god-in-a-boxI receive emails from people around the world who are deeply confused and frightened by the teaching and supposed “miracle” ministry of Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, and Jesus Culture in Redding California. Many of these emails are from well meaning friends and family who have a loved one “immersed” in Bethel culture who won’t respond to their basic appeals for biblical clarity. Interestingly, time and again these lost sheep influenced by Bethel provide the same response to inquisitors. “We don’t put God in a box.”

“We don’t put God in a box.”

This common tagline from Bethel “Don’t put God in a box” or, “God likes to draw outside the lines” appears often in Bill Johnson’s books. Why do they say it? What does it mean? Is it biblical?

For background, virtually every Scripture Johnson uses in his seminal work [When Heaven Invades Earth, Destiny Image, 2003] is taken out of context [In a former post I’ve documented errors of Bethel which we’ll set aside here]. In the first chapter of WHIE, Johnson presumes: What really happened outside the garden of Eden (Gen. 1:28), Satan is empowered through an invented term “agreement” (Rom. 6:16), Jesus supposedly came to recapture man’s dominion (Lk. 19:10), the Father really wanted Satan defeated by man (no text), the word “evil” actually means “sick and poor” (Matt. 6:13), the key of David is held by believers not Christ (Rev. 3:7), miracle power is what got buried in Christ’s parable of the talents (Matt. 25), all should be seeking a special baptism of the Holy Spirit (something the Gospel authors and Paul connected to conversion),[1] and “all we ask or think” really references signs and wonders. (Eph 3:20)

Space won’t allow we exegetically analyze the entire book, but the point should be clear: Johnson fundamentally manipulates large portions of the Bible toward his own end. However, the most egregious and deceptive example of this is the dichotomy Johnson attempts to create between the Bible and the Holy Spirit, as if they operate with two separate missions. Repeatedly Johnson pits the Holy Spirit against the Bible by writing that Scripture is insufficient to discern the voice of God:

“Jesus did not say, ‘My sheep will know my book.’ It is His voice that we are to know. Why the distinction? Because anyone can know the Bible as a book – the devil himself knows and quotes the Scriptures. But only those whose lives are dependent on the person of the Holy Spirit will consistently recognize His voice. This is not to say that the Bible has little or no importance. Quite the opposite is true. The Bible is the Word of God, and scripture will always confirm His voice. That voice gives impact to what is in print…”[2]

Do not miss what Johnson has just done as this sets the stage for removing the “box” ondownload.jpeg God: “The voice gives impact…” Manipulatively, Johnson has separated God’s voice from God’s Word. This is done to give authority to personal revelation outside of, and over the written Scriptures; a demonic plot that dates back some 1800 years.[3] Johnson continues, “to follow Him we must be willing to follow off the map – to go beyond what we know.” (pg. 76)… and “signs (the Bible) have a purpose… they are not an end in themselves… they point to a greater reality… the sign is real… but it points to a reality greater than itself… We’ve gone as far as we can with our present understanding of Scripture. It’s time to let signs have their place.” (pg. 129)

Here Johnson positions the Bible as a “sign” to the real voice of the Holy Spirit. Is that okay? Clearly, Jesus did not think it was okay, for even while on earth He taught His disciples through the Scriptures, “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Lk. 24:27). Paul also didn’t believe that it was okay, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17). In fact, orthodox theological and historical Christianity has always taught the Holy Spirit chose to speak in the form of an objective and immutable canon; which drives men by conscience and conviction back to those Scriptures for faith and practice. The Scriptures are the Holy Spirit’s voice! In John 17:17 Jesus Himself said, “Thy Word is truth.” In the Greek, Jesus used the noun-based form of the word truth meaning God’s word is the truth, not exhaustive, but what God has chosen to reveal. It is the barometer by which all other realities can set their course! God put Himself in a “box” called “Bible” and I’ll explain…

God put Himself in a box called “Bible” and I’ll explain…

Two thousand years worth of saints have held this to be true. One little verse, Romans 13:13, convicted and converted the immoral St. Augustine, who set the foundations of Christian orthodoxy for millennia to come. For the miserable monk, Martin Luther, it was Romans 1:17. Luther wrote, “Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that ‘the just shall live by his faith.’ Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.” (Here I Stand, p. 49) For the American revivalist, Jonathan Edwards, it was 1 Timothy 1:17. Edwards writes, “The first instance, that I remember, of that sort of inward, sweet delight in God and divine things, that I have lived much in since, was on reading these words, ‘Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ As I read the words, there came into my soul . . . a sense of the glory of the Divine Being; a new sense quite different from anything I ever experienced before. Never any words of Scripture seemed to me as these words did.” (Works, vol. 1, p. xii)

