Tag Archives: Disciples

First the Ear (Chapter 9)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 9

Building a Foundation of Faith (g)

Like I wrote earlier, I am not a Word of Faith teacher, but I am a beneficiary of its teachings. Most of the teachings have worked well in my life, but a few have not. Over the next few chapters I will outline which teachings have built me up and which have not worked well for me.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the father of the Word of Faith movement: Kenneth Hagin.

If you have read any of Hagin’s more than one hundred books, you are bound to read his testimony about being a sickly child and how he was bedfast with a deformed heart and an incurable blood disease. How he then had a powerful conversion experience, after dying three times and visiting Hell, all within a period of ten minutes.

Hagin remained in bed after his conversion, suffering from his ailments, for many more months until he received his revelation of the following scripture:

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11: 24 King James)

Before August 1934, countless Christians had read Mark 11:24, but few had the exact revelation which Kenneth Hagin had on that summer day. Hagin stated he was talking to the Lord about the verse and how he especially agreed with the words: “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray.”

Hagin desired to be healed. Thus he kept praying and asking and believing the Lord heard his prayers.

As he continued talking aloud, he heard the Holy Spirit speak to him: “You do believe all right – as far as you know.”

The Holy Spirit then quoted the rest of the verse: “Believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

At that moment, the lights went on inside of Kenneth Hagin:

“I prayed for healing because that’s what I desired, but I was trying to have my healing first, and then I was going to believe I received it. But when do we believe we receive what we desire from God? When we pray! That means before we see a change in the circumstances we must believe that God has heard and answered us. We are to believe we receive whatever we desire from God the minute we pray and ask Him for our petition.”

I said to the Lord, “Now I know what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to begin to believe I receive healing for my paralyzed body right now, while I’m still lying here helpless. While I’m lying here bedfast, I’ve got to believe I receive healing for my deformed heart and incurable blood disease.” (Word of Faith, Kenneth Hagin, 1990)

Kenneth Hagin eventually jumped out of bed, totally healed. He became a young preacher, a pastor, and an evangelist in the Healing Revival of the 1940′s and 50′s. He then began his teaching career, which led to radio programs, founding the Rhema Bible Training Center, and the Rhema church system.

If you check out Kenneth Hagin on Google, you will find various sites, which accuse Hagin of being a plagiarist, a heretic, a false prophet, a serpent, and a false teacher. What’s with this, huh? How can a godly man have so many accusers?

Most of his critics’ biggest complaints are that he taught and preached like a Pentecostal, which he was. That’s like complaining Charles Stanley taught like a Baptist pastor because he is a Baptist pastor.

There are no perfect teachers, except Jesus. As Mike Bickel says, “God loves to use people who offend us so that He can show us our hearts.”

Kenneth Hagin never once took the time to answer his critics. He never once defended himself. When his critics called for a comment about a critical book or article they were writing about him, he always said, “No comment. God bless you.”

My only disagreement with Kenneth Hagin’s teachings is he looks at salvation and grace from an Arminian/Pentecostal point of view while I agree with the Baptist/Calvin one. You can be the judge on that one for yourself.

I recommend his books.

Since, he has sold over 60 million copies, you can buy them on Amazon (new and used), from numerous other sites (new and used), from Salvation Army stores, from Hagin’s ministry site, and wherever.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

 

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Prayers for Businessmen (4/30/2019)

What’s our number one goal as Christian businessmen in the marketplace?

To be the next Bill Gates? Or Steve Jobs? Or Jeff Bezos? Or John D. Rockefeller? Or Henry Ford? Or whomever?

No, absolutely not!

Our number one goal is to wholeheartedly follow Jesus. Anything less than this and we should consider ourselves unsuccessful.

You see, when we stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Jesus won’t look at our bank accounts or our business successes in the marketplace, He will only look at one thing: did we deny ourselves, pick up our cross daily and follow Him.

We businessmen should look at ourselves in the mirror and make up our minds now. Will we will go 100% for Jesus and His ways? Or are we going to sell ourselves out to the world system and its ways? Halfway and lukewarm doesn’t work with Jesus. It’s either all-in or all-out!

Do you remember Demas?

Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica… (2 Timothy 4:10)

Maybe Demas was a businessman. Maybe he enjoyed attending businessmen’s breakfasts and giving his testimony about how the Lord had prospered him. But there came a point in time, when he had to choose to be all-in or all-out. His decision is forever written down for all to see.

One day, the books for our lives will be opened for everyone to see the real us. Nothing will be hidden. We will then have to live for all of eternity with what’s written after our names, just like Demas.

My prayer today:

Lord, bring every businessman to a decision point right now about denying ourselves, picking up our cross daily and following You. Then, pour out Your grace on us so we can answer, “Yes,” and then follow You all the days of our lives.

Join us on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American men in the workplace.

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Prayers for Leaving All and Following Jesus (4/18/2019)

When I got saved on May 20, 1985, I almost immediately made up my mind that I wanted to abandon everything and follow Jesus. My reasoning was simple. You see, I had spent thirty-nine years of my life as an unbeliever, much of that as an agnostic, and I didn’t want to meet Jesus at the Judgement Seat of Christ empty-handed, with only excuses in hand for my lukewarm lifestyle.

I also knew me. I knew if I didn’t go 100% for Him, I’d back off into a barely-get-by mode. So, my choice was really one or the other. I chose to sell out for Him as best I could.

My heroes became William Carey, David Brainerd, C. T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, Praying John Hyde, George Mueller, William Booth, Leonard Ravenhill and others. I read every book that I could find on them because I wanted to be like them.

Do you remember the Burundi and Rwanda civil war during the 1990s? Hundreds of thousands of women and children were slaughtered. I asked the Lord to send me there almost daily for weeks because this is what my heroes would have done. Eventually, a prophetic friend of mine stopped by to let me know the Lord wasn’t sending me there. (Just so you know, I told no one about my prayers of wanting to go to Rwanda. No one!)

Instead, it turned out the Lord had different plans for me, long term ones with deserts to cross and mountains to climb. Then I met a wonderful Christian woman and got married in 1996. Wedded bliss, right?

In twenty-three years of marriage, we have moved thirty-five times to nine different states and more than twenty different cities. We felt all of these moves were instigated by the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus.

Well, this morning I was praying for our four children and six grandchildren and it hit me: “I don’t really know our children and grandchildren.”

Oh, I’ve talked to them on the phone and have visited them a few times over the last twenty-three years, but we’ve hardly ever been there for any Christmases, Easters, birthdays, baseball games, school concerts, to babysit them, change diapers and so forth. They’ve grown up and we’ve grown old without them. These years can’t be replaced. They’re gone!

And what were we always doing? Moving and trying to survive.

You can probably imagine how sad and emotional I felt this morning. As I sat there looking at what we’ve missed the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Just know that I have not let one person down who has left all and followed me. Not one!”

I broke down and cried, realizing the Lord has never let us down. I had foolishly looked back at what we had missed, rather than praising Him for what He has done and will do for us.

Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up a generation of believers – young and old – who are willing to turn their backs on everything and follow you, no matter what it costs them.

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for the Body of Christ in America.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Disciples, Fasting, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare