Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bill Johnson on Todd Bentley and Lakeland

I found this a very useful, wise and beneficial reflection on Todd and the events in Lakeland - this coming from a true father in the faith who isn't ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater as so many Christians drearily are doing ... again.

Here is Bill Johnson;

UPDATE: What do you think about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival?

Aug '08

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.

Blessings!
Bill



June '08

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.
Bill

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thirsty? There is NO Other Stream ...

Apologies for the couple of days quietness - I have been busy with various meetings at work trying to sort out the allegations that I am facing along with doing night shifts. I thought disaster had struck last night! I forgot my IPOD with my collection of Rob Rufus sermons and I also forgot any Christian books! So when the children were all settled safely to bed, I felt I was at a bit of a loss until my eyes fell on the "Chronicles of Narnia" on the bookshelf and I decided to read "The Silver Chair" - one I haven't read for years. I did and was startled to hear God speaking quite audibly when I read a particular passage.

Here it is:

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.

“I’m dying of thirst”, said Jill.

“May I - could I - would you mind going away while I do?”, said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the while montain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Will you promise not to - do anything to me, if I do come?”, said Jill.

“I make no promise”, said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?”, she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, knigs and emperors, cities and realms”, said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink”, said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst”, said the Lion.

“Oh dear!”, said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream”, said the Lion.

John 7:37-38: "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"

"So much of the problems in the world and My Church stem from a thirst that they know nothing about. Heartache? Misery? Loneliness? Mental health problems? Fear? Hopelessness? All these would be met by a quenching of a never-ending thirst. Yet so many throughout the ages have mistaken that thirst and thought they could meet in at other streams. They have tried the stream of psychology, the stream of physiology, they have tried the stream of intelligence and academics, they have tried the stream of the New Age and counterfeit power.

Yet the thirst continues and 2,000 years after My Son walked this planet, still My people have not learnt the source - the satisfaction of coming to Me and finding eternal satisfaction in drinking from the stream before I sit. But you must come to ME. I will not move. I will not negotiate. I will not allow tributaries that are detach from the Living life flow. Come to ME. I make no promises about what will happen when you come and drink of My Spirit. Your life will change. You will find yourself commissioned in ways that you never dreamt of before. My one promise is that nothing will remain the same.

So many of My people have dared not come and drink for they have been in the world and become of the world. And they have died of thirst for their fear overcame their thirst. Yet I urge you this day to allow your thirst to overcome your fears. There IS no other stream of living water that will conquer your thirst for reality, for My Presence. There IS no other stream of living water that will flow through you and out to meet the lost, the nations. There IS no other way that I have chosen to flood and cover and fill the earth with My glory than this.

So come to Me and drink. Calvary is complete and done. Resurrection is achieved. I am glorified. I am seated. I am reigning and I have poured out My Spirit in a never-ending flow that will never cease until prophecy is fulfilled and all flesh receive".

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jonathan Edwards on the Gospel

This is taken from the "Jonathan Edwards Blank Bible - Volume 2". Jonathan Edwards was commenting on Matthew 11:5;

"the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them".

Edwards writes;

"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.

The word "are evangelized" implies not only being the subject of the preaching of the gospel or the telling the good news, but a being encouraged, refreshed and revived and made joyful and happy by it.

And between such a benefit and a being poor in spirit, of a broken heart, or heart mourning, humbled, being wretched, miserable and undone in his own eyes and despairing in the world and in himself. I say, a being evangelized in the sense mentioned has a like relation to such a qualification of the subject as sight has to blindness, light to darkness, walking to lameness, life to death.

The poor being evangelized is the last effect mentioned, it being that which crowns all, representing the main thing which Jesus came into the world for, the blessed effect that He had respect to in all that He said and did and the great thing of which the other things here mentioned were but types and representations".

It is a vital reminder that the preaching of the Gospel does not come in "word alone". Surely it seems that the Word of God expects a complete life transformation! Have we lost something of the radical transformation that the Gospel brings? I fear it's a definite danger here in the Western world. Even Edwards spoke of the "joy unspeakable" that we should expect from true Gospel impartation.

Manifestations Following an Encounter!!

