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“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”   Ephesians 5:11

Lovebug in Spider's Web - Fruit of Deception 7

SOURCE 

This is an important testimony especially from those who experience oppression after being involved in false teachings. 

by Hope Wingo

My Personal Story of Deception

My story involves the New Apostolic Reformation and GOD TV.

The following is an excerpt from Man: The Dwelling Place of God by A.W. Tozer:

How to Try the Spirits
THESE ARE THE TIMES that try men’s souls.
The Spirit has spoken expressly that in the latter times some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Those days are upon us and we cannot escape them; we must triumph in the midst of them, for such is the will of God concerning us.

Strange as it may seem, the danger today is greater for the fervent Christian than for the lukewarm and the self-satisfied. The seeker after God’s best things is eager to hear anyone who offers a way by which he can obtain them. He longs for some new experience, some elevated view of truth, some operation of the Spirit that will raise him above the dead level of religious mediocrity he sees all around him, and for this reason he is ready to give a sympathetic ear to the new and the wonderful in religion, particularly if it is presented by someone with an attractive personality and a reputation for superior godliness.

Now our Lord Jesus. that great Shepherd of the sheep, has not left His flock to the mercy of the wolves. He has given us the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and natural powers of observation, and He expects us to avail ourselves of their help constantly. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” said Paul (I Thess. 5:21) . “Beloved, believe not every spirit,” wrote John, “but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1) . “Beware of false prophets,” our Lord warned, “which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Then He added the word by which they may be tested, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

I discovered this classic book by A.W. Tozer shortly after my ordeal ended. With the encounter still so fresh in my mind, I comprehended Tozer’s words with full discernment and a new understanding.

In light of my story, you need to know that I did not have a computer until the end of 2011.  As far as Christian programming, I was at the mercy of cable TV with TBN, Daystar, and a few other channels. Whenever I discerned a red flag in one of the programs, I’d just switch the channel to another pastor with another sermon. That was all just part of watching Christian TV. I didn’t know the term Word of Faith, much less the New Apostolic Reformation. I only knew that I loved the Lord and craved all of Him that I could get. What I did not realize was that I was the perfect candidate to fall into deception… I matched Tozer’s qualifications perfectly, in that I fervently craved more of God and would not settle for lukewarm Christianity! I wanted everything that I could get!

In 2008 I was introduced to GOD TV (a New Apostolic Reformation channel) and I quickly became addicted to it. The programming, the worship music, and the pastors were completely different from the others that I had become accustomed to. They were fascinating and spiritually enticing! Even the channel’s music leading up to their commercial breaks was intriguing… Quite frankly, I couldn’t get enough of it. Their worship music seduced the viewers into a deep spiritual experience with captivating repetitions. The pastors spoke of deep, prophetic things that they had heard from God. It wasn’t long before I had completely abandoned the other channels for GOD TV. I was totally blind to its influence.

The red flags were there from the start…  I noticed that spiritual experiences seemed to dominate most of the sermons while repentance and the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus were not being mentioned at all. There were stories of angelic encounters, oil dripping from the speaker’s feet, feathers and gold dust falling on the worshipers, rain falling inside of the buildings, and supernatural gems being found all over the church. Due to my strong Christian upbringing, I knew that those things were not coming from God, but I was so intrigued with it all that I kept watching it. It was exciting compared to the money-grabbers and fake healers that were on the other Christian channels.

One night on my way home from work, I heard a sermon on the radio that spoke of *****.  (I don’t remember what it was about.)  However, when I got home and turned on the TV, the first thing out of the pastor’s mouth was, “if you just heard *****, you are a part of us!”  Hey, how could I resist a confirmation like that? It made me feel so accepted!

Let me pause here to say that, by allowing this programming to continue, I gave satanic deception an open door. When I initially noticed the red flags, I should have rejected this false doctrine. However, I chose to ignore the warnings, so…

Another night after work, I turned on the TV to find a woman introducing a special training program that was available through her ministry.  As she spoke, I watched the television disappear from around her, leaving only her face in the room.  She continued to explain how we could order this program.  I was not afraid of her.  Having surrounded myself with deception for months, I thought, “Surely this must be from God”.  I ordered the series.  A few days later it arrived in the mail and I began to listen to the CDs.  When I got to the middle of the series and realized what it was all about, I was literally shocked.  It was demonic.  It was angel worship.  It was astral projection in the name of praying for others.  Yep, we could go to them!  We could also hover over other countries as we prayed for them.  We could leave our bodies and enter into the “third heaven“. (The link is this actual teaching.)  It was purely satanic.

