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Great Florida Outpouring – C. Peter Wagner’s Report on the Commissioning of Todd Bentley

June 29, 2008
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Enc: Wagner memo of June 24, 2008

To: Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Team: Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets, Lee Grady, Steve Strang, Ché Ahn, Jeff Beacham, David Cannistraci, Joseph Askins, Bill Johnson, John Arnott

From: C. Peter Wagner

Date: June 25, 2008

Subject: Personal Report of Lakeland Outpouring

As all of you know, what I believe to be God-orchestrated circumstances over the past three weeks or so have brought me mainstream into the Lakeland Outpouring and the controversies surrounding it.

I am writing this from Lakeland. The night before last Doris and I attended the meeting in the tent along with 10,000 others, the largest crowd yet since meeting in the tent. It was the 82nd day of the Outpouring. Todd Bentley used his speaking time in giving the most detailed testimony so far of the “dark night of the soul” that he experienced for 18 months 2005-2007. It was a very remarkable and transparent confession of his pride during the ten years previously and details of the wilderness that God took him through to break the pride. He was very clear about his lack of discipline, his emotions out of control, his rejection of God, his dislike of reading scripture, public meltdown on the platform, memories of childhood rejection, loneliness, sexual abuse, his marriage on the brink of divorce, etc. He was so burnt out he cried 4 hours per day for 21 days straight.

When it was over, God restored everything related to his staff, his marriage, his ministry, and his newly-refined personal character. This was a very remarkable and touching presentation. There was no hint of victimization or wanting a pity party. It was a confession of his own sin and the consequences he paid for disobedience. Doris and I were very touched by this, and we were thankful to God for a window on Todd’s character that we didn’t expect to be so wide open to us

Let me remind you that Doris and I have been very close to other similar outpourings, especially the John Wimber signs & wonders phenomenon of the late 70s and 80s and well as the Argentine Revival of the 80s and 90s. We believe we have paid our dues in terms of the ability to discern truth from error and also in receiving severe and often painful criticism for some of the judgments we made in supporting those two movements. As we observed and participated in the meeting in the tent, we became very nostalgic about Wimber and Argentina, even noting some physical resemblance between Todd and Wimber. His accuracy in words of knowledge reminded us of both John Wimber in the past and Robert Henderson in the present. The worship time was similar to the worship we experience in Freedom Church in Colorado Springs except on a larger and more exuberant scale. We saw or felt nothing that would cross the lines we have previously experienced in high-profile revival. We have learned that God-driven revival is often messy, tending to pull some out of their religious comfort zones, but at the same time opening gates for new seasons of the movement of God.

All this was in preparation for last night, June 23, when we held a ceremony of apostolic alignment for Todd Bentley. As you will see from the document I will attach, the gist was that Todd would be aligned with Ché Ahn, Bill Johnson and John Arnott, representing Revival Alliance, who would then commission him as the evangelist to lead the Lakeland Outpouring. A few of us met with Todd personally before the service, and we found him to be a wonderful individual. Doris and I had never met him before. I explained to him what the ceremony would be like, and he agreed. I thought that it was interesting when he wanted to change one thing I had written in this document, because I could then run a quiet test of his humility and his respect for authority. Keep in mind that this was Todd’s ministry and Todd’s meeting. However, he had delegated the leadership of the ceremony to me. I suggested that his change was not wise, and he immediately accepted my decision. We were on the same page! In fact, we like each other!

The scenario was that I took the podium and called around me Todd, Ché, Bill and John. I then called to the platform a number of apostles whom I had chosen to stand behind us: Stephen Strader of Lakeland FL, Karl Strader of Lakeland FL, Jeff Beacham of Sydney, Australia, Rick Joyner of Ft. Mill SC, Doris Wagner of Colorado Springs CO, Sharon Stone of Burton, England, Paco Garcia of Chiclana, Spain, Clarice Fluitt of Monroe LA, Richard Maiden of Scottsdale AZ, Michael Maiden of Phoenix AZ, Joshua Fowler of Orlando FL, Barry Boucher of Ottawa, Canada, and Wesley Campbell of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Unfortunately Bishop Bill Hamon had to cancel because of a travel problem. I then read the paper I am attaching and, despite several requests, I even desisted from telling a joke! When I finished, I handed the microphone to Ché and he was in charge.

