ‘Jesus plus’, but neither do we want ‘Jesus minus’.

Jesus makes no sense in terms of salvation unless he is known for who he is.  As a fellow human being he can do nothing for humanity unless he is greater than any human.  He has to be the God-man.  So we need to begin with God himself, his nature and power.  So what is the absolute minimum?

We can begin with the biblical declaration that

(1) God exists.  Two psalms declare that the fool says, ‘There’s no God’.  Yes, we need a superpower.  But then, he isn’t a mere outsider.

(2) He created us for himself.  And,

(3) he has rights as the Ruler of earth and its Judge.  In religious jargon, he is Lord.  That indeed was the challenge to Christians in a hostile world where Caesar was lord.

What does this have to do with Jesus Christ?  Well, Jesus made claims, so either he was lying or deluded, or else he was really God in human form.  This is where belief enters and where Jesus’ life and death become meaningful or else irrelevant.  The evangelist’s job is to show that those claims have urgent meaning for helpless people and truly,

(4) we do have needs.

(5) Jesus was incarnated supernaturally, and

(6) his coming was foretold in writing, the most permanent way of keeping records during most of history.

(7) He lived a sinless life, but yet,

(8) he willingly died a criminal’s death.  That doesn’t make sense unless he died for someone else.  So, if he was God in human form, as he claimed, he could then die for more than one person.

The record says he died for everyone.  So, everyone who

(9) sees their own disobedience, independence or superior attitude to God’s person and instructions, and who

(10) believes Jesus took the punishment appropriate to that deficiency, is forgiven and free.

Finally, God not only rules this planet but lives in eternity, where

(11) he has prepared a place fore those willing to have his as their Lord.  For those who reject God and his Son sent specially to save them, following the one who brought disobedience into human (and angel) lives,

(12) a place of eternal punishment is reserved.

The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, and

(13) he is personal,

(14) he convicts of sin, and

(16) he brings faith.

Pentecostals and charismatics agree that the Holy Spirit’s work in those evangelised includes but is also distinct from evangelism.  Signs and wonders, for instance, help confirm the Spirit’s work and the truth of God’s word.  Evangelism without the Spirit’s power is fruitless.

All these beliefs, including the unattractive ones, are found in creeds and statements of faith in major orthodox fellowships.  They’re not set out here as material for evangelism, but as tools or equipment for evangelists.  In sum they are:

* One God – creator, redeemer, and life-giver, three in one.

* One way to God – Jesus, who died, the just for the unjust.

* One way to escape from hell to heaven – repentance and faith.

* One way to know truth – through God’s Spirit revealing God’s word.

All Christians are called to be witnesses, though not all are called or gifted to be evangelists.  It is a real privilege for us all to share in God’s harvesting work in our world.

© Renewal Journal 10: Evangelism, 1997, 2nd edition 2011.
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Renewal Journal 10: Evangelism

Power Evangelism, by John Wimber

Supernatural Ministry, by John White

Power Evangelism in Short-Term Missions, by Randy Clark

God’s Awesome Presence, by R Heard

Evangelist Steve Hill, by Sharon Wissemann

Reaching the Core of the Core, by Luis Bush

Evangelism on the Internet, by Rowland Croucher

“My Resume” by Paul Grant

Gospel Essentials, by Charles Taylor

Pentecostal/Charismatic Pioneers, by Daryl Brenton

Characteristics of Revivals, by Richard Riss

Book Reviews: Flashpoints of Revival & Revival Fires, by Geoff Waugh

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An Incredible Journey by Faith by Elisha Chowtapalli

Miraculous autobiography of an ‘Untouchable’ Dalit Indian young man

An Incredible Journey by Faith

An Incredible Journey by Faith

by Elisha Chowtapalli

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Contents

1   My Childhood

2   Dalits – Untochables of India

3   Education and Job

4   My Conversion, Theological Studies and Persecution

5   Foreign Land – Australia

6   My Dream for an Orphanage

7   Light Home

8   God’s Miraculous Provisions

9   Ministries and Opportunities

10  Stepping out in Faith

11  Children’s Issues

12  My Dream

Conclusion

Preface

My Dear Friend, I take this opportunity to thank you for choosing to read my book.  I am sure that you have read many books so far.  Every book or life story you read has offered something to you.  Now you are about to read another book that has something for you.  Though I am part of this story, it’s not really about me.  However it is about the One who created me, who called me, who guiding me, who gave me the vision, who entrusted me at work and who is using me for His glory in India.  So it is all about my God who transformed my life.

