In the Old Testament there were prophets that ran together in groups. Some surmise that these were ‘schools’ of Prophets, and maybe they were. Jesus himself taught his disciples in a group that one might call a ‘school’, and rightly so. For Jesus both did AND taught with authority, and his disciples were with him most everywhere he went. But the one thing I think that is sometimes overlooked in the busy process of learning to be disciples is that Jesus actually TAUGHT.
Over the span of his three year ministerial-seminary-with-internship, Jesus sent his students on multiple learning-intensives involving self-study. The first time he sent his twelve out, and then later on he sent out seventy-two. Presumably the first twelve actually worked with some of the others in the group of seventy two on that second intensive course, taking those who were the slowest and most shy and helping them branch out into the experience of the course material as any good Teaching Assistant ought to do.
In addition to these learning intensives, Jesus offered a scholarship program for his ministerial training, having sufficient funds in the Trust that he assigned his TA with the highest marks in Accounting manage the accounts (Unfortunately this particular student kept a second set of books, but that’s somewhat beside the point). Jesus did not turn his students away on account of a lack of money because he saw to it (as did his Father) that all of their needs were met.
In the midst of reviewing this training school that Jesus ran, one could pay attention primarily to the didactic learning that took place, focusing on such scripture passages as the Sermon on the Mount, the many parables he told, and his monologue at the Last Supper just before they entered their Senior Immersion. And in truth, that is what much of the Church seems to have focused on in our Seminaries and Colleges and with our Masters and Doctorates in Divinity and Theology. But if we do that we miss out on a key theme running throughout the Gospels – Jesus both did AND taught.
One thing that no one can deny is that the teaching Jesus did included a lot of demonstration and hands-on learning. Jesus was big on having his students experience the things he spoke about, not just sit there and listen to him prattle on about grand ideas with no actual fruit to show for them. Jesus was actively involved in pushing his students into experiences with God that stretched their understanding of who God is and what God is like, and also what God would do in and through them.
When Jesus went up on the Mount of Transfiguration, he took some students with him to experience the Glory. When he went to raise Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus, he had students with him then as well. Jesus was very clear that the Gospel of the Kingdom involved manifestation of things Heavenly into the Earth-realm. For this reason the Lord’s Prayer contains a prayer of command – “Come, your Kingdom, and BE DONE, your will, on Earth as it is in Heaven!” Jesus expected of his students that his teaching would not just alter their minds but would cause literal physical substance to manifest at their command.
And we can see that this is true from what Jesus taught. The first time he multiplied the loaves among thousands of people they multiplied at Jesus’ hands. The next time they multiplied while in the DISCIPLES’ hands. Jesus was demonstrating to them that they, too, could manifest the Kingdom in power. And when they later were discussing the matter of not having enough bread, he rebuked them for completely missing the point of his object lesson. Jesus wasn’t just interested in starting a religion – he was transforming people to become vessels of Glory that would release that glory in tangible form. When a temple tax was required, a coin was taken from a fish’s mouth. When a lake proved too far to go around, Jesus began walking on it, and when he came upon his disciples in a boat, he teleported them to the far side. Yes, Jesus was as interested in teaching through experiences to manifest the supernatural realm in the earth as he was chatting about spiritual sounding ideas.
Knowing that Jesus taught this way, I find it no surprise that so many ‘Schools of the Supernatural’ are springing into being around the U.S. and probably around the world. But having been in one of them myself and having observed smatterings of the curriculum of others, I wonder how much is actually being taught in these schools compared to what Jesus taught his students. From where I sit, it appears that we are busy learning to finger paint in Kindergarten compared to the Masters-level thesis-writing that Jesus had his students doing.
I feel very strongly and have for years that God is trying to take us into a new level of Kingdom experience. God is trying to graduate us from Kindergarten, through first and second grade, and even skip us up a few grades into Middle School. I believe and feel in my spirit that there is a wealth of abundance of learning and experience to be had and to be caught if we would avail ourselves of Heaven’s Curriculum. As we look at stepping into a new grade and new levels, the questions I have are the same ones I always ask: What does it look like? and How do we get there?
