Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bentley's Angelogy

In order to understand Todd Bentley and to make sense what is going on at Lakeland, you must first understand Bentley’s angelology. For most of us, angels are not central to the gospel; they are "waiting in the wings" as it were. Why does his angelology cause so much controversy? Well, here's a recent quote from Bentley:

"I told the Lord why can't I just move in healing and forget talking about all that other stuff?" "Because Todd, you've got to get the people to BELIEVE IN THE ANGEL"..."And I said God, why do I want people to BELIEVE IN THE ANGEL? Isn't it about getting people to BELIEVE IN JESUS?"...And He Said, "People already believe in Jesus, but the church doesn't believe in the supernatural."

The issue here. as I see it, is not that angels might be upstaging Jesus (which may be a valid issue) but rather Todd's reported conversation with God, in which God instructs Todd to "get the people to believe in the angel." That is not a valid commission by God, it is "another gospel."

When Bentley talks about "the angel" he is often talking about the named angel "Healing Revival" that only Bentley and a few others have purportedly "seen." This angel, whom he also calls "The Angel of the Lord" whispers words on knowledge into his left ear. I'm just wondering out loud if we should take his word for it.

He has mentioned "The Angel of the Lord" hundreds, if not thousand of times, in these meetings. Often he alternatively states that Jesus is whispering in his left ear, as he gains his healing "words of knowledge." The Old Testament phrase, "The angel of the Lord" refers to Jesus in pre-incarnate form. If he is calling the post-ascension Jesus an angel, a created being, he is simply being blasphemous.

The confusion, in Bentley’s mind, has been longstanding. At a Toronto meeting circa 2004 Bentley stated:

"This might not even be an angel, it might actually be Jesus, The angel of the Lord. So maybe it wasn’t an angel that came to me maybe it was actually Jesus."

We are trusting this man to discern spirits?

Bentley has written much about angels over the last ten years. Much of his angelology is based on a Bizarro World view of demonology, especially teachings about territorial spirits from C. Peter Wagner, as popularized by Ted Haggard and others. I have summarized this ying/yang world-view in one simple sentence:

If you have territorial spirits (demons) then there must be territorial angels. If the demons have rank, then so must these territorial angels.

Aside from the amazing fact that Bentley has mentioned more "named angels" than the whole of the scripture, he teaches that we have many personal angels at our beck and call.

"When I need a financial breakthrough I don't just pray and ask God for my financial breakthrough. I go into intercession and become a partner with the angels by petitioning the Father for the angels that are assigned to getting me money: "Father, give me the angels in heaven right now that are assigned to get me money and wealth. And let those angels be released on my behalf. Let them go into the four corners of the earth and gather me money."

And apparently, using angels to gather money is quite successful.

“Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: "Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?" He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, "Bob, who is Emma?" He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out. Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, "Here's Emma." I'm not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor. It was almost like Kathryn Khulman in those old videos when she wore a white dress and looked like she was gliding across the platform. Emma appeared beautiful and young-about 22 years old-but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life.

She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began putting gold dust on people. "God, what is happening?" I asked. The Lord answered: "She is releasing the gold, which is both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that I am bringing into this church. I want you to prophecy that Emma showed up in this service-the same angel that appeared in Kansas city-as a sign that I am endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church." See, when angels come, they always come for a reason; we need to actually ask God what the purpose is. Within three weeks of that visitation, the church had given me the biggest offering I had ever received to that point in my ministry. Thousands of dollars! Thousands! Even though the entire community consisted of only three thousand people, weeks after I left the church the pastor testified that the church offerings had either doubled or tripled.”

While many people would make a big thing about a female angel (no biblical precedent), I'm less concerned about that and more concerned about Bentley claiming the same angel as Bob Jones, whose ministry was discredited years ago. Bentley has had Bob Jones and similarly discredited “prophet” Paul Cain on the platform with him at Lakeland. Cain also speaks of visitations of “The Angel of the Lord.” In other name-dropping attempts, Bentley has claimed the same, or an angel like, William Branham’s angel. Again, this is company that one should not keep.

Interestingly, Bentley has just announced that Emma has had a gender-change.

"A while ago, Bob Jones told me about an angel that helped birth the entire prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. The Lord had sent this angel to help nurture the prophetic ministry (and gift), at a time when it was being re-established in the modern-day church in North America."A few weeks after our conversation, I attended a church service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the meeting an angel glided in. As I stared wide-eyed at the angel, I heard the Lord tell me that this was the same angel that was involved with the prophetic movement in Kansas City. The angel floated a couple of inches off the floor emitting a brilliant light and colors. He appeared young--about 22 years old--but old at the same time. It was as though he carried the wisdom, virtue, and grace of Proverbs 31.

From Bentley's The Reality of the Supernatural World, p. 230f:, June 2008.

Proverbs 31, of course, describes the virtues of an excellent wife. Look for Emma to change her name to Ernie in the coming weeks.

Not to beat a dead horse, but in Bentley's "Angelic Hosts" teaching he states:

"I believe Emma released a financial and prophetic anointing in that place. That was the first angel that I have ever seen in the form of a woman. Some angels I’ve seen seemed like they were neither male nor female. However, Emma appeared as a woman who was like a Deborah, like a mother in Zion."

Ok, then maybe Emma is a transvestite angel. Hey, let's not put God "in a box."

Angels do far more than gather money for us. According to Bentley:

"We do not battle against flesh and blood, we do not battle with demonic power, the angelic hosts do."

Of course, this apparent paraphrase of Ephesians 6:12 contradicts the actual scripture.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places.

The choice is yours. Will you follow a man whose proclamations contradict the very Word of God, or will you remain faithful to the scriptures? This should not be taken lightly.

We’ll be looking at Bentley’s alien-esque abduction to a heavenly operating table by the Angel-with-feet-like-pillars-of-fire in a future article. In the meantime, you may wish to study the topic yourself by reading Bentley’s well known 2003 treatise Angelic Hosts.

One cannot understand Todd Bentley’s ministry without understanding his Angels.

Exploding Angels - a report from Bentley's Website:

Todd’s associate, Jim, was driving back to Atlanta for business, about 100 miles away, grinding in the Spirit… “I don’t want to leave the revival”… Suddenly… A HUGE GOLDEN ANGEL APPEARS ON THE ROAD IN FRONT OF MY CAR!!!

“I am the Angel of the Winds of Change”… suddenly, the angel explodes into a million pieces and spreads around the world!!! The fragments go into hundreds and hundreds of revivalists to carry this healing anointing to the nations!

And the Angel says, “I am going to visit America again!”

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article to forward to friends ..sadly very true !! We only have to look back historically to see the mark of a true revival ..holiness, conviction of sin and deep repentance ..HOLINESS, CONVICTION OF SIN AND DEEP REPENTANCE !! Nowhere else in scripture is one of God's characteristics repeated 3 times and worthy of repeating around the throne for eternity ..HOLY HOLY HOLY ..where do we see this at lakeland ??


In the "Choose an identity" section - if you click Name/URL you can enter your name or at least a screen name. The URL is optional. Comment by NAME is encouraged, as all should own up to thier comments.