Investigating the Supernatural

I would say that every country, every situation, every people group, everyone, is different.

Welcome to Asked and Answered, the podcast series that answers all of your mission-related questions. With me in the studio today are Ron and Charis Pearce, welcome back, guys!

Ron, Charis — Hi

Joy — Ok, so my question today is, in this world full of skeptics and growing skeptics at that, would you say with confidence that there are still supernatural occurrences happening around the world in the spiritual hotspots?

Ron — Yes

Charis — Definitely

Joy — Charis sounded more confident than you, Ron. {laughter}

Ron — Ok, let’s qualify this and put the boundaries around it alright? I would say that every country, every situation, every people group, everyone, is different. That means that some are overwhelmed with the supernatural, some are mildly there, some are growing in it. When you walk into a country, you have to shift gears and get into where that country is at because in some areas, the revivals shall we say or the outpourings of the Holy Spirit that are going on have been there for a while so they have sort of gotten used to it and therefore there are a large number of pastors praying for the sick or… it’s sort of a normal thing that goes on. Whereas some places, I’m just thinking about Albania and Kosovo, yes, they pray, it’s part of their life, it’s part of the church, but this would be sort of a relatively new hotspot. In the prisons of El Salvador, that is a brand-new thing. And therefore I’m sure those guys, a couple of the reports that I’ve received when I’ve been in there, and I’ll be in there in a couple of weeks again, and it is that they are believing God for the miraculous within the prisons. That will take on a different form though than anywhere else. It’s all different, Joy.

Joy — When I think about India, I remember you wrote a while ago, at least five years ago, maybe not that long ago, something about the power of God in India and how it looks different. Do you remember that? You were talking about that India already has so much with all the different religions that they are used to seeing the dark and then when God comes in with the light, a miracle to them is very impactful.

Ron — It is, it is. Remember that in most of the countries where the Gospel is spreading the quickest and the broadest, it is in areas where they have witch doctors or the supernatural or there is some supernatural part within the past religion of the area that impacts them. It’s easier for a person to accept the Lord or accept a miracle being valid in an area where it is commonplace to see the dark side, the demonic miracle. Therefore that is very, very common. 

Joy — That is the personality of the country, kind of what you were alluding to, how every country is different.

Ron — Exactly!

Joy — So if I think of Vietnam, it is incredibly diverse with religion and animism and the kind of things that they would worship and might see.

Ron — Yeah, and Hinduism as well, Hinduism is a religion that is based around the gods. And therefore, they will put up altars and they will pray to the gods, same as in many parts of Africa, that sort of thing. Vietnam as you just spoke about. I’ll give you a little bit of background on this okay, and I was told this by a missionary who was very famous in the Vietnam war and he was in and was a good friend of mine and he took me one time to meet one of the leaders there who had come through the Vietnam war. He had been for eight years in a prison camp after the war. He was a lieutenant during the war, wounded and afterward has turned into one of the greatest leaders in Vietnam today, of the church. So, this friend of mine, he told me this story and then he goes, I’m going to ask John, lets see what he says.” So here it came out and they both agreed, before the war in Vietnam started, the missionaries were active and there was a small number of miracles in the supernatural that transpired but it was more of a conservative situation. Then the war started, and everybody started to get scared, and they were praying for God to supply them, there was a shortage of food and therefore that increased right during the war. So pre-war a little, a lot more during the war. Then Vietnam fell in 1975, communism took over, the church was persecuted massively. They lost a lot. We are talking probably half of the pastors were killed and many of the Christian villages were wiped out.

Joy — Were they kicked out of the country?

