All posts filed under: Spiritual Gifts

Why Westerners are not receiving dreams and visions like those in the Middle East?

In Joel 2:28, the prophet spoke of a day when God would pour out His Holy Spirit on all flesh, and added that it would be evidenced by people having dreams and visions. I have written several articles on how people in the Middle East have had their lives transformed by God-given dreams and visions. And while this seems to be happening in other parts of the world, it does not seem to be taking place, at least to the same degree, in Western countries. I have a couple of friends who regularly receive dreams and visions. In my case, I have had only one, which I would describe as a warning dream. It resulted in a positive, spiritually life-altering experience as my wife and I moved to another city. Yet, for most Westerners, myself included, these are rare experiences in Christian circles. In an interview with Faithwire, Rev. Lazarus Yeghnazar, the founder of Transform Iran, made an interesting statement that may explain why. If he was in a meeting with Iranian believers and asked …

Wayne Johnston: A prophetic word for 2023

A few days ago while celebrating Christmas early with family, I woke up after 3 am because of pain in my shoulder from an injury. I did not want to get up and disturb others, so I raised my arm before God and in hushed tones started to worship and pray. During this time of brokenness, God gave me the following vision for 2023. The next day, I shared it with a church leader where it resonated, and later I felt it was not just a word for his church, but the Body of Christ as a whole. The Vision I saw the master of a vineyard carefully looking over the grape harvest. He lovingly and carefully picked one ripe purple grape and put it on a shelf to admire its perfect mature form. It represented the perfectly formed mature fruit. It had everything in its right place. It was a fully grown grape that had it all together, but it lacked one thing. The master of the vineyard lovingly and carefully picked it up …

Word of knowledge reveals the name of a woman’s unknown birth father

The word of knowledge is one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit that is distributed to believers mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; (1 Corinthians 12:8 NASV) It is defined as receiving revelatory information about a person or situation, either past or present, that a person would have otherwise not known about. And in a story on God TV, Deanna Shrodes shared the remarkable story of how God revealed the name of her birth father, through a word of knowledge. Deanna works in the ministry with her husband Larry where they pastor a church outside of Tampa, Florida. She had been adopted as an infant and never knew her birth parents When she was 27 years old, Deanna was finally able to track down her biological mother. Though they developed a relationship over the next 20 years before her mother died of cancer in 2019, she …

She had given up praying for healing, and then God …

While she was taking skiing lessons as a young girl, Elizabeth Chatka found herself struggling to keep her balance. She later went to the doctor and after a series of tests was diagnosed with Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSH), CBN reports, FSH is an inherited disorder caused by a genetic mutation, hence no known cure, that results in a weakening of the muscles particularly in the face, shoulders and arms. Though not deadly, 20% of cases result in people having to use a wheelchair. It is a rare condition with less than 40,000 cases reported in the US, and it usually shows up in people between the ages of 15 – 30. Because of her condition Elizabeth struggled with constant pain and found herself needing to rest while others were out having fun. But she had grown up in a Christian home and for several years sought God for healing. But nothing changed. She eventually married and while both she and her husband continued praying for healing, Elizabeth noticed that her symptoms were getting worse. At …

A sense of purpose leads to a longer life, study suggests

Throughout the Bible, one message is delivered time and again, God has a purpose and plan for each of our lives. From Jeremiah’s prophecy during Judah’s darkest hour while in Babylonian captivity, God still had a plan and a purpose for every person, even though they had been ripped from the promised land: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) The Apostle Paul writes that we are all part of the Body of Christ, and each of us are gifted with a unique and necessary role. And Paul adds that those with seemingly lesser roles are often the most important (1 Corinthians 12:21-25). So, it is vital that you find God’s purpose for your life, because according to research by Harvard University’s School of Public Health, those who have a sense of purpose live longer lives, StudyFinds reports. The research team led by Dr. Koichiro Shiba came to this conclusion after …

Prove all things

By Rick Renner

I once bought a violin that I was sure was an authentic Stradivarius violin. Of course, if it was real, it was worth several million dollars. Before I purchased it, I studied documents about how to recognize a real Stradivarius compared to a well-made copy. After convincing myself that I had found a real Stradivarius in a remote antique shop in Russia, I purchased it. But after an examination by a violin expert, it proved to be nothing more than a very old, fabulous fake.

