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God revealed himself to me today as Creator while I was sitting outside in a lawn chair. Thomas and I picked a little group of trees to sit under – Thomas has plans for that spot as soon as he gets an extra $47.
I looked to my right to see one seed left on this dandelion. I thought to myself, “there is no freakin’ way that evolved. Oh the fantasy life of the evolutionists! To think that the first dandelion plant had the sense and ability to perpetuate itself, and then the genious to produce near-weighless seeds atop a launch pad each specially rigged to a umbrella/parachute-like lift system designed to catch the wind to transport the seed… ugh!” A fool says in his heart there is no God. If this doesn’t reveal the brilliance of a Creator I’m not sure what does.
That this was designed by a Designer is a plain fact – you hear that science community? Fact! Your theory is ridiculous fantasy. It’s remarkable to me that there is even a debate on our origins. The existence of a Creator is not religious dogma, it’s just a plain-as-day, open-your-blind-eyes fact. There isn’t even a remote chance this seed or anything else evolved. Please don’t offend my intelligence or force the children of the world to accept your fairy tale theories.
We are celebrating here at Church at the Gate because yesterday we were granted OCCUPANCY! The inspectors signed off on the building and we can now occupy the children’s and youth addition. It’s a brand new day around here! I shot some hoops over the lunch hour yesterday in the new gym and it’s a blast seeing the rooms full of kids this AM. One great moment came when Thomas and I walked out of the worship center with the fire inspector following behind and our new youth/young adult pastor Jared (not seeing the fire inspector) threw something at Thomas. Of course Thomas ducked (or Jared missed) and he hit the fire inspector!
All week we’ve been packing our offices and the church staff will mostly be homeless for a month until they finish our new office suite. Also underway right now is a coffee shop and bookstore area in the existing building. Very cool.
If you’ve not yet read my earlier post on Todd Bentley, the Florida Healing Outpouring and the Seat of Scoffers, please read that first. This post is a follow-up to that earlier post and the stream of comments it provoked.
Since I wrote that post, I have spent three days and nights in Lakeland at the outpouring. A couple of those days I was with my friend Randy Bohlender. I concur with his assessments and refer you to his blog for those. Basically Randy notes there are a ton of hungry people there – and some strange folks as well (who can control who comes to a public meeting?). Randy notes… this is mostly God and there’s more going on than you see on TV.
My focus in blogging on this twice now has been to counter some of trash talk out there from the supposedly “Christian” self-appointed, anonymous, unaccountable, unfruitful, on-line revival police – these unloving people are sowing a fear of deception in the Body of Christ robbing many people of an innocent faith in a God who only gives good gifts to his children. They hinder children wanting to come to Jesus. These people only have faith for a counterfeit to show up on the scene. I’m now deleting most of the comments from those sitting in the seat of scoffers because they are missing the point of my posts. I’m not dialoging here about the rightness or wrongness of tattoos or any of the other things people are finding wrong about this revival. Most of what is coming in is mass “pasting” of links and selected Scriptures shot as arrows from places of concealment (Ps. 64).
I have my own growing list of relevant Scriptures. Read these carefully and you’ll begin to see my point. After that, I will share some very important things I heard said in Lakeland by the leaders there.
Romans 14:1,4,12,14 “…do not pass judgment on disputable matters… who are you to judge someone else’s servant? …each of us will give an account of himself to God… let us stop passing judgment on one another…”
Ephesians 4:29-30 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
In one of the comments in my previous post, a fellow took after me calling me “gay” and “limp-wristed” for not speaking against this… he then swore. He did send a follow-up comment the next morning to apologize. I forgive him, but this is my point… unwholesome talk is coming out of the mouths of people right now – the Spirit is being grieved – praise and cursing don’t come from the same mouth. These folks need to repent, and not to me, it’s not my revival. Jesus nailed these folks to the wall…
Matthew 12:34-37… You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Here it is again from the Message… “You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
Regarding the reaction of some to what is happening at the revival – 2 Corinthians 2:14… “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Regarding Todd Bentley – 1 Corinthians 1:27… “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise”
Proverbs 12:18… “Reckless words pierce like a sword, the tongue of the wise brings health.”