Ron — People weren’t kicked out, they ran out. They got on boats and tried to get out to various places in the world, Canada and United States primarily going through the refugee camps in Hong Kong and other areas. So, you had the declaration of war by communist forces, Ho Chi Minh and the gang, on Christianity. What that meant was they went through a dark time. Therefore, communism was saying there is no God, and we are going to pound this into you and from 1975 probably up to the mid-eighties, somewhere around there, it was like darkness ruled. Then, this brother, this leader, he says out of nowhere it seemed, people started to cry out to God, and they started to accept the Lord and we got courage to pray and when we started to pray miracles started to happen!” And the one example I will never forget is that they were so hungry, and he said all of a sudden, we would hear all these reports that they would be having a pot with maybe some vegetables in it then all of a sudden meat miraculously would start to appear in the pots. All of a sudden, these sorts of supernatural things were starting to happen. You can’t call that a healing, you can’t call that a dream or a vision. That’s just a supernatural event! He said it wasn’t in one spot, it was all over, and it was almost like that opened the door to where supernatural healings took place, and everything was cut loose. And he said from that day onward we heard the message from God, it was sort of like this, communists say that I don’t exist, I’m going to show you that I do! Through the supernatural, it was revealed and now the church in Vietnam is built upon, their evangelism, everything is built upon a supernatural manifestation of God’s presence and His ability and his love. And therefore, you’ve got a whole new world breaking forth in Southeast Asia right now of God revealing through the supernatural the fact of His presence. That is so important.

then all of a sudden meat miraculously would start to appear in the pots

Ethiopia, let’s go there for a second. No other place in the world do they have this many dreams and visions as in Ethiopia. I’ve never even heard of this. All the textbooks don’t even talk about this sort of stuff. It is common for leaders of other religions to have a dream or a vision that opens their minds to the Gospel. So when the evangelist comes the next day and preaches the Gospel, the leader of that religion comes up and says, I had a dream or a vision last night. God appeared to me, and therefore I’m listening, I’m believing now!” And the whole village will come to the Lord after that. That is the good housekeeping seal of approval upon the gospel through God going preemptively and revealing Himself, giving directions to that leader on how to lead his village. It’s incredible! But that is not one-offs! We are now talking thousands and thousands and thousands of these appearances in Ethiopia. Many things happen like that in other parts of the Middle East. I would say if there is an area of the world that probably doesn’t see that many miraculous, supernatural occurrences right now, it would be Israel. Surprisingly, we don’t get many reports of that out of there. Periodically yes, but it’s not at that point yet. Now when the war was on, 67 war, 73 war, 48 war, when a war is on, you hear many more supernatural occurrences of how people were saved or how things moved or happened. It’s different.

China, the biggest church in the world by far, and they pray all the time. God just heals quietly, they pray, God just heals, nobody talks about it, it happens. I’ve known that for so long, and therefore they just take it as normal. We take it as supernaturally abnormal; they just take it in China as, We didn’t have enough to eat, so we prayed, and somebody brought food to our door.”

Charis- In a lot of countries, also where there are villages that don’t have access to medical facilities or hospitals or doctors, praying and depending on the Lord for healing is what they have. It’s just normal because that is all they’ve got.

Ron- Exactly, well I’ve told you stories, Joy, about this, and we have shared them on other broadcasts. I have been in the middle of the Amazon River when babies have been healed, a group of people holding a baby up in the air and praying for God to heal the baby, and I watched it with my own eyes. I’ve seen the same thing happen in a tribal village in Vietnam. I have witnessed these things, not that many, but enough to know that the reports are true and honest. And varied, that is the big thing you have to remember. God does not have one flavor of supernatural miracle. There are flavors all over the place according to the needs of the people. That is vital to try and put in our minds because we get captivated because we are so immature over here with anything supernatural. Everything in the Western world is very natural, so now when a legitimate miracle takes place, we don’t know how to handle it.

Joy- Right, probably why we don’t see too many because it becomes superficial very quickly.

Ron- Exactly, and supernatural events confirm people’s faith, open the door to hearing the Gospel. Over here, it becomes something strange.

Joy- Almost like a circus.

Ron: It does, it’s got that circus atmosphere behind it, and maybe that is why we don’t see as many. Now there will be some people listening to this that go to a congregation, and they believe they have miracles every week. That is good. But I am talking generally speaking within the church within North America, it’s not common.

