Tagged in: Aimee Semple McPherson

Miracles become common: Thoughts on Todd Bentley

Todd Bentley, that wild, crazy, bearded evangelist from Canada. He is seeing miracles in Pakistan. I always love to see the miraculous happen right before our eyes. There is something about when you have someone that is crazy enough to believe God at His word and you mixed that with one of the most radical Islamic cultures. It is a recipe for revival and world evangelism.

I am not say that I endorse Todd Bentley’s theology or agree with him on every issue. In fact, in many ways, we disagree on some pretty important issues but healing and deliverance is not on that list. He know how to get the power of the Holy Spirit to fall like fire….like in Acts 2. God confirms the gospel in Todd’s meetings.

His past and even his failed marriage (and re-marriage) does not bother me too much. Charles Fox Parham was a racist child molester, Aimee Semple McPherson walked out on her husband, A.A. Allen was a drunk, Kathryn Kuhlman was divorced and had moral issues… the list goes on. God uses us inspite of our problems. Our attempts are holiness are rags, filthy and nasty rags at that.

Am I saying it was ok? Not at all. I am saying it is under the blood. When we came to Jesus singing “come just as you are;” it does not change once you get saved. It is just come to Jesus as you are.

Todd Bentley praying

Todd Bentley and Miracles in Pakistan

I have been following Todd’s ministry trip to Pakistan and have a friend that is there. Pakistan is also a special nation to me. It is a key in the natural (anti-terrorism) and in the spiritual. I know that country and in their soil is memories I would rather not have.

I see the miracles happening and I see the masses coming to Jesus. That is what I love about Todd. With all his issues, he still preaches the gospel with power and authority. Many are coming to Christ in the meetings and many are being healing and delivered because Todd will stand and pray “come Holy Spirit, come.” That is nothing but positive.

Do I question that all 60,000 decisions are new believers? Of course but if only half of those are new converts; that is still huge for Pakistan. The Angels throw a party when even one get born again. People are getting saved because of Todd’s willingness to go to the country believing for miracles.

What I have always liked about Todd, despite his issues, has his heart in the right place to just be used by God. There is something to be saved to someone with their heart positioned to the Holy Spirit and say “Here I am, Send Me. I will go anywhere you want me to go.” That willing spirit will anoint you far more than having flawless theology.

I have friends who have as sound of theology as they come but that doesn’t mean that I would hand them a microphone in a healing meeting. You can’t give what you do not have. If someone needs healing, they don’t need a bible study.

todd bentley ministry

Miracle workers and holiness

First of all, we are made holy by being born again. Holiness is not something we do. Our holiness is based on Christ living in us, not how we dress, speak or how good manners we have. Alot of people confused good southern manners and Midwestern hospitality with holiness.

Without said, many people before us had issues but they were still used mighty because they were willing. There was evening that A.A. Allen was too drunk that he had to ask Don Stewart to preach the message. I am not talking drunk in the Holy Spirit either. Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared for a week just to get in the newspaper because she need some publicity.

The list could go on about people that God used to reach their generation that had major character flaws. I think John Alexander Dowie would take the award. He died claiming he was Elijah in the flesh. Guess what, he was critical to the healing theology of the Pentecostal movement.

What I saying? Having a “holy life” (or what we call moral purity) is a good thing to preach but God has used alot of people in their weakness. History is full of examples and guess what? The bible is full of screw ups like Moses, David, and Peter as well.

Miracles are through you

Miracles are not for you. They are through you. It is about impartation. Your healing is not for you. It is so you can give away what you have received. When you are healed, you have the testimony, the rhema word for healing to the world. Your deliverance is a testimony of God’s power; not just so you can live a little “cleaner.”

I am convinced that the world do not care about how Christianity makes you have better homes and garden. if that is what they want, all they need to do is tune into Dr. Phil. What they need is the power of God. Does Jesus still do what the Bible says about him.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

The world wanted to know if this Jesus we talk about still will heal their sick baby and if He can deliver their son that is addicted to crack. They do not need to know how to have better “community,” they need the power of God to break the spirit of shame and fear over them. That is our assignment.

