Posts Tagged ‘bethel church’

A Berean Call Interview: Is the Bethel School of Ministry Supernatural? with Rod Page, part 1

Letter to the Editor: Bethel’s Attempt to Make “Same Old” Teachings Sound More “Mainstream”

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:

1) Link to 12/6/16 Herescope posting/article: “The Bethel Church Upgrade”: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-bethel-church-upgrade.html

2) Link to TBC Radio program: “Has Bethel Church Been Upgraded?” with Rod Page Part 1: https://www.thebereancall.org/content/has-bethel-church-been-upgraded-rod-page-part-1

3) Link to TBC Radio program: “Has Bethel Church Been Upgraded?” with Rod Page Part 2: https://www.thebereancall.org/content/has-bethel-church-been-upgraded-rod-page-part-2

Sincerely,

Concerned Believer

 

Pictures Say a “Million” Words About Bethel – “As Above, So Below”

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

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.

I find it extremely creepy  as they have a large white pyramid atop their prayer house (see the photos below). How they get away with this rank occultism is beyond me, unless they are already under strong delusion.

In Christ Alone,

RA

Bethels prayer house with pyramid

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/19679779.jpg

prayer house at night.  pyramid glows red

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/27178584.jpg

inside prayer house- directly under the pyramid

https://emeraldscribe21.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/2014-01-11-14-58-22.jpg

(Used in accordance of the U.S. Fair Use Act for the purposes of review, critique, and education)

bethel-prayer-room-3 bethel-prayer-room-2 bethel-prayer-room-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 For more information about Bethel Church, please review the following:

BOOKLET: The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson

BOOKLET: Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture

The Physics of Heaven by Larry DeBruyn

NEW BOOKLET: Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings

NEW BOOKLET:Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings by Bill Randles is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of  Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings, click here.

Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings

By Bill Randles

BKT-BR-BJ-2What would you think of a Bible school that sends young people out to literally prostrate themselves on the graves of deceased preachers so that the students can absorb “the anointing” that lingers on the graves? What about a church in which a mist containing feathers, gold, and jewel dust descends on the worshippers in the sanctuary? How about a church conference which features prophetic “tattoo readings” as one of the workshops?

What would you expect of a church which is a combination of the Word of Faith error and the prosperity gospel of Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin, the signs and wonders of Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn, the false assumptions of the “spiritual warfare” and hyper-deliverance movement, the “prophetic movement,” and the gnostic mysticism of the Toronto Blessing?

You don’t have to wonder any longer, for there is such a “ministry” which is currently the most recognizable and influential face of the prophetic movement. I refer to Bill and Beni Johnson who co-pastor Bethel Church in Redding, California and its related ministries including “Jesus Culture” youth band and Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry.

Bill Johnson, a noted conference speaker and leader, is the author of several best-selling books and considered to be an apostle and leader within the Apostles and Prophets movement. Hundreds of thousands have been affected by his ministry and have attended retreats and conferences where they have been “imparted” with “the anointing.”

In order to fully understand this prophetic movement in its current state, we must examine the teachings and ministry of Bill Johnson in the light of the Word of God. Didn’t Jesus warn us not to be naïve but that “every tree is known by its fruits”?

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

The primary “fruit” of any professed prophet would be the teaching. (The same would go for any pastor or apostle or anyone who stands in the name of God).

Let’s examine some of Bill Johnson’s teachings which go errant on so many levels that it is hard to decide where to begin. For the sake of brevity, I will address four areas of concern: a) The Word of Faith Movement; b) Johnson’s teachings on the Incarnation; c) the anointing (Holy Ghost); and d) his theology of experience. I urge you to be the judge according to the test in Deuteronomy 13.

I. The Word of Faith Movement

It doesn’t take long to see by reading his books that Johnson is a proponent of the Word of Faith teaching, popularized by Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland. Therefore, it is necessary to give a brief overview of WOF teaching to be able to see where Johnson is coming from.

