13 May 2008

What I think about "the Florida revival"

by Dan Phillips

Several good sibs-in-Christ have asked what I/we think about the Florida (or Lakeland) Revival. I'll not speak for my bros-in-blog. But here's what I think about it.

Oh, first, just one disclosure before I begin: I don't know anything about it specifically. Not one thing. Haven't read an article, haven't listened to an anecdote, haven't heard a podcast or sermon or phone-in commenter. I think a friend said something in an email... but I've forgotten it.

All I know is that there is supposed to be one, it's the latest buzz, and people as far away as England are wondering about it.

Otherwise, don't know a thing. So now let's....

Yes? You wanted to say something?
"W... wait, wait just a minute. Wait. You're telling us you don't know anything about it? But you're going to tell us what you think about it? Without knowing anything?"
Yes, that's absolutely right. Odd, eh? I am, in fact, making a point not even of reading my usual blogs that might comment on it. I'm going to offer these thoughts with almost tabula rasa ignorance about the specifics of this latest claim to revival.

Oh, I suppose I'll have to look at it eventually — after I write this. Just like I'm going to have to force myself to labor through the so-called "Evangelical Manifesto." But not yet. So now....

Yes? Something else?
"But don't you know the names you'll be called for doing it like this? What The Usual Suspects — who only turn up when you guys write about Da Gifts — will say?"
Yeah well duh, of course I do. But I have a very specific, deliberate purpose in doing it like this. My challenge to you: tell me what that purpose is.

So now, HSAT, here is what I think about "The Lakeland Revival," going in:
  1. Believing in the sovereignty of God and having read (and believed!) Acts 2, I know that it is at best extraordinarily unlikely that it will manifest any revelatory or attesting gifts that have not been in regular evidence among Bible-believing Christians over the last 2000 years (1 Corinthians 12:11) — which is to say, not any. For that reason...
  2. I know that any claims to revelatory or attesting gifts will likely fall short of Biblical standards. This really, really matters to God (Deuteronomy 13:1-11; 18:20-22), so it should really, really matter to me. Specifically:
  3. I know that if the majority of unbelievers aren't, without any massaging or special sauce from the "revival's" advocates, goggling in slack-jawed and clueless astonishment at undeniably supernatural events, and desperately scrambling for explanations, any claimed miracles are nothing like real miracles (cf. John 11:47-48; Acts 3:9-10; 4:16).
  4. I know that if it doesn't center on and exalt the person and work of Jesus Christ, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (John 16:14; Colossians 1:18).
  5. I know that if it wasn't produced by the preaching of the Word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Nehemiah 9).
  6. I know that if it doesn't produce greater conformity to the written word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Psalm 138:2; Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:31-32; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
  7. I know that if it doesn't produce holy living, which includes adorning behavior and specifically self-control, it isn't Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Galatians 5:22-23).
  8. I know that if the leaders of it aren't men well-known for embodying/pursuing the pastoral traits of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, and specifically for being in subjection to, and for soundly teaching, the whole Word of God, it's unlikely to be a Holy Spirit-breathed revival.
And now that — yes?
"Sounds like your mind is closed."
Well, yes. My mind is closed, to the best of my ability — to anything but a Scriptural perspective (Ephesians 4:13-14).

Is there something wrong with that?

Dan Phillips's signature

128 comments:

JackW said...

Using Biblical thinking again? ... that's just not fair ... is it?

heatlight said...

Though I HALF-disagree with points one & two, the rest of your post was so spot-on that I had to link it in my own. Good stuff, Dan~

DJP said...

Well then, that means you HALF-agree.

(c;

Chad V. said...

I agree entirely DJP.

Robert said...

Did you mean to end by saying your mind is closed "to Scripture"? Or was it more like "by Scripture" in intent?

DJP said...

I see; one could read "closed to Scripture" as meaning "closed against Scripture." What I meant was it was locked down to that framework.

Thanks, I think I'll reword it.

Lee Shelton IV said...

Well said, Dan. I agree with everything you said, and I haven't even heard of this so-called "Florida Revival."

MarieP said...

"Well, yes. My mind is closed, to the best of my ability — [by] Scripture (Ephesians 4:13-14)."

Amen! I will have to remember that answer :-)

And a great summary of what true revival is, too.

Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

Typical circus-style miracle revivals...

I just watched a video or two of this Bentley guy. There is truly nothing new under the sun.

Fred Butler said...

You're such a Spirit quencher.

Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

Dan,

Regarding your point #5...

I just watched a piece from another of Bentley's videos on this "revival", and he stated, "I've only preached three, maybe four times in three weeks..."

So much for this thing being the result of the proclamation of the word of God.

DJP said...

Surprised?

Staci at Writing and Living said...

I think I see a typo in point one, but after having been accused of legalism when you got the month wrong yesterday, I'm afraid to speak up.

So I'll just extend you some grace and let it go.

Very good post, by the way.

DJP said...

Dear sister Libbie posts some of her thoughts on this, including this wonderful statement:

"It's almost inconceivable to the people involved in Florida that God's power works in an unspectacular way through the simple, unadorned preaching of His word and the humble faithfulness of His people. Their God is firmly stuck in a box labelled 'big show.'"

DJP said...

Gahh! Caught by a homeschooling mom, AGAIN!

(thanks)

candyinsierras said...

Unfortunately, we have all seen these spectacles degenerate to new lows each time, so I wonder how low this "revival" will go. The worst thing I saw on Youtube not long ago was men leading other men on leashes while they crawled around barking, and women on the floor sounding almost orgasmic in their "bliss", so I almost thought I had stumbled onto an S & M conference.

witness said...

Dan, I thank the God of Heaven who gives you such clarity of thought and the ability to communicate that clarity in the light of Scripture (including the typos). People so often forget that God's Word is to be our standard and rule for measuring any thing that claims to be "of God". How sad that so many opt for such small and insuffucient things instead.

DJP said...

I wish I could think you were making a bad joke, Candy. But "they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" (Jeremiah 8:9)

Kim said...

Thanks for this, Dan. A few days ago my friend ("woogie" hehe) was sharing all kinds of wonderful news about this revival, and even as he shared his curiosity about it, he said "something about it makes me a little uncomfortable."

DJP said...

Woogie needs to become a regular here.

Libbie said...

Thankyou for this post, Dan. Ant and I were thoroughly shocked when we watched some more of it, and saw a man who had supposedly been healed of sciatica, hobbling along and admitting that he was still in considerable pain. Todd Bentley then put his hand on the man's head and he fell backwards.

Todd stalked about the stage for a while with the man's cane, and you could see the man was struggling to get up again. When another person was brought on the stage, Todd threw the cane down at the man on the floor without even looking at him again. It was one of the most upsetting things I've seen for a long time, and it makes me angry that such things are lauded by believers without a thought.

We seem so eager to accept outlandish tales in lieu of actually using the scriptures and our minds.

Connie said...

There you go again thinking Biblically!

Thanks for this!

agonizomai said...

“If you play it safe with this thing, the Holy Spirit, you know what? You’re never going to get anywhere……I don’t want you to even entertain the thought that you might get a counterfeit” - John Arnott, Toronto Airport Vineyard, 16 December 1994

“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God” - The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle John
(1John 4:1) some time around 80AD

heatlight said...

