Bethel’s Creative Renaissance – Idolatry

By Rick Becker   21 November 2019

Theresa Dedmon is the creative arts pastor at Bethel. Dedmon claims that in 2002, she received a “prophetic word” that she would lead a “worldwide arts movement.” Dedmon believes “Anointing and healing flows through what we touch and create” You may say she’s a dreamer, but she’s not the only one. Bethel is cultivating a generation of followers attempting to create heaven on earth so that we may all live as one. Co creating with ‘Papa God’ is one of Bethel’s strategies to influence and transform society. While scripture teaches that conditions in the world and the visible church will decay, Bethel clings to the  false doctrine that conditions will improve. One of their methodologies to infiltrate culture and transform society is the use of creative arts. In Bethel’s world, balloons, cookies, prophetic pizza and paintings play an integral role in releasing the supernatural and transforming society. In reality, Bethel is playing an integral role in deceiving millions. They are preparing a generation of biblically illiterate people who lust after false unity, false peace, signs and power. These are a people being prepared to be mesmerized by the antichrist.

Dedmon compares this creative move through a worldwide arts movement to the Renaissance because it “touched every sphere of life and brought innovation and prosperity to every sector of society.” One would expect a “pastor” to commit to preaching the gospel, and making disciples, but like “papa Bill,” Dedmon is under the impression that society is in need of some kind of transformation instead of the gospel. In her “About Me” page on her website, Dedmon writes: “Now, this Kingdom Creative Renaissance will touch every person in society as they see God’s desire to partner with them in creativity.” According to Dedmon, God apparently desires a planet full of co-creators instead of saving sinners and building his church. The seven mountain mandate is the motivating force behind Bethel’s desire to influence and transform society. The arts, is one of the spheres or mountains the New Apostolic Reformation believes they will transform: “We want to raise up world changers to go into every realm of society: church, family, business, arts and entertainment, media, and government. As this happens, God’s presence will not only transform the Body of Christ, but also all of culture.”  – Theresa Dedmon, Born To Create.

Dedmon makes no bones about the fact that she is a vital cog in God’s machinery. Two more quotes from Dedmon’s website: “I was born to be a catalyst, activating believers to release God’s power as they create.”
The word “activate” is one of the New Apostolic Reformations catch words. It’s not in scripture, but it gives NAR leaders a semblance of power which in reality belongs to God alone.
Naturally, your ability to be effective in this move comes at a cost: “All these years of experience led to the development of Kingdom Creative E courses to further serve and activate the Body of Christ in their supernatural creativity…Come join the Kingdom Creative Renaissance that brings heaven to earth!”
Dedmon’s  28 Lesson Journey Into Unlocking Your Creative Potential” will set you back $129. Part of the sales pitch is that it’s value is worth $1500, and in her own words, you will get the “Opportunity to travel as part of Theresa’s ministry team upon completion (value: priceless)”

In a sponsored Facebook post, Dedmon writes: “Have you seen God move powerfully through your creativity? He absolutely can. Our job is to simply step out and trust that he can use anything. If he can use Paul’s handkerchief to heal this sick, why not your song, your art, or your poem, right? So, if you’re hungry to grow in your Kingdom Creativity, I’ve helped thousands to step out and see people touched by God and their creativity. That’s why I created this free Creative Blueprint Download. It’s designed to help you partner with Papa God while giving you a practical road map to active those dreams inside of you.”
Dedmon’s “freebie” Creative Blueprint Download is an eleven page document that includes an assessment, questions, and as usual, a story. Ultimately it’s just a means of getting the biblically illiterate to purchase a course. Dedmon prefaces the download with this mouthwatering possibility: “You might be wondering “I want to learn how to co-create with God but I don’t know…where to begin…the steps to move to move forward …and how people can be touched by God through what I create”

I thought it worthwhile, to examine two examples from scripture that Dedmon uses as justification for God to use “your song, your art, or your poem.” Perhaps I should just clarify that God can indeed use something we say, write or create, in order to inspire, motivate, and point others to Christ. Some are certainly gifted in the natural sense, with various forms or creativity, which can be used to glorify God.  But as we will notice, Dedmon takes this to an imaginative whole new level that I would describe as idolatry.

The first example is from the sponsored Facebook post – “If he can use Paul’s handkerchief to heal this sick, why not your song, your art, or your poem, right?”

Lets examine the text:And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.” Acts 19:11-12
We observe that these were special, or extraordinary miracles. We know that signs and wonders authenticated the message and ministry of the Apostles (2 Cor 12:12)  Paul did not join an international apostolic coalition with membership fees in order to function as an apostle, he was called by God (1 Cor 1:1) and taught God’s gospel (Gal 1:11-12) not the New Apostolic Reformations twisted doctrines.

Four glaring differences between what took place in the text compared to the methods that are found in modern day movements:
• Paul was not praying over handkerchiefs.
• Paul was not selling handkerchiefs.
• Paul was not training people or “activating” them to perform this extraordinary miracle.
• God was doing the miracle, the handkerchiefs did not have magical powers.

There were some in Ephesus who thought they could emulate the exorcisms taking place under Paul’s ministry: “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Acts 19:13
Most of us should recall the outcome, as scripture paints quite a vivid (and painful) picture of their failure: “Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.  And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.” Acts 19:14-19

Ultimately, God was glorified, and people repented of something that could well describe Bethel’s methodology -the practice of using “magic arts.”

The second example Dedmon refers to, can be found in her Creative Destiny blueprint. Dedmon tells the story of painting live with a fellow artist during a service: “we painted live in worship at Tree of Life church. As I saw Simon’s painting after worship, I knew God wanted to release healing to those suffering with eye problems. So, after my husband and I spoke, I shared God’s heart for healing eyes through looking at Simon’s painting (read Numbers 21 for a story of healing through art). As those with eye problems came forward and looked at the painting, God’s presence began to touch them and the result was miraculous. Cataracts and floaters disappeared, stigmatism was healed, and people’s eyesight improved. This time, I introduced Simon to another way of painting with the Holy Spirit’s direction. I was able to give Simon the gift of seeing new ways his art can release physical healing.”
Some may ask, well what’s wrong with God working in this manner? The answer is that we don’t enact descriptive passages in scripture to receive a miracle. James gives instructions for the sick: “Is any sick among you? let him look at a painting call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14

Dedmon justifies her methodology of receiving healing by looking at a painting because  the Israelites were healed “through art” when they looked at the brazen serpent. Numbers 21 recounts the story of the Israelites, who at that stage spoke against God and Moses. God’s punishment for this rebellion was lethal:
 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.” Numbers 21:6-9

This was of course symbolic of the work of the cross: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
The Israelites were healed because they had followed God’s instructions. God spoke, whoever obeyed was healed by God – not the brazen serpent. To use such a miraculous and significant event to justify healing (if there were any real healing’s) by looking at a piece of art is idolatrous. Israel made the same mistake with the bronze serpent.
After the incident in Numbers, it’s purpose expired, apart from the fact that it was a type of Christ. The Israelites held on to this piece of art, and what was merely symbolic, became an idol: In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign.  He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done.  He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan)”
2 Kings 18:1-4

The seven sons of Sceva trusted in a formula, the Israelites placed their faith in a piece of art, what Dedmon is doing is no different.

Dedmon is however blinded to the fact that Bethel thrive on teaching formula’s: “There is no formula, only relationship! Jesus never healed anyone the same way for a reason. He was looking for what the Father was doing for that particular person and situation. Our minds tend to want things to be the same because then we can follow a procedure. But we need to follow Jesus’ footsteps of dependence on the Father.” – Theresa Dedmon, Born to Create: Stepping into Your Supernatural Destiny.

The fact is, this method of receiving healing by looking at art is clearly becoming a modus operandi for Dedmon. In this video on Dedmon’s Facebook page, she once again refers to the story of the bronze serpent, followed by the statement that they are going to “release healing” to the sick in the audience. Dedmon is holding a small image of a tree she painted, and approaches one of the young ladies standing up front.  Dedmon: “so Lord we just release them, so that when they look at this picture, that God is going to heal…. whoooaaaa…whoooaaa.. (mild contortion as in stomach cramps – supposedly a sign that the anointing is upon Dedmon) yeah, just go ahead look at the picture, and see that…we say pain go.”

In this blog post, Dedmon tells more stories of people receiving healing by looking at paintings. The focus is not on Christ, but on the artworks, and the ability of Bethelites to dish out portions of presence:There were countless other miracles because my team listened to the Holy Spirit and creatively released His Presence to bring healing to others who were physically in pain or who needed a breakthrough from depression and other issues.”
Releasing God’s presence is not taught in scripture. God is not a genie in a bottle that needs periodical release by his handlers in order to achieve something.

Bethel are so steeped in the new age and mysticism they won’t recognize staring at a painting in order to receive healing is a form of hypnosis and idolatry. Dedmon describes her mystical process of painting in her book “Born to Create: Stepping into Your Supernatural Destiny.” (All the quotes that follow are excerpts from the Kindle edition of this book, emphasis mine) Dedmon was invited to exhibit at a doctors office in Redding during an “Art Hop” evening.
Dedmon: “..
as I usually do when I paint, I soaked in God’s presence and asked for a supernatural anointing to be released through my paintbrush. Since I was painting pictures for a doctor’s office, I asked for an anointing that would heal those who entered the office and looked at my paintings.”

Paintings are not the only creative tool that Dedmon utilizes : “I train people to prophesy and call out the gold in people through every way imaginable because it’s legal to be creative in the Kingdom of God! One of these creative expressions is balloons—that’s right, balloons! I train people to prophesy with balloon crowns and to knight men with balloon swords. It is such a powerful medium!”

The only medium in this instance is Dedmon. Prophecy is a gift, you cannot train people to exercise a gift that has not been given. Even those who hold to continuationism will struggle to find prophetic words in scripture that “call out the gold in people.” But because Bethel conjure up “prophetic words” and teach that people are inherently good, they have no problem calling evil good, and good evil. Jesus did not return to heaven and leave us with balloons or paintings as mediums, the real power is in the gospel, and the working of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 1:16; John 16:7-8) Bethel talk about ‘hosting the presence’ of God, but in fact they are always searching for and relying upon some external medium for power and authority. From seeking the mantles of false teachers such as William Branham, to utilizing puppets, destiny cards, stretch pants, balloons and paintings, Bethel have turned their backs on the all sufficient word of God; the finished work of Christ; the real operations of the Holy Spirit, and embraced a different gospel.

Imagination forms the bedrock of Dedmon’s philosophy, in fact she believes the imagination is a vehicle for transformation. Dedmon writes: “We need the whole Body of Christ to realize the potential lying dormant in the imagination.”
As an example of someone who left a “legacy” because he used his imagination, Dedmon points to King David : “The life of King David provides a great example of using the imagination to transform the world…Aren’t you glad David used his imagination and taught other psalmists to do the same?”
We could all agree the the book of Psalms resonates with just about every conceivable human emotion, and that David was a gifted psalmist. However, David was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and scripture is incomparable to anything written by a Bethelite after a soaking session in their Alabaster prayer house. David’s imagination did not “transform the world” and neither will the continual use of Bethel’s catch phrases that contradict scripture achieve anything.
It gets worse: “We were made with imaginations that reflect the heart of Creator God, who imagined you and me into being! The more we release our imaginations to dream and visualize from Heaven’s perspective, the more God can create things through us to fulfill His purposes!”

God’s purposes on earth are limited by our imaginations and creations?

Dedmon: “The enemy comes to kill, rob, and destroy. He wants to divide families, nations, churches, and people’s lives. When people are creative, the enemy fails to have power because he has nothing that can stop God’s creative sound.”
Dedmon believes that Gideon’s trumpet, David’s harp, and Paul and Silas praising God in prison are proof that creativity makes the Devil tremble as these sounds are released. Dedmon has obviously been influenced by one of the most heretical and new age books sold by Bethel – The Physics Of Heaven. Bethel’s description of the book is telling: “Read what some of the most beloved leaders in the Christian charismatic movement have to say as they explore the mysteries of God hidden in sound, light, vibrations, frequencies, energy, and quantum physics. Contributors include Bill and Beni Johnson..”
(For an excellent 6 part review on this book, click here)

Dedmon: “In May of 2011, Bill Johnson spoke in the School of Supernatural Ministry and said that creative miracles will happen when creative sons and daughter begin to create. Why is this? I believe it is because we have to “see” the greater glory before it is released. Art, songs, writings, fashion, music, and dance have the capacity to usher in the supernatural, unseen realm of the miraculous.”
Do you need any more evidence that Bethel have placed their faith in creative expressions instead of God?

Dedmon: “Now I understand how creative expressions can not only enhance the Kingdom message, but also can embody it. They not only deserve a platform, but they also have relevance for others who need to understand who God is through a different creative expression. A prophetic painting can be worth a thousand sermons. Transformation happens in our imaginations, whether or not we “get it” at the time. My imagination painted a vision of what my life was like through my restricted religious lens. I needed an adjustment to embrace my full destiny. God knew I couldn’t receive it in word form, so He gave me a picture that could not be forgotten. God used my imagination to awaken me to the role of creativity in communicating and receiving the Kingdom of God.”
One sermon that correctly divides the word of God, is worth all the “prophetic paintings” Dedmon’s team could create. “Adjustment” or transformation comes through the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2) That takes place as we study the word of God, not through entertaining our imaginations.

What would a sermon or book from a Bethelite be without tall stories – it would be half the length for starters. This tall story takes a leaf out of Revelation:
Dedmon:
When we take risks, God shows up and moves in and through us. I ask my students who go out weekly to release creativity and ask the Holy Spirit what He wants them to do. One person received the same Scripture I had received from Revelation 22:2 and felt the Holy Spirit wanted them to go outside and find leaves to anoint. The group went out with the leaves and asked a man they met if he needed healing. He said that his foot was in continual pain. The girl who had anointed the leaves shared the Scripture and what God had shown her. Before she had even given him the leaves, all of the pain left his foot! They looked down, asking him to move it around to confirm the healing and saw that a leaf had fallen on the healed foot! No matter how hard he tried to get the leaf off by shaking, it clung to his shoe. He stomped his foot, jumped around, and was completely healed.”

This story is the envy of struggling artists who run short of paint:
Dedmon: “A student named Kimberly Humphrey asked the Holy Spirit what she should bring on her trip to Mozambique, Africa, and she brought four 8-ounce tubes of paints. She miraculously painted four murals in prisons during the time she was there! Some of the walls were 10 feet by 8 feet. When she returned, there was still paint in those tubes. If God can multiply food to feed the hungry, He can multiply paint to save the nations! As prisoners look at the murals, they are coming to Christ.”

Balloons, leaves, murals….what’s next? Apparently Food!
Under the sub heading “If You Give A Revivalist A Cookie” Dedmon writes:
“I know that everyone is excited about this creative expression: food! Wait, you can prophesy through food and see people get healed? Yes. Food not only invites our senses to encounter God’s goodness, but it can also be a way to prophesy life to others. I know all the chefs out there will love it! The basic concept is that you can ask the Holy Spirit for a recipe or a prophetic word that goes along with the food you prepare. This is also powerful because you anoint the food with your hands and with love!”

Fortune cookies, tea, and revelatory pizzas…
Dedmon: “At the School of Creativity’s culinary arts booth, they prophesied over others through cookies with a prophetic message of encouragement inside. They offered soothing tea for healing and made prophetic pizzas.”

In the words of Brian Houston, there is more.  According to Dedmon “dance changes the atmosphere” and is a “way of bringing freedom and His presence everywhere you go!”
But don’t settle for less when you can have a double anointing. How so you ask –  is this double anointing acquired  through prayers, fasting and meditation? No, remember this is Bethel, so according to Dedmon “drama Improv brings double anointing!”
Lets not forget Dedmon’s  tarot destiny cards:A supernatural art card is a pictorial representation of what you see in the Spirit over a person, and it usually requires an interpretation.”

Sadly, the children at Bethel are not spared the indoctrination of this Charismatic cult. From a young age, they are taught to rely on their feelings, images and voices in their minds. Instead of teaching children from the scripture – what God has said, Bethel are encouraging a form of channeling. What may start out as acting upon the imagination, can end in acting on demonic influences.
Dedmon: “Did you know that children could be taught to prophesy and heal the sick? As children are taught who God is and how to listen to His voice, they create things that transform people’s lives. After all, there is no “junior” Holy Spirit. We need to cultivate faith in our children so they can hear from God and experience the miraculous, laying the foundation for their history with God. At Bethel, children are taught to ask God what He is saying and then to express what they hear in dance, singing, drawing, and writing.”

There is no junior gospel, children need to hear the same message of repentance as adults. Dedmon prefers to work on children’s self esteem:

“As I have mentioned before, we want to bring value to the children in our community. We prophesy and bless children through face painting, balloon animals, and destiny art. We declare their destinies as we knight and crown them with balloons, signifying that they are royalty. We have everyone stop and clap after we announce, “Everybody, we have a princess or we have a knight.”

No Theresa, you have a child that needs to hear the gospel!

It seems as if Bethel’s spirit can’t get by without a little help from its friends. Dedmon has enhanced the waiting area at Bethel’s healing rooms by introducing arts such as painting and dancing.She believes these creative expressions have contributed to healings: “People are now getting healed in the waiting room before they receive prayer from anyone, just by being in His presence through the atmosphere that has been created! They call the waiting room, “the Encounter Room.” The healing rooms are lined with volunteers who can’t wait to create and release His presence creatively so others can be healed.”

Where was God’s presence before the paintings and dancers arrived? Did Jesus (after whom Bethel model their ministry) need a creative team from Nazareth to accompany him. Was James selling us short by neglecting to tell us how important the atmosphere was before praying for the sick? Did Paul leave behind a sick Trophimus in Miletus because he failed to release the presence?

In this excerpt from one of the countless testimonies, another unbiblical practice unfolds. Beni Johnson is deluded enough to think she can wake up angels when they take a break or are idle. While angels are “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation” (Heb 1:14) we don’t have the authority to command them, let alone “release them.”
Dedmon: “Here is another testimony from Louisa Barry, who paints in the healing rooms: I began painting for a woman who had never seen prophetic art before. I explained that I was releasing angelic breakthrough. I didn’t want to control or shape the image, as we can’t control the angelic presence that brings healing.”

Automatic painting releases angelic breakthrough and healing? You don’t have to be a bible scholar to know that what Bethel teach and practice is bizarre, mystical, and not taught in scripture.

Perhaps influenced by Mark Batterson’s mystical book “The Circle Maker,” one of Dedmon’s students tries another formula by partnering with a myth instead of obeying scripture.

Dedmon: “One of my students, Francesco Sideli, who has a degree in art, came to the school hungry for the supernatural and to encounter God. As he began partnering with the Holy Spirit, his creativity became supernatural. People were healed when he drew a circle with chalk and they stepped into that circle.

Like their heretical friends over at Christalignment, Bethel like to blend in at new age festivals. Real disciples were hounded, persecuted, chased out of cities, and many ultimately martyred. But Bethel blend in with the pagans to such an extent there’s little difference between the two.

Dedmon: “Another time, we did destiny art at a New Age festival in Shasta City, California, inside a large gymnasium. As we came in to set up destiny writing and art, we could hear chanting going on over the loudspeaker. As we were busily drawing, all of a sudden, I heard one of our team members playing the congas and singing in the Spirit over the loud speaker. The New Agers liked it so much that they invited her back for another hour! It’s amazing how much God wants to get in to the world’s parties and show off!”

In 2010, Dedmon’s school held a one day arts festival in a park. Some folk are ashamed of the gospel, they know the truth but are reluctant in sharing as they fear they might offended people. In one sense, that’s the sign of the true gospel – it’s offensive to the natural man. In Bethel’s case it’s not that they are ashamed of the gospel, the issue is that they have a different gospel.

Dedmon: “My team strategically created booths that would make people aware of the needs of the children in Africa, but would also covertly bring the Kingdom into people’s lives and carry the power of the supernatural to transform them. We set up booths for dream interpretation, destiny writing, destiny cards, hourly crafts for children, destiny makeovers (makeup and hair), healing, and massage,

The future is bleak, for the world and the false church, both are under God’s judgement, and both are getting progressively worse by the day. Those who have been captivated by the current delusion in the visible church, will view anyone who is prepared to contend for the faith as a “bully.”

Dedmon: “We need tomorrow to be strewn with innovative ideas because our children were taught God’s plans and were able to infiltrate His core values into the systems and institutions of this world. The future is not bleak—our Dad is around to beat up every bully of religion, fear, or inferior thinking and living.”

In conclusion, I’d like to expound on this sentence by Dedmon : “The enemy comes to kill, rob, and destroy. He wants to divide families, nations, churches, and people’s lives.”
Dedmon is referring to John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Jesus identifies the “enemy” or “thief” and it’s not the devil, it’s false teachers and Dedmon is an example of one. Dedmon is profiteering through fleecing ignorant sheep and inquisitive goats. It is God who brings a necessary division within families: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36
It is God who brings a healthy division between a false church, false teachers, and the body of Christ. Scripture instructs us to mark and avoid those who bring a different doctrine. The world peace and false unity Bethel seeks will come, but under the rule of the antichrist, someone they would probably identify as having an apostolic anointing.  Dedmon and Bethel are playing their role in this current mass delusion by rejecting truth, introducing deceiving spirits and propagating doctrines of demons.

 

Kanye West Endorses Joel Osteen

Jesus will build his church. Some believe we need to display signs and wonders to help him, some believe we need influential people to help him. Both parties are mistaken.

“For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Cor 1:22-31


This brief post is about what transpired this morning at Lakewood’s 11am service. One could say that West’s appearance at Joel Osteen’s “church” was a litmus test of sorts, and indeed it was. Defenders of West’s ministry were hoping for something similar to Matt Chandler’s sermon at Steven Furtick’s Elevation “church” in 2012.  Like Osteen’s followers, Furtick’s audience thrive on a narcissistic interpretation of scripture, and Chandler’s sermon was like a bull in a china shop, a brief excerpt:
“You keep infusing yourself into the stories of the Bible like you’re the hero. Now this happens all the time. Right, so I want to be straight, I love you enough to be straight. You’re not David. Alright, your trouble in life is not Goliath. And if that’s true, you’re in a lot of trouble bro, because you miss.”

Unfortunately, Kanye West missed an opportunity to slay a Goliath in the Evangelical Industrial Complex. A gleeful Osteen stood by, as Kanye praised him – 

Kanye: “There’s a lot of people in the Christian community that try to give Joel a hard time, because when you turn on the radio, he keeps on showing you how good God is. God is not the enemy, God is not the negative part, God is not just a perception of fire and brimstone, God is love, is the greatest, is the glory, God is family, God is friendship, God is prosperity”

Osteen: “When you’ve got Kanye defending you, you’ve made it man..”

Kanye: “Thank you for the anointed words and the mission that Joel has been set on, the amazing..the thousands and thousands, hundreds of thousands of people that Joel has brought to Christ.…Thank you for giving me a platform that is so vast, that no one can take it away once I’ve turned over everything to you, thank you for the opportunity to stand on this stage without judgement, next to one of the strongest voices in the Christian community.”

There have been extremes on both sides of the Kanye West story thus far. Some praising him unduly, calling this a new move of God, and even comparing him to the apostle Paul. Others are digging up his past, which is forgiven if he has repented. The fact is that the gospel is at stake, and at this point Kanye is leading people astray by endorsing one of the biggest word of faith and prosperity heretics on the planet.

Finally, an astute observation from Justin Peters: 

“What I find so telling is that the same people in our theologically conservative circles that have been promoting Kanye West and his Sunday Services would not dream of doing the same if it were some unknown guy from some unknown town who professed to be a new believer and yet was openly endorsing theological heretics, false teachers and cults like Mormonism. They would be encouraging this unknown guy (sincere though he may be) to refrain from public teaching, join a good, doctrinally sound church, submit himself to the care of biblically qualified elders, and learn. That is good advice. That is advice that reflects care and concern both for the individual and the broader witness of the Gospel. So what is the difference? One word: celebrity. Kanye is a celebrity and the other guy is not. This, dear friends, should not be. I continue to pray for Kanye. I want just as much as anyone for his conversion to be real. I am not making a definitive judgment one way or the other about his conversion. I am, however, making a definitive judgment that these Sunday Services need to stop, both for his own spiritual well-being and for the broader witness of the Gospel.”

 

 

The Super Apostles’ Hireling Todd Bentley – A Tragic Affair

By Rick Becker  27 August 2019

For years, discerning believers (all believers should be discerning) have been warning about the “ministry” of Todd Bentley. Instead of heeding warnings, the super apostles’ of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) knowingly chose to elevate and commission a man who kicked and punched people desperate for healing. Isn’t it strange, that “apostles & prophets” who claim to have the ability to declare things into existence and predict the future of nations, have failed to recognize the abominable acts committed by one of their own favourite sons- right under their noses. It should come as no surprise that the fruits of a movement that elevates man and relegates God are rotten to the core. This is a tragic affair, because despite the fact that Bentley is accountable for his own sin, the super apostles’ of the NAR elevated Bentley, and gave him a larger platform. The world associates this despicable movement with the “church,” and the victims associate these elevated charlatans with “men of God.” Just as tragic, is the fact that leaders in the NAR refuse to consider valid criticism, and resort to the usual tactics by condemning those who expose their false teachings as heresy hunters or as having a “religious spirit.” 