In a nutshell, the WOF teaching is based on a gnostic interpretation of the Fall and of redemption. The following is my paraphrase of their explanation:

When God created Adam, He gave him all dominion over the earth, to rule and reign as God’s regent. However, when Adam fell, by obeying Satan, he handed that God-given dominion over to Satan, who became the “god of this world.” God, the Father, couldn’t just come in and take the dominion back—Adam had given it away.

God had to find a way for a man to come in, as a man, and undo the folly of Adam, gaining back the authority given to Satan by Adam. Jesus is that man. (The WOF teachers do acknowledge that Jesus is God but believe that He “laid aside His own Divinity” in the Incarnation).

As a man, Jesus came into the world, resisted all of the temptation that Adam and Eve and the human race succumbed to, and died on the Cross as a sacrifice for our sins.

But there is a twist, for the WOF teachers insist that salvation wasn’t secured for man in Jesus’ death on the Cross as a substitute for our sins. Rather, Jesus first had to descend into hell and suffer the torment of Satan and his minions until God was satisfied that it was enough and could legally raise Him from the dead.

Of course, the Word of God says that Jesus’ death on the Cross was sufficient, and that when He said, “Telestai!” (It is done), it really was done. But Copeland and Hagin teach that it wasn’t finished until Jesus had literally “become sin” and endured demonic torment in hell.

The Fall, according to WOF, was as much about the loss of power and authority as it was about sin and alienation from God. Therefore, salvation is about restoration of power and authority, as well as forgiveness of sins. We get the power back and can now exercise dominion over this life and take authority over evil.

Because of this skewed view, WOF is a power religion. This is why WOF Christians frequently speak in terms of authority; they “bind and/or loose” angels and demons; they decree, rebuke, and otherwise speak in terms of “releasing” peace, grace, or mercy into this situation or that.

The essence of this theology is the restoration and practical use of the “authority to the believer.”

The ideal in WOF circles is that of the born again man of power and authority, the miracle man who has come in to the “revelation knowledge” of “who he is in Christ,” and demonstrates the power of “the anointing” to a lost world. There have developed extensive mythologies around truly historical figures such as John Alexander Dowie, John G. Lake, and William Branham. These are the men who really “took authority,” they say, and showed us all what any believer could do if he had but the faith and “anointing” to do so!

The WOF is an offshoot of an earlier expression of these very ideals, the Manifested Sons of God (MSG), once repudiated by the Assemblies of God in the 1940s but now widely embraced in this new form. MSG is based upon an erroneous interpretation of Romans 8:19, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

Traditional Christianity has held that this verse refers to what happens at the bodily coming of the Lord. When Jesus returns, the curse on Creation will finally be removed, and the true children of God will be manifested.
But the MSG teach that this verse means that the Creation is waiting for the church to attain to the knowledge of the power and authority, in order to “manifest” our Sonship to the world, through signs and wonders. All of this must occur before Jesus can come back!

This is the context in which to understand where Bill Johnson, Jesus Culture, and the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry are coming from, as they seek to bring the church into the power and anointing of their “mystical revival.”

II. Incarnation

In his teaching on the Incarnation, Bill Johnson states, and rightly so, that Jesus Christ is God. But Johnson also emphasizes to an unbiblical extreme that Jesus completely laid aside His deity:

Jesus had no ability to heal the sick. He couldn’t cast out devils, and He had no ability to raise the dead. He said of Himself in John 5:19, “the Son can do nothing of Himself.” He had set aside His divinity. He did miracles as man in right relationship with God because He was setting forth a model for us, something for us to follow. If He did miracles as God, we would all be extremely impressed, but we would have no compulsion to emulate Him. But when we see that God has commissioned us to do what Jesus did—and more—then we realize that He put self-imposed restrictions on Himself to show us that we could do it, too. Jesus so emptied Himself that He was incapable of doing what was required of Him by the Father—without the Father’s help.1

There are several problems with this teaching of Johnson’s. For example, it is theologically inaccurate to say that “Jesus had no ability . . .” and that Jesus “set aside His Divinity.” It is dangerously close to being a denial of the deity of Christ, for divinity by definition cannot be “set aside” nor could God ever be said to lack ability in any sense.

