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Showing posts with label Bill Johnson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill Johnson. Show all posts

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sozo Prayer: Biblical or Mystical? A Practice from Bill Johnson's Bethel Church...

This is my most viewed article about sozo.  Simple and to the point.  Thousands of people are curious about sozo and are looking for answers.  

Sozo prayer is a new fad in the church world.  It started in Bill Johnson's Bethel Church in Redding, California by two ladies.  Yes, this is the same church that feathers, gemstones and clouds appear inside the church building.

Some people say these are lying signs and wonders prophesied in the Bible:
The Great Apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2)
"Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[a]had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[b] is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God[c] in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He[d] who now restrains will do so until He[e] is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Is it Biblical and safe, or mystical and dangerous?  Does your pastor follow Bill Johnson?  Paul Goulet of International Church of Las Vegas is one pastor who is on Bill Johnson's ministry friend list.  If you have friends or family involved in this group or practice, would you lovingly admonish/warn them? 

Related Articles:

http://blogs.christianpost.com/grace-under-fire/birds-of-a-feather-flock-together-10395/

http://www.gotquestions.org/Sozo-prayer.html

http://mkayla.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/a-note-re-sozo/

http://mkayla.wordpress.com/tag/sozo/

http://godlee4life.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/discernment-column-article-3/

http://godlee4life.wordpress.com/?s=sozo

http://closingstages.net/2011/01/30/sozo-ministry-of-bethel-church-ii/

http://closingstages.net/2011/01/30/sozo-ministry-of-bethel-church-ii/#comment-1607


http://blogs.christianpost.com/grace-under-fire/birds-of-a-feather-flock-together-10395/

Surprise! Is the tithe for today? In a nutshell, 3 eye-opening reasons why the tithe is unbiblical for today's Christian and is correlated with clergy abuse



Is the "tithe law" for today's Christian?

Like many concepts in the Bible, not every single one is necessarily for today. While generosity to the poor is a Biblical, New Testament ideal, tithing - giving a consistent ten percent of one's income to church leaders - is not for today. Here is another example: Leviticus 19:27 tells men to not shave their beards.

It would be nutty to tell others today that they must not shave their beards lest they incur a curse from God Himself.

The tithe is also found in Leviticus 27, for instance, and it is equally nutty to tell Christians to "test the tithe".

Journalist David Cary Hart recently penned an article about a controversial church called Bethel Church in Redding, California. Hart explained,
"Suffice it to say that church leadership rakes in untold millions of tax-deducted dollars. Apparently, leader Bill Johnson's wife, his two sons and their wives are all on the payroll. Bethel Church is the perfect example of why churches should be required to file the same annual reports as every other nonprofit organization. It won't happen because Congress is scared to death of Christianity, Inc."
It is beyond me why the government does not hold (professing) Christian churches more accountable, even the ones who buy $65 million gulfstream jets tax-free. It's corruption. It makes no sense, and many of these churches, despite their claims, do not exist for the "public good" but exist to rip off the public. The government lets them get away with it.

As it is, millions of sincere people are duped into giving their hard-earned dollars under manipulative means. The Washington Post and The New York Times are not the only news agencies that have taken notice, and it is rare that billions of dollars churches collect across the nation reach the poor, those who could truly use it. The fact that the tithe is not for today may come as a surprise because modern tele-evangelists and pastors are experts in brainwashing tithing into the minds of multitudes of Americans, often going so far as to threaten with God's divine retribution or "curse".

