keeping a watchful eye on the wolves

Bill Johnson and Bethel Church in Redding false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing

Question: I don’t understand why Bill Johnson and Bethel Church in Redding are not classified as a cult (along with Word-Faith). They deny the deity of Christ, they deny the Scriptures and add to and subtract from them, their schools of ministry are lessons in how to operate in the occult and demonology (I was shocked when a friend told me what techniques they used). They are false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing. What do you think?

Response: Bill and Brenda Johnson are the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church in Redding, California. Bethel Church is firmly aligned with the Word-Faith movement and identifies with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), or the Third Wave Movement with its “prophets,” “apostles,” and alleged manifestions. Bill Johnson is called an “apostle” by C. Peter Wagner (See TBC 5/97, 2/07). His theology has amounted to what some call a “ de facto denial of the deity of Christ.”

More here:


50 responses

  1. Tim

    I’ve been a Christian for 20 years. Over the last 5 year I have been discovering who I am in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit in me. My wife and I attended Bethel’s Revival Lifestyle conference last month and I have found what Bethel is teaching is as close to real Christianity as I have found. Their statement of what they believe says it all.

    There is only one true God who is the eternal King, Creator and Redeemer of all that is. He is perfectly holy, just, loving and truthful. He has revealed Himself to be eternally self- existent – one being in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

    The Bible to be the inspired and only infallible and authoritative Word of God.

    Humankind was created in the image of God to know and enjoy Him, yet we willfully rejected the Lordship and glory of God for which we were intended. Because of this, sickness, death and judgment entered the world and now creation experiences the effects and consequences of sin.

    The Lord Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin, Mary, and is God’s Anointed One, empowered by the Holy Spirit to inaugurate God’s Kingdom on earth. He was crucified for our sins, died, was buried, resurrected and ascended into heaven, and is now alive today, in the presence of God the Father and in His people. He is “true God” and “true man.”

    We are saved by God’s grace, through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Anyone can be restored to fellowship with God through repenting, believing and receiving Jesus as their Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit, convicts, regenerates, justifies, and adopts us as we enter the Kingdom of God as His sons and daughters.

    In the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live holy and minister super-naturally. The baptism of the Holy Spirit according to Acts 1:4-8 and 2:4 is poured out on believers that they might have power to be witnesses.

    The victorious redemptive work of Christ on the cross provides freedom from the power of the enemy – sin, lies, sickness and torment.

    The Church consists of all who put their faith in Jesus Christ. He gave His church the ordinances of Baptism and Communion. The Church exists to carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ and further advance His kingdom by undoing the works of the enemy, preaching and living the good news of God’s love, disciple the nations, baptizing and teaching them to love and obey God.

    In the ever increasing government of God and in the Blessed Hope, which is the glorious visible return of our Lord Jesus Christ for His overcoming bride – His church. Heaven and hell are real places. There will be a resurrection of the saved and the lost, the one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting death.

    August 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    • Bruce Ford

      Well said, no speculation just the truth in love. Thank you for sharing the fruit of Bethel in your personal life and just documenting their belief statement. Luke 7:22 comes to mind ” Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. And blessed is he who is not offended by Me.

      I seems to me many have lost sight of the metamorphis we are to experience and become a part of, being transformed into the conformity of the image of Christ, a great High Priest who ever lives making intercession for us, and tragically align themselves (possibly in ignorance) with the accuser of the brethren.

      March 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

  2. words of a foreinger

    Bethel church is full of unclean spirits and puts a higher emphasis on signs and wonders and miracles than they do the gospel. Yeah the gospel is subtly glazed over but miracles and healings ARE put at a higher regard there. I was in that movement and I am very aware of the fallacy of it. The grotesque manifestations are not biblical and the emphasis is more on experiance than the bible. Beni Johnson’s latest very new age endeaver with bringing tuning forks to use as “prophetic song” has very strong roots in the occult. Yeah they worship A jesus but not THE Jesus of the Bible.

    August 4, 2012 at 3:26 am

  3. I have served the Lord for 27 years in many capacities, full time ministry in mainline denomination, home leader, educator, etc…I have a master’s in biblical studies and frankly, I am shocked that you would write such nonsense about Bill Johnson. The man teaches the authority of Jesus, the Scriptures as honest or more than most if not all denominational heads crafting doctrines to secure being relative in a rapidly changing world. The fact that the supernatural cannot be displayed in our faithless cultic denominations, that the Holy Spirit cannot be controlled and contained in the doctrines of men that have encased the Body of the Bride for centuries- and that Jesus is literally blowing up these flase temples with power that cannot be denied is all a vital part of what God is doing. Bethel is not the only church family seeing God the Father exploding in signs and wonders to validate the word preached- if you have eyes to see, you will see it all over the world. Throw your pews in the street, Sir, and prepare for what God is doing. THe world has never seen the dead rasied, I am pretty sure you either haven’t or don’t believe He is still in the business, but when the Word is preached, signs will accompany it- not the signs we normally see- people flocking to thier cars for a weekly lunch revival- but Almighty God visitiing His people in undeniable ways. You may not agree with the fact God is doing it, and neither were the Pharisee’s, but that didn’t stop Jesus, nor the Apostles. We remit your sins of slander in Jesus Name and release the Holy Spirit to smother you in dreams and visions, to give you a personal encounter with Him that is coming- and to keep you from slandering the work of the Holy Spirit, calling it evil. Rather than being a commentator and critique, go and do the works Jesus did, and even greater- and see how many people slander you. You are forgiven and free to pursue the Father. Amen.

    September 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    • Heather

      Hello Kraig. I hope this gets to you as I see it has been a while since your last comment. I have been doing a lot of research and found some things that Bill has said that is slanderous to Jesus. He said that Jesus had to be born again and you can hear this on youtube and find it talked about if you search google. He also says in on of his books that Jesus laid his divinity aside. No matter the explanation he gives after these statements to support these claims and justify that they are true, which the evidence he give is a misinterpretation of the scripture mixed with his false ideology, I along with most Christians would say that these statements hold no truth. What do you think?

