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Justin Peters was at the revival and in a wheelchair himself. Hear his account of the healings at this so-called revival, and about the people who were walking in the “sauce”.

Part One

 Part Two

A man does just does not have enough faith to walk from his wheelchair.  Justin also speaks about the importance of music at these gatherings and the key role it plays on the audience.

 

Justin who has cerebral palsy, praises God for His providence of removing him from the WOF movement, and thanks God for the gift of his disease which keeps him dependant on the Lord.  What an amazing person…. this Justin Peters.  Praise God for the burden he carries for the deceptions we are seeing today and for his courage to tell us about it.

           

***The service, a routine meeting, was scheduled for 50 minutes. Instead, it lasted 185 hours non-stop, 24 hours a day. Intermittently, it continued for weeks. Ultimately, it spread across the United States and into foreign countries. Some say it is being felt even today.***

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Lately it seems many of us have been sharing many concerns and comments about the latest debacles and the latest false revival.   There are  many occurring presently and I have watched so many videos of people falling to the ground with false anointings that my head is spinning, my stomach is sick, and my heart hurting.The burden many feel for the church is immense. So many are being deceived and loving it.

I have searched the web for true revivals and the result has been  dismal to say the least. Then I was sent a link about the asbury revival. I was skeptical because the link was surrounded by new-age articles. But thank God I was persuaded to watch it anyway. The footage is old and the sound poor to begin with, but it improves in a minute or so.

The Asbury Revival – February 1970 – Wilmore, Kentucky

Dr. Dennis Kinlaw was in Canada, away from the college when he received an emergency message to call the Dean….

I have some quotes from this amazing video. Here goes:

The Dean  – “I have a problem…and I don’t quite know how to handle it.”

Kinlaw  – “What is it?”

The Dean – “It’s chapel..it’s not over yet.”

Kinlaw – “It isn’t over yet? The morning chapel isn’t over yet? What do you mean it isn’t over yet? It is 7:00 at night. (Chapel starts at 10 am) What happened?”

“GOD IS HERE!”

“…the response lasted until the next Tuesday morning, a week later, at 8:00 when we began classes again.”

More quotes:

“Dr. Kinlaw..I am a liar..what do I do?”….”That was the kind of thing taking place. An honest, candid dealing with personal sin and with personal disobedience and personal problems.”

“It is interesting to me to know what the emphasis was…Holy Spirit in those days. There was an amazing openness and transparency.”

“The emphasis was never upon the gifts of the spirit. The emphasis was upon..sin. The need for repentance, need for restitution, the need for repairing relationships, human being to human being and the need for bringing alive into obedience the need for the highest and the best.”

“The amazing thing was a person would tell what had happened, it would be recapitulated, as a person would go somewhere and tell what God had done in his auditorium … it would take place in the church where the person was telling it!”

“The less impressive the student was the more effective an instrument he was”

“How did it come? What called it?…Our need.”

“We had some students interested in prayer. In October before the Spirit came in February six students came together, banded together in what they called ‘the great experiment.'”

“They covenanted for 30 days to take 30 minutes every morning and spend in prayer with the Word, writing down what truth they got from the Word. They were to obey that day, sharing their faith somewhere in the course of the day, and meeting once a week for those 30 days and checking up on each other to see that each one had done his disciplines that week. So for 30 days they met that way and they worked that way.”

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Did you get that?  What a recipe for revival…… and it is no wonder why there are so few….

Take 30 minutes daily….add prayer while in the Word of God.

Search for truth in the Word of God and apply directly to self in obedience.

Take faith and share daily.

Check weekly for compliance.

DAILY PRAYER       DAILY READING THE BIBLE        DAILY WITNESSING     OBEDIENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD

It is no wonder why the church is in crisis and we have false revivals with false gospels with false anointings. 

Here is the video….It is about 37 minutes…Please take the time (just over 30 minutes, hint…hint) to prayerfully watch and compare with the revivals of today. The quotes cover the basics but i left out the ending.

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=1343001998

Actually, I long to attend some of the so-called revivals of today. I want to be in the back of the room, kneeling on the floor with my Bible on the chair. Or just standing at the back, head down in prayer, Bible in hand. First, one should be totally armed with the spiritual weapons of Ephesians before stepping one foot into a demonic meeting.  Please pray with me that those who are truly seeking God will be protected from the evil spirits at these meetings. Pray that the Lord will prick their heart with fear, and warn them with the knowledge that something is wrong and that they need to leave immediately.

