My Response Concerning Lakeland and recent events


Well… since i was so adamant in supporting Todd Bentley and the Lakland Outpouring and my reluctant approval of what went on there for the sake of the healings, I am obligated to make this ‘statement’.

I am no leader or authority in the prophetic movement nor do I claim any responsibility for anything other than my lack of discernment and I seriously doubt that what I have to say is of any importance or will have any lasting effect.

I have 4 friends who went to Lakeland came back ‘on fire’. While God was doing something miraculous in them and in my congregation which I meet with every Sunday, I did not feel right about how they were handling what God was really trying to do with us. There was alot of pride and division around it and it threatened our friendship and our working relationship.

But, I was willing to tolerate it for the sake of the good that was going on even though I was hurt over seeing my friend almost ailenate me because of my concerns. My take on revival has always been to accept the good and overlook the bad for the sake of the good. It is still that way. But, I found myself taking part in that what I didn’t even approve of. In doing that, I sacrificed my discernment.

When the move of God comes, you need to look for fruit. Is this helping you grow in love? Does this focus your eyes on Jesus? Sadly, at Lakeland most were not. Todd was not wise in his scheduling and his marriage is suffering. I’m not saying that God didn’t know what he was doing when he chose Todd to lead the revival at Lakeland. Todd was not wise when he was given what he wanted. Often God gives us what we want if we want it bad enough even though he knows it will hurt us. He did that to Israel when he gave them a king. They wanted a king, he did not and he even warned them what would happen if they did have a king. But, nevertheless they got one and sure enough everything that God said would happen to them under a king happened under Saul’s reign.

I am in no way excusing Todd for his actions. But what happened to him happens to so many people on so much smaller a scale. His focus became more on revival and success than Jesus himself. Me and my friends became more focused on manifestations of the Holy Spirit than Jesus himself. Revival, success, and manifestations are good. But like any blessing such as money and power, they can become a God if we aren’t careful. We must not neglect the reality and the goodness of what happened at Lakeland. Many people got saved and many were healed at Lakeland even though the leader fell into sin.

I call anyone who has sinned ever in their life (Rom. 3:23) to fervently pray for Todd. No matter what he did, no man deserves to go through what he is going through now. He has submitted to restoration under Bill Johnson, Che Ahn, and John Arnott. We need to stand with him especially during this time. I cannot say what i would do if i was in the situation that Todd was in at Lakeland. While I do not approve of his actions at Lakeland, I will stand with Todd and pray for him. Micah 7:18 says that God delights in mercy. I pray that Todd Bentley will be restored and made a trophy of grace and hopefully be used by God in ministry again. I pray for healing and restoration in his life. In Jesus name, Amen.

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~ by timbrownlee on November 2, 2008.

7 Responses to “My Response Concerning Lakeland and recent events”

  1. Dutch Sheets wrote this letter:

    http://www.dutchsheets.org/index.cfm/pageid/266

    Regarding this situation.

    A few months ago, a woman I know (aquantenace) asked me what I thought about the revival. I honestly told her I had reservations about it. I thought she was going to smack me. She asked me how could I say that. People were being healed. I told her that even demons can do some things…manefestations are just that manefestations. What is the fruit?

    One of my friends who lives near Lakeland told us that as a result of the revival, the churches in the area were suffering. The revival was attracting people who were already saved rather than getting unbeleivers saved. People were just changing churches. It was a mess.

    God’s government is beautiful. Churches resourcing each other; Working together to futher the gospel. That wasn’t happening in Florida.

    I believe that God does want to bring revival to our nation.

    Graham Cooke said recently the days of super famous Christians are over…not more. The Body of Christ must begin to raise of men and women who tap into God’s power for HIS glory and HIS glory only.

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  2. Demons don’t heal that’s the only thing I have to say about that. I don’t question the legitimacy of the glory of God there. I am talking about the lack of wisdom that Todd had and the lack of discernment of the leadership. The glory and the healings were legit and real. But the crazy ‘manifestations’ the lack of wisdom, the pride, and the hype were not.

