MIRACLES TODAY

Craig Keener’s new book: Miracles Today: The supernatural work of God in the modern world. is not about miracles that took place in the first century (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles for that); this book is about miracles that occur today.

Miracles Today: The Supernatural Work of God in the Modern World. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021

Keener is not one to throw ideas against walls to see if they’ll stick. Keener is one of the best-known scholars of the Bible and early Christianity in the world today. He is careful with his research and documents everything. The point of the book, as the back-cover states, is to demonstrate via examples “that miraculous works of God, which have been part of the experience of the church around the world since Christianity began, continue into the present.”

This stated goal is admirably accomplished by Dr. Keener. He commences the book by addressing a few preliminary questions. What is a miracle, anyway? Why do some people assume that miracles don’t happen? Do many people witness miracles? Do only Christians report Christian healings?

He then launches into the main portion of the book in which he briefly relates the details of hundreds of well-attested miracles, but especially healings. This middle section comprises about 75% of the book proper. At the end of the book, Keener addresses a few more key questions people often wonder about miracles. Why don’t we see more miracles in the West? What is the role of faith? What about when healing is temporary? What does the Bible say about non-healing?

Let us not be tardy in praying for the sick but be on time in step with the Holy Spirit.

I appreciate Keener’s candid honesty in acknowledging that most blind people who have received prayer are still blind, and most dead people prayed for are still dead (pp. 137, 202). He comments, “What we call miracles are still the exception rather than the rule,” (p. 221). But his main point is that whether you or I have personally witnessed a dramatic miracle or not, many significant and verifiable miracles have occurred and still occur in answer to the prayers of God’s people all around the globe.

One other thing I appreciate about this book is Keener’s acknowledgment that more dramatic miracles occur more frequently on the frontlines of Christian evangelism than they do where the church is well-established (pp. 31, 33 135, 183, 201, 203). He still affirms, however, that such dramatic miracles sometimes happen in the West, too (pp. 151, 203).

Practically, this book reminded me to stay expectant when I pray. In any way He chooses, and at any time He chooses, God may do something momentous to display His glory and help those who witness His mighty acts of mercy to trust Him more fully.

GOD AT WORK IN THE UKRAINE (PART 1)

Miracles are taking place in Ukraine, despite the horror of war, according to the Deputy General Secretary of the Ukrainian Bible Society. Anatoliy Raychynets, who is based in the capital Kyiv, says more and more people are turning to Christianity to find light in the darkness since the Russian invasion began, and he says the power of God is preventing even worse devastation.

Day by day, women with small kids are running here outside our office in the streets to find the basement bombing room to hide themselves there. Many people are crying out to help them to get out of Kyiv.

Bibles bring comfort in the midst of devastation

“Many people haven’t eaten for 3 or 4 days. There are many elderly people living in apartments around my office who cannot go outside because of illness. They just sit inside waiting for a miracle that someone will come to them. They call us “Angels!” when we find they need medical help and bring medicine and bread.” Despite the risks, Raychynets and his team help distribute food and medical supplies to local people, along with Bibles and resources. He says that many people ask for the Bibles, even if they haven’t previously had a faith. “Yesterday we were in a park to deliver bread to elderly people who were coming together and waiting for us so that they could have fresh bread. I always have Bibles in my car so that children can have Bibles for the bomb shelters and I can distribute to basements where people, ladies and children are hiding themselves. But one lady saw the Bibles in the car and asked to have one.

“There were about 80 or 90 people there and they just came to the car and asked for the Bibles.  One man stood there with bread in one hand and the Bible in the other. He said ‘I think the Bible is more important than the bread. I have never prayed before. I have never been to church.’ He was about 70 years old and had never read the Bible. But he said he knew now was the time to come to God and be closer to God. “We meet so many people like that. Over the last two weeks here in Kyiv we are seeing people who had never had a Bible before, never prayed before, but who are now asking for us to pray for them on the streets, at homes, everywhere. “People are searching for their faith because they know a miracle has to happen to resolve this situation. We don’t see any diplomatic or other solutions, we just know and understand deep inside only God can make some changes and stop this horrible war.”

But even in the amidst of the horrors of war, Raychynets says God is at work and miracles are happening. “We are very grateful to all of you who are standing with us in prayer and solidarity. I want to tell you that with prayer we see so many miracles. I have seen personally many miracles over the last 16 days – when bombs or rockets have fallen but not exploded and lots of lives have been saved because of that. Russian tanks have been left because they were empty of fuel and soldiers have run off. “In Odessa, in the Black Sea, there has been a storm for four days and ships couldn’t come closer to the city to shoot rockets. So prayers are already bringing results and miracles are saving a lot of lives.” Even as a Pastor, Raychynets says it is difficult to see so much pain and suffering.

