Lakeland’s Recycled Revival

By Gary Osborne
Discernment Ministries

A couple of weeks ago I began to receive phone calls and emails asking me if I knew anything about a “revival” that was going on in Lakeland, Florida. Since that town is less than an hour away from me I decided it was important to find out what was happening in my own “back yard”, so to speak. ,  I did some checking and found out that sure enough, revival meetings were taking place in Lakeland under the ministry of Todd Bentley. ,  In fact, the services were being broadcast live on God TV. ,  Therefore, after watching several services, I decided to attend a couple myself, and the following article deals with what I found out firsthand and the conclusions I have come to.

There is no doubt in my mind that the “Lakeland Outpouring”, as it is now being called, is nothing more than a recycling of previous movements that stretch back decades. ‚  Whether it was meetings held by people like William Branham, Kathryn Kuhlman, Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard-Browne, Steve Hill, or any of the so-called Kansas City Prophets, the spirit and basic doctrine are the same. ‚  There’s a common thread of specific heresies that go back a long way. ‚  That’s why I call it recycled revival. ‚  It’s nothing new at its core. ‚  In addition, this revival and ones similar to it promote ideas that are contrary to what the Bible tells us about the end times.

What the Bible says about the Last Days

At the outset I’d like to say that I’m very much a Pentecostal Christian. ‚  I believe that the gifts of the Spirit are for today and that God still baptizes people in the Holy Ghost. ‚  I also believe in revival. ‚  I’ve read the Bible through dozens of times and seen enough genuine moves of God to know beyond any doubt that the Lord still pours out His Spirit on hungry hearts. ‚  With the Lord’s help I’ve made a careful study of authentic revivals down through history and the characteristics are always the same: ‚  strong preaching against sin; deep repentance; an emphasis on the cross of Christ; an emphasis on the world to come as opposed to this world; and an emphasis on the Bible. ‚  I believe we need genuine revival. ‚  We need it because of our [the Church in general] apathy. ‚  We need it because of our ungodliness. ‚  And we need it specifically because we are in the Last Days. ‚  But there’s a distinction between praying for God to pour out His Spirit on a person or church and believing that there will be an end times revival that will sweep the world and “Christianize” the nations. ‚  There’s a huge difference between those two things and what you believe concerning this point will affect the way you pray and it will affect the way you look at things as we draw closer to the return of Christ.

What does the Bible say about the end times? ‚  It’s important that we establish this point before we move on to discuss the happenings in Lakeland, Florida. ‚  Let’s examine a few Scriptures. ‚  In Matthew 24 Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the end times. ‚  They have asked Him to tell them what the signs will be for His return and the end of the age (vs. 3).

The first thing Jesus says is what? ‚  That we are to expect a great end times revival? ‚  That we are to accept what anyone says simply because they claim to be a servant of Jesus? ‚  NO! ‚  The first thing Jesus says is “See to it that no one leads you astray” (vs. 4).

It’s interesting that Jesus would begin a discussion about the last days with that admonition. ‚  He then goes on to say “many false prophets will arise and will mislead many” (Matt. 24:11). ‚  In Mark’s gospel, He adds to this and says, “false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect” (Mark 13:22). ‚  So Jesus tells us that one of the primary marks of the last days will be deception. ‚  In fact take note that while He says the gospel will be preached to the world He does not say the world will accept the message. ‚  Nowhere does He tell us to expect great, worldwide revivals just before He returns.

The Apostles also had much to say about the last days.

2Th 2:1-3 ““”Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him,that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not comeunless the apostasy comes first.”

Note that Paul did not say Christ will not come unless a great worldwide revival comes first. ‚  He said “apostasy” which is a falling away. ‚  So Paul lines right up with Jesus on what we should be looking for in these Last Days. ‚  Paul also tells us in I Timothy chapter 4 “the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” ‚  Again I’d like to point out that no where in this or any other passage does Paul tell us to expect an end times revival that will bring in millions or billions and Christianize the world.

Peter echoes this same thing when he states that “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. ‚  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed” (II Pet. 2:1-2).

It should be obvious to any student of the Scriptures that the last days will be perilous times (II Tim. 3), and Christians must pray for discernment. ‚  This is in compliance with I John 4:1, an extremely important Scripture for our discussion.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

This is what I will be doing in this article. ‚  I’m not judging anyone. ‚  I’m not condemning anyone. ‚  I don’t have a “Pharisee” spirit (as one man accused me of recently). ‚  I’m simply obeying the biblical command to test the spirits. ‚  Remember too that one of the nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned in I Corinthians 12 is the discerning of spirits. There are three basic “spirits” that information or teaching can come from: the Spirit of God, the spirit of man, and demonic spirits. ‚  We must understand that just because a person claims to be a Christian and claims to be operating under the anointing of God it doesn’t mean they really are. ‚  They could be operating in their own fleshly spirit, or worse yet they could be operating under seducing spirits posing as angels of light (II Cor. 11:14). ‚  We must know the Word of God, and know it well, in order to be discerning Christians who can rightly divide the Word of Truth and not be led astray.

Once more, let me emphasize at the outset that we do need genuine revival in the land today. ‚  Apathy in the Body of Christ is at an all time high, and I can fully understand people wanting to draw closer to the Lord. ‚  That’s a worthy aspiration. ‚  In no way is this article judging the intentions or motives of those that go to these meetings. ‚  I’m sure that many, if not most, of the people that attend do so because they are somewhat desperate for more of God. ‚  But we must never put discernment and the Word of God on the backburner because we feel spiritually dry. ‚  In fact, it’s often during those times when we are thirsty that we need to be extra careful about what source we drink from. ‚  A desperate man, lost in the desert, may drink from the first pool of water that he comes to, but it may be poison. ‚  So let us be careful to diligently seek God when it comes to purported moves of the Spirit in certain churches or services.

