LAKELAND, FL: My thoughts….(Part 4)

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on June 25, 2008

Cannot reemphasize enough the fact that we’re called to Test the spirits, for many false prophets have gone forth into the world. This was the loving warning of the apostle Paul. But, how do we test the spirits?

A false prophet is one who proclaims false teaching; therefore we must first examine the teaching of those who claim to have the truth. This is a primary message of the New Testament. False prophets, led by demonic spirits, teach false doctrine.

God alone can judge the hearts of false teachers. Many are naturally gracious and well-intentioned; they are simply deceived, like Eve who thought forbidden fruit was good for wisdom. So let us refrain from judging them. All we can do is judge their teaching.

But it is not always easy to discern false teaching, so we have another test: the spiritual practices of the prophets. This is an important message of the Old Testament. False prophets teach false ways—that is, occult ways—to find and know God. Occult ways also seem good for wisdom and can deceive sincere, well-intentioned people, including Christians who do not understand occult spirituality.

Therefore, beloved, learn how to test the spirits!

Regarding the issue of false teachings, here’s somewhere folks can start and examine for ourselves. It appears that this teaching is copywrited material, so here’s what I need you to do. Copy this article and compare it with commentary.


In Bently’s own words:

In this regard, on three occasions over the past couple of years I’ve had a visitation from the Lord in which I’ve seen the angel of finance. Every time this happens (in our meetings) there is an incredible financial breakthrough—something is opened up in heaven, it invades the earth, and people respond by giving generously. And afterward many testimonies come in to Fresh Fire reporting the abundant blessings that people have received in return!

Bentley begins by claiming there is a heaven….and that angels exist….and I have to say I agree completely with both of his statements. He next insists there is an “angelic realm in heaven devoted to finances”. He further claims “His angels are on assignment to watch over your finances, to gather money, to gather investments, to bring favor, and to bring power in your life so that you can have favor and wealth”. Bentley further claims to have seen these “angels of finance” at least three times while being “visited by the Lord”.

There are several instances where angels have appeared to warn (Genesis 19:5) to minister (Matthew 4:11) to reap (Matthew 13:39) to gather (Matthew 13:41), to deliver from prisons like it was with Peter once (Acts 12) and as messengers (Hebrews 2:2) but not to watch over our finances.

As hard as I try, I can’t find anywhere in God’s Written Word where there is such a thing as an “angel of finance”.—though of course, seeing the myriad of other things they’ve already done for us (not to mention the RADICAL actions they did in the OT, it’s quite possible—if they could be assigned to wipe out nations like it was with Elijah and the Syriaans, finances seem like a peace of cake)

According to Bentley, he made a Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28:12) type entrance to heaven and discovered the “treasury room” where he actually describes the finance angel as “having a body like a man with six wings” carrying under his wings “every precious gem you could think of”.

IMHO, we can give Bentley a bit of wiggle room here with the gems. After all, heaven is paved with streets of gold so maybe every precious gem you can think of is in heaven. What I can’t find mentioned is reference to a “treasury room” located in heaven….even though he claims further down in his teaching article that all of what he says is a “reality of heaven”.

When Bentley entered the “treasury room”? He allegedly stuffed his pockets with gold coins…and God told him he was “getting the offering”. All this allegedly happened while Bentley was conducting a “meeting” while in a trance. (which are BIBLICAL)
Reading further into Bentley’s teaching, !

The rest of the article goes on about getting money and folks receiving “gold teeth”….which seem to be occurring in Lakeland. Again, there isn’t any biblical evidence to support this teaching or these claims (but on the same token, nothing in the Bible speaking AGAINST IT possibly happening—at best, it’s neutral and the FRUIT of it makes the difference).

There are similar teachings and visions on Bentley’s site that you can examine for yourself.

