The demands of the Evangelist!

The great commission of Jesus demands our response. It takes more than having an idea; it takes making an action for the cause of Christ. While many are happy with big events and talking about what we should do; the rubber meets the road when being an evangelist demands your lifestyle!

As Ralph M. Riggs says in So I Send You, ” Every Christian should be prepared through training and experience to turn casual encounters into soul winning opportunity.”[1]Ralph Riggs, So I Send You, p.54

An evangelist will travel anywhere, preach to anyone, at any cost for people to be saved, healed and deliver. It is not about what we want but taking the gospel to the ends of the earth as the Lord commanded.

The history of the Church is the history of the evangelist. Those who preached the gospel with miracles confirming the message. Zinzendorf, Wesley, Woodworth-Etter, Wigglesworth, Coe and Allen all point to one truth: When Jesus is preached, miracles happen.

The price for evangelism has not changed in the last century. The methods have changed to a degree but the price has not. The cost for soul winning never goes on sale and there is not a bluelight special for it. It will cause you your life as you know it.

The Testimony of the Moravians

They lived with a motto of “May the Lamb be worthy of His suffering!” With that vision, a group of refugees became mighty evangelists to the world. Within five months of revival starting, they had missionaries going to the ends of the earth.

After a year of revival, they had 26 missionaries and when Count Zinzendorf died(1760), there was over 220 missionaries. Many of them would sell themselves in slavery for the gospel to be preached.

Every move of God is missional in focus or it is not a move of the Spirit. These missionaries knew the price and they paid it. When a group of them arrived in Jamaica, they had a third of the island baptized within a matter of months. This is just one example of many.

One of the more famous conversions that they had was on a boat from America to Europe when they met a young and confused John Wesley. After meeting the Moravians, he said that there was a “strange warming of the heart.” it was at this point that he started the road to true conversion.

David Zeisberger was a missionary to the Indians in the United States and saw such a move of the Spirit that leaders had him thrown in prison for preaching the gospel. When the gospel destroys wicked business, revival has come!

Everywhere they went; they didn’t teach theology, doctrines, or biblical theory. They only proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ which was the preaching of the Cross. The message of the Cross was the “diamond of the golden ring of the Gospel” to them.

For more about the missionary calling of the Moravians, Check out The Moravian Principle: The secret of revival by Dr. Brad Allen.

The evangelism of Azusa Street Revival

In the quake of the revival in downtown Los Angeles, many believed they had encountered the very finger of God when they were baptized in the Spirit and as an overflow of that, they wanted to share the gospel with sinners around them.

By the end of 1906, the evangelism work of the believers had caused the formation of 12 new churches in Los Angeles that preached similar messages to that of the revival and William Seymour.

One of these were People’s Church in Boyle Heights. The leader, a woman named Bell White reached the street kids of Los Angeles as well as any one that was down and out. She, at one point, had a tent revival in a poor area about a half a mile from People’s Church and within a few months, had 125 people gathered.

By the time, the revival was a year old, there was missions all over what we know as Metro Los Angeles. It was only a matter of time people gave us everything to preach the Pentecostal message in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, and Ohio to name a few places. Everything they had known was surrendered to the Lord for the gospel to be preached.

If you are interested in more about the missiological views of the Azusa Street Revival, I recommend The Azusa Street Mission & Revival: The Birth of the Pentecostal Movement by Cecil Roebuck as a great starting point.

Peter Vandever and team outside of Pentecostal church in Suva, Fiji

What is the price for evangelism?

It is more than possibly leaving your family, friends and job to preach in another city or country. It can be giving everything you owe away and preaching the gospel on a one way ticket never to return to your hometown.

In some cases, it may cost you your very life to preach the gospel with power.

References

References
1 Ralph Riggs, So I Send You, p.54

Awaken the Dawn & Tent Revivals

The last few days, Awaken the Dawn has been in Kansas City doing what they are calling “The Flood.” As an evangelist, what are my thoughts? Namely, the claims of being a “tent revival.” Is it really or just hype?

