Newsletter :: April 2001

Impartation and Activation of Spiritual Authority
By Che Ahn

A new measure of healing authority came into my life and ministry in 1994. I had been a Christian and a pastor for many years and had seen God do many extraordinary things. I used to be in charge of the weekly healing room for a youth movement that had more than 2,000 in attendance, and I remember one evening when 20 people in the room all had their vision problems healed. Far sighted, near sighted, and needing contacts or glasses-all were healed that night. It was one of the most amazing and sovereign acts of God’s healing power that I had ever witnessed.

Yet the incidence of healings throughout my 15-plus years of ministry were dotted between long dry spells. In fact, in the ’80s, healings were rare and most people got worse when I prayed for them. I have often said that “the ’80s were from Hades.” It was hard doing ministry during that season of my life.

In 1994, things changed. I was invited to attend a healing conference at the Anaheim Vineyard with Mahesh Chavda and Francis McNutt. Both men are well known for vital and powerful healing ministries.

This conference in itself was a wonder to me (I share the detailed account in my book Into the Fire, Renew Books). It was my first exposure to “renewal,” or the manifest presence of God, that began to be poured out that year in both Anaheim, California, and Toronto, Canada.

All of this was new to me. I searched as a hungry man, wanting all god had for me at the conference, though not yet understanding the impact of His generosity. What happened that week in regard to moving in a healing anointing and authority was astounding. It began with a dream told by Mahesh Chavda as he was preaching on healing.

Two Loaves of Bread Changed My Life
The night before his session, Mahesh had a dream about a pastor who brought two loaves of bread to the conference. He said he believed it was a symbolic dream, and that the pastor represented all of the pastors who were in attendance (I’d estimate that there were between 500-700 pastors at the conference of 4,000). Mahesh explained that he believed the bread represented the healing anointing. He alluded to the Scripture where the Syrophoenician woman came to Jesus and asked Him to please come and heal her daughter. Jesus replied that it was not good to “give the children’s bread to the dogs.” Mahesh believed the bread to be the healing anointing. The woman, barred by the Law from directly accessing that blessing, replied that “even the dogs could eat the crumbs from the children’s table.” Her faith was great, and she was given the miracle she needed for her daughter.

As Mahesh summarized his dream in relation to this passage, he spoke a release and an injunctive to us as pastors. He told us to take the anointing, represented by the two loaves, or double portion of bread he had seen, back to our local churches and minister the healing anointing to our people. As he was issuing this wonderful mandate, I could hardly contain myself. I wanted to stand and shout, wave at Mahesh, and get his attention-even thought he didn’t know me from Adam.

You see, right before I left for the conference, my wife gave me two loaves of bread that I had brought with me! I had never brought bread to any conference before, nor have I since. I had merely given my wife a bread maker during the Christmas season, and she had been experimenting by baking bread every day. As I walked out the door to leave for Anaheim, she handed me two loaves of raisin bread and suggested that I munch on them whenever I was hungry.

I thanked her and didn’t think too much about it until Mahesh shared his dream. When he specified he saw a pastor with two loaves of bread, I said to myself, “That’s me! That’s not some general word of knowledge, I mean, that’s me, and I claim that promise as my own!”

A Prayer for Impartation and Activation
I didn’t want to make a scene, so I waited until after the service had finished to approach Mahesh. I stood patiently in line with many others as he was praying for people. When he finally got to me, I said, “Mahesh, you don’t know me (since then we’ve become very good friends), but I am a pastor and I literally brought two loaves of bread to this conference.” I explained how my wife handed me the two loaves. Mahesh seemed intent, and told me to wait right where I was standing. He rushed back to the platform and grabbed the microphone. At that moment, he said, “Ladies and gentlemen,” and everyone stopped doing what he or she was doing. He continued, “There’s a pastor here who brought two loaves of bread to the conference, just like in my dream. I want us to pray for him now.”

Instantly I felt as though a thousand eyeballs were piercing the back of my head. I wasn’t expecting this at all. As he laid his hands on me to pray, I went flying backwards. There were no helpers or catchers-I literally flew to the floor and shook violently under an incredibly powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit. I was “out” under the Spirit’s power, and didn’t quite know what had happened to me. But I knew it was something significant.

There had been a powerful impartation when Mahesh prayed for me, though I didn’t fully understand it at the time. It was a life changing conference, to say the least. Truthfully, I had no idea then of the historic timing of that conference or that it fell at the beginning of a new outpouring which we now know as the Renewal. Yet from that point on, everything changed for me. Looking back to what happened that January 1994, I believe more than an impartation of anointing was given to me. God activated my spiritual authority to take His healing anointing to the sick and hurting.