And my personal favorite – Philippians 4:8-9… “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Why don’t people focus on the good stuff going on here? Jesus is the focus of these meetings – that is indisputable. God’s Word is sung for hours, preached, there are powerful altar calls where people are getting saved. I was a part of a training where 600 people were trained in the basics of street evangelism and sent out in the community of Lakeland to witness and pray for people. The stories and testimonies coming back were awesome. 120 people were saved in the three days I was there through the work of these street evangelists. Nearly all of those going out into the streets have never done that before and were nervous-as-can-be. We should be praying for them. These hyper-critical scoffers on-line ought to log off indefinitely and go out in their communities to win the lost. But here’s the deal there… they have no life to offer the dying. They are so caught up in the “ministry” of killing what God is doing.
Why not focus on this… this is a picture of a seven year old boy who was severely cross-eyed five minutes previous. Now his eyes are normal and his mom and family members were absolutely beside themselves. The boy talked about Jesus touching him and how he loves Jesus. It made 8000 people cry. The scoffers have what to say about this?? They are blind to what God is doing here.
This revival started in Ignited Church which is pastored by Stephen Strader. Strader spoke in a morning session about what it was like to pastor something like this and how hard it was to be on the brunt end of merciless criticism from people supposedly in our camp. He said when this started April 2, God spoke to him to “not steady the ark.” People were calling saying “correct this” and “rein this in” but Strader says “we sensed we were not to steady the ark.” He’s referring to the time the oxen stumbled while bringing the ark of the covenant into the city of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6). Uzzah reach out to steady the ark and God struck him down for his irreverent act. David took six steps and sacrificed a bull and fattened calf.
DON’T “STEADY THE ARK”
Pastor Strader and Todd Bentley are stewarding the presence of God here trying to usher it into cities around the world by imparting what God has given them to those who come wanting it where they live. And they sense they aren’t to “steady the ark.” Instead, Strader and Bentley are following David’s example in taking six steps and then sacrificing. Six is the number of man and Strader says they are interpreting this as representing the hand of man and how they are to do all they know to do, and then pray. For six days they are doing what the leaders collective experiences and counsel and wisdom say but then they are stopping on the seventh day and offering themselves up.
Strader preached a message on May 4 explaining why they sense they are to let the wheat grow with the tares. The message is called “The Wheat and the Tares” and includes this illustration:
(My paraphrase) Down the street is one of my favorite places to eat – it has a great buffet. But on that buffet are beets and I hate beets. But I don’t walk in the restaurant and make a scene and scream out to the manager – “This restaurant has beets on the buffet, get rid of them!” I’m not out spreading a bad report in the city saying “this restaurant has beets and the manager won’t get rid of them. This whole restaurant is bad and will kill you and everyone eating there is being poisoned!
Pastor Strader’s point is just come to the buffet and eat – stay away from the beets if you don’t like them. There are a lot of other things being offered here. Let’s focus on all the good things!
The US Census Bureau reports the world’s 6,666,666,666th person was born on May 10. Of course, overpopulation.net is reacting to this by bemoaning we have now “passed our sustainability” and that “reckless breeding humans” are responsible for the inevitable downfall of the species because we have ignored alarming facts about sustainable food limits that the earth produces relative to population. The Sierra Club wants to re-double its promotion of population control.
It’s hugely disappointing to me that key evangelical leaders like mega-church pastor Rick Warren and Christianity Today editor David Neff are signing things like the Evangelical Climate Initiative which was largely funded ($475,000) by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Hewletts are major contributors to abortion and population control efforts.
All this panic over more people on the planet is soundly debunked by Steve Mosher’s latest book – Population Control—Real Costs, Illusory Benefits. Mosher leads the Population Research Initiative which is dedicated to objectively presenting the truth about population-related issues, and to reversing the trends brought about by the myth of overpopulation. PRI is a growing, global network of pro-life groups spanning over 30 countries. Get this… to date they have successfully eliminated $750 million in U.S. tax dollars to population control groups or programs. Praise God for PRI and Steve Mosher!
