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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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Human Rights and Fair Trade in the Power of the Spirit – Simon Adahl

I’ve written about my friend Simon Adahl previously, a Swedish musician who is passionate about Jesus and who has an amazing prophetic gift. Not only is he using this gift to lead people to Christ, but he has also used it to promote human rights and fair trade. Here’s how it happened:

Frank and Simon Adahl on stage at World Prayer Assembly 2012

Frank and Simon Adahl on stage at World Prayer Assembly 2012

On August 15, 2011, the Lord woke Simon up and told him to write a song about the reunification of North and South Korea. “Never!” Simon replied, “Do I look like a Korean to you?” “Write the song” “No, nobody will listen to an unknown Swede anyway.”

Then the Lord started to sing: “The one who walks with God can change nations. The one who walks with God can impact millions.” A song Simon himself had written.

Simon gave up, wrote the song “I’m gonna pray for Korea”, recorded it with his brother Frank and sent it to some South Korean publishing companies. They all said “thank you but no thank you”. It was too controversial.

But then things started to change. A friend of Simon’s said that she got an email from the International Prayer Center requesting prayer for North Korea, since one of their prophets said that Kim Jong Il was about to die (he did die in december 2011). Simon asked them if they wanted to use his song for their prayer meetings, and they said yes.

Shortly after, activist organizations promoting human rights in North Korea, like Stop Genocide in North Korea, wanted to use Simon’s song on events and demonstrations. Suddenly, it was played during a massive global manifestation in New York, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Seoul – at the same time! And finally, a South Korean publishing company published the song.

In 2012, Christians from Indonesia contacted Simon and invited him and Frank to come to World Prayer Assembly 2012 – the biggest prayer meeting in world history – not only to play that song but to write the theme song for the whole event. Simon said yes. And suddenly they were leading worship in front of 200 000 people, as well as millions that watched it through God TV.

And this is where the really cool things began to happen.

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Simon Adahl, St Matthew and Prophetic Enemy Love

Simon Adahl

Simon Adahl

Yesterday I was having dinner with rock musician and revivalist Simon Adahl. He and his close friend Orjan Armgren are two down-to-earth, humble people that experience countless miracles. I literally mean countless. I have attended four of their meetings where they share testimonies non-stop for a couple of hours. Still, Simon had so much to tell that he invited me to his house so that he could share even more.

Here are a few examples of what they have experienced:

– Once, Simon passed by a man he’d never met and suddenly said “The answer is Estonia”. The man was stunned. He explained that minutes earlier, he had prayed to the Lord “Where should my aid relief go, Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania?”

– Another time he called a man and shouted prophetically in the phone “Yes, you are My evangelist!!” Right then, the man had aimed a knife at his artery to kill himself. Now, he ended those plans and returned to God.

– A non-Christian lady came over to Simon and shared some troubles she had. Simon then suddenly said that he saw her as a young girl, running on a grass field with a kite, filled with joy. Orjan, who also was there, said “I hear the song ‘This Little Light of Mine'”. The woman immediately went down on her knees shouting “I want to be saved!” It turned out that they had pointed out her favourite activity and favourite song during the happiest time in her life.
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Lecture: Signs, Wonders and Social Justice

Skärmavbild 2015-09-20 kl. 17.10.01

You know what’s awesome? Miracles! You know what’s also awesome? Social justice! Let’s combine the two, like Jesus did. The Spiritual gifts that God has equipped His church with are supposed to be used to serve others (1 Peter 4:10), and obviously our activism for a more equal and just world will be even more effective when the Holy Spirit empowers us with supernatural abilities. A couple of months ago I hold a lecture on this core idea of Holy Spirit Activism:

It’s super-obvious that miracles and social justice go hand-in-hand in the Holy Scriptures: the Old Testament prophets exercised many miraculous gifts while promoting the rights of the poor and marginalised (see for example the book of Amos); Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons right before His famous Sermon on the Mount about social ethics (Mt 5); and as the apostolic church was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues they eradicated the gap between rich and poor through community of goods (Acts 2).