      February 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    • Matt Clawson

      Kraig, I could not have said it any better. A hearty AMEN my friend! Jesus said that the world will hat you because of Me. It is sad that those who do the hating are the very ones we think are our family. I’m with you 100%. I only wish that those who have websites like this would actually do something constructive with their time. I would venture to guess that none of those who write these things have actually met with Bill Johnson, sat under his teaching, got to know him personally, or had him share his heart with them. If they did they would not be writing this stuff about him. I know Bill personally and it both angers me and breaks my heart that this is going on. It only ramps up my resolve to continue to preach the same message. Blessings my friend.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

  4. Christina Land

    I’m a licensed minister in the church of God…. & as I dont have time to provide as much detail as I’d like…. just wanted to lovingly remind you that God’s Word strictly warns us not to speak against God’s anointed. Even if you view a someone as a “Saul”, remember that it’s very hard to tell if they are really a “David” or truly a “Saul”. And Saul was anointed originally… until God removed His Spirit from Him. I only say this as a general reminder to you in speaking of all of God’s called. But me… I am CRAZY enough to believe God’s Word… that we will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, pray for the dead and they will be raised, proclaim liberty to the captives and set ppl who are in bondage FREE!! God is pouring out His Spirit in these last days and I take God at His Word- praying for the impossible that God’s Word calls possible through HIM only 🙂 I have seen 8 miracles so far with my daddy only 61 who had a massive heart attack & went into cardiac arrest while driving on 8/31/12 and suffered anoxic brain injury because of it. He has been unresponsive for 10 weeks today (11/2/2012) and I continue speaking LIFE over Him, and calling those things that are not as though they already are. I fully expect the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead to also raise my Daddy up in Jesus’ name!! He is completely unresponsive and all the medical profession says he will be a veggie the rest of his life and to face facts. Crazy enough to believe what Jesus said when He told us we’d do greater works because He has sent us His Spirit … 🙂 Yep Yep. Freedom to worship, to bring love (Jesus) (Jesus is LOVE) to the lost world…. remind this world holiness is still God’s standard of living for His people, and make disciples so they can fulfill the call of God on their lives which essentially is the same no matter your scope or level of ministry, preach Christ to the lost and make disciples. Worship God with all that you are in the FREEDOM Of Christ passionately and unashamed!! <3<3<3 Let's be the ekklesia Jesus called us to be, stop being a stumbling block for the unbelievers, and come into one mind and accord so we can be might effective warriors for His Kingdom and HIS GLORY 🙂 In Jesus' name, amen !!

    November 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    • Jerry Dunham

      You are a licensed minister? God help us all.

      June 8, 2013 at 2:52 am

      • Amen to that!

        November 27, 2014 at 5:50 am

  5. Michael Carrigan

    1. Signs and wonders are for today as they have been since the Lord gave us the Comforter. Jesus commissioned ALL of his disciples to move in the Spirit. Apollos stopped at the baptism of John until instructed further. Apollos’ disciples stopped at the salvation of Jesus. But Paul showed them a better way and gave them the Holy Spirit. You can treat the scriptures as picking and choosing what you need for edification. But when you do battle with the enemy, you must be fully armed. Jesus battled with satan in the 40 day fast and said man lives BY EVERY WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Joshua, a warrior, wrote out the book of the law, and mediatated upon it. When you combat false doctrine, you must consider the TOTALITY of the scriptures. God gave the complaining Israelites the miraculous but bland manna for 40 years. So too should be not keep in mind the ENTIRE Word of God in our minds as we mediate day and night on His truth. The toxins of the world, while pleasurable in the flesh, are ruinous.
    2. I drove to Albany (led by the Holy Spirit) to leave Long Island after finishing teaching attorneys and others how prepare mortgage securitization audits on Sunday the day before Hurricane Sandy so I could get back to home to Yorba Linda, CA (Los Angeles area). Went to local library and learned the Shakers (shaking Quakers) were moving in the Spirit in last quarter of 1700s, long before Azusa St. revival, Welsh revival and formation of Assemblies of God. The first Vineyard church was formed when John Wimber left the Friends Church in Yorba Linda and initially joined Calvary Chapel. Thus, those with Quaker roots (who believe in being led of the Spirit) became Charismatic, again.
    4. In the 1970s, churches started to become non-denominational. But there was no order, no denominational structure to hold ministers accountable to each other. Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, and others began the shepherding movement. But the shepherding was too invasive. The Assemblies of God wrote a position paper in 1976. George Wood, head of the AG churches, was nice enough to have the minister in charge of doctrinal purity send it to me. I was concerned about the thinness of the “covering” doctrine and the seemingly cavalier use of the labels Apostle and Prophet . Interestingly, you can substitue the words “cover” and “covering” for “Shepherd” and “Shepherding” and it is still applicable. I noted how the Bible really covers it all when it says woe to those who seek counself not of me, and who cover with a covering but not of my Spirit that they may add sin unto sin in Isaiah. Even Bill Gothard, who so popularized the umbrella/covering doctrine at IBYC, said if you disagree with those whose authority you are under, then leave. But there are those who teach you must get permission from your covering to leave a church. We are covered by his wings in Psalm 91. Being under one’s authority is a bilateral commitment. There are “statutory” authorities (government except in contradiction with matters of faith; parents), but voluntary submission/authority is like employment. You need to do what God tells you to do and that sort of “Rhema” word should liine up with the “Logos” word, the written scripture.
    5. Closely related to the crisis in non-denominational leadership is the use of position titles in front of one’s name. Paul and Peter did not refer to themselves this way, but stated their name followed by the title they chose for that audience (e.g. called to be an apostle; servant; an apostle; prisoner of the Lord). It was different when the church leadership was concentrated in one place, Jerusalem, and the believers knew the apostles were appointed by Jesus himself. The Judas’ replacement was made with the apostles present immediately prior to Pentecost. Paul, above any, proved his apostleship with his zeal, and the lives that he saved and transformed. And even Paul said I may not be an apostle to all, but I am to you. The 2001 Assembly of God position paper gives Revelation 2:2 as a warning and says that the title should be not taken lightly. Jesus said don’t let anyone call you Rabbi (teacher), and so we don’t hear about Teacher so-and-so. But when you have leaders healing masses of people; or those who administer over thousands or even millions? The problem is epitomized when a man whose back had just been healed asked me at lunch, why is this minister known as an Apostle? I realize there are no accrediting bodies for Apostles like there are universities for PhDs. so I said he had literally spoken to millions at one time (in Manila). If one is widely recognized with apostolic gifts and taken on the title of Apostle, they should be aware that those on the outside will scoff. Personally, I would rather follow Peter and Paul’s example. A friend of mine put in succinctly saying such titles were vanity titles.
    6. The church is split into so many parts. Yet it must unite in the last days. Those not following the true Chirst will be led astray. We now have the ability to unite churches and believers as never before with the Internet. It will, and is, being used to promote false doctrines as well. Those having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof are a prominent example. The best conclusion I can draw is to speak out against or question doctrnes that just don’t line up with the Word; to follow what the Lord wants you to do; and to follow ALL of His written word. Most important, however, is to confront the evil in the world and bring God’s light. There are powerful forces in the natural world that would enslave all they can ensnare and will do so in seemingly inocuous ways — through media; through debt; through needs of comfort and securty. So intercessory prayer, praise and walking in holiness are important. Listen to God and shun the devil — you know the difference when you hear it. I believe in confessing one’s sins that are committted after salvation. Just as you would confess your faults one to another, you should certainly talk to God. We only have to look at Psalm 51 to know one righteous can stumble. Keith Green wrote beautful music for this. Perhaps we won’t be thrown out of heaven for sin after salvation, but when we stop talking to God, it’s just like Adam and Eve hiding in the garden — and they were thrown out.

