Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On Speaking Out

A lot of times our natural minds get in the way when dealing with sin; particularly in our own lives, but also concerning our brothers and sisters. We have become a society so focused on individual rights, we fear correcting and we fear correction. The end result is compromise. Is silence really the method of how New Testament believers corrected those in the faith (or appearing to be in the faith)? Sure, we should pray for each other, but I just want to throw out a few scriptures, as I increasingly see people claiming that it's not love to correct someone or point out error. The result of this is people fearing to speak out even against gross error in the church-- for fear of being labeled “critical” or a “heresy hunter”, or without mercy. This has become a control tactic in the hands of manipulative people. I think correction is a good thing depending on the motive involved. Nor does it negate the place for grace.

The judgments of God, although appearing harsh at times; where they not motivated by His mercy to those who would see it? To turn nations, peoples and hearts from wickedness?

What if Peter had remained silent when Simon the sorcerer desired to sell power from God. Today, there are some in the church who would say, ‘We must pray for Simon and the Lord will reveal his sinfulness’. Well, hopefully, but will it be before he dies or vex 20 people in the process? Simon’s heart was sinful and not right. He wanted power I think for personal ambition, and unfortunately, this is like many people out there. The Word made a point of mentioning how people used to look up to this man. Nor did Simon truly value the holiness of God because he thought God’s power could be purchased with money.

Acts 8:9-24
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.


Mr. Prophet: I have anointing oils for sale: aromatic vanilla and strawberry; and one to soften the skin, only $14.95

My sister’s ex-husband used to exclaim how he had a special anointing from God to "witness to women", and that this was God’s special calling on him, even as a pastor. This “anointing” was so strong he had trouble keeping his pants up when women came around. The sheer power of his anointing made his pants drop for inexplicable reasons…sad to say, they divorced after twenty plus years of marriage. Did the devil make him do it or did he have a choice? He came on to a non-believer who was a good friend of mine some years ago; and she told me “I thought he was a preacher”. Eventually, his ministry suffered greatly for it and his credibility has been sorely diminished.

Paul rebuked Peter, and there is no mention of Paul engaging in spiritual warfare before or after approaching him. Some would say, deal with the principalities and not the man. Yet those accounted in the New Testament dealt boldly with sin and error in the church. In Galatians, we see Peter was tempted to compromise with the Jews and Paul rebuked him:

Galatians 2:11-14
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?


If you see someone you care about, or even for that matter, a stranger walking toward a cliff, would you warn them or would you remain silent, and say to yourself “I pray you be filled and warm, and hope you hear God’s voice not to continue walking”? People including myself, can get caught up in the moment, and allow emotions to flare, but it does not negate the fact that we should speak out on certain issues. Particularly, when something can effect a lot of other people, not just the individual receiving correction.

Ultimately, our blue print lies within the Word of God. I have been corrected at times, and sometimes those correcting me were in error. One day in church, an acquaintance of mine vocalized why I was not lifting my hands up praising God in church, ‘for He is Elohim and we are little Elohims’. It was in a megachurch I attended six years, and people lifted hands and yelled often in unison with a panning camera. All that is missing is a concession stand, with peanuts, popcorn and candy bars and the act will be complete. Back to the point here---good correction has it purpose, and for me personally, it has helped my walk with God.

Ministries as opposed to individuals, typically have a wider range of influence. Therefore a dangerous ministry will typically cause more harm than an individual in sin or promoting error. And yes, there is a place for mercy, and God extends grace, but He demands repentance. Ministers/ministries tend to have a greater impact, and that is why I have spoken out against some of these groups. I take no pleasure in it, I fear for the salvation of some of these people. There is a time to remain silent, but there is a time to speak out. Those with His Spirit qualify to speak out against gross error in the church; not just the Ephesians 4:11 crowd. Too many of these leaders are gagging people’s mouth’s with manipulation and twisting the Word, claiming “rebelliousness”, and “religious spirit”. When they start preaching the Word in sincerity, then maybe they can claim those things, until then; it is simply a hollow argument.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mystics and Garbage

I recently had a chance to see the two following videos on You Tube for the first time. In my dial up world, I have to rely on other households and libraries to see anything on You Tube, but I had heard of how atrocious these were. It’s an understatement. I am glad several days have passed since I saw it, because I would had wrote even more angry.

This is ridiculous. John Crowder wins “Hey--I am larger than life ” award for me this month. Absolute disrespect for a Holy God. Nothing hip or endearing about it. “Tokin the Ghost”.

Folks, God is God. We can’t re-write Him. He is as He is. As I was watching these videos, I thought of the reverence Jesus had for the Father. I thought of John on Patmos falling at the feet of Jesus as if a dead man, the reverence and the appreciation of His Holiness. But this goes beyond a question of reverence, it is false preaching, teaching, and stinking worldly compromise.



*The embedding feature of this second one has been disabled, so click the link below to watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N8izKEfbaE

Wendy Alec On Bentley & Revival

Wendy Alec of God TV recently came out with another damage control statement concerning the Lakeland Revival and Todd Bentley. End Times Prophetic has shed great insight to this latest bit of "public relations marketing" from the Lakeland constituency. Read more about it here. Incredulously, do these folks really think they can cover the stench of this false revival claiming Bentley let his pants drop because of the critics; saying there was too much pressure on him? The pants had apparently dropped long before the revival began, and its time to call sin for what it is--sin. And it seems to be a pattern in this man's life, where is the repentance? But more importantly, as the article points out, Bentley's marriage problems is not the central issue. More importantly, is the issue of false prophets, false revival, and promoting a false gospel as the article elaborates on.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Message From David Wilkerson--Economic Crisis

Andrew Strom of Revival School sent this out today, its a good reminder--we must not fear. While in Walmart yesterday, I noticed prices had risen $1.00 extra on several items, and my sister who was with me started a discussion on the end times. We know from the book of Revelation a time will come when no one can buy and sell unless they take the mark of the beast. Also consider the number of countries with nuclear power or engaging in experimentation; hostile nations at that. Anyway, we put our faith in Christ. I going to cut off now-- I am preparing for a garage sale today, which by the way, can yield some great extra money. One man's junk is another man's treasure, and this never ceases to amaze me.

GOD IS STILL KING of THE FLOODS
-by David Wilkerson (Sep 15).


The Psalmist writes, "The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves" (Psalm 93:3). The floods represent the rising waters of afflictions, the overwhelming crises that are coming on the earth affecting multitudes. This is the flood of unemployment, housing nightmares, ever-growing financial difficulties. We now face a great flood of fear and confusion about what to do to survive the storm.

It tears my heart to have a single mother stop me on the street weeping, "Pastor, what am I going to do? I lost my job, and I may lose my apartment. I have nothing to live on. Where will I go?" Top-level executives are being laid off with no warning. Workers tell me they see bosses crying at their desks, asking, "What will I do? I'm broke. What about my mortgage? I have no benefits."

Some terrible things are happening, even to some of the godliest believers. I ask God, "Lord, what do I tell them? They are in the flood." I know these saintly people pray and read God's Word. Indeed, they have learned to trust the Lord. But now their faith is being tested to the limit. I get calls from some who are soon to lose everything. I can't just give these people a pep talk and a few Scriptures and ask them to cheer up. I am not suffering the way they are. I still get paid, and I am not in danger of losing my home.

I ask you, please, hear my heart as I say this: The time is not far away before we all will be deeply affected by the economic flood coming to the whole world. Great trials are ahead for all of us who deeply love the Lord. Here is what I am led to do by the Holy Spirit. I ask it of my family, all of whom work with the church body. I urge you to pray to see if the Lord is leading you to do the same: No more buying of luxuries. Cut all spending except absolute necessities. Sell every unneeded item. Turn it to cash and give it to ministries to the poor and needy. Downsize as much as possible. Be willing to let it all come to this: "Having food and raiment [covering], let us be therewith content" (1 Timothy 6:8).

Build up your faith by reminding the Lord daily of his promises: "The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever" (Psalm 29:10). "In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness" (Psalm 31:1).

In Christ,

David Wilkerson
http://www.tscpulpitseries.org/

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wagner, Sheets, Pierce and Gates


All of these "gates"! Lord have mercy on us. This came out from Global Harvest Ministries, and notice apparently the super apostles equips one to go through the " revelatory gates". Learn to contend with "Mammon" it says. Capital "M". War on this earth will be a reality until Jesus comes back, all of the nations will not be subdued by men contrary to dominion theology. This premise is directly opposed to scripture. Below the entire newsletter:


We are looking forward to our final "Opening the Gate" Conference this year. On November 13-15, we will be gathering in Phoenix to Open the Gate of Supply and Understand the War over Wealth Transfer!

After opening the gate of "Revelation" in Ohio, the gate of "Heaven on Earth" in Seattle (and sending a team to the North gate in Alaska), and the gate of "Change to the Nations" in Dearborn, we believe it is time to focus on the "Gate of Supply!"

The war over the transfer of wealth is one of the most crucial of the coming days. To have unprecedented Kingdom influence throughout the world, we must have the necessary supply lines opened that favor God's Kingdom people. To have access to those supply lines, we must first take possession and then become a wise steward that will multiply resources.

We must recognize the war over wealth includes the harvest of people and souls! With that (eternal) goal in mind, we are calling the Body of Christ together to declare an opening of the gates of supply! Our speakers include Peter Wagner (convener), Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets, Pat Francis, and Lance Wallnau. Knowing that in addition to being quickened, you may need new strength to contend and go through the gates, we will have personal ministry. So come with a mind and heart to:

* Understand wealth strategies as we connect Earth with Heaven!
* Release strategies of increase!
* Learn how to contend with Mammon over supply and distribution!
* Understand the war over the transfer of wealth from the tight grip of the enemy on the world's economy into the hands of God's Kingdom army!
* Understand how a Kingdom economy differs from a world economy!
* Discern how acquiring wealth and God's covenant timing are related!
* Better understand the curses associated with poor stewardship!
* Receive a new strength to keep praying and prophesying for wealth transfer!
* Understand the wealth and power wars that are occurring in the earth as NATIONS realign!

