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Todd Bentley – The Beast from the Pit?

May 13, 2008

To read some of the posts in the blogosphere, you would think that Todd Bentley was the Beast from the Pit, or at the very least the False Prophet ushering in the coming of the Antichrist. Tattoo anyone?

Todd is evil, he’s a deceiver, he’s this, that and the other thing. The stories I have read on the internet about him are astounding. I have rarely seen so much hatred focused on an individual. There is one blogger in particular who seems to have nothing better to do in life than bash what is going on in Florida. Of course, this particular blogger has been bashing everything going on nearly everywhere else in Christianity, so I am not really surprised.

The fact is that Todd Bentley is just a guy with a past from Canada who got saved at 17. He makes no bones about the fact that he was in prison, did drugs and OD’d three times the year before he got saved. Those things are in his past. Scripture says that old things have passed away. It is wrong and sinful to try to bash someone because of who they were before they met Jesus Christ. Period.

If you believe that God does not intend for the modern church to have the power of the early church, you are not going to like Todd. You are not going to like his theology. You are not going to like his visions and his angels. I, however, do like angels and healing. I don’t like the powerless, intellectual church of the West. It does not reflect the life of Jesus as reflected in the Gospels and the book of Acts. I choose to believe that scripture applies to the latter house just as it did to the former.

Peter and Paul saw angels. Paul had visions of Christ. Significant events in scripture where always heralded by the appearance of angels. Visions are a normal way of communication from the Lord. So are dreams. Joel says so. Todd has yet to promote anything that I can’t find in scripture.

People are wigged out because he had a vision where he claimed Paul told him he wrote Hebrews with Abraham. That is a take it or leave it kind of thing. Can you prove Paul DIDN’T? There is stuff in Hebrews that you can’t get from Genesis. There was divine inspiration and divine revelation involved. How God did that is not something He bothered to tell us. If having a conversation with a departed saint in a vision that God originated is necromancy, then Jesus practiced necromancy. Moses came and spoke with him. Scripture tells us the Moses DIED, so Jesus had a conversation with a dead guy while he was in the flesh.

I saw half a dozen people get out of wheelchairs and walk last night in Lakeland. How many people have you prayed out of wheelchairs, O Heresy Hunter? I saw probably a couple of hundred people respond to the Gospel for salvation in Lakeland this weekend. How many people did you lead to Jesus this weekend, O Heresy Hunter?

Todd is controversial because the church is so dead. We should be rejoicing in what the LORD is doing, and not be focused on the vessel. The vessel in this case is just a guy like the rest of us. He’s young, he’s rough and he is passionately in love with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is his best and closest friend.

Todd is not a theologian. That is not his calling. He is an evangelist. His job is to equip the saints to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. He is doing that amazingly well. I think it is because he is doing that so very well that the heresy hunters are screaming so loudly. His success in AMERICA is throwing into sharp contrast their failure to do likewise. They are trying to get people to focus on the flaws in the vessel rather than focus on the fact that their ministries are so barren of true, biblical fruit.

Jesus told John’s disciples to tell John that the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk and the gospel is preached to the poor. Those are the authenticating marks of the true gospel according to Jesus. Of course, he wasn’t theologically trained so his opinion probably doesn’t count with the heresy hunters either.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Donald McKinney permalink
    May 13, 2008 3:34 pm

    The sheep know the Shepherd’s voice. That voice is not coming from the stage at Lakeland. That is not the Spirit of Christ on that stage.

    Matt. 7:22-23: Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’

    23″And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

  2. rahabsplace permalink*
    May 14, 2008 2:14 pm

    Let’s see. Todd preaches that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, that you must be born again and that holiness is necessary to the new life in Christ. He prays for people in the Name of Jesus and the works of the devil are destroyed in their lives through the healing power of the Holy Spirit. I really don’t see satan anywhere in this equation.

    1 Cor 2:1-5 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

    There are many in the church who have been so brainwashed by the Western rationalistic mindset that they cannot accept that God might actually intervene in supernatural ways in people’s lives. That is sad, because the Father loves His children and gives them good gifts. This doctrine of demons has caused the children of God to be separated from the goodness of their heavenly Father.

  3. BWA permalink
    May 14, 2008 5:54 pm

    I have watched Todd over the past few years and have seen him minister in a conference. I did not believe it was possible for a person to talk so fast! If we focus on the vessel we will be put off by the flamboyance, why is it that evangelists seem to be cut from the same mold? We can always overlook some of this outward stuff because the Lord made him that way and probably does not get too excited about it.
    There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord shows up when Todd is obedient to the Holy Spirit and the salvations, healings and deliverances are bonifide.
    His theology on the important stuff is bang on but I think his theology on the peripheral stuff is “very close to the edge”. I think it would be wise for him to seek out input from teachers to get a better grip on this stuff in order to keep his credibility. Benny Hinn fell into the same trap with bizarre teachings and he sought out input from Jack Hayford. The issue is that when you are a Christian celebrity you need to consider carefully what you are teaching as there are many young impressionable Christians out there that accept carte-blanch what is being said over the pulpit. A peripheral thing that is close to the edge can become a serious stumbling block for someone who is unaware of the dangers of scriptural imbalance. Theology is not just a set of beliefs,in the end it will affect how you live your life, this includes the peripheral stuff also.
    I just keep the good stuff and toss out the stuff that is questionable and I am able to do that because I have been a believer for 36 years.
    I think with time Todd will continue to mature and will revamp his views on some of the stuff he is currently promoting.
    As for the Lakeland revival I will watch this thing for a while and see what happens with it, will they be able to steward this thing and cause it to grow in depth and width like the leadership of TACF did in Toronto?

