Tree of Life Blog

Engaging Culture with the wisdom and power of Christ!

Tag Archives: healings

Straining at Gnats

0

Image

In Matthew 23.24, Jesus in His gentle and tactful manner tells the Pharisees “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel”.  The Pharisees would get upset and vitriolic at the most minor of things, but fail to see how areas of their lives and ministries were hugely out of whack with God’s heart and love.

The fact is there are still people out there today.  As I express the Biblical truths about healing, people will come at you and say “That sounds Christian Science-y” – of course these will be people who have never met a Christian Scientist, never read Ellen White, and don’t actually know what Christian Science is all about.  But someone told them this, they think it sounds wise so they strain at the gnat in your teaching.  

Someone else might say “That sounds like Greek philosophy”, or the power of Words doesn’t work because I can’t confess I am married to a supermodel and have it happen tomorrow (the fact that doesn’t work is because their spirit has never been wired with faith for that to happen, but your spirit is wired for faith in healing and prosperity – the problem is the mind has been programmed for failure!). 

They are straining at gnats, but missed the camel.  Here is the camel:  Jesus told us that we should do greater works than Him (John 14.12).  He told believers (not apostles or pastors or super-doopers, but believers – all Christians) to lay hands on the sick and they would recover (Mark 16.17).  

The camel in the room is that Jesus Christ has given every single believer a healing ministry.  Hebrews 6.1-2 tells us laying hands on people is a FOUNDATIONAL and BASIC doctrine – the milk of the Word. 

If you are not seeing the sick healed in your life and in your ministry.  If you don’t have some testimonies of people being healed because you laid hands on them and prayed in Jesus’ name, then you have a massive camel in your dinner. 

You do not have time to find someone who is healing the sick and tell them that they haven’t dotted their theological i’s and crossed their philosophical and ministerial t’s correctly.  You have a far, far bigger problem: you are failing to help sick people the Biblical way and failing to go around doing good by healing all those oppressed by the devil.  You are failing to imitate Christ in one of the major areas of His life and ministry.  You are failing to help captives of the devil get set free.

You need to get on your face before God and ask Him for the wisdom to start seeing the sick healed in your life.  You need to dismantle some of your poor theology and thinking that leads to doubt and unbelief; you need to destroy the traditions that make the Word of God (that when sent healed the sick) of no effect.

You really don’t have time to go around correcting everyone else’s gnats until you sort out this massive camel.

If the church took this advice seriously, it would revolutionize our witness on planet earth.

Church Planting

0

A sociologist, after studying the spread of Christianity across the world in several countries, said that there is no single more effective way of increasing the number of active Christians in an area of the world is to plant new churches.

As someone who has – as of last weekend – planted two churches in two very different areas, I think that is an accurate conclusion.  Church planting is effective – it attracts people who for whatever reason have not made contact with, or in worst case scenarios, been hurt by – the established churches in the area.  It raises the mood in the area and it forces you to focus on how to reach those who have never been reached.  

Just reflecting back on last weekend, which I consider to be a total success, there are three things I have learned that maybe some of the wannabe church planters, or even those who just have an interest in these matters might want to consider.

Firstly, church planting starts off as maximum effort.  What made this weekend about fifty times easier than starting the Dagenham church was the number of people who drove hours and hours this weekend helping out, making teas, greeting people, sharing their lives, cleaning and setting out chairs, playing guitars, and doing all the stuff that needed to be done.  When we first started out Tree of Life in Essex, we did all that ourselves, and if we couldn’t do it, it couldn’t get done.  I think this really bears well when we  consider planting in Watford next year, as it means there will be even more helpers around to invest in the church plant.  That makes a massive massive massive difference.  My advice to anyone looking to plant a church is this: GET AS MUCH HELP AS POSSIBLE.  We had more people come to our first Healing Crusade (which was in Barkingside) than we did in the Guildford one, but we lost people because we did not have the structure in place to keep them.  Here, the people who came will be with us when we officially launch regular services in two weeks’ time because we did have the helpers.  Everyone who came and helped is absolutely awesome, and will get many, many rewards in heaven!  That’s awesome.