Scripture as God’s actual word was taught by Peter in 2 Peter 1:20-21, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” In verse 19 Peter says that a prophetic word has been made “more sure” to him by (or than) his time with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. He continues in verses 20–21 to undergird the authority of this prophetic word by saying it is part of Scripture, “No prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.” Peter is not saying that only prophetic parts of Scripture are inspired by God, He is saying we know the prophetic word is inspired, precisely because it is a “prophecy of Scripture.” Peter’s assumption is that whatever stands in Scripture is from God, written by men, carried along by the Holy Spirit!

Peter’s teaching is the same as Paul’s found in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The point is that Scripture is the means by which the Holy Spirit speaks and the Holy Spirit is not relative, bifurcated, or schizophrenic in His appeals. A regenerated life surrendered to the Holy Spirit will always point back to Scripture for faith and practice! (Prov 30:5-6) Christian orthodoxy has held this truth for 2,000 years.

Johnson interfaces with the biblical text from a trichotomous perspective (body, soul, and spirit) urging an experiential experience over doctrinal truth. This trichotomy initiates what theologians often warn against, “forcing an anti-intellectual tendency upon faith… leading to a neglect of sound doctrine… neglecting the role of Bible study.”[4]

As can be expected, Johnson’s faulty theological foundations can be found elsewhere in heretical history, specifically in forms of Gnosticism and Syncretism. Much of Johnson’s Dominionism coincides with historic Gnosticism, a heresy debunked by the early church.

Gnosticism is simply the belief that some people retain a secret, higher knowledge, of spiritual matters, and are therefore elite in their spiritual understanding and spiritual power. This of course flies in the face of the simple Gospel which specifies that every man can have Christ to the fullest regardless of race, color, and creed, due to the indwelling Spirit and imputed righteousness of Christ.

Johnson’s entire ministry is built on the expectation that his church experiences special blessings including falling feathers, walking with angels, gold dust, animal growling, raising the dead, and miraculous healings. Listen to an example of Johnson’s Gnostic position as he proposes an “insider” role for his congregation:

Jesus stood before His disciples, before Nicodemus in John chapter 3, and He made this statement, He said, “No one has ascended into heaven except he that descended” (John 3:13). Now, this is before His death, before His Resurrection; so He was describing here a lifestyle of intimacy with the Father where even though He was standing on earth, He had ascended into heavenly realm in His relationship with God. The point being, that is an invitation for every believer…[5]

The sad outcome of preferential Gnostic teaching is that Johnson’s adherents have pursued means unto this supposed end. One frightening display is called “grave sucking” wherein people lie on the grave of a deceased individual, often charismatic faith healers, to supposedly “access their Spirit power from the dead bones.”[6] This is a form of Syncretism where Biblical belief systems are intertwined with Pagan practices to heighten a supposedly spiritual experience.

Calling up dead spirits “necromancy” is something the Bible blatantly condemns. (Lev. 19:26, 20:6, Deut. 18:10 Gal. 5:19-20, 1 John 4:1) God rejects this practice because it places emphasis on the physical realm instead of on the Word of God. This link to Gnosticism and Syncretism are fundamental heresies.

Further examination of WHIE proves Johnson operates with no theological system. At times, he presses Kingdom Now theology. At times, he leans into historic pragmatism (if it works, it’s true)[7] while at other times he proposes a more postmodern existentialism (if it’s true for me, it’s true).[8] This quasi-deconstructionism could be summed up in the following manner: If there’s something extraordinary, it must be God, and everyone who questions me is wrong.

This frightening position that “experience proves theology” is subjective and irrational. Truth and experience are interrelated – in the long run your truth will always impact your experience. As Christians we must always run our experiential circumstances through crystalline teaching and objective truth! Whenever we notice supernatural, phenomenology (study of phenomena) we must demand a method for isolating the experience, clarifying the experience, and thus determining the true nature of that experience or we are in fact making ourselves into little gods.[9] Objective truth provides the guidelines for the experience, not vice versa. Without this guideline, none can determine what is of God, the devil, or self.

Johnson’s fatal flaw is misinterpreting the Bible. This improper position on God’s Word paves the way for his mystical theology, ignoring the simple Gospel, burgeoning into a health and wellness style ministry, and culminating in a dangerously quirky worship practice of falling gold dust, oil, winds, clouds, fragrance, sugar sprinkles, small gems, and falling feathers. Johnson simply refers to this as “God coloring outside the lines.”[10] Sadly, Johnson has missed that God provided the box and the lines of “special revelation” called Scripture, and if it were not for those lines there’d be no way of discerning God clearly. Moreover, the only way we can be certain of worshipping the true God is by staying within the very lines He gave!


