Sid: My guest by way of telephone is Dr. John Garr I’m interviewing him this week on his amazing book entitled “Restoring Our Lost Legacy – Christianity’s Hebrew Heritage.” And John before we went on the air I said “What we define as Christianity today is a separation between clergy and laity, and almost a superstar mentality a one man show if you will very entertainment mode.” And yet if at what the Synagogue was like and what Judaism was like in the first Church how did something evolve from the Hebraic roots which was very different to what we have today? And is this what God wants, is this just because times are changing? Or would we be more effective if we went back to our original roots?
John: Well Sid I really believe that there’s a tremendous opportunity for the church in our time I think God is not beginning to challenge the church in many of its communions around the world to seek to restore the original models for corporate interaction and worship that were a part of the 1st century scene in which Jesus and the apostles lived their lives. One of the things that I think is unfortunate is that the church has departed so far from these original models. And in many cases has become essentially a performance based, audience based worship exercise that is carried out maybe once or twice a week and that’s the extent of ones “religious” experience. It’s almost based in some of the original old Greek ideas of separating the secular realm from the spiritual realm, or the material realm from the spiritual realm so that Christians by in large live in 2 different realms. They go to church on Sunday morning, or whenever they have a worship exercise for an hour or two, and they live one way and they watch a performance and the go away feeling secure that every things been done satisfying this particular requirement in their lives. And then they go back and live their secular lives and they have a whole different way of dressing, they have a whole different way of acting, a whole different language, a whole different ethics and morals and everything else that they engage in at those time frames. The problem with all of that is that the performance based Christianity goes back to basically the time of Constantine who was the Roman Emperor, the Emperor of the Roman Empire at the beginning of the 4th Century. And his attempt was to attempt to make Christianity more acceptable and understandable by the people in the Roman realm, and so therefore what had been originally done in the context of community now was done in the context of a huge building. The old ancient Greek Temples were replicated in style as to make a “Christian Church.” So instead of being the church as Jesus originally intended now people were now going to church the building became the church instead of the people. And so the whole ideas of what was what church was all about was tremendously modified.
Sid: Where did the ideas come that the pastor does everything from song leading to taking up the offering to the announcements. I mean unless they have a large church to be being the preacher, the counselor, the one that marries you, the one that buries you. Where did this all come from?
John: Well most people in Christianity obviously would think that it came from the first century church but it absolutely did not and you start researching the history and even the context of scriptures themselves. The idea of one person as being the star personality and the focal point of all activity in a community life or a congregational life was totally foreign to the 1st Century Church. The first century church was built on the Jewish model that placed the importance or the primacy for spiritual development and training in the home first of all. The home itself was the locust or the center for spiritual development and much of the worship exercise of the church was carried out in the context of the home. But when we extended beyond that to having corporate exercises of prayer and worship the church just simply continued to maintain the system and the order that they had been operating all of their lives the apostles certainly and that was in the synagogue environment and the synagogues situation. And this was a very free flowing exercise in which many people were involved in various areas of responsibilities and that’s the reason why there were plurality of elders even in the earliest congregations of Christian believers so that the “power” was not vested in one particular individual was not looked upon as being the star and everything had to revolve around that person. In reality our worship exercise should be revolved around the person of Jesus and the inspiration and operation of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people. So you know when you get outside of that context it’s going to get into an exercise where men exalt themselves and people start looking to men more than they look to God.
Sid: Well you’ve done a extensive studies in the first Church and could you kind of paint a picture of what it was like. Because I have to tell you that even before I became a Jewish believer in Jesus I was a song writer and I wrote a song called “There Must Be Something More.” And of course when I found out that Jesus is in fact the Jewish Messiah and developed intimacy with God and forgiveness of sin and I thought I had arrived. But as I read the Bible and I see the difference between what we call church today and what the vibrancy in the Bible there must be something more. Paint me a picture of what that first Church was like.
John: Well indeed there was much more rather than it’s being a little small segment of the life of the people as it is today and much of Christian experience. The religious life was all of life in the 1st century and it was that way because that was the way in which the Jewish people looked upon life. They saw everything as being theological, everything as being spiritual.
Sid: But what did Jesus mean and John the Baptist mean the kingdom of God when they used that term? What did that mean?
