Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry – Normalizing Mysticism

By Rick Becker     12 April 2018

The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry School Planting website has published an article entitled “Pastoring People With Unique Spiritual Giftings.”  Their article reveals their progressive slide into mysticism and Gnosticism, and reaffirms the need to expose this school for what it is.  Some have compared it to Hogwarts, the school of Wizardry from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  Bethel itself has been labelled a cult by others.  What is certain, is that Bethel church and their School of Supernatural Ministry are deceiving thousands of people all around the world.  In this post, we examine an article published on the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry School Planting website.

Bill Johnson has groomed his underlings to take risks beyond the boundaries of scripture.  In their attempt to cultivate a new breed of anointed revivalists who walk in signs and wonders, Bethel has created a generation of passionate yet deceived youth.  Johnson teaches that Jesus came to model a life for believers.  Christ as God, has been downplayed and replaced with Christ as an example:
“So Jesus came and modelled a lifestyle of power and purity because the power of the Spirit of God was on him. He was trying to show those of us who would follow what life would be like in someone who had no sin and was completely empowered by the Spirit of God.” –  Bill Johnson, Manifesto for a Normal Christian Life.

Jesus performed his miracles “as a man in right relationship with God…not as God.  If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unattainable for us”  – Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth.
In other words, whatever miracles Jesus performed, we as his followers are able to emulate, and even supersede.  It is this thought that has influenced the minds of Bethelites, and caused them to view themselves as little gods, hoping to walk through walls, walk on water, and raise the dead –  the Trinity has morphed into a quartet.  Not content with the confines of scripture, Johnson encourages his followers to take risks: “This generation is a generation of risk takers. And not all the risks taken will be seen as real faith. Some will come to light as steps of foolishness and presumption. But they must be taken just the same. How else can we learn? Make room for risk takers in your life that don’t bat a thousand. They will inspire you to the greatness available in serving a great God.”  – Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades (Earth Expanded Edition)

Like Simon the Sorcerer, this lust for the supernatural, for power and for greatness has overcome many in the New Apostolic Reformation.  Steps of foolishness and presumption have led to a rejection of truth, and as a result a strong delusion has caused them to believe what is false.  The fruits of this deception are clearly visible in this article from the BSSM School Planting page:

“Pastoring People With Unique Spiritual Giftings.”

“I knew a man who would know people’s secret sins the moment he laid eyes on them. From what I know this was not a gifting he wanted or sought after, it was just something he experienced. It was a testament to the character of this man that he was also one of the best lovers of people that I’ve ever known.”

Reading the sins of people is not a gift of the Spirit.  They would probably try and justify it by calling it a “word of wisdom” or “word of knowledge” but those two gifts were not exactly the fortune telling version present in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and charismania.  Secondly, no gift is a testament to a man’s character but rather a testament to God’s character.  There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, and there is nothing we can do to deserve any gifts. The man in the description is experiencing an involuntary supernatural phenomena (if the story is true)  This is not how the gifts of the Holy Spirit operate.

“I know quite a few people who, from a young age, saw into the spiritual realm like you and I see into the physical realm. They see angels and demons constantly, without actively looking for them.”

And the purpose of seeing angels and demons is? The fact that more angels supposedly appear or are seen in the NAR movement in a week, than in the entire period from Adam to the early church is telling.  Jesus had an encounter with the devil in the wilderness, but there is no record in scripture of people seeing demons.  This fascination with seeing angels and visions leads to deception: Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,  and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.”  Colossians 2:18-19

“I don’t know about you, but until a couple of years ago this was different to how I experienced the supernatural. I’ve never seen someone’s secret sin written across their forehead. Until a couple of years ago, I had never seen demons and angels flitting about, going about their business. I’ve never fallen into a trance, and I’ve yet to be supernaturally transported anywhere. Spiritual gifts manifest differently for different people, and there are those out there who have very unique manifestations of spiritual gifts, and very unique relationships with God as a result.”

The pastor names the following experiences: seeing sins of people, seeing demons and angels, trances, being supernaturally transported, and then uses the term “spiritual gifts.”  None of the experiences he mentioned can be classified as spiritual gifts. The people who have these experiences are now being elevated as some elite breed, yet scripture is silent regarding “unique manifestations of spiritual gifts” or “unique relationships with God as a result.”  All believers have been baptised by the Spirit into the body of Christ, and all of us “were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:13)  There is no hierarchy in the body of Christ enabling some to receive special revelations while the rest of us gather spiritual crumbs off the floor.  This BSSM “pastor” is promoting a form of Gnosticism –  a heresy that plagued the early church and was addressed by Paul in his letter to the Colossians.  

“People label them as mystics or seers. Personally, I believe this is what should be normal for Christians, and is actually accessible to all of us.”

Wrong!  Scripture is clear regarding the true gifts of the Spirit: “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”
1 Corinthians 12:29-30
You don’t have to be a cessationist to know that being a “seer” or “mystic” is not “normal for Christians.”  In fact if a believer never experiences any sign gift or some form of  encounter with God, they lack nothing according to scripture.  Scripture teaches that God has supplied believers what they require: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” 2 Peter 1:3

Furthermore, if we need an encounter or experience to sustain or mature our faith, then what God has supplied through the work of the cross and the indwelling Spirit is insufficient.  Mysticism does not train us in righteousness or equip up for every good work, scripture does: while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  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 3:13-1
The real gifts of the Holy Spirit cannot be accessed at will as the Holy Spirit distributes them to each individual as he wills: ” All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” 1 Cor 12:11
BSSM leaders are simply regurgitating heresies of the Johnson’s.  They believe we can access all kinds of encounters and anointings.  Beni Johnson (Bill’s wife) promotes contemplative prayer, and suggests it can help lead us to access the spiritual realm: “A thin place is where heaven and earth are close. It is easier to experience the spiritual realm in these places.” – Beni Johnson, Mystics, Mystical Experiences and Contemplative Prayer.
This is but one example of how Bethel’s teachings lead their followers into Mysticism and Gnosticism.  While Beni & co are searching for “thin places” to encounter a spiritual realm, those who believe in actual scripture can rest in this objective fact: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”  Colossians 2:8-10

“Christianity Should Be Inherently Mystical Because That’s God’s Nature”

“I’m going to use the term seer in this post, simply because it’s easier to attach a label, even though I don’t think it fully describes or captures the gifts I am speaking about, and I think it makes it seem like it’s an experience that is limited to one set of people when it’s not.”

 This statement makes things even less clear.  It’s not easier to attach a label, especially one that is not found in the New Testament.  This article is about experiences, not the legitimate gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Christianity should really be inherently clear because God has revealed himself through Christ: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ.”  Eph 1:7-9

God has chosen to make himself known – through Jesus Christ.  At Bethel, the infallible and objective truth found in scripture has been ignored in favor of subjective feelings, intuitions and experiences.  The hidden treasures Bethelites search for in signs and experiences can only be found in Christ: that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.” Colossians 2:2-4
This lust for extra biblical experiences and revelations portrays a heart that is ignorant,  discontent with who Christ is, and what he has done on our behalf.

“I’ve met quite a few people in the Bethel environment that came here because they felt weird elsewhere. These people felt like they didn’t fit in, had their giftings misunderstood in other environments, and often didn’t understand their gifts themselves. So they came here looking to learn, and looking for others like them. What they discover upon getting here is that they are still the weird ones in this environment too; the majority of people don’t understand their experiences, and don’t talk about those kinds of experiences often either.”

If a leader at Bethel finds someone weird because of their giftings, then we really have a problem.  The purpose of the gifts is to edify the body (1 cor 12:7; 14:12;14:26) not confuse the body.  There is nothing weird about the true gifts of the Holy Spirit, neither will the Holy Spirit bestow some supernatural gift on an individual that causes them bewilderment or vexation. 

“Often these people have been misunderstood and hurt by the mainstream church, so they come looking for a safe place to learn about their gifts and to be healed from the pain their gifts have caused them. I know many of these individuals, and have done life at a deep level with quite a few of them over the past five or so years. Pastoring them can be unique, because their experiences are potentially different from what many people know is possible, and being misunderstood has hurt them in the past, so what they need most is understanding. They don’t need you to understand their experiences, but rather to understand their hearts.”

Bethel is the last place anyone suffering from “gifts” that have “caused pain” should go to for help.  What biblical truth can they receive from a group that ministers undercover at psychic fairs offering spirit readings, accepts anything that does not feel demonic, and exclude the name of Jesus?
Perhaps some of these people have been warned by others in churches that actually teach the gospel and contend for the faith.  It’s possible that they refused to repent of their experiences and admit that they have been delving into occultic powers.  They may be wanting to retain their powers or abilities to know or perform the seemingly impossible.  What they need first and foremost is the gospel.  Are these individuals born again?   Sound instruction based on scripture (something foreign to Bethel) is the what these individuals need.  They don’t need their experiences to be understood; they need  their experiences to be tested, and compared to the word of God.  We know what scripture teaches regarding the heart of man – it’s desperately wicked.  For this reason our task should be to understand what scripture teaches regarding a matter.

