How would Derek Prince have reacted to Todd Bentley?

FURTHER NOTE 7th January 2009: Robert Ricciardelli has denied (in comment 84 here) making comments about Todd Bentley during September 2008. It seems clear that at least some comments made in his name are in fact by an imposter. Because of this I am deleting the comments on this post in his name, and my responses to them. I have also deleted my post “Thoughts on Todd Bentley, healing, and the dead being raised” (dated 20th September 2008) which was primarily a response to the comments on this post in Ricciardelli’s name, and on which several other comments were made in his name.

NOTE 1st January 2009 for those coming here from the link at this post: I wish to entirely dissociate myself from the comments made on this post by Robert Ricciardelli, in which he makes statements for which he refused to reveal his sources and so which cannot be confirmed. See my comments 105993 and 106387 below. See also my latest post about Todd.

There seems to be no real news about Todd Bentley in the last couple of weeks, although not surprisingly there are efforts to link him with the latest hot topic of discussion, Sarah Palin. But there is still plenty of largely negative discussion of Todd on various blogs and in comments on this one, and plenty of traffic coming to this blog from searches on his name – 64 hits yesterday just on “todd bentley”. So I assume some people are interested if I continue to post about him.

My previous post was an extended quotation from Derek Prince (1915-2003), one of the best known charismatic Bible teachers of the late 20th century. I’m not sure if it coincidental, but yesterday in a comment (see also this follow-up) Sheri (ForeverSet) pointed me to an online booklet Protection From Deception: Navigating Through The Minefield Of Signs And Wonders by the same Derek Prince, which she considers relevant to assessing Todd and the Lakeland outpouring. And indeed it is. I have commented twice in response, referring to the first two chapters of the booklet, and promised to comment also on the third and final chapter. But I have decided to bring these comments together as a post, starting with a revised version of the comments I have already made.

In chapter 1 of the booklet Prince, writing in 1996, is apparently referring to the Toronto Blessing, with guarded criticism and without naming it. I don’t really disagree with this chapter, although I think it focuses a bit too much on the negative. He calls what was behind the Toronto Blessing

a mixture of spirits, both the Holy Spirit and unholy spirits.

I expect he would have said something similar about Lakeland, if he was still alive.

Well, it is the nature of all human endeavours to be mixed like this, as nothing human is perfectly holy. But what do we do with such mixtures? Do we reject what the Holy Spirit is doing because there are also unholy spirits at work? No, because if we did the Holy Spirit would be unable to do anything in the world! Instead we have to keep what we do as pure as we can and trust God in prayer to minimise the damage caused by the unholy admixture. If this is not right, then of course God will withdraw his Holy Spirit from the work and it will become obviously entirely evil. I don’t think Lakeland ever got that far, but I suppose it was God’s way of purifying it, although not perfectly, to take Todd out of the way, so that what remains is much more pure.

Concerning chapter 2 of the booklet, I have strong objections to Prince’s apparent claim that it is only the MALE human who is the image of God, contradicting Genesis 1:27 which makes it clear that both males and females are his image. I am also not entirely happy with what he has to say about styles of music – doesn’t he realise that classical music, even Mozart, is also used to call up demons, and that many people sing old hymns with the attitude “Excite me. Thrill me. Satisfy me.”? But these points are irrelevant to this discussion.

But I am prepared to accept that at Lakeland there has been

soulishness: an undiscerned downward slide from a focus on God to a focus on self, from objective scriptural truth to subjective personal experience.

That is, it started well if not perfect and became less good, more man-centred. And God did something about it, removing Todd.

I can also accept Prince’s assessment of five branches of the charismatic movement (including one of which he himself was a leader) which went astray, and of the way that they did so. His insight into Branham is interesting, but note how he is clear that Branham genuinely operated in the Holy Spirit. I suspect he would think similarly of Todd Bentley: genuine powerful ministry but also serious flaws.

Concerning the “Latter Rain” movement, one of these five, Prince wrote:

one of Satan’s tactics is to discredit that which is good by its misuse.

50 years later, here in comments on this blog, people are still using the words “Latter Rain” as a tactic “to discredit that which is good” at Lakeland and elsewhere. Among these people are commenter here Julie Steadman, who wrote just yesterday:

I know because of Todd Bentleys alignment with Branham, Paul Cain who are all into false Latter Rain theology that there is something wrong

– in other words she simply presupposes that Latter Rain theology is entirely false and a touchstone of evil. Now I accept, as Prince does, that some of this theology is wrong, but not all of it – see my response to Julie. But by using “Latter Rain” as a pejorative term in this way these people are, I’m sorry to say, serving Satan. Julie is doing this unwittingly, I have good reason to believe. But I am not so sure about the motives of the people who operate “discernment” websites; some of these sites seem to be dedicated to undermining the work of the Holy Spirit through the charismatic movement, and are prepared to disseminate deliberate misinformation on the basis (which I have seen more or less explicitly stated) that the end justifies the means.

Concerning chapter 3, there is of course a need for all of us, including Todd and his critics, to humble ourselves, love truth, fear the Lord, and keep the cross central. But surely those who “did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10 as quoted by Prince) are not Christians at all? The ones of whom Paul writes “God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11) are those who “did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12), not Spirit-filled Christians who “have an anointing from the Holy One, and … know the truth” (1 John 2:20, TNIV). I’m sorry to say that what Prince is doing here is putting into his Christian readers a fear, not of the Lord but an unhealthy fear, that anything they listen to may delude them “that they all may be condemned” (2 Thessalonians 2:12). This goes totally against the teaching of Paul that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”, that nothing in all creation “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1,39, TNIV).

So let us indeed discern carefully what is “soulish” and what is spiritual about charismatic and other movements, manifestations and personalities. But we should not do this in fear that if we soil our hands with any taint of their false teaching we may receive “strong delusion” and lose our salvation. Instead we should recognise and affirm “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8) about such things or people, while being careful not to share in or endorse anything which is wrong. That way, as we Christians build one another up in love, the wrong or “soulish” things will be weakened and the true work of the Holy Spirit will be strengthened, to the glory of God.

65 thoughts on “How would Derek Prince have reacted to Todd Bentley?

  1. Hi Peter

    Just want to correct one important point here.

    Derek Prince believed that Branham was operating in the demonic aswell as the Holy Spirit, although he speaks highly of his character and even believes he was saved at the end. I find this difficult to believe as he did not believe in the Trinity at the end among other things.

    Taken from Derek Prince’s article ‘Protection from Deception’
    “Unfortunately, after exercising his gift two or three times, he just collapsed and his men came and gathered him up and carried him away. He explained that by the statement of Jesus that “power has gone out of Me.” But Jesus did not collapse. I do not believe that was the Holy Spirit. I believe it was demonic.”

