Errors of Bethel & Jesus Culture

I am approached often regarding the ministry of Bethel Church in Redding, California (and subsequently, music that outflows through their musicians Jesus Culture). For weeks, I’ve prayed about how best to respond, not desiring to present a statement out of context, gossip, assault the true body of Christ, nor give any further attention to a ministry that is frighteningly far from biblical truth. An opportunity presented itself recently when a friend provided me with a Bethel post “God, Bad, & the Ugly” from Kris Vallotton who is considered, along with Bill Johnson, the chief leader/prophet for Bethel Church in Redding. So, instead of providing thoughts out of context, I will simply provide biblical response to his publicly made statements regarding Bethel’s ministry philosophy.


Author’s Note: Since writing this post Costi Hinn (nephew of infamous faith-healer Benny Hinn) and I have published the book Defining Deception, which further details the errant message and messengers of Bethel Church and others. After reading over Vallotton’s comments, I did not laugh nor mock, but more than anything shed tears. Bethel desperately desires to “mainstream” their church but cannot synthesize Scripture with their ministry. As you’ll see, their words display a desire to be spiritual but it is quite apparent they have no systematic interpretation process for the Scriptures they attempt to use. Therefore, not only are the positions false, they are theologically immature. This is sad for the leaders and their families, but much more so, for those that follow such behavior blindly. We cannot call what these men say or do “church”. In it’s best form, it may be considered immature confusion, a youth ministry gone mad. In it’s worse form, it is demonic.


#1 CHURCH INVENTIONS

“…a small, yet influential coalition of people has shared negative reports about us. These reports often include words such as “controversial,” “unbalanced,” or even the word “cult” to describe us. To be frank, I can understand why certain religious leaders or unbelievers might view us through these perspectives. We certainly have made our share of mistakes, both as a leadership team and those who follow us. And we have such a high value for freedom and risk that it has created a kind-of research and development culture where people are encouraged to take risks. I think this stems from the fact that we view ourselves much more as pioneers than settlers. Therefore, we celebrate creativity, revelation, invention and innovation above comfort, safety and security.” – Vallotton

“Research and development” along with pioneering, invention, and innovation, are beneficial values for corporate America but the Church was long ago invented by Jesus Christ, pioneered by His apostles, and comes complete with the bible, a manual on how it is to be operated. Because Christ is the “inventor” and the head of this body, called the church, it becomes a fundamental, and deadly, flaw when any man attempts to build something called, “Church” on a set of values outside those clearly specified in Scripture (and hence practiced in orthodoxy for millennia). No natural man should ever presume to take the supernatural pen from the Eternal Architect’s mighty finger, and attempt to re-craft His preeminent design. The Church is certainly operated by imperfect people but its inception and directive stands most holy as crafted by a perfect God. Bethel (Vallotton) move to support a “R&D” culture by referencing a slew of Old Testament characters who proved “fallible”. Yet, Bethel forgets, or has not properly studied, that we do not live in the age of Law like these men and women but have received the progressive revelation of Christ’s incarnation, death, burial, resurrection, and institution of the Church, with the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us, and provides clear documented biblical principles to guide us. Thus, although our natural sin nature may be “fallible” like our Old Testament counterparts, through grace we can receive freedom from these carnal propensities, and the Church itself is to be led by those being sanctified unto the specific promises and purposes of this age of grace (c.f. Rom 5:1-5; Rom 8:26-30; Rom 12:1-2; 2 Cor 4:7-10; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:1-10; Eph 4:17-32).

The most basic error of the Word of Faith movement (which attempts to add personal revelation atop what is already completed in Scripture) is that it places fallible human opinion atop perfected divine truth. Usually when a man or woman claims to have, “A Word from the Lord” he/she presupposes himself as divinely inspired. Whenever he or she claims, “A dream to be divine” He says in essence, “The bible is not enough” or, “Although Paul says ‘Scripture is adequate,’ I’ve still got a little bit more.” And, this has no decent ending resolve. See the passages listed below. The bible speaks of itself and says clearly, “I am enough. I am complete.” In fact, it warns all men from daring to add or delete even one word (Matt 16:18; Eph 2:19-20; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Rev 22:18-22).

#2 UNBRIDLED ECUMENICALISM

“We really think it’s important to give people the freedom to disagree with what we teach or practice without feeling like they are being disloyal or dishonoring. We have strong feelings about certain subjects that are even contrary to what some of our good friends believe. But we don’t want to be right at the expense of being together. If Jesus only had relationships with people who were doctrinally perfect… I’d be the only one he’d hang out with (smile face).” – Vallotton

The statement, “We do not want to be right at the expense of being together,” appears gracious to the one who accepts that there is no clear right. This is modernism, pluralism, and often taught by Oprah and her friends. But, to the man who trusts that Christ, and His Word, present a clear (and literal) right, and that this clear right is what leads a lost sinner away from darkness and into light, he will naturally conclude that speaking forth this right, and speaking against wrong, is not only a necessary thing, but the most loving thing. This is the definition of Christ’s, “Narrow Road” and is the model of the apostles. Yes, the bible clearly presents that Jesus healed the hurting and took time for the doctrinally lost but it is equally clear that Jesus had judgment reserved for the “doctrinally able” who twisted and perverted spiritual doctrines to their own ends. His indictment on the Pharisee will make any knee tremble. His curse upon Bethsaida will make any jaw clench. Paul, Peter, and Jude spend chapters of their letters calling the church to protect itself from error. Thus, if a man accepts Christ as Lord and His Word as the complete authority for Christian living and conduct in the Church, secondary differences may be patiently navigated between Christian brothers. However, if one attempts to diminish the inerrancy, authority, or sufficiency of Christ’s plan as presented through Holy Scripture, takes advantage of the sheep within a congregation, or elevates their own status over Christ as Lord and Master, there is ample biblical support for “not being together for the sake of being right” (Luke 11:39-44, Luke 12:52-53, 2 Tim 4:3-5, 2 Peter 2:1-2, Jude 1:17-18).

#3 APOSTOLIC SIGNS

“Some write about me, Bill Johnson or Bethel Church as if we were the originators of the idea that Christians should have a supernatural lifestyle. This is comical to me. People will often write something like, “Bill Johnson says,” and then go on to quote the Bible word for word. For example, it was Jesus who said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved…these signs will accompany those who have believed in My name: they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover,” (Mark 16:16-18). The exhortation, command and commission to do miracles, heal the sick and cast out demons is all throughout the New Testament. A supernatural lifestyle is articulated, demonstrated and replicated by Jesus and the apostles, as well as everyday believers from the book of Matthew to the book of Revelation…Yet some Christians choose to live with less than Jesus paid for, and that is their prerogative…” – Vallotton

The New Testament provides the inerrant account of Christ’s life on earth along with His miraculous signs specifying Him as Messiah. It also provides testimony of those whom He designated as apostles, who would join Him working miracles testifying to the inception of the Church age. This period is often termed the Apostolic Age. To be an Apostle during the Apostolic Age, there were three basic requirements (see ref. below). Firstly, a man must have been an eyewitness of Christ. Secondly, he must have been appointed by Christ. Finally, his work was to be authenticated by signs. To the contrary of Bethel’s statement, this was not a commission given to “Everyday believers” nor were these apostolic furtherances even mentioned in any of the Prison or Pastoral Epistles of Paul. For a more comprehensive understanding of how Bethel misuses the Book of Acts see The Errors of Bethel & Jesus Culture Part 2 HERE.

Based on biblical truths agreed to by fundamental, liberal, and even many renewal theologians, the apostolic period ended with the death of the Apostle John in approximately AD100. And, the early church fathers, Clement, Ignatius, and countless others, including Augustine, Luther, Wesley, and Whitefield, for almost 1800 years termed the Apostolic Era finished. It was not until the early twentieth century that any “evangelical” would attempt to reinstate it. These “ministries” claim a position that ended with the early church, and claim a designation that even the early church Fathers, closest to the original disciples, dared not maintain! We live in the post Apostolic Age, and the qualifications of the apostles, including their eyewitness accounting, appointment, and normative authenticating signs of miracle, have ceased to be possessed by any one man or any one ministry. This does not mean that God ceases to conduct miracles, through prayer, in unique situations. It does mean that the “Office” or “Authority” of any one human to conduct these miracles at-will has concluded. [For the sake of clarity, I’ll repeat this statement, “Historically, the cessation of sign gifts is not the cessation of miracles, but of any one man to operate those miracles at will.] Based on this, we must be ever vigilant when a church, denomination, or sect, attempts to utilize apostolic vernacular or usher normative sign gifts upon the body.

All of this concludes that any regular “sign” or “wonder” of today consists of one (or more) of the following elements: 1) An emotional or para-psychological response, prompting one feel better for a short time 2) Trickery and manipulation, wherein a leader stages or poses healings to gain followers or income 3) Demonic activity, that does assist in healing the body and further propagates the lie of a false prophet, as he destroys the soul. Kris Vallatton, Bill Johnson, Heidi Baker, Benny Hinn, Todd White, C. Peter Wagner, and any man who claims the mantle of “Apostle” and thinks of himself as a modern Peter, Paul, James, or John, is not only misguided, He is opposing two millennia of church history. And, when these men attempt to sell the “apostolic” privilege to others, as these men do, they are leading people astray.

Finally, the statement that, “Some Christians choose to live with less than Jesus paid for” is the quintessential line of a False Prophet. It assumes that there is, “Hierarchy” in faith and that some Christians receive the “in” on God’s blessing while other are “stuck out in the cold of their faithless existence.” It assumes that this leader with the “in” can help others get “in”. We’ve explained this gnostic heresy in our book, Defining Deception. Peter explained that it is greed which drives such teaching (2 Peter 2:3, Jude 1:16). To state that the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is more meaningful for one than another, based on earthly profit or benefit, is to diminish the very substitute itself. How dare any man say such a thing?

