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Impartation - Bentley's Touch

  • HOW CAN WE DISCERN SPIRITUAL TRUTH FROM ERROR?
  • THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FROM THAT OF OTHER SPIRITS?
  • AND, HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE DECEPTION?

Addendum: What lessons can we learn from Todd Bentley’s Rise and Fall?

When Todd Bentley, called the “New Mystic” was to appear in LA, I had to check him out for myself and see the Canadian Evangelist who’d been the focus of many concerned enquiries I’d received over the last few months.

People had been asking me, Who is he? What is his New Revival all about? Are his healings, miracles, signs and wonders for real? His behavior seems contrary to Biblical teaching (he’s covered from head to toe in tattoos, applies violence over people he heals, has visitations from a female angel called Emma and….so the questions went on) yet, they said, his “fruits” seem legitimate (he claims up to 30 resurrections from the dead and hundreds of miracles, sign, wonders and more!) – So what’s up?

Knowing he’d been appearing live for over 100 consecutive nights in Florida, the birth of the “Lakeland outpouring” I was astonished to learn he was coming to LA for the weekend in response to Pastor Che Ahn’s invitation. I had to go….
 
We learned that in order to receive Bentley’s private “impartation” of Holy Spirit power, one had to be part of an elite group of people. Only pastors, their spouses and leaders of churches were welcome. After an intense security examination 500 Church leaders received an orange wrist band allowing us entrance to a special room set aside for after the main stage event open to up to 10,000 fans.

As the L.A. Galen Centre stadium filled up with thousands of Christians musicians warmed up and eventually they began their concert “worship” for real. Crowds responded much like any football event. “Waves” went through the arena as seated fans rose and sat down while others rose and sat down for several waves around the stadium.

I was to witness an amazing supernatural event and what made this spiritual extravaganza overwhelming was its spectacular manifestation of power, its capacity to impersonate Biblical Truth and its ability to manipulate thousands upon thousands of Christians, at least 500 of who were registered pastors and leaders of Churches from around the world.

The event was hosted by Pastor Che and his wife, Sue Ahn of Harvest Rock Church, Pasadena, CA, who invited Bentley to encourage Californians to “catch the wave”. Over 10,000 excited fans were present at USC’s Galen Center to hear Bentley’s messages, see his miracles, signs and wonders, receive his healings, the new, fresh outpouring and greater glory impartation of renewal. I’m sure many were disappointed to learn later that only Church leaders were eligible for the impartation.

COULD TODD BENTLEY’S “IMPARTATION” be the dissipation and fornication the Bible warns against or is it the genuine “My Spirit on all flesh”?

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”  Eph 5:18-20

" Come, I will show you ……the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." ….".I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."  Rev 17:2 & 6

" These are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh" ……."Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved."  Acts 2:15-17,20, 21

DRUNK IN THE SPIRIT….

The pretty young woman slurred, “ I’m drunk in the spirit” and was staggering. I went to assist her as she reeled, lolloping with buckled knees, trying to walk. She smiled at me and as though looking through a haze, reassuring me her condition was fine.

“I’m like…. being drunk, but it’s in the spirit… I’m OK, I just want to yield to the true move of God… I could control this feeling…but I don’t want to quench God’s Spirit…. His presence…. and what He’s allowing in my heart... ”

“Have you had this before?” I asked, concerned, as she wavered.

“Oh yesss, at Harvest Rock Church,” (the host of this Bentley event)

“Is this different?”

“Yesss, it’s more ecstatic, like a state of anesthesia, a slowing down motion…but it burns with the “go-impart-to-others” command, I want to speak it into others, tell them about Jesus, so they can pick it up….”

"Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for the wild and crazy makes us do stupid things. It’s way past time for us to grow up." J Lee Grady, Charisma.

DISSIPATION

All around the room those who’d received the impartation from Todd Bentley’s so-called apostolic renewal were laying on the floor as though drunk or overdosed on hallucinogens. Their physical expression I noticed was paled by the presence of an over riding magnitude of supernatural power. I’d felt such a presence before, but what amazed me about this manifestation was its authority to be considered Biblically holy by the Church leaders prostrated around.

The sprawled Christians were in various stages of consciousness similar to results I’d experienced when using hash and psychedelics. (In the 60’s I had experimented with drugs and experienced altered states of consciousness not only through chemical inducement but also through contact with the spirit world, which when becoming a Christian, I recognized as taboo.) Therefore, I was surprised to see Christians in leadership willing to partake in this type of spiritual rapture with the supernatural.

