Someone recently asked me if I had any information on Pastor Todd Smith of Christ Fellowship Church in Dawsonville, Georgia. I don’t normally do posts on pastors/teachers. I have two reasons for this:
A) there are plenty of them out there, and
B) not every one of them needs a public post.
However, I do take requests and I evaluate them carefully.
After running a search on Pastor Todd Smith, I determined that a post on him is appropriate. While he has nowhere near as big a following as other teachers I have critiqued (such as Joseph Prince and Max Lucado), he does have no less than one thing in common with them; he has authored a number of books (four to be exact). Moreover, by his own admission, in an article detailing his becoming senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Church in 2011, he stated the following:
In my spare time, I travel around the country, teaching pastors about church growth…
By Todd’s own admission, he travels around the country to teach pastors. While 2011 is some time ago, let it be known that Todd has also made seemingly no less than two appearances on Sid Roth’s show It’s Supernatural within the last two years. Those two videos, to this day, have combined to generate over 222,000 views. This same show from Roth has over 1.14 million subscribers on YouTube. On the (seemingly) outdated website https://www.kingdomready.tv, one finds the following quote:
Along with serving in pastoring roles for over 25 years, Pastor Todd has preached the Gospel, led crusades, traveled to the missions fields, and participated in pastors conferences in over 25 countries around the world. Additionally, they are hosting the outpouring of revival fire at the North Georgia Revival that began on February 11, 2018.
By now, it should be obvious that this is far from a Matthew 18 issue. Public teachings warrant public critiques. After all, it really does not get more public than having four books in the public domain, appearing on a widely viewed show multiple times, and participating “in pastors conferences in over 25 countries around the world.” Christians are commanded to test all teachings against the Word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; see also Jude 3). This post offers a biblical critique on Pastor Todd Smith.
WHO IS TODD SMITH?
As mentioned earlier, Todd Smith is one of the two senior pastors at Christ Fellowship Church in Dawsonville, Georgia. The other senior pastor is his wife, Karen. I will briefly comment on his wife’s being a pastor later in this article.
Because Todd is a pastor, I show some biblical texts about the qualifications of a pastor. As a pastor, Todd is subject to stricter judgment (James 3:1). Furthermore, certain things are expected of a pastor. In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (said book being written to young Pastor Timothy), the apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:16-21), gives this exhortation to Timothy (NASB):
4 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
This charge Paul gives to Timothy is a serious one (verse 1). Paul is giving this charge in the presence of Jesus Christ, the only way by which mankind may be saved (Acts 4:12; Isaiah 43:11; John 14:6). That charge is to preach the Word always, reprove, rebuke and exhort with great patience and teaching (verse 2). The job of a pastor is to preach the Word.
This pastor must also exhort in sound doctrine and rebuke those that contradict. In the pastoral epistle of Titus, Paul writes the following in Titus 1:5-16 (NASB):
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.
The same themes of exhortation and reproof shown in the 2 Timothy passage also manifest themselves in the above Titus passage. A pastor is to preach the Word, exhort in sound doctrine, refute that which contradicts sound doctrine, and silence the false teachers via a sharp rebuke. Since Todd is a pastor, one would expect him to do that.
In my next section, I look at one sermon by Todd Smith. Since this will not be an exhaustive review of all his sermons, I want to look at his most recent Christmas message. I have heard it said that if time does not allow one to listen to about 7-12 regular sermons by a particular preacher, then it suffices to look at the holiday sermons. Therefore, I choose the route of the holiday sermons. Unfortunately during my search, I could not find an Easter sermon that he gave. In previous “profile” posts, I usually look at one of each. I will not in this instance. However, because I do end up covering a lot of information in this review, reviewing only one holiday sermon may suffice in this scenario. If you find an Easter sermon of his and you would like me to review it, please send it to me so I may both review it and add it to this article.
On December 22, 2019, Todd Smith gave what is presumably a Christmas sermon. On Youtube, this video had only 583 views at the time of my editing this article (572 when I first reviewed the sermon). I do not review the service prior to his speaking. Instead, I simply critique what he only is saying.
His speaking time begins at roughly the 37:10 mark. Sappy music plays as he gives the announcements for the church for about six minutes. Things get a bit interesting when the church takes an offering. Beginning at about the 44:10 mark, Smith says the following:
One thing that revival does, and we are in the middle of a revival, the move of God, one thing that revival does, it causes you to be somewhat reckless in your giving. Not irresponsible, but reckless. You just dare God. You just really dare to trust Him and dare to believe Him and to do something that is just really really radical. You’re gonna have that opportunity in January as we’re going to give $100,000 away to missionaries. Come on let’s give God praise right there. Yeah. Yeah. Oh I felt the Holy Ghost right there. I felt the presence…
No biblical text states revival causes someone to be reckless in one’s giving. Moreover, what revival is he talking about? And what biblical text says we are to dare God? Finally, how does he know he felt the Holy Ghost? I should note that after he gave the number of $100,000, his keyboard player that was playing the sappy music started to play a little louder as the crowd was cheering. My friend Steven Kozar wrote an article called “Stupid Pastor Tricks.” The claims of revival and feeling the Holy Ghost could easily make their way onto that article. Moreover, the sappy music is an emotional manipulation tactic.
After spending about six to seven more minutes talking about church affairs at Christ Fellowship, Todd says something telling at about the 48:52 mark:
God spoke to me very clearly. He said, “Todd, give everything that you get in the revival to missions. May it be your first fruit. May it be your first fruit.”
You will notice that he did not follow the “God spoke to me” part with a biblical text. While this is not a whole lot of verbiage from Todd, this quote tells me something; he denies the sufficiency of Scripture. Claiming direct revelation from God (which is what Smith does here) is a tacit denial of Sola Scriptura. Also, if God spoke “very clearly” to Todd, Todd should be able to tell people what God’s voice sounds like.
It is important to understand that God’s Word is all true, all powerful and without error (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; Psalm 12:6; John 17:17; Titus 1:2). Furthermore, God’s Word equips the believer for every good work, for it is sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3-9). Scripture is sufficient. Scripture alone is one’s authority for the faith and practice of a Christian. Hebrews 1:1-2 (NASB) states:
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.Hebrews 1:1-2 (NASB)
Who is “His Son”? That would be Jesus Christ, God in human flesh (John 1:1-14). Jesus is the Word incarnate. Moreover, He has already revealed all the Christian needs to know as it pertains to life and godliness. As a result, we do not need Smith’s direct revelation. He has not even come to the sermon portion and he is already giving me cause for concern.
At the 49:13 mark, Smith says the following as it pertains to what he is believing God for:
So what we’re believing God for, minimal of 100 people to give $1,000 in the month of January above your regular gifts and tithes. Don’t take your, please, please, God doesn’t need your tithe to support missions. This is an offering. A freewill offering that you and your family can pray over. Believe God. No pressure. If you can’t give $1,000. $20. Give $5. Give fifty. But I really believe out of the tens of thousands of people that walk through this building, that there will be, that there will be a thousand people, or a hundred people that will give a thousand dollars. I believe it. Praise God. And everything that comes in, over a hundred thousand dollars will go right to missions. None of it will come back into the church. It will go right out, go right out the door. So. Praise God. So let’s give today, recklessly. With abandonment.
The Bible nowhere states that Christians are to give recklessly and/or with abandonment. Moreover, Christians do not give under compulsion. Instead, they give cheerfully. 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15 explains:
Instead, giving depends on the ability of the Christian. Here are some texts to consider:
8 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.
7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 10 I give myopinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. 11 But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. 12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality—14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality;15 as it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gatheredlittle had no lack.”
16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord. 18 We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches; 19 and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness, 20 taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; 21 for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.22 We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.24 Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.
9 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints; 2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you may be prepared;4 otherwise if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to speak of you—will be put to shame by this confidence. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.
