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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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Greg Boyd on Casting Out Demons

boydSo I was listening to the Woodland Hills Podcast the other day where pastor Greg Boyd was speaking on spiritual warfare and delivering demonized people, and he shared a testimony about an exorcism that blew me away. “Wow”, I thought, “that was an awesome testimony!”

I asked him on Twitter if I could share that piece of the sermon on my YouTube channel to which he kindly responded “No problem Micael. We own NOTHING. So give away freely!!”

After discussing how he sometimes is ridiculed for taking the existence of satan seriously, even though it makes no sense why a Christian shouldn’t acknowledge the existence of satan and demons, Boyd shares how two girls once manifested demonic activity after he had rebuked satan at a church meeting. One of them grabbed him with surprising strength, rolled her left eye counter-clockwise three times and tossed him away from her. Thankfully, both of the girls were delivered and joined the church.

Also, check out Boyd’s excellent post on the existence of a spiritual realm.

To what extent can a Christian be demonized? Part 1

Guest blog by Lars Gunther.

This is a reworded and expanded version of a comment that I wrote on this blogMicael wrote a post on the issue of demonization, arguing that a believer can indeed be a victim of demons afflicting him or her from within the body, and thus be in need of having that demon being cast “out”, and not merely cast “away”. It is clear from the depictions of how Jesus defeats the demons that they can dwell within a person and that they upon being confronted with the presence of Jesus sometimes manifest themselves or that they produce loud noises and/or shake the bodies of their victims violently during their departure. (Note that demons in the New Testament do not cause their victims to shout and/or shake all the time, but that this happens as a result of the encounter with Jesus or a follower of Jesus ministering in His authority and power.)

Instinctively western Christians, being unused to these kind of phenomena, may wish to avoid the subject. However, demons are real even if they usually hide themselves. and the question of deliverance being necessary will sooner or later appear for a follower of Jesus, trying to obey his every command (Matt 28:19-20), including the ones to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons (Matt 10:7-8).

In this post I will defend the proposition that Christians can indeed be in need of having demons cast out and the general approach to this topic as it was taught by John Wimber and his associates. (more…)

Can Christians be possessed by demons?

Jesus Exorcism

Jesus Exorcism

The Assemblies of God (AoG), the biggest Pentecostal denomination in the US, has famously argued that it is impossible for Christians to be possessed; no one who has received the Holy Spirit, they say, can be overtaken by demonic forces. This differs from the view shared by many neo-Pentecostals, charismatics, Catholics as well as many Pentecostals in the majority world (Asia, Africa and Latin America), who all say that Christians might actually become demonized.

When John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard movement, was asked if he believed that Christians could have demons, he provokingly replied “Well yeah, I’ve cast them out of pastors!” His wife Carol wrote in her biography about her husband something like: “When we encountered a demon, we simply cast it out – without checking baptismal records. What else could we do? Wait until they become Hindus and then cast them out?”

Now, AoG-folks and like-minded may object that such allegorical evidence does not mean much compared to arguments from Scripture. Which is generally true, although in this particular case the usual claim concerning extra-Biblical supernatural phenomena – it’s a demonic deception! – is quite counterproductive. But the Bible is always important in theological matters, so let’s have a look.  (more…)

The Audible Voice of Jesus Saved Omid’s Life

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Fire of God, Stockholm

Omid was saved after he heard the audible voice of Jesus Christ: “I’m real. Don’t take your life.”

Yesterday I was attending the Fire of God Revival Conference in Stockholm. I’m not a big fan of the setting (giant auditorium with coloured spotlights and smoke machines) but the Spirit and message was awesome. Three ordinary guys – Patrick, Charles and Omid – have together with Nigerian pastor Francis Anene arranged the conference. At this first meeting they shared their testimonies, and of the four Omid’s testimony touched me the most.

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Omid Seppänen

Omid Seppänen was born in Finland, raised in a family with a Muslim father who taught him the Qur’an and a Christian mother who brought him to church. Needless to say, he became religiously confused. As a teenager, he rebelled against his parents and became an atheist. He went to parties every weekend for two years, drank and used drugs, and started to become very depressed.

One night, he saw the devil himself, physically, standing in his room. He was shocked, not the least since he didn’t believe that the devil existed! This vision terrified him, and his depression increased.

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The African Worldview is the Biblical Worldview: A Response to Conrad Mbewe

Conrad Mbewe

Conrad Mbewe

All right, I will soon stop talking about Strange Fire (most of my Swedish Christian friends have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention the conference, John MacArthur or even cessationism – those things aren’t so hot over here) but I have to comment Conrad Mbewe’s lectures before I move on to funnier things. Being the only non-Western speaker at the event, Mbewe shared his opinions on the charismatic movement in Africa. Those opinions were negative, to say the least. You can find transcriptions of his lectures here and here.

