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Finding Freedom From The Spirits Of “Revival”

Part 1: When Evil Perseveres

By Ed Tarkowski

God is working within the “revival,” not to lead people further into it, but to lead people out of it. We should all be familiar with the phenomena of the “revival” at this point, and there have been many in the past who have hesitatingly experienced things and realized what they were experiencing was not of God. The question is, “How have they gotten free from that which tried to effect them or actually did affect them?” Some of those who have come free of the so-called “Toronto Blessing” have not had much of a struggle while others have, and it to these that I address this series. I have at one time or another heard from people who do enter into what seems like an endless battle to get free of what they had submitted themselves to. Hopefully, this article will help them tomove on with the Lord.

KNOWING THIS: Jesus Has Authority Over The Spirit World

A Christian can be deceived if he does not hold fast to the word of God. If you want to be free from the effects you’ve experienced in the false “revival,” the answer is quite simple: GET BACK TO THE BASICS. The question is, what are the basics? It seems little has been written on getting free of the effects of the “revival.” Many end up rebuking demons or praying or fasting and yet the struggle goes on, for some, to be free in spite of such efforts. Their struggle and feelings they encountered when they received “the Blessing” persist or leave for a time and then return. Often, though not always, this struggle is carried on for quite a length of time, even for years, rebuking spirits in Jesus’ name only to find little or no or slow deliverance. Many have rebuked demons over and over again, yet the phenomena persists in their lives. Yet, the Scripture is clear concerning the Lordship of Christ over the spiritual realm:

JESUS CREATED THE SPIRIT WORLD:

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

JESUS HAS AUTHORITY OVER THE SPIRIT WORLD:

Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

HIS AUTHORITY OVER THE SPIRIT WORLD IS SEEN IN THE CHURCH

Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

I believe the reason why this struggle sometimes persists is because during this time there is an emphasis on prayer, rebuking and examining oneself and what one is feeling and whether the feelings are subsiding or worsening rather than on what God has FIRST commanded. These things engulf some Christians and they talk much about their feelings and fears and doubts. For some, this cycle only tends to increase anxiety and the desire to be free. For some, doubts creep in to make the battle worse:

1. Maybe I am lost because these things persist?

2. Maybe God is so angry He has given me over to these things?

3. Will I ever be free?

4. Maybe I was never saved to begin with?

5. When will these things leave?

6. Why is God doing this to me?

7. I don’t want these feelings, but can I ever get rid of them?

Why this vicious cycle? Many have also prayed and prayed and yet the phenomena persists. Rebuking the devil and his demons and prayer are good things and they are Scriptural things that are be done to get oneself free from such things. But, to repeat, many do these things for a time and then find the manifestations and feelings trying to come back. I believe the reason this happens is given in these verses:

Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

When a Christian believes on Christ, he is delivered from spirits and sins of the flesh and the love for the world during an initial work of the Spirit of God in his life. This working by the Holy Spirit is to accomplish one purpose: to begin to conform one to the image of Christ in one’s Chirstian walk (Romans 8:26-29). This work is to bring about two things: to take out of one’s life those things that do not reflect the second purpose: bringing the believer into a walk where they manifest the character of Christ. Being conformed to His life does not mean having all nine gifts dripping off of one’s fingertips or having a powerful ministry. It has to do with the bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit in one’s life. The extent to which this is accomplished by the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is equal to one’s faithfulness in reading the word of God in its proper context out of a deep desire to be holy as He is holy. Once the fruit of the Spirit becomes evident, one usually finds an increase of gifts and ministry to others.

The “revival” shortcircuits this work of the Holy Spirit by emphasizing gifts and spiritual experiences as one’s supposed preparation for service to the Lord. These gifts and experiences, of course, are counterfeits and open doors for demons to masquerade as the Holy Spirit. What Paul feared for the Corinthians then comes to pass:

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Notice why entrance is given to the “other gospel” or “other Jesus” or “other spirit” (which “other” there is really not): the mind has been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Once the simplicity which is in Christ as related in the word in context is changed, the word is corrupted and one is open to receive the counterfeit “Jesus” or “spirit.” The renewing of the mind is now, so to speak, hindered and instead on its way to being “unrenewed.” The pure word of God is exchanged for a corruption of the word of God. The truth is exchanged for a lie. The sure foundation upon which one was building his Christian life is chipped away and another foundation laid. Such a one has literally moved his house from the Rock to a sandy beach. The softness of the sand, the glorious feeling of the sun, the sound of power of the rushing waves is very enticing . . . until the storm comes one is caught in troublesome predicament.

