Interview with Reinhard Bonnke, and Where is the Power of the Gospel?

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Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Let us take hold of God and ask Him, “Demonstrate the power of the  gospel of Jesus in my life, so the world can see my life change.  God, where is the power of the gospel?”  We’re not seeking silly things, sensationalism, or a show. We’re seeking God, that He would glorify the name of Jesus in us and through us, that the world might see and know that Jesus is alive from the dead.  That’s what it’s all about, not about our groups, ministries, or denominations. It’s about the name of Jesus, Yeshua, being exalted, that the Jewish people, gentiles, and people who identify as Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, and nominal Christians worldwide would come to know the real Savior: the Risen One, the Eternal One, the Lord of all, the King of kings.  Where is the evidence in our lives, our churches, our congregations, our ministries; where is the evidence that Jesus has risen from the dead? That’s what the world  needs to see; it will cut through the resistance and mockery, and people will come to know the real Jesus!

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The greatest, most powerful, most awesome, most extraordinary message that anyone can ever hear is that God sent His Son to die for the sins of the world; that we who rebel, who are guilty, who spit in the face of a holy God, can not only receive mercy, but new life and righteousness, and we can become sons and daughters of God, heirs together with Jesus. It’s extraordinary, but there’s something even more; He transforms us!  Jesus not only forgives us from our sins, He frees us from them.  Jesus not only deals with the penalty of sin, but also its power.  I want to encourage you to explore the glorious gospel of Jesus, to open the word and believe what God says, and to ask Him, “God, where is the power of the gospel?  The kingdom of God is not a matter of words only, but a matter of power.  Where is the demonstration of the resurrection of Jesus?  Lord show it in my life, and show it to this dying world.”

Connect with Rev. Bonnke on Facebook.

Living A Life of Fire by Rev. Bonnke

Whatever Happened to the Power of God? by Dr. Brown

Meet Reinhard Bonnke:

Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke is principally known for his Great Gospel Campaigns throughout the Continent of Africa. The son of a pastor, Reinhard gave his life to the Lord at age nine, and heard the call to the African mission field before he was even a teenager. After attending Bible College in Wales, and his ordination in Germany he pastored a church and then went on to start missionary work in Africa. It was there, in the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho, that God placed upon his heart the vision of ‘the continent of Africa, being washed in the precious Blood of Jesus’ — an entire continent, from Cape Town to Cairo and from Dakar to Djibouti that needed to be reached and to hear the proclamation of the signs-following Gospel.

He began holding meetings in a tent that accommodated just 800 people, but, as attendance steadily increased, larger and larger tents had to be purchased, until finally, in 1984, he commissioned the construction of the world’s largest mobile structure — a tent capable of seating 34,000 people! Soon, attendance at his meetings even exceeded the capacity of this huge structure, and he began open-air Gospel Campaigns with an initial gathering of over 150,000 people per service! Since then, he has conducted city-wide meetings across the continent with as many as 1,600,000 people attending a single meeting using towering sound systems that can be heard for miles.

Read more at Rev. Bonnke’s website.

18 Comments
  1. Listened to today’s show on the Boston radio station at 2:00PM. Reinhard Bonnke is a good role model. Good man of God. Very sincere man.

    To comment about why is not God moving in America the way He does in other countries is because the people in America do not want it bad enough. The majority that is.

    We need to be like a baby bird, hungry for the worm the mama bird feeds em. Desperately hungry.

  2. Dr. Brown, I would like to become a “monthly torchbearer” but the registration form on your website only accepts registraton from inside USA, but I’m living in Iceland. How can I register to support your important ministry?

  3. Hello in Iceland; that is so cool!

    This was the best show I’ve heard so far! Reverend Bonnke spoke the truth; the message is Jesus. He doesn’t preach to be heard and lifted up by the congregation. He preaches to exalt the Lord and to extend His Salvation to the lost. That’s half the problem with modern day preachers, especially some television personalities. They preach to be lifted up in the eyes of them hearing and they rarely even mention JESUS!

    Wonderful and humble presense Reverend Bonnke has. My heart has been strengthened today!

    Thanks, Dr. Brown, I really needed to hear from Rev. Bonnke and I didn’t even know it. I’ve just started reading the two for one books you mentioned and I feel certain I’ll be blessed by them.

    It makes me want to take some people and just SHAKE THEM–listen up! (just kidding) I think…

    🙂

  4. What a blessing to hear Reinhard Bonnke. I stand in awe of his humility and how he exudes Christ. What a model for ministry. Thank you for airing this interview.

  5. Dr Brown
    Does your ministry sells tracks? The Lord gave me a vision last night to start handing out tracts.

    The world needs to know that Jesus is our only HOPE!!!

