The New Apostolic Reformation – A Shelter for the Unqualified

By Stephen Colin   9 August 2018

Bob Dylan, hailed as one of the great song writers of the 20th century penned a song called “Shelter from the Storm” in 1975. The lyrics to the song have been regarded as a poetic masterpiece, which is probably why he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016. The third verse in particular uses imagery which is akin to something we see in the visible church today. Dylan writes, “Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved. Everything up to that point had been left unresolved. Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm. Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.”  These lyrics describe something taking place in the the fastest growing movement under the name of “Christianity,” the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation)  The NAR, along with a host of serious issues (articulated in our previous blogs) has become somewhat of a shelter for the unqualified.

What would you do if you discovered that a certain hospital performing heart surgeries , used unqualified people to operate on patients?  I’m sure you would expose the hospital, and warn as many people as possible to avoid them!  The NAR in like manner is a movement which shelters unqualified “apostles, prophets and pastors,” and provides them with a platform to perform deadly surgery on the souls of men and women. I remind you that the “apostles and prophets” in this movement are already unqualified simply because of the fact that the church has “…been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets..” (Eph. 2:20)  This makes it impossible for anyone to hold such offices in the church today. However, the office of Pastor is still functioning in Christ’s church, and many who have proven themselves unqualified for this position have found refuge in the NAR. The question that this article seeks to answer is simply this: why is a movement claiming to represent the true church of Jesus Christ sheltering unqualified individuals?

The Bible is absolutely clear regarding the qualifications for a pastor.  Paul writes to Timothy – “An overseer (a word used interchangeable with elder and pastor), then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.  He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
(1 Tim. 3:2-7)
Paul also tells Titus that  “he must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Tit. 1:9)
To sum it up: a pastor must be qualified in two vital areas, Character and Doctrine.

In light of the clear teaching of Scripture regarding who gets to be a pastor, I would like to briefly examine two individuals who have found shelter in the NAR, even though they are unqualified for the position.

1. Todd Bentley
How in the world does this man still have a voice in the visible church?  Answer: The NAR has sheltered him. It is a well-known fact that Todd Bentley committed adultery and got a divorce.  He went on to marry the woman whom he had an affair with providing us all with evidence that this man was unrepentant.  Clearly this is someone who has disqualified himself from ministry (even though it could easily be argued that he was never qualified doctrinally anyway).  Yet, Todd Bentley has been fully restored and is continuing to deceive millions. This didn’t happen by accident.

Two popular “apostles” in this cancerous movement played a major part in restoring this fraud.  Rick Joyner and Bill Johnson paved the way for Bentley to continue preaching his delusional message, accompanied by false signs and wonders, ridiculous claims of raising the dead, and bizarre behavior which has absolutely nothing to do with Biblical Christianity.

A second individual who has found shelter in this unbiblical movement is none other than…
2. Mark Driscoll
In short, this man basically fled church discipline after serious allegations of plagiarism were charged against him. (You can read more about this saga at this here.)
There is no doubt that this has damaged his reputation with those outside the church, disqualifying him from pastoral ministry, yet in the short time of about two years he is already pastoring a new church (The Trinity Church, Scottsdale, Arizona). And guess which crowd he’s running with now? The NAR. They have gladly taken him in and sheltered him from the storm of those “stuffy christians” who have called for repentance. Charisma Mag, the online purporters of NAR theology have recently promoted Driscoll and his new book “Spirit-Filled Jesus.” Not only are they promoting his book, but he will even be speaking at the Charisma Conference!  Sadly, another unqualified “pastor” sheltered by the NAR.

These are just two examples among many! Steven Furtick wrote a book called “Unqualified” in which he demonstrates how unqualified he actually is for pastoral ministry by the way he mishandles God’s precious Word. Therefore, it is no surprise that he too has been embraced by the NAR, evidenced by his more recent associations and conferences like the “Dominion Camp Meeting” where in 2017 he partnered with the “apostle” Rod Parsley, the supreme heretic Jesse Duplantis, and Perry Stone.

I believe that the reason why the NAR is so quick to shelter unqualified ‘pastors’ is simply because this movement is not from God.  This movement has not come about through a serious exegetical study of the Word of God, and has consistently shown a complete lack of discernment.  This movement is a continuation of the “Third wave” Charismatic movement which prepared the way for some of the most destructive false teachers in church history.  This movement not only produces these false teachers, but gladly takes in and shelters those who have been exposed in more doctrinally sound environments.

Coming back to Bob Dylan’s song I think it is fair to say that the NAR’s message to the unqualified is this: “Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.”

Instead of being sheltered by this abhorrent movement these “pastors” should be called to repentance. God is Holy and will not be mocked. The NAR may be able to protect these men from the temporal storm of discerning christians, however who is going to protect them on the day of Judgment when everything will be exposed? Who will be their advocate on that day?

This is a reminder that every single one of us must flee to Christ and throw ourselves at His mercy! Not only did He bleed and die upon the cross to satisfy the wrath of God, but he imputes His perfect righteousness to the account of those who humbly repent of their sin and put all of their trust in the Risen and Returning Christ.  Only with our sins wiped away and the righteousness of God that comes through faith will we be sheltered and able to withstand the storm of God’s righteous Judgement.  As Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:25, “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”

A better song goes like this:

“My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”

Edward Mote (1797-1874)

Bethel’s delusions of grandeur – impervious to the realities of the Carr fire

By Rick Becker   2 August 2018

As the ashes from the Carr fire settle in Redding,  Bethelites remain in denial that their methodology and theology lie in ashes.  Their prophetic ministry failed – hundreds have been “activated” into the prophetic at Bethel, yet none of them foresaw the Carr fire.  Don’t expect them to cancel any of their prophetic courses – all opportunities for shameful gain will continue….their prophets are in it for a profit or self-aggrandizement.  Any rational person would come to the conclusion that Bethel’s ministry had no impact on the Carr fire. Their decrees and declarations could not extinguish a single ember.  The weather did not obey their commands, the dead were not raised, and Bethel has had to be content with doing the not so miraculous by operating as a distribution hub for the Salvation Army.  So what does Bethel do when their talk differs from their walk?  They make assumptions, camouflage their failed teachings, and continue in their deluded state.

In this post, we examine Theresa Dedmon’s article in response to the tragedy titled “Beauty For Ashes”. But first, some background information on Dedmon. From her webpage:I am on pastoral staff at Bethel Church in Redding, California, where I oversee the Creative Arts department for the Church and School of Supernatural Ministry. I instruct on worship expressions and arts events within the church, as well as strategy and coordination for city transformation and outreach.”
Theresa describes her ministry as “equipping and activating people in prophetic and healing ministry as I show them how to step into their supernatural and creative destinies.”

Her own creativity has resulted in her range of stretch pants, and apparently wearing her art “enhances your awareness of God’s presence, and helps you become a walking encounter of Heaven’s message to those around you.”  Let’s not forget her other brand –  tarot   destiny cards.

Some snippets from Theresa’a blog posts:

Her “passion is to empower others to walk in supernatural power and transform the world through creative expressions of God’s presence.”  Well, we know that’s not going to work out, and neither will this: True creativity restores relationship:  relationship with God and others.  Our creative destiny can only be fulfilled to the degree that we are change agents in culture to restore community and connection in relationship.”

Creativity has replaced the gospel?

Mysticism and Bethel go hand in hand – Dedmon writes the following:  Now if I was to interview people about what they love about San Francisco last weekend, it probably wouldn’t be just one thing like the food, diverse people, hills, and architectural design.  It would be the intangible feelings evoked from the many memories that now are attached to their experiences that happened while they were there.  In the same way, the more we create with God in the unseen realm, we will have intangible feelings of God’s presence associated with our experiences as we have created with Him.”

Have you created with God in the unseen realm?  What does this even mean?

On dreaming, Dedmon writes: “We can literally dream our way to our destinyOur dreams can change us, and the world around us…Anything is possible in the Kingdom of God.  What will you build in your life?  Your dreams will determine the answer!”

Who needs God?

You can read Dedmon’s latest article  here.
Theresa Dedmons (TD) words in italics, with my comments below.

TD: “On July 23rd, a car supposedly malfunctioned in the early morning at Whiskeytown Lake, which sparked the Carr Fire in Shasta County, soon began torching my city of Redding, California, and has decimated over 98,000 acres, burned over 818 homes, and has claimed at least 6 lives. The sad news a week later is that only 20 percent of the fire is contained, and continues to burn, threatening more people’s lives.”

In other words, despite efforts of the ground to contain and extinguish parts of the fire, it has run it’s natural course, wreaking havoc in Shasta county.  The declarations and decrees of Bethelites had no impact on the fire.

TD: “On July 20th my husband Kevin and I left Redding to enjoy a relaxing vacation in Tahoe.  We thought all was well back home, when we received the news on the 26th about the Carr fire potentially engulfing Redding.  We began to get texts from our friends saying that the wind would be shifting later that night and the fire could be heading toward Redding.  That Thursday night, we were with our friends, eating an incredible Italian meal, when all of a sudden we got the message that the fire was only a few miles from our house, and that many were being evacuated.  I felt numb. Everything seemed to stop around me, and I felt like I was in slow motion — a dream — a nightmare. We texted our friends, who began sending us frightening videos and accounts on how unpredictable, fast growing and out of control the fire was. As we watched the fire relentlessly invading into Redding’s city limits, we realized that so many of our friends and church members were also in jeopardy of losing their homes. All of a sudden, I knew that we were in for a fight, but not something that could be fought naturally — this had to be confronted in a supernaturally way by bringing Heaven to earth.”

Bill Johnson & co are never going to “bring Heaven to earth.”  Heaven is only going to come to earth when God creates a new earth (Revelation 21)  As time marches on and we draw closer to the second coming of our Lord, we can expect the very opposite of what those in the New Apostolic Reformation teach. Instead of mass revival and a transformed world, scripture predicts a massive falling away and increasing wickedness.  If wars, famines, and earthquakes are merely birth pains, we should not expect man made or natural disasters to decline.

TD: “THE BEST WEAPONS TO USE IN A FIREFIGHT Support:  Immediately we called and texted our friends, and asked them to stand with us. Kevin and I realized that we could not stand alone, but needed the help of those who loved us. I also posted our need for help on social media, so that people in our online community around the world would be praying for our, and our city’s protection. Jesus outlined the benefits of a community of believers coming together in crisis when he promised that: “Truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Matt 18:19

Kevin and I are so thankful that we have invested in a community that stands together in the good times and hard times to fight for God’s will to be done here on earth.”

I agree that a community coming together during a crisis can only be of great assistance to all concerned.  I do agree that the best thing to do in any crisis is pray!  Lets keep in mind that there are conditions to any prayer we offer to God being answered the way we would like. The most important being:  And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
(God’s will on earth according to Bethel are encapsulated in the heretical teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation, word of faith and prosperity gospels.)

TD:Spiritual Armor: Ephesians 6:11 says to “put on God’s complete set of armor, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser.”I began to access my prayer language, quote verses about God’s protection, and began asking for angelic intervention, as I wrestled in the spirit throughout that first night.”

One of the weapons of our armor is prayer, and as I have stated prayer in any situation like this should be our first priority.  I presume by “prayer language” Dedmon is referring to speaking in tongues.  Even those who believe the gift of tongues are still in operation, should know that “not all speak in tongues” (1 Cor 12:30)
I just want to dispel the myth that those who claim to speak in tongues, have superior spiritual abilities than those who don’t.  What were the fruits of Dedmon’s spiritual wrestling? Were they in line with scripture or did they result in Bethel’s deceptive teachings coming to the fore?

TD:Declaration: At midnight, while the fires were raging, and could be seen from our outside deck in Redding, we joined with friends on our phone and declared that the winds would shift and the fire would move away from Redding.  Proverbs 18:21 states that, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit”.Our declarations make a difference!  All that night, Kevin and I wrestled in prayer for God’s intervention, as we declared the promises God has given us for our home.”

Proverbs 18v21 does not mean that our words have inherent power; that is an attribute of God, not humans.  It does not mean our words are causative, but that they have an effect: A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.” Proverbs 18:6.
“Declarations make a difference” – says no biblical text.  Has God given you promises for your home?  What does God base this on, and who qualifies?  What about believers around the world currently being persecuted for their faith;  many of their homes are destroyed or taken over by their persecutors. I agree that we can ask God for protection, but I cannot find any guarantee in the New Testament that God guarantees a home, let alone divine protection over it.

TD: Thankfulness: The apostle Paul gives us these specific instructions on how to fight spiritual battles: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6,7).

We began to thank God in advance for my house being saved, we thanked him for the firemen who were risking their lives for me, we thanked God for being in charge of the outcome, and we thanked God for being a Good Father!  A thankful perspective kept my heart from fear and worry, and released faith to believe that God would help us.Just like when Jesus gave thanks when there seemed to not be enough food to feed the multitude, and got supernatural breakthrough, so too, our thankfulness prepares the way for breakthrough.”

Dedmon should pay heed to the verse she quotes, note that it reads: “present your requests” and not “make your declaration before God.”  The outcome of the prayer, does not necessarily include favourable circumstances.  She may have lost her house, and God would still have been in charge.  What God does offer, is His peace, a peace that comes regardless of circumstances.  Consider the plight of the Hebrew Christians:
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” Hebrews 10:33-34

And that of real Apostles:
 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;  when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” 1 Corinthians 4:11-13

There may be no “breakthrough” in the natural despite any thankfulness on our part.  Being thankful, is not a formula to achieve a breakthrough, and Jesus certainly did not use thankfulness in order to access the supernatural. It’s not surprising however that Bethelites look for formulas and ways to imitate the miraculous that Jesus displayed.  In Bill Johnsons book “Strengthen Yourself in the Lord,” he writes: “Jesus did everything as a man, laying aside His divinity in order to become a model for us”.   Jesus did not perform miracles to show us what we can be mini gods, but to show that he is God:Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:30-31  

TD:Seeing The Victory Through.  When we got up the next morning, the winds had shifted, and the fires were being pushed in the opposite direction.  We got word from many of our friends that their homes had been spared through prayer as well. While we battled and have won through prayer on so many fronts, we have also grieved those who have died or lost their homes or businesses. We are grieve over the loss of our beautiful natural wildlife around Whiskeytown Lake.”

Dedmon makes it sound as if the winds had shifted as a result of their declarations and thankfulness, as does her husband who posted this on his facebook wall:


What about Bethel members who did lose their home? Were they unthankful?  Did they fail to access their prayer language?  Were they short of declarations?  Why were they robbed of a breakthrough?  These are the questions that must be asked when a man centered theology takes stage.  This is the dilemma that word of faith theology and a faulty view of spiritual warfare creates.

TD:Beauty for Ashes.  During this process, the firefighters have shared about how our intercession, cards, and encouraging posters have helped them fight this fire.  After one week, this fire has not conquered the human spirit to fight with weapons on the ground and in the Heavenly realms.  I believe Redding will rise from the ashes and will be crowned with splendorJesus is calling us to, “rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations” (Isaiah 61:3,4).”

Bill Johnson does not know, and has never taught his congregation the basics of hermeneutics, and it’s common for his disciples to pluck texts out of context.  Lets examine the text Dedmon quotes: to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations
Isaiah 61:3-4.
Practically speaking, this text refers to Israel after coming out of captivity, they would rebuild the cities that had been left to ruin during their exile.  Any symbolic or spiritual application, refers to the church.  Jesus is not calling for the rebuilding of Redding, that task lies at the feet of Redding’s city council.  The church is “crowned with splendor” because of what Christ has done in and through it, not because of anything we can contribute.  How Redding will be “crowned with splendor” is anyone’s guess. I do know that Bethel’s presence in Redding has not decreased crime or disease, and clearly has had no effect on the devastation of the Carr fire.

TD: “All of us have most likely experienced raging fires, like the Carr fire, that has come against us either in our relationships, pursuing our dreams, or feeling secure for our future.  Remember, that support from others, hearing God’s voice, declaring, and giving thanks will be key for your victory. I can hardly wait to share with you stories of victory and breakthrough as we press in for God’s mercy and blessing for protection and restoration. Remember you are Born to Create, and declare life!”

