Awesome audio discussing the real influences working through Todd Bentley and this so called “revival”
Todd Bentley’s “Supernatural Training Center” application in .pdf says on the front page..
There is a video you can see of this written statement on the following link from the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God with their statement on true Revival.
From time to time, the General Council receives inquiries desiring comment on various revivals or ministries held in both Assemblies of God and non-Assemblies of God churches.
Rather than attempting to comment on any specific series of meetings, I feel it would be preferable to provide some Scriptural guidelines for assessment. I have great confidence in the maturity of Assemblies of God pastors and laity to make their own judgments and heed the admonition of the Apostle Paul: Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).
The Assemblies of God is irrevocably committed to the inspiration of Scripture, that the Bible provides the assessment tools needed for evaluating doctrine and experience, and is deeply hungry for the continued filling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Our former general superintendent, Thomas F. Zimmerman, once compared the Holy Spirit to a mighty river, and the Scriptures to the banks of that river. Brother Zimmerman said that great harm occurs when the river overruns the banks, but that the river does great good when it stays within the banks.
Thus, it is well for us to look at the safeguards the Bible provides in helping us “test everything.” Here are the questions we should always ask.
1. Is Jesus Christ exalted? The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Christ; and to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come (John 15:26, 16:8). To the Corinthian church that had become overly enamored with charismatic manifestations, the Apostle Paul reminded them that “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Thus, the focus for any lasting revival always must be on Jesus. The Holy Spirit has not come to glorify Himself, or any human or angelic personality.
2. Is the Word of God proclaimed? Every revival with lasting effect has always been rooted in the preaching of God’s Word. This is in keeping with the spread of the Gospel in the early Church as recorded in Acts.
- Following the first persecution, they “spoke the word of God boldly” (4:31).
- Following the second persecution and flogging, “day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped preaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (5:42).
- After the selection of deacons, “the word of God spread” (6:7).
- Resulting from Saul’s persecution of the church, “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (8:4).
- Samaria “accepted the word of God” (8:14).
- The Gentiles of Cornelius’ household “received the word of God” (11:1).
- Paul and Barnabas preached “the word of God” on their first missionary journey and “the word of God spread through the whole region” (13:46, 49).
- Before departing for their second missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas and many others “taught and preached the word of the Lord” at Antioch (15:35).
- The Holy Spirit kept Paul and Barnabas from “preaching the word in the province of Asia” (16:6).
- The Bereans “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (17:11); Paul “was preaching the word of God at Berea” (17:13).
- At Corinth, “Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God” (18:11).
- Through Paul’s ministry at Ephesus, “all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord” (19:10).
- Paul’s farewell words to the Ephesians elders are: “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God” (20:27).
It is clear from the above references that great focus was given in the early Church to the preaching of the Word, sometimes also identified as proclaiming the Gospel. This is consistent with the first commitment of the early Church following the day of Pentecost – “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine . . .” (Acts 2:42).
Thus, a doctrinal test for any revival is whether the content of the preaching is the same as Jesus and the apostles. The Word of God stands over personal viewpoints. Any Biblical revival must “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). If so-called truth is being proclaimed that cannot be found in Scripture, then that proclamation violates the specific announcement of Scripture that the faith “was once for all entrusted” and such a proclamation also deviates from the apostles’ fidelity to preach the Word, and from the early Church’s devotion to the apostles’ doctrine.
The Azusa Revival (1906-1909) unabashedly proclaimed that the sure plumb line of truth was God’s revealed and written Word. Elder Seymour and others were criticized sharply for their insistence on “checking everything out with the Word.” But, they were unashamed. In fact, Seymour responded to these criticisms in the September, 1907, issue of The Apostolic Faith.
“We are measuring everything by the Word, every experience must measure up with the Bible. Some say that is going too far, but if we have lived too close to the Word, we will settle that with the Lord when we meet Him in the air.
Miraculous manifestations are never the test of a true revival – fidelity to God’s Word is the test. Jesus Himself said there would be many who would do miracles in His name and even cast out demons, but He does not know them (Matthew 7:15-23). Jesus warned that “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (Matthew 24:11). Paul warns, “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3). To the Galatians, Paul writes: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned (Galatians 1:8). Paul also warns us: “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connections with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow” (Colossians 2:18-19). Peter warns us that “there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies . . . Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” (2 Peter 2:1-3).