6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9 as it is written,
“He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for yourobedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15 (NASB)
Now, if a person wants to cheerfully give $1,000 above the normal giving, that is appropriate. However, Smith is not appealing to Scripture when it comes to this giving. He is instead appealing inward. He is encouraging his congregation to give recklessly and with abandonment. This is dangerous. This is compulsion. More importantly, it is not biblical.
The sermon unofficially begins around the 51:30 mark with both an introduction and some information about communion that will happen later that evening. At the 52:56 mark, Smith claims the LORD “dropped into my spirit” Isaiah 9. He only reads Isaiah 9:6-7. I think he was reading from the NKJV. Here are the verses (NKJV):
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
At the 56:24 mark, he claims the words “For unto us” (which I bolded) “resonated in my spirit.” At this point, I have to note that Smith seems to embrace the mystical and experiential. I have already shown how Smith claimed to have “felt the Holy Ghost” during the overall offering time. He is very feelings-based. It is somewhat strange. It may even be liberal in light of this book review here.
After reading the verses, Smith starts theologizing without really going through the text he just read. It reminded me of a tactic that Bryan Wolfmueller has called the “heresy two step.” Here is how Wolfmueller describes this:
The Heresy Two-step starts with two feet on the text. The allusion must be given that the text is going to be taught on. Then a sliding step backwards is taken into an abstraction. You move from the text to an idea about the text or to a word in the text. Once the text is abstracted and a general principle or something along these lines is made. You can now wiggle around and go in any direction you want. You can make the text say whatever you want. Instead of teaching the text you are pontificating on this abstraction which was drawn from the text.
As you saw, Smith reads the verses. He essentially puts his two feet on the words “For unto us.” He then steps backwards and he basically theologizes without getting into the text. As I show, Smith speaks in the abstract for the rest of the service. He does not really teach on Isaiah 9:6-7. It becomes easy to see when you notice he spends much of the service walking around and theologizing (or talking).
At the 56:16 mark, I begin to notice a pattern; Smith regularly beckons for an applause line during his sermon. See also the 1:00:21, 1:06:04, 1:08:50, 1:09:03, 1:09:42, 1:11:36 and 1:13:02 marks for examples of this (there are more). Sometimes he will say “talk to me” in his beckoning. At other times, he makes a hand gesture of some sort. Earlier, I mentioned an article titled “Stupid Pastor Tricks.” This beckoning for an applause line certainly falls under that category. It is a form of psychological manipulation. No pastor should engage in this type of nonsense.
At the 57:58 mark, Smith is in the middle of theologizing about how Mary was found with child of the Holy Spirit. What makes his sermon somewhat advanced to follow is that he retells Bible stories without reading from a biblical text (something heretic Joseph Prince does). As I mentioned in my article on Prince, if one knows his/her Bible well enough, he/she can spot when a theologizing individual is not re-telling a Bible story accurately. Moreover, it becomes more easy to catch when that teacher states untrue stuff after saying the phrase “The Bible says.” Here is a quote from Smith that shows he is not quite retelling the story truthfully (transcription done by me):
From earth’s vantage point, imagine Mary knowing that she is pregnant. She had to wrestle with this for a little while. I mean is this really a, a dream? Is this something that is authentic? And, and there she is, God you need my body. Is this, is this something that I’m, that I’m hallucinating? Is this real? And so here she is, and then a little bit later, after she discussed it with her own body and her own mind she says, “At your bidding, my body, is yours.” Imagine the struggle. Have you ever thought what if Mary would’ve said no? What if Mary would’ve said, “You know what? This is too much for me. I can’t handle this. What will my community think? What will my mother think? What will my boyfriend think?” And I actually believe that she had a will. She had a choice in the matter because the Bible does say that she comes back and says, “Whatever you wanna do, make it so. My body is yours.”
It does not help that Smith reads no text in this theologizing of his. Instead, we basically get his own opinions. The words that follow the phrases “I believe” and “I think” should always come under warranted scrutiny. Usually those words can be a dead giveaway to one’s opinions rather than one’s exegesis of a biblical text. They certainly are in this case. I think the text he was trying to retell was Luke 1:26-38. I would like to compare what he said to what the text says. Here is the text (NASB):
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Does the text state Mary had a discussion with her own body? No. Does she say, “At my bidding, my body is yours”? No. Does it sound like she had choice in the matter? No. The angel Gabriel told Mary that she “will” conceive in her womb. Gabriel said she would bear a Son. Gabriel also said she “shall” name Him Jesus. Also, when Smith claims the Bible says, “That she comes back and says, ‘Whatever you wanna do, make it so. My body is yours'”, is he telling the truth? Technically no, for Mary actually said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” Smith’s theologizing is off just enough that he is not telling the story accurately. He would have been way better off just reading the text. Instead, he simply gives us his own opinions of the story. That is far from helpful. It is also not in alignment with the job of a pastor. A pastor is to preach the Word, not his own opinions.
After some more theologizing, I heard a very problematic statement at about the 1:07:50 mark. Here is the quote:
Sometimes God gets us out of where we are in order to protect us. God had to protect the Messiah. He knew if He was going to remain there that He would be slaughtered. And God says, “Joseph, take your family to Egypt and I will take care of you even in a heathen nation.” My LORD, I feel the Holy Ghost.
Think of the implications of the first two sentences of the quote. Smith basically states that because God had to protect the Messiah, He will protect you by getting you out of where you are. This is nuts. First, I am not a messiah. You are not a messiah. If I was a messiah, I would not be born dead in trespasses and sins.
Ephesians 2:1-10 explains:
2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
The Bible is clear that people are born dead in trespasses and sins (2:1-3). God’s being rich in mercy makes one alive in Christ (2:4). Furthermore, it is by grace through faith that one is saved (2:5-9). It is not based on works (2:9).
If you do not believe what Ephesians 2:1-10 states, I would ask you please look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something, even if it was small? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? Jesus said that whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in the heart (Matthew 5:27-28). Jesus also said that if you ever get angry at someone, you’ve committed murder in the heart (Matthew 5:21-26). Just the mere thoughts of adultery and murder make you guilty of the very acts themselves.
Please understand that it only takes one murder to be a murderer, one lie to be a liar and so forth. David said in Psalm 51:5 that he was conceived in sin. Genesis 6:5 states that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually. Clearly, man has a sin problem. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Man is in big trouble with God because of his sin. This is more amplified by the fact that perfection is the standard (Matthew 5:48).
Now, some people try to justify their sin by trying to balance it out with the good deeds that they have done. However, if you were to try that in a court of law, the judge would throw the book at you. A good judge would not accept a bribe. He would cast you off into jail. God likewise will not accept a bribe, for there is no partiality with Him (Deuteronomy 10:17; Ephesians 6:9).
Thankfully, Jesus came to solve the sin problem 2000 years ago (Isaiah 53:1-12). You and I broke the law. Jesus paid the fine (Matthew 26:14-28:20). This means that the judge can do what’s legally right in dismissing your case. He can say, “This person has broken the law, but someone has paid his fine. He’s out of here.” This is good news.
There are two things a person must do. He must repent. This means to turn from his sin (Mark 1:16; Luke 24:36-49; 2 Timothy 2:19-26; Acts 17:30-31). He must also put his trust in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31, 17:30-31; Romans 4:1-25, 10:1-17; Galatians 3:1-14; John 6:26-29). These gifts of repentance and faith are granted by God (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:22-26). If you repent and put your trust in the Savior Jesus Christ, He will forgive you of your sins and grant you everlasting life (John 6:47). Oh may you know His mercy and grace today if you have never repented and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. If you get anything out of this long-winded article, please know how you can be saved through Jesus Christ alone.
Now, God does protect His children in the sense that they are not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Having stated that, those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Moreover, consider the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 (NASB):
16 Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison.
But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from suchexternal things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?
30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33 and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.
