Angels or Demons?

Todd Bentley and "The Beautiful Side of Evil"


By Berit Kjos - June 26, 2008 (Updated February 1, 2011)



Emphasis added in bold letters below


Video clips


Skip down to Bill Johnson, C. Peter Wagner and Rick Joyner ordain Bentley

Recent video: Todd Bentley: Writing his own Bible: "The Burning Ones"


"...I went into a trance-like state and I saw, for the third time over the course of a few years, the angel of finance.... In that trance I experienced one of heaven’s realities and then that experience became a reality here on earth.... I found myself in a treasure room in heaven. The only item in this room was gold coins, and I began stuffing those coins into my pockets until they were falling out."[1] Todd Bentley

" spirit guides, Jesus and Mamacita, were with me, teaching me to overcome the lower spiritual entities. Now, during the many hours spent in meditation waves of light and peace would flow over me...."[2,p.85] Johanna Michaelsen, The Beautiful Side of Evil

"...false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed...." Mark 13:22-23

What's driving Todd Bentley? Why do thousands of people flock to his "apostolic" revival meetings?

Some reasons are obvious. Many seek healing, financial success, spiritual experiences, prophetic knowledge and sensual entertainment. After all, Bentley puts on quite a show! Known for his heavenly visions, angelic "partners," mystical tattoos, and irreverent "teaching," he makes them laugh. One of his many Youtube performances includes this outrageous dialogue with an unbiblical "God":

"The woman was standing in the back of the room when the faith of God hit the meeting, and her tumor exploded out of her right leg, slid down her leg onto the floor! ... [God] said, '...I want you to grab that lady's crippled legs and bang them up-and-down on the platform like a baseball bat.' [loud laughter] I walked up and I grabbed her legs, and I started going, BAM! BAM! ...banging them.... She got healed!...

"And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform. And the Holy Spirit spoke to me; the gift of faith came on me. He said, 'Kick her in the face with your biker-boot.' ... I went like this [kicks and shouts] BAM! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God."[3] [more laughter]

"You will know them by their fruit," said Jesus. (Mt 7:16) But the genuine "fruit of the Spirit" (God's love, goodness, gentleness...) was missing from this brutal show. This warning fits our times:

"An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land:
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?" Jeremiah

Counterfeit angels and demonic visions

Bentley is no stranger to demonic forces. "...twenty-five demons were cast out of me," he said in one of the many videos that document his teachings, "...and when I first got saved the demonic started showing up unlike anything that I had seen even before I became a Christian.... I came out of everything involved with the demonic especially in the whole world of music and satanic music...."[Transcription]

Yet the supernatural realm remained central to his ministry, and during one of his "heavenly" visions, Bentley met a dazzling "angel" named Emma. The discredited "prophet" Bob Jones had told him that Emma had actually started "the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s." Bentley described their first encounter in his article "Angelic Hosts."

"In the middle of the service... in walks Emma. As I stared at the angels with open eyes, the Lord said, 'Here's Emma.' I'm not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor... 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.'"[4]  

The "God" behind this "angel" is not our Lord! But with the rising popularity of fascinating female "angels", Emma would hardly be hindering Bentley's world-wide popularity. As he wrote in his Personal Message on June 11,

"Thousands of leaders and pastors have received impartation. And the fire is spreading throughout the GLOBE! ... This anointing is very contagious and hundreds of churches and ministries are now hosting overflow rooms..."

Yes, and the Bible warned us it would happen: 

"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among  those who perish, because they did not receive  the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

The Beautiful Side of Evil

Back in the nineteen-eighties I read The Beautiful Side of Evil by Johanna Michaelsen. For many years she was caught up in the occult, yet she believed that the "angels" who reached out to her were servants of God, not Satan. One of those "angels" sounds strangely similar to Bentley's "floating" angel, Emma:

"[She was] beautiful with flowing hair and robes of shimmering dark blue spangled with tiny stars.... She took me by the shoulders and gently kissed me on the forehead.... 'Welcome, my child,' she said. Then she turned and floated back through the wall as she had come. I have never experienced such joy, such light and peace, such unspeakable ecstasy. I was on the right path at last."[2,p.83]

No, she was tricked! Masquerading as an "angel of light," Satan used her feel-good experiences to deepen the deception. Through those painful years, Johanna's "fellowship" with demons brought her indescribable depression and despair. The enchanting moments of light were fleeting, while fear and confusion darkened her days. She would continue to suffer under that cruel master until God set her free. But since that time, God has used her testimony as a much-needed warning. It calls His people to-- 

"Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." Ephesians 5:8-11

Exposing the darkness can be costly. Church leaders who seek unity, popularity and unbounded fellowship are quick to label us intolerant and judgmental. But the cost is nothing compared to the genuine joy of serving our Lord!