“Seek to Understand”

“The fact is, if you don’t experience the supernatural like these individuals then you potentially won’t understand their experiences.
I’ve heard about experiences that I had to really take to Holy Spirit and determine if I agreed with from a theological standpoint. It’s important that you don’t do that in the moment with them. In the moment, be open and seek to understand, but don’t get caught up on your understanding of theology or belief/disbelief.”

The fact is, if believers exercise the proper gifts of the Spirit, the body will be edified.  The fact that these unique individuals cannot even understand their own supernatural experiences and don’t know what to do with them is enough to suggest that what is needed is proper discernment and the application of God’s word.  Bethel’s theological standpoint is “take risks” – even foolish and presumptuous ones.  How can you trust in a standpoint that has no objective foundation :“to follow Him, we must be willing to follow off the map—to go beyond what we know. To do so successfully we must recognize His presence above all.”  – Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth (Expanded Edition)

What if the “presence” you recognize leads you in the opposite direction or says something contrary to the “presence” I recognize?  How would we determine who has the correct “presence?”  This is the problem that mysticism creates, it becomes a case of your experience versus mine, instead of scripture judging both of our experiences.

Where does scripture instruct us to seek encounters and experiences?  Bill Johnson writes: “Many have stopped short of a divine encounter because they were satisfied with good theology”  What does he mean by “divine encounter” – falling backwards, uncontrollable hysterical laughter, Kundalini manifestations, gold dust appearing?  Johnson rejects what scripture actually teaches regarding the proper operations of the Holy Spirit.  As a result, the “divine encounters” experienced and sought after at Bethel merely serve to enforce their deluded state.

“Ask questions, but from a perspective of openness, rather than trying to prove it wrong. Use discernment, and look for the fruit of the experience. Do not react out of fear or confusion. So many seers have shared their experiences and had it go really poorly, so if you want to be able to learn about them and speak into their lives it’s important that you listen in an open way without causing them to shut down. If they notice you freaking out, they will be unlikely to want to share more.”

There are many experiences that may seem to bear fruit that seem Christian, but in time what looked like a sprout of wheat often proves to be a tare. Our task is not to study seers, but the word of God.  Questions are necessary to find out exactly what transpired, but “Use discernment” won’t work here, because if you are a leader in a Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry you have none, and you have not been taught to rightly divide the word of truth.  The goal of the gifts of the Spirit are to edify the body – what is described here by the BSSM pastor are individuals having experiences.
Bethel, like an evil generation, seek after signs and promote experiences: “Many people criticize those who long to experience more in God, but I don’t trust the ones who don’t. We are not going to be kept free from deception by abandoning experience. In fact, the ones who do not hunger more for God are already deceived.”  – Bill Johnson, Experience The Impossible.
Believers who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled, not by experiences, but by abiding in Christ and his word.  The Holy Spirit illuminates the word of God to us, and leads us into the discovery of truth that is objective and and complete. The “more” sought by Johnson and his underlings is a never ending quest that will entertain their senses and cause them to be mesmerized by the angel of light.

“The Spiritual realm is full of mystery, and God uses language we can understand to represent concepts. Jacob saw angels ascending and descending into Heaven via ladders. This was likely a representation of a spiritual truth rather than angels actually requiring ladders to come and go. Because of this, experiences like this can be quite confusing, and seemingly very bizarre and beyond our understanding.”

When Jacob had his dream, the source was clear: “And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac” Genesis 28:13
As a result: Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”(vs 16-17)
There was no confusion, no misunderstanding of what had taken place. 

The only mystery we need to be concerned about has been revealed “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
Colossians 1:24-29

“But if we don’t seek to understand and close ourselves off to things that don’t make sense, we will miss out on learning from these encounters and experiences.”

True believers will never miss out by closing themselves off to “things that don’t make sense.”  God is not the author of confusion, and he does not give gifts or experiences that make no sense.  Everything we need to learn, is in scripture, not mystical encounters. However, when your chief apostle creates a false dichotomy between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit inspired word of God, encounters carry just as much weight as scripture itself:
“It’s difficult to get the same fruit as the early Church when we value a book they didn’t have more than the Holy Spirit they did have. To value the Scriptures above the Holy Spirit is idolatry. It’s not “Father, Son, and Holy Bible.” The Bible reveals God, but is itself not God.” – Bill Johnson, Walking in the Supernatural: Another Cup of Spiritual Java

“Sometimes seer giftings can be quite overwhelming. You are seeing and hearing things that you don’t feel like you should have access to, and sometimes don’t even want access to.”

This is rank heresy, and unfortunately not surprising due to the fact that at Bethel a Witch can receive an encouraging word of prophecy.  Steven Kozar has written about this encounter hereThe witch actually took some members of her coven with her to Bethel – you can read part one of their story in their own words here (links for part 2 & 3 are at the end of the article)  What these so called “seers’ are experiencing is not from the Holy Spirit, and in place of explaining the gospel to these tortured souls, Bethel attempts to make them feel understood, and encourages their “unique” giftings.

“And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day – just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.  Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.  But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”   But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.  Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.”  Jude 6-11

“It’s often information overload! While not a regular experience for me, I’ve had several moments where I’ve heard the thoughts of people around me. It’s always a jarring experience, and one that makes you wonder if you are going crazy.”

That’s a distinct possibility, because God is the only one who can read thoughts.  Keep in mind this is the pastor speaking. This is the person responsible for helping those who cannot make sense of what they are seeing and hearing in the spiritual realm.

“For me, I used those moments to minister to people, and they gained freedom and healing through it.”

Yet another subjective, unverified, unbiblical tall story emanating from Bethel.  How do you gain “freedom and healing” by someone “reading your thoughts?”  How is it any different from an accurate psychic reading?

“Understand that while these gifts are exciting, learning how to use them and not let them rule your life can be a process. I passionately believe that gifts from God are positive, and shouldn’t turn into something that makes your life more difficult. I totally believe that, but have seen too many instances of gifts making things difficult for people to say that it doesn’t happen.”

Understand that the gifts of the Holy Spirit never rule a life. Paul makes this clear when addressing the practice of the real gifts:and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.  For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:32-33.
What the BSSM pastor is describing is exactly what we find in pagan religions: an external controlling influence that produces bizarre and confusing encounters, often leaving the recipient uncertain of what took place and what the intention was.

“Create Safety”

“The Church has often not known how to deal with people who experience the spiritual realm like this. We’ve either not believed them, demonised them (pun not intended), given them a platform they shouldn’t have had, or prayed for their gifting to go away. I’ve seen all of these options play out, and seen the damage they all cause. Just like any other person in our church or school, we want them to feel safe.”

Safety can only be found in scripture.  Bethel does not know how to deal with people who have these encounters.  If they cannot discern between a witch and a believer, what hope is there for those who go down to Bethel for help?  These individuals are going to be led into further deception by leaders who are clearly unqualified.

“I’ve seen it happen that people get excited by the gifts on someone’s life and create a platform for them. Gifts are not the same as character. Spiritual gifts are not an indication of Godly character. Do not give someone a platform simply because of the gifts on their life; it will damage them, and it will damage people around them if their character is unable to sustain the platform they find themselves in. I think it’s important that you create pathways for communication where seers can inform you of what they are feeling in an atmosphere, and ideally you want that pathway for all of your students to be able to communicate what they are sensing.”

“Seers” informing “you of what they are feeling in an atmosphere” is not biblical Christianity, but pure mysticism and paganism.  Bethel believes they can shift atmospheres but this is not a principle taught in scripture.  “Feeling” and “sensing” are subjective and that is the reason we have scripture – an objective standard by which to measure and test all things.  The disciples spent time in cities full of paganism, wicked rulers, and wicked people.  Despite that hostile and evil environment they never bound any territorial spirits, shifted atmospheres, blew Shofars, or spoke declarations over the cities.  Atmosphere is important to Bill Johnson : “The atmosphere issue is a big deal for me,” Bill says. “The two things that I keep focusing on the most are the principles of the kingdom and the presence of the King. If I can keep those two things in focus, we find that He ends up doing more stuff. You end up having more stuff happen by accident than we ever used to have on purpose. When the glory of God begins to come into the room, I’m not going to stop that to teach. I don’t have anything that important to say. To me, it’s all about the presence.”
Bethel has confused the King with the prince of this world, that’s why all kinds of “stuff” forbidden in scripture take place.  Johnson’s “papa God” and born again Jesus have created a platform for deception : But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

“I have also seen it play out where a seer gifting was causing a young person pain. They communicated the things they had experienced to people who reacted out of fear, or were simply terrified by the things they were seeing. The Church, genuinely wanting to help the person but not knowing how, prayed for the gift to be shut down.”

