Monday, October 3, 2011

To be loved

Late one summer’s afternoon, during 2007, living in Muizenberg (South Africa), I decided to wander from Muizenberg, past a pleasant tidal pool at St James, towards Kalk Bay, and back, along a wonderful walkway skirting False Bay, to exercise a bit, clear my thoughts and to see what the ocean has brought to shore.

 (where author lived)
(Please click on images to enlarge}
Muizenberg - Kalk Bay map
St James tidal pool, mountainside view
Muizenberg - Kalk Bay
(Google Earth image),
 with Bailey's  Cottage
 (visible where walkway turns more north.)
Muizenberg - St James walkway
Kalk Bay harbour

As I approached the walkway, I noticed a young “coloured”[1] couple in conversation.  They were in disagreement about something.  It turned out he too wanted to get some exercise, by jogging along the same pathway.  She simply wanted to sit on a bench somewhere along the way, facing the ocean, romantically soak in the beauty of it all.  In passing, I casually commented to the man to accede to her wishes and to simply appreciate it all along with her (rather then making a production of their time away from the grind of daily life).

Instead of telling me to mind my own business, they somehow, of their own volition,  joined me on my daily stroll and, as it is my custom when meeting strangers, we soon got talking about what consumes my life: Him and his kingdom.  The man wanted to know if I was a pastor.  If anything, I said, my role was more prophetic.

He then wanted to know if they were meant to be together, in a marital relationship.  It quickly became apparent to me that she was keener to be in a permanent, more lasting relationship than he intended and may well have been “pressurizing” him, ever so subtly, towards this end.  He clearly had his doubts about it all.

It was also evident that, although regularly attending church, neither of their lives was right with Him, i.e. He was not truly their first priority.  This was more apparent concerning the young man, as is unfortunately nowadays so often the case.

They both worked for the same commercial enterprise, but she had recently been made redundant when their organization decided to scale back.

In the Spirit, I “knew” they were not meant for one another, but did not feel led to express anything to them collectively or individually.  However, in sharing our need to resolve everything, including marriage and one’s destiny or calling, in Him, she, in turn, indicated that she had years previously been a “missionary”[2] to Russia.  When asked the reason for her return, she cited monetary restrictions.  I expressed the view that I do not believe this to be sufficient reason to terminate or deviate from what He had assigned to one’s life; that one needs to pursue one’s calling in Him regardless, trusting Him to resolve all obstacles, including (perhaps even especially) monetary considerations.[3]

On our walk back to Muizenberg, at the slight incline near the historical Bailey’s Cottage[4] landmark (towards the end of our walk), He suddenly spoke to me.

“Tell her that I love her,” He said

Bailey's Cottage
(Google Earth image)
Bailey's Cottage
(view from Muizenberg)
God spoke to us where person is walking to the right of it

A few years prior to this account, He had uttered those exact same words to me concerning a well-known prophet (with a worldwide ministry), who, at the time, was a member of the Hatfield Christian Church ministerial team, in Pretoria, South Africa.

I did not know him at all, but was invited by a Dutch Reformed minister’s wife to attend a daylong meeting at which he was to minister.  One of the ladies from her assembly, in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, had been impressed by his ministry, and consequently invited him to address a group of us, presumably mostly believers, on a Saturday morning at the local golf club.  I was told beforehand that he functioned in the office of a prophet: something not truly recognized by this particular lady’s denomination.[5]

When I met him, I deliberately asked him if he was a prophet.[6]  “Yes,” he said, but probably being mindful of the audience he was about to address, added, “But I am also a Pastor.”

As I sat down, waiting for the meeting to commence, I asked[7] the Lord to give me a specific “word” for this man (who had brought two ladies along with him to assist him ministerially).

“Tell him that I love Him,” He said.

“Lord, You love everyone,” I countered, “This is not specific enough.  He will never believe this to be a personal word coming from You.”  He remained silent.  I consequently promptly discounted the idea as being inconsequential.

After breaking for early morning tea, during the second session, he related how he used to suffer from a psychological condition generally referred to as a panic attack.  Gripped by illogical fear, it totally immobilised him—to the extent that he was unable to even extricate himself from a chair to go to the shops to purchase something.  He shared how he had through prayer, or in endless conversation with Him, struggled and eventually succeeded in freeing himself from its devastating stranglehold; its overwhelming, debilitating bondage.

“Nothing in the world is more important to me than God telling me that He loves me,” he unexpectedly said.  Words I will never forget!  I was stunned.

Ashamedly, I still do not know anything about panic attacks, spiritually or otherwise, but my gut says it has to have something to do with extremely low self-esteem; possibly feeling unloved, all of which had to have been demonically induced.  I suspect his desire to hear God expressing His love for him had been crucial in him being delivered from Satan’s incapacitating lies, and consequently continue to be of paramount importance.

Believers so easily confess Jesus’ words, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them,”[8] often without being convinced or truly assured that He is in fact present, especially in the absence of any spiritual manifestation(s).  Given the aforesaid, I had no doubt whatsoever, He was present all right—exactly as He said would be the case.

The word God had given me was one-hundred percent accurate, highly relevant and specific to this man’s life.  I was dumbfounded, deeply regretting not having implicitly trusted what He had conveyed to me.  I rued being disobedient, not expressing His living word to His servant—prior to me discovering what it meant to him.  I also knew that even if I belatedly shared what He had told me—this man was not going to believe me.  God’s soul was left unexpressed.[9]  I had failed functioning effectively as His mouthpiece, as prophets should.  My ratiocinations proved to be disastrous.

When we eventually broke for lunch, I asked to speak to him.  I told him what I had shared with you in the preceding paragraphs.  He listened attentively but did not truly accept it as coming from God, as expected.  Throughout the rest of the day, I became aware that he occasionally thoughtfully stared at me, as if he wanted to believe what I had shared, but a lingering sense of scepticism seemed to prevail.

I blew it big time and seriously regretted it.

Here I now was, years later, walking along a walkway with two total strangers, having heard the exact same words concerning one of them.  For a few seconds I recalled and reflected on what had transpired in the past.

On extremely rare occasions will I say to people “God has told me to tell you … (whatever it is He has told me).”  I much prefer delivering His word more indirectly by, say, asking a question.  However, this time I boldly stated, “God has, just now, told me to tell you that He loves you.”

Her reaction truly surprised me.

Whilst maintaining a steady gait, she absentmindedly continued staring at the walkway in front of her.  I might just as well not have said anything!  The living word from God seemed to be like water running off a duck’s back.  It seemed inappropriate, misdirected, meaning nothing to her whatsoever.

I could have shrugged it off, musing to myself, “I have badly missed You this time,” and left it at that, by all accounts not having done any “serious” damage, since He truly loves us, after all, as Scripture unequivocally declares.[10]

However, no longer a novice in His ways, I was positive He had spoken.  Being a prophet, I am always curious about what He says, how He says it, who (or what) He addresses, and why.[11]

I asked her if she had recently sought His face on anything specific.  Again, she appeared to be apathetic, but I persisted in pursuing the matter, aware that He is a purposeful Being and spoke to her accordingly. 

“I have asked Him all day long if He loves me,” she eventually said.

Her response, given all of the aforesaid, astounded me.  (It should not have, but it did.)  For a few days afterward I continued pondered the unfolding of the events on that day.  I did not meet them by chance.  It had deliberately been orchestrated divinely.  Some, with merit I presume, refer to such occurrences as divine encounters.