Notice that the verses from Corinthians point to the subtlety of the adversary that is wrapped around a corruption of the word of God. The good things of the Lord are used by the adversary in a very subtle way, things such as those we mentioned: the word of God and prayer and fasting. If you are trying to get free from experiencing manifestations or feelings that you submitted yourself to and find it a struggle, acknowledge the reason for it: you have forsaken the word of God in its proper context. You have received “another gospel” that proclaimed “another Jesus” who gave you “another spirit.” When a Christian has ignorantly submitted himself to these things and then tries to get free, the ones that seem to struggle getting free are the ones who turn to prayer and fasting and rebuking without dealing with the foundation of why they got themselves in such a fix in the first place: they received “another Jesus” and “another spirit” because they BELIEVED ANOTHER MESSAGE WHICH CHANGED WHO JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT REALLY ARE. David wrote,

Psa 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Without restoring the Scriptural foundations, there will be an ongoing battle of prayer, fasting and rebuking. How many of you have stepped into the “River Revival” only to realize later that what you experienced was not of God? How many of you then immediately turned to fasting and prayer and rebuking, only to find a battle on your hands that only persists? Have you ever said to someone, “Yesterday I felt better, but today its all back again.” What you need to do is to undo what you allowed to be changed regarding the foundation of your Christian life, and the origin of your problems is PRIMARILY that you allowed the word of God to be changed in your mind and heart. What you should NOT DO is DWELL ON what happened to you, but renounce those things and repent before God that you listened to another message. You need to immediately get into the word of God and STAY IN IT to get your mind filled with the truth so that where the adversary “unrenewed” your mind can be restored back to its renewed state. How do you do that? Like I said, DON’T DWELL ON the “new” message, the lie, YOU received and believed, but certainly acknowledge having accepted another message in repentance and go over it ONLY ENOUGH to replace the lies you’ve believed with the truth of God’s word and then put the lie behind you. For instance, did the preacher you listened to say, “Don’t think about it, don’t question it, just receive it. It will become clear to you later once you’ve received”? Then repent for that, and read Scripture about discerning all things and how we are to renew our minds through the reading of the word. Read in Scripture how God gives understanding and wisdom and knowledge and expects us to know what we are believing and why and not to forsake what He has said. Read about how we are to meditate on God’s word and how the spiritual man is to discern all things by God’s word. Acknowledge your desire for feelings and how you desired experiencing “the presence of God.” Repent for desiring and being driven by the seeking of experiences and good feelings. Dwell on Scripture and discern the motive behind the desires of your heart:

Eccl 8:5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.

6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

Why is “the misery of [this] man great”? Because he didn’t “keepeth the commandment.” Therefore, his heart was not wise and he had no discernment because he didn’t keep God’s word. The word of God is our standard and it points to our true foundation: Jesus Christ.

Once you have gone through the steps that led you into the false experience, put them behind you and don’t think about them, but dwell on the truth of Scripture that you have now returned to. Let the desire of your heart be to know Jesus, to know Him better and to realize that He has conquered all the lies and deceits of the enemy and has authority over them.

