Monday, February 15, 2010

Bethel Church in Redding, California: A typical charismaniac assembly

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; II Timothy 4:3

From January 16-19, 2010 the Redding Record Searchlight published several articles about Bethel Church, a charismaniac assembly in that California city. In addition to mention of the church's recent claimed growth, the usual (at least in modern charismaniac circles) signs and wonders, a glossary of Bethel terms, and a list of "evangelical" ministries that Bethel lists as friends, there was an article mentioning various miracles (including raising the dead) claimed on behalf of the church by Bethel’s senior pastor, Bill Johnson. However, it seems that Pastor Johnson has had difficulty in getting the "spiritual gifts" related to healing to apply to himself:

Bill Johnson, Bethel’s senior pastor, settled into a plush black couch in his office, his arm around an animal-print pillow. Before anything else, he wanted to talk about healing.

"We just had another brain tumor case of cancer healed," he said. "We have a lot of that kind of stuff happen. It’s verified by doctors, they do the tests and the cancer’s gone. We have a lot of that sort of thing--miracles."

Johnson, who himself required hernia surgery last year and wears prescription glasses, teaches that the supernatural miracles that happened in Biblical times still happen today if people just value God's presence and open themselves up to receiving it.

"Because we have such value for his presence with us, things just happen," he said.

Johnson said that healings happen all the time and he doesn't feel he needs to provide any documentation or hard evidence to inquiring minds. He also said he doesn't check up on people who come to Bethel for healing - he doesn't have the time.

"If you're sitting here and you say, 'I've been deaf in my left ear since childbirth,' and I pray for you and then I have you close your right ear and I whisper 10 feet away and you can hear me, I don't feel like I need to get a doctor's report," he said. "I'm happy you're happy you can hear. That's enough for me."

Though he had people praying for his hernia to heal early in 2009, the condition still required surgery and Johnson said that was OK because God can use doctors as well as he can use Bethel's healing teams, though both are necessary.

Our Lord put it best in Luke 4:23:
And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself...
I'm not going to mention that Pastor Johnson talks out of both sides of his mouth when he says that the healings are verified by doctors, but then refuses to provide any evidence.

Christian Educational and Resource Ministries offers Biblical critiques of false teachers, including Bill Johnson. Heralding Truth is another site containing Biblical analyses of Bethel’s unscriptural doctrines and practices.

October 23, 2010 update: The Redding Record Searchlight for October 21, 2010 published an article about an incident in 2008 when a couple of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry students were out drinking and encountered an acquaintance who was drunk. The acquaintance fell--or was pushed--off a cliff and fell 200 feet onto the rocks below. The Bethel students thought the man was dead and tried to pray him back to life. Apparently afraid of getting into trouble for violating the school's rules on drinking, they then pulled the old Ted Kennedy Chappaquiddick trick and debated for hours whether they should report the incident to police. The injured man survived the fall, and is now a paraplegic. He's suing the students, and accusing them of not immediately summoning assistance. If the behaviour of these students is any indication of the godly behaviour produced by Bethel, then it's a devastating indictment of the place.

HT: m'kayla's korner

74 comments:

  1. Hi.
    Having come out of the healing room ministry of Cal Pierce (IAHR) who is pals with Johnson, I do have information on my blog about this so called ministry and their teachings.

    Anyone researching word of faith/health/prosperity teachings of Ken Hagin, Ken Copeland, etc. will find the same teachings in Bethel and Internation Assoc of Healing Rooms. They aren't doing anything new, just continuing on with the same heresy.

    I do see a little more push for and emphasis on the supernatural experiences than some of the older teachers of 30 or 50 years ago. But clearly they are continuing on with experienced based theology rather than bible based theology. Since everyone is encouraged to seek God in such a way, all kinds of things are attributed to Him and His ways. Discernment is no longer the order of the day. If you have a vision or dream then you are hearing from God. A very dangerous ground to stand on.

    I know of other good sites that dispel the teachings. If you are interested, give me a holler thru the e-mail.

    Blessings. Keep up the good work. You have a great blog - very classy - with some valuable information and feeds.

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  2. Hi

    i am an Australian christian who attends a small pentecostal church in a large city. i grew up in a Baptist church & have known Jesus since age ten, I am now 55. After receiving the Holy Spirit on the beach, (at age 26), one morning while meditating in Acts about the day of pentecost, my life took on deeper relationship with Father, as did my family.

    I was surprised to come across your web site by accident, although I would like to add a comment:-

    Recently, while visiting family in Sth Africa, I stayed at a B & B while awaiting to fly home from Johannesburg. I was very delighted to meet a young group of people who had been travelling in STh AFrica also, apparently from Bethel church in Redding. Yes they did give me Bill's book on dreaming with God, however I did not understand it to say that every dream or vision is of God. I found it to say seek His Face & presence....., yet I admit that I do believe that the gifts, as spoken of in Corinthians, are for all believers now, although is not imperative to their salvation.

    This book encouraged me to seek Him further, especially regarding Father's presence in my life. My life took another deeper level in knowing Him & His ways, let alone opening up the scriptures more & more, through guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    I have been taught since an early age, to be as the Bereans, and look to the original text to establish the english real meaning, plus make sure I knew what I believed & why I believed it. No person is infallible, and we must all be accountable before our Father.

    Since seeking His presence through worship & quiet times, my life in all areas has radically changed........I am experiencing a much deeper relationship with the "lover of my soul", and hearing Him so much clearer & amazed at what the Holy Spirit is showing me through scripture, pictures & words. He is also teaching me more about discernment..........as this is just one of His wonderful gifts He longs to give us.

    In regard to "healing" any area of our lives, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, that is truly His department! Although clearly the bible says it can happen. I myself have had two physical healings in the past 12 years, which are documented, as medical science could do nothing for me.

    If you are requiring documentation, I am sure if you approached the Johnson's, they could obtain some. Thomas who doubted Jesus, went to the "source" & Jesus lovingly, without condemnation showed him, & Thomas believed.

    If you look at church history, it is full of "splits", with new directions,could it be as the cloud moved on? I believe we must keep our focus on God not on man, for clearly, is He not the good Father who will give more than a stone for His hungry children?

    In regard to the supernatural, the old testament & new both refer to it, especially towards the end of time. Is not being born again a miracle, or supernatural in itself, or do you not, as the pharisees believe & understand?

    I agree that a lot teaching out there is heresy,that also is talked about in the bible. Yet please do not throw the "baby out with the water", when you do not agree with somone's teaching, especially when they show so much fruit. God will never be in a box, as His ways are not ours, He is Love and His loving kindness goes on forever.

    I do not mind if you would like to discuss further.

    May He bless you & keep you, always may His Face shine upon you & give you peace!

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    1. I really appreciate what you have written as to your own personal experience and growth in Christ.

      Everything we have experienced with Bill's teaching is bible based. He has you seeking God not Bill. He doesn't have followers in the sense of a cult and certainly doesn't ask you for all your money as suggested above.

      I applaud all that you have written of what you have experienced personally. We are experiencing this also. Bill just teaches you to encounter a deeper level of knowing God, how to worship God and know his presence. He is a very humble man and never ever does he have people worship him. If this is what some are doing then they are just superfical with their relationship with God. You find these kind of people in any church congregation.

      So I wish people would stop bashing Bill Johnson and his ministry because it's changing lives which is impacting our nation in a positive way.

      Be blessed Bill Johnson as you are obedient to the Spirit of God that has called you to speak truth from the heart of God. May the holy spirit open eyes and hearts to the truth spoken from his Word.

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    2. Hi Susarne,

      Thanks so much for your post! I too am an Australian Christian and I have recently started reading a few Bill Johnson books and listening to a few of his sermons and I have found them to be great. They have only encouraged me to seek God with all my heart and to grow in a more intimate relationship with Him, along with encouraging me to live a life of great boldness in my faith! I read his books with my Bible next to me so I can reference everything back to scripture and so far (3 of his books) I have never found anything that contradicts scripture.
      But recently when doing some researcch on the interent I came across a heap of criticism of his ministry and teachings and have been greatly confused as to why this is. And even despite my own reflection and prayer on everything of his that I have read and listened to, I had been beginning to doubt whether I should be following His teachings purely due to the large amount of people out there who just bash him to pieces as a false teacher.

