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Todd Bentley Begins Restoration Process

March 9, 2009

This was posted on Todd’s Facebook page today:

Todd Bentley Begins
Restoration Process

By Rick Joyner

Todd Bentley was used to spark the Lakeland Outpouring, which raised the faith level of much of the body of Christ. Testimonies of healings and miracles from it are now virtually all over the world. When Todd’s marriage failed, he abruptly stopped all ministry and virtually disappeared for almost nine months. In the meantime, his divorce was finalized and he has recently remarried.

Todd has taken full responsibility for the failure of his marriage. He and Jessa also admit that their relationship was premature and should not have happened the way it did. Both are adamant that it was not the cause for the failure of his first marriage, nor did they begin their relationship until Todd was convinced that his marriage was over. They have both expressed that it was wrong and premature. They do not want to try and cover this up even though they know many will never accept them for it. Even so, they are married now and are resolved to make the most of their marriage, their lives, and to continue to serve the Lord in the best way that they can.

My position all along has been that I will do my best to comply with Galatians 6:1, “If a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (NKJV). To obey this Word, I have always felt that it did not matter what one had done, and that it was my responsibility to help them find the grace of God to return to the place from which they had fallen. I confess that with Todd, I am not just doing this as a duty. From the time I first met him nearly ten years ago, I knew that he had an extraordinary purpose and a gift of faith for the miraculous that would be desperately needed in these times. I consider helping any of God’s children an honor, and helping Todd is a privilege.

I also confess to some selfish ambition in wanting to do this. I had a dream two decades ago in which one of my children had fallen into a sewage ditch and could not get up. My child was being scorned and no one would help him. A man came along who helped my child get up and then cleaned up. In that dream, I felt as if I would give everything that I owned to this man who helped my child. Then I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Jim Bakker is My child. Will you help him?” Since that time, I have been devoted to helping any of God’s children that I could who have committed any trespass, because I knew there were few other things that would bring the Father’s favor. I consider this willingness to at least try to help others this way a major reason for the extraordinary favor that our ministry, my family, and I have received. I love Todd and am glad to help him, but I also know by doing this, I will be doing something that means a great deal to our Father.

When we release someone to minister in the body of Christ, we are releasing him or her to minister to God’s own children, and I personally do not do that with anyone who I would not allow to minister to my own family. For all that was done through Todd, and especially at Lakeland, which touched and helped countless thousands, many were also left confused and hurt by the way it ended. I think Todd is even more sensitive to this than I am. Although in some ways he greatly misses being in ministry and praying for people, he wants to be sure that when he comes back that his life and his ministry are on the most solid ground possible so that he does not cause these kinds of problems again.

Jack Deere and Bill Johnson have agreed to be a part of Todd’s restoration process. I asked them to be a part because I know they will probably see things I don’t, but also because both Todd and I trust them and know they would not sign off on something they did not really believe in. However, both of them are going to be involved in this at a distance, and therefore, I will be the main person responsible.

Being a believer in body ministry, I expect our whole leadership team, and to some degree, our whole local church, to be involved in helping Todd and Jessa. Our staff and all from the church that I have discussed this with are very happy about them being here and want to help them in any way that they can.

In future Bulletins, we will go into more detail about what we’re doing and why, as well as what we think was a cause of some of the failures Todd experienced. We will only do this for the sake of helping others avoid the same traps. We know that trust has to be earned and that Todd will have to earn the trust of the body of Christ for future ministry, which will not be easy, nor should it be. Todd, more than most, does not want to jump back into ministry prematurely, even as much as he misses it in some ways.

I for one have been very encouraged by the expressions of grace and genuine concern so many have expressed toward Todd in this situation. It gives me great hope. As we have been constantly reminded, the Lord had great patience with sinners, but He had none for the self-righteous. We’re all here because He had mercy on us, and we know we still need it. However, we also know that true repentance and restoration can only come if we refuse to compromise the clear biblical standards for morality and integrity.

Todd wanted to personally say the following:

It has been a long while since I have spoken publicly and openly. I am sorry for the hurt and confusion that my decisions have caused the body of Christ. It has been a true season of brokenness, hiddenness, and a long process of grieving.

As many of you now know, my previous marriage has endured years of unresolved conflicts. I apologize that it has ended in divorce, and I take full responsibility for my part for the ending ofthe marriage. I realize thatmy silence and decisions have caused many of you to feel hurt, confused, and offended. The reason for the silence was for my needof healing, creating a restoration process under a team of qualified leaders, much needed rest after the Lakeland Outpouring, repentance, and the divorce process.