As a Reformed-Charismatic, I fully believe in the miraculous, HOWEVER, if we are to 'Christ-like' (and most modern-day Charismatics base many of their beliefs on the fact that they are being 'disciples' of Christ, and doing his work), WHY do we see so very few 'miracle workers' who run from the spotlight, and so many who seem to revel in it? Here's a tip for anyone who thinks they may have an 'annointing' for healing - visit a hospital, or better yet, your local hospice... and don't make a big deal out of it. If God moves, and people are healed, He'll get the glory - especially if you don't seek television coverage for it. Stop visiting so-called revivals to 'catch an annointing' and just go and do that WORK, folks! Grrrr.

Mike Riccardi said...

Has anyone answered your question about why you didn't read anything about it before you posted?

DJP said...

Mike R -- "Has anyone answered your question about why you didn't read anything about it before you posted?"

Not yet.

Heatlight and Agonizomai: amen. Well, except for the "reformed charismatic" part. (c;

MarieP said...

Dan,

Thanks for giving us the link to Libbie's blog! Revival is rooted in the "extraordinary ordinary work of the Spirit" (as my pastor puts it). It is God blessing the normal, Biblically defined means of grace in a way that brings conviction, humility, prayerfulness, boldness to proclaim the Gospel, and a renewed love for Christ, the brethren, and the lost.

One of the biggest signs, in my own estimation, of the falseness of the Pensacola/Toronto revivals is that they are often told not to pray. Not to pray? Telling that to people in the midst of true revival is like telling a fish not to swim!

John D. Chitty said...

Sounds like a clear case of knowing the genuine article well enough, that one can spot a counterfeit a mile away!

Jugulum said...

"But I have a very specific, deliberate purpose in doing it like this. My challenge to you: tell me what that purpose is."

To let Scripture interpret experience, and not vice-versa.

In regards to your points: I half-agree with #1, three-quarters agree with #2, and whole-heartedly (with passion and conviction) agree with #3-#8. Particularly #4. And #5. And #6. Oh, and #7. And #8 was a definite winner.

Lee Shelton IV said...

Todd Bentley, huh? So, who would trust someone who hasn't been healed of his own tattoos and body piercings?

Mike Riccardi said...

Now, I may be way off base, and even come across as offensive to the Charismatic brethren by offering this guess, so I'll apologize beforehand if I'm wrong.

But before you said you were even doing that strategically, Dan, I assumed you were. And I thought you were doing it to illustrate that that's kind of how the continuationist folks evaluate the gifts. They don't really look for what the NT gifts were like before they claim to be endowed with them, or they just say that those gifts were a little different than theirs. Kinda like Nate Busenitz's asking the what question before the when question.

How far off is that?

JOYce@pfg said...

And now that — yes?
"Sounds like your mind is closed."
Well, yes. My mind is closed, to the best of my ability — to anything but a Scriptural perspective (Ephesians 4:13-14).

Is there something wrong with that?


There is everything righteous with that ~

Jerry said...

I have seen revival (God's people being humbled before God) and this isn't revival.

The Spokesman said...

To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn (Isaiah 8:20).

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them (Ephesians 5:11).

DJP - good job of showing how counterfeits despise and violate the Word of God without having to investigate any other evidence.

Scott Bailey said...

Here's the part that troubles me:

In a church in our town they have stopped some of their services so that they can watch the goings on in Florida via satellite.

God is not, and apparently will not show up at their church because he is spatially located in Florida so they have to watch him on TV there.

They don't have access to God but the High Priest Bentley does. For people that claim so much about the Spirit their ideas of God are all OT.

DJP said...

Scott, that is such a perceptive point. One of the distinguishing marks of the New Covenant is that baptism with and indwelling of the Holy Spirit is definitional, not optional. I have often thought that, for all their professed yearnings for the Spirit, modern errorists are giving their very best effort to return to the Mosaic covenant.

Solameanie said...

Dan has abandoned swatting at hornets' nests with mere sticks and scantlings.

Now he's using a shillelagh. If that's possible for a Scotsman.

agonizomai said...

DJP: I have often thought that, for all their professed yearnings for the Spirit, modern errorists are giving their very best effort to return to the Mosaic covenant.

Hmmm! I have often thought that, for all their professed yearnings for the Spirit, modern errorists were giving their very best effort to be carnal.

It's all flesh and not spirit at all, though there are spirits at work behind it all. It is serving an appetite for sight, feelings and experience at the expense of (true) faith, patience and providence.

It all reminds me of the words of that song that goes "I want what I want and I want it now."

DJP said...

And much of it power by... drumroll... discontentment.

agonizomai said...

DJP: Exactomundo.

Jugulum said...

DJP,

What say you to my answer? Did I get it right? (Or are you perhaps waiting for more people to try answering before you comment?)

Dave .... said...

That's "chopping" it straight, if ever I read it. Great post.

DJP said...

Waiting to see if there are more, or any debate about it.

Frank Turk said...

I actually know a guy who took a weekend off to go see the revival and claims he was qite edified.

I'm going to talk to him about it and get back to everyone.

Until then, let me say that Dan can unequivocally speak for me on this subject any time he wants. He says it better than I do.

Jugulum said...

I also know three people who went to Lakeland for a few days. They spoke about it at a prayer meeting, which I unfortunately had to miss. But I really want to talk to them about it--especially in light of these eight points, and Brian & Libbie's reports above.

Chris said...

Speaking of revival...there's a billboard in Snellville, Atlanta that reads: "Free Gasoline. 770-978-5717". When you call the number you'll hear..."We're beginning a revival, starting this Sunday. If you attend the service, you're able to sign up for a drawing. Then on Wednesday evening, at the conclusion of the service, we'll be drawing for the prize."
The prize is a $500 gas card. This is a true story that it even caught the attention of late night show host Conan O’Brien that during the opening monologue he said in response to the story "...and if you receive Jesus into your heart you'll get a free slurpee." This was on the May 9th show. You can watch it on the NBC website.
http://www.11alive.com/news/article_news.aspx?storyid=115550

agonizomai said...

I can't speak about Lakeland. But I know the genre.

I went to the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (formerly Toronto Vineyard) a couple of years ago because people from my church were going there. In fact, the church even sent the pastor there for a sabbatical study on "The Father Heart of God".

Like many people, I was also edified. I watched Carol Arnott twitching and jerking and slaying people in the "Spirit" after a hypnotic 40 minutes of repetitive singing and announcement meant to build anticipation in her arrival for the "performance".

I listened for 15 minutes to the sermon, not because I was bored, (though there was no substance at all in it) but because 15 minutes was all the sermon there was during this 2 hour show.

I stood not more than 6 feet from Carol Arnott and looked her straight in the eye as she did her schtick, trying in vain to get a 300lb man to fall down under the "power".

I saw pastors (yes pastors) falling all over themselves to get to the front so that Carol could zap each one of them in turn.

I watched as literally hundreds of people lined up like soldiers in ranks afterwards for the experience of being "slain".

I had always been a critic based on what I had read and heard. But I had now been edified and was a critic based on what I has seen and tasted.

I tell you, I could smell the sulphur and see the darkness that was in that place. But my heart went out to the masses of sincere, but mistaken, believers who were just gobbling it all up in wide-eyed wonder.

It was all just about as far as you can get from the Jesus Christ that I know. And I met Him in the Bible.

Billy Rhythm said...

"Sounds like your mind is closed."

It can afford to be--when you're right! Thanks for the post.

Daryl said...

There you go, holding up old moth-eaten letters as some kind of an unapologetic standard for Christians, holding up Florida to the mirror of the word to see that it's not what it claims to be.
The you go again...edifying the church.

Mike Riccardi said...

I tell you, I could smell the sulphur and see the darkness that was in that place. ... It was all just about as far as you can get from the Jesus Christ that I know. And I met Him in the Bible.

