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This is my seventh post on the Florida Healing Outpouring and frankly I had no intentions of doing any posts beyond the first one. But, due to popular demand (and subsequent questions) more have come. Initially I had a burden to throw some caution out there to those tempted to occupy the seat of scoffers and so I wrote a couple posts on being careful what we speak against. Some may wonder why I’m now tackling the more controversial points – the Angel Emma, Third Heaven Experiences, is this Kundalini, Violence and the Kingdom of God. It would be easier to say nothing, there is even some potential in my own circles that I’m inviting an unnecessary controversy by even bringing these matters up.

I’m writing on these points to ready us for a move of God. No doubt, as we’ve seen in revival history, when God visits things break out beyond the sinners prayer of the traditional fruitful evangelistic meeting. People weep and wail, there are waves of joy, extravagant giving, shaking, falling out, trances, tongues, healing – the blind see, deaf hear, signs and wonders, dreams and visions, lights, angelic encounters and sightings and more. We want it to be on earth as it is in heaven don’t we? Do we really think it’ll all look like earth does now when heaven graces the earth?

As I’ve indicated, even within our own fellowship, much of this is uncharted waters for, I’d think, half our people. But I’m called to ready the rest – to prepare the way – for God to visit. This venue (the blog) has proved to be a great way to interact on a regular basis with hundreds in our church and thousands more who are seeking God right now and need understanding. So here now I aim to demystify myticism a bit. I’m trying to model how to seek God fully and openly without “passing judgment on disputable matters.” (Romans 14:1) I’m watching people throw labels on stuff that do not fit and are not fair and they do so because it’s human to label things we can’t really grasp so we can get a better hold on them. We try to box up and categorize stuff – that’s “Word of Faith”, that’s “Health & Wealth gospel”, that’s “New Age,” that’s “mysticism,” etc. I remember thinking on my last Africa trip that so many back home would think “that’s not Christian” as the African believers went “happy” during a much extended offering. The “church” is far bigger than our version of it – and God is far bigger yet.

I’ll put myself here in a vulnerable position and share a mystic experience that happened to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Some are comparing manifestations at the Lakeland Healing Outpouring with Kundalini. Kundalini is a demonic strain of yoga. The word means “coil” and the idea is that a serpent is coiled around the based of your spine. That serpent can be awoken through intense meditation and prayer and the people under this influence display very bizarre behavior. And there are some remarkable similarities between the outward displays of those under the influence of Kundalini and those in the meetings at the Lakeland Outpouring. And of course, those in the seat of scoffers are preparing video clips saying they are one in the same. I hope if you take the time to watch the clip, you’ll also take the time to read my take on it below. What is happening in Lakeland is crushing the head of the serpent, not calling it forth. Not all the manifestations are the same – no one in Lakeland is slithering like serpents. We saw one person there manifest a demon and people sitting around immediately shifted into deliverance mode to deal with it.

In response to these valid concerns, I’m devoting this post to the subject… the “Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley, the manifestations of the Spirit or Kundalini?” In a follow-up post I will speak to the issue of – Is Todd Bentley a New Age Mystic? My answer is NO – not New Age, not Kundalini. Mystic yes. In a follow-up post I will show what mysticism is in the Bible and in church history. There is Christian mysticism and Non-Christian mysticism. Evangelicals just write off all mysticism and manifestations as bad. I think their favorite hymn must be – “I Shall Not Be Moved.”

There are both enormous differences and remarkable similarities between Kundalini and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. My view is the reason is because the common denominator is a human being/body. I suppose a guy could put a few video clips together of people laughing hysterically and then show how one, say a Muslim, is obviously laughing at the fall of the twin towers and then draw the erroneous conclusion that this same horrific event is ultimately behind the laughter of the rest, even the children. After all, the manifestation of hysterical laughter looks identical no matter what provokes it. Does it matter that the children on the video were laughing at Sponge Bob not the death of 9/11?

