What Was The Eschatology Behind The Lakeland Revival?
Eschatology is the study of end time events
Evangelist Todd Bentley, who led the Lakeland revival from a modest beginning to near-historic proportions, has filed for separation from his wife, a former spokesperson said on August 11, 2008, and will not return to the ongoing revival.
Lynne Breidenbach, who had been a media liaison for Bentley during the four month-long Florida Outpouring Revival, told The Ledger that Bentley announced to his staff Monday afternoon that he and his wife, Shonnah, had separated. The Bentleys have two daughters and a son and are Canadian citizens. Breidenbach, who resigned as revival spokesperson Monday, called the news of the separation “very sad.” “God uses fallen, flawed people. … This doesn’t invalidate what Todd did,” she said.
The revival began April 2 at Ignited Church in Lakeland. Bentley announced two weeks ago that he would end his regular appearances at the revival on Aug. 23 to resume his traveling evangelistic work, but he was scheduled to lead services next week. The Rev. Stephen Strader, pastor of Ignited Church, said Tuesday that he was informed three weeks ago that Bentley and his wife had been undergoing marriage counseling for a few years.
Bob Jones proclaimed the Lakeland revival to be, “The Third Wave.”
This Third Wave was mentored by the most prominent prophets, all of whom gave glowing prophecies over the Lakeland Revival and Todd Bentley.
- It was endorsed and blessed by the most prominent of the Apostles and Prophets, on stage, on camera, before multitudes.
- Now it is fading into history after lasting only four months, and becoming just one more short lived revival.
- What do these events show us about all these Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists?
- Revelation concerning the doctrines behind this movement contributed to its closing down.
Dutch Sheets has written the best synopsis I have seen on what was wrong there,
and he extends his apology and shows repentance.
I am thankful that Dutch has spoken at least this. We must learn to fear God and speak out before such harm comes to the flock. How many thousands have been harmed by this thing? How wide is the spreading of the apostasy? I pray lessons are learned.
“It has now been a couple of weeks since I heard about Todd Bentley’s plans for separation and divorce. Like everyone, I have had a variety of emotions including anger, sadness, and grief.”
“Every time I see this scenario repeated, I grieve: for the husband and wife involved; for the family that will be scarred in so many ways; because of the incredible reproach it brings to Christ; and the distortion it gives concerning God’s heart and ways. I am praying for Todd and his family.”
“Beyond the simple fact of it being appropriate, I firmly believe it is the only way to begin the process of rebuilding trust with those asked to follow us and to remove the cynicism of the world we ask to listen to us. As you know, regaining credibility is much more difficult than attaining credibility. Concerning what I’m about to say, I don’t believe I have a critical spirit, nor do I want to diminish the sacrifices, faithfulness, and hard work done by so many in ministry.”
“The fact remains, however, that we have failed the Lord and His people in many ways—not just with Lakeland but in countless other situations—and must repent if we are to be trusted in the future. And as you also know, no repentance is effective if watered down and couched in excuses, therefore, I intend to be brutally honest…”
I hope that someday Dutch Sheets will also renounce Dominionism and Preterism.
Even though the Lakeland Revival is over now, the information in this article will help you evaluate all future outbreaks of revival, however big or small they may be.
My prophetic watchman ministry compels me to look deep into the history, theology, and eschatology of ministries. Reason being, when a move of God begins, some of the doctrine will linger in the background until the excitement settles down a bit. The movement will initially manifest itself in such wonderful things as a huge number of people getting saved, and/or a huge number of people are getting miraculous healings, and even the dead are being raised. This has been going on for some time in nations such as China where the Christians are under terrible persecution, but it has been a long time since this has happened in America.
When the newness and excitement settles down some, then the teachers and preachers come on stage with the evangelists who were in the forefront of the movement. I remember this so well from the 60’s and 70’s during the beginnings of the Charismatic Movement. With great exuberance I soaked up the theology of the movement because I hardly even knew there was such a thing as the Holy Spirit. Ever sense then I have studied church history and all related subjects extensively, and am now better prepared to understand the doctrine behind movements before they even start.
Here is the major point I hope to make in this watchman letter
The thing I am on guard the most about is the theology and eschatology behind any new move of God. In any doctrinal group a hefty portion of their theology revolves around, and radiates from, their eschatology. So a major portion of their theology will only be as sound, or as erroneous as their eschatology. Let us not be naive and assume that any new move of God is going to be grounded in your or my end-time teaching. Ignorance is an unguarded door for the enemy to come through unawares.