    November 19, 2012 at 2:28 am

  6. One critical aspect of assessing a work is its adherence to apostolic practices. While doctrinal statements are vital, adherence to the Word of God in ministerial practices is crucial as well, & is often overlooked. Through dereliction of ministers in this regard their works come to naught. (Luke 6:49). The doctrine of the laying on of hands is a key example, and something that is terribly abused in the prophetic movement and in the New Apostolic Restoration. Its something that the Vineyard itself walked wayward in. I say this because many of these assemblies have respectable orthodox creeds, while abusing the divine offices and sacraments. The result is often disorder, dissillusionment, and apostasy.

    November 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    • Phil

      I think I understand. The Catholic Church had succession since the apostles up to this very day. Anyone not succeeded from them is historically said to be “rejected”.

      Matthew 16:15-19
      15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

      Acts 15:23-26
      23This is the letter delivered by them: “The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings. 24Since we have heard that some of our number [who went out] without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, 25we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      December 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm

  7. Diane


    I would like to counter your statement about not ‘speaking against the Lords anointed’. Saul would not ‘kill’ the Lords anointed but he did in fact rebuke him “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD. (I samuel 24:6)” I Samuel 24:12 David rebukes Saul before all his troops. Saul then repented for his rash behavior and called himself a fool. David returned Saul’s possessions and said, “For the Lord delivered you into my hand but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.”

    November 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    • This sight did a much better job at using scripture to support my above statement.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    • Matt Clawson

      Diane, I would like to counter YOUR statement by simply saying this: Please go read 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21. Thanks

      March 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      • Jerry Dunham

        Your response is completely out of context.

        June 8, 2013 at 2:54 am

  8. ray

    The test of truth is against the only truth we have , the Word Of God, I have heard Johnson speak many times and he is a master at perverting the Word.5% lies mixed in with 95 % truth is invariably a lie. Those who are looking at the supposed signs and wonders as validation of Bethels ” success” are looking at the wrong things.

    December 4, 2012 at 12:43 am

  9. Jon Gledhill

    I myself had a massive level of concern when I watched Todd Bentley’s show on GOD tv – in his case he was so seriously walking away from scripture claiming to “carry demons within himself” for Gods purpose – well GOD tv is partly to blame for that. I have attended Bethel and I would say Bill Johnson is in contrast very biblical and especially able to articulate scripture in a way that brings challenge. Paul Manwaring, on the leadership team there, is also an excellent teacher. The Spirit of God fills me when I watch ibetheltv. I would say that there were very serious issues with Todd Bentley – there are dangers – but often strange off-beam “believers”are attracted to be at Bethel to meet emotional needs. However, this does not invalidate the ministry. Bethel has remarkable influence in the UK and I have seem multiple denominations embrace Bethel.

    December 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm

  10. Phil

    I use to attend there. They are a cult. 10 years ago there was feathers only falling, and now it’s gold dust and diamonds. Christ said they will come looking for signs, but he will not give them any. They make money from their music too, and remember Christ threw out the tax collectors and marketers from his temple. I got tired of their practices, and several other protestant churches and their false teachings and practices. I would have left churches altogether, but thankfully I found the original Christian church: The Catholic (Universal) Church, also found in the Greek writing of the church in Acts. When I look at churches like Bethel now, I can’t help but feel sorry for them. But they’re not the only ones with a “divided holy spirit” leading the church, as the holy Spirit is not divided and does not teach different things. Study the source of the church. The real truth sets us free from Babylon – the confusion in 30,000 protestant churches.

    December 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm

  11. It’s sad to see the polarization between Christians who accept the ministry of Bill Johnson and Todd Bentley on the one hand, and those who announce that the manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit passed away after the death of the apostles and the completion of the New Testament canon. Taking the latter position is like throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water, But being gullible to every so called “manifestation” only serves to keep people confused and bewitched, and actually makes it more difficult to have an honest biblical discussion about the gifts of the Holy Spirit enumerated in I Corinthians 12-14 with other evangelicals.

