Posted by: tscottmorton | August 27, 2008

Regarding Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival

It’s amazing to me how fast the religious are to denounce a sovereign move of God with the very first error they can find to justify their own preconceived viewpoints. Such is the case in rampant form regarding Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival.

One writer says, “I’m sad. I’m disappointed. And I’m angry.” I wonder just when those feelings began? I would guess long before this news of the Bentley’s issue was announced.

Such is the case with so many people in and out of the Body of Christ who have hated this thing from the start. (However, it is to the Body of Christ that I write.) These are people who will not yield the mind to be yoked to the Mind of Christ.

Conclusion Over Revelation

Those who think and conclude without revelation knowledge will always come against any move of God. The mind of Christ and thus the knowledge of the Kingdom of God is by its nature totally supernatural. The minds of people are carnal and worldly by nature and that by cause of the fall. Our minds are in enmity with the knowledge of the Kingdom of God lest we become one in unified dependence to the mind of Christ. The mind of the flesh can be nothing but in enmity with the mind of Christ.

What we think therefore must be in dependant alignment with the mind of Christ. The very first spiritual lesson we learn after salvation must be the very great wisdom and totality of dependence in every area of our walk. The only way to graduate off the baby’s bottle of basic truths into the consumption of rich spiritual foods starts and ends with dependence.

Indeed our walk in this life is filled with experiences of cul-de-sacs and wrong turns that we learn from and grow with. We all make mistakes in our lives. I am here to testify to that! Certainly the vast majority of these mistakes we make are born from events of independent thinking, or better said independent conclusion. “Well I was certain I was going down the right road but now see that my choice was in error.”

Once made known to error, we either turn in humility towards change or we dig in our heals in pride and stay the course. For the humble of heart, they turn in God’s love and mercy and repent, and then they take the revealed correct road and grow. But by its nature, what the Lord reveals of the Kingdom of God is radical and formerly unseen. To accept this kind of change requires trust and faith. It requires a person to be willing to move into what one has yet to see. Faith takes us off the map of what we know into uncharted territory. It is much more comfortable to stick with what one knows. This is the second biggest blocker to change that I see.

The greatest blocker to change I see is pride. There are so many in the Body of Christ who are certain of their rightness. Even when confronted by truth, they do not see it. Independence has given way to pride. Revelation knowledge is all but scoffed at. “I’ll take it to my grave that I am right.” They are the ones who speak the loudest of their rightness. They defend it to the hilt. They have no ears to hear. They’re stuck in what they see, taste, touch, hear and smell. They are stuck in what they have concluded. What a deadly way.

Unyoked thinking results in fleshly error every time. It’s about what we think rather than what God thinks. Those who have to formulate an answer to whatever God does are sure to enter into error, because what is concluded by the mind of man cannot be based in revelation knowledge. Conclusion must follow revelation, not precede it.

The greatest minds in the Body of Christ are the ones who understand the concept of supernatural revelation. No one is perfect at it. But those who are the closest to Kingdom truth understand that it comes by way of revelation knowledge in times of intimacy and relationship. Just reading the Bible is not enough. They understand that what is true in God’s mind so far outweighs what we conclude as truth here on earth. They understand that in order to be right in the Kingdom is to have first heard and then concluded.

But how is one to discern whether the voice they are hearing is that of the Holy Spirit or of the devil and the flesh? The answer is in experience that starts with faith. Those who experience what they read in the Bible are the ones who hunger and thirst for more of the Lord. They are the ones who hear the voice of love and know instantly the difference between the voice of love and light as compared to the voice of hate and darkness. But it takes the experience to even first hear the voice of the Father speaking thru the Son and by way of the Holy Spirit. One must be baptized in the Holy Spirit to know.

We have been hearing the voice of satan from the very beginning. We don’t need the Holy Spirit to hear the voice of the devil. It’s on our TV’s, on the radio, on street signs and in our every day walk on this earth. In the good sounding arguments we hear the voice of the devil.

But when the Holy Spirit has been invited in, we learn quickly to hear the “now” word of Jesus. By the Holy Spirit, the Father’s will is made known. In that moment and only after that moment can we even discern what is right as to the Kingdom of God. Those operating outside of the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit have no means of connection to the Kingdom of God. As such, without the Holy Spirit we speak arguments that can only be of the mind of man or the flesh or worse.

Now, more than ever, the church must come to terms with their religious error and be filled with the Holy Spirit. It does not make us perfect as evidenced by our dear brother Todd Bentley. I would add myself to that list. But what it does do is open our spiritual ears to hear Kingdom truth. It opens our eyes to the lies.

What is being come against in this whole Lakeland Revival issue is not the error of Todd Bentley. I tell you this… what is being come against is the very outpouring of the Holy Spirit!

If the church filled with the Holy Spirit results in great damage to satan’s works, does it not stand to reason that wherever the Holy Spirit is manifesting that satan will come against that with the greatest vigor?

