UPDATE: Mattheus van der Steen is no longer on the list of speakers for Revive Asia 2017

This coming January (2017), Revive Asia will host their second global conference. The theme of this conference is titled Harvest Glory. The synopsis says this… “After 500 years of Reformation, God has restored sufficiently the foundational and superstructural truths of the church so that we are now ready to host His glory!” and that one should “Expect a blast of His fire and glory in this Conference that will totally propel you to transform the sphere that God has assigned you.” [1]

To be honest, I was a bit surprised to read that Revive Asia will be holding another conference so soon. On the last day of 2016 Revive Asia conference , it was announced that they weren’t sure if or when they would have another event as the ‘reformation’ has begun, according to the conference organizers.

Earlier in the year, we posted an article covering the concerns that came out of the first Revive Asia conference. This year the list of speakers includes Dr. Pat Francis, Mel Tari, Joshua Milles and Mattheus van der Steen. Of the four speakers listed, Mattheus van der Steen is the most well known among those living in Myanmar and Laos. For years, he has been touring Myanmar hosting the Gospel Music Festivals (GMF)[2]. More recently, he has visited Laos on two occasions in order to preach the gospel for GMF Laos.

In the past few years I have attend the events in Laos with a number of my foreign friends, local pastors and church members. In many aspects I enjoyed the musical concert portion of these festivals. However, when the music stopped and van der Steen took the stage, presenting the gospel, declaring prophecies and performing miracles, a number of red flags were raised. Here are some of the concerns that came out of those events and my hope is that you, the reader, would reflect on them before attending the Revive Asia conference in 2017.

First, throughout his sermons, van der Steen made very strong declarations and prophecies that within the next three years Laos would become the top country producing medical doctors in the world. This was stated in both the 2014 and 2015 GMF events. Considering the time that has past and that 2017 is less than a month away, these prophecies have to be brought into question since Laos is still considered one of the worst places in the world for medical treatment.

Secondly, Van der Steen also declared that Laos would become very prosperous in the next few years and that wealth would flow into the country. Although I am hopeful for Laos to continue to grow economically and to improve in their ability to provide medical care for their people, the fulfillment of such prophecies are not within the time frame that he has declared and most likely will not come to fruition any time soon. By the biblical definition, these are false prophecies.

Thirdly, apart from such claims, many of the so-called healings that were performed by van der Steen at GMF were erroneous as well. The people were not actually healed and are still affected by the same conditions that they had before. Laos being a small nation, one learns who people are quickly. I know many of these people who were supposedly healed and/or their families. It is easy to confirm their health situation and sadly, too many of them were fooled.

Fouthly, another distressing assertion comes from one of the most questionable things van der Steen said. He referenced the Greek word, Laos (λαός), which according to Strong’s Greek Concordance, means: “(a) a people, characteristically of God’s chosen people, first the Jews, then the Christians, (b) sometimes, but rarely, the people, the crowd.”[3] In this reference, he declared that God was referring to the Lao people in Laos, as God’s chosen people. In other words, he stated that Lao people are God’s special people and that God was speaking of them in scripture. Any Greek student with a rudimentary knowledge of the language would know the error being made by van der Steen.

At the end of the first night of the festival, van der Steen asked people to receive a special prayer and to come again for the second night where he claimed that the Holy Spirit would move greatly. At the end of the second night he ended his sermon with the following statement, “If you want to receive a blessing tonight, pray this prayer with me.” When all was said and done, van der Steen did not proclaim the gospel on either night of the festival. Instead, he proclaimed a message of a high hopes for great things to happen. This message made the people temporarily feel good about themselves, yet left them with a false hope. In conclusion, GMF failed to do the very thing the event was supposed to do, that is to provide an opportunity for the people hear about the testimony of Jesus Christ and the grace he has provided for us.

When the official conference report came out, it stated that “1,800 people received a blessing from God.” However, given the false prophecies, failed healings, and disingenuous use of Scripture that have characterized van der Steen’s “ministry” in Laos, it is difficult to see how such an unfaithful ministry could truly be a blessing to anyone. If attendees of the Gospel Music Festivals in Laos have received blessings from God, it has been in spite of van der Steen’s ministry and teaching, not because of it.

Mattheus van der Steen is one of the four main speakers at the Revive Asia Conference coming to Bangkok in 2017. As one considers this account of van der Steen’s ministry it should raise a concern about what will take place at such a conference.

[1] http://www.reviveasia.com internet accessed on December 7, 2016

[2] The GMF is a musical ‘celebration’ that takes place in various countries around the world. It offers a musical concert to attract non-Christians in order to share the Gospel. http://gospelmusicfestival.org/en/ internet accessed on December 7, 2016

[3] Strong’s Greek definition from: http://biblehub.com/greek/2992.htm internet accessed on December 7, 2016

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Mattheus Van Der Steen’s False Prophecies and Failed Healings in Laos
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