I had a dream where Jesus came to the church to check the credentials of people who were teaching about God. Those who were teaching without being authorized by Him were in trouble. His primary concern was authorization. A secondary issue was the content people were teaching. Many false ideas about God were being taught by people who weren’t authorized by Him.
In the dream, I understood that along with the Lord’s authorization to speak on a subject, came the content of a person’s message. The fact that they needed to be authorized to speak on certain subjects came as a surprise to most people, even though Jesus warned them about this.
Social networks have created a global platform where anyone can share their views about God. We’re bombarded with theological opinions. And apparently, Jesus is listening.
Due to our unique personalities, talents and life experiences, God authorizes each of us differently. Those who have been authorized to speak on a subject are given His heart on that subject, the right life experiences and the right message. He also provides the right audience.
Having God’s authorization creates a favorable environment. Those who speak on subjects He’s authorized tend to bear good fruit. Those who speak without His authorization tend to create discord and confusion. Since God is not the author of confusion, if there is confusion surrounding a message, there’s a good chance that someone who is not authorized is doing the talking.
What I’m authorized to speak on is pretty limited. I’m authorized to teach on healing, deliverance, dreams, and more recently, politics. I’m often asked questions about things which I’m not authorized to speak on, like generational sins and curses. While I know people who have personal experience and revelation from God on these subjects, I can’t think of a single thing God has revealed to me about them. So when people ask me I simply tell them, “I have no revelation on that,” and point them to people who have received revelation on it. I don’t want to step outside my realm of authority.
There’s no shame in admitting to your ignorance on a subject. If you give people counsel that isn’t from God, you’re going to lead them astray. It seems wiser to say nothing at all. One of the sticky points of being granted authority is that in addition to giving us freedom to speak on certain issues, it restrains us from speaking on others. Jesus modeled this restraint by only saying what the Father authorized Him to say and only doing what the Father authorized Him to do.
My suggestion (if you’re looking for one) is pretty simple: Check with Jesus and ask Him what you are and aren’t authorized to speak on and make a list. Once you have clear direction, ask Him to reveal His heart on those issues and confine your conversations to those which He has authorized you to speak on. Then watch how He moves powerfully through you.
Most of us have been taught that healing comes when we ask God to heal someone who is sick or injured. We pray and God hears our prayer and based on His knowledge of the situation He decides to either heal them or not. If this is how you believe healing takes place, I would ask you to set aside your beliefs for a while as we examine what the Bible teaches about the process of healing.
Most of us were taught how to pray by someone we respected. That first prayer may have sounded something like, “God, please bless mommy and daddy and our dog, Buster… in Jesus name I pray, Amen!”
When we became older, our style of prayer probably changed. Some of us developed a bit more desperation; “God I really need this job! You know how much this means to me, so please hear me and make this job happen now… in Jesus name I pray, Amen!”
It’s true that Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…” finishing with, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.”
Some of us believe there is virtue in accepting the outcome of a situation, regardless of how it works out. “Lord, if it’s your will, please heal grandma of cancer, but if it’s not your will, give us the grace to accept her sickness and death.”
I don’t mean to be critical of those who offer such prayers in earnest. But most of us who pray this way seldom see people healed. After trying this approach and praying with hundreds of people but seeing almost complete failure, I discovered a better, more biblical approach. I suppose there’s nothing more insulting than to be told we don’t know what we’re doing when we pray. As people of faith, we pride ourselves on our prayer life. But we should ask ourselves if our prayers for healing are effective or not.
Over the last year, I would estimate that about 80 percent of the people I have prayed with have been healed. In a week when my faith was operating consistently, about half of them were healed instantly. In a typical week I might pray with as few as ten or as many as 30 people for healing of different conditions. Occasionally, in a particular week, everyone I prayed with was healed.
