Todd Bentley Exposed on Nightline - Part 2
An Insider's Warning - Lakeland - True or False Revival?
(Note from Jan: Pastor Chris Elrod, Sr. Pastor, Compass Point Church, Lakeland, Florida, sums up the Todd Bentley scenario. None of us who were sounding warnings take delight in this closure. Yet we are relieved that fewer will now be harmed by another "counterfeit revival". - Jan Markell)
As I was on my way home from South Carolina last Thursday night, I got "the call". My friend and fellow Lakeland pastor let me know that the news about Todd Bentley -- the news that had circulated around Lakeland for weeks -- was finally about to break. For months it had been rumor with very little hard facts to back it up. Local church leaders had been hearing things about Todd and Ignited Church that caused us to question even more the validity of the "revival".
Then the truth began to come out bit by bit, first to Lakeland and then to the world, and now Todd's wife was in Canada getting help while he was "floating around" the United States trying to get his head together. Yes, Todd was legally separating from his wife. Yes, there was another woman involved. Yes, this was not the first time Todd had been involved with another woman.
Yes, Todd and Ignited Church had failed to address concerns --many being voiced by their own denomination and people who support such outpourings --about the heresy being preached and displayed at the "revival". Yes, there was not one single medical document to prove that any healing had actually taken place.
As the fallout continues and more facts are beginning to emerge about everyone involved with this mess, I have begun to ask myself some pretty hard questions. Did I handle this correctly?
When the first news began to break around here about Todd, healings, and the revival, I went to see it for myself. In all, I attended four separate "revival" meetings over a two-month period. I also watched countless hours of the events on the Internet. I witnessed Todd hollering "BAM" a lot. I witnessed "verification teams" in the parking lot carefully choosing people deemed candidates for "healing" while turning many others down. I watched ushers push ill children away from the stage area because they had not been preapproved for "healing".
I heard stories about pixie-dust-spreading angels and conversations with the Apostles in some abstract heavenly cabin. I saw leg drops, high kicks, head punches, and every other Wrestlemania cliche under the sun. I heard anonymous crazy stories about people being healed and others being raised from the dead. I heard and saw many strange things -- but nothing that even remotely kept with sound doctrine. Every biblical-discerning bone in my body showed me that there was nothing going on at the "revival" that was in keeping with God's Word.
I began to speak out against the revival, Todd, and Ignited Church, to our people. Mainly it was through our Journey Groups, one-on-one conversations, phone calls, and e-mails. However, I was advised by several other pastors not to speak out against it publicly because "I might be speaking against something that God is actually doing" (I wasn't questioning God -- I was questioning Todd). I never addressed it from the pulpit because our podcast is heard by hundreds of people all over the world. I never blogged about it because I get a 1,000+ hits on a normal day.
I dodged the questions about the revival in recent radio interviews I did in other parts of the United States. Finally, I refused to answer the hundreds of e-mails I got about the "revival" from other folks all over the world. In essence, I protected my flock from the three-ring circus and hoopla but did nothing to protect the Body of Christ as a whole.
Hindsight they say is 20/20. It now turns out that all of the rumors were true. It now turns out that the scriptural discernment was correct. It now turns out that this was the same craziness without accountability that the leadership of the sponsoring church is known for. The three-ring circus has been packed up, the tents have been taken down, and the moral failure has been announced. Everyone involved is pushing back, and thousands of hurting people are left questioning God and their salvation.
The question that I now have to ask myself and the question that will haunt me for quite a while is this. Did I sit on the sidelines while the playing field burned? Should have I blogged about it and spoken out about it publicly -- done more to get the word out to the rest of the world that this whole thing was about Todd and not God? I took care of my own house -- but should I have done more to take care of the entire neighborhood?
Charismatic leader Dutch Sheets also humbled himself stating, "My assignment from the Lord is to repent on behalf of the leadership of the Charismatic Body of Christ. We have failed the Lord and His people in many ways. We must repent if we are to be trusted in the future. We, the leaders of the Charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don't even try to discern. We assume a person's credibility based on gifts, charisma, whether they can prophesy, or work a miracle".
NOTE FROM JAN: I am glad that these two leaders have been brave enough to speak out. Let's hope that many other leaders will follow in their steps and lead their followers to test ALL things and not just follow every wind of doctrine.
Remember to pray for Todd and his family.
My two hour program on this issue is posted at my "Radio Archives" for July 19, 2008. Numerous guests spoke into the issue, long before all the details came out. For podcasting information, click here.