Wow. Amen. Let that ring out in your heart a little bit.

Thanks, Agonizomai

Daryl said...

Dan,

May I suggest that you are also saying "This is what the Bible teaches, you don't need me to tell you what I think!!"

LeeC said...

I would say that there is no need to actually experience or see what is going on there to know how to judge it, or any other thing right or wrong according to the Word of God.

You are merely showing us the yardstick we should use for spiritual discernment period. Whether judging a book, a revival, or anything else.

idaho4hisglory said...

A message from the Idaho Todd to the Florida Todd:

"What in the world are you doing?"

DJP said...

Tangent Alert:

Give me a good excuse to come to Idaho. Just about everything I hear of it sounds wonderful.

Solameanie said...

Now that I've made my joke comment for the day . . .

In my view, (and others have made similar points) the problem with many of these "revivals" is their almost total lack of link to Scripture -- except in the most perfunctory sense.

I can quote a verse here and there, and then by the entertaining style of my oratory, rah-rah the crowd up into almost any kind of emotional reaction. But can we really expect true, lasting revival (not to mention mere salvation for starters) when God's Word is replaced with slogans, platitudes and motivational-style schtick?

Can someone genuinely come to Christ at such an event? Yes, if they hear and respond to a clear presentation of the Gospel and are drawn by the Holy Spirit to saving faith. But are they indeed hearing a clear presentation of a biblical Gospel?

Timotheos said...

Perhaps the most tragic thing about this, is the shame that it brings to the cross of Christ and ultimately the very message that is taught is diametrically opposed to the teaching of Scripture.

rabbi-philosopher said...

Like all other charismatic movement of its ilk re: the Florida Revival.


The "BOOM" cycle is current but the "BUST" cycle is imminent.

I expect howling at the moon to be a stable of their meetings in the near future. We've seen this movie before.

Jugulum said...

Hmm... Thinking more about number 5:

"I know that if it wasn't produced by the preaching of the Word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Nehemiah 9)."

To what extent were the events of Pentecost produced by the preaching of the Word of God? The initial movement (v. 2-3) does not seem to have been produced by preaching. However, it did result in the preaching of the word of God exalting the person and work of Christ.

So, how about saying that if it isn't accompanied by the preaching of the Word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival?

(It might be that this is what you had in mind, Dan--that you were thinking of a revival movement more broadly, while I'm focusing on the initial production of it. If so, I still think that changing the word "produced" might be helpful clarification. Accompanied by? Filled with? Grow through?)

DJP said...

Rabbi-Philosopher! Long time, no see!

idaho4hisglory said...

DJP, the Idaho rumors are true.

Take your fellow ministry buddies here for just a warm up on God's glory in Idaho:

http://www.replace.com/allison/

DJP said...

Jugulum, I appreciate your careful thinking. But I would not class Pentecost as a revival, so much as an historical event, right on schedule, in the plan of God. It wasn't "produced" by anything on man's part (and I'm not doing Calvinist hair-splitting). It is not an event in church history, it is the beginning of church history, proper. And thus, it is more analogous to Christmas than to the Great Awakening.

So, through history many have (imho) erred significantly in trying to reproduce Pentecost by "praying through" or doing other things they think the disciples did. (Except for the going-to-Jerusalem part.) We should no more try to reproduce Pentecost than we should try to reproduce Christmas.

Thanks for the thoughts, though.

donsands said...

Good post, and good comments.

" .. any claimed miracles are nothing like real miracles"

And if people go for this phoney baloney stuff, how will they ever handle Satan's greater schemes, and wonders. Exodus 7:11-13,22; 8:7;Deut.13:1-3; Matt. 24:24

Scott Bailey said...

"We should no more try to reproduce Pentecost than we should try to reproduce Christmas."

As far as I can tell from the extant texts we have the disciples left the upper room for much greater things.

Perhaps, these people should attempt the same thing.

frenchcanadianmissionary said...

Dan,

Agreeing with you that Pentecost was not "revival", but a one-time event. However, I still think that Jugulum may have a point. What about the Laymen's prayer revival in 1857-1858? It appears that it began simply through the prayers of a laymen named Jeremiah Lanphier, expanded through intentional prayer times throughout NYC, and then was accompanied by the fervent proclamation of God's Word. I'm not sure that I see any Biblical precedent that preaching MUST come first in terms of chrononlogical order.

Blessings,

-Rob

agonizomai said...

frenchcanadianmissionary: What about the Laymen's prayer revival in 1857-1858? It appears that it began simply through the prayers of a laymen named Jeremiah Lanphier, expanded through intentional prayer times throughout NYC, and then was accompanied by the fervent proclamation of God's Word.

But were they praying because God had purposed to bring revival and, by grace, deigned to include them and their prayers in it? Or was their prayer something that influenced God to do something he otherwise had no inclination to do?

Does prayer change God or us? Does prayer change God's purposes, or is prayer the means God has ordained to conform us to his will, to open the eyes of our understanding and to prepare us to partake with informed minds in what He all along has purposed to do?

These are, for me at least, rhetorical questions.

frenchcanadianmissionary said...

agonizomai,

I think you just changed the subject.

The question had nothing to do with the sovereignty/omniscience of God. The question was whether or not Biblical preaching MUST be chronologically first. Though the proclamation of God's Word is essential, I am open to the possibility that prayer could (and has been) a precurser to the ensuing accompaniment of Biblical preaching.

But yes, God is sovereign, both in prayer and evangelism... which is why we may be confident and audacious in both endeavors.

Blessings,

-Rob

Jugulum said...

Dan,

Actually, I completely agree that Pentecost wasn't produced by anything man did. I wasn't even thinking along those lines, and would agree that trying to reproduce it by following the apostles' example is a bit misguided. (I mean, praying persistently is good, but seeing Pentecost as something that that the apostles produced is misguided.)

As for Pentecost & revivals: I see your point. Its uniqueness (as the inaugural coming of the Spirit) means we can't assume any particular aspect of it as a model for things that may/should happen now. (Not that Pentecost is entirely dissimilar to revival. Based on what happened there, I think I would say that it was at least a revival--but also more than a revival. That is, didn't it have the elements of a modern revival?)

But, I still don't think I would rely 5 as a criterion the same way I would rely on the others. That is, if a revival kicked off at a prayer & praise meeting with no preaching, but the subsequent revival was characterized by the proclamation of the Word, that wouldn't make me suspect it.

agonizomai said...

frenchcanadianmissionary:
I think you just changed the subject.

The question had nothing to do with the sovereignty/omniscience of God.


You are right. My bad. Thanks for catching me on that one.

ReformedMommy said...

"revival - The act of reviving after decline or discontinuance" OED

"revival - In Christianity, an energetic meeting intended to “revive” religious faith. Common among fundamentalists, these meetings are characterized by impassioned preaching and singing."

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 13 May. 2008.

Sounds like both of these folks agree with Dan - if Pentecost was a revival, what kind of decline or discontinuance was it reversing? And if a dictionary dedicated to cultural literacy (that most noble and revered of all Pyro pursuits) says you've got to have impassioned preaching for it to qualify,then Florida's not it either.

Speaking personally, I've had a couple specific incidents (avoiding "experiences" :) ) during Sunday worship that resulted not in moaning, laughing, barking, etc., but in things like a sudden and significant increase in my love for Jesus and His Word, and a passion for evangelism that I'd never had before. But maybe I'm just settling for a lesser blessing ...

Jugulum said...