Now for that 30 minutes each day… You will set this time aside won’t you? Daily, pray in the Word, obey it  and share your faith.

God Bless…. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Experiencing God – 3

One of the most important statements Jesus made was: “the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23,24) If we are to meet with God then it has to be in the realm of the spirit and of truth.

Spirit, or spiritual, in this context is the opposite of fleshly, carnal or soulish. Most interaction between God and man in the Old Testament was in the realm of the flesh. Men saw manifestations of God with their human eyes and heard His voice with their human ears. These men then responded to God by doing physical things such as bowing down, falling on their faces removing their shoes etc. While there were a few people in those days who had a deeper relationship with God which went beyond the physical, the vast majority of people had an external relationship with God which seldom entered the spiritual.

But God wanted something more for us and therefore made some dramatic promises which included: That the laws would no longer be externally written on tables of stone but would be written in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33), we would not be totally dependant on human teachers but the Spirit Himself will teach us (Jeremiah 31:34), His Spirit will no longer come upon us as an external power, but His Spirit will dwell within us (Ezek 36:27), and we will no longer have to go to a specific place to worship God but will be able to worship Him anywhere (John 4: 21). All these promises, and more, pointed to a shift away from the external to the internal, from the fleshly to the spiritual.

Even in the Old Testament there were indications that the Lord intended the anointing of oil to be a very sacred and profound process. There were very clear and specific rules that governed the use of the anointing oil which was a type of the Holy Spirit and which foreshadowed what His expectations for New Testament believers would be. First, the anointing was in order that they may minister to the Lord (Exodus 30:30). They were not anointed for their own experience or pleasure but in order to equip them for service. Today people speak of receiving “the anointing” as a result of worship or some other form of service. No, the empowering of God is needed before we enter into His presence and before we touch anything for service. Also note that the purpose of the anointing with oil was to sanctify and consecrate them to serve. They were not anointed so their hair could shine or their skin would glow – it had nothing to do with their own benefit. It is also important to note that they were anointed to serve the Lord. Today everything is focused on man’s needs and pleasure, not on the Lord’s.

Second, “It shall not be poured on man’s flesh” (Exodus 30:32). It was to be poured on Aaron’s head and his robes but not on his flesh. Yet, today it all seems to be about man’s flesh. Without exception every modern experience and every single consequence, like shaking, jumping, being slain, and goose bumps are all manifestations in the flesh, in which it is claimed, “the spirit made me do it”. If the flesh was not to be anointed in the Old Testament, then it is even less to be anointed in the New Testament.

Third, it was not to be copied or imitated (Exodus 30:32). This was so serious that anyone who produced a copy of the anointing oil was to be cut off from the people (Exodus 30:32). Today there seem to be so many copies and imitations of God’s anointing and presence that the genuine is almost impossible to find. Sometimes people copy a manufactured product and actually improve on the original product. The copies of God’s presence are very bad imitations and it is sad that people are so undiscerning that they cannot differentiae between the genuine and the false. And do we excommunicate the charlatans that produce these fake “moves of God”? No, we worship them as mighty men of God and gurus who have discovered some new and unique blessing. Many are blatant enough to explain that this “latest move of God is a new thing God is doing” and that God does not work within the constraints of His Word. I pray that every reader will have the courage to banish forever everyone who dares simulate the workings of God and who dares create a human substitute for the Divine move of God upon our spirits.

Fourth, the oil was not to be placed on outsiders. (Exodus 30:33). It was strictly for those who had been sanctified and consecrated to the Lord’s service. Why is it then that in the last 30 years we have frequently heard about profane persons “receiving the Spirit”, or about unbelievers who manifest many of the weird and wonderful things that are ascribed to the Holy Spirit? No, God is Holy and His Spirit is specifically called the Holy Spirit. God has no dealings with the unsaved, except to lead them to repentance and if the oil was not to be put on outsiders in the Old Testament then neither will He give unbelievers his approval by giving them a spiritual experience, except to bring them to their knees in repentance.

