|Touched by an angel - the Florida healing revival|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Sunday, 25 May 2008 17:30|
It's very late and I should be going to bed, but I have been very disturbed tonight. The Christian satellite channel GOD TV are continuing to broadcast the 'healing revival' from Florida. Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries has been leading this crusade in Florida, during which hundreds of people have claimed to be miraculously healed of various ailments and injuries. He describes this revival as a move of God, a 'third wave' after the first waves of the Toronto Airport Church and the Brownsville, Pensacola 'blessings'. During these meetings Todd Bentley claims to be able to impart his 'spiritual mantle' to other likeminded followers, who are taking this 'revival' all over the world. Churches in my own country have been affected by this. Unfortunately members of my own family are getting caught up in the hype, and I am very concerned about this. But I don't want to mention what happened, nor the experience that prompted me to write about this, for fear of causing more offence. My dad and a friend are going to visit this particular church tomorrow night to see for themselves what is going on. Dad believes the movement may be counterfeit, but he is going with an open mind. I believe it may be counterfeit from what I have heard on TV for myself and from what I have read on the internet about the movement. In one of the revival meetings broadcast on GOD TV, Todd Bentley took God's name in vain on two occasions within the space of a couple of minutes. I find it very hard to understand how a man that claims to be healing people by the power of God could blaspheme God's name. And on the internet I found more disturbing revelations about this so-called 'healing revival'. The following paragraph is Todd Bentley's own words, and appeared on his Fresh Fire website in December. Todd Bentley often claims that these 'spiritual mantles' that he is passing on to people around the world were given to him by angels...
Quote: "Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: "Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?" He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, "Bob, who is Emma?" He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out. Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, "Here's Emma." I'm not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor. It was almost like Kathryn Khulman in those old videos when she wore a white dress and looked like she was gliding across the platform. Emma appeared beautiful and young-about 22 years old-but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life.
She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began putting gold dust on people. "God, what is happening?" I asked. The Lord answered: "She is releasing the gold, which is both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that I am bringing into this church. I want you to prophecy that Emma showed up in this service-the same angel that appeared in Kansas city-as a sign that I am endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church." See, when angels come, they always come for a reason; we need to actually ask God what the purpose is. Within three weeks of that visitation, the church had given me the biggest offering I had ever received to that point in my ministry. Thousands of dollars! Thousands! Even though the entire community consisted of only three thousand people, weeks after I left the church the pastor testified that the church offerings had either doubled or tripled.
During this visitation the pastor's wife (it was an AOG church) got totally whacked by the Holy Ghost - she began running around barking like a dog or squawking like a chicken as a powerful prophetic spirit came on her. Also, as this prophetic anointing came on her, she started getting phone numbers of complete strangers and calling them up on the telephone and prophesying over them. She would tell them that God gave her their telephone number and then would give them words of knowledge. Complete strangers. Then angels started showing up in the church.
I believe Emma released a financial and prophetic anointing in that place. That was the first angel that I have ever seen in the form of a woman. Some angels I've seen seemed like they were neither male nor female. However, Emma appeared as a woman who was like a Deborah, like a mother in Zion. When she came, she began to mentor, nurture and opened up a prophetic well. The people in the church began having trances and visions and the pastor began getting words of knowledge and moving in healing. That congregation also saw more financial breakthrough than they had ever seen before.
I was at another meeting in Atlanta when my wife, Shonnah, saw two financial angels walk into the service and pour oil out on the pastor. Shonnah then knew there was financial breakthrough coming. That night two people wrote the pastor cheques for $16,000 and $17,000 and others also wrote cheques to Fresh Fire for thousands of dollars, which we used for missions to the nations. In addition, many people experienced great financial blessing as well. The day after this angelic visitation one guy had millions of dollars released to him-he had been waiting for about 10 years for this breakthrough. All this financial release came because my wife saw two financial angels walk up and stand on the platform. Can you imagine? We need to pray for the Father to give us financial angels for our lives, our church and region. With this angelic assistance, we will prevail and overcome the warfare trying to hold back our financial breakthrough. Some of you don't know how to use the angels in intercession like this. You don't even know whether it's OK or not..."
