Saturday, May 31, 2008
He reminded me of these two scenes that I have witnessed:
1. From "Together on a Mission 2007":
2. From Eastbourne:
And then He said this:
"Son - if you stood before 5, 000 leaders all lined up and ran down them touching them as Rob did ... what do you think would happen?".
I've learnt now that when God asks a question, it's not because He doesn't know the answer and it's usually to reveal something in my heart. And I've learnt honesty is usually good when answering the King of Kings!! So I said;
"I don't think anything would happen Father".
"And why do you think that? Are you any less righteous in My sight than Rob Rufus is? Are you any the less accepted in My sight than Rob Rufus? Is the Holy Spirit that is upon you any less powerful than He is upon Rob Rufus? Am I any the less eager to use you to touch thousands and millions than I am Rob Rufus? Or is it ... that you have received less than Rob Rufus and so have less to give? Or are you more proud than Rob and fear more that nothing will happen than he?".
I was quiet for a moment and still am quiet as I type this. I fear that the Christian world is still stuck in "celebrity status mode". Or Rob would call it "guru mode". And God would have us break OUT of that! God has given many awesome Ephesians 4 Ministries to the Church - and I mean the world-wide church. My heroes are men and women like Rob, Terry Virgo, Dave Holden, Dave Devenish, Julian Adams, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, Ern Baxter, Larry Tomczak, Charles Simpson, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Sam Storms, Don Carson and many more. But I must admit - because I am guilty of it too - do we come to conferences to hear these men and women (and they ARE just men and women) for answers that God has empowered us for?
I watched desperate people crowding around Rob in Eastbourne and I was so grateful for Graham Marsh reminding us again and again that it is JESUS CHRIST we are coming to - not Rob Rufus. If we go to conferences (and we could even fly to Florida) to go hoping for a miracle touch from a man then we may be sorely disappointed. And if that miracle doesn't "work" then we will blame the man - but if it does work we will praise the man. BUT! If we go to Jesus Christ - the Miracle Maker - and believe that it is His disposition to bless us for no other reason than His love then it's a whole different story.
There aren't enough celebrity men and women in the world to win China's billions or to change the Middle East's millions!! I can't call on a celebrity to come and radically transform the hospice by the power and the glory of God today. The SAME Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is on ME today by pure grace - and through me (and through you) - can change the world TODAY. If ... we will just believe that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and it is His longing and His dispostion to bless us and to save the lost through the Gospel with signs and wonders following!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
If the answer is - I'm not sure then should we be going? Could our money and our time be better well spent elsewhere? But I digress. Joy. Joy! The Bible says the joy of the Lord is our STRENGTH!! Why then did so many despise Toronto and the joy that it brought? Rob Rufus put me onto Heidi Baker but I must confess I haven't read or listened to much of her. So I was interested to see that she was speaking at a conference in Canada on God TV. Here's a clip:
Now if this awesome woman of God can speak at a conference and demonstrate the clear joy of the Lord and face trials such as her pastor's tongue and lips being cut out - then what chance would we have in facing similar trials WITHOUT that kind of joy? Rob Rufus said;
"The Church was never more in the will of God when they were no longer concious of themselves and were absolutely lost in the wonder of the knowledge and glory and bigness of God and the more sober the Church has got, the more out of the will of God they get and the less people get saved".
We need joy people! Pete and I spent a wonderful hour or so on the phone today speaking about grace and glory and Rob and every now and then joy would just consume us! In joy we can face any trial. In joy we can face any tribulation! I love Sam Storm's book; "The Singing God!". How do we get more joy? Get close to the One who is so so full of joy and at Who's hand is pleasures forevermore! I opened by talking about conferences. I want to sit under speakers like Rob or Heidi Baker who are so full of joy throughout all, that their delight in God is infectious!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
"Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God. ... how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?".
I haven't edited the comments at all - it's here in it's fullness. He said;
"I really believe (Ryan and Kylie) brought back something from Florida and we really want to just add it to us. You need to know - just in case people think that we are now building our church on the Florida Revival - we are not building our church on the Florida Revival! We are building our church on the foundations of an apostolic/prophetic foundation, upon the foundation of grace. Revivals are wild! And we endorse it and we empower it and honour what God is doing in Florida.
