Working for the Elijah List 3 – Todd Bentley

My Experience with Todd Bentley

todd-bentleyAfter I was employed by the Elijah List for about a year, I had my first exposure to Todd Bentley.

Although Todd Bentley was fiery and charismatic in front of an audience, on a personal level (from what I could tell) he seemed to be a very insecure person. He wasn’t used to the notoriety that had been thrust upon him, but he definitely enjoyed it.

Over the course of time, Todd asked Steve if he wanted to send one of his (Steve’s) employees on a mission trip to Uganda with Fresh Fire Ministries (Todd Bentley’s ministry). Steve suggested to me that I should go, and even generously offered to pay for the trip and my wages while I was gone. At first, I was reluctant to go (I have never felt called to Africa), but after much prodding from Steve and my co-workers, I decided to go ahead and go.

To this day, the Uganda trip is still somewhat of a big “question mark” to me – I don’t know why God sent me, or if it wasn’t God at all, but a “man made” decision. I did make a few connections with people who are still very dear to me to this day, but overall it was a very strange experience.

Although I have no proof one way or another, it seems like plans were made “on the fly” and there were a couple of times where my life was in danger (or so I was told). One night, when my partner and I were out in the middle of the people praying for them individually, Dave Bentley (Todd Bentley’s Dad) started screaming at me from the stage “Kevin … GO! GO! GO! GO!” I grabbed my partner and we ran for the bus.

The next morning, he (Dave) told me that he had seen 2 people in Muslim caps coming toward us with spears. Needless to say, I was a little shook up, so that morning, I wrote Steve and asked for prayer. At the time, my wife didn’t have email or a cell phone, so I was hoping that perhaps my boss could contact her, but that didn’t happen. I learned later that he had immediately converted my prayer request to a post (since deleted from the archives) and sent it out as a prayer request to the Elijah List. That wasn’t so bad, but my wife did not hear about my situation until a friend of hers had read the post and had come over to console her.

During the trip, we were told that 2-3000 people gave their lives to Jesus, which would be great news normally. But from what I experienced when I talked with the people, they were still unwilling to give up their charms, idols, etc … or their ancestor worship. Like most American Christians, they wanted Jesus to be “one” of their gods, instead of their only object of worship.

After we got back, Todd Bentley lied (from the pulpit) to the Vineyard church and said that an even GREATER number of salvations, healings, and miracles took place than actually occurred (no I don’t remember the exact number he said, but it was way higher than what we were told). When I asked him later why he gave that figure, he said that more numbers came in from people who were listening to the radio and television.

I thought, “Can that many people afford radios and televisions in third world countries?” But, once again, I didn’t speak out because I didn’t feel it was my place to question “God’s prophet”.

Todd Bentley – Revival, The Divorce, The Cover-up

After the controversial Lakeland Revival and Todd Bentley’s subsequent divorce from his wife, the church was all-too-quick to point the finger at him and accuse him … and I’m in agreement, for a man to leave his wife and kids is a tragedy. For that same man to re-marry and be reinstated into ministry within a little over a year should be an outrage.

todd-bentley-rick-joynerBut the church has got to understand that it is just as much their fault as Todd Bentley’s that all of this went down. We have been trained for generations to look to man for our guidance instead of God. In essence, we are re-living the scenario in Exodus 19-20, where the Children of Israel were in front of Mount Sinai and God was offering personal, one-on-one communication with each and every one of them. The conditions were clear … Israel was to sanctify themselves (separate themselves from all things unclean). But when Israel heard this, and saw the awesome Fire of God burning on Mount Sinai they basically said, “No, that’s OK, you just talk to Moses, and we’ll listen to him.”

It’s the same today … rather than separating ourselves from the sin in our lives, and separating ourselves from the world, we would rather listen to somebody spoon-feed a message to us … satisfied with half-digested crumbs. To this day, God is longing for those who will forsake this life and become an enemy of this world’s system. Those who would be called a “friend of God” must do this (James 4:4). He is more than willing to give us pure, fresh Revelation from Heaven, if we would only look to Him. But, instead we desire and pursue the latest conference, the newest book or the next worship CD.

