This is Part 2 of a two part series.
Part 1 is ‘Strange Fire’
Please read both parts as one. Part 1 is more about the weird manifestations that have infiltrated the Church, whereas Part 2 is more about the false teachings that have infiltrated the Church, especially those of Bill Johnson.
“DISCERNMENT is NOT knowing the difference between RIGHT and WRONG. It is knowing the difference between RIGHT and ALMOST RIGHT.” (Charles Spurgeon)
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
“See to it, then, that the light within you isn’t darkness.”(Luke 11:35)
“A wicked and adulterous generation seeks a sign.” (Matthew 12:39)
Here is a claim an observer that came out of the Toronto-Blessing/Vineyard-Movement made:
“This movement has run the gamut from introducing heretical doctrine to the manipulation of spiritual forces through the bringing down of ‘fire’ from heaven. Virtually all pockets of resistance to this global movement have been overcome. Literally thousands of church leaders have been trained and ‘deployed’ into ‘power’ positions from this.”
The entire claim above is frightening because it tells us that these false preachers, teachers, and prophets have infiltrated the very core of the church. The Lakeland Revival is a further proof.
Much of what pretends to be, ‘Bible’ and, ‘Church’ and, ‘Preaching’ today actually is not. Thus, to help others avoid shame on the final day, and to protect even one sheep from being led astray towards their final day, truth in love mandates clarity and boldness, regarding what is from God and what is most certainly not. As it relates to Bill Johnson and Bethel Church, the ‘Sword of the Word of God’ must be taken out of its scabbard. May true followers of Christ set down the false books and teachings, and be willing to speak out against falsity. The following PDF’s were gleaned from the Internet and contain solid Christian teaching concerning the subject. What is sad now is that many Christians have been scared into taking a too conservative view of 1 Corinthians 13:10 and deny any gifts of the Holy Spirit because of all the counterfeits and shenanigans that goes on. The work of Satan is surely polarizing the Church.
As you can see from the Scripture below, the Word of God makes it absolutely clear that everything is about Jesus. It is not centered around the Holy Spirit. It is not about what you can receive. Whereas the main thrust of these “counterfeit movements’ is the Holy Spirit (so they think they are grabbing a hold of) and what they can receive. There is no need to run all over the place seeking a so called ‘blessing’. The LORD resides within every born-again believer.
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 15:26, 16:8-11,13-14)
I have watched these ‘counterfeit movements’ and false preachers, teachers, and prophets stealthily creep into the last two places I was part of. I have seen people get caught up in the excitement and I have seen the bad results of dark things latching on to them. I will relate to you only the most recent place I was a part of. The reason I use the words ‘stealthily’ and ‘creep’ is because that is exactly the way it occurs in this case. Google is the most useful tool because it allows me to see who/what is tied to who/what. It shows me how their teachings, books, seminars, philosophies, modes of operation, etc are all knitted together very tightly, even though they operate under different names and entities. But at the same time they are rogue and answer to no one but themselves. Here is just a short list I was able to put together of what I saw directly infiltrating where I was at:
1. Bill Johnson and the Bethel Church
2. Robby Dawkins
3. Bob Hazlett
4. Green Lake Holy Spirit Conference
5. Clayton Ford (http://hsrm.org and http://claytonford.net)
6. Tim Concannon (http://newbeginningschurchnj.org)
Just as an example, Clayton Ford advertises on his website:
“God is using Bill Johnson, Todd White, Robby Dawkins, Heidi and Roland Baker (Iris Ministries in Mozambique), Reinhard Bonnke, Randy Clark – just to name a few – to do astounding miracles of healings and conversions”
Then on his http://hsrm.org the ties to the leadership of what I was a part of can be seen under the ‘Who We Are’ drop-down tab. The shame of it is, from what I read of the Roots (History of HSRM)) of http://hsrm.org, they were sincere. But with the Toronto Blessing , where people came from all over the world to experience this so called ‘blessing’, Pandora’s Box was opened. This evil now has spread into this organization. In their eagerness, they were not careful to watch what they let in. As you continue to read their Roots you can see how:
“In 1982, under the leadership of Rev. Gary Clark, pastor at First Baptist Church of Salem, New Hampshire, the American Baptist Charismatic Fellowship became Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries in American Baptist Churches. On June 27, 2007, our HSRM members made a momentous, strategic, and unselfish decision: We voted officially to broaden our mission focus and fellowship base. Without leaving behind our commitment to foster renewal in American Baptist churches in every way available to us, we came to recognize that we needed to catch up with what the Holy Spirit is doing among us. By an overwhelming majority, we voted to change our name to simply Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries, and we changed the bylaws as well, enabling American Baptists and non-American Baptists alike to find full inclusion in our movement which is dedicated to empowering Christians and churches to change their worlds for Christ.”