    “Now, since all the people concerned have passed from the stage of time, I feel free to share what Ern (Ernie Baxter – Branham’s Preacher) said about Branham. He said, “Branham had two spirits; one was the Spirit of God, one was not.” At one point they were together and Branham pointed to a light bulb hanging from the ceiling and said, “The power I have can make that bulb move.”

    I believe Branham remained in Christ to the very end, but he was taken over by people who wanted to exploit him. Although he did not call himself “Elijah,” he permitted his followers to do so. He was killed through an automobile crash when his car was run into by a drunk driver. His followers embalmed his body to keep him there until Easter Sunday, being convinced that he would be resurrected. He was not.

    The article can be found here: The bit above comes under ‘Earthly, Soulish, Demonic’ and is about 20 paragraphs from the bottom.

  2. Julie, thanks for quoting the passage I had read about Branham. I chose not to mention the spirit not of God which Prince mentioned because I didn’t think it would be helpful to suggest this in a parallel with Todd Bentley. I think we, including Derek Prince, should all be very careful before attributing to demons what might be the activity of an errant human spirit or soul. I think that to some extent Todd also “was taken over by people who wanted to exploit him”.

  3. I think the opposite is true. We have to be careful to see false doctrine and discern it. Where there is false doctrine, it is not God operating.
    So I believe that Todd Bentley is operating through another spirit. Although I would say it is possible that the Holy Spirit is ministering through him aswell.

    Todd Bentley does claim to heal through angels while trying to pretend he does not.
    You never did respond to my comment at 66945 under ‘An Angel called Emma’ blog. Here I show that there is evidence that they are healing through angels because of Dr Greig’s defence of it in his theological document and also things that Todd Bentley says in his own ‘Angelic Hosts Document’. The end of the document is very bizare where he talks about eating fruit from the tree of eternal life !!!
    Four paragraphs down in this document he says:
    [Father let there be a release of angelic activity. I ask for the angels-the angels of intercession and healing, the different angels we see in your word Father.]
    In other places he says he is not healing through angels, that they are just present yet he contradicts himself as in the comment above.

    Todd getting people to believe in the angel instead of Jesus
    Extract from said video: Link below.
    [You know I told the Lord why can’t I just move in healing and forget all that other stuff. He said because you have got to get people to believe in the angel. I said “God why do I want people to believe in the angel isn’t it about people believing in Jesus. He said the people already believe in Jesus but the Church does not believe in the supernatural. The Church has no problem believing in Jesus what we don’t believe in is the supernatural, we don’t believe in angels we don’t believe in…….]
    I have seen the video of Todd Bentley actually speaking but can’t find it now so you could claim that someone made this up but his ‘Angelic Hosts’ document supports this theology.

    Half way down this article they claim that they have the interpretation of his Japanese tattoo and that it is the angel Emma who is a Budhist angel and of course would relate to his references to Emma in the past.

    You also have this article. The people who run this site appear to be respected spirit filled leaders. They have asked the staff around Todd Bentley, how they would describe him and they say that he is a pathalogical lyer. This is six paragraphs down on the linked document.

  4. I’d be interested in a series on the Latter Rain movement. I assigned this to some leaders I was training up, but much of what they found was internet articles and mixed with the Shepherding movement (which I think had connections). It has been a while since I looked at it though. The language of the Latter Rain movement though still comes up. I’m not sure if it is consciously connected though. Care to take up a historical overview? I’d definitely link to it from my blog.

  5. I think I agree with you conclusion of how Derek Prince would assess Lakeland. I do regret that I only became a true believer after Derek Prince passed away, he is one of my heroes in the faith. One day I will make it through all of his books, but I seem to gather them faster than I finish them. Great post.

  6. Julie, again your comment 103187 was caught as spam, perhaps because you included so many links to some rather dubious. I have been busy so have only just had the chance to check my spam box.

    I agree that Todd is healing with the help of angels because that is one of the ways God ministers in healing. See John 5 – the explicit mention of the angel bringing healing is only in later manuscripts but the concept is implicit in verse 7. I would need to examine his writings in detail to see if he makes some minor inconsistencies over the exact relative roles of himself and the angels, and I am not going to bother. Todd is exactly right in saying that the church doesn’t believe what the Bible teaches about angels and the supernatural, as for example you don’t. I am not here trying to claim that Todd’s teaching was perfect or his activity entirely pure, I am just reacting against your misunderstanding of him and persistent attempts to paint him as black as you possibly can.

    As for this nonsense about a Japanese Buddhist angel with a name something vaguely like Emma, give us a break! You can find some occult angel with almost any name you choose. I’m sure there’s one with a name like Julie, but that doesn’t mean you were named after her.

    Who is this Robert Ricciardelli whose article you quote? Why should I trust him rather than Todd? Where are the “two or three witnesses” to prove the accusations he is making?

  7. Hi Peter

    Ricciardelli’s web site – Info about his ministry

    You are putting words into my mouth again:
    ‘Painting Todd as black as I possibly can’ is an unfair and exaggerated comment.

    I have simply stated the facts as I have found them.
    I have gone into all this under an Angel Called Emma blog at 66945.
    There are scriptures taken out of context in Dr Greig’s document where he tries to say angels do healing in the OT using ‘The Angel of the Lord’ which is obviously God in the OT as we see at Ex 3:1 (Moses & the burning bush).

    There are alot of inconsistencies in the ‘Angelic Hosts’ document wich I have gone into under the ‘Angel Called Emma’ blog at 47835.

    You cannot use the one scripture in John 5 where only some bible texts mention an angel at the pool of Bethesda and others don’t to create doctrine when at 1 Cor 12:4, it tells us plainly that believers are given the gift of healing to heal by the Holy Spirit and there is no mention of angels.

    Anyway why do we want to go to angels when we can go to the Lord. If it was an angel that stirred the waters at Bethesda, Jesus didn’t need any help from it, did he.
    We do not need the help of angels to move in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    As for the tattoo, the japanese symbols exactly match what is used to depict the Budhist angel Emma-O. Whether that was his intention or not !! So don’t call it a load of rubbish.

    At the end of the day even with the facts you have to decide what this means. The Corinthian christians moved in power but didnt have much fruit of the spirit and there are incredible healings at Lourdes which cause people to worship Mary.

    Then there is the scripture that says, you healed in my name, cast out demons in my name but on that day I will say I never knew you. Matt 7:23 This seems to imply that we can use Gods power to heal but we can still end up in hell just like Judas Iscariot did !!

