Saturday, August 30, 2008
Here is Bill Johnson;
UPDATE: What do you think about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival?
A great tragedy has come to light this past week. Todd Bentley, the revivalist who has been leading the Lakeland Outpouring meetings, has had a major meltdown and has filed for divorce. This comes at the worst possible time both for the revival and for those who have stood with him. Back in June, Che Ahn , John Arnott, and I went to Lakeland, Florida, to do a commissioning service for Todd. We felt the need to stand with him. Opposition against him was great, and we could be a great strength to Todd in that time. John and Che especially could be a great asset as they had endured incredible opposition during the Toronto outpouring. Peter Wagner helped to oversee and lead that part of the meeting. Although he had not personally endorsed the revival, he felt it important enough to risk personal criticism from his peers to bring Todd into an apostolic alignment for his own safety.
I did not go to Lakeland and stand on the platform with Todd Bentley because he was perfect in character or because we agreed with every aspect of how he conducted the revival in Lakeland. I went to Lakeland because of his enemies. The relentless criticism and opposition, coupled with the grueling and sometimes unwise schedule, were bound to take their toll on this young man—emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. It happened two years ago, and it could happen again. It was my intention to bring a deflection into the mix so that he wouldn't take all the heat by himself. Little did I realize it was too late. He was at the place of burnout again, abandoning his marriage and pulling out of all public ministry. While I will never blame Todd's opponents for Todd's bad choices (Todd alone is responsible for them) their opposition had a greater effect than any of his critics will likely own up to in this lifetime. Now what? Pray for Todd and Shonnah for complete healing in their marriage and personal lives. Pray for those giving counsel to them that they would use great wisdom. Please know that while we may not give details of our efforts, we are doing everything possible to help bring healing and order to this tragedy.
Recent response to the above answer:"How in God's name can you endorse Todd Bentley?" This is my response:
Have you spent time with Todd? Do you know him? Have you watched him with his wife? Or have you seen how he treats his kids? Have you spent any time with his staff? Have you been to his ministry? Has he been to yours? Have you laid hands on him and prayed? Has he laid hands on you and prayed? Have you grieved over tragedy together? Have you celebrated victory together? Has he sought your counsel? Has he traveled a great distance just to meet with you privately for advice? Have you ever received his counsel? Have you been in the room when God has showed up on him, and used him in stunning miracles? Have you seen him operate in the word of knowledge or the prophetic? Have you met with his counsel of elders? Have you personally benefited from his gift? Has he benefited from your gift and ministry? Has he ever honored you for who you are in God? Has he partnered with you as a friend? Have you sacrificed for his welfare, or that of his family? Have you sought God with him? Have you ever worshipped the Lord with him?
I didn't think so. I have. And I'll continue to support those who I have walked with in life and ministry. He's my friend. More importantly, God calls him friend. And if you and I were ever friends in that level, and people hated you and turned against you, and started web pages to tear down your ministry, and criticized you to your friends, and wrote against you in Christian magazines, and criticized you on the radio and wrote emails to other conference speakers and authors, I'd still be your friend.
By the way - criticism in the form of a question is not a question.
But to respond to your statement, "How in God's name can you endorse Todd Bentley?" It's easy.
I do it in God's name.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
"By the "poor" here, seems pretty evidently to be the poor in spirit. In the last effect here mentioned, "the poor are evangelized", the manner of speaking and connection of the words leads us to suppose that there is the like relation and opposition between the benefit and character of the subject of that benefit, as in the foregoing effects mentioned, such as between receiving sight and blindness and being raised up and death.
So here's Rob and my notes from Hong Kong;
You can take a theology certificate and put it on the chest of a demon possessed man and it won't come out. Demons will only come out when they encounter the glory! Formalism without power! Can we have a dignified miracle?! No! Show me your dead formalism in the Bible - all we will find are the Pharisees crucifying the Lord of Glory!
Let the petrified become fossilised in the Church of the Frozen Chosen!
When God comes into a room you will know it! What is the Church without power?! It is Anti-Christ! Church is meant to be preaching the finished work of the Cross, resurrection and a living God full of power! (1 Samuel 19:23, 24) - Saul sends soldiers to kill David and yet the soldiers couldn't do it because of the anointing. Saul went himself to do it and encounters the anointing and ends up prophesying for 24 hours SOLID! An evil king! The Church needs the oil of the Presence of God! (Genesis 15:12, Ezekiel 23:23) - "Glory of the Lord was standing there and I fell face down". (Acts 2:1-21, 9:3) - God hit Saul so hard that He knocked the "S" off and put a "P" on instead!
1. An Impartation of God's Supernatural Life!
We don't have a problem with wildfire in our churches but conservatism! Until we get to anywhere near the Book of Acts then we need to get wilder and wilder! Fire on our heads! Signs and wonders!
10. Relief - The Impartation of Rest!
11. Relief from Strivings!
12. The Personality of the Holy Spirit may rub off on you!
The fruits of the Spirit will come! Love! Joy! Peace! Patience! Kindness! Goodness! Gentleness! Self-control - and note that is the self-control of the Holy Spirit NOT what the Pharisees consider to be self-control!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
"Only those who are willing to suffer persecution, rejection and being misunderstood will carry the higher level of the glory".