Had I left the place where I lived a few seconds earlier (or later), or got delayed along the way, or if they did (having travelled a long distance from the exact spot where our lives intertwined) we would have missed one another and none of this would have unfolded!  Had I not initiated contact, God would not have eventually spoken to her prophetically via me.  They could have completely ignored me, viewing my casual comments as intrusive; uncalled-for.  They did not.  Instead, they chose to accommodate me.  Moreover, they were willing to listen to what I tried to convey to them concerning Him.

Even now, thinking about it all, I am particularly grateful I used the words, “God told me … to tell you …”[12] Had I not used those specific words the impact may have been far less significant.  What would have been her response if I had asked, “Have you perhaps asked God if He loves you?” or stated, “You know, God’s word declares that He truly loves you.”  She may have answered, “Yes I have, but He has not responded” or “Perhaps, but I am not so sure …” (even though Scripture does declare so unambiguously!)”

There is no doubt in my mind she theologically knew He loved her.  Nevertheless, I suspect having lost her job, being unsure whether her relationship with this man is grounded in unfailing love, suspecting there to be a possibility it may turn out not to be as she had hoped, she began questioning God’s own goodwill or intentions towards her; yes, even if He truly loves her.  There seemed little evidence of it of late, or so she might have reasoned, despite the fact that Scripture declares, “And we know that in all things [even if it does not appear to be the case] God works [not us] for the good of those who [meet the following two conditions:] [1] love him, [and] who have been called according to [2] his purpose.”[13]  (Annotation and emphasis mine.)

Whenever God speaks prophetically to someone via my person, it probably has a far more profound effect on me than the person to whom the word is directed.  It is I who hear Him speak.  He is speaking directly to me!  It is not a casual remark made by someone of little importance or of no consequence (although it often divinely comes to one almost as such).  This is the God of the universe, the God of all creation, speaking, to me (who, in the greater scheme of things, is totally insignificant).  After all these years this, to me at least, is one of the most momentous things anyone can experience and, still as important to me, as when I first heard His voice.  He is expecting me to represent Him, to convey His Person, to another—(usually) with words from Him.

Think about what I had shared for a moment.  He could have told her in a zillion different ways that He loved her.  He could have done so directly, by means of an inner voice (and I suspect He did, but that she had possibly discounted it as having been initiated from herself, rather than God).[14]  He could have told her so audibly or through a vision, a dream, a sermon or via any other way He pleased.  So why did He do it in this manner?

Part of it, I suspect, was to make it credible, as not being wishful thinking, coming from her thoughts and/or inner desires.  It did not come via a known or concerned friend or a brother-or-sister-in-the-Lord, who might have been more familiar with her circumstances and/or needs and whose goodwill could have been misconstrued, questioned or even distrusted.

There could be innumerous other reasons, of which I could not possibly have been aware, unless I asked her (and even then I could have drawn erroneous conclusions).  Besides, one often cannot do so.  This was not a consultation.  It was a sovereign word, from a supremely Sovereign Being, who wanted to convey something important to someone, in His own time and way.[15]

Throughout the years, I have learnt that He often prophetically cuts to the chase, so to speak.  He often, succinctly addresses core issues, the crux of the matter, things sometimes deeply hidden from others, yes even to the very people He is addressing themselves.  He is dealing with it because unless it is understood and dealt with, there will be no resolution.  Better than anyone else, He knows how to put His finger on what matters most.

The accuracy thereof also never ceases to amaze me.  This is another reason it is important to single-mindedly track what is on His mind/heart.  I have often stood in front of people telling me something completely different to what He is saying, contradicting what He had told me.  One can easily discount His word under such circumstances, arguing that one has heard Him incorrectly.  But I have always found that if I probe, or even better still, receive further words from Him (as the situation unfolds) that He is always one hundred percent correct.  It will always prove to be the case when one trusts what He is saying as opposed to those He is speaking to (or providing information on).[16]

No doubt, I also was part of it.  The road to becoming a mature, trustworthy prophet is a long and winding one, where one has to learn to hear and trust Him accurately and to deliver His words faithfully, in whatever way He chooses to speak.  God will not entrust an immature or self-centred, self-serving prophet with words (be it simple and/or profound, for whomever it is meant for, say, someone with a desire for certainty [as in this case] or perhaps a world leader, whose actions [or inaction] may negatively impact the lives of billions of others as a result) if their response to Him defeats His intended purpose(s).  Prophets need to learn to be become sensitive to His Person, to the diverse and sometimes totally unexpected manner in which He speaks, in order to grow to maturity in Him and His ways trusting Him implicitly, working out their calling or destiny, or to put it even more succinctly— life itself—in Him.  He is life itself.[17]

I cannot remember much about what we talked about thereafter.  The sound of His wonderful voice made what followed seem both irrelevant and insignificant.  I gave them my contact details (in case I could be of further service to them in Him), which they eagerly accepted—but, as is so often the case, have not heard from them again.  This dumbfounds me, especially after powerfully encountering Him but, since I am usually unable to do anything about it, I have reluctantly come to accept it.  I much prefer analysing what had occurred, getting as accurate and complete a picture as possible when encountering Him, trying to eliminate, as far as is humanly possible, conjecture or assumptions[18] in order to better understand Scripture, His Person and ways.  Such fellowship is immensely enriching and rewarding.[19]

All of us knew we had encountered the Living God on that precious day.  I also, suspect, He manifested via His wonderful Holy Spirit, in the manner He did because He wanted to confirm many of the other kingdom issues we had touched upon, not only concerning our walk in Him, but on marriage, and finding and working out our destiny or calling in Him.[20]

He is a living God!  He loves[21] us immeasurably—and He loves us encountering Him thus!