Finally, the man so anointed was not to “go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God” (Leviticus 21:12). This speaks of a complete dedication to the Lord and His service. Today, we are the temple and He dwells with and in us (1Corinthians 3:16). Thus the Lord’s presence in our lives requires that we abide in Him and that we live holy and consecrated lives. The Lord has no interest in giving unsanctified and disobedient believers a spiritual “trip” so they can have some good feelings. Neither does He touch those who live their lives far from Him, steeped in the world all week but who want a quick spiritual experience on a Sunday morning.

The concept of brief and temporal “anointings” is an Old Testament concept. We have a promise of a far deeper and more enduring Presence in the New Testament. I pray that we will reject the false and seek the genuine.

“I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you”. (John 14:16,17)

 

Next – Final Part 4

part one

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=409

part two

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=411

FROM THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT

From time to time, the General Council receives inquiries desiring comment on various revivals or ministries held in both Assemblies of God and non-Assemblies of God churches.

Rather than attempting to comment on any specific series of meetings, I feel it would be preferable to provide some Scriptural guidelines for assessment. I have great confidence in the maturity of Assemblies of God pastors and laity to make their own judgments and heed the admonition of the Apostle Paul: Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).

The Assemblies of God is irrevocably committed to the inspiration of Scripture, that the Bible provides the assessment tools needed for evaluating doctrine and experience, and is deeply hungry for the continued filling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Our former general superintendent, Thomas F. Zimmerman, once compared the Holy Spirit to a mighty river, and the Scriptures to the banks of that river. Brother Zimmerman said that great harm occurs when the river overruns the banks, but that the river does great good when it stays within the banks.

Thus, it is well for us to look at the safeguards the Bible provides in helping us “test everything.” Here are the questions we should always ask.

1. Is Jesus Christ exalted? The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Christ; and to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come (John 15:26, 16:8). To the Corinthian church that had become overly enamored with charismatic manifestations, the Apostle Paul reminded them that “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Thus, the focus for any lasting revival always must be on Jesus. The Holy Spirit has not come to glorify Himself, or any human or angelic personality.

2. Is the Word of God proclaimed? Every revival with lasting effect has always been rooted in the preaching of God’s Word. This is in keeping with the spread of the Gospel in the early Church as recorded in Acts.

  • Following the first persecution, they “spoke the word of God boldly” (4:31).
  • Following the second persecution and flogging, “day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped preaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (5:42).
  • After the selection of deacons, “the word of God spread” (6:7).
  • Resulting from Saul’s persecution of the church, “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (8:4).
  • Samaria “accepted the word of God” (8:14).
  • The Gentiles of Cornelius’ household “received the word of God” (11:1).
  • Paul and Barnabas preached “the word of God” on their first missionary journey and “the word of God spread through the whole region” (13:46, 49).
  • Before departing for their second missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas and many others “taught and preached the word of the Lord” at Antioch (15:35).
  • The Holy Spirit kept Paul and Barnabas from “preaching the word in the province of Asia” (16:6).
  • The Bereans “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (17:11); Paul “was preaching the word of God at Berea” (17:13).
  • At Corinth, “Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God” (18:11).
  • Through Paul’s ministry at Ephesus, “all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord” (19:10).
  • Paul’s farewell words to the Ephesians elders are: “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God” (20:27).

It is clear from the above references that great focus was given in the early Church to the preaching of the Word, sometimes also identified as proclaiming the Gospel. This is consistent with the first commitment of the early Church following the day of Pentecost – “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine . . .” (Acts 2:42).

Thus, a doctrinal test for any revival is whether the content of the preaching is the same as Jesus and the apostles. The Word of God stands over personal viewpoints. Any Biblical revival must “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). If so-called truth is being proclaimed that cannot be found in Scripture, then that proclamation violates the specific announcement of Scripture that the faith “was once for all entrusted” and such a proclamation also deviates from the apostles’ fidelity to preach the Word, and from the early Church’s devotion to the apostles’ doctrine.

The Azusa Revival (1906-1909) unabashedly proclaimed that the sure plumb line of truth was God’s revealed and written Word. Elder Seymour and others were criticized sharply for their insistence on “checking everything out with the Word.” But, they were unashamed. In fact, Seymour responded to these criticisms in the September, 1907, issue of The Apostolic Faith.