The whole Lakeland Outpouring and Todd Bentley have been really on my heart these last few days and I am interested that one of the predominant emotions that I am feeling is anger. Not anger with Todd Bentley - Todd is just a man. But anger with the human race and that includes me. Anger that we still don't see through the devil's schemes even though he's not very obvious and not very subtle and not indeed very novel. As soon as there is some spiritual life somewhere in the worldwide Church, the powers of hell conspire to attack the man's marriage. That seems to be strategy number 1. If that fails and the marriage survives, then hell will try tempting with money. Strategy number 2. Have I missed anything? Most of the spiritual casualties of the past seem to fall at those hurdles. Who knows what the other strategies would be!

Rob's closing message at the "Grace and Glory Conference" in Hong Kong last October was dealing with all the spiritual manifestations that will follow an encounter with God - and it was masterful. One of the things that is guaranteed to make me see red is when the response to a spiritual casualty is to clamp down on all spiritual life.

It wasn't the spiritual life that CAUSED the casualty - the cause was in RESPONSE to the spiritual life! Clamp down on the life and the objective of hell is achieved!

So here's Rob and my notes from Hong Kong;

"While we walk in intimacy with Him we are not in love with the manifestations but with the Manifestor. If it doesn't point to the blood of Jesus then it is a counterfeit lying demonic sign and wonder but if it is true then you will fall more in love with Jesus.

I am astonished at the fear and paranoia at false signs and wonders - it is so easy to discern whether it is of God or not! False signs and wonders will lead you away from God and genuine signs and wonders will lead you closer to Him! Those who don't know their God will be decieved!

They have head knowledge full of God but don't know Him. These are not days to be wondering whether this is God or not. We should know within seconds whether it is God! The longer you are under the anointing of the glory - the more you will change! (Daniel 8:15-16) - Gabriel is a high level arch-angel of communication. Daniel started off standing here but ended up on his face in a deep sleep. (Daniel 10:4) - The angel of the Lord is not a created angel but the Creator First-Born.

You will only hear the voice of God in the glory - you cannot hear it outside. This wasn't another sermon about God but a tangible experience of the Presence of God - we want and should want to experience Him!

Man will never understand women for we were asleep when she was created! Too many Christians want the church to be tidy and predictable but it is nothing but fear of looking ridiculous from indoctrination by Pharisees and Sadducees and Couldnt-Sees and Wouldn't-Sees.
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!

The man who wrote most of the New Testament got slain flat in the Spirit! Yet most academics reading the New Testament are asking if it is Biblical to fall under the power of God!

The Bible is the only foundation for true Christian doctrine, life and practice. How come then so few of these manifestations aren't happening today? Sadly if the subnormal appears for too long then the normal becomes the abnormal.
A simple reading of the Bible reveals that the absence of the power of God manifest is abnormal!

What manifestations can we then expect when the Presence and glory of God comes down?

1. An Impartation of God's Supernatural Life!

You don't need low voltage to defibrilliate someone who has died! You need high voltage and if they don't respond HIGHER voltage! That is revival!

When a Pharisee is comfortable in our churches - then we are in trouble.
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!

2. Impartation of a Gift that Makes You Strong!

(Romans 1:11).

3. Visions!

4. You Could Get Healed Emotionally or Physically!

5. Darkness Removed!

6. A Visitation of Jesus!

7. Comissionings!

A calling comes first and then prepares through much pain and rejection. Then in a day God can activate that calling and you will walk in the authority of that calling and never be the same again!

8. Blessing!

9. Ordaining Leaders!

It doesn't always have to be formal! God is sovereign and He is ordaining in these days who He wants! Elders are not the managers of churches! The church needs to be free from being deacon-possessed! Ordain something that is going somewhere and doing something! We need to say to some deacons; "Come out of this devil!". Let My people go so that they may worship Me!

10. Relief - The Impartation of Rest!

You could be delivered from the dictatorship of perfectionism!

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!

These impartations will come to equip you through trials with great grace.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rob Rufus on Suffering and the Glory

"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

Chris takes the plunge!!

There's never a more exciting moment for me when a dear friend takes the plunge and launches into the weird and wonderful world of blogging. Despite the multitude of blogs, there are still precious few that warrant a visit - that I know are going to be producing material that is spiritually stirring, theologically precise but above all urging a deeper relationship with our beloved Lord. Chris is one such friend I've been urging privately and publicly to start up his own blog. He is probably one of the most faithful commentators on my blog in the past few months and many will have noticed that his comments are usually quite lengthy but always stimulating and deserving of a blog post of their own!