Secondly, the most important thing isn’t how slick you are but how much you care.  One of the realities about Tree of Life Dagenham is that as it is growing (another 100+ day yesterday, praise the Lord – five first time visitors, one of whom got saved, another got baptized in the Holy Spirit) things that were informal have to become formalized to cope with the growth.  Praise God for the Living Churches where you can still meet in a house and share the Word and teach and help one another and love each other.  That way we get the benefit of big and the benefit of small.  But when you are starting you are small.  Rather than hate that, use that.  You can say hello to everyone, find out everyone’s name, have some fun with everyone.  Use that to your advantage.

Thirdly, always celebrate every step of the way.  The first family, the first healing, the first salvation, the first baptism in the Holy Spirit.  Everything when you are new is just awesome.  They say with children you adore the first but enjoy the second.  I think it is the same with church planting, I am thoroughly enjoying myself in a way that I could not with Dagenham because it was so intense and everything was new.  This is fun, and I love it.

Selah!

Wonderful News Healing Crusade – evening ONE

1

Hi gang,

What a wonderful night tonight was. All three people who reponded to the call for healing were healed. One lady of a congenital problem who kept saying “all the pain is gone, all the pain is gone”.   I think we had about 20-25 people present in the room, I forgot to count.

They were a lovely family who had travelled for an hour to come to the meeting after reading about it on the internet.  We had people from Clayhall, from Dagenham, from Barking, from Barkingside and it was wonderful.

Another lady saw our newspaper advert and came, her friend was healed of a headache and someone else was healed of leg pain.

We saw people come we had never met, and I think there were 20-25 people in the room (I was so excited I never even did a head count! – I will tomorrow I promise. All the feedback was positive, even though I think I preached one of the most meandering directionles sermons I have ever preached!!)  I think we had more people than we ever had last year after months of meetings – God has given us increase and it is VERY GOOD!   We already know that we have more people coming tomorrow because they have phoned us and spoken to us.

Poonam in our church came alive tonight – praying for everyone, sharing her testimony and was just on fire.  That was wonderful to see because it means our church is not just growing in numbers, but in spiritual depth.
Anyway, you can hear the sermon for yourself. My wife said it was very powerful, and I always consider her a good judge. So many people came because we spoke to them at bus stops – not having a car has proved such a blessing in our evangelism!! The whole atmosphere tonight was powerful, we have such a good God. He is so faithful to His Word, so good to all of us.
One family (mother and daughter) came from Buckinghamshire and I know they were very blessed. In fact, the daughter the day before was believing for a copy of BLESSING OR CURSE: You can choose by Derek Prince, and we were giving them away for free at the meeting!

Here is to night two, which will only be increase!

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

20000 people born again in Indonesia! Praise the Lord!

0

Dear Benjamin,

We are on the front lines of evangelism in the city of Kupang, Indonesia. This city is located on the Western edge of the island of Timor. This is the first time in the history of Kupang to experience an evangelism event of this kind . You may follow our day to day report at osbornministries.blogspot.com. This mission began with a letter of invitation from the pastors of Kupang inviting me to come and help them in evangelism. I responded and began making many months of preparations.


The first event in Kupang was a three-day Osborn Gospel Seminar for pastors, church leaders and believers. More than 1,100 people gathered each day to learn the fundamentals of Biblical ministry today. They responded with amazement at the simplicity of our profound teachings. The Seminar climaxed with the distribution of books written in Indonesian. Three titles were given FREE as a Gospel library: “God’s Big Picture”(an overview of the Bible story of redemption, from Genesis to Revelation); “New Miracle Life Now” (the Gospel of Christ presented in terminology that relates to the Eastern mind); and “The Good Life”(a Bible School between two covers, including more than 1,400 Scriptures). This great financial investment will produce enormous spiritual dividends. Before we distributed the books, I informed the believers about you and your financial sacrifice that made the book gifts possible. Together we prayed for YOU, that God would bless you because of your love for others. You would have been so moved to hear these precious Indonesian Christians praying for you. It was truly in the work of Christ. WE ARE ALL LABORERS TOGETHER with Him.

Following the Seminar, the Christians were dispatched throughout the city to invite the people to attend our Festival of Prayer & Miracles. On two occasions I ministered on radio to the entire island (and beyond), encouraging the people to come and learn how to receive miracles from Christ. I told them, “We have been sent by God to bring blessing and healing to you. Come to the Festival. Bring those who are sick. God loves you and He does not want you to suffer. Come and learn how to receive His miracle life.”

