June 04, 2008

Todd Bentley Deception

"Someone asked me if I had ever been to some meetings (back in the early Toronto Blessing days) as I could not warn against anything I had not experienced. I asked them if they had ever tasted cyanide to see if it would kill them. With cyanide, the warnings are on the bottle. With Lakeland the warnings are in the Bible. We ignore them at our peril."

Eve
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Video clips posted today:

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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Part 4

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Part 5

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Received this today:
You might be interested to hear Todd Bentley's new contradictions concerning "the anointing"...

http://blog.thewaycf.com/2008/06/audio-is-bentley-confused-in-error-or.html

In Christ,
Jon Sharp

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MSNBC May 29, 2008 article: REVIVALIST CLAIMS HUNDREDS OF HEALINGS


Todd Bentley at the Lakeland Convention Center in Lakeland, Fla. on May 21.

By Alice Rhee, NBC News Producer

LAKELAND, Fla. – "Holy Spirit fall! God is here! We want more! More, more, more!"

That's what Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley yells out nearly every evening to the thousands who gather to hear him preach. The 32-year-old Bentley looks more like a biker than a minister, with body piercings and tattoos all over his arms and neck. But the crowds don't seem to mind how he looks. They just want what they believe Bentley has – the ability to heal them.

Bentley claims that God has used him to supernaturally heal hundreds of people of diseases ranging from glaucoma to diabetes to even cancer. How to explain it?

Bentley said in an interview that he doesn't know exactly why now, why him, why Lakeland, and he does not promise that everyone who comes to him will be healed. But he does maintain a pragmatic posture toward prayer.

"I say, you have nothing to lose but your sickness. If the doctors can't help you, why wouldn't you give God a chance?"

Growing crowds
"If you want God, just come get some," he shouts on stage nearly every night.

Bentley has repeated a version of this invitation daily since April 2 when he and his team from Fresh Fire Ministries, which he founded in 1997, first arrived here from British Columbia, Canada, for what he thought would be five days of "revival" meetings in a local church. But those plans changed, he said, because "God is moving...and people know something is happening here." His meetings have been extended indefinitely.

While Bentley and Fresh Fire Ministries are not part of an organized Protestant denomination, his beliefs tend to follow Pentecostal, charismatic traditions.

He claims that God has used him repeatedly before this revival to heal the sick, but added that this series of revival meetings is unprecedented in his personal experience as a minister.

The meetings have outgrown four venues, including a local convention center that seats roughly 7,000. Now they meet under an air-conditioned tent that can accommodate 10,000 on the grounds of the local airport. Organizers estimate that more than 140,000 people from at least 40 nations have attended meetings here.

In this country, the self-billed "Florida outpouring" has generated mostly local media attention. But word of the revival has been generating plenty of buzz online, taking Bentley’s message and claims far beyond Florida.

So far, according to Fresh Fire Ministries, 1.2 million people have watched live streaming broadcasts of the meetings on the Internet. The meetings also are carried on the religious satellite channel, God TV, which transmits Bentley's healing services to more than 200 nations. In this country, God TV is carried on DIRECTV.

Not everyone is comfortable with this expression of Christianity, including some Protestant theologians. R. Douglas Geivett, a professor at the conservative, evangelical Talbot School of Theology, is deeply skeptical of the "Florida outpouring" and does not believe Bentley’s claims of supernatural healing are consistent with Christian doctrine

"I don’t think it fits neatly into any branch of Christianity," said Geivett. "Mr. Bentley’s worldview appears to be a mixture of New Age notions, an obsession with the paranormal, and an untutored grasp of Christian theology."


A woman named Deborah, who suffers from scoliosis, prays with Todd Bentley in Lakeland, Fla. on May 5 as David Tomberlin looks on and Russ Roderick acts as a “catcher.” Afterwards, she claimed her illness was healed.

Claims of healing
Still, what seems to be drawing all these people of varying ages, ethnicities, and classes is a clear hunger for what Bentley's meetings are offering: the hope of healing and some sort of touch from God.

David Tomberlin, an evangelist who's been dubbed the "Ryan Seacrest" of these meetings because he serves as an emcee of sorts, tried to explain the claims of healings, saying, "The Bible talks about Jesus healing sick people. It says he was moved by compassion, so part of it is God's heart of compassion."

So every night, Bentley and his ministry team take to the stage and try to call heaven down to earth.

That's when the sick are urged to come forward for prayer and healing.

