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thesaintdan
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Joined: 2008/8/9
Posts: 20
Southwest England, UK

 Todd Bentley

The man who created so much controversy, has anyone got anything good to say about him?
Maybe he was annointed?

 2008/9/15 18:48Profile
winthrup7
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Joined: 2006/11/6
Posts: 12


 Re: Todd Bentley

Dan,

I've never commented about Todd on this forum or any other. In fact, I haven't made a comment on this forum but a couple times. Most of the comments regarding this man have kind of been one-sided so to speak.

I'm not here to criticize that so much, as many who were correct in their questioning and testing of what went on. What I will share very humbly is I hope for your edification and any who will hear it. As always, there will be many opinions.

I do believe this man was called, and used. There are some testimonies several years back of him especially in foreign nations, where he was used by God. But we can easily stray from the Lord and His Word even while there is corporate blessing and gifting upon an individual for the body. I believe Mr. Bentley's unwillingness to let God deal with some issues in his heart made him susceptible to deception and seducing spirits. And if we are honest, this is true for all of us. We must have our lives hidden in Christ.

This was a man who was warned in love more than once. Not from men who despised tatoo's, etc. or had some fictitious discernment ministry. But from saints that genuinely had his best interest in mind and those of Christ(Phil 2:4,21).

Several years ago, the Lord began to speak to me about this man who I knew nothing about naturally. He began to reveal how this man was going down a very destructive path. I prayed in the Lord's mercy, that he would do whatever he had to to get this man's attention. It was not long after that he suffered a serious health issue and needed to take a break. He called it a sabbatical, but it was forced by the health issue.

After several months of that, he decided to resume the ministry, but unfortunately prematurely. And I could do nothing but pray, and send him a letter as the Lord gave me grace. In that letter, sent to him in 2006 was this:

I have seen the Lord's burden for you in desperate ways, indeed his concern for some issues in your heart. I know that you had recently taken a "sabbatical" and have chosen to come back in May to full time ministry. And I believe you have really heard from the Lord on some things.
Nevertheless, with great urgency in the Spirit, I believe there are still significant things that must be dealt with in your life if you are going to bear the fruit that satisfies the heart of God. I also believe the negligence of such things shall cause a continual swither, and result in consequences of great proportions for the body of Jesus Christ, especially your life and calling.

You have been used greatly by God, and have seen him move in marvelous ways; visitations of all kinds, experiences, a dramatic testimony of God's grace and mercy in your life; blessings, and baptisms, healing, gifts many of which God has used to build the body. But I also believe that at times, you have been more interested in signs and wonders than seeking the face of Christ. You desire manifestations rather than transformation, and at times such desires have competed with the will of the Father, the way of the Son, indeed the working of the Holy Spirit.

I have seen others who have been used greatly in the body leave an open door for seducing spirits, because they want a show, a sign, a feeling, an experience to take over the meeting, when instead God wanted them to walk in the Spirit without an agenda. But this desire to see manifestations, not worrying about their source, has led men and woman astray, and indeed entangled many. I also believe the process was subtle with these men in many regards. The Lord chastened, and they heeded not the warnings. They had a crowd and a following, a plan perhaps to "evangelize" a nation or a continent, and yet ambition replaced friendship with God. "Doing" for God became more important than "being" to God: a servant, a priest, a son. And here we find the great difference between Saul and David: Necromancy and Intimacy; Haste and Humility. One turns to diviners, and the other cries out, fasting, waiting, weeping, for God: "TAKE NOT THY HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME"....

God's jealous love for his people is great enough to remove everything we hold dear so we will look up again, and remember our desperate need of him. But also that we might catch a glimpse of his heart for us. And if you can receive it, I believe this is for you: STAY THERE. The Lord has spoken to you regarding some things that need to change, but I believe you have come short of giving him your whole heart and the time he requires to deal with those things. They have to be walked through in Christ, in the obscurity wherein you were called, not from a pulpit; the place of ministry unto the Lord (priestly), not the place of ministry unto men. The word of the Lord to you was not to be more selective in conferences; it was to give him your entire schedule. It is to surrender, not selectively cut back. It is abandonment to Jesus Christ, not visitation. It is brokenness, not "successful-sacrificial" ministry. God wants to bring you into identification with his heart in such a way you will never think of moving outside of his grace again. Your goal is not evangelize there, hold a crusade here, conference and seminars. Your goal is GOD HIMSELF: Phil 3.