    God was at Lakeland, but that wasn’t the fall. There was a lot of things not happening in Florida, but the reality is that every revival had blemishes and every one will… the trick is not to look for blemishes, but not to disregard them either… that’s where we need to exercise discernment

    God does want to bring revival to our nation, but that means we need to be looking at God rather than revival. Because every revival is going to be a messy affair and every revival is going to have holes in it. You don’t need a prophetic spirit to see holes and blemishes, all that takes is a critical spirit and all that needs is a little offense. We can’t be offended nor critical because of a few imperfect individuals. We do need to stand with them and pray for them and not seek to punish them…

    check out Bill Johnson’s address on Todd Bentley…

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  3. there are such a thing as false signs and wonders. I believe that there is certain specific fruit that must be seen in a revival in order to label it genuine especially with where the church in the West is. There must be repentance, and a turning away from the old kingdom of darkness to His kingdom of light in humility and brokenness. The signs were never meant to be the focus of any encounter with God, they were always, even with Jesus, only meant to testify of the validity of the message and messenger. What was the focus of the “revival” in Lakeland? What was the driving force behind what was going on? It will come about in the last days that many will come claiming to be the Christ with false signs and wonders preaching messages meant to tickle the ears, with very little fruit. Even the Antichrist will perform false signs and wonders. We need to be lovers of truth, and like you said Tim, embrace discernment, while being open at the same time. Praise the Lord we have the Holy Spirit.

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  4. Amen my brother..

    you’re right there will be false signs and wonders… and what we really need is the fruit… I will attest that my life was positively impacted by what happened at Lakeland even though there were very big problems with the leadership… the revival at Lakeland sparked a weekly prayer meeting at my house, and even though there were problems within the meeting itself, they were worked with and there was true repentance within those involved, and the prayer meetings have been times of renewal for all of the Intercessory Missionaries at the House of Prayer…

    the Lakeland Outpouring itself put a new awareness of the activity of God in the earth and his heart to get involved and to entrust his presence with imperfect beings… I no longer have to feel disqualified, it puts a holy fear in you to think that God trusts you with his very being…

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  5. Not knowing the Lakeland Church at all I’m just trying to understand what actually happened there, and am reading with interest some of these comments from people who were either there or knew people who were. It all sounds very much like what happened at Pensecola a few years back, and before that, at Toronto Canada. In the midst of the chaos, God moved on people’s hearts and no doubt some nominal Christians were born again from the experience. The thing that worries me however, about the direction the Pentecostal Church world-wide is taking – i.e. to Apostolic Covering, is that the protagonists for this new direction tell us quite clearly that if you are not under this Apostolic Covering, you will not be a part of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. This was, in all my many years as a believer, the prize that was promised to all spirit-filled Christians who lived close to the Lord, daily listening to the guidance and correction of the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. The New Apostles tell us that only certain Christians will be called in for the wedding feast, and those will be only those of us who are alive (actually living on earth) at the time of the Trumpet sound. Christians who have died before this day will not be a part of the ‘call-up’!! It seems to me to be rather an exclusive doctrine, quite sectarian, and ignoring the scripture which tells us that ‘the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we who are alive’. It also rejects all Spirit filled believers who have attended other denominations that have not come under the banner of ‘pentecostal/apostolic’. For a movement that claims to be all-encompassing, that says ‘unity is more important than doctrine’ it seems to be quite contradictory to then tell us that unless we believe the doctrine that they endorse, that is regarding the ‘Bride of Christ’ we will not be included.
    Maybe someone could enlighten me on these points.
    Miriam the Learner

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  6. I don’t see in the Bible where apostolic covering is a basis for salvation…. While it’s very biblical to have a ministry under authority, it should never be a basis for salvation… the blood of Jesus is and always will be enough… while the government of the church is very clear in the scripture, having the right titles on your ministry should never be a basis of qualification of salvation.

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  7. Tim,

    I just need to say thank you.
    I can’t tell you how many “unbalanced” critiques I have seen of the Lakeland outpouring. So far it has been very right or left wing… Until I read your post. It’s very refreshing to read un-biassed reviews/ opinions.

    I especially like the way you describe how you deal with revival. Because there are always revival “bugs” that get attracted to the light. It’s like eating chicken with the bones in it. Just don’t eat the bones… or like watermelon… you’ve got to spit out the seeds.

    So kudos to you Tim for not falling into the temptation to bash everything about it.

    🙂

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