Instead of throwing the garbage away, I decided to listen to the CDs again.   Then I listened to them again; then over and over… I had become intrigued by them. A few weeks later, having gone through the lesson several times, I tried to do what they suggested, by inviting an angel to appear in the room, even though I knew that the Bible warned against it. I listened to the music that they had provided as I tried to experience “going to heaven” with them.  I also imagined my spirit going into another person’s house to pray for them.

Shortly thereafter, I began to experience many vivid dreams and daytime flash-visions. I saw angels. I heard voices.  Even though I knew better, I tried to convince myself that these were Godly manifestations that I had somehow missed in my earlier Christian walk.

On the physical side, flocks of vultures began to hover over my house. If I stood outside, they would circle over me and cast their shadow on me, one by one. One day, when returning from town, while I was still about 1/2 of a mile away from my house, I saw a flock of about 100 of these birds hovering directly over my house. Another time, I heard a crash outside of my back window as an entire flock crashed a tree limb in my back yard. I later learned that birds often represent demonic spirits.

One day, as I was about to enter my front door, I felt a swat on my back side as if a parent had just swatted a child. This frightened me terribly as I realized that I had just entered a realm that I didn’t want to be in. Demonic spirits had actually been allowed to touch me. At that point, I knew that it was only going to get worse, so that very day, I threw away all of the materials that I had received from that ministry. I also cleaned house and threw away most of my contemporary Christian music CDs.

At that point, I knew that the games I had been playing with God were over and that I was being forced to make a decision as to whom I was going to follow. In doing so, I desperately called on the Jesus that I had known as a child. Even so, it took months… and I mean months… to get back into a right relationship with the Lord. It still frightens me when I think about how I allowed this deception into my life. After all, I had been grounded in biblical truth since childhood.

Let me backtrack a little to add that when I threw the CD lessons in the trash, it sparked an attack of satanic rage that lasted for the next several months. I started seeing demonic faces in clouds, in trees, in bushes, in reflections, and in almost everything else…. all day long, day after day. These were harassing spirits.  They were relentless and tormenting, and they robbed my mind of all peace. I learned to keep music on all the time to block out the mental noise, especially when I attempted to fall asleep. I was worn down to my wit’s end, both mentally and physically.

The torment eventually began to subside through the process of fully submitting myself to Jesus again.  I could do nothing else but to throw myself into the verse, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)  In my efforts to make that happen, I made a conscious decision to resist the devil by literally ignoring the harassment.  During that time, I stopped looking up at the sky and simply would not acknowledge the images. I turned away whenever I noticed one of them.  At the same time, I acknowledged that I had brought this upon myself by allowing the witchcraft to remain in my house.  I read the Bible and filled my mind with the Word every chance I got.  I prayed constantly.  Then, finally… one day it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen them for a while.  It had taken months, but they were gone… Completely gone!

Today, I’m aware of many forms of deception that I knew nothing about a few years ago.  I recognize the Emergent, the NAR, the Seeker-Friendly, the Word of Faith, the Purpose Driven, and on and on.  Jesus wasn’t kidding…  We must “test the spirits”.  Deception is everywhere these days!  …and what did He tell us in Matthew 24 concerning our day?  BE NOT DECEIVED!!!

I will also say that I cannot prove that all of the NAR teachers allow training to this extent in their churches.  Even so, it speaks volumes that GOD TV airs both NAR and witchcraft, and I have yet to hear the pastors on that channel argue against it. Obviously, when signs, wonders, and experienced-based doctrines are preached in place of biblical doctrine, other forms of deception are tolerated as well.

I realize that I’ve opened myself to ridicule by telling my story, but I also know that we are living in the end-times, and that many other Christians have been tempted to fall for this same deception. Hopefully, my story will spare someone else from having to go through this same thing. You need to know that God WILL let you be intrigued to death… even to eternal death. It’s up to you to keep yourself from being deceived. 

You’ll find the Truth in His Word… just where it has always been.

To repeat Tozer’s words, “…He expects us to avail ourselves”.  (See 1 John 5:18 below.)

