Saturday, June 21, 2008

TODD BENTLEY: "Lifting Jesus High" or Confusion Tactics? PART 2

Todd Bentley recently posted a letter entitled "LIFTING JESUS HIGH - Bringing Biblical Light to Your Questions about the Lakeland Outpouring & Todd Bentley"

This is a sorry (actually sad) attempt to control spin and to do some "public relations" to make himself look more "evangelical" by bringing some of the issues plaguing the "outpouring" into the dim light of discussion. Unfortunately, instead of repenting and asking forgiveness, and fixing things, he shows off his unchanging "leopard spots" more clearly and tries to defend the biblically undefendable. And in the end, rather than "Lifting Jesus High", Jesus is still buried under a pile of Todd's garbage somewhere.

I am going to deal with this letter in several posts because it is way too much to deal with in one post. Right-click HERE and "Open link in new window/tab" to follow along.

Click Below for

"On Visions"

(Todd's text is in BLUE...mine is in BLACK)

Todd starts off seemingly ok with:

While it's good and right and biblical to test the spirits to see if they are of God,...

Starting with this semi-biblical statement is a "confusion tactic". Here Todd is attempting to make you believe He values faith and assurance in the absolute-concrete-authority of God's Word, the Bible. But Todd is essentially saying that you AREN'T having "real" faith if you question whether his UNBIBLICAL teachings are true or not, since God can "do anything" and since with God "nothing is impossible".

THEN HE GOES ON:'s vital to realize that just because a type of vision or a sign is not listed in Scripture, that it's unscriptural, to be discounted, or false.

This shocked me at first, then made me laugh... Todd's grammar is incorrect here and what he actually writes is the truth, but the truth is not what he meant! He writes that we must realize that if it is not in scripture it is unsriptural, false and should be discounted!

Sadly, context shows that he means "We should not say something is unscriptural just because it is not listed in scripture. .......?.....? Isn't that the definition of "unscriptural"?

THIS is a "satanic deception tactic". Todd says "Look, guys... God did say 'test the spirits'... but His Word, the Bible is NOT really the final authority on what is true!"

This is the same tactic Satan used on Eve. (Gen. 3:1-6) Follow Todd's reasoning while you follow Satan's reasoning with Eve...

Todd implies "Sure the Bible is cool and important and all, but did God really say 'Everything should be tested by the Scriptures'?... what about YOUR OWN unscriptural dreams and visions?"

We say "Yes, Todd, God did say 'Everything should be tested by the Scriptures'!" (II Timothy 3:13-17) "But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Todd then replies "No, no, no... God didn't really mean that, otherwise...

[+-] Expand/Collapse Post

...all of those dreams and visions that seem spiritual must be ignored! God surely did not mean what His Word says. He wants you to be LIKE HIM! Don't you want to be "like God"? to step into the "Third Heaven", able to see into the "Spirit Realm", able to speak and heal the sick and raise the dead,... I mean,... even Jesus said you'll do "greater things" (scroll to v.12) than Emmanuel Himself!... God surely did not MEAN what He said in II Timothy! God's Word is NOT the last Word. Listen to ME, I know about these things!"

For instance: If you dream of Jesus visiting you, and in your dream, Jesus, the Man, was the most handsome man you'd ever seen, would the fact that the Bible described Him as having no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him (Is. 53:2b), discount your dream as being scriptural or genuine, relative, and of God?

The answer is "YES"... if the dream does not line up with Scripture, it must be discounted and generally ignored! If it does line up exactly with Scripture good, go with it! But then what's the big deal of the dream when you have the Scripture?

Scripture must always be the measure, the standard, to weed through our untrustworthy dreams and visions. Otherwise, anything goes. I may have dreams that God is desiring a duck-billed, green haired, army of God to rise up and square-dance in the White House! By Todd's standards my dream is as valid as any of Todd's own dreams or visions because there are no "plumb lines" to test any dream by to make sure they are "straight"!

Just as no two people are alike, no two experiences are alike. Guaranteed, the Bible doesn't list the details of each dream, each encounter, or everything that God has, does, and will eventually reveal to His people. It doesn't record every detail of every dream, or everything someone has seen in the spirit realm, or on earth for that matter. Nor does it record every possible miracle, but it does say that nothing is impossible with God (see Luke 1:37; Matt. 17:20).

That's right. God COULD cause us to grow duck bills and He MIGHT turn our hair green... nothing is impossible with God!

BUT if I started preaching that God desires that we all grew duck bills and that he really was going to visit us and turn our hair green, even Todd Bentley would call me goofy. Why? Because it has NO BASIS IN SCRIPTURE!

