MATTHEW NEEDHAM'S MINISTRY UPDATE
January 23, 2008
Jesus Did It!
Intercede For A
Mighty Revival In Fiji
I had a good time yesterday meeting with evangelist Bill Subritzky (www.doveministries.com) to discuss the crusade that I am helping to organize for him in Nadi, Fiji, on the 10th -12th of April.
I want to call the prayer warriors to put these dates on their prayer list and to specifically prayer for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Many years back when Bill was ministering in Singapore he saw a vision of a dark angel of death. They decided to march around the outside of the cathedral and reclaim the grounds for God. As they were marching a rushing, audible wind, as loud as a 747 jet aeroplane, caused everybody to be thrown to the ground. It was like the wind referred to in the Bible when the power of God fell on the early disciples on the day of Pentecost. Following this event every Anglican church in Singapore experienced great renewal in the power of the Holy Spirit.
When addressing a youth camp in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, Bill heard a similar wind come from the back of the meeting and from behind him. Both winds were extremely loud. They met in the middle of the meeting and immediately young people were thrown backwards and forwards from their seats. Many were released from drugs, immorality and many other sins. You could only weep as you listened to the miraculous way in which God had changed them.
We need the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit to flow throughout Fiji. Please believe and pray with me that this coming crusade will be a catalyst for this. Pray that many nominal Christians will be revived. Many lost souls will be saved; that God will draw Hindus and Muslims unto Himself and that there will be true repentance. Salvation comes first; miracles come second, but please pray that God will move supernaturally to confirm His word with signs and wonders.
Let's believe that the coming crusade will be nation shaking.
I return to Fiji tomorrow (25th Jan) for four months and are expecting great things to happen.
Thank you for your prayers. God bless you, from Matthew
From Fiji: (September 18, 2007)
Last Saturday I had an evangelism day with an 18 year old boy called Roneil. After prayer, the first person we attempted to share the word of God with happened to be a Jehovah's Witness lady who was meditating upon their false booklets. As soon as she saw the name Jesus on my booklet she refused to look at it, such was her prejudice against the name of Jesus. This is how false churches have hardened people hearts towards the Saviour of the world and kept their congregations in darkness. We left her without saying a word and went and stood beside the Nausori shops, giving out mainly my 'Turn Away From Your Sins' tract and 'A Brahmin Priest Meets The Lord Jesus Christ.'
For some time I have been going to Nabua, near Suva, staying with a family there and having a burden to reach the hundreds of families living in the cramped 3-4 story flats. At one place there is at least 6 blocks of three story flats and at the other place there is a lot more, large four story blocks, so a lot of families live there. The majority are Fijians, so I end up talking to many nominal Christians. I found that the Roman Catholics here are basically clueless when it comes to understanding the Bible and are unconcerned that they are walking in much spiritual darkness. With the Seventh Day Adventists I talk about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and why those who place themselves under the law cannot receive it. The Holy Spirit is only received by faith.
One time I gave some tracts to a group of teenage Fijian boys and asked one which church he went to. He said, "LDS" (Mormons). I therefore explained to him how the founder of their church taught false concepts of God, how the book of Mormon contradicts the Bible and how Joseph Smith is a false prophet. After his beliefs were clearly shown to be false, he didn't want to listen, so all I could say was, "Unless you turn away from your sins you will not enter the kingdom of God." He then walked away, but I noticed that all the other Fijian boys had tears in their eyes. At times we have to give this type of strong message to break the spirit of deception that seeks to pull Christians away from Christ. Any teaching that denies the Holy Trinity (One God in three eternal persons' the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit) leads into darkness. This darkness includes the oneness Pentecostal teaching that denies the three distinct persons of the Trinity, but rather says that there is only one person but in different forms at different times. Very, very dangerous. The teaching on the Holy Trinity is a well developed Christian doctrine from the revelation of God through the Bible. Those who go against it are making a serious mistake.
Since many Christians are doctrinally weak and are not being properly discipled, they don't understand basic doctrines and don't have answers. I have found that many older Christians do not encourage the understanding of doctrine. I feel that this is because they are not activity involved in evangelism, therefore they are content in their own Christian walk and somewhat unaware of how seriously people, including the church, have been influenced by false doctrine. This kind of relaxed thinking needs to change.
