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 The Lakeland Outpouring & Todd Bentley by Stormharvest

The Lakeland Outpouring and Todd Bentley
By Robert I Holmes and Brian Medway

We are whole hearted supporters of revival, and certainly the renewed focus on the miracle working aspects of the gospel. We love the documented testimonies being shared by Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton in California. Fervour for God, and a desire to see revival are good and godly things. A renewed interest in ministering with angels, prophetic ministry and sharing the testimony of Christ in these last days is admirable too (Revelation 19:10).

So how about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Florida phenomena? More than a dozen Christian leaders have written to us in the past week, asking what our take on all this was, and whether we thought this was a genuine move of God. That we cannot tell you - for neither of us has been over to it. For reasons outlined below, we have no intention of going. What is being broadcast (also outlined in more detail below) in Lakeland leaves us rather disturbed.

A close ministry associate hosted Todd Bentley in Melbourne, Australia, and can testify to the positive influence he had during events a few years ago. Indeed heaven touched earth. Another ministry associate in Nigeria testified to the genuine miracles and healings which took place there under his ministry. A friend in Carolina testified to Todd's recent honour toward older prophetic men such as Paul Cain and Bob Jones. This is all good.

By no means do we wish to encourage heresy hunting, or criticism of other sincere brethren. What do we gain by spending time and energy criticizing others? What do we gain spending time and energy publishing material denouncing others, let us seek Christ. Our reason for writing is to sound a warning, to refocus our attention on things that are true and things which really matter.

The gospel we preach

It is from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34) and it is what is inside a man that makes him unclean (Matthew 15:11). Our letters, emails, correspondence, prayer meetings and web sites portray to the world what is inside us. Our broadcasts, messages, podcasts and videos are an expression of our hearts. So if we want to know what a person's passions are ... simply listen to them.

The apostle Paul issued a stern warning to us about men or angels who preach another gospel or that demand attention (Galatians 1:7). Though angels are part of our worship celebration, of healing the sick and even preaching the gospel we must be wary of worshipping them, honouring them overly and being puffed up with visions (Collosians 2:18). What then is the gospel being presented through Todd's ministry and the Lakeland Revival? What are the first things being concentrated on in the preaching there?

Angels are central
Angels are the focus of this Florida outpouring (opening screen, banner). Todd, in his May 9th address speaks of the release of financial angels (where is that in the Bible?) He promotes an angel named Emma, said to be associated with the prophetic movement. (There are no female angels in Scripture). Jesus intimates that they are without gender (Matthew 22:30). Todd also claims to be walking with the angel who accompanied William Branham.

Third heaven focus
In an interview with Bob Jones, Todd Bentley and Patricia King, Todd focused in on the idea that, "Relationship with Jesus starts in the Third heaven" and that we "have experiences in the supernatural dimension, to release the glory"... (WSTK-ITV broadcast). We find it difficult to substantiate either of these statements in the gospels.

Appeals for money
The first thing presenting itself at the main web site is a request for money to keep the meetings going in the large auditorium. Evidently the finances are not sustaining the revival.

Focus on anointing
"One of the ten anointings that was going to manifest is the fire anointing!!!" (April 27th, 2008). There's the prophetic anointing, the healing anointing, the prayer anointing, and our favourite - the anointing to cancel debt (May 9th 2008) Where are these in the Bible?

Transferable impartation
the oft repeated phrase is "Come and Get Some" - some what? Stroll around the web site and it's all about Todd, and all about supernatural impartation. Great, but what about Jesus Christ? How about the things He cares about - the lost, the lame, the poor, the widow and the orphan?

Heavy self promotion
Since when did we have to promote, advertise, request for a revival? Since when did revivalists have to call their own meetings "outpourings" and "the greatest revival in history"? This is very, very sad.


1. Why are we calling this a revival?
The largest churches in the UK (such as Kensington International) draw more people every week than are turning up to Lakeland. The largest church in Nigeria (Faith Temple) draws three times that number! These churches win as many people to Christ each week as are being won at Lakeland. We do not call them revival because such a term implies that communities are being affected, towns are being changed, nations are being shaken. For a start, there are no credible evaluations of how many have been saved in Lakeland, Florida. Not from any of the main sources. We are now six or seven weeks in! There are estimates of how many people show up, and how many are falling down - but not of salvations?

2. Why have all the recent "revivals" which cause tourism take place in America?
Toronto, Smithton, Pensacola, Lakeland... thousands travelling to see it. Next week in a Northern Indian city there will be a baptism of 10,000 new converts, gathered in from hundreds of COC churches. In two weeks time there will be the confirmation of 8,000 new converts in a Pentecostal assembly in Uganda. It is estimated that 1,000 Iraqis are being converted a week now from Islam. Why don't we fly to those places - whose statistics are far more impressive than Lakeland. (for more information on revival tourism to those places watch this space!)

3. What has our Christianity become about?
Since when is the gospel centrally about a focus on angels, third heaven revelations, impartations and transferable blessings? Since when did Jesus die to make us rich, or to cancel debt we have accrued through the self focused spending we engage in here in the West? What happened to the simplicity of the gospel - repent, believe and be baptized?

