After attending Bethel Church (Redding), I spent nearly two weeks in Colorado. I’ll share more about that next time but fresh on my memory now is my time in Arkansas for Curry Blake’s Divine Healing Technician (DHT) training from 8th to 10th July.
I’ll start by saying that my three days in Arkansas for this training contained times that were easily some of the best of my trip – and perhaps in my life – and yet also some of the worst of my trip.
A great bunch of friends
The night before the training, I took a flight from Colorado Springs to Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) in Arkansas and arrived about 11pm. Visiting a small city in America without a car sucks. My cab ride to the hotel cost me a good US$40! I prayed that I wouldn’t have to take a cab each day to and from the meeting place as the trip would probably cost about US$30-US$40 each way! Arkansas isn’t exactly a place to go for tourists – the most famous thing about Arkansas is Bill Clinton, who was a former Governor of Arkansas. There’s pretty much nothing to do in that part of Arkansas (except that the headquarters of Walmart is located here) and there isn’t much public transportation. I was hesitant to arrange a trip to come to this training – I knew it’d be very costly (not just air ticket but also hotel and transportation), but I guess I really wanted to come because of the impact Curry has had on my thinking. And I’m definitely glad I came.
On the morning of the first day, I got up early and waited at the hotel reception. I knew that more than 20 people staying at the hotel were going to the training so I was going to ask for a ride. Eventually, I got a ride with a group of four fantastic people (Michael, Ashley, JD and Caleb) – a truly awesome bunch, without whom my time in Arkansas would have been so much less meaningful. They were in their twenties and were from various parts of America – one completed an internship at Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer (IHOP), another spent the previous month at Bethel Church in Redding and a couple leads a house church in Kansas City. Here they are with Curry:
Throughout our time there, we went everywhere together. We chatted extensively throughout this time about healing and all. We talked about Curry Blake’s teachings and on healing how it compared to Bill Johnson’s – I really enjoyed this part because I had been thinking a lot about all this (like in my previous post) and our conversations helped refine my thinking. They were people who prayed for people on the streets – some with more success and some with less. When Michael, the driver of the car, first heard that I wanted a lift, he asked me if I had uneven legs (legs of uneven length) because he doesn’t allow people with uneven legs to ride in his car. I knew what he meant – if I had uneven legs, he would pray that God would grow and even the length of my legs. He had grown the leg of the receptionist the night before when he first came into the hotel. I was really excited when I heard all this as this was what I wanted: to be around people who do the stuff so that I can be challenged by them and do it together with them. I wanted to do that during the Bethel Conference though there wasn’t much time in between sessions and sessions ended too late. And I really wanted to do it during this Curry Blake training too. I didn’t just want to just learn and not go out to the streets to heal people. God answered my prayer by giving me a great bunch of friends to be with the whole there days.
Conversations about healing and the prophetic
We had great conversations. Conversations I dream of having with friends, but I don’t have many Christian friends into healing and the few into healing are not familiar with Curry Blake or what he teaches. We had very constructive and thought-provoking discussions after the sessions. We analyzed Curry’s teaching (agreed and disagreed here and there), honestly wondered why some of us had so little success, wondered how we could grow in this area, etc. One guy talked about how when he was at Bethel, some students used the power of God to stick coins on the wall! I think this is probably some stuff students do and not endorsed by the leadership and I think it’s probably an immature way to use the power of God, if it’s indeed the power of God – see this video by a bunch of guys I met and stayed with after my time at Arkansas and before I returned to Singapore.
I talked with them about my struggles in moving in the prophetic and one of them shared about how a friend of his made him move out in faith by telling someone that he was gifted in the prophetic – which pressured him to step out and listen to God to give that person a word on the spot. He learned through being pushed to take risks and he suggested that I give him a word there and then. I turned the tables and asked him to give me a word (ya, I wasn’t willing to take risks in this area – I need to learn to do that!). He gave me a word and it was a pretty accurate word of knowledge. Another guy also told me about a picture he saw of me and that was pretty accurate too.