This time I went with Roneil around one block of flats to give booklets to whoever happened to be there. Then we visited one family that I had visited before and only two girls were there. I got Roneil to share his testimony with them. They were Christians but again found that they lacked understanding of basic principles of salvation. I can't believe how casual many Christian parents take the salvation of their own children. How are we going to save the lost if we are not even getting ourselves properly saved? We then visited another Christian flat. While talking I was asked the question, "How do you see the church in New Zealand?" I have to admit that every time I go back to NZ it seems that the country has gone deeper into darkness. Yes, there are powerful churches, powerful evangelists, but overall I see the church in NZ as a Laodecian church; one of the most prayerless churches out of the countries I've been in; one of the weakest in personal evangelism and content to live without revival. Christians have to tremble before God. Earlier in the year I was writing a book that I have not been able to finish, which is an in-depth study on the first five books of the Bible. I used to tremble when I was writing that book. For revival we have to come more aware of God's awesome presence.
Many of the Christians are what I call "Lot Christians." In the Bible, Lot is called a righteous man. There are many righteous people in NZ. But, Lot only had enough faith to save himself, barely enough faith to save his own family and no faith to save Sodom and Gomorrah. New Zealand is a Sodom and Gomorrah and on the whole Christians are not being taught how to really tear down the strongholds. My home place of Whangarei, as a small city, has a reasonably strong Christian witness and has had a lot of evangelism, more than some parts of Auckland from what one Auckland pastor was telling me. Materialistic spiritual apathy has swamped Auckland. Wellington is in deep spiritual darkness. The government of NZ is an antichrist government that has continued to add sin to sin. The young people are bombarded with filth and are growing up filthy.
NZ has tried to break the yoke of God's discipline; therefore God will put a yoke upon the nation and discipline the people. Judgment will begin in the house of God and I expect the strong hand of God to come upon the churches with strong and at times severe discipline. I have noticed more severe judgments in Fiji upon those who fight against God, but I expect that a time will come when God Himself will shown His hand of judgment to the NZ nation to a far larger degree than ever before. Yet at the same time God's hand of blessing is upon NZ so that we will fulfill our missionary calling. NZ was once one of the strongest missionary sending nations in the world, but now it has fallen down. Many whom Jesus has called in NZ to be missionaries in this generation have not responded to the call, possibly due to a lack of sufficient evangelistic training.
What I noticed with Fiji was well illustrated by an article I read on the front page of the newspaper. This article was about the reconciliation service made by Papa New Guinea Christians and the Fijian Methodist church. The PNG Christians were seeking forgiveness for having killed and eaten the Fijian missionaries who came to their country 132 years ago. Basically all of the pacific islands had cannibals. It is only through the preaching of the gospel and the mighty revivals that followed that the pacific was turned around. One chief from Tahiti converted to Christianity, which had a huge influence. Fiji was shaken by revivals at a similar time as the early Charles Finney revivals in America, so that in the 1800's Fiji was sending out missionaries to other nations. But at the end of this article it basically said that the top Methodist leaders were unable to comment because they were too busy preparing for their church choir competition. That seems to be the state of the Methodist church today, so busy raising funds for their building projects and having choir competitions rather than raising up men and women who can boldly confront false doctrine and take on the devil's strongholds. PGN is now considered to be a Christian country and it is because of the seed that was sown.
One of the ladies in the room then pointed out that it is only the Methodist church in Fiji that has raised a voice against homosexuality. I have to add that it is only the Methodist church that really implanted into its people the habit of waking early in the morning to pray, which has come down for hundreds of years from John Wesley. On the whole the Pentecostal churches don't implant the strong daily prayerful habit. Some of the strongest Christians in Fiji are Methodists who become Pentecostals because they can take the best from both worlds. We then had a time of prayer and intercession for Fiji.
Roneil and I then went down to his school to organize a coming outreach this week. I then took this interview with Roneil:
Question: First of all, tell me about your family background and how did your family respond when you became a Christian?
