eating off the wrong tree

From time to time someone comments here regarding the Bethel, the church in Redding, California, headed by Bill Johnson. He is known to be quite influential and many flock to his church because they believe God is doing “something”. These misinformed believe that unless they are in Bethel physically, they will “miss out on” what “God is doing now”.

I’ve put up quite a few articles related to Bethel and its Pastor Bill Johnson who pals with Cal Pierce of International Association of Healing Rooms – think John G. Lake.  I’d like to take a second to show you how easy it is to spot false teaching. Now, the teaching I am about to show you did not originate from Bill Johnson or Cal Pierce. It is a fundamental teaching out of the word of faith heresy. Watch how simple.

I was asked to contact a young woman in regards to my experience with the healing rooms – IAHR. This woman has become involved with Bethel, its healing rooms and the teaching of Bill Johnson. (Both healing rooms share the same teachings.)  I shared with her my experience and concerns. She claimed she knew we, as believers, could “speak things into existence” because the word says power of life and death are in the tongue, and that is proof that we could.

Here is my response to her –

You said you are grounded in the word. Please consider then, these scriptures that you have been taught out of context.

You saidThe bible says the power of life and death is in the tongue.  That’s proof right there that we can speak things into existence.

Below is the scripture in context and you will see nothing said before or after teaches we can speak things into existence.

Proverbs 18:20-22

20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the LORD.

The power to “call things that are not as tho they were”, or to “speak things into existence comes” from a clip from the following scripture, again I am posting it in its context –

Romans 4:16-18

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”[a]) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.

This scripture so often quoted out of its true meaning speaks of God’s promise to make Abraham the father of a nation, even when he was so old, past the age of child bearing, the thing that did not exist. It also refers to the sovereignty of God, His power to speak life into what did not exist before, all of creation, to call a people, the Gentile nation, to be His even when they were not. Again, nothing is said here of our power to call things to exist

So now we can see that Proverbs and Romans are two very often misquoted scriptures – where does the idea of this wrong teaching come from???

Genesis 3:4-6

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

To claim we can do the same things that God does, to claim to have that ability and power is to make the claim we are like God, as the serpent told Eve above. And how quickly she found out otherwise. I know you have a zeal for God but please make sure you are doing the work of a true believer. Just to lay claim to some thing and pound God’s name on it, does not make it of God. We have a responsibility to keep the word of God and its teachings pure and to handle it with utmost care. These word of faith teachers do not teach us the word of God as it is written, but twist it to say something other than what it does, as you can see by these examples. Why do they do this? Maybe because they have been deceived for so long they can no longer see the truth. Or maybe they don’t care of the truth; they just want the fame and fortune. None of us know for sure but we do know when we compare their teachings with the word -as we have done here -they don’t say the same thing.

This is why I warn others of this heresy and of those who are eating off the wrong tree.

This is her response back to me:

Faith, hope and love. The rest is whatever.  I’m not going to debate with you. I love people with faith! And those that have faith for the impossible is great in God’s eyes.  They are childlike and that is the only way to make it into the kingdom of heaven.
Have a good day.

Notice not a bit of care or concern with the truth staring her right there in both of her eyes! I guess if you have this “faith” then nothing else matters.

This is the teaching supported at Bethel and throughout most of charismania. Not the true word of God, but one contrived of twisted scripture. Again, I have to wonder what it truly means when they twist the word of God so easily, and Jesus Himself is referred to in John 1 as the Word.  Does it make you want to jump the first plane, train or auto out there to be just as deceived?

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26 thoughts on “eating off the wrong tree

  1. Mkayla
    Thats a very confronting article,particuarly considering the response of the person who has been confronted with the truth.I think it’s important to note a very profound biblical truth on this issue, and that is that its possible to present someone with truckloads of truth, but it is only by the Spirit of truth that it gains any traction in ones life, if not, then neither do they have the Spirit or the truth.There are plenty of folks who are being blinded simply for lack of actively seeking the truth.