Now I am asking, what is the eschatology of the current move of God? Is it even one you have ever heard of before? I have found that most Christians have never heard the word “Preterist” before, yet we are surrounded by them. They may be in your denomination and your church, and you really do need to know what they teach.
The end-time events include the coming of the antichrist, the 7 year tribulation, the Second Coming, and Christ ruling during the 1000 years of peace…if you are a Premillennialist. But if you are a Preterist or a postmillennialist you don’t believe in any of these prophesied events.
Here are some doctrinal groups you need to defend yourself from:
Some of the most popular Charismatic leaders are
Amillennialists or Postmillennialists, and are leading
their followers into these controversial doctrines:
Amillennialists say that the Second Coming, the Antichrist reign, and the tribulation all took place in the era of AD 70 when General Titus destroyed the temple and marched Judea into captivity, and we have been in a none-literal millennium ever since AD 70. They call themselves Preterists. Many Preterists teach Replacement Theology and Dominion Theology. Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage in A.D. 248 -258, was among the first church fathers to use the allegorical method to interpret the Bible, a concept that was used by St. Augustine in the fourth century to develop the beginnings of Preterism, and has been the essential position of the Roman Catholic Church ever since. But it was the Spanish Jesuit Luis De Alcazar (1554-1613), who wrote a 900 page commentary called Investigation of the Hidden Sense of the Apocalypse, that developed it further. Do you think this doctrine is heretical or just in error?
Postmillennialists say that the Second Coming can not take place until the end of the millennium when every human has been led to Christ (allegorically understood to just mean “a long time” and not a literal 1,000 years). They call themselves Historists. Many Historists also teach Replacement Theology and Dominion Theology. Do you think this doctrine is heretical or just in error?
Premillennialists are called Futurists because we say that the antichrist will come on the scene sometime in the future at the onset of the great tribulation period, and that the Second Coming will take place at the beginning of the millennium. Premillennialism and literal scriptural interpretation dominated the first two centuries of the Church Fathers.
To the extent that you take the scriptural text literally, you will be driven to a premillennial point of view. To the extent you are willing to treat the text symbolically or allegorically, you will drift toward the amillennial perspective, rationalizing these promises in figurative terms. Discovering that God says what He means, and means what He says –literally– raises the fog of diffidence and energizes the most exciting adventure of anyone’s lifetime! The three major Premillennialist groups are the pre-tribulation, the mid-tribulation, and post-tribulation rapture groups. Few Futurists teach Replacement Theology and Dominion Theology.
Replacement Theology teaches that the Church has replaced Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian Church, not in Israel. Scripture makes it clear there are separate promises to both, and at times they overlap. (see Romans 11) So, the prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are “allegorized” into promises of God’s blessing for the Church. To give away land God has given to Israel is to bring the judgment of Isaiah 55 upon us. In Genesis 12:1-3 God placed this blessing over the land that was to become Israel: Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Do you think this doctrine is heretical or just in error?
Dominion Theology, also known as kingdom now theology or the manifest sons of God teaching, has permeated this branch of Christendom. They teaches that the Gospel of Salvation is achieved by setting up the “Kingdom of God” as a literal and physical kingdom to be “advanced” on Earth in the present age. Some Dominionists liken the New Testament Kingdom to the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom. Dominionists teach that men can be coerced or compelled to enter the kingdom. They assign to the Church duties and rights that belong Scripturally only to Jesus Christ. This includes the esoteric belief that believers can “incarnate” Christ and function as His body on Earth to establish His kingdom rule. An inordinate emphasis is placed on man’s efforts; the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is diminished.
Dominion Theology says the church will completely Christianize and rule the world (i.e., a one world government? with its one world religion, industry, education, army, etc) before Jesus can return (the Second Coming) to rule the world. As I understand this doctrine, they are saying there will not be a great tribulation period or an Antichrist whom the book of Revelation says will become a One World dictator for a brief time in history. There will only be Christian super leaders who (in unity of the spirit with all believers) conquer the world for Christ. And then Jesus will come again. Dominionism is always an aberration of true Christian theology. Do you think this doctrine is heretical or just in error?