This leads to the first reason why the tithe is unbiblical: the tithe is a command found in the Old Testament, not the new. The only references to the tithe in the New Testament are: Matthew 23:23, Luke 18:12, and Hebrews 7. In all three references, the tithe is being spoken of in retrospect. The verse they twist and take out of its historical context in order to manipulate those in their care is from the Book of Malachi:
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:8-10; KJV (Emphasis mine)
Notice who God was talking to: a nation, not the body of Christ. It's truly funny and extremely ironic that the ones who are truly robbing others and "displeasing" God are the very ones who are manipulating his people:
"Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" Acts 15:10; KJV
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1KJV
The second reason the tithe is unbiblical is because it involves coercion.  Coercion is the opposite of liberty in Christ. God loves a cheerful giver, someone who gives under His guidance to those in need, not from the coercion of man. The latter involves bondage, not freedom. If there is any coercion involved, giving is not Spirit-filled. Important to note is that coercion usually comes by covert, veiled means - sly and subtle - often with a big smile and sincere-looking intentions. That's how error masquarades. For obvious reasons, many pastors love the following verse and love to use it in a threatening way to coerce others into "tithing". Upon further observation, where in the New Testament is there a command to tithe? Answer: there is no command to tithe in the New Testament.
Ironically, there is a command for pastors to not coerce others into giving:
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7; KJV (Emphasis mine)
The word "necessity" here is from the Greek word anank─ôs which means to force or show a need for something. It refers to an outward pressure or influence from someone upon another, or a "compelling need requiring immediate action, i.e., in a pressing situation" (source). This makes me recall a time at a Baptist church in Henderson, Nevada when the preacher told the congregants that not tithing (to him) is the same as stealing a cart full of groceries from a grocery store. Erroneous pastors love to throw legality in on the tithe to add more guilt to others. It works, for the most part. Some congregants do pay attention to that "red flag" feeling, though, especially those with the spiritual gift of discernment.

A third, and most comical reason the tithe is simply unbiblical, is that the Old Testament tithe was not exactly cash! Rather, it was fruit of the land, oil, corn, new wine, herbs, herds, etc. If someone brought a true tithe to a church, it could very well be a bucket of turnips or basil, along with a goat, yet somehow modern pastors have managed to persuade others that the tithe is what's in one's pockets. The Malachi verse says the tithe was "meat".
"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD." Leviticus 27:30: KJV
"Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto." Deuteronomy 12:17,18; KJV
"Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries." Nehemiah 13:12; KJV
These are only three of the reasons the tithe is not for today; there are many more reasons. Be assured that if your pastor is preaching the "tithe", it is rotten, twisted, heretical fruit. As the old saying goes, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". Corrupt teaching comes from currupt intentions, no doubt. It's clergy abuse, also known as spiritual abuse. The "test the tithe" teaching, giving ten percent of one's income to the church, often including an "or else" threat, is a sign of an unhealthy church.

Be free today to be guided by the generous, loving hand of God to meet the needs of others according to His plan for your life, not man's. Jesus did speak about giving to the poor. "My pastor teaches the tithe, and he is a very nice man looking out for the needs of the church", some may say. Please don't be tricked. The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) has addressed this issue about pastors who do not have the best intentions for others, and the con-artist pastor knows precisely what he is doing. He (or she) may very well be an artist using the Bible against others (who are too trusting) in a twisted manner.

I hope you enjoyed the video on the tithe.
  Source: Strong's Concordance 318

Tags: The Tithe Lie; Anthem Community Church Henderson, Nevada; Green Valley Baptist Church Henderson, Nevada

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Is Sozo a cult? What is Sozo? A look at the new Scientology, Bethel Church, Bill Johnson and the new age...

A while back, I wrote about Sozo being more dangerous than Scientology.  In a nutshell, Sozo is more cleverly disguised than Scientology. TruNews provides an audio discussion at the link below.

Below, Rick Wiles of TruNews describes Sozo:

https://www.trunews.com/article/is-sozo-prayer-warmed-up-scientology
New Age churches such as Bethel in Redding California are teaching people to vibrate and get into harmony with God and the universe.  They are also anticipating audibly hearing a new sound from Heaven.  And a popular craze currently circulating in many Charismanic churches – especially Bethel - is something called Sozo Prayer. 
We're going to discuss the Sozo Prayer movement today and some other weird things happening in the New Age charismanic churches.

