|A Scriptural analysis of the Florida Healing Outpouring|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Sunday, 01 June 2008 05:32|
When the disciples asked the Lord what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age, His first words to them were ones of warning. "Take heed that no man deceive you, For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many", Matthew 24:4-5. These words might have come as a surprise to the disciples. Why did the Lord take the time to warn them against being deceived before even beginning to answer their question? We would do well to consider these words of warning as the time of the Lord's return draws near.
The Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples of a coming day in which false messiahs (or 'anointed ones') and false prophets would rise up, performing great signs and wonders, and would deceive many people (Matthew 24:24). The Lord said that these signs and wonders would be so convincing that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the genuine believers. The Apostle Peter also warned that just as there were false prophets among the nation of Israel, so false teachers would rise up among the Church (2nd Peter 2:1-3). These false teachers would secretly bring in damnable heresies, even going so far as denying the Lord Jesus Christ, and would make merchandise of their followers through their smooth words. I believe we are now living in the days the Lord spoke of.
With the advent of satellite television and the Internet, great opportunities have opened up for the proclamation of the Gospel. But just as there is great opportunity to enlighten people to the truth of God's Word, there is also great opportunity to deceive. You wouldn't buy a second-hand car from a dishonest salesman. Then why are so many Christians prepared to accept dodgy doctrine from false teachers? Paul said of the Bereans that they were more noble than the Jews of Thessalonica, because they "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so", Acts 17:10-11. Paul commended the Bereans because they weren't prepared to just to take his word for it, they searched the Scriptures daily to see whether he was telling them the truth. The Scriptures are the litmus test of truth. If anything doesn't match up with what the Word of God teaches, we can safely reject it. And so we hold the 'Florida Healing Revival' up to the light of the Scriptures to see whether this is a 'move of God' or not.
The roots of the movement
In an unprecedented move, the managers of GOD TV cancelled their busy programming schedule in order to cover what they believe to be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a church in Lakeland, Florida. The services are being broadcast across the world through satellite television and the Internet. Many people are coming forward claiming to have been healed of all sorts of ailments. People are claiming that revival has broken out in America, and that it is spreading across the globe. But what is the driving force behind this revival? To find that out, we must first examine where this movement began.
Todd Bentley believes that this movement is the "third wave" of revival following the outbreaks at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church in Canada, and the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida. The 'Toronto Blessing', as it has come to be known, broke out at the Toronto Airport Church in January, 1994. Randy Clarke, a pastor of a Vineyard Church in St Louis, Missouri, met with a man called Rodney Howard-Browne in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after having been inspired by his ministry. Rodney Howard-Browne claims to be the father of the 'laughing revival', in which members of his congregation would suddenly burst out into uncontrollable fits of laughter while he is preaching from the Scriptures. Browne has been afflicted with the phenomenon himself on occasion, and believes it to be a manifestation of the presence of God. John Arnott, a senior pastor at the Toronto Airport Church, invited Randy to speak at one of his meetings. Both pastors were surprised after members of the congregation began to laugh hysterically, cry, leap, dance and roar like lions after hearing Randy preach. They put it down to a move of the Spirit of God, which has since spread throughout the world.