Understanding boundaries is key! There is and will continue to be a great war over boundaries. Individuals, people groups and entire nations are vying for authority through expansion of their boundaries. What we must realize is that the greatest impetus behind this is not a need for more land—it is the want of greater supply. This is how dominion wars began ages ago, and how they will continue to rage in the coming days.

Pastor Greg Brown and Skyway Church will be helping us host this gathering held in Goodyear, Arizona. We will begin on Thursday morning at 8 AM, meet all day Thursday and Friday, and conclude on Saturday by noon. If you register by October 27, the cost is $50/person or $75/married couple. You can register by going to globalharvest.org or by calling (888) 965-1099. Groups of 10 or more (registering at the same time) can attend for $40 per person by calling our toll-free number. This conference will also be available over the internet for those who cannot attend in person. Click here to register for the webcast.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Election Poll: Racial Views...

Click the photo, and hopefully it will enlarge.

Before you say, ‘so what?’, keep in mind, more and more black Americans (including ex-Christians) are turning to Islam. And one of the reasons they cite is they are tired of racism from Christians--- that is, they are tired of the hypocrisy. Too bad, because if all Islamic blacks in the U.S. examined the race variable pertaining to the situation in Sudan, they would also see racism based upon skin appearance at play. This poll and report indicates how strongly racist attitudes still motivate behavior in the United States.

Two Christian organizations recently sponsored an event, with a blatantly racist product—a box of “Obama Waffles” mimicking an “Old Aunt Jemima Pancakes” box. On one side of the box is a very insulting rap. I find this to be detestable. Some of same people laughing at this will say racism does not exist any more. If you don’t like Obama for his politics, make fun of that, why make fun of him as a black man laughing at these ugly stereotypes? This kind of stuff should not be in the lives of Christians, and no; I don’t support Obama, nor do I support McCain for that matter.

Still there, are have you moved from the page? We might be in the world, but we are told not to conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Too many Christians exclaim "we have to live in the world and therefore are victims to it’s philosophies" excuses. And some Christians water down racial hatred as being exempt from the sinfulness of “hate” written in the bible. When you are aware of the evil, you do not wallow in it with resignation, and say ‘tis the way I am’. Move out from it with a repentant heart! But this is not just a problem among Christians, racial bigotry is a social problem. I don’t think Christians are any more or less racist than the world, and this is a sad statement to make. I am not talking about prejudism either, but racist actions, overt bigotry. Anyway, an interesting article to consider in case someone out there is interested; and I know there are some who Christians really do care about this issue. How I long to go into the voting booth just once, and vote with enthusiasm. But that’s another story for a different time.

***********************************************

Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama
By RON FOURNIER and TREVOR TOMPSON, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them "lazy," "violent," responsible for their own troubles.

The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points.

Certainly, Republican John McCain has his own obstacles: He's an ally of an unpopular president and would be the nation's oldest first-term president. But Obama faces this: 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents.

More than a third of all white Democrats and independents — voters Obama can't win the White House without — agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks, according to the survey, and they are significantly less likely to vote for Obama than those who don't have such views.

Such numbers are a harsh dose of reality in a campaign for the history books. Obama, the first black candidate with a serious shot at the presidency, accepted the Democratic nomination on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, a seminal moment for a nation that enshrined slavery in its Constitution.

"There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn't mean there's only a few bigots," said Stanford political scientist Paul Sniderman who helped analyze the exhaustive survey.

The pollsters set out to determine why Obama is locked in a close race with McCain even as the political landscape seems to favor Democrats. President Bush's unpopularity, the Iraq war and a national sense of economic hard times cut against GOP candidates, as does that fact that Democratic voters outnumber Republicans.

The findings suggest that Obama's problem is close to home — among his fellow Democrats, particularly non-Hispanic white voters. Just seven in 10 people who call themselves Democrats support Obama, compared to the 85 percent of self-identified Republicans who back McCain.

The survey also focused on the racial attitudes of independent voters because they are likely to decide the election.

Lots of Republicans harbor prejudices, too, but the survey found they weren't voting against Obama because of his race. Most Republicans wouldn't vote for any Democrat for president — white, black or brown.

Not all whites are prejudiced. Indeed, more whites say good things about blacks than say bad things, the poll shows. And many whites who see blacks in a negative light are still willing or even eager to vote for Obama.

On the other side of the racial question, the Illinois Democrat is drawing almost unanimous support from blacks, the poll shows, though that probably wouldn't be enough to counter the negative effect of some whites' views.

Race is not the biggest factor driving Democrats and independents away from Obama. Doubts about his competency loom even larger, the poll indicates. More than a quarter of all Democrats expressed doubt that Obama can bring about the change they want, and they are likely to vote against him because of that.

Three in 10 of those Democrats who don't trust Obama's change-making credentials say they plan to vote for McCain.

Still, the effects of whites' racial views are apparent in the polling.

Statistical models derived from the poll suggest that Obama's support would be as much as 6 percentage points higher if there were no white racial prejudice.

But in an election without precedent, it's hard to know if such models take into account all the possible factors at play.

The AP-Yahoo News poll used the unique methodology of Knowledge Networks, a Menlo Park, Calif., firm that interviews people online after randomly selecting and screening them over telephone. Numerous studies have shown that people are more likely to report embarrassing behavior and unpopular opinions when answering questions on a computer rather than talking to a stranger.

Other techniques used in the poll included recording people's responses to black or white faces flashed on a computer screen, asking participants to rate how well certain adjectives apply to blacks, measuring whether people believe blacks' troubles are their own fault, and simply asking people how much they like or dislike blacks.

"We still don't like black people," said John Clouse, 57, reflecting the sentiments of his pals gathered at a coffee shop in Somerset, Ohio.

Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks, 20 percent of all whites said the word "violent" strongly applied. Among other words, 22 percent agreed with "boastful," 29 percent "complaining," 13 percent "lazy" and 11 percent "irresponsible." When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment.

Among white Democrats, one third cited a negative adjective and, of those, 58 percent said they planned to back Obama.

The poll sought to measure latent prejudices among whites by asking about factors contributing to the state of black America. One finding: More than a quarter of white Democrats agree that "if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites."

Those who agreed with that statement were much less likely to back Obama than those who didn't.

Among white independents, racial stereotyping is not uncommon. For example, while about 20 percent of independent voters called blacks "intelligent" or "smart," more than one third latched on the adjective "complaining" and 24 percent said blacks were "violent."

Nearly four in 10 white independents agreed that blacks would be better off if they "try harder."

The survey broke ground by incorporating images of black and white faces to measure implicit racial attitudes, or prejudices that are so deeply rooted that people may not realize they have them. That test suggested the incidence of racial prejudice is even higher, with more than half of whites revealing more negative feelings toward blacks than whites.

Researchers used mathematical modeling to sort out the relative impact of a huge swath of variables that might have an impact on people's votes — including race, ideology, party identification, the hunger for change and the sentiments of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's backers.

Just 59 percent of her white Democratic supporters said they wanted Obama to be president. Nearly 17 percent of Clinton's white backers plan to vote for McCain.

Among white Democrats, Clinton supporters were nearly twice as likely as Obama backers to say at least one negative adjective described blacks well, a finding that suggests many of her supporters in the primaries — particularly whites with high school education or less — were motivated in part by racial attitudes.

The survey of 2,227 adults was conducted Aug. 27 to Sept. 5. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Legacy of Lakeland Revival Debated

Legacy of Lakeland Revival Debated
Todd Bentley controversy leads to Pentecostal re-examination.

By Cary McMullen
LEDGER RELIGION EDITOR

The giant white tents are gone now, and so are the crowds of thousands. The evangelist, disgraced, is in hiding. The revival carries on as a bare remnant of its former glory.

For four months, the Florida Outpouring was an international phenomenon. A 32-year-old Canadian evangelist and faith healer named Todd Bentley came to Ignited Church in Lakeland on April 2 for what everyone assumed would be several days of services. Fueled by live Internet streaming and TV broadcasts of the services, attendance swelled to anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 per night, many of the people coming from far-flung states and other countries.

By July, the revival had moved at least four times to accommodate the growing crowds, drawn by Bentley's flamboyance and attention-getting claims of miraculous healings and even people being raised from the dead.

As news of events at the revival services filtered out, Internet dialogue heated up as to whether it was genuine.

Then, in early August, the board of directors of Bentley's Fresh Fire Ministries of Abbotsford, British Columbia, announced he and his wife were separating because he had developed an "unhealthy" emotional attachment to another woman. There were reports that Bentley engaged in "excessive drinking." Bentley abruptly turned the revival over to the Rev. Stephen Strader, pastor of Ignited Church, and left town.

WHAT IS THE LEGACY?

Now followers and observers are left to wonder what the legacy of the Florida Outpouring will be. Will it be remembered for its rapid growth and for its claims of spectacular miracles?

Will it be regarded as a spiritual circus, filled with outrageous sights but little substance and even dangerously misleading teachings? Or will it be an event in which there was good despite the flaws of its leader?

One effect of the revival was to provoke what some believe is a crisis in the Pentecostal community, or in that part of it known as "charismatic," meaning those who believe in powerful manifestations of God, such as speaking in tongues, faith healing and prophecy.

"Major Pentecostal figures have been alarmed because the Florida Outpouring epitomized recent excesses in the charismatic world. The dark side of the Florida Outpouring has been a wakeup call," said Jim Beverley, professor of Christian thought and ethics at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, an evangelical who has studied the Pentecostal movement.

"In 20 years of looking at charismatic Christianity, I've never seen the internal tension since this revival got going."

'THE LAKELAND SCANDAL'

For example, J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma, an influential magazine for Pentecostals, wrote in an Aug. 13 column:

"Because of the Lakeland scandal, there may be large numbers of people who feel they've been burned by Bentley. Some may give up on church and join the growing ranks of bitter, disenfranchised Christians. Others may suffer total spiritual shipwreck. This could have been avoided if leaders had been more vocal about their objections and urged people to evaluate spiritual experiences through the filter of God's Word."