Sounds like the Apostle Paul had it really rough. Did God get the apostle Paul out of where he was in that scenario in order to protect him from that plethora of hardships? He did not. Smith’s theologizing is not to be trusted. Moreover, his consistently manipulating the crowd via his claim to feeling the Holy Ghost shows him to be an irreverent subjectivist. If he was really feeling the Holy Ghost, he would probably be freaking out rather demonstrably (Daniel 8:15-17; Ezekiel 1; Isaiah 6; Revelation 1; Luke 1:12-13; Judges 13:19-23; Mark 16:5; Luke 2:9; Daniel 10:8; Acts 10:1-4).
At the 1:08:22 mark, Smith gets into the three points on his sermon. They represent three reasons why Jesus was given “unto us.” Here is reason number one:
I literally believe that Jesus was given to us to save us from ourselves because I even think that you and I have self-destructive behavior.
I won’t rip Smith too much for his first point even though it is far from technical. His second point somewhat corrects this one. The first point is still bad because Smith says Jesus saves us from our self-destruction. It’s technically called sin (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:15). I also want to highlight the words “I literally believe.” This type of language has manifested itself throughout this sermon. We seem to be getting Smith’s opinions rather than what the Word of God actually says. This type of “I believe” or “I think” language also manifests itself in his second reason of his three-point outline (1;11:48 mark):
I think the reason that He came, a child is born and a son is given is because sin will destroy us.
Despite the continual “opinion” language, Smith’s sermon peaks here (which sadly isn’t saying much). It also cleans up some of the mess of reason #1 a bit. Smith reads Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23. Unfortunately, he does not really elaborate on this. Instead, he speaks in the abstract. He simply says that Jesus is the gift that saves one from his/her sin. Well, what is sin? Have I done it? Where is the sin consciousness? There’s no call to repent either under this point or even this sermon. Smith’s third reason in his three-point outline is as follows (1:13:18 mark):
Because Satan has come to destroy and to annihilate us.
I agree that Satan does come to destroy, but annihilation is not biblical. Smith cites Romans 5:8, but then he quickly moves to his “posture” in looking to 2020. I really would have liked it if Smith elaborated more on these biblical texts in Romans. Instead, he simply cites them. He then moves on to something else.
Beginning at about the 1:16:00 mark, Smith starts to begin a monologue of some sort that eventually stirs the crowd into a frenzy up through the 1:18:21 mark. It is almost like a prophecy. Here is my transcription of what he said up until the 1:17:28 mark:
I do not believe that God has sent His Holy Spirit upon us in the last 98 weeks to pull His hand off of this house at this moment, not knowing that in January we’re gonna do something that nobody else I have ever heard of doing will be doing and that is giving 100% of their offerings away to missions. That is so radical, so outside the box so, I’m I’m telling you so otherworldly, God has to honor it. I mean God has to come through for it, amen? I mean God’s gotta do something, so I really think that, the devil is doing this. I think he is trying to get you so distracted and sideways that you cannot think of anything kingdom, but you can only think of your world. But I’m gonna push through and I’m gonna fight through. I’m not gonna be moved by what the enemy is telling me in my ear and whispering to me when I get up in the morning. I’m not gonna be sideways when the enemy tells me tonight, certain this and that while things are happening in the audience I’m not gonna be moved because I’m gonna know what’s coming and God going to be what’s conceived in January, and sometime in 2020 all of us in this house will experience a breakthrough financially that we have never seen before. You cannot give recklessly that the way that this church is going to give and many of you at your level, how God leads you. You cannot give and not expect God to come through for you. Hallelujah. Praise His holy name. I said Hallelujah.
Smith goes on for a little bit longer than what I transcribed, but I have enough material to analyze before I move a little further. The 98 weeks refers to the North Georgia “Revival” that Christ Fellowship has been doing in the last 98 weeks. Notice all the references to I, me and my. This monologue of his is rather narcissistic. Moreover, we get more evidence of Todd’s “I think” and “I believe” language. More importantly, where is the biblical text stating God has to honor radical giving? Where is the biblical text that states God must come through for me if I give? God is not at our beck and call to do anything. Our words do not create reality. We are not little Christs. Also, how does Todd explain the supposed financial breakthrough that was gonna come in 2020? Could he not foresee COVID-19? Could he not foresee the riots that have taken place in 2020? This emotionally manipulative frenzy-stirring narcissistic monologue of his is basically his opinion.
Beginning at about the 1:18:21 mark, Smith starts talking about a dream that God gave him. This dream apparently involved an alligator. At about the 1:20:35 mark, he states he asked the LORD what the dream meant. Here is what apparently the LORD told Todd:
Todd, during this revival, there will be problems and issues that will arise in your leadership and in your church….There will be some things you don’t even need to talk about….And let it swim right by you….Todd, there will be some things that arise in your leadership and in your church that you’ll have to address, and push it out of the way. Thirdly…Todd there will be some things that arise your leadership and in your church as there has with all revivals that you’ll have to kill. So I’ve been operating and living with that wisdom and instruction from the LORD.
The volume on this video really becomes inaudible towards the end, but what I have transcribed is what Todd claims the LORD told him minus the filler I omitted. This is more evidence of his claiming direct revelation from God. Moreover, this was a dream that apparently God gave him. Let’s consider some biblical texts on dreamers. One of those is Jeremiah 23:1-40 (NASB):
23 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord. 3 “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.
5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
6 “In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
‘The Lord our righteousness.’
7 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.”
9 As for the prophets:
My heart is broken within me,
All my bones tremble;
I have become like a drunken man,
Even like a man overcome with wine,
Because of the Lord
And because of His holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers;
For the land mourns because of the curse.
The pastures of the wilderness have dried up.
Their course also is evil
And their might is not right.
11 “For both prophet and priest are polluted;
Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the Lord.
12 “Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them,
They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it;
For I will bring calamity upon them,
The year of their punishment,” declares the Lord.
13 “Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing:
They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray.
14 “Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing:
The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood;
And they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one has turned back from his wickedness.
All of them have become to Me like Sodom,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.
15 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets,
‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood
And make them drink poisonous water,
For from the prophets of Jerusalem
Pollution has gone forth into all the land.’”
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you.
They are leading you into futility;
They speak a vision of their own imagination,
Not from the mouth of the Lord.
17 “They keep saying to those who despise Me,
‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace”’;
And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart,
They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’
18 “But who has stood in the council of the Lord,
That he should see and hear His word?
Who has given heed to His word and listened?
19 “Behold, the storm of the Lord has gone forth in wrath,
Even a whirling tempest;
It will swirl down on the head of the wicked.
20 “The anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart;
In the last days you will clearly understand it.
21 “I did not send these prophets,
But they ran.
I did not speak to them,
But they prophesied.
22 “But if they had stood in My council,
Then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds.
23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord,
“And not a God far off?
24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places
So I do not see him?” declares the Lord.
“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ 26 How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, 27 who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? 28 The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? 30 Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the Lord, “and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit,” declares the Lord.
33 “Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you saying, ‘What is the oracle of the Lord?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What oracle?’ The Lord declares, ‘I will abandon you.’ 34 Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The oracle of the Lord,’ I will bring punishment upon that man and his household.35 Thus will each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God.37 Thus you will say to that prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 For if you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’”’ 39 Therefore behold, I will surely forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. 40 I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.”
Todd claimed God gave him a dream about an alligator. Todd also claimed God told him to (my paraphrase) push away all things that arise in the church and in his leadership that need to be addressed. This begs the question; what if church discipline needs to be addressed? What if the lack of preaching a biblical Gospel (which Smith is guilty of in this presumed Christmas sermon) needs to be addressed? Would Todd be doing his job as a pastor by pushing those things away? He certainly would not be. And yet, God told him to push away (or let swim by him) anything needing to be addressed that arises in the church and in his leadership. The fact Todd slapped God’s name on this revelation is absolute blasphemy. Moreover, the behavior is cult-like.
