The word is that Todd Bentley, the recently disgraced revivalist conman doing business in Lakeland, Florida, had an affair with another woman 2 1/2 to 3 years ago. His marital infidelities are bothersome to many people.
That's the least of it, however. Bentley is a con artist of the old school. Well, actually, he didn't go to school. He's not been educated at all. Which isn't to say he's not smart. Bentley has what they call "street smarts." He came off the streets into the pulpit bringing with him all those survival tools he had learned to use so well.
The game's the same, though. A con game.
Bentley doesn't work alone. One of his partners in this grime crime is Joshua Mills, a musician and magician, skilled at sleight-of-hand. He's also full of crap and a liar. Mills, like Bentley, and so many of these other Pentecostal revivalists, has encountered angels. He speaks of returning from a meeting one night to have the heavens "opened" with God sending an angel who brought he and his friend(s) "'golden leaves from the trees of heaven.' They were literally golden leaves from the Tree of Life in Heaven. And the angels brought them to us, and we got these leaves, and we're llike 'wow this is amazing' ..."
Then the "Lord" told one of the ladies to eat the leaves which they did and "all of sudden (sic) we began to feel so refreshed and so rejuvenated in the middle of the night that we couldn't get back to sleep."
You obviously observed all the problems in that so-called "angelic" encounter...but the fact that people believe this bullshit is the biggest problem.
Some folks think that Mills is a closet homosexual because of his effeminate ways and his dream of a beautiful male angel. "The angel leaves glasses full of oil at the end of his bed." Mills says that during his ministry this "oil sign" became manifest by "glory dust falling" (cheap plastic glitter) and a keyboard began playing all by itself for the purpose of providing accompaniment to an angel chorus.
Mills has also shown a video of how he changed water into wine in his hotel room..."when no one else was looking.." Tasted just like grape juice!
Back to Bentley. Enough has been written of his criminal past and sexual assault on a young boy that we need not go there again. Furthermore, he's been "born again."
Bentley is part of an extreme charismatic network which I'd never heard about nor would I ever dream that this kind of wackiness would become mainstream in so many communities.
Bentley has claimed a visitation from St. Paul. But that's nothing. "In one televised session he said God asked him to grab a crippled woman's legs and bang them on the stage. He did, he claimed, and she was healed."
Another woman said the spirit told her to ask him to "Kick her in the face." He did. "I went like this bam. Just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell to the power of God.
"Another time I called up this Chinese gentleman and all of a sudden I went running down the aisle and hit the guy so hard he hit the ground and his tooth popped out of his mouth."
Bentley claims no one was hurt and people were actually healed.
Martin Wickens attended Bentley's Lakeland revival. Here are some quotes he heard about the revival.
"The worship was DEAFENING... The sound from the people was LOUDER than the P.A. system...everyone was dancing or jumping!!!
"The Glory came on Todd and the ushers helped him on the stage. Minutes later, he fell out under the power!!!
"A few minutes later he stood up, and YOU COULD SMELL SMOKE IN THE ROOM!! ...
"It literally smelled like a sweet barbeque!! IT MADE US HUNGRY FOR GOD!!!
"The worship leader, Roy, cried out... THE GLORY IS HERE!!! He whirled around several times... the fire hit his feet... and he jumped into the air and fell flat on his face!!!"
Quote #2, this one by Bentley:
"Then I saw the Lord turning you into a human nail, you know, like a spike nail. I saw the hand of the God. I saw the Father hit this hammer & it hit you & it went straight into the ground of Floridas.
"I saw a scroll attached to this nail & it said the Kingdom of God has now come."
"All kinds of spirits of death, infirmity and depression are cast out. This is on-going, day after day, just as Lakeland. It fell here! A cesarean (sic) scar disappeared from a patient. Another patient was lifted up and visited rooms in heaven and received a crown. All this and more is happening at the doctor's office. Bless you. Keep revival on. Thank you Jesus."
"Todd shares... on the morning of Mothers Day 1998... Todd had a visitation of the Holy Spirit. For over three months the power of God touched him. But on Mothers Day, the Lord Himself appeared to him."
God help us!
The particular "prophetic" movement that Bentley represents is chock full of weirdos, sexual misfits and people who are visited regularly by angels or other heavenly beings. Some are involved in the occult.
One of these is Jill Austin from Master Potter ministries. She has told of meeting with the angel Gabriel and other spiritual entities. She claims to have moved through "portals" which connect this world to the next, including the portal to heaven.
Patricia King is another "big" name in the movement who also speaks of portals, jewels, angels, etc.
There are many others and they are active around the world.
Fortunately, for a time at least, Bentley will be off the circuit. After installing ATM machines at his revival in Lakeland, he's probably got enough money to pay off his soon-to-be ex-wife and live a life of luxury...plus, there are millions of other gullible souls out there who will believe anything if it promises a way out of their day to day misery and the hope of heaven when they die. They'll wait for Todd to reappear.
The con goes on!
[Thanks to canadianChristianity.com, endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com, thewickens.info, and eternalpath.com for much of this information.]