Saturday, November 21, 2009

Night Strike Friday November 20, 2009

What an amazing Night Strike we had on Friday November 20, 2009. The day started off as a beautiful, autumn blustery day, the type where you expect Piglet from Winnie the Pooh to go blowing by your house. As the day went on, the clouds started to darken and the wind started blowing a little bit harder. The winds brought the rain by the evening.

We headed into the city, expecting one of two climates, cold rainy and windy, or unusually nice weather. The city of San Francisco tends to have its own microclimate. Elyssa, her sister Natalie, and their friend Ashley, car pooled in with Matt and I, into the city for Night Strike. Riding in with a Night Strike team member is half the fun. It’s a time to catch up with each other on what God’s doing with their ministry. Many times, we team leaders cross over into each other’s ministries to help out each other. Elyssa has been a huge blessing in my M16 Ministry. So I got to catch up with her and Stealth ministry.

With the threat of gloomy weather the Night Strike turn out was low. Actually, a little Night Strike secret, the worst weather, the lowest turnout, God tends to have a lot of fun with the people who persevered the weather. We stepped out of the car in San Francisco and the weather was BEAUTIFUL!!! I put on my thermal sweatshirt and not my heavy jacket. God wasn’t finished yet in setting up this night for us. After I got out of my car, I saw my friends from VCC, Joe and Wanda Lapasinski, and Scott Van Deusen already waiting for us at the plaza. By seeing this trio I knew the night was going to rock! I told God I was going to be a little bit selfish and build my team with those three, if He wouldn’t mind. With the prospect of bad weather in the city, which there wasn’t, and the start of the Thanksgiving travel weekend, we had low numbers for teams, so I was able to build a small team of just myself, my son Matt, Wanda, Joe and Scott. It was one of those rare Night Strike occasions where we could pull off the small number teams. We had only three teams on this evening, Elyssa and Morgans team, Ellen and Leah’s team, and Matt and my team.
We had about 20 ham sandwiches, prepared by our friend, and VCC member, Diana Garnhart, the Lapasinski’s and Scott, brought, more sandwiches, beanie hats and socks (socks are like gold on the streets!). Wanda brought a special hat with her, from her friend in Sonora. Wanda’s friend said it was blessed to bring a smile to who ever it was given to.

Our team headed out for the Tenderloin, I think we were barely up Hyde, when a woman stopped us and was surprised. She just prayed out to Jesus for someone to help her and then she recognized our Night Strike team walking up the street. Our friend Valerie had been struck in the head in an altercation on the streets. Our team prayed over Valerie and where she had been struck in the head. During our prayer for healing another altercation broke out around us. A suitcase full of clothes went flying over our heads and landed about ten feet away. It was a small scuffle and not a brawl, but we were amazed out how God protected us and the suitcase miraculously cleared us and landed away from us during the prayer time. We were standing there like a bunch of bowling pins waiting to be struck down had the suitcase hit us. We continued to pray for Valerie and the young man next to her. More people showed up for prayer. In the midst of the scuffle! Valerie was getting annoyed at the disrespect of the people fighting and she insisted on taking matters into her owns for those involved in the fight. I prayed with Valerie and told her that wasn’t the way to resolve this. And God wanted her head healed so don’t engage into any violence tonight! I prayed for peace to come into Valerie.
At the same time, I mentioned during the scuffle going on near us, and was slowly moving away from us, more people showed up for prayer. There was a couple behind me being prayed over by Wanda and Joe. I know Scott was busy praying over someone as was my son Matt. I was moved in the spirit, by a woman Wanda was praying over, and God gave me a word of knowledge for her. God told me to ask her about her daughter. So I asked this woman, who afterwards I found out her name was Hope, if she had a daughter. Hope looks at me kind of puzzled, with the do I know you look. And she answered, yes. Then asked if I knew her daughter, and I answered no. I then told Hope that there was a conflict between her and her daughter and her daughter wants to work things out. Hope’s jaw nearly hit the asphalt. She told us, “How did you know that? We are on our way right now to meet her.” I told her God was revealing this to me and that everything would work out. A small bit of information but God touched her heart. Hope hugged me and we blessed her. Then we set off up Hyde to go into the Tenderloin.