Don’t get me wrong about praying and rebuking the devil and the like. I am not saying not to do these things. Prayer is necessary and certainly the Lord would have us exercise authority over spirits when they are truly discerned. But, rebuking the devil in Jesus’ name is not a forumla or a method or a thing for us to show what great power we have. That is play and show and leads to futility. We are to rebuke spirits we discern on the basis of a knowledge of Him who has been given all authority. It is our knowing Him as the one described in our opening Scriptures. The devil knows when you’re using Jesus’ name as a method or a process. That only leads to an ongoing battle that never seems to stop and can only lead to further oppression:

Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Rebuking demons is a futile exercise unless they are backed up by a personal faith in Jesus Christ as the one who has power over all principalities and powers and thrones and dominions. Let me ask you this question if you are one who is constantly rebuking demons and things only seem to get worse. Have you ever had this thought while doing so: “I rebuked him and he didn’t leave. It didn’t work.” and you go one rebuking him over and over again. The fault here is with you, not with the authority of Jesus’ name. You would never allow this battle to go on and on if you really knew that you knew that you knew that Jesus’ name is spoken in His authority and that he backs up His authority. Repentance would then be in order for using His name as a forumla or a method. That’s using His name in vain. Reading the word of God about who He is in relation to the spirit world will bring faith in HIM as you meditate on the word and study the word to know Him more fully in this way. I’ve gone through this rebuking and rebuking until it wore me out. I would rebuke the devil while HOPING he would leave. As I read the word, faith in who Christ is came and my efforts to SOUND authoritive stopped. You know what I’m talking about. I would then rebuke whatever spirit once, and then stand on my knowledge of who Christ is and that He doesn’t lie. Doubts would still come for a very short time, but they could no longer overcome the faith in my heart concerning Christ. The constant rebuking stopped through a fuller knowledge of Him. He is risen. He is Lord of all and all authority is His in heaven and on earth and under the eatth.

In Ephesian 6, Paul stated:

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Notice: you stand strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might. Simply put, it isn’t who your are, it’s who He is.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Allowing the devil to get you to believe he didn’t leave is only an invitation for him to stay. This is one of his wiles. If you truly discern a spirit, you rebuke him once and then stand strong in the Lord. You don’t talk to him, you don’t accept his doubts aimed at your mind, but you do stand in who the Lord is and when you get your mind on who Christ IS and don’t give the devil the satisfaction by thinking he’s going to be hard to get rid of, you are resisting him and he will flee.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Yes, he will try to get you into his “revival” and yes, he will make it seem like you can’t get rid of what you are experiencing. Turn your heart and mind, then, to the word of God because Scripture says we ARE complete in Christ and we ARE more than conquerors in Him. What I am saying is what Paul said in 2 Corinthians:

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Imaginations and high things exalt themselves in our lives through the mind when we don’t stay in the word of God. These things can come through the flesh, through false apostles and teachers and prophets or from the spirits themselves. The answer to them all is a knowledge of Christ given us in God’s word because imaginations and high things exalt themselves against “the knowledge of God.”

A good comparison concerning the spiritual mind can be found at The Scriptural Mind

Part 1: When Evil Perseveres

Source

Part 2: Being Established Through Repentence And The Word

Finding Freedom From The Spirits Of “Revival”
Part 2: Being Established Through Repentence And The Word
By Ed Tarkowski

The blood of the Lamb of God has purchased you and you are His possession. You may fall for the wiles of the devil, but a true child of God will “hear” the persistent promptings of the Holy Spirit within and sooner or later realize he has taken a wrong road. Many believers who have stepped onto the road of deception have all had thoughts or doubts about what they were doing. They have thought thoughts like, “Something seems wrong though it seems so right” or “I am not sure about all of this. I need to be cautious.” In spite of these checks in one’s spirit, many persist and even go up for prayer during “revival” services. But, through it all, God is there, prompting one that something is wrong until the realization hits that this is not of God. When it does, he must gird up his faith that though he has committed a grievous offense in his ignorance, the blood of Jesus still avails for him:

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Notice the words “if we walk in darkness.” That’s what has happened to you when you were deceived into the “revival” and all it entails. You turned from walking in the light of God to walking in darkness. It may have looked like light, but it was darkness. It may have looked like truth, but it was a lie. It may have looked like God and His workings, but it wasn’t. It was darkness, and Jesus said,

Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

This leads to another area of repentance and a turning to the word of God. Being deceived into the “revival” lead you into a fellowship that is totally contrary to the fellowship described in 1 John, yet Scripture says,

2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

When you caught on to what you were following, you started to come out of what you were entering into. You started to return to the true fellowship God has ordained for His people, fellowship with Himself and His people. The blood cleansed your conscience from these dead works and the word in its proper context once again was the light that got you back on the narrow road.