You must understand that this kind of success is not guaranteed and my results from week to week may vary greatly. I have some weeks, where the success rate may be closer to 30 percent, but that happens only rarely. A number of friends have reported a 100 percent healing rate for a particular weekend of ministry. The success we have is the result of using a different approach to prayer . At this point, you may be wondering why we aren’t setting up camp at cancer clinics if we have this kind of success. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly difficult to find anyone in health care who will take you seriously when your specialty is faith healing.
Supernatural healing is not yet accepted as a valid form of treatment by most hospitals and clinics. Even when hospitals employ chaplains, they don’t expect them to work miracles. Their role is primarily emotional support and grief counseling.
On September 2, 2010, I had a dream in which I was standing on the edge of eternity with a group of friends who operate in healing. Pete Cabrera and Jessie Campbell were two of the people with me. While I gazed into eternity, Jessie approached and handed me a scroll. I knew what was written on it. It had a declaration that said, “You have been given authority over all the power of the enemy.” I took the scroll and wrote the words down.
Then I approached another person and read the declaration to him and he wrote it down.
The dream was a revelation of an eternal promise given to those who want to heal the sick. We know that some forms of sickness are planned and carried out by the enemy. But we have been given authority over sickness, disease, trauma and all other powers of the enemy.
Largely due to the teaching of men like Andrew Wommack and Curry Blake, many believers have begun to see the kind of success in healing achieved by Jesus and His disciples. These believers have a confidence and tenacity you won’t find elsewhere in the Church. They tend to function as a kind of spiritual police, arresting sickness and disease and enforcing the principles of God’s kingdom.
The truth about healing will come as a shock to most Christians and it will challenge their theology. When you review the individual healing accounts recorded in the New Testament, you’ll find that not once did Jesus or His disciples ask God the Father to heal a sick or demonized person. A few people begged Jesus for healing, but Jesus never asked His Father to heal them, nor did the disciples. That fact ought to make us reconsider how we approach healing.
If it wasn’t His approach to ask His Father to heal the sick, what approach did Jesus use? Let’s have a look.
When Jesus was summoned by the Roman Centurion to heal his servant, the soldier recognized the authority He had over sickness. Here is one of the keys to healing – it’s a matter of authority. Because the Centurion understood how authority works, his faith was able to apprehend healing for his servant. No prayer was involved; Jesus spoke a word and the servant was healed. It was a simple transaction involving the faith of the Centurion and the authority of Jesus. There are a number of other healings that occurred in this manner, recorded in Matthew chapter 8.
Although He used slightly different approaches in each encounter, Jesus usually spoke a word of healing, touched the sick person or in some way transferred power to them. He didn’t ask His Father to heal them.
A few passages from the New Testament when taken together reveal the plan Jesus had for His disciples in regard to healing and deliverance. It’s actually a simple outline for operating in healing. As recorded in Matthew chapter 10, Jesus chose twelve disciples and commissioned them to go out to the cities of Israel. These were His
instructions to them:
“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.”
He gave them authority over all the power of the enemy:
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
He revealed a few of the things His disciples would do:
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
After He was resurrected He told them they would receive power:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
He gave His disciples assignments for healing, deliverance and raising the dead, and He gave them the power and authority to do them. Now let’s have a closer look at the kind of power and authority He gave
Authority to Heal
Faith isn’t the only factor involved in healing. Some healers have great faith, but lack an understanding of their authority. The word for “authority” which is found in Luke 10:19 is the Greek word, exousia. I looked up this word in Strong’s Concordance and found the following definitions:
Power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
The ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
The power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
Power to Heal
Faith and authority are two of the keys to healing, but there is a third key we must understand – power. Jesus gave power to His disciples. What kind of power did He give them?
The Greek word translated “power” in Acts 1:8 is the word dunamis. Strong’s Concordance gives the following definitions:
Strength, power, ability
Inherent power, or power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
Power for performing miracles
The authority we have is the legal right to do the things Jesus commanded us to do. The power He gave us (the anointing) is the operation of the Holy Spirit in us. These definitions speak of power and authority that reside with the individual. While our authority is ultimately tied to the authority of Christ, it is given to us and it may be exercised by us in whatever way we choose.