Ah, yes, it’s always about “our dreams” when it comes to an ear tickling gospel that excites the natural man instead of offending him.  Lets walk through Dedmon’s final words:
“Support from others” – community was God’s idea, and it’s heartwarming to witness the kindness being displayed by the folk in Redding.  I have no doubt that real testimonies will come to light, and that the true gospel will fall on ears to hear.
“Hearing God’s voice”  – There is one way to guarantee that voice will be infallible – read scripture aloud.
“Declaring” – Unless you are God, don’t bother, instead make your supplications known to him.
“Giving thanks”  – Amen, but not to unlock a breakthrough: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
key for your victory”  – That would be the realization that God is in charge, and in control. This heretical statement from false apostle Bill Johnson, would make any person in Bethel not under a spiritual delusion flee immediately:

Remember you are Born to Create, and declare life!” – I can’t think of any scripture telling us we were “born to create.”  Declaring life will have no impact, I challenge Dedmon to “declare life” over a burnt stump in the ground and see if that tree grows back at supernatural speed.  Where are we taught to “declare life” in scripture? 

Dedmon and Bethel failed to bring Heaven to earth through their decrees, declarations and commands during this disaster.  There is no indication that Bethel’s prayers for: structures to “miraculously resist igniting”,  water to be “multiplied” in “trucks and airplanes,” or that their commanding the “wind to calm down” came to pass:


The man centered theology of Bethel is clearly visible in the comments on their facebook page, here is one example:

The prayer starts off well – “Lord I surrender the Carr fire..your will be done” and then immediately after,  Bill Johnson’s theology takes over.  There are no wildfires in Heaven, there is also no death in Heaven, yet every Bethelite like the rest of us, will die. The real Apostles were miserable failures in the light of Bill Johnson’s Heaven to earth teaching.

The man centered theology begins – “I decree…I say…I command…”
The ludicrous and blasphemous fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation teachings culminate in the final sentence: “I decree for your will to go into effect starting now and I authorize You to work..”
Fancy that, a mortal giving God permission to finally get His way in a situation.
This individuals commands, decrees, and authorization failed!
Bethel’s declarations and commands have failed!

The results speak for themselves: 115,538 acres burned, 1,018 residences, 12 commerical structures, 435 outbuildings destroyed – 181 residences, 6 commercial structures and 61 outbuildings damaged, 6 fatalites (2 were firefighters)
According to this report, the “Carr is now the seventh most destructive fire in state history and the most destructive ever for Shasta County.”
According to this report the fire  “is so large and hot that it is creating its own localized weather system with variable strong winds, making it difficult for experts to predict which way the blaze will spread.”

The dominionists at Bethel who probably use insect killers in their homes, thought they could take on a wildfire, but they are powerless, their theology has proven to be useless. 

If God has left Bethel “in control” as Bill Johnson claims, they should be sued.
In reality, God is not a white-knuckled deity, pacing up and down some heavenly chamber hoping his charges on earth take risks and finally conquer the world so that he can return.  That’s a weak god, a slightly elevated mortal who needs us to help him accomplish his purposes. We can hope that Bethel’s failure to impact the Carr fire through their supposed supernatural abilities and declarations would open the eyes of many of their followers, but reality is no match for those given over to a delusion by God because they have rejected truth.

Bethel are already capitalising on this tragedy.  Charisma News featured this short article yesterday: “How Bethel Is Meeting the Physical, Spiritual Needs of Its Community”
A short video clip of failed prophet Kris Vallotton saying a few words, is followed by this paragraph: “As Redding residents stream back into their neighborhoods after evacuation notices lifted, many are left with nothing.The Carr Fire in Shasta County, California, has consumed 112,888 acres and is now 30 percent contained. In addition to the mass intercession Bethel conducted in the last few days, the Spirit-filled congregation is now able to meet the physical needs of its community. Donations must be dropped off through the Salvation Army, but the Bethel building is the charity’s distribution center.

We have established that Bethel’s prayers are usually instructions to God, and an exercise in vanity.  “Spirit filled congregation” – which spirit are we talking about, because the Holy Spirit is grieved at Bethel, so it must be another spirit. Note that Bethel is merely distributing the donations from the public.  Bethel are not the only church or organization that are helping in some manner. Behind the scenes and not hogging the limelight are many faithful servants of God, serving the community in practical means, and bringing the true gospel to those in need.

If Bethel can afford to build a new  $96 million campus in north Redding, one would hope they make their own donations as well, even though their profits come from teaching for shameful gain.  While we should be grateful for any practical support from Bethel, lets keep in mind that this is an outreach opportunity for them. People who collect supplies are invited to go to Bethel’s prayer room and receive counselling and prayer.  Victims of the fire, may become victims of Bethel’s dangerous Sozo counselling ministry.  Those who may have lost earthly possessions in the Carr fire, are now exposed to a far greater risk – a spiritual delusion that will have eternal consequences. This is an opportunity for Bethel to introduce their false teachings and methods to vulnerable people, who will sadly be hearing  “another gospel.” 

Conclusion

Unlike Bethel, scripture does not teach that we can command miracles to happen, release God’s presence, or decree, declare, and speak things into existence.  Knowing Bethel’s tendency to tell tall stories, exaggerate, and confuse synthetic gold dust and glitter with the manifest glory of God, I’ll treat their claims of miracles during this disaster with a pinch of salt.  No doubt, prophetic words will resume, and many Bethelites will see this fire as symbolic of new life rising from the ashes in the form of a greater anointing, greater breakthrough, new shift etc.

I believe God is able, and does intervene in tragedies such as this according to His will.  I’m all for his supernatural intervention to spare lives, and my prayer would have been for His protection during this raging fire. I think believers will have testimonies of God’s peace and provision during this tragedy, and I include believers from Bethel who have been temporarily caught up in the false teachings of Bethel.  Those who have suffered loss in any form can cling to God’s assurance that: “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28
As believers we must pray for those who have suffered loss in this tragedy, mourn with them, comfort them, and help them in any way we can.

 


Are the fires in Redding a sign of God’s judgement on Bethel?

By Rick Becker  28 July 2018

The Carr fire that has caused devastation in California, has weaved it’s way into Redding, home of Bethel church.  Hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and at the time of this writing two lives have been lost.  This tragedy comes shortly after the horrific fires in Greece that took the lives of at least sixty people.  Across the world, other tragedies are taking place in the form of other natural disasters, wars, disease, and starvation.  The Carr fire has captured the attention of those familiar with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) due to one of the chief proponents of NAR false doctrines being Bethel church.  In this brief post, I would like to address the speculation concerning the reason for the fire.

Naturally, many who have been a victim of the aberrant teachings and practices of Bethel church are wondering whether the fire is God’s judgement on Bethel church.  For the answer, we need to look to scripture.  The cause for calamity being assigned to sin is nothing new.  Job was the unfortunate victim of such false counsel, and in the end his counsellors were proven wrong.  The misconception that we should escape tragedy due to our level of righteousness (or correct doctrine) is one that ignores scripture, and reality itself.  In fact God  “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” Matthew 5:45
To assume that a tragedy is in direct proportion to our sin is to fall back under the law!  If God were to punish (by wildfire) cities, states and countries that had sinned, or that had churches in them that taught false doctrine the whole earth would be on fire.  In attributing sin as the cause of suffering, we are in fact coming to the same rash, and faulty conclusion NAR teachers espouse – we are sick due to lack of faith, we are poor due to not tithing, we are suffering due to lack of spiritual warfare or failure to decree, declare and shift atmospheres etc.

In Luke chapter 13, Jesus addresses this very issue of calamity being proportional to sin, or what people deserve:There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Luke 13:1-4

It seems as if those who were speaking to Jesus, were attempting to get a reason as to why these tragedies occurred.  This is the same question many are asking regarding the Carr fire.  Jesus does not entertain their suspicions, but instead asked them to examine their own hearts.  He dispels the notion that these tragedies are proportional to any level of wickedness on the individuals part. Jesus makes three things patently clear:

Suffering is no indication of how sinful we are.
Speculation as to the reasons for tragedies is a mistake on our part.
Similar tragedies could befall anyone.

A wildfire and it’s aftermath are not going to persuade those who have bought into the lies of Bethel, that their doctrine is false.  If Bethel’s buildings were reduced to ashes, they have the dollars to rent another, and their new $96 million campus has already been approved.  Scripture warns that imposters like Johnson and Vallotton will grow in their delusion: “while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” 2 Timothy 3:13.  They have rejected truth, and been given over to a delusion. Only God can open the eyes of those caught up in deception, and our task is to contend for the faith, and pray for those who have been blinded by an angel of light.
Mark my words, Bethel will have many “testimonies” in due course.  Comments on social media from Bethel fans, reveal that their state of delusion has not diminished, as they still believe they can decree, declare and take authority over the fires. Here are a few examples:


We all suffer the effects of living in a fallen world and in earthly tents.  Despite our desire for justice and wholeness is this present age, God tells us to look to the future, where he will wipe away all our tears and bring complete restoration.  Despite our desire for the wicked to receive compensation in this age, God tells us to leave that up to Him, as He alone is holy and just, and will reward and punish those according to His righteous judgement.  Lets not make the same mistake as those in the NAR and attribute our prosperity and comfort to our level of obedience or spirituality.  Let us instead, examine our own hearts:Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139: 23-24

 As believers, we should do what we can to offer assistance to victims of the fire – all victims!  As believers, we should ask God for mercy, pray for rain, pray for those affected.  As believers, we should pray that in the midst of this suffering, the only real hope in this world, and the world to come is proclaimed – the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Bethel School Of Spiritual Drunkenness

By Rick Becker  25 July 2018

The doctrines and practices emanating from Bethel are as far removed from biblical Christianity as the east is from the west.  Leaders at BSSM channel their students into the dark world of mysticism, vain imaginations, and the demonic.  It takes little discernment to realize that what the BSSM promotes is evil.  The fact that they cannot see this indicates they have rejected truth; they have been given over to a delusion.  Our task is to contend for the faith by warning and praying for those caught up in this deception.

The official Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry School Planting website has recently published an article entitled “Overcoming Obstacles to Physical Manifestations of the Holy Spirit.”  Once again, it reveals the severely deluded state of the BSSM.  In Bethel terms “overcoming obstacles” really means ignoring scripture and taking risks in order to experience something supernatural regardless of the source.  Direct quotes from the article in italics, with my commentary below.

BSSM: “There are many manifestations of the Holy Spirit, both inward and outward. Manifestations are evidence of God’s Presence on people and can be an indicator of what God is doing in someone. But they are also different for everyone, and it’s important for us as leaders to help our students navigate them. Holy Spirit drunkenness may be one of the most misunderstood physical manifestations. It is clearly present in scripture as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:15), but, for some, it can be confusing on how to engage with it.”

“Holy Spirit drunkenness” is only misunderstood by those who don’t understand scripture.  The article is based on the assumption that the disciples were behaving like drunkards of the day of Pentecost.  Acts 2:15 is the text used to justify this: “For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day” 

Peter was giving the crowd an explanation of what had just occurred:
 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.  And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.  And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?  Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,  both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”  But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”  But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.”
Acts 2:4-14

The text does not say that the disciples experienced “Holy Spirit drunkenness” but that they were accused by some mockers as being drunk.  What had “bewildered” the multitudes?  The answer is in the text, the disciples were speaking in different languages (tongues) and those present heard their own “native language” being spoken.  The text does not say the disciples were staggering, incoherent, slurring their words, incapacitated, laughing or shrieking uncontrollably.  In other words the disciples were not behaving as if they had just walked through a “fire tunnel” at Bethel.  There were no Kundalini or seizure like manifestations. This gift of speaking in foreign languages was a miracle, and having no explanation some accused them of being drunk.  This is the response of some when encountering a miracle, or the truth. The word translated as “mocking” in verse 13, is used by the men of Athens in response to Paul’s teaching on the resurrection of the dead: “Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.”
One of the effects of the Spirit’s outpouring was boldness (not drunkenness) to preach the Gospel.  Peter had previously denied Christ on three occasions, but now he is able to face a crowd, and boldly proclaim truth.  How could he have delivered his first sermon in a state of drunkenness?  Why did he refute the allegation that they were drunk?  Why are the BSSM leaders trusting the opinion of unregenerated mockers?  Why would God’s Spirit be the cause of behaviour that is condemned in scripture?

Scripture reveals that a fruit of the Spirit is self control (Galatians 5:23) and that being full of the Spirit is the opposite of drunkenness:
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 5:15-20
Drunken people speak as fools, they are not circumspect, and their behaviour is uncontrollable. In stark contrast, the Spirit filled believer is circumspect, has understanding, and speaks coherently.

Drunken behaviour is never sanctioned in scripture.

Elders are expected to avoid drunkenness, and exhibit self control: 
For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined” Titus 1:7-8

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” I Corinthians 6:9-11

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.  So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.  But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 5-8

The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.” Romans 13:12-13

Being drunk is in fact a sign of God’s judgement:

“The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit” Isaiah 19:14

“The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, For its transgression is heavy upon it, And it will fall, never to rise again.”  Isaiah 24:20 

“They will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.”  Jeremiah 25:16

 “These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed by wine, they stagger with strong drink, they reel in visionthey stumble in giving judgmentFor all tables are full of filthy vomit, with no space left.”  Isaiah 28:7-8

Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land: the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  And I will dash them one against another, fathers and sons together, declares the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.’” Jeremiah 13:13-14

Mystical Babylon was intoxicated through murdering the saints :Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” Revelation 17:5b-6

“Spiritual drunkeness” was a sign that God has blinded or hardened those who have hated his words, and rebelled against him, as in the case of Israel:
Astonish yourselves and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine;stagger, but not with strong drink! For the Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes (the prophets),

and covered your heads (the seers).”  Isaiah 29:9-10

Today, those who reject the truth are similarly given over to delusion:
 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,  and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

BSSM: “Anne Collins is the Administrator for BSSM School Planting and has been at Bethel for five years. In this post, she shares part of her journey with the manifestation of Holy Spirit drunkenness and discusses how to embrace it and how to create a safe environment where your students feel free to engage with the Holy Spirit no matter the manifestation.”

The only “safe environment” for any form of ministry, is to operate within the confines of scripture.  Embracing what is clearly condemned in scripture is to reject God’s word, and grieve the Holy Spirit.  What these deluded people are embracing is another spirit, another Jesus, another gospel.  In their desperation to encounter the supernatural, BSSM leaders have condoned any manifestation, and many spirits are willing to comply.  When Paul wrote to the Corinthians regarding their abuse of the gifts, he gave clear instructions on how the gifts of the Spirit should displayed: So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:39-40.

The chaos and bizarre manifestations at Bethel and their BSSM plants are in clear contradiction of scripture.  Were there bizarre manifestations under the ministry of Jesus – certainly!  Were these manifestations exhibited by disciples of Christ ?  What we read of in one instance bears striking resemblance to what happens to victims of Bethel and the BSSM:
And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.  And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him.  And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”  While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God.”
Luke 9:38-43
You can watch a similar manifestation that takes place under the watch of Heidi Baker and Bill Johnson at Bethel here.  At the five minute mark, you will see a young man writhing and convulsing on the floor.

What Jesus cast out, Bethel embraces!

A popular belief in some charismatic circles is that when the Holy Spirit is moving, outsiders or those offended by what they witness should be ignored.   Paul however makes it clear in his letter that self control should be exhibited when the gifts are in operation: If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret.  But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God” 1 Corinthians 14:27-28
Failure to follow these instructions would result in outsiders and unbelievers being justified by thinking the believers are crazy:

“If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?” 1 Corinthians 14:23
Keep in mind that what Paul is referring to here is the real gift of tongues!  The Corinthians were probably speaking in tongues simultaneously, without someone to interpret, and were focused on the miraculous in order to impress others. Speaking foreign languages in that manner would cause “outsiders and unbelievers” to consider the speakers crazy.  This is a similar charge brought against the disciples on the day of Pentecost, which shows that the gift of speaking in foreign languages may cause unbelievers to consider the speakers crazy, or even drunk.

BSSM:Like soaking, praying, or engaging in worship, “drinking in the Holy Spirit” is simply taking time to focus on the presence of God; to connect with His heart and receive.”
Search the scriptures – “soaking” does not exist.  It’s a form of mysticism that abandons objective truth in favour of subjective feelings and impressions.  In other words, it’s a gateway to your imagination or deceiving spirits.  Can you recall any new testament passage encouraging us to “connect” with God’s heart and “receive?”  Have we not all been baptized into one Spirit (1 Cor 12:13) and been supplied with all we need ? (2 Peter 1:3-4)  What BSSM mean by “receive,”  can only refer to manifestations, voices, impressions, and feelings – the very things we cannot trust in.

BSSM: “Drunkenness” is a term to describe the manifestation of how someone looks and feels in the Presence that can appear nearly identical to being drunk on alcohol. Our desire should never be for the manifestation, but for receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit. So the aim of Holy Spirit drinking is actually to encounter more of God.”