This difficult situation is already changing our nation and changing our attitude to life. People are standing together, people are helping each other. I see so much of God’s love, in spite of war here. I think that Ukraine will come out of this situation like a real Christian nation that believes in God. It’s very evident that God does use catastrophes for His purposes and sadly they are needed to bring people to understand what is truly important in life. God is in control of His world and only His eternal purposes are of real significance.

WHEN GOD’S DISCIPLES GO MIRACLES FOLLOW

Missionaries working with Southern Baptist Convention (IMB) reported baptisms were up 81% from 2019 to 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), and salvation testimonies continue to pour in.

The increases are particularly significant in a denomination where many cite missions as their reason for joining and staying.

Typical Testimony: A 53-year-old Thai man with chest pain went to see an IMB medical missionary outside Bangkok. The man collapsed in the clinic and regained consciousness only after the IMB missionary, a physician, performed emergency medical procedures.

As they waited for an ambulance, the man prayed to receive Christ, prompting the doctor to ask, “When did you start to become interested in God ’s story?”

National IMB missionary preaching to Thai congregation

The man pointed to the place on the floor where he collapsed and said, “Right there. Before that, I had never been interested at all. But when I collapsed, I heard God call my name three times, and I knew he was warning me.”

That wasn’t an isolated incident, according to IMB reports. The evangelistic surge, missiologists say, is attributable to the fact we are there (obedient to God’s call), the pandemic, and the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. Several years ago under David Platt, IMB transferred ministries from missionaries to national partners.

“We have seen the Holy Spirit working across the globe in mighty ways,” said Wilson Geisler, IMB director of global research. One missionary team “saw the first believers among an incredibly tough-to-reach people group.” Another “saw more people coming to faith in 2020 than in the previous three years combined.

Jesus promised that in the last days before His return the GOSPEL, the GOOD NEWS, the only good news in a time of tribulation will be proclaimed throughout the whole world. Do you want to be part of the team proclaiming the GOOD NEWS? You can be like David (“I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” Acts 13:22), just obey the indwelling Holy Spirit.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24: 14

SUPERNATURAL HEALING MIRACLES

An upcoming documentary film examines medical evidence of miracle healings to challenge sceptics and close the gap between the hard sciences and the supernatural.

The “SEND PROOF” documentary by filmmaker Elijah Stephens explores the ways in which miracle claims can be corroborated by looking at X-rays, MRI scans and other follow-up medical examinations. In the film, he interviews evangelical scholars and some of the most prominent voices in Pentecostal and charismatic Christian circles.

Stephens worked closely with the Global Medical Research Institute and interviewed board-certified doctors, scientists, an atheist medical historian who believes in miracles, and some of the leading sceptic and atheist voices who assert that, when examined closely, miracles never withstand empirical scrutiny. 

Stephens’ personal journey through his own doubts and the intellectual journey he took is interwoven in the storyline. At one point in the film, he recounts how frustrated he became with the idea of making the movie even as he felt God calling him to do it. The movie explains how, in 2015, he was at his house and his friends started texting him saying that Shawn Bolz, a prophetic minister who was speaking at Bethel that day called out his name from the stage. Stephens immediately jumped in his car and high-tailed it to the church.

When he arrived, Bolz, who had never met Stephens prior to that day and knew nothing of his filmmaking aspirations, gave him a stunningly accurate word, telling him that the Holy Spirit was breathing on the project and how it was going to impact medical professionals and others. 

For Christians who are hesitant to embrace charismatic theology and practice, the filmmaker hopes that the contributions from biblical scholars like Craig Keener of Asbury Theological Seminary, J.P. Moreland of Talbot School of Theology (Biola University), and Gary Habermas of Liberty University will lead them to reconsider what they believe about the supernatural.

KENYA HOUSE CHURCHES MISSIONS TRIP

We have  just returned from the  mission trip to Nyamuzi, Tanzania which we consider successful thanks to our Lord. Thanks also to Ron Edwards and LEN followers for your prayers and financial support. You are wonderful friends and the backbone of Kenya House Church movement (KHC), Yes! the Lord is the Lord and the life and strength of KHC, but without you, your prayers, support and partnership we would not be able to conduct mission trips such as this one. We appreciate you ALL! 

God was present with us throughout the whole trip. He manifested in our midst with signs and wonders. We saw the saving and healing power of the Holy spirit at work in every home and market centre we visited.
Great miracles of healing were manifested to those for whom we prayed and many people confessed and repented of the sins that ensnared them.

