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Todd Bentley – A Summary

By Keith Malcomson

20.08.08

I believe we have entered one of the most important times for the Church in recent history. Never has the Church been so blind, naked and poor as at this present time. After a trail of so-called revivals (Toronto, Pensacola, Florida) we find that the Church Internationally is terribly sick and so very easily deceived. The so-called 100 day revival held in Lakeland Florida by Todd Bentley is the grand summary and climax of where the church has been led by a host of famous Apostles, Prophets, Teachers and Evangelists who have been followed by multitudes of blind local shepherds who in turn have led their congregations into a ditch.

With the first news and sight of this new type of revivalist, the tattooed and pierced Todd Bentley, we were told once again not to judge and simply accept that this is Gods new type of Millennium Revivalist. Bentley is a 32 year old Canadian Charismatic Evangelist who styles himself as the first of a new wave of healing evangelists.  

Explosive Revival?

How did all this begin? Todd Bentley went to Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida, to hold five nights of meetings for Pastor Stephen Strader starting on the 2nd of April 2008. These meetings suddenly and dramatically exploded into what was quickly called by many the first great revival of the new millennium. As great crowds gathered from all over the nation, and then the world, they were compelled to move to bigger buildings and finally to a large stadium.  The leaders of the previous revivals and apostolic movements of recent decades jumped immediately on the band wagon saying this is of the Lord. 

This has been the first so-called revival in history to be broadcast live into literally millions of homes and churches across all five continents. It was God TV that quickly took up the task of broadcasting the meetings into more than 200 countries with a potential audience of 400 million. On top of this 550,000 different computers have logged into the webcast to watch the meetings directly.  Todd Bentley’s ministry, Fresh Fire Ministries, reported that their website received as many as 6 million hits in one month causing them to struggle with the overwhelming response not to mention phone calls and emails without number which have taxed their infrastructure and human resources almost to the breaking point.

At one such meeting Bentley proclaimed, “Entire cities are about to come under the glory of God … I’m talking about in America...I feel that what’s going to be released tonight is a city-taking, nation-taking anointing...We’re going to the cities, then the nations. My dream has never been for a mega-ministry, it has been for a movement. I want to be part of a movement.”

Medical Evidence for Healings

This so-called revival did not go unchallenged. Loud international concern and criticism arose and requests came for medical evidence for the constant claims of healings, miracles and resurrections from the dead that filled the public pulpit each evening.  Bentley’s response was to inform those concerned that his team of interns were working 80 hours a week collecting medical records and other proof of healings so that the Lakeland Outpouring would become “one of the most well-documented revivals in history.”

Of course God TV who were broadcasting the meetings proclaimed any criticism of Bentley to be demonic.

However, very soon Bentley and Pastor Strader were asking genuinely concerned leaders to stop asking for any proof. Strader came up with the weak argument that by American law they could not provide medical evidence, which is untrue. When finally some was forthcoming it was scant to say the least. It is important to understand that the claimed miracles were most often never checked or verified before being aired, they were taken at face value.

All those I have read and heard from who have raised questions and concerns over the Lakeland Revival believe the miraculous is still for today including the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. All of these believe in the work of the Holy Ghost in a real manifest life-changing way but they also believe in applying scriptural testing’s to all claims of Holy Ghost revival.

Such concerns not only came from more sound Pentecostal and Evangelical leaders but from leaders within a wide verity of Charismatic groups. One such report was from Robert Ricciardelli who writes for Charasma Magazine. He said, “Truth is there are very few people being healed in Lakeland. I have worked with Charisma Magazine editor Lee Grady in discovering how many false reports have been released as facts.” Reference those raised from the dead he said, “We have investigated the 20 plus "raised from the dead" claims as we want to report them to the media, and they cannot be verified, but were only called in, or sent in from an email. This is not responsible reporting, and leaves many questions, which also adds to the claims of hype and embellishment."

While Pastor Stephen Strader was trying to bring the number of resurrections down to 13 Todd was raising the number to 27 and more. Again Robert Ricciardelli says, “When we questioned staff members, and former staff members about Todd, many used the same words to describe him, Pathological Liar.” A pathological liar is someone who embellishes his stories in a way that he believes will impress people. The difference between a liar and a pathological liar is that the latter believes or has made himself believe the lie he is telling.

Those who hold a leadership position in the American Pentecostal-Charismatic world who are very open to a real work of the Holy Ghost but also discerning in appraising this revival reported very little evidence to support the many claims on the platform concerning the miraculous. Of course the main (number 1) argument used to prove that this revival is of God which is put forth by its followers is that ‘people are being healed, miracles are happening.’ Most if not all of these base their conclusions upon what they see on a television screen on stage or upon reports of healing.

Apostolic Backing

By the 24th June Peter Wagner, John Arnott, Rick Joyner and others were on his revival platform proclaiming themselves as Apostles and Prophets who had the power to commission Todd Bentley Apostolically and to endorse and promote this new revival.

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.”

