Acts 17, bethel church redding deception, Bill Johnson false teacher, Dallas Jenkins calls Mormons his brothers and sisters, Daystar, Dealing with those who are deceived, Deception, drunken glory, Exodus 13 and false prophets, False Prophets, heretical NAR, Hindu Kundalini kriyas, Lindsey Davis, Matthew 7:22-23, modern worship music, the deception of Bethel, The false Jesus of Jesus Culture
(Links to various articles/videos will be posted below in an outline form so that you can read/watch and not just take my word for it. There are even more articles not listed below (a plethora), but they are online regarding what I have only begun to touch on here from websites such as https://www.thebereancall.org/; http://letusreason.org/; https://carm.org/; https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/ and many others. May your hearts be open to what the Spirit of God would say to you through this article, and the resources that follow).
Bethel of the Bible
The Bible recounts that a place by the name of Bethel, meaning “house of God”, had been incredibly special and important. It was the place of Abraham’s communion with God (Genesis 12:8), the location of the heavenly staircase upon which Jacob perceived angels ascending and descending (Genesis 28:10, 19), where the Israelites went to seek God’s council in troubled times (Judges 20:18 Judges 20:31; 21:2), where the ark of the Covenant was protected by Phinehas (Judges 20:26-28), and was one of the places where the prophet Samuel judged the people (1 Samuel 7:16). It was a holy place. It was a blessed place.
But Bethel did not remain pure and holy, for it fell head over heals into idolatry when Jeroboam set up a golden calf in its midst (1 Kings 12:28-13:1) and told Israel that it was their god. And thus the prophet Hosea (Hosea 4:15, 5:8, 10:5, 8) calls it Beth-aven, “house of idols.” No longer was it a place where God dwelt and met with His people. Rather, it became a place wherein evil was welcomed with open arms, the exciting and exotic rites of Occultism were practiced openly, and where the people sought the aide of any god but God while not at all discerning the difference.
In Acts 16:16-24 a story is recounted of Paul, Silas, Luke and other Christians who were being closely and daily followed around by a young woman who was declaring, “These men are servants of the Most High God which show unto us the way of salvation” (vs 17).
Now, what is wrong with this statement? Sounds inspired, doesn’t it? It appears completely sound in doctrine, doesn’t it? So, why then is Paul troubled and thoroughly fatigued (1278) by her? I mean, wasn’t what she was saying making the people listen to Paul? Wasn’t it drawing them to Jesus?
The Spirit of Python
No. She was possessed by the spirit of puthon. Puthon sometimes called Python, was a serpent that the Greco-Roman god Apollo was said to have slain, but then manifested at a place called Delphi through a young woman for the purpose of prophesying. (https://ehistory.osu.edu/articles/oracle-delphi) And though the instruction was more often than not cryptic and vague, the oracle at Delphi was still considered to be so accurate that commoners and influential people alike from all around would seek to divine their future through her. But puthon was not of God. Puthon was demonic.
In other words, it was not what the young woman said that was wrong. The words she spoke were not wrong. Please, notice that. The average listener would not hear anything amiss. But, the spirit behind the prophetic words was evil, and Paul through discernment, knew this. The spirit wanted to attach itself to the Christian message and become revered by the Christian ministers and all listening, in order to gain the trust of believers and to attain greater prestige. The Gospel was forcefully advancing, and many were coming to Christ, and the spirit of Python wanted to be apart of it in order to draw attention to itself and steal Christ’s glory.
This Present Darkness
It is no different today. For, there is a deep darkness that has descended over the modern day house of God worldwide. The tares are growing up prolifically among the ears of wheat, and great deception is pervading with increasing energy and perseverance. There is a hybridization taking place, a mixing and mingling of Christianity until little of Christ is left except a shell void of the life that once dwelt there. Though many may nod knowingly regarding this apostasy, very few actually regard the specifics and far reaching, tentacled, many headed hydra that has overtaken the Church. A spiritual genetic manipulation has and is in effect taking place, and most are too apathetic or mesmerized or sleepy to notice or care.
But, I must ask, is it at any time acceptable for Christians to use tarot cards or Ouija boards? What about practicing necromancy or divination or any other type of Occultism? Is any of that blessed by God at any time or under any other name? How about being filled with “drunken glory” exemplified by staggering and slurred speech? Would you be comfortable with the belief that there are “precious” treasures of New Age mysticism that we as Christians must reclaim and fully utilize? What about the teaching that Jesus was completely emptied of His godhood while here and thus was only a man? What about the teaching that Jesus was the first one to be born again?
Our God is a holy God, and He commands that we are to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). And this holiness is to pervade every aspect and facet of our daily lives, from what we watch, what we think about, what we listen to, what entertains us, what and who motivates us, and what type of teaching and teacher we heed. Indeed, even as the saying goes “garbage in, garbage out”, so it is with the spiritual food we receive, whether deliberately or inadvertently. That which we take into our spirits, does eventually produce fruit of some kind – good or bad depending on what type of spiritual food we ingest.
We so quickly and easily say that we have the Holy Spirit and that He will not allow us to go astray. And yes, as Christians we do have the Holy Spirit who will lead us into all truth – if we are abiding in His word (John 16:13). For indeed, we are still sheep, and we can still be “drawn away” by the desires (James 1:14) of our hearts that are deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9). We are still called on by the Savior to be diligent and of a sound mind. Thus, James implores his Christian readers saying, “do not be deceived” (James 1:16). For as Peter states in 2 Peter 2, “1But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.”
Deception has been around since the snake in the garden, but it grew thick and fast after Jesus’ resurrection and the commencement of the Church age. This deception has not been outside of the Church, but inside. That is why Peter, Paul, John, James, and others in Scripture warned believers to beware and be on guard constantly. Even Matthew 24:1 relates, “3Now as He [Jesus] sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”4And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you…” Again, this is addressed to believers. This is addressed to us.
The Problem of Cognitive Dissonance
Most if not all who read what I’ve just stated above will be nodding their heads quickly in agreement to such a general statement. But, the moment that one gets specific and begins to point out who or what is false and why, people start to stiffen, resist, and disagree. Why? We get uncomfortable as soon as the information hits too close to home, in other words, touches on a ministry or minister that we like. That is the nature of each of our hearts. That is the nature of deception. And that is precisely how Satan preys upon Christians.
Here’s the deal. Do you want the truth? Do you want it even at the expense of losing names and faces that you have looked up to and trusted? Do you want the truth even at the expense of realizing that you were fooled by them and their smooth words? Do you want the truth more than signs and wonders? Do you?
Deception in Plain Sight
Well, there is a specific church, a specific organization, a specific movement, a specific ministry, a specific man that is propagating a now widespread deception in the Church. Yes, they truly do believe that they are “reclaiming” Hindu/New Age teachings as if they at first belonged to Christianity, and are teaching and inspiring other Christians to do so too. This includes the use of Ouija Boards aptly renamed Angel Boards, Tarot Cards aptly renamed Destiny Cards (and now there are Destiny Pants too), Necromancy renamed grave soaking/sucking/mantle grabbing, and Eastern Meditation practices now aptly renamed Contemplative Prayer or Soaking Prayer which leads to Kundalini enlightenment, and people are staggering and stammering about in a so-called “drunken glory”. But of course they do not call it Kundalini (the nine headed serpent power/wisdom of the Hinduism of India, https://icrcanada.org/learn/historicalbasis/kundaliniindia). Rather, they call it the Holy Spirit. And the manifestations of this Kundalini are as follows: “Unholy laughing, uncontrollable laughing, involuntary falling, jerking, roaring, barking, hissing, crying, body contortions, shaking, muscle twitches, spasms, postures or moving one’s body in unusual ways, drunkenness,” (“Lindsey Davis’ Heart Cry for Bethel’s Correction,” pg 29, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jTWy8zJMf4X13maBE2SXRLT2-ACM7MCf/view). And then there is the walk through the “fire tunnel”, wherein Kundalini is imparted and people begin to thrash about like the demon possessed/oppressed because they are, but they believe it to be an encounter with God.