It greatly grieves me to know the damage done to the body of Christ already. We must be on guard against even things that appear to be okay. And the only safeguard I know is to fall in love with Jesus, and present your body a living sacrifice. My heart breaks for Todd because I know God did call him. But there are many that turn back. Paul had to deal with false brethren, and false Apostles. It is not an easy thing. Some fall by the way side. Others get choked out. Some don't have roots. And others bear fruit.

May God raise up humble spiritual fathers to guard the flock, and correct those in error for the glory of God. But these are the kind of men that come under the most scrutiny because they have to deal with the hypocrisy of a man's heart. And this is something we do not want to see.

I hope you are encouraged to seek Christ first and be found in him. There is no other refuge save Jesus Christ.

 2008/9/15 23:55Profile
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 Re:

This is the recent letter from the board of directors of todd bentlys ministry:

August 15, 2008
From the Board of Directors

We wish to thank all of our friends and partners for the overwhelming flood of support and compassion we have received as a ministry on behalf of Todd and Shonnah Bentley. The many phone calls and emails of concern from people who genuinely love the Bentleys and Fresh Fire Ministries have been a great encouragement to all of us here during these past few days. In particular, the rallying of support and prayer for Todd and Shonnah by prominent leaders within the Body of Christ has been a beautiful indicator of the maturity and grace the Lord is bringing to his Bride.

We wish to acknowledge, however, that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.

On behalf of the Fresh Fire leadership and the Board of Directors we wish to apologize to our friends and partners and to the larger body of Christ and to ask for your forgiveness. We are truly sorry for the pain many of you must feel and so regret that in the midst of great revival, the enemy has found a way into our camp. To those who have stood by us, we wish to thank you for what in many cases has been years of support. Thank you for your financial giving towards the vision of this ministry, and thank you especially for your prayers. For those of our partners, friends and supporters who may be struggling with the recent disclosures and finding continued support of this ministry in conflict with either conscience or conviction, we release and bless you with all our hearts and trust that God will redeem in your hearts the good that He has accomplished in your lives through this ministry. It is our sincerest hope and prayer that the Lord bless you and bring you into your fullest destiny in Him.

When this ministry was initially birthed in May of 1998, Todd had but one simple desire in his heart – to see the world come to know Jesus. Now, only 10 years later, Fresh Fire Ministries has grown to become a Resource Center that is literally reaching out to all the corners of the Earth. There have been dozens of associate ministries, scores of interns and hundreds of graduates from the Supernatural Training Center. Over 60 nations have received a combined total of more than five million dollars in humanitarian aid and we have seen well over one million conversions for Jesus Christ.

And so, the question can well be asked... where do we go from here? It is true that we are deeply saddened by these recent events, but it hasn’t shaken our faith in either God or His goodness towards us and with the help of wise and compassionate leaders within the body, we will do everything within our power to see our brother and sister healed and restored.

As a ministry, we can not forsake the vision and heartbeat upon which Todd Bentley founded Fresh Fire Ministries which is simply this:

Matthew 10:7-8
And as you go, Preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
While Todd and Shonnah each go through the necessary steps towards restoration and wholeness, we are compelled, with the resources with which God has entrusted us, to continue to spread God’s love and power all over the world.

There are many noble activities and endeavors in which Fresh Fire Ministries is involved, initiated by Todd, and to which we are still committed. We have the Supernatural Training Centre, our school of ministry, already in it’s fourth full year and with more than 50 students already enrolled we’re believing for an amazing year of biblical instruction, practical application and encounters with the presence of God. Many mature and gifted speakers and associates, graduated interns and teachers filled brim-full with the DNA and fire of this ministry are ready to pour revelation and passion into the hungry hearts of this coming year’s student body.

We will continue to host conferences in our region with speakers and worship leaders from around the nation whose message and mandates resonate with the vision and heart of Fresh Fire Ministries. In addition, we are committed to supporting the growing “OutPourings” across North America and around the world with our Associates, with encouragement and prayer support. In Todd’s own words, “What God is doing is bigger than one man”, and we now have a golden opportunity as the Body of Christ to pick up the baton and to run with perseverance for His glory.

