A Response to Todd Bentley's Commissioning in Lakeland, Florida - Part 1
by Joanne Panettieri, Editor
It is of great significance that Todd Bentley was “commissioned” on June 23, 2008. I will explore some of the occult and new age connections to this date and to some of the statements made during the service. I have included the videos from the ceremony so you can see for yourselves. I have no way of knowing if the men involved in this meeting were acting and saying these things because they knew what they were doing, or if it was just the spiritual forces using them. Either way the evidence is overwhelming that there were dark forces at work.
Joanne Panettieri, Editor, Kingdom Iconoclast
Peter Wagner was called in to address some of Todd's excesses. Instead of bringing correction, he presided over a service that ordained Todd Bentley as an evangelist. I will post my comments after each video.
Note in the beginning of his address, Peter Wagner talks about bringing Todd Bentley into 'apostolic alignment'. Alignment is a new age buzz word:
ALIGNMENT: An arrangement in a straight line.
Spiritually, in the church growth model, bringing your will into conformity with the vision and goals of your local church.
The metaphysical belief that one must coordinate their bodily, mental, emotional and spiritual functions with the forces in the Universe for maximum benefit and effect. (1)
So what does this 'apostolic' alignment mean? Could we say that it is: " bringing Todd's will into conformity with the vision and goals of the 'apostles' with the purpose of advancing this outpouring with even greater signs, wonders and a global reach" or that by bringing Todd Bentley into apostolic alignment he is now under their control?
Here is a partial transcript of Peter Wagner's speech:
"This is a ceremony celebrating the formal apostolic alignment of Todd Bentley. My first desire is to lay a biblical foundation for what we are about to do.
I will begin with a scripture that has been a central text for those of us who are in the stream of the contemporary apostolic/prophetic movement, Ephesians 4:11-12:
And He Himself [Jesus at His ascension] gave some
To be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists
And some pastors and teachers,
For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry.
The word “equipping” is a translation of the Greek katartizo which literally means “aligning,” as in setting a broken bone or a chiropractic adjustment. It means putting things in order so that the body functions as it was designed to function. This is one of the responsibilities of apostles such as those whom you see on the platform, and that is the reason we are present tonight. For example, Paul wrote to Titus, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking” (Titus 1:5). " (2)
Please note the word "equipping" that Peter Wagner's version uses. I looked up the verse in Ephesians 4 in the KJV and it states:
Eph: 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
The ESV (literal translation) states:
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds  and teachers,  12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
The Greek word for "perfecting" or "equip" is indeed Katartismos. The definition is: complete furnishing, equipping
It comes from the root word: Katartizo which is a verb and means:
to render, i.e. to fit, sound, complete
to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair
to complete to fit out, equip, put in order, arrange, adjust
to fit or frame for one's self, prepare ethically: to strengthen, perfect, complete, make one what he ought to be
Equipping - (2677) (katartismos from katartizo = mend, repair, make whole or perfect, of setting bones, mending nets in turn from katá = with + artízo = adjust, fit, finish related to ) means to make something or someone (in this case the "sheep" in the flock) completely adequate or sufficient for something. The basic idea is that of putting a thing into the condition in which it ought to be. In politics it is used for bringing together opposing factions so that government can go on.
The English word equip means to furnish for service or action by appropriate provisioning. Equip describes the supplying with the items needed for a particular purpose, both of these definitions providing excellent pictures of the effect the gifted men should have on the body of Christ.
Fitting or preparing them fully, so that thus equipped or fitted out they might serve the purpose for which they were made. (3)
As you can see it does not literally mean "aligning" as in Peter Wagner's definition. His idea of aligning means to "set in array under". His understanding of the apostolic is 'vertical' and "horizontal". In other words, when you are properly aligned under the right apostles then your ministry is legitimate and will flourish. But the actual meaning of equipping the saints is well said by Dr. S. Lewis Johnson:
What Paul is really saying is these gifted men, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, are given for the equipping of the saints – that’s their one duty, to equip the saints – that the saints might do the work of ministry that the body of Christ might be edified. So that the work of the ministry is not the work of the gifted man; he’s simply to equip them from the word of God. He’s to teach the Scriptures so that they, built up in the faith, strengthened, given doctrine of biblical knowledge and the application of it, are then able to carry on ministry. Everyone is a minister in the body of Christ. So you are a minister in the body of Christ (4)
Apostolic alignment is just the updated version of the shepherding movement of years ago. Everyone had to be personally accountable to someone else. But even the leaders of this movement repented for its excesses!