New allegations have surfaced – you can watch Bentleys response here.  He disputes the “majority of the accusations” but states that there are “some that are true.” Bentley then talks about “faults that are many years old.” God forgives those who truly repent, that is not the issue here. The issue is Bentley’s lifestyle of sin, which not only disqualifies him from any form of ministry (not that he was ever qualified), but should have had him excommunicated from the church on more than one occassion.
What makes this whole sordid affair, not only an embarrassment, but also impossible to ignore, is the fact that it was a charismatic “revivalist” in the NAR or at the very least closely associated with NAR teachers, that brought the issue to light. Stephen Powell was influenced by Bentley:
“My connection with Todd goes back to when I was a kid when I can remember getting his books and teaching cds for Christmas from my parents. Todd’s life and testimony inspired me when I was nineteen years old, fresh out of High School, to take five months off of work, lock myself in my room, and seek the Lord day and night. It was at that time that I had my first visitation of Jesus, and that I first began to move in the prophetic and healing gifts.”
Powell describes of a photo of himself which picked up a peacock feather on his shirt, somehow the photo picked up what he was “wearing in the spirit realm.” Powell claims it was actually a feather that Bob Jones gave to me, um, when I had a heavenly encounter with him in 2014 right after he passed. I went to heaven and I saw Bob Jones and he handed me a Peacock feather, which is a piece of his mantle”
Divination involving false prophet
Bob Jones is just about as big and bold a red flag you could ask for. So clearly, Powell is as deceived as the rest of the prophets of the NAR, and should be marked and avoided.

The details of the allegations are too sordid to publish here, but you can read Powell’s open letter here.
The goings-on behind the scenes resemble the Mafia : “Some of the witnesses I talked to at the beginning of my investigation have since withdrawn their testimony because they have been threatened by people involved in this network of sin and cover-ups. I’ve come across at least one witness who was paid off and made to sign a legal gag order in order to keep silent about the great sins and abominations he’s witnessed. And in some cases, I personally have been threatened with a lawsuit and violence if I revealed my findings.”

Powell also mentions how Knight of Malta and NAR apostle Rick Joyner (who is now in full damage control mode) refused to entertain his plea to address the issues regarding Bentley. Rick Joyner’s incoherent rants indicate that he is intent on saving his own skin, while at the same time demonizing anyone who exposes Bentley’s shenanigans. Excerpt from Joyner’s rant: “I will say this about Todd, he’s still being restored, but guess what, so am I, so are you, we still have a ways to go, and uh, I felt like the Lord showed me in 2008 that this wasnt the last big public embarrassement that Todd was going to have, or mistake, or sin, I was given the scripture in proverbs where the righteous fall seven times, even the righteous fall seven times, he said but they rise yet again, and he said Todd would keep getting back up, he would fight on..”
Being a “prophet” Joyner should have acted on this revelation and saved some from becoming victims of Bentley’s wicked acts. How many times will Joyner allow Bentley to “fall.” It does not seem to matter to Joyner, who is more concerned with Powell going public out of frustration, than Bentley’s sin: “I’ve seen the consequences of those who’ve done the things that this brother is doing … I was waiting to meet with him so that I could have something from God that I could give to him that might help set him free from the course that I believed him to be on…It’s a black hole when you start to believe you’re the police of the body of Christ but you’re not getting that from above. You’re getting it from the devil.”

No Rick, it’s a black hole when you protect a predator by sitting on information with hard evidence, while a bible lies on your shelf. Joyner’s reason once again exposes the root probem with the NAR – scripture is insufficient in their world! The the bible is clear regarding qualifictions for the ministry, clear regarding church discipline, and clear regarding false teachers! While Bentley was possibly stalking his next victim, Joyner was waiting to hear from God in order to discipline the whistle blower. It’s impossible to read Paul’s epistles without coming to the conclusion that he too, “policed” the body of Christ. What is from the devil, is the New Apostolic Reformation. What we are witnessing are the fruits of a man centered movement, with leaders who are willing to fleece and slaughter the flock for their own shameless benefit. The only consolation is that these wolves attract more goats than sheep.

Jeremiah Johnson, another “prophet” who has pulled the wool over many eyes sat on the information Powell provided for three weeks, and then in a dream, he saw Paul Cain and Todd Bentley with plucked out eyes, and Python’s around their necks. Johnson claims God told him the following during the dream: “And when you see all these things come to pass, know then that I am releasing judgement upon My house. For My people have worshipped these men. My people have failed to discern. In that day, when exposure comes, tell My people to not accuse, to not point the finger, but rather to ask themselves, “How have I contributed to all of this?” For the judgment that shall come upon My house in the days ahead will directly deal with the idol worship of men and ministries that is an abomination before Me.”

Jeremiah Johnson is the one who has failed to discern, I know for a fact that he was warned and implored to avoid Joyner the Knight of Malta, but he probably saw an opportunity for greater exposure, and has amassed more followers. As a “prophet” he has has zero discernment, because he considers Todd White to be “a voice of truth in the body of Christ.” Yes, the same Todd White who claims to be sinless, performs the fake leg-lengthening trick, and partners with heretics like Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland.
Johnson has now thrown down the gauntlet to Joyner, threatening that unless Joyner deals with the predator Bentley, he will separate himself “from Morningstar Ministries and will no longer be speaking at their conferences.” Those unhappy with Joyner’s response, can simply exchange one false prophet for another by following Jeremiah Johnson, who stands to gain as a result of this dispute by becoming the new trusted and reliable prophetic voice who appears to make a stand against sin.
But where is the other Johnson – apostle Bill Johnson who commissioned Bentley, helped “restore” Bentley. Bill Johnson was promoting Bentley as recently as June 2018, encouraging people to attend Bentleys revival meeting where Johnson promised “massive conversions and miracles.” If Bill Johnson took the time to listen to those pesky watchman, internet police, accusers of the brethren, and people with a “religious spirit” he would have issued a warning instead of promoting a predator.
Bill Johnson: “While few would admit it, the attitude of the Church in recent days has
been, “If I’m uncomfortable with something, it must not be from God.” This attitude has given rise to many self-appointed watchdogs who poison the Church with their own fears. Hunger for God then gives way to fear of deception. What do I trust most, my ability to be deceived or His ability to keep me? And why do you think He gave us the Comforter? He knew His ways would make us uncomfortable first.”
(
Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth, p 79.)

Dear Bill, the watchdogs were uncomfortable when some spirit told Todd Bentley to kick an older lady in the face. Even the United Kingdom had more discernment than NAR apostles and were “uncomfortable” with Bentley’s violent healing ministry and banned him from visiting the country.

Let’s revisit the moment when Bentley was catapulted into the limelight by the NAR super apostles. If you have not read this excellent and informative article by Steven Kozar – We Remember: The Charismatic Day of Infamy, June 23rd, 2008, I’d encourage you to read it here. Kozar’s article contains a clip of the first part of Todd Bentley’s “commissioning” and some extra resources. I’m going to move on to the next segment, where an incapacitated Bentley receives prophetic words from the super apostles. I’ll post some excerpts from their words, with commentary below the link.

That was basically the Praise Todd Bentley show, but lets examine a few of the prophetic words:

“Apostle” Bill Johnson: “When David wanted Uriah killed, he sent him into battle, and then withdrew from him. As a company of people, we refuse to do that. Many revivals in history have been cut short of their intention in God’s destiny and intention over individuals because of jealousies and fears that get stirred up in the people of God, and we refuse to do that. We shape the course of history, by partnering with you, giving honor where it’s due. You welcome the glory, as well as any anybody I’ve ever seen in my life. I long to learn from you in that, and I bless you, and I pray with the rest of these, that the measure of glory would increase, that Moses would no longer be considered the high water mark where the glory shone from his face, but instead the revelation of the goodness of God would change the face of the church, and that he would use your voice, he would use your grace, your anointing, to alter the face of the church before this world, that the goodness of the Lord will be seen once again, I pray this over you in Jesus name.”

So Johnson & co decided to back Bentley, probably because of the so called signs and wonders at Lakeland, maybe they were jealous themselves? If you can’t beat them, make them join you? So they joined themselves to a literal beater, and Bill thought history would be shaped. Todd’s abuse has shaped the life of many victims, and we can only pray that they will find comfort and truth in the gospel and in our saviour. Instead of Todd outshining Moses, the NAR apostles created a Pharaoh. Bentley has not altered the face of the church before the world, he’s a farce, he does not, and never has represented the true church of Jesus Christ. The same goes for these charlatans running the NAR, they claim to hear from God, and speak on behalf of God to the whole body of Christ. Why did God not tell them what Bentley was up to? Where was Shawn Bolz, the man who can supposedly tell strangers their street address and the name of their fluffy toy when they were five? 

Unknown “apostle” : “For the Lord would say unto thee that this day, you have loosened upon this earth, yea what I have wanted for centuries to come forth, a kingly anointing which will bring in money, money, money, because the business man will rise up, and they will go forth under this anointing, and no more will they stay hidden in the shadows, but they shall go forth into the political world, into the business world, into the military world, and great changes shall take place saith the Lord, because this night is a night where you started out speaking your first words about the kingdom of God.”

Wow, so Todd finally relieved God from waiting for centuries. The God that took a coin from the mouth of a fish had to wait for Todd Bentley to release money through his kingly anointing. This flawed reasoning is why these “apostles” can find no wrong with Bill Johnson’s heretical statement  – God’s in charge, but he’s not in control. The only great changes that have taken place in the world since that infamous commissioning, are those that scripture predicted – an increase in wickedness, a great falling away –  a deluded false church that have rejected the truth. Don’t be surprised if these super apostles one day have a commissioning ceremony for the antichrist!

Female “apostle” :“Todd the Spirit of God says years from now people will look at this time, and they will recognize it as when their God showed up and created within the church a new heart says the Lord, and I will genesis in the midst of the chaos in the world today, and I will not just bring a mending, but I will bring forth that which is new, that which is dedicated, that which is uh, uh decided, that which is pure, and I will heal the corruptness of the heart says God.”

It’s been years, and we recognize that a great deception took place, one that elevated a man, and enabled him to prey on people. Why did God wait so long to give the church a “new heart” ? All that took place on that day, was an activation (NAR terminology) of the impure and the corruptible. Will this apostle repent of her false prophecy?

Female “apostle”: ” For the word of the Lord would say behold the vanguard, behold the tugboat that is cutting through the ice of religious traditions  the cool hard thing, the understanding of the mind of man will now bow to the reality of the revelation of the finished work of calvary, behold saith God, you have been equipped with cutting power, you have been equipped to go through those traditions of the mind of man, yea saith God and you are pulling the church into the realm of glory, behind you is a great ship that is laden with healing and deliverance and prosperity. This is the word to you oh man of God, arise kill and eat, no longer, no longer, no longer will men call unclean what I have called clean”
By traditions, did she mean expository teaching, not kicking people, doing things decently and in order, testing all things…you know, all the things that scripture commands us to do? If this lady and her fellow apostles believed in the finished work of calvary, this event would not have taken place. They are making Bentley into a kind of saviour, a deliverer, a king, a portal and glory carrier, this is pure idolatry!

“Apostle” Rick Joyner: “God has sent you as an antidote to that lukewarm spirit, and that fire has been birthed here, it’s been released here, you’ve unstopped the well, you have other wells to unstop, and other cities, and other places, this is just the beginning, and uh, there is longevity too, there is increase but there is also longevity coming, there are many wells, but there are also oil wells, and they catch on fire when you unstop them.”

Well, the antidote failed miserably, but Joyner was right about one thing – increase came, an increase of evil.

Unknown “apostle”: “Todd the Lord has made you to be a detonator, I see cables going around the world to different nations, I see Great Britain been set ablaze by the power of God, I see even as you go ito places that God says you’ll go even with the glory even like William Branham and the Lord says you’ll carry a portal anointing and whatever city you go over there will be a portal, there will be a portal that is opened up says the Lord, the Lord says you’ll detonate and boom, boom, boom, there will be a release of glory to the nations says the spirit of the Lord.”
Great Britain wisely rejected Todd’s appearance on their shores, and I wish these NAR apostles would stop idolizing William Branham who believed “the zodiac and the Egyptian pyramids are equal to written Scripture.” Obviously “portals anointings” don’t exist, but that’s the advantage of being self appointed apostles, you get to make stuff up, and your gullible followers fail to compare your ideas with what scripture actually teaches.

Unknown “apostle”: “Todd as a fellow Canadian there’s the word honour written all over you tonight, because of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob you’ve honored the generations that have gone before you, as a son you’ve reached out to the fathers and you said bless me, and you have blessed us tonight and so we honour you, you’ve honoured the word of God, you’ve honoured the spirit of God, you’ve honoured the moving of the Holy Spirit and the ways of God, and so tonight we just affirm that the rest of honour that is upon your life will follow you now in every nation that you go, and you will draw men and women to you, that seek honour and want to walk to together, and want to be what God wants them to be, in this generation, Todd Bentley, the word honour rests upon your life.”
And that’s where it went wrong: “you will draw men and women to you.”

The majority of this final clip contains a “prophetic word” from Stacey Campbell, who is quite obviously manifesting something. Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner and the other apostles stand idly by during this Kundalini type episode, during which Campbell compares Bentley to Jesus.

 

Stacey Campbell: “And Todd, I have chosen you because of your background, because of your background, because of your background, to release my nature when you release my gifts…to become a living epistle, like the word that became flesh and people saw the glory of God.”
I don’t know what “background” she is referring to, but it’s certainly not his biblical studies. God can use any believer, regardless of their background before their repentance and salvation! But it seems as if Bentley is simply repeating the sinful ways of his “background.” Unfortunately Campbell’s blasphemous statement regarding Bentley is yet another product of a movement that has elevated men and women, and relegated God. If we are to believe Campbell’s prophecy, It seems as if God had no idea what Bentley would get up to – but that’s the god of the apostles and prophets of the NAR, he’s limited.

Stacey Campbell : “The holy Spirit fell on me, and he started to speak to me over and over again, about a generation that would come on the earth that would do signs and wonders that would change society, and society would not change them, and you are a firtsfruits of that generation of nation changers that will release the glory of God in all it’s fullness”
That was not the Holy Spirit speaking to Stacey, we know this because she received a message contrary to what the Holy Spirit inspired in the scriptures – society will grow increasingly wicked, and there will be a great apostasy, not revival.

While all eyes are on Bentley, the silence of the super apostles is deafening. Their prophecies concerning Bentley were false, their discernment regarding Bentley non existent. Friends, this movement is not from God except in the sense that it’s a judgement and God sent delusion on a people who reject truth and desire preeminence. 

 

SEDUCED BY BETHEL

By Rick Becker   21 August 2019

Jacob had his dream of angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven at a city called Luz, which he renamed “Bethel”- meaning “house of God.” At a later stage in Israel’s history Jeroboam (first king of the northern kingdom) went off the map by ignoring God’s commands regarding worship. Jeroboam appointed his own priests, set up a golden calf at Bethel and seduced his people into idolatry. Hosea and Amos later referred to Bethel as “Beth-aven” which means “house of idols” or “vanity.” Today, another kind of “Beth-aven” exists in the form of Bethel church Redding. It’s supposedly a place of dreams, angels, and open heavens. But like Jeroboam, Bethel church has found scripture too restrictive, and created it’s own “golden calf.” The lure has worked, but all the glitters is not gold, and Bethel’s seductive ladder does not lead to heaven. In this post, I examine what I believe are some of the reasons people are seduced by Bethel. These points also serve to describe the characteristics and teachings of churches that are caught up in the New Apostolic Reformation.

1. SCRIPTURE IS RELEGATED

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

The relegation of scripture is the root cause of the errors in the points that follow. Those who defend Bethel will argue that Johnson & co quote, and base their teachings on scripture. The problem is that the principles of biblical interpretation are ignored, and their error is compounded by their use of the Passion translation – a perversion of scripture. The result is the New Apostolic Reformation’s man centered theology. These man centered doctrines are a lure for itching ears and people eager to serve their passions (2 Tim 4:3)
Like any false teacher, Johnson will say the right thing at times. He is however a master at creating a false dilemma, one that places scripture at the mercy of some kind of experience or encounter.
Johnson believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and that any new revelation does not carry the “same authoritative weight as Scripture” and that “everything we hear must be consistent with what He has spoken to us in His Word” 1

But Johnson’s duplicity is easy to identify. How can we be sure everything is consistent with scripture when we rely on a “presence” to take us beyond scripture?
“Following the leading of the Holy Spirit can present us with the same dilemma. While he never contradicts His Word, He is very comfortable contradicting our understanding of it.Those who feel safe because of their intellectual grasp of Scriptures enjoy a false sense of security. None of us has a full grasp of Scripture, but we all have the Holy Spirit. He is our common denominator who will always lead us into truth. But 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.” (bold emphasis mine throughout this article)
Studying, examining, and meditating on the word of God is biblical, pursuing experiences is not. Johnson promotes a mystical and subjective means for spiritual guidance and growth: “An encounter with God is often a power encounter. Such encounters vary from person to person according to God’s design. And it’s the lack of power encounters that lead to a misunderstanding of God and his word. Experience is necessary in building a true knowledge of the word. Many fear experience because it might lead away from scripture. The mistakes of some have have led many to fear experiential pursuit”

One would think that incorrectly dividing the word of truth leads to a misunderstanding of God and his word. When context becomes irrelevant, so does scripture, as  presuppositions replace truth. When the Holy Spirit illuminates scripture to us, the meaning does not change, but Johnson pits experience against exegesis:

“FROM STUDY TO EXPERIENCE –  The study of Scriptures must take us beyond the historical setting, beyond language studies in the Hebrew and Greek, and at times beyond the context and intent of the human authors of Scripture. It’s time to hear from God afresh—that His Word would once again become the living Word in our experience.”
Did God not inspire the context and intent of scripture when he moved upon human authors? Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.  For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit..” 2 Peter 1:20-21

Lay aside every commentary on the bible that has been produced during the past two thousand years, lay aside all scholarship and studies in the original languages, Bill Johnson believes we need a different view:
“A NEW VIEW  – We have gone as far as we can go with what we presently know. Not only are we in need of the Spirit of God to teach us, we are in need of a different view of the Bible.

And if this is not confusing, I don’t know what is:
“Jesus is the Word of God. It’s hard for Him to not have something to say. Occasionally, we go through times when we feel God is not speaking to us. While that may be so, most of the time He has simply changed His language, and He expects us to adjust with Him.6
Now for a vague statement that allows for gold dust, gemstones, oily palms, feathers, road runners etc to become a means of communication from God instead of scripture:
It is vital to learn how God speaks. His first language is not English. In fact, it would be safe to say it’s not Hebrew either. While He uses the languages of men to communicate with us, He is more inclined to speak through a myriad of other methods.”

Finally, Johnson plants the seed in the minds of his followers to blindly accept God’s additions: “There are pillar truths in the gospel that form the most basic foundation of the structure. Once you have these in place, God delightfully adds to them, as a decorator decorates a house after the foundation and walls are secure. A man of understanding accepts God’s additions and doesn’t question them. He is not double-minded about them. That’s how a person of understanding attracts greater understanding. You treasure something that God says, and that builds a foundation for greater revelation.” 
Conveniently, he does not specify what these additions are, or what they look like in practice. What we do know is that  Bethel’s culture of “risk taking” has led them into mysticism, vain imaginations, and doctrines of demons. While Johnson acknowledges some form of foundational truth, it bears little relevance as Bethel’s theological foundation is flawed.
Bethel logic – there’s a law of attraction that rewards people who don’t ask questions.

It’s clear that Johnson’s position is scripture plus…plus an encounter, plus a new view, plus signs, plus other methods. By relegating scripture and exalting experiences, Johnson has created an attractive environment without boundaries that elevates experiences and leads to mysticism. 

2. SIN IS MINIMIZED

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Jeremiah 17:9

The cross is a revelation of God’s love, grace, mercy, and the depth of our sin – not our worth. Christ died for the ungodly (Rom 5:6), not the worthy, or good that needed a little help in discovering their true identity. If people are inherently good, all they need is a fresh perspective, not a savior. While Bill Johnson teaches that sin is part of fallen man’s nature, his son Eric takes an indifferent approach to our fallen state: “every government, every structure, every system, fundamentally and theologically must start with the concept and idea that people are good, and they mean to do good, even if they’re not saved.  We have to start from that premise.”
That’s not the premise of scripture: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” John 3:19
We don’t call out the gold in sinners, we tell them that God
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
In this article Kris Vallotton boasts in the fact that believers should go a week (or longer) without sinning, and that the real issue is “that if (not when) we sin” we have an advocate. The struggle against the flesh does not exist according to Vallotton: Those of us who know God are not in a war with our flesh, however, we do have a devious, evil enemy who is a sinner. He is endlessly accusing the Body of having his own wicked nature.”
Scripture teaches the opposite:
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” 1 Peter 2:11

We know that grace is not a licence to sin, and that progressive sanctification will take place in believers, but the struggle with our flesh will continue until we die. Furthermore, our awareness of our sin should increase, not decrease, as we grow in sanctification. Matthew Henry commenting on 1 John 1:8-9 writes: “All who walk near to God, in holiness and righteousness, are sensible that their best days and duties are mixed with sin. God has given testimony to the sinfulness of the world, by providing a sufficient, effectual Sacrifice for sin, needed in all ages; and the sinfulness of believers themselves is shown, by requiring them continually to confess their sins, and to apply by faith to the blood of that Sacrifice.”

In his book The Epistle to The Romans, Leon Morris echoes these sentiments: “It is worth bearing in mind that the great saints through the ages do not commonly say, ‘How good I am!’ Rather, they are apt to bewail their sinfulness. ‘Go away from me, Lord;I am a sinful man’ (Luke 5:58) is the authentic cry not of someone who does not believe, but of someone who does.” 9

In his desperation to justify some form of sinless perfection, and absolve believers of repenting, Vallotton manages to mangle the meaning of the parable of the lost sheep: The devil wants to convince us that sin, wickedness, addictions and every other form of bondage are rooted in our nature. That way, he can torment us and then blame it on our old man! But in the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus said that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). Jesus said ninety-nine out of a hundred people in God need no repentance!

Some commentators suggest that the ninety-nine Jesus was referring to were the self righteous Pharisees and scribes in his audience who had complained that Jesus “received sinners.” If that’s the correct interpretation, it basically describes Vallotton.
Gil’s commentary: “the occasion and scope of the parable, determines this to be the sense; the Scribes and Pharisees, that murmured at Christ’s receiving sinners, are the ninety and nine just persons, who were only outwardly righteous before men, and trusted in themselves that they were righteous, perfectly righteous, and without sin, and so stood in no need of repentance for it; now there is more joy in heaven over one repenting sinner, than over all these: hence learn, that a self-righteous person, is an impenitent one; that a repenting sinner is more regarded in heaven than a self-righteous man.”
If the ninety-nine refers to those who are saved, it means they they have already repented in relation to salvation. Bethel love to quote this section from the Lord’s prayer: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” but it seems as if Vallotton believes this part of the prayer does not apply
:Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:10-12
Vallotton can hardly get himself to use the word sin, in relation to believers: “Conviction is from the Holy Spirit. When you behave badly, conviction says, “You are way too awesome to be acting like that. Stop it! You are acting below your identity.”
True conviction says you have sinned, not that the devil has lied to you about your identity. When we sin, we confess, repent, and receive forgiveness from Christ. If anything, we should admit our insufficiency, and boast in Christ, not ourselves. The wrath of God, eternal damnation for the wicked, and the severity of sin are not the kind of topics that will create a jubilant atmosphere in a meeting, yet these are biblical doctrines we should be teaching. Whenever sin is minimized, self is elevated – we become the awesome ones.

3. SELF LOVE

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self..” 2 Timothy 3:1

The following two nauseating quotes from Kris Vallotton’s blog are blasphemous, and reveal the NARcissistic nature of Bethel’s false prophet. Kris Vallotton: “The truth is, as a child of God, you’re supposed to look and act like your Daddy! You are created in His image—a beautiful heir to His kingdom. You have access to everything your Dad has access to, and you’re glorious just as He is!”

Compare Vallotton’s self-aggrandizement to the apostle Paul’s words: “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 11:30

Kris Vallotton: “Your identity as a child of God is a non-negotiable. You’re powerful, glorious, and outright awesome. I want to reiterate the declaration from the video and encourage you to read this out loud today: “I am amazing. I am God’s greatest creation. He loves me to death. I rock. I was born to do greater works than Jesus. I was born for glory. Nations are attracted to me. I have the mind of Christ, therefore I think like God. He’s my inheritance and I’m His inheritance. He actually likes me and I like me too. And if people got to know me, they would like me. Creation knows who I am. The devil knows who I am, God knows who I am, the angels know who I am… and today, I know who I am!”

Who has preeminence in this confession – Christ or Kris Vallotton?

In his book Heavy Rain, Kris Vallotton shares a vision he had. He was thrust 100 years into the future, where he saw an elderly man surround by several generations of family members. The old man was telling stories, and suddenly became serious and teary eyed as he began to explain something of great importance: “He began to speak to those present about their noble roots and their royal heritage. He stared into the eyes of each one, as if he was looking for greatness in their souls. He spoke of the great price their forefathers had paid to obtain such favor, wealth and influence from God and man. But it was what he did next that stunned me. He pointed to a majestic stone fireplace that rose about thirty feet to a vaulted ceiling. I looked over toward the fireplace mantel, where a large, beautiful artist’s portrait of Kathy and me hung. I was breathless as he finished his exhortation: “All this began with your great-great-great-grandmother and great-great-great-grandfather!”I instantly came out of the vision, struggling to gather my thoughts. Next I heard a thundering voice speak to my spirit: Your children’s children’s children are depending on you leaving them a world in revival. You are no longer to live for a ministry. From this day forward, you are to live to leave a legacy!10

Who has preeminence in this vision – Christ or Kris Vallotton?

Believers will have to pick up their cross daily, and follow in their masters footsteps. Vallotton, like his fellow false prophets in the NAR want to avoid the cross, and crown themselves in splendour and majesty. In the following quote, Vallotton completely misses the point of Paul’s words in 1 Cor 4:8.