I had a vision a while ago where I was a part of a school that seemed like it was in an old city with streets made of stone – one I perceive to be located somewhere in Europe based on its feel. We were in an old house that had a yard in the back and the place was filled with students. We didn’t have a set curriculum, per se, but we did have some things we were actively pressing into and practicing. Worship with music was certainly part of the plan, but it wasn’t by any means the main venue of each day. Meals were communal and each part of the house had a training purpose. There was a ‘playground’ out back that had a set of dividing walls, each with a picture painted on it. The goal of the pictures was to stand in front of one of them and then practice teleporting to one of the OTHER pictures. The different pictures (painted by one of those present in the vision) served as focal points for the teleportation. One of the walls in the dining area was full of items which had been attached to the wall by faith – plates, spoons, etc. Another wall next to it was available for people to try and walk up it. Food was prayed over and it would be expected that God would either provide the food in some fashion or other (whether it was delivered by someone, bought with faith-found money, multiplied in front of us, or otherwise appearing from Heaven), or we would fast. Mind you, fasting was not mandatory, but it was just the way we did things. No one in the vision felt like they had any major sickness, and while lean times might have been the order of the day, it was a time of intensive spiritual training for things to come.
Looking back at that vision now, I don’t yet see many of the pieces that God showed me in that vision, but what I do have is the revelation — that it is possible to actively LEARN to engage and perform the supernatural by faith, and that we as the Body need to learn how to do this and activate our gifts of prophecy, healing, miraculous powers, and the like.
Imagine a scene where one of these higher-level Miracle schools is in action. Think of a storefront church building that’s grown too big to be a home church but isn’t large enough to be a mega-church yet. If a passer-by looked through the window when the school was in action, what might they see? What one might see are not only the things Jesus did – walking on water, raising the dead and cursing fig trees, but much more.
Maybe the meeting would start with worship. Perhaps it would start with testimonies. The attention would focus on Christ. It would start with focusing on Him, as the King of Kings is the central figure of every gift and empowerment of the Spirit. From there the school would break up into practice teams. Each team might discuss a certain miraculous power and what the Bible says about it, what God has been showing them in personal revelation, and comparing and discussing to reach a deeper understanding. These revelations and new truths could be added as curriculum material for the future and for the other practice teams to use later. The teams would each then transition into a learning lab where faith is put into action.
In one of the learning labs, viewers might see kiddie-pools full of water and students with their pant legs rolled up, shoes off, stepping onto the water to see if it holds. If they break through the surface and it doesn’t hold their weight, they stop, spend a moment re-centering and refocusing on what God has told them – things like “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” and ‘Jesus said I would do GREATER works than these”. After spending moments or minutes they would try again.
Over in another corner one might see people practicing with multiplying food by faith. In yet another corner one might see a group with flashlights and searching everywhere – their hands and arms, the ground, their pockets. Every now and again one might pick something up, motioning and shouting excitedly. It appears it might be a gemstone by the way it glints in the light. Did that just appear? And where did that sparkly dust come from on that woman’s hands? Miracles of apportation in action.
On one wall there would be a series of paintings – possibly ones that were painted during the worship time. There is tape on the floor in front of each picture that is in the shape of a person-sized box. Students are just standing there staring at the pictures and sometimes closing their eyes. It rapidly becomes clear what this lab is about when one student translocates himself from one picture to another!
Heading around back one might see a group tending a small garden plot – but with no tools other than their mouths. Speaking to the plants, the group is telling them to grow whole, healthy, and for all weeds to remain ungerminated in their seeds. Worms and ladybugs would be welcomed to the plot and all harmful insects would be rebuked and sent elsewhere. Leaf blight and dry fungus could not flourish, and the fruit of such a plot would certainly be large in size and plentiful in number.
A field trip might take the class to a local funeral home where families receive back their dead by the power of God, or to a hospital cancer unit where tumors fall off in front of one’s eyes. Or even to a burn unit, where skin grows back on a victim’s arms and legs in seconds at the utterance of the name of Jesus.
And with so much faith in the air, certainly in a place like this there would be no sickness, no disease, no disability. And with the faith to see gemstones appear, there could be no lack either, for whatever need arises would be met with faith equal to the task, and the solution would manifest before the eyes of the one in need.
