The “Revival” in Flordia

There is a supposed revival going on in Flordia. The speaker or lead is Todd Bentley. I believe he is a heretic and teaching content that is not biblical nor Christian as all heretics do. (See yesterday’s blog – Cloud of Witnesses -filed in The Apostle blogs).

Some say that they can discern and so chew the meat and spit out the bones. In other words, they don’t have to believe the doctrine being taught but can, at least, enjoy or become part of the anointing that is healing people. I wouldn’t.

There is a distinct possibility that the anointing itself is also not from God just as the teachings are not from God. The Bible says that in the last days many false teachers, false prophets, and false apostles will show up in the Church and in the world. And, that these false ministers preaching a false gospel and false doctrine will do real miracles, signs, and wonders.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

If sickness is an oppression of the Devil (Acts 10:38) then a false prophet or teacher or apostle who is working for the Devil can cast the demon off the person who is sick so that he or she gets well (for a time). The person – and undiscerning believers – will see this as a valid miracle not loooking at or to the source of power that brought about the healing. And, as soon as the spotlight is off that conference or that person who was healed the “oppression” will come back on them and the person will continue to suffer with their ailment and maybe even die from it.

You don’t tell a “false preacher” by their lack of signs and wonders – your litmus test is their doctrine and teachings. The anointing can be from the wrong source and yet look good – but it does follow from the teaching base and the doctrines. If the doctrines and teachings are incorrect (heretical, in this case) it is likely the anointing is not from God either – as powerful or beneficial as it may appear.

We have disciples of Todd Bentley in the city that I live in. Graduates of his training school. Their doctrine is frightening. Their loyalty to Todd Bentley is seriously out of balance. Their acceptance of everything he says, without questioning and without searching the scriptures like the Bereans did (Acts 17:11), is a deep concern. Their basic understanding of the Bible and its foundational issues and doctrines is in doubt. And, their knowledge of how to understand and interpret the scriptures and apply them properly today is almost nil (see below for some recommended books).

I am deeply concerned about everything connected to this current “move of God” and so-called “revival”.

To learn how to correctly handle the Word of Truth as found in your Bible… two excellent books:
“How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth”
“Listening to the Spirit in the Text”
Both these books are by Gordon D. Fee – Professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, British Colunbia.

A Cloud of Witnesses

There is a teaching within the born again, Spirit-filled Church going by the name of A Cloud of Witnesses. This teaching, it appears, is based on one verse in Hebrews 12:1. It is a heresy being taught by some fairly powerful ministries – several of them, regretfully, Canadian.

The teaching is simple. You can talk to those who were believes who have died and gone into Heaven. These can be Bible figures like Paul and Abraham or others who have died since the Canon of scripture was formed.

One main teacher of this heresy is Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries who is currently involved in what some are calling a “God-sent revival” in south Florida. Todd has gone on record (DVDs from a Rick Joyner prophetic conference at Moringstar Ministries as well as his own e-newsletter and web site) that he spoke at length to King David who appeared to him in his hotel room one night in Jerusalem. He has also had a lengthy conversation with Paul who spoke of Abraham dictating to him the book of Hebrews which he then wrote. Just two examples.

This heresy is directly connected to another false teaching based on Paul’s comment about knowing a man who “went into the third Heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2). This false teaching, made widely popular by Patrica King of Extreme Prophetic, teaches that at any time or place you can, at your own will, enter into the third heaven and receive revelation from the Lord.

Here’s the problem. Biblically, you cannot take one verse and base a theology on it. You cannot take one person’s experience – initiated by God – and then declare that this same experience is available to all believers at their own initiative.

If what Patrica King teaches about entering the third heaven whenever you want to is true then why don’t we march around our cities and see them crumble to the ground on the seventh day. It would be a great way to get people’s attention and maybe get them saved. If Joshua could do it – so can we. Well, of course not. But the same logic used in the third heaven teaching could be applied to the Jericho story and many others if we were being logical and consistent. Why pick on one experience and say that one is repeatable at our will and not apply the same priciple to other one-time happenings in the Bible?