John: Well that’s a big subject we’re going beyond actually what we’re talking about as far as the church is concerned. But the kingdom of God was actually and ruler or the dominion of God being manifest first of all in the lives of individuals and the lives of families and the lives of larger worshiping communities and ultimately in all of society itself. And of course we realize that that never will be fully fulfilled until the Messiah Himself comes both from Christian and Jewish tradition. The Messiah when He comes will bring universal peace. But in the meantime when you talk about community life the church in it local manifestations I think what gave the early church so much power was that it continued to function within the context of those synagogal models. And the model in the synagogue were actually 3 functions within synagogue life that came to be names that were applied to the synagogues in subsequent times. And those 3 functions were first of all the synagogue was a place of meeting later called the Beit Knesset the place of meeting you know the house of meeting. Then it was also called a place of study the House of Study the Beit Midrash. Then finally the synagogue was called the Beit Tefilah, or the House of Prayer. But when you have those 3 functions operating in any community regardless of what you call it there is a balance. First of all, there is a place of social interaction just purely on a human level the meeting together and having relationship and fellowship with each other. Secondly there’s a place for study, and this is the one area that’s been woefully neglected in the Christian Church, is this whole idea that we should be studying together in the context of community and learning God’s word and cascading God’s word into our lives so that we become in affect the word itself manifest because the word is so powerful to us. “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” And again we have missed another profound Jewish idea that says that study is one of the highest forms of worship. You’ll never hear that preached in any Christian church for we know that worship is something that’s done in church with your eyes closed. But in the study itself is a form of worship and we should be emphasizing studying God’s word and studying God’s word together.
Sid: Now I never heard that concept that study is worship.
John: Hm hm.
Sid: But that’s… I’d never heard that proclaimed before.
John: It’s a profound concept but it’s basically of the Jewish heritage that study itself. When you study and here’s the idea of how you get the idea that it’s worship. When one studies in the context of Jewish thinking one studies in the view of doing. Now in Christian concept we study so we can teach or preach. But in Jewish context you study so you can do and then you can preach or teach like Ezra did he set himself to study the words of God the Torah of God and to do it and to teach. Well the idea of study as worship is this, when one studies with a view toward doing it’s the ultimate act of submitting oneself to the authority of God’s word and doing what God’s word says which is the essence of worship. Because worship in both Greek and Hebrew literally means to prostrate oneself or to bow in the presence of God. So if we are studying God’s word with the intention of doing what God says, then we are bowing and submitting ourselves in His presence and we are worshipping Him.
Sid: So so let’s say a pastor will be studying to give a good message to inspire his congregation the motivation is honorable. But you’re saying the higher motivation is studying so that we can do it ourselves and in so doing it we’re a living epistle.
John: That’s right we actually become witnesses witnessing for us is a state of being not an action that we’re engaged in periodically once a month or something. Our very being becomes a witness and in affect fulfills what Jesus said “You’re the light of the world and let men see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven.” So the light that we radiate to the world is manifest through the good works not what we believe it’s what we do about what we believe that manifest those good works and causes the light of God’s word to shine. But you know once you get that element injected into the mix of what made up the community of life in the earliest church the congregational life and you go beyond that to the idea of the house of prayer obviously God has called us to prayer and the acts of worship, the acts of intimacy in the relationship to God in face to face relationship with Him. When you have all 3 of those things present the church grows explosively and I’ll give you…
Sid: But wait a second now the church today has meetings, the church today has Sunday School or bible studies has prayer, I’m not sure I see the difference.
John: Well we’re going way beyond that because again it’s in the context of this community type thing it’s not the star struck mentality where you come in and you watch a performance and you hear a few words for a few minutes and then you go away with…
SID: I had a lot of trouble imaging the life that you’ve had since this Lioness Arising occurred, this vision occurred. You were minding your own business reading a magazine about sex traffic. What happened?
LISA: You know, I was sitting there turning the pages and I was hearing about sex trafficking. And instead of just saying, you know, that’s really sad, I just began to weep. I let it pierce my heart. And I said, “God, if there is anything I can do, if there’s any strength I can lend, I’m your girl,” and I just believed God would take those moments. Because two weeks later, I had a phone call from Life Today, and they said, “It’s come to our attention that there are girls being sex trafficked. Can we send you undercover into the brothels in Thailand?” Then I went to Cambodia. Then I went to India and we went undercover into the brothels. We got the girls’ stories. We got the kids rescued. We talked to these people.
SID: Let me take you, I need to see a particular woman that’s in sex trafficking. You’re in Cambodia. You’re out at midnight. You’re in the worst part of town. Your husband should have never let you do that.
LISA: Yes, he shouldn’t have.
SID: But he didn’t know, maybe.
LISA: He still doesn’t know. He’s going to know now.
SID: Okay. Tell me what you saw, what you said.
