Saturday, April 09, 2011

One, two, many Lakelands

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on, Oct. 30, 2010]

An e-mail from Tood Bentley's ministry on Friday, as he continues to tour the USA, predicts "revivals" in 12 American cities.

Would that it were so, but I hear the Church Lady character from Saturday Night Live saying "How conveeeenient."

I'll reproduce the full e-mail as the first comment, as I see that FreshFireUSA scrubs and deletes regularly. It is here.

Here are some things that stand out to me.

Bentley writes:

"In April of 2008, within the first few weeks of Lakeland Bob Jones and myself were having a conversation by phone where we were both shown 12 cities where the Outpouring would begin breaking out igniting the fires of Revival. We understand and celebrate the many places that Revival is breaking out across America and throughout the world, but this is just our part of what we were shown.

The first city was Charlotte, NC. On April 23rd, a "Breakout" began at Rick Joyner's MorningStar Fellowship Church, which lasted 7 months. During these 7 months, they hosted meetings 6 nights a week with many notable and remarkable miracles each night. The second city I was shown was Kansas City, MO. Many of you are familiar with the "Student Awakening" at IHOP and what has happened there."

Hmm. Bentley is depending on people having a short memory. Given that he had hours to fill every night--he even shared his "leg drop the pastor" stories and such, I wonder why he didn't share these prophecies of the first two places where revival would be? Isn't a biblical test for a prophet the ability to correctly say what will happen before it does? He had lots of time to do so. So did Bon Jones, for that matter.

And remember the many "restoration videos" webinars and such. Wouldn't "I have to come back to ministry or these 12 cities won't see revival" have been a central element of what he said? (Retroactively, it would also make Todd leaving ministry for lower profile work impossible. Wouldn't that impel comments like "I can't leave ministry, even though I have remarried, because God says..."

Why leave all this unmentioned. It also relates to something Bentley says later.

Todd is not even bothering addressing his critics. This is for followers.

Bentley quotes Bob Jones as follows:

I did write down for documentation a few things about that prophecy. And one thing that Bob said was, "The third wave has begun." This wave will promote, prepare, purify, pierce, and inspire. We can expect to be changed. The voice of healing move of the Spirit years ago is now here for a second time and will not be stopped. It is a major healing move.

The Third Wave borrows from a concept of Peter Wagner's. You remember how he and his group were basically asked not to participate in Bentley's restoation process which explains why after decrying some of Bentley's mistakes Wagner has been pretty silent on this since then. Anyways, it is a concept that troubles some with an eye to apologetics.

And take note for future reference that Bob Jones says that this healing movement will not be stopped.

Bentley adds:

"In Lakeland, I was given a promise of how the ark of God and Revival would be carried from city to city. This fire would be transferrable. It would be a tangible fire...."

Since the Lakeland Outpouring has been over for two years now, can we say this may be accurate?

He continues:

....the Lord began to have me revisit the original prophetic promise of the 12 cities that I was given with Bob in April of 2008. He said, "Do you remember that word?" I said, "Yes Lord." He said, "That word is now. This 12-city promise is for now. You need to fire it up again, and you need to focus specifically on praying for people from Ohio and keep prophesying Ohio. Watch Ohio. Because as it breaks there, it is going to begin to break in many other cities."

Here are the 12 cities that I was given in April 2008:

Lakeland/Orlando, Florida (Lakeland Outpouring)
Charlotte, NC ("Breakout" happened at MorningStar)
Kansas City, MO (Student Awakening)
Atlanta, GA
Des Moines, Iowa
Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska
Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Denver, CO
Nashville, TN
Portland/Albany, OR
Seattle, WA "

"Keep prophesying Ohio". All right then, what if revival does not take place in Ohio? Would that invalidate the rest of the word?

And guess where Bentley is ministering next week. In Milford Ohio, a suburb of Cincinatti.

And Lakeland is at the top of the list. Some people were no doubt blessed, but the ABC Nightline crew found that people were going unhealed, and that people in the community were telling the reporters that the Outpouring wasn't having the effect on the wider community that a revival should. Not to mention the World magazine story that found that over 30 people that Bentley's ministry had declared healed had since died.

Some were blessed at Lakeland, but a lot more were hurt, either through being disappointed in God, or taught unsound theology. If Lakeland had indifferent results, do the other cities want a similar revival?

Is there only one "revival" per city. If Lakeland hasn't resulted in lasting good fruit, does this mean that God is saying "Sorry, Lakeland you had your chance with Todd..."

After the list, Bentley quotes Bob Jones to the effect that Jones' wife had a dream about revival in Ohio. With such evidence, does this mean that if Ohio fails in the prophecy, so goes the nation?

And we sadly have to guess that there will be intense pressure to make a revival happen in Ohio.

Enter the barnstorming evangelist.

Which brings to mind the proposed reality show on Discovery TV. Now I have realized what may be key to Todd Bentley and his brains trust about the show.

Remember GOD TV? We had two-three hours of Bentley et al. per night. Great publicity for Lakeland, but it proved double edged as people were able to pull things from the broadcasts to see that Todd Bentley and his revival were unsound.

Critics of Bentley found the footage useful, but what happens if Discovery is in GOD TV's place. Discovery will go for the glitz, what is "good for television". Critical thinking and followups that find that the lady is still wheelchair bound 90 per cent of the time, say, will be discouraged.

For Todd Bentley to succeed in what he wants to do now, he needs to be "edited for television".

Thus this tour, which makes for good TV, as he preaches in a casino here, or at a church that meets in a Wal-Mart after hours there. And Todd's audience, now that sceptics won't give him the time of day, will be aching for revival in a noble way. The audience will also be wanting to prove that Joyner and Jones and Bentley were right in what they say in the e-mail.

And notice that the "revivals" are nicely spread around the country, which also makes for good TV.

What if God were to ask Todd to start another Welsh Revival? Discovery TV might say, "We can't have you preaching in the same country for three years! How many shots of rugby teams, coal miners and male choirs can we show?!?!?" And since, with crowds and donations likely being lower this time around, Bentley's Discovery income, or lack thereof might become very crucial to his future.

Back to Milford Ohio. Guess that as the "revival" is so needed, Bentley will be wanting everyone to come.

As long as they have $20 to register and get a wristband that allows them access.

The morning service is devoted to teaching anout healing, with the evening service devoted to ministry prayer. Those with the $20 wristbandss will have first dibs on entry into the nighttime services, driving out those without $20.

If the Milford site seats 1,000 that would mean $20K a day. Not counting offerings, which I predict will be taken.

"Silver and gold have you none, and such as I have, I won't give?"

Bentley concludes:

"If you would like more information about becoming a host city of The Healing & the Kingdom Tour along with Regional Revival and Breakthrough Services, please send us an email at We pray over every ministry request that comes in and are looking for those to partner with in seeing the Lord's Kingdom come and the fires of Revival ignite the heart of this great nation once again!"

Well, I hope that Bentley doesn't discover more cities and regions, after the fact, that he saw in his vision but was told not to say anything about until he was about to appear there the following week.

That would really be "too much".