Todd Bentley has written a new article (dated 8th June) called Lifting Jesus High! (Thanks to commenter Rick for drawing this to my attention.) This article is a response to the critics of his ministry and of the Lakeland outpouring. In it he responds to concerns about his visions, unusual miracles, angels, his encounter with the Apostle Paul etc.
Todd also mentions, in his PS, a message he received from Dr. Gary S. Greig, PhD., a former Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Regent University School of Divinity. Dr Greig testified to how he had been healed through Todd’s ministry and offered a 55 page booklet Biblical Reasons to Receive God’s Glory and Give it Away in Power Evangelism, “written at a high level of scholarship for pastors, church leaders, and theologians yet is understandable to the layperson”, available as a PDF download (free but donations requested). I have not yet read this. UPDATE: Now I have read it, and have summarised and reviewed it in a new post.
I recommend you, my readers, to read Todd’s article in full. But for those of you who are too busy here are some extracts:
Someone once said that limiting revelation is like trying to fit an ocean into a cup. God is continually restoring truth and light to His Church. Therefore, we should place no limit on further revelation. To have a view that everything that happens in someone’s life because of God’s loving response to us as His children should be listed in the Bible or else it’s wrong or evil, is like saying that Jesus, who is the Word represents a list of do’s and don’ts. Jesus is a Person who, through intimacy and relationship, we perceive and understand by the Holy Spirit what is good and what is evil. If Jesus listed for us everything that we needed to know, then knowing Him would have become an option. It’s in knowing Him, who is The Word that we enter into what He has prepared for us.
The Bible is full of visions, encounters, signs, wonders, miracles, and manifestations that people have experienced, some of which may be downright hard for many to wrap their minds around, let alone believe it could happen today. Again, it’s all relative to each individual, their experiences, and backgrounds, and with what they have learned through intimacy with Christ Jesus, and what they have received as a love response from God.
Here is part of what he now writes about the angel called Emma:
In the case of the angel called “Emma,” who I described as having mother-like nurturing qualities, some have automatically assumed that my doctrine is that I believe in female angels. This has never been the case! For whatever reason God chose to show me this angel in a female persona, He did. This isn’t to say that the angel was female. Angels are spirit and appear in many forms. Perhaps that’s the form God chose this angel to take for the purpose of the revelation He gave me. They are spirit beings of light, created out of God’s glory, without gender, and appear in whatever form God chooses to send them to us.
More from the article:
In visions and encounters that I share, I emphasize that it boils down to Jesus Christ who is the essence of everything and is the All in All. It’s all about Him, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. An encounter with heaven is an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many people don’t see what’s happening in the spirit realm, viewing things only from the physical realm. This is one reason why there’s so much division right now. I have found that many are judging things by what they see or hear in the natural, by their natural senses, to feelings, or without having relevant supernatural experiences themselves.
He admits that not everything that happens is entirely of God, but that should not be used as a reason to reject everything:
People may see me or others sprawled out on the floor, or in heavenly laughter, or shaking because of the glory and presence of God, but try to look beyond and understand that something’s happening in the spirit, trusting that there’s that other realm that you may not see.
Revival is often messy because there’s a lot happening and sometimes it’s hard for people to take in everything they see in the natural. Many come and some do manifest fleshly things, but for the most part, everyone is sincere and of good intention at a revival. Trust it’s better to be full of life with a little untidiness than to be dead. Also, trust that God is big. He can handle it and can separate the tares from the wheat. …
If you cannot understand the supernatural things of God, or even if you disagree or choose to discount or discredit me in any way, then I urge you to look at the fruit. Every day we’re seeing salvations. Every day people are being healed, not only physically, but emotionally too! Every day, people who thought they knew Christ are discovering Him in a fresh and powerful new way. Every day, we’re teaching people how to use their gifts to evangelize. We’re equipping and sending hundreds into the streets and marketplaces to talk about Jesus.
This is surely the key to Todd’s exceptional ministry:
I understand that lofty places in this visible kingdom are no proof of anyone’s acceptance with God, and neither are the mighty works, even done in Jesus’ name. However, the condition of the heart is what truly allies us with Him. This I’ve stressed repeatedly in my ministry. The heart changes when someone spends much time with the Lord. This is the foundation of my ministry and my walk with Jesus. From the outset of my salvation, my ministry, and even today, I spend hours in the secret place of His presence. I seek Him and His will for every meeting. My team here at Lakeland knows that several hours of every afternoon; before every meeting, I’m not to be disturbed as I spend time with Jesus. Signs, wonders, miracles, dreams, and visions I believe are His loving response – the fruit of fellowship.
Spend time in His presence and you won’t be as resistant to change. You won’t be afraid to be a new wineskin, God’s present wineskin. You won’t even be the same wineskin as tomorrow, because with God wineskins are new and newer. New wineskins won’t limit God or what He can do.
And then from his final section:
God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. For some reason, He’s chosen a bald-headed, red-bearded, tattooed, pierced, imperfect man as an agent for revival. I understand why I would come as a shock to the religious camp. Nevertheless, trust that if what I’m doing is of the flesh or of the devil, I will fail, but if what’s happening is from God, nothing and no one can quench this blazing revival fire unless God wills it. …
I’m thankful that people are being watchful in these last days, just as I am watchful. Questions are good when we’re uncertain of things. Trust too what a respected Pharisee advised in Acts 5:38, 39: “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it – lest you even be found to fight against God.”
I understand that people have questions, and God understands too! I invite you to come to Lakeland to see what God has for you, and to see for yourself the mighty and wondrous things that God is doing here. Thanks again for hearing my heart. It is my heart that we can bring unity to the Body of Christ to see a great harvest.
I hope this article helps those of you who are still unsure about Todd’s ministry and the genuineness of the Lakeland outpouring.