We’ve received correspondence from around the globe asking genuine and necessary questions about how to interact with friends and family immersed in the sign, wonder, and mystical movement of Bill Johnson, Todd White, etc. In Defining Deception we’ll answer these and here’s a preview of often asked questions:
Should I be seeking a baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: No, Acts 1:5 references the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Greek usage of the punctiliar passive future means one particular time. In essence Jesus said, “Very soon (ten days from now) this special one-time-only-event will occur.” Subsequently, the Jews were baptized by the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, the Samaritans in Acts 8, the Greeks in Acts 11, and the followers of John in Acts 19. In order to understand this, we must acknowledge Jesus was the agent of the baptism and the Spirit was the element. The passive voice of the Greek phrase means this isn’t something anyone was told to look for, ask for, beg for, mumble for, heal for, sing emotional music for, it was 100% a divine and sovereign bestowment. Next, we must note it was a completed baptism. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says it this way, “By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” The Greek passive aorist in this verse means past fact. “We were ALL baptized!” These verses show us the Spirit’s baptism is not some experience to be craved but an historical fact to be praised. Finally, this means that all modern believers are immediately baptized upon conversion. 1 Corinthians 6:17 summarizes, “the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” The moment that a person comes to saving faith in Jesus, they are recipients of the Holy Spirit.
When is it okay for a true Christian to intermingle with those who are involved in a false version of Christianity?
Answer: False teachers should be avoided completely. As for followers, confused or purposed, each person must use discernment to decide at what level a healthy relationship can be maintained without bringing reproach on the name of Christ. Varying views on baby baptism or church music styles is not remotely as important as false teaching about Christ. Every Christian should prayerfully and strategically use Jude’s words in verses 22-23, “And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Further, should we purchase podcasts or listen to music published by false teachers? This question is 100% dependent on the context. If parents have instructed their children not to listen to Bethel music or Jesus Culture (for example) and the children disobey, that disobedience is sin – while the music was merely the subject of a parental command. However, if an individual knows the truth about false teachers such as Bill Johnson and Bethel Church and still chooses to listen to the music, only they know why they would listen, and that’s between they and the Lord – if they know Him. It’s not uncommon for people to ask us, “They teach some odd things, but is the music really that bad if it makes me feel closer to God?” The answer is that bad theology, communicated through music, designed to target your emotions is not bringing you closer to God, and feelings should never be trusted above God’s Word. One final thought, whenever the music ministry of a false movement is supported, royalties put big bucks back into that ministries wallet.
What does “Touch Not My Anointed” in Psalms 105:15 mean?
Answer. This is an oft-used phrase in charismatic circles to scare Christians from pointing out errors of theology or lifestyle. But, like every other Bible verse, it is twisted from the context. In the era of Israelite monarchy, no one was allowed to kill or commit a violent physical act against anointed kings or prophets. David made this topic famous because he didn’t kill Saul. He quoted God saying, “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm” (Psalms 105:15). David lived this out as show in 1 Samuel 24:10-11 when David had the chance to kill Saul (and some would say rightfully so), but he cries out to Saul, “Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’S anointed.” This command, and the many other similar passages surrounding the situation with David and Saul had to do with David (or his men) not killing Saul – the Lord’s anointed king. Modern day prosperity preachers and fake healers can attempt to turn this into a timeless principle or make it about calling out their teaching. However, their efforts are futile against what Scripture actually teaches because they are not Israelite kings from the 9th century BC. The reality is that no one should fear inaccurate prophets or those claiming to be prophets. If some prosperity “prophet” ignores context and throws out Old Testament commands to control people in the church age, they’d better be prepared to face the fact that they themselves are missing a primary indictment on their ministry from the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 18:18-23 provides no room for errors from those who would say, “Thus sayeth the Lord” as God said, “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”
Isn’t Jesus “the same yesterday, today, and forever” according to Hebrews 13:8?
Answer. Yes, but this verse has nothing to do with miracles. The entire chapter of Hebrews 13 is easy to understand. Vs 18-25 are filled with personal instructions for prayer, obedience, and an update on Timothy. Overall, verses 1-17 are an exhortation to perform Christian duties such as brotherly love (13:1), being kind to strangers (13:2), remembering those in prison (13:3), being faithful in marriage (13:4), and free from the love of money (13:5). It is verse 7 that provides us the reason for the famous declaration of verse 8. Hebrews 13:7 reads, “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” The exhortation here is that when living the Christian life, people ought to draw encouragement from their former leaders. It was these leaders who first and foremost led by example, and above all their example was founded on speaking the Word of God. The writer then tells them to consider the result of their conduct and imitate it. In a nutshell, he tells them to look at the fruit of their leaders lives and emulate them. Homer Kent, former professor at Grace Theological Seminary writes, “Eventually these leaders had passed from the scene. It need not be inferred that they all died a martyr’s death, although they may have. The real importance was that all had been faithful to the end. None had wavered and given up faith in Christ. Let these readers continue imitating that steadfast example.” Then, we come to the famous verse 8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Why would the writer have felt the need to remind the readers that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Is it to promise miracles? Obviously not. Verse 9 reveals the purpose, “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefitted.” There it is! Christ is explained as unchanging because live-saving truth was forever established in Him. False teachers had begun to infiltrate the church and introduce false doctrines about Christ, and many Judaizers linked the works of the law to salvation. In order that his audience might find security in the unchanging work of Christ on the cross, the author of Hebrews exhorts them with the unchanging nature of Jesus in verses 8 and 9. It didn’t matter if they ate meat, were circumcised, or if an angel from Heaven appeared preaching another Gospel (Gal. 1:8), the truth remained the same. This verse has nothing to do with miracles, signs and wonders, or the works of men. It has everything to do with who Jesus was, is, and forever will be.
Should a true Bible teacher or worship leader share the stage with a false teacher?
Answer: No biblically qualified teacher should share the stage with a false teacher, show support for a false teacher, or do a conference with a false teacher. The only exceptions include: the partnership has been forged to allow the false teacher to announce their public repentance (the ultimate goal), or the biblical teacher plans to publicly rebuke the false teacher and his audience. If a Bible teacher does this, he will likely not be invited back. Therefore, if a man continues to be invited into fellowship with false teachers it is most likely because he has not been as clear as he should be regarding truth. In essence, he has neglected one of his primary duties for the glory of God. As Paul told the Corinthians, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? (2 Cor 6:13-14)
 Kent, Homer, The Epistle to the Hebrews. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1972)