ReformedMommy:

Uh, was that addressed to me? Because I agree that a real, authentic revival will be marked by impassioned preaching. I was wondering if it has to be kicked off by preaching. So, I wanted to use a different word than "produced by". "Characterized by", which your second definition used, looks good to me.

But you're right that Pentecost would be less of a revival than a vival.

northWord said...

I like to think of spiritual "revival" first as something that takes place in the heart, one heart at a time, even if one is alone with God.

Dan -when I saw your inquiry - "tell me what that purpose is" [for your "uninformed" critique] the first thing that came to my mind was: well, he is using the discernment God will bless us with through our careful study of His word, even making scripture the food and drink of our hunger and thirst for righteousness.

I'm sure you didn't intend to make this an all-about-apostate ministries thread, so I hope you don't mind me sharing the following:
Awhile back I needed some info on some guy named Chuck Pierce and I came across this woman's site, it's sort of a "clearinghouse" of info on all things apostate - notably ministries and the people who lead them . . anyway she had quite a field day with this Todd Bently and the whole Lakeland deal with the many posts she put up of it, one of them included a testimony of a woman (copied from the womans own blog) who went to a Bently healing revival in Texas and, in the end, spat the koolaid back up. (a very telling read for those who'd be inclined to need to know more) - oh, the needed Chuck Pierce info was readily received.

I don't know about this woman "Miriam"'s proclaimation to being a "true prophetess" (and I could care less) but she does have a decent site for checking out those people and ministries that make one wonder, if even for a moment.

Anyway..again, my answer: you were excercising your biblically "received" discernment. (which I thought was pretty much answered in the first comment by jackw - albeit left-handedly :)

Even So... said...

I don’t have to touch a fire to know it is hot.

I don’t have to go to the zoo to know there are animals there.

I don’t have to go to the top of a mountain to know that it’s above ground.

I don’t have to know the song to know someone is singing.

I don’t have to jump in the lake to know the water is wet.

I don’t have to go to a mosque to know Muslims aren’t worshiping Jesus.

I don’t have to know every person to know that some who say they know Jesus actually don’t.

I don’t have to go to heaven to know I will like it.

I don’t have to go to hell to know I don’t want to be there.

I don’t have to go to the revival to know it isn’t of God.

northWord said...

I should clarify: The self proclaimed prophetess "Miriam" is the one who runs the blog (End Times Visions and Christian prophecy[...]) - not the woman who attended the Bently revival in TX and wrote about her experience in the "testimony" link I put here.

Mesa Mike said...

Wow, 73 comments already.

Maybe I should take the time to read all of them before asking, but does this "Florida Revival" have anything to do with "Whizzing in the Spirit"?

I'm still waiting for someone to take that seriously. I won't be surprised when it happens.

Jugulum said...

I have another proposed nitpicky addendum to one of the points. This time, #8:

"I know that if the leaders of it aren't men well-known for embodying/pursuing the pastoral traits of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, and specifically for being in subjection to, and for soundly teaching, the whole Word of God, it's unlikely to be a Holy Spirit-breathed revival."

Saying that the leaders should be well-known for X assumes that they are well-known at all. The leaders of a revival might be unknown, prior to the revival. But as they become known, they should be known for their pastoral traits.

Someone might respond to this point, "But God uses whom he wants. God may use someone who doesn't measure up." And I would agree. God may. But I expect that God is more likely to use someone who does show the fruit of the Spirit in terms of pastoral traits. (In other words, if God does choose to use someone who does not measure up, don't we think that He's more likely to change that person before using them? To produce fruit in them, so that they are authenticated as mature followers of Christ?) So it may be a revival without strong pastoral leaders, but I think it's unlikely.

Christopher Johnson said...

Another walk-off grand slam, Dan. Thanks for saying it better than I can.

DJP said...

Jugulum, you're taking "well-known" to mean "famous" or "widely-known," as opposed to a no-name. That's a legitimate interpretation.

I meant it however in the sense of clearly known or thoroughly known, as opposed to coming out of shady obscurity. In other words, maybe they pastor a church of twenty-five or fifty, but in that circle, they're known for lives of godly integrity.

Jugulum said...

Hmm... Yes, I suppose I actually should have thought of that. Such are the pitfalls of rapid-fire commenting on the blag-o-sphere.

But then, there was no harm done...given that I wasn't firing off a rant about your unreasonability based on the way I read it. Civility and cordial brotherly respect really help, don't you think?

lawrence said...

I guess we can just keep on ignoring all the real, breathing people who have been saved or healed at these fake revivals.

Jugulum said...

lawrence,

Your post is a bit ironic, right next to my comment on civility and cordial brotherly respect.

I would answer your comment two ways:

1.) How many of those revivals did see people being saved? Has the Lakeland revival? I really don't know, but it hasn't been part of any of the reports I've read--and I've read two by people who support it. It doesn't seem to be about that.
2.) If any of these did see people being saved, praise the Lord! Yes, we should be judging by fruit. As said by a charismatic pastor whom I know, we should be looking for the fruit of the Spirit's movement: "repentance, confession, cleansing, worship and loyalty to Christ (among others)."

I would also refer you to something that centuri0n said in a different context:
-------
David asked:

if what Tim is proposing is anti-scriptural, what does that mean for all the people who are saved and baptized in his ministry?

Excellent question.

Let me suggest something which is bound to cause the Pajama-hadjin to go into fits: it doesn't matter what method was used if by "saved" one means "forgiven by faith alone through grace alone in Christ alone".

The problem (as I see it, which may slake the thirst of said hadjin) is that the methods described in Stevens' book inherently divert those it attracts from forgiveness, faith, grace and Christ.

So if all those people getting wet at Stevens' church are being baptized because they repent of sin and seek forgiveness based on the sacrifice of the Cross -- and not, for example, because they want a better life, or because they like the music -- then I say, "praise God from whom all blessings flow."

But if they are being baptized for other reasons, they are only getting wet. And that's not a cause for anyone to rejoice.
------

This isn't an exact parallel, but there are similar issues involved. If people are actually coming to trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins through the Cross, that's great. If there's just emotionalism (which can happen at non-charismatic evangelistic events, too), then it's not real.

DJP said...

More to the point, Lawrence, I'd just ask whether you have any interaction with the actual contents of the post itself.

Mike Riccardi said...

Dan, are you gonna reveal the purpose of your strategy in posting without researching? I'm extremely curious.

Yurie said...

http://www.freshfire.ca/ffmstream/index.php

this the hub-bub? very illuminating...

Mesa Mike said...

Oh, you did challenge us to divine your purpose in making this blog post.

Here's my attempt:

From my experience, "revivals" are all about convincing people to follow God, or to re-start following God if they already once were.

I, however, don't think we need to try to convince anyone. Faith comes by hearing, not argumentation or emotional hype. Our persuasions, whether by logic or emotion, do not save; Only God saves, and He saves whom He will.

Our job is only to present the Gospel. We don't need to go to great efforts to make it palatable, or emotional, or logical, or whatever we think we need to do to convince. We only need to deliver the message. We don't need to persuade.

Your purpose in making this post?
Perhaps that "revivals" are irrelevant, regardless of what goes on in these shindigs?

donsands said...

"I know that if it doesn't center on and exalt the person and work of Jesus Christ, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (John 16:14; Colossians 1:18).I know that if it wasn't produced by the preaching of the Word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Nehemiah 9)."

There were, and hopefully shall be more, true revivals. Such as the Great Awakenings. The Reformation in one sense was a revival, I would think.

