I have the following on another post, but have put it here for easier and speedier reading. It bears repeating.
A. W. Tozer sums it up perfectly in his normal etiquette and precision: “Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit. Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. Try the spirits is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching.”
“I actually live about 45 minutes away from Lakeland, FL where Todd Bentley has set up his camp. Though I did not see him personally, I went just yesterday to Ignited Church that he is connected with. I visited a 10 am service that occurs daily, and there were probably 1,000 people there. Keep in mind that I am a worship leader/young adult pastor at a large non-denominational church, and consider myself a charismatic with a seatbelt on. I do believe in the spiritual gifts, including tongues, prophecy (which I have), and miracles or healing. I prayed to God to let me have an open mind, and for His Holy Spirit to guide me in worship and also in discernment. As I entered the lobby/ cafe area I noticed something right away: No one greeted me and there were no crosses or anything that made me feel like I was at a Christian church. As I walked into the main worship area (that had no hint of anything Christian) the music had just begun and was very hypnotic, building up with chants in tongues by the worship leader and his other vocalists. Right away I felt like I was at a Hindu, Buddhist, or New Age meeting. It was creepy to say the least. Again I prayed to God to help me have an open mind, but I was very distracted by people speaking in a deluge of tongues, and dancing around through the rows of seats. The music went on for about an hour, with the worship leader laughing and jerking uncontrollably, and chanting in tongues between singing and playing a piano. A man then came on stage to introduce a prophetess who was to bring a message from God, a prophecy that she had been given for the church. She immediately began by speaking in tongues, and calling down the glory of God into the room. By this time the congregation had been worked into a frenzy from an hour of hypnotic music and babbling tongues, and was crying out and shaking, and laughing, and crying, and screaming, and dancing, it was all going crazy at once. Again I tried to pray and ask God to help me have an open mind and discernment. It was tough to hear God, to feel God through all the chaos…but then the Spirit quickened a word to me. He reminded me of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14 about orderly worship. It was then that I left that “church” building as quickly as possible…”
Pastor Mike Kendall ~ The Gathering Quote used by permission for eternalpath.com.
“Eternal Path, thank you for the honest and correct discernment about the Lakeland Revival. I know all of these people you have mentioned and you are very correct. I laid hands on Baptist pastors Wes and Stacy Campbell for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit of which they and their leadership received. Shortly after, they joined a Vineyard church where they began to get involved in all the stuff they are currently into. I have watched these people become more and more deceived and have humbly approached them about it. They want nothing to do with me anymore. Todd was a baby Christian with a testimony when he went into full time ministry. After being touched by Todd and Bob Jones, young people have become oppressed by demon spirits which torment them with intense fear. I have had to pray over and lay hands on a number young people in spiritual bondage. It required deliverance of their minds and a healing of their souls that had been opened up to the evil spiritual realm. I have preached against these antics for years now and have endured much persecution. Bob Jones is said to astral travel into women’s closed rooms when they are undressing. I have had several come to me with that traumatic experience. I could go on and on, but I just want to say “Thank You” for speaking truth and know that you are in my prayers. Some of these people are dangerous, they are known to sending evil curses against those who oppose them, Bob Jones in particular. He has mentored Todd and most of the others also. They became spiritually damaged after traveling with him. Stick to your message and let’s pray that God will bring a true revival of Jesus, the cross, holiness, and repentance to the USA. Thank you for your comments about William Branham. I always discerned his gifts as false, coming from familiar spirits and healing demons. I am 70 years old and have watched this movement grow and grow over the last 40 years. You have been raised up by God for such a time as this. For so long, I did not hear a voice but mine in opposition to this deception, now I am hearing many and you are one. Thank You!”
Rev. Jesse Starr ~ Dallas, Texas Letter used by permission for eternalpath.com.
Pastor Jon Speed:
As of August 2008, 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 2008. One can only pray that Bentley responds humbly to a process of stepping out of ministry for a season of rehabilitation.
We are weathering an unprecedented season of moral failure and spiritual compromise in our nation today. Those in they way of discerning faith still believe that God desires to visit our nation in supernatural power. We know He wants to heal multitudes, and we must continue to pray 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. Let’s pray that God will turn this embarrassing debacle into an opportunity for miraculous restoration.
“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:104
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.” Matthew 24:23-25
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3
“I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” Acts 20:29-30
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” Colossians 2:8, 18-19