Evangelist Jeff Beacham jettisoned a fruitful ministry with Sydney Christian Life Centre--the Hillsong Church in Australia--to preach revival in the Northeast region of the United States. He landed in New Jersey 19 months ago with his wife, Heather, five children, a few suitcases and a little bit of furniture.
"At the age of 50 God called me to pack up and leave everything behind and come to America," he said. "We had to start from scratch all over again. I believe God is going to do powerful things in the Northeast of America."
Cracking denominational barriers, Beacham is making waves in Assemblies of God (AG), Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and independent Pentecostal churches and has preached in more than 100 meetings in the last year. He's on the road at a different church every week. The results are packed altars, many decisions for Christ and divine healings, which have grown exponentially, particularly in the last three to four months.
He experienced a supernatural phenomenon last August while conducting a Friday evening revival service at Bethany AG church in Wyckoff, N.J. Beacham had finished preaching and was praying for the sick at the altar, when oil suddenly appeared on six doors in the front and rear of the sanctuary.
"As I began to pray for people for healing, I began to anoint people with oil, and I felt strongly to really put a lot of oil on them," he said. "I was smearing them with oil."
After about 30 minutes into the healing service, a group of worshipers noticed oil oozing from the bottom of one of the doors. They daubed their fingers with the oil that had a sweet aroma like perfume or roses. Others saw the oil on all of the doors and dripping down the wooden columns in the sanctuary.
"I've never seen anything like it in my life," said Don James, Bethany's pastor who was present in the service. "It was quite bizarre. We accept these things as the hand of God upon us. We saw many people healed."
Beacham doesn't stand still when he preaches. Dashing back and forth across the platform, he exhorts the congregation at Gospel Tabernacle AG in North Bergen, N.J., to worship.
"Where would we be without Jesus?'' he shouts in a telltale Aussie twang.
A former professional musician with rock and soul bands, Beacham still plays the bongo. He and his wife immigrated to Australia from New Zealand in 1974. They became born-again Christians at Sydney Christian Life Center. After two years in Bible
college he joined the Hillsong staff as personal assistant to Frank Houston, senior pastor.
In 1989 he founded Firepower Ministries International (FMI) and began a hectic schedule of evangelistic meetings throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. He hosted a weekly TV program called Let the Fire Burn. Shown in 24 countries, the program is still broadcasting reruns.
Beacham said God gave him a prophetic vision about a coming spiritual reawakening. He saw a giant wheel rolling into the Northeast United States with many teeth around its outer rim. The teeth, symbolizing ministries called to the Northeast, were breaking up hard, dry ground.
In the vision, local ministries among the teeth were being sharpened and prepared for action. Four words were written on the wheel's spokes: prayer, purpose, power and passion--all necessary for revival. The central hub signifies unity among ministries, as opposed to the spirit of independence. Interdependence is essential, he says.
Beacham believes that revival in the Northeast will impact the entire nation. "The world takes its lead from this area," he said. "My specific message is a message of spiritual reawakening and revival, to see a greater passion for Christ and for soul winning in the body of Christ."
Toning down the signs and wonders slant, he stresses: "Don't look so much for the manifestations but to the manifester--Jesus. Don't look for the sign, but the Sign Giver."
Pastor Don James told Charisma that the oil phenomenon has happened two more times since the Beacham meeting last summer. He backs up Beacham's vision for revival.
"We live for revival in the Northeast," he said. "We're waiting for something to shake the cities. The big one is coming."
Mike Barber: "Prison doesn't have to be in you."
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