22 Sept 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
The floor trembled with people of the 23rd Pentecostal World Conference 2013 worshiping the Lord. It was the final public talk night of the conference on August 30th at Calvary Convention Center, with speaker Rev Daniel Kolanda, successor of evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.
A 32-year-old evangelist who came from five generations of pastors, Daniel received the baton of leadership from Reinhard to become the President and CEO of Christ for All Nations. What a fine picture of what we should see more in churches today, the mentorship of the young to take on leadership roles. And under the mentorship of Reinhard, Daniel has personally led more than 10 million people to Christ.
“I believe there will be a launching of the next generation. I believe in the days to come, we will see things that no generations have seen before!” said Daniel.
“If John said, ‘little children, this is the last hour’ (1 John 2:18) two thousand years ago, how many of you know that we are in the last minute now, or the very last second?” he added.
A few years ago, Daniel recalled himself visiting a restaurant at a foreign country late at night. With neither translator nor pictures in the menu to help him, Daniel resorted to pointing blindly at the menu items. But each menu item chosen was not available. He learned a simple but important lesson that day; ‘You cannot give what you do not have’, which is the topic of his preaching that night.
“It is no mistake that Jesus took his twelve disciples who knew all his teachings by heart. If there is anyone more qualified to preach the gospel, it would be that twelve men,” said Daniel.
They could have started preaching immediately from their own human experience of hearing and seeing what Jesus did, after Christ’s resurrection. Yet, Jesus said to them, “You are not ready yet.” He told his disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Father because when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, they would preach with the power of God (Acts 1:4-5).
“I came from a long line of Pentecostal preachers. I have five generations from my father’s side who are all pastors,” said Daniel. “My mother’s father is a pastor and my wife is a pastor too! Someone told me that I have been totally pastorized!”
His ancestors were missionaries from Germany who resided in Brazil. During their stay, they heard that the Holy Spirit has poured out in Los Angeles. Sending a voyage there, they too received the Holy Spirit and resided in United States ever since.
Sitting on the dinner table with his family, Daniel recalled how his father and grandfather recounted the story of his great grandfather who experienced the powerful touch of God. Born with a terrible mental disease, his great grandfather died in a typhoid fever at only two years old but was revived upon prayer by his great-great-grandfather. His great grandfather not only grew up to be a healthy man who lived till a ripe age, he had ten sons who are all serving God as preachers, pastors, missionaries, and evangelists. Children after children took on the heritage of knowing and walking with God, until Daniel’s generation.
“I honor with the deepest part of my being what the older generation has fought and died to give us,” said Daniel. “The very first trip I had with Reinhard in Nigeria was to a very remote place. I got into a truck for hours and hours until I wondered if there’s anyone out there at all.”
Reaching there, he met an elder of a village who came to welcome them. In that rally, the Holy Spirit powerfully moved; the blind can see, the lame can walk, and demons were cast out, just like the Bible. Heading back in the truck with Reinhard, Daniel recalled a profound conversation that changed his life.
“Rev Bonnke found an unpublished journal of a missionary. How many of you hear of David Livingston?” said Daniel. “He (Livingston) said, ‘there are not many results in ministry. ‘ Sometimes, he was only able to lead one person to the Lord and even then, he was not sure if that person was saved.”
The early years of the evangelists who went before our time told that their journeys were very difficult, with little light and little fruit. But paving the way, there is increasingly more ‘light’ with each new generation.
“Reinhard said in the truck,‘When that day comes, may they not forget us, watchers of the night,’” said Daniel, stressing the profound words that Reinhard said.
Who are these ‘watchers of the night?’ He recalled an African pastor showing him a cemetery for missionaries who came to Africa. Like a faceless tomb, each tombstone had no name but only a number that showed how many days each lived before they died in Africa.
“I began to think of those who came before me and left. I know how it feels like to say goodbye to my wife and my kid all the time. But how does it feel like to leave not knowing when you’re coming back and putting your life on the line?”
“I suddenly realize that this (evangelization of millions) is no clever publicity but I am walking on the path forged by the blood, sweat, and tears of the former missionaries. I took off my hat to everyone who came before me,” said Daniel.
When he felt like giving up, the Holy Spirit nudged him and said, “Don’t you give up now! It is now the time of harvest!”
If the next generation of Pentecostals in this world were to only receive the stories or the heritage of the former generation, then they will be lost. We must return in our time to our roots of the Pentecost, which is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
But what does our generation of this era have to offer? In Exodus 34, Moses’ face was shining brightly when he came down from Mount Sinai, which scared Aaron and the Israelites. Daniel thought that Moses put on a veil because the light was too bright for them to see. But 2 Cor 3 gave him a different insight.
2 Cor 3:13
We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away.
“Moses concealed and covered his face because he did not want people to see the vanishing glory of his face. And we know what vanishing glory meant; organization losing its glory, women’s make up getting thicker as the years go by.And men, you buy a more fancy car and get a gym membership (when you get older).”
“We always want to conceal the vanishing glory. And Paul is using the analogy of the fading glory of Moses’ face as the fading glory of the children of God then. They are covering their bankruptcy,” said Daniel.
Who has experienced the glory of God more than the Israelites? They experienced that kind of Shekinah glory that rests upon them day and night– the pillar of cloud and fire, and God’s temple or the Holy of Holies.
“The Holy of Holies is a very special place because the tangible presence of God is there. Only one priest can go in once a year and he took great care of himself. The priest knew he would die if he did not cleanse himself. It was a matter of life and death. And that was the glory invested in Israel,” said Daniel.