This article will be divided up into two distinct sections. ‚  In the first section I will give detailed accounts of what I personally witnessed at two of the meetings I attended in Lakeland, and I will also detail a portion of a third meeting I watched and taped off television. ‚  This first section will obviously include subjectivity from my vantage point. ‚  The second portion of this article will deal with 7 issues that need to be addressed concerning this “Revival” and will include some of the more salient teachings of Todd Bentley.

Part One: The Practice

What I Observed in the Services

The first night I personally attended was Thursday, May 8th. ‚  Mr. Bentley and his crew were now holding services in the Lakeland Civic Center, which can seat approximately 7,000 people. ‚  The doors opened at 6:00 PM to the blowing of a shofar from people waiting to get in. ‚  The first thing I noticed as I took a seat in the very back of the auditorium was that the music being played was the loudest I have ever encountered in any “Christian” service I have ever attended. ‚  It was blaring loud as the worship team practiced a few songs in anticipation of the 7:00 PM Service. ‚  I was immediately struck by how many people had banners or flags waving, and how many were jumping up and down like Mexican jumping beans.

There was a lot of “cheerleading” from the stage as microphone checks were being done. ‚  Another thing that really stood out were certain buzz words that were used repeatedly. ‚  The phrase “stir yourselves up” was used repeatedly, as was the concept of a “transferable anointing.” ‚  A woman led in prayer for the service and said, “sound waves carry your [God] presence and anointing” and then told the people to “roar like a lion!” ‚  At that request, people everywhere shouted at the top of their lungs and blew the shofars. ‚  This same lady was jerking and twitching in a similar way to what has happened in meetings in Toronto and Brownsville in the past. ‚  She went on to tell the people to look at one another and say, “You are pregnant ““ with the Holy Spirit and fire!” ‚  There was also much talk of “birthing” and “signs and wonders.”

The “MC” (that’s the best word to describe him) for the meetings then came up and told the audience to get ready because we were going live on God TV in just a couple of minutes. ‚  He had a young man stand behind him and gave the audience instructions to look at this man as he held up his hands for a countdown. ‚  Everyone was to make as much noise as possible when the services went live, and believe me they did. ‚  It was very orchestrated. ‚  There was also talk of being “drunk in the Spirit” during this lead up time to going live on TV.

The service began with loud, loud rock style music. ‚  By the way, I am not an old fuddy-dud who doesn’t like up-tempo music. ‚  I’m a Pentecostal and don’t at all mind exuberant worship. ‚  So my comments are not coming from some prejudice in that vein. ‚  I love to praise the Lord, and to do so with a full heart. ‚  I clap, shout, and have even been known to jump up and down every now and then. ‚  But what I saw and heard at the beginning of this service was unlike anything I had ever witnessed in a Christian service before (and I’ve attended my fair share of “off the wall” services in the past). ‚  This was different. ‚  It had a secular, rock concert feel to it. ‚  People were swaying and dancing to the music constantly. ‚  The worship leader, if you could call him that, sang a song whose lyrics include the following:

“I am Free to Run, I am Free to Run”
“I am Free to Dance, I am Free to Dance”

And boy how the people responded to that. ‚  There were people dancing everywhere. ‚  And by dancing I’m talking some of the same stuff you’d see at a secular concert. ‚  Even some men and women dancing together!

I realize that the first portion of this article is dealing somewhat with my own subjective thoughts on the meetings. ‚  I will get to some objective points about what is taught in these meetings later in the article, but please bear with me because it’s important for you, the reader, to have an idea of what goes on at these meetings and what the general atmosphere is like.

There was a very sensual spirit in the meeting. ‚  Much inappropriate dress as well. ‚  And everyone was caught up in their own euphoria. ‚  After nearly 45 minutes of upbeat music, things finally slowed down. ‚  People were still standing everywhere, but the music was now slower and more hypnotic. ‚  The same songs were being played over and over and over. ‚  People seemed to be in a trance all around me. ‚  If the worship leader said, “raise your hands” everyone did so immediately. ‚  If he said, “drop to your knees” they did so immediately. ‚  In my humble opinion what I observed that night was nothing more than mass hypnotism. ‚  The music had the people mesmerized. ‚  Oh, and I didn’t know one song they sang the entire night. ‚  Not one!

At about 8:30 PM, with music still being played and Todd Bentley still standing with the other leaders on stage, the music leader says, “I’m feeling drunk.” He then tells the people to say to God, “Intoxicate me, Lord” ““ “Inebriate me, Lord.” ‚  I am disgusted at this point. ‚  We will deal with the so-called “drunk in the Spirit” phenomenon later in the article. ‚  The music continues and picks up again. ‚  Now the people are getting truly wild and the leader says, “Scream!!!” and the people let out a yell that shakes the entire building. ‚  Finally the worship leader falls to the floor himself, but the back up singers continue. ‚  This continued until nearly 9:00 PM and I had seen enough for my first night. ‚  I left amidst the shouts of thousands.

Talk of angels was prevalent throughout the night as well. ‚  This seems to be a key point with this particular “revival” and we will discuss it more later in this article.

The Second Service

I came back the following Thursday, May 15th, which was the 44th day of the revival, determined to stay and hear Todd Bentley (if the music leader would allow). ‚  This time I entered the Civic Center and noticed that people were much more subdued. ‚  Why? ‚  Because the band was not practicing and instead much softer music was being played on a CD throughout the auditorium. ‚  There was only one person with a flag/banner raised this time, as opposed to the 10 or more I saw the first night. Things stayed calm until the MC came out and once again pumped up the audience with a countdown to going live on TV. ‚  As soon as that happened the people were the same as before ““ shouting, jumping, dancing, etc.

Two men, one looking like the bearded guy from ZZ Top, give each other a high-five near the back of the auditorium and both “fall under the power” immediately. ‚  The music is going fast and furious and the same emotions and actions that were in the first meeting are in this one as well. ‚  There also continues to be much talk of angels in the songs.