A Blind Girl Healed!
The next week I was doing a youth conference for Rock the Nations with about 250 kids. I was one of four or five main speakers and was doing a workshop. I don’t even remember the topic on which I shared, but afterwards, a young girl about 14 years old came up to me. She had been waiting in line for prayer, and when it was her turn, she said, “Could you please pray for my left eye? I’m blind in my left eye.” She explained that she was at a carnival when a metal object flew out of the air, hitting her directly in the pupil. She had undergone three eye surgeries but still could not see a thing. Her eye was completely dark. As she described the details of her blindness, I felt whatever ounce of faith I had begin to dissipate.

The reason is that I had never seen a blind person get healed. In all the years that I had prayed for people before (such as at the healing room of that 2000 member Bible study in Washington, D.C.), I had seen people come out of wheelchairs, deaf people hear, nearsighted vision get healed, but I had never seen a totally blind eye opened.

Yet, when you are a pastor, you pray. The young woman was asking for prayer, and I was willing. I asked her to place her hand over her eye, and I put my hand over her hand. I don’t know what I prayed, but I will never forget the expression on her face. All of a sudden, she started to scream and cry, and she said, “I can see your eyes, I can see your face, I can see you!” And I said, “Really????” I was totally in unbelief. All of a sudden, I flashed back to the Healing Conference the week before when Mahesh had prayed for me, and I thought, “Is it possible that something was activated and imparted to me and that’s why something happened?”

We Need Power and Authority
Since that day, I am more convinced that God wants to release a whole army to walk in a new dimension of healing and the miraculous. Frankly, there are billions of people around the world who have never heard the gospel. In order for this to come to pass, we need to see every single man, woman, and child possible anointed with the Holy Spirit to take the healing authority and truth to the nations in order for us to fulfill the Great Commission!

One of the ways this will happen is if we not only embrace God’s desire to give us this power in healing, but if we fully understand our authority as believers and walk in it. In fact, the authority God has given to us as believers in Jesus the Messiah, is one of the keys to fulfilling the Great Commission that has been overlooked by the body of Christ. When we talk about reaching the lost, we emphasize power and anointing but tend to overlook spiritual authority. We need both the power and the authority to get the job done.

The best way to define power and authority is to describe or illustrate how power and authority work. A Mack truck is powerful, but a policewoman, who is not as “powerful” as the truck, can stop the truck right in the middle of traffic because she has authority to do so. God has given us both power an authority; let’s learn how to use it.

Authority in the New Testament
Consider the miracles that were released in the New Testament. When Jesus sent His disciples out to heal the sick and cast out demons, He first gave them authority (see Matthew 10:1). It doesn’t say He prayed to give them more anointing. It doesn’t say He gave them a special healing anointing. It says He gave them authority over unclean spirits and to heal all kinds of sickness. We need authority to get the job done. The King James Version translates Matthew 10:1 as Jesus giving them “power.” But the Greek word is exousia, which is better translated as authority.

Likewise, in Matthew 28, where Jesus issues the Great Commission, He delivers it with authority. The Great Commission to “Go and make disciples of all nations” really begins with verse 18. In that verse, Jesus uses the same Greek word exousia when He says, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth…go therefore and make disciples…” (NKJ, italics added.) This is the key to the Great Commission. Jesus is saying that we are going to be able to make disciples of all nations through His authority. By His authority and under His delegated authority, we will each have authority, and we will be able to take nations for Him!

We need authority to fulfill the Great Commission. We need authority to preach, drive out demons, and heal the sick. In Mark’s version of the Great Commission, Jesus says, “These signs will follow those who believe: In My name, they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17, NKJ, italics added).

It does not say these signs will follow only the apostles or evangelists, or those who are well known. Rather, it says these signs will follow all that believe. Every believer who calls on the name of the Lord has that kind of authority, just as the passage in James 5 says if you are in trouble, you pray. The word “trouble” here means trials and tribulations, and can also encompass sickness, demonic warfare, and oppression from the enemy. Thus the Lord is instructing us that when we, as believers, are in trouble, we should pray. He is saying He has given us authority as believers to address what comes our way.

Let’s learn to walk in the authority that God has given to the church!


The River of His Presence
By Dan Siemens

In January of this year my wife, Denise, and I attended a Pastor’s Conference at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. It had been quite a while since we had visited the birthplace of the outpouring called “The Father’s Blessing” which has now spread around the world. The week we were there marked the seventh year of continuous, six-day-a-week meetings.

As is typical of this kind of outpouring, the conference was not primarily about the great workshops, inspiring worship times, nor even about the anointed speakers. Rather, believers from around the world came seeking one thing-the Presence of the Holy Spirit. We were not disappointed. As we gathered with 2,000 other church leaders to hear what God was saying to us at this stage in the renewal, the voice of the Spirit was very clear:

“Yes, many of you have experienced the River of God. But after you were touched and sent forth, did you seek to stay in the River?”

The outcome of this neglect is more catastrophic than we might realize. In the Old Testament we read how Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments only to find the people worshipping the golden calf. In Exodus 33:1 there is an extraordinary dialog that takes place between the Lord and Moses regarding their idolatry. Acknowledging the people’s tendency to go astray so easily, God makes a startling statement:

“Go up to the land that I promised you on oath, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey… But I will not go with you….”

