2003 Letter to Todd Bentley-By Malcolm Wilson-RE: Todds controversial teaching
( In the pursuit of clarity and biblical accuracy, I reproduce extracts from a letter I sent to Todd Bentley in 2003 on the subject of healing angels.)
I have been waiting for a release from the LORD to write you this letter.On reading your newsletter received today I now have that release and know that the time is now. I simply have to write to you in order to that we two might ‘reason together’ on a controversial teaching that you have gradually introduced into your ministry. I am aware that we have corresponded on this previously. You know that I have been a supporter of yours both materially and spiritually, and I will continue to support you in those gifts and that calling that God has on your life which are from Him and are ‘irrevocable and without repentance’ .
However the teaching of yours that I continue to have great problems with, concerns angels and how God uses them.
You maintain that God sends ‘healing angels’ in order to ‘stir up the healing anointing’ and create the conditions for healing to occur. I believe that you have reached this conclusion as a result of your own understanding of John 5: 1-9, the passages you quote as a scriptural basis in support of your teaching.
The New King James Bible translates John 5. 1-9. as follows
“After this there was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went down up to
But are you aware that many Christian Theologians more learned than you or I, have long described major difficulties surrounding this particular passage of scripture.
1. The King James Bible published in 1611, is based on the manuscript known as Textus Receptus and it agrees in detail with the Peshitta, Italic, the Old Latin Vulgate and the Waldensian versions, produced in the 2nd Century. In these translations the angel is described as ’an angel’ never an ‘angel of the Lord ‘. In many other similarily based translations, the entire episode is completely omitted.
2. The use of the description, “angel of the Lord ”is confined to those bible translations which are based on the Minority Text or Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. These were not used in the King James version because they were (and still are) considered to be unreliable and full of hundreds of omissions and errors.
The Roman Catholic bible is based on these Minority Texts. The Catholics include the Apocrypha in their Bible and there the angel that stirred the waters is named as ‘Raphael’. Many Catholics pray to Raphael for healing. (The Christian church to which you and I belong, does not accept the canonicity of the Apocrypha or that Raphael is an angel of the Lord. )
The question you need to ask yourself is, “What were all these sick people doing at the pool ?” It would seem that they were all lying there, hoping to get LUCKY ! i.e. the fittest or the fastest who could get to the pool first, would be the one healed. Unfortunately it was too bad for the rest ! One day Jesus turned up and in His mercy, healed the one who probably had been unsucessful the longest. The exact opposite of the ‘pool method ‘!
4. The probable scenario is that local superstition held that an angel turned up occasionally and troubled the waters. First in got healed. The trouble with this is that it seems to be something of a lottery ! There are no other examples of God healing like this in the Bible. Where is there any other example of angels being involved in healing ? Water was used in miraculous healings, but always in a specific way, like Naaman who was told to wash in the
Imagine the scene, a multitude of sick and incurable people gathered around the pool. Suddenly the waters begin to move and pandemonium breaks out.Only one person will be healed, so the race is on! The first in is probably the least sick and least needy of healing. The sickest and most needy of healing can’t get in first. The fittest is healed. All the others are bitterly disappointed and begin to struggle out and get back to their places around the pool to wait for another opportunity. And we’re meant to believe that this is God’s divine healing grace in action ?
5. The time was not right for these‘miraculous’ pool healings to be that of God. There were 400 years of silence between the last book of the Old Testament and the birth of Jesus. The Prophets too, were silent during this period. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, but John performed no signs (John 10:41) It was Jesus and HE ALONE who broke the silence.
Why would God be performing miracles for those who were waiting for an angel to ‘trouble the waters’, when it was not a time for miracles ?
7. Many people who are severely afflicted are often tempted to turn to almost any remedy to find relief. Jesus did not help the man into the water. Jesus healed the man Himself. He later told the man to ‘sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you. ‘ I am inclined to believe that Jesus was warning the man not to indulge in superstitious practices in future, for they are snares. It is interesting to read the margin notes in the King James 1611 version, which links this statement of Jesus to the scripture; “ Then goeth he and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter in and dwelleth there and the last state of the man is worse than the first.”
So you see, that for me, any linking of what seems to be the angelically stirred ‘magical’ healing properties of the water at the pool at Bethesda to God’s divine healing power is at best tenous and at worst, unbiblical. John 5:1-9 simply does not demonstrate that God has ‘healing angels’ or angels which cause, stir or bring ‘healing anointings’ . Your teaching is not supported by the scriptures which are based on the best and most ancient manuscripts available. It has to be remembered that the devil has his angels too ! (Matt. 2) If, as many suspect, that it was not one of God’s angels ‘ troubling ‘ the waters, then you will surely accept that the whole notion of angelic involvement in healing is incorrect, extremely misguided and potentially dangerous.
Further I think you need to be need to be careful when citing ‘angelic‘ involvement with the healing ministries of
Maybe the source was the same !
He publicly denied the Trinity and said it
was a doctrine of the devil. Asked whether the Holy Spirit
did the healing at his meetings. Branham replied,’ No,my angel does the healing !’ As you may know,
Branham’s ministry gradually became more and more bizarre, he eventually
claimed that he was none other than Elijah the Prophet, claiming that the
Gospel was also contained in the Zodiac and the Pyramids and that the Lord
would return in 1997. He baptised people in the name of Jesus only, taught that
Adam was a minor God and a creator himself and that Eve had sex with Satan.
Branham died a tragic premature death.
You claim to have been given his mantle. Brother, if I were given a mantle like this I would want to be rid of it - pronto!
You may or may not choose to continue your teaching on ‘healing angels’ That is your choice. But if you do, you must recognise that certainly this part of your ministry would not be acceptable in many quarters because it is not founded on sound biblical exegesis .
Remember it was Jesus who healed the man - not the pool .
I have seen your video, ‘ Healing and Revival Mantles’.
There are a couple of issues there I would also challenge.
(i).“ Angels are waiting to bestow healing mantles to believers “
Really ? Which scripture supports this strange notion?
Read the Word carefully – there are none!
Are you claiming new revelation ?
New doctrine cannot be justified by someone’s dreams or visions, whether it is Bob Jones or anyone else.
The only angels that I know of that are waiting to bestow ‘healing mantles’ to humans are the demonic spirits who deceive ‘healing’ mediums and spiritists. These people can ‘heal’ too you know !
Come on Todd, you surely know that it is the Holy Spirit and Him alone, that bestows healing mantles and anointings to believers ! What you are teaching is a different Gospel !
(ii) You are even in error when you link the events at the pool of
Yours in His service
Marvellous Light Ministries International