Moreover, these are a few of the angels that Todd Bentley claims to have seen:

Todd Bentley and the Angel of Revelation 10:

Here you can hear about Todd Bentley’s hallucination while in Seattle of being beamed up (abducted?) through a pillar of fire “portal” to an operating table in heaven with two angels on either side of the table, they saw him in half, his guts pop out, and they stuff him with boxes. Then all his friends go back to the hotel and get caught up into visions (such as skiing on the mountain of the Lord, being consumed by fire, etc.). Then the angel comes in the hotel room and everyone smelled the smoke, which eventually led to the two hotel rooms above them literally burning down a few hours later. Now nobody wants to take a room near Todd Bentley’s room. Todd says it was the angel in Revelation 10. Here is the link:


Todd Bentley and the Angel called Promise:

Recently, I had an angel come to me in Kansas City. He said, “Todd, my name is Promise, and I’ve come to bring the fulfillment of God’s promises. I’ve come to bring the fulfillment of the prophetic words spoken to intercessors. I have come for those who have been like Hannah-they have prayed, waited and carried a promise in their hearts. There will come a time when God has heard and I will release the Samuel,” Be encouraged-there is an angel called promise that is involved in bringing your intercessory breakthrough. When this angel comes into my meetings people get breakthrough and answered prayers. Look at the description of this angel in Revelations 8:1-6:
On certain occasions, the angel of Promise has come into meetings where I was speaking to bring people delayed answers to prayers. In some cases, the very next day, in answer to prayers people have prayed for and waited on for years, breakthrough will come. People will get healed, financial breakthrough will come or miracles will begin to take place.

Todd Bentley and the Angel called Emma:

Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: “Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?” He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, “Bob, who is Emma?” He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out. Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, “Here’s Emma.” I’m not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor. It was almost like Kathryn Khulman in those old videos when she wore a white dress and looked like she was gliding across the platform. Emma appeared beautiful and young-about 22 years old-but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life.
She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began putting gold dust on people. “God, what is happening?” I asked. The Lord answered: “She is releasing the gold, which is both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that I am bringing into this church. I want you to prophecy that Emma showed up in this service-the same angel that appeared in Kansas city-as a sign that I am endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church.”

The above quotes can be found here:


Todd Bentley and the Angel that carries the “Winds of Change”:

…the second night of the Lakeland meetings…he said he saw an angel he described as carrying the “Winds of Change.”
Asking him to describe this angel, Bentley replied that those familiar with the life of William Branham would recognize the angel from being a relevant factor in his healing ministry. He felt that this angel’s appearance signaled a “shift in the atmosphere” for the meetings and felt that an openness for revival had been ushered in.

-Teresa Neumann, Reports of Revival Breaking Out in Lakeland, Florida
http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Act=read&status=revival&Id=132&pid=954&b id=923

This is a new youtube clip (from Florida) where Todd Bentley talks about this angel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-nwMfOKgXo

Todd Bentley and the angel that is going to visit the children:

At about 7 minutes into the following video clip, Todd Bentley (in Florida) says he saw the angel that is going to visit the children, and he’s only seen this angel two other times:

Note: At 4 minutes 18 seconds on this same video clip, Todd starts shaking uncontrollably…
Keep watching…at about 6 minutes he has another episode.

He prays that a drunken glory will move across the whole place…smoking glory, in all the colours, in the cloud, thick overwhelming honey glory…

Again, there’s much more besides that…..but these should be enough places to start. Regarding the issue of dreams/visions


2 Corinthians 12

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—

That seems to be a good place people can start from in examining things. What was the 3rd heaven like? And what does the WOrd say on dreams and visions? And for that matter, what to make of the MYRIAD of testimonies from persecuted Christians in other countries who’ve experienced visions/DREAMS of their Lord either:

• Encouraging them in their struggles,

• Speaking to them on a personal matters regarding themselves or others they should pray for,

• Alerting them to a vital issue taking place in their communities

Though SCRIPTURE, rather than experience is the standard, these are testimonies from people truly KEEPING IT REAL FOR CHRIST, as opposed to others who may be questionable. For a good example of this, consider Brother Yun, who is a leader in the Chinese Underground church & describes the visions he had when severely persecuted in his book “The Heavenly Man”

These are people who are hungry for the Word & who SUBMIT TO IT AS THE FINAL AUTHORITY …… & if I’m not mistaken, I don’t see anywhere in Scripture clearly saying God doesn’t speak in DREAMS/VISIONS on things anymore.

If anything, it’d seem that Joel 2:28-29 still stands, especially seeing it was said to happen in the last days (Acts 2:14-41), which include all the days between Christ’s first coming & second comings—simply another way of saying “from now on”……& “the great & glorious day of the Lord” (Acts 2:20) denotes the WHOLE CHURCH AGE.