It absolutely does. And this is where there are enormous differences with Kundalini and the Lakeland Outpouring. The Lakeland Outpouring is about Jesus touching you. The God who can touch your mind can touch your emotions. And the God who touches your emotions can certainly touch your muscles. I remember the first time my wife touched me, I got a bit weak. Who can stand, literally stand, under the touch of God? When anything supernatural touches the natural, the natural is profoundly effected.

And, let’s not forget Satan always has his counterfeits. The reason the Bible differentiates something like “lying signs” is because there are true signs that look quite similar but aren’t (2 Thessalonians 2:8-11). There is much overlap in the religious practices and expressions of a variety of faiths, Christian and non-Christian – prayer, fasting, self-denying, Scripture, pilgrimages, music, ritual, rites, chanting, meditation, giving and so on. It’s no different with a variety of manifestations, we see similarities in manifestations in Christian and non-Christian religions, and we see remarkable differences.

Some are writing me saying “this revival isn’t of God because the fruit of the Spirit is self-control.” But that verse isn’t saying we have to be stiff, stoic and calculated all the time. The verse is simply saying for example, that after God touches you and the Spirit starts increasing in you, you won’t blow up the next time you get mad like you did before because the Spirit in you now tempers you. The Bible also says the manifestation of the Spirit can look like drunkenness to those on the outside – laughing at things not really funny, stumbling, nonsensical speech, passing out? (See Acts 2:13, 15, 1 Thess. 5:7) I think the Bible leaves the door wide open for wild meetings like we are seeing in the Lakeland Outpouring followed up with changed living.

One person wrote me saying a simple reading of 1 Corinthians 12, 14 reveals this to be a hoax revival because meetings should be orderly. I agree, the gathering of the people of God should be orderly. But God can disrupt a service can’t he? And was Paul talking about regular weekly meetings primarily or was he saying that if another fiasco like the Pentecost Outpouring (Acts 2) breaks out somebody better squelch it quick. There is a time for everything. There is a time for order. And there is a time for God to shake the foundations of all that we are and do.

Here I decided to make a post out of some comments from my earlier posts on the Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley and the Seat of Scoffers. Those posts can be found here, here and here. The fact that Todd Bentley claims an angel named Emma visited him is creating a bit of a stir from the on-line revival police (aka the “Bible Diests” to use a Jack Deere term). First, I’ll let you read about Emma from Bentley himself. Then I repost my reflections on this which I wrote in the comment section of one of the earlier posts mentioned above.

EMMA, ANGEL OF THE PROPHETIC by Todd Bentley (entire article here)

Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: “Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?” He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, “Bob, who is Emma?” He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out. Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, “Here’s Emma.” I’m not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor. It was almost like Kathryn Khulman in those old videos when she wore a white dress and looked like she was gliding across the platform. Emma appeared beautiful and young-about 22 years old-but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life.

She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began putting gold dust on people. “God, what is happening?” I asked. The Lord answered: “She is releasing the gold, which is both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that I am bringing into this church. I want you to prophecy that Emma showed up in this service-the same angel that appeared in Kansas city-as a sign that I am endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church.” See, when angels come, they always come for a reason; we need to actually ask God what the purpose is. Within three weeks of that visitation, the church had given me the biggest offering I had ever received to that point in my ministry. Thousands of dollars! Thousands! Even though the entire community consisted of only three thousand people, weeks after I left the church the pastor testified that the church offerings had either doubled or tripled…

I believe Emma released a financial and prophetic anointing in that place. That was the first angel that I have ever seen in the form of a woman. Some angels I’ve seen seemed like they were neither male nor female. However, Emma appeared as a woman who was like a Deborah, like a mother in Zion. When she came, she began to mentor, nurture and opened up a prophetic well. The people in the church began having trances and visions and the pastor began getting words of knowledge and moving in healing. That congregation also saw more financial breakthrough than they had ever seen before.

