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One and a half year ago I attended a Healing School conference in Malmo here in Sweden, arranged by Global Awakening and New Wine Sweden. Randy Clark, Bill Johnson, Tom Jones and Will Hart were speaking in 26 different sessions about how to pray for the sick and seeing the Kingdom of Heaven manifest on earth. Many miracles happened during that conference, as can be seen in the video above that I made. For example, a guy named Magnus was damaged in a car accident 21 years earlier and got metal plates to stabilize the body, something that made it impossible for him to bow down entirely. He named and claimed his healing and bam – he could touch the floor.
With this wonderful conference in mind, I was excited when I attended the New Wine leader’s conference in Stockholm this week where Randy was the main speaker. It was the same message – healing does not belong to the church margins but is at the heart of the Kingdom – but he had some new wonderful testimonies that illustrated his points. For example, he showed us this powerful video about a woman getting healed from metal constraints, just like Magnus:
I like Randy. Even though I think his former mentor John Wimber (someone I keep comparing him with) had a slightly sounder theology at some points, I love his passion for Jesus, the Kingdom, and the spiritual gifts. His ministry, labeled by Wimber as apostolic, has changed the life of millions – including Heidi Baker. And God surely blesses his meetings through marvelous signs and wonders.
At the first night of the leader’s conference, a man started to shout joyfully and clap his hands. It turned out to be Pekka Liljeblom, a passionate Pentecostal evangelist – and a Facebook friend of mine. He got up on stage and explained that about 30 years ago, he got hurt in a boat accident and damaged his left eye. Since that day, he could only see ten centimeters with it. After receiving prayer at the conference however, his vision got restored with 90 %. He could now see to the other end of the room! I spoke with him two days later and his vision continued to improve.
I’ve written a lot about how inspired I am by the life and teaching of John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard movement. The Kingdom of God was the most central concept in his theology, just as it also was the most central concept in the teachings of Jesus. And what Wimber showed quite clearly was that the Kingdom cannot by any means be separated from signs and wonders.
The reason for this is that miracles manifest power. When God does impossible things like raising the dead or multiplying food, it becomes evident that He is an almighty King, and that He alone can save us from sin and death. Therefore, it is not surprising that the gospels tell us how Jesus and the disciples preached about the Kingdom and healed the sick at the same time (Mt 4:23, Lk 9:2). “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” (1 Cor 4:20)
Wimber’s teaching got a huge impact. The Kingdom of God is central not only in the Vineyard but also in other Charismatic movements like New Wine, Bethel Church and Global Awakening. However, I’m afraid that they have missed a very important aspect of the Kingdom that is quite evident in the Scriptures. The Kingdom of God is of course also a political term, with political consequences in our lives.
A few weeks ago I attended a New Wine Conference in Vänersborg, Sweden. It was the best conference I’ve ever been to, for two reasons: I got radically filled with the Holy Spirit in a way I had not experienced before, and a reoccuring theme on the different seminars (although not the official theme of the conference) was the combination of signs and wonders with peace and justice. Exactly what this blog is about!
Bruce Collins seminar was an example of this. As can be seen in the video above, he shared multiple testimonies of amazing healings that have occured in Maseno, Kenya. The blind see and the crippled walk – normal Kingdom business. But then in the midst of breakthrough, Collins and his friends also saw a lot of hunger and suffering. Many in Maseno only got one meal a day, going to bed hungry every night.
“This is a Kingdom issue as well!”, Collins stated. “We are to pray ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.’ There’s neither sickness nor hunger in Heaven.”
Thus, they started a farming project to increase the maize crops in Maseno – which went very well. Starvation dramatically decreased in the area – and people were still getting healed. That’s how His Kingdom works.