Don’t get me wrong, for I agree that many of the visions that people claim to have are WAYYYYYY out there.

But I think it can be dangerous to say “ALL OTHERS (including the ones who are SOLID in their faiths) claiming to see Jesus are liars”, when no one can prove that.

Dreams/Visions are practical…….There have been many times where others have been experiencing the SAME dreams CONTINUALLY, suggesting things were going on EMOTIONALLY & SPIRITUALLY needing to be dealt with.
Whether it was a relationship in the family or A sin one needed to deal with, dreams have often been an indicator as to what MIGHT be happening.

Even PEOPLE in the medical/psychological field will verify this, as the subconscious often expresses itself in one’s dreams.

In consistently having dreams of the same manner, people have decided to then examine things in their lives (i.e. affairs, relationships, attitudes, etc) & whether or not they were causing their dreams……& AFTER applying biblical principles/promises, they’d consequently learn something from the Lord.

Again, God can/does speak through dreams…& just because SCRIPTURE has completed everything we need to know about living life from here till ETERNITY doesn’t mean God DOESN’T WORK miracles or use dreams today.

We SIMPLY cannot conclusively deny the possibility based on Scripture

If the Spirit of God revealed his will frequently through dreams/visions, there’s nothing wrong believing he couldn’t use them today

Some have even been led to the gospel through dreams, as what’s occuring QUITE OFTEN in the middle east with Muslims having dreams about a man named “Jesus Christ” or being told to meet someone who tells them of the Gospel.

As another wisely said on the issue, “In many parts of the world, God seems to be using visions and dreams extensively. In areas where there is little to no Gospel message available, God is taking His message to people directly. This is entirely consistent with the Biblical example of visions being frequently used by God to reveal His truth to people in the early days of Christianity (see the Book of Acts).

If God desires to communicate His message to a person, He can use whatever means He finds necessary – a missionary, an angel, a vision, a dream, etc. God also, of course, has the ability to give visions in areas where the Gospel message is already readily available. THERE’S NO LIMIT TO WHAT HE CAN DO.”

The only thing we have to be careful of is the interpretation of visions/dreams.

If God were to give a vision, it would agree completely with what He’s already REVEALED in His Word…. & moreover, Visions should never be given equal or greater authority than the Word of God.

Scripture is our ultimate authority for Christian faith and practice…& for one believing they’ve had a vision/dream, they should prayerfully examine the Word of God and what Scripture says CLEARLY about it, asking NOT ONLY THOSE WHO AGREE WITH THEIR INTERPRETATIONS but others who VIEW IT DIFFERENTLY so they’d get things AS ACCURATE AS POSSIBLE.

Also, one should prayerfully consider what God would have them do with the vision (James 1:5)….for God would not give a vision to a person and then keep the meaning of the vision hidden.

Scripture shows that whenever a person asked God for the meaning of a vision/DREAMS, God made sure it was explained to the person (see Daniel 8:15-17), whether directly, through an angel, a messenger , circumstance or ANY other method (Genesis 40:5-11; Daniel 2:45; 4:19).

God always makes sure His messages are clearly understood when He speaks to us…

To clarify my stance, I UNDERSTAND THAT not all information is God breathed. And emotionally driven dreams that I may have are not of the same type as the dreams of Daniel, Joseph or Paul (the man calling him into another section of Europe, or the visions of Daniel and Cornelius.

As Dr. James Dobson says, “DREAMS reflect wish fulfillment, giving expression to the things we long for; and secondly, they ventilate anxiety and the stresses we experience during waking hours.” & seeing that certain dreams influenced by our desires/fears, anger, or frustrations….

I’m certainly NOT for ACCEPTING ALL DREAMS UNCRITICALLY as God inspired.

As another once wisely said,

Even if the predictive elements in our dreams come true, that does not necessarily mean they are from God. There is still much to be learned about the mechanism of the mind. Even before the Spirit of God began his permanent indwelling ministry and before the Word of God was completed, God warned about trusting dreams alone. Quote:

“Let these false prophets tell their dreams and let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. (Jeremiah 23)

There is a difference between chaff and wheat!” Put your confidence in the wheat of God’s Word, not the chaff of dreams.