On top of this, the one propagating the above is also a teacher of false doctrine regarding Jesus, for it is taught that Jesus while here was only a man and was completely emptied of His divinity/godhood, and that Jesus was the first one born again. The reasoning presented is that if Jesus had not been merely a man, then we as humans could not hope to do the miracles that he did. But, because Jesus was only a man then we can do what he did. One of those spiritual manifestations is that of prophecy, only one does not need to be 100% accurate. And in this organization’s school of ministry (which is increasingly popular), they will not allow any student to graduate until they have prophesied three times incorrectly.
Does this even sound Christian or doctrinally accurate? What good can come from this?
In spite of these horrors, this organization and its founder are highly venerated among charismatic Christians, and big name Christian leaders visit his church for conferences, worship gatherings and the like. This individual is viewed as a respected leader among Pentecostals and charismatics, and is even included on the Global Council leadership team of Empowered21. Empowered21 states that it “is a global movement which aims to…Promote the empowerment of the Holy Spirit on all believers and the empowerment of the generations to serve God…The vision is for everyone on Earth to have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit… by Pentecost 2033”. (https://digitalshowcase.oru.edu/e21archive/; https://empowered21.com/about/; https://empowered21.com/about/global-leaders/)
First of all there is nothing wrong with this vision. I myself am Pentecostal. There, the cat’s out of the bag on that one! But, at this point it is imperative that you know this. I am not merely charismatic. I am Pentecostal. I believe that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 began then and continues today, and that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit as explained by Paul in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12-14 are still for the edification of the Church today. Thus, the noble goals of Empowered21 are good.
But, the goats have mixed in with the sheep, the tares with the wheat. This man is a counterfeit, and is apart of a much larger, approved of movement that is polluting the Body of Christ with lies garbed in prophetic words, dreams and visions and decorated with flashy promises of good to come and hit or mostly miss emotionally charged prophetic utterances. The deception of this group is far-reaching and deeply entrenched in the Church, poisoning it from the inside out. For, even if it tastes good, looks good, and smells good, it is still poison.
The movement is the New Apostolic Reformation, also referred to as the acroym NAR.
The man’s name is Bill Johnson, and his church’s name is Bethel, also called Bethel Redding or Bethel Church Redding.
Much can be found online regarding Bill Johnson, his links with the NAR, the Toronto Blessing (so-called), Rick Joyner and other NAR apostolic leadership, the Three Rivers/Latter Rain/Dominionism/Manifest Sons of God/Seven Mountains Mandate beliefs, etc., but this article is not for the purpose of summarizing these nor the heresy of this movement. Rather, it is to point out a very overlooked yet overwhelmingly prevalent fact. Jesus stated in Matthew 7:18, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” There is something that springs from the source of this heretical church and movement, something that grows from its roots, and that is inseparable from this corrupt Bethel tree.
What is this corrupt fruit of Bethel church in Redding, California? Bethel Music and Jesus Culture.
How can such incredible music and such moving lyrics come from such a polluted, cult-like church? How can they sound so Christian, when they are led by the guru-like teaching of Bill Johnson who propagates a false doctrine and advocates Occult and New Age practices?
Lucifer: Worship Leader
Let’s remember this very important fact: Lucifer was a worship leader in heaven. In Ezekiel 28:13 he is said to have been made with timbrels and pipes, and in Isaiah 14:11 it goes on to say that the sound of his stringed instruments and music were silenced in the day he was taken down to Sheol. Thus, it is said that Lucifer was made up of all three types of musical instruments that we use today (percussion, wind, and strings).
But one day, he polluted his sanctuaries by the iniquity of his “trading”. This “trading” or “merchandizing” that Lucifer did, according to Pastor Zev Porat, a Messianic rabbi whose first language is Hebrew, was actually stealthily and secretly keeping back part of what rightfully belonged to God – namely His worship – while making it look like all of the worship had been given to God. (“Satan’s Days are Numbered – Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat Teaches,” November 5, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNs2adgR4gc).
Really, this is exactly like what Ananias and Sapphira did in Acts 5. They covertly embezzled (nosphizo, 3557), deceptively held something back when they said they given all of it to God. And, does the spirit of this not align with Matthew 4 when it says, “8Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.””
Would Satan, who led in worship in heaven not also be well-versed in what worship ought to sound like, be worded like, even feel like? Wouldn’t he then who is a deceiver also be very excellent at mixing truth with a subtle lie, mingled with powerful music that stirs the soul so that one overlooks the error, lets down their guard, and sings on with the mesmerizing melody? Is Lucifer not adept at appearing as an angel of light? (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Are you shaking your head in disbelief? Are you underestimating the devil, that ancient serpent (Revelation 12:9)?
Now…back to Bethel.
Bethel church, filled with error and heresy, a church endorsing Occult practices, advocating New Age manifestations, a church apart of the New Apostolic Reformation which calls their leadership super apostles and prophets who also back false prophets and false teachers including Bill Johnson, and who advocate all unfiltered, untested supernatural signs as being from God, all while calling themselves Christian, has now given birth to a music revolution.
“From 2009 to 2013, Bethel Music rapidly grew from being a relatively small local church music ministry to becoming a fully-fledged record label and publishing company, featuring songwriters and worship leaders based out of Bethel Church in Redding, California” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethel_Music). “Bethel Music is an American record label and publishing company associated with Bethel Church, led by Bill Johnson’s son Brian Johnson. Its music was among the most played contemporary worship music in American churches in 2019 and its albums have reached the BillBoard 200 multiple times. Bethel Music has many songs with tens of millions of views on Youtube, and two with over 100 million views as of 2019. The live performances of its songs are characterized by extended duration with much repetition and emotion.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethel_Church_(Redding%2C_California) And furthermore, they have mixed and mingled with many well-meaning, godly worship teams worldwide, rubbing shoulders with and sharing platforms and songs, thus presenting themselves as legitimately Christian and legitimately inspired.
Not Just Music
Some may say, it’s just a song. It’s just music. The words sound okay. I feel good when I sing it. It feels like the Holy Spirit to me. It’s not teaching doctrine.
In Acts 17:11 the Berean group of people were praised for being noble minded in their daily research of Scripture to see if what Paul said was true. First of all, think about that. The Apostle Paul was scrutinized. The man of God who was Holy Spirit inspired, had his words investigated by the Bereans to make sure that what he was saying was true. It’s not that they were suspicious of him. They actually really believed and wanted to believe what he said. But, they wanted the whole truth and nothing but the truth more than anything else.
If they did this to trustworthy, Spirit-inspired, Apostle Paul, how much more ought we to do this when it comes to the worship leading and instruction of fallible teachers and worship leaders.
Furthermore, worship songs are not just songs. In Colossians 3:16 we read, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” It is clear from this passage that songs teach the Church. They give instruction. They present doctrine in poetic stanzas, set to stirring music. Songs are not just songs. Music is not just music. They sculpt us, mold us, make us, warn us, reinforce us, and inspire us.
This being the case, it is imperative to know what a song is communicating, who the human author is, and what spirit is behind it.
Python: The spirit behind the music
The spirit behind Bethel church is a false Holy Spirit. The Jesus of Bethel church is a very human Jesus who was not divine while on earth, was the first one born again, and who taught all people how to become christs on earth. Demonic manifestations are attributed to the Holy Spirit, and lying signs and wonders entrance the masses (angel feathers, gold dust, gem stones, fire tunnels, etc.).
The authors of Bethel worship music and Jesus Culture are attenders of this very same Bethel church, and are disciples of Bill Johnson and followers of the Bethel Jesus, and their music and lyrics flow from this same spirit and influence – even an angel of light.