[1] A term, which unfortunately became more pronounced under apartheid South Africa, indicating, for purposes of immoral and unethical racial classification, a separating off of people of mixed descent—in order to oppress them for personal gain.  Personally, I believe we all descent from Adam and since God shows no partiality, neither should we.  (Ac 10.34; Ac 15.8-9; Ro 2.11; Jas 2.1, etc.)
[2] Personally, I do not like the term “missionary.”  I believe one simply does what God tells one to do, as and when He unfolds, what had been preordained for our lives in Him.  (See Ep 2.10)  There are endless examples of this in Scripture: Abraham, Moses, The Israelites, Jesus, Paul, etc.
[3] Jesus said: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”  25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, [will He] not much more [clothe] you, O you of little faith31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day [is] its own trouble.” (Mt 6.24-34, annotation and emphasis mine)  The Holy Spirit used this very passage to teach me the same principle I tried to convey to her.  I now have firsthand experienced of Him divinely providing for me in innumerous ways for more than 20 years!  God willing I will relate some of these on this blog.  An earlier posting Toiletry bag on this blog serves as an example of His provision.
[4] Bought  by and named after Sir Abraham "Abe" Bailey in 1909, who once owned it as a fishing cottage. Although now in a dilapidated state, it was designed by the famous architect Sir Herbert Baker's firm Baker and Massey.  In 1939 it was taken over by the military at the outbreak of World War II.  Navy personnel have used it over the years, but it has stood empty for some time.  Recently it had been leased to Peter Mdlalose, reputedly a businessman from Johannesburg, South Africa, who wants to turn it into a guesthouse.  Bailey’s descendants are in dispute with the parties to the transaction.  Bailey’s gravesite is directly above the cottage, presumably on land still owned by his descendants, on the magnificent mountain slope overlooking False Bay.  For more details regarding Abe Bailey’s “remarkable” life, please refer to the following websites: Wikipedia and  I wonder if Bailey (whose approach to and views on life, although from a different era, I suspect, I once identified with),  knew Jesus as His Saviour, who said, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.   21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [an Aramaic word meaning riches, where it is personified and apposed to God].”  (Mt 6-19-24)
[5] Many of their theologians believe, despite what Scripture clearly teaches in, for example, Ep 4.11 (“And He Himself gave some [to be] apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.) that the office of the prophet (and others mentioned above) had somehow ceased to exist.  Others, with opposing views, view the functioning thereof very differently to, say, Pentecostals.
[6] The primary function of prophets according to Scripture is, I believe, for them to hear God’s voice concerning any matter He wishes to address and to verbally (and/or otherwise) express it (unless it was directed towards the prophet personally, for whatever reason).  Because they are usually more sensitive to hearing Him speak, and usually more proficient at relating what He wishes to convey, I make a point of introducing myself to them wherever possible, in case He wants to communicate something to me prophetically, as He often has done, just as expected.  In this regard, Jesus said, He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.  (Mt 10.41)
[7] It was a “spur of the moment,” request, something I have never done before, but have often since, given this experience.
[8]The New King James Version.  1996, c1982 (electronic ed.) (Mt 18:20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[9] In case you wonder about the usage of the term “soul,” in reference to God, please refer to, among others, the following texts: Is 1.14, 42.1, Je 6.8, etc. נֶפֶשׁ in Hebrew, transliterated as nephesh, is translated as “soul” in these texts.  It also means “self; life; person; heart,” according to Vine’s (Vine, W., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1997, c1996).  Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words (electronic ed.).  Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
[10] Even so, if He had not spoken to her at that time (as I had so definitively declared prophetically), I had no right whatsoever to express those words in the manner I did.  It would have seriously misrepresented God.  It would have been extremely sinful, an action in need of repentance, as it was not a specific word from Him to her at all—but one emanating from myself, or worse, Satan, God’s enemy, and/or one of his evil hosts.
[11] Scripture declares, “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.”  (Ps 103.7, emphasis mine)  The Israelites knew when God was doing something, but often without insight.  With Moses it was different.  He mostly knew what God was doing and why He was doing it, and over time became even more familiar with His ways.
[12] Similar to what Jesus said would happen to His disciples, albeit under different circumstances, “…  For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. (Mt 10.19b)
[13]The Holy Bible: New International Version.  1996, c1984 (electronic ed.)  (Ro 8:28).  Grand Rapids: Zondervan.  Please note this text is conditional.  The “all things” is conditional upon us truly loving him and working out our purposes in Him.  Note: He is working something out in the lives of those fulfilling these two conditions, and not us.  If one does not meet these conditions, everything does not work to one’s advantage.  In her case, if she truly met those conditions, it may very well be that this man is not God’s choice for her as marriage partner (as I “knew” to be the case.)  He was then dealing with her in relation thereto, but her failing to yield to His working this out, in order to establish what had been predetermined in Him; clearly to her advantage, could then not be accomplished owing to her unwillingness to yield to Him!  Remember: all the issues of life flows out of His Being.  He is life itself (Jn 14.2) and if we fail to comprehend it and yield to Him, we do not truly comprehend who He is (and cannot truly be blessed)!  In such situations, He will take us back to the cross for us to come to terms with what He truly accomplished there.  (Discussing this in more detail falls outside the ambit of this article/post.)
[14] The “still small voice” of God, inaudible to others, often comes to one as if it was a thought generated by oneself, only it is Him speaking.  One often hears “a voice” (or a thought) saying, “Don’t do (this or that) …,” It usually is pointing out something inappropriate or incorrect, something sinful He wants to be averted.  This is God’s voice, or one of the ways in which we hear His voice: “… and after the earthquake a fire, [but] the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard [it,] that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice [came] to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”  15 Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi [as] king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint [as] prophet in your place…” (1 Ki 19.12-16)  It is vital that we learn to distinguish this voice from our own thoughts, or worse, those likewise expressed satanically or demonically.  Unable to do so has caused untold harm to God’s servants and those to whom they speak, when He has not done so!
[15] If appropriate or where possible, I would ordinarily pursue the matter.  I have learnt invaluable lessons about His Person and/or ways (no doubt, just like Moses did) as a result.
[16] This truth will be gleaned from other encounters posted on this blog.
[17] Jesus said to him [Thomas], “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jn 14.6, emphasis mine)
[18] This could and often does lead to grave error.  Scripture declares, “Who can understand [his] errors? Cleanse me from secret [faults.] [i.e. perhaps of which we ourselves are sometimes totally unaware.] 13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” (Ps 19.12-13, annotation and emphasis mine.)  If one assumes God is doing something, and say so and/or act upon it, and He is not, one is guilty of great transgression.
[19] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”  (1 Jn 1.1-4, emphasis mine)  One cannot have meaningful fellowship unless the parties thereto primarily or foremost have fellowship with Him.  We have substantive fellowship only once we have encountered Him, the Living God.  
[20] Two texts, perhaps worth mentioning in this context, are the following: “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation [i.e. everything this encompasses], which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard [Him,] 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?  (He 2.1-4, in this case via the spiritual gift of the Holy Spirit referred to by Scripture as “the word of knowledge, see 1 Cor 12.8,) andFor we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works [ἔργον in Greek, transliterated as ergon, including out life purpose, found only in Him!], which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  (Ep 2.10, annotations and emphasis mine)
[21] People who are not secure in God’s love, finding expression of His love in their lives as “fruit of the Holy Spirit,” in my experience, soon try and find perverted “love” elsewhere.  (The fruit God’s Spirit bears in the life of a truly born again believer is, “… love [ἀγάπη in Greek, transliterated agape], joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Ga 5.22, annotation and emphasis mine.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Further encounters

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Seek His face!  He's Life!  And He is wonderful


This, to me at least, is the amazing account of the healing of Lukas.[1]

There are many lessons to be learnt in the awesome ways of God in this particular healing.  Albeit from my limited perspective, and even though this is not the purpose of this article, I will attempt to relate some of what I have learnt.

Four people are directly related in this account: Carel, Mitch, Alice and Lukas (as well as Mary, whom I never met, but who thankfully “counselled” Lukas).  I will share my interaction with the first three of them only.

Carel, an out of town brother-in-the-Lord, came to fetch me from church one Sunday to have lunch with him and Mitch, whom he was visiting, at the latter’s “home.”  In exchange for looking after his asset, a property owner offered Mitch free accommodation.  The property used to be, at one time or another, a police station and a clinic.  It is situated in one of the oldest and poorer sections of Vanderbijlpark, South Africa.[2]  Not only did God bless Mitch, a Greek brother-in-the-Lord, with a place to stay, he made the premises available for believers to come and seek God’s face, usually fasting whilst so doing, often for forty-day stints.

Mitch's "residence"
(indicated by the squared area)
Mitch's "residence"
(area enlarged )

Two black women were also invited for lunch.  Alice mentioned that she was suffering from various illnesses.  I suggested that in seeking His healing, she make sure that whoever needs forgiving is forgiven, so it does not prevent her from receiving her healing.  What I meant by this can be gleaned from a portion of Scripture which had puzzled me for a long time, the meaning of which I think I eventually began to comprehend, “Now whom you forgive anything, I also [forgive.]  For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”[3] From Scripture (and practical experience) I knew that Satan and/or his demons can (and do) torment people physically, but I wondered what his schemes (or evil thoughts) had to do with unforgiveness, as clearly stated above, until I understood that he uses God’s precepts to ensnare some from receiving their healing through unforgiveness.

