May 23, 2008
Todd Bentley - The New Simon Magus
By: Pastor Bill Randles
"But there was a certain man called Simon... claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying,"this man is the great power of God." And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time." Acts 8:9-11
Todd Bentley is great! If you don't believe me just ask the multitudes who have been astonished by the "miraculous revival" in Lakeland Florida! Or just check out the Christian television show "Xtreme Prophetic" featuring Host Patricia King, which I saw on YouTube. Bentley was featured on the show as one of the new prophets of the younger generation. Patricia King the host spoke for many when she proclaimed Todd as an "awesome man of power who is a Seer'. She also announced that Todd has brought "a million people into the Kingdom of God in the last eight years". Todd was guest on the show with his mentor, another great prophet - Bob Jones. His resume was equally impressive- King described Him as "a champion of the Seer realm", and "one of the most accurate of prophets of our generation", and she thanked him for being a "father of the faith", as well as a seer-prophet.
Bentley himself has great reverence for Bob Jones. When Bentley prepares for his yearly visitation of the Lord, to seek what is the Word for the year to come, part of the preparation involves consulting with Jones-"... needing a clear commission from the Lord concerning direction for the year, I always seek Him about what lies ahead. With that purpose, recently, I asked my friend Bob Jones (a gifted, mature seer-prophet) about what God was saying to him concerning 2008…."
Bentley - prophetic word for 2008 www.elijahlist.com
Never mind that Bentley's mentor Bob Jones is a proven False prophet * who was put under discipline for fondling women who came to him for 'prophetic counsel'. When you are GREAT, or you are billed as something like "The Great Power of God" you never have to worry about things like the scriptural warnings to avoid false prophets. Jones' predictions, such as his warning of an immanent earthquake in Los Angeles, back in 1997**, have failed to materialize time after time. Neither does Jones' outrageous doctrine. Jones has taught that "the Government of the earth " shall rest on the shoulders of restored apostles and prophets, that there is a physical "elected seed' out of the bloodlines of Paul, David, Peter and John, who would become the last days Manchild company! Neither doctrinal, nor moral deviations get in the way of the truly GREAT. Only small narrow, religious people worry about such things- Pharisees, nitpickers!
Why worry about Deuteronomy 18, which warns that we are not to fear any prophet who makes predictions in the name of the Lord, which fail to come to pass? Or why worry about Deuteronomy 13:1-3, which warns of the possibility that a prophet could actually perform signs and wonders, yet still be false? The only way to tell would be if the teaching of the prophet led people to follow other gods. Get it? The choice presented by the True God is between Power or Teaching. Another "great prophet" very much esteemed by Bentley, and his mentors, Bob Jones, and Paul Cain, is the late William Branham. Branham's power was Great! He could tell people what their name was, what symptoms they had in their body, and would then pray for healings which actually manifested! It was Great! The only problem was Branham's teaching- he had a few quirks, such as His belief that the doctrine of the Trinity was of the devil, his belief that the zodiac was as valid as the word of God, and his unfortunate belief that he was the Angel of the church of Laodicea! When He died in a head-on auto crash in 1965, his followers were so obsessed with his "works of power" they delayed burying him for several months, hoping that he would be resurrected the following Easter! He was that GREAT!
Bentley, Cain, Rick Joyner and the disgraced and discredited Bob Jones*** all admire the false prophet Branham to this day. They saw him as great and wanted to be regarded as the next Great one. The people, who are so enamored by these false prophets, want greatness also, but in a different way. They lust for a "Great showy display of the power of God", their hearts are not right. Like the Samaritans in Acts 8, they are willing to be "astonished" by sorceries, false signs, gold dust, stigmata, etc, because they have departed away from God, and any sense of the truly awesome. Proverbs 9 says, "By the knowledge of the Holy comes understanding". Unfortunately these people have no understanding- listening to Bentley et al, one hears story after story of the varied subjective experiences these Mystics are having-"in the Holy place”,"under the shepherd's Rod"- yearly appointments with Jesus, of course on the Day of Atonement. As the Samaritans were enamored with Simon the Great, the so called Great power of God, this adulterous generation clamors for and will receive many more, perhaps even more powerful versions of Bentley, Cain, Joyner, Jones, and even Branham, until the coming of the ultimate "Great Man"- the antichrist, himself! The Emphasis is wrong- we are not called to seek greatness or to adulate Great men. When Peter said to Simon Magus, in Acts 8, that he perceived that Simon was "in the gall of bitterness" (see Acts 8:23) he was quoting Moses' warning that idolatry would become a "root of bitterness” to Israel. (Deuteronomy 29:18) Peter saw it also, that this fascination with greatness in men, and lust to see great works of power would be the beginning for the church what idolatry would be for Israel, a root of bitterness defiling many.
Perhaps it is not too late to turn away from this idolatry of greatness and great men, and lust for Great power. The church is actually sick, at least the expression of the church following the "Greatness Movement"- perhaps this sickness will not be unto death, but that even yet there will be a humble turning that God be glorified.
* (As documented in two of my books WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING and BEWARE THE NEW PROPHETS available at www.believersingrace.citymax.com/page/page/5840987.htm
*** whom Joyner took upon himself to re-instate into the ministry after confessing to abuse of his "prophetic gifts" to sexually abuse women