Lakeland Revival - true or false or....
Visitors to the Christians Together web site may have heard of a Toronto-style "revival" currently taking place in the city of Lakeland, Florida led by Canadian Todd Bentley.
A report from Charisma magazine states:
Thousands of people longing for a physical or spiritual touch from God are flocking to central Florida for ongoing revival meetings that some have dubbed the “Lakeland Healing Outpouring.”
The services, which are being broadcast live daily on GOD TV to millions of potential viewers, reveal the excitement radiating from this area of the Sunshine State, prompting some people to jump on planes and fly in from across the country and even from abroad.
Todd Bentley, the 32-year-old Canadian healing evangelist with a boyish grin responsible for the meetings, reported on Friday that people’s faith alone has healed them even while they were booking their flights online or boarding planes bound for Lakeland, a city of about 90,000 between Orlando and Tampa along Interstate 4.
The 700-seat sanctuary of host pastor Stephen Strader’s Ignited Church can no longer contain the crowds. More than 1,000 worshipers stood inches apart at Friday night’s service, jamming every aisle and altar area. Their bodies rocked back and forth, and their faces wore peace-filled, lovesick and euphoric expressions.
However, there are others who are much more cautious and even alarmed by what is reported to be going on.
Peter Horrobin the founder of Ellel Ministries has issued a public statement on the phenomenon:
We recognise the hunger and need in so many people's lives for spiritual reality and healing. That is one of the reasons why Ellel Ministries was established back in 1986.
However, we are concerned about many aspects of what we have both witnessed and learned about the meetings being conducted by Todd Bentley at Lakeland.
On the basis of what we have both seen and heard, the leadership of Ellel Ministries International are not in a position to endorse either the theology or the practice of the ministry and will not be participating in any of the events.
The above statement has been issued in order to provide a written response to the many people who are now asking, what is Ellel Ministries’ position in respect of the Lakeland meetings.
And Andrew Strom, the New Zealand church leader who runs the Revival School website has written under the title:
MOST "CONTAGIOUS" ANOINTING - Florida - WARNING!
Todd Bentley has declared that his Florida anointing is the most "contagious" that he has ever imparted to people. (In other words, the most easily transferable). And indeed this seems to be the case. It is spreading rapidly throughout the world.
But what exactly is this anointing? One observer of the Florida revival notes: "Todd Bentley constantly manifests his "anointing" by shaking his head back and forth, and by his body physically shaking. These manifestations also happen frequently in those who he imparts to. He will even wave his arms over the audience, shouting, "Fire! Fire! Fire!" and then people in the audience will start manifesting. Some appear to be convulsing, and some even as if they are being thrashed by a spirit."
In a CBN News interview, Todd stated: "Our focus here in Florida every night is I lay hands on every single person who comes - whether it's 5,000, 10,000 - And I'm praying every night, 'God, give it away, give it away, give it away.' And that's the focus here: Impartation."
And indeed there are more and more reports of this anointing being transmitted from Florida to other states and nations across the globe.
Jumping the Atlantic
As we have already seen, a report from England tells of a preacher who brought Todd's anointing back from Florida and now it is manifesting in his UK meetings [so-called 'Dudley Outpouring - Ed.] : "Fire, a burning sensation, was felt all over people's bodies... There were outbursts of joy, drunkenness and spontaneous healings throughout the meeting."
A man from Clearwater, Florida says that a number of people from his fellowship have attended the revival and then brought the 'anointing' back with them. Here is what he personally saw:
"These are the effects that I have witnessed on people who have attended this movement and either have had hands laid on them or claim to have been imparted with "the spirit":
They come back with this kind of childlike drunken stupor.
Descriptions of a burning sensation either in their veins, heads or stomachs.
Descriptions of being washed back and forth like the waves in the ocean; -Dancing about like drunk...
Inappropriate yelling and screaming like they're at a football game; -Young men whistling over and over and holding their heads and claiming that they "feel the Holy Spirit about to split them in two"; -One young man's back two teeth turned completely to some metallic finish.
People with their eyes rolled in the back of their heads and weaving around like they're lost.
Women just gyrating and pulsating like they're being ravaged from behind from some unseen force.
Drunken uncontrollable laughter in the middle of a solemn prayer time… -People being "slain in the spirit"... just falling down and being unable to move (like something's holding them down)..."
Another eyewitness from the USA writes:
"A friend of mine invited me to a church where the ministry team brought back a "Fire" from the Lakeland revival… The pastor's wife was moderating, but she could not complete her sentences because she was 'drunk in the Spirit.' She imitated the type of sounds I read in your blog. I saw people breaking out into uncontrollable laughter. I came with my Bible to receive a word… There was no teaching or preaching. Just testimonies. They talked about their experience in Lakeland... Where was the word? I did not find any. I also heard a sound BAM and then I saw someone being slain in the spirit."
A Spirit-filled pastor that I know from the UK who has been following Todd Bentley's ministry closely for some years wrote to me about what he himself has observed since the year 2000:
"My difficulty with Todd Bentley's ministry is not whether he has recently covered himself with tattoos or pierced himself silly, but the source of his power. He keeps changing his position on this. Sometimes he says it's the Holy Spirit and a lot of the time it's his angels…
"Many have said that they believe that Florida is a 'mixture'.
