Harold Smith on Todd Bentley and Lakeland

It seems as though there are a lot of folks who have taken very personal positions over the collapse of the Todd Bentley / Ignited Church / Lakeland, Florida “revival” that was referred to in the last article “Compromise.” As a result, I have been labeled as insolent, reactionary, a spreader of gossip and rumor and “who are you to judge” because I made the statement in that article that Mr. Bentley had been removed from the ministry as a result of having admitted to having an affair outside of his marriage that I called adultery. So, please allow me this opportunity to clarify my statement and set the record straight. Also, please, read all the way through this article before forming your assessment.

It has been brought to my attention that, so far, there is no “proof” of any actual sexual dalliance on Mr. Bentley’s part, that it was only an “emotional involvement” that he confessed to. As a man, I have an acute understanding about what “emotional involvement” actually means. Yeshua said adultery is an attitude of heart (Matthew 5:28). Now, I did not write the Book – I just read it. Words mean things and I believe He meant those words.

There are some other issues that have surfaced since publishing that article I was unaware of at the time of writing that had I known of, I would have included. I did not know about them because, frankly, I didn’t really care enough about what was going on in Lakeland beyond here was, yet again, another place for believers to get “goose bumps.” Isn’t it interesting that we have all these “believers” running to and fro, to this event and to that prophet, to be healed and nowhere in scripture is it recorded that Yeshua ever healed or delivered any of the disciples? He EMPOWERED them. We look for His Power to be on exhibit externally when scripture says, for a believer, the very power that raised Yeshua from the grave dwells within US. (Romans 8:11).

Then this week, this email came to me by way of a woman who had spent some time as a member among the occult sect of Wicca: She writes: “I saw this man on God TV, (I do not usually watch this but wanted to see what all the fuss was about) and saw the Wicca ‘EMMA’ brand on the inside of his left arm. THAT is what turned me off. I guess if people have not been in the occult, they have no idea just what this means. EMMA is the king of Hell in Wicca. It appears as a seducing spirit, either male or female, whatever appeals to the person who works for Emma. It calls itself an ‘angelic’ spirit, which tells its host that they do not have to approach ‘God’ alone, they will go with you and plead your case for you. You know, Satan can look whichever way he wants – if you are with Emma, he will look like the Lord.” 

Curious, I began some research and found just what this woman had revealed to be true. In fact, what else I found documented on video was Mr. Bentley, caught on camera, boasting of his personal “angel” he had been given by God whose name is EMMA that had come to him and led him into salvation (I was careful to document his own words) and that he regularly prays with this angel who shows him heavenly things. On top of this, after watching hours of video from the Lakeland meetings, I was struck with the realization that rarely, if ever (I could not remember a single instance), where the name of Jesus was spoken. The words, “God”, “heaven”, “angels” (lots and lots of angels), “spirit” were all used frequently – but not the name of Jesus.

The Good ShepherdFolks, this is not rocket science. The scripture says plainly to “try” the spirits (1John 4:1-3). The way they are tried is to hold them up to the standard of Truth which is the testimony of the Life of Yeshua (Revelation 19:10).

But that article and this one are not written about the subject of individual sin be it near-adultery or occultic-demon spirits, nor was it written to castigate Mr. Bentley personally (Romans 3:23). Having been divorced and witnessing firsthand the devastating and lasting effects it leaves on everybody’s lives, I am deeply saddened for him, his family and those who are affected by all of this and pray for God’s intervention, healing and restoration to encompass them.

So, let me make very clear – these words are addressing the foundational premises that brought us into this arena to begin with, i.e., compromise. These were compromises that were made, as a Body, to be tantalized by signs and wonders at the expense of integrity. character and Truth; and the compromises that were made from the embrace of the hierarchical structure of “apostolic authoritarianism” that developed, maintained and promoted the very platform Mr. Bentley stood upon which is not found in scripture. We are given no model in scripture for how this should work, except through love unfeigned (2Corinthians 6:1-10) – and that model was breached. What surfaces in overt behavior (darkness), on any level are just indicators of a more basic separation from Truth (light) at the root.