    From where I’m sitting Peter you seem more interested in using emotive language to run people down rather than debating and sticking to the facts to draw a conclusion.

    • I have read your comments with interest as I’m very alarmed by the focus of the Church on ‘Encounter’. What I am struck by in this debate is the prevalence on confirmation bias in every one’s opinion (including my own, I have to admit – when I read earlier that Derek Prince initially accepted the Toronto manifestations as of the Holy Spirit, due to his own unusual conversion, I was disappointed). On the subject of Bentley it seems that people are unable to reject his teachings because there is some truth in it/ fruitfulness, despite the fact that his exalting of angelic beings (which of course includes fallen angels aka demons). So would the same people eat poisoned food because it is 99% non-contaminated? Heresy comes from a Greek word meaning ‘choose’ – it’s about selecting scripture out of context and emphasising a certain spin on it, and yet people seem to think that if you say ‘Jesus,Jesus’ enough, it will smooth over any problems. Anyway, I just wanted to commend the way in which you have tried to help the flock through evidence and clear explanation, and to say that I agree with your conclusions. This seems to be a symptom of a Laodecian church that can no longer endure sound doctrine.
      Sister Flo

  8. Julie, you seem to be arguing on the basis of silence that God is not allowed to send angels as intermediaries of healing. I don’t accept that it is for us humans to decide that God cannot do something at least unless it is explicitly stated in Scripture that he cannot or will not do this. But basically we are going round in circles, so perhaps we should agree to disagree on this particular point.

    As for the tattoo, the japanese symbols exactly match what is used to depict the Budhist angel Emma-O.

    This is a new claim. Do you have any evidence for it?

  9. Peter and Frank,
    I am not typically one to link to my blog, but I recently did an overview of the latter-rain movement and where it fits within the charismatic movement and an overview of latter-rain doctrine. Because they are blog posts, they are not extremely indepth or scholarly.

    The Charismatic Family Tree

    Latter Rain Doctrine

    Those are mostly objective, although you may not agree with certain conclusions where I have inserted my opinions. So much of what I have come across about this on the internet is very slanted from a cessasionist point of view, so I attempted to put out a more objective basic outline about some of the terms being tossed around.

    There is one another post that I wrote to deal with some of the issues being discussed concerning Sarah Palin. It is more opinionated than the first two links.

    Charismatic World Domination

  10. You may be interested in this Charismatic Family Tree… this was an eye opener for me.

    …this 3 part document which starts with what is going wrong with the charismatic church and goes into the history of it from the 1950’s in part 2 & 3, with names of ministers linking it back to Branham and Latter Rain in the 1940’s.

    I found this a most facinating read although a bit simplistic in places in that the resulting churches like Terry Virgo’s New frontiers and Roger Forster’s Ixthus are actually opposite in their theology even if they did start out from the same influence.
    e.g New Frontiers is Calvanistic in belief and Ixthus is Armenian.
    I think they fall into opposite millenial camps aswell.

  11. Grace, thanks for the links to your helpful posts. Basically I accept most of the Latter Rain teachings as you describe them, although not the extreme version of the Manifest Sons of God, and I don’t like military imagery either. I certainly don’t accept any kind of dominionism which seeks to dominate the world in any non-spiritual way. I also totally repudiate the kind of “apostolic ministry” which led to you being summarily ejected from fellowship – see what I have written about church without hierarchy. In general I like your proposals for an Extreme Charismatic Makeover, which I see as fully compatible with moderate Latter Rain teaching.

    Julie, you recommended this same history a few days ago, and I told you I had skim read it. New Frontiers and Ichthus also have opposite positions on women in ministry. More seriously, this history seems to claim that all restorationists are into shepherding whereas in fact most if not all have now repudiated that error, although as Grace suggests some of its teachings persist. So I don’t take this history very seriously.

  12. Hi Grace

    I was posting the link for you, not for Peter. I would be interested in what you think of this take on it ?

  13. Peter,
    Thanks for focusing on the things we agree on. I enjoyed your post on hierarchy. I’ve read Reimagining several times. Like Frank, I believe that leadership in the church is functional rather than positional. I found myself disagreeing with BW3 over many of the same issues when he reviewed Pagan Christianity.

    I thought that Part 3 of the article did a good job of describing the main ideas of Latter Rain Doctrine. While there were certain events that correlated, the history of the charismatic church in the UK is quite different than the US, and I am not very familiar with it. It is different not only in details, but also in emphases, especially the influence of a national church in how things developed. Also, in the US, we didn’t see house church until more recently, and it isn’t necessarily linked with the charismatic church.

  14. Julie – that article you linked to is very interesting but the conclusions it comes to seem just bizarre to me.

    I am moderately amused that the “Magnificent seven” only mentions 6 people!

    I am part of a newfrontiers church, and when I read the opening sections that look at the “good old days” I may as well be reading about my Church.

    So while some of the history is interesting, the conclusions don’t come anywhere near the experience I have. Having been a member of, and visited other charismatic churches I do fear some of the accusations would hold up a bit stronger.

  15. Hi Blue

    Yes, I have alot of time for New Frontiers churches, very nearly joined one but felt the Lord was telling us not to – didn’t know why.

    So, I was quite surprised to read the above quite recently. However, I have had my reservations about the charismatic church despite being part of it.

    I do wonder whether the teaching that
    ‘You can’t lose your salvation’,
    Calvanism which I see as ‘it will be alright on the night regardless of what you do’ and that there will be no anti-christ or end times apostasy leads people into an easy believism.
    God forbid that we should sin but it doesn’t matter if we do because everything will be fine.
    This makes me think of Genesis when the enemy says to Eve, if you sin you won’t surely die !!

    These are things that have been on the edge of my mind but have crystallised recently. Although our meetings feel fine and lively, are we sending people to hell.

    I personally can see loads of scriptures that say you can lose your salvation but only a few that say you can’t and I can explain those away !!

    …..I’m in trouble now !! 😉

    …but actually if you are all out for God non of the above matters because you don’t need them to keep you in line.

    My experience is that when I feel close to the Lord I don’t need the threat of hell but when I’m distant I find it keeps me in check !

    PS Which New Frontiers church do you go to ?

  16. My Comment from blog 105935
    As for the tattoo, the japanese symbols exactly match what is used to depict the Budhist angel Emma-O.

