Archive for December, 2008

The Lord’s signs, wonders, healings in Nepal

December 28, 2008

Nepal ministry 2008

 

On the recent ministry tour of Nepal I, and my ministry companion Graham Paterson from California, got to spend some time with a John Hopkins’ Medical University Graduate Doctor who had lived in Nepal for the past 12 years. During our discussion with him in the town of Damak, just north of the Indian border, we mentioned some of the healings we had witnessed during our ministry time there. To our astonishment he casually remarked that up to 70% of the conversions to Christianity in Nepal were a result of signs, wonders and healings experienced either personally by Nepalese people or their family members.

 

Nepal is a poor developing nation, and in remote areas basic medical help does not exist. Also there is a lot of witchcraft in the villages and mountain regions. In some towns witchdoctors can be seen walking the streets beating drums and bewitching the people. Even our translator Reuben’s father was a former witchdoctor. Many years before he had an incurable disease. After seeking healing from his colleagues he remained ill despite their magic. Finally, out of sheer desperation, he visited a Christian in a neighbouring village. Following his visit he was healed and his whole family were converted and Reuben is today teaching and preaching the gospel across the nation.

 

One of the highlights of the return trip was to see three people who had between prayed for 12 months earlier. The first was a teenage girl whose right eye faced the right side of her body when I met her and prayed for her last year. Her right eye was now aligned with her left eye and her eyesight was normal. At one meeting she testified to the audience of the loving kindness of the Lord in healing her during the meetings last year. Another was a lady who had had stomach ulcers for 5 years until she was prayed for last year. She was instantly healed on that occasion and she looked so well when we saw her last week. The third was Indra, who has now changed his name to Lazarus.

 

Indra was involved in a motorbike accident 18 months ago. Sadly his friend steering the motorbike died from his injuries. When I first saw Indra 12 months ago he was brain damaged, in a coma and had a feeding tube in his nose. He had been sent home to die by the medicos some 7 months prior to my last visit. During my visit with Reuben to his home 12 months ago Reuben, my interpreter, and I laid hands on him and prayed for his recovery. In three days he had recovered from his coma, was speaking and thrashing his legs about. Three days later he was up and walking with his mother. When we saw him last week he welcomed us into his home and offered us curried buffalo meat, which was delicious. During our visit Indra said he had changed his name for obvious reasons and now is celebrating his new life. He will be married in two months to a Christian girl from his own cast and a nearby village. What a delight to see a young man get his life back! The Lord will use “Lazarus” in a mighty way.

 

During our two days of preaching, teaching and ministering in the town of Damak we were blessed with the love of the people and their enthusiasm for the word of God. Many were prayed for during that time and words of knowledge were common. Graham was invited to preach a couple of times and delighted in the opportunity to do so. Many Bibles and tracts were given to the preachers and evangelists who minister in the villages and mountains nearby. Some were awarded guitars and some bicycles for their faithful service. The funds for these were provided by some of the readers of this regular column.

 

After two days we moved to the remote town of Gaighat. During the 8 hour journey we encountered a river that had flooded a massive area in the east of Nepal. The road bridge had been swept away and we had to alight from the bus, cross the river in boats and find another bus. Sad to see such devastation and the thousands of refugee tents lining the banks of what was left of some fine farming land.

 

In Gaighat we stayed in a very, very basic hotel, but were compensated for the discomfort by the friendliness of the town’s people and the staff at the hotel. As Graham and I had not ministered together since leaving Bible School forty years earlier, this was a time for up close and personal as we shared a room and bathroom no bigger than one normal size western bedroom. We now know things about one another even we were shocked to find out! Just kidding.

 

In Gaighat all the churches made a combined effort to attend the meetings we ministered at. Once again the Lord worked closely with us and many were blessed and some signs and wonders occurred on the first day. The second day was very different though.