Bethels culture of cultivating any sort of supernatural activity at the expense of sound doctrine and true discernment is bearing fruit, and this is a prime example.  I don’t believe this is describing a situation that is a mix of some truth, and some error.  This is purely demonic.  In the early church, experiences were not communicated, the truth was.  Fear is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and gifts getting “shut down” is God’s prerogative, not man’s.

 “Pastoring someone in their gift is always a better option than shutting it down”

“In shutting down a gift you are shutting down part of that person; they are still going to be experiencing things, but their awareness of what they are experiencing is going to be limited.”

Chapter, verse?  This is nonsense of course.  

“In the long term it’s more sustainable and life-giving for them to learn how to operate in their giftings and simply to be pastored, loved, and covered in that gifting. You do not need to understand their gifts in order to love and encourage them. Community where they are loved, where risk is celebrated, and there is room to fail is going to provide the best environment for someone to learn and grow in their seer giftings. Create safety by listening, seeking to understand, and providing them with tools to process and get healing from any pain that their giftings may have caused them.”

What’s the point of the gifts if they are not understood?  What this BSSM pastor is doing is simply guiding people (many probably not even born again) in their mystical journey of encounters with evil spirits or their own imaginations. “Risk celebrated” is the equivalent of error tolerated in this context.

“Normalize Their Experience”

“If you have never experienced anything like what they are experiencing you will not be able to personally relate to their experience, but it’s helpful and freeing for them to know that they are not crazy, and that people have been, and are experiencing similar things. My wife and I meet with a group of similarly gifted people each week, and it’s been incredibly helpful. As we listen to each other’s experiences, we learn about the spiritual realm, we learn things we didn’t realise about our giftings, we grow in them, and we also have a group that we can be accountable to if what we are experiencing doesn’t sound like Jesus.”

“Normalising” an experience does not make it biblical. You don’t learn about the spiritual realm by “listening to other’s experiences.”  The pastor should be teaching the word of God to the group instead of discussing experiences.  The infallible word of God has been replaced with subjective experiences as a source of truth.  The modus operandi of deception is that it looks like truth. Jesus warned that false prophets “come in sheeps clothing” and Paul warned the Corinthians that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”   The way to determine if an experience or gift is from God is not by asking the question does it “sound like Jesus?”  Very often, deception will “sound like Jesus.”  By neglecting the word of God and it’s authority,  Bethel has created a quagmire from which they cannot escape unless they repent of their false teachings.

“If possible, help seers find other people like them, so that they can normalise their experiences together. If that is not possible, there are hundreds of books you can point them towards to help them understand what they are experiencing, as well as numerous passages in the Bible that describe supernatural experiences that can help them understand their experience. Studying the lives of people such as William Branham, Maria Woodworth Etter, or St Teresa of Avila can also help them understand themselves.”

The third option this pastor suggests is scripture, this should be the first and only option that will provide a definitive test on any experience.  Now the pastor suggests that these gifted seers study the lives of people, and provides three examples:
• William Branham (1909-1965) – Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton have a great deal of respect for the ministry of William Branham.  Vallotton went so far as to ask God for the mantle of Branham.  It’s possible his request was answered, because Branham was a heretic. Here are some of his beliefs: The serpent’s seed doctrine – Eve and the serpent had sexual intercourse in the garden of Eden, resulting in the birth of Cain. Hell is not eternal. Denial of the Trinity.  God wrote three bibles – the scriptures, the Zodiac and the Pyramids (pyramidology and astrology)
• Maria Woodworth Etter (1844-1924) – known as “the Trance Evangelist” or “mesmeric revivalist” people were slain in the spirit and went into trances under her ministry. One of her false prophecies was that San Francisco would be destroyed by a tidal wave.
• St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) was a Spanish mystic and nun belonging to the Carmelite order. Teresa prayed to the Virgin Mary, experienced trances, visions and used prayer and devotion to attain some form of mystical ecstasy.

This BSSM pastor is recommending false prophets and frauds as a resource instead of God’s word. By normalizing what is forbidden in scripture, Bethel is placing itself in a precarious position: “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 exciting truth is, even if you don’t experience the spiritual realm like these individuals do, you can not only pastor them and learn from their experiences, but you can begin to cultivate and experience those giftings for yourself in your own lives. A friend of mine recently said “The age of the mystics is over, it’s time for the Church to grow in mysticism.”

The exciting news is that you should NOT be experiencing the spiritual realm like these individuals.  Believers are complete in Christ, and have no need to chase after encounters, or receive any new revelations.  Cofounder of the BSSM Kris Vallotton, tantalises those with an appetite for new revelations in a recent post by claiming: “In my encounter, the Lord said He is going to pour out revelation on this generation that has been held in the vault of heaven for eons of ages.”

His statement implies that scripture is incomplete, opening the door for doctrines of demons to deceive those who are ignorant, or have rejected the truth.

Bethel is not revealing new truth or accessing unique gifts, they are simply promulgating old heresies and delving in either vain imaginations or the occult.  A real apostle – Paul, warned that mysticism and gnosticism have no place in the church.  Wisdom and knowledge can be found in Christ, not in supernatural experiences or special knowledge given to the “uniquely gifted.”   God has revealed himself in and through Christ, with the purpose of giving us understanding; understanding that helps us discern between truth and error. God gives us full assurance and understanding and knowledge of God’s mystery:
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.”  Colossians 2:1-4

Let me conclude with this quote from B B Warfield:

“This Christian mysticism, now, obviously differs in no essential respect from the parallel phenomena which are observable in other religions.  It is only general mysticism manifesting itself on Christian ground and interpreting itself accordingly in the forms of Christian thought.  It is mysticism which has learned to speak in Christian language.
We may be mystics, or we may be Christians.  We cannot be both.  And the pretension of being both usually merely veils defection from Christianity.  Mysticism baptized with the name of Christianity is not thereby made Christianity. A rose by any other name will smell as sweet.  But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose’s fragrance.” – B B Warfield – Mysticism and Christianity,The Biblical Review (vol. 2 ,1917, pp. 169-191)

 

 

 

Kris Vallotton – For Thirty Pieces of Silver

By Rick Becker   22 February 2018

Judas betrayed Christ for a mere thirty pieces of silver.  Today many charlatans follow the path of Judas, betraying the Lord and the true gospel for money.  Kris Vallotton of Bethel church is one such charlatan.  Vallotton will be releasing his new book “Poverty, Riches and Wealth” in March this year.  In this post we review the first chapter sent out free to subscribers.  There are no surprises, although Vallotton boasts he can “go a week without sinning” he is a shameless prosperity teacher, twisting God’s word to come to his conclusions.  Vallotton loves to speak about himself, 75% of the first chapter is about him, a further 20% are his opinions, and bible verses that he has twisted out of context make up the remaining 5%.

The foreword is by Jentezen Franklin, a word of faith and prosperity heretic.  Right from the start, Franklin nails his colors to the mast with the following words: “Know this: God’s dream for you is so much bigger than yours. He promises prosperity and good success. Why is this important? Because it does matter to God. He can take you beyond anything you ever imagined, and He can take you places you have only dreamed about. I find most people are bound by a spirit of limitation.”
All of the disciples would disagree with Franklin, most of the early church would disagree with Franklin and most importantly scripture itself exposes Franklin as a liar.  Believers currently being held in custody and tortured for their faith would disagree with Franklin’s assertion that a “spirit of limitation” is what’s holding them back.

God promises us eternal life, not a comfortable life, but that message does not put dollars in the coffers these prosperous charlatans who cross the globe in their jets as they peddle their false doctrines. They teach as a means for gain, the apostle Paul on the other hand knew that nothing can compare to what we really gain as believers – Christ himself:  But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, 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  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” Phlippians 3:7-10

Franklin: “The difference between living in prosperity and living in poverty is a choice. Choices have consequences. God told Israel that He set death and life, blessing and cursing, before them. They had to choose life or death (Deut. 30:19). It is not by chance that you are blessed; it is by choice.”
That’s it – a simple choice?  What went wrong with the apostle Paul?  At times he was hungry, naked, cold and homeless.  Millions are living in poverty, and many of them are true believers and like the beggar Lazarus may not experience financial relief in this world.  Why were God’s people who suffered tremendously and never tasted prosperity commended for their faith:Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated – of whom the world was not worthy – wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” Hebrews 11:35-38

Kris Valloton (KV) begins in his introduction by criticizing “God’s noble people” for “despising wealth” and creating “doctrines to enshrine poverty.”  There have always been extremes throughout church history.  It is true the some have unfortunately practiced asceticism or monasticism in order to attain a higher degree of spirituality or to “get closer to God.” This generation however is aptly described in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 :But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”

The first time he mentions scripture he does so in a mocking tone.
KV: “Paul’s exhortation to his beloved Timothy was inscribed in the halls of our conscience, like the thundering voice of God echoing from some holy mountain: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Lets be clear – money is not evil, but the love of it is.  Vallotton has ignored the warning in verse 10, and it’s ironical that just a few verses earlier, Paul describes the likes of Vallotton:If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,  and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”  1 Timothy 6:3-5

Vallotton laments the fact that he carried his “poverty prejudice with him” for many years, but then something happened a few months after he and his wife became pastors at Bethel church.
KV: “Then suddenly, it all happened—my poverty spirit crashed on the shores of adversity and my tiny boat of small thinking began to break apart, torn by wave after wave of revelation. The Scriptures that used to be my safety net were now ripping under the weight of exponential increase. I scurried around in a panic, trying desperately to mend my broken nets of poverty, but they simply could not carry the load of prosperity that was being charged to our account.”

