A major feature of the New Apostolic Reformation is its practice of sorcery.
But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” Acts 8:9-10 (Emphasis added.)
TODD BENTLEY AND THE NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION
The NAR have always considered themselves more influential, powerful and spiritual then Christianity. We saw this to be the case with the rise of Todd Bentley of Lakeland.
Todd Bentley is not only part of the NAR, he is one of the greatest ‘sorcerers’ in their movement. One considered great by all those who heard about his power ministry/meetings at Lakeland. This meant he emphasised POWER above the Word of God and promoted an elitist mindset in others in order to separate themselves from Christianity with his false gospel and ministry.
Because of this emphasis on power in the NAR, followers have separated themselves from Christianity altogether with the following:
- Power Gospel (aka Gospel of the Kingdom)
- Power Encounters (see John Wimber)
- Power Evangelism/Power Healing (see John Wimber)
- Power Ministries
- Power Houses (ak New Wine Skins, Apostolic Centers, etc.)
They’ve always claimed to be orthodox, to believe the bible and the creeds – but this is smply not true. For instance, the now deceased C. Peter Wagner (the leader of the NAR), argued that the NAR was not a cult and gave the illusion that the NAR believed the creeds. But even Wagner denies that Jesus is fully God and fully man, which means he rejects the Athanasian Creed, which confesses, “Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all else, hold to the true Christian faith. Whoever does not keep this faith pure in all points will certainly perish forever.”
TODD BENTLEY’S GOSPEL
The NAR knows what to say to silence their critics and then proceed to preach their own heresies to further their movement. Todd Bentley is a good example of this where he will say the right things about Jesus and the gospel by saying such things as:
“The gospel, in a nutshell, is the message that God so loved the world that He came to seek and save those who were lost,
and that you need to be born again. Yes, that is the gospel.”
But that is how false teachers work. Look at what he attaches to this gospel:
“Yes, that is the gospel. But as we just discovered, the gospel is more than a message.
It’s also a demonstration of the power of God.“
This is the classic NAR Power Gospel (aka. ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’). He did not shy away from teaching this at Lakeland. What he says next should make you realise he is not a Christian brother but a wolf in sheep’s clothing:
“It’s time to receive a revelation about God’s creative power, the power that goes hand in hand with the gospel of the kingdom and the release of miracles… Jesus never said the gospel was just a message you share with people so they can be saved.”
“If you believe that you can be a Christian without power or you can be a Christian without miracles, signs and wonders (believing that miracles passed away with the age of the disciples) then you actually believe that the gospel is powerless. Your mind is saying that Jesus didn’t really die and rise again, and the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead really doesn’t live inside of you. To say that Jesus doesn’t still do miracles today is like saying that the gospel is just having to convince someone enough until they can have an emotional experience, or you can argue them into the kingdom if you can just convince them by facts and theology.”
So if others don’t believe and practice Bentley’s gospel, he is telling them that they internally do not believe that Jesus died and rose again.
He just accused them of being alienated by God. It doesn’t stop there. He attacks Christians further by accusing them of being religious or having a religious mindset if they refuse to accept the standard NAR gospel message:
“You know, sometimes we have a religious mindset and think that the more scriptures we quote, the more power there is. We think that the more we are able to debate theologically about Jesus with somebody who doesn’t believe like we do, the more we’re able to win them into the kingdom. Forget about it!”
REFUTING BENTLEY’S FALSE GOSPEL
This is a direct attack on any Christian and Jesus Christ Himself. Scripture plainly teaches, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7) and this is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t move in signs and wonders to overcome the devil – Jesus used the written word of God to resist the devil and the devil fled (Luke 4). Bentley is just another example of one of Satan’s servants (also called Super Apostles) who parade in the light but lure Christians away from believing in the power of God’s Word alone. Christians believe that God moves in power – but that power comes through His Word to bring a sinner to salvation. When Bentley claims, “Jesus never said the gospel was just a message you share with people so they can be saved,” Bentley is condemning Christ when he commanded all Christsian to make disciples and all those who believe in his message.