[1] A more thorough treatise can be found in the seminal work by Craig S. Keener, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary, Baker Academic, 2012, pp. 678-688

[2] Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth, Destiny Image, 2003, p. 84

[3] For study on the sect of Montanus begin with Bruce Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Thomas Nelson, 1982 pp. 64-66

[4] For a more extensive study on the perils of trichotomy in spiritual experience see Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, pp. 479-483. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 191

[5] The Real Jesus – Part 4 – by Bill Johnson, YouTube, 14:52, September 2, 2010, accessed April 14, 2017

[6] Bethel Church soaking up the anointing of the dead, YouTube, 05:44, December 8, 2011, accessed April 14, 2017

[7] John Randall, Making of the Modern Mind, Houghton Mifflin, 1940, p. 267

[8] Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Philosophical Library, 1956, p. 46

[9] Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, Baker Books, 1983, p. 60

[10] ibid, p. 141

Posted by Anthony Wood

Anthony is Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, CA, and has authored the books Defining Church & Defining Family. He’s married to Bre, and they have three children. More @AnthonyGeneWood

20 Comments

  1. Repentant One May 19, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Thank you for this article. I was involved with Charismatic spirituality for about 20 years before renouncing it and repenting. The problem with Bill Johnson’s statement that the Bible confirms the “voice” is that no one is looking in the Bible to confirm the voice. If you point out a Scripture to them, they quote one of their rote responses that twists logic, or they ignore it all together. Recently, a FaceBook video surfaced of Heidi Baker with Johnson in a session in which many were “slain in the spirit”. Baker was leading the participants to see crowns on their heads and to place their crowns on another person’s head. How simple is this to discern? We do not lay crowns on each other’s heads. Any crown we are given is placed at Jesus’ feet. Yet, when this was pointed out, it was brushed off.

    One young man can be seen and heard writhing in pain in the video. When someone commented on the video, a follower stated that the person commenting did not understand the Holy Spirit. Johnson can be seen in the video standing on the side watching, but doing nothing. The scene was difficult to watch and clearly demonic.

    I grieve this spirituality. I also fear because Jesus Culture music is accepted in churches in which this spirituality would be quickly rejected. It is a foot in the door. Thank you for raising the alarm. Please continue to do so and encourage churches to be watchful.

    Reply

    1. Jesus Culture music? Can you elaborate?

      Reply

  2. Reminded of this from john macarthur: “Experience is not a valid test of truth”

    Reply

  3. With love, I could not disagree more with your article. First, you have created a straw man and then knocked it down. Bill Johnson and Bethel are much more balanced on their theology than this article suggests. You need to study more and approach them with open eyes and not presuppositions. Secondly, Jesus said to know them by their fruits. Bill Johnson, Bethel,and Heidi Baker are as solid and fruitful in uplifting Jesus as any ministry you could lift up as an example. Thirdly, which ministry looks more like Acts? Yours or Bill Johnson’s?

    Reply

    1. Just do not add to the Bible, or god will add to you; nor take away, for god will take away from you. the Holy Bible is awesome, and such an incredible gift from God to us, His children. Watch out when you listen to your heart, for then you may well be listening to the angel of all craftiness and father of subtle lies.
      be careful good article to call this Bill Johnson out, and hopefully he will openly debate other pastor-teachers, like a paul washer, or james White. Would love to see that.

      “The Scriptures are the Holy Spirit’s voice! In John 17:17 Jesus Himself said, “Thy Word is truth.” In the Greek, Jesus used the noun-based form of the word truth meaning God’s word is the truth, not exhaustive, but what God has chosen to reveal. It is the barometer by which all other realities can set their course!”-Anthony Wood

      Reply

    2. Really? I don’t find them balanced at all. I was part of this movement for over 8 years because my family was involved in it. During those 8 years there was only one message “revival is coming.” In the meantime you are supposed to somehow become spiritually superior to everyone else by getting more and more prophecies and “giving” them, hearing from a spirit, etc. Teaching basic things about the Bible in a language everyone could understand was not there. Nothing was more important in this movement than prophets and prophecy…even though ZERO of these people gave me a true “word from God.’ In fact there were many false ones that led me to severe depression. When I finally asked God what I had done wrong, the response was that those people in this movement were not hearing God at all. Yikes. I took a step back and started to analyze their teaching. Each week our pastor would talk about his personal prosperity and God experiences. Yet no one around us in the church experienced the same thing. They’d talk about giving sacrificially to their projects, yet most people were poor and could have used financial help. Everything was about experiences not God- not truth, not right living. Men in the church were addicted to porn, others I knew didn’t care for their wives or even have jobs to do so. “chasing” after the “new thing” was more important.