***

Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2 Timothy 3:13 – But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

1 John 5:18 – .We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

My mother told me one day that she had truly enjoyed listening to a preacher on TV. So much had she enjoyed this speaker she was going to order some his DVD”s….

“Okay mom,” I asked, “who is this preacher?”

She replied, ” Charles Stanley from TBN.”

My heart sank. TBN. But I watched one of his broadcasts and it was very good indeed. The problem…the vehicle, the sponsor, the network. It is replete with false teachings.

Later, I ran into a similar situation. A brother blogger sent out a blanket email that a well-known prophecy scholar was selling one his DVD’s on GodTV……GodTV!!!…on an end-time special…..which encluded two (tagged) well-known  false prophetic teachers. This email was sent out to many of us because of concern that a leading speaker was lending credence to the other false teachings.

I contacted the prophecy scholar with my concerns about this affliation with GodTV  and this was the response from his ministy team.

Thank you for your email. *****  is proclaiming the truth where it would otherwise not be heard. There are two ways to look at this situation. What better way to expose false teaching then (sic) to teach the truth. 
Thank you for your email. ***** has not changed his faith in Jesus.
****
But here is truth:
Yet, God’s written word commands,
Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but expose them (Ephesians
5:11).
****
The statement, “What better way to expose false teaching than to teach the truth,”  is not biblical when ones teaches right alongside the false. It is the same as endorsement. How does the new or baby Christian know that one teacher on the same show is correct and other incorrect?
*
Reading the following article has helped me deal with the aspect of blending false and true teachings.
*
Here are some excerpts from Steve Camp’s blog  Audience One, ” A Weapon of Mass Instruction.”
*
The church’s responsibility before God as the “pillar and support of the truth” is to guard and proclaim the truths of Scripture. Consequently, the most severe crime against God is to mishandle His revelation, thus portraying a false, idolatrous image of Him to the world.
We see this in our own day. For example, the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) carries on its programming schedule some orthodox teachers (i.e. Charles Stanley, Adrian Rogers, James Kennedy, etc.), and features also those who are unorthodox: the word/faith movement (Kenneth Copeland, Crefflo Dollar, etc.); or those who deny the Godhead–the Trinity (T.D. Jakes; Phillips, Craig and Dean); and/or those who “huckster the Word of God for profit” in order to generate more money for themselves (most everyone else on their programming schedule). The danger is, when you constantly publicize a mix of the genuine with the counterfeit it blurs the lines of sound doctrine and tends to anaesthetise the listener of discernment. Even those orthodox teachers, as mentioned above, end up unwittingly supporting the very thing they all oppose biblically. The listener enjoying the program most likely sends the lion-share of their support money not to the Bible teacher of the individual program, but to TBN.A And if they have been “ministered to” by that program, they may even call TBN (per their toll free number) for spiritual counsel, prayer and direction. You forfeit on both counts: pragmatically–most of the “love gift” goes to the network; and spiritually–you have placed the members of your listening audience under the spiritual counsel of a phone operator. What would brother Spurgeon be saying about now?

The honest question has to be asked: can a unsound biblical vehicle like that one be spiritually profitable at all even if some of the time they get it right? Don’t be fooled; it’s not just another televsion network you can buy time on to promote your program. It is a well crafted “philosophy of ministry” with a very specific agenda that does not measure up with the Word of God. I agree with Dr. MacArthur when he has said on many occasions, “TBN has done more harm to the gospel than Jerry Springer. For a false representation of God is more damaging than a true display of sin.” I fully agree with his insigthful words. Methodology matters; and just as important, the “who” you partner with in the work of the gospel as well.

The motives, the methods, the messengers, the money and the message. That is why Scripture must be treated with reverence and care because it is the self-revelation of God. It is from Scripture alone that we know who our Lord is and the fullness of His worth and works. We study God’s Word to know our Lord. It is not so that we may have sermons to preach, songs to sing, testimonies to tell, but it is chiefly to know Him. And out of the depth of that knowing to make Him known.

I myself  have come to the point that I will not endure any false teachings or anyone who turns a blind eye to it. We are told in scripture that  in the last days the church will not hold to sound teachings. How sadly evident this is today.
*****
Also of interest …this about Rick Joyner

Posted from: Just to make you Think

This blog is designed to make you think. Also to encourage, exhort, edify and warn the saints of God as we see the day of  The Lord on the horizon.

