August 04, 2008

The Tents are Down and Todd Bentley is Leaving Lakeland


Todd Bentley Revival Ending

Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.
source


The tents are coming down early at the Todd Bentley revival.

The Pentecostal revival, which has drawn hundreds of thousands of people since it began April 2, will move back to Ignited Church in North Lakeland after today's service, said Lynne Breidenbach, spokeswoman for Bentley.

The revival has been meeting in two large tents on the grounds of the Sun 'n Fun Fly-in since early June.

Bentley announced last week that he would leave the revival Aug. 23, and leaders said then the revival would continue at Ignited Church, where it started.

Breidenbach said Friday the early relocation would make the transition smoother.

Bentley is still scheduled to lead services the week of Aug. 18 , she said.

--- end ---

Faith healer Todd Bentley called a fraud, false teacher


Todd Bentley lays his hands on a woman during a service in Lakeland, Fla. Bentley claims that thousands of people have been healed and dozens been raised from the dead through his ministry, but prominent evangelical leaders warn that he's a fraud and false prophet. Bentley's meetings often involve "holy" laughter and "holy" shaking, and he claims to talk to angels and to Jesus in person.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 | by David Roach
source


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--A new faith healer is making headlines for his claims of supernatural powers, but conservative evangelical leaders warn that Todd Bentley is a fraud and a false teacher.

Bentley, leader of a revival that began in Lakeland, Fla., this spring, is known for his multiple body piercings and tattoos, his violent healing techniques, his claims of angelic visions and "holy" laughter and "holy" vibrating shakes. He even claims to have raised dozens of people from the dead.

In one YouTube video, Bentley, who is Canadian, can be seen kneeing in the stomach a man with stage 4 colon cancer. When the man bent over in obvious pain from the blow, Bentley said, "I had to be obedient to the Lord, sir, but I believe that colon cancer is coming right out of your body now." In other videos, Bentley explains how he kicked an elderly lady in the face, banged a crippled woman's legs on a platform "like a baseball bat," choked a man, "leg-dropped" a pastor, and hit a man so hard it dislodged a tooth -- all because God supposedly told him to do so.

The Associated Press said it could not confirm any of a dozen cases in which Bentley's ministry claimed medical verification for his miracles.

Bentley claims to be visited regularly by angels, including a 20-foot-tall angel in his apartment on one occasion and on another occasion an angel that knocked him out of his body. One angel's name supposedly is Emma. Bentley also says that Jesus Himself appears to him.

On June 7 in Lakeland, Bentley read a prophecy from Wendy Alec of the GOD TV network claiming Jesus would personally visit the stage the following night. (GOD TV broadcasts the services.)

"The 8th of June the anointing of the King of Glory falls. Jesus said, 'I am coming in person,'" Bentley read. He added, "Tomorrow the King of Glory sets foot upon the stage in divine personal one-to-one visitation."

After reading the prophecy -- which sounded like the second coming of Christ -- Bentley appeared to back down from the claims of personal appearance, explaining that Christ's appearance may be an "atmosphere" or "spiritual experience" rather than a bodily appearance.

Bentley claimed on another occasion to have been transported four to five hours into the future to see what would occur at a revival meeting he was scheduled to lead.

During services, members of the audience who claim they have been healed or who are requesting healing walk on stage, where Bentley touches their head, yells "Bam!" and watches as the person falls back, "slain in the Spirit." Among his more dramatic claims of healing, he says one particular man can now see out of a glass eye and that another person grew an eyeball. He also claims to have seen a woman's tumor exploding out of her leg and sliding down to the floor.

Sometimes, portions of his service are spent with him lying on the stage laughing, with the audience -- all supposedly caught up in the Spirit -- laughing, too. Other times, people lay on the stage jerking violently and appearing as if they're experiencing a seizure; supposedly they are simply full of the Spirit.

Bentley recently announced that he will be leaving the Lakeland meetings in order to conduct meetings overseas. His last day at Lakeland is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Hank Hanegraaff, author and host of the popular "Bible Answer Man" radio program, called Bentley "an absolute false prophet." He calls what's going on in Lakeland a "counterfeit revival."

"Unfortunately today people are looking for God in all the wrong places," Hanegraaff wrote on his website. "They're going to hear in Lakeland all kinds of things, from people being resurrected from the dead -- not true, no details, no descriptions -- to supposedly people being pickled and marinated in the Spirit.... In fact, they're going to hear about vibrating in the Spirit now. This guy is an absolute phony. Unfortunately people are falling for his ruse."