As I stated before, some have a hard time getting free of what they have experienced, but not all do get out. I have run across four kinds of people concerning the current “revival”:

1. Those who get so involved, they are absorbed into it to the point where their “faith” will never be shaken. I believe Hebrews 6:1-8 can be applied to some who have fallen for the “revival” teachings, even though these verses in context speak of Jews returning to the Old Covenant:

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

I don’t believe in judging whether God can turn a man from evil when he goes astray, but there are some powerful implications in these verses. I also believe God does all He can to pull a wayward one back to the foundation which is in Christ, but it is the man who has to chose to repent and return.

2. Those who leave because they have been hurt or damaged and consider true Christianity a farce and leave it altogether

3. Those who come out of it immediately because the light of God’s word and conviction by the Holy Spirit is so clear

4. Those who come out of it, but struggle to get rid of the oppression and experiences and feelings

Regardless, God’s mindset, if you will, is to bring all into a relationship with Himself. His forgiveness is readily avaiable. He still wants to establish all in His truth and in Himself. Yet, it is the heart of the individual that limits to what extent God can work to fully restore them. But, know this: God wants to ESTABLISH you again in His truth and He has the total power to do so if you will return to the faith you once followed:

1. God desires to establish you again according to His gospel through your obedience yto the faith it presaents to you:

Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to STABLISH YOU ACCORDING TO my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

2. God wants to establish you in holiness by ridding you of the deceptions you fell for:

1 Th 3:13 To the end HE MAY STABLISH YOUR HEARTS UNBLAMEABLE IN HOLINESS before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

3. God wants to establish you in good works once again and deliver you from the works of darkness:

2 Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and STABLISH YOU IN EVERY GOOD WORD AND WORK.

4. The Lord will establish you and deliver you from those who have not faith according to your faithfulness in doing what the word of God says. As you are faithful to His word, He is shown to be faithful to his word and will keep you from evil. Many think God will protect them from evil even when they are not responsible toward the word of God. He will certainly warn you, but He cannot force you to be faithful to His word. That is why when coming out of the “revival,” you must return towards a faithfulness to the word of God:

2 Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, WHO SHALL STABLISH YOU, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

5. As I said in Part 1, there are reasons to rebuke the devil, pray and fast, but what is crucial is your faithfulness to the word of God, to study it, meditate on it, and know Him in it in full reliance on the Holy Spirit because the adversary’s main goal is to get you to depart from the word of God in its true context. If you do depart from it in ignorance, know that that effort is the advsersary’s work to destroy you spiritually. But, through it all, God is prompting and warning and disturbing you that something is wrong and you should immediately check things out in His word through reading the Scriptures and prayer. The following verses has to do with persecution and trials because of preaching the gospel, but they also apply in this case:

1 Pet 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, STABLISH, strengthen, SETTLE YOU.

Notice: God WILL STABLISH you once again and SETTLE YOU. I say that because many get really unsettled when they realize what was happening to them. Notice, too, the meaning of the word SETTLE:

SETTLE 2311. themelioo, them-el-ee-o’-o; from G2310; to lay a basis for, i.e. (lit.) erect, or (fig.) consolidate:–(lay the) found (-ation), ground, settle.SETTLE 2310. themelios, them-el’-ee-os; from a der. of G5087; something put down, i.e. a substruction (of a building, etc.), (lit. or fig.):–foundation.

Notice the very last word in these definitions: foundation. God will return you to your true foundation, Jesus Christ, according to your response to His trying to save you from going too far down the road of “revival” to the point that you cannot hear Him at all.