LISA: Well there are so many stories first and foremost. But so many of these young girls, this is their story. They’re in poverty. They dared to dream. They dared to dream there could be something more for their life. They dared to dream they could get a job. They dared to dream that there might be a family that would take them in as an au pair and they can maybe better themselves. And so they leave with somebody they trust. Usually it’s an aunt, an aunt that can just be a trusted woman. They leave with a woman or an uncle and they go into this big city. They’re illiterate. And all of a sudden, they find themselves locked up into a room and sold. They’re sold for their virginity, they’re gang raped, they’re humiliated. They’re trapped into this lifestyle where they sometimes live in cages and they’re chained to the beds. And then pretty soon when they have completely destroyed their spirit, they unchain them, because they know they’ll never leave, because they have no hope. And so what we would do is we would travel with them and we would say, we need you to dream again, what would you hope for? And if you get them to connect with the hope, then they’ll come out. But there were some women that said, “I just want to die, but will you take my daughter, will you take her. She’s six. Before they traffic her, will you take her?” Sid, it was the most heartbreaking revelation that the depravity of humans outside of God can do anything like that. It was just terrifying. And we would just talk to them. We would get their stories and then we would give them “possible,” you know, we’d get them out and we’d give them medical attention. Then we’d give them counseling then we would also give them education or job skills to get out of it.
SID: Tell me one specific person that got out and what happened to this one woman.
LISA: Yeah. Well there was one beautiful girl that got out and she was just, she just turned her life around and she became a beautician, which I know doesn’t sound like, for our people, very much, a beautician. But she said, “You know what, it’s not enough for me just to have a future, I’m going to actually become a rescuer.” And so now this one girl that got out is now one of the advocates and one of the rescuers for other girls. You know, Sid, I want to tell you one particular story. There was a raid in India and they rescued 22 girls. And then they kept hearing a noise, and they just happened to realize that there was a false wall, and there were 11 minor children ranging from 12 to 14 that had been hidden in a wall, who would have died, who would have died because of the heat and no water, and no air. And those girls are all free. In the last year and a half, we’ve been able to rescue 330 girls in Southeast Asia.
SID: If you hadn’t had that vision of the lioness, would you have ever lived the life you’re living now?
LISA: No. I would have been captive to fear. I would have lived small. And more than likely my children would have also been afraid. Do you know that when I got free I positioned my son’s will. This is what I’ve learned, Sid. Our children inherit one of two things: either God’s promises or our fears, and the things that we do not deal with come back to haunt our children. And so this vision put something inside of me that my family hadn’t put in me, that my husband tried but couldn’t put in me. God took me outside of myself and said, “Your world needs to be so much larger than your fears.” And we need a people here that have a fierce faith. And see, they have no problem believing that about a lion, but that fearful wonder is your genesis. It is how God knit you together. You are stunning and we have dumbed that word down to mean beautiful. But you are not beautiful because you are attractive. You are beautiful because stunning means that when you become all that you were created to be, you will stun the enemy. You will arrest him. You will stop him in his tracks. And it is time the church understand that our beauty is in our function and not in our form.
SID: Lisa, I need you to pray that the lioness, and by the way, that’s for men and women, would arise, right now.
LISA: Absolutely. Heavenly Father, I just thank you, that perilous times give birth to courageous people. Father, I thank you that there’s a fierce uprising, that people are throwing off the limitations, that they’re remembering who they are, that they remember whose they are, that they remember what their territory is. Father, I thank you for every person that has suffered loss. I thank you that they’ll take back that ground. Father, I thank you that for a release of the boldness, of the lion of the Tribe of Judah. I thank you that the bride will begin to pray prayers that include more than just themselves, that they know the Creator of all Heaven, all the universe. And they’ll pray prayers that are so fierce that it will rise from a whisper to a roar, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
SID: And I can picture the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roaring over you right now, and fearing Jesus’ name. You leave that household. You leave that woman. You leave that man, and depression and hurt be gone in Jesus’ name.
SID: You know Rick, this is such a beautiful garden. It’s like Heaven, except you’ve been there. I haven’t. What’s the difference?
RICK: It’s very beautiful, I agree, but it’s not Heaven. Heaven, there is no comparison. I mean, this is a reflection. The whole physical universe is but a shadow compared to Heaven. But this gives us a little [unintelligible].
SID: I feel something when I’m in such a beautiful environment. I can only imagine what Heaven would be like. Now you went on a 900-mile motorcycle ride for a family vacation and to write a book. What was that like?
RICK: Well I had never ridden a motorcycle more than 300 miles in a day, and that was when I was younger. I heard a clear word from the Lord to do it. I would have never considered such a thing. So I’m thinking I’m going to take a week to get down there and my knees were bad, my, there were storms on the route, and but I heard him say go. So I’m determined to be obedient.
And he healed my knees. The storms were wonderful. It was like it was much better than that Florida heat. I started looking for storms to go through. They were so refreshing.
SID: You were telling me that you felt the presence of God right behind you on the motorcycle. I might even get on a motorcycle if I can do that.
