Heresy Alert!!! Bill Johnson, Jesus Culture and Bethel Church

Bill Johnson, Jesus Culture and Bethel Church

22ThursdayAug 2013

by 

A move of God? Or a lie?

But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 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.  2 Cor 11:12-15

BillJohnson

INFO:

    • Bethel Church, Redding, CA, co-”pastored” by wife Beni, and “prophet” and pastor Kris Vallaton
    • Jesus Culture (a ministry of Bethel Church)11
    • Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry22, 25

Known for:  Word of Faith (WOF), Name it and claim it, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR, Third wave movement),  Dominionism, Joel’s Army, Latter Rain, Modern day Prophets and apostles, Manifest Sons of God (MSoG), Signs and wonders such as the ‘glory cloud’8 and ‘gold angel dust’9,10, feathers falling, gems appearing, conjuring angel orbs18, fire tunnels, spirit travel, out-of-body experiences18,  ‘healings’ (says those who preach God allows sickness is a different gospel1).  Prophecy, Portal travel (new-age & satanic)18,  extra-biblical revelation, raising the dead7,15, charismatic, praying in tongues, soaking, new wine movement, drunken glory, visualization, laughing movement.  Contemplative meditative practices such as chanting, soaking etc. taught in their school’s SOZO class.  Wife Beni uses tuning forks as a prophetic act, and also believes she is called to the ‘prophetic act of waking up angels’.  She says one of her friends ‘gets pretty wacked’ when the angels are around. 19

Associates (either at his church, or hosting events together):  C. Peter Wagner23 calls Johnson an Apostle25.  Johnson Frequently speaks at the “Voice of the Apostles” conference.  Lakeland Revival6,  Toronto Blessing.  Apostle/Prophet Chuck Pierce, Mike Bickle, Tattooed Healer Todd Bentley(Publicly endorsed 2011)6, Rick Joyner, IHOP, Prophet Bob Jones, Prophetess Patricia King (Xtreme Prophetic); Heidi Baker, John and Carol Arnott, Georgian and Winnie Banov, Randy Clark20, John Crowder (toking the Holy Ghost prophet) Revival Alliance, Reinhard Bonnke, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, Prophet Kris Vallaton.

PUT TODD BENTLEY BACK INTO HIS POSITION (Not sure what he is – along with other profits, and apostlesses, after he abandoned his wife and children and married his affair)
todd-bentley3

Testimony of one delivered from Bethel  ‘cult’.   She points out how there is the manifestion we see oon the videos of the jerking, laughing, convulsing, shaking etc. we see on many of the videos.

Also the obvious for a ‘healer’ and prophet and signs and wonders fellow like Bill Johnson; he and his wife both wear glasses, has had surgeries, son is deaf, etc.  The miracles seem to manifest at convenient times.  http://jesuscultureawakening.blogspot.com/2012/06/god-delivers-another-from-cult-of-jesus.html#.UhPH0JK1GSp

 

Teaches Jesus was born again.

Bill Johnsons asks, “Did you know Jesus was born again?  I asked the first service, and they said, “no”, but I’ll show you it’s in the Bible.  He had to be, He became sin.” T. 3:48-4:55 of this video*1, 17

 

Teaches Jesus didn’t have any supernatural capabilities

Bill Johnson says, “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 Him5. Jesus’s face shone with God’s glory, similar to Moses’s after he came down from the mountain… “ 4

“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 put self-imposed restrictions on Himself to show that us 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.”26

WHAT???  Jesus had no ability to heal the sick?  This is proper understanding of Scripture?  I suggest they read Isaiah 66:2

Speaking again of Jesus, Johnson wrote“He performed  miracles ,  wonders ,  and   signs, as a man in right relationship to God…not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unattainable for us”.  13

 

Teaches the ‘ascended lifestyle’.

billjohnsonascendedSays that John :13 means Jesus ascended into heaven before His physical ascension and that is an “invitation for every believer”.2 3  He also says about the ascension of Christ, “The resurrection of Christ is actually your resurrection.  His ascension is actually your legal access to heavenly realms”.2

In the non-professing New Age Movement, check into the angels, the Rainbow, the Pyramid, the ascended master, the Christ within us.  I recommend Constance Cumbey’s book, “The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow: The New Age Movement and the Coming Age of Barbarianism.”

Extra-biblical revelation

Johnson writes, “Those who feel safe because of their intellectual grasp of Scriptures enjoy a false sense of security. None of us has a full grasp of Scripture, but we all have the Holy Spirit. He is our common denominator who will always lead us into truth. But to follow Him, we must be willing to follow off the map—to go beyond what we know”.  14

Sounds about right, UNTIL, he gets to where he is going, we have to follow ‘off the map’…. Isn’t that how people get lost?  