I don’t totally understand why some have such a hard time getting free of the manifestations they submitted themselves to, but I do know that it is only through the truth of God’s word that they can persevere to the point of ridding themselves of them. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

One final note for this Part is that many people struggle to get OUT OF what they have brought themselves into with very little vision of getting BACK ONTO something. For some, the effects have been so devastating that all they can see is what has happened and is happening to them and that is what they emphasize. What they need to do is to set their eyes on the narrow road they desire to start walking again and keep the emphasis there. There has to come a point where they do what Paul says:

Phil 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is a life and walk and a call on the Christian and after realizing one’s waywardness, one should also keep his eyes on the following as he does all he can against the oppression and then stands against those evils. Those things are described in Ephesians 6:

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

One word of caution here. I have heard many people say things like, “When I get up in the morning, I put on my armor. I pray, ‘I put on my righteousness and the belt of truth, etc.'” One gets the impression that this is just ritual and method and words rather than a realization of the realities of what the armor is. Check yourself out on this one and ask yourself if you do that, and then study what the following verses mean and that every one is a spiritual reality centered in Christ.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Having returned to the word of God in its true context, you can now say you have “loins girt about with truth.” You have again placed your faith in the blood of Christ and your conscience is now clean. Hopefully, you didn’t go on and on confessing how wrong you were over and over again, and that you didn’t go on and on pleading the blood of Jesus. You only need to confess your sin once, and God said when you did, the blood did its work in your conscience. Don’t get hung up in trying to feel forgiven or feeling the blood cleansing you. It doesn’t matter how you feel. What matters is you simply believe God’s word concerning your confession of sin and the immediate cleansing of your sin.

Go over the basics of the gospel once again because what you’ve been through has placed teaching in your mind that sounded like the gospel, but wasn’t. Gird yourself with the basic truths of God’s word and God’s gospel concerning His Son. Realize, too, in God restoring you that the righteousness of Jesus Christ is yours, that Christ’s righteous is still yours through your faith in Jesus and His finished work. Such a realization gives great strength against the wiles of the enemy to accuse you and oppress you.

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Your going over the basics should be refershsing to your spirit, and it will help set your mind on one of the purposes God has for you: to present that message to others.

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

The truth of God’s word is restoring you and your faith will increase as you spend time in it. I mentioned in Part 1 about going over, only as necessary, the steps which led you into apostasy so you can replace those lies with the truth of God’s word concerning who He is and what He does. This truth then becomes your shield against the fiery darts of the enemy.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

You are now on the road of maturity again, having left the road of apostasy. You are walking again in the truths of the gospel. You know what those truths are, having refreshed yourself in them. All the lies have pretty much been dealt with through the word of God, which has now restored your mind in the true knowledge of Him. The gospel and the lies you once accepted have now been destroyed and you realize that these things are the helmet of salvation, the truth of God’s word protecting you against the lies of the adversary.

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Prayer now becomes a very important part of your restoration to the truth, interceeding for others caught in the trap of the evil one. You also persevere in prayer as you watch for the wiles of the enemy and pray for God’s wisdom, strength and truth to deal with them in patient and sure manner.

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

You are now realizing your freedom from that which had almost engulfed you, and you pray for boldness to be a witness to the true Gospel and the true Jesus Christ.

 Part 2

 

FIRST-PERSON: Neither faith nor healing

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 | by William A. Dembski

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Todd Bentley’s healing ministry has gained national attention. His daily meetings for the past three months in Lakeland, Fla., have attracted hundreds of thousands from all over the world. The press has begun to question Bentley’s legitimacy — Is his financial accounting above board? Are miracles really happening? I want to raise some more personal concerns.

On July 3, my wife, three children and I attended Bentley’s “impartation service” in Denton, Texas, north of Dallas. Why? We have twin 7-year-old boys, one of whom is autistic (largely nonverbal, still not fully toilet trained, serious developmental delays). Friends urged that we attend the meeting for his miraculous healing.

Call us stubborn, but my wife and I are unimpressed with doctors who see our son’s condition as hopeless. We believe that God still heals and that His means of healing include conventional medicine, alternative medicine, prayer, fasting, love and, yes, miracles. In any case, we haven’t given up on our son’s recovery (we still remember the day when he was developmentally on track). So if God wanted to use Todd Bentley, we were open to it.