RICK: It was, you know, I love motorcycles and riding. This was the best ride of my life because of the Lord, the presence of the Lord. But I had never had an encounter with Him quite like this one, so personal, so Him wanting to talk about the things He wanted to talk with me about. And it was whole new open door into a whole new relationship with the Lord, and that’s why He wanted me on that motorcycle. No cell phones, nothing else can disturb me.
SID: You were going to write a book for God. What did He tell you?
RICK: Well He said labor is cheap, you can get anybody to write books. He said, “But friends are expensive.” He wanted friendship.
SID: You know, did you hear that? God wants friendship. God wants your friendship. So how do you relate to God being from a servant to a friend? That’s a big jump, Rick.
RICK: It’s a huge jump and I confess to being as awkward as I possibly could imagine. And you know, my whole approach to God had been one as a servant, give me orders, tell me what to do, I want to obey. And all this is good, but He wanted a friend He could converse with, discuss things with. And He wanted me to share my concerns, He wanted me to share my questions, He wanted me, He wanted interchange. And you know, this is really what He created man for. He wanted fellowship.
SID: And yet, you told me you felt extremely awkward. Why?
RICK: Unbelievable. Because I only related to Him as the king, give me orders as your servant or as a good solider, tell me what to do and I’ll do it, and that ended my whole approach to him. And I believe what led to this was months ago, getting to pray, my relationship to him I felt was becoming dry and, you know, mechanical, and I asked him to help me. I said, “Lord, I want you to be my first love, I want you to be my first thought.” This is when this whole encounter began. And but He said I could never have been his friend if I hadn’t learned to be His servant. And He said He was going to have to deliver me from my slave mentality to be a friend, but He said, “You couldn’t have gotten here without that slave mentality.” It’s like I wonder if that’s why Israel had to become slaves before they could become His friends. I think there is a sense where we really have to know Him as Almighty God, as the awesome Creator, you know, as the foundation of our relationship to Him. And yet, He’s looking for friends, and even more than that, He’s looking for sons and daughters.
SID: But you know, it blows my mind. I can see us humans looking for friends. It’s hard for me to fathom. God, would you say He’s desperate with this friendship?
RICK: He said He didn’t have many friends, and that’s what shocked me.
SID: Okay. I understand why you’re a friend. You paid the price. You did all those things. You had the servant mentality, you get promoted. But what about every believer? I mean, are we Swiss cheese?
RICK: No, no. Of course, and I don’t know why He said that, you know, to His disciples there is a point where He says, “I no longer call you servants, but now I call you friends.” There was something, a promotion. By the way, they got that promotion much faster than I did. I have been a servant for 40 years and I don’t even think a very good one. I would say, you know, I’m trying that best, but this isn’t that great. And but He grades on a curve, thank the Lord, you know.
SID: So you’re saying anyone can be where you’re at and go further. Are you, is that what you’re saying?
RICK: Yeah, I think he can do it much faster, much better. I don’t want him to. I want to be the best friend God has ever had, you know. But I say I don’t want Him to. He deserves the best we could have. I want Him to have great friends.
SID: Okay. So what is a friend? What is being a friend to God? I mean, I know what a friend is. I can be your friend. I understand that. How do you become God’s friend?
RICK: Well I’ve got a lot of employees, as you do. But there are some that make that jump and they become your friend. You go out to lunch with them. You go to the beach with them or families. There’s a whole different, and you relate to your friends differently than you do just employees. And I think there’s something of that intimacy where we really love the same things, we do the same things. You just want to be together. This isn’t about being on the job and getting a paycheck. You just want to be together and have that fellowship. And you know, I sometimes struggle. I consider myself a very baby friend right now. I’m just starting this new journey of understanding of how to be a friend with the Lord.
SID: Well I want you to come with this on this adventure. I’m coming on this adventure, and if I’m coming, you’re coming. We’re going to get God so many friends, but it starts with you, it starts with me, it starts with Rick. When we come back, I want to find how you go swimming with Jesus.
SID: Hello. Sid Roth here. Welcome. Welcome to my world where it’s naturally supernatural.
My guest says, you do not have to take it any more from the devil when you realize, when you come to your senses that you are dressed to kill. Now we Jewish people have a word. It’s called meshuga and it means crazy. My guest Rick Renner takes three small sons and a wife and goes to the former Soviet Union before it was the former Soviet Union. I’ve been there, Rick. How could you do that?
RICK: You know, it was just, God invited me to go on a trip. And when I was there, I stood in front of this Bible school where we were speaking, and when I opened my Bible to speak for the very first time, I heard the Spirit of God say, “Welcome to your new home.” And the whole rest of the time I taught that class, I kept hearing the Holy Spirit saying, “Welcome to your new home.” And I understood that God was calling my family to relocate to the Soviet Union, and it was still the Soviet Union at that time, not the most desirous place to move your family.