      But it is so good to hear someone else who agrees with me on Bill! Thanks very much

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  3. Honestly, as a student of the Word myself, I'm not sure how you can say what you did without judging them. I came across this youtube link, showing a documented miracle.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw-0wR87okY

    If we only spent as much time loving people as we did talking poorly about our brothers and sisters, we might change the world.

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    1. Amen to that.

      The main PURPOSE JESUS came to the earth in flesh, and died on the CROSS, was because of LOVE.

      Let us not forget this.

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    2. World peace is impossible because religious fanatics will never stop forcing their opinions onto nonbelievers.. although I don't believe myself, I'de never presume I'm right by saying things like, 'God doesn't exist...' just accept, I have my opinion, you have yours, people based in the same religion still argue amongst themselves, it has nothing to do with what jesus died for

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    3. Jesus loves you

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  4. Since Jesus Christ Himself said "I am the Lord, I change not.", and the scripture says "He wnt about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the devil", I find it hard to understand why you have a problem believing that God's heart is the same today, and that He is still doing healings, miracles, and delivering the opopressed today, through His Holy Servant Jesus Christ. I fear you may have been taken captive to the religious system and spirit that always opposes the work of The true Holy Spirit on the earth, and seeks to discredit what God desires to do, just as the Pharasees persecuted Jesus Himself. Jesus said in Chapter 17 of the gospel of John,, "Father, I have given them the Glory that You have given Me, that they may be one, just as We are one." He also prayed "I do knot pray for these alone, (origional diciples), but for those who will believe in Me through their word." (vs 20.) In chapter 16 vs. 17 of Marks gospe, Jesus said " These signs will follow those who believe. In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues,...... they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover." Pretty plain, right from the mouth of our Lord, don't you think?

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  5. Anonymous: Signs followed the apostles to verify that they were people who were sent by God; the canon of Scripture had yet to be completed. The canon has since been completed, and we now have the complete message of God, which requires no further verification.

    As for approval of comments, I agree with Ingrid Schlueter--commenting is a privilege, not a right. As the blogger, I have the right to approve or reject comments. I've found that it's easier to approve comments beforehand than to go in later and delete comments that are inappropriate and'or irrelevant. The comment posted above will likely be the last one from you that I publish. If you don't like it, you're free to start your own blog.

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    1. Where does it say in scripture that the apostles needed verifying by signs. They were hand picked by Jesus. Following your reasoning, wouldn't we need signs to verify our credentials. I believe scripture indicates that God's power is available to all believers who ask for it. Acts 2:38

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    2. Spiritually raised in a sesationist denomination, I was taught the same thing about the canonization of the scriptures too. They gave me the Gospel and my life was changed. Never doubted the other teaching I received until challenged by the Berians. Never quite got how they got all that about the cannon but I now believe that passage is referring to the “completion” of Christ’s work through the Church. I cried out for more of God and He filled me with His Spirit and ever since I have seen the spiritual gifts moving for the good of the Body of Christ as well as it’s ministry to the world we are trying to reach.

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    3. Jack,
      I want to thank you for being willing to publish people's posts that disagree with your stance. While I too line up with many of the ones who believe that the scriptural evidence is that the gifts are for today. I really wanted to just post to say "way to go!" On being willing to post things that don't line up with your views. I really appreciate that. Thank you, Ruben Reyes

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    4. "Signs followed the apostles to verify that they were people who were sent by God; the canon of Scripture had yet to be completed. The canon has since been completed, and we now have the complete message of God, which requires no further verification."

      Scripture is a testimony to the person Jesus Christ; who is superior, above and non-contrary to the Scripture. Further word study of 1 Corinthians 13:10 will make clear that the hermeneutic is not Paul refuting miraculous events; but rather the return of Christ; not canon.

      I'm a Reformed theology charismatic believer.

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  6. Being a 21 year old Christian, I think we should go back to God as children. When you get confused or offended about something, ask the father. Tragically, so many of us want to point fingers and all that. Don't do that. Allow grace for those you disagree with and pray for humility for yourself when sharing your views. Think of yourself as lower than those you are disagreeing with, specially in the body. :DDD

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  7. Just like gravity you could say you didn't believe in it but it wouldn't change the fact that gravity exists. Many miracles have been documents medically at Bethel. Of course there will always be people who are fakers and exaggerate just for attention or get caught up in the moment. but even if only 1/2 were true that's pretty good odds. No one can argue with your personal testimony if someone claims a healing and their life changes, then why do you want to argue with that? If for example you hear that someone is giving away free $100 bills and you believe and go get one then you are blessed. If you don't act on it you just miss out and that's o.k. but you're never gonna convince me that that its not true if i received one. (:

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  8. I'm not going to waste much time arguing with people whose views are based on experience rather than on what the word of God says, except to point out that the existence of the supernatural or miraculous doesn't necessarily mean that the work is of God. See, for example, Exodus 7:8-12; Matthew 7:21-23; II Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 13:3-4; 11-15

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    1. I mean this in love- and I hope it's taken in that context as one brother saved by grace to another. In taking the body of evidence as a whole in regard to what OUR FATHER is achieving on the earth, I see that "Experience" (also known as a relationship) IS exactly what we are to pursue/achieve as Sons/Daughters of God by faith. Abraham the Patriarch had no writings to follow - only his experience/relationship with God. It's always been mankind (created of flesh and subject to corruptibility) who needs to perceive it with his fleshly eyes to believe or to have commandments/rules to follow or to have a man Judge/King other than God. One way for the "experience" the Apostles had with Jesus to persevere was thru writings. The word also says that if everything (signs, wonders, ministrations) that Jesus did were "written" there would not be enough books to contain it all. So surely there are other things we have no written record of that the Lord has done and will continue to do - these might be classified as "greater things". Humbly, your brother in Christ Jesus.

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  9. Hello, Mr. Murrow:

    I just wanted to post a few thoughts on this topic. First, I would say that the scriptures say to test the spirits - we are not supposed to take everything at face value. The Lord has given us the ability to discern between His works and the works of the enemy. That being said, when I was first introduced to the ministry of Bethel Church, I admit that I had some skepticism. But after listening to a few sermons, it has appeared to me that they are driven by biblically sound foundations. I don't live in Redding, so I cannot be certain, but I know that I would have had more concerns about their teachings had their sermons not been driven by scripture. It appears that they tend to test their experiences against scripture and see if the two align. Each has weight, but when there is a conflict, scripture wins out. I'm a little confused, however about your thoughts on supernatural works (signs and wonders) leaving once the canon was completed. You place a lot of emphasis on scriptural backing, and it seems that, if anything, the scriptures would support miracles continuing to happen after the canonization was complete. I don't know of any scriptural evidence that would support the stopping of the supernatural works performed through Jesus' disciples by the Holy Spirit in response to the canon being finished. Usually, in the gospels, Jesus is moved to heal people, not to prove that He is from God, but He heals out of compassion for the person in question. Similarly, He says that the way the world will know that we are His disciple will be by the way we love one another. Jesus is the fulfillment of Moses and the Prophets, and as Luke 16 says, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." So, if the people in the new testament encountered nonbelievers, and they told them about Moses and the Prophets, and they didn't believe, scripture tells us that even so much as raising one from the dead would do very little for their level of belief. I think Mr. Johnson doesn't worry about justifying specific healings to the public for a similar reason. If someone doesn't believe that healing is possible, then even the most dramatic healing will not be the thing that changes their minds. People change from the inside out, not the outside in. The thing that would change minds in the early church as well as now, would be the power of God moving through a person-that is, individuals being introduced to Jesus. I am interested in hearing your thoughts --thanks.

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  10. It would be very helpful to your readers and would give substance to your point if you would share with us the scriptures that you have found to support your statement, "Signs followed the apostles to verify that they were people who were sent by God; the canon of Scripture had yet to be completed. The canon has since been completed, and we now have the complete message of God, which requires no further verification."
    Looking forward to your reply.

