A Rebuke of Bill Johnson of Bethel Church
I received an email from a devout follower of Bill Johnson of Bethel and asked to read some of Bill Johnson's book: "The Way of Life" - Page 63 " All Kingdoms become His Kingdom"
Thank you for caring and sharing your article, The Way of Life - All Kingdoms become His Kingdom” by Bill Johnson at Bethel Church.
Please know my friend that I write to you in the heart of love among the body of Christ in that love which adheres to the infallible word of God that is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; in the heart of love serving Him who loved us first and called us unto himself; in the heart of love which demands we use the word of God to speak and exhort, and rebuke with all authority; in the heart of love that loves all scripture we have which is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that we Christians may be perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
I have read the entire article. Out of respect to you as a good man who loves God, family and country and who I have great respect for, in addition to the terrible trials you’ve been through and persevered, I wish to address each major point of this article. Normally, I would just politely thank someone for sharing their information, but with you I know you deserve to at least look at the evidence for yourself. At no point whatsoever is it my intention to get you to change your mind. This is simply to present you with my findings and to post both a witness and testimony.
As you may recall over coffee, I had told you that I strongly oppose Bill Johnson and his entire ministry at Bethel. I do not speak without knowledge but truth and painful experience. I came out of the likes of Bethel and the entire Charismatic, New Apostolic Reformation Movement. I did not share this with you, but I attended the entire week at the Azusa Street Revival Centennial in the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California in 2006.
I was a most devout disciple of the entire Apostolic, Charismatic, Evangelical, Kingdom Builders, New Fire, Revivals, Discipling the Nations Seminars, Five Fold Ministry, Impartations, Dominion Now, movement of allowing the Holy Spirit to direct me and likeminded misguided souls to take over this fallen world and establish God’s Kingdom wherever I stepped foot upon. As I told you, in one year alone I had donated over $83,000. 00 to “God’s Kingdom mission programs and Charismatic Churches like Bethel. I stood enormously proud that day a Charismatic preacher man told me I was a major kingdom builder after I handed him $25,000. for his defunct AOG church building in Hawaii. He later took the money for himself and left the church completely. The very institution, The Assembly of God Church AOG, that Bethel was founded on, is completely apostate and full of corruption. See today that the AOG is all but gone now. The “new” flavor of the old AOG has morphed into Bethel’s repackaged New Apostolic Reformation NAR. Like a virus we see it continually mutate and grow more sophisticated. Why did Bethel shed its AOG heritage? Let’s start with asking why a virus mutates and leave it here.
I had heavily funded and helped further, through futile hard labor of striving unlawfully in the flesh for any and all NAR programs that crossed my path. . See my work, Striving Lawfully in link if you are interested.
I even started a nonprofit called “Travel for Yeshua” to bring likeminded mission Gospel kingdom builders together. It failed miserably, Thank God. Another true story, one day my pastor Bill of Angel Fire Ministries in Simi Valley California (a rabid NAR institution) called me and told me to go pick up a group of some 3 or 4 African pastors who travelled by faith to the US to attend the Azusa Street Revival. Pastor Bill had been in Africa on a mission and told these pastors to open new churches and to start moving on faith by the Holy Spirit and not fear minor problems like lack of funds to do mighty works of faith.
These pathetic souls begged, borrowed, and probably stole money to travel to the US to meet with my pastor Bill. But Bill didn’t want to meet them, instead turned them over to me to deal with. They were broke and I set them up for a week in a hotel with room service. It cost me several thousand dollars by the time they left, which I had to basically force them in the cab to go to the airport because the “Holy Spirit” had told them to stay and open up a “new ministry” in the US. Bill later confided that these “so called men of God” had openly practiced filial piety, ancestor worship and many other pagan practices.
Returning to Bill Johnson and Bethel. As you’re aware, Bill was a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary where my son graduated from in 2009. My son before he fell into the false teaching of Bill and his kind, he would read to me portions of his textbooks from Fuller Seminary that were past heretical but were blasphemous. My son later would kill himself in despair in his church office (November 14, 2019) he pastored for several years. I invite you to read my 50 years of attending Evangelical, Charismatic, Churches to know that today’s 501C3 church operations run by apostate trained CEOs calling themselves pastors are building the Kingdom of the Antichrist.
Also, if you’d like, there’s a book by Dr. Woods, “The Coming Kingdom” that exposes the false teaching of the likes of Bethel and Bill Johnson.
Overall, I have a preponderance of overwhelming evidence, literally hundreds and hundreds of professionally researched links, that Bill Johnson and Bethel are completely apostate and teaching egregious heretical doctrine. See links below. Note: I have enclosed a special addition of over 70 exposures to Bill Johnson alone… For me personally, overlooking all his making merchandise of people and false healings, the worst is Bill Johnson is teaching another gospel and the word of God addresses this most seriously in Galatians 1:8,9 KJV. See links below and my commentary to prove more of his false gospel in his article: “All Kingdoms become His Kingdom”.
Also, another facet of Bill’s heretical teaching of the Gospel is him and his kind denying the sufficiency of scripture. A major part of this is their unbelief in Dispensations and unbiblical amillennial views.
One of the many indictments against Bill Johnson provided by The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson By John Lanagan and verified by Lighthouse ministries and myself personally reads as follows:
In Redding, California, Bethel Church has become one of the largest evangelical churches in North America. Many people from around the world travel to Redding to attend the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, and C. Peter Wagner (“founder” of the New Apostolic Reformation movement) has called Bethel’s senior pastor, Bill Johnson, an “apostle.”
Apostolic governance – The Apostle Paul's assertion that Jesus appoints apostles within his church continues to this day.
Bill Johnson refuses to understand that the New Testament is simply not concerned with appointing apostles. What we do find is much attention given to the qualifications of elders/bishops (same office) and deacons (1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). The reason for the shift from apostle to elder/bishops is that there was no more need for this office once the church had been established. Writing from Rome in AD 60, Paul describes the church as “having been built (past tense) on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). He was most likely thinking of the Old Testament prophets and Twelve who were the initial bearers of the gospel (1 Cor. 15:3-8). Whatever he meant, the office of apostle (and prophet) was not an office that Paul told his protégés Timothy and Titus to be concerned about (the epistles of 1 Timothy and Titus were written just after Ephesians in AD 63-66).
The office of the prophet – There is within the church a role and function for present-day prophets.
Dominionism – "When Jesus came, He brought the kingdom of God and He expects His kingdom-minded people to take whatever action is needed to push back the long-standing kingdom of Satan and bring the peace and prosperity of His kingdom here on earth."
Theocracy – Not to be confused with theocratic government but rather the goal to have "kingdom-minded people" in all areas of society. There are seven areas identified specifically: religion, family, education, government, media, arts & entertainment, and business.
Although I will not address healing and other signs and wonders here, I only want to add that I believe that divine healing does take place. I witnessed it personally. However, there is so much over exaggerated faith healing going on that is ridiculous. You know what I’m talking about. Much of this is documented in the links exposing Bill Johnson’s fake healing services below. Along with the end of the Apostolic age that required signs and wonders. There is NOT the anointing on individuals to heal and perform miracles as Paul and the 12 disciples (not Judas but his replacement) were given.
My commentary of Bill Johnson’s article:
- All Kingdoms become His Kingdom” from his Book: “The Way of Life”.
The Title: All Kingdoms become His Kingdom.
Bill has crossed several boundaries here: 1. He is heavily insinuating (see definition of insinuate: "to bend in windings, to curve. To introduce tortuously, sinuously, indirectly or by devious methods; to introduce by imperceptible degrees or subtle means. Penetrate by subtle means. To draw, attract a person subtly or covertly to or unto something." The serpent error twines round human hearts. Craftily introduce by the subtlety of Satan. Page 1448 Oxford English Dictionary )
That all God’s kingdom is in process of working on and agreeing with, coming into an accord with to convenir (agree as in being a part of) all the corrupt earthy kingdoms here on earth, and that this process is ongoing until it all becomes morphed together into God’s kingdom.
This insinuation lingers, throughout the study and then slowly Bill reveals this exactly in 2 ways. By quotes: “once people experience the reality of the kingdom their perception will change. Give them a taste.” Page 69. And by “leaders of that day were successful in shaping their culture because they believed God had answers for every part of life… It didn’t matter if it was banking, (this world’s banking systems are absolutely corrupt and dishonest) or business, (to thrive in business in this realm the only rule is assimilation with this world and compromise) or education (our education system is morally bankrupt), or science, (science follows a godless doctrine) and so on. (And so on??? how about military, social services, (including reproductive health, abortion? Needle exchange programs) entertainment including the music and newly endorsed initiatives in the Equality Act giving all from LGBTQ PLUS a voice? and politics, and other institutions of the kingdoms of this earth? And by the end of the article Bill reveals what he means by
All Kingdoms become His Kingdom” When he divulges
Revelation 11:5 NKJV.