As this report is coming to you, the first day of the Festival has concluded. A great multitude of people gathered, it was estimated that 35,000 to 40,000 attended. They came bringing the sick, leading the blind, pressing to get as close to the platform as possible. The scene was the same as Bible days: “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick” (Mt 8:16)

After I preached Christ to the people, it seemed as though 75% of the multitude raised their hands to accept this living Jesus. They were eager to believe on Jesus Christ and to receive His miracle life.

During the prayer for the sick, the people laid their hands on their own bodies. SCORES OF MIRACLES OF HEALING WERE REPORTED. Cripples who had been healed filled the platform. Some had not walked for 17 years. Stroke victims were healed and began walking. Blind and deaf were healed. Testimony after testimony was reported as the people gave public witness to the miracle power and love of Jesus Christ.

There are so many things to report. God is visiting Kupang with His healing and saving life. He is faithful to confirm His word when it is proclaimed with faith.

Remember to visit osborministries.blogspot.com to see the daily reports of the Kupang Festival of Prayer and Miracles. We want you to experience this visitation of God with us. Remember that You are here with us through your prayers and your financial partnership. We need you. God needs you.


Your Partner in MISSIONS,

Dr. LaDonna Osborn

Help Needed For Wonderful News Crusade

1

In no particular order, we need the following things for our Wonderful News Healing Crusade from 11-14th August 2009.

1. A worship leader

As anyone who knows me knows, I cannot lead worship and have very little musical talent.  Due to the fact we are in a library we are not allowed any amplification equipment.  We can have an acoustic guitar and we have access to a piano on the last two nights, so if you know someone who can lead for us that would be wonderful.  We need someone who is an individual (a band would be too loud), can play three or four songs that are upbeat, Biblically based (not begging and whining songs!) and who is a person full of faith and the Holy Spirit.  Please believe God with us that we will find someone.

2. Ushers.

We have a couple already, but we ideally want 4.  Again, people full of faith and the Holy Spirit.   Willing to greet people, be positive, and take names and addresses of people who are saved and healed for follow up.  Someone who is willing and able to lead someone to the Lord, lead someone into the baptism in the Holy Spirit and lay hands on the sick would be a bonus.  In the church we are teaching on healing and ministering healing throughout July on Sunday afternoons, so we would expect our ushers to attend a couple of services in July at least.

3. We need people to attend.

People are drawn to crowds, so if you are reading this, then think about making your way to Essex in August and come and join with us.  You will hear some great preaching (if I do say so myself) and see some great miracles (because God honours His Word!) and will be blessed.  If you need accomodation, don’t worry, we will sort that for you.

4. A Banner.

I want a 3′ x 7′ banner to put up outside so people walking past will know about our meetings.  I am going to price some up in the next week.  If you know companies that make excellent banners at good value, then please let me know!

5. Tracts.  We are submitting our plans to the printers and designers next week.  Please pray for wisdom for them that they produce something truly eye catching and anointed.

6. Bibles.  Thankfully a charity looks like it is going to be donating us 20 Bibles.  Please pray this goes smoothly.

7. 4 sermons.  Please pray for wisdom and revelation for me so I preach the Word of God and not tradition, with boldness and with humility and grace.

8. People help hand out leaflets.  Door-to-door and in the streets of Ilford and Barkingside and possibly Romford and Barking too.  If you can help for a few hours one evening or on Saturday, please let us know.

9. Advertising.   My goal is to advertise in the local paper and on local radio.  I would also like to advertise on Premier radio.  Please pray that I will be able to get through to the decision makers easily and get eye catching adverts in all these places.  Also, some money to get these adverts out would be lovely!

10. A Follow Up Plan.  I want to be able to hand out Andrew Wommack literature to everyone who attends, and some clear teaching literature to everyone who is born again or healed or baptised in the Holy Spirit.  I want to have a clear plan for collecting addresses and details of people who have their lives changed.  I am not looking to steal sheep from other churches in the slighest, but when people come, are born again and have their lifes changed, I want to be able to pastor them and help feed them and help them renew their minds over time.

11. Boldness.  Please pray we will have boldness to keep faithful to the Lord and His plan throughout the entire event.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and so on.  If you are praying for us, add a comment to this post and let us know.  We need encouragement too!