One need not think long before discovering the weakness in this position. Why is it that those with the supposed “in” still get sick? Still die? Often lose all their money? Often blow up their marriages? The simple fact that Oral Roberts, Smith Wigglesworth, and Aimee Semple all lost their ministry, money, and died is ample evidence that faith doesn’t equate to health, wealth, and longevity. And, the historic (and continuing) thread of Christian martyrs, who have died, died young, and died in disrepute, unknown by earth but made famous in heaven, is the greatest proof that faith often comes with greater suffering not greater surplus. It is either insecurity or demonic dread that prompts any man build a ministry on, “hierarchy” stating that they have a special “in” or “anointing” or “Power” than those that follow. Bethel has taken a step further, conducting a school for innocent young people, immersing them in this deception. What must their secret club meetings be like? Who can ever attain their supernatural level? Jesus tore down the veil and those lies saying, “Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3, Mat 10:1, Acts 10:41-42, Mark 10:14-15).

#4 WORSHIP CONDUCT

Then there is the infamous gold dust; again the phenomenon comes and goes. The first time I ever witnessed this myself was at a MorningStar conference more than fifteen years ago. The speaker released the “glory of God” in the room, and suddenly gold dust appeared on everyone’s face and hands…But the truth is, I really don’t know why these things happen. Therefore, I do think feathers and gold dust qualify as “wonders.”… One of the manifestations that has been most offensive to people is something we call “holy laughter.” This condition occurs when, for no obvious reason, people just begin to laugh hysterically as if they are drunk. Some laugh so hard that they literally fall on the ground… Again, I have never experienced this condition myself, but I have carried my wife out of several meetings when she was so “spiritually drunk” that she couldn’t walk. Weird you say? Yeah, I agree, it looks that way to me too. I love what Angela Monet said, “those who danced look quite insane to those who didn’t hear the music.” I think this quote applies here.” – Vallotton

Firstly, the doxa glory of God is not glitter. In Scripture, those who encounter the glory of God fall to their faces in fear. Secondly, Jesus Christ came and walked earth as the glory of God. Secondly, the apostle Paul and (Angela Monet) seem to clearly disagree. Angela apparently wishes the church to look insane while Paul wrote clearly that the church would contain order and truth that would prompt the unbeliever to be, “Convicted by all… so that he would fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.” Chaos does not convict sinners of God’s truth, the prophetic (spoken forth) Word given in order does! In this article, I refuse to give glitter clouds, feathers, or church drunkenness further writing time. It’s chaos. It’s been around for many years in different forms, and it’s not of the Lord. I do not have time nor space here to examine Bethel’s ministry of “Grave Sucking” nor their new “Prophecy of the Tattoo” ministry, dead-raising team, healing rooms, post-tribulationalism, nor the fact that their youth frolic through tunnels of fire in orgie like induced euphoria. Come, please leaders of Bethel! Please consider your own families! You’ve allowed your wives mimic alcoholism, a sin that has destroyed hundreds of millions of lives and is clearly against Scriptural mandate (Eph 5:18). And, you now publicize that the Holy Spirit wants your family this way. Repent while there’s still time (Ex 33:20, John 1:14, 1 Cor 14:23-25, 40).

#5 THE DEVIL

Again, it’s very hard to attribute this to Satan when the fruit of this manifestation is always positive in the people having the experience… Could it be the devil? If it is the devil, he is doing a wonderful job of helping people get closer to God. In almost every case where people have been “slain in the Spirit” they report being more convinced than ever of God’s love for them.” – Vallotton

One of the pragmatic proofs used by ecstasy-based religions is “feeling” as conceptual evidence of it’s impact. [Evidence of this is confirmed by how people utilize their “experience” to rebut the truths of this piece] It is remarkable, in fact, that Bethel focuses such inordinate amount of time on mystical experience, that there is very little, if any, doctrinal teaching about Christ at all. This is seen in Bethel’s assessment that, “They report being more convinced than ever of God’s love for them.” The obvious question here is, “Has Bethel not heard that ‘Satan disguises himself as an angel of light?'” (2 Cor 11:14)

Based on his words, I will suppose that Bethel’s leaders (and Mr. Vallotton himself) hold 1 John 4 & 5 as an arm’s length proof text that, “Feelings of God’s love equate to proper spiritual practices”. I’ll agree that the love of God is a central joy in the relationship with Christ and fellowship within a local church. But, allow me to show that it is NOT the only evidence of proper doctrine nor application within the church.

Notice contextually, that in 1 John 4 & 5 the apostle John references God’s love repeatedly but goes on to explain the “evidences” of any man “convinced” of God’s love for him. God’s love prompts that the individual accept Christ as Lord (4:2), God’s love is then evidenced when the individual loves others (4:8), God’s love is then evidenced when the individual accepts and obeys God’s commandments without burden (5:3), God’s love is then evidenced when the individual refrains from habitual sin (5:18), and God’s love is evidenced when the individual no longer holds any idols (5:21).

Therefore, being convinced of God’s “love” is not near enough evidence. Muslims believe in love, Jews believe in love, even Buddhists, and Hindus believe in love. Some of them even in love from God. The evidence of whether a person is truly called by Christ unto salvation comes following this reflective “convincing” of God’s love through the determined response to 1) adore Christ, 2) love others, 3) obey Scripture, 4) turn from sin, and 5) lay down all idols! I would recommend Bethel assess if this is happening to all those being, “slain in the spirit.” For it is my continual experience that those who grow to true depths in God’s grace are not at all interested in an emotional pulpit show, have no desire to have glitter dumped on them, and do not wish to leave church feeling inebriated. They can easily receive that Monday-Friday at a club or bar. Real Christians attend church to “grow in the knowledge of their Lord and Savior and to know Him and His sufferings, knowing that these light and temporary troubles are storing up for them a glory that outweighs them all” (2 Cor 4:17).

CONCLUSION

As we’ve seen, Bethel holds a theology that: 1) Maintains new revelation 2) Is willing to unite with virtually anyone 3) Claims to operate as Apostles 4) Conducts worship outside biblical directive and order 5) Claims emotion as evidence of its veracity. Any one of these issues is error, all combined it is frightening. This stance against biblical authority and biblical methodology is not Christian orthodoxy.

People will ask why it is necessary to take time to point out the errors of another. My answer is simply that, “The Bible commands it.” Paul was clear that there are times when error must be clearly specified. The American church has a lost sense of conviction because it does not operate precisely as the Bible commands.

Much of Paul’s final letter before death, 2 Timothy, was regarding false teaching. Paul commands young Timothy to, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) The key word is “ashamed.” Shame is the painful feeling that rises from an awareness of having done something dishonorable. Anyone who “teaches falsely” will be ashamed when they meet God. It does not matter how many degrees on the wall, or how many people in the seats, or how passionately they believed what they said. If they have mishandled the Word of God, they will be ashamed.

Paul goes on to say that there’s one way to avoid being ashamed. You must, “Be diligent” and “Accurately handle” the Word of truth. In modern english we would say it this way, “Work with maximum effort to cut a straight line when you’re studying, teaching, and preaching.”

Much of what pretends to be, “Bible” and, “Church” and, “Preaching” today actually is not. Therefore, to help others avoid shame on the final day, and to protect even one sheep from being led astray, “truth in love” mandates clarity and boldness, regarding what is clearly unscriptural. As it relates to Bethel, the sword of the Word of God must be taken out of its scabbard. May true followers of Christ delete the music, set down the books, avoid the school, and lovingly steer others from anathema.

The preceding was written for the theological clarity and intended use of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, CA. To email the author directly, email twood@missionbible.org 

379 thoughts on “Errors of Bethel & Jesus Culture

  1. Thank you so much for this writing. God has used your obedience to open my eyes and heart to His truth and wisdom alone -in this dangerous matter that is rapidly spreading among His people. We must be filled with the love and grace of our Savior, Jesus, stay alert, stand strong in the word of God, and be discerning- for we are in the last days.
    May the Lord bless you and keep you my dear brother!
    In Christ~

  2. I started reading your article as I have some concerns about Bethels ministry (not that I am yet certain that there is anything to be really concerned about) and so i took time to read your article.
    I have to say I find your criticism of Bethel raises a lot more concerns I have for you and your ministry than it does for Kris or Bill. Your whole article seems to lack any sense of love or humility and comes across as much more of a religious (we know better than them) understating of righteousness than the Holy selfless nature that is so obvious in Christ.

    I ask you to genuinely seek God over some of the things that you have written here especially your comments on the works of the spirit. This sensationalist understanding of scripture has caused a huge amount of damage in the Church and the ministry of Jesus to the world and i believe the preachers of this message are going to be deeply saddened when they come face to face with their maker and realise how obviously they have misunderstood scripture. As you stated in your conclusion that teachers will be held accountable, I loving ask you to seek Gods heart out of humility to learn what is the truth because you have sounded much closer to the religious leaders (pharisees) than Paul or any of the apostles you quoted earlier.

    It is very easy to take individual verses in scripture and use it to back up any argument but I must say yours leaves it somewhat lacking.

    1. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians church, and because he hasn’t been there in awhile, some of the teachings they were believing very misleading and dangerous. He says to his brothers and sisters in the Lord, ” Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth” Gal. 4:16. When Christians start believing something that is religous and it makes them feel good and holy, it doesn’t mean its the truth. And when others try to warn those who are caught up in these lies, it is very hard for them to turn from it. One reason being, that many of us don’t want to acknowledge that we have been mislead; its very humbling. You also speak about the “works of the spirit.” How is it that you are offended when believers speak against, what you believe is the moving of the Spirit, when the very people who are active in this movement speak blasphemy in their teachings, and when speaking to the Holy Spirit in general? They belittle Jesus Christ with their human reasoning, and they show no reverence whatsoever toward the Holy Spirit of almighty God. Your ears seem to be completely closed when it comes to hearing what these so-called preachers are saying about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. If you are a true follower of Christ Jesus, any teachings or comments made in a way that belittles or blasphems my Lord, I simply would have no fellowship with.

    2. I actually think this article was written with great love and humility. He didn’t just cherry pick scriptures to fit his argument but went on to describe the history, specifics and call out the mis-use of scripture.

  3. Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group share tnis website with us so I came to check it out.
    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will bbe tweeting this to my followers!
    Great blog and terrific stye and design.