    Peters Comment
    This is a new claim. Do you have any evidence for it?
    One of the tattoos that have puzzled people are the three large Japanese Kanji symbols on his left arm.
    Taken from the above link:
    [Eternal Path turned to expert Takanori Tomita, a native speaker of Japanese and fluent in English, who translates Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana Symbols.
    Kanji are ideographic characters. Each Kanji character represents an entire object, idea, or meaning in a visual character(s). Many Kanji characters are similar to each other, and some can have different meanings depending on context.
    The first letter on Todd’s arm means DAI=Big or Great,
    the middle one EI=Protect or Defend,
    the last one OU=King or Monarch.
    In Japanese, DAIOU is often added to provide honor to the subject of mention. In proper order, it would seem to read “Protect Great King,” however not only is the order wrong, but the character in the middle is incorrectly rendered. Furthermore, even if the middle character is used at the top, there’s no such word combination like “Protect the Great King”.

    It doesn’t make any sense in Japanese even if the order of the characters are corrected and the middle character is properly written. It is not unusual for Western tattoo translations to be in error. The middle symbol does not represent the Chinese character “David” in this context, as is widely speculated.

    Alex Mizuno, another individual versed in Japanese tradition and writing styles, who produces Japanese documentaries, revealed that there is a Japanese word “Emma Daioh” which means “Emma, the Great King”, which is used very commonly in his culture.
    This God is sometimes simply called “Emma-sama (sama is added for respect)” or “Emma.”
    Buddhists recognize Emma-sama as Yama, who rules the spirits of the dead in Naraku (hell). He said Todd’s erred tattoo was in favor of the latter translation. The tongues of flame accenting the Kanji symbols also support his position depicting the god of Naraku.]

  17. Julie, thank you for this supposed “evidence”. Two of the characters in Todd’s tattoo mean “Great King”. This supposed angelic “Emma” is sometimes called “Great King”. Well, Julie, guess who else is called “Great King”? How about God, or Jesus? There is absolutely nothing here to link the tattoo with “Emma”.

    Anyway perhaps this is not Japanese at all. Japanese Kanji characters are in fact borrowed Chinese characters, and are also used in Korean. Not all Chinese characters are used in Japanese Kanji, so if a Japanese speaker doesn’t recognise the middle one the chances are that it is a less common Chinese one. If the character combination doesn’t make sense in Japanese, you need to ask a Chinese or Korean speaker what they mean.

    I don’t know Chinese or Japanese, but I do know enough Greek to know that what the article you linked to has to say about Greek is absolute nonsense: “Apollo(n)” and “Apollyon” are completely different Greek words and neither of them mean “from the depths of the lion”. If they can’t get their Greek right, and don’t even know to ask a Chinese expert about Chinese characters, what confidence can I put in what they say about Japanese?

  18. I have solved the mystery of the meaning of Todd’s “Japanese” tattoo!

    First I identified the middle Chinese (or Kanji) character in Todd’s tattoo. It is apparently 衞, Unicode 885E, with (according to Unicode data) the Mandarin pronunciation wèi, the Korean pronunciation wi, and the Vietnamese pronunciation vệ.

    A bit of googling gave me a whole page about this character, from which I determined that its Japanese pronunciation is mamoru, and its English meaning is “defence”. I also found that the combination 大衞斯 dai mamoru shi, pronounced together daieishi, is used for a man called Davids, and the first two characters here are the first two characters in Todd’s tattoo, suggesting that the tattoo (whose third character means “king”) could perhaps be read “King David”.

    So guess what I found when I asked Yahoo Babelfish to translate “King David” into traditional Chinese for me? 大衛国王! Todd’s tattoo consists of the first, second and fourth of these characters. The third character, meaning “country”, is apparently redundant, because the whole tattoo, 大衛王, translates back into English as “David king”.

    I can only presume that Todd went to a tattooist and asked for a tattoo meaning “King David”, and this is what he got.

  19. Hello Peter, you beloved man.

    This is a reply on your post 105586, and i also read the post of Julie 105910.
    I think that this site is interesting and i enjoyed reading a little on it today. It’s idd built in a gentle spirit.

    I don’t take a stand in the matter around Todd at this time; but i would like to write this post on ‘the angel at the pool of bethesda’. I think something is missing here, i want to try to add it.

    In your post you write about God using angels for healing and you quote John 5.
    I do agree that we can’t put God in a box.
    But i do also agree with Julie, that you can’t use John 5 for what you state.

    In my opinion this angel at the pool of Bethesda can not be an angel from the Lord, because God is not like this. God wants to heal everyone, as i think we can learn from the example of Jesus.
    Jesus healed every person that came to Him. All of them.

    That would be a contradiction to the attitude of the angel at the pool of Bethesda, who only healed 1 (and nobody even knew the frequence of visits). Imagine what an atmosphere there must have been around this pool. Envy and anger, bitterness. I believe the pool of bethesda was a very sad place to be. In my opinion a place of darkness, and occult place of healing (from the wrong hidden source, with hidden motives)

    Besides, the pool of Bethesda would be outside of the walls of Jerusalem, i heard i was only known since the Romans got in.
    I believe that if this would have been a place of healing God had created, it would have been within the walls of Jerusalem. Everything that is unholy is outside of the wall, so was Jesus at a certain time, He died outside of the wall, as the Son of God became sin in order for all to be reconciled to God, as many as believe in Him.

    Some bible translations quote that it was ‘an angel of the Lord’. Let us not be tricked here: in the greek it simply reads ‘angel’.

    A question that one might ask is this one: why did Jesus only heal one man at the pool of bethesda? The answer is simple to me: because it was sabbath, as stated in John 5:10. (and it was stated there with a clear reason! namely to explain why Jesus only healed one!)
    Jesus always healed one or two people on sabbath. This was his ‘habbit’.
    On other days, we can see that Jesus always heals everybody that comes to Him.
    When He is sending out his disciples, He does not say: heal this one and that one, but not this one or that one. He says: ‘Heal the sick!’

    God is clear. Salvation for everyone. Healing for everyone. Jesus just gives and gives and gives healing always and for free whenever people come to Him and ask, believers or unbelievers. God’s intentions don’t change over night.
    That is the character of Jesus. What a beauty!

    (We also should be aware that this is in contradiction with the image of God in the old testament. In the OT, God is a also a God who kills and brings sickness. This is too wide to go into now, but i believe there is a particular reason why the image of God in the OT is different from the image of God in the NT.)

    Why do i write this post?
    Because i think it is crucial to understand that Jesus healed and heals everybody that comes to Him in/by faith.
    Assuming that the angel at the pool of Bethesda is an angel of the Lord might not seem so dangerous, but teaching so definately is!
    So, with love, i want to say: watch out, be careful.

    because it will affect our view of who God is. If people get to think that God heals some and doesn’t heal others, it will attack their faith to go to Him and ask for it.
    Teaching christians that the angel at bethesda is from God, hinders them in their faith to heal people, hinders them in stepping out in faith.
    And in these days i can clearly see that everybody in the church must learn, must act in stepping out in faith and heal the sick, raise the dead and expell the demons and, last but not least, tell the good news to everyone. (i’m mainly preaching to myself here! smile)
    So let us get a clear view on who God really is and keep it holy and clear. (Jesus prays: our Father in heaven, Your name has to be kept holy! strong imperative tense)
    and let us start to step out in faith.