And then another suddenly…

KV: “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.
Soon we were giving away about half our profit, yet there was still enough left over to live in abundance. The whole thing came to a climax in May 2016, when a man I had never met before insisted on paying off our house, to the tune of $487,000!”
Any money that Vallotton makes from business deals is his business, but receiving money from teaching false doctrine that tickles ears is called “teaching for shameful gain.”  

KV: “The payoff of our house was the final straw for me. I saw it as a confirming sign from God, and I was compelled to tell the world what the Lord was revealing to us about wealth”
There is nothing new about wealth that God needs to reveal to the world.  The problem is that today’s new breed of celebrity teachers have to concoct new doctrines to stay relevant.  These teachers have replaced servanthood with self-aggrandizement.  If you think about, the church is merely capitalizing on the cravings of this world.  This is what sells in the world – you design the life you deserve, you can attract wealth, you can be successful at whatever you choose, you are awesome!  This is the same message Valloton & co preach, it sells because it’s what people want to hear.  Whenever there’s a new book release from any of these charlatans, there’s always the claim that God told them to write it, and that it will reveal new information that God has apparently withheld for 2000 years.

KV: “I knew I had to brave the criticism of those who would question my motives and/
or methods and write a book about true Kingdom wealth. 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.”
Wrong Kris – the source of your “revelation” IS mammon.  
Do the scriptures teach about prosperity being the answer to the world’s problems?

But godliness with contentment is great gain,  or we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Quick quiz – Vallottons book is going to appeal to those who
A  Desire to know how to live a godly life in an ungodly world
B  Desire to learn the secret of contentment in all circumstances
C  Desire to have an eternal perspective of life
E  Desire to be rich

False teachers prey on the weak, vulnerable, hurting and poor.  Vallotton’s book is not going to be snapped up by the wealthy, but by those who “desire to be rich.”  The outcome will be a wandering away from the faith and destruction.

A master of obfuscation, Vallotton says that he does not use the word “prosperity” in the same way that the world describes riches, he means “Kingdom wealth”  which is far more inclusive and sounds more spiritual. Part of his definition below:

KV: “Wealth is light in the darkness, healing in sickness, prosperity
in poverty, wholeness in brokenness, favor in obscurity, love for
the unlovely, beauty for ashes and victors among victims. Wealth is a “can-do” attitude, a “more than enough” mindset and a “nothing is impossible” belief system.”
That sounds nice – prosperity IN poverty.  A believer may be poor, yet in his spirit he is prosperous, I agree with that, but that is not what Vallotton means.  How do I know this, because this whole chapter is about money…. obscene amounts of cash flowing into his bank account!  In a recent blog, this master of obfuscation writes:

Both Solomon’s riches and Abraham’s riches were directly attached to their relationships with God. Genesis 13:2 says, “Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold,” and 2 Chronicles 9:22 says, “So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. So maybe wealth is not a sign of your relationship with God, unless it is”
Have you noticed how often prosperity teachers use examples from the Old Testament without explaining the context of the text.  They will never explain the law, who it applied to, it’s conditions or its curses.  If we apply God’s promises of prosperity to Israel under the law, we must also apply God’s punishment for false prophets, in which case Vallotton would be dead.  This is part Vallotton’s “word for Russia” in 2016.  Tell me what has come to pass: “
I saw a great reformation flowing through the entire country of Russia. It began in Red Square and flooded the nation with a spiritual awakening that is unprecedented in modern history. Every city was filled with joy and prosperity. Creativity was released in the land inspiring medical breakthroughs, inventions and innovations. This resulted in an historic economic boom as Russia began exporting their medical cures, automobiles (I saw two new brands of automobiles emerge with excellence out of Russia), and inventions to the nations of the worldI saw great collaboration happening between government, commerce and business. Many corporations moved to the land to be celebrated and empowered. There were great incentives given by the government to those that created wealth. They were lessons taken right out of the parables of the Talents and the Minas that Jesus told. The righteous reigned in the land and a Jesus movement that will touch the entire world will be birthed in the universities, beginning in Moscow.”

Remember what I was saying about the claims that accompany new books?

KV: “My prayer is that you would find keys in this manuscript that would unlock your legacy and release prosperity on your children’s children. I hope that you will be so transformed by the revelation in this book that it will literally alter the course of your history. May it be on earth as it is in heaven!”
That’s a pretty impressive sales pitch, but not one you will find in any of the gospels or epistles. Here is how Jesus presented keys that would unlock your legacy and alter your history: pick up your cross and follow me.they will hate you…they will persecute you…if you love your family more than me you are not worthy of me….etc

The church in the book of  Acts have missed out on Vallotton’s new revelation: “So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to prosper suffer shame for His name” Acts 5:41
……………………………………………..and
“if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we prosper suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” Romans 8:17

Part one of the book is under the heading :The True Meaning of Kingdom Wealth

KV: “In the first part of this book, we will discuss the true meaning of Kingdom wealth as we contrast it with poverty and riches. I will prove that there is a power to make wealth and that there is a spirit behind poverty. I will also help you discover how to embrace the abundant life that Jesus promised and how to avoid becoming rich instead of wealthy.”
Sounds tantalising, this is how false teachers appeal to the senses of their carnal followers: But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
2 Peter 2:1-3

The first and only chapter we review, is entitled: “The Net Worth of Jesus”

KV: “if you make the mistake of judging Jesus’ net worth by His humble earthly condition, you will misjudge His prosperity and undermine His mission. The apostle Paul put it like this: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty
might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Wait! What did Paul say? Jesus was rich, but then He became poor so (the reason He became poor) we might become rich. That is incredible!”
Wait! Did Vallotton take the time to explain the meaning of that text – of course not!  Christ became poor in the sense that during his incarnation, he took on the form of a servant, took on human nature, his attributes were veiled, and he suffered death on a cross.  Christ did not give up earthly or material wealth because heaven does not consist of monetary wealth as we understand it.  We are made rich spiritually through Christ’s sacrifice:  To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” Ephesians 3:8
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” Ephesians 1:3

In the book of Revelation, Smyrna was one of the seven churches addressed. It suffered no rebuke from our Lord.  The church was being persecuted, and was warned of more suffering to come including imprisonment and death.  Far from experiencing prosperity, they were poor, yet Jesus refers to them as being rich.  They were rich in spirit, despite material poverty.  “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…” – Rev 2:9
Why did Jesus not condemn them for their poor choices, lack of faith and spirit of poverty?

Vallotton has commended himself to us because of the dollars pouring into his account.  Lets compare that with how Paul commend himself:
 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;  by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;  by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;  through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed;  as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as POOR, yet making many rich; as HAVING NOTHiNG, yet possessing everything.”   2 Corinthians 6:4-10

The fact that Vallotton believes if we misjudge Jesus’ networth we “undermine his mission”  means that Vallotton does not understand the gospel.  That is why he does not preach the gospel.