In the Incarnation, the eternal God became a man, though He never ceased being God. He always had all power, but restrained Himself, declining the prerogatives of power and majesty, which are inherent to Him, that He might live and die for us as true man.

Another problem with this is that Johnson asserts that Jesus performed miracles to “set forth a model for us . . . to show us that we could do it (the miracles) too . . .”

This is at the very heart of the Word of Faith teaching from which Johnson has emerged. Supposedly, we as individual believers can and should be doing all of the miracles of Jesus, in the power of the Spirit. To Johnson, Jesus came in the flesh, partly to show us that we too could do what He did!

This quest for miracle power is misguided and has led many into deception. Jesus didn’t do His miracles to “show us that we can do it.” The miracles of Jesus are manifestations of the merciful God, whether they be the ones in the Gospels, or in the Book of Acts, or those done in His name throughout the world today. “These signs will follow those that believe.” We are not to seek them. It is only a “wicked and adulterous generation (which) seeks after signs.”

Johnson actually posits that any believer has the potential to experience most of what Jesus experienced in the Gospels, even the Transfiguration! He states:

Most all of the experiences of Jesus recorded in Scripture were prophetic examples of the realms in God that are made available to the believer. The Mount of Transfiguration raised the bar significantly on potential human experience . . . The overwhelming lesson in this story is that Jesus Christ, the Son of man, had the glory of God upon Him. Jesus’s face shone with God’s glory, similar to Moses’s after he came down from the mountain.2

Johnson seems to fail to appreciate that though Jesus became “as one of us” in the Incarnation, His uniqueness cannot be safely diminished. Imagine a spirituality spent seeking to attain a transfiguration! No wonder Johnson’s students go to such lengths seeking “glory” experiences.

III. The “Anointing”

The second aspect of Johnson’s teaching that is dangerous and has led to the reckless mysticism in which so many associated with Bethel are involved is what he teaches about the Holy Spirit, particularly “the anointing.” Johnson states:

Christ is not Jesus’ last name. The word Christ means “Anointed One” or “Messiah . . . [Christ] is a title that points to an experience. It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title. He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired.3

First of all, here is an example of a teacher setting forth an unbiblical separation between the person “Jesus” and the word “Christ.” This is a very dangerous thing to do; it is similar to what the New Age movement claims, and it is being done towards a similar end.

New Agers want to establish the (false) idea that Jesus was merely an enlightened person, one who was anointed (Christed) at thirty years old, very similar to other remarkable human beings such as Gandhi and Zoroaster. This “anointing” is a self-realizing experience.

Johnson seems to be trying to establish that just as the man Jesus had to be anointed with the Holy Ghost in order (as a man) to do the miracles He did, we too can have the same experience to do the same thing, for Jesus is our model.

The Bible doesn’t do this with the word “Christ.” The apostles never relegated Christ as being a title, nor as being an experience. Christ is a designation of Jesus’ deity. Scripture insists that Jesus is the Christ, and it refers to Jesus as Christ, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself . . .” Christ is an eternal person, the second person of the godhead, chosen of the Father, and thus anointed with the Holy Ghost.

When Jesus came into the world, He already was Christ; he never had to become Christ, nor can anyone become Christ unless he is a false Christ (i.e., antichrist).

On the same subject—the “anointing”—Johnson continues:

The word anointing means “to smear.” The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism. The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit.

The outpouring of the Spirit also needed to happen to Jesus for Him to be fully qualified. This was His quest. Receiving this anointing qualified Him to be called the Christ, which means “anointed one.” Without the experience [the anointing] there could be no title.4

Do you see the problems Johnson’s teachings on “the anointing” raise?

For example, did Jesus become the Christ at His baptism? If “Christ” is only valid upon an experience, what was Jesus before the Holy Ghost came upon Him in the Jordan? Was He merely an unqualified “man with a title” up until then?

