More Lakeland Evaluation: The Commissioning

After my initial post on testing the fruits of Lakeland based on the categories of sin in 1 John 2:16, I have grown even more concerned. I of course ran into some Lakeland defenders who minimized and denied any of the sin categories could be operating because they were seeking after the power of God.  However, it is very Biblical that people can be tempted to sin seeking after God or God’s promises.  Two prime examples are Abraham who took matters into his own hand and sired Ishmael, the consequences of which we still see to this day.  We also have Jacob/Israel engaging in deception to gain the “birthright” from Isaac over Esau.  Again, this has long lasting consequences.  It comes down to a matter and test of faith and what kingdom we actually are pursuing , our own in the name of God, or God’s kingdom. 

            A stronger example is clearly found in Jesus forty day wilderness experience. First lets look at the text:

Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)

 4:1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 

4:2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 

4:3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 

4:4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” 

4:5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 

4:6″If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 

4:7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 

4:8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 

4:9″All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 

4:10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” 

4:11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.


Jesus was tempted in three ways. I have had described to me before in a sermon by one pastor or another that Jesus was tempted in each of the sin categories in 1 John 2:16.  The temptations, while within the “common temptations” of man, were specific to Jesus the Messiah. They ultimately were about temptations to establish his Messiah-ship by means of sin.  The temptation to turn stones into bread was a temptation to move in “power” and meet the “lust of the flesh” In other words; he was tempted to put his flesh over surrender to the will of the Father.

            The second area of temptation was to cast himself off a high point   It clearly falls to temptation in the “lust of the eyes.” It was really a temptation about moving in power and bringing about bold miracle related to saving himself.   It was a temptation to “prove” that he was the Messiah and would feed the desire to be believed and to show off his great “power.” 

            The third area of temptation clearly falls into the pride of life.  Jesus was offered all power, to be head of all kingdoms, if only to submit to the will of Satan over the will of the Father.  Jesus readily pointed out the biblical defense for each temptation.   

            So having pointed this out, what is the point related to Lakeland.  Well, on June 23rd Mr. Bentley was commissioned by the Revival Alliance Network, led by C. Peter Wagner. Most of the said individuals are involved in what is known as the New Apostolic Reformation, the Third Wave, The River, or the Latter Rain movements.  It comes down to establishing a kingdom of the church that will never fail.  More details about the foundations of this movement can be found at and I encourage you to prayerfully read the article. So, Mr. Bentley was given a ceremony commissioning and ordaining him to a role in the government of the New Apostolic Church.  To me this comes off as a way members professing to be in the church have been tempted in the pride of life.  However, If I explain all my thinking on that matter I will detract from my main point. 

            The point is bringing this up, is I want to examine what C. Peter Wagner declared over Mr. Bentley. C. Peter Wagner said to Bentley on the platform: “This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase.”…“I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future.”

Pray over these statements. Can you spot the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life?  If not yet, pray and read it again. 

            Well, let me point out what I see.  First of all the lust of the flesh, the promise of new supernatural strength and new life force are certainly promises that appeal to the flesh.  Also promised of increased power, authority, and revelation are flesh appealing to the flesh as well. And actually both promises also appeal to the lust of the eyes. The proclamation clearly includes promises of increase and more, that what as been exhibited so far has not been enough, more is needed.  

The pride of life is very clear and prominent in what was proclaimed over Mr. Bentley. The very mention of government being established, setting things in proper order, pouring out a higher level of discernment, and new relationships open gates to the future all speak to Mr. Bentley being commissioned as someone “special.” And if you even begin to have an understanding of foundational beliefs and doctrines at the center, it is even clearer. However, looking at the plain straight sentences the core of pride of life is very hard to ignore. If you doubt it, check out this blog article on George Barnov’s declarations over Mr. Bentley:


Now the reader may sit there and scoff and state, the declarations were from a man given authority by God, and if it is of God, then it is not sin.  Well, if in your heart that is how you read the declaration I ask you to stop and read it again and ask yourself what is missing and to humbly pray and ask God to show you what is missing. If you have done so once and still don’t have an awareness of what is missing, please pray and read it again. 

What I don’t see in the declaration is any mention what so ever of the Gospel.  No mention whatsoever about Jesus.  No fear of God. No humility. No service.  No surrender to Jesus.  Just a straight forward elevating of Mr. Bentley with promises of being strengthened and improved, being given more, and being elevated to a higher position. (Barnov later promises him Eastern Europe.) It is sad to see this happen. It is a serious matter facing the church as a whole.

And while serious, what is more important is to examine ourselves and see where we might be engaging in the lust of flesh, lust of eyes, or pride of life.  Even if you are aware of the deceptions at Lakeland and the Revival Alliance Network backing what is going on in Lakeland, still pride may not be far from the door. The enemy has simple objective which is to kill, steal, and destroy.

How do we battle the enemy? Above all we need to humbly submit before God. We each need to ask and pray for God to reveal where there is deception in our lives, be it from ourselves or others.  Then as sin is reveal in our lives and deception is exposed we need to repent.  We need to spend time daily seeking God in his word, not just reading favorite teachers.  We need to seek not our own kingdom or any multiple false kingdoms we can be tempted with, but seek first the Kingdom of God.  Seeking first the kingdom of God is about losing our life.  It at the very core comes down via the commands to love God with the entirety of our being (not what God can do to, for, or through us), and love our neighbor as ourselves.  And when total loving of God is evident, the Gospel will be center stage.