I have now relocated to Fort Mill, South Carolina and have entered intomy restoration and healingprocess under Rick Joyner, Jack Deere, and Bill Johnson.I am confident of this one thing—that God is faithful to His promise and my hope is to be fully restored, strengthened, healed, and to learn from all the mistakes I have made along the way.

Thank you friends and partners for your continued prayers, encouragement, and love. I am committed to the work of the Holy Spirit and confident that the good men around me will help me be restored first as a man, as ahusband, and ultimately to fulfillGod’s call on my life.

Those of you who were touched by the Lakeland Outpouring do not lose your encouragement. What happened there was from God, and Todd is a true servant of God. He has made some mistakes, and he is trying to get his life back in order, and you can be confident that he will. Throughout the Bible, many of the greatest heroes in it also made some of the worst mistakes. King David, possibly the greatest hero in the Bible after Jesus, made one of the most horrible mistakes, not only committing adultery, but murdering the husband of the woman he committed it with. God knew that was going to happen with David when He called him, and He loved David before, during, and afterward.

One of the remarkable events in the Bible is that the Lord then used Bathsheba to bring forth the heir to the throne, Solomon, and she is part of the genealogy of Jesus. It still stretches me, but we need stretching in the grace of God. At the same time, we must balance it with how God hates divorce, and it is one of the scourges of our times that is tragically hurting many, many people. Marriage is under such an assault now because it is so important. However, legalism will not overcome lawlessness. This situation and similar ones that almost every church and family are now being faced with is one that we need answers for. We cannot run from Him, but must run to Him with our need.

Many of Todd’s friends and former partners have asked if and how they might help to rebuild and establish Fresh Fire USA, which has recently relocated from Abbotsford, BC Canada and is now based at Heritage International Ministries in Fort Mill, SC. Donations can now be made to Fresh Fire USA at the following address:

Fresh Fire USA
C/O MorningStar Fellowship Church
375 Star Light Dr.
Fort Mill, SC 29715

Make checks out to Fresh Fire USA, or if you would like to donate by credit card to help in rebuilding Fresh Fire USA, call 1-800-542-0278, and tell the operator that you want to make a donation to Fresh Fire USA.

Let the howling begin.

One thing I want to point out is that God is the God of mercy.

Many in the Body of Christ want to hold Todd to a standard that they themselves would never live under.  Todd’s marriage was on the rocks for years, and he tried to save it.  He truly believed that God told him to marry Shonnah.  But there comes a time when you don’t have anything left and you say, “I’m done.  I’m done God.  I don’t care what the consequences are, I’m done.  I can’t do this anymore.”

I know.  I said those same words the day I left.

Over 50% of the church in the US is divorced.  Somewhere between 20 and 40% of the clergy are divorced.  I know of two leaders with world-wide effective ministries who have been married for over 30 years to their second wife.

Divorce is a horrible thing.  I would not wish it on anyone.  But which is worse, to live a lie for the sake of ministry or to be honest and leave?  Charles Stanley lived a lie for years.  He and his wife were separated.  She never attended the church he pastored.  He is now divorced and still pastoring.  He said God called him to ministry, not marriage.

David, the man after God’s own heart, had an affair with his friend’s wife, got her pregnant, had the man murdered and then married the woman.  When God confronted him about his sin, He didn’t tell David that his marriage was illegal and to send Bathsheba away.  He didn’t tell David he was no longer worthy to be king and to resign.  God did not even tell Nathan to impose the death penalty for adultery on them both.  God, for whatever reason, had mercy.  He judged them and the child died.  David pleaded for mercy, but accepted the judgment when the child did die.

Personally, I think Todd is guilty of gross stupidity, but graceful is not a word I would ever associate with Todd Bentley.  He crashed and burned in a spectacular way, the same way he has lived the rest of his public life.  I don’t think he is capable of doing anything in a corner in secret.

I believe what Todd and Jessa have said about their relationship.  I agree the timing wasn’t the brightest thing they ever did.

To me, there are a couple of different types of adultery.  There is physical sex, which may or may not have any meaning.  Sexual adultery doesn’t have to have any emotional attachment whatsoever to it.  It just is.

Then there is emotional adultery in which the affections of a married individual are enticed away from their spouse by another person.  I believe within Christian circles this is far more common than is realized.