We cannot say that everything that comes out of Florida will be God. There has never been a revival where everything is God. There are weird things that sometimes come out of a revival - sometimes things of legalism there (not with Todd Bentley but with others). Some things Ryan has shared with me. In the middle of the United Kingdom while I was preaching, I said; "We celebrate the Florida Revival - we believe it is a flash point - but we don't believe it is just located to Florida as many don't believe that. We believe it is world-wide, we believe it is global. Florida is a kind of tipping point. But many places are breaking out now all over the world and this thing is on the move. It really is on the move".
There are some high-profile ministries that are now endorsing it and recognising it. I spoke to Terry Virgo while in the United Kingdom who heads up hundreds of churches around the world and he recognises that the power of God is there. They are genuine and there are genuine miracles. He is saying that as a movement they don't necessarily embrace the whole package - there are some things they would have questions about.
There's nothing wrong with having a few questions - there's nothing wrong with not understanding everything. Put some things up on the shelf. Everything must be tested but by and large I want to strongly say that God is on the move all over the world and what is happening in Florida IS God. There is no question about that. That is God. But everything that happens through different levels and different doesn't necessarily represent everything that we would agree with. Behind this passionate, enthusiastic face - there is a thinking mind! I am going to test everything through right theology and all of that - and all that I don't understand I will put on the shelf and I will wait.
But I don't want people to be afraid of deception because we have got to break that demonic thing where people believe that the devil has more power to deceive us than Almighty God has to reveal truth to us. The Bible does warn in a few places about "Don't be deceived in the last days" and counterfeit signs and wonders - but then it speaks a whole lot more about how to know what the truth is and how to be free in the truth and how to recognise the truth. So if you live in fear of deception, you are not going to step out into the miraculous. Y0u were never meant to live in the fear of deception - you were never meant to live in fear. So many Christians (even in Hong Kong) are so afraid of being deceived and they say; "I am afraid of being deceived". So you think fear is legitimate? Do you think your fear will protect you?
Job said the things I feared the most have come on me. You don't live climbing a mountain trying not to fall. You climb a mountain trying to get to the top. You are focused on getting to the top! You don't live in fear of being deceived - you live full of faith of getting revelation and of being so full of God and the knowledge of God's truth that the moment the counterfeit comes - you can see it. I am so sick and tired of Christians being put on the back foot on these things. I am not afraid of a false angel coming to me and trying to decieve me and appearing to me all beautiful.
The moment that happens I will discern; "Is this an anointing from heaven or is this an anointing from the demonic". If you can't tell the difference between an ugly demonic anointing and the anointing of Jesus then you need to get saved. In you and me there is an anointing and in meetings I can discern what is of the flesh, what is of God and what is of the demonic.
There has never been a revival - not one - where all three didn't manifest. Some people are pointing; "Look some of that stuff is fleshly - some of that stuff is demonic - that doctrine is a bit of heresy over there". Yes I know - but God is also moving powerfully! You will never have a revival where you can get rid of flesh, get rid of the demonic trying to come in. In Azusa Street Revival they had psychics prophesying in the middle of the meeting! In the mid-80's in the Kentucky Revivals they had 20, 000 under the power of God and at the same time they had pimps running around and making whiskey in the middle of that.
Every revival has weird doctrines that come in and strange things that happen. The most weird thing is when there IS no power, no one is getting saved and NO miracles are happening! I would rather have to sift through some of the weird stuff, theologically sift through it, than have nothing happening and sitting in the boat of religion and sitting and criticising everything happening.
I think the people who are most qualified to discern whether a move is a move of God or not are those people who have been in moves of God.There are people who are trying to judge this move who have never had a move.
I think if someone says "That's not God and those miracles are countefeit and that's not God" - I want to say to them; "That's fine - that is your right to judgebut show me YOUR miracles, show me YOUR signs and wonders, show me YOUR move!". "Err ... I don't have one". "Then shut up until you do!". There too many cryptics sitting on the bank and doing nothing and finding fault with what God is doing.