    I hope that we all somehow grasp the importance of this little detail in John 5.
    I humbly must state that i make mistakes too.
    so please, my brother in Jesus, be encouraged!
    Christ Jesus is the same, yesterday, now and forever.
    He is perfectly good, always and everywhere.

    Kind regards!
    Donat Merlevede, citizen of the kingdom of heaven, living in Belgium.

  20. oh yes…

    i forgot that Jesus does heal the rest of the lame and blind people who where at bethesda, when they come to Him in the temple, as we find it in Matthew 21:14.
    These people are the same category that is mentioned in John 5 (blind, lame, crippled)

    How can lame people come to Jesus in the temple?
    The blind people carried them in!
    This would imply that the blind people and the lame people knew eachother. They must have.
    The pool of Bethesda is very near to the temple…

    it’s negotiable, but i think it’s true.


  21. Donat, thank you for your comments.

    The story of the pool of Bethesda, or Bethzatha or whatever the original name was, is really difficult to understand, whether or not one accepts the last part of verse 3 and verse 4 as correctly describing the situation. This passage is textually very dubious. The oldest manuscripts omit these one and a half verses completely. Of those that do have the passage, the relatively older ones refer to “an angel of the Lord”, and it is apparently only the very late ones which omit “of the Lord”. So I don’t think we can be dogmatic about what kind of angel was healing here.

    On the other hand, nor can we be dogmatic that anyone sent by the Lord will always heal everyone immediately. We know from experience that God does not always bring complete healing to everyone prayed for in healing services etc. Not even the most anointed healing evangelist can heal everyone. Does this mean that God is not using them, not healing through them, that the healing which does take place has some other origin? I don’t think so. Does this mean that no one, yourself included, should presume to pray for healing unless they can guarantee 100% success? Surely not!

    In a fallen world healing is not perfect. Not even Jesus always healed everyone, as you have noted. Nor do we. Nor does a healing angel. That doesn’t imply anything evil about the healing angel, or about ourselves as we pray for healing.

  22. Further to Julie Steadman’s earlier comments on the topic “can we lose our salvation?”, nowadays I refer people to Jesus’ Parable of The Sower as the most straightforward, accurate and non-controversial answer.

    Personally, though, I have found Reverend David Pawson’s arguments very persuasive. When asked once: “David, sometimes when I listen to you I think, “David’s a Calvinist”. At other times I think, “no, he’s an Arminian”. So, David which are you? He replied: “Both, of course.”

    His book “Once Saved, Always Saved?”(and a recording of the same title) can be had from Anchor Recordings:

  23. Pingback: The Other Half of Fidelity | Onward, Forward, Toward...

  24. Brian, thanks for your helpful observation. Of course I might countering by wondering if the unfruitful shoots actually died, eternally, or simply failed to mature. There are certainly believers who fail to mature and bear fruit, but that does not in itself imply that they lose their salvation.

  25. It pains me to realize that there will be hundreds if not thousands of Christians, all living under their dumbed down version of “Spirit filled” life, who will readily snap up whatever rehashed product line Bentley puts out about himself, ministry and “hunger for the anointing” .. sheep so ignorant and full of sloppy agape who won’t know any different.

    God, this is so wrong on so many levels .. I hesitated to do searching because this mess is just so ugly, disgusting, defiling .. but there it is, none the less ..

  26. Hi.
    I found your Web Site by Google
    And I wish you the best you can get,
    the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Welcome to visit my Site.
    Allan Svensson, Sweden

    The Bridegroom comes, Come out to meet him. Matt. 25:6.
    From where shall we go out? We shall go out of the great
    Babylon, the great whore. Rev. Chapter 17 and 18. This
    command of the Lord in Rev. 18:4 is now highly topical.

    Never before we have been so nearly Jesus’ coming as we
    are now, but how are God’s people prepared? How is the
    unity in the faith? Sorry, very bad! God’s people are more
    divided now than ever before. Instead of following what
    the Bible teaches about the Assembly of God, they have
    followed Satan’s false assembly doctrine. They believe
    that the Assembly of God is constituted of church systems
    and many religious organizations.

    Most Christians have not yet begun to prepare for Jesus’
    coming. They can speak and write that Jesus shall come,
    and about the signs of the time, yet they do not make any
    preparation to meet Jesus. How can we make a preparation?
    To make preparation and be ready for Jesus’ coming, God’s
    people must get the knowledge of the Assembly of God.

    All God’s people must in the first hand begin to study what
    the Bible teaches about the Assembly of God. What we
    need now before the restoration of the Assembly of God,
    it is humility before God’s word and a forgivable disposition
    to each other.

    The Assembly of God is no Pentecostal church. Please,
    consider what this expression “the Assembly of God” in the
    reality implies. The Assembly of God must be the same as
    the Greek word “ekklesia”, and the Body of Christ. 1 Cor.
    12:12-31. Then it is easy to understand that this has nothing
    to do with the Pentecostal Movement. Pentecostal churches
    have existed about 100 years, but the Assembly of God has
    ever existed since Jesus baptized his first disciples by the
    Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gave them the new life in Christ
    so that they became born anew. Then the Assembly of God
    was born.

    The Bridegroom comes, Come out to meet him

    Evil spirits in the churches

    The great falling away

    What does hinder the Antichrist to appear?
    What is the Restrainer?

    KJV, “the best English Bible” but not perfect

    Why did the Pentecostal Revival take an end?

    The truth of the baptism by the Holy Spirit and the new birth

    Jesus cannot come today because God’s people are not ready

  27. Allan, I approved your comment. I was reluctant to because it has little direct relevance to the post, and because of the large number of links. I decided to accept the comment partly because I agree with most of it. I have not followed the links and so offer no endorsement. But please make sure that any future comments you made here are linked to the subject of the post.

  28. Was Bently not convicted of molesting a child? Is he not also a convicted criminal? Does he not kick people in the face and stomach? Has he not committed adultery?. “By their fruits shall ye know them”. How any normal person wanting to follow and please God would want to attend the meetings of this man is beyond reasonable comprehension. Does no one ever take notice of the Bible?

  29. Deborah, do you take any notice of the Bible when it tells you to forgive people? God forgave Todd Bentley for his offence as a teenager when Todd repented and became a Christian. If you do not also forgive him, read Matthew 6:15.