Our missions department is progressing, as previously mentioned, with our major African crusade. With close to 100 team members in attendance, excitement is beginning to build and team members have responded that they are still believing God for the most amazing missions trip ever! Our Uganda Jesus Village in Kampala is forging ahead with the recent acquisition of 35 acres of land 30 minutes drive from our present location. Two of the 15 homes planned for the property are nearing completion, and the expanded village, when finished, will house almost 150 orphans rescued from war torn northern Uganda.

So whether in our Children’s Home in Africa, in our Supernatural Training Centre in British Columbia, in the revival meetings and outpourings spreading around the globe, or in taking teams to minister compassion and practical assistance to the poor in the far corners of the Earth, we have been and still are committed to bringing love, hope and a demonstration of the saving, healing, delivering power of the Gospel to a world in need.

Thank you all once again for your prayers and support. We bless each and every one of you in whatever decision you must make. Please know that our heart in all of this is to see the name of the Lord vindicated, and we take great encouragement from Psalm 23 and the Lord’s promise that He will “lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Together we look to the mercy and wisdom of our loving Father and we remain as ever, your brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Fresh Fire Board of Directors


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2008/9/16 0:04Profile









 Re: Todd Bentley

Quote:
Maybe he was annointed?



He was annointed... but not of God. God would not "annoint" a false teacher/prophet.

You should take a look at a thread I started a week ago called "Eat The Meat And Spit Out The Bones". It's a thread about how you might find a morsel of good food in a pig slop trough... but is that really where we're going to find the whole councel of God?

Krispy

 2008/9/16 8:01
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
My heart breaks for Todd because I know God did call him. But there are many that turn back.


God calls all believers; the question is "to where and to what capacity?" As far as someone [i]turning back[/i], yes this is feasible, but we must also ask where did he turn back from? Multitudes of believers are in areas God never ordained for them to be, even though great signs and wonders are evident in their midst and people are ostensibly turning to God in the droves. Unbroken men often venture into unauthorized territory simply because they sense God's calling on their lives. This may be so, but the Lord must first break before He sends. Many of us jump the gun and head to the OR having never finished medical school (or even started it, in most cases) and so we see alot of bad surgery although the results may be fair from time to time. In the end, however, we witness nothing but wide-scale infection leading to death.

What miserable estimation we have concerning the ministry of God's Word! If Christians afforded the same veneration and care and discretion to ministry as they do when picking and allowing cardiologists and vascular surgeons to practice medicine on them and their children, I venture to say we would see vastly different results...and we would know for sure who was called and who wasn't.

In this regard, the heathen are wiser than we are. The ways of the world's professions are more efficacious than the way the church is run; sending men without brokeness and godly intimacy straight to the operation table of an open, precious soul with their contaminated scalpels and saws - and what messes they make!


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Paul Frederick West

 2008/9/16 11:31Profile
winthrup7
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Joined: 2006/11/6
Posts: 12


 Re:

Quote:
Multitudes of believers are in areas God never ordained for them to be...



Quote:
If Christians afforded the same veneration and care and discretion to ministry as they do when picking and allowing cardiologists and vascular surgeons to practice medicine on them and their children, I venture to say we would see vastly different results...and we would know for sure who was called and who wasn't.



Unfortunately many are not in the place where God "ordained them to be". And to your point of preparation: The conditions of discipleship given to us by our Lord in verses 26, 27, and 33 mean that the men and women He is going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything. "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple " (Luke 14:26 ). This verse teaches us that the only men and women our Lord will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately, and with great devotion— those who have a love for Him that goes far beyond any of the closest relationships on earth. The conditions are strict, but they are glorious. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost, May 7, 2008: Building for Eternity.

As to the heathen being wiser, perhaps. But I think we have to consider the reasons why we are so easily deceived, and get swept away. The warnings in scriptures are clear (2 Peter 2). But I'm convinced there is no safeguard accept we hide ourselves in Christ through his Word.

I think of "Let me not see my Wretchedness" by Carter Conlon, which he preached at the conference hosted by SI. He spoke of the issue of not wanting to see something about ourselves in the light of Christ. If we refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to show us what sin, righteousness, and judgement is, however sincere our zeal, or however noble our cause, no matter our education, experience or training, there will something false about us.