The quoting of Revelation 11:15 in the perverted New King James Version translation which reads quote: Revelation 11:15
Seventh Trumpet: The Kingdom Proclaimed
15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The [a]kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
We are faced with a dilemma here that Bill obviously doesn’t understand. Bill reinforces through his writing that all kingdoms are over time changed (along with all their rotten debauchery) transformed into God’s kingdom. And then we find that the point comes when this process is finally reaching its fulfillment right in the middle of the Tribulation. When this finally does happen, the world has lost nearly two thirds of all inhabitants being destroyed by fire, brimstone, hundreds of millions of demonic beings, fireballs, waters turning to blood, etc throughout the 7 trumpet judgements. The kingdoms of this world do not become God’s kingdom until the most horrific events ever in human history come. You can read it for yourself in Revelation Chapters 8 through 11. The time comes at this point when the final wrath of God at the 3rd woe and 7th Trumpet blast to herald in the final and worse bowl judgements does God finally look and declare that all the kingdoms are NOW at this state of events - “are become” meaning to express the condition NOW ATTAINED as written in the King James Version Bible and NOT the action of reaching it as written in the New King James Bible.
The King James Version reads as follows:
King James Version 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
A careful study of grammar in register reveals why there is huge difference in using the verb be as an auxiliary verb with a past participle to mean the condition is now attained vs using the verb to have with a past participle in the perfect tense as the New King James Version Bible does which means its been in process for however long and eventually comes to completion at the 7th Trumpet Judgment of the Tribulation. With Bill’s craft with words, he has the reader believe that the process of blending the world’s corrupt kingdoms into God’s kingdom is an ongoing process that culminates in Revelation chapter 11 verse 15. The corrupted NKJV translation perfectly matches Bill’s false teaching.
When we read carefully the King James Version translation within the context of Psalms Chapter 2 we see the only reason the kingdoms of this world are exactly right at the moment of the 3rd WOE, the 7th TRUMPET BLAST proclaiming God’s final outpouring of his unleashed pure wrath is because the kingdoms of this world ARE BECOME (right at that moment are suited, be comely, appropriately fitted to be suitable for, to be made in accord and in agreement with) by only one reason. They are annihilated and smashed into oblivion.
But Bill does not bother to mention this. To see why Bible Translations are important please read
(4) Why Bible Translations are important LINK
King James Version Bible for Today
Why Bible Translations really matter:
For a deeper study of the 7th Seal, 7th Trumpet Blast and final bowel judgements please read Dr. Ice’s work on Premillennialism (Seals)1 2 3 4 5 6 7=(Trumpets)1 2 3 4 5 6 7=(Bowls)1 2 3 4 5 6 7
We can see why Bill Johnson and all false teachers use perverted Bible translations. If Bill were to use the King James Version Bible, he’d have a very difficult time explaining why the event of the Kingdoms of the earth do NOT become God’s Kingdom until all of mankind’s kingdoms have been wiped out, with the finally knockout blow coming in the battle of Armageddon when the 2nd Advent occurs. This would also not allow Bill Johnson to push his dominion theology if his readers knew Bible Eschatology. However, on the other hand Bill has another terrible dilemma. He insinuates that the kingdoms of this world are being woven into God’s kingdom by assimilation throughout our time. Yet if anyone bothers to read their Bible verse that Bill gives them in Revelation 11:15, you’d think they’d ask themselves ‘why’ would this be happening now during the beginning of the worst period in the time of mankind.
Page 63 Relational Journey: Bill writes:
“It is possible to be biblically correct in principle and completely miss what God is saying.” This is blasphemous. Bill is really saying here that God and His word can be mutually exclusive. This is a distinct practice of false teachers and the same trait that Satan used to question Eve in the garden. Genesis Chapter 3. My King James Version bible tells me that
all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16.17 KJV.
PAGE 64 OF THE WAY OF LIFE Bill writes: “Biblical conflict of Proverbs 26:4-5 NKJV is a contradiction.” End quote. It is heretical to say the Bible contradicts itself. What seems as a contradiction is really the use of paradox. A paradox is placing two truths next to each other to prove one truth. Basically, two statements “appear” or are “seemingly” contradictory or opposed but are proven true. Here we see Matthew Henry’s commentary of Proverbs 26:4-5 that makes Bill’s statement ridiculous:
Verses 4-5 See here the noble security of the scripture-style, which seems to contradict itself, but really does not. Wise men have need to be directed how to deal with fools; and they have never more need of wisdom than in dealing with such, to know when to keep silence and when to speak, for there may be a time for both. 1. In some cases a wise man will not set his wit to that of a fool so far as to answer him according to his folly "If he boast of himself, do not answer him by boasting of thyself. If he rail and talk passionately, do not thou rail and talk passionately too. If he tell one great lie, do not thou tell another to match it. If he calumniates thy friends, do not thou calumniate his. If he banters, do not answer him in his own language, lest thou be like him, even thou, who knowest better things, who hast more sense, and hast been better taught.’’ 2. Yet, in other cases, a wise man will use his wisdom for the conviction of a fool, when, by taking notice of what he says, there may be hopes of doing good, or at least preventing further, mischief, either to himself or others. "If thou have reason to think that thy silence will be deemed an evidence of the weakness of thy cause, or of thy own weakness, in such a case answer him, and let it be an answer ad hominem—to the man, beat him at his own weapons, and that will be an answer ad rem—to the point, or as good as one. If he offer anything that looks like an argument, an answer that, and suit thy answer to his case. If he think, because thou dost not answer him, that what he says is unanswerable, then give him an answer, lest he be wise in his own conceit and boast of a victory.’’ For (Lu. 7:35 ) Wisdom’s children must justify her. Matthew Henry Commentary.
Page 64 It’s very alarming where Bill says, “The Gospel of the Kingdom” made it to Asia…” NO it did NOT! Paul is NOT preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. The Gospel of the Kingdom was introduced by John the Baptist and presented and offered by Jesus Christ to the Jews. When rejected and the curse Jesus gave the Pharisees in Matthew 12 and John 8:42-47 KJV, THE KINGDOM GOSPEL ended at Matthew Chapter 12 in the Kingdom Parables. The “new dispensation” the age of grace, also known as the church age, is the Gospel of Paul which began at the Church age and was given to Paul by direct revelation by Jesus Christ as witnessed in the Acts of the Apostles and in Galatians chapters 1 and 2. This is the true Gospel for this current dispensation in which we the church are currently in: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV; Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV. Please see my Dispensational Truth from Genesis to Revelation links and read Dr. Andy Wood’s work: The Coming Kingdom to understand this. Sadly, Bill Johnson does not have a clue to what he’s talking about here.
Bill writes at the end of number 4….” He is inviting us into a profound exploration of what it looks like when His kingdom becomes more fully manifest now.”
This is unbiblical. Please read my links below that discuss Dispensationalism and why The Kingdom of God will not manifest within the Kingdom of Heaven until the literal Millennial Kingdom. Again Dr. Woods in his in-depth study of The Coming Kingdom lays all of this out in depth. Although I do have issues with a few areas of Dr. Woods’ work, I write about in the link below, overall it is very comprehensive in understanding the Kingdom of Heaven, The kingdom of God in the Millennial kingdom.
Here is an excellent study on dispensational truth from Genesis to Revelation
Bill writes: “5. He set a direction for our hope by declaring, The Kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. (Revelation 11:15 NKJV) And yet again He said, “The Glory of the Lord will cover the earth see (Hab 2:14). These 2 statements reveal the measurable target of His will and disclose the anticipation of His heart.
I’ve already addressed Revelation 11:15 NKJV. We know this scripture is at the crossroads of God’s total divine wrath being poured out upon the earth in unimaginable terror that will bring all mankind’s kingdoms under God’s kingdom. Now looking at Habakkuk 2:14 KJV, here’s what’s really being said: “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” This is strictly addressing the millennial kingdom where life will be perfect under Jesus’ perfect rule with an iron rod of Theocracy where we will reign with him. Amen!
Now when we closely examine what Bill is saying here comparing number 4 and 5 is, he is implying that we can and should expect to experience God’s kingdom in this realm. I will quote Bill again, “He (Christ Jesus) is inviting us into a profound exploration of what it looks like when His kingdom becomes more fully manifest now.”
My Bible does not tell me this. This is Bill adding to scripture.
Bill morphs into a I’m not a kingdom builder, here, quote: “I understand that what I’ve encouraged will make some nervous. In history, there were those who tried to create God’s Kingdom…..” Bill claims they failed because they placed themselves at the top of the hierarchical structure. So, Bill’s solution is we serve at whatever level we are placed at. This is very hypocritical. I think anyone would realize that Bill would find himself at the top of the hierarchical structure of building the kingdom.