“We are measuring everything by the Word, every experience must measure up with the Bible. Some say that is going too far, but if we have lived too close to the Word, we will settle that with the Lord when we meet Him in the air.

Miraculous manifestations are never the test of a true revival – fidelity to God’s Word is the test. Jesus Himself said there would be many who would do miracles in His name and even cast out demons, but He does not know them (Matthew 7:15-23). Jesus warned that “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (Matthew 24:11). Paul warns, “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3). To the Galatians, Paul writes: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned (Galatians 1:8). Paul also warns us: “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connections with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow” (Colossians 2:18-19). Peter warns us that “there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies . . . Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” (2 Peter 2:1-3).

In summary, the message must always be examined. If the message and the messenger line up with God’s Word, then the revival is on safe Biblical ground and it should and must be embraced. If not, then even though miracles and manifestations occur, it should be avoided.

This raises the question of how can healings and miracles occur if the message and/or messenger are not consistent with Scripture. The attribution for the healings and miracles is the grace of God and his mercy for hurting people.

3. Are persons repenting of sin, and being baptized in water and the Holy Spirit? Repentance has been called the first word of the Gospel because it is the initial response called for by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), Jesus (Matthew 4:17), the Twelve (Mark 6:12), Jesus after His resurrection (Luke 24:47), Peter (Acts 2:36), and Paul (Acts 26:20). With repentance comes baptism in water and the overwhelming or baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39).

Unless these initiatory events of the Christian life occur, along with the sanctifying work of the Spirit that leads to a holy life – then the miracles, crowds, and enthusiasm will quickly wane.

Of course, there are additional questions that can be raised, but my purpose is to give some starter reflections for those who have honest hearts to “test all things” as Paul admonished. If the above three questions cannot be answered with a resounding yes, then perhaps other questions are unnecessary.

The modern Pentecostal revival is now over 100 years old. Within that revival, there have been some significant centers of activity. For example, the Azusa Street Revival generated a missionary movement whose effects we still see today. The Charismatic Renewal brought refreshing both to Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal believers. However, there have also been some tornadoes that have brought destruction. In other words – there have been good winds and ill winds.

It is our responsibility to maintain a deep hunger for God and to keep our focus on the mission He has given us: to bring glory to God, to evangelize the lost, and to make disciples. We cannot do this on our own. We need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit along with the signs that follow those who believe.

Someone has said that revivals are like child birth. They are messy, but you like the final result. Certainly, every revival has been marked by some elements that would be regarded as extreme. Dr. J. Edwin Orr, who studied and wrote more on the history of revivals than any one else in Christian history, told me once that revivals are like a cabin on the Maine coast that has been shuttered up for the winter. When the winds begin to blow, the first thing that begins to make noise is all the loose hinges and shutters. And, that may well be the case – so we must be cautious at the initial onset of a revival to let some “loose hinges and shutters” have their freedom – but, ultimately, if the revival is to have enduring fruitfulness, it must be pastored carefully with doctrinal soundness, moral and financial accountability, and care to give publicity to Christ rather than to the revival.

The Azusa Street revival had such enduring fruitfulness precisely because the three questions raised above can be well answered – both then and now: Christ was exalted, the Word of God was the plumb line, and people responded to the Gospel with repentance, and baptism in water and in the Spirit. And, like the early Church, they were full of the Holy Spirit and went everywhere to share the Good News!

Let us keep the prayer of Habakkuk (3:2) in our hearts and on our lips:

LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds,
O LORD.

Renew them in our day,
In our time make them known.
 
Your brother in Christ,
George O. Wood
With the concurrence of the Executive Presbytery of
The General Council of the Assemblies of God
 
 
 

 

 

 Assemblies of God say Lakeland “should be avoided”?

 

from Living in the way:

I’m not sure if it is in direct response to our open letter, but I just received a note (thanks Karen) notifying me that just a few hours ago, the Assemblies of God posted an “Official Statement on Revival” . The link leads to a video of Dr. George O. Wood making comments which deal with “revival” in general. The “statement” never mentions Florida, Lakeland, Ignited Church or Todd Bentley, nor does it mention specific matters in relation to the “Florida Outpouring”.