Mesmerizing the masses

To alter her consciousness and connect with these entities, Johanna used meditation, visualization, concentration -- and the repetitive beat of a metronome. Bentley's tools are different but just as effective. Like tribal shamans (and like his own former world of "satanic music"), he uses loud rhythmic sounds (drums, etc.), then adds repetitious words and hypnotic music. Pastor Gary Osborne described it in his article, Bentley's "Revival" in Lakeland, Florida:

"The phrase 'stir yourselves up' was used repeatedly.... A woman led in prayer for the service and ... told the people to 'roar like a lion!' ... People everywhere shouted at the top of their lungs.... This same lady was jerking and twitching.... There was also much talk of 'birthing' and 'signs and wonders.'... People were swaying and dancing.... There was a very sensual spirit... People seemed to be in a trance all around me. If the worship leader said, 'raise your hands' everyone did so immediately. If he said, 'drop to your knees' they did.... The music had the people mesmerized....


"At about 8:30 PM... the music leader says, 'I’m feeling drunk.' He then tells the people to say to God, 'Intoxicate me, Lord.... Now the people are getting truly wild and the leader says, 'Scream!!!' and the people let out a yell.... Finally the worship leader falls to the floor himself...."[5]

This manipulative process started up again the next evening. Finally, with the crowd thoroughly conditioned to "break out of the box" of Biblical order (1 Cor 14:40), Bentley took control. Wearing a t-shirt with the words, "Jesus Gave Me My Tattoos," he announced the presence of "great authority" in the building. "I speak creation," he declared. "I speak new hearts, new livers into existence tonight....'”[5]

Doesn't he know God's view of such arrogance? Has he no fear of His judgments on those who serve the purpose of the master deceiver?

"For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven... I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit." Isaiah

Signs, wonders and mystical healings

"The glory of God is intense," wrote Bentley in a "Personal Message" on May 20, 2008. "...miracles continue - tumors disappearing nightly, cancers and deaf ears being healed. It has been reported that more than 55 people in wheelchairs are receiving their healing. Another remarkable turn of events - 13 reported resurrections!"

He claims that a male "angel" named "Healing Revival"[6] worked with him in many past healings: When he comes," said Bentley, "I get... the ability to diagnose people's sicknesses with my left hand.... I get very accurate details from God.... And whenever this angel shows up the miracles go off the charts."[4]

Four angels supposedly operated on him during one of his heavenly visions. He saw "a Pillar of fire" rise up through the roof of a church. When "God" told him to "get into the Pillar," he complied -- and landed on an operating table in heaven. The angels tied him down and began surgery:

"[T]hey pick this thing up... and they stuck it in me right here on my neck and it didn’t hurt.... they went right down to my lowards and all of a sudden ... everything inside of me popped out onto the table, my heart, my liver -- like everything.... . [T]he angels start taking these white boxes… and they start stuffing these things inside of me... and I heard the verse 'I desire truth in the inward parts.'”[7]

Bentley's reference to Psalm 51:6 illustrates his blatant Scripture twisting -- a timeless demonic tool. And his "surgery" reminds me of the mystical reports about "alien abductions."

It's also similar to Johanna's experiences with painless operations in Mexico. Both claim to have seen countless supernatural healings that clashed with all medical knowledge. But Bentley's "heavenly" experience (while in a trance) occurred only in a psychic realm, while Johanna assisted in numerous operations where patients actually bled. A few incredulous doctors observed this bizarre process and validated the results.

We shouldn't be surprised. Long ago, missionaries to distant tribal cultures described both the source and the effect of and shamanic magic. It's not a new phenomenon!

Johanna would assist Hermanito, a demonic spirit that "possessed" a Mexican woman named Pachita and used her body to operate on his patients. Like Bentley's six angels, he often replaced something from the patient's body with special objects.

A former army officer with an inoperable brain tumor came seeking relief from blinding headaches. As his operation began, Hermanito ordered Johanna to hand him the knife: She described the brutal action:

"In a single, violent motion he plunged it into Perry’s skull. The man on the table gasped. 'Do you feel pain, Perry?' I asked him anxiously. 'Oh, no,' he replied with a faint smile, 'but I can feel something moving inside my head—it’s so strange!' he laughed nervously.... Several days after the operation, I called him to see how he was doing. He told me his headaches were completely gone...."[2,p.126-127]

To heal David, a young man with terminal cancer, Hermanito called for more concentrated prayer -- using words that blended the Scriptures with occult ideas:

"Take a glass of pure water. Go out to the balcony, raise it high in your right hands and say, ‘May the most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which, when only represented in Egypt brought freedom to the Israelites by the strong arm of God, free us and favor us against all evil.’... Sun and Earth, Moon and Stars... Mosses, Reptiles.... I ask of you this day the health of this patient.'