As faith healers go, Bentley is unconventional. Exhibiting black shirt, baggy jeans, tattoos and piercings, he prefers grunge to Gucci. But his appearance wasn’t a problem for my wife or me. God in the Bible used many unconventional people. The problem for us was the manipulation, hype and agenda that seemed to pervade the meeting.

It was a 130-mile drive for my family to get to the meeting. When we called the organizers, they urged us to get there by 3 p.m. even though the meeting didn’t start till 7 p.m. The venue (a basketball arena) seated 8,500 people, yet the organizers told us to expect 14,000 people to show up. So the only way to be sure of getting a seat was to get there early.

We therefore piled the kids into the minivan early afternoon, arriving around 4:30. At 6:30, after sitting for two hours, the arena was about three-quarters full. One of the organizers then announced that traffic was backed up for miles around Denton and that several thousand were trying to get into the meeting, most of whom would have to be turned away. This was sheer hype. A significant block of seats (at least 20 percent) were cordoned off and never used throughout the whole night. We could have arrived anytime and still gotten seats.

At 7, Keith Miller (the chief organizer, http://www.sfwm.org) started things off. After prompting the audience to perform ritualistic acts of worship (stand up, raise your hands, say after me …), he passed the baton to a young woman singer and her backup band. The sound system was terrible — sounds were loud and distorted. The music was repetitive in the extreme. In almost two hours of this “music ministry,” only a handful of songs were sung, and many of them seemed to consist of only one or two phrases.

Finally, around 9 p.m. Bentley began to speak. He devoted much of his message to the visions he has received and the miracles he claims have happened in his ministry. Then, almost as an afterthought, he spent a few minutes preaching from the Bible (John 5). In fact, he admitted that he was having us open the Bible simply so that it couldn’t be said that he didn’t preach from the Bible. So much for reverencing the Scriptures.

Nowhere in Bentley’s message did I see an emphasis on the love and compassion of God — that healing is an expression of God’s goodness and care for humanity. Rather, the emphasis throughout was on power — the power to heal and be healed.

Bentley told stories of remarkable healings. In fact, he claims that in his ministry 30 people have now been raised from the dead. Are these stories credible? A common pattern in his accounts of healing was an absence of specificity. Bentley claims that one man, unembalmed, had been dead for 48 hours and was in a coffin. When the family gathered around at a funeral home, the man knocked from inside the coffin to be let out.

But what are the specifics? Who was this man? What’s his name? Where’s the death certificate? And why not parade the man at Bentley’s meetings? If I am ever raised from the dead through anyone’s ministry, you can be sure I’ll put in a guest appearance. Bentley claims that he is having a team investigate healings performed under his ministry and will soon go public with the evidence. I look forward to seeing it.

After preaching, Bentley took the offering. During the offering he asked “How much anointing do you want to receive?” Thus he linked the blessing we should receive with the amount of money we gave.

After the offering, Bentley said a general prayer for mass healing. People who thought they were healed then came forward. But I saw no obvious or dramatic evidence of healing. After the general prayer for mass healing, Bentley indicated that he would pray for the severest cases.

At this point, a friend who was with us urged that she and my wife take our son with autism down for prayer (I stayed with our other son and daughter). Over an hour later my son with autism was still not able to get to the main floor for prayer. Ushers twice prevented that from happening. They noted that he was not in a wheelchair. Wheelchair cases clearly had priority — presumably they provided better opportunities for the cameras, which filmed everything. They also invoked the fire marshals, who, they claimed, prohibited too many people on the floor of the arena. But earlier in the service, during the worship time, they had packed the floor with people singing and whooping it up.

After midnight we were told that it would be an hour and a half before our son could get prayer. At that point, we got up and left. Yet the story doesn’t end there. When we got to the minivan, our other son remembered that he had left his Bible in the arena. When my wife went back to retrieve it, everybody, including Bentley, had suddenly cleared out. Staying an hour and a half would not have mattered.

Our son was refused prayer twice because he didn’t look the part, and he was told to wait still longer for a prayer that would never have been offered. And even those who looked the part seemed to look no better after Bentley’s prayer — the exodus from the arena of people bound in wheelchairs was poignant.