The power for healing is a manifestation of the kingdom of God that permanently resides in us. Once we’ve been given power and authority to heal the sick, we never need to ask God to do it. We have the power and authority to heal them ourselves. This power and authority is how Jesus and the disciples healed and it is no different for us today.
We’ve noted that some people were healed when power left Jesus as He passed by them. The woman healed of the bleeding disorder is one example. Some people feel heat or tingling sensations when I pray with them and some feel nothing at all. Yet many of them are healed, whether they feel anything or not. Some people feel power leaving their body when they pray for others, but I do not. The only thing I feel is the presence of God around me.
We must understand that the power to heal resides with us. It is true that the power does not originate in us. It comes from God. But it comes to us and is released through us by the power of the Holy Spirit operating in us. We are something like portable power stations walking the earth. How marvelous it is that He has placed His treasure in these very earthen vessels.
Before we close, I want to share one more point about authority:
The Bible says that believers have been seated (past tense) with Christ in heavenly places (see Eph. 2:6). It also says that Christ is seated on a throne in heaven beside His Father (see Eph. 1:20). If we have been seated with Him, then we are also seated on a throne in heaven – which is our seat of authority. We rule and reign beside Him.
Rulers who reign from their throne do not engage their enemy directly in battle. They simply make declarations from their seat of authority and their declarations are carried out. It is the fact that they occupy a seat of established authority that allows their spoken commands to be carried out. It’s not the individual, but the seat they occupy that grants authority. If they were not seated on a throne, their commands would not have the same effect. Once we understand how to occupy our seat of authority in heaven, and how to rule from it, everything we do takes on a different dimension. The exercise of our authority is not limited to healing. It extends to all areas of life.
Most of us have been taught incorrectly about prayer and healing. We haven’t been informed about our power and authority. I don’t want to be too critical of church leadership and this isn’t meant to be a book on theology. But there are some erroneous things being taught in the Church that need to be corrected.
Many of us have cried out to God to do something for our loved one as they lay dying of cancer. God has already done all that He needs to do. He paid for their healing and He gave us the power and authority to heal them. The thief comes to our house to steal, kill and destroy the people we care about. If the tongue holds the power of life and death, then your mouth is a loaded gun, a weapon that destroys sickness and disease. Isn’t it time you started using it? If you haven’t begun to exercise this power and authority, there’s no time like the present. Go ahead, step out of the boat and watch the power of God begin to work through you.
One afternoon my wife and I watched a Bethel video featuring Bill Johnson, who spoke on subject of the orphan spirit. It was a good message, but apparently the Holy Spirit wasn’t done speaking when I turned the video off. The message continued into my dreams. That night I had a dream in which Bill Johnson and his wife Beni were present, along with one of their sons. (I don’t know which one.) Their presence in the dream was mysterious. I didn’t see their physical bodies. They seemed to be there in the spirit. They had discerned that the orphan spirit was the greatest problem for the body of Christ at the present time. In the dream, I knew their son was in an area that was “locked down.” When I heard this term in the dream, I wasn’t sure what it meant, exactly.
My EMT partner was with me in the dream. We went to the area that was “locked down.” We were met by a young man who looked like a friend from work named Chris Maehren. He had a young woman with him. They were both very pleasant and dressed very nicely—but they were both wearing black clothing, which struck me as strange.
They accompanied me and my EMT partner as we went through a very large cavern. It seemed to be about 1/2 mile in length and it was very well-lit, for a cave. At the far end of the cave, we climbed up a sloping rock wall that led to a door. We went through the door and into a hallway which led to what looked like a mental hospital. Once we were inside, I saw patients walking the hallways.
The man who led us there was going to let us into a room to see a patient. There was no conversation between us during the dream. He simply led us to a room and opened the door.
At this point, I became aware that there were other people with me, besides my EMT partner. Again, it was an awareness I had that other people were with us, more than actually seeing or talking to them. I had a sense that I was leading a group on a mission.