You cannot go into the third heaven at will. You were not invited. Paul was. He did not initiate it, God did. And, it was for a specific purpose – to receive the revelation that he then wrote down and which now forms a major part of our New Testament scriptures. A ‘not to be repeated’ experience. Because God did not follow the experience with a “and you can do likewise” or a command that we all do so.

So, the way we receive these visits from King David, Paul the apostle, and other dead believers is not biblical. It is New Age and demonic from its very core. And, the revelations received from this “Cloud of Witnesses” are not of God and are heretical.

Question: What is the difference between talking to a dead saint and praying to the saints like Mary, St. Jude, and St. Christopher? If praying to the saints which the Roman Catholics and others do is talking to those who are dead and gone – and it is; then talking to someone from the “Cloud of Witnesses” is no different … you are communicating with the dead which is strickly forbidden in the scriptures.

Question: What is the difference between receiving revelation from a member of the “Cloud of Witnesses” and going to a seance and finding out information from Uncle Orville and Aunt Mary who died 20 years ago? They are the same thing.

It is sad that Christians today are so hungry for the spectacular that they are chasing anything that looks or smells like it may be exciting.

It is sad that believers are being deceived by these teachers and their ministry machines because they lack discernment and have such a poor understanding of scripture that they cannot discern true teachings from false teachings, true prophets and apostles from false ones (see my article on true and false prophets and apostles in the archieves of the main page on the web site under “Prophecies and more/articles re. Apostles”).

Why is it that the born again, Spirit-filled Church is so interested in and hungry for the very things that drove the Reformation and our removal from the established Church of that day?

Why are we now seeking after and embracing the very herecies that we fought so hard against in the days of the early reformers like Martin Luther?

This is a ploy of the Devil to keep the Spirit-filled believers from doing what they are called by God to do – witness to the lost around the world. It takes people away from “seeking and saving the lost”. (see my blog under “Evangelism and soul winning later today).

And, it is the Holy Spirit that was given to us to lead us into all thruth – not Paul, David, or some dead saint of recent times.

The Headlines Read…

“Top Evangelical quits church” – headline in the Saturday, April 26, 2008 Leader-Post in the city of Regina, Saskatchewan. The “top evangelical” is J.I. Packer, professor at Regent College in British Colombia, Canada and an Anglican / Episcopal priest. Now in his 80’s and still teaching – named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals on the globe – he has left the Anglican CHurch of Canada due to the Anglican Church’s trend towards “poisonous liberalism.” The split has come as a result of his now former bishop, Michael Ingram, “who in 2002 sanctioned a diocesan vote that eventually permitted the blessing of same-sex couples…”

Packer and a number of other clergy and parishes have left their respective dioceses and come under the covering of a non-geographic diocese headed by an archbishop from South America who is a believer in what the Bible teaches. Packer, like his new bishop, believes the “Bible is the absolute authority on divine truth, and that it clearly describes homosexuality as a grave sin.”

Two things struck me as interesting in the article. The first is the soft and gentle tones – maybe it’s political correctness. I quote James Packer: “an arguably heretical trend towards poisonous liberalism” and “He is a bishop who appears heretical”. Soft language. Let’s call a spade a spade. The Anglican Church of Canada has been liberal and getting even more liberal (and non-believing) for decades. It has ignored, then tolerated, then legislated, and now accepts homosexual priests and the homosexual lifestyle as a valid alternative way of life. They even teach this from their pulpits. It has been an active part of the Anglican Church of Canada for over 50 years and those who are gay have been pursuing an aggressive agenda which is now front and center.