I don’t think Todd is guilty of either of these.  By all accounts that I have heard, Shonnah had departed for Canada before Todd and Jessa connected.

You know, in the Bible, all a man had to do to divorce his wife was give her a certificate of divorce and it was OVER.  If you want to consider dating while waiting for a divorce to be finalized adultery, I will concede you have a valid point.

So the real question in this is how is the body of Christ going to respond to the whole divorce and remarriage issue?  It is a daily reality in all our churches.  Do you treat the people in your church who are divorced and remarried the same way you thing about Todd Bentley?  Some of them DID have affairs.  Some of them DID leave their spouses for the person they are married to now.  Do you threat them they way you are advocating Todd and Jessa be treated?

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Rose permalink
    March 9, 2009 11:24 pm

    His remarriage is not accepted by God. He is living in adultery!

    Check out what God has to say about divorce and remarriage.

    “A husband must not divorce his wife.”
    1 Corinthians 7:11

    because;

    “The Lord was witness to the covenant made at your marriage.” Malachi 2:14

    which binds a man to his wife for life;

    “A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.”
    1 Corinthians 7:39

    and because;

    “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery.”
    Luke 16:18

    Therefore, if a man divorces his wife and marries another he becomes an adulterer;

    “Thou shall not commit adultery.”
    Exodus 20:14

    “The man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul.”
    Proverbs 6:32

    “Adulterers…will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
    1 Corinthians 6:9

    A divorce does not free a man from his wife because;

    “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.”
    1 Corinthians 7:39

    Man invented no fault divorce. Divorce does not dissolve a marriage covenant. Jesus calls remarriage adultery. No legitimate marriage is ever called adultery.

    What God Has Joined Together, Let No Man Separate!
    This Is A Command From Jesus Christ
    Adultery is identified in every passage where the remarriage of divorced persons is mentioned.

    Divorce and remarriage is so readily accepted today that we have lost sight of God’s view almost completely. The teaching of the Word of God on this issue must be vigorously presented so that young people will not divorce and enter into adulterous remarriages.

    Many people today are trying to justify divorce and remarriage, when the Bible says that marriage is binding “as long as both shall live,” and that two persons joined in marriage are “one flesh.”

    It is our conviction that Christians must work hard at trying to reconcile divorced partners. We must make them understand that all relationships after a divorce are viewed as adultery by God and must be ended.

    ________________________________________
    Now is the time for the church to speak up on what the Bible has to say about divorce and remarriage before another generation is deceived.

    The Bible clearly says that whenever remarriage occurs, adultery results, and that is pretty clear to every Bible reader.

    In Romans 7:2 we are clearly told why the remarriage of divorced persons is adultery. It is adultery because the first marriage is still binding. “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives.” Since she is bound to him as long as he lives, all other relationships are adultery. This is easy to understand.

    People talk in our day about “ending” marriages.
    But that is impossible to do, you can’t do it.

    It is not divorce, but death, that ends marriages. The only thing that divorce does is, make a new relationship adultery and while remarriage is legal in the eyes of the government, it is illegal to God. As long as a former mate is living, the original marriage union is secure in God’s eyes–and that is the State of Marriage.

    When one of the married partners separates from the other and joins himself to someone else, that does not free him from the state of marriage that he is in with his first wife, but instead, it enters him into a state of adultery. The truth about divorce and remarriage is clear. The adulterous relationship resulting from a second marriage is sinful and needs to end.

    Mark 10:5-9 indicates that marriage is a divine institution which was ordained by God from the beginning, and it is not particularly a Christian institution. Mark 10:6-9 says, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they two shall be one flesh…what therefore God hath joined together, let not men put asunder.” Jesus says that marriage is binding in all cases, and it was that way from the beginning, not just since the beginning of the Christian era.

    The marriage vows are binding upon all, whether Christian or not.
    Proverbs 28:13 makes it clear that God wants all of us to turn from sinful living. John the Baptist lost his head defending this principle. Mark 6:17-18 tells how John the Baptist had said that it was not lawful for Herod to have his brother’s wife after a divorce. Herodias, was legally divorced by Roman law, and newly married to Herod Antipas, but John still said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” after they were remarried.

    Brothers and Sisters, don’t go shopping around for someone to justify what Jesus Christ clearly and repeatedly condemned. God has not changed His law to allow a man who has stolen another man’s wife to keep her. Nor has He changed His law to allow a woman who has seduced a husband away from his wife and children to keep someone else’s husband. Nor will He join two people in a God condemned wedding ceremony.