I think this would be a good start if there is going to be some further direct statements concerning the “Florida Outpouring”. But if there will be no further statements, I would only call this a positive step to a wishy-washy objective. This statement gives no firm warning to the “sheep” to stay away from Lakeland, and to stay away from Todd Bentley and his posse of heretics

For now, I will have to take what I can get. Dr. Wood’s statement deals with the history of the Azusa Street Revival and he states: “the sure plumb line of truth was God’s revealed and written Word. Elder Seymour and others were criticized sharply for their insistence on “checking everything out with the Word.” But, they were unashamed.”

Dr. George Wood also states “The Word of God stands over personal viewpoints. Any Biblical revival must “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). If so-called truth is being proclaimed that cannot be found in Scripture, then that proclamation violates the specific announcement of Scripture that the faith “was once for all entrusted” and such a proclamation also deviates from the apostles’ fidelity to preach the Word, and from the early Church’s devotion to the apostles’ doctrine.”

Dr. Wood continues; “Miraculous manifestations are never the test of a true revival – fidelity to God’s Word is the test.”

“In summary, the message must always be examined. If the message and the messenger line up with God’s Word, then the revival is on safe Biblical ground and it should and must be embraced. If not, then even though miracles and manifestations occur, it should be avoided.”

So according to Dr. Wood’s own statements, this “outpouring” in Lakeland, Florida is NOT on safe Biblical ground because it most assuredly DOES NOT “line up with God’s Word! Therefore, Dr. Wood implies that the “Florida Outpouring” and Todd Bentley “should be avoided.”

I wonder how Dr. Wood and the Assemblies of God national leadership will get this message to their flock??

I hate to be so pessimistic but I have a feeling that if Dr. Wood can’t bear to name names, then he must not want to turn his pastors and congregations against a “particular” outpouring.

I’m thankful that Dr. Wood has made some kind of statement (regardless of the generalities and vague non-specifics). I just pray that he does whatever it takes to make sure that the congregations hear the little bit of a leading that he expressed. (Dr. Wood… How about an article in the Pentecostal Evangel telling people to stay away from Lakeland?)

preaching revival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This is a very important article especially in  light of the current Lakeland “Revival” being led by Todd Bentley…

It affected me deeply on two levels. Steve relates what should happen in a true revival and the comparision of what we are seeing today is truly stark.  Also.. it made me think and ponder the idolatry in my own life. I have to ask myself..what is it that God wants me to GIVE UP in order to serve Him?  Please read……

Here is a portion of this article taken from here:

http://indywatchman.wordpress.com

Much is being said, and many are praying for revival. With the carnival act going on in Florida, and the mega-mentality of the Church growth industry, it is being said and believed that, with the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the people of God all problems would be addressed and remedied, all disabilities and debts relinquished, and all foolishness reversed, etc., etc., etc. Reference is made to past visitations and blessings, and loose translations of Scripture are trumpeted, with the intent that the sheep will draw certain conclusions as to God’s plans and their privileged position with the Almighty. True spirituality, as recorded in the Bible, invariably had the effect of making ridiculous many of the things of which the Church is so proud of today; calling childish most of what the Church requires as essential elements. True spirituality discounts many of the things the Church today takes for granted, and upsets the wagon of the status quo. This kind of revival only takes place when there is a real unity through connectedness, a commonness of spirit, and a foundation of oneness. Real revival is destructive and bold, and turns the world upside down. Revival is a great shaking, and causes things to come apart, and is not applauded by the world, but stomped on, and persecuted, and driven out, and extinguished– if possible.