In the lecture I go through these and other relevant Bible passages, as well as sharing testimonies from people today who combine miracles and social justice, like Simon Adahl and Heidi Baker. I also bring up and criticize theologians and philosophers who deny the existence of miracles or at least its presence in the life of the ordinary believer, like David Hume, Rudolf Bultmann and John MacArthur. Enjoy the video!

Advent, Miracles and Donkeys

jesus donkey

Happy advent! Let us as always read a Bible text that has nothing to do with Christmas, but rather is a prologue to easter:

As Jesus approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ”

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.” (Lk 19:29-34)

Jesus is not renting a donkey, nor does He ask permission to borrow it beforehand – He simply uses the miraculous gift of prophecy to foresee which donkey owner will allow him to borrow a donkey if they hear that He needs it. It makes me think of 1 Sam 9 where Samuel knows exactly where the donkeys of Saul’s father are. God keeps track of your ass! These prophetic words of knowledge are common today in the charismatic movement, where God gives you information about persons, places or donkeys. My friend Simon Adahl has experienced this countless times, so had John Wimber. Listen to this powerful testimony about words of knowledge on an airplane:

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TESTIMONIES – live performance at the Uttini Festival

A few months ago me and my friends Andreas and Sandra were invited to a local music festival to sing a few songs about the Jesus Revolution. TESTIMONIES was the first song we sang, and it’s the first one in our – God-willing – coming album. You can listen to and download it on Soundcloud.

testimonies no eyesNow here’s some testimonies that will fill you all with awe
‘Cause nothing is impossible for the almighty God
The testimonies are a sign of His amazing grace
Let’s turn to Mr Hip-hopper and listen to what he says.

There’s no wonder-worker like Jesus Christ
He gave sight to the blind and turned water to wine
Five breads were sufficient for five thousand guys
When He was crucified, He just went alive

He taught His disciples to do the same
To cast out demons and heal the lame
To prophesy, speak in tongues and life proclaim
They could even raise the dead in His holy Name

TESTIMONIES!
The dynamic living witness of the power of the Holy Spirit
TESTIMONIES!
Gotta love em keep em spread them on

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The Supernaturalist and Naturalist Worldviews

I couldn’t help but notice that when I had written about my friend Simon Adahl and all the miracles he is experiencing, and the post was share within the MennoNerds network that I am a part of, a brother who has studied theology and is a part of a Mennonite church asked why MennoNerds was sharing stuff like that (“reading it is a waste of time”). I understand that people who have not met Simon or others who experience the power of the Holy Spirit can have a hard time trusting them, but to me it’s very strange for a Christian to think it’s waste of time to read testimonies about miracles. After all, that’s basically what the four gospels are all about.

I won’t speculate in how this individual was thinking, but generally a lot of Christians are impacted by the naturalist worldview that has been quite dominating in Western society for the last two hundred years. Even though it is clearly non-Christian in its reasoning, it has impacted especially academic theology but also “liberal” churches that do not have much charismatic, Spirit-filled life. The consequences is a type of Christianity that is extremely different from the original, biblical Christianity.

In May this year, I had to privilege of holding a lecture at a Christian student organization in my home town of Uppsala, Sweden. I spoke about the supernatural worldview that has been dominating most cultures throughout world history and that most people still believe in today, but that has been challanged in recent years, especially in the Western world, by naturalism. Naturalism is, according to Oxford English Dictionary, “the idea or belief that only laws of nature (physical law) (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) and forces operate in the world; the idea or belief that nothing exists beyond the natural world.”

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“Is He a Medium?” “No, He’s a Christian”

Simon Adahl

Simon Adahl

A few days ago I attended a meeting with Simon Adahl, a musician and evangelist that has experienced many miracles. I have already written about how he was saved after his atheist wife saw the apostle Matthew, and how he and his friend Orjan prophesied in a Californian bar and told people stuff about them that they heard from God, which resulted in that four people received Jesus. Let me share with you some other cool things that they have experienced.

Simon loves missions, and when he attends the big Pentecostal conferences here in Sweden he is usually not on the platforms bragging about all the cool miracles he experiences, instead he is sitting in a booth marketing IBRA, a Swedish media missions organization, or Dagen, the biggest Christian newspaper. But of course, the Holy Spirit is active even when you’re not on a platform (thank God). This summer, a lady came to Simon and said that she had been healed from asthma.