In summary, the message must always be examined. If the message and the messenger line up with God’s Word, then the revival is on safe Biblical ground and it should and must be embraced. If not, then even though miracles and manifestations occur, it should be avoided.
This raises the question of how can healings and miracles occur if the message and/or messenger are not consistent with Scripture. The attribution for the healings and miracles is the grace of God and his mercy for hurting people.
3. Are persons repenting of sin, and being baptized in water and the Holy Spirit? Repentance has been called the first word of the Gospel because it is the initial response called for by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), Jesus (Matthew 4:17), the Twelve (Mark 6:12), Jesus after His resurrection (Luke 24:47), Peter (Acts 2:36), and Paul (Acts 26:20). With repentance comes baptism in water and the overwhelming or baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39).
Unless these initiatory events of the Christian life occur, along with the sanctifying work of the Spirit that leads to a holy life – then the miracles, crowds, and enthusiasm will quickly wane.
Of course, there are additional questions that can be raised, but my purpose is to give some starter reflections for those who have honest hearts to “test all things” as Paul admonished. If the above three questions cannot be answered with a resounding yes, then perhaps other questions are unnecessary.
The modern Pentecostal revival is now over 100 years old. Within that revival, there have been some significant centers of activity. For example, the Azusa Street Revival generated a missionary movement whose effects we still see today. The Charismatic Renewal brought refreshing both to Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal believers. However, there have also been some tornadoes that have brought destruction. In other words – there have been good winds and ill winds.
It is our responsibility to maintain a deep hunger for God and to keep our focus on the mission He has given us: to bring glory to God, to evangelize the lost, and to make disciples. We cannot do this on our own. We need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit along with the signs that follow those who believe.
Someone has said that revivals are like child birth. They are messy, but you like the final result. Certainly, every revival has been marked by some elements that would be regarded as extreme. Dr. J. Edwin Orr, who studied and wrote more on the history of revivals than any one else in Christian history, told me once that revivals are like a cabin on the Maine coast that has been shuttered up for the winter. When the winds begin to blow, the first thing that begins to make noise is all the loose hinges and shutters. And, that may well be the case – so we must be cautious at the initial onset of a revival to let some “loose hinges and shutters” have their freedom – but, ultimately, if the revival is to have enduring fruitfulness, it must be pastored carefully with doctrinal soundness, moral and financial accountability, and care to give publicity to Christ rather than to the revival.
The Azusa Street revival had such enduring fruitfulness precisely because the three questions raised above can be well answered – both then and now: Christ was exalted, the Word of God was the plumb line, and people responded to the Gospel with repentance, and baptism in water and in the Spirit. And, like the early Church, they were full of the Holy Spirit and went everywhere to share the Good News!
Let us keep the prayer of Habakkuk (3:2) in our hearts and on our lips:
LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds,
O LORD.Renew them in our day,
In our time make them known.
Your brother in Christ,
George O. Wood
With the concurrence of the Executive Presbytery of
The General Council of the Assemblies of God
Here is another post from a man who, I believe, brings out what is in the hearts of these psuedo-church leaders who preach false doctrine and help spread it to the rest of the body of Christ…this is pure evil and not of God at all the kind of things being said to stop other believers from speaking the truth out that shines a light on their false teaching and their greedy hearts to hold these churches together and keep people in bondage to continue to support their demonic kingdoms passed off as “the kingdom of God”…It is quite disturbing but is a reality…
It figures that Rick Warren would unite with over 100 assorted liberals, heretics and confused Evangelicals in a love-letter calling for unity and common ground with Muslims. However, when dealing with dissenters who oppose his Purpose Driven philosophy and theology, it’s clearly his way or the highway.
In his November 14, 2007 directive to pastors, “What the Bible says about handling disunity” from his Pastor.com website, Warren outlines that “You’ve got to protect the unity of your church. If that means getting rid of troublemakers, do it.”
Disruptions and disagreements in the Body are unseemly. However, unity in the church at the expense of truth isn’t really unity at all. Likewise, troublemakers may actually be rescuers of the Church if the questions they raise and the opposition they bring are scripturally founded and aimed at restoring authentic biblical teaching and practices. But of course, we need to understand exactly what terms like “unity” and “troublemaker” refer to in Rick Warren’s universe.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what Warren means when he encourages leaders on how to deal with “dissenters” opposed to what he deems as “progress.” ToWarren, “disunity” refers to opposition to the new way to do church, in particular, the Purpose Driven way.