As I thought about going through the open door, I became aware that what we were doing was against the rules of the facility. I felt we were going to get in trouble when we got caught, which seemed certain because the process took longer than it should have taken. It seemed as though we should have been able to get the person (or people) out of their room and leave quickly, but everything took longer than it should have. I decided not to go into the room. I felt like I didn’t need to. So when the door was opened, I just sat on a table in the hallway and waited.
Everyone in the room came out into the hallway. One person in particular seemed very happy that we came there. We talked for a few minutes until an employee showed up and began scolding us for being there. It came as no surprise to me that the employee seemed mentally ill himself, just like the patients. And his sour demeanor let me know that the party was now over.
I don’t recall how I got to the cave, but I had to drive my car home. As I drove, I became concerned that my wife would be mad because I was going to be home late. I looked at a map and determined it would take two to three hours to drive home. As I drove, I suddenly took a mysterious short cut, which I saw as my car driving quickly across a map. I arrived at home sooner than I expected, and found my wife curled up on the couch, watching TV with a group of children that were not my biological children. That was the end of the dream.
There is too much revelation in this dream to adequately cover in a blog post, but I’d like to share a couple of observations:
One of the main messages of the dream is that many of us have taken on a wrong sense of identity. The orphan spirit speaks of a mindset that does not truly believe God is our Father—at least not in the way He wants us to understand this reality. I know many people who say that God is their father, but they live as if He is not. I lived this way for many years, but I’m finally beginning to accept the full implications of what it means to be His son.
A second message is that we’re on a rescue mission to find those who have been held captive by this lie and set them free. When we arrived at the holding room, it wasn’t necessary for me to go into the room they were in. It wasn’t necessary for me to join them in their reality. They had to exercise their free will and leave their place of captivity—they had to believe in a different reality. For those who are being held captive by the orphan spirit, their freedom will come as they begin to understand who they truly are and what it means to be a son of God. They will join us and we will lead them out of darkness.
In the last scene, I was concerned that my wife would be left waiting for me, but God altered time so that I arrived home sooner than I should have. I spend an enormous amount of time writing about healing, the identity of the believer and getting free from religion. I also spend a lot of time praying with and encouraging people through social networks. I sometimes worry that I’m short-changing my wife by spending so much time doing these things. It seems God may be working behind the scenes to provide enough time for us to stay connected as husband and wife. And the fruit of our ministry is a small tribe of people who are learning with us as we take them along on our adventures.
In Matthew 17, there is a record of the disciples trying to cast an evil spirit out of a boy. After they failed, they brought the boy to Jesus who removed the demon and healed the boy. Later, when the disciples asked why they were unable to remove the demon, Jesus said:
“Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matt 17:20 NKJV
He then added this remark:
“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
What did Jesus mean when he said the kind of demon they encountered did not come out except by prayer and fasting?
He implied that there are different types of demons. The word that is translated kind in this verse is the Greek word γένος (genos) from which we get the English word ‘genealogy’. This word describes the differences between related varieties of living beings—between families, races, tribes or nations. There are different families or races of demons and the one they encountered was somehow different. If you’re curious to know how it was different, consider that Mark’s account mentioned that the demon caused the boy to be deaf and mute. Matthew noted that it caused him to have seizures. Both accounts mention only one spirit. This is the only spirit mentioned in the Bible that caused more than one type of physical affliction. (Compare Mt. 17:15 and Mk. 9:25)
Evil spirits specialize. Some specialize in physical affliction, like the spirit that afflicted the woman who had been crippled for eighteen years (Lk. 13:11). Some specialize in emotional trauma, like the one that terrorized King Saul (1Sam. 18:10). Some specialize in divination, like the spirit Paul cast from the woman who followed him for many days. (Acts 16:17-18) Some specialize in lust. Others specialize in fear.