Strader has carried on the revival five nights a week with much smaller crowds. On Wednesday night, guest evangelist Ron Johnson of Norfolk, Va., preached to an audience of about 150 people.

"This move of God is shifting," he said. "Thank God for the movement this church started. It was like a match that caused something to explode. But you can't live today on yesterday's blessing. God wants to do something today." There was a chorus of "Amen."

At last report, Bentley was staying with friends in California. Calls to Fresh Fire Ministries were not returned.

CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE

The revival and its controversy centered on Bentley, a high school dropout who, by his own account, before he was converted as a teenager, abused drugs and alcohol and served jail time for molesting a younger boy.

With wrist-to-wrist tattoos, jeweled studs in his lower lip and dark jeans and T-shirts, Bentley cultivated a biker image.

Not content to merely touch people while praying for them to be healed of various ailments, he would shove or knee them, imitating professional wrestling techniques.

Nightly there was a litany of "testimonies," many by e-mail, of the miracles people said they had experienced.

Details were often vague, and although Bentley's organization offered some limited information about their authenticity, The Associated Press was unable to confirm the healings in a handful of cases.

One Lakeland man said he had attended the revival starting on Todd Bentley's first day in town and experienced healing himself.

"I had arthritis in my feet for close to 10 years. I got healed during the services," said Dale Wade. "I saw other people's lives healed. There was such desperation. People were hungry for God."

SPECTACULAR CLAIMS

The claims seemed to grow increasingly more spectacular, with Bentley at various points stating that people supernaturally were given gold fillings in their teeth and that sight was given through a glass eye.

Local and national Pentecostal leaders became alarmed that the revival was falling victim to hype.

But as a freelance evangelist without denominational ties or oversight, Bentley was free to say or do whatever he wished.

Internet critics such as Andrew Strom described the practices at the revival as not in accordance with the Bible.

The Assemblies of God, the denomination to which Strader and Ignited belong, issued a set of guidelines that, while not mentioning the Florida Outpouring specifically, raised concerns that some of Bentley's claims - such as mystical trips to heaven in which he met Jesus and the apostle Paul - were not scriptural. Yet crowds continued to flock to the services.

"I think Todd has a remarkable ability not to care about the truth. He gets more attention if he tells these whopper stories. Parts of the charismatic world have the ability not to even blink when he tells them. They can't believe their leader could possibly be a liar," Beverley said.

In the wake of his departure, Fresh Fire announced that Bentley will refrain from public ministry until a rehabilitation process administered by some Pentecostal pastors is complete.

One local pastor who supported the revival, the Rev. Wayne Friedt of Believers Fellowship in Lakeland, said he feared Bentley was insecure and vulnerable.

"From the beginning, I thought the guy was skating on thin ice. Two years after he got saved, he was in the ministry. To stay there takes dedication. He had a lot of strikes against him," he said.

VIEWS ON LEGITIMACY

There is still polarization about the revival's legitimacy.

Dale Wade, who is still attending the Outpouring services, had only good things to say about Bentley's time in Lakeland.

"I thought it was great. I had experienced services where healings had taken place, so it was nothing new for me. It was exciting that it happened here," he said.

The Rev. Wayne Blackburn, pastor of Victory Church in Lakeland, one of the larger Pentecostal churches in the county, had expressed reservations about the revival while Bentley was conducting it. In retrospect, he said, the revival had been a mixed blessing.

"People who were genuinely touched by the hand of God, that had nothing to do with the evangelist or anyone else, that's a plus. On the other hand, the situation with Todd is a negative. Many were turned off by it. For me personally, I just want to leave it in the hands of the Lord," he said.

But Friedt said he was not sure the revelations about Bentley had harmed the work of the revival.

"God has a way of turning bad into good. Maybe the church would say it wasn't about Todd after all, it was about God," he said.

Strader was more positive, pointing to what he said were "notable miracles." In particular, he said, a woman who had metal rods in her hip and spine was able to bend over and that her fibromyalgia had disappeared.

"I don't know that I would have done anything differently. I have no regrets," he said.

"I believe the greatest effect the Outpouring had is that people around the world actually have hope that it's possible to be healed. There is a whole lot of skepticism whether that's possible."

PENTECOSTAL RE-EXAMINATION

Beverley, the seminary professor, said Bentley's style and his "wild claims" have caused a re-examination of practices in the more freewheeling parts of the Pentecostal community.

"My guess is that this has been a tipping point, and there will be improvements," he said.

Grady is among those calling for such reforms, which could be the true legacy of the Florida Outpouring.

"If all those who were so eager to promote Bentley now rush just as fast to repent for their errors in judgment, then the rest of us could breathe a huge sigh of relief - and the credibility of our movement could be restored," he wrote on Aug. 13.

"True revival will be accompanied by brokenness, humility, reverence and repentance - not the arrogance, showmanship and empty hype that often was on display in Lakeland."

Dumb Crook Stories

*I got a kick out of these true stories.

Thief gets a mouthful trying to siphon what he "thinks" is gas. Police got a call one morning from Dennis Quigly, the owner of a motor home. Dennis had been inside his motor home when he heard weird noises from outside. Apparently, a thief was trying to siphon gas from his vehicle. (Siphoning is when you transport liquid from one place to another, usually using a rubber hose.) You gotta suck on the hose to get the liquid moving, sometimes getting a mouthful. This thief sure got a mouthful - of sewage! He'd sucked from the wrong tank. Police found vomit on the ground beside a young man who was curled up in a ball. No charges were pressed cuz Dennis thought the dumb thief had suffered enough.

A 45 year-old lady was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, after a mechanic reported to police that 18 packages of marijuana were packed in the engine compartment of the car which she had brought to the mechanic for an oil change. According to police, the lady later said that she didn't realize that the mechanic would have to raise the hood to change the oil.

Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper.

Oklahoma City: A man was on trial for the armed robbery of a convenience store in a district court when he fired his lawyer. Assistant district attorney Larry Jones said the criminal, 47, was doing a fair job of defending himself until the store manager testified that he was the robber. The defendant jumped up, accused the woman of lying and then said, "I should of blown your (expletive) head off." The defendant paused, then quickly added, "if I'd been the one that was there." The jury took 20 minutes to convict him and recommended a 30-year sentence.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grady On The Boltz Situation

I just read Lee Gradys article concerning Ray Boltz and had some thoughts to share. It offers some good points from the natural mind, but let me put out a bit of bible here. It is not that I lack compassion concerning Boltz's plight (and I like a lot of his music), but I say this. Humanistic reasoning will lead to more and more stuff like this in the church. Most people view correction as hatred, as insensitivity, but could it be ultimately for a person's greater good? And we are seeing more sexual sin this day and hour. And we will see more and more of it too as leaders soften up on sin. How sin is dealt with in the church is a different matter when it comes to the unsaved world. Are we diluting the Word of God? Would we say Paul was judgmental here, pointing fingers, etc or should we say he cared for this man's very salvation?

1 CORINTHIANS 5:1-13
1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed.
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.


Below is Lee Grady's Article:
Fire In My Bones:

When Christians Come Out of the Closet

Singer Ray Boltz’s shocking announcement that he’s gay offers us a chance to adjust our attitudes.


How should we respond when a fellow Christian embraces a gay lifestyle? Do we give him a hug and tell him we wholeheartedly respect his decision? Do we just keep quiet and pray? Or do we grab a Bible and offer a stern lecture?

I know it’s an uncomfortable subject, but I’m delving into it because recording artist Ray Boltz has come out of the closet. The 55-year-old singer, winner of three Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association, told the world last Friday that he just got tired of fighting his same-sex feelings. He told the Washington Blade, a gay magazine, that he now lives “a normal gay life” and feels liberated.

I am sure the gay community rejoiced that Boltz has joined their side of this debate. Now they are waiting to see our response. Many of them expect Christians to yank Boltz’s music off the radio, stage bonfires with his CDs and send cryptic death threats. (Hint: None of these is the right reaction.)
“It’s easy to get angry at the people who are making wrong choices, but self-righteous anger does not produce the character of Christ in us or anyone else.”

Best known for a string of Christian hits in the 1990s including “Thank You” and “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb,” Boltz told the Blade that he disclosed his repressed homosexuality to his wife and four grown children in 2004, the year he retired from his music career. He quietly moved to South Florida and began dating. His divorce from his wife of 33 years was finalized this year.

His confession was brutally honest: “I’d denied [my homosexuality] ever since I was a kid. I became a Christian. I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore.”

When I first heard Boltz’s announcement I felt betrayed, the same way I feel when a famous preacher admits to an affair or when a good friend leaves the faith. I’ll admit I immediately began composing a biblical lecture in my head.

I was upset that Boltz chose to stop fighting same-sex temptation after all those years of marriage. I was sorry to learn that he feels “closer to God” since he embraced his suppressed gayness. Most of all I was annoyed that his decision sends a distorted message to our culture that Christianity doesn’t offer the power to overcome sin.

But as I asked the Lord to share His heart with me about Boltz’s situation, I realized that our corporate response to this is as much about a right attitude as it is about right doctrines:

1. We must weep. The prophets who called ancient Israel to repent for apostasy did so through tears. Not only did they declare the word of God, but they also spoke with His tone of voice. I pray we will refrain from speaking God’s words to gay people until we have wept long enough to internalize His heart for them.

It’s easy to get angry at the people who are making wrong choices, but self-righteous anger does not produce the character of Christ in us or anyone else. Weeping, on the other hand, tenderizes us. It adjusts our self-righteous attitudes.

It’s not enough for us to preach to people. We must pray for them first. When they meet us, they need to see our moist eyes, not scowls and pointed fingers. Compassionate prayer bathes our message in God’s mercy. It requires us to humbly identify with sinners as we recognize that each one of us battles some form of brokenness or addiction.