Joy: And again, the miracles that you are talking about, that you are seeing that our partners are seeing, are bringing multitudes to the Lord, so there is a clear purpose to this supernatural element. And you know, everyone listening, I know Ron at Empower and Charis, we are very cautious with telling miracles because we do know that they exist and that they are real, and they are vetted. The miracles that you hear have come from such a trusted source. You tell a story and it’s on our website about one in Myanmar about fireballs to flowers, and it’s such a great story, if you haven’t listened to it, you have to go find it! And you just mentioned that the supernatural, it is to the point of what is happening, and this miracle is so to the point of what was happening in that moment.

Ron: Yeah, and also Joy, the Myanmar one where the Buddhist monk that had accepted the Lord, the 3000 squats, and that was supernatural strength. He was up on this mountain of tables to fall off and break his neck. They didn’t want to kill him, so they wanted him to fall down and die. But he didn’t, and God gave him the strength to do 3000 squats, and it was amazing! That was a Sampson miracle. Remember Sampson in the Old Testament? The supernatural is all throughout the Bible, it’s all throughout the New Testament, and what bothers me to no end, as I just wrote about in my last Situation Report that we sent out, is that some people over here, Christian teachers, are denying the existence of a supernatural miracle today because they say it ended at the printing of the Bible, shall we say, when we got the word of God and with the Apostles. Folks, I might as well go on record on voice because I go on record everywhere else; that is just not true. That is obviously not true if you traveled where I travel to these spiritual hotspots around the world. It is as real as it was in Jesus’ day and before. The Old Testament is filled with miracles! It just happens all the time, the Elijahs, the Sampsons, the Moses! When was the last time you guys saw a burning bush? That is a supernatural event. What about the tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments being written on them, being carved by God? That is a little bit supernatural. I can go back and forwards, it has never stopped.

Joy: The handwriting on the wall…

Ron: It’s all over, they are coming to me now that I am thinking about it, but I don’t want to chew up this because people can read their Bible. But it has always been there. Part of God’s method is to come down, break through the barrier and explain, prove, confirm, open up minds, whatever it is. Primarily though, it’s to love people and take care of people that can’t take care of themselves for whatever reason. That’s why you see a Daniel and the boys in a fiery furnace and God is taking care of them because they couldn’t take care of themselves. That is why you see in Vietnam, a young pastor and his wife, I can still see them holding up their baby to the Lord for healing because they couldn’t take care of it themselves. So, that is what a miracle is, and it’s all over.

Joy: Well, I would say that you have confidently expressed that miracles and the supernatural definitely do exist. And you know, on our website again, we have so many stories that we have recorded that address this topic of the supernatural.

Ron: Before we conclude, I want to pass the mic to Charis. While I often bring up this topic, Charis has been involved for decades and has witnessed and heard reports from pastors all over the world. I’m not the only one who believes in this, right, Charis?

Charis: Absolutely not. It doesn’t matter which country you’re in. Addressing the concern Joy mentioned about it being a circus, when we speak to pastors, it’s not about personal pride or boasting. It’s about sharing the stories of what God is doing through them. Many times, we have to coax the stories out of them because these miracles have become a normal part of their lives. They give all glory to the Lord.

Ron: Exactly! You reminded me of something when you said that. There is no pride in these miracles. We have to ask them and draw out the stories because they don’t want to appear prideful. But another aspect of this is that I remember being in India once, sitting with pastors who were casually discussing miracles. When I asked them to tell me about a specific miracle, they responded as if it was just a normal occurrence. It was like they were saying, Don’t you have these too?” It was so common within the Gospel, the body of Christ, and the church. That’s why I can say with certainty that no matter where you go, there will be different types of miracles.

Joy: It will be fascinating to see what miracles come out of the El Salvador prisons, won’t it?

Ron: Oh, absolutely!

Joy: There’s so much to look forward to.

Ron: That’s right, Joy!

Joy: Okay, thank you again.

Part of God’s method is to come down, break through the barrier and explain, prove, confirm, open up minds, whatever it is.

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