Todd Bentley: Bring the Power, Not the Gospel
By Bud Press, Research Consultant
(September 14, 2012)
According to its website, Catch the Fire is an “international family of churches and ministries that was birthed as a result of the incredible revival that began in Toronto in 1994″ (http://www.catchthefire.com/About).
Some of the names you will see on Catch the Fire’s website are John Arnott, Che Ahn, Roland and Heidi Baker, Georgian and Winnie Banoff, Randy Clark, and Bill and Beni Johnson–all of whom are popular leaders within the hyper-Charismatic movement (http://www.catchthefire.com/about/our-friends).
But what about Todd Bentley?
Catch the Fire TV, now on YouTube, advertises Catch the Fire events, and features a variety of videos from a variety of hyper-Charismatics, including Todd Bentley (http://www.youtube.com/user/CatchTheFireTV/videos?query=Todd+Bentley).
In a video titled Session B, Charlie Robinson, a one-time associate of Todd Bentley, welcomes Bentley during the 2004 Canada Ablaze Crusade (dated April 29, 2004; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnfSZ__b_-Y). During Bentley’s message, he fired-off his own blazing words, which should cause warning flags of discernment to fly at full mast.
Beginning at 1:57:58 into the video, Bentley states,
Here’s what I want to say, guys: don’t try to bring ‘em the gospel, try to bring ‘em the power. People don’t turn down free prayer.
Walk up to someone today and go, “Can I pray for you?” And their response is either gonna be “Yes” or “Why?” And then you’re gonna say, “Is, is there anything going on in your life right now?”
Hey, listen, if, if I can get unbelievers to let me at least lay hands on ‘em, I can get ‘em saved–without a presentation of the gospel, without a tract. Just let me get my hands on ‘em and let them feel the fire going through their body.
Continuing, Bentley tells his audience that the “heat” that travels through their bodies is “Jesus,” and further states,
Don’t even ask them “Do you wanna get saved?” Don’t even give people the option. Just say, “Let’s pray.”
This is not an isolated incident. Bentley’s attempts to downplay the gospel and elevate the “power” over the gospel are found within two of his books that were published in 2008:
We can preach the Gospel all day long, but that won’t win souls. That won’t win the hearts of the people. We can talk, try to theorize, theologize, reason, argue, debate, and spend time trying to prove that Jesus lived, but that won’t win a heart. [Todd Bentley, Kingdom Rising: Making the Kingdom Real in Your Life, Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., October 2008, p. 67, book on file]
In my ministry, I teach my disciples, “Power first, then the Word. Go in and prophesy first, or demonstrate the power of God first in some way.” [Todd Bentley, The Reality of the Supernatural World, Destiny Image, Inc., June 2008, p. 72, book on file]
Todd Bentley is consistent in his denials. To him, it isn’t the preaching of the gospel and grace of God that saves the lost, it is the “heat” that surges through people from the “power” Bentley supposedly releases through his hands.
It boggles the mind to know that people believe this garbage. How anyone who claims to be Christian can adore and defend Todd Bentley is incredible. His in-your-face false teachings and blasphemies should resonate like a clanging bell in the ears of his followers, and shout a wake-up call of “Get away from him!”
Without a doubt, Todd Bentley’s words are of demonic origin. His emphasis is on the “power,” not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Refuting Bentley with the Bible
Here are Scriptural references that refute Bentley’s damnable teachings:
2 John 1:9-10: Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith; andthat not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4: Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
1 Corinthians 1:18: For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 9:16: For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
2 Corinthians 4:5: For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.
1 Timothy 4:1-2: But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.
Galatians 1:6-9: I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
Philippians 3:18-19: For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4: But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15: For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
John 16:13: But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
2 Timothy 4:1-4: I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
1 John 4:1: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 Timothy 6:3-5: If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
1 Corinthians 2:14: But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
False teachers present a clear and present danger to the spiritual welfare of the believer, as well as those searching for the real Jesus Christ. The damage caused by these men and women to individuals, families and, most importantly, the cause of Christ, is beyond words.
Todd Bentley’s so-called “power” and “fire” and heated “Jesus” do not have the authority and power to forgive sin, save, sanctify, and redeem the lost, because he preaches a false gospel and false “Jesus,” and is overshadowed by a false spirit. Belief in Bentley’s false gospel will damn a soul to hell.
But the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ does have the power by which people are saved. Pull the plug on Todd Bentley’s “power,” and shine the light on the true gospel.
For more articles about Todd Bentley see the Todd Bentley: Punching Preacher and Lakeland Florida Revival Heresies & Violent Spirituality: A Closer Look at Todd Bentley & Fresh Fire Ministries