And so we come back to the spirit of Python and the oracle at Delphi who called out that Paul and his Christian companions were men of God, declaring the way of salvation. She was already considered prophetic. Her utterances were revered. And, her words regarding the apostles were accurate. But, the spirit behind the words was demonic. The spirit of Python was at work seeking to deceive everyone into believing that he and the Holy Spirit were one and the same, that he was on the same team as Christians. Python wanted to blur the lines, to be accepted by Christians and all religions, and thus to steal God’s glory for himself.
But, God does not share His glory (Isaiah 42:8). God does not like mixtures (Exodus 34:12-16; Leviticus 19:19; Numbers 25; Ezra 9:12; Deuteronomy Deuteronomy 7:3-4; 22:9-11; Ezra 10; Nehemiah 10:28-30, 13:23-27). God does not like compromise. God does not like the blurring of very clear lines that have been drawn in the sand. Thus, God is exposing this spirit of deceptive divination yet again, forthe spirit of the NAR prophetic movement and Bethel church Redding and Bethel music is nothing more than the spirit of Python drawing attention to itself, the seething of Lucifer stealing worship from God.
Are we being tested?
While the Lord does not tempt us to sin, could He possibly be constructively testing us? As it says in Exodus 13, 1“If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” In other words, it sounded right, but, the spirit behind it was evil. Discerning is not always cut and dry. And believe it or not, God allowed for this in order to test the quality of the hearts of His people, like fire tests metal not for the sake of destruction but to temper it.
The line drawn in the sand by Moses thousands of years ago at the foot of Mount Horeb is still in the sand before us today, and his words still echo loudly and clearly above the beat of drums and strum of guitars saying, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come to me” (Exodus 32:26).
Good fruit cannot come from a bad tree, and a bad fruit cannot come from a good tree. Can we trust anything that comes out of the serpent-inspired rot of Bethel Church in Redding, California or even the NAR movement?
Dealing with Those Steeped in Deception
Now, regarding those more deeply deceived by the entrancing teaching and feel-good prophecies of the NAR and who are lulled by the spell of Bethel, remember the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4, “1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. 4 So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” And finally, the epistle of Jude says, “17But you, beloved, remember what was foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ 18when they said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow after their own ungodly desires.” 19These are the ones who cause divisions, who are worldly and devoid of the Spirit. 20But you, beloved, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in the love of God as you await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life. 22And indeed, have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; and to still others show mercy tempered with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.”
There are those who have left Bethel and the NAR. There are those who truly loved Christ and His word more than all else, and eventually they saw through the facade. So, please do not give up on praying for those ensnared right now. The Holy Spirit is still working. More will make their exodus. As Jesus said, ““If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” (John 8:32)
O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
But then, what do we do with seemingly sincere, evangelistically minded people like Sean Feucht (who attended Bethel and also ministered there in the past) and Mario Murillo (who is in thick with the NAR)? Neither of them are false prophets, the gospel they preach is Biblically sound, and many are coming to Jesus through their outreaches. However, they do respect and work alongside of false prophets and false teachers and questionable worship leaders. And this goes for Pastor Louie Giglio, worship pastor Kristian Stanfill, singer Keri Jobe, Evangelist Perry Stone, worship leader/song writer Darlene Zschech, the Daystar television network and the Lamb family (who have brought great truth to many concerning the vaccine etc) and others who also lend credence to Bethel. These are brothers and sisters in Christ have obviously been deceived into believing that Bethel and the NAR is genuinely and unquestionably Christian. After all, Bethel and the NAR sing to Jesus; they pray to Jesus; they seem close to God because they have spiritual manifestations; they have visions and dreams and trips to heaven and have eavesdropped on important conversations of God on His throne.
Speaking of Christians who have not yet seen through the “glory cloud” smoke screen of Bethel and the glitz and glamor of dreams of heaven and lying signs and wonders of the NAR, these are still our fellow Christians, and God loves them immensely. Let us remember that just because we can see through the flashy facade, there is something else in our life that we either at one time could not see through but now do, or that we even now are deceived about. How many times have I felt I was immune and years go by, and then one day I see. And when I see, my heart is pierced through with the grievous thought that I had thought I was so right, when in reality, I was so terribly wrong. This does not excuse someone else’s deception. But, it ought to change our attitude and approach of them regarding that deception.
Second Timothy 2:24-25 clearly explains concerning the correction of fellow Christians that “24…a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
O think of God’s great patience in teaching and instructing us! O how gentle He is with each of us, so adept at correcting and disciplining the ones He loves. O how much Jesus loves us! As the voice of Samuel T. Francis’ heartfelt hymn still resounds and reaches the depths of hearts today with the words,
“O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore! How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hzYKovRsJ8)
This being said, what do we practically do regarding these deceived fellow Christians? Do we follow their ministry? Do we include their songs in our worship lineup in church? Do we go to their conferences, attend their churches, or buy their books and CDs?
Just before the book of Revelation is released upon the world, Jesus inspects each of His seven churches. First of all, each of them is Christian. Each of them is a Church. Each of them is beloved of Christ, so much so that He has John pen the letters to them. After all, He disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12). But, of the seven only 2 are pure, and 5 are called to repent. Repent of what? Imperfect works. What does this mean? They all compromised, and were found wanting. And before the full Revelation of Christ, Jesus calls His churches away from their compromise, away from their mixture, and to repentance.
A modern example of a Christian compromising is that of Rick Warren joining the purity of the Gospel with Islam when he incorrectly asserts and unashamedly states that we serve the same God, even calling Jesus by the Koran name of Isa. Muslims to him are brothers and sisters, and are not to be treated otherwise. (https://www.online-ministries.org/rick-warren-to-muslims-the-god-of-the-bible-and-allah-are-the-same-not/; https://www.wnd.com/2012/02/rick-warren-builds-bridge-to-muslims/; https://beforeitsnews.com/religion/2013/11/rick-warrens-chrislam-becomes-one-of-the-fastest-growing-religions-in-america-videos-2458484.html)
Another example is that of the Christian Dallas Jenkins, the main writer of the show “The Chosen”, who not only works alongside Mormons but also calls them his brothers and sisters. He fellowships with them, hangs out with them, and defends them. (https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2022/03/17/do-not-be-deceived-the-chosen/)
Even so, the Passion Band along with the Passion City Church, Daystar television, Hillsong, and a host of other well-known names have come alongside Bethel, calling them brother and sisters in Christ, when in reality Bethel’s leadership follows another Jesus — just like Muslims and Mormons.
Some may rightly assert that God is using these bands and evangelists and pastors for His glory anyway. True. But, let us also remember that God used Judas Iscariot, Balaam and Pharaoh and the devil. Interestingly enough Paul said in Philippians 1, “15Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.”
These well-meaning Christians are not who Paul is referring to, nor are they evil. I do not mean to even slightly imply this. Rather, what I do mean is that God so often takes what the enemy means for evil and turns it for good. But that truth does not give any Christian license nor a legitimate excuse to be deceived.
These brothers like Mario Murillo and Sean Feucht appear to be in fellowship with those who serve another Jesus — a New Age, feel good, “drunken glory,” “grave sucking”, mere man who needed to be born again, spouting false prophecies and boasting about trips to heaven and visions and dreams kind of Jesus. It doesn’t look good.
Is this any different than Jenkins’ inability to discern the false Jesus of the Mormons? Is this any different than Warren’s inability to discern the false Jesus of the Muslims?
Second Corinthians 6 says it best, “14Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
17Therefore “Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.””
I am grieved beyond words over all of this. I do not revel in revealing any of this. My heart is broken. I hate deception and the unholiness and division that it causes. I am sickened that is tainting large numbers of churches and Christians. I especially am deeply troubled over those who are not troubled over this information, but instead defiantly reject the truth. It seems that the knowledge of good and evil is a terribly weighty burden.
Knowing the Genuine
Furthermore, I am not approaching this from the vantage point of someone who is against the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. I grew up a Pentecostal and have experienced the Biblical manifestations from a young age. It is precisely this knowledge and experience of the genuine that has enabled me to recognize the counterfeit. For not everything supernatural is of God.