 

BC pastor-prophet Kris Vallotton regarding raising the dead

krisvallotton

Another subject that has drawn a lot of attention recently is dead raising. I need to be honest; I have personally never raised anyone from the dead although I have tried twice. But here again Jesus said, “And as you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons….,” (Matthew 10:7-8).14

HIS END-TIMES OPINIONS DO NOT LINE UP WITH GOD’S WORD

  1. I will not embrace an end-time worldview that re-empowers a disempowered devil.
  2. I will not accept an eschatology that takes away my children’s future, and creates mindsets that undermine the mentality of leaving a legacy.
  3. I will not tolerate any theology that sabotages the clear command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations and the Lord’s Prayer that earth would be like heaven.
  4. I will not allow any interpretation of the scriptures that destroys hope for the nations and undermines our command to restore ruined cities
  5. I will not embrace an eschatology that changes the nature of a good God.
  6. I refuse to embrace any mindset that celebrates bad news as a sign of the times and a necessary requirement for the return of Jesus.
  7. I am opposed to any doctrinal position that pushes the promises of God into a time zone that can’t be obtained in my generation and therefore takes away any responsibility I have to believe God for them in my lifetime.
  8. I don’t believe that the last days are a time of judgment, nor do I believe God gave the church the right to call for wrath for sinful cities. There is a day of judgment in which GOD will judge man, not us.

All quotes from this link: http://www.xpmedia.com/article/9763/commentary-on-kris-vallottons-eschatological-core-values

 

Bethel Students soaking up anointing from dead men

IN THE VIDEO FOOTNOTE: Goes to graves… First, soaking up the anointing from the grave of false prophet Smith Wigglesworth.  Says Holy Spirit still exists in the grave.  Punching the devil out of people.  Releasing anointing of a ‘chapel building’, etc. 16

Toking of the Holy Ghost: With Bill Johnson’s tacit endorsement, BSSM students followed John Crowder’s lead (of the “toking the ghost,” “Jehovah-juana” paganism) in “sucking up the anointing” of dead people.  As Fawcett notes, Johnson will begin his own holy relic museum to restore the lost anointing of “God’s generals” to the present church.  Just as Roman Catholics believe that the belongings of late saints can earn gain someone divine assistance and even miracles, Bethel seems intent on calling Christians to the mysticism of object worship. 35

Tattoo  Readings In addition to “normal” prophetic words, those who attended Bethel’s “Power and Love Conference” in February 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. 35

STUDENTS FORGIVE SINS: Girl at Bethel says God tells her to forgive an unconscious dying man’s sins, and said he’ll be forgiven. She released God’s power over him and told him he would enter God’s kingdom…33

 

Kenosis Doctrine

Footnote 24 – see more info on footnote.

 billJohnsonKenosis

 

MORE ABERRANT TEACHINGS AND PRACTICES

Bill Johnson believes and teaches;

Healing in the Atonement – He says, Doctrine teaches, through Christ’s death, all believers are given physical healing.

      1. God never causes sickness.
      2. God always chooses to heal.
      3. Paul’s thorn in the flesh was definitely not a physical ailment.
      4. If you do not believe in healing on demand, you arepreaching another gospel (Gal 1:6-9)

“I refuse to create a theology that allows for sickness.” Bill Johnson21

Interesting, since the Bible’s truth speaks and allows for sickness whether Mr. Johnson does or not, the TRUTH still stands.

On the “Christ Anointing”31 – Speaks for itself

BillJohnson-theAnointed

 

Elijah Generation & Anointing

Johnson believes that there will be a great end-time revival that will be initiated by an “Elijah generation”(a concept from the heretical Latter Rain movement) that shall transcend all other generations of Christians in regard to their ability to do great works of power. 27

Johnson claims the following about himself and associates: “We will carry the Elijah anointing in preparing for the return of the Lord in the same way that John the Baptist carried the Elijah anointing and prepared the people for the coming of the Lord” (Johnson: 184). 28 (Where do find that in Scripture?)

 

Glory Cloud, Feathers, Gold flakes

  • Bill Johnson speaks in his own voice on Bethel TV regarding the angel dust etc.  First, at about 1:35 on the clip, you can hear about the “glory cloud hovering over his platform at church with gold, smoke, dust, teeny, weeny little flakes”…
  • At about 4:30, you can hear Bill Johnson talk about the feathers falling in his service, their homes, and restaurants, explains it with God “covering us with His feathers”.
  • At about 6:00 you can hear how on a plane, gold flakes started to fall out of the air and people got saved (without hearing the gospel-Rom 10:14-17).

