Revival Fever

It was Brownsville and Toronto. Today its Redding or Lakeland. A listener wants to know what Brad and Wayne think about the so-called revivals that break out from time to time. That leads them to a further discussion about understanding the fullness of the Holy Spirit, how the reality of his presence was hijacked by the Charismatic renewal. They even tackle a question about the reality of the Devil and what place he has in the life of a believer.


  1. I just wanted you guys to know that I read the Shack and loved it! I heard so many testimonies of incredible healing that book brought to so many people. I love the journey it has set me on to know my Father better which is why I listened to your podcast so I can be immersed more in this kind of teaching. Well, I am sorry to say with your last Podcast on Revival that I have deleted your podcast from my itunes. I thought you guys were different from the “doctrine police” as you label them but you are just like them, so critical. I just wish you could focus on the revelation God has given you and expound on that rather than knocking something else God is doing in the world. I will miss the love you have spread but definitely not the sarcasm and critical spirit you still walk in even though you know the Father. see you guys later.

  2. Meg,

    I tried to write you back personally, but the email bounced back saying it wasn’t a valid address. So I’ll post my response here:

    I’m truly sorry the podcast hit you the way it did and wanted to thank you for adding your voice to the conversation. We realize that talking honestly about things we’re asked about risks people being offended or misunderstanding. But it is meant to be an ever-expanding conversation, with people like you adding yoru voice when you have a thought our concern. I’m glad you did.

    We don’t claim to be finished products, just brothers on a journey. We don’t claim to get it right, but we were asked about our thoughts and we responded honestly. I’m sure others’ responses will shape our own in the future.

    I pray God lead you on with grace.

    Your brother,


  3. Hi guys. Particularly interesting and thought-provoking GJ this week, with serious issues addressed with your usual humor and wit.

    What you touched only briefly on, but that I find particularly sad, is that there is a silent majority of people who feel that they are “left behind” in these situations: They go to the revival meeting expectant and return home unchanged. They travel to see this speaker, or go to this conference, and yet they do not get the impartation that they were looking for. They are disappointed and frustrated. They see themselves as second- (or lower-) class Christians. “If only I could have the faith of ….. [fill in name of Christian leader here],” they say.

    Now, they may be told that they do not have enough faith, or perhaps that they need to persist, but my feeling is that the real reason is that the answer is not “out there” it is “in here” – not in a new age sense, but in the sense that the almighty God is already dwelling within them. After all, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness”, according to Peter. I have been one of these, and I hope to be able to encourage others caught in this situation.

  4. “But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything—and is true and is no lie, just as it has taught you—abide in him.” I John 2:27

    According to the New Covenant we all have an anointing. It’s not placed in one person other than Jesus and he lives in us.

    I went to the Brownsville revival and was “slain in the Spirit”, but it never brought any lasting change in my life. The only thing that has is coming to know that the Father truly loves me more than anything. And learning to walk in simplicity in a relationship with him. Knowing “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,…” (2Peter 2:3 ESV)

    You revive something that is dying or is already dead. It’s not for the living (ie; that is living in Him or better said, Him living in us.) If we are in Christ then we have His Life – Zoe – eternal life.

    I will say this about Brownsville, There were people who were brought into the kingdom of God and there were those who were healed, etc. But there was a lot of controversy toward the end about the exorbitant lifestyles of the leaders involved and it was in the local newspaper.

    I do believe that God can and will touch people anywhere, anytime. Whether it’s in a revival, IC, or anywhere outside of what the world calls church.

    Anyway, this was a great podcast. One to make you think outside of religion. Keep kicking over the sacred cows.

    Charles Graham

  5. Hey, guys, I think you need to go spend a week in Lakeland before you speak up and try to sound like experts about it, because obviously you aren’t.

  6. I listened to your podcast on Revival and I want to thank you for your thougths. I feel like you gracefully walked a thin line in expressing some thoughts about revival that need to be expressed. I do believe that we need to bless what is happening and continue to pray for God’s presence in the lives of believers.