Why all the focus on the miraculous? The gift of Miraculous Powers (note that it’s plural, not singular) is possibly one of the most neglected gifts of the Spirit at this juncture in history. Much is known about faith already – the Word of Faith movement saw to that. Asuza Street brought with it, among other things, a revival of tongues and interpretation. Entire volumes have been written on discernment and casting out of demons since the days of Derek Prince. The Healing movement has flourished mightily since the days of John Wimber. The Latter Rain movement brought a resurgence of prophets and the gift of prophecy, word of knowledge, and word of wisdom. Of all of these, the gift of miraculous powers stands alone without understanding, yet if the Church were honest with herself, Jesus spent possibly more of his time doing miracles than anything else. Of Jesus’ own confession, Capurneum was a place where he did many miracles, and the Book of John states that more miracles were performed by Jesus than could fit in all the books in the world.
What is clear at this point is that it IS possible to actively learn and engage in order to perform the supernatural by faith. The Church as a whole are expected by Jesus to learn how to do this and activate the gifts of prophecy, healing, miraculous powers, and the like far more than before.
In my own life and those of personal friends I can list miracles we have experienced: apportation of objects including gemstones, feathers, and oil; translocation in time and space; spirit travel on earth and in heaven; gravity defying miracles; multiplication of objects (including food); levitation; mind-reading; weather control; and raising the dead. I know that all these things and more can be caught and/or taught, and I also know that God is releasing greater revelation, authority, and understanding to the Body at this time to walk in these things in a much greater measure.
There is an ever-present danger that must be addressed to balance out the pursuit of the Miracle realms. It is possible to find a group of people who have a high level of operation in various miracles, anointings, and giftings, and some who have a lot of faith in these many areas, and to do so in order to create a school like that I have described above. This actually might be an idea that would advance the school’s supernatural journey rapidly, but at the same time there is a risk. Quantity of miracles without depth of character is a pitfall that has ruined people before, and without care will do it again. “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Psalms 11:14. Without a multitude of counselors who can see areas of weakness – both of the individual and the group, it is almost guaranteed to fail before it has even started. These counselors are not present to be fault-finding or blame-seeking, but rather to serve as an early warning system for problems so that they never grow too big. As it says in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” It is best to avoid destruction, and while pride is not the only character flaw that causes problems, the entire issue is avoided by means of vigilance.
An additional problem in developing this type of school is the money. While one might locate the right teachers and group facilitators, it is impossible to make promises that students will learn this or that, guarantees that can be made in public schools, but not in Kingdom schools. That said, is it ethical to charge tuition with no guarantees? Additionally, these things can be taught, but they can’t be bought. This is a difficult thing, but the vision still remains within me. I do believe we are reaching a time where schools such as this will develop into supernatural communities, and those currently in existence will increase and expand, exemplifying a new wave of power-packed supernatural encounters such as most people have only dreamed.
I envision communities of people where teleporting, flying, and manifesting money and resources by faith is a daily occurrence. Where rescuing children from sex trade is simply a matter of teleporting into the holding area and teleporting thirty people back out with you. Where there is no real lack among them because it can be created at will based on the needs present. Clothes, shoes, money, whatever one has need of is available because those in these Haven communities know how to manifest the abundance out of heaven into the earth so that there is no needy among them. I envision properties that are portals of heaven into earth like nothing we have yet seen. Moravian Falls, Redding, Prayer Mountain in Korea, none of those hold a candle to what I see possible when the right people come together in one heart and one mind seeking after the supernatural workings of God to manifest life with love and demonstrations of the Spirits’ power.
When I think of all the human struggles and issues that could rise up and the difficulty that having a cohesive group living in one accord like that would pose, I say to myself ‘It would take a miracle’, but I can’t let go of the idea in my spirit that God really WANTS us to live in that kind of realm of the flow of the Spirit. Until then, I will continue to press forward into the goodness of my Father, knowing that He is building in us all a blueprint of the things that He is doing, and knowing that as I follow the portion of that blueprint God is laying on my heart and piecing my page together with others God is calling and preparing, that together we will be able to construct a spiritual city in the earth whose Architect and Chief Builder is God.