“We are supposed to enter the death chamber of baptism with a cross and exit with a crown. The crown is, “The likeness of His resurrection! The apostle John said, “As He is, (speaking of Jesus) so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). Notice he didn’t say, “As He was” but instead he said, “As He is.” Jesus is not the suffering servant carrying His cross anymore. He is the coming King. We are to be the revelation of His royalty on the earth. Paul emphasized this to the Corinthian church, “You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you” (1 Cor. 4:8). The full revelation of what it means to be saved still needs to penetrate our thinking until we understand that who we were is totally dead and who we are is the revelation of Christ on the earth.” 11

Paul is not praising the Corinthians for being a revelation of royalty, but employing sarcasm in order to expose the vanity self sufficiency of “prophets” like Vallotton. The context reveals that Paul experience was of someone who experienced a baptism of suffering: “Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.  We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless,and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;  when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children” 1 Corinthians 4:8-14

Barnes’ notes on verse 8 :“Now ye are full – It is generally agreed that this is spoken in irony, and that it is an indignant sarcasm uttered against the false and self-confident teachers in Corinth. The design is to contrast them with the apostles; to show how self-confident and vain the false teachers were, and how laborious and self-denying the apostles were; and to show to them how little claim they had to authority in the church, and the real claim which the apostles had from their self-denials and labors. The whole passage is an instance of most pungent and cutting sarcasm, and shows that there may be occasions when irony may be proper, though it should be rare.”
Vallotton’s self centered teachings will appeal to this generation – lovers of self. In 2016, BSSM asked research group  Eido “to conduct a wide scale research report. One of the questions they asked past students was: “What could BSSM have done better to prepare you for life after graduation?” One student’s answer is telling:
 “I think I felt like I was told you’re an awesome amazing world changer leader  and then I got thrown into the real World like a fish out of water. Ministry life and real world life are very different. And I was very disillusioned. I knew I was amazing but that didn’t translate into society as a whole.”

4. SEVEN MOUNTAIN MANDATE

When Jesus returns, it will be a time of judgement and wrath for the nations of this world and unbelievers (Revelation 19) Included in this judgement, will be a false church that has rejected the truth, and entertained false signs and wonders. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)
That is not the scenario Bethel are hoping for. They are hoping for a grateful Jesus that will return in amazement to a sanctified earth. Johnson’s eschatology leaves no room for the tribulation, or a falling away. He believes we can accelerate events if we are hungry and desperate enough, he calls this “pulling tomorrow into today.” This way, the church will apparently experience all the millennial promises prior to Christ’s return. The means of achieving this, is through the church transforming the world by capturing the seven spheres of society – Business, Education, the Church, Family, Arts/Entertainment, Science & Medicine, and Government.
Bill Johnson: “There are seven realms of society that must come under the influence of the King and His Kingdom. For that to happen, we, as citizens of the Kingdom, must invade. The dominion of the Lord Jesus is manifest whenever the people of God go forth to serve by bringing the order and blessing of His world into this one…The Kingdom is likened unto leaven (see Matt. 13:33). As yeast has an effect on the dough it is “worked into,” so we will transform all the kingdoms of this world as we are worked into its systems. From there we must display His dominion and rule. 12 

This belief is called Dominion theology, and is based on the idea that man lost dominion to Satan due to the fall; the church must reclaim dominion; when it does (through taking control of the seven spheres of society) Christ can return.

In one sense, this theology creates men and women who have a measure of dominion over God – who is made out to be a nervous entity, pacing the heavenly courtyards in the hope that his partners on earth give him the green light to accomplish his plans.
Kris Vallotton: “The truth is that Christ defeated and disarmed the enemy once and for all on the cross (see Col. 2:15). God has condemned him as guilty and handed over the authority he had usurped from Adam to Jesus Christ, the second Adam. Our job as “little Christs” is as deputies who enforce that judgment in every situation we come across. God created a world where our vote counts and where our agreement with what He’s doing is necessary to release His power into the world.13 

Bill Johnson  “If He is in control, then we have to credit Him with disease, earthquakes, hurricanes, and all the other calamities in life. You get the point. I think it’s more accurate to say He is in charge, but He is not in control.14 

Johnson uses examples such as the death of a child, and a young father killed in a car wreck leaving behind his wife and children in order to lambaste believers who say “God has a reason” or “works in mysterious ways.” He describes this as lazy theology: “There’s the assumption that if God wanted a different outcome, He would have made it happen. That is lazy theology that somehow releases us from responsibility by shifting the blame to a God who put us in charge…So whom did Jesus leave behind with the same tools of authority, power, and presence to deal with the threats of crisis, tragedy, disease, and disasters that He had? Us. We may not have all the responsibility when there are threats of horrific problems headed our way, but we do have some.” 15 
These tools of authority apparently extend to raising the dead. Jesus raised the dead to prove that he was the messiah, and to be glorified. Johnson knows better, according to him Jesus raised people from the dead “Because not everyone dies in God’s timing.” 16 

In his book Heavy Rain, Kris Vallotton tells of a prophetic word Bill Johnson received: “I believe that God is looking for one city that would be completely His. God wants to cause a breakthrough in one city that affects every realm of society. When that one city falls under the power of God, it will create a domino effect across the entire world that will result in city after city being brought into the Kingdom.” 17 
It goes without saying that Johnson believes that city is Redding. That is why they are working furiously to influence the various “spheres of society” in their city.

Vallotton is hoping for a worldwide revival, which he hopes will result in us speaking of cancer in the “past tense” and that that poverty will be eradicated. While Bethel may be able to create a glory cloud in their own auditorium, they will find it harder to create what Vallotton envisions:What if signs and wonders became so frequent that God’s glory literally hovered over cities like a mist, and “sinners” became a very small minority group? We believe that Redding is destined to fulfill all these dreams, and we are praying, working and living to that end.” 18 

If believers can pull heaven onto earth, disciple nations, transform societies, eradicate sickness and crime, create wealth for all – what is the point of the second coming? Yet this is Bethel’s mission –  creating an external and observable kingdom on earth.  Vallotton smuggles in dominion theology (the transformation of society) under the guise of apostolic ministry: “For the most part, the Church has only empowered apostles to plant churches. But apostles were never meant merely to be church planters: they were called to be world changers! A leader can plant one hundred churches in different cities around the world, but if those churches don’t bring cultural transformation to their cities, then they are not apostolic. Cultural transformation is synonymous with apostolic ministry.” 19  

The thought of an end time church, persecuted and afflicted by the world does not sit well with Vallotton. That is why he believes the world is “getting better all the time” and is clear regarding his eschatological core values:
I will not accept an eschatology that takes away my children’s future, and creates mindsets that undermine the mentality of leaving a legacy..I will not tolerate any theology that sabotages the clear command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations and the Lord’s Prayer that earth would be like heavenI will not allow any interpretation of the scriptures that destroys hope for the nations and undermines our command to restore ruined citiesI refuse to embrace any mindset that celebrates bad news as a sign of the times and a necessary requirement for the return of Jesus… I don’t believe that the last days are a time of judgment, nor do I believe God gave the church the right to call for wrath for sinful cities. There is a day of judgment in which GOD will judge man, not us.” 

There is no biblical mandate to transform the world. It’s this seductive false vision of a Christian utopia on earth that brings false comfort to those desiring to live in comfort. Johnson:“It is very hard to imagine the Church bringing answers to the issues of life when much of our eschatology anticipates world conditions getting worse and worse. When we also believe that the darkness of world circumstances is the signal for Christ’s return, we have a conflict that ultimately costs us a practical vision—to invade and transform the world system.” 20
While Bethel & co spend their efforts trying to impress and improve Babylon, the true church will always be rejected and hated by this world. A victorius bride is not one that has transformed the world system, but one that has kept the faith and preached the gospel. The lure of being “Little Christs” and taking dominion of this world has seduced those who love this present world.

5 SUFFERING BECOMES REDUNDANT

Johnson: “When we pray for His Kingdom to come, we are asking Him to superimpose the rules, order, and benefits of His world over this one until this one looks like His.” 21

The impression in most NAR churches is that God will promise us all the Joseph experience – we will go from the pit to a palace. You will hear buzzwords such as: increase, favour, acceleration, destiny, legacy, influence, prosper, promotion…in other words favourable words that your flesh wants to hear. Suffering is often viewed as failure, the result of sin, ignorance, or failing to be part of “what God is doing.” But God’s priority for his children is not their comfort, but their conformity into the image of his son. Suffering is a means in this process. No one likes to suffer, whether it is sickness, poverty or any other form of affliction or trying circumstances. There are many reasons for suffering, some we can avoid such as the consequences of bad choices or sin.  Others are inescapable – living in a fallen world, corruptible bodies, God’s discipline, suffering for the sake of the gospel.

There is no doubt that God ordains and uses suffering in the life of believers:
• “For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.” 1 Thessalonians 3:3-4
• “ You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus” Galatians 4:13-14
• “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” Romans 5:3-4

Paul was a true apostle (Eph 1:1) who received direct revelation (Gal 1:12) and experienced the third heaven ( 2 Cor 12:2) These experiences did not make life any easier for Paul, in fact his life after salvation was characterized by sufferings. From the start, God made it know to Paul that he was going to suffer (Acts 9:16)
Life was not easy for the real apostle, in fact at times he came across as a miserable, negative and depressed individual: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
God allowed a special messenger  to harass Paul: So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. ” 2 Corinthians 12:7.
If God wanted to superimpose the benefits of his world, how does Johnson explain God allowing a messenger of Satan to harass his apostle?

Here’s the point – taken to its logical conclusion, the theology of Bethel makes no room for suffering. Bethel have made their mantra clear – as above, so below. There is no sickness, suffering or poverty in heaven, and so believers should experience the same conditions on earth. If healing and some measure of wealth are guaranteed in the atonement, if the world is going to be captivated by the church and believers are going to be praised instead of persecuted, suffering becomes redundant. 

This false teaching that earth should look like heaven has allowed Bethel to prey on those experiencing a major cause of suffering – sickness. Johnson teaches that God has already purchased our healing, and “All lack is on our end of the equation” (The apostle Paul ought to have explained this to Timothy, Trophimus and Epaphroditus)  Bethel claim to have seen thousands of healings, combine this with their teaching that it is always God’s will to heal, and you have made yourself a major attraction to those desperate for a miracle in their bodies.
Sickness is demonized at Bethel. Bill Johnson: “Would satan like to inflict heaven with cancer? Of course he would. But he has no dominion there. He only has dominion here when and where man has come into agreement” 22 
It seems as if the Johnson’s have come into agreement with Satan as they have had their fair share of sicknesses. Despite operating “healing rooms” and a supernatural school, the Johnson’s have resorted to modern medicine for intervention.
To blame all sickness on the devil, personal sin and God’s judgement, is not biblical.
Consider God’s reply to Moses: But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” Exodus 4:10-11
Consider God’s reply to his disciples:As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:1-3

Another area of suffering that Bethel capitalize on is financial hardship.
The promise of wealth seduces those burdened by lack of finances or poverty.
In his book Poverty Riches & Wealth,  under the heading “Money Is Not a Measure of Spirituality, Unless It Is!” Vallotton makes it obvious that God’s will for all believers is prosperity. This is because he makes no distinction between the old and new covenants. He teaches old covenant doctrine of tithing (the new testament teaches us to give, according to our ability and what we have determined) and then argues that the new covenant is far better with regards to “superior benefits.” Justification by faith is not what Vallotton has in mind here:

Do you really believe that an inferior covenant should provide superior benefits? Really? That might sound spiritual, but it actually is opposed to the Scriptures themselves. The writer of the book of Hebrews put it like this: “But now He [Jesus] has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). God said the New Covenant is improved. It is a better covenant, and it provides superior promises. Why not embrace His promise and make the journey from the wilderness, the land of just enough, to the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey, the land of more than enough? Why not reject poverty thinking, build a franchise with God and embrace His vision for your fantastic future? 23  

Lets read the context of Hebrews 8, and see if we can find any earthly benefits promised in the new covenant: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:10-12

Vallotton’s gospel is about gain in this world, Paul taught the opposite: 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” Philippians 3:8

“A fantastic future” in this present world, is what the disciples initially believed Jesus came to offer them. They believed Jesus would set up his kingdom on earth, and some were hoping to experience superior earthly benefits: Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup.” Matthew 20:20-23

Suffering is not a stepping stone to greatness in the world, but a reminder that we are not of this world. The disciples wanted position, recognition and a crown of glory in an earthly kingdom, but Jesus promised them a cup of suffering. We are called to share in the sufferings of Christ, not for an earthly promotion but to be conformed into the image of Christ and focus our hope on eternity – not the temporal comforts of this world. Sufferings are not signs that we have failed to pull tomorrow into today, they are signs that we are children of God, being tested, refined and encouraged to look forward to the closing chapter of redemption – our glorification.

• “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
1 Peter 4:12-13
• “ Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

6 SIGNS AND WONDERS

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24

You could read the entire bible within a week. You would read many accounts of miracles, signs and wonders, and might think that they are normative. Anyone coming to that conclusion has failed to realize that:
The scriptures span a period of approximately 4000 years.
There were centuries that went by during this time, without any miracles.
The number of people who performed miracles could fit in a small church building.
The major reason for signs and wonders in the New Testament has been fulfilled – to authenticate the message and ministry of the apostles (2 Cor 12:12) and the ministry and identity of the messiah (John 10:36-39)

Bill Johnson would disagree with my conclusion, according to him signs and wonders are normative: “In the natural we use signs to help us find a city, a particular restaurant, or a place of business. It’s practical. In the same way, signs and wonders are a natural part of the Kingdom of God. They are the normal way to get us from where we are to where we need to be. That is their purpose. Had the wise men not followed the star they would have had to be content reading about the experiences of others. I am not.” 24  

Some go to Bethel to “see God move.” Bethel’s “encounter” theology has propelled them into experiential mysticism and demonic manifestations purported to be the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon people. Bethel’s “glory cloud” and other manifestations have deceived those looking for signs and wonders to validate their beliefs, and experience some sort of touch from God. This obsession with signs and wonders has become an indispensable aspect of Bethel’s evangelism. Johnson: “Jesus gave people the right to disbelieve it all if there was no demonstration of power upon his ministry. I hunger for the day when the church will make the same statement to the world – if we’re not doing the works that Jesus did, you don’t have to believe us25 
Vallotton comes to the same conclusion based on scripture Johnson’s opinion. Vallotton explains that when unbelievers experienced supernatural manifestations of God’s kingdom in the form of Christ’s miracles, they had the opportunity two see two kingdoms at work: This contrast provides them with an opportunity to repent. A Church that does not demonstrate the miraculous works of Christ has failed to give the world this opportunity, and thus has no right to judge people for their lack of response. Without miracles, the kingdom of God is reduced to words, concepts and good works” 26 
Johnson and Vallotton are incorrect of course. There were times for example when Paul displayed the signs of an apostle but his custom was to “reason” from the scriptures. Athens was a city steeped in idolatry, this would have been a great opportunity for Paul to shift the atmosphere (Bethel terminology) by binding spirits and performing a few miracles. Instead, Paul delivered a sermon and the result was that some believed, and other mocked. The rich man once subscribed to Bethel’s notion that if God’s kingdom can only be reduced to words, evangelism becomes less effective. He asked Abraham to send Lazarus the beggar back to earth to warn his brothers, Abraham’s reply should serve as a warning to Bethelites:But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:29-31
Miracles don’t save, the gospel does – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” Romans 1:16 


Those who have bought into the Bethel lie that the gospel must be accompanied with signs and wonders, often accuse those who disagree with them of  “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:5
However, the power referred to in this verse does not refer to the working of miracles, but the power of the gospel in that it transforms lives. Despite an“appearance of godliness” those who should be “avoided” are not those who fail to operate in signs and wonders, but people who are: lovers of self, lovers of money, proud.. arrogant, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3:2-4. Paul then lists two more characteristics of those who should be avoided. They are always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” and “Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.”
Jannes and Jambres were Pharaoh’s magicians or sorcerers who opposed Moses and used their secret arts to changes their staff’s into serpents.

Paul’s advice to Timothy at the end of the chapter: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 3:13-17
 In Johnson’s view, scriptures plus signs make us complete, and so he reinterprets scripture to suit Bethel’s narrative:
Most of us read our Bibles with religious, cultural biases more than we realize. Look at this verse, for example. Jesus said, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe” (John 4:48). I grew up imagining that His tone of voice was one of disgust because He was scolding them for the weak faith that must have some kind of experience in order to believe. But what if He was just acknowledging how faith grows? That thought seems to be supported by the fact that Jesus followed this statement with a miracle. Why? First of all, miracles always came out of His love for people. But secondly, He wanted them to grow in faith. And He had just the process for their development—seeing signs and wonders.” 27 

Jesus was lamenting the fact that Jews continually needed signs. Johnson ignores the fact that in the same chapter, many Samaritans “believed because of his word.” vs 41. So were the Samaritans weaker or underdeveloped in their faith for believing without witnessing signs and wonders? If needing signs and wonders was a universal need to grow in faith, and still relevant today, why did Jesus tell Thomas: “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:28-29
And why did Paul not appease the need for signs and wonders when he preached:
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” 1 Cor 1:22-23

False signs and wonders have played a pivotal role in deceiving people, and will continue to delude those who have rejected the truth. The bar is currently so low, that feathers, gemstones, gold dust, and “glory clouds” deceive Bethelites. While they might revel in the atmosphere created at Bethel, their very souls are at stake. They are unaware of the fact that God’s judgement is not upon those who question their signs and wonders, but upon those who have rejected truth and believe what is false.
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

Johnson & co go a step further than merely offering people an opportunity to witness or experience signs and wonders, they will teach you how to perform them:

7 SUPERNATURAL POWERS

One of Bethel’s core values is that “The Holy Spirit gives every believer the supernatural power to witness and release miracles, signs, and wonders.
But scripture teaches that as far as the gifts are concerned, the Spirit “apportions to each one individually as he wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:11.
Continuity versus discontinuity of the gifts is NOT the issue as far as Bethel is concerned, orthodoxy is. You and I can “release” absolutely nothing!  Bethel clearly operates outside the confines of scripture when it comes to the gifts.
Bethel School Of Supernatural Ministry students pay approximately $5000 per annum in order to learn how to operate in the supernatural. In other words there’s nothing supernatural about the school, as gifts of God cannot be taught or bought.
• “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
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,  saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”  But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!” Acts 8:18-20

Bethel’s “activations” into the so called supernatural gifts employ spinning wheels, Uno cards, and a lot of guesswork involving meaningless information : “While teaching on words of knowledge, ask students to get a word of knowledge (e.g. his/her favorite toy growing up, last four digits of his/her phone number, parent’s name, etc.) for the student sitting to their right.”

Bill Johnson makes very little distinction between Jesus and believers when it comes to supernatural powers – “Jesus became the model for all who would embrace the invitation to invade the impossible in His name. He performed miracles, wonders and signs,as a man in right relationship to God…not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unattainable for us. But if He did them as a man, I am responsible to pursue His lifestyle. Recapturing this simple truth changes everything…and makes possible a full restoration of the ministry of Jesus in His Church” 28 

More skulduggery from Bill Johnson – in 2013, Johnson’ penned his infamous statement concerning the divinity of Christ: “Jesus lived His earthly life with human limitations. He laid His divinity aside as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father: to live life as a man without sin, and the die in the place of mankind for sin.” 29  
He deserved all the criticism he received for this teaching –  known as the Kenosis heresy (Jesus gave up his divine attributes during his incarnation). In 2018 he affirmed Christ’s divinity, but in a way that enabled him to retain his teaching that Jesus came to model a supernatural life for us: “Jesus, who would shed His blood to redeem mankind, emptied Himself of His rights as God and took upon Himself the limitations of man. While Jesus never stopped being God, He took on flesh to complete the assignment that we failed to finish. Satan was defeated by a man—the Son of Man—who was rightly related to God.30 
In this instance Johnson says Jesus never stopped being God, but he’s also saying that there’s nothing stopping you from acting like God as far as the supernatural is concerned. Obviously Jesus was “rightly related to God” – because he is God. While believers are “rightly related to God” that does mean they are equal to God incarnate! Jesus humbled himself and came in the flesh, but his humility did not cancel his divinity. One thing Jesus did come to model for us – is humility. That is the point Paul is trying to convey to the Philippians:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:5-7
But it’s far more exciting and attractive to teach the Jesus came to model superpowers.
Johnson goes to great lengths to emphasize the humanity of Christ in order to hoodwink his followers into believing that they will have the same supernatural lifestyle.
Do you want to walk on water, raise the dead, calm storms, change water into wine? Johnson has the formula: Be a man/woman, be in the right relationship with God, and get the right equipment: the anointing Jesus received was the equipment necessary, given by the Father to make it possible for Him to live beyond human limitations…The anointing is what linked Jesus the man, to the divine, enabling Him to destroy the works of the devil.” 31 
What Johnson neglects to add, is that all believers are anointed:
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.” 1 John 2:20-21
In this context, the anointing is not referring to the ability to perform miracles, but to discern and resist those who are antichrists and deceivers. In other words, the real anointing will allow you to discern the deception that is taking place at Bethel.

Johnson again, emphasizing the humanity of Christ: “The Father wanted satan defeated by man … one made in His image. Jesus, who would shed His blood to redeem mankind, emptied Himself of His rights as God and took upon Himself the limitations of man. Satan was defeated by a man—the Son of Man, who was rightly related to God. Now, as people receive the work of Christ on the cross for salvation, they become grafted into that victory.” 32 

No Bill, Jesus IS the image of God (Col 1:15) who came in the flesh.

Johnson does not understand the purpose of miracles performed by Jesus: “If Jesus meant for us to be involved in healing the sick, raising the dead, etc., what standard do we follow? Did Jesus show us what God could do? Or was He showing us what a person could do who was in right relationship with God? I believe the latter. 33 
Johnson’s view that Jesus came to model supernatural powers for believers forces him to ignore the fact that Jesus performed miracles primarily to prove that he was the messiah: 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

Look at the response of the disciples after Jesus walked on water: “And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:33
John the Baptist knew Jesus was the messiah: “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. When he was in prison, John sent his disciples to ask Jesus if  “he was the one to come, or if they should look for another.” Luke 7:20
Jesus responded by telling John’s disciples to tell John what they had witnessed: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.” Luke 7:22

Jesus did not perform miracles to model the superpowers available to believers, but to prove that he was God incarnate. If Bethelites are able to record a “glory cloud,” is it not strange that there is not one single video of a miracle even remotely similar to what Jesus performed? The greatest miracle, is the salvation of sinners, and our part is to preach the gospel.

SPECIAL REVELATIONS, SECRETS & SIGNS 

Revelations
In Kris Vallotton’s blog “Words Of Wisdom From A Millennial Prophetess” he asks the “prophetess” about her “call to the OFFICE of prophet.” Part of her response:
The main call of the prophet is to take what we’re hearing from God, make it palatable, and actually teach people how to do it. Sometimes we have to take the mystery of God and make it seem not so far away — make it more simple to understand — so the body of Christ and the church can understand it.”
Basically what she’s is saying is that there is a hierarchy in the church, and a few special people will receive direct revelation from God. These messages need to be simplified for regular sheep. How is this any different from the RCC or any other cult?

So what’s the secret to receive revelations, well according to Vallotton doctrine does not matter (so how do they test their revelations?) what matters is relationships.
Kris Vallotton: Apostles create covenantal, family relationships because believers are attached to and through fathers, mothers and family, not doctrine. This promotes freedom for people to think creatively, to dream, to envision with God and to experience new depths of the Holy Spirit. This relational security creates an environment that attracts revelation. The very nature of revelation is that people get fresh perspectives and deeper insights from God’s Word and have extraordinary encounters with the supernatural Kingdom of God.” 34  
“Attract revelation” – is God a magnetic force?

Johnson: “There are anointings, mantles, revelations and mysteries that have lain unclaimed, literally where they were left, because the generation that walked in them never passed them on. I believe it’s possible for us to recover realms of anointing, realms of insight, realms of God that have been untended for decades simply by choosing to reclaim them and perpetuate them for future generations.” 35  
What Johnson believes is irrelevant, does scripture teach that we can simply choose to reclaim a revelation? What revelation has been hidden for decades? Johnson might want to reconsider his quest for neglected mantles and anointings! Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, and when Elijah was caught up into heaven, Elisha picked up his mantle. I’m sure Elisha’s miracles are the envy of every Bethelite, however the mantle could not prevent Elisha from what Johnson should describe as an untimely death:
“Now when Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die” 2 Kings 14:1

Secrets 
Bill Johnson: Become a friend of God. God shares His secrets with His friends. “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15) He makes all things known to His friends. Not only does He want to share all, He’s invited us to ask anything of Him. But be accustomed to hearing more than you can share with others. Listen as He speaks, but speak only what He gives you freedom to speak about. Some things are revealed only because we’re friends, and are not to be shared with others.” 36  
Where is this “doctrine of secrets” taught in scripture?

Signs
The revelation of God’s infallible word is not sufficient according to Johnson: “Revelation that does lead us to divine encounter will bring breakthrough that causes a personal transformation. Revelation is the key to spiritual growth because it takes us where we cannot go ourselves. We experience “encounters” because we need “signs” in order to get to where we haven’t gone before. I don’t need signs when I travel familiar roads, but I have to have signs if I’m going to travel where I’ve never been.” 37  
Another nonsensical and mystical word salad from Johnson.