At the 1:22:40 mark, Todd talks about another dream he had. At the 1:24:09 mark, Smith explains what the LORD did at the end of the dream. Here is what I transcribed:
He showed me a face. And He said, “Underneath the face I saw the word Tron. T-R-O-N. Tron.” I’ve never had words spelled out. So that day I began to investigate what Tron means because God was giving a message to us. There is a voodoo spirit called Tron, but I don’t believe that’s exactly what it is. But the LORD was giving me a warning for our church family, especially those of you that work in the water. Those in leadership. The word Tron literally means an attachment. Particle. Neutron. I can go on and on. He said, “Todd, guard against the spirit of attachment on your people. Because it will come in and attach to something or someone and dilute and impact and infect the whole of the rest.”
Where in Scripture is a tron spirit discussed? Also, where in Scripture can I find information about the spirit of attachment? The answer is nowhere. Todd is blaspheming once again by slapping God’s name onto this nonsensical spirit. Also, does it make sense for God to only warn Todd’s church about this particular made-up tron spirit? Why isn’t God warning all churches about this tron spirit? What makes Smith’s church so special? This language reeks of mystic Gnosticism. It’s arrogant nonsense to say the least.
Also, notice that in this sermon alone, Smith has made mention of three separate times in which the LORD allegedly spoke to him. In all of Scripture, there are only three recorded instances in which Jesus heard audibly from the Father (John 12:28, Matthew 3:17 and Matthew 17:5). Who does Todd Smith think he is by claiming all this direct revelation from God?
I would like to consider another biblical text. That text is Jude. I show the whole book; it is only one chapter (NASB):
1 Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.
17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting;23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
It should be clear that Todd is a dreamer. One can argue he preaches more about his dreams than he does any biblical text in context. That is an issue in light of what I stated earlier about the job of a pastor.
Before I move forward in analyzing other content in this message, I’d like to consider another biblical text. That would be 2 Corinthians 3:1-4:6 (NASB):
3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? 2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men;3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.
12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
4 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
The passage is beautiful; within the greater context of 2:14-6:10, this passage covers the nature of Paul’s ministry. Part of that nature involved not preaching the self. In light of that, I have to ask a question. By preaching his own dreams (they are certainly not of God), is Todd Smith preaching himself or is he preaching Christ? The answer is he is preaching himself. His own dreams are flat out contradicted by God’s Word. Smith is a blasphemer.
Around the 1:28:00 mark, Smith made mention that a “Pastor Marty” at his church (who apparently is the executive pastor) “gives words out that are directly from the throne.” If those words are anything like the words Smith claims to get, then it is safe to say Christ Fellowship Church specializes in both blasphemy and denying the concept of Sola Scriptura. At the 1:30:32 mark, Smith seems to be prophesying via the following claim:
Here’s what I know, 2020. By the end of January there will be so much glory in this place gold may fall outta the sky. Exactly. Thank you for reminding me of that. I’m not talking about y’all coming here with buckets. I’m just telling you, the glory of the LORD it may manifest in gold, I don’t know. I’ve been in services where gold has literally flakes have fallen…..By February, when we hit February, there will be a level of glory in that water, my LORD, people will not only be coming from all over the world, they’ll be coming twice and 2-3 times and staying 2-3 weeks at a time. When Michael Brown from the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry is here on March the 8th, I tell you when he begins to unveil on us about glory, there’s no telling what’s gonna happen here.
Conveniently, Christ Fellowship Church in Dawsonville has a Facebook page. When I ran a Google search, I could not find a story about gold falling from the sky of a church. When I looked up their Facebook page, I clicked the “posts” section. I then typed the word “gold.” I ran a search. I got no results.
I would like to ask a question; is gold’s falling from the sky in a church a big deal? Certainly such a phenomenon would make some kind of news outlet, right? Moreover, since the church’s Facebook page is rather active, it would have made mention of gold’s falling from the sky of its building if it happened, right? Then how come I got no results AT ALL when running a search for gold? Why weren’t the posts for that month flooded with the concept of glory? And speaking of month, for February 2020, Smith said (and I’m paraphrasing here) there would be such a level of glory that people from all over the world would want to stay for 2-3 weeks at a time. Again, why the silence from the Facebook page regarding glory for February 2020? While “Doctor” Michael Brown did speak at the church on March 8, the Brownsville Revival was an absolute fraud. Moreover, a prophet’s batting average in the Old Testament was 100%; it was not .333 (if you consider each month a prophecy in Smith’s above monologue).
Being a false prophet is no light matter. No less than two texts will help in this discussion. The first is Deuteronomy 18:15-22 (NASB):
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ 17 The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Justin Peters did an incredible video in March 2020 showing how “20 of the top names in the charismatic prophetic movement” could not see COVID-19 coming. While Smith did not make that list, I will throw his name in there simply because of the many boasts he has made in this sermon alone.
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 is another text worth considering (NASB):
“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.4 You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.
I have mentioned often that Todd Smith is a dreamer. Worse, he blasphemes by attaching God’s name to his dreams. People put false prophets (as well as dreamers of dreams) to death in the Old Testament. Falsely prophesying is no light matter. Is it safe to say that Smith is a false prophet given his high boasts for January 2020 and February 2020 that seemingly, if not certainly, did not happen? I say yes.
In concluding my analysis here, Smith concludes his sermon with communion at about the 1:32:34 mark. Sappy music plays in the background. He gives no warning about communion. Communion is for believers. Unfortunately, Todd makes no mention of that. He has his people grab the elements that are spread throughout the sanctuary. In partaking of the bread, Smith states the following (1:3620 mark):
So we hold this bread. And He [Jesus] said to His disciples, He said, “This is my body, which will be broken for you.” He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” He said, “Don’t forget. Don’t forget, that my broken body purchased your healing. My broken body purchased your wholeness.” So LORD we won’t forget today, and we commit our lives to You God, Jesus. We submit ourselves to you, and we are thankful that your broken body purchased for us our well-being and our healing. In Jesus’ name we take.
Todd is adding to God’s Word here. Moreover, his emphasis is on the wrong thing. Jesus Christ came to save sinners (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:15). He did not necessarily come for one’s wholeness and healing per se. One could make the argument that people get healed spiritually via the gift of eternal life. However, in light of this awful overall sermon, is Smith really emphasizing eternal life here? I doubt it.
In order to see the seriousness of communion, I show 1 Corinthians 11 in full. While the entire passage does not directly address communion, the context shows how important it is that order be maintained in the church. The apostle Paul is the one writing here under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:16-21). I show the NASB version of the passage:
11 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, 21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come.
I have to ask a question; where in that passage does Jesus talk about healing and wholeness? He makes no verbatim mention of it. You will also notice the warning in verses 27-32. Todd makes no mention of that, but he does find a way to add to the LORD’s words there. That is not good, for it makes Todd (once again) a liar (Proverbs 30:6).
In the “cup” portion of communion, Smith states the following (1:37:25 mark):
Let’s hold the juice up before the LORD. Father we hold this up to recognize that every drop that you spilled was for my salvation, for my deliverance, for my mental well-being. That your blood delivers us, it sets us free and washes away our sin. Father, may the way I live bring glory to you. And may You receive the full reward from my life of your suffering. So we receive this in the name of Jesus.
The above portion is not as problematic as the “bread” section of this communion time. Nevertheless, the overall communion is problematic given Smith’s both adding to God’s Word and omitting the part about taking communion in an unworthy manner.
Overall, this sermon was an abomination. In this Christmas sermon, Smith did the heresy two-step. Worse, he preached himself more than he preached Christ. Smith also blasphemed by attaching God’s name to Smith’s perverted, nonsensical dreams. When Smith cited biblical passages, he did not really elaborate on them. Sadly, he found the time to elaborate on his dreams. He also falsely prophesied in no less than two ways. The communion time was also bad. Finally (did I cover everything?), his irreverent claims to feeling the Holy Ghost will no doubt draw people after himself rather than to Jesus Christ (see Acts 20). What compounds all of these problems is the fact that this all happened in presumably a Christmas sermon.