Dominion mandate by control
Dominion theology is predicated upon three basic beliefs: 1) Satan usurped man’s Dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve; 2) The Church is God’s instrument to take Dominion back from Satan; 3) Jesus cannot or will not return until the Church has taken Dominion by gaining control of the earth’s governmental and social institutions.* [emphasis added]
One of the Scriptures most quoted by Restoration preachers is Matthew 7:1 “”Judge not, that ye be not judged.” In their view, it is especially imperative that people not judge teachers, regardless of doctrine. We are to let Jesus judge them.
They totally ignore the context of Matthew 7:1, which implies hypocritical judgment, not the judgment necessary to preserve the purity of the tFaith. We are often exhorted by Scripture to judge not those outside the Body of Christ, but those inside the Body of Christ, including teachers (1 Corinthians 5:12, 6:5; John 7:24).
A favorite cry of Restorationists —-indeed of all dominionists—- is, “Touch not God’s anointed!” This, someone has correctly said, is “the last refuge of religious tyrants” —-those who fear their teachings and lives will not stand the test of biblical scrutiny. Their clergy-laity mentality recoils at the truth that all of God’s people are His anointed. And many are being “touched” to their detriment by these religious tyrants. (pg. 73-74)
Al Dager, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion
* Al Dager, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion (Sword Pub., 1990), p. 87. This book is a historical “encyclopedia” of the history of modern dominionism, clearly demarking the various sects. Dager approaches the subject from a Christian perspective. http://www.discernment-ministries.org.
The most published author of Dominion Theology books is the well known Charismatic theologian, Peter Wagner. In his latest book, titled: DOMINION! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World, he states that he is a Partial Preterist and a strong advocate of Dominion Theology. Wagner said his eschatological views became clarified when he read Victorious Eschatology by Harold Eberle and Martin Trench. He feels that Victorious eschatology fits Dominion theology like a hand in a glove. Eberle and Trench say, “Before Jesus returns, the Church will rise in glory, unity, and maturity. The Kingdom of God will grow and advance until it fills the Earth.”
In some versions of this concept, the manifest Sons of God will already have perfected new Kingdom-bodies, and they will be able to stride across the earth with the power of gods. The manifest sons will have a “Joshua Generation” or “Caleb generation” as followers, the faithful few whom God will greatly empower. The manifest sons and Joshua generation would exercise Dominion over society, establish the Kingdom, complete the Church, and (a few even whisper) perhaps even complete Jesus, who up until their success is a head without a Body. The organized bodies of Christianity (denominations, seminaries, interchurch agencies, most Para church groups, and most especially the Roman Catholic Church), so Dominion theory goes, are controlled by the spirit of the Anti-Christ and thus will be among the first to be vanquished by the new order. This doctrine is know as: The Restoration Movement, Third Wave, New Wave, Latter Rain, Christian Reconstruction and Manifest Sons of God.
Amongst Southern Baptist theologians, Rick Warren has single-handedly accomplished more to bring about a public convergence between the three sects of dominionism than any other individual. Warren received his doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary under the tutelage of his advisor, C. Peter Wagner of the spiritual warfare Dominionists. Warren has audaciously called for a “Second Reformation” based upon his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan, which is a study in dominionism.
No matter how much we read in the Bible about how Christ and the early church were totally unconcerned with getting control and power over the world or the nation, or even their own villages, we can’t get this conquest stuff out of our heads. Christ’s followers were not called to seek dominion, they were called to serve and love.
As you have surmised, I have been alluding to
the Lakeland Revival in Florida
All pre-millennial views are probably less than perfect (as we are), but at least they are not heretical. Yes, I believe that Replacement Theology and Dominion Theology and all their sister doctrines are heretical, meaning these doctrines depart from the basic fundamental tenets of the faith.
While I believe God is healing and saving people, and Todd Bentley has a great gift of faith, and has a strong stage presence, I am very uncomfortable with his “heavenly visits” and elaborations on colors, tattooing his arms recently, and piercing his body. But it is Todd’s mentor, Bob Jones and Bob’s fellow Dominionists, that is my major concern. Looking beyond the serious error of Bob Jones’ thing with angels, I find endless references to him being a long-time practitioner of Latter Rain, Manifest Sons theology, and Kingdom Now Theology, all of which are part of the Replacement and Dominion Theology defined here. It is clear to me that Bob Jones is in the background fathering this movement and mentoring Todd Bentley.