I tell you this, only those moving deep in the Presence of God understand the difference between what is the argument of the world versus the truth of the Kingdom of God. It can be no other way. Jesus died for the release of this kind of revealed knowledge. He said, (paraphrased John 14-16)… “Unless I go, the Holy Spirit will not come. But if I go, he will come. I will not leave you as orphans. I will send the Holy Spirit who will lead you into all truth.” His death on the cross afforded us this great gift. To deny the need for revelation knowledge is to cheapen the cross of Christ!

It is impossible to know the heart of the Father unless you hear it. To read it only starts faith. But then it must mature by way of hearing! Those who operate in the flesh of what they think cannot be hearing from God. Since they fear error, they shut it all out and conclude independently. Key word… independence.

Mental independence is a sin. It is a form of pride. The very same thing that got satan kicked out of Heaven.

If the Holy Spirit is the Helper who leads us into all truth according to John 16, then there is no truth unless we are first revealed to it. This kind of supernatural revelation comes thru times of dependant relationship.

Regarding the Bentley issue, currently we are mostly hearing from all the independent thinkers.

Indeed, God gave me a mind to think with. However, God gave me this mind to first choose to die to it and then use it. True humility starts with the dyeing to self. This dependent way is all about humility. Then and only then can truth be made known and subsequently understood.

Those who reject the supernatural need to hear the voice of God are not hearing from God. Far greater is the danger from those who are not connected to the Holy Spirit than those who are. Don’t listen to their arguments, however good sounding they may be?

Simply said, those who are coming against this Lakeland Revival are those who remain under the law and who do not understand the power of the Cross of Christ that opened the door to grace. They are the ones fast at work placing the emphasis on performance over forgiveness. They are the ones in the business of promoting the mentality of what we do as of higher value than who and what we are.

It’s not about what we do that makes us the right Christian for the job. It’s about what’s in our heart coupled with what is in God’s heart. My goodness, if I were charged for every sinful error I made, I’d long ago been dead and in hell.

I wonder when was the last time any of these critical writers committed a sin? Notice they are the ones casting the first stones at Todd.

I wonder how flawless John the Baptist was? I wonder how flawless was Moses? I wonder how flawless was Mary, the mother of Jesus was (who thought her son was nuts prior to the Cross)? I wonder how flawless Saul of Tarsus was while he was ordering the killing of Christians. I wonder why God chose to use Paul anyway? Even after Paul’s conversion, he spoke of himself like this (paraphrased):

“I keep on doing the things I should not and don’t do the things I should. What a wretched man I AM.” How sinless do you think Paul was?

Don’t buy in to the arguments of those whose real motivation is to disqualify what they do not “understand.” Don’t believe the words of those who cannot control what they cannot put their finger on?

Rest assured, God will always challenge his people by the unknown manifestation. I have seen it time and again. God does something radical and then always asks the question, “Well then Mr. Smarty-pants, what do you think about that?”

God can show up in a rock if he wants to. He did that with Moses in the desert. It’s not about any man. Yes there is the chain of authority to which Jesus adhered and which is part and critical of normal church life. Indeed it is true that as goes the leader, so goes a church. But the leader is not the church. Jesus is the church. The Father is the church. And the Holy Spirit validates the church.

Those who put their trust in Todd Bentley (or any leader for that matter), who would accuse Todd with judgments… they are the ones who are wrong, and for the very same reason. They place their trust in man over God.

We live under grace not the law. Anyone who passes judgment on Todd is doing so under the law and is out of line. There is no one on earth yet adjudged. Therefore, who is any person to do so?

Revival Remains

I have read in many commentaries that say, “Lakeland WAS…” as if it’s all over and woe is us. No, Lakeland IS. It is not about a place, not about a church and not about any person. In all these ridiculous “commentaries” I have read about Todd in the last few days, there has been a connecting of the success of this revival to Todd (a person). Ultimately, it has nothing to do with Todd. Todd was willing. Todd was… and remains a vessel that God can use. But Todd is no bigger, no better nor is he more holy than any mature Spirit filled Christian in the Body of Christ. God just up and chose Todd to start this thing.

Does anyone think that God was not fully aware of Todd’s marriage issues before revival was birthed back in April?

Maybe God is trying to tell us something in all of this? I have a feeling I know what that little something might be. God will not give his glory to any person.

Those who discount the Lakeland revival, or say “it’s ended” because of the error of a person have lost focus on Who revival is. Revival has just begun!

What was started in Lakeland has spread and will continue to spread to the nameless faceless people who understand that when we meet, we do so to meet with God, not to please people.

What is being exposed here is not the sin or error of Todd Bentley, but the great error of those who believe that God comes only to and only thru the greatest and most holy people. Meanwhile, just now, the religious are bent on shackling God’s Presence by way of the flesh or demonic influence thru this instance. They are fast at work disqualifying this revival thru good sounding arguments not because of what has transpired between Todd and his wife, though that is the basis of the argument, but because of what the Holy Spirit is doing that they cannot define.