Think of it this way; imagine you are a person who has been going through a bunch of medical tests. The latest test is not a good one. In fact, you are told to get your affairs in order and you have a week to live. You are not a Christian. In fact, you’ve lived the life of an unrepentant sinner. You need some Good News, for you will be dead in a week. You may not make it to Christmas.
Say you come to Christ Fellowship Church three days before Christmas of 2019. You’re in need of hope. Did you really get it from this message? Were you confronted with your sin? Were you told that you were headed to hell at breakneck speed if you didn’t repent and receive the free gift that is Jesus Christ’s vicarious substitutionary atonement for your sins on the cross (1 John 1:5-2:2)?
This sermon actually gives other abominable Christmas sermons I have heard a run for their money. Smith’s sermon had no sense of urgency on this high-profile holiday. Instead, it was a completely irreverent abomination. Any person on the brink of death likely did not get any hope from hearing this sermon.
As I showed in my review of Smith’s presumed 2019 Christmas sermon, Smith is a false prophet, a blasphemer, a Bible-twister, a dreamer, a manipulator and an overall irreverent individual. What I want do now is look at Smith’s rhetoric in two different contexts. First, I analyze a brief appearance he made on Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural. Although Roth is quite the huckster, I actually have no problem with Smith’s appearing on Roth’s show like I had no problem with false teacher Max Lucado’s being interviewed by heretic Jen Hatmaker. As I mentioned in an article I did on Lucado, I’ve heard the phrase, “If I had an opportunity to preach the Gospel in hell, I’m going.” I don’t have a problem with a person with the title of pastor speaking at a show with a big audience. He just has to make the most of the opportunity. The second thing I look at, in light of the first thing, is one of Smith’s “North Georgia Revival” events.
I conclude the “Miscellaneous” section with a brief word on two different things; these things would be Smith’s wife’s being a pastor and a Facebook post that his church posted in light of COVID-19.
This episode, 14:53 in duration, has over 45,753 views since its debut (46,724 at the time I edited this article). I’m not sure if this was the only segment of Smith’s visit, but the segment is worthy of a review.
Smith spends most of the time appealing to his own subjective experiences. Apparently at about the three minute mark, we learn Smith and his wife got the “left foot of fellowship” from their previous church. At the 3:22 mark, he begins talking about a vision he had. At the 4:17 mark, as he is talking about the 2,500-3,000 gallon baptistry at his church, he claims he had an “open vision” for the first time in his life. In light of the information I gave in my above sermon review about dreams/visions (see Jeremiah 23), this story is already taking a subjective, Gnostic, unbiblical turn. Smith goes on to say that there was fire 2-3 feet wide on top of the baptistry for about 8 seconds (I’m paraphrasing). At the 4:19 mark, he claims the LORD told him, “Todd, I’m gonna baptize people in Holy Spirit fire.” While the Holy Spirit is like a fire, the fact Todd had to claim direct revelation from God once again shows he denies the sufficiency of Scripture.
Next, Roth talks about a gal with cancerous legions that supposedly went to Smith’s church’s baptismal. She apparently got healed of her 50 cancerous legions from his baptismal. At the 7:17 mark, you see two photos in a “before/after” setting. One photo supposedly shows the 50 lesions before entering the baptismal. The other photo shows those lesions as gone. The “after” photo looks convincing enough that a miracle perhaps took place. However, let’s consider a few things. First, Todd claims to be a pastor. As I demonstrated in my sermon review, Todd does not fulfill his pastoral duties, for he both engages in much blasphemous doctrine and denies the sufficiency of Scripture via his multiple claims of direct revelation from God. Second, consider the sources here. One of them, Smith, is a pastor who cannot do his job. The other, Roth, is a blasphemy-endorsing individual who obviously sees nothing wrong with throwing/kicking babies. If I know Todd Smith is not a good pastor, what makes me think that he is some kind of authority on medical photos? Now granted, the photos look convincing. However, I would rather heed to the advice of a medical doctor who is qualified than a pastor who certainly is not qualified. If a pastor cannot do his own job, what makes me think he is an authority on medical photos?
Smith claims direct revelation from God again at about the 8:40 mark. Smith claims God said, “Todd, I am coming with vengeance after my bride….Todd, my sheep have been fleeced.” Smith then states the following (9:12 mark):
And I looked up that word, “fleeced” ’cause I said, “LORD, I’m not taking anything from anybody. I’ve not been inappropriate or our pastors that I know are not inappropriate. Taking things from other believers.” And then I looked up the word, “fleeced”, it literally meant, “cheated.” That our people have been sitting in our congregations and they’ve been cheated. We’ve not preached the whole counsel of God. We’ve not preached righteousness and holiness, and let’s run from sin. We’ve made it as convenient as possible to be born again. As far as just simply say a prayer, raise your hand, and now you’re saved. There’s no sacrifice, there’s no counting the cost, and there’s no laying down the life to say, “I’m going to follow Him.” And so now they sit into in our services and we tell them how great they are. We replace power with principles. We we don’t talk about the fire, but we give them formulas. We don’t talk about the Spirit but we give them steps to health. And God says, “I’m coming after my church because many of the pastors and shepherds have cheated my people and not told them what I needed them to hear.”
There are no less than two noteworthy things from this above quote. First, notice that Todd talks back to God by stating he has not taken anything from anybody. The arrogance this man has (especially in light of the sermon review I did) is just astounding. Second, Smith continues his denial of the sufficiency of Scripture with his “God says” stuff. Interestingly enough, he’s not necessarily wrong when he talks about pastors that basically scratch itching ears (via not preaching righteousness and holiness), tell people how they great they are, give “how-to” sermons (formulas), etc.. If you don’t believe me, that’s fine. I’d advise you to consider people like Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel, Andy Stanley, Brian Houston and others. These men (among many others like Steven Furtick, Perry Noble, Mark Beeson, Chris Sonksen, Bill Hybels, Robert Morris, Bill Johnson and Erik Dykstra) have done devastating damage to the Christian church over the last few decades by doing the things Smith mentions. While Smith may be right about the fact many so-called shepherds have cheated folk, why do we need his direct revelations on this? Smith’s supposed direct revelations are not helpful here at all. They instead further verify Smith’s obvious denial of the sufficiency of Scripture.
At the 10:15 mark, Smith begins to talk about what happens at his baptismal. It’s noteworthy because it is something I will look for when I analyze one occurrence of the North Georgia “Revival” later in this article:
And so Sid they’re in the water. I’ve seen it from every denomination, every movement, every church. Large church. Small churches. They get in that water, and as soon as their foot hits the water, they start confessing sin. People stand up and says, “I’m a homosexual. I’m wretched. I’m wicked. I’ve been unfaithful to my spouse. I’m addicted to pornography.” Had a 70-year old man, the first time he got in the water, he said, “I’m addicted to pornography.” And before we baptized, he was down front worshiping, dancing before the LORD. And he got in that water, and he says, “I’m addicted to pornography.” And he goes, “In fact, today, I looked at dirty images.” We take him down into the water, the fire of God touches him and immediately cleanses him and purges him and sets him free.
When I analyze one of the North Georgia “Revival” events, I will be looking for confessions of sins upon feet hitting the water. I’ll also be looking for a visible fire of God. If I can find no such thing, one can conclude Smith is lying once again.
At the 11:35 mark, Roth asks Smith if people that don’t get in the water still get healed. Here was Smith’s response:
Oh absolutely. We see people healed at our altars. We see people getting healed during worship. Uh, we see people that receive prayer, they pray for one another. We see people getting healed in line.
Smith claims that people get healed at the altars, during worship, and in line. In my analysis, if I see anybody still wearing glasses at the end of the event, I’ll know Smith is lying.
