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Todd Bentley: Restoration Update 3-30-09 Part 2

April 6, 2009

Here is the second part of Rick Joyner’s 3/30/09 update on Todd Bentley’s Restoration.

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Understanding vs. Justifying

Please understand that when I spend a lot of time trying to express what or why something happened, it is not in any way to justify it, but for the purpose of possibly helping others avoid the same traps.

The burnout Todd experienced resulted in him fighting deep depression for more than a year. When I was with him during that time, he related that he had not felt anything for so long, not even for the Lord. He was just void of feeling. Extreme is fashionable with the youth today, and probably one reason why so many of the youth are attracted to Todd is because he is the poster boy for extreme. He does not do anything part way, and during this time Todd fell into some extreme and fleshly behavior. He became addicted to tattoos, and just about covered himself in them. He started watching unseemly horror movies and on several occasions got drunk.

Many people emailed me with stories or experiences with Todd during these periods, but Todd had already told me everything. He was not trying to hide anything but was trying to help me help him. Transparency is not a problem that Todd has. I also think Todd tries to fully own his transgressions as soon as he sees them, and tries to repent the best that he can. I don’t want to make excuses for them either, because God does not forgive excuses, but He forgives sin when it is confessed and repented of, which means to turn away from it. However, though I have never experienced depression for more than a few hours, it is terrible. You can be in the most wonderful place, with the most wonderful people, and want to die. Todd was in a deep depression that he could not climb out of during that time. He was desperately trying to feel something, and then anything. We have all probably seen children who will do something wrong just to get their parent’s attention, even though it hurts. This is common among gifted people who almost all battle serious depression.

Again, this is not to justify any of Todd’s behavior, which he is not trying to do either, but overseeing those with Todd’s nature and gifts needs to be understood, and I think very few do. Immediately after one of Elijah’s biggest victories in which he called fire down from heaven on Mt. Carmel and was able to rid Israel of hundreds of false prophets and false priests, he fell into such a depression that he asked the Lord to take his life. Possibly everyone who has ever walked in extraordinary anointing has experienced this, but few seem to understand it or are able to get free of it. If you’ve experienced it, you know it is very hard to endure for just a few hours. To think of enduring it for days or months is almost incomprehensible.

I can’t imagine what it was like for Todd’s wife or staff as he endured eighteen months of this, but they’re all saints in my book. As I said, Todd feels that he should take full responsibility for his marriage failure and other failures, and I don’t think I’ve heard him saying anything negative about his wife or anyone but himself. Todd has not tried to blame the depression, or what he calls “the dark night of the soul” on anyone, but he has expressed a few times that he cried for help but no one knew how to help him. That’s understandable as almost no one seems to understand this, even if they’ve been through it. I think it is another one of those answers we must find.

Right now about all I can do for someone in this situation is tell them what Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” As we are told in Psalm 126:6, “He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” When this comes on you, one of the best things to do is just keep going and you will come out of it, and usually within a few hours or at most days. Some of the greatest prophets and preachers of all time have experienced extended periods of this.

However, coming out of such depression is wonderful. It feels so good when you emerge from depression that it is amazing how you start to appreciate even the little joys in life so much that the big joys are almost overwhelming. When Todd started coming out, it was understandable that he wanted to just minister to people all the time, but even God took one day off after working six. When we violate God’s law of rest, we are in for a fall. That is literally why the Lord had Israel carried into bondage into Babylon, so that the land could have its Sabbaths. They stayed in bondage for seventy years to make up for the seventy Sabbaths the land had missed. If you violate this law, you will eventually fall into bondage just like Israel did. When the outpouring broke out in Lakeland, Todd went more than 120 days without a break. When he started taking a break from the meetings in Lakeland, it was usually to go preach somewhere else. When Todd went home at night, he did not have much peace, but was fighting the after-meeting depression and with his wife as their relationship continued to break down. That is a sure recipe for disaster, and it came quickly.

I’m not implying this is the whole reason for Todd’s marriage failure, or the reason for any other transgressions, but it was a big factor. Working like this is pride. To think we can go that long without rest when even God rested after six days is pride. It’s a pride that implies we are the ones holding the universe up—in the work of God that is a definite recipe for disaster. It’s happened to him twice now, and the consequences this time are worse than the first.