You can read a great review of this new book here. In case you are pressed for time, I’ll paste a taste here. The very first line of the book reads… “we have all grown up on on a poisonous diet of overpopulation propaganda.”
Mosher’s book is, first and foremost, an answer to the allegation that the human race is inexorably multiplying, hell-bent toward a giant demographic cliff like so many lemmings. The numbers show that the world is not, has never been, nor ever shall be, overpopulated. In fact, according to the world’s experts–even the ones advocating population control–birthrates around the world are dropping at a precipitous rate. The book thus torpedoes the lifeboat scenario, which argued that in order to survive, we had to throw some of the earth’s passengers overboard. But it is much more than this. The history of the population control movement is replete with human rights abuses. Those who were made to walk the plank of abortion, sterilization, and contraception–all for the supposed good of humanity–have some horrific tales to tell.
These people hate people. Don’t believe me? John Muir, the founder of Sierra Club had this to say about more people… “Man is always and everywhere a blight on the landscape.” John David the editor of EarthFirst agrees… “Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs.” Paul Watson, the founder of Greenpeace, said… “I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds.” Or this from Paul Taylor, author of Respect for Nature, “Given the total, absolute disappearance of Homo sapiens, then not only would the Earth’s community of Life continue to exist, but in all probability, its well being enhanced. Our presence, in short, is not needed.”
The Word of God says the polar opposite… that the redemption of the created order is dynamically tied up in the redemption of man. That all creation is presently waiting for us to get right with God. That the creations liberation from its “bondage to decay” awaits us. The salvation of the earth is not in the elimination of humankind but rather in the redemption of humankind. God has never rescended the mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.”
If you’ve yet to hear my message this past week on this subject you can download the podcast here. It’s titled “Changing Climates” and is about Rizpah in 2 Samuel 21. The key points are…
1. The number one thing we can do for the creation is acknowledge the Creator.
2. Blood pollution, more often than not, is the culprit in any climate crisis.
3. It takes an atonement to redeem and heal the land.
4. God uses intercessors to change the atmosphere.
Not recorded on the audio version are my comments on the We Get It Campaign which was launched on Friday. I encourage everyone to read the declaration and consider signing it and joining with others who are committed to finding pro-life strategies to care for the environment.
Last night was Honors Night at Patrick Henry Middle School – Kaitlyn is wrapping up eighth grade there today. The fact that she is hitting high school and already old enough to drive in South Dakota (14) is a bit weird for me. Kristen has driven to PHMS every school day for nine years with one of the three kids. An era is over. (Funny… I typed PMS and just caught the missing H – thank God I caught the missing H)
Thomas makes the switch now from Lincoln High School to Roosevelt High School since we moved closer to Roosevelt. Caleb graduates from Lincoln on Sunday. He’s thinking about that – today I’m thinking about how do I preach a shorter message in the second service on Sunday so I can get to the graduation ceremony by 1 P.M.. Kristen is thinking about getting food prepared and tables, etc… big graduation party here at the compound this weekend. You can read my earlier tribute to Caleb on his 18th birthday here. I’ll add just a few thoughts here…
Caleb is bigger than I and he’s proud of that – but I always retort with… “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man… stature without wisdom just makes you a big dummy.” I’m happy to report the wisdom growth is notably catching up. He still throws the cats in our creek but, even there, lessons are being learned… they scratch him so badly he won’t go near them and the end result is he doesn’t throw them in the creek. I think he’ll fare fine in the adult world.
On Monday, I gave him his graduation present – a black MacBook. Kristen thought I should wrap it. I decided to put it in the fridge right before he came home from work. I briefed the other residents of the home and we acted like nothing was different and sho-nuf, the boy went straight to the fridge – smiled, took out his cell phone to snap a photo, grabbed the computer and some string cheese. Years ago I used to trap raccoons and muscrat. Same basic process… set bait carefully in a frequently traveled spot, back away and wait. Snap! Only this time Caleb got caught in my blessing trap.
He’s a blessed boy and a great blessing and he’ll affect many people’s lives.