      “'Form a circle around him.... Hold hands and pray....' He raised the scissors in prayer for a long moment, then plunged them into David’s side. He cut for a few moments, then asked 'Do you feel pain...?' David didn’t answer.... Hermanito’s breath drew in sharply.... 'Roll up your sleeve. We must perform a transfusion. Hurry! The rest of you pray!” he ordered.... Suddenly, David took a deep breath and opened his eyes....

     "David had died on the table that night. The force behind Hermanito had brought him back..."[2,p.118-119]

But all was not well in this psychic realm. David died less than four months later. And many other healings were only temporary."[2,p.134]  Christians who sought help through demonic forces suffered more and were less likely to be "healed." Satan has only hatred for his deluded victims -- especially those who actually belong to the true God.  [See From torment to triumph]  

*     *     *

On June 23, 2008, Bentley was formally ordained and commissioned for ministry by highly esteemed "prophets" such as C. Peter Wagner, Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, and John Arnott. These two videos show the bizarre commissioning ceremony:

1. (Bentley, whose body is covered with tattoos, is "slain in the spirit").      2. (Notice "Prophetess" Stacey Campbell's unnatural shaking as she prophecies over Bentley's "slain" body on the floor)

Soon after this gathering of elite apostolic "prophets" Bentley's adulterous relationship became public knowledge and the "revival" was closed.

God's Victory in this Spiritual War

"...many of our churches are in serious danger of occult contamination," wrote Johanna.[2,p.183]  She knew how easily even Christians could trade God's truth for counterfeit promises. After all, she didn't stray into darkness because she loved evil -- but because evil looked so good! Her testimony is a wake-up call to churches everywhere:

"That first week in college, when the gospel was shared with me, I welcomed it with open arms. I confessed my sins before God and asked Jesus to enter my life as my Lord and Savior. I know, on the basis of God’s word, that I was born again, and I received in my spirit the assurance of my salvation. I gave myself to Him with my whole heart.

"But I did not understand the importance of carefully, systematically studying His Word. I had no real understanding of what I believed or why I believed it.’ And so, in time, I began to build my relationship with God based on my experience. My experience told me the healings and miracles I witnessed at Pachita’s were of God. My feelings assured me the work there was holy, for the name of Jesus was used and there was a crucifix on the altar, and demons were 'cast out.'”

"Soon my 'logic' told me the Bible was too narrow.... Ultimately, I came to believe Jesus was a way to God — but not the Way, the Truth, the Life. Gently, a step at a time, I fell away from the faith, unwittingly 'paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.' (I Timothy 4:1).... Ultimately, because I was a child of God, because I wanted more than anything else to know the Truth, He delivered me."[2,p.181-182]

I thank God for His mercy and saving grace that reaches out to all who will hear and heed His Word. As the spiritual war intensifies, may we be ready to hear His call, turn around (repent), resist the deceiver, and follow our wonderful Shepherd.

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-12

It only takes a short glimpse of the video clips below to notice the arrogant, brutal and violent claims, the hypnotic "music," the uncontrollable shaking, and the ecstatic responses.

Todd Bentley in "BAM BAM Bentley":

Todd Bentley Raging Revival:

The False Revival:

Video Shows 'Kundalini Effect':

Bentley training students in the supernatural:


Todd Bentley's Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning Bentley "slain in the spirit" at the end

Todd Bentley's Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning Prophetess strange shaking

Todd Bentley's Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning (seven spheres) Bentley shaking on the floor

 Spinning Head Prophe  Warning: Don't listen to the background music long. It illustrates the hypnotic effect of a certain kind of beat. (The music may have been added to the film later)


Strange laughter at the end:

Child says "don't touch me."

Bentley on the floor:

Raised from the dead?

His testimony --Is Todd Bentley devil possessed?

See also Footprints of a Prophet or Tracks of a Wolf? and Todd Bentley's "Revival": Music and Mass Hypnotism

Johanna's book, The Beautiful Side of Evil, can be ordered from Lighthouse Trails


1. Todd Bentley, "Heaven's Realities " at See also As above so below at and Trance Dancing Worship Leader (June 4) at

2. Joanna Michaelsen, The Beautiful Side of Evil (Harvest House Publisher, 1982).


4. Todd Bentley, Angelic Hosts at I've been told that some of the documents on Bentley's website have been altered to remove negative evidence.

5. Pastor Osborne, Bentley's "Revival" in Lakeland, Florida at

6. According to Bentley, "The Lord" revealed to him that the "angel called Healing Revival" was also "involved in the ministry of John Lake, William Branham and John Knox in Scotland." [Do you wonder why this demonic "Lord" would include the faithful John Knox in his list? Might it be to make his lies more credible?]  See [5] above.

7. (Video). Read a partial transcript here:

Home - Articles - Victory - The Armor of God - Transforming the Church