Never the less, when asked about people who worked miracles in the name of Jesus, but who may be off centre, or walking a different path from Himself, Christ answered, "Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon afterward speak evil of me. For He who is not against us is for us." (Mark 9:39,40 NKJV).

 2008/5/24 12:03

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37633
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re: The Lakeland Outpouring & Todd Bentley by Stormharvest

I have taken out the links in this post because it leads to much "unprofitable" and "false" content towards revival.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2008/5/24 12:08Profile

 Re: SI: in the forefront..

Many may complain that too much time and energy is being devoted to "heresy hunting", and exposing the wolf on this forum.

I disagree. Who knows how deep and how far that this deception will travel? Toronto and Brownsville still have a wake of confusion following them, years afterwards, and boast of influencing millions.

There are new seekers every day that may inquire, or "check it out", every day;..many from the ranks of evangelical non pentecostal Christianity.

I am grateful to SERMONINDEX for providing a forum to address such controversial issues as a wolf, in sheep's clothing. Mormonism has engulfed multiple millions in almost every nation on Earth, and is leading them all into eternal fire.

Mormonism began with a fellow who had regular chats with an Angel, who gave him extra-Biblical knowledge. Joseph Smith was also very sensual, and enjoyed power and wealth at his followers expense.

His movement was not exposed soon enough, and much damage was, and is done. Paul continued his cries of warning to the day of his death.[ see Titus and Timothy..] Until they are silent, our obligation is to warn and exhort unto Godliness all who have an Ear, as we fear and obey the Lord unto holiness.

 2008/5/24 12:50

Joined: 2006/12/31
Posts: 196


That is well said, BrotherTom.

Rather than "heresy hunting" I see it as fighting for and upholding Truth.

The deception is not just from what I have heard, it has hit home, so to speak. There are people that I know and love who are caught up and full of confusion over Todd Bentley and Bob Jones.
Miraculous signs and wonders, real as they may be, are not always the indicator of God moving. Yet, many are fascinated and deceived into believing wrongly because they see the miracles.

Revelations 19:20 is a scripture that most of us are aware of:
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image....

I am on here posting because I am concerned. Loved ones and dear friends of mine are crying out for Truth, at this very moment.
This is a serious issue amongst the world of Christiandom.
We would be wrong to sit idly by and not take a stand for what we have been holding to, and knowing to be True.


 2008/5/25 5:52Profile

 Re: The Florida heresies and our response...Prayer....

I awoke with an impression about this current deception with Todd Bentley, Florida, and around the world.

I felt that if the body of Christ would pray that this would shrivel up; dry up, and disappear, that the Lord would honor them.

Remember the historical account of the fig tree? Jesus wanted some fruit.[ read Micah chapter 7.] There was no fruit, though there should of been. Jesus then cursed the tree, and as they passed by later, it had withered and died.

I understand that this has many applications, from our own lives, to the individual churches, to the pharisees and cold, religious Israel; yet I was impressed also , that if we would ask the Lord, He would bring a withering storm and dry up this wolf fest. Remember Jonah, and the worm, and the destruction of this shading plant that comforted him.

We pray in Love for the innocent and the young, that they would not be devoured. Remember Revelation and the woman giving birth; a dragon was awaiting there to devour her infant . The devil eats babies. Maybe if we pray, and ask the Lord for mercy, he will hear, and heal our land.

 2008/5/26 9:14

Joined: 2007/1/29
Posts: 17

 Re: The Lakeland Outpouring & Todd Bentley by Stormharvest

If you want some evidence to check for yourself, read Todd's message on repentance. It is the only one I could find amongst hundreds of others.

Todd on repentance:

Todd's other teachings:

I'll leave you to decide for yourself. I am confident you'll be able to discern what Todd is all about.

Jesus is Lord!

 2008/7/22 21:48Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Casting down ...

Hello Jimbabwean,

Not sure what you meant by this and won't further a guess. There is a discernment and it is in many a posting of late, maybe we need to expand the roundup of one particular posting made here, (a collection of links to them) to make this easier. I am in full agreement with brothertom and others, this is not about to go away quietly I am afraid and there is an obligation to address it head on.

From the article;

[i]"When we think about repentance we often think about John the Baptist— “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). We think about fire and brimstone, and about somebody preaching hard against sin. I believe in that message, don’t get me wrong! We need to have a message of holiness, separation, and consecration. There’s a place, and there’s a price, for that message.[/i]"

There is a price indeed and we will pay for it in more ways than we know. That place however is not one that is set aside to further yet another notion as is being done here.

[i]But as we examine repentance here, I’m talking about it in perhaps a different way than some people usually think—in the context of mercy and healing.[/i]

That is TB's trouble en masse, practically everything is spoken of in a 'different' way and to tie this to healing and mercy is wrought with problems. Why? Because he manages to dodge the central aspect for the one he is apt to promote.