Doesn’t the Bible say we are to disciple nations? Until a hundred years ago, our nations pastors did this through a variety of means including the annual “Election Sermon” which was given the Sunday before an election. The purpose was to shed the light of God on the affairs of man and keep our nation headed on a divine course. Things have changed. America is off course. Pastors are quiet, intimidated, threatened, muzzled by fears we’d lose our sacred 501c3 status.
Enter… PULPIT FREEDOM SUNDAY, September 28, 2008. I love this headline in last weeks Wall Street Journal… Pastors May Defy IRS Gag Rule.
A conservative legal-advocacy group is enlisting ministers to use their pulpits to preach about election candidates this September, defying a tax law that bars churches from engaging in politics. Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Ariz., nonprofit, is hoping at least one sermon will prompt the Internal Revenue Service to investigate, sparking a court battle that could get the tax provision declared unconstitutional. Alliance lawyers represent churches in disputes with the IRS over alleged partisan activity.
I thank God for my friend Gary McCaleb, Senior Counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund. Alliance Defense Fund exists to counter the dark influence of the ACLU and today is a massive and well-funded legal group solely focused on religious freedoms. I met Gary a few years ago here on the frontlines of the battle for the unborn in South Dakota. He came to our state to offer the full legal support of the ADF – at no charge to South Dakota pastors. On numerous occasions since I’ve run what I am doing here by Gary to see if I’m still “legal.” He gives me great counsel at no charge – tells me to call him on his cell phone – even on weekends he gets right back to me. The Alliance Defense Fund offers to pay the full legal expenses of any pastor who gets in trouble for being God’s voice to our culture.
Last week in DC I was excited to hear ADF is launching this “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” initiative. They are encouraging pastors all over America to exercise their First Amendment right to openly discuss the positions of political candidates and other moral and social issues from the pulpit. They hope to get some lawsuits rolling that will regain the pastors freedom to speak freely in America again. Here’s a bit more from ADF’s website or you might prefer to watch this video clip:
“Pastors have a right to speak about biblical values from the pulpit without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “The government can’t demand that a church give up its right to tax-exempt status simply because the pastor exercises his First Amendment rights in the pulpit. Groups like Americans United intentionally trigger IRS investigations that will silence churches through fear, intimidation, and disinformation.” Prior to 1954, churches were free to evaluate the positions of political candidates on moral issues without fear of the Internal Revenue Service revoking their tax-exempt status. That year, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson amended the tax code to add the threat of IRS action against churches if their pastors mentioned the positions of specific candidates from the pulpit. Citing that rule, groups like AU have repeatedly threatened to report churches to the IRS if they speak out on such issues. Many tax-exempt organizations are permitted to evaluate candidates’ positions based on the values important to those groups. Organizations which are tax-exempt but do not have the same speech restrictions the IRS places on churches include civic leagues; labor, agricultural, or horticultural associations; business leagues; chambers of commerce; real estate boards; boards of trade; professional football leagues; clubs organized for pleasure, recreation, and other nonprofit purposes; fraternal beneficiary societies; and cemeteries. “The intimidation of churches by leftist groups using the IRS has grown to a point that ADF has no choice but to respond,” said Stanley. “The number of threats being reported to ADF is growing because of the aggressive campaign to unlawfully silence the church. IRS rules don’t trump the Constitution, and the First Amendment certainly trumps the Johnson amendment.”
If we don’t use our freedom to defend our freedom we will lose our freedom. I’m excited about this. In fact, I’m going to have trouble restraining myself until September 28.
The US Mint is pondering raising the cost of a nickel. It takes 7.7 cents to make one. Would a nickel still be a nickel if it cost more than a nickel? Why don’t they report on how much it costs to make a hundred dollar bill?
On this subject, Kristen will tell you “don’t get him started.” But she isn’t here right now so here goes. My dad passed the torch to me in terms of a total disgust with the Federal Reserve. Here’s a crash course for the uninitiated (which is basically every single American, except a few.)
A few years ago I took the fam to the Denver Mint. Our tour group of about twenty was led by a gal in her twenties. We went room to room and she did a great job with the tour… then came the Q & A. Kristen gave me the “i will kill you” glare and pulled the kids toward her so it didn’t seem like they were with me. I mouthed the words… “relax, I’ll behave.”
Me: Ma’m… is the Federal Reserve, federal?