While laying in this state, some were moaning, some were quite paralyzed, some in a fetal position, were sobbing, some convulsing: thrashing arms and legs in the air and to the floor, and others were laughing, smiling or in a stunned daze. Here and there, small groups were trying to get loved ones aroused so that other waiting Christians on the sidelines could be brought into the receiving lines for “the state”.

Ushers, some with megaphones, were involved in serious crowd control moving along those already “drunk in the spirit”, instructing them to collect themselves and exit towards the doors to help make room for others being herded side by side. Bentley, meanwhile, was focused on his mission with a sense of urgency. He came before each Christian Pastor and leader continuously yelling, “fire, fire, fire,” as he “imparted” some with a touch to their foreheads, and brushed others with the touch.

Earlier in the evening, upon the huge stage set up in the Galen Center, Bentley passionately shouted to thousands, and as he paced back and forth, expounding on his testimony and teaching about or relaying spiritual experiences with “spirits in the heavenlies”, he described the impartation as a “whhoooph” with an animated flick of his arm – “whhoooph” he’d yell, “take it with you and start a revival in your church”.

Now, here I was actually experiencing the presence of massive supernatural power and could physically feel the movement of “whhoooph”, accompanied in the air with a weight of some sort, a pulling down impression. My knees felt weak and my stomach was churning as I watched Bentley sweep through the willing pastors, working them who hungered for power and earnestly desired the “presence” to bring about “God’s” move in their own churches.

There was a sense of confused anticipation and chaos: much physical transference was taking place as rows of people were steered and regrouped, and an extraordinary variety of emotional reactions were transpiring as Bentley allowed himself to be the channel for what he believed to be a true, genuine outpouring of the spirit of Jesus, and by no means least, the supernatural principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph 3:10-11) were flying amok being transported from spiritual realms into eager human vessels.

SUPERNATURAL FAMILIARITIES….

About two decades before tonight, I’d been present at a similar supernatural extravaganza with an audience of thousands in Antelope, Oregon, but what made tonight’s encounter in Los Angeles more sobering was that I was surrounded by hundreds of thousands who claimed to be born again Christians declaring a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who they believed died for their sins.

The previous happening had been with hundreds upon hundreds of sannyasins (spiritual devotees) from all over Europe and USA who were followers of an Hindu godman, Bhagwan (god) Shree (sir) Rajneesh (little king) at Rajneeshpuram (City of Rajneesh) not Poona, India where I’d first heard his teachings, but in Oregon where he’d since purchased his 65,000 acre “Big Muddy Ranch”.

My film production crew and I were in Oregon to spend several days interviewing sannysins about their teacher, who they considered to be anointed and god himself. Some time later we released the film, accompanied by the book I authored of the same title, “Gods of The New Age”. (The book is soon to be released under a new title, Out of India , updated and revised).

One of the highlights of our shoot in Oregon was to see the effects of a meditation called “Dynamic Meditation” on the sannyasins, dressed in shades of orange to red, (considered to be a sacred color within Hinduism). As they willingly submitted themselves to the supernatural power of their so-called enlightened master they entered into states of bliss through various physical techniques of extreme breathing, extreme screaming and then an extreme stillness. The sannyasins willingness to “let go” of their own minds and become vessels for Rajeesh’s spirits led them into various manifestations similar to those I witnessed by Christian leaders who willingly surrendered themselves to Todd Bentley’s impartation.

At another meditation session, Rajneesh administered his touch to his devotees’ foreheads. Within Hinduism and eastern mysticism the forehead is believed to be a psychic center for power known as the third eye.

A great compassion overwhelmed me as I watched Bentley’s impartation on the foreheads of Christians and the transference of a power Bentley claims to be the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ knock out the vessels which God intended to be vessels of honor for His use (2Ti 2:21, 1Th 4:4). I couldn’t help but notice the Christians reactions of euphoria were identical to those of the sannyasins, a similarity that discerning Christians would understand to be states from a demonic source.

THE SOURCE

Is Bentley’s source different from Rajneesh’s? Rajneesh, now deceased, would say “no”, Bentley and his followers would argue “yes”! Therefore it seems essential to be able to distinguish and recognize the source. Our only discernment must come from the Wisdom of Scripture and not from the mental or heart felt experience itself that’s open to subjective deception.