Johnson’s view on the Christ is strikingly reminiscent of an error which emerged early in the history of the church and was repudiated as heresy. It is called adoptionism. It holds that Jesus was a devout man who did not become “Christed” until He was thirty years old when He was anointed of the Holy Ghost. It was by the Holy Ghost that He did His miracles, but the “anointing” left Him when He died on the Cross. If Jesus could do these things (through revelation knowledge and the anointing), so could any other believer.

There is a passage in 1 John 5 that refutes this very error about the Christ:

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. (1 John 5:6)

The heretics were teaching that Jesus was not Christ until He was baptized in water and anointed with the Spirit. He remained Christ until He shed His blood. But the apostle insists that “He came by water and blood;” that is, He was already Christ when He was baptized and remained so on the Cross, and through His resurrection. The designation, “Christ,” was and is more than an experience; it is inherent to Jesus, the Divine God/man.

IV. The Emphasis on Experience, De-Emphasis on Doctrine

Finally, Bethel (and Bill Johnson) is actually dangerous in its approach to doctrine and experience and has exposed its followers to the following practices:

False prophecy

Visualization

“Fire tunnels”

Grave soaking trips5

Visualization, contemplative prayer, and meditation practices

Chanting, soaking, and spiritual drunkenness

“Toking” the Holy Ghost to get “high on Jesus”

In addition to “normal” prophetic words, those who attended Bethel’s “Power and Love Conference” in February 2014 received readings based on their tattoos and piercings. Doug Addison can interpret the hidden messages on your body and even train you to do the same. You don’t even have to fly to where he is; for the reasonable fee of $150, he can tickle your ears over the phone for thirty minutes.6
Believe me when I say I have just scratched the surface of the irrational, unbiblical, and even anti-biblical practices of Bill Johnson’s influential ministry. How do confessing Christians become so undiscerning?

There is one aspect of Bethel that is perhaps the most dangerous. Johnson, like so many Pentecostals and evangelicals who have preceded him, has a strong anti-doctrinal emphasis. To the neo-mystics of the New Apostolic Reformation, doctrine has a deadening effect and is valid only to the extent that it induces experience. Doctrine is “the letter which kills” and leads to “head knowledge” as opposed to the personal experience of God, based upon individual revelation.

Those who insist on adherence to true doctrine are caricatured as Pharisees. There are familiar clichés in these circles such as “God is offending the mind to reach the heart,” and “a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with a doctrine.” These kinds of preachers often delight in saying, “I am going to upend your theology now . . .” as they unveil the latest nugget of their own revelation. Bill Johnson, in illustrating this, stated:

Jesus made a frightening statement regarding those who hold to Bible study vs. experience, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). If our study of the Bible doesn’t lead us to a deeper relationship (an encounter) with God, then it is simply adding to our tendency towards spiritual pride. We increase our knowledge of the Bible to feel good about our standing with God and to better equip us to argue with those who disagree with us. Any group wanting to defend a doctrine is prone to this temptation without a God encounter . . . Jesus did not say “My sheep will know my Book;” it is His voice that we are to know.7

Johnson is deconstructing those who seek scriptural knowledge as being in danger of “spiritual pride,” increasing in knowledge in order to “feel good about their standing with God,” and to be better able to win arguments with those who disagree with them! What a pastor! It is almost as if he would discourage the desire to grow in scriptural knowledge!
But on the other hand, it is the ones seeking “deeper knowledge” (than that which Scripture reveals?) and a deeper “encounter” with God (experience) whom Johnson considers to be blessed. Imagine a young person sitting under a steady diet of this, and you will see why Bethel, Jesus Culture, and the School of Supernatural Ministry are given over to the most sensual mysticism!

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)

To order copies of  Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings, click here.

(See related booklets.)

Endnotes
1. Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, first edition, January 1, 2005), p. 50.
2. Bill Johnson, Face to Face with God (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2007), p. 200.
3. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 2005), p. 87.
4. Ibid.
5. http://beyondgrace.blogspot.com/2011/07/bill-johnson-and-john-crowders-leaven.html; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrHPTs8cLls https://www.facebook.com/photo.
6. http://gospelliving.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-jesus-culture-bethel-church-and_15.html.
7. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth, op. cit., p. 93.