Jesus said: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”[4]  Unless we forgive others, Jesus clearly stated, God would not forgive us.  Satan knows this.[5]  By afflicting his victims with disease and then succeeding in them being unforgiving towards others, he knows they cannot get healed.[6]  Collectively, the medical practitioners in the world, applying all their accumulated knowledge, will never succeed in healing demonically inflicted diseases via conventional medical practices.[7]  It was contracted demonically and needs to be dealt with spiritually.  Even prayer, not addressing this root, will prove to be fruitless, no matter how protracted or sincere.[8]  Satan and his demons has ensnared such an individual, and—unless the person seeking healing completely and genuinely forgives from his/her innermost being—and the demons are dealt with—all efforts at healing will come to naught.  Satan misapplies God’s pure word for his own evil purposes.  This is what I tried communicating to Alice.

She confessed she was unforgiving, specifically towards her mother.  When asked why, she answered; “She did not want me.  She still does not want me.”[9]  I believe she potentially brought the diseases upon herself by reacting inappropriately towards her mother’s self-centeredness.[10]

Overhearing this, Carel, who had just concluded a YWAM (Youth with a Mission) course, wanted to pray for her, putting to practice his newfound knowledge.  “Go ahead,” I said, not wanting to interfere with what he deemed necessary.  Mitch, for a variety of reasons, remained unimpressed and uninvolved.

Having concluded praying, I said I would like to do the following: take authority over the demons, bind them, cast them out of her life, and send them to the inhabited places of the earth, to remain there, until judgment day, when the Lord will deal with them.  She consented and this is what I did.[11]  No demons perceptibly manifested.  Neither Carel nor I asked her if she considered herself healed.[12]  In this instance, however, I did not even know what was wrong with her.

After lunch, we continued fellowshipping.  I gave her a book or two of mine, stored at Mitch’s place, which I thought would be helpful in her walk with the Lord, and we parted company shortly thereafter.

On the odd occasion, I would receive a sms from someone, whom I presumed to be Alice but, for all intents and purposes, I have lost contact with her.  Then, out of the blue one day, she phoned me.  She now lived in Kroonstad, in the Orange Free State province.  The couple she was staying with were experiencing marital problems.  They were all heading in my direction the next day and she requested me meeting with them, in between their other business activities, to which I agreed.

After our discussion, whilst preparing something to drink, Alice surprised me by revealing God had completely healed her of all her diseases.  I waned to know what was wrong with her but the circumstances did not allow it.

When they again came to see me soon thereafter, I learnt that she needed open heart surgery and suffered from acute arthritis.[13]  She had been completely healed of both.  Moreover, it had been medically confirmed.  (Some consider this important.  I suspect God could not care less.  He does not need affirmation form men and neither do I.)  However, had she not told me of her own volition, I never would have known that He had healed her.

Sensing that she was called to be a prophetess, I suggested, if possible, she in future spend some time with me, in order for me to assist establishing her in that office.  Not long thereafter, she was back in Vanderbijlpark and we met on a few occasions.  Jobless, I eventually offered her the job the previous household help had vacated.[14]  I then saw her three times a week, usually making us breakfast and lunch (however mediocre, from my own limited resources), in between her house cleaning duties.[15]

I knew that God had placed me there and asked her to respect and “line up with His purposes (whatever it may be) and learn from it,” to which she agreed.[16]  However, I sensed she was still rebellious and bitter.  I intimated that, unless she completely overcomes it, she risked the diseases returning.  She disagreed.  When I raised the matter yet again one day, she jumped up from lunch, opened the fridge, ate a pear and downed a glass of milk, and said, “See, I have been completely healed.  I was allergic to both and would have had a rash in no time!”

Not long thereafter, whilst Alice cleaned the bedroom cupboards one day, with me lying on the bed, yet again on my laptop revisiting the Scriptural references to and contemplating the affects of bitterness,[17] I asked her if she ever considered killing anyone.[18]  It did not surprise me when she acknowledged that, at times, she did.  When I further questioned her, in order to better understand some of the issues related to bitterness,  she got upset with me, accusing me of being bitter—and then said, “I was on a forty day fast, seeking God to heal me,  and believe God healed me as a result.”  I strongly disagreed.

I said that unless she was delivered from demons, she could not have been healed.  I then said, “I am going to ask God to send me someone with arthritis—so I can corroborate what I have learnt.”[19]

Over a protracted period, it had become clear to me that we were not heading in the same direction in Him and I have contemplated letting her go.  It is never easy doing this, but at times necessary for the eventual benefit of both parties.  That day I terminated Alice’s employment.  She anticipated it, but doubted I would actually do so.  That was the last I ever saw or heard from her.

During this time, the house I lived in went on the market.  Noticing the “For Sale” sign, interested parties would occasionally spontaneously pop in, whether convenient or not.  One such individual was a black man (not a Christian) who worked for a well-known South African corporation.  He competed in marathons but complained that he suffered from arthritis, severely hampering such activity.  When asked when he had contracted it, he indicated it was hard to determine precisely, but that he started noticing it after a white colleague began making his life miserable.  Apparently, this man resented him living in a reasonably affluent “white” suburb, in a house his brother helped him build.  When asked if had considered retaliation, he said he had just recently told his wife that he was considering terminating his employment.  If not, he might just murder this man!

Shortly thereafter, the house I looked after was sold.  Before moving, I went to church one  Sunday morning, had tea with some friends afterwards, and then went to see a Dutch Reformed brother-in-the-Lord living at the bottom of the street in which I lived, at the intersection of Beefwood and Ouhout streets.[20]  He operated his own engineering business, developing magnets to extract the appropriate minerals off conveyer belts for mining houses, etc.  I wanted him to have my Time-Life Magazine book on mathematics.[21] 

As I headed back up Ouhout to the dwelling,[22] a black man walking in my direction unexpectedly addressed me, by asking: “Can you help me?”  Normally one is asked for money.  Wanting to know what he needed assistance with, he responded, “I have arthritis.”  Given what had transpired with Alice above, I confidently responded, “I am going to help you.”[23]

“Do you know Jesus?”  I wanted to know.  He didn’t.  “Have you ever been to church?”  I asked.  He hadn’t.  “Who have you not forgiven that have wronged you?”  I enquired.  He said he had no forgiveness issues.  Experiences told me otherwise.  I did not believe him and pursued the subject.  Eventually he admitted, “I grew up on a farm in Kroonstad.  My father beat me.  He would lock me out of the house.  I slept in the veldt.”[24]

As I stood in front of him, the Lord told me that (unable to secure work; unable to provide an income) “His wife left him.”  This he confirmed to be true.  “How old are you?”  I asked.  “Sixty-two,” he said.  “How long have you been suffering from arthritis?”  I wondered.  “It is hard to say,” he mused, “forty years,” he eventually said.  “Where do you live,” I asked.  “Next to the Golden Highway,”[25] he said.  “I used to live with my daughter.  People told me she was involved with gangsters, robbing people, so I left.  I am renting a room from people.  Thieves broke into my room stealing everything I own.”  He asked me for soap and a face cloth.  I now knew why he appeared tattered, truly smelling atrociously.  I said I would supply him with both, but remained focussed on the core issue responsible for his awful state.