Regarding your question about Todd Bentley and the angel Emma… Certainly angels visit people and speak to them. They are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who inherit salvation.” They are angelos – messengers. In Acts 8:26 an angel shows up and speaks to Philip about which road to go down to meet up with the Etheopian Eunuch. And, absolutely, angels have names – Gabriel, Michael, etc. Demons are fallen angels and we have numerous named fallen angels in Scripture – Legion, Abaddon, Lucifer, Prince of the Power of Persia, Mammon, Beelzbub, etc. Those in our deliverance ministry will tell you demonic spirits have identities that are often related to their assignments – spirit of perversion, spirit of division, spirit of infirmity or fear. Angels are no different, some minister before the throne of God, others in the dark corners of the earth. Some bring supply, some war on our behalf. They have assignments and identities. The seminaries I went to didn’t teach angelogy or demonology – they are good evangelical schools but they have no theology of the supernatural. I had to learn this stuff right from the Bible.

Angelic activity is increasing in the earth as is demonic activity and both will continue to increase until we reach the great conflict of the ages. I praise God for angelic activity, visitations and have several stories of personal interaction with angels myself and many, many more visitations and sightings at our church.

That an angel named Emma or “Winds of Change” visited these revival leaders is nothing to fret about at all. Even the fact that Satan comes as an “angel of light” says volumes about how active angels are in the world and the Body of Christ today. Satan is just trying to blend in with what God is doing and pull a few people off course.

God send more angels! Each weekend at Church at the Gate I ask for God to send angels to minister and bring the atmosphere of heaven in our worship services. Spiritually sensitive people frequently, almost weekly, comment to me they see angels in worship at our church or around the premises or in prayer meetings. Why are we surprised and skeptical? The Bible says they are ministering spirits send to serve us?

I’ll share one personal story. My wife and I were in Idaho praying with a another couple. The man said, “Pastor Steve do you know that you have angels around you right now?” I said, “I guess, aren’t they all around?” I meant like in a generic way, aren’t angels out and about anyways? He said, “open your eyes.” I did and I looked and saw two huge angels, one on my right and one on my left.

My wife didn’t see them. But I did and so did he. A week later I was back home and was heading to the church at 6 AM on a Sunday morning. I was tired, not ready to preach, discouraged, beat up, etc. As I drove to church I prayed that God would help me and that he’d send those two angels to me again, the one on the right and the one on the left and that they would pouring refreshment and strength over my life.

In our second worship service that day I was praying and notably in full strength again. At the conclusion of the service, a college girl in our church, now married, named Marissa, came up to me with a note written on the blank half of her Sunday bulletin. I have the note under the clear plastic mat on the top of my desk. The note basically says, “Pastor Steve, while you were praying in the service today I peeked and saw two massive angels standing over you pouring bowls of refreshment on you, one was on your right and one was on your left. I thought you’d want to know.”

Marissa will tell you today that she had no idea I’d seen those angels the week before or asked God to send them to me again that day. Today I welcome angelic activity, visitations and sightings do nothing except fire up my faith that God is at work in our midst! Imagine though that I were to “go public” (as Bentley has) with the fact that two “angels of refreshment” visited me twice. I suppose the unloving and anonymous heresy hunters would have my hide too. I’m thrilled to hear angels are visiting Todd Bentley. I hope angels visit you too.

Be careful of listening to the scoffers online whose “doctrine” is based on their experience in things supernatural – or in this case their lack of experience. The Word of God says God uses angels to minister to us and even speak to us.

UPDATED: A big thanks to LadyofFe for sharing this verse in the comments section. The verse speaks of two female angels “Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork….” Zechariah 5:9 This is an interesting and important reference as some in the seat of scoffers are making the absurb claim that angels can only appear as men.

This is my third post discussing those discussing Todd Bentley and the Florida Outpouring. If you have yet to read the earlier posts you can do so here, and here. Two weeks ago I ventured down to Lakeland for a few days with some folks from our church. This past Sunday I decided to devote my message to what is unfolding there. Those of you who are used to a 25 minute sermonette each week will need to take this in two parts because it’s 58 minutes long. It’s probably easier to grab it off itunes and plop in on your ipod, or you can get it off the podcast link below which is on our church website. Feedback is welcome though I prefer you read the earlier posts first before commenting as I’m not interested in giving scoffers a greater platform.

Is this that? Relections on the Florida Outpouring – Matthew 11:1-19

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