The revival at the Brownsville Assembly of God in 1995 was an offshoot of the Toronto Blessing in Canada the previous year. Several leaders in Brownsville had visited Toronto shortly before the outbreak in their own church. Just weeks prior to the outpouring at Brownsville, Pastor John Kilpatrick sent his wife to visit the Toronto Airport Church to experience what was going on there. During a trip to England in January 1995, Hill received an 'impartation' from Pastor Sandy Millar of Holy Trinity Brompton Anglican Church, a man who has done much to spread the Toronto spirit in this country. Steve Hill had also visited Toronto on several occasions. Just a few months later revival was to break out in Brownsville following one of Steve's sermons. During a time of prayer, Kilpatrick claimed that God told him that if he would turn his church into a "house of prayer", He would pour out His Spirit on the congregation. He said he was told that this revival would "catch on across the nation", and eventually spread throughout the entire United States of America. During these prayer meetings, Kilpatrick said he would often weep and shake uncontrollably and felt a strange sensation in his stomach, which he attributed to the presence of God. Kilpatrick's grandmother had died several weeks before the revival broke out, and he had asked Steve Hill to preach on Father's Day. When Kilpatrick entered the church the night before the meeting, he felt an unusual presence, and said it was as if he had walked into "the front cutting edge of the glory of God that God was about to send to Brownsville on Father's Day". He said, "When I walked into it… it just took my breath. I had chill bumps instantly that hurt... I mean hair on my arms and legs was standing out, you know, and they hurt!" After the Father's Day service, Steve Hill opened the altar for prayer and 1000 people came forward to pray. As they were praying, Kilpatrick said that he heard a noise like a "rushing mighty wind" pass over his right shoulder. As he turned to look over his shoulder, his ankles slipped and his knees bowed out, and he felt like a "river of the glory of God" was flowing through his legs. "It felt like a telephone pole," he said. "An endless telephone pole was coming through my legs and it was coming in the church". Kilpatrick then leaped into the pulpit and exclaimed, "My God, church, get in! This is it! This is what we've been praying for! Get in!" Kilpatrick said of this particular manifestation, that, "anywhere people were standing in the way of that river, you could just look at them and they'd go down in the Spirit. You could feel the literal current of that river". People would fall out under the power of God and be unable to move for several hours. At other times this unseen force would pull the entire congregation around the room. Kilpatrick said he was surprised that many of the people experiencing these manifestations were not even Christians. He later justified this unscriptural phenomenon by claiming that "when revival breaks out, the Christians run from it and the sinners run to it". Other unusual manifestations occurred in Brownsville following the revival. Young children would cry after claiming to have seen angels hovering in the church, there was a thick blue mist that would sometimes hang in the air, and on one occasion Kilpatrick said the Spirit of God picked him up and threw him sideways "ten or twelve feet" across the platform.
This latest revival in Florida is also an offspring of the Toronto and Pensacola outpourings, just as Todd Bentley claims. Both Todd Bentley and the church he is preaching at are closely linked with Rodney Howard-Browne and the Brownsville Assembly of God. Todd Bentley preached at Brownsville in August 2004. When he came to speak at the church, the pastor said he had read about Bentley two years previous, and wanted to get to know him better. In March 1993 a pastor by the name of Karl Strader invited Rodney Howard-Browne to take a series of revival meetings in Carpenter's Home Church in Lakeland, Florida. Browne led sixteen weeks of revival meetings over the following ten months. The revival at Toronto was just beginning as Browne's meetings were coming to an end. The Carpenter's Home Church were eventually forced to sell their building after a drop in membership meant they could no longer afford to run it. One of the congregations that were formed following the break up of the Carpenter's Home Church was the Ignited Church, also based in Lakeland, Florida. It is Karl Strader's son, Stephen Strader, who has invited Todd Bentley to hold a week of revival meetings at his Ignited Church. They are now expecting this revival to last up to three to four months. The Florida Outpouring has also been characterized by similar manifestations to the Toronto and Pensacola revivals. Bentley is afflicted with a constant twitch in his neck, which makes his head shake from side to side repeatedly. On one occasion members of his staff became so 'drunk in the Spirit', they were incapable of interviewing those who claimed to have been healed. One staff member remarked that the 'presence' was strongest closest to where Bentley's pulpit was located. Two women came up to tell Bentley how they had been healed. Both were twitching very badly. When Bentley asked them to stand by his pulpit, they became bent in two and started to shake violently as if they were being attacked from behind by some unseen force.
As you can see, the roots of the Lakeland revival run deep. This is not an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, nor does it seem to be a sovereign move of God. It does seem to be a carefully concerted effort by men to spread the Toronto spirit across the world.
The purpose behind the Florida Outpouring
If we want to find out what the purpose of this revival is, we need to look at what is being taught by its leaders. You might be forgiven for thinking that a spiritual revival in the Church would result in Christians coming into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. This is not the case with the Florida Outpouring. In fact Bentley says that God has specifically instructed him not to teach people about Jesus Christ. Instead he believes that God wants him to teach about "the angel". Bentley related this fact at one of his meetings. "God, why do I want people to believe in the angel?", he questioned, "Isn't it about getting the people to believe in Jesus?". Even Bentley seemed surprised by this unusual request from the Father. The response came back, "The people already believe in Jesus, but the Church doesn't believe in the supernatural". You will not see Bentley read from the Scriptures. You may not even hear him talk much about God or Jesus Christ, despite all the miracles that seem to be taking place. But you will hear him talk about angels and the supernatural. And so it seems that the purpose of this revival is to get people focused on the supernatural.