And there are false revivals, such as this Florida revival. Finney was a false teacher, and had a different kind of false revival, but false just the same.

Were people saved in the midst of all this pseudo-revivalism? I don't know. I do know God is gracious, and He surely can seek and save one of His lost sheep in the midst of these wolves, and angels of light.

Bryce said...

its very interesting that all this is going on. i seem to be surrounded by people in this kind of experience seeking mentality right now. plus some friends of mine were even on the show. so now its personal. i would appreciate your prayers in dealing with close friends who are caught up in this mess.

Puritan said...

Here's may take (how do people fall for this? ): Todd Bentley's Healing Revival, The Blaspheming Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

"Todd Bentley a 'Toronto Blessing' peddler, who claims he's had personal visitations from an Angel called Emma, (since when were Angels female?) and he's been in contact with the Apostle Paul who told him things that contradict the Bible, is the latest Charasmania Healing Revival on god-TV (or as I call it 'Anti-Christ Television' who's god is their belly).

Now I (author) do believe God does still speak today and in fact 'I'm getting a Word from God right now' and here it is:
Colossians 2:18: "Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,"

So what's happening in this 'revival'? Are children being obedient to parents, breweries closing down because everyone's attending prayer meetings and Bible Studies, with masses of people crying out to God broken in repentance? Well actually no. What rather is happening is Charasmaniatic professing christians, are descending to Lakland, Florida to watch a circus.

Why don't these 'healers' go to the hospitals?"

I'm personally shocked that anyone

ChosenClay said...

Hey Dan,

How about this for Revival?

http://www.revivalhymn.com/

Stan McCullars said...

Excellent post. And timely. My inlaws asked on Sunday if we had heard anything of "the revival in Lakeland."

Living about a 1.5 hour drive from there, I'm familiar with a previous "revival" in Lakeland.

I told them I was pretty confident that anything coming out of Lakeland was not good. A quick search on the net confirmed that.

Sad. So many desperate people. Sad. With the gullibility of so many in the church it's surprising there aren't more people selling snake oil.

dac said...

The tests for spiritual genuineness are two: First, the leader must be a good man and full of the Holy Ghost. Christianity is nothing if not moral. . . . But the test of moral goodness is not enough. Every man must submit his work to the scriptural test. It is not enough that he be able to quote from the Bible at great length or that he claim for himself great and startling experiences with God. Go back to the law and to the testimony. If he speak not according to the Word it is because there is no light in him. We who are invited to follow him have every right, as well as a solemn obligation, to test his work according to the Word of God. We must demand that every claimant for our confidence present a clean bill of health from the Holy Scriptures; that he do more than weave in a text occasionally, or hold up the Bible dramatically before the eyes of his hearers. His doctrines must be those of the Scriptures. The Bible must dominate his preaching. He must preach according to the Word of God. The price of following a false guide on the desert may be death. The price of heeding wrong advice in business may be bankruptcy. The price of trusting to a quack doctor may be permanent loss of health. The price of putting confidence in a pseudo-prophet may be moral and spiritual tragedy. Let us take heed that no man deceive us.

A.W. Tozer

DJP said...

DAC, dude — I'm not one who trembles before the name "Tozer," but that's an excellent and highly apropos quotation. Thanks!

blackreformingkid said...

I'm an ex-Pentecostal teenager, and I've been watching the happenings with some concern. I have watched night after night after night with my jaw pounding the floor in horror at what I'm hearing.

Sound doctrine is clearly not a priority to these guys, and that on its own slaps this revival in its face.

DJP said...

BRK, since posting this, I went and looked at some videos of this guy. It's frankly worse than I even feared, for its very banality.

There is no "there" there.

From what I saw, this is nothing more than the same-old/same-old Charismaniac garbage, the long-since analyzed and discredited idiocy that is a blight and a shame and a red mark over the whole movement — in that (as we've often pointed out here) they don't as a whole lead the charge in showing these guys the door.

dac said...

The CMA has a daily Tozer devotional

http://www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer/tozer.jsp

That was yesterdays devotional

Hayden said...

Dan,

I used to live in the area of Florida that spawned the 'Brownsville Revival' in the 90's. Is this in anyway similar?

My thought is, why is God constraining Himself to the nice climate of Florida only? What about us in cold Michigan? It seems to me that He is working His way down the coast to the Miami/South Beach area. Will He make a sudden turn North when He reaches the southern tip of Florida? Will we see an Orlando revival with Mickey getting slain in the spirit? Just wondering?

[sarcasm off]

Connie said...

Dan, the link to 'discontent' in one of your comments caused me to sit straight up and take great notice as I've been considering this very thing as I consider my own past charismatic history, and attitudes (and practices) within the Church today toward worship--what is Biblical based and what is simply driven by 'discontent'. Now, off to read your 'discontent' post...

theinscrutableone said...

So another revival has started? Been there...done that. As a young believer I put a lot of miles on my car driving to this or that revival service. During such a service it was exciting to think that I was feeling and observing the work of God Himself, but it wasn't too long afterwards that the "crash" began. After all, the trials and tribulations of everyday life were awfully hard to reconcile with the spiritual high of an exciting revival service. Once the initial boost wore off, I invariably felt disappointed and let down. Nonetheless, I would staunchly defend the experiences I'd had in these revival services, warning any skeptics against putting God in a box or throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

It's been many years since I exchanged the spiritual ups-and-downs of revival-chasing for plain old Biblical Christianity. I suppose my spiritual life isn't quite as, er, exciting as it was in former days, but it's far better to be able to point to Scripture as opposed to subjective experience as the grounds for my faith and hope. I now realize that my often-vehement defense of revivalism sprang not out of faith but rather out of fear and doubt: never being 100% certain that my exciting experiences were of God, I expended much energy in proving to myself and others that I wasn't being deceived. In those days my faith was based on the sinking sand of subjective experience, whereas today I strive by God's grace to build my faith upon the solid rock of His Word.

LeeC said...

I think Theinscrutableone also hit on one of your purposes as well.

This ain't nutin new, the tape is just on a loop, over, and over. Whether in the Apostles time, the Zwickau Prophets of the Reformation era, Azusa Street, or today.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Nothing to see here, move along.

DJP said...

Yes, and thanks Lee for (tangentially) reminding me to answer Mike's question.

I think I'll briefly discuss my reason for studied ignorance in tomorrow's post.

northWord said...

"Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." -G.K. Chesterton

Kay said...

I agree with you...however I think you probably should have watched it online atleast once before writing this post...Only because I feel that some people may skim over it and believe that you are saying that this revival does not line up with those things...when I believe fully that it does. I live in Orlando and have been down there a few times, and have watched it a few times online. From personal experience its just INCREDIBLE the other night when I went 14,000 people were there and hundreds got saved after he preached the blood of Jesus Christ. Anyways...just thought I'd drop my 2cents.

donsands said...

"14,000 people were there and hundreds got saved"
-kay

How do you know hundreds got saved? If you don't mind my asking?

trogdor said...

Just my guess as to why you didn't bother looking at it before posting.

There are objective standards in God's word by which we must test whether a 'movement' or 'revival' is truly a work of God. These standards are to be applied across all boundaries, denominations, etc. By remaining ignorant of specific Florida happenings, you were hoping to show that your application of these standards is not based on anything specific about that movement, but are universal - you'd be asking the same questions if the reports were coming from Phil or Frank. The genesis of these questions was not from any reports of wrongdoing; it's in the unchangeable standard of God's word.

DJP said...

Oh, well -- great!