Yet Todd's dreams and visions that twist scripture and lead people to focus on "the angel" or on "the supernatural" rather than Jesus, or that allow him to visit and interact in "spiritual realms" that God hid from us PURPOSEFULLY, are to be taken as truthful revelations of God!

God's only plan for us is that we (a) trust Jesus Christ, the Messiah, alone, apart from our works, for all of our righteousness and salvation,... and (b) that we go out and preach Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected, teaching and making disciples who will start the process again, over and over and over again.

God does NOT have any Biblical guide for us to get any "closer" to him in spirituality, or in position, or in geographical location. We either are "in Christ" (which is as close as two can get) with all that is included with that relationship and heirship, or we are "rebels" who are storing up wrath for God to pour back out on us in the day of Judgment.

The fact is that everything (regardless of what amazing things God CAN DO) must be testable and only by the Scrptures. What I feel or experience as "real" makes no difference if it is unbiblical... and Jesus coming to visit someone is UNBIBLICAL! (Paul was visited before the "Revelation" was completed by John in AD 96, when the Word was closed by God -Rev 22:19)

The children of Israel were given guidelines to measure a false prophet by (The revealed Word of God)... Todd has already failed even those Old Testament tests many time over...

The New Testament Body of Christ has ALSO been given guidelines to measure a false prophet by (The revealed Word of God)... Todd Bentley has also failed to fall within Biblical measurements and guidelines and MUST therefore be ignored!

We have no account of miracles like amputated limbs growing back, but the absence of this is Scripture doesn't mean that such a miracle unbiblical.

Todd Bentley doesn't have this miracle under his belt either, so what's he worried about?!

If a person is of the mind-set that everything spiritual that happens or manifests in our lives has to be found in Scripture to be divine and of God, then that standard or belief would have to be applied to every area of one's life.

NO, Todd... again you are trying a "confusion tactic"... Scripture need only be applied to spiritual and moral areas of our lives, which are the places that God has BIBLICALLY commanded that we repent and obey. ( Act 15:24-29) God does not care if I dream that I'd like a purple motorcycle and then go buy one... unless I venture into immoral or spiritually unscriptural ways of making my dream come true, like stealing it, or consulting a psychic to help me find it.

God responds to each one of us in different ways so the specific way He speaks to any of His children should not become a doctrine of correctness.

FALSE: The specific way he has spoken to US is through the written, revealed Scriptures, the Word of God! In times past God spoke through the prophets. In the present He gave His Son, Jesus who sat down... No more Word will be revealed. He dwelt among us... Now he LIVES as the Final Word of God! (Hebrews 1, Revelation 22, John 1)

Someone once said that limiting revelation is like trying to fit an ocean into a cup. God is continually restoring truth and light to His Church.

What scripture is this, Todd? The Truth and the Light (Jesus) came into the world 2000 years ago...When was He "removed" from the true "Church" so that He must be restored??

The reason the Bible says God's "Word" is Jesus Himself is because Jesus is the Completion of the Revelation of the Father...

Every "Word" God gave to the Prophets was the "type & shadow" message of Jesus! The Bible says God's Word(Jesus) is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105)... In the beginning was the Word, (Jesus) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light (Jesus, God's Word) of men. And the light (Thy Word, my Lamp) shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.(John 1:1-5)

I will always stumble and fall when I don't allow The Word to light my path everywhere I go. Revelation 22:18-19 says: For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that 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 Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

When we add to the "Revealed Word" any "extra-biblical" word and say it is from God we say, in effect, "Jesus and His work are NOT COMPLETE, NOT ENOUGH, and NOT FINISHED... I must add something to The Word, Jesus or His Work.

When we take away from the "Revealed Word" anything that was given or revealed in former days by the Biblical Prophets and Apostles, we say, in effect, "What God has said through His Word, Jesus, is just garbage and since I don't like it, I will be like Jonah, and not proclaim it!" In taking away from the Word we effectively bind and gag God."

Therefore, we should place no limit on further revelation.(This statement comes from Todd Bentley's own " Statement of Faith... and HERE is a good article dealing with Todd's SOF... scroll halfway down the page.)

WHAT?!? Todd is saying here that we can never say that God's Word is enough!

Psalm 119:118 says: You (God) reject all those who stray from Your statutes, For their deceit is falsehood.

When we stray from God's Word we are both rejecting God, and we are rejected BY God, because His Word, Jesus Christ is our ONLY, and FINISHED, Salvation.