Of course we know that there are two types of supernatural forces, the angelic and the demonic. The question then must be asked, which side is Bentley advocating the Church believe in? To answer that question we must look to the Scriptures for evidence of how to recognize which side is which. We can't always trust our own judgement, for 2nd Corinthians 11:4 states that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light in order to deceive. Just because someone mentions the name of Jesus Christ and says they are a Christian, or just because people are claiming to be miraculously healed, that doesn't mean to say that this movement is of God. Pharaoh's magicians were able to replicate some of the miracles that Moses performed by the power of God through their demonic power (Exodus 7:8-11). And in the book of Acts, a woman possessed by a spirit of divination followed Paul and Silas through the streets, crying out, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation", Acts 16:17. Paul cast the demon out of her as he was not prepared to receive the testimony of a demonic spirit. Neither did Jesus Christ allow the demons to speak when He cast them out for this same reason (Mark 1:34). The Bible warns us to "believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world", 1st John 4:1. How do we test the spirits to see whether they are of God or not? "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.", 1st John 4:2-3. Demonic spirits do recognize the authority of Jesus Christ, but they will not glorify Him. Todd Bentley's ministry stands or falls on the Person of Jesus Christ. Does Jesus Christ have the pre-eminent place in his life, or do angels have the prominent place? Is Jesus Christ glorified through these healings, if that's what they are, or is Todd Bentley glorified?
The agents of change in the Florida Outpouring
These words from Paul may sound strange to our ears, but when you consider that some of the most deceitful religions such as Mormonism and Islam have originated from fallen angels, we need to consider this warning. Mormonism was started by a Mason called Joseph Smith, who claimed to have heavenly visitations from an angel by the name of Moroni. Joseph Smith claimed to have received 12 golden plates from this angel, upon which were written the book of Mormon. The prophet Mohammed also received supernatural visitations, which he at first believed were demonic in origin, but later came to accept as from Allah. This angel instructed him to write the book we now know as the Qur'an. Both the Qur'an and the book of Mormon are based on corruptions of the New Testament, and this is why they are so deceitful, because they contain an element of the truth. Todd Bentley also claims to have received visitations from several angels, and he talks about them frequently on his website. There are several angels which feature quite prominently in Todd's writings.
One angel bears the name of "Winds of Change". Kansas City 'prophet' Bob Jones claims to have received a visitation from this angel back in the year 2000. The angel announced to Jones that great changes were coming to the Church. Up until now the Church had known only "winds of adversity", but he had been released to "fill our sails" to help the Church cope with a time of transition ahead. In an early report of the Florida Outpouring, Todd Bentley was asked to describe the angel that he claims to have seen. He replied that those who were familiar with the life of William Branham would recognize this angel, as it was a relevant factor in his healing ministry. Like Bentley, Branham had some controversial beliefs. He believed in the Oneness doctrine, the idea that Jesus became both the Father and the Holy Spirit rolled into one Divine Person. He also denied the doctrine of eternal hellfire. Branham was a faith healer who claimed that an angelic being gave him the power to discern people's illnesses by touching their hands. He claimed that this angel stood at his right hand side when people queued up to receive prayer. Branham said that he could do nothing unless this angel was standing next to him. On one occasion, several born again Christians attending Branham's meetings prayed that if this man's gift was of God, that they would receive healing, and if not, they would be protected from whatever he had. When they went up to receive prayer, Branham said that he could do nothing for them, for there were "disturbing forces" preventing a healing. The fact that Bentley could openly associate with an apostate like Branham, and claim to share his source of angelic authority, gives us an insight into the spiritual deception of this latest Florida revival.