    1. Grant it, there are things that I don’t like about Bethel, but it’s more there physical appearance than anything else. I have listened to their sermons and music. sometime they’re right on it and other times it’s off. Like all of us. I have yet to see anything absolutely unbiblical about their ministry. I am a missionary to Colombia and that tweeting thing to followers has split up a many churches, A house divided against itself never prospers. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it, but don’t crush someone else. We’ve had to heal lots and lots of hurt pastors and church members over here. The church is more of a mission field than the world itself now a days. Please remember, with the measure that we judge we are judged. Be kind.

  4. This article is pure egotistical dribble. It encompasses a theology of “cafeteria religion”; “I’ll take a little of this, and some of that because I like those items. But I’ll pass on these items here because I do not like them’.
    Typical puffed up “I think I’m more studied than you are in biblical theology” but in reality sounds drier than a bone inside. That fact is more regretful than this article. It calls for pity and prayer for revelation.
    I know nothing of this Bethel Church other than I’ve heard and enjoyed a couple songs from the group Jesus Culture. Until I stumbled across this article I had no idea the two were connected. My observations are based solely on the writings of Mr. Wood. His choice of descriptions, explanations, and biblical “corrections” told me enough that this man is not a person to follow towards a personal relationship with Christ.
    He sounds like Dogma, Religion, Chains on a persons faith. He puts limits on God’s Word and the effectiveness of His Sovereignty. This type of theology is the reason why the “English Church” (early European church) and the now “Americanized Church” (the past 100 years of American church) have died or are dying.
    All anyone has to do is go to a Christian Church in China, Burma, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, India, Sudan, Taiwan, Cambodia, Bolivia, Peru…etc…. These People are True Christians who believe every single Word of the Bible and accept it as Truth! They are willing to endure horrific deaths for faith and watch their loved ones do the same. America never sees “Signs & Wonders” anymore for the same reason Jesus Christ could not perform miracles in his own hometown. It THEIR lack of faith Scripture says, not Jesus’ lack of faith. Christ himself could not perform miracles; and not in the sense of His physical inabilities but rather due to His Sovereign Standards He could not. This is much the exact same type of reason which Can Not Allow Sin into Heaven.
    Signs and Wonders DO exist and are available to all who are willing to accept them.
    Mr. Wood, maybe your time would be best utilized focusing on your own faith walk and allow God to correct what needs to be corrected in error. Or do you hold yourself as God’s appointed hall monitor?

    1. Lets leave SIGNS and WONDERS aside, and lets see what they teach about Jesus. If they do not have an understanding about who Jesus is from scripture, they simply do not have an understanding about anything else in scripture. These preachers, along with the Word of Faith ministers, all have no understanding about the Triune God. They belittle Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit with their blasphemous teachings, they think and teach as though Jesus the Christ is a noboby, and they are the ones who command the Holy Spirt of Almighty God to leap, hop, and jump at their command. These show no reverence whatsoever towards a Holy and Righteous God in their teachings or in their service. Now with this in mind, if this is how they behave toward Jesus Christ in word and deed, do you honestly believe that the Spirit of Christ is doing anything in that circle; I truly don’t think so.

    2. Who is Jesus according to Bethel teachings? Was Jesus just a man empowered y the Spirit or is He God?

      1. I forgot to mention also that Paul, in those specific letters to specific elders to specific churches – was addressing elders he appointed/churches he planted about false teachers who came into those churches and began to spread false teaching there.

        Not the same as a self appointed individual accusing senior leaders of a church where they are not members, leaders, or in authority – on the www for the whole world to find.

    3. I agree with a number of your comments relating to the author’s outlook on the Bethel Church; however, having been invited and then visited a “Bethel Church” locally because some of my “church sisters” were now attending. It didn’t take me long to realize when I visited that much of this was unbiblical.[I was also quite alarmed to discover that Patricia King had been allowed to have a conference at this local church. She had been involved in the New Age quite heavily and claims to have come out of it and is now serving Jesus Christ. But I am still very troubled by her…period.]

      Personally, I saw a mixture of biblical truth and the rest was a huge imbalance and not scriptural. After the meeting I had lunch with a “church sister” [from my former fellowship] and she asked me what I thought of the church. I told her quickly that she should leave this place as quickly as possible. She asked me why and I clearly told her that much that was going on in that church was not of God and that there was a lot of error. She replied to me that I “needed to be stretched” and I replied, “Sorry, I don’t need that “kind of stretching.” I didn’t see my friend anymore but later observed on her Facebook page that she and her sister and others had left that place. I was blessed to hear that.

      I do disagree emphatically with what this author posted, “Based on these biblical truths agreed to by fundamental, liberal, and even renewal theologians, the apostolic period ended with the death of the Apostle John in approximately 100AD. And, the early church fathers, Clement, Ignatius, and countless others, including Augustine, Luther, Wesley, and Whitefield, for almost 1800 years termed the Apostolic Era finished.”{meaning that there was no longer any active gifts of uses of the gifts from the Holy Spirit} This author is not rightly dividing the Scriptures; leaves behind what the Scripture states and moves to what the early church fathers have stated.

      I mean think about it…believing that the early church fathers had the “corner on the market” of how Scriptures were interpreted were deeply mired in error as many churches are today including Bethel. So as another poster had stated…the author comes across as prideful. Consequently, he appears to be a part of the cessation movement who believe that all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit have stopped and there is no scripture for this at all. I would trust more what the Bible states in full context in the many scriptures that state otherwise. God would not leave us here without a defense. Meaning that the Holy Spirit still operates in an through people today. Now this is not to say that there aren’t false prophets out there cause there are many. However ANY prophecy [according to Scripture] has to be tested. This is what is lacking at Bethel and other modern churches today. They have a “little bit of truth” yet are unable to have the Holy Spirit reveal some discernment to them about other errors. This makes for a huge problem. Does anyone actually believe God would take the Holy Spirit away from everyone to come in the future just because the last apostle, John had died. Would God leave us here to fight all of the demonic activity in our on strength. The answer is an emphatic NO! Accordingly, if one has “studied to show themselves approved” and they are hearing from God there will be no way they will walk into a place such as Bethel and not get the “hebby-jeebies”.

  5. Your conclusions sound like they come from a perspective of someone who’s relationship with the Holy Spirit has room for growth. Just because you haven’t received in the giftings that Bethel ministry operates in doesn’t mean these realms of God’s love don’t exist. Your writing sounds more like the bible hasn’t come alive to you. The letter killeth but the Spirit gives Life. The Life contained in the bible does not come across from your writing and thus reflects a lack of understanding of Love which is an emotion at face value for a veiled heart but is a Person to the Spiritually mature. All you wrote is a reflection of your heart and my prayer is for you to look at the alphabets differently as alive rather than static history trapped in ancient interpretation.

    1. Read what I have written above. You speak about the Holy Spirit, Love and Life but you have no clue about any of them. If the people’s views about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit of Almighty God is filled with blasphemies, than who is to say the Spirit is moving at all in that congregation? Lets get our eyes off of what’s being displayed and more on what it is they are teaching about the Lord. Love and Life come from the Lord Jesus, if you have Him wrong you have nothing. The Spirit’s purpose here is to GLORIFY Jesus; not to life up some church or some pastor, but to GLORIFY Jesus. Read John 15.

    2. What I saw of bethel church is straight up demonic, eastern mystic stuff that no one studied in the word would be comfortable with. It’s new age. It’s unbiblical. It needs a rebuke.

  6. I see where you’re coming from for sure. Things can quickly get out of hand when we stretch the scripture beyond its intended bounds. But I also sense the danger of constricting the scripture beyond its intended constrictions. For example: your logic: there are no modern “apostles.” So then this logic also demands there are no modern prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers. While that may not be your intended point, one can easily lead to that conclusion. No there are no more apostolic fathers, but Paul, who himself was not an eyewitness claimed apostolic authority and taught its continued veracity in the church. And using “church history” instead of scripture to prove a point is clear indication your point has no real biblical authority. Be careful in your passion to uncover counterfeit spiritual practices that you don’t fall into your own trap.

  7. Your thoughts are fueled by misunderstanding and possibly inexperience in points of views . As I read your thoughts, they are laced with anger and attack of something you have not experienced or understand. Satan will use anything to get us off track even our own faith. God does not require our legalistic views, man has decided to include those in their misinterpretation of His word. The accusations you have are not based in love and should be set aside. Your pen has the ability to influence people, please do not take this responsibility lightly.

  8. In the article, you mention the verse “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved…these signs will accompany those who have believed in My name: they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover,” you speak of this like it was only for the apostles and it ended at John. This is wrong because the bible says that we the body of Christ are the hands and feet of God. The desire of God is to set the captives free and make people whole, he can’t do that without his hands and feet on the earth. That’s why Jesus gave all of us the Holy Spirit, not just to convict us, guide us, but also so that every Christian can be apart of the plan that God has made. Which is to spread the good news and to bring heaven on the earth. How is it that healing, casting out demons, raising from the dead, etc… Is demonic if they do it according to the word and with the authority of Jesus Christ? That’s the same thing as saying that spreading hope, life, and love to those in need is of the devil. That’s contradictory for he is the opposite of hopes life, and love. If anyone here can convince me that Jesus is wrong in saying, John 14:12 ” Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father.” Then by all means, go ahead and try it

    1. Jesus says in Matthew 7:22,23, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not preached in your name (Jesus)? and in your name (Jesus) have cast out demons? and in your name (Jesus) done many wonderful works? And then will I say unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, you that work iniquity.” Now think about what is being said here: these people, and they are a multitude, will stand before Christ Jesus and begin to explain all that they did here on earth, they believe in Jesus, they preached in His name, they were casting out demons in His name, and they were performing all kinds of wonderful works (displays) in His name. Yet Jesus will say to them, “I don’t know who you are.” Don’t hinge your salvation or your foundation on signs and wonders. Christ Jesus will be coming for those who are yielding their vessels unto the Fruit of the Spirit. Jesus says, “that by their fruit you shall know them.” Matt. 7:20. If the “Fruit” is not evident in your life, then you will not know what to look for in others. Each of us are going to have to give an account some day, what will you have to show? Read Gal. 5:22,23. Don’t just know what these words mean, live by them each and every day, only then will you know, and then Jesus will know you.