We turned down one of the streets into the Tenderloin district and encountered numerous people on the streets. We prayed over many people, handed out sandwiches, beanies and socks. One stop was incredibly busy for the team. Joe and Wanda prayed for a woman named Patsy. Scott and I prayed for a woman named Trina who was a drug addict. This was a hot spot for the evening where the Holy Spirit was going to role up His sleeves and get to work.

Joe and Wanda prayed with Patsy. When Joe and Wanda were done, they gave Patsy a pair of gloves. Patsy’s hands were gnarled and wouldn’t open. Patsy told Joe and Wanda the gloves wouldn’t go on her hands because of the condition. Wanda tried putting the gloves on the hands, but they just wouldn’t go on. The fingers were clenched closed. Joe told Patsy that Jesus could open her hands. Patsy said she believed the power of Jesus could open her hands. Wanda and Joe prayed some more with Patsy and her hands opened! Patsy was excited, opening and closing her hands, and then she put on her new pair of gloves! Glory to God!

While Joe and Wanda were praying with Patsy, Scott and I were ministering to this young woman named Trina. Trina was sitting on the sidewalk, with her back propped up against the wall of a building. Scott and I gave her socks, Matt handed her a sandwich, and we asked her if there was anything she needed tonight. Trina whispered quietly she wanted prayer. Scott and I kneeled down next to Trina, layed hands on her and started praying over her.

Then God put the number 4 into my head and that it was the number of kids in her family. I asked Trina if there were four kids in her family and she said no, she didn’t have any kids. I asked her again, this time being specific, if she had 4 brothers or sisters? Trina paused a moment and told me there were adopted twins in her family and she had an older sister. That was the four God was showing me! Then God revealed to me abandonment. Trina felt abandoned by her father with the twins in her house. A lot of what was going on now with her was from abandonment. Trina started crying and we had some street deliverance going on. While Scott and I were praying and binding spirits on Trina, the enemy sent a messenger immediately to interrupt our prayer session. A rasta man shows up and starts telling me if I am real and not BS I need to give Trina financial provision. DEMON! Financial provision will go to the addiction. So I reached out and touched rasta man while Scott and I were praying for Trina. Rasta man didn’t like the Holy Spirit so he left immediately. God continued to give me a download load while the enemy was trying to jam communications. God told me to instruct Trina to get in contact with her older sister and she will help her with re-hab, because she has before. Trina nodded in affirmation as she was crying that this was correct. God said the door was open now to walk away from addiction. The first step was calling her sister who would help her. Scott and I continued praying and then we blessed Trina and moved on the Tenderloin.

A block down our team came across a few other people we ministered to. God pointed out to me one woman, in her fifties, and told me she was a prodigal daughter. I walked over and introduced myself and told her that she was in church a lot as a girl but hasn’t been back in a while. The woman, Kathryn, told me she was an orphan raised by nuns. And she spent a lot of time in the church as a kid. I told her that the Father in heaven really misses her.

As the night moved on, we found ourselves in front of a corner market praying for people. Scott, Joe and Wanda were praying for one man who needed full service healing prayer. He had glaucoma, arthritis and few another things that needed prayer. The trio spent some good quality Holy Spirit time with the man. The arthritis in his knee popped. The man moved his knee and mentioned it felt a lot better and thanked the prayer team.

As we pressed on in our walk to pray for people, we found another hot spot to
minister at. There was a group of several people. One man in particular was sitting on the ground and Scott went over and ministered to this man. As Scott prayed with this man, the man removed is sweatshirt hood and revealed to Scott and a portion of his left side of his head was gone. Scott had some quality Holy Spirit time with this man. I stood vigil on the streets, since the area was another hot spot, more so than the spot with the scuffle and the suitcase flying, as our team ministered to the people here.

Wanda and Joe ministered to a woman named Christy. A little deliverance was going on in that prayer session. I kept an eye on the streets and God told me that Christy needed to hear she was forgiven. It had to do with children. I didn’t want to interrupt Joe and Wanda so I waited for the opportune time. When the time was right I asked Christy if there was something in her life about children she needed to know she was forgiven for. Christy was already teary eyed from her session with Joe and Wanda. Christy confided she had numerous abortions. God told me she was forgiven. She told me I don’t give forgiveness, God does. I told her I was talking to God right now and that he was the one telling her she was forgiven. Then God told me she raises children. Christy said she has no children of her own. But she watches her sisters kids, because her sister is always getting in trouble. All the spiritual pieces were coming together with Joe and Wanda’s praying. Christy confided she didn’t want to live anymore, not that she wanted to commit suicide, but she just didn’t want to live. God told me that Christy was a big influence on women and that she is going to be around for quite sometime because there is one woman she hasn’t fully helped yet. Christy replied teary eyed, O-God. My sister! Christy was touched by the Holy Spirit.

