Friday, June 27, 2008

Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival (Part 2)

The Gospel According to Todd Bentley

What we should be looking at is the gospel that Todd Bentley (I'll refer to him as TB from now on) preaches because the Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Galatian church

Gal 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Before we examine this I want to comment on some of the many strange things I have heard from TB's lips that have really disturbed me and should give any biblical Christian cause for concern. There are many I could comment on but I'll just comment on 3 of them.

1. TB claims in his testimony that he was demon posessed while being a born again Christian. Being born again means that we have the Holy Spirit living in us. Does anyone believe that the Holy Spirit can live in the same house as a demon or in TB's case 25 demons (what fellowship does light have with darkness? from 2 Corinthians 6:14). In this audio (below) TB recounts the story of this, I think it is very disturbing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtSK9TyduR4

2. In another video TB says this:

"You know, I told the Lord, “Why can’t I just move in healing and forget talking about all that…other stuff?” He said, “Because, Todd, you gotta get the people to believe in the angel.” I said, “God, why do I want people to believe in the angel, isn’t it about getting the people to believe in Jesus?” He said, “The people already believe in Jesus, but the church doesn’t believe in the supernatural.” The church has no problem believing in Jesus. But what we don’t believe in is the supernatural."

The most striking thing about Todd’s teachings here is, of course, that he is claiming to say that God spoke to him directly and told him that believing in Jesus is not the point - people already believe in Jesus - but that God wants to move so that the church will come to believe in the supernatural, in angels and in the prophetic. It is impossible to imagine that the God of the Bible would ever make such a statement like that. It is utterly contrary to everything everywhere in Scripture. Being born again is a supernatural thing (Eze 36:25-28) so I cannot understand how any true Christian would deny the supernatural. And if the people already believe in Jesus then why call it a revival? Prayer and the preaching of the Gospel have been the centrepiece of every true revival of history. You can hear the audio of this story here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKA_X1zxOQc

3. There is almost no preaching of the Word of God during the meetings but TB continuously tells stories that focus on TB. One UNVERIFIED e-mail of a person being raised from the dead said that the person woke from the dead praising God and "the Reverend Todd Bentley" - that is clearly not of God. Only God can receive praise and will not share His glory with another (Exo 34:14). If TB was a God fearing man he would have renounced anyone praising his name. Furthermore the e-mail claims that "while he (the dead person) was in heaven he heard the beloved Todd Bentley and his voice pulling his spirit out of heaven". Does anyone really believe that TB's voice can drag people out of heaven? Watch the video here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGunFXd514Q

But back to the issue of the gospel TB preaches. The pdf document (the theological defence responding to various objections to the "lakeland revival") I received spoke about a lot of things but I will only respond to one point because that is all that's necessary because it relates to the gospel TB preaches.Point 4 on the document says this (the document is in a format where the criticism is written first and then their response follows):

Objection 4: “There is no emphasis on repentance and holiness in the Lakeland meetings, as there always has been in classic revivals and awakenings throughout recent history as in the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening.”

Their response to the repentance part is this (and this is an important point as repentance is a necessary part of receiving salvation):

“And Todd does emphasize the importance of repentance and holiness for revival in his book, The Reality of the Supernatural World:
Repentance opens the heavens, and obedience keeps it open. . . ."

This is hardly a good theological response. Just because TB uses the word repentance doesn't mean he preaches biblical repentance and from his comment I would have to say that the repentance he is talking about is different from the repentance talked about in Scripture which is godly sorrow that leads to a turning away and hatred of sin and a desire to please God. The issue of repentance is too important to respond with one sentence and it is not a theological response, just a quote from a book.

One reason why I took so long to respond was because it took me so long through the hours of available video footage to find a video of TB presenting the Gospel (even though TB says that preaching the Gospel is one of his anointings). Well, I finally found something today. And guess what - there was no explanation or call to repentance (just a brief mention during the prayer)! You can hear it on this podcast (starting from 43 minutes into the show)http://www.wayofthemasterradio.com/podcast/2008/06/24/june-24-2008-hour-2/

There is no talk of the Holiness of God, no talk of the sinfulness of man, no talk of God's judgment, eternity, heaven or hell, no talk about what Christ did on the cross. I'm sorry Todd Bentley supporters but this is not the Gospel according to Scripture. He talked about "maybe you have a bad marriage or struggle financially". This is not why Jesus died. He died to endure the just wrath of God in the place of sinners that we might receive forgiveness of sins. HOW COULD HE NOT MENTION THIS and think he is preaching the Gospel. Just what are these people responding to?

Instead of the signs and wonders this is the first thing people should be testing. If more people practised this biblical discernment TB might not be getting so much time on television. As I quoted earlier

Gal 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Go Back To Part 1

4 comments:

Caron said...

Hi! Thanks for the articles on Bentley!

Justin Peters was on WOTM regarding Lakeland and also on VCY America's "Crosstalk."

I don't have the links to those off hand, but they are archived...

However, Justin's site is http://www.justinpeters.org and if you go to see, please watch "demo."

He spoke at my church last year and comes highly recommended by my pastor, Dr. John MacArthur.

God bless you!

seeker3 said...

Todd Bentley was probably accepted by many Christians because he operated Toronto “Blessing” type spiritual phenomena that achieved widespread acceptance many years prior.

These phenomena are sensational and pleasurable, many people are attracted to them, so many Christians may assume that is good to get more people coming in the church door.

However it is actually a diabolical intrusion to ruin churches.

It is an interesting co-incidence that TB is the initials for Todd Bentley and Toronto “Blessing”.