Johnson: “His manifestations, while offensive to the minds of many, are limitless in number, and are simple indicators of God’s presence and purpose. Why are they necessary? Because He wants to take us farther, and we can only get there by following signs. Our present understanding of Scripture can only take us so far.” 38 
Kundalini manifestations at Bethel are offensive to the scriptures, and therefore to the minds of discerning believers. What if a believer does not receive any signs? Are they missing out on what God has in store for them? What sort of signs should we be looking for? Why are Bethelites looking for omens when they have the scriptures? If God uses signs to take us further, how will we know when we’ve arrived if there’s no description of our destination? Vallotton admits that he doesn’t know the purpose of signs such as feathers and gold dust, so he simply concludes that they are a “wonder.”
“Why does God do these things, you ask? I really don’t know. I have often been among different groups of leaders who speculate about the purpose of these signs. I have heard many ideas that sound good and make me feel better about the things I have experienced. But the truth is, I really don’t know why these things happen. Therefore, I do think feathers and gold dust qualify as “wonders.”

It’s tempting to believe that God will give new insights and revelations that have escaped the body of Christ for 2000 years or remained unclaimed for generations. Tempting because you will be the special one that God has revealed this to, and tempting because an opportunity is knocking at your door. This is the opportunity for you to rise above the crowd, join the elite in the NAR club and become a:

9 SIGNIFICANT VOICE

Bethel is a platform for the cultivation of significant voices, and I’m not speaking about the vocalists of Bethel music or Jesus culture. If you maintain the “culture of honour” within the system, grow in your “anointing” and come up with some sort of course or “revelation, the NAR is your oyster. While the percentage of those who achieve this status may be small, the thought of becoming a significant player in NAR is appealing – for all the wrong reasons.
The office of apostle and prophet is closed, they were appointed directly by God, and have completed their task which was laying the foundation (Eph 2:20) But the privileges that came with these titles (direct revelation, signs and wonders) are irresistible to those mesmerized by the New Apostolic Reformation. Why settle for being a significant voice without a significant title? The proliferation of modern day “apostles” and “prophets” is a fruit of NAR theology – the restoration of the five-fold ministry. These titles are claimed by men and women in order to elevate their status in the visible church, and improve their chances of becoming an unquestionable significant voice. Their teachings are not questioned, their visions are accepted, and their new revelations are apparently crucial to believers. This affords them the opportunity to become:

10 SPIRITUAL ENTREPRENEURS

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:3

The NAR is a burgeoning industry and the qualifications needed to make money are minimal, even non existent apart from “hearing from God” or walking in some sort of “anointing.” In fact, the real qualification is to be unqualified in biblical terms. Spiritual entrepreneurs in the NAR abandon context and employ eisegesis to inject their presuppositions into the text. Sound expository teaching would sound the death knell for the vain imaginations of Bill Johnson & co. Can you recall a series at Bethel, where Johnson or Vallotton faithfully work through an epistle or one of the Gospels using a real bible, explaining what each verse means in context?

I’m going to name a few of the homegrown unqualified “significant voices” cultured by Bethel. Most are still at Bethel, and have dual ministries – allowing them to capture a larger audience outside of Bethel and of course generate larger incomes. Their websites include pages displaying their products, from teachings to apparel.

Dawna De Silva has ministered at Bethel for the past twenty years. She is the co creator of Bethel’s Sozo ministry – one of the most destructive courses in the visible church. De Silva teaches a course on “shifting atmospheres” – a concept God apparently forgot to include in scripture.
Stephen De Silva – Dawna’s husband “offers the Body of Christ a fresh, Holy Spirit-inspired perspective with his biblically based financial insights.” Excerpt from an advert for a course he recently presented in South Africa: “De Silva will teach on the broad subject of stewardship using his unique approach to wealth. Biblical truth, fresh revelation and prophetic acts will provide attendants with new levels of breakthrough overcoming the spirit of poverty, the spirit of mammon, and many mysteries of riches and wealth..
Havilah Cunnington  “serves as a pastor at Bethel Church” and offers a “Prophetic Personalities” course.  She identified what all the real Apostles missed – there are four types of prophetic personalities.  Havilah will “teach on four types of prophetic gifts, unleashing you into a bold life of hearing from Heaven.”  Learning to hear from God will currently cost you less, as Cunnington has reduced the course to $39.

Theresa Dedmon creator of the infamous “Destiny” cards is part of Bethel’s pastoral staff, and oversees the creative arts department for the church and School of Supernatural Ministry. For $44.95 you can purchase a pair of “Stairway to Heaven” leggings from Dedmon’s catalog and Go from yoga to dinner in our body hugging printed leggings!” Dedmon’s sales pitch: “My fashion designs embody the prophetic art they are created from. Wearing my art enhances your awareness of God’s presence, and helps you become a walking encounter of Heaven’s message to those around you.”
Seth Dahl was Bethel’s children pastor, creator of Vince the puppet who apparently releases heaven into earth, and helped Seth transfer the anointing during a “fire tunnel.” Seth has had the privilege of meeting an angel of finance, and Jesus once asked Seth to forgive Him (Jesus)
Andy Mason is the director of “Heaven in Business” and the co founder of Bethel Business School,  a school  “dedicated to helping our students cultivate an awareness of God’s Presence in their daily lives. The Presence of God transforms the world within us as it impacts the environment around us.” One course they offer is the
Excelerator Bootcamp – a course that will help you “shape the nations through your business.” The course includes a lecture on the “spiritual foundations to a supernatural culture” and “multiple ways to hear God for wisdom and strategies in business growth.” The five day course will “save over a year in your business growth process” but will eat into your savings at a cost of $2750.
Ben Fitzgerald served as a pastor at Bethel Church, and is currently the Director of Awakening Europe. Ben’s parents are Ken and Jenny Hodge who have a “ministry” called “Christalignment.” Ben has come out in defense of the occultic methodology and shenanigans of his parents.

11 SHAMEFUL GAIN

Vallotton: “We’re restoring health to people’s bodies, souls and spirits. We’re restoring financial prosperity. We’re restoring morality in the government. We’re restoring holiness in the arts. We’re restoring land and much more” 39

Ignorant Paul, why did he not have the power to restore financial prosperity: But godliness with contentment is great gain,  for 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.” 1 Timothy 6:6-9

More from Vallotton: Wealth is a power and not just a condition. God’s the one who gives people the power to make wealth, which is the magnetic attraction to prosperity. God intends wealth to be a sign that His people have made a covenant with Him.
Vallotton is a charlatan, scripture is clear – prosperity is NOT a sign of our relationship with God: “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…” – Rev 2:9 (their riches were not material)

“as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything” – 2 Corinthians 6:10 (making them rich in Christ not finances)

Spiritual entrepreneurs prosper because they are tickling itching ears, but Vallotton believes it’s an anointing that causes people to inexplicably give:
 
“You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18). Wow! There are two things that grab me from this passage. The first is that God gave His people power to make wealth. In other words, wealth is more than wise financial investments; it is actually a magnetic force—a tractor beam, so to speak—that sucks prosperity into its vortex. When God anoints a person, or in this case an entire nation, with the power to make wealth, it creates an invisible yet tangible culture in which people feel impassioned to give to those who are anointed, even though they often cannot even explain why. This kind of anointing transcends logic and reason.” 40  

There really can only be one explanation that people actually believe this drivel – a mixture of the law, Star Trek, new age teachings. This is the result of a spiritual delusion that has come upon people who have rejected truth. Significant voices and spiritual entrepreneurs are not the only Bethelites who prosper financially or have a chance to get rich. The ordinary member at Bethel is primed to expect financial gain. Here are some excerpts from Bethel’s  declarations that they make during their offering time:

We are believing the Lord for:

Jobs and better jobs
Raises and bonuses
Benefits
Sales and commissions
Favorable settlements
Estates and inheritances

Interests and income
Rebates and returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts and surprises
Finding money
Debts paid off
Expenses decrease
Blessing and increase
Compare Bethel’s desire for riches to Paul’s words: I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:10-13. 

CONCLUSION

It’s a pity Bill Johnson does not apply his own advice: “Nothing is accomplished by allowing our imagination to create our own image of God. He would then be no better than the gods made out of wood or stone, also created by human initiative. Inventing Him in our minds or building Him with our hands is a similarity that is both vain and ultimately destructive.” 41  
Yet that is exactly what Bethel have done – created another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel. Jeroboam seduced his people with a golden calf, these days it takes a little gold dust to seduce those willing to go off the map. The secret arts of Bethel are a result of another spirit, and human initiative.
Johnson speaks of travelling to cities that are full of spiritual darkness, and says he chooses to focus on what he represents, instead of the darkness:
“I come as a house of God. As such I contain a gate to heaven, with a ladder providing angelic activities according to the need of the moment. Simply put, I am an open heaven! This does not apply to a select few. On the contrary, this revelation is about the house of God and the principles of the house apply to all believers.” 42
Bethel Church Redding does indeed come as a gate, but it does not lead to heaven, and the ladder they provide is filled with activities from vain imaginations and fallen angels. The open heaven they claim to be under, is a God ordained delusion – because they do not love the truth.

ENDNOTES

1. Bill Johnson. A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God: Dreaming With God to Transform Your World (Kindle Locations 1463-1464). Destiny Image, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
2. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles.  Shippensburg, Destiny Image, 2013, p 73.
3. Ibid. p 84.
4.  Bill Johnson, A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God: Dreaming With God to Transform Your World. Destiny Image, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Kindle Locations 1457-1458)
5. Ibid (Kindle Locations 1513-1514)
6. Ibid (Kindle Location 593)
7. Ibid  (Kindle Location 581)
8. Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind Access to a Life of Miracles – Daily Devotional & Journey. Shippensburg, Destiny Image, 2006, p 68.
9. Leon Morris, The Epistle to The Romans. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1988, pg 288
10. Kris Vallotton,  Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World with God’s Transforming Power (Kindle Locations 3470-3472). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
11. Kris Vallotton & Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty: Discovering Your Rights and Privileges of Being a Son or Daughter of God. Destiny Image Publishers 2006, Chapter 9
12. Bill Johnson. A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God: Dreaming With God to Transform Your World (Kindle Locations 727-729). Destiny Image, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
13. Kris Vallotton & Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty: Discovering Your Rights and Privileges of Being a Son or Daughter of God. Destiny Image Publishers 2006, Chapter 12
14. Bill Johnson, God is Good – He’s Better Than You Think, Destiny Image 2016, Chapter 9.
15. Ibid. Chapter 9
16. Ibid. Chapter 8.
17. Kris Vallotton. Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World with God’s Transforming Power (Kindle Location 1964). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition
18. Ibid (Kindle Location 1976)
19. Ibid
 (Kindle Locations 884-887)
20. Bill Johnson. A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God: Dreaming With God to Transform Your World (Kindle Location 532). Destiny Image, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
21. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. Shippensburg, Destiny Image, 2013, chapter 4   p 61.
22. Ibid. p 44.
23. Kris Vallotton, Poverty Riches & Wealth, Chosen Books, 2018, Chapter 6.
24. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. Shippensburg, Destiny Image, Chapter 12
25. Ibid. p 93.
26. Kris Vallotton. Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World with God’s Transforming Power (Kindle Locations 193-194). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
27. Bill Johnson. Experience the Impossible: Simple Ways to Unleash Heaven’s Power on Earth,  Bloomington, Chosen Books, 2014, 4.FAITH
28. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles.  Shippensburg, Destiny Image, 2013,p 28?? Chapter 2
29. Ibid. p 75.
30. Bill Johnson, God is Good – He’s Better Than You Think, Destiny Image 2018, Chapter 2
31. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles.  Shippensburg, Destiny Image, 2013 p 75.
32. Ibid. p 31.
33. Bill Johnson, Experience the Impossible: Simple Ways to Unleash Heaven’s Power on Earth,  Bloomington, Chosen Books, 2014, 15. Love.
34. Kris Vallotton. Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World with God’s Transforming Power (Kindle Location 356). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
35. Ellyn Davis; Judy Franklin. The Physics of Heaven (Kindle Locations 549-551). Double Portion Publishing. Kindle Edition.
36. Bill Johnson. A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God: Dreaming With God to Transform Your World (Kindle Location 1379). Destiny Image, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
37. Kris Vallotton & Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty: Discovering Your Rights and Privileges of Being a Son or Daughter of God. Destiny Image Publishers, 2006, Chapter 15
38. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles.  Shippensburg, Destiny Image, 2013 p 136
39. Kris Vallotton & Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty: Discovering Your Rights and Privileges of Being a Son or Daughter of God. Destiny Image Publishers 2006, Chapter 12
40. Kris Vallotton, Poverty Riches & Wealth, Chosen Books, 2018, Chapter 6.
41. Bill Johnson, God is Good – He’s Better Than You Think, Destiny Image 2018, Chapter 1.
42. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth : A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. Shippensburg, Destiny Image, 2013, Chapter 12, pg 134.

 

SOUTH AFRICA – FROM STATE CAPTURE TO CHURCH CAPTURE

By  Rick Becker     1 May 2019

South Africans were asked to “connect the dots” in order to understand and expose state capture. If you connect the dots I provide in this article, you can only come to one conclusion – the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) has captured a massive portion of the visible church in South Africa – a nation with a painful past, a turbulent present, and an uncertain future. With the election looming in May, it’s understandable that Christian initiatives have blossomed in order to pray for our nation in the hope that crime, corruption, racism and other evils will diminish. But when these initiatives are tainted with the false doctrines and strategies of the NAR, they become clouds without water that create false hope in the minds of those desperate for good news. The good news is this – the gospel of Jesus Christ, not a “kingdom nation” where all prosper and live in peace.

The first event we will examine is the recent prayer meeting attended by political and church leaders.The meeting was led by Dr Arno van Niekerk, founder of the Christian Consensus in SA. Gateway News published a report under this heading: “Shift took place’ as praying leaders put nation before parties.” The meeting was described as “a historic prayer gathering at Victory Sandton Church, Johannesburg last Saturday evening.” It’s obvious that this event was tainted with NAR methodologies and strategies. The report is by Janet Brann Hollis, who was present at the event, and gave a prophetic word. Brann Hollis is a prophetess in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and started the initiative called SA back to God. Her desire is to see the transformation of South Africa, and naturally that involves NAR strategies: “we will begin to witness every sector of society within the seven mountains being returned back to God, and the presence of God and kingdom rule being released”
The vision statement of 
SA Back to God is crystal clear regarding the dominionist agenda of the NAR: “We envision a praying nation that puts God first, where kingdom culture thrives in all seven spheres of society, and a South Africa that is a model for godly governance and an apostolic hub for Africa.”
Part of it’s mission statement is “To align the nation to its kingdom mandate by prayerfully propelling the Ekklesia into position in all seven spheres of society.
Their website has a section containing “prophetic words” over South Africa. The prophetic words are from some of the major false prophets in the New Apostolic Reformation: Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, Charlie Shamp, Shawn Bolz, and Jonathan David (more about him later)

When you hear the term “seven mountain mandate” or “seven spheres of society” be assured you’re not dealing with a principle in the New Testament, but with the heresy of dominion theology as espoused by those caught up in the NAR. The seven mountains, or spheres of society that the NAR hope to conquer and take dominion over, in no particular order are:
1) Religion
2) Education
3) Family
4) Business
5) Government
6) Arts/Entertainment
7) Media

Was the seven mountain mandate mentioned during this event – the answer is an unequivocal yes!

During the meeting, Dr Mpho Phalatse committed all the “mountains of society” to God that his reign may be established on each mountain, she addressed all the seven mountains:

“we speak to the mountain of media, that you may be alive with the plans and purposed of God and the the kingdom of God will be established of this mountain..”
“We speak to the mountain of education..”
“We commit to you the mountain of government…we declare that your kingdom is established on that mountain..Father we declare your deployment onto that mountain..
“We now commit to you the mountain of business..we speak growth to the economy..”
“Father we speak to the mountain of arts oh God..we speak to a rise of the arts in the church..”
“Thank you for the mountain of religion oh father, father we repent on behalf of the church for all the wrongs we are doing..”
“Thank you Lord for the mountain of family..”

During her time to speak, Dr Pearl Kube said “the power of life and death is here and we are going to speak to the gates of South Africa, and command the gates of South Africa…we release peace and we release life through the Ruach presence of God.” The Lord apparently instructed Dr Kupe to read Isaiah 43:19. The Lord told her they should read it three times, and the third time it needed to be a “shout that we release a sound over this nation”
I would agree that a “shift took place” at this event. A shift away from scripture and into the false teachings of the NAR such as Dominionism and  Word of Faith heresy. This event led by Dr Arno Van Niekerk was unashamedly promoting NAR teachings.

The second event which also took place in April was the signing of the “Kingdom Nation Declaration.” This declaration is the brainchild of the initiative called “Kingdom Nation.” It’s a “Christian Unity” movement and their kingdom declaration has been signed by “over 400 leaders with a national footprint.” The signing of this declaration took place in April at Doxa Deo church in Brooklyn, Pretoria. 

A Kingdom Nations press release  describes this event as follows:
“This national shift in history was reinforced by several influential leaders, such as Dr Pearl Kube, Dr Arno Van Niekerk, Dr Arthur Frost, and many more”

“According to the founders, Kingdom Nation members are people who want to change South Africa through godly transformation. Areas of restoration include Education, Government and Justice, Economic growth, Science and Technology, Family and Community, Arts, Entertainment and Sport.
Joy News reported on the same event, under the title “Christian ‘Great Awakening’ Shifts Into ‘Kingdom Nation’ Gear.”
Excerpt:Uniting South Africa in Christ – Can a nation be born in a day? Statistics show that around 80% of South Africans identify as Christian, but one could then ask, where is the real change?…The aim of the initiative is to bring about real change in the country by uniting Christians under a cause, formulating a strategy, and then executing it, to drive transformation in various sectors of the country, the gathering heard.”

80% of South Africans may consider themselves Christian, God alone knows the real figure, but it’s probably closer to a single digit. The strategy that has been formulated, is dominated by the spiritual warfare techniques and declarations of the NAR. What exactly they mean by a “nation being born in a day” has never been explained, we may have to ask Angus Buchan the meaning. The past two years have seen numerous Buchan meetings, during which spirits were bound, generational sins repented of, but as you are about to find out, these actions were apparently all in vain.

Quotes from the leaders of “Kingdom Nation:

Dr Pearl Kupe: “We believe that the time to redeem the country is now! We all need to get involved and participate in the transformation and betterment of our country. We stand up boldly and believe it true that a nation can be born in a day and we believe God has a plan,”
Dr Arno Van Niekerk: “By signing this declaration, the great awakening of the Church has now officially begun. Nationwide there is a move of God’s Spirit to use us to bring righteous change.”

Who gets to decide when a great awakening of the church has officially begun – God or man? A real “great awakening” would mean the gospel is being taught, not NAR doctrines. 
The article in Joy News ends with this sentence: “Dr Arthur Frost, a Bible teacher who coordinates a prayer movement linked to the Kingdom Nation initiative, has meanwhile embarked on a tour to all nine provinces over the next two weeks to activate and equip a “prayer army” of intercessors around the nation.”

Who is Dr Arthur Frost?

According to this article “Frost runs Father’s Heart Online Ministry with his wife, Janine. He started the Word of Faith Bible College in PE, where he taught for 20 years before starting Die Lewende Woord Bible College in Pretoria. He then took 5 years off to write a curriculum for his online teaching which currently reaches 500 to 600 people daily throughout SA and Africa.”
Frosts roots are in the word of faith movement (WOF), and WOF teachings are part and parcel of NAR teachings.

According to Dr Frost, there was a “national curse” placed over our nation from 2012. Most of our towns and cities have been affected by it, Frost says “something was loosed across our nation.” The effects of this curse according to Dr Frost are the increase in violent crime, economical downgrade, increased corruption. Dr Frost says the curse has now been bound, but we need to release the blessings so that the curse cannot return to our towns. Dr Frost and a group of about 200 intercessors have “broken this thing” and “spiritually it has been handled.”
(That means Angus Buchan & co failed to identify and break this horrible curse that has wreaked havoc in South Africa, that’s a major fail to say the least! )

According to Dr Frost, we should now deal with the other half of the solution – replace a curse with a blessing. Dr Frost has therefore called on every Christian, to go and bless their town or city: “This is the time where you can sit down, and declare over your town and as you do that, you can enforce a blessing to start operating in our country”

Dr Frost gives step by step instructions, as this could be the “single biggest shift and transformation in our nation.” Christians need to declare over their towns, and enforce a blessing. Dr Frost insists that every single town must be blessed. This will ensure that when election time comes, “God’s anointing is saturating our nation.” The consequences of failing to obey Dr Frost’s revelation are serious: “If we don’t do this, we will have a curse operating on our nation that will destroy it.”

Dr Frost’s 3 step action:
1.Repent of the things that could have allowed the curse to operate in the town
2. Bless the land or town and speak life over it.
3. Blow a Shofar over the town – blowing a Shofar declares a new beginning, or new season.
Dr Frost: “We are going to reverse everything that the devil had intended for South Africa, it comes to an end today in the name of Jesus.”
What are we going to repent for – the 4 main things that according to Dr Frost allow a curse to stay in an area:
1.Iniquity – any sin that the people are doing that allows, or brings on a curse from the ancestors or something else.
2.Sexual iniquity
3 Blood sacrifice
4 Broken covenants or promises – if you promise God to do something and you don’t do it, God does not hold that very lightly (The proof text Dr Frost uses is Acts 5 – the story of Ananias and Sapphira. But in that story, God judged Ananias and Sapphira, not the land or city. So why does Dr Frost use this as an example that broken promises allow a curse to stay in an area?)

Dr Frost’s 3 step action debunked in one sentence:
Scripture does not teach that we can repent on behalf of the sins of others, bless of speak life over cities, or that the blowing of a Shofar impacts anything apart from our eardrums.

Excerpts from Dr Frost’s instructive prayer:
Dr Frost: “Lord we repent on behalf of this town, village, city, farm, land..we repent on behalf of every single person here, Lord we repent of any form of iniquity that has taken place, anything that is done that has activated a curse on this land...we ask you to forgive every single person on this land right now – we speak life over the land, we speak directly to the land right now and we say land you be a safe place for any person who is living on you, we ask you to accept us who are living here, we speak to you and we command you to produce and be fruitful in the name of Jesus, we command you to be a city, village, town, and farm of blessing, we speak life over you, we call you into your God given destiny and purpose”...

Have you ever spoken to your land before? Have you ever asked your land to accept you? Have you ever commanded your land to produce? Frost has a video which will help you dedicate your property. You will be “speaking to the demonic that is trying to curse your land.” The process includes anointing the four corners of your property, sprinkling salt, binding the strongman, repenting of iniquities, and then once you have dedicated your property you can “instruct the land what you need from it”
You can even “call rain” over you land. Don’t let gravity stop your words of faith from leaving the earths atmosphere, according to Frost the full moon plays a significant role in the lives of Christians. In one of his notes, Frost instructs his followers to“speak life into life and blessing into the new moon and at full moon break any curses that might have been put on the moon.”

Dr Frost: “we speak the blessing and the covenant that you have given to Abraham, where you have promised that if we have accepted you, we are entitled to that same blessing as believers..”
Dr Frost then goes on to read Deuteronomy 28:3-12, but fails to mention that we are blessed through Abraham in a spiritual sense – not geographical or material:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” –  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13-14
This passage in Galatians also reveals that Christ has dealt with the curse of the law, yet Dr Frost wants to go back under the law and deal with curses over South Africa.

Dr Frost prays for the “spirit of deception to come off our cities and leaders” – if that prayer was answered Dr Frost would repent of what he has been teaching.

Prior to blowing a Shofar, Dr Frost instructs listeners to look over their land or city, and get a picture of a new day dawning, a new day coming where you will see “prosperity and blessing.” After the Shofar sounds, Dr Frost declares a new day for our nation, cities and land, and then thanks those who participated.
Dr Frost: “Saints, I want to thank you for participating with us as We sit and shift the atmosphere over our nation in the name of Jesus.”

Dr Frosts prayer is heresy, it’s is nonsense, it’s not biblical, but it’s been swallowed hook line and sinker by a gullible and biblically illiterate people who really have no excuse following this tripe. The lure to be a little god and give orders to creation will lead many into apostasy, and Dr Frost is an instrument for the very forces he is attempting to bind. 

Another event

Dr Frost coordinated the “Jesus March” this past Saturday, according to this article, Dr Frost said: “We are going to pray heaven down onto this earth. We are going to call this nation into order. This nation can be born in a day as the Christians start taking control of the spiritual environment.”
Another Christian initiative called H.O.P.E – Heaven On Planet Earth, reported on the March: “A BIG THANK YOU to the New Nation Movement, the Kingdom Movement and everyone across all denominational and political parties who were involved with today’s march. May this be the first of many regular marches and picnics in our communities, towns and cities to motivate all citizens to:

1. Be involved in the restoration God’s H.O.P.E. Vision – ‘Heaven On Planet Earth’.
2. Be part of the answer of the Lord’s Prayer – ‘Let Your Will be done here on earth AS IT IS in heaven!”
God never promised us that earth is going to be transformed into the image of heaven in this dispensation. That is the vain hope of dominionists and the New Apostolic Reformers, who are attempting to transform the world because they have neglected to transform their minds and are unable to discern.

Now lets turn our attention to Dr Arno Van Niekerk. He was after all the man who led the prayer gathering at Victory church that spoke to the seven mountains. This is how he described the event: 
“A MAJOR SHIFT TOOK PLACE! People, something happened last night (20 April 2019) that I can’t even begin to explain. At the prayer meeting with the political leaders at Victory Sandton Church an outbreak of God’s Spirit took place that I haven’t seen before. The Lord’s presence was so tangible as we all surrendered ourselves to Him and His purposes for our nation. The prayers by the spiritual, marketplace and political leaders were astonishingly powerful and sincere, and tears flowed freely. The heavens were rend, as it says in Isaiah 64:1, and God came down!

A SHIFT took place where God’s Kingdom purposes for South Africa became the main theme of what we prayed for, and political agendas bowed the knee to that. A unity in the Spirit came forth that can only be brought about by God. People, the Lord Jesus is setting us up for His Kingdom reign in our nation! Leaders bowed before the King of kings as history was made. Never ever, before an SA Election, this has happened. Something NEW is being birthed in our country beyond our imagination! All the glory to God!!”