In this movement of prophetic ministry, intercession, etc; there has been much hype. There is no getting around the issue of false hopes. There has been a lot of failed prophecies. I am not talking about they misinterpreted something. I am talking about things that point blank didn’t happen! The hype is a big problem in this “stream.”

Awaken the Dawn is about worship. Having a week of worship under a canva tabernacle does not equal to revival. There is also a challenge of doctrine. The group does not have a theological statement and only points to the historical creeds. This is problematic at best and can lead to some very dangerous teaching left unchecked.

We are in a time that teaching and even our songs are not rooted in scripture but in emotionalism and the latest dream or vision of some popular speaker. Much of the theology of the current movement is rooted in violation of Colossians 2:16-23.

Now, is Awaken the Dawn leading a tent revival?

Is Awaken the Dawn a tent revival?

When I heard people claiming this in the meeting, it made me stop. As a Church history minor in Bible College and having spent most of my education with an emphasis on missiology; it made me take a step back.

The healing revivals that came in the aftermath of the Civil War was connected to traveling tents. The focus was connecting healing and holiness in the proclamation of the gospel. Out of this, came many Pentecostal ministries that kept the Methodist emphasis on using tent revivals for missiology.

All through the 1920’s to the 1970’s, having extended meetings under the gospel tents were common with a strong emphasis on healing, casting out devils and prophetic utterance to confirm the gospel presentation that focused on repentance, sanctification and faith.

In order for Awaken the Dawn to be consider a tent revival, it would have to answer a few questions:

  • Is the gospel being preached?
  • Is there a strong emphasis on healing?
  • Are demons being casted out?
  • Is the Word of God being taught?

While the worship under the tent is not a bad thing (theology of the songs aside), the answer to these questions confirm that this is not a tent revival and therefore is left to be hype.

What I have heard in these meeting is not the gospel. It is the “latest” dream, prophetic experience, or open vision. The gospel is timeless and there has been no preaching of the Cross, the blood or the anointing. Prophetic dreams does not save us, the gospel of Jesus Christ is what saves.

Doing tent revival is still a very important part of the missiology of Pentecostalism but it must be centered in the proclamation of the triune gospel, deliverance from demonic oppression and healing the sick. Revival is always rooted and grounded in the teachings of scripture.

Modern Gnosticism?

As with much of the modern prophetic movement, the questions become about the issue of the second century heresy, Gnosticism. Is what we are seeing just a rebranding of the ancient false teaching.

The idea that people can have “high knowledge” or what some call “revelation,” leads to the questioning of the ancient heresy. The truth is that there are people who do claim to be closer to the Lord and as a result knowing more than others because “The Lord told me…” This is central to some teachings of people relating to Awaken the Dawn.

At the core of the doctrine is “acquisition of divine knowledge.” In other words, they are more spiritual than people are not part of their “stream.” This was known by them in their time as having “the divine spark.” In modern terms, this is known as “remnant.” Any group that promotes understanding by “revelation,” and not careful study of scripture is becoming Gnosticism in nature.

Much like the modern prophetic movement, the Gnostics used a series of books they consider to be important and called them “lost books.” To them, they had “the spirit of revelation” and was treated as important as the book of Isaiah. This was their version of When Heaven invades Earth (Johnson) and The Harvest Vision (Joyner).

The bottom line is the mystics of the desert fathers is destroying any truth within the modern prophetic movement and the Awaken the Dawn is a great example of where it is currently.

Restoring the Apostolic Missiology

There is a recovery of tent revivals to happen. We will see the miracles of old and we will see the dramatic salvations that we once did. When we preach the gospel that was once preached, we will see the miracles they once saw. The challenge for revival is not on God’s end. (As if God doesn’t want to change people’s lives!) The problem is on our end.

The Soteriology of groups like Awaken the Dawn is rooted in a false image of how we are to view God, sin and ourselves. It is a message of love without repentance. The biblical view is without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sin. Jack Coe, A.A. Allen and Gordon Lindsey would ask “This is a tent revival, how?”