      The “fruit” of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self control. I don’t sadly see this in Bill Johnson’s followers. We see the opposite. People ambushing others to “read” them like psychics, force praying over people, bizzare witchcraft-like practices such as grave sucking/soaking, etc.

      Sigh…

      Bill”s church does not look like the book of Acts just because people there claim to “feel” something or claim to be healed. The magicians working for Pharaoh did a number of signs as well. Witchdoctors in south America can “heal” people. I have yet to see 1 Bill Johnson follower verifiably raise ONE person from the dead. I don’t see them walking around and ill people in their shadow healed.

      Instead there are a bunch of power-hungry youth who make “doing thing” for God, rather than living with the true fruit of the spirit (including that whole self-control thing) an idol. Yes- wanting to do things for God can be an idol, particularly when you follow the likes of those who think you can learn to prophecy….

      God’s sovereignty is usurped in this movement, faith is usurped, so is trusting God. You cannot manipulate God- this movement teaches that we have inner powers that we have to un tap- this is contrary to everything Christ teaches.

      Reply

      1. Thanks for sharing this, I understand that those “involved” with the movement can be of a different character or caliber of Bill Johnson or HeidiBaker, the two people addressed in this article. I do not judge Calvin by those who espouse Calvinism. I do not judge Jesus by those who call themselves Christians and I do not judge a ministry just by those connected to it.
        You are right that the fruit of the Spirit can be missing in the presence of spiritual gifting.(1 Corinthians) and the operation of spiritual gifts is not always the evidence of a ministry that knows Jesus (Mat. 7:22,23).
        I am not part of the “movement.” I have listened to many hours of Johnson, and Heidi Baker and the article took what he said out of context and not measured by other statements made.

        You stated that you received an answer to prayer. (A charismatic would have said, “God told me, and you said, “the response.”) That is “outside the Scriptures,” in that it was not a specific text. There are valid orthodox Christian experiences that fall outside “the box,” How do you allow for one type of experience and not another?

        I have also experienced spiritual abuse by the “anointed,” and I understand the validity of what you are saying. I just think the answer to abuse is proper use. And while Bill Johnson is far from perfect. I think he is seeking proper use and practice.

    3. Craig, with respect, here are some examples of how skewed the theology is coming from Bill Johnson and Bethel Church. In the Bethel Sunday school curriculum, children are being taught (and I’m quoting directly from their curriculum): “Having the keys of power and authority means that we have the same position, recognition, and abilities that Jesus had.” (The same position and recognition as Jesus?? Seriously?) Here’s another – but it’s more subtle: “Because Jesus performed miracles as a man, He needed the power of the Holy Spirit. As God’s children, we can receive the same power, the same Holy Spirit that Jesus and His disciples had.”

      It might seem innocuous, but there is a diminishing of Jesus taking place in the teaching that comes out of Bethel and an emphasis on the power of the Holy Spirit that is supplanting the role of Jesus as our Savior. My former minister (I have left his church) became a Bethel Church devotee and enrolled in a local School of Supernatural Ministry where he now teaches. He set about immersing the congregation into Bethel teachings and his sermons changed dramatically. For almost two years his sermons dwelt solely about his desire for the congregation to perform miracles and he stopped talking about Jesus. “Because that is what is going to bring people to God….when they see the power of God.” The role of Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the knowledge that we’re all sinners who need saving had been supplanted by a quest for miracles and experiences of the Holy Spirit as the path to God.

      The over emphasis on miracles and the reduction of Jesus that I witnessed through my exposure to Bethel (along with many other things including false prophesies, holy laughter, and a lion-roaring prayer team led by Bethel’s Elizabeth Reisinger) has me convinced that the theology coming out of Bethel Church and the affiliated SSMs is unsound and in fact veers into dangerous territory.

      Reply

      1. I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I do not see how seeking to do the works of Jesus, which He commanded us to do diminishes Him. I think it exalts Him.

        The statement from the curriculum is saying that just as the Father anointed Jesus, He anoints us. We are not given a different or less Spirit than Jesus. It is saying was are in the same position before the Father as Jesus, in that we are accepted in the beloved. (Eph. 1:6). It is not saying we are equal in essence with Jesus, but because of the Cross, we are “seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6). Even children can follow Jesus in doing what He commands because they are graced with the power Jesus gives.