 

Another Lie Via God-less TV

 

bickle

When Mike Bickle of IHOP speaks saints-don’t listen.

Just happened to catch a snippet from an e-mail I got from “God TV” (that’s a joke-it should be called God-less TV). These same people were the ones who broadcast Todd Bentley world wide to deceive thousands. http://www.god.tv/node/519

Photo shows Rory& Wendy Alec of God-less TV, with Mike Bickle at IHOP (International House of Prayer.)

He was telling all his large audience “Jesus will not come back until the church has shaken off the spirit of slumber, operates in the anointing of prayer and has a bridal identity”…now just where in scripture does he find that? While these things sound good, they are not truth, and we know a little leavens the whole lump. These teachings are so subtle, that the young and unlearned cannot distinguish truth from a lie.

Full Article here:

http://justtomakeyouthink.blogspot.com/2008/12/another-lie-via-god-less-tv.html

This is the lastest email coming out of Global Harvest Ministries  – The names mentioned should be used as a warning list.
*****************************************************************************************************************
A Lakeland Update
From C. Peter Wagner
October 29, 2008

This is an update on the aftermath of the Lakeland Outpouring.

As most of you know, a day or so after I went to Lakeland and helped align Todd
Bentley with Revival Alliance on June 23, the veil of secrecy over a number of serious,
hidden sins began to come off.  God has now shaken what could be shaken in Todd’s
life.  On August 12 he announced that he was leaving his wife of nine years, and
it had been revealed that he had been directing his attentions toward another woman.
This is now history, but many have been asking for an update.
I have delayed sending you this email until I had an official statement from Todd’s
apostolic alignment, John Arnott, Ché Ahn, and Bill Johnson of Revival Alliance.
Here is their statement, issued October 23, 2008, four months after the alignment:
PUBLIC STATEMENT ON TODD BENTLEY FROM REVIVAL ALLIANCE
Dear friends, several years ago, six leadership couples came together formed a relationally
based, non-denominational network called Revival Alliance.
When the Lakeland revival broke out Todd Bentley and the revival meetings were coming
under much criticism. At the suggestion of Peter Wagner, three of the members of
the Revival Alliance team went to Lakeland because the Alliance as a whole wanted
to express support for the Lakeland Outpouring and to commission Todd as a revivalistic
evangelist. Having been powerfully touched in the Toronto outpouring, and seeing
the opposition that came from leaders in the church because of that movement, we
wanted to stand with Todd and deflect some of the personal assaults that were coming
against him. Many of the attacks were coming from well-respected Christian leaders,
people that we still hold in high esteem. Yet the mandate from the Lord was clear.
And we stood with Todd and the Fresh Fire Ministries team to both endorse and support
this move of God.
Rory and Wendy Alec of God TV also took tremendous risk in airing the revival prime
time and broadcasting it to over 200 nations around the world. Their heart is to
capture and release the move of God, no matter where it happens, or who God uses
as His instrument. This unparalleled media attention gave unusual advertisement
for the outpouring. But it also put their whole team in an unusual, high-level position
of receiving both praise and criticism.
The impact of the Lakeland Outpouring has been amazing, and it still continues.
The record of conversions and miracles of healing is extraordinarily great in number.
And the spreading of the revival to nation after nation has also been very significant.
The God TV broadcast stirred up the hunger in people from around the world to go
to Lakeland and receive from God, but then bring it home to their local churches.
Impartation seems to be one of the unusual markers of a genuine move of God. Revival
fires began to spread around the world as a result of the impartation received at
Lakeland. But as great as the fruit has been, so have the devastation and fallout
from Todd’s personal failure.
While there must be no toleration or whitewashing of sin, there must also be no