  9. Anyone questioning whether Bethel is the real thing or not should go there. Making assumptions based on what you hear or read without actually seeing is dangerous. We will be held accountable about what we say about our brothers especially if it is supported by the Holy Spirit. I believe there are 39 nations (could be more) that are partnering with and coming to Bethel from around the world. Either what is happening there is of God and it will continue to flourish, or it is not and will be exposed. As far as the healings: Blind people now see, lame men now walk, and the sick are healed. None of these miracles are ever Biblically reproduced by the devil. Therefore by denying the power of the Holy Spirit to actually do these things through his people is more Pharisaical than Christological.

    1. Deception will not come with one wearing red pajamas, horns sticking out of its head and holding on to a pitch fork; but will come by way of wearing nice clothes and speaking soothing, eloquent words. You can say all you want about what goes on during the service, healings, miracles, and the moving of the Spirit. But have you not heard the teachings from these so-called leaders when they try to explain the teachings of Christ Jesus and about the Holy Spirit? If they blaspheme Christ and the Holy Spirit in their teachings, why are you not offended in that? Open your eyes and your ears to the teaching of scripture, not by what signs you see with your eyes.

      1. Youre a bit deceived yourself. You keep answering questions or statements with scriptures that are slightly out of context.
        And I’m sure you haven’t experienced that “Bethel Church” very much if at all first hand, so I recommend leaving what they do, right or wrong, up to the Lord.

      2. Hi “Anonymous” (posting 10 July at 2.20pm)

        I do hope “Restoration in Christ” will respond to your recent post him/herself.

        You’re quite right, it is absolutely essential that we answer questions and statements using Scripture in context. As somebody has said “discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”

        In the light of your comments, please could you provide some Scriptural support for your statement: “…leave what they [Bethel] do, right or wrong, up to the Lord…”?

        In your response please don’t cite Gamaliel the Pharisee (Acts 5:38-39). It’s an oft repeated but rather poor argument that’s supposed to allow heretical groups to go unchallenged. Gamaliel wasn’t a NT believer. His “persuasive” words meant that Peter and the other Apostles were only flogged for preaching Jesus Christ (crucified and risen from the dead).

        Have you never read the warnings the Apostle Paul gave in his letters about false brethren, false teachers, false gospels and falsehood in general? He too had been a Pharisee, but had been radically changed when he became a Christian believer. Acts 22:3 tells us that in his old life, Paul had been a student of that same Gamaliel.

        Before I finish, yes, I do have some first-hand experience. To me, as a Bible-believing Christian, Bethel’s fruit smells pretty rotten.

        What fruit are you looking at?

  10. It is difficult to defend against anyone who is certain they know the Bible but have not been educated in The Word. Gods word is very clear about order in His church. I’m afraid He is shaking His head as He looks upon “churches” out of control, teaching some people are blessed with the gift of prophesy, of receiving some kind of divine healing, laughing “in the spirit” until falling down, and seeing gold dust and feathers falling. Dear Lord I pray you will open the eyes of these humans, not anyone more special than the rest of us to see the harm they are causing. My child is at Bethel with the hopes that her sweet little family will be strengthened in Christ and she can go through 10 months of classes there. She has already in the couple of weeks she has been there felt “less than” worthy to receive what others around her have. She is an intelligent young wife and mother who has already seen some inconsistency in who has received “something” and she did not. She has questioned why. Yet she is continuing to be told it will happen. Just wait and maybe it will. Already I see a slow and deliberate brainwashing going on here. She has had some life experiences that caused her self esteem to be damaged. She is vulnerable. She is like an open wound in some areas of her life. She is at Bethel looking for something. Searching for something to make her feel valued. Something to heal that wound. I’m very concerned and very skeptical. I pray she is not more damaged by all the hokas pokas at the bethel school of supernatural ministry. I love her and my grand daughter who is just an innocent baby more than my life. Mr Johnson, God will deal with you if you do anything to harm my family for your own financial or egotistical gain!!! You haven’t seen anything like a mother with her claws out fighting for her children. I’ve got your number and my Lord knows what you’re up to. Satan is a wolf in sheeps clothing. He is using you. Wake up and read your Bible. Get a real education regarding Gods word and direction He left for His children to follow.

    1. Renee, thanks for sharing your story. You communicate the pain you are experiencing. I am so sorry. There are many who will pray for your daughter and family including me. There is a Facebook page you might want to check out “Bethel Church and Christianity.” It is a good source for information and those who participate, who know the real Bethel and are facing similar situations, will pray also.

      1. Anonymous you are the one who is going to be in pain, for you know “it is finished”. God’s real children are not duped by your false humility and exploitation of others emotional circumstances.

  11. Brilliant article done with grace and humility. I understand when you say “I do not laugh nor mock, but shed tears”. As a minister to college-aged students, I have investigated the teachings and doctrine of Bethel for some time now, having heard countless sermons and read multiple books of Bill, Kris, and the whole gang. I understand you’re brokenness over those who begin to operate from those theologically twisted ideals. So many young people are innocently following out of ignorance and it breaks my heart to see the effect of not understanding ‘Sola Scriptoria’. Thank you for your hard work in producing fruitful arguments, using the only truth we have; the Word of God.

  12. I just have one question. If these “modern apostles” or anyone for that matter, claim healings and raisings from the dead, why do we not ever hear from these people of whom God has touched? Why do they not share in the “miracle” they have received? Why do we not hear about them on the news? Why is not there a television series about these people? Where are these people? Why would they not want to share to the world the wondrous gift that the Lord Almighty has given them? Why would their families not rejoice and tell of the miracle their family member has received? Why? because it doesn’t happen.

    Can God grow a limb back for a veteran who has fought for these people’s freedom of religion? Yes he can, does he? No, he does not. Can these people “command” in Gods name to grow a limb back? No, they can not. I however can command for a lizards can grow a tail back, or a crab can grow a claw back…and it will happen. I guess that makes me a miracle worker. If I, a mere lowly Christian can do this, why cannot these super-Christians command a human to grow a limb back. Show me one human that has EVER grown a limb back. Why do we only hear from the “evangelist” who proclaims of healings that have taken place? Does remission of cancer constitute a healing? Maybe, but cancer can be misdiagnosed, it can go into remission, etc… Why would Lars post information of his friend Rebecca being healed from deafness? Where is Rebecca at? Why is she not telling anyone of the “miracle” bestowed upon her? When it comes to diseases, God has given scientists and physicians the tools to “heal” inflictions, but I know of no one person who has “healed” someone by laying on of hands.

    I am a firm believer in Christ, I am a firm believer in miracles, I believe that God sent His ONLY begotten Son to die for our sins so that we could have eternal life. I also believe that God has a plan for everyone and He and only He can and will heal those according to His plan. Man does not need to be involved in this process, only faith, and if God chooses to grow back someone’s limb, or make them see again, allow them to hear, or make them walk, that is His plan and not mans.

    Honestly, I pity the man who falsely uses Gods “powers” for their own gain, for their own glory…There is no school that prepares one to do Gods miracles, if God wanted, he could answer my little girls prayers that her daddy would have legs again. It’s all according to His plan, He is all powerful, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.

  13. This is pathetic. People like you need to worry about your own relationship with God rather than worrying about others. You clearly have never listened to any of their worship songs or sermons. Just because you don’t like the way that they are doing things doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Because to be honest, some could say the same things about you and your “religious” big headed self. I’m so tired of people bashing churches that “mega” because they think they have doing be doing the “wrong” thing since they’re so big. God has blessed them and they are reaching people for Christ.

    1. Get your eyes off the music and listen to what these people are teaching. Any person with musical talent can play Christian music beautifully, and to do so doesn’t make them born-again believers. When you have so-called teachers at Bethel saying that Jesus needed to be born-again in hell, lets me know they have no understanding of scripture, therefore they cannot be trusted with the souls of others. There are many other type doctrines that they teach which are completely false. If you knew the scriptures yourself, you would know what I am saying is true. Lives are not destroyed because of good music, lives are destroyed because of false teachings that mess with people’s mind. Jesus says that, “The words that I speak are Spirit and Life.” If one has the “Words” wrong, there can be no life.

      1. Jesus had to die spiritually in hell because he became sin. So therefore he had to be made new spiritually to be resurrected spotless…..think about it. You should read identification by EW Kenyon.

      2. In Col 1:18, it says Jesus is the firstborn of the dead. It does not say He is reborn like what He said to Nicodemus. When Jesus became sin, he also hung on a tree. That was the curse. Yes, he physically died, and there was a temporary separation from God. However, he did not go to hell. The word in the bible means the place of death, Sheol. That was the place where the old testiment saints went.

  14. Personally, I have never been to Bethel Church or heard any sermons given by their pastors. I (as a worship leader) love some of their songs, and I can use their lyrics as PERSONAL TESTIMONIES. I am pretty sure many people can agree on that as well. Not only Bethel Church but also Passion (Chris tomlin, Crowder, etc.) or Hillsong. As you replied to another post in 11/08/15, let’s not get to the musical aspect BUT lets lean towards the lyrics of how broken people, any sinners, and CHRISTIANS can use the lyrics to uplift themselves.
    Always I tell people in my congregation that praise music is a prayer with a melody. I believe if people open their minds and hearts then any song can be used to glorify God… maybe they make these songs with the specific lyrics to do just that.
    Every aspect we use to glorify God whether it may be to pray, read scripture, listen to a sermon, QT, WHATEVER it is… we do it for that one purpose.
    I dont know…. maybe i am getting off topic…. Let’s all pray for a change.. the curse of free will..