OUTREACH MEETINGS:
We held several outreach evangelism tent meetings. As well, we went from house to house and out into the market place. Preaching, teaching and praying for those who were unable to come to the tent of meetings.

Healings and Miracles

In the home of Mr Opiyo, we met his wife, Mrs Brigitta Anyango Opiyo, she had been sick with profuse bleeding, she had visited various hospitals but her problem continued to grow worse. We taught her the word of God, and she believed our message. We then prayed for her and she immediately started feeling well. Two days later, she came to our tent meeting and testified that she is healed. She, her husband and close friends all praised and gave glory to God.

In the home of  Mr Tobias Ojiwa, we ministered to his young son, Mr Bernad Ochieng Ojiwa, He  had served 10 yrs in prison for killing his brother and for taking his wife. He was released from prison just two weeks before our visit to this region.  Elder Samson Glack taught him the word of God and led him to repentance and saving faith in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

In the home of Mrs Pricila Achieng Obondo we ministered to her son, He was often seen walking naked, talking to  himself, He was no longer attending school and was in and out of institutions. It was fortunate he was home the day, we visited their home. Charles prayed for him and he was delivered. Two days later, we revisited the family and found him and her mother doing well and we again had the opportunity to share with them the word of God.

A young man by the name Gidion Ouma Osala, came forward and took a microphone from Pastor Alfred, and started  to testify of his former evil practices. He said he had been involved in taking drugs, opium, cocaine and smoking of cigarettes. Through the ministry of KHC he had repented and gave up his life to the Lord. He has also joined the Nyamuzi house church group.

During market place evangelism, we ministered to many people, including men, women and children. Many people listened and accepted our message and many  spoke good of us. Many more healings and miracles, God performed through our hands, and many souls were touched, surrendered and came to the saving power, knowledge and understanding of God’s word.

CHALLANGES AFFECTING NYAMUZI HOUSE CHURCH,IN TANZANIA:
1. There is a major famine in Northern Tanzania resulting in food scarcity in Nyamuzi. The members of the house church are suffering. Nearly every home we visited lacked sufficient food, some families had not eaten for two days,. We kindly request for your prayers and support for these our brothers and sisters at Nyamuzi house church group.
2. Members of Nyamuzi house church group do not have Bibles, In a church of ten believers, we found only one person had a Bible, and it had pages/scriptures missing. We kindly request our LEN team and followers to help Nyamuzi house church get 10 copies of Holy Bibles.

If you would like to be a regular supporter of the KHC movement or make a one off donation then please click on the Donations icon on the Home Page. It would be much appreciated. KHC is doing an amazing job.

EVIDENCE FOR MIRACLES

Joel interviews Tim Mahoney, creator and director of the Patterns of Evidence films. The most recent being the second of the films in the Red Sea Miracle film series. Tim has been on a crusade to show that the books of the Bible that Moses wrote are true history. Jesus said, “if you won’t believe Moses and the prophets then you won’t believe me.”

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.Luke 24:27

He (Jesus) said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’Luke 16:31

These books are foundational to the Gospel message. Tim understands this, hence his dedication to the Patterns of Evidence series. His first film was The Exodus then The Moses Controversy and now the Red Sea Miracle Series. I believe God has raised up Tim to produce these films for this hour to prove He is the miracle working God that established Israel for His purposes and the Bible is His inerrant Word.

You need to not only watch these films yourself but to promote them as widely as possible both to church members and to use them in promoting the truth of God’s Word.

MIRACLES EVIDENT IN FASTEST GROWING CHURCHES

Church growth in Nepal

In 1951, Nepal reported no Christians in its government census. And by 1961, that number increased to just 458. Today, the World Christian Database ranks the country as the 12th fastest-growing Christian population in the world with 1,285,200 believers, said database co-director Gina Zurlo. The real number might be higher.

Until 2008, Nepal was a Hindu kingdom. For Hindu radicals, being Nepali means being culturally Hindu, Pastor Tanka Subedi told CP. Subedi leads Nepal’s Family of God Church and serves as director of the International Nepal Fellowship. Although most Hindus live in peace with Christians, he said some fiercely oppose the Gospel. “The prime minister himself says he doesn’t believe in God but is Hindu,” said Subedi. “State media and government officials [say] Christianity is coming to Nepal to destroy our culture. It’s challenging to evangelize people who have that mindset.”

The pressure and violence Christians experience from Hindus places the country at No. 34 on Open Doors USA’s global persecution watch list.