Bill says, “As a group of believers, we have purposed to live with the idea that the Gospel is perfectly suited for every area of life. It is practical and needed. Our approach is inspired by the verse that states, “He is the desire of all nations… Haggai 2:7 NKJV… (Note Haggai 2:7 KJV is not even close to this in meaning: “And I will shake the nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.” In other words, everyone wants a king like Jesus. He is what everyone longs for; they just don’t know it. As such, Jesus is perfectly suited to give influence, meaning, and significance for all aspects of life.” What Gospel is Bill talking about? It certainly is not the Gospel for the church age as revealed to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV. Most reject this gospel and teach another Gospel like Bill does. Bill is going around preaching the Kingdom Gospel and Not the Gospel of Paul as given to Paul directly revealed by Jesus Christ. Bill doesn’t know that Haggai is written prophetically for the millennial physical kingdom of God that will be established following the Tribulation and the 2nd advent of Jesus Christ after he has destroyed all the opposing forces of evil. Perhaps someone should tell Bill that most of this world wants absolutely NOTHING whatsoever with Jesus Christ. My KJV Bible tells me that many are called but few chosen and that he will smash his enemies to pieces like a potter's vessel with a rod of iron. Psalms 2:9 KJV; Revelation 2:27 KJV.
Haggai is written in prophecy for the future millennial kingdom and has absolutely nothing to do with this current age. Again, we clearly see that Bil has no understanding of Dispensational truth. Dr. Kim has outstanding teaching on this as well as Dr. Andy Woods. See my links.
Bill is lying when he says that the Gospel is designed to bring the reality of the kingdom into every part of life. I honestly do not have the words to convey how convoluted this statement is. Here is the Gospel. What does this have to do with The Kingdom of God being established on earth during the Millennium? More proof Bill is going around preaching a false Gospel. I would love to debate Bill Johnson one on one and have him fully explain what he’s talking about when he says, “The Gospel is designed to bring the reality of the reality of the kingdom into every part of life”. What life? This fallen world that belongs to Satan. My Bible tells me that Satan is the prince of this world. Ephesians 2:2 KJV. My Bible tells me it’s not until Jesus Christ steps down back on earth that his perfect rule will be established. Revelation chapters 19 and 20 KJV.
The Gospel of Paul as given by directly by Christ Jesus pertaining to Galatians Chapters 1 and 2.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
King James Version
15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
King James Version
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Here’s additional information on what Haggai 2:7 is actually talking about: This is no Scripture to indicate that God’s glory ever did come to Zerubbabel’s temple, as the first temple was filled with the Shekinah glory (1 Kings 8:10-11; 2 Chron. 5:13-14). However, His glory will fill the millennial temple (Ezekiel 43:5).
This glorification cannot refer to Christ’s physical presence in Herod’s temple, for the events (of verses 6-9), cannot be accounted for historically. The context speaks of the establishment of His earthly, Davidic, millennial kingdom and His presence in the temple during that kingdom.
The temple in Jerusalem will be restored to its greatness at that time. The nations of the world had been worshipping false gods. God will shake them to the point; they will give up the worship of false gods that cannot help them.
Luke 21:10-11 "Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:" "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."
Read the rest of this chapter (in Luke), to get the full impact. They will turn to the One, True, Living God who can help them. The glory of God will rest in the temple in Jerusalem. God wins the victory over the entire world system. Jesus will reign as King of kings. Commentary Bible.Study.Org Haggai.
These 501c3 brick and mortar buildings (and even those run under private or limited liability corp) run by apostate trained CEOs called pastors are not BIBLICAL. They are literally making Merchandise of you and your children and your children's heritage. They are cursed by God under both Galatians 1:8,9 and 2 Peter 2:3... In fact 2 Peter 2:3, literally says these false teachers through feigned (study the word feigned: invented. fake. counterfeit. deception. fictitious. ) words make merchandise of you...
I've completed an 800 page Ebook containing over a thousand references, several thousand pages of source documentation titled: " I don't go to church. A 50 year testimony of attending church to say in agreement with Dr. Larkin, that today's churches are building the kingdom of the Antichrist. " see note 1 below... If anyone wants this open public domain book. I will email you a copy for free. Email me your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This church-going issue has now become my focus. I'm a retired US naval officer, and finished a career in consulting. and recently retired from teaching High school as a licensed teacher. I also spent years living in other countries, including over 6 yrs in Vietnam sharing Jesus with the Vietnamese people.
Here's my testimony below:
To God be the glory Forever! Amen!
"I Don't Go to Church: The Church is The Body of Christ not a Building"reading it:
The Perfect Storm for American Civil War; Christian strive lawfully
Additional links exposing the NAR and Bethel and Bill Johnson
Bill Johnson & Bethel Church, Redding, CA
(1) Bill Johnson and Those So Called Prophets by Pastor Richard Taylor, YouTube Video, cited on Christian Research Service, Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Pastor Richard Taylor boldly comments on Bill Johnson's statement on Todd Bentley, C. Peter Wagner's endorsement of Bentley, and God TV.
(2) Signs That Make One Wonder by Orrel Stienkamp, The Plumbline, Vol. 14, No. 4, July/August 2009
Signs and wonders have always been claimed in the church. In the middle ages signs and wonders were usually related to apparitions of the Virgin Mary. It wasn't until the latter part of the 19tb century that the sign phenomena began to be noted again Alexander Dowse and Mary Woodworth-Etter, (the "trance evangelist"), being examples. The Pentecostal move at the turn of the 20th century emphasized healing and the spiritual gifts. But in more recent times John Wimber and his Vineyard movement chose signs and wonders as the focal point of their movement. Wimber's ministry and movement attained notoriety in a church growth class he team taught at Fuller Seminary on signs and wonders with C. Peter Wagner. Wimber's signs and wonders were, however, limited to healing, slain in the Spirit, halo's designating those to be healed and warm sensations, etc. Wimber proceeded to found the Vineyard movement. It was Vineyard pastor John Amott that sparked the Toronto Blessing. Wimber surprisingly became uncomfortable with the excesses at Toronto and also with certain aspects of the Kansas City Prophets. He assumed leadership the Kansas City Prophetic and it became the Metro Vineyard of Kansas City. About this time Bob Jones, a prophet and seer at Kansas City, was sidelined because he used his so called prophetic seer ministry to influence ladies to disrobe before the Lord, etc. Jones was given a behind the scenes ministry but never was actually disciplined. Jones was resurected by Todd Bentley. It is interesting that a number of Vineyard paslors have been the ones to go beyond Toronto and are now into The Extreme Prophetic movement with yet more bizarre and strange supernatural phenomena. More Later.
(3) "The Apostles/Prophets Have Fallen and Can't Get Up" by Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Vol. 14, No. 5, September/October 2009
This proves again to be the same ole same ole of false prophets in church history. Wesley and Whitfield had to contend with the French Prophets and the early church had to contend with Montanus and his female prophets in the second century. And so it will be till the Son of Man returns.
(4) The Evangelical Immune System Is Switched Off! by Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Vol. 14, No. 6, November/December
The current version of evangelicalism appears to be terminal.
(5) Bill Johnson teaches that those who do not believe that the guarantee of physical healing is part of the Atonement are teaching "a different gospel", YouTube, 8/21/10
Notwithstanding that Johnson quotes Galatians 1:8 out of context, which refers to adding Law to Grace, he is also misinterpreting Is. 53:5 as do many Pentecostals to mean that "by His stipres your are healed" is refeing to physical healing. Yes, God does heal but He also allows people to be sick according to His will (Gal. 4:13). The healing spoken of in Is. 53 is a direct reference to the salvation sent by the Father through His Son, the second birth, a spiritual birth. We are NOT guaranteed healing in the Atonement. We are guaranteed eternal life and abundant life now, but we must trust that everything the Lord allows us to experience in life is not going to be easy all the time.
Updated! (6) Bill Johnson's "Born Again' Jesus by Craig Dorshheimer, Crosswise, 9/26/10
Sad to say, but, Bill Johnson's "Jesus' is not the one of orthodox Biblical Christianity. In addition, his "Christ' is inconsistent with Scripture; and, this "Christ' does not offer true salvation. Watch Part 1 & Part 2.
(7) Faith healing or foul play? 2008 cliff fall victim sues Bethel (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry) students by Ryan Sabalow, The Recorder Searchlight, Redding, CA, 10/24/10
Rather than call police when their drinking partner fell " or was pushed " off a nearly 200-foot cliff, two students at a Redding Bible school tried first to reach the severely wounded man and pray him back to life, a lawsuit alleges. In a lawsuit filed this month in Shasta County Superior Court exactly two years to the day after he was pulled by search-and-rescue crews from the banks of the Sacramento River, Jason Michael Carlsen alleges that when Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry students Sarah Elisabeth Koivumaki and Zachary Gudelunas couldn't reach him to heal him with their prayers, they spent hours debating whether to call the police.