    I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior during the “Jesus Movement” in the early 70’s. My wife and I have been involved in planting churches since 1974, and have seen some authentic healing(s), as well as authentic deliverance. I’ve also been involved in prophetic ministry as well, but what I’ve been witness to in many charismatic circles since about the mid-1980’s is more akin to mysticism than an authentic move of God. Not in every case or church, of course, but in far too many churches, or so it seems to me. I’m not surprised when evangelical Christians run the other way. Frankly, some of things that are said and done in churches today are just plain creepy. It grieves me equally, however, when those who boast in “solas scriptura” (scripture alone) completely dismiss the clear teachings of Jesus and the early apostles regarding the nature and ministry of the Holy Spirit. There is no true scriptural support to simply dismiss biblical truth because it makes us feel uncomfortable or challenges our own limited understanding of the Holy Scriptures. Let’s get back to “solas scriptura”, but as we do, let’s also remember that biblical truth is never a matter of our private interpretations. Biblical truth was given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and must be taught by the Holy Spirit to our hearts and minds. Sound interpretation must line up with sound revelation. The same Holy Spirit that inspired the Word of God is the same Holy Spirit that enables us to properly interpret the scriptures. Our interpretations don’t make a thing true or false. The truth stands whether we get it right or not. The truth of God’s Word will never contradict itself or the character and teachings of Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    Shall we settle for churches that preach a limited portion of the New Testament, while disregarding the rest? And are the rest of us who believe Jesus still heals and delivers people today going to settle for demonic teachings and cult like mysticism or the authentic ministry of the Holy Spirit? I for one will choose neither.

    March 8, 2013 at 11:31 pm

  12. Brandon

    Just want to say. I understand the point of being careful about following false leaders. But if you actually took the time to listen to a couple of sermons from Bill, Eric, Kris, and Paul… You will always see that they honestly have a true love for God and nothing else matters. They just want to help change the world and promote Christ (they say that every service) and they don’t claim to be 100% on everything, but they are searching for the deeper things of God. We serve a loving God who wants to be pursued, I would rather get to heaven and be told that I had a couple of doctrinal errors than for him to tell me you didn’t even try to get to know me. We’re all humans and we all get it wrong. There’s enough hate in the world outside the church, lets stop putting more in it. Love you all. Bless you.

    March 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

  13. Hubert Studly

    Like Phil said, the claims being made by the members of the Church and their uneducated “school” members are becoming more outrageous all the time; these stories about raising the dead and members teeth turning to gold, are marketing techniques that are surprisingly effective among curious and eccentric people all over the globe. Living in this town, I see the negative impact that these false accounts have on our community’s perception of Christians.

    Without a doubt, I believe that this church functions first and foremost as a business with financial success as one of their top priorities. The poorly written books by the pastors, the expensive 3 year school of “supernatural ministry”, the grandiose false stories, the bethel music label, the ridiculously expensive “healing” workshops and conventions– all serve as highly successful ways to make outrageous profits off of unstable and gullible consumers.

    While many members of this church have given up careers and moved their families to town, or are struggling to make ends meet to tithe or pay tuition for a worthless degree in crazy, their pastor drives a brand new Aston Martin and is buying himself the nicest personal jet that money can buy.

    April 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

    • L Bernard

      Two friends of mine received gold fillings after attending a conference where God’s Spirit was present. This was in Cincinnati. God’s manifest presence, the Shekinah Glory of God was touching people, and He does do miracles today. I trust these two individuals, they both have integrity and love for the Lord, and are both humble friends, and not people who lie. They both showed me their gold fillings (not gold teeth), which were not there before the conference, and one friend’s dentist said it was excellent work. These were not the only two people to receive gold fillings that eve. I pray God will open your heart to how He is moving today. In Him, PM

      August 13, 2013 at 4:35 am

  14. speaking of uneducated school members – check this out:
    Johnson could have stopped this if he wanted to; two graduates gotup and walked out.

    May 4, 2013 at 1:53 am

    • Lori Taylor

      You may not agree with this, but as one who was heart-broken and without laughter, I can testify that it was through laughter that Jesus healed me of kidney disease and the brokenness, 4 years ago in one of Bethel’s Hem of His Garment conferences. People come and go during services, why assume they left the service and didn’t return?

      Psalms 2:4 NIV The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

      Proverbs 17:22 AMP A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. [Prov. 12:25; 15:13, 15.]

      What he is saying is Biblical, though the video states it is not:

      John 7:38 KJV He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

      John 4:14 NIV but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

      Ephesians 5:18-19 KJV And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

      May 7, 2014 at 5:41 am

  15. whoops, wrong video

    May 4, 2013 at 1:54 am

  16. Gina

    Can God stop Being God? How could Jesus set His divinity aside as Bill Johnson says He did while walking the earth”. Consider II John verse seven: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the anti-christ” and II John nine “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.”

    To deny the diety of Jesus , the ETERNAL Son of God, is not something a true teacher of the Word of God would ever do.

    May 8, 2013 at 3:39 am

    • Lori Taylor

      >If Jesus was fully God, he could not be tempted; if he was tempted, he was tempted as a man in order to qualify as our substitute:

      Hebrews 4:15 NIV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

      James 1:13 KJV …for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

      >If Jesus was fully God, he could not have died on the cross because you cannot kill God! Everything that Jesus did, he did as a man, by the power of the Holy Spirit – the same Spirit who empowered believers, then and now, to do the works that Jesus did.

      Instead, scripture tells us that Jesus emptied himself of all that made him equal with God, and became a human being:

      Philippians 2:6-8 AMP Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, (7) BUT STRIPPED HIMSELF [OF ALL PRIVILEGES AND RIGHTFUL DIGNITY], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. (8) And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!

      >And, if Jesus walked here fully God, why would he ask Father to restore him to his former position:

      John 17:5 AMP And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed.

      Blessings, Lori

      May 7, 2014 at 6:38 am

  17. WaveRunr

    I’m sorry but since when did anyone have permission by God to release His Holy Spirit (note – the Spirit is God; part 3 of the Trinity). That alone is enough for me to cry foul.

    June 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    • Maria

      If you have not attended Bethel church for yourself, than you have no reason to make any judgements twards the church. People talk, it’s called gossip and is rooted in evil. It is very destructive and sickening.