SID: As we were checking notes, I went to the former Soviet Union, involved in an outreach at about the same as Rick. And we were in a hotel room, and in the hotel room the bugs were so bad in the room that many had to take their bed and move it into the hallway. If you have never seen a Soviet hotel from back then, you don’t know what living is. I can’t imagine your family going to that place.
RICK: Sid, it was supernatural. I fell in love with the Soviet people. In one week, it’s like they entered into my heart. And when I went back to the United States after that short trip, everything in me just beat with the desire to gather my family together and move back to the Soviet Union. And the Lord spoke to me very clearly, and I said, “Why? Why are you calling my family to move to the Soviet Union?” And he said, “Because there’s going to be a revival here that’s going to need great Bible teachers and you’re going to be more needed here than you are in the United States.
SID: And you know what, I see why he did that with Rick, because you started the first Christian television station there. You have a TV network today. You have an apostolic network, over 400 congregations. You have a brand new church building in Moscow, what, 3700 members. And I think you haven’t even touched what God has you for there. Now in 1980, you had a visitation of an angel.
RICK: Yes I did.
SID: Now I have seen angels, but I have, you’re provoking me to jealousy.
RICK: I was in my apartment and I had laid down on the couch to take a nap, and suddenly I felt a presence, and sat straight up on that couch. And it was one of those moments when you feel someone’s presence, but you don’t see anyone. And in just a few moments, just about as far as you are from me, a man materialized, and he began speaking to me, but he never opened his mouth. It was non-verbal communication. And he said, “I am a man from the presence of the Lord.”
SID: It was going from spirit to spirit.
RICK: Whether it was spirit-to-spirit or mind to mind, I really don’t know. He thought a thought and I received the thought. And he began to speak to me about my ministry, and that my ministry would be a sojourning ministry, and that particularly, I would be sent to a people who had suffered. Now at this particular time, Denise and I were not married. In fact, Denise was not even in the picture yet. And so my life was young and I certainly had no thoughts of moving to the Soviet Union. And suddenly, a map came in front of me that filled the whole room, and the whole map began to violently shake. And this angel began to communicate with me that my ministry would be located in the part of the world where there would be violent shaking and many, many changes, and an end-time ministry. And certainly, that is what we have.
SID: 1985, another visitation.
SID: But this time from Jesus.
SID: What happened?
RICK: I was awakened in the middle of the night and I went to the back room of the house, and began to pray in tongues, and I began to pray very deeply in tongues. And I closed my eyes as I walked back and forth in that room, and when I opened my eyes, the room was gone, and I was standing in the spirit realm. Now the spirit realm has substance. I was, it was a dark place, but yet it was not a scary place, but it was the spirit realm. And far in the distance, I saw a light and the light got brighter and brighter, and brighter until finally it manifested in front of me, and it was a throne, it was a chair. I can even draw a picture of the chair. It’s that real to me. And seated in that chair was Jesus, and Jesus began to speak to me about my ministry. I was on my knees because I had already gone to my knees in prayer. And the Lord reached out and took my hands, and he took one hand at a time, and I say that He sandwiched my hands. He put one hand on top, He put another hand underneath, and He said, “See today, I give to you an anointing of love mixed with hate.” And I said, “Well what is that?” And then He did it to the other hand. And I said, “Lord, what is love mixed with hate?” And he said, “That is an anointing of compassion.” When the love of God is so strong and yet the hate for the work of the enemy is equally as strong as they float together, and when they float together they create compassion. And suddenly, I saw myself in the spirit walking through a hospital ward of people very different. And I know today, it was a Russian hospital ward.
SID: But at that time, you just knew it was a hospital.
RICK: I just knew it was a hospital and it was different, and it was dilapidated. And the Lord began to speak to me again about the fact that he was going to send me to a people who had suffered great lack and great hardship. And then the most amazing thing happened. The Lord held his hands out to me like this and He said, “See today I place before you finances on a realm that are already amassing more finances.” And Sid, it felt like those finances entered into me, greatness of finances, and I understood that God was going to supernaturally provide for whatever it was He was calling us to do on the other side of the world. And God has been absolutely faithful for everything that we have done. And now 24 years later, we’re still there.
SID: And you know what’s so amazing? I mean, God, our God is so brilliant. Do you know that? What is so amazing, Rick is a world class Bible teacher in a realm way beyond anything I’m familiar with. He’ll take one Greek word, because he’s a Greek scholar, and for instance, on the End Times, he has teaching you’ve never heard before. Have you ever read in the Book of Hebrews, it begins, “In these last days…” and some skeptics say, well back then they thought it was the last days and look, they don’t, we don’t even know when the last… But you don’t even understand from the Greek, there is a difference between the last days and the last of the last days. But if you don’t know the Greek, you don’t know it. I want Rick to teach on that when we come back.