There were other indicators that compromise had taken place. When one moves in power without character it becomes like Paul describes in 1Corinthians 13, a sounding brass or clanging cymbal. It becomes jarring to the ear. If you look at any of this event in Florida on the YouTube videos, that is what you see and hear. Strange doctrine being preached, embracing encounters with other spirits, sick people getting kicked in the stomach, little old lady worshipping getting kicked in the face with a biker boot, etc. and the people laughing at the stories of this abhorrent violence in the audience. It is perverse and nauseating and in no way represents or extols this Person of grace and majesty and true Power spoken of in scripture that I have witnessed and come to know over the years. (James 3:13-18).

Throwing aside pre-conceptions of Who He Is does not mean mitigating His Nature to suit our purposes. Just because He can use rocks or donkeys does not mean He plans or intends to from the outset. He wants to use us, but He wants us to present Him in Truth. If it is Truth, it will be so all the way down the line with no excuses, no equivocation and no shadow of darkness – and it will apply equally to all involved. There IS a more excellent Way. This aspect of His Nature applies even more fully to those who would assume a mantle of responsibility within the Body because of the eternal effects their words and actions have on those who would follow them (James 3:1Matthew 23:13).

I lay the responsibility for this debacle squarely at the feet of the so-called “leaders” of this so-called “movement” and their willingness to turn a blind eye to the excesses that led to this and other places. They have all soiled their hands with wealth (when did Yeshua ever charge admission to hear HIM speak?) fame and renown (Philippians 2:7) and it has clouded their judgment – all of them. These men, even now (with the exception of only a few), are not decrying any of what has been mentioned above, but are searching for ways to gloss it over and keep it running so they might continue to profit from it – for great is the seduction of these spirits. The Hebrew word for “mammon” is finances – money (Luke 16:13).

Scripture tells us that Yeshua and the boys carried a money pouch (John 12:3-6). Now, they didn’t have jobs, so why would they need such? – except to receive donations. There is nothing wrong with receiving donations. The truth of what He is wanting us to see of Him, though, is that nowhere in scripture is it found that He ever took up a collection – He never “passed the plate”, didn’t take up an offering, He didn’t “pull” for money, didn’t ask for or let anyone know of His needs. He KNEW that if the Father was in it, He would fund it. Yeshua did not have to, nor is it recorded that He ever, made an appeal to the masses. He GAVE Himself and everything He had to the masses. He FED the poor. He didn’t use the money donated to Him to buy an upscale donkey to “further the ministry” and the Son of Man had no place to lay His Head (Matthew 8:20), so it wasn’t spent on His personal welfare. Consequently, if we do the same as His example, the Lord will move on this one and that one to come alongside as we have need without us ever having to “reach out”. I have seen it happen over and over – but this is a way of life that is completely foreign to what we have been taught and led to believe is the normal way of operation by these “power” ministries in complete contradiction to His Life.

Just A ToeSo, who am I to cry out and denounce these men and their antics? Nobody. I am nothing – I have no wealth, no position or prestige, I have no following, no cathedral to fill and I haven’t written any books. I am but a single cell on the little toe of His Body. But, if you think the little toe is of no importance, try ramming it on the bedpost when you get up in the middle of the night and see if it doesn’t bring the whole Body to a complete halt. There are many of us little cells that comprise this Body. The way to put a stop to all of this nonsense, this heresy that continues to crop up in our midst is to do as Yeshua did, to bear witness to the Truth by His Life (John 18:37) and to quit being a participant by encouraging them with our presence, making excuses for their errors and sending them our money – not for their sake, but for ours. A small flame will illuminate the whole room when it is dark. He is the Light of the World and He Lives in Us.

Having tasted of His Glory, and from a life-time of experientially knowing Him, I do not care to “settle” anymore for anything less than Truth in my personal life nor do I care to partake in the mechanics of men that would attempt to compromise by the illusion of that Glory the lifting up of some man or artificial architecture. Personally, I am here to extol the high standard He set with His Life for me to aspire to with my life so as to be, as He declared, a witness by my life, to Truth. I do not believe that bar to be out of reach. He is found in Truth. Not half-truth, faded truth or attempts at truth. He IS Truth. If I am alone in this endeavor, then let His Light begin within me. But, I am not alone. That is the confidence I have in Him for where sin and darkness abound – there grace abounds even more (Romans 5:19-21)

The Lord is allowing all of this in this moment to test our hearts. He is bringing decision and even judgment to the Body (1Peter 4:17) to see what we really want – signs and wonders at any price or Him and Him alone. If we choose Him, the signs and wonders will follow, but the presumption of man will be gone. If we choose signs and wonders, He will say He never knew us – because we didn’t know Him enough to BE Him. (Matthew 7:23).