Now there's no point in me writing my post!

IOW: nailed it.

eastendjim said...

This post slayed me!

theinscrutableone said...

There are indeed excellent reasons to _not_ check out this kind of thing before laying down initial criteria for judgment. If you can discern beforehand that a thing is bad in and of itself, no good can come from "checking it out." In fact, much harm can come from unnecessary investigation of a thing that's evidently sinful or dangerous. Eve would have been wiser (and all mankind better off) had she abstained from "checking out" the forbidden fruit. A man does well if he steers clear of "checking out" a married woman who's not his wife lest his emotions be stirred towards an evil direction. Likewise, if an revival bears all the earmarks of the same ol' sub-Biblical sensationalism (e.g., lotsa excitement but precious little sound preaching), "checking it out" would only serve to dramatically increase the likelihood of spiritual and emotional deception. I know of more than one intelligent person who "checked out" this kind of thing and ended up heading in a spiritually destructive direction. I'm one of them. Don't go there.

Even So... said...

Since we are quoting Tozer....

Our first responsibility is not to make converts but to uphold the honor of God in a world given over to the glory of fallen man. No matter how many persons we touch with the gospel we have failed unless, along with the message of invitation, we have boldly declared the exceeding sinfulness of man and the transcendent holiness of the Most High God. They who degrade or compromise the truth in order to reach larger numbers, dishonor God and deeply injure the souls of men.

Even So... said...

Well, how about another one that is on target and pertinient...

"Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question.

This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit. Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be.

Try the spirits is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching."

Even So... said...

Last one, also very telling...

The temptation to forget the few spiritual essentials and to go wandering off after unimportant things is very strong, especially to Christians of a certain curious type of mind. Such persons find the great majors of the faith of our fathers altogether too tame for them. Their souls loathe that light bread; their appetites crave the gamy tang of fresh-killed meat. They take great pride in their reputation as being mighty hunters before the Lord, and any time we look out we may see them returning from the chase with some new mystery hanging limply over their shoulder.

Usually the game they bring down is something on which there is a biblical closed season. Some vague hint in the Scriptures, some obscure verse about which the translators disagree, some marginal note for which there is not much scholarly authority: these are their favorite meat. They are especially skillful at propounding notions which have never been a part of the Christian heritage of truth. Their enthusiasm mounts with the uncertainty of their position, and their dogmatism grows firmer in proportion to the mystery which surrounds their subject.

stratagem said...

This is going to get you burned in effigy on the Benny Hinn Show, for sure...

DJP said...

And that, my friend, would go straight into my résumé!

lawrence said...

By the way I haven't read all the comments after mine, so if I'm ignoring someone, I'm sorry.

Jugulum:

Yes, you're absolutely correct. Even to me, the words on the screen are more sarcastic then what I actually think. I do, however, also think it's "ironic" that we can sit here and judge (pick a softer word if you'd like) a revival (or whatever it is) by people who are actually going, attending, and at least some of whom are being changed.

(if anyone wants to address the terrible english in the above paragraph, feel free. Cause it was terrible. And that was redundant.)
and living in Orlando, I do know people who have been positively affected (I wish there was a less vague way of saying that.) Saved? That's for God to judge I guess, but I don't know why I should automatically doubt their claim to salvation, simply because it may have taken place at an event I don't feel comfortable with.

DJP,

I'm not exactly sure. You admitted to being in no position to talk about the florida revivals. On that point I agree w/ you :). We have our differences of beliefs in regards to the gifts, but I think your points about revival in general (especially 4 and 7) are very good.

Jugulum said...

lawrence,

"I do, however, also think it's "ironic" that we can sit here and judge (pick a softer word if you'd like) a revival (or whatever it is) by people who are actually going, attending, and at least some of whom are being changed."

As Dan said, his purpose in writing this post was not to judge the Florida revival. It was to discuss the biblical criteria for judging in general. It's not that he "isn't in a position to judge", it's that he wasn't attempting to. Initially.

Now, some people in the comment threads (including Dan, after he watched some videos of the revival) have been offering evaluations based on what they've seen. You have a problem with that.

So, questions for you:

Do you think it's wrong to evaluate using biblical criteria based on reports? Always? Or is it only wrong to make hasty judgments based on insufficient knowledge?

If you agree that the problem is the latter, and if you think people here have done that, you should explain why. You should be specific. Who did so, and why do you think their knowledge wasn't sufficient?

If you're right, you will have edified someone by helping them to be more wise in their discernment. If you're wrong, it will help you be more wise in your discernment. But if you aren't specific, then you're making a form of hasty (or vague) judgment yourself. Which isn't helpful correction.

lawrence said...

Jugulum,

Very fair and thoughtful questions. I think, however, that you know what my answer is going to be. Obviously I do not believe it is wrong to evaluate something Biblically. Or if I did, I wouldn't admit to it :-). Obviously, on any subject, making "hasty" judgments on "insufficient" evidence is wrong...

I don't know Todd Huntley. I don't know if the good of what's happening outweighs the bad (and there seems to be plenty of both.) I do know that making sarcastic comments about his tattoos and piercings (whether you equate that to his backround or not) is ironic (even if it was a joke). Even wrong. (I believe Lee made that comment.) And I think being as sure of the godliness of meetings you haven't been to as you are of the desirability of heaven and hell (made by even so) is...interesting.

Those are the first two that came to mind. And I only mentioned them cause you made me :) (see how I pass blame so easily?)

lawrence said...

And just to be clear, I wasn't ever talking about the original post (which, it seems, wasn't neccessarily about the Florida revivals.) It was about the comments.

donsands said...

"I don't know Todd Huntley."

Neither do I, but from what I saw, he could definitely be a wolf in sheeps clothing.

Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets who show signs and wonders, for if possible, they will deceive even the elect."

The true pastors of God, and the genuine leaders of Christ's Church are obviously not like this man.

The thing we have to recognize is that there are many false prophets, teachers, and disciples in the Church, and we need to mark them, and then avoid them, as the Apostle Paul charged us to. R0m. 16:17

Their god is their belly. Everything is all about them, and their agenda, business, and teachings.

LeeC said...

Lawrence wrote:

"I believe Lee made that comment"

Wow, do you realize the irony in this?

Probably not.

As for judging.
1 Corinthians 5:9-


9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

Jugulum said...

LeeC,

Umm...I'm not sure I see the irony. (He was referring to Lee Shelton IV, BTW, not you.)

And my impression from Lawrence's last comment is that he objects to judging Bentley based on tatoos & piercings, not that he objects to judging at all. (Though his second comment certainly sounded like he objected to judging, period.)

However, Lawrence: Don't you think that watching videos of the revival provides some basis for judging?

drew@jonah said...

Dan,

Thanks for this post. Ever since I stopped blogging, I've wanted to say so many things. I've rarely used the "H" word, but in what I've come across by him, Todd Bentley is a heretic outside of orthodox Christianity by a mile. He's a dominionist straight out of Latter Rain and Manifest Sons of God theology that was even condemned by the Assemblies of God in the '50s.

Some in the "prophetic movement" have even insinuated that this "revival" could be the fulfillment of a "prophecy" given by the fallen Paul Cain. Scary stuff.

Stan McCullars said...

Even if we stopped short of calling this charlatan a heretic, is there a place for us to label someone a nutcase?

It is possible that he is orthodox (when on meds) but has failed to take his medication for quite some time. Perhaps on meds he's not a charlatan either.

Mister Larry said...

So far, the hornets have been pretty tame. Methinks they are out trying to find the airport. The nest, however, is in shambles!