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  11. theskolnick - it's interesting that you and I had the exact opposite reaction when first introduced to the ministry at Bethel. I began listening to their online sermons (recommended by a family member) and at first thought, surely they must be joking - or maybe having a bad month. But as I continued listening I became more and more sickened by the teaching that they put forth. Sure, they give lip-service to the Gospel, but the heart of their teaching is rooted in their own man-centered and worldly "wisdom". They pervert the Word of God to their own agenda and that is where the mark of discernment must be made. Unfortunately, those who have placed themselves under the influence of false teaching are under the judgement of God - spiritual blindness is the result of idolatry.

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  12. I've heard of Bethel Church through a book by one of its pastors, Kevin Dedman, called UNLOCKING HEAVEN---a must read.
    Let us not be Pharisees
    who are so taken in by the letter of the Word, that we totally miss God Himself, Jesus Christ, stil out there doing miracles
    of healing and the supernatural.
    May God forgive our hard hearts,
    fill us with is Holy Spirit and
    open the eyes of our understanding
    so that we can see Jesus
    still doing what He delights in doing
    in this world.
    He is the same, yesterday, today
    & forever.
    Praised be the King eternal and full of glory!

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  13. Jesus said that we would do greater things than He did because He was going to the Father. Notice He said that WE would do the greater things, greater things than Jesus did. Jesus did some pretty amazing stuff, but through the power of the Holy Spirit we can and will do even greater. There is a very easy way to judge what is from God and what is not:
    If the fruit of the miraculous acts brings good to a person and glory to God, then the work is from God. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, THEREFORE, we know that Satan will not heal someone of a disease, break the spirit of poverty, heal a relationship, etc. Please do not hinder the true gospel of Jesus by casting doubt on the very obvious fruit of the Holy Spirit.

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  14. The argument that miracles ceased with the closing of the Canon of scripture must be an argument from experience rather than from scripture as there are no passages that back it up - unless one takes the lines in Corinthians about when perfection comes totally out of context.
    The idea that the signs were just meant to validate the apostles (or Jesus) is plainly contrary to the teaching of scripture. The bible clearly teaches that Jesus performed miracles because he was moved by compassion, and sometimes he warned the person that he healed not to tell anyone (which wouldn't make the miracle much of a sign!)

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  15. Sandy I agree with what you said
    bethel is a man made doctrine that hides its self by using the supernatural. we have to remember that supernatural can also be demonic and perverted just like the whole abundance preaching that took the churches and perverted too. As Christian we do not have to be chasing down any kind of sign,wonder,& miracles and go around self titling our selves revivalist and trying to control the Holy Spirit like they do. were suppose to humble ourselves before the lord and offer our sacrifice with love.

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  16. I feel that I should point out here than I don't think anyone here is arguing that God does not intervene supernaturally. We are simply stating that Bill Johnson is a false teacher and is followed by false signs and wonders. This doesn't mean that the signs and wonders didn't necessarly happen - physically or otherwise; doesn't mean that people aren't "blessed" to receive them; it's just that they aren't from God. Annonymous, you may want to read through scripture again and note that we are particularly warned of these things in the last days, when Satan himself will appear as an angel of light, and many false teachers will go about performing great works of power, signs and wonders. He's called the "great deceiver" for a reason - he's really good at it! Perhaps you didn't know that healings, signs, and wonders are also commonplace among Hindu priests and new age shamen?


    So how do we know whether something is of the true God or not? The first and primary test is to test and see if the teaching/preaching is in accordance with scripture. And I don't mean "spot checking" scriptures here and to lend "support" to an idea, but making sure that the verses referenced are actually taught in accordance with the WHOLE counsel of God's word. Bill Johnson and the other pastors at Bethel do not in any way hold up to this test. Not by a long shot. They are masters at scriptural manipulation and perversion. Why? Because miracles, signs and wonders, power, glory, and what they call "annointing" have become their idols. And what better way for Satan to build his end-times-anti-christ-following congregation than to attract them to Bethel and other like-minded churches with a show of the miraculous? It's Satan's favorite place on a Sunday morning.


    As an excercise, I'd encourage ya'll to read Romans through Jude, 4 or 5 times straight through. It's not that long. Really read it carefully. Understand that when the Holy Spirit, through the apostles, admonish to guard our hearts and hold fast to sound doctrine, he's talking to US! He knows how easily our hearts go astray and chase after idols.

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  17. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 sums up pretty clearly what is going on at Bethel Church in Redding, CA:

    9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish ; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved . 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

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  18. I totally agree with Sursane. There is a lot of attacks done by so-called christians nowadays to fellow brothers. I dont like it a bit. Arguing like this won't build the body of Christ but brings it down. I don't consider it as righteousness from God but work of the devil--because he is known as the accuser of the brethren. Will you follow his bidding if you are a true berean?

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  19. To all the Bethelites out there-- go to http://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/new-from-crosswise-bill-johnson’s-‘born-again’-jesus-part-i/ for an excellent examination of what Mr. Johnson teaches about the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who teaches these things is proclaiming another Jesus, and is therefore not a Christian.

    Apparently the apostle Paul was doing the work of the devil, according to the commenter just above me; he accused the Judaizers in Galatia of preaching another gospel (Galatians 1:7) and said that he wished they would castrate themselves (Galatians 5:12). He also said that false teachers must be silenced (Titus 1:11). The beloved apostle John warned that there were many anthichrists (I John 2:18-23), and he warned against welcoming those who didn't bring the true teaching of Christ, and that those who did welcome them shared in their evil deeds (II John 9-11). Please keep in mind that the false teachers that the apostles warned against were within the professing church, all claiming to be true Christians (see I John 2:19, for example). When I criticize teachers such as Bill Johnson, I am in fact being a Berean.

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  20. May God bring you to a place in your life where you have no choice but to cry out for a miracle.

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  21. Sandy and friends, be ashamed of yourselves. The Word says, "who are you to judge another's servant?" The wheat and the Tars will grow up together and the Lord will separate them at harvest time.

    At any rate, why don't you worry about the plank in your own eye's before trying to remove the spec in your brothers eye? You people are exactly the reason the world is turned off by the church...including yours! This constant squable of non-sense judging substantiated by your own religious pride and limited understanding of scripture.

    If you're this convinced he's a false teacher perhaps you should interceed on his behalf that God would convict his heart rather than bashing him on a public blog trying to discredit a member of the body of Christ.

    You people disgust me!

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  22. This isn't a squabble of nonsense, this is your fellow believers seeking truth. Why wouldn't Johnson give account for his church? Should our faith not be tested? The Word which you seem to know very well says we are to challenge one another, as iron sharpens iron. This is a legitimate argument. You are a coward anonymous, you aren't even willing to give your name. But You are telling your brothers and sisters that they should look at the plank in their own eye, as you tell them that you are disgusted with them. Perhaps you should check your doctrine. Doubt is healthy, if there were no doubt there would be not faith. Do not condemn you brethren for doing their homework.

    I intend to check this out for myself... I want to know what the real deal behind Bethel Church is.

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  23. Sorcha, if giving my first name only such as you have lends to my lack of cowardness than by all means you shall have it. It's Shawn. Not sure how that's more relavent to you than anonymous but there you go. As for iron sharpening iron, if you're so brave as you suggest I'm not then go sharpen iron with your reproof. Meet with, write a letter or otherwise address this issue you have WITH Mr. Johnson. If he won't hear you, take a brother with you and so forth. Ripping him a new one on a public forum is in no way what scripture inteneded by that verse. Read your Bible. And for your information, doubt is an enemy of faith not the cause of it. You aren't doing homework. You're tearing at the body of Christ. I'm not suggesting that everything or anything should be taken for granted in regards to what any church speaks but this is the wrong way to handle your grievence.

    They will know us by our love...ring any bells for you? This is not love or reproof, this is an attack of your brother in the full view of non-believers.