"We should place no limit on further revelation" means God's Word is NOT PERFECT, SUFFICIENT or COMPLETE and it can't make us COMPLETE, thoroughly equipped for every good work as II Timothy says it will! Todd Bentley is in direct opposition to the Bible!

To have a view that everything that happens in someone's life because of God's loving response to us as His children should be listed in the Bible or else it's wrong or evil, is like saying that Jesus, who is the Word represents a list of do's and don'ts.

Wow! Todd Bentley even acknowledges "Jesus IS the Word", yet he keeps arguing that "Jesus is NOT ENOUGH!" by saying we should not limit any "new revelation". And whether the Word "represents a list of do's and dont's" or not, Todd shows that he evidently does not like commands.

Also, in context, Todd is basically implying that "God's loving response to us as His children" is that we will have "further revelation"... but in contrast, the Bible says that "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) God doesn't want us to have "further revealation". He wants us to be satisfied with His Word, Jesus.

Jesus is a Person who, through intimacy and relationship, we perceive and understand by the Holy Spirit what is good and what is evil.

WRONG, The Bible never says this. We perceive and understand Jesus by the Biblical accounts of His incarnation, His sinless life, His sacrificial death burial and resurrection, and His revelation of Himself as the Christ, the Savior of the World. The WORD (Jesus) clearly lines out for us what is "good and evil"... If someone points others AWAY from the WORD, Jesus, that person is EVIL and in a heap of trouble. (Luke 17:2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.)

If Jesus listed for us everything that we needed to know, then knowing Him would have become an option.

No Todd,... He has provided us "EVERYTHING that we needed to know" so that we could personally know Him, but we despised Him and refused to hear and heed His WORD.

Mankind rebels against God. We hate Him. We killed Him even though He healed us, gave us sight, and raised us from the dead! He did, in fact, "give us EVERYTHING we needed to know", but we have tried our best to kill the Word over and over, ripping Him out of courtrooms, and schools, and entire nations... and now church tents in Lakeland!

So, Todd, "knowing Him" IS an option for all... the question is, are we going to repent and believe His Word ALONE and come to the knowledge of the Word?

It's in knowing Him, who is The Word that we enter into what He has prepared for us.

Wow, a TRUE statement! We "KNOW Him" by the concrete evidence He has given ALL of us EQUALLY... The Bible.

2Pe 1:2-4 says: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the KNOWLEDGE of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power HAS GIVEN (PASTE TENSE) to us ALL THINGS (The "Word" was given...) that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which HAVE BEEN GIVEN (again, PAST TENSE) to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these (Promises of God, given in the past) you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

We don't NEED any "new revelation" for anything! We are complete in Him (Col.2:10) and we are complete and "thoroughly equipped" in the Word (II Tim 3:15-16)... We don't even have to "just add water"! As long as we have the "Word" we have Jesus!

To apply doctrine to the response of God in our lives is wrong.

WHOA! What about II Tim 3:16, Todd? "Doctrine" IS the Word of God! (The six points below are from HERE)!

1.Doctrine is the entire Bible...everything in it. Doctrine = teaching.
2.God cannot say anything irrelevant or unworthy. So all scripture is good. Because all scripture is doctrine, no part of it can be of less value.
3.'Love' is an aspect of doctrine. So, love cannot be greater than doctrine.
4.Jesus made the keeping of His commandments (commandments = teachings = doctrine) a test of love for Him. In saying that, He made a doctrinal statement!
5.There are not ‘many doctrines’ - there is only one, unified doctrine of God. The various teachings of the Bible are merely aspects of that one doctrine.
6.Doctrine can and should, at times, separate brethren from brethren, when some distort the truth to an intolerable degree. Doctrine certainly and infinitely separates brethren from unbelievers. We cannot accept what God hates.

For someone to assume that something that happens to us isn't of God because it's not in his or her doctrine or knowledge of Jesus is, in my opinion, to grieve the precious Holy Spirit.

OK,... Todd is saying that whatever YOUR "reality" is, (even if it is square-dancing, green-haired, duck-billed people) trumps what the Bible says. Does that even sound like the Truth?

I believe each experience is unique and tailored to the individual's background, experiences, circumstances, capacity to receive, and personal relationship with Jesus. The experience is usually one that a person can relate to.

((Yeah, because it comes from their own weak little human pea-brains and not from God!))

The Lord meets us where we're at and often shows us things in a way that gets our attention, in a way that we, as individuals, uniquely understand and relate to.

WRONG, God DEMANDS that we repent and turn to Him... He will NOT "meet us where we are at" in our rebellion and sin! Just ask the children of Israel, Jonah, Sodom & Gommorah, Ananias & Saphira, etc., etc.,!