  15. From the King James Bible,

    Hebrews 13:8, 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

    Ephesians 1:16-20, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
    17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
    18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
    19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
    20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
    21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
    22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
    23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

    Romans chapter 8, 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
    9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
    10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
    12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
    13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
    18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
    19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
    20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
    21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
    22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
    23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
    24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
    25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
    26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
    27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
    29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
    31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
    32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
    33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
    34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
    35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
    36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
    37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
    38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
     
    This is all straight from the KJV of the bible. Too many people want to keep God in a box and not allow Him to use them and do for them like He wants to. I don’t know about you but it excites me to know that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of me. Never, never, never, ever handcuff the Holy Spirit and you may just be surprised at the works (signs and wonders, tongues, healings, miricales, and the list goes on), that He may use you as a vessel of His power to complete. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This tells me that if my God did it then, He can do it now, and He will still do it tomorrow. I love my God and I’m thankful that he sent His son to die on the cross for my sins and the sins of this world, and that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life!! I’ve never been to Bethel, never heard a one of their sermons, but I do enjoy and use their music as a tool for my worship to my Almighty Father. From your writings, it sounds like you keep God in a box and only look at His writings as a history book of something you read to know and understand how He was instead as a guide on how to live your live now. Man, we don’t serve a boring God that just on his throne watching us all with a magnifying glass waiting to burn us up like an ant when we step out of line. Instead, we serve a God that sent His only Son to suffer a horrendous death upon the cross, shed His blood for us, loves us, cares about us, and wants to have that personal relationship with each and every one of us that goes beyond your imagination. I could go on and on but I’ll end with this, “I don’t serve a boring God and I don’t want others to think that He is either, so I’ll let the Spirit manifest its way in any way, shape, or form that He sees fit!”

    1. Travis, I write this not to be adversarial but to hopefully bring clarification to you and other believers who read this post and comments. God is not “kept in a box” through the teaching at MBC or lives of our pastors. It is quite the opposite. There is continual fruit in their lives (Galatians 5:22-23) which is only by the power of the Holy Spirit. They take God’s Word very seriously, but please don’t take that as putting God in a box, but rather the proper fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7) as one ought to have knowing they will stand accountable for every word spoken. Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that our pastors are to equip you and I, and Scripture is the key to that process. It is what will protect us from doctrinal error by false teachers and keep unity in the body of believers. I trust a man who is teaching the same God-inspired Word that was preached for thousands of years, not a new philosophy that someone feels the spirit gave them. We are all depraved and the Holy Spirit will never disagree with the Holy Bible, so that should be what guides us, not our feelings or emotions…there is great freedom when the focus comes off of self and on the Lord. Grace and peace to you!

  16. I was once caught up in this garbage that bethel teaches. It’s dangerous and lacks accountability. Where’s the heartbreak over sin? Where’s the worship of JESUS? it’s all about signs and wonders instead of the sign and wonder giver. Great article. Shared it on my Facebook wall. The end!

  17. I love worship and being in God’s presence. That being said I have seen people being slain in the spirit, dancing, speaking in tongues, laughing, and yes even being drunk in the spirit. His presence is overwhelming and to confine Him into a little box and not let Him move freely is not right. If we want revival and people accepting Jesus as their Savior then we have to be on fire for Him. And for that to happen we have to let God take control, not caring about what others think. Who cares if they think you’re crazy for jumping or dancing or speaking in tongues? In the end its all about God.

    1. Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit…….have you not read the next few verses that describe what happens when someone is filled (or drunk as some call it) with the Spirit? Even still, is this the be all and end all of what Christianity or church is to be about? Most of us would agree not. Go, make disciples, teach, it says in Matt 28. And He says to preach, in Mark 16, THEN, signs and wonders will follow. Follow, not look for or chase after. Walk by faith, not by sight…….or feelings.

  18. I have but one question for you. Have you personally spoken to anyone of these men? If you have ought against your brother leave your offering to God at the alter and go to him make things right. If you see a brother in error ye who are strong go to him for his RESTORATION. Being careful to do the restoring in love least things visit you. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way BUT the Lord has laid on HIM the iniquity of ALL of us. Visit the man visit his heart. Things can be read into things that the author never intended. Just ask the Pharisee leader about being born again.

    1. Exactly! Writing on things he has no actual experience with. Is trying to help the body but probably hasn’t even confronted any of the Bethel leaders to catch their heart. Just all wrong man.

      1. Let me ask you a question. What is your biblical viewpoint and stance on the Muslim religion or Buddhism or Mormonism? Have you visited any of their churches or talked with any of their leaders before determining your viewpoint? Probably not. So the argument that an individual needs to attend Bethel or personally meet the leaders to see the false teaching in light of the Word of God is not valid.

  19. Stand firm, mighty warrior! I am sure the Father’s heart is blessed. Mine sure is. Keep loving enough to speak. The Good Shepherd’s voice will pierce the ears of the sheep as it slices through the bleating goats and roaring enemy. May many be turned back by His voice through your compassionately bold proclamation of His word!
    Truth IS indeed offensive to the sinner. SADLY, woe will be unto the ones who call evil good and good evil.
    May every true believer receive a coal from His altar upon their lips and cry out “Send me!”

  20. I think you are both wrong, and your are both right.
    I think, they give Jesus Christ credit. And honor Him, Jesus said this qualifies them to share His word. However they are probably just as far from truth as many, many other Churches throughout history and today have been and are…including yourself.
    As I noticed many scriptures out of context. And used to suit your own purpose. Which is to Destroy a church of Gods children. We should seek to help and exhort and pray for people. Not tear them down. Obviously they are reaching many. Let’s pray together to see a truth movement in Bethel church.
    And let’s not stand against our brothers and sisters. For our fight is not against flesh and blood. And it is our common enemy that is here to steal, kill, and Destroy. Also remember in the last days many will see signs and wonders and billows or smoke. Your young men will dream dreams and your old men will prophesy. Even on His servants male and female His spirit will be poured out upon.. This is not word for word. But it is. Close. There will come a day when the true worshippers will worship in Spirit and in Truth. You sound like you have truth. K pray now for you to receive the Holy Spirit. So your eyes my be opened and your ears made to hear. And you can make a true judgement of the situation. And work in the Love of Jesus Christ as well as His righteousness.

  21. Wow. What a melodrama this one is. A church, Bethel, that goes over the top with it’s supernatural emphasis, being scrutinized by a writer who SEEMS to think that nothing supernatural has happened since the last original Apostle died.

    Then a Bethel supporter defends them and, with each statement, seems to drive the writer more and more into a defensive position, putting aside more and more specific points of disagreement for the sake of a more general conclusion.

    Both good and bad points on both sides. I say call it a DRAW.

  22. Good article. The issue I have with Bethel church is that they try and manipulate the Holy Spirit. You cannot manipulate the Holy Spirit. We are to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Christ crucified and a new creation through repentance and faith. This is a true sign and wonder a new creation. Someones life transformed from the kingdom of darkness into Christs marvellous light. The Holy Spirit does still operate today but there is an order about what he does. My uncle who led me to Christ worked extensively as a prison chaplain in various prisons in England. Prisoners would sometimes fall down under the power of the Holy Spirit if he prayed for them. When I got saved he prayed in a tongue over me but like a real language not some made up jibber jabber. He had many incredible encounters with people where the Holy Spirit did amazing things but never was he trying to manipulate anything. He was only interested in saving souls. My opinion is that God knows the heart of all of us. Do we love him and do we love others enough to tell them the Gospel. Or do we love the signs and wonders because we want to be seen by man to have big ministries and be puffed up with spiritual pride. Do we desire super slick deceiving spiritual concepts of who we think God is and what his word says or do we humble ourselves with childlike faith and preach what the word actually says. The real Gospel when preached and the word when fed upon leads to genuine fruit in the believers life and true peace with God. Now I dont doubt that there are many wonderful individuals at Bethel church who are bearing genuine fruit and really love the Lord. They certainly make some nice music. But once you start deviating from and twisting the word of God and leave discenment at the door. You then open yourself up to things that Christ and Paul constantly warned about.The situation as regards signs and wonders in the very last days will be so serious that even the ‘very elect’ will be deceived. Food for thought next time you find yourself in a ‘fire tunnel’ or trying to suck the annointing from wigglesworths grave! Haha (sorry couldnt resist) .Stick to the true Gospel in these last days. God bless you all.

  23. It is about JESUS walking as he did , talking as he did and following scripture .. My life has completely changed when I stopped putting Jesus in a box and thinking with condemnation and guilt for my sins. Living in religion ..we are all sinners by nature and .Jesus took all that away 2000 yrs ago and has filled us with the Holy Spirit, which is the ultimate source of power . We need to walk in complete faith that these manifestations of deliverance, healing will occur. We have free will and Jesus is and always has been there we need to tap into the glory of his wonders by our faith in him. I don’t know about whether they use scripture loosely or not , but they have faith in the supernatural and first hand I know that GOD is working through thier ministry and changing people’s lives. We are Vessels to be used in the way GOD seems fit , everyone is designed to spread the word and for anyone to rebuke the work of JESUS in people’s lives should maybe reevaluate what they say, cause ultimately its rebuking JESUS. All my knowledge is from reading the word of GOD from KJV and trying to live with what the scripture says, and GOD has changed me from the inside out completely and I worship everyday with the
    ministry of Jesus Culture and all those charismatic ministries. I can say that it is not demonic at all…..

  24. It’s not about religion and waiting for GOD to send his wrath on us, it’s about having a personal
    Relationship with JESUS and his ultimate complete Love for us , his great and mighty power still exists today , it didn’t dissipate in time. He is the same yesterday , today and tomorrow . It’s the lack of faith that people may not see the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, and revival is here GLORY to GOD and people are being delivered , healed and walking in the call he has on our lives because of the ministries like Jesus Culture that are listening to the call that GOD has on their lives and yielding to JESUS to be used to give him all the Glory. The bottom line we need to stop picking apart everyone and love one another and trust JESUS .