In my last post ‘Strange Fire’ I quoted Bill Johnson, and I believe it is critical to quote it again because it epitomizes the sensationalism that is lusted after because the Bible is not adequate enough for people like this to live by:
“In my personal quest for increased power and anointing in my ministry, I have traveled to many cities, including Toronto ( Toronto Blessing ). God has used my experiences in such places to set me up for life changing encounters at home. Once in the middle of the night, God came in answer to my prayer for more of him, yet not in a way I had expected. I went from a dead sleep to being wide awake. Unexplainable power began to pulsate through my body, seemingly just shy of electrocution. It was as though I had been plugged into a wall socket with a thousand volts of electricity flowing through my body. My arms and legs shot out in silent explosions as if something was released through my hands and feet. The more I tried to stop it, the worse it got. This divine moment was glorious, but not pleasant. At first I was embarrassed, even though I was the only one who knew I was in that condition. I saw myself with my arms and legs flailing about as though I had serious physical problems. The power surges didn’t stop. This experience continued the following two nights beginning moments after getting into bed.”
Whatever latched onto Bill Johnson at the ‘Toronto Blessing’ and he brought back to his Bethel Church most certainly was not of the LORD. Because Bill Johnson and the Bethel Church seem to be the central point of ‘New Age’ infiltration into so many of the churches of Christianity, I have the following PDF’s that give an overall picture of them because to put all of the proof in one place is just overwhelming:
The following PDF is the single best article exposing the false teachings of Bill Johnson. It is a great resource for any church leadership that wants to protect its church from any invasion:
The following interview is with the author of the above article:
Every Christian needs to understand the core of the false teaching that Bill Johnson pedals. This is what draws unsuspecting victims in—>God gave every believer the power to do greater works than Jesus. You just need to know how to release it.
Bill Johnson wrote an article for Charisma Magazine on 11/21/2014 entitled ‘Claiming the Power to Heal As Jesus Did’. In it he states:
“It’s vital to note that He (Jesus) did all His miracles as a man, not as God. If He did them as God, I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. God gave every believer the power to heal as Jesus did. But releasing such miracles through you is all about recognizing authority.”
Bill Johnson, in order to support his theme of ‘We Shall Do Greater Works Than Jesus’, takes great pains in his teaching to stress that everything Jesus did, He did as a Spirit-filled man rather than as God. If, as Johnson says, Christ is not a title of deity but merely means ‘anointed one’, we too can be anointed with the Holy Spirit so that we can do the miraculous works Jesus did. Not only that, we can do even greater works. Johnson elsewhere states that Jesus laid aside His divinity. The orthodox Christian view, established since the fifth century, is that Jesus was (and remains) both fully and truly divine and fully and truly human. His divinity was veiled but not cast aside. To those who say we can do all that Jesus did should consider very carefully what they say. Are they able to get up on a cross, die, raise themselves from the dead on the third day, and save humanity from their sins?
The following URL links are an in-depth look at Bill Johnson’s heretical teachings, especially the central point of his New Age theology which is that Jesus Christ was 100% man and 0% God while on this earth:
Bill Johnsons New Age Christology Part 1
Bill Johnsons Christ Anointing and Antichrist Spirit
Bill Johnsons New Age Christology Part 2
Bill Johnsons New Age Christology Part 3a
Bill Johnson’s New Age Christology Part 3b
Bill Johnsons New Age Christology Part 4 Conclusion
I heard people who dabble in Bill Johnson’s teachings say in their spiritual blindness, “Eat the meat and spit out the bones.” Only problem is the meat has been poisoned by the bones. A different jesus and holy spirit is preached. Just his teaching alone that Jesus was 100% man and 0% God while on this earth makes him a heretic. BE VERY CAREFUL! Just because the name ‘jesus’ is used, does not make someone or something right. All that one has to do is see how the seven sons of Sceva found that out in Acts 19. The name of Jesus is precious and must never be misused.