It was now getting late and we headed back to the plaza. We managed to distribute all the supplies we had. As we were nearing the plaza, I noticed some peculiar spiritual activity on a street corner. A man was flopping around like a spineless jelly fish. He was flailing around and trying to secure himself to a street lamp pole. He was under the influence of his addiction, yes, but I recognized the fluidic movement of the body as demonic. I boldly walked across the street and engaged the enemy in the spirit realm. For a man that had no self-control over his body, he was able to immediately turn down my request for assistance. The man was flailing around and was yet able to answer my questions. In boldness I reached out and put my hand on his back to pray. The man suddenly stopped flailing around and regained full motor control to walk away from me. The demon hotfooted it away from me.

It was an incredible night on the streets. I really enjoyed having a special night of ministry with my friends. Team leader Morgan was even interviewed on channel 5 on this evening.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Peggy Cole House Fellowship Visit

Monday November 9, we were blessed to have Prophetess Peggy Cole share an evening of fellowship and prophecy at our house. Peggy spoke to an audience of 35 guests. Peggy shared with us some great testimonies of healings she has witnessed in her ministery. Peggy also shared a message of the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord, which is miracles. She also shared a prophecy from a friend hers of the two angels of fullness (of time Luke 1) and overflow (Anointing & presence of the Lord, Joel 2:24).

Peggy led a healing session and we had several people receive healings, in their back, ringing in the head, a toe was healed from pain. I vow to give all the Glory to God!

It was an exciting evening and those of us wanting prayer and impartation in increase in gifts received it. Many people received good prophetic words in this session.

Best of all, Peggy led my two oldest boys in prayer to receive their prayer language. It was an exciting night for all of us. We were all blessed by having Peggy share here prophecy and scripture with us. Peggy you're invited back anytime!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Westboro Baptist Church Too Big for God?

Is the Westboro Baptist church a problem too big for God? I have heard nothing but outrage by Christians. I have seen my brothers call down the fire and brimstone on Samaria like Jesus us warned us not to do because we would be of the same spirit.

What do we do with these people? We send missionaries to 3rd world countries but what happens when people are on a fast track to damnation in our own? Where are the missionaries invading the Starbucks where these people buy coffee. Is it true that these people are going to HELL?

I think Jesus would have instructed us otherwise. Paul would have sent people to this town to quietly invade and change the hearts of people in Westboro Baptist. This is a miracle waiting to happen.

The fact of the matter is we may have given up on the people of Westboro Baptist because we -MAN- couldn't solve the problem. Why don't we let Jesus take a crack at this one? The apostles were bold! Are there no bold apostles among us to hear the calling in their hearts to quietly invade this town and turn hearts around?

These are people with families and children. Sure there is a spirit of antichrist and a religious spirit here. But every knee will bow in heaven, on earth and under the earth! The greatest miracle of all is the repenting heart.

Don't call down fire and brimstone on these people, why because its Christian witchcraft. Call down heaven into the problem! Pray for God to send the bold apostles. Intercess and ask God for a change of heart in these people. Pray for the divine appointment to talk with someone at a checkout stand or a fastfood restaurant. God loves to perform miracles. But that would mean you would have to be hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. I know where I would be having a Night Strike if I lived in Topeka, Kansas.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Night Strike Friday November 6, 2009

Night Strikes are on the first and third Fridays of the month for November and December.

Despite the threat of rain we had a rather beautiful evening in the city. Our youngest son had a sleep over party to go to so that freed up Lisa to come out on the streets with us. Diana came out with us and so did Matt’s friend Brandon. We had a full carload going out to San Francisco last night. A long time family friend from church, Marty Walker, gave us old blankets, clothes and thermal socks to hand out. So we arrived on the scene at the UN Plaza with bags of goods to handout to God’s people on the streets.