That is one reason why I have not put any timeframe for Todd’s restoration. Neither have I given Todd a twelve-step plan for restoration. These can have their place, but a fundamental issue has been a failure to rest in the Lord, which results in us taking yokes we cannot bear and is a root cause for most burnout in ministry.

After Lakeland and the breakup of his marriage, Todd spiraled down even further into a deep hopelessness. Many had told him he would be out of ministry for years, and some implied his ministry was over. That was really all Todd had at that time. I’m not saying this was right, but it was a fact. He had nothing else that he thought was valuable for others, and it was basically his reason for existence. When I talked to him and told him he could be restored, he started coming out of the hopelessness immediately.

When I told Todd that I did not put a timeframe on how long or short this would be, no doubt he felt this meant that he could be restored much quicker than others had been telling him. I only said I did not know how long it would take, but when it was done it was done. This no doubt increased his hope, and I wanted it to. The hopelessness he had fallen into was deadly. However, now the opposite is working on him. Because I have not put a time limit on it, he’s starting to worry that it could actually take longer. That is a possibility too. When the job is done, it will be done. This is now forcing Todd to trust and rest in the Lord even more and to find his hope and his identity in the Lord.

I know the reasons why some put time limits for people to be out of ministry if they have had a moral failure. They can have good reasons for this, but I do not see that anywhere in Scripture. I felt that the Lord showed me that this is an affront to Him. As we are exhorted in II Peter 3:8-9, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The Lord can do in one day what we think should take a thousand years, and the reverse is also true—He can take a thousand years to do what we want done today!

I make no apology for the fact that we are seeking to restore Todd to ministry. I would like to see it done as quickly as possible, but only if it is done right. I understand that many think it is the wrong signal to send to put someone back in the pulpit right after divorcing their wife or husband. However, it is also the wrong message to send out that people are disqualified if they’ve had such a failure in their lives. That is an affront to the cross too and belittles its power to redeem. I also don’t think the Lord likes to be put in some of the time boxes we come up with for Him.

One common theme we also face a lot with Todd’s situation is the desire on the part of many for him to be punished for what he did. They would never call it that, but it is in fact what they want. Granted, he deserves it, as we all do, but that too is an affront to the cross and to the justice of God. The justice of God is that Jesus was already punished for everything Todd has done, or we have done, and for us to be punished for it too would not be just. Discipline in the Lord is never for punishment, but it is for our salvation and deliverance.

The biggest trial in Todd’s life right now is to just rest in God and love Him. There is a reason why we’re told in Hebrews to “labor therefore to enter into that rest” (see Hebrews 4:11 KJV). It’s hard work to learn to rest! But if you’re disappointed and demanding to know the twelve-point process we will be using to help restore Todd, you’ll just have to wait like he is.

Because I have not done this, many have jumped to all kinds of conclusions, most of which are far from the truth. One of the first things the Lord said to me about Todd’s situation was that He was going to use it to expose a lot of foolishness because “fools rush to judgment.” Impatience is not a fruit of the Spirit.

However, the encouragement to me is how many are expressing such incredible grace, mercy, and patience. As we are told, we will reap what we sow, so if we want to receive mercy, we need to sow it every chance we get. If we want to receive grace, we need to sow grace every chance we get. Even so, our grace and mercy must not go to the other extreme of unsanctified mercy, which is giving mercy to the things which God has under judgment. That is why I try to listen to all sides, but by this, I also sometimes end up offending people on all sides. I can’t worry too much about that, but just try to please the One who gave me this job.

I hope this is helpful, as your responses to us have been. We have many other great questions about this that are valid and important, but I cannot deal with them all at once. Later, I hope to address most of the questions.

Special Note

Also, many assumed after the last Special Bulletin that the request for contributions to support Todd indicated that he was already back in ministry. Not so. Many had expressed the desire to support him through this process, so we were just giving a way for this to be done. I have asked Todd to spend some time working on the infrastructure of his new ministry so that when he is restored to ministry it is on the best possible foundation.

