Category Archives: Signs & Wonders

-The Real Story of St. Patrick

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2016. The following is our traditional post for this special holiday:

The Real Story of St. Patrick’s Apostolic Ministry

image Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A day to go to your favorite pub, eat corned beef and cabbage and wash it all down with plenty of green beer. Oh yes–a day of parades and celebration of Irish nationality.

But who was this Patrick anyway? A man born into a wealthy Christian Roman family in Wales around 385 AD with a given name of Macwyn Succat. He didn’t make it to Ireland until he was kidnapped at age 16 and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and like David became closer to the Lord in the process. Then he heard a voice from God instructing him how to escape and make it back home.

After he miraculously escaped slavery he went on to study at a Christian seminary and became a Priest. Then one day he had a vision from God commissioning him to return to Ireland as a Christian missionary.

Today a holiday is celebrated in his memory. But beyond the green beer and rowdy drunken debauchery that typically surrounds the occasion is a historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist.

There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.

It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people”, and ordained hundreds of priests to lead the new Christian communities and villages he established. He also converted the sons of Kings, noblemen, and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.

Legend has it that he was a healer and that he banished snakes from the island though scientists today wonder if there were that many snakes if any on the island at the time.

Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of the church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but maybe written a couple of generations later:

From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.

We could use this kind of spiritual maturity today. What a great declaration to live by–an example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy.   

Rather than a day with a built-in excuse to get drunk, I believe that it is a day for Christians to celebrate the reality and continual miracles of the Christian faith. A day to celebrate that God continues to give visions and directions to missionaries even today.

St. Patrick transformed an entire nation bringing the Gospel to an Island in darkness. Missionaries continue to leave the comforts of home and family to spread the word of Jesus Christ to every nation in the world.  Praise the Lord!        *Top

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-If God Did It Before He Can Do It Again

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We live in ‘interesting times.’ Sometimes considering all of economic difficulties, cultural changes, wars and threats of terrorism, along with weather that is extreme to the point that some are calling it ‘Biblical’, I wish I was living in a different generation when life might have been easier for a Christian.

However what is happening in these times can also be exciting. Christianity around the world is growing faster than any generation before and I recently read that the were more Christians living today than all of the previous generations combined. Here in America and in the West we seem to be in decline but in reality we are seeing a great harvest with revivals happening in many countries, some of which are somewhat secret.

On Sunday during church I thought about all of the moves of God that have happened in my lifetime along with some special men and women of God that came and gone ministering in special ways. The tent revivals following WWII, the Charismatic Renewal that touched mainline churches, the Jesus People movement that touched at least a million folks, the charismatic movement that followed along with The Vineyard, KC, Toronto, and Florida and many others. Thinking about all of the moves in this generation including what is happening in China, Africa, and Iran, I came away with a new conviction that what we have seen in the past we will see again and maybe even greater things since the difficult times before us may call for it.

I spent 2015 praying the Psalms asking for revival in our land and started 2016 with the same conviction. I have prayed for the Kingdom to come down and touch the church and awaken it as never before. Now on Sunday came the inspiration to pray for every miracle and healing I come across while reading the Scriptures to happen again. What God has done in the past he can do again in this generation.

Today I ran across the following article and account of a dream in Charisma with the same message:  Prophetic Dream: God Did It Before and He Will Do It Again

Here’s a short quote from the article:

I heard a second phrase in these dreams. … “If I did it then, I will do it again!” Every miracle we have ever read about in the Word, every revival or awakening from a past season, every example of a city or nation turning towards Christ becomes a foreshadowing of what God desires to do again!

<Read the whole article>

Amen! I am praying to see it all again and even more starting in 2016.

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-The Incredible Underground Revival Among Muslims in the Middle East

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Since 2001 I have been looking for major revival among the Muslims in the Middle East and I haven’t been disappointed. A few days after 9/11 that year I had vision where the Lord Jesus spoke to me directly that the ‘Prince of Islam’ had exceeded his bounds and that a new crusade was coming, not of swords and spears, but a revival that would sweep across Islamic nations and see 100 million Muslims coming to Christ as a ‘first fruits’. It seemed impossible at the time but I declared it anyway and referred to it in two articles on this site in 2007 after I started seeing confirming evidence that large numbers of Muslims were actually coming to Christ as never before:

-Revival Among the Muslims -Part I: 6 Million a Year Coming to Christ

-Revival Among the Muslims -Part II: 100 Million Coming to Christ?

Since that time I have put up dozens of articles on this site following the underground revival among the Muslims. Now here’s the latest evidence of an unprecedented move of God among the Muslims in a recent article from Charisma News:

In the darkest corners of the Middle East there’s a revival beginning that’s unprecedented in the history of world missions.  …

Reliable reports suggest more Muslims have become followers of Jesus over the last two decades than in Islam’s combined 1,500-year history. Based on the accounts of several missiologists, it has been surmised that “more Muslims have committed to follow Christ in the last 10 years than in the last 15 centuries of Islam.”[1] In spite of great difficulty and turmoil, Christianity is unquestionably expanding throughout Islamic world. God is up to something amazing in a region that many have thought was unreachable.