How a misfiring gun, turned a gang member to Christ

In 2016, Javier Torres was a member of a Mexican gang in Northern California, until God intervened in an unusual way, causing him to become a believer in Jesus. According to AG News, he and members of his gang were involved in a confrontation with a member of another gang. Torres pulled his gun and unloaded his pistol, a .357 magnum revolver, on the man. However, instead of shots ringing out, there were only six clicks as the gun didn’t fire. Stunned, Torres and his gang fled. Once back at their home base, another gang member checked Torres’ gun. When he noticed that the bullets had not misfired, he told Torres that it must have been God who stopped the pistol from firing. Shook by the experience, for the next three months Torres turned to cocaine. But one day, when he was unable to get cocaine for his daily fix, Torres turned to God in prayer. “God, if this is you helping me get me out of this pain and hurt, I want a new …

Can dreams be a form of evangelism? The conversion of an ex-Muslim suggests they can

A Christian man, who had converted to Islam, turned back to Christ after people prayed for God to send a dream of Jesus, CBN reports. Raised in a Christian home, Mike Westerfield considered himself a religious man. He had attended a Bible college and occasionally preached at his local church, but his faith was challenged when he started visiting some Muslims at a local prison in Florida. In particular, this group challenged Westerfield about his belief in the Trinity and began to give him Islamic literature. This eventually led to Westerfield becoming a Muslim. This was not a shallow conversion. Over the next 12 years, Westerfield actually attended an Islamic university with the intention of becoming an Imam. But despite his conversion, Westerfield would eventually start questioning some of the things that he was discovering in Islam, which he described as “deception and lies” in an interview with IfoundtheTruth.com. This led to him reexamining Jesus. He turned to several apologetic groups, such as Lee Strobel, and Abdu Murray, an ex-Muslim, who had become a Christian …

Deion Sanders shares how he called out to God during a medical crisis

Former NFL star, Deion Sanders, shared how he called out to God for help, which included speaking in tongues, during a serious medical crisis in 2021, the Christian Post reports. Saunders, 55, who is now the head coach of the Jackson State University football team, had to go to the hospital last year after experiencing blood clots in his legs that resulted in the amputation of two toes. Fearing the loss of his leg and possibly his life, Deion shared his experience in an interviewed with Chris Neely of “Thee Pregame Show,. In her article for the Christian Post, Jeannie Ortega Law provides more details: “It was a blessing. Because I could have lost my life very easily. It was there. It was a thought process of losing my leg from the knee down. It was almost there,” the legendary cornerback continued. “So when I look up and say thank you, Jesus, it’s because I know the quiet cries at night that were in that hospital.” […] “I know all the speaking in tongues, and the …

When the Holy Spirit falls upon people: Ex-gay Hollywood designer explains how this helped lead him to Jesus

We read throughout the Bible of times that the Holy Spirit fell upon people and each time something unusual happened as there were outward manifestations: As we move into the New Testament, there is a shift because of Christ’s perfect redemption the Holy Spirit is now able to permanently reside inside us (1 Corinthians 6:19). But there were still instances of the Holy Spirit falling upon people, as took place on the Day of Pentecost. The same thing happened to a group of gentiles at the home of Cornelius as Peter was preaching. The Holy Spirit also fell on them, and they began speaking in tongues: 15 As I [Peter] began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. (Acts 11:15 ESV). When the Holy Spirit falls upon people, something invariably happens, and a similar event laid the groundwork for Becket Cook, a Hollywood designer, to become a Christian, Faithwire reports. Becket was an influential designer in Hollywood, and had worked for major stars such as Oprah, Paris Hilton …

When is the last time you spoke in tongues?

When is the last time you spoke in tongues? I am directing this question to myself, as much as I am to anyone else, because based on a recent survey I know at least a quarter of us have spoken in tongues. But are still continuing this spiritual practice today? A recent study conducted by Infinity Concepts and Grey Matter Research (ICGMR) in early August 2022 found that 25% of American Christians have spoken in tongues. Included in this percentage were people who did not consider themselves charismatic or did not attend a Pentecostal church. The survey entitled, “The Renewalists: Pentecostal and Charismatic Evangelicals,” also found that 13% of those surveyed attended a Pentecostal/Charismatic church and of those who did 55% had spoken in tongues, which means 45% had not. So, back to my original question, if you have received this gift of the Holy Spirit, when was the last time you used this gift? I ask this because, despite the controversy, the gift of Tongues is an important part of our walk with God. …