Most of us are influenced by evil spirits on a regular basis. (Note that I said influenced and not possessed.) When a person comes under the influence of an orphan spirit, they may profess to believe that God loves them but they act as if He doesn’t. When a person comes under the influence of a religious spirit, they judge the behavior of others as ungodly and hold them to a legalistic interpretation of the scriptures. When we come under the influence of a poverty spirit, we reject the idea that God wants us to prosper.
The poverty spirit promotes its agenda by slightly twisting the scriptures. “Money is the root of all evil” the spirit will say, omitting the first part of the verse. The full verse, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” reveals that money itself is not the problem but rather, an evil a heart that desires money above all else.
Simon the sorcerer is held up as an example of those who hope to get rich from Christian ministry. The poverty spirit tells us a true child of God would never prosper from such work. The apostle Peter received a word of knowledge from the Lord about Simon’s problem. He had a bitter heart filled with iniquity:
“For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Acts 8:23
If one’s primary desire from ministry is a large paycheck then greed has likely poisoned the heart.
But we should ask if it’s possible to love the Lord with all our heart and serve him out of that passion and still be blessed financially.
Does financial prosperity always indicate a motive of greed?
The poverty spirit insists that financial blessing must always be rejected as evil. It whispers in our ear that it is the poor that God truly cares for. The rich are only rich because they are evil. We should never seek or expect any type of financial blessing. The poverty spirit will coin phrases like, “Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”
To those who are under the influence of the poverty spirit, poverty itself is a virtue. It causes them to be satisfied with less than what God wants for them and it becomes an excuse not to expect anything more than what they have.
I have a friend who has worked in banking most of his life. I’ve never met anyone who is as blessed, financially. I’ve also never met anyone who is a more generous giver. When the Lord leads, he’ll drop thousands of dollars in an envelope and hand it to a stranger at a gas station. He thought nothing of spending $10,000 to fly me to Australia to teach his friends about healing. If things went well, he was prepared to spend $100,000 on a much larger kingdom-related project. Does financial blessing always indicate the person has a greedy heart?
Before moving to Arizona in 2011, Denise and I led a comfortable lifestyle. Our two incomes allowed us the freedom to make generous donations. After moving here, our finances took a hit. It’s a long story but in the years since then, we’ve gradually climbed out of that hole and our finances now allow us to give generously to others. We consider it an honor and a privilege. If we had allowed ourselves to be influenced by the poverty spirit, we would have doomed ourselves to a meager, pitiful existence that prevented us from impacting the world in a significant way. We refuse to allow that spirit to influence us.
President Trump has provided all the things necessary for Americans to live a prosperous lifestyle. Sadly, many people will miss out on that opportunity because they’ve chosen to believe a lie. I’m not suggesting that God has a Mercedes waiting for you if you just have enough faith to believe for it. I loathe the “prosperity gospel” as much as anyone. The spirit of greed is just as dangerous as the spirit of poverty. Guard your heart with all diligence. Refrain from allowing any kind of evil spirit to influence you, especially one that promises to make you appear more virtuous. Appearances are seldom what they seem. God looks at the heart.
This testimony was published with the author’s permission.
It started a year earlier with a word I heard the Lord say on my way to work: “If you drive the speed limit I will transport you.”
I thought to myself, “way cool” and I drove the speed limit for 5 months and then thought I somehow missed it and gave up.
Eight months later they closed the road that is my main route to work for repairs. My new route went through three little towns. Over the course of many months, I drove through them enough times to memorize all the speed limit signs and when they changed from one to another. An example is Milford, Indiana. The highway outside of town has a speed limit of 55 then as you approach the town, it’s reduced to 45 and in town, it’s 35. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to work following this route.
A morning came when I overslept and knew I was hopelessly going to be late. I couldn’t even go way over the speed limit and make it to work on time, so I had this word come to me again. This is now a year later. I thought what the heck… why not? So I watched the signs dogmatically. On my way, I experienced things I had never experienced. Probably because it was a little later than normal.