This is rank heresy at it’s finest!  Once again, there is no biblical text that compares a believer who is filled with the Spirit to a staggering drunkard.  Self control is a fruit of the Spirit;  incoherent behaviour and plain ridiculousness is an evil fruit.  When does God’s “presence” depart from a believer?  Does it mean that when we are “sober minded” as instructed by scripture, God’s presence has departed?  If we take the advice of the BSSM, and revel in drunkenness as a sign of God’s presence, someone will be waiting to take advantage of us: “ Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

BSSM: “Students should encounter God personally more than they learn facts about Him. And there are countless ways to interact with Him and to experience the presence of Holy Spirit. What makes drunkenness so unique and important is that it’s a way to experience God that completely bypasses our practical understanding. Though it can look intense and even chaotic, it ministers directly to our spirits, and through us to others. Drunkenness can be God’s way of re-prioritizing our spirit’s position above our soul, leading us to new places with God that our minds wouldn’t find on their own.”

This reads like a manual for paganism or mysticism. What makes drunkenness so very unique and important, is that it’s forbidden in scripture, and that spiritual drunkenness is a sign of judgement.  The prophetic word (scripture) is more sure than any mountain top experience, let alone pure mysticism.  What does scripture say about our minds? Should we bypass rational thought, dismiss the infallible and objective word of God, and hand our faculties over to a chaotic and drunken state?  Of course not.  We are instructed to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor 10:5) and “renew our minds” (Rom 12:2)  If we want to “re-prioritize” our spirit, then we need to be sober minded, and conform our lives and doctrine to scripture.  It’s the Holy Spirit who illuminates scripture, helping us to know God, but the BSSM bypass scripture and the Holy Spirit.  Students are paying dollars to receive scripture taken out of context, and are being introduced to another spirit.

BSSM: Anne’s Story – I have been in revival settings my entire life. I have loved the Lord my entire life, and I’ve experienced different levels of His presence and manifestations. But at 28 years old, I had never been drunk in the Holy Spirit. I was offered the chance to take a trip with a BSSM missions team to Mexico this spring, and I was jokingly warned beforehand, “This is a very drunk trip!” Despite feeling really uncomfortable with that, I knew the Lord wanted me on the trip and that He had something specific for me if I would say “yes” to whatever He was doing. One day early in the trip, a group of the students (who were already very drunk in the Spirit) gathered around me and encouraged me to join them. I was really uncomfortable, but I’d been around enough people drunk in the Holy Spirit that I knew how to “take it,” wait it out, and put my heart in a position to receive from the Lord.

Later that day, one of my friends asked me, “Was that okay, what we did to you?” This shocked me. I realized in all my years in revival meetings or in ministry school, no one had ever asked me if their manifestation or way of ministering in drunkenness was actually helping me receive. My friend apologized for behaving in a way that made me feel unsafe and encouraged me to speak up about what I needed in order to feel okay in those moments. He didn’t want to control or change how I received from the Lord, he just wanted me to have more of God!

That for me was life-changing. I’d grown up as a little girl in the midst of the influence of the Toronto outpouring, and most of my first experiences of God were that He was VERY REAL and He was TERRIFYING.  He made all of the safe adults in my world look crazy. Discovering that God and my friends were still safe in the midst of that craziness changed the way I experienced Holy Spirit, and actually led me to getting drunk with the team later that night! As the trip went on, Holy Spirit continued to pour out more. I learned that God was so much kinder than I’d believed. I learned that drunkenness was not a separate experience from God’s peace and joy and righteousness, but that it was a manifestation of all three.”

That’s not what scripture teaches.  Looking “crazy” is not a manifestation of righteousness, peace and joy, but a manifestation of deception in one of it’s highest forms.  God is kind by making his children lose all sense of reason and control?  Acting crazy is a fruit of the Spirit?  Anne said that God “had something specific for me if I would say “yes” to whatever He was doing”  Where does God bargain with, or bribe his children in this manner?  We have established that spiritual drunkenness is not from God, so who was Anne conversing with?  There are only two options – her imagination or a demon. 

BSSM: “The experience was new, but the God I was encountering was not. I was discovering a new part of a Person I’d known for years so it still felt safe, even as the manifestations got crazier. I also learned ways I’d been holding God back in my life due to my unhealthy fear of Him. But with each problem I discovered, God simply asked me to trust Him more than that fear. More fear left, every time, and I experienced more of His presence!”

The god conversing with Anne, is not the God of scripture.  A healthy fear of God would cause her to obey scripture, and serve him with fear and trembling, not involuntary and crazy manifestations.  Her whole encounter is based on her subjective feelings and manifestations.  How does she know she was experiencing more of God’s presence?  The only answer is by the way she felt.  Are there any scriptures instructing believers to measure the presence of God by how they feel, or their level or craziness?

BSSM:Overcoming Obstacles to Engaging with Holy Spirit.  Each of us can experience more of God when we choose to trust Him over our current understanding or fears. Below are a few areas that can set up barriers to experiencing more of Him. These not only apply to manifestations, but to every area of our lives in God.

Offense: When Holy Spirit shows up in ways we don’t expect or in ways we aren’t familiar with, it can trigger fear or offense. When we experience a manifestation apart from His nature, we can get offended or scared. The truth is, God is GOOD, and He’s bigger than both our experience and our understanding. He is always after our hearts, no matter what it looks like, and it is our choice if we will engage with Him in the way He’s moving.”

Any “manifestation apart from His nature” must surely imply that God is not the author of it.  How can God work outside of his own nature?  Ignorance of scripture, a seared conscience, and a desire for experiences will always result in delusion.  “No matter what it looks like” is a not a phrase used in scripture to describe the workings of the Holy Spirit in the church;  “what it looks like” mattered to Paul when addressing the Corinthians as we have noted.

BSSM: “Self-Righteousness: I learned that “being able to get drunk” was not a club that I wasn’t allowed to join. I learned that becoming a better receiver of His love made me a better drinker. If we believe we’re qualified to receive because of something we’ve done, we’ve missed the point of His love. If we believe we’ll receive because we’ll do great ministry because of what He gives, we’ve missed the point of His love. He doesn’t need us to be good at something or have intentions for good works before He can give to us. He just loves.”

God’s love has been poured into our hearts.  This is a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit, and it is based on fact – “Christ died for the ungodly.”  The Holy Spirit, through the word of God can illuminate this truth in our hearts; it is entirely His doing: “.and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5: 5-8
Anne is getting addicted to drunkenness, and as she casts aside restraint, she is being led deeper into delusion.  Anne is now teaching this to other students, and using her story to justify this deception.  Friends, this is serious, Anne is going to have to give an account before God one day for leading others into this deception.

BSSM: “Control: Sometimes, the things that we tell ourselves about ourselves actually aren’t true. I used to believe I was a very quiet person and that I’d never experience outward manifestations. But then God asked me, “Who told you you’re like that? Was it Me, or was it you?” Letting go of control is about responding to Him as He is, not as we think we are. We come to Holy Spirit with a hunger to discover Him, rather than with ready-made answers.”

One would think that if God was having conversations with Anne, he would have told her to flee from the BSSM, and that the only feeling she should have obeyed was when she felt “uncomfortable” about going on a “very drunk trip.”  By “Letting go of control” Anne has responded to the lies of Satan, and what she is hungering after is not the Holy Spirit, but an angel of light who will be only too happy to provide her with the feelings and encounters she desires. 

BSSM: “Overthinking: Just like God doesn’t need us to be perfect before He loves us or touches us, we don’t need to understand Him to encounter Him. That can feel risky. I didn’t understand the point of a manifestation that seemed loud and obnoxious and even dangerous. I didn’t have a grid for WHY someone would want to get drunk. But experiencing His love in it made me hungry for more, no matter what it looked like, and I had to lay down my desire to understand everything God was doing and just receive it.”

The problem here is not overthinking; it’s not thinking at all.  Anne does not have a grid to explain the motivation for spiritual drunkenness because the grid is called scripture.  Scripture comes second at Bethel, and even then it’s twisted to suit the heretical agenda of the New Apostolic Reformation.  What’s important at Bethel, is to follow the presence off the map into some form of encounter.  Paul was concerned when two people in the church spoke in tongues at the same time, but the BSSM are not concerned with “loud and obnoxious and even dangerous” manifestations. Someone is wrong here, and it’s not Paul.

BSSM: Being a Good Receiver  “It doesn’t matter what your drunk looks like. It just matters that you have one.” – Chuck Parry
The point of experiencing God is not to “get drunk” and look like it. The point is to aim your hunger at Him and receive whatever He has for you. He will speak to you, impact your heart, your mind, and your season. He will touch you in ways you will and will not comprehend. The goal is to let Him give; to be a good receiver; to quit trying to GET IT, and let Him love you.

Chuck’s wrong of course.  Chuck Parry is the Associate Director of Bethel’s healing rooms, and his biography reads like one of the real Apostles (except for the car story) –“over one winter his car got 320 miles to the gallon, he’s seen food multiplied on numerous occasions, storms move out of the way, miraculous finances and the supplies of Heaven released, dead people come back to life, metal dissolve from bodies, and countless sick and injured healed.”  Unfortunately for Chuck, we test a man’s doctrine by comparing it to scripture, not by how far he gets on a gallon of gas. Where does Paul encourage churches to experience spiritual drunkenness Chuck?  God has spoken, and he was very clear – be sober minded, exercise self control, take thoughts captive, meditate on the word of God.  God has never said “experience me through spiritual drunkenness.”

BSSM: “Drunkenness is what helps us get out of our world and into His world. It’s Heaven invading Earth. It’s the Presence invading your spirit and giving you a taste of what He’s like. Just like it says in the Psalms 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”

No no no…drunkenness is what leads you into deception, it’s hell invading your mind.  The Lord is good in that he has given us an objective standard by which to call out those who teach nonsense like this.  

BSSM: We encourage you to do some supernatural drinking. Teach your students what you are learning yourself. Open up a dialogue about manifestations and how people experience them. We bless your school to be even more full of the Spirit, to be a place for people to discover the depths and the joys of Heaven on Earth!”

I’d encourage anyone involved at Bethel, or any Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry course across the world to flee immediately from this perversion of the gospel.  You are drinking from a cup of delusion, are in danger of shipwrecking your faith, and are a partaker in their wickedness.

 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
2 Timothy 4:3-5

More articles on the Bethel School Of Supernatural Ministry:

BSSM – soaking, declaring and spinning into delusion

Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry – Normalizing Mysticism

The new breed of crafty evangelists

The fruits of Bethel church – ashamed of the gospel, flirting with the occult

Be saved from this perverse generation!

By Stephen Colin    19 July 2018

“And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” Acts 2:40

Peter’s words were directed at individual Jews who could be spared from God’s coming wrath on that specific generation – a generation filled with people who had been either implicitly or explicitly involved in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. The principle regarding a Christian’s separation from the world and its perverse system remains vitally important to the health of the Church in 2018. In fact, James makes the point that, “…whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4b) This is an oft neglected teaching in the wider evangelical church and even a brief survey of the fads and movements in the world reveal a great need for the church to take the words of Peter and James seriously. Not only is this a critical matter, but James even adds this to his description of true biblical religion. He writes, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27) 

Now let me be clear that I am not advocating a legalistic approach to our separation from the world. I am not calling for local churches to burn their electric guitars and destroy all modern technology. I am not calling for Christians to separate completely from all unbelievers and form closed communities (that’s what cults tend to do)  When we think about separation from the world it is important to know exactly what we are separating from. Biblically, the term ‘world’ is often in reference to sinful thinking, systems, philosophies, and practices. This would be the current world system along with its underlying ideologies ruled by Satan. An ideology is simply a system of ideas based upon an individuals or groups world-view. Therefore, it is critical that Christians develop a robust biblical world-view in order to identify worldly ideologies and then be able to resist them while standing on the firm foundation of biblical truth. 

The Apostle John makes this concept of separating from the world very practical when he writes, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16)
 Notice how John identifies three basic categories that define the Satanic/worldly system of which unbelievers are a part. Firstly, he mentions the “lust of the flesh.” This is speaking of natural man’s desire for anything opposed to God and His perfect Law. Secondly, John speaks of the “lust of the eyes” which points to man’s covetous, greedy desire for more than what God has graciously given. Lastly, he mentions “the boastful pride of life” which has to do with one’s arrogance regarding the influence or wealth he/she possesses. Those three categories are evident in current trends being propagated by large movements within the visible church and reveal how ‘worldly’ these movements are. 

There are two well-known “pastors” whom I will use to illustrate my point. Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church and Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, Sydney Australia. These individuals are key leaders in movements that are looking more and more like the world with each passing year. 

Andy Stanley represents the Seeker Sensitive movement whose primary goal in his own words is to “create churches unchurched people absolutely love to attend.” This may sound pious at first glance, but think about it, if a church is a place that the “unchurched” (unbelievers) LOVE to attend then it has to be a place where sin is tolerated. Jesus provides us with an accurate evaluation of unbelievers, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19)


An unbeliever should most certainly feel welcomed in any Christian church, however, he/she shouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable because a church is supposed to be a place where sin is exposed by the Law of God with the goal of leading the sinner to Christ for complete forgiveness. Paul makes it plain that when an unbeliever enters a Church, “…he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.” If these churches that Andy Stanley espouses are havens for the unbelieving, then who is being convicted and saved? You have to distort or remove the gospel to make the church a place that rebel sinners LOVE to attend weekly while remaining in a state of unbelief because “…the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” (1 Cor. 1:18) This is why Andy Stanley could say so boldly in a recent train-wreck of a sermon  “Thou shall NOT obey the Ten Commandments.” (Aftermath – Part 3 – Not Difficult)  This is the perfect concoction for “the lust of the flesh” because it makes little of God’s holiness, revealed in His Law and thereby ignores how offensive sin is to God. Andy Stanley, by “unhitching” from the Old Testament and God’s Law has removed the “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal.3:24)
Unbelievers may LOVE attending his “church,” however the sad reality is that many will remain in a state of unbelief and have their consciences seared to such a point that to indulge in the “lust of the flesh” is no big deal. 

Brian Houston represents a movement which is basically a mixture of seeker sensitive/Word of Faith/NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) Arguably one of the most influential “pastors” of the past 10 years, Brian Houston has proceeded “…from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Tim. 3:13)  Brian has been seduced by “the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life…” and has made a business of seducing millions of gullible people into “…following the course of the world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”
(Eph. 2:2)

Of course he has cloaked his teaching with Christian terminology, however he has clearly adopted the ideologies of the world and appealed to the itching ears of the millennial generation. 

In his most recent book “There is More,” Brian writes at the end of his introduction, “There is always more to uncover — More to discover about who He is and who He says you are. (God says we are sinners in desperate need of salvation) There is more ahead of you than you’ve allowed yourself to dream or allowed yourself to believe.” (How do you know that Brian? What if there is pain and suffering ahead of me? What if I die tomorrow?)  He also writes, “And if for some reason you’ve stopped dreaming big things for your life, stopped imagining that your life is a story to tell or a legacy to be remembered, (Why should my life be a story to tell? Why should I leave a legacy? Surely a Christian’s focus should be on sharing Christ’s story, His death and resurrection…I prefer the good old saying, ‘Preach the Gospel, die and be forgotten)…then this book is a good place to start again.” (You mean to start thinking like an unbeliever again???) 

It is interesting to note that Tony Robbins, an unbelieving, motivational speaker also spends a great deal of time talking about YOUR dreams. He says, “I’ve learned that the resources we need to turn our dreams into reality are within us, merely waiting for the day when we decide to wake up and claim our birthright.”  Why does Brian Houston sound like an unbelieving, motivational speaker? Why does Brian Houston encourage his followers to seek for ‘more,’ as if Christ is not enough? Why does Brian Houston emphasize the so-called doctrine of “dreaming big” even though this doctrine is not found in the Bible? May I offer an explanation? It seems as though Brian Houston has abandoned the sufficiency of Scripture and the sufficiency of Christ and has instead made a living off the “lusts of the eyes.”  As a result, he has reason “to boast” in what God has supposedly done through him, by giving him the Hillsong empire, wealth and all the influence and power an unregenerate sinner could ever want! Whenever a Pastor begins using his life as an example of what success looks like, he is actually the perfect example of one who loves the things of the world, including “the boastful pride of life…” The whole premise of Houstons book “There is More” is in stark contrast to the reality that for Christian’s “Christ is enough.” We don’t need “the more” that Brian is promoting. Why? Because “…His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3)

Both Andy Stanley and Brian Houston represent a large portion of the visible church which has ignored Peter’s call to “be saved from this perverse generation…” Instead they have indulged in worldly fads, “…teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.” (Tit. 1:11)  Do you want to separate from the world? A great place to start would be separating from the ministries and teachings of Brian Houston and Andy Stanley! 