Tour lady: Well, um, no it’s not.
Me: Are there any “reserves?”
Tour lady: Hmm. Good question. I don’t think so. I don’t think there are.
Me: How much did you say it costs to make a Sacajawea Dollar Coin?
Tour lady: (happy to know the answer to this…) 9.3 cents
Me: So why do I have to pay a dollar for it? And, does the US government make 90.7 cents profit on this product?
Tour lady: No. Is there somebody else with a question?
Me: Hmm. (I didn’t verbalize the next question I had because valued my marriage.) But here it is for you… who is this “Federal Reserve” and these people have got to be filthy rich making money for about a dime and selling it to us for a dollar?
The basic plan for the Federal Reserve was drafted in a secret meeting in November, 1910 at the private resort of banker J.P. Morgan on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Also present was Paul M. Warburg representing the Rothschild banking dynasty, five other bankers and one elected official… Nelson W. Aldrich the chairman of the National Monetary Commission (but business partner of J.P. Morgan).
Though the Constitution of the United States explicitly states that only the US Congress can make and print money in the United States, in 1913 under President Woodrow Wilson, the Congress delegated the power to make money to a private corporation (a cartel) run by a handful of world bankers. Since then the same people/families behind our money have funded both sides of several major wars and been the instigators of boom/bust cycles, depression and debt.
A few years after it’s creation, President Woodrow Wilson said this about the Federal Reserve:
I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.
Why is a pastor, a spiritual leader, meddling here on a topic related to the economy? Money isn’t evil. No, but there is a demonic spirit quite involved here – Mammon. And the Body of Christ is FULLY bound financially. Jesus said we can’t serve two masters. I tell people they aren’t spiritually free until they are financially free. So, get out of debt, don’t make covenants with creditors. The anti-christ will control the earth at the End of the Age through the money system. Then Jesus will come and again overturn the tables of the moneychangers! Come Lord Jesus!
For Further Reading: CATG’r Steven M. Collins has a great article on his website on “Financial Captivity in the End Times“. My favorite text on this topic is “The Creature from Jekyll Island” by G. Edward Griffin
So much is going on. We are watching the Florida outpouring and have plans to go dip in the stream there on May 21-24 with numerous other CATGr’s. I have more to say about all that but I’ll let it cook a while longer.
We had great services this weekend and, like I said in one of them, it’s getting harder and harder to step up after the worship time and transition to the next thing. Can anybody say – linger? How about “let loose?” For years I’ve seen myself as the leader of our weekend worship services. It’s quite different now. About halfway into the second/third song I’m typically relegating my role there to Him and telling Him to let me know if I’m up next or He is. It’ll be interesting to see where we are in a few months if this continues. Am I the only pastor who wonders… who will stay if He does come? We had someone leave our church recently because, get this, they loved our church but are leaving because they didn’t know week to week what would happen in a service. God bless them but that comment seems a compliment to one who has been summoning the Wind of behalf of the dead that they’d come alive a vast army. Isn’t there a verse about “the wind blows whereever it pleases… you can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going.”
After the CityChurch service on Sunday night, I stayed up real late with Thomas making a catapult that can launch a pingpong ball size object 30 feet – a project for school. Yesterday I really tried to slow down some. I’m not sure I succeeded. I mowed, got sunburned forearms, worked some more on the chicken coop – only two of our 120 broiler chicks have died here in the first week. The rest are happy and strong. Last night the boys and I cut up a huge dead tree and then entertained the girls with the mother of all bonfires. Surely it was visible from the moon.
It’s a bit of a scramble today with appointments and getting ready to head to DC tomorrow until Friday. A wedding is on the slate for this Saturday and Mothers Day services are coming this weekend. Then Caleb’s graduation the next week which means… a day or so to get the place ready for a big celebration. Then the following week I’ll go check out what God is doing in Lakeland. Oh, and we are about to break ground for our home addition.
Here’s my 525 page slowdown plan for the plane tomorrow. Thanks to Nicole O. for the tip on this new book which looks like it goes right in the flow of what I’ve been hammering on from the pulpit. Like I need more fuel for that fire. Kristen still thinks a fiction book will relax me more and says things like… “a book shouldn’t make you mad.” I don’t know about her but I get a baptism in God-infused energy and zeal when I read about the war we are in for LIFE.