WhimsicalMadCap said...

Fresh Fire Ministries, the outfit sponsoring the "revival," is headed by "prophetess" Nariett Butler. That right there is all the info one would need to discount the whole enterprise.

NothingNewUnderTheSun said...

I thought this quote was appropriate:

“Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow's too lazy to form an opinion"- Will Rogers

Cindy said...

I live near Lakeland and have been hearing and reading about it, saw videos of it on internet, and just now I checked in on "newbiechristian"'s website to see how he's coming along in his new life --and he's all excited about Bentley and Lakeland, staying up to 4 a.m. "glued to the telly" (he's in U.K.) watching it--just had to come back here to say thank you Dan for protecting the sheep.

donsands said...

When the Lord saved Paul, he told Ananias, " .. he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
For I will show him how many things he must SUFFER for My name's sake."
Jesus promised Paul pain. As He does us all.

Paul says, "I count all things loss, .. and count them but dung, that I may win Christ, ..
not having my own righteousness, ...but that which is through the faith of Christ, ... That I may know Him, .. and the fellowship of His sufferings," Phil. 3:8-10

This Apostle desired to suffer, to feel the pain Christ felt.
May we all have such a heart.

LeeC said...

Jugulum and Lawrence,

My apologies, I misread.

tellall4jc said...

Don’t stone me, I am not a theologian, just a lowly sheep and part time Berean. The Leaders in the Body of Christ need to step back and answer as Bereans where is the healing coming from? Surely someone has the Gift of Discernment. I know Jesus said if their not against us leave them alone but I also know Jesus said that to some he would say, "depart from me you workers of iniquity when they recited to him "Lord, Lord didn't we lay hands on the sick and cast out devils in your name?". This is a spirit of inequity - lawlessness- doing works in a spirit other than the Holy Spirit. This is Todd's excerpt of his visitation with angels, he says they are bringing the healings. Went to Ignite church on 4/7...there were a few people shaking last night…kinda like me …I felt a kinship! He (Todd) called a Pastor originally from Guatemala and said there was a special impartation for him, “That the angel was going into him” and then Todd said the Lord told him to Hit him as hard as he could in the belly…Todd did that and the man shook really, really hard, unbelievable! He has a special impartation for healings. Online at Rahab’s blog there are commits that Todd has some angel called Emma that heals via his hand, the link I found below discusses that and so much more in regard his relationship and recieving from angels. Todd says he received from the same angel Bob Jones who apparently received from William Branham (Branham is quoted as saying he couldn't do anything if the angel is bound) and the list goes on and on. http://www.etpv.org/2003/angho.html http://www.etpv.org/2003/angho.html

We all know that the Body of Christ is wanting the Lord...we seem to have opened ourselves up to spirits without testing the spirits against the Word. It is the Holy spirit that descended upon Jesus therein he did mighty works and all of the apostles and believers did works via the Holy Spirit not an angel or another spirit. Scripture is clear that Jesus is the Healer yet people are being healed by an angel?
I know the theif comes to steal, kill and destroy....if he can get you to follow another gospel...he will. Todd's fellow ministers teaching on "Secret place" has Josha Mills as one of his teachers. Joshua goes to the Mormon church to teach and Bobby Conner prophesied to the mormon church..what's that all about? The Mormon's started a whole new gospel from Angel visitations and impartations.This is a guy on Todd Bentley’s site teaching (Joshua Mills) – He (Joshua) and Patricia King are in the spotlight on Todd’s teaching on the “Secret Place” . Joshua Mills on the link below is telling the audience about an angel prophecy from the past given by Bobby Connor while he was at the Mormon church and how the prophecy came true while he “Joshua Mills” was there teaching.
I f you can’t listen to the whole thing it’s near the end at 81:00 where he talks about the prophecy of the angel moving thru the chimes at the Mormon Church and it coming to pass while they are ministering. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xFGK4DXvmA&feature=related judge for yourselves.Food for thought and mainly for prayer. This is a guy on Todd Bentley’s site teaching (Joshua Mills) – He (Joshua) and Patricia King are in the spotlight on Todd’s teaching on the “Secret Place” . Joshua Mills on the link below is telling the audience about an angel prophecy from the past given by Bobby Connor while he was at the Mormon church and how the prophecy came true while he “Joshua Mills” was there teaching. If he was going there to try and persuade them ….like Paul did…that would be one thing…otherwise I really don’t understand…but this is just a sample of the scope of the these men’s visions and phrophecy.

I f you can’t listen to the whole thing it’s near the end at 81:00 where he talks about the prophecy of the angel moving thru the chimes when he begins to move among the Mormons and it coming to pass while they are ministering among them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xFGK4DXvmA&feature=related judge for yourselves, here he is listed on the “secret place” teaching Webcast link http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Id=1025&pid=993

I don’t know Bobby Connor or Joshua Mills… but I do know that these and other men are receiving from angels and giving out whatever they are receiving to the Body of Christ and the Body is like little children that are taking the candy because they don’t know better and it taste good, smells good and feels good and the leaders of the Body of Christ. Where are those who will risk their social standing in the Body of Christ to examine what is happening against the two edged sword of the Word of God. Jesus said the “Holy Spirit distributes gifts” – gift of healing. Does he use his angels to do this? I thought God via the Holy Spirit was the giver of Gifts to men. What is the angels job now that Christ is in us? Jesus received the Holy Spirit and went about healing via the Holy Spirit, the believers waited for the Holy spirit and he fell on them and they were endowed with power from on high – to do the works Jesus did and even greater works. Didn’t say anything in the new testament about receiving gifts of healing from Angels. How do they minister to the heirs of salvation? That is one question for the Body of Christ.

Below is email from Andrew Strom on Published letter from Charisma Magazine's J. Lee Grady.



-----Original Message-----
From: REVIVAL List [mailto:prophetic@revivalschool.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 8:51 AM
To: anzac@welovegod.org
Subject: [revival] CHARISMA- "QUESTIONS About LAKELAND"


NOTE: We are not publishing this because we fully agree - but
because it is important - and it's just come out. Our comments
follow the article:


HONEST QUESTIONS ABOUT the LAKELAND REVIVAL
-by J. Lee Grady [CHARISMA EDITOR]

I support any holy outbreak of revival fervor. But let's be careful to
guard ourselves from pride and error.

God is stirring deep spiritual passion in the hearts of the thousands
of people who have traveled to Florida during the last month to
experience the Lakeland Healing Revival. Since these meetings
began in a 700-seat church on April 2, the crowd has moved four
times to bigger venues, the fervor has intensified and the news
has spread worldwide-thanks to God TV and online broadcasting.

Within a few weeks, the bandwagon effect was in full swing. It's
safe to say that no outbreak of Pentecostalism in history has
gained so much international exposure so quickly as these
meetings have.

I'm a cheerleader for the charismatic movement, so I rejoiced
when I heard the news about revivalist Todd Bentley's extended
visit to Ignited Church. It was thrilling to hear the reports of
miracles and to watch the crowd grow until a stadium was
required to hold everyone.

When I visited a service on April 15, I was blessed by Heather
Clark's music and the audience's exuberant worship. And I
laughed with everyone else as I watched Bentley shout his
trademarked "Bam! Bam! Bam!" as he prayed for the sick and
flailed his tattooed arms over the crowd. Hey, Jesus didn't pray for
people according to the Pharisees' rulebook, so I'm open to
unconventional methods.