Ten stories from this week

Here are a ten news stories, that caught my attention, this past week. Prophetic word about draft, fulfilled in the very last pick in 2021 NFL draft Grant Stuard was an all-conference linebacker while playing for the University of Houston. His dad was in prison several times and his drug-addict mother worked strip clubs to feed her habit, leaving Grant to raise his four siblings. There had been hints he would be drafted in the 2021 NFL draft, and a friend even gave a prophetic word, that this would happen. But Grant was losing hope by the time the seventh and final round of the draft started. But Grant was picked by the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the very last pick of the draft. READ: NFL’s Last Draft Pick Sees His Blessing Movie director encourages Chris Pratt to ‘keep standing for Jesus’ Andrew Erwin, who has directed films such as American Underdog and Moms’ Night Out, took to Instagram to support Hollywood actor, Chris Pratt, after he was criticized for sharing that his faith …

A Friendly Word to My ‘Cautiously Charismatic’ Colleagues

By Dr. Michael L. Brown In recent years, I have heard Christian leaders describe themselves as “open but cautious” when it comes to the gifts and power of the Spirit for today, including tongues and prophecy and healing. Others have described themselves as “charismatics with seatbelts.” But is that really a biblical position to hold? Is it a healthy spiritual perspective? To speak directly to my “cautiously charismatic” colleagues, are you “open but cautious” when it comes to following Jesus? Or believing God’s Word? Or giving yourself to the Great Commission? Or loving God? Why, then, when it comes to the gifts and power of the Spirit for today are you “open but cautious”? When it comes to your overall devotion to the Lord, do you wear those same seatbelts? Or do you wear them when you get alone with God in prayer? Or when you engage in corporate worship? Or when you share the gospel with the lost? Why put those seatbelts on only when it comes to the things of the Spirit? I …

Becoming drunk in the Holy Spirit?

There are a few passages in the Bible that speak of one of the more unusual manifestations of the Holy Spirit. It talks about people being so overcome by the Holy Spirit, that they appear drunk to outsiders. And I was reminded of this in a recent story on CBN by Vernell Windsor, a regular columnist, who along with a friend had decided to attend a church service in North Carolina. During the service, Vernell writes that she was so overcome by the presence of God, that she became drunk in the Holy Spirit: “The presence of the Lord was in that place. During worship, I forgot all about my friend and realized I could no longer stand. I was weeping and got all snotty-nosed,” Vernell said. “Strangely, I was also laughing because the joy of the Lord was flowing all through me. My friend was trying to protect me from getting trampled upon as people were headed to and from the altar and dancing around, but I was oblivious to any danger,” Vernell added. …

Hold Fast to That Which Is Good

By Rick Renner

Years ago I was invited to have lunch with a man who said he wanted to talk. As I sat with him, he began to tell me the many reasons why he had abandoned believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. At first, I thought maybe he just needed someone to talk to about his doubts, but soon I realized this man was deeply bitter. I finally understood he had asked me to lunch in an attempt to dissuade me, and whoever else would listen, from believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

How actor Michael Sheen’s great-grandfather went from town drunk to street preacher

Welsh actor Michael Sheen is best known for playing roles of famous people during his acting career, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in The Deal. He also played the role of journalist David Frost in Frost/Nixon, a movie about Frost’s 1977 interview with US President Richard Nixon. Though I am uncertain of Sheen’s faith, in April 2011, the actor led a modern retelling of The Passion in Port Talbot, Wales, the home of his great-grandfather. The play performed outside over three days involved the dramatic retelling of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. On the first day of the play, which started at 5:30 am on Good Friday morning, it drew a crowd of a few hundred people. By Easter Sunday, the crowd had grown to an estimated 13,000. But Port Talbot also serves as the backdrop to the remarkable spiritual transformation of Sheen’s great-grandfather. His great-grandfather was basically the town drunk, but Sheen says that all changed when one night, after being thrown out of the local pub, he was lying on his back in …

How God helped a US Congresswoman’s unborn baby survive a condition, that none survived before

An amazing story has emerged on the remarkable healing of Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s (R-Wa) baby. Faithwire reports shortly after announcing that she was expecting, doctor’s informed Beutler that her 22-week-old unborn baby would die because she was suffering from a lack of amniotic fluid and as well had no kidneys. It is a very rare condition called Potter’s Syndrome, and one that no baby had ever survived. “[The doctors] said … ‘Your baby has no kidneys, which means there’s no amniotic fluid in there, which means your baby is going to die. There is no chance your baby will live. No baby has ever survived this,’” Beutler told Faithwire. “There is nothing to describe getting news like that.” The doctors recommended an abortion. But abortion was not an option for Beutler and her husband, David, who are Christians, and they turned to prayer. A day after her diagnosis, Beutler received an email devotional discussing healing, and at that moment she felt God wanted her to ‘contend’ for their unborn child. Beutler sensed the Holy …