 

On the second day all the Christians in the town paraded through the town with banners and handed out tracts to the crowds gathered on the footpaths. As they went they invited the people to a Christmas concerted at the large community hall. At 2pm about 700 believers and non-believers packed the hall and were blessed with some great singing and cultural dancing by the combined youth groups. At the appropriate time I preached for 30 minutes and then Graham for 20 minutes. When Graham concluded I returned to the microphone and gave an altar call. After a while some folks came forward in response to the call for repentance and salvation.

 

During that time a demon possessed woman suddenly began to scream and run up and down in front of the 700 folks gathered in the hall. She was throwing aside any man who attempted to take hold of her and subdue her. It was at the time I sensed the power of God upon me and I left the stage and pursued the woman. When I got near her I placed my hand on her forehead and began to firmly command the demon to leave her in the name of Jesus.

 

Despite her attempts to cast me aside I continued to call on the name of the Lord. She suddenly went down on her knees and I went down with her, still with my hand firmly on her forehead. I continued to call on the name of the Lord until calm came over her. After a moment or two she opened her eyes and looked about as if trying to determine where she had been and what she had been doing. I took my hand off her forehead and the women who had gathered around knelt down and comforted her. I returned to the stage totally exhausted, both physically and spiritually. I have never experienced such ministry before. Reuben told us later that he had to try and subdue the crowd as they were attempting the press to the front to get a look at this unusual power of God in their midst; something many had not seen in public before. The singing and praise to God reached new heights after that!

 

Upon our return to Kathmandu we spent time with Cici, a Nigerian preacher who gathers street orphans together and places them in care facilities and also teaches them soccer. He was a professional player in his former years. Before we left for home, he and Reuben and some of Reuben’s young disciples prayed for us and pleaded with us to return again as soon as possible. This we will do, when God permits.

 

All-in-all the Lord’s name was magnified, some souls were saved, the sick were healed, the demon possessed delivered, those hungry for the word of God were taught and we were blessed beyond description. It is most important though that you continue to pray for Reuben and Rita his wife and those who remain behind to carry on the work of the Lord in that place.

 

Blessings

Bob Chapman

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Discipleship is tough; get use to it!

December 10, 2008

 

In Jesus’ kingdom, grey areas do not exist. There is black and white, right and wrong, moral and immoral, holiness and ungodliness. Therefore, denial of the self-nature is not the forming of an alliance between the principality of darkness and the principality of light so disciples can reign over kingdoms of compromise. Rather, it is the renouncing, disbanding and annihilation of one principality so they can be servants in a new one, “Know you not, that to whom you present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness”, (Romans 6:16).

 

Mere churchgoers enter buildings and sit in kingdoms of compromise. Disciples, however, are earthly traitors who renounce Satan and align with God and His boundless kingdom of power and have victory over every circumstance.

 

The kingdom of God came with power, not religious pontificating! Upon entering God’s kingdom, disciples are to become loyal, watchful subjects who are ready to deny themselves for the glory of their King and His kingdom, despite personal cost. And as the tsunami of radical Islam continues to intensify in neighbourhoods across the world, only such dedicated disciples will overturn the demonic principalities that reign in the hearts of these Muslims.

 

To loyal, non-compromising disciples, denial of the entire self-nature is therefore more than the comfortable renunciation of self’s reign over certain things in one’s life. Discipleship is total surrender to the will of Jesus, in every aspect of one’s life, (Galatians 2:20; 6:14). Disciples surrender their lives, lay down their crowns of self-glory, and take up the despised cross of the Prince of Glory and go on to live in the power of the kingdom of God and overthrow principalities and powers everywhere, (Matthew 10:24-42).

 

Discipleship is tough; get use to it – the kingdom of God needs you today!

 

Blessings

Bob Chapman  

Have you seen one of these? (PART 2)

December 5, 2008

 

Due to varied responses to this article, such as, “impossible”, “not this side of heaven”, “we have one of these”, “yes, we come close to this”, I am persuaded to make the following comments in blue. I personally believe that nothing I wrote in (part one) is unique, impossible etc, but should be normal, just as it was in the first century accounts of the kingdom of God in the world.

