Please Go To The Link Below - An Article Written By Dutch Sheets
I am sending this as I respect and thank God for the ministry of Dutch Sheets. I know some of you were upset with me for sending information about Todd Bentley provided by Andrew Strom. (LIFE AFTER LAKELAND: Sorting Out the Confusion -by J. Lee Grady) Please believe me when I say - I did not do this "lightly". As I have sought the Lord concerning these things I am constantly reminded that many "christians"are sooooooo blind to false teaching and deception - especially in these times. I have read this article by Dutch Sheets and certainly agree with it.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ it is time to WAKEUP and be HIS WITNESSES. We are the light and the salt - chosen and appointed by God to be His representatives. As we move forward I urge each one to prayerfully read Ezekiel 33 and seek the Lord. Finally, I am so hurt by what I hear and see from the world with respect to the "christian" church. Not only can we not walk in unity with the Holy Spirit but we continue to portray to the world disunity and hypocracy - being so concerned with our own denominations and nondenominations - our traditions and doctrine that we have become more and more ineffective in bringing the "message of salvation" to a dying world. THE CROSS OF CHRIST!
I do not ask that you agree with me - I ask and pray that as followers of Christ and His representatives that we seriously seek the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the truth - forget the commentaries. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God - not by reading commentaries or believing everything that is presented to us by "those who have been trained in cemetery (seminary)". This may sound harsh but so many I know somehow believe if they only do what the priest, pastor, etc. tell them then all will be fine. Each of us is to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. Jesus is the WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE - THE TRUTH IS REVEALED TO US BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. THERE IS NOT OTHER WAY!
John 17: 20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
A response to my controversial e-mail by John Anderson of Cry Ministry
Thanks for forwarding the story by Lee Grady. And beloved brother, do not apologize for not wanting to hurt a servant of the Lord: shepherds have their first responsibility to the sheep, to care for them and protect them --- Jesus said to Peter (and us all) three times "Feed my lambs." "Care for my sheep." "Feed my sheep." Shepherds by the way do not to kiss wolves, they kill them, and perhaps die in the process.
I am also saddened, but I am also very angry in several directions: One, toward the absolutely abominable lack of discernment that continues to reign in the Charismatic world. Esther and I have also said for years that the Charismatic movement would be among the first to embrace the anti-Christ. Biblical exposition of Scripture is virtually non-existent among us --- and I believe that the prospect for biblical revival lies with Spirit-anointed expositors. Enough of this madness.
While I heartily agree with Lee Grady's analysis, I strongly disagree with one point: I do not believe our problems are because we are hungry for God and are gullible. No, the problem is I don't believe there is a love for the truth among us. My dear friend, the late Derek Prince (with whom I strongly differed over demon possession) warned that we must first love the truth or we will as II Thessalonians 2 says, we will be given up to believe a lie.
The second way I am angry is at so-called Charismatic leaders like Peter Wagner, Che Ahn, Bill Johnson, and John Arnott, who so strongly endorsed Todd Bentley, and bear deep responsibility before our Lord for their lack of discernment. Years ago I could not agree with the direction of Peter Wagner: the other men I do not really know that well.
But I am also angry at myself for not being more vocal and outspoken.
The path of revival will be the path of humility, brokenness, repentance, not flash and dash or as Grady says, "swallow and follow." We will repent of making idols of so-called signs and wonders and power "Christianity," celebrities, methodologies (such as seeker-friendly, purpose-driven, prosperity, motivation, success, etc.)
And we as Christian leaders will lead the way in repentance, asking forgiveness of our Lord for not being true shepherds. And then publicly repenting before the Body of Christ and asking their forgiveness for being false shepherds.. This is no time for any of us to try to save face. God will not send true revival if we do this. This is a time to come clean, that is if we are really sincere in wanting biblical revival.The Charismatic movement, sadly, is known by false shepherds.
Could say more, but must run. Let us stay in touch.
Oh, and by the way, Esther and I just returned from ministry in Europe last night. And we were continually asked about the things discussed above.
Much love to you and Gloria. And to others you may be in contact with.
Please note that I am sending this e-mail not to hurt a servant of the Lord but to ask each of you to seriously consider seeking the Word of God and the Holy Spirit for discernment - especially in these times. The Bible tells us that the Bereans were noble believers because they studied the Scriptures daily “to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11, NASB).Again please do not be offended but DO study the Word and seek the Holy Spirit for discernment. Please pray for Todd Bentley and his wife and family.Ask yourself - if you did not know Jesus as Lord and Savior - if you were not filled with the Holy Spirit and you read about what has taken place would you run out an become a Christian????Nuf SedPBobCrying in the Wilderness Ministry
J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. To read Charisma’s news story on Todd Bentley’s recent announcement, click here. ...
From: REVIVAL List [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 5:37 PM
Subject: [revival] LEE GRADY on THIS WEEK's DISASTER
LIFE AFTER LAKELAND: Sorting Out the Confusion -by J. Lee Grady.
Todd Bentley’s announcement that his marriage is ending has thrown our movement into a tailspin—and questions need to be answered.
It was not supposed to end like this.
Evangelist Todd Bentley had heralded the Lakeland revival as the greatest Pentecostal outpouring since Azusa Street. From his stage in a gigantic tent in Florida, Bentley preached to thousands, bringing many of them to the stage for prayer. Many claimed to be healed of deafness, blindness, heart problems, depression and dozens of other conditions in the Lakeland services, which ran for more than 100 consecutive nights. Bentley announced confidently that dozens of people had been raised from the dead during the revival.