KV: “I want to point out again that Jesus became poor for a reason. His
celestial mission was to make us wealthy. It is the great exchange—
beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, hope for the hopeless, healing
for sickness, prosperity for poverty. You get the idea: Jesus called it
abundant life.”
Yes, wealthy in the spiritual sense Mr Vallotton!  Prosperity IN poverty has now morphed into prosperity FOR poverty.  To use well known phrases from Isaiah 61:3 (beauty for ashes, joy for mourning) and then insert “prosperity for poverty” is crafty and exactly how false teachers operate.  The abundant life Christ promised is spiritual and eternal: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3
Vallotton has made it clear that he has made a bad exchange – mammon over Christ.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”
Matthew 6:24

KV:”First of all, if wealth and riches are inherently evil, what are they doing in heaven? Why would God describe heaven so lavishly if wealth were bad, or even bad for you…wealth cannot be intrinsically evil, or the Bible would not describe heaven as a place full of unimaginable riches. In fact, if heaven is God’s goal for us, then wealth must be a piece of our prize!”
They are not inherently evil, but Vallotton seems to think of heaven in earthly terms.  The gold he loves so much on earth, will serve as pavements in heaven. There is no condemnation for wealthy believers who love God, steward their finances for his glory, and don’t have a love for their money.  There is condemnation for those who believe God guarantees us material wealth.  Furthermore, scripture are replete with warnings to those who have succumbed to the temptation of wealth:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.  Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.  Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.  You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter” James 5:1-5

 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

KV:”Our idea of “poor Jesus” is similarly skewed. Although Jesus left
heaven, heaven never left Jesus, because Kingdom prosperity always begins from the inside out. You can put Jesus in a manger, but you can’t put a manger in Jesus. Wealth, glory and power seeped out of His pores like sweat on a hardworking man on a hot, humid day”
This is what Vallotton craves, wealth, glory and power.  Keep in mind Bethel teaches that Jesus came to model what life should be like for every believer.  This is why Bethelites attempt to raise the dead, walk on water, and outshine whatever Christ did because “greater things” in their minds points to the miraculous.  This is what Bethel teach their children: “Having the keys of power and authority means that we have the same position, recognition, and abilities that Jesus had.” – ” Kids carrying the kingdom”

Vallotton then goes on to recount the miracle when Jesus changed water into wine.

KV: “Mary and Joseph may have been a middle-class carpenter family, but they might have been drinking wine that reminded them of heaven at home. In fact, the wine was so good that the Bible says that when Jesus made wine, He “manifested His glory.” Now, that is great wine! I guess He was not kidding when He said that He is
the vine and we are the branches (see John 15:1–14).”
Vallotton misses the whole point of the miracle.  John tells us why these signs are recorded: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

Vallotton then describes the miracle where Jesus instructed Peter to catch a fish in order to pay tax.  The first fish Peter caught, would have a Shekel in it’s mouth.  This story sets Vallotton up to deliver an over the top and simply dishonest assessment.

KV: “Apparently, Jesus took God’s command to “rule over the fish of the sea” seriously (Genesis 1:26), because He became quite famous for impacting the fishing industry. The gospels record Jesus supernaturally chumming the fish into the disciple’s nets on at least two occasions”  (Read Luke 5:4-7)
“These guys are not fishing recreationally; this is how they make their living. Fishing was a middle-class, feast-or-famine kind of occupation . . . that is, until Jesus showed up. He quickly transformed a meager living into a prosperous vocation.”
The fishing industry was barely impacted by Christ’s miracle.  Since when did the disciples now step into a prosperous vocation after Christ’s miracle?  In this instance, it was the opportunity Jesus used to call some of his disciples. The lesson was not about prosperity or wealth, it was about Jesus being the son of God who performed miracles. It was about the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man.  Peter’s response to the miracle was not relief due to the fact that he would now be wealthy thanks to a revitalized fishing industry:But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken.” Luke 5:8-9
This miracle caused the disciples to actually forsake the little they had gained in this world“And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him” Luke 5:11

KV: “Let’s look at one more fishing expedition so we understand that the previous story was not an isolated incident. It was the nature of Jesus to behave extravagantly. He never provided just a few more fish . . . heck no!”
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.”  He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.” John 21;4-8

This was his third appearance after his resurrection, this was not just a matter of Jesus behaving extravagantly.  Far from setting an example of wealthy and extravagant living, after breakfast Jesus described Peter’s destiny as follows: Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:18-19
There are many lessons in Christ’s miracles, but none of those lessons are about extravagant displays of wealth or guaranteed prosperity for his disciples.  Vallotton begs to differ, in his mind, it’s all about the money.

KV: “Jesus is into the boat-sinking, way-too-many, catch-of-the-year kind of fishing. In America we say time is money, but in the fishing business fish are money. Jesus was not just increasing their catch; He was increasing their cash! It is worth mentioning here that if having a lot of money is a bad thing, then Jesus should have made sure they had minimal catches.”
It is worth asking here – how many rebukes or warnings did Jesus give to the poor as opposed to the wealthy?  What Kris is preaching is called the American dream, it’s not the gospel.  Having a lot of money is not inherently bad.  Teaching that one of the reasons for Christ’s incarnation and death was to ensure an increase in cash on our part is an abomination.

KV: “What I am pointing out is that if Jesus can circumvent the process of wealth creation by creating money out of thin air, or by making wine instantaneously from water, or by taking a boy’s lunch and multiplying it ten thousand times to feed a crowd that would fill an entire NBA basketball stadium, or by increasing a fisherman’s
catch by 1,000 percent, then there is no way He can ever be called poor . . . at least by worldly standards. Yes, Jesus became poor when you contrast His heavenly home with His earthly visitation. But Jesus was no homeless transient, traversing the countryside
with twelve vagabonds. He actually was a famous traveling rabbi who grew up in a middle-class carpenter’s home and had a very well-funded ministry.”
It’s worth pointing out that Jesus performed miracles out of compassion, and to prove that he was the messiah. Secondly, he did not perform any miracles in order to enrich himself.  Vallotton just does not understand that Jesus became poor, not in financial terms, but through the constricts of the incarnation. Vallotton presents a successful Jesus, famous, well funded, with wealth, power, and glory seeping out his pores. Can you see how hard  Vallotton is trying to justify his own lifestyle?

Vallotton will use any opportunity to take an incident in scripture and highlight money

KV : “Many scholars believe that Jesus had a substantial amount of money from the Magi treasury that launched Him into ministry. Yet traveling for three and a half years with twelve other men had to be pretty expensive.”
He makes mention of the women who supported Jesus financially (Luke 8:1-3)  He revels in the fact that Jesus had wealthy supporters such as Mary who poured expensive perfume over his feet, and suggests that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were “probably His primary financial supporters.”
At this point Vallotton is at great pains to deal with these words of Jesus: Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Luke 9:58
KV: “Much of the misunderstanding about the status of Jesus’ personal financial condition comes from a story told in the gospels of both Matthew and Luke.”

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”  To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62
KV: “His “foxes have holes and birds have nests” comment had more to do with the heart of the person who was inquiring than it did with the accommodations available in that location. Especially since a few seconds later, Jesus turned to another guy and said, “Follow Me.” If Jesus were telling the first guy, “I’m sorry you can’t go with us; I have no accommodations for you,” then why did He invite the other guy to travel with Him? Again, Jesus was not homeless.”
That unfortunately is the kind of shallow argument Vallotton needs to resort to.
There were times when God provided for the needs of Jesus and his disciples (Mark 14:12-16)  Vallotton assumes this was always the case.  Furthermore, God provided for their daily needs, not their greeds.  Jesus did not live in luxury or own properties, he could not even afford his own grave.

So what did Jesus mean by his statement ““Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”  Vallotton is partly correct, his answer did have something to do with the heart of the enquirer – a scribe and probably a wealthy citizen.  Jesus was clearly demonstrating that his life was not his own, he came to do the will of the Father which culminated in his death on the cross.  The scribe would be asked to do the same, and what is envisaged in the answer is not exactly a life of extravagance and earthly wealth. There would be no worldly security in following Christ, no guarantees of comfort or even stability, and perhaps this is what the scribe was wishing for. The apostle Paul  knew what Jesus meant: “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless 1 Corinthians 4:11

KV: “Dressed for Success
Not only was Jesus not homeless; He actually dressed well for His day. If you compared Jesus’ clothes to the people of that time, you would have to conclude that He was at least somewhat affluent. Jesus wore a seamless tunic woven in one piece. When He was crucified, the four soldiers who stripped Him cut His outer garments into four pieces so that they each got something. But because His tunic was seamless, it was so valuable that the soldiers gambled for it (see John 19:23–25). Some modern theologians call His seamless tunic the Armani suit of the first century.”
Dressed for success – that’s really a pathetic introduction to his paragraph, and reveals what’s in his own heart.  Vallotton at first argued that Jesus became poor so that we can be rich, now he claims that Jesus was at least somewhat affluent.  According to Vallotton Jesus became somewhat affluent so that we could be wealthy.  If Jesus was somewhat affluent, why did he depend on the hospitality and funding of others?  His seamless garment was probably a gift, he may have had it for his whole 3 years of ministry.  Vallotton focuses on the value of the garment, instead of the valuable lesson of fulfilled prophecy: For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet  – I can count all my bones – they stare and gloat over me;  they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”  Psalm 22:16-18.