Roth then asks Smith how Smith keeps the “glory” in the sanctuary. Here is Smith’s response at roughly the 11:52 mark:
Well we we pray. We pray. We you can’t rent a move of God. And too many churches are trying to rent a move of God. Let’s hire the latest evangelist to come in and wow and dazzles us, and what we do, we rent his anointing and the residue of his anointing stays behind. But every move of God that I have ever studied, start a study, started and and remain because the people were focused to prayer. Our congregation and many other churches around us pray six times a week. We come to the house of God to seek His face and we continue to say, “God, we don’t care what’s going on around us. We’re going after Your face. We’re not going after Your hand. We’re not going after Your goodies. We’re not going after Your promises. We’re not going after the toys. We’re going after Your face.” And we have set our gate to go after His face, because I have learned if my boys come to attach themselves to my heart and to my face, they get everything in my hand.
I find it interesting that Smith talks about not renting a move of God when in reality he brought “Doctor” Michael Brown to his congregation to basically wow and dazzle his congregation earlier this year. Is Smith not guilty of hypocrisy with that action? Also, notice Smith’s boasting of his church’s praying six times a week. I remember a Pharisee who boasted about how often he fasted. Granted, the Pharisee made no mention of prayer, but he was still rather boastful. The passage is Luke 18:9-14 (NASB):
9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Smith could easily find himself saying, “God, I thank you our church prays six times a week. We don’t hire evangelists to come in (even though we really do).” I find it interesting that Todd did not appeal to a single biblical text during this entire segment with Roth. Let’s not forget that Smith is a pastor. His job is to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-4). Instead of the Bible, we just got more of Todd’s direct revelations and arrogance. Needless to say, he blew this opportunity on the big stage.
I now turn my attention to one of the North Georgia “Revival” events Smith’s church hosts. Because a lot of these revival events are so long, this will not be an “at-length” segment like my segments on both the sermon and the appearance on Sid Roth’s show.
Originally, I was reviewing Week 118 of the North Georgia “Revival” (NGR) that happened on May 10, 2020. Todd gave the sermon that day. However, after his sermon, the video went to a replay of the baptismals of Week 103. My theory is that due to COVID-19, the church was not doing long “revival” days in May 2020 like they were on Week 103 (1/26/20). Interestingly enough, the church still continues its accumulation of weeks of the NGR. I think that is a bit dishonest, but that does not surprise me given Todd’s dishonesty on both his Christmas sermon and on Roth’s show.
I have to admit something I failed to notice in my analysis until I started watching Week 103 of the NGR; Todd Smith is still wearing glasses. For all his boasts on Sid Roth’s show about the baptismal and how people get healed, why does he not get into the baptismal himself to get his eyes healed? Heck, if people were getting healed on the altar and in line as he claimed on Roth’s show, why can’t Todd Smith get healed in that building? Why does he still need his glasses? While my mentioning this fact at this point of time in the article is rather awkward, I mention it now because it dawned on me while I was analyzing Week 103 of the NGR and not beforehand, sad to say (or write). As I mentioned in my analysis of the Roth appearance, if I see anyone still wearing glasses at the end of that event, I will know Smith was lying on Roth’s show.
Week 103 of the NGR is 4:37:07 length. However, I will only be pointing out the highlights in this video; this is far from an exhaustive review. I focus mainly on what Todd Smith says or does. I also focus on the events happening at the baptismal in an effort to test Smith’s claims that were made on Roth’s show.
Smith makes his first appearance at about the three minute mark of this event. He reads Psalm 103:1-5. He engages in one of the aforementioned “stupid pastor tricks” when he has everyone say “Yes LORD” after he finishes each verse. He makes the claim that God is anticipating the church’s worship and praise. He then prays. At about the five minute mark, he thanks God for both the “ISN network” (the place I presume is broadcasting this revival” and Sid Roth. The fact he is thanking God for an endorser of baby-throwers/kickers is blasphemous. Worship follows his prayer.
Smith comes back at about the 38 minute mark. He prays. In his prayer, Todd once again claims direct revelation from God. By now, in light of this, my sermon review and my review of Smith’s appearance on Roth’s show, Smith has claimed direct revelation from God significantly more than the amount of times Jesus audibly heard from the Father in Scripture. That’s an issue. It should be clear Smith obviously and unapologetically denies the sufficiency of Scripture.
At the 46 minute mark, Smith begins to take up the offering. He once again claims direct revelation from God. He once again talks back to God. He also uses the same language of “reckless giving” that he did in my sermon review. Sappy music plays in the background. This is one of many emotional manipulation techniques Smith uses. At the 50:13 mark, he says some disturbing language as it pertains to the offering:
And we’re gonna ask everybody to be a giver tonight. I make no apology for that. Don’t come to be a taker only. But to be a giver. $5. A dollar. $100. $1,000. Twenty thousand, whatever it is. Be a giver tonight. Sow to the Spirit, you’ll reap by the Spirit, the Word of God says. You sow to the flesh, you’ll reap to the flesh. So let’s give recklessly tonight. Just begin to make your way all across the building and just place it in the buckets if you will. Let’s give. Let’s give. Let’s give. Let’s give. Let’s give. Let’s give. Let’s give. Let’s give. Let’s give. Praise the LORD. He is here. Everybody a giver tonight. Every individual, every family, come on. Some of you are sitting down on me. You outta be giving. Hallelujah. He’s good. He is good. Praise the LORD. Alright let’s stand back to our feet. Ushers, if you’ll come gather this. Praise the LORD. Put it all in one bucket. Put it all in one bucket. Alright. Now we’re gonna take up a second offering. And this is gonna dig down deep. Sacrificial giving. So we’re gonna do it again, and this time we’re gonna dance as we come to the front. Now give me one bucket, one bucket, right here. I feel such tightness in the Spirit that I’m not gonna let him win.
Twenty. Thousand. Dollars. I really hope nobody gave a cent to this man, for Smith is an absolute charlatan. I have already shown the biblical texts discussing how the believer is not to give under compulsion (or recklessly). The text he is alluding to regarding sowing to the Spirit is Galatians 6:7-9. That text (in fact the entire book) has absolutely nothing to do with money. Galatians’ primary focus is the precious doctrine of justification by faith. Also, who is Smith referring to in the last sentence of the above quote? Is he referring to the Holy Spirit? It would make sense if he said that given the arrogance he has shown overall up to this point. Regardless, he is still placing heavy emphasis on his own subjective feelings. Finally, notice he says “let’s give” nine consecutive times. This reminded me of a passage in the Gospel of Matthew. That specific passage is Matthew 6:5-15 (NASB):
5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Is Smith not engaging in vain repetitions by saying “let’s give” nine consecutive times during the offering time?
Smith goes on:
So some of you may walk out the building right now. Karen, pull out the checkbook. I’m gonna write a $1,000 check with every account that I have. I got 5 accounts. I’m gonna ask you to give something so ridiculously tonight that will blow your mind. I’ll never forget but the day I wrote a five thousand dollar, now listen, y’all looking at me like I lost my ever-loving mind, y’all may never come back. But everybody’s gonna give in this offering. Some of you didn’t give this last time. Every person is gonna give in this offering right now. Because I know missionaries, you’re not giving to this church. You’re not giving to the speaker. We’re covering his honorarium tonight. But I know there will be a missionary tonight that will stay on the field because of what we give. Please do not let what you buy for coffee be more than what you’re about to sow in this offering right now. Do not let what you offer Christmas be more than what you’re gonna give in an offering over these last four months. Now, I’m, I’m bold as a lion. I feel the Holy Ghost. I feel the Holy Ghost roaring on the inside of me.
Apparently, each of the five accounts Smith admits to having has to have at least one thousand dollars. I hope at least somebody walked out of the building as Smith continued his boasting. Notice the recurring things happening in the above two quotes in light of the analysis I have done to this point. First, he is quite the boaster (and an arrogant one at that). Second, he continues these claims of feeling the Holy Ghost. Third, he violates the concept of not giving recklessly or under compulsion. Instead, he encourages it. Fourth, his subjectivity dominates much of his teaching. Finally, he is a Bible twister even when he is not directly mentioning biblical texts.