But nowhere in the Bible are angels described to have charge over a healing ministry. There is only one occasion mentioned in the Scriptures where an angel was involved in the healing of people, and that was the one that came down to disturb the waters at the pool of Bethesda (John 5). But the Bible doesn't say that it was the angel that healed the people. I do believe that God can heal people today, but healing doesn't come from angels, as Bentley often claims during his meetings. Healing comes only from the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10). And nowhere in the Bible are angels described as having the kind of authority over the Church that Jones and Bentley describe. The Church has one Head, and that is Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:18). Angels are described in the Bible as being God's messengers (Daniel 10:12, Luke 1:26). They are also assigned to be the ministers of those who shall be their heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). And they are assigned to be the guardians of those who have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation. "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone", Psalm 91:11-12. I believe that whenever I was involved in my motorbike accident, that angels might have borne me up before hitting the road. I hit a car at 40 miles an hour when riding to work one day. I was catapulted off the bike and landed about a dozen or more feet away from it. I remember seeing the sky spinning round, and then I was getting up off the road. The motorbike was so badly damaged that it was written off. But there wasn't even a scuffmark on my leathers or helmet. I had a couple of burst veins in my legs, a few cuts and bruises and a fractured elbow. The doctors in the hospital were amazed I had no pain. They kept saying I must have landed on my back. When I took the bike to a motorbike shop to be valued for repair, they didn't even bother valuing it, it was so badly damaged. They asked me, "Who came off that?", and when I told them I did, they couldn't believe it. I should have been killed. Angels are sent to minister unto us, but they do not have the authority over the Church that Todd Bentley speaks of.
At one of his meetings, Bentley claimed to have received several visitations from another particular angel (Video 1, video 2 - WARNING: These clips are disturbing). He described this angel has having feet like "pillars of fire", and said he believed this angel is the same one that is mentioned in Revelation chapter ten. Bentley then goes on to say that this angel mentioned in Revelation was not actually an angel, but it was the angel of the Lord or Jesus Christ. Then he says that the angel that came to visit him might not actually have been an angel, but might have been Jesus Christ. So Bentley seems unsure as to whether he was visited by an angel or visited by the Lord. We must ask the question, if He can't distinguish the difference between an angel and the Lord Jesus Christ, how can he distinguish between an angel of God and an angel of Satan? He then describes how he was sitting in a church service in Seattle, Washington, and he started to sense this electric presence around him. Then he starts to get this vision of a "pillar of fire" in front of him. God spoke to Bentley and told him to put his hand in the pillar of fire. Each time he did so, he felt a strange sensation. Bentley then asked God what this pillar of fire was, and God told him it was a "portal" up to heaven. He then relates how God told him to get into the pillar of fire, and when he did so, he says he ascended up through the roof of the church into an operating room in heaven. He then describes how he found himself lying on an operating table in heaven, and he sees four men dressed in white standing around him. Bentley says the first thought that came into his mind was that he was about to be operated on. The four angels then proceed to tie him down to the table and cut open his stomach using some sort of electric saw, after which all his inwards burst out onto the table. He says that he felt he should be screaming in agony but he couldn't feel anything. These angels then begin implanting white boxes into him. Bentley says a verse then popped into his mind, "thou desirest truth in the inward parts", Psalm 51:6, and he started to question God what was happening to him. God told him that "I am supernaturally imparting the character, the revelation, the knowledge, that I need the Church to have, so that they can do the work that I need them to do because the labourers are few. I don't have the thirty or forty years to prepare a vessel". I was sent a video of this sermon by a friend of mine and as you can see it is very disturbing. Again, several questions must be asked. Why do you need an operating table in a place where there is no sickness or death? Why do the angels need to physically restrain people to operate on them? What sort of angels would operate on a person while they were awake, so as to cause such terrible mental anguish? As my friend says, what Bentley describes here is a Christianised version of a classic UFO abduction. The question then must be asked, what sort of angelic beings is Todd Bentley in contact with? They certainly do not seem to be heavenly ones.
Bentley mentions a few other angels on his website. One angel by the name of Promise visited him while he was staying in Kansas city. The angel said, "Todd, my name is Promise, and I’ve come to bring the fulfilment of God’s promises. I’ve come to bring the fulfilment of the prophetic words spoken to intercessors. I have come for those who have been like Hannah-they have prayed, waited and carried a promise in their hearts. There will come a time when God has heard and I will release the Samuel". Once again the Bible does mention angels that were sent to people who were praying to give them messages of encouragement. One such angel appeared to the Roman centurion Cornelius as he was praying in his house in Caesarea. The angel instructed him to contact Peter, who would tell him words whereby he might be saved (Acts 10:31-32). But once the angel's message had been relayed, we see no more heavenly visitations. The angel had no authority to personally answer Cornelius' prayer. This angel called Promise has overstepped his mark, because the Bible clearly states in Psalm 20:5, "the Lord fulfill all thy petitions". Psalm 37:5 also states, "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass". Angels do not have authority to bring the fulfilment of God's promises, and I believe that Promise is a fallen angel. He is the same angel that promised Eve that she would be as God knowing good and evil, if only she disobeyed God's command not to eat of the fruit.