God gave Cooper Kupp a ‘vision’ of his MVP award and team’s Super Bowl win

A strange story has emerged out of this year’s Super Bowl game won by the Los Angeles Rams, who defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. After the game, the Rams’ outstanding wide-receiver, Cooper Kupp, was named the game’s most valuable player, after catching eight passes for 92 yards, and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. Cooper, who is an outspoken Christian, had also won the NFL’s most valuable player award earlier this year, as he broke the previous NFL receiving record with 145 catches, 1,947 yards, and 16 touchdowns. Cooper is, so far, the only player in NFL history to win both awards in the same year. But there is more to this story. Sports Spectrum reports that Kupp shared how God told him three years earlier, that not only would his team win the Super Bowl, but when it did, Kupp would also be named the game’s MVP. But just as mysterious was the way God revealed this prophetic word to the wide receiver. Kupp received this revelation through a ‘vision’ he had while his team …

Kathie Lee Gifford says westerners are too terrified of the ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit’

In an interview with Sheila Walsh, who hosts “Life Today,” Kathie Lee Gifford said that Americans are way too ‘terrified’ of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. She added that we need to see how these gifts are operating in believers around the world to fully appreciate them. Gifford, who formerly hosted “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” suggested that while some Christians believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today, this is not what the Bible teaches. “We’re all supposed to have gifts of the Spirit,” Gifford said. “They’re supposed to be different, used like different parts of the body for one good work, but we’re all supposed to use them. And people go, ‘Oh, Jesus doesn’t do that anymore, God doesn’t do that anymore.’ Really?” She pointed to a passage in the Gospel of John, where Jesus said that everyone who believes in Him will be able to perform the same miracles as the Lord did. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works …

God helped Haitian missionaries flee their captors in a daring night escape

I had reported earlier on the release of the final 12 missionaries and their families who the 400 Mawozo gang had kidnapped in Haiti on Oct 16, 2021. The gang had released five earlier due to health issues. I had previously written that the gang had released the 12, but Christian Aid Ministries is now reporting that the group that included a baby and children had in fact escaped their captors.

Does the Holy Spirit still speak to people today? Tim Halfin thinks He does!

On Wednesday, Oct 6, 2021, three-year-old Christopher Ramirez was outside playing with a neighbourhood puppy. It is uncertain exactly what happened next, but it is believed the pup wandered off and the toddler followed the dog disappearing into a large wooded area near the family home in Grimes County, Texas. Over the next couple of days, members of the family, police, and community volunteers launched a major search effort for the toddler but were unable to find him. Then a strange thing happened at a Bible study, held twice a month, at a neighbourhood church. Tim Halfin was attending the Friday evening study when someone brought up the missing boy and asked for prayer. According to the Western Journal, Halfin, who had not heard about the disappearance, immediately sensed the Holy Spirit prompting him to join the search for Christopher. Halfin had felt similar promptings in the past and knew that God was speaking to him and decided to search for Christopher the following Saturday morning. Though he had no idea where to look, Halfin …

Despite increasing persecution, Christianity growing in Indonesia

It defies logic, but according to a report by the Indonesian government, the Christian population in that Muslim-dominated country has grown by 1% over the past decade. With just over 86% of Indonesia’s population (272.2 million) identifying as Muslim, the country has the largest muslim population (236 million) of any country in the world. But the growth of Christianity is interesting considering the emergence of several Muslim extremist groups in recent years, that have been ramping up their persecution of Christians. This past spring, the government was forced to increase security for churches during Easter services after two militants, a husband and wife, who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic extremist group, ISIS, blew themselves up outside a church the previous Palm Sunday, injuring 20. Yet, despite this growing persecution, International Concern reports that as of June 2021, the government reported that 10.58% of its population is Christian (comprised of 20.4 million protests and 8.4 million Catholics). This is up from 9.87% of its population reporting as Christian in 2010. In real numbers, the Christian …

Did a gift of faith provide the gift of life?