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tube/video/exposing-false-teaching-bill-johnson-bethel-church-redding-ca

 

KINGDOM NOW THEOLOGY

Johnson interprets the Lord’s Prayer, which is primarily a prayer for the return on Christ, in terms of his “kingdom now” theology: “This is the primary purpose for all prayer—if it exists in heaven, it is to be loosed on earth”. This means that if we do not have problem free lives, we are lacking faith, praying wrongly, or failing to understand our role as having dominion. Johnson explains: “Such an invasion causes the circumstances here to line up with heaven”. 30

 

 

House of Generals – Greatest Library of Revivalist Materials

In this video on Bethel, Johnson mentions these ‘great revivalists’ that he says the Lord told him to honor with this library, “because they have walked faithfully before the Lord in the past”.  Johnson continued, “He will give us access to their anointings…” (Their students hang out at graves to soak in the anointing.  Necromancy.)

bjaimeeBJ-kuhlbjsmith

Some names he mentions: YIKES!

Billy Graham, Aimee Semple McPherson, Smith Wigglesworth, William Branham, Kathryn Kuhlman, John G. Lake, John Wimber, William J. Seymour, Maria Woodworth Etter, Lorenzo Dow, Alexander Dowie, Jack Coe, Evan Roberts.32

 

BAND Jesus Culture 

Kim Walker testifies to seeing Jesus in person (like a stretch Armstrong doll she said).  She also sees God the Father in person, who tears a piece of His heart right out of His chest.34

I don’t know WHAT she saw, but it was NOT God the Father, nor Jesus.

 

Bill Johnson:“Owls represent the prophetic. They see in the night.”36

OTHER BILL JOHNSON QUOTES: http://www.zedekiahlist.com/cgi-bin/quotes.pl?&id=57408920

Footnotes: (Citations, not recommendations)

1  http://youtu.be/UzAwFYKe3h0   (*Now explains it as he was born again through the resurrection.)

http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/bill-johnson-claims-you-can-think-and-live-from-the-right-hand-of-god/

http://www.zedekiahlist.com/cgi-bin/quotes.pl?&id=57408920&pid=97543920

4  (Face to Face with God 2007, Charisma House, Lake Mary, FL; p 200.)

5  http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/bill-johnsons-christology-a-new-age-christ-part-iv-conclusion/

6  (Says Lakeland was an anointing by God, we will be ‘blessed and encouraged by) http://apprising.org/2013/01/12/sound-advice-for-bethel-church-pastor-bill-johnson/

7  http://apprising.org/2013/01/03/jesus-culture-of-bethel-church-and-practicing-raising-the-dead/

8  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvJMPccZR2Y

9  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvJMPccZR2Y (not a fan of wretched)

10 http://youtu.be/Un4zUupqm8c

11  Screenshot of JC’s FB statement – http://apprising.org/2013/01/02/louie-giglio-passion-2013-and-jesus-culture/

12 http://www.thebereancall.org/content/august-2012-q-and-a-1

13 (Johnson,  “When Heaven Invades Earth”, p. 29).

14  (Johnson,  “When Heaven Invades Earth”,  p. 76)

15 http://apprising.org/2013/01/03/jesus-culture-of-bethel-church-and-practicing-raising-the-dead/

16 http://youtu.be/LrHPTs8cLls

17 http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/bill-johnsons-born-again-jesus-part-i/

18 Michael Boehm (Youth Apologetic’s training) –http://youthapologeticstraining.com/bill-johnson-exposed-08-portals-spirit-travel-sozo-and-angel-orbs/

19 http://www.johnthebaptisttv.com/warning-bill-johnson-and-bethel-church/

20 Guest speakers at their school frequently.

21 http://youthapologeticstraining.com/bill-johnson-and-healing-in-the-atonement/

22 Claims to be unique because they teach with ‘apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, & teachers….not by professors or theologions’

23 C. Peter Wagner, International Coalition of Apostles included Bill Johnson as one of the apostles who would give Todd Bentley his ‘ministry’ back.

24   Johnson says, “He performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God . . . . not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unattainable for us” (Johnson: 29; emphasis and ellipses in original).  Johnson’s theology requires that Christians do greater miracles than Jesus. If Jesus’ divinity had any influence on His mighty works, then we might think we could not do the same (and rightly so). So Johnson embraces what is often called thekenosis heresy—that Jesus laid aside His divine nature. He writes elsewhere: “He laid his divinity aside as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father . . .” (Johnson: 79).