    Marriage is binding on all–whether Christian or non-Christian. It is important to notice that neither the Gospel of Mark, nor the Gospel of John recognized Herod’s second marriage as valid. In Mark 6:17 it describes the woman as “his brother Philip’s wife,” after a divorce. He called her Phillip’s wife after she was divorced. That is whose wife she was, even though Herod had married her. The divorce did not end the marriage. She did not become Herod’s wife upon remarriage. Herod was living with her in adultery; she was still Philip’s wife. God does not recognize the second marriage because the first marriage is binding until death. That is an eternal principle settled in the eternal counsels of God.

    Marriage is not just a Christian institution; it is a broad general institution, and therefore it is binding whether you were married when you were 18 by a judge, or united in marriage at age 25 in a typical church wedding ceremony. From God’s point of view, all marriages are binding, and can be broken only by death. Divorce does not dissolve the “bond” of marriage. If it did, there would be no adultery in a remarriage. The Bible condemns remarriage after a divorce.

    Every faithful disciple of Christ needs to speak God’s truth about marriage and show people, according to Scripture, that they are bound to their first spouse as long as they live. Oh how we must help them see the truth and keep them out of adultery, because…

    Adulterers do not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    For further information, check out these sites;

    http://www.marriagedivorce.com
    http://www.holymatrimony.org
    http://www.catz.net
    http://www.cpr-ministries.org

  2. rahabsplace permalink*
    March 10, 2009 5:03 am

    So, Rose, you’re saying that the Blood of Jesus is insufficient to forgive remarriage and that David, whom God called a man after his own heart and Peter called a prophet is denied the Kingdom because of his multiple wives and adultery. You are saying that Jesus was not fully able to satisfy the righteous requirements to God to save to the uttermost those who come to him.

  3. huh? permalink
    March 10, 2009 5:20 pm

    so would you extend the same grace and mercy to those in same sex marriages?

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      March 10, 2009 6:26 pm

      No, because God never made provision in his word for same sex marriages. He did, however, make provision for divorce and remarriage in the Law. That was His provision, not Moses’. In fact, in one place in the Old Testament, He commanded the entire nation of Israel to divorce their foreign wives and send both the women and the children away. That’s a pretty harsh divorce.

      Jesus told the Jews that they could not “put away” their wives, which is different than divorce. It is throwing a woman out without a divorce. Women did not work at that time and without a certificate of divorce, they could not honorably remarry. It forced them into lives of poverty or prostitution. God hates it.

      God judged the sin of David by the death of his first child by Bathsheba. He did not remove him as king. He did not tell him to send Bathsheba away. He didn’t tell David to get rid of his other wives and concubines. In fact, He told David that if they had not been enough, He would have given him more. He did not remove His promises from David. In fact, it is through Bathsheba the human ancestry of Jesus is traced.

      The church has developed a hierarchy of sin. Somehow adultery, divorce, remarriage have become worse than self-righteousness, gluttony, selfishness. Yet there is far more in the word condemning the former than the latter. If the church applied the same standard to gluttony that many are trying to hold Todd Bentley to, overweight people would not be allowed in church. They are overweight which proves they are in unrepentant sin. If they were truly repentant, they wouldn’t be overweight.

  4. Arrew permalink
    March 11, 2009 11:40 pm

    This situation occurred in my church. Our pastors and congregation took a stand. The brother was asked to repent of his adulterous union with the second woman. He repented and set aside that union. As part of the discipline process, he was pledged by the church to provide support for her for the rest of her life and also to the child born of that union. But he was not allowed to live with her as man and wife. Instead he was counselled and was reconciled to his original wife.

    Five years ago, this brother passed away, obeying God till the end. The woman whom he set aside subsequently came to the Lord as did her child. She was moved by his obedience to Christ.

    Our church lives in a society where polygamy/bigamy is permitted by common law. As a result, some men have up to eight, nine, ten wives as well as many mistresses on the side. The Christian community here has taken a stand to obey God strictly according to Jesus’s commands in Matthew 9 because this was the only way we could stem the tide of this vile social practice that was destroying our families.

    We are now watching Christians in the West and we note with great alarm you are practicising the sins which we in the East used to practice before we knew Christ. We are grieved by your blindness and disobedience.
    Your society is fast becoming as degenerate as our heathen societies in the past. Your children will pay the price of your sin.