      July 18, 2013 at 11:30 pm

  18. Bryant

    These are the scary things that come out of this church. This series that was done, was done by a charismatic pastor and he even thinks these guys are crazy. I attented Bethel, saw the “glory cloud” and yes, my focus was on God, not on the cloud, but seeing the people that go basically psycho over this stuff is insane. They are there for another “high” another “experience”, that’s about it. Hearing from some of the people I know at the church I go to, the ones wrapped in this are constantly going away from the Bible to a new “extreme,” and their focus is off the Word and more on a new experience day after day.

    July 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    • Sara Masis

      this was really good. thank you.

      August 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

  19. Ruth

    I grew up in Appalachia at the knee of my Great Grandmother, a devout Methodist. She was born in 1900 and passed in 1998. I was blessed with knowing her for 28 years. She would tell me stories of how, when she was a girl (1900’s and teens) there would be a traveling “preachers” who would come through the region each summer and hold independent tent revivals. These so called “men of God” would perform “miracles” such as healing through the laying of hands (which always included a child in a wheelchair or on crutches from some “distant” town who could miraculously walk), speaking in tongue, and convulsing while they were supposedly consumed with the holy spirit. Also, she told me about the purported miracles that people would witness. SPECIFICALLY, large white feathers that would mysteriously float down to the crowds (angels’ feathers) and golden mists that seemed to appear from nowhere. However, these were not miraculous events at all but easy tricks. The feathers would be placed on the wooden beams of the tents and at certain powerful moments in a sermon or prayer, flaps in the top of the tent would be opened slightly in order to lay flight to the feathers. The mists were simply fabrications created by adding gold leafing dust to rubbing alcohol and placed in perfume atomizers which would be squeezed by people planted in the crowds, also at certain powerful moments in the “show.” The alcohol would evaporate very quickly and was lighter than water which helped add to the effect (and conceal any evidence of its man made nature). These terrible men would prey on the devotion and ignorance of dirt poor farmers, bilking them out of their precious few dollars. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? MATT 24:23-26; MARK 13:22; 2 COR 11:13-15

    July 31, 2013 at 11:43 pm

  20. Sara Masis

    Last night at my Young Adults group, we went over John McCarther’s Study in the 4 gifts that tend to be controversial. Healing was one of them (along with miracles and speaking in tongues) and we covered Acts within this study to back up what McCarther had to say. My question to Bethel Church would be, when their “prophets” do speak in tongues or perform these “healings” is there someone there to translate the language that they are speaking? If not, it is not God-ordained. These false languages are misleading and can misinterpret the Bible. (Acts all of Ch 2) The Bible also mentions that demons were able to perform these “miracles” and mask themselves by misleading people to believe that it was miracles from God. God gives us, as believers, the gift of discernment to be able to separate what’s of Him and what is not of Him, if the Holy Spirit throws up red flags, than you must confirm it with scripture! The Awakening in Manteca was a HUGE red flag for me, and I fled from their congregation.

    August 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm

  21. Dawn

    “They deny the deity of Christ, they deny the Scriptures and add to and subtract from them, their schools of ministry are lessons in how to operate in the occult and demonology (I was shocked when a friend told me what techniques they used). They are false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing. What do you think?” I think you are full of CRAP! That is NOT true at all!

    October 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm

  22. It is very easy to stray into the occult after a charismatic or Pentecostal awakening. The enemy can come as an angel of light to deceive. Scripture says, “believe not every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they be of God”. Many are being deceived today, even prominent leaders, so called.
    “You shall know them by their fruits”. Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Are they loving and kind, are they pure, are they manipulative always asking for money?

