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“The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.” – Acts 15:12
I love this little Bible passage! At the apostolic meeting in Jerusalem, where it was to be decided what rules and customs should be followed by Gentile Christians, those who have assembled take a testimony break to hear about some miracles. This I believe was both because they illustrated a theological point given by Peter – that God is already working among the Gentiles even before they had been circumcised – and because miracles are very cool to hear about. Seriously, not many grow tired of hearing about miracles.
Right now, I’m at a Pentecostal conference in the northern parts of northern Sweden, where the sun never sets and penguins ride around on polar bears. I’m helping the aid organisation of Swedish Pentecostalism, PMU and collects money for Denis Mukwege’s Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Congo. It’s my first time at the conference and it’s nice, the vegetarian food is a little meh and the topics being talked about at the meetings and seminars aren’t always that radical, but overall it’s OK.
I guess that for an outsider, at first glance, the conference is like any conference or festival – people drinking coffee and eating ice cream, chatting and laughing, going to concerts and lectures. Of course, the topics are Christian and the songs are to God, but that wouldn’t matter much for a nonbeliever. The real game changers I believe are partly the eternal issues about the afterlife and salvation, and partly signs and wonders telling us about the truth of these eternal issues. And God is working through many in Swedish Pentecostalism hallelujah, so testimonies about amazing miracles can pop up anywhere.
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.
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:
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…)
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.
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.