We had a pretty good turnout for being an off night from the usual Night Strike schedule. Mark Neitz, brought Rolf and Morgan. Jason and Becka and Sam were out. Elyssa and Leah as we as Forrest and Ellen from Vacaville. And not to forget, Shulu, too. The teams were pretty much easy to divide up, since there weren’t large numbers, as was last Night Strike. Ellen and Forrest led a team onto Market Street. Jason and Becka led a team to the Tenderloin District. I was freed up with the opportunity to go with Elyssa on her route. So our carload of people went out with Elyssa. Leah stayed behind at the plaza, with Morgan, to worship and keep an open heaven for the teams out on the streets.

Rolf and Mark needed to drive to SFX to pickup a gentleman from Glasgow, Scotland, named Alan McWilliams, from the Church of Scotland. Alan was attending a conference at Bethel Redding this week and wanted to come experience a Night Strike.

Every now and then it’s a blessing to have small number groups so team leaders can be team members on other peoples teams. Sometimes I fill in for Elyssa and Leah so I like going out with them on their routes with them. It keeps a nice continuity if the people on the streets recognize us and associate us as Night Strike members if I need to fill in and lead this route. Which happens every now and then.
One place we stopped to pray early on in our walk on our route was with two homeless men in a doorway. Mike and Belise were there names. We prayed over Mike and then turned to pray over Belise. Brandon and Matt prayed over and blessed Belise. As Matt and Brandon prayed, God gave me the word, cancer, about Belise and then I felt stomach discomfort. I told God I didn’t know how to convey the cancer part. We just blessed Belise and that would be a MAJOR downer.
I turned to look at Elyssa, who was standing by me, and asked her if she was feeling anything or of it God was telling her something. She acknowledged she was. So I figured I better do something. I ran with the stomach pains approach and asked Belise if he was having issues with his stomach. He gave the team a puzzled look, the how did you know that look, and affirmed he was having a horrible time with his stomach he had the flu.

Matt, Brandon and I prayed over Belise and commanded healing and order into the gastro-intestinal tract and his digestive system. As we finished up praying for healing, Belise asks us to pray for healing for his liver cancer. There is the cancer. We prayed again over Belise for healing and the cancer to dissolve and leave his body.

We were still way too early in timing for the evening to have divine appointments with the prostitutes in the area. They weren’t out yet. Elyssa led us to see a her friend Ken, a homeless man on the streets. Lisa and I first met Ken about a year ago with a word of knowledge. Back when this happened, I got this overwhelming sensation that Ken needed to call his mother. I turned to Lisa and said are you picking up on a family member? Lisa, said yes, his mother. Wonder marriage powers activate! I turned back to Ken and shared with him that there was an issue between he and his mom. His mother wanted him to call home and talk with her. Ken looked at me and was about to cry. God was sending a message to Ken we felt that. It was a message that shook Ken and he grabbed my arm to lead me off to the side of everyone else and he asked me how I knew all about his mother. I told him Jesus wanted you to receive that message. He was getting teary eyed and I left the message at that.
Pretty much most of us in the group had encounters with Ken in one form or another. Elyssa has built up a friendly relationship with Ken wrapped around a basketball grudge match that may or may not eve happen. We spent some time lifting up Ken’s spirits.

Afterwards we extended our route a little bit to walk to enter other neighborhoods. The time wasn’t right for the prostitutes to be out on the streets. So we walked and ministered. Until we felt it was time to head over and start ministry.
The continuity, I mentioned previously, is important because Elyssa and Leah witness to the prostitutes on the streets. There has been a lot of work by Leah and Elyssa in spending the time to talk with these people and having engage in a conversation. It isn’t easy for a Christian to walk up to a prostitute and start talking with them. They can see us coming a mile away. A year ago none of these people would even talk with me. I remember one prostitute used this line on me about a year ago, “ I am too sexy for Jesus!” And I responded, “well, no, Jesus made you sexy.” I remember the prostitute gave me the weirdest look. It was funny. Well, now I have had some conversations with this prostitute and even had the opportunity to give her prophetic word. Based on the work put into this route by the dedication of Elyssa and Leah, we have an open heaven to take with these people. As long as they know us and recognize us.

Lisa and Elyssa initially broke off from our group to walk over and get a feel of the street. A few prostitutes were out and Elyssa wanted to see if the time was right to approach and talk to them. I noticed the prostitute, “who was too sexy” was there and I was hoping for a chance to speak with her. Every now and then I have had favor to speak prophetically to her.

