Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!


Posted by Job on June 13, 2008

Signs and Wonders, Heresy, and Love for God


As I researched Todd Bentley and Bob Jones and the “Lakeland, Florida Revival” over the last several days  it soon became apparent that the supporters of this are completely convinced that there is a legitimate “outpouring” from the Holy Spirit going on. They are vocal. They are adamant. The number one reason that these people become apologists for Todd and this movement, that I have seen, is the sings and wonders performed on stage supposedly by the Holy Spirit through Todd.

They believe that since people are genuinely healed then this is undeniable verification that this is legitimate. I read dozens of comments on various blogs today in which an apologist for Todd would suddenly appear within the discussion proclaiming in a very sincere tone that all of those pointing out Todd’s inconsistencies and lack of Gospel focus and the speaking of heresy are wrong. Why? Because people are healed miraculously through him.

My brethren we are called to ask God for wisdom and look at all ministers and ministries with discernment given to us by Him. Now,  does the presence of signs and wonders prove that God is in something? Is it the marker that tells us all to declare that Todd Bentley is indeed a prophet of God? Please read the following article by John Piper in which he addresses this from The Word of God. – Mike Ratliff

Signs and Wonders, Heresy, and Love for God

By John Piper

March 26, 2008

Does God have designs for deceptive signs and wonders? Does he have purposes for heresies?

From the time of Moses to the end of history, this has been and will be an issue. Jesus promised that “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). These are not little tricks. They are great signs and wonders. Great. But aimed to deceive.

Paul said that “the coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). “Signs and wonders of falsehood” is a literal translation to show that the falseness of the signs and wonders is not that they aren’t real miracles, but that they lie about reality. They are real miracles, and they lead away from Christ.

Similarly, to the end of the history—especially at the end of history—false teaching and heresies will dog the church. “The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4.3-4).

At the other end of history, things have been this way from the time of Moses. And it is Moses who answers our two questions: Does God have designs for deceptive signs and wonders? Does he have purposes for heresies? Here’s the key passage:

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, “Let us go after other gods,” which you have not known, “and let us serve them, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

Notice five things:

First, Moses tells us that signs and wonders in the service of heresy really happen. They are not tricks. “If a prophet . . . gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass. . . .” They really do come to pass. It is not smoke and mirrors. These are supernatural, but not in the service of truth.

Second, some miracle workers aim to draw believers away from the true God. “If he says, ‘Let us go after other gods . . .’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet.” In other words, some heresies (“let us go after other gods”) are endorsed with miraculous signs and wonders.

Third, God has a design in these deceptive signs and wonders, and he has purposes for the heresies they support. He mentions one of these designs and purposes: “For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” When temptation happens from man, a test is happening from God. This is God’s design in the deceptive signs and heresies.

Fourth, love for God is what God is testing. “Your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Fifth, I conclude from this that the heart that loves God sees through miraculous deception. Love for God is not based mainly on miraculous power. It is based on seeing through miraculous power to true divine beauty. Therefore, love for God is a powerful protection against heresy, even when it comes with miraculous confirmation.

Understanding these five things from Deuteronomy 13:1-3 helps protect us from deceptive signs and wonders and from heresies. But understanding is not enough.Love for God is both the aim of God’s testing and the means by which his tests are passed. Understanding awakens us to our need to love him. But love for God sees through deceptive signs and wonders to the falsehood they support and flees to Christ.Love for God sees through the heresy and holds fast to him. May God deepen our love to him so that it has this kind of penetrating, protecting power.

© Desiring God

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By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:



  1. Excellent piece. Thank you. I have been battling the false teaching of so called holy laughter, howling like an animal, gold dust and many others that cause people to flock to these churches seeking God, but what they are getting is the enemy in sheeps clothing. It is so bad even the ministers are fooled by the manifestations that are taking place in their services. I am not hateing as some may call it, but delivering the truth of the gospel. The enemy appears with great signs and wonders and if it were possbile, it would fool even the very elect. Now thats bible because many are fooled. Jesus said, If they say I am over here don’t go. And if they say I am over there don’t go.

  2. Scott said

    I guess I’m still a little confused. I agree that barking like animals and rolling around is a little weird. However, according to I John the only way a person is a true false prophet is if they deny christ. Paul even said “I came to you with demonstrations of the holy spirit.” Those people saw something. It wasn’t just good speaking as Paul tells us it wasn’t. I think it is wrong if these people in Florida were basing their whole walks on these demonstrations, but I also know the Holy Spirit is a powerful force that can act any way it so chooses. Your thoughts?

  3. Adam said

    I agree with the most recent post, the Holy Spirit can act anyway it chooses, because people howl with laughter or make lion noises, is strange, but doensn’t necessarily make it demonic.

    Question: would the established jewish faith followers believed had they seen the happenings on the day of Pentecost, watching people speaking in foreign tongues. Was it Demonic, No of course not. but it may have seemed so.

    I do not know the answers, I have been praying about it, my feeling is Toronto was not a deception, though what is happening now in Lakeland, whilst initially enthusiastic, is now concerning me greatly, back up against scripture, I don’t like it at all.

    I don’t see Jesus being glorified, I just read a full page article from God TV about their continued broadcating of this revival and not one mention of the word “Jesus”.

    The whole Angels, thing as well makes me want to run a mile from it, Angels are here, the bible says so, but referring to them or “healing angels” makes me cringe.

    May Jesus be lifted high, may the Holy Spirit have more of me where I am to make me more Christ like.

    Where is “In jesus name” or “give Jesus al the glory”, it’s missing, and it worries me.