 

So, on to Part 2 incorporating the original Part 1:

 

I am just wondering if there is a gathering of disciples out there anywhere in the world that:

 

·         Is convinced all people who are not in Christ Jesus are lost and is urgent about converting them at whatever cost to themselves? This is simply the first principle of discipleship.

·         Is setting aside one day for prayer a week to seek God’s will for their country, city, town, neighbourhood? Why are disciples weak in this area of discipleship? Well, the only thing the first disciples asked Jesus to teach them was how to pray. There is a lot to learn in that request. But, as E.M. Bounds said in his book on prayer: It is better to pray then dialogue about it.

·         Is contributing as much to saving the lost, by all means possible, as they are spending on programmes and buildings etc? Too many church budgets focus on spending to build, fill and thrill, rather than spending to send, seek, save and send, Luke 19:10.      

·         Is meeting one day a week or more without fearing to allow the Holy Spirit to lead the gathering through all disciples present inclusive of His manifestation of signs, wonders, healings, words of knowledge, etc? The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ and in all believers who are in Christ, Col. 2:8-12! Sad though, in many places the fullness of some or all of the members of the Godhead is restricted by unbelief in the Godhead being the same yesterday, today and forever or being active in the same way as They were in the early days of God’s kingdom. The charismata (gifts) and the calling (gospel call unto salvation through Christ) have never been revoked, Romans 11:29, so what’s change?  

·         Is teaching and practicing kingdom living rather than church life-style? What can possibly be hard about this? A return to the teaching and preaching of God’s Word in its entirety will restore this.

·         Is opening the doors of their buildings every day for prayer, healing, deliverance, teaching, preaching etc, and advertising the fact? This is not happening because there is little or no belief in the Godhead’s fullness dwelling in believers today. It is time to stop running church gatherings, mega or minor, as businesses and start living kingdom principles by faith and fling those doors open and announce to the neighbourhood, town, city and world that God’s kingdom has come with power and you believe it!

·         Is training up committed disciples to go into their local area, town, city and other countries to seek and save the lost and disciple them to do the same as they are doing in the kingdom of God? I teach at a Bible College. I need to say that before I ask this question: Why do I teach there? I teach there because local gatherings of disciples are failing to spend the time to teach the Word of God like they once did. Most believers are not hungry to learn the Word of God is also another reason and those who are hungry can’t get fed. The Body of Christ was not established on the “clergy principle” instituted by religious orders of the world! So this is a simple thing to implement; just find believers who are committed to kingdom living not merely attending church.

·         Is gathering early on Sundays and staying until whenever the Holy Spirit has concluded ministering to His disciples and non-believers as He wills, even if it means they remain there all day? Forty years ago I was once told by an elder in a church: “You must finish your sermon at ten to eleven because we must get to the local restaurant before the Baptists do, otherwise we will be in the queue forever. On another occasion just recently I had to rebuke a gathering because when I made the invitation at the end of the message at least 20 of the 60 folks present came forward. While those 20 were being ministered to individually, many of the remaining 40 got up and went to the tea room for coffee and cake. Surely the Body of Christ is to minister to itself as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12. This truth is forgotten as we dawdle in around starting time, or thereafter, get entertained and hurry out exactly on time! In other places the function is repetitious like the movie “groundhog day”.  Nothing changes year in and year out. Why? Because many believe that one will suffer the wrath of God if one does anything outside of the controlled, “orderly pattern” instituted by the wisdom of men at annual general meetings decades ago.  

·         Believes nothing is impossible in the name of Jesus and practices that belief in the power of God wherever and whenever led to do so? This is only possible for those who are willing to spend time in the presence of the Lord as Jesus did in the valleys and on the mountains. As long as gatherings practice employing “clergy” who are overseen by worldly, qualified professionals on church boards and not allowed to focus solely on the principle of ministry to the Body as recorded in Acts 6:2-4, then the Body of Christ will continue to take its eyes off the Lord and focus on men, and the clergy and not the kingdom of God! They will never overcome the kingdom of Satan through a Spirit filled, Spirit led, Spirit powered and Spirit anointed life.