    January 7, 2014 at 2:15 am

  23. Joe boastin

    Seriously? You have no idea what your talking about. You obviously know nothing about Bill Johnson and you sound very ignorant. You study the bible and view it as a 5 year old would. You are on the milk, Bill is on the meat. Your literally a child compared to the wisdom of that man. I have one of the highest IQ’s recorded in Washington state, and study biblical theology and ancient history at Yale. Bill has more intimacy and friendship with God in his little pinky than you posses in your entire being. You obviously study God as a being far away who can be learned through a book only. You do realize that the early judo-Christian church only had the Holy Spirit and what they remembered of Jesus’s teachings to base the entire religion off? You would have most likely criticized the early church. You are the kind of person who denies miracles like in the Bible. Jesus was the most un conventional man who ever lived. Your cookie cutter baptist teachings are so limiting to God. Don’t you think an ALIVE God would want to interact with his loved creation?? Bethel creates an environment for the creator to interact with creation. Your stinky boring baptist or Methodist heracy is the rule driven religious hypocrites that have upset God since the beginning of time. I can see the Holy Spirit sitting in your pews falling asleep at the total lack of anything real or relevant. Just a bunch of old dusty farts quoting a book and giving their opinions. I’m pretty sure the fully alive and awesome God would say “forget this! These people won’t shut up to let me speak, and you call that worship? That hymn was painful at best! I’m going to Bethel! Where they are actually hungry for all that I can do. They have supernatural faith to see the reality of my amazing kingdom! You people must think you just float around on clouds when you die, but know nothing of heaven or my kingdom! Boring! I need prophesying youth to let me speak through! I want people to encounter a real experience with ME! Not a book! You can read my book later! I’m real I’m alive and I want to love on you and hang out with you!” Your boring, your outdated and your wrong about your accusations. A false prophet just lead people away from the reality of the gospel and what Jesus did for us. Bethel fully teaches that and then….. Get this and then…… Teaches people how to actually live a Christian life!!!! Wow! Wait did you know that Jesus taught more about the kingdom than the cross. My kingdom is coming, I will establish that on earth. What is the kingdom stinky boring baptists? Do you have any revelation? Any idea at all what the helper is capable of. Do you know the helper??? “Many will say on the day of judgement: Jesus didn’t we pray for healing in your name? Didn’t we cast out demons? Didn’t us stinky Methodist and baptist sing you hymns and have perfect Sunday attendance? Didn’t we diligently quote our scriptures? Didn’t we have self control? Didn’t we punish our brothers for sin? Didn’t we train our children with our rigid strict morals? And he will say to them on that day DEPART from me for I never KNEW you! You never wanted to experience the real me, you didn’t encounter me and include me on everyday life, we never had fun together, we didn’t laugh, we didn’t cry we didn’t do anything. You just stalked me on Facebook from a far (the bible) sure I post instructions for life there, but I never met you in person! You spent your life attacking all my friends, ignoring all the hurt and broken people I cared for. You sat on your pews with your arms crossed and you glorified my teachings. But you never met the teacher!!! Bethel introduces you to the teacher. They make the relationship with Jesus real, fun and most important interactive! So yes Jesus shows off, he heals, he speaks (prophecy, tounges), he pours out his amazing electrifying presence while worship is being sung. And yes it’s an emotional high. Why wouldn’t it be?????? Your worshipping God! You morons who say “oh they just make it emotional and make people feel good!” No!!!! God does that moron!!!!! Hello!!!!! Do you read your bible? What does love look like? Huh? Do you stare at your child and sing boring songs to him? No! You play with him, you tickle him, you laugh with him, you cry tears of joy with him. It’s emotional. God created emotion!!! The ignorance I swear. Your precious bible says: I want to give you abundant life, joy, patience, kindness, self control ( not JUST self control you stinky staunchy pew sitters) do you think you will feel his presence in heaven? Will you be emotional? Filled with joy? Wonderful praise? Dancing, singing laughter??? Um duh! Ok how did Jesus teach you to pray? “Your kingdom come on EARTH as it is in heaven?” Most of you serve a very boring kingdom if what happens in your Sunday morning services is supposed to be what heaven and the kingdom looks like. No thanks!!!!! Seriously you can come to Bethel, but you literally would start in Kids church. The kids in this church have more revelation about The Lord than you do. I’m not even kidding. You never really went deeper into God. Your a baby Christian. Stop attacking the church. Your attacking the bride. We don’t attack your boring Methodist and baptist churches. We leave you alone and let you worship your boring version of Jesus. Were too busy actually interacting and having a relationship with God. And he loves it! Finally says The Lord people who will actually hang out with me. Who will let ME teach who will let the Holy Spirit move and do what he wants! I am so tired of being put in a box! My stinky pew sitting believers could use some faith! I don’t even talk to them! Who are they? I hear there stinky hymns but we have no fun together! We don’t work together we don’t do anything. Watch 30 Bill Johnson messages then you can comment. Until then you know nothing and your judging you little judgers! Your brother James isn’t a fan of that you little stinky dusty old warn out religious boring outdated hateful judgmental pharisee’s!!

    March 1, 2014 at 3:58 am

  24. Jake lightens

    To the guy that said Bill Johnson drives an Aston Martin and is buying the nicest personal jet that money can buy you sir are an idiot. Stop spewing lies and grow up. This is not kindergarten you childish noob. None of yang is even remotely true. The hardest command from Jesus: “love your neighbor as yourself” why is it hard? Because my neighbors are morons

    March 1, 2014 at 4:47 am

  25. Joe

    You coward. Post my previous comment. Hiding from God, ashamed of the truth? Typical old dusty farts sitting on pews. Afraid of the world. You big baby

    March 1, 2014 at 4:51 am

  26. Phil

    To the previous three comments: From a place of calm and tenderness, I ask you to please take a moment, sit in peace, and soberly assess your attitude as revealed in these last few posts. Ask yourself why you have reacted in such a way. What are you afraid of? If you are secure in your knowledge of the Truth, then none of what anyone says to the contrary will spark such a response. Why is it that questions, or even accusations, against mere people evoke such words? Assess whether you could be fully content away from the movement in question; If not, then I loving implore you to assess where your identity/strength/allegiance lies, with God through Christ, or with people?

    If you have Christ, you have it all; His gifts are great to minister with, but that is all. We don’t need anymore than what we already have in Him…to seek earnestly for the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to seek to serve your neighbour. If anyone preaches that you are incomplete because you have not anything; that you need to add anything else other than the gospel to validate your stance as in right standing before God, then that person preaches not the finished works of the cross, but a message of seeking power for oneself. The peace of Christ beyond understanding is in the Truth that is not subject to experience, but a solid foundation that cannot move. Yes, the miracles of Christ happen today, yes there are many wondrous ways in which God moves, and yes walking in Christ will bring about many marvellous experiences; but without them, could you still be content and at peace day to day, or would your faith fade/struggle?

    I do not ask by means of argument or accusation, I simply ask you take a look at your heart in peace and humility. It doesn’t matter the outcome, because if done in true humility, only the Truth will remain anyway.

    Forever seeking the Truth,

    Brotherly love in Christ,


    March 24, 2014 at 12:24 am

  27. graftedintheVine

    Well said, Phil. I have not found Bill Johnson to be anyone but a lover of God, Christ and the Bible. He raised his children with integrity and would say to them to order a lesser meal than what they wanted if it meant they weren’t able to leave a generous tip, otherwise. He taught them to put others first. He opened up his home to troubled youth and gave them a place to live. When, in the early years, Bethel did not have enough to pay their salaries, Bill’s response was to ‘give to another church in need.’ They prosper now because they are being blessed and want to see others prosper. No one is forcing people to give their, and in fact, Bill and the other leadership emphasize that the tithe belongs to their home church (the people visiting who don’t call Bethel their home church).

    Regarding the deity of Christ, please read Philippians 2:7.

    Regarding signs and wonders – (paraphrased, it is a wicked and perverse generation who seek after and/or demand a sign and wonder). Yet….the Scripture says that signs and wonders will follow believers. When the glory clouds showed up, Bethel was not seeking or demanding them. They showed up and the church gave praise and thanks and worshipped God. If some worshipped the sign, then I pray that they soon realized it is far better to worship the Giver than the sign but I never saw people worship the clouds. Were people amazed? What would you do? It was amazing and awe inspiring and I only wanted to praise God and thank Him. Will it lead some people to Christ? I hope so!! Some may come seeking that sign and end up finding Jesus and giving their life to him…that would be awesome, because that is the message they’re going to hear at Bethel. One that is about Jesus, His kingdom and how we walk in this ourselves. We’re not to condemn, as Chrsit did not come to condemn the world. Are we not called to be like Him?