  4. Job said


    “I agree with the most recent post, the Holy Spirit can act anyway it chooses”

    Sorry Adam, but that is a doctrine of man that directly contradicts scripture. Please study 1 Corinthians. Paul specifically lays out rules for charismatic activity: only one person speaking in tongues or prophesying at a time, only one person standing up a time, and not without an interpreter. Do you know what that means? It means that even when the Holy Spirit is moving, a person still is able to exert control over his mind and body, and is able to sit himself down and close his mouth. The idea that when the Holy Spirit moves you have no control over your body and mind and you are just tossed around like a rag doll, that does not come from the Bible or Christianity, but instead is practices from animism, spiritism, the occult, etc. imported into Christianity. It is those false religions that have these practices where a spirit totally takes over somebody and moves their arms and speaks using their voice and the person has no control and often is in a trance and when he or she comes out of it has no idea of anything that they did or said. Moves of the Holy Spirit are not seances or hypnotic trances. Whenever I raise what the Bible actually says about the Holy Spirit moving, I get accused of trying to limit God or trying to put God in a box. Well if God does not act according to His Word, what good is having a Bible anyway? If the workings of the Holy Spirit is not governed by 1 Corinthians, then what makes salvation governed by John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-10? No one wants to go to the lake of fire, so they are going to insist that John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-10 are right. But people want to do what they feel like, so they are going to insist likewise that the instructions that God gave us governing our actions and our worship are negotiable. Well, you cannot bargain with God. You are to obey Him. People barking like dogs and rolling around on the floor clearly violates 1 Corinthians, and that makes it a sin just like being a liar, thief, murderer, adulterer, or homosexual. People need to stop pretending otherwise.

  5. Adam said

    Job, I don’t agree that is a doctrine of man. I am always open to God to his leading and my ability to get it wrong, but i prayfully consider and weigh against God’s word.

    The Holy Spirit is part of the triune God and can act in accordance with the will and holiness of God. The bible is our foundation on which to weigh and discern what is of God, God is not put into a box called 1 Corinthians, this talks about gifts of the spirit, which is different to discernment of supernatural sources. Paul does not lay out rules for only speaking in tongues one at a time. The passage you refer to talks about the gift of tongues in a public place of worship, and there Paul says if you do not have an interpretor you should refrain, and if you do only two or 3 should use the gift at one time to edify the church. he does say that those with the gift of tongues should pray for the gift to interpret.”

    The Holy Spirit is the supernatural spirit of God, the same spirit that hoverered above the Waters in Genesis ch1 V2, The acid test is discerning whether suggested outpourings are genuinely the Holy Spirit or Satanic in origin.

    For that, we need the gift of discernment and the word.

    The bible refers on false prophets and their ability to perform great signs and wonders, so it is possible ot be deceived without discernment and Gods word.

    The main acid test is does it glorify Jesus in his rightful place as the only name by which men are saved, Does it draw people into a deeper relationship with Jesus.

    Jesus said a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, so I have grave doubts about anybodies ability to do things “in the name of Jesus” and then to “give glory to Jesus” whilst actually imparting something demonic.

    The lack of the “in the name of Jesus” in the Florida concerns me greatly.

    forget supernatural power, healings, visions, dreams etc.its all about Jesus. and to that end the Holy spirit is here to bring people to repentance and to Glorify the Son.

    But I don’t think he is limited by 1 corinithians only.

    Jesus also said

    “So I say to you: Ask [and keep on asking] and it will be given to you; seek [and keep on seeking] and you will find; knock [and keep on knocking] and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

    I agree the Holy spirit, whilst able is unlikely to just take control of somebody like a rag doll as you put it, but to those who know Christ and are indwelled by Gods spirit, who hunger and seek for God and who ask Jesus to move, I think God can answer those prayers in many ways.

    I am always open to God to lead me into his righteouness and truth, I do not want to presume I know it all with my finite mind, but I am looking to scripture also.

    You are right we are to submit to God (“obey” sounds more like old testament law), and let the Holy spirit work through us, and he will for those that love the Lord.

    Don’t get me wrong here Job, I agree people barking like dogs is weird and rolling on the floor unusual, but I would not go as far as to say it is sin because it doesn’t fit into the gifts of the spirit in 1 corinthians nor is there a contradiction.

    In the book of Joel, God says he “will pour out his spirit on all flesh”, how will he do that?? I don’t know. but he will somehow, and it will be of God’s chosing how.

    With greatest love to you brother Job, one day when we inherit the mind of Christ we will know exactly.

    Back to the subject though of this thread, and Mr Bentley, my spirit is pained by it, and more so that God TV is plugging it so heavily, I lots on Angels, glory and “I am going to impart healing” “I”, “I”, “I”. and no Jesus. and looking through scripture as to the events it smacks to me of new age and 2 corinthians 11 v13-15 NKJV

    13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
    14 And no wonder!, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
    15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness whose end will be according to their works.

    Almighty God, King Jesus, I pray you will bring true revelation to the happenings in Florida, I stand against anything which contradicts your word or Lordship Jesus. I pray that you will be glorified Lord and you will bring an end to all falsehood, If I am wrong, show me the error of my ways lord so that I may seek your forgiveness, and bless what is from you. if it is your holy spirit that troubles me about Florida, and my reading of your word is correct then I pray Lord you will crush any spiritual forces that are not of you or seek to decieve or destroy and bring a swift end to it in the mighty name of Jesus. In all things Lord we pray your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. To you be the Glory Jesus. We love you Lord. Amen

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