As cultural wars rage for the unborn, Mike and Jessica Tomy were awaiting the birth of their third child when they received some tragic news. Jessica was in her second trimester when an ultrasound revealed that the baby’s size was not only four weeks behind, but Jessica also had very low levels of amniotic fluid which is a protective layer that surrounds a baby while in the womb. The fluid not only cushions the baby, but also provides water, nutrients and biochemicals necessary to sustain life. The doctor told the couple that their baby was not going to survive. And then dropped the bombshell, that when the baby’s heartbeat finally stopped, he would have to induce the birth of their dead child. After hearing the tragic news, Jessica and Mike stopped work on the baby’s room and instead prepared for a funeral. They asked family and friend to pray for them during this difficult time. But there was one moment when everything changed. Jessica was reading an article how a woman had been miraculously healed …

Denzel Washington shares that God has been telling him to ‘Feed My Sheep”

Hollywood actor, Denzel Washington, spoke at a christian men’s conference, “The Better Man Event,” hosted by First Baptist Orlando, on September 18, 2021. In a half hour sit-down interview with A.R. Bernard, the senior pastor of Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center, Denzel told the audience that every time he starts praying God has a word for him to ‘feed My sheep’: “In every prayer, all I hear is: ‘Feed my sheep.’ That’s what God wants me to do.” But it was a bit confusing, because as a Hollywood actor he wasn’t sure what that meant, but eventually he realized that there are different kinds of sheep, and God had people for Denzel to minister too: “What I found out in the last couple of years is there are all kinds of sheep. So that’s why I talk to experienced shepherds to help guide me.” But that calling to feed My sheep has been on Denzel for several decades. In an interview with Parade Magazine in 1999, Denzel stated that at times he’s wondered if he should …

Why Do People Sometimes Collapse in the Presence of God?

By Rick Renner And when I [John] saw him [Christ], I fell at his feet as dead…— Revelation 1:17 Over my years of serving God, I have noticed that often when people have encounters with God, they physically fall. Sometimes they fall forward, and at other times they fall backward. Still at other times, they simply collapse onto the ground. I have seen this in many meetings — and I experienced it as a young man. I can tell you, the experience was real. My experience occurred the first time I ventured out from my Baptist church and attended a Pentecostal type of service. Just prior to that, I had been released from the hospital where I had been diagnosed with a kidney condition — one that I was born with — that was very serious. It was so serious that to try to correct it required surgery that was considered life-threatening. When the man praying for the sick in this Pentecostal meeting invited the sick to come forward, I went to the front to …

The Importance of Finding Your Calling

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Can you imagine walking everywhere standing on your hands? Or writing a book using your toes? Or typing out text messages with your forehead? The fact is that our body was designed by God with great beauty and precision, with each part of the body having an important and unique role. It’s exactly the same with the Body of Christ. Every believer has an important and unique role. And that means if you are a believer, you have a calling and a mission. Not only so, but rightly understood, every believer has an indispensable role, since the Body can only function at its full capacity if every member of the Body is functioning properly. Do you see yourself in this way – as someone called and graced by God – or do you consider yourself of no spiritual or practical value? “After all,” you might think to yourself, “I’m just a businessman.” Or, “I’m just a home-schooling mom.” Or, “I’m just a young person in college. What can I do?” …

Canada’s earliest Christian prophets were Indigenous

In the midst of the stories of churches being burnt down and vandalized across Canada in response to the recent discoveries of unmarked graves at three Indian Residential Schools, another story is emerging out of Canada’s religious past. It provides an interesting history on the spread of Christianity amongst indigenous tribes in British Columbia, one that I had never heard of before. It makes me wonder if God is taking this bad and working it together for good as promised in Romans 8:28, because it is bringing to light how Canada’s earliest Christian prophets were in fact found among indigenous peoples. They were prophesying before the Azusa Street Revival, that broke out in 1906 in Los Angeles, which is credited as the break out of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts in North America. They had also developed the office of the prophet that would not be fully functional in the church until the revival in North Battleford, Saskachewan, Canada in 1948. In a fascinating story in the National Post by Terry Gavin stated …

Actor Kristoffer Polaha shares his life changing ‘but God’ moment

In a recent interview on Pureflix, Hollywood actor Kristoffer Polaha shared the amazing experience that turned his life back to God. He has appeared in several TV shows since he broke into acting in 2001 including CSI Miami, Bones, Hawaii five-0, and Castle and as well several Hallmark Mystery 101 TV movies where he plays the role of Travis Burke. He has also had several movie roles, including his most recent, “Wonder Woman 1984”. Kristoffer is also co-starring in “Jurassic World Dominion” that is scheduled for release in 2022. Born in 1977, Kristoffer grew up in a Christian family, but as he entered high school, he decided to take a break from his faith, but God’s miraculous intervention while he was in his second year of college caused him to renew his faith. He and a friend were walking down a street in New York City. Kristoffer, who was on the side nearest the traffic, suddenly got a strange feeling that he should be walking on the other side. He switched places, telling her, “I …