After almost an hour and a half of singing the MC comes back to the center of the stage and declares, “I feel the “˜sauce’ tonight.” ‚  He then introduces Todd Bentley who comes out wearing a t-shirt that reads, “Jesus Gave Me My Tattoos.” ‚  He tells everyone that he “felt like the Holy Spirit was massaging his body” tonight. ‚  He then talks about the transferable anointing that comes in like a mist. ‚  He claims that God told him he could “feel the anointing justlike Moses did” in the book of Exodus! ‚  Of course God never told Moses that he could “feel” the anointing. ‚  God did say He would “show” Moses His glory, but He never mentioned “feeling” the glory. ‚  Yet Bentley continues to emphasize feelings. This is a huge part of his entire teaching. ‚  He talks of not only seeing a mist but says that in some of his previous meetings he has been able to smell incense, concluding that this is the glory of God manifest. ‚  He then invites people to come to the altar and screams, “Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire”, which is a trademark signature of his.

There’s a real restlessness in the arena. ‚  In fact, I’ve never seen more people coming and going, moving from seat to seat to seat, than I have at these meetings in Lakeland. There’s a tremendous lack of peace amongst the people. ‚  No one seems to be able to settle in, and people are walking the aisles and moving constantly.

Suddenly, Bentley says there is “great authority” in the building tonight and he says that people can decree whatever they want, but to be careful what they ask for. ‚  It’s obvious that he’s heavily influenced by “Word of Faith” teaching and believes that God has abdicated His throne and given us authority to do anything we want, or better yet have anything we pronounce. ‚  In fact, he himself says “I speak creation. ‚  I speak new hearts, new livers into existence tonight.” ‚  Speaking to the audience in general he tells people to take off their oxygen and he commands tumors to fall off bodies and for cripples to get out of wheelchairs. ‚  He continues to declare all types of healings. ‚  I watch as several people gather around one wheel-chair bound woman and pray for her. ‚  They exhort her to rise, but she cannot.

People now begin to come forward to share their testimonies of healing. ‚  Everything is carried out just as it would be in a Benny Hinn or Earnest Angley type service. ‚  There are claims of everything from headaches cured to resurrections from the dead, but everything is carefully shared on a first name only basis. ‚  I imagine Todd and his crew could claim this is done so that the media or other curious people would not harass the individuals giving the testimonies. ‚  But what this effectively does is keep anyone from verifying any of the claims. One severely handicapped girl (physically and mentally) was brought forward in a wheelchair and was lifted out of the wheelchair by Todd and another man and dragged several feet before Todd let her go so she could be “slain in the Spirit.” ‚  It was a travesty, in my opinion.

Bentley then claims that this revival was prophesied in 1977 and again in 1989 by none other than Paul Cain, of the Kansas City prophets. ‚  We will deal with him more later on, but it’s important that the reader gets an understanding of who Todd Bentley looks up to. ‚  He is very much in the same camp as the KC prophets, among others. ‚  I decided to leave at this point, as it was approaching 10 PM and I had an hour drive back home.

A Third Meeting

Many other events could be documented, but space limits me from going into more detail concerning the two nights I attended. ‚  However, there was one other service that I caught on TV, and fortunately taped, that must be mentioned here. ‚  On Saturday, May 17th, a service took place unlike any other I have seen yet. ‚  During the testimony time some extreme manifestations took place. ‚  One young eleven year old girl was brought up and Todd asked her if she would like to feel the “manifest presence of Jesus” and she sheepishly said yes (clearly not understanding what he was talking about). ‚  He took her by the hand and blew on her. ‚  Nothing happened. ‚  He then told her to close her eyes and repeat after him. “Jesus, fill me with your presence” he said. ‚  He placed his hand on her head and was clearly exerting some pressure in an attempt to make her fall down. ‚  She still didn’t collapse so he focused his attention on her cousin (who he wrongly called her mother ““ so much for his prophet status) and blew on her. ‚  She went straight down as the little girl watched. ‚  He then blew on her one more time but she never went down so he turned away.

As Todd went over to the other side of the stage he began to laugh in a deep, scary way. ‚  There is no other word I can think of to describe this laughter. ‚  After speaking with that person, who was very hyped, he laid hands on her and gave his trademark yell, “Bam!” ‚  She went right down. From there he began to laugh more, and the audience went right along with him. ‚  He talked about drinking from the river. ‚  He instructed everyone to put their head back and open their mouth and drink. ‚  More scary laughter occurs as he blows down another 9-year-old girl. ‚  He then tells the girl’s mother that he is “drunk in the Holy Ghost” and as his head is shaking strangely he mentions that”it’s [meaning the anointing] leaking out of my eyes.” ‚  More laughter and more “bams” occur as he sweeps his hand over the audience and rows of people react.

Todd then shouts “Fire” and tells the people to say, “Come Holy Ghost, get me.” ‚  This continues for several minutes. ‚  He tells Jesus to “get them all.” ‚  Others on stage are laughing uncontrollably and staggering around, not even able to talk without slurring their words. ‚  The laughter from Todd is very much like Rodney Howard-Browne. As he continues to shake Todd asks the people to stand and make a barrel. So they clasp their hands together and act like they are holding a huge rain barrel in their arms. ‚  Then he shouts for them to tip this imaginary barrel up as their head is tipped back and “Drink!!!!” ‚  He shouts it again, “Drink!!!!” ‚  This is some of the most insane stuff I personally have ever seen in my life. ‚  I have been in many of these types of meetings, including meetings conducted by Rodney Howard-Browne and John Kilpatrick. ‚  Yet I’ve never seen anything as extreme as this.

The next man up to be interviewed is Pontus and he’s clearly led a rough life. ‚  His arms are filled with tattoos and to be honest he speaks as if he’s drunk. ‚  Todd comments on one of his nice tattoos and shows the man a similar one on his arm. ‚  This man is eventually “slain” as well. ‚  Todd continues to laugh in an almost demonic way. ‚  He continues to exhort the people to receive the anointing. Another lady is brought forward and the man holding the microphone for her says she’s been “bellied up to the bar here drinking quite a bit tonight.” ‚  She is of course an easy mark for being slain. ‚  Her husband then receives a “big fat drink of the Holy Ghost” as well. ‚  Todd goes on to say he’s “feeling drunk” and then he begins to shake his head to the left and right violently and shouts “ohhhhhhhhhh…” ‚  It’s a truly frightening moment as he seems to be controlled by a spirit and my mind immediately went to the story in Mark’s Gospel of the young boy who was often tossed about by demonic spirits attempting to kill him (Mark 9:22).