allowances for ungodly judgments in the name of Jesus. Hatred often masquerades
as a passion for holiness. And while the church has had its share of tragic failures
of leaders in recent days and equally tragic reactions, we must get this one right.
It is possible to promote holiness and accountability in the spirit of grace.
The quickness to condemn and abandon a fallen comrade has caused us as much concernas has the actual sin of our friend. Some want to humiliate and expose Todd beforethe world. And then there are others who want to point to the obvious anointing
on Todd’s life as the sign of God’s approval of Todd’s behavior. Neither is acceptable
to us. There must be deep repentance and thorough restoration.
The restoration process must be firm but loving, while holding to the Kingdom standards
of both holiness and grace. The initial goal is not to get Todd preaching again.
It is to get him healed from the issues of the heart that have brought devastation
to his family, and such shame and failure to him. His gift will always function
when given an opportunity. We just want it to come from a place of personal victory
and triumph this next time.
Since the announcement of Todd’s leaving his wife, Revival Alliance has been working
to help restore our fallen brother. Sin is disastrous on any level, but it is well
known that “to whom much is given, much is required.” Gross sin from someone on
Todd’s level of influence is devastating. Even so, God is ready to heal and restore.
Todd recently spent three days in Redding, California, with Bill Johnson dealing
with the issues of his personal life. Following that, he went to Morningstar Ministries
in Charlotte, North Carolina, to be with Rick Joyner for the same reason. Rick,
along with the Morningstar leadership team, has offered to help in his restoration.
With great confidence, Revival Alliance recommends this as the appropriate process
for Todd’s healing and restoration. Todd will be moving to Morningstar Ministries
to live for a season. Rick Joyner’s wisdom, along with the strength of the Morningstar
community of believers, will be a great support to Todd as he deals with the heart
issues that brought about his failures. A council of three has also been formed
to give oversight to the restoration process. Rick Joyner, Jack Deere, and Bill
Johnson will give oversight as needed.
We appreciate the prayers and support of countless numbers of believers who have
continued to support Fresh Fire Ministries. We also appreciate the prayer support
of so many for the Revival Alliance. We are also very thankful for Rick Joyner and
his whole team that will be working to bring about a complete healing to our friend,
Todd Bentley.
It should also be noted that effort is being made to ensure that Shonnah (Todd’s
wife) and children are also cared for and given opportunity to receive ministry
and help. As you may imagine, they have suffered great hurt from this failure.
There are many in Fresh Fire Ministries who also need help. Efforts are being made
to serve them as best as possible. John Arnott recently invited the Fresh Fire Ministries
associates to Toronto for their Signs and Wonders Conference to receive personal
ministry and encouragement. These kinds of efforts will continue.
Bill Johnson, John Arnott, and Rick Joyner have each spent time with the Fresh Fire
Ministries board, and will continue to assist them as needed through this tragic
season.
Fresh Fire Ministries will continue their crusades and conference schedule around
the world. They are a group of ministers with much integrity and a great heart for
the lost. Pray for them as they maneuver through the challenging season ahead, while
serving the church at large.
We are thankful for the honor of being involved in this crisis.
On behalf of Revival Alliance:  John Arnott, Ché Ahn, and Bill Johnson
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Apostolic Protocol
The Todd Bentley situation affords us a good contemporary case study in the proper
application of agreed-upon apostolic protocol.  Before an international TV audience,
Todd affirmed that he desired to be apostolically aligned with Revival Alliance,
and then received their apostolic commissioning as a revivalistic evangelist. 
 