In many instances, Bentley places his hands on someone's head or area of infirmity and cries out for the power of God to descend. In response, some people may stand and physically tremble, while others may literally fall down to the ground in what they call "falling under the power" of the Holy Spirit.

Bentley’s associates say that this is not a painful experience, but rather one of being physically overcome by the loving presence of God. Anticipating these sorts of responses, one of Bentley's staff members stands behind each individual to serve as a "catcher" to gently guide the person down to the floor. Skeptics claim this "falling" can be the result of being overcome with emotion or a learned behavior.

At a recent meeting, Stephen Godula was brought on stage to tell his story. He testified that he had been healed of multiple forms of cancer by watching the meetings on the Internet at home. He plans to return to his oncologist in Philadelphia to document his healing.

Patsy Wallingford traveled from Arkansas in search of healing. Since a tractor-trailer plowed into her mobile home three years ago, Wallingford has been bound to a wheelchair because of nerve damage in her legs and feet.

On a recent night, Wallingford took to the stage and received a prayer from Bentley. "I felt like what was a warm water flow from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet," she explained.

And that's when, she said, she could feel something cold against her right foot; she decided to step out in faith and step out of her wheelchair in front of clapping and cheering crowds.

As she pushed her wheelchair off the stage, she paused to answer questions from one of Bentley's staff members, who filled out a one-page form detailing the claims of miraculous healing.

Bentley and his staff say they welcome as much documentation as people are willing to provide after they return home.

What about the money?
Bentley and his ministry do not charge an entry fee for his meetings. Each evening, four hours into the service, at close to 11 p.m., white plastic offering buckets are passed around.

They asked for money only once and strangely, on the night this reporter was there, they took their offering so late at night that the crowd had thinned-out. Bentley also receives donations directly through his Web site.

The ministry said that the average donation per person is $3-$5. While some people were reluctant to talk about what they gave, one visitor from Finland said he was only able to put in a few dollars because his travel costs were so high.

A spokeswoman for the revival, Lynne Breidenbach, said the offerings have covered their enormous operating costs. Before the move to the airport grounds, she said the ministry paid a daily rental fee of $15,000 for the local convention center, as well as comparable fees for use of a stadium. His spokesperson didn’t know how much the current setup costs. The offerings, said Breidenbach, have not contributed to a significant infusion of cash for Bentley or his ministry.

According to Breidenbach, Bentley "continues to draw his standard salary, set by his board, from his office in Canada. It is a modest salary and is in the five-figure range." The ministry said that their financial records are subject to an outside audit every year.

Bentley said he was willing to open Fresh Fire Ministries’ bookkeeping records for the Lakeland revival meetings, but has yet to provide the documentation to msnbc.com. He said that he welcomes media attention and scrutiny because the "outpouring" is a work of God and he has "nothing to hide."

Taking the notion of any potential criticism head on, he said, "I don’t have time to debate whether revival is happening or not. I don’t have time to nitpick the reasons why God might not be moving." Instead, he said, his greater concern is to move as fervently in faith to see as many people healed as he can during this time.

Miracles?
And indeed, Bentley’s claims have stirred up debates within and outside the church.

Erik Thoennes, also a professor from the Talbot School of Theology, offers a more accepting, though still cautious stance, than his colleague Geivett.

Thoennes believes many Christians today are open to the idea that God might move in miraculous ways, even if they don’t embrace movements like Bentley’s. And, he offered specific advice to non-Christians who may be confounded by such reports: "I’d hope they wouldn’t get distracted by movements that seem odd, or by how goofy Christians can be, so that they miss seeing Jesus as the most beautiful, good, loving, just, true, person there is."

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From Matthew 7

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

11 Comments:

Blogger Caron said...

Thanks for the post!

Please see “A Call for Discernment” by going to http://www.justinpeters.org. Justin is an evangelist and in addition to expository preaching, also holds seminars on the “Word of Faith” movement. He has cerebral palsy and concurs with the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

You can view his brief overview of the misleading Word of Faith movement given at Southwestern Theological Seminary here:

http://www.justinpeters.org/demo.htm

To God be the glory!

6/5/08, 3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you say this is a false revival when so many people are getting saved, healed, delivered, and all the glory goes to Jesus.
Every night people gather from all over the world to praise and worship Jesus. In everything, only the name of Jesus has been lifted up. How can you say this is a false revival? Have you been there? And does your ministry do anything close to this or do you just spend your time tearing down other ministries?