The Great Awakenings in early America (that evangelicals love to romantically look back upon) were scandulous and freaky to the mainstream church of that day. The revival leaders were heralded as “false-everything,” the manifestations made the news. Yet today we look back quite fondly on those “special times” God visited our nation. Today, May 1, is the National Day of Prayer. People are gathering all over America asking God to visit us again.
Let’s be honest… if God were to “visit” our churches today in similar fashion, half of yous would walk out and spread a bad report. Am I wrong? Before you judge what is unfolding in Florida, ask yourself this question… what will it look like when God shows up? The self-appointed, unaccountable, anonymous, bitter and fruitless doctrine police on the Internet are already having a heyday with Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Florida outpouring. They shoot their arrows from places of concealment. They sit in the seat of scoffers. They bother me because their methods and message are far more unBiblical than anything unfolding in Florida. The Bible cautions against those with forms of religion but who deny the power. Anyone else want the power? I do.
Come out of your cave and stand there and wait for God to pass by. You thought he’d come in a storm or a whirlwind didn’t you? Nope. He came in a still small voice. To all of you now standing outside your cave waiting for a still small voice, I’m guessing he’ll come now in the storm and many will miss his coming. Do you think he’s forever locked into passing by in only one fashion?
Some of us have been praying and fasting for years for God to come in power. Personally, I’ve been fortunate to have been in some recent outpourings – Kansas City being our hometown, Kristen and I experienced the early years of the Kansas City Prophets and saw God move mightily in those gatherings. We were dating at the time and that’s what we did for dates – go hear Bob Jones! There was good and not so good and, long story short, we bolted to Chicago for a few years to settle into safer ministries. But I love the Narnia line about Aslan the lion/Jesus… “Is He safe? No. But he’s good.” In 1996, the Spirit rocked us again. Since then I’ve been to Pensacola/Brownsville, Toronto, Nigeria and Kiev. Last summer my son Caleb and I, and friend Andy, went on a prayer journey to Herrnhut, Germany to tap into an ancient awakening there.
I believe in cross-pollination, transferable anointing and impartation. Historical revivals spread up and down the east coast of our nation because people traveled. I’m bummed some of the aforementioned outpourings didn’t last or, in any tangible way, transform the city in which they occurred. I believe we are learning more each time about how to steward a move of God. There are God visitations spoken of in the Bible that were soon quenched by carnality, pride and the like. I know we are to inspect fruit, but the Bible doesn’t discount the authenticity of a visitation just because the people afterwards veered off course.
And now something has broken out in Lakeland, Florida. With many others who also have their ear-to-the-track regarding the End Times, I’ve been waiting for something to pop somewhere and for it to go national, indeed global, in just a few weeks through the wonders of technology and transportation. In the 80’s back in KC we held on to prophecies that God would one day fill stadiums with prophetic healing meetings. This is happening tonight in Florida. Meetings that were only intended to go for a couple days have now been ongoing daily for weeks – they are outgrowing every venue they’ve moved into and tonight they will be in Tiger Stadium.
For these reasons I’m watching Florida really close and watching my tongue lest I speak against something God is doing. Friends who have gone have come back powerfully healed. Others report some misgivings. I certainly have some misgivings of my own but they are easily overcomeable. Each night our family has been watching via GODTV. A few guys in the church have talked with me about going. I probably will. I think you should do what Zack Hensley is thinking of doing – driving down with a buddy just to kick your skepticism in the face. Let’s be people who bless not curse. Thanks Zack for this blessing prayer:
Bless Todd Bentley, Bless those in Lakeland Florida. I pray that the Lord continues to give him a spirit of wisdom and revelation, that they would know the hope of which Christ was called. I pray for all those touched by the Lord in healing and salvation that He would complete the work he has started in them. That they would be counted worthy of His calling and that the grace and peace of Christ would sustain them until the end. amen
I’m not worried about being deceived. I trust God’s ability to keep me more than the devil’s ability to deceive me. Here’s what I fear more… missing a move of God because it came in a way that made me uncomfortable.