But, let’s not fall over just the issue of homosexuality. Almost 30 years ago the writer, who was an Anglican priest and whose wife was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church of Canada, left the Anglican Church due to a bishop (who then became an Archbishop and eventually then lead Archbishop of all Canada – the Primate) who bluntly stated that he did not believe the Bible, did not believe Adam and Eve were real people, did not believe in a literal Hell, nor a literal Devil, did not believe in the virgin birth and did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Can’t get more heretical than that – and that was November of 1979. Why are we still walking on egg shells? The Anglican Church in Canada has been liberal for many years. Decades ago they became an apostate church and are now heretical. It’s plain and simple.

The second thing I found amazing in the article was the response from the other side. A Reverend Kevin Dixon who is seeking permission for his chruch to bless same-sex unions states that Packard’s use of the word heresy “stunts dialogue and honest intellectual exploration.” Gee, I would have thought it would have encouraged dialogue because it was honest, true, and straighforward. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it is a duck. The Anglican Church is and has been for some years a Church that is teaching heresy. Ask the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lambeth Conference bishops who have sanctioned both the Anglican CHurch of Canada and the American Episcopal House of Bishops for their stand for homosexuality and their ordination of homosexual priests and consecrations of homosexual bishops. Why are we afraid to call a spade a spade.

Dixon goes on, in typical Anglican fashion to say, “(the word) heresy stunts dialogue and honest intellectual exploration”. The problem here is it is so-called honest intellectual exploration that has gotten the Anglican Church to where it is today – dying and losing members weekly. Their educational system for priests – from which I graduated with a Master’s degree in 1972 – was blantantly and openly liberal. The Anglican Church has been and is so open minded that when it bends over its brains fall out. There is nothing honest or intellectual in the way the liberals are researching and handling the issues that desperately need to be discussed and settled. This was fact 30 years ago and still is today. It is hard to be honest and intellectual when there is an agenda being pursued.

Then comes the icing on the cake. Ready for this. Dixon states “Packer is adopting a ‘literalistic’ reading of the Bible.” You just knew that old brick would be tossed at the believers. Packer is by far one of the most intellectual, honest, deep-thinking Christians on the face of the planet Earth. And to call him a “literalist” is simply unthinkable – and it would appear that Dixon’s brains actually did fall out when he last bent over.

The Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. should be declared by someone as a “non-Church” because it’s leaders no longer believe the basic tenants of the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3) and don’t teach the truth from their pulpits. There are a few exceptions to that statement and they are currently leaving and seeking to come under the authority of believing bishops from other nations of the world. It has become a cancer on the true Church of Jesus Christ and is deceiving many people by their non-gospel.

Choice and Commitment

Many in churches today have made a choice. They have chosen to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They have come to believe that He is the Son of God; that He came to earth fully God and fully man as Jesus of Nazareth; that His death on the cross paid the penalty for their sin so that they would no longer be judged according to their personal violations of God’s Moral Law (the 10 Commandments); That He has “saved” them from death and Hell.

They have made a choice. That choice is to accept Jesus as their Saviour. Not Mohammad, not Buddha, not Hari Chrisna but Jesus.

Good so far! But that’s as far as many go. And there is something very important that is missing.

When I married my wife almost 35 years ago I understood this very important element. I was making a choice. I chose to marry her and not someone else. No one twisted my arm to marry her. I chose to do so. And, then at the altar of the university chapel in which we were married I made a commitment to be with her until death took one of us home to Heaven. Old fashion, I know. But that is exactly what I did and I knew very well that marriage is a choice and then a commitment. Both of which I needed to make and hold to forever.

It’s like that when one is born again. Yes, there is a choice – you chose to accept God’s offer of forgiveness and a personal relationship with Him. But it takes more than that to be a true convert and to become a new creature in Christ, as Paul states we are. It takes commitment.

Commitment to a new way of thinking (repentance). Commitment to a new life-style. Commitment to the Church and the worship assembly of that local fellowship. Commitment to grow in the relationship with Jesus and other believers. Commitment to work at the one task that Jesus gave directly to His Church – to “seek and save the lost” by “going in to all the world”. Commitment to change and become more like Jesus each day. Commitment to follow Jesus no matter where that may take you. That is what is missing in the lives of many believers.