<Read the whole article

Response: The article incredibly goes on to catalog an ongoing move of God among Muslims in the following nations:

Sudan

Pakistan

Egypt

Iran

Saudi Arabia

Iraq

Algeria

Jordan

Plus it includes testimonies of what is going on in a number of other Muslim nations. We have written on a number of occasions about the mission efforts of Heidi and Roland Baker in Mozambique. One report in the article has the following to say about their obvious success:

“The Bakers are now based full-time in Pemba, Mozambique, in an area where Heidi says was once called a ‘graveyard to missionaries.’ But recently the government announced publicly that it’s no longer a Muslim providence; now it’s a Christian providence.”

I implore all to read the whole Charisma article. I already knew about many of these underground revival developments but to see it all cataloged in one article increased my faith exponentially and gave me a reason to be hopeful and thankful this holiday season.               *Top

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-Re: ‘Gracelines’ -Examples of The Kingdom Breaking Through

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Today during worship ( at Antioch Fellowship, Sedalia Mo) the Spirit was moving and the Kingdom was breaking through in a remarkable way with many participating both in Word and deed.

One brother, who called out a word of knowledge for healing backs and prayed for those who came forth, admitted that he had been discouraged with healing since he had not been healed and somewhat jealous when others were but had a clear word from the Lord that he should pray for others with the same problem and did in power. Praise God.

The Spirit reminded me of what we had experienced at my former long time church in California. We learned the hard way that preconceived notions and ‘theologies’ about healing usually got in the way and produced less healing since they in fact limited the ways and conditions under which God could move in our midst. The result was discouragement and less faith in healing among believers. After all, if you go through all of the prescribed actions and declarations and yet do not get healed you begin to wonder ‘what is wrong with me’ and you ask ‘why Lord were those others healed instead.’

I believe that one of the keys to having more healing in our churches is to foster a genuine atmosphere of thankfulness for every blessing the Lord does give us no matter how small and keep on keeping on. When others are blessed and healed, believers need to celebrate and see this as a sign and a demonstration that the door may now be open for them to receive their own healing and blessings. Testimonies play a vital part in this process by raising faith and expectation. First of all, healing is not a ‘zero-sum game.’ Our God is infinite in power and love for all the children in his family.

It reminds me of something we put into practice concerning healing at Vineyard Laguna Niguel in California several years ago after which healing among our people increased exponentially. First of all, a regular time was set apart for words of knowledge and healing during every service. Then testimonies of healing and miraculous blessings were also featured. Soon we discovered that certain illnesses were being healed time and again in our church. It was like a ‘beach head’ had been established against certain maladies. We started calling these- ‘Gracelines’ since a whole line of folks had been healed of the same thing. The following is an article that I wrote 2 years ago about what we experienced at the time and came to call ‘Gracelines’:

Last year was an extraordinary year at Vineyard Community Church Laguna Niguel and 2013 seems to be even more so. ‘More’ is the key word. The church is experiencing the Kingdom breaking through in a number of different ways especially in healings and miracles.

One thing that we have decided to do in the last several years is to continue to pray for healing until proven otherwise –death proving the otherwise. Some of our congregation have finally received remarkable healings after years of prayer with no results. This has encouraged us to keep on keeping on.

Along the way we are also learning to rejoice and celebrate even minor victories when God brings any kind of relief or partial healing. Some Christians seem to find partial healings to be somewhat controversial nevertheless we are dedicated to always celebrate what ever God gives us. Yet we also continue to pray for even greater blessings.

The most important change for us came when we began to notice that healings or miracles in one area seemed to open to door and dial up the faith for others to receive similar blessings. We started calling these ‘Gracelines’ since a whole line of similar healings, miracles, and testimonies have followed.

For 5 years or more our church had become a ‘migraine free’ zone where a large number of people in our congregation who used to suffer from severe reoccurring migraine headaches had received substantial healing. Doesn’t sound like much unless you are plagued and occasionally disabled by that malady.

Then this last year one of the key leaders in our healing rooms ministry received a remarkable healing of his eyesight in one eye which had severely degenerated. Then later he and others had prayed for a lady who was legally blind and her sight impossibly began to increase over a week or so until she could actually read again. More remarkable healings in eyesight have followed and continues to this day. In my own case, I had one eye with distorted vision. When I looked upon a straight line or board with my one eye it would look crooked to me with a jagged line in the center but after prayer one day in church that went away. Still need glasses but at my age I am truly thankful for the blessing of better eyesight.

