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ABC Nightline’s feature last night on Todd Bentley and the Florida Healing Outpouring was hardly favorable. Is anyone surprised? Gnat-straining camel swallowers in the Body of Christ were given much to delight and gloat over. The lost watching world was shown what the devil would want them to see. Todd Bentley was surely disappointed. Obadiah 1:12 came to me early this morning… “Do not gloat over your brother’s day of misfortune.” I’m sure few, if any, among those in the seat of scoffers will be restrained by this verse, or any other, for that matter.

I’ve been to the meetings in Lakeland. It was apparent to me the ABC Nightline folks went there to get the angle they were after and they got it. They missed much as well. They found a precious wheelchair-bound girl on the streets of Lakeland who has had multiple unfortunate encounters with the revival’s street evangelism teams who, no doubt with good intentions, invited (and probably pressured) her to the attend the healing meetings. She shared the pain of people being insensitive to her. I could fully relate as my father-in-law has been wheelchair-bound for nearly 60 years since he contracted polio at age 14. My wife has numerous stories growing up of being in places like the parking lot at Billy Graham Crusades being accosted by people on the way out that told him he’d “get up out of the chair if he only had faith.” This isn’t what the street evangelism teams told the girl in Lakeland, but the effect was the same. I attended the street evangelism training in Lakeland last month and yes, they do need to give people a briefing on sensitivity to the feelings of the infirmed before they send them out.

But, the faithful hitting the streets in Lakeland have something the rest of the church doesn’t, that being… boldness. They are not sent forth with a spirit of timidity, but rather full bold faith in the power of God. Can a person walking in apostolic boldness simultaneously walk in great sensitivity? Yes. But this is a grace that doesn’t typically come initially. Boldness must be tempered by wisdom and discernment. Rather than criticize the street evangelism teams, we need to pray that they walk in wisdom and power, love and compassion.

ABC Nightline could have worked harder to find positive encounters out there on the street – like the lady I heard about when I was there who was planning to commit suicide the day she met a loving couple from the revival in a grocery store parking lot. That lady was baptized in love and hope in that parking lot and gave her life to Jesus Christ.

ABC Nightline found a local shop keeper who viewed the revival negatively. Maybe they should have interviewed the mayor and city council members and got a comment or two on the fact that Todd Bentley, who for 100 days has brought 5000-10,000 people daily to the city, is responsible for bringing millions and millions and millions of dollars into the city’s economy. I’d guess there are mayors all over America who would love to have something like this grace their city. Instead they predictably dug up Bentley’s dark past but neglected to report on his dramatic conversion to Jesus Christ and subsequent dozen years of ministry to the poor, the orphans and hurting worldwide.

ABC Nightline is incapable of any sort of favorable story on anything remotely Christian. I’m not even convinced they are telling the truth when they reported “not one single miracle could be independently verified.” Wow- that went across the airwaves turning the hearts of many against what is happening in Lakeland. But, I can point them to a verifiable miracle. I’ve even seen doctors on the platform in Lakeland standing alongside the healed to testify. Those stewarding the revival apparently need to spoon-feed stories to the media in their media packet but even then, Jesus spoke of a deep-seated societal unbelief, so deep that people won’t even be convinced when the dead are raised right before their eyes. ABC Nightline has a deep-seated disbelief for sure. The light is veiled from their eyes.

But hello, again, getting ABC Nightline to do a favorable story on anything Christian is about as likely as getting the Code Pink gals to do a favorable piece on the Iraq War. ABC and every other main stream media outlet has a distinct and secular (which means godless or without God) agenda. They are the spokespeople for the godless left and are keenly aware that the only thing standing in the way of gay marriage, abortions and decency in broadcasting is THE CHURCH.

I deal with the media here far more than I like because my role in the abortion battle in our state. More times than I can count I’ve found it maddening that the pro-life position is maligned and misrepresented by the media. We hand them facts and stories and testimonies on a silver platter and they don’t even do a story. We got 100 pro-life doctors together for a press conference in ’06 and we had to beg the media to even show up. Yet, Planned Parenthood propaganda gets released and the media parades it across the headlines. Do we not see that these are the same types “reporting” on what is unfolding in Lakeland. They operate in the same denomic spirit. These are the very people who feed the global warming fears with story after story and fully ignore the vast amount of scientific expertise that says its all hoax and false alarm. Are we surprised they found nothing to verify in Lakeland? I’m not.

Many in my world believe an end-time revival is coming that will spread, in part, due to God touching the main stream media. I first grabbed onto these prophecies in the late 80’s when I lived in Kansas City. I still believe them to be true. However, I also know as we more fully enter the end of the age, the world will rage against the people of God. The people of God will be singled out for ridicule and reproach. Jesus said woe to you when men speak well of you. In other words, if they like us, we apparently aren’t much like Him (Jesus). The same hungry and hurting people who liked and flocked to Jesus are the same people who like and flock to Todd Bentley. The same people who feverishly tried to nail Jesus to the tree are the same types trying to nail Bentley today. That’s interesting to note isn’t it?

If you haven’t been to Lakeland to take this all in first hand, here’s one additional important thing ABC Nightline missed. They missed that there is more going on here than one sees on the stage. Most Christians can only imagine what it would be like to stand in such an atmosphere of faith. In this economy, people who buy airline tickets to get closer to where they hear God is moving are desperately hungry people. God always honors that hunger. Being in a tent with 5000-10000 people with that level of hunger places a heavy draw on heaven to visit earth. I’d rather be in that atmosphere any day than among the “Bible Deists” whose only hope for well-being is that their doctor will continue to dish out their antidepressants week after week. I’d rather be in the room with people who bought airline tickets to get a touch from God than sit in all these scoffing churches with people who aren’t hungry enough to drive a couple miles to church more than 2-3 Sunday mornings a month. This ABC Nightline story could have covered the OBVIOUS spiritual hunger in our land. They could have interviewed people who have given up hope on the pharmaceutical and health care industries, people who have no hope but God.

I hope you’ll also read my other posts on Todd Bentley and the Florida Outpouring. My main focus in all of these is that we ought to be really careful that we are not calling unclean what God has called clean. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2
Revival in Florida – Todd Bentley and the Seat of Scoffers part one
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?
Todd Bentley, C. Peter Wagner and apostolic alignment at the Florida Healing Outpouring
Florida Revival – Todd Bentley answers his critics, Dr. Gary S. Greig gets healed and provides an independent theological witness
A parody; the doctrine police take a break from straining gnats at the Lakeland Healing Outpouring to take aim at Psalm 23
Florida Healing Outpouring – Is Todd Bentley a New Age Mystic?

I offer this parody to compliment what I’ve already written on the Florida Healing Outpouring, Todd Bentley and all the anonymous heresy hunters online who stay in the shadows slinging arrows (Ps 64) at others in the Bride of Christ. (Shadows remember, are a form of darkness).

In any case, someone sent me what it might look like if the same types presently picking on Todd Bentley and the Florida Outpouring were to turn their guns toward Psalm 23. Enjoy. Who knows who wrote this but I thank them. In case you are wondering, the reference to “straining gnats” comes from Matthew 23:24 – “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

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Dear brother,

Thank you for sending us the questionable document. We are always glad to examine any teaching materials that may adversely affect the Church. We do think that this material is dangerous and certainly want to warn the Body of Christ concerning its subtle false doctrines. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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.


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 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.

I share Randy Bohlender’s sentiments

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?

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