Todd then asks God to fill everyone with that “drunken, drunken holy glory” that he supposedly is experiencing. ‚  He tells people not to get to close to the edge of the stage lest they fall off. ‚  More “bams” and laughter occur. ‚  Then Todd asks for a “release of the wine.” ‚  I could go on and on about the silliness that occurred that night. ‚  People were staggering around, not able to speak correctly, and basically acting like drunken sailors. ‚  It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed.

Part Two: The Doctrine

Todd’s Connection to the Latter Rain Movement

My first real concern with these crusades revolves around the issue of who Todd Bentley looks up to and who he considers spiritual leaders. ‚  He frequently mentions, and even has up on stage with him from time to time, members of the Kansas City Prophets. ‚  And the KC prophets are, in many ways, an extension of the Latter Rain movement that really found its legs through the ministry of a man named William Branham. ‚  Although Branham didn’t found the movement, he was instrumental in popularising many aspects of it. ‚  This article will not go into detail concerning Branham and his ministry except to say that he was a preacher who ministered primarily in the 40’s and 50’s. ‚  He was a forerunner to many of the “healing evangelists” of today in that he would call out words of knowledge concerning the private lives of audience members, as well as pray for the sick to be healed, all with astonishing results. ‚  Interestingly, he would often tell the audience wherever he was ministering that he had to wait for his angel to appear before he could give any “words” or work any healings. ‚  This will be an important point that surfaces later in our discussion. ‚  But let’s stop right here and ask the question: ‚  Does God ask His people to look to angels or to Himself for any need? ‚  He tells us it is by His Spirit, and not angels, that He operates in words of knowledge, gifts of healings, and the like (I Corinthians 12).

In spite of his miraculous signs and wonders, Branham was a false prophet according to the standards of the Word of God. ‚  Why do I say that? ‚  Well, read the exhortation from the Lord to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy.

Dt 13:1-3 ““”If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, ‘Let us follow other gods’ (gods you have not known) ‘and let us worship them,’ you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. “

I believe the Pentecostal Church in Branham’s day failed the Deuteronomy 13 test because while he did perform signs and wonders, he also counselled people to turn from the God of the Bible through his spurious teachings. ‚  He taught there was no Trinity (he was “Oneness Pentecostal”); that he was literally the prophet Elijah come back; that the world would end in 1977; that Jesus was “created” and not the Eternal Word as John 1:1 declares; that he was a “god” (and this is where the Manifest Sons of God movement got it’s name and teaching); that he could decree things just like God; that Eve had sexual relations with the serpent in the Garden of Eden; that the Zodiac and the Pyramids were equal with the Bible as the Word of God; and that there would be no eternal Hell.[1]

As you can clearly see, the man was way off in his teaching about God. ‚  So the question must be asked, “What criteria do we use to determine if a person is a true prophet or a false prophet?” ‚  If you look only to the signs and wonders a person does, and not to their teaching, then you fail the Deuteronomy 13 test. ‚  It is NOT the miracles that count. ‚  They are only used to CONFIRM the message. ‚  It is the teaching coming from the “prophet” that counts the most, according to the Bible. ‚  And Branham fails the test miserably. ‚  Even today, if one were to visit his gravesite they would see a tombstone shaped like a pyramid!

William Branham helped popularise an entire movement called the “Latter Rain” that has continued to teach differing heresies down through the decades. ‚  In the 1980’s a group of men, including Mike Bickle, Paul Cain, Bob Jones, Rick Joyner, and John Paul Jackson formed an alliance of sorts and became known as the “Kansas City Prophets.” ‚  Time does not allow me to discuss these men in detail, but it is important to know that these men took some of their cues from William Branham. ‚  Two of the main leaders, Paul Cain and Bob Jones, have both been guilty of grievous sexual sin while “ministering” as prophets. ‚  Cain has been revealed to be an alcoholic and a practicing homosexual, while Jones admitted to having women undress in front of him to experience the glory of God.[2]

In spite of many doctrinal heresies, this movement continued in one form or another. Whether it be the Toronto Blessing, the ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne (“laughter”) or Brownsville Assembly, it can all be traced back to Branham and to the Latter Rain movement that he helped spread. ‚  And so it should come as no shock to anyone that Todd Bentley is connected to all these men. ‚  And he is. ‚  Paul Cain has shared the stage with Bentley in Lakeland.[3] ‚  Bob Jones and many of the others have been mentioned in a favorable light on more than one occasion during the revival.

But the kicker to the entire thing is found here, in an interview that Bentley had with BCN (Breaking Christian News) last month. ‚  In that interview he said that he “saw an angel he described as carrying the “˜Winds of Change.’ Asking him to describe this angel, Bentley replied that those familiar with the life of William Branham would recognize the angel from being a relevant factor in his healing ministry.”[4] ‚  It should be apparent to all that Todd Bentley’s meetings derive from the same spirit as Branham and the rest. ‚  It all comes from the same place. ‚  Let the reader take serious note of the obvious and continuous bridge between Branham and Bentley.

“Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings”

The second issue I would like to touch on briefly is the emphasis on “feelings” in all these meetings. ‚  Don’t get me wrong. ‚  We are created beings that do have feelings, and often times those feelings are a part of our worship to the Lord. ‚  If I’m going through a mountaintop experience in my life I may very well “feel” great and shout to the Lord. ‚  There’s nothing wrong with expressing feelings in this sense. ‚  We can clap our hands, jump and sing praises to God when things are going well, and we can cry and lay prostrate on the floor when facing difficult times. ‚  But David said, “as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say you are my God.” He understood that regardless of what he was going through, he would not allow his feelings to dictate truth to him. ‚  In the same way the point of this passage and many more like it throughout the Psalms is that God’s faithfulness and truth are not conditioned by our feelings. We enjoy it when good feelings accompany our faith, but we must remember that the faithfulness of God is not based on our feelings.