Well he's done it - and what a more prophetically significant date to begin than 8th August 2008.

Here it is: "On Now to the 3rd Level ...".

I can't recommend it enough. There's one post there at the moment, but I suspect Chris is going to swiftly change that and I am eager for post after post which continually motivates the Church and never let's us settle at the present status quo (the mess we are in) - but demands that the Church lifts it's head and follows the heart beat of God and looks to the optimistic bright future where the earth SHALL be filled with the glory of God!

Monday, August 18, 2008

God - the Eternal Optimist!!

This could also be entitled; "Hope for a Monday morning!". I must admit it hasn't been the most joyous of weekends for me. It's not been a great week really. And the news of Todd Bentley didn't help matters at all. I worked a night shift last night and I must admit God was pretty silent - which always makes for a frustrating night. But I love Rob Rufus's perspective - that when God is silent, it is like He is inviting you to a game of hide and seek! So seek Him I did - and this morning when I was walking back in the rain, I felt Him remind me of His agony and His pain after the children of Israel refused to go into the Promised Land.

His response?

"So the LORD said, "I have pardoned them according to your word; but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD".

It seems slightly out of context for the Lord to say this! Moses was just begging for mercy for the children of Israel who had refused to go into the Land. Why could God not just say "Okay"? His response was to look down the corridors of time to a point in history when all the earth WILL be filled with the glory of the Lord! How can we be so sure? The oath of the Lord rests on it! We don't need to be depressed or upset at the news from "Fresh Fire Ministries" - because the promise - the oath of the Lord stands firm. The day is coming (and I believe is already in progress) when the glory of the Lord shall sweep over the earth like a tsunami.

The second verse that God reminded me of that speaks again of His eternal optimism is one that is very close to my friend Jesse's heart;

"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days".

A day is coming when ALL people will encounter a lavish outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It's coming! F F Bruce - the famous commentator - agrees that the Pentecost outpouring in Acts 2 was merely the commencement of the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. So we can look at the Lakeland Outpouring and not fret that it will wane because of the Todd Bentley news. If it does - it was a man-centred event anyway. A day is coming when all people will encounter what those in Florida have been experiencing and more! Our children will prophesy and utter forth the glories of God! Our fathers will dream dreams and we will see visions! Let us look forward with great hope and optimism and share in God's eternal perspective!

The word is "ALL"! ALL the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord! The Holy Spirit will be poured out on ALL people! What a lavish God we love and adore!

PS: I mentioned my mate Jesse - I was vastly amused and excited to find a video of his very self on You-Tube quite by chance! I have had phone conversations with this awesome servant of God but have never met him. So this video is kind of second best. He's talking about technological stuff that some of us like me may not follow - but at least this puts a face to a name! Great stuff Jesse! Awesome to see you at last!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Missing Todd Bentley

"If you are bleeding - don't swim with the sharks" - Rob Rufus.

Well ... people may becoming gradually aware that Todd Bentley has stepped down from public ministry for the time being. Here is a part of the statement from "Fresh Fire Ministries".

"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".

Reactions are going to be very typical and expected. Those who were opposed to what was happening in Lakeland from the start will respond in a "Christian" manner and maybe say they will "pray" for Todd Bentley and his wife - but secretly proudly be thinking "I told you so" (such as SGM Refuge - who are using it as an excuse to criticise Metro Church and Danny Phillips). Those who placed too high an emphasis on Todd Bentley's ministry may be devastated and potentially lose faith in the Lakeland Outpouring. Both are wrong.

I am greatly encouraged by "Fresh Fire Ministries" response to something that must have greatly affected them personally. They say they will hold fast to the vision of reaching the nations;

“What God is doing is bigger than one man”, and we now have a golden opportunity as the Body of Christ to pick up the baton and to run with perseverance for His glory ... So whether in our Children’s Home in Africa, in our Supernatural Training Centre in British Columbia, in the revival meetings and outpourings spreading around the globe, or in taking teams to minister compassion and practical assistance to the poor in the far corners of the Earth, we have been and still are committed to bringing love, hope and a demonstration of the saving, healing, delivering power of the Gospel to a world in need".

