By Rick Becker 15 February 2018
Kris Vallotton is the Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California and co-founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) Bethel is one of the leading churches caught up in the deceptive New Apostolic Reformation. In a recent blog entitled “Two things to do when you don’t understand what God is doing” Kris Vallotton unwittingly reveals the reason why Bethel & co have wandered off into myths and false doctrines. The fruits of their aberrant theology are clearly visible in Vallotton’s conversation with “God’ who promised to “take care” of one of Vallotton’s false prophecies.
Kris Vallotton (KV) begins by quoting and then commenting on this passage: “You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:14-15
KV: If Jesus says that no longer does He call us slaves, it means that at one time He did. How do you know if you’re a slave? You just do what you’re told. Slaves love to be told what to do because this is their M.O. Slaves only know what to do, they don’t know why they’re doing it. The highest level of a life as a slave is just to obey. You can stay a slave, or you can let God prune you. Verse 14 says, “You are My friends if you do what I command you.”
The disciples were living in a unique time: the transition from the bondage of the law, to the glorious gospel of grace. Under the old covenant the redemptive purposes and plans of God were veiled. Gradually their eyes were being opened to the mysteries of the Gospel as they walked with Christ. He revealed these mysteries to them because he had chosen them, they were following him, and in this context he calls them “friends.” Yet in a sense, they were still “slaves” (“servants” in some translations) because only five verses later we read: “ Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours”
Many years after the death and resurrection of Christ, Peter who would have been present when Jesus uttered the words recorded in John 15, still referred to himself as a servant of Christ: “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 1:1
The apostle John notes that the revelation is given to “servants”: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John” Revelation 1:1
The Apostle Paul received abundant revelations, and had certainly been “pruned” by God, yet refers to himself as a “servant”:
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:1
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God”
Vallotton is creating a false dichotomy to suit his narrative. Being a friend of Christ does not exclude us from being his slave/servant. Jesus also referred to Abraham and Moses as “friends of God”, but we must note that nowhere in scripture do God’s people call him friend. He is our Lord and master. The apostle John was able to rest his head on the chest of Christ during his incarnation,but when John had a vision of our resurrected Lord he “fell at his feet as though dead.” It is this fear and reverence for God that is missing in many churches including Bethel. God has been relegated to “papa God’ and appears to be venerated little more than “papa Bill” or “papa Kris.”
Are we friends of God, yes, as well as servants. Who then are the friends of God? The friends of God are those who have received and been transformed by the message that Jesus gave to his disciples. Once, we were alienated from God, we were enemies, but through the grace of God we have been reconciled to him through Christ. As friends of God we obey his commands (vs 14) bear fruit that abides (vs 16) are hated by the world (vs 19) and know what truths Jesus revealed (vs 15)
There are no new mysteries or revelations or truths that God needs to reveal to his friends.
Now Vallotton reveals the reason why Bethel & co have wandered off into myths and false doctrines.
KV: “Revelation is not the child of laborious effort and searching the Scriptures. I’d like to propose to you that revelation is the child of friendship.”
I’d like to propose to you that Vallotton is once again teaching myths. The mystical false doctrine Vallotton teaches is a result of NOT searching the scriptures. By “revelation” Vallotton means hearing directly from God. So how did the apostles hear from God – they simply listened to the words of Jesus and obeyed them. How do we hear from God – we have the privilege of reading the words of Jesus, as well as the inspired word of God from Genesis to Revelation.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
God can give us wisdom in situations, lead us by his Spirit, and through his providence arrange circumstances on our behalf, but he speaks primarily through the revelation of his written word.
Extra biblical revelation is the common to Bethel, and according to Vallotton you won’t receive any revelation as long as you consider yourself a slave instead of a friend.
KV: “People wonder how Bill Johnson gets all of his revelation and how many hours he studies the Bible. Well I know Bill studies well, but I believe He has access to that revelation because He has become a friend of God”
The truth is that those who know how to interpret scripture wonder how Bill’s eisegesis and narcigesis of scripture manages to deceive millions. Bill has access to a great imagination, and probably some deceptive spirits because his revelations contradict scripture. In another blog post Vallotton writes: “Have you ever noticed the incredible way that Bill Johnson can take a verse from the Bible that you’ve read twenty times before and somehow make sense of it in a way you never knew was possible? I’m sure many of you, like myself, are amazed by the levels of revelation that Bill walks in.”
I have noticed how Bill manages to extract from a text a mystical meaning that has evaded the body of Christ for 2000 years. These new interpretations may mesmerize the gullible, but they are poison and actually nullify the power of the gospel and distort truth.
KV: “Revelation can’t be studied it can only be revealed.”
True and false – revelation is revealed, not through some mystical voice or feeling but through the study of scripture. The Holy Spirit illuminates the scriptures to those in whom he dwells. In doing so, the Holy Spirit does not bypass our minds; instead we use our minds in the sense that we study the scriptures. This implies reading God’s word in context, and applying the basic rules of interpretation in order to understand the meaning of the text.
KV: “In other words, as long as you’re a slave God’s going to make sure you don’t know everything. Why? Because the lesson of slavery is testing if you can obey (and trust) God when you don’t know WHY He’s doing what He’s doing”
This is nonsensical of course, because for every trial and circumstance we find ourselves in, God’s word brings comfort and wisdom. We don’t have to understand everything “God is doing” because God is sovereign and in control and our trust is in him. All we need to know is already in scripture! What is unclear in Vallotton’s waffle is the level of obedience we need to attain in order to qualify promotion from slavery to sonship.
KV: “Once you move into friendship, then you know all things. Jesus said EVERYTHING the Father taught Him, He wants to make known to you.”
In his blog post, Vallotton creates the impression that revelation is necessary when you find yourself in a “situation and you have no idea why God placed you there” for example “moving to a new town.” If we knew “all things” we would be God. Jesus did not reveal “all things” to the disciples, only the things that the Father wanted them to know. What were these things? It had nothing to do with their personal legacy or great destiny. It concerned the gospel, the plan of redemption, and the purpose of Christ’s suffering. These things have now been revealed, and as sons and daughters of God we can understand them.
KV: “God wants us to move from slavery into friendship. But you can’t go from saved to friend. You can only go from saved, to slave to friend.”
As we have previously explained, we are servants and friends of Christ. Where does scripture teach this progression from saved, to slave to friend?
KV: “You move from slavery to friendship by abiding in a word that prunes you, and letting it take off the things that aren’t fruitful in your life. When you submit to that process then you become a friend to God.”
Says no biblical text! We will constantly be pruned by God, the cut off point will be when we take our last breath. We will mature in our faith and grow in our understanding of God’s word. We will grow in sanctification, but we will never ever attain some level that qualifies us to become a friend of God with benefits in the form of special revelation.
Vallotton will now reveal the rotten fruit of his theology. This is an eye opener, I don’t quite know how to describe what follows…blasphemous perhaps?
KV: “HOW GOD TAUGHT ME ABOUT FRIENDSHIP WITH HIM
Years ago on I had one of those Sunday nights that was just really good; the message went well and I was prophesying over people and they were crying (which was a general sign that it was going well, ha!) I went home on a high and that night lay in bed and heard God laughing and say, “That was a good word YOU gave that lady at the end.” I started to get worried, and apologized to God for getting so caught up in the moment. I went from a high to a quick low. He laughed and said, “Oh that’s okay, I’ll take care of it.” I said, “How are you going to take care of it?!” and He replied, “What kind of a friend would I be if I only ever did what I wanted?”
I don’t know who this god is that Vallotton was casually chatting to; I do know it was not the God Job encountered:
Job: “Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6
God apparently made it known to Vallotton that one of his prophetic words was false. This is the same God who commanded false prophets under the old covenant to be stoned to death. Those who have come out of charismatic chaos know all too well the damage that false prophecies have caused individuals, even shipwrecking the faith of some. In this case however, God simply laughs. God has submitted to Vallotton’s false prophecy, and will fix it. Not because he wants to, because God apparently does not always do what he wants. In Vallotton’s world, God is such a good friend to those who have moved on from slavery to friendship, that he lays aside his attributes and bows his knee to the carnal word of a false prophet.
Vallotton’s flippancy is a result of the aberrant theology of the New Apostolic Reformation. Man has been elevated and God has been reduced to be like us. The NAR have reduced God to a partner and a celestial papa with needs. He has slightly more power than humans – just enough to define him as God.
KV: “Ten years later I found a verse that made more sense of this in 1 Samuel 3:19; “Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail.”