    Where can I get good bible tracts?

  6. Omar,

    God bless you, and thanks for being a torchbearer in Iceland! I’m not sure how things are set up, but we will get in touch with you to welcome you aboard. Together we can make a difference!

  7. Hello,i am just an outsider who reads Holy Scripture,but,i would like to say the following :
    Are both sides of ‘the Kingdom Coin’ (so to speak) being presented to outsiders – faith and the free gift of eternal life on the one side,repentance and the towering cost of authentic discipleship on the other ?
    At this point in time,and in regard to the BODY,China is perhaps the epicentre of authentic cross-carrying discipleship.
    Britain (and i suspect the USA too) is,i believe,an epicentre of impure and unbalanced evangelism,teaching,and worldly discipleship.
    In regard to the WORLD,Britain (and again,i suspect the USA too) seems to be an epicentre of materialiam and hedonism. It will take more than a one-sided message,if westerners are going to lay down their treasure and pleasure seeking lifestyles,take up the cross and the reproach of Christ,set their minds on things above,and live no longer for themselves but for the Lord Jesus Christ who died for them.
    That’ll take two sides – that’ll take the yardstick of the Lord.
    How many evangelists in Britain and America present outsiders with the yardstick of the Lord ( His terms and conditons) for being His disciple ( note Acts 11:26 : in Bible-mathematics,disciple = christian ) ?
    Are they making authentic disciples on His yardstick-terms,or making worldly christians on a one minute sinner’s-prayer ?
    With regard to salvation,the moment a person is in Christ,they have been saved ; as they remain in Him they are being saved ; if they remain in,and endure until,the end,they will be saved.
    Is that how salvation is being preached in Britain and America today,or,are people being given the impression that salvation is simply a past-tense deal,which once one has achieved is thereafter in-the-bag ?
    May the living God bless Reinhard and his ministry ; may millions walk with Jesus in white through Reinhard’s ministry.
    That said,when was the last time you heard an evangelist sifting responders with the Lord’s yardstick ?
    Without the disciple-yardstick of Jesus,and without a balanced presentation of salvation,is it any wonder that many western believers walk pretty much like the Gentiles ? Any wonder at all ?( Revelation 3:4 echoes down the centuries – but how many western believers and evangelists have an ear to hear it ?)

  8. Mark Phillips,

    Good points.

    Deuteronomy 5
    29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

    Shalom

  9. “Jesus name…him crucified…the power of His resurrection”. R.B. “Let’s not forget it is Jesus who does the work”. M.B.

  10. I am curious when R.B. was in Khartoum, with its one million attendees stated at a crusade there??? This would represent roughly 1/6th of the local population. He mentioned it as a muslim nation, and did not mention its history of genocide of the southern Christian population, non muslim. Historically there were two people groups, those of Khartomb and the “slaves” of the remaining southern nation.

    As many here may know, So. Sudan recently voted to assume its own separate government with a negotiated peace treaty covering for its actions (where over 94% voted for this action of its population; and most villages were destroyed of those of our brethren in the south, with millions slaughtered). In the past couple of months the northern nation, with its population mostly surrounding Khartoum continued its genocide, by now burning villages close to its borders long past its agreement not to do so. Could 1/6th of its claimed converted population permit this to happen if it was not a contiued policy of Khartom’s government? As so claimed converted, have they then no voice as to continued violence and a contrived Christian cultural murder of those in the newly emerging So. Sudan nation???

    I rejoice at the Name and Gospel of Jesus Christ going forth; I wonder if hearts and minds in areas converted continue to go on as they have. This says something as to the need to then educate those converted to the Ways and heart of Jesus and His Kingdom. However, it is only the Gospel which begins any process of capturing each and every thought and bringing such into conformity to the mind of Jesus over our lifetimes.

    What was the fruit of the Gospel told by Jesus to the disciples of John the Baptist coming to him to ask if He was the One, some time after John had recognized Him, baptised Him, and heard the voice of God affirming Him. Why would John doubt Jesus after that event? What is it about isolation, persecution, and suffering which tests and requests further inquiry of Jesus? As Herod had him locked up, as we know to be beheaded in time, what is our responsibiiity of carrying the mind of Christ’s teaching to areas as testified as converted???

  11. Maybe we just have it too good in America, like spoiled children. Then look at all the materialistic things that we devote time to, useless, temporary things.