2. We must love homosexuals. Preachers are fond of making grand declarations of God’s hatred of homosexuality, and we are prone to cheer them on. But Tim Wilkins, a recovered homosexual who is now director of Cross Ministry in Wake Forest, N.C., pleads with Christians to tone down the angry rhetoric. He says that every time a preacher makes a demeaning remark about homosexuals in a sermon, he wounds 70 percent of his listeners who either (1) silently deal with same-sex attraction themselves; or (2) have family and friends who do.

A 2007 Barna survey showed that 90 percent of young non-Christians and 80 percent of young churchgoers believe Christians display “excessive contempt toward gays and lesbians.” Could this be one reason we are not reaching large numbers of homosexuals with the gospel? If we don’t show genuine love, we can expect them to ignore us.

It was Jesus’ offer of friendship, not a sermon, that brought the hated tax collector Zaccheus to repentance. When Jesus called the little guy down from the sycamore tree and said, “Today I must stay at your house” (Luke 19:5, NASB), He erased all the rejection Zaccheus had endured from the moralizers who had condemned his thievery. (And Jesus didn’t get more popular with religious people when He made this new friendship.) Perhaps we need more hospitality and fewer sermons!

3. We must contend for the faith. Ray Boltz’s disappointing decision represents a national trend. Many people today are embracing homosexuality as an appealing alternative. They are listening to teachers, psychiatrists, talk-show hosts, Hollywood celebrities, sympathetic family members and even some mainline Christian ministers who say sexual orientation is totally genetic—and unchangeable.

These people have bought the lie that says a person who feels same-sex attraction must always be controlled by those desires. Not true! Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we can have freedom from every kind of sinful behavior.

We don’t have the right to compromise God’s Word, no matter how many people decide to come out of the closet. But let’s remember that the message we are called to proclaim to the world is not “Homosexuality is wrong.” That’s a true statement, but it has no power to change anybody.

The gospel we must shout from the housetops is that Jesus loves all of us, no matter our condition, and that His forgiveness can heal our brokenness. I pray Ray Boltz will soon discover that truth in a fresh way—and I hope he’ll write many more songs about it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wagner And The Network


I happened upon some site the other day depicting a chart showing the organizational structure of C. Peter Wagner’s network of apostles, councils, and etc…. I was curious as to what was the Hamilton Group and the other stuff is about, and found two letters online which gave a brief outline as to what these nine units entailed. It is a far more intricate structure than I initially thought, and I am very troubled. I just want to put this out for now, as I don’t know a lot to the nuances of this organization, but suffice it to say, take a hard look at their theology—the theology of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). It is not biblical. Google it up and be sure to lookup “dominion theology”. It is very possible the structure has changed in the past year, as this chart appears to had been distributed around May 2007. I highlighted the description of the nine component organizations in navy. I am not sure, but by clicking the chart, it should enlarge inside another window.

_______________________________________________

Letter #1
Global Harvest Ministries evolves into "Global Apostolic Network."
Published on 4 April 2007 in Missions & World Evangelism
Source: Global Harvest ~ Global Link


April 4, 2007

Dear friends of Global Harvest:

Over the past few months we have been making some exciting changes in GHM. I am embarrassed to admit that it was only recently that I realized that GHM is an apostolic network. I was leading GHM apostolically, but only to a point. We were ministering with bits and pieces, but our whole ministry had no over all comprehensive structure. The catalyst for this renewed thinking has been Craig Davis, Wagner Leadership Institute Provost, who has been working closely with Doris, Chuck Pierce, and me over the past few weeks.

I am sending you a copy of the first version of a chart which depicts what we are calling "Global Apostolic Network." This is the first time we have seen all the pieces we have been dealing with as parts of a whole. I can now comprehend the assignment that God has given GHM for this season much more clearly. As I have meditated on this chart, I am now prepared to make a rather bold statement, hopefully with the appropriate modesty and humility. I don't think it is immodest to realistically recognize what God is asking you to do. Our job at GHM is to connect the different components of the apostolic movement as broadly as posible. I am not aware of any similar group that is connecting as many apostolic leaders in different fields as the Global Apostolic Network is doing at the present time.

Let me walk you through the chart with brief description of each activity. The different units are listed in random order, not in order of longevity or importance.

The heading is Global Apostolic Network. Doris, Chuck Pierce and I form the Apostolic Team. We serve under the GHM Board of Directors. Essential to the ministry in general are Life Partners who contribute toward my salary, Harvest Partners who contribute regularly to the ministry, and Prayer Partners who intercede for us.

* The Hamilton Group (THG). This is made up of the members of my Eagles Vision Apostolic Team (EVAT) to whom I give primary apostolic covering. THG is a distribution infrastructure to handle some of the great transfer of wealth we are expecting. The motto is: "Sophisticated Philanthropy for Apostolic Distribution."
* United States Global Apostolic Prayer Network (USGAPN). Chuck Pierce is the point person for this. He mobilizes, motivates, and manages a company of high-level prophetic intercessors with an Apostolic Council and Coordinators in all 50 states. The USGAPN is arguably the strongest ongoing prayer network that we have had in our country.
* Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability (ACEA). This provides connection, relationships, and accountability to the schools of al kinds which have been raised to equip the saints in the various apostolic networks around the country and abroad. Currently there are over 80 member institutions which pay their dues and attend an annual meeting. Leo Lawson is our ACEA Ambassador.
* International Coalition of Apostles (ICA). Over 500 recognized apostles have membership in ICA. It provides an unparalleled chance for them to meet, relate to, and connect with peers and gain certification of their apostolic ministry. They go through a rigid application process, pay dues, and attend an annual meeting. John Kelly and Chuck Pierce help me lead ICA.
* Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI). This is a new wineskin training school for equipping the saints in every field of ministry under a faculty of successful apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. With Craig Davis as Provost, WLI Central has now formed an Educational Apostolic Network with 12 international WLIs plus 18 regional WLIs throughout our nation.
* International Society of Deliverance Ministers (ISDM). More than 150 recognized deliverance ministers have been approved as members of ISDM. The annual meeting furnishes them a chance to connect with and learn from each other, as well as to become mutually accountable. Doris and I provide apostolic leadership and Bill Sudduth is the ISDM Ambassador. I would like to see ISDM grow to 500 members as the next step.
* Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE). A group of 25 respected prophets meet with me every fall to seek a word from the Lord for the following year. Meanwhile, we all stay in touch with each other and we support each other's ministries as opportunity arises. Cindy Jacobs prepares the agenda and serves as the ACPE Scribe to compile and issue the forthcoming prophetic document. This is a closed group.


I'm sorry to burden you with such a lengthy communication, but I felt that we needed a comprehensive document setting forth what we do here at Global Harvest. Thank you for partnering with us in many ways. This is exciting!

Blessings,
Peter Wagner

=========================================

Letter #2

May 31, 2007

Dear friends of Global Harvest:

Last month I sent you a report of the formation of our "Global Apostolic Network" (GAN) along with a graphic that contained seven boxes representing seven different units that have been joined to each other through my apostolic oversight. Just as a reminder, the seven units included The Hamilton Group, the U.S. Global Apostolic Prayer Network, the Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability, the International Coalition of Apostles, Wagner Leadership Institute, the International Society of Deliverance Ministers, and the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders.

I mentioned that things are moving rapidly. Well, as a starter we now have nine boxes instead of seven. The two additional boxes already existed, but they weren't included in the first version. They are:

*Zion Apostolic Council. This is a wealth distribution infrastructure similar to The Hamilton Group. However, it is set up to handle the wealth generated by only one enterprise, namely the Zion Project founded by Rod Neal of Cincinnati, Ohio. Rod is very close to releasing some very innovative and disruptive technology which has the potential of making permanent changes in the lifestyle of the human race. He has asked me to form an apostolic council of 48 apostles who will be responsible for distributing the forthcoming wealth and also to serve them as Presiding Apostle.
*Eagles Vision Apostolic Team (EVAT). For some time I had been receiving requests from certain apostles with whom I have built personal friendships to formalize my apostolic oversight and covenant relationships with them. I agreed to do this and establish EVAT in 2002, and we held our first annual meeting in 2003. Currently 25 EVAT members look to me for their primary or part of their primary apostolic covering. Their contributions (along with those of some Life Partners) cover my GHM salary and benefits.


GAN'S PHILOSOPHY OF MISSION

The other exciting development is that we now have, for the first time, the beginnings of a detailed and uniform philosophy of mission for the entire Global Apostolic Network (GAN). Heretofore I had simply assumed that, since I was the leader, we were all moving in the same general direction. That was largely true, but if someone had asked me I would not have been prepared to give them much detail as to the precise direction in which we were moving.

The major catalyst whom God has brought into the picture to help renew our minds in terms of our philosophy of mission is Lance Wallnau, founder of Lance Learning Group currently based in Rhode Island. Lance, in a former season, planted churches and formed an apostolic network which he has now turned over to other leadership. He is a member of ICA, and he currently travels widely as a conference speaker and as a consultant to business and government leaders. Through the years we have formed a close relationship, he has been a speaker at several of our conferences, and Lance is the newest member of EVAT.

Lance's trademark teaching relates to what he calls the seven "mind molders" or the "seven mountains." These have now become a permanent fixture in my personal teaching on taking dominion, and I have referenced Wallnau in The Church in the Workplace as well as in my forthcoming book Dominion! In my view it is not possible to get an operational handle on how to initiate corporate action toward social transformation without taking into account the seven mountains or what I like to call "molders of culture." The seven are religion, family, business, arts & entertainment, government, education, and media.
With this in mind, allow me to make an initial attempt to verbalize the philosophy of mission of GAN.

Our theological bedrock is what has been known as Dominion Theology. This means that our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to retake the dominion of God's creation which Adam forfeited to Satan in the Garden of Eden. It is nothing less than seeing God's kingdom coming and His will being done here on earth as it is in heaven. This includes the need to govern apolitically, as well as to embrace spiritual warfare techniques that neutralize the control of our adversary within the functional and territorial spheres of authority to which we have been assigned. To do this, we know that we must be in communion, we must receive revelation, and we must apostolically and prophetically proclaim that revelation.