Days later Bentley responded by saying, “I am no church historian, but I do not know of any other time in history, since the book of Acts, when so many different apostles and so many different prophets and movements and leaders [been represented] This is so much bigger than [anything else] ever before. The devil is shaking in his boots because the apostles are gathering and the prophets are gathering.”

Separation From Wife

Bentley has spent most of the last four months away from his home and his wife. It was just revealed two week ago that Todd has filed for separation from his wife Shonnah, due to “significant friction in their relationship.” Filing for separation is the first step towards divorce. It seems that they have been receiving marriage counselling for the past several months and that there have been problems for years. The past four months of revival meetings only “exacerbated existing issues” in their marriage.

The very latest news is the following which I have taken from Bentley’s Fresh Fire Ministries website,

“...Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.” - From the Board of Directors, Fresh Fire Ministries.

The Fresh Fire Board of Directors emphasized the separation was not due to infidelity by either spouse. It is obvious however that Todd was involved in this so-called “unhealthy relationship” before he filed for separation from his wife. This suddenly brings an end to what many professed would be the greatest revival yet. And so Bentley’s departure comes two weeks earlier than the August 23rd date announced earlier this month. He believed that August 23rd would mark the beginning of carrying this revival around the world to many nations’ including Britain in September and October. Instead he has been stepped down from public ministry.

This is not the first time an extra-marital relationship has come up for Bentley. Pastor Strader confessed that the same thing happened three years previously. A number of key leaders have known all through this concerning his previous problems yet kept quiet. In fact they are the very ones who most supported this revival. These same leaders were involved in his restoration previously. That time it was private, now it is public.

Also John Arnott of Toronto has commented that “excessive drinking” was also a problem. It seems every day brings some new thing we did not know of before. It is also coming to light that the apostles and prophets who commissioned Bentley during the revival have for years known that there have been problems in Bentley’s personal life.

Points of Real Concern

The following are just a few points of deep concern. Much more could be said, listed and verified but I hope this is sufficient for all who love Christ Jesus and His Word of Truth.

1. Immoral Prophets promoted.

First of all Todd has promoted immoral and heretical prophets. Bob Jones was disgraced years back both morally and doctrinally in the days of the Kansas City Prophets. Even John Wimber would not let him pray for women. Yet this so-called prophet is given first place by Todd. We could say much about this Prophet’s strange beliefs but enough for now.

Then there is Paul Cain, he has been strongly promoted on the revival platform by Todd. They make much of the fact that Paul Cain in 1999 prophesied that a healing revival would come to Florida. What was he doing secretly in 1999 that no-one knew of until a few years later? He was in a homosexual relationship with a young man and also regularly getting drunk. This was made public by men like Rick Joyner and Jack Deere.  

But now the same Paul Cain who has supposedly repented, been forgiven and restored to ministry is on this revival platform and hailed a hero. In the following Utube snippet you will hear Paul Cain at the revival professing to have remained celibate all his days and now with the ability to discern purity in Todd’s young men. Watch both of these clips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o25jTVb5Bj8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL4BJwqB9_Y&feature=related

So these are Todd’s two key Prophets whom he promoted in the midst of a so-called revival both of whom were caught out in gross immorality. That concerns me. When we add to this the fact that Todd did serve time in prison, albeit before his so-called conversion, for paedophilia we have a worrying scenario. 

The same Charismatic leaders (men like Rick Joyner) who protected Bob Jones and Paul Cain will also protect Todd Bentley at this time. Birds of a feather...

2. “Bam”.

Todd is now famous for constantly praying for people with “Bam...Bam...Bam.” (Just watch any of his programmes).  Why does he do this? Pastor Stephen Strader gives the answer. Because Florida is the home of Disney World and Todd likes to watch lots of cartoons. On those cartoons when dynamite explodes you see a “Bam” on the screen and so “Bam” is a codeword for the Holy Ghost. This is hard to believe but true.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jFQzpIhhjs 

3. Angels.

The following report concerning Emma the Angel was given by Todd on his own website which was later removed as it became a point of great controversy.

“Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: "Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?" He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, "Bob, who is Emma?" He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out. Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Buelah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, "Here's Emma." I'm not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor. It was almost like Kathryn Khulman in those old videos when she wore a white dress and looked like she was gliding across the platform. Emma appeared beautiful and young—about 22 years old—but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life.


She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began putting gold dust on people. "God, what is happening?" I asked. The Lord answered: "She is releasing the gold, which is both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that I am bringing into this church. I want you to prophecy that Emma showed up in this service—the same angel that appeared in Kansas city—as a sign that I am endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church." See, when angels come, they always come for a reason; we need to actually ask God what the purpose is. Within three weeks of that visitation, the church had given me the biggest offering I had ever received to that point in my ministry. Thousands of dollars! Thousands! Even though the entire community consisted of only three thousand people, weeks after I left the church the pastor testified that the church offerings had either doubled or tripled.


During this visitation the pastor's wife (it was an AOG church) got totally whacked by the Holy Ghost— she began running around barking like a dog or squawking like a chicken as a powerful prophetic spirit came on her. Also, as this prophetic anointing came on her, she started getting phone numbers of complete strangers and calling them up on the telephone and prophesying over them. She would tell them that God gave her their telephone number and then would give them words of knowledge. Complete strangers. Then angels started showing up in the church.


I believe Emma released a financial and prophetic anointing in that place. That was the first angel that I have ever seen in the form of a woman. Some angels I've seen seemed like they were neither male nor female. However, Emma appeared as a woman who was like a Deborah, like a mother in Zion. When she came, she began to mentor, nurture and opened up a prophetic well. The people in the church began having trances and visions and the pastor began getting words of knowledge and moving in healing. That congregation also saw more financial breakthrough than they had ever seen before.

Todd even believes that he has a special commission from God to make Christians believe in these Angels. He has made them more central than Christ. If you do a thorough study on Todd you will find that for years he has had a great many angelic visitations which he makes much of. Not only is there Emma but also one called Winds of Change, another called Revelation and yet another called Promise. I believe these are fallen dark angels that over the past 20 years have invaded and directed the Charismatic Movement. Although Todd and others defend his visitations by a female Angel called Emma, in his recent book (published June 2008) called Reality of the Supernatural World, he changes one significant fact about this angel. He says,

“...He appeared young–about 22 years old–but old at the same time. It was as though he carried the wisdom, virtue, and grace of Proverbs 31.”

He has said he likes to feel the presence of Angels and when aware of their presence it is easy for him to release miracles “and other stuff that God wants to do.” He encourages people to pray for the ability to feel and see angels and for a release of their activity. Concerning an angel that was called Healing Revival he said,

“In our ministry over the last year, this angel has come frequently and on many different occasions. When He comes I get a gift-the ability to diagnose people's sicknesses with my left hand. At times this angel brings words of knowledge; I get very accurate details from God including people's first, middle and last names as well as nicknames, the year they were injured, the color of their vehicle and the state they are from. Many other people have also seen or had contact with this angel in the meetings. And whenever this angel shows up the miracles go off the charts. Instead of a few healings, we'll get three blind eyes in one night or maybe a cripple guy gets out of a wheel chair.”

4. Commending Himself.

Todd makes many claims that the angels who accompany him are those which were with John G. Lake and William Branham. He works hard to identify himself with the great healing revivalists. He has had Jack Coe’s son on his platform promoting him. He strongly uses his association with prominent leaders, past and present, to give himself credence. When you see these men on platform together they are not labouring in making much of Christ but in commending and promoting each other. When Paul the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians he laboured this point,

“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?” (II Cor.3v1). “For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.” (5v12). “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (10v12).  

How did Paul commend himself? It was in his honest, correct handling of the Word of God and by a life that lined up with it. II Cor.4v2,  “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” He refused to distort or add to the message. He commended himself by faithfully handling Gods truth without mixture.

Todd gives numerous testimonies of visits to heaven, astral travel, talking with the Apostle Paul and such like. All of this is to prove that he is God’s man of the hour. He does not believe that these experiences are sovereign acts of God for he clearly believes that he can bring about these experiences. He says, “I realize that the only thing to get us into the throne room was my conscious decision to think about what it looked like in the heavenlies at that moment in the service. I had also begun to acknowledge the angelic realm. So it appears that there is something about the angelic host that brings spiritual experiences. Are you ready for these types of experiences today?!”

Paul even had an experience of being caught up to the third heaven” – paradise, which he does not relate for 14 years. In that state he “heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” All such acts of discretion by Paul were to keep himself out of the picture and to make much of Christ and His Word. Paul stood on Mars Hill with the great philosophers of the day and met them on their own ground of debate and logical reason. The result was little fruit. After leaving Athens for Corinth in what state of heart did he go?

1Cor.2v1-5 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

When Paul left Mars Hill he determined that when he arrived in Corinth he would know nothing among them but Christ and Him crucified. Let us return again to such simple Biblical ministry rather than name dropping of preachers and Angels and of extraordinary testimonies that do not line up with God’s Word. To be faithful in proclaiming God’s Word is better than testifying of man or of heavenly experiences.

5. Word of God is Not Authoritive.

It is very plain that Todd Bentley constantly refers to experiences for his authority and not the Word of God. Many experiences he has had and shared cannot be verified by the Word. When questioned about manifestations at Lakeland that could not be found in the Bible he said,

“Some people desire Scripture for every manifestation of God - for every detail of every God-given, Holy Spirit inspired vision, dream, encounter, or demonstration of the supernatural realm of God manifested on the earth. While I firmly believe that we're to defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I don't believe we're to defend divine manifestations of God, because they are proof within themselves of the Gospel, wherever the Word of God is sent forth. Discern yes, but defend, no. Consider that many of the "greater" things that Christ said we would do hadn't even been done yet and weren't recorded in the Bible.” And again “Someone once said that limiting revelation is like trying to fit an ocean into a cup. God is continually restoring truth and light to His Church. Therefore, we should place no limit on further revelation.