Thanks to all who are wanting to stand by him in this way. The wise invest in people, and the wise way to invest is to “buy low and sell high.” You get a much better return when you invest in people when they’re down. The ones who invested in King David when he was living in a cave, looking like he had no hope for a future, became the royalty and mighty men of Israel. I have no doubt that Todd will be back in a greater way than ever, on a more solid foundation, much more aware of where the traps are, but more than anything, leaning on the Lord.

Rick Joyner, 3/30/2009

People attempt to post a lot of hate filled invective on this site, and I don’t allow it. Todd is my brother and it doesn’t matter what he’s done, it matters Who he knows. Any of you who have a younger sibling who is a prodigal understands. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done, they’re your sibling and you love them and you’d do anything to help them find their way into the kingdom. I am committed to seeing Todd walk in all God has for him because Jesus is committed to him.

Todd is making clear in his restoration videos that the problems in his marriage were of long standing. He and Shonnah made every effort to work things out, and he accepts full blame for the things that he did that alienated his wife. He has more than once referred to the ministry as his mistress, and that is a mistress many in the Body have. Whether it is ministry or work or family or kids, whatever holds your affection above your mate, other than Jesus, is your mistress.

People want to focus on Todd’s relationship with Jessa, and Jessa was never the issue. Todd’s drive and passion for the work of the ministry was one of the main issues. At one point, he was holding 300 meetings a year. How many marriages are going to survive that kind of schedule?

But what about you? Are you alienating your mate by the things you are giving your affections to?

What about your and your church’s relationship to your pastor? Are you creating this same situation in his marriage by endless demands? Do you expect your pastor to put the needs of his church above the needs of his family? Do you expect him to do EVERYTHING? Visit the sick? Visit the homebound? Be at every function? Be available 24/7 to solve the crises you create in your lives?

Before we sit around and condemn Todd, let’s make sure we are not involved in the same adulterous affair in our own lives.

By the way, I want to thank whoever it was that submitted Rahab’s Place to Alpha Inventions.  Those guys are great!  That submission has greatly increased the traffic to this blog, and I can’t say enough good things about them.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathy permalink
    April 6, 2009 4:31 pm

    I liked to know how Shannah is doing and how her health is, God bles both their lives and their journies thru life as they go their own ways, loving their Heavenly Father, who is and will be their for both of them…

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      April 7, 2009 8:52 am

      Hi Kathy!

      According to Rick Joyner, Shonnah has requested privacy for her and the children, and this has been the main reason why so little is being heard about how she is doing. She is in Abbottsford, Canada with the children The former Fresh Fire ministry and church has become Transformation International, and they are providing spiritual support to Shonnah and the children. Currently, Shonnah and Elijah, Todd’s son, are in Africa on a ministry trip with TI to the Jesus Village Uganda, which is something Shonnah is passionate about.

  2. Tammey Cooper permalink
    May 17, 2009 9:35 pm

    I just want Todd to know that I am praying for him and I kinda understand some of what he is going through. I was very active in the Lord’s work and seeing God
    use me in wondrus ways but I got my eyes off the Lord for just a minute and everything came tumbling down. The devil tormented me for a long time stating I would never be any good for the kingdom of God since I got myself away and I allowed him for a long time to do this but God showed me he still can use me and I know that I will continue to be restored to where I was and I beleve that God will restore Todd to where he wants him so Todd don’t give up. My husband and I are praying for you.

    In Christ,

    Tammey Cooper

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      May 18, 2009 1:12 am

      Hi Tammey!

      The Father’s heart is for restoration and reconciliation. Jesus came to save the world, not condemn it. If he loved us while we were yet sinners and gave himself for us, how much more is he willing to help us when we stumble as his bride? The Lord is able to keep that which is entrusted to him against that day. He is not only able to save us to the uttermost, but he is able to help us when we fail. In Galatians 6:1 he gave the church the command to restore gently those who fall. His heart is so toward you and so yearning to bring restoration and to destroy every work of darkness that tries so hard to keep us ensnared.

      Be blessed!

  3. JANIA permalink
    May 31, 2009 9:45 pm

    Todd’s consuming fire for Jesus during Lakeland was the greatest inspiration I have ever gotten from anyone in all of my yrs as a christian woman! I very much miss his zeal,heart, joy and childlike giving faith that he naturally displayed thruout the revival… My prayer since has always been for Todds restoration,and healing. I hope and pray that the Lord would raise Todd up again one day with the same heart for revival as has always been and even more so.