For example, Warren has clearly stated that those who insist on opposing his church transforming plan for growth are “problems.” He has joked about eliminating those of us stuck in what he considers the Stone Age by stating, “The pillars are only holding things up!” Warren claims that when those unwilling to change do leave a church that in reality it’s a “blessed subtraction.” Talk like this should be perceived as offensive. It is sad that so many only chuckle.
What Warren has accomplished in his short tenure as Secretary and Guru of Growth isn’t funny to a lot of people. To condescend about and encourage what amounts to the disenfranchisement of people who have poured their time, money and emotions into a church – for what appears to be the sake of selling more books and materials – is frankly sick. Though I’m sure it sounds cynical, when one considers the money that has changed hands to acquire Purpose Driven materials, it is to Warren’s advantage that any negative voices be made to appear foolishly out of step and silenced if possible. Encouraging the elimination and alienation of those who defy the growing Purpose Driven invasion when it comes knocking on their church doors is a key goal in Warren’s strategy. These dissenters are interfering with his version of unity. They are bad for business. They defy his obvious hunger for power and control. They are the troublemakers.
Warren begins his November 17 email by stating that the Bible speaks more about unity then of Heaven and Hell. Though I haven’t taken the time to count up the references yet, I am confident that this isn’t so. Let me ask, what about references insisting that we ministers hold to sound doctrine Rick? Does unity outweigh that too? It would appear so at least in Warrenessee. Warren concludes by telling his estimated 400,000+ readers that disunity is Satan’s greatest weapon against the Church. What? While it might be construed as progress that Rick Warren even acknowledges the existence of Satan, to espouse the notion that disunity is the Devil’s chief weapon is not just poor theology. It is a lie. Sins, such as greed and lust, are Satan’s greatest weapon against the Church. However, if Rick Warren is able to make these statements unchallenged then slothfulness and biblical ignorance are obviously gaining ground.
WHOEVER SAID THAT MINISTERS ARE ALWAYS RIGHT?
The Bible does warn those who cause division and give instructions on how to deal with them. However, as Paul wrote of this (see Titus 3) the supposition is that those in leadership are indeed theologically correct and acting biblically first. Again, no one wants dissention and division but unless a man named Martin Luther – a troublemaking dissenter – had caused the great stir and division which he brought about we might possibly never have broken the bondages and domination of Rome!
Luther’s Reformation was based on good theology. Warren’s announced quest for a “new reformation” is not. What Purpose Driven and Seeker proponents need to stop and consider before buying further into Warren’s folly is that Jesus warned us a whopping 14 times about religious leaders who would come and mislead. Pastors and leaders – yours truly included – can be mistaken. Does Jesus expect us to unquestionably accept what is taught every time some alleged Christian leader with a publishing deal or a microphone concocts yet another wacky program or theology? Absolutely not! We are to test all teachings, sermons or philosophies to see if they match up to the Bible. (I Thess 5:21) Otherwise, some other neo-evangelical like Rick Warren will use the misguided idea of “unity before truth” to sidetrack others into what can only be referred to as cultism.
During his last visit with them, Paul warned the Ephesian elders that after his departure “grievous wolves (will) enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” Paul then states that “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” He concludes his warning by stating “Therefore watch…” (Acts 20:28-31a)
Peter writes, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (II Peter 2:1) In these two passages, Peter and Paul are obviously directing their warnings at the Church. Therefore, it is not “disunity” to oppose unbiblical ideas and teaching inside the Body. It is actually the most appropriate thing to do.
My words here are not intended to give credence to individuals in church who are just plain disagreeable, who buck everything at every turn and who are bent on being upset over silly stuff. But when it comes to indubitably going along with Church leadership on any given issue – particularly, if it’s only for the sake of unity itself – just remember this phrase: Unity at the expense of truth is not the unity taught in the Bible. Believers should all be able to unify on that!
Copyright 2007, Eric Barger
Distributed by http://www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com
AMEN and AMEN!
Thought this was an interesting vision and something that could be examined against the Lakeland, FL meetings as well. Found posted at this link http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~revival/acid.html
VISION OF THE ACID CLOUD – 1994
by Richard Smith.
The following very significant vision was given to a man in England way back in September 1994. Events have so far proved it very accurate indeed. (Source: Integrity Teaching Services, 10 Hyde Park Close, Headingly, Leeds LS6 1SF, United Kingdom).