Sid: Hello Sid Roth back with Leif Hetland and all I know is that you’re all listening because I want to listen to this myself. So Leif is a man that doesn’t show any emotion because that’s the way that he was raised and that’s the way men are supposed to be. And he might at a funeral or something have a couple of tears come to his eye but he wasn’t a crier or a weeper. But you were at this small gathering in 2000 Jack Taylor is there the singer Dennis Jernigan is there and Dennis sings a song over you let’s hear a little bit of that Dennis Jernigan singing “Daddy Song.”
Dennis Jernigan: Dennis Jernigan singing “Daddy Song.”
Sid: And what happened to you Leif when he sang that?
Leif: I just broke down…I went down on the floor and I just totally broke down, I wept, I snotted, I drooled, I did everything. I laid there and…
Sid: But, but, but weren’t you concerned about what other people were thinking you told me that that was what drove your whole life.
Leif: At that moment nothing matters what matters is that something was taking place with me. It was Daddy Poppa God singing a song over me it was not like Dennis Jernigan singing my experience is God Himself singing the song over me that’s how it felt. And because it was these waves that started to hit me afterwards of just liquid…that’s the best way I can describe liquid love. It was just waves and waves and it wouldn’t stop they just continue and continue. And it is so hard to describe as they started to touch different parts of my life its almost to a see a movie in my life of painful things, questions I would have toward God “Why would You let this happen?” Different things that have happened but love just moved in there and just erased it and then…
Sid: You’re saying that this love was stronger than the hurts and fears that you had experienced throughout your whole life. It was so powerful it would almost cut it out through spiritual surgery is that fair?
Leif: It is definitely fair to say I’m not saying that everything took place but I will say there was such a transformation not just in me but it transformed everything about who I am. You would not even recognize the way I am today compared to what I was that day. So before an afterwards it’s just remarkable in regard to what kind of person because everybody calls me an ambassador of love, I’m known for the love…
Sid: But but, but let’s go back to where the rubber meets the road.
Leif: Yeah (Laughing).
Sid: You come back from that experience to your family did anyone notice a difference?
Leif: I don’t know if it was right away because to a certain degree they when there looking at me I’m just talking about look wise they probably could stop to say “Are you going to stop to cry now daddy?” Because they saw definitely that I think that it was no doubt about I remember I went for a walk with my wife and I started to repent of things because there was a lot of different things of the way I mean to say my love deficiency had stopped me to be able to see here the way that Poppa God sees her and I didn’t know how to love well. So I started to repent. And with kids I started to repent my son was probably the oddest at the time and so something had transformed no just with my family but the starting point was with my family. I just fell in love I fell in love again with my wife and I didn’t value her for what she was going to do or I didn’t value my kids it didn’t matter I just started to see them from a totally different perspective. And I was…I’d have to even….
Sid: Help me out Leif let’s take your wife, what…describe to me the change in the way you perceived her from what she was to what you saw her as give me some illustration.
Leif: Yeah I think the illustration would be that before my wife is a wife and she’s a mother, and she’s a homemaker. I am paying the bills to take care of things and there are certain rules and duty that she does. And when we all are doing our part it’s okay but when we don’t live up to it then there’s a list of disappointments and often I was very upset and concerned that they didn’t live up to the spirituality or whatever it was because I’m in the center of everything. Now in the next moment coming home I do believe that part of it changes that definitely had started is that I no longer valued my wife what she was going to do for me I valued her for who she is, I valued I saw that…
Sid: Who is she? Who is she, answer that question?
Leif: First of all as I was saying as I was saying I realized I didn’t know it at the time that God is my Father-in-law and He was the one who…
Leif: He was the one that gave me that girl that’s a different story but I do know that when I saw her I saw her as a beautiful bride this is my beloved wife.
Sid: You know I remember when I got married just before the ceremony my father-in-law walked up to me and I really didn’t like this one bit we were both all of us were no-believers and he said “Now if you don’t treat her right I’m going to take care of you!” Is that what God the Father might do with you if you don’t treat your wife right?” (Laughing.)
Leif: Yeah well I think that there was no longer a fear based and I think that’s what I realized up to this point all I had been motivated was out of fear and whatever your fear controls you. But now it was motivated out of love where I don’t value her out of what she is going to do she is not there to make me happy and this and that what can I do to aid value to her? How can I help? So it started a totally transformation in her and in the kids.
Sid: Did she actually say “I see a difference in you?”
