Power Encounter Lessons - notes 1980


Presented by Richard Chownings


Mombasa, Kenya




"Not of this world but in it."


To do this they needed a unity with the Father, similar to that shared by Jeus and the Father.


Their survival after Jesus' eminent departure was His concern. They and His Kingdom could not survive without the proper perspective on reality.


Jesus was not talking about mere picturing or realizing that there is an unseen world, but participating in it.


1. We need to know all the characters in the unseen: the devil, God and their spirits or workers.


2. We need to be aware there is a realm out there.


3. Participation means talking to and working on a level with the unseen.


He was not talking about some experiential high but working, living and fighting for life, of self and others, in relation to the unseen.


We missionaries to third-world peoples of all people need to aware of this. The people to whom we minister have an awareness of the unseen although they are unequipped in their traditions to do battle there. They can only appease and flee.


There are the pictures of the unseen aid at our disposal but too infrequently for our own good do we see the malevolent of the unseen realm.


To help these African peoples cope we must somehow teach them they can function in the unseen realm against the evils and win through Christ. Most often, in my experience, nationals fall away when there are problems with self or family. These problems come in the form of sickness, sin, death, finances or relationship breakdowns. The very time at which they should turn to the Lord they turn away from him.


Most often these themes of power and peace are part of the gospel that wins them to Christ. I preach it. But the lesson does not stay over the long hall. Something in their experience after conversion has not reinforced what they once believed.


Jesus and His Apostles saw the evil forces and fought against them.


1. The men "legion" at Genesarett.

2. The house swept ( ) and seven demons entering.

3. Simon the Sorcerer - Acts 8.

4. No game for the unfaithful - Act 19 (sons of Sceva).


This is the way I presented the lesson in Mombasa




Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-12; Acts 1:6-11; 2; 3. these passages tell of the work the Lord expected his disciples to "preach and heal the sick." It was the gospel and a demonstration of power.


My preacher's luncheon experience in Memphis: Garland Elkins asked if the churches were being taught to withstand the denominations. "Most people fall into the world, both here and in the States."


Evil- how is it defined: Westerner - Immorality and violence Africans - Spirits both see problems of relationships as evil. Christians fall when they feel impotent before evil.


Felt need solving gospel lessons result in conversion but post initiation experiences do not live up to expectations in some cases so they fall - no reinforcement.


Examples of Power Encounters 1. Beginning of Kabtele. 2. Joseph Lang'at at birth in Chebalungu. Define "power encounter" a. it is when the powers of the devil, most often in the form of beliefs and practices of a culture, meet the power of God invested in His disciples. b. it is almost always a public encounter preformed before the Saints and those of the world alike.


Alan Tippett claims his two contributions to Missions are "power encounters" and "functional substitutes" but he has very weak examples of each as they should be seen in the church.


3. Opposite of Godly power encounter is seen in what the "Mesianik" did in 1983 circumcision at Massai.


4. Burial at Tarakwa.


It should always be pointed out after these lessons are given that the disciples who were involved are still alive, bearing children and harvesting crops.


Biblical Examples:

1. Acts 8 - Simon the Sorceror.

2. Acts 13 - Bar-Jesus

3. Acts 16:16-19 - fortune telling girl.


4. Acts 19:11-20 - the seven sons of Sceva


Power Encounters are seldom planed, in fact they should never be staged.


How then can they happen:



1. The biblical teaching of encounters of the church with evil must be kept before the congregations.


2. Occurrences must be recounted from the current culture and elsewhere.


Some areas where these encounters can occur:


1. death 4. defilement 7. sickness 2. birth 5. curses 3. rites of passage 6. oaths


Some strange encounters with evil are seen in:


1. Mk. 3:22-30;John 7:30 - Jesus being accused of having power from the devil.


2. 1 Sam. 28 - the consultation and thereafter advisorship with the Witch of Endor.


3. Matt. 2 - the Magi (sorcerers) came and gave gifts to the infant Jesus. Joseph, a good Jew, even allowed them to enter their quarters.


Some examples and discussion given by those present at the Mombasa meeting:


Monti: Drought came to North Kalenjin 1984. An Elgeio congregation was down, completely out of food in just a short time. The congregation prayed that God would help them. The next day government officials came into the area and hired the men of the village to dig trenches up the side of the mountain for a project to bring water into their area. The job lasted several months, they were paid 300 shillings per month - enough for a toe sack of corn.


In 1985 it began to rain. It did not usually rain that time of the year. The Christians, who were the Keiyo, thanked God for the rain and planted. The Tugen on the opposite side of the river consulted the "orgoiyot" asking if the rain was going to continue or was "Asista" merely deceiving them. They paid him 1000 Ksh. and he said the rains would stop and that they should not plant. The rains continued there are now good crops in Keiyo land and on the other side of the river it is barren.


It was pointed out that John the Baptist's name giving was a power encounter. Rick Trull: A Christian took a second wife. The congregation prayed for him. One of his children died.


Jim Scudder: Zambia, near Lake Keriba. There was a drought. The Christians prayed for rain. Jim prayed that God show the Christians that his answer was special. The next week it rained in a five mile radius of the village. The traditional rainmakers had performed their rites the day before, but it rained on Sunday, sign enough to the Saints that it was their God that answered their prayers.


Gailyn suggested that the church will see encounters and share the victories when problems are shared everyday by the Saints. They should pray about the problems and share the victories.


- a time to prayers to be made and the passage "how can you partake of the table of demons and the table of God."