Sadly, much of the current prophetic movement is wrapped up in their worldview and eschatology. Out of their Dominionist ideals flows everything else. The lack of missiology is actually based in their view of the things to come. When a group believes they have an extended time before Jesus comes back, there is not an urgency for completing the Great Commission.

Now, we are faced with a giant in the camp. We have people that are scoffers of the rapture of the Church as well as full blown Gnostics within our ranks. The vision of the Dominionists is to have people “worship” before they are even biblical saved.

This is all about worldviews and biblical truth.

 

 

Why the gospel matters!

Jesus is the desire of the nations. He is the hope for humanity. No matter which side of the Cross you look at, the hope of the nations is Jesus Christ and the gospel of the Kingdom. Without the gospel, we are doomed to hell without a chance.

Michael Green in Evangelism in the Early Church makes it clear that we must be saved from our paganism, or our worldliness.The gospel is partly redemption from ourselves. We want to live in our own paganism or worldliness.

We want to claim we that we love Jesus but we do not love sinners. You can not love the Lord of the Harvest and not love the sinners. We are not allowed to determine the harvest by the size of the barn but rather the size of the field that is ripe. How big is your field?

The reason that we do not see more revival in the Church is not a problem on God’s end. It is because we do not want to pay the price for revival. We do not want to die to ourselves so the gospel can be preached to the sinner. Christianity is our Sunday fix.

 

Completing the Great Commission

As Ralph Riggs, the great Pentecostal statesmen put it, “When Spirit-filled people have the courage and the faithfulness to obey our Lord and follow the apostolic pattern in spreading the true gospel, we will see the whole world evangelized in this generation.”[1]Ralph Riggs, So I send  You, Preface We are still waiting for a missional church to finish the Great Commission!

Jesus left us with one thing to do: proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. That means every tongue, every tribe, every nation. No one in excused of hearing the gospel with miracle confirmation. They can accept it or reject it but they must make a decision about the Savior.

Wonsuk Ma, the Korean theologian says, “The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was taken as a sure sign for the end of the end time, the last opportunity for the greatest harvest of souls before the return of the Lord.”[2]Wonsuk Ma, The Theological Motivations for Pentecostal Mission, International Journal of Pentecostal Missiology, 2014 Many of us believed that from Azusa Street, we would take the gospel to the ends of the earth then the end will come!

For them, the call of Matthew 24:14 was litteral. They believe the gospel of the Kingdom would be preached to all nations (people group) then the end will come. 

Jesus is coming back soon and very soon. We are in the eleventh hour. How much longer to finish the only thing Jesus told us to be about is not promised. He could come for the Church tonight. Have we been faithful?

If we call people to a prayer meeting for the lost, we can pack a stadium. If we want to have a worship gathering, convention centers are full. If we want to evangelism, everyone is busy and full of excuses.

The gospel must matter

We have to come a realization that the gospel really is not that important to us as believers. We are glad that we got it, sucks for those who haven’t heard it yet. The Great Commission is not the great suggestion.

References

References
1 Ralph Riggs, So I send  You, Preface
2 Wonsuk Ma, The Theological Motivations for Pentecostal Mission, International Journal of Pentecostal Missiology, 2014

Revival is breaking out in Mindanao

God is on the move. I know of moves of the Spirit in Kentucky, Tennessee, Fiji and now the Philippines. As a former missionary to the Philippines, I know the pressures and the challenges of Pentecostalism in a Catholic nation.

See six minutes of the altar call from the first service. They are now going for over a week in revival services.

This is a small United Pentecostal Church church that has seen the power of God hit the service and continues to do so for nights. The power of God is setting the captives free and the sick are being healed. That is what really matters. Many people have services that are very emotional but no lives are changed. Jesus came to transform lives. If this is not the case, we are wasting our time.

What about theology?

At the mention of being Oneness Pentecostals, many will ask the question about Modalism. Here is the deal, the Spirit of God does not check out theology statement before He pours out. Pure theology is the mark of revival; hungry souls for the presence of God is. Revival does not come as a response to sound teaching and it does not stamp approval on bad doctrine, either.

In other words, I do not agree with Oneness Pentecostals doctrinally but I love them and they will be see the end time harvest just like everyone else.