However, that doesn’t mean that the possibility of it still happening is INVALID/s NON-EXISTENT…..or that there are no such things TODAY AS GOD-INSPIRED DREAMS……..

And with more PRACTICAL reason as well, as the Biblical Model of dreams seems to indicate that even those WITH SCRIPTURE/KNOWING the need to study it experienced DREAMS & VISIONS on things where Scripture was SILENT on SPECIFIC ISSUES/CIRCUMSTANCES…….

In saying Scripture is all we need for EVERY DIRECTION in life, then what to make of the situations where what they had as an equivalent to doctrine—-the LAW—wasn’t enough at times in CERTAIN SITUATIONS?

What if he’d simply went by the Scriptures he knew of DIVORCE rather than going by the wisdom God showed him in his dream for a SOLUTION (Matthew 1:20-21)..Or why did God not simply tell Joseph “Go to this Scripture, for it’ll tell you about Pharaohs plan to kill your son”? (Matthew 2:12-22)

What of Ananias’s vision of God telling him to go MEET PAUL (Acts 9:10-22), or Cornelius’s dream of an ANGEL telling him who to meet, as well as Peter’s so they’d fulfill a VITAL PART OF GOD’S PLAN (Acts 10)

Why Didn’t Paul simply rely on the Scriptures he knew of regarding the MACEDONIA incident instead of dreams to know what AREA to minister in, simply saying “As long as we’re “going into all the world” as Christ commanded, it’s all good” (Acts 16:6-10)

…or dismiss the vision he had of an ANGEL encouraging him to alert his men that they’d be safe & that HE’D BE ON TRIAL IN ROME (Acts 27:9-26)?

All of these examples—minus all the NUMEROUS examples (Genesis 31:4-13, Genesis 31:22-24, Genesis 37:5-10, Genesis 41, Daniel 2-4, & Daniel 7:1, Matthew 27:19)—seem to show that it’s reasonable to expect God-Inspired dreams TODAY…& that God still uses them

For these are the SAME circumstances many others—ESPECIALLY IN PERSECUTED CHURCHES, as evidenced by ANYONE SERIOUSLY READING “VOICE OF THE MATYRS”—have experienced around the World, including myself since I’ve seen many of these SAME things on Mission trips & in the States NUMEROUS TIMES……

& to dismiss it doesn’t seem to be anything else but prejudice—– for wisdom is getting ALL THE FACTS (Proverbs 18:13), Being open to NEW IDEAS (Proverbs 18:15), and being willinly to objectively hear both sides of a story before judging (Proverbs 18:17)

Where does God’s word address who I should preach to today? Where in the scripture does it explain what message Im to preach on Sundays? Im serious, what has changed sense the completion of the New Testament.?

That’s just my opinion as of now, & I have more thhought on the matter…… but I’d be interested in people’s thoughts on the issue…….

in line with post, I’d encourage you and others to perhaps investigate OUTSIDE of what’s taking place in America with the Lakeland Revival and see what’s happening all around the world—especially in those areas where it’s MUCH more hostile and one has to either be with the “Saints” or with the “Ain’ts.” For example, there are numerous testimonies of these kinds of things happening all around the world—PATICULARLY in the Chinese Church (which happens to be sending missionaries from their country over here to THE USA NOW—-and Ironically, they seem to be more in touch with the WORKS OF GOD than many CHURCHES IN THE USA are TODAY, )—–& also another is one who writes of his experiences in “The Heavenly Man”— the worldwide best-selling and astonishing story of Brother Yun, one of China’s most dedicated, courageous, and intensely persecuted house church leaders. This novel is a great introduction to persecutions that many fundamentalist Christian Chinese people have faced. Appropriate for adolescents and adults alike.




Of course, there’s controversy surrounding him as well—-China leaders distance themselves from the heavenly man (Evangelicals Now) My thoughts on the entire ordeal:

Acts 19
11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. 13Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15(One day) the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

17When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.[] 20In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power

The 7 sons of Sceva tried to cast out demons in Jesus name but were thoroughly beaten.
However, there was another man who tried it and was successful. He was not a follower of Jesus so the disciples stopped him. But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him, anyone who is not against you is for you.”

Luke 9:49-50 Now John answered and said “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”

Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.”