Lukas' "home"
(by following the white line drawn on map, notice the
 distance from where the author resided at the time)

I told him who Jesus is and what He came to do.  I explained about demonic activity.  I informed him that unless he receives Jesus as his personal Saviour, he would always be unprotected, vulnerable to demonic attack.  I told him it was essential to forgive everyone who had wronged him; that unless he does, God would not forgive him.  When asked if he wanted to accept Jesus as Saviour, he quickly responded positively.  I offered to lead him in prayer and so we prayed: me in Afrikaans with him repeating the words in Zulu.  Although not understanding him, I knew he meant every word.  I could tell from the tone of his voice and the urgency with which he uttered them.  I then bound the demons, rid his life of them, and said, “Let’s take a walk.”

After a few steps, I stopped and asked, “Do you have any more pain?”  “A little bit,” he nodded.  “Let’s walk again,” I suggested.  After a few more steps, I turned to him and asked, “Do you still have pain?”  “No,” he said.  He did not seem particularly pleased.  Besides, it made no “logical” sense for him to have extreme pain the one moment and none the next, so I asked, “What can you do that you could not do before?”  He began running on the same spot.  “Haw!  Jesus Christ!” he uttered in complete shock.[26]  He suddenly realised that he could not do this for years.  Moreover, that he was completely free from pain!

I knew I had just witnessed a miraculous healing and cajoled him down the road, heading straight back to my engineering friend, who had heard of such healings third-hand, but had never actually met someone who had been healed by God.  He had visitors, but responded to the buzzer.  I informed him what had happened and when I turned to Luke, he again began running on the spot, unsolicited, as if to substantiate what I had just shared!  “Praise God,” my friend said (without, I suspect, truly meaning it, but not knowing how else to appropriately respond).

As we headed back to where I resided I wanted to know how bad his condition was.  He could barely walk, he said.  Stepping on a roadside curve, he remarked,” I could not do this without intense pain.”  He had it all over his body.  It affected his entire spinal column.  “Can you move your shoulders,” I wanted to know.  He turned from side to side, arms freely flinging all over the place, bent down and, remarkably, placed his hands flat on the ground.  He was obviously completely pain free.  As he continued testing his body to ensure there was no pain anywhere, we were both filled with the joy[27] of the Lord, rejoicing in His wonderful[28] deliverance and all embracing salvation.[29]

We headed indoors.  Besides some clothes, I gave him what he had asked for earlier.  He really fancied a brand new jacket I had been given, which I did not particularly liked (and had never worn).  I gladly parted with it.  Holding the two bags full of goods, he said, “I could not carry this without intense pain.”

Still curious I asked, “Since you live miles and miles away from here, in the opposite direction, what made walk down this particular road so late on this Sunday afternoon?” [30]  He came to see someone for work but (because of his condition) failed to secure it.  Penniless, he headed down Louis Trichardt Boulevard, intending turning right into Beefwood Street, leading to the local Spar,[31] where he hoped to secure a taxi-fare from a benefactor to get him back home.

Author's temporary home
(Where God healed Lukas. Home encircled and the unfolding
 of events indicated by white line drawn on map)

Author's temporary abode

What he shared next truly astounded me!  “I heard a voice.[32]  Walk down this street,”[33] it said, “A white moruti[34] will walk up the street.  He will help you.”[35]  When he told me this, I instantly knew God had deliberately sent me Lukas in response to my comments to Alice on the day we parted company.

He then also shared how Mary, an acquaintance, had told with him earlier that day (I assumed) that only God could heal him of his condition.  After explaining that he had healed Alice of the same affliction, and pointing out the general area in which she resided, I asked him to try and track her down to let her know how God had responded.  I also asked him to inform Mary of what He had done.

Later, instead of walking to the Spar as planned, he headed back up Louis Trichardt Boulevard.  I watched his brisk walk convert into a trot, only to revert to a fast paced walk (in order to catch his breath), before taking off jogging again![36]  As he disappeared up the hill, the Lord said, “He is an evangelist.”[37]

There was no doubt in my mind he was a high-spirited boy, whom his father struggled to control.  Satan controls, manipulates and dominates.  God sets us free.[38]

Prior to me leaving Vanderbijlpark in August 2006, I walked diagonally across the street not only to say goodbye to the carwash owner,[39] but also to relate some of the things God had done of late.  I told her about Lukas and said I wish I could see him again.  I wanted to let him have some of the clothes God had recently given me.[40]  “Why do you not ask God to send him to you?” she asked.  “Why have I not thought of it,” I wondered, and said to myself, “I am going to,” and so I did.

At around four that Friday afternoon I yet again stood outside observing domestic workers and gardeners heading to their respective taxi ranks and bus stops, taking their usual shortcut past the Ouhout Street property.  From the top left-hand corner of the block, I noticed a black male heading in the opposite direction.[41]  Leaving Karee Street, he crossed a vacant lot, moving towards Ouhout Street—marching like a German soldier.  As he approached I realised it was Lukas.  In his own particular way, he was demonstrating he had been completely healed, functioning normally, no longer limping along crippled by pain!

“God has healed you completely, Lukas,” I said.  He nodded.  Inquisitive, as usual, about His ways, I enquired, “Where have you come from?”  He told me he had found employment as a gardener, about four kilometres away.  “Why did you come to see me?”  I wanted to know.

Yet again, the answer astonished me!  “I again heard the same voice,” he said, “It said go and see that white man.”[42]  I asked how many times he has heard His voice.  “Only twice,” he said, “The fist time I saw you and today.”  This time I said emphatically, “Lukas, the Voice you heard is the voice of the Living God.  Many people would give anything to hear His voice.[43]  Whatever that Voice tells you to do, you must do.”  I then asked him if he knew the reason He told him to come see me.  He had no idea. 

Again, this astonished me.  It is one thing to be aware of God’s omniscience, another to see Him give affect to it, as in this instance.  He knew I wanted to bless Lukas with clothing and sent him all the way to me in order for me to be able to do so!  Moreover, He knew what Lukas needed and provided in His own time and way, just as Jesus taught: “Therefore [because of the aforesaid] I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?   26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, [will He] not much more [clothe] you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  (Annotation and emphasis mine) [44]

Come to think of it, I should have shared this text with Lukas.  Based on what had occurred in Him on that day, I am however sure, he would begin to comprehend the scope of it, on his own, when he reads it for the first time.  Once one has powerfully encountered Him in line with Scripture, there truly is no need to study for years in order to perform an “exegesis” on God’s provision as a “qualified” theologian.[45]  He teaches one (yes, even, perhaps especially, us simple minded ones!)  Himself, as Scripture declares He would.[46]

I told Lukas what He had told me concerning his destiny: that he is an evangelist.  There was no way (having been unchurched) he could possibly comprehend what I meant, so I demonstrated by shouting aloud, “Jesus saved me!  He is the Saviour of the whole world!”  I am sure people could hear me several blocks away.  My goal was not to be offensive or arrogant but to liberate Lukas—walking out his destiny in Him with boldness.[47]

Two black men came walking down Ouhout Street.  I have seen one of them before.  He upset me several weeks ago by trying to kill a rabbit in the veldt surrounding the property.  His leg was badly contorted, causing him to limp uncomfortably.  When asked what had caused it, he told us a cow kicked him as a youngster.[48]

I said, “God can heal you.”  Without any prodding, Lukas confirmed it, proceeding to share how God had healed him.  Neither he nor his companion knew Jesus and so we led them both to the Lord and blessed them all with clothes.  We asked God to heal the cripple.  Expecting to see results, Lukas quickly noticed and pointed out the change in the man’s gait.