What is next for them?

I believe it will expand in Mindanao, especially in the areas of strong Muslim presence. Zamboanga Peninsula, I think, will become a major target of the revival. It might be in the Pentecostal churches, including Assemblies of God or it might become church plants.

Either way, revival will spread in some form across Mindanao. It could also end up in Malaysia as well. Many Filipinos move between Mindanao and Sabah regularly.

Statement about relationship with IHOPKC

In 1999, I returned from the Brownsville Revival to a young prayer ministry known as the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. The values of revival, miracles, and worship was things that I saw values in the revival and in the larger Pentecostal movement.

I understood the concerns about accountability of prophetic words, the study of mystics and contemplative prayer. The main of these concerns for many was the lack of accountability for false words of prophecy. People questioned if I should be involved.

I have studied the views, the papers in 1990 that created all the drama, the prophetic words that did not happen, and even the aftermath. In short, it was a free for all for anyone claiming “thus saint the Lord” in the 1980’s. There was true prophets and there was false prophets.

However, the desire to see the Spirit of God poured out on ALL flesh (Joel 2:28), miracles confirming the gospel (Mark 16:15-20), and the presence of God to cover the earth was what “I signed up for.” The main driver was revival to complete the great commission.

I saw this as a extension of the declaration that “we commit to each other and to Him for the greatest evangelism thrust the world has ever seen.”

I returned to IHOPKC in 2021 after being away for over 15 years for a season of prayer and healing from non-stop ministry.

What about eschatology?

Today, IHOPKC is more known for its estachology than it is its pneumatology. Mike Bickle has taken some very strong views of what he called, “Apostolic Eschatology.” To be very clear, I reject the view that Mike pushes outside of revival and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

I believe that the Holy Spirit will be poured and has been since the Topeka Outpouring (1901) as the latter rain. It will continue until every tongues, tribe and people have heard the gospel and seen it confirmed with miracles. After all have heard, the Church will be evacuated prior to the times of testing or the “great tribulation.”

What the International House of Prayer teaches is a modified interpretation of historical premillennialism. Most of their views is nothing new. It has been present for most of the history of the Church. While the view is problematic, it is not uncommon.

The reason that I can not agree with it is I do not see in light of the cultural and theological expectations of the early church. They clearly lived as if Jesus would return by the end of that week, if not before. There is no way the believers in Acts expected to live seven years out. They didn’t know if Jesus would come back in the next 7 hours.

The other challenge with the end time views currently at IHOP is the underlining Kingdom Now ideology. Much emphasis has been on redeeming the culture and fighting liberalism instead of preaching the gospel with power to the people trapped within that culture. This eschatology emphasis has replaced the emphasis on revival and the harvest.

So what is the relationship?

I have a commitment of being in 12 hours a week (two hours a day) as a “prayer room staff.” I am only involved in being in the prayer meetings. I am not part of Forerunner Church, Israel Mandate, or other expressions of ministry. I am still only “signing up” for revival, miracles and worship. I value the people but not involved at any level.

The passion for revival is what keeps me here and until the Lord tells me to move away from the prayer room completely, I will remain faithful to be here to pray for revival, miracles, and the harvest.

As Smith Wigglesworth said a century ago that the Spirit would shake everything that can be shaken and that the vision and revelation of God would become a burning love for sinners.[1]Smith Wigglesworth, Complete Collection, p. 478

The truth is I see the prayer room for what it is: a prayer meeting. It is a place to come and pray with others for revival. I do not have to agree with everyone in the room to seek the face of God with them. The truth is no everyone in any assembly agrees completely. Many within the Assemblies silently question women in ministry, for example.

I realized that many have questions and I also realized many within the “IHOP community” (not really a community!) view me as the bull in a China shop for the same reason. Basically, I with IHOP in prayer but not in theology.

Pray to the Lord of the Harvest

I am an evangelist. I burn for souls. I live, breathe and sleep evangelism. There is little or no evangelism going on within the IHOPKC context. In fact, everytime I have asked about it, it has been shot down. Evangelism is seen as not important at IHOP.

