Another Testimony from Lakeland

I am coming away from revival with something I didn’t expect. Like many honest, God-fearing believers who love Him, I came expecting to find and come away with “more” of Him. What I have come away with is the realization that perhaps much of what I have built my Christian walk on is deception. This kind of deception cannot solely be laid at the feet of the Todd Bentleys, or even the Bob Jones of the world. It is much too insidious to be attributed to mere mortals. I see myself in each one of these individuals. They are me! I believe these are all men and women who love God and have honestly desired to follow after Him. But somehow, somewhere along the way, we began to listen to another gospel and follow another Jesus. I don’t believe for a moment that my journey out of deception is complete, but praise God, it’s a start.

I have spent a better part of the last 30 years in Charismatic/Pentecostal churches looking for “more” – more power, more anointing, more glory, more revelation, prosperity, divine health, and everything else I believed was mine in Christ. Those of us from the “more Lord” camp have come to the foot of the cross looking to get all that we can from Christ in order to live a life that is “more than abundant.” We have earnestly believed that with this abundant life, we would be able to expand the Kingdom of God and reach the world for Christ with our “kingdom power and kingdom wealth”. Therein lies the delusion! Is not this the same theology Satan tempted Jesus with in the wilderness?

Luke 4: 5-6 “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, ‘All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it. If thou wilt worship me, all thine shall be thine.”)

Sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it?

I have said, as well as the many others who are attending revival, we are hungry for God. But is that really what we are hungry for? Are we hungry for a life that is holy, that denies the desires of our flesh, to glory in our weakness rather than in our visions and revelations of Christ (as Paul says in II Corinthians 12:1-5)? Or is it something else we’ve been hungry for? I can tell you, after 30 years of all the preaching, teaching, conferences, healing schools, prophetic schools, etc., we have been after more than just God. We’ve been after His power. We are after His glory….which He will not share. (”I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another….Isaiah 42:8.) It our seeking of the power and glory of God that leads to deception; it is to pursue another Jesus and preach another gospel!

We say that we are hungry for God, but if we are honest with ourselves, we are really looking to benefit from His power. The power of God has been something to be pursued with all of our heart, time and resources. Let’s be honest; spiritual power is tantalizing. “God’s power” represents, whether we realize it or not, a quick fix to put in order those areas of our life that we will not through repentance, self-control, and the taking up our own cross to follow Him. Oh, if we only desired to have Christ’s character operating in our lives as much we desire the operation of spiritual gifts and annointings!

To truly be a follower of Christ we must not only come to the foot of the cross, but we must be willing to get on the cross. How many of us would really follow Christ if there were no healings to be had, no outpourings to revel in? Would we rush to get to Florida to embracing lack, to know hunger, to suffer need, to be stoned, or beaten? How many of our present day “apostles” truly bear the marks of the gospel upon their bodies as did the Apostle Paul? (And I don’t mean tattoos either!)

Let’s face it, we’ve been running to Lakeland in hopes of getting something more…. something more for ourselves, something more for our churches, and something more for the world. We have been preoccupied with the thinking that God has somehow withheld something we must still pursue. It was exactly this kind of thinking that lead Eve into taking that first bite.

Thanks to Phil, and thanks you to all those of you out there who have put so much effort into many of your blogs and websites on the subject of the danger associated with this revival in Lakeland. Continue to speak the truth. Continue to walk in love towards those you know to be deceived. Without the love, the message cannot be heard.

I covet your prayers. Please remember also to pray for those coming out of this deception. Safe places of worship and fellowship will be key if we would ever truly follow after Christ.

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13 Responses to “Another Testimony from Lakeland”

  1. Wow, so true. My pastor has gone to Lakeland and came back and shared the impartation. At first I thought it was great what God was doing, then some research on Todd Bentley changed everything. Tried to share the concerns with the pastor, he is sure this is a move of God. This wanting more, you have put the core of the issue into a single post we can all understand, thank you.
    This movement will bring much confusion to many, and I fear may leave a scarred body of believers. I personally have become very afraid to have anyone in my church lay hands on me.

  2. rascoe1 Says:

    What can I say, you have said it all. Keep the faith my brother and continue seeking the real Jeasus. May God bless and keep you on this journey.

  3. Thank God brother for you awakening!! Mine came about 6 yrs ago after my divorce. I learned that we don’t control God wtih our money, words, actions or anything else. He is sovereign and mighty.
    You are a blessing for being honest. God will continue to strip the falsehoods and bring you into His truth, His Word.
    Be blessed brother.

  4. Caught Thinking Says:

    At the end of the day it all seems so simple, yet we try to make it hard. We don’t control God, not with our money, or prayers, or faith, or angels go figure.

    God is God!
    God is God!
    God is God!

  5. ucanwalkonwater Says:

    I’ve seen some of the clips, especially of the one where Bentley kicks a woman in the face. Very disturbing. It is my prayer that believers seek to open the Bible and READ for themselves what He says about healing, getting that power locally. Therefore, there would be no need to travel to Lakeland. People are still searching for God’s power in a man or woman when Jesus gave us that authority and power over sickness and demons. Remember the Great Commission?