But this week, a few days after the Canadian preacher announced the end of his visits to Lakeland, he told his staff that his marriage is ending. Without blaming the pace of the revival for Bentley’s personal problems, his board released a public statement saying that he and his wife, Shonnah, are separating. The news shocked Bentley’s adoring fans and saddened those who have questioned his credibility since the Lakeland movement erupted in early April.
I’m sad. I’m disappointed. And I’m angry. Here are few of my many, many questions about this fiasco:
Why did so many people flock to Lakeland from around the world to rally behind an evangelist who had serious credibility issues from the beginning?
To put it bluntly, we’re just plain gullible.
From the first week of the Lakeland revival, many discerning Christians raised questions about Bentley’s beliefs and practices.
They felt uneasy when he said he talked to an angel in his hotel room. They sensed something amiss when he wore a T-shirt with a skeleton on it. They wondered why a man of God would cover himself with tattoos. They were horrified when they heard him describe how he tackled a man and knocked his tooth out during prayer.
But among those who jumped on the Lakeland bandwagon, discernment was discouraged. They were expected to swallow and follow. The message was clear: “This is God. Don’t question.”
So before we could all say, “Sheeka Boomba” (as Bentley often prayed from his pulpit), many people went home, prayed for people and shoved them to the floor with reckless abandon, Bentley-style.
I blame this lack of discernment, partly, on raw zeal for God. We’re spiritual hungry—which can be a good thing. But sometimes, hungry people will eat anything.
Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study.. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for the wild and crazy makes us do stupid things. It’s way past time for us to grow up.
Why didn’t anyone in Lakeland denounce the favorable comments Bentley made about William Branham?
This one baffles me. Branham embraced horrible deception near the end of his ministry... and his strange doctrines are still embraced by a cultlike following today...
Why didn’t anyone correct this error from the pulpit? Godly leaders are supposed to protect the sheep from heresy, not spoon feed deception to them. Only God knows how far this poison traveled from Lakeland to take root elsewhere. May God forgive us for allowing His Word to be so flippantly contaminated.
A prominent Pentecostal evangelist called me this week after Bentley’s news hit the fan. He said to me: “I’m now convinced that a large segment of the charismatic church will follow the anti-Christ when he shows up because they have no discernment.” Ouch.
Hopefully we’ll learn our lesson this time and apply the necessary caution when an imposter shows up.
Why did God TV tell people that “any criticism of Todd Bentley is demonic”?
This ridiculous statement was actually made on one of God TV’s pre-shows. In fact, the network’s hosts also warned listeners that if they listened to criticism of Bentley, they could lose their healings.
This is cultic manipulation at its worst. The Bible tells us that the Bereans were noble believers because they studied the Scriptures daily “to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11, NASB).
Yet in the case of Lakeland, honest intellectual inquiry was viewed as a sign of weakness. People were expected to jump first and then open their eyes.
Just because we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit does not mean we check our brains at the church door. We are commanded to test the spirits. Jesus wants us to love Him with our hearts and our minds.
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.
Why did a group of respected ministers lay hands on Bentley on June 23 and publicly ordain him? Did they know of his personal problems?
This controversial ceremony was organized by Peter Wagner, who felt that one of Bentley’s greatest needs was proper spiritual covering. He asked California pastors Che Ahn and Bill Johnson, along with Canadian pastor John Arnott, to lay hands on Bentley and bring him under their care.
Bentley certainly needs such covering. No one in ministry today should be out on their own, living in isolation without checks, balances and wise counsel. It was commendable that Wagner reached out to Bentley and that Bentley acknowledged his need for spiritual fathers by agreeing to submit to the process. The question remains, however, whether it was wise to commend Bentley during a televised commissioning service that at times seemed more like a king’s coronation.
In hindsight, we can all see that it would have been better to take Bentley into a back room and talk about his personal issues.
The Bible tells us that ordination of a minister is a sober responsibility. Paul wrote: “Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others”
(1 Tim. 5:22). We might be tempted to rush the process, but the apostle warned against fast-tracking ordination—and he said that those who commission a minister who is not ready for the job will bear some of the blame for his failures.
I trust that Wagner, Ahn, Johnson and Arnott didn’t know of Bentley’s problems before they ordained him. I am sure they are saddened by the events of this week and are reaching out to Bentley and his wife to promote healing and restoration. But I believe that they, along with Bentley and the owners of God TV, owe the body of Christ a forthright, public apology for thrusting Bentley’s ministry into the spotlight prematurely. (Perhaps such an apology should be aired on God TV.)
Can anything good come out of this?
That depends on how people respond. If the men assigned to oversee Bentley offer loving but firm correction, and if Bentley responds humbly to the process by stepping out of ministry for a season of rehabilitation, we could witness a healthy case of church discipline play out the way it is supposed to. 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.
I still believe that God desires to visit our nation in supernatural power. I know He wants to heal multitudes, and I will continue praying for a healing revival to sweep across the United States.
But we must contend for the genuine, not an imitation. 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.
We are weathering an unprecedented season of moral failure and spiritual compromise in our nation today. I urge everyone in the charismatic world to pray for Bentley; his wife, Shonnah; his three young children; Bentley’s ministry staff; and the men and women who serve as his counselors and advisers. Let’s pray that God will turn this embarrassing debacle into an opportunity for miraculous restoration.
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