I want it to be registered that I don't agree with everything I am seeing in Florida and it's not up to me to tell you everything - but I tell you this. It is a move of God. Todd Bentley is a man of God. God is moving in mighty signs and wonders! Our focus is not on Florida - that thing will fade sooner or later. But it is not going to fade around the world. God's on the move".
God is on the move!! This isn't the time to be fearful, scared or apathetic. Let's be excited - be hopeful - and above all let it enthuse us to go out and proclaim the living glorious Gospel to the lost! Because God is attesting the preaching of the Word with signs following!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Terry Virgo began by drawing parallels to the 1994/95 refreshing from Toronto and this aspect of the "transferrability" of the anointing. He said;
"It was something that could be ‘caught’ or ‘transferred’. People who attended certain meetings became ‘carriers’ of a kind of ‘spiritual contagion’ which subsequently broke out elsewhere".
I must admit this is something I am learning about and owe much to Rob Rufus and Terry for this. Rob spoke in Eastbourne again about the anointing and how transferrable it is. But this isn't a "new" thing. Terry said;
"It would be true to say that this has been a mark of historic revivals. People visited the 1905 Welsh Revival for instance and, on returning home, found that God’s presence had accompanied them in an extraordinary way".
I like Terry's teaching on the "manifestations of the Spirit". It would be safe to say that it is the manifestations that cause the biggest excesses on both sides in any revival. The cynics and skeptics get turned off by them - and I would venture - scared by them. Those who embrace the revival sometimes judge the work of God on WHETHER they manifest the Spirit. Both excesses are wrong. Terry writes;
"What were often referred to as ‘manifestations of the Spirit’ (and sometimes very strange they were) were in reality not literally ‘manifestations of the Spirit’ but the different ways in which people’s bodies responded to the Spirit’s activity. Various phenomenal responses were noted when the Holy Spirit’s presence seemed to be strong. Some fell, some shook and some laughed. Some seemed to happen in an involuntary kind of way; others perhaps were imitation. The pressure to conform on these occasions can become very great".
But as Terry says - what matters not is how great or small the manifestations are or of what variety they are but;
"What influenced me most significantly was not the extraordinary physical manifestations but the extraordinary lasting change that I observed in the lives of people I knew".
It staggers me that so-called people committed to the Word of God - the Bible - seem to forget this clear and blatent fact;
"I was drawn to Acts 10 where the Apostle Peter was in a trance (!) and saw a vision (!) and heard an audible voice (!), as a result of which he followed Cornelius’s representatives who had themselves been instructed by an angel (!). Upon arrival at Cornelius’s house, Peter began to preach but was interrupted by such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that he had to give way to his hearers who were suddenly overcome and speaking in tongues and prophesying (!)".
And HERE is the fact. HERE is what we must face;
"Virtually every feature in this extraordinary story was outside of my experience – but all were clearly Biblical".
If we are to see an increased mark of signs and wonders and miracles then there's something we must - absolutely must remember. Todd Bentley must remember it. William Branham forgot it to his peril as did many of the other healers in the 1940's and 50's;
"We often imagine that God’s gifts are proofs of holiness or marks of maturity given only to the most advanced Christians to demonstrate God’s approval of their spiritual progress. But this isn’t the case. God’s gifts aren’t rewards!".
This is why Rob Rufus's teaching on the gift of righteousness is SO absolutely vital and such an important foundation to ensure this outpouring of the Spirit doesn't wane and end like it's predecessors before it. It's a gift! It doesn't make you more holy because the holiness that we have is not our own anyway - it was imputed to us as a gift! We are accepted before God BECAUSE we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. If we start from that position, then we will be under no illusions that whatever gifts God may use in us come as GRACE not because we have earned that blessing.
Terry ends on a very similar - and indeed vital note to Janelle's thoughts when she visited Lakeland. It's ALL about the local church!
