Great catch about evangelist Todd Bentley by blogger Bill Fawcett earlier this week. I'd like to draw some attention to it.
It has to do with "Emma the angel", a feature of Bentley's ministry for over eight years now. Emma, you see, is a healing angel that often appears to Todd Bentley when he is about to do some healing.
Last night, I went looking through my archives, and I found that the very first time that I saw Todd Bentley live, when he was still a fairly obscure B.C. evangelist, Emma was already a feature in his ministry. He already had a tape in which he talked about her, and on June 25, 2002, he launched into a little commercial for his tape, which you could buy at his book table.
He said, according to the transcipt that I made:
""I want to talk about the realm of angels, different angelic visitations
that I've had, what the angels look like and how you could use them in
intercession. I talk [on the tape] about an angel called Emma that was with Bob Jones in
Kansas City, and this angel came with me to Beulah North Dakota. After the
visitation of this angel, what happened was the visitation of trances and
visions, and dreams and the finances in that church went five times [up],
off of the charts after the day that I prophesied the coming of the angel
Bob Jones said to me "Hey Todd, has Emma ever came before [sic]" [The tape
explains] where he talked about who Emma was, and how Emma came in 1980 up
in Kansas City and started the whole prophetic movement. It was an angel, a
woman angel called Emma that was a part of what God did in Kansas City with
the prophets, you know Jim Goll, John Paul Jackson, Bob Jones. Everything
that God did as controversial as it was in that time, in the 1980s, there
was a visitation of an angel (Paul Cain, you know) called Emma.
Bob asked me have I ever seen this Emma angel before. I said "Bob, I've
never seen that angel before. He asked me twice about that angel. Now, I was
in Beulah, North Dakota, and I had an open-eye angelic visitation in the
meeting, and [unclear] said "Hey Todd, there's the angel named Emma." The
most beautiful woman I've ever seen, other than my wife (audience laughter). My
wife's here tonight, otherwise I'd say that she was the most beautiful woman
I've ever seen (Todd laughs, audience laughter)...."
[As long ago as 2002, Bentley treated Shonnah with contempt in public? Scary...]
Emma would periodically appear in his messages in the year since then. I recall one service at Toronto Airport church, a few years after this, in which Todd refered to Emma. Now she was not only beautiful, she was "hot". (Perhaps in a diabolical sense, but you know what Todd meant.)
Bentley self-published his first three books through Fresh Fire Ministries. In one of them, The Reality of the Supernatural World, he referred to a beautiful unnamed female angel of healing that he met in North Dakota. This would be Emma. In the self-published version, it talks about the beauty of the angel and such.
The old passage in the book read much like this old re-post of an internet message that had been sent out to his e-mail list many years ago:
EMMA, ANGEL OF THE PROPHETIC
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.
During this visitation the pastor's wife (it was an AOG church) got totally whacked by the Holy Ghost- she began running around barking like a dog or squawking like a chicken as a powerful prophetic spirit came on her. Also, as this prophetic anointing came on her, she started getting phone numbers of complete strangers and calling them up on the telephone and prophesying over them. She would tell them that God gave her their telephone number and then would give them words of knowledge. Complete strangers. Then angels started showing up in the church.
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. When she came, she began to mentor, nurture and opened up a prophetic well. The people in the church began having trances and visions and the pastor began getting words of knowledge and moving in healing. That congregation also saw more financial breakthrough than they had ever seen before.
You'll note that it reads like a slightly longer version of the "commercial" for the tape about Emma and other angels that I heard in 2002.
Then, shortly before Lakeland, The Reality Of The Supernatural World was published by Destiny Image with a very interesting change. The relevant passage about the angel who had been Emma now read:
“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.
“He carried bags and pulled gold out of them. Then as he walked up and down the aisles, he put gold dust on people. “God, what is happening?” The Lord answered that the angel was releasing gold, which represents both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that He was bringing into that church. At the Lord’s direction, I announced that the same angel that appeared in Kansas City had showed up in the meeting as a sign that the Lord was endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church.”
Evidently what had happened was that people, reading the various passages in the Bible that imply, if they do not explicitly teach that angels are sexless or appear male, were having a great deal of fun at Todd Bentley's expense. So, Bentley thought that a sex change in print would do the trick. He forgot, though, that Proverbs 31 talks about the noble wife.
It sounds like a bad daytime talk show...
Host: "Today...when angels have sex changes, and the evangelists who know them!"
Audience: "JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY!..."
...but it's the sort of slapdash thing we expect from Mr. Bentley sometimes.