25 DVD curriculum from the Bethel School (BSSM) offers the ‘apostolic and prophetic voice of Bill Johnson.

26 (Page 50; “The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind”).

27  Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth – A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles, (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2003) 150

28  Bob Dewaay from CIC Ministries. http://www.echozoe.com/archives/2519

29  (“When Heaven Invades Earth” page 141)

30 (“When Heaven Invades Earth” page 59)  A review of the book:http://apprising.org/2013/01/06/an-invasion-of-error-review-of-when-heaven-invades-earth-by-bill-johnson/

31 http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/assessing-bill-johnsons-eternally-god-declarations-amidst-his-other-christological-statements-2/

32 http://mandate.ibethel.org/#takeAction

33 http://youtu.be/H4VpH1FKkSQ

34 http://youtu.be/kkFQe_vcqvg

35 http://gospelliving.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-jesus-culture-bethel-church-and_15.html

36 http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/johnsonfowllanguage.html

 

 
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39 Responses to Heresy Alert!!! Bill Johnson, Jesus Culture and Bethel Church

  1. What a helpful summary! Will repost as a follow-on to my recent post. If you watch the video of BJ and KV I would be interested in your comments. There is some very disturbing stuff talked about. Hence my post.

  2. Reblogged this on The Narrowing Path and commented:
    This is a summary of the false teachings of Bethel Church, Bill Johnson and Jesus Culture.

  3. Shofar says:

    Thank you for this detailed post of apostasy and deception in the church and thank you for the Follow. You are living up to your blog name! God bless you!

  4. Julia says:

    Thank You for being a watchmen unafraid of uncovering the lies this man pours out like water to the people…..Your website shows a true following of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.God Bless You.
    Julia

  5. cabervios says:

    I feel so sorry for you. Whether it not you’re right and bethel is wrong, god asks us to walk in love. We were also commanded by Paul to “mark” the supposed heretics. Why don’t you start praying if you really feel there is wrong doings. Stop verbally crucifying children of God who are just as able to submit and enter Gods kingdom. We’re all sinners so none of you are better than anyone…

    • I humbly encourage you to look at the many posts on this blog where we are Biblically encouraged and commanded to correct and expose false teachings and false teachers.

      Blessings

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for bringing love into the equation. I’ve read just one of his books (Face to Face with God) and did indeed find some of it disturbing – but there was also some good stuff in there, and I feel I have come closer to God as a result. I don’t intend to read any other book by him, but I have prayed for him, that God would bless him and keep him in the truth. Much of what he says is clearly heretical, but God can turn him round.

      • Mary,
        He’s one of the wolves The Bible warns us about.
        Your ears got tickled by a master-manipulator.

        Blessings

      • Mary,
        Bill Johnson and others like him are the “false teachers” we are Biblically commanded to warn the flock against.
        Absolutely, pray for him…but please do not ever stop doing what The Bible also commands in terms of protecting the sheep from the wolves.

        Blessings

    • Top Gun says:

      We’re all sinners? I’m sorry but Christ set me free from sin. Don’t think that believers are saints? Read Paul’s letters when he addresses the churches. Renew your mind. Calling yourself a sinner means you don’t understand what Christ has done. We are a called to be holy (to be saints not sinners), walking after the Spirit. God is light, if we say we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness(sin), we lie and do not the truth. Walk into and stay in the light and the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you.

      Read the bible and ask for revelation regarding this. We are no longer slave to sin, we serve righteousness. Sin has no dominion over you. Do you want to be identified as a sinner or a saint? Renew your mind. We are new creations in Christ.

      • You’re playing word games, brother.
        If you eat, you’re an eater.
        If you drive, you are a driver.
        If you preach false doctrine, you’re a heretic.
        If you sin, you’re a sinner.

        No one is denying our being now known as “saints”.
        But I’m hoping you would agree you have not stopped sinning. Therefore, you’re ALSO a sinner.

        Some call me “dad”. Some call me “hey you!”
        I answer to both.
        I am a sinner who is now also called a saint. My sainthood does not stop me from sinning. My sainthood absolves me from the eternal just consequences of my sin.

        Blessings

  6. Dean says:

    Thanks for this It is obvious that Bill Johnson is as dangerously deluded as Jesus himself was. Jesus shoud never have done crazy stuff like raising the dead or healing people. He should have just run a nice quiet religion which bothered no-one and had someneat theological ideas. Now that the sort of christianity I’m confortable with. Jesus and people like him who take the bible literally are just dangerous heretical extremists that we have to proect the sheep from. Thank you for alerting us to the dangers of following people who actually believe and practice the bible instead of reinterpreting it to suit us.