We need say no more on this vital issue. Todd believes in experiences beyond the boundary of God’s Word. If that is so who can challenge anything that happens? This puts someone’s experience beyond all testing by the Word of God. Yet we are commanded by God to test all things and prove all things by Gods plumb line – His infallible Holy Ghost inspired Word.

When Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the Mount where he was transfigured before them in glory, they watched on as he spoke with Moses and Elijah. Then they heard the audible voice of the Father say “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Mat.17v1-8). What was the result? They fell on their faces in fear. When they looked up again “they saw no man, save Jesus only.” This is the end goal of every true manifestation. Years later Peter says of this amazing experience, “We have a more sure word of prophesy” speaking of the written Word of God.

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Pet.1v16-21).

There has been a terrible departure from the written Word of God in this hour – this is apostasy. We must return and test ALL things by it. The Holy Spirit who gave it will never contradict it.

6. Catholic Charismatic.

Someone’s foundation and background is very important. Todd was discipled amongst Catholic Charismatic’s. This is where he got his grounding. He testifies to the fact that the hottest (best) meeting he was ever in was Monday night meetings at Catholic Mass. Now although all the popular Charismatic leaders of our day – Benny Hinn, Brian Houston (Hillsongs), Joel Edwards of the British Evangelical Alliance and a great host of others, believe the Pope is a man of God and that Catholics are saved, any true discerning Christian who knows their Bible and who knows the present official teaching of Rome will know that she has not changed and that true Christianity is not found within her.

For the first time in 400 years born-again, Bible believing, Blood washed Christians are being confused on the issue of the Catholic Church. Any genuine Christian who returns to the written Word of God will acknowledge that the Catholic Church is experiencing apostasy, not revival, renewal or reformation. Any mature believer or leader especially a true Revivalist would never be blind to Rome’s abominations. Neither would they be ignorant as to Rome’s blaspheme in the Mass and denial of Christ’s finished work at Calvary. Every true revival for 400 years has called people out of this Roman system why have things changed?

Below is Todd’s own testimony concerning his background.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtSK9TyduR4

7. Demon possession.

Todd testifies that after salvation when in a state of fervently loving Christ, His Word and evangelising lost souls he was demon possessed. When at a Catholic Charismatic house meeting the “Lord” spoke to him “audibly” and told him he had a demon in him. This initially shocked him but when he approached the leader he began to manifest after which 25 demons were cast out of him. During this experience he was writhing on the floor like a snake cursing and blaspheming. Can I ask why the Lord was not able to tell him that there were 25 demons in him? And if he could have been on fire for God and yet “demon possessed” then does that mean that he could still have been demon possessed in this revival?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtSK9TyduR4

8. Tattoos & Studs

Todd Bentley is the embodiment of what the Charismatic-user friendly-carnal church of recent years has yearned for. God has given them their requests but sent leanness into their soul. He has given them the leaders they desired. Anyone who has seen much of Todd will take note of his tattoos, pierced lip and his casual dress of jeans and t-shirt. On the so-called revival platform at Lakeland, Todd arrived wearing a t-shirt  with “JESUS Loves me & MY TATTOOS!” written on it.

Where does this practice of tattooing and body piercings come from? Has it been copied from great men and woman of God over the past 2000 years? Is it a practice that has been copied from the early Church in the Book of Acts? Or has it appeared in Church history during times of great revival? The answer is NO.

It has always been a pagan practice in every culture where it was found. It was a sign of rebellion against God and was associated most often with false worship and false spirits. All through the OT and the NT this was a practice of a pagan culture which the Church was called to evangelize. Nowhere will we read of the early church donning tattoos or piercings in order to reach the world or to be acceptable unto it. That is a brand new teaching spurned by an apostate church.

It is a medical fact that tattooing runs the risk of various diseases such as Hepatitis C and AIDS. The reason is that the needle used to give the tattoo will pierce the skin up to 3000 times a minute. Very often tattoo shops around the world will not be the most hygienic of places. This is just a very simple fact.

In Lev.19v28 we read, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Young’s Literal translation says, “...and a writing, a cross-mark, ye do not put on you; I am Jehovah.” The Amplified “...nor print or tattoo any marks upon you; I am the Lord.” These simple commands are guarded and signatured by God Himself with the fact that He is the LORD. That settles all issues.

Some will say that this command in Leviticus is OT Law which we are no longer under. The next verse, v29 says “Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.” This specific command is not repeated in the NT does that make it obsolete?

Let’s look at Jacob who was before the law and was a man who was simply seeking after the Lord with all his heart. Notice in the following scriptures that to put away strange or foreign gods from among Gods true people included the earrings that they had picked up from the surrounding pagan culture and even the clothing of the local pagan culture.

Gen.35v2-5, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

Because there are so many pagan practices copied from the world in today’s church the fear of God is no longer on the world around us. Because we look, act and speak like them – making no difference, there is no fear of our God anymore. In Acts chapter 5 when Ananias and Sapphira were struck down dead for lying to the Holy Ghost we are told the fear of God came upon the people.