Pastor Joseph Prince in America
Every city I visited in the States, I was pleasantly surprised to meet people who love Pastor Joseph Prince’s preaching (they watch it on TV). The same was the case at Curry’s training. I’ve probably encountered about 15 people in total throughout my trip in five different cities (Redding, Denver, Colorado Springs, Bella Vista in Arkansas and San Jose). When they know I’m from Singapore, the first thing they ask is if I know Pastor Joseph Prince! One lady told me she wakes up 4:30am every morning just to listen to him. Another tells me of how she and a relative of hers have been healed through listening and applying the message (of confessing our righteousness of God in Christ). Another spoke of how he was liberated from condemnation and guilt. And another that both Curry Blake and Joseph Prince were his favourite preachers. By the way, I heard that Curry Blake is trying to hook up with Joseph Prince / New Creation Church and I think Andrew Wommack also. If this does materialize that would be super awesome! I’m hoping that both Curry Blake and Andrew Wommack would come to Singapore one day!
Success rates in healing
I don’t want to be a person big on numbers, but numbers are important. I don’t want to overemphasize numbers, yet on the other hand I don’t want to understate the importance of numbers. While I don’t like it when a Church keeps on focusing on numbers, I think it’s equally wrong to totally neglect numbers. To me, seeing the fruit is in a sense seeing the numbers.
Before I attended Curry Blake’s training, I read people saying that he had 85% success rate in healing, which was supposedly one of the highest around. During the training, one of my friends asked Curry what his percentage of healing was. My friend was uncomfortable with Curry preaching such an absolute message of healing without any compromise or toning down of how we have the power in Christ to heal all the sick and raise the dead, etc. So he asked Curry what his success rate was – believing it has to be 100% if he’s to preach such an uncompromising message of healing. Curry’s response was that he has between 94% to 96% success rate.
I’m not going to put down Bethel because I’ve learned so much from them and Bill Johnson and gang first got me into all of this. And I’ll continue to learn from them but I also want to learn from others and finally evaluate what I’ve learned by going to the Bible. What I heard through talking to some people is that Bethel’s Healing Rooms sees only about 5% success rate. While this is through some pretty good sources, feel free to take this with a bit of healthy skepticism (I do) – after all, in a sense this is hearsay. I’d also do the same with Curry’s supposed success rate. I wouldn’t want to compare Curry’s success rate with that of Bethel’s because besides not being 100% sure of the exact figures, I also think context is important. Furthermore, I didn’t see a great deal of healing during Curry’s conference – something I’ll write about later in this series of posts.
However, I’ve talked to at least four people in the States who got started in this healing business having been influenced by Bill Johnson and Bethel. But the moment they latched onto Curry’s teachings, they saw a dramatic increase in the success rate of their healings, which they attribute to understanding healing in the way Curry teaches – as opposed to the way Bethel and others teach.
Like I said above, I don’t want to be putting Bethel down and it’s not my intention to create division and pit Curry Blake against Bill Johnson. However, as I’ve suspected since I heard Curry Blake’s Divine Healing Technician (DHT) mp3s online, there are definite differences in teachings. And Curry’s teachings have not only caused my faith to increase and inspired me to start stepping out more and more, but it’s also dramatically transformed the thinking and rate of success of others.
Curry is definitely dogmatic about what he believes in. I’ve listened to a few of his DHTs where you’ll hear him disagreeing with a lot of other ministers and popular teachings on healing – he’s not afraid to be outspoken and dogmatic about it. Being dogmatic isn’t necessarily bad. I’m generally not attracted to people who are too dogmatic, but I think Blake makes a lot of good sense and his message needs to be heard. A person being dogmatic wouldn’t make me not hear his message. Prophets were/are dogmatic and they were not nice people. During my trip, I heard two leaders who were prophetic in the sense of speaking forth an important but unpopular message that the church needs to hear. One was Curry and the other was David Watson, which I’ll write about in future. Like prophets of old, they have strong convictions (often politically incorrect) and tend to either piss people off or draw strong followers to their messages.
As Curry mentioned, one of the most powerful and faith-filled ministers, Smith Wigglesworth, was not a nice person and he didn’t have many visitors or friends. After all, these people aren’t out to win friends and be likable, but to speak the truth. Speaking the truth often means going against accepted wisdom of the day and being politically incorrect. Curry would probably acknowledge that he’s not a super friendly and sociable guy. He may come across quite arrogant to some and put a lot of people off with what he says and his teachings, but I’ve heard many have accepted his teachings after strongly disagreeing with them initially (because they went against a lot of things they believed in) and struggling with it for some time. I’ll definitely be writing more about Curry’s unique teachings on healing on this blog, some of which I’ve already touched upon in my previous post on two ways to minister.