I was stopped two times for a school bus loading kids. As I was entering Milford, I saw the 45-speed limit sign and kept driving but I didn’t see the 35 mph sign, I started to wonder where it was then looked around me realized I was in Leesburg which is the next town down the road.
Just out of Leesburg is a traffic light and I hit it red. In my mind, I thought the words “I am so not going to make it on time.” I started to speak it and the words that came out of my mouth were, “I am so going to make it on time.” Shocked me when it came out but I just laughed. When I got to work, I was two minutes early. Thank you, Jesus!
I realized later that it had nothing to do with obeying the speed limit sign. The only way I would know that I was transported about 6 miles was the absence of the 35 mph signs. If I wasn’t paying so much attention to the signs, I would never have known it happened.
Interestingly, I had another transport: Me and my car two weeks ago. In short, I was going to work again on my standard route. I was leaving Mishawaka crossing Dragoon road. There’s a new gas station on the corner and I wanted to see the price of gas there to compare it to other gas stations about a mile down the road. You go up a big hill to get to them. There are two gas stations, a big department store, the Dollar store, McDonald’s, and you drive over an overpass and hit a flashing red light about another mile down the road.
When I was crossing Dragoon Road, starting up the hill, I turned around to see the gas price quickly and when I turned back around, I was driving on the road miles down the highway just coming into a small town. I was confused for a moment because I never saw all the stuff I just told you I would be passing and I don’t even remember driving up the hill.
I realized I was transported again and I started to praise God and get happy for his surprises and help. I thought Jesus just did this for my excitement and joy but about 5 miles down the road were a lot of lights flashing and the road was closed. There was a big detour I had to take to get back on track to work. Normally, I would have been late but instead, because God transported me supernaturally, I was five minutes early.
I’m often asked if we can heal ourselves, or do we need to have someone pray for us to be healed. Since there aren’t clear examples in the Bible of self-healing, I’d like to share a personal experience:
One night, as I went to bed, I developed sudden pain in my lower back that radiated down the back of my left leg. I’d never had this type of pain before, but I knew from transporting people with these symptoms, it was consistent with a herniated lumbar disc. The pain was severe and for a moment I panicked, thinking I’d done something to injure my back.
As I thought about the pain, I remembered that God had been speaking to me about pain returning after healing. This was a new concept at the time. (I was new to healing and had only been praying with people for about a year.) On a hunch, I took the position (in my mind) that the pain I felt was not actually a herniated disc, but an imitation of that pain, caused by a demon. I told myself repeatedly, “I do not have a herniated disc.” Suspecting an evil spirit was at work, I commanded the spirit to leave. I didn’t address the bones, nerves or other structures in by back. I focused completely on the spirit I believed was causing the pain. After ten minutes, the pain left, but it returned 20 minutes later. When it returned, I repeated the same process and had my wife join me in the battle. We went to war against the spirit, repeatedly commanding it to leave. The pain would leave for a while, only to return later. This went on for two hours.
I became exhausted and I realized had to go to sleep—even if the pain was still there. I decided to rebuke the spirit one last time and commanded it not to return. When I went to sleep, the pain was as bad as it had been all night. But when I awoke in the morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had no pain. It disappeared overnight and never returned. I learned a great deal from this experience.
I learned that we can indeed heal ourselves. I also learned that we can have the symptoms of a condition that perfectly mimics the condition itself, with no actual injury or disease process in our body. A demon can create a near perfect imitation of a real medical condition.
I also learned that a key to victory over the enemy lies in what we believe and what we say. I refused to believe or admit that I had a herniated disc—even though the symptoms felt exactly like it.
I also learned that although we might see the complete removal of a spirit and the symptoms it causes, it doesn’t mean they won’t return. And if the symptoms return, the strategy that worked the first time can be used again, as often as needed, until the spirit realizes we aren’t going to allow it to afflict us.
I’ve used these principles many times since then. Whether it’s a headache, cancer, a sprained ankle or some other sickness or injury, the authority we’ve been given by Jesus over sickness and evil spirits works as well on us as it does on others.