The world is looking for a people of God that actually represent Jesus: healing the sick, raising the dead and casting out devils. They have read the gospels or seen movies about Jesus. They are waiting for us to show them the “stuff” as John Wimber would put it. How long will they wait?

Todd Bentley & Frenso Outpouring

I know they would be coming. Questions Todd Bentley, his Pneumatology and Missiology. They came during Lakeland and they are coming again. Some people are lining up to yell heretic and others are living up to hear BAM! After all, BAM! is the new FIRE from the Brownsville Revival.

Personally I get concerned when I see leaders line up to endorse a guy like Todd. If Lakeland taught use anything, as question as they endorse; they will condemn at the first sign of trouble. Leaving the big names in ministry out of the loop is best. Plus, we are contending for a nameless and faceless generation.

Just as the people in Malta operating under a demonic prophetic anointing declared that Paul was a murderer (throwing the past in his face), the same is true of many of the heresy hunters in the blogshpere. What happened in 2009 is over. The mercies of the Lord is new every morning and today is a new day in the Spirit of God.

todd bentley- Holy Spirit

Does Todd Bentley have a Pneumatology problem?

He does. However, I will take someone full of the Holy Spirit and just believes God at face value over some dead Pentecostal preacher that would not know revival if it hit him in the face. Many of the pastors in the Assemblies of God rejected the Brownsville Revival. That tells you a little bit about discernment on their part. It is always easier to steer a moving boat than it is turn from a dead stop.

I do not share some of Todd’s ideas on having lattes with the Apostle Paul, Angels just chilling with him on a hot summer day, and some of the impartation of church history.

Pneumatology has been an area of weakness for many healing evangelists over the years, You can look at Charles Fox Parham teaching Oneness, Aimee Semple McPherson wierd ideas, William Branham ideas on angels, A.A. Allen telling everyone they have a devil and Lonnie Frisbee’s odd ideas as well. While Todd is in a list of people who some rather special ideas on the Holy Spirit. He is in a good company of saints through the Pentecostal movement.

I have been in many meetings with Todd Bentley. I am there to receive what the Lord has for me but I am not about to throw away my bible to do it. God will never tell you to check your brain at the door.

todd miracle

What is the missiology of Todd Bentley

From what I know, He has pretty close to the same view that we do at Latter Rains; we are marching towards the great end time harvest that all Pentecostal movements hold. Todd believes, as I do, we are heading towards a ONE BILLION soul harvest. I would say alot of that theology is grounded in a prophetic word that Mike Bickle received in Eypgt. God said He would change the understand and expression of Christianity in one generation.  What I know from Todd’s missiology is close to what many of us in the Latter Rain hold. God will pour out his Spirit beyond measure to a people without mixture.

If you was to asked me the missiology of Todd, my guess would to live out Matthew 4:23 in the nations. Go amazing works in the world with signs, wonders, and miracles. Jesus came to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out devils. He also gave us the same assignment as well. If we are not doing it; that is called sin.

Before you throw stones at Todd, consider this was much of the same view of people like William Seymour and Charles Fox Parham. A.G. Garr was touched at the Azusa Street Revival and within weeks he was leaving for India to take message of Pentecost to them. This is nothing new.

todd bentley

My take on Todd Bentley

He has his problems, both personally and theologically, but one thing Todd knows how to do it hosting the Holy Spirit. He does not get in a hurry to do anything and if he feels the people need to soak in the glory of God; he will soak no matter who is watching.

One thing I do admire about Todd is he is willing to forget preaching if the Holy Spirit is moving and God is building people’s faith without anyone teaching. This is something most pastors and even evangelists just can’t get enough freedom to do.

Before you throw stones at Todd, remember the Bible is full of screw ups and we do a disservice to over spiritualize people’s problems in the Bible. After all, we are just as much God’s people!

A.B. Simpson meets the Holy Ghost

A.B. Simpson, a name that people forget about and founder of Christian Missionary Alliance had a powerful experience with the Holy Ghost. We love holy encounters!

The Lord has a way of touching people that wouldn’t expect it. It has happened time after time in the history of the Church. Simpson’s encounter is not a surprise, either.