Hanegraaff added, "When you say God did something He didn't do or the Holy Spirit told you something He didn't tell you, that's blasphemous."

Russell D. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, bemoaned the fact that people believe Bentley's claims.

"Every few years here comes another fraudulent, scandal-riddled 'faith healer,'" Moore said. "That's, sadly, no surprise. I am not dubious about healing. I believe that God heals today.... We all know, however, that there are those who will use the power of God to peddle a product.

"What's most tragic about this cycle, though, is the fact that there's always a constituency for guys like this. I fear that it's more than just P.T. Barnum's famous old maxim about the gullibility of the American public. I fear that there's something missing in our churches that drives even some of our people to charlatans. Might there be less of a demand for these traveling health-and-wealth revivalists if our churches spent more time on our knees in prayer for sick and hurting people?"

Moore encouraged believers to pray for the sick according to the commands of James 5:13-15 instead of looking to faith healers like Bentley.

"Perhaps if we gave more attention to prayer in our own churches, the most desperate among us -- in our neighborhoods and in our pews -- would have less reason to search out a self-appointed carnival-tent apostle," he said.

Bentley claims he has the anointing of the mid-20th-century preacher William Branham, a faith healer who denied the Trinity and "prophesied that by 1977 all denominations would be consumed by the World Council of Churches under the control of the Roman Catholics, the rapture would take place, and the world would be destroyed," Hanegraaff's website states.

At a recent Bentley healing service in Louisville, Ky., attended by Baptist Press, claims of the blind being healed, the dead being raised and visitations from Jesus were all on display.

In an evening service July 17 at Evangel World Prayer Center, Bentley claimed that several dramatic healings had taken place earlier that day.

"There was a boy born blind in one eye healed today," Bentley said. "A woman that was deaf in an ear took her hearing aid out, a man who was crippled in a wheelchair 41 years. We've had testimonies of drug addicts that have been set free and testimonies with chronic pain."

Bentley and officials from Evangel church estimated that 8,000 people attended the day's events, which involved a healing service at noon and an evening service broadcast simultaneously to three venues in two locations. While giving his testimony to the crowd, Bentley, 32, claimed to have raised 32 people from the dead and led 1 million people to faith in Jesus Christ before he turned 30.

Baptist Press noted at least five people in wheelchairs in the meeting who appeared to remain uncured throughout the service.

During the healing portions of the evening, Bentley called out conditions he claimed God was healing for people attending or watching the service. After calling out the conditions, he encouraged people who were healed to come forward. Dozens came claiming healing from conditions ranging from arthritis to stomach disorders, liver failure, diabetes, jaw problems and torn shoulders.

"In the name of Jesus Christ I take authority over every spirit of infirmity tonight," Bentley said. "Cancer is going to be defeated. Spirit of cancer, come out of your body. I rebuke every cancerous tumor. I rebuke terminal cancer. I command every cancer to come out of your body."

He added that AIDS, Parkinson's disease, kidney failure and other conditions were also being healed.

"I want to hear you contend for your miracle because the power of God, that healing anointing is here right now, and God is beginning to move and we're releasing that river of healing right now," he said.

At the time of the offering, Bentley suggested attendees would not receive a blessing unless they gave generously.

"People get stingy when they give, but they want a generous blessing," he said. "I'm telling you, there's something about you reap what you sow. So you think about that as I sow. You think about what God wants you to plant as a revival seed."

Bentley claimed biblical warrant for his activities.

"There's nothing fancy about Todd Bentley," he said. "I just love God and show up and God shows up. We pray for the sick, and people get healed and set free because I believe the Bible. I believe the Word of God."

But while giving his testimony later in the evening, Bentley said he heard the Gospel from the Bible many times as a teenager but could not believe without a supernatural experience. He was saved only when God spoke audibly to him in his drug dealer's trailer and told him that was his last chance to make a decision for Christ, Bentley said.

He invited listeners to be saved and told them that Jesus could forgive all their sins and make then a new creation.

Bentley was called to ministry, he said, in 1998 when a "glory liquid honey cloud" came through the kitchen of his apartment and into the living room. It rested over his head, and the "manifest tangible presence of God" did not leave his life for three months. During that time Bentley was "slain in the Spirit" from four to 12 hours per day and saw many visions, he said.

After the three months were complete, Bentley said Jesus appeared to him on Mother's Day and told him he would never return to secular work again.

