Thursday, June 5, 2008

Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival

By: Al Carlisle

Mat 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Commentary by David Gusik

d. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign: This reminds that signs alone convert no one. We can place far too much confidence in signs as events bring people to faith in Jesus.

i. The problem isn’t that the signs are themselves weak, but that a wicked and adulterous generation seeks after them.

e. No sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah: However, Jesus promised a sign that would have power to bring people to faith - His own resurrection.

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

1Cr 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Emphasis is mine

Rom 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

I live and minister not far from Lakeland and read with great interest in the Tampa Tribune the story of the events happening in Lakeland and this evangelist Todd Bentley.

Wow, I thought as I read , if God is in this then I want to be a part of Gods outpouring. But, as is my habit, and before I spend my money for a tank of gas, I researched Todd Bentley and his ministry. What I found was a ministry That is more about Todd Bentley then about our Lord Jesus. See 1 Cor. 2:2

Let us look first at the response of someone who came to Lakeland from New Mexico for the purpose of, “to get some and bring it back to Albuquerque.” Todd likes to use this catch phrase to encourage folks to come down and receive “ the anointing”, “healing”, etc. Something is, at least to me, inherently wrong by calling the work of the Holy Spirit as some and it. This person was representing an organization called “XTREME ENCOUNTERS”

We are a group of God-chasers who are determined to encounter Him. We are
chasing Jesus with all that we are. We have all been hurt in some way by the church,
but the current state of the church is no reflection on who Jesus Christ is. He is
GOOD! And He LOVES US!! We want to see others who have been hurt by church
and church leadership healed and to help them fall in love with the Lord all over again.

As I read this description of their group there came to my mind a group I saw on tv called Storm Chasers. I’m sure you’ve seen them on tv too. How they travel far wide chasing storms to get an up close and personal encounter with tornadoes. As intelligent people are racing to find shelter and put as much distance between them and the storm, these people are racing to get as close as they can and they pay for the privilege. And they do this because? For the thrill, the rush,
Do you see the analogy?

Evidently some people feel the only way they can have an encounter with God that is meaningful is only found in services where they can get a THRILL and feel the RUSH. The same reason people ride roller coasters. And Todd Bentley has tapped into this emotional resource and people are paying for the privilege. Like the one who went to Lakeland chasing God to share in the experience, the thrill, the rush. Something evidently missing in many churches.

Here is how they described the worship: Worship was awesome. Roy Fields is an amazing worship leader. He is also FUN! He knows how to help people enter into the presence of God.”

I never needed help to enter into the presence of God. As His child I have immediate access to my heavenly father and the Holy Spirit prepares my heart and mind for worship. Love these Spiritual Cheerleaders who work the crowd. What did the folks do at Pentecost without a Roy Fields?

What about preaching the word, as Paul commanded young Timothy to do? Lets hear from this eye witness: “Did Todd preach? No, not really. Not in the sense of a sermon with loads and loads of scripture. The thing is that probably 75% of the crowd were ministers of one form or other. We really don’t need more Word poured into us. What we need is empowerment to DO. We need the release of faith and boldness to DO THE WORKS OF JESUS. We know the Word, but we are not seeing the biblical promise of “As I was sent, so send I you” in our lives.”

The Bible teaches that the power of God is in the WORD of God. “it is the power of God unto salvation.” Not signs and wonders.

I would encourage you to go to the link and read more first hand account of this “revival”. You decide by the leadership of the Holy Spirit if God is in this. For me I’ll save the price of gas and use it for the work of the ministry in my own church.

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