Leif: She started to see it but I think it’s a shock treatment that when you live with somebody for so long and you’re seeing is this just another one of your anointing you been to a meeting and this is going to last for a little bit? And so I think that I’m sure that because we went through a process, so I’m not saying that this was something that just happened I know that it was a deeper root that had changed in me but now the process started and it started to live itself out.
Sid: Alright give me an example the most vivid most dramatic example you can of how your entire ministry has changed as a result of the baptism in love. Take me to a place and describe it.
Leif: Well one of the examples is to take you back to Pakistan before then again I scratch your back you scratch mine, but I was going to a big meeting what we call a healing festival or where I was going to do a meeting. Before then people pretty much because I lived by fear and we called it the golden rule, I have the gold so I rule. So people were lined up they were be at the airport, they would be would be standing in line to make sure that they serve me to take care of me to make sure that the posters like this is right everything need to be done right. And then when you go also to the meeting was a similar setting. I call it just the orphan world. Now when I’m coming there “How can I serve these people started to honor these people because honor is what love looks like not how can I add value to these amazing people that made me look much better than I am. How can I… so it was no longer all of the things that they needed to do for me so I could be the star to make everything ready when I stood up. But also when I started to meet up with some of my Muslim friends and leaders I realized that I’d been loving them with a agenda that I used certain language in regard to… but again it was sort of I could do my agenda my hook. And now there was no longer a hook in it I just loved them there was a genuine love I don’t need anything from them I don’t want anything from them I just want to love them. And something started to change in the whole environment.
Sid: You know the whole paradigm of Christianity that I learned as I became a believer and was active in ministry is the opposite of love it’s like I’ve even had people grab my Bible when I get off of a plane and say “Let me carry it for you.” And I’m thinking to myself “This is such a light thing why do you go to carry my Bible?” But they become your servant rather than you becoming their servant.
Leif: Yeah I remember very clearly once Sid another meeting in the Philippines 700 leaders and they all saw me they introduced me “Dr. Leif Hetland the apostle all of these titles and fifteen minutes to introduce me 700 leaders. And you could feel everybody is trying to figure out who is whom in this. And I had one called Paul and Amiro Yardo two Filipinos that is connected to me and they were the one I kind of mistreated I felt not honored. And so what I did as I went up and I washed their feet publically in front of 700 leaders and I just kissed their feet and when my tears touched their feet 700 people just started to weep. And a few weeks later we went to Tanzania and Jack Taylor was with me and it was the same thing we had all of the bishops the hierarchy of who is whom and it was my big event and so I was on the top of their hierarchy. Again I just felt that this love thing and I just said “Father what am I supposed to do?” And the Holy Spirit said “Find the poorest orphan and there’s about 15,000 people in the audience and then you find the poorest widow and I want you to bring them up and I want you to wash their feet, and I washed the feet and my spiritual father Jack Taylor washed their feet. And when we did that there was a scream and mass deliverance and healings started to take place in the whole crowd that was Moshi, Tanzania. So I could tell story after story of place after place…
Sid: Now wait a second now it’s one thing to wash someone’s feet I have done that many have but that’s not what I heard you say. You washed their feet and then you kissed their feet, how could you do that Leif?
Leif: (Laughing) Well it’s just what love does. And when you’re in love you do a lot of crazy things. So when people watch and see some of the things that I’m doing including just what I did in Thailand this last week it just kind of changes the paradigm where because lovers do crazy things. And I do that I did that…
Sid: Now by you operating in this love and changing atmospheres this should affect people’s families, people’s neighborhoods, people’s churches, people’s ministries, people’s jobs this has to impact everything!
Leif: Yeah it’s leading to major transformation and that’s the different things because what my life is all about its touching lives and transforming cities and nations with love.
Sid: You work with Muslims. How many Muslims have you lead to the Lord since this transformation in you?
Leif: We have seen over 1 million of them experiencing and seeing a touch of Jesus and having an encounter with Jesus. So to different degrees they know who Jesus is.
Sid: Is there any way you would have impacted Muslims the way you have without this baptism of love? With all of the charisma you had, all of the gifting you had even before the baptism of love do you think that you would have had that kind of impact?
Leif: Absolutely not because when perfect love touches the deepest root of fear, that’s how you change the environment, but it’s a perfect love that casts out fear. So when love comes in and love becomes the language the blind eyes can see and the deaf ears can hear. And I have just seen over and over and over again and I have so many amazing stories of just how God would just started to serve some of the tough Muslim leaders and just started to love them and teach me how to love them.
Sid: Tell me one.