  25. My pastor is from the redding area and a friend of his daughters was going to the school of miracles or whatever they call it and said he was learning how to heal people and walk on water, my pastor used to take his boat out to Shasta lake and asked if he would like to go out and walk on the water, of course he said no, because he couldn’t walk on water or heal people. If miracles were still around today, why would we have to go to a class to learn how to do said miracles? Is it not a gifting of the Spirit? This shows a lack of discernment, basically showing that scripture is not sufficient and we need a bunch of emotionalism and false signs or it isn’t a work of the Spirit. pure blasphemy and heresy

  26. Tony
    Like you, I am concerned about some practices at Bethel Church and by the band Jesus Culture — one of these is the fire tunnel. I’m also concerned there may be manifestations of a false Holy Spirit — a kundalini spirit. I believe the Holy Spirit is self controlled and that Jesus continues to heal in miraculous ways today. I also believe in praying in tongues. As Jesus said himself, blaspheming the Holy Spirit is an unpardonable sin. So I think we should tread carefully here — wouldn’t it be blaspheming the Holy Spirit to attribute His work (healing, praying in tongues, etc.) to the devil? I don’t want to go there! I totally disagree that the “Apostolic” signs and wonders died when the apostles did. For one, Ananias, (just a mere disciple, and NOT an apostle) healed Paul of his blindness. Might I also mention that Paul was not one of the 12 apostles — the replacement apostle for Judas was Matthias (Acts 1:26). It is well documented in the the New Testament that Paul healed people, and yet he was not an apostle. Also, in John 14:12, Jesus himself stated “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Reading the verse in context — Jesus was referring to miracles. Plus Jesus never qualified only “apostles” shall do works — he specified “He that believeth” — any believer! In Luke 10, Jesus sent out the seventy to heal the sick. Again, these were not the disciples. Also, the 70 healed the sick even BEFORE they received the Holy Spirit! Whoa! Jesus is the same yesterday and today. Jesus heals today. Look at Jesus’ ministry — he usually healed first, then preached to sinners. There are Christians today that do the very same thing, and it is VERY EFFECTIVE! I have prayed for unbelievers and seen them healed. It opens the door for sharing the gospel.

    One huge problem with today’s church is unbelief, which is a sin. Of course Jesus wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth — the Holy Spirit AND scripture. Both together. To be fair, why don’t you contact Bill Johnson directly to express your concerns. Is it possible some of his ways might be in error? Of course. But I think Bill Johnson has a valid point on healing — God still heals today. Honestly, haven’t we all had errors in understanding God or Scripture as we GROW in our walk? None of us is perfect. What about Psalm 103? “Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits… who healeth all thy diseases. ” Let’s believe God, and if we’re not seeing God heal — perhaps it’s because we’ve limited God and not believed him! Just as the Israelites in the desert! Unbelief is a sin — it’s like insulting God to his face or calling Him a liar. Tell me — where in Scripture does God promise sickness, death and disease for obeying him? He promises us everlasting LIFE! Don’t sickness, death and disease come from the devil? Think about it! What about all the Christians who are healing others and documenting it on youtube? Dare we call them liars and refuse to believe that God still heals today? I think not. Personally, I’ve repented of unbelief and have stepped out in faith and seen several people healed. Is my faith perfect? No — but at least it’s growing! Didn’t Jesus command us to heal the sick and preach the gospel? I think it’s time for all of us to get busy!

    1. The authentic miracles accomplished by our Lord JESUS Christ are not these Mickey mouse miracles being replicated among the Johnsonites and today . JESUS miracles made life long quadrapalegics walk (and stay walking), made men who were born blind see (and keep seeing) made men who were dead alive again (and witnessed as dead by hundred of skeptics). As a an insider of the charismatic movement for over 35 years I reaearched and studied and interviewed many supposed miracles – all these modern so called miracle workers can do is cause people to fall down, make a sore muscle feel better and increase a range of motion temporily. They make great claims but fail to produce a single documented biblical miracle. The modern Charismatic Movement is a works based self effort religion with liittle or no authentic biblical power. Show me the MONEY!!! They teach many bogus things but the real problem isn’t what they teach but what they DONT TEACH. What is conspicuously absent from there conferences and seminars is the simple basic gospel of Jesus Christ – they teach everything but JESUS Christ and Him crucified- this is what makes Bethel most counterfiet and anti CHRIST – where is the gospel in their religion?

    2. Lindy, thank you for providing your name, and writing with a thoughtful pen. In a subsequent article to this one, Errors of Bethel (II), I’ve addressed key biblical factors in the cessation of apostolic signs and wonders; cessation does not mean that God has ceased healing but that the “gift” for any one man to wield this power at-will has. In Him, AW

  27. How do you know when you are deceived? You don’t. The heart is more deceitful than all else and terribly sick Who can understand it? (Jer 17:9). Only God (Jer 17:10). And God gives us understanding through His word. Scripture alone through the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. The Bible is the best commentary on the Bible and Mr. Wood has presented God’s word consistantly. You will know them by their fruit. May Bethel be affirmed or convicted by measuring the fruit (as defined by scripture) produced in the lives of those that follow their teachings.

  28. Love God & love people. Simple & complicated as that. Just have a relationship with Jesus & the Holy Spirit will guide you. Keep your yourself in a box called theology but dont put this GREAT GOD in your little boxes. The bible is a love letter from our father.

  29. I completely agree with this article at every point with the exception of his conclusions that the sign gifts and miracles are not given to the modern church members universally as normative for church life and practice- as sovereignly dictated by the Spirit of JESUS and as taught by I Cor 12-14).
    The authors arguments are that “church history” has taught us this doctrine of cessationism.
    Since when is church history the final authority in the doctrine or practice of the faith?
    Where in the Scriptures, in JESUS teaching or in the apostlolic doctrine does it teach or command that the sign miracles as normative in church practice has ceased with the “apostolic age”?
    That is a huge leap that has no foundation whatsoever in biblical reality- unless you infer, read into and truncate the inspired texts as have all cessationists done for the past 100 years!

    1. Kindly written Barry, thank you for writing with a thoughtful pen. I would suggest that church history has been the presiding factor over all doctrine and practice. Certainly, the majority of modern faith “practice” is defined by councils; Nicaea, Chalcedon, Trent, the Westminster Confession etc. In Him, AW

  30. this article is COMPLETELY right. People say that the gift of tongues did not cease but it did. Paul says himself in 1(st corinthians 13:8.) Paul states that love ill never end. BUT hat prophecies will pass and tounges will cease. That knowledge will come to a end.

    1. The gift of tongues are not false. I know a number of people who thought they did not have the ability to do so, completely start speaking in tongues under heavy anointing. Do not doubt the works of God.

  31. You’re not being any better than the Pharisees during the time of Jesus, to be honest. Jesus let people be free and went against the “norm”, then said what he needed to say. How are people who write things like this going to bring anyone to Christ if everything you say is negative?

    I never saw one good thing said about Bethel in this post, at all. What about the fact that they’re bringing many young people to Christ, and are saving those who are lost in the world? Showing God’s LOVE, rather than condemning them?

    1. Jonathan, thank you for contributing. It is important to remember that Pharasaic legalism is not strong adherence to what God did say, but adding to the text what God did not say; Jesus commanded followers live strictly by His word (Jn 14:23)..

  32. I’ve already made a comment on the second article (that follows this one).

    Here’s another example of the Bethel-effect (leaven) over here in the UK:
    At another local Christian fellowship meeting recently, I noticed that the Person of Jesus Christ was not even mentioned ONCE during the entire service!!! However Bill Johnson got mentioned THREE TIMES!!!

    I rest my case.

    1. Simon, your thoughts are well written. I’m thankful God has protected your family from spiritual abuse through your faithful commitment to His word. In Him, AW

  33. Thanks AW,
    An ignorance of Scripture (wilful or otherwise) can result in all kinds of strange teachings (Hebrews 13:8-9).

    You’ll notice if you ever watch Vallotton’s YouTube clip “How to Stay out of Deception” that he doesn’t even use one verse of Scripture. No, not one! In this clip we are are told “The only way to stay out of deception is to learn to trust people more than you trust yourself..”

    Contrast this statement with Bible passages such as Psalm 118:8-9, Psalm 146:3, Jeremiah 17:5-7!

    Jesus Christ gave stern warnings about end-time deception both in Matthew 24:4,5,11,24 and Mark 13:6,22. In these passages He specifically warned about those who come performing great signs and miracles to deceive many. “Watch out that no-one deceives you!”

    Scripture has a great deal to say about deception. Looking up words like “deceive”, “deceivers” and “deceived” in any Bible concordance will help you locate the key verses. Self-deception is also unmasked in passages like James 1:22 and 1:26. Being God’s Word, the Bible is a very powerful and practical guide – showing how Christians can avoid being blown about by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) and avoid deception.

    Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” In other words, it shows you where you are standing and where you are going.

  34. I AM NOT FROM BETHEL AND HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE, BUT I PRAY THAT GOD WILL FORGIVE YOUR ARROGANCE! YOU ARE A MAN OF UNCLEAN LIPS AND YOU DWELL IN A LAND OF UNCLEAN LIPS. GOD OPEN OUR EYES TO SEE THE TRUTH AS YOU DID FOR ISAIAH. I’M SURE THIS POST WILL NOT MAKE THE COMMENT BOARD. IT WILL MOST LIKELY BE DELETED! BUT I FEEL RESPONSIBLE TO WARN YOU THAT YOU ARE ON DANGEROUS GROUND RIGHT NOW. IF PEOPLE WOULD JUST PICK UP THEIR OWN BIBLE AND READ IT FOR THEMSELVES, WITH ALL THE CHURCH DOCTRINES THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT LAID ASIDE, THEY WOULD SEE HOW VERY WRONG YOU ARE. BUT LET THEM AGREE WITH YOU, TRUSTING IN YOU, TO GUIDE THEM INTO TRUTH, RATHER THAN THE WORD ITSELF AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD. READ THE WORD OF GOD, PEOPLE, WITH AN OPEN MIND AND YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. YOU WON’T NEED THE POMPOUS WORDS OF MEN TO TWIST GOD’S WORD AND TELL YOU WHAT IS GOD AND WHAT IS NOT. AMEN.

  35. WE HAVE A REAL ENEMY…IT’S NOT THESE PEOPLE WHO LOVE JESUS…THE ENEMY’S NAME IS SATAN. JESUS SAID IF YOU ARE NOT FOR ME, YOU ARE AGAINST ME. RATHER THAN ATTACKING GOD’S PEOPLE, WHO SEE THINGS FROM A DIFFERENT VANTAGE POINT, WHY DON’T YOU SPEND YOUR LIFE REACHING A WORLD THAT IS ENTRAPPED BY A REAL ENEMY…THE DEVIL? ALL WHO CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED, NOT JUST OUR LITTLE CIRCLE OF BELIEVERS. THESE PEOPLE ARE NAMING THE NAME OF JESUS. THEREFORE, THEY ARE GOD’S CHILDREN. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I WOULD BE ANGRY IF MY CHILDREN WERE VERBALLY TEARING ONE ANOTHER DOWN. OH YES…GOD DID SAY THAT IN HIS WORD TOO.