Incredibly, God indicated that he was going to be utterly faithful to his original promise to the patriarchs. His people would, indeed, one day enter and possess the land of milk and honey. However, because they chose not to value, reverence, or desire the presence of the living God above their idols, they were on the verge of losing it altogether. God tells Moses that he would send an angel to go along with them instead (Exodus 32:34).

But Moses was a man desperate for more of God’s Presence, not less. Going anywhere without Him was unthinkable. And even though Moses had heard God’s firm decree, “I will not go with you…” he interceded before Him praying: “You keep saying, ‘lead this people’, but you have not let me know whom you will be sending with me'” (Exodus 33:12). In essence, Moses indicated that he wasn’t going to budge until God changed his mind. If God wasn’t going, neither was he.

Finally, God relents and tells Moses what he was waiting to hear,  “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest”  (Exodus 33:14).

What is extraordinary is that Moses actually chose God’s Presence rather than to enter into the Promised Land without Him. In essence, he said, “If I have to choose between the gifts and the Giver, then keep the gifts and give me only your Presence, even if that means I have to stay in the desert.” In addition, Moses knew that the promise of God’s presence was the only distinguishing characteristic between the chosen people of the Kingdom and the rest of humanity.

Moses said,  “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. What else will distinguish me and your people from all other people on the face of the earth?”  (Exodus 33:15-16).

Jesus demonstrated that, even he, had to remain in the presence of his Father’s love in order to do all that He commanded him. In John 15:10 he said,  “you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” Abiding in His Father’s loving presence was the fuel for his passion to obey.

And what price was paid that we may also abide? The Father’s presence was the last, most valuable possession stripped from the One who became sin for us. On the cross he cried out,  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Because of our sin, Jesus experienced the terror that accompanied the absence of his Father’s presence in order that it could be freely given to us to know and cherish.

Staying in the River, therefore, means that we must continually seek to dwell in the treasure of this Presence. What a tragedy it would be to taste the goodness of the Lord’s nearness through a historic outpouring of the Spirit, but to end up losing Him altogether in exchange for the mere gifts and benefits that living in the Promised Land of renewal brings.

We are, at the deepest level of our identity, a people of the Presence. As we seek to carry out the work of the Kingdom, we must keep coming before the Father daily to be refreshed and filled again and again. Entering and abiding in God’s presence is the highest privilege afforded us. The Bible rightly calls it the  “anchor of our souls” (Hebrews 6:19).

Since loving God and being with him is the most valuable thing that we have been given to do in this life and in the life to come, let us endeavor, ever always, to stay in the River of His Presence.

Dan and his wife, Denise, are on staff with Lutheran Renewal.  


The Association of Renewal Churches

For almost three decades Lutheran Renewal has been relating to pastors and congregations, mostly within the Lutheran Church. Many have been equipped for Spirit-empowered ministry. The leadership of Lutheran Renewal believes that it is now time to formalize this network into an organized alliance. The state of the Church seems to beckon such a coalition. It is a time of great need and great opportunity. Many pastors and church are battle-weary, having struggled to maintain Biblical and ethical integrity. Renewal-minded pastors often have little in common with their denomination, and therefore receive little support and encouragement. Others, thriving in more healthy environments, still wish to align themselves with like-minded ministers. A coalition could serve to bring hope and courage.

Why an association? Because a fellowship of like-minded pastors and congregations bring strength, encouragement, and strategic alignment.. The only hope for the Church is to embrace the Lordship of Christ and the Spirit’s power.

What is the association? It is a relationally-based coalition of like-minded pastors and congregations. It is not a new denomination. It is a network of people who have Biblical convictions concerning the vital role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and ministries and who desire to receive and give support to pastors and congregations, so that they can become all that God intends. We do not plan at this time to keep a clergy roster, nor to certify or ordain pastors. The coalition does not address the issue of whether or not a particular church should stay with its present structure or leave it. This alliance is formed on relational rather than institutional lines. The network seeks to be a support to pastors and congregations wherever they find themselves.

Is the association Lutheran? Lutheran Renewal has always been a Lutheran organization with a Board of Directors who are Lutherans. But there has been a stronger emphasis on the word “renewal” than the word “Lutheran.” Our vision has been to bring spiritual renewal in the Lutheran Church and beyond. While most of the doors that God has opened to us have been Lutheran doors, we rejoice in our ecumenical contacts and in our ministry with the larger body of Christ. It is assumed that this association will serve primarily Lutherans, but it is not limited to Lutherans.

Some purposes of the association:

  • Strategic Alignment.
  • Prayer Network.
  • Call to Renewal.
  • Accountability.
  • Spiritual covering.
  • Resources.
  • Mentoring.
  • Call process.
  • Care for pastors.