In conclusion, let us remember the alarming words of Jesus that “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). Please note the word, “many”. These “many” are people who considered themselves Christians. These are people who thought they were operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. And, they were “many”. This word in the Greek polys (4183) means that this is a multitude. This is not a handful of well-meaning people. Rather, this is an exorbitant amount, a very and extremely large number, for the word “emphasizes the quantity involved” (https://biblehub.com/greek/4183.htm).
Please, please understand how important it is to be discerning. After all, if countless numbers who performed and are performing wonders and speaking countless prophetic utterances can be so deceived, couldn’t any of us be too?
This message is beyond humbling, and is a piercing warning to those who will heed it.
It is time, body of Christ, to be grieved like Paul and to discern that the angel of light is at work right now. It is time to quit abiding unholiness of any kind in God’s house. It is time to quit legitimizing it by accepting it as a new normal, even as Christian when it is not. It is time to quit pampering Python and his need to usurp what is God’s. It is time to stop singing along to the mesmerizing pied piper of our day. It is time to be wearied to the point of complete fatigue by it all, and to turn and rebuke it. In a day of hybrids, syncretism, ecumenism, and prolific deception, it is time to rally on the Lord’s side of pure spiritual genetics, to be like zealous Nehemiah as we keep our house of God, even our Bethel, holy and undefiled.
Jesus is coming soon! It is time to be ready!
Holy Light Ministries
Nehemiah 13:14, “Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its services!”
Outline, Notes and Quotes from Many Sources
Bill Johnson and Bethel Church (in General)
Bill Johnson is a 5th generation pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. Bethel Church was established in 1952, and became affiliated with the Assemblies of God in 1954. Bill Johnson’s father Earl Johnson had been the pastor just prior to Bill.
In 1995 just before Bill became a part of the pastoral staff of Bethel Church, he attended the Toronto Blessing which was one year into its “holy laughter” movement started by the visit of Randy Clark (who was influenced by Rodney Howard-Browne). In 1996 Bill Johnson became head pastor of Bethel church in Redding, California, and though church leadership unanimously agreed with Bill Johnson’s vision for Bethel, upwards to 2000 members did not and left.
Soon thereafter, they began the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry under the leadership of Chris Vallatton. And though Johnson has tried to distance himself from the NAR, even openly denying being apart of any such thing, rosters of NAR guest speakers at Bethel, pictures of NAR apostles with Johnson gathered for special NAR ceremonies, quotes, publications, and other evidence speak louder than his words. He is very much apart of the New Apostolic Reformation, and in complete agreement with their beliefs of Dominionism, Seven Mountains Mandate, Manifest Sons of God, and so forth based on his own spoken and written words.
“Bethel Church (Redding, California),” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethel_Church_(Redding,_California)
“The New Toronto: Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church,” http://www.letusreason.org/Popteach78.htm
– Became a part of Bethel’s pastoral staff in 1995, and attended the Toronto Blessing in 1995
– Became head pastor of Bethel in 1996, and upwards to 2,000 church members left
– Johnson has been dubbed an “apostle” of the New Apostolic Reformation by the founder of the NAR, C. Peter Wagoner, and was given an honorary doctorate from the Wagner Leadership Institute in 2012: https://churchwatchcentral.com/2019/04/17/che-ahn-c-peter-wagner-presented-bill-johnson-with-an-honorary-doctorate-at-the-wagner-leadership-institution-in-2012/
“NAR Prophets Claim the Three Steams will be One,” February 2017, https://bereanresearch.org/nar-prophets-claim-three-streams-will-one/
Quote: “The predictions alleged to come straight from God’s own mouth say that the three conglomerates, Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church in Redding, California, Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer (IHOP) empire, and the Toronto church are three rivers that must flow into one.”
The NAR: What is it?
“Kundalini Warning: Full Documentary – All Parts – Shocking – Andrew Strom,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXolizIy6_g
– This is an excellent video that every Christian should watch. It documents and exposes the New Apostolic Reformation, its leadership, and the Kundalini serpent spirit that works among them in the name of the Holy Spirit.
“The New Apostolic Reformation,” https://bereanresearch.org/dominionism-nar/
Quote: “…NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. … It is like Grape Nuts – it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts. It’s like Christian Science – it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific. Well, the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic, and it isn’t a reformation. But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams. ~ John MacArthur
“New Apostolic Reformation,” https://bewatchful.org/new-apostolic-reformation/
Quote: “This term was first used by C. Peter Wagner. According to him, the roles of apostles and prophets, which had been lost after the first century, were restored in 2001.”
Among their core beliefs are of the seven mountains mandate, extra biblical revelations that do not have to align with the word of God, and that of Dominionism to name a few.
Quote: ““Dominionism“: when Jesus came to earth, he brought down the kingdom of heaven with Him and is waiting for Christians to take control (again) over the world, snatching it from Satan’s hands. They have to bring peace and prosperity to the world; only then will Jesus come to be crowned”
“Bethel Church (Redding, California),” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethel_Church_(Redding,_California)
Quote: “The NAR is an evangelical movement that seeks to take over “seven mountains of culture”, including business, government, and media, to prompt the return of Jesus. ”
Johnson’s false teaching
“Lindsey Davis’ Heart Cry for Bethel’s Correction,” https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jTWy8zJMf4X13maBE2SXRLT2-ACM7MCf/view.
“‘Bethel’s false gospel’ – many well-known pastors and theologians come out against Bethel Church,” https://churchwatchcentral.com/2019/08/04/bethels-false-gospel-many-well-known-pastors-and-theologians-come-out-against-bethel-church/
Quote: “Many well-known pastors and theologians have come out against Bethel Church’s teachings and practices, one of whom is Pastor Gabriel Hughes of First Southern Baptist Church in Kansas, in which he stated in a 2017 blog post, “Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church, preaches a different gospel. This is a very serious charge, and I’m very serious when I make it.””
*Jesus was only a man
“What Are Bill Johnson’s Heresies?” https://pulpitandpen.org/2016/11/14/what-are-bill-johnsons-heresies/
– When here Jesus was only fully human, and was completely emptied of His godhood. If Jesus hadn’t been only a man, then we could not ever hope to perform miracles like He did.
Quote: “In his book, When Heaven Invades Earth, Johnson explains,
“He [Jesus] performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God, not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unattainable for us. But if he did them as a man, I am responsible to pursue His lifestyle.””
“Bethel Church Believes a Different Gospel,” http://pastorgabehughes.blogspot.com/2017/10/bethel-church-believes-different-gospel.html
Quote: Regarding Jesus, Johnson states, “…if He did all of His miracles as God, I’m still impressed but I’m not compelled to follow.”
“Bethel’s False Gospel,” by Samuel Farag, https://www.critlarge.com/articles/2019/7/19/bethels-false-gospel
“Jesus Set Aside Divinity, empty of divine capacity (Bill Johnson Sermon),” https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2022/01/19/jesus-set-aside-divinity-empty-of-divine-capacity-claims-bill-johnson/
“New Booklet: The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson,” https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15508
**The booklet Addresses Kenosis, Jesus emptying Himself.
Quote: “Johnson believes in a teaching called kenosis, an unorthodox heretical belief that the Incarnate Christ laid aside His divine attributes and walked the earth as a completely limited, human man.13 According to Johnson, Christ “performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God . . . not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unobtainable for us. But if He did them as a man, I am responsible to pursue His lifestyle. Recapturing this simple truth changes everything.” (Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles, op. cit., Kindle location: 259)
“What’s Going on at Bethel Church, Redding?” http://www.unlessyourepent.com/bill_johnson_bethel_church
*Jesus was the first saved by His death
“Heretic Bill Johnson Says Jesus was Born Again,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIpVvz63IAg
Bethel Church’s Unscriptural, Occult practices
Tarot Card readings renamed “Destiny Cards”,
Ouija board usage renamed “Angel Boards”
“Christalignment Chaos at Bethel Church Using Destiny Reading Cards to Deceive Followers with Witchcraft,” June 2019, https://www.theclarionsound.com/apostasy-the-great-falling-away/christalignment-chaos-at-bethel-church-using-destiny-reading-cards-to-deceive-followers-with-witchcraft/
“Charismatics Now Using “Christian” Tarot Cards, December 2017, https://pulpitandpen.org/2017/12/11/charismatics-now-using-christian-tarot-cards/
“The “Bethel Board” Encounter God with This New Game! (No, it’s not a Ouija Board, you religious Pharisee!)” December 2017, http://www.piratechristian.com/messedupchurch/2017/12/the-bethel-board-encounter-god-with-this-new-game-no-its-not-a-ouija-board
“Ouija Boards,Angel Boards & Bethel Boards are all gateways to Occultic Divination,”
*Lying signs and wonders
– Gold dust that has been found to be plastic, angel feathers, the appearance of gem stones that are in actuality fake, “Fire Tunnels”
– Kundalini spirit which is the same as that in India via Hindu enlightenment which is accompanied by strange shaking, jerking, and violent head movements, but is said to be the Holy Spirit.