In my life, I never thought that I would write a book.  I didn’t think that there would be something to write as a book about my life.  But God has led me to write my life story to encourage each and every believer to trust God more.  In this book, you are going to read my life from childhood till today.  Especially the last four years have been something different in my life that I never imagined or dreamed of.  All these four years are filled with God’s miracles, miracles and miracles.  You may wonder how these miracles happened in my life.  In this book I am going to share how I am seeing the miracles by trusting God.  I am also going to share with you how God raised me from a remote village in India to show His love to needy children in India.  Through this book I want to bless you, encourage you, inspire you and challenge you to trust God even more.

Do you agree with me that your story, my story and our story is part of the biggest story!  That is God’s story.  So now you are going to read His (God’s) story.  Here I would like to request you not to listen to me, but listen to God and what He is going to speak to you through this book.  I am sure your time will not be vain for choosing to read this.

It is my sincere prayer and hope that God will speak to you through this book to be able to see the need and to take action together to show His love to the orphan, poor and needy children of India.

So without further delay I let you to get into the book.

Enjoy your reading,

Brother Elisha Chowtapalli

Some photos from the book

Orphans in need
LIGHT Home for orphans and poor
LIGHT Home children
LIGHT Home children learning
Meal time
Growing food to eat and sell
Aged care
Tailoring Course – income producing project

Endorsements by friends of LIGHT Home

Elisha’s work in India is astounding and inspirational.  His passion for God and the poor, especially children and old people has led him to many ventures.  Each vision he has is followed up by hard work and determination to give people a better life to be lived.  Elisha’s faith in God has led to the building of an Orphanage for 50 children; a Garden of Eden to feed and support children and old people; tailoring classes for women to start their own business and a Bible College.  He also organizes crusades and conferences for pastors, women and youth.  Over and above this Elisha arranges food, clothing and Bibles for those in need in surrounding areas.  It is amazing what he has achieved in just four years with the help of family and friends, and all have benefitted greatly.  We wait in awesome wonder for the next vision.  Elisha we are very proud of you.

Leighton, Nanette, Christel and Wade White

 

Perth, Australia

Mine was the oldest face amongst this sea of national and international students all gathered to live and work together for three months to learn about serving God through festival outreach.  If I felt like a fish out of water, gasping to adjust to the cultural shock of being a student and getting to know this mixture of people that I was eating with, sharing accommodation with, and learning all the rules, rules, rules that the hierarchy insisted on – how were these international young people coping?

One young Indian man touched my heart.  We learnt that he was from a very poor Indian village and belonged to the poorest of poor caste system, the Dalits.   Here he was, coping with all this, as well as trying to understand the language, eating foreign food (pumpkin… how could we eat that?) and learning Australian cultural everyday norms, such as flushing the toilet paper down the loo.  Elisha simply watched and learnt, while at the same time listening to God seeing a vision for his own people in desperate need back in his hometown.  No amount of Western comfort and “celebrity status” amongst us could deter him from his goal, “to start an orphanage in my house on 19th August 2007”.  “Orphanage in your house?” I’d say, “What do you own?”  “I am oldest son – my father’s house is mine, two rooms – we will live in one and the orphan in the other,” Elisha would reply with a determined look in his eyes.

And he did.  From these humble beginnings he has established the orphanage and then many programs, to help his people to live a better life.  However more importantly he shows them how much God loves them.  For the Dalit caste people who are told they have no worth in life to discover how precious they are to God, become one of his children and inherit eternal life, it is life changing.

I had the privilege of attending Elisha’s wedding and visiting the Light Home, seeing first hand some of his programs in action.  I cannot describe the joy it brought to see all this first hand, to talk to those who benefit and see hope and dignity restored.  I am sure you will enjoy reading about Elisha’s journey and how God uses those who are willing to step out, no matter how little they have, to help the widows and orphaned.  Don’t be surprised if God challenges you too.