We don’t follow just when it is convenient. We don’t follow only when it is beneficial to us. We don’t follow only when we feel like it. We don’t follow only when we are well rested, not shopping, not watching Sunday baseball… We follow regardless. We make a commitment to follow regardless and to pay the cost of being a believer – whatever that may be today.

You chose to make Him your Saviour. Then you must make a commitment to follow regardless – to make Him Lord

Choice and commitment. Like love and marriage they go together and I don’t believe you can have one without the other. Saviour and Lord go together and one wonders if you can really have one without the other. This author does not think so. Thus, he is deeply concerned with the eternal fate of many who profess to be believers and really are simply false converts.

Coffee Shop Church?

So many times in my world I hear people justifying themselves – claiming that they don’t need to go to church, that they can seek God at home, or be spiritually fed from the electronic church.

How totally selfish. And we are supposet to be becoming self-less, thinking of others before ourselves and considering the many “one anothers” we find throughout the New Testament.

Church attendance is not merely about what you can get, but rather the cross-pollinating and the GIVING OUT of what the Lord has given you. Maintaining an idea that ‘I can be fed at home’ is nothing but pure ignorance and selfishness.

In the Book of Proverbs it states: “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desires.” Yup! Sounds like a lot of Christians that I know. We come to Church and in spite of the words we speak we still come with the attitude that “It is all about me, Jesus”. We even think this when one of the songs we might sing on any given Sunday is that great and anointed chorus “It’s all about You, Jesus”.

Just listen to the exit polls after a service. “Boy, that sermon was beyond me”; “the worship did nothing for me this morning”; “Don’t know who he was preaching at – but I got nothing out of his message this morning”.

We are suppose to come to church to give and not to get. Now, if during the exit polls Jesus were to say: “the worship did nothing for me this morning”. Then, something is wrong. It is suppose to be about Him – blessing and honouring Him. Sad but, in spite of the words we sing most people still focus on what’s in it for them and how did they benefit by gracing the pews on Sunday morning with their presence.

Much too self-centered and we are called to die to self and take up our cross daily. Was the service a blessing to Jesus? Did others benefit by listening to you share a testimony? Were you able to encourage an individual after the service? Did you have opportunity to share the gospel during the coffee hour with a visitor who attended?

It’s not about you or me. It’s about Him and them! So, having coffee on Sunday at your favourite coffee shop – and inviting another Christian to join you – is NOT church. Not by the wildest stretch of your imagination. Nor is what you are doing biblical. Let’s not reinvent and fiddle with something Jesus designed and is still the head of. Could be dangerous!

Come on believer – ‘forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” even if some assembly is required and batteries are not included.

Come on believers – plan your weekend around Sunday church. Go out to the movies on Friday night if you must. Then go to bed early on Saturday night so you are bring, fresh, and alert – ready to give – on Sunday morning.

It’s time we stood up for what the Bible sets forth as truth and stop recreating God, the church, and the Christian faith into something that allows us to justify non-biblical behaviour.

Remember the words of Paul to the church in Ephesus … “From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16).

Can’t happen if you are constantly staying in bed or going shopping on Sunday morning and missing corporate worship.


Found an interesting web site today. A set of twins – Alex and Brett Harris – have decided to challenge teens (their generation) to do more than what is expected of them. To do hard things. To challenge the status quo.

They have found that teens are often encouraged to see adolescence as a time to goof off and not do much of anything and definitely little of any significance. These young Christian men are challenging their generation to see the teen years as a time to prepare for their life’s purpose.

Instead of just living up to the somewhat low expectations of society – they have started what is called a rebelution – I suspect a play on the words revolution and rebellion. They are challenging teens to rebel against the status quo and to find out what God’s purpose for their lives is and then to begin now to prepare for it. This would then bring a revolutionary approach to their walk with the Lord and their ministry outreach to the lost.