His comments are revealing, compare them to some of the signs that are hallmarks of a NAR church listed in this article.

Dr Van Niekerk has succumbed to the lies propagated by the NAR – there will be no “Kingdom reign” in South Africa. The only history being made here is that leaders in the visible church in South Africa are part of a delusion that is spreading like wildfire. It is consuming those who have chosen a comfortable narrative with a seemingly godly intention above what scripture teaches and foretells will take place in these last days.

Dr Van Niekerk’s own initiative is called Christian Consensus –  The Great Awakening in South Africa. The Great Awakening is  “a movement of Christians storming the 2019 elections peacefully, to usher in a righteous government. After that, we will take hands to establish South Africa as a righteous nation.” The website has a link to Dr Frost’s 3 point action and prayer to bless your city. There’s no escaping the fact that Van Niekerk and Frost are working in tandem, and share the same false theology!

It seems as if Dr Van Niekerk will grasp at any smooth word regarding South Africa. He shared this message from one of the leading “apostles” in the New Apostolic Reformation –  Bill Johnson. The clip was played during last years Kingdom Come conference at Breakthru Life Church.
Last week he shared a message from another false prophet in the NAR – Dr Jonathan David.
It’s the usual NAR generic kind of prophetic word – an increase in angelic visitations, defeating the enemy, kingdom rule etc, so lets rather examine Dr Jonathan David’s prophetic word for 2019 to get the big picture.
David is the “Presiding Apostle of the International Strategic Alliance of Apostolic Churches (ISAAC), a network of governing churches and ministers across the nations.” His website describes him as “one of the pioneers of the Prophetic Movement in the earth. His accurate prophetic ministry with a unique teaching mantle provides the cutting edge to reach the nations of the world.”
The title of his prophetic word for 2019 is “The Double Decade of the Open Heavens. Prophetic Precision, Strategic Position and Spirit Demonstration.” It’s your typical NAR balderdash, here’s a taste:
It is the beginning of the Age of Righteousness and the beginning of the end of the Sin Age.
There will be an increase of Kingdom governance not only in churches but also in nations. This will bring the end of lawlessness of oppression and terror
The Church built on the Pillars of Zion will end the territorial dominion of satanic forces. The Governing Church will patrol and police the heavens and shut the gates of hell.
•The inevitable manifestation of the true sons of God reveals maturity and explicit obedience. They will live by the law of the Spirit of Life
• The Apostolic Church will emerge with a position of stature for dominance and governance for all the domains of the kingdoms of this world. We will be trained to exercise dominion in every domain.
• The Church will move from reformation leading to restoration that will empower it to lead city transformation
The invasion of faith for the miraculous, signs and wonders will be a daily phenomena.
True apostles will receive grace and apostleship for nation building. This strategic man will be sent to strategic places so that they create significant moves of the Spirit
• The full manifestation of the Kingdom of God will express Zion under the Order of Melchizedek. Nations will be in revival and the increase of His governance there will be no end.
• Living the overcoming life by breaking the law of sin and death will result in living the indestructible life. The coming generation will overcome death and immortality will be reachable.
I’m not even going to attempt to make sense of this heretical nonsense. This new breed of a false church is apparently going to put the angels out of work, they are ready to “police the heavens?” Jonathan David has answered the question – who wants to live forever? Dominionists and the new breed in the NAR want to live forever, once they have brought heaven to earth there will be peace, no disease, and wealth will abound. Jesus becomes irrelevant as little gods will rule the world. Not so with a real servant of God and true apostle “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” Philippians 1:23.
This idea of immortality goes back to the Latter Rain movement and manifest sons of God teaching. The New Apostolic Reformation has been heavily influenced by the Latter Rain movement, and this “word for 2019” is one example.

Dr Van Niekerk has also been busy placing cornerstones around South Africa. What’s the point of that you ask? This article gives clarity: “At the recent Mighty Families Conference outside Bloemfontein the seventh cornerstone of a series of stones being planted around South Africa was laid — and importantly, a new foundation, Jesus Christ, was put in place for the nation, said Dr Arno van Nierkerk chairman of the organising committee.”
On his Facebook page, Van Niekerk wrote: ” The Cornerstones have been laid. Jesus Christ is the new foundation on which South Africa is build. RISE UP, people of God! We are lifting up the Name of Jesus on Saturday all across South Africa!”

What Dr Van Niekerk should know, is that Jesus is the cornerstone of the church, not South Africa : So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
Ephesians 2:19-22

Dr Van Niekerk is leading believers astray by promoting the false teachings of the NAR, and endorsing teachers like Arthur Frost, Bill Johnson, and Jonathan David. 

Conclusion

On the one hand it’s encouraging to see believers praying for South Africa. On the other hand it’s discouraging to see the false doctrines and methodologies that accompany most of these initiatives. If you “connect the dots” you will realise that the initiatives and leaders mentioned n this article have been captured by the New Apostolic Reformation. In the book of Ezekiel, God confronted the false prophets who saw false visions and spoke lying divinations. These smooth talkers spoke of peace, and whitewashed flimsy walls that were being built (Ezekiel 13) South Africa has it’s contemporary version of smooth “prophets” who are declaring blessing, announcing shifts, and proclaiming peace. South Africa may well be headed for darker days, it may well be a time of judgement upon this nation instead of transformation into a godly society. The church has always thrived under persecution, not an elevated status in this world.

In a nutshell, these are some of the basic errors that can be found in the Christian initiatives mentioned in this article:
• Scripture does not instruct us to release or declare things, shift the atmospheres, speak to or command things to take place. Instead we let our “requests be made known to God” Philippians 4:6-7
• These initiatives make the same mistake as the Jews and disciples – they believed Jesus was coming to set up his kingdom on earth and transform their nation. Jesus said that his kingdom “is not of this world.” John 18:36. Jesus is building his church, not South Africa.
• While we should pray for godly leaders and a just society, scripture warns us that things will get worse instead of better in the last days – in the world and the visible church. (Matthew 24; 2 Timothy 3; 2 Thessalonians 2;)
• The effects of the gospel will save a few, but the majority will have hardened hearts and will certainly not look on in admiration of believers or desire the application of biblical principles. Instead we should expect persecution and division – even among our own families. (Matthew 10:34-39)
• Many of the scriptures these initiatives are “claiming” are promises God gave to the nation of Israel under the law – not South Africa. It’s actually incredulous that influential leaders cannot even make the distinction between the gospel and the law, or a prescriptive and descriptive text.
• Many of the rituals and practices encouraged by these initiatives are a mixture of old testament law and New Apostolic Reformation teachings – word of faith heresy, prosperity gospel, spiritual warfare movement etc.

Read this article for some suggestions on how to identify the false teachings that many South Africans are falling for, as well as a biblical response to the current situation in South Africa.

Book Review – Glory Carriers by Jennifer Eivaz

By Rick Becker   17 April 2019

Jennifer Eivaz refers to herself as “The Praying Prophet.” Eivaz is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, and the founder of Harvest Ministries International and an Executive Pastor with Harvest Church in Turlock, California.  Eivaz is a former Mormon, and was an “active member, immersed in Mormon beliefs and a participant in some of their temple rituals.” Unfortunately Eivaz is now immersed in the false teachings and practices of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) Eivaz has exchanged the Mormon “Prophets of the Restoration” and their angel Moroni, for the restored apostles and prophets in the NAR, and moulting angels. Like Mormonism and other cults, the NAR is driven by contemporary false prophets and apostles. Through new revelations and the twisting of scripture, they seduce gullible and biblically illiterate followers. Speaking of false apostles, the influence of Bill Johnson’s aberrant theology is visible throughout the book, and Johnson sums up the narcissistic NAR in his foreward: “Now, all of heaven has positioned itself to watch what YOU will accomplish in His name.”


Before I begin the review, I think it’s worthwhile to make the following observation. Bill Johnson and other NAR superstars are not the only source that have influenced Eivaz.
Reading the book, I could not help wonder what influences from her time in Mormonism still remain. My question was answered when I read an article on her website. Consider these alarming statements by Eivaz in her article The Key Differences Between Christians and Mormons (Latter-Day Saints) 20 April 2017, jennifereivaz.com

Eivaz: “As a Mormon, I learned about the importance of family, of tithing and being physically healthy. I was taught good character and modesty as a woman. I was also taught a framework for the existence of modern-day prophets, heavenly revelations, angelic visitations, the Holy Ghost and the idea that the gifts of the Holy Ghost were to be embraced. (I prefer to say Holy Spirit, but an LDS member will take care to say the Holy Ghost.)”

Eivaz: “An interesting paradox exists between LDS and Christian communities when it comes to beliefs about the supernatural. I have found the LDS framework to be more biblical than that held by many Christian denominations, especially the cessationist denominations, such as Southern Baptist, Church of Christ, Evangelical Free and reformed churches. For example, LDS members believe in apostles and prophets, the gifts of the Spirit as listed in first Corinthians 12:8–10, the activity of angels, the active voice of God through the prophets and personally, and the receiving of spiritual revelations. Although their application is misplaced, a biblical framework somehow emerged through Joseph Smith.

This part: the activity of angels, the active voice of God through the prophets and personally, and the receiving of spiritual revelations” may as well be a description of a seminar and “activation” at Bethel.

Eivaz: “When it comes to an LDS prophet, his words and decrees can supersede anything written in their holy texts and carries the most weight.”

Only God can decree and declare things into existence, now while the NAR folk probably don’t believe their decrees supersede scripture, they do nonetheless erroneously view them as causative. Eivaz gives an example of a decree on her Facebook page: “YOU’RE A KING, MAKE THE DECREE: We decree our peace, we decree our health, we decree salvation to our families, our destiny, favor, wisdom, financial abundance and stability, etc. If God said it in His Word, then it’s ours and it’s “decree-able.” (December 9, 2017)

Similarities between Mormonism and the New Apostolic Reformation:
• They are led by modern day apostles and prophets.
• Scripture is not sufficient, there is a need for new revelations.
• These leaders experience visions, manifestations, revelations and angelic encounters.

• Divination, Omens – Joseph Smith used “seer stones’ to translate the golden plates, and search for treasure. NAR prophets believe God speaks through egg yolks, odometer readings, and road runners.
• While Mormonism teaches that humans may eventually become gods, the NAR teach that believers can be “little gods,” and act like God (Jesus) on earth. (Example – claims of being sinless, decree and declare things into existence, and having the ability to perform greater signs and wonders than Christ)
• Followers accept the claims and revelations of their apostles and prophets without comparing them to the bible.

REVIEW – All quotes are from –  Glory Carriers. Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Glowing reviews from people who should be marked and avoided appear at the beginning of the book, and the NAR slant is obvious:

“I’ve known her for over twenty years, and I can attest that she brings the glory on a consistent basis. This book will surely help you do the same thing in every context of society. Can you imagine the glory of God infiltrating factories, sports arenas, schools, government and media? This book will surely contribute to this process for the glory of God.” – Paul Marc Goulet, senior pastor, International Church of Las Vegas

“We are learning that a lifestyle of signs and wonders is a reflection of our relationship with the Holy Spirit, a relationship many of us have never considered that deeply. Jennifer asks us, ‘Do you have an intimate friendship with the Spirit of God?’ And then she invites you into the process of transforming in His presence.”Banning Liebscher, founder and pastor, Jesus Culture

“Glory Carriers is a deep well of wisdom and encouragement that will draw you deeper in intimacy with Him and challenge you to receive His glory in whatever form and way He chooses to come! You will be awakened to greater revelation of who He is and how you reflect Him. You will be left with a sense of awe at the privilege that it is to carry His glory! Awaken Glory Carrier, it’s your time!” Lana Vawser, prophetic voice, author and speaker, Lana Vawser Ministries

In her introduction, Eivaz wastes little time persuading the reader that her writing is anointed: “I felt as if I was writing straight out of a heavenly river.”
But this is perhaps the most self aggrandizing endorsement of her own writing: “I was casually perusing through my digital notes on my phone and discovered a mysterious statement had been typed in. It read, “You have received the mantle of the writing sword.” I am puzzled to this day as to how it got there and finally decided to just credit the Holy Spirit.” (p.15) Now that she has established herself as a writer that is basically on par with one of the authors of scripture, she baits the glory seekers: “This book that you are holding in your hand has been written to teach, train and dress you in new spiritual armaments. It will teach you about the glory of God and equip you to be a person who manifests His glory in signs and wonders. (p.16)

Chapter 1 – What Is Glory Carrier?

Eivaz:  “A glory carrier is one who visibly and consistently demonstrates the glory of God through supernatural signs and wonders—the fruit of discovering deep reverence for and friendship with the Spirit of God.” (p.31)
Jennifer recounts her first women’s retreat. The speaker was Barbara Wentroble, and it was at this event where the “air seemed to part open.”  Eivaz experienced “the raw firepower” of the Holy Spirit. Eivaz attended meetings where “glory carriers” like Bill Johnson ministered so that she could encounter “God or the miraculous in some way,” but soon discovered that her own ministry was a hit & miss when it came to God’s power being present. She discovered that the secret she was missing, was a friendship with the Holy Spirit, and that it is a mistake view the Holy Spirit as a power or means to miracles. Glory carriers apparently have a friendship with the Holy Spirit, and according to Eivaz the result is obvious : “Supernatural signs, wonders and miracles resulted from the demonstration of God’s glory.” (p.18)
If this is true, why was it necessary for Eivaz to attend meetings to experience God or the miraculous?

In her final year at Oral Roberts University, Eivaz heard the audible voice of the Spirit speaking to her “I am closer than you think.”
Embedded in the NAR and Charismania, is the idea that we need to feel God’s presence. Eivaz:What I was really after was the continuous feeling of His presence in my life—whether I was in church or not.” (p.24) 
It is this teaching that has become the Trojan horse for all kinds of deception such as contemplative spirituality in the visible church. Eivaz believes we should be continually experiencing God’s presence, and then makes this dangerous statement: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14 NKJV). How can you be led by the Spirit of God before sensing His presence? Far too many people believe it is normal to not have any awareness of Him at all. Is this you?” (p.26)

You don’t need to “sense” the presence of God to be led by the Spirit. The text does not imply that sensing God’s presence will result in being led by the Spirit. In fact, the previous verse makes it clear what being led by the Spirit looks like:
 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (vs 13) The Holy Spirit leads us into truth, not feelings, and the truth he leads us is found in scripture, not sensuous experiences or manifestations.

In the context of prayer, Eivaz engaged with the Holy Spirit by “inviting His presence and requesting His friendship.” The result was that at times she would discern “his presence enter the room” and described it as “..the constant touch of a friend. For example, I can feel His hands on the back of my shoulders in a very comforting way at times,” (p.27)
Romanticizing our relationship with God has gained a foothold in many church circles thanks to the likes of Ann Voskamp and Beth Moore. In this instance, Eivaz creates the impression of an intimacy with the Holy Spirit that has evaded believers for the past two thousand years. Outlandish claims cement the perceived elevated spiritual status of the false prophets of the NAR, they ensure respect from their peers, and adoration from their naive followers.

Sensations play an integral role in the lives of those who have exchanged the truth for a feeling.
Eivaz:
Karen began speaking in tongues and described her behavior as somewhat hysterical because she had no idea what tongues were. Thankfully, Karen then felt the glory of God descend upon her as a peaceful but tingly sensation. This experience later helped her to identify the Holy Spirit in church services and in prayer groups that she attended. Eventually she could identify His presence in her own prayer times in the same manner, something that brought her much comfort.” (p.28)

Eivaz: “Just as we have to experience people in order to know them and feel connected, in the same manner we have to experience the Person of the Holy Spirit. Another name for Him in the Bible is the “Spirit of glory” (1 Peter 4:14), which obviously implies the supernatural and the miraculous.” (p.24)

Wrong!  Eivaz should provide the context of the text. Peter is comparing the lives of those who live to gratify their “human passions” instead of “the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:2)  As a result of believers not partaking in sensuality, they will be mocked: “With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you.” (vs 4) The result of the Spirit of glory resting upon believers is NOT signs and wonders, the text makes it obvious what the result is: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14.

Chapter 2 –  Show Me Your Glory.

Eivaz begins this chapter by explaining that God’s glory can sometimes manifest as light. Apparently a manager at a restaurant told Eivaz and her husband that they had an “aura of light” around them. She gives another example: “At a recent conference, two pastors shared a similar testimony with me. They both said that before I made an altar call, my eyes became transparent, as if with purity and holiness, then began to glow.” (p.33)
We can take these accounts with a pinch of salt in the light of images Eivaz posted of herself glowing in glory:

 

Eivaz: “The Holy Spirit’s expressions of glory are multidimensional and multifaceted. Glory carriers, over time, begin to recognize the various manifestations of His presence, understanding the significance and unique message behind each one of them.” (p.46) – Chapter, verse?

Eivaz: “Resisting His glory, turning our faces and hiding our hearts, will remove us from the supernatural encounters we absolutely need to transform us.” (p.44)

There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit is working in and through believers, and that Christianity begins with a great supernatural event – being born again. But the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit does not include uncontrollable manifestations or the ability to glow like a LED light. NAR leaders create a false dichotomy between the mind, and the “things of the Spirit” or supernatural encounters, whereas scripture includes the use of the mind in the believers transformation: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

Chapter 3 – The Shekinah Glory.

Eivaz: “One manifestation of the Shekinah glory can be seen in the form of a cloud. Unlike the atmospheric clouds above us, this cloud is a supernatural and physical manifestation of the presence of the Lord. Many attest that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit has not passed away with the New Testament.” (p.62)
In the old testament, the glory of God was a visible manifestation of God’s presence – one form was the cloud that led Israel. In the new testament, Jesus was the manifestation of God in the flesh. Why God would revert to an old testament manifestation? The many that attest to a “supernatural cloud” can be found in the NAR, and Bethel in particular:

Eivaz: “Michelle Morse, a social worker for very at-risk children in Central California, attended a conference at Bethel Church in Redding, California, where a glory cloud appeared in the church’s main sanctuary. She, and others, became surrounded by an actual cloud, then she noticed that her hands had flecks of gold on them. “The presence of God and His overwhelming love felt so strong in that moment that I could not stop crying,” she said. “The cloud definitely carried His tangible presence, and I sat there for several minutes just weeping in the midst of it.”  (pp.54-55)
This upgraded cloud that supposedly included (untested) flecks of gold was nothing more than poor special effects – fog and glitter. If God really manifested his presence at Bethel, people would be prostrate before God repenting of their sin and lust for signs.

Eivaz:We, too, can step into a new form of Shekinah glory because we have been made a temple of the Holy Spirit.” (p.59)
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians reminding them that they were temples of the Holy Spirit, he failed to mention a new form of Shekinah glory. The context was in fact sexual immorality, not manifestations of glory: Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-19

Bill Johnson teaches that Jesus came to model how believers should live, Eivaz echoes that idea: “Jesus then taught us by personal example how to authentically live as a glory carrier on the earth.” (p.57) They are both of course referring to more than a Christ-like life through the manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit. In the NAR the manifestation of signs and wonders are the highest prize. In fact, according to Eivaz they should be normal if you have reached glory carrier status through what she later describes as a “yielded union” : “Outward manifestations of glory in the form of signs and wonders are a reflection of your relationship with the Holy Spirit.” (p.63)
That’s not what scripture teaches: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh..If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Galatians 5:16, 25-26.

Eivaz describes the Holy Spirit as being “both gentle and fierce” and that we cannot manage or control him. Glory carriers are supposed to “be led by Him in the fullness of His expression.” (p.58)
She then quotes Romans 8:14 again, but from the Passion perversion of scripture: “We read that “the mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 8:14 TPT).” (p.58)
Paul believed that the gospel was “the power of God unto salvation” and that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but Eivaz believes signs and wonders will impress the lost: “The Spirit of glory wants to partner with you with signs and wonders—His signpost to a dying world that He has come to dwell with us.” (p.59)
The message of the gospel is God’s signpost to a dying world. Jesus knew the fickle nature on humans when it came to signs and wonders being the cause of belief:
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people” John 2:23-24
Eivaz makes the same mistake as the rich man in Hades by thinking that a miracle will persuade people of the truth. The rich man thought that his five brothers would repent if the resurrected beggar appeared to them and warned them. Abraham’s reply to the rich man’s request: “He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” Luke 16:31

It goes without saying that Eivaz quotes John 14:12 where Jesus refers to the “greater works” believers would do. Reality alone should testify that this does not refer to signs and wonders. Jesus changed water into wine, walked on water, raised a stinking corpse, and raised himself from the dead. NAR miracle workers have yet to produce a single death certificate from someone they have raised from the dead.
But there’s more glory in store…

Chapter 4 – The Kabad Glory

Eivaz: “The kabad glory is weighty in nature and highly transforming, and it can turn you into a spiritual heavyweight.” (p.77)
This sounds like a good upgrade to seek, I mean who wants to be a lightweight?

Eivaz begins by telling how she was tormented by a demon for 3 months. At one point “something” actually picked her up and threw her against a wall. Eventually at her command the demon fled, and Eivaz gained a “newfound spiritual authority.” This experience helped her launch into “heavyweight deliverance.” Another incident that helped Eivaz was receiving a prayer of “impartation” from Carlos Annacondia, where Eivaz was slain in the Spirit under the “heavy glory of the Holy Spirit.”
The next place Eivaz sought after something, was the “International Church of Las Vegas,” where senior leaders Paul and Denise Goulet would call up fellow ministers to the stage, and lay hands on them. On these occasions Eivaz says she experienced the Kabad, or heavy glory of God. This happened about four times, and each time Eivaz would be out for the count and “glued to the ground”  in front of the whole audience. Eivaz describes herself as a “back-row” person, and so she felt embarrassed that the Holy Spirit left her in this state of “heavy glory” in front of everyone, but the Holy Spirit explained his actions to Eivaz: “He was saying to me, I didn’t call you to be in the back or to be invisible. I called you to the front, and you will be seen by the masses.” (p.72)

You can also access the Kabad/heavy glory according to Eivaz.  She offers three suggestions: cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit; ask for it; and be in close proximity to those who have it. Naturally, Eivaz carries this heavy glory, she uses herself and another man to mark and avoid (Jeff Jansen) as examples of glory carriers who see people consistently “slain in the Spirit, among other things” when they minister. This is the same  Jeff Jansen that practices grave soaking, and received an “impartation” from the deceased occultist William Branham.

Chapter 5 – No Guts, no Glory.

Eivaz: Glory carriers do become unusual risk takers, but why they do this is often misunderstood. It is not religious fervency, but a deep love for God from the heart that motivates them.” (p.96)

The NAR risk takers are not “misunderstood,” any discerning believer who can rightly divide the word of God will understand that the “unusual” refers to unbiblical practices.

Eivaz shares her struggle with a mysterious illness prior to her trip to Perth, Australia. She suspected a spiritual connection for her physical attack. After some research, she realized that the chief deity over Perth, is “a kind of python spirit known as a Wagyl.” Despite it being an Aboriginal myth, Eivaz believes “myths are actually spiritual strongholds in the land that ultimately need our intercession.” (p.82)
Eivaz compares this to the account in Acts 16, where the slave girl with a spirit of divination troubled Paul
: As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour” Acts 16:16-18
Unlike Eivaz, Paul did not suffer from a mysterious illness as a result, instead he was annoyed, or grieved, and chased the spirit out the girl, not the city. Eivaz believes this spirit of divination is a “Python spirit” and that one of the symptoms of an attack from this spirit is breathing problems.
The good new for Australians is that Eivaz released this prophetic word for Australia in 2017:
“God is turning everything around for good! You are being loosed from demonic constrictions, confinements, and restrictions. Everything this serpent has bound will be turned into praise to Almighty God. Your lungs will expand with His praise! With very loud and beautiful praise! Your song will go around the world. Your testimony will encourage the earth. The voice of the apostles and prophets, the voice of the Church, will be loud, beautiful, and resonating.

Your prophets are being surfaced now, and coming out of hiding to be revealed for the gifts that they really are. The Church will be made strong, being built up by the power of the Holy Spirit. I hear the sound of prayer throughout the territory. Intercessors are rising up out of the dust. It’s time for the Church to prophesy to literally everything!

Prophesy to the people, the land, the air, the sea, and all the creatures. Prophesy to everything that looks dead. Prophesy to the next generations. See in the Spirit your next 100 years and call it forth. Dream as big as you can and then exaggerate it even further. He will reveal His glory to you and the deep pleasure of His countenance.”

Those outside of Australia need not worry either, Eivaz has “commanded” your deliverance.

When Eivaz ministered in Perth, she experienced “an unusually high level of spiritual warfare connected with this territory, and I could fill a book with all the stories.”
One story she does tell, is when the Holy Spirit visited her in the night, and “picked me up from my bed and brought me to His chest in a brief, but life-changing holy embrace. Upon contact, I felt something from Him drop into my heart, and I was completely undone by it.” (p.83)
Another fanciful story with no biblical precedent, which of course is never required in the NAR.

Eivaz commends the call to take risks, and that we shouldpartner with the Spirit to produce jaw-dropping signs and wonders.” and “step out into the grisly dark world to achieve the miraculous just like our spiritual heroes.” (p.94)

Chapter 6 – I Will Not Go Without Your Presence.

Eivaz: “Glory carriers will refuse to go anywhere He is not leading them to go, adopting the impassioned heart cry of Moses: “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). (p.113)
You can probably imagine where this is going – a journey into the subjective world of feelings. To live in unbroken fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and go from glory to glory, Eivaz says you have to “learn how to follow him” and “You have to learn connection, what it feels like and what breaks it.”
If someone lives in unbroken fellowship with the Holy Spirit, why would they need to be led by omens:

Eivaz writes that when the Holy Spirit is grieved, resisted, or quenched, the following will happen: “His presence will lift from such individuals, and He will leave in grief from their gatherings. Consequently, they do not experience His freeing, life-giving signs and wonders. They do not encounter His glory.”(p. 104)
Eivaz creates the false impression that experiencing signs and wonders are part of the normal contemporary Christian life. Furthermore, what she considers an encounter with God’s glory is simply a special effect, exaggeration or demonic manifestation.