Lyn Haack

Manilla (NSW), Australia

I first came to know Elisha in 2006 when Sam (my husband) & I billeted him while he did a course with Fusion [Certificate III  in Youth & Community Work (Christian)] in Australia.   His great desire was to help his people in India come to know the one true God and to help reduce their poverty by starting a Home for children through which they would know God’s love and get an education.   We promised to support Elisha with this dream and over the past three years have witnessed the incredible work God has done.   By opening their home to needy children Elisha’s parents and family provided him with the initial support his dream needed.  I pray God will bless them abundantly for their self-giving love, faith and trust in Him.

I feel that the Light Home Ministry is doing a great work answering Christ’s command to care for the poor, as well as share the Gospel.   Through humble servants seeking to fulfil God’s plan may the Light Home and associated work continue to prosper and give glory to God.

Julianne and Sam Hoffard

 

Gippsland, Australia

In July 2008 I had the privilege to be involved with Elisha and a team from Australia in some outreach meetings and some Pastor’s training meetings.  I was left with many impressions about our experience in India.  The most pressing for me, was the size of the harvest about to come, and the labourers needed to bring in the harvest and disciple the nation.  With that in mind, after our time in India I spoke to Elisha about my burden.  He too shared a similar burden.  It was with that in mind we together in July 2009 commenced the Light Bible School.  With 35 students including pastors and leaders we ran an intensive four week long training school.  Elisha was one of the few people I have met in India that has the organizational skills, the financial integrity, the profile, and the standing in the Christian community that would allow me to partner with him in this project.  I am committed to working with Elisha to help provide an annual Bible School that will minister to as many pastors and leaders as we can, in our vision to win India to the Lord.

Peter Dunstan,

 

Tamworth( NSW), Australia

It’s incredible that God has taken a young Dalit man from working in a quarry earning $1US per day to demonstrating how the Good News reconciles all things to Christ.

Elisha’s heart for his nation mirrors God’s heart in his ministries to the poor, spreading the good news, and feeding the orphans and the widows.  I heartily recommend Elisha and his story to you.

Justin Pagoto

 

Sydney, Australia

Elisha’s story will inspire and challenge you. God takes the weak things of this world to confound the mighty, and Elisha’s story of God’s grace and miracles among the Untouchable caste of India is a testimony to God’s mighty power. Read, be blessed, and take action.

Geoff Waugh

Brisbane, Australia

From the Foreword

Meeting and getting to know Elisha has been and continues to be one of the highlights of our lives.  First let me tell you how our paths finally crossed.

It was 2nd of May, 2005, as I was laying in my hospital bed, my mind grappled for answers.  Why?  Why God did this happen?  God where was your guardian Angel who was supposed to be protecting my daughter?  I had taken her for a joy ride on my motorbike along the road.  At that time, without warning a truck ran over us.  Anna my precious daughter was dead.  My wife Lynda and I did not even get to say goodbye to our precious daughter Anna.

In the midst of all the questions that raced through my head I had a strong sense of the small still voice saying that this was the beginning of a new chapter and that Jesus the Christ would be glorified.  Anna was now with him. In a strange way I felt a peace and the presence of God’s Spirit was very real.

It was in 1981 at aged 16 years old that Jesus had taken hold of my life.  From the early years I had dreamed of being an evangelist and from time to time had the opportunity to share my faith and see some souls come to Christ.  For the next 25 years I tried to be faithful to God and was committed to being a good husband and father to my two daughters, Miriam and Anna.  Also for 12 years I had worked hard to build a business and the Lord had brought much blessing upon it.  At around age 38 I had begun to ask questions and wonder what purpose God had for our business.  We owned our home, we had a healthy savings account, and we had our superannuation, but I was deeply weighed down with life and was desperate to be free from it all.  I hoped and prayed that God had a higher plan.