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  2. Great article, M’Kayla. I am not surprised by the response you received. The sad thing is, I can see a little of the “old me” in it. It’s not that I wanted to deny the bible, but I was so convinced that the teaching I had heard was correct that I didn’t think it was possible for the bible to contradict it, so I just brushed the “problem scripture” aside; I didn’t even think about it. Can you see that same attitude in the response above? Even as I type this I wonder how I did that…I am not a dumb person! That veil of deception was so thick that I even took pride in my “level” of faith. I am so thankful that the Lord graciously lifted that veil and gave me a godly sorrow that led to repentance. I continue to pray for my friends who are still deceived.

    Blessings to you, sister.

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  3. Thank you for being faithful to our Savior and His Word, even when your efforts seem unfruitful. They have great faith in “faith”, rather than faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.

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  4. I read Proverbs Vs 20 and 21 to say that what comes out of our mouth comes from the heart and we will reap the fruit of it. So, if we hate others and spread evil about them, it will give us a ‘stomach ache,’ and we break the 9th Commandment (Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor), but if we speak well of others, we bless the LORD. It’s supported by what Jesus says about what comes out of a man pollutes him, (not what goes in) and the heart is wicked above all else, who can know it? Our words only have the power of “life and death” over another person’s feelings, well-being and reputation. All of us have probably experienced being gossiped about and having nasty things said about us. At least, any of us who went to High School! 🙂

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    • You know, we can’t even get the small stuff right like controlling our mouths. Why should anyone think we could be trusted with the power to change the atmosphere or anything else? Can you imagine if we actually had that kind of power what would happen in our moments of pride, jealosy or rage? God knows better than to give that to mankind. But for those who believe otherwise it is a step in the direction of becoming like thier god and my will be done.

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  5. Oops, I meant the 8th Commandment! Here is Martin Luther’s explanation to the 8th Commandment from his Small Catechism. It’s not just about lying about a person in court.

    The Eighth Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    What does this mean for us? – We are to fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, or lie about our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain his actions in the kindest way.

    Notice the things we shouldn’t do = death to a person and the things we should do = life to a person – our power of life and death in our words.

    I read in those Redding newspaper articles about Bethel that were all over the internet last month about the healing rooms at Bethel. People were blowing Shofars at a man’s flat feet to heal them! If that’s not witchcraft, occultic and shamanistic, what is? And why did he need to be ‘healed’ of flat feet? It’s not a life-threatening disease.

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    • The shofar blowing goes back to the belief that there is healing in sound. Yes, it is taught in New Age, taken from other religions, but not in the bible. Chuck Pierce and his many followers are also big on this belief. Only God can heal and only by His will and through His spirit. Healing does not come any other way, I don’t care how many shofars (or kazoos) get blown.

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  6. Hi mkayla
    In 03 I took a trimester at IHOP. In the spring of 04 I heard what I thought was the audible voice of God, I believed that lie for two years.
    I had just laid down and was at that point of just drifting off to sleep, when I heard someone speak to me, I sat up and looked around because I literally believed I heard someone. Guess what I heard. “Speak things that are not as if they were.” I said Lord was that you? If it was I need a scripture and yes I found Rom. 4:16-18 and yes it was out of context, but I was convinced for a time that it was indeed God. But you and I both know it was not God but a demon. I believe I picked it up at IHOP it goes with the territory.
    One other time I heard the same voice, same type of scenario but this time no scripture to back it up, but after the time period went by that the word was supposed to be fulfilled I knew I had bought a lie and it was not God, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus speaking to me but something else.
    It was humbling and I had to repent and renounce my participation in the prophetic movement and IHOP and for taking the word of God out of context.
    But I have found most will rather hold on to there experience rather than admit that even in there sincerity they could be hearing from a demon.
    Most Christian’s don’t even think they could have a demon, much less be led astray by one. And I blame bad doctrine and denominational teaching for much of that. Just thought I’d share.
    James

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    • I can relate competely and I know many others who come here have had similar experiences. Thanks for your contribution James! It is good to hear of another who came out of the deception.

      Blessings.

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  7. WOW! mkayla I can’t believe how many readers here that have come out of deception – It make me think of the words in Amazing Grace. And so it is amazing that you got out of it. As powerful as Satan is, God is even greater. But I believe only when you ask God to show you the truth he does reveal the truth to you but, if you just keep walk in deception you are going to keep walking in it you have to search for the truth. Ask and it shall be given unto you.

