Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Apostles Are Coming! The Apostles Are Coming! (Part 1)

“He’s dead! He’s dead!” exclaimed the courier from Rome as he walked up to us.

I stopped working and stood up. The other tent makers did the same.

“Who’s dead?” I asked.

“Paul’s dead!” said the courier, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “He was beheaded in Rome about a month ago.”

Even though I knew Paul’s ministry would probably have a sad ending, the news stunned me. O Lord, why? I thought.

I walked away from the group, not wanting to talk about the apostle at that moment. It was just too painful! So, needing to  sort everything out for myself, I walked down to the Aegean Sea and sat on a rock. There, I thought back over my years with Paul.

The first time that I met Paul, I was not impressed. His stature was too puny, only 4 feet 6 inches tall and 110 pounds in weight, and his public speaking talents were too shallow when compared to Apollos and the other orators. Yes, he was brilliant and could write, but these were facts which I learned later and did not figure at all into my first impressions of him.

Yet, there was something about Paul which drew me to him. Maybe, it was his fiery passion for the gospel; or his fierce boldness; or his love for the church. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but anyway, I joined up with Paul and traveled along with him as his aide.

On our first journey to Rome, we ended up swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. Somehow, the Roman soldiers did not execute us and we were able to swim ashore to Malta. And eventually, we did arrive in Rome.

Next, I spent two years, waiting for Paul while he was under arrest. When we finally resumed traveling again, everything became a blur of afflictions, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, sleeplessness and hunger.

Then, the fire in Rome changed everything for us from bad to worse. Christians were blamed for the fire and Paul became a marked man. Nero sent soldiers to hunt him down in Asia.

Finally, the stress wore me down. I could not take it any longer.

“Paul, I didn’t join your ministry to be killed by Roman soldiers,” I said on the day of my departure. “I’m going to Thessalonica, start a business and maybe marry a young woman and start a family. I’m too young for a martyr’s death!”

Paul was disappointed, but what could he do? I fled on a boat.

It had been almost two years since I last saw Paul and now he was dead. My mind wandered here and there as the blue waves splashed against the rock I sat on.

Did I make the right decision when I left Paul? I wondered.  And how will I be remembered by future Christians?

for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica…(2 Timothy 4: 9)

(Continued in Part 2)

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What’s Your Option “A” for Healing? (Part 15)

Click on following links for: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13 and Part 14.


What happened when the twelve disciples returned from their preaching and healing journey?

The disciples gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all they had done and taught. (Mark 6:30)

When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida. (Luke 9:10)

What do you think the disciples told Jesus? Maybe something like the following:

“Lord,” said Peter, “You should have seen the man. He was a raving lunatic, totally out of his mind. And to be honest, I didn’t really know what to do but I knew he had a demon. So I said to him, ‘In Jesus’ name, come out of him.’ And it did. He was set free and healed. And then there was a woman …”

John, in his excitement, interrupted Peter.

“Lord, Lord,” said John, “I healed a six-year old girl, lying on a stretcher. She was paralyzed and near death. I laid hands on her and she was instantly healed. She jumped up and ran around, doing somersaults and cartwheels. And then, there was the man…”

James could not contain himself any longer and interrupted John.

“Guess what, Lord?” said James. “I laid hands on a dead man while they were carrying him in a funeral procession to a tomb. Everyone praised God. And then…”

Matthew pushed James aside, interrupting him.

“You should have heard me, Lord!” exclaimed Matthew.  “I preached an awesome Kingdom of God message in front of some Pharisees and Sadducees. Their eyes almost bugged out of their heads. It was so anointed. And …”

Then another disciple interrupted Matthew. And another. And another. Until everything they had done was told to Jesus.

Now, what do you think Jesus was doing when the disciples told Him about their adventures?

I don’t think He was critiquing them, nitpicking and telling them what they did wrong. Jesus is the perfect Teacher. He understands that first graders do not have the maturity level of high schoolers.

So, I believe Jesus was excited and acted like a cheerleader for them. Maybe He said things like, “Yea! Oh boy, that’s great! Way to go! Yes!”

Maybe, He stood up and danced and slapped his leg in joy and laughed aloud.

What about the disciples’ mistakes and mishaps? Did Jesus just overlook their errors?

Jesus is the great Teacher. He understood what level the disciples were at when this preaching and healing journey took place, then He promoted them to the next level. They then received more teaching and more was expected of them.

The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. (Mark 4:28)

Just like a crop, there are learning stages we believers have to go through if we want to be used in healing ministries. We will make mistakes. But all we have to do is stay teachable.

(Conclusion for now. This series will be continued often in the future.)

A new series begins on Wednesday.

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What’s Your Option “A” for Healing? (Part 14)

lick on following links for: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12 and Part 13.


Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons. (Mark 3: 14-15)

The Greek word apostello is translated into our English word send in the above verses. And from this Greek verb, the English word apostle is derived, which simply means the sent one.

Paul referred to apostles in this manner:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ… (2 Corinthians 5:20)

for which I am an ambassador in chains… (Ephesians 6:20)

By definition, the word ambassador means a representative sent by a sovereign (person or state) to represent that sovereign with all of the power and authority of that sovereign backing him in whatever he does or says.

For example, the U. S. Ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, when he speaks to Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, he has all of the diplomatic power and authority of the U.S. government and President Barack Obama backing him. It’s as if President Obama and the U.S. government were standing before President Sarkozy and speaking personally to him.

And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent (Greek word: apostello) them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. (Luke 9: 1 -2)

The apostles understood the principle of transference of power and authority from Jesus to themselves.  They had seen it work in their own lives before they were sent out on their own.

Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were) (John 4: 1 -2)

And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it. (Mark 9: 17 – 19)

The twelve apostles were trained by Jesus in a hands-on style.

Yes, they watched Him. Yes, He taught them. But even more importantly, they did not stand around with notebooks in their hands, jotting down important points here and there. Jesus used them in His work and transferred some of His power and authority to them.

So, when the twelve apostles went out on their journey, they were confident in the power and authority of the One who sent them.

(Continued in Part 15)

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What’s Your Option “A” for Healing? (Part 13)

Click on following links for: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11 and Part 12.


And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. (Luke 9: 1-2)

Let’s check out a few things before we move on, okay?

Why did Jesus have to call the twelve disciples to a special meeting?

Because the twelve disciples did not spend twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with Him. In between times with the Lord, the disciples went to their homes and worked. Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen and owned boats. Peter was married.

The twelve disciples were real people just like you and me. They had to balance their everyday lives with their callings.

When did this sending out of the twelve disciples by the Lord take place?

This event in Luke 9 took place before the Holy Spirit was given to all men. This means that, like the prophets or priests of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon men to anoint them for special service, but did not live in them on a permanent basis.

So, just consider how much better equipped we believers are today than these twelve disciples were, when they were sent out by Jesus in Luke 9. We have the Helper, the Holy Spirit, living within us. In fact, Jesus said:

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. (John 16:7)

Paul said this about our Helper:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

And John said:

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Today, we believers have the advantage, a treasure and the greater One living in us.

What Bible version did the twelve disciples carry with them on their journeys?

Yes, this is a silly question, right? Because there were no Bibles as yet. And the Old Testament was written on numerous scrolls and if the disciples wanted to study Scripture, they had to go to the Temple or a synagogue and study there. As you can imagine, studying scripture was inconvenient for the disciples.

The disciples were real people like us, but they did not have the Helper or a Bible. So, what did the disciples have?

(Continued in Part 14)

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What’s Your Option “A” for Healing? (Part 12)

Click on following links for: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 and Part 11.


How did Jesus train His disciples?

Try to visualize Jesus standing in front of a lectern that is located in a large classroom. He is wearing a dark suit, a white shirt and a conservative tie. In one of His hands is a large wooden pointer and behind Him is a white screen.

He looks out over the lectern at His disciples. Each one is sitting on a wooden pew with a Thompson Chain Reference Bible in his lap, a writing pad atop the Bible and a pen in hand.

All of the disciples hope to take notes which will help them on any upcoming exams. And at the same time, they hope to focus their minds on Jesus’  message and not have their thoughts wandering to the roast beef dinners awaiting them afterward.

Jesus clears His throat. “Just a heads-up, there will be a pop quiz tomorrow over the first four chapters of the book of Mark,” He says.

The groans instantly slip out of the disciples’ mouths. Most had planned on spending the day relaxing with families, and maybe taking a catnap or two. Now, all would have their noses in books. Oh well, each thinks to himself, no rest for us weary disciples.

“Let’s begin, shall we?” Jesus says. “My lesson today is entitled The Seven Steps to Healing a Sick Person.” He pauses a moment to allow the disciples to write on their pads.

“Okay, slide one, please,” Jesus says to a servant at the back of the room.

A picture of a small flask appears on the white screen behind Jesus. He walks over to the screen and points His wooden pointer at the flask.

“Step number one,” Jesus says, “you must always carry a small bottle of oil with you at all times. I recommend the Gilead Balm brand because it contains myrrh, cinnamon, calamus and pure Israeli olive oils and is formulated according to ancient recipes. ”

Did Jesus actually train His disciples in this manner? No, of course not.

Then, why do we Christians insist on training believers this way? After all, the classroom style of instruction has been proven to be the least effective way of teaching students. At best, a retention rate of 5-10% can be expected and this retention rate will only last for a few days before it is completely forgotten.