While you can have evangelism without revival, you can’t have revival without evangelism. The idea that revival will come apart of compassion for sinners and love for the downcast is deception. Praying to the Lord of the Harvest without a desire for the harvest does not connect.

Evangelists need to be people of prayer. You can’t give away what you don’t have. (Acts 3:6) However, the outlet of that prayer must be evangelism. This simply won’t happen at IHOPKC and it goes deep than philosophy, it is theological. There is actually anti-evangelism doctrine at play.

With that established, I consider my relationship with IHOP is more community that that of family. I am a friend of the ministry more than a family member. I can not, honestly, say I can “run with” a group of people that refuse the directly fulfill the commission of Jesus locally and globally.

As long as the Lord allows, I will use the prayer room for times of seeking Him for outpouring of the Spirit and strategy for how to reach the broken, the downcast and the homeless. This remains the driver for being part of prayer meetings. This has not changed since the days of the Brownsville Revival.

 

Peter

 

References

References
1 Smith Wigglesworth, Complete Collection, p. 478

Prophecy and healing Trauma

What role does the gift of prophecy have in healing trauma? Can one word from someone that is a “thus says the Lord” moment change everything? What about the dangers of prophetic words concerning the healing process.

The simple answer is YES, it change set in motion a transformation. One word from the Lord changes everything. The more complex answer is you must use discernment because most of what flies in the name of the prophetic is actually eastern religion with a little Jesus on top.

I believe in prophecy. I have had my life changed by a prophetic word more than once. I also have had some really crazy abuse done to me because of “prophetic ministry.” it is actually divination but that is another discussion.

This is why many pastors are very shaky when they hear someone say they have a prophetic word. They often are walking in all types of weirdness. They also have seen the abuse that has come in the name of “God told me.” Everything from church splits to divorce has been a result of false prophecy.

However, the truth remains that real prophecy changes people and can be the things that breaks the cycle of trauma.

Prophecy that changes things

While many ministries has a “eat the meat and spit out the bones” mentality, some ministries are more bones than actual meat. For someone who is dealing with PTSD, it is hard to deal with so much false prophecy when you are struggling for freedom.

I have had some prophetic words from people that I can trust in key seasons that changed things. In fact, a few weeks before I had a direct encounter with the Spirit; there was a prophetic word spoken to me about the end of the trauma circle was closing. I didn’t think much about it but afterwards I realized, “Hey, that was a moment of God said.”

I have seen a prophetic word go forth to a man and everything broke right on the spot. He was delivered from trauma right in the middle of a service and he went home a completely different man. It happens often actually. It is very biblical.

I will never believe that prophecy does not have power when it is truly from the Lord. It causes demons to flee, angels to come and times of refreshing to the soul. The problem in my opinion is not the prophecy but the problem of false prophetic word that fly and only harm people.

However, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is a lot of fake money out there in the world but we still use the real money to live. The same is true with prophetic ministry.

Seek the Spirit for your help and ask for His comfort but be open to the role of the Spirit through someone else if that is what the Spirit desires to do. Sometimes, when there is trauma goes on, it is easier to hear the Spirit through someone else than on your own. Think about Naomi in the book of Ruth.

Why prophetic ministry is so ugly?

There is a lot of eastern religion in the prophetic movement right now. No accountability. No discernment. No distinguishing between spirits. It is basically a free for all when we think we have more say than the Lord. If we like it, it is from the Spirit and if we don’t, “it doesn’t bear witness.”

When “popular prophets” (When was a prophet in the Bible “popular?”) miss most of their prophetic words and we still smile at 1 out of 10 they actually get. The truth is even a clock is right twice a day. 

Spiritually, it is even worse. We have false prophets and people who operate in divination. They are able to “read people” and spot “energy.” This is straight up eastern religion but we don’t see the difference because the Charismatic movement is so naive for what is true prophecy, they accept the fake.

If you receive a “prophetic word” that lacks the presence of God with it, build your ego, tells you how “amazing” you are and does not confront the lack of holiness in your life; there is a good chance it is by a demonic force of divination.