The work must go on! The world and the lost are still out there and needing salvation - the Gospel in word and power. And my simple response to those who (even if they don't admit it) are judging Todd Bentley - what are YOU doing to spread the Gospel in word and power? When did YOU last pray for the sick? Don't bother leaving comments around here saying "I told you so". I've been in legalistic churches that have devoured charismatic ministries that have fallen and I'm not tolerating it anymore. Todd Bentley and his wife are my brothers and sisters in Christ and families defend each other. Or should do! My prayer is that the Lakeland Outpouring goes on to grow and grow and spread throughout the world as has been prophesied - because it is God who began it and it is God who will see His glory cover the globe.

Hope from our Identity!!

Here's another short post. I've got a deep love for quotes as many of you know from the "Pentecostal/Charismatic Post-it Notes Blog" and from the new "Grace and Glory Blank Bible". C H Spurgeon used to call quotes; "Smooth Stones from Ancient Brooks" - likening them to the stones David selected to kill Goliath. Clearly he felt that quotes have power. And indeed Holy Spirit-inspired quotes do.

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

Hope from the Gospel of Grace!!

This maybe the shortest post yet of my entire blog. But I think you'll see it's worth it. Here's a quote from the newly started; "Glory and Grace Blank Bible". Rob was commenting on Luke 22:31-32;

"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".

After the week I've had - THIS is good news!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rob Rufus Resources!!

There's a couple of resources I wanted to point out coming out from City Church International in Hong Kong. Rob and Glenda Rufus have just returned from South Africa where they took part in a "Word and Spirit Conference" together with Dr Michael Eaton - the well-known theologian and author. Here are the sessions;

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;

"The Grace and Glory Blank Bible".

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

Lakeland, Florida Goes to the Nations!!

One of the criticisms Terry Virgo levelled at Lakeland, Florida was this;

"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;

video


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

A Life-Changing Paragraph ... !!

A lot of people in the Christian world seem to testify to select paragraphs that they have read or heard that change their lives. John Piper testifies that Jonathan Edwards changed his life through a short paragraph. I think I've encountered mine - trudging home from a night shift listening to Rob Rufus's sermon; "Attitudes That Attract The Empowering Grace Of God - Part 2". Rob's teaching on grace and glory has already changed my life so much - but this concise paragraph has helped me immeasurably to seperate out again a bit more of legalism that creeps in where-ever possible and it helps me to understand the vast riches of "grace" just that bit more in the great adventure and process many of us have embarked on.

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

Rob Rufus's Newfrontiers Conference Sessions

Although the Newfrontiers Europe Conference may have been slightly overdwarfed by the main Brighton Conference - I found the sessions and the testimonies from it absolutely awesome. There were many testimonies of signs and wonders and healing that came from the people praying for each other - not coming to a ministry. For those who don't know, Rob Rufus was sharing the ministry with David Holden.

The transcripts of Rob's two messages are now available here.

Newfrontiers Europe Conference - Session 1


The other MP3 sessions are available still on this website.




I should point out that all the sessions are interpreted so it does make the listening process slightly disjointed! However the theme of "faith" that came through both Dave Holden's and Rob's messages is well worth listening to. It's a message that must be heard.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Julie's Videos from the Glory Encounters Conference!!

Many of you may remember how excited I was to be able to support and see my dear friends Julie and Aaron go to Hong Kong earlier this year to the "Glory Encounters Conference". Joshua and Janet Mills and Kaye Beyer were the visiting speakers. Julie wrote a number of reports about their time there here and here.

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

Aspects of Knowing the Manifest Presence of God!!

I've just come back from almost a week down in Cornwall visiting Myriddin - a dear friend of mine that I haven't seen for a while. We had an incredible time chatting about all sorts of things mainly about knowing God. I haven't seen him since I came into contact with Rob Rufus and his ministry from Hong Kong. I took him on the internet and showed him all sorts of quotes and also Rob's prophetic song that he brought during the "Miracle Healing Weekend". Myth was really impacted with what he heard and hopefully will be able to come with us to "Grace and Glory Conference" in Hong Kong next year!

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!