Ché, Bill and John laid on hands and anointed Todd with a special new “Be Revived” oil that Chuck Pierce (who was in Africa) sent for the event. Todd went down under the power of the Spirit and the three prophesied over him, commissioning him as the evangelist to lead the Lakeland Outpouring. Then most of the backup apostles prayed and prophesied as well. The power of the Holy Spirit was so heavy on that event that you could almost have cut it with a knife!

It was quite evident to those present that this was a groundbreaking event. A serious public problem had been growing in the body of Christ revolving around concerns about Lakeland from respected leaders. Even “schism” had been mentioned frequently. Because of the extensive media coverage through GOD TV, it was much more than a private or a trivial matter. Something was called for to set things in order, and this is the stated role of apostles. We are now in a place in what I see as the Second Apostolic Age that apostles can agree publicly to bring alignment. The seventeen apostles involved in this event represented three distinct apostolic streams: ICA (10 were ICA members), Revival Alliance, and Morningstar. Even though we are not networked formally, we believe in and support each other and we stand together when a crisis such as this one comes along. I may be wrong, but I cannot recall an event of this nature in the recent history of the church.

There was a notable prophetic dimension accompanying the event. Around a month ago, Bob Jones prophesied that on June 22 the outpouring would increase so much that it would appear that the revival would really begin at that time. Of course no one knew that June 23, the day after June 22, would be the date of Todd’s apostolic alignment which could well be the event to release increased spiritual power. Parenthetically both June 22 and June 23 broke previous attendance records in the 10,000-seat tent.

There is a great deal more to say, but I will leave it as it is for the moment. My paper, “Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Alignment,” which I am sending you will fill in many details. Although I am writing this primarily to you who are mentioned above, I will also send it to some others to whom I feel responsible for a report of Todd’s alignment and commissioning.

Blessings,

Peter

C. Peter Wagner

President, Global Harvest Ministries

Chancellor, Wagner Leadership Institute

CPW/jmc

P.S. on June 25. Last night was Todd’s day off, so Ché Ahn took the service. Among other things, he used Chuck Pierce’s “Be Revived” anointing oil to personally anoint the 1,000 or so pastors as “carriers of fire” to their churches. Forty-seven nations were represented in the meeting. He admonished them to receive it here in Lakeland and then give it away!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. tom permalink
    June 30, 2008 8:32 pm

    cool a heretic party

  2. dancurant permalink
    July 3, 2008 7:38 am

    Great stuff! I, too, live in Albuquerque and I am very much in favor of “Lakeland”.

    Like Adullam’s Cave and Azusa Street (not to mention a little stable in Bethlehem some years ago), things can be a little messy when God is starting something big.

    Do you know of any churches in Albuquerque that are supporting and promoting in any way what is happening in Lakeland? There must be some, but I am having trouble finding any.

    FYI I write up my thoughts on this at http://dancurant.wordpress.com/ .

    God bless!

  3. Deborah Wilden permalink
    October 2, 2008 10:41 pm

    Thank you so much for your input. Now how should I pray for Todd and his family and the Ministry?
    Sincerely in Him
    Deborah wilden

  4. rahabsplace permalink*
    October 3, 2008 7:41 am

    Hi, Deborah,

    You pray for Todd, his family and Fresh Fire the way you would want to be prayed for if you were in trouble.

    I am confident that we do not have all the facts concerning what has happened, and in truth, much of it is none of our business. Would you want the details of your marriage posted all over the Internet? Then why would anyone think we have the right to know the details of Todd and his family’s personal business?

    The Bible tells us that mercy triumphs over judgment and that we are to practice mercy against our own need of mercy.

    So those are the foundations of prayer for any ministry, not just Todd. Pray for conviction of sin of all those concerned, and pray that the Lord would expose the roots of the problems. You know, the real problem is rarely what the surface symptom is. The deep issues need to surface so they can be dealt with and those in bondage to them can be set free.

    As Rick Joyner has said, the Lord was not surprised by any of this. He knew this would happen when He decided to use Todd. I believe He did so because He wants this man and his family set free.

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