  4. May 18, 2008 10:27 am

    You state that Todd is not a theologian… why not? Being an evangelist does not remove the responsibility of scholarship and to rightly divide the Word of truth! We have at our fingertips the wisdom of God’s greatest servants (outside of the apostles) in the writings of the recognized master teachers of our faith … and Todd ignores them!

    Origen, in the early years of the church (closer to the time of the orignial writing of Hebrews than Todd Bentley) stated that only God knows who wrote the book. No one that is credible would ever attribute this book to Paul because of it’s internal characteristics of style, content,and message. For Todd Bentley to say that God gave him a revelation for the APOSTLE PAUL HIMSELF is insane at best and a calculated effort to elevate himself beyond criticism at the worst. Our Lord has told us to love him with all of our heart, soul, MIND, body and strength. Accepting, prima facia, the declarations of anyone is not loving God with our minds.

    We are not called upon to foolw the new, novel teachings of the newest wave of opporunistic charlitains on the scene.

    I truly feel sorry for the church as a whole if we keep down this road of giving our minds, money, and families over to people like Bentley just because a few supposed “miracles” occur and he has a revelation or two.

    The only true hope for this world and this country is a return to the Scriptures alone as our authority. I am looking for the day when God’s presence destroys not our illnesses, but our jealousies, greed, gossip, impurities, and ignorance.

    Bentley may have an audience, but that does not make him right. He may be a good speaker but that does not make him the oracle of God. People may believe in him, but that does not make him the leader of a new wave of God in the world.

    The only place we can be grounded is in Scripture. Let’s stop looking for hidden meanings and new revelations and practice what the apostles and real teachers of the church have taught us: “let the Scriptures speak plainly and simply; at that point we can find truth. Let the plain make the obscure clear; KNow there is no contradiction in Scripture because God is the author”

  5. MICHAEL WHITTAKER permalink
    May 18, 2008 7:12 pm

    IF TODD IS EVERYTHING YOU SAY HE IS, WHY IS HE COVERED HEAD TO TOE WITH sATANIST TATOOS! wHY IS THERE ANUPSIDE DOWN JESUS UNDER HIS ARM? WHY is there a MEDUSA on his foreleg? Why are there Japanese & chinesae symbols for the DECEIVER on HIS body? WHO IS EMMA? Jewish traditions tell us that the DECEIVER in the GARDEN was a SHE! TODD has gone over to the dark side! You have fallen for the oldest trick in the book…LIEING SIGNS & WONDERS. THE REAL REVIVAL HAS NOT YET COME. This ia a COUNTERFIET OF THE REAL ONE WHICH IS TO COME! NEXT time you SEE Todd ask him to show you those godly tatoos on him, ALL of them. Soome do say YASHUA & ETC, But to mix the HOLY with the un-holy is to worship with A GOLDEN CALF SIN! FATHER DESTROYED ISRAEL [25,000 PEOPLE] FOR THIS!

  6. rahabsplace permalink*
    May 18, 2008 9:12 pm

    Jewish tradition is not scripture. Todd’s tattoos are not demonic. The tattoo on his leg you refer to is from a Christian Metal band called Mortification (as in mortify the deeds of the flesh).

  7. rahabsplace permalink*
    May 19, 2008 12:59 am

    “Recognized master teachers of the faith.” Recognized by whom?

    I believe in free-will; therefore, I believe much of what Calvin wrote to be little short of heresy. I am from the Third Wave movement; therefore, I believe people like John McArthur are perilously close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus Christ walked a sinless life in the power of the Holy Spirit, not because he was divine. According to my theology professors, that makes me guilty of believing the kenotic heresy.

    I personally could care less who wrote the book of Hebrews. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the author. Todd’s vision of Paul, Rick Joyner’s vision of Paul do not impact my belief system. Spiritual experiences such as dreams and visions are not what you use to establish doctrine, and both Bentley and Joyner would adamantly agree with that statement.

    I find the reaction of much of the church hysterically funny on much of this sort of thing. The idolization of Paul the Apostle in the Protestant church is nothing short of disgraceful. Paul was just a man. The Holy Spirit chose to preserve only part of his writings as scripture.