  12. The Changing Face of Christianity

    In 1900 eighty percent of people identifying as Christians worldwide were either Europeans or North Americans. Today 60 percent are citizens of Africa, Asia or Latin America. The implication of this shift was the subject of an article in Newsweek (16/4/01). Europe is seen as a `post Christian’ society, while “the events which are shaping 21st century Christianity are taking place in Africa and Asia”. “Christianity is no longer a white man’s religion,” says Larry Eskridge of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals. “It’s been claimed by others.”

    The article makes some interesting observations:

    “To millions of Christians in Africa and Asia words like `Protestant’ and `Catholic’ inspire little or no sense of identification. According to David R Barrett, co-author of the World Christian Encyclopaedia, there are now 33,800 different Christian denominations. And the fastest growing are the independents, who have no ties whatsoever to historic Christianity.” The article shows how Christianity has been adapted to meet the spiritual needs of different cultures. In India the growth is mainly amongst outcasts who find in Christianity hope and dignity denied them by the rigid caste system. In China, Christianity answers the problems of meaning that Marxism fails to address. Africans are embracing Christianity in the face of massive political, social and economic chaos. Plagued by corrupt regimes, crushing poverty, pandemic AIDS and genocidal wars, Africans find the church is the one place they can go to for healing, hope and material assistance from more fortunate Christians in the West.”

    The article paints a picture of Christianity, which is less concerned with doctrine and more concerned with relating faith to the culture of the countries it is being planted in. This often involves a mixture of Christianity with the religions of those countries.

    “In many Indian churches, priests have adopted the dress and rituals of the Hindu majority. The mass may begin with `Om’, the sacred sound of the Vedas. Vandana Mataji, a Catholic nun, sings bhajans (devotional songs) in praise of Jesus and of Krishna four times a day, eats strictly vegetarian and meditates in silence. Africans have always recognised a spiritual world within the empirical, and there is much in tribal religions that makes adaptation to Christianity easy. But the traditional African worldview also includes witches and spirits of every kind — especially those of tribal ancestors. All these presences have power to work good or evil on the living and so must be placated or warded off through fetishes.”

    The fastest growing form of Christianity, especially in Africa, is Pentecostal faith healing, imported directly from the West.

    “When Africans read the Bible or hear it preached, they see that Jesus was a healer and an exorcist, and controlling evil spirits has always been a primary function of tribal shamans.”

    Nearly 6 million Nigerians jammed a park in Lagos for a healing service conducted by German evangelist Reinhard Bonkke.

    “Every night in cities like Accra, Ghana, thousands of Africans seek out evening Pentecostal `prayer camps’. Most are women who can’t find husbands or wives suffering from infertility, but others come because they’ve no job. The diagnosis in every case is associated with tribal witchcraft. One by one, victims are sent rolling on the floor as freelance Pentecostal preachers `deliver’ them from evil spirits in the name of Jesus. Africans also embrace Pentecostalism because — again like tribal religions — it promises material abundance in this life. The best attended African churches are supported by relatively well off, educated Africans who do not wish to lose their precarious prosperity.” Michael Okonkwo, founder and self appointed bishop of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission in Lagos, says, “In Africa if I want a car I have to pray to God to give me the money to pay cash”.

    What are we to make of this?

    Firstly to be positive we agree that Christianity is not a white man’s religion — in fact it originated in the Middle East through Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, and his Jewish disciples. Also the spread of Christianity world-wide is in itself a major sign of fulfilled prophecy, since Jesus told his disciples to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” and said that the completion of this project would be a sign of his second coming (Matthew 24:14)

    (NB: It needs to be stated that there are large parts of the world — especially the Islamic countries — where the Christian message is unknown or very little known).

    On the other hand we note that Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-43) in which the good seed sown by God grows alongside the tares (weeds) sown by his enemy (Satan). Both grow together until the harvest when they are separated with the wheat being gathered into barns and the weeds thrown into the fire to be burnt. It is interesting that there is a form of weed, which grows in Israel, and looks almost identical to wheat, but contains no nourishment and so is useless for food. Jesus also warned that “false prophets and false Messiahs will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible” (Matthew 24:24 — see also Matthew 7:15-23).

    There are three main aspects of this article, which are worth drawing attention to.

    HISTORY / DOCTRINE DOES NOT MATTER

    Christianity may not be a white man’s religion, but it is a faith, which has an important doctrinal content, based on the Bible. The major issues of that doctrinal content were fought out in the European Reformation. Today it is fashionable amongst Christians all over the world to say that the Reformation does not matter or even was a mistake, because basically all Christians believe the same thing. This is simply not true. The Reformers were not perfect, but we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude, because they rediscovered the essential truths of the message taught by Jesus and the apostles, based on the teaching of the Bible, not the traditions of men: that we are sinners who need to be saved from the judgment of God by repentance and faith in the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one Mediator between God and humanity and the blood he shed at the cross was sufficient to bring forgiveness of sin and eternal life to all who turn in faith to him. This basic message is denied by Roman Catholicism, which requires the continual sacrifice of the Mass performed by priests who thereby mediate God to the people.

