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Miracles in the Early Days of the Jesus Army

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Ralph, to the right, ex-atheist convicted by the Holy Spirit

The Jesus Fellowship Church, a.k.a. Jesus Army, was born out of a mighty work of the Holy Spirit through a small Baptist chapel in Bugbrooke, central England, during the late 60’s and early 70’s. The Holy Spirit loves to do miracles, and so the book Fire in Our Hearts by Simon Cooper and Mike Farrant that describes the history of the Jesus Fellowship records multiple miracles.

During a charismatic meeting on a Saturday evening in the chapel, one boy suddenly took his glasses off and exclaimed that he could see perfectly all of a sudden. A lady was healed of a deformed hand and a man’s gums were healed. A man called Mick had been mainlining a lot and had several ulcerations and scars all across his arms. When he emerged from the water during his baptism, all the marks were gone!

A woman called Carol once stood up at a meeting and declared prophetically “Mim is going to get baptised in the Spirit – tonight!” She was referring to her friend and the very same evening Mim was indeed spiritually baptised and started to speak in tongues. Carol’s dormitory was invaded by beetles, so she said “I rebuke you beetles in the name of Jesus!” – and they vanished. (more…)

Greg Boyd on Casting Out Demons

boydSo I was listening to the Woodland Hills Podcast the other day where pastor Greg Boyd was speaking on spiritual warfare and delivering demonized people, and he shared a testimony about an exorcism that blew me away. “Wow”, I thought, “that was an awesome testimony!”

I asked him on Twitter if I could share that piece of the sermon on my YouTube channel to which he kindly responded “No problem Micael. We own NOTHING. So give away freely!!”

After discussing how he sometimes is ridiculed for taking the existence of satan seriously, even though it makes no sense why a Christian shouldn’t acknowledge the existence of satan and demons, Boyd shares how two girls once manifested demonic activity after he had rebuked satan at a church meeting. One of them grabbed him with surprising strength, rolled her left eye counter-clockwise three times and tossed him away from her. Thankfully, both of the girls were delivered and joined the church.

Also, check out Boyd’s excellent post on the existence of a spiritual realm.

Heidi Baker: The Blind Woman’s Eyes Transformed

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Heidi with another woman

Charismactivist apostle of love Heidi Baker recently visited Sid Roth’s show It’s Supernatural, where she shared testimonies about what God has done in her life and among the poor of Mozambique. The following testimony just gripped my heart, it can be heard from 11:30 onwards in the video:

Heidi says:

Every Monday, in Mozambique, I visit my village. It’s just my local village, I like to keep it real – we have 3500 children in our school from there so I like to see their families. And I just sit and hold he poor, spending time loving them…

And on my way back from visiting a mama named Tina, I saw this little, old woman. And she was really poor, you know, her clothes were shredded, and a strange thing was that she was sitting in the sun. And I thought: “Why is this woman sitting in the sun in Mozambique?” It’s hot! At least she should be in the shade.

And I said “What’s your name?” in our local dialect. And she answered me back and said: “I have no name.” And I was undone by that. I thought, how can anyone on earth not be given a name? (more…)

Seven Reasons Why God Exists

Yesterday my friend Andreas and myself made a video where we go through seven good arguments for God’s existence. They are as follows:

1. The universe was created.

2. There is something rather than nothing.

3. The universe is fine-tuned for life.

4. Morality is objective and not just subjective.

5. There are thousands of scientifically verified miracles.

6. Jesus was awesome and trusted by smart people.

7. Ask God to reveal Himself – you won’t be disappointed.

If you have half an hour, I really recommend you to watch the video. We had a fun time making it! Also, check out the apologetics page on this site for more resources.