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In times of true revival the Holy Spirit does not revive worldly religious things, He destroys them, and tears them down. All the machinery of men must go. Does it mean then, since we see the exploding of the mega-church growth movement, and the emerging movement, and the carnival healing movement, the massive machinery of men crawling over the earth, building God’s Church for Him, that we are in “Revival?” NO! It is the exact opposite, men have become mega-maniacs, gorged on their own foolishness, drooling all over themselves in their frantic efforts to reverse a world spinning out of control, and they dare not trust something so nebulous, as faith in God. They not only do not trust God, but teach others to not trust God. All these things of men must be left behind, but man has so much invested in his efforts that that is not likely to happen. The Bible just can not mean what it plainly says, there must be an answer elsewhere, and many men are vying for that cherished position, with preposterous presentations, and are winning great followings; it is insanity. The effects of revival is the smashing and tearing down of all our idols; the things that we have built up in our lives and in our heads as being necessary to the spiritual life. No sacrifice was ever made to God that did not die. To die is hard. To empty our selves is painful. To watch as God reduces to ashes our whole life, all that we have built and became attached to, it is nearly impossible to do. To take our most cherished possession and hand it over to God is a real stretch that throws our whole life out of joint. He doesn’t want our damaged goods, only our very best is good enough to give. That little lamb that would have been the beginning of that new flock, that would allow you the retirement you long for, that beauty, that had become the family pet, the one that was well beloved, it alone was good enough and you know it, spotless, without blemish, perfect in all his ways. You watch as your young son hands over the little lamb, and the priest puts the blade to his neck, and you watch as you see your retirement run out onto the ground, a scarlet red, and you watch as the body is laid on the altar, and you watch as your life goes up in smoke, a sweet savor unto the Lord. Then it is that you realize, you have been accepted of the Lord, and your life is in His hands, and you are truly safe and sound, in Him.

There is none of this in all the talk you hear today. There is none of this coming out of the pulpit, the cost is just too great, jobs could be jeopardized, funds depleted, and people lost. But, this is the message of revival. My heart aches at the thought of such a move of God. I am not satisfied with phoniness, the foolishness going on today to please the crowds and keep them coming, and giving. The delusional visions, and words from God about so-and-so, and such-and-such, sickens me. The casting out of demons, even from furniture and houses and cars, it’s lunacy, and it is dangerous. It doesn’t matter if it is false manifestations of the spirit or the manifestations of men, it is all of this world and God has discounted it, and weighed it, and found it worthless and vain. It is not only unimportant but it is a barrier between God and man. All of these methods have been found wanting, they just have not produced the kind of men that God requires, but God has found Himself some men and women, who will do His will, who know what God wants, and with His help they obey.

It is nearly impossible for Christianity to believe that anything can go on without the influx of men and machinery, marketing and management, and all the support from the organization! God’s mightiest and most fruitful works in nature and in His gifts to us are not done in a closet, quietly, inconspicuously, and they are done even before we realize there exist a need for it. We can’t appreciate the resurrection of nature every Spring-time without appreciating God’s mercy for an unworthy race. He knows what we need, even when we don’t deserve it. What God is trying to tell us is that we don’t need an organization, we need an organism, a real LIFE.

Full article:

here – http://indywatchman.wordpress.com/2008/06/01/gods-secret-of-revival/

My visit to the Lakeland Revival – Justin Peters 

 Hello All,

Well, I went to Lakeland, FL to attend the revival services. I was in attendance Monday morning and evening, Tues evening, and Wed. morning. I really did try to go to these services with an open mind, but once there it did not take very long for my mind to begin closing. Todd Bentley does not preach in the morning services. Monday morning the preacher was a 28 year-old lady named Kira Mitchell who is one of Todd’s interns (for lack of a better word). He is apparently mentoring her. She told a great deal of dramatic stories and spoke often about how God speaks to her in dreams, visions, and, on occasion, in an audible voice. Peppered throughout her message were references to the upcoming time where the anointing would begin flowing (to which she referred as “walking in the sauce” which struck me as rather irreverent to say the least) and people would be healed. She called for those with tumors and cysts to come forward because God was telling her that an anointing was there for people such as these. So, many did come forward – particularly women with breast cancer it seemed. She would go person to person down the line and prophesy over him or her (she said to numerous women “You are a daughter of destiny” though she never seemed to elaborate on exactly what that meant) and attempt to slay them in the Spirit. Some went down, some did not. There were people who claimed to be healed of their tumors. Noticeably lacking from those who claimed to be healed, however, were people such as the man who was blind, the woman who was on crutches suffering from crippling arthritis, and the mother with her seven year old little boy who was born without a brain – only a brain stem. None of these poor people were healed.