Under the heading “Leaving Our Need to Understand,” Eivaz writes:
“All too often our financial needs, our reasonings and our intellect interfere with our ability to fully follow where His presence is leading, especially when His leading does not make sense. Bill Johnson, senior leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, said this: “An intellectual gospel is always in danger of creating a God that looks a lot like us—one that is our size. The quest for answers sometimes leads to a rejection of mystery. As a result, mystery is often treated as something intolerable, instead of a real treasure.” 
(p.109) 

The quote is from chapter one of Johnson’s book “Dreaming With God.” To see where Bill Johnson was going with his statement, I read the whole chapter and came across increasing error in his word salad: “When I filter everything through my mind and remove what isn’t immediately logical, I extract much of what I really need. Only what goes beyond my understanding is positioned to renew my mind. If we can learn more about the actual voice and presence of the Lord, we will stop being so paranoid about being deceived by the things we can’t explain.

 Chapter 7 – Immersed In Glory Fire

Eivaz: The Holy Spirit will manifest His glory to us like fire. We read in the Bible how fire was often a symbol for the presence of God and can also represent His jealous nature toward us. When His glory fire comes, it comes to consume whatever stands in the way of your wholehearted devotion toward Him.” (p.125)

Fire is highly symbolic in scripture, it can represent God’s presence (Exodus 3:2), God’s glory (Numbers (:15-16), but also God’s judgement.(Numbers 16:35; 2 Peter 3:10)
But Eivaz, like many in the NAR, have become obsessed with fire. Like Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-2), they may discover that their “strange fire” will result in judgement.

Eivaz: “Prophesying about Jesus, John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I. . . . He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11)…After Jesus’ ascension, the Holy Spirit fell upon the one hundred twenty believers in the Upper Room (see Acts 1:13–15) as “cloven tongues like as of fire” (2:3 KJV), igniting the early Church. Being baptized with fire, then, means to be fully immersed in, saturated with and consumed by His fire.” (p.119)

Some commentators don’t interpret the baptism of fire as a positive thing. The text infers 3 baptisms – water, the Holy Spirit, and fire. They believe the “fire” is not referring to the day of Pentecost, but the day of judgement. The context leads them to this conclusion. John the Baptist was not speaking to the twelve, who had yet to be called by Jesus, but to a mixed audience including the Pharisees and Sadducees:
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:7-12.

The cloven tongues that rested on the disciples on the day of Pentecost was “like fire,”  and that particular manifestation was never repeated. The disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit not fire: “for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” Acts 1:5
Those who believe the baptism of fire referred to Pentecost, as well as those who believe the baptism of fire refers to a refining process, will nevertheless take umbrage at the manifestations Eivaz considers to be “glory fire.”

Feeling the heat?

Eivaz: “For some, a physical sensation of fire is how they identify the presence of the Holy Spirit.” (p.119)

There is no biblical record of any believer experiencing this phenomena. This is however experienced by those who have a Kundalini, or Chakra awakening:
According to Wikipedia, these are some of the symptoms:
• Energy rushes or feelings of electricity circulating the body. This tingly feeling at first   might be mistaken for a “shiver.”
• Involuntary jerks, tremors, shaking, itching, and crawling sensations especially in the     arms and legs.
• Intense heat (sweating) or cold, especially as energy is experienced passing through   the chakras.
• Visions or sounds at times associated with a particular chakra”
• Trance- like and altered states of consciousness.”
(I’ve included a few other symptoms just to show the similarity between the demonic manifestations of occultic practices and what transpires in your average hyper charismatic or New Apostolic Reformation meeting.)

Eivaz seems to think that this is an actual photograph of believers immersed in fire:

I searched for the story behind this photograph, and discovered that it was taken in 2005 during a mission trip in Mozambique. The leader of the trip was none other than false NAR prophet James Goll, who had this to say about the photograph:

Chapter 8 – Encounters With The Glory World.

Eivaz: We have to remain open and unoffended at the Holy Spirit when He does something outside of our grid of understanding. He is infinite in His expression and going from glory to glory means He will by His very nature manifest a new thing in our midst (see Isaiah 43:19).”  (p. 142).

Eivaz lists some “Compelling Demonstrations Of Glory”

1. Holy Laughter.
Eivaz: One of the most offensive manifestations of the Spirit of glory is a phenomenon described as holy laughter, in which people begin to laugh hysterically as if they were drunk, but for no apparent reason.” (p.131)
It’s offensive because it’s not “holy.” Scripture reveals that a fruit of the Spirit is self control (Galatians 5:23) and that being full of the Spirit is the opposite of drunkenness:
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 5:15-20

Eivaz: “I welcome this encounter in my life as it seems to cleanse me of deep sadness, which reflects the proverb, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22 KJV). I can see the controversy, though, because holy laughter appears very disorderly and as having no overt purpose.” (p.131)

No overt purpose is correct: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.” Proverbs 14:12-13
Disorderly is the opposite of scripture: “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace… But all things should be done decently and in order.”
1 cor 14:33;40

2. Angel Feathers.

Eivaz: “..glory carriers often do see, hear, or feel the presence of these angels. Angels exist in this realm, and as we press into the Spirit of glory, we will encounter His angels as well. Or, we might just encounter their feathers.” (pp.132-133)
According to scripture, the Cherubim and Seraphim have wings, but there is no account of angels with wings appearing to humans, or feathers being a sign of their presence. Those who find what they believe to be “angel feathers” could quite easily submit them for DNA testing and prove conclusively that there is no fowl DNA present and that the feathers must be other worldly. How does Eivaz justify this “compelling demonstration of glory” from the scriptures? According to Eivaz it’s a concept found in scripture : “For example, the appearance of angel feathers is more conceptual, but many psalms reference dwelling in the “shadow” of His wings (see Psalms 17:8; 36:7; 57:1).” (p.141)

Eivaz tells the story of seeing angel feathers at a Shaun Bolz meeting. A cluster of feathers appeared at her feet, and apparently this was a sign that Bolz would be ministering to someone in her vicinity:I could tell by the location of the feathers that angels were nearby, and I discerned they were most likely directing the flow of ministry toward us. Within moments, Shawn began ministering to a married couple sitting right behind us through the word of knowledge and the gift of prophecy.” (p.133)

Believers are connected to Christ, but it seems as if “glory carriers” have an extra connection:

 “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

 

 

Well, according to NAR philosophy, it seems as if I’m doing something right with this review. While busy with the draft, I momentarily left my desk, upon my return I encountered a feather in the middle of the floor.  Now I could wax lyrical about this “documented miracle” (I have witnesses) or I could consider the source (fowl) and how it got there.

 

3. Gold Dust and Oil.

Eivaz: “Typically, gold flakes mysteriously appear on the body of a person, oil begins to flow from that person’s body or hands, or both happen at the same time.” (p.134)

 

Eivaz: “SHE READ GLORY CARRIERS AND THIS!” – does this point to Christ alone?

4. Supernatural Weight Loss.

Eivaz: One of the strangest miracles of glory that I have ever come across is the miracle of supernatural weight loss. It seems almost too good to be true, but we cannot be offended at the new things He chooses to do. Supernatural weight loss is an incredible manifestation of His presence that displays His extreme goodness.” (p.136)

According to Eivaz : “Recently, the Holy Spirit moved upon me … to lay hold of a specific manifestation of His glory.”
Eivaz gave a live teaching on supernatural weight loss, and shared one testimony: “Immediately, the interactive thread filled up with comments like, I feel electricity. I feel heat and cold on my body. I am shaking right now. I am crying uncontrollably! ” (pp.137-138)

Eivaz: “Even the manifestation of supernatural weight loss is found conceptually in the Bible, reflecting His extreme goodness. He gives us a new “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3), and His yoke is easy and His burden light (see Matthew 11:30)”  (p.141)

Extra bonus –

5. Manna

Eivaz: “Another unusual and powerful manifestation of God’s glory is the supernatural appearance of manna.” (p.138)

Eivaz tells the story of somone who has experienced this miracle on several occasions – Dr. Theresa Phillips, founder of Global Prophetic Voice in St. Charles, Illinois. Phillips always sees an angel when the manna appears.
Eivaz:
“She explained that it tastes like a cracker, sometimes salty, at other times oily like a potato chip and other times sweet. “We make sure to give the manna to those who are sick in our meetings,” she added. “If there is enough, we freely distribute it to everyone.” (p.139)
Sure….. how can you take someone seriously who claims to have been visited by an angel who gave her “glory oil” during the course of three visits in 2009? What was the purpose of this “deposit” of “glory oil” the angel brought Phillips? Could “teaching for shameful gain” be a motive?

(https://www.globalpropheticvoice.com/product-page/the-origional-glory-oil-1)

Eivaz does warn that we should “test the spirits” and lists 3 tests that will help us discern.
Eivaz: “With the instruction to not be offended at the new thing He might do, perhaps you are concerned about becoming deceived at false miracles. Your concern is valid, and the Bible does warn us to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) and to “test all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:20–21 NKJV). Here are a few foolproof tests to help you do that:”
1. Does the miracle point people to Jesus?
2. Do they use the miracle to solicit money?

3. Is the miracle biblical? Does it reflect the heart of our heavenly Father?” (p.140)

Lets apply these three tests to Eivaz

1. Does the miracle point people to Jesus?
Eivaz: “The reason I was embarrassed was that I was consistently and conspicuously glued to the ground in front of their entire audience, and even once on their platform. The Holy Spirit finally explained this to me. You see, I was a back-row kind of person all my life. I did not like to be seen and preferred to remain out of view, especially in front of a group or a crowd. Yet He left me in His heavy glory quite visibly and up front at these church services for a purpose. He was saying to me, I didn’t call you to be in the back or to be invisible. I called you to the front, and you will be seen by the masses.”
  (p.72)


2. Do they use the miracle to solicit money?

3. Is the miracle biblical? Does it reflect the heart of our heavenly Father?”
Angels losing feathers, Kundalini manifestations, overexposed images,oily hands, gold dust, fog, manna appearing, aura’s, glowing in the dark, supernatural weight loss and hair growth – not biblical. The desire to share God’s glory is indicative of a narcissistic soul, and I say “share” purposefully, because it’s clear that a “carrier” as defined by this book is someone who craves attention. It reflects a wicked heart.


.
CONCLUSION

Eivaz has stepped out into the dark grisly world of deception. This book will not lead you into a partnership with the Holy Spirit to produce jaw-dropping signs and wonders, it will lead you into a partnership with your carnal nature and deceiving spirits. By abandoning scripture and reason, Eivaz has taken a road that will lead to ruin unless she repents.
These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.” Jude: 12-13

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: THE POWER OF COMMUNION – BENI JOHNSON

By Rick Becker   20 March 2019

The title of the book serves as bait to attract a generation obsessed with signs and wonders. The false premise that believers can access “miracles through the body & blood of Jesus” will deceive those too lazy to study the word of God, and gullible enough to believe every story in this book. It will become clear that Beni Johnson’s book is not a result of rightly dividing the word. Charles Spurgeon said “discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” In this book, there’s very little “right,” very little “almost right” and a great deal of wrong. In true New Apostolic Reformation fashion, Johnson veers off the map (scripture) and into the forbidden territories of charismatic myths, dominionism, mysticism, the new age, and other errors.

 

All quotes are from The Power of Communion. Destiny Image, Inc. Kindle Edition.

The NAR terminology and overuse of certain biblical terms in this book is a give away of what to expect. Here follows a list of the words followed by the number of times they occur:  Atmosphere – 5, Shift – 7, Expectation – 7, Suddenly – 11, Prophetic – 15, Release – 18, Tool – 19, Miracle – 19, Declare – 20, Encounter – 24, Presence – 25, Testimony – 26, Heal/healing – 85, Power – 94.

Some of the errors in each chapter are highlighted below:

CHAPTER 1.  WONDER WORKING POWER

Beni starts off by describing her own church background. Her parents were leaders in their church, and Beni was exposed to people encountering God.
Beni:  “People began to come up, and right away they started to manifest physically. They were crying and rolling around on the ground, encountering the Holy Spirit in new ways.”

She confesses that she “had no idea what was going on”, but “knew it was from the Lord.” (p.9) “New ways” really means ways that are not found in scripture, so the “knowing” that Beni experienced was based solely upon emotions.

Beni:  “On Sunday, April 9, 2017, our church body ended a corporate fast. My husband preached a wonderful sermon on the impact of Communion, and at the end of the service we took Communion as a congregation. We prayed together, applied the blood of Jesus to our families and communities, and celebrated what Jesus did for all mankind.” (pp.12-13)
Israel had to apply the blood of the Passover lamb to their doorposts to protect them from God’s judgement. This act is used to justify the modern and unbiblical practice of “pleading” or “applying” the blood of Jesus for protection or deliverance. The continual sacrifices under the law came to an end once Christ shed his blood (Hebrews 7:27).  His blood is effective in redeeming individuals, and delivering them from God’s judgement. Those who attempt to reapply the blood over others or communities, are partaking in a futile and unbiblical exercise.

Beni:  “Any time we are entering a season of prayer for an individual or an issue, we are co-laboring with God. When I use Communion during these seasons of prayer, I joyfully get to do my part in declaring Heaven over their lives.”  (p.14).
The Apostle Paul when addressing division in the Corinthian church, referred to himself and Apollos as “God’s fellow workers” – 1 Cor 3:9. This does not mean they were equal to God.  Verse 6-7 makes this clear:I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” This is an important distinction to make, as Bill Johnson believes Jesus came to model life for us. As far as miracles are concerned, Bill believes that whatever miracles Jesus performed, we should be able to do and even improve upon. This is based on a faulty interpretation of John 14:12. Only God can decree and declare things into existence, but delusions of grandeur have caused those who have bought into NAR teachings to believe their declarations contain power and are causative.

Beni:  “When I take Communion, I take it as a prophetic act, applying it to any situation that is weighing on my heart. A prophetic act is a Holy Spirit-inspired physical action that disrupts the atmosphere. Sometimes, I’ll feel as though God wants me to do something tangible to activate something that I’m praying into. During those moments, I simply ask the Holy Spirit, “What should I do about this?” Then, I’ll feel prompted to—for example—take my shofar into the prayer house that we have at Bethel or go to a specific place to take Communion. In completing the prophetic act, we are releasing something into the atmosphere that helps the answer to our prayer to break through.”  (pp.17-18)

In this article, Beni states that there is something miraculous about the sound of a Shofar:We discovered there is a sound in the Shofar that breaks things and releases things in the spirit realm.”
This discovery has come two thousand years too late for the apostle Paul. Provoked in his spirit due to all the idols in Athens, Paul could have used the sound of a Shofar to break and release things in the atmosphere. All that Beni actually discovered is the new age – something she unashamedly promotes.

Beni’s version of communion is far removed from the biblical description. Jesus made no mention of prophetic acts that disrupt the atmosphere:
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
1 Cor 11:23-26.

The book is littered with testimonies/stories –  approximately 30 in the book.

A young woman who had been sick for seven months texted Beni and asked for help. After asking a few questions, Beni discovered that the young woman’s boyfriend had been married to a witch. Beni came to the conclusion that the young woman had been cursed, and advised her to take communion daily and “apply the blood of Jesus over her own life and send every curse meant to harm her back to where it came from.That evening, the woman felt better She then prophesied to her body, and by the morning was completely healed. The story does not end there; it seems as if the curse was reversed: “A few days later, she told me that her boyfriend’s ex-wife—the very woman who had been cursing her—had come down with the exact same symptoms that she’d been experiencing for the past seven months.” (pp.23-24)

Beni correctly states that communion is exclusively for those who are born again (p.168), and since she advised the lady to take communion, one must conclude Beni considered her to be a believer. But how can a believer be cursed by a witch in the first place? Christ became a curse for us, and every believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling within. Sending curses back to their source are practices found in Voodoo magic and witchcraft, not Christianity. 

CHAPTER 2.  THE POWER OF THE BLOOD

Beni:  “We’ve heard of wonderful testimonies surrounding Communion—people being healed, couples who were dealing with infertility taking Communion every day and getting pregnant, and of people falling out in the middle of taking Communion. They had an encounter with the Lord that was so powerful while they participated in the sacrament  that their bodies could no longer stand up.” (p.27)

How many times is communion necessary in order for a woman to fall pregnant? At what point will she access the miracle working power? Throughout the book, it seems as if communion has become a vain repetition, with communion itself being the object of faith.

Beni:  “The blood of Jesus paid for everything. It washed us white as snow, so we could enter the presence of the Lord without an intermediary and without fear. The blood of Jesus gave us freedom and authority. Hell has been defeated for all eternity. And now we get to boldly release Heaven on earth.” (p.41)
This is a steak and arsenic sentence  – food & poison, truth & error.  How do believers “release Heaven on earth?”  Where is this concept taught in scripture?

Beni shares a short testimony by Henry Gruver, a “powerful intercessor” who made a trip to Wales in order to “pray and release the kingdom.” I won’t even bother repeating the tall story Gruver recounts about reclaiming an entire mountaintop for kingdom purposes, but I want to quote from an article by Gruver (Beni provides the link at the end of the chapter). Gruver says he was walking along the Wye river, when he heard teenage girls screaming. When he got to the area where he thought the screams were coming from, there was no one there. At that point, God gave Gruver a vision; he saw Roman soldiers capturing young girls from villages Some were abused before being killed.

The Lord said to Gruver: “This happened back in the third century, and their innocent blood is still crying from the ground.” Gruver asked God what he should do, and God told him to “remit those sins.” God told Gruver this act would take back the “stronghold,”  free the ground and the entire creation in that area, so Gruver obeyed and forgave the sins of the Romans. Gruver writes: “What do you do after you have remitted the sins that were committed in an area? Then it is time to release the goodness of the Lord over the land, and over those who are currently living there.”
If you find this story confusing, that’s because it is. Gruver’s story can only come from one of two sources – his imagination or deceiving spirits. But that’s clearly not a problem for Beni and Bethel, who revel in any far out story containing a supernatural element.  Although Beni does not quote this particular incident in the book, she endorses Gruver’s teachings and affirms her belief in this kind of practice (geographical ownership)  in Chapter 6.

CHAPTER 3.  SOZO FOR ALL MANKIND

Testimonies can be encouraging and have their place if they align with scripture, but they are not a conclusive means to establish sound doctrine. Scripture is the only infallible source a believer can rely on. Not so in the NAR – testimonies (usually exaggerated and unverifiable) seem to carry more weight than scripture. After a discussion with a cessationist in a coffee shop, Beni writes “When I started sharing what God had done in my life, the gentleman didn’t have anything to say. People can argue with theology, but your testimony is your most powerful tool.”  (p.53)
But what if your experiences have deceived you? Beni believes that a believer can be cursed by a witch, and that the cursed believer should simply “apply the blood” and return the curse to the sender. Is Beni’s own testimony that her prophetic acts can wake up angels, a powerful tool, or a powerful deception?

Beni:  “We deny the power of the cross when we deny the power of God healing today.” (p.54)
If Beni understood the power of the cross, she would realise that believers cannot be cursed! The issue of healing will be addressed below.

Beni:  “Every Saturday morning, we host the Healing Rooms at Bethel. People come for prayer for all sorts of physical, emotional, or spiritual ailments. The first place they go, after they arrive, is into our large sanctuary that is transformed into an encounter room. There, they can worship, sit quietly, or walk around while intercessory dancers, artists, and musicians fill the atmosphere with hope and expectancy. There is such a sweet presence of God there.” (p.55)
When special effects in the form of smoke and glitter are purported to be God’s presence at Bethel, it’s safe to conclude that the sweet presence at Bethel’s healing rooms is not from God. These encounter rooms are the perfect place to schedule a Sozo course for the needy.  Bethel & co have hijacked the word sōzō (save, deliver, heal) to describe their inner healing and deliverance course. Bethel describes their Sozo course as follows: “Sozo ministry is a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry aimed to get to the root of things hindering your personal connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With a healed connection, you can walk in the destiny to which you have been called.”  Bethel’s Sozo course is steeped in mysticism, the occult, and therapies that will lead their victims into greater deception and turmoil.

Beni:  “When we take Communion and declare total health over our bodies, we are aligning ourselves up with what the body of Christ did for us. If we believe what the Bible says, that “by His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5), then there has to be something important in the act of partaking in His body during Communion. His body suffered so that our bodies wouldn’t have to. When we take the bread, we are testifying that He is the healer, that we don’t have to walk in sickness, that what Jesus did on the cross changed everything.” (p.56)

Healing does not always refer to physical healing, and the context of Isaiah is primarily spiritual healing (from sin): But he was pierced for our transgressionshe was crushed for our iniquitiesupon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” Isaiah 53:5

While the effects of sin such as disease are included in the atonement, physical healing is not guaranteed during our earthly life. When Peter quotes from Isaiah 53, he does not equate Christ’s work on the cross with guaranteed physical healing; in fact the context excludes diseases: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25

Our physical healing will be complete when we receive our resurrection bodies. God may graciously heal some according to his will. Paul had ample opportunity to use the illnesses of Timothy, Trophimus, and Epaphroditus, as an example of 3 believers who failed to exercise their faith, declare their healing, or miss the “power” that’s in communion. 

The chapter ends with more testimonies of how the “healing power of communion” supposedly facilitated a miracle. 

CHAPTER 4.  CONQUERING THROUGH PEACE

In this chapter, Beni recounts her battle with cancer. One of the stories involves Judy Franklin. Franklin is one of the authors of  “The Physics Of Heaven”  – a book that explores “the mysteries of God hidden in sound, light, vibrations, frequencies, energy, and quantum physics.” (Bill and Beni Johnson contributed with chapters). The book has nothing to do with heaven, and everything to do with the new age – it’s heresy!

Beni speaks about finding peace daily during her battle with cancer. The peace she was looking for, was a peace she had previously experienced  “in Heaven.” (p.74)
She had this experience at a retreat with Judy, who apparently is “highly anointed in taking people on heavenly encounters. She leads people in encounters with the Lord in which they get to experience Heaven with Him. It’s a powerful gift.” (p.74) 
It’s a gift the bible does not mention. But Judy is special it seems, as God takes her on trips to Heaven, explains scriptures to her, and gives her new revelations.
This is an excerpt from Judy’s Chapter in “The Physics of Heaven” :
“The next thing the Lord told me was that soon He would release a sound from heaven that will literally change the structure of how we think. This new sound will transform us like the transformation spoken of in Romans 12. Our minds will be renewed so that we think like Him and are no longer conformed to this world but conformed to the will of God. Bringing heaven to earth is our mandate, and to do that we need to think more like heaven.”

Judy’s mandate is not from Heaven;  it’s from an angel of light. Beni recounts how Judy facilitated a heavenly encounter: “she had us all lie on the floor, and she began to take us on a journey to Heaven. I was lying on the floor, my head underneath a chair, visualizing Jesus. Almost immediately I went into a vision. In it, I saw my two grandmothers who had passed on.” (pp.74-75)

The trip to heaven, was all in the mind or a demonic encounter. Visualization is NOT a technique taught in scripture – it is employed in Eastern Religions, mysticism, the new age, and Shamanism. It’s a bridge between the physical and spirit world. Using the imagination to achieve a form of spiritual enlightenment or altered consciousness is an invitation to deceiving spirits, and an angel of light. Beni’s guided tour into the heavenlies was an experience that produced something she “had never felt before.” She realised that what she was feeling was “heavens peace.”
According to scripture, the peace of God surpasses all understanding, but we should never abandon our understanding of scripture in order to “feel peace.” Prayer, not visualization, is the means through which we obtain peace.
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7
The Chapter includes an example of what some would classify as a “word of knowledge” 
 – “Soon after I got the diagnosis, I received a word from a friend. He saw the word “benefit” and heard, “Beni is fit for the next season.” (p.81)

CHAPTER 5.  THE FIGHT TO REMEMBER

According to scripture, the last days will be characterized by times of difficulty, depravity, deception, and a departure from the faith (2 Tim 3:1-7;1 Tim 4:1). This biblical view does not fit in with the Bethel’s postmillennial eschatology. Their solution is simple: Ignore scripture, and let stories determine truth.
Beni:  “Bill spoke about the power of testimonies recently. At Bethel, sharing testimonies is a big part of our culture. We have a two-hour senior staff meeting each week where we spend 90 percent of the time sharing about what the Lord is doing all over the earth. It’s amazing to hear about the miracles. The world is truly getting better all of the time.” (p.95)

There is power in the gospel (Rom 1:16), not in the testimonies of men and women. But Bethel believes testimonies are powerful due to their domino effect on faith. Beni tells the story of their son Eric who had been “releasing the power” of the testimony. Some youngsters that had been diagnosed with autism had experienced “miraculous transformations.” Eric shared the testimony of this powerful healing from autism about ten times, and each time there was another healing related to autism. Beni gives the reason for these successive healings: “The testimony increases the faith in the room, and the faith in the room grabs ahold of what was paid for 2,000 years ago.” (p.96)
That’s pure word of faith heresy, which means that at the end of the day, healing depends upon ourselves and a force called faith, not God.

