Loving God, Equipping People, Mentoring Leaders, Reaching Nations
Curry Blake is another “voice in the wilderness crying out…” and this article was forwarded to me on July 30th of this year by Dennis Cramer – international prophet – who sits on my advisory council … Highlighting is mine
Doctrine or Manifestation?
Which do you follow?
Do you follow after supernatural manifestations even when they accompany wrong doctrine? What importance does correct doctrine hold for you? My last newsletter started with the 3 questions above. My whole premise was based upon a question. What importance does correct doctrine hold for you? After I sent out my last newsletter, I received many email responses, all of which were overwhelmingly positive except for 3 from people that thought it was necessary to “defend” Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival. Most of my readers (except the 3) understood what I was saying and did it. They took the time to “examine” themselves, their doctrine, and the role correct doctrine plays in their Christian walk.
The 3 “negative” responses were from people in the “Prophetic Camp” which perfectly exemplify what I was warning people against. They did not actually read the newsletter, they thought I was attacking this new move, so they immediately wrote me with threats that God was going to kill me like Ananias and Sapphira for “touching God’s Anointed”. Many people are so insecure in what they are doing, that they will immediately work themselves into a frenzy and violate Scripture to try to defend what they are doing. If you still have a copy of my last newsletter, please go back and read it. In it I urge people not to just accept everything, but to “examine everything” toss out the bad and keep the good. In the past, I have learned some good nuggets from people that I would not walk across the street to hear preach. We must be at least as smart as a cow, “chew the cud and spit out the sticks”. The amazing thing is that I did not even mention Todd Bentley or the Lakeland Revival. Did I know about it? Of course. Was I warning people against it? NO.
I was warning people against their propensity toward accepting anything that comes along even if the doctrine is incorrect. It was this characteristic that I believe could lead to being deceived. I have heard good and bad about Todd and the Revival. I am not Todd’s judge, but I am required by God to TRY to make people think.
In a recent poll by George Barna, the doctrine a church preached was 3rd on the list of importance to people, following 1) CLEAN BATHROOMS and 2) a world class children’s’ program. Can you see why I might be concerned with the current state of people’s judgment. Several years ago, I would drive 150 miles roundtrip just to go to a church that was preaching correct doctrine. Today, according to Barna, people tend to choose a church based upon how close it is to their home regardless of its doctrine. Not long ago, I became aware of a person named Chris Angel. He is an “illusionist”. He has performed such feats as: rising in the air above a pyramid shaped casino (ala: Jesus’ ascension) and walking on water and passing through walls, and he prays in Jesus’ name before each stunt. There has never been a time when more people, Christian and non-Christian are enthralled with the supernatural. As the church we must have a balance between signs and doctrine. If I attended a church where there were amazing signs and wonders, yet the doctrine preached was not correct, eventually the constant hearing of false doctrine would wear me down until I believed the wrong teaching, even if I didn’t at first.
One report I received about Lakeland was this: Those that go to Lakeland that were not grounded in solid Bible teaching seem to go off into following angels and the supernatural, those that have a solid grounding in Bible doctrine, come home charged, refreshed, and eager to step out to touch lives. Again the defining difference is correct doctrine. In 1995, if you went online to check out the revival in Pensacola, you would find those that were for it and those that were against it. If you were in Los Angeles in 1906, you would have found much more in the newspapers against Azusa Street than you would find for it. In 1977-78 you would have found very little against Jim Jones and Jonestown until after the suicide/massacre. But in all the instances, the people that held the Scriptures in highest esteem knew whether or not to become involved. One thing that has stood out about every revival is this: The more specific you get in doctrine, the quicker a revival dies.
Let me be very clear here. I am not saying doctrine should not be preached. What I am saying is this: A revival is not a Bible School. You should not go to a revival to learn or adopt doctrine. The predominant characteristic of the revival is what God wants to do. In the Pensacola revival, salvations and rededication to God was the main characteristic, unusual manifestations took place (and they became the focus of most media) but what God was doing was calling people back to Himself. In this current happening, it appears as though God is wanting to heal people and motivate those that have correct doctrine to begin walking it out in their daily lives.
Invariably, there will be those “posers” that want to duplicate the Lakeland Revival in their own area. First off, you can’t. If you try to duplicate the Lakeland Revival in Des Moines, it would not be the Lakeland Revival, it would be the Des Moines Revival. Every revival has its own unique characteristics. Why can’t we learn this. Why can’t we just begin to obey God help Him touch our community using our unique characteristics, instead of trying to copycat what God has done somewhere else? I have seen this tendency in everything from the healing rooms to revivals. Usually, when God has not produced through you what He has through others, you will try to capitalize on what He has done by claiming to “catch the fire” and bring it back so you can have “Lakeland” type meetings. The difference is this: The Lakeland Revival started and then the word about it spread, drawing people. What many do is this, since they have nothing going on, they go to where things are happening, then return home to claim they have the fire. So what happens is this: Instead of it starting and then the word spreading, they spread the word trying to get something to start. Jesus healed the sick and His fame spread, which brought crowds.
Today, people want to try to capitalize on the “work” of other people rather than do what the people that have manifestations did to put them in a place where Jesus can use them. I am making a point here, because I know that everything is by grace. Our “work” is to believe on Jesus. In a recent promo for a book on the supernatural, the author wrote that by reading his book you will receive an anointing to go deeper into the spirit realm. My first thought was, if I can get an anointing from a book, doesn’t it seem plausible that I could get the anointing from reading THE BOOK, the Bible?
Another aspect I have not even touched on is the fact that at times God uses some people in specifically unusual ways. We generally call these gifts. You may not walk in another person’s gift, but you can reveal Jesus to those you meet regardless of the gift you have.
To conclude, let me say that the proof of anything is in its fruit. Not everyone can or will go to Lakeland, but the Spirit of God is right where you are right now. Should you spend your time trying to get manifestations?
Yes I believe you should pursue manifestations, but not at the expense of correct doctrine. We do not have to choose between the two – they should come and operate together. By the way, pursuing “manifestations” would be called seeking, or desiring spiritual gifts. (1 CO. 12-14) But remember the manifestation of the Spirit is given TO ALL FOR THE PROFIT (ADVANCEMENT) OF THE PEOPLE, and THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Curry R. Blake runs “Healing Rooms”