Consider this. If where the Spirit of the Lord there is liberty, then what resides in a place where the Spirit of the Lord is not? The answer is… bondage. Now if this is true, then the primary strategy of the devil is to put out the fire of God’s Presence wherever it rises up. This is the very history of revival all thru the years. The fire starts. Someone makes a mistake. The fire gets put out. You can go down for generations of revivals and find the same results… the same old tried and true satanic fleshly tactic.

The Holy Spirit will not show up to those who do not believe. Get the world to disbelieve by way of accusation and good sounding arguments and the fire dies because people stop believing. That’s the strategy in a nutshell.

To those who bring judgments, anger and criticism, I must ask this question. Just who are they working for if they are bringing criticism and judgment to this or any validated revival? When so many people have been healed, delivered and raised from the dead, confirmed, who is being criticized when one brings judgments and accusations? I can answer with this… it is not Todd.

Who was it that healed these many thousands of people? Again I can answer… it was not Todd. His faith and obedience to the Father was certainly a key, but it was not Todd who performed the healing.

We’re warned in the Bible and must be warned once again to be wise as to what is right and wrong in the days ahead. But I submit to you that were the error resides is not in where the spiritual hungry seekers traffic as the religious critics would suggest. The error is found with the religious Spiritless church, where the Holy Spirit does not reside. And great is that religious error!

Revival is here and here to stay. But revival is going to be about the Presence of God and nothing else. God just will not give his glory to any person, not to Todd, not to Paul, not to Moses nor any person. From the least of these to the heights of leadership, God get’s all the glory. Personally in my life, I want him to have it. Anyone who fears the Lord understands… the Lord and creator of all things deserves it! I know this for certain… Todd knew this well. He asked for no glory. He took no glory. People glorified him.

Now as to the furtherance of revival I am not worried at all except for where faith dies. It is my prayer that anyone who reads this would remain in faith for the radical experiences of the Lord.

As for Todd and his dear wife, I pray with brotherly love and heartfelt concern and compassion that they can make this work. I will also pray that the meddling of the loud masses will not work to prevent the healing they both need. With all my heart and love to these two dear servants of Christ!

With profound respect to Todd and the deepest heart of love to all who poured their hearts out in loving submission at Lakeland and who now fight for revival and the open manifestations of the Holy Spirit in their midst,

T. Scott Morton

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Responses

  1. Scott,

    Thank you for taking the time to post.

    Let me say that there are many things I can find common ground with you, based on your post.

    There are also a number of things I would have to say I disagree with very strongly.

    You write that:
    “The greatest minds in the Body of Christ are the ones who understand the concept of supernatural revelation. No one is perfect at it. But those who are the closest to Kingdom truth understand that it comes by way of revelation knowledge in times of intimacy and relationship. Just reading the Bible is not enough. They understand that what is true in God’s mind so far outweighs what we conclude as truth here on earth. They understand that in order to be right in the Kingdom is to have first heard and then concluded.

    But how is one to discern whether the voice they are hearing is that of the Holy Spirit or of the devil and the flesh? The answer is in experience that starts with faith. Those who experience what they read in the Bible are the ones who hunger and thirst for more of the Lord. They are the ones who hear the voice of love and know instantly the difference between the voice of love and light as compared to the voice of hate and darkness. But it takes the experience to even first hear the voice of the Father speaking thru the Son and by way of the Holy Spirit. One must be baptized in the Holy Spirit to know.”

    I hope I am misreading what you’ve written, but it appears you refer to God speaking outside or apart from the truth already revealed in scripture. I believe the Holy Spirit comes to reveal or quicken Gods truth as revealed in His word. To walk down a path that says God’s revelation to me can supersede scripture is, at the very least, dangerous.

    I have been concerned and trouble about the”Lakeland Revival” from my first exposure to it. Not because of Todd Bentleys personality or many of the other things that various people have complained about, but because Jesus Christ was not the focus. Instead healings, angelic visitations and wild emotional experiences have been what was lifted up.

    I am not at all happy that Mr. Bentley marriage is in the state it is in. I am not happy that another high profile person in the Christian community has publicly been exposed.

    You also state that we are not to judge Todd Bentleys actions. I know that I am not perfect, as is the state of all who walk the earth today. On the other hand we are to observe the fruit of peoples life. Not for the sake of casting judgment on the person, but for the sake of having the wisdom to know what path they are taking.

    I am currently taking a step back and taking a hard look at what I call “The Prophetic Movement”. I am concerned that there has been a drift away from the simple clear teaching of the Gospel. The emotion and focus on gifts and running from one high to another has diverted many from simple devotion to Christ.

    I am fully prepared to change my leaning as the Lord reveals truth that is is complete alignment with His word. I hope many can take this same journey rather than desperately holding on to those lies we believe to be true.

    A simple to Truth is infinitely more powerful than an elaborate, flashy lie.


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