Elijah Challenge Asia seeks to provide ministry support, training seminars, teaching events, healing and prayer opportunities for the churches in Malaysia and Asia. It has the goal of training and raising Elijah Challengers who would become leaders in the ministries of healing the sick for the extension of God’s kingdom.
Seven months ago we made freely available on our website the video of The Elijah Challenge Basic Training. Our purpose was to give away the four sessions of the Basic Training to as many disciples as possible in order to train them to heal the sick and cast out demons as Jesus taught and commanded his disciples when he sent them out to preach the gospel. It appears increasingly likely that we are in the end times and the Church must be equipped to fulfill the Great Commission.
We are happy to report that as of today, the first session of the Training has been either viewed or downloaded a total of 2,316 times. A few of those who were trained in this way have written us to share how the Lord has used them since they received the Training. We'd like to share three of these reports with you. We hope that you will click on the links to read their reports and to rejoice with us!
Next Tuesday William will be in Vicksburg, Mississippi to conduct the Basic Training for a group of churches. We are now working on preparing Basic Training II and uploading it to the internet for free downloading by the saints.
We are very happy to see other ministries using the Elijah Challenge Model of End-time Evangelism. Freely we have received and freely we give. Here is one write-up by a ministry known as New Christian UK, that is especially well written and we have taken the liberty of publishing it here. Read this simple explanation of how you can evangelise and heal the sick in the name of Jesus.
1. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR EFFORTS TO EVANGELISE OTHERS?
So often our sharing of the gospel seems relatively fruitless in terms of results and we sometimes get dejected at how few conversions we see. One fundamental question we need to ask ourselves is: "am I doing evangelism amongst the lost according to what Jesus taught". If in fact we are deviating from the method that Jesus taught, and from the resources he purposed, is it any wonder we see little fruit from our efforts?
Jesus ministry was evangelism. In Luke 19 verse 10 Jesus tells Zacchaeus: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost". 1 Timothy 1 verse 15 reminds us:"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners".
Jesus did not rely on words alone to convince people as to who he was. Many times he said that if they did not believe His words then they should believe because of His miracles, for example:
John 10:25: "Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me""
John 10:37-38: "Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
John 14:11: "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves."
2. HOW DID JESUS TEACH HIS DISCIPLES TO REACH THE LOST?
Let's look at what he told the 12 and the 72, all of whom he sent out in twos.
3. THE TWELVE
In Luke Chapter 9 verse 1 we read: "When Jesus had the 12 together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." We know from Matthew Chapter 4 verse 17 that the message of the kingdom included a call to repentance from sin: "From that time on Jesus began to preach "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.""
4. THE SEVENTY-TWO
Later, in Luke Chapter 10 verse 1 Jesus sends out the 72: "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go." In verses 8 and 9 he adds: "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, "The kingdom of God is near you."" On their return, the 72 reported (verse 17): "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." Note that, when Jesus responded to their joyous exclamation, he said to them (v 19):"I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you".
5. THE MODEL FOR US
While we would not dare to compare ourselves with the 12 - the Apostles - we can reasonably equate ourselves to the 72 who were un-named followers, normal believers of no special mention or exalted position either then or thereafter. In the Great Commission set out in Matthew Chapter 28 verses 16 to 20, Jesus says: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (my italics). And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Some words Of Jesus from John's gospel:
John 14:15: "If you love me, you will obey what I command."
John 14:21: "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me."
John 14:23: "Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.""
John 14:24: "He who does not love me will not obey my teaching."
6. POINTS OF SIGNIFICANCE
Disciples of Jesus are required, via the Apostles and believers down the ages, to "obey everything that I have commanded you". Note also John Chapter 14 and verse 12 where Jesus says: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing". The relevant commands in relation to evangelism, based on his commands to the 12 and 72 seem clearly to be threefold, namely:
(a) Preach the Kingdom of God
(b) Heal the sick and cast out demons, and
(c) Preach repentance from sin and the nearness of the Kingdom of God in the personhood of Jesus.
As always with Jesus, he never asks us to do anything in our own strength. Consequently, we need to take note of his opening words in verse 18: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." As believers, that authority to do Jesus' works now rests on us, his agents for the Kingdom.
7. HOW DID JESUS HEAL THE SICK AND CAST OUT DEMONS?
The Gospels are full of examples of Jesus' work in healing the sick and casting out demons. Frequently we find him speaking to the infirmity with a command, for example Matthew 12: 9-13, Mark 7: 31-37, Luke 4: 38-39, Luke 13: 10-17. Many times he would also place his hands on the person on the afflicted part, e.g. deaf ears and blind eyes. In the case of demons, he normally commanded them to go, in the same way as he commanded infirmities.
It is clearly evident that Jesus never prayed for the sick in evangelism, nor did the 12 and 72 whom he trained. We find not one example of Jesus or anyone else ever healing a person by asking God to do the healing. In each case the healing was done by the power of the Holy Spirit working through a human agent.
8. PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Evangelism amongst the lost, done the Jesus way, flows from the "all power and authority" that the resurrected Jesus has received from the Father. Consequently, when we proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, make clear the need for repentance from sin, and exercise Jesus' power and authority over sickness and demons, we are truly doing the work of evangelism according to the "Jesus model". It is because all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, that infirmities and demons have to go. His authority has been invested in us, so they are required to obey our commands. All we need to do is GO AND BE OBEDIENT .
9. GIFT(S) OF HEALING versus EXERCISE OF POWER AND AUTHORITY?
We differentiate here between the "Gift(s) of Healing" given to the Body of Christ and the exercise of authority over sickness and demons used to reach the lost. Paul makes it clear that spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to build up the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12 verses 7 to 31). On the other hand, in the exercise of power and authority by Jesus, 12 and 72, and thereafter by both Peter and Paul in Acts, we see in evangelism (and in other situations too) the use of verbal commands given in Jesus' name, normally accompanied by the laying on of hands. Some post-Pentecost examples include:
Acts 3 - Peter heals the beggar
Acts 9 - Peter heals Aeneas and raises Tabitha from the dead
Acts 14 - Paul heals the man lame from birth
Acts 16 - Paul casts out the demon from the fortune-telling slave girl
Acts 22 - Paul relates how Ananias restored his sight
We notice in the book of Acts that the apostles continually declared that people were healed in the Name of Jesus.
10. DOING IT JESUS' WAY BRINGS UNITY AMONGST BELIEVERS
When we evangelise the Jesus way we find the body of Christ united, since both Charismatics and non-Charismatics are able to work on a common ground that is biblical. Doing evangelism the Jesus way avoids any theological conflicts in relation to spiritual giftings, since healing and deliverance done the Jesus way relies on ordinary believers exercising His power and authority, in humility and obedience, and not on a "spiritual gift of healing".
11. WHY DON'T WE TRY TO REACH THE LOST THE JESUS WAY?
We fail to do it the Jesus way because we are afraid of failure and embarrassment. What if nothing happens when we lay hands on an unbeliever - perhaps even a Muslim - and command an infirmity to go in Jesus name? How will we look then? What will unbelievers think if Jesus doesn't show up and the person doesn't get healed/delivered? Satan uses fear and unbelief to paralyse us and make us fruitless. Sadly, we are inclined to forget that Satan was defeated at the cross.
12. GOOD NEWS - A TRAINING COURSE ON EVANGELISM THE JESUS WAY YOU CAN OBTAIN ONLINE FOR FREE!
The Elijah Challenge have kindly made their training course available online at no cost, with a view to equipping believers to evangelise the lost according to the Jesus model. Please visit their website where you can :
a. download a pdf file of their basic training course - go
b. download the four .flv Flash video files comprising the basic training course. Please note you need a broadband connection for this as the 4 file downloads total almost 2 gigabytes - go
(NB: At www.newchristian.org.uk we already have obtained the 4 Flash video downloads and can provide these on 4 CDs at no charge if you live in the UK)
c. request a free DVD (pay postage only) of the basic training course - go
d. read many reports and testimonies of the effectiveness of this biblically based training - go
Is “the anointing” as applied to servants of God today consistent with New Testament usage?
Today in charismatic circles the terms “the anointing” and “anointed” are often used to refer to certain servants of God who can prophesy in the name of Jesus, and in his name drive out demons and perform many miracles like healing the sick. In this introductory study we would like to examine whether or not the usage of such terms is consistent with the New Testament.
The following are the instances of the words “anointing,” “anointed,” and “anoint” as found in the New International Version of the New Testament. Instances of anointed priests, prophets, and kings in the Old Testament were types or shadows which were all fulfilled with the coming of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.
The word anointing here clearly refers to the anointing on the Messiah Jesus Christ, and not to an anointing upon believers to prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles.
1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
Here the word anointing on believers refers to an anointing for them to know the truth, and not to an anointing on them to prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles.
1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit…
Here the word anointing on believers refers to an anointing which teaches them about all things, and not to an anointing upon them to prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles.
Mark 6:13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Here the disciples were physically anointing sick people with oil. The verse does not refer to them being anointed to prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles.
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed...
This reference is directly to the Messiah who would be anointed to preach good news to the poor. It is not a reference to believers who prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles.
Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.
Here the reference is directly to Christ, the Anointed One, and not to a believer who can prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles. Note that the Greek can be rendered either “Christ” or “Anointed One.” Many versions of the Bible use the word “Christ” instead of “Anointed One.” This observation will be highly significant later.
Acts 4:27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.
The reference here is directly to Jesus Christ whom God anointed. It does not refer to believers who prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles.
Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
Here the reference has the Messiah Jesus Christ anointed with the spirit and power to do good and to heal those under the power of the devil. It clearly does not refer to believers who prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles.
2 Corinthians 1:21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Here believers in Christ are anointed by God as a seal of His ownership on us to guarantee our heavenly inheritance. It is not a reference to an anointing upon us to prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles.
Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.
This reference is to the women physically anointing Jesus’ body with spices.
James 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
This refers to the physical anointing of the sick believer with oil, not to an anointing on believers to prophecy, cast out demons and perform miracles.
These instances exhaust the use of the words anointing, anointed, and anoint in the New International Version of the New Testament.
We see that the only use of the word “anointing” in the New Testament as applied to a believer is found in 1 John 2 where the Lord’s anointing teaches us about all things so that we all know the truth. It clearly does not refer to any anointing upon us to prophesy, heal the sick and cast out demons. Moreover, the use of the word “anointed” in the New Testament almost always refers to Christ Himself. The only meaningful instance where it does not is found in 1 Corinthians 1:21-22. There, believers in Christ are anointed by God as a seal of His ownership on us to guarantee our heavenly inheritance. Again, this use of “anointed” does not refer to believers who prophesy, cast out demons and perform miracles such as healing the sick.
Clearly, disciples of Jesus Christ have been given power (dunamis) and authority (exousia) to minister to the oppressed in His name. However, the Greek word Christos and its Hebrew equivalent Moshiach meaning "the anointed one" who saves us are applied only to the Son of God Himself.
It is clear that as the Christ, Jesus was anointed to save us. The Greek word for save is sozo. The word sozo includes not only saving from sin, but also to deliver or protect: to heal from sickness, to preserve, to save, to do well, to be or make whole. It is clear that only Jesus Christ was anointed to save us in this way. No man or disciple is anointed to save us and heal us and deliver us.
What about the Old Testament?
The Old Testament contains shadows (Colossians 2:17) and types which are fulfilled in the New Testament. Instances of "the anointing" upon men and of "anointed ones" in the Old Testament were all fulfilled in Messiah Jesus: the only one anointed to save, heal, and deliver.
Therefore, current usage of the word “anointed” and “anointing” to refer to those who can minister with power does not follow New Testament practice. Proper usage applies to one person alone in the New Testament: the only one anointed to save, the Messiah Jesus Christ. Messiah (in Hebrew Moshiach) also means "the anointed one." Only Christ, through His death on the cross, is anointed to save us from sin and subsequent consequences like disease and the second death. No disciple of His should presume to take on anything resembling or even approaching that title. We should therefore exercise discernment toward those who come in the name of Christ and who claim to have “the anointing” or to be “anointed.” Why?
Watch out that you are not deceived by the "anointed ones"
Matthew 24:4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (NIV)
Here Jesus commands us to watch out so that we are not deceived by the many who will come in his name and claim to be the Christ. This verse as it stands makes little sense. This is because any servant of God who comes to us in the name of Jesus claiming to be the Christ will be promptly rejected by the Church. He will in fact deceive no one. In line with this, there is no one in the Church today who actually claims to be the Christ. But Jesus warns us that there will be many. How can we understand his warning? It is vital that we understand it properly in order that we will not be among the many who will be deceived in the last days. The answer is that we may have misunderstood what Jesus actually meant.
As mentioned earlier, the Greek expression for Christ can also be translated Anointed One. If we make this substitution in Matthew 24:5, we come up with “for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the anointed one,’ and will deceive many.”
Today there are in fact many who come in the name of Jesus Christ who claim to be “anointed ones.” They claim to have the anointing or to be anointed to prophesy, to cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform miracles. The practices and the supernatural manifestations which appear in their meetings are usually attributed to the anointing upon them or their ministries. Unfortunately the use of such terms to refer to such people, as we have seen, is not consistent with the New Testament.
Matthew 24:11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
...23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ [or anointed one]!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs [or false “anointed ones”] and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
Jesus' warning here is a bit cryptic. There is no one today within mainstream Christianity who has been proclaiming that Christ has appeared "in the desert" or "in the inner rooms"---or anywhere else on earth for that matter---and that we should gather there to meet with him. How then should we interpret his warning? Today in some circles people are drawn by the thousands to meetings wherever an “anointed” servant of God is ministering miraculous healing to the sick in the name of Jesus Christ. Could the above Scriptures be warning us to beware of such ministers? Whenever and wherever these “anointed ones” are ministering, people will shout, “Come, he’s over there!” or “Come, he’s over here!” and the crowds will be irresistibly drawn like moths to a flame to experience the miracles and “the anointing.” But it will not be like that when the Messiah Jesus Christ, the true Anointed One, appears.
Matthew 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
What could this “carcass” refer to? Who are these “vultures” who gather at the carcass? Now we might have some light on this enigmatic verse.