Here is what the new apostles are saying about “apostolic alignment”:
John Eckhardt says that Apostolic alignment is important in this hour. We must align ourselves with the apostolic and prophetic movement. (5)
The following quotes are from Dan Cheatham in his book Apostolic Alignment. He states that:
“Likewise, my spiritual destiny is also directly tied to who my spiritual father is. A spiritual father can carry you into your divine destiny WITH HIM. Your destiny is connected to his destiny.
"Sons KNOW who their spiritual father is.
A spiritual father is rarely your PAL, your BUD, or your FISHING PARTNER.
A spiritual father is the spiritual leader to whom you are assigned by God to:
1) GROW with,
2)FLOW with, and
3) GO with.
“If you are not a spiritual son to someone you are OUT of kingdom alignment. You need a Holy Ghost chiropractic adjustment... and badly!”
Cheatham also says: “If you are not connected to your spiritual father, your success in the Kingdom of God is limited, at best.”
“If you are a preacher or pastor and you don't really have anyone whom you can call your spiritual father, YOU TOO ARE OUT OF APOSTOLIC ALIGNMENT, and you need to pray and take steps to allow God to connect you.”
“If you are OUT OF ALIGNMENT you cannot come into the fullness of your spiritual growth or the full fruitfulness of your ministry.” (6)
So I’d like to know how people operated in the fullness of their ministry before this new apostolic reformation took place?? Who was Wesley’s apostle? Or Finneys? This just looks to me like man’s attempt to control others. This mentality goes directly against scripture which teaches us that the head of every man is CHRIST, not another MAN!
1Cor 11:3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Here is a quote by Peter Wagner explaining his position on the apostolic: "I have the advantage of being a horizontal apostle, and a horizontal apostle is one who can bring together vertical apostles, whereas it is very difficult for vertical apostles to call other vertical apostles together (note: vertical apostles are leaders of apostolic networks, whereas horizontal apostles are graced by God to give apostolic leadership and direction to certain spheres of the body of Christ as a whole)."
Where he gets this vertical and horizontal apostle idea, I have no idea! This concept is not laid out anywhere in the Bible! Jesus' model of leadership was "SERVANT LEADERS".
Philippians 2:1-11 "1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!"
Later on in his speech Peter Wagner says:
"Notice that the apostles in Jerusalem “perceived the grace that God had given to Paul.” “The word “grace” is charis, the root of charisma, meaning “spiritual gift or gifts.” In Paul’s case it was the gift mix necessary to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. In Todd’s case it is the gift mix necessary to lead the Lakeland Outpouring.
I have a question for the three apostles: Do you perceive the grace of God given to Todd Bentley as an evangelist to lead the Lakeland Outpouring? [Answer: “I do.”] " (7)
I would have to agree. Todd Bentley has spiritual gifts all right, but you can't find too many of them in the Bible. Is it the grace of God that motivated him to kick a woman in the face or leg drop a pastor? This is a man who using creative visualization, astral projection, un-biblical angelic visitations and manifests and imparts the Kundalini awakening. Todd is leading an outpouring all right, but I don't believe it's led by God's Holy Spirit. There is no preaching of God's word and no reverence for a Holy God evident there.
Wagner then says: "With this affirmation we will move to a formal commissioning, equivalent to “offering the right hand of fellowship” as the three apostles did to Paul in Jerusalem." (8)
So, he's saying that being offered 'the right hand of fellowship' is on par with an apostolic commissioning? Can Peter Wagner take God's word any more out of context??
His closing remarks are:
This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley:
· Your power will increase.
· Your authority will increase.
· Your favor will increase.