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  24. Sherry the ProphetessOctober 18, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    Jesus Christ, Father God and the precious Holy Spirit that lives inside each TRUE born again believer, is the same yesterday, today and forever! Jesus came to demonstrate the Kingdom of Heaven to the people and Their very nature is to heal us from ALL sickness and disease! He not only died so we can enter Their Kingdom, He died to set us free from all sickness and disease! Father's will is that we have heaven on earth and WALK IN IT! If it is not from heaven and you cannot imagine it in heaven, it is not from the Kingdom! Father demonstrated all throughout the bible history that He performed miracles!!!!! Jesus came to perform miracles, signs, and wonders!!!! This is THE VERY NATURE OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVE and how They operate as the TRINITY!!!!!! We are Jesus bride and He loves us so much! He came to show us what His Father's Kingdom is and WE ARE ALL ONE!!! Jesus said that we will be able to do greater things than He did through the power of the Holy Spirit that we receive when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit and truly born-again! I have written anointed pieces in the last two years along with a prayer that will help you immensely, if you read it daily! If you are interested in receiving it, please send me your email requesting the free inspiration! Sherry the Prophetess

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  25. Fellow lovers of the Lord and His Word,
    You who are baptized by water and fire and fervently seeking the full manifestation of all our Father has to offer His children, please make every effort to not only stay clear of inhibiting the flow of the gifts of the Spirit, but also of His agape for the body of Christ, as well as your duty in helping spread both throughout the Church. White sepulchres and lukewarm church attendees do not please God...when will this be finally understood and appreciated?
    There is no better witness than an eyewitness, so when in doubt, rise from your easy chair and personally visit and witness and discern. And even as an eyewitness, be objective, not bringing your prejudices in tow. The Pharisees were eyewitnesses, but elected to listen to the opinion of the adversary rather than the Rhema and the Logos, and thereby properly discern. Truth will remain standing when all lies have fallen to the wayside. Unfounded criticism is judgment, and compels brothers and sisters to seek forgiveness...rush to it before the Son sets.
    Since I am as yet to visit my brothers and sisters at Bethel, I have no personal testimony. All I have to offer is the change I am witnessing in my wife and adult daughter, who both did visit several months ago. My wife has surpassed me in the depth of her spirituality while continuing to stay in the Logos, and my daughter has transcended from a chronic deep post-partum depression that was dragging down her family, into a wonderfully vibrant lover of God and His Word, who constantly reads, prays, praises, soaks, studies and reaches out to help others in spiritual need, concurrently leading her family, including 2 daughters and a skeptical husband, into a model of nuclear family unity, love of the Lord and joint seeking of what else He has to offer them. They have passed from "anonymous" within their local congregation into an admired devotional family and young leaders. Even their 2 daughters (both <5 years old) are well ahead of the other kids in how they live and what they profess...none of this by them, but by their yielding to allow the Spirit of Christ to now run their lives.
    Because of what I am witnessing in them, I will visit Bethel soon, God willing. My entire Christian life, since birth, has been lived in seeking God's face predominantly through the Logos, and skeptical of anything else (the same mistake the Israelites made). Despite all the knowledge, understanding and wisdom my Father has blessed me with, my ministry has remained too connected to worldly life, stymied by my devotion to man-made traditions and doctrine, believing I was more intelligent in the things of God for it...God is not impressed...however, the adversary is. Be careful, very careful if the world loves you.
    DoC BiC

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  26. Respectfully, regarding the statement from Brother Morrow: "The canon has since been completed, and we now have the complete message of God", I humbly refer Brother Jack to John 21:25.
    In God's love,
    Doc Bic.

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  27. Dear Shawn (Anonymous),
    I do pray. I weep for my friends who willingly practice the occult, believing all the while that they are experiencing true spirituality. I pray for the pastors and teachers at Bethel. Do you really believe that Mr. Johnson hasn't been approached and counseled many, many times? By letter, email, phone, and in person (in the old days when those things were possible)? It's pretty clear now, after so many years that he is determined to pursue his idolatry and he has been left to his own wickedness according to the judgment of God (Romans 1:18-24).

    Our warnings come for those who follow after him; who may be influenced to take a closer look. We pray that they will be led to an understanding of the true Gospel.

    If you pay close attention to the ministry of Jesus and the apostles, it focused greatly on making clear the distinction between the sheep and the goats - those who followed the true gospel, and those who were false teachers among the people. And they warned continually to hold fast to the doctrine that was taught.

    DoC, I encourage you to read through the entire O.T. and N.T. and write down the passages that refer to scripture. It might surprise you to learn what scripture has to say about scripture.

    We must be sure that we do not judge spiritual teaching according to our personal experience, but rather judge our experience according to the Word of God.

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  28. 38John said to him, “Teacher, we saw Bill Johnson casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39But Jesus said, “Do not stop Bill, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40For Bill is not against us but for us. 41For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

    I feel sad for you Berean guys. I have been down your road. You can not say that because you think showman priest does miracles, miracles are wrong.

    "You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!"

    You err in that you do not trust the Father. You are blind and can not discern who loves you and who doesn't. I tell you I love you Bill loves you, he loves God with his whole heart, and he loves People, people that Jesus died for. When you take out you spiritual checklist, and Bill doesn't make the grade, I ask you where's the love for your brother.

    Jesus promised seek and you will find, do all find, do all seek, is God willing that none should perish. We are on the same team. Pray therefore that the Lord of the Harvest sends more laborers.
    Are there faults at Bills church??? There are faults in Christs church which is why we all need His righteousness.

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  29. I am shocked with how many people just flat out don't believe in the supernatural or I guess I should say afraid of the supernatural. Its fear that paralyzes us and prevents us from moving forward in a very powerful God. I too have been very skeptical as my dad taught me to be, however that also prevented me from discerning things on my own with the help of the Holy Spirit obviously. I have heard plenty of stories out of Redding and what they are doing and the results they are getting are amazing. Sometimes there are people who get CONFUSED and MISUSE these gifts and stop thinking rationally, this is where they will get in trouble. I think Pastor Bill Johnson's response was great obviously he knew that you wouldn't believe what God was doing and that you wouldn't believe even if he showed you evidence. After Jesus healed the many that he did in His ministry did he request a doctors report stating the so and so was healed, nor did the disciples. The evidence is the fruit, Bethel is bearing good fruit. If there is any bad fruit then they need to deal with it the way the Bible says. I have to say that God has not changed and Jesus said that we would do even greater things after he ascended. God STILL uses prophets to speak to his people as well as the BIBLE of course, God STILL heals people, does this mean that EVERYONE who gets prayed for gets healed? No. How many people were sitting in the temple courts begging that were cripple, blind, deaf, mute, lepers or what have you, were asking God to heal them everyday while sitting there right outside of the temple and didnt get healed? What happened? Why did they not get healed? I believe it wasnt until Jesus came and showed us his authority over all things were we able to move freely in healing. His power was handed to us when he ascended and we accepted him as our savior. Sometimes God will not heal people because he wants to build our faith, if we got what we asked for all the time we would be spoiled brats that had no real faith.

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  30. My prayers go out to whoever wrote this article... I pray you are consumed in the Love of God. also realizing that you don't have to agree in order to love others. The fact is though, that God's Will is taking place there at Bethel Church. The blind are seeing, the sick are being healed. God is being exhalted, and people are coming to know Him. Bethel Church would also agree with the MAJOR importance of the Bible.... How it came from God, directly inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it was a precious gift to us. Some people say that all the answers are in the Bible... But what many don't realize, and Bill and Kris do realize, is that the Bible directly points you to you author for answers. Some religions develope an attachment to bible pages.... Bethel developes a relationship with the author, and living by the scriptures for guidance along with the very voice of God.

    Blessings to you dear child of God.

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  31. Hi there!