KV: “Let me be clear: I am not trying to propose that Jesus was a rich tycoon on earth, although He clearly had the means to be one through the supernatural abilities He demonstrated. What I am trying to point out is that Jesus was not poor by any earthly standard. He had everything He needed to take care of His team and cover their
travels. He was incredibly generous, He often helped people prosper financially, and He taught more parables about money than about any other subject.”
God provided for the needs of Jesus.  That does not mean Jesus was somewhat affluent as Vallotton proposes.  Jesus was generous, how he “helped people prosper financially” only Vallotton can explain.  Jesus did speak a lot about money, not to give advice that would make people wealthy, that was not his goal.  The way people use money reveals the condition of their heart.  I wish Vallotton would work through some of these parables on money.  Are they encouraging wealth for all, do they provide keys for gaining wealth, do they reveal the secret of obtaining the power that produces wealth?

Lets look at one chapter on money, Luke 16.  These words come directly after the parable of the dishonest manager: If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?  No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” vs 11-13
The same chapter recounts the story of the rich man and Lazarus vs 19-31. I’m sure you know how things worked out for the wealthy man.
Although there is wisdom in what Jesus taught on money, the purpose of parables was not to give sound financial advice,. The purpose of parables was to instruct his disciples (not the world) in matters pertaining to the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not about earthly concerns, but about true wealth – righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Has it not dawned on Vallotton that if Jesus was so concerned with his material possessions, he would never put a thief in charge of the moneybag.  Judas helped himself to the offerings, fulfilling Christ’s own warning:Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Matt 6:19-21

That concludes the first chapter, one can only imagine what this charlatan will conjure up in the remaining chapters.  Vallotton boasts about his ranch, his vehicles, and the fact that he makes obscene amounts of money – he is not merely storing up treasures on earth, he is boasting about them.  As we know, Judas turned out to be the one who would betray Jesus, this was a shock to the other eleven.  Judas flew under the disciples radar, like many charlatans in the visible church today. Thirty pieces of silver was enough for Judas to betray Christ.  Vallotton, like Judas has betrayed Christ for silver.

Since Vallotton enjoys parables about wealth, it seems fitting to end this post with one:
” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.  And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
Luke 12:15-21

 

God – Kris Vallotton’s Fixer

By Rick Becker  15 February 2018

Kris Vallotton is the Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California and co-founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM)  Bethel is one of the leading churches caught up in the deceptive New Apostolic Reformation.  In a recent blog entitled “Two things to do when you don’t understand what God is doing” Kris Vallotton unwittingly reveals the reason why Bethel & co have wandered off into myths and false doctrines.  The fruits of their aberrant theology are clearly visible in Vallotton’s conversation with “God’ who promised to  “take care” of one of Vallotton’s false prophecies.


Kris Vallotton (KV) begins by quoting and then commenting on this passage: “You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  John 15:14-15


KV: If Jesus says that no longer does He call us slaves, it means that at one time He did.  How do you know if you’re a slave? You just do what you’re told.  Slaves love to be told what to do because this is their M.O.  Slaves only know what to do, they don’t know why they’re doing it. The highest level of a life as a slave is just to obey.  You can stay a slave, or you can let God prune you. Verse 14 says, “You are My friends if you do what I command you.”

The disciples were living in a unique time:  the transition from the bondage of the law, to the glorious gospel of grace.  Under the old covenant the redemptive purposes and plans of God were veiled.  Gradually their eyes were being opened to the mysteries of the Gospel as they walked with Christ.  He revealed these mysteries to them because he had chosen them, they were following him, and in this context he calls them “friends.”  Yet in a sense, they were still “slaves” (“servants” in some translations) because only five verses later we read: Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours” 

Many years after the death and resurrection of Christ, Peter who would have been present when Jesus uttered the words recorded in John 15, still referred to himself as a servant of Christ:Simeon  Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 1:1
The apostle John notes that the revelation is given to “servants”:  “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John” Revelation 1:1
The Apostle Paul received abundant revelations, and had certainly been “pruned” by God, yet refers to himself as a “servant”:
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:1
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God”
Romans 1:1

Vallotton is creating a false dichotomy to suit his narrative.  Being a friend of Christ does not exclude us from being his slave/servant.  Jesus also referred to Abraham and Moses as “friends of God”, but we must note that nowhere in scripture do God’s people call him friend.  He is our Lord and master.  The apostle John was able to rest his head on the chest of Christ during his incarnation,but when John had a vision of our resurrected Lord he “fell at his feet as though dead.”  It is this fear and reverence for God that is missing in many churches including Bethel.  God has been relegated to “papa God’ and appears to be venerated little more than “papa Bill” or “papa Kris.”
Are we friends of God, yes, as well as servants.  Who then are the friends of God?  The friends of God are those who have received and been transformed by the message that Jesus gave to his disciples.  Once, we were alienated from God, we were enemies, but through the grace of God we have been reconciled to him through Christ.  As friends of God we obey his commands (vs 14)  bear fruit that abides (vs 16) are hated by the world (vs 19) and know what truths Jesus revealed (vs 15)
There are no new mysteries or revelations or truths that God needs to reveal to his friends.  

Now Vallotton reveals the reason why Bethel & co have wandered off into myths and false doctrines.
KV:Revelation is not the child of laborious effort and searching the Scriptures. I’d like to propose to you that revelation is the child of friendship.”

I’d like to propose to you that Vallotton is once again teaching myths. The mystical false doctrine Vallotton teaches is a result of NOT searching the scriptures.  By “revelation” Vallotton means hearing directly from God.  So how did the apostles hear from God – they simply listened to the words of Jesus and obeyed them.  How do we hear from God – we have the privilege of reading the words of Jesus, as well as the inspired word of God from Genesis to Revelation.
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
God can give us wisdom in situations, lead us by his Spirit, and through his providence arrange circumstances on our behalf, but he speaks primarily through the revelation of his written word.

Extra biblical revelation is the common to Bethel, and according to Vallotton you won’t receive any revelation as long as you consider yourself a slave instead of a friend.

KV: “People wonder how Bill Johnson gets all of his revelation and how many hours he studies the Bible. Well I know Bill studies well, but I believe He has access to that revelation because He has become a friend of God”
The truth is that those who know how to interpret scripture wonder how Bill’s eisegesis and narcigesis of scripture manages to deceive millions.  Bill has access to a great imagination, and probably some deceptive spirits because his revelations contradict scripture.  In another blog post Vallotton writes: “Have you ever noticed the incredible way that Bill Johnson can take a verse from the Bible that you’ve read twenty times before and somehow make sense of it in a way you never knew was possible? I’m sure many of you, like myself, are amazed by the levels of revelation that Bill walks in.”
I have noticed how Bill manages to extract from a text a mystical meaning that has evaded the body of Christ for 2000 years.  These new interpretations may mesmerize the gullible, but they are poison and actually nullify the power of the gospel and distort truth.
KV:Revelation can’t be studied it can only be revealed.”
True and false – revelation is revealed, not through some mystical voice or feeling but through the study of scripture.  The Holy Spirit illuminates the scriptures to those in whom he dwells.  In doing so, the Holy Spirit does not bypass our minds; instead we use our minds in the sense that we study the scriptures. This implies reading God’s word in context, and applying the basic rules of interpretation in order to understand the meaning of the text. 

KV: “In other words, as long as you’re a slave God’s going to make sure you don’t know everything. Why? Because the lesson of slavery is testing if you can obey (and trust) God when you don’t know WHY He’s doing what He’s doing”

This is nonsensical of course, because for every trial and circumstance we find ourselves in, God’s word brings comfort and wisdom.  We don’t have to understand  everything “God is doing” because God is sovereign and in control and our trust is in him.  All we need to know is already in scripture!  What is unclear in Vallotton’s waffle is the level of obedience we need to attain in order to qualify promotion from slavery to sonship.

KV: “Once you move into friendship, then you know all things. Jesus said EVERYTHING the Father taught Him, He wants to make known to you.”
In his blog post, Vallotton creates the impression that revelation is necessary when you find yourself in a “situation and you have no idea why God placed you there” for example “moving to a new town.”  If we knew “all things” we would be God.  Jesus did not reveal “all things” to the disciples, only the things that the Father wanted them to know. What were these things?  It had nothing to do with their personal legacy or great destiny.  It concerned the gospel, the plan of redemption, and the purpose of Christ’s suffering. These things have now been revealed, and as sons and daughters of God we can understand them. 

KV: “God wants us to move from slavery into friendship. But you can’t go from saved to friend. You can only go from saved, to slave to friend.”
As we have previously explained, we are servants and friends of Christ. Where does scripture teach this progression from saved, to slave to friend?

KV: “You move from slavery to friendship by abiding in a word that prunes you, and letting it take off the things that aren’t fruitful in your life. When you submit to that process then you become a friend to God.”
Says no biblical text!  We will constantly be pruned by God, the cut off point will be when we take our last breath.  We will mature in our faith and grow in our understanding of God’s word.  We will grow in sanctification, but we will never ever attain some level that qualifies us to become a friend of God with benefits in the form of special revelation.  