  6. I would like to say something to Dawn, who posted a comment above. Dawn, the prayer of faith for the healing of the sick is biblically mandated. It is an instruction for the people of God. I’m not saying these people in Lakeland are with us or against us, but I am saying please don’t let anything keep you from what is clear in the Word of God. Jesus said many are called but few are chosen. There are many people who have received the salvation of Jesus Christ, and they like sheep, wonder off into many side eddies and snares. The Shepherd of our souls knows who are His and if we get led off into something not good for us, He’ll draw us back and we’ll eventually learn to listen to His voice. We can’t look at the hearts of each one of those people in those gatherings, God knows who are His. Martha was sure Mary was just horrible, but then Jesus rebuked Martha! The danger of sitting around judging matters like this is that you may find yourself with a Pharisee spirit, denying the power of God to heal the sick. The road is narrow and few there be that find it. Open the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you each day and do His will. Then Jesus will not only be your Saviour, but will also be your Lord. Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

  7. David Scudder Says:

    Classic way of discrediting a ministry. Show a child who may or may not understand the nature of a healing ministry. She is the expert of what is going on. She knows who is “bad” and who is not. Ignore that the parents brought her up there. That they were deeply affected by the ministry. Concentrate on a childs fears. (Of course it is out of “concern” for the child.)

    Did anyone notice that at no time did Todd try to intimidate this little girl. He was sweet and gentle to her. Tried to reassure her.

    Anyone who has spent anytime around young children know that there are kids out there who would do the same thing around any pastor who they just saw dunk somebody in the water.

    This is nothing more than Christian Tabloid methods. Todd isn’t perfect, and I don’t agree with everything he says or does. But what you just did with that video is manipulative and maligning. Badly done.

  8. Thank you so much for this. As a believer for 30-plus years myself in the Spirit-filled/Charismatic camp, I can relate a lot to what you have written. I believe all of this stuff is coming out and many are checking their foundations. Christ is coming!
    1 John 3:3
    3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

  9. As someone who realised I was in deception some years ago now, I know what you mean. I don’t believe Todd Bentley is evil, or that he realises how deceived he is. The people who introduced me were lovely folk who wanted all God had to offer to reach a dying, hurting world.
    They just began listening to preachers without testing the message. It was exciting. People appeared to be delivered, but in reality came into more and more bondage. Dependent on ministry and impartation to get through the week. Prayed for on Sunday, the “feeling” wore off by Tuesday and they lived the rest of the week in defeat.
    When the initial hype is over and churches are not open every night for a booster and God TV has moved on, the same will happen here.
    I discovered the teaching I had accepted was based on well hidden lie. The only answer is to repent and go His way.
    We are supposed to live by faith. Like Job we should say:

    Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
    Job 13:15 (ANIV)

    He has control. Our life is not our own.

  10. rebecca Says:

    My pastor and a few of my church leaders have gone down there. They have yet to share with all of us how it was. But What I have been watching is VERY disturbing. I am in a charasmatic church that generally holds to a reformed veiw. We did have Randy Clark last year. I was sad to see he also endorses this…suppose man of God. When Randy Clark visited our church I was plagued with panic attacks and bad dreams. I truly beleive there is deceving evil spirits attached to these men. there is no talk of righteouessness, judegment, sin and dying to oursefles. Stay away from this MAN at all costs and ALL of the people who endorse him DO NOT HAVE THEM AT YOUR CHURCH. May God forgive us ALL

  11. Pastor "E" Says:

    About 1 year ago Todd Bentley came to the Bronx for a revival meeting with churches responding to the event. After the worship and the collection was made he started to rant and rave and just literally make up stories as he went along. Incredible! No passage from scripture was read, no theme was given. When he went to pray for the sick he bend this man over and gave him the most vicious elbow to his back that I had ever seen! My daughter who was with me screamed out “Daddy, that looks just like a Hulk Hogan move on wrestling”!! The man folded over and fell back in excruciating pain and I folded my chair and left and said If this is the spirit of God where is the order in all of this? Saints don’t be deceived!! Jesus is coming and these false prophets and preachers must be made manifest before the Lord’s return. Jesus said Beware lest any man deceive you!!!

  12. To Pastor “E:” Thank you for sharing a personal testimony of the violence in TB’s ministry. I watched the videos of him speaking of leg-dropping, kicking, tackling and choking people who were up for prayer. I wondered if he was making it up. Then, I saw the video of him kneeing the man with stage 4 cancer. Now, you saw this same thing too about a year ago before any of this Lakeland thing started.

    Stan

  13. DISCIPLE4CHRIST Says:

    i fell for this as well. i was always a discernig christian man who always looked through the lens of the true gospel not the i,m a little god gospel. but a friend of mine said that i should have an open mind so i did and 3 months later i was a theological mess,as mushy as a marshmello . one day i asked God to open my eyes,ears,and heart to the things around me and i started hearing sermons pointing things out and seeing things on you tube. By the grace of God i have renounced that i,m a little god gospel the bently,copeland,hinn,patrica king,price,all preach. Thank God for guys like Paul washer,john macarther,way of the master team, davivd wilkerson,charles spurgeon . Good strong preaching and always checking everything you hear with the word of God is the only way to stay out of the pitfalls of heresy.

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