It was while I was in hospital that Lynda gave me Anna’s diary.  As I read about Anna’ dream to have a music band called WakeUp, God began to speak.  And I listened as a new chapter began to unfold.  God showed me that I would fulfil that dream.  I began to organize the first WakeUp for Tamworth, my home town.  On 16th September, 2006, we had our first WakeUp meeting.  I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ and many souls were saved.  Anna’s dream was fulfilled and my dream to be an evangelist had just begun.  Our business was now profitable enough to finance the “WakeUp”.

Meanwhile as I got busy saving the world, my wife Lynda went into a very dark place for many months.  For a time she gave up the desire to live and could not eat food; I began to fear that she would die from starvation and a broken heart.  Praise to Jesus the day came when she began to recover.  She was then invited to go to India with a group of ladies who were helping women in poor places to build small businesses.  Lynda’s time in India changed her life.  It was in India as she spend time with Indian women and their children that God began to heal her broken heart.

After arriving home Lynda wanted to take me to India.  I praised Jesus that she had again found a reason to live.  Twelve months later the three of us, Miriam our eldest daughter included, boarded a plane bound for India.

As we were making plans for this journey I made my first contact with Elisha at a Fusion meeting in Sydney.  I was inspired by him and his dream to start a Children’s Home.  Over the next two years I continued to hear news about Elisha through Fusion newsletters.  Elisha was only 26 and had been a Christian for only four years.  I was amazed that such a young person could have such a noble dream.  I was inspired by Elisha’s faith and even more so as in time I watched the dream begin to unfold.

The thing that impressed me most about Elisha is his ability to dream a dream and build on that dream.  Meeting his family and the Light Home Children has been one of the greatest high points of our lives.  Now as I write this I am sitting with Elisha travelling across India conducting WakeUp meetings and church leaders’ conferences.  Many Hindus are coming to be baptized and are receiving Jesus Christ the one true God.  Many Pastors and Church leaders are being challenged and inspired by the Word of God.

I thank you Jesus for bringing Elisha into my life and making this all possible.

Paul Disher

 

Tamworth, Australia

The last page of Elisha’s book:

I encourage you to seek the Lord and see if He is asking you to help one or more children in our LIGHT Home.  If He puts this in your heart, please do not hesitate to contact us.  You will receive the photograph and testimony of the children you are praying for and supporting.

We have a sponsorship plan.  It takes $30 USD or AUD / €27 Euros / £20 GBP to support one child per month.  With your kind support a kid will have food, clothing, education, medical supplies and above all he/she will get to hear the gospel.  Your help will change in a child’s life forever.

If you support today, if you invest today for God’s kingdom, one day in eternity you will get to see the children and people that you supported present before the throne of grace.  And they will testify that because of this person I came here.  So would you like to hear such testimonies from the children and families!  Then start doing something today. Let us make difference in the lives of needy Dalit children.

GDTAX DEDUCTIBLE GIFTS: We are proud to partner for Project J686N Light Society’s Development Project with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993), a Christian based Australian DFAT (Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade) Approved Non-Government Organisation carrying out quality humanitarian projects with approved partners and providing aid to relieve poverty and provide long term solutions.  Global Development Group takes responsibility for projects according to DFAT rules providing a governance role and assisting in planning, monitoring, evaluating and auditing to ensure the projects are carried out to DFAT requirements. Tax deductible receipts for gifts over $2 with a preference for this approved aid and development project will be issued by Global Development Group for project J686N – Light Society’s Development Project Tax deductions apply in Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA.

Contact Elisha and LIGHT Home

 

www.lightkids.org

Pass this book on to friends

 

A great gift with eternal value

You can help:

Australian account

Account Name: Anna Disher Memorial Account

BSB: 112-879,  Account Number: 108 998 378

Bank name: St. George Bank, Tamworth

International account:

Bank Name:  CORPORATION BANK

Beneficiary Account Name:  LIGHT SOCIETY

Beneficiary Account number:  SB16015506

Beneficiary Bank Branch Swift code:  CORPINBB203

(OR) IFSC Code:  CORP0000203

Beneficiary Bank Branch Code:  0203

Beneficiary Bank Address:

23-11-86 N.P Road,

SATYANARAYANAPURAM,

VIJAYAWADA -520011,

ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA

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BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com