Almost immediately, the shifting that this alignment produced in the invisible world
caused Todd’s hidden personal life to begin to unravel until he left the Lakeland
Outpouring in early August.  Host apostle, Stephen Strader, continued services in
Ignited Church until he finally closed it in October.
The Revival Alliance took the first steps toward dealing with Todd’s discipline
and possible restoration.  However, Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries in Ft.
Mill, South Carolina, a friend of Todd’s, offered his services to help in the process.
Revival Alliance, then, decided to outsource the long-term hands-on restoration
to Rick.  Rick brought his friend, Jack Deere onto his team, and Bill Johnson was
added to maintain a link with Revival Alliance.
After reading the Revival Alliance statement above, some have asked not only who
is now in charge of the restoration (Rick Joyner authorized by Revival Alliance),
but also who would make the official announcement to the body of Christ if and when
the restoration is complete and give Todd clearance to resume public ministry? 
The answer to this question revolves around responsible apostolic protocol, and
the proper answer is that only Revival Alliance would be authorized to make such
an announcement.
How would I reach that conclusion?  Later on, I will explain the Lakeland Outpouring
Apostolic Team, but first let me introduce an official statement on apostolic protocol
dealing with situations such as Todd Bentley’s issued by the group in October:
Statement from the Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Team
Current issue:  Paul Cain and his appearance on the platform of the Lakeland Outpouring
I.
The background.  At one point rather early in Lakeland Outpouring I, prophet Paul
Cain was invited to appear on the platform.  A few months before the Outpouring
began he had prophesied publicly that such an outpouring would break out in Lakeland,
and Todd Bentley felt it would be appropriate to recognize Cain on the platform
and let the audience know about his accurate prophecy.  While Cain was there, he
took the opportunity to announce, among other things, that he had been living a
chaste life and that rumors about him were not true.
This event drew criticism from many observers who knew something of Paul Cain’s
recent experiences.  It turned out that he had been living a secret life which involved
problems with drunkenness and homosexuality.  Three Christian leaders who had been
long-time friends and colleagues of Cain, namely Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle, and Jack
Deere, attempted to bring correction and restoration privately, but to little avail.
Consequently, they decided that, following the precepts of Matthew 18, they had
come to the place where they needed to announce Cain’s moral turpitude to the church
at large with the hope that this public reprimand would speed the process of his
restoration.  Cain’s response was to place himself under the accountability of
other, self-chosen, Christian leaders who after a period of time announced that
his restoration had been completed and that he was free to return to public ministry.
This was an obvious violation of apostolic protocol.  The correct apostolic protocol
would have been for the three who first blew the whistle publicly to have been involved
directly in any announcement to the body of Christ that Cain’s restoration had been
complete.  Not only were the three not involved, but they felt that the timing for
such an announcement had been premature.
Bentley knew something of this situation because he reportedly later commented that
he had thought (wrongly!) that he had first cleared his intentions of inviting Cain
to the platform with Rick Joyner.  The problem had become more complicated with
Cain’s public confession of having lived a chaste life, apparently denying that
he ever had been involved in homosexuality.  His later explanation that he really
meant that he had been chaste only since his “restoration” was not sufficient to
change the impression left with the huge international television audience who
heard his first words.  Our conclusion is that inviting Cain on the platform and
allowing him to have the microphone was an unfortunate mistake on the part of Bentley
since it was an intended or unintended violation of apostolic protocol.
The principle.  What can we learn from this?  The principle is that the prescribed
restoration of a fallen leader should be undertaken only by or under the direct
supervision of the apostle or apostolic group (whether or not the term “apostle”
is used) with which the fallen leader has previously aligned.  The practice of the
leader, himself or herself, slipping out from under a recognized accountability
structure in order to select what would inevitably be a more lenient person or group
of persons should be regarded by the body of Christ as unacceptable behavior.  The
proper apostolic protocol should be for  those involved in the initial apostolic
alignment, and those people only, to make any public announcement on the progress
of the restoration or that the restoration has been completed and that the restored
leader be allowed once again to resume public ministry.
As a footnote, it should be recorded that in recent years Paul Cain has not been
the only high-profile leader to attempt this evasion of accountability.  Others
have taken similar erroneous pathways, and our opinion is that there should be
a general consensus in the church that such behavior will not be repeated or tolerated
in the future.
Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Team
October 10, 2008
In light of the above statement it seems clear that public reports of the progress
or successful termination of Todd Bentley’s restoration be made only with the explicit
approval of Revival Alliance.  Any attempt to circumvent this apostolic protocol
(as was done in the case of Paul Cain) should not be regarded as acceptable to
the body of Christ.  Especially those of us in the charismatically-inclined evangelical
stream feel deep embarrassment over a number of recent cases that have taken this
deviant route.
The Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Team
As I have told you in other emails, after I moderated the meeting at which Todd
Bentley was aligned and commissioned, I received over three thousand emails.  Many
of them expressed dismay and concern over issues that had surfaced during the Outpouring
itself and during the commissioning.  I carefully cataloged these and simultaneously
pulled together a group of apostles which I called the Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic
Team.  The team included Stephen Strader, Steve Strang, David Cannistraci, Ché Ahn,
Lee Grady, Joe Askins, Jeff Beacham, Chuck Pierce, and John Arnott besides myself.
One of the first things we did was to analyze the issues raised and end up with
a list of 24 important concerns, each of which we would discuss and attempt to
issue a public statement to the body of Christ.
We began our work and issued the statement above on apostolic protocol for the Paul
Cain case, reducing the list to 23.
Meanwhile, God began speaking to Dutch Sheets, whom many of you know is my pastor
at Freedom Church here in Colorado Springs, and who has been recognized as an apostle
to our nation.  Dutch felt that God was giving him an assignment to deal with many
of the issues that I had on my list, and others as well, from a proactive, rather
than a reactive posture as I had been doing.
After consulting with John Kilpatrick, Dutch approached me with the possibility
of making some changes.  I gladly received his suggestions and, frankly, I was greatly
relieved.  While I chaired Todd’s alignment ceremony in obedience to a direct word
from God, I did not have the same clear assignment from God to deal with the issues.
I had organized the Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Team only because I felt it was
my duty.  Dutch now has a passion for the task, while I only had a sense of responsibility.
The upshot is that I have now disbanded the Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Team
and passed the torch to Dutch Sheets, who will form a similar group.  One condition
for Dutch’s action was that I would agree to be a member of the new group, which
I did.  I also think that a proactive stance will be much more profitable for the
body of Christ long term than my reactive approach, dealing specifically with problems
arising from the Lakeland Outpouring which no longer exists.
Conclusion
That is my update for now, and probably the last one I will issue on the subject
of Lakeland.   Criticisms of what I have done have been severe, but affirmations
have outnumbered them maybe one hundred to one.  Only a few have been so upset that
they have severed relations with me, and I deeply regret this.  But I have no regrets
over what I have done in the last four months, although there are undoubtedly a
few things that I could have done better.