Andrew Strom 01/20/2010
I just saw the video of Rick Joyner announcing that Todd Bentley is back ministering every night at Morningstar in North Carolina and now they have so-called "revival" manifestations eerily similar to Lakeland. They also announced that they are streaming these big meetings every night on their new TV channel - and they are greatly promoting the whole thing.
Now I am a tongues-speaking Pentecostal myself - but can I ask a simple question here please? What kind of "spirit" was it operating in the Lakeland revival - when the leader and main focal-point of the meetings (Todd Bentley) was having an adulterous affair behind the scenes? Was it truly the "Holy" Spirit that was anointing something so sensual and unholy? And now that Todd divorced his wife and married his mistress - are we supposed to welcome him back and this "anointing" with him? What is going on here? Rick Joyner has been warned very specifically by high-level ministries not to do what he is doing now - bringing Todd Bentley back into the limelight. And yet it seems he does not care. Apparently the "manifestations" are all that matter.
So what exactly are these 'manifestations' if they are seemingly at home in such an unholy environment? Are they from God at all? (I am talking here about the violent "jerking", uncontrollable laughter, bodily contortions, drunkenness, 'portals', strange "angel" encounters, etc.) Why do we not see such an 'anointing' in the Bible? Why aren't Jesus or the apostles promoting these manifestations if they really are true Revival? Why instead do we see these things all the way through the New Age and Hinduism, etc? Do we not realize that many false religions have their own version of "laying on of hands" that results in these very types of manifestations? This 'spirit' is not in the Bible - but it is all the way through Kundalini-type Hinduism! Don't you think this should alarm us?
WHAT is KUNDALINI?
If you search for Kundalini and Shakti on the Internet, you will find that multitudes of people in the New Age and Eastern religions still experience these powerful manifestations. Often this is with the help of a Guru, who touches them on the forehead so that they can experience a "Kundalini Awakening".
As researcher Robert Walker wrote in 1995:
"The meetings which mystic Hindu gurus hold are called 'Darshan'. At these meetings devotees go forward to receive spiritual experience from a touch by the open palm of the hand, often to the forehead, by the guru in what is known as the Shakti Pat or divine touch. The raising of the spiritual experience is called raising Kundalini. After a period when the devotee has reached a certain spiritual elevation they begin to shake, jerk, or hop or squirm uncontrollably, sometimes breaking into uncontrolled animal noises or laughter as they reach an ecstatic high. These manifestations are called 'Kriyas'. Devotees sometimes roar like lions and show all kinds of physical signs during this period. Often devotees move on to higher states of spiritual consciousness and become inert physically and appear to slip into an unconsciousness"...
And as the guru Shri Yogânandji Mahârâja wrote:
"When Your body begins trembling, hair stands on roots, you laugh or begin to weep without your wishing, your tongue begins to utter deformed sounds, you are filled with fear or see frightening visions. the Kundalini Shakti has become active".
In China there is a popular Kundalini-type movement called 'Qigong'. When a Chinese Qigong spiritual master spoke in the USA in 1991, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that many in the crowd began to experience "spontaneous movements". The master told his audience, "Those who are sensitive might start having some strong physical sensations - or start laughing or crying. Don't worry. This is quite normal".
When you see videos of these "kriyas" or other Kundalini-type manifestations, you would often swear that you are watching a modern "Impartation"-type church meeting. (And I say this as someone who believes strongly in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I just don't believe in "alien" anointings infiltrating the Body of Christ! There is a big difference between Kundalini and the real Holy Spirit).
Since 1993-4, I believe a foreign spirit has been allowed to invade the church - first through Rodney Howard-Browne's ministry - then Toronto, then the Prophetic movement (which I was part of at the time) and on into Lakeland and many other ministries and movements. I urge people now to "test the spirits" just as we are commanded to in Scripture. Do not let just anyone lay hands on you. This is a powerful spirit and it has the backing of a lot of big-name ministries. In fact, these men and women are the very ones responsible for allowing it to spread right through the body of Christ. And one day they will be answerable to God for doing so.
We are specifically warned in the Bible that the Last Days will be a time of "seducing spirits", false prophets, 'lying signs and wonders', and that we always need to watch for "angels of light" masquerading as the real thing. Why does the modern church not take these warnings seriously? Aren't we living in the very days that the Bible warns about?
Right now I need to do something that I have never done in such a way before. I have never before published a list of ministries or movements to watch out for. But this time I have to. This sickness has gone on long enough. I urge you to cut yourself off from the following ministries and their tainted "anointings" my friends. Even though some of these people say "good things" at times, it is simply not worth having any involvement with them due to the tainted anointing that they endorse or minister in themselves. Here is the list-
(1) Todd Bentley.