I have commented on the ministry of Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar and others before. And I have received emails from well-meaning people who believe I may be committing an unforgivable sin by attributing the work of God to the Devil. I am not saying God can't miraculously heal people. And I am not criticizing Todd Bentley's work for God if he is genuinely saved. But I am very concerned that this 'healing revival' is counterfeit, and that it is deceiving thousands if not millions of people. The Bible records many instances in which angels appeared to men. Abraham (Genesis 18:2) and Daniel (Daniel 9:21), just to name but a few. And the Bible does encourage us to entertain strangers, for by doing so, some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2). But throughout the Scriptures angels have only ever appeared to people in masculine form. So the angels that are appearing to Todd Bentley are not following the Scriptural pattern. 'Angels' do frequently appear in feminine form in the New Age movement, and in areas were the spirit of Roman Catholicism has taken hold (e.g., apparitions of 'Mary'). In the New Age, occult and eastern religions, the feminine form is considered to be very powerful and symbolic of fertility, and they will often worship a mother Goddess figure (e.g. Gaia, Ishtar, the Madonna, etc). Even Roman Catholicism has adopted these pagan practices by promoting Mary to the status of 'Co-Redemptrix', and worshipping her as the 'Queen of Heaven'. It is very disturbing, therefore, that an 'angel' should appear to a person in a feminine form. Others have found more disturbing information relating to the name used by this so-called 'angel'. Again this is also closely linked with eastern mysticism.
Quote: "Emma-O', derived from the Sanskrit Yama (see Yama), is the Japanese Buddhist Lord of Jigoku, or Hell (see Jigoku). Emma judges souls and places them in hells appropriate to their crimes. In this context there are a total of eight hells. These have been described by people who were for one reason or another released from punishment. The hells are a popular subject for Japanese scrolls. Emma's primary enemy is Jizo- (see Jizo-), always a supporter of the dead souls against Emma and usually the victor over his dark adversary. As Jizo-'s popularity has grown and Emma's diminished, Emma has become a demon.
Angels are described in the Bible as being the ministers of those who shall be the heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). And although angels may do the bidding of God (Daniel 10:11-13), they will never do anything that will bring glory to themselves. They always glorify Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:6). When the Apostle John was caught up into heaven during his vision of the apocalypse, he was so overcome by it all, he fell down at the feet of one of the angels to worship him. He got a good telling-off for it (Revelation 22:8-9). Even in the disciples' day, angel-worship was a major problem for the Church at that time, prompting Paul to devote several verses to the subject in his letter to the Colossians.
I am also deeply disturbed by the 'barking like dogs' and the 'squawking like chickens' that is being passed off as the work of the Holy Spirit in these so-called revivals. The Bible declares that God is not the author of confusion (1st Corinthians 14:33), and actually states that confusion is a result of envying and strife (James 3:16). Look at this quotation from the Fresh Fire website...
Quote: "At times our Fresh Fire meetings would become Holy Spirit chaos. I remember meetings when the power of God would fall so that during the ministry time youth were sprawled all over the floor of the basement of the Anglican Church. Some were shaking or weeping as God did a deep work in their lives. Others were laughing hysterically as the Father gave them the joy of his love. Some youth were in intercessory travail praying and crying out for souls. In other parts of the room some youth would be worshipping passionately, some would be dancing to the Lord and others would be gathered in groups prophesying over each other. It seemed that even this prophetic anointing was being caught.
Holy Spirit chaos? A prophetic anointing that can be caught like a common cold? This is not the work of the Holy Spirit. But demonic spirits can be passed on through touch. This is the work of a counterfeit spirit. There is a lot more I could say on this. What I will say is that we are now living in fearful times. God is working among the nations, but Satan is working too. The Bible declares that during the last days, men that would claim to be of God would be given powers by Satan to work all manner of miracles and lying wonders (2nd Thessalonians 2:9). And the Lord warned that during the end times, there would arise false messiahs and false prophets who would work all sorts of signs and wonders, insomuch that if it were possible, they would deceive even the genuine believers (Matthew 24:24). Thank God that according to the Greek translation, it is not possible for the genuine believers to be deceived. Even though these lying wonders are very convincing. I hope I am wrong on all of this. But I don't think I am. There is no doubt we are now living in the days the Lord warned us about. I just pray that people would realize this, and that God would protect us from the depths of Satan.
Quote: "This outpouring is not just about miracles. Thousands of leaders and pastors have received impartation. And the fire is spreading throughout the GLOBE! England, Ireland, UK, and many other locations overseas as well as here in North America with locations such as Oregon, and the East Coast.