  30. Has he repented then?
    What has your remark about my apparently unforgiving attitude got to do with his wrong doing and leading people astray? You may well say such a thng to Jesus for pointing out the sins and deceptions of the scribes and pharasees. Your remark is out of context and uncalled for. I am simply remarking on what I have seen. I suppose that you would tell us all to be forgiving of the devil as well seeing as you appear to be so tolerant of his works.

  31. Deborah, Todd Bentley gave his life to Christ in his late teens, after the offence he committed, and presumably in doing so repented of his previous sins. There is no evidence or suggestion of continued child abuse. The devil, on the other hand, has not repented in any way, nor did most of the scribes and Pharisees.

    Then try reading Matthew 7:1-5. By mentioning Todd’s past sins, those committed before he was a Christian, you are not just remarking on what you have seen but bringing into this discussion something which ought to be forgotten. Jesus didn’t have a plank in his own eye, but are you so sure you don’t?

  32. what he did before is of no concern to me, it is what he is doing now. for goodness sakes, what is wrong with all you people who defend some one who is so off and leads others astray. Jesus did not hit and kick people and carry on like a lunatic. Apart from that some one who molests children usually continues doing it in my experience. I excpect you defend Benny Hinn as well. As for my sins I am more than aware of what they are and am very open about them.

  33. Deborah, I entirely agree that “what he did before is of no concern to me, it is what he is doing now”. So let’s forget about his teenage misdemeanours, which were not in fact very serious. Yes, there are indeed questions about what he has done more recently. But we can only examine such questions properly if we avoid mixing them up with emotive language about ancient issues about childhood errors.

  34. Apart from that I was molested as a very young girl, by your standards maybe not very serious, but it ruined my life for years and lost me the love of my life. However, as I continue to live with the effects the perpetrator gaily goes about his way. And yes I have forgiven him by God’s grace. Very easy to tell others to forgive great wrongs, what have you had to forgive? Sorry, after what I have been through in my life at the hands of the wicked, I dont tend to suffer fools gladly.

  35. Deborah, I’m sorry to hear something of your story, of how your life was ruined for years. But we do need a sense of perspective on such matters. There are offences which count as sexual e.g. an inappropriate caress, or kick, which are upsetting or painful at the time but do not ruin the victim’s life for years. I don’t think they should be allowed to ruin the perpetrator’s life, not just “for years” but for life, either, e.g. by disqualifying them from Christian ministry, especially when the offence was committed by a child. I don’t know the details of Todd Bentley’s offence, but if it was in that category (knowing his character I might speculate that he kicked a younger boy in the private parts with no sexual intent at all, we know the victim was a boy I think) then it should have been dealt with already, through the sentence imposed at the time, and years later forgotten.

  36. Dare to be a Deborah, I admire your courage and tenacity in the face of yet another Taliban christian. When I moved in christian circles, especially evangelical type, “I am telling you in love…” an obvious cover for control and power over a “lesser mortal”, or, “I have a word from God for you…” “I am sorry to hear…BUT, we do need a sense of perspective..” Read “we” for “you.” What arrogance and gross insensitivity (and that is putting it mildly) in the face of your experiences, Deborah. Clearly, Peter Kirk is privy to the mind of God when he knows that God has forgiven Todd Bentley. What a clear and blatant attempt at the denial of reality, by minimizing the act of abuse. So there are now categories of abuse? How many times have I heard that said by abusers, sitting across from me. before going into court? In other words, Deborah, “get over it and stop winging. Poor Todd Bentley. These poor, poor, abusers of children and other vulnerable people having to put up with winging victims, who dare to give voice to their experiences. Well, Deborah, you will not be the first person to have braved the flames of further abuse by the gross arrogance of abusers and their supporters.

  37. Billy, I thought you were calling Deborah a Taliban Christian. I would understand that on the basis of her militantly unforgiving attitude. But then it seems you are directing the words at me. Well, whoever they are directed at, they are inappropriate abuse and I will not have it on my blog.

    In this matter Todd Bentley is the victim of abuse by people who are attempting to deny him his basic human rights on the basis of a childhood error which is legally and morally past, expired and forgiven. I will not tolerate that kind of abuse. Does he not have the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness etc etc like the rest of us? Of course he has to pay the proper penalty for his crime, as prescribed by the law, but he has done that and should now be allowed to live a normal life.

    Yes, there are categories of abuse under the law and under all kinds of morality. Someone who spanks their child is not in the same category as a mass child murderer. Do you really deny that?

  38. Militant unforgiving attitude???? What do you know about forgiveness, you are judging me on the basis of my seeing through deception and standing up against it. I think you are very unfgorgiving to billy by your remarks, who I think has been very sensitive and kind to me. He is also intelligent.
    I would like to know what hells you have been subjected to by the ignorance and wickedness of others, and how you came forgive them, in order to have become so bountiful in your manner of dishing out instructions as to how and what one should be forgiving of.
    This isn’t a matter of forgiveness anyway, it is about exposing error. I have nothing to forgive Bentley for, I havent even met him .Maybe if I fell into his web of deception I would have a need to forgive him.

  39. Deborah, your continued stridently negative attitude towards Todd Bentley seems to me to demonstrate a lack of forgiveness in your life. You are projecting on to him, or on to all the people you classify as irredeemable abusers, collective guilt for the abuse which you have suffered. Now that is quite understandable given the pain you have been through, but it is not the Christian way of forgiveness.

    I am not going to tell you “what hells [I] have been subjected to by the ignorance and wickedness of others”. But there have been some, and I must say that I was quickly released from the worst of those hells when I was able to forgive the person responsible for it. By failing to forgive I was not hurting the other person but only hurting myself. I found peace by forgiving them. I’m not saying it is easy, it was not, but it was worth it.

  40. You are wrong.
    I cant be bothered with this any more, Poor Todd, leading so many astray, lets all ignore what he is doing and not take him to task for being a false leader.

  41. I have clearly touched a raw spot in you Peter. You denial is so deep that you immediately thought I could not, or even dare, to criticize a “man of God”. When you thought I meant Deborah, that was OK. When you realized it was you being made to face your distorted image of yourself, it becomes abuse, that you cannot tolerate it. I have met many brave people like Deborah who, as I previously said, have encountered further abuse from your type of militant deniers of their experience. I am beginning to wonder what you have hide? You must display much more humility, Peter, in the face of the experience of people like Deborah. Ban me and the truth about yourself, if you like, but you can never ban your own self deceit, without a great deal of soul searching on your part.

    The most sinful distortion is for courage to be branded as a militant unforgiving attitude.