Leif: Well I’ll give you one of the…I was watching on TV and I can’t mention his name because he’s well known worldwide, but one of the more radical conservative Muslim’s on TV and he still is all over the middle east and I just looked at him. And I was first irritated because at first it was the early prayer and I’m in the city of Abhor, Pakistan when this was going on and then the next thing I turn on the TV to see if there was news and there is this teaching and everything else and the sounds that is going on. And I was like “I would like to sleep.” And so I first had a little negative feeling and God just arrested me because I realized I forgot to put my love glasses on (Chuckling) and He said “I want you to see him the way that I see him.” So what do you see him do you see a problem or do you see a promise?” And I just started to get a little teary eyed and He said “I want you to go and meet this person.” And I knew that it was impossible for me to go and meet this person I can’t get to him. To make this story short the Lord just said “Well what do you see?” And and what I described was the opposite of what God saw I saw somebody that was producing fear, somebody that produced hatred and everything else but God said “Okay but I want you to treat upon his destiny not his history because that’s what love does.” And at that time I said “I don’t know how to do this.” And He said “I want you to give him a peace award.” And that’s exactly we went and created and made a peace award and eventually through supernatural means we ended up at his headquarter and met with all of the Imams and all of the leadership. I have several key leaders from America with me watching this but over an hour and 45 minutes at his headquarter the whole environment changed. We touched, we walked hand and hand he got the Peace Award and he became such a man of peace and I’ve just seen the peace all over sharing with the other Imams they stood in line and they put the head into my chest something they don’t do in their culture and just pretty much leaning the head like John putting his head into the bosom of Jesus just to be able to feel and sense this love they experienced. And so sometimes that could be a covert revival underneath the right of your unique love and everybody had been looking and longing but they don’t know what it is now they’re experiencing it and they want more of it. So the environment change for 1 hour and 45 minutes from an infidel coming in and there’s total hostility and less than 2 hours later we are about to leave and the environment has changed. And all of these people now there’s favor with God and favor with these people. And the very thing that God saw about them now was taking place because now I was able to see them with love glasses not based on their history but their destiny. Not seeing as a terrorist saw but an Apostle Paul.
Sid: Tell me how radical Muslims, why radical Muslims call you the Ambassador of love? How did that happen?
Leif: Well that’s what the interesting story because I had never even heard the language. But what was the story I was doing a healing school in south Tottenham, England with Bill Johnson and Randy Clark. And I asked Judith Franklin, who is Bill Johnson’s Personal Assistant could you pray for me because I felt that she had something for me an impartation. So we went up in a room and she just laid hands on me and prayed. As she was praying I had an encounter the best thing I can describe it I was no longer in that room in South Tottenham, England at Central Hall instead I was in a room in a park atmosphere while walking this beautiful pathway I could see it on the right side there’s a waterfall there’s a beautiful park. And I went and I sat on a park bench and then somebody came walking towards me sat down and looked at me I couldn’t see the face but it was like a glory that was around the face and He said “What do you want? What are You asking me?” And I just didn’t know exactly what to say and finally what came out of my mouth was “Do I really love You?” And I knew it was Jesus, “Do I…” I knew that He loved me but “Do I really love You?” And at that moment as I was saying He just smiled patted me on my shoulder and I’m sitting back in that room totally soaked wet in tears. So from my Baptist background being a Baptist pastor and trained well I was thinking “That’s a good sanctified imagination.” And then the next moment Judith Franklin said “Let me tell you what you saw and what you experienced.” And she’s describing some of these details and I said “How do you know?” She said “I was there with you.” And she said “You will know in the next 5 years wherever you go people will call you the Ambassador of Love.” And I’m like “I’ve never heard that word before it doesn’t even exist I haven’t heard anybody using it.” So I went actually to a peace conference in a city called Multan, Pakistan and one of the clergy who didn’t seem to be one of the Imams who was a key leader very well connected, he just looked with his dark eyes towards me and he came towards me and he looked and said “You are the Ambassador of the Love.” And I was just blown at that moment I realized “Wow what God spoke and what God saw in heaven suddenly somebody else is able to see.” I went to another headquarter I went to a Shia Muslim headquarter and met with somebody same thing was taking place. I went to another place 5 different places and it doesn’t even exist in their language they started to describe something. That started this whole ripple effect. Before in all of the years that I’d been traveling I’d never heard anybody ever say that about me.
Sid: Okay we’re out of time right now but when we come back I want you to pray for people to receive the baptism of Love but let me ask those that are listening right now Mishpochah family how would you like to operate in the God kind of love the love of Father God? How would you like to change the environment in your home? How would you like to change the atmosphere at work or at school, how would you like to change the atmosphere of your neighborhood, of your apartment house? How would you like to change the atmosphere and the future of your family? It all begins and ends with the love of Father God the Baptism of Love. And that’s why we put a package together called “The God kind of Love Pathway to Miracles.” It includes the 2 books of Leif Hetland brand new one just off the press you can’t get it anywhere else and 3 amazing CD’s in which he prays for you to be baptized in love…