Without a doubt, the premier name in New Age churches is Bethel in Redding California.  Over 8,000 people attend religious services each week at Bethel.   The senior pastor is Rev. Bill Johnson. They emphasize the super-natural. 
- TruNews with Rick Wiles

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NEWS: CA mega-church has a fit over proposed conversion therapy legislation

http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/2018/03/ca-mega-church-has-fit-over-proposed.html

The following is an excerpt about Bethel Church from The Slowly Boiled Frog by David Cary Hart:
What the folks at Bethel don't seem to get is that they are embracing a form of conversion therapy that is at odds with every mainstream medical and counseling peer organization. “Professionally-guided” conversion therapy is an oxymoron.

While I was at it, an exploration of Bethel Church was in order. The operation, run like a commercial enterprise, consumes a staggering amount of tax-deducted dollars. Receipts and expenditures are a secret known only to highly compensated church leadership.

Bethel Church's website screams “cult” — very similar in tone to Scientology or the Unification Church (Moonies). It is a massive operation, structurally and financially. They claim to have missionaries around the globe. The church operates out of a $100 million campus in Redding, CA. They have a television network and world-class video conferencing facilities. Several church members are on the Redding city council. Last year, the church donated $500,000 to the city and shortly thereafter received approval for a new campus in spite of dozens of formally submitted citizen concerns... READ MORE.

Stay Away from Sozo Prayer! What is sozo? Is sozo a cult or cultic sect? Who is Bill Johnson?

What is sozo?  Is sozo safe?  Is sozo a cult?  Is Bethel Church safe?  Does God still heal and do miracles (I believe he does).  Let's define sozo and take a deeper look below (click link)...



Stay Away from Sozo Prayer!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beni Johnson's statement about not wanting to be corrected by others who believe she is 'out of line' because basically only the holy spirit is allowed to do such a thing (but the real Holy Spirit uses people to correct, rebuke and encourage): What is a religious spirit?


Bethel Church has redefined the term 'religious spirit' and has wrongly labeled many sincere believers with this term.  A new term I thought of when thinking of Bethel Church is a 'resistant spirit'.  I was scrolling through Beni Johnson's page on Facebook recently where she teaches thousands, and these two posts startled me.  For those of you who don't know, Beni Johnson is Bill Johnson's wife.  Bill Johnson is the lead pastor of Bethel Church in northern California where many unorthodox and peculiar practices and teachings take place.  This is the same Bill Johnson who claims an anointing by God and that small, white angel feathers fall on him when he goes somewhere (like the grocery store, the bank, etc.).  This is also the same Bill Johnson that has taught in his writings (books, articles, etc.) that Christ laid his divinity aside (this is heresy; see my notes on the hypostatic union).  He still sells these books.  I have listed direct quotes and sources throughout this website with regard to these statements.  

These two posts concern me.  The reason is that Beni and her husband claim to be Christian teachers. This can be misleading. Biblically, a true, Godly teacher will be open to correction from others.  That is part of humility.  There is a wall that many people at Bethel Church put up when all that others are trying to do is to lovingly wake them up to the apostasy of the movement and the error of the teachings they believe.  If only they knew that their loved ones are trying to warn them of danger.  