" The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer 17:9) says the Lord, but The Word of God is Truth. It tells us not to heed an experience or presence, even if it identifies itself as Truth or teachings claiming to be Truth. Therefore it’s essential to “test” spiritual experiences through the filter of God’s Word.

Paul warns in his letter to the Corinthians that false apostles, and deceitful workers are able to “transform” themselves into apostles of Christ. “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2Cr 11:12-15)

No wonder GODTV and some Charismatic leaders instruct the spiritually duped not to “test” spirits who wish to pollute them. The Familiar Spirits who reside in contaminated (Christian) vessels don’t want to leave their earthly dwellings who become their prey. Their master, the “adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Christians are warned to resist him, be sober, be vigilant, be steadfast in THE faith which is there for protection against their deception. (1Pet 5:7-9)

If you’d like to see visuals of various spiritual manifestations after or during impartations click on this youtube presentation. The editors (unknown to me) took several clips from our movie, “Gods of the New Age” and inter-cut our footage of Rajneesh’s impartation with scenes from other pagan, heathen, shaman and Christian “anointing's” in an attempt to show Bentley’s impartation has similar results to “the touch” of pagan mediums and channellers.

THE SPIRITUAL TOUCH

In Hinduism, the touch or transference, is called shaktipat and is believed to be rooted in the sacred force taught to be embodied in the personification of the feminine divine. I don’t think it’s coincidental that the political Feminist movement was birthed out of the 60’s drug culture, or that psychology (a man-made theory) pushes the idea of nurturing the “feminine” side of the brain: the intuitive, the psychic, the artistic emotional bent.

The feminization of society is one of the contributing factors in our culture’s changing spirituality which is attempting to emasculate God’s design for patriarchal authority. He created Adam first from the dust of the earth and out of Adam’s body took a rib to create Eve, to become a “suitable helper” for Adam. (Gen 2:7&22)

In characteristic deception, Satan went to man’s helper to bring about man’s downfall and seduced Eve through questioning God’s Word, “did God really say?” (Gen 3:1) Ever since, Satan hasn’t ceased making mankind question either God’s Word or His design.

Spiritual rebellion attempts to overturn God’s intended design with its counterpart embedded in deifying the matriarch. It displays itself in the rising importance of the “feminine” and the Goddess-touch is sublimely lifted up, subtly connecting its power to the awakening and activation of serpent energy known as “Kundalini”, and esteemed in eastern mysticism as sacred wisdom.

While to the Biblically literate, the serpent is associated with negative power, most eastern cultures view it as a positive source. Having been born in India and raised there for the first nineteen years of my life, I was made acutely aware of supernatural realms and from a child viewed their power, connected to Kundalini, with respect, suspicion and fear.

It wasn’t until I came into a personal faith in Jesus Christ in my early twenties that I learned from the Bible how the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was of monumental significance to the supernatural world whose inhabitants understood its power well.

2000 years ago at the cross, Satan, deified as serpent power, was overthrown. The powers of darkness (Satan and his fallen angels) were defeated by Jesus’ resurrection. Power over sin and death (Satan’s plan) were conquered in Christ’s work. The supernatural world of dark powers and principalities are daily faced with the significant work as Jesus sits in Heaven as the Head of His Church, His Body of believers.

But the plan of darkness still attempts to hide Christ’s Light, especially from Christ’s Bride, the Church, and attempts to deceive all who’ll listen to its lying signs and wonders.

The only remedy in this battle is to be thoroughly equipped with the Word of God so as to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The other option is to rebel the Authority of the Word and become defeated by Satan’s cunning through his ability to Scripture twist. With this technique he got Eve to “experience” his realm. He lured her to “open” her eyes for wisdom to be “like God”: through a spiritually induced rebellion for a spiritual gain that sounded good, Eve submitted. BUT GOD….

GOD’S SALVATION

The intention of Jesus Christ’s mission to earth was to restore abundant life back to the spiritually dead body of all who choose to believe in Him, through Whom believers too can become resurrected as Jesus was lifted from the dead by God His Father.

Faith in Jesus’ work and the continued maturing of the believer by the cleansing of the washing with water through the Word (Eph 5:26) is God’s plan of holiness and power. That, if one will, is the “touch” of God. No man made “impartation” touch is necessary. No rushing here or rushing there for the “anointing” of an anointed one is necessary. No further “outpouring” can be outpoured than that which occurred at Pentecost given through the accomplished work of Jesus Christ Himself.