First, our mission is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. We are an apostolic unit, and we read in Ephesians 4:11-12 that the stated responsibility of apostles (as well as prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) is to equip the saints. We feel that we must equip the saints, not just clergy but all the saints of God both personally and corporately. However, the next question becomes: Equip the saints for what purpose?

This leads into the second point, namely our goal. Our goal, in a word, is transformation. The first stage in this goal is personal transformation because each saint must be prepared to do his or her part in the process of taking dominion. Saints usually fall into one of three categories, depending on their primary focus. The majority of saints focus on self. They ask: What's in this for me? Ironically, the question applies to their religious lives as well as to their work and their leisure. A much smaller percentage of the saints focus on church. They are committed to their church, they tithe to their church, they volunteer for church programs, they attend faithfully, and they are fulfilled when their local church is healthy and is growing. A third category of saints, relatively very few indeed, manage to focus on the kingdom. They see the hand of God at work, not only in themselves and in their churches, but also in society in general. They are the ones through whom God will mostly accomplish His purposes of taking dominion. Our assignment, then, is to help as many people as possible move their primary focus from self or church to kingdom.

Which leads us to the second stage of the goal of transformation, namely corporate or social transformation. We want to see whole cities and regions and states and nations transformed to support the values of the kingdom of God. This will happen only as kingdom-focused saints become the head and not the tail of each of Lance Wallnau's seven mountains or molders of culture. Here in America, we have done fairly well in leading the religion mountain, but not the other six. Our mistaken tendency has been to try to pull leaders from the other six mountains over into our religion mountain instead of encouraging them to use their gifts and their energy and their knowledge in the mountain to which God has assigned them. We want all of God's people actively to do their part to fulfill the "7-M Mandate."

Thirdly, the measurement of our progress must center on renewal. Titus 3:5 says that we should constantly seek the renewal of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit fills us and renews us day after day, we will be more able to tune into what He is saying to us and to the churches. We can measure how this is happening, both personally and corporately, by examining three stages:

*Awareness. This is the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2). It is a paradigm shift. It is agreeing with the dominion mandate.
*Identification. This is the renewing of our commitment. We no longer are primarily committed either to self or to the church, but to the kingdom. We want to be a part of the current stream of what the Holy Spirit is doing.
*Application. This is the renewing of our practice. It is what we do. Faith without works is dead. Not only do we want God's kingdom to come, but we are committed to take whatever action necessary to do our part to help see it happen.

If we agree that the "7-M Mandate" is operative within our Global Apostolic Network in general, then our specific involvement, whether it be with deliverance ministers or educators or prophets or workplace leaders or intercessors or philanthropists or apostles, will be guided by this same set of principles. Together we will more and more see God's kingdom come and His will being done here on earth as it is in heaven!
God bless you, each and every one.

Sincerely,
C. Peter Wagner
President, Global Harvest Ministries
Chancellor, Wagner Leadership Institute
P.O. Box 63060
Colorado Springs, CO 80962
719-262-9922

September Ramblings

The month of September 2008 marks my tenth year anniversary of when I became a born again Christian. It has been a journey to say the least. I have had more adversity coming against me after becoming a Christian, then I ever had as a non-believer, and I say that at the risk of being "charismatically incorrect". Yet, I count on Him to bring me out of my trials. Also, I am not discounting the fact I experienced trying times before accepting Jesus as my Savior. At times my life has been like a nightmare, but one thing I do know, I would rather be where I am today with Him enduring these hardships, than to be without Him. For our time on this earth is temporal. And it is where we spend eternity that matters. The Lord Jesus Christ not only gives meaning to our lives, He is the meaning of our lives.

Ephesians 1:5
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,


Our walk with the Lord is a growing process. He has taken me far, despite the many afflictions I have encountered this past decade. I have experienced real hardships, serious illnesses, poverty, and contempt from my own family members at times. My elderly parents and my brother are to this day Roman Catholics, and I grew up with that background-- but I can say assuredly, I was NOT saved. Then for some years afterwards, I was quite comfortable with my beliefs as an atheist. But back to my point…I believe many trials are to keep us from growing in the Word, as Satan will come to steal the Word through adversity in our lives.

MARK 4:13-20
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.


Not only will the enemy send affliction, send diversion and hardships; he will send certain people to stray us off course with our walk with God. Satan will send people (often well intentioned people) to lead us into error, yet I can look back now and see where God was directing me from some of them--- but I rejected His voice. Error can be easy, because our adversary will often make error easy for you. Satan will even confirm erroneous teachings to keep us off course, and attempt to make it look like God. However, there are times God will also make things difficult for us, because He is trying to protect us. We can therefore misinterpret those things as coming from the enemy. This is why knowledge of the Word and prayer with God is so essential.

I am committing myself this next year to re-examine some of the teachings I’ve been exposed to. Recently, I have been learning things I never heard of---very serious things concerning the end times; and I give the Lord praise for directing my paths. Another area He is dealing with me on is too often I assume people who know a lot of the scriptures, and who have theological education, or who are in leadership positions must be more spiritual; therefore most likely correct in matters concerning His Word. I have learned it is wrong to make assumptions like this! Never exalt the knowledge of men over the Word of God! I need to spend less time on “teachings” and just desiring the sincere milk of the Word. Don’t get me wrong, I am not minimizing the importance of solid teaching. But thank God we have His Spirit to lead us into all Truth. And it seems He often does this through His Word.

What I have learned the hard way… and I pray to the Lord I have truly learn this, is to be able to admit I am wrong about something and to search the Word of God on things even if I think I know the answer. Pride can really ruin our walk with God, and it is an evil destructive thing. But one thing stands sure, it’s His Word. We are living in a time, when it is absolutely essential for us Christians to stay in our bibles. I used to think this in terms of us believers dealing with the non-believing world. Au contraire! Not just the world—but this is applicable to interactions within the church. There is a wave of seduction out there, and I don’t mean of the opposite sex. I mean seducing spirits and false gospels which seem right, but upon closer inspection, they fail the Word test. We must put on the whole armor of God to stand in these times.

Ephesians 6:11-13
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.


1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11 2001

Who in the United States will ever forget that day? I remember watching Peter Jennings (now deceased) live on ABC News, and seeing the second plane hit the other tower as it was actually happening. Then shortly afterwards, seeing the twin towers collapse. What a sickening feeling. It has been a terribly painful time for the families who lost loved ones to such senseless demonically inspired cruelty. Unfortunately, I believe terrorists will strike again in America (and elsewhere), as news regularly demonstrates kamikazes willing to give their lives in the name of their false god.

Certain images stick in my mind, even years later. Two disturb me particularly but I decided not to post them. One is of people stuck in the building, hanging out of the windows or about to fall out of the windows; trying to escape the flames (Click here for photo)The other is a man falling, upside down, one leg bent almost like someone in a march (Click here for photo) Of all the images out there, when I think of 9-11, I often think of him first. It is unfathomable to me what was going through their minds. My understanding some of the people that where called “jumpers” actually where blown out or fell out dead from the towers.

I remember watching a news report one evening, and a reporter conducting interviews on faith asked a young woman “Did this make you turn to God even more so than before”? She cried out “What God? There is no God! What kind of God would allow this?” How sad--- in her very understandable anguish she blamed Him for the actions of these evil men. If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, such things will always be hard to reconcile. These things can be hard to understand even for Christians to reconcile in their minds. Yes, God allows bad things to happen, even with some of His servants, and this thought probably goes against the charismatic grain of some folks. We will have trials, we will experience hardships, but we must keep our focus on Him to bring us through these things. And there will always be events in the lives of other people and likely in our own lives which may never make sense to us.

Yet, on the other hand, there has been many times when I cried out “why” to God, and saw Him weave certain negative events and personal trials into His plan and purpose for my life. And when I angrily thought He was standing afar simply as a voyeur, I realized He was directing my paths towards a “greater good”. A lot of times the “greater good” will be how you impact other people; it will not just be for our own needs. There have been times satan sent certain people in my life, but upon reflection, God also worked through some of them for my own benefit… down the road. And this can be a very painful process.


Our time on this earth is temporary, James compared it as a vapor. One day our physical bodies will die, and what matters most is where we will spend eternity.

James 4:14
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Matthew 16:26
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?


At times I have seen American soldiers come home from serving in Iraq, only to die in a car accident or some other tragic event a few weeks later. Look at Elisha who served God mightily, yet as he was dying from sickness, he was prophesying (2 Kings 13). John the Baptist was beheaded. Yet we are to live without fear and unbelief towards God’s promises and take Him at His Word. It is a walk of faith, and that requires trusting in Him and believing what is written in His Word. It also requires recognizing His sovereignty.

My prayers today are with the families who lost loved ones September 11, 2001. I have never seen in my lifetime Americans from all walks of life come together for a common cause as we did after 9-11. Out of that terrible ugliness, something beautiful did emerge as we came together as a nation, although I am certainly not suggesting terrorism happens to promote this kind of good. We cannot and should not live our lives in fear, but as a nation; we should not let apathy take hold us either. So many nations have been effected by al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations; we must keep our primary focus on the Lord.

NAHUM 1:7 The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

JOHN 3:15-17
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What if Manifestations Don't Stop??

*Here are some testimonies regarding evil spirits people picked up from various interactions thought to be Christian and beneficial. We have to be careful about who lays hands on us, what we watch and listen too. The other day I was watching junk from mystic John Crowder on YouTube and there is such a tremendous darkness around him; and I could only tolerate a few minutes. I am not just going by what I perceived in my spirit, one only need to listen to some of the crap he preaches.

Below, as posted in email by Andrew Strom of Revival School:


3 TESTIMONIES Are BELOW:

(1) Geri McGhee writes:
I received the following email from a child of God who has been victimized by "soaking" in what she was told was the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, there are others of you who are being tormented after an experience with what you thought was the Holy Spirit; when in reality, you were taken captive by a demonic spirit(s)...