Then another brother who had continual pain in his shoulder for 5 years was healed and it has opened to door to many others with shoulder trouble and severe pain to be healed. The testimonies are still coming in on that one. Then there was another with knee problems with similar results and breakthroughs.

Another Graceline opened when a pastor’s wife testified that she had lost a necklace that was really dear to her and prayed for its return for several days. Then one morning it just appeared around her neck. I know that is a strange one for many and I have no theological explanation for it  (nor do I want too) but it has opened a door for others to pray for lost things with amazing results. Many have received dreams or visions of the location of what they had lost after prayer.

On one occasion I could not find my keys after looking everywhere I could think of for 30 minutes or so. Finally time was up and I really needed to get going to work. Usually at that point in the equation I would have been fuming and yelling at my dear wife and blaming her for moving them but then I remembered a couple of the Graceline testimonies and turned to prayer instead and immediately had a picture of myself working in the garage the evening before and found my keys right where I left them on the work table. All this may sound trivial to some but believe me my wife is even more thankful for this blessing than I am.

Then there was a couple early last year who are worship leaders/musicians who testified that they had prayed for money to pay their rent and while driving down I5 Freeway money rained down on their windshield and when they pulled over and picked it up they found that it was just enough to pay the rent with $10 left over which they gave to a homeless person the next day. Then after that another lady testified that when she went to buy a car, the vehicle she really needed was several thousand more than she knew she really had but the Lord told her to buy it anyway and when she handed over the cash she had in an envelope it somehow had multiplied and was exactly enough to complete the sale. This not only opened a door but a deluge has followed with new testimonies nearly every week.

We have started to call these- ‘mail box miracles’ since so many of the testimonies that followed have revolved around folks receiving needed prayed for unexpected money in the mail. In these dire economic times, many in our church are living from week to week trusting in God like never before to bring what is needed to support their families. One week I was a couple hundred dollars short of the expense money I needed for an out of town business trip. I had prayed for help in that area but still was completely surprised when I received a $200 check in the mail from a Christian contractor I had used for referring him to a neighbor across the street for a job. Amazing.

We have a lot of business owners in our congregation and these have been particularly tough times for small businesses but God has been faithful through it all. I will save that for another post. But another door which has been particularly significant is the ‘job’ Graceline. So many of our folks had lost jobs in this economy or lost business that we started to actually take time on Sunday morning to pray for those who needed new jobs or business with remarkable results. While the jobless rate in our county is still above 10% nearly everyone in our congregation is now working and paying their bills.

Bottom line- this is not revival but it is better than we have ever seen before and I have already posted about the even more remarkable things happening in our outreach ministries. But there is nothing happening here that isn’t happening or can’t happen elsewhere. It is just now happening more often. It is a matter of our faith and expectations being dialed up and increased exponentially in certain areas in response to the testimonies and experiences of other brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our understanding of ‘Gracelines’ is that when you take the time to acknowledge and rejoice in what God is doing he seems to open up the door to The Kingdom breaking through even more in the same areas. We have also found that including testimonies in our regular Sunday services has encouraged our people to live by faith and include God in their everyday living. Blessings have followed, miracles and healings have increased, Gracelines have continued, and our faith, expectations, and thankfulness have gone to another level.              *Top

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-Lou Engle: A Vision for ‘Stadium Christianity’ and a New Awakening

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Lou Engle of ‘The Call,’ a prayer movement that has gathered hundreds of thousands together all over America for conferences featuring prayer, fasting, repentance, and worship, has a new vision for revival in what he is calling ‘stadium Christianity.’ From Charisma News:

Engle is believing for what he calls “stadium Christianity,” an outbreak of revival that will bring believers to stadiums across the country to worship and experience a new power in the Holy Spirit.

His dream is to hold “The Call” in Los Angeles Memorial Stadium on April 9, 2016, on the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Outpouring, which kicked off the Pentecostal/Charismatic renewal in the United States.

“Can you believe with us that denominations will unite, that the races could come together, that God could make us one, as the antidote to the terrific division in our day?” Lou asks.

“Could you believe with us for ‘stadium Christianity’ where signs and wonders are breaking out and mass evangelism explodes across our country?” he continued.

Response: The enemy is sowing racial discord and violence in the major cities all across America. The newscasters and press are exacerbating the problem by giving equal time and credence to every voice and picture of discontent.

The American church holds the real answer to this mess. What if  black and white and Latino Christians all got together in unity all across America in stadiums starting with LA.?  Remember, Azusa Street was an interracial revival and provided the foundation for the Pentecostal movement which includes some of the largest black denominations and churches.

The picture of white and black Christians along with other races praying together for racial unity and revival on the 10 o’clock TV News along with signs and wonders, healings, and miracles could go along way towards healing American cities and bringing on a new awakening.               *Top

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