    • Hi Dean,

      Your comparison of Bill Johnson and Jesus is certainly interesting but it doesn’t work too well because Jesus IS God. Bill Johnson, the NAR apostle, only believes himself to be a god.

      Blessings

    • sharon says:

      Absolutely Dean! thankyou thankyou! Lets all meet up in heaven oneday and discuss the issues further. Im sure God will correct Bill and Jesus for putting such pressure on us to believe.

  7. Dean says:

    Thanks. Does Bill believe that he is God? Are you sure about that? Please send me the link or evidence or withdraw it. No obviously Bill is dangerous, like Jesus was. We need to strip christianity from any claim of power or the ability to transform lives supernatually. This is most dangerous cos we might have to actually believe that God is real and not some fable. We have to put God in to a box that we control. Anything that does anything out is just way too much like Jesus, right?

    • Hi Dean,
      Sadly, you have twisted my words and added to them.
      If you re-read my reply to your last comment, I stated Bill Johnson “believes himself to be a god”. That is very different than saying he believes “…that he is God”.

      Blessings Always

  8. Don the Baptist says:

    I have read your post. You, I believe, are comfortable in your relationship with the God of the Bible. I recently had an experience with the God of the Bible that was outside my religious box! I had to decide whether I would “get out of the boat” I was in, so as to join God in what He was doing, or stay in my boat (religious box) where I was comfortable. I chose God. The thoughts of man are far too inferior to the thoughts and intents of Papa God for me to listen to the many conflicting voices of man alone. The Holy Spirit resides within me and the Bible says that He, and not man, is my teacher. I encourage you to live, not from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil but from the Tree of Life. The devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He does not promote life. God is all about love and in that respect we are to be like Him. Castigating things you don’t understand and condemning things that you have not experienced only serves to put you outside the realm of fully experiencing the God of the Bible. Believe me, He is larger than your powers of comprehension and He does deal with people today in ways that are not necessarily addressed in the Holy Writ. My prayer is that you will love your fellow man in such a way that you will allow him to disagree with you on these issues. As you forgive and release him from being different from you, you set yourself free from judging and from bitterness and you place them in God’s hands to deal with them as He sees fit. My question for you is have you spent as much time developing your relationship with the Trinity as you have spent posting and blogging about things you may not understand; about issues with which you disagree? Finally, I find it interesting that we condemn other people for “sinning” in ways different from us.

    • “…He does deal with people today in ways that are not necessarily addressed in the Holy Writ.”

      If just this one statement is true, we need to open the Canon of Scripture for the “new revelations” God is using to deal with people.
      Are you really prepared to do that?

      If not, you are joined by a long line of false teachers, false prophets and self-appointed apostles in heresy.

      If so, you’d do well to read where God has specifically stated nothing is to be added or taken or taken away.

      I’m sorry, Don. You are wrong.

      Blessings

    • The Bible…. enlightens the dark, instructs the ignorant, comforts the desponding, directs the lost, encourages the seeking, assures the waiting soul, warns the wayward, threatens the unruly, condemns the impenitent, invites the weary, strengthens the weak, consoles the dejected, alarms the careless, accuses the indifferent, confounds the worldly-wise, cautions the venturesome, reproves the heedless, gives promises to the diligent, frowns on the thoughtless, curses the profane, damns the hypocrite, urges the halting, exhorts the obedient, rewards the persevering, debases man, exalts the Savior, glorifies God, astonishes angels, confounds infidels, delights perishing sinners. The Bible is God’s will, the saints’ treasure and the devils’ eye-sore!

      James Smith (September 17, 1719 – July 11, 1806)

    • Hi Don,
      Just wondering if any of these nine things are part of the “new Things” God is doing?

      9 Distinctives of Lordship Salvation
      Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.

      The gospel Jesus proclaimed was a call to disciples to follow Him in submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer. Jesus’ message liberated people from the bondage of their sin while it confronted and condemned hypocrisy. It was an offer of eternal life and forgiveness for repentant sinners, but at the same time it was a rebuke to outwardly religious people whose lives were devoid of true righteousness. It put sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace God’s righteousness. Our Lord’s words about eternal life were invariably accompanied by warnings to those who might be tempted to take salvation lightly. He taught the cost of following Him is high, the way is narrow and few find it. He said many who call Him Lord will be forbidden from entering the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 7:13-23).