The orginal post you can see at http://www.hethathasanear.com/ article titled “Eye of the Needle”

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Todd Bentley’s Supernatural Training Centre or Kundalini Yoga Training?

Todd Bentley’s “Supernatural Training Center” application in .pdf says on the front page..

  

Fresh Fire Ministries Presents 

The 2008/2009 Supernatural Training Centre Abbotsford, B.C..

 “Activate Your Divine Nature and Carry God’s Presence to the World!’

 I don’t have a divine nature apart from Jesus Christ. It is HIS divine nature I don’t have one. The scriptures say,

Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

 2 Pet 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of {the} divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

 

Here is a quote from someone who talks about their Kundalini experience….

 The awakening of Kundalini is a spiritual awakening, a major step towards realization of the divine. According to Swami Prajananda, “The main purpose of its awakening in a seeker is to enable him to attain Godhood” (Muktananda, Kundalini 9). 

***********
It is the DNA activator. It is the next stage of evolution for man. I believe it is man’s hidden treasure that he lost when he “fell from grace” in the Garden of Eden. Now it is returning to this planet wakening beings to their full natures before the fall only even greater. It is the sacred tree of life. It is essentially however, the secret of realization of God, 
the divine essence within all beings.

http://www.aloha.net/~ruth/Kawake.html

 This person under the influence of the Kundalini spirit that wrote the quote above is attributing a demonic spirit, Kundalini, with the God of the Bible. The Kundalini spirit is trying to associate the workings of Kundalini  with the works of the christian God in the form of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (Jesus) and the Tree of Life! The source of the Kundalini spirit is of the kingdom of darkness not the kingdom of God. In reality the Kundalini spirit and its wisdom is of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil NOT the Tree of Life.  Todd Bentley makes the statement that if one attends to their supernatural training centre they will be taught how to “activate THEIR divine nature”.  This is not the language of one who is being inspired by the Holy Spirit but one who is being influenced by satan who can transform himself into an angel of light for the purpose of deceiving christians to follow what is false and not of God as if it is of God and true. This kind of talk reminds me of pagan beliefs like Wicca that refer to the “god and goddess within you”…

 Wikipedia says this about the word Avatar.

 In English, the word has come to mean “an embodiment, a bodily manifestation of the Divine.” 

Avatara (Sanskrit: अवतार, IAST Avatāra) in Hindu philosophy is the ‘descent’ or incarnation of a divine being (deva) or the Supreme Being (God) onto planet Earth.

 Another website says this about what an Avatar is.

 An avatar is a bodily manifestation of a higher being or a supreme being.

It comes from Hindu mythology. Whenever something divine manifested in a physical form (normally human), it was called an avatar. 

 Another website said this about releasing your “inner goddess”

 Each of us will explore ways to give others in our lives and communitiespermission release the inner goddess, and become a beacon of light that liberates others.

 Wouldn’t an “avatar” and a “goddess” be considered “divine”? They would to a pagan or someone who was decieved and was under the influence of the Kundalini spirit. The Kundalini spirit is considered divine. The Kundalini spirit actually tries to convince people that it is the God of creation and of life. It works to deceive people to believe it has the ability to heal and transform a persons life. This kind of belief sounds similar to what the bible teaches what Jesus does through the work of the Holy Spirit in a person who accepts Christ. But the only problem is that it is not Jesus Christ but a false christ. It is a religious spirit feigning the Holy Spirit. Because if you read enough info on the Kundalini spirit you will see that it is said to be a Serpent that when not awakened is coiled at the base of the spine. 

Here is another quote from the above person about the Kundalini experience

 It is apparent now according to Lee Sannella, a psychiatrist who has written a seminal work on what he calls “a form of psychospiritual energy” ( 8) the Kundalini Shakti, that is a “process of psychospiritual transformation” that is found in human beings all over the world“transcending personal and cultural differences” (23). I was participating in a universal human experience of transcendence. According to Sannella’s research, Kundalini is integral to the teachings of “Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Taoism,” some “American Indian tribes, and …even of the Bushmen of Africa.” It was “most carefully studied and conceptually elaborated” in Hindu India (8).