“Kundalini Warning: Full Documentary – All Parts – Shocking – Andrew Strom,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXolizIy6_g
“Bethel Church (Redding, California),” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethel_Church_(Redding,_California)
Quote: “Services may have congregants laughing uncontrollably, lying on the floor, shaking, staggering, screaming, and dancing, which they teach are signs of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Leaders claim to have witnessed angels appearing and “balls of electricity” that throw people into the air. One of the most well-known phenomena is a cloud of what is claimed to be gold dust or gold glitter that has been seen falling from the roof of the auditorium. The church has uploaded videos to its YouTube channel, calling it a “glory cloud”.”
“What is the Kundalini Spirit? Berean Call,” Dave Hunt etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQrBtPQUVxc&t=5s
*False prophecies and Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry
“Bill Johnson: His False Prophets Cannot Graduate Before Getting Three Prophesies Wrong,” August 11, 2019, https://churchwatchcentral.com/2019/08/11/bill-johnson-his-false-prophets-cannot-graduate-before-getting-three-prophecies-wrong/
Quote: ““In response to a question about how he cultivates gifts such as prophecy, Johnson replied, “When I taught my boys to ride their bikes I took them to the park where there was a lot of grass so that when they fell, they fell safely. You have to create a context for people to learn the gifts, to operate in the gifts of the spirit. You have to give them permission to not get it right. In fact at our school we actually require our students to fail three times their first year. At least three times or they can’t graduate.” – Bill Johnson
For more articles on Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry and its promotion of necromancy, mysticism, prophetic Uno cards, fortune telling via prophetic jewelry, please refer to this link: https://churchwatchcentral.com/s=Bethel+School+of+Supernatural+Ministry&x=0&y=0
* Grave Soaking/sucking/mantle grabbing
“Grave Sucking – Christian Necromancy in the 21st Century,” https://www.texemarrs.com/072018/grave_sucking.htm
* Taking back what was stolen from us by the New Age movement
“New Booklet: The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson,” https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15508
Quote: “In addition to Johnson’s own contribution to the book (one full chapter), his personal assistant, Judy Franklin, is a co-author; and the foreword of The Physics of Heaven is written by Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate leader at Bethel. Vallotton lauds the contributors as “seers.”5 Banning Liebscher, Director of Bethel’s Jesus Culture, adds his praise.6 Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni Johnson, also has a chapter in the book. With all that, The Physics of Heaven undeniably has the approval of Bethel’s leaders.”
Quote: “Ellyn Davis, one of the authors of The Physics of Heaven, says this:
“[The contributors of the book] all agree that the next move of God will cause a shift at the deepest level of who we are—perhaps the very “vibrational level” that the New Age movement has been exploring. They also all agree that there are precious truths hidden in the New Age that belong to us as Christians and need to be extracted from the worthless.”” (The Physics of Heaven, Kindle location, 447)
Quote: “Contributor Jonathan Welton adds:
“I have found throughout Scripture at least 75 examples of things that the New Age has counterfeited, such as having a spirit guide, trances, meditation, auras, power objects, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and more. These actually belong to the church, but they have been stolen and cleverly repackaged.” (The Physics of Heaven, Kindle location, 808)
* New Age/Hindu Meditation/Contemplative/Soaking Prayer
Quote: Speaking of a “Bethel produced book” entitled The Physics of Heaven, “One Bethel leader (Kris Vallotton) says it is “a foretaste of things to come”. The book also states, “It wasn’t that I wanted to become a New Ager. I just wanted to find out if maybe they had discovered some truths the churches hadn’t.”
“New Booklet: The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson,” https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15508
Quote: “Contemplative adherents, such as Richard Foster, have convinced Christians that Eastern and New Age meditation are actually counterfeits of the real deal (i.e., contemplative prayer). Contemplative prayer is presented as an ancient Christian tradition.
Yet, contemplative prayer is not prayer at all. It is essentially Eastern/New Age meditation thinly coated with Christian terminology. The goal in contemplative prayer is to stop the thinking process and to enter what is known as the silence. This is accomplished by repeating a word or phrase over and over (or focusing on the breath) until the word loses its meaning and the mind becomes void.
In this void—this silence—many wonderful deceptions can occur: spirit guides, ascendant masters, oneness, bliss, false “christs.” The deception that occurs through contemplative prayer destroys doctrinal soundness and ultimately even faith.”
“Kundalini Energy (the effects of Soaking Prayer),” November 2013, https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1757
Quote: “To those who are still skeptical, I suggest examining the writings of Philip St. Romain, who wrote a book about his journey into contemplative prayer called Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality. This title is revealing because kundalini is a Hindu term for the mystical power or force that underlies Hindu spirituality. In Hinduism it is commonly referred to as the serpent power.”
“Soaking Prayer,” https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/soakingprayer.htm
– Contains links to excellent sources
Johnson’s Associations and Endorsements
*Witches and New Age leaders/writers
Christalignment and Jenn Hodge – Destiny Cards (Tarot) https://churchwatchcentral.com/2017/12/24/the-hodges-use-another-bethel-pastor-to-defend-their-occult-practices/; and
Theresa Dedmon – Destiny Pants and author of Born To Create: Stepping Into Your SUPERNATURAL destiny, https://churchwatchcentral.com/2018/01/05/bethel-stretching-the-truth-with-destiny-pants/
Judy Franklin and Ellyn Davis – New Age authors of The Physics of Heaven with contribution by Bill Johnson http://heavensphysics.com/authors/
– Judy Franklin worked for Bill Johnson,
* NAR (New Apostolic Reformation false teachers and false prophets and other leadership)
“Bill Johnson Endorsements,”https://narconnections.com/bill-johnson-endorsements/
– Chuck Pierce – Heidi Baker of Iris Global – Lou Engle
– Dutch Sheets – John G. Lake Ministries – Mike Bickle
– Patricia King – Rick Warren – The Shack – Todd White
– Bobbie Conner – Rick Joyner of Morning Star Ministries
– Che Ahn of Harvest Rock Church – Jesus Culture – Bethel Music
– Lance Wallnau, Level 10 leader and 7 Mountains Mandate
– The Passion translation of the Bible
“Friends of Bethel Church, Home of Jesus Culture,” this list also includes Cindy Jacobs who has spoken at the church many times, https://www.apprising.org/2013/01/04/friends-of-bethel-church-home-of-jesus-culture/
Johnson has articles posted on The Elijah List (which is known to promote false prophets and teachers), such as here: https://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/7573
Later Rain/Dominionism/Manifest Sons of God/Seven Mountains Mandate
Below are a number of articles that explain what this belief is. To summarize, however, this has gone by many different names (Manifest Sons of God, Seven Mountains Mandate, Latter Rain, Joel’s Army, New Breed, Dominionism, etc), but all of them refer to the same thing. In short, they teach that last days Christians are not only reincarnations of Christ but are becoming Christ. They are therefore not awaiting the Second Coming of Christ but the “becoming of Christ.” As those who are becoming christs they must take back each of the seven mountains of society until they take over the world with the greatest revival the world has ever seen. Those who are little christs/little gods will take on immortality and will be an invincible Joel’s army of supermen that will conquer the world for Christ, and Christ will then be released to come down from heaven. Doesn’t this sound familiar — maybe “lo here is Christ, lo there” from Matthew 24?