"What shall we do? We should go on preaching the gospel, praying for the sick and committing our lives to the local church where things find their right setting and safety. Some who testify to a powerful surge of blessing now in their church through contact with Lakeland, say that this is not happening to them in a vacuum, but in the context of healthy local church life where eldership oversight is clearly in place, Biblical foundations are already established and a longing to reach the lost with the gospel is already in focus. Praise God! This is how it should be".
Terry's conclusion shows the importance of experience and how older godly men can teach us so much in the wider body of Christ. I have been puzzled and intrigued as to why every time something different happens in the church such as this outpouring - there is a rush to declare oneself. Some say they are for it (I guess that's been my temptation. I've been so hungry to see God move in power for so many years - could I be in danger of accepting anything just because it's new and it's breaking the status quo that the Church is stuck in? Maybe). Some say they are against it. Some say they aren't interested in it. But Terry said;
"It seems to me that we do not have to take a stance simply dismissing what is happening as a circus or to only demonstrate alarm at the dangers that seem inherent. Nor should we naively embrace and unquestioningly accept the complete package".
I can do nothing but utter "Amen!" to his final prayer;
"For myself, I long for the power of God to be released so that Jesus might be wonderfully glorified in our generation. I often pray the prayer based on the Apostle’s plea that God would grant us boldness while He Himself stretches forth His hand and that signs and wonders are done in the name of His holy child Jesus. I shall continue to pray such prayers and long for the coming of His power and the glorifying of His name with huge respect for the local church and I believe a God-given desire to be mutually dependent and not independent. I believe God will lead us on to all that He has for us and safeguard us from danger for His great glory".
Monday, May 26, 2008
Cessationists and cynics may say; "What's the point?". You ask someone who has received a miracle what the point is. You ask the man sitting at the Gate Beautiful what the point was. You ask this lady on this video clip what the point is! You ask the hundreds who have stepped out of wheelchairs in this Florida Outpouring what the point is! You ask the hurting and the suffering and the broken who have had their lives met by the power of God what the point is! You ask the "ALL" that Jesus healed what the point was?!
Thanks to "Heat and Light" for this;
We are truly living in miracle days and it is getting harder and harder for cynics and skeptics to explain away what God is doing. That's why I love Rob's perspective so much - this isn't about Todd Bentley or William Branham or one man. This is about God getting His Church back and finally getting us to do what we SHOULD have always been doing - the works He did and greater works!!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
You have faithfully administered these crumbs around the world – just a little crumb here and a little crumb there. Here someone incurable in a wheelchair and told that they would die. You prayed – a little crumb – and they got out the wheelchair and years and years later of health. Here a blind eye opened – a little crumb – here a deaf ear opened and they got a new eardrum verified by doctors”. But He said, “Son it’s just been a little crumb and a little crumb but you are going to go beyond the peripheral fence and you will stand in the centre of My glory and you will radiate miracles effortlessly”.
BUT then I watched this video (thanks to Gavin White!). It was taken at the New Wine Leaders Conference in Harrowgate where Bill Johnson has been speaking;
Thank God! It all sounded very eerily deja-vu-like from my past about other moves of God. So all those who aren't Todd Bentley fans and were claiming Terry as a supporter - hold on just a minute. Scott has also been "persuaded" into sharing his thoughts on Lakeland! Yes - I am to blame. But he is so different from me in that I sometimes feel like I need a cork to bung my proverbial flow of thoughts - he on the other hand needs his opinions bullying out of him. And I really appreciate his perspective - and I know you will too. He says;
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Here is the slightly longer video of the discussion between Bob Jones, Patricia King and Todd Bentley. Bear in mind this discussion happened prior to the outpouring in Florida. I love the vision, the passion and the desire for MORE of God. This hunger is a key element that Rob Rufus argues is essential in seeing more of God's power and Presence.