    MIXING CHRISTIANITY WITH OTHER CULTURES

    Accepting that Christianity is not a white man’s religion, it is obvious that Christians from other backgrounds do not have to accept the culture of white Europeans or Americans. At the same time the Bible clearly teaches that culture is not a neutral thing spiritually, especially when it is related to religion. Therefore it is dangerous for Christians to embrace Hindu worship forms and combine them with Christian ones, or to seek to appease ancestral spirits through fetishes.On this subject it needs also to be said that the spiritual decline of the church in Europe came about through mixing Christianity with pagan religions in order to make it attractive to the masses (for example the cult of the Madonna in which Mary replaced the mother goddess of pagan religions as an object of worship). Despite the gains made by the Reformers in rediscovering biblical truths, referred to above, many of them failed to liberate the faith from the shackles of Rome by preserving aspects of compromised Christianity (for example infant baptism).

    In the Old Testament the God of Israel constantly distances himself from the gods of the nations, which are always described as a corrupting influence on the people of God (see Psalm 115, Isaiah 45.18-25, Jeremiah 2). Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), thereby ruling out any possibility that the salvation he came to bring could be mingled with other religions. The apostles confronted Roman paganism and called people to be separate from its influences: “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, `I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people.’ Therefore `Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:14-7.1. See also Acts 14:8-18, 19:23-41).

    It can be shown from history and contemporary practice that wherever Christianity is mixed with other religious influences, the other influence will become stronger and eventually eliminate the Christian content.

    This is not because the power behind the other influences is stronger than the power behind Christianity, but because the God of the Bible is unique and says, “I am the Lord, that is my name; and my glory I will not give to another, nor my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8). If there is an attempt to mingle the worship of the Lord with the worship of other gods or to use other religious practices (especially anything remotely connected to witchcraft), the Holy Spirit simply departs and evil spirits take over.

    The prophetic scriptures indicate that in the end times there will be a coming together of world religions under the authority of the `Whore of Babylon’ (Revelation 17:1-6), which will persecute true Christians. It is most likely that Roman Catholicism allied to apostate Protestantism will lead this union of world religions.

    The kind of `touchy-feely’ Christianity which is being promoted worldwide today and which has little time for the essential doctrines on which the faith is founded, is a pushover in terms of falling for the spiritual deception behind this movement. It is interesting that the Newsweek article draws attention to the conflict within Roman Catholicism today between traditionalists who believe “in the necessity of conversion to Jesus Christ” and those who believe that “The church cannot disregard the Spirit of God working in other people in all cultures and religions”. It is likely that the latter view will win out in this conflict and that the next pope will be chosen because of his willingness to work for the religious unity of the world.

    THE HEALTH AND WEALTH BANDWAGON

    Recently ITV screened a programme called `A Question of Miracles’ featuring healing evangelists Benny Hinn and Reinhard Bonnke in action. The programme, first made in USA and being shown in a number of countries around the world, made disturbing viewing. The most obvious feature was that despite the massive claims being made by the evangelists for their healing powers, no verifiable or lasting miraculous cures were taking place. The programme showed a rally where Benny Hinn was rebuking cancers, tumours and lameness in the name of Jesus. However, one woman was seen trying to get out of her wheelchair for thirty minutes, only to join the rest of the wheelchair bound who came to the rally and left in the same condition they came in. Seventy-six miracles were claimed on stage, but 13 weeks later, his team could only provide five names of people who went forward for healing. When these claims were investigated no medical evidence for healing was found. In fact one woman died months later of the cancer she was supposed to have been healed from.

    A number of people who were proclaimed healed in the name of Jesus at the rally stopped taking their medication and became very ill later. A poor immigrant couple whose son was dying of a brain tumour gave thousands of dollars they could not afford to the evangelist on the basis of his claim to be able to bring healing to their son. The son died and Hinn kept the money.