"Dear Geri: I remember going to some meetings where they believed in all of this that you have mentioned in your message on "soaking". I have experienced the shaking, tingling, electrical sensation going through my body, along with various other things that they said was the Holy Spirit, not realizing that it is the Kundalini spirit... Have you ever delivered anyone from this horrible spirit and is it hard?

I have the cold sensations over my head, tingling, electrical sensations going through my body, I can feel a serpent like movement all over my back, I have this shaking when I pray, I feel movement over my head, genitals, legs, etc, the list goes on and on.

You may share my testimony because I have struggled with this for many years and no one has been able to help me. I have done some research on this spirit, and what I have found is the very same thing that you have told me. I just recently visited a church where they brought back the impartation of TODD BENTLEY and passed it on to some people including me, not knowing what I was getting into. All of these manifestations are present at his services as well. I can feel it in my chest, on my back and it is a horrible crawling serpent sensation..."

(2) "I WAS DELIVERED" - 'Revival-Fire'


I have a recent testimony of deliverance that may be helpful to some people.

In 2003 I ended up in a Toronto Blessing type meeting, I was a youthworker for a Christian organisation at the time. I had some spiritual experiences during this season at the Toronto type church. Something was transferred to me during this time. How do I know?

During this season God had begun to work in the lives of the young people I had been ministering to... After my Toronto meetings, when I now shared at the youth groups spiritual phenomena began to take place. Laughter broke out, some felt drunk, others would feel like slumping on the floor when I prayed. At the time I didn't understand it, some of it concerned me, but I didn't want to quench it if it was God. One thing that did concern me was that one of the young people who got 'drunkenness' for a couple of days, wasn't even saved.

Anyway, I've always had a love for the word of God, good doctrine and truth. Some of the things in the Toronto stuff never sat right with me. I did think there where some new age influences. I did relax on the manifestations though and I have laughed, shook, jerked and 'whoooooaaaaahhhhhed' with the best of them. Since that point I was a defender of 'Toronto'.

When Lakeland kicked off I was hopeful, however having graduated from theological college, I was now more 'skeptical' about healing ministries. Don't get me wrong. I believe in healing, however mass hype and hysteria and unsubstantiated claims caused me to be wary. I began to research Lakeland, Bentley, etc... As I read the articles, etc, I began to become more and more convinced that I had allowed myself to come under a false spiritual environment.

Having had hands laid on me by many Toronto people I began to wonder about impartation and what I had received. One day while out in the town some American Indians where doing some of their Native Music on the streets. I stopped to listen and as I listened I began to feel movement in my gut. The movement I felt was very
similar to what I would feel during times of 'praise and worship'. I thought to myself, Why is my spirit being moved (in an enjoyable way) by this pagan music? At this point I began to wonder about what sort of spirits I had opened myself up to.

Anyway, the 'new mystics' meeting that I ended up at last week (I didn't know that is who they were) caused me to still feel that something wasn't right. Although my eyes had been opened to the deception, I still felt there was still a spiritual tie. I say this because my 'sprit' would respond to what was happening in the meeting at times even though it was obviously chaotic. Also during worship some people came up while I was worshipping and prayed for me. Again I felt that this wasn't good.

The few days that followed this meeting where pretty awful emotionally. I felt drained, down and depressed. I then remembered that this is how I would often feel when I would come out of the Toronto meetings. In those days I would interpret this as God bringing negative stuff to the surface to deal with things. However as this began to happen again I began to doubt that this was the case. I also found it hard to pray and read the word.

Anyway, while in bed, a few nights later, my wife was led to begin to pray for me. As she was praying while laying hands on my stomach she saw 'a little black thing'. However she noticed that the little black thing was held tight and gripped by a fist. As she prayed it left. She did not tell me this until the morning.

After she had prayed I felt better, went to sleep and woke up the next day much lighter. She then told me what she had seen.

How I interpret it is like this: Through the laying on of hands and opening myself up to a deception the enemy had got access.

Recent events caused me to see the truth of the deception regarding the spirit at work, my eyes where opened but there was still a spiritual tie on the inside (probably due to transference).

The fact that it was held tight by a fist caused me to believe that the spirit had been 'bound' but that I had not been delivered. Perhaps this binding of the spirit is what has caused me to see the truth, however deliverance did not come until my wife prayed. Anyway, ever since this experience I have found that a lot of 'things' have 'lifted off me'.

(3) "A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE" - Debylynne

"'Revival-fire' - I found your post very interesting, especially when you talked about the "responses" you would feel and sense in yourself to things that you knew were not of God (ie. Indian music) and how similar they were to what you "felt" in response to "god" in these services. I have had the same experiences and it has really troubled me. Even when I was watching the clips about the Kundalini and I would "feel" myself begin to respond and "jerk" and "twitch" and shake and I would turn it off immediately because that rather "freaked me out". I have never been to Toronto, nor have I had "direct" contact with anyone that has been there - but I have watched the stuff on God TV and I have "laid hands" on the TV screen to "receive" and I thought it was ALL of God.

I have repented wholeheartedly, but I wonder if there is still something on the inside of me that needs stronger action taken against it. I have not had my husband pray for me concerning this, but I believe that I WILL..."

ANDREW RESPONDS: It is vital to understand that every Christian believer has God-given authority over their own "temple" so-to-speak. Yes - it is important to repent before God with true "godly sorrow" if you have opened yourself up to these spirits. But it is also vital to know that you can COMMAND these things to go in the name of Jesus Christ! I often talk about RENOUNCING" things from the very depths of your being. It is not just with your 'mouth only'. You are rejecting and expelling these things with every part of you - spirit, soul and body - in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. And they WILL go! The same applies to other areas of darkness in people's lives. If you suffer from depression or a bad temper or any other form of darkness that you can't seem to get rid of - COMMAND it gone from the very depths of your being in Jesus' name! I refer to these things as "strongholds" rather than 'demons'. And I have seen people utterly delivered of things they thought were "ingrained" in them - just by deeply and forcefully COMMANDING them gone in the mighty name of Jesus. Try it! Don't delay. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (2 Cor 10:4).

God bless you all!

Andrew Strom.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Patricia King-Now You See Her, and Now You Don't


*Here is an update: Patricia King has been raising "Hell" in her behalf and at her disposal at Youtube, and has pulled some of the videos about her broadcasts, including this one Click Here. Additionally, her groupies have left threatening comments on Youtube, like with the Local Pastor videos as well as others who showed videos about the Lakeland "Revival" at YouTube. In this particular video I posted on July 3, 2008, King, Todd Bentley, and Bob Jones were discussing traveling to third heaven daily (actually astral projection and or flagrant lying) and smelling vanilla in the room (*edited--these people rile me up at times). Why pull these videos off if one has nothing to hide, and truly believe the nonsense they advocate?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dutch Sheets--Walking The Tight Rope

I just read a really good blog article--a commentary on Dutch Sheets response to the Lakeland Revival, and on the current state of the prophetic community. Sadly, many false prophets abound and to question their authority is considered rebellious and treason. Words are given from the flesh, and they lack discernment and are dangerous---for people look to them for leadership. The author makes some excellent points, and in it is a link to Dutch Sheets original response. Click to Read "Dutch Sheets on Lakeland-A Warning After the Storm or Damage Control?"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Do We Need Leadership Like This?


"Hello, I am the chief apostle over your state. Touch my hat and get anointed. Not so fast, the moolah, the moolah first, you know, like first fruits. That kinda thing."

I was going through blogs the other day, and notice one reporting that the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) are seeking to establish an apostolic head over each state in the United States. Read more of it here, than shake the dust off your feet. Go to Site. This is only more apostolic alignment esoteric arbitrary nonsense of C Peter Wagner & Company. Another blogger stated something like the apostolic prophetic movement will only succeed if the church—we--- allow them too. How true. I know I am repeating myself, but we must not stick our heads in the sand on this issue, because it will not disappear. It’s certainly enough to make you want to bang your head! I rather be in a dead church than be dead in spirit any day, but we should not have to settle for either. Some of these ministers you really have to wonder about in that regard.

Should any Christian knowingly submit to new age groups? Knowingly submit to so called Christian groups embracing practices such as shamanism, charismatic witchcraft, numerology, transcendental meditation, astrology, astral projection, etc.? Submit to a group with members believing they must subdue all governments and nations so that the Kingdom may be presented to Jesus, who supposedly will say, “I guess I can come back now”? Submit to vertical, horizontal, upside down, diagonal apostles and prophets who purport “unlimited access” to God because they assert your access is “limited”?

They seem somewhat sadistic, Lord knows they have had their share of perversion. Another thing about different new age occult groups, they seem to have a weird sexual thread running through almost, if not all of them. I tell you this, anyone telling a person the Lord says you must undress in front of him to hear from Him COULD NOT TRULY FEAR GOD. People change, true, but an unrepentant heart yields tell tale signs, and new age practices is certainly one of them. I’d take out running from these folks.

Many of the new apostles and prophets are a legend in their own minds, and they are an idolatrous group. The deceit in their hearts is not hidden from God however, and discerning Christians are seeing through them. From overemphasis of angels to the under-emphasis of the blood bought work of Jesus Christ. From opening up demonic portals in contrast to Jesus crying out “it is finished” while the veil in the temple was rent in half. From gyrating, obscene, and howling manifestations in Lakeland Florida to rejecting the Word commanding everything to being done decently and in order… the super apostles and like fellow prophets are attempting to make up their own version of GOD! And this is rather antichrist, is it not? That fact has slowly began to dawn on me, and I am still trying to grasp the antichrist element more fully, but suffice it to say; this is one dangerous group.