Unfortunately, in the Bentley meetings “feelings” are the big emphasis, to the detriment of the hearers. ‚  Why do I say that? ‚  Because the Word of God is not preached in these meetings. ‚  Rarely does Todd even bring a Bible to the pulpit with him. ‚  He actually bragged about bringing more “real Word” to the people than preachers who expound on the Bible week in and week out because he was bringing a living Jesus through the experiences [i.e. “signs and wonders”] he was giving them. ‚  I heard this for myself on his Saturday, May 10th God TV telecast from Lakeland. ‚  And the people loved it so. ‚  No Word of God is ever brought at these meetings. ‚  It’s all about the “feelings” they can experience. ‚  This type of mindset and philosophy of ministry leads to very shallow Christianity. ‚  I fear for most of the people that attend these meetings because when they come down off the “high” they have been on in these emotionally charged services they will probably crash and burn spiritually. ‚  I’ve seen it play out too many times in the past to think otherwise.

In the same vein as the “feelings” issue, there’s also a huge stress on what Todd and his crew call the “tangible presence of God.” ‚  That phrase, or one similar to it, is used many times in each meeting. ‚  People are conditioned to expect some outward, sensual experience with the Holy Spirit. ‚  Whether it’s tasting God’s presence, smelling God’s presence, hearing God’s presence, or seeing God’s presence, it’s all a big part of this revival. ‚  Todd talks about seeing a mist or cloud. ‚  He talks about tasting something similar to honey. ‚  He talks about smelling the incense from Heaven. ‚  Everything is done on a 5 senses level. ‚  Yet no where in the New Testament do we read about the disciples promoting anything like this nonsense. ‚  God is Spirit and those that worship Him will do so in spirit and in truth. ‚  The more we move from the objective truth of the Bible and more towards these outward manifestations, the more open we are to deception. ‚  The Devil can and does work on people’s senses but he cannot get to us if we know and worship God based on His Word. ‚  People in other religions have “experiences” but it doesn’t make them godly experiences. ‚  So we must be careful not to be pulled into the trap of feelings-oriented or manifestation-oriented theology. ‚  Yet this is exactly what Bentley emphasizes.

Music and Mass Hypnotism

Everything in these meetings is driven by the music. ‚  I shared this earlier but it bears repeating. ‚  When the music is going strong and loud the people are literally mesmerized. ‚  I use that word because it so aptly describes what happens to the masses of people in these services. ‚  The music helps to put them in a state where they are susceptible to unbiblical manifestations like being “slain in the Spirit.” ‚  In Br. Larry Thomas’s book, “The Watchman”, he has a chapter entitled “Slain in the Spirit” where he talks about the phenomenon at length and how it ties into hypnotism and high emotionalism.

Alan Morrison, of Diakrisis Publications in England, discusses this phenomenon. Concerning the origin of the ‘slain in the spirit’ manifestation, he writes:

‘One of the earliest and most notorious advocates of this experience was an itinerant preacher in the so-called ‘Holiness Movement,’ Maria Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924), who also gained a reputation for falsely prophesying that San Francisco : would be destroyed by an earthquake in 1890. In her preaching in the 1880s, she advocated a religious experience which she called ‘The Power,’ and she would often go into a trance during the services, standing with her hands raised in the air for more than an hour. Nicknamed the ‘trance-evangelist’ and even the ‘voodoo priestess,’ she was often accused of hypnotizing people. And here we come to the very crux of the ‘Slain in the Spirit’ phenomenon.’

Morrison goes on to say that what Woodworth-Etter had discovered was the ancient art of hypnotism, popularized almost a century earlier by Anton Mesmer, the father of hypnotism or mesmerism, as it was also known, and an occultic faith healer. Morrison quotes one researcher who says ‘the phenomena that are now defined as ‘hypnotic’ emerged from the faith healing activities of Mesmer at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth century.’

One of Mesmer’s famous healing sessions is described in another book on the occult:

‘Mesmer marched about majestically in a pale lilac robe, passing his hands over the patients’ bodies or touching them with a long iron wand. The results varied. Some patients felt nothing at all, some felt as if insects were crawling over them, others were seized with hysterical laughter, convulsions or fits of hiccups. Some went into raving delirium, which was called ‘The Crisis’ and was considered extremely healthful.’

The real significance of Mesmer’s sessions was best understood by his contemporaries. The King of France in 1784 ordered two respected bodies, the Academy of Science and the Royal Society of Medicine, to examine Mesmer’s claims.

Among the highlights of this most discerning review were the following remarks:

‘That man can act upon man at any time, and almost at will, by striking his imagination; that the simplest gestures and signs can have the most powerful effects; and that the action of man upon the imagination may be reduced to an art, and conducted with method, upon subjects who have faith.’

Morrison drew the following conclusion from his research:

‘Just as the Western psychologists are proffering ancient shamanistic practices in a guise which is more palatable to the uninitiated Westerners, so the professing Christian churches which peddle ‘religious fainting’ have simply made the Possession-Trance state of shamanism more readily acceptable to the undiscerning sheep who attend their heated meetings. These are the true origins of the strange phenomena which are being so widely reported today and which are bringing the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ into so much disrepute.'[5]

Sadly, the same things that were happening in Mesmer’s meetings over centuries ago are happening today in Bentley’s meetings. ‚  Fainting, laughing, convulsing, and the like are the norm at these meetings. ‚  More information about these emotional manifestations, almost always accompanied by music, can be found in Larry’s book, “The Watchman”, which can be purchased by writing to A.B.P. at the address given on our website, ‚  Music is a powerful tool that can be used to draw us closer to God, but also can put people in a position to be lead away from the Lord. ‚  We must not fail to put music in its proper place, and be discerning in this area.