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  8. Well, as bad as it — her pathetic response to you — I am so glad that I am not the only one dealing with this stuff. The past few days I have been emailing a “friend” about the false junk going on. Her way of dealing with it? Flat out attacking me with ridiculous accuations. One of them: “you don’t go to church.” I told her, hmmm, I did not know that God would be judging us on how many times we go to church. Who is the religious one here?

    She has refused to look at the issues. Amazing, isn’t it? I’m convinced people want to stay blind, deaf and dumb. I’m at a point where i feel like just going to bed, pulling the cover over my head and go to sleep!

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  9. Did someone mention veil of deception? I can now look back to a specific date when someone anoited me with oil and prayed for me, and from that day I began to accept false doctrines and false prophets. In the past I was much more inclined to examine all things. For two years, despite the red flags, I went along with this garbage. But praise YAH He took away that spirit of deception and put me back on the narrow path. It is absolutely vital that we examine all things with the Light and Truth of the Whole counsel of Yah. I have shared with many friends concerning the deception in the church, but they do not want to hear it and I realize that they have this veil. There has to be a love for the Truth above all else, if not they remain in deception, and according to the Scriptures, Yah will give them what they want, false prophets and false religion.

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    • Hi Hannah. Yes, that “anointing” thing can be powerful when the person anointed is in agreement. I picked up lots of yucky stuff that very way and I am sure I passed much of it on to the unknowing. God forgive me. This veil is powerful, but God is more so, and we keep praying for the decieved. I hope the doubt I plant helps them just enough that they begin to question for themselves.

      Praise God you are out.

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  10. Looks like the local Redding newspaper has finally caught on to Bethel — Johnson has been able to fly under the radar really until now, and he’s been able to recruit a massive following in nondenominational house churches across the entire nation.

    Check out this series of articles — looks like more of the old signs and wonders, Word of Faith stuff rebranded and repackaged to me:

    http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/16/bethel-burgeons-under-pastors-visions-of/

    http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/18/faith-healings-dead-raising-teams-part-of-bethel/

    http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/19/bethels-signs-and-wonders-include-angel-feathers/

    http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/19/glossary-of-bethel-terms/

    http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/19/bethel-lists-evangelical-ministries-as-its/

    http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/16/bethel-church-leadership/

    http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/16/simpson-bethel-have-partnership-but-differences/

    And here’s an interesting story showing how Bethel members’ gullibility, lack of common sense and lack of discernment led to their being bilked:

    http://www.redding.com/news/2009/aug/31/sec-accuses-redding-man-running-ponzi-scheme/

    http://www.redding.com/news/2009/sep/05/officials-warn-congregations-of-con-artists/

    Talk about being open to “a new thing.”

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    • Thanks for all the links. I’ve had read some of these already. I is a good thing they are getting this exposure as maybe it will help others come out of the deception.

      Just to let you know, WordPress spams comments with lots of links. It’s automatic and that is where I found your comment, in the spam box. Glad I looked.

      Blessings and thanks again.

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  11. I have memories of my Word of Faith days…and the dreaded power of every word I spoke. Now lets understand something, our words are important. But they are NOT supernatural, nor do they bestow supernatural powers with their merely being uttered. Prayer is one thing – sorcery is another..

    I remember the teaching ‘You shall have what you say’. You could ‘speak’ to your checkbook – LIFE there shall be within you in Jesus name! or you could ‘speak’ healing to your body – you SHALL be made whole and you SHALL not be sick! and it was excess, excess, excess.

    On a negative note, I remember another teaching, DON’T tell your child, “Ooo honey! Don’t touch that candle/fire – you’ll get burned!” …and the pastor said, “SEE THERE? You’ve just ‘given Satan permission’ to burn your child!”

    Now folks, that is about as ridiculous as anything I’ve ever heard but back then, I was only in my young 20’s and the pastor said it, therefore you knew it was from God! I mean the man said so and all the older people listening were saying ‘amen’ so it just had to be!

    Amazing that the IHOP crowd is also in their, mainly, young 20’s. And Mike Bickle said God told him this and such so you just KNOW it HAS to be from God!

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  12. My gosh! You gave that woman plenty to chew on and she just spat it out.Those in deception do that. They can not swallow anything but the sugar that tastes good to them.

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  13. These are the ones who choose to remain in the blindness, preferring the words of their false teachers above the word of God. The lie here in their version is so simple to see!

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