Mbewe’s main argument is that the popularity of the “charismatic chaos” in Africa is caused by how well it fits with traditional African spirituality. They share the same worldview. In African animism, belief in spirits is prevalent, and people go to the witchdoctors to be healed, delivered from evil spirits and to have prosperous crops. African charismatics behave just the same – they go to the “man of God” to be healed, delivered from evil spirits and to prosper. Thus, Mbewe argues, charismatic preachers are just like witchdoctors.

When I saw how Mbewe talks about worldviews, I immediately got flashbacks to good ol’ Power Evangelism by John Wimber. He dedicates a whole chapter to worldviews and describes the African and other non-Western worldviews in the same manner as Mbewe does – it is a worldview where the supernatural is natural and where supernatural healing, prophetic messages and deliverance from spirits are part of normal life. However, Wimber rightly argued that this is the biblical worldview as well.

(more…)

Pastor Pratap vs the Demons

Remember the Christian Youth Conference in Odisha, India, that my friends Joel and Steve participated in? Now, we got some video shooting from there. As you can see, the youths were desperately hungry for the Kingdom of God, and the Holy Spirit responded to their hunger. Joel, who by the way just has become co-author of this blog, was awe-struck when he came back to Sweden, and I can see why.

Joel and Steve also got the chance to interview pastor Pratap Pradhan. He is one of the regional leaders of Touching Asia, and a humble man of God. He oversees over 100 churches that they have planted over the years. They help the poor and develop communities while they heal the sick, preach the Gospel and casts out demons. In the interview, Pratap gives some examples of that:

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Charismatic Servants

The Servanthood of Jesus

The Servanthood of Jesus

Tragically, preachers and evangelists in the Pentecostal and charismatic movements are often seen as people hungry for power, who control the masses through promises of supernatural encounters only to gain money and status for themselves. Even though the accusation sometime is exaggerated, there are indeed many genuine cases of manipulation and control among us, which is extremely sad and stupid. This is defenitely not something that the Holy Spirit produces; and thus, it contradicts true charismatic living.

The basis of Christianity is love. God is love (1 John 4:8) and He loves us more than we can understand (Eph. 3:19, Rom 8:38-39). Although people have turned away from Him and sin, He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to give us eternal life through He died our death (John 3:16, Rom 5:8). God forgives our sins; by his grace we are saved and receive eternal life, not by earning it with good deeds, but by God’s grace (Eph. 2:8-9).

This grace is the basis not only for our salvation but also for the supernatural gifts that Jesus used to spread the Kingdom of God and instructed his disciples to use, they are gifts given by grace (greek charismata, grace gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4)) that we can not earn or deserve, but we recieve them freely by God’s grace (Ephesians 4:7). (more…)

Amazing Testimonies from Kampala, Uganda

Two months ago I wrote about the great Christ for all Nations campaign in Gulu, Uganda. Here are some testimonies from the earlier Kampala campaign, written by evangelist Daniel Kolenda:

Day 1

Last night we were received by the president of Uganda, his wife and his whole family at the state house, where we had dinner and wonderful fellowship. Afterword evangelist Bonnke preached the Gospel and we prayed over the first family.

Formerly blind lady

Formerly blind lady

Tonight evangelist Bonnke preached a powerful evangelistic message and thousands responded. Then we prayed for the sick and wonderful miracles of healing began to take place

An old lady who was totally blind in both eyes received her sight tonight.

A father carried his daughter from the hospital with the intravenous catheter (from an i.v. drip) still attached to her arm. She was inflicted with both typhoid fever and malaria.

Tonight she was totally healed and she walked, unaided, up onto the platform to testify.

Jumping healed man

Jumping healed man

A man who had a severe back injury in a motorcycle accident was confined to a back brace. Tonight, after the power of God came on him, he ripped that brace off and began to dance and jump!

Day 2

    A lady who had four lumps in her breasts said that, during the prayer, she felt heat cascade over her and she felt like things were leaving her body. Afterward, she checked her breasts and found that

all the lumps had completely disappeared along with all pain!

A woman who had fallen into a pit and broken her arm went to the doctors, who put it in a cast, but it did not heal properly – it was twisted and misshapen. But during the prayer she said she could hear popping and cracking coming from her arm. Before her very eyes that twisted arm snapped into place and is now perfectly normal! (more…)