But I would be dishonest if I told you that I wholeheartedly
embraced what I saw in Lakeland. Something disturbed me, but I
kept my mouth shut for three weeks while I prayed, got counsel
from respected ministry leaders and searched my heart to make
sure I was not harboring a religious spirit. The last thing we need
today is more mean-spirited heresy hunters blasting other Christians.

I am not a heresy hunter, and I support what is happening in
Lakeland because I know God uses imperfect people (like me and
you) to reach others for Jesus. At the same time, I believe my
questions are honest and my concerns are real.

My motive is not to criticize Bentley or the pastor who is
sponsoring these meetings, Stephen Strader. In September 2002
Charisma featured a seven-page article about Bentley's amazing
conversion from drug addiction. I believe Bentley is a sincere
brother who wants people to encounter God's presence and power.
No doubt this 32-year-old evangelist needs our prayers now more
than ever, especially since he has become the focus of
international media attention.

But as the noise from Lakeland grows louder and its influence
spreads, I'm issuing some words of warning that apply to all of us,
not just the folks in Lakeland. I hope everyone understands that
these cautions are offered in love:

1. Beware of strange fire.The name of Jesus is being lifted up in
the Lakeland revival, and three people came to the altar for
salvation the night I attended. Larger numbers have come to the
front of the auditorium to find Christ every night since then.

Yet I fear another message is also being preached subtly in
Lakeland-a message that cult-watchers would describe as a
spiritual counterfeit. Bentley is one of several charismatic
ministers who have emphasized angels in the last several years.
He has taught about angels who bring financial breakthroughs or
revelations, and he sometimes refers to an angel named Emma
who supposedly played a role in initiating a prophetic movement in
Kansas City in the 1980s. Bentley describes Emma as a woman
in a flowing white dress who floats a few feet off the floor.

All of us who believe the Bible know that angels are real, and that
they work on our behalf to protect us and minister to us. But the
apostle Paul, who had encounters with angels himself, issued
stern warnings to the Corinthians, the Galatians and the
Colossians about angels who preach another gospel or that
demand attention. In Colossae, believers were so enamored with
angels they had seen in visions that they became "inflated without
cause" by spiritual pride (Col. 2:18, NASB). Paul was adamant
that preoccupation with angels can lead to serious deception.

We need to tread carefully here! We have no business teaching
God's people to commune with angels or to seek revelations from
them. And if any revival movement-no matter how exciting or
passionate-mixes the gospel of Jesus with this strange fire, the
results could be devastating. We need to remember that
Mormonism was born out of one man's encounter with a dark
angel who claimed to speak for God.

2. Beware of bizarre manifestations.When the Holy Spirit's power
comes on people they may feel weak or even fall. The Spirit's
power can also cause people to tremble, shake, laugh or cry.
Such manifestations are biblical and we should leave room for
them. But where do we draw the line between legitimate
experience and fanatical excess?

The apostle Paul had to deal with outrageous charismatic
manifestations in the Corinthian church. People were acting like
raving lunatics-and turning the church in to a free-for-all of
unbridled ecstatic behavior. Paul called for discipline and order,
and he reminded early Christians that "the spirits of prophets are
subject to prophets" (1 Cor. 14:32). In other words, Paul was
saying that no one under the influence of the Holy Spirit should
act out of control.

In many recent charismatic revivals, ministers have allowed people
to behave like epileptics on stage-and they have attributed their
attention-getting antics to the Holy Spirit. We may think it's all in
fun (you know, we're just "acting crazy" for God) but we should be
more concerned that such behavior feeds carnality and grieves the Spirit.

When exotic manifestations are encouraged, people can actually
get a religious high from jerking, vibrating, screaming or acting
intoxicated. (I have even been around people who writhed as if in
pain, or made sexual noises-thinking this was a legitimate
spiritual experience.) But emotional euphoria doesn't guarantee a
heart change. The person who is bucking like an untamed bronco
in a church service would benefit more from sitting still and reading
the Bible for an hour. When we put bizarre behavior on the platform
we imply that it is normative. Thus more strange fire is allowed to spread..


3. Beware of hype and exaggeration.Our hearts are crying out
today for a genuine move of God. We want the real deal. We've
read about the Great Awakenings of the past and we long to see
our nation overcome by a wave of repentance. The church is in a
backslidden state, and our nation has rebelled against God. We
are desperate!

In our longing for a holy visitation, however, we must be careful not
to call the first faint breeze of the Spirit a full-fledged revival. If we
do
that, we are setting people up for disappointment when they realize it may
not
be what we blew it up to be.

Some of the language used during the Lakeland Revival has
created an almost sideshow atmosphere. People are invited to
"Come and get some." Miracles are supposedly "popping like
popcorn." Organizers tout it as the greatest revival in history.

Such brash statements cheapen what the Holy Spirit is doing-
and they do a disservice to our brothers and sisters who are
experiencing New Testament-style revival in countries such as Iran,
China and India. We have a long way to go before we experience
their level of revival. Let's stay humble and broken before the Lord.

I am rejoicing over all the reported healings at the Lakeland
meetings. Miracles are awesome. Crowds are great. But miracles
and crowds alone don't guarantee a revival. Multitudes followed
Jesus during His ministry on earth, but many of the people who
saw the dead raised or ate food that was supernaturally multiplied
later crucified the Son of God.

It was the few disciples who followed Jesus after Calvary who
ushered in a true revival-one that was bathed in the fear of God,
confirmed by signs and wonders, tempered by persecution and
evidenced by thousands of conversions, new churches and the
transformation of society. We should expect nothing less.
-J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.

ANDREW STROM: For the Editor of Charisma this is a very
courageous thing to put out - and I certainly welcome it. But he
says in the article that he has been concerned for several weeks -
yet did not say anything until now. (Let's be honest - he put
out one of the first articles promoting the revival and everything
in it!) Meantime, in the last 3 weeks, this movement has exploded,
and it is simply too late to pull it back now. The "anointing" has
gone worldwide. I have been getting reports from all over the USA,
Hong Kong, England, New Zealand, Hawaii. It is everywhere.
Sorry, Lee, I know you are trying to be "balanced" and 'cautious'.
Its just that we desperately could have done with these warnings
3 weeks ago. But I am sincere when I say that I do appreciate
your words. You have been a lot braver than many others.
-God bless you! -Andrew Strom.

~Article source: http://charismamag.com/fireinmybones/

--
YES! - You have permission to post these emails
to friends or to other groups, etc.

To subscribe, please send a 'subscribe' email to-
prophetic@revivalschool.com

See our website and discussion board-
http://www.revivalschool.com

To unsubscribe, send ANY message to: anzac-unsubscribe@welovegod.org

To send material for consideration for publication, send to-
prophetic@revivalschool.com

MODERATOR:
Andrew Strom,
40b Sunnyside Road,
Sunnyvale,
West Auckland 0612,
New Zealand

Peter O said...

Hi Pyromaniacs,

I think the list of things to think about is a good series of checks. I especially like number 4 (it's about Jesus) and number 7 (holy living).

A little testimony - I became a Christian in the Manchester (UK) Vineyard Church in May 1994, about a month after the Toronto Blessing spread to these Isles, having been dragged along by some Jesus Freak friends. I had an amazing super-natural encounter with the living God and it changed my entire life. Now, fourteen years later, I'm a former homosexual happily married with a beautiful baby son, preaching my socks off about the saving and healing power of Christ's blood. I have some real problems with the excesses of some charismata, but I know that I met Jesus that morning and he changed my life forever (OK, he'd already changed my life forever, but you get the point right?).