    I found your comments on the end of the day experience of who God is and His presence in my life. I love the experiences I have had but truly we need to live in the life of God and not in the experiences or events. I want the events but those are not going to make me a better Christian to impact the world. I look forward to hearing more of your podcast. Thank you. R

  7. Hi Wayne! This is meg sorry it took me awhile to write you back. Sorry about my email address, I put one to many l’s in it. I really appreciate your heartfelt response. I let some of my friends read what i wrote you and they said i was being a little harsh. What you got from me that day was a reaction to your podcast rather than a response. I really felt the tone of the podcast was not loving towards “charismatics” and it really bothered me because I don’t think the Father would label anyone anything. I just wish the conversation could have been a little more honoring of the people you were talking about. I know you have the right to your opinion but there is a way to share that opinion that doesn’t try diminish the other person’s experience, thoughts or ideas. I thought the purpose of the podcast was learning to walk in love instead of just bashing other people and to me that is the way the podcast came across. Know that I really do appreciate the conversation you are trying to have about leaving behind religion and I am sorry for just cutting you off the way I did. I may not be listening to your podcast as much but i will be checking in on your website still. Thanks for your humility and honesty with me. meg

  8. I really love you guys!! Simple transparency is beautiful. Re. the above, I, too, was a bit taken back by what I seemed to hear from you on “Revival Fever”. To be honest, what I felt was: “These guys have come a LONG WAYS out of the ‘religious/ organized church box’ – but seem to have built one of their own in regard to what is going on in ‘Lakeland/ Redding/ Toronto/ Brownsville”and other different parts of the Beautiful Body of Christ. Let me say that I still LOVE YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU AND THANK THE LORD FOR YOU!!!

    Here is a clip from “Mr Charisma”, Lee Grady, editor of Charisma Magazine. Since you would not be likely to read it, I attach it because, even though he may be coming from a bit different perspective than you guys right now – it bears the marks of a Biblical perspective, and worth the read, in my opinion. This is from his blog: “Fire In My Bones”

    As Gamaliel said to the sanhedrin: “If this be of men, it will come to naught; but if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it; lset you be found to even fight against God” Acts 5: 38, 39 (abreviated a bit). Blessings!! Gordon

    “Can We Avoid a Charismatic Civil War?
    Some leaders say the controversial Lakeland Revival is forcing us to choose sides. But I don’t believe God wants to split our movement.

    It’s been more than 10 years since charismatic prophet Rick Joyner predicted in his popular book The Final Quest that believers would experience a Civil War in the church. Joyner’s book, based on a series of visions he says God showed him, describes in graphic detail a turbulent conflict that redefines Christianity as we know it.

    Other charismatic leaders have echoed this theme since Joyner’s book was published in 1996. They have predicted that our movement will be divided between “Blues” (those who constantly live in the supernatural realm of dreams, visions and miracles) and “Grays” (those who rely more on their intellect), and that the Blues will win and usher in true revival as champions of the Holy Spirit’s power.

    Even in early 2008, before the Lakeland Revival erupted in Florida in April, some charismatic prophets were declaring that a great rift would divide those who believe in “the glory realm” and those who have a more conservative, left-brained approach to their faith. When God TV began its nightly broadcasts of evangelist Todd Bentley’s healing meetings in Lakeland, the Civil War prophecies reappeared overnight on hundreds of blogs and e-mail blasts.

    “Jesus prayed that we would be one. There is no record of Him praying that we would split over doctrine.”

    I’ll admit I was not paying too much attention to these Civil War predictions 10 years ago. But I was jolted into reality in May after I wrote an online column in which I raised honest questions about some of Bentley’s teachings and techniques. Even though I celebrated his passion and zeal, and praised God for the healings that were reported in Lakeland, I was immediately branded a revival critic and banished to the Gray camp.

    I became the bad guy because, by asking questions, I was “relying on my intellect.” To those in the Blue camp, my skepticism made me an enemy of the Holy Spirit and all things supernatural—even though I believe that all the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today!

    I tried to laugh this off at first. Surely, I imagined, my Christian brothers and sisters do not really think it is wrong for a Spirit-filled believer to test the spirits (which we are instructed to do in 1 John 4:1), discern truth (see 2 Pet. 3:17) or evaluate prophecies and angelic encounters (see 1 Cor. 14:29, Gal. 1:6-8).