Peter Wagner endorses Todd Bentley
To see the ceremony click on June 23 on God TV
“Participating leaders at the ceremony included [C. Peter] Wagner; Ché Ahn, pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif.; John Arnott of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship in Canada; Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif.; and Rick Joyner, founder of MorningStar Ministries in Charlotte, N.C.” See it at http://youtube.com/watch?v=nVdY9ufJmz8&feature=related
What is the spirit behind the Dominionist heresy
I have been in the Charismatic movement since January 1965 — over 40 years. In that time I have seen a lot of doctrines and streams come and go, or just change. An observation I have made in my 71 years is that where there is a wrong spirit, other wrong spirits will be attracted. Whatever the unclean spirit is at the top of the organization, it will attract other unclean spirits all the way down the chain of command or association, whether in secular, political, or religious organizations. The same thing is true of heresies, there is always a spirit or spirits behind every heresy. So, when there is one heresy in a theological doctrine, other heresies will attach themselves throughout that doctrinal group.
As I see it, Dominionism is a heresy often found within the Preterist heresy, and the driving unclean spirit behind Dominionism is an arrogant spirit of power, domination, manipulation, and control … the spirit of witchcraft. Various forms of Dominionism can also be found among some Partial Preterists, Postmillennialists and even Premillennialists (such as Pat Robertson and Mike Bickle).
Dominion theology is not new. Its modern roots go back to William Branham in the late 1940’s. The teaching was essentially dormant for a time but began to be resurrected in the 1980’s and now influences a major segment of the Christian population through teachers like Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, Paul Cain, Francis Frangipane, Jill Austin, Kim Clement and literally a host of others. It is interesting to note that a lot of so-called “Calvinests” have no idea that John Calvin was Postmillennial and a Dominionist. Calvin was not a Calvinest, and most certainly not a hyper Calvinest. It is wise to learn the origins of doctrines in order to protect ourselves from error.
Do a Bible search on “witchcraft” to see what I mean (2 Kings 21:6, 2 Chronicles 33:6). I see New Age practices and fleshly lusts and perversions in some of the prominent leaders behind this movement. Do a Google or Yahoo search on Bob Jones and Todd Bentley and you will find a dozen sites documenting these things. God isn’t deceived and knows what He’s doing. He allows things to happen because we do. It takes being honest in our research of the uncompromising Word, the whole council of God.
Speaking the truth in love
In the Revelation we are warned that, if possible, even the very elect may be deceived. It occurs to me that if the deception arose within the elect’s own ranks, it could go unrecognized. Or maybe they are pressured to keep silent about it by misusing the Scripture in 1 Chronicles that says “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.”
21 He permitted no man to oppress them,
And He reproved kings for their sakes, saying,
22 “Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”
23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
If we are truly born of the Spirit, then we all are God’s anointed ones, and sometimes God calls upon one prophet to correct (but not harm) another prophet. In the New Testament we see Paul correcting Peter and other apostles without doing their ministries any harm…he recognized their calling. But Paul confronted false prophets entirely differently.
So, IF both are TRUE prophets, and one prophet tries to silence the other with this verse, that prophet is not recognizing the anointing of the other prophet, and is guilty of the very thing he is accusing the other of.
But IF one of them is a FALSE prophet and has an unclean spirit, then the other prophet will need to do more than bring correction. Rebuke and deliverance is in order because he/she is indeed a false prophet. These verses tell us there are in fact false prophets, and that we are to “test the spirits to see if they are from God” or not.
For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2 Peter 2:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1
For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness
2 Cr 11:13
The biblical charge to boldly speak the truth (e.g., Philippians 1:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:2) has been subrogated to the “never speak critically” mantras of the Rick Warren’s purpose-driven church covenants (e.g., Don’t complain, don’t cause problems, eat the chicken and spit out the bones, prefer our leaders to ourselves). These verses gives me the right to speak the truth, but I also must speak the truth in love, as expressed in verse 15 of Ephesians 4:11-16.
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Dr. Dobson calls that, “Tough love.”
Petty issues have been a plot of the devil to divide us. God wants us unified, connected and moving together in power, but He also wants us to not only be free of heresy, He expects us to warn the flock when a wolf is amongst us. This is not a petty issue or holding a grudge, it is simply holding to the true Word of God … speaking the truth in love.