Meanwhile, I hung back with our crew by a store. Diana and I stayed back with Brandon. There was a little bit of activity we weren’t sure of going on in front of the store. And I kept an eye on this in the event I had to pull the team out and leave. As we held back, a young woman named Tunisia stopped and asked Diana for some money for tampons. We don’t give out money on the streets. Ever it’s a safety issue for us to set us up to get robbed. And the people here will lie and use the money for drugs. I was intrigued by the boldness of Tunisia. I asked Tunisia if it would be all right if I walk into the store with her and buy the tampons. She agreed. She was desperate and embarrassed. I knew this was a divine appointment by God. God does have a sense of humor with me. But I have worked with the Father enough to read through the initial humor and that this was a divine appointment. Tunisia was embarrassed and grabbed the tampons and showed them to the storeowner and pointed to me in line that I was paying for them and she left!
Whoops! There goes my divine appointment. I was left in line.
I paid for the item and then left the store and found Tunisia out front waiting for me. She was embarrassed but still wanted to thank me. I told her Jesus bought those for you! OK. That sounds incredibly lame. That was it. That was my divine moment? Nothing more happened and we parted ways.

Diana asked me I was going to be bold enough to write up the tampon testimony so there it is. But that wasn’t God’s divine appointment with Tunisia he was setting it up. Back with Diana, Matt and Brandon, our two team members, Elyssa and Lisa returned from their expedition. As they returned I noticed a woman on the streets I knew and had been taking with a couple of times previously. The one woman, who I hoped to speak with, the “too sexy for jesus” prostitute already moved on.
By this time, Mark Neitz, Morgan Bigelow, and Alan from Scotland, had made their way to meet up with Elyssa’s crew.

I excused myself from my wife Lisa and told her I needed to go talk to a hooker. Lisa just rolled her eyes. You know that eye roll that only married women can give their husbands for saying something incredibly lame. Lisa stayed behind with Matt and Brandon, as I strolled over to drum up conversation with a transvestite prostitute I speak with occasionally on the streets. She recognized me and I introduced myself this time and she gave me her name. This again is favor! I was getting expletives cursed my way back last winter when I tried to engage in conversation with some of these prostitutes. Last night, I had a conversation with this one prostitute and she told me she prayed to Jesus. And I prayed with her quickly for protection on the streets.

Time was getting late for us and we needed to head back. We walked past several prostitutes and greeted them and blessed them as we departed. On our way back we had another divine encounter with an incredible man named Rodney, who was peddling his Street Sheet newspaper. God starting sharing with me that this man had visions and dreams. I turned to Brandon and told him to ask God about Rodney. Brandon said he was getting the word creative. As Brandon and I were listening to God, Rodney started quoting scripture. I believe it was from 1 Corinthians. I wish I remembered the exact scripture but I can’t remember any verse at the moment. Then God gave me a word that Rodney’s father passed away and that his life had been hard because of his father. I asked Rodney if his father was dead and if his father was hard on him. Rodney gave me that puzzled stare you get when the prophetic hit a bull’s eye. Rodney asked, “How did you know my father was dead?” I told him Jesus was sharing things right now. And then I asked him if his father was rough on him. I get the words things were rough because of your father. Rodney answered, “Things were rough, because my father was never there for me.” We spent some time ministering with Rodney and our crew prayed and talked for some time here.
As we were witnessing to Rodney, I looked over my shoulder and saw Elyssa taking with a woman. It was Tunisia! I removed myself from the conversation with Rodney, a bunch of other people were engaged with him from our team. OK. God this is the divine appointment. I walked over to Elyssa to speak with Tunisia. She smiled at me with an embarrassed blush. God gave me a word she was a writer. I shared that with Tunisia. The word bless past her embarrassment from the previous encounter and opened her up for witnessing and a divine encounter. Tunisia shared with us she likes to write stories and thinks about writing all the time only she doesn’t have the time. And she really wanted to get a voice recorder to record all her thoughts for writing later. I told her Jesus wanted her know that he gave her the gift to write. Then Tunisia shared with us that she didn’t believe Jesus was the son of God –but he was only a man. She had a Jehovah witness up bringing, that Lisa, Elyssa and I surmised about her. Now I know why the Holy Spirit kept having me tell Jess bought these for you. Jesus gave you a gift. Jesus is working over time calling Tunisia home. Lisa gave Tunisia a prophetic word that she was dreamer and had dreams. Very cool experience, God was just revealing himself to Tunisia tonight. I think she had some questions from this evening that only her and Jesus could discuss. If Jesus is only a man than how could these people know things about her. People she never met. And Jesus met her simplest needs. Literally!