Finally I managed to get some incredible photos of a lady who was paralysed in a wheelchair and yet got up out of it and walked. Glory to God! These truly are signs and wonders!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Here's the quote I wanted to post:
Sunday, May 18, 2008
PS: Can I strongly recommend the Kings Church Eastbourne website (and the church!). It really is an outstanding gathering of God's people. Graham Marsh (the senior pastor) seems strongly stirred by the glory descending this weekend and it seems the church is going to be stepping into a new realm of signs, wonders and miracles! Let it be so! They are a people of faith, vision and certainly one to watch. In a time when "glory and grace" churches are in short supply in the United Kingdom certainly - it's awesome to stand and worship the manifest glory of God and know I didn't have to leave the UK to find God is here! The website is a wonderful resource also - there's MP3's and videos to enjoy. I've downloaded John Hosier speaking from a few Sundays ago on "The Ministries God gives".
For now here's a taste of Rob preaching the Gospel on the Sunday morning at Eastbourne:
And the ministry of impartation of the Holy Spirit from the Saturday conference (particularly watch about 30 seconds in when he shouts "FIRE!!"):
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
"Some people would describe journaling as a spiritual discipline. I prefer another term. Like many others I have used the phrase "spiritual discipline" for years to describe any habitual pactice we undertake to facilitate spiritual growth. When composing my book; "The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence", however the Holy Spirit said to me;
"You're not disciplined enough to have a spiritual discipline!".
That nailed me! "Okay" I replied surprised and a bit miffed (deep in my heart I knew He was right). He said; "These are spiritual privilidges". That put a whole new angle on things. I really like the phrase "spiritual privilidges" because that is what they are. Looking at them as privilidges rather than as disciplines completely changes your mindset because doing something as a discipline can sometimes lead to a performance-based mentality.
Doing the same thing as a privilidge however means doing it because you can do it, or because you want to do it - not because you have to do it to please God or stay on His good side". It becomes a matter of perspective, like the difference between saying the glass is half empty or half full. Praying, studying, fasting, worshipping - they are all amazing spiritual privilidges - with great benefits!".
It's a great perspective worth trying! The spiritual privilidge of reading our Bibles!! Of worshipping!! Of praying to God and knowing we are being heard!! Surely this should enable a greater degree of excitement to getting up in the morning!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Here's what happened:
Bobby Connors prophesied;
"A FIRESTORM is coming to the United Kingdom! It's going to rage! We need to pray for the United Kingdom! It's going to come!!".
Are we ready for what's coming?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Mark Heath provided the first link for me to the torrent of blogs warning that Todd Bentley is the anti-christ and so on. It seems that apparantly Todd Bentley has an angel that speaks to him called "Emma". That name apparantly is the name of some pagan god so it must mean that a demon is controlling Todd Bentley hence everything is bad about Florida? My poor older sister - she is called Emma too ... What is with that?! Can angels not have names? Gabriel? Michael? Lucifer? (I was going to provide some of the links to these posts but I don't think I will bother. You can find them ... if you really want to).
(On the Florida Outpouring); "This is what Christians have been praying for centuries and into manifestation and the prophets are saying that it is contageous - it is tangible and it is transferrable. People have already taken it to dozens of cities around the United States. It is breaking out and they are having weeks of meetings every single night. It is breaking out in the United Kingdom. The prophets are saying it is going to break out in England and where do you think we are going?!?! I have already written to Graham Marsh where there are masses of people already registering for our Empowerment Conference where we are the main speakers. I wrote to him and said;
"I hear in my spirit that the great Eastbourne Outpouring is coming to England! Get ready! Tell the people we are going to see mighty signs and wonders!".
So our expectation is SO high! I can't believe it's just two days away!! I will report it in any way I can - definately type up everything I can see, pictures of what I can take and videos of what I can capture! Could it be that the fire breaks out in Eastbourne and spreads across our nation!? I had a dream about a tidal wave last year and I thought the coastline I saw was that of Brighton particularly in connection with Rob's visit to "Together on a Mission 2007". Maybe I was mistaken - maybe it's Eastbourne!!
The first was a clip that shows two people near the end of the clip that are OUT of wheelchairs and WALKING!! Let me just make a note to cynics watching. You will see two men supporting the first guy who is walking and it maybe that you think; "Oh they are dragging him and making him walk". I have had countless experiences of helping someone of that size out of a wheelchair and I can guarantee you 100% as a nurse that they were not "making" him walk. Someone of that size would need at least an arm linked right up to their armpit and far more effort on the part of those supporting. Those two men were simply there to support him. There was no chance they could move their feet! But ... they ... DID! This is happening! Here in 2008! We both looked at each other with tears rolling down our faces because God is healing people!