The truth is most prophecy is not “encouraging.” It is calling you to deep levels of holiness and death to self. When dealing with trauma, this is often even more the case because the wound in the soul makes it hard to die to self.

Personally, I think if used the biblical norm of stoning false prophets and a little burning them at the stake, all the fake prophetic ministry would stop! 

Resting in the Spirit

What happens when you know that you have heard from the Lord without a question, be directly or through a prophetic word that you have discerned to be the Spirit? You rest with surrendering it to the Lord.

The Holy Spirit can not lie. If He said it will happen, it will happen. We can’t make it happen. We can’t stop it from happening, either. All you can do is believe the word of the Lord, lay it at the foot of the Cross as an offering, and wait for the appointed time. 120 different times the Bible says, “It shall come to pass.”

In the late spring of last year, the Spirit said something about someone I know and it is beyond discerned and confirmed. Yet, to date, I have yet to see it fully happen. What I see in the natural does not matter because Holy Spirit does not lie. If He said it will come to pass, it WILL come to pass.

I say that to tell you that if you are believing a word from the Lord about anything, trauma or not; Holy Spirit do what He said He will do. All you can do is lay the word at the foot of the Cross as an offering and wait until it comes to pass (and it will because God does not lie!)

In the words of my hero of the faith, Smith Wigglesworth, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

How long is recovery from PTSD?

One of the most common questions someone has went they realize they are dealing with PTSD is what is the path to healing and how long does it take? These are fair questions to ask but are they the right questions?

Someone suggested that I read Creating a healing society by Susan Lawrence. To be honest, she is a humanist by her own admission in the book on page 145. The answer to trauma is never in our humanity but in the finished work of Jesus.

In the book, she presents an idea that we can heal ourselves through come to know our humanity and as a result, we can overcome as an society. She seems to relate repentance to “remorse by service.” That people who are remorseful want to serve people that they do not end up in a similar position. This is complete humanism and a belief that we can do it without the power of the Spirit.

On page 86, she says that “trauma recovery is a process rather than a state of completion.” While I am not sure what she really mean by that; I know, from experience, that PTSD can only be addressed by the power of the Spirit and the presence of the Lord.[1]I am not saying someone can’t be healed of PTSD but hope is more likely

Is there a timetable for PTSD?

According to the Veterans Administration, you can’t be healed of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.[2]National Center for PTSD (PTSD) They say it can be managed by talk therapy and meds but never truly healed. Personally, I do have concerns about people claiming healing from PTSD as it can be deadly to go off treatment.[3]There needs to be confirmation of any healing by Professionals However, I do believe it is possible. (Sorry, VA!)

However, the question remains: is there a timetable? The answer is more foundational than that. The humanistic ideal has it takes year to heal. The biblical answer is the healing in the presence of God. In short, the only true recovery from trauma is a direct manifestation of Pentecostal power. Therapist can talk to you but only the glory of the Lord will transform you. In His presence is healing. In His presence is deliverance.

The bible is full of people that had traumatic events. The reality is they all had different timetables of deliverance. While this is true, there is something in common with all of them (besides Judas). They had to come to realize that only encounter with God would set them free.

While this is what it will take, the process to get there can be different. Simply put, it is hard to put an amount of time on it. PTSD is a friend to no one. I know that it took almost three years to have the encounter that made things lift. It was not easy in the process. For others, it takes decades. For some, it does not take months. I know the pain of it all personally.

The answer to trauma is not found in the process but in the presence of the Spirit.

Is Homelessness a game changer?

Most people who are homeless, especially on the streets and in the camps deal with some level of trauma and many are clinically dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Does this make the process to having an encounter harder?

The Bible tells us of many people who had no place to live that had dramatic experiences that alter their soul. You can think of Elijah and Paul for example. Even the Savior had powerful encounters in the wilderness that empowered Him. (See Luke 4)

While the issue of homelessness does make the trauma more current, it does not mean that the direct impartation from the Spirit for healing is harder for God in any way, shape of form. He can break in right in the middle of a tent while they are doing drugs and set the person free from it all.

