Blowing the Kazoo on Bethel

A reader sent these links to articles on Bethel (Bill Johnson) as a comment and I thought it  worthy  the attention of an article. (Thanks Houghton!)

Read on:

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.”

Anyone who doesn’t know, Johnson’s teachings are right out of the word of faith heresies, he is a pal with Cal Pierce, International Association of Healing rooms and so teaches the same.  He is also one of the chief instigators in the comeback of Todd Bentley.

what a world

Yesterday we received more earth shattering news regarding a family member. No one died, but I won’t go into details because the details is not the point I wish to make.

I have been struck by the realization of the simplicity of Jesus and the cross and it as though I am seeing it for the first time. I am amazed that we have made it into something so hard to understand, so hard to accept. It’s really very simple. I am also amazed that we chase around in all of our busy time and energy -stealing schedules, in fruitless effort to concoct for ourselves  – life – when it has already been freely offered for our taking. It is not the life that we have hoped to create on our own, and sadly, because of the blindness we miss it altogether.

Jesus Christ having always existed as the creator of life, who, knowing all things about every  person who would ever live, knowing every event that would take place on earth, being in full knowledge of the mind of mankind, that  is sinful and futile in its attempts to be good – –

God by His own choosing stepped out of heaven, lived and worked here on earth among sinners, adulterers and thieves in the form of a man. Then, choosing a most hideous death, the sinless Man between two thieves, died for a crime a He did not commit, being completely without fault, sin or guilt. In so doing He took the sin of all those people upon His innocent and loving shoulders offering life to those who would follow His ways, the ways of the Father, the ways of love.

Why?

Because He loves us – everyone of us. Regardless of who we are or what we do. If we live in the gutter or in the greatest mansion we are the same in His eyes. And He did this so that we might realize His true and unwavering love and in return for such a great gift we would love Him back. In doing so, we would be  taught to love one another. If we could get ourselves around that simple but great truth! We would love, and would stop murdering one another with our words and deeds. We would stop chanting me! me! me and begin seeing with new eyes. We would shake off the inner covering of pride that makes us the worthless self centered beings that we are and come to the realization of why God created us in the first place – for fellowship with Him and with one another – to love, support, encourage, and to weep with those who weep and dance with those who are joyful!

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

What a world it would be.

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?