    Soon we all will be ONE BEAUTIFUL BRIDE ready to attend our wedding and finally marry our Lord Jesus. This is what the Lord wants, from the beginning. Unity in Christ Jesus, regardless of our differences. The only thing we all should be focusing on, is JESUS... Honoring all people, whether believers, non-believers... loving our brothers and sisters... Does not God love us all too? Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, witches, etc? If we don't unify ourselves, how can we help God reach His children? He is crying out for Jerusalem! The day we ALL (the bride) accomplish His perfect LOVE and PURITY, is the day we will fully meet the LORD in all His Majesty. Seek His Kingdom, ask Him for wisdom and discernment... do not try to REASON what God is doing, because He is UNREASONABLE. Fully yield yourself to Him who will show you the deepest secrets of Heaven. Let the Holy Spirit consume you from the inside out, and completely reveal to you the Truth, or Him who is TRUTH. The very person of Jesus, Holy Savior of the world. We are not pro-men, we are pro-God... Let's not focus our eyes on men but on God. Scriptures do nothing else but to back up the work of the Holy Spirit. Can a fig tree produce olive? or a grapevine bear figs? Let's see: What is the fruit of Bethel? Do they give all the Glory to God-Jesus when a miracle happens? Are they performing miracles to attract people to their Church or to God? Are non-believers coming to Jesus (not Bethel) through the church (it's people, we carry the church in us)? Are the oppressed being set free? Do they encourage people to dwell in the Scriptures? Do they worship Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit?
    Even if you may find fault on a man, remember that all of this is not about a man, but about the very person of Jesus. Who is ALWAYS compassionate and forgiving.
    Man may stumble, but God never does. Jesus is The Truth. Seek Him first. Seek His very tangible presence, and let His love wrap you and burst inside of you... It's an experience that will never leave you alone, and you will be so crazy in love with Him that your Love for His children you will not be able to contain. The product of His Love is your compassion for them, forgiveness of all wrongdoing, and the inner out-of-control desire to bring them to Him. What better way to bring them to Him then through Him? Jesus is power, His name is power, His Spirit (which we now have) is power. Signs and wonders are the product of Jesus love for His children, His Bride, and nothing else. There is no devil, no witch-craft... there is only 24K LOVE, the purest of ALL. How can this UNCONDITIONAL LOVE come from the Devil?
    Many people love, but true LOVE is the one that can love the unloveable and respect and Honor God's people.

    Lots of Heavenly Hugs and Kisses to you ALL...
    All the Glory always be given to the little innocent Lamb of God...

    James 3:17-18 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."

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  32. If you are a member of the christian church, do you think it is neccessary to talk down upon other members of the church? If their doctrine is not parallel with scripture, then it is our job as brothers and sister of Christ to confront them ourselves. If you do not agree with their ministry and refuse to take the biblical steps in order to glorify God, I do not think you're in liberty to call this church a cult on a website. What does this look like to non-believers, other than disorder? The Lord is the only rightful judge. We can bash this church all day, but I believe this is sinful in nature. Are people being saved? Are people growing closer to the Lord? Is Jesus being glorified at this church? What about these comments and this blog? Are they protecting the name of Jesus, or being used to bring war?

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  33. I’m in total agreement with this previous commenter’s and others about judging other’s ministries of the church labeling them as cults. You seem well versed in Gods word, so I’m sure you know Gods word of leaving judgment to him, And to teardown your brothers (in Christ) and what will ultimately happen to those who do.

    My option about why God has not “healed” Bill Johnson is, I have no opinion or judgment about it. This is strictly between Johnson and God. So, if God were to reveal to me why, I would feel lead to discuss this directly with Bill Johnson in a biblical manner for his spiritual benefit, not blog about it to promote judgment, strife, and doubt of what God can/could do.

    I’ve had a personal experience with wanting and demanding *sigh* a miracle from God for 4 years. Early on during this ordeal God revealed to a person (through prayer) in my church, who then in private explained to me why there has not been and for some time will be no instant miracle. Only after it was over would that word make perfect scene to me. It served has a powerful personal testimony that I could share with others to uplift God, inspire, and spread hope.

    As with Job, God does/doesn’t do thing that he only understands the full meanings of. Until this is revealed to us, we have to go on something call (wait for it…) FAITH, not judgment of others or judgment of God. I’m sure you feel you are just uncovering darkness, but really pray unselfishly for God’s will to be reflected in you actions about this subject and then do what you have been lead to do. Thanks for reading.

    “…Go and preach the gospel, and when necessary use words.”

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  34. No more comments will be published on this item unless the commenter has something interesting and original to say. The only reason I’ve allowed the last few comments to be published is to show the anti-Berean attitude of Bethelites (of course, since the comments are almost all anonymous, it might be just one person saying the same thing over and over again). I never said that Bethel was a cult, although some of the comments I’ve received are giving me that impression of Bethel. Public teaching is not a private matter, and anyone who teaches that Jesus was born again is not a brother in Christ, but is a false teacher who should be exposed as such.

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  35. Hey everyone!

    Im not going to say that I support either position because I have never visited Bethel church. But I have listened to sermons from there teaching and just from looking at your accusations many of them are completely false just from looking at it on a surface level.

    (By the way I'm using caps for emphasis :) Please don't misunderstand it as anger or anything)

    First of all you cant judge a whole ministry by what just two of their students did after getting drunk (which by the way was AGAINST the school rule!!) My church doesn't even teach anything charismatic and most of the youth go out partying and drinking on a weekly basis! So you REALLY cant accuse someones ministry because of JUST TWO people. Common lets be real.

    Second they DON'T teach that experience is everything. They even make sure and CLEARLY say that prophetic words and other words of knowledge ARE NOT to be treated as equal to the Word of God and MUST be TESTED! This is Very important! In fact they even teach that it doesn't matter how CRAZY of an experience you have had ANYTHING that is against the Bible MUST BE REJECTED!

    Third the whole talk that the disciples just had miracles happening to give them validity is a misunderstanding that comes from teachings of cessationism. First of all that doesn't even make sense because there are evil powers in this world also! There are actually a lot of miraculous wonders, signs, and healing that voodo and occult people can do. If signs and wonders and miracles where the test to see if a person is from God then one of these occult people could actually do a bunch of miraculous stuff and say that they are from God.
    If you really study scripture you'll see that the supernatural things from God seem to be actually his heart for mankind and wanting to be involved with us and show us his Glory and who he is.

    I really hope we as a body of believers don't fall into a religious pharisee mind set in the things of God. We need to learn to be in state of hunger and thirst for Him and approach him as a Father :)

    Hope you really seek the Lord about things like this before pointing fingers brother. :)

    May the Lord bless you and keep you in His Love

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  36. My friend (the author of this post)...I would be VERY careful on how you judge God's anointed. Miracles happen for various reasons. A lot of times, people come broken and have no other answers and that is the time when God can work most in someone's life. I'm not speaking for Bill Johnson, but there are MANY reason why people DON'T get healed. None of us have the answers. But if you can say that the healings that have gone on in that church are false, then I question whe you stand in your walk with God. We as believers are not to fight to explain why God has or has not done anything. Bill Johnson doesn't have to get Dr. reports. I'm sure that the people whom have been healed were so excited that they offered up the reports to show him. If he checked up on every person that got healed, he wouldn't be trusting God and he wouldn't be doing what God called him to do. He would be doubting God, which is what you are doing. As far as the students go, we as HUMAN'S are not perfect. We certainly should strive to be, but we do make mistakes, as I'm sure you do in your everyday life. Those kids made a bad judgement call and I'm sure they are paying for the consequenses of their actions. It's called reeping what you sew. What was your point in posting this? Was it to get an uproar from the public, to cause chaos, to upset the pastor of the church? I'm curious, because I can assure you that Bill Johnson has not been affected by this what so ever. He's saying it's an attack straight from the pits of HELL and I agree. You seem to have a lot of anger in your heart toward this ministry. I hope one day you can find the peace in God you need and not things of this sort get you stirred up. That's exactly what Satan wants you to do. Satan is so pleased that this has been posted on the internet because now people will question that ministry. For someone who quotes scripture, you sure don't have a great attititude. You seem to be putting people down and unless they agree with you, you threaten to not let them post again. What about the scripture that says...love your borther as yourself...? Seems to me like you manipulate the scripture to make it work for you. YOU ARE IN A VERY DANGEROUS PLACE WHEN YOU DO THAT. It's cool though because GOD WILL GET THE GLORY FOR IT! HALLELUJAH!