  8. naboth permalink
    May 24, 2008 8:32 pm

    Hi Rahab.
    Having come from a strict and very elitist church background I have to wonder whether my aprehension about men like Bentley is based on good theology or part of that old elitist mentality. The more I read of the heresy hunters on the internet the more I see a critical and biased attitude that wants to tear people down. What’s more I see something of myself in it that loves to explain everything away. That’s what worries me. I wonder how these critics would respond today if Smith Wigglesworth were here or Evan Roberts. I don’t think they would stand a chance and that’s the sad thing. We can get so picky and paranoid about things possibly not being from God that we miss the real thing.

  9. rahabsplace permalink*
    May 24, 2008 9:01 pm

    You are right, Naboth. People freak out over the package that is Todd Bentley, but the reality is that God is moving through the boy. There have 13 reported resurrections. Three have been covered by local media, 1 is all over the internet being covered by AP. There have been over 50 people crawl out of wheelchairs. All kinds of people have brought in medical reports showing they were healed of cancer of some form or another. Last night there was a guy claiming to see out of a glass eye. Tonight his two prosthetic legs won’t fit because his stumps have grown over an inch. They are bringing a tape measure so they can document this if it continues. They have seen hundreds of people saved.

    The question is whether or not you can get past the package to see what God is really doing. Jesus told John’s disciples to tell John that the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk and the gospel is preached to the poor. Jesus didn’t say, Go tell John my doctrine. He offered power as the authentication of his ministry. That same authentication is following Todd Bentley at this time.

  10. Louis permalink
    May 29, 2008 2:20 pm

    I just got back from the 8th heavens and a
    couple of angels told me that Todd’s angels and
    satanic tattoos are not of God. They also told
    me they are bringing you an anointing to see
    it’s true. Whizz-Whoosh-BAM!!

  11. rahabsplace permalink*
    May 29, 2008 2:32 pm

    ‘Tis dangerous, Louis, to mock what you don’t understand.

    I don’t particularly care about Todd’s tattoos. He’s gotten them mostly since he was saved and there is a Christian message to the visible ones. He’s got convictions about things like that.

    Angels are not something I feel comfortable mocking. I have two who are assigned to me that I interact with and my daughter has had one she has virtually grown up with. He’s been with her since she was about 5.

    Bubba and Bo (that’s what I call them – they didn’t introduce themselves at first) have been rather amusing to have around. They have taught me some interesting things about worship. They have also helped bring some amazing provision. Their actual names are Malachi and Mica for anyone freaked about them not having names.

    Angels explain things to me, they help me and they protect me. Their words are not on the level of scripture (only an idiot would think that!), but they do help me understand what is going on.

    Paul would not have warned the people not to worship angels if they weren’t encountering them regularly. Why would he be concerned about something that happened only in a blue moon? Angels are all over scripture and it is not wrong to think that they just might supposed to be a part of our kingdom experience.

  12. May 30, 2008 10:20 am

    The church continues to be its own worse enemy. The division in the body is of the enemy. Why not focus on what we have in common – Jesus Christ and His work of redemption? Pray for the church. For unity. Our Father, Who created our universe, can create that miracle too!! God loves all of us – even Christian who don’t fit the conservative mold. Love creates. Hate destroys.

  13. May 31, 2008 5:44 pm

    I would be curious to learn more about the angels around you that your daughter interacts with. I respect what you have to say and the spirit in which you write each post that I have read. I do not want to seek encounters with angels, but I do think the church of today has downplayed the spiritual realm. I think people can have an intimate relationship with God without understanding everything in the spiritual realm and without dealing with angels and demons per se. But for those that can walk in an understanding without seeking such experiences or interpreting such experiences as more than they are, I am excited for them. I am excited for you. I would like to hear more.

  14. Jim permalink
    June 4, 2008 6:23 am

    The Toronto outpouring lasted nearly three years and was totally over with by early 1997. For a period of about a year before it ended many of the visiting prophets started to warn that after the outpouring ended there would arise decievers who would attempt to ‘keep it going. The instructive word from the Holy Spirit was to ‘Do Nothing’ religion-wise for a good while after the outpouring ends, and to study to be quiet and to learn to develop a relationship with the Lord in quietness (per 2 Thess 4:11 and Isa. 30 verses 7 and 15).

    Once the outpouring was fully over with the TACF leadership went into turbo mode to ‘keep it going.’ It was into that atmosphere that Todd Bentley made his debut.

  15. rahabsplace permalink*
    June 4, 2008 7:22 pm

    You should tell the people still going to Toronto the outpouring is over. They seem to have not gotten that message. I know people who went in 2000 and 2001 who had their lives completely transformed by what the Lord was doing there.

    I was in meetings with John and Carol Arnott last May and watched little, tiny Carol Arnott pray the fire down on a great big strapping guy and he knocked off his feet (he didn’t fall, he literal folded in two and landed several feet away). When he got up, his back pain and his knee pain was totally healed. I spoke to him later that week and not only was he still healed, he was feeling better than he had in years.

  16. Mary Byerly permalink
    June 19, 2008 2:57 am

    I’m so glad God looks at the heart and not at outward appearances. (1 Samuel 16:7)

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