My son’s situation was not unique — a man with bone cancer and his wife traveled a long distance, were likewise refused prayer, and left in tears. People with needs were shortchanged. It seemed that power, prestige and money (in that order) were dominating motives behind the meeting. Minimal time was given to healing, though plenty was devoted to assaulting our senses with blaring insipid music and even to Bentley promoting and selling his own products (books and CDs).

Neither my wife nor I regret going. It was an education. Our kids are resilient. But the ride home raised a question. We found ourselves avoiding talking about the event until the children fell asleep. Then, as they drifted off in the early morning, we talked in hushed tones about how easily religion can be abused, in this case to exploit our family. What do we tell our children? I’m still working on that one.
–30–
William A. Dembski is research professor of philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The above article was passed on to me by:

Bud Press from:

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/

Bud also send out this update about a video from ABC. Watch and you will see the actual documents presented to ABC from Fresh Fire Ministries, for proof of the healings. Only three were produced and they were measely indeed. What a sham. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69p-vJfWudo&eurl=http://simplicityinchrist.org/2008/07/10/todd-bentley-on-abcs-nightline/

Ok I have to see for myself
Posted July 3, 2008 by Mike Kendall

from:

http://kingdomgathering.wordpress.com/

I have been hearing SO MUCH about Todd Bentley, reading SO MUCH about Todd Bentley, and watching SO MUCH YouTube on Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revivals that I had to see for myself what was going down in Lakeland, FL. I actually live about 45 minutes away from Lakeland, FL where Todd Bentley has set up his camp. Though I did not see him personally, I went just yesterday to Ignited Church that he is connected with. I visited a 10 am service that happens daily, and there was probably 1000 people there. Keep in mind that I am a worship leader/young adult pastor at a large non-denominational church, and consider myself a charismatic with a seat belt on. I do believe in the spiritual gifts, including tongues, prophecy (which I have), and miracles or healing. I prayed to God to let me have an open mind, and for His Holy Spirit to guide me in worship and also in discernment. As I entered the lobby/ cafe area I noticed something right away: No one greeted me and there were no signs of any crosses or anything that made me feel like I was at a Christian church. As I walked into the main worship area (that had no hint of a Christian cross anywhere) the music had just begun and was very hypnotic, building up with chants in tongues by the worship leader and his other vocalists. Right away I felt like I was at a Hindu, Buddhist, or new age meeting. It was creepy to say the least. It really reminded me of kundalini. Google kundalini and you might be shocked to see how it connects with the revivals that are happening.
Again I prayed to God to help me have an open mind, but I was very distracted by people speaking in tongues, and dancing around through the rows of seats. The music went on for about an hour, with the worship leader laughing and jerking uncontrollably, and speaking in tongues between singing and playing piano. A man then came on stage to introduce a prophetess that was going to bring a message from God, a prophecy that she had been given for the church. She began by speaking in tongues, and calling down the glory of God into the room. By this time the congregation had been worked into a frenzy from an hour of hypnotic music and tongues, and was crying out and shaking, and laughing, and crying, and screaming, and dancing, it was all going nuts at once.
Again I tried to pray and ask God to help me have an open mind and discernment. It was tough to hear God, to feel God through all of the chaos…but then it happened. God reminded me of what Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 14
Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues
1Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 2For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. 3But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 4He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.
6Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. 12So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.
13For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 16If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 17You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21In the Law it is written:
”Through men of strange tongues
and through the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people,
but even then they will not listen to me,” says the Lord.
22Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers. 23So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, 25and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

Orderly Worship

26What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.
29Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
As in all the congregations of the saints, 34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

36Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.

39Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Once God finally spoke to me I left that “church” building as quickly as possible. Again let me say that I believe in tongues, prophecy, healings, when it is done orderly as the BIBLE instructs. I am weary of ANYONE that can call on healing, call on God when they want to, in an instant. Though I did not see Todd Bentley at Ignited Church, I saw enough. What I did see was a lack of a cross, a communion table, a Bible (although some people had one, they were not in leadership), and Biblical teaching or preaching. What I saw is exactly what Paul was writing against to the church in Corinth.

 

  

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

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