Exalting the Secular and Worldly

By now most people are aware of Bentley’s outward appearance. ‚  He does indeed have a body covered in tattoos and he wears earrings, eyebrow rings, and a ring in his chin. ‚  He definitely doesn’t try to cover these things up, but instead seems to exalt in his “worldly” ways. ‚  At the Saturday, May 17th meeting he had a young man come up on stage to give a testimony about being healed. ‚  As soon as he walked up, Todd pointed out that the boy had a WWE wrestler t-shirt on. ‚  Excitedly, Bentley told the boy that the t-shirt he himself was wearing also referenced a WWE wrestler named Edge. ‚  Then Todd turned to the audience and with a big smile on his face rattled off the names of several other professional wrestlers. ‚  On another night he wore a different WWE wrester’s shirt. ‚  Anyone with any common sense understands that wrestling today is a very worldly, sensual form of entertainment that has no business being pimped by a supposed man of God at any time, much less during a revival meeting. ‚  By mentioning these things to everyone in the Civic Center, and the people watching around the world, Bentley gave De facto approval of the wrestling industry. ‚  And that ought never to be, saints. ‚  Never!

Another man came forward that night that had tattoos all over his body. ‚  The man was clearly inebriated and was struggling to speak clearly and stand up straight. ‚  Bentley immediately noticed his tattoos and told him how nice they were. ‚  He then proceeded to show the man a couple of his own tattoos and how pretty they were. ‚  And all of this was being done in front of everyone, with not the slightest hint that this could be wrong. Never mind that God’s Word forbids the Christian to defile their bodies made in His image (Leviticus 19:28). ‚  Never mind that the Bible tells us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and as such it should be kept undefiled (I Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20). ‚  Yet Bentley has the audacity to wear a t-shirt one night at the meetings that boldly states “Jesus Gave Me My Tattoos.”

There is no question that Todd Bentley exalts in the secular in many ways, in spite of the fact that our Lord told us we were in the world but not of it. ‚  It would be one thing if all of the tattoos and piercing came before his conversion. ‚  We cannot help but have “scars”, whether literal or figurative, from our time in sin and darkness apart from God. ‚  But once we are saved these things should cease. ‚  Not only that, they should not even be talked about, much less exalted in.

Eph 5:11-12 -And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

“Angels” Watching Over Me

Years ago Amy Grant made popular the song “Angels watching over me”, and there is no doubt that God does use angels to carry out his purposes. ‚  But the Scripture doesn’t give us nearly the same picture as Bentley does when talking about angels. ‚  Todd has claimed on numerous occasions that the source of power at his meetings comes from an angel who will often stand right by the pulpit where he speaks. ‚  I heard him say this myself during the meeting in which the “spirit of drunkenness” was so prevalent. ‚   ‚  Jackie Alnor, a Christian apologist, had the following insightful comments about Bentley and his fascination with angels:

Speaking of angels ““ that’s another source of power Bentley claims to have working for him.

The parallel passage to the description of Lucifer in Isaiah 14 is the 28th chapter of Ezekiel. Here God further describes His arch-enemy as one who has a great love for treasure.

‘By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud’ (Ezekiel 28:4-5).

Contrast that with Todd Bentley’s focus on riches as documented in an article called ‘ANGELS’ & the FLORIDA HEALING REVIVAL – Warning!’ written by Andrew Strom, a historian of the Charismatic Movement, who quoted Bentley from an article Bentley wrote in 2003 called ‘Angelic Hosts.’ Bentley wrote:

‘So when I need a financial breakthrough I don’t just pray and ask God for my financial breakthrough. I go into intercession and become a partner with the angels by petitioning the Father for the angels that are assigned to getting me money: “˜Father, give me the angels in heaven right now that are assigned to get me money and wealth. And let those angels be released on my behalf. Let them go into the four corners of the earth and gather me money.’’

Todd’s money-gathering angel’s name is Emma, who his good friend Bob Jones (discredited ‘prophet’ who was disciplined for using his prophetic office to get women to undress for him) credits with birthing the discredited Kansas City Prophet movement of the late 1980s. In Bentley’s own words:

‘Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: “˜Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?’ He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, “˜Bob, who is Emma?’ He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out. Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, “˜Here’s Emma.’ I’m not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor. It was almost like Kathryn Khulman in those old videos when she wore a white dress and looked like she was gliding across the platform. Emma appeared beautiful and young – about 22 years old – but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life. She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began putting gold dust on people…’

Bentley claims that his angel also assisted William Branham in his healing ministry in the 1960s. [Check out background on William Branham who called the Trinity a pagan doctrine.] In fact, Branham always claimed that he could do no healings until his angel showed up. Bentley refers to his angel as ‘the angel of the Lord’ and also waits upon Emma for the signs and wonders to manifest. However, according to Bible scholars, the term ‘the angel of the Lord’ is an Old Testament reference to the pre-incarnate Christ, also called a Theophany. It seems that Emma is really overstepping her bounds to be referred to as ‘the angel of the Lord.'[6]

Numerous discerning Christians and ministers have done research on this “Emma” angel and one conclusion that has been reached is that this angel could be a demonic spirit or angel named “Emma-o”, who according to Buddhist mythology was the keeper of men’s souls. ‚  Whatever this creature is, one thing I know for sure. ‚   ‚  Nowhere in the Scriptures does an angel ever appear as a woman! ‚  Never. ‚  They always appear as men and their names are names given to men (Michael & Gabriel). ‚  So Todd’s description of Emma appearing as a woman is enough to cause great doubt in my mind as to the validity of the encounter from a Biblical standpoint. ‚  But even if there were “women” angels recorded in Scripture I’d still point out that we are never told to give them the emphasis or place that Todd Bentley assigns them.

The Apostle Paul dealt with the inordinate attention the Colossian believers were giving angels when he writes to them and warns:

Col 2:18 ““ “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind.”

The apostle Paul also reminds us of a very important fact. ‚  Satan was once an archangel, named Lucifer, and therefore it should come as no surprise to us if he “disguises himself as an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:14). ‚  This is why we must put our emphasis on God, and not angels! They are only created beings, not the Creator.