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  37. I decided to publish the comment above because it illustrates the lack of reading comprehension and cultic mentality that seems to by typical of Bethelites.
    I never threatened to ban posts from those who disagree with me--the overwhelming majority of the comments I have published on this post have been from those who do disagree with me--but because most of the posters have nothing new or different to say, which makes for boring reading.
    I like the part that says that Bill Johnson doesn't need to show doctors' reports and that the people allegedly healed through his "ministry" were so excited that they offered up the reports to show him. If that's true, why doesn't he produce him to silence the critics? The lack of thinking exhibited by the commenter and the complete trust in Bill Johnson are characteristics of a member of a cult, not characteristics of a Berean.

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  38. I really pray for you! I NEVER stated that you refused to post posts. What I did say was that you SEEM to only want to post things that agree with what you have blogged about. And Bill Johnson doesn't have to shut the critics up. God will do that for him. "Vengeance is MINE" Says The LORD. We are not to fight to prove God's point of view. He will do that on His own. You can think I am in a cult all you want to. It's not me who will be judged for judging the anointed. YOU WILL BE. And the only reason you are getting what seems like similar posts from different people is because God NEVER changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And just my 2 cents...I think that demon in you that is causing this chaos trembles when you read the truth. God also states that a believer will be known by his fruits. This blog is not fruitful to the Kingdom of God. I'm sure He would be very dissapointed in you. Just sayin. O...and I think it's funny that you keep saying..."No more comments will be published on this item unless the commenter has something interesting and original to say. The only reason I’ve allowed the last few comments to be published is to show the anti-Berean attitude of Bethelites", but yet you keep posting them. Interesting :) I pray for you my dear brother in Christ that you will one day get a wake up call, because God will not put up with fickle "Christians" much longer. He wants a people that will sacrificially lay down their lives for Him. After all...Jesus did for us. So that is the LEAST we can do. That's what the world calls a "cult" or "weird", but I call it being in love with my beloved God!

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  39. I've published the last couple of comments because there is something a little different about them: the cultic mentality is more flagrantly on display here than in previous comments.

    The Bible says that I'll be judged on whether or not I've trusted in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross for my salvation (I have). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (i.e., the Mormon church) says that I'll be judged on whether or not I accept Joseph Smith as a true prophet of God (I don't). And along comes Mr. Anonymous from Bethel to tell me that I'll be judged on whether or not I accept Bill Johnson as God's anointed (I don't), and to accuse me of being demon-possessed, to boot.

    I'm not going to waste my time arguing with Mr. Anonymous (see Proverbs 14:7), but I appreciate his equating the viewpoint of Bill Johnson with that of God. The perceptive reader will be able to see whether that's characteristic of a cult or not. If Mr. Anonymous doesn't like my views, he's free to start his own blog.

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  40. All your posts just prove how ignorant in Christ you really are!

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  41. I don't think calling something false just because the person or ministry does not show proof is justified. A couple of examples come to mind: Catherine Kuhlman's ministry did not show results but a physician who followed her ministry for a year published results and they were startling. For one thing, 100% of those that God singled out for healing were healed of the ailment they came to have healed, but A LARGE NUMBER OF THOSE WHO WERE HEALED DIED WITHIN A YEAR OF SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. The devil is alive and well and we would be wise to teach people how to protect themselves from his wiles. I met one woman who was healed and went on to start her own healing ministry. The night she was healed, Satan came and attempted to smother her and had it not been for Catherine's advice on how to deal with him she would have died.

    Secondly, if you read Agnes Sanford's books on healing and her autobiography, Sealed Orders, you realize those healings were witnessed by doctors in military hospitals and recorded but they were not posted directly in her books.

    We now have yet another obstacle called HIPPA laws that make obtaining medical records very cumbersome. Some people who are healed may be reluctant to have them shown because they may fear that God would see it as a lack of faith on their part.

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  42. Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon in The Seduction of Christianity (1985) (especially pp. 124-131) document the paganism and occultism of Agnes Sanford. That last comment from godswoman is just plain silly.

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  43. Brother Jack Morrow,
    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for having the courage of exposing this false prophet. Bill Johnson and Bethel have so many things doctrinally/theologically wrong with it, it's too numerous to list. All of the Bethelites on here (esp. Mr. Anonymous) just prove how cult-ish and fake this so-called "church" really is.

    I'm praying that the Lord continues to give you strength and support in your life and ministry. I've been to Bethel several times and I've literally had to walk out every single time in disgust. Keep fighting the good fight. Bethelites, I pray for you. You need it.

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  44. Jack,
    I live in the Redding area. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit and miracles. I am thankful that God in His wisdom gives us gifts to edify, encourage, help, teach and protect the body of Christ. However, I was recently approached by some people from Bethel while I was in Target shopping. The young man said that he felt God had told him to talk with me about back pain that I was having so that I could recieve prayer. I told him that my back was fine, because it was and still is. He then asked me if I was sure and if I didn't have maybe lower pain. I told him that I was very blessed to have a strong back. Apparently the group was on a "Treasure Hunt" from The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry where they get words of knowledge and then act on them throughout Redding. I didn't know much about Bethel then (5 months ago) so I didn't say much more to the young man other than to share my belief in Jesus Christ with him. I should have given him Jeremiah 23:11-32, and reminded him that anyone who speaks a "word from God" that is not true is obviously not speaking from God but from the imaginations of his own heart or a decieving spirit. Then a few weeks later I saw another group at the main shopping mall in town. They where "praying" for people and supposedly healing lower back pain by straitening peoples legs. They were even straitening legs of kids who didn't have back pain but just wanted the cool "trick" done to them too. I was so grieved and my stomach sick! I've heard Kris Vallotton, a lead pastor at Bethel, saying that if a prophet gets the prophesy wrong it doesn't mean he's a bad prophet, just that his words need help. He said that there is a difference between a wicked prophet and a prophet who prophesies false things. WHAT! Anyone prophesying lies is not of God or is in need of some serious repentance and should not be a leader. Bethel should be ashamed of changing scripture and GOD'S WORDS to justify the imaginations of their own deceived hearts. It is like cancer growing within the body of Christ. More and more churches in our area are begining to join Bethel and take part in their shame. First of all their words of knowledge were WRONG, and their "supernatural miracles" were cheap tricks all done in the name of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. MATTHEW 7:15-16, 21-23.

    "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch....." ACTS 20:29-31

    "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." II Cor. 11:13-15

    II PETER Chaper 2

    Also, before anyone accuses me of judging them, God calls me to be discerning, to gird up the loins of my mind, to test the spirits and to beware of false prophets who claim to be believers. A false prophet is one who speaks falsehoods in the name of God, and Jesus in Matthew 7 told me to beware of them. I am going to obey my master and savior Jesus Christ and be discering, guard my mind and beware of Bethel. I tell you because I love you.
    Talia

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  45. I have recently started to address the many issues I see with this movement.for example i saw Bob Jones at Bethel and he was spewing latter rain nonsense about the best of every bloodline being in this move.What about the Blood of Jesus. And yet no one see's anything wrong with this. Bill Randles has a book called "weighed and found wanting which dismantles the aberrant teaching of latter rain.You can buy the book through Believersingraceministries.

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  46. Jack,

    I am a very skeptical person. I test the spirits as people have stated. It is so hard to decipher who is legit and who isn't. Because yes there are people who fake it, and it is very easy to spot. But there are also things I have seen that are very difficult to explain. Can they be explained? maybe, and actually through science more than likely. But here is the conclusion I have come to after years of trying to figure all this stuff out.

    1. If the person is preaching Christ as the son of God and atonement for our sins, then they cannot be cultic. They may be faking it, or they may even just be using Jesus' name without actually understanding what they are doing (which is seen in scripture) but all that means is that they don't understand what they are doing. You can't put Jesus' name hand and hand with a evil works. At the very least they are just idiots who think something is happening when its not...either way Christ is brought to the table.

    2. I totally understand the skepticism and the fear of how far these things can go. But one thing I would be EXTREMELY careful of is attributing these "miracles" to evil. If you read the ENTIRE context of when the pharisees said that Jesus was doing wonders by demons. Jesus response was that all sins will be forgiven EXCEPT blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This means that there is a very strong possibility Jesus is saying if you say that the works of the Holy Spirit are evil (blasphemy of the spirit in a greek and contextual study) then you cannot be forgiven.