There’s meanings in those words that we need to learn—and IMHO, I believe that even right now, in heaven, Jesus sees a lot of people that we criticize and write off as for Him.

One kat I know was born again in a boarding house and wasn’t very much exposed to outward influence. They taught themselves scripture and many were insightful but some were very erroneous. Sometimes they simply repeated what we read in some book. Still, God moved powerfully amongst them. The problem they had is that we were less informed. Look at the case of William Branham. Many people would say many things about him; yes he taught gross doctrinal error but, he was sincere in his faith and God did use him to an extent. And the same with slaves back in the day who misinterpreted Scripture—like Nat Turner and His rebellion for example or others like William Seymore.

I don’t know about you but I have met real sincere christians who exhibit the fruits of the spirit and are sincere in their faith but have a wrong perspective on many parts of scripture. God still uses them. They are still sons of God. We should learn to accept people for who they are first and not what they teach. After we have accepted them then we can consider what they teach—and I’ve believe we discussed this elsewhere too (Mark 16:15-18: Does this still occur & who here is casting out DEMONS TODAY? )

Bottom line is that you can’t discredit a testimony simply because the testifier teaches or/ and follows erroneous doctrine. It’s not as simple and clear-cut like that. I’m not defending brother Yun but hoping that people would think twice before writing another person off. Erroneous doctrine is bad especially when it’s in important areas of the christian faith but it doesn’t stop God from using someone who is sincere and has made himself available. Connecting things back to Todd Bently, Regarding the ridicule of Todd having to “eat Titus and Hebrews” perhaps one should ridicule John for eating the scroll at the behest of the angel in Revelation. Or, rebuke Ezekiel for eating the scroll, in Ezekiel 3:1. These were some pretty WILD things…

For those debating going, I think you should give it a shot- actually view the revival for a week and maybe consider going. Some who were against it or cautious went there, and found it to be totally opposite to what many warning against it wrote- the interesting thing is…. you could be using Scripture to fight Scripture- for example in Acts 2, one would probably use the same Matt 7:15 against Acts 2, judging by their tone. But if one wishes to be totally fair and sincere, tune in for a week or two- or even visit (As many do when it comes to their venturing into places considered to be cults like THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES/KINGDOM Hall and actually evangelizing people from within. But take care. Don’t take shots at leaders/people who actually seem to have more ‘revival’ (the true Life of Christ), more souls saved, more orphans helped and more widows helped in Africa than many critiquing. For anything less is exactly what Jesus was describing with the “BEAMS/SPECTS” issue—how am I gonna knock someone doing what Christ said here if I’m not doing so as often–if not moreso–than they are, knocking the ways in which they’re being like “salt” while I’m not even close. There was even one person who at one point said this

One person I was talking to said this:


G2, How is what Todd is doing potentially leading people away from the true gospel? Well, his testimonies regarding his angels and his out of body experiences, and such like, could be leading people into encounters with deceiving spirits. How do you think this would not harm the work of the gospel, in people’s lives?

If folks here want some practical examples of things, here’s a good place to start

Buddy Jesus (for those who ever saw the movie “DOGMA”) reflects an “image of Jesus created in the pulpits of America long before this idol was ever forged, seeing that far too many preachers are so hell-bent on preaching ‘life application’ and/or self-help sermons that their the ones who’ve trivialized Jesus and his message”…

There’s an entire line where these things are made here, where they’re seeking to make Jesus relevant to the culture as “fishers of men” (http://www.wearefishermen.com/splash.html….. but the point of it all is this: Does this, in and of itself, send someone to HELL? Even if it’s a falsehood of who Christ is in some degree?


Continued, the same thing with thisAnother example:

Jesus ‘Thumbs Up’ Mousepad
Treat your mouse to this cool new Jesus mousepad! Guaranteed to spice up your home or work-based office!

The site’s called “HolyWare.com”, though of course this goes alongside many of the other items sold in the name of the Lord, from T-SHIRTS of “JESUS IS MY HOMEBOY” (or one saying He’s the King and a picture of a BURGER KING Emblem’s involved, etc….. and many other clothing many youthgroups where what would be considered “ORTHODOX/SOUND THEOLOGY” was being taught–some of the mess seen in things like Toronto wouldn’t bother me as easily as things like that, especially seeing how much less press it recieves due to it not being as “messy” as other things.