At the end of Paul’s life, in his final letter to Timothy, shortly before his imminent death, he writes something that should sadden us and wake us up at the same time. He writes about one of his closest associates “…Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica…” (2 Timothy 4:10)  The Seeker Sensitive movement as well as the NAR will only cause you “to love this present world” and abandon the truth. Don’t fall for it. Flee from these movements! Stand firm upon the true Gospel, which is not about you, but rather about what Christ has done to save you from the wrath of God, which will come upon all who continue to follow the course of the world. Paul reminds us that Christ “…gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age…” (Galatians 1:4)

The Bible makes it clear that we are called and saved to make a clean break from all forms of worldliness, false religion, and especially those who come under the guise of Christianity. 

If you belong to Christ and desire to be separated from the world then the Apostle Paul’s words to the Ephesian believers are designed to encourage you and remind us that “…Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Eph. 2:3-10)

Carried About by Every Wind of Doctrine

By Rick Becker   28 May 2018

Picture a ship without a rudder in turbulent waters.  It’s at the mercy of the elements and unable to navigate, possibly facing shipwreck.  This is the plight of those captivated by every new wind of teaching that does the rounds.  Thousands of resources are available to cater for itching ears in the visible church.  Not a week goes by without a new book release, conference, course, workshop, or new revelation.  Novelty ensnares the ignorant and those who lack discernment.  Despite this overload of new information and accompanying frenzied activity by consumers, the vast majority of the visible church is “always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
A distortion of the truth is celebrated, sold, and sought after, and because it’s a distortion, it leads to death instead of life.  In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul describes the means of these damaging doctrines: “by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”  Ephesians 4:14.
One of the fruits of these deceitful schemes is described in the same verse: “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine”  Ephesians 4:14.

Sound teaching/doctrine is crucial, failure to follow good doctrine has dire consequences: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.”
1 Timothy 4:1.
Slick marketing ensures new books and courses have mass appeal in the visible church.  Catch words and claims of revelation bait the biblically illiterate into believing they need these teachings.  Under the veneer of spirituality that coats these products, lies the cunning of men and women who know exactly how to cater to itching ears.  The really sad part is that they also fool the desperate, hurting, and those passionate for God.  I am going to list some examples of various winds of teachings available to consumers.  These teachings do not line up with scripture, and contribute to the billion dollar industry known as the industrial evangelical complex:

Who would not want to purchase Lisa Bevere’s latest book “Adamant”, described by her husband John Bevere as TRULY God breathed. It’s a message that will impact eternally everyone who reads it.”  Lisa said she “knew this book was a message and a mandate that God had entrusted to me… I felt the fire of God’s vision for the book quicken. As I worked, it was as though the words flew out of my fingertips.
This is crafty marketing – giving the impression that this book is a direct revelation from God, and essential information for the church.  I wonder if God had the same fiery vision when he inspired the scriptures?

John Bevere lets us know how indispensable “authorities” in the church are, but for the wrong reasons.  In his book “Undercover” John claims God told him the following: “John, if I intended for every believer to get all his information, wisdom, and direction only from prayer and communion with Me, then I’d never have instituted authority in the church. I placed authorities in the church with the full intent that My children could not get all they needed just from their prayer life. They would have to learn to recognise and hear My voice through their leaders as well.” p147
Manipulative marketing once again – John Bevere is obviously one of the leaders through which we will have to hear God’s voice.

 Bevere is arrogant and boastful when introducing his book “The Bait of Satan.”  It begins with this sentence: “The book you hold is quite possibly the most important confrontation with truth you’ll encounter in your lifetime.”  Surely this should apply exclusively to scripture?  Bevere was reluctant when writing his latest book “Killing Kryptonite”  but God apparently told him “son you must write this book” or He would have given it to someone else, he said, because the messages on this page are going to liberate my people and it’s going to restore the power of the kingdom, back into the church”  Bevere believes “this message is very urgent for the body of Christ”
Why did God not add it to scripture if it was so urgent?

Perhaps after reading their books, something is still lacking in your life.  Could the reason be your ignorance regarding your prophetic personality?  If so,  Havilah Cunnington offers a “Prophetic Personalities” course.  She identified what all the real Apostles missed – there are four types of prophetic personalities.  Havilah will “teach on four types of prophetic gifts, unleashing you into a bold life of hearing from Heaven.”  Priced at $49, you will also receive “ADDED BONUSES” : “Deep Dive Cheat sheet for each Personality Type, 30 days of Activations, Private Q&A for Students and Private Facebook Community.”

If you have completed Havilah’s course, but feel you could still do with some fine tuning, Shawn Bolz is ready to help.  I thought the scriptures had already been translated from the original languages into English, but Shawn Bolz goes a step further.  His $124.95 “Translating God” study course will help you to hear God: Through a thought provoking prophetic ministry philosophy and Shawn’s glorious successes and very real failures, you will be inspired and equipped to: learn how to hear God for yourself and others, grow through simple focused steps, take great risks, stay accountable, love people well, grow in intimacy with the Lord” and best of all: “This series will help you develop tools to deepen your prophetic process and learn how to hear the voice of God for yourself in a whole new way.
Who knew God made it so difficult for us to hear him?

Perhaps the problem is not really you, it’s in the atmosphere.  Solution -purchase Dawna De Silva’s “Shifting Atmospheres” teaching from Bethel.  Dawna will teach you how to “walk victoriously in any atmosphere you encounter.”
It’s worked for Dawna as she is able to take dominion of her
neighbourhood If a house in her neighbourhood needs paint, Dawna will declare that the house gets painted.  If the house owner cannot afford paint, Dawna will declare that money will come to the owner so that he is compelled to paint his house.  Dawna will declare that a person waters their neglected garden.  Dawna can do this because there is “power in our words.”

By now you are Adamant, under a covering, have dealt with the bait of Satan, killed your Kryptonite, know your prophetic personality, can hear God, and have managed to shift atmospheres, but still struggle financially.

Well, according to Kris Vallotton if heaven is God’s goal for us, then wealth must be a piece of our prize!”  Naturally you would have to purchase his book “Poverty, Riches, and Wealth” to stake your claim.  After all, it worked for Kris: “Then suddenly, thousands of dollars began pouring in from a number of different sources, from real estate deals to book sales, and from teaching materials to conference offerings. Thousands of dollars found their way into our bank accounts”
It sounds like this must be from God: “I think this revelation is a catalyst to overthrowing the principality called Mammon and establishing a wealth mentality rooted in heavenly wisdom. My primary motive in writing this book is to break the back of poverty and release a spirit of prosperity on the world.”

If Vallotton’s teaching has little impact, try Bill Johnson’s $4 MP3 download “The Power for Increase”  You will learn that:Recession is just a bad idea.  God is releasing an anointing to deal with that cycle.  When we believe recession is a superior reality, we turn in fear, and our fear causes a collapse. This message has caused a ripple effect in our church and to many around the world who have suffered loss and financial hardship.  We have testimonies of lost items being restored, legal cases dropped, financial shifts and market sales contrary to the current economy.”

Now you are even better off – adamant, under a covering, have dealt with the bait of Satan, killed your Kryptonite, know your prophetic personality, can hear God, and have managed to shift atmospheres, and finally… wealthy.

Content?  Don’t be, because there is more!

Roma Downey, the new age Roman Catholic mystic believes we need to be “expanded where our dreams are small” and so she recommends Brian Houston’s latest book “THERE IS MORE.”  Houston believes “potential perishes because of the lack of an audacious dream” and we should “shoot for the moon.”  In business, why not, but I thought Houston is a pastor and should echo Paul’s dream: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8
The only “more” you will receive from his book is more of the same false doctrine.

Now that you have the “more” (until next’s years new more) you may realize that there’s a bit too much “more” around your waist and your garments are a little tight fitting.  There’s a solution to that as well.  It’s not what you think – gym, healthy eating etc.  Jennifer Eivaz has a prayer for supernatural weight loss, at least this one’s for free. You can “Watch and receive this powerful teaching and prayer for supernatural weight loss! The Lord is dealing with the spirit of heaviness so you can have new garments of praise Isaiah 61:3.”

Now if you were unaware that God is doing this kind of thing, your problem is that you are not awake to what is being released over us from heaven – you need to wake up!  Yes, there’s a solution of course:  you can purchase Beni Johnson’s “Wakey Wakey” teaching – described as follows: “Everything that is in heaven is being released over us.  It is important that we learn to hear heaven’s heartbeat to infect our world with what God is doing.  This message will inspire you to WAKE UP your spirit to the mystical things of God.  Let us not grow too old to welcome mystery, but dream as a child again.”

Speaking of children, now that you are adamant, under a covering, have dealt with the bait of Satan, killed your Kryptonite, know your prophetic personality, can hear God, shifted atmospheres, are wealthy, found more, lost weight, and are wide awake, it’s time to invest in your children!

Pop over to the Bethel Store and purchase this teaching by Anne Kalvestrand: Teaching Kids About Healings, Miracles & Raising the Dead – In this teaching for children, Anne Kalvestrand demonstrates how to heal the sick, perform miracles and raise the dead. You will see children being released to pray with a focus on how to continue to press in for a complete healing miracle.”
There is more…for the children at the Bethel Store. For $100  “Vintz the Puppet” can be yours, this is no ordinary puppet as “Vintz and this curriculum are part of God’s solution to filling this generation with His joy! This is more than a puppet and a script, Vintz releases heaven into earth

Still not satisfied…something missing in the package?  Go over to Bethel’s online store; one of the 610 teaching products is the “Sozo Basic Saved, Healed & Delivered” teaching. This $105 DVD will save time as  “Sozo finds issues in minutes instead of years.”  Furthermore “Sozo contains the whole package of being made whole or well.”

Then of course we have countless seminars, conferences, stadium meetings and workshops available.  Personalities and bands such as Bill Johnson, Christine Caine, Shawn Bolz, Beth Moore, Hillsong and Jesus Culture cater to the millions who are eager for a new word or new experience.  A good example of yet another gathering is the upcoming Global Summit in Pasadena this August.  A who’s who of teachers that should be marked and avoided – Lou Engle, Bill Johnson, Patricia King, Cindy Jacobs, Che Ahn, Shawn Bolz and others, will be speaking. This deception costs $25 – $189 but hey, you can “Come receive the release of mantles.”  Who do we have to thank?  The celebrity superstars of the New Apostolic Reformation who  “As leaders and influencers in the Body of Christ HAVE PREPARED AND SOWN INTO THIS SEASON OF ACCELERATED ACCELERATION”  This is far superior to the previous years where we had to settle for mere acceleration!  After the summit, you will be able to “go forth with fresh fire to bring about revival in your sphere of influence” and “REFORM YOUR MOUNTAIN.”

I think you realize that I could carry on, but I’ll spare you the misery as you get the point.  It’s exhausting to simply read about all the winds of doctrine – imagine living it!  Yet millions do, and they end up tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine.”

Now the question must be asked:  Why are people carried about by every wind of doctrine?  Paul gives us the answer in the beginning of the verse: “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” Ephesians 4:14
Those who are carried about by winds of doctrine are described as “children.”
In other words, these are people who are spiritually immature.  Children tend to put things in their mouths that are not edible because they lack knowledge, the ability to reason, and cannot distinguish between what is good and what is harmful. Children can be easily influenced, and led astray by others.  In the same way, false converts and  immature believers feed on harmful winds of doctrine.  They are led astray by eloquent teachers who distort the truth.

The “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”  Paul mentions in verse 5, has been replaced with a buffet of options.  It’s literally a free-for-all when it comes to doctrines and practices in the visible church.  People can choose what tickles their fancy. Paul put it this way: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths 2 Timothy 4:3

Instead of being children in this context, we should “attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” vs 13.  

“Children” or Spiritual infants, need to go back to the foundation –  to the first principles of God:
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” Hebrews 5:11-14

Those who have been tossed to and fro, carried about by every wind of doctrine have been robbed!  They are paying in dollars, but the cost is far higher than any monetary expense.  The have been robbed of truth; they have been robbed of Christ.
The teachers who have robbed them, are not the ones that are going to lead them back to truth.  There are no valid reasons to keep listening to those who distort truth; there are no valid reasons to sit under a ministry that distorts truth.  Reject the endless quest on offer through teachers who twist God’s word, it will leave you exhausted, confused, poorer, and a step closer to a great delusion.

“Nothing short of the total destruction of a believer will ever satisfy our adversary. Nothing less than the perfection and complete salvation of a Christian is the heart’s desire of our Savior. He will never see the full fruition of the travail of His soul till all His people are completely saved. The reverse is true of Satan. He can never be content till he sees the believer utterly devoured. He would rend him in pieces and break his bones and utterly destroy him if he could. Do not, therefore, indulge the thought that the main purpose of Satan is to make you miserable. He is pleased with that—but that is not his ultimate end. Sometimes he may even make you happy for he has dainty poisons sweet to the taste which he administers to God’s people. If he feels that our destruction can be more readily achieved by sweets than by bitters, he certainly would prefer that which would best effect his end”  C H Spurgeon

 

Helpful Links :

10 ways to identify false teachings

10 ways false teachers ensnare people

Invalid reasons for staying in a church you know teaches false doctrine

10 invalid arguments in defense of false teacher’s

 

 

 

 

 

The Acceleration Of The New Apostolic Reformation’s Influence In South Africa

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) has infiltrated churches in South Africa at an alarming rate.  While not all churches have morphed into full blown NAR churches, many accept and teach some of the doctrines and practices found in the NAR.   Ways to identify whether a church has fallen for the aberrant teachings of the NAR, is to examine their statements and associations, and to listen to their sermons.  It does not take long before certain catch phrases will alert you to the fact that a church has fallen for the lies of the NAR.  In this post we look at a family of churches, which include South African churches, and show without a doubt that this group has espoused certain teachings of the NAR.

To be clear – this is not judging the salvation of those currently caught up in the teachings of the NAR.  There are saved individuals and individuals who are saved in NAR or NAR influenced churches.  God knows those who are his, and like myself and thousands of other believers who have come out of the NAR or charismania, our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will open their eyes, and that the truth will set them free.  Many who have bought into these false doctrines are passionate for God and may have good intentions, but have failed to exercise discernment.  It’s not loving to watch brothers and sisters in Christ being “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine” and remain silent.  

Church of the Nations (COTN) is an “international family of churches relating through love and commitment to see the Kingdom of God extended on earth.”
They embrace values such as:  “Apostolic alignment… Accountability (being under authority releases authority)…The principle of spiritual Fathers and Sons.”
An international Apostolic council protects and watches over the various churches.  They are responsible for overseeing doctrine, as well as “casting corporate vision.”
COTN have churches in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, Oceana and South America.  There are various church clusters within COTN, and “Apostolic cluster leaders personally relate into COTN directly through a member of the Apostolic Council. This Council has no direct government into any local church except through its cluster leadership.”  Not every church within COTN might subscribe to the false doctrines of the NAR, but nevertheless remain under the authority of the Apostolic council, and their corporate vision.

COTN describe their relationship with the body of Christ in part as follows: “The leaders of COTN will continue to build relationships into the wider body of Christ. This will happen through the Apostolic Council relating to apostolic streams, gatherings and other ministries…”

If you happen to be a NAR denialist like Dr Michael Brown, then simply ignore the term NAR and compare the statements from COTN in this article to what scripture teaches.  Do the leaders of this movement believe and teach the false doctrines of dominion/kingdom now theology?  For example, does scripture instruct us to change culture and transform nations by discipling literal nations?  Has God clearly outlined a “seven mountain mandate” for the church?  Does God speak directly to current day apostolic leaders and give them annual words regarding His latest strategy or supernatural moves?  If apostolic leaders claim to have such important words from God, then surely scripture is insufficient in that it has left ordinary believers in the dark unless current day apostles hear correctly? Do COTN leaders associate with false prophets?  These questions will be answered in this article.  

What do COTN envision?
“We envision the world learning about, accepting and focusing on Jesus and His Kingdom on earth. We see authentic Christianity as coming under the loving Lordship of Jesus Christ and being joined to a community of believers who are learning to live a new life in a new way. We want each and every person given to us to live a self-governed life while fulfilling their God-given destiny within a community of believers.