· Your influence will increase.
· Your revelation will increase.
I also decree that:
·A new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry.
·A new life force will penetrate this move of God.
·A government will be established to set things in their proper order.
·God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error.
·New relationships will surface to open gates for the future. (9)
What jumps out immediately is the phrase: "a new life force will penetrate this move of God" The life force is a VERY NEW AGE TERM!! As we will see it is related to illumination and light and not the God of the Bible. The Bible tells us that the devil, Lucifer (light bearer) disguises himself as “an angel of light”
In new age circles the Kundalini is called the “life force”:
"Kundalini has been called the lifeforce -- the vital, animating current within all creation. The energy of Kundalini has been used everywhere in the world for healing and accessing spiritual experience." http://www.elcollie.com/st/fire.html
Wikipedia defines "Life force" as a concept of spiritual energy
The vital energy contained in all things that circulates through the meridians.
(biology) a hypothetical force (not physical or chemical) once thought by Henri Bergson to cause the evolution and development of organisms
The hypothetical principle that animates all living organisms
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/life force (10)
“Life force” or “spiritual energy” is further defined by Wikipedia as:
The term Energy has been widely adopted into the fields of spirituality, complementary medicine etc. to refer to a variety of forces, known and unknown, measurable and immeasurable, actual and putative, physical and spiritual, often, though not always, conceived as "fields" or subtle forms surrounding the earth or any living thing, supposed to be directly perceptible and accessible to the human mind as "rays", "fields" or "vibrations".
In many cases "energy" is conceived of as a universal life force: to this extent "spiritual energy" theories resemble scientific vitalism and may even invoke the Luminiferous Ether of Victorian physics. (In the late 19th century, "luminiferous aether" (or "ether"), meaning light-bearing aether, was the term used to describe a medium for the propagation of light. (11))
Additionally, or alternatively, such notions are often aligned with or derived from conceptions found in other cultures, such as the Chinese idea of Qi and the Prana of the Upanisads. Many such ideas arise from the primitive idea of life as breath - a relationship implicit also in the word "spirit".
In the late 19th century, "luminiferous aether" (or "ether"), meaning light-bearing aether, was the term used to describe a medium for the propagation of light. The word aether stems via Latin from the Greek αιθήρ, from a root meaning to kindle, burn, or shine. It signified the substance thought in ancient times to fill the upper regions of space, beyond the clouds. (12)
Is it any wonder that Todd Bentley’s ministry is called Fresh Fire and that one of the main manifestations that appears at these meetings is that people believe that their hands and feet are on fire?
In "Secret Societies and Subversive Movements", author Nesta Webster writes the following:
“The implementation of Masonry and Illuminati agendas must cover all avenues of thought, weaknesses and vices of people. That is the only way to really gain control and direct the masses.
"In the discourse of reception to the "Illumination Dirigens," the appeal to love of power plays the most important part: Do you realize sufficiently what it means to rule-- to rule in a secret society? Not only over the lesser or more important of the populace, but over the best men, over men of all ranks, nations, and religions, to rule without external force, to unite them indissolubly, to breathe one spirit and soul in to them, men distributed over all parts of the world?"
Could this be connected to the Life Force that Peter Wagner was refering to?
Peter Wagner also tells Todd Bentley that God is going to pour out a higher level of discernment. If God pours out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error this movement will have to be shut down, because there is so MUCH error in it!
Also note that Wagner says that new relationships will surface to open gates for the future. This is another new age catch phrase as an open gate is another way of saying open door or portal.
“In fantasy games, science-fiction, and some "New Age" philosophies, a portal is a gateway to another world of the past, present, or future, or to an expanded awareness.” (14) Todd Bentley is obsessed with talking about going through portals!
It is also interesting to note that when Che An is reading the Word over Todd Bentley, his head is shaking back and forth as in "no"! The spirit that is manifesting is NOT in agreement with what Che An is saying!
1. Discernment Ministries http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NEWAGETerms.htm
6. Dan Cheatham “Apostolic Alignment” www.devotional.net/uploads/147/77190.pdf
Go to Part 2