Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Todd Bentley and The Lakeland Revival

I came across this following article which I thought was very interesting and well worth reading.

It was found at http://www.stormharvest.com.au/

The Lakeland Outpouring and Todd Bentley
By Robert I Holmes and Brian Medway We are whole hearted supporters of revival, and certainly the renewed focus on the miracle working aspects of the gospel. We love the documented testimonies being shared by Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton of http://www.ibethel.org/ in California. Fervour for God, and a desire to see revival are good and godly things.

A renewed interest in ministering with angels, prophetic ministry and sharing the testimony of Christ in these last days is admirable too (Revelation 19:10).So how about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Florida phenomena? More than a dozen Christian leaders have written to us recently, asking what our take on all this was, and whether we thought this was a genuine move of God. That we cannot tell you - for neither of us has been over to it. For reasons outlined below, we have no intention of going.

What is being broadcast (also outlined in more detail below) in Lakeland leaves us rather disturbed. A close ministry associate hosted Todd Bentley in Melbourne, Australia, and can testify to the positive influence he had during events a few years ago. Indeed heaven touched earth. Another ministry associate in Nigeria testified to the genuine miracles and healings which took place there under his ministry. A friend in Carolina testified to Todd's recent honour toward older prophetic men such as Paul Cain and Bob Jones. This is all good.

By no means do we wish to encourage heresy hunting, or criticism of other sincere brethren. What do we gain by spending time and energy criticizing others? What do we gain spending time and energy publishing material denouncing others, let us seek Christ. Our reason for writing is to sound a warning, to refocus our attention on things that are true and things which really matter. The key phrase for us is that, "This is God, but it isn't all God."

The gospel we preachIt is from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34) and it is what is inside a man that makes him unclean (Matthew 15:11). Our letters, emails, correspondence, prayer meetings and web sites portray to the world what is inside us. Our broadcasts, messages, podcasts and videos are an expression of our hearts. So if we want to know what a person's passions are ... simply listen to them. The apostle Paul issued a stern warning to us about men or angels who preach another gospel or that demand attention (Galatians 1:7).

Though angels are part of our worship celebration, of healing the sick and even preaching the gospel we must be wary of worshipping them, honouring them overly and being puffed up with visions (Collosians 2:18).

What then is the gospel being presented through Todd's ministry and the Lakeland Revival? What are the first things being concentrated on in the preaching there?Angels are central http://www.god.tv/ Angels are the focus of this Florida outpouring (opening screen, banner).

Todd, in his May 9th, 2008 address speaks of the release of financial angels. Todd claims to be walking with the angel who accompanied William Branham. He promotes an angel named Emma, said to be associated with the prophetic movement in Kansas City. Jesus intimates that angels to have assignments, but that they are without gender (Matthew 22:30). We find Todd's miracle working and healing quite different to the word of knowledge based ministry of Branham.Third heaven focushttp://www.extremeprophetic.com/

In an interview with Bob Jones, Todd Bentley and Patricia King, Todd focused in on the idea that, "Relationship with Jesus starts in the third heaven" and that we "have experiences in the supernatural dimension, to release the glory"... (WSTK-ITV broadcast). We find it difficult to substantiate either of these statements in the gospels.Appeals for moneyhttp://www.lakelandrevival.tv/

The first thing presenting itself at both the main web sites is a request for money to keep the meetings going in the large auditorium (http://www.ignitedchurch.com/).

Evidently the finances are not sustaining the revival. For this to happen so early on seems to indicate an incorrect focus, or a reliance on human technique.Focus on anointingwww.hubpages.com/hub/Lakeland-revival (http://www.tencommandmentstoday.com)

"One of the ten anointings that was going to manifest is the fire anointing!!!" (April 27th, 2008). There's the prophetic anointing, the healing anointing, the prayer anointing, and our favourite - the anointing to cancel debt (May 9th 2008). It is once again very difficult to substantiate such anointings from the Word of God.

Transferable impartation http://www.freshfire.ca/ the oft repeated phrase is "Come and Get Some" - some what? Stroll around the web site and it's all about Todd, and all about supernatural impartation. Great, but what about Jesus Christ? How about the things He cares about - the lost, the lame, the poor, the widow and the orphan? Heavy self promotion www.charismamag.com/news

Why do we have to promote, advertise and request for a revival? When did revivalists have to call their own meetings "a healing outpouring" and "the greatest revival in history"? This trend of self promotion is disturbing. www.ustream.tv/channel/great-florida-healing-revival

The use of and promotion of violenceWhilst we recognise that at times God uses unconventional means to heal (such as spitting in the dirt) or raise the dead (like lieing on the body of a boy), the use of violence in promoting the gospel seems to go right against the heart of who Christ is. Over several meetings Todd laid out the use of violence in his ministry including kicking a lady in the face, spear tackling a man, smashing a cripples legs, and chocking a man to bring deliverance.

Questions (http://www.tencommandmentstoday.com)

1. Why are we calling this a revival? The largest churches in the UK (such as Kensington International) draw more people every week than are turning up to Lakeland. The largest church in Nigeria (Faith Temple) draws three times that number! These churches win as many people to Christ each week as are being won at Lakeland. We do not call them revival because such a term implies that communities are being affected, towns are being changed, nations are being shaken. Our team has searched earnestly for credible evaluations of how many have been saved in Lakeland, Florida. We could not find any. There are estimates of how many people show up, and how many are falling down - but not of salvations?

2. Why have all the recent "revivals" which cause tourism take place in America? Toronto, Smithton, Pensacola, Lakeland... thousands travelling to see it. In the last week of June, 2008 there was a baptism of 10,000 new converts, gathered in from hundreds of COC churches in Northern India (where it is illegal to change religion). Two weeks after that, there was the confirmation of 8,000 new converts in a Pentecostal assembly in Uganda. It is estimated that 1,000 Iraqis are being converted a week now from Islam. Why don't we fly to those places - whose statistics are far more impressive than Lakeland?(For more information on revival tourism to those places watch this space!)

3. What has our Christianity become about?The gospel of Jesus Christ is not primarily about angels, third heaven revelations, impartations and transferable blessings. Jesus did not primarily die to make us rich, or cancel debt we have accrued through the self focused spending we engage in here in the West. What happened to the simplicity of the gospel - repent, believe and be baptized?We do not think the meetings in Lakeland will do much to make churches around the world look and act more like Jesus. The need for holy love, perfect oneness, release of the saints to ministry and completion of the great commission is not enflamed by enamel teeth or even miraculous healings. These tasks will remain long after Lakeland has become a set of archives in the YouTube history.

Before you spend thousands of dollars going there, take a trip to the empty buildings at Pensacola, edifaces with a high debt and few people. Or perhaps go to Toronto and see a city that has successfully resisted God's presence in her midst these last twelve years. Never the less, when asked about people who worked miracles in the name of Jesus, but who may be off centre, or walking a different path from Himself, Christ answered, "Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon afterward speak evil of me. For He who is not against us is for us." (Mark 9:39,40 NKJV). -------taken from http://www.stormharvest.com.au

Too many Christians fail to get past first base. The book of Hebrews says that Christians are still in need of milk not solid food because they have not understood how to habitually distinguish right from wrong. The Ten Commandment Truths Exposed explains what every Christian needs to know before they can begin to enter and understand the Ministry of Melchezidek, which is essential at if we to be among those who are to be caught up to meet the Lord. (http://www.tencommandmentstoday.com)

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