Blessings,

Benjamin

Three Waves – The Second Wave, a Wave of Financial Integrity

0

As the people cast out demons, healed the sick and had the most phenomenally accurate words of knowledge and words of wisdom, two things happened

Firstly, there was a backlash of persecution from cessationist Christians.  Not from the world, not really – much more from Christians who denied the Scriptures and the power of God.  This persecution took the form of exclusion from meetings, people were forced to stand down from leadership positions.  Some pastors were removed from their churches, other pastors virtually expelled their entire churches for speaking in tongues and laying hands on the sick and seeing them healed.  This caused a few people to back off and stop their new life of faith and miracles and joy.  However, far more people were galvanised by this and it caused them to dig into the Word to understand the Biblical basis for seeing miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  It caused them to spend much more time with the Holy Spirit as their comforter and friend, and the wave of miracles grew more intense.
In the places where the persecution was strongest, often involving creative miracles of limbs re-growing and organs being restored.

The second thing that happened is that some people who had been involved in the most religious, non-charismatic churches realized that the grace and power of the Holy Spirit was free and completely by the grace of the Lord Jesus.  At the same time, many of the people moving in the gifts were very young Christians, some only being Christians for a few weeks or even days.

Some of these people started – or continued – in some of the vilest sins.  Some of these started to be exposed and revealed.  It threatened to derail the revival spreading through London and at this stage had started to affect churches in the home counties and in some areas in north England, Wales, France and eastern Europe.

Just at this time, several Christian ministers started to preach on purity and integrity in a powerful way.  Thousands flocked to hear sermons on holiness and purity throughout London.  People started to learn how to think on what is right, how to form pure and wise relationships and how to be honest in all their dealings.  It was a beautiful move and it dovetailed into the healing wave that had just past.  People started to learn how to live their life on the Word, not just on their gifting or anointing.  A small group went into an excess and said they could live how they like and started swapping partners, but this group stopped almost as soon as it started.

I have referred to this wave as a wave of financial integrity because that is how I saw it.  All the things I described above happened in my vision, but the crest of the wave was this: churches started to deal with money in an open and honest way.  I saw Christian leaders weeping before their churches because they had operated the church finances as an extension of their own bank accounts.  I saw elders apologize for manipulating people into giving to their causes.  Some people were repenting of making up causes to raise offerings and this was revealed.

Now, I know for a fact that there is excesses like this inside the charismatic church, but what surprised me when I saw this happen was that it was as much the traditional churches that had leaders repenting and making restitution as the charismatic churches.  Several pastors had raised money for an orphanage that did not even exist, and they were getting right with God and returning double the money to everyone who had given.

It was wonderful to watch.  And as it happened, as people – especially leaders – were honest, were owning up – there was a new level of trust across the body of Christ.  A Pentecostal minister would admit his folly, and instead of shooting him down, the local Anglican church would love him and reach out to him and restore him.  The Baptists were praying for the Assemblies of God, and the URC were praying for the Elim, and this opened up a number of joint meetings which led to many people being saved, healed and delivered.

The irony was that when this was dealt with, people actually became more generous with their money.  People who had never given more than a token amount to the church were giving 30-40% of their income into offerings for their churches.  Money was being distributed to the poor in London like never before.  A number of churches were getting together in different localities and buying buildings to use as shelters for the homeless and as soup kitchens, and places where people could be cared for and supported.  In many areas, one church was organising the whole project but would be amazed when other churches in the area would just send huge offerings with no strings attached.

As this wave started to subside – and I don’t mean that the integrity had ended, any more than the healings and miracles had ceased at this stage, but rather that this as a focus was ending – there were so many Christians who were fellowshipping with people they never thought they would fellowship with.
This is when the third wave I saw hit.

Tree of Life Church

0

We are growing praise the Lord – growing in depth and growing in the numbers of people we are impacting.  Last Sunday we had a lady baptized in the Holy Spirit and start speaking in tongues – she was healed in the week as well, praise the Lord.

Next Sunday we are having a pastor and his wife come and join us who run a church in Tooting and the director of the FGBMI of London-East is also coming.  We are overwhelmed by the love and support people are showing us at the moment.

We are planning a healing crusade in August – please pray for wisdom for us and boldness.  Will keep you updated on this website and on your church website http://www.treeoflifechurch.org.uk

Blessings,

Ben

%d bloggers like this: