The New Testament tells us how we can recognise a false prophet or teacher. I may be deceived, but I do not recognise many of these traits in Todd Bentley. Type “false” into your Bible software and see what the N.T. says on the subject:
· They were once born-again Christians (2Pet 2:1 & 20-22) but have rejected the Christian way and are again entangled in the corruption of the world which they had at one time escaped from. Peter describes them as "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."
· They still seem like good Christians but are in fact like wolves disguised as sheep (Mat 7:15), as Satan's servants masquerade as servants of righteousness (2Cor 11:15) and apostles of Christ (2Cor 11:13).
· They bring the way of truth into disrepute (2Pet 2:2).
· They are moved by the spirit of the Antichrist, a spirit that can be discerned by testing to see whether it 'acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh' (1Joh 4:1-3).
· They will appear especially in the End Times when “many (in the church) will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other; wickedness will increase and the love of most will grow cold” (Mat 24:10, 11).
· They are popular and many will follow their shameful ways (2Pet 2:2). Men speak well of them (Luk 6:26). They seek honour for themselves (John 7:18). They push themselves forward (2Cor 11:20); they are bold and arrogant (2Pet 2:10).
· They are recognised by their bad fruit: (Mat 15:16); they make us slaves to man-made rules (Gal 2:4); we wander away from true faith and love (ITim 1:5); an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction (1Tim 6:4,5); they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error (2Pet 2: 18).
· They have bad hearts which are revealed by their words: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander (Mat 15:19).
· They despise authority (Godly and worldly) 2Pet 2:10.
· They want to be teachers ... but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm (1Tim 1:7).
· They secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them (2Pet 2:1). They teach false doctrines : Things that promote controversies and meaningless talk rather than God's work (1Tim 1:3, 4,7); that do not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching (1Tim 1:6:3).
· They oppose true men of God and try to turn people away from the faith; they are enemies of all that is right, full of all kinds of deceit and trickery and never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord(Act 13: 8,10)
· They deceive many people (Mat 24:11). They perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect - if that were possible. (Mat 24:26). Their miraculous signs are intended to deceive and 'gather the kings of the whole world for the battle on the great day of God Almighty' (Rev 16:13,14).
· They enslave their hearers, exploit them, take advantage of them, abuse them (even physically) 2Cor 11:20)
· They claim they have an unimpeachable spiritual, religious and ministry pedigree (2Cor 11:22,23). They may have been 'persecuted' or have 'suffered' but only superficially (2Cor 11:24-27). They make much of their 'visions and revelations from the Lord' (2Cor 12:1) and go into great detail about what they have seen (Col 2:18), they make up stories to exploit people (2Pet 2:3);
· Paul said: “I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses” (2Cor 12:5) but they are conceited and understand nothing. They indulge in self-confident boasting in the way the world does (2Cor 11:17,18).
· They live by the basic principles of this world and human commands and teachings and they submit to its rules (Col 2:20, 22). They mouth empty, boastful words and appeal to the lustful desires of sinful human nature (2Pet 2:18).
· They delight in false humility and harsh treatment of the body (Col 2:18, 23) but practice sensual indulgence and follow the corrupt desires of the sinful nature (2PE 2:10); they are slaves of depravity and mastered by depravity (2Pet 2: 19). Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, revelling in their pleasures while they feast with true believers. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable (2Pet 2:13,14)
· They worship angels (spirit beings other than God) but slander celestial beings and blaspheme in matters they do not understand (2Pet 2:10, 12)
· They do not teach faith and love (1Tim 1:5)
· They teach (and practise) that godliness is a means to financial gain (ITim 6:5); they are experts in greed (2Pet 2:14)