    At Bonnke’s rally in Nigeria, 78 miracles were claimed on stage, but no evidence was found afterwards. Bonnke cursed cancers in the name of Jesus and claimed that those who were blind could now see. The programme then panned to the area below the stage where people from the crowd were being selected as to who could go on stage to testify to healing. There was clear evidence of fakery as most would be participants were barred from the stage. One person who was selected to testify claimed that he was blind and could now see, but it was then shown that he could actually see in the first place. Fifteen people were crushed to death at the rally. The parents of a child who was killed tried to get her body to Bonnke hoping he would raise her from the dead, but were barred from the stage. The family did the next best thing and laid the body on Bonkke’s Mercedes Benz in the hope of the child coming back to life. All of this is a far cry from the miracles of the New Testament. When Jesus and the apostles performed miracles there was no question that the person concerned was completely healed. This could not be denied even by their opponents. After the healing of the lame man in the Temple in Acts 3, the apostles were arrested by the Temple guard, but the Sanhedrin were compelled to let them go by the evidence of the miracle: “Seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it” (Acts 4:14).

    Miraculous signs followed the preaching of Jesus and the apostles (Mark 16:17-18), but they were not the point of attraction. In fact Jesus discouraged crowds from following him to look for signs. Far from seeking a mass of people who would tag along with his movement for what they could get out of it, Jesus put off would-be followers with a radical call to commitment even to the point of being willing to lose their lives for his sake: “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-5 — see also Matthew 10:16-42, Luke 9:57-62, John 6:60-71). He told his disciples to give freely as they had received freely (Matthew 10:8). Interestingly in the Didache, an early Christian manual, it was considered a sign of a false prophet to ask for money. Also it has to be said that Jesus’ miracles recorded in the New Testament were selective. He did not heal every sick person in Israel (although everyone who came to him seeking healing was completely healed). There was a multitude of sick people at the pool of Bethesda, but Jesus only healed one lame man there (John 5:1-15).

    Today’s healing evangelists appeal to the needs of people offering the sick a chance to get well through the miraculous powers which are supposed to be present at their rallies, and promising wealth as a reward from God to those who donate to their ministries. Since almost everyone in the world would like to have better health and better living conditions, it is a powerful appeal. The question however is whether they deliver on their promises. Clearly something does happen at these rallies, as people respond to the evangelists by falling on the floor and a variety of physical manifestations, some of which do appear to bring relief (mostly temporary) from pains they have previously suffered. The TV programme attributed this to hypnotic suggestion in the lives of people who have been psychologically prepared to respond in this way before attending the rallies.

    This may be so, but Jesus also spoke about wonders being done in his name by people to whom he will say “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practise lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23). He also said that false prophets doing signs and wonders would be a feature of the last days before his second coming (Matthew 24:24). This will prepare the way for the man of sin or the Antichrist whose coming will be “according to the working of Satan with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). What is certain is that all this brings Christianity into disrepute. The lavish life style of Benny Hinn compared to the poverty of people who give him money for healings, which do not take place, causes revulsion. Many of those who are persuaded to part with their money end up disillusioned when the miracles fail to occur and reject the whole Christian message. It is also clear that anti Christian forces are using the abuses of these preachers to attack Christianity in general and as an excuse to propose laws restricting the freedom of all Christians. On a recent trip to Ukraine I met a believing Christian from Minsk in Belarus who told me how the freedom of religion, which had been won after the fall of the Soviet Union, is now being gradually lost through new laws the government has brought in under pressure from the Russian Orthodox Church. The main reason for these laws coming in is a reaction against the multitude of Christian groups, especially hyper charismatic groups from the USA, which flooded the country after the restrictions of Communism were lifted. He told me how the police attended a meeting held by a `prosperity preacher’, then called him to the police station to tell him that what he was teaching was not in the Bible. Apparently the successors of the KGB are more knowledgeable of the Christian message than the preachers! (I have produced a tape about this subject available from the CWM office).

    Conclusion

    Jesus told his followers to “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Despite all the claims of worldwide revival and the statistics of huge growth in the Newsweek article, the authentic message of Jesus is not much heard, especially in the public places of our world. He is calling us to repentance and faith in the one final sacrifice he made for our sins. To those who respond he offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life, with difficulties and persecutions along the way, but with the assurance of his presence and help to guide us. For the record I do accept that genuine miracles do happen today, generally within the context of a believing congregation (James 5:13-18) and as a sign following the preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:15-18). However in my experience they are much less frequent than most charismatic Christians claim they are! Most Christians I know who have serious illnesses do not recover from them or if they do recover it is as a result of medical treatment. In fact all of us are going to die one day unless the Lord comes first. To say as some healing evangelists that sickness is the result of unbelief is to add false guilt to the burden the sick carry because of their illness.

  13. Dr. Brown, I’m looking forward to hear from you, I believe this very important work you are doing, and it will also have impact outside the US.

    Blessings to you
    Omar

  14. the blesssed feet that traverse nationS with true GOSPEL-ANNI AND /RAIN HARD HIT THE WORLD IN YOUR GENERATION.GOD BLESS

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