Act 5:11-14 “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)”

Such a true act of separation and judgment on sin kept false converts out but brought many true genuine believers into the Church. Tattoos and body piercings have always been a part of the pagan world surrounding the Church but now for the first time in 2000 years these practices are inside what is called the Church. Selah.

We have fulfilled what the LORD spoke through Hosea concerning the Church of his day, “And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.” (2v13). When the church backslides it takes upon itself the appearance of the world, of a prostitute and of a harlot. It mimics the ways, looks and trends of the world around it.

Again when we read of the false counterfeit church of Revelation 17, which is in the time of the last of the last days, we see she is a Harlot. What we see in these present revivals is a harlot church and spirit? Why do I say that? Because she looks, acts and speaks like one.

What Now?

The latest greatest tattooed revivalist has been stood down from ministry. So what will happen next? It is sad to say that many are already saying that this is no reflection on the genuineness of the Lakeland Revival (so-called). All through Scripture a preacher’s attitude, actions and lifestyle were integral to the message he preached. For the messenger to be blemished was to blemish the message. But not in today’s revivals. The Holy Ghost will keep on working even with unclean vessels.

Give it a few months or a year and I am sure many will demand that Todd Bentley returns to the pulpit to carry on his revival ministry. In today’s church preachers who fall into adultery, homosexuality, heresy and every type of sin are gladly welcomed back as long as they have a dynamic, charismatic ministry with many supernatural testimonies to entertain. If the so-called church ignores what has just happened in this revival and restores Bentley back to carry on as before I believe this whole movement will end in gross immorality.

I do however believe that the Lord has used this as a last wakeup call to His true Remnant. Especially those who have been duped, deceived and caught up in these false winds of revival in recent years. Many are now shocked, I pray that they are shocked enough to return to God’s Word and to Christ as central in all things.

The Great Delusion & Genuine Revival

Although I believe the end of the age will be marked by deception, as Christ warned, and by false teachers, prophets and apostles who come with lying signs and wonders, I do not believe that the day of Revivals are over. We are indeed watching God hand over an apostate church to great delusion but I do believe that we are on the verge of a genuine Bible-based, Christ-centred, Spirit-led Revival that will gather in one last harvest from among the lost, deceived and confused multitudes through a Holy Remnant that will preach the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. This revival will be a holiness revival when the Bride will make herself ready for the coming of the Bridegroom.

1. End day Deception.

Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Mk.13v4-6), Christ marked out the last days just before He returned again as some of the most deceptive the world has ever known. This would not be just deceit in the world but deceit in the church. For many would come in the last hour saying that Jesus is the Anointed One. It will be such people who have come to deceive in this last hour and they shall be very successful in their task.

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Mat 24:11-12), At the fore of this deception will be false prophets, those who seem to have gifted prophetic ministry yet they will lead into deception. This great wave of deception will be marked by an increase of iniquity. Remember this is in connection with the church. Because of iniquity abounding on the left and right the love of many will turn cold. Deception has completed her work when the hearts grow cold.

2. False Miracles.

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mt.24v24), I believe that these false Christ’s will not just be people proclaiming themselves to be Christ. The name Christ means anointed one. There will come many in this last hour proclaiming them-selves to be anointed of the Holy Ghost – this will be a key mark of these deceivers of the church.

And note we are told that they will “shew great signs and wonders.” They will perform supernatural acts that many will believe could be done by no other than God Himself. In the Old and New Testament signs and wonders were Divine tokens given to Gods messengers. This seeming vindication of God will mark the last day’s deceivers. All this is focused at true believers, the true Church.

Deut.13v1-2, “If there arise among you a prophet…and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass…” We are warned in these verses of Prophets who work signs and wonders yet lead away from the true God and His truth. They are to be utterly rejected even if a miracle is worked and the thing they spoke does come to pass. Pharaohs Magicians and Balaam the prophet fall into this category.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

…And he doeth great wonders…And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;” (Rev.13v11, 13-14), Notice that thee False Prophet at the end of the age has the appearance of the Lamb, of Christ, but he speaks like the Dragon, the Devil. His message gives Him away. He does great wonders and miracles which deceive many.

I know that earlier in this article we have noted that many of the supposed miracles claimed vanished into thin air in this recent revival but we must be prepared for the fact that the Bible warns that in these days false prophets will come to deceive who actually perform miracles. Anyone who is impressed with the miraculous alone will be deceived in this hour. What we now see will finally climax in the manifestation of Satan in human flesh, the Devil incarnate. This is the mystery of iniquity that is presently at work in these so-called revivals.

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.(II Th.2v9-12),

He will come in the working or the energy of Satan working signs and lying wonders. Is it any wonder then that he gives his messengers “lying wonders”. Only those who have received the love of the truth of God’s Word and who believe and obey it will be preserved in these days.

3. End Day Revival.

Because of the above scriptural facts many genuine believers have come to believe that there will be no revival at the end of the age before Jesus returns. Let me note a couple of things. First, Revival is not just an act of God or something which happens to the Church, it is God Himself coming to His people. Second, His purpose in doing so is always to bring His Church back to a normal healthy state. What happens at the point of Revival is not the normal experience which is to be continued by the Church but what is produced by it is to be the normal state of the Church.