      However, present-day evangelicalism, by and large, ignores these warnings. The prevailing view of what constitutes saving faith continues to grow broader and shallower, while the portrayal of Christ in preaching and witnessing becomes fuzzy. Anyone who claims to be a Christian can find someone willing to accept a profession of faith, whether or not the person’s behavior shows any evidence of commitment to Christ. In this way, faith has become merely an intellectual exercise. Instead of calling men and women to surrender to Christ, modern evangelism asks them only to accept some basic facts about Him.

      This shallow understanding of salvation and the gospel, known as “easy-believism,” stands in stark contrast to what the Bible teaches. To put it simply, the gospel call to faith presupposes sinners must repent of their sin and yield to Christ’s authority. This, in a nutshell, is what is commonly referred to as lordship salvation.

      There are many articles of faith that are fundamental to all evangelical teaching. There is agreement among all believers on the following truths: (1) Christ’s death purchased eternal salvation; (2) the saved are justified by grace through faith in Christ alone; (3) sinners cannot earn God’s favor; (4) God requires no preparatory works or pre-salvation reformation; (5) eternal life is a gift of God; (6) believers are saved before their faith ever produces any righteous works; and (7) Christians can and do sin, sometimes horribly.

      What, then, are the distinctives of lordship salvation? What does Scripture teach that is embraced by those who affirm lordship salvation, but rejected by proponents of “easy-believism”? The following are nine distinctives concerning a biblical understanding of salvation and the gospel:

      First, Scripture teaches the gospel calls sinners to faith joined in oneness with repentance(Acts 2:38; 17:30; 20:21; 2 Pet. 3:9). Repentance is a turning from sin (Acts 3:19; Lk. 24:47) that consists not of a human work, but of a divinely bestowed grace (Acts 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25). It is a change of heart and genuine repentance will affect a change of behavior as well (Lk. 3:8; Acts 26:18-20). In contrast, easy-believism teaches repentance is simply a synonym for faith and no turning from sin is necessary for salvation.

      Second, Scripture teaches salvation is all God’s work. Those who believe are saved utterly apart from any effort on their own (Tit. 3:5). Even faith is a gift of God, not a work of man (Eph. 2:1-9). Real faith cannot be defective or short-lived, but endures forever (Phil. 1:6;Heb. 11).

      Third, Scripture teaches the object of faith is Christ Himself, not a creed or a promise (Jn. 3:16). Faith involves personal commitment to Christ (2 Cor. 5:15). All true believers follow Jesus (Jn. 10:27-28). In contrast, easy-believism teaches saving faith is simply being convinced or giving credence to the truth of the gospel and does not include a personal commitment to the person of Christ.

      Fourth, Scripture teaches real faith inevitably produces a changed life (2 Cor. 5:17). Salvation includes a transformation of the inner person (Gal. 2:20). The nature of the Christian is new and different (Rom. 6:6), though, not perfect until he reaches heaven. Enmity with God will not continue when a person is born again (1 Jn. 3:9-10). Those with genuine faith follow Christ (Jn. 10:27), love their brothers (1 Jn. 3:14), obey God’s commandments (1 Jn. 2:3; Jn. 15:14), do the will of God (Mt. 12:50), abide in God’s Word (Jn. 8:31), keep God’s Word (Jn. 17:6), do good works (Eph. 2:10), and continue in the faith (Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 3:14). These are outward signs of an inward faith. In contrast, easy-believism teaches that although some spiritual fruit is inevitable, that fruit might not be visible to others and Christians can even lapse into a state of permanent spiritual barrenness.

      Fifth, Scripture teaches God’s gift of eternal life includes all that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3; Rom. 8:32), not just a ticket to heaven. In contrast, easy-believism teaches only the judicial aspects of salvation (justification, adoption, and positional sanctification) are guaranteed for believers in this life; practical sanctification and growth in grace is not guaranteed.

      Sixth, Scripture teaches Jesus is Lord of all and the faith He demands involves unconditional surrender (Rom. 6:17-18, 10:9-10). Christ does not bestow eternal life on those whose hearts remain set against Him (Jas. 4:6). Surrender to Jesus’ lordship is a result of salvation; the summons to submission is at the heart of the gospel invitation throughout Scripture. In contrast, easy-believism teaches submission to Christ’s supreme authority is not pertinent.

      Seventh, Scripture teaches those who truly believe will love Christ (1 Pet. 1:8-9; Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 16:22) and long to obey Him (Jn. 14:15, 23). In contrast, easy-believism teaches Christians may fall into a state of lifelong carnality and sinful living.

      Eighth, Scripture teaches our behavior is an important test of our faith. Obedience is evidence our faith is real (1 Jn. 2:3). On the other hand, the person who remains utterly unwilling to obey Christ does not evidence true faith (1 Jn. 2:4). In contrast, easy-believism teaches that disobedience and prolonged sin are no reason to doubt the reality of one’s faith.

