Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Few More Initial Thoughts on Lakeland Outpouring....

I've been watching a few clips online of some of what's been going on in Florida where Todd Bentley is. The one I just watched was of a pastor from Ignited Church, I think, who have been hosting this whole thing. I confess to being a little concerned...but maybe not for the typical reasons! He was speaking, just before taking up an offering, about sowing into the revival for breakthrough in your life. Now, I have no problem asking for money if money is needed. That is, in a straightforward way let people know the financial needs your facing and ask for generosity as led by the Spirit. But in the context of such a legalistic church culture, I have a big big problem with making people feel that in any way at all they need to give in order to receive from God. That's plainly Old Covenant, and it undermines the gospel and will eventually undermine any work God is trying to do!

But I'm not saying this to be critical, I'm asking those of you who really understand what I'm talking about to pray with me that God would send many great men and women of God to these meetings to inject them with grace! If this dynamic move of God can be strong in both supernatural miracles as firmly rooted in revelations of grace, then the sky is the limit! But if a bit of law gets mixed in faith will be largely nullified and people will be hindered in receiving from God, because they will base how much they receive on how much they perceive they 'deserve' and not on how much Jesus has earned on their behalf. Satan will have a field day in the end, and many confused people will think God has backed off because of their unworthiness of some kind and leaders will start calling for 'personal holiness' or 'more prayer and fasting' or well, who knows, but guilt and condemnation will come and put out any remaining embers of this outpouring very quickly.

I'm not trying to be a prophet of doom at all! I believe amazing revelations of grace have been going out into the whole world for the past few years, and not without reason! It has been to prepare us for these days, and we need to stop sitting back timidly allowing our brothers and sisters to be duped any longer by doctrines of demons that have been controlling the church for centuries. It's time for freedom to break free! And yes, this means war, a civil war. Many in the church are choosing to fight the Holy Spirit and the Good News in order to maintain their control and self-righteous sense of security, but many many more are longing for true freedom and intimate relationship with God.

Here's a part from one of Rob's Invading the Impossible messages, he's talking about some things Bill Johnson said in the first part:

But he said, there is a civil war coming to the church and brother will fight brother on the issue of the goodness of God. It is an issue of law and grace - those that are standing for preaching the law and condemnation and those that are preaching the goodness of God. There are people preaching that God is bringing the storms and God is shaking the world and God is killing people with storms. Bill Johnson said - did you EVER see Jesus bless a storm?! No, He commanded them to stop! And He expects the Church to do the same thing!

You say oh rubbish Rob! Well what did He say when they woke Him up? He said, "Oh ye of little faith" - He wanted them to do it! So civil war is coming to the church - and I can just feel it. It is an issue of law and grace - it is an issue of the goodness of God. Bill said there are people preaching that God gives you cancer. That is a LIE! Jesus is perfect Theology and He healed them ALL! Every person! So did the Book of Acts in Acts 5. He said;

"I hope the civil war takes place in the right context and not for the world to watch".

You know the exciting part about the civil war word? I got a kind of related word almost a year ago, God spoke to me after I read a short biography of Harriet Tubman and said that we were part of his underground railway, that we were to help people get out of slavery one by one until the Great Emancipation when he would set many many free at once! But what came before the Great Emancipation could? Civil war. And we already know that freedom will win out! Jesus has already delivered the death blow to sin and death, and every evil power has been crushed and defeated.

So let's all pray that God continues to work in power, and that he pours out his Spirit all over the world and his glory covers the earth. And let's ask him to pour out revelations of grace on all of us, and let the prophets rise up with glorious words of the NEW COVENANT, leaving what is old and obsolete behind for good...


Shash said...

Something along the same lines was prophesied at the Leadership Training Time I went to last November in LA at Southlands Church.

I think it was Cindy Booth but I could be mistaken, that a powerful storm like a Tsunami was coming, it was going to rush up onto the shore and up onto the hills and everywhere it went things would be uncovered, it would get into every nook and crany - no one could hide. It was a sifting in the church world, exposing those who have hidden sins and cleansing at the same time.