Rob Rufus - "Attitudes That Attract The Empowering Grace Of God - Part 4" - City Church International, Hong Kong - 10th August 208.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Here it is: "On Now to the 3rd Level ...".
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
"Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life. On behalf of the Fresh Fire leadership and the Board of Directors we wish to apologize to our friends and partners and to the larger body of Christ and to ask for your forgiveness. We are truly sorry for the pain many of you must feel and so regret that in the midst of great revival, the enemy has found a way into our camp".
In Rob Rufus's latest sermon; "Attitudes That Attract The Empowering Grace Of God - Part 4", Rob made the powerful point;
"Let me sum up what being saved is, what redemption is in one word - identification".
Our identity! It's a very popular word these days. But Rob hit on something that I think is a key problem with the Church today. We have forgotten who we are. He commented on John John 16:14-15 which I have added to the "Glory and Grace Blank Bible" and said;
"In other words, He will take what I have and He will manifest it to you. The next verse He says, "All that the Father has is mine. That is why I said, 'He will take what is mine and declare it to you" - in other words, you are about to become brothers, joint equal heirs seated in the heavenly realms in Me and with Me. What is your identity Christian? You are identified with everything Jesus is, where Jesus is seated, what Jesus can do, Who Jesus is - His righteousness, the glory that shines in His face - you are a co-equal heir!
This is the truth of the New Testament denied to millions of Christians around the world who think that God will reject them. He will never reject you - why? He will never reject those identified with Jesus and He will never reject you because all He sees is the light that shines in the face of Jesus. He doesn't see your sin so come boldly into the throne room! Come boldly and be concious of where you are seated right now! Be concious of that heavenly realm - that is your identity!".
Rob then went on to mention the popular film trilogy; "The Bourne Identity", "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" starring Matt Damon. Here's a clip for those who aren't familiar with the films;
Rob had an incredible insight into the films;
"How many of you saw the "Bourne Identity"? It was a movie - I forget the actor's name but he was a good-looking young man. Looked a little bit like me! The whole theme of the 3-part series of the movies is that he was a highly skilled warrior. He was highly trained in all kinds of weaponary and highly trained in physical combat. He was one of the best of the best of the best of the elite.
But he had lost his memory and because he had lost his memory, he did not know his identity. Because he didn't know his identity, he acted indecisively and he acted afraid and had no confidence.
But in the movie gradually his memory started to come back and as his memory returned, his sense of identity comes back. And the more his memory came back, the more his identity is restored and the more he begins to handle weapons and physical contact and begins to devastate his enemies and becomes very confident and effective.
When I saw those movies, instantly I felt the Spirit of God say; "That is like much of my church. Through a 1000 years of the Dark Ages of religion from about 300 A.D to almost the present time, much of My Church has lost it's memory as to who it is and who it's identity is. But as we stand in the Presence and soak in the Presence of the Holy Spirit - as we come and He breathes on us, slowly in our conciousness our memory starts coming back as to who we are. We are the righteousness of God. We are the brothers of Jesus.
We are identified with His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension and co-seated with Him. A co-equal heir. A brother of Jesus and when your conciousness and your memory returns as to who you really are, all the skills and all the anointings and all the enablings of Jesus come upon your life".
One of the things that most impresses me about Paul's letters to the Corinthians is that his loving correction is so different to much of the correction (or should I say condemnation) that I have witnessed first hand in the local church. Their methods were focused on PERFORMANCE and they made judgements based on failures. Paul's methods were focussed around the question; "Don't you know who you are?" and he made judgements based on POSITION. Identity! Let's remember who we are!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"Understand this - failure is okay! Somehow in the mystery of God's economy He expects and allows for our failure. He knows there is going to be a greater dimension of the grace of God in our lives as a result".
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Session 1 - Michael Eaton
Session 2 - Michael Eaton
Session 3 - Rob Rufus
Session 4 - Rob Rufus
The second resource I wanted to mention was entitled "The Rob Rufus Blank Bible". Regular readers may remember my fascination and excitement with the Jonathan Edwards Blank Bible. I first mentioned it back in 2006, took some notes from the fellow volume; "Notes on Scripture" at the Evangelical Library last year and finally brought the two volumes of the "Blank Bible" in February!
It was while I was spending time reading the "Blank Bible" that I suddenly got a vision. I have been so impressed with the way that Jonathan Edwards worked through the Word of God writing his own notes on Scripture that I decided it would be an awesome resource to do the same thing with Rob Rufus's preaching and teaching (and ultimately other true grace teachers). I saw a vision of an awesome resource where anyone can access notes and help and insight on any verse of the Word of God.
I have waited some months since having the vision because I wanted to gather together Rob Rufus's commentary on as many verses as possible before I launched the project - obviously it being a work in progress. I should point out I have sent the hard copies of this to Rob and Ryan Rufus for their approval. So here it is;
As I say it is my ultimate dream to add other grace and glory teachers such as Bill Johnson as it grows. May it be an added help to growing in our love and appreciation for the Word of God and more importantly God Himself in relationship.
Monday, August 11, 2008
"I have personally embraced what would tend to be the classic British evangelical view, namely a time of fresh activity of the Holy Spirit first among Christians, often leading to repentance and renewed devotion and prayer, this in turn developing into evangelistic breakthrough and conviction of sin among the lost leading to multiplied conversions and
ultimately resulting in transforming impact on the culture. What is being described in Lakeland is more of a phenomenal outbreak of healings and powerful signs and wonders among gathered Christians".
I was particularly encouraged to take time to watch last night's Lakeland meeting and see that Todd Bentley devoted a considerable amount of time to hearing testimonies from the "Fresh Fire" teams that have gone out into Lakeland. I would suggest that Terry's criticisms are perhaps being met. Enjoy the clip;
This message of signs and wonders and miracles HAS to get out to the lost! They deserve nothing less than the whole gospel - one of not words alone but power and the Holy Spirit!
Friday, August 08, 2008
Here it is:
"Grace has two components - Acceptance grace and Empowering grace. Empowering grace enables us to raise the dead, heal the sick, see miracles and say no to worldliness and to work harder. The way into empowering grace MUST be through a revelation of acceptance grace. That even if I don't raise the dead, even if I don't heal the sick, even if I don't get victory over sin, even if I don't get holy or good enough - my Father accepts me in Christ Jesus because He has given me the gift of righteousness not based upon my obedience or disobedience - but the obedience I have is the unfluctuating, eternal, stable righteousness of Jesus Christ given to me".
I'm sure there is going to be much more to say on this short paragraph - and I will of course be publishing the whole sermon so that the paragraph can be seen in context. But I felt like the whole concept of "Grace and Glory" has pushed up another gear and I am seeing another step forward into the cloud of glory where miracles will be radiated effortlessly!
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Newfrontiers Europe Conference - Session 1
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Well quite by accident I was on You-Tube looking at some videos of Kenneth Hagin and I found that Julie had very secretively posted three videos of their time there! I don't think she has linked to them on her blog yet so I thought I would make mention of them - they need to be seen!
Here's the first video - with the wonderful Bonnie Rufus leading worship. The camera scans past Rob and Glenda and Joshua Mills on the front row;
The second video is slightly dark but it again scans past Rob and Glenda enjoying watching the people of the conference encountering God in powerful ways;
The third video is from the back of the hall and you can see Kaye Beyer and Janet Mills ministering to the people while Joshua plays the keyboard at the front of the hall. I loved this video - it brought back such memories of "Glory and Grace" last year. I climbed on a pile of chairs when I had recovered from the fire tunnel and just sat watching what God was doing to His children so lovingly.
Thank you Julie for faithfully recording these! I am so excited that I will be coming to Hong Kong next March with a proper camcorder also so we can bring back clips of how God is moving and what the glory cloud is doing!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Facing 4 or 5 hours on the train was made slightly less hideous by taking two new books again mainly centred around knowing God. They were from different theological positions but I found myself hugely encouraged along the same path after reading them both. The first was a large hardback book called; "New Testament Theology - Magnifying God in Christ" by Thomas R Schreiner. There is an amazing section on the "Holy Spirit" which is almost equal to Gordon Fee's outstanding; "God's Empowering Presence". I will be posting quotes here throughout this evening.
The second book was called "The Seer - The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams and Open Heavens" by Jim W Goll. It was particularly looking at ways of experiencing God personally and corporately and very similar to Todd Bentley's book; "The Reality of the Supernatural World: Exploring Heavenly Realms and Prophetic Experiences". Again there were some quotes most worthy of remembering. But what impressed me the most was that the foreword to Jim Goll's book said this;
"We live in a day when all too many "scholars" and even believers have reduced the Word of God to a purely rational and logical explanation. Granted the Word of God appears as reasonable and logical in it's unfolding to the human mind; provided that the mind is surrendered, yielded and in the process of being transformed by the Spirit!".
That I think is a fair enough comment that few would have a problem with. I approached Schreiner's book with a degree of suspicion that this would be a more objective approach to knowing God as written by the said scholar - rational and logical. However I was thrilled to read that on the one hand Schreiner rightly states;
"The Holy Spirit's role in the writing of Scripture is one example of the alliance between the Spirit and the Word. The Spirit speaks through the written word of Scripture and the human authors of Scripture spoke their words under the aegis of the Holy Spirit".
A typical reformed statement some might say. However he also goes on to speak about;
"We should also observe that Jesus described the whole of His ministry here, so that every dimension of His work depended on the anointing power of the Spirit. Every good work detailed in Luke stems from the Spirit Himself. Jesus truly was the bearer of the Spirit, the Man marked out by the Spirit, the man uniquely strengthened by the Spirit".
Theology does not have to be guilty of "dry and dead orthodoxy"! Oh for more scholars that are not afraid or intimidated to recognise that the Holy Spirit is a Person and is more than free to act as He will and when He will and how He will! Perhaps if we could see more of this mind-set grafted into the evangelical church then our mission would advance more rapidly walking not in word only but in power and in signs and wonders!