Then came Monday night. The service began with a solid two hours of “worship.” The music was extremely loud and quite heavy. It was more like a rock concert than worship. People were jumping up and down, speaking in tongues, some were laughing uncontrollably (biblical support for this?), being slain in the Spirit, some lay on the floor twitching and writhing around, some would burst forth in screams. To be fair, the more dramatic manifestations were not the rule but nonetheless did occur with considerable frequency. In short, the worship was highly, highly emotionally charged. Finally, Todd got up to “preach.” Now, I put the word preach in quotes because what I observed of Todd’s messages could not be characterized as preaching by even the loosest definition of the term. He did not read and explain any text of Scripture. He basically performed and told dramatic stories of people being healed. Then came time for the healing to begin. Todd said, ‘If you are sick, I want you to begin doing something that you could not do before. You have to activate your faith by doing something you couldn’t do before. If you’re in a wheelchair, get up out of that wheelchair and start walking. If you couldn’t move your legs, start moving them.’ Well, I’m sitting in the wheelchair section (in my own electric chair) and so people all around me began trying to get out of their wheelchairs. Family members began trying to coax their loved ones out of their chairs and people on crutches stood up trying to walk without them. There was a large man sitting next to me in a wheelchair who was paralyzed from the waist down. He began to try to inch his way to the edge of his seat. His wife and a young lady who I presumed was his daughter encouraged him along. There was another lady standing over him speaking in tongues. Well, this man got to the edge of his seat, slid off, and crumpled to the floor like a rag doll. His wife and daughter kept encouraging him to “just believe.” The other lady kept up her tongues. This went on for a good half hour and the poor man could do nothing. They finally helped him back into his chair. (Probably just didn’t have enough faith, you see.)

A number of people who came in in wheelchairs walked up on stage for Todd to pray over them. Todd would ask them their condition, command them to be healed, and then lay hands on them and yell very loudly into the microphone, “BAM!!” Some would then fall back and lowered to the floor by the ready catchers (one person he even head-butted as he “BAMMED” him). He claimed most, if not all, of these folks healed. Well, these individuals could all walk even though they were in wheelchairs. I watched each one as they came back down the stage and from what I could observe every one of them went back to their wheelchair or stayed on their crutches. I honestly did not see anyone dramatically and unquestionably healed. Some of these individuals I followed and was able to get their names and phone numbers. I will follow up with them in a few weeks to see what if any change in their condition has occurred. There were a few empty chairs that all of the sudden appeared on stage but I did not see anyone actually get out of them.

Larry was another man who made it up on stage but he was not in a wheelchair. Larry, a pastor, has throat cancer with a grim prognosis from his physicians. Larry was very, very weak and feeble. When he spoke his voice was weak and raspy. Bentley claimed his healing and Larry agreed with him. Larry was helped off the stage by a young man and they left the auditorium. I caught up with them out in the hall. There was no discernable change in his condition. I will call Larry in a few weeks to see how he is doing. Please pray for Larry that God would heal him and, if physical healing is not God’s will, that Larry would know sufficient grace and strength made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:7-9).

There were so many people there sick with cancer, in wheelchairs, parents with crippled and sick children, retarded children and the like. I did not witness any miracles that were truly undeniable.

Wednesday morning something interesting happened. The pastor of Ignited Church, Stephen Strader, was preaching. At the end of the service he called for all preachers and evangelists to go into the fellowship hall where he was going to bestow on them “the anointing.” Well, long story short, I found myself in the fellowship hall. Strader came in and said, ‘Ok, I have some instructions for you. I’m about to come to each one of you and lay my hands on you to give you the anointing of this revival so that you can take it to your own church.’ He then admitted that not everything that has been going on at the Lakeland outpouring has been from God. He readily admitted that some people are getting caught up in emotionalism. He said, “I want you to take these next few minutes and pray.Pray, ‘God, if there is anything here You want me to have, give it to me. If there is anything here You do not want me to have, don’t give it to me.’ Now I think that is a fair prayer.” I had to agree with him. It certainly seemed like a fair prayer. But then he said something that really disconcerted me. He said, “Now, when I come up to you to give you the anointing, I want you to stop praying. If you continue to pray while I lay my hands on you, it will hinder the passing of the anointing from me to you. You are not to pray while I’m laying my hands on you and giving you this anointing.” Well, the Scripture that immediately popped into my head was 1 Thess. 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Why was the pastor of the church telling me to do something clearly against Scripture??