Personally, I do not believe 'mixture' is involved. I believe these deceiving spirits have hi-jacked Todd's ministry… Either the healings are of God or they are not. Which is it?
"People can be healed in spiritualist churches. I have witnessed, close-up, first hand, people being instantly healed by mediums and faith healers. I have also seen people healed by the power of the Holy Spirit. To begin with there is no discernible difference.
However the counterfeit healings soon begin to either go wrong or something far worse comes upon the person.
"When God heals someone - He adds 'no sorrow.'
"I know Todd started off OK - I was there in his early meetings… In September 2000 I stood in front of Todd and gave him the warning that God gave me for him. "Beware, the leaven of the Pharisees, lest an angelic leaven enters your ministry."
"One month later, according to Todd's own account, at a meeting in Grants Pass Oregon, Cal Pierce walked in with Branham's 'Healing Revival' angel in tow, Todd saw and accepted this spirit without reservation. His 'angels' have been with him ever since.
"I have written to Todd on numerous occasions and reminded him of God's warning, alas to no avail.
"When Todd Bentley conducted a healing meeting in a large charismatic church here in England in 2005, he laid hands on many people who were apparently healed. I know of at least one instance where a pastor's wife with cancer was prayed for by Todd.
Soon afterwards she heard voices in her head telling her to 'drown herself just like her father did'. The poor woman ended up in a mental hospital, I believe she still has the cancer.
"No-one is following up or keeping records of what happens to people who have hands laid on them by Todd or others like him.
"I have kept records as far as I can, concerning this particular church. Over a relatively short period, there has been a dramatic increase in premature deaths, cancers, marriage break-ups, sickness and disease amongst the congregation where the leadership have allowed this type of ministry into their church.
Many people left the church in fear.
"These are the consequences of following this type of 'ministry'
which no-one is either aware of, or wants to address. I know, I have visited the people in hospital and attended one of the funerals…"
Meanwhile we find a number of prominent leaders beginning to declare that this will be one of the greatest revival movements in history. Some even see it as the beginning of a "new awakening".
Bob Jones declared that "This move will be a global move, traveling with signs and wonders all over the world! The third wave is here!"
As this 'anointing' spreads worldwide, I believe there are some serious questions that we need to ask ourselves:
Isn't it possible, with all the dubious 'anointings' and angels and manifestations associated with Bentley's ministry, that what we are really seeing is a giant 'counterfeit' revival? Isn't it possible that if it continues to grow at the present rate, that it may literally become one of the great "delusions" of the Last Days - a great deception that has the power to actually deceive, if possible, the very elect?
These are very serious questions - but I believe they must be asked - because this 'anointing' is already beginning to circle the globe.
---- end quote---
Meanwhile Rory and Wendy Alec, the founders of God TV which is broadcasting video coverage say [emphasis theirs] :
To our dear friends all across the world – we feel as though our lives, the lives of our GOD TV teams and the lives of you - our viewers will never be the same again and we know so many many of you are feeling the same. Even as we write the Angelic Presence is so strong across the airwaves.
We are literally receiving thousands of emails from you, our viewers ALL ACROSS THE WORLD, telling us where you’re watching, sending healing testimonies and prayer requests and begging us NOT TO STOP BROADCASTING THIS REVIVAL!
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS, we believe that GOD TV was raised up to show the Glory of God throughout the earth and connect the nations of GOD in this vast outpouring Of Gods GLORY and HIS GRACE upon the nations - And YOU can be part of the miraculous by helping us take the fire of revival from Florida to the uttermost parts of the earth.
But Andrew Strom also quotes another brother who writes:
WARNING About VIDEOS
-by Josef Urban.
I just want to share a warning with you all about watching the videos of this thing on the internet and of watching the videos of those things related to it. Also of listening to the worship music.
Even of videos and music and such from people associated with this that are of the same spirit.
I know a brother who was having serious spiritual attacks the day after he watched a video of the revival and spoke against this, and they persisted, until he prayed and broke the demonic curses and they left instantly.
Also, last night a dark presence came upon my house after watching a video. As soon as we prayed, it went away. And then I knew there was truly something there.
A brother here also had the same thing happen to him last night after watching these videos. He said a dark presence and a wicked spirit entered his house and he and his wife both discerned it and commanded it out and it left and that he too has been warned not to watch these things any more.
There is something really powerful at work here and it's something that the Word of Faith preachers haven't even fully tapped into.
Saints, be careful of these videos. I have personally had my severe warning from the Lord not to watch them anymore, and these other two brothers have also. There is more than just words in conflict here, this is a conflict of spirits. So be warned, and be covered with the blood of Jesus! If you must watch them for the purpose of discernment, and for speaking against it specifically as is profitable for the souls of men, then be covering yourself in prayer for protection as you do, and when you're done, break all curses over you and command any evil spirit to depart from your midst!
For those of you who have been watching it, and have embraced it and are accepting everything that comes from this move and from Todd Bentley, I believe you are potentially in serious trouble and you really need to seek the Lord to open your eyes and renounce everything that is not directly from the Spirit of God.
Ed footnote: If nothing else the above reinforces the need for Christians to be discerning, prayerful and knowledgeable in the word of God.