  36. Dear R Palmer,

    Thank you for your very passionate and heart-felt responses. Truth does matter!
    I am pleased that your posts have actually made it onto this comment board.

    Like you, I am only a visitor to this site. The blog owner may well respond to your posts himself. But until he does so, may I ask for clarification over something you have written?

    Can I ask you what you mean by “church doctrines” in your first posting?
    If a church teaches something that is contrary to the Bible, then I’m assuming that (like me) you would believe the Bible?
    And the same would apply if an individual was silent about something the Scriptures clearly speak about?

    I notice that you alluded to a variety of Scriptures in your postings (Isaiah 6:5-7, 2 Timothy 2:15, John 16:1-3, John 8:31-59, 2 Peter 3:16, Matthew 12:30, 1 John 5:19, Romans 10:13/Acts 2:21, Matthew 7:21-23, Romans 8:16 and Galatians 5:15 – have I missed any?). I will go through these verses again prayerfully in the light of the comments in your postings. Thank you.

    Finally, may I respectfully request that you reply in upper and lower case next time? I always understood that writing in capitals was shouting. The issues that have been raised on this blog are really important, and shouting at each other won’t achieve a great deal, other than frustration all round. As you know, as well as earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3) we are also called to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:16-25, especially the last verse).

  37. Hello again R Palmer,

    Sorry, another thing I forgot to ask you.

    Please can you clarify what you meant in your statement: “…I feel responsible to warn you that you are on dangerous ground right now…”?

  38. I certainly didn’t sense much, if any, humility in the criticisms of the original article and a similar lack of humility has followed in the ensuing posts. One thing that Christians and unbelievers seem to share in common is a deep satisfaction in the judgement and criticism of other people’s actions and beliefs.

    As Paul says in Corinthians, we are one body with many parts. Different denominations of the Christian faith each shed light and emphasize the particular truth that they have received as revelation from scripture. According to scripture (1 Cor 12:3) the litmus test of whether a teaching is from God (the Holy Spirit) is whether it claims that “Jesus is Lord.” I’m not a Bethel follower, but it’s pretty clear that Bethel teaches that Jesus is Lord. Therefore, the criticisms in this article and the following banter are merely one member of the body tearing down another member of the SAME body.

    If the Lord has blessed you with a conviction to pursue those things that are the focus of your denominational theology, then be blessed and go in peace and grow in the Spirit according to the faith God has given you. And if Jesus is being glorified as the Lord by unusual, weird, uncomfortable means through Bethel, then we, as another part of the same body, should bless them and encourage them. Not criticize and tear them down. Otherwise, we persecute the very body of Christ, and will have to give an account for it one day.

    1. Hi Shawn,

      I’ve been thinking a great deal about your comments before responding.

      First, here are just a few brief definitions of “Humility” (that I’ve found after a quick web dictionary search):

      Humility:
      “The quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.” (Google)
      “The quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people.” (Mirriam-Webster)
      “Remaining teachable, knowing that you do not have all the answers.” (Urban)
      “The quality of not being proud because you are aware of your bad qualities.” (Cambridge English)

      Which bits of the original article (and ensuing posts) did you not sense much humility in? I’d genuinely be interested to hear.

      Lots of people seem to want a Christianity that is not critical of false doctrine. However this is not Biblical Christianity. Believe it or not, the Bible does tell us to judge. Not in a Pharisaical way i.e. not looking down on everyone else (see definitions above). In fact Jesus gave the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14 for this very reason (see v.9). All of us can be wrong at times, which is why I guess we need one another.

      The “do not judge” quote in Matthew 7:1 needs to be seen in the context of verses 1-5. From the very same chapter Jesus tells us to watch out for false prophets that come in sheep’s clothing. So given His warning, some judgement is needed if we are to obey this. In verses 21-23 we are told that not everyone who says to him “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom, even those who prophesy in Jesus name, and in that name drive out demons & perform many miracles. So whilst there is the genuine article, proper discernment is absolutely essential if we are to avoid deception.

      Even the Bible verse you quoted (1 Corinthians 12:2) shows us that we need to distinguish between those speaking by the Spirit of God and those who do not. Scripture instructs us “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)

      Why do some people seem to think we need to hear about their claimed visitations by angels, their regular “trips” to heaven, or wild claims of people being healed or raised from the dead?

      In complete contrast, the early Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42). And these believers really moved in power! I am still shocked that people have such a poor understanding of the teachings of the Lord Jesus or the teachings that came to us through those first apostles that He chose.

      So Shawn, in answer to your question “Is Jesus really being glorified by unusual, weird and uncomfortable means through Bethel?” Very sadly my answer (from what I have witnessed, both in person and via the Internet) has to be a most definite “No!” Read your Bible (the very powerful verses of the gospels and the NT letters in particular) to find out why I say this.

      The Apostle Paul said to young Timothy “What you have heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). The Bible warns of the time when people will not put up with sound doctrine (see 2 Timothy 4:3-5 and also 1 Timothy 4:1-2)

      Are we persecuting the body of Christ? I think not. We are merely drawing attention to Bethel’s aberrant and erroneous teachings, their apparent lack of discernment and their poor/unsound hermeneutics (for the uninitiated, how they distort the Bible). The warnings about all of all this is right there in Scripture. It is not only us that will give account, they will too. It’s a very humbling thought.

      Our Lord Jesus Christ (Jesus of Nazareth, this Jesus) may have told us not to sit as judges, but He has called us to be fruit inspectors (Matthew 7:15-20)

      I await your response with interest.

  39. I have not had the full chance to read the other sections of this article but for the parts I have read, I would like to comment that I also worry for the author of this article more than Bethel Church. You state that it is not biblically correct to say that believers can apply to themselves the words of Jesus in Mark 16, but Mark 16:16-17specifically says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues.” It does not say that the apostles will do such things, therefore implying the powers Only exist in the apostolic age. It states that all believers drawn in will have these powers through Christ Jesus. I’m quite confused at where and how you are acquiring your knowledge of the bible, because it seems highly inaccurate to me.

    1. Hi Lindsee, thank you for responding with sincerity and kindness. Your question is important because it shows the value of intentional biblical study, and how the original languages impact our reading/usage of a text. The verb “believe” that you’ve referenced, in Greek, is in the aorist tense (pisteusasi) which refers to those who did/had believed, not those who would believe soon, or in the future. This further enforces Christ’s mandate for the men in the upper room with Him. Again, great question! Sincerely, AW

      1. In addition though, Acts 2: 17 says “”‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;” It does not state that the powers of the Holy Spirit are only for the apostles, it states it’s for all flesh. And if that’s not enough, verse 18 says, “even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” And considering that none of his original disciples were women, it’s pretty clear that the spirit is for more than just the apostles. I’ve been to conferences and concerts that included Jesus Culture and my church’s pastor has spoken that we have similar beliefs as them so unless there’s other things I have missed, and There may be, I’m pretty convinced that Bethel does not believe the spirit is given to us to add to the bible through visions and whispers but rather to encourage us through them. It only exemplifies the word in our minds. I also believe I have a somewhat strong relationship (it definitely could be better but nevertheless) with our Father and I simply do not believe he would decide not to heal, cast out demons, and encourage others through us, as well us not give us encouragement for ourselves.

  40. Mr. Anthony Wood, perhaps you are doing the best you can with regard to your conscience, but I believe that we as the Church have been given protocol in dealing with sin within the Church, which does not include airing perceived dirty laundry for all the world to see. You are accusing your brethren. You are studied, but do not realize you are partnering with the accuser in slander based on your misunderstanding, or what God’s protocol for confronting sin is, which is restoration of relationship and is to be done in private or before the church and in a spirit of gentleness. Jesus said the Pharisees and teachers of the law were hypocrites who strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel.
    New Testament prophets and the 5 gifts of Christ to the church are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry and help guide and protect the flock and the mandate is to preach the good news, signs will follow, heal the broken hearted, set captives free, cast out demons… love one another as Christ loved the church. The Gospel we are to spread is GOOD NEWS. The so-called “discerners” who pick apart the church on the www make me sick.

    1. Remember this, when a person in Pauls day brought in false teaching and spoke publicly Paul responded publicly and even named names of the false teachers and in light of your further statement, you toss out the biblical mandate of who an Apostle was to be? How can anyone today fit that bill? And if you say Paul didn’t meet the criteria, how can one say that? He was killing the believers in Jesus day. How can we make the claim. The scriptures are silent about that.

    2. You apparently didn’t read the whole article or missed this… He states in the authors notes… “We cannot call what these men say or do “church”. In it’s best form, it may be considered immature confusion, a youth ministry gone mad. In it’s worse form, it is demonic. When people say that I should “go to my brothers” regarding this matter,I disagree, because I cannot consider them brothers.”

  41. Well, one person recommended E.W. Kenyon now I know he is lost in this junk. I stated in another post in part 2 that a friend of mine with a Ph.D. In biblical Greek confronted Bethel leader about his teaching and after about 5 minutes told the leader to his face that it was obvious he didn’t know the scriptures. And just so you know the bible college this Greek Professor teaches at is Pentecostal. Bethel believes and teaches a Kenosis theology that states Jesus was just a man not divinely God in the form of a man. They teach Word of Faith and Manifest Sons of God theology and affiliate with the NAR. . And much much more…

    1. @IWTT

      Paul responded in letters to the elders, deacons, specific people in a specific church or specific churches – not publicly.

      Your info on Bethel theology is incorrect and a PHD is no guarantee of accuracy in interpreting God’s word. When one has enemies there is no shortage of things they can use against a person/movement.

      I see good fruit coming from Bethel, and Jesus said you will know the spirit behind something/someone by their fruit. I am not saying they are beyond mistakes, they are human, everyone makes mistakes (he who is without sin cast the first stone…).