Erwin McManus is the lead pastor of Mosaic church in Los Angeles. Beni shares a quote from his message at Bethel’s Open Heavens Conference: “..he started to unravel the differences between humans and other creations. And, ultimately, he said, “Faith is what makes us human…. No other species needs hope. Hope is what connects us to the future…. In the same way that bees create hives and ants create colonies, humans create futures….You have the power to create the future, but the moment you lose hope is the moment you’re disconnected from the future.” (pp.96-97)

Ah, nothing like some word of faith heresy thrown in to tickle the ears of wannabe gods. Even a broken clock is right twice a day – not everything false teachers say is going to be incorrect. Beni gets it right:
“One day, I was imagining His suffering, and I realized, “He stayed up on that cross!” Jesus was fully God and fully man. He didn’t have to do anything He didn’t want to do. He could have taken Himself right off of that cross if He’d chosen to, but He stayed.”
(p.102).

“Each time we take Communion, we are testifying to the enormous, radical love of God. We are reminding ourselves that we had a debt that we could never, ever repay and that we were condemned to death; there was nothing we could do about it.”
 (pp.106-107)
While the lure of accessing power and miracles will attract many, the odd truth statement from Beni will unfortunately catch undiscerning folk who will be fooled into a false sense of security. Will they compare the rest of her teachings with scripture? Will they believe all the testimonies?

CHAPTER 6.  RELEASING THE POWER OF COMMUNION

Beni has some strange beliefs and practices. In one of her blog posts she writes about tuning forks bringing healing: “We need to tune our lives to love. When we tune our lives to love it brings healing. One thing about this 528 HZ tuning fork is that science tells us that the sound of this fork brings healing. .”

Here’s another: “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.

In 2016 Beni felt as if God wanted her to take communion daily for the two weeks preceding the elections. In this chapter, she suggests that there is something special about the time and place of prayers:

Beni:  “So every day at high noon, I would take my little cup and wafer and remember all that Jesus did for us and all that He was doing in our nation. High noon has become an important time for me to pray. When the sun is at its pinnacle in the sky, everything is exposed. I like to think about the light flushing out anything that’s been hiding in the dark places. It’s a powerful time to intercede for God’s light and truth to expose any hidden things. I was born to pray. When I go up to the high places—a mountaintop or the top of a city building—to pray and worship, I feel as though I’m doing what I was born to do. I’m in my element. I often go with a team of friends to various places to intercede, and in the last few years we’ve added Communion to the arsenal of tools we use during these times.” (pp.109-110)

While Beni states that communion is not a “magic pill” or means for us to get our wishes, Bethel clearly use it for unbiblical practices. Strategies of the “Spiritual Warfare Movement” raise their ugly head: “One of the ways that we can tap into the transformative power of Communion is by taking it into our communities. I have more stories of specific prayer walks in The Happy Intercessor. These walks are a chance for us to take ownership over our land and the atmospheres over our cities.” (p.111)

As an example “of this kind of geographical ownership” Beni shares the story of “Anne Kalvestrand, a powerful intercessor at Bethel.”  BSSM students from the class of 2015 who were of Armenian or Turkish descent travelled to Turkey for the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian Holocaust. The students visited the areas where some of the conflicts took place and “poured the Communion elements onto the ground, praying for the trauma of the genocide to leave the land. The Armenian students forgave the Turks and prayed for salvation to come to all of Turkey.” (pp.111-112)
Very often something seems noble, pure, and the intentions righteous, but our task is to compare these kinds of practices to what scripture teaches. Beni goes further and invites a seemingly absent God to be involved in the situation: “When those Turkish and Armenian students stood together and poured out Communion into the war-ravaged soil, they were inviting the reality of the resurrected Christ, the One who is victorious over sin and darkness, into the history of that land.” (p.113)

How does one “Invite” or to use another popular phrase “partner with” the omniscient God who controls history and ensures all his purposes and plans come to pass? We are mere vessels and servants, but in the NAR and Word of Faith movements, people are elevated: “Every time we take Communion, then, we are reminding ourselves that we are Christians—little Christs. When we remind ourselves who we are, we can reveal to the world who He is.” (p.113)

Beni’s next story is about a Roadrunner that kept coming to Bethel’s prayer meetings, which they felt was “significant.” The bird managed to get inside one day as a cleaning team was busy. At some point the bird was spooked and ran into a glass window and died. They were so perplexed by this incident that: “Bill went to the Lord and just asked Him what was going on with this bird. Very clearly, he heard, “What I’m bringing into the House, had better have a way of being released from the House or it will die in the House.” (p.127)
With a complete canon of scripture at their disposal, it seems incredulous that Bethel need omens for guidance. Beni ties this story into the theme of communion by adding:
“I want to encourage you to release the power of Communion from the four walls of the church and into your family, your business, your community, etc.”

So lets ask the question – where is this taught in scripture? Have you released the power of communion into your business? You should according to Andy Mason, the head of “Heaven in Business” –  an initiative of Bethel Church that “won’t stop until we see the fullness of what Christ paid for manifest in our lives, business, communities and nations.”  Beni shares Andy’s testimony in this chapter. Andy had a friend whose one business was lacking growth, and needed a breakthrough.
Andy:  “I felt like we should take Communion, pray and bless the business, believing that Jesus had already paid for everything within his business.
The man dropped Andy off at the station to return home, and within hours the man “discovered that the once-stagnant workplace had suddenly received at least ten requests for quotes from all over the world from huge international companies. They were in business! The owner was so blown away by the presence of the Lord that he couldn’t work for the rest of the day.” (p.118)

Visualization is also taught at Bethel’s Christian School. Beni shares one of the teacher’s stories about how they teach communion to the children. The children write down their sins on paper, and then “With that paper in their hands, the kids move into a soaking time where Tawny invites them to see Jesus on the cross and ask Him to show them what carrying their sin felt like.” (p.125)
After communion they destroy the paper in a “prophetic act” and dance on it to the music of “an old song called, “Stomp on the Devil’s Head.”

Beni:  “There is no area of your life that Communion with God cannot improve. Take these testimonies as your own. The Bible says that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy” (Rev. 19:10). Whatever God has done before, He wants to do again. Grab a hold of them.” (p.127)

How do I grab a hold of someone’s testimony? It’s a pity Beni does not elaborate on Revelation 19:10. How did she miss “the testimony of JESUS” – everything must point to Christ. The angels, prophets, and the apostles testified of Jesus. The scriptures testify of Jesus (John 5:39). There is no need for a road runner to die an untimely death in order to give someone a revelation. Should I infer that Jesus will pay for everything in my business based on a “testimony.” Do I need to soak and visualize Jesus to appreciate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross?

Why should these “testimonies” of “miracles” be repeated in the lives of others – Beni has the answer: “God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So when you hear of a miracle that has happened in someone else’s life, you know that God has just set the legal precedent of what He wants to continue. Testimonies are not just fond memories. They have a lifespan that’s eternal. They continually give God praise.”
(p.95 – quote from Chapter 5 but pertinent at this point)

Where does Beni get her strange teachings from, here’s a clue from Bill Johnson’s Facebook page:

“Anytime you hear a testimony there is a covenant from God to duplicate the miracle” – is NOT taught in scripture!
“We release these testimonies as prophecy “– NOT  taught in scripture!

CHAPTER 7.  THE POSTURE OF OUR HEARTS

Throughout the book, there are some statements that are valid, but then are totally ruined by the surrounding context. For example : “Even though I love our free-flowing worship, there is something so beautiful about a formal liturgy.”  I agree wholeheartedly with this, and with Beni’s next comment on what is missing in many communion services –  “a sense of soberness…there needs to be a sense of gravity about what we are getting to participate in.” Unfortunately her observation is ruined by the rest of the paragraph:
“Often, when we focus so much on what divides us, we can miss out on honoring some valuable aspects of different Christian traditions.”
In some cases division is necessary: “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them Romans 16:17. One would imagine that a book on communion would at least name the heretical practice of transubstantiation – the belief that the elements change into the actual flesh and blood of Christ. Instead, Beni points to the false religion that practices transubstantiation as an example of how to honor communion: “I think we can learn from the way the Catholic Church honors Communion, teaching the children what it means and making a special event of their first occasion.” (p.132)

Beni tells the story of Damaris Stevens who runs the communion services at Bethel. Understaffed and discouraged, Damaris poured out her heart to God during one service, and heard him say : “You’re thinking about the work and not thinking about the joy in the work”  She paused, looked around the sanctuary, and saw things in a different light – literally! – ” All of a sudden, it felt like the whole room changed to a deeper color as I looked around at people taking Communion. They glowed! Not like a light, but more like their colors became vivid. Like, as they took Communion, they went from analog to high definition. (p.141)

Damaris experienced another “miracle,” she realised that she would run short of the elements during two services, and so she prayed.

“On both occasions, though, something strange happened. Trays of bread and juice would go out to the congregation to be passed along the rows of people, like they were normally. But instead of returning almost empty, trays began to return to her full, as if they hadn’t been touched. “Usually, there is only a little bit of bread and a just a few juices left, if any. But for every service on these two occasions, it was like the bread and juice had been replaced every time someone picked up an element. It felt like a little miracle just for our team to show us that God really cared about what we were doing for the church.” (pp.142-143)

Beni:  “Communion is not a magic pill, and God is not a vending machine. He does not want us to eat a wafer and drink some grape juice every day so that He will grant our wishes.” (p.145)
I agree, but then why teach that we can access miracles through communion and grab a hold of others testimonies? Why teach that communion can “improve” every area of your life? Why teach that God has set a legal precedent he wants to continue after a miracle has taken place? 

CHAPTER 8. DEVELOPING THE HABIT – BILL JOHNSON

Bill:  “An impartation of thankfulness would have the greatest impact on the hearts and minds of people. It would literally change the world as we know it. Thankful people attract breakthrough.” (p.149)
No it won’t Bill – Only the gospel will have an impact on the world – and according to scripture, the world is only getting worse. This same gospel does not teach the law of attraction.

Bill has one section in his chapter with the title “Partaking Worthily.”
This is the text Bill is about to comment on:  “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died
1 Corinthians 11:27-30

Bill:  “Paul gives us a somber warning in verse 27  This is an interesting part of communion. Communion hurts you if you’re not saved, but advances you if you are. The anointing of God doesn’t always have the same effect on people. The presence that brings you peace will sometimes irritate others.” (p.151)
We’ll examine whether Bill’s first sentence is correct. His second sentence is just your typical NAR word salad.

Bill’s explanation of the text:  “He (Paul) is saying there are people in the body of Christ who will go to heaven, but because they did not realize the meaning of what was in their hands, they reduced communion to a religious ritual.  Without realizing it, they removed the tool that God had put in their life to bring divine health. And for that reason, many are weak or sick, and some have even died. Yet presumably, week after week, month after month, the miracle was in their hand but a wrong perspective cancels out the power of that moment.” (pp.153-154)

What Bill gets half right –  the Corinthians were abusing the Lord’s supper, but it was worse than reducing it to a religious ritual: For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?” 1 Cor 11:21-22
What Bill gets wrong – communion is not a tool for divine health, or a miracle in your hand. 
What Bill twists – Bill gives the reader the following impression: There are sick and deceased Corinthians who could have been healed but failed to realize the miracle in their hands – the power of communion. Bill wants us to believe that if we could just change our perspective, we could access the power of communion.The passage gives the cause of the illness, but Bill conveniently ignores this fact.
What the passage really means – some healthy Corinthians fell ill or died because they partook of communion in an unworthy manner: That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” (vs 30) The Corinthians were not weak, sick, or deceased due to a wrong perspective on the benefits of communion, but because of a failure to discern the body (vs 29)  In other words, communion hurt “many” believers in this instance.
What Bill failed to mention – Verse 32:
“But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.”
The Corinthians were not sick because a witch had cursed them or because a demon of infirmity had attacked their mortal bodies. They were sick or dead because God had brought judgement. In what will be shocking news to any Bethelite who reads this – God used sickness to discipline believers. Matthew Henry’s commentary on verse 32: “The apostle was addressing Christians, and warning them to beware of the temporal judgements with which God chastised his offending servants. And in the midst of judgement, God remembers mercy: he many times punishes those whom he loves. It is better to bear trouble in this world, than to be miserable for ever. The apostle points our the duty of those who come to the Lord’s table. Self-examination is necessary to right attendance at this holy ordinance. If we would thoroughly search ourselves, to condemn and set right what we find wrong, we should stop Divine judgements. The apostle closes all with a caution against the irregularities of which the Corinthians were guilty at the Lord’s table. Let all look to it, that they do not come together to God’s worship, so as to provoke him, and bring down vengeance on themselves.”

Bill:  “Everybody knows you get a new body in Heaven. There’s no sickness there, there’s no weeping there, there’s no pain, no conflict, no confusion. In Heaven, everything is wonderful. So, it’s important to see that this part of His provision is for now. “By His stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:5). Peter quoted the passage from Isaiah in this way: “by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). Notice it is past tense. It has already been accomplished on our behalf.” (pp.156-157)

As I have pointed out, the context of 1 Peter excludes physical healing in this life. There are many stories of healings and miracles in this book, but not one doctors report confirming any kind of miraculous intervention. The Johnson’s have faced their own set of challenges during which they all had rely on  medical intervention for help. Eric Johnson is 85 to 90% deaf in both ears and relies on a hearing aid. Brian Johnson was medicated and hospitalized after a nervous breakdown. In 2015 Bill Johnson underwent surgery to remove a growth in his intestine. In 2018 Beni required surgery for breast cancer. In each case, medical intervention was needed, Bethel’s own “healing rooms” could not help.

Bill ends the chapter, with what Bill believes, not what scripture teaches: “I believe that the Lord is going to release unusual miracles of healing in the taking of the bread. He is going to release unusual miracles of deliverance to people and family members, who are maybe a thousand miles away or more by our taking the juice (representing the blood) and pleading the blood of Jesus over their lives. (pp.164)

CONCLUSION.

On the one hand the book states that “Communion is not a magic pill, and God is not a vending machine.” On the other hand the book is full of testimonies that create the impression communion solves certain problems that nothing else will.  It’s difficult to not come to the conclusion that the more you take communion, the better your chances are for whatever breakthrough is needed. Beni shares that she usually takes communion daily, sometimes multiple times a day, and describes it as a “tool” in her “intercessory toolbox.” (p.12)  But that’s not all Beni believes communion is useful for:
“It is a powerful tool, not only for intercession, but also for healing. Take Communion, take it often, and apply the healing power of Jesus to your bodies! (p.55)

Paul does not mention these added bonuses communion apparently offers. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, the “power of communion” would have been activated (to use Bethel terminology) as Christ had already been crucified and resurrected. While Beni does make some true statements, the few nuggets of truth are overshadowed by stories and false teachings.Teachings that don’t belong to Christianity in any way. With this statement, Beni condemns herself  “Jesus died for our sins and our sickness – anything that threatens to steal, kill or destroy our life in Him is not of Him” (p.52) The words steal, kill and destroy can be found in John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Many associate the thief in this verse with the devil, but Jesus was in fact referring to the false teachers of his day. It’s abundantly clear that Beni is teaching false doctrines, doctrines that will steal, kill, and destroy. This book, “is not of Him.”

 

Taken Captive By False Teachers & False Doctrines – 10 signs

By Rick Becker    7 March 2019

We’re closer to the end. Some would have us believe the greatest revival the world has ever seen is upon us, but scripture teaches the opposite. There will be false anointed ones, a departure from the faith, apostasy, and doctrines of demons will deceive many within the visible church. Those within the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) ignore what scripture teaches, they are hoping to be activated by a super apostle and be a part of a new breed of revivalist that will walk through walls, raise the dead, and conquer the seven spheres of society. These deluded folk have not been activated, but captivated by false teachers and false doctrines: “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.” Colossians 2:8
Under the guise of fresh revelation, anointings, impartations, new ways to hear God and walk in the supernatural, false teachers of the NAR come to steal, kill, and destroy. But it’s not just the NAR that is leading people into deception, there are other movements and denominations in the visible church that are responsible for seducing people into error. The health and wealth gospel, word of faith heresy, false philosophies, traditions, new age doctrines, and mysticism have captivated millions in the visible church. In this post I offer ten signs that will help identify those who have been captivated by false teachers and false doctrines.

1. The captivated have compromised truth through pragmatism.
Pragmatism evaluates success based on results. If for example a pastor wants to grow his small congregation, the fashionable route for him to take would be a “church growth” seminar or Willowcreek conference. This will give him the methodologies necessary to increase numbers. He will discover that it’s not too difficult to grow a church in this generation. Successful business models are utilized in the church because apparently pagan entrepreneurs know better than Jesus or the authors of scripture.
All the pastor has to do is water down the gospel, focus on topical and motivational messages, create expectation, and exchange biblical terms like sin, judgement and suffering for legacy, shift, presence, and prophetic etc. Dim the lights, and let the contemporary sounds of Bethel or Hillsong bypass the minds while bringing goosebumps to the enthralled congregation and voila! – “church growth.” This probably without one single convert, and certainly without any of the previous members who may be saved, growing in their faith. God has not given the “increase,” a pragmatic approach has, compromise has.
Experience and results should never define our theological persuasions. When we exchange truth with “what works” we have exchanged truth for a lie. Pragmatism causes truth to be relative, and when truth becomes relative, by definition it is no longer truth. When it’s no longer truth – it’s toxic. The fruits of pragmatism in the church are mega churches full of false converts and biblically illiterate believers carried about by every wind of doctrine.

2. The captivated serve a personality.

“I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” Acts 20:29-30.
I have had many conversations with people who have been deceived by a false teacher.  They usually avoid an invitation to compare the teachings of their idol (because that’s really what the false teacher has become) to scripture. Instead, they resort to their first line of defense –  “but do you know pastor X, have you met him/her ?”
Their faith is in a personality instead of the principles of God’s word. These false teachers have crafted an impressive persona. Like the super apostles Paul described in Corinthians, contemporary false teachers disguise themselves as “servants of righteousness.” They come across as individuals who know God intimately, and make sure everyone else is aware of their unique gifts and special relationship with God. Instead of hearing sermons that exegete the word of God, followers are subjected to countless stories and experiences – the pastor of course being the central figure.
In short, they commend themselves – the direct opposite of Paul taught: “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12. The captivated will drive thousands of miles to a stadium event (performance) to receive an “impartation” from their favourite personality, but that’s not all that drives them that far….

3. The captivated fall for false promises.

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 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 2:17-19
The captivated are desperate to alleviate the cares of this world, or increase their comforts in this world. Promises of breakthrough, healing, favour, pleasant “suddenlies,” transfers of wealth, supernatural encounters and miracles, entice those with itching ears or troubled souls. Like clouds without water false teachers fail to deliver. They promise their followers an encounter with God, but instead deliver an emotional experience or Kundalini spirit. They peddle their courses on how to hear the voice of God, but all you will hear is your own imagination or a deceiving spirit. The captivated believe they can decree things into existence, access heavenly portals, shift atmospheres, and perform greater miracles than Christ. They believe a Sozo course will bring inner healing, and that “pleading the blood of Jesus” will bring healing, protection, and deliverance. Year in and year out, like a hamster on a wheel, the captivated chase empty promises.  After months, or even years, the island of shipwrecked souls claims another citizen. Disappointed in “God” the “church,” and “Christians,” these shipwrecked souls placed their hope in false promises.

4. The captivated are easily persuaded

Paul was an apostle with a miraculous conversion, and by the time he reached Berea  had chased out an evil spirit from a slave girl, and experienced a real suddenly – unlike the fake suddenlies of the NAR: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,  and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.” Acts 16:25-26
Paul had some great stories to tell, but he did not rely on stories to convince his listeners, he explained the scriptures: Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.  And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,  explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” Acts 17: 1-3

After preaching in Thessalonica, Paul and Silas travelled to Berea and continued preaching in the synagogue. The Berean’s saw it fit to test the doctrine of the great apostle: “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11.  This is what every believer should do, compare a teaching to the word of God regardless of who the teacher is. The Bereans were able to do this, because Paul reasoned “from the scriptures.” In other words they were able to go directly to the source. The only infallible source – scripture, is sadly the last place those who are easily persuaded by false teachers visit. They are persuaded by eloquence, stories, signs, and appearances   As a result the captives of these false doctrines grow in false knowledge and experiences without gaining any knowledge of Christ or truth. The false prophets and apostles in the New Apostolic Reformation have perfected the art of the deceivers Paul described in Colossians 2:18: “..going on in detail about visions..” (ESV)…  “intruding into those things which he hath not seen..” (KJV.)  The gobbledygook of NAR mystics, stories of healings and encounters with God by hipster evangelists, and words of knowledge from google assisted prophets are sufficient to dupe the easily persuaded.

5. The captivated chase after supernatural phenomena

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:23-24
Schools of “supernatural ministry” are flourishing around the globe. Like Simon the sorcerer, thousands of youngsters are offering money to receive power and supernatural gifts. So called “glory clouds” have mesmerized people, fooling them into believing that smoke and glitter are the manifest presence of God. Feathers, gold dust, gold fillings, oily palms, spasms as well as demonic manifestations are viewed as signs of “God touching someone.” Anyone who dares question the bizarre manifestations will be accused of having a “religious spirit.”
Superstars in the New Apostolic Reformation have built careers based on their “miracles.” Their exploits are caught on film as they roam public spaces looking for those suffering from what seems to be the greatest ailment on earth – one leg shorter than the other. A warning for those trusting in signs and wonders: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7: 21-23.

God’s word is clear regarding the danger of 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.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-11

Captivated leaders teach that signs and wonders must always accompany any evangelistic endeavour.  They have this in common with the rich man in Hades (Luke 16)  – both believe something miraculous will convince the lost. The rich man reasoned with Abraham “but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent” Abraham’s answer – “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”  Those who teach that the gospel is not good news unless there is a demonstration of power are blinded to the fact that the power is not in signs and wonders, it’s in the gospel: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Rom1:16.
The gospel is sufficient and scripture is more sure than any modern day sign or wonder.

 6. The captivated are victims of peddlers.

“For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:17
“And in their greed they will exploit you with false words” 2 Peter 2:3
While tithing is NOT taught in the new testament (giving cheerfully, not under compulsion, and according to our ability IS taught) it’s become a tool in the hands of unscrupulous teachers, some of whom threaten that if you don’t give your tenth, the rest of your money will be cursed, and you give a foothold to demons. Teaching tithing has become a “get rich quick” scheme, and a great way for false teachers to accumulate wealth and maintain their empires (mega churches) It does not stop at tithing, there’s usually some sort of building fund, missionary fund, social justice cause, and other causes that members are asked to give towards. Another means of raking in the dollars are workshops, conferences, online courses and books. You are going to pay to learn how to: hear God’s voice, shift atmospheres, receive healing, walk in intimacy with God, experience supernatural powers. The captivated spend an awful amount of money in order to gain some sort of advantage or deeper knowledge, they are in a constant state of always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. The captivated and their money are easily parted as they pay for their never ending quest to hear and experience God.

7. The captivated who begin to ask questions are penalized.

You are never going to be in that inner circle, or part of the clique in “church” unless you prove yourself worthy. Under the guise of a “culture of honour” leaders are able to excuse their failures, avoid critique, promote their false doctrines, and maintain a firm grip on their ignorant followers. Once you invest time, and more importantly money, you will climb the food chain relatively fast. Display blind loyalty to the leader, salivate over their unfounded stories and visions, accept their teachings without question, and you will be rewarded. But if you dare to step out of line, you will discover that the “culture of honour” is an excuse to employ a “culture of shame” upon truth seekers. You may even think you are going mad or imagining things, and at first you will lay all the blame on yourself. This just shows how effective the brainwashing and manipulation has been. It’s a common story – those who are in the final stages of exiting a church that teaches false doctrines will tell you how they suddenly lost favour in the eyes of their leaders when they asked legitimate questions. They are asked to step down from positions, they are shamed, ostracized, patronized, and rumours are spread about them. This serves as a warning to potential mutineers by creating a fearful atmosphere.

8. The captivated become pharisaical.

Point 7 demonstrated this fact. Approach a false teacher or one of their followers in sincerity and humility with a scriptural rebuttal concerning their teachings or revelations, and you will probably experience a venomous response. Their first cry will be “don’t judge.” This verse is used out of context when defending false teachers. “Don’t judge” really means don’t judge hypocritically: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5. The same chapter instructs us to beware of false prophets and examine their fruits (7:15-20)  “Judge not” does not mean: never discern, never test all things, or ignore those who bring a different teaching! Those who use this verse to silence critics of false teachers or false teachings, are in fact judging someone for correct judgement. In other words, they are self-righteous and hypocrites – pharisaical. They will preach love and tolerance, but are unloving towards those who are trying to warn them that their souls are in grave danger. They will tolerate false teachers, doctrines of demons and demonic manifestations, but will turn their backs on family or lifelong friends who attempt to reason with them from the scriptures.
Another example of hypocrisy can be found in the area of healing. Bespectacled pastors will tell you the atonement guarantees healing, and that if you are not healed it can only be your fault. Their own healing rooms, Sozo courses and supernatural students cannot heal them. They go for surgery and rely on medication like the rest of us (that’s not to say God does not heal – he does, according to his will.) These teachers who cannot heal themselves or each other, charge for courses on healing. The fake healers who stretch legs in shopping malls will never be found filming a miracle in the ICU wards of hospitals. 

9. The captivated believe they can change this world into a paradise.

“As above so below” has become the mantra of New Apostolic Reformation proponents.
This occultic phrase is used in The Message bible (a perversion of scripture)
Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below.” – The Message
The correct translation: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10.
So what does the phrase “Your kingdom come” really mean? False teachers would reason as follows – there is no poverty or disease in heaven, and therefore there should be no poverty and disease on earth. There is peace in heaven, so there should be peace on earth etc. False teachers will tell you the world is getting better all the time, and Christ is coming back once believers have reclaimed the seven spheres of society. The bible teaches the direct opposite ( 2 Timothy 3:1-9)
Jesus made it clear that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36) it is not external or secular and it will certainly not transform this planet into paradise. When we pray “thy kingdom come” we are asking God to transform us, not the world, we are asking God to conquer the souls of men and women, not the seven spheres of society, and we are anticipating the coming kingdom when Christ will rule and reign on earth after he has brought judgement on the earth (2 Peter 3:7)
Until then, believers will go through many trials and tribulations, they will be mocked, not celebrated, persecuted not praised, and while God still heals some according to his will, many believers will have to endure sickness and disabilities. The captivated want to be settlers in this world, they are not sojourners looking forward to the day when Christ will come and rule, they want to be little gods and take dominion for themselves. They translate the word “kingdom” as dominion and comfort in this present age. They attempt to “set the world right” because their focus is on the temporal instead of the eternal.