"[Jesus] said, 'I have a ministry for you, and it begins today, Mothers Day 1998.' He said, 'You will go all over the world, and you're going to bring a healing revival,'" Bentley said.

God has fulfilled that prophecy in part in the past 100 days in Lakeland where "untold thousands" have come to Christ and 3,000 people were baptized in one service, he said. He added that Benny Hinn and other faith healers influenced him in ministry.

Bentley knew to bring the revival to Louisville when he received a vision, he said. While slain in the Spirit in Lakeland, an angel appeared to him and told him someone named Bob Rodgers would receive an anointing, Bentley said. No one in the crowd that night was named Bob Rodgers, but one person identified the pastor at Evangel World Prayer Center in Louisville as a man named Bob Rodgers. Bentley knew that meant revival was coming to Louisville, he said.

"We're after an atmosphere," Bentley said. "Come on people of God, we're after a revival atmosphere."

Hanegraaff, the host of the "Bible Answer Man" radio program, said he often gets criticized for "judging" Bentley. Hanegraaff said such criticism is not biblical.

"Not only is judging permissible -- it is a responsibility. Nobody's teachings are above sound judgment. Especially those who have influence and power," he wrote on his website, adding that people are leaving the meetings shipwrecked in their faith. "… While our Lord cautioned followers not to judge self-righteously, He also counseled them to make judgments based on right standards, and in the context of oft-quoted commands by Jesus such as 'Judge not or you too will be judged,' Jesus also exhorted us to judge false prophets whose teachings and whose behavior lead people to abject misery. Thus, while we're commanded not to judge hypocritically, we are, nevertheless, called to judge."

David Roach is a writer based in Louisville, Ky.

--- end ---

And received this email today:

Hi Cathy!

This may be something you can use. The "prophetic movement" seems to be reaching critical mass over Bentley. Whether that is a good thing or not, I don't know - as I don't run in those circles.

I did go to a "prophetic conference" once in 1986. Talk about madness! It became 150 preachers and zero listeners. Everyone was trying to out do each others on what the latest "word" from the Lord was. I made the mistake of actually quoting a portion of scripture, and they looked at me like I was nuts. Oh well ...

God bless -

Steve


OPEN LETTER to WAGNER, JOYNER...
-by Andrew Strom

I write this as a tongues-speaking, Spirit-filled, prophesying
believer.

Dear Rick Joyner and C. Peter Wagner,

I will do my utmost to avoid disrespect in this letter. But I cannot
avoid the hard questions which must be asked.

I hope my comments here are not construed as "arrogant". This
is certainly not my intent. But I'm sure you have heard the news
by now that the tide has turned in what you call your "Civil War".
I'm sure you have heard that the Lakeland meetings have dwindled,
and the "big tent" has been abandoned in favor of the 700-seat
Ignite church once again. I'm sure you have heard that your man
Todd Bentley's meetings in England have been cancelled, and
that respected leaders even within your own movements have
found vast evidence of falsehoods, fraudulent claims, manipulation
and hype of the most blatant kind. The news of it is worldwide. It
is not just ABC Nightline. It is your own people saying these things.

I'm sure you have heard the news that has even shocked and
saddened me - that the British press is calling Bentley "A US
child sex offender turned church minister who tries to cure cancer
victims by kicking them" - and that 79% of Britons polled want to
keep him out of the country. Where is the glory to Jesus in this?
How could Todd even set foot in England under such a cloud?

Sirs, if this really were a 'Civil War', aren't you living in Gettysburg?

Mr Wagner, I am sure you are aware that because of your open
endorsement of Todd Bentley, numbers of your own ICA 'apostles'
(some very well-known) are already planning an "alternative"
network without all your 'Dominionist' trappings or NAR hierarchies.
Sir, they are leaving. Are you sure you were right to endorse the
Lakeland movement in the very face of your own apostles like that?
Wasn't this one of the most crucial tests of your leadership? Sir,
if your discernment is such that you could get on a stage and
openly endorse one of the most deceptive movements in the history
of the church, then - with all due respect - should you really be
heading up the apostles of the entire Charismatic world? Are you
aware that you have greatly endangered God's precious sheep all
around the globe?

And Mr Joyner, are you conscious of how terribly the Prophetic
movement has deteriorated on your watch, sir? As the most
influential 'father' in that movement, why have you stood by while
the "New Mystics" have taken over - with their gold dust, their
portals, their 'orbs', their drunken jerking, their strange "angel"
encounters and 'visualization' techniques, etc? In fact, why have
you actively encouraged and participated in these very things yourself?