(from the ministry of a man by the name of Woody Martin claiming to be a prophet):

As a testimony, Kathy Herrick of Macon anointed herself with the oil and God delivered her from 18 years of deep alcoholism! Hear her testimony on right!


This is regular olive oil which represents the Holy Spirit and a special coloring to make it look red thus we call it “The Blood of Jesus Anointing Oil.” There is no virtue or healing in this oil, it is a point-of-contact and an act-of-faith.



This is regular olive oil which represents the Holy Spirit and a special coloring to make it look red thus we call it “The Blood of Jesus Anointing Oil.” There is no virtue or healing in this oil, it is a point-of-contact and an act-of-faith

Brother also offers a PRAYER SHAWL: the LIVING WORD of Jehovah God through whose STRIPES we are HEALED! (with Shawl Obtained With Any $100 Donation
& Mini-Prayer Shawl: $25.00 or Two For $40.00 Donation)

Again, all that to say, does believing in these things mean that those who’re ELECT have lost salvation?

From what I researched, these kinds of things are moreso like the GANGRENE teachings spreading among believers but which will not destroy their salvation. And for more info, http://preceptaustin.org/2_timothy_218-19.htm#2:18 & http://preceptaustin.org/2_timothy_216-17.htm#2:17. As an excerpt, Pastor Steven Cole has an interesting sermon on this section noting that…it is possible to use the Bible to make progress in ungodliness (2:14, 16-18).

Note the words Paul piles up to drive home this frightening point: “useless,” “ruin of the hearers” (2:14); “further ungodliness” (2:16); “spread like gangrene” (2:17); “gone astray from the truth,” “upset the faith of some” (2:18). The improper use of the Bible is not an innocent, harmless activity. It leaves a trail of carnage of ruined lives in its wake. That’s one reason James 3:1 warns, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.” That’s why Paul here warns Timothy to “solemnly charge them in the presence of God” (2:14). The Bible is no harmless instrument. It’s a sharp sword and must be handled with proper care….

To use the Bible to teach half-truths as truth is to use it improperly (2:18). These men were not totally wrong. They were teaching a half-truth as if it were the whole truth, which is often Satan’s method. They were teaching that the resurrection already had taken place. They had verses from Paul to back up their views. He wrote often of the fact that Christ is risen and that we are risen with Him. But he also taught that there is a future resurrection of the body, which these men denied. They argued that the resurrection was only spiritual and thus was an accomplished fact.

You may wonder, “What’s the big deal? Why is this even worth contending about?” Paul answers that question in 1 Corinthians 15 where he argues that if there is no future, literal, bodily resurrection, then Christ Himself is not even raised and our faith is worthless

Mark it well: Heresy always begins as truth out of balance! There is always an element of truth in the teachings of the cults. That’s how they get their hooks in people. They even have verses to back up their errors. So they prey on the untaught who are looking for “something more” in their faith. But they lead people away from dependence on the living God. If somebody handed you a three-dollar bill with a picture of Frank Sinatra on it, you wouldn’t be fooled. A counterfeit always looks genuine at first glance. That’s why we have to examine the popular worldly teachings cleverly cloaked with the Bible that are flooding the church in our day. They promote half-truths as if they were the truth of God. (2 Timothy 2:14-19 How To Use The Bible)





Another person I was following had this to say:

“In all of the videos and articles I’ve read I have yet to hear the word “repent” or anything even remotely close to anything biblical. ”

One person I know of was was actually at the revival last night and during the worship, Todd himself was on the ground repenting to the Lord, imploring everyone in the room to repent too..

You can see it here.