    So my advise is this. These people are preaching Christ and they at least think that they are doing something right. You cannot know for sure. You can have your doubts (as I have in many occasions) but it is most wise that when these people are attributing these things to the Holy Spirit to NEVER attribute these works to cultic, demonic, evil, etc. things because it is a very very strong possibility that there is the ultimate price to pay.

    Jack you are a fellow brother in Christ with these people. I urge you not to stray to far into worldly knowledge but into Godly wisdom. Even if you don't agree, you don't turn on your brothers, and you don't look for an excuse to say they aren't your family. They might be a little off the road, or maybe you are, or maybe I am. All we can do is be in deep prayer and devotion to the living God through worship, through God's message to humanity that we see in the bible AND in our lives. Where Truth meets the active spiritual things of life.

    I stubbled upon your blog on accident and I won't be coming back to it so there's no real reason to respond to this because I wont see it. But in all the brotherly love I can give I strongly warn you against what is happening here.

    It's all for the kingdom.

    PRAISE JESUS CHRIST THE LIVING SON OF GOD WHO DIED ROSE AGAIN AND SAVED US FROM OUR SINS>

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  47. Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, cleansed lepers, and cast out demons. He did that so we would imitate Him and I believe Bethel has got it right.

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  48. He did the works to provide evidence that He was the Christ. See, for example, John 10:24-38.

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  49. The thinking shown in this thread typifies that of the signs and wonders movement. The type of thinking where the analytical brain (which God gave us) gets shut down so all manner of things can go on. Name calling is used to quell the questioners, names such as "judge, pharisee, diviser, religious spirit", and the threat of grieving the Holy Spirit is made.

    We are told to test the spirits because counterfeits do exist, and have the power to deceive many. We must expose error so people don't fall away from the faith.

    Drew says he is a skeptic but I'm not feeling that. He said that because Bethel attributes work to the Holy Spirit that we should not attribute it to occultic or demonic forces. So because someone says they "have it right" we should be OK with that. That's terribly dangerous.

    Anonymous stated that the public forum is not the place to air a dispute, in the eyes of the non-believer. Once you have someone in a position of power and influence (in this case Bill Johnson) do you really believe that the normal method of settling disputes is available? Would you ever get a private appointment? Which elder or other church member would go with you if the matter wasn't fixed? The suggestion is ludicrous. If you have so called Christians delivering teachings that are contrary to the Bible then you must expose it. There will be no truth left for the non-believer if safeguards are not put in place.

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  50. I found this blog after finding first hand evidence of the separation from truth that Bethel has gone through. If we would sincerely seek the face of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and allow his spirit to speak to our hearts, then most of this would be a moot point. It does no good to justify false doctrine, or teachers that are not transparent before God and man. The author of the post is correct in stating the facts about Bethel, and its senior pastor Bill Johnson. God will use everything he can for his glory, and to lead people to the truth; and that means he uses the vessels of honor and dishonor. Miracles and wonders do not make you a woman or man of God; neither do miracles mean you are saved and ready for heaven. But, the Word does say that signs will follow them that believe. We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, and to judge within ourselves if what we hear and see is truth, righteousness, and holiness. Men (or women) that are in a position to watch out for our souls are to do so in all truth and love. You may not like the words that are written, but make sure that you are looking through the eyes of truth and righteousness, given by God, and not through the eyes of your own understanding. Heb_12:14 "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" God Bless.

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  51. Bethel Church seems more Pentecostal than it does Charismatic. The non-denominational Calvary Chapel movement is charismatic but not pentecostal. Calling Bethel a "typical charismatic assembly" is misleading. There is nothing typical about it. I don't know any other church where the charismatic flow that claims a "cancer free zone" in its geography just because they have a healing ministry. Bethel is not typical in any sense of the word. They are quite unusual. Many good solid churches are charismatic but not anything at all like Bethel.

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  52. Simply put..Charisma without character is pointless...

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  53. Looks like the the followers of Bill Johnson and Bethel are out in force on this site. They put him on a pedestal and how dare anyone speak against this 'anointed' man of God. They truly idolize him and the so-called miracles. It is only good and right that you are speaking against this false, man-glorifying church and it's teachers. They emphasize miracles, and wealth and the 'feathers' that fall from the sky around B Johnson, I guess, are proof that he is of God. Unbelievable!! He and his ilk are arrogant and lift themselves over and above God! The church needs to wake up to this before it's too late. Thank you for your boldness in speaking out against this dangerous teaching!

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  54. In reading many of these posts, I wonder how we approach an on-going, interactive relationship with Christ. Healings or not, we still face interaction with evil in our world. Paul himself was not healed of what many scholar believe to be horrible eyesight, although many were healed through him.

    In looking at charismatic groups in general, the issue of maturity and growth are often glossed over. Mr. Marrow is quite right in saying our rock needs to be something that does not demand experience. We only need to read the end of Hebrews 11 to see some who had incredible stories and others who died lousy deaths.

    Many want an experience or a moment where living the Christian life becomes easy. Charismatic groups highlight but most of us look for this sort of break-through. And even in moments of epiphany, we are still faced with the on-going nature of life. And on this side of heaven, that involves evil, pain, and suffering.

    Personally, I'm not a cessationist when it comes to miracles, but I'm also not a charismatic regarding miraculous gifts or speaking of tongues as proof of our salvation. The proof ultimately comes as the fruit of the Spirit listed at the end of Galatians 5. There are and should be certain characteristics that accompany one who has walked with Jesus - and more so as life goes on. Those characteristics will be love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and so on.

    Jesus is with us. He is present. He has overcome. May we walk with Him no matter what - whether we are healed or die, whether we are prosperous or in poverty, whether we have much influence or little, whether we are a hand or a foot in the body of Christ. And may life find us continuing to walk with Christ 20, 30, 40 years from now.

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  55. Lay hands on no one suddenly comes to mind when Todd Bentley got endorsed by Bill Johnson and others. I personally believe in speaking in tongues and healing and so on. however there comes a point in which things can get out of hand for example when paul wrote 1st Corinthians and in the old testament where we have Balaam who went from being a prophet to being a necromancer and then got killed. you can go on and endorse people all you want but that means nothing if they have no proven fruit in the their lives..the Apostle Paul also mentioned in Galatians about receiving another spirit and another Gospel...the blessing that God wants us to have is when the storm comes that we do not get blown away by the storm not us yelling at it to go away but being anchored in Jesus Christ..All those so called ministries that just tell people good words and don't help people grow in God and who put on a show to entertain a crowd will be blown away in the end times..

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  56. Sorry, Mosely, I accidentally deleted your comment. Please resend it.

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  57. One of things that I've noticed over the last several months is that our worship leader at my local church has been obsessed with Jesus Culture and the music coming from Bethel. For the most part, I enjoy their music. However, our worship leader has taken on characteristics of one of Jesus Culture's main worship leaders to the point where her vocal tone and actions are identical to the Jesus Culture worship leader. It all feels extremely 'spooky'. Our worship leader carries on the worship service in an effort to work up a 'move of the Spirit' similar to what occurs in Bethel services. I've been involved in Worship ministry for almost 30 years and have never experienced anything like it. When I questioned our Worship Leader about it, I was told that "God is moving in a new way" and that they had already been given the ok from our pastors. Very bizaar.

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  58. Having been blessed by the worship ministry of Bethel and Jesus Culture, I had heard grumblings of false doctrine and "name-it-claim-it" association, so I searched for the basis of that claim and found your blog. You've provided no biblical basis for heresy, but instead a very cynical accusation of Mr. Johnson, casting him essentially as a hypocrite. You may have the sincerest intentions for doing so, believing it necessary to expose such "blind guides", lest they lead others into a pit. But really - there is no major doctrinal issue here - and if this man's personal conduct wanders, God should be given room to correct him. I'm sure a believer living in Kenya on $10/month can cast a similar critical version of your "plush" living conditions, and paint a similar picture. Even Paul rejoiced when the Word was being preached, regardless of the motivation!! I'm not saying Mr. Johnson has poor motivations, but only that neither you or I have the right to cast the stone. As his ministry grows, our responsibility as fellow Christians is to pray earnestly that leaders like Mr. Johnson live humbly and respectfully represent Christ. And rejoice in their good work as thousands of hearts are turned toward the Lord by their ministry!