Jesus is Stronger than the Bombs of Terrorists

Face-to-Face-with-Jesus-Samaa-Habib-At-Rocking-Gods-House

I’ve been enjoying Samaa Habib’s autobiographical book Face to Face with Jesus as I did research for my upcoming book Charismactivism last month. Samaa is from a Muslim country that used to be ruled by Soviet and that has experienced some horrible civil wars, and she opened her heart to the Gospel as a Christian ministry showed the Jesus film to the war torn public. She was amazed and told her father: ”He cannot be just a prophet, he must be more than that! He is alive. Mohammad’s skeleton is still buried in Mecca. Jesus is my super hero!” Her father didn’t agree of course, but tolerated the young girl’s enthusiasm.

She eventually went to a church service and gave her life completely to the Lord together with two of her sisters. Now, her father was enraged. After she had confessed that she will not live without Jesus, he abused and tortured her, strangling her until she fainted. She later escaped her family’s house through a window and fled to the church.

As time went by, more people in Samaa’s family were saved. Her mother was healed from a heart problem and encountered Jesus in a dream. This made the father tolerate Christianity a bit more, even if he still was in severe disagreement.

One day as Samaa was worshipping in church, a bomb exploded right next to her and she died instantly. She saw Heaven and Jesus, and He said that she could either be with Him or return to earth to lead more people to Him. She chose the latter, and woke up blind and deformed as she was taken to hospital. Her brain was visible and her appearance was a mess. (more…)

Why Do People Believe That Miracles Are Impossible?

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Elijah Stephens who is in charge of the upcoming documentary on medically verified healings has written a blog post on Think Theology where he debunks some common myths about miracles, like that people don’t see many miracles today, that educated people don’t believe in miracles and that skeptics won’t change their mind when they are presented with miracle evidence. It’s a very good read, and it reminded me of something that I’ve been pondering for some time: why do so many people in the minority world believe that miracles don’t happen?

I’ve been there, I grew up as a non-Christian and didn’t believe in miracles. Historical miracles like in the Bible were fairy tales to me, and if somebody said that a person had been miraculously healed I would have mocked them and argued that there is a “natural” explanation. I was fascinated by ghosts though, and mediums… the logic wasn’t strong with this one.

Now, I realize that to say “science has disproven the existence of miracles” doesn’t make any sense. There are thousands of medically verified healings, such as the ones documented by World Christian Doctors Network and Craig Keener’s excellent work Miracles. These events, which take place after prayer, are scientifically inexplicable.

(more…)

Holy Hangout: Cessationism

Mine and Zane Welton’s Google Hangout session on Biblical discernment and the differences between charismatic Christianity and new age was pretty popular, and so last Friday we did a new hangout on cessationism, the idea that miraculous Spiritual gifts ceased with the apostles. Cessationism didn’t exist throughout most of church history, but was invented by Jean Calvin and Martin Luther in the 16th century when they wanted to explain why they didn’t experience any miracles.

In the Hangout cession, we were joined by former Vineyard pastor Joshua Hopping, discuss what cessationism is, its problems and how we can introduce our cessationist brothers and sisters to a glorious, miraculous life with the Holy Spirit. Hope you enjoy it!

If you would like to join a future Holy Hangout to discuss a topic relating to Spiritual gifts, evangelism or peace and justice, feel free to contact me!

Documentary on Medically Verified Miracles is Coming

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Elijah Stephens from Redding, California is a former Vineyard Pastor with the ambition to make a documentary about evidence for miraculous healings. The film’s working title is Prayer Movie, and in a recently released video Stephens describes the project idea as following:

In the video you can spot professor Candy Gunther Brown who has written Testing Prayer: Science and Healing dealig with this very issue, as well as Craig Keener who has documented several medically verified healings in his big book Miracles. Heidi och Rolland Baker along with Randy Clark will also be a part of the film.

While the documentation of inexplicable events is far from new, films on this topic are quite rare other than looking at specific, individual cases. Stephens give some really compelling arguments on his website for why Christians should welcome evidence to support miraculous claims rather than brushing it off as a sign of weak faith or as a way to test God. He refers to how Johsua commanded the Israelites to put stones in the middle of Jordan so that their grandkids can be reminded of the miracle God did there (Josh 4:4-7).