Reply: I came from a very strong Hindu family, and as I was growing up, I was very much into idol worshipping. I used to do a lot of their rituals, but slowly I realized that I wasn't getting anything out of it, so I started looking elsewhere and that is when I learned about Jesus, and I accepted Him into my life. For the first two years I kept it hidden from my family. No one knew, but in the third year something happened, and I told my Mum and cousins that I have become a Christian. My Mum didn't say much, but she was against it. My sister's were okay with it. My uncles were suspicious. My family are basically against it but they can't do much.
Question: Why is your family against it and so strong in Hinduism?
Reply: I come from a long line of highest caste -- the Brahmins. My grandfather was a Hindu priest. My uncle is a Hindu priest and they almost make me into a Hindu priest as well. That is why. They are not very open to changes, so they don't want to tolerate this change because of what the society will think of them. Being a strong Hindu family and one of them just goes off to Christianity.
Question: These Hindus have heard the gospel many times. Why doesn't it penetrate their hearts?
Reply: Hinduism is a very strong form of idol worship; one of the strongest ones and I think it is the power of Satan working in their lives, blinding them spiritually. Keeping the veil in front of their eyes and they are not open to the gospel because the Hindus are very concerned about what the society will think of them when they convert. According to them, Christianity is an evil thing.
Question: How did your school teachers find out that you were a Christian?
Reply: My school is an Indian school; 700 students; more than 500 students are Indians and most of the teachers are Indian as well. They try to defend their religion and they are not very open to the gospel. They found out that I am going to church. From there they went on to go against me slightly and a little bit of persecution is going on in our school against Christian students.
Question: Tell me the story of this Christian teacher who lost his job?
Reply: One of the teachers was evangelizing in the school. He was a Fijian. He was passing out Christian booklets. I got news from other teachers that he had to leave the school because of that. I was asked to pray and intercede on his behalf.
Question: You were telling me that a teacher was speaking against Christianity in class: explain.
Reply: There is a teacher and during class they talk about religion, and they will go against our Christianity by saying why people convert. They think that Hinduism is the one and only true religion and apart from that anyone who turns to another religion is off balance, and they don't know where they are going. The teacher said that Hindus who convert, convert because there are strict rules in Hinduism, they teach discipline, and those who can't adhere to those rules, to find an easier way out they convert to Christianity.
Question: You were saying that the small number of Christians in the school are not strong Christians. Not many are really living for God. Why is that?
Reply: In my entire school I have only seen just two or three of them who have really lived up to the word of God by their behaviour. The others are just nominal church goers living in the world. They are not meeting to pray because they are not concerned much. The Christian students are more concerned about other things like friends, sports, studies. The school needs a revival actually. I saw one Christian girl not forgiving another person and swearing. I just interceded on her behalf that God will revive the spirit in her.
Question: We want to evangelize your school, so this week we are planning to give out the booklets. Will the students take the booklets?
Reply: Yeah they will, but I don't know if they will read it or not. We just pray that they will. Pray for this school and the students' hearts to be open to the gospel, that when God knocks on their doors that they will accept Him at the first opportunity. Whatever small number of Christians we have in school we just continue to persevere for the kingdom of God, continue walking for Him and nothing will stop us because we are relying on the Holy Spirit. We are not afraid of what man may do to us; we are more afraid of our God and we are just living here for His purpose.
After hearing that the main teachers of this school are strong Hindus and have taken a stand against Christianity, I have decided to hand out a possible 400 booklets outside this school this Thursday (20th September). I will be giving two booklets with two tracts. One booklet will be the testimony of Sadu Sundar Singh with the Brahmin Priest who met Jesus tract inside of it. The other one will be on my testimony, "Jesus Saved My Life," with the turn away from your sins tract inside of it. I am photocopying the booklets and tracts now. Please pray that the presence of God will be manifested, that there will be a pulling down of demonic powers, that the mighty hand of God will come upon the students, resulting in powerful conversions. Please continue to pray specifically for this Thursday. I will stand at a strategic corner were actually the students of two Indian schools pass by. This school doesn't worship the idols at the school, but the other school worships the idols. The whole school gathers once a week for Hindus prayers and worship. Some Fijians also go to that school. They are not forced to worship the idol but they also gather.