We’ll grasp at anything and everything to fill the void in our lives with a flesh substitute, even if it means taking a young, immature Christian, who may (or may not) have had an encounter with God and sticking him behind a pulpit. Being attracted to the new “show”, we reject God’s best (personal communication) … and then we pay the consequences. And, once again, the name of Jesus is mocked among the ungodly.

I was shocked that Rick Joyner was so quick to put Todd Bentley right back in front of a camera and into the limelight once again. But he, as well as all the other “prophetic elders” who had commissioned/anointed Todd Bentley only a short time before were (and still are) in “damage control” mode. In a sense, John Arnott, Rick Joyner, Peter Wagner, Stacey Campbell, Paul Cain and the others put their “prophetic reputations” on the line when they appeared on the stage with Todd to pray for and prophesy over him. But after this blunder, their credibility with the church took a hit, and they had to try and “bandage the wound”. A few tried to explain away the transgression and stress the idea that we need to have “grace” for Todd in this situation (meaning we should accommodate and/or forget about it), and others were strangely silent. But Rick didn’t waste any time in putting him in front of a camera, offering a token apology (with his new wife in tow).

I am all for forgiveness, restoration and grace … but in a year’s time? Something is definitely wrong with this scenario. Don’t tell me that a young minister can:

  1. Conquer the selfishness it took to leave his wife and children
  2. Conquer the lust it took to seek out another young woman
  3. Prioritize his life to where God is first, family is next and ministry is third
  4. Conquer the need for man’s approval   ~ and ~
  5. Any other obstacle that could hinder the work of God in his life … in a year’s time (give or take)

I’m not buying it, and you are a fool, if you do.

The bottom line is thisTodd Bentley is a money maker. He’s flamboyant, edgy, very entertaining and controversial … ALL of those traits will draw an audience. And if you have an audience, they will come to the $100 conferences and buy the $20 books and CD’s. It’s really that simple. If Todd Bentley was a minister with no tattoos, a small following and a more traditional preaching style, you would be amazed at how quickly he would be swept under the rug and forgotten about.

Elijah List Testimony

  1. Elijah List - Intro
  2. In the Beginning
  3. First Impressions Crumble
  4. My Experience with Todd Bentley
  5. Dismantling the Wall
  6. Mortar in the Wall
  7. Wicked Roots
  8. Lack of Discernment has a Price
  9. The Next Generation
  10. My Way Home
  11. Post-Prophetic Rehab - How to Get Back on Track

For the Truth,

Kevin Kleint
Email: kevin@honorofkings.org

Speak Your Mind

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Comments

  1. RCA MFK says:

    I was a baby Christian then on my first sem at Bible school(Asia).My local church had a group of prophets visiting, led by someone who,in the words of my Pastor’s wife, “released one of the most precise words she has ever received.” After my class I entered the room where they were ministering. After a few minutes, I left. It was a group made up of 1 young American young man(20something), a 60something American couple, a 50something American male, and a Filipino family residing in the US. I was busy so I left. After an hour or so my sister who attended the event called me excitedly begging me to return as the group was really anointed. I went back and as it was winding down,I walked to the front. The young prophet prayed for me. He gave me really precise words indeed, things I’ve received by revelation and only shared with my journal. After some time, the Pastor’s wife came over as the prayer was unusually lengthy.It was attracting attention.After what I thought as the end, he called me back.More word.Ofcourse as I was basking I was overjoyed.I went to a corner and danced in worship.When I opened my eyes I saw this ykung prophet standing nearby looking at me.He then approached me and handed me a S100.00(US).This was most unusual as everyone was sowing into this man’s ministry yet he was sowing into my life! After this night,it was a series of events that led to my Pastor severing all ties w/ him and my marrying him.I begged to get out of the engagement countless times but for the strangest reasons, I was powerless.He would accuse me of harboring the jezebel spirit(but now that the veil is removed you’d ask,so why marry someone in witchcraft???).The night after the ceremony he took a call while we were in the bedroom.He walked out of the room and stayed out for over an hour. That night he told me it was his college friend from Bible school.The next night,he showed me pics in his phone.One was of a guy a city away from where I live(so a recent and present friend). I learned that day that this guy was an ex boyfriend! And so was that guy who called the night before!The next day I asked my brother to support whatever move I was making. I told this “prophet”(now you see why its never in caps all this time) to pack up as he was leaving for the US.He was begging,tears and all, but I was so disgusted I could not have him another day in my family home.I drove him to the airport and when he closed the car door, I sped outta there so fast.I sought ministry under Family Foundations.The damage to my person,my spiritual walk,my family,even my faith was huge.The restoration was a long process w/ many slips along the way.I even shunned the prophetic for a few years.Im well now, by God’s amazing grace.Not hyper spiritual and VERY cautious.
    What hit me was absalom/homosexual spirit.The most cunning and binding Ive encountered.