Actually the verse points out why Vallotton was deceived ten years earlier (and still is) The text makes it clear – the Lord was with Samuel; the same can not be said for Vallotton. He was listening to his own imagination or a deceiving spirit. How Vallotton can even compare himself with Samuel beggars belief, yet not surprising considering the narcissistic qualities of the false prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation. God called Samuel directly. As one of the great Old Testament prophets, Samuel was mentored by the high priest and judge of Israel – Eli. In fact Samuel’s first prophetic word concerned Eli’s household: “And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” 1 Samuel 3:10-14
Take note – God fulfilled the words that he had spoken, Samuel was merely the mouthpiece. The Israelites were defeated in battle by the Philistines, the ark of God was captured, and 30 000 soldiers of Israel were killed – including Eli’s two sons. Eli heard the news of his sons death, and upon hearing about the arks capture he fell backwards, broke his neck and died.
God fulfilled His words. God got the results that He wanted. Samuel’s words were like an arrow that hit the mark because he was a true prophet.
KV: I’m not saying you can prophesy whatever you want. I’m simply saying that God wants us to move into a place of friendship, where we abide in Him and His words abide in us, so that we can ask whatever we wish and it will be done.”
Of course we can’t, but Vallotton got away with it once due to his level of intimacy and friendship with papa God. Vallotton should really explain the verse he quotes: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7. Can we really ask whatever we wish and expect God to fulfil our wishes? Gill’s commentary sums it up best: “but this must be understood not of temporal things, as riches, honours, profits, pleasures, or whatever even the carnal mind of a believer himself may sometimes desire; but of things spiritual, and with such limitations and restrictions as these; whatever is according to the will of God, for the Spirit of God himself asks for no other for the saints; whatever is for the glory of God, and for their own spiritual profit and edification; and whatever is agreeably to the words and doctrines of Christ, which abide in them. Every thing of this kind they ask in faith, and with a submission to the divine will, they may expect to receive.”
Vallotton concludes his post by telling his readers to learn from the season they are currently in. He warns that “If you see yourself as a slave then you likely won’t move out of that place until you learn the lessons of obedience and trust, without knowing all of the details.” Furthermore, because of their “big destiny” they should lean into the pruning God is doing, because what they learn in the current season will set them up for success in the next. That word “destiny” has become somewhat of a cliché in the NAR. Bethel teaches the prosperity gospel, so there’s no guessing as to what a big destiny would include. Destiny usually means that YOU will be part of a new breed of world changers that will usher in the kingdom. Signs and wonders will follow YOU. YOU will live in abundance because you are a friend of God. YOU will make new discoveries and inventions because you have the mind of Christ. YOU will fill stadiums, YOU will be sought after in Hollywood….you get the picture! Compare this with the big destiny of believers in the early church: sawn in two, used as human torches, crucified, homes confiscated, beaten, tortured and ultimately martyred. Few had more revelations than the apostle Paul and I suppose one could describe his life as one that had a big destiny. This is how it was described by God in a word to Ananias: “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” Acts 9:15-16
In his upcoming book “Poverty, Riches and Wealth” Vallotton writes: “You can put Jesus in a manger, but you can’t put a manger in Jesus. Wealth, glory and power seeped out of His pores like sweat on a hardworking man on a hot, humid day.” (Kris Vallotton, Poverty, Riches and Wealth, 30)
This is ultimately the destiny this new breed is chasing after – wealth, power and glory.
His final suggestion-
KV: “Learn to trust Him when you don’t know the WHY behind things, so that He can trust you with even greater revelation. Friendship is reciprocated trust after all.”
Vallotton is making revelation a mystical affair based on very subjective criteria. The revelation Vallotton is referring to is when God speaks directly to you, as he did with Vallotton. Keep in mind, Vallotton had a conversation with either a demonic spirit or his own imagination, so what is he leading his followers into? Revelation has been given. The Holy Spirit does not bring new truth; he reveals what has already been given. We may never know the WHY behind some things, but we still know what our response should be according to scripture. You don’t need to sweat in order to hear the voice of God because you can simply study your bible. Thankfully, there is no level of obedience we need to reach to understand the scriptures in context. If it were up to our level of obedience or how much God could trust us, we would all be doomed.
The reason millions are being duped by the likes of Kris Vallotton, is because they like having their ears tickled and have not studied their bibles. If you are a believer, Vallotton is not your friend and he will lead you into slavery. You will become a slave to your own imagination and voices in your head while your bible gathers dust. You will become a slave to his false interpretation of scripture. You will become a slave to your own dreams and envisioned destiny, believing that Vallotton’s reduced God is there to serve you. You will become a slave to a movement that promises you glory, but in fact delivers deception and ultimately judgement.
” For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:18-19