    A cult is when a leader wants people to worship him….the leader. Bill desires that no one worship him, only Christ. He continually gives God the glory and glorifies Jesus. Let’s define what a cult is….it’s not Bethel.

    They are a church that is growing and anything that grows will have growing pains, as it stretches. Thankfully, they have a God that supplies grace that is rich to cover the growth and they are quite honest about not having it all together and learning themselves. Someone mentioned about how Bethel has been bad for the community. Quite the contrary, the community has been richly blessed by the students and Bethel’s ministry. If they hated Christ, though, they will hate us believers, at times, because darkness is offended by light. Ir only takes a few haters to start a forest fire – well, one can start a fire and it can spread fast. I’ve lived here for over 20 years and I know the positive change Redding has gone through since the ministry school began. It is like fresh air and there has been major resistance, at times. I’d rather go to place that believes in healing and what Jesus commissioned us to do, greater works than even He had done through the power of His Holy Spirit, than a church that actually preaches opposite of what Jesus taught us. He names what we will be doing if we follow him and no where in Scripture…EVER…has anyone been able to refute completely, without taking Scripture out of context, that all the gifts were meant to be available to us who believe in Christ. In other words, Scripture actually validates that they are available for all who believe. I do believe fear holds some back or doubt or unbelief. It is safer to believe some of the gifts aren’t meant for today.

    As far as the ‘touch not mine anointed,’ (sigh) that phrase is tossed around a lot, even when people are genuinely seeking answers and are by no means attempting to ‘harm’ anyone with the seeking. They are rebuked as if they are are a murderer, when they only might be seeking the truth to be a better steward of their faith. This is not about touching or harming someone but only about wanting to make sure we are not following anything false. We should be careful about honor and respect, though, as that is pleasing to God. Remeber who is the true accuser of the brethren and ask what Lord you’re under when you’re about to accuse someone of something….anything. I don’t believe true followers of Christ would stand in a place of accusation?? I’m still researching this one.

    May we continue to walk in true love, as defined by Scripture and seek His truth….not believe every wind of gossip that might be flying past us that day. A mature person will investigate themselves, personally, before taking someone else’s word regarding such a weighty issue. (imho).

    May God richly bless all of us as we seek to understand and know Him more!!

    July 17, 2014 at 8:34 am

    • typo correction *no one is forcing people to give their money….

      July 17, 2014 at 8:35 am

    • After watching the following video, your opinion may change,

      July 22, 2014 at 5:04 am

  28. November 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm

  29. Ubergenie

    I think it was Mark Twain who commented that there are three types of misrepresentations, “Lies, damn lies, and intellectually undeveloped and emotionally and spiritually immature Christians using logical extension fallacies to trick other weak individuals into believing their views!” Or something like that. Grow up! Although Bill Johnson is no theologian, he hardly broaches the heretical or cultic.

    While one could take issue with Bill’s “Jesus was a man empowered by the HS, you are a man empowered by the HS therefore you can do what Jesus did and more” as being simplistic and trite for the Pentecostal movement anyway. One can can hardly state it is heresy. There is an astoundingly small amount of data on “how” God worked through Jesus. Was it God’s special anointing? Look up the word Messiah. Of course there will be unique anointing. Can we do some of the things Jesus commanded his followers to do. Of course we can and do and testify about it. Is it as spectacular as Jesus, well not in one individual, or at least not yet in church history. Is laying one’s head on the grave of someone who has been supposedly anointed, grave sucking, foolish, undocumented in church history, and potentially opening one up to counterfeit spirits, well HECK Yes!

    But you make a poor case for heresy when Johnson’s words are outside the context of Christology. When you have matured emotionally and in your knowledge of the scriptures, ecclesiology, theology you will be much less interested in boundary-keeping and making sure that everyone agrees with you on every point. I’m no fan of Johnson’s bumper sticker theology. I find most Pentecostal preaching to be intellectually vapid ( Dr.Michael Brown is a rare exception, however I found the Brownsville revival to be less than edifying) so what? The atonement is the center of Pentecostal preaching. It is the center of Evangelical preaching, even Catholic preaching is emphasizing the atonement. Who cares about tongues ( and I have prayed in tongues for 38 years in my private prayer time)? I study to demonstrate power encounters of an intellectual type here in the US. I can pray for healing and have occasionally seen supernatural healing. I can cast out demons and have never failed to see Jesus’ name overpower demonic work in people’s lives. That said, I have invested years studying how to live like Christ. Life of the spirit is tougher than any theology debate. I have spent years learning how to converse with non-Christians whereby I can demonstrate care and interest about their world views while at the same time planting some small splinters of doubt in their worldview. This is as much art as science. Another weakness of your fallacious approach is that when you spend your spare time “Correcting other Christian’s theology” you tend to “Correct” non-Christian friends as well. This approach is a bad idea as it is perceived as disrespectful and begs the question, “Why is your knowledge, better than my knowledge?”

    Tons of evangelism to get done in the US and few are preparing themselves to engage.

    November 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm

  30. Ubergenie,

    I’m jumping in here kinda late, and I’m not exactly sure who you are responding to; but, I feel your comments merit a response. For example, you wrote:

    …Another weakness of your fallacious approach is that when you spend your spare time “Correcting other Christian’s theology” you tend to “Correct” non-Christian friends as well. This approach is a bad idea as it is perceived as disrespectful and begs the question, “Why is your knowledge, better than my knowledge?”

    I see; so you can criticize whomever it is you are criticizing here (presumably the original poster of the thread), and this is not being hypocritical of you, I suppose? I write this especially in response to the following from your first paragraph:

    … Grow up! Although Bill Johnson is no theologian, he hardly broaches the heretical or cultic.