Revival is a resurrection from the dead, a supernatural intervention, a sovereign undeserved act of Divinity; it is a deliverance from utter extinction, a restoration to the original pattern and a dramatic unparalleled unexplainable jump forward in the purpose of God to gather in a great harvest of souls.

Revival is integral to the Character of God. He is the God of Revivals. It is within His nature to step forward in the darkest night, at low tide, when His remnant despairs of life itself, and intervenes by manifesting who He is. It is a manifestation of His own character and nature. Only God can produce what Revival defines. The continued hope of Revival is carried in a great host of Bible promises. Every Old Testament Prophet was not only a proclaimer of Gods judgement against His disobedient people but they were also Prophets of Revival. We could fill pages with such promises.

The Church was birthed in Revival. This was the beginning of the fulfilment of Joel’s prophesy. It was the first outpouring. It was the Former Rain. Such outpourings were periodic. Miracles, signs and wonders followed the preaching of Christ crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended. But before long Jude arises to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints which was being assaulted by false prophets and teachers. John arises to deal with decay, backsliding and apostasy in the Church. Will she ever again shine forth glorious or march as an Army with banners?

Yes, especially in the past four hundred years. The genuine revivals have been without number. Are we told that this hope of revival must come to an end? Or are we told of a day when all such help, deliverance and recovery is cut off from the Church? No, Never. For how long can we expect to see a continuation of that which began at Pentecost?

 Joel gives us the answer. Until“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2v31). While there is a Church on earth and a sun in the sky the hope of revivals, outpourings and recoveries will always be present. In the midst of this terrible apostasy we are told,And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Mat 24:12-14). Every apostasy of the end days has a BUT (Isa.60v2; II Thess.2v3 & 2v13; II Tim.3v13-14; Heb.6v4 & 6v9).

What will the Church look like at the end of the age? Amidst deception, iniquity abounding and apostasy she will be enduring, continuing and moving forward. What will she be doing? She is preaching the gospel of the kingdom, not just any gospel, but the very same gospel that Paul and the apostles preached. Where? In all the earth, every nation. Why? For a witness unto all nations. What is a witness? “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Act 1v8). The Church as we see it in the Book of Acts is the witness. She will be doing at the end of the age what she was doing at the beginning and by the same Holy Ghost power from on high.

Remember that the Church in Mt.25 as seen in the five wise virgins is a picture of the end day church. She Revives from her slumber just before her Bridegroom comes. The last Midnight Revival is upon us, let us be up and working for the night comes when no man shall labour.

May God preserve you from the Great Delusion sweeping the Church and prepare you for a genuine Heaven Sent Revival.


UPDATE 28.08.08

Todd Bentley, Liar and Deciever


I want to quote from C. Peter Wagner from his update on the 25th August. I certainly do not support Wagner and the others but they do make known, bit by bit, much that was hidden from the Church Internationaly concerning Todd Bentley. It amazes me that so much was known by key leaders all through this yet they placed their seal of approval upon this revival.

We had better learn from all this. Lets hear Peter Wagner on the latest.

"Speaking of the public figure going down the tubes, Todd Bentley now carries the label of a liar and a deceiver. I'm sorry to mention it, but I felt personally deceived in the same way when Ted Haggard's sin was exposed and he was immediately removed from ministry. In the Lakeland I case, I am elated at the way things are turning out. The Revival Alliance with whom Todd was aligned on June 23 has kicked into action with a vengeance. Ché Ahn and Bill Johnson, like me, were overseas when things broke, but John Arnott stepped up to the plate and moved in apostolically. It has since become clear that Todd's Fresh Fire Board could not have handled the situation, Stephen Strader and Ignited Church could not, nor could any of his other close friends. Only the Revival Alliance could. I am delighted that they are not buying into typical charismatic soft morality, also called "greasy grace" or "don't touch God's anointed" or "mercy must triumph over judgment," phrases that have been used on other similar occasions as convenient religious cop-out excuses. They're proceeding in love, but it is tough love!"

"Since this is an update, I will share some of what I know about what is happening with Bentley, but not all because some things need more verification and it is up to discernment of Revival Alliance what and when this will be revealed. Suffice it to say that there is more than I am going to mention. First of all, Todd has been removed from public ministry until further notice. He has resigned from the ministry he founded, Fresh Fire, so he is no longer a part of that board. It has become clear that he indulged in periodic drunkenness. He has no intention at the moment of reconciling with Shonna, nor does she with him. Their marriage has been torn for years by his emotional attachment with at least one other female whose physical contact went beyond hugging and kissing and holding hands. Enough said-maybe more details will be revealed later-but it was clearly immoral. All of this was skillfully concealed by lying and by swearing close associates who had observed his behavior to secrecy. Stephen Strader, for example, knew nothing of this before June 23. Apparently some of his board members did, but they did not have the ability to deal with it."