      Ninth, Scripture teaches genuine believers may stumble and fall, but they will persevere in the faith (1 Cor. 1:8). While the true Christian is not perfect until he reaches heaven, his attitude toward sin will change. Those who later turn completely away from the Lord show they were never truly born again (1 Jn. 2:19).

      Most Christians recognize these nine distinctives are not new or radical ideas. The preponderance of Bible-believing Christians over the centuries have held these to be basic tenets of the faith. We cannot spurn the lordship of Christ, yet lay claim to Him as Savior.

      This issue is not a trivial one. In fact, how could any issue be more important? The gospel that is presented to unbelievers has eternal ramifications. If it is the true gospel, it can direct men and women into the everlasting kingdom. If it is a corrupted message, it can give unsaved people false hope that leads to eternal damnation. This is not merely a matter for theologians to discuss and speculate about. This is an issue every single pastor and lay person must understand in order that the gospel may be rightly proclaimed to all nations

    • Don the Baptist,
      Thank you for your post. Even if EVERYTHING Shepherd Guardian said was right, it comes through with such hatred, condemnation and bitterness. I want to read what the post is saying, but my spirit grieves so much through the condemnation, I cannot receive it. I pray the through fasting and prayer, SG would get on his face and ask Jesus WHAT he can do to still feel likes he is the hands and feet of Jesus without being condemning. SG my question is, how can you condemn (whether you are right or not) when the bible says not to and Jesus tells us NOT to judge?

  9. Top Gun says:

    What is with this sinners theology? Did Jesus not come to save us FROM our sin not in our sin? Why are we cleansing the cup outside but not on the inside? Why can’t we experience the freedom that Romans 6 proclaims? Yes I have stopped sinning….stopped from what God has shown me is wrong. I don’t want to go down that road again. By truth and mercy my sins are systematically being purged as I seek righteousness each day, each step I’m close to being ready to take part in the Kingdom of God. That day will come when I will stand in front of my Lord and I will praise Him for His enduring mercy and the blood He spilt on the cross to cleanse me from all sin.

    You have to hate evil (sin) to be free from it. The word of God proclaims that whoever is born of God does not continue living in sin.

    I’m sorry but if you see your identity in Christ as a sinner more than a saint (holy person), you need revelation about who you are in Christ and what Christ has done. We are new creations, with the Holy Spirit living inside of us now. The bible does say “be ye holy, for he is holy”. We are meant to be holy people of God, not sinners of God or not both either.

    We can’t serve sin and righteousness. It all comes down to renewing our mind and knowing who we are in Christ, that we are free FROM sin and not OF sin. We don’t have to live in bondage and we don’t have to create theology to fit what happens in our lives.

    And yes our sainthood does not stop us from sinning, but the fear of the LORD does. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. ” If we don’t have the fear of the LORD, quite frankly we won’t care and we won’t stop sinning. And yes I’m not fully without sin but I’m not where I was when I got saved nor am I in anther corner saying, “I’m under grace, I know this is wrong because I have been shown this but God’s grace covers me”.

    We have to build a foundation on reverence toward the righteousness of God. We cannot make Jesus Lord over our lives if we do not hate the things He hates, which is evil itself.

    Note to all readers: If you’re falling into sin but HATE it, you only need to read the word of God to renew your mind and set you free. Sometimes it’s the “we’re all sinners living under grace” mentality, even though Jesus came to set us free from sin, that keeps you under bondage. I know because I was one of those people. I read the truth but didn’t believe it, I went with the crowd that said sin is more powerful than the blood of Jesus Christ, thus we are all still sinners living under grace.

  10. Gabriella says:

    good job taking things out of context, Jesus only performed miracles after He was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, this page is kind of a mess, not very easy to follow

  11. Shawn says:

    Thanks for this page, just stumbled across it today. If anyone is interested in learning more about Sozo that was launched by Bethel and has spread throughout the Church, please check out my site and provide comments: http://biblehealing.wordpress.com/

  12. Donna Cooley says:

    I don’t understand how the Bethel people can lay on the grave of Billy Graham for anointing when he’s still alive. I’ve met people from Bethel and I haven’t heard anyone say anything about laying on graves. Sounds like a rumor since it’s claimed they’re laying on living people’s graves. Bethel leaders never claimed that everyone will be healed. God took care of Bill’s eyes by supplying him with glasses. Bethel does not condemn medical help.