    I’m always suspect of the maturity level of someone who has to demean another by saying “Grow up!” But, aside from that, your hypocrisy is evident in your counterclaim that Johnson “hardly broaches the heretical or cultic.” So, then do I suppose that “your knowledge is better” than the individual to whom you are responding? Perhaps more importantly, I’d say the burden of proof is upon you to illustrate exactly how Johnson’s theology is not heretical or cultic.

    Having studied material by Bill Johnson at length, to include reading in full 4 of Johnson’s books (and portions of these multiple times to ensure I understood Johnson’s intent), reading portions of 3 others, listening to and transcribing numerous audio/video, I’m convinced Johnson is a false teacher. His Christology is definitely non-Chalcedonian, and is unbiblical in other ways, as well. Here’s one quote of Bill Johnson from a very recent book:

    …Jesus emptied Himself of divinity and became man (see Philippians 2:7). While He is eternally God, He chose to live within the restrictions of a man who had no sin and was empowered by the Holy Spirit. In doing this, He provided a compelling model to follow.

    The first sentence is clearly heretical. Yet, some think the first clause of the 2nd sentence clears things up. But, does it really? One cannot be ‘emptied of divinity’ yet still be divine; so, claiming He is “eternally God” does not counter the initial statement. Either one of two things obtains: 1) this statement is self-contradictory, incoherent; 2) there’s a way to synthesize the above into one clear doctrine. I believer number 2 is the correct answer; and, that is that “Jesus” was in ‘two realms’ at one and the same time, as in the manifest sons of God heresy: in the eternal realm He is God; in the temporal He is merely a man. I’ve taken the above statement and quite a few others of Johnson to show how this can be so:

    …and, Bill Johnson actually confirmed some of the portions I had speculated in a ‘sermon’ the very day I posted the above article:

    As to your claim (paraphrase) that we don’t know how God worked through Jesus in the Incarnation, I’ll agree in part. However, Scripture does indicate that it was Jesus Himself – and not Jesus in virtue of the Holy Spirit – who performed at least the first two miracles.

    First, is John 2:11: What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (NIV). Jesus revealed HIS glory by this sign, and this was the “first of the signs through which” He did so. If this were done by the power of the Spirit, then this would not have explicitly revealed HIS glory. It would have merely been an indication that God somehow worked through Him. To see that this is so, just consider the Holy Spirit-indwelt Christian. When the Spirit works through the Christian to effect a miracle, it certainly doesn’t reveal OUR glory! It reveals God’s glory through the Spirit at work in the Christian.

    Second is John 4:34: This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee (NIV). This is not as explicit as the verbiage in the first miracle; however, if we keep in mind the continuity of John’s Gospel, it was not necessary for the narrator to be as explicit here, since he already had been in the first one (“revealed His glory”).

    Oh, and I have looked up the word “Messiah” (and “Christ”). And, Jesus was/is THE Messiah/Christ. There are no others.

    November 27, 2014 at 5:40 am

  31. …and another thing: You wrote, The atonement is the center of Pentecostal preaching. Here you are making a blanket claim. However, all I ask is that you find ONE discreet, unambiguous statement of Bill Johnson affirming the centrality of the Atonement, while defining same in its context.

    November 27, 2014 at 5:47 am

  32. I am well satisfied, and I say this after years of study of the subject, that Johnson’s views are heretical, and that Bethel is better classified as a cult than mainstream. However, I don’t base this opinion so much upon his Christology, as I find that to be merely, hazy. Johnson is part of a larger movement (The New Apostolic Reformation) which rejected orthodox/classical Pentecostal teaching in favor of C.Peter Wagner’s & John Wimber’s “Third Wave Paradigm,” an orientation toward spiritual things which cast off the sound doctrines of the Spirit that were recovered during the Pentecostal renewal based squarely in the book of Acts. This new movement has no defined doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, seems to embrace every supernatural phenomenon which floats through the door, and walks in a shockingly blatant disregard of apostolic teaching (particularly that of I Tim. 5:22). Therefore, it has been a spawning ground for false prophets and demonic doctrines, such as the Seven Mountains Mandate. Johnson is also every bit “Prosperity Message,” and Positive Confession, which is heresy. I could go on, but my point is that I find it is his doctrines of the Spirit, and the meaning of the Church which are the most heretical. Consider also that he is bound by express covenant with the false prophets of the NAR (We have all seen the Lakeland video.) I have never heard a peep out of him when doctrines of demons were expressed by his brothers in the movement. He is a teacher to be shunned by the God-fearing.

    November 28, 2014 at 12:34 am

    • I’m glad you studied Bill Johnson at some length. I largely agree with what you wrote, and have stated similar things on my own blog.

      However, from my perspective, studying Christology, and illustrating how it departs from historical, orthodox Christianity, and showing how it more closely aligns with Gnostic / occult / New Age Christology provides the entire basis for Johnson’s “Jesus.” Such a “Jesus” is not the One of Scripture, makes his entire theology flawed, and places Johnson outside of Christianity altogether.

      I agree that the NAR does not present a uniform “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” – or actually much of a uniform anything, except allowing the supernatural to trump Scripture when at odds with same (or using eisegesis to make it ‘align’ with Scripture) – but Johnson clearly defines it. For Johnson, Jesus Himself received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit – when Spirit as a dove remained on Him (for Johnson, this is literal) – and this is the means by which Jesus became Christ. “Without the experience there can be no title.” Since Johnson stresses that all should receive this same “anointing,” i.e., Baptism in the Holy Spirit, it follows that those receiving this “anointing” can rightfully be called Christ. Johnson intimates this in a number of texts. This doctrine that all our called “Christ” (“Messiah”) in virtue of the chrisma (anointing) is found in the 2nd century Gnostic Gospel of Philip and in various New Age and occult works.

      November 28, 2014 at 12:55 am

    • I should add that Johnson’s “sperma of God” teaching in the sermon from which he spoke the ‘born again Jesus’ statement, is congruent with the Gnostic (and Kabbalistic) divine spark/seed doctrine. Also, the “spiritual DNA” teachings are congruent with same. I wrote about the former here:

      November 28, 2014 at 1:10 am

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