They do claim to be used by the Holy Spirit, but I have noticed that they usually will not accept correction from others because they believe the misleading notion that only the Holy Spirit is allowed to do that.  This creates a resistant spirit in Bethel Church's followers to much-needed correction and help.  These statements from Beni could dangerously cause her followers to not accept correction from others, which God and the real Holy Spirit call "stupid" (Proverbs 12:1; Yes, the Bible does use that word).  Isn't it resisting the Holy Spirit when we won't accept a truthful correction from somebody?  Stephen told the members of the Sanhedrin that they were stiff-necked and always resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51).  Bold words.  They did not like all that he was saying because it was the truth.  They did not like all the people God sent to them in the past because they brought the truth.  Stephen says in verse 51 that their ancestors persecuted and killed God's messengers in the past.  The members of the Sanhedrin were enraged and stoned Stephen to death.  They were just like their ancestors.  Biblically, these are the people that had a religious spirit and a resistant spirit.  They resisted the truth.  Stephen brought the truth (sound doctrine).  Therefore, he did not have a religious spirit, but God's Spirit!  The Bible says he was full of the true Holy Spirit.  And, he boldly spoke the truth and brought correction and rebuke.  These leaders thought they were good enough and didn't need to hear truth from Stephen.  I don't think Stephen would have lasted too long on many Facebook pages.  He would have been blocked.  

In my opinion, the following statements cannot be further from the Holy Spirit of the Bible.  Even more concerning is that over 1,000 followers agreed with her thinking that this is something the real Holy Spirit would teach.

Look at the following: 




When a teacher who claims to be anointed by God is teaching "out of line" with what the Bible says, Jesus calls him or her a false teacher (Matthew 7:7).  God wants us to give others "our two cents" if it is the truth.  Proof of this can be found in James 5:20 (and elsewhere) where it says God wants us to attempt to turn people from their error if they have wandered from the truth.  I will add, if you suspect a person is a false prophet, extra caution should be taken and act with wisdom (maybe Matthew 7:6 and Titus 3:10 apply here).  Anyhow, the Holy Spirit uses people as His tools to reach people.  Proof of this is found in Romans 10:14 where it says people can hear the truth if other people preach it to them.  How will they hear without people?  Quite simply, the real Holy Spirit uses people, and He has done that for centuries.  That is why it is always good to listen to and consider advice from others who are Christians.  It may be truth or maybe not.  But, if we reject the corrections people bring automatically without thinking it through, we risk rejecting God's message to us.  The Bible is story after story of God using people to reach people.  That is the theme of chapter after chapter in the entire Bible!  The devil also uses people (even professed Christians; 2 Cor. 11:15), so we must be able to discern and compare what is said to the Bible.  

Romans 12 speaks of Christians having different gifts according to the grace that is given to us and says basically that he that exhorts, teaches, etc. should exercise these gifts.  Acts 13:4 says that the Holy Spirit sent two men (Barnabas and Saul) to Cyprus.  The Spirit sent them to talk about the word of God to certain people.  Ephesians 4:11 says basically that Jesus Christ gave certain people certain callings in order to speak and edify the Body of Christ.  The goal is so "we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive..." (Ephesians 4:14).  These are just a handful of scriptures that show that the Holy Spirit does use people to bring the truth and to correct so that we will not be deceived.  God uses people to reach people because of His grace and as a safeguard to deception.

Now compare these statements above from Beni Johnson to the words of the true Holy Spirit in the Bible.  Do you think Beni teaches another spirit that the Apostle Paul warned about in 2 Corinthians 11:4?  It seems to me that her holy spirit will not use people to give some correction if a teacher is out of line, but will correct in some other direct way only (without people).  Using people as correcting tools does not seem like a characteristic of her holy spirit (based on her Facebook teachings).  Remember, the true Holy Spirit does use people and wrote the Bible (2 Peter 1:21) including these words: 
  • "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables." (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
  • "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he that hates reproof is senseless." (Proverbs 12:1)
  • "Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy." (Proverbs 29:1) 
  • "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • "Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue." (Proverbs 28:23)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Good division or evil division? Division in the church....what did Paul teach? Bethel Church and Christianity and 1 Corinthians 1:12

For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (1 Corinthians 11:19)

This scripture really stuck out today. This comes right after verse 18 in 1 Cor. 11 which speaks of divisions in the church. Paul was telling the Corinthians that when they come together, there are divisions. I checked the cross references for this, and the divisions Paul is speaking of is that in Corinth, some Christians were saying they followed Paul, others Cephas while others were saying they followed Apollos and some simply stated they followed Christ. Because of this they were separating into groups and not having unity. This can be found in 1 Corinthians 1:12.