  2. Wouldn’t true repentance (from Todd Bentley) look more like reconciliation with his first wife than re-marriage with a second wife. To turn from the wicked way and get back (pursue) onto the path of righteousness.

    • I agree with the previous comment. True repentance and restoration would have Todd’s covenant of marriage restored.

      I know people fall, and grace and mercy should be given but to return to ministry
      RESTORATION should be done right, well and BIBLICALLY.

      Marrying oneself to the temptation of their fall is not true repentance or restoration.

      Where is the ‘crucify your flesh, pick up our cross and follow Him’ teaching that is also spoken about in the Bible.

  3. I find it a seriouse issue when a man of God in the capacity of Todd Bentley is criticised publicly by people with blood in heir veins,Todd is a man like you and i,each of the twelve had his pesonal floor,Todd is not extraterestial,God has accepted him as he is with his faults,there is certainly a punishment for those judging someone else’s servant,take care learned folk,maye you better withdraw quietely from his ministrations than to talk about him on internet,God have mercy on you.

  4. When I first got saved, I married a guy who divorced me four months later because “it was God’s will because I was a mistake.”

    It took me years to get over this and heal from it. I had to be restored. Todd Bentley sinning in this manner, remarrying, and such in a year tells me his heart is not right.

    Wendy Alec seems to be wanting Todd back to prove that she is a real prophetess. INstead of repenting of her false prophecies and lack of discernment, she is manipulating things. She is not marching under the authority of the Holy Ghost; she is trying to be Lord here. Jezebel comes to mind.

    Repent, Wendy, Todd, Rick and the rest. God is not mocked. Lakeland was hyped by man, continued by man, and shut down by a God who hates false teaching and hypocrisy. Jesus overturned the tables in Lakeland. Praise Him for it. And, He’ll do it again.

    God throw down Durbin! Set up Your kingdom!

  5. Be careful how you use the word “partner”….I know what you meant, and that you meant it innocently. But today it means ‘homosexual lover”. Just a head’s up. Maybe ‘friend’ would be a better word in those contexts.

  6. Yup this was a “right on” insight … also when this dude todd said in one of his meetings at lakeland ..that an angel to him that we need to stop look at Jesus so much that we need to take our eyes off of Jesus and pay attention to the spirit .. that was HUGE RED FLAG for me … i like what you said here in that like the children of Israel at sinai most are looking to be spoon fed by a man instead of from God Himself….
    maybe hebrews 13:13 applies at this point

    13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach…..

    thanx for these posts …i have many friends that are still buying into the lies …it helps to have a place to send them to from someone that was first hand in this and came out …to tell the truth…

    shalom
    mr.ddt

  7. Thanks for this series. It’s confirming a lot of the things I was thinking all along.

    I just wanted to share with you that the day E List sent me an email that was selling a teaching manual that TB signed, was the day that I emailed them and told them why I was unsubscribing.

  8. Well, that’s interesting. I hadn’t realized he’d been divorced and remarried. I had heard he wasn’t teaching anymore because he’d had an “emotional affair.” And I was kind of like, so? People get lonely and need to talk. Anyway, it wasn’t my business.