One final angel is mentioned on Todd's website, and this is perhaps the most controversial one. Apparently even too controversial for Todd's FreshFire website, for Todd's description of her has been purged since word got out about her existence on the internet. That's right, she's a female angel. The FreshFire website no longer mentions her name or the fact that she is female. The Kansas City 'prophet' Bob Jones had asked Todd if he had seen an angel called "Emma" yet. He acted surprised that Bob had expected him to have seen her. Bob then related how it was Emma that had "helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s". Bob described Emma as a "mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out". After a few weeks of Bob mentioning Emma, Todd was in a service in Beulah, North Dakota, and Emma showed up. Bentley describes Emma in intricate detail. "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 colours". She started to walk up the isles sprinkling gold dust on people. Bentley questioned God why she was doing this, and God said it was because He was about to release a financial breakthrough in the church. In Todd's own words, during this visitation, the pastor's wife "began running around barking like a dog or squawking like a chicken as a powerful prophetic spirit came on her". She started to receive the telephone numbers of complete strangers and started to phone them up and prophesy over them. Bentley then says "angels started showing up in the church".
As I have said in a previous article, the Bible never mentions female angels. And when angels have appeared to people in human form, they have always appeared as men. The fact that Emma's description has been expunged from the FreshFire website is a damning indictment of that fact. As we saw before, the name "Emma" or "Emma-O" is in fact the name of a demonic spirit in Shinto Buddhism who judges the dead. The same demonic spirit exists in Hinduism under the name of "Yama". There are many religions that worship female deities. For example, Gaia, Medusa, Isis, Ishtar, Mary Queen of Heaven, to name but a few. And fallen angels have appeared to people in the feminine form, claiming to be Mary. The feminine form is very powerful in these religions, for it is symbolic of fertility. Natural motherhood also demands love and respect, and these fallen angels crave to be worshipped and adored as such. The Bible mentions only One Person who is worthy of our love, and that is God. He is the nurturing One, the El Shaddai, who sustains us and provides for all our needs (Philippeans 4:19). Angels do seem to play a role in helping men to understand prophecy (Daniel 8:16), but again they are sent only to convey the message. They have no authority to bring prophetic revelations to people, such as was witnessed by Todd Bentley in this particular church. There is only one Person who nurtures the prophetic, and that is Jesus Christ. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy", Revelation 19:10.
As you can see, it is dark days we are living in. This end-time deception is extremely strong, as Bentley himself stated, we haven't seen anything like this before. It is catching on so fast. The Lord said of the days prior to His return, that "there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect", Matthew 24:24. Praise God it is not possible for the elect to be deceived, but we still need to "take heed" that no man deceive us (Matthew 24:4).
The 'paradigm shift' of the Florida Outpouring
It seems that the title that I chose for the previous article on the Florida Healing Outpouring was more accurate that I had first imagined. A couple of titles had popped into my mind, but for some reason I settled on "The agents of change in the Florida Outpouring". I thought that best suited the idea of fallen angelic hosts orchestrating this whole last days deception. Last night I was watching a YouTube video of a programme called Extreme Prophetic. It is produced by followers of the Apostolic-Prophetic movement, who are seeking to restore the office of the prophet in the Church to lead us into the next century. The show is hosted by Patricia King. In this particular programme, King had the honour of interviewing Todd Bentley and Kansas City 'prophet' Bob Jones. As we have seen previously, both men hold highly questionable views that border on the New Age and occult beliefs. Both seem to have had spiritual experiences that contradict what the Bible plainly teaches. For example, Todd Bentley claims to have had dozens of demons cast out of him after he became a Christian (WARNING: This clip is extremely disturbing. Pray for the protection of the blood of Christ before listening to it). The Bible says that once we have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, our bodies become the dwelling place of Holy Spirit (John 14:23, Ephesians 1:13). If we have received the "Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9), how can we also be possessed with a demonic spirit, for 2nd Corinthians 6:15 says, "For what concord hath Christ with Belial?" Now I am not saying Todd Bentley is not saved. I do not believe we have the right to question people's salvation (2nd Timothy 2:19). But this does raise serious questions about some of his more profound spiritual experiences. Both Todd Bentley and Bob Jones claim to have experienced visitations from angels. As we discussed in the previous article, these angels are not following the Biblical pattern. These angels seek to glorify themselves instead of Christ, they seek to usurp authority over the Church, they proclaim