(8) Todd Bentley Remarries And Re-Launches by Cecil Andrews, Take Heed Ministries, March 10, 2009
Bentley's "restoration" was overseen by Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner, Jack Deere and other false teachers. Last year as a ministry we spent much time and energy reporting on and exposing the fraudulent so called "Miracle Healing Crusades' conducted by Todd Bentley in Lakeland in Florida and I don't plan to revisit those God-dishonouring events in this article �" a search of our website and those of other faithful watchmen ministries will yield all the information necessary to discover the devilish nature of events in Lakeland. The "Miracle Healing Crusade' came to a shuddering halt when it was discovered that Todd Bentley had "entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff �" at least that's how the board of Mr Bentley's then "Fresh Fire Ministries' initially put out the story �" subsequent revelations showed how very wide of the mark this first statement was.
(9) WHAT IS "SPIRITUAL DNA"? by The Berean Call, 7/07
Bill Johnson, another NAR "apostle" and pastor of Bethel church in Redding, California, says in his book When Heaven Invades Earth, "It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus." This mystical statement sounds lofty, but what does it mean?
(10) Open Challenge to Bill Johnson/Bethel Supporters by Craig, Crosswise, 3/22/11
"This brief article challenges Johnson supporters to reconcile just one of Bill Johnson's statements in his book When Heaven Invades Earth with Christian orthodoxy."
(11) An Invasion Of Error by Bob DeWaay, reprinted by Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Volume 16, No. 2, March/April 2001
In this edition of Plumbline I am making available a review of Bill Johnson's best-selling book 'When ~ Invades Earth." by Bob DeWaay. 'Apostle' Bill Johnson is the West Coast leader of the Apostolic/Prophetic/Dominionist/Movement emanating from his 8ethel church in Redding CA. Having left the AOG several years ago because they did not recognize restored Apostles and Prophets, apostle Johnson works closely with Wagner's NAR and with Bickle/IHOP, Joyner's MorningStar Ministries and Arnott's TACF of Toronto Blessing fame. Johnson assails the two biblical truths of the deity of Christ and redemptive work on the cross. Simply put, Johnson like many Word-Faith teachers (Copeland et al) asserts that Jesus set aside his divinity and became a mere man. Johnson states his demotion of Jesus the God-Man by saying "Jesus did everything he did as a man, laying aside His divinity in order to become a model for us." (Johnson, 'Strengthen Yourself in the Lord' Shippenburg, PA: Destiny Image 2007, p. 26). If Jesus was only a purely anointed man then an elite corps of spirit-anointed believers can equal and even do more than the mere man Jesus, for they too are anointed (Christed) as was he. Similarily, if Jesus was a mere man, His substitutionary and vicarious death on the cross in the stead of sinners is made irrelevant. Only a God-Man could bear the penalty of sinful humanity. Consequently, for Johnson heaven does not need to wait for the return of the glorified and ascended God-man Jesus. Heaven only awaits the activation of the EIijah Generation of the spirit-anointed to bring heaven to earth.
(12) Kris Vallotton - Clueless in California by Bud Press, Christian Research Service, April 6, 2011
Without exception, all false teachers are overshadowed by a demonic band-leader, and dance to the tune of a false god. A steady chorus line of false teachings clutter and fog the mind, disrupts the ability to think clearly, and draws the listener further away from the true God and His written word. Just as con artists scam the innocent and unwary with smooth talk and half-truths, false teachers mix a little truth with a lot of error, and do so with a smile on their faces. Kris Vallotton is an integral part of Bill Johnson's Bethel Church and the Prophetic Movement, which is a movement that runs wild with blasphemers of God, heretics, false prophets, false healers, and false signs and wonders. During a YouTube video titled "False Prophets" (posted September 7, 2010 Vallotton appears to express concern over what he sees happening in the prophetic ministry globally. He says that people are putting prophetic words on the internet and, when their words are wrong, they withdraw them and never say, "I'm sorry." Nonetheless, read carefully the following excerpts from Vallotton's video message, and pay particular attention to how he mixes a little truth with a lot of error:
(13) When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson - Reviewed by Bob DeWaay, 7/6/11
Bill Johnson of Redding, California has become a popular teacher in one of the latest iterations of the Signs and Wonders movement. His book, When Heaven Invades Earth, reveals his underlying theology.
(14) Bill Johnson: Fowl Language by Bud Press, January 27, 2012
But did you know that because owls can see at night, they represent the prophetic? That's what Bill Johnson believes. In fact, read what Johnson said about owls to one of his Facebook followers on January 23, 2012:
(15) Learning Etymology with Bill Johnson: A New Age "Repentance'? by Crosswise, 2/21/12
There are at least two instances in which Bill Johnson breaks down words in order to help the reader understand the meaning. However in each case, Bill Johnson explained the words in a way which went beyond their actual etymology and true meaning.
Updated! (16) Bill Johnson's Christology: A New Age Christ? by Crosswise, 3/12/12
This article will restate and clarify Bill Johnson's teaching on Christology �" the study of the person and work of Jesus Christ �" which has been the subject of many different articles here on CrossWise. Johnson's Christology will then be compared to that of New Age / New Spirituality teaching which is really not very "new' as it goes all the way back to the early Church. Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3a, Part 3b & Part 4.
(17) The Cost of Worship: Bethel's Booming Bonanza by Bud Press, 5/13/12
The cost of worship at Bethel is a booming bonanza. But in the end when the study manuals are closed, other books will be opened, and the eternal price to be paid may end in total separation from God (Revelation 20:11-15).
(18) Bill Johnson In Denial by Bud Press, 5/24/12
Around the world, solid, Bible-based Christians rely on God's written word as their ultimate and final authority. They maintain the importance of studying the Bible on a daily basis, one-on-one with the Lord, in fellowship and prayer. The Bible is trustworthy, and is to be used to weigh and measure those who claim to be Christian teachers and prophets of God. If the teachings of men downplay, disagree with, contradict, or deny what God has written, God Himself marks them as false teachers, false prophets, false apostles, and savage wolves. As such, their words and writings are to be totally rejected, and they are to be avoided at all costs. For where one false teaching is birthed, other false teachings incubate.
(19) Beni Johnson: Stressed Out by Bud Press, Research Consultant, Christian Research Service, July 8, 2012
Everyday, reports of "divine healing" flood into the hyper-Charismatic camp. Yet, hyper-Charismatics and their leaders continue to suffer the effects of sickness and disease, and seek medical treatment.
(20) Question: I don't understand why Bill Johnson and Bethel Church in Redding are not classified as a cult....They are false teachers and wolves in sheep's clothing. What do you think? by The Berean Call, 8/2/12
In conclusion, Johnson is advocating extrabiblical revelation. Going "off the map" is forsaking the safety and sufficiency of Scripture.
(21) Round the Mulberry Bush with Bill Johnson by Crosswise, 8/12/12
Unless and until Bill Johnson both comes out with an unambiguous, orthodox statement and corrects all his other unorthodox statements I remain unconvinced that he actually intends on promoting orthodox Christology. This would be a monumental task, for sure; however, "with God all things are possible" [Matthew 19:26].
(22) Open Challenge to Fans and Critics of Bill Johnson/Bethel Church by Crosswise, 2/26/13
The following transcription comes from a sermon on 12/20/09 titled Jesus Is Our Model1 from Bill Johnson of Bethel Church. This is the same one which contains Bill Johnson"s infamous "Jesus was born again" statement.2 This time we"re taking a closer look at a different and more lengthy portion of this sermon.
(23) The Gospel According To Bill Johnson by James Smith, 4/4/13
A key aspect to BJ"s theology on healing is that he claims that healing is a right and something that God is obligated to do for every Christian through "healing in the atonement", as do many other false teachers in the Word of Faith movement. This false doctrine says Christ died for our sins and suffered for our healing. It divides the atonement up between what Christ did on the cross and the suffering He experienced prior to going to the cross. This is based on a misrepresentation of Isaiah 53:5
(24) Assessing Bill Johnson"s "Eternally God" Declarations Amidst His Other Christological Statements by Crosswise, 6/10/13
As this article illustrates, by using Bill Johnson"s own words, he does in fact deny the full deity/divinity of Jesus Christ while He was on earth in his teaching on the anointing. This is not a "hurtful rumor", as he states in his tweet; it"s an established fact as evidenced by Bill Johnson"s own clear (and sometimes unclear) teachings.