    But here’s my Todd Bentley story. I was about twelve or so, and Todd was speaking at a conference with David Ruis. I’d grown up around David and his music and preaching, so he wasn’t unusual to me. But Todd was. XD Todd was all “I have this word I use, God’s been doing funny things to me lately, and the past few days whenever I say this word, people fall over.” (Or something like that.)

    He had everyone who wanted come up around the stage. I can’t remember if it was just the young people. It might’ve been. Anyway, for some reason, I found myself up there (I don’t remember really being into any of this at the time. I had been trying to read a book during parts of the message, as I was getting bored, but gosh, Todd Bentley was loud.)

    Todd went around the stage saying the nonsense word, making people fall over. When he got in my face and said it, his breath kind of grossing me out, I fell over. It was involuntary, but it did nothing spiritually. I was just thought, “oh well that was weird.” I found no meaning in it beyond that. XD

    Read a couple days ago the UK wouldn’t let him visit because he’s used violence to heal people. Was most strange. I think they should let him in, cause if people want to go see someone like that, they may go right ahead. But I certainty would not be among them.

  9. In 1 Cor.7:10-11 – The Apostle Paul spoke to wives and said that a wife should not leave her husband, but if she leaves, she should remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. He clearly pointed out that this was from the Lord. I am sure what Paul said to a wife, he was also saying to a husband as God does not have different rules for wives and husbands. If Todd’s wife did not commit adultery, according to the God, he must either remain unmarried or be reconciled to her. I fail to see what is so hard to understand about this. Christians who want to do what they want to do will come up with all kinds of twisted reasonings to do it. You may say I accept this because I am not in that position. To the contrary, I am in that position. My husband has behaved very wrong towards me. So badly that I had to separate myself from him (which the bible approves according to the verses I quoted above).I am separated from him because I have to, but I have no intention of getting a divorced or to remarry. If I am to be obedient to God’s word, I must remain unmarried or be reconcilled to my husband. It is not an easy state, but God did not call us to ease, He called us to obedience. The problem with most of us, American Christians, is that we bought in to the prosperity gospel. We believe that God came into our lives to meet all our wants, to fulfill all our desires and to make us happy. God promised us joy, not happiness. Happiness we get from things, joy comes from the Holy Spirit indwelling us. God promised to be with us through the tough times. That means, we will have tough times. Todd wanted his young, beautiful girl to bring him happiness. He refused to put in the hard work and prayer time needed to fix his relationship with his wife or live alone.

    • wow Judy you are one in a million sis…

    • Judy, it’s pretty clear in the bible isn’t it? But the vast majority of Christians ignore the verses…..thank God for your willingness to be obedient, and may God bless you as you do so…

  10. April Martin says:

    Thanks for doing this and being fair also. I saw Todd Bentley way back- must have been about the first time he was at Albany Vineyard. (He was wearing an African gown) I think the Lord gave me good discernment and I immediately thought that he was arrogant, loud, posturing and other things I can’t post here. I am ashamed to say that I felt fearful to clearly state my feelings about Todd and other people in this movement at times. I was attacked quite viciously one time when I did, so I just avoided going to these conferences most of the time and said nothing committal when people waxed on starry- eyed about them.

    • It’s important to not fall under condemnation for speaking the Truth, April. I’ve felt just like you, for the same reasons! Never again. The Word says, “Have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them!”

      God bless …

    • me too april for same reasons … viciously attacked …keep up the good fight of faith sis!!

  11. Kevin,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and being obedient by “exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness.”

    My turning point actually came after the debacle at Lakeland. I should back up and tell you that I was attending an NAR church who commended Todd Bentley and had him speak at our conferences, etc. My pastor went to Lakeland and was invited on stage, by name, to “get some” and bring it back to our congregation. I bought every word, hook, line & sinker … yes, I placed my hands on the TV screen to receive various anointings released during the Lakeland Revival broadcasts on GodTV, which my husband and I watched nightly. I emailed prayer requests, told infirmed friends to watch, sent money and would’ve bought the T-shirt. I have since repented.