Despite rising persecution, Christians continue to share their faith, Subedi said, because the government can’t arrest them all. We come from a persecuted background. We were never free. We are used to it, he said.

People feel eager to become Christians because of the reality of the Christian faith and the healings, Subedi added. 

Nepalese Christians Reuters/Shruti Shrestha

Suroj Shakya, a 41 year old church elder in Nepal told CP that he became a Christian at 8 years old after God healed him from food poisoning. When Suroj was 19, his mother Gita Shakya was diagnosed with a painful, paralyzing spinal growth. Doctors told Gita and Suroj, that her best option for healing was a risky, potentially lethal surgery, Suroj shared with The Christian Post. Surgery was expensive, and Gita’s husband, Babukaji, a Buddhist priest, refused to pay his Christian wife’s expenses. Doctors in Singapore gave 19-year-old Suroj two days to decide whether to let his mother live in terrible pain or risk her death.

Suroj prayed, then decided it was best to do the surgery. But he didn’t know what he would tell his family if Gita died, he said. At that time, I felt so alone in Singapore because it was my first visit, and I had nobody to share my problems with besides talking with the Lord in prayer, he added.

Suroj heard a knock at the door. It was a group of local church members who wanted to pray for Gita. After 20 minutes of prayer, a miracle happened, he said. Gita stood up. She kicked out with her left foot, which hadn’t moved for years. She punched out with her left arm. Suddenly, she could move. Gita started to weep and praise God, Suroj recalled. “There was no pain and sadness, which she had before. Her face was changed into joy and happiness,” he said.

Afterward, Suroj said doctors didn’t believe Gita was the same woman. Babukaji didn’t believe his wife had been healed without surgery until he saw she had no scars. Then along with his son, Suman, he became a Christian.

Such stories happen often in Nepal, said Suroj. Despite persecution and poverty, the Nepalese church has grown incredibly quickly. The South Asian country has one of the fastest-growing Christian populations in the world. To secular Westerners, it might seem impossible. But the mountains of Nepal have witnessed incredibly fast church growth in part because of miraculous healings.

The church growth is because of miracles, Suroj asserted. “[If] people don’t [get healed] from the hospital, they go to the church and ask for prayer from the church leaders. When the church family and church leaders pray for the sick people, they are getting healed.”

I believe as persecution of Christians intensifies in the West the Christian remnant will be more like the church described in the Book of Acts. Healings and miracles will be normal and an important part of church growth just as it is in Nepal.

2000 CHRISTIANS GATHERED IN STREETS OF SEATTLE TO WORSHIP GOD

More than 2,000 Christians gathered in the streets of Seattle in a “worship protest” Monday in defiance of public officials, who shuttered a local park to prevent them from participating in a prayer rally organized by missionary and political activist Sean Feucht.

The rally was supposed to take place in Gas Works Park by Seattle Parks and Recreation but officials abruptly announced the park would be closed all day Monday “due to anticipated crowding that could impact the public health of residents.”

Despite efforts to keep the rally from happening, Feucht announced on Facebook Tuesday that their worship session led to miracles and baptisms in a session that lasted about two hours.

“They shut the park, so we took the WORSHIP PROTEST to the streets!! The church of Seattle WILL NOT be silenced! Over 2000 took to the streets and GOD LIT THE PLACE UP with miracles, baptisms, salvations, racial reconciliation (with the police!) and HOPE!!” Feucht wrote.

Feucht, who has helped local pastors host 19 prayer rallies in defiance of coronavirus guidelines in 19 cities over the last eight weeks, told KIRO 7 that he believes the shuttering of the park to his gathering was “blatant discrimination.”

“If this was about COVID that would be one thing,” he said. “But this is about a blatant discrimination against Christians because the same questions were not asked and are still not asked about protesters.”

You can click on link and watch it on Facebook.

Pastor Michael Lee, who leads All Nations Community Church in Bellevue, said regardless of the actions of protesters, Christians needed to do the responsible thing and not gather in large numbers.

“I feel like it’s a responsible thing to do for a Christians to minimize the spread and risk of COVID,” said Lee. “You can do all of those things in smaller group contexts.”

MAKING THE CASE FOR MIRACLES

God is sovereign. Healing is not common in the Bible and invariably when it occurs, it is to bring glory to God. This video is Lee Strobel on his latest book – The Case for Miracles. A former atheist, lawyer and  journalist, Lee does a great job of building a case for miracles in our day.  Two years of investigation convinced him that God is doing miracles today. Worth your time to hear Lee talk on the examples he has seen and reported on in his book.