“NARpostle Wagner explains Dominion Mandate, 7 Mountain Mandate & Great Wealth Transfer,”
Quote: “The Seven Mountain Mandate (7MM) was invented by NAR Apostles Bill Bright and Lorren Cunningham. NAR Apostles Lance Wallnau and Johnny Enlow are responsible for repackaging the 7MM and continually pushing this dangerous cult teaching on churches around the world.”
“Kingdom Dominion Theology,” https://www.thebereancall.org/content/kingdom-dominion-theology
Quote:“That teaching can be traced back several centuries, but its recent explosion dates from the Latter Rain, or Manifest Sons of God, movement that began in 1948 in Canada in apparent revival. It was declared to be heresy by the Assemblies of God in 1950. Its relationship to the Word/Faith, positive-confession, prosperity and healing movements (Hagin, Copeland, Capps, Price, et al.) is clearly established. Obviously, if we can get whatever we confess, then we ought to confess healing and immortality and peace and prosperity and salvation for the world. This is, in fact, where the name “Manifest Sons” comes from: the last-days overcomers must manifest total victory over all foes, including death, while in these bodies and without a resurrection…
Many groups are beginning to work together who disagree on some points but join with Gaia (Mother Earth)-worshiping New Agers in their desire to clean up our terra firma and establish the Kingdom. We can expect such cooperative efforts to grow, even involving Christian leaders who are not aware of what they are actually promoting. The Coalition on Revival (COR), for example, included such influential evangelicals as Joseph Aldrich, Pat Robertson, Bill Bright, Jerry Falwell, Armin Gesswein, Josh McDowell and J. I. Packer, who were probably clueless regarding the actual intention of the leaders of COR.”
“Manifest Sons of God Heresy,” http://www.contendingfortruth.com/wp-content/uploads2/Manifested-of-the-Sons-of-God.pdf
Quote: “This belief is not held by one particular group but many individuals are influenced by the teaching. It has many names, such as, The Latter Rain Movement, Identity, Joel’s Army, Restoration and Reconstruction. The Manifest Sons of God doctrine has been around in some Pentecostal circles for many years, but it was the ‘Latter Rain Movement’ of 1948 that gave them a wider audience. This movement was thought of as the last great spiritual outpouring that would see the return of Christ. It would result in the Church being perfected and submitting to the restored ministry of apostles and prophets. These ministries would be in charge of restoring truths that were lost to the Church. Scriptures refer to the rains in Israel as the ‘former rain,’ essential for planting and the ‘latter rain,’ needed for the harvest. Manifest Sons see the former rain as
Pentecost and the latter rain as a greater outpouring of the Spirit in these last days. There is evidence that much teaching on spiritual warfare today, is largely an extension of this doctrine…
“Jesus is considered the ‘Pattern Son.’ He was the first one to make it as a divine, immortal, sinless Manifest Son of God and this accomplishment will be duplicated by each individual who, following Jesus, become Manifest Sons of God. This Christ Company, now individually Manifest as Sons of God, will execute judgement at the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord…
“Rick Joyner is another teacher for this movement. He believes that the elite ‘overcomers’ will conquer the world. This will lead to the greatest revival of history, where the majority of the world will be won to Christ and the kingdom made ready to be received by Christ.””
“Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a
miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.”
– Kenneth Hagin, The Incarnation, December 1980, p.13
“Who are you? Come on, who are you? Come on, say it: ‘Sons of God!’
Come on, say it! And what does work inside us, brother, is that
manifestation of the expression of all that God is and all that God has. And
when we stand up here, brother, you’re not looking at Morris Cerullo;
you’re looking at God. You’re looking at Jesus.” – Morris Cerullo, The
Endtime Manifestation of the Sons of God, World Evangelism – Tape 1.
“Later Rain and the Rise of Joel’s Army,” http://www.discernmentministries.org/Newsletters/NL1994OctNovDec.pdf
Quote: “Sadly today so called “prophets” are spiritualizing this army and interpreting it to be a supernatural breed of people being birthed without the literal presence of Jesus Christ. Scriptures have been taken out of context to imply a super end-time church made up of a “New Breed” of people who will move in the supernatural realm…
The “waves” that break from time to time are referred to as new waves bringing forth new truths hitherto hidden. One of the strongest waves to bit in this century was the “Latter Rain” referred to as ‘”The New Order of the Latter Rain.” Out of this Movement in the late 40’s came the teaching: “Manifest Sons of God”. Other terms that were prevalent are: “Joel’s Army”, “New Breed”, “Elijah Company”, “Manchild” and “Overcomers” etc. Modem day prophets are always quick to deny that they teach Manifest Sons of God teaching, but yet continue to do so. We see from the 1920’s onward, similar thinking emerging from divergent sources…
In 1948, the Assemblies of God were particularly hit by the wave that came out of
Canada. The new manifestations coming out of the tide were claimed to be of God. The
Assemblies at that time took a strong Stand and officially rejected the new teachings… However today we are seeing a new development – instead of the Assemblies of God
rejecting this teaching in its new garb, they are courting it and have been infiltrated to such an extent they have become part of it.
The MANIFESTED SONS believe they are establishing a new and glorious Kingdom –
led by a NEW BREED of men of women. The” Joel’s Army” now individually manifest as Sons of God, would be revealed to the world as many “saviours” who would take dominion and execute judgment.”
“Is the Seven Mountains Mandate Biblical? What is the 7-M Mandate?” https://www.compellingtruth.org/seven-mountain-mandate.html
Quote: “The 7-M movement places upon Christians a mandate to dominate world systems to usher in Jesus’ return. Spiritually, these ideas are closely associated with New Age thoughts that call for a spiritual shift in which humans become co-redeemers of earth.”
“Lance Wallnau’s 7 Mountain Theology: Beware the Fruit of False Teachings,” https://thepropheticnews.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/dr-lance-wallnaus-7-mountain-theology-beware-the-fruit-of-false-teachings/
Quote: “7 Mountain Mandate simply says, that in order for the church to control the global society, it must take control over every aspect of that particular society and its culture, being 7 cultural mountains. They are; Family, Government, Business, Media, Arts and Entertainment, Education and the church itself. Those who control these cultural gates exercise the greatest influence over the culture and ultimately that society. This is, in a nutshell, the doctrine of Dr. Lance Wallnau and why many are beginning, and have already, been embracing like a strange, intoxicating drink, they (the church) are becoming drunk on this notion that says we shall eradicate evil and overthrow Satan’s kingdom of dominance…
This teaching (7 mountain mandate) is a false teaching simply because it goes against scripture. Jesus gave us (the end time church) a clear picture of the end times just before he returns, and that picture is not one of hope, or victory, but instead, one of which would shake any believer in terrible fear, for he (Jesus) paints a very sobering portrait of what we will see, those who are alive during this particular time, of what the world will look like, as well as resemble, and it is found in Matthew chapter 24, as well as Luke 21:8-28. For your sake I encourage the reader to search those scriptures up and read them repeatedly.”
“The Manifest Sons of God of the Later Rain Movement,” http://letusreason.org/Latrain82.htm
Quote: “Here is the underlying goal within the Latter Rain message of Bill Hamon.