If you want to support the project you can donate to Stephens’ Kickstarter. If the target isn’t met you wont have to give your money away. I myself am very excited for this movie and will pray and give for it to become a reality!

 

Fundamentalist Non-Religion and the Limits of Apologetics

Church Outreach at a Come In, Go Out-meeting

Church Outreach at a Come In, Go Out-meeting

At least one Sunday a month we have “Come in, go out”-meetings in my house church, where we firstly gather in my living room for some worship, prayer and Bible study, and then we go out on the streets of Uppsala to hand out coffee and evangelize. Yesterday, we had two remarkable encounters during the outreach phase.

A Kurdish man came, received a cup of coffee and then loudly announced “I don’t believe in religion! Not in Islam, Christianity or anything else!” Thinking that this was an atheist, I started to bring up some apologetic arguments for God’s existence, but they fell flat to the ground. “I do believe in a creator! But not in religion! It is impossible for humans to understand God and to have contact with him!”

Oh, so it’s a deist then, I thought. My friend Tryggve and I then started to question him on how the Creator is able to create an entire universe without being able to cure a disease or talk to those that He has created, but our attempts were unsuccesful as the man repeatedly just stated “It’s impossible! It’s impossible! You don’t understand!” I then started to testify about miracles that I have witnessed and how Jesus revealed Himself to me, but I could hardly finish a sentence before the man shouted “No! Those are just illusions! You don’t understand the truth!”

The man furthermore claimed that we all believe what we believe because of our upbringing, whereas I told him about the amazing church growth in Nepal, where millions have converted to Christianity during the last 30 years mainly due to visions, healings, signs and wonders. Again, his response was that it was impossible. I asked him how he knew that it was impossible, and he claimed that “everybody” knew miracles are impossible. When I pointed out that this was a lie since we Christians know that miracles exist, he again said that miracles are impossible and that God does not reveal Himself to people. (more…)

Swedish Miraculous Jesus Hippies

Jesus March in Stockholm, 1974. Photo: Jan-Gunnar Jansson

Jesus March in Stockholm, 1974. Photo: Jan-Gunnar Jansson

The Jesus movement in the 1970’s impacted Sweden quite a lot. Lonnie Frisbee and other American Jesus hippies visited the country, multiple communities called “Jesus houses” sprung up, and Jesus people were evangelizing in the streets and parks. People like Ylva Eggehorn, Stefan Swärd and Ulla Österjö-Jansson arranged Jesus conferences and Jesus marches – no wonder they were called Jesus freaks.

In my hometown of Uppsala, a theology student called Hans Sundberg were impacted by the Jesus movement and started to evangelize. Once, he was sharing the Gospel in the street together with some Christian friends, when an Iranian man who believed in Baha’i started to argue with them. Hans argued back, and their discussion went into sort of a stalemate until Hans’ friend Maria started to speak loudly in tongues. Hans was initially a bit embarrassed (after all, the Bible says that nonbelievers will think that we are lunatics if they hear us speak in tongues (which it is right about)), but he then realized that the Iranian man understood everything Maria said. She was speaking farsi, about how Jesus is the only way to God and salvation. Hans saw prophetically how an arrow came out from Maria’s mouth and gently hit the heart of the Iranian man with peace and eternal life.

Meanwhile, a small Swedish town called Surahammar (which means grumpy hammer) was struck with a youth revival as the Jesus movement came to town. Youths from the local Pentecostal church gathered daily in a bakery to pray, study the Word and then hit the streets to evangelize and heal the sick. One of the kids involved in the revival was Simon Ådahl, who after refusing military service due to theological reasons became a musician and, eventually, a prophetic evangelist. You can read more about him here. (more…)

Prophetic Evangelism on Rhodos

Simon Ådahl is a friend of mine who’s prophetic, poetic and passionate for God. A musician and evangelist, he loves to tour around Sweden to share what God can do for people. He’s written a book called “The Unexpected Journey”, and while it contains less trolls and dragons that Tolkien’s classic novel it is still an amazing testimony about the supernatural: it contains many testimonies about miracles, and here’s one of them:

TLDW (Too Long Didn’t Watch): Simon and Maria are eating dinner with a Greek friend called Christos in Rhodos City, Greece. Simon starts to prophesy about Christos, his wife and daughter about the secrets of their hearts (1 Cor 14:25) and eventually Christos receives Christ! Glory to God!

rhodos

Finger of God Movie Review

Finger of God

Darren Wilson’s documentary Finger of God is one of the best and most influential films I have ever seen. It introduced me to Heidi Baker and Iris Global as well as to Bill Johnson and Bethel Church, it showed me amazing miracles at a time where I doubted that those really happen, and it stirred me to create Christian film clips of my own. This week, Wilson’s new film Holy Ghost Reborn has been released, and I thought it was a good opportunity for me to review all his previous films, starting up with Finger of God. Here’s the review:

Resources on Evangelism and Apologetics

Pancake Evangelism

Pancake Evangelism

Hello charismactivists and all you others who follow this blog! I got two pieces of fresh news for you. The first being that the URL to this website has shrunk to the much simpler name of holyspiritactivism.com. All the old links are still functional and redirects to this site. God bless WordPress for making this transition so easy and convenient :)

Secondly, I’ve created two new resource pages on the website to equip your work for the Kingdom of God. One is about street evangelism which provides some tips on how to share the Gospel as well as arguments for why all churches should make public evangelism as common as Sunday services:

7 Reasons Street Evangelism Rocks

Why All Christians should Participate in Street Evangelism

Why Did the Early Christians Go to the Synagogues?

How to Make a Mainline Church Evangelize on the Streets

How to Spread the Gospel

“Go Out, Come In” – a New (or Old) Type of Church Service

The Pancake Church (more…)

William Lane Craig on the Resurrection of Jesus

WLCI have mentioned previously that I really enjoy the apologetic work of William Lane Craig, and regularly listens to his podcasts and lectures. I find Craig very intelligent, theologically sound and mostly quite easy to understand, and he oftens pinpoints thoughts and arguments that I have developed on my own. The other day I was listening to a talk he was holding in Southampton in the UK a couple of years ago on the resurrection of Jesus:

In the talk, which he has held multiple times in different locations, he defends five historical facts about Jesus and early Christianity which he argues that there are sustainable evidences for. These are:

  1. Jesus died on a Roman cross outside of Jerusalem
  2. He was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea
  3. On Easter Sunday his tomb was found empty by a group of women
  4. On multiple occassions individuals and groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus
  5. Jesus’ original disciples believed that he had rose from the dead, despite their having predispositions to the contrary

(more…)

Lecture: Signs, Wonders and Social Justice

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You know what’s awesome? Miracles! You know what’s also awesome? Social justice! Let’s combine the two, like Jesus did. The Spiritual gifts that God has equipped His church with are supposed to be used to serve others (1 Peter 4:10), and obviously our activism for a more equal and just world will be even more effective when the Holy Spirit empowers us with supernatural abilities. A couple of months ago I hold a lecture on this core idea of Holy Spirit Activism:

It’s super-obvious that miracles and social justice go hand-in-hand in the Holy Scriptures: the Old Testament prophets exercised many miraculous gifts while promoting the rights of the poor and marginalised (see for example the book of Amos); Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons right before His famous Sermon on the Mount about social ethics (Mt 5); and as the apostolic church was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues they eradicated the gap between rich and poor through community of goods (Acts 2).

In the lecture I go through these and other relevant Bible passages, as well as sharing testimonies from people today who combine miracles and social justice, like Simon Adahl and Heidi Baker. I also bring up and criticize theologians and philosophers who deny the existence of miracles or at least its presence in the life of the ordinary believer, like David Hume, Rudolf Bultmann and John MacArthur. Enjoy the video!

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