Not only does, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ,” (Romans 10:17), Jesus claimed to the masses, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign,” (Luke 11:29). Why? Look at what Jesus concluded in his parable of Lazarus and the rich man:
“… I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:27-31
Is this not the fruit of the NAR Gospel? To paraphrase, God said to the rich man,
They have my written word. “Let them hear that.”
The rich man’s response is the same as Todd Bentley’s unbelief:
“No!” BUT if someone is raised from the dead, “they will repent.”
The sin of the rich man was that he had no faith in God and that it was clearly evident not only in his life but in even how he spoke to father Abraham. It is unbelief that is powering Todd Bentley’s gospel. This is seen in his teaching down below.
Todd Bentley says:
THE GOSPEL IS POWER – PART 1
This two-part teaching entitled The Gospel is Power is sure to whet your appetite and inspire you to come up higher so that you’re empowered to advance the cause of Christ in the earth. You’ll learn about God’s creative power and how it goes hand in hand with the gospel of the kingdom and the release of miracles, signs and wonders. Next week you’ll discover how faith and the power of God can bring you into new levels and fresh revelation for sharing the gospel in a dynamic way.
THE GOSPEL IS POWER
BY REVIVALIST TODD BENTLEY
Hallelujah! We serve a mighty God! We can boldly declare with the apostle Paul, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).Think about that! We can be absolutely sure that the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the power of God to salvation for every single person who believes. The gospel of Christ is the power of God!
So today I want to discuss how the gospel of Christ is the power of God. We’ll begin by examining the function of the Holy Spirit in the context of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. Then we’ll discuss: the realm of God, the activity of God, creative power in an earthly scene, and how God’s kingdom overrules the material realm. Here we go!
THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
The presence of the Holy Spirit, which brings both the manifestation of the kingdom of God and the nature of the Holy Spirit, is creative. It’s who He is. You can’t ever take that from the Holy Spirit. Miracles can’t be prevented! Healings can’t be stopped! Do you know why? It’s because of the presence, the dynamic, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit! The presence and personality of who the Holy Spirit is brings the manifestation of the creative power of heaven to earth. His creative power gives evidence when He is on the scene, and when He releases His creative power on the earth, that action reveals the kingdom of God in operation.
When Jesus declared that “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15), or “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17; 10:7), He never said that again. From that day forward He spoke about the kingdom in the context of “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21) and He demonstrated (showed) the manifestation of the kingdom. I’ll talk about some of those manifestations in a minute, but let’s take a further look at the kingdom of heaven first.
Most Christians are waiting for the kingdom of heaven to happen when they die—“absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). But Jesus said, “… the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And from the beginning of the time that Jesus first began to walk on this earth in His earthly ministry and He released the dynamic and the presence of the Holy Spirit, He ushered in the kingdom of heaven. AND IT’S STILL HERE!
Listen! It’s not just when we die that we experience the kingdom of heaven! We can come into the realm of the kingdom of heaven now by experiencing what Jesus meant when He said: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). The kingdom of heaven is the manifestation of the kingdom of God on the earth, as it is in heaven. The reality is this: as it is in heaven means that there is no sorrow, or pain, or sickness because such conditions do not exist in heaven.
So, do you know what the Lord is beginning to reveal and to say? Here’s what I sense God saying: “I want you to pray: as it is in heaven so let it be done in the earth. I want you to begin to release and contend and lay hold of that in the spirit because I want to bring into the earth, as it is in heaven. You are waiting to get to heaven but I want to bring ‘as it is in heaven’ to the earth. I want to bring ‘as it is in heaven’ in the area of glory and angelic activity—no more sorrow, no more pain, no more sickness, into the earth.” Friends, this is what the kingdom of God is.
I love what Paul the apostle said about the kingdom of God—“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). We’re not supposed to fix our eyes on what’s temporal and get stuck there. The temporal things aren’t going to last. Instead we need to focus on what’s eternal because what’s eternal is going to last forever and it’s in the Spirit realm. The eternal is the unseen substance of what’s in heaven. In fact, the eternal overrules the material or physical realm, the physical symptoms of the sickness that are in your body, and the physical circumstances of your life.