We returned back with our group and met up with the other returning teams. I had the pleasure to meet up with my homeless friend and passionate minister of God, Dennis Hitchcock. The man is a walking testimony let me tell you. Dennis shared with me that he just got back from the Castro and was preaching there on a street corner for the past 20 minutes. This man is a foot soldier for Jesus. I have been praying for when the time is right to go into the Castro for ministry and Dennis is already there.

That’s it for our Night Strike ministry report for Friday, November 6, 2009.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Authority

Below is an excerpt from a chapter of my book, Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare.
I am posting this here because it is my response to several e-mails I received from individuals in deliverance ministry who believe being Spirit filled isn't a necessity.

The argument has been made to me on several occasions where people believe they don’t need to be Holy Spirit filled to cast out demons and pray for healing. This is true, there is power in Jesus name and people can cast out demons on that authority alone. What is intriguing to me is that this argument was posed to me by fellow Christians. In the book of John, Jesus reveals to his believers that unless he full fills the Father’s request to go to the cross to defeat Satan, the Holy Spirit will not be released to us. Jesus needed to return to the Father to be glorified and then he sent the Holy Spirit.

7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7

Throughout the book John we see Jesus emphasizing the one he calls Counselor, the Teacher, the spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. Jesus goes on, in the book of John, to discuss life after Jesus when he has returned to the Father. It is the Holy Spirit who will reveal to the generations of believers the secrets of the heavenly realms.

15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. John 16:15

We have the Holy Spirit to teach us and be with us and live in us. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God living inside of us.

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. Romans 8:9-10

The Father wants his children to be Holy Spirit filled Christians. In the book of Acts, Jesus appeared, after his work on the cross, to his apostles for a period of 40 days. He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem and to wait for the Holy Spirit.

"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Acts 1:4b-5

The customary example we have from the book of Acts for baptizing a fellow Christian with the Holy Spirit is laying hands on them and praying.

15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:15-17

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an anointing we receive when we ask the persona, the Spirit of God, to come dwell inside of us.

20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 1 John 2:20-21

If the Holy Spirit lives in us then why are we believers entertaining the argument that we don’t need to be spirit-filled Christians? Reading deeper down into Romans chapter 8, the Word reveals that it is the Holy Spirit that testifies that we are the children of God, we are co-heirs.

16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:16-17

Talk about a trust fund inheritance. Hallelujah! Daddy, Abba Father has set up my inheritance! It comes with a kingdom bank account, eternal life, authority, and documentation.

20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21

The key wording to see here is that our citizenship is in heaven, and not will be in heaven. It is a common belief in our churches that you must go to your glory to benefit from this inheritance. All the rights and privileges are available now. It is the Holy Spirit who takes what it is the Father’s in heaven and makes it known to us. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 outlines the Gifts of the Spirit that come from the manifestation of the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of us. Gifts of the Holy Spirit include speaking in tongues, word of knowledge, the gift of prophecy and spiritual discernment. These gifts are extremely important in exercising our spiritual authority.
The gift of tongues is extremely powerful in deliverance and healing ministry. Mark Neitz of City Ministries, Jimi Merrell, and myself were once in a deliverance prayer session where a demon screamed at us with vulgar language on how much it hated hearing us pray in tongues. Utterances of the Holy Spirit, the gift of praying in tongues can also be useful in exposing a demon that is hiding in a person.

The gift of discernment of spirits is extremely important in deliverance ministry. The Holy Spirit warns you through this gift of when a spirit is present but not visible. Spirits don’t like to make their presence known around spirit filled Christians because they won’t win the fight. I mentioned previously that spirits like to trick the deliverance prayer, especially a non-experienced prayer, into believing it has been cast out. Spirits do a great job of faking the person is at peace during a deliverance prayer session. This is where the gift of discernment of spirit is important in evaluating if a spirit is truly gone. Many times it is the combination of word of knowledge and discernment of spirits that tells you a spirit is gone.
Word of knowledge is equally important to determine the entry point of the evil spirit. I don’t talk to spirits they always lie. I ask the Holy Spirit what is the root cause of the torment so the person being prayed for can be healed whole.