(25) Bill Johnson Claims You Can Think and Live from the Right Hand of God by Crosswise, 7/15/13
With this podcast as evidence, it is apparent that Johnson DOES, in fact, share essentially the same MSoG view as Bill Britton, as illustrated in the quote used in the last article
(26) Kris Vallotton on Becoming an Incarnation through Holy Communion by Crosswise, 7/22/13
Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA (Bill Johnson is Senior Pastor), recently stated the following on his website ...
(27) Answer to Open Challenge to Fans and Critics of Bill Johnson/Bethel Churchby Crosswise, 9/9/13
Since the original Open Challenge to Fans or Critics of Bill Johnson/Bethel Church has not received much interaction apart from regular readers here on CrossWise, it seems best to fully explain the selected text comprising that challenge in this separate post, as I deem this information critical to understanding the basis not just of Johnson�s Christology, but of his entire theology.
(28) Climbing Up Another Way - Is There A Spiritual Ladder to the Lap of "Father God"? by Mark Dinsmore, 3/22/14
�SOZO� is a psycho-spiritual deliverance and inner healing methodology birthed out of Bethel Church in Redding, California. But though the Bethel Sozo website banner says, �[A] Ministry of Bethel Church,� the FAQ section disclaims, �The Sozo staff are independent contractors and are not Bethel Church Staff.� Apparently for legal reasons, no one wants to call this �counseling� or �therapy.� Rather, they simply call it �healing prayer� (and yet, they strongly recommend a suggested donation for receiving �prayer� for which recipients (�Sozoees�) must first sign a waiver. For background, it is interesting to note that Bethel was once an Assemblies of God (AG) church, and Bill Johnson was an AG pastor; but he led his flock out of AG in 2006 to jump into the NAR/River Revival movement. Johnson is now a self-appointed �apostle,� and his church is now a part of his own �Revival Alliance� network, co-founded with Che Ahn (Harvest Rock Church, Pasadena, CA) and John Arnott (Catch the Fire Toronto; formerly Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship; formerly Toronto Airport Vineyard Church).
(29) Holy Spirit �is like the genie from Aladdin,� says Bethel Redding�s Jenn Johnson by My Word Like Fire, 3/27/14
Jenn Johnson of Bethel Redding views the Holy Spirit �like the genie from Aladdin. And He�s blue. And He�s funny. And He�s sneaky.� Bethel Redding is known for many things, but reverence is not at the top of the list. Jenn Johnson, the daughter-in-law of Bill Johnson, also calls the Holy Spirit wonderful, courageous, silly, and says �He�s just fun.�
(30) Todd Bentley of Lakeland Revival, Florida Outpouring publicly endorsed by Bill Johnson (Bethel) by Charisse Van Horn, Examiner, 9/4/2011
On August 17, 2011, Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California, publicly endorsed the ministry of Todd Bentley.
(31) A Bethel Redding Snack Pack at My Word Like Fire, 5/15/14
Videos for: 1. Holy Spirit �is like the genie from Aladdin� says Bethel Redding�s Jenn Johnson 2. Bethel Redding Pastor Eric Johnson denies Original Sin? 3. False prophecies mixed with Kundalini at Bill Johnson�s Bethel Redding Church
(32) Bill Johnson of Bethel Redding amenable to New Age �truths� by My Word Like Fire, 5/19/14
Bill Johnson and his wife, Beni, are both contributors to the book The Physics of Heaven. Bill Johnson�s administrative assistant, Judy Franklin, co-authored the book. The Foreword is written by Bethel�s Kris Vallotton, and the book is endorsed by Banning Liebscher of Jesus Culture. Is this a problem? As co-author Ellyn Davis acknowledges, �[The contributors of the book] all agree that the next move of God will cause a shift at the deepest level of who we are�perhaps the very �vibrational level� that the New Age movement has been exploring. They also all agree that there are precious truths hidden in the New Age that belong to us as Christians and need to be extracted from the worthless.�
(33) The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church�s Bill Johnson (Booklet) by Lighthouse Trails, 5/19/14
The Physics of Heaven, a recent book Bill Johnson contributed to, and his personal assistant co-authored, reveals a very different picture than that of the apostles described in the Bible. It appears that rather than an apostle of God, Bill Johnson may be poised to serve as the vehicle that carries the New Age and quantum spirituality deep into the Body of Christ.
(34) Mark Chironna�s New Age/Quantum Mysticism at Bethel Redding Conferenceby John Lanagan, My Word Like Fire Ministries, 9/13/14
Near the end of his blasphemous message, Chironna tells his listeners, �If something is shifting inside you you�ve already heard from heaven. You already know what wants to emerge. And if it wants to happen you need to speak it into existence.� (2 hours, 29 minutes, 45 seconds) (emphasis mine) But following these teachings will not result in hearing from heaven, but from hell. Nor has Bill Johnson bothered to correct this blasphemy. Chironna�s conference teaching is still for sale at the Bethel Redding store. https://shop.ibethel.org/products/piercing-the-darkness-february-2012-complete-set (scroll down to Session 7)
(35) Bill Johnson, False Teacher by My Word Like Fire, 9/30/14
At 1:02 in the video, Bill Johnson says, �You can only give away what you have. Can God give away sickness? No, he�s not sick. You can�t give cancer if you don�t have it.� According to the Bible: Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:27-30)
Updated! (36) Bethel Church's "apostle" Bill Johnson: A comedy of errors, Part 1 by Marsha West, Renew America, 10/20/14
Both Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner, who are seasoned apostle-prophets, claim to hold the title "Super-Apostle" and/or "Super-Prophet" which is comparable to holding the high office of cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Chew on that for a moment. As an aside I should mention that some "Super-Apostles" have been accused of using cultic mind control techniques on those they prey upon. Read Part 1 & Part 2.
(37) Quantum Christianity: Has the gateway to heaven been discovered? by Albert James Dagar, Media Spotlight 5/13/15
It is my hope that those who read this will at the very least question what they hear from well-known teachers within the Body of Christ, and will study God�s Word diligently to show themselves approved�workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. God�s mysteries in relation to His creation are to remain mysteries until He reveals all He wishes to reveal to His resurrected saints. What happens in the quantum realm stays in the quantum realm. Let�s live in the real world in which He desires us to move in obedience to Him.
(38) Bethel Redding youth leader says Jesus asked him for forgiveness! by John Lanagan, My Word Like Fire Ministries, 10/21/15
One more in a long train wreck of false claims and teachings from Bethel Redding. This youth leader states that in a vision Jesus picked him up, began to weep, and asked his forgiveness. If you can�t find a passage in the Bible where Christ asks us to forgive Him, it is because it is not in the Bible.
(39) Assemblies of God District leader �does not endorse or recommend the ministry� of Bethel Church Redding or Bill Johnson by John Lanagan, My Word Like Fire Ministries, 10/21/15
�I wish to communicate a very clear position on the Redding, California Bethel Church, Bill Johnson movement. I have had 3 calls this week, one from out of the country, on our position as a District on this matter. The Northern California Nevada Assemblies of God does not endorse or recommend the ministry of Bethel Church Redding or Rev. Bill Johnson. Hope this is clear. James R. Braddy� � Posted on the Facebook group �Conservatively speaking�In the Assemblies of God�
(40) Bethel Redding children�s pastor and the giant finance angel? by John Lanagan, My Word Like Fire Ministries, 10/22/15
In the above video, Dahl tells the Bethel Redding congregation of his experience with an enormous angel. Dahl asked the angel his name and then googled in the angel�s answer. The angel�s name was the same as that of a finance company. Dahl then realized the angel was �here for our finances at Bethel�� Dahl states, �You just need to hear a testimony so you can know what�s available to you �cause I�m not trying to preach a sermon, I�m trying to invite you to a new way of life.� Yes, a way of life full of false visions and prophecies and dreams. Bethel Redding has taken many away from biblical Christianity.
(41) �Activating� the kids at Bethel Redding by John Lanagan, My Word Like Fire Ministries, 10/31/15
Bethel Redding leaders continue to present an unbalanced and unhealthy preoccupation with signs and wonders�or, as I have come to call it, a bells-and-whistles theology. It should be no surprise that this is also present in Bethel Redding�s children�s ministry. It seems as if it is more important to encourage children to seek angelic visitations, visions, and Words of Knowledge than it is to actually determine whether the experience/communication with God is genuine or not.
In other words, there is little discernment at Bethel Redding. Children�s Pastor Seth Dahl�s response to the interviewer about discernment is telling.
