Felicitations and Blessings!
Before we begin today, let me say that I've marveled at
some of the response to K-E XXXIII. With a one-paragraph reference to
Todd Bentley and the religious reaction to his personal problems, some folks
have taken personal offense. Some simply reacted with a How dare you call me religious attitude, and even a few
longtime subscribers decided to unsubscribe from the Coffee Breaks. I
feel badly for people who react like this.
Let's be clear. In no way do we condone or support the alleged sins, nor do we believe in mushy-gushy,
sloppy Agape that whitewashes everything saying it'll all be OK.
At the same time, there is no place in God's economy which
gives us the right to pass judgment on the man or to speak evil of him.
Neither is there any place in God's Word which permits Christians to speak evil
of the ministry Todd has engaged in or to demonize and call "demonic"
the miracles, the signs and wonders that took place with
Whewww!! Didn't mean to get off to such a tough start like that,
but some of God's people are in serious danger with their attacks on people in
ministry, and it is incumbent upon me to call their attention to this error
lest they suffer severe judgment!
So! Pull up a chair, set a spell, pour yourself a
good, strong cup of today's Double-Roasted French, maybe even sneak a
"vitamin" or two -- Shhhhh.....don't tell
Della I said that -- and let's get started.
This may not seem like it has anything to do with
My father was a friend to A. A. Allen and spoke highly of
his ministry. When the Assemblies of God (of which Dad was a part)
accepted a police report that Allen had been arrested for DUI and subsequently
paid the fine rather than contest the arrest, they disassociated themselves
with him and removed his ordination papers. Dad was shocked. I can
still see his reaction in my memory today. When the news of the
Assemblies' decision to disassociate from Allen reached Dad, his reaction and
comment to me was, "This was wrong! Brother Allen is not a
drinker. This simply cannot be!"
In fact John Torell, who was A.
A. Allen's associate and traveling companion for the last six years of his life
wrote, "Bro. Allen drove
from the motel in Knoxville, to the auditorium each night, accompanied by Bro.
Rogers, and one or two others of the team. Since Allen did not eat before
the service, he stopped at a local cafe on the way, to have a glass of milk.
This particular evening in question, he remarked to Rogers, "Rog, that milk tasted funny". . .
Allen was then "ticketed" for DUI, and given
a citation and allowed to proceed. He went to the auditorium
, conducted the meetings, and in the following days newspaper, the
headlines screamed, "Evangelist Allen arrested for drunk
Allen and Rogers both told me this story. . . and
that Allen simply "paid the ticket" and went on,
rather than interrupt the schedule of meetings. They both felt that the goal of
the "vendetta" was to "stop the Allen
meetings." When the denomination demanded that
Allen "stop his ministry", he refused, and "went
independent." That meant an end to the large "tithe" they
had been receiving, so they continued to attempt to "blackball" the
Allen ministry. Torell's entire report is available at (http://www.eaec.org/TruthAboutAAAllen.htm).
Despite the Washington Post's (6-20-1970) lurid report of
Allen's death "due to acute alcoholism and liver failure," the San
Francisco Medical Examiner's report stated (and noted on the death certificate)
that A. A. Allen died of a heart attack.
Why am I bringing this up, now? Because it is
illustrative of a feeding frenzy demonically driven to rip apart and destroy
those who minister in the realm of the miraculous. I can think of no
prominent miracle-preaching evangelist in the past 50 or 60 years who has not
been ridiculed and attacked, and whose miracles of healing and deliverance have
not been questioned and supposedly disproven.
The same is true of the ministry of William Branham whose
phenomenal prophetic accuracy and operation in the Gift of Knowledge has rarely
been seen in modern times. The miracles that accompanied his ministry
were nothing less than stunning! Though I never had the opportunity to be
in any of his meetings in person, I have seen several films and heard
recordings of his services.
Yet much has been written to discredit Branham's ministry
in the years since his death in an auto accident. The same is true of
others who have followed in the footsteps of Branham, Allen, Coe and Oral Roberts.
Mention these names in religious circles and see if you don't get some negative
comment or raised eyebrow. What gets left out in the process is that
these men of God were just that: men -- fallible human beings whom God trusted
and commissioned to preach and to demonstrate His power and authority.
Did they fail? Did they have faults and
shortcomings? Did they miss it in some instances with their doctrinal
understanding? Probably. So what?
Why is it that folks want to focus on the shortcomings and personal failures of
those in ministry?
The answer is simple. Satan's purpose is to divide
and conquer. His objective is to discredit people in ministry, and
especially those who display the miraculous. If a man or woman by faith
walks into the dimension of healing, creative miracles, deliverance from evil
spirits, raising the dead and other signs and wonders, he or she is an
immediate threat to Satan's hold over people. If there is any place of
failing in them, if there is any succumbing to the flesh in any area, you can
be sure Satan will pounce on it and make every effort to bring them down and
discredit any miracles or deliverances that have been a part of their ministry.
It is a sad and unfortunate truth that people in ministry
fail. I am celebrating my Year of Jubilee in ministry this year -- my
fiftieth year of preaching the Gospel. Have I failed? Have I fallen
flat more than once? Have I preached error? Have I missed it?
I wish I could say NO, but the fact is I have failed -- and in a few instances,
my failures have been very public.