Shortly thereafter God led me to Cape Town and I have not seen or heard from Lukas since, but we could never forget encountering the Living God on the only two occasions we have ever met.

I tried contacting Alice via her mobile.  It did not surprise me when she did not bother to respond to my calls or messages.

I was blessed during my relatively short stay at Ouhout Street.  I encountered the living God there in His many awesome ways.  God willing, I will one day relate other wonderful things He worked there.

On reflection, I am not going to share the lessons I learned from Lukas’ healing.

In responding to a scribe, wanting to know which commandment was the most important, Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30  [And you shall] love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This [is] the first commandment. 31 And the second, like [it, is] this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”[49]

Pursuing God wholeheartedly is one of the most mentally stimulating things one can possibly ever engage in.  No human activity, relational, vocational or recreational, even comes close to be as mentally satisfying as encountering the living God—and pondering His Being and ways.  I will leave the lessons one needs to learn from Lukas’ healing for you to cogitate.

May He richly bless you as you seek His face for yourself, revealing Himself not as a distant theological reality—but as a loving, living Being interacting with us as a Person.


The purpose of this blog is to share; not to teach, but perhaps I should here briefly comment on arthritis specifically and healing generally.  Doctors do not know what causes arthritis.  Although some may claim otherwise, they cannot heal it.

It does not always manifest.  Sometimes it is in remission and the person seems free from it.  During ministry, someone may therefore appear to have been healed, when the disease actually is dormant or in remission, the pain only returning at a later stage.  It is best to check with people, you assumed He healed, over a protracted period, to determine if this actually is the case.

Since Alice and Lukas, I have seen God heal several people from arthritic conditions.  When I become aware of someone suffering from it I usually, when possible, initiate ministry.  On one occasion, a young Christian, whom I have told about Lukas, brought a vagrant suffering from arthritis for ministry.  (I had made a bold statement that if anyone with such a condition complies with God’s terms, He would deliver him or her.  I suspect he did not believe me, wanting to see if I could back up what I so confidently believed.)

I have always dealt with it as described above and have assumed this to be the cause of the condition, but am aware that one must never be presumptuous[50] when it comes to God, and I cannot therefore be one hundred percent sure that this is always the case.  There may be other reasons for people suffering from arthritis, of which I am not aware.  We will always have to be open to, and dependant on, the guidance of the Holy Spirit when ministering.[51]

Even if people feel there is no forgiveness required, I ask them to repeat after me a general forgiveness prayer, just to make sure it is being dealt with, and I always address potential demonic influences as best I know how.  What we hold against others is often so deeply buried in our consciences that we are not even aware that we need to be released from its devastating affects.  Aware of this I have seen Him heal people even when they were unaware of their need to forgive, but ask to be forgiven regardless.

Personally, I am not particularly interested in how demonically inspired (or any other) disease manifests pathologically.  Aetiology is the speciality of the medical profession or others labouring in this field.  I am not qualified to evaluate or comment on their activity—provided they do not discount the spiritual dimensions of it, specifically what Scripture reveals concerning it.  As a Christian, I am however, interested in and accountable for what Scripture reveals and teach regarding diseases.  It is my duty and responsibility to learn how to cooperate with the Spirit of the living God in bringing wholeness to people, including physical healing.

I once spent time with a retied medical doctor and theologian, at St James, in the Cape Peninsula.[52]  He was riddled with arthritis, which he believed to be an age related disease.  That is what he had been taught medically and what he had, based on his experience, surmised intellectually.  When asked why young people suffer from it also, he was at a loss for words.  When I related the account of God healing Lukas, he said “I spent many years studying and practicing medicine” (finding it hard, I suppose, to believe/accept that one could be so quickly be healed from the disease tormenting him, as Lukas clearly was.)  His academic abilities were of no benefit to him in overcoming this horrible disease.  His medical prowess could not help him and his theology proved equally fruitless.  I did not even consider ministering to this man, and soon ceased visiting him.  We radically differed in our appreciation of, and approach to God and could not have meaningful, life altering fellowship.[53]

Whilst showering one morning I heard Him say, “The way I chose to heal mankind is trough the stripes of Jesus.”  I understood what He so succinctly conveyed.  No one could be healed of anything had Jesus not paid the price for it.  As we look back to what He accomplished on the cross, so those prior to His crucifixion, looked forward to the cross.[54]  Without Him, none of us would ever be healed of anything.  Scripture unequivocally declares, “He [was] wounded for our transgressions, [He was] bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace [was] upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”[55]

All medical practitioners can do is manage disease.  Although they get better at it each year, they are not capable of actually healing anyone of anything.  They cannot even get an ordinary cut to heal!  All they can do, if required, is apply an antibiotic, stitch it up and prescribe painkillers (if this is required), etc.  The actual healing is brought about by Jesus’ stripes—exactly as Scripture declares (whether you accept it or believe in Him or not!)  On the cross, He also defeated Satan and his demons—and all diseases they could possibly afflict upon anyone.[56]

 The “manifestation of the Spirit” through the “gifts of healings,” had been given to the church—not to the medical profession—yet few Christians, I am ashamed to state, successfully minister in this wonderful gift from God.  Astonishingly, I actually do not know a single Christian effectively ministering in this gift.  If I need healing, I know of no believer I can ask to minister to me, expecting God to work through him or her, to bring about my healing.  Many will willingly pray for one, but rarely successfully, and that in itself aught to concern us deeply.  Prayer that God does not respond to accomplishes absolutely nothing.

Lukas, in part, got healed, because I responded to God (and am committed to so doing), saying that I will begin to pray for people, and will continue to do so, until I see Him respond.  God knew this and mercifully sent me Lukas.  We conquered his affliction in Him.  I do not even remotely consider myself as functioning in the “gifts of healings,” but because of Lukas today is confident facing someone needing to be healed of arthritis, expecting them to be healed.

In the past, I have often asked medical students and practitioners what formal Scriptural training they have received.  I have yet to meet anyone who had any biblical instruction as part of his or her medical training.  My response to them all has been that without understanding what God has to say about healing, their comprehension of their chosen profession is hopelessly inadequate.  In fact, I will go as far as to say they are not qualified to practice Godly healing.

Transliterated, God revealed Himself to the Hebrews as Jehovah-Rapha, translated as “I am the Lord who heals you,” in Exodus 15.26.  Healing is core to His Being.  Failing to comprehend this is failing to comprehend the essence of all healing!  Even Christians do not go to Him first when in need of being healed.  They rush of to their doctors instead, most of whom completely disregard Him as Jehovah-Rapha.

This is not a new phenomenon.  We observe the exact same practice in ancient Israel, “And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa [a king ruling Judah] became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.”[57]  

King Ahaziah likewise could have sought help from his God, but turned instead to a false god (a no-god actually!), a practice still widely occurring throughout the world today,[58]Now Ahaziah [ruling Israel] fell through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria, and was injured; so he sent messengers and said to them, “Go, inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.” 3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘[Is it] because [there is] no God in Israel [that] you are going to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’  4 Now therefore, thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’ ” So Elijah departed. 5 And when the messengers returned to him, he said to them, “Why have you come back?” 6 So they said to him, “A man came up to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go, return to the king who sent you, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘[Is it] because [there is] no God in Israel [that] you are sending to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’ ” ’ ”[59]

Here we learn that an omnipresent God is aware of our medical problems, who are being consulted, and who has His mind on the matter, ready to impart it to the seeker.