In 63 BC, Pompey The Great invaded Jerusalem and he wanted to see the Ark of God for himself. Pulling back the curtain, the room was empty; there were no ark, no presence or glory of God. We were told in the Bible how the curtains would tear when Jesus died on the cross or how people would be struck dead for mishandling the temple articles or ark. But nothing happened to Pompey and the other invaders of the Israelites.
“I wonder how long the glory had been missing. It remains a mystery. But there is one thing we know for sure. Even though the ark or presence of God is not there, the religious system outside just continued on as if nothing happened.”
“The priests and the scribes did their thing. As long as everyone’s getting paid, nobody minds it. Imagine the priest preparing himself to go into the temple, but there was nothing there,” said Daniel.
The most fearsome word for Daniel is ‘Ichabod’, which is the glory of God has departed. However, that does not mean that the great choir, good preaching, beautiful edifices, and Bible College have departed although the glory has gone.
“Without him, we can do nothing. How many of you love that bible verse (John 15:5)? But there are lots of things we can do without him, just that there is nothing. Without Him, you can still have a church, a ministry, and preaching. But in the end, there is nothing there,” said Daniel.
Moses cried out, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here (Exodus 33:12).” But many times, Pentecostals limit the Holy Spirit only to be experienced during Jesus time, and not our time.
“The reason liberal theologians remove the possibility of the supernatural is because I feel that they are protecting Christianity from itself. Let say if Jesus is healing and people during His time are prophesying, what happen if people don’t heal or prophesy? What do we do?”
“We got an amazing show out of us; it is a big pageant and performance. Sometimes, the gut feeling we have is that people would be distracted by the show and not notice that we are empty inside. My friends, when we realize that something is missing… either we gloss it over and ignore the problem or we get on our knees,” he added.
We need to what the early church had, not a form, doctrine or history, but the experience itself!
“If Christianity is not an experience, it is nothing. Are you telling me when we encounter the living God, we won’t experience anything? The young generation has no idea of what it feels like to be touched by the Holy Spirit,” said Daniel.
Going through a rebellious time at the age of 16 years old, God took him and shook him. His life was forever changed because he met the Holy Ghost. As a scuba diver, the presence of the Holy Spirit is like oxygen to him when he is underwater. He needs to be constantly feeding on the Holy Spirit to live.
“We as Pentecostals have become so complicated, sophisticated, educated, and learned. But like Paul said, we have been robbed by the simplicity of the gospel. How many of you remember how it feels like to be filled with the Holy Ghost?”
“When you tasted the real deal, when you tasted a steak, and somebody hand you a McDonald burger, you know the difference. I want my generation to experience the real thing again,” said Daniel.
We are not able to give what we don’t have ourselves. The world does not need more fancy preacher, big buildings, great music, but what the world needs is a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit!
When Elijah left, he dropped his memento or cloak for Elisha to take (2 Kings 2). The cloak is a sign that whoever carries it is the new person in command, the new ‘superintendent,’ and the new ‘principle for the bible school of prophets.’ But what made the river split is not just because of the change in Elisha’s position or title. When he struck the water, Elisha said, “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah? (2 Kings 2:14)” The river split because he asked for a double portion of the spirit of God which rest upon Elijah (2 Kings 2:9).
“We cannot just sit and be content with what people hand to us. Praise, honor, authority, office are great, but what if they become substitute of experiencing God himself?” said Daniel.
“I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”
“Why God choose some people over other people? Why did God pick Jacob over Esau? Jacob was a deceiver and a cheater. There is a lot of reason why God would pass over him. But there was something about Jacob that God really loved.”
“I saw Jacob as a story of a man who’s always searching and he will not stop until he gets it. He did some pretty rotten things—defrauded his brother out of his inheritance, trick his father—even though he knew that his family heritage was obtained, he was not contented. That’s why when he met the angel in Bethel, he said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me (Gen 32:26),” said Daniel.
Many people would emphasized either ‘I will not let you go’ or ‘bless me’ in this verse, but Daniel believed that Jacob emphasized ‘you.’ ‘You’ are the God of Isaac and Abraham, and Jacob wants to know the Lord personally too. God would overlook many shortcomings and failure to find a man or a woman who is really hungry for Him.
“God desires to be desired. He wants to be wanted. He wants to be pursued. ‘You will find me if you search me with all of your heart (Jer 29:13).’ ‘You are a rewarder of men who would diligently seek him (Heb 11:6).’”
“Jacob could have lived a very comfortable and beneficiary life of Abraham and Isaac. But he insisted to get a hold of God. Because of that, we don’t only call God a God of Abraham and Isaac, we call him a God of Abraham, Isaac of Jacob,” said Daniel.
God is looking for a man like Jacob who would never let Him go unless God blessed him. He is looking for a man like Moses who said he would not go without God’s presence. You can’t give what you don’t have. To get something from God, you need to be hungry for Him, desire Him, and pursue Him. Only then, you can take the younger and future generations to a place you went before. Let’s get real before God become real in your life.
Note: The 24th Pentecostal World Conference would be held São Pauloin Sept 7-10 three years from now in 2016. Pr Jose Wellington, General Superintendent of AOG in Brazil and CGADB president, welcomes the Pentecostals of the world to visit this beautiful city, which is the seventh largest city in the world. More than a city, it is the chosen place for God to reach South America. For more information, please visit http://www.cgadb.com.br/ and use ‘Google Translator’ for page translation from Portuguese to English.