Therefore, we need to say, “Come Holy Spirit; so as it is in heaven, it will begin to be on earth.” As you invite the kingdom of God and as you say, “Holy Spirit come,” He brings the realm of God, He brings the activity of God. When the Holy Spirit shows up, a superior order shows up, and it breaks the law of science, it breaks every doctor’s report and what every person has said about you concerning what you can and cannot do. It breaks the law of physics and the realm of the impossible. It begins to open up the impossible! It begins to open up the eternal! It begins to open up the supernatural! People get healed! Doctors say, “I don’t know. There was a cancer in your body. Scientifically this doesn’t make sense. I don’t know what to say. The cancer isn’t there now.” How did this happen? It’s because of the presence of the Holy Ghost. So we need to begin to believe for a manifestation of God’s kingdom in our lives.
Here’s an example in scripture of God’s kingdom in action. “When evening had come, they brought to Him (Jesus) many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick” (Matt. 8:16). Casting out demons with a word and healing the sick are manifestations of the kingdom of God! Later, Jesus said, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12:28).
Believing for a manifestation of God’s kingdom in our lives and walking in a kingdom mindset is vital. Why? Because we were created on purpose for this purpose! We are body and we are spirit; we are born from above. Jesus told Nicodemus that no one could see the kingdom of God unless that person is born again or born from above. Here’s what Jesus said: “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 Amplified).
The Kingdom School – CANADA | USA INTL
The purpose of the Kingdom School is to teach believers how to live in the reality of God’s supernatural kingdom. Scripture teaches us that Christ’s kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21).
AS IT IS IN HEAVEN SO LET IT BE DONE ON EARTH
Being born from above opens up a whole new world to us! It means that you’re not just supposed to experience life on the earth with your natural senses and it all ends there. No! But as a spirit being born from above and born again, you’re to experience the heavenly realm with your spiritual senses. To live in that heavenly realm and to walk in the spirit is to live and believe as it is in heaven so let it be done on earth (Matt. 6:10). The whole ministry of Jesus Christ was a demonstration, picture, and manifestation of the kingdom of God. His whole ministry of the kingdom of God involved bringing creative power out of the heavens to override the natural and the impossible in the earth and to release the supernatural of God. Friends, that’s what that kingdom of God is. That’s what the kingdom of heaven is. And that’s what the ministry of Jesus was, and is, all about.
Look at this. In Old Testament times God’s people only had a measure of the manifestation of the kingdom of God. Only certain men walked in a measure of miracles, signs and wonders—like Moses, Elijah and Elisha. But the beautiful thing about the New Testament times and the better grace and the better dispensation and the better promises (Heb. 8:6) is that now, for those who believe in Jesus and who are born again, we will do the same works that Jesus did and greater works than that (John 14:12).
If you have a high calling from heaven it doesn’t matter what the natural world says. It doesn’t matter what you feel. It doesn’t matter what you see. It doesn’t matter what you think. You are living by another set of rules. You are living by a superior order. You are in the realm of God. You are in the activity of God. So you need to begin to believe that.
It’s true. The kingdom of heaven is at hand! I believe it. I set my mind there. That’s where I set my thinking. I set my mind on things above. Everywhere I go I have faith to believe for the impossible. Not everyone has been healed but there’s not a place where I’ve been where I haven’t been able to release God’s miraculous healing and delivering power. Sometimes it’s an instant miracle and sometimes it manifests in a week. But it’s not just me; God wants you to know that all believers can lay hands on the sick because He opened it up for all believers to have the ministry and the function of the kingdom of heaven. He opened it up for the saints to be released into the work of the ministry in the power and anointing of the Holy Ghost. Believe that!
Do you know why miracles and healings must happen? Do you know why I’ve never been in a place where somebody wasn’t healed? Like I said earlier, it’s because of the presence, the dynamic, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit! I’ll tell you what, you may not see it now, but if I am truly operating in kingdom power and I say it, it might take a little while to get it out of the heavens, but it’s coming!
Let’s pause for a moment and encourage ourselves in God’s word. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and me (Rom. 8:11). The very Holy Ghost that was hovering over the face of the deep in the beginning before the manifestation of the world as we know it, He is the release of creative power.