[i] In this context is a revelation that repentance brings mercy, and mercy brings healing. I call this: the beauty of repentance. In fact, that revelation illustrates why I love to repent and get right with God! And so I want to help you get into that place [of repentance] where you pull the rip cord and receive both mercy and healing—which is the blessing of God. Hallelujah![/i]

There is a very astute piece of wisdom that has been put forth here from one of our own that runs along the lines of "[i]When your repentance is more notorious then your sin ...[/i]" then you have something. It is the repentance that David expressed well beyond his sin with Bathsheba in Psalm 51, of that order and stature. Unfortunately, as this shows, the subject matter is not repentance at all, but a quick putting it away after but the most surface level mentions of what it all entails.

And if he loves it so much as he says, then there is ample opportunity and ammunition for him to repent over. He can start with either the actual or exaggerated lying of his kicking an elderly lady in the face with his biker boot. Past that there is nothing else to give any credence whatsoever to anything he says.

We have a charge to uphold saints;

[i]Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;[/i] 2Co 10:5

I do very much like the idea of praying for a decided end to all of this and have been praying in like manner that the Lord Himself would put a halt to it, for His own Name sake. This is the worst representation and most dishonoring thing to come down the pike ... at least since the last one in the same series. It is a reproach and a blight and incredibly grievous, there is not enough that can be said nor scripture appealed to, but certainly [i]the fear of the Lord[/i] is chiefly one that is not amongst them.

Mike Balog

 2008/7/22 23:59Profile


The author of that article lost me when he said:

[i]"A friend in Carolina testified to Todd's recent honour toward older prophetic men such as Paul Cain and Bob Jones. This is all good."[/i]

When someone utters that nonsense I can do nothing but shut them off. It discredits the rest of what they have to say, in my opinion.

However, it is interesting that a follower of these two "older prophetic men" can see that there are problems with Todd Bentley... yet some even on this forum can't.

Rather than "heresy hunting" I see it as fighting for and upholding Truth.

Bonnie, well said! Bravo, sis!


 2008/7/23 8:39

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


When someone utters that nonsense I can do nothing but shut them off. It discredits the rest of what they have to say, in my opinion.

Had the same reaction, it is not "all good" whatsoever, but just it's opposite. Have been giving this all much thought and much pain ... There are roots in this whole business that need to be exposed and uprooted, torn out. I am thinking collectively of the whole matter of this construct; The 'prophets' and man of the hour as Katz would have put it, the notions and runaway ... carnality of inward thought and action. The frivolity and disrespect ... the lack of just pure shame. Hope somehow I can articulate this, why it crushes and grieves so deeply ...

Mike Balog

 2008/7/23 9:17Profile

 Re: Prayer is working I believe...along with some burnout.

Krispy wrote:

When someone utters that nonsense I can do nothing but shut them off. It discredits the rest of what they have to say, in my opinion.

crsschk wrote:
Had the same reaction, it is not "all good" whatsoever, but just it's opposite. Have been giving this all much thought and much pain ... There are roots in this whole business that need to be exposed and uprooted, torn out. I am thinking collectively of the whole matter of this construct; The 'prophets' and man of the hour as Katz would have put it, the notions and runaway ... carnality of inward thought and action. The frivolity and disrespect ... the lack of just pure shame. Hope somehow I can articulate this, why it crushes and grieves so deeply ...

Brothertom writes:
Just my gut reaction, but I feel there has been a shift of sorts, in the tide. Something in the gears in Lakeland aren't up to the excitement level as they were say, a month ago. Maybe burnt out and some boredom have had their effects. It would be like travelling with the Rolling Stones on a four month tour. After all, it is but a performance.

The audience is primed before, and after the act, to keep "the energy level high", with rhythmic, and sometimes pounding electric rock music. People are rapturous, hips swaying, hands high, chanting about the blessings of the church to the beat.

It has got to take a toll on the mind, even with a demonic anointing. People look tired. They can't keep it up.

And the Bentley is so bizarre...unearthly. A young black girl was describing a demonic encounter on stage, describing a weird creature, and it was not 30 seconds that Bentley had turned it around into another resurrection from the dead. The crowd was delirious. The demon had just attacked her..and scared her. Nothing physical happened; this was the perception of a 12 year old girl caught up in the orb of an unclean spirit for a few seconds, at another location! Yip, another of the 27 resurrections!

Then, it is a "come on people! Resurrection from the DEAD!" If bizarre is not the word, what is? P.T. Barnum had nothing on the "full mount Karate Kid!" :-P

Anyway, all of this takes a lot of energy. The bottom line, though, is that people have been praying across our nation, and the world, for this carnival to end, and to be exposed for what it is, as they have been praying for true, Apostolic Revival to strike our land.

Jesus will send us revival."So ought men to pray, and not to feint." Help Jesus.

One more thought. This has been spoken before. There will be a lot of open doors, when the deflation factor hits those that were previously pumped. Let us prepare to open the doors of our heart to speak tenderly to the many who will feel confused and dissapointed that God let them down. Repentence from the death of the deception; faith toward a loving and most merciful God. Jesus is Lord, and I am so grateful He is.

 2008/7/28 7:04

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