That goes along with the sifting of the church that you are talking of.

I know churches where it's a combination of a little bit of law with a sprinkling of Grace but it is because of ignorance and a lack of understanding and zero revelation and because those that went before also taught that way.

Pray for a road to Damascus experience for these leaders. I know great and sincere leaders but they are sincerely wrong, I pray for an awakening and it begins with the leadership and flows from there.

And you're right, in the proper context - the world doesn't need one more excuse to point a finger at us and laugh. Why would they want to be a part of something so hideous.

SLW said...

people will be hindered in receiving from God, because they will base how much they receive on how much they perceive they 'deserve' and not on how much Jesus has earned on their behalf

That is the leak that bursts the dam of legalism, and it is so hard to get across! "Grace-challenged" folk take that as an invitation to license rather than surrender. What can be said to them other than, "Jesus already loves you, aren't you ready to be loved?"

Peter Day said...

I have spent a lot of the last week watching these meetings either on God TV on the recorded meetings via ustream (its the wrong time for us in the UK to see it completely live). I am utterly overwhelmed by the power of God in these meetings and have no doubt as to the genuine miracles. Several times I have been hit by the power of God even as I watched.

Yet, I must also agree that I am concerned about law in this revival - in particular in relation to giving. We cannot ever earn the right to be blessed, and cannot perpetuate revival by our giving, fasting, holiness or anything.

I do pray for a revelation of grace, because I believe that grace will set this revival on fire even more.

And also, it just makes me so much more hungry. Grace and glory together, the sky truly is the limit. If, even with touches of law in Lakeland, there is such evidence of the power of God, how much more, when the Holy Spirit is free to move totally ungrieved and unquenched by old covenant thinking, we will see truly the glory of God.

jul said...

Wow, it's so great to get 3 responses, all from people in leadership/ministry who want to see grace win out! Thanks Peter, for your confirmation of what I was sensing, I really haven't spent much time watching yet, but I'm very sensitive to 'even a hint' of law.

And I hope noone misunderstands me--this whole thing is very exciting! I just want the church to come into real freedom, the real gospel, because apart from that we have nothing to offer the world.

lydia joy said...

Wow, it was cool to here Pete say he had been hit by the power of God while watching, that happened to me!
Here's a question for anyone...if you lived close enough to Lakeland (in my case 17 hours) would you go???

Dan Bowen said...

Hey Lydia;

"Here's a question for anyone...if you lived close enough to Lakeland (in my case 17 hours) would you go???".


For me it isn't a question of the time - but sadly the money which I resent greatly.

As for Julie's blog and the comments, great points and ones which I must confess I did pick up on but haven't really thought about quite deeply yet. I have been too carried away in the complete awe of seeing the Spirit of God at work. This is my first revival that I have ever seen. I missed Toronto and only saw a few people shake and fall and I certainly have NEVER seen any such undisputed healings!

So my contribution to the blog concept would be - yes I agree, but ... I remember Rob speaking (can't quite place the exact reference) and lovingly and fatherly reminded us that we don't have to chuck out the baby with the bathwater - i.e just because there is a hint of legalism or law in the offering (why oh why is it ALWAYS the offering?!!?) we don't have to panic.

While I have no doubt that the comments about the offering may have had an element of law, I testify that the grace of God IS breaking through. Scott and I saw this one dear lady who drove from Massachesetts because she had no money but was desperate for a miracle because she needed a new hip. She came, got her healing in the car park - being unable to get in!

Todd Bentley said; "Anyone who feels the Spirit prompting come and give her some money". And hundreds - HUNDREDS - came forward!! There was no suggestion of "give so you get" at all. They were flooding forward prompted by pure love I really believe.

So maybe a hint of legalism - but because Rob Rufus has fed us so well, we can "chew on the bone" and spit it out. But receive the pure and wonderful meat of this true movement of the Spirit of God!!

jul said...

Lydia, if you can go, go! I completely agree with Dan!