The important thing to understand about PTSD in the context of homelessness is that it might not (normally is not) their fault. People who assume that being homeless is their own bad choices alone need to wake up to what is really happening. Trauma is normally something that happened to them without their agreement and the homelessness is the result of that event. The drinking, the drugs, the prostitution is a way to not face the pain of the event, not the lifestyle choice.

What the homeless need is compassion, not judgement. Most people do not have the trauma event that they have no grid.

How to pray for the Traumatized

The best way to partner with them in prayer is the prayer of the Apostle Paul to the church at Ephesus. Just as much as it was real to them in 62; it is real to people struggling in 2022.

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, (Ephesians 1:17)

The Father of glory is really translated as the giver of life[4]patḗr – father; one who imparts life and is committed to it; a progenitor, bringing into being to pass on the potential for likeness. in the manifest presence[5]δόξα: honor, renown; glory, an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendor.. When Paul was praying for them, he was asking for the giver of the presence of God to come and meet with the people tangibly. The physical presence of the Spirit changed everything for them and it does today for the broken in our day.

He was asking for wisdom or  “divine intelligence[6]Greek Word is σοφία” in the presence of the Spirit. There is things the Spirit will give you to help you address the challenges. This is what we call the gifts of knowledge and wisdom.

The revelation of the unveiling[7]ἀποκάλυψις: (“revelation, unveiling”) is principally used of the revelation of Jesus Christ (the Word), especially a particular (spiritual) manifestation of Christ (His … Continue reading of Jesus. God will reveal Himself to the those struggling and they would be transformed.

References

References
1 I am not saying someone can’t be healed of PTSD but hope is more likely
2 National Center for PTSD
3 There needs to be confirmation of any healing by Professionals
4 patḗr – father; one who imparts life and is committed to it; a progenitor, bringing into being to pass on the potential for likeness.
5 δόξα: honor, renown; glory, an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendor.
6 Greek Word is σοφία
7 ἀποκάλυψις: (“revelation, unveiling”) is principally used of the revelation of Jesus Christ (the Word), especially a particular (spiritualmanifestation of Christ (His will) previously unknown to the extent (because “veiled, covered”).

Ukraine conflict and PTSD

The images of the military conflict in Ukraine is all over the news and social media. It is not good for the people in traumatic events in Eastern Europe or for Americans that have traumatic encounters from combat related to that area of the world.

Many people are posting images from the conflict and nothing twice about it. However, they could be triggering people with images that remind me of a very dark place. The media, especially in the United States, is about making money; not what is best for the people or even reporting the events without a bias.

Consider those with PTSD

Well say, Sgt. Johnson served in Afghanistan, he was in combat and saw many of the same images and sounds that are being recorded right now out of Ukraine. As a result, he is now having flashbacks because of it. The people who do not understand tell him to get over it, it is just the news.

What they do not know is he is starting to consider suicide because of it and could be reaching for the bottle of Jack to cope. The desire to push the images and sound of war in front of his eyes and ear has now made him start to drink and consider suicide.

Addressing Ukrainians with Trauma

Many Ukrainian-Americans are being traumatized by this conflict.  They have emotional ties to the country and in some cases, they have family still in Ukraine. As the battles go on, the people thousands of miles away are being triggered because places they have connection to are destroyed and the images are filling the newsfeed and TV waves.

Pray for the Pentecostal pastors across America that will have members and people in the community look for answers. Many of them will have hard discussion about why war happens if God is in control? They are never easy to discuss. These men of God will need your prayers.

Divorce & PTSD : Understanding the crisis at hand!

I came across an article by Jake Kail, a self proclaimed “deliverance minister.” The truth is there is no basis for a deliverance ministry in the New Testament. There was the casting out of devils but no one that specialized as their spiritual gift.

His article about people being demonized by the “spirit of death” is beyond dangerous. A believer can not be demonized and saying that a demon and the Spirit of God can co-exist is dangerous theology at best. Jesus bought our deliverance when He died for our sin. Colossians is clear on this.