Toronto “blessing” type ministry is attractive to many church leaders as a supernatural power they can dispense to people.
They become spiritual drug dealers, and many people get “hooked”.

Attempting to command, wave, and prod the Holy Spirit or Jesus into people is gross misbehaviour against God.

He will not be commanded by men or be indulged like a prostitute for drunken frolicks.
The phenomena isn’t a blessing from God.
It is an infiltration of occult power from the same source as Hindu “Shaktipat”. Google “Shaktipat”.

Toronto “Blessing” is wizardry and magic arts from familiar spirits (demons masquerading as friendly):
Lev 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (KJV)

Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Toronto “Blessing” definitely didn’t come from the creator God, as he never imparts manifestations similar to mental illness or drunken / drugged, as that is a contradiction of a sound mind and self control which he has repeatedly endorsed in the Bible.

The only exception might be when God punishes someone by putting them into a drunken stupor, which would also be a warning to others:

Romans 10:21 …"All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."…..
Romans 11:8 …"God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear"
Job 12:25 They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.

Isaiah 19:14 The LORD has poured into them a spirit of dizziness; they make Egypt stagger in all that she does, as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit.

Isaiah 29:9-10 Be stunned and amazed, blind yourselves and be sightless; be drunk, but not from wine, stagger, but not from beer. The LORD has brought over you a deep sleep: He has sealed your eyes (the prophets); he has covered your heads (the seers).

Christians should not provoke punishment from God:
Isaiah 8:13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread

The Bible repeatedly asserts drunkenness as immoral.

The Bible does not endorse a righteous version of drunkenness, just as there is no righteous version of stealing, adultery or lying.

Rom 13:12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

seeker3 said...

Rom 13:12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

On the Day of Pentecost Christian disciples preached the gospel in various languages which impressed listeners who comprehended the message in their own language. (Acts 2:1-47)
However mockers accused the disciples of being drunk for speaking authentic languages the disciples normally didn’t know.
The false accusation of mockers should not be used to justify spiritual or physical drunkenness.

2 Cor 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Spiritual drunkenness blinds the minds of believers!

The Bible encourages us to test the spirits, and that should include using your mind to analyse the outcomes (manifestations) in conjunction with seeking what the bible says about it.
This is what a renewed mind is for.
1 John 4:1 … test the spirits to see whether they are from God…
Romans 12:2 …be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Being discerning includes being cautious.
“The fear of the Lord” includes being cautious.
God recommends this to protect us from harm.

Spiritual drunkenness ministries (eg. John Crowder) that encourage reckless abandon towards God are defying God’s repeating counsel in the Bible.

2 Cor 11:14-15 Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Rev 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Playing around with counterfeit “angels of light” (familiar spirits) might be bliss and ecstasy now, but if not repented of will lead to rejection by the Most High God forever.

The “big party” will occur in heaven after we die, not now (Rev 19:9).

Scripture asserts we now have serious work to do while remaining firmly sober.
2 Tim 4:5 …. keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

“Keep your head” includes not getting drunk.

Luke 12:45-46 … suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk.
The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

“eat and drink and get drunk” in that passage probably means self indulgence and spiritual foolishness while neglecting what God wants doing.

seeker3 said...

“Slain”……. churches are falling over!
============================

Toronto “Blessing” type phenomena produce manifestations such as mental euphoria, body vibrations, twitching, slurred speech, gibberish speech and sound effects, animal acts – dogs, chickens, lions, snakes, etc., staggering about, falling over (“slain”), and having uncontrollable/irrational laughter.

These are manifestations of the god of chaos – Lucifer.
People who participate are unwittingly practicing mockery of the Bible, mockery of God the Father, mockery of Jesus Christ and mockery of the Holy Spirit.

Participators who come to this realisation should repent and deliberately avoid any recurrences. They should also warn others, as it will be disastrous on judgement day for people who persisted in spiritually fornicating with Satan’s minions “familiar spirits”.

I was previously deceived about Toronto “Blessing” in a church I attended.
I tolerated it due to experiences I had at a Christian training school about 4 years prior, as well as not comparing it sufficiently against Bible counsel.

Pride could make a person unwilling to face the possibility they have been deceived, and then to remove themselves from the convenience of continuing in fellowship with others who indulge in false ministry.

It is God himself who gives divisive counsel:
Rev 18:4-5 "come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.”

Will people heed God’s warning?
Sadly, many won’t because they are either in love with a false Christ who gives them tickles, or have insufficient “fear of the Lord”:
Prov 14:26-27 He who fears the lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

Toronto “Blessing” type phenomena have been called “new wine”.

It is actually spiritual adultery, and therefore maddening wine:
Rev 18:3 the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries.

At the height of a Toronto “Blessing” era I experienced in the mid 1990’s, the church services were a madhouse of manifestations.
They used to have evenings where cushions were put all over the floor for all the falling over that went on.

“Slain”…….. churches are falling over!

The only “slain” from God is being killed for misbehaviour, as happened to Annanias and Sapphira see
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%205:1-11&version=NIV

The Holy Spirit will be grieved by Christian people fornicating with spiritual sensations from the Devil: Eph 4:30 do not grieve the Holy Spirit.

Phenomena like Toronto “Blessing” push people towards mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, through giving them tremendous euphoric "high’s", (supposedly a “blessing” from God), then they come crashing down into unbearable depression when the "high" wears off.

This causes them to seek more of the “high” and become familiar spirit drug addicts.

Mental illness and demon influence are sometimes different names for the same thing.

This is how churches are becoming “Babylon”: Rev 18:2 “She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit”

1 Tim 6:11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.