  42. Billy, it is clear that you do not have a clue about the basic Christian message. You say that you “moved in christian circles, especially evangelical type”. Did you ever hear from them the basics of the gospel, at the heart of which is the message of forgiveness and love, that God loves everyone and forgives the sins of those who repent and turn to him? But he also expects his followers to demonstrate that same forgiveness and love. Now I do not see in you or in Deborah any sign of forgiveness or love, or any trace of compassion towards a man who was brought up badly and as a teenager fell into wrong ways from which he was amazingly delivered – and all this after serving the legal sentence for his rather minor offence.

    Now, Billy, as you don’t now consider yourself a Christian perhaps I should not expect you to follow Christian standards by showing love and forgiveness. I should expect you to conform to this world’s standards of hatred, bitterness and all kinds of evil. But is that the kind of world you really want to be part of?

  43. It is evident that you have a great affection for Todd which is fine , I had rough childhood as well which made me more determined to follow what is right and not be further led astray or lead others astray. Why do you keep bleating on and on about unforgiveness which is not the issue here. You have made it so. I cannot believe that in the face of this mans deception and wrong doing you keep harping on about forgiving him. If he sees his error and repents then of course he would be forgiven, but I am not unforgiving at all. You don’t seem very bright. Handing out accusations and judgments yourself, whilst proclaiming forgiveness for those who are so deliberately out of order and operating under demonic influence. If I have read my Bible correctly forgiveness is about repentance. He leads people astray, yourself included from what I see.This factious argument is still going, mainly because you fail to see what the real point is that we are making. Are you a member of his flock?. Maybye we should discuss Benny Hinn instead. Now there is a liar and a devil if ever I saw one(up close and personal may i add) Todd Bently is a fake and a liar. To stand up in front of so many and make a spectacle does not seem to me like someone suffering the effects of abuse. Sorry, I know what I am talking about. I shall not reply to any more of your remarks as it is a wast of time.

  44. Deborah, let’s not mix two quite separate issues. We were discussing Todd’s childhood offence and your implication that that should disqualify him from ministry now. That is the issue which I have linked with unforgiveness.

    Your suggestion that he is now, or in the recent past “deliberately out of order and operating under demonic influence” and “leads people astray” is a separate matter. And your linked accusation that he is “a fake and a liar” is not only separate from the childhood issue but also the kind of accusation which I do not allow on this blog, at least unless good evidence of it is produced.

    If you would like to restart a sober and rational discussion of Todd’s current ministry you are welcome. But if this is going to descend again into rants and baseless accusations, please don’t do that here.

  45. I confirm that I did move in christian (evangelical) circles and I was aware of the message of love and forgiveness. The odd thing was, I never saw it practiced, or played out in the lives of those who espoused it the most vehemently. The depth of your self delusion about about your minded Christianity is amazing to behold and is exactly what I observed and experienced in those evangelical circles. Not only do you seem to know the mind of God and of how God dealt with Todd Bentley and whether Todd genuinely repented of his behaviour, you also seem to know whether or not I am a Christian. Humbleness of spirit is clearly something you, Todd Bentley, or that other snake oil sales man, Benny Hinn, lack. You all boast of being intimate with God. I wonder id God feels comfortable with you and your kind being close to him.

    If any one is espousing militant and unforgiving attitudes, I suggest you look in the mirror and stay there, long enough, with genuine humility, until you begin to foster genuine gentle wisdom.

  46. Billy, I inferred that you were not a Christian from the past tense in “When I moved in christian circles”. I suppose this could mean that you are a Christian but prefer to avoid other Christians, but it seems my surmise was correct.

    I should modify my confidence that God has forgiven Todd Bentley by saying that it depends on him having genuinely repented of his sins, from his heart and not just with the confession he made when he gave his life to Christ and repeated at his baptism. I cannot know his heart. But after giving his life to Christ his life was radically turned around and he spent the next decade or more at least apparently sold out to Christ and preaching as an evangelist etc. All a clever act? Well, I can’t rule that out, but I see no motive for him doing that and no real likelihood of it. Far more likely is that he genuinely repented of his sins – and later fell back into sin, it would appear. Now what I am prepared to be confident of is that if he genuinely repented God forgave him, because that is the very heart of the Christian gospel on which I base my life.

    Billy, don’t you see the message of love and forgiveness played out in my attitude to Todd Bentley, and to others mentioned on this blog? Have you read any more of my blog, or just the last few comments on this post? I know many other Christians, including many who have commented on this blog, do not demonstrate this message especially in the kind of language they use about Christian leaders they do not like. I consider that utterly reprehensible and a disgrace to the name of Christ. I am really sorry that you seem to have come across more so-called Christians of this kind than you have of ones who live a good Christian life according to the standards Jesus set. But there are plenty of the latter around. If you want me to put you in touch with some where you live (I have no idea where that is), I can try to do so.

  47. I see that you are still ranting on and on and…

    From my experience of working with people who abuse children and vulnerable people and indeed having worked the victims of these people for many years, I think you need to know that this kind of abuse, particularly of a sexual nature, is deeply addictive. When such perpetrators cannot fulfill this addiction they turn to other addictions, such as drugs, of which I class alcohol as one such addictive drug. Adultery and sexual unfaithfulness is also known to be an addictive activity. Further, it is not uncommon for such people to create situations within which they exert power over other people, especially making public displays of this power. I have lost count of the number of this kind of abusive person suddenly “finding Christ,” or some other religion when they wish to attempt to deceive others and often themselves, that they are “cured”. I have watched many gullible Christians “rejoice” at these so called conversions and confessions and become wrapped up in these phony “conversations,” that they are unable to or refuse to appreciate the reality. Have you heard of the story entitled, “The King Who Had No Clothes?” I suggest you read it or re-read it. There are many controllers of crowds and people, who encourage lots of noise and excitement to maintain control. Even those situations become addictive for those people who form the crowds.

    It may, or may not, surprise you Peter, to learn that I do not fawn all over people who attempt to control and manipulate people and I certainly do not blindly hero worship them, as you seem to do. I wonder what unfulfilled needs are being met in you that you need to hang on to such unhealthy hero worship. I also do not love or forgive people who I do not know personally.

    As to your final paragraph – NO Thank You. I really do not wish to entertain religious cranks, who may be around where I live. I have suffered far too many of them and I do not suffer fools gladly.