To love the truth is to see it when God shows us the most wicked and vile rebellion in our own heart. Then you find the cross of Jesus Christ as it actually is. You find the Son of God stoop down to wash those calloused stenchful feet which like Peter we'd prefer he would leave alone. It's when we can hear God say "Do you love me" for every time we denied him. That's when we begin to be identified with his interests and his heart. But so long as we are only interested in a career, our own success, or to appear before men, we cannot go forth as one who has heard him say in truth, "Feed my Sheep".

Jesus is The Way, The Truth, The Life. If there is a veneration for preaching, I know it is at least this:

"And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

"If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

"And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. "

 2008/9/16 13:08Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
As to the heathen being wiser, perhaps. But I think we have to consider the reasons why we are so easily deceived, and get swept away. The warnings in scriptures are clear (2 Peter 2). But I'm convinced there is no safeguard accept we hide ourselves in Christ through his Word.


I agree with your assessment of not being safeguarded by the Word of God; I bring the majority of culpability therefore back to the ones who support these butchers: the endorsers, the "charismatic medical board" that seems to vouch for them unreservedly and dedicate an entire page to them in the spiritual yellow pages; these are ultimately the [i]unsafeguarded ministers[/i], the ones who allow men like Bentley to practice their craft and exact influence over those who are sick. It's all about exposure. Just look at how he was endorsed by so many trusted pastors. I can tell you with experience that many believers are still young (as you and I once were) and not well-versed in scripure yet, not because of themselves, but because of those older and more mature who have the ability - and not to mention, duty - to direct them to scripture's security and yet fail to. These unprotected ones are consequently snatched away and allured by this sort of malpractice; and apart from not being safeguarded, many are not yet even saved. We should understand that many who [i]are[/i] saved are still drinking milk, and not yet able to withstand the sick meat of men like Bentely and others. This was the fulcrum of Paul's letter to the Colossians. Here we see two factors coming into play: the venturing of self-willed men into unauthorized territory, and the negligence of those entrusted to feed the lambs with good, wholesome doctrine. This ought to be the intial inoculation from the Bentelyesque bacteriums that assuage primarily the young and virulent (albeit unprotected) believers.

As far as the Word of God goes, one can read the Word of God with reslove and still be grossly misled. It all depends upon the color of the lense through which the Word is scrutinized.


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Paul Frederick West

 2008/9/16 13:27Profile
learn
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Joined: 2008/7/24
Posts: 613


 Re:

Quote:

Quote:
My heart breaks for Todd because I know God did call him. But there are many that turn back.




How do you know Winthrup7? This is not a trick question. Just sincerely want to know.

1) How do you know that its not the devil that inserted the thought?

2) How do you know that there was no misreading of what God wanted from you if you sincerely believe it is from God. Thanks


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geraldine

 2008/9/16 14:36Profile
winthrup7
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Joined: 2006/11/6
Posts: 12


 Re:

Quote:
How do you know Winthrup7? This is not a trick question. Just sincerely want to know. 1) How do you know that its not the devil that inserted the thought? 2) How do you know that there was no misreading of what God wanted from you if you sincerely believe it is from God. Thanks



I will ask you to read my entire post if you haven't already. People sometimes take the most objectionable or provocative quote and run with it, and wanted to make sure you read it all so you can understand where I am coming from. But I'm not sure I can provide an answer that could satisfy your inquiry. But I will reply with this. I don't want get too off track of the thread, so feel free to take this off line (email) if you have further questions. I most likely won't reply further down this line as to go on a tangent.

One of the most controversial issues in the church is the issue of knowing God's will. I think it is fair to say that we know in part, and we all know very little. But God's Word and desire is expressly for us in this:

For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:9-10

That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Phil 1:10.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


I am persuaded that unless we are presenting our bodies a living sacrifice as his word declares, we cannot prove that which is good and acceptable, and the perfect will of God. I think that is pretty straight forward. That in no way infers we shall be "know it alls" concerning others, or even ourselves. And in no way must one think to "insert oneself" into others lives unless it is God who sends him. But it was Paul's prayer, desire, and command for us in Christ by the Holy Spirit to be in a place where we could approve those things that are excellent; those things that please the Lord, and those that don't. I think a part of that is being able to receive correction, or instruction from others in Christ. Unfortunately, we live in a time where the attitude is "no one is going to tell me what to do".