In their warped theology, they want to serve as mediators between us and God. Are we to go through them to get to Him now? To whom do their supernatural manifestations of gold dust, walking through walls and teleporting benefit? The answer is obvious --- themselves. It makes a good read, it gets you booked with Sid Roth, and helps you pimp out your dvds. People gush and ooze over them like they are Hollywood stars. And they love it, even while looking like parakeets talking about “humility” and “service”. These are not super-spiritual because they rattle off misguided fleshy visions and revelations; and conduct commissioning knighting services of legendary grandeur. Are we to say “thou knowest God of a truth” because they make no bloody sense to us?” How can their home spun demonic hash make sense to anyone other than their fellow demonically inspired peers? The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, and would not the false ones share some of the same devils? They talk of their revelations, their dreams, and we are to say “Gee, I wish I could hear from God like you”. If you are not hearing the kind the junk they are hearing, you are on a firmer foundation, truly.

Mark 15:37-39
37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

Hebrews 10:19-21
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21 And having a high priest over the house of God;

We are to test the spirits. Test words, visions, dreams, because these things MUST align themselves to the Word of God. I don’t claim to be in the know on all things—FAR from it, but this group does, and that type of arrogance is dangerous. You got ICA leaders (hint—Dutch Sheets) repenting for other people’s sins! Hello! You got Wagner backtracking and backpedaling enough to give Michael Phelps a real workout. I always leave myself open to being wrong on certain things and to examining my beliefs --- for this is key to repentance, to correction, to spiritual growth, and moving out from error. These people got walls coming up like brain washed cult members, and make threats against believers twisting the Word of God. Repeated exposure to them is spiritually dangerous, and some no doubt pray evil over those defying their phony—and it is PHONY authority. Man made whored up authority, not God delegated. Pay them enough and they will ordain you a prophet, an apostle. Kiss their feet and they will commission you, and you will get to pimp along side of them—the pimp brigade.



1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.


We can pray for them, but ultimately, as in the case of salvation, a decision must be made to move out from error. A decision to turn from darkness to light, from the god of this world, to the One God of all, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Joel's Army- Armed In Error

This is a really interesting assessment of Joel’s Army, coming from a secular organization known as the Southern Poverty Law Center. This organization has for some years monitored various hate groups and militias in the United States, including the KKK, obscure underground militias, and anti-Semitic groups, Neo-Nazis, etc.. The SPLC history web page states “Today, its quarterly Intelligence Report is read by nearly 60,000 law enforcement officers nationwide, and Intelligence Project research has led to criminal convictions in several hate crime cases.” They often conduct research and covert investigations. You can view a hate group map of the United States by clicking here, and also click on individual states.

A couple of months ago, I put on the blog a prophetic word concerning a vision and Joel's Army by Robert Holmes (1997). In light of Lakeland, and this report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, it seemed prudent to bring it up again. Click here to read. Also Click on the title below to see photos and video.

Arming' for Armageddon
Militant Joel's Army Followers Seek Theocracy
By Casey Sanchez


LAKELAND, Fla. — Todd Bentley has a long night ahead
of him, resurrecting the dead, healing the blind, and
exploding cancerous tumors. Since April 3, the
32-year-old, heavily tattooed, body-pierced,
shaved-head Canadian preacher has been leading a
continuous "supernatural healing revival" in central
Florida. To contain the 10,000-plus crowds flocking
from around the globe, Bentley has rented baseball
stadiums, arenas and airport hangars at a cost of up
to $15,000 a day. Many in attendance are church
pastors themselves who believe Bentley to be a prophet
and don't bat an eye when he tells them he's seen King
David and spoken with the Apostle Paul in heaven. "He
was looking very Jewish," Bentley notes.

Tattooed across his sternum are military dog tags that
read "Joel's Army." They're evidence of Bentley's
generalship in a rapidly growing apocalyptic movement
that's gone largely unnoticed by watchdogs of the
theocratic right. According to Bentley and a handful
of other "hyper-charismatic" preachers advancing the
same agenda, Joel's Army is prophesied to become an
Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a
divine mandate to physically impose Christian
"dominion" on non-believers.

"An end-time army has one common purpose — to
aggressively take ground for the kingdom of God under
the authority of Jesus Christ, the Dread Champion,"
Bentley declares on the website for his ministry
school in British Columbia, Canada. "The trumpet is
sounding, calling on-fire, revolutionary believers to
enlist in Joel's Army. … Many are now ready to be
mobilized to establish and advance God's kingdom on
earth."

Joel's Army followers, many of them teenagers and
young adults who believe they're members of the final
generation to come of age before the end of the world,
are breaking away in droves from mainline Pentecostal
churches. Numbering in the tens of thousands, they
base their beliefs on an esoteric reading of the
second chapter of the Old Testament Book of Joel, in
which an avenging swarm of locusts attacks Israel. In
their view, the locusts are a metaphor for Joel's
Army.

Despite their overt militancy, there's no evidence
Joel's Army followers have committed any acts of
violence. But critics warn that actual bloodletting
may only be a matter of time for a movement that casts
itself as God's avenging army.

Those sounding the alarm about Joel's Army are not
secular foes of the Christian Right, few of whom are
even aware of the movement or how widespread it's
become in the past decade. Instead, Joel's Army
critics are mostly conservative Christians, either
neo-Pentecostals who left the movement in disgust or
evangelical Christians who fear that Joel's Army
preachers are stealing their flocks, even sending
spies to infiltrate their own congregations and sway
their young people to heresy. And they say the
movement is becoming frightening.

"The pitch and intensity of the military rhetoric of
this branch of the global Dominionist movement has
substantially increased since the beginning of 2008,"
writes The Discernment Research Group, a Christian
watchdog group that tracks what they call heresies or
cults within Christianity. "One can only wonder how
long before this transforms into real warfare with
actual warriors."
'Snorting Religion'
Joel's Army believers are hard-core Christian
dominionists, meaning they believe that America, along
with the rest of the world, should be governed by
conservative Christians and a conservative Christian
interpretation of biblical law. There is no room in
their doctrine for democracy or pluralism.

Dominionism's original branch is Christian
Reconstructionism, a grim, Calvinist call to theocracy
that, as Reconstructionist writer Gary North
describes, wants to "get busy in constructing a
Bible-based social, political and religious order
which finally denies the religious liberty of the
enemies of God."

Notorious for endorsing the public execution by
stoning of homosexuals and adulterers, the Christian
Reconstructionist movement is far better known in
secular America than Joel's Army. That's largely
because Reconstructionists have made several serious
forays into mainstream politics and received a fair
amount of negative publicity as a result. Joel's Army
followers eschew the political system, believing the
path to world domination lies in taking over churches,
not election to public office.

Another key difference between the two branches of
dominionism, which maintain a testy, arms-length
relationship with one another, is Christian
Reconstructionism's buttoned-down image and heavy
emphasis on Bible study, which contrasts sharply with
Joel's Army anti-intellectual distrust of biblical
scholars and its unruly style.

"Some people snort cocaine, others snort religions,"
Joel's Army Pastor Roy said while ministering a
morning program at Todd Bentley's Lakeland, Fla.,
revival in late May.

As this article went to press, Bentley's "Florida
Outpouring" had been running for more than 100 days
straight. Many attendees came in search of spontaneous
physical healing and a desire to be part of a mystical
community marked by dancing, shouting, gyrating,
speaking in tongues and other forms of ecstatic
release.

Snide jabs at traditional church services are fairly
common at Bentley's revivals. In fact, what takes
place onstage at the Florida Outpouring looks more
like a pro wrestling extravaganza than church. On
stage, Bentley and his team of pastors, yell, chant,
and scream "Fire!" and "Bam!" while anointing
followers.
the call
"The Call," a 12-hour revival of up to 20,000 young
people held in a different city each year, is led by
Joel's Army pastor Lou Engle.

The audience members behave as if they are at a
psychedelic counterculture festival. One couple jumps
up and down twirling red and silver metallic flags.
Dyed-haired teenagers pulled in by the revival's
presence on Facebook and MySpace wander around looking
dazed. Women lay facedown on the floor, convulsing and
howling. Fathers wail in tongues as their confused
children look on. Strangers lay hands on those who
fail to produce tongues or gyrate wildly enough,
pressuring them to "let it out."

Bentley is considered a prophet both by his followers
and by other leaders of the Joel's Army movement,
whose adherents claim to be reviving a "five-fold
ministry" of prophets, apostles, elders, pastors and
teachers, as outlined in the Book of Ephesians. Not
every five-fold ministry is connected to the Joel's
Army movement, but the movement has spurred an
interest in modern-day apostles and prophets that's
troubling to the Assemblies of God, the world's
largest Pentecostal church, which has officially
disavowed the Joel's Army movement.

In a 2001 position paper, Assemblies of God leaders
wrote that they do not recognize modern-day apostles
or prophets and worried that "such leaders prefer more
authoritarian structures where their own word or
decrees are unchallenged." They are right to worry.
Joel's Army followers believe that once democratic
institutions are overthrown, their hierarchy of
apostles and prophets will rule over the earth, with
one church per city.
Warrior Nation
According to Joel's Army doctrine, the enforcers of
the five-fold ministry will be members of the final
generation, for whom the landmark Supreme Court
decision Roe v. Wade constituted a new Passover.

"Everyone born after abortion's legalization can
consider their birth a personal invitation to take
part in this great army," writes John Crowder, another
prominent Joel's Army pastor, who bills his 2006 book,
The New Mystics: How to Become Part of the
Supernatural Generation, as a literal how-to guide for
joining Joel's Army.

Both Bentley and Crowder are enormously popular on
Elijah's List, an online watering hole for a broad
spectrum of Joel's Army enlistees, from lightweight
believers who merely share an affection for military
rhetoric and pastors who dress in army camouflage
(several Joel's Army pastors are addressed by their
congregants as "commandant" or "commander") to
hardliners who believe the church is called to have an
active military role in end-times that have already
begun. Elijah's List currently has more than 125,000
subscribers on its electronic mailing list.