Visit their web site. Have a look around. See what two young brothers are doing for the Lord because of their passion and commitment. They are on the web at

Rick Warren Shirts

I’m in buying some Rick Warren-type summer “dress” shirts at a discount place here in the city. A place where you can buy $15.00 shirts for $6.00 so that you can look good yet still have money in the bank. Found 6 and on the way out through the cashier…

It’s snowing here near the end of April – normal actually – but because we have had a few warm days, unexpected, I suspose. So, she commented on the weather (safe topic) and that maybe my new summer shirts would bring in the summer weather. I mentioned that God has promised 4 seasons but did not mention how long each had to be. So, maybe that hot day last week was summer this year. Here in my neck of the woods that is very possible. I’m trying to lead into the gospel – the store is not busy and I’m the only one in this checkout line.

She says … “Well, maybe this is God’s way to get people’s attention so that they can see the light.” Wow! This is going to be easier than I thought – and it was. I agreed with her and mentioned the need to come to know God personally. She goes into a fairly deep comment or two or three about the need for salvation from sin with the add on that she didn’t “want to get too theological.”

What a refreshing change from the normal theological and bibilical dribble that is out there and believed by so many. The self-help gospel of Robert Schuller and his son; the wealth and prosperity gospel of many of the television preachers; the false gospels of Dr. Phil and Oprah; John Hagee and his dual covenant gospel … just to name a few that are taking believers and non-believers down a dangerous and destructive path.

What looked like a great witnessing opportunity became a great celebration as two believers commented on God’s goodness. And, having just been stood up for a lunch appointment (the reason I had this time to go shopping in the first place) a real encouragement to me personally.

Darryl and My Brother Darryl

Had supper last night with a man who is hungry for all of God. His current paradim is born again and a believer of the Bible. However, I have been used of God to bend that paradim a bit. I mentioned the gift of prophecy and tongues one night in a teaching situation he attends and the whole experience of being Baptized in the Holy Spirit. Used Acts 19:1-7 as my Scriptural reference point.

This has resulted in two great meals in two weeks. Great, not because the food was good (which it was) but because the conversations centered around Jesus. And, an opportunity to share, from the scriptures, about the supernatural side of our faith – and what is available after you are soundly saved.

Last night, part way through the conversation, this man’s son-in-law joined us. Let’s call them Darryl and Darryl. They actually did have the same first names.

What a great time we had discussing the Bible and looking at verses that specifically challenges believers to think outside the box and that allows God to come out of that same box and be bigger than they have let Him be in the past.

Verses like:
“The things that I do you shall do also…” (John 14:12)
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”
“Desire (covet) spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophecy”
(1 Corinthians 14:1)
“If I pray in another language, my spirit prays…” (1 Corinthians
“You may all prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:31)

They are not against this second experience as found throughout the book of Acts – it is just that it is not part of their mind-set or their view of the Christian faith and the Church.

Didn’t need to push my views or opinions on them. It was a great, open and honest conversation simply looking at scriptures, talking about the bible verses, and asking and answering questions about this side of the faith that all three of us believe and share with others.

Taking them both copies of Jack Deere’s “Surprised by the Spirit of God” and his second one, “Surprised by the Voice of God” as Dr. Deere successfully made the journey from a dispensationalist to a Spirit-filled believer many years ago recording his search and discovery in these two great books.

More great suppers ahead.

False converts

We have many false converts sitting in our churches week after week. They are the tares among the wheat that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13 (see yesterday’s blog).

How can you tell if a person is a true convert or a false convert? Look at the fruit in their lives – or the lack of it. If a person is truly born again and thus has had an encounter with the living God there will be change. Can’t be helped.