“The whole creation is waiting for the last generation Church. The earth and all of creation are waiting for the manifestation of God’s last-day apostles and prophets and fully restored Church. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19 NKJV). When the Church is fully restored, then the saints will receive their final redemption, the immortalization of their mortal bodies. When this happens, then the natural creation of plants and animals will be delivered from their bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God: God’s End-Time Plans for His Church and Planet Earth. Destiny Image Publishers (July 1, 1997). p. 235…
Hamon promotes one of the more distorted doctrines that came from the Latter Rain movement, the manifested sons of God doctrine. Their interpretation of this verse is unique in church history. There is no rapture but people will be changed into eternal beings right here on earth to do miraculous works like Jesus to overcome the devil and the world system BEFORE the Lord returns.
Hamon claims in The Eternal Church, ‘Jesus is waiting on the church. All that the fall of man and sin has taken away from humanity, Jesus through His church shall restore.”
Again this can only take place “When the Church realizes its full sonship, its bodily redemption will cause a redemptive chain reaction throughout all of creation.” (Bill Hamon p. 385 The Eternal Church)…
Hamon: “When the church has put under it’s feet all enemies of Christ …then Christ can be released from Heaven to return as the manifested head of His physically resurrected and translated church.” (Prophets and Personal Prophecy, Bill Hamon).”
“Paul Cain,” https://www.apologeticsindex.org/c06.html
Quote: “In the 50’s Paul Cain travelled with and ministered alongside William Branham, whom he called “the greatest prophet that ever lived.” Though he disagrees with Branham’s views on the doctrine of theTrinity (which the latter said was inspired by the devil), Cain very much promotes Branham’s Manifest Sons of God teachings. Cain coined the term “New Breed” to refer to that doctrine. Paul Cain was instrumental in founding Kansas City Fellowship (as it was known at the time) – a church based on the teachings of Latter Rain theology. Cain headed the controversial Kansas City Prophets.”
“The Manifest Sons of God/Joel’s Army/Later Rain Movement Exposed,” https://www.contendingfortruth.com/the-manifest-sons-of-godjoels-armylater-rain-movement-exposed/
Quote: “ ‘The Manifest Sons of God'(MSOG) movement has many names such as, The Latter Rain Movement, Identity, Joel’s Army, Restoration and Reconstruction. MSOG doctrine has been around in some Pentecostal circles for many years, but it was the ‘Latter Rain Movement’ of 1948 that gave it a wider audience. This movement was thought by its adherents as the last great spiritual outpouring that would see the return of Christ. It would result in the Church being perfected and submitting to the restored ministry of apostles and prophets. These ministries would supposedly be in charge of restoring truths that were lost to the Church. But when we examine the fruit of this movement and see how it’s doctrine compares to the Word of God, it falls woefully short…
‘The Great Tribulation itself is going to be cut short because of the Sons of God…so the Sons of God, through the exercise of their royal priesthood, shall actually shorten the Great Tribulation… As priests, they will be able to present the needs of the people to God, and intercede for them; and as kings they will have the authority of God to dispense life and blessing to such as are in tribulation and distress.’ – George Warnock: The Feast of the Tabernacles, p.79…
‘Who are you?…Come on, say it: ‘Sons of God!’ Come on, say it!…And when we stand up here, brother, you’re not looking at Morris Cerullo; you’re looking at God. You’re looking at Jesus.’ – Morris Cerullo, The Endtime Manifestation of the Sons of God, World Evangelism – Tape 1…
‘Man was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority…Kenneth Copeland, Zoe: The God-Kind of Life, 1989, pp.35-36”
The Music of the Movement: Bethel Music
““Why Our Church No Longer Plays Bethel or Hillsong Music,” Pastor Explains False Teachings,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7R6AKFlWhI
Brian Johnson (son of Bill Johnson):
*Brian is the son of Bill and Beni Johnson.
*Worship pastor of Bethel
*President and co-founder of Bethel Music
*He has two siblings: older brother Eric (a former pastor of Bethel Church) and a younger sister Leah (one of the worship leaders at Bethel).
“The New Toronto: Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church,” http://www.letusreason.org/Popteach78.htm
Quote: “Johnson’s son, Brian is the worship director at Bethel.”
“Brian Johnson (Bethel Music Singer),” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Johnson_(Bethel_Music_singer)
Quote: “Brian Mark Johnson (born March 17, 1978) is an American contemporary worship musician and worship pastor. He is the president and co-founder of Bethel Music, as well as a member of its Artist Collective and is one-half of the husband- and-wife worship duo, Brian & Jenn Johnson. He is also a senior worship pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California, and a Senior Overseer of WorshipU, an online school of worship under Bethel Music which he co-founded with Jenn Johnson. … As a founding member of Bethel Music, Johnson has been featured on most Bethel Music releases… ”
*Daughter-in-law of Bill Johnson,
*married to Brian Johnson,
*worship pastor of Bethel Church,
*and co-founder of Bethel Music.
“Jenn Johnson,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenn_Johnson
Quote: “Jennifer Louise Rock Johnson is an American Christian worship singer, songwriter and worship pastor. She is a co-founding member of Bethel Music, and is one-half of the husband-and-wife worship duo, Brian & Jenn Johnson. She is also a senior worship pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California, and a Senior Overseer of WorshipU, an online school of worship under Bethel Music which she co-founded with Brian Johnson.”
“Bethel “Church” says Angels have farting contests around throne of God (Pastorix Jenn Johnson),” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZqRV4DW0mc
*Worship pastor of Bethel Church
*Worship leader for Jesus Culture
“Kim Walker-Smith,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Walker-Smith
Quote: “She produced her first solo album, Here Is My Song, which was released in February 2008 through the Jesus Culture record label. Walker-Smith is best known as the worship leader for the Jesus Culture Band and Jesus Culture events, and a worship pastor for Bethel Church in Redding.”
“Kim Walker-Smith,” worship pastor for Bethel Church Redding and worship leader of Jesus Culture, https://www.wcicfm.org/artist/kim-walker-smith-2/
– Just confirms that she is a worship leader at Bethel church, and therefore exposes the fact that she is under the leadership and teaching of Bill Johnson.
“Opening Heaven – Opening Up Oneself to a Strong Delusion,” http://letusreason.org/bethel3.htm
Quote: “Kim Walker-Smith a worship pastor for Bethel Church in Redding and worship leader for the Jesus Culture Band has a vision that would more akin to a hallucinogenic trip, it certainly was not God from the Bible no matter how passionate she is in conveying it… To believe Jesus is begging her to ask him this certain question and brings her to heaven where she sees God the Father (which the bible says no man can see). God rips a piece out of himself and forms it into her right on the spot and then gets entertained but putting her in a music box and continues to open it to see her dancing. Saying “Woohoo! And He starts running around in circles.” And she is transferred into the Fathers hand, where he then he puts her into the missing portion of his heart where he says I created you from and commends her.
Really? I mean Really?! This is her view of God by going to Bethel church. Contrary to this, holy men who went to heaven fell down as dead (John) and could not convey what they saw for it was illegal (Paul). John later was allowed so we would have it written to know what is genuine.”
Amanda Lindsey Cook:
*Bethel worship leader.
*Singer and song writer.
*A part of Bethel Music.
*Since 2020 she is also called Falcon.
“Amanda Lindsey Cook,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_Lindsey_Cook
“Behind the music: The baffling views about God held by Bethel Music’s Amanda Lindsey Cook,”https://www.hollypivec.com/blog/2019/06/behind-the-music-the-baffling-views-about-god-held-by-bethel-musics-amanda-lindsey-cook/8435
Note: Her words are more New Age than Christian. What she says is disturbing at best. Is this how a worship leader should talk? Is this what King David and psalmist in the Bible would say? Quotes from her interview with the Christian Post are in the article linked above. A link to the full interview is found in this article by Holly Pivec.
Quote: “… Amanda Lindsey Cook also teaches at Bethel Church in Redding, California, home to Bethel Music. Given her unclear and curious responses during the interview, one may wonder how she ever was approved to teach at any church, let alone one as large and influential as Bethel Church.”
Quotes of Amanda Lindsey Cook from her interview:
“Every day I increasingly felt like gravity and the great beyond, called God, was working in my favor.”