At the 1:01:13 mark, he gives an announcement to his congregation that on the following Sunday, the “Flowing Oil Bible” (with Jerry Pierce and Johnny Taylor) would be at the NGR (more on this later). Smith does not speak again until about the 1:57:00 mark when he says “My LORD” before telling his congregation to stand to its feet (a man named Kenneth Bae preached in between the two time marks mentioned in this paragraph). It sounded like he took the LORD’s name in vain when he said that. If he did not, we still have much evidence in this article of his taking the LORD’s name in vain with his frequent blasphemies and claims to direct revelation. Smith goes on to lead three people into a sinner’s prayer (he beckoned them forward). He then announces that the waters are open for baptism at the NGR. Smith makes the claims that fire is both in the water and on top of the water.
At the 2:02:23 mark, Smith says something for a second that sounds like tongues. If you blink, you will miss it. It is not actually tongues; it is gibberish. Worse, it is flagrant disobedience against God’s Word, for one should not speak in tongues unless there is an interpreter (see 1 Corinthians 12-14). I actually wrote an article about speaking in tongues here. I want to share a relevant section from that article that will refute Smith’s disobedience of Scripture in this area. It covers 1 Corinthians 14 in whole. This section spans many consecutive quotes. My commentary on the section begins when the quotes stop.
Prophecy a Superior Gift
14 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.
6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? 7 Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 8 For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.10 There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. 11 If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me.12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.1 Corinthians 14:1-12 (NASB)
In these first twelve verses of chapter fourteen, Paul regards the gift of prophecy as greater than the gift of tongues. The reason for this is because speaking in tongues edifies one’s self unless an interpreter is involved. Prophecy needs no interpreter to be edifying. If a believer is zealous for spiritual gifts, the believer should seek to abound for the edification of the church. Tongues without an interpreter only edifies the self.
13 Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. 18 I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.1 Corinthians 14:13-19 (NASB)
Paul again continues the idea that speaking in tongues should have an interpreter. In fact, tongues without an interpreter is essentially so useless that 10,000 words spoken in a tongue without an interpreter isn’t even better than five words spoken with the mind (see verses 18-19). That’s a 1:2,000 ratio. That is a significant ratio. One could even say that 2,000 words spoken in a tongue is not even greater than one word spoken with the mind. That is quite significant.
Instruction for the Church
20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written, “By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me,” says the Lord. 22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent.31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.1 Corinthians 14:20-33 (NASB)
Tongues are a sign for unbelievers (verse 22). Paul states that if anyone speaks in a tongue, one must interpret (verse 27). If there is no interpreter, then nobody should be speaking in tongues (verse 28). God is not a God of confusion (verse 33). If unbelievers walk into a church that has everybody speaking in tongues and nobody interpreting, those unbelievers will think the people have gone mad (verse 23).
34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. 36 Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only?
37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.38 But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.
39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. 40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.1 Corinthians 14:34-40 (NASB)
One should not forbid speaking in tongues (verse 39). If it is to be done, it needs to be done orderly and properly (verse 40).
Todd Smith’s epic fail of speaking in tongues (actually gibberish) for a split second violates Scripture because there is no interpreter. Smith is basically edifying himself (more like making a fool out of himself…again) with that split second epic fail. He should repent and be forgiven of violating Scripture in that regard (in addition to many other regards).
At the 2:02:36 mark, Smith makes another plug for the “Flowing Oil Bible” he made mention of earlier. He also asked the crowd how many were thankful to be “in the house of the LORD tonight.” In light of the nonsense that has taken place so far at this NGR, Smith’s statement is blasphemous. Smith’s church is not the house of the LORD: it is something else.
At the 2:06:09 mark, the scene cuts to a different area of the church. Todd and his wife, Karen, have microphones and the setting is similar to that of broadcast announcers at a sporting event. “Worship” music continues to play in the background. At the 2:10:22 mark, Smith once again makes a plug for the “Flowing Oil Bible” alongside Johnny Taylor and Jerry Pierce. I keep mentioning these plugs for a very important reason; this “Flowing Oil Bible” is a scam. Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith explains why it is a scam in his video here. In that video, Rosebrough shows how local news outlets reported about the ministry’s fraudulent activities. Specifically, that oil came from the Dalton Tractor Supply Company, not the Bible itself. This makes Smith an aider and abetter of those who take the LORD’s name in vain (Exodus 20:7). Moreover, it further proves Smith is not one who refutes that which contradicts sound doctrine (Titus 1:9). I would even argue that Smith is a picture of the hireling shepherd spoken of in John 10.
John 9:1-10:21 explains (NASB):
9 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. 8 Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9 Others were saying, “This is he,” still others were saying, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one.” 10 So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is He?” He *said, “I do not know.”
13 They *brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they *said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, 19 and questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” 20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23 For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.”25 He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28 They reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.” 30 The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.”38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
10 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
Often, I have seen various pastors twist John 10:10 to promote the abundant life. The reality is the thief in John 10:10 is the false teacher. It is not Satan. This is why I started at John 9:1 for context. Jesus Christ is the good shepherd who cares for the sheep. The hireling see the wolf and flees, for he cares nothing about the sheep. Taylor and Pierce are clear frauds. However, instead of warning those under the influence of those two individuals, Smith continues to unashamedly announce that they will be at his church (and they were at his church on 2/2/2020). It is safe to say he does this without apology; why else would he keep making so many plugs for them? Smith’s unashamed promotion of Taylor and Pierce and their fraudulent “Flowing Oil Bible” is the behavior of a hireling shepherd. His wife, who also has the title of pastor, even gives her approval for that “Flowing Oil Bible.”
The baptisms start at about the 2:13:10 mark. This portion of the “revival” lasts almost two and a half hours (ending at 4:37:07). I counted no less than 24 people that got into the water for a baptism of some sort. Sappy music plays throughout the entire baptism time. The singing stops a little past halfway through the baptism time. Words starting getting inaudible due to the loud music at about the 3:42:15 mark.
The baptisms followed a pattern. First, a person with a microphone (henceforth called the baptizer) asks the participant his/her name (sometimes there is more than one), where the participant is from, and what brings the participant in the water. Second, the participant then answers the questions. Third, the baptizer passes off the microphone to somebody not in the baptismal.
What follows afterward is hard to discern.
You cannot hear what the baptizer is saying to the participant. Moreover, the baptizer does not really dunk anyone. Instead, he has two people behind the participant who basically serve as catchers. If you have ever seen a Benny Hinn crusade, Hinn (a money-grubbing charlatan) would have catchers help at his services (including his nephew, Costi, who has since denounced the prosperity movement that Benny still promotes). You can’t really hear what the baptizer says to the participant. Sometimes the baptizer puts his hands on the participant’s head or ears (or even his thumbs on the participant’s closed eyes). The participant sometimes raises his/her arms and says something inaudible. Afterwards, the participant falls backwards into the water. Sometimes the participant gets up on his/her own power and walks to the side. Other times, the participant falls backwards and then stays in a bit of a “belly float” position. The catchers then bring this belly-floater out of the way. These belly-floaters sometimes look like they are dead or unconscious.
Out of all the testimonials, I heard many participants wanting something. One person wanted God in charge. Others wanted to have a healing of some sort. One participant around the 2:26:00 mark was claiming direct revelation from God. The most noteworthy observation was that not everyone was confessing sin. This is important to note because in Todd Smith’s aforementioned interview with Sid Roth, Todd stated, “They get in that water, and as soon as their foot hits the water, they start confessing sin.” Out of the twenty four participants that I counted, I only heard maybe a family of three from Sacramento make mention of sin (and that’s being generous). Smith basically lied on Roth’s show, for confessed sin was in the extreme minority (if even existent) of the observed baptisms, not the majority.
Another thing important to note when comparing the interview and the NGR is Smith’s claim regarding people that were not in the water. Smith stated, “We see people healed at our altars. We see people getting healed during worship. Uh, we see people that receive prayer, they pray for one another. We see people getting healed in line.” Funny thing is I observed quite a few people who were in the water that were still wearing glasses. If people are getting healed, why are people still wearing glasses? If they were getting healed, wouldn’t you expect them to ditch the glasses and celebrate like they hadn’t celebrated before?