6/5/08, 11:39 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I have not been to the Lakeland meetings but I was VERY involved in many other meetings, esp the Brownsville meetings, school and missions organization until by the grace of God, I escaped the deception.

The behavior of the people at all these charismatic/pentecostal meetings are not godly nor scriptural but rather demonic, plain and simple.

Watch the video posted today called "False Revival" which shows what I mean. The emphasis is on experience and feelings rather than on the Bible, God's Word.

If you are a genuine truth seeker, ask the Lord Jesus Christ to show you the truth about Todd Bentley and He will.

6/6/08, 12:32 AM  
Blogger William Southward said...

It ia all about Todd he is the boss and no person will tell him what to preach at "his revival" yes he said his revival, last night thurstday, check it out part when he was preaching.
Tod his full of contridictions
If you listen carefully you will hear him rant and rave and saying strange things Like let them come come on etc refering to CNN etc and other strange stuff.
So is God like Todd is this what the Creator of the univers is like, A ranting and raving God.
Todd seeks recognition from the big names he also seeks to get recognition from the big TV networks like CNN, he rants and raves about them enough, Would the Creator do this
I think not

6/13/08, 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had found this Youtube video through another link. This was more disturbing then watching Todd.

How can anyone looking at the video believe this is something from God?

This link is called a Church on Fire, from what I understand it was Todd Bentley's annointing being spread here in the UK where I live. This is very worrying and disturbing to see.

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

6/27/08, 3:34 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

This video clip you linked reminds me of a mental hospital, not a church!

And the 'pastor' just keep yelling 'fire' and tells them not too worry.

I had seen this video once before but as I started to watch it this time, I had to turn the volume off - too horrendous and painful!

Oh Lord Jesus, please wake these people up and set them free from this deception I pray - amen.

6/27/08, 8:51 PM  
Blogger william said...

Has anyone read document from Stephen Strader defending the Florida Revival?

6/30/08, 6:28 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Just posted a recent article which says:

The Rev. Stephen Strader, pastor of Ignited Church, who invited Bentley to Lakeland, is a minister in the Assemblies of God, and his church is part of the Peninsular Florida District of the Assemblies. He said he agreed with Wood and the statement from the Assemblies headquarters.

"We have the exact same concerns. We watch over everything. Everything that happens on the platform is scriptural," he said. Strader and Bentley say there has been very little talk about angels at the Florida Outpouring.

"Emma has never been part of this outpouring. It was an experience Todd had seven years ago, and it's been totally blown out of proportion," Strader said. "The nightly message has been totally 100 percent nothing but Jesus. People looking for a problem or a heresy, they're going to find it."

6/30/08, 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been under this mans ministry - I was given a ticket to attend in Australia before he went to florida - I knew it was "mixture" but still continued to attend the conference - I dont know about anyone else but I'm desparate for a breakthrough - instead I had that uncontrollable laughter which turned into GRIEF and I injured my back - I have watched some of those who went to the conference also and they have all come away with something they didn't bargain for !!!
mathew 24, 24 says false prophets with GREAT signs and wonders - could deceive the very elect - well I think most people have gone hook lin and sinker!! I can't attend a lot of churches now as they are using Todd as a model - and now I have heard his family is broken ... we will know their ministy by their fruit - God had to knock him of the pedistool of idoletry where the people have put him. Will [ray for him and his family that they have a real revelation of God

8/20/08, 1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been under this mans ministry - I was given a ticket to attend in Australia before he went to florida - I knew it was "mixture" but still continued to attend the conference - I dont know about anyone else but I'm desparate for a breakthrough - instead I had that uncontrollable laughter which turned into GRIEF and I injured my back - I have watched some of those who went to the conference also and they have all come away with something they didn't bargain for !!!
mathew 24, 24 says false prophets with GREAT signs and wonders - could deceive the very elect - well I think most people have gone hook lin and sinker!! I can't attend a lot of churches now as they are using Todd as a model - and now I have heard his family is broken ... we will know their ministy by their fruit - God had to knock him of the pedistool of idoletry where the people have put him. Will pray for him and his family that they have a real revelation of God

8/20/08, 1:15 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Thank you for your honest comments regarding your involvement in the deception of Bentley. I too was involved in something similar: Brownsville 'revival' in Pensacola until God opened my eyes.

May the Lord Jesus Christ continue to use you and I to be light and salt pointing the way out of the lies and into the Truth. I pray more folks wake up, repent and get back in the real Word of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is all we need - hallelujah!

8/20/08, 6:55 AM  

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