  4. Bill Scudder permalink
    June 1, 2009 10:13 am

    I pray todd will be restored. But since he has been restored before, two years ago and then fell again, he should not minister in the pulpit again.

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      June 1, 2009 10:41 am

      Scripture doesn’t give us that option. Galatians 6:1 says that if any be caught in a tresspass, they are to be restored gently. Doesn’t give a sin limit. Jesus set a much higher standard of forgiveness – 70 x 7. How many times was Peter restored? He denied Jesus, which is, according the scripture an automatic I will deny you before the Father, go to hell kind of offense. Jesus restored him. He then committed public hypocrisy and had to be publicly rebuked by Paul. God restored him again. Moses was denied access to the promised land because of his sin, but God left him in leadership. Aaron fashioned a Golden Calf and led Israel into prostitution and God restored him. He then rebelled against Moses over Moses’ wife, and God restored him. He also was denied access to the promised land because of sin, but God retained him and his lineage as high priests.

      God’s standards are much, much different than ours. We have far to go in our quest to become like Jesus.

  5. Sandy permalink
    June 15, 2009 8:50 pm

    Hey Rahab,

    Very good site and very good information. I understand totally regarding “darkness of the soul” as I have been there many times in my life. It is horrible and the depression which comes with it is unyielding.

    Mother Teresa wrote in her diary, “That when she dies and if she went to heaven, she would be absent from heaven helping those whose souls live in darkness.” She believe it or not had terrible struggles with this all of her life. Many times she felt as if God was just not there. I would imagine she felt like this because as she said, “She took care of the poorest of the poor.”

    One man was laying in a gutter with maggot infestation and dirty. She cleaned him up and put on fresh clothes, and as he was dying he said something to the effect of to her, “All my life I have lived in hell, and now that I am dying I am looking at the face of an Angel.” With that last statement he died. What a blessing God and she gave that man at the end of his life.

    So if someone as devout as she was in doing the Lord’s work lived in “darkness of the soul” most of her life, that says a lot regarding the rest of us. I mean to me she lived it and lived in it, and I cannot imagine all which she did live in and saw.

    It is fuuny you wrote about “alienating your mate by things you are giving your affection to” as my husband and I are now dealing with a similar situation, but are working on things and they have gotten a lot better. I told him “He did not take care of my heart.” Then I had to apologize for saying that, as I told him, “I have not taken care of yours either.”

    None of it like Todd’s family was meant to be done, it was our lives became so busy that the marriage took a good hit. We almost lost one another because of it. We were on the verge of divorce and of course me being Catholic this would have been devastating not to mention the loss of my husband and my life, as he is my life. He and I both had to face that we had become committed to everything but to each other. The communication was gone out of our marriage. So I do understand how this can happen as we are trying to place our marriage and each other first now, after God. One of the main things that we do if it is 20 minutes or two hours, is cut off television and computers go into the bedroom and lay there and talk. It has truly brought the life back to our marriage. I am just sorry for Todd and his family this could not be done.

    Just as we are trying to restore things in our marriage and it is taking time, so the same it with Todd. Restoration does not come without lots of work and dedication. It is hard to do at times, and time consuming.

    So again, God Bless and when we begin to lose what is important to us, DON’T. Sandy

  6. Susan permalink
    June 29, 2009 11:30 pm

    Concerning restoration, I will offer some insight. A small sin can be the first step, in turning away from GOD. It’s not the sins we don’t know, but the sins we choose too excuse. This is where trouble can start. So, should we let sin go unchallenged? Remember, one tiny sin, you are aware of, can fester into a deadly sin. Like an uncurable disease. So, should we excuse sin? No! I say don’t do it. Really talk to Jesus about it.

    Look at Solomon’s kingdom. Because of his great wisdom it flurished. However, he was not any less subject too the effects of sin. Because of the excusing of sin in his kingdom, it was divided.

    In addition, our rightousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight. No matter how much any of us tries to be good enough, it will not matter. What really matters is how we look, when we truely let Jesus clean up our hearts. Bottom line, we can’t excuse sin.