(42) The Physics of Heaven by Ellyn Davis, Judy Franklin & Bill Johnson - Reviewed by Herescope - Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 & Part 11
(43) FYI: Jenn Johnson of Bethel Church talks about angels farting Commentary by Sandy Simpson, 1/20/16
In a YouTube video Jenn Johnson, daughter of Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, "Jenn shares about our need to define things as "black" or "white", but there is a whole realm of "gray" that needs to be dealt with. Black and white are exclusively composed of shades of gray... and the only way the gray is defined, is because of how the light is shone through the color". As one example Jenn talks about angels having farting contests around God's throne. The angels she is seeing cannot be angels of God because they would not be around the Throne in the third heaven if they were taking pleasure in farting. What she is likely seeing is demonic in nature and a delusion. This type of stuff is par for the course at Bethel. I will be releasing a review on their new "Holy Ghost Reborn" movie soon. Tim Wirth and I have already done a video review on the first Holy Ghost movie.
(44) Holy Ghost Reborn (Movie) a Darren Wilson Film - Reviewed by Sandy Simpson, Apologetics Coordination Team, 1/31/16
I stated in the first part of this article this film is not about preaching the Gospel but about using New Age techniques to try to get people softened up to �the Lord�. But any good done in this film has no eternal value unless followed up with the Gospel message. Apart from many statements made that are unbiblical, and in some cases, blasphemous, this film is leading people into a different version of �Christianity� what has nothing to do with the true Church.
Updated! (45) The NEW Toronto: Bill Johnson's Bethel church - Prevaricating leader of the youth by Mike Oppenheimer, 2/21/16
Bethel church was part of the General Council of the Assemblies of God until January 2006 when the church membership voted to withdraw their affiliation. Bill Johnson�s is the pastor of Bethel in Redding, his education is reported to be one semester at Shasta College (which does appear to be a sound bible college http://www.shasta.edu/uploads/1/6/7/0/16705804/student_handbook_2015_-_2016.pdf), which Johnson is now at odds with in his teaching. Also one year at the Genesis Bible Training Center in Santa Rosa. After attending the Genesis Bible Training Center he spent five years on the Bethel staff, and became pastor of Mountain Chapel in Weaverville from 1978 to 1996 when he took the pastorship of Bethel. An estimated 2,000 people attending Bethel left when Johnson took over in 1996. Today, it has grown back and nearly every church service is full each week, mainly youth. The sanctuary sits on 70 acres. This includes the Twin View campus and an overflow room, which could easily add up to more than 3,000 congregants and more than 30,000 people go to the web for their online media. Bethel has become one of Shasta County's largest private employers with 360 employees. And they are expanding. (certain references used, source: Record searchlight - redding.com: Bethel burgeons under pastor's visions of prosperity) The focus of Bethel church under Bill Johnson shifted into training people in prophecy, healing and other "supernatural gifts," some of which cannot be found in the Bible. Read Part 1 & Part 2.
(46) Bethel�s Bill Johnson: �Jesus was so empty of Divine capacity�� by John Lanagan, My Word Like Fire Ministries, 4/12/16
Bill Johnson is an effective purveyor of kenosis, the heretical teaching that Christ operated on earth solely as a man, with no �Divine capacity� whatsoever. Every miracle, every healing that Christ performed, according to Johnson, came about through the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Johnson teaches, we can all perform healings and miracles, since we also have access to the Holy Spirit. Thus Johnson�s kenosis doctrine serves to reduce the biblical Christ and elevate man. As Bob Dewaay points out: �Jesus is no longer unique, but only a special enlightened one who could lead the way to many such enlightened ones in the future. Thus we have a New Age Christ.�  Kenosis comes from a misunderstanding of Philippians 2:7: �but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
(47) Brain Stopper No. 5: Bill Johnson�s Book Ban by Spirit of Error, 5/7/16
�Brain stoppers� is a term I came up with to refer to a variety of tactics used by leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) to discourage their followers from thinking critically about NAR teachings. I�ve written a series of posts about different brain stoppers, starting with �Brain Stopper No. 1: Name Calling.� Another brain stopper, I call the �Book Ban,� is employed by Bill Johnson�senior pastor and NAR apostle over Bethel Church in Redding, California. Johnson tells his readers not to read books that are critical of teachings he promotes. He does this in his popular book When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. Here are his words.
(48) Yes, Bethel Redding and Bill Johnson are part of the New Apostolic Reformation by Spirit of Error, 5/16/16
Following Christianity Today�s recent cover story on Bethel Church in Redding, California, I�ve been contacted by people wondering about Bill Johnson�s statements made in that article distancing himself from the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The two specific statements he made are that his church does not have any official ties to the NAR and that he�s �not completely clear on what it is.� Despite Johnson�s distancing himself from the NAR, he very clearly is part of it. Let�s look at his two claims.
(49) Letter to the Editor: Trying to Warn Our Grown Children . . . And Letter to Our Pastor Goes Unanswered at Lighthouse Trails, 5/22/16
We are especially concerned because our talented, zealous adult children are, to some degree or another, caught up in following Bethel and Hillsong worship and practices. So far as I know, none are practicing �contemplative� prayer, but other occult practices are subtly mixed in with their schools of worship and �supernatural� ministries. We prepared a notebook for each of our children and their spouses where we downloaded and printed Warren Smith�s Reinventing Jesus Christ (now titled False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?) back in late 2006 or early 2007 � probably just before we discovered Lighthouse Trails. I think they mostly stuck the notebooks under the bed or somewhere obscure. Since that time, some of them have expressed disappointment in us for backing off of all things Vineyard, hyper-charismatic, and the whole signs & wonders and healing ministries movements. So, we have the privilege of standing in the gap and praying God will reveal the Truth to them and expose all the error they are so vulnerable to. My husband says we really can�t bring up these topics with them anymore, that we need to wait until they ask us what we think or believe because they already know. We find that we aren�t comfortable going to their churches anymore.
(50) Don�t let this be your kid: disturbing video of girl from Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. by Spirit of Error, 5/26/16
I frequently hear from Christians who are concerned that their child has gotten involved with Bethel Church in Redding, California. If you don�t know, Bethel Redding is one of the most influential organizations in the controversial New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement and is led by the NAR apostle Bill Johnson. It�s also one of the most popular churches in the United States, and young people are being drawn to it in droves. These parents have good reason to be concerned. Among the troubling teachings coming from Johnson is an exaltation of supernatural experience over theology�producing followers who are ripe for spiritual deception. The bad fruit of these teachings can be seen in a disturbing YouTube video I watched the other day. The video shows young people from Bethel Church in Redding, California, interacting with a Christian street preacher named James. From what I gather, the interaction took place in front of a Benny Hinn �Miracle Service� in San Jose, California. James was warning passersby that Hinn is a false prophet. The young people apparently took issue with his warnings and a dialogue ensued. Throughout the exchange, one of the young people, who identifies herself as Allison, appears to be under the influence of a chemical, though she claims it�s the Holy Spirit. Allison jumps around in circles, makes jerking movements, and falls to the ground�all the while a large smile plastered to her face. She never stops laughing. Actually, it�s more like a grating giggle. Such extended outbursts of laughter are common in the NAR�a phenomenon known as �laughing in the Spirit.�
(51) Poor Billy Goat�s Gruff! by Churchwatch Central, 8/11/16
Included in the customer review section on Amazon, was a comment by Jennifer A Thompson where she rightly rightly points out the fact that the book �When Heaven Invades Earth� by Bill Johnson, was written by a heretic.
(52) Pictures Say a "Million" Words About Bethel � �As Above, So Below� at Lighthouse Trails, 9/30/16
So Bethel Church leadership cannot feign ignorance on this phrase as their �Physics of Heaven� shows they are thoroughly versed in New age teachings. I was on Facebook scrolling the news feed when I saw a sponsored ad for Bethel advertising their coming �Open Heaven� Conference. Well within the first 10 seconds the first thing to appear on the screen was As above, So below. I�m sure Ray Yungen would find this interesting as well.
(53) The Bethel Church Upgrade - Unholy Signs & Cash Flows by Pastor Rod Page, 12/2/16
“I dedicate this book to my children’s children’s children’s children. Though we will not meet until we get to heaven, I wanted you to know that I had you in mind as I wrote every word of this book, and I continue to hold you in my heart. You will become the answer to my prayers and the fulfillment of my prophecies. By the time you read this book, I will be watching you from heaven (see Hebrews 12: 1).” This quotation above is the opening dedication to Kris Vallotton's upgraded book called Heavy Rain. Its former title was How Heaven Invades Earth. At the outset it sounds like a way to soften, or even spiritualize, the more militant sounding “invade” language in his book from six years ago. I believe this change is part of a new effort to say the same thing in a more sophisticated, and yet more palatable, way in order to attract a wider audience.
(54) Bill Johnson and Mike Bickle’s mutual admiration society by Holly Pivec, 1/1/17
Anyone who has studied the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) knows how difficult it is to pin down. One reason it’s so hard to pin down the NAR is because it’s a movement. It’s not a formal organization or denomination–with an official list of beliefs, leaders or organizations. So you can’t simply go to a website and find an exhaustive list of NAR churches and teachers. So how can you tell if a teacher is part of the NAR?