The beauty of it all is the grace of God. What was
it that the apostle Peter wrote? "Above all things, have intense
and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins --
forgives and disregards the offenses of others." (I Peter 4:8 Amplified Version)
We likewise read in Proverbs 10:12, "Hatred stirs up contentions, but love covers all
The grace and mercy of God, and His love for me, have
brought correction into my life when I have failed and picked me back up when
my screw-ups have laid me out. Though there certainly were brethren --
and especially brethren in ministry -- who roasted me publicly and did
everything they could to discredit my labors, the Lord surrounded me (and
Della) with people who ministered nothing but love in the midst of God's
correction. My own personal failings and subsequent victory over those
failings has given me much grace for others in similar situations.
Let's look in that same chapter in Proverbs and consider
two other verses as a preface to where we need to take this discussion.
"The wise in heart will accept and obey commandments,
but the foolish of lips will fall headlong." (verse
"He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only
himself] in the way of life, but is a way of life for others. And he who
neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray, but causes to err
and is a path toward ruin for others." (verse 17 Amplified Version)
Back in June of this year during the height of the
Lakeland Outpouring, Dr. Peter Wagner (Revival Alliance) received a number of
reports from ministers and ministries he respected concerning some questionable
things that were taking place in connection with Todd Bentley. Though he
did not personally know Todd, some of his fellow-apostles and prophets
did. They felt to approach Todd and see if he would be willing to submit
to apostolic authority.
Though Todd's ministry, Fresh Fire Ministries, was
certainly a well-organized ministry, and he had a number of very well-seasoned
brethren (among them, Eli Miller, whom I've met in years past) on his board of
directors, he had never personally submitted to what we would refer to as "apostolic
authority." Todd agreed to Peter's (and Revival Alliance's) covering
and submitted to their counsel.
Within a month, it became clear that there were issues of
the flesh that Todd was struggling with and things in his life that needed
immediate attention lest he become another in the long list of Satan's
victims. No one wanted to see the Lakeland Outpouring become discredited
by the Enemy because of Todd's personal failings. Todd's family was out
of order, and his personal life behind the scenes in disarray. He was in
need of correction.
Peter Wagner, Che Ahn and other apostolic brothers told Todd he needed to
step down from Fresh Fire Ministries, that he needed to step out of public
ministry altogether and that Lakeland would continue without his
involvement. They required of him that he submit to counsel and that he
and his wife seek to resolve their issues with each other. Todd agreed,
knowing in himself that if he did not submit everything around him would come
As it stands today, Todd and Shonna
Bentley are undergoing counseling. Where it all lands depends on many
factors -- not the least of which is their individual responses to what the
Holy Spirit is saying. I believe they will come out of this all the
stronger spiritually -- and wiser, to be sure -- as a result of receiving
In the meantime, despite the controversy, the Lakeland
Outpouring continues. Peter Wagner has labeled the Outpouring like this
(and I agree): the Todd Bentley period is
It is important to realize that just because there were
displays of flesh during
As Rory and Wendy Alec at GOD TV have noted, "Over the past twelve years, but especially since our
launch in America, we have in obedience to the Lord searched through the earth
for those events and anointings that the Lord has
laid on our hearts â� to amplify their message and anointing to the Body of
Christ in this crucial endtime
hour that we live in. The Lakeland Outpouring with Todd Bentley was
one of those events. We received over 45 000 e-mails many, many of these heart
rending, powerful testimonies from viewers across the earth of their bodies or
their families bodies healed, their lives transformed and their hearts
revived. None of us have ever seen such significant fruit in all the
years of broadcast.
Todd ministered each day as the revival continued but was
consistently and unrelentingly criticized, maligned, persecuted - the attacks
grew increasingly violent - and the heartbreaking thing was that so much of it
came from the Church. At the same time, Todd was facing a second wave of
attack. This was from the covens, the warlocks - we heard firsthand concerning
some of these assignments. The enemy had heard of the great honoring of the
Lamb and was determined to destroy it - BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE
And the cost was Todd Bentley.
Was it because Todd was vulnerable and certain areas of
his life were not surrendered wholly? Yes – like so many of us - in all
Was it because the character of Christ was not yet formed
in him in the equivalent measure to his gifting? Yes - like so many of us - in
Could it be the case that there by the grace of God go YOU
Both Della and Mary Ellen spent a week in
More importantly, however, she saw tens of thousands of
people who were there for one purpose: to worship the Lord Jesus Christ and to
receive all that He has for them. The spirit of worship in the place was,
in Della's words, "like being in the very presence of the Lord Jesus
Christ Himself." The miracles were real. The healings were
To refer to the Lakeland Outpouring -- and particularly,
They don't need for the body of Christ to kill them off
because they've been wounded on the front lines of a vicious and ferocious
spiritual battle. The "church" has sadly been labeled as the
only army that kills its wounded instead of picking
them up and ministering to them. This has been the pattern of many
throughout the centuries. I don't need to revisit the past other than to
point out that what has happened with Todd Bentley is no different than what
has happened with other prominent leaders in just the past 25 years.
What should -- and MUST -- differentiate us from the rest
of the world is what Jesus said, "I give you
a new commandment, that you should love one another; just as I have loved you,
so you too should love one another. By this shall all men know that you
are my disciples, if you love one another -- if you keep on showing love among yourselves." (John
13:34-35 Amplified Version)
If you want to prosper in the physical, material world,
you must first prosper in the spiritual world.
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no
painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs
10:22) Be blessed!
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
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