At pentecost, we’re told there came a sound from heaven, as a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where the disciples were sitting. And tongues of fire sat on each of them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4) John the Baptist had said he baptized with water but another was coming after him who’d baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Mat 3:11) That baptism was accomplished with Jesus as Peter explained. "' In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people." Acts 2:17.

The intentions of Jesus above those already mentioned was to also display His power to the spirit world who’d rebelled against God. He was going to do that through His Body, the Church. Paul explains, “… the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Eph 3:10-13)

No wonder the furious fallen spirit world targets the church in an attempt to make it impotent through false teachers, false prophets and false teachings so that the Church may be held in bondage. I remember the profound impact this revelation had on me as a born-again new believer. The knowledge that Jesus had conquered the hitherto unconquered supernatural bondages that had power over me was enormous. By confessing Jesus I was given His Holy Spirit because of His Promises and I was set free from the hold of my drug addiction, my involvement with unclean spirits from yoga practice, astral projection into supernatural realms, visualization, spiritual experiences and more.

It’s through faith in Jesus work and not through false teachings that bring an “experience”. The apostle Paul explains it as “a mystery” revealed to him by the grace of God, for the edification of believers in Jesus Christ, that we should not to loose heart over the powers of darkness.

The powers of darkness have been brought under subjugation by the completed work of Jesus’ on the cross, to His tomb, to the sky, to His resurrected seat on the right hand of His Father. Supernatural principalities that previously had authority to hoodwink, confuse, deceive, torment and cause mayhem unto death to humans who’d been alienated from their Creator by sin, must now submit to the born again in Christ who are the new body of Jesus on earth, The Church, the Bride, who in “the unsearchable riches of Christ” have become a showcase of the power of Jesus’ to the supernatural world.

To me,” writes Paul, “who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” Eph 3:8-13

COUNTERFEIT

But, while I’d been awakened to the new freedoms I’d found in Christ, when I was about two or three years old in my relationship, I was deceived by “heavenly experiences”. They “felt” so good and my mind justified them as spiritually sound and I started pursuing “the presence” because it felt wonderful. In those days I didn’t realize my mind could be seduced by my spirit through self-motivated emotions. I didn’t know the whole counsel of Scripture or know that spiritual deception could come in the guise of visions and angels. I didn’t know the Scripture then that I have memorized since…

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough." (2Cr 11:3-4)

I put up easily with these false teachings seducing me through “spiritual experiences” and did receive a different spirit from the Holy Spirit that twisted my view of Jesus and His gospel. Using Scripture the enemy enticed me to a brilliant place. I loved my Scripture reading and memorized many parts of the Bible. One day through my application of Psalm 100:4  I found myself visualizing actually being in God’s presence. I did what the psalmist said and “entered his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; and giving thanks to him and praising his name.” BUT, very subtly, I found myself visualizing the actual location of the heavenlies (which was a figment of my imagination) and imagining I was in His Presence through a glorious experience.

The Word teaches that “ He will never leave us”. (Jhn 14:18) That is a promise we receive by faith from hearing. The idea of manufacturing a place in our minds and be in that place and imagine He is there, is a lie to draw the believer away from “faith in the Word” to “faith in my experience” being a greater reality.

From then on my “lust of the flesh” for the experiences grew until one day His Holy Spirit revealed the wrong I was doing in pursuing a technique instead of being stayed on His Word. I learned through bitter experience how deceptive deception can be.

Many Christians use the eastern mystic’s argument that God tells us to “ be still” in order to get into His presence. It is a pagan notion to “practice” the presence rather than know God through His Word by faith. I know that from my days of doing YOGA practice when we had to “imagine” clearing our minds of stress so we could “focus” on the nothingness that eastern mysticism teaches is god-consciousness.

The Psalm often quoted to justify using the mind for contemplative prayer is Psa 46:10  " Be still, and know that I am God;” but it continues, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." In other words, you must stop doing your own works and I will show you what I alone can do to accomplish what I alone plan on getting done for my own glory!

Paul’s encouragement is to focus on Jesus, Jesus and Jesus’ gospel only: all through the filter of His Word. He is Truth. He is Holy. His testimony of what He has accomplished in our lives is excellent and worthy of all our praises.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Phl 4:8-9)

 
 
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