Rick Joyner, in one of the Todd Bentley restoration videos on angels that tried to explain and make sense of the various controversial things that Bentley said about "Angels! Angels! Angels" at Lakeland, recognized that Jesus did teach that anglic beings are "not given in marriage", and therefore we can imply that they are neither male nor female. (The Bible usually referers to angels as "he" and not "she". "When Jesus says it, you can take it to the bank," he said.
So, one would assume that Bentley would try to be very careful about what he says about angels making sure that they would agree with what Jesus taught, as per Joyner's hint. As also reflected too, in that passage in his book, where, on second thought, that healing angel is male.
Imagine Bill Fawcett's amazement, as noted in his own fine post on the subject, when he heard Bentley's sermon at Fort Mill last Saturday [February 20th]. Todd Bentley dropped the ball, and Mr. Fawcett ran the fumble all the way back for six points.
He figures that Todd is changing Emma's sex yet again. I figure that Bentley thinks that his audience has the memory capability of houseplants as well.
Todd Bentley is explaining about the various angels that he has interacted with and sighs that people on the internet just keep on confusing them. I'll quote some of the context in case the video disappears from the Morningstar site in the next few days. Sorry, but he is riffing and speaking in a stream of consciousness.
He is preparing his audience for "notable, remarkable miracles":
"I saw things tonight I haven't seen in nine years....You know, we're going to see a lot more than signs and wonders in the end times. A lot more than just supernatural healing, but real signs in the heavens above and wonders on the earth beneath. God's glory is gonna manifest and when it does, there will be times when the anointing will come and the whole meeting will be overshadowed and everybody will be healed. We're gonna have days when the inhabitants of the land will say 'I am not sick'....We're gonna see that. We've had glimpses of it over the years. Moments minutes and it's a different anointing than just 'There's a healing anointing and people are gonna get healed'. But I literally feel right now, the last ten minutes I came under a cloud, just sitting over there at the table. And I was totally being unspiritual. I was just...I dunno, I think I get extra unspiritual when i'm going to get really anointed. The kid in me comes out and I was just drawing little doodles and pictures. Just little colourings and little scribbles. People were laughing and I was laughing and then the glory showed up. and "God I'm doing so unspiritual right now', just drawing pictures of Ryan and pictires of people sitting next to me at the table and pictures of Robin and playing with the Girl Scout cookies that were on my table, and I felt the strongest anointing yet. And this cloud came down and enveloped me at the table. You didn't see it, of course, because it was a spiritual thing. It didn't happen in this realm, it happened in the spirit. I barely heard anything Hooper said because I was under this cloud and I started feeling jolts. Like my body would get hit with power. Very different than the presence that was here last night. I started to feel like there was an electricity in the room. And then I saw something that I haven't seen in nine years, and what I mean by that is that people have heard my testimony many times in conferences and crusades over the years, they've heard me make reference to the 'angel of the Lord'. And still people are confused. In the blogs in the internet, people are still confused about the healing angel. And never at one time have we made the claim that the healing angel, that I recall, does the miracles. We've made it very clear it's Jesus. And the angel that I see may be the nagel of the Lord, it may be the Lord himself, like in the Old Testament the refererence the 'angel of the Lord'. And I'm not talking about Emma, the female healing angel. It is still so controversial and out there. I think it is important that I adress every time that I make reference to things that I sense in the spirit...
He goes on to say that he sees a pillar of white light in the meeting with a bunch of angels going up and down in it...
The "healing anointing is gonna crank up", Bentley adds. "....Jesus is passing through the room!"
Fawcett is amazed that not only has Emma changed her sex to male, she/he/it--whatever Emma sex is, has changed back to male.
What surprises me, is the matter of fact way that Bentley refers to "Emma the female angel". I think that Bentley feels that his audience has the IQ of gerbils. Emma was so "controversial" that he and Joyner had to make several videos to fix it. Okay, he believes in angels that help with healing, which is a fair thing to say. But why refer to Emma at all? If angels are male or non-sexual beings, as Joyner said that Jesus taught--you could take it to the bank--why refer to a female angel? Why not just drop it.
Perhaps the answer is that Bentley belives that Emma is a real angel and that this angel is female. If you think that the Bible teaches differently, that is too bad for you. He's going to believe it.
Todd Bentley has taught so many times about "Emma the female healing angel" that he has to not contradict himself. He may continue to refer to Emma, without dwelling on her, because to do otherwise will undercut his apparent truthfullness.
But Bentley he will be more careful to refer to "angels"--which you will think are sexless or male, but which he will think can be female. Perhaps someday he will be able to come out and teach about female angels again, but for now the occasional reference will do.
'You can take it to the bank" that Jesus taught that angels are "not given in marriage", Joyner said. Well, forgive me if I don't bank on Bentley's teaching in this area. I fear his cheque will bounce.