Belly Up to the Bar and Have a Drink

To be honest, it frustrates me to even have to be writing about this subject. ‚  The concept of being “drunk in the Holy Ghost” is so unscriptural that it defies logic for anyone to promote it. ‚  Yet this is exactly what Bentley does, very much in the same vein as Rodney Howard-Browne and others. ‚  All of them make reference to the book of Acts and the day of Pentecost. ‚  As Todd was preaching one night recently in Lakeland and staggering around on stage he said, “We are not drunk as you suppose”, making a clear reference to Acts 2:12 and 13 which states that when the people of Jerusalem heard the commotion in the Upper Room where the 120 disciples had been filled with the Spirit and were speaking in other tongues ‚  “they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “˜What does this mean?’ ‚  But others were mocking and saying, “˜They are full of sweet wine.’”

Please note that it was the mockers who were derisively saying the disciples were drunk. ‚  It was not the majority of the people, but only a segment. ‚  And they were clearly not saying this because the disciples were staggering about and falling down as if drunk. ‚  If that were the case, how could Peter, in the very next verse, begin preaching one of the most powerful sermons ever recorded in Scripture. ‚  A sermon, by the way, that stands in stark contrast to Todd Bentley who neglects the preaching of the Word in his services by acting like a drunken sailor. ‚  Some then point to Ephesians, chapter 5.

Eph 5:18 ““”And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”

Some people say, “See there, God compares being filled with His Spirit to being drunk with alcohol.” ‚  Nothing could be further from the truth. ‚  The purpose of this verse is not to provide a comparison, but a contrast! ‚  That’s right, this verse is telling us that being drunk and being filled with God’s Spirit are NOTHING alike. When a person is drunk, they lose all self-control and act contrary to how they would normally act if they were in full control of their faculties. ‚  But when we are filled with the Spirit of God, we are self-controlled. ‚  We are not off in “another world”, so to speak. ‚  That’s the point of the verse! ‚  Paul backs this up when he tells us in Galatians that one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control, not acts of drunkenness. ‚  Over and over in Scripture we are commanded to be sober, both physically and spiritually. ‚  There is no place for this type of nonsense in the Church of God. ‚  It only brings a reproach on Christ that is completely unnecessary. ‚  Much, much more could be written about this topic, but space and time do not permit. I would however, direct the reader to a couple of resources. ‚  One is found in Larry Thomas’s book, “No Laughing Matter”, where he documents many of the things we are talking about. ‚  And a second is a book by Bill Randles called “Weighed and Found Wanting.” ‚  Both are excellent resources and go deeper into much that we have discussed here.

Todd Bentley’s Statement of Faith

The last point I want to cover involves the Statement of Faith for Fresh Fire Ministries, which is the name of Todd Bentley’s fellowship. ‚  It is described as “revival and healing ministry of Todd Bentley”[7] on their own website and is clearly an extension of him and his partners. On this same website we can clearly read their Statement of Faith. ‚  And if anyone doesn’t know, a Statement of Faith is composed of the most vital, basic, essential doctrines that a person, fellowship, or denomination believes in. ‚  People don’t waste time placing things in their Statements of Faith that are non-essential or unimportant to them. ‚  So any Statement of Faith is a great way to get to know the core beliefs and values of a person or group. ‚  And Bentley’s reveals some sobering things. ‚  I’m going to focus on the last 2 articles of his Statement of Faith. ‚  They are points 11 and 12.

11. The Second Coming Of Christ

We believe the Ascension and Exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ to the throne of the Father proclaims His present rule and reign over the universe. His Kingdom is revealed here on earth through His Body, the Church, resulting in a glorious Church and global harvest at the end of this age. He will be finally revealed through His personal, physical, and soon return and the events described in the following scriptures, including the resurrection of the dead (the just to everlasting life and unjust to eternal separation from God (Acts 1:11 ; 1Thess 4:16 -17; Titus 2:12 -14; 2Thess 1:7-10).

I’ll touch on this point briefly by pointing out the 2nd sentence. ‚  Note the use of the phrase “resulting in a glorious Church and global harvest at the end of this age.” Why is that important to take notice of? ‚  Because it reveals one more issue that links so many of these men and ministries together, namely that they adhere to a “Kingdom Now” theology. ‚  This doctrine teaches that we, as the Church, will basically take over the earth by Christianizing it. ‚  People that believe this are not content to preach and teach and see people won to Christ one by one. ‚  That’s not good enough. ‚  They believe we will see an end-times revival where literally a billion souls will come to Christ. ‚  In fact Todd Bentley stated this very thing just a few weeks back on one of the telecasts from Lakeland. This type of “Dominion Theology” (as it is also called) is linked to the Manifest Sons of God teaching we’ve already dealt with. ‚  What you’ll notice is that Todd does not mention the rapture of the Church at all in his Statement of Faith because that’s not something he’s really looking for. ‚  In an article I wrote several years ago I said the following about this particular theology and how it impacts the church in many ways:

Let’s quickly examine this religious fad called the ‘River revival’ [the Lakeland Outpouring is simply a recycled version of the “River Revival”, which consisted of moves like the Kansas City Prophets, Toronto and Brownsville] and how it pertains to the rapture. It is obvious that since God is sending such sweeping revival to the world that this just couldn’t be the time for the rapture (or so those who don’t believe in the rapture reason to themselves). After all, for the first time since the birth of the Church at Pentecost, God is seeing His great desire for the salvation of souls come into full bloom. Years ago TV Preacher Rod Parsley proclaimed that God had told him to let everyone know that 1999 was going to be the year where 10, 50, and even 100x’s more souls would be saved than in all the previous years put together [now Bentley is saying the same thing]! Of course, this didn’t happen. But it doesn’t stop many from making these continued statements. As another example, Rodney Howard Browne also claimed that in a vision God informed him that a New York City Crusade would bring in thousands of souls! Again, when Browne had his NYC Crusade, he had a terrible time getting people to even show up. And it certainly didn’t result in the conversions he claimed it would!