        I agree that those who are part of the “movement,” or follow Bill Johnson can be unbalanced. But there is a big difference between those who follow and the person of a movement. Not all Calvinist do justice to Calvin, and not all Christians reflect Christ. Bill Johnson and Heidi Baker are not perfect by any means, but they are true followers of Jesus and do not seek to diminish Jesus or the Cross in any way.

        There is an abuse of spiritual gifts, but the answer to abuse is proper use.

    4. Craig,
      This article is not a straw man argument. It is just the tip of the iceberg for the anti-Scriptural behavior of Bethel church. They frequently twist Scripture in such a way as to fool many. Satan was good at that as well. Please don’t fall for the lies. They are deceiving many worldwide. It’s not about wrong presuppositions. These people do not have fruit that is from God. They are teaching doctrines of demons and are false prophets. Yes, they are false prophets. http://www.piratechristian.com/messedupchurch/p/shocking-stuff-youre-not-supposed-to-know

      Reply

      1. There is a big and decisive difference between someone twisting Scripture and someone twisting your theology. I truly do appreciate your concern, but I am not the one being deceived and destructive in this conversation.

  4. […] Hey Bill Johnson & Bethel Church…  […]

    Reply

  5. Excellent post…thank you for your insights into this very troublesome movement. Sadly, the NAR churches will continue to negate the Word of God and lead people astray.

    Reply

  6. Satan intends to destroy Christianity. His plan is to divide us. His method is offense/slander. Who are you following–God or Satan?

    Reply

  7. […] Author’s Note: After reading over his comments, I did not laugh nor mock, but more than anything shed tears. It appears that Bethel desperately desires to “mainstream” their church but cannot synthesize Scripture with their ministry. 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. When people say that I should “go to my brothers” regarding this matter, I disagree, because I cannot consider them brothers. My prayer is that God enlighten them to truth and call them to repentance. As you will see, I ardently recommend that people avoid Bethel and any platform of media, music or otherwise, that comes from it’s dark center. Mr Vallotton’s reflections will be found in bold. I’ve noted vital biblical references below, alongside my brief thoughts. For sake of time, I’ve only highlighted the most evident errors, while leaving dozens on the sideline. For a more concise defense of biblical gifts vs. the supposed sign gifts of modern charismatic-continuism click HERE or for details on the Gnostic type heresies of Bill Johnson click HERE.  […]

    Reply

  8. Wouldn’t a more correct heretical group to compare Bethel with be the Montanists?

    Reply

  9. 1Co 1:1-19 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent”. (Here Paul is quoting Isaiah 29:14).
    1Co 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
    1Co 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!
    1Co 6:1-3 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
    Rev 19:12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
    Pro 12:4 A wife of valor is the crown of her husband

    I just want you all to stop and think for a moment about how Paul dealt with the church at Corinth, and how we fall into the trap of satan when there is division among the church. Paul, noted some major problems with the church at Corinth – there was division – there was contention – they were carnal in envy, strife, division and behaving like mere men (lawful ,self righteous). There was sexual immorality as not even among the Gentiles – so it had to be a very depraved, sick, unspeakable sexual immorality. But what did Paul do to correct the church? Did he swoop down on them and admonish them with blasphemies, curses, condemnation or excommunication? No – Paul reminded the church at Corinth who they were. First he (Paul) reminds them, that even in this dark division and dark sin that they are saved through faith in Jesus and were blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ because there salvation was intact the moment they had faith in Jesus on the day of salvation. The day of the Lord Jesus Christ refers to the second coming – which Paul taught as a cornerstone of the Gospel. Christian life is not getting right through self righteous effort – it is resting in the Lord Jesus Christ and waiting for His return. Then Paul goes on to remind the church at Corinth what there purpose truly is – to reign with Christ Jesus – that it was incorrect to return to the law of judgement – which only strengthens sin – but to understand that they were the saints who will become the bride of Jesus in heaven after the rapture and will return to judge the world with the Bridegroom after the 7 years of tribulation. To reign as Bride – as Queen – not as subject. Paul thought the best way to correct was to remind the church their value to God through faith in Jesus and to show them just how perfect, holy, valorous, righteous, and complete they actually are to Jesus. The precious treasure that is hidden in the field. A wife of valor – made ready for the perfect Bridegroom who will reign as the King of Kings over the world forever. Know who you are.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn
    Jewish Studies for Christians

    Reply

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