(55) Defrauding Millions: Bethel Church and Benny Hinn Together by Jeff Maples, 1/20/17
Benny Hinn has defrauded people for millions of dollars by luring people in with fake healings, false prophecies and promises of fortune through his false teachings. Bill Johnson and Bethel church clearly and unashamedly align themselves with this movement and have no problem exposing their followers to this fraud. Churches who continue to support this movement by purchasing music and paying royalties should be obliged to consider breaking all ties with them. Bethel Church and Benny Hinn are spiritual fornicators that feed poison to their followers. They have the appearance of godliness but deny its power (2 Tim 3:5). They target the young and undiscerning youth and through these tactics, they are defrauding millions.
(56) Bill Johnson, IHOP, and the ‘Passion Translation’ by Holly Pivec, 1/25/17
The New Apostolic Reformation‘s most influential leaders continue to quote from the “Passion Translation“–despite the fact that this translation is no translation at all. Rather it completely rewords Scripture, making it falsely appear that the Bible supports New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) teachings. Especially disturbing is the fact that well-known adult pastors and teachers–who should know better–are promoting this so-called translation among Christian youth.
(57) Has Bethel Church been Upgraded? by Rod Page, 2/13/17
Today and next week I’ll be discussing the teachings that have had a worldwide influence among Christians, especially among young adults. The teachings which are clearly contrary to Scripture are promoted by a church and school located in Redding, California. The church is Bethel, and its school is the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Joining me to talk about many of the problematic doctrines of Bethel is Rod Page. Rod is the pastor of Lewiston Community Church in Lewiston, California. Read Part 1 & Part 2.
(58) Letter to the Editor: Bethel’s Attempt to Make “Same Old” Teachings Sound More “Mainstream” by Concerned in California, 3/21/17
To Lighthouse Trails Editors: Bill Johnson of Bethel Church; Photo credit: Christianity Today | http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/may/cover-story-inside-popular-controversial-bethel-church.html
I wanted to write you about Bethel’s trend of trying to make their teachings sound more “mainstream” evangelical, even though their aberrant teachings are clearly not (as LT has pointed out over the past few years through booklets, blogs, etc.). Bethel has gotten more sophisticated with their lingo and presentation of some rehashed Latter Rain heresies and “revival” pep-speak, but the calculated supposed “upgrade” that has escalated in the past few years has been an attempt to repackage their same old “kingdom-now,” Christian dominionism,” 7 mountain mandate,” into more palatable, mainstream language. Why? Probably in an attempt to increase its already huge following (that continues to multiply over the Internet and worldwide: including its affiliated “Jesus Culture” band). Who are they targeting? Not just young people who may not be familiar enough with God’s Word to discern error and unbiblical teachings, but Bethel is also targeting the unsuspecting, struggling evangelical who may not be familiar with some of the charismatic lingo, and “signs and wonders” and who are being enticed by the “power” and “revival” that Bethel falsely promises at every turn . . . Here are several items with Pastor Rod Page (pastor of Lewiston Community Church, Lewiston, CA–20 miles from Bethel Church in Redding, CA), speaking about God’s Word, God’s heart, and God’s truth regarding those entangled, unaware that Bethel’s teachings (Kris Valloton, etc.,) are unbiblical and dangerous:
(59) Worship or Worshiptainment? by Howard Greene, 4/18/17
The countdown clock ticks away on the screen. The lights begin to dim and the crowd around you is energized as they all stand to their feet amid the laser lights, mood setting fog, and colorful swirling graphics on the walls. The music is a pounding force that begs your attention. As the singers belt out their anthem, they exhibit precise choreography as they move about on stage. The frontman or woman commands everyone to stand up and clap as the smiling backups are gesturing to the exited crowd to join in. People in the crowd are energized and focussed on the great stage production in front of them. The scenario I’ve just described is what you might expect at your local arena, amphitheater, or stadium. Unfortunately, this scenario is also played out in thousands of church sanctuaries every Sunday morning. When we gather as the body of Christ, are we gathering for worship or worshiptainment?
(60) Todd White's enthusiasm - a little truth and a lot of error by Mike Oppenheimer, 5/7/17
Within the first year and a half of his Christian walk he was directed by Jason Westerfeild to go to a conference with Bill Johnson and Randy Clark. He says it was called “Healing fusion,” but he first instead said it was “The Voice of Healing,” oops … that is what Gordon Lindsay's magazine was called. The Voice of Healing was about William Branham’s ministry, of whom Bill Johnson of Bethel church recommends. This slip up tells me a lot of what he is learning. So in this meeting Todd is in he describes himself as feeling very uncomfortable, sweating. Clark then points him out, as he is profusely antagonized with what most would consider palpitations and thinking he is having a heart attack and Clark says “you have been asking the lord for a baptism of fire haven’t you? And “boom” (his words) the Holy Spirit hits me and drops me between the seats and I’m screaming and think I’m gonna die…”its like I’m being electrocuted, it’s the scariest thing” “I’m sitting there shaking and Trembling.” Randy Clark says, “you won’t die - more Lord” (The fire of God will Cost you, its worth it -video). Todd thinks God answered the cry of his heart. And He wants other to have the same experience he had, that’s dangerous. Overwhelmed with bodily sensations of utter discomfort, feeling like they are physically dying is not of God. It does not matter if it is in Jesus' name. Now at this time I want to point out that what happened to Todd White is the same thing that happened to Todd Bentley at the 'Healing Explosion' conference with Bill Johnson. Read Part 1: Todd White's enthusiasm - a little truth and a lot of error and Part 2: A little Latter Rain or a lot?- Todd White's antics
(61) Hey Bill Johnson & Bethel Church, God Put Himself in a Box Called “Bible” by Anthony Wood, 6/14/17
Johnson’s fatal flaw is misinterpreting the Bible. This improper position on God’s Word paves the way for his mystical theology, ignoring the simple Gospel, burgeoning into a health and wellness style ministry, and culminating in a dangerously quirky worship practice of falling gold dust, oil, winds, clouds, fragrance, sugar sprinkles, small gems, and falling feathers. Johnson simply refers to this as “God coloring outside the lines.” Sadly, Johnson has missed that God provided the box and the lines of “special revelation” called Scripture, and if it were not for those lines there’d be no way of discerning God clearly. Moreover, the only way we can be certain of worshipping the true God is by staying within the very lines He gave!
(62) "Grave Soaking" Revisited (Video) by James Jacob Prasch, 6/26/17
Updated! (63) The problem with Bethel Redding’s Firestarters ‘prophetic activation’ class by Holly Pivec, 6/28/17
I recently returned from a trip to Redding, California, where I visited Bethel Church, led by popular NAR apostle Bill Johnson. Many things were taught during my visit there that troubled me. Especially troubling was the adult Sunday School class called Firestarters. Firestarters is a 12-week course described as “the fast-track to revival culture.” It was created by Kevin Dedmon, who teaches at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), and is a crash course for people who don’t have the time or money to attend BSSM’s full-time program. According to the Bethel website, students learn how to “burn with passion for God,” “experience His passion” for them, “walk in their God-given identity and purpose,” and “experience the power to heal the sick, prophesy, and live a victorious life.” Read Part 1 & Part 2.
(64) Getting wasted with the Holy Spirit at Bethel Redding by Holly Pivec, 7/12/17
When I recently attended the Firestarters adult Sunday School class at Bethel Church in Redding, California, I was shocked by the teacher’s announcement at the start of the class. “There are only three rules in this class. Rule 1: Get drunk. Rule 2: Stay drunk. Rule 3: Get other people drunk.” Those are not exactly words you expect to hear at a church. Yet the encouragement to ”get drunk” was a theme that ran through the entire two-hour class.
(65) Hillsong, Bethel Music and The Great Seduction by Emergent Watch, 7/22/17
For the first time, Hillsong United is uniting with Bethel (Redding’s) Music for a “Night of Worship” on July 21 @ the Redding Civic Auditorium. Note that by their participation, Hillsong is effectively declaring their affinity with Bethel Redding, it’s music, and by default, it’s doctrines. That these two groups should join together is hardly surprising, as both have been at the forefront of the transformation of church music – from the worship of God, to effectively worshiping “worship” music – From music that exalts God, into music that exalts an experiential “encounter” with “the presence”, and which magnifies feelings and emotions.