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      March 12, 2009 5:34 am

      There’s just one problem with this. God calls it an abomination. In Deuteronomy 24:1-4 and in Jeremiah 3:1, you can’t return to the first mate if there has been a marriage in between. The Bible says it completely defiles the land, and God calls it a detestable practice.

      People need to quit making an idol out of marriage.

      In reality, both Jesus and Paul have stated that marriage is not the preferred state. Jesus said that he who can accept this, should. Why hasn’t the church emphasized this teaching?

      God created divorce in the law of Moses. Jesus said it was because of the hardness of our hearts. Jesus said that it is wrong for a man to “put away” his wife, which is to separate from her without a divorce. It denied her the write to remarry, which in the context of the times pretty much doomed her to either poverty or prostitution.

      If you research it, this is still some thing that is being struggled with in Orthodox Jewish congregations.

  5. Arrew permalink
    March 12, 2009 4:10 pm

    Both the man and his wife were not in Christ when they divorced. The wife remained single and was ‘undefiled’ until her husband returned to her. We have many cases of such sin in our community and to restore order we had not choice but to follow the example in Hosea 3.

    1 The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

    2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.”

    In cases where there is multiple ‘adulterous remarriages,’ the church’s stand is that all parties are to remain single. We will not sanction any marriages or re-marriages between any such parties. Our stand is that neither the male nor female parties have the right to remarry.

    We completely agree with you that marriage is not to be made an idol and that there is nothing wrong at all for a brother or sister to remain single and celibate all the days of their lives.

    However, in such cases such as the aforementioned brother, we have had to use Hosea’s situation to permit men and women to have at least one legitimate relationship, which is recognized by both church and secular society as binding. This is to preserve law and order in our society and to allow the courts to administer our inheritance laws.

    With the second generation of Christians now, this scourge of adultery is being wiped out and monogamous Biblical marriages are becoming the bedrock of our society.

  6. hey permalink
    March 23, 2009 6:26 am

    Rahab, Todd B is a liar. He has lied about Emma, kicking and kneeing people, gold dust, being taken back in time, telling people to give into the glory, lying about 1000 people are to give 1000 dollars each (he does this alot, saying God told him to do this and that and it wasn’t God), he has lied his way to the top. God brought him down. Who are you to help a liar get back on top? Are you greater than God? You act like it. You help restore a liar to the pulpit by your posts. You are now sharing in his sins. FAther has warned you lovingly yet you don’t listen. So He will judge you for your flesh. You cling so tight to denial, failing to see truth. TB is a liar. He lied his way to the top. He will not prosper in this second attempt because people like me live in the aorta of God’s heart and will not let it. Our cries are heard in heaven. You will not prosper either and will enter a season of reaping the lies you help propugate. Get ready for your harvest.

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      March 23, 2009 9:02 am

      Really? Prove it.

      Have you been in his meetings? Have you had angelic encounters? Has the Lord talked to you about these things?

      I have.

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      March 23, 2009 9:08 am

      All I can tell you is that the curses you have spoken will recoil upon your own head.

      Have you ever been in Todd’s meetings? Have you ever spoken to him about your concerns? Do you operate in these types of giftings?

      You have no idea what you are talking about, and you have no idea of my relationship with the Father. You are cursing God’s children, and He will deal with you.

      Prove that he’s a liar. Then prove to me that you have had a genuine born-again experience. I want you to provide me with proof that you are genuine. I am holding you to the standards you profess to hold Todd to.

  7. Larry permalink
    June 9, 2009 12:24 pm

    I will sadly say that I have been hurt the most by Christians, being a born-again Christian for over 30 years most of my pitfalls and problems have only been enhanced by Christian involvement. It just makes me so sad to see non-believers treat me with much more care and respect. For those that are angry at Todd, I say…

    Who are you to judge? If you feel so righteous in your life then you be the first to cast the stone.

    I am remarried to a wonderful Christian Spirit filled woman and she has been an absolute blessing to me, so you say that I am an adulterer? Do you say that once I got divorced that God would discard me as useless? You mean God would never afford me another chance to be with the right woman?

    Why not take this “righteous fire” that you have and use it to a more worthy cause, like fighting against injustices that are happening in your own life.

    I stand behind Todd Bentley, what he did in his personal life is of not matter to me, that is between him and God.

Trackbacks

  1. Todd Bentley Begins Restoration Process | Love is Life
  2. Posts about Todd Bentley as of March 27, 2009 | PRAYtheREVOLUTION

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