The second clip was so thrilling to me. I mentioned in the last post of how thrilled I am that Todd Bentley seems to share Rob Rufus's and Ern Baxter's eschatology - their belief that the glory of God MUST cover the earth as the waters cover the sea as the Scriptures promise. And this revival seems to be different from Toronto and Brownsville (I'm waiting to be corrected) in that there is a definite missional edge to this. Todd Bentley WANTS this to go to the nations!! So he called up people from the Middle East (mentioning Dubai) to be prayed for and demonstrated such a heart for the fire of God to sweep through every nation.
These video clips just act for me as "fire-starters". Life does bring trials and tribulations and persecutions of all kinds and it's all relative to us and what we are going through but these video clips remind me that God is absolutely eager and ready and willing to come "rushing like a mighty flood" and demonstrate and reveal His power! These video clips keep me hoping that I'm going to see Scott's eczma condition and his bad back (of the last 2 weeks) is GOING to be healed! And the children at my hospice ARE going to stand up and walk out of the hospice healed and have to be told they can't come to the hospice anymore because they DON'T meet the criteria!!
More Lord! Come! We're so hungry for you! Don't pass us by!! Jesus, Son of David - have mercy on us!!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
As we were watching and getting so caught up in what was happening in Florida, I noted that there is a difference to the two outpourings I have heard about in my lifetime. I stand to be corrected - but I don't remember hearing such an emphasis on global evangelism and about the fire of God covering the world in the Toronto Blessing and the Brownsville Revival. I am staggered, amazed and excited at Todd Bentley's passion to see this revival not constrained to his ministry and his locality - but to reach the uttermost parts of the ends of the earth. It's not just about the people of God having a cozy little experience time (although that's perfectly valid) - it's about the LOST hearing and seeing the power of God unveiled! In the second video clip I had to put up, Todd said something I absolutely LOVED (It reminded me of Psalm 2; "Ask of Me and I will give You the nations")!! He said;
"Where's my Middle East Countries? Bring me my Middle East Countries!".
I want to mention how I noticed Todd's ministry technique (if you can call it that) so impressed me. I know a number have mentioned discomfort with thinking they saw him push people. This clip I captured I think will make you agree that there's no pushing involved here. The weight and heaviness of the glory of God made no pushing necessary! As you will see - he literally simply touches them and they flew backwards into the floor! Just as a side-note; I wonder if people have to start trying to push people over when they sense the anointing is not quite as strong as it was?
One final thing I just witnessed. They brought a man who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease for 8 and a half years and was showing NO signs of shaking at all! Todd Bentley said something rather odd to him - he said; "Look into my eyes - look into my eyes". The camera happened to show the man's eyes and Todd said; "You demon of infirmity - I command you to GO in Jesus Name". For a split second, I am sure that the man's eyes went fixed and dilated and angry. I am pretty sure the demon was manifesting just before the man's eyes went peaceful and closed and he collapsed on the floor. Demons? Sickness? It certainly makes sense.
"Hungry I come to You for I know Your arms are open wide - I am weary but I know Your love does not run dry. So I'll wait for You - I'll wait for You. I'm falling on my knees, offering all of Me. Jesus You're ALL this heart is living for!".
Monday, May 12, 2008
That - I hope - sets something of my horrid two days in context. It riles me beyond belief almost as much as in church when controlling spirits run rife within a children's hospice where desperate and needy people need love and protection - and simply get told to "behave" and live up to an expected standard. So I was walking home inwardly raging and trying to calm down, but at the same time listening to Ryan and Kylie Rufus's thrilling; "Impartation Meeting After Florida Trip". So to add to my stress from work came a deep pang of hunger that why oh why can't God teleport me into Hong Kong so I could receive this impartation on a foundation of grace!? (Ryan said he would be watching out for me to appear in City Church!!).