Is Todd Bentley walking in the footsteps of mystics and seers?
Is Todd Bentley actually receiving revelations from God, or is there something more to his visions of angels and messages from heaven? For example, what about his vision of Sadhu Sundar Singh? Read the following and decide if these things are biblical.
To begin with, does this vision line up with what the Bible teaches?
DEATH OF A PHILOSOPHER
The soul of a German philosopher entered into the world of spirits and saw from afar the incomparable glory of the spiritual world, and the boundless happiness of its people. He was delighted with what he saw, but his stubborn intellectualism stood in the way of his entering into it, and enjoying its happiness. Instead of admitting that it was real, he argued thus with himself, “There is no doubt at all that I see all this, but what proof is there that it has objective existence, and is not some illusion conjured up by my mind? From end to end of all this scene I will apply the tests of logic, philosophy and science, and then only will I be convinced that it has a reality of its own, and is no illusion.” Then the angels answered him, “It is evident from your speech that your intellectualism has warped your whole nature, for as spiritual, and not bodily, eyes are needed to see the spiritual world, so spiritual understanding is necessary to comprehend its reality, and not mental exercises in the fundamentals of logic and philosophy. Your science that deals with material facts has been left behind with your physical skull and brain in the World. Here, only that spiritual wisdom is of use which arises out of the fear and love of God.” Then said one of the angels to another, “What a pity it is that people forget that precious word of our Lord, ‘Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Matt. 18:3). I asked one of the angels what the end of this man would be, and he replied “If this man’s life had been altogether bad, then he would at once have joined the spirits of darkness, but he is not without a moral sense, so for a very long time he will wander blindly round in the dim light of the lower parts of the intermediate state, and keep on bumping his philosophical head, until tired of his foolishness, he repents. Then he will be ready to receive the necessary instruction from the angels appointed for that purpose, and, when instructed, will he be fit to enter into the fuller light of God in the higher sphere.”
-The Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh of India
This is what the Bible says about second chances for salvation after death:
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
Obviously, the above account does not line up with the Bible, therefore, it would be classified as a false teaching from lying spirits. This vision was one of many experienced by Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929). Many people today say that he was a fine Christian, and take great offense that anyone should criticize Todd Bentley’s vision of Sadhu Sundar Singh, whose contemplative steps of prayer he practices.
Strangely enough, Sundar Singh’s visions of wandering souls in the spirit world and heavenly spheres also included contact with a dead mystic and seer named Emanuel Swedenborg:
“I saw him several times some years ago, but I did not know his earthly name. His name in the spiritual world is quite different just according to his high position or office and most beautiful character.”
Sharpe also refers back to Singh’s endorsement of Swedenborg as recorded by Appasamy:
“Swedenborg was a great man, philosopher, scientist and, above all seer of clear visions. I often speak with him in my visions. He occupies a high place in the spiritual world … Having read his books and having come into contact with him in the spiritual world, I can thoroughly recommend him as a great seer.”
Sundar Singh’s correspondence with the Swedish Lutheran bishop Nathan Soderblom in November 1928 further confirms that he claimed visionary contact with Swedenborg.
For western evangelical Christians, Swedenborg has long been regarded as an unorthodox teacher. Some, such as the Christian apologist Walter Martin, have classified Swedenborg and his followers among the cults. In light of the evangelical rejection of Swedenborg’s theology, the omission of Sundar Singh’s endorsement of Swedenborg’s teachings from evangelical biographies is very significant. The difficulty for evangelicals is compounded by Singh’s confirmation of contact with Swedenborg in the spirit world. This visionary form of contact with an unorthodox deceased teacher clashes with the portraits of piety drawn by later evangelical biographers such as Cyril Davey and Phyllis Thompson.
Who exactly was this man who Sundar Singh contacted in the spirit world?
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, Christian mystic, and theologian. Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. At the age of fifty-six he entered into a spiritual phase, in which he experienced dreams and visions. This culminated in a spiritual awakening, where he claimed he was appointed by the Lord to write a heavenly doctrine to reform Christianity. He claimed that the Lord had opened his eyes, so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell, and talk with angels, demons, and other spirits. For the remaining 28 years of his life, he wrote and published 18 theological works, of which the best known was Heaven and Hell (1758), and several unpublished theological works. –wikipedia
Not only was Swedenborg a seer and a medium, he was also one of the forerunners to modern spiritualism. Swedenborg believed that he was the only one able to shed light on the true meaning of the Bible, with the help of Angels. This is who Sundar Singh had contact with in the spirit world. Remember this as you read the following…
Let us now get on the fast forward track to June 19, 2006, where Todd Bentley wrote the following…
THE GLORY CLOUD OF REVELATION & PROPHETIC MANTLES ~ PART TWO: CONCLUSION
BY TODD BENTLEY, FRESH FIRE MINISTRIES
…I saw in a vision, the Glory Cloud of Revelation descending upon the church. It was also during this time of prayer that God took me in a vision to what I believed to be the Himalayan Mountains. I saw an Indian man with a turban on his head and heard the whisper of the Spirit say, “This is Sundar Singh. I am releasing anointing of revelation like this.” I had no communication with this old saint, nor did he say anything to me. The experience lasted only a moment…
… Sundar Singh spent at least two hours daily in reading the Scriptures, meditation and prayer. He would arise at 5:00 am and finish by 7:00 or 8:00 depending on what his schedule was for the day. He often spent the whole day or night in prayer. His discipline was to read one chapter of the Bible, rapidly at first reading, then to return to reread passages or verses that were more suggestive to him. These he would linger with and meditate on for as long as it was fruitful for him to do so. Next, he would enter into a period of “recollection” for twenty minutes or so. This was a time of silence, in which he would allow the Lord to speak to him in some way. With his own mind and heart quieted, he opened his mind and his heart to hear what the Lord would have to say to him or just simply enjoy companionship with his Lord. Often this period of silence would extend into a deeper state called “contemplation” in which he enjoyed complete rest and refreshment in the love of God.
Often during times of contemplation, he entered into experiences of ecstasy. He regarded these experiences as the same as St. Paul’s entrance into the “third heaven”. During his latter years, they occurred frequently, as often as ten times a month. About these experiences he said, “I never try to go into ecstasy; nor do I advise others to try. It is a gift to be accepted, but it should not be sought; if given, it is a pearl of great price.”
Anyone who contemplates the heavenly calling of the apostle Paul and his being caught up into the third heaven, and again into Paradise, will lift up his voice to God and say: Glory to God who surely gives great gifts to men!
THE FOUR R’s OF THE CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONAL LIFE
This key is one of the most important tools if we are to see an increase of wisdom and revelation in our lives. In the western Christian tradition, meditation refers to thinking about or the use of the imagination around a passage of scripture, whereas, in India, traditional meditation refers to silencing one’s thoughts. The Christian tradition practices the silencing of thoughts and emotions, but it is called “contemplation” rather than “meditation”. This is one of those unfortunate twists of semantics, which has caused confusion when discussing the spirituality of East and West.
Sundar Singh practiced a sequence of prayer discipline that is identical to ancient Christian monastic disciplines: reading the scriptures, meditation on a passage of the reading (also called response of the mind and heart), recollection, and rest. This sequence is also called lectio divina in Latin. It means divine reading, or more precisely, divine listening, since few people in that day could actually read. When ordinary Christians attended church to hear the Scriptures read aloud, they’d memorize a passage or a verse, and ponder it for a week.
These are the four R’s of lectio divina or Christian devotional life:
1.Reading (hearing) the Word.
2.Responding to the Word with mind and heart.
3.Recollecting oneself with an open mind and open heart to God’s will, and
4.Resting in His Presence.
Christianity is a way of life, not a hobby, or a pastime. As such, we must treat it as serious business. Reflecting on God and His way should not be taken lightly. We must modify our schedules and make the time to meditate, contemplate, and reflect on His word.
Find a quiet place, away from noise or distractions. Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening (Genesis 24:63). King David lay on his bed to meditate: “When I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the night watches (Ps. 63:6).
The entire article by Todd Bentley can be read here:
*Note: If the Freshfire link becomes no longer available there is something similar here:
After seeing this vision of Sundar Singh, Todd Bentley borrowed his practices of meditation, contemplation, and being still, as revealed in his teaching on Soaking:
“I learned from the lives of Brother Lawrence and Sundar Sing (the famous Hindu mystic who radically converted to Christianity a hundred years ago), as God began to birth my ministry into power. At the end of three months of waiting, basking, bathing, marinating, just beeeeeeeing in His presence I had a visitation of the Lord Himself. He stood behind me and every time I turned around to look at Him He would be behind me. I heard the Lord speak to me in an audible voice as a man speaks to a man.”
SOAKING PART 1
BY REVIVALIST TODD BENTLEY
Not only has Todd Bentley been meditating, soaking and having visions and contact with angels and the spirit world (as Singh and Swedenborg did), he has also been teaching these methods to others, as recently as this past January 14th – 17th at Freshfire’s Secret Place Conference in his home town of Abbotsford, B.C., Canada, where he shared teaching time with Heidi Baker, Rodney Howard-Browne:
Wednesday night: Todd Bentley taught on contemplative prayer and learning to silence your thoughts. He outlined the four prayer steps practiced by Sundar Singh, an Indian prophet who had a visitation from Jesus. The steps include: 1. Read a whole chapter, 2. Meditate on the passage that most spoke to you, 3. Recollect with an open mind and heart as the Holy Spirit reveals the scripture to you, then 4. Rest and restoration in His presence while the Spirit imparts revelation or takes you into the heavens. As we make ourselves available to the Lord, said Todd, it is amazing where we will go with Him.
- The Secret Place 2 Conference
SECRET PLACE II – CONFERENCE REPORT
Isn’t it becoming quite obvious by now that Todd Bentley walks in the footsteps of mystics and seers who had contact with the spirit world? Is it any wonder he has similar supernatural experiences and angelic encounters? This is extremely important to understand. If you are a sheep who is following Todd Bentley and seeking after the supernatural realm, please take heed. This in NOT the path that the Good Shepherd leads His sheep on. Run to Him while there is still time!
5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets
Who make my people stray;
Who chant “Peace”
While they chew with their teeth,
But who prepare war against him
Who puts nothing into their mouths:
6 “ Therefore you shall have night without vision,
And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
And the day shall be dark for them.
7 So the seers shall be ashamed,
And the diviners abashed;
Indeed they shall all cover their lips;
For there is no answer from God.”
Tarot, Carl Jung, Swedenborg, Blake & Freemasons
Sadhu Sundar Singh – Hindu Mystic in Sheeps Clothing