      Period.

      Watch your walk. In my experience those who criticize others the loudest are making up for something that is deficient in their own lives.

      God bless you in your pursuit of Jesus.

      1. Very interesting reading Magdalena, but I have to disagree with you.

        We see false prophets & teachers and enemies of the gospel specifically named in the New Testament letters. All these years later we are still able to see their names in Scripture and what they did and taught. That’s very public, I’d say!

        The Internet is proving to be very useful asset in determining Bethel’s theology (what they teach about God). Their “YouTube” clips are very enlightening, telling us that “people are not sinners”, “Jesus was just a man and not God” (Kenosis heresy) etc etc.

        You’re quite right! A PhD is no guarantee of interpreting God’s Word. Accuracy in interpreting the Scripture is vital. When someone distorts Scripture then something has to be said. This also applies to anyone who ignores what the Bible clearly teaches about a subject and then makes up their own teaching (or worse, see 1 Timothy 3:1ff).

        I’d like to hear Dr Heidi Baker’s response to the YouTube clip “Demonic Impartation” posted by “Prophetic Reformation”. This clip is shocking, but not surprising.

        How are we to respond to someone who says “…You see it’s difficult to expect the same fruit of the early church when we value a book they didn’t have more that the Holy Spirit they did have…” (Bill Johnson, from another YouTube clip).

        Do you think that either of the above examples are “good fruit”?
        Do you honestly think they are just little “mistakes” that we shouldn’t be too concerned about?

        After all the “grave sucking” they’ve done, when will Bill & Beni (or anybody else from Bethel) write something worth reading that actually agrees with New Testament teaching?

        Maybe they need to spend a bit more time lying on CS Lewis’ grave? Or perhaps they ought to read their Bibles? Clearly they haven’t done a proper exegesis of 2 Kings 13:21, and followed the instructions: it only works if they throw a dead body directly onto the BONES of an OT prophet when being pursued by Moabite raiders! So far Bethel’s efforts haven’t worked. (Please let me know when BSSM students start digging in Oxford so I can inform the relevant authorities!)

        In my experience the Person with the loudest voice is our Lord Jesus Christ: “Hear Him!”

        Please make sure you’re pursuing the right Jesus.

  42. “How absurd to be told by some that the public exposure of false doctrine, false teachers and deliberately compromised Ministers according to Paul’s solemn charge is ‘self-righteous and not walking in love.’ Do these same individuals really believe that silence concerning false teachers and false doctrine, which gives them a free pass to wreak havoc on the Body, is walking in love towards the victims of these exploiters?

    “Was Jesus being ‘self-righteous and not walking in love’ when He forcibly drove the anointing-merchandisers out of the House of Prayer on three separate occasions?

    “Those who refuse to obey Paul’s solemn charge to publicly rebuke false doctrine, false teachers and deliberately compromised Ministers, disqualify themselves from telling those of us who do how we could do it better.” ~ Pastor John Hamel

    The Apostle Paul never once instructed Christians to “Touch not Mine anointed and do My Prophets no harm” when it comes to errant New Testament Ministers. As a matter of fact, Paul commended the Berean believers for scrutinizing his own teachings in order to be sure Paul was not misleading them in some way.

    Many today accuse those who challenge errant or sinful leaders of “being judgmental” without realizing they themselves are being wrongly judgmental in doing so.

    To accuse someone of being judgmental for examining someone or some thing in light of God’s Word is in and of itself being wrongly judgmental.

    Many times in my Biblical, public correction of false teachers I have been attacked by their supporters and told that I am “being judgmental.”

    My response to them is always the same. “If it is wrong for me to be judgmental of them, it is wrong for you to be judgmental of me. Do you not realize you just judged me according to your own ‘thou shalt not judge’ double standard?”

  43. ~ The “Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry” (BSSM) – headed by Bill Johnson… of the obtuse and off the wall type of extra-Biblical teaching that characterizes the greater Latter Day Rain – Dominion Theology false apostle/prophetic heresy that is represented within the realm of the “New Apostolic Reformation” (NAR)… which is anything but Biblical… and most certainly not New, nor Apostolic, nor even remotely resembling a Reformation… let alone a School of Supernatural Ministry…

    To someone with even a cursory familiarity with the Judeo-Christian Bible… this type of teaching is bursting at the seams with a measure of spiritual pride and arrogance that is well beyond comprehension or description… Insisting that the Creator of the Universe in the Person of One “Jesus of Nazareth” the Chief Cornerstone of the Church cannot return until the NAR Dominion Theology driven heretical movement has taken over the earth first…

    Such conceit and self-righteousness is so epic in dimension, one can only think of one created being who would orchestrate and facilitate such grandiose rebellion…

    However one thing is for certain… this movement highlights just how severe and widespread the Great Apostasy will be when the Lord Himself descends upon the earth for the very last time.. one can only imagine the Magnitude of the Blinded judgments that lies in store for such wolves in sheep’s clothing… the leaders of this heresy will incur.. but for most by the time they will have recognized their indescribable misrepresentation of Christ… it will have proven to late…

    All for having become enemies of the Cross of Christ… in Spirit and in Truth… Holding onto a greater love of this present world, then for the Kingdom of God in earnest…

    “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!” ~ Philippians 3:18-20

    “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name cast out demons, and in Your Name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ~ Matthew 7:22,23

    ~//~

  44. An excellent, commendable article; well balanced doctrinally – written with a heart of compassion and an evident desire to bring correction to these errors via the Holy Scriptures themselves and alone! I am sharing this with my friends on facebook!

    The LORD bless and keep you in His Spirit of grace and truth!

  45. I don’t agree with everything that I see or hear from Bethel Church, but some of it is because they don’t fit the mold that I was traditionally taught to trust. I have personally been blessed on several occasions by their ministry. Jesus was really different for a lot of people, teaching on mountains, using parables and healing on the sabbath. They declared him demon possessed and eventually murdered him.. You just have got to be careful. I just heard of Bethel last year because I’ve been in Colombia SA since 2000- The first time I ever led worship in 2000, the Lord made me sing spontaneously and my leaders took me aside later on and told me to stop. That stuff was too emotional. The people were praying loudly as I sung out and they asked me to do it whenever God led me to, but my leaders said to stop. I was young, but I had been seeking God and studying His Word since I was 12, while submitting myself to my spiritual authorities. I cried on the altar when I was 8., I was sent to my chair because I was very little and distracting others. Things like this happened to me often. All I knew was that I was in love with God and He was always talking to me. I’m still in love it never stops and we can’t put a mold on that. Sometimes we don’t understand it all, but we can’t just throw down things as demonic, we can all make some mistakes and we aren’t possessed by satan because we didn’t get it all right. Let’s be merciful and pray for God to be merciful to us. God bless Bethel Ministries and your ministry and may He give us all the grace to be what He intends for each and everyone of us to be. I love you.

  46. I have read almost every comment here. Very passionate from all involved.

    I was one that was very involved in the things of both Bethel and IHOP (International House of Prayer). Not that I was actually a part of these ministries but I was on the same path of teaching that they do. I want to emphasize TEACHING.

    I believe that ALL the Gifts of the Spirit are for today. Yet I believe the emphasis of these Gifts as taught and expressed in many Charismatic/Pentecostal churches are above and beyond what scripture tells us.

    I wasn’t looking for the direction I received from the Lord. I was involved in bringing many aspects of these ministries into the church I attended. But one day the Lord used a simple question to me when it came to Worship. If the scripture tells us that “when two or more are gathered in His name He is there…” then why do we need to do something to manifest His presence? He is already with us? Do I believe what the scripture states? Or do I not?

    That was the beginning for me to start REALLY researching for myself what the scriptures say. And I found that the best way of reading scripture, getting the best in context of the Word was to get rid of the verse numbers and reading the scriptures in the way they were intended as the original writings. I have to tell you, that opened the word to me like never before.

    Now that I read the scriptures as they were written, I get a better understanding of Gods word for me, I can apply the word to my life and frankly I am more in Love with Jesus now than I ever was before, trying to “manifest his presence”, manifest the ‘signs and wonders’ and I have seen the Hand of God move in my life more powerfully since.

    I am 64 years old, been a Christian since I was 16, and I feel like I have been “born anew” all over again. I have freedom that I never REALLY felt previously because of the “expectations” that are created when trying to “make things happen” and then get told something must be wrong since nothing did happen. Or that it must be sin or lack of faith, and that is why healing may not have occurred.

    Bethelites, I encourage you to look at the word in totality. Not just a verse or partial verse to confirm some “prophetic word” but be diligent to study the word of God with proper hermeneutics, a proper understanding of context and the meaning of words.

    Here is an example of the scriptures without numbers… 1 Timothy 1

    1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
    To Timothy, my true child in the faith:
    Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

    As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
    Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

    http://esv.literalword.com/about/lw/

  47. Ironically, the reason I didn’t like this church a long time ago weren’t even of the ones listed in the article above.
    They use to sell dvd’s of ‘how you too can have the spirit of *’, and had ones on healing, tounges, etc (insert spiritual gift). They sold these DVD’s for like 500-600 bucks each. I’m not kidding. Selling ‘how to get your own gifts of the spirit’, as if its theirs to dole out, and if they were.. 500+ bucks each eh?
    Wouldn’t you want to gift the gifts of the spirit out for free if you had the ability? OH that’s right… Its just a love offering not a price tag, right? Unfortunately, no, they were price tags and not suggested offerings…. as if it was a good thing in the first place.
    I took a screenshot of the web site at the time to show a girl whos church was paying money for her to to go there to be ‘taught’ how to worship, because I was like… this place is not of the lord… do not go.
    I don’t see them there for sale now, but they use to be there.
    Add in the prosperity doctrine, female pastors, etc; I really am not surprised at the stench before God that place has become.
    Selfish liberal apostates will eat that stuff up like breakfast cereal however and defend it tooth and nail.
    As for Jesus Culture.. I heard satan was a pretty good musician too. Doesn’t mean ill go watch him play however.
    Its sad to see people sucked into this. But hey. last days. sighs.

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