2008.07.09 - “LEAVING -- TO ENTER”
Repentance literally means to “change your mind.” It means to leave a previous position to take up a new. It means in the Gospel, to leave “faith in dead works” and to take up “faith in God”, Jesus, and full submission like Rees Howells to the Holy Spirit.” In April 1948 I entered into the North Battleford outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I did so chiefly because of what I believed in Jesus' prayer in John 17 -- “That they may be one, Father, as we are one. You in me and I in you - that they may be one with us.” This text was on a platform banner at the July 1948 Camp Meeting there.
I sensed early in 1949 that an extreme position concerning the “Manifestation of the Sons of God” was beginning to take place. Post-resurrection truths were being placed this side of the resurrection. I went to one of the leaders, and expressed my concern. When no changes or adjustments took place, my wife Marie and I withdrew from this movement, and by September of that year enrolled in Northern Baptist Theological Seminary of Chicago, where I completed my seminary education with an M. Div. degree.
In 1995 Marie and I were part of the “Watchmen of the Nations” of Canada, three of the original father-mother couples. Again, an inability to discern between legitimate practices of culture, and those not birthed by God in the beginning -- concerned us, so that in a few years we again withdrew.
Now a prophetic move has arisen in the last 2-3 decades that has had within itself a mixture. We have watched it with concern, and tried to be like God told Jeremiah -- to take the precious from the vile, and not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Recently in our endeavor to be true to this goal, I have quoted Bill Johnson in his joining with two others to give legitimacy to the Lakeland Florida Revival with Todd Bentley. I mentioned that I was somewhat in the middle, and had not embraced this revival in the same way as the others.
I have read both “pro” and “con” on this Visitation. The position of Andrew Strom has struck a cord that is quite close to the position held by both Marie and myself.
For the third time I feel that we must again in a spirit of repentance, “change our mind” about the past 3 months, and like Brother Strom, come out, that we may in turn go into what we deem a more Scriptural position on the prophetic.
As many of you know, God has kept me very close to His word through His Commission to me to prepare Ivan Panin's Interlinear Outlined Greek New Testament. I am also starting to do selected portions of the Hebrew Old Testament on the same format. On this basis I find it exceeding difficult to justify in a Scriptural sense much of the doctrine and behavior at Lakeland.
I am friends with many of the prophetic leaders that have entered more completely than us into the Move. So I confess that it is with regret as deep as our past departures -- that we make this decision.
So it is quite close to the position taken by Andrew Strom that we clarify our position and make this decision.
Count on our continued prayers for those we leave. Just as God led me to pray for Todd Bentley daily three months ago, most all of the other leaders involved are also on my daily prayer list, and will continue there.
It is chiefly for our friends who look to us as an example and somewhat as a plumbline identified with both the Word and the Spirit in balance -- that we feel God leading us to make this break and declare clearly our reasons for doing so.
Your friends -- Jim & Marie Watt