Revival is always a polarizing event and this one is no exception. I don’t feel compelled to answer for ministry styles or personalities any more. I do know this – our friend, Kelsey Hayes, was dramatically healed (is there an undramatic healing?) last week. My guess is her parents didn’t worry too much about the ministry style. Do I wish people did things a different way? Of course…but not enough to reject something if God is in it.
[SH: Read a news report of Kelsey's healing here. I highly, highly recommend you read this testimony/news report.]
Do desperately hungry people get real picky about how and who hands food to them? No.
Numerous CATGr’s are quite familiar with the main personality in the Florida outpouring – Todd Bentley. A year ago I led a group of 30+ people through a study of his book on the Supernatural World. It was a great upgrade for those of us ready to “set our minds on things in heaven, not on earthly things.” Others have been to conferences where Todd has ministered. Same story… some powerfully touched, others report misgivings.
Personally, a few of his antics and of course, the observables (tattoos and piercings) don’t make much sense to me. But here’s how I’ve overcome that… I asked myself what the 21st century equivalent to eating locusts/wild honey and wearing wild camels hair and a belt might be. What do you think it is? Wearing wild camels fur put John the Baptist in league with the outcasts and unclean. I’m thinking today’s equivalent might be tattoo’s, t-shirts and piercings. Lou Engle once commented about the young generation that God is raising up today that is so full of piercings. Frustrated, he told God… they “look like fishing lures.” God responded something to the effect, “Precisely, and I’m going to use them to reel in the nations.”
What should a “man of God” look like? Do I fit the bill? In other nations, cultures and camps probably not. Twenty two years ago when I entered ministry the “man of God” wore a blue suit and a red tie (that is if you had any holy role on the platform). But I started to move in other circles and discovered a camp where the “man of God” had to have a $3000 suit to show off his anointing. If I’d have shown up with my $100 blue suit/tie they’d have kept me off the stage and cast the spirit of religion off me and tried to introduce me to the new wineskin.
Today we are active in the ARC and in the prayer movement. Last week we were in Birmingham for the ARC conference and repeatedly saw how the “man of God” wears an embroidered untucked shirt with the sleeves barely rolled up, jeans and dress shoes. At IHOP, frankly, anything from Goodwill will work. They don’t care down there because the knees will wear out soon anyway from hours in the prayer room. Dressing like that in the house of God is “offensive” to some – where’s the reverence and respect?! I say, lighten up. In the case of female attire, at least they exude a modesty I’m not seeing in suburban evangelical youth/college ministries. My son Caleb graduates high school in a couple weeks and is heading to IHOP’s Forerunner School of Ministry in the fall. After four years of buzz haircuts for Marine Corp JR ROTC, he told us this AM his hair is going to get longer and that he is thinking about a tattoo on his arm of the Hebrew letters for the word “Nazirite.” I told him to hold off on the tattoo but I was delighted that he has the heart of a Nazirite. Maybe I need a tattoo. When I cut my long hair a few years ago many CATGr’s were relieved. One of our worship team peeps commented to me the day I cut my ponytail off… “good, now I can invite friends again to church!” Maybe I’ll put my earring in again.
One of our praying people at CATG once told me regarding Heidi Baker that “she offends the natural mind before she even opens her mouth.” If you’ve seen her you know about the twitching and jerking. It does… it offends the natural mind – many probably think “this lady is a certified nut.” But, no. No, no she isn’t. God is using her to minister to the discarded children of the world – to start thousands of orphanages and churches. She is going to the hopeless places in the world the scoffer has yet to go and, unlike the scoffer, she is bearing eternal fruit. And, buckle up for this… she is literally seeing things in her ministry like the feeding of five thousand with a single bowl of soup.
One things I know about a genuine move of God, it will offend the natural mind. If you can get past that you can get into the supernatural.
I hope you’ll also read my other posts on Todd Bentley and the Florida Outpouring.
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley and the Seat of Scoffers part two
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley and the Seat of Scoffers part three
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley and the Angel Emma
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley, Violence and the Kingdom of God
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley, the manifestations of the Spirit or Kundalini?