    But now I realize that some people really want a war. They want the charismatic movement to split right down the middle. They imply that all those who do not embrace 100 percent of the current movement in Lakeland are “old wineskins” that cannot be used by God in the coming revival.

    I can’t even describe how much this hurts because I love people on both sides of this conflict. I love the Blues and the Grays, along with every other color in the body of Christ. I refuse to believe that God is trying to split us. Division is the devil’s work.

    I want to plead with everyone in our movement to reconsider the whole Civil War scenario. Instead of rattling sabers and stockpiling gunpowder, maybe we need to take steps in the opposite direction:

    1. Let’s accept one another. The apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthians because they exalted certain gifts above others. He reminded them that every member of the body of Christ plays an important role, and that no individual part—whether eye, hand or foot—functions on its own. He rebuked this elitist attitude “so that there may be no division in the body” (1 Cor. 12:25, NASB).

    Most of us already acknowledge the importance of supernatural gifts of healing, prophecy, tongues and other demonstrations of God’s power. But in our zeal to recover these gifts, let’s not isolate those whose primary functions may be mercy, giving to the poor, teaching or intercession. We should cherish every spiritual gift—not just the sensational or the exotic.

    2. Let’s admonish one another. Christians have not always been the best models of conflict resolution. When tension gets high we either avoid it (usually by saying nothing and hoping the problems go away) or we overreact (by childishly picking up our marbles and playing somewhere else). But the Bible tells us to work things out in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.

    In the case of Lakeland, there are some doctrines and methods that have come under intense scrutiny. Heresy hunters are having a field day as they toss their grenades and label everything in Lakeland demonic. But because I embrace Todd Bentley as my brother in Christ, I must take a higher road even if I don’t agree with his prayer methods or his claims regarding angels. Anything I say, even if it is corrective, must be said in love (see Eph. 4:15).

    Thankfully a group of leaders from various charismatic camps (both “Blues” and “Grays”!) are discussing the contentious issues surrounding Lakeland—and biblical confrontation is occurring. I trust this process will result in correction where it’s needed, apologies when necessary and more humility on all sides of the debate.

    3. Let’s pray for one another (see James 5:16). Jesus prayed that we would be one. There is no record of Him praying that we would split over doctrine. So why in the world would any of us hope for a Civil War?

    Please pray for Bentley—and for the leaders who are speaking into his life during this season. And pray that the church will not only experience genuine spiritual revival but also true unity. Let’s work out our differences, support one another’s ministries and focus all our efforts on one common goal: To tell a lost world about the love of Jesus.”

    J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.

  9. hey guys,

    I grew up in the “Toronto Renewal” for 8 years of my life as a young person. I’ve been to tons of Todd Bentley meetings as well as Bill Johnson meetings with the gang from Redding. Love them all.

    I love Brad and Wayne as well for their revelation on religion and the Father’s love.

    I did feel like I was being bashed though from this podcast… and thought it was harsh. I liked Meg’s comments even though they came across as a defensive reaction.

    Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson, and all those guys involved in “moves of God” around the world are all on the god journey too, but just different parts of it.

    I kind of wish you guys would make a podcast talking about the things you like about “revivals” in the charismatic / pentecostal sense of the word… just to show that you are all for the things that God really does in those settings.

    Love you guys, your a blessing!

    Dallas from Toronto!

  10. I have always found wonderful revelation in your podcasts, but struggled with this one. It struck me as being very critical of different parts of the body.
    Although I am drawn to a different model than what is portrayed in these “revivals”, I am an example of a lasting transformed life as a direct result of them. I was first introduced to the Holy Spirit in a Rodney Howard Browne meeting in the 90’s, received my revelation of Father’s love from listening to tapes out of the Toronto Blessing in the late 90’s, and have been stirred deeply and compelled to have compassion for the hurting by what is happening in Lakeland.
    I don’t necessarily believe that these churchy revival meetings are the best method to spread the love of God to the world, but I do believe that God still uses the foolish things to confound the wise. I just rejoice that His Glory and love are being poured out freely to all who ask.
    Your comments of “painting them all with the same wide brush” and outright questioning if God is even involved in these meetings worries me.
    The good fruit isn’t hard to find if you look for it.

    Still love you guys.

    Chad from Indiana

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