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.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
The Fulfillment of a Vision Seen in 1999
Rev William Lau
By Rev William Lau,
Director, The Elijah Challenge
a Sunday morning in June 1999 as I was preparing to preach at the
Sunday morning service in our church in Houston, I received a vision
from the Lord.
had been in full-time ministry since 1978 when we began serving as
missionaries preaching the gospel and making disciples in unreached
areas of Indonesia. Following our return to the United States in 1987,
we planted and pastored churches in New York City and Houston. But by
June 1999 I had made a decision to step down from the pastorate.
Although we could plant churches, I discovered that staying on to pastor
them in the traditional manner was not my calling. Although my salary
at our church was helping us to pay our bills and feed our family of
three daughters, I could no longer serve. You could say I was miserable.
But I had no idea what I was going to
do after stepping down from the pastorate. For all I knew, I might end
up flipping burgers at McDonald’s. Nevertheless I was going to trust the
Lord, just as I had done in 1978 when by faith Lucille and I gave up
everything we possessed to follow the Lord the ends of the earth to
minister in primitive regions of Indonesian Borneo.
that Sunday morning in June 1999 while in prayer in my living room, my
eyes were opened. No longer in my living room, I was walking down the
street in a somewhat dilapidated neighborhood. To my left I saw a drab
rectangular structure of some kind by the side of the road. It seemed to
be made of adobe or concrete and was unpainted and unattractive. There
was a single window-like opening in a wall that faced me as I walked
toward the structure. Curious, I left the road and walked toward the
structure to peek through the window.
I stuck my head through the opening, the entire structure turned to
dust around me in the blink of an eye and disappeared. There was no
trace of it. Suddenly I was lifted up into the air and whisked away high
in the sky. In rapid-fire movie clips as it were I was taken to
different places around the world; I could see them from the air above.
Finally I saw what appeared to be heavenly sights that were not of this
world. Then the vision ended as abruptly as it had started. The vision
appeared to take a few minutes.
to say I was amazed at what I had seen. In view of my giving up the
pastorate in just another week to live by faith, I wanted to know what
the Lord was showing me. And so I prayed to the Lord to reveal to me the
meaning of the vision. I then fell into a sleep during which the He
gave me a dream. The quality of the dream was identical to that of the
vision which I had just seen. In the dream I was riding in a vehicle
which I can only describe as similar to a train car. I was the only one
in the “train.” However, there was no locomotive pulling the car and no
one operating it. The car was moving over the ground at very high speed
all by itself. Nor was it traveling on rails as normal trains do; it did
not touch the ground at all. And I was simply a helpless passenger on
the train looking out the windows in wonder as it powered ahead
train did not slow down regardless of where it went. When it ascended a
steep mountain its speed was not diminished in the slightest. I was
terrified when it rounded a sharp curve high up on the mountain but kept
going at full speed. Amazingly it stayed on course and did not go
flying off the mountain as I thought it surely would.
In the car I was taken to all kinds of distant places around the world. Finally I saw glorious sights which appeared heavenly.
woke up. Though I did not understand the meaning of the vision and the
ensuing dream, I felt that the Lord was somehow telling me that He would
be with me as I left the pastorate in one more week to live by faith in
Him. At that time we had one daughter about to start college at New
York University and two younger ones to follow.
The fulfillment of the vision and dream for us personally
following year in 2000 I went on a mission trip to North India as one
of the team members. I was given an opportunity to preach in open-air
evangelistic crusades, and I witnessed the Lord heal the sick
miraculously to confirm the message of the gospel. During our nine years
as missionaries in Indonesia, the Lord had taught us how to heal the
sick as Jesus did in the gospels and as He taught and commanded His
disciples (Luke 9:1-2; 10:9). Because of the many miracles which took
place through us and the Indonesian disciples we had trained, many who
had never heard the gospel before came to saving faith in Christ. On
that mission trip to India in 2000 I began to minister to the infirm in
the same way, and many were healed.
I decided to train the Indian believers, including those who had just
received Jesus Christ, how to heal the sick as I had learned from the
Scriptures while we served in Indonesia. And as these believers laid
hands on the infirm and exercised their authority in the name of Jesus
Christ, people were being healed. I was so excited to be able to give
away what the Lord had so freely given to me.