The Great Commission was given by Jesus as an apostolic mandate to disciple nations. This was based on God’s original purpose stated in Genesis when He gave man a dominion and a domestic mandate. Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel of the Kingdom, not the gospel of the church.

So we see local churches reaching their destiny when aligned to an apostolic vision. This allows Jesus to fulfill His promise when He said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”

Those who are familiar with the aberrant teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation would have to read no further to know that catch phrases in bold indicate that we are dealing with a movement heavily influenced by the NAR.

The true apostolic vision from God is clear; it’s called scripture.  When building a house, an architect is brought in to design the plans. This blueprint for the structure must be implemented by the builder. The builder does not use his imagination, vision, or feelings to decide how the structure should look. In similar fashion, God has given a blueprint to build his church – not only has he supplied the plans, but He is also the builder.  The blueprint is called scripture, and the foundation is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” Eph 2:20. The prophets wrote most of the Old testament, and the apostles brought us the New Testament – inspired and infallible teachings they heard directly from Christ, as well as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-14)  This foundation has been laid, it is complete, and the blueprint does not need any corrections. This is why Jude wrote:
“I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” Jude 3.

We don’t need any new revelations or annual words from God to be build a local church:All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

EXAMINING WHAT COTN ENVISION :

COTN: “international family of churches relating through love and commitment to see the Kingdom of God extended on earth.”
On the surface, this sounds biblical, but when the “kingdom of God” is associated with the seven mountain mandate or discipling literal nations, we are dealing with NAR doctrines.  As we will see, this is indeed the case in this instance.

COTN: “We see authentic Christianity as coming under the loving Lordship of Jesus Christ and being joined to a community of believers who are learning to live a new life in a new way.”
Once again, not problematic on the surface; it all depends what they mean by “a new way.”  If by “new way” COTN mean the pattern laid out in scripture, applicable to the church through the ages and relevant today, then I agree.  If by “new way” they mean believers are dependent on new shifts taking place, new methodology, new revelation being given, then I disagree.

COTN: “We want each and every person given to us to live a self-governed life while fulfilling their God-given destiny within a community of believers.”
Believers live a life submitted to God, and community does play a role. However, when that community of believers is governed by leaders who hear from God on their behalf, the community are in effect being governed not by God, but by their leaders.  Does this destiny include NAR teachings such as shifting atmospheres, transforming culture, or experiencing God’s favor due to God supposedly declaring 2018 is a year of acceleration?  We shall find out shortly.

COTN: “The Great Commission was given by Jesus as an apostolic mandate to disciple nations.”
We are called to preach the gospel and be witnesses for Christ in all nations.  There is no apostolic mandate to disciple literal nations, simply an instruction to make disciples of people from all nations.

When COTN say “disciple nations” they mean literal nations.  John Scholtz is one of the leaders on the COTN “apostolic council.”  On 19 February 2017, he delivered a message entitled “Making Disciples of the Nations” in Port Elizabeth.  In the message, Scholtz laments the fact that the gospel of salvation replaced the gospel of the kingdom.  This false dichotomy of two gospels is being promulgated by those who teach dominion/kingdom now theology.  There is only ONE gospel, and it includes salvation and discipleship – both possible because of what Christ has done. 

Scholtz concedes that the church has not managed to disciple a nation, and for that reason he believes: “the church has never accomplished what it was called to do.”
Scholtz therefore believes that the church has been called to disciple literal nations, whereas scripture teaches the church must preach the gospel in all nations, and that people of all nations will be saved (Revelation 7:9)  Scholtz has fallen for the lies of dominion theology of the NAR and other movements that fall under the NAR – Manifest Sons of God, Joel’s army, Latter Rain etc. Scriptures teaches that prior to our Lords return the world will be marked by godlessness not godliness (2 Timothy 3) and a falling away, not revival (2 Thess 2)

On Sunday, May 3rd, 2015, Scholtz preached a message entitled “Encounters with God.” In the message he said “if we don’t disciple the world, the world will disciple the church, somebody’s going to win that battle and we are going to win it and….the task of transforming the world takes on an enormity”

We are not called to disciple or transform the world, this is NAR/dominion theology language, and cannot be supported by scripture.

Unfortunately members of Harvest Christian Church (John Scholtz was senior pastor for many years) can access these kinds of teachings from their own library.  Apart from authors which teach false doctrines such as the word of faith heresy and prosperity gospel (Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, John Bevere), the Harvest library carries a host of NAR books by none other than the founder of the NAR – the late Peter Wagner.  They include:  “Territorial spirits: insights on strategic-level spiritual warfare from nineteen Christian leaders” and “Warfare prayer : how to seek God’s power and protection in the battle to build his kingdom” – a NAR strategy to take dominion!
Bill Johnson’s book “When Heaven Invades Earth” is also available.  This book has been described as “a modern day heresy.”  The other Bill Johnson book available: “When heaven invades earth : a practical guide to a life of miracles” has been summed up as follows: The popularity of books like this evidence how far contemporary Christianity has drifted from Scripture. We have wafted a long ways from the most fundamental and essential truths of the Christian faith, such as the doctrine of God, man, Christ, and salvation. Sadly, the book, When Heaven Invades Earth, is a stark reminder.

COTN: “This was based on God’s original purpose stated in Genesis when He gave man a dominion and a domestic mandate. Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel of the Kingdom, not the gospel of the church.”

Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel, not dominion theology.  The Jews were hoping that Jesus would bring dominion to earth and change their government, but Jesus disappointed them: “my kingdom is not of this world.”  The NAR however demand visible change by transforming and dominating the kingdoms of this world – transformation in arts & culture, government, media, education, religion, family, and business (the seven mountain mandate).  This seven mountain mandate has become the gospel of NAR churches, and in their haste to increase their sheep have allowed goats into the flock by offering the world a cross free Christianity.

COTN: “So we see local churches reaching their destiny when aligned to an apostolic vision. This allows Jesus to fulfill His promise when He said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”

The apostolic vision was in fact presented by real apostles and recorded in scripture. Local churches reach their destiny by teaching and obeying scripture, not by aligning with the vision of current day apostles who receive extra biblical instructions directly from God.  In many places today, this destiny includes sufferings, imprisonment and martyrdom, a far cry from the American dream that has conveniently become the NAR envisioned destiny.  We don’t “allow” Jesus to build his church; He is building it without the permission or help of any apostolic council.  The not so subtle message in this statement means that without an apostolic vision, local churches will fail.  This is a way for the leadership to elevate themselves above mere members, and stamp their authority on the flock. I cannot recall Jesus saying – ‘I will build my church but I will need contemporary apostles to hear my words which I will give exclusively to them on an annual basis.’

NAR ASSOCIATIONS:

One of the leaders on the “apostolic council” is Tony Fitzgerald.  Knowing what he teaches, and who he associates with will help us evaluate COTN in terms of being influenced by the NAR.  Tony Fitzgerald is no stranger to the apostolic move.  In 2002 Fitzgerald attended an ICAL gathering in Dallas, “taking part in the forums and discussions included: Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, Alan Langstaff, David Cartledge, John Eckhart, Ted Haggard and Bart Pierce”

In 2009 he “had the privilege of participating at the International Coalition of Apostles. I spoke on a panel dealing with Apostolic Mission to the Nations…In preparation for the panel, Peter Wagner in his report highlighted a prophecy by Chuck Pierce given in 1986.”
In other words, Fitzgerald is more than familiar with the New Apostolic Reformation.  The late Peter Wagner is the founder of the NAR, and Chuck Pierce is one of the false prophets in the movement. For a host of articles on Wagner, click here.

In 2013, Fitzgerald was at another ICAL conference, which included false NAR prophets  Lance Wallnau and Dutch Sheets – both taught at this conference.

NAR BELIEFS:

Perhaps you have noticed that the main players in the NAR such as Bethel church, refuse to accept reality.  The reality is that this world is in a mess, and it’s not getting any better.  In the light of their beliefs, they are forced to construct their own narrative of reality.  Only good news will do, and in many cases facts are exaggerated to suit their agenda.  Contrary to scripture that teaches of a departure from the faith and increasing wickedness on earth during the last days, the NAR believe in a mass revival (a billion soul harvest) and growing influence of the church over the world.  While the visible church has certainly made their presence felt through the establishment of mega churches and countless meetings in packed out stadiums, the falling away continues at a rate second to none as false doctrines dominate the industrial evangelical complex. So what exactly does Fitzgerald believe? Has he fallen for the NAR narrative that portrays a world dying to know Christ, resulting in an influx of converts and a growth in the number of believers on earth?

Let me begin by asking you a question: what percentage of the visible church in your opinion are true believers?  I’m referring to the visible church, not the earth’s population. Keep in mind – millions call themselves “Christians” because they believe in God, but even the devil believes in one God – “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” James 2:19.  Millions within the charismatic and NAR churches point to their gifts as evidence of salvation, yet Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

Tony writes:
” We could be fast approaching the day of the restoration of all things that could usher in the return of the King to His kingdom rule on earth. As I mentioned earlier, we are winning! The prophet Isaiah wrote that the Kingdom of God would know only increase.  A group called World Revival Network from Kansas City, reported on the spread of Christianity the following: By AD 100, 1 out of every 360 people of the world were followers of Jesus  By AD 1000, this had grown to 1 out of every 220.
By 1500, it was 1 out of every 69.  By 1990, the number of followers had risen to 1 out of every 7.  By 2010, It was estimated that with over 7 billion people on the
earth, 2.3 billion of these inhabitants, were followers of Jesus {1out of every 3}.
During the last century there has been great growth intraditionally ‘non-Christian’ areas such as India, China, Africa, and the Middle East pushing the percentage of Christians on the earth towards 1 out of every 2.”

Seriously? – every second person on earth is a believer?  If this were true, we would have to edit scripture:  “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:14

Tony Continues: “2000 years ago, 500 years ago, and 50 years ago there were seismic shifts in Christianity on the earth. Let us draw on treasures old and new and embrace this new shift, as we don’t move on from, but build upon all that has been restored.”

Another NAR catch phrase, but sadly the real shift we are experiencing is a shift towards greater delusion as the NAR continues to dupe millions.  The past two decades we have been hearing about breakthroughs, outpourings, mantles, a new move, and now a new shift, yet nothing changes.

In December 2015 Tony wrote:
“The prophets are prophesying that in this Jewish year of 5776 or what the Israelis call Ayin Vav, is the year where we will see heaven invade earth at an unprecedented level with the most powerful force in the universe… LOVE. Ayin meaning “seeing” and Vav, “the connector”, where we will see the connection made between Heaven and Earth.”

I’m not sure which prophets he is referring to, but do you recall 2017 as being the year that heaven invaded earth through the powerful connector called love?  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “heaven invading earth” before.  This is Bill Johnson language, and if you are familiar with Johnson’s theology you will know that he is a master at twisting scripture.

On Sunday, April 19th, 2015, Tony delivered a message at Harvest Christian Church. He gave his defintion of kingdom alignment, which included: “living a naturally supernatural life under the kings governmental rule – the church, through fathers and sons knowing that his determination and zeal is fulfilling his original intent, a biblical world view reconciling all things back to himself that is funded through a monetary system that will provoke the world to jealousy regarding the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our God.”

Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of this world, Jesus wasn’t interested, but the NAR are definitely interested. Unfortunately their method and timing are out.  Christ alone will bring the kingdom in it’s fullness at the end of the age. Prior to that, the world will be in a chaotic state, and the wrath of God will be poured out on the wicked – a fact those in the NAR simply ignore.  The world will be provoked by believers who stand firm in their faith; this provocation will not lead to jealousy on the worlds part due to any “monetary system” in the church, but will lead to persecution.  This world that preaches “tolerance” will be intolerant of believers who reject lies and stand for truth.  Even worse – the majority of the visible church will reject true believers who refuse to bow the knee to a post modern gospel and the lies of the NAR.

It must be patently clear by now to any reasonable person that Tony Fitzgerald has accepted the teachings of the NAR.  He participates in their conferences, and does not warn COTN members of all the false prophets he surrounds himself with.

THE INFLUENCE OF ICAL ON COTN:

The International Coalition of Apostles (ICAL)  – a network of NAR apostles, define an apostle as: “a Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church”

Does the apostolic council of COTN fulfil this role?  As we have seen, they cast corporate vision, and the local church apparently need their “apostolic vision” to reach their destiny.  But do they hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches?

CHURCH OF THE NATIONS (COTN) has two influential churches in the Eastern Cape –  Harvest Christian church (Port Elizabeth) and Victory church (Jeffreys Bay)  Louis Els  is the pastor of Victory church. 
Louis Els:
“As an Apostolic Family it is important for us to hear together and agree with what Father is saying so that we can FOCUS on what He has for us and where He wants us to go. Only through hearing and seeing accurately we contribute to the whole effectively in advancing the Kingdom!

Wrong!  The kingdom is advanced (and by that I don’t mean in NAR fashion) by faithfully preaching the gospel: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:1-4

Paul would have been one of the worst apostles if he neglected to tell Timothy that success depended onhearing and seeing accurately.”
Note that it’s important to agree with what Father the apostolic leaders are saying.  What if they are wrong and a member questions their doctrine or vision?  We all know how that usually works out.  This is what happens when the subjective – fresh revelation, replaces the objective – the revelation of God’s word.  Many of us have witnessed or experienced the chain of events following legitimate questions.  The leaders are always going to win this battle because the truth of scripture is not the final arbitrator – the opinion of the leaders is what counts.  Leaders have power, and if you question their word from God you will be called into a meeting where your allegiance to God himself will be questioned.  Many do not even reach the upper echelons of leadership.  Leaders or assistant home and cell group leaders deal with the initial query.  The next step would be area leaders, or leaders who have completed the required leadership courses.  In smaller churches the pastor may have the time to step in, or will step in if the individual or family are influential in any way.  Either way, the leadership will close ranks, and questioning members will be labelled rebellious, divisive, and be accused of quenching the Spirit and operating out of hurts.  These Bereans will not be commended for comparing what is taught to the word of God, but shamed and shunned.

Has Louis Els seen and heard accurately?  Els received a word for 2018:
“THE WORD FOR 2018 IS – TIME OF ACCELERATION
God is saying, “I have brought you and positioned you at this place for this time. Find your space and your place quickly! For I am going to put all of what I’ve spoken in the previous years together and create a momentum that will propel and accelerate the Body of Christ into a position of favor, authority and power, that will give God the glory and produce an amazing harvest.” It is very important that we understand that it is NOT our own power, effort or acceleration that we refer to, but the Divine Enablement, Empowerment, Energizing and Quickening of the Lord! It’s His anointing that enables you. The God of fine design, intelligent progression and process causes an acceleration that supersedes natural laws!
“Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings!” Amos 9:13
So he answered and said to me: “ This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “GRACE, GRACE to it!” Zechariah 4:6-7 NKJV
We are trusting that as we ALIGN with God and His Word, we will see an ACCELERATION in all the Kingdom Mountains, the Church and also in our personal lives, that will give Him Glory. May we continue to Advance His Kingdom together”

If Louis aligned himself with God’s word, he would know that “kingdom mountains” is an NAR construct.  It’s been the “year of acceleration” since 2009 according to some NAR “prophets.”  COTN is a little late in receiving this specific word, but finds itself in the company of a host of false teachers who received the word acceleration -Joel Osteen, Chuck Pierce, James Goll, Cindy Jacobs and many more.

In this letter, Els writes: When God first spoke to us about Acceleration
for 2018, our first response was, “We don’t want to run faster or do more in this busy life,” especially as changes were happening so quickly, both on a personal and global level…”

Why would God repeat a false word spoken by false prophets?  Has God not spoken clearly through Christ: Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world”
Hebrews 1:1-2

Are the scripture not complete, is God adding to the blueprint?

Els then asks “So how can we position ourselves for acceleration? Well, in Hebrews 4:1-16, the author shows us how to prevent the enemy (or ourselves) from robbing us during this season of acceleration.”

The book of Hebrews reveals the superiority of Jesus Christ, and the new covenant.
The author had no intention of helping believers position themselves for a season of supernatural acceleration!

Els believes we need to hear what God is saying to have faith, but confuses the issue: Els:  “Hebrews 4:2-3 says that “Some entered into rest because of faith while
others not because of unbelief” (paraphrased). My friends, you need faith to enter into this rest. Faith comes from HEARING, not from what you’ve already heard. Did you get that? Faith comes by hearing, not by what you’ve already heard. Too many people say, “I have heard that before,” but faith doesn’t come from what you’ve heard before.
Faith comes by hearing what God is saying NOW. We need to hear (and keep on hearing) the Word of God to see strong, consistent, and reliable faith at work in our lives.”
Compare this to what Bill Johnson writes in his book When Heaven Invades Earth:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Notice it does not say, faith comes from having heard. The whole nature of faith implies a relationship with God that is current. The emphasis is on hearing…in the NOW

Els fails to point out that this faith refers to saving faith, not faith to hear from God on a daily or annual basis.  Bill Johnson and others who cannot exegete God’s word correctly, quote Romans 10:17: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” and use it to justify a fresh “word from the Lord.”  The context however points to saving faith as the preceding verses indicate: “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” Vs 13-16

MORE NAR BELIEFS:

Another church that is part of COTN is Harvest church in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal.  Included in their “values” are: 

“RISK-TAKING – We are called to be courageous believers that step out in faith to see God’s kingdom released on the earth. Whether we fail or succeed, we celebrate taking bold steps of faith.” – sound familiar?  This is Bethel terminology.  Scripture never instructs believers to take risks, but to obey scripture. Read more here and here about how Bethel’s risk taking has led them into deception.

“SIGNS & WONDERS – Jesus promised that signs would follow believers and that we would do even greater works than he did while on earth. We value and make room for the Holy Spirit to move in power.”

I’m not certain what this particular church believes regarding signs and wonders, but I can tell you what the NAR believe.  The greater works are certainly not what the NAR teach – greater in power.  Bethel have signs that make you wonder, because they are not found in scripture – angel feathers, gold dust, glory clouds…. a far cry from walking on water, raising rotting corpses from the dead, changing water into wine, feeding five thousand etc. I believe this passage refers to the effect and scope of the gospel such as the Gentiles being included in God’s redemptive plan.  These two articles shed further light:

Is it really possible for Christians to do greater works than Jesus?

Doing Greater Works Than Jesus (John 14:12-14)


The NAR teach that the gospel is incomplete without signs and wonders.  Bethel teach that all can prophesy, and their supernatural school teaches students how to be activated in the supernatural – EXCEPT two of the signs clearly mentioned in Mark 16 – picking up serpents, and drinking deadly poison….a little too difficult to fake.  While I believe God is able to perform miracles, and does still heal if it is his will, I don’t believe signs and wonders are common place, or that individuals have the gift of healing.  Bill Johnson on the other hand, believes that any theology that allows for sickness, is a false gospel.  In other words he believes total healing for every sick person is guaranteed in the atonement. Clearly his theology is not working, as I have previously noted – Bill and his wife Beni Johnson wear glasses and both underwent surgery recently.  Without medical intervention the son of Bethel Music CEO Joel Taylor may have died, and Bill’s son Eric is 85 to 90% deaf in both ears.  The healing rooms at Bethel have failed their own “papa.”

We don’t owe the world an encounter with God in the form of signs and wonders, instead, we owe it to God to faithfully preach the gospel:For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-23

MORE NAR ASSOCIATIONS AND INFLUENCES:

Harvest church will also host the “Renaissance Conference” from 27 – 29 June 2018.

The conference is described as follows:Beauty is intrinsic to the very nature of God. Whether you’re in church leadership, the arts, business or politics, God wants to partner with you to release the kingdom in a fresh wayRenaissance is a three-day equipping conference for pastors, leaders and influencers that want to partner with God to see His beauty released in their families, communities and cities.”

Tickets cost R450.00 and the main attraction is Eric Johnson (Bill Johnson’s son) Other speakers include: Bob Hazlett, Julian and Katia Adams.

Eric Johnson has learnt his theology from his father, so what COTN members will be subjected to is pure dominion theology and other false doctrines taught by Bethel.  Eric, for example believes that “every government, every structure, every system, fundamentally and theologically must start with the concept and idea that people are good, and they mean to do good, even if they’re not saved.  We have to start from that premise.”  In other words Johnson is teaching the Pelagian heresy.
Compare what Johnson teaches to scripture:And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3

Does that sound like people are inherently good?

Eric Johnson was happy to receive a “finger reading” from false prophet Bob Jones.  
Eric apparently “knew that the third finger represented pastor.” Is this how the Apostle Paul confirmed Timothy’s calling – through a finger reading?  Is each of the five fold ministries represented by a finger?  Who came up why this, why is it not in scripture?

 Bob Hazlett is described on his own
website as “a proven prophetic voice. His teaching and prophetic ministry has been featured on GodTV, TBN, Daystar and Bethel TV.  Bob Hazlett is a friend to leaders and a sought-after speaker and author. Strong healing and prophetic gifts follow his ministry.”

On their website: Julian Adams is described as “an author, spiritual advisor, revelatory teacher and leadership consultant in political, business and creative spheres. A world-renowned prophet, Julian has a proven track record in the fulfilment of words released over individuals, communities and nations.”
Adam’s will be speaking at  Victory Church when they host their FAMILY FEST 2018 gathering.
False prophet Shawn Bolz has interviewed Adams on his podcast – Exploring the Prophetic, Bolz and NAR false prophetess Patricia King have both endorsed a book written by Adams -THE KISS OF THE FATHER.  Frequentsee, the name of the ministry  led by Julian and Katia Adams, have in turn interviewed Patricia King.

In one of his blog posts, Adams quotes Bill Johnson: “You reflect the reality you are most aware of,”  and then writes:  “Jesus ministered out of being aware of the unseen reality of his fathers world. If we can understand and learn to be aware of the co-existing reality of heaven, we will be able to shift the atmospheres around us. What heaven looks like is meant to be revealed here on earth.
You can search the scriptures for decades, you will not find any teaching on shifting atmospheres – another NAR construct and Bethel’s speciality.  Earth is only going to look like heaven when Christ returns, don’t these atmosphere shifters read scripture?  Adams has clearly been influenced by Bethel’s ludicrous doctrine.

Katia Adams is “an apostolic teacher who is known for releasing revelation and breakthrough. Katia teaches in theological courses, church conferences and leadership events internationally.”

That word “revelation” really doesn’t impress me, neither does breakthrough.  The only revelation we need is God’s word, and the job of a teacher is to teach the word of God.  How does one “release revelation” anyway?  Who is holding it back?   If it’s new revelation it should be added to scripture, if it’s not new it’s redundant anyway.

On their homepage they state: “You were created to hear God’s voice and live a life of significance. We’re here to help you reimagine your world and transform culture around you.”
Um, no thanks, I’ll stick to Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5
There is no biblical mandate to transform culture, once again another NAR construct.

This specific conference at a COTN church is clearly a NAR affair!.

CONCLUSION

It is clear that COTN have been influenced by the New Apostolic Reformation.  Whether they acknowledge the existence of the NAR is irrelevant as they condone some of the false teachings common to the NAR.  The fact that one of their leaders is in involved with the International Coalition of Apostles and rubs shoulders with false prophets in the NAR should be grave cause for concern to members of COTN.  Furthermore, dominion theology has clearly embedded it’s poison in COTN.  The false doctrines emanating from Bethel are well documented, yet Eric Johnson will be a key speaker at a COTN church.  COTN endeavour  “to build relationships into the wider body of Christ. This will happen through the Apostolic Council relating to apostolic streams, gatherings and other ministries…”
This is part of the problem, there can be no relationship with the polluted streams of the NAR or other ministries and teachers that should be marked and avoided.  How is the apostolic council “overseeing doctrine”  when they give false teachers, false prophets, and false doctrines a voice in their movement?

But shouldn’t those of us who disagree with churches who have been influenced by the NAR just pray, keep quiet and let God sort things out?  No, because : “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
There are many believers (members, leaders and pastors) in COTN churches, my prayer is that they would compare what they believe, teach, and are being taught with scripture.  Ultimately, allegiance to God and his truth as revealed in scripture, must supersede any earthly allegiance.

 

BSSM – soaking, declaring and spinning into delusion

By Rick Becker       31 May  2018

Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry is a risky business.  Students are “taught” how to heal, and are encouraged to “take risks” which really means to ignore the boundaries clearly laid out in scripture.  BSSM is simply a school of ‘simony’ that is producing thousands of severely deluded ‘revivalists’ who believe that they are a part of a mighty end time army that will usher in the kingdom of God.  Two of our previous posts exposed their false teachings and methodology:

The fruits of Bethel church – ashamed of the gospel, flirting with the occult.
Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry – Normalizing Mysticism.
In this post we continue to expose the delusion in operation at the BSSM.

In 2016, BSSM asked research group  Eido “to conduct a wide scale research report: “objectively discovering and celebrating the corporate testimony of these graduates; as well as providing the information Bethel needs to grow in excellence as they pursue global revival.”  The Eido report was compiled by two statisticians who are former students of the BSSM.  The report is largely complimentary, and claims that as a result of the graduates ministry 50 000 people were healed in 2017 as well as “several dead raisings.”  No medical records were mentioned or made available.  The report does however include some negative observations from graduates.  One of the questions they asked past students was: “What could BSSM have done better to prepare you for life after graduation?”

Two of the answers are telling:

1. “there could be more talks from people who work in the secular world
and can describe what it is like to be a revivalist without using any jargon. I [have] never said ‘bam, take it’ since graduating”

The question is why is there the need to say “bam, take it” in the first place?  What does “bam” actually do, and how does one “take” whatever “bam” produces?  Did Jesus or the apostles resort to a “bam, take it” ministry?  The “bam” probably comes from a false prophet who is endorsed by Bill Johnson – Todd Bentley.
Outside of the Bethel bubble is a real world that needs the gospel, not the tricks and trades of the Bethel machinery.

2. “I think I felt like I was told YOU’RE AN AWESOME AMAZING WORLD CHANGER LEADER and then I got thrown into the real World like a fish out of water. Ministry life and real world life are very different. And I was very disillusioned. I knew I was AMAZING but that didn’t translate into society as a whole.”

Surely the point of any type of christian instruction is to reveal the greatness of God, not self?  Bethelites are under a spiritual delusion.  Outside of their environment are people who are not bamboozled by gold dust, feathers and fog.  Stretching legs may fool some people, but the average person, even if unsaved, still has common sense.   

Students at the BSSM receive lots of encouragement, but is it biblical, or simply an ego building exercise?  More comments from graduates of the BSSM in the Eidos survey: “I was told by a good amount of people during school that I was meant to do great things, but now that I don’t have those voices always reminding me”, said one
struggling graduate. “Not being believed in or seen the way that I was at Bethel. There I felt so big, here I feel so insignificant and unseen” added another.”

TAKING RISKS

This BSSM School Planting article,Developing a Risk-Taking Culture”  reveals Bethel’s disdain for scripture, and their desire to experiment in signs and wonders.   

BSSM: “Developing a supernatural lifestyle requires risk….Set the tone for your school’s culture by communicating that it is okay for your students to fail when they are trying new things.”

I thought BSSM was a school of “supernatural” ministry?  On the day of Pentecost, the disciples “began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Acts 2:3. There was no trial and error, no risk taking involved.  They were not trying something new – God gave a new gift.  The miracle was that they spoke in languages that they had not learned:And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.  And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?” Acts 2:6-8

BSSM: “While teaching on words of knowledge, ask students to get a word of knowledge (e.g. his/her favorite toy growing up, last four digits of his/her phone number, parent’s name, etc.) for the student sitting to their right. Ask students who got the word of knowledge correct to raise their hands. Celebrate their breakthrough! Ask the students who got the word of knowledge wrong to raise their hands. Tell these students to look around the room and notice they are not the only ones who got it wrong. Celebrate their effort and remind them it’s ok they didn’t get it right the first time. Encourage them to keep trying as it will help them develop discernment.”

How is guessing the favorite toy of the person next to you glorify and point to God?  How does it edify the body of Christ?  A necromancer or psychic could name the favorite toy.  Where is the miraculous if we can simply thumb suck names and numbers until we get close?  We covered the topic of supernatural knowledge in this article: The new breed of crafty evangelists.

BSSM: “While teaching students on how to heal the sick, share your personal journey with them on how you grew in understanding healing, the breakthroughs you saw, the disappointments you experienced”

Gifts are taught?  It should be so obvious to anyone who has has a bible that gifts cannot be taught, and that not everyone has the same gift.   “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
1 Corinthians 12:11.
You don’t have to be a cessationist to know that Bethel blatantly ignores scripture!  If healing can be taught, why have Bill and Beni Johnson required surgery, and why are they still wearing glasses?  Why are the hospitals in Redding still in business?

Sometimes “taking risks” involves baiting people.  This is from the  BSSM School Planting facebook page:

“ACTIVATION // White Board: This is from our friends @ilssm_uk ! Take a whiteboard and have your students write down words of knowledge. Take the whiteboard out on the street and watch as people find themselves on the whiteboard and are touched by the Lord!”


Imagine the apostle Paul and a few youth from the church in Corinth walking through the marketplace holding a parchment with “words of knowledge” written down as a means to give the Corinthians an encounter with God.  I could set up a whiteboard outside my local coffee shop with words that most could identify with – broken relationships, financial difficulties, loneliness, lower back pain, does the name John mean anything to you? etc.  What is miraculous about that?  If someone from the BSSM received a “hit” on one of their words from a passerby, will the passerby hear the message of the gospel, or Bethel’s version of the gospel?

SOAKING
In this article, leaders are given advice on leading a “soaking session.”
BSSM: “Encountering the intimate presence of God is the gateway to the supernatural! When we soak in His presence, we are radically transformed into His likeness. We learn to hear His voice, we learn to see Him, and we are anointed to walk in miracles, signs, and wonders.”

This is far from biblical.  There are no portals or gateways or formulas to experience the supernatural.  The reason BSSM have wandered off into mysticism and other errors is precisely because they refuse to hear and obey His voice: scripture.  What they mean by “we learn to see him” only they will know.  The formula BSSM offer is simple: soak, listen, see, receive an anointing and become a miracle maker.  Try and find that in scripture.

BSSM: “For some, soaking opens up the door to visions, angelic visitations, or out of body experiences. Others have physical manifestations of electricity, heat, weeping, and more. Whether or not we dramatically experience the spirit realm or physical manifestations, we get to receive the greatest gift: His presence. When we stop and spend time with Him, we receive a deposit of His Spirit in our innermost being, renewing and strengthening us to fulfill our destinies.”

In other words, a faith that can be felt takes precedence over a faith that is factual.  This form of contemplative spirituality leads to all forms of deception, especially since Bill Johnson encourages Bethelites to ‘go off the map.’  The Bethel version of destiny, is an awesome world changer who takes dominion, performs miracles, and prospers.  I would encourage you to read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and compare the desires and lives of many who paid the ultimate price, to the current new breed of New Apostolic Reformation revivalists who have confused the gospel with a mixture of the American dream and dominion theology.

BSSM: “Today, we want to encourage you with tips on how to lead your students to soak in God’s presence! The fruit of intimacy with Him is a lifestyle full of the supernatural. By creating space for them to encounter greater measures of His Spirit, they will be transformed into revivalists that reveal the King and His kingdom.”

Where does scripture teach the fruit of intimacy with Him is a lifestyle full of the supernatural ?

DECLARING

This article entitled “3 Reasons Why Declarations Shift Atmospheres” is  simply word of faith heresy:
BSSM: “Steve Backlund once said, “Nothing happens in the kingdom unless a declaration is made.”

Steve Buckland has confused himself with God.  Where is this notion clearly taught in scripture, how did the disciples or early church apply it?  By his logic, the disciples declared their own tribulations and martyrdom.  Our declarations are not causitive!  God is the only one who makes declarations.  We bring our supplications to God:
The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

BSSM: “Declarations are powerful because God has placed authority in our words. As His children, we can use this authority to either edify or destroy. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (NASB).

Proverbs 18:21 does not mean that our words have inherent creative powers.  It means our words have effects.  Consider verse 6 :A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.”  

BSSM: “When we embrace and release life-giving truth through our words, we can shift atmospheres and establish cultures that reflect the kingdom.”

Says no biblical text!  “Shifting atmospheres” is New Apostolic Reformation terminology; it’s certainly not a concept taught in scripture.  One would imagine that the apostles would have been only too eager to practice this if it were true; instead they were chased out of cities, persecuted, imprisoned, and martyred.  Shifting atmospheres and establishing cultures were foreign to the early church.  The “atmosphere shifting” specialist at Bethel is Dawna De Silva.  Dawna “is the founder and co-leader with Teresa Liebscher of the International Bethel Sozo Ministry. She and her husband, Stephen De Silva, have ministered from Bethel for the past twenty years as well as preaching, speaking, and authoring books. Dawna’s manual on Shifting Atmospheres has become a sought after tool for daily empowerment.”

For $49 you can take her 8 week E-course, and learn how to shift atmospheres by taking “dominion over the supernatural environment for the Kingdom of God!”

Dawna is clearly on the masters level, because she is able to take dominion of her neighbourhood.  If a house in her neighbourhood needs paint, Dawna will declare that the house gets painted.  If the house owner cannot afford paint, Dawna will declare that money will come to the owner so that he is compelled to paint his house.  Dawna will declare that a person waters their neglected garden.  Dawna can do this because there is “power in our words.”

You can watch Dawna relate these bizarre examples of declaring and shifting atmospheres in this video

While Dawna cleans up her neighbourhood and shifts atmospheres through her declarations, faithful servants of God preach Christ crucified to the lost.

This is the fruit of Bethel’s teachings – sheer lunacy, and youngsters are actually paying to be taught this heresy.

BSSM: “To be transformed by the renewing of our minds (as Paul writes about in Romans 12), we must intentionally align our thoughts with truth. We can change the way we think by first changing the way we talk! In other words, we can tap into the power of declarations.”

The mouth cannot change the heart – it reflects what is in the heart: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”  Matthew 12:34.  In other words, BSSM teach that power lies not in submitting our will to God, but in declarations.  What are some of these declarations?  We need look no further than Bethel’s “Offering Readings” described as “declarations that we make during the offering time of our weekend services.”  Excerpts from their declarations:

We are believing the Lord for:

Benefits, Sales and commissions, Favorable settlements, Estates and inheritances Interests and income, Rebates and returns, Checks in the mail, Gifts and surprises
Finding money, Heaven opened, Earth invaded, And miracles created, Angelic visitations, Impartations, And divine manifestations, Anointings, giftings and calls
Positions and promotions, Capital to build small businesses that provide services, arts, and culture attracting both young and old. Repentance from poverty, small thinking, and envy. Courage to recognize opportunities and make wealth

I am powerful, And what I believe changes the world
So today I declare God is in a good mood He loves me all the time.”

BSSM: “.. What we speak is actually a meditation upon truth. As Joshua said, when we meditate upon the Word, we are led into prosperity and success (Joshua 1:8). Let’s declare: God’s grace empowers me to do the impossible, as I meditate upon truth I will be led into prosperity and success”

Actually God was speaking to Joshua, and Israel’s success and prosperity were dependent on obedience.  The covenant that we are under does not guarantee the kind of success or prosperity that Bethel & co envision.  Conquering the nations or the seven spheres of society is not a biblical mandate, and neither is health and wealth guaranteed under the new covenant.

BSSM: “Before Gideon tasted the fruit of victory, God called him a valiant warrior! Gideon’s initial response, however, was that of unbelief. As Steve Backlund says, “The future of a nation was trapped in the arguments of Gideon’s mind.” Before Gideon could step into his destiny, he had to believe in his true identity. This eventually led to the mighty deliverance of the Israelites from what seemed to be an impossible situation. Let’s declare: I am a powerful world changer!   The Lord is with me, if He is for me, what can be against me?”

Steve’s got it wrong again.  His word of faith agenda has blinded him to the truth.  Note that it’s all up to us.  God needs our declarations to act, and now apparently God needed Gideon to believe in his own identity.  I wonder if Steve Backlund has done a study on Jonah?  Was the future of Ninevah trapped in Jonah’s mind?  Were God’s purposes thwarted when Jonah fled from his presence in willful disobedience?
Declaring that you are a world changer has as much power as a person declaring that  they are able to fly.  One wonders why the 8000 graduates of the Bethel BSSM have not managed to change Redding, let alone the world.

SPINNING

From the BSSM School Planting facebook page:
“ACTIVATION // Spin the Wheel: Create a spinning “prize” wheel with different activations on each slot: preaching, prophesying, singing, dancing, words of knowledge, etc. Have each student spin the wheel to discover the activation they have to do.”

There is no doubt that God loves his children and places gifts within us to edify the body.  However, to approach what is holy in this frivolous manner is shameful.  Encouraging students to take a risk by prophesying or giving a word of knowledge at the spin of a wheel is a work of the flesh, and a gateway to the occult.  How does this exercise translate in the secular environment?  Well apparently the gospel comes second in evangelistic endeavours, what’s more important to these revivalists is to receive words of knowledge that reveal a strangers “unique identity”
BSSM School Planting Facebook page:

Identifying someone’s unique identity is not the gospel and will not save them.  The good news is that God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to redeem a people and deliver them from, slavery, sin, and eternal damnation. This is the message the lost must hear:For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdombut we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-24
Stretching legs, healing aches and pains, gold dust, words of knowledge and all the other tools of the BSSM are not the power of God that leads to salvation.  The power of God unto salvation is found in the very thing BSSM students are not taught – the gospel:
 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

There is no discernment at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.  That does not mean discernment is not taught.  Mike Maeshiro “is a speaker, author and coach whose vision is to increase the spiritual intelligence of the planet. He teaches our Discerning Spirits class here at Bethel and has amazing insights to unlock each person’s potential!

Lets hear from Mike:
“When we discover that we’re spirits and start respecting and honoring the world we actually live in and how it actually works, abundance, success, reward, fulfillment, these things start becoming our experience.”

Should we not repent of our sins, respect and honor and obey God?

A description of Mike from his webpage:
“Mike is highly intuitive. He can sense truth or the absence of it when people express themselves. He can also sense the presence of something that doesn’t belong. Energy vibrates off of the frequency of our voices, Mike can distinguish the nature of that energy. Through years of practice, he has paired his spiritual sensitivity with emotional intelligence helping the average person discover the inner rumblings and understand why their lives have played out the way they have. He has trained up his team to coach according to spiritual vibrations and patterns.”

Does this sound biblical or new age?  It’s not surprising that Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton allow such blatant heresy to be taught since they both contributed to book that  can only be described as an abomination – The Physics of Heaven.
Reviews on this new age book masquerading as Christianity:

A Serial Book Review & Theological Interaction: Part 1
BILL JOHNSON: Squandering Our Spiritual Inheritance
The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson

Now for the New Apostolic Reformation agenda raising it’s head:

“Mike’s life mission is to raise the spiritual intelligence of the planet. It is a travesty to watch God’s children suffer lack and oppression because they simply don’t understand the world they live in. Mike seeks to remedy this issue and believes the day is coming where all spheres of society will operate differently because of the knowledge of the truth. From government policy to medical practice, Mike dreams of the day when the people intimately know the Spirit of Truth. They will be free because they love Him.”

That’s not going to happen Mike, the scriptures are clear regarding that state of the world and the visible church prior to the second coming – wickedness and apostasy.

There can be no doubt that we are in the midst of a great delusion in the visible church.  Bethel church and the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry play a part in this great delusion.
 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,  and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12

What should our response be – pray for and warn those you know who are caught up in this deception.
This article explores the grip of the cult-like New Apostolic Reformation. 

THE BETHELIZATION OF A SOUTH AFRICAN CHURCH

By Rick Becker     17 May 2018

The New Apostolic Reformation is alive and thriving in South Africa.  Should we be concerned?  Yes, because this insidious movement is deceiving thousands.  Should we be surprised?  No, because scriptures warn us of deception in these last days.  Those who refuse to love the truth will be given over to delusion.  Should we keep quiet?  Certainly not.  It is our duty to warn those caught up in this deception.  Bethel church is one of the leading churches in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).  The false doctrines of Bethel church have played a pivotal role in influencing this particular South African church – hence the term “Bethelized.”  In this post we look at how one church has been cloned by Bethel.

John Crumpton is the lead elder of Breakthru Life Church (BLC) in Weltevreden Park, Johannesburg.  Part of the vision of BLC is to “attract and enjoy His Presence.”  Sound familiar?  This is Bill Johnson terminology, and it’s not scriptural.  There is nothing we can do to attract God’s presence.  How does a believer “attract” God when he dwells in them in the first place?  BLC has certainly attracted Bethel, and is hosting New Apostolic Reformation false teachings.

BLC host the annual “Kingdom Come SA” conference. It’s described as an “opportunity for fresh impartation.”
The agenda of course, is in line with the New Apostolic Reformation’s goal of bringing heaven to earth by transforming society, and they are brazen in their
explanation:
“Now is the time for ever-increasing outpourings of the Holy Spirit upon the Church in South Africa with a resultant revival of the saints and a reformation of society. The harvest is ready and it is time for believers to be empowered and step into the field to release Heaven on Earth.”
The 2017 conference speakers included Bill Johnson, alongside Bethel Worship Leader, Sean Feucht and Paul Manwaring.  This years conference saw Eric Johnson, and Banning Liebscher, founder and leader of Jesus Culture take the stage.
Johnson was supposed to speak at this years conference, but “had to understandably take the decision to support his wife, Beni, who faced a major challenge with her health  and made the decision to cancel his planned ministry trips to San Diego, France, Geneva, and South Africa.”

Later this year BLC will be hosting “REVIVAL NIGHT OF FIRE” with Georgian Banov and a “LIMITLESS CONFERENCE” with Kevin & Theresa Dedmon – creator of the infamous “Destiny Cards.”

Courses on offer at BLC include:

1. HOSTING THE PRESENCE By Bill Johnson

“If God’s Presence lives inside of me, how does this impact my life? If I’m supposed to imitate Jesus, can I also walk in miracles and power? If the Holy Spirit is always with me, how do I hear and respond to Him? In this eight-session curriculum Pastor Bill Johnson takes you on an unforgettable journey, answering these questions from Scripture and reveals what it looks like to host God’s Presence in your everyday life.”

2. YOUR FINANCES – GOD’S WAY

This is a course designed to guide you through the biblical steps necessary to walk in financial freedom, and will give you tools to safeguard your future from the pitfalls of financial traps. Father wants you to be in divine health- including your money.”

3. FIRESTARTERS SA 

Developed by Bethel, this course is designed to assist you in becoming a modern-day revivalist; to become a world-changer and history-maker in whatever sphere of influence in society God has placed you, whether in the marketplace, school, neighbourhood, community or home. The goal is to equip, empower and activate newcomers to a revival culture; new believers, as well as those who have never been fully activated in a supernatural Kingdom revival lifestyle. Throughout the course curriculum, the primary focus of Firestarters will be to help you encounter the Fire (passion) of the Father, demonstrated in signs and wonders, miracles, healing and prophetic insights that propel you towards your destiny as a modern-day revivalist.”

In other words – it’s all about you!  Someone in the book of Acts believed himself to be a history- maker: “But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.” Acts 8:9
Our calling and giftings within the body of Christ are not our choice.  Many within the NAR are obsessed with leadership, recognition, leaving a legacy, and receiving honor. Is that any different to what the unregenerate desire?

This is how Bethel describe the Firestarters course: “Firestarters is the fast track to the revival culture and is a place where you will learn how to burn with passion for God as you experience His passion for you. As a class you will learn to walk in your God-given identity and purpose, and experience the power to heal, prophesy, and live a victorious life.”

Sounds like the kind of course Simon the sorcerer would have signed up for:
 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 8:18 – 19
What the apostles rejected, is accepted within NAR circles – receiving money for activations, impartations, and so called supernatural powers.
The supernatural works recorded in the book of Acts were genuine;  the so called miracles flaunted daily by NAR workers are largely fake.  Simon coveted the real gift whereas today’s breed of  “revivalists” are learning to operate in the flesh and the counterfeit.  Peter’s reply to Simon serves as a stern warning to those who profit from selling the supernatural:

But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!  You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.  Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.” Acts 8:20-22

Firestarters was designed by Kevin Dedmon who explains “Firestarters seek to demonstrate God’s love the way that Jesus does – through a demonstration of power that proves His love and care.  Bill Johnson says, “We owe the world an encounter.” Firestarters are possessed by an encounter of God’s fiery powerful presence that releases an encounter of God’s fiery powerful presence to others around us in supernatural ways that help them….Competency only comes through continual, persistent practice.  Firestarters are not perfect, but are willing to continue to take risk in starting fires.  The pathway of risk is the primary way we step into our supernatural destiny as Firestarters”

We owe the world the gospel, not NAR heresy.  “Starting fires” by presumptuous works of the flesh, sow confusion and deception. The “pathway of risk” can only lead to further deception and illusions of grandeur.

4. BREAKTHRU SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY

This is based on the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry curriculum.
This is how Bill Johnson describes their school of supernatural ministry:
“Our primary emphasis in this school is for believers to return to Signs and Wonders as a lifestyle. Those who simply want good doctrine on miracles will not fit in here. As John Wimber put it, faith is spelled “r-i-s-k”. We have worked to create an environment where people can take risks in learning to operate in the supernatural without fear of rejection or failure. This gospel must go forth with power for massive world wide revival!”

What Bill really means here is that doctrine does not matter.  If it did to Bill, he would know that only the Holy Spirit gives gifts, and that his “environment of risk” has created a generation of youth listening to the voices in their head or deceptive spirits. Fixated on signs but knowing nothing of Christ crucified, these risk takers offer spirit readings at psychic fairs and purposely exclude the name of Jesus.  

Outreaches are described as “Treasure Hunting”  You are probably wondering what this means; here is the explanation from Bethel:  “Towards the end of January 2005, a group of Second Year “Firestorm” students, lead by Kevin and Theresa Dedmon, drove down to southern California to minister. Typically, this type of team travels to churches that desire more “fire” to be “nitro” to their “glycerin.” Following the Holy Spirit, they began a “treasure hunt” to find people needing a touch from God, prayer, or even a simple kind word. They spent a few minutes receiving a “download” from the Holy Spirit, asking for words of knowledge, visions, people’s names, or a place they should go. Word by word, they received revelatory “clues” from the Holy Spirit”

Here is more Bethel terminology and methodology evident in the BLC Worship team:

The worship directors for Breakthru Worship received a prophecy that “God was going to release new songs for our nation and beyond from BLC.”  Their description of their newly released album “Kingdom Come” : “Each song comes out of different encounters with God, messages that were being preached at BLC, and even prophetic artworks. Jumping ahead to 2018, by February, miraculously we had seven songs ready for recording — seven songs filled with hope, joy and vision for South Africa. In early March this year, we did the LIVE recording at Breakthru Life Church. We are astounded that throughout this project we could feel God’s hand on the process, and His grace for creativity and acceleration. We are excited to be sharing a project with quality and presence and to have seen it all come together so easily and quickly. We can see that God is in this, and that His heart is to see passionate worship rise from Africa,that celebrates the diversity of what He’s doing in our land”

A recent article  in Gateway News (a South African site that promotes the NAR and charismania)  reveals John Crumpton’s progressive capture by Bethel.   Excerpts from the article in italics, with our comments below:

G News: “The son of Derek Crumpton who initiated, organised and convened two of the first multiracial “Come Holy Spirit” conferences in South Africa, in 1977 and 1980, John too has a global view of God’s Kingdom.  Through the years he has become aware that a large portion of the church in South Africa and the continent of Africa, is largely focused on the Gospel of salvation, rather than on the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus and his apostles apparently forgot to tell us that there are two gospels, so we will have to let Bill Johnson explain:

“THE CHURCH HAS LARGELY REPLACED THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM WITH THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION.
The Gospel of salvation is focused on getting people saved and going to Heaven. The Gospel of the Kingdom is focused on the transformation of lives, cities, and nations through the effect of God’s present rule—this is made manifest by bringing the reality of Heaven to earth. We must not confuse our destiny with our assignment. Heaven is my destiny, while bringing the Kingdom is my assignment. The focus of the Kingdom message is the rightful dominion of God over everything. Whatever is inconsistent with Heaven—namely, disease, torment, hatred, division, sin habits, etc.—must come under the authority of the King. These kinds of issues are broken off of people’s lives because inferior realms cannot stand wherever the dominion of God becomes manifest. As we succeed in displaying this message, we are positioned to bring about cultural change in education, business, politics, the environment, and the other essential issues that we face today. This creates a most unusual phenomenon: the fruit of revival becomes the fuel of revival. And as long as we stay true to the message, the movement increases unto reformation…When you declare the right message, you create the atmosphere where everyone is able to press in. No matter the need, there is an answer now. The right message marries the truth of Jesus as the desire of the nations with the nations themselves. The right message changes the atmosphere to make the manifestation of His dominion realized. Perhaps this is the context in which the irresistible grace of God is embraced, thus fulfilling the desire found in the heart of every person alive. .”

