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The Lakeland Series:
A Case Study in Advanced Prophetic Listening
Here We Go Again?
[Part 1A ][ Part 1B ] [ Part 1C ] [ Part 2 ] [ Part 3 ]
[ Part 4 ] [ Part 5 ] [ Part 6 ] [ Part 7 ] [ Part 8 ]
The following was my response to subsequent news of a resurgence of Holy Spirit activity through Todd Bentley at Morningstar Ministries in Fort Mill, South Carolina over a year after the wind down of the Lakeland outpouring.
January 16, 2010
I received earlier today an inquiry from Mike, one of our friends down in the Texas area, with some questions about a reported new outpouring coming out of Morningstar Ministries featuring Todd Bentley. To head this off before I get any more inquiries, I would like to share with you my response to him. I have been preoccupied with home affairs and am not in the loop on this latest report. But if such a thing is indeed occurring we have a chance to get our response to the Lord right this time.
Because of where I am at, I don’t intend to follow whatever may be going on down there. Perhaps our “on-site friend” Ray Ashmore can give us more commentary as to what is happening there as he has just been called to move to that area. Meanwhile, I will just be available to hear anything the Lord may wish to say. Let everyone seek the Lord.
Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 1:14 PM
Subject: Culture Prophecy
I want to thank you for this article [on Culture Prophecy] on your website. I believe that we have all been guilty to one degree or another of loving our nation, Israel, and our own individual states, and the prophetic words that we have spoken have not always been without mixture. I can see this clearly in the meetings that we lead with intercessors from our area. Most of the intercessors are connected with ministries that focus on the transformation of the seven mountains of our society.
The Lord is opening my eyes to a lot that is going on in the current prophetic movement.
Todd Bentley is ministering once again at Morningstar ministries. Rick Joyner has been over seeing his restoration. There are many young people that are being affected by what is being called a outpouring and a possible revival. I have some real concerns with what is going on over there. I would appreciate your input.
In His Love,
Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 5:14 PM
Subject: RE: Culture Prophecy
Thanks for writing. I am glad the Culture Prophecy article was of benefit to you. It is in my judgment one of the more important articles on the website. It should be read in conjunction with the treatise The Holy Spirit in the Church of Laodicea to get a fuller picture of the Spirit’s part in all this.
From the position of discernment I have been given, I have received the conclusion that Morningstar Ministries is at this time the leading voice of culture prophecy in this country. Rick Joyner’s concept of “restoration” is rooted in this kind of prophecy, which when thoroughly discerned out, proves to be false prophecy inasmuch as its goals are the building up of the systems (“kingdoms”) of this world. The attempted “restoration” of PTL under the name Heritage International Ministries is indeed prophetic, but only in the same way that the prophecy of the rebuilding of Jericho was prophetic. It was true, but it wasn’t a good thing. The nexus with the “restoration” of Bentley in all this magnifies the picture of what is happening. Given the record of destroyed and scattered relationships left in the wake of Bentley’s fall for which there is no evidence of reconciliation, the claim to “restoration” is extremely suspect.
But the remaining question is, if there is a reported outpouring again occurring at “PTL” under Bentley’s and Joyner’s auspices, what does it say of the Holy Spirit? A very good question indeed. Here is my answer:
When an outpouring occurs, the biggest mistake made is to judge its reality by its results in the lives of those upon whom it falls. We look at the recipients of the outpouring and say, if people come away from the outpouring as committed disciples in Christ, it is a true outpouring; but if these people prove to be flaky etc. (as Bentley proved to be) then the outpouring is false and is not from the Holy Spirit. But according to Hebrews 7, that is not a basis for right judgment in the matter. Here is what Hebrews 7:4-8 says:
4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God ; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
Verse 4 establishes the context. The passage is about those who encounter and minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. Verses 7-8 are the key verses. The Holy Spirit is described as rain, a well known type of the Spirit. The writer then describes the “ground” that the Spirit falls on as those who receive the Spirit, (in harmony with the Mt. 13, the Parable of the Sower). The ground can be either good ground bringing forth good fruit. Or it can be bad ground bringing forth the evil fruit of “thorns and thistles,” the end of which ground is to be burned, certainly a picture of hell, and agreeing with the picture of John 15:6:
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”
The point in all this is that the kind of ground that the rain falls upon and the fruit it brings forth has nothing to do with verifying whether “true rain” has fallen on it or not When we see weeds come up in a garden after a rainfall, we don’t say, “that must have been fake rain, look what it brought up.” Nor do we conclude that it was “true” rain because fruit came up. The fact is that after a rainfall, both fruit and weeds come up in the same garden. Once that happens, you simply pull out the weeds. (What applies to the Word of God applies to the Holy Spirit. If the gospel falls on bad ground and brings up thorns, we don’t conclude the gospel is false. After all, how many false Christians who “believed the gospel” have there been throughout the centuries? Similarly, neither can we judge an outpouring as “false” because of the thorns it brings up.)
The big failure in the Lakeland fiasco was not Todd Bentley, but the body of Christ’s failure to distinguish between “rain” and the “fruit of the ground.” We saw competing arguing camps. We saw the “fruit camp” and the “thorn camp.” Those who saw or partook of the fruit called the outpouring “true.” Those who saw all the thorns beginning with Bentley called it “false.” Consequently no one was in a position to truly deal with the thorns without destroying the fruit.
In my commentary on encountering the Lord at Starbuck’s, the Lord said that He would be falling again on many dubious vessels:
"So we will have to circle again? Another dubious outpouring?"
+"I am about to pour myself out on more confounding men. I have said I will pour myself out on all flesh. And I will continue to do so until all who cry for pure revival prove to Me they are capable of fixating on Me and receiving from Me without regard to the nature of those whom I choose to visit. Many of my cross-bearing people await a 'faceless' revival. Yet none have shown the ability to look past the face of the men by whom I appear in order to receive ME in spite of them."
So it should not surprise anyone for another outpouring to occur like this, though I would not have expected it so soon again and with Todd Bentley at the center again. It really doesn’t matter on whom or through whom the Spirit comes. All I will say is this. If indeed another outpouring has come, and if Todd Bentley is at the center of it, and if the culture prophetic House of Morningstar is hosting it, and if there has been no correction of this national idolatry and no true repentant reconciliation over the past failures with Lakeland, then be assured, this outpouring will cause the true fruit of that ground to spring up, and its fruit will stink “seven times” as badly as what came out of Lakeland. (Eventually, these outpourings will work the destruction of these ministries.) That’s all anyone has to know. But it does not have to stop anyone from genuinely receiving of the Holy Spirit who has a good and honest heart according to Hebrews 7:7 and the Parable of the Sower. And in the end, no matter what comes up out of the ground, we can give thanks that the rain will expose it for all to see.
Hope you find this helpful. I will continue to keep my ears open for more as the Lord gives it.
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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