Here I see two different kinds of division right next to each other in two verses (verses 19 and 18). Sometimes, people who follow Bethel Church will tell their confronters (who warn them about false teaching) that they are "divisive" and use the scripture from 1 Corinthians 1:12 to prove their point.

The problem with this is that Paul had an issue with the church being divided over the WRONG things. Here in this verse, we see that Apollos, Cephas, Paul and Jesus were all teaching the same thing about Christ. None of these men were teaching falsely!!! One was not saying "Christ was not divine at all times" while the other was saying "Christ was divine at all times". No! These leaders were all of one mind in their teaching. If one of them was a heretic, than Paul says that the Christians that are approved (by GOD) will be made manifest (will become obvious). That is, those who follow the heretic are unapproved by God. Those who separate from the heretic are approved by God. It would be manifest and evident who was REALLY following Jesus and His Word by who divided away from the heretic.

What Paul the apostle did not like about Corinth divisions is that they were being divided for a foolish reason. If pastor A and pastor B both teach correct sound doctrine from the Bible, but I am divided with you because you don't follow pastor A and I do, than that would be the unpleasing division that Paul was referring to. That is what was happening in Corinth. It was just stupid. It's like saying, my favorite color is blue and yours is red. Therefore I am not your friend. Totally immature. Paul says stop.

HOWEVER...

If Pastor A and Pastor B teach two totally different and contrary teachings about Christ, than only one is correct. God is a God of truth! He cannot be right and wrong at the same time. He cannot lie!

If Pastor A teaches correctly but Pastor B teaches heresy, and we are divided because of it, THAT IS THE KIND OF DIVISION THAT PAUL SPEAKS OF IN 1 CORINTHIANS 11:19. Paul explains that the very purpose of heresies is to see which Christians are approved by God!. It is those Christians who "mark and avoid" the false teachers who are mature and obedient followers of Christ (Romans 16:17). They are divided away for the right reasons. To not do so would be disobedience to the Lord Jesus.

Here are some supporting scriptures:


"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ' Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’
you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

Heresies are a test, people!  God is testing us to see what our reaction will be with heresies.  Are we going to flunk and keep following the false teachings down the broad road to destruction, or are we going to study the Bible and get on the narrow path (Matthew 7:14)? 

Here, being divided is a command!  Again, there is righteous division and unrighteous division.  Check it out...

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." (Romans 16:17)

Marking and avoiding sounds pretty "divisive", yet it is a command straight from Jesus for His followers!


As you can see, not all division is a sin!  It is a sin to be divided for the wrong reasons.  There are also right reasons to be divided!  Jesus Himself said people would be divided:


Jesus Brings Division (Matthew 10) 
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.



If there can be true, righteous division and false, unrighteous division, can there also be true, righteous unity and false, unrighteous unity?  Would being divided away from true Christians who teach true, sound doctrine be good division or evil division?  Have a blessed day.  ~ ADMIN 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Francis Chan is now welcoming those from the Bethel Church crowd (Bill Johnson’s church)! ‘San Francisco City Impact’ conference 2013 outreach at Warfield Theatre: An article on false teachings, apostasy and strange manifestations

'San Francisco City Impact' conference outreach at Warfield Theatre

I was saddened to see that Francis Chan (a favorite author) has joined hands with those out of Bethel Church in Redding, California for an upcoming conference on August 17th, 2013.  See above link provided.  Brian and Jenn Johnson from Bethel Live will be at the event doing the worship.  Yes, Bethel Church is the same church whose pastor (Bill Johnson) takes away from Christ's divinity before He was age thirty (see source below for direct quotes from Johnson's books and sermons)!
"For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him." 2 Cor. 11:4
This is a surprise especially since just a few weeks ago LVA listened to a very sound and Biblical sermon Francis Chan spoke (believing this to be at his visit to Times Square Church.  This was the church Dave Wilkerson led before he passed away).  Ironically, it was actually Dave Wilkerson who warned of strange manifestations in Christian churches (like those animal noises and manifestations that Bill Johnson's friends, the Arnott's, support; see photo)!  Hear Wilkerson's warning here.

Wondering if Francis Chan has done his research.

Check out the following links: 

Dave Wilkerson on strange manifestations:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrpW6Xctg8Q

Christian Post blog article on strange manifestations:
http://blogs.christianpost.com/grace-under-fire/birds-of-a-feather-flock-together-10395/

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Which is it: 'Security in wisdom' or 'insecurity in wisdom', Bill Johnson? God wants us to use our brains and God-given intellects/minds


Have you ever heard the expression, "check your brain at the door"?

Our God is an intellectual God.  He is brilliant.  He is infinite in wisdom.  Why would He expect His followers to put aside their intellects and "check their brains at the door"? Throughout the Bible, we see the importance of "buying the truth and not selling it" and "getting wisdom and understanding" (Proverbs 23:23).  In fact, God wants us to pursue wisdom and understanding.  God does not want us to be stupid or follow a leader while checking our brains at the door.  He wants us to use our brains that He gave us.  If a leader who says they are speaking for God asks you to check your brain at the door, to not trust your intellect, and to listen to their teachings - you may want to run in the other direction, and fast.  When you think about it, this is how so many sincere people have died in the past years via the cults.  They did not test what they were being told by their leader.  Instead, they listened and obeyed man to their own eternal destruction. 

People have a tendency to follow man.  However, Jesus wants us to follow Him and His teachings, not man and man-made teachings.  That is the definition of a disciple taken from the Greek word mathetas - a learner and doer of Christ's teachings.

From a section of Bill Johnson's book entitled Following Your Leader Off the Map, Johnson teaches

"Those who feel safe because of their intellectual grasp of the scriptures enjoy a false sense of security" (When Heaven Invades Earth, chapter 6, page 105). How can a Christian who studies the truth in the Bible and who uses his or her renewed mind have a "false" sense of security?  Does Johnson believe the Bible is true or false?

"To follow Him [the spirit], we must be willing to follow off the map - to go beyond what we know" (Johnson). In the very next sentence, Johnson again speaks negatively of the intellect: "The Church has all too often lived according to an intellectual approach to the Scriptures, void of the Holy Spirit's influence".

Now, carefully compare the above teachings/doctrines to these Scriptures in the Word of God:

"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (1 Timothy 4:16)  This seems to say that we are to continue in Bible doctrine instead of following off the map.  In doing so, we will save souls!  God wants us to use our minds and that is part of loving Him.  Luke 10:27 says the first commandment is to love God with our minds:
"And he answering said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
"Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)  Is Bill Johnson "rightly dividing the word of truth" when he teaches others that they "must be willing" to go beyond it?  The Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21), so if someone is truly under the influence of the Spirit of Truth, won't he or she "study" to know the Scriptures He (the Spirit) wrote?  After all, the Bible commands us to use our intellect and study God's Word.  Why would a teacher want his followers to set aside their intellect that God gave to them?
What exactly is Johnson asking his followers to do when he encourages them to not trust their God-given intellect and "follow their leader off the map"?  If Psalm 119:105 says that the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, would the real Holy Spirit ever discourage use of the Word as a map for our life?  In the Bible, has the Lord ever told His followers to put aside their intellectual grasp of the Truth?  If we are the Lord's disciples, we will follow Christ and His teachings, and not listen to the voice of strangers (John 10:5).  Do you hear your Shepherd's voice?

The following is taken directly out of the Bible, including the words..."Security in Wisdom".

Proverbs 4

New King James Version (NKJV)

Security in Wisdom

Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”
10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someonefall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun,[a]
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Assemblies of God Encourages Christians to