    I thank my Heavenly Father, because He is faithful! I have always prayed that He would not allow me to be deceived and He used that very serious situation to begin to open my eyes. I finally started to question things:

    1. How could Todd lie about his marriage & fidelity while claiming to spend hours with the Lord each day, in the Spirit, in heaven, etc. and not deal with his own sin?

    2. How could supposed “prophets” commission him and speak such obvious falsehoods over him in the name of the Lord? MY GOD IS NOT A MAN, THAT HE SHOULD LIE!

    3. How could I not question Todd’s violent actions (a fruit of the spirit is gentleness + the Galatians were warned about putting up with “leaders” using them & slapping their faces), his arrogance (bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings) or the fact that he was giving credit to angels for healing instead of Christ (without ever TESTING the spirits who visited the services)? I didn’t even hear the warning bells when Todd asked why he couldn’t just tell the people about Jesus and forget about all the other signs & wonders stuff, and God purportedly told Todd it was because, “The people already know about Jesus. You have to get them to believe in THE angel. The people already believe in Jesus, but they don’t accept the supernatural.” (First of all, everyone I know who knows Jesus, also accepts the supernatural & believes in angels, so that’s unfounded! Secondly, would God really want someone to stop talking about Jesus to brag about some angel? The answer should’ve been obvious and yes, there are myriad verses to prove it.)

    4. Why didn’t I see the red flag when Wendy Alec said the Lord would appear at Lakeland (“If anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ’ don’t believe them.”)

    5. Why did I accept the uncontrolled manifestations and drunkenness that people would exhibit when the Bible continually warns us to be sober-minded and another fruit of the Holy Spirit is SELF CONTROL?

    6. Are there really NEW anointings that God released during those meetings? (Answer: “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, THE anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” 1 John 2:27 “His divine power HAS GIVEN us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3)

    7. Why were there no medically confirmed cases of multiple people being raised from the dead?!

    8. How could a FAITH healer who believed that God would raise people from the dead, not have enough faith to believe God to heal his marriage (even now) and subsequently leave his wife and children in another country, unsupported, to marry a trophy wife who was a caretaker for his children?

    9. Why would any Christian leader, who is supposed to love Todd, accept that relationship and NOT counsel him to divorce the wife whom God didn’t have for him, reconcile with his first loves (God and the wife whom God chose for him), return home to his family, get a job to support them, raise his children and be fully restored unto the Lord, his family, friends and partners, getting his house in order BEFORE he was restored to ministry??? THAT above all else would demonstrate his faith to me. Instead, lame excuses were made for his “indiscretions” (he spent too much time in ministry and burnt out. Weird, because he had enough spare time to carry on a love affair and get drunk with his buddies!) and his illegitimate wife, Jemma was APPLAUDED by Rick Joyner and the Morning Star congregation. (“But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” 1 Cor. 11) Consequently, he is the very definition of a false prophet and their cash cow riding the gravy train with them. This is my prayer for Todd, “TRULY REPENT,” because I really love him and want God’s best for him! “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person” “such a man is an idolater has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore, do not be partners with them.” Eph. 5:5-7 That is a serious exhortation, not just a suggestion!

    10. So, are all the “players” involved in the Lakeland Lie deceived themselves, or just deliberate deceivers?

    Addressing the last question, I can only draw from my experience when I realized I had been deceived, I NEEDED to change, NEEDED to be forgiven, NEEDED to know the truth, NEEDED to be cleansed from that unrighteousness. I repented.

    Who else has? Rick Joyner? C. Peter Wagner? Bill Johnson? Che Ahn? John Arnott? Randy Clark? Stacey Campbell? Paul Cain? Bob Jones?

    Who knows?

    I pray that our Heavenly Father will permanently remove the veil of deception the enemy placed over our reasoning, continue pouring out His Spirit of Truth, give us greater discernment and lead us into righteousness through His Word. Amen.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Praise the Lord for His provision! The truth will set you free!