I returned to the United States from this short mission trip, I knew
what the Lord wanted me to do. I was to train ordinary believers to heal
the sick and cast out demons as Jesus did and as He taught and
commanded His disciples to do when He sent them out to proclaim the
kingdom of God. The ultimate purpose would be the fulfillment of the
then we have taught The Elijah Challenge to tens of thousands of
believers in 37 nations, including pastors, evangelists, and
missionaries. Some of these have gone on to have very powerful
ministries in miraculous healing and are also training others as they
themselves were trained. We now witness miraculous healings every time
we teach and when we preach the gospel. In India, churches are been
impacted and new churches are being planted following the preaching of
the gospel accompanied by miraculous healings performed through trained
servants of God. Unreached people groups are now being reached by
disciples we have trained. The gospel can be preached much more
effectively to the lost when miraculous healings confirm the truth of
the gospel to them.
we train the Lord’s disciples, we are beginning to see the fulfillment
of John 14:12 in which Jesus promised that those who believe in Him will
do the works that He did, including the miraculous works of healing the
sick and casting out demons.
Lord is graciously fulfilling the vision and dream which He gave to me
in June 1999. I now understand their meaning more fully.
drab, unpainted concrete-like structure which I saw in the vision
represented my ministry as a traditional church pastor. As the structure
had turned to dust before my eyes, so my ministry as a local pastor had
disappeared. The Lord has since then taken us to distant nations around
the globe to teach and preach. The speeding “train” in my dream was not
anchored to the ground on rails and did not touch the ground. Instead
it was carried by the Spirit and powered by the Spirit. And that is what
the Lord has so graciously done for us since 2000. Wherever we go the
enemy has not been able to stand against us and we see victory.
has graciously fulfilled many prophecies made over us by His prophets
over the years, all of which have been consistent in theme with the
vision and the dream He gave me in 1999. One such fulfilled prophesy is:
Samuel 7:8 This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the
pasture, from tending the flock... 9 I have been with you wherever you
have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you.
We are extremely grateful to the Lord.
The wider meaning of the vision?
now (March 2012) we are sensing for the first time that the vision and
dream might not only be for ourselves personally, but perhaps prophetic
in a wider sense.
believe that the teaching and practices of the Nicolaitans (Revelation
2:6 & 15) which Jesus hates are alive and well to varying degrees in
the Church today. This teaching erects a wall of separation between a
special, professional class of clergymen and the “lay people” who are
forever subject to their authority. Only the elite class of clergy are
entitled to perform ecclesiastical duties. The Roman Catholic Church of
course excelled in the teaching of the Nicolaitans. This in part
resulted in the Protestant Reformation over 500 years ago which sought
to reinstate the “priesthood of all believers” according Revelation 1:6,
1 Peter 2:5 & 9, and especially John 14:12.
the Reformation fell short. Today the Nicolaitan teaching is still
firmly embedded in the Church of Jesus Christ. The result is the failure
of the Church to fulfill the Great Commission in which Christ commanded
us to make disciples of all nations. God’s people are not being
discipled to maturity, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of
Christ (Ephesians 4:13). They are not bearing much fruit---the evidence
by which they show themselves to be disciples of Jesus Christ (John
15:8). Most so-called believers bear little fruit at all for Jesus.
We believe this is the result of the Nicolaitan establishment in the Church today.
Christ returns, the Great Commission must be fulfilled. If His return
is near, then it may mean that He will seek to destroy the Nicolaitan
establishment He hates which has spread like a cancer through much of
His Church in varying degrees.
The wider meaning of the structure which turned to dust
the beginning of the vision which the Lord gave me in June 1999, I saw a
drab-looking, unpainted concrete-like structure by the side of the road
where I was walking. When I stuck my head in an opening in one of the
walls to look inside the structure, it suddenly turned to dust around me
and disappeared. Up until now I had interpreted this structure to
symbolize my ministry as a local pastor which had turned to dust,
setting me free to do what I am now doing around the world. But now I am
sensing that the meaning of the structure could be much broader than
that concrete-like structure also represent the prison---the Nicolaitan
establishment---which has kept believers from maturing to become
fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ? The victims of the Nicolaitan system
also include the many thousands of frustrated pastors around the world who
are unfulfilled in their calling to equip God’s people for works of
service. Well-meaning and sincere pastors and ministers are just as much
victims of the Nicolaitan system as are the believers who have been
imprisoned by it. Because of the very nature of the system, their
“church members” will never mature to the whole measure of the fullness
course, in the Church there are those who have personally benefited
from the teaching of the Nicolaitans, and will continue to hold to it.
They have power and wealth, and these of course are exhilarating and
addictive. These are the ones Christ spoke of who come in His name,
claiming, “I am the anointed one,” and will deceive many (Matthew 24:5).
In Greek the word Messiah means “anointed one.”
it possible that during these last days the Lord is turning this
Nicolaitan prison to dust, setting the Church free to be the Church in
order to fulfill the words He spoke two thousand years ago?
John 14:12 Very truly I tell you,
whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they
will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the
Only then will we fulfill the Great Commission. Only then will Jesus Christ return.