 

Your comments are welcome: eastasia@iinet.net.au

 

Blessings

Bob Chapman

Have you seen one of these?

December 4, 2008

I am just wondering if there is a gathering of disciples out there anywhere in the world that:

 

·         Is convinced all people who are not in Christ Jesus are lost and is urgent about converting them at whatever cost to themselves?

·         Is setting aside one day for prayer a week to seek God’s will for their country, city, town, neighbourhood?

·         Is contributing as much to saving the lost, by all means possible, as they are spending on programmes and buildings etc?

·         Is meeting one day a week or more without fearing to allow the Holy Spirit to lead the gathering through all disciples present inclusive of His manifestation of signs, wonders, healings, words of knowledge, etc?

·         Is teaching and practicing kingdom living rather than church life-style?

·         Is opening the doors of their buildings every day for prayer, healing, deliverance, teaching, preaching etc, and advertising the fact?

·         Is training up committed disciples to go into their local area, town, city and other countries to seek and save the lost and disciple them to do the same as they are doing in the kingdom of God?

·         Is gathering early on Sundays and staying until whenever the Holy Spirit has concluded ministering to His disciples and non-believers as He wills, even if it means they remain there all day?

·         Believes nothing is impossible in the name of Jesus and practices that belief in the power of God wherever and whenever led to do so?

 

I am just curious. Contact me if you know of any who are.

eastasia@iinet.net.au

 

Blessings

Bob

Does God’s love dispel His need for grace and mercy?

December 1, 2008

 

The other day I was engaged in a discussion with a fellow believer. The direction the discussion ended up taking astounded me. My colleague suddenly defended the sins of one known to them because, in their opinion, the love of God supersedes the need for the sinner to be born-again due to the abused life the sinner had been subjected to since childhood.

 

As our discussion continued, it was obvious that this believer had become caught up in the doctrine of universalism, which seems to be sweeping through many mainstream denominations and Pentecostal gatherings today. The basic premise of universalism, as I understand it, appears to be that God’s love supersedes His grace granted to believing, repentant, confessing, immersed sinners, and that all mankind will be reconciled to God because He loves all mankind, regardless of their sins or religious beliefs. If this is the case, then I contended we are wasting our time preaching the gospel.

 

I continued the discussion by referring to the preaching of John the Baptist, Jesus, the apostles and the disciples, which called for repentance for the kingdom of God was either coming, in the case of John the Baptist and Jesus, or had come in the case of the apostles and the disciples. My colleague’s response to this was that such preaching was harsh, not only on the part of Jesus and the others, but on my part as well.

 

Why are we hearing such unscriptural teaching today? The answer is simple – there is a dearth of sound Bible teaching and a dearth of Biblically educated teachers/preachers. This dearth is coupled with a “serving men” syndrome, rather than the commitment to “serve God”regardless of the personal cost, Galatians 1:10.

 

Two parties are to blame for this false teaching: One is the teacher/preacher who does not teach or preach solely from the word of God. The other is the believer who does not care that preachers preach and teachers teach the word of God because such preaching could offend or be too harsh upon sinners they have befriended and might bring to their trendy church!

 

So what is this embracing of the doctrine of universalism by many mainstream denominations all about? It is about teachers/preachers keeping their jobs in the first instance and holding membership numbers in the second! It is certainly not about saving the lost and making disciples of them while at the same time teaching them to observe all things that Jesus taught, Matthew 28:18-20!

 

Get it right folks – God’s love has not dispelled God’s mercy and grace! The epitome of God’s love is – His mercy and grace through the blood of Christ toward all believing, repentant, confessing, immersed sinners who have fallen short of His glory! And as harsh as it may sound, the truth is – the destiny of the born-again sinner is heaven and the destiny of sinners who are not born-again is hell, Matthew 7:13-14!

 

Teach and preach it like it is – stop compromising!

 

Blessings

 

Bob Chapman MA