For hundreds of years, religion has played a contentious role in history. We know that most religions attempt to show people the right way of living. Yet, as many critics have pointed out, religion has also played an unfortunate role in fostering hate and suppression of people on the other divide.
However, if we were to understand what our faith as Christians is about, we would recognize that the centrality of Christianity is not in outward religion or in statutes and laws. It is in the authentic relationship with a living, Almighty and Holy, yet compassionate and loving God.
Recently, The Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship invited Dr Ananda Stira for a healing and restoration rally held on 8 March 2016 at The New Covenant Church, Damansara Kim. In his sharing before the rally, Dr Ananda opened by conveying the reason why Christ came to earth and of the Father Heart of God.
Dr Ananda is the founder and president of Jesus Ministry in India. In the many years since he has started this ministry, he has blessed and restored thousands of people to Christ with his God-given gifts in healing, prophecy, and deliverance. A fount of Biblical wisdom and testimonies of God’s power and grace, he is also the mentor of many members within the FGBMF Malaysia.
‘The Bible says in Revelation 5:9-10 that Christ redeemed us through His blood, every men and women and child from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has made us to be a kingdom of priests to our God. Everywhere we are we must desire to be in the covering and blessings of God so that we can bless others,’ he shared.
‘The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them (Luke 9:56); this is a very awesome word. Men right from the beginning became the enemy of God (Romans 5:6-8) and we became so unworthy to step into the holy presence of God, but so great was the merciful heart of God and so great was His love, His love is everlasting.
‘It cannot be lost, it cannot be bought, and because of this immense love He decided to save Man who has gone astray, who has gone so far away from Him and become so ungrateful. You see, when God created Adam and Eve, actually He wanted the Man to be with Him forever. He never had any idea of ever starting a hospital. He had a good idea that Man and Woman would be with Him forever because our God lives forever.
‘He is the beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega. Nobody knows His age because He has no starting or ending. He created the First Man with everything that is in Him, in a very beautiful manner, with no blemish and no weakness and no filthy desire. The First Man became swirled in His love and he had no need to worry about the lion or the tiger or sickness or anything.
‘But afterwards, when Satan tempted Adam, he lost sight of everything and rebelled. And even the thoughts of man became corrupted (Genesis 6:5). We all have the seed of Adam in us. That’s why many times we want to do good thing but we are not able. We are not able because we are weak. Adam’s seed ultimately entered into men’s heart. That’s why fighting, and cheating, and greed, and sicknesses, and everything started.
‘But the Bible says very clearly in Deuteronomy 31:6 that God is ever-faithful and truthful and He is always filled with mercy and love and never forsake or leave us, even when men were unfaithful. And we need to know how to recognize this faithfulness of God,’ conveyed Dr Ananda.
Dr Ananda himself went through various challenges when he was young. Born as an orphan, he underwent many difficulties and abuse. He yearned for the unconditional love of God and the true love of a mother. There were many times when he attempted to commit suicide.
‘Satan wants to destroy us. His name is the Destroyer and the Killer (John 10:10). He is very wily and deceptive and satan is the author of death. This whole world is still under the control of satan (1 John 5:19). Why are people fighting? Because of satan. Why are people struggling with sin and depression and hopelessness? Because of satan.
‘God created us and there is no mistake in His creation. God loves us all humans. The problem comes in with satan, and because the devil is jealous, he is trying to destroy all humans. God never wants to destroy humans. Christ Himself came down in order to redeem us. How is it possible for Christ to come from a virgin birth? How is it possible for something out of nothing? In God everything is possible.’
Dr Ananda shared about a man he met in one of his rallies in Gujarat. The man had a nine-inches right leg tied to a stick. This man was not of the Christian faith but he had come to the rally hoping desperately for an answer and a restored leg.
Dr Ananda challenged the man to honour Jesus, continually proclaiming the power of Jesus as his one and only God whose precious blood saved his soul, during his 3-hour journey home. If he would truly do this with a genuine heart of honor before God, God would honor him by restoring his shorter leg into a normal length. The next day, this man with two wholesome legs, brought many people with him to the praying rally. It turned out that he was a charismatic leader of another faith.
‘You see, many times, we think religion is the way out of suffering and to God, but it is not about ‘Christianity’ as a religion. Religion attempt to give us answers but many times it also produces problems, and only Jesus can give us true answers to our questions. People sometimes blame God for the suffering of the world but God only wants us to be restored back in a relationship with Him.
‘Why is there so much sickness in this world? It is because of the way we take care of our diet in this modern life. Why is there so much stress and brokenness? Because we do not know how to live a balanced lifestyle between work and time alone with God and our families. The problem is in the way we live our modern lifestyles.’
During one of the times when Dr Ananda was near-death, God had taken him up to the throne room of God. There Dr Ananda had seen thousands of people all before the Throne of God. The light of God was so pure that you could not see the face of God, and above the Throne of God he could only see a banner with words written on it: The Judge and Saviour of the World.
He related; ‘When God speaks, there is no escape. Each one of the thousands of people heard God’s voice in their own language. And not everyone made it into Heaven. There is only way to salvation, by having a relationship with God.’ God gave him a command; “Tell the people that no amount of religion would save them if they do not know Me.”
Dr Ananda related that many times in his rallies people come in fear and tell him that they are not Christians. They are fearful that God would judge them and not heal them. But many times also he has seen how God spoke of them as His children, and many times God had healed and restored them. In the end it is the heart of the people that matters, truly reflecting the homecoming in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Many of the people had gone everywhere in search of answers. Some struggled with addiction. All of them were broken people when they came to Christ and He restored and redeemed all of them. There was even one incident that spoke incredibly of God’s mercy.
Dr Ananda was driving in his car in India one day when the Holy Spirit had directed him to a house. This house was not located in an area with many Christians or even Hindus, but in an area that was militantly hostile to the Christian faith.
Following the Holy Spirit’s instruction to enter the house, he came upon a dead body. Hundreds of ants were crawling in and out of the body. The lady in the house had passed away due to complications caused by diabetes. The Holy Spirit instructed Dr Ananda to take hold of the hands of this lady and command her to rise.
Dr Ananda related that he was afraid of being accused of murder and did not want to do it but he obeyed. Upon the command given through the Holy Spirit, the lady sat up, coughed and coughed, and was restored to life. ‘I felt all the hairs on my body stood up and I felt goosebumps,’ he related. Soon after, he found that God had revealed to the inhabitants of the house that God would send him to this house to bring this lady back to life, showing them the number plate of his car. ‘That day, I learnt of the great mercy of God.’
In the rally, Dr Ananda prayed for many people to be released from the bondages and spirit of sickness as well as witchcraft.
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NOTE: All pictures kindly contributed by the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship of Malaysia.