Lakeland Revival (2008)
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In 2008 in Lakeland, Florida, the so-called “Lakeland Revival” took place. It was a major event within the New Apostolic Reformation. Todd Bentley, initiator of the Lakeland Revival, was joined by many influential members of the New Apostolic Reformation movement.
Todd Bentley was invited to host a five-day event at a local church in early April 2008. The event was so successful that the movement continued on until August. Healings reportedly happened all along, and a TV channel (GOD TV) started broadcasting the event live.
The event was relocated to an air-conditioned tent that could contain 10,000 people. By the end of May, the organizations estimated that over 140,000 people from 40 countries had come to Lakeland between early April and the end of May. Over 1.2 million people allegedly followed the event online. By the end of June, over 400,000 people from over 100 countries had taken part in the event.
On June 23, several leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) gathered in Lakeland to “commission” Todd Bentley.
This commission represents a powerful spiritual operation that takes place in the invisible world. Being aware of this, I take my God-given apostolic authority and declare 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 declare that a supernatural force will flow from this ministry. A new life force will permeate the move of God. A government will be established to put things back in order. God will pour out a high level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will rise to open the doors of the future.
Then three “sponsors” publicly acknowledged the grace of God over Todd Bentley as an evangelist to direct the outpouring at Lakeland:
- Ché Ahn
- Bill Johnson
- John Arnott
At the end of the celebration, Ché Ahn had Todd Bentley’s wife and children come on stage to bless them. He prayed:
Thank you Lord, you called them as a team to go to the nations…
On July 9, ABC News  broadcast an investigation program with a focus on the reported healings, the finances and Todd Bentley’s criminal past. Among other things, the broadcast highlighted Todd Bentley’s inability to provide any proofs of the reported healings.
A few days later, Todd Bentley stopped coming on stage. He reappeared on July 18, but just five days later, that is, one month after his commissioning, his official departure was announced.
In August, Todd Bentley announced that he was leaving his wife. It was then made public that he had an extramarital relationship with his assistant. Excessive drinking problems also surfaced.
The Lakeland Revival thus collapsed.
Surprisingly, none of the many prophets and apostles present at the commissioning ceremony of June 23, nor Rick Joyner (renown prophet within the movement) who was present as well, perceived Todd Bentley’s misconduct. Bentley lived in sin while leading the Lakeland Revival.
Subsequently, the board of Fresh Fire Ministries (Todd Bentley’s ministry) stated that Bentley was drawing back from public ministry for some time in order to receive counseling for his private life.
A committee made of Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, and Jack Deere was created to support Todd Bentley in his struggle.
In November, the board of Fresh Fire Ministries stated that Todd Bentley was not complying with the process.
On March 9, 2009, Rick Joyner announced that Todd Bentley had remarried, with his assistant.
In early 2010, Rick Joyner announced Todd Bentley’s restoration, which allowed him to start again his public activities.
My personal opinion is that this “restoration” was necessary to minimize the bitter failure of the Lakeland Revival and of the prophecies made over Todd Bentley. The restoration theoretically required that Todd Bentley would put an end to his extramarital relationship and go back to his family. Yet he didn’t follow that path; instead, he went ahead and married his mistress.
Here are the videos of the event, featuring C. Peter Wagner, Bill Johnson, Ché Ahn, and many other leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation.
Lakeland Revival – The Movie: “neutral” documentary presenting the Lakeland Revival in a rather favorable light.
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