So, if not in this manner, how did Jesus train His disciples?

(Continued in Part 13)

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What’s Your Option “A” for Healing? (Part 11)

Click on following links for: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9 and Part 10.


The prophetess stopped preaching for a moment and pointed her finger at me. “God is doing, brother, a quick work in you…You are going to teach the word…” she prophesied.

My first thoughts were less than holy when I heard the prophecy. They were along the lines of: Yuck! A teacher! No way! Not me! Not ever!

This little scene occurred twenty-three years ago in a small Midwestern church. Unlike William Branham, I did not want to teach. My heroes were preachers like R.W. Schambach, Lester Sumrall, David Wilkerson and Leonard Ravenhill; I wanted to be like them and preach the word.

Isn’t it funny how it always seems that we want to be something other than what we are called to be?

This was especially true for me. That is, until the Lord took me down some long, bumpy roads and through some smelly swamps. Then,eventually a light switched on inside my thick skull and a revelation dawned on me: “Maybe the Lord knows best.”

Oh well! I’m sure you don’t struggle with your callings like I did, right?

Why is teaching so important?

If we look at all of the great healing ministries, what do we see? Now, I’m talking about the healing ministries of William Branham, Jack Coe, A.A. Allen, Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhlman, Benny Hinn and others. What do you see?

First, you see a big production. It’s almost like a Cecil B. DeMille epic picture with a cast of thousands. There is usually a choir, guest singers, warm-up preachers, crowd handlers, back-stage people, advertising and publicity workers, local church networks and countless other people. All of the massive production is held in a gigantic auditorium, huge stadium or under a large tent.

Second, you see a star. That star is the anointed man or the anointed woman who will make an appearance, stir up the gifts and do miracles.  Everyone looks to the star.

Just so you know, I’m not putting down these great ministries, I’m making an important point, okay?

The Lord uses forerunners and pioneers to draw attention to His purposes, but He does not want us to live in the early stages of His purposes. He wants us to receive a revelation from the forerunners and pioneers; and then allow this revelation to grow within each of us so that we can be His hands.

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service…(Ephesians 4:11-12)

Hello! Hello everybody! The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are supposed to train the believers to do the healing miracles. And not do the work for the believers.

So, you ask, “How did Jesus train His disciples?”

Good question!

(Continued in Part 12)

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What’s Your Option “A” for Healing? (Part 10)

Click on following links for: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9.

…But the people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God]. (Daniel 11:32 AMP Version)

For nearly nine years, William Branham was the shining light of the Healing Revival. He walked in the prophet’s calling like no other person had been able to do since the early church. Signs, wonders, miracles and spiritual gifts flowed through him.

Then, as the Healing Revival’s fires died down, he started a teaching ministry. Why? What would cause him to leave his prophet’s calling and attempt to take up a new calling?

Gordan Lindsay asked Branham, “Why don’t you function where God wants you and manifest the gift God’s given you? Stay there! Don’t try to get over into another ministry.” Branham simply answered, “Yeah, but I want to teach,” said Branham. (Understanding the Anointing, Kenneth Hagin, 1983,

In his book, God’s Generals, Roberts Liardon wrote:

It is possible that through his prophetic gift, Branham saw the awakening of the teaching gift that would move on the earth through the Word of Faith Movement, which began in the late 1970’s. He obviously jumped ahead of its timing, perhaps hoping to regain his status as the leader of it….(God’s Generals, Roberts Liardon, Albury Publishing, pp. 335)

Maybe Liardon is correct in his speculation about Branham’s reasoning for attempting to be a teacher when he was not called to be one. But I have my own ideas on Branham’s reasoning…and who knows? Maybe there’s some validity to my speculation.

I believe William Branham and the other healing evangelists were forerunners and pioneers, much like Moses. They led the church through a wilderness of unbelief where signs, wonders and miracles were not really known to us Christians. These healing pioneers led us to the Jordan River, but most of them, like Moses, were not allowed to cross over. (There were a few Joshuas and Calebs, such as Kenneth Hagin and Oral Roberts, who crossed over, but not many.)

So, when the church crossed over the Jordan, what happened next?

For over fifty years, I believe the church has been in a Gilgal-like place, just as Israel was when it crossed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Gilgal has been a place of circumcision for the church. It has been a painful and frustrating time for us.

Yes, we’ve seen a few healing miracles over the years, but for the most part, healing miracles have just dribbled out of the River of Life on a here and there basis. And we believers have mostly watched our loved ones die and continue to suffer even though we have prayed for them, anointed them with oil and spoken prophetic words to them.

I believe William Branham saw today and the Move of God which is about to happen soon and it caused him to want to be a teacher.

Why teaching, huh?

(Continued in Part 11)

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