Each one of us has to clarify for ourselves where we truly stand in relation to His healing provision and power. In view of the spiritual gifts given the church, particularly, “the word of knowledge,” “the word of wisdom” and the “gifts of healings,” which undoubtedly operated in Elijah’s life—you decide if you truly serve Him as He desires and deserves to be served.

Without Him Lukas would never have been healed.

[1] Lukas is the Afrikaans translation of Luke, mentioned in the Scriptures as one of Jesus disciples.  Many Africans have, for reasons of their own, chosen “Afrikaans” names for their children.  This is how, I suspect, he came to be named.
[2] For a map of the general area click here .
[3]The New King James Version.  1996, c1982 (electronic ed.)  (2 Co 2:10, Emphasis mine).  Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[4]The New King James Version.  1996, c1982 (electronic ed.)  (Mt 6:14).  Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[5] Comparing the following two sections of Scripture we notice that Satan knows Scripture, but misquotes it, “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down.  For it is written: “‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” (Mt 4.5-7.) with  “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.  12 In [their] hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. (Ps 91.12-13, with verse 13 conveniently omitted by God’s and our enemy.)
[6] Once I tried ministering to a woman who was bedridden with an advanced stage of multiple sclerosis.  She could barely converse with me.  Many passages in her bible referencing healing had been marked by a friend, all to no avail.  I discovered the man she had hoped to marry had rejected her causing extreme resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness.  I presented the gospel to her but told her that unless she forgives him God could not forgive her.  When I saw her again she said she had thought it over and wanted to accept Jesus as her Saviour.  I asked her if she was prepared to forgive this man.  She was not.  I informed her that God under the circumstances would not forgive her.  She remained unwilling to forgive and I could no longer assist her.  Weeks later, He prompted me to visit her again.  By then she had lost her ability to speak.  I “led her to the Lord” by getting her to nod her head in affirmation as she followed me in prayer, although still not prepared to fully forgive this man.  I do not know if she was saved.  Later, in a desperate attempt, I tried delivering her from demons.  Via her (born again) nurses I gathered her physician had a problem with this. Shortly thereafter, she succumbed to her disease and died.  This is the terrible ramifications one could experience, when not willing to forgive.  I met another woman ravaged by the same disease and discovered she blamed God for her first husband being electrocuted at work.  I offered to minister to her, but she too was unwilling to line up with His precepts and never contacted me again.  All this led me to believe that these people were satanically bound through unforgiveness.  His intent was to kill them and to drag them to hell.  John 10.10 Jesus stated:  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I [by contrast] have come that they may have life, and that they may have [it] more abundantly.”
[7] Pathology, disregarding or not comprehend the potentially evil causes of disease, provides incomplete conclusions and solutions.
[8] In fact, I do not believe prayer to be the remedy in such situations.  Dealing with the demons in line with the authority given us, is what is required, Then He [Jesus] called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick (Lk 9.1-2)
[9] She was, yet again, living with her mother at the time.
[10]Have you not brought this on yourself.”  (Je 2.17) with “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work …” (Re 22.12, Emphasis mine) with “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” (Jas 3.14-16, Emphasis mine)
[11] Many theologians believe Christians cannot have demons.  I strongly disagree.  Practical experience has taught me that demons can even completely subvert the personality of believers whilst manifesting, often without the believer even being aware of it!  In such cases, the believer’s personality almost completely disappears!  The Scriptural justification substantiating such viewpoints, clearly falls outside the ambit of this article, and will therefore not be dealt with here (but I am more than willing to substantiate my viewpoint scripturally to those feeling the need the challenge me theologically).
[12] For a several reasons, I usually do, as you will notice later on with Lukas in this article.  (I suggest you do the same because, as you will again notice further on in this article, what is gleaned from it is crucial in comprehending many kingdom issues.)
[13] This is not the first time I have encountered someone with arthritic problems.  Another brother-in-the-Lord once received two pairs of leather Nike running shoes, from his (born again) daughter, practicing medicine in Canada, as a gift.  I shared with him that Nike is the Greek name of the so-called “goddess of Victory (νίκη in Greek, transliterated nike.)  In 1 Jn 5.4 nike is translated as victory: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory [nike] that has overcome the world— our faith.” (Emphasis mine)  I told him I have discovered what is in so-called Greek mythology referred to as a goddess, is in reality a demonic entity, claiming to be a goddess.  He did not believe me.  He wore the shoes with pride one Saturday as I took his dogs for our usual walk around the neighbourhood.  I asked God, what He makes of it all.  “He has arthritis in both his feet,” He said very simply.  When I got back, I settled in the sitting room waiting for an Australasian rugby game to start.  When the owner walked past me I asked, “Have you ever suffered from arthritis?”  “We have been taking aspirin pills for years to prevent contracting it,” he shared.  I nodded.  When he walked past me again, he said, “My father suffered from arthritis.”  “Did you ever suffer from it,” I wanted to know.  What do you think he told me?  “I had it in both my feet,” he said.  My response, based on what He had told me simply was this, “You still have it.  (God spoke in the present tense!)  It is dormant, and unless you get rid of those shoes it is going to come back with a vengeance.”  He still did not believe me and continued wearing them after this incident.  I have lost contact with him, but I know it to be true.  I heard the living God speak on the matter—and that settles it for me!  In case you wonder, I have warned people ever since of the danger of wearing Nike products!  For whatever it is worth, just about all the Christians have discounted my warnings!  You could offer me all the cash in the world; I will not wear anything labelled Nike!  (Believe me, I am well aware that I am liable to be sued by the conglomerate trading under this name.  It is of no consequence to me whatsoever.  I will state my case in any court, anywhere in the world.  What God said to me is more important than the reputation of a commercial enterprise trying to be victorious whilst being associated, even inadvertently, with some evil Greek entity.)
[14] I was house sitting someone’s newly built home.  The Lord told me, he was going to ask me to look after his home, that he would never live in it, and that I will remain there until the day it is sold.  All this proved to be true.  He employed a household servant for the duration of my stay to maintain his asset.
[15] Unlike many South Africans I do not view “servants” as less important, employed to do my bidding, but to be treated like any other person; in this case as a sister-in-the-Lord.
[16] And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  (Ro 8,28, NIV, Emphasis mine)
[17] “Pursue peace with all [people], and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled …” (He 12.14-15)  Bitterness defiles.  What is defiled is considered Scripturally unclean.  For this reason alone it is important to learn about its devastating impact.
[18] Bitterness does not stand in isolation.  It is rooted in resentment and unforgiveness.  There normally is a progression: commencing with resentment, leading to unforgiveness, followed by bitterness, anger, hatred, and violence, potentially eventually leading to murder.  (I have heard Derek Prince, a renowned scholar of Scripture, comment that he considered all of these to be demons, obviously, in the context expressed, faking the actual emotion/feeling).
[19] This is important.  If I was wrong in my assessment and conclusions of God’s leading and my comprehension of and application of Scripture, I could not assist others in future.
[20] Ouhout Street is unfortunately not indicated on the Google Earth map.  However, if one travels down Louis Trichardt Boulevard and turn right into Beefwood, it is the first street on the right, with only three properties leading off it.  The topmost property, above the circle, did not exist at the time. I resided in the property diagonally opposite the carwash.
[21] Reading through it one day, wondering if God sees the world as Einstein did as E=MC2 or mathematical terms, the Lord later that morning appeared to me in His glory.  When I began walking after Jesus, as a sheep following his Sheppard, I walked away from everything I owned.  My library got boxed.  It became a cumbersome asset, as I moved from one place to another, and I finally decided to disassemble it, by giving all of it away to the local SPCA (animal welfare society) in order to assist them in raising funds for animals in need.  (I have witnessed God healing animals, even raising one from the dead twice!)