“”I love the names that this essence and this divine presence gives itself. In the Old Testament, where God describes themselves as ‘I am,’ also the name Yahweh, ‘the intake and the exhale of breath.'”
“”It’s this common acknowledgment, this communal aspect of living, where we’re all connected, we’re all part of the common thread … to be connected at the source to this divine presence, this Christ consciousness…”
“Jesus Culture,” https://www.bethel.com/ministries/jesus-culture/
Quote: “In 1999 the youth group pastored by Banning Liebscher at Bethel Church
launched the first Jesus Culture Conference. This gave birth to Jesus Culture and paved the way for what it is today–a global movement awakening hearts to worship and serve God. Through events, worship, resources, and a local church, Jesus Culture has a mandate to mobilize a generation of revivalists and reformers who will shape culture and transform nations.”
“Bethel Church Believes a Different Gospel,”http://pastorgabehughes.blogspot.com/2017/10/bethel-church-believes-different-gospel.html
Quote: “When you hear the word “gospel” mentioned at Bethel Church, know that it is a different gospel they’re talking about. This filters into all of their ministries. The “Jesus” in the name “Jesus Culture” is not the Jesus of the Bible. When you listen to their worship songs, you might hear all the right Christian words, but you are not praising God with them because they are writing and singing about a different Jesus.”
“Jesus Culture: Just Another Christian Band?” http://www.4discernment.com/jesus-culture.html
Quote: “Jesus Culture started as a youth group at Bill Johnson’s church Bethel in Redding California… It must be made clear that Bethel Church and Jesus Culture cannot be separated for their roots are in Bill Johnson…”
“Jesus Culture: You Sure It’s the Real Jesus?” https://www.apprising.org/2013/01/03/jesus-culture-you-sure-its-the-real-jesus/
“An Open Heaven – Opening Up Oneself to a Strong Delusion,” http://letusreason.org/bethel3.htm
Quote: “Now over the last many years it is Bethel under Bill Johnson spearheading a mystical Christianity. He is a man who has less than 0% discernment (in fact they change the meaning of discernment to be “changing the atmosphere.” Bethel has become the sweet spot for every trend tried and some new ones. It is the new Hybrid model for the church, combining new age practices (which they say were once Christian and they are now redeeming them) one of them is yoga. These revivalists are fooling the whole Christian world with their synergism of new age with Christianity using occasional Bible words. It’s time we stand up for the word of God who is Jesus. Its time for the church to be what it was intended to be and not be changed by new age change agents touting their Gnosticism and Mysticism. This is no longer a subtle change but bold and audacious one, and it has gone on far too long through the various false revivals. Only to find a more permanent home at Bethel among the naïve ungrounded youth that are inclined to feel more than to think biblically.”
The NAR Bible Translation of Choice: The Passion Bible
“A New Apostolic Reformation Bible: The Passion Translation,” https://www.thebereancall.org/content/new-apostolic-reformation-bible-passion-translation
Quote: “Apostle Brian Simmons, of Stairway Ministries, is the lone translator of this “groundbreaking” project…
Simmons’ translation is endorsed by influential NAR leaders…
Simmons claims he undertook this work because he saw a need for a more emotionally passionate translation of the Bible…
Simmons has taken verses of Scripture that have nothing to do with NAR teachings or practices and reworded them so they appear to support those very teachings and practices, such as “prophetic singing,” the “transference of an anointing,” and the issuing of “apostolic decrees.” In other words, despite his claim to unveil the truth of the Bible “unfiltered by religious jargon,” he’s actually exploiting his audience’s ignorance of sound textual criticism to smuggle in a heterodox theology along with a good measure of NAR jargon.”
“New Apostolic Reformation Movement,” https://churchwatchcentral.com/new-apostolic-reformation-movement/
Quote: “NAR Bible: Like most cults, the NAR have extra-biblical revelations that add, surpass or mangle the bible. Brian Simmons’ ‘The Passion Translation’ (TPT) is the ‘bible’ that NAR leaders preach and teach from. In fact, if you are unsure if your church is part of the NAR or is being influenced by the NAR, if your leaders are using the TPT, that should be a warning sign.”
“Bible Gateway removes NAR bible Passion Translation and its author, Brian Simmons, is not happy,” February 5, 2022, https://churchwatchcentral.com/2022/02/05/bible-gateway-removes-nar-bible-passion-translation-and-its-author-brian-simmons-is-not-happy/
The Translator of the Passion Bible
“Pt.5 The Mystical Interpretations and Teachings of Brian Simmons,” http://www.letusreason.org/Popteach106.htm
The “becoming of Christ” teaching in conjunction with the Later Rain and Manifest Sons of God teaching of Branham, and Christ’s second coming on the clouds is actually about people becoming Christ.
“The Later Rain Teachings of the Author of the Passion,” http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain114.htm
“The Passion Translation Author’s Heretical Views About Christ’s Return,” https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2020/06/02/the-passion-translation-authors-heretical-views-about-christs-return/
Quote: The “Reincarnation of Christ” teaching that Christians are “the word made flesh again. We ARE the reincarnation of Jesus Christ…” And this again is in agreement with the teachings of William Branham who said, “I believe that’s Jesus Christ reincarnated in flesh in the human church here on earth a doing signs and wonders. ” (53-1205, The Resurrection, American Legion Hall, West Palm Beach)
“The Later Rain Teachings of the Author of the Passion,” http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain114.htm
“We Are the Reincarnation of Christ,”
The Passion Bible Endorsements of NAR Leadership
Bill Johnson says that it is, “One of the greatest things to happen with Bible translation in my lifetime.” https://www.thepassiontranslation.com/endorsements/
“”Forged many years ago while translating the Scriptures among South American tribes, and hammered out on the anvil of decades of personal devotion and apostolic experience, my dear friend Brian Simmons brings to the earth a powerful and refreshing translation of the Scriptures that is fueling and inflaming the hearts of tens of thousands world wide. Like the Living Bible that sprung forth in the days of the Jesus Movement, this translation bursts forth from the womb of this present revival. Read it and get caught up in a God-swirl of spiritual understanding and revelation.”
“The Passion Translation skillfully penned by Dr. Brian Simmons contains deep treasures that can only be discovered through intense scholarly research saturated in Divine Revelation. Dr. Brian Simmons fulfilled both of these criteria so he could present to you this glorious gift. Keys to knowing the heart of God and His deep love for His people will fill you as you read and meditate on the scriptures. I personally cannot get enough of this translation! It is beyond beautiful!”
“During my over four decades of ministry around the world, I have read and preached from various Bible translations in different languages. They are all powerful and anointed, and each has its particular strengths. The Passion Translation is one that speaks with particular poetic imagination in a style that is deeply moving and easily accessible. I have found it truly refreshing in personal devotion. It has been a steadfast help and comfort in the midst of many storms”
Banning Liebscher (founder of Jesus Culture)
“In a world that is constantly shaking, The Passion Translation is making Scripture accessible to a generation whose lives long to be established on the truth of God’s Word. Young and old are experiencing the inevitable freedom that comes when you encounter the power found in God’s Word, and are being ignited with a passion for Jesus that will not be extinguished. My own personal devotion and study has been deeply impacted by The Passion Translation and I am grateful for what this work is adding to the body of Christ.”
“I believe The Passion Translation will be the Bible of choice for the next Jesus people movement.”
“I have devoured The Passion Translation! There is a fragrance of God’s Spirit that emanates from the powerful expressions that Brian Simmons has brought forth in this translation. Not only have I used The Passion Translation for teaching, but I have picked up certain books of the Bible and read them like a living novel. I love this translation!”
Defections from Bethel
“EXCLUSIVE: Defecting from Bethel,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TlYGF1_kJg
“A Testimony – How God Rescued Me from Bill Johnson’s Cult,” https://kimolsen.net/2013/07/11/a-testimony-how-god-rescued-me-from-bill-johnsons-cult/