Some are questioning the soundness of my visitation from Jesus while I was in Redding, California.

Todd, should I really take your story seriously?
The Bible says: Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him (Matthew 24:23).
And: So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them (Matthew 24:26).
And: So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19).

I stated in an interview that it was as though He came into this realm and I saw Him as I would imagine Jesus would be with the disciples on the Earth, as the Son of man, a humble servant as He walked the earth, not in His resurrection glory.

OK, wait... Does Todd mean Jesus Himself literally visited Him, or was it a vision or a dream "as though" Jesus came into this realm?

Well, TODD"S EXACT QUOTE was "Just recently, I was in Redding, California, and I had a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. It was real. And I was sitting in this green room in a chair. I was in a chair just like this, and I could feel the presence of the Lord all-around me..."

"My eyes were open and I saw heaven open, and I saw the Lord step out of heaven--literally step out of heaven. And from the Lord, Himself, He appeared to me, and, and it was as if He came to me into this realm. He appeared to me."

Todd really means Jesus Himself literally, physically visited Him. He repeated the statement that Jesus had physically visited Him HERE (at the 2:04 mark).

The purpose of this experience was for God to impart to me His supernatural peace in my life.

Wrong again. Supernatural peace is the automatic fruit of believers who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22, Philippians 4:7)

God chooses, in His infinite wisdom, to reveal Himself in different ways,...

(FALSE, God has IN TIMES PAST only partially revealed Himself through creation, through visions, signs and wonders, through the prophets and apostles, etc...

But with Christ's ascension and John's Revelation God has rested in His "revealing" because He revealed His Word, Jesus to humanity and now His earthly revelation of Himself is complete... The only "new revelation" we will get is that we have when we step over death into eternal life!

On earth we must decide whether to bow our knee in repentance and faith to the Revealed Word...
or we can choose to rebel by looking for "more" than the Revealed Word, Jesus Christ.

Todd Bentley says regularly that he wants "more".

Todd Bentley is in rebellion against God's Word!

God chooses to reveal various aspects so that people can understand, relate, and even receive Him.

(FALSE, Todd. God won't accept our "faithfulness" to what we can understand, or relate to. Things seen require no faith! If we do not "receive Him" by faith alone, we have no relationship with Him, since we refuse to accept the Word, Jesus, Whom we cannot see!)

Finally, Todd writes:
Why do some think it so bad if God wills to come in His grace and reveal Himself to us in whatever manner He chooses?

Because, Todd, according to God's Word, who is seated at the Father's right hand, He will NOT reveal Himself again until he comes to destroy the works of the Antichrist!

And: So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19).

Jesus said: Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him (Matthew 24:23).
So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them (Matthew 24:26).

People, Todd Bentley is a FALSE PROPHET who refuses to test his own stuff by the revealed Word of God! Ignore Him.

Part 3 - "Focus on The Revelation" coming shortly....

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Romayne said...

"Scripture must always be the measure, the standard, to weed through our untrustworthy dreams and visions. Otherwise, anything goes."

For me - this is and has to be the ONLY measure indeed, because as you say - how else can we know what's acceptable to the One we serve, and I think God is big enough (at least mine is!) to ensure that He puts into scripture those things that He can do, is doing and will do which He wants us to know about - if it's not in scripture, it's not to say such things as TB is experiencing can't happen because they obviously are and do, but that they are not either pleasing or acceptable to God, and ultimately I would presume that it IS God whom TB wishes to please, not Satan, but sadly in his zest to experience things tangibly he's given himself over to the master of deception and pleasing him immensely (IMHO!). BUT, ultimately if Todd is saved as we would hope he is, else he's in a yet more dangerous position, he is then part of the Bride which makes him "family" to the rest of us who are true bible-believing Christians, and we need to pray mightily for him and all of those being deceived by Satan through his (Todd's) teachings and practices. For it is arrogance for any of us to ever assume the same couldn't happen to us - while we may not be deceived by the weirdness of Lakelands "signs" we could well be by some much more subtle heresy within our own church, and as such, perhaps need to just be very aware of the huge push of this "deceiving spirit" (sorry - borrowing from the Latter Rain concepts there LOL) across the world. But the difference is that the Lord has shown that He does indeed send deceiving and lying spirits into the world at different times to achieve His Divine Will too (remember Ahab 1 Kings 22:22). And we are exhorted to be discerning and test all spirits yet too many of us seem to think that doesn't apply to "Spirit-filled" Christians!