This is the second section of my take on Todd Bentley’s teaching on the Holy Spirit taken from his website. Part one can be found here. There is a third teaching on his website, but I have chosen to not bother with it.
Restoring Your Spiritual Prime through Intimacy with God: Pt 2
Part 2: “Cherishing the Holy Spirit”
by Todd Bentley
Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house.
Commit these truths to heart:
Matthew 7:7; 1 Corinthians 1:9; John 15:13
This is Part Two of a three part series. If you missed part one, please click here. Many equate the Holy Spirit with power, rather than with relationship. They call upon Him solely for their needs, for the bestowment of supernatural gifts, or an endowment of supernatural power, and not for intimacy, fellowship, partnership, and relationship as well. Some believers possess only surface knowledge of the Holy Spirit. They feel they know Him but do not. They have knowledge of Him, but they do not know Him as a friend would know a friend. They do not know what He is feeling, or when He is hurt or offended. They do not understand His emotions, or know His character beyond what is generally taught. They know of His works, of His functions, of His capabilities, but they do not know Who He is—the Person of the Holy Spirit. We are never told the Holy Spirit is our friend in the sense that we can enter into a one on one relationship with Him. Again, Todd is simplifying the Godhead.
Scripture describes the Holy Spirit as having personal characteristics. The Spirit speaks (Acts 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 21:11; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:7). The Spirit may be spoken to, tested, grieved, insulted, or blasphemed (Acts 5:3, 9; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 10:29; Matt. 12:31). The Spirit sometimes uses the personal pronoun “I” (Acts 10:20; 13:2). The Spirit lives (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 3:16), The Spirit guides, calls, commissions, and intercedes (Rom. 8:14, 26; Acts 13:2; 20:28).
The voice of the Spirit of God is as gentle as a summer breeze — so gentle that unless you are living in Complete Fellowship and Oneness with God, you will never hear it.—Oswald Chambers
Do you desire more of the satisfying life? Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37, 38). John explains Jesus’ words further in verse 39 and tells us that by this [rivers of living water], Jesus meant “the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is the source of our deepest satisfaction. He quenches our thirst. The Spirit lives! God gave us His Spirit so that we can experience intimacy with Him now. (John 16:13-15). This is a key scripture in understanding the Holy Spirit which would blow Todd’s teaching out of the water and is probably the reason he didn’t explain it. Read the words of Jesus and hear what He is saying against Todd’s claims:
John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come.
14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it to you.
15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Clearly Jesus is teaching that He, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are one. The Holy Spirit does not speak on His own authority. If that is the case, then how can Todd teach the Holy Spirit has His own personality? He does not and here is the proof. The Holy Spirit takes what is Jesus’ and declares it. He has nothing of His own separate from that of God. Not personality, not emotions, not thoughts or ideas. Nothing. He is God’s Spirit. And though Todd is able to call the Holy Spirit the Spirit of God, he is not able to define Him properly.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26).
How wonderful it would be to walk with the Savior in the flesh as the disciples did. Imagine three and a half years of close friendship with Jesus. They ate, slept, traveled, studied, and ministered with the Man Jesus. Side-by-side with the Redeemer, they witnessed Him feed the five thousand, raise the dead, and with sometimes just a word, heal the sick and cast out demons. Jesus, before He went away said,
“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:5–7).
What is an advantage? It is plus and gain, improvement, help, benefit. What was that advantage? It was the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, (paraphrased), “I will send you a Helper and Teacher. He is the Spirit of truth. He proceeds from the Father. He will testify of Me, He will give you more” (John 15:26). No, the scripture does not state the Holy Spirit will give us more. Read it – But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. End of scripture – there is nothing there said about “giving more.”
The disciples, as they walked with Jesus did not have the “advantage” that we have. They did not yet have the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. They walked with this Man of flesh, as they walked with their brothers, sisters, or friends. Their hearts were not yet made the spiritual temples God created to enter into. The Holy Spirit had not yet come to fill them. They likely could not feel the glory (with the exception of the Mount of Transfiguration experience), as we do. No, no. Jesus was fully man and fully God. We are not “advantaged” in that the disciples lacked a thing! They had God right there with them in human form – Emmanuel – and clearly the Holy Spirit was there too.
It is clear that Jesus says the Holy Spirit is inside of Him, but that He is also in addition to Him. The Holy Spirit is One just like Jesus (One what, just like Jesus?) and will do in Jesus’ absence what Jesus would do if He were physically with us. Yes, that is the point of His coming AFTER Jesus left the earth. The Holy Ghost is the Greatest Evangelist. No, I don’t think the Holy Spirit is ever described that way in the bible. It is up to man to preach, to evangelize and the Holy Spirit empowers us to do so. But the Holy Spirit is not the evangelist! He is a helper. He is One who is called alongside. He is Intercessor, Comforter, Helper, Advocate, and Counselor. He is the One who counsels what to do, when to do it, how to do it, whom to pray for, how to pray for, and He provides words of knowledge, and accurate details. Watch out for this. What accurate details and if we are going on biblical description, where is the one that refers to accurate details?
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14).
12The grace (favor and spiritual blessing) of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the presence and fellowship (the communion and sharing together, and participation) in the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (so be it). Amplified
12 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.NKJV
In the final words of Second Corinthians chapter 13, Paul wants us to know three things: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion (fellowship) of the Spirit (v.14, emphasis mine). Grace, love, communion! What Paul was saying was “May you have a revelation of the grace of Jesus, the love of God (talking about the Father), and not just revelation of the Holy Spirit, but communion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit.”
Not so, according to Matthew Henry Commentary Volume 6, pages 646-647. This is an apostolic benediction which was usual and proper to dismiss worshiping assemblies. This plainly proves the doctrine of the gospel, and is an acknowledgment that the Father, Son and Spirit are three distinct persons, yet one God. To live in a continual regard to the three persons in the Trinity, into whose name we were baptized, and in whose name we are blessed. This is a very solemn benediction, and we should give all diligence to inherit this blessing. The grace of Christ, the love of God and the communion (or communication) of the Holy Ghost; the grace of Christ as Redeemer, the love of God who sent the Redeemer, and all the communications of this grace and love, which come to us by the Holy Ghost.
For Paul to say what he said, he had to have known the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. He was talking about something beyond operating in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Where is the biblical basis for Todd’s reasoning here? The passage did not say the communion of the Father, or of Jesus, but of the Holy Spirit “May the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” The word “communion” here is referred to in the Greek text as koininia. Again, the scripture is making a point, the three are one, and each has a place in the life of the believer. There is not a hidden meaning here!
Communion in this context means unity, a close association, fellowship, close bond, or a partnership. The underlying message is sharing. Therefore, Paul was saying then, “May you experience and share the intimate bond, the closeness, the unity, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” Paul infers there is something a whole lot deeper to the Holy Ghost and to the anointing and the gifts of the Spirit. He is saying that we can know koininia with Him and alongside of Him.
The Holy Spirit should not be viewed as a separate individual away from the Godhead. Paul is not talking about communication with the Holy Spirit as an individual. He is speaking of communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is admonishing those present that the Three are One and should be understood that way.
Todd Bentley is on a rabbit trail of his own making here and is far from the true biblical concept of the Holy Spirit.
I have koininia relationship with the Holy Spirit. I dialogue with Him constantly. We have a bond so close, I cannot even describe it. We share, talk, ask questions of each other, and communicate openly. I ask Him questions and He gives me answers, and vice-versa. There is freedom in our fellowship. He is like a close buddy and confidante and accompanies me everywhere. I keep in step with Him (Galatians 5:25). I do not have to wait for Him to come upon me, or manifest in some way, I just know He is there.
There is no biblical foundation that the Holy Spirit communicates this way. The Holy Spirit is God, not our new best pal. This is an example of a charismaniac’s claim that he has spent so much time with God he has now attained a knowledge of Him that is deeper and more intimate than that of the average believer.
After I read Benny Hinn’s book, Good Morning Holy Spirit, many years ago, I was already filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, and moving in the gifts of the Spirit, but I began to understand that there was something that I did not have and that was intimacy with the Lord. Benny Hinn is another false teacher! So, we have the blind leading the blind. I did not know the Holy Spirit beyond the giftings or teachings I had received. I knew His work, and His presence, but I did not know His character. I spent six months delving into every Scripture verse I could find and studied Him in depth. It created a hunger in me to know Him as close as a brother knows a brother, as a husband knows a wife, and I pursued Him with every ounce of strength I possessed. And if that is so true, then how did you make such a mess of this teaching? Could it be that your experience with the demonic has overthrown all of your biblical research?
Time in His Presence
After work, I would lock myself in my room for hours and hours a day. There, I would lift my hands and cry out to Him, “Holy Spirit come—please, I want to know You. The Holy Spirit is promised to all believers. We do not have to ask for Him to come, This is another erroneous belief taught by charismaniacs, to pray for the Spirit to come. He has already come! He is sent by God the Father as we read earlier! I am not satisfied only with Your power. I want to know You more than operate in the gifts.” It is prayers or demands such as this that brings the demon into play. When we step out of being satisfied with what God intended for us to have, and think there is more to know, more to learn and to experience, we have stepped out of His perfect will. Wham, I would be under the power vibrating as though somebody had plugged me into an electrical circuit. I would weep, vibrate, and shake, and the charged atmosphere afterward lingered. Electrical vibrating power is not evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Again, there is no scripture to support this. Try Galatians 5:22-23, the fruits of the Holy Spirit – kindness, gentleness, self control. This “power surge” Todd equates to God simply is not. Cry out and demand something from God that He is not willing to give, or out of the bound of biblical teaching, do it long enough, and something else will certainly show up. Be very careful to NOT walk in the footsteps of this false teacher. He is creating a desire for you to have what he has, which, my friend, is not something you want to be involved with!
I could not wait to get home after work every day because the Holy Spirit would be there waiting for me. That’s funny. I thought the Spirit of God resided in Todd as a believer. Why would He be “waiting” for him any where? Not biblical. I was so excited about this relationship, new intimacy, and closeness. Relationship with the Holy Spirit was beyond anything I had encountered, beyond the anointing and the moving in the gifts. As soon as I would open the door to my room, it was as though the Holy Spirit was sitting there like a kid at Christmas waiting for me to get home from work so we could spend time together in His presence.
“Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil” —Ecclesiastes 5:1. Fitting words of advice for one who gives the sacrifice of fools and practices evil unknowingly!
Knowing who He is requires spending time in His presence and getting to know Him on an intimate level. It is not at all unlike living with a person, such as a wife, husband, or sibling. It is a partnership and a fellowship; we confide, make decisions, encourage, and champion each other! We eat, sleep, talk and have fun together; such is my relationship with the Holy Spirit, my precious Friend. He does not have to tell me when He’s grieved, or touched, I feel and sense it. I encourage Him and champion Him, “I love You, and honor You, Holy Spirit, I love the way Your Presence feels, I love to hear Your voice, I love to wake up in the morning and feel You flow through my body like electricity, I love that!” We make plans, and I will say, “We’re going to Africa, Holy Spirit, isn’t that awesome? I cannot wait to present the Gospel with You. It’s You and I, Holy Ghost, and we’re going to bring signs and wonders to the people!” I often include the Holy Spirit in my Bible time. I just say, “Holy Spirit, look at this verse, look what Jesus did, and You were right there! The blind man’s eyes opened, wow.” This was koininia time. Todd is not experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit. We are not told anything about Him having emotions or that we will experience, feel or sense His emotions. What is this “championing” thing? God needs encouragement now? More electrical currents. Not God. No way.
Yes, God is with us always, but the manifest presence of God is Whom we seek in intimacy. Wrong. Well, only partly if you are seeking intimacy with a demon. Fellowship and partnership with the Holy Spirit is heaven touching earth in the natural plane of our lives. Whatever that means, but it sounds New Agey to me, heaven touching earth in the natural plane…????
A “With You” Presence
“You know Him. For He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17b)
The Holy Spirit is with us and in us. This “with us” presence is the communion, the koininia. We already know that the Holy Spirit is within us, but do we really understand that He is with us? One day, I opened the door of my apartment to leave, and I felt His presence with me. His presence followed me down the hall and into the elevator, and out of the building. Sometimes as I drive, I will sense someone has joined me, and discover He is sitting sidesaddle with me and I will suddenly become overwhelmed with joy.
Paul Yonggi Cho is the pastor of the world’s largest church of almost a million people, in South Korea. He claims that he does not do anything without the Holy Spirit. In fact, this is his greatest revelation.
It is amazing how everything in the Bible revolves around the Person of the Holy Ghost. Creation did not even happen without Him. God sent forth His Spirit and created. The Holy Spirit was involved in creating and sustaining all life (Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4; 34:14). He was involved throughout Jesus’ life, too. Jesus did not do anything without Him. The Spirit caused His conception (Matt. 1:2), descended on Him at His Baptism (Matt. 3:16), led Him into the desert (Luke 4:1), and anointed and gave Him power to preach the Gospel (Luke 4:18). Jesus drove out demons by the Spirit (Matt. 12:28), and even died on the Cross with Him (Heb. 9:14). That same Holy Spirit raised him raised from the dead (Rom 8:11). Not one thing in Jesus’ life took place without the Holy Spirit. Not one miracle. Not His birth, not His ministry, not His death. The Holy Spirit was with Him always. Jesus was completely dependant on Him. Jesus was a Man as totally dependant upon God as we are. He was tempted in every way as we are. The only thing different that Jesus had that we do not is total dependence, obedience, brokenness, and yieldedness to the Holy Ghost. That same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in and with us and we are invited to know Him intimately. How sweet is that?
O Cherish Him!
John 14:15 says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Why? The answer is in the very next verse, and it is because: “I am about to send you another helper” (paraphrased, v. 16). Listen, Jesus is about to pray for the Holy Ghost to come, but the first thing He says before the Holy Ghost comes is to keep His commandments, because the key to more of the Holy Spirit manifesting in your life is obedience. In order for this other Helper to help, we have to keep God’s commandments. That is a twist on what Jesus said which is IF we love Him we will keep His commandments and then He goes on to say He will send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, which is not the same as what Todd says. We don’t get the Holy Spirit because we keep the commandments. If that were true there would have been no need of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” —Isaiah 30:21 I find it strange that Todd throws in these scriptures from time to time that have nothing to do with what he is actually saying. Maybe it makes him look more spiritual to his deceived followers.
The more yielded, emptier, broken, and obedient we can become, the more the power of the Holy Spirit can flow in our lives. This is only half true. The more yielded we are to God and His will, the more He can work in our lives. This is different than Todd’s claim of more power. He is wrong in that. His power is the same for all of us. My Holy Ghost is not different from Jesus’. Jesus does not have a Holy Spirit!! The Holy Spirit IS Jesus, IS God! I do not have a smaller Holy Ghost than He did. He is putting Jesus on the same level as man, a method of creating a God of understanding, one that is convenient, rather than understanding God. My children’s Holy Ghost is not a junior Holy Ghost. What are junior are our levels of dependence, obedience, and yieldedness. Our shortcomings in those areas are a form of godliness that denies the power. The Holy Spirit cannot penetrate our lives in power if we deny it. More strange statements not supported by scripture. God knows that we are weak sinners and chose to work with us anyway!
The Holy Spirit is twenty-four-hour-a-day God consciousness. Not biblical. The Holy Spirit is many things to us, guide, comforter, etc. but at no time is He ever referred to as a 24 hour God consciousness. He brings back what was lost in the Garden with Adam because of sin. Not true! And Todd should know better here. Jesus Christ died for our sin, and it was the work of the cross that restores the relationship between God and man, upon our repentance of course! He does what Jesus would have done in His place. Jesus Christ had His specific work as does the Holy Spirit. They are not substitutes for the other. But the Holy Spirit multiplies it, that’s why Jesus said that it is to our advantage that the Holy Spirit comes. Multiplies what? Jesus didn’t say the Holy Spirit was coming to multiply anything! Sounds like one of Kim Clement’s rants.
The Holy Spirit’s Emotions
The Holy Spirit has feelings and emotions. There are things that grieve Him, wound Him, and hurt Him. We are warned about grieving the Holy Sprit, but we are not given scripture that the Holy Spirit has emotions. Likewise, there are things that cause Him to laugh and bring Him great pleasure. The Holy Spirit is the sensitive communicator of the emotion of God. He is sensitive, emotional (in a wonderful way!), expressive, passionate, responsive, open, and quick to respond. He loves to be “romanced,” loves intimacy, and loves to be loved and told that He is loved often. Even though He knows we love Him, He yearns to hear it over and over again. Nope. We are not told the Holy Spirit is emotional or responsive to emotion or that we are to romance Him! This is intimacy gone wrong.
The Holy Spirit knows that you know that He is there, and He knows that you are there, Good because He is God, so I am glad to know He knows I am here. but He still wants you to acknowledge Him, think of Him, honor Him, cherish Him, woo Him, and be attentive to Him. Not only when you need Him for something; but simply because you want to be in His company; with Him, near Him. He deserves special treatment…your intimate, undivided attention. He desires koininia with you and asks, “How much do you love Me?” God wants us to spend time with him, but we are not told to spend time with the Holy Spirit or “woo” Him or give Him attention in the manner Todd is describing.
Grieving and Blaspheming the Holy Spirit
Most married men I know are protective of their wives. If someone says or does something wrong toward their wives; that protectiveness kicks in faster than you can say “Methuselah.” God the Father and Jesus are protective of the Holy Spirit in much the same way, because the Holy Spirit is the one who gets hurt, wounded, or grieved, they watch out for Him all of the time. WHAT? Where does he get this idea that God and Jesus protect the Holy Spirit?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”—Matthew 6:21.
The “With You” Presence
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:30, not to grieve the Holy Spirit. It means, do not wound Him, do not hurt Him, and do not cause Him pain. No, this is not what it means. In this context we look at the verse prior which is about speaking. We are told to not grieve the Holy Spirit with our words in dealing with others. Our words should reflect the way we are taught to live. Only someone with feelings can be wounded or hurt and experience pain. The Holy Spirit does not feel pain the way a man would. Again, Todd has put God on man’s level. One way not to grieve Him is to realize who or what He is not. The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” It grieves the Holy Spirit when we do what is contrary to His holy nature. He is not a power, and He is not an anointing. He is not “the gift” of the Holy Spirit, (funny, earlier in this writing Todd said the Holy Spirit IS a gift!) He is not revival, He is not the shaking, and He is not the falling over. No, He is not the shaking and falling over because these are not actions of our God! He is a person whom you can hurt, wound, and grieve. He is the ‘with you’ presence.
Isaiah 63:10 tells us “They [children of Israel] rebelled and grieved [vexed] His Holy Spirit, so He turned Himself against them as an enemy and He fought against them.” God as an enemy is a serious ramification, and we are not to take this lightly. The word vexed means tormented. The Israelites grieved Him; caused Him hurt, pain, wounded and tormented Him. Todd reads into the scripture meaning that is not there. Of course God is grieved when we rebel but Todd is using this scripture to prove what? That we are responsible for changing God’s emotions by “wooing” or “championing” Him?
To understand the importance of the Holy Spirit to the Father, imagine the Holy Spirit as the emotions of the Godhead. He is the one Who expresses feeling. He is the mushy gushy. No. He is not the mushy gushy. He is not the ooey gooey Love God as we are told to love the Lord with all our hearts and SOULS and MINDS. We can’t just carve out the love part of it and be done, there is much more and it all ties together! You cannot feel the love of God without Him, nor can you feel His presence without the Holy Ghost. Okay, where is scripture does it say we feel the presence of God? This is another place of danger – the physical presence of feeling God. You cannot even say that Jesus is Lord without Him. He is the one who enables us to feel God’s presence and hear His voice, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says” (Rev. 2:7). Everything comes through the Spirit. The Spirit is the communicator of the voice of God and the emotion of God. That is why God and Jesus are so protective. Again, this body guard thing! Where does it say in the bible that God and Jesus protect the Holy Spirit? There is something so precious, dear, and wonderful about Him. They do not want Him wounded and grieved. The word grieve means to cause pain, torment, and wounding. Do not do that to the Holy Ghost. Do not wound Him. Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking grieve Him (Eph. 4: 31). Kindness toward one another, tender-heartedness, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you (v. 32) pleases Him immensely. So does right teaching, Todd!
Protecting the Holy Spirit
The Father and Jesus are so protective of the Holy Ghost, that the Bible tells us that the one unpardonable sin is to blaspheme against Him (Mark 3:28, 29). It is the one and only sin without forgiveness. It is not blasphemy against the Father, or the Son, but against the Holy Ghost. What sets Him apart? Why Him? Why so protective over His emotions? The bible does not state that the warning against blasphemy is to protect against the emotions of the Holy Spirit, but it does say, and Todd is right, that it will NOT be forgiven.
The Holy Spirit is a revelator. He is the revealer. He reveals to you the love of God.
“Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3b).
The Spirit comes and manifests to you the love that Jesus has for you. This is NOT what the quoted scripture says, so why does he throw it out there as though it does? He manifests to you the love and the forgiveness that is in the Father because Jesus satisfied the holy wrath that was in the Father demanding that sins be paid for. Upon man’s repentance! That is why the Holy Spirit is so precious that God tells us not to grieve Him. That is why the Father is so protective of the Holy Ghost. And, that is why Jesus said that every blaspheme against the Father, every blaspheme against the Son shall be forgiven, but not against the Holy Ghost. We aren’t told the “why” in this, only that it will not be forgiven.
It is sad, but some of us use the Holy Spirit. We just want the Holy Ghost and His anointing because of what those things can do for us or our ministries, the miracles, the giftings, and the prophecies that are going to open doors and opportunities for us. This sounds like he believes the Holy Spirit is required to work in these ministries. He is not. We cannot “use” Him as He is not at our beck and call. We are using the Holy Spirit. Stop! This grieves Him. We need to become His resting place. Another statement that does not make sense. I thought God is OUR resting place!