One thing you have to understand about the man is he had an upbringing deep in Calvinism, Presbyterianism, and being a Puritan. There was, can we say, no emphasis on the Holy Spirit in his theological framework. They believe in full on Cessationism.

Even though he was a Presbyterian, he wanted to win the lost. He took one of the first churches he ministered at and transformed it to be a place of soul winning. He did not have the power of the Holy Spirit yet but he did have the burden the lost. At least, he was on a good track for revival.

A.B. Simpson was setup for Power Evangelism

He really wanted to see the lost saved. If you are hungry for souls, it is only a matter of time before you figure out that the power of the Holy Spirit is how to do it. Being a Calvinist just won’t work. His little five points is anti-evangelistic.

In 1889, he moved to what become known as the New York Tabernacle on 8th Avenue in New York City. Around that same time, he was having trouble with his theology. He wanted to see more success in the mission of soul winning. He had to find the missing link.

It was around this time, he came to have a ministerial philosophy of “Jesus our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King.” Oddly, this became the cornerstone for the Gospel of the Foursquare under the ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson as well.

The details of when he was baptised with the Holy Spirit is not completely clear but it was sometime around the time they moved to the New York Tabernacle. Shortly after that, he started preaching divine healing as an integral part of the gospel. It was not an addon to the gospel; it was the gospel just as much as salvation was.

The Assemblies of God did not exist yet and it was years ahead of the Azusa Street Revival. However, A.B. Simpson’s position on divine healing would become official doctrine on the Assemblies of God in 1916.

He would say in his book, A Larger Christian Life in 1890,

He is showing us the plan for a Christian church that is much more than an association of congenial friends to listen once a week to an intellectual discourse and musical entertainment and carry on by proxy a mechanism of Christian work; but rather a church that can be at once the mother and home of every form of help and blessing which Jesus came to give to lost and suffering men, the birthplace and the home of souls, the fountain of healing and cleansing, the sheltering home for the orphan and distressed, the school for the culture and training of God’s children, the armory where they are equipped for the battle of the Lord and the army which fights those battles in His name. Such a center of population in this sad and sinful world!

We can take to account that sometimes before 1890, he received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost but we are not sure when exactly.

A.B. Simpson and tongues

He is like many through history that struggled to believe that praying in tongues was the initial evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many believed it and many did not. It is believe that Simpson did pray in tongues but did not believed you have to in order to be baptized in the Holy Ghost.

The Christian Missionary Alliance developed a position that the fruit of the Spirit was the evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism and it was proved by a fruitful ministry. This was in directly conflict with the position what became the view of the Assemblies of God later, “The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.”

As more and more Pentecostal came to Nyack College to study theology; this became more and more of an issue. Some believe it was the evidence and others did not. It would create quite the controversy early on in the Pentecostal movement and in the Christian Missionary Alliance.

Modern Day Connections

Around 1921, they started a bible school in Seattle called Simpson Bible Institute. It was named about A.B. Simpson who had just died two years earlier. One of the booklet said that Seattle was ideal because it put them several hundred miles closer to China and easier to get missionaries on the ground in Asia.

In 1989, after many moves, they landed in Redding, California and around the same time, launched the A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary.

What else Redding, California has become known for is Bethel Assembly of God or today, Bethel Church led by Bill Johnson and Kris Vallaton. This is the linkage of two generation of missionary soulwinning together for a common vision of the Holy Ghost evangelism.

Bethel Church even had a service at the university once a week that focus on healing the sick, an emphasis of A.B. Simpson. Students of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry also stay on campus in one of the dorms of the school.

The coming together of two streams to form a river is a power thing in the Kingdom of God. The Christian Missionary Alliance represents a history that influenced the Pentecostal revival prior to it even existing and Bethel Church represents a modern healing revival that was very much the heart of A.B. Simpson.

With that, there are many in the Christian Missionary Alliance that do not openly embrace the modern move of God but that is true with every revival. One generation has a hard time passing the Baton to the next generation. It is just the Christian Missionary Alliance people that struggle with this.