To order copies of  Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings, click here.

Letter to the Editors: Why Aren’t People Seeing What We See?

To Lighthouse Trails:

Thank you for all that you do. I would love it if you would write an article on what we can do and how we should do it to let people know what is happening in the church today. One of my questions is why are they not seeing what we are seeing? Are they not true believers? What’s the big picture here? Do you think that all these movements will eventually merge? Are we just alarmists?  I have friends who are involved in either Bethel Redding or contemplative prayer. Very few seem interested or believe me when I tell them that this stuff is not biblical. Most won’t check into it, or if they do, they either don’t agree with what they read or think the website is too harsh or unloving (some websites do seem unkind in the way that they come across).

I have been admonished by a number a people that I am wrong,  just want to be right, question why I am worrying about what others do, or am too extreme or pharisaical (by some believers that are far more mature and Bible literate than I am). I have been told to stop looking on the Internet because that is unreliable and have been laughed at for doing so. My former pastor even told me to stop.

My Christian friends are constantly posting on Facebook about Bethel, contemplative prayer, or blatant New Age stuff as well as Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and Hillsong. Very few seem to be concerned about all the strange manifestations and theology coming out of Bethel or that contemplative prayer is not something most of us ever heard about or practiced until a few years ago, yet they are OK with it.

I just read Exodus 32 (golden calf) the other day. I was struck by the similarity between what happened then and is happening now. The people were tired of waiting for Moses to come back (Jesus to return) and made their own god. Did they think they were worshiping the God who brought them out of Egypt? Aaron had let them get out of control and so were made a laughing stock to their enemies.  Do you think this could be an illustration of what is happening, or am I off base here?

Even two of our Christian radio stations are not safe anymore. Much of the music is Bethel Music , Hillsong, or like-minded groups. The Fish radio station has John Tesh, who is actually promoting eastern meditation. K-Love has Francis Anfuso from the Rock of Roseville (A Bethel-linked local church) doing daily short messages on hundreds of K-Love stations nationwide (though the messages that I have heard do seem to be biblical).

We left a church we loved two years ago when they started to embrace Bethel teachings about healings. The seemingly biblical church we are at now plays Bethel music and I believe is going to be teaching contemplative prayer soon. The pastor is preaching about silence and solitude and mentioned a quote from Henri Nouwen last week as well as spiritual formation. Several church’s we had visited it appears are now teaching contemplative prayer in classes and retreats. It would be wonderful if Roger Oakland and Warren Smith will be able to have a conference here someday, it is very needed.

K. __

Related Information:

 BOOKLET: The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson

BOOKLET: “I JUST HAD A VISION!”

BOOKLET: The Perfect Storm of Apostasy – An Introduction to the Kansas City Prophets and Other Latter-Day Prognosticators

 

 

Letter to the Editor: Alone and Dismayed By Condition of Churches in a Midwest Town

Dear Lighthouse Trails Editors:

I live in the Midwest, and one would think that the apostate church has not infiltrated us here.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  My husband and I have stopped attending church due to previous churches attended now being mega seeker sensitive.  Recently we decided to try two churches.

Church on the prairie landscape during sunset

Midwestern church – from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

The first church is a non-denominational.  I felt the Lord was leading me to attend Sunday school, which I did.  The pastor led the class, and it was during the time of the Pope’s visit.  The pastor stated, “The people are attracted to his anointing.”  Another lady stated, “It is a good thing he is not running for public office, or he would be easily elected.”  She spoke highly of him. This was also during the time of the “blood moon.” This church was watching John Hagee’s series concerning the Blood Moons on Wednesday nights.  They were starting a series of studying a book written by Bill Johnson of Bethel Church of Redding, California.  Needless to say, we did not return. I know a couple who attended the same Sunday we did, and they continue to attend because they “like the music.”

