If God be for us,
who can be against us?
A provocative story from Ethiopia.
By Ken Raggio
This story took place around 1980 in Ethiopia.
His English-speaking friends call him Tekle (tek-lee), because his Ethiopian name is Teklemariam Gezahagne. He was converted to Christianity in 1964, one of the first people in his country to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues. I was in a service many years ago where he told the following story. I think it is worth sharing.
Ethiopia - a God ordained nation
Ethiopia is a strife-ridden country where political corruption and primitive superstitious religions predominate. According to the scriptures, however, (Psalm 68:31 and Isaiah 18:7) God will present a gift to Himself in the end times from the nation of Ethiopia. Tekle is a witness to that. In recent years, over one MILLION Ethiopians have converted, receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues, most of them baptized in Jesus Name.
A most amazing story (one of many he told) was about an evil person who hated the Church. There are many Apostolic churches in Ethiopia, many with thousands in attendance. Most of their buildings are very simple structures, but the saints can be found there day and night praying and worshipping and conducting church services.
An enemy rose up
In the middle of the night, one of the enemies of the local church decided to burn their building down. Several men were inside praying, and they immediately went for help, but before anything could be done, the building fell into ashes. The next morning, the arsonist appeared in the city streets, boasting that he had burned the church down. He proudly threatened that if they ever rebuilt their church house, he would again burn it down.
A Most Unusual Occurrence
Then a very strange thing happened. While the evil man stood boasting in the presence of hundreds of people, he suddenly caught on fire! No one knew where the fire came from. The flames were invisible, but the man began screaming in agony, and the scorching heat from his body was so intense that no one could go near him.
The Man Burned and Burned
Strangely, he did not die! He just burned, and burned, and screamed and screamed. For five straight days, the evil man lay in the city street burning. Men soaked a blanket in a tub of water and threw it on the man, but it only steamed and caught fire. The man continued to burn. Finally, on the fifth day, he died, and they attempted to remove his body to be buried. It was too hot to handle. At last, men took two long poles (tree branches) and scooped up his body, dumped it in a grave and covered it up.
The town’s people were profoundly moved
The people of the city were so astonished at this event that thousands of them asked to be baptized in Jesus name and were filled with the Holy Ghost!
Foreign to us?
It is hard for us to comprehend such a thing here in America. Christianity is so secular anymore that it is devoid of the power of God. "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" -- Paul could see it coming in the end time. You and I are so used to dead churches, no miracles, no healings, no revival, that most folks have lost their faith altogether.
God is the same
The fact is, God has not changed. We have. Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." If God is for us, who can be against us? Conversely, if God is against us, who can be for us? Don’t you think that we ought to get serious about God again?
If we don’t
see a spiritual revival pretty soon, we may all have to go to Ethiopia
to find one. Why don’t we earnestly contend for the faith
that was once delivered unto the saints. Let’s get back to
the basics of faith. If you are not planning to be in church
Sunday, you should change your plans and go. You owe it to yourself and to God.
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