  48. at the end of the day I cannot imagine Jesus behaving like Bently, especioally the demonic laughter. I live in an area with a great deal of vodoo and witchcraft. I know what I am talking about. Bently does not know Jesus Christ and this is not the Holy Spirit. Apart from that, this whole thread is a wast of time. this man is decieved and so are all the people who follow him. I am sorry that so many people are lovers of having their senses tickled and not lovers of the truth. The Holy Spirit does not behave in this way. READ THE BIBLE:

  49. Billy, you wrote “this kind of abuse … is deeply addictive”. What kind of abuse? Do you know what kind of abuse Todd was convicted of? I don’t think this has been made public. If not, on what basis do you presume to apply to him what you write? Who are you to suggest that his conversion was “phony”? I accept even a genuine conversion does not mean that the person is entirely healed, they bring their pre-conversion issues into their new life. I am not suggesting that you blindly hero worship him. I don’t either. But I am suggesting that you don’t jump to conclusions that he is irredeemably evil on the basis of no evidence whatever.

    Deborah, if this whole thread is a waste of time, why are you prolonging it. My message to you is also READ THE BIBLE, especially the bits about loving enemies, showing compassion, gentleness etc. I know it’s difficult for someone with your past. But I can’t accept that the tone of your writing is the Christian ideal.

  50. My dear Peter you are so blinded by your own hero worship of this person, Todd Bentley, and he is a person you know, not a God, that you are not able to read my entry correctly. I never once mentioned Todd Bentley, I was simply giving you the benefit of my professional experience. If you think the cap fits in respect of Todd Bentley, then that is a matter for you and your own views about the man. I do not know him personally, nor have I met him, so I cannot begin to make an assessment of him and his supposed genuineness. You speak of him as if you know him personally. I do worry about your mental health in respect of your obsession with this man; beware of false prophets and worshiping human beings. You clearly have some serious unresolved issues in respect of your fixation on Todd Bentley. Sadly you are not on your own, as many have been conned in these kind of situations.

    Hero worshiping in this form, to these depths, is unhealthy and I suggest you secure some help to develop a more healthy attitude of mind, towards yourself and “religious” matters.

    As one of my previous evangelical Christian acquaintances was fond of saying – “I give you this message in Love and for your own good.”

  51. Billy, if your last comment was not about Todd Bentley then it was off topic here and should not have been posted. But was I wrong to surmise that your intention was to justify your previous comments which were explicitly about Todd and to rebut what I had said about him in my previous comment. If not, then why did you post this.

    I repeat that I am not hero-worshipping Todd Bentley but merely defending him against the unjustified witch hunt which has been mounted against him. Even if he were a male witch that would not justify the witch hunt.

  52. Peter, you can repeat all that you like. The tenor of your comments, your speedy and ill thought out replies are all strong indicators of your perverse fixation upon Todd Bentley. You have made hysterical responses to some of my and Deborah’s comments and you frequently cherry pick what comments of mine you respond to You really are in deep denial about yourself. I find it more significant and more telling what you chose to ignore. I suggest you calm down, take several deep breathes before you read and reply to any comments on this topic.

    I made the comments that I did, as the issue of abuse was raised by you and others. I took that further and mentioned its addictive effect and how other addictions sometimes follow,, such as drugs and alcohol, adultery, and power over people, by manipulation. If you see things in Todd Bentley, that is your business, not mine. I do not know the man personally, I have only seen how he performs on his circus stage.

    You appear to be a very excitable person, especially when you think there may be the slightest criticism of your hero. I rather think that you need to be delivered of your obsession of this man. I hope you eventually find peace within yourself.

  53. Billy, I too do not know Todd personally but have only seen him on TV, and read one of his books (which I would not recommend as it was not well written). If you are not making points about him, and all the more so if you are making personal comments about me, then please stop writing here. Indeed I think this is the time to call a halt to this thread. So please don’t comment any more here, unless you have something quite different and more positive to write.

  54. The truth is always positive. Having the courage to embrace the truth makes us stronger. rejecting the truth weakens us. Hope you soon come into the fullness of the truth. Do not allow people like Todd Bentley hoodwink you.

    Bye and good luck in your quest for wholeness.

    I have come into this late but Todd was conducting an adulterous affair and has
    he not divorced his wife. His miracles have not been attested. He does not seem
    to have repented ie continuing in the same path.
    It seems as plain as day -he is a false prophet.

  56. Hello Peter
    I commend you for your persistant tolerance with Christian fundamentalist who are on witch hunts. I think they would have done exactly the same thing with David, who also “fell into adultery”. Maybe they would have never given David another chance either. Or what about Samson? Perhaps he too was entirely from the devil?
    I believe you are displaying the right attitude of Jesus. “If anyone is without sin, let him cast the first stone” Poor old Todd. I would’nt want to be in his shoes concerning the trial he must have gone through, when the rest of the body can be so cruel. But I know God gives grace to all, and God will make a sure way for him also, just as He does for all of us.
    The Scriptures teaches us to “speak the truth in love.” When people are so dogmatic about “truth” (and sometimes I even question my own behaviour about this matter), one wonders if they are still acting in love towards other Christians, which is also a subject of “truth.”
    And it is a chilling matter when Christians condemn other Christians. Just last night at our grace church group here at the South Coast (South Africa), we joked about it – I was saying to friends that in the Law churches (law and grace mixture), they like to sing some Elvis songs to each other like “You’re the devil in disguise.”
    It seems like to some who become Christians, if they read the Bible the wrong way, it can make them worse than when they were before they became Christians! But I have to remind myself that if not for the grace of God, there go I as well.
    God bless
    Paul Dames

  57. Truly there was some Holy Spirit and some flesh and some demonized in these movements. In all humility it is sad the whole state of affairs. Of course there was some good Holy Spirit inspired leading, truth, comfort, council and empowerment. However we need to pray for our leaders and especially those with exposure that represent Christ, as the church has not learned to love in the full sense of Jesus definition of love for Him and as it relates to one another (the most important topic (unity) ). Nor has it learned how to repent publicly for the spectacle it has made of itself. Humbleness oh Lord lets call it for what it is. Starting in the Spirit and ending in the flesh. The good done is wonderful, give the glory to God be encouraged and the wrong confess, repent, humble thyself s in sight of the Lord. Be still and know He is God. Learn from our shortcomings the Lord would say yes there is know condemnation In Christ, as well confess your sin that the blood of Jesus will cleanse and restore fellowship. Be humble and set things straight publicly for the Body of Christ instead of allowing a song and dance show that Satan can use to bring doubt to man regarding the Christian faith, With true repentance there is no more to say but what the Holy Spirit will speak through the humble vessel that has truly seen there short comings and lets those who he or she has stumbled , Christ whom he has misrepresented know there genuine sorrow. How many Pastors model repentance for there flocks??? Hmmm. We live in awesome time where Gods love is to be perfected in His church for Him, and one another that the world will know thou has sent Jesus. Lord have mercy on us. Holy Spirit fill us this day and every day. So much more could be said.

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