The problem with deliverance ministries is that they have a foundation that is based in a powerful devil and a weak view of the Cross. They believe some encounter will set a person free so the “man of God” looks amazing; instead of the attention being on the delivering power of Jesus. Sometimes it is just bad theology and sometimes, the “deliverance” is rooted in the occult itself.

It is with this backdrop that we look at what was recently put out by Esther Company. Their mission is partly to, “a resource…for the church to recognize, understand… support for women in abusive relationships.” In other words, they build a rocky foundation theologically that women can divorce for abuse.

Denying the Divorce Crisis

In the article, he says that “The Church does not have a divorce crisis- they have an abuse crisis.” I can not even start to understand this biblically. Jesus never says what we should or should not do about abusive relationships but He went to great lengths to talk to us about divorce.

He goes on to make a list of reasons that women file for divorce and he would condone. Things like pornagraphy, anger, addiction and “other destructive behaviors.” While the discussion of adultery being grounds could be called into question for a believer, it is normally viewed by theologically conservative believers as the only way divorce can be accepted.

To give a quote,

The goal should not simply be marriages that don’t end in divorce, regardless of what is happening behind closed doors or what the health of the marriage is. Marriage is meant to be a beautiful picture of Christ and the church, not a dehumanizing, oppressive prison….Rather than a beautiful covenant bond, it is a prison….divorce is unfortunately sometimes the best option.

There is many things I could say about this and why this is false teaching. Marriage is not about you or your happiness. Marriage is about your holiness and forming you into Christ. There is NEVER a time that divorce is the “best option.” In fact, divorce is NEVER an option.

All this type of “teaching” does is leave people more broken, more broken homes, more broken sons who become broken mothers than have broken sons.

To be honest, there is NO time that a divorce should be the “best option.” Even if the husband is in prison for his addiction, the vows are still the vows. Until death do you part is just that….until death.

Broken lives matter

As someone who works closely with people who are homeless, traumatized, and in many cases suicidal; I have heard the stories. I have heard the pain. I have heard the cries. They long to have their families.It is not a question but a passion for them.

Restoration of families is always the heart of the Father. It always long to see healing relationally even if for the Registered Sex Offender. I have listen to the pain of a RSO that truly repented and got born again but his wife refused to accept that the old man is dead and the new man is alive.

To tell me that a man that has been abusive in the past before getting saved should have the sins that are dead in Christ against him is offensive. It is even more offensive coming from a man that claims to be a minister of the gospel.

The testimonies of these men and women who want to be together with their families speaks much louder to me than any pop psychology teaching of “emotional health.” The worldly message on emotionalism does not stand in my mind when compared to the stories of being transformed by the work of the Cross.

People like Jail Kail need to wake up and realize the real things that matters. It is called restoration of families. Yet, people like him encounter the brokenness of families. I literally shake my head at such nonsense.

 

 

Hyperbaric Oxygen & PTSD

There is a study on oxygen and PTSD out of Israel.They have come to believe they can use a form of oxygen to decompression damage done on the brain from trauma. This could be a real game changer.

According to the research in Israel, about half of the people struggle with PTSD saw positive results from the research done. While this research is limited to mild cases among the Israel Defense Forces; it is beginning a discussion that would later be developed by researchers at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. (It seems they are underway.)

This could be a game changer for many.

Is Science good for PTSD?

Many people with faith struggle to believe that help could come from science. I do not believe that science has any answers but they can help lead the discussion. There is no hope found in labs and science is deeply rooted secularism.

In this case, people can learn from the study of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and it can part of the question on how to help someone that has been traumatized. It is just important to keep it in its context for reaching the answer.

The answer is still the gospel

People tend to put their trust in the science of this world. They have nothing to offer. The only answer for PTSD is the power of the Spirit and the presence of God. When the manifest presence comes, miracles happens and demon flee.

The development of HBOT is interesting and can help as we guide people to the presence of God where they can find complete freedom. It is not anti-science. We just know the only hope for humanity is in the gospel of Jesus, in the power of the Spirit and in the presence of God.

However, I do look forward to more research like hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

 

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