10. The  captivated have been placated.

For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lordwho say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things,
prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 30:9-11
Not much has changed since the days of Isaiah, there’s a reason people follow contemporary false prophets – they want to hear “smooth things.”  This is why the captivated are so intent on defending their favourite false teacher. They are not just defending a personality, they are defending the message that has tickled their ears. They have bought into various lies – God guarantees wealth and health, they can walk in any supernatural gift they choose etc. They have not been taught the crucified life. They want dominion, power, favour and success. They have been placated by smooth operators, from the blatant health and wealth charlatans to the spiritual mystics who have exchanged sound teachings for nonsensical sayings and encounters with a divine agent.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

 

 

Kris Vallotton’s hero Pope Francis calls for interfaith harmony.

By Rick Becker  6 February 2019

Interfaith harmony and world peace were not on Christ’s agenda when he walked the earth. Yet that is the agenda of some contemporary false christs who litter the visible church and other religions. The Pope met the Grand Imam of Al Azhar in Abu Dhabi this week, where they “launched the Human Fraternity Document calling on people across the globe to unite to bring about inter-faith harmony and spread a vital message of peace.” We are living in times where prophecy is rapidly being fulfilled in front of our eyes. To the deceived, it’s a time of hope in this fallen world. The false prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) assure us that things are going to get better as believers exert influence over the seven spheres of society. The NAR are hoping for a just society, where all can prosper, and unbelievers will be wooed into the kingdom out of envy or encounters with God, but their utopian dream is contrary to what scripture teaches. The Human Fraternity Document has similar goals for a peaceful planet: “The one God to whom we submit our lives wants all, Christian and Muslim, to reject arrogance and to come before him together, so that God can govern our societies according to his will.” To the elect, this is a time of a falling away, false revival, and the merging of polluted streams in preparation for a one world false religion. Instead of warning the church of what is taking place, false prophets in the NAR are encouraging unity with Rome – and Rome in turn is encouraging unity with Islam.

Love and common goals may unite a support group, but they are not the basis for unity among different faiths. What does the living God have in common with idols and false gods?  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Ephesians 4:4-5
As far as ecumenical unity is concerned, any unity that compromises the purity of the gospel and sound doctrine is sinful compromise. Unity in the faith, can never be separated from the teachings of the faith: until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Ephesians 4: 13-14

It’s human cunning that is busy orchestrating a semblance of unity among Roman Catholicism and Evangelicalism. The Pope is taking this unholy alliance a step further. With one hand he has managed to bamboozle the apostles and prophets of the NAR, and with the other he is drawing in influential Imam’s to unite Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism and Islam. It’s a crafty and deceitful scheme to suggest that Christians and Muslims submit to the same God.

The Human Fraternity Document is nothing short of a social justice paper, combined with the false notion that various religions serve the same God. Interfaith harmony will produce a false peace, whereas true faith in the one and only living God will produce the opposite: Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36

Who is my brother ?

The document creates the impression that as long as you believe in some form authentic religious teaching and strive for social justice and peace, you are a brother or sister. It’s common to refer to friends  or those with whom we have something in common with as “brother” or “sister” but in a spiritual context, those outside of Christ can never be referred to as a brother:  While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:46-50

Some within the RCC view their Muslim “brothers” as fellow believers. Jesuit Father Tom Michel writes:
“Islam and Christianity are two different religions and have different teachings, and God is able to save both Muslim and Christian if they faithfully follow their respective paths. What it means, though, is that both are directing their attention and service and love toward the same merciful and compassionate God….When Christians hear Muslims being called to prayer, they should be happy, for it is their God who is going to be worshipped and served. When they see good Muslims performing the prayer, fasting in Ramadan, and doing good works like giving to the poor, Christians should praise God for the fact that so many of their Muslim sisters and brothers are doing God’s will.”

Excerpt from the document which pledges to uphold certain principles:
“The firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence…Dialogue among believers means coming together in the vast space of spiritual, human and shared social values and, from here, transmitting the highest moral virtues that religions aim for.”

Whether “Dialogue among believers” means both parties view each other as believers in the same god, or as believers in different gods, is unclear. Everyone is a believer in something – without defining the object of belief, the term is meaningless. Belief in any other God apart from Jesus Christ, is a belief in an invention of men or a scheme of Satan.

The Catechism of the Roman Catholic church serves to muddy the waters even further:  “841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

Further excerpts from the Human Fraternity Document (HFD) that reveal it’s insidious agenda and blatant heresy:

A bright future

HFD: “From our fraternal and open discussions, and from the meeting that expressed profound hope in a bright future for all human beings, the idea of this Document on Human Fraternity was conceived.”

That hope is echoed in this statement: “I will not allow any interpretation of the scriptures that destroys hope for the nations and undermines our command to restore ruined cities.”  – Kris Vallotton
Vallotton believes the world is getting better all the time, and contrary to scripture
(2 Timothy 3; Matthew 24)  he refuses “to embrace any mindset that celebrates bad news as a sign of the times and a necessary requirement for the return of Jesus.”

Vallotton & co  are in for a surprise:
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.  For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

All religions are not equal!

HFD: “The first and most important aim of religions is to believe in God, to honour Him and to invite all men and women to believe that this universe depends on a God who governs it.”

“Truth by definition is exclusive. If truth were all-inclusive, nothing would be false.” – Walter Martin
Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Without defining God, and the way of salvation, the HFD might as well be the antichrist’s manifesto.

Many roads lead to Rome, only one road leads to God.

HFD: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives.”

This is a Satanic lie, you either believe the HFD, or you believe in the word of God:
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5

Social justice an anchor of salvation?

HFD: “We call upon intellectuals, philosophers, religious figures, artists, media professionals and men and women of culture in every part of the world, to rediscover the values of peace, justice, goodness, beauty, human fraternity and coexistence in order to confirm the importance of these values as anchors of salvation for all, and to promote them everywhere.”

Excerpt from the Popes speech during the occasion:

Pope: “According to the biblical account, in order to preserve humanity from destruction, God asked Noah to enter the ark along with his family. Today, we too in the name of God, in order to safeguard peace, need to enter together as one family into an ark which can sail the stormy seas of the world: the ark of fraternity.”

The Pope’s “ark of fraternity” can save no one from the judgement that is coming upon this world. Another “ark” that is not going to save anyone, is the postmillennial bubble of Bethel. The Pope and Kris Vallotton share the vision of a world that relies on humanity to fulfill it’s positive destiny. Vallotton is “opposed to any doctrinal position that pushes the promises of God into a time zone that can’t be obtained in my generation and therefore takes away any responsibility I have to believe God for them in my lifetime.I don’t believe that the last days are a time of judgment.”
Sorry Kris, but despite your belief that “we’re moving towards a happily ever after, rather than a horror flick” scripture teaches otherwise:
 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Peter 3:3-7

Pope Francis has the adoration of Kris Vallotton.  Vallotton was part of a group that met the Pope in 2016. The group included false teachers Che Ahn, Mike Bickle and Dutch Sheets. I don’t know if Vallotton is aware of the Popes latest interfaith escapades, and quite frankly even if he is, I doubt whether it would change his opinion that the Pope is a Spirit filled believer.

Kris Vallotton’s (KV) praises for the pope were articulated in this article which we will briefly revisit:

KV: “This week I had the privilege of meeting with Pope Francis. It was probably one of the highlights of my life. He was funny, warm and very spiritual. I was invited, along with several other pastors, to a small connect forum with Pope Francis because he has a deep passion for unity among Believers – and I do mean DEEP!”

“Deep” and “spiritual” do not mean born again, and unity among believers is a far cry from unity with false religions, or unity with false teachers. 

 KV: “Pope Francis said, “Theology is a very complicated subject and we should let the theologians argue it out (figure it out). In the meantime, we should love each other and learn to value people who are different than ourselves.” He made it clear that theology shouldn’t divide us. I also think he was making a point that he wasn’t a theologian, in that he said “they” should work it out while “we” love people.”

The word Theology comes from a combination of two Greek words – theos which means ‘God’ and logos which means ‘word.’ The study of God’s word reveals a belief system, which can be organized into various doctrines or teachings. When the Pope says “we should love each other” he is in fact alluding to a doctrine, or teaching. Those who say we should ignore doctrine, are in fact teaching one by making that statement.  Sound doctrine is vital, and is a product of studying the word of God. The same scriptures that command believers to love, also commands them to mark and avoid those who bring a different gospel, in other words in some instances theology should divide. 

KV: “Then Mike stood up and asked the Pope if he believed that Jesus was the “only way” to heaven. (There have been rumors circulating that Pope Francis is a Universalist). The tension instantly rose in the room…the moderator was noticeably shaken. But the Holy Father didn’t blink an eye. He answered, “We might be surprised by who we meet in heaven. BUT the only way into heaven is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way into heaven.” We all breathed a sigh of relief!”

“Mike” is Mike Bickle, the false teacher and leader of the International House of Prayer in Kansas, don’t expect him to have any discernment or dig any deeper into the Pope’s claims. The Pope gave the right answer, as could a horde of demons, but it’s what he did not say that would have revealed the truth. Some heretical beliefs of the Roman Catholic church include purgatory, transubstantiation, Mary as Mediatrix, praying to the dead. None of these heresies seem to be of concern to Vallotton!

KV: “Pope Francis went on to share about his relationship with the Holy Spirit and indicated that he had experienced the baptism in the Spirit. (I don’t think he used those exact words but that was clearly the connotation I left with).”

BUT….the Holy Spirit leads us into truth, and will glorify Christ, so what spirit baptized the Pope causing him to rely on Mary instead of the Holy Spirit?

KV: “I’ve heard so much about the Pope in general, and Pope Francis, in particular. Some think he is the Antichrist, while others call him a false prophet, or the leader of the new world order. When I got saved, my leaders taught me that the Roman Catholic Church was the “mother harlot” in the book of Revelation. About that time, the Holy Spirit decided to fill the Catholics the same way He did us Protestants, and suddenly the Catholic charismatic renewal was born. It became kind of hard to teach that junk after that (though some still do). Especially when the person sitting next to you in the meeting was singing in the Spirit, and is a Catholic! Surprise!!!”

Surprise – experience or manifestations are not the means which we use to determine truth, or determine whether God is the author of something. Scripture is!  Even signs and wonders are not a sign of a true believer: 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

KV: “In Acts 2, Peter made it clear that in the last days God would pour His Spirit out on EVERYONE! Is it possible that on this 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that God would take the two and make them one again? I mean, could God have raised up Pope Francis with a spirit of reconciliation to tear down the walls of mistrust and unforgiveness that have been erected over five centuries between brothers?”

No Kris, it’s not possible that God would raise up the head of a false religion for any godly purpose. The Spirit of God is reserved for those who have repented, and have been justified through Christ alone. The Ecumenism that Vallotton and the Pope are seeking is simply a unity at the expense of truth.

KV: “Pope Francis, thank you for having the guts to brave the religious system, and reach beyond the borders of tradition to love a group of people (Evangelicals), some of whom refuse to love you back. God bless you! You have become one of my heroes.

Reaching beyond the borders of tradition is one thing, reaching beyond the boundaries of scripture is another. Real love incorporates truth. It’s our love for the lost and deceived that should cause us to speak the truth. There can be no harmony with false gods. There can be no harmony with those who call on the dead. There can be no harmony with those who serve other gods.

Conclusion

Will Kris Vallotton warn his followers that his hero serves a different god? Will Kris Vallotton retract his article? Perhaps not, because there is the distinct possibility that Vallotton, like the Pope, serves “another Jesus.”

 

 

At Boshoff’s Attractive Gospel

By Rick Becker    24 January 2019 (Updated)

At Boshoff is the lead pastor of Christian Revival Church (CRC)  CRC has obviously succeeded in establishing a large movement  –90 churches in South Africa, and 15 in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, this success can only be defined by numbers – which are never an indication of whether the whole counsel of God is being taught, or whether true discipleship is ta king place. A massive movement or megachurch is in fact probably a sign of an attractive gospel instead of the gospel once and for all delivered to the saints. Many are going to follow ear tickling teachers who exploit gullible and biblically illiterate people in order to build their personal empires. These false teachers know exactly how to motivate a crowd; their smooth words comfort the hurting and spur on the ambitious. An attractive gospel ignores the law and gospel.  It captivates those who want to improve themselves and live their dream.

What better way to make your gospel attractive, than to teach the “law of attraction.” This new age teaching is utilized by word of faith teachers. The idea is that negative words and thoughts have negative side effects, but positive words and thoughts can actually create your destiny by attracting good things and people. There’s no place for the sovereignty of God in this philosophy, and one would think that the disciples must have been huge failures considering their trials, sufferings, persecutions, and ultimately martyrdom.

The clip below is a perfect example of what should make any true believer sitting in CRC, jump up, run, and never look back. Here is clear evidence of his prosperity teaching, and new age teaching in the form of the “law of attraction.'”


At Boshoff (AB): “I want to talk this morning on a very powerful law that governs your life, we know that the GOOD LIFE is God’s will for you, for every Christian born again”

The “good life” that Boshoff is referring to, is a successful business, prosperity, favour on all fronts – basically the health and wealth gospel. Paul had a different perspective. The gospel was not a means of earthy comfort or gain, but spiritual gain: “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.” Philippians 3:8
The message of the cross is not attractive to carnal souls looking for a divine agent to help them fulfill their dreams.

AB: “God doesn’t work in years as we want every year to have a new dream and new promise..:”
So then why the annual CRC dreamweek?   

AB: “God has already decided 2000 years ago that every child of God should live the blessed life on planet earth –  “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

A blessed life does not necessarily mean a successful business, financial security or any other earthly comforts. It’s a pity that Boshoff ignores this first part of the verse:“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
The thief in this context was not any negative confession or demonic attack, but the false teachers of the day. The abundant life Jesus referred to is primarily eternal life. Wealth and health are not spiritual barometers. Some believers may enjoy earthly success, others may struggle their whole lives. Some believers may suffer from a lifelong condition, others may enjoy good health.  “I can do all things through Christ” does not mean you can build a successful business etc, it means that whatever circumstance you find yourself in, your trust is in the Lord: I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:12-13

AB: “We know from the bible that we have already been blessed to live this great prosperous life – “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”

According to this verse (Ephesians 1:3), God has blessed believers with spiritual, not material blessings. A pastor’s duty is to explain what verses really mean utilizing sound exegesis. This is a great verse which should have been used to expound on the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. Instead, Boshoff is using it as a means to justify the false doctrines he is poisoning his people with.

AB: “God wants you to live the blessed life –Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” Galatians 3:13-14

Yet another wonderful verse that should be used to present the gospel; instead it’s being misused as a paving stone for the vile prosperity gospel. Prosperity teachers make no distinction between the old and new covenants when it comes to material blessings. The blessing of Abraham that applies to believers is justification by faith (Romans 4:11) – not material wealth.

AB: “You have been empowered by God to prosper in life, we know it is our fathers highest desire for each one of us to succeed in life. 3 John 2 – the bible, God says beloved, not just somebody out there, my beloved, my son, my daughter, I wish above all things that you may prosper. Literally translated “succeed in financial matters” especially in what the world is calling a recession.”

It’s God’s desire that we are conformed into the image of his son. If At Boshoff had simply continued with the verse he quoted from Ephesians, he might have discovered God’s highest desire for us:Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6
How did the early Christians “succeed”? Many lost their businesses, their homes, their lives.  How are believers in China succeeding at this present time? Let me show you what “success” in God’s eyes looks like. This is an excerpt from a declaration written by Chinese pastor Wang Yi, just prior to his arrest: “Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.”
Friends, this is how far the visible church and empires like CRC have drifted from the true gospel, choosing mammon over God.

Now for 3 John 2, a verse that has been butchered by prosperity teachers for decades. Boshoff does not give the context; in fact he suggests that God is speaking to his beloved children.  I don’t believe that this can be an oversight, but deliberate deception. Let’s read the opening verses of 3 John:
The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
God is not speaking to his sons and daughters. John is writing to a personal friend – Gaius. The opening salutation contains John’s prayer for Gauis, a customary form of greeting – not a doctrine that guarantees wealth for all believers. It was going well with Gaius in a spiritual sense – as it goes well with your soul.  For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth  and the apostle is merely expressing his hope through a prayer that Gauis would experience good health and success in other areas, including financial.
The word prosper (εὐοδοῦσθαι – euodousthai) occurs in two other instances:
 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you” Romans 1:10 – clearly not referring to financial prosperity.
“On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.” 1 Cor 16:2
The apostle’s hope and prayer is that it would go well in all things for Gaius – don’t we all have that hope for our friends, family, brothers and sisters in Christ?  Boshoff believes God’s highest wish above all things is that his children succeed in earthly terms – with finances being Boshoff’s emphasis. What really gave the apostle joy was not the financial prosperity, but the spiritual prosperity of his friends:
For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (vs 3-4)
Instead of dangling a carrot in front of his audience, At Boshoff should be warning them about those who chase after financial prosperity:
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for 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” 1 Timothy 6:6-9

Boshoff then has a brief moment where he throws in some truth – “storms do come that we have no control over, Jesus guaranteed that trials and tribulations will come”  But then he resorts back to false teaching.

AB:” So lets talk about it this morning, why do good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people, why? We’re creating our own future all the time…God doesn’t sit in in heaven with a bunch of blessing and he decides well today I’m blessing this business and I’m withholding blessing from this one.”

No one is good but God, and good things can happen to all people, including the wicked: Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches” Psalm 73:12. Good things happened to the rich man in Luke 16, and he ended up in torment in Hades, whereas Lazarus the beggar who longed for crumbs and was bothered by dogs licking his sores was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.
If we can create our future, we must be gods. If only the apostle Paul knew this law of attraction, it would have saved him tremendous hardship: To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.” 1 Cor 4:11-13.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and Boshoff simply cannot refrain from using examples related to business.

AB: ” How come so many people falter and fall and still live in defeat, and just don’t live this life that the bible guarantees….I believe it’s very simply, people don’t understand this powerful law. We know there’s the law of seed time and harvest that governs our lives, but I’m going to talk to you this morning on the law of attraction.”

The “law of seed time and harvest” is a construct of prosperity teachers- it’s a scheme that enables them to get rich: “By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” 2 Peter 2:3. Obviously there are many reasons people live in defeat, but Boshoff seems to think the reason is ignorance concerning the law of attraction. Where is the gospel, justification, sanctification, where is Jesus, where is the sovereignty of God in Boshoff’s reasoning?  Boshoff’s gospel is a new age law, and you become the saviour.

AB: ” Whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, you are attracting things into your life all the time, good or bad, wanted and unwanted. All the time you are sending out a force, a power, an energy  that either attracts good things and good people into your life, or that repels good things and good people…The law of attraction really simply says like attracts like, your’e attracting to yourself who you are.”

If this was such an important law, and according to Boshoff the main reason “people falter and fall and still live in defeat,” don’t you think there would be at least one verse in the bible that states elements of this principle such as All the time you are sending out a force, a power, an energy that either attracts good things and good people into your life, or that repels good things and good people.”
The term “law of attraction” is not in scripture, and the first time it was used in print was in 1877 by the Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky. I found this quote by Blavatsky enlightening: “As God creates, so man can create. Given a certain intensity of will, and the shapes created by the mind become subjective. Hallucinations, they are called, although to their creator they are real as any visible object is to any one else. Given a more intense and intelligent concentration of this will, and the form becomes concrete, visible, objective; the man has learned the secret of secrets; he is a MAGICIAN.”
This is what the “law of attraction” boils down to – you become a magician. Other “new thought” writers such as Phineas Quimby built on the term and philosophy, and the “law of attraction” is featured in popular books such as “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, and “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

Boshoff is not preaching the gospel, but a new thought philosophical concept.

 

Now for a summary of the  annual 2018 “DREAMWEEK” conference highlights:

“One touch of God’s glory and your life will never be the same again,that is what Dreamweek is all about.” – At Boshoff

In his book “Live a Yes! Life” Boshoff writes: “God instructed me to raise up an army that will liberate the masses from the kingdom of darkness.”
The opposite is taking place.  Boshoff is fulfilling 2 Timothy 4:3-4: For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”  
Dreamweek was all about importing a consortium of ear ticklers to motivate the crowd and feed carnal souls all under the guise of “Christianity.” 

“God has a certain time in his calendar when your dream is going to come to pass”Marcus Lamb.
“If you walk with God you are a dreamer, you have vision, you have inspiration” –
John Bevere.

“Before this year is out God is going to blow your mind – John Hannah
“You are not one of God’s leftovers,you are God’s chosen, child of God,you are one that he is looking to – to lead the way, you are one that God sees greatness within  – “Pastor” Charlotte Gambill (female pastor should say enough)
“You’re not being in the place where you should be, get up, get up, stand up and proclaim I’m going back to where the word of God was” Ray McCauley (If only he would do that and repent of his prosperity gospel)

At Boshoff’s special revelation for the new year:

At Boshoff says 2019 will be a year of glory: “From glory to glory, glory means God’s goodness will be revealed in our world in South Africa, in our church, wherever the name of Jesus is mentioned; we are going to see the glory of God, we are going to see the pain and the suffering in South Africa alleviated, we are going to see poverty eradicated because we’re not going to sit on the sidelines of Christianity we are going to do our part as a move of God, you haven’t seen what I’ve seen a wave of glory, you haven’t seen the wave I’ve seen that is about to break on this church, I’m telling you across the land, a wave that will drive out the forces of darkness and a wave that is going to bring the presence of God, and the miracles of God, and the release of God,and the favour of God, I have seen this wave break upon our church and there will be a glory like we have never imagined, there will be a power like we have never imagined, even if you were told you would not believe it.”

Going from glory to glory is a phrase from 2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Paul is comparing the veiled glory of the old covenant, to the unveiled glory of the new. The gospel is glorious, and responsible for our transformation. It is we who are transformed, not necessarily our bank account or the state of our nation. Special knowledge is one way cult like leaders elevate themselves above their followers. It creates the impression that they have an intimacy with God, and hear directly from him on behalf of their followers. This is a great opportunity for leaders to prime their audience, create expectancy, and the result of course is that no one wants to miss out on what God will be doing in that particular church. No one has apparently seen what At Boshoff has seen, but we have heard it all before, and things just stay the same in the visible church (apart from an increase in delusion and deception) The next clip gives a good indication of what CRC is really about, and it’s not the gospel, it’s the kind of message every South African is hoping for. That’s what false teachers do, they offer a false hope:

 

“I want to tell you next year is going to be a great year in South Africa. Next year is going to be a year of great blessing for South Africa. I will declare it and you can stone me by the end of next year, I declare it, I prophesy that next year will be a turn around for this country not because of my prophesy because that’s what God determined, you are going to see the Rand strengthen, you are going to see the Rand strengthen, you are going to see the Rand strengthen, you are going to see money flow into this country, jobs flow into this country, prosperity flow into this country, people who have left this country are going to come back, and they are going to rebuild South Africa. God bless our country, because God says I’m not finished with this nation, this country will be a blessing to the nations of the world, if you believe it today shout amen in Jesus name.” (14:00- 14:42)

So by his own admission this is a prophecy.  Fortunately for At Boshoff, we are under the new covenant, so we mark and avoid false prophets. South Africans will know that money flowing into South Africa flows directly into the hands of corrupt ANC politicians and greedy opportunists. The Rand will go up and down as usual, and the cookie jar in South Africa has been looted with impunity – things will not get better. With elections in a few months we can count on electoral fraud and subsequent protests (which in this country basically means intimidation and destruction). The ANC have destroyed everything that worked, and for Boshoff to say that this year will be a year of blessing, is a bold statement. But here’s the point – did you notice that the gospel does not feature in this prophecy? It consists of comfort in this world, and I’m reminded of Jeremiah’s words to lying prophets: Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.  They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you” Jeremiah 23:16-17
Is there hope for South Africa? This article addresses the issue.

In conclusion, At Boshoff does not preach the gospel. He will include elements of it (what false teacher does not?) CRC is growing (so is Islam) and that’s not surprising given the nature of Boshoff’s motivational teachings and attractive gospel. Defenders of CRC will maintain that people are “getting saved” at CRC and that is proof enough that God is in their midst. But while Boshoff may lead many in a “sinners prayer”, are they sinners who have felt the weight of the law and their own sin?  Are they sinners who have heard that the gospel may cost them everything? Are they sinners who have repented, or are they sinners looking for a therapeutic gospel to solve their problems? Have they been fooled into thinking that merely reciting the “sinners prayer” can save them?
I am not pronouncing judgement on CRC members, I am exposing the false teachings that they are exposing themselves to. There are true believers caught up in the tentacles of CRC. I know because some of them who have escaped the clutches of CRC have written to us, and we thank the Lord that he opens the eyes of his children to the false teachers and teachings that plague the visible church. Perhaps you are still in CRC, but beginning to question things. You will already be reasoning with yourself, and contemplating what you stand to lose if you walk away. The question you need to ask is this – Are you being faithful to God and his word, or are earthly ties and allegiances to  people and a movement more important? This article will help you with your dilemma.

There is more – In this sermon review, we review a message by At Boshoff titled  “The power of your thoughts.” The review will once again, prove beyond any doubt, that what At Boshoff teaches is NOT the gospel!