Matthew 7:15 Watch out for false prophets. …22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you… 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up…
1 Timothy 6:5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
We Must Be careful
How can we be careful not to be deceived by false prophets who can perform miracles? The primary gauge must be Scripture itself. The miracles must be performed as they are performed in Scripture. We must be very cautious toward 1) methods and practices and 2) supernatural manifestations which are not strongly supported by Scripture.
In the Elijah Challenge, there are three general criteria for determining what supernatural practices are acceptable. We do this to stay on the safe side.
1. The practice or method must be clearly commanded by the Lord for us to perform it.
2. The practice or method must have actually been performed by a disciple of the Lord in Scripture.
3. It is best if the practice or method is not simply a one-time occurrence in Scripture, but is based solidly on Scriptural principles.
We must exercise caution and discernment toward practices or methods involving the spirit realm that do not meet these criteria.
As just one example, did Jesus ever command his disciples to drive out territorial spirits and principalities? And was this action actually performed anywhere in the Bible by a servant of God? No, Jesus never commanded it nor did anyone in the Bible ever perform such an action.
These same three criteria we also apply to the many different supernatural manifestations that we see in charismatic churches today. As just one example, do the supernatural manifestations of gold dust and diamonds appearing during meetings find strong support in Scripture? No, they do not.
Why do we need to be so careful and conservative? Because Jesus commands us to “watch out that no one deceives you.” He commands us to watch out for the many false anointed ones and false prophets who will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. It is safer to err on the side of being too cautious than on the side of being too liberal and then falling prey to deception.
If we do not heed the Lord’s repeated warnings, we may be deceived. If we are, we will not be able to blame the false prophet who deceived us. We all have access to the Scriptures. There will be consequences for those who allow themselves to be deceived.
Some years ago Mr. Ed Tarkowski independently wrote a relevant article which has been reprinted below.
A Christian Perspective on Chakras and "The Revival"
"Though many tie the current revival to the laughing phenomenon of Rodney Howard Browne and The Toronto Experience, there are many other manifestations besides the laughing phenomenon. But more important than what we call these phenomena is that we know the source of these manifestations. Call it what you will, the power that has gained a foothold on the Church through Browne and Toronto is the foundation of the entire global "revival." I can personally testify to the fact that it is kundalini power. I can testify that it is real power. I can tell you it is power straight out of the practices of the New Age and the Manifest Sons of God doctrines that have penetrated Christianity. I can tell you it is not power coming from the Lord Jesus Christ.
The laughing phenomena itself has been associated with the 5th chakra (the Throat Chakra) of the New Age, but one of the major manifestations during the past two years has been the manifestation of spiritual fire. The shaking of the "hot hand" manifesting "the anointing" is now a common thing among those distributing it, such as [some well-known charismatic ministers], all seen on [a certain Christian TV program]. It is apparent the so-called "fire of the Holy Spirit" introduced by Browne and Toronto only three short years ago has indeed spread among "the anointed ones." But this type of spiritual fire, with its physical sensations and intense burning in the body, is not scriptural. Jeremiah did not have literal fire burning in his bones, but the modern "prophets" do. It is not Holy Ghost fire we are seeing today, but the kundalini experience of the New Age burning its way through the Church. That should become more evident when I post a section on occult terms associated with such phenomena. For now, I submit this material so you can do your own comparison."
This study by Ed Tarkowski and much more are available
In the late 1990s, Pastor William and Pastor Lucille founded The Elijah Challenge, a ministry based in Houston, Texas, USA, their mission is to train the Body of Christ in the Elijah Challenge End-time Model of Evangelism. This Model involves the equipping of every "ordinary" believer and church - whether Evangelical or Charismatic - to heal the sick miraculously and cast out demons so as to demonstrate to the world that Jesus is the only way to the Father. Pastor William Lau and the Elijah Challengers have emphasized that this approach has been proven effective in bringing reconciliation and unity between Evangelical and Charismatic Churches. It has been potentially instrumental in helping the Body of Christ fulfill what "The Great Commission".
Since 2000, tens of thousands of Evangelical believers have attended these Elijah Challenge Healing Seminars and Rallies in different parts of the world. In India, Pakistan, South America, Egypt, West Africa, and the United States, believers have been taught from the Scriptures how to minister miraculous healing to the sick and salvation to the lost. In these Elijah Challenge Healing Seminars and Rallies, organizers have stated that "the blind see, the deaf hear, and many other miraculous healings occur as believers lay hands on the sick in Jesus' name". Thousands of people with diverse physical infirmities have publicly testified to being healed in these meetings. Many of the Elijah Challenge Healing Seminars and Rallies have been held in Southern Baptist, American Baptist, Presbyterian, Messianic, United Methodist, Episcopal, Christian & Missionary Alliance, Full Gospel, and Assemblies of God Churches.