Let’s also look at this logically. When a person prays, he is communicating with the Triune Godhead. This anointing that is about to be given to me is also, supposedly, from the Tiune Godhead. How could these two acts possibly be in contradiction? How could me praying to God hinder me from receiving something from God? Unless, of course, this anointing was not really from God. Needless to say, huge red flags immediately went up with me. Now, I’m not making an accusation against Strader here, I’m just saying that his instruction to stop praying was patently unbiblical at best and, at worst, possibly a doorway to receive something from some kind of spirit but not the Holy Spirit.

Please know that I am not judging the man’s heart, I’m just saying that this was an unwise and potentially exceedingly dangerous directive on his part. Well, Strader went up to each person, layed hands on them, and loudly yelled into the person’s ear “FIF!!,” (this is how I heard it) or, “FIRE!!” Practically everyone fell down, some twitched and jerked, some laughed, some just lay there. Well, when he came up to me, I was steady praying opting to follow the directives of Scripture rather than his. He layed hands on me, yelled “FIF” but I felt nothing other than concern about what was going on around me.

On a positive note, I attended one of their street evangelism training seminars. I was pleasantly surprised that the accompanying handouts were biblically solid – at least in the section that pertained to presenting the Gospel. The attendees were being trained to give people the Good Person Test by going through the 10 commandments. This is good. However, if someone made a ‘decision for Christ,’ then they were also, apparently, asked if they wanted to speak in tongues and so forth. A discussion on tongues is beyond the scope of my purposes here – I’m just telling what I observed.

Bentley struck me as an exceedingly arrogant person. He claims to have regular angelic visitations, was translated to Australia, and has been to Heaven where they actually did surgery on him [Forgive me if I just don’t believe this. Was Paul allowed to tell us what he saw and heard when he was caught up into heaven in 2 Cor. 12:2-4? No. If the man who wrote half of the New Testament was not allowed to speak of what he saw, I seriously doubt anyone else claiming to be able to do so (especially if they have tapes or books to sell)]

Bentley makes Benny Hinn look conservative by comparison (and I wrote my Master’s thesis on Hinn). On Tuesday night, Bentley got up to speak right after the two hours of music and all of the sudden excitedly said, “Is it raining in here? Is it raining in here?” as he held out his arms looking at them as though he was feeling drops of rain. Then the band, without missing a beat, started playing a chorus entitled “Let It Rain” complete with the lyrics against a backdrop of water being projected on the large screens. This was clearly ed. I was amazed that no one seemed to catch on to the obvious stunt. He claims that he has medical proof of these healings and resurrections. Maybe he does, I’m not sure. Friends, may I kindly offer a bit of caution here? Even if all of what Bentley claims is true (and I seriously doubt that it is), that does not in and of itself validate his ministry. The Bible often speaks of false prophets and false teachers who have performed and will perform signs and wonders. In fact, false Christ’s and false prophets will show signs and wonders so compelling that even the elect will almost be deceived (Matt. 24:24 see also Matt. 7:22-23).

Dear friends, after having been to the Lakeland Outpouring in person, I am very concerned about what is going on. Are there people there who are really saved and love the Lord? I have no doubt this is the case. Could some of the healings be real? They could be but I did not personally observe any – and I looked for them. Is Todd Bentley a man of God or a false prophet? Well, all I can say is that I do not believe him to be an honest man, he is a masterful manipulator of people’s emotions, he is actively engaging in activities that are extra-biblical and flat out unbiblical, and he does not preach the Word. What I am about to say is, I freely admit, subjective and by no means in and of itself authoritative in any way, but my spirit was very troubled the entire time I was there – very troubled. I believe that the Lakeland Outpouring is just the latest manifestation of the counterfeit revivals which broke out in Toronto, Brownsville, and Pensacola back in the ’90’s.

Let me conclude by saying that I long to see revival – true revival. I’m just not at all convinced that what we are seeing in Lakeland is. Let us pray for those sick and crippled who are being manipulated. If some are truly being saved, let us rejoice in that but pray that the focus would cease being on signs and wonders. Let us also pray for those who are leading this movement that they would not deceive or be deceived themselves.

Justin Peters

January 2021
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