We tried another church.  I again attended Sunday school, and they do not study the Bible like I do.  Very basic, milk instead of meat.  The church has a new pastor who invited my husband and I to lunch.  He shared his love of Andy Stanley’s books and said he had plans to “grow the Church” and “if anyone disagrees with my methods, they can leave.”  His preaching is very “feeling’ focused. He is a former banker who became a pastor later in life.  He clearly is using the techniques learned in the business world to woo the people. During his sermon, he stated, “Sometimes I even use the Message Bible for my sermons.” I was amazed at the people’s response.  Many laughed, and one man mockingly stated, “blasphemy” as he laughed.  A cold chill ran down my spine as I looked at these people, some whom clearly love the Lord but are being led astray.

A friend and her husband attend an ELCA Lutheran church and have been asked to leave because of their views against homosexuality—they believe in the biblical view of homosexuality being a sin.  The leaders of that church say, “the Bible got it wrong.”  They also do not believe in what they call “decision theology”—people responding to altar calls and making a conscious decision for Christ; they believe people are saved because of their church attendance.

The pastor of another ELCA church resigned due to pressure to perform gay marriages.

A fellowship here that is aligned with Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church has grown into a church, and it is growing each Sunday.

A church here has started a Yoga class. I sent her [the teacher] the booklet on “Christian Yoga” along with a letter. No response, and the class continues.

I am saying all this to say that if anyone would have told me I would see this in my town ten years ago, I would have not believed it; now I find myself at a loss for words when I watch the falling away before my eyes.

It is lonely here when you seek to walk in truth.  Words fail me as I see that the church is not a safe place. Also, I see that people are not checking if what is being preached is God’s Word, man’s word, feelings, or just plain dangerous to their faith.  As Christ said to Peter, I pray that your faith fail not.

Thank you for your contending for the Faith.

Blessings to you all.

M.D.

 

DELUDED!

By Sandy Simpson
Deception in the Church

Seth Dahl, Bethel Church, Redding, CA: 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.” (Bethel Redding children’s pastor Seth Dahl )

Deluded!

There are only three (possibly four) angels named in the Bible and neither of them bear the name of the “finance company” for Bethel Church. Gabriel (Daniel 8:15–27; 9:20–27), Micheal (see Daniel 10:21 and 12:1), Lucifer (not his actual name) or Satan, a fallen angel (Isaiah 14:12–18; Luke 10:18) and Apollyon/Abaddon (Revelation 9:11). Angels named in the Bible have important roles in Israel and/or the Church and would not be named after a finance company for a church in Redding, CA.

Seth Dahl, Bethel Church, Redding, CA: This youth leader states that in a vision Jesus picked him up, began to weep, and asked his forgiveness. (Bethel Redding children’s pastor Seth Dahl, /)

Deluded!

Jesus does not ask forgiveness because He is and always has been without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22). He does forgive our sins if we confess them (1 John 1:9) and are “in Christ” or when we first believe.

Charles Capps: “He [God] framed the world with His words. You can’t build without substance. He took words – faith-Filled words were God’s substance. Here, essentially, is what God did. God filled His words with faith. He used His words as containers to hold His faith and contain that spiritual force and transport it out there into the vast darkness by saying ‘Light be!’ That’s the way God transported His faith causing creation and transformation.” (Charles Capps, Dynamics of Faith & Confession (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1987), 28-29.

Deluded!

God did not create the world by having faith or by filling “His words with faith” as if faith is a substance. God did not use any “force of faith” to create the world. He did so by His Word (2 Pet 3:5), His power (Isa 20:46), and by His will (Rev 4:11).

Kenneth Copeland: “Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west. Consequently, it must be a planet.” (“Spirit, Soul and Body I” (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries. 1985), audiotape #01-0601, side 1.

Deluded!

Heaven is actually the “third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2) not a planet. Planets inhabit the second heaven. There is the earth, heaven and third heaven. The Third heaven or Paradise (2 Corinthians 12:4) is outside of the universe of space and time.

Fred Price: “If you keep talking death, that is what you are going to have. If you keep talking sickness and disease, that is what you are going to have, because you are going to create the reality of them with your own mouth. That is a divine law.” (Fred Price, Realm, 29).

Deluded!

