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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.

********************

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

August 2020
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