“That’s great!” Simon said. “When did that happen?” “Two years ago, in the chair over there”, the lady responded and pointed inside Simon’s booth. This lady had been suffering from severe asthma since she was a little child, and had been using inhalers every night. She said that since the moment she was prayed for in the booth, all asthma disappeared and she hadn’t had a need for inhalers for two years.

Orjan was also at the meeting and he told us about how he and his wife went with Simon and his wife together with some friends from church on a holiday on a ferry to Finland. They were dancing at a club and when they sat down to have something to eat, they sat right by a man they hadn’t met before, who introduced himself as Peter. Orjan felt the Spirit of the Lord coming upon him and he told Peter “Right now, God is renewing your life!” And he commanded him to prophesy over them.

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TESTIMONIES – with Lyrics

Many of you seemed to like my song God is a Criminal so I’ve written some more – I actually got eight songs now about miracles, activism and radical Christianity. One of them is called TESTIMONIES, a pretty funny country/hip hop song about some miracles that either friends of mine have experienced or that I’ve simply read about. Here it comes:

Now here’s some testimonies that will fill you all with awe
‘Cause nothing is impossible for the almighty God
The testimonies are a sign of His amazing grace
Let’s turn to Mr Hip-hopper and listen to what he says.

There’s no wonder-worker like Jesus Christ
He gave sight to the blind and turned water to wine
Five breads were sufficient for five thousand guys
When He was crucified, He just went alive

He taught His disciples to do the same
To cast out demons and heal the lame
To prophesy, speak in tongues and life proclaim
They could raise the dead in His holy Name

TESTIMONIES!
The dynamic living witness of the power of the Holy Spirit
TESTIMONIES!
Gotta love em keep em spread them on 

(more…)

My Testimony

micael grenholm foto Arah Asadi

How rude of me, I’ve let you reading my blog for 18 months without ever introducing myself! Here’s a short presentation of how and why I received my passion to combine charismatic theology with activism for peace and justice, based on an article I’m currently writing for Pax Pneuma, the journal for Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice.

Although being raised in a Swedish Lutheran family, religion never meant very much to me until April 2006, when I was radically born again at a mass in the giant Uppsala Cathedral. I started to pray and read the Bible, and I was fascinated by how the liturgy of my church – that previously was nothing but a bunch of pointless, boring rituals for me – had ancient roots filled with holy meaning.

But I also started to spot differences between church and Scripture. I was surprised that Jesus commanded His disciples to heal the sick and raise the dead (Mt 10:8) – something I had thought were things only Jesus Himself did to prove that He was the Son of God – and I was even more surprised to realize that I was a disciple (Mt 28:19)! “Disciples” was a term that I had thought only referred to the twelve men closest to Jesus, not people today. Now I realized that I was actually supposed to do the things Jesus commanded the apostles to do (Mt 28:20a).

Yet, people weren’t prophesying or casting out demons very much in my Lutheran church, so I started to attend some charismatic and Pentecostal churches. As I grew deeper into the charismatic movement, I saw some differences between church and Scripture here as well though, specifically when it came to peace and justice.

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Video: Signs, Wonders, Peace and Justice

YouTube wanted me to do a trailer for my channel, so I made this one, which I from now on also will have on the about section of this blog. It’s a video where Surprise Sithole, Heidi Baker, Simon Adahl, Andreas Cucca, Michael Liliequist and me share why we believe that it is important to combine miracles with activism. Heidi shares when she saw food multiply, Simon when the Lord gave him a prophetic word of knowledge about aid relief and Andreas when he saw a lame beggar in Guinea being healed. And I do some quick Bible studies about when charismatic activism appears in the Scriptures. Enjoy!

Why I as an Activist Love the Gifts of the Holy Spirit!

This text is also published at Jesus Radicals today.

Photo: Iris Ministries

Photo: Iris Ministries

The Pentecostal and charismatic movements have a bad reputation among Christian anarchists and activists. There are too many examples of healing evangelists who control the masses through manipulation and hysteria, with promises of supernatural encounters only to gain money and status for themselves. Furthermore, many Pentecostals and charismatics support nationalism, war, discrimination and inequalities. They bless the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, they preach a prosperity gospel where strong faith leads to great wealth, they deny climate change and don’t care about the environment.