THE GOSPEL OF GOD IS THE POWER OF GOD
It’s time to receive a revelation about God’s creative power, the power that goes hand in hand with the gospel of the kingdom and the release of miracles. The sick cannot NOT be healed! Do you believe that God wants to release you into a ministry of miracles and give you an impartation of that anointing?
Keep that question in mind as we look once again at Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” When you get a revelation of what the apostle Paul is saying, you will see miracles happen. For the gospel of God is the power of God. It’s very important that you understand that the gospel without power is not the gospel of Jesus Christ the way He meant it to be proclaimed. A gospel without people being saved and healed, and without people being delivered and radically changed, is not the gospel of Jesus Christ!
It’s sad, but a lot of the time the gospel in North America has become vague and politically correct. Believers use words and phrases like this: I think; my opinion is; perhaps; if you’d like to believe with me this is what I think. Some Christians say, “Todd, everything that we do in the gospel doesn’t have to be about power you know. What about just the message?”
Yes, my friends, there is a message, but Jesus never said the gospel was just a message you share with people so they can be saved. Paul said, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power . . .” (1 Thess. 1:5). He also said, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Cor. 2:4). Paul had a radical revelation of the gospel in the ministry of Jesus and what that looked like.
Jesus always connected the kingdom of God and the gospel together. The kingdom is the creative power of God taken out of the heavens onto an earthly scene for supernatural miracles to be released. The gospel, in a nutshell, is the message that God so loved the world that He came to seek and save those who were lost, and that you need to be born again. Yes, that is the gospel. But as we just discovered, the gospel is more than a message. It’s also a demonstration of the power of God.
Look. If you believe that you can be a Christian without power or you can be a Christian without miracles, signs and wonders (believing that miracles passed away with the age of the disciples) then you actually believe that the gospel is powerless. Your mind is saying that Jesus didn’t really die and rise again, and the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead really doesn’t live inside of you. To say that Jesus doesn’t still do miracles today is like saying that the gospel is just having to convince someone enough until they can have an emotional experience, or you can argue them into the kingdom if you can just convince them by facts and theology.
You know, sometimes we have a religious mindset and think that the more scriptures we quote, the more power there is. We think that the more we are able to debate theologically about Jesus with somebody who doesn’t believe like we do, the more we’re able to win them into the kingdom. Forget about it!
When I start telling people about Jesus and they say: “I don’t believe it, I don’t believe in the Bible,” I say, “OK, fine. Let’s close the Bible.” Sometimes people need a demonstration of the gospel, not just hearing a message. For instance, this was the situation when we were in South Africa. We were out in the ghettos preaching in an open air meeting. Drug addicts and gangsters were coming down by the hundreds and many of them were getting saved. And over behind them on the hill stood about 20 or 30 young gangsters who were mocking all the people that were getting saved and falling down. So I said to those guys: “You don’t believe this?” They said, “We don’t believe in God. We don’t believe that what’s happening over there is real.”
I didn’t try and convince them with words. I didn’t try to back it up scripturally or win them into the kingdom theologically or theorize and give an opinion. I said, “Fine. I want you to line up right now, every single one of you. I want you to line up on this hill. I am going to lay hands on you and you watch because God is going to touch you. I guarantee it. If God doesn’t touch you, then God isn’t real.” And so they all lined up and the Holy Ghost smacked them! They began to be laid out under the power and they got saved! Those guys needed to experience a manifestation of the demonstration of the Spirit of God.
Listen. The Holy Ghost demonstrated “the gospel is power” to those guys in South Africa, but what about North America? I believe anything less is not going to cut it in North America! In North America what’s going to release the power of God and the harvest is the word of knowledge; it’s going to be prophetic evangelism; it’s going to be signs and wonders; it’s going to be the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Here’s what I say: “If you don’t think God is real, come and sit in one of my meetings for a couple of nights and I guarantee you will say, ‘God is truly among you.’”
The power of God is inherent in the gospel!! Next week we will discuss different aspects of God’s power and how His power manifests and empowers us to share the gospel in its fullness!
Source: Todd Bentley, THE GOSPEL IS POWER – PART 1, FreshFire.ca, http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Act=read&status=teaching&Id=149&pid=954&bid=955, Published 31/07/2006. (Accessed 08/03/2017.) [Archive]
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Categories: Fresh Fire Ministries