THE ACID CLOUD - A VISION - RICHARD SMITH. This vision emerged with an unusually vivid degree of clarity on Thursday morning the 29th September, 1994, just before I was about to go out and do some studying. Following a period of pouring out my distressed feelings about the condition of the Church to Jesus, who is our heavenly Advocate, I saw ahead of me a large billowing black cloud which carried lots of soot and other pollutants. Its sulphurous stench revealed that here was no natural cloud, but rather it was the type of acid cloud which arises from the explosion of some chemical plant or oil installation. Blown by its own momentum, the acid cloud was rapidly heading towards a low waterless desert plain which lay beneath some rocky mountains. Filling the plain were all types of people whom I under- stood represented the Christian population of England. Most were indigenous white Anglo-Saxons, but there were members of various ethnic minorities as well. These stood for the immigrant population in England. FOUR GROUPS. On closer inspection, I could see that this vast assembly was divided into four main groups. The first of these was the one that was nearest to the cloud and was obviously coming under its influence. This particular group can be known as the intoxicated. Behind them, closely intermingled together, were the second and third groups - these can be known as the fearful and the angry. Still further behind at a little distance was a smaller group who will be known as the prepared. However, one fact was obvious - the acid cloud was going to cover all four groups regardless of whether they wanted it to or not. It was at this point that I perceived that the cloud was blowing in from the Westerly direction. In response to this cloud, the first group were laughing, dancing and singing. A few of their members were lying prostrate and making all kinds of animal noises. Some were so deliriously happy that they actually formed a dance line, which - while they were dancing the conga - snaked its way into the cloud. With a start, I realised their mistake. Already intoxicated by invisible fumes emanating from the front of the cloud, this group were wrongly assuming that the polluted cloud was a refreshing rain cloud that represented God's presence. They failed to see what its true nature was. The second group of Christians saw what the cloud consisted of, but then panicked. Some ran away and tripped over, knocking themselves out, while others stood there, frozen to the ground, looking in two directions at once. Like the first group, they too were swallowed up by the cloud. Their fundamental mistake was to panic in the face of evil. Whilst this was happening, the third group of Christians (who also saw that the cloud was a menace) stood before it shaking their fists and making all kinds of angry noises. Some were kicking at it with their feet. Like the previous two groups, they were clad in light, flimsy summer clothing. Their mistake was to try to fight the cloud in their own strength. Consequently, they too were swallowed up. Moreover, as the cloud ate up each of the three previous groups, there was silence, followed by earpiercing howls of pain, succeeded by more silence - which was broken only by the odd intermittent moan or throaty gurgle which very much reminded me of a First World War gas attack. THE PREPARED. However, the fourth group of Christians were getting ready to deal with the threat posed by this cloud. With urgent haste, they were donning anti-chemical suits of clothing, clamping on gas masks and putting on strong safety helmets which had a bright light, like a miner's lamp, attached to it. Above the lamp (which represent- ed the light of the Holy Spirit) near the top of the helmet was a bright red spot. At once I discerned that this symbolised the Blood of Jesus Christ. It was His mark on this group. Strapped to their sides were white first-aid cases with red crosses on them. These carried a wide assortment of medical aids to help those Christians who had been burned by the cloud. In their right hands they carried strong transparent riot shields, while in their left hands they carried various types of weoponry. These were ob- viously designed to fight the various kinds of principalities which inhabit the cloud. Suddenly, at God's own timing, they formed a line, linked shields and marched at an orderly pace into the cloud. They were obviously directed by the Lord to do this. It was also clear that they were called to work very closely together. (Note; later, Richard was shown that the strategy of this group would be to advance at the Lord's command, fight strenuously, rescue and minister to some of the wounded; then stand their ground awaiting the next call for advance). BELIEVE NOT EVERY SPIRIT. Somewhat taken aback by the implications of this vision, I then used my mind to apply 1 Jn 4:1-3. In blunt Yorkshire tones, I said "Do you, the spirit who has brought this picture so vividly to mind, boldly confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh"? "Yes, I boldly confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh". "Fine, what do you say about the Blood He shed on the Cross?" "Through the Blood there is forgiveness of sin. It protected the Israelites from My judgement on the Egyptian firstborn". "Good. Now let's take counsel together and have some intelligent discuss- ion. Without repeating all the details that were revealed earlier, would you please, Abba Father, send your Holy Spirit to complete the interpretation