Yet, I am totally convinced that every Christian activist should embrace the gifts of the Spirit and pursue signs and wonders. Why? Because the mess I just described is of course not genuine a fruit of the Spirit, it is a result of what I call the Corinth Syndrome, when charismatic Christians portray their own crazy ideas and practices as divinely inspired.

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Stunning Prophetic Evangelism in Sweden

Evangelism becomes much more easy when we use the gift of prophecy. Firstly, God can lead us when we aren’t sure of what to say in which situation. Secondly, people tend to exclaim “God is truly with you!” when you reveal the secrets of their hearts prophetically (1 Cor 14:25). When Jesus could tell Nathanael what he had been doing before they met, the latter exclaimed that Jesus truly is the Son of God (Jn 1:48-49). John Wimber taught a lot about this and often shared how he had led a couple to the Lord after sharing some detailed words of knowledge over the man:

Simon Adahl

Simon Adahl

My friends Simon Adahl and Orjan Armgren also have a lot of experience of prophetic evangelism. I wrote just a couple of days ago about how they led three persons to Christ in a hotel bar in Redding, California, using the gift of prophecy. Of course, they also do this when they are at home here in Sweden, and I want to share three of those events that they have told me about.

Once, Simon and Orjan were at Simon’s place and talked with a woman they knew who had some problems in her life. Suddenly Simon said: “We’re going to pray for you know. You have prayed to God that someone would pray for you, haven’t you?” “How do you know this?” she said.

“I go with God”, Simon answered. “And in fact, right now I see a young girl, running around on a grass field with a kite. And when she sees how the wind is katching the kite high up in the air, she’s so happy. This girl is you, and that is how happy the Lord wants you to be again.”

The woman started to weep. Then Orjan said: “I hear a song. ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it…'” – Suddenly the woman went down on her knees shouting “I want to be saved!” (more…)

Hotel Bar Revival in Redding, California

Red Lion Hotel, Redding, CA

Red Lion Hotel, Redding, CA

A month ago, I wrote about how my friend Simon Adahl was released in the gifts of the Spirit after Matthew had told him to love his enemies. Since then, he and his good friend Orjan Armgren have led many to faith in Jesus through the gifts of the Spirit, especially the gift of prophecy. When people experience a miracle, it is hard for them to deny the existence and power of God.

About three years ago Orjan told Simon: “The Lord wants us to go to Redding in the United States.” “No way!” Simon said, “there are so many strange people in the US, they don’t need two more!” He really didn’t want to go, but he agreed to pray “Lord, if it is your will let it happen and fix the money and so on.” He hoped that nothing would happen.

A few days later, they were visiting a prophetic woman, and as soon as she opened the door she exclaimed “You are going to the US, I pay it all!” Oh crap, Simon thought for himself. “The Lord has told me that you are going on the first of November!” When Simon checked his calender, he had no work between the first and fifteenth of November, and his wife was by coincidence also free from work on exactly those days so that she could take care of their child.

Orjan had said that they were going to visit Bethel Church. When Simon checked their website he saw that they arranged a “Leadership Advanced Conference” for pastors and leaders. It was only possible to participate if one got an invitation from the church. He emailed them: “Hi my name is Simon Adahl and I don’t even want to go but the Lord has provided for us in a supernatural way for us to come.” They got the invitation.
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When the Prophets Are Silent, People Turn to the Mayans

The Mayans - nice people, bad prophets

The Mayans – nice people, bad prophets

Musician and prophetic evangelist Simon Adahl once shared on Facebook how he had met a man who, after listening to Simon’s numerous miracle stories, exclaimed: “I had no idea that the church had something to do with the supernatural!” Simon was both surprised and sad when he heard this. Is the Western church so bad at representing God that people don’t realize He is a supernatural being?

I think we are. Even Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in the West often lack the abundance of signs and wonders we read about in the book of Acts. Other churches don’t even believe in it, or they are extremely careful, fearing that they would scare people away if they became “too” miraculous. They view signs and wonders  as a danger and a temptation, and thus healers, prophets and wonder-workers are rare among them.