Rick Joyner, a pastor whose books, The Harvest and The
Call, helped popularize Joel's Army theology by
selling more than a million copies each, goes the
furthest on Elijah's List in pushing the hardliner
approach. In 2006, he posted a sermon called "The
Warrior Nation — The New Sound of the Church," in
which he claimed that a last-day army is now gathering
and called believers "freedom fighters."

"As the church begins to take on this resolve, they
[Joel's Army churches] will start to be thought of
more as military bases, and they will begin to take on
the characteristics of military bases for training,
equipping, and deploying effective spiritual forces,"
Joyner wrote. "In time, the church will actually be
organized more as a military force with an army, navy,
air force, etc."

In a sort of disclaimer, Joyner writes at one point
that God's army "will bring love, peace and stability
wherever they go." But several of his books narrate
with glee what he describes as "a coming civil war
within the church." In his 1997 book The Harvest he
writes: "Some pastors and leaders who continue to
resist this tide of unity will be removed from their
place. Some will become so hardened they will become
opposers and resist God to the end."

Two years later, in his book The Final Quest, Joyner
described a vision (taken as prophecy in the Joel's
Army world, where Joyner is considered an "apostle")
of the coming Christian Civil War in which
demon-possessed Christian soldiers enslave other,
weaker Christians who resist them. He also describes
how the hero of the novel — himself — ascends a "Holy
Mountain" in order to learn new truths and to acquire
new, magic weapons.
Kids on Fire
Bentley, who claims to be a supernatural healer, is no
less over the top, playing his biker-punk appearance
and heavy metal theatrics to the hilt. On YouTube,
where clips of his most dramatic healings have been
condensed into a three-minute highlight reel, Bentley
describes God ordering him to kick an elderly lady in
the face: "I am thinking, 'God, why is the power of
God not moving?' And He said, 'It is because you
haven't kicked that women in the face.' And there was,
like, this older lady worshipping right in front of
the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and the
gift of faith came on me. He said, 'Kick her in the
face … with your biker boot.' I inched closer and I
went like this [makes kicking motion]: Bam! And just
as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under
the power of God."

The atmosphere is less charged with violence at "The
Call," a 12-hour revival of up to 20,000 youths led by
Joel's Army pastor Lou Engle and held every summer in
a major American city (this year's event was scheduled
for Washington, D.C. in August).

Attendees are called upon to fast and pray for 40 days
and take up culture-war pledges to lead abstinent
lives, reject pornography and fight abortion. They're
further asked to perform "identificational
repentance," lugging along family trees and
genealogies to see where one of their ancestors may
have enslaved or oppressed another so that they can
make amends. (Many in the Joel's Army movement believe
in generational curses that must be broken by the
current generation).

As even his critics note, Engle is a sweet, humble and
gentle man whose persona is difficult to reconcile
with his belief in an end-time army of invincible
young Christian warriors. Yet while Engle is careful
to avoid deploying explicit Joel's Army rhetoric at
high-profile events like The Call, when he's speaking
in smaller hyper-charismatic circles to avowed Joel's
Army followers, he can venture into bloodlust.

This March, at a "Passion for Jesus" conference in
Kansas City sponsored by the International House of
Prayer, or IHOP, a ministry for teenagers from the
heavy metal, punk and goth scenes, Engle called on his
audience for vengeance.

"I believe we're headed to an Elijah/Jezebel showdown
on the Earth, not just in America but all over the
globe, and the main warriors will be the prophets of
Baal versus the prophets of God, and there will be no
middle ground," said Engle. He was referring to the
Baal of the Old Testament, a pagan idol whose
followers were slaughtered under orders from the
prophet Elijah.

"There's an Elijah generation that's going to be the
forerunners for the coming of Jesus, a generation
marked not by their niceness but by the intensity of
their passion," Engle continued. "The kingdom of
heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by
force. Such force demands an equal response, and Jesus
is going to make war on everything that hinders love,
with his eyes blazing fire."

Although Joel's Army theology is mainly directed at
people in their teens and early 20s via events like
The Call and ministries like IHOP, sometimes the
target audience is even younger. In some of the most
arresting images in "Jesus Camp," a 2006 documentary
about the Kids on Fire bible camp in North Dakota,
grade school-aged kids dressed in army fatigues wield
swords and conduct military field maneuvers. "A lot of
people die for God and they're not afraid," one camper
told ABC News reporters in a follow-up segment.

"We're kinda being trained to be warriors," added
another, "only in a funner way."
Cain and the Intellectuals
Both Christian and secular critics assailed the makers
of "Jesus Camp" for referring to the camp's extremist,
militant Christianity as "evangelical." There is a
name, however, that describes Kids on Fire's agenda,
if you're familiar with their theology: Joel's Army.
Pastor Becky Fischer, who runs the camp, said that a
third of the kids at her camp were under 6 years old
because they are "more in touch in the supernatural"
and proclaimed them to be "soldiers for God's Army."
Her camp's blend of end-times militancy and
supernaturalism is perfectly emblematic of the Joel's
Army movement, whose adherents believe their cause is
prophesied in the Old Testament chapter titled "An
Army of Locusts."

The stark, evocative passages of that chapter describe
a locust swarm that lays waste to Israel (to this day,
the region suffers periodic locust invasions): "Like
dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty
army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be
in ages to come." As remarkable as the language is,
most biblical scholars agree that it is a literal
description of a locust invasion and resulting famine
that occurred sometime between the 9th and 5th
centuries B.C.E.

In the Book of Joel, the locust invasion is described
as an omen that an Assyrian army to the north may
attack Israel if it fails to repent as a nation. But
nowhere is the invasion described as an army of God.
According to an Assemblies of God position paper: "It
is a complete misinterpretation of Scripture to find
in Joel's army of locusts a militant, victorious force
attacking society and a non-cooperating Church to
prepare the earth for Christ's millennial reign."

The story of how an ancient insect invasion came to be
a rallying flag for 21st-century dominonists begins
just after World War II in Canada. Out of a small town
in Saskatchewan, a Pentecostal preacher named William
Branham spearheaded a 1948 revival in which he claimed
that his followers lived in a new biblical time of
"Latter Rain."

The most sinless and ardent of his flock would be
called "Manifest Sons of God." By the next year, the
movement was so strong — and seemed so subversive to
some — that the Assemblies of God banned it as a
heretic cult. But Branham remained a controversial
figure with a loyal following; many of his followers
believed him to be the end-times prophet Elijah.

Michael Barkun, a leading scholar of radical religion,
notes that in 1958, Branham began teaching "Serpent
Seed" doctrine, the belief that Satan had sex with
Eve, resulting in Cain and his descendants. "Through
Cain came all the smart, educated people down to the
antediluvian flood — the intellectuals, bible
colleges," Branham wrote in the kind of
anti-mainstream religion, anti-intellectual spirit
that pervades the Joel's Army movement to this day.
"They know all their creeds but know nothing about
God."
The Gates of Hell
Branham was killed in a car accident in 1965, but his
Manifest Sons of God movement, the direct predecessor
of Joel's Army, lived on within a cluster of
hyper-charismatic churches. In the 1980s, Branham's
teachings took on new life at the Kansas City
Fellowship (KCF), a group of popular self-styled
apostles and prophets who used the Missouri church as
a launching pad for national careers promoting
outright Joel's Army theology.
Branham
The Joel's Army movement began with the 1940s
preaching of William Branham, whose group was banned
as heretical by the Assemblies of God.

Ernie Gruen, a local pastor who initially promoted and
gave citywide credibility to KCF pastors in the early
1980s, cut his connections in 1990. Concerned about
KCF's plans to push its teachings worldwide, Gruen
published a 132-page insider's account, based on taped
sermons and conversations and interviews with parents
who had enrolled their kids in KCF's Dominion school.

According to Gruen's report, students at the school
were taught that they were a "super-race" of the
"elected seed" of all the best bloodlines of all
generations — foreknown, predestined, and
hand-selected from billions of others to be part of
the "end-time Omega generation."

Though he'd once promoted these doctrines himself,
Gruen became convinced that the movement was turning
into an end-times cult, marked by what he summarized
as "spiritual threats, fears, and warnings of death,"
"warning followers to beware of other Christians" and
exhibiting "a 'super-race' mentality toward the
training of their children."

When contacted by the Intelligence Report, Gruen's
spokesman said that Gruen stands by everything he
published in the report but no longer grants media
interviews.

The Kansas City Fellowship remains in operation and
has served as a farm team for many of the all-stars of
the Joel's Army movement. Those larger-than-life
figures include John Wimber, the founder of a
California megachurch, The Vineyard, who, before his
death in 1997, proclaimed that Joel's Army would not
only conquer the earth but defeat death itself. Lou
Engle founded The Call based on the Joel's Army
visions that KCF "prophet" Bob Jones (not to be
confused with Bob Jones III of Bob Jones University)
received while at KCF. Mike Bickle, another KCF
member, stayed in Kansas City to form the
International House of Prayer.

IHOP members and other Joel's Army adherents are well
aware of how their movement is perceived by other
conservative Christians.

"Today, you can type 'Joel's Army' into a search
engine and a thousand heresy hunter websites pop up,
decrying the very mention of it," writes John Crowder
in The New Mystics. Crowder doesn't exactly allay
critic's fears. "This is truly warfare," he writes.
"This battle is not a game. They [Joel's Army
warriors] will not be on the defense; they will be on
the offense — and the gates of hell will not be able
to hold up against them."

So far, few members of the secular media have taken
notice of Joel's Army, even as they report on
Protestant dominionists like Pat Robertson or the more
outrageous calls for the stoning of gays and lesbians
emanating from Reconstructionist circles. There are
exceptions, however. On the DailyKos, a well-read,
politically liberal blog, a diarist has been blogging
for two years about her experiences as a walkaway from
a Joel's Army church. She writes under a pseudonym out
of fear of physical reprisals.

She may have real cause for concern. As Wimber, the
late founder of The Vineyard, put it in one of his
most famous and fiery sermons, one that is still
frequently cited by Joel's Army followers: "Those in
this army will have His kind of power. … Anyone who
wants to harm them must die."