    • Good questions Plumb, these are the type of question we all should ask rather than blindly following a man or a movement. Christians misplace faith..it should be in Jesus..that’s who we follow..yet not blindly, that’s why He’s given us the Bible. Which says that if even an angel comes with another teaching, not to believe them. We are to try every spirit. How? by the word of God, not just one scripture but the whole word of God. There are many heresies in the church, and more coming to the church. We must be watchful.

    • Love this comment, Plumb!!! Been there, bought the t-shirt and have repented!!!!!

    • S L Berres says:

      Even the very elect will be deceived.

  12. tx for being honest.

  13. John Henrick says:

    I totally agree with the problem of a Christian minister leaving his wife, remarrying and returning to ministry in one year. You mention “finding another wife” after leaving his own. It’s quite possible that he already had the new one in line.

    The way I see Todd Bentley’s marital situation is this: unless his first wife committed adultery, he is – and will continue to be – committing adultery with his new wife as long as his first wife lives. A marriage is a literal spiritual joining together by the authority of God, and it is for life, until one partner dies. For anyone to restore him to ministry while he is living in sin, is an ongoing offense. There is only one way for him to be eligible for return to ministry, and that is to leave his adulterous marriage and be reconciled to his proper wife (if she would have him).

    Too many Christians walk into this trap of marrying, divorcing and remarrying. I do understand that some serious problems may arise that make life unbearable, but if a separation is in order then the person who leaves must remain unattached to another. I know that most will find this unacceptable. Divorcing and remarrying is the way of the world; the Church tends to follow suit and few will hold them accountable. Joyner failed in this respect.

    On the matter of books and CDs, God pointed out something to me about the books. I had long been interested in the spirit world (from a Christian point of view), having experienced several encounters with spirits before accepting Christ. I wanted to learn how to do deliverance and began to collect books on the subject. Over the years I accumulated many of these books but the more I read, the more frustrated I became. I saw conflict between minister/authors, and realized I could never match them unless I had a mega-church and a twelve-member prayer warrior team.

    One day I came home with two more books on demon-deliverance and set them on the shelf with the others. I sat back in my chair and looked at the row of books and right then God addressed the issue with me. It was not an audible voice yet undoubtedly not from my own thoughts: “You have an extensive collection of books. You have paid a lot of money for them, but they are not my Word.” I was stunned by this revelation and even felt a little ashamed. I had no doubt about what was happening. God never told me to stop reading the books but made it clear that the Bible is sufficient.

    I already knew how Jesus dealt with demons; it wasn’t with a prayer warrior team, and he didn’t fight with Satan all night long. He simply told the spirits to leave the people. Mark 16:17 shows us that God has given his authority to the Christian who trusts him, to cast out demons. I had been looking to the methods and wisdom of other ministers instead of God. Since that time, eleven years ago, I have been involved in the deliverance ministry (every night, and not in a church building) with 100% success. I have also learned much about the spirits, and from this I now realize how much nonsense was written in those books. Christian books can be helpful but they should not take the place of the Bible.

    I do have a website but am reluctant to advertise it because it is controversial and brings condemnation from church people. Yet God uses it in a mighty way. I hasten to add that I accepted Christ almost 31 years ago, and have ministered the Gospel for 26 of those years. Jesus, the Christ, is the one and only God, the Creator. He is risen from the dead and will return to claim his bride, soon.

    I truly wish I could teach Christians the truth about the spirit world, but in my attempts to do so in the past, I have run into so much opposition that it’s best for me to be silent. Many church people say cute slogans like: “With God all things are possible,” and “God moves in mysterious ways,” but when I try to share with them the possible things that God is doing, and the mysterious ways in which he moves, they don’t believe me. It seems to me that this is why the Church, for the most part, is impotent. Sunday entertainment is mostly what many are interested in, and charismatic preachers are the tops (in some minds). Always searching for something new and entertaining, but never coming to a deeper relationship with Christ.