Gentle as a Dove
“Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark; for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. And the dove came to him toward evening; and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth” (Gen. 8:8-11, NAS).
The so called teaching in this section is so bizarre it is hard to determine what he is trying to say, and harder to straighten out.
Think of the nature of the dove. They are gentle, and peaceful in the natural, and then, whoosh they fly away when something disturbs or startles them. Here is another contradiction. Todd claims the Holy Spirit is gentle, which we know is true as He is described that way in the bible. Why then, does he believe that the same Holy Spirit would cause him such wild physical manifestations that are far from gentle! This does not make sense! If we want the Holy Spirit to rest on us with the olive leaf, then we have to stop sinning, stop grieving, and stop hurting the Holy Spirit. I don’t see a real connection between the story above and the Holy Spirit with an olive leaf. I don’t think there is one. The olive leaf in the story was to show the water had receded, exactly how the scripture explains it. So, I don’t know where Todd is picking up on some spiritual meaning here! Every time we sin, whoosh, the Holy Spirit lifts. He does not depart from us, but the manifest presence does. I don’t know of a scripture that teaches we have 2 types of presence of the Holy Spirit, but this is a familiar teaching with charismaniacs. In addition, the Holy Spirit is not some weak, flighty scared bird that will “fly away” at the first presence of sin. The “with you” presence flies away, figuratively speaking. If we want the Holy Spirit to rest, we have to avoid quick movements, those quick movements that fulfill our flesh. More strangeness. Why would He leave from a “quick movement’? Do you want to be a resting place for the Holy Spirit? Do you want the Holy Spirit, the dove of God to rest on you with that olive leaf in His mouth? Why does He need this leaf in His mouth? Fall in love with Jesus and have an encounter with the Holy Spirit, because if you truly know the Holy Spirit, you will become quickly convicted and aware of those things that startle, wound, or hurt Him. No, the true message of the gospel is to recognize that you are a sinner separated from God and in need of Jesus Christ. Repent and turn your life over to Jesus. Then, the Lord will send the Holy Spirit who will comfort you, teach you and guide you into all truth. (minus the olive leaf) There is nothing scriptural about “falling in love with” Jesus, although we do love Him! (We love Him because He first loved us! 1 John 4:19) It is curious that Todd has this idea that the Holy Spirit can be hurt like a person hurts. This just is not true biblically. God does grieve and is saddened, in our bad behavior and sin, but let’s get this into perspective!
Wooing the Holy Spirit
Ignoring the Holy Spirit, grieves Him. Let us say I come over to your house and you lead me to the couch and say that you love me and that we are friends. I sit there all day long, and you know I am there, but you run around and do all the things that you need to do in your house, with barely a glance my way. You do not acknowledge I am there, even though you know in your busyness that I am. How would you feel if I invited you over to my house and did the same thing? This is the tendency of the Church with the Holy Spirit. We say, “Come Holy Spirit, come into my church and sit in that pew right there. When I need the anointing, a prophetic word, power or blessing, I’ll call on you, but until then, just sit.”
The Holy Spirit loves romance and loves to hear that you love Him. It is not enough to acknowledge that He is inside of you, but that He is with you. He wants that eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart close contact. He wants the intimacy. He knows that you love Him but wants to hear it. “Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” —Psalm 115:1
He wants to hear you say, “Holy Spirit, I love You, Come on over, sit with me!” Again, we are not taught in scripture to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, much less treat Him as tho we are in a romance together. Intimacy is important, but it must be appropriate! And there are some who have crossed this line even worse than Todd’s teaching. Beware!
Note from the Ministry Team: This is Part Two of a multi-part teaching, and we invite you to visit our website often, or sign up to receive the remainder of this teaching by email. As always, know that we are praying for you, and particularly as you identify those things in your life that keep you from spending quality time with the Precious Holy Spirit! We love you, and we cherish you! Available in our resource center, Todd’s “Marinating…Pickling in God’s Presence” soaking CD, which is sure to take you into the glory and presence of God! Pickling, another word for “intoxication or being drunk in the spirit.” Not something taught in the Word of God.
“God who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord is faithful.” —1 Corinthians 1:9
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” —John 15:13.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” —Matthew 7:7.
Whew! There you have the confused, extra-biblical teachings of a heretic. Beware.