The Bible states that Jesus is the “same yesterday, today, and forever” and that God does not change. So, in this new relationship a person has with the Lord someone will be changing and it is us. Some changes may be immediate and dramatic – some slow and progressive. Be change is inevitable.

If you don’t see change / fruit then it is valid to ask if that person truly is born again.

But what are we specifically looking for? Well, 1 John talks about what it means to be born again and the signs of fruit that we can expect if a person is truly saved and walking in a relationship with the Lord.

I have grouped the many comments into 6 signs. I will list them … and maybe in the next few days I will unpack them. There is a book in the works on just this topic.

1> Obedience to His commands – 1 John 2:3, 1 John 3:24 and 1 John 5:2
This would include everything from assemblying as believers on Sunday, Bible reading and prayer, tithing and includes obeying the Great Commission (soul winning) and the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 28 and Matthew 23).

2> By the words we speak and the life we live – our neighbiurs and friends, people at work and play, should be able to notice a difference in us. Our life-style should confess that Jesus is Lord of our lives. 1 John 2:23 and 1 John 4:15

3> We should be confessing sin when it is found in our lives and practicing righteousness in our daily walk. 1 John 1:6-7, 1 John 1:8-10, 1 John 2:29, 1 John 3:6, 9, 1 John 5:18.

4> We will have a visible and practical love for other believers. 1 John 3:14, 1 John 4:12, 1 John 3:16-18, 1 John 4:19-21 just to mention a few.

5> Believes that Jesus is the Christ. 1 John 5:1, 1 John 3:23-25.

6> Overcomes the world by faith. 1 John 5:4, 1 John 2:15

That is why John writes in 1 John 5:13 “I’ve written this to those who believe in the Son of God so that they will know that they have eternal life.”

The Born Again Church has many who attend who hold to a born again religion but have not had a life-changing encounter with the living God and thus are false converts.

Godly Sorrow and Repentance

We have many false converts in the Church today. People who have said a Sinner’s Prayer or had a warm fuzzy during a service and so think that they are now Born Again and on their way to Heaven.

Jesus, in His first sermon, states: “Repent and believe, for the Kingdom…” (Mark 1:15) Here’s the key to salvation – repentance and trust. The Bible states that without repentance there is no salvation. So, a warm fuzzy feeling or repeating certin words after someone will not save a person’s soul from Hell.

A person needs to recognize that they have broken the Moral Law of a holy God (Romans 3:23). They have broken one or more of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20). That sin is the transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4) and that this sin separates a person from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Then they need to come to know deep in their heart that the punishment for that sin is death (Romans 6:23).That’s the bad news. But, God loves us so must that He sent His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin – death on the cross. His death and the shedding of His blood paid the price or penalty for our sin. The book of Hebrews states that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).

Then, as we come to realize what our sin has done and what it has cost God to redeem or purchase us back to Himself – with godly sorrow we will repent of our sins (2 Corinthians 7:8-10). We will change the way we think which results in a change of life-style. This is what “to repent” means. We ask the Lord to forgive us all of our sins and to come into our life and take over control so that we are “under new management” and really ‘under new ownership’. This brings about true conversion.

As I travel about from church to church preaching and ministering I see so many people who think they are okay with God. They have been taught that they are okay with God. Their have their “fire insurance” in hand. But, there is no fruit in their lives. They have not changed the way they think, talk, or act. They are the same ten years after their “salvation prayer” as they were before they ever said it. They apparently are not “rooted and grounded in [God’s] love” as Paul wrote we should be when truly converted. So, I am led to think – “no fruit – no root”.

1 John is a wonderful letter that outlines 6 major changes in a person’s life by which we can determine if they are truly saved or not. Six fruits we should be able to see and touch in a person’s life if they truly have had an encounter with the living God. It does one good to read through the 5 chapters of 1 John and examine your salvation. In fact, 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us we should do just that. “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

Tomorrow I will list the 6 signs of being Born Again and comment on them a bit.