The most scary thing that comes out of Todd Bentley's Dec. 18th, 2009 service, however, is that Jessa Bentley, Todd's new wife who is evidently learning quickly, apparently has the ability to call dead people into her dreams?
A big hat-tip to blogger P.J. Miller, who spotted this first and might even be more flummoxed than I am at the Bentleys' effrontery.
At 101:37 of the Dec. 18th service, as saved on Todd Bentley's website, Jessa Bentley comes up to share for a moment. It would seem that she might have a prophetic gifting, as Jessa emphasized in her remarks that "Lakeland was just an introduction" of what God is hoping to do. (Cue ominious music again.)
Jessa began by saying:
"So, a couple of nights ago I had a dream where Oral Roberts was speaking to Todd--I didn't understand what they were saying but I remember they were talking and then he stopped and he looked over to me and he ran over to me and he [Oral Roberts] stopped and he put his hands over my eyes and he said what do you see? And so I looked and I didn't see anything at first then I saw this elephant racing across my eye and Oral Roberts, he said, he put his hand over my eyes and said what do you see and...I said I didn't see anything at first and then all of a sudden I saw this elephant racing across my eyes and it was dancing, it was going crazy, it was just, it had this big smile, but it was just going crazy and I said, "It's a wild elephant, I see a wild elephant.And then I said 'What's with the elephant and he said, "Exactly, what is it with the elephant?" And I looked again and in that vision what was highlighted was the trunk of the elephant and I said "The elephant nose (knows) and he said "yes" And I said it's discernment and he said "exactly." And then he says," Do you see the lion?" and I closed my eyes again and then I saw the lion and the lion was just a golden lion and I woke up.And when I woke up..."
She continues to interpret her dream. At the 104 minute mark, she starts to emulate the prophetess Stacey Campbell, with stammering and wil shaking of her head. "Lakeland was just an introduction. Just a table of contents for what is to come."
"It's gonna be wild, wild, it's gonna be much greater than it was before. Much greater..."
Todd takes the mike. "You know, when God spoke to her in that dream," he said. "That was the night that Oral Roberts passed (away). And Jessa said to God 'So many of our friends got to go out to California in the last few months [to be prayed for by Roberts]....'"
(Bentley parenthetically explains that Roberts was praying for people to receive his healing gifts and re-enact the healing revival of the 1950s. As I noted in an earlier post, however, while Roberts never renounced his healing ministry, he came to see it as well-intentioned and perhaps flawed. Healing came to be part of all the work he chose to do--not an emphasis--as shown by Oral Roberts University trying to have a medical school as part of their work. A more nuanced description, however, would interfere with Bentley psyching up his audience.)
So, Bentley continues, his wife was mentioning to God that she and Todd hadn't had an opportunity to be prayed for by Roberts. "And Jessa said, 'Lord you called my husband, you called Todd to be a healing evaglist, a revivalist. How come we never got to go out to California to receive this impartation?' And I didn't know that she was crying out 'Lord I really want this and now he's gone [died] And she had a dream. And Oral Roberts showed up in the dream and laid hands on her. And what she didn't tell you is that she felt it go through her body and she got it!"
So what Todd is explaining is that his wife received an "it" in a dream from someone who she thought was Oral Roberts who had just died!
This is necromancy. The Bible tells believers not to seek to contact the dead. The only time that the Bible reports someone being forcibly brought back from the dead--the prophet Samuel and the Witch of Endor, horrible things happened as a result.
Why is Jessa comfortable recieving a blessing froma dead man when the Bible says not to seek one?
Why is Todd Bentley passing the pulpit over to someone who seems to have no problem with an experience that the Bible forbids?
This might be an explanation why Shonnah was kicked to the curb. Perhaps Bentley's first wife was uncomfortable doing shady things in the pulpit. Can we wonder if wife number two, aside from being younger and prettier, will wade in with whatever is needed, even extatic prophect or seeing the dead--to put her husband over the top?
The new age is very popular amongst the young? Do we want young Chsritians or new converts to be influenced to dabble with seeking contact from the dead, because Jessa Bentley had this dream?
Was any of this compared to what the Bible teaches? Bentley has, reportedly, spent months in the Bible. You kave to know that he knows the Bible verses warning against this...but he continues blithely on, not even saying "I know that the Bible cautions against this, but..." while the lambs nibble the poisonous plants.
Even if Jessa is wise (and I certainly doubt she is) is tempting others to seek after an iffy experience wise.
And where is Rick Joyner, the wise mentoring hand in all this?
I mean, I would love to see my friends and heroes from heaven. But I think of them! On the night that Oral Roberts is finally with his wife, dead son, and Jesus, why call him down from heaven to talk to Todd Bentley and pray for Jessa Bentley? It would be a mean thing to do to Oral, wouldn't it? (*Imagine Oral visiting with his wife in heaven. His pager goes off. Oral: "Jessa Bentley wants me to pray for her again?" :) )
I think that Patricia King, Todd Bentley's old friend, might have a very interesting point of view on all this. A few years ago, she released a teaching on CD, the "Great Cloud of Witnesses"--if memory serves. (It's at home and not at hand as I write.)
On the CD, King talks briefly in passing, about the time that she believes that she met the spirit of Aimee Semple McPherson on a plane.
In subsequent months, there was a bit of a controversy, as concerned Christians were worried that King was dabbling in necromancy. On reflection, she then wrote on her webiste that whatever she might have seen, it was unwise for her--as it was a stumbling block to others--to have shared this. So, she pulled the CD and you can no longer get it from her store or download the teaching from her website.
I wonder what Patricia King would say to her old friend and his new wife about this.
I don't want to know what Aimee or Oral for that matter would say, in a dream or otherwise, thanks. Neither should the Bentleys, for that matter.