For others saying “Now, isn’t one of the Fruits of the Spirit self control? Laughing uncontrollable, dancing in the aisles and acting “drunk in the Spirit” hardly demonstrates self control….which makes me question what “spirit” is actually in control of this “revival”.” I can see their point— but did King David not dance exuberantly in front of his people in 2 Samuel 6, being undignified for the Lord, though despised by his wife? As another well said, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David whirling and playing music: David didn’t hold back anything in his own expression of worship. He didn’t dance out of obligation but out of heartfelt worship. He was glad to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord into Jerusalem according to God’s word.

i. This expression of David’s heart showed that he had a genuine emotional link to God. There are two great errors in this area – the error of making emotions the center of our Christian life and the error of an emotionally detached Christian life. In the Christian life emotions must not be manipulated and they must not be repressed.

ii. From our knowledge of ancient and modern culture we can surmise that David’s dance wasn’t a solo performance. The context clearly puts him together with the other priests and Levits, and he probably danced with simple rhythmic steps together with other men in the way one might see Orthodox Jewish men today dance. In this context, David’s linen ephod means he set aside his royal robes and dressed just like everyone else in the procession.

iii. It should also be observed that David’s dancing was appropriate in the context. This was a parade with a marching band, a grand procession. David’s dancing fit right in. If David did this as the nation gathered on the Day of Atonement it would be out of context and wrong.

b. And she despised him in her heart: 2 Samuel 6:20-23 tell us more of Michal’s complaint and of David’s response to her. He sarcastically said to him, How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today. Michal seemed to indicate that she didn’t object to David’s dancing, but to what David wore when he set aside his royal robes and danced as a man just like the other men celebrating in the procession. David acted as if he were just another worshipper in Israel, and this offended Michal.

i. In response, David told Michal that his actions were before the Lord; that is, he simply explained the truth: “I did it for God, not for you.” He went on to explain to her, and will be humble in my own sight. What David did was humbling to him. He didn’t dance to show others how spiritual he was.

ii. “The incident illustrates the perpetual inability of the earthly minded to appreciate the gladness of the spiritual.” (Morgan)

If interested, these are the words of Pastor Stephen Strader regarding the Florida Healing Outpouring on April 30, 2008:


The word “revival” is used a little too flippantly among Christians, yet the intent is usually pure. We want to see the Holy Spirit changing lives. We want to see Him healing bodies, hearts and lives to the point that people are never the same. Obviously, our desire is to have this happen as part of our daily lives—to walk as Jesus did, following the Father’s lead and leaving a trail of signs, wonders and miracles. Yet when this happens in a remarkable fashion, for a remarkable length of time, we label it as a revival. That same element of time will tell whether what’s going on in Lakeland, Fla., is a revival. One thing is clear, though: God is moving.
If people are being saved and delivered of addictions and physical ailments in the name of Jesus, who are we to say it is not the work of the Lord? 1 John 4:2 says, “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God..” From the story of Acts 5

When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35Then he addressed them: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

If this is not of God, time will tell because Todd’s ministry will fail and fall away and will be remembered no more. But if this is truly a move of God, woe to the one who stands in the way…..it’s already interesting seeing how quickly the “heresy” label is thrown out—but the same’s seen in how many labeled Jesus herectical though he was challenging many things—like healing people on the Sabbath, proclaiming forgiveness of sins, interacting with people who’d be considered the lowliest of society and “Sinners”, etc (though much of what He did wasn’t really anything new—He simply brought folks back to the purpose of God’s HEART). Many did people with Luther and Roman Catholic Church whose dominant theory was at one time truth and any other opinion, or practice was condemned as heresy—-and for that, Luther was labeled Herectical. Bbeing labeled a heretic MADE LUTHER seem more of a hero, and it seemed very similar to a situation in Acts 24:1-9, where Paul was accused of being a “trouble-maker” stirring up riots among the Jews around the world, being the ringleader of an unrecognized religious sect against Roman Law and even desecrating the temple……and those who followed Christ were considered a sect by the religious leaders (i.e. “The Nazarene Sect”, a title which was given as a derisive rather than factual name to the Christians in an attempt to insult and discredit them)

But, despite the accusations of being “heretical” (which actually comes from the Greek word “hairetikos”, primarily denoting “factious, and causing division by a PARTY spirit”……not necessarily a Spirit of Truth, Titus 3:10)….were not the accusations too vague to be a substantial legal charge?
Could Paul and any other Christians truly be considered “Heretical” by the FULL definition of the word?

In Acts 24:11-21, did not Paul himself claim that those who followed Christ were labeled “heretical” falsely because they believed in the CORRECT doctrine of God and neither rejected the Jewish Scriptures or sought to promote their own interests but rather the Kingdom of God?



One Response to “LAKELAND, FL: My thoughts….(Part 4)”

  1. sgainc! said

    makes the case for good bloggin’.

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