"...In my section above on "The Present" I gave you some details. Believe me, they are only the tip of the iceberg as I just learned from a new phone call even as I was writing this paper."

Although many Christians in the UK, America and elsewhere are still calling for love, forgiveness and acceptance of Todd and this Revival, the internationaly known leaders who know the inside details are calling him a "loser" (a term I would never use). Now will begin the great cover up, the blurring of truth, the uniting of the "Apostles and Prophets" to proclaim the forward advance over the ashes of Florida.

When will the Church wake up and begin to see what has happened?

If we cannot be trusted to handle such corruption, error and sin correctly do we really think that we are ready for a genuine Revival?

The next Genuine Revival will be a holiness Revival. Every Revival in history was a holiness Revival.


P.S. Article on Balaam the Prophet coming soon.



 

UPDATE December 2008 (Charisma Magazine's Website, December 4, 2008). 

Leaders of Todd Bentley’s Former Ministry Break Silence

by Paul Steven Ghiringhelli

Months after the revivalist announced he was divorcing his wife and stepping down from ministry, the board at Fresh Fire Ministries gave their perspectives on Bentley’s current status.

[12.04.08] Leaders of the Canadian ministry evangelist Todd Bentley founded a decade ago say the one-time revivalist is “intent” on divorcing his wife and is yet to begin a restoration process.

In a six-page letter to ministry supporters, the board of Fresh Fire Ministries (FFM) released more details about the circumstances that led to Bentley’s departure in August from the Lakeland, Fla., revival meetings he led for four months.

“Todd Bentley has demonstrated himself unfaithful to his wife by entering into a relationship with another woman while still legally married,” the board said in a statement issued last Friday. “Todd has yet to enter into a clear system of accountability with the leaders he identified that would be involved in such a process.”

The leaders claim Bentley, 32, has no biblical grounds for leaving his wife, Shonnah, and their three children, and that the nature of his relationship with his children’s former nanny is “that of adultery.”

“The legal separation from Shonnah was initiated completely by Todd and he has not seen her or the children since the last week in July,” they stated.

“It also needs to be clarified that Shonnah has in no way initiated this divorce and has no present intention to do so at any time in the future. She is understandably hurt by Todd’s infidelity, but is not asking or pressing for a divorce.”

On Tuesday, Bentley said there had been no sexual immorality between him and the former nanny. He claimed that for two years no “spark or interest” in the former staff member existed, and that the two developed only an emotional relationship several weeks after July 1, when Bentley filed for divorce.

He admitted, however, that the budding relationship was “absolutely” bad timing.

“I would call it an inappropriate relationship, in the sense that it was too soon, too quick, and should’ve never happened the way that it happened,” Bentley said. “Emotionally, she had stepped in to comfort me as a friend would.

“But I never left my wife to be with another woman,” he said. “There was nothing premeditated or inappropriate in my heart. I had never even entertained the idea that I liked this girl. It never went there.”

Claiming to have gone through years of counseling with his wife, Bentley said he is divorcing her over “irreconcilable differences.”

He denied disconnecting from his children and told Charisma he is in constant phone contact with them and plans to see them as soon as he sorts out issues with his visa.

Bentley said FFM let him review the letter before they made it public and that he was unhappy with portions of it. He said he felt the letter implied that the breakup of his marriage could be blamed on his relationship with his former nanny and the pressures of leading daily nonstop revival meetings in Lakeland.

“I have the utmost respect for my team in Canada and we have had a lot of years together,” he said. “[But] I’m not in agreement with my board on this. The point is, [the former nanny] wasn’t the cause. And I don’t want to blame Lakeland. I want to blame a bad marriage.”

Bentley said he is willing to take 100 percent responsibility for his actions and that he readily admits he’s guilty of doing a lot of things wrong over the years. “In a lot of ways, the ministry has been my mistress,” he said. “That did destroy my marriage. That I have to take responsibility for.” 

The FFM leaders said they had been on an “emotional rollercoaster” for several months before releasing the statement, seeking to persuade Bentley to abandon his relationship with the former nanny, return to his wife and children, and quickly embrace a process of counseling and accountability.

In the letter, the board thanked leaders of other ministries who have reportedly tried to help implement a process of restoration for Bentley. “But what we have come to realize is that ultimately, the buck stops with the FFM board of directors,” they said. “No one knows Todd better, or has more access to all the facts from both sides than we do.”

MorningStar Ministries’ founder Rick Joyner announced in October that he would be leading a team to help restore Bentley and would be assisted by Revival Alliance member Bill Johnson and Texas pastor Jack Deere, along with pastors John Arnott and Che Ahn serving as advisers.

Bentley said he is still involved at an emotional level with his former nanny and soon plans to move to Joyner’s headquarters in Fort Mill, S.C., to “fully embrace a healing and restoration process.”

Joyner confirmed that the process could begin as early as January. He did not confirm if abandoning his relationship with the nanny was a precondition Bentley would need to agree to before entering a healing process led by Joyner.