Vallotton will now reveal the rotten fruit of his theology.  This is an eye opener, I don’t quite know how to describe what follows…blasphemous perhaps?

KV: “HOW GOD TAUGHT ME ABOUT FRIENDSHIP WITH HIM
Years ago on I had one of those Sunday nights that was just really good; the message went well and I was prophesying over people and they were crying (which was a general sign that it was going well, ha!) I went home on a high and that night lay in bed and heard God laughing and say, “That was a good word YOU gave that lady at the end.” I started to get worried, and apologized to God for getting so caught up in the moment. I went from a high to a quick low. He laughed and said, “Oh that’s okay, I’ll take care of it.” I said, “How are you going to take care of it?!” and He replied, “What kind of a friend would I be if I only ever did what I wanted?”

I don’t know who this god is that Vallotton was casually chatting to; I do know it was not the God Job encountered:
Job:Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6

God apparently made it known to Vallotton that one of his prophetic words was false.  This is the same God who commanded false prophets under the old covenant to be stoned to death.  Those who have come out of charismatic chaos know all too well the damage that false prophecies have caused individuals, even shipwrecking the faith of some.  In this case however, God simply laughs.  God has submitted to Vallotton’s false prophecy, and will fix it.  Not because he wants to, because God apparently does not always do what he wants.  In Vallotton’s world, God is such a good friend to those who have moved on from slavery to friendship, that he lays aside his attributes and bows his knee to the carnal word of a false prophet.

Vallotton’s flippancy is a result of the aberrant theology of the New Apostolic Reformation.  Man has been elevated and God has been reduced to be like us.  The NAR have reduced God to a partner and a celestial papa with needs. He has slightly more power than humans – just enough to define him as God.

KV: “Ten years later I found a verse that made more sense of this in 1 Samuel 3:19; “Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail.”
Actually the verse points out why Vallotton was deceived ten years earlier (and still is) The text makes it clear –  the Lord was with Samuel; the same can not be said for Vallotton.  He was listening to his own imagination or a deceiving spirit.  How Vallotton can even compare himself with Samuel beggars belief, yet not surprising considering the narcissistic qualities of the false prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation.  God called Samuel directly.  As one of the great Old Testament prophets, Samuel was mentored by the high priest and judge of Israel –  Eli.  In fact Samuel’s first prophetic word concerned Eli’s household:And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”  1 Samuel 3:10-14
Take note –  God fulfilled the words that he had spoken, Samuel was merely the mouthpiece. The Israelites were defeated in battle by the Philistines, the ark of God was captured, and 30 000 soldiers of Israel were killed – including Eli’s two sons.  Eli heard the news of his sons death, and upon hearing about the arks capture he fell backwards, broke his neck and died.
God fulfilled His words.  God got the results that He wanted.  Samuel’s words were like an arrow that hit the mark because he was a true prophet.

KV: I’m not saying you can prophesy whatever you want. I’m simply saying that God wants us to move into a place of friendship, where we abide in Him and His words abide in us, so that we can ask whatever we wish and it will be done.”
Of course we can’t, but Vallotton got away with it once due to his level of intimacy and friendship with papa God.  Vallotton should really explain the verse he quotes: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7.  Can we really ask whatever we wish and expect God to fulfil our wishes? Gill’s commentary sums it up best: “but this must be understood not of temporal things, as riches, honours, profits, pleasures, or whatever even the carnal mind of a believer himself may sometimes desire; but of things spiritual, and with such limitations and restrictions as these; whatever is according to the will of God, for the Spirit of God himself asks for no other for the saints; whatever is for the glory of God, and for their own spiritual profit and edification; and whatever is agreeably to the words and doctrines of Christ, which abide in them. Every thing of this kind they ask in faith, and with a submission to the divine will, they may expect to receive.”

Vallotton concludes his post by telling his readers to learn from the season they are currently in.  He warns that  “If you see yourself as a slave then you likely won’t move out of that place until you learn the lessons of obedience and trust, without knowing all of the details.”  Furthermore, because of their “big destiny” they should lean into the pruning God is doing, because what they learn in the current season will set them up for success in the next.  That word “destiny” has become somewhat of a cliché in the NAR.  Bethel teaches the prosperity gospel, so there’s no guessing as to what a big destiny would include.  Destiny usually means that YOU will be part of a new breed of world changers that will usher in the kingdom. Signs and wonders will follow YOU.  YOU will live in abundance because you are a friend of God.  YOU will make new discoveries and inventions because you have the mind of Christ. YOU will fill stadiums, YOU will be sought after in Hollywood….you get the picture!  Compare this with the big destiny of believers in the early church:  sawn in two, used as human torches, crucified, homes confiscated, beaten, tortured and ultimately martyred.  Few had more revelations than the apostle Paul and I suppose one could describe his life as one that had a big destiny. This is how it was described by God in a word to Ananias:But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” Acts 9:15-16

In his upcoming book “Poverty, Riches and Wealth” Vallotton writes: “You can put Jesus in a manger, but you can’t put a manger in Jesus. Wealth, glory and power seeped out of His pores like sweat on a hardworking man on a hot, humid day.”  (Kris Vallotton, Poverty, Riches and Wealth, 30)

This is ultimately the destiny this new breed is chasing after – wealth, power and glory.

His final suggestion-
KV: “Learn to trust Him when you don’t know the WHY behind things, so that He can trust you with even greater revelation. Friendship is reciprocated trust after all.”

Vallotton is making revelation a mystical affair based on very subjective criteria. The revelation Vallotton is referring to is when God speaks directly to you, as he did with Vallotton.  Keep in mind, Vallotton had a conversation with either a demonic spirit or his own imagination, so what is he leading his followers into?  Revelation has been given. The Holy Spirit does not bring new truth; he reveals what has already been given. We may never know the WHY behind some things, but we still know what our response should be according to scripture.  You don’t need to sweat in order to hear the voice of God because you can simply study your bible.  Thankfully,  there is no level of obedience we need to reach to understand the scriptures in context.  If it were up to our level of obedience or how much God could trust us, we would all be doomed.

The reason millions are being duped by the likes of Kris Vallotton, is because they like having their ears tickled and have not studied their bibles.  If you are a believer, Vallotton is not your friend and he will lead you into slavery.  You will become a slave to your own imagination and voices in your head while your bible gathers dust.  You will become a slave to his false interpretation of scripture.  You will become a slave to your own dreams and envisioned destiny, believing that Vallotton’s reduced God is there to serve you.  You will become a slave to a movement that promises you glory, but in fact delivers deception and ultimately judgement.

” For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.  They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:18-19

 

 

 

 

 

THE FRUITS OF BETHEL CHURCH – ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, FLIRTING WITH THE OCCULT

By Rick Becker  16 November 2017

The false doctrines of Bethel church are well documented.  Word of faith heresy, prosperity gospel, dominion theology and mysticism are part and parcel of Bethel’s “gospel”   Bill Johnson & co claim to be agents for heaven invading earth; however the only invasion they are facilitating is that of false teaching in the visible church.  We examine the fruits of the Bethel School Of Supernatural Ministry based on an a testimony from a BSSM student which was published on the BSSM official school planting page.

The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) is headed by false prophet Kris Vallotton,  “Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church and co-founder of BSSM.”  Their mission is to “equip and deploy revivalists who passionately pursue world-wide transformation in their God given spheres of influence. Students are trained to continue in the ministry style of Jesus: to enjoy the presence of God, say what He is saying, and do what He is doing.”  This is in alignment with the dominion theology of the New Apostolic Reformation – the transformation of the world through conquering the seven spheres of society.  When it comes to evangelism, Bethel promotes signs and wonders, or “encounters with God” as a means to save the lost.  The preaching of the true gospel is by and large foreign to Bethel.  It has been replaced with an ear tickling message that elevates self and has replaced the cross with a throne.  Bethel’s “gospel” consists of a smorgasbord of errors –  word of faith heresy, the prosperity gospel, dominion theology, false signs and wonders, and mysticism to name a few.

Jesus himself condemned those who were always seeking after a sign, and was never deceived by those who “believed in him” because of his own miracles: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 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25
Furthermore, scripture clearly warns of the role of false signs and wonders in the last days: 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

The official BSSM school planting page, recently posted this article (15th of November 2017) What you will read should infuriate and sadden you at the same time.  This is the fruit of a church that is deceiving thousands of biblically illiterate people – many of them desperate to create a legacy for themselves by shifting atmospheres, making declarations, performing miracles, and ushering in what they believe is the kingdom of God.  Heaven has not invaded Bethel; deception has.  Please note: I know that there are some believers at BSSM.  They love God, are passionate about serving him, and are willing to go wherever they need to in order to preach the gospel.  Sadly, their passion is without discernment, and if they truly want to serve and honor God, they will have to come out of this church and the BSSM.  Hopefully, this article will be an eye opener to the fruits of  the BSSM.