There is no such “divine law” stating we can kill ourselves or stop sickness and disease by what we say. This is all part of the “force of faith” “name it and claim it” “confession doctrine” of the New Thought, Word of Faith heresies.

John Kilpatrick: “You need to understand friends, your words are like containers. When they come up out of the innermost part of your belly, out of the heart, the mouth speaketh. As these things come out of your heart, they are spirits, by the time they come out of your mouth, that spirit is encapsulated in some little package and when you begin to speak this stuff out whether it is good or evil, it comes out in the way of little containers in your home and it goes out in your home and it begins to burst. As they burst life is either released or death is released. Blessings are released or cursings are released.” (Glory on Your House, John Kilpatrick)

Deluded!

Again, this is Word of Faith nonsense. Our words are containers that are spirits? Our words are our words and they cannot “release death.” God’s words are above all human words (Psalm 19:4, 138:2). Only Jesus hold the keys to death and Hades (Revelation 1:18).

Rory Alec: “This represents the fact that Jesus, when you partake of this, this represents that his blood has washed you clean of all sin. And therefore you are gods; you have been purchased by the blood of Jesus.” (The Christian Channel Europe “Good Morning Europe” Date Unknown)

Deluded!

The “you are gods” doctrine of Word of Faith is the original lie of Satan in the Garden. Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” There are no other gods but one God. Explicit statements: Ex. 8:10; 9:14; 15:11; 2 Sam. 7:22; 1 Kgs. 8:23; 1 Chr. 17:20; Psa. 86:8; Isa. 40:18, 25: 44:7; 46:5, 9; Jer. 10:6-7; Micah 7:18. Being like God is a Satanic lie: Gen. 3:5; Isa. 14:14; John 8:44. Fallen man become “like God” only in that he took upon himself to know good and evil, not that he acquired godhood: Gen. 3:22. There is only one true God: 2 Chr. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5:20-21. All other “gods” are therefore false gods (idols), not gods at all: Deut. 32:21; 1 Sam. 12:21; Psa. 96:5; Isa. 37:19; 41:23-24, 29; Jer. 2:11; 5:7; 16:20; 1 Cor. 8:4; 10:19-20. A born again Christian is a child of God (John 1:12) and joins the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7) but is not Christ Himself, which would make the above Scriptures a lie.

Benny Hinn: “Now I am going to read one scripture and then I am going to preach and the Devil is going to drop dead.” (The Christian Channel Europe “Praise The Lord” (TBN) 22/2/98)

Deluded!

The Devil will never drop dead. He will ultimately be sent to hell along with the demons who followed him and all unbelievers (Revelation 20:10-15) where he will be tortured forever.

Paul Crouch: “He [God] doesn’t even draw a distinction between Himself and us. . . . You know what else that’s settled, then, tonight? This hue and cry and controversy that has been spawned by the Devil to try and bring dissension within the body of Christ that we are gods. I am a little god! . . . I have His name. I’m one with Him. I’m in covenant relation. I am a little god! Critics, be gone!” (“Praise the Lord” program on TBN [7 July 1986].)

Deluded!

See the above about being “little gods.” Also, apparently, Crouch thought (he has passed on and now knows the truth about what he said) that he was speaking for all Christians in saying we are all little gods. But he was not because he was a heretic.

John Avanzini: “John 19 tells us that Jesus wore designer clothes. Well, what else you gonna call it? Designer clothes–that’s blasphemy. No, that’s what we call them today. I mean, you didn’t get the stuff He wore off the rack. It wasn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. No, this was custom stuff. It was the kind of a garment that kings and rich merchants wore. Kings and rich merchants wore that garment.” (“Believer’s Voice of Victory” program on TBN [20 January 1991].)

Deluded!

Jesus never wore “designer clothes.” The Bible says he was poor and had nowhere to lay his head.

To continue reading this article by Sandy Simpson, click here.

Related Information:

The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson by John Lanagan

The Perfect Storm of Apostasy – An Introduction to the Kansas City Prophets and Other Latter-Day Prognosticators by Mary Danielsen


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