Isn't it true that Bob Jones has been a big mentor for you in these
things, just like he was for Todd Bentley? Wasn't it Bob Jones
who taught you how to "visualize" your way into the 'Third Heaven',
Mr Joyner? Isn't Bob Jones one of the major hidden influences
behind your ministry? Where do you get your visions? How do you
write your books? How can we ever again trust the "angels" that
you see? Sir, what were you thinking - to openly endorse the
"New Mystics" as you did with Todd Bentley? Did you not see
that it could end so badly?

We all know what Bob Jones said when he stood on the stage with
Todd Bentley in front of the whole world:

BOB: "I released my angels to him... this man from Canada asked
for my angels; this Wind of Change is most powerful. Except for
the arch angels, this 'Winds of Change', this is the most powerful
angel..."

BOB TO TODD BENTLEY: "As I watch you, you VIBRATE. You
know there are two portals, clockwise and counter-clockwise.
When you vibrate you close demonic vibration. Counter-clockwise
vibration is demonic. The vibration is healing. Does it seem peculiar?"
[He waves his hands]... "I'm releasing it to you."

A very basic question here: Is there anything even remotely biblical
about any of this?

Mr Joyner, since Bob Jones is your major mentor, and since you
stood on the stage and openly endorsed that whole movement, I
guess we have to assume that this is the kind of "Prophetic" that
you now represent? Isn't that fair to say, sir?

And now I need to ask some questions of my colleagues overseas:
Isn't it true, my friends, that almost every deceptive fad or heresy
of the last 25 years has come out of North America? (ie. The USA
and Canada)? And hasn't it been growing worse and worse?

When I travel to Africa I find deadly "Prosperity" teaching rampant
in the most poverty-stricken of nations. When I travel to Europe
I find them bombarded with flakey 'prophets' from the States.
When I travel to Australia I find them enthralled with 'Mega-church-
Itis' imported from the USA. In every way, North America has
become a source of utter pollution, sickness and compromise -
both in the church and the world. And I believe God wants to put
an end to it.

Personally I love Americans. I lived there for four years, and I have
many dear friends in that part of the world. But I do not believe that
God is going to allow this pollution to spread any longer.

Why do leaders in Australia or Europe think that their movements
must be led by Americans? What nation is most of this pollution
coming from? Why do African leaders allow sick money-grubbing
telecasts from the USA to be beamed to their people via satellite?
Why are any of us allowing any of this garbage? When are we
going to stand up and cry, "ENOUGH"? When are we going to
cut off this pollution - not just for ourselves - but for the sake of
God's precious sheep? Why should we be led by America if they
are leading us into deception?

Should North America even be allowed to lead the worldwide church
any more?

And finally, let me return to Mr Joyner - who once intimated that it
is time to "drive" out those who want to "test the spirits" in the
church. Sir, let me say to you that indeed the time has come to
drive a particular spirit out. It is the spirit of rampant "Charis-mania".
And sir, I have to say with all due respect, that your very own
movement strikes me as the primest of prime places in which to start.

--- end ---

And lastly, from Todd's myspace I found the following interesting. For example, under favorite books, he doesn't mention the Bible.

Todd Bentley's Interests

General
Family, Sushi, Harley Davidson's, Music, Starbucks, Movies, hangning out with Friends

Music
Creed, Haste the Day, Nodes of the Ranavier, Mortification, Tourniquet, Eternal Decision, P.O.D, Jason Upton, Michael Larson, Kevin Prosch, Don Potter, Kathryn Scott, Alberto &; Kimberly Rivera, Immortal Souls, Living Sacrifice, Johnny Cash, He is Legend, Extol, Embodyment, Divine Fire, Demon Hunter, Day of Fire, U2, Coldplay, James Blunt, Scott Stapp

Movies
Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, The Notebook, Sweet November, 50 First Dates, Die Hard, Mission Impossible, Bourne Identity, Star Wars

Television
UFC, King of Queens, Seinfeld, American Chopper, CSI

Books
Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, (House, Monster, Oath, Piercing the Darkness, The Prophet), God's Generals, T.L. Osborne (Healing the Sick), Benny Hinn (Goodmorning Holy Spirit), Kenneth Haggin, EW Kenyon, Charles Price (The Real Faith)

Heroes
Jesus!, Paul the Apostle, true Spiritual Fathers (anyone who can be a true father), David and the Mighty Men, Overcomers, and those who take up the cause of the widow and the orphan!

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