Of course there are a huge number of lesser-known preachers and ministries who carry or endorse this Kundalini-type "anointing" around the world. But I have concentrated here on the most influential that I know of. It really is an enormous issue in the church. I urge anyone who is a supporter of any of the above ministries to really check them out thoroughly. If you find (as I have) that they carry or endorse this false Kundalini spirit in the church, then please stop supporting them in any way - and whatever you do, don't let them "lay hands" on you!
I am putting everything on the line to be "naming names" like this. But I believe it is that serious. How on earth did we get to the point where "kriyas" just like Hinduism are spreading through the church?
Please forward this email to everyone you know, blogs and boards, etc. These people are trying to "relaunch" this whole thing right now. Help us get this warning out. To see a video showing "kriyas" and other Kundalini-type manifestations, please watch the following videos.
Please send feedback on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you all!
REPLIES to "KUNDALINI WARNING"
5 replies/ comments are below:
I went to Lakeland 3 times. I was so drawn to go there. I really thought it was of God... I had so many supernatural experiences - to seeing a mystical Jesus with a third eye, angels talking to me, visions, being transported. I had one experience with my daughter being in the room and her experiencing it too. I was roaring like a lion, had gold dust and many other experiences. The worst thing that happened to me is that it got sexual. This false Jesus was approaching me sexually and I fell into it. I still to this day do not understand how I could have been so deceived. I have been a Christian since the age of 16. I am 49 now... I fell right in... hook, line and sinker. When I came home that last visit I became aware it was demonic, and I was surrounded and covered with demons literally, it was so horrible, all that I went through, you cannot imagine... I was seeing demons and being touched sexually and tormentingly constantly.. it has been 1 1/2 years and I am still battling these demonic spirits. I cry out to the Lord everyday for total deliverance. It has been horrible. I have renounced and repented, but still fighting. How do we get free of this?
I can testify that I was infested with this foul eastern spirit, the kundalini. I was in a movement from 1992 - 2000 which had close links with the Toronto movement. From 2000 - 2006 I joined a church with links to Bill Johnson. I was desperate for God to move in my life and change situations and heal hurts and was very open to ministry - I had many in this movement touch my forehead and experienced the manifestations you describe - drunkenness, laughing and crying, shaking. I got dreams and visions and just before I left the structure (church) I had a vivid dream of a huge python that came through the back door and attached itself to my car, and also to rooms in my home. I was very disturbed and sought the Lord for an answer.
David Wilkerson also mentioned the kundalini spirit, and I researched it in late October, after having attended the Fredericksburg (Virginia) Prayer Furnace at which Che Ahn ministered. There, I saw many of the manifestations you mention: hopping and jumping during "worship", falling backward at Che Ahn's touch, extreme jerkiness in several cases. Very uncomfortable with this, I came home and watched (my first time ever) videos of Todd Bentley. Needless to say, I was appalled...
I'm just about in tears over all of this... May and I watched the very first nights of the recent "outpouring of the Holy Spirit" on the IHOP webstream and boy, did that turn sour fast. Aside from the singing on the first night, everything was just messed up. AHH! It's breaking my heart! How many people do we know and love in KC?! I've watched my beloved siblings laugh uncontrollably, jerk as though sick, stumble and speak as though drunk, and "sing in tongues" in complete chaos and without interpretation. I've raised the issue among friends of being "drunk in the Spirit" and even though I prove over and over that God is for self-control, which they agree with, they continue to act like drunken fools! (See Titus 1:8 and 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7 which compared in the NKJV and NIV relates self-control with being sober, pointing to the fact that the Holy Spirit is not one who takes delight in being drunk at all, but in being sober-minded - fruit of the Spirit, what? Drunkenness is the complete opposite of being filled with the Holy Spirit! For sober-mindedness is a filling of Him!; 1 Peter 1:13, 4:7, and 5:8 ...
A very dear friend of mine who has been my prayer partner for years were lured into the enemy's web of deception about many of the ministries and manifestations that you spoke about. After reading and listening to your web broadcasts we had a powerful prayer session repenting, renouncing, and commanding any spirit that we had picked up from these false prophets/doctrines of demons, etc. to go from us in Jesus' name. We broke all kinds of things off of us. Most of it was deep repentance and renouncing - thank you for exposing the enemy and his tactics and all the deception that the church body has fallen deeply into...
Yes - if you have had "hands laid" or done "soaking prayer" under any of these kinds of ministries, it is very important to RENOUNCE (from the very depths of your being in Jesus' name) and also COMMAND OUT these 'kundalini' spirits or any other "anointing" that you have received. Remember, you must VIOLENTLY EXPEL these things in the name of JESUS. Be FREE in His mighty name!