The New Age movement, on the other hand, loves miracles. And I believe that many turn to New Age because they are not satisfied with unmiraculous cultural Christendom that is being offered them in the church. Today, the Maya Calender has recieved massive attention around the world because it ends today, which according to some means that the world is doing the same. And this is not a marginal phenomenon. Around 10% of the global population thinks that there is a possibility that the world end this year because of the Mayan Calendar.

Why are all these people viewing the Mayans as a prophetic authority? Most of them do not worship Mayan gods. Most of them do not live according to Mayan culture. Still, for many the simple statement “the Mayans said so” is a sufficient argument for thinking that the apocalypse may come today, even though they have no plans about starting sacrificing animals to the serpent god Kukulkan. Thus, in order to debunk the theory, Mayan scholars have to argue why the Mayan calender did not predict the end of the world but just an epoch shift, rather than questioning why people view the calender as prophetic in the first place.

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About

micael grenholm foto Arah AsadiHi, I’m Micael. I’m an evangelist, speaker and writer residing in Uppsala, Sweden. I’m editor for Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice and regularly make videos for my YouTube channel.

I call myself a charismactivist, which means that I am fully convinced that activism for peace and justice should be performed in the power of the Holy Spirit. Miracles, healing, prophecy and evangelism should be combined with peacemaking, economic equality, simplicity and care for the environment, just as in the biblical church.

I was saved in 2006 after discovering that the Bible promises eternal life and after seeing visions of Jesus. I started to pray and read the Bible, and I was fascinated by how the liturgy of my church – that previously was nothing but a bunch of pointless, boring rituals for me – had ancient roots filled with holy meaning.

But I also started to spot differences between church and Scripture. I was surprised that Jesus commanded His disciples to heal the sick and raise the dead (Mt 10:8) – something I had thought were things only Jesus Himself did to prove that He was the Son of God – and I was even more surprised to realize that I was a disciple (Mt 28:19)! “Disciples” was a term that I had thought only referred to the twelve men closest to Jesus, not people today. Now I realized that I was actually supposed to do the things Jesus commanded the apostles to do (Mt 28:20a).

Yet, people weren’t prophesying or casting out demons very much in my Lutheran church, so I started to attend some charismatic and Pentecostal churches. As I grew deeper into the charismatic movement, I saw some differences between church and Scripture here as well though, specifically when it came to peace and justice.

Again, my simple understanding of the Bible was that we should do the things that Jesus commanded the first disciples to do, and thus I never questioned His commandments about turning the other cheek (Mt 5:39) or selling everything one has to give the money to the poor (Mk 10:21). I didn’t become a Christian pacifist and activist through the teaching byJohn Howard Yoder, Shane Claiborne or Heidi Baker, but through the teaching of Jesus.

Within the charismatic movement, people were not as active for peace and justice as I had expected Spirit-filled Christians to be. On the contrary, some (but far from all) advocated for patriotism, just wars, economic inequality and environmental passivity. Disillusioned by this, I started to find theological allies inspired by the radical reformation that believed in pacifism and activism (and I started to read John Howard Yoder and Shane Claiborne).

There is no Anabaptist denomination in Sweden, but as I read about the early Anabaptists and realized that their beliefs about peace and justice were synced with mine, I was involved in the process of creating the cross-denominational Anabaptist Network of Scandinavia together with some friends.

Yet, I was disturbed when I realized that not all (but definitely some!) of my activist friends valued the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Even though cessationism, the teaching that supernatural Spiritual gifts existed in Biblical times but then ceased, is pretty much non-existent in Sweden; several Swedish Christians (especially in the Lutheran church) have a totally non-supernatural theology as developed by Rudolf Bultmann and John Shelby Spong, that both denies miracles in the Bible as well as of today. I found this in some parts of the Christian activist movement, and even if the majority believed in miracles, many did not find them as important as I did.

Because of this, I started to blog, preach and think about how to combine signs and wonders with peace and justice. I also connected with many others who shared this vision and who were putting it into practice: my church Mosaik, Jesus Army, Iris Global, Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice, Bob Ekblad, Simon Adahl… the list could go on and on. What God has done during these years is amazing, and I hope and pray that He will stir a great charismatic, activist revival that will bring millions into the Kingdom and reveal to His people what they’re really called to do.