For some, the pride of their independence has facilitated a deception of an ultimate kind when it comes to understanding true biblical edification, and his pleasing will. For others, a lust of other things, or conformity to this world, has facilitated their deception, whatever it may be.

As I said previously, and I want to emphasize, I think the only safeguard is God, His Word; Having the entirety of one's life hidden in Christ as a living sacrifice.

1. God does will for us to be able to approve, understand, test, prove, these things. God's Word is sufficient. (see scriptures above).

2. God at times uses people to warn, exhort, encourage correct (1 Thes. 4:1, 5:14, Heb 3:13,1 Peter 5:1, Jude 1:3, etc.). It's commanded and expected. But its also dangerous to be an "amateur providence" in others lives especially when God does not send you. The Lord knows we have too many people merely giving opinions.

3. One of the most difficult things for Christians to understand is that there are: A) People who have been called of God, and have fallen into sin; B) People who have been called, fallen, and have been given over to seducing spirits and a strong delusion; C) Those that have never been called, and have been false from the beginning, but may have a form of godliness, or may operate under false signs and wonders.

The main opinion of this man might well be that he was never called (C). You can conclude that although I have not. It's not worth my words to argue intently about it. As I said, great damage has been done to the body of Jesus Christ and that is my concern. But I do think we have a tendency to kind of say, "we'll see I knew it, it's not God." And we are free to do that, and maybe that's okay. I am persuaded it would be better if we came to a fuller understanding of what God reveals in his word, in part so we don't get led astray, or overly discouraged when we see a minister fall, or a false prophet exposed for what he is. Also, I think the Lord uses times like this to warn us, and to teach us things.

Consider the following:

1. Demas forsook Paul loving this present
world.
2. Saul was called, anointed of the Holy Spirit, used, prophesied, and in the end sought a diviner for an answer. He was removed, and died.
3. God uses Balaam to bless Israel even though he loved the wages of unrighteousness.
4. Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8) himself believed and was baptized.
5. Jehu prophesied and executed the judgements of God, was blessed for it, but never departed from the sins of Jeroboam.
6. King Uzziah when he was full of pride, tried to enter God's temple and offer incense, resulting in his leprosy, removal from the throne, and exiled.

And there are many more biblical examples, each which reveal perhaps a different issue in their heart.

But the point I want to make is this: A lot of times in the Bible, there are men that fall that were used and called of God. And we must understand that. We also have to understand that there are "false brethren", "false apostles", "many false prophets", "wolves in sheeps clothing";

But Jesus Christ is still on the throne. Amen.

The question you had was this: How do you know I wasn't deceived about him being called or writing the letter?

I can't give you the answer directly.

I know this:

That quote was never an endorsement of his ministry. But that letter (a portion of which I posted) was sent to someone I believe had fallen from grace years ago.

I prayed earnestly for the Lord to get this man's attention and take him out of ministry. God did that very shortly after my prayer.

I prayed earnestly for there to be a direct witness from the Lord to him, regarding some on the content of my letter. And the week he was to receive the letter (a few days after I sent it); He posted a weekly teaching on his website, which included some of the same topics, and passages. I took this as God answering my prayer very clearly.

About a month ago, the Lord told me to get up and go to the computer. He said he wanted to show me something. I didn't browse around but waited and asked what he wanted me to do. He had me type in Todd Bentley's name (not a frequent habit). And I found out that he was being separating from his wife, etc. It happened to be within 24 hours of when the story broke.

And I grieved because it was reminder of all the damage that was done over the past several years, and how the hurt the body of Christ, and led many into deception, and to the receiving of things that were not of God.

I can tell you that. But whether or not he was called of God is for each one to seek him first and believe God's Word. He may choose not tell you whether he was called or not. We may not agree on that issue. My hope is that he shows those inquiring where the danger was if he hasn't revealed that already, and does so with a revelation of his burden and his heart for all parties affected.

But to seek him first means that he must strip you of all prejudice and pretense whatever it may be, coming humbly unto Christ and his throne of grace.

May we fall in love with Christ so much so that the answer isn't the most important thing. But knowing him is.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." (Rom. 12:1-3)

[edit: spelling]

 2008/9/16 17:33Profile
learn
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Joined: 2008/7/24
Posts: 613


 Re:

Thanks for your reply. I did already read your entire post before I posted my earlier question. Thanks once again


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geraldine

 2008/9/16 21:01Profile





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