[22] Circled on the Google Earth map
[23] Obviously by pointing him to the One who bought him deliverance from demons and disease and by assisting him in appropriating it.
[24] Elevated open grassland in southern Africa
[25] The main road from Johannesburg, passing Vanderbijlpark, heading towards Cape Town (or visa versa).
[26] “ …how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard [Him,] 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (He 2.3-4) withAnd I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching [were] not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Co 2.1-4)  Having encountered God thus it is virtually impossible not to follow and glorify Him.  Paul obviously understood the importance of people encountering the living God when leading them to Jesus (salvation).
[27]The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”  (Is 29.21) with“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me [Jesus] to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3  to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Is 61.1-3) with “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation [transliterated Yeshua, Jesus in English].’ ” 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation [again transliterated Yeshua, Jesus in English].” ( Is 12.2-3, Annotations and emphasis mine in all of the aforementioned texts.)
[28] “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7  Of the increase of [His] government and peace. [There will be no] end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  (Is 9.6, Emphasis mine)
[29] The Greek verb σώζω, transliterated sozo, does not only mean to be saved, but to be healed, delivered from demons, saved from one’s enemies, made whole, etc..  It is an all-embracing term providing complete salvation.  I have known people who got divinely healed first before their souls were saved.  Conversely, I have known born again, saved believers, who have not been healed or, for that matter, delivered from demons, let alone made whole—despite it all being made available to them!
[30] I was around 4pm.
[31] A supermarket chain store, trading in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.
[32] As he approached the corner of Louis Trichardt Boulevard and Karee Street.  (Please refer to the map provided, which can be enlarged by clicking on it.)
[33] Ouhout Street, in which I lived.  (See map referred to above.)
[34] This is a Sotho (one of the indigenous South African languages) word translated thus for either the English word shepherd (or Pastor; used as such in their vernacular) and teacher.  Lukas’ mother tongue is Zulu, but many Africans are familiar with the vocabulary of other tribes and use them interchangeably with their own.  I am still intrigued that God would use such a term to a total stranger in reference to me as, “officially,” (in the eyes of organised religion) I am neither.  (God had once told a Zambian Pastor He had given me all five of the “offices’ of Ephesians 4.11, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ …” (Emphasis mine) This surprised him as he has never heard of anyone having been given all five offices.  Personally, I have had prophetic words that I am a prophet and, therefore, I view myself as primarily functioning in that office.
[35] The “voice” (I do not know if he heard Him audibly or in an inner voice) told him to turn off Louis Trichardt Boulevard, to walk down a footpath, across someone’s stand, and to follow the next tar road, leading to Beefwood Street.  (See the maps provided.  Please click on them for an enlarged version.)  Although He chose to speak differently in this instance, a similar Scriptural account is found in Acts 10.1-6 “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout [man] and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.   3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”    4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?”  So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” (Emphasis mine)
[36] Perhaps I should have given him a lift home, considering the distance he lived from me, but on reflection it was probably best for him to make his way home pain free for the fist time in decades
[37]And He Himself gave some [to be] apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ep 4.11, Emphasis mine)
[38]And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (Jn 8.32)
[39] Who had recently come to know the Lord as her Saviour and with whom I had, on occasion, fellowship in between her duties.
[40] I did not have an address or a telephone number for him and had no way of contacting him.
[41] Please refer to the white line drawn on Google Earth map (click on it to enlarge).
[42] Some people take offence when one refers to people’s skin colour (as if one or the other is inferior)—but clearly God does, on occasion!  To Lukas I simply was a white man.  He did not know my name and neither did he have the means to contact me.  He came to see me on a previous occasion but I was not at home.  Raining, he found shelter under the extended garage roof.  When the carwash workers across the road asked him what he was doing there, he apparently told them I was a godly man (“Yes, we know,” they said) whom God had used to heal him.  This goes to show that we are always being observed by others who forms opinions on us, godly or otherwise!
[43] I know many people have heard Him speak but do not realise it is Him.
[44] The New King James Version.  1996, c1982 (electronic ed.)  (Mt 6:25).  Nashville: Thomas Nelson.  When I first truly considered the significance of Jesus’ words expressed in this passage in Israel, I knew that I had no idea what He conveyed.  All I knew was how to set personal goals and how to attain them, and I became very good at it.  Considering His words, I instinctively understood He was going to practically teach me what it meant, just as he did with Lukas.  It has been an invaluable and enduring lesson.  Mammon no longer has dominion over me, influencing my decision-making.  Money, one of Satan’s twisted instruments, preventing people from following Jesus wholeheartedly, no longer rules the direction of my life—God does, as it should be!
[45] I have often heard men preach on this subject, but whom I am sure, having heard their interpretation/explanation of the various texts, offered their flock no more than a theological theory, never having experienced God’s supernatural provision firsthand.
[46]But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”  (1 Jn 2.24, Emphasis mine)
[47]For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works [Gk ἔργον, transliterated ergon], which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  (Ep 2.10)  Ergon has a variety of meanings, including one’s “assigned task” or life’s purpose.
[48] Unable to secure constant, long-term employment he was mostly destitute and homeless, having to resort, given his impediment, to killing small game in order to survive.
[49]The New King James Version.  1996, c1982 (electronic ed.) (Mk 12:29, Emphasis mine.)  Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[50]Who can understand [his] errors?  Cleanse me from secret [faults.] 13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous [sins;] let them not have dominion over me.  Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.”  (Ps 19.12-13)
[51] Jesus said, “I am the vine, you [are] the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw [them] into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (Jn 15.5-7)  See also 1 Cor 12.1-11) 
[52] Between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, in the Western Province of South Africa.
[53] One cannot have constructive fellowship with another unless both parties have fellowship with God and His Son first and foremost.  It is written, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”  (1 Jn 1.3, Emphasis mine)
[54]Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace [that would come] to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.   12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves [only], but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into,” (1 Pe 1.10-12, Emphasis mine) withThe Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me [Yeshua or Jesus], because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3 to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Is 61.1-3) with When Jesus heard [that,] He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (Jn 11.4, Annotation and emphasis mine.)   See also Psalm 22, for what He felt on the cross.
[55]The New King James Version.  1996, c1982 (electronic ed.)  (Is 53:5, Emphasis mine)?  Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[56]Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”  (Col 2.15)
[57]The New King James Version.  1996, c1982 (electronic ed.)  (2 Ch 16:12).  Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[58] Several years ago, I ministered to a born again ex-sangoma, (Zulu for diviner).  The demons would let her know who would come to see her every day, tell her what was wrong with them and how she should “treat” them.  (As she sat in church, listening to a sermon, those same demons told her to leave the service as those ministering were lying to her.  She realised they were lying to her instead; that she still was not free from them and came to see me, seeking deliverance.)  Throughout Africa, most black people still consult diviners.
[59]The New King James Version.  1996, c1982 (electronic ed.)  (2 Ki 1:1).  Nashville: Thomas Nelson.