Finally, there was no fire in the water in any of the two baptismals shown at the NGR. Recall that on Roth’s show Smith stated, “We take him down into the water, the fire of God touches and immediately cleanses him and purges him and sets him free.” Where was the fire of God in that water? There was certainly no fire of God on the water either. This alleged fire certainly did not touch the people who were wearing glasses. Nobody was being evacuated from the building.
Overall, this NGR event on 1/26/20 was a fraud. The claims Smith made on Roth’s show were not present at the NGR. Moreover, Smith played the role of a money-grubbing arrogant individual who once again claimed direct revelation from God. Smith also played the role of hireling. Finally, he flagrantly disobeyed Scripture by speaking in gibberish rather than tongues. This “North Georgia Revival” needs to drop the word “revival” from its name; it is anything but a revival.
In my next miscellaneous category in this section, I give a brief explanation for why women cannot be pastors. Because Todd Smith’s wife has the title of pastor, this explanation serves as more evidence for why Smith is not qualified to be a pastor.
God’s Word forbids women pastors (1 Timothy 2:9-3:13 and 1 Corinthians 14; Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio also offers insight from his review on Jory Micah, someone who doesn’t believe women are to be kept silent in the church). When consulting the text of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, pay attention to the fact that the very next chapter goes right into the qualifications of a pastor. How can a woman be a husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2)? Finally, consider the following two paragraphs from GotQuestions.org’s article on women pastors (said article being the hyperlink on point #3):
Many women excel in gifts of hospitality, mercy, teaching, evangelism, and helping/serving. Much of the ministry of the local church depends on women. Women in the church are not restricted from public praying or prophesying (1 Corinthians 11:5), only from having spiritual teaching authority over men. The Bible nowhere restricts women from exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). Women, just as much as men, are called to minister to others, to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23), and to proclaim the gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).
God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3–5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors to men. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them.
Women definitely play a vital role in ministry. However, being pastors goes beyond the role given to them in Scripture. This concept of going beyond Scripture is typical Todd Smith; consider all the times Smith has went beyond Scripture by claiming direct revelation from God. He goes beyond Scripture again (even disobeying it) by not calling his wife to repent of her being flagrantly disobedient to God’s Word via her being a pastor.
4. Christ Fellowship Church of Dawsonville Facebook Post From March 18, 2020
It has been demonstrated at length that Todd Smith is quite the boaster. Recall in my sermon review that Smith rattled off some predictions for 2020. Those predictions included the following:
Here’s what I know, 2020. By the end of January there will be so much glory in this place gold may fall outta the sky. Exactly. Thank you for reminding me of that. I’m not talking about y’all coming here with buckets. I’m just telling you, the glory of the LORD it may manifest in gold, I don’t know. I’ve been in services where gold has literally flakes have fallen…..By February, when we hit February, there will be a level of glory in that water, my LORD, people will not only be coming from all over the world, they’ll be coming twice and 2-3 times and staying 2-3 weeks at a time. When Michael Brown from the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry is here on March the 8th, I tell you when he begins to unveil on us about glory, there’s no telling what’s gonna happen here.
Notice the word “glory” for each of those months. Smith talks about glory in the place (his church) and glory in the water of the baptismal at his church. I have to ask a question; did the glory leave? I ask because on March 18, 2020, Christ Fellowship Church of Dawsonville released the following Facebook post in light of COVID-19, a disease that resulted in the shutdown/limitations of businesses, churches and other places all across the country to say the least. What I show now are the screen grabs and the text itself:
We are grateful for your prayers at this time. As you know, our nation is facing quite a challenge. The situation has caused us to modify our church service schedules. It is with a heavy heart we are pausing our on campus services including the North Georgia Revival. This decision, as you can imagine, is a difficult one to make. We have seen people saved, healed, and lives forever changed, we have seen over 13,000 people water baptized. Again, we would like to inform you about our decision to pause our worship service schedule. This update pertains to Christ Fellowship Church of Dawsonville and the North Georgia Revival.
We continue to receive calls daily from people who are finding hope from the testimonies that we share each week. This is a reality that we don’t take lightly, nor will we ever. Our staff has taught our people to give honor where honor is due and to submit themselves to governing authorities and that has weighed heavily in our decision. We are taking this step to protect our church families and community. This was not an easy decision. I spoke with our North Georgia Revival Host Pastor, Pastor John KilPatrick, and David Hogan this week. With the wisdom and counsel they gave me, we have come to our current decision.
So, as we balance the needs of the people who are coming to meet Jesus in the water and keeping all of us safe, we do so with faith – knowing that Holy Spirit is still present in power. This is a pause and we are still taking prayer requests. Please send them to Revival@cfchurch.tv.
We will continue to press into the Lord and contend for revival and for a great harvest of souls.
Effective immediately, we will not meet on campus. Sunday Services will be broadcast online only. Gather your family and join us online Sunday mornings at 10:30am and Sunday evenings at 6:00pm.
We will resume our on-campus services in a few weeks as well as the North Georgia Revival. The revival will not diminish due to this temporary pause. I as well as our leadership team believe that it will increase in strength and power.
Karen and I, our leadership team, the North Georgia Revival Host Pastors, and their churches, will take this time to pray and contend for greater glory.
We will keep you up to date in the days to come.
I will see you online Sunday morning. God Bless.
Now, I understand his wanting to submit to the local authorities. That is understandable given the fact nobody really knew the impact COVID-19 would have in March 2020. My question is this; where is the glory? Could the glory have held off COVID-19 if Smith decided to continue on with the NGR? How come Smith could not have predicted COVID-19? Certainly he boasted of glory so much he could have given a glorious prediction of the pestilence that is COVID-19. Why wasn’t that included in his boastful forecasts of 2020? This is something to think about.
FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION
This post gave zero analysis to the books Smith has published. On the date I originally posted this article (10/2/2020), I stated that it was possible that Smith could be more orthodox in his books than in a sermon, as a guest on a TV show, or as a leader in a so-called revival. However, I also stated that given the amount of unbiblical stuff I found in my analysis on Smith, I would not put a single blue chip on any bet stating he is orthodox in his books. I was wise in keeping my blue chips, for on March 14, 2021, I posted my book review of his book Speaking In Tongues: Your Secret Weapon. He is not only a bad theologian, but he is also a terrible scholar. My book review explains this at length (over 10,000 words).
Todd Smith is a good communicator. Todd Smith would perhaps make a good play-by-play announcer. I’m sure he is a good dad. As a pastor, he is an absolute failure: he claims direct revelation from God (thus denying the sufficiency of Scripture), he takes God’s name in vain, he blasphemes by slapping God’s name on his nonsensical dreams, he is a hireling, he lies about so-called miracles that happen at his church, he butchers communion, he does not refute that which contradicts sound doctrine, he flagrantly disobeys God’s Word in the area of tongues and he is a (not so) subtle money-grubber. Moreover, his revivals are not all they’re cracked up to be. Mark and avoid this blasphemer at all costs (Romans 16:17). Pray he repents and receives forgiveness for all his unbiblical nonsense, for Jesus Christ has even bled and died for those sins
NOTE: I emailed this post via a contact form on the website https://www.kingdomready.tv. I also tweeted this post. I tagged Smith’s Twitter handle even though he has presumably not tweeted anything in about 2.58 years.
Again, this post was done at the request of another. I don’t do these posts regularly (otherwise these posts would be all I would do, for there are a PLETHORA of teachers/pastors out there). I do believe it is biblical to compare what people are saying in the Name of God to the Word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1). Above all, pray for those I critique. Pray for me as well. If you disagree with anything I have written, please make your case biblically. If I am wrong, I will repent and I will hope you forgive me.
ANOTHER NOTE: I updated this article on March 28, 2021 to include my book review I did on Smith’s Speaking In Tongues: Your Secret Weapon.