The article contains “lessons God taught” Jim, a third year BSSM student from Medowie, Australia. From the article:

Jim: “God Is More Concerned with Hearts than Our Expectations – The first time I really noticed this was when I ministered undercover at a psychic fair. We offered dream interpretations, healings, and spirit readings (prophetic words). Sadly, many of the attendees had been hurt by Christians and the Church, so we used language that was not religious or would cause them to put walls up. We built rapport by just loving them. They eventually figured out we were Christians, but without us saying anything.”

At the outset, any believer should be concerned!  Are we called to minister undercover to the extent that we compromise the gospel?  Are we taught to masquerade as psychic readers?  When Paul was in Athens, a city full of idolatry and philosophies, “he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection” and boldly declared: The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
Repentance and judgement are key elements of the gospel.  It’s common to hear stories from Bethel where people are supposedly saved, yet the gospel is rarely mentioned.  Under the guise of not offending people, the students used different terminology to seduce those looking for what is essentially a  personalized horoscope.  What their clients would have received would have been little different to the psychic reader in the opposite booth.  Sadly, attendees at this event who encountered the BSSM students would probably not have heard or been offended with the message of the cross, which is the only message that saves.  It’s the message of the cross that tells you God loves you unconditionally, but it’s also the message of the cross that lets you know in no uncertain terms how deceitfully wicked you are.

Jim: “To reach the people at the psychic fair, we did not  say Jesus, God, or Holy Spirit. Instead, we called God the “Spirit of Creation. Honestly, this already had me on the verge of feeling offended.”

Yes, you read it correctly!

The apostle Paul:  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..” Romans 1:16
What is offensive is leaving Jesus out of the gospel.  Without Jesus, you have no gospel.  What these students were presenting was a false gospel.

Jim: “A young man came into our booth for a “spirit reading.” I asked him if he would mind if I invited the “Spirit of Creation” into the tent, and he said that would be okay. After we prayed, we ministered to him with a bongo and maraca. The person I ministered with began to shake and wave the maraca over the young man’s head while I pounded out the most spiritual sounding beat on the bongo that my rhythmically challenged hands could manage. It felt like we were really just making fun of the new age scene, and afterward struck me as somewhat mean-spirited of us.”

Did the apostles go around offering “spirit readings” in order to “reach people?” It’s possible a spirit accepted Jim’s invitation
– perhaps the same spirit that produces the Kundalini manifestations that Bethel are known for.  Notice that Jim is concerned that they may have offended the new age scene through their behaviour, yet he has no qualms making a mockery of scripture or grieving the Holy Spirit.

Jim: “What made the situation even weirder was that as we invited the “Spirit of Creation” through what I thought was our mockery of the new age, Holy Spirit actually responded and fell in that tent. We were all overwhelmed by tangible peace and could feel His presence on us. The young man ended up having a vision of the Trinity and then giving his life to Jesus. It was absolutely beautiful.”

No mention of the gospel or repentance.  Feelings and “visions” are the norm for many of these “revivalists” as they present a false Christ, a false gospel, and boast in their works of iniquity.  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Jim:I walked away from this experience very confused. I felt offended on God’s behalf about our behavior, and yet, He had moved in that moment. I asked Holy Spirit about it. I said “Holy Spirit, we were being absolute idiots. It felt like we were mocking other people, and You still fell. You used what we were doing even though what we were doing seemed offensive.”  He responded, “I was more interested in him encountering Me than what you guys were doing.” This was the first time I realized I am way more religious than God.  God doesn’t fit into our boxes.  He doesn’t always move in the ways we expect Him to.  He is more concerned with the hearts of people than with fitting into our expectations of Him.”

Actually, scripture is really clear when it comes to preaching the gospel, and the contents of the gospel.  It is also clear regarding the manner in which we behave.  While God does not fit into our boxes, he expects us to fit into His – scripture.  It is because God is concerned with the hearts of people (desperately wicked) that he expects us to preach the gospel which will offend the natural man.  A gospel that does not offend the natural man and convict him, is not a gospel that will save.  Jim is clearly having conversations with himself.

Jim: “This tendency for the supernatural things of God to look different, to look uncomfortable, to look outrageous, can cause us to assume it is not God moving. We can have this tendency to want to protect His reputation, or protect our concept of how He looks. How often do we use offense rather than discernment to determine if something is from God? In much of the church, we seem to be scared of offense and the mess it will create. We are afraid it will chase people away, and it just does not fit with our image of meek and mild Jesus.”

Bethel’s culture of “risk taking” is simply a pragmatic approach that opens the door to familiar spirits.  The “mess” that is created by operating outside of the limitations of scripture, is something the apostle Paul addressed when writing to the Corinthians regarding the operation of the gifts: “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.  Consider that Paul said this in the context of the Corinthians exercising the authentic gifts of the Spirit One gets the sense that so many outlandish stories have already been told at Bethel, the quest is on to see who can come up with the most bizarre manifestation, strategy, experience or testimony.  Contrary to the chaos being justified, order is by God’s design:  But all things should be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40

Jim: “We assume offense cannot be from God, even though that is far from biblical. If we look at the Bible we can see that Jesus is not afraid of causing offense.”

Jesus did offend the religious false teachers and hypocrites of his day, but to draw a parallel between that and the shenanigans of these BSSM students and their “ministry” is ludicrous.  Discerning believers should be offended when God is mocked, His Word disregarded, and the demonic attributed to the Holy Spirit.

Jim: “A few days after the psychic fair, I found myself prophesying over a woman and her yoga business. It was one of those moments where the words were out of my mouth before I realized what they were. Yoga had always been something I had considered spiritually negative. I had always viewed it as new-age related, and a practice that God did not like. Then out of my mouth comes a prophetic word about God using her business to bring transformation and restoration to people’s lives. I was offended! How could that be God? How could God use something so wrong?”

There is nothing wrong with stretching exercises; there is something wrong with a Hindu spiritual discipline.  Manifestations of a Kundalini spirit are viewed by Bethel as the workings of the Holy Spirit, so it’s actually surprising that Jim had second thoughts regarding his spontaneous “prophecy.”  Why would God want to use what is essentially a pagan form of coming into union with a divine being, to bring transformation and restoration to people?

Jim: “This was a lesson God kept repeating for me, and through that, I learned a tool I now use regularly. I asked Holy Spirit, “Are you offended right now?” He responded, “No, and so you don’t have a right to be either.” The religiousness in me was trying to prevent me from seeing God’s heart for this woman, and for the people around her. In leading a school you are going to run into the supernatural.  Remember, the supernatural often offends and often does not look how we expect it to, but that does not make it bad or not God. We need to use discernment to tell the difference between what is God, and what is not Him, but offense is not a sign that something is not God.”

It’s fashionable these days in New Apostolic Reformation circles to say “Holy Spirit” instead of “the Holy Spirit.”  Why is Jim ashamed of identifying the Spirit of truth?  If Jim & co cannot discern a Kundalini manifestation, do not preach the gospel, don’t mention Jesus, offer “spirit readings”, ignore scripture etc,  what are the chances they can tell what is from God and what is not?

Jim: “Now, whenever I see something that offends me, but does not feel demonic, I actually get quite excited. I ask Jesus if He is offended, and if He is not, then He is just showing me He is bigger than I previously thought.”

That ultimately is the method of discernment in the New Apostolic Reformation – feelings.  While there is a gift of discernment, all believers are expected to grow in discernment: 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 5:13-14.  Discernment begins with testing what we hear and see against scripture (Acts 17:11) Jim does not mention scripture, instead he relies on his feelings or conversations with who he thinks is God.

Jim: “If I find myself getting offended about something that God is not offended by, it means that God is bigger than my boxes for Him, and He is helping me get free of religion.  Next time you see something in your environment that offends you I’d encourage you to ask Him if He is offended. If you discover that He is not offended, view it as an opportunity for Him to show you how big He is. Jesus sometimes offends the mind to show the heart deeper revelation and deeper truth.

Next time you see something that offends you, go to the scriptures. That will clarify most issues.  Ask God for discernment, keeping in mind that discernment from God will never contradict scripture. Do you want deeper revelation and deeper truth?  Then study the word of God.  Don’t rely on mysticism or some bizarre behaviour that offends you.

In conclusion:Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits”  Matthew 7:15-20

The fruits of Bethel and the BSSM are rotten to the core.  They may be passionate and sincere, but they are sincerely deceived.  Far from bringing heaven to earth, they have become a pernicious influence in the visible church.  No doubt many of those involved will one day point to their works as evidence of their salvation, but many will be shocked when standing before Christ: 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

Although many are caught up in the grip of the  cult like New Apostolic Reformation , our duty is to pray for them, be prepared to warn them, and guide those who do come out.