For anyone that is not familiar with the orthodox teaching of the ‘Hypostatic Union” that Jesus Christ was 100% God and 100% man while on this earth, please read the following PDF. This teaching is a core of the Christian faith and separates it from the cults:
Cross Encounters Radio (crossencountersmin.com) does not hold back any punches:
Bethel Church, in Redding, CA is a blight, a scourge, a locust in the land of Christendom. I know those are strong, and to some, harsh words, but I believe this series of broadcasts will reveal that I am not poisoning a well of otherwise fresh water. I am revealing a well of water filled with deadly poison. Along the way, we will identify and expose other churches and ministries that are part of the tentacle structure that is Bethel Church’s unholy empire—a structure, as I will try to show, is built upon a false jesus, a false gospel, false teaching, false signs and wonders, and false spirits of the age. As Bill Johnson said in a promo video for the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, “People go to Bethel for the Miracles, but they stay for the community.” I believe Bill Johnson, and people like him, are a drug dealer who serves/sells/deals spiritual heroin, not to those seeking Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but to those who are seeking a spiritual high—to those who are seeking the bennies of alleged gifts of the Holy Spirit, but who are not seeking the Giver of Life, Jesus Christ the Lord.
Music is extremely powerful and affects the inner most parts of a person. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. Rock music was a very big part of my life. I still catch myself singing a lot of the catchy lyrics from that time period. The other day I caught myself singing the following lyric I had just heard on a Radio Station:
“Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory God is what our hearts long for. To be overcome by your presence Lord.”
I then stopped dead in my tracks. I investigated the song and discovered it was made big by the group that grew out of Bill Jobnson’s ministry called ‘Jesus Culture’. Their music is all about hype and sensation. Then I realized this key Scripture verse:
“You once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2)
Examine very carefully the lyric “fill the atmosphere.” Who is the prince of the power of the air? –> It is Satan himself along with his minions. For those who think this is stretching it, I will remind you that each of us is in a very real spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12).
Next, examine very carefully the lyric “To be overcome by your presence Lord.” The Holy Spirit does not overcome true Christians –> the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet (1Cor 14:32). True Christians bow down in willful adoration, never by being overcome. I cannot emphasize enough that our Christianity is based on faith (Heb 11:1)(Eph 2:8)(Rom 10:17), not on experience. Never forget that the Holy Spirit abides in you; not around you or on you (1 Jn 4:4). A scripturally correcting wording of the song would be:
“Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood our hearts and take away all fears. Your glory God is what our hearts long for. To be honored by your presence Lord.”
There is simplicity, clarity, satisfaction, and fulfillment in the true Jesus Christ. When I read any of the prolific teachings that come from this bizarre ‘counterfeit movement’ there is an overabundance of words that have you running around in circles and no clarity. They cause you to ever reach, but never obtain fully. Whereas with Jesus, He summed it up very simply, “Tarry until you receive power from on high”. Obedience and prayer followed. Then “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” There was no ‘beating around the bush’. This, and only this, was the sure outward sign that is repeated (Acts 10:46 and 19:6). Nothing has changed since. We worship a God of order and surety. Does God heal? He most certainly does, but it is according to His directives, not man’s. Our job is simply to deny ourself and pick up our cross and follow Jesus (Mt 16:24). We receive our marching orders through the sufficiency of the written Word of God. The ‘still small voice’ will fine tune those orders always in accordance with the written Word of God. Renewing our mind day by day (Romans 12:2) keeps us focused on that ‘still small voice’ so that it is not drowned out by ‘other voices’.
“We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.” (Ephesians 4:12)
Where do we go from here? As I said in the beginning of this two part series that this is not an exhaustive look at the subject of ‘Strange Fire’ offered today. But what it does do is alert unsuspecting people to the dangers and they can do their own more in-depth studies on the subject matter, because there is sure plenty enough of it out there on the Internet. Remember, there are no new revelations and EVERYTHING must be in COMPLETE agreement with the Bible. In short, the following PDF beckons us to be on the lookout for ‘Weird Manifestations’ and ‘False Christs’. We are commanded to expose them and have no fellowship with them:
We have been told of many instances were false preachers, teachers, and prophets infiltrated the early Church. We have been emphatically warned that it will be much worse in the end times. As I quoted Spurgeon at the top of this post, it is all of our responsibility to discern between the ‘right’ and ‘almost right’.
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?” (Galatians 3:1-4)
So how is it best to sum up the Bill Johnsons of the world? I believe Acts 8:13,18-23 does it best:
Then Simon (the Sorcerer) himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
I leave you with Paul’s questions for you to answer, “Who hath bewitched you? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh (sensationalism)?”