the prosperity gospel and they manifest their presence in ungodly ways. Both men also claim to have ascended into heaven on numerous occasions. We have already related the story of how Todd Bentley was beamed up into heaven through a "pillar of fire", and was cut open by four angels while lying conscious on an operating table. Bob Jones also claims to have ascended up into heaven. In fact Jones says he is able to do this 'at will', simply through an act of faith. And he has taken others with him for the ride. King then recounts an experience in which she was invited to ascend into the "third heaven" with Jones. He took her by the hand and they both closed their eyes, and after several minutes had transpired, King says she began to see a bright light which Jones then claimed was the heavenly realm. But is there any Scriptural precedence for their experience? The Bible does mention several incidents where people have been caught up into heaven. The Apostle Paul was caught up into the third heaven, and saw things which he said were not lawful for a man to utter (2nd Corinthians 12:2). But it is believed that this may have occurred during a near death experience when Paul was stoned in the city of Lystra (Acts 14:19). The Apostle John was also caught up into heaven, and this was to receive a revelation of what will to come to pass during the last days (Revelation 4:1). But when it comes to claiming to be able to ascend into heaven at will, the Bible is emphatic. "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven", John 3:13. Proverbs 30:4 also asks the question, "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?". The experiences that these men talk about are not mentioned in the Bible. But they do have a precedent in the New Age movement. Astral projection is practiced by those involved in the occult. "Astral projection (or astral travel) is a paranormal interpretation of an out-of-body experience achieved either awake or via lucid dreaming or deep meditation".
Quote: "In astral projection the traveller finds him or herself in an apparently real domain, which often has no parallel to any physical setting, though can be parallel to different time lines and/or physical settings different to our own. This is termed by New Agers and occultists among others as the astral plane or "the astral". Environments here may range from populated to unpopulated, artificial to natural to completely abstract environments and from beatific to horrific. Here, normal physical laws often do not apply. The quality of detail ranges from crude to vivid and fascinating. Projectors may gain access to visions of the past or future of Earth, and to the Akashic records. It has been said that space and time do not exist on the astral plane in the same way they do on earth, or that they can be transcended.
It would be entirely possible for an astral traveller to 'travel' to a realm that seemed heavenly to them. As we have seen previously with Bentley's UFO abduction experience, if you hold a Christian set of beliefs, you are going to interpret your experience in a Biblical way. That does not mean to say your experience is from God. What this does show us is that we need to be so careful when it comes to extra-Biblical experiences and revelations. Just because these experiences seem attractive to us and appear to be miraculous, that doesn't mean to say they are of God. We must ask ourselves again and again, is this in the Bible (2nd Timothy 3:16-17)? If this experience is not mentioned in the Bible, we must then ask ourselves the question, where does it originate from?
What is most disturbing about this video is Jones' comments at the end, and this is what prompted me to write this article. Jones states that the Church is now entering a "paradigm shift". Apparently we are now entering an age in which the "miraculous will seem normal" and "manifestations of the Spirit" will abound. For those who have insight into the New Age movement, your ears should prick up upon hearing the words, "paradigm shift". For according to this New Age teaching, the world must soon pass through a time of great distress, and the only ones who will survive are those who are prepared to move on to the next step in spiritual enlightenment. Those who understand Bible prophecy will know that this teaching is demonic, for it is preparing the world for the appearance of the false prophet, who will work all manner of lying wonders to persuade men to worship the Antichrist (Revelation 13:13-14, 2nd Thessalonians 2:8-9). Those who don't embrace this "New Age" of enlightenment will be killed (Revelation 13:15). When I searched for the meaning of the words "paradigm shift" on the internet, this is what came up...
Quote: "Think of a Paradigm Shift as a change from one way of thinking to another. It's a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. It just does not happen, but rather it is driven by agents of change.
I didn't purposely name the previous article "Agents of change", but as you can see, it certainly fits what is being taught by Todd Bentley and Bob Jones. There is no doubt we are now living in the last days. As I said before, fearful times are upon us. Great deception is coming, and if you haven't trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, you will be deceived. For the Bible says that "for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness". Those are serious words, too serious to ignore. Have you trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation? Have your sins been forgiven? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.