Do you see the need to know the eschatology
behind this move of God yet?
If you were to plot a course from Los Angeles to Guam and your calculations are off by ½ a degree you will miss the island so badly that you won’t even see the island as you pass by it— unto destinations unknown. We all rejoice over whoever is truly saved, or receives an actual healing, but what concerns me is the unclean spirit of Dominion Theology lurking in the background of this revival. Being off by a small degree can land this revival off target by a million miles unless some repentance and repair is done, and done soon.
Please pray for Todd, asking for God to open his eyes to what needs correction. His heart is right, it is primarily the misguided mentoring that is throwing him off course, and therefore the whole movement. Pray for Bob Jones. I am at a loss as to how to pray for him … just pray as Father leads you.
Our Lord who is omnipresent
Every so often, we hear reports of some sort of ‘out pouring’ of the Holy Spirit. Or perhaps it’s worded as “God breaking out.” Those are encouraging reports. We can give thanks for each person who comes to Christ and each person who is healed by His saving grace.
My concern is that we are failing to accurately describe our Lord who is omnipresent. As David writes in Psalm 139, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?”
Or as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? ”If the Holy Spirit dwells inside those who are in Christ, why do we try to assign a location for the Holy Spirit to show up? Isn’t He already here, wherever believers are?
I pray we will truly repent for making idols of signs and wonders instead of faithfully proclaiming the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And His name is Jesus!
The end-time events prophesied in the Bible include the coming of the antichrist, the 7 year tribulation, the Second Coming, and Christ ruling during the 1000 years of peace…if you are a Premillennialist. But if you are a Preterist or Historist you don’t believe in any of these prophesied events.
Here is a related article on this website you will want to read. THE NEW “APOSTOLIC REFORMATION” DECEPTION, by Todd Tomasella.
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Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their
own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Our statement of faith can be seen at
A Vision given to Swarna Jha
“The People of God Will Sniff”
In these days of rampant deceptions, God understands the needs of His people
who are constantly begging Him to keep them safe from lies and the falsities that abound.
Reference material readers have sent to us.
Read at your own discretion.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/From_The_Edge-Alerts/message/8408 Swarna Jha vision
Concerning this last link: Can you picture in your mind Jesus kicking old ladies in the face with a biker boot? If Jesus is our model, does this speak of Him? And which of the fruit of the Spirit is on display while the old lady worshiping God is kicked in the face in his name? And people were laughing in the audience as he bragged about it. What spirit is in operation here? A personal friend of my wife was at one of Todd Bentley’s meetings, and he hit her … and she fell … and it really hurt. At this time anyhow, she won’t go to another meeting of his.
The connection between Dominionism, the Emergent church, and Buddhism.
In the preparing for the times we are coming into (or are accelerating into) it is important to understand what preparing spiritually really means. Bible prophecy warns us again and again that deception and the false will define and rule the hour.
Lora and I have been listening to Pastor Bob DeWaay show how the Emergent church and Dominionism are related and have a variation of the same eschatology. Yet it is almost impossible to get the leaders in these deceptions (Emergent and Dominionism) to ever state clearly what their eschatology is. Whatever they ARE they are NOT Pre-millennial (second coming before the millennium starts). Every theology revolves around its eschatology.
Dominionist “apostles” tell us that “unity in the Spirit” means us being in unity with THEM, otherwise we are in rebellion. Dominionist and Emergent leaders say the world is getting better and eventually their apostles will have dominion of all mankind (the one world church), then and only then will Jesus manifest Himself and rule the world. Towards the end when 90% or so of the world is Christianized and under their dominion, then it will become necessary for them to speed up and finalize the process by elimination those who have not come into the fold … meaning you and me who must be “removed” for the sake of the whole. Interestingly enough, the Koran and the New Agers (and the Catholic Encyclopedia) also say that. But Dominionism originated in Romanism and that is what the Inquisition was all about … Dominionism. It makes you wonder if they are in league somehow.
Please listen to some of the sermons and interviews by Pastor Bob DeWaay at http://www.cicministry.org . He is very scholarly and very Evangelical … and Premillennial. He does an excellent job of showing the history, the origins, the proponents of these deceptions, and showing you quotes from these people so there can be no question as to whether he is telling the truth.