(66) Is The Bethel School Of Ministry Supernatural? With Rod Page, Part 1 at The Berean Call, 7/30/17
It is heartbreaking. I was reading to our congregation from Ephesians 4, where Paul says to the church, “Awake, O sleeper.” And, you know, there’s a reason why he wanted the church to awake. Because of danger! This is reading…I’m reading right now, from Kris Valloton’s eight core ideas about eschatology. Listen to what he teaches these young people: “I refuse to embrace any mindset that celebrates bad news as a sign of the times and a necessary requirement for the return of Jesus.” You know what? When you read prophetic teaching of the Lord Jesus, He said, “If you see these things, then you need to know and be prepared that I’m coming soon – that My coming is at the door.” And yet, we have a man teaching thousands of young people, and then, as you mentioned, this teaching goes out to the whole world that he won’t embrace any mindset that celebrates bad news as a sign of the times and a necessary requirement for the return of Jesus. Listen to Part 1 & Part 2.
(67) God’s indeed a good Father–how NAR leaders have twisted a biblical truth by Holly Pivic, 8/16/17
Christians would agree: God is good. But not every Christian would agree with what that means exactly. For instance, could God, as a good father, ever use a sickness, disease, or other type of suffering to teach his children a lesson? Most Christians would say yes, that God does sometimes work in the hearts of individuals through human suffering, painful though that truth may be. But many leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) insist that a good human father would never do such a thing and, therefore, neither would God. This teaching is promoted by the influential NAR apostle Bill Johnson, the senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, who has written a new book titled God is Good: He’s Better Than You Think.
(68) SOZO – Climbing Up Another Way – Is There A Spiritual Ladder to the Lap of “Father God”? by Mark Dinsmore, 8/23/17
History and Structure of Sozo - “SOZO” is a psycho-spiritual deliverance and inner healing methodology birthed out of Bethel Church in Redding, California. But though the Bethel Sozo website banner says, “[A] Ministry of Bethel Church,” the FAQ section disclaims, “The Sozo staff are independent contractors and are not Bethel Church Staff.” Apparently for legal reasons, no one wants to call this “counseling” or “therapy.” Rather, they simply call it “healing prayer” (and yet, they strongly recommend a suggested donation for receiving “prayer” for which recipients (“Sozoees”) must first sign a waiver.
(69) Victims of Bill Johnson’s SOZO Ministry speak out by Amy Spreeman, Berean Research, 9/5/17
Many churches are bringing a practice called SOZO into their ministry, at the peril of damaging the sheep and possibly shipwrecking their faith. SOZO Prayer is a technique based on psychology and used by so-called “inner healing ministries” sweeping churches today. This psycho-spiritual deliverance and inner healing methodology is designed to exorcise demons from Christians. Not that a Christian can be possessed by demons, but that is one of many apostate teachings from the New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR. (See, What your church needs to know about NAR.) This technique came out of Bethel Church, invented by NAR apostle Bill Johnson himself. The Bethel SOZO website says SOZO will heal your broken connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that you can walk in the destiny to which you have been called and reach your potential.
(70) The Unholy “Holy Ghost Fire” of Todd White and the NAR by Tony Baugh, 10/8/17
The Bible is clear that in the last days, just before Jesus returns, there will be false prophets, deceiving through false signs and lying wonders. There is no greater present-day evidence of this than the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation). The Ground Zero of the NAR is Bethel Church in Redding, California, with whom Todd White is strongly affiliated. White speaks at their conferences and is very tight with Bethel Church’s commander-in-chief and senior pastor, Bill Johnson, whose “School of Supernatural Ministry” offers courses on doing precisely what Todd White does, as well as “teach” people to be ordained as “Prophets” and “Apostles” (if you are willing to pay their hefty tuition). Upon completion of the courses, Bill Johnson himself “Knights” graduates. Bethel (and the NAR at large) inducts youth through the emotionalism of repetitive, hypnotic “worship” music, which has since morphed into the “Jesus Culture Movement,” a rapidly rising youth movement spreading the NAR agenda like wildfire across the globe. Some of the techniques used are: Getting kids “high” on the music, telling them it’s the Holy Ghost moving, running the kids in lines through “fire tunnels” during intermission, laying hands on them and imparting the Kundalini Serpent Spirit . . . where they often fall down, twitch, convulse, oftentimes as if burning in agony, all in the name of “Jesus,” calling it “Holy Ghost Fire,” yelling commands to the Holy Ghost such as, “MORE! MORE! MORE LORD!!! . . . DOUBLE IT!! DOUBLE IT!!”, etc.
(71) Should our church sing Bethel Music worship songs? at Spirit of Error, 10/11/17
A frequent question I hear has to do with the music being made by groups coming out of Bethel Redding and other churches that have New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) beliefs. The question is, is it OK to sing their songs as long as the lyrics don’t contain any error? By way of background, Bethel Music, a popular record label, is known for producing high quality music, and their songs are sung in churches across America on Sunday mornings–not just in NAR churches, but even in many mainstream evangelical and non-denominational churches. And the truth is that many of the people in these churches sing along, having no idea that these songs come from a leading church in an aberrant movement. I, myself, have sung along with songs in church or on the radio, only later to discover that those songs came from Bethel Music. Churchgoers who are aware of the songs’ origins sometimes feel conflicted singing along. And worship leaders face a dilemma of whether to include anything from Bethel Music in their weekly song selection. Recently, someone called Greg Koukl’s podcast and asked Greg this very question–about whether it’s OK to sing songs made by Bethel Music, as long as the lyrics contain no obvious error. I thought Greg’s answer was spot on, so I’m including a link to the podcast here. On the link, see Topic No. 5, “Should music from a doctrinally compromised source be judged on its own?” The question about Bethel Music, followed by Greg’s answer, starts at 00.51:57. I was also pleased to hear Greg refer his listeners to one of my co-authored books, God’s Super-Apostles, and this blog, especially since Greg’s podcast is one of my favorites.
(72) Buzzfeed’s eye-opening look inside the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry at Spirit of Error, 10/21/17
Last week Buzzfeed published an excellent, eye-opening article about the Bethel School of Supenatural Ministry — a school run by Bethel Church in Redding, California, probably the most influential church in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The article is titled “Meet the ‘Young Saints’ of Bethel Who Go to College to Perform Miracles,” written by Molly Hensley-Clancy. What it shows is deeply concerning.
(73) The Fruits of Bethel Church - Ashamed of the Gospel, Flirting with the Occult by Rick Becker, 11/19/17
The false doctrines of Bethel church are well documented. Word of faith heresy, prosperity gospel, dominion theology and mysticism are part and parcel of Bethel’s “gospel” Bill Johnson & co claim to be agents for heaven invading earth; however the only invasion they are facilitating is that of false teaching in the visible church. We examine the fruits of the Bethel School Of Supernatural Ministry based on an a testimony from a BSSM student which was published on the BSSM official school planting page.
(74) Getting wasted with the Holy Spirit at Bethel Redding by Holly Pives, 11/26/17
When I recently attended the Firestarters adult Sunday School class at Bethel Church in Redding, California, I was shocked by the teacher’s announcement at the start of the class. “There are only three rules in this class. Rule 1: Get drunk. Rule 2: Stay drunk. Rule 3: Get other people drunk.” Those are not exactly words you expect to hear at a church. Yet the encouragement to ”get drunk” was a theme that ran through the entire two-hour class. “Let’s get drunk. Let’s enjoy ourselves,” the teacher said. He also told the students, who were standing at the time, to hold out their hands in the air in front of their bodies to form the outline of imaginary, huge bottles of “heavenly wine,” then pretend to chug from them. Many of the students responded gleefully to the teacher’s directions. They acted as if they were actually drunk – laughing uncontrollably, staggering, and some even falling down. One middle-aged woman, at a table near mine, lay back in her chair, as if passed out, for much of the class.
(75) The ‘Christian’ Tarot card controversy at Bethel Redding by Holly Pivec, 12/17/17
There’s been controversy in recent days, after a few Christian sites–including Pulpit & Pen and ChurchWatchCentral–reported that people associated with Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., and others who are part of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) have been using “Christian” Tarot cards, called “Destiny Cards.” One couple, in particular, was identified as promoting the use of these cards–Ken and Jenny Hodge. The Hodges lead an Australian organization called Christalignment, which takes teams of undercover Christians to New Age festivals. These teams set up booths, that look like psychic booths, and seek to evangelize New Agers by offering Christianized versions of psychic services. Their services include “Destiny Card” readings, modeled after Tarot cards. The Hodges report that many former students from Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry have joined them in offering these card readings. In response to these reports, Kris Vallotton–a senior associate leader at Bethel Church and co-founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry–wrote a lengthy post on Facebook condemning the use of these cards and urging anyone using them to “repent.” He insinuated that the use of such cards by any Bethel graduates would be a misapplication of Bethel teachings. Sounds good, right? A prominent NAR leader condemns an unbiblical practice. Not so fast.
(76) Expose on Bethel Church (Video) by Tim Wirth, 2/28/17