This is nonsense of course!  This is false doctrine called dominion theology as well as a  health and wealth gospel. Some typical Bill Johnson gobbledygook is also thrown in the mix.  The wealth part has worked for Bill Johnson and his right hand false prophet – Kris Vallotton.  That’s because they make money peddling their heresies. The health part, well, judge for yourself –  Bill and his wife Beni Johnson wear glasses and both underwent surgery recently.  Without medical intervention the son of Bethel Music CEO Joel Taylor would have died, and Bill’s son Eric is 85 to 90% deaf in both ears.  The healing rooms at Bethel have failed their own “papa.”
Redding itself (where Bethel is located) is nowhere near closer to heaven despite all the decrees, declarations, and shifting atmospheres emanating from Bethel.  In other words Bethel is like a man dying from snake poison trying to sell you an anti venom he swears by.


This false dichotomy of two gospels is being promulgated by those who teach dominion/kingdom now theology.  There is only ONE gospel, and it includes salvation and discipleship – both possible because of what Christ has done.  Only Christ can bring the kingdom in it’s fullness to earth.  Creating atmospheres, in Bethel’s terms, means ignoring scripture and stepping out into one’s imagination or the spirit world to achieve results. The right message is the gospel of repentance, and the world hates it.  Scripture is clear regarding the condition of the visible church prior to Christ’s return, and it wont be a billion soul harvest:  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first”
2 Thessalonians 2:3

G News: “When John first read this message of the Kingdom of God in Bill Johnson’s books, he immediately identified with the passion to bring “heaven to earth” through releasing God’s influence into every aspect of society.  He realised that the revelation of this truth has the power to transform not only individuals, but communities, cities and nations.”

The kingdom of God is about God’s influence on an individual, not a society or nation.  Believers may well have an influence on their communities, society, and the world, but that is the fruit of salvation, not the means of salvation.  Furthermore, it must be noted that some believe literal nations will be saved or born again.  When Jesus said “go and make disciples of all nations” he was indicating that the gospel was not just for the lost house of Israel, but the Gentiles – all nations.  Previously, Jesus had instructed them avoid the Gentiles or Samaritan towns. Nations wont be saved, people from all nations will: “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb”
Revelation 7:9

.G News: “Hungry for more, John first visited Bethel Church in Redding, California in 2008 and during the last decade, he has travelled there numerous times accompanied by interested leaders.  He has found unprecedented favour as well as some meaningful friendships in the Bethel community…God gave John a vision to establish a new initiative called Kingdom Come South Africa to expose as many local South African church leaders to the message of the Kingdom of God.  It was to embrace as many believers as possible across the board, without the baggage or history that may exclude or threaten any segment of the body of Christ.  It would not be connected to any individual church, denomination, cultural or racial group but hopefully include them all!

This is how the New Apostolic Reformation and other false doctrines have spread across South Africa, and the world.  In most cases there is no need for a church to abandon it’s denomination or affiliations; they simply assimilate the false doctrines, and the change becomes obvious.  Terminology changes (atmosphere, dominion, shift, accelerate, apostolic,) courses are introduced (schools of supernatural ministry), signs are sought, and new vision introduced.  Prophetic words justify the new direction, and those who ask questions are quickly sidelined and branded as rebellious or out of touch with what God is doing.  The “Apostolic council” of the church has “heard from God” –  so who are you to question their vision? The focus shifts from what Christ has done, to what we can accomplish.  

G News: “In 2007, before Bethel Church became as well-known as it is now, a close colleague of John’s had a dream about a rugby match between the Springboks and the British & Irish Lions.  In the dream Bill Johnson pulls on a Springbok rugby jersey and is introduced as an “impact player”.  The Lord spoke clearly to John of the impact Bill Johnson was to make in this nation.

The Lord clearly “spoke” to many people – Charles Russel, Joseph Smith and David Koresh.  Our safeguard is in what the Lord has clearly spoken: Scripture.
Johnson and Bethel have definitely made an impact; I don’t need a dream to tell me what his impact has been as it’s already in scripture:For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
The doctrines taught by Bethel – word of faith, health and wealth, and dominion theology are all false doctrines.  Why would God want a false gospel to influence South Africa?

G News: “John saw that Bill was uniquely equipped to address two evident weaknesses in the South African church.  Firstly he would speak as a spiritual father to the orphan spirit/fatherlessness of the church and would help us to establish our identity as sons and daughters of the King.  Secondly, he would be able to release a revelation of spiritual legacy into the church – the partnering of multi-generational leaders who honour and embrace each other’s anointing and gifts, rather than being threatened by the emerging generation.”

Sounds like we have a saviour in Bill Johnson.  The revelation we need has already  been given – it’s called Scripture – and it’s Christ alone who should be honored.  The legacy the New Apostolic Reformation will leave will be one of deception and of shipwrecking the faith of many.

G News: “Finally Bill accepted John’s request to speak at the first Kingdom Come South Africa in February 2017.”

What did Bill Johnson teach at this conference, was it sound doctrine?
We reviewed his message, you can listen here:  Part 1 Bill Johnson Review
                                                                             Part 2 Bill Johnson Review

G News: Watch this space for “Kingdom Come South Africa 2019” …!  After all, isn’t that our heart cry as a nation?”

No it’s not!  What South Africa needs is the gospel, not New Apostolic Reformation deception.

 

Want to know more about the NAR and Bill Johnson?  Links to two different sites with articles:
Church Watch Central – Bill Johnson

 

10 ways to identify false teachings

By Rick Becker   10 May 2018

Throughout history false teachings have infiltrated the church.  Heresies that plagued the early church have not been silenced; instead they continue to flourish.  The “Christian” who slams the door on a visiting Jehovah’s Witness has no qualms embracing a “born again Jesus” that came to make us wealthy, suffered in hell, and laid aside his divinity during his incarnation.  These are some of the heresies promulgated by well known brands such as Hillsong, Bethel, and the host of word of faith and prosperity churches that litter the globe.  In this post, we offer some simple markers that will be helpful, in a general sense, to identify a false teaching.

 

1. False teachings are Man Centered

The description of this current generation is found in 2 Timothy 3:1-9, and could be summed up in three words found in those verses: “lovers of self.”  It is this love of self that has been injected into scripture via narcigesis, and in doing so, the bible has become a book about us.  We become the hero in a biblical story – a good example can be found in the way many popular teachers approach the biblical account of David and Goliath.  This story has become a source for many topical sermons, comparing us to David.  We become the giant slayers, the hero of the story.  While we may certainly learn from David’s faith in God, there is a bigger and marvelous picture in the account that escapes many due to the tendency of narcigeting texts.  David is a type of Christ, who has overcome the enemy for us.  If we were represented in the story, we would be the dismayed and fearful Israelites, perhaps even the stubborn Goliath who needed to be slayed.  This man centered approach will focus on your destiny, your legacy, your gifts, your breakthrough, your potential, your worth etc.  You determine your future through your creative words that contain inherent power.  False teachings will meet your ‘felt needs’ instead of addressing your real needs. Your emotions will be tickled, your conscience ignored.  Contrary to popular teaching, our “best life now” can only be found when our identity is in Christ, not self.  

2. False teachings Misrepresent the nature of God and man.

False teaching emphasizes some attributes of God and excludes others. God is loving, kind, and gracious; his love is so great that Christ died for us while we were sinners. This same loving God is also righteous, a consuming fire that hates evil and punishes sin. There is mercy because there is judgement, and the good news of the gospel is good news for those who know and accept the bad news – that they are sinners under the wrath of God.  This is the nature of all men and women, but false teachings would have us believe that all humans are inherently good, just somewhat lost and damaged, but not depraved.  We are purported to be victims, not perpetrators; worthy of salvation, not deserving punishment.  If that were true, we would not need a saviour but a life coach.  The truth is that the brokenhearted will find consolation in the work of the cross, but not before the wretched heart in all of us is dealt with.

What we believe about God and ourselves is what defines us.
A different Jesus, more human than divine, has duped thousands into believing they can walk as the Son of God walked on earth.  A new breed are so familiar with “papa God” that when he supposedly manifests his presence in a glory cloud, they whip out their smartphones to record the fog.  Where is the reverence for a holy God that should cause us to fall prostrate before him, trembling in awe?  The future of those who have such a low view of God and high view of man can only be further deception, and apostasy.

3. False teachings promote Methods

False teachings contain methods to harness spiritual benefits – a quick sinners prayer gains entrance into the kingdom of heaven, breaking a generational curse will restore health and finances, tithing will ensure prosperity, praying in tongues will ensure a breakthrough, praying the prayer of Jabez will enlarge your camp, spiritual mapping identifies strongholds, spiritual warfare will bind demons, aligning oneself under an open heaven will bring revival….and the list goes on.  Each year a plethora of new courses flood the market.  Not content with income from book sales, teachers now offer paid courses based on their latest book release.  Their revelations are touted as words for the body of Christ.  We are told that we can discover our prophetic personality, find out what our Kryptonite is, or discover the keys to success and prosperity.  False teachings place the emphasis on what you must do, instead of what Christ has accomplished for us.

4. False teachings Minimize the cost of following Christ.

False teachings ignore the consequences of escaping the dominion of darkness and being placed in the kingdom of God.  New believers are entering a war zone, yet the new gospel on offer is sold to happy consumers delighted to hear that God wants to make their dreams come true.  Better relationships, job promotions, and a bright future in this present world await those worthy creatures upon whom “Papa God” is eager to display his favour.

Jesus warned us about what it would cost, to be his disciple: Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.   For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?   Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’   Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.  So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”  Luke 14:25-33

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.   And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  Matthew 10:34-39

False teachings offer a gospel that does not offend the natural man.  An attractive gospel produces decisions for Christ, but not true converts. An attractive gospel shuns self denial and replaces it with self-aggrandizement.  The true gospel has two effects – it brings life or it brings death.  Life to those who are regenerated, great condemnation to those with hardened hearts who reject truth: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” John 3:19

5. False teachings Misinterpret the kingdom of God

Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world, but some teachings make the kingdom all about this world.  Dominion theology teaches that man lost dominion in the garden, and this is the time of restoring that dominion. The church will supposedly conquer the seven mountains of society: religion, education, business, family, government, arts, media.  Jesus contradicted this false notion: ” “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” John 18:36

The idea is to bring heaven to earth – “invade Babylon” and establish the kingdom of God on this earth – something only Jesus can accomplish. Jesus told the Pharisees,  who asked when the kingdom of God would come:The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” Luke 17:20-21  In one sense the kingdom is here, in another, it is yet to come. Those in the New Apostolic Reformation are always looking for visible signs, and they do all that they can to influence society.  Bringing heaven to earth means conditions on earth should match heaven –  no sin, sickness or suffering in heaven.  Heaven will come to earth when Christ returns, not before.  God is building his church, not earthly kingdoms.

6. False teachings Misapply promises God made to Israel

How many times have you heard 2 Chronicles 7:14 being applied to your nation recently?  We have been taught that if the body of Christ would “humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways” that  God would “heal the land.”  As a result, the economy will prosper, crime decrease, corrupt officials rooted out, and a Christian nation would emerge.  False teachings claim the promises of Deuteronomy 28:1-13, but fail to teach on the dire consequences of disobedience in verses 14 – 68.
You will be taught that “all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” (28:2)  A South African favorite due to the drought: “The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands..” (28:12)
You probably won’t be taught : “The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.” (28:20)
False teachings offer the blessings of the Mosaic law but ignore the curses…but not always. Some false teachings apply “generational curses” to the body of Christ based on the Old Testament law that God would visit “the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”  Panic stricken people search their family tree to find out which great uncle was a freemason, or which grandmother read her horoscope.  The cure apparently is to confess their sins, forgive them, break soul ties, and break the curse.  This is an exercise in futility as “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” Galatians 3:13.  False teachings make no distinction between the gospel and the law or between descriptive and prescriptive texts.  This allows for misapplication of scripture.

7. False teachings Marginalize the word of God

The word of God is effectual: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”  Hebrews 4:12.
When we neglect the word of God, we quench the working of God in our lives.  The church has never been as active as it is today, yet we find ourselves in the midst of a great falling away, a departure from the faith.  God is doing a new thing – and it’s not revival, it’s a strong delusion from God on those who reject the truth. Unthinkable yet true – the only infallible source of communication from God has been relegated.  A false teaching will declare that unity is far more important than truth. The irony of course is the fact that this unity is based on what is false, and therefore not a biblical unity, but merely a crowd of deluded people.

The content of many teachings consists of well crafted stories that appeal to the senses. Unverifiable testimonies, opinions, and new revelations have replaced a thorough exegesis of scripture. The few verses that are thrown in to give the teaching some form of authority are usually out of context, and from a perversion of scripture such as The Passion or The Message “bible.”  New mediators between God and man have appeared in the form of modern apostles and prophets who receive direct revelations from God.  Their revelations hold just as much authority as scripture, and they ignore the infallible blueprint for the church in favor of what they heard from God.  In place of a series on biblical passages with clear expository teachings, series follow the vision of the modern apostles and prophets.  This is the year of acceleration they proclaim, next year will probably be a year of accelerated acceleration.  Teachings then focus on how to position yourself for this divine acceleration in order to reap the benefits – increased signs and wonders, creative ideas, great success in your business, opportunities that will thrust you years ahead, greater anointing etc.  

8. False teachings Magnify experiences.

When the word of God is neglected, something else will creep in and take it’s place. Entertainment has become part and parcel of many a church program, but spiritual experiences and encounters with God have become the real threat of late.  Mysticism is widely accepted in the New Apostolic Reformation.  People supposedly take trips to heaven, receive downloads, new revelations, and new interpretations of scripture.  Teachings are based on experiences and encounters with God, angels, or visions.
This fascination with experiences has permeated the way some evangelize the lost. False teachings suggest that the unsaved need an experience or encounter with God in order to believe, whereas scripture states that power is in the gospel, not signs and wonders: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” Romans 1:16
An experience never takes precedence over the word of God: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8

The rich man in Hades thought that if his five living brothers had the experience of someone returning from the dead preach to them, they would repent.  Abraham replied: “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” Luke 16:31
Could it be said any plainer – scripture is sufficient to save!
Paul, a real apostle who had a real experience in the third heaven wrote of his experience in the third person: “and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.”  Today’s “apostles” flout their so called trips to heaven and subsequent revelations on the Sid Roth Show.  
Gullible folk are mesmerized by artificial smoke, glitter, gold dust, and feathers in meetings, convinced that this is an experience from heaven.  While these are fake, even genuine signs and wonders will not persuade those who reject the truth – Jesus knew this:
 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.  But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people” John 2:23-24

9. False teachings Monetarize the Gospel

A mandatory tithe is a false teaching that makes the Industrial Evangelical Complex a lucrative business . Manipulative pastors will tell you that If you don’t give your tenth,  God will curse your money and you have opened the door to demonic attack.  Other teachings promise that if you give a certain amount during a specific time, God will bless you for the remaining year. 
As noted, false teachings misapply God’s promises to the nation of Israel.  Here is an example and this verse is used as justification for tithing: “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Malachi 3:10  This was a specific word for Israel, who were neglecting part of the law – the tithe (which amounted to approximately 23%). The body of Christ is not under the Mosaic covenant, but the new covenant.  The only time Jesus mentioned the tithe, he was addressing the Pharisees under the law. Any teaching that commands you to give a certain percent is false. Any teaching that guarantees you financial gain because you have tithed is false.  Any teaching that claims God’s will is to financially prosper all believers is false.
Ask a prosperity teacher to explain these verses: “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…” – Rev 2:9
“For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted
the plundering of your property” – Heb 10:24
“as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as
having nothing, yet possessing everything” – 2 Cor 6:10
“For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” – Psalm 73:3
Scripture does instruct us to support those who preach the gospel, and to give generously.  What amount should we give: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”
2 Corinthians 9:7

.10. False teachings Modernize the gospel

Modern man has demanded a modernized gospel – one suitable for the present time.  One result is a politically correct gospel that offends none and saves none.  Social justice takes precedence over evangelism, and an all inclusive approach legitimizes sins condemned in scripture.  Liberalism, Feminism, Mysticism and a host of other poisonous “isms” have influenced teachings in the visible church.  When truth becomes relative, it can no longer be defined as truth.  A modern gospel that questions the sufficiency and infallibility of scripture in order to appease skeptics and appear seeker friendly has created hordes of false converts. If Jesus was not born of a virgin birth, if he was not fully God and fully man, if he was not resurrected in his body – you have another Jesus. If scripture is not infallible we have no objective source of truth.  A modernized gospel is nothing less than an attack on God’s word.

 

 

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