    There is a door we will all go through one day. When we go through this door, we want to make sure that are hearts are honest with Jesus. Because he will be on the other side of this door. So, are we part of the five wise virgins? Do the lamps have enough oil? Remember to keep His light burning. That’s our salvation.

    • rahabsplace permalink*
      June 30, 2009 12:01 am

      No, we should not excuse sin, but it is not our repentance that saves us. How do you know that you have perfectly repented of every sin you have ever committed? No, that is the road to legalism.

      Our salvation is found solely in the Blood of Jesus. His Blood cleanses us perfectly of ALL unrighteousness. He paid the penalty for all our sin. And once He cleanses us of our sin, that sin ceases to exist. It’s gone, never to be remembered by the Father.

  7. Susan permalink
    June 30, 2009 10:25 pm

    rahabplace,

    Interesting responce you have there. Since you brought up repentance, I’ll be glad to respond to it. Question: Why was John The Baptist preaching repentance? Answer: To prepare the way for the Messiah. It’s fortold in Malachi. Remember, that with repentance comes forgiveness. So, John’s ministry was compared to Elijah’s. It’s in the scripture.

    I want to let you know I’m not a Legalist. I’m a sinner saved by grace. I can only answer for my sins. However, I know right from wrong. See, we all have that concept. As a Christian we have a sword which is the Word of God. Swords hurt when you fight with them.

    I’m sorry if you misunderstood my concerns.

    Susan

  8. Sandy permalink
    July 1, 2009 7:04 pm

    Susan,

    Forgiving sin and excusing sin are two entirely different actions. Just because we forgive someone of their sins does not mean we excuse it. God forgives us of our sins and remembers them no more if we go to Him and repent of them, but that does not mean He excuses them.

    I have never read where Rahab ever excused what Todd Bentley did, but she did however do what we are all called to do, and that was to forgive him.

    When we all do go through “that door” and there is unforgiveness in us when God does look at our hearts, that is not an “honest heart with Jesus.”

    The heart of Jesus is the one who asked for forgiveness for those who nailed Him to the Cross. (Which was not only the Jewish leaders but us also) He did not ask God to “excuse their sin” but to forgive them. Aren’t you glad He did? I know I am, because my sins nailed Him to the Cross as sure as the Jewish leaders did. I am not guiltless regarding that day. I might as well have been standing at the foot of the Cross with Him looking straight at me, and asking God to forgive me. I say this because I am sinner.

    We cannot hold someone’s sins over their heads for the rest of their lives, no matter how grave that sin is. I have forgiven many that I know never repented a day for what they did, not to excuse their sin, but because that is what I am called to do, to be obedient to God. I also do it, as what right do I have to ask God to remember my sins no more, when I sit and constantly remember someone elses, and fail to have mercy on them? I have no right at all.

    The greatest example we have of “holding on to our own sins or someone elses” is Judas. To me his sin was his despair. He could not forgive himself for what he did, and I think he felt as if the Apostles nor Jesus would ever forgive him either. So he hung himself.

    No matter how grave our sins or anyone elses are, God never wants us to reach the point which Judas reached. He wants us to trust in the mercy given to us on the Cross. We should never try to bring someone to the point Judas reached either, by harboring unforgiveness towards them in our hearts. We can do this by malice and unforgiveness.

    There are many people especially our youth who kill themselves because they feel as if they have committed a sin which God or no one else can forgive, and that is a lie from the devil. When he can oppress them so much with malice combined with their own thoughts and they take their own lives, what then? As Christians is this what we want to drive someone to, because they sinned and we will not move with love towards them? Paul said he did not even judge himself as that was for God to do.

    Our salvation comes only from the Blood of Jesus. He went through agony and hell on the Day of the Cross, so that God could look at us, through the Eyes of that Cross. No matter what the sin, when one repents, Jesus is up there before our Father saying, “That one Father I died for, have mercy.” I do not care if the name of “that one” is Todd Bentley, Sandy, Rahab, Susan, or any other name, God’s mercy and forgiveness is granted to all of us, and He does not measure sin. Sin is sin to God, be it if we gossip about someone, or have an affair. We all come under the covering of the Blood of the Lamb, when we repent.

    God Bless

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