Let’s move on to new horizons for the kingdom of God!
Blessings,
Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear friends,

 

Todd Bentley and the ’13th Resurrection’

What was the name of that funeral home?

 by Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

www.christianresearchservice.com

ChristianResearchService.blogspot.com

July 22, 2008

 

In this 5:28 YouTube video

Todd Bentley reads an unverified e-mail and excitedly proclaims the “thirteenth resurrection from the dead” which, according to Bentley, took place at a funeral home.

 

While reading the e-mail, Bentley says a family requested that the God TV/Florida revival be aired during an “all-night wake” for a dead man resting in a casket. Amidst the cheers and applause from his revival audience, Bentley states:

At the funeral they played the revival, and we declared that our brother would not be embalmed. At 2:19 AM, my brother began to stir in his coffin! In his coffin!

And Bentley’s followers went wild with cheers and shouts.

 

Bentley continues reading the unverified e-mail, stating that,

My brother sat up in the coffin praising God and the Reverend Todd Bentley! Now listen to this! My dear brother, all day, since he’s been raised from the dead, has been telling us about his journey to heaven and how he thought he would never come back.

 

He died and went to heaven! Listen to this! He thought he would never come back to the earth to be with us, but then he heard our beloved Reverend Todd and his voice pulling his spirit out of heaven. All of us at the funeral home began screaming and shouting for more fire. Thank God for the revival and God TV!

 

NUMBER 13 FROM THE DEAD! We’re gonna confirm it. We gotta confirm it. We’re gonna do a follow up. But I thought I’d read it as I received the testimony.

I became curious after watching the video and called numerous funeral homes in and around Lakeland, Florida. I spoke to officials and asked questions pertaining to a dead-man being raised to life from his coffin. A few asked, “Are you serious?” while others laughed.

 

But without exception, they all said it had not happened. Also, a few of the officials said that if a dead man had actually been raised to life from a coffin, they would have known about it–nationwide.

 

Indeed, the dead being raised from their coffins in funeral homes, as well as the aftermath, would make local, state, national, and worldwide headlines, such as:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Dead’ Rising To Life from Caskets

Funeral Homes Closing Doors

 

No doubt funeral home directors and employees would be seeking a different line of work, or unemployment benefits.

 

Anyway, one funeral home representative said that a family–via the Lakeland revival–had come to the funeral home and prayed for one that had died, but the burial took place as scheduled.

 

So, just to make sure, I called the Board of Funerals, Cemetery, and Consumer Services in Florida and asked the same questions. Again, the answer was, “No.” Had a dead-man sat up in his coffin–as described in the e-mail read by Todd Bentley–they would have heard about it.

 

While I believe wholeheartedly that God has and can raise the dead to life–embalmed or not–perhaps Todd Bentley will graciously provide the name of the funeral home in question, along with documented proof of all of the alleged “resurrections” from the dead.

 

It never hurts to ask, due to the fact that documented proof will stand up to intense scrutiny–provided the story is true, that is. 

 

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).

 

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).

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