The opening story of the deliverance prayer session with Elaine, the nasty demon of murder that manifested was not being very cooperative with us. I used my kingdom authority to engage the enemy and asked the Holy Spirit what is this fowl spirit in front of me? I then told Elaine, “This one is responsible for what happened to your father!” Elaine broke down and cried at that moment. She answered, “My father was murdered.” It’s details like this you won’t get if you’re involved in a spiritual battle without the Holy Spirit. A spirit of murder and death won’t answer too many questions if they don’t recognize your authority. This true authority comes from being a spirit-filled Christian.

Isn’t every Christian spirit-filled? Yes, but there is a greater filling, the anointing, when asking for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Once you ask for that special anointing you’re taking one big step into your kingdom authority. It’s that taking of the one big step where God starts revealing to you the spirit realm. The spirit realm is the kingdom of God. Every Christian can experience the supernatural, but when you’re baptized in the Holy Spirit you step into the supernatural, your inheritance and your anointing.

The gift of prophecy is important to build up each other in church. During deliverance prayer I will ask the Holy Spirit to reveal something about the person I am praying for. Many times the Holy Spirit will reveal a spiritual gift being held down by the enemy by means of torment. Many times the gift of prophecy is used by the Holy Spirit to show the person being prayed for that He is present during this session. Our most effective prayer sessions are with people I don’t know. This leaves a bigger impression on them for the believer because they recognize what is coming through is from God.

Lisa and I were at a church where a woman had recognized us as deliverance prayer team members from a house meeting. The woman asked Lisa, after the church service, to pray over her daughter, who had a rash break out on the back of her neck. I was meandering after the church service talking to friends and made my way back over to my wife who was praying over this young woman. I didn’t know what Lisa was praying for so I figured I would jump in and take an opportunity at using the gift of prophecy. When I laid my hand on the woman’s shoulder and started praying I received images in my head of the young woman moving her hands and making creations with her hands as she listened to worship music. The hands were moving to the worship music. I told the woman the prophetic picture I received of her. She smiled and told me she was a prophetic artist studying at the Super Natural School of Ministry at Bethel Church, in Redding California. The prophetic moment built up the young woman and let her know that God was working in her life. That’s why I like praying and using the prophetic over people I don’t know. When God reveals the prophetic through prayer to people we don’t know, the person being prayed for is being touched by God.

With the baptism of the Holy Spirit you step into your citizenship and your marvelous, infinite trust fund from Daddy. It’s withdraw amount is limitless as long as we’re kingdom building. When you are kingdom building, you are not chasing miracles, you are expected to perform miracles. Miracles come from the Holy Spirit. The greatest miracle of all is the miracle of the repentant heart.

Monday, November 2, 2009

St Teresa of Avila

There are times when I just want to weep when Hollywood misses the greater story altogether.
In Ron Howard's film, Angels and Demons, based on the book by Dan Brown, of the Da Vinci Code fame, one of the items in the great hunt is Bernini's magnificent sculpture, Ecstasy of St Teresa.
In the film, the marble statue holds a clue to the Illuminati mystery. In real life, the statue depicts an event that is far more incredible than any Hollywood script writer could dream up.
Bernini's sculpture depicts the transverberation event of St. Teresa.
Transverberation is a church mystic term for a Seraph's assault. Where St. Teresa's heart is pierced with a dart of love by a Seraph angel.
"It will happen that while the soul is inflamed with the Love of God, it will feel that a seraph is assailing it by means of an arrow or dart which is all afire with love. And the seraph pierces and in an instant cauterizes this soul, which, like a red-hot coal, or better a flame, is already enkindled. The soul is converted into an immense fire of Love. Few persons have reached these heights." - St. John of the Cross
St. Teresa died in 1582. Her body was buried in a wooden coffin. After nine months it was exhumed and to everyone's amazement, though her clothes were decaying, her body was incorrupt. While the Carmelite nuns reclothed her a delightful perfume spread throughout the monastery. Later, her heart was removed to be enclosed in a crystal vessel and placed in a jeweled silver reliquary. When this was being done they beheld a glorious and wonderful sight: a wound from the angel's dart was visible! It can still be seen today at the Carmelite Monastery of Alba de Tormes in Spain. Her heart has kept it's color and since the nineteenth century three sharp thorns are visible at the base of the heart.
In 1970 Pope
Paul VI named Teresa of Avila as the first woman Doctor of the Church. Padre Pio was the latest mystic to experience transverberation. He also experienced the stigmata as well as intense demonic attacks. Padre Pio passed away in the late 1960s.