Although the word Kundalini may appear strange for many readers and the concept of it even incomprehensible to the Western mind, in fact it is closer to each person than his own heart. Kundalini is closer than the breath in the body for it is the breather and the breath. In its dormant form it is the very essence of all life. It is the basic energy of all motion and activity. The coiled Kundalini lies dormant from birth at the base of the spine in every individual until one day it is awakened, then it ascends through the spinal column and the subtle nerve channels of the subtle body cleansing and clearing blockages as it rises towards the crown…where it merges with the energy of the higher Self. This connects the individual to the cosmic energy source so she is no longer an isolated, separated entity, but a conduit of the divine cosmic force.

In the awakened form, this uncoiled force becomes the Kundalini depicted in Indian scriptures both as a Goddess of immense power, often called “Kundalini Shakti,” and as a snake or serpent. It is She who is the manifest universe, and when She wakens within an individual, She will sweep one up in Her tremendous passion to reunite with Her Lord, Shiva–the unmanifest –in order to dance once again in his arms. Thus begins a crazy, wonderful, unpredictable ride with Goddess where She rules the body, mind and soul as she ascends through the body to the crown of the head- the seat of Shiva.

 When people participate in the kundalini experience they are submitting to release the “divine” within them. But in the practice of Kundalini Yoga one is coming under the subjection of a demonic spirit that is in no way divine. Christians don’t seek to “Activate THEIR divine nature” because they do not have a divine nature. Christians partake of Christ’s divine nature. This philosophy of activating MY divine nature is pagan. I don’t think that Todd Bentley is actually under the influence of the Holy Spirit. By the fact that in this application for the 2008/2009 Supernatural Training Center school that one will be able to “Activate YOUR Divine Nature” doesn’t sound like something that Jesus Christ is sponsoring or Lord of but something that distorts the word of God to others all in the name of Jesus. But the apostle Paul said this,

2 Cor 11:12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.

2 Cor 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers,disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.

2 Cor 11:14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

2 Cor 11:15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Gal 1:6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;

Gal 1:7 which is {really} not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

Gal 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

 If we accept the heresies that Todd Bentley teaches and instructs people in as if it is of the Spirit of God and are unwilling to separate ourselves from Todd Bentley’s counterfeit Christ influences then we are seeking to please men and not God just as the apostle Paul said in Galatians. And according to the apostle Paul if someone is preaching a gospel contrary to the true gospel of Christ, IF we did originally receive the true gospel, then that person who preaches a contrary gospel is accursed. I didn’t say Todd Bentley was accursed the bible says he is to be accursed since he preaches a gospel that is contrary to the true gospel of Christ Jesus. Further more if we support their false teachings as if it is okay becuause “no one is perfect” then we are in reality deserting Him who called us by the grace of God for a different gospel. 

 2 Cor 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity {of devotion} to Christ.

2 Cor 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear {this} beautifully.

 2 John 1:9-11

9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

 10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

If someone calls themself a christian and doesn’t abide in the doctrine of Christ they don’t have the Father and the Son. And if we support them anyway then we are a partaker of their evil deeds. 

Lakeland, Florida w/ Todd Bentley Revival Phenomenon: Is it of God or is it of the devil?

I’m just going to post some links about this. There is enough information out on the web about this stuff…


Todd Bentley says “It’s not about Jesus” w/ audio clip article from Living in The Way blog

YouTube video of Doug Perry from Fellowship of the Martyrs
An interview with Patrick Ersig and Andrew Strom


Todd Bentley’s Diabolical Signs

Forum discussion on Todd Bentley’s online teaching titled “Heaven’s Realities”

Charisma Magazine article by J. Lee Grady

True and False Revival article by Patrick Ersig

A Pastor’s Wife Responds to:Todd Bentley-Revival in Lakeland-Email from a ‘Lakeland Resident’

Scriptural Evidence that the Revival in Lakeland, FL under Todd Bently is Not of God:

A False Healing Revival? Lakeland, FL by Andrew Strom

Bentley changes all references to “Emma the Angel of the Prophetic” 
because of the controversy of this heresy flooding the internet 
and church

Also an article about Bob Jones, Patricia King, and Todd Bentley 
targeting the youth to bring them into occult experiences in the church

Influences of Todd Bentley: Bob Jones is disciplined for 
inappropriate behavior in using his “gifts”

More of what is influencing Todd Bentley