Despite the lack of evidence, we are still consistently being informed by Christian ministries that God is doing a ‘new thing’ in these last days, and we can expect to see miracles as never before. Well, with that being the case, it just wouldn’t make sense for God to call us home quite yet (or so these folks would have us believe). In fact for many, this ‘revival’ is finally going to ‘Christianize’ the entire world, something these people believe the Church MUST do before Jesus can come back! This point was emphasized again on Trinity Broadcasting Network by a minister (I didn’t catch his name unfortunately) who was being interviewed recently on the Praise the Lord show. He said, ‘God is raising up a new generation. A generation that will do what previous generations didn’t’ do. For years the church didn’t accomplish God’s purposes, but now, with this new thing He is doing, giving His people new power, the church is entering its finest hour. Therefore”¦I can tell you that Jesus won’t come back yet! There is just too much left for us to do!’

Never mind that a last days world-wide revival isn’t even mentioned in Scripture. In fact, Jesus, Peter, John and the apostle Paul tell us the exact opposite ““ the last days will be characterized by a great falling away, not a great revival! But that is another subject. The point here is that this fascination with ‘revival’ has taken the Christian community’s eyes off of Christ, and specifically His return for His Bride![9]

Some people don’t realize that our eschatology (what we believe about the future) can and does shape our actions in the present. ‚  Since Todd Bentley is looking to Christianize the world before Jesus can come back, it only makes sense that he would not preach and teach the imminent return of Christ. ‚  But the Bible tells us this is exactly what we should be expecting.

1 Corinthians 1:7-‘awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,’

1 Corinthians 16:22-‘Maranatha.’

Philippians 3:20-‘For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;’

Philippians 4:5-‘The Lord is near.’

1 Thessalonians 1:10-‘to wait for His Son from heaven,’

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18-‘For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of {the} archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.’

1 Thessalonians 5:6-‘so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.’

1 Timothy 6:14-‘that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,’

Titus 2:13-‘looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;’

Hebrews 9:28-‘so Christ . . . shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.’

James 5:7-9-‘Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. . . . for the coming of the Lord is at hand. . . . behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.’

1 Peter 1:13-‘fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’

Jude 21-‘waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.’

Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20-”I am coming quickly!”

Revelation 22:17, 20-‘And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.” ‘He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.’

It should be abundantly clear that we are called, as NT Christians, to look for the return of Christ for His Bride. ‚  And while we are supposed to witness to the lost and pray for their salvation, we are not looking to build a worldly kingdom on this earth where we as Christians somehow take over every government and institution and then present some man-made utopia to Jesus when He comes back. ‚  It will not happen that way! Things will continue to deteriorate as we draw closer to the end, and our job is to work, watch, and wait for the soon return of Jesus Christ. ‚  Yet, as bad as his eschatology is, the most disturbing tenet of faith from Todd Bentley’s Fresh Fire Ministries is the last one. ‚  If nothing else that I’ve written convinces you to steer clear of Todd Bentley and his Lakeland meetings, this last point should. ‚  Read the final tenet in his Statement of Faith:

12. Further Revelation

We recognize that God is continually restoring truth and light to His Church. Therefore, we place no limit on further revelation; however, each must be substantiated according to the Scriptures.

Wow! ‚  Did you read that? ‚  Todd Bentley believes that God is “continually restoring truth and light to His Church.” ‚  Why is that a big deal? Because it’s exactly what cults have been saying for centuries! Whether it be Joseph Smith and the Mormons, Charles Russell and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ellen G. White and the Seventh-Day Adventists, or any other cult this basic tenet is the same: Somehow the Church has lost or suppressed truth down through the centuries and now God is revealing it again. ‚  This is incredibly dangerous. ‚  If God has not already given us a standard for absolute truth, and He has (the Bible), then anything goes and we are open to all types of deception.

Just as disturbing is the second sentence: “We place no limit on further revelation.” My friends, this is nothing short of heresy. ‚  There is no new or further revelation! ‚  God has already given all of it to us in the Bible. This is why the Apostle John was so strong in his warning, found in the last book of the Bible.

Rev 22:18-19 -I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book;and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

Moses gives us a similar warning in Deuteronomy when he says “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord ‚  your God which I command you”(Deut. 4:2).

Jude tells us that we have a faith that has “once for all been delivered to the saints.” ‚  What is the faith? ‚  As Donald Stamps so aptly puts it, the faith “consists of the gospel proclaimed by Christ and the apostles. ‚  It is the fixed and unalterable truth, given by the Holy Spirit and embodied in the NT.”[9] ‚  Paul tells us that “all Scripture is given by inspiration [literally “God breathed”] of God” (II Tim. 3:16) and Peter states the following:

2 Peter 1:19-21 ““ “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. ‚  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

What is that more “sure word of prophecy”? It’s the fact that God confirmed His already written Word to Peter and the others through the life and ministry of Christ! ‚  Anyone saying they can add to the final revelation given to us in the Word of God speaks blasphemies. And when Bentley tacks on that little “disclaimer” at the end of his 12th Statement of Faith he simply creates an oxymoron. ‚  If nothing “new” can be accepted unless it adheres to the Scriptures, then there is nothing new period. ‚  What he has done is given himself an open door to say such and such is new or restored truth. ‚  Then he simply takes a Scripture out of context and manipulates it to “confirm” what he has said.

Final Thoughts

After personally attending services in Lakeland, and viewing many more via television, there’s no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the Todd Bentley meetings are nothing more than a recycling of former “revivals” that would include those that took place in Toronto and Brownsville. ‚  It’s the same spirit, the same unbiblical manifestations, and the same unscriptural teachings. ‚  There is a common thread that runs through all of these movements, and it calls for the diligent pursuit of truth. ‚  Christians looking for the next “new thing” need to understand that these last days we are living in are perilous times. ‚  Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus. ‚  The Jesus of the Bible, not some Jesus of our own making. ‚  For it is He that will be returning soon to deliver us from a wicked and perverse worl

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