A couple of weeks back I visited one Indian house and another visitor was there. This lady then asked me whether I had preached in a certain church about four years ago. I said, "Yes" and when she claimed that she could still remember the message, I asked her what it was. She said, "You preached about the sin of worshipping idols from the book of Revelation." It turns out that this lady was daughter of the main priest at the Sikh temple near Suva, that her own mother had become a Christian a couple of years before she died, so here we find that one of the main leaders of the Sikh religion in Fiji, his own family are following Christ. This lady invited me to her house so I did some house-to-house evangelism being guided by her thirteen year old son. I was invited to preach again in their church last Sunday and take some Thursday night Bible studies, which I have been looking at how to go deeper in prayer.
After church I went to their area again and had lunch with a nearby Hindu family. For about an hour and a half I spoke to the mother about the falsities of Hinduism; their false concept of gods; the difference between myth and reality; the absurdity of worshipping animals, trees and stones; stories of my experiences in India and Nepal in dealing with Hindus; stories of Hindus I had spoken to in Fiji; logical reasons why reincarnation cannot be true, etc., to totally break the arguments of Hinduism. She was so excited to listen and that is why I was able to go through things quiet thoroughly.
At the end I found the only thing that was stopping her from immediately becoming a Christian was a fear of what to say to her family and relatives. So I asked her if she is willing to fear God more than fear her family? She was willing, so I then got the lady converted from the Sikh religion to lead this lady in a sinner's prayer in the Hindi language. It was a long prayer and I noticed the lady wipe some tears from her eyes at the end. She is in a prime position because she can be discipled by this other Christian lady. I try to encourage in a circumstance like this where it is possible, daily discipleship for the new believers. With daily discipleship they become strong Christians very quickly. This lady will have prayer and basic Bible teachings during the week and I'll take another Bible study maybe on Friday morning.
Then I was taken to a Christian house that was having strong demonic activities going on, even to the point where the teenage son was seeing evil spirits manifested in physical form, coming in and out of his room. I found out that the daughter was married to a Muslim man, so I wanted to talk with him. He sat tensely as I explained to him the errors of the Muslim religion. I asked if he had any assurance that he would go to Heaven. When he said he didn't, I explained that the reason why he doesn't have any assurance that he can go to Heaven is because he is not going to Heaven. I presented him with many arguments and all he could say was, "I don't want to discuss this." I could feel the demonic spirit being pushed back even though he said, "I can never convert to Christianity. My ancestors have been Muslims for 36 generations." He was from a place near Pakistan and somehow he had a family record of his genealogy that traced his family all the way back to the (false) prophet Mohammed. He showed me his papers. Anyway, I prayed for the family, rebuked the sicknesses and felt the presence of God there. God is confronting the false Muslims doctrines and doing so in a powerful way.
Then I was taken to another Hindu family and talked with the mother and her twelve year old son, basically giving at salvation message to the boy's level and then leading him to Christ.
Please Pray: Pray for the new believers that their lives will be build upon the solid foundation of the rock of Christ. Pray that people will be rescued out of false cults and that nominal Christians will get on fire for Christ. Pray for the Muslims ' another Muslim family I visited said to me, "We were born Muslims and we will die Muslims," yet they have listened to me give them many arguments to think about. On Wednesday I should be going back into prison. Then on Thursday we will have our outreach to the Indian students. I'm really believing for God to do something great at this time.
'The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he. For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing." Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present' (2 Corinthians 10:4-11). Let's lay hold of God's kingdom and take it by force.
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS TO SAVE THE LOST!
Thank you for your prayers and God bless you, from Matthew.
Let God Use Your Salvation Testimony!
Precious Testimonies Staff Note: If you would like to read Matthew's born again testimony, click: HERE
If you know personally any Evangelist that is willing to send us their full-length born again testimony ... and we find it acceptable for publication (in other words, we have peace about it) ... we are OPEN to do an on-going "Ministry Update" for them like we feel led of the Holy Spirit to do for brother Matthew ... to help give extra prayer coverage.
In so doing, we would like to see the same type of format that Matthew provides for us. Matthew SHARES highlights of the very ministry he's involved in, and that makes it VERY ENJOYABLE reading, because it is actually another "testimony." It is a glimpse of the Holy Spirit working in the life of one of His "behind enemy lines Special Forces soldiers." -- Norm Rasmussen, Director
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