  13. Bimmer says:

    The fruit that comes from the tree that is Bethel is astounding. Rheinhart Boonke, Heidi Baker and the others mentioned in the article. The fruit from SG? Still waiting. So far it is bitter, tastes like the water from the dead sea which cannot sustain life. But who am I to judge? God loves SG and it’s adherents as much as he loves me.
    I can witness to this…and this is not a false witness. My life before God is now more pure and Holy and Righteous than ever before. For now we have become The Righteousness of God. He has broken the chains of sin and I can hear his loving voice. He interprets my dreams for me to lead me forward to expand His Kingdom. The voices of the enemy have been silenced.
    For 30 yrs I listened to people and organizations such as SG and could not find the narrow path. I praise God for now I see the narrow path, and it’s not because of a particular sermon on the subject. If one has even a question of what the narrow path is then one has not seen it and it cannot be described in words for the reality of it is a mystery to those who are not on it. I praise God for raising up a people such as Bethel.
    Whether SG believes that I’m delusional and deceived is irrelevant to me. for I must walk out my life of faith in Him, not SG or anyone elses logic or apparent wisdom that comes from logic. I see only Jesus and His sacrifice, and what He has done. When it is my time to stand before the throne of Judgement I will point to Jesus and I already know the outcome of that moment.
    In Love

  14. Renee says:

    Bethels phone number is 246 6600. 2 plus 4 is 6. It is literally 6666. Look at the address of the cornerstone to the road leading up to Bethel. 666.

    I have friends IN the Bethel cult they are so brainwashed you can not even hold a normal conversation with them.

    The way to tell if it is Godly is if it bears fruit. Bethel bears MONEY. Money for them. For their fold. They build their Babylon on a daily basis expanding it with money from the cultees.

    I have seen it firsthand. Fakery. Jewels falling from bibles. People running around. Chaos. Really sweet followers blinsly following without knowledge as to whome they are truly in league with.

    I went 3 times to that cult. My entire body shivered and i had to leave in a blind panic every single time. God told me NO! Under no circumstances are you to go in there.

    He told me that what i allow will permeate my soul.

    He said, “Not only have you seen this, but you have felt it. Do not go there and wipe the dust from your feet when you go. “

    • Matthew 18:5-9 ESV

      “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

  15. Cindra Rayburn says:

    I have just returned from a Missions trip to China and was asked to look for info on the Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry. While on their web site it all seemed so simple and interesting. This new Christian I met in China was hoping to attend there this Fall, so I offered to look into it. (They are blocked by their government for much on line web sites) Now I am confused. Have you attended this church often or were you directed to write a blog about them? Any info. on their college curriculum? If that’s even what it is called. I hesitate to reply to my new friend as I would be so very sad to see her waste her money only to find it confusing.
    In His Grip,
    Cindra

    • Hi Cindra,
      Thank you for your comment and your questions.
      My personal experience with Bethel is through those of my ex-wife. Bethel Church teaches hyper-Charasmania. Their leader , Bill Johnson, teaches he is a modern-day apostle and others on staff teach try are modern-day prophets. This is called “New Apostolic Reformation”. It is pure heresy. They teach mysticism, tongues, signs and wonders and grave-sucking. Bill Johnson teaches Jesus was not God while He walked the earth but merely a man. It is cultish and divisive (it is what broke my marriage apart).
      I encourage you to do a computer search on “Bethel Church heresy”, “Bill Johnson heresy”, “New Apostolic Reformation heresy”. By just doing those three, you will find all you need to help you make a qualified decision. This movement is taking over the evangelical Western world like a demonic cancer. Extreme caution is urged.
      Blessings,
      S/G

      • Gabriella says:

        Cindra,
        It is not wise to just take another persons advice about other people or a ministry that you do not even know! Do research yourself about Bethel and ask people you know who are spiritually sound and mature, not gossips and false accusers on the internet. Remember how the pharisees told Jesus He worked miracles by the devil (Beelzebub)? Jesus also said His servants would suffer or be persecuted as He was, so do not be surprised if people claim heresy about servants of the Lord because the religious leaders of Jesus time did the same to Him. Also, the best person to ask is the Holy Spirit. I’ve never been to Bethel, but the spirit and fruit that I’ve observed from them so far is good. Churches have yet to be perfect and spotless because when they do, Jesus will be coming down on a cloud, but you can certainly be able to know if they truly follow the Lord. YOU need to test the spirit to see if it is of God as the bible tells you to, as well as their fruit. This whole page is a bunch of slander and religious hatred that sows discord and I know by testing it is against the Spirit of God. Don’t be led by fear, be led by the God who is love. God bless you Cindra and let the Lord lead you always. =)

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