of this vision?" THE INTERPRETATION. Still utterly in control of what was happening, I then slowly took stock of what the Holy Spirit was saying. While creating a piercing clarity of mind that served to heighten my intellectual faculties, the Holy Spirit gave me the following inter- pretation: 1) The acid cloud not only represented what is currently known as the Toronto Phenomenon, it also represents all that will come out of that occurrence. The Toronto Phenomenon is so to speak only the front edge of the cloud. It is paving a way for even more extreme manifestations of the evil one. In short, "Toronto" can be seen as a beginning rather than an end. 2) Being blown by its own momentum indicates that within the cloud there is only what can be described as a hostile alien spirit. It is the head spirit of many other spirits which inhabit the cloud. More- over, this alien spirit has been given permission by God to try the loyalties of Christians in this country. Through a process of sharp division, which will cause many wounds, it will become really clear who in the Church is standing by Jesus and who is not. However, some of those who belong to the first three groups will be given a few further chances to repent. For a little while, the opportunity to get back into a right relationship with God will exist. 3) The flat waterless desert plain represents English Society which is bereft of the Holy Spirit. It may also have some bearing on other places within the British Isles - even though it is England which is primarily represented. Another point to mention is that if the Lord's people had been on top of the rocky mountains, (which represents nearness to God's presence) then they would have escaped the influence of the acid cloud. Their position on the desert plain has left them desperately vulnerable to the corrosive effects. In other words, being in the place where Jesus Christ doesn't want them to be has stripped the Church of many spiritual defences. Far from putting on the armour of God, it is wearing loose, light summer clothes. Furthermore, being in the desert place has caused many Christians to seek to assuage their thirst from the wrong spiritual sources. That is one reason why the first group greeted the cloud with such enthusiasm. It seemed to offer an easy way to meet their needs. 4) As was stated earlier, the people in the plain were Christians - mainly charismatic/evangelical Christians, but there were also a fair number of representatives from the established denominations as well. They were conspicuous for their clerical collars, long robes and self-important expressions on their faces. It was clear that this cloud is going to have a very widespread effect. 5) As was clearly seen in the vision itself, the four groups rep- resented four possible reactions to the acid cloud. Only the last was appropriate to the situation in hand. In particular, those who stood frozen to the ground looking in two directions, stood for Christian leaders who were trying to find expedient diplomatic solutions to what was an impossible situation. Not surprisingly, most of their supporters were quickly deserting them - leaving them alone to be swallowed up by the cloud. At this juncture, I believe the Holy Spirit is clearly saying "beware of man-made expedients in dealing with the Toronto Phenomenon". What the Church faces here is primarily a spiritual, not cultural or psychological problem. Spiritual weapons will be needed to deal with it. 6) The role of the fourth group, which was the only one really doing God's will, was two-fold. Firstly it has to use the spiritual weapons given it to attack the principalities which were in the cloud. Secondly, it had to help restore Christians from the previous three groups who had been injured by it. Regrettably, some Christ- ians they will have to bypass, because they will either refuse treat- ment or be in such a wild state that it will be impossible to deal with them. By no means will all Christians survive the passing of the cloud. Some will forsake their faith, while others will suffer from perm- anent physical and mental breakdowns. A few will even lose their very lives there. I began to see that the acid cloud was also the cloud of God's judgement, that will have to pass over the Church until evil is forcibly removed from it. Only after the acid cloud has done its work will the Church be pure enough to receive the cloud of God's presence. This cloud will in turn bring further cleansing and much-needed revival. However, the time for this second cloud to pass over is not yet. Any hopes of immediate revival are therefore premature. This means that taken as a whole, the Toronto Phenomenon does not represent a time of refreshing, rather it represents what is perhaps the first instalment of a VERY severe judgement on the churches in this country. In a very real sense, the mass of God's people are being handed over to satan for the destruction of the flesh. Only those who are faithful to the Lord in all things will be exempt from this judgement - even though they may be distressed by its consequences. For members of the fourth group, there is the challenge to stand together and not act as a group of disparate individuals. In closing, I believe the Holy Spirit is challenging you who read this document to decide which groups you belong to - is it to be the intoxicated, the fearful, the angry or the prepared? Great evil is coming upon many churches in this country - there exists only a little time to make this decision.