I also agree Dan that we shouldn't discount what God's doing even if legalism is present, but I think those of us who do understand grace more, should not be afraid to bring that grace into the picture! I'm sure God has already positioned people to be doing that very thing, and I'm certainly not saying that Todd doesn't have any revelation of grace, that couldn't be true.

The guy I heard speaking wasn't Todd, but some other pastor, someone I wasn't familiar with. But I think they are very sincere and just want to see people receive from God, and that's the very reason why grace needs to be revealed even more--so people can receive all that God has for them, without the hindrance of legalism.

While we are all capable of taking the meat and spitting out the bones, that doesn't mean we should ignore the 'bones'. Part of the reason God has been revealing grace to so many people everywhere is so that we can share the good news! And this good news is essential to any revival truly spreading over the whole earth and being maintained long enough for millions and billions of lost souls to be saved.

I'm definately NOT advocating not receiving and wholeheartedly supporting this move of God, but the very opposite! We should get in there and experience God and bring the impartations of new covenant grace we've been given to the table, for the greater good of the universal Body of Christ.

How does that sound? I hope not like I'm against this whole thing!

Peter Day said...

I would definitely go if I could; like Dan, it is only lack of finance that is holding me back.

I am eager to go, despite my concerns, because I know this is a genuine move of God. Like Julie, I am eager to see the bones removed and grace flood this revival so the tide rises higher and higher.

At the same time, I am eager to go and have hands laid on me by anyone who is further on than I am in terms of experiencing the glory of God. Rob Rufus is coming to the UK in May, and Bill Johnson later this year. If he gets liberty to leave Lakeland, Todd Bentley is coming to the UK in July. I am eager to go and receive and hungry for more of God.

Dan Bowen said...

Nah I don't think you sound like you are against it at all Julie!! Otherwise I don't think you would have gone to all that effort to go to Hong Kong would you?!?!

I guess I have just seen so much suspicion against past moves of God like Toronto that being the kind of "extremes" person I am, I find it really hard to hear anything wrong against what's going on! But you are right Julie - we shouldn't be afraid of pointing and saying "Oh that is a bone" as we lie flat on the floor under the power of the Spirit (or whatever other position God puts us!!).

I think it is as simple as the degree to which they can get rid of law in the move of the Spirit, surely more glory will be unveiled and shown. Yet the more legalism allowed to come in, the more the Spirit will be grieved and it will become "The Lakeland Blessing". GOD FORBID!

We long to see this go on and on and on and become world-reaching!

Grace Revolution said...

Great stuff... check out now the G&G Mp3s are on the web for downloading... and make sure you download the sun message by rob after the conference as well-that message summed it all up!!

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks for the tip Grace Rev ... been waiting eagerly for them!!

Shash said...

I heard a comment by a dear friend and one in ministry I look up to... he reminded us of another North American revival moment in time where several churches flocked to it, shut down their services, their meetings, their together times - dropped everything and ran to the revival meetings. When it (the revival) came to an end, the churches who had abandoned their own communities - closed their doors for good, none survived.

A while ago the same thing came into an area in South Africa, God's hand was visible everywhere. Rather than run "to" it, God instructed the leaders of the church to bring their people "through" it. While revival was going on, they continued to love the sheep, feed the sheep and lead the sheep. When it (the revival) moved on... churches were added to in numbers and none were closed. Increase came.

This I believe is the type of revival God loves and desires for all of us to experience, the long term, bigger picture always kept in mind.

silent wings said...


Thankyou for posting this!
I have longed to see what I am now seeing in Lakeland but since I have been coming into a revelation of God's grace, I too have found myself highly sensitive to anything that smacks of self-effort. I'm still a baby in this awakening and treasure what I am discovering about God's the point that I find myself reluctant right now to jump into what I have long cried out for, for the very reasons you mentioned. What wise words you have shared in exhorting us to prayer.And how safe I feel now in knowing I can open space for God to move and work in me while holding on to the precious revelation of His grace. :)