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  59. Bereans: You are grieving the Holy Spirit, putting Jesus in a straight jacket, stripping God of the full expression of His love taking away from others the belief in signs, wonders and miracles, reducing God to mere words. You attribute more power to the devil, and call the works of the Holy Spirit demonic. You constantly berating others who love God with all of their hearts, claiming them to be false prophets or false teachers. You are critical beyond measure. You, Bereans, have not held to the truths of the Word of God and do not deserve to even call yourselves Bereans. You are not saving anybody, you are causing great harm to the Body of Christ.

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    1. Anonymous : Speaking from the Shadows...This has opened my eyes that I am not the only one who has been decieved at Bethel...I posted a Prayer Request of somethings that was going on in my life that was not good...Bills response was Quote: "That does not sound like me, in fact it is the opisite of what I am going thru"...Talk about crushed...So I move on with a Huge Warning: "Many will come and are here now on the "Left Coast" and Arizona, they want to Fornicate the Word of God the Bible as Being an "Inclusive Word"...Far from it Those who Preach "Inclusivivity" are of "The Devil"....Google these words for a Start... (Cult California) compared to Wa States "Ramtha" Cult...

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  60. I recently visited Bethel and really wanted to, from the depths of my heart, like this church since I have family that attends regularly. But instead I was saddened and disgusted by what took place and what was experienced. A little background on where I've come from, I have been born again, baptized in the holy spirit, and believe in miraculous gifts and miracles from God. First hand actually after being healed from sicknesses and one major injury the medical profession had no surgery for. So I was initially excited to visit and experience this church.
    When I arrived I was greeted by no one and was placed in an overflow building since the main church was being utilized by Johnson for for what I believe was a healing conference. Inside there was a stage with many talented worship leaders and musicians, pretty typical at first. But then it just got strange and eerie from there. 2 artists, one on each side of the stage, started painting on their canvasses. Then praise and worship started. The artists continued on either side. People slowly started to take off their shoes gather up front. It seemed to turn from praise and worship to, the only way I can describe, invoking the spirit. Don't get me wrong I love to dance when I worship but being around this put a pit, a deep pit, in my stomach that almost made me vomit. I kept praying "Lord is there something I'm missing? Holy Spirit fill me with you're presence. "
    Only sadness which I can not even begin to describe filled my heart. Sadness for the people around me who have no clue what they're doing. One hour of 5 songs that ran together that chanted the same verses over and over. Like I said, had a lot of similarities of invoking spirit in other cultures. The artists carried on till the end of praise and worship. Then there was the prophetic word. My pit was now drilling deeper. Most I heard were completely random. They'd point to someone in the audience then pick someone on stage to prophetize to them. Most where taken off guard and made up something nice and encouraging to say to make them feel good. Then came the prophetic healings. It was a firestorm of people laying hands and praying and if you think you were healed you were expected to go into the audience and find another with the same ailments and pray That God would Grant that person the same healing, all under the impression it might rub off on them.
    To sum it all up I was beyond disgusted and extremely saddened for this congregation. No mention of turning from sin, no alter call when they new for a fact there were visitors, and not even one cross from what I could see in the building. The impression I received was What is God going to do for me? And do what ever makes you feel good because if it makes you feel good it must be from God.
    In my tearful eyes this church is a wolf in sheep's clothing, slowly indoctrinating new and simple believers toward something that's trying to replace the truth. Like the old story of the frog in the pot. If it dramatic enough people will notice and flee but if they do it slowly and plant the seed in the next generation (our children) then, ....well you get the picture.

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  61. I often wonder if any one man has it right or who is right? Not because I don't know or have not experienced his presence and not because I have not studied the word and certainly not because I studied as much theology as I could looking at the differences and schism that split one body into two and so on and so forth. All of the above are methods in which I believe brought me to a point where I simply threw my hands up and I wanted to walk away from God But could not and deep down didn't want to walk away but I was so frustrated.In this frustration I came to my senses and felt God speaking to me Focus on the places they agree,don't be quick to judge,absolutely test the teaching against the written word but in all this don't forget HIS Love and don't forget what the adversary meant for evil GOD is working for GOOD and his plan for me is not for evil or destruction also I think I remember reading the Word and in Paul's writing paul stating that even if they are preaching and teaching biblically unfounded theology but proclaim Christ and plant the seed of Grace wreck less or otherwise and all that fall in between ...is the tomb empty? Is GOD Sovereign? And can God not make a way when there seems to be no way I find it hard to label myself a calvanist or anything else not because I disagree but b/c I agree with much of his teachings but he is a man just as I would find it hard to label myself anything but a Christian who is seeking GOD a GOD that knows how the story ends and I take the measure of faith and trust that what he has revealed to me through scripture will be confirmed again and again and its simple IM a sinner HE is the Saviour Jesus( he was in control in the Garden and is in control now) I put my faith in Christ alone and I do as I was taught say my prayers at night with faith that shall I be taken at any time that God would be the one who did the taking and no matter what I thought I knew or !didn't! Know if GOD wants me IN the Kingdom I will be and if he ddoesn't I still did his work and his plan worked together for good for those who Love the Lord and are called according to HIS PURPOSE some for earthen vessels some for destruction all up to the potter maybe I dont make any sense and maybe I am the victim or self proclaimed victim of false teaching but waging war against someone or some movement is not our job we pray for them we take the biblical approach and the end of that is exposure in front of the church Vengeance is HIs alone and all this bickering back and forth solves nothing of course we should wage war against things that are not flesh and blood that's where the warfare is biblical right? I am confused,confused b/c I am afraid to step into a church b/c I might not be at the right one b/c Christians Like myself are always looking for fault IM guilty too! I am forgiven yet I'm a sinner and always will be while in this body .Hopefully someone will point me in the right direction or tell me to continue on in the faith and Grace Grace

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  62. When I moved to Redding to go to Bethel, I wasn't a skeptic. I bought 100's of dollars worth of books in their bookstore, subscribed to their podcasts and listened about 4 hours a day. I also frequented their prayer chapel, healing rooms and various classes included Fire-starters. I had gold dust fall on me, enjoyed the ecstatic worship band and was completely sold out until I saw the truth about their departure from Biblically based Christianity into frightening levels of heresy.

    I noticed it with some concern when Bill Johnson-whom I adored-made a comment that the Holy Spirit does things outside of the Book, Heidi Bakker said the same thing. Slowly and subtly they were indoctrinating people in the idea that experience (which they call the Holy Spirit but could be anything)trumps the bible. Watching people visit and preach with the full blessing of Johnson I heard fantastical stories of visions that were incredibly bizarre. In fact, if told outside the church the stories would get people committed to mental institutions. When I brought a visitor she was so disturbed by the strange convulsing laugher and bizarre jerking movements of people all around us that she tearfully asked me to take her home immediately.
    When a young woman fell on the ground convulsing, jerking in hysterical laughter as we left, my friend asked if we should call an ambulance. Trying to explain it was the Holy Spirit made me realize what a circus it was and no, there was nothing decent or orderly.
    Lastly, a coworker Bethel bible school graduate was a lazy, arrogant, obnoxiously superior jerk at work that most of the staff were appalled at regarding his work ethic. Pictures of him beaming beside Bill Johnson told the story that a good dose of arrogance and being handsome will get you far in that church (but not very far in the professional world) This church helped me understand why Jesus said to the signs and wonders people at the end of the age "depart from me I never knew you" while he told the "demonstrating love and relationship" followers to come enjoy the Kingdom. Signs and wonders means nothing of eternal value and if faith is based on it its a sure path to deception.

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  63. I see my own church reflecting Bethel- in worship and in "the experience" rather than relying on what the Word says. My church is all about love and grace- being careful not to offend those living in sin. Funny thing, those living in sin are the Christians! I told two individuals to repent from living with their boyfriends. I was actually chastised for this. After all, repentance is a "process," is what I was led to believe and accept. I cannot and will not accept someone willfully living in sin, refusing to change. "But we accept people for who they are. We must love them." I agree. But love without truth isn't really love at all.

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