Joyner did express disappointment with FFM’s recent statement about Bentley and said he tried to persuade them not to send the letter in its current form.

“There is almost always another side to a story, as there is to many of the things they presented in this letter,” Joyner said. “Sometimes the truth is found somewhere between the two sides, but if we're going to ever get to real healing and reconciliation I don't think this kind of thing helps.”

The FFM board said they decided to send the letter to supporters after spending months of silence “in deference to [the] leaders” involved in trying to lead Bentley through a restoration process. “We struggled for a while with the question of how to satisfy two important obligations—that of honoring Todd, while believing for his restoration, and at the same time, our obligation to be completely honest and open with you.”

Although Bentley experienced a moral failing, the FFM leaders said the Lakeland Revival he led was an authentic move of God. “Through the weakness and failure of man, the enemy seeks to defame and discredit what God has done,” they said. “[But] Lakeland was and is an authentic move of God. God poured Himself out in Florida and through the Internet and television around the world.”

FFM is in the process of restructuring its ministries with assistance from Johnson’s church in Redding, Calif., and Joyner’s ministry in South Carolina.

Their letter also stated that Bentley has officially resigned and that the Abbottsford, B.C.-based FFM is searching for another leader. “We love Todd dearly, [and] it is our deep desire that our brother should be restored,” they said.

“Please let us make it clear, that although what Todd has done is inexcusable, it is not unforgiveable. We do not judge him unworthy of a second, third or even fourth chance.” —


UPDATE December 2008 (This article is from the December 2008 issue of Charisma)

  Todd Bentley Enters Restoration Process

by Paul Steven Ghiringhelli

Todd Bentley, who led the Lakeland Outpouring for four months before disappearing amid scandal in August, was planning to move to the campus of MorningStar Ministries in Fort Mill, S.C., in late October in search of healing and restoration.

MorningStar founder Rick Joyner told Charisma that he will be leading Bentley's restoration process and was hopeful that the 32-year-old evangelist will one day return to ministry "stronger in the Lord than ever" if he faces his problems squarely. "Todd does have some serious issues he must deal with, and he knows it more than anyone," Joyner said.

After leading revival meetings in Lakeland, Fla., for nearly four months, Bentley suddenly stepped down from public ministry in August after informing staff members that he and his wife were separating. His Fresh Fire Ministries (FFM) board in British Columbia, Canada, later announced that Bentley had confessed to an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member. A senior board member also told Charisma that Bentley's alcohol consumption had "crossed the line."

Joyner's recent involvement in Bentley's restoration stems from his appearance last June on the platform in Lakeland, where Bentley publicly submitted himself to the oversight of apostolic leaders Bill Johnson, John Arnott and ChŽ Ahn-all members of a group called the Revival Alliance. Joyner said Johnson, representing the Revival Alliance, and Texas pastor Jack Deere have agreed to assist him in Bentley's restoration.

Ahn told Charisma the Revival Alliance has given "full authority" to Joyner, Johnson and Deere, while he and Arnott will serve in an advisory role.

Ahn added that the arrangement with Bentley was not unlike the disciplinary process Joyner and Deere offered prophetic minister Paul Cain in 2005, after he publicly confessed to moral failures. International House of Prayer founder Mike Bickle was also a part of that restoration team, which Cain ultimately abandoned in 2006 when he decided to seek counsel elsewhere.

In the current case, Joyner said Bentley does not believe his marriage to Shonnah is salvageable. "[Bentley] has also taken steps to make the relationship with the girl that was inappropriate, appropriate," Joyner said.

He explained that both Bentley and the unidentified woman have expressed "deep remorse" over the situation, knowing they were "two wounded people who fell into a trap." Joyner said Bentley acknowledged that even if his marriage were to fail, his timing for beginning a new relationship was "terrible."

Joyner said that though it is tempting to judge, observers must remember that all parties involved are struggling to do what's right. "A divorce is one of the most traumatic things you can go through," Joyner said. "For a while, Todd had spun down into some pretty deep hopelessness."

Ahn echoed Joyner's sentiments. "Our goal is to restore Todd to his relationship with Jesus," he said. "His restoration as an evangelist is secondary. We are deeply concerned for his wife, Shonnah, and their children and trust that [Joyner, Johnson and Deere] and the Fresh Fire Ministries board will make sure that she is ministered to in the whole sense of the word."

Johnson, senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., told Charisma that many people were saddened by Bentley's failings, "but people have also come to grips with the fact that [the outpouring] was never about Todd, it was really about God."

He said the impact of the Lakeland Outpouring, which held its final meeting Oct. 12 amid dwindling crowds, has been both significant and global. "There are fires of revival all over Europe that are the direct result of what God was doing in Lakeland," he said.

Yet Johnson made it clear that he and the rest of Bentley's restoration team are not primarily concerned with seeing Bentley quickly return to ministry. "The focus is not [on] Todd the evangelist; it is on Todd the person," Johnson said. "We want him healed up, not because of what he can do, but because God loves him and treasures him as a son."





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