The Shame Continues

Well for months I have been preaching and writing about the need for caution regarding a so-called “revival” going on in Lakeland, Florida. Many big names have declared it to be both “God” and a revival. My small voice of warning seemed lost in the wilderness of unknown, little ministry, western prairies.

My warning was simple: character before charisma (gifts) and objective (God’s Word) before subjective (experiences, visions, angels, dreams, winds, dead saints speaking, third heaven visits…) and, of course, correct theology and application of Bible verses and principles. Just your typical Ralph Howe and his “negative bend” on things.

Well, the Canadian heading it all up has passed the baton on to his juniors. His wife has been granted a separation. Even those involved in his leadership team and the host pastor handled this badly. They have known for 10 days this was going to happen – rumor got out about it – people asked about the situation – they lied – sorry, didn’t speak the whole truth (want to be politically correct).

And so much for accountability. Only 6 weeks ago most of the big names in the apostolic and prophetic realm – most self-appointed and with shaky theology and really wacko teachings and writings – went to Lakeland and ordained Todd Bentley a “five-fold evangelist” to lend credibility to the “revival” and his ministry. It is not a revival by any classic Christian or Church definition and it is obvious that they were clueless about what was going on in his personal life and with some of the basic character issues. So much for discernment and accountability.

Will we ever learn? Character is important. Accountability is of paramount importance. Submission and humility are key to real revival. Hype, smoke and mirrors, theatrics, playing to the cameras of “God-TV” worldwide will never do the work of God on the Earth. Don’t need it – we have God’s Word as our only standard and the baptism in the Holy Spirit giving us power and supernatural gifts. We certainly do not need mega-superstars who people flock to … we have what we need. Jesus as Lord and Saviour and both the Word and the Spirit of God.

Maybe if believers were busy out reaching the lost as God commands we do then we would have less time to head to these “hotspots” and would actually experience real revival.

6 replies
  1. Treda
    Treda says:

    We are warned of false prophets in the last days. I have heard a few different prophets say the opposite things, such as; There will be a great revival, verses, there wont be a great revival. When I see these people doing these great signs and wonders, the only thing that comes to my mind is what the bible says about people who claim to do all of this for the Lord and yet He says, “I never knew you”. I just wonder if these are the ones He was talking about.

    Reply
  2. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Treda,

    The Bible states that in the last days people’s love will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). The word “love” in this verse is “agape”. This is referring to God’s love which He places only into believers when they are saved (Romans 5:5).

    So, in the last days the Christians will ‘fall out of love’ with the Lord and fall away. However, the Lord is patient, Peter tells us (2 Peter 3:9) and is working hard at seeing many saved before He returns for His Church and begins His 1,000 year reign. So, there will also be a great harvest of new believers.

    Yes, it could be that what we are witnessing is those Jesus spoke of in Matthew’s Gospel who do miracles, signs, and wonders but to whom Jesus said: “Get away from Me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23) . In other words, they never had an intimate relationship which is the most basic definition of eternal life (John 17:3).

    However, they may also be false prophets and apostles whom Jesus warned us about. They will, in the end times, do real miracles, signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24). The way we will tell the different between a false and a true apostle is character – not miralces, signs and wonders. So, some of what we are witnesing may be false aposltes, prophets and teachers who are doing true miracles, sings, and wonders. That is why it is important to know the person ministering (character), to check everything they say and teach to the Bible, and “test the spirit” as John’s letter states we should (1 John 4:1).

    Hope this helps some inm sorting out what is happening!

    Reply
  3. Sue
    Sue says:

    I have had nagging doubts about this Lakeland Revival as well. I have not been able to explain it, it was just this little warning sign in my spirit that some things just didn’t appear right. Since the services are not closed captioned I do not understand what is being said, but I do understand the spirit. Thank you for being true to yourself and expressing what maybe a lot of people are feeling and are thinking that maybe they are wrong and out of wack with things. I appreciate being able to trust that you will speak out what you see and feel and you will explain why so that we can make our own decisions. I will not trust what someone says unless there is a witness in my spirit. I wish everyone would be more careful.

    Reply
  4. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi Sue,

    You hit the key point – listen and weigh what is being said and written and then “make our own decision” trusting the witness of the Holy Spirit in our spirit.

    If we will feed on God’s Word every day – our daily bread – then our spirit will be much more discerning. Along with this – ask others we trust as there is em>“wisdom in a multitude of counsellors” . We would then make quality decisions and protect ourselves from harm.

    It is also important to be active, committed and submitted within a local church structure. This offers good protection for God’s sheep.

    Blessings!

    Reply
  5. Bruce Wonch
    Bruce Wonch says:

    Be guided by the written Word of the Lord first and foremost in all things. Using this to evaluate any “spiritual happening” will show it for what it truly is — either legitimate or false. Using God’s Written Word as your Guide, you can’t go wrong! This is the best way to judge revivals, prophetic words, etc.

    Reply
  6. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi Bruce,

    So good to hear from you. And, you are right. The problem seems to be in the way that the Word of God is understoo, interpreted and applied. It seems the Church has failed to teach the Lord’s disciples how to accurately and properly handle the Word of Truth.

    There are some great books out to help believers understand both the Word and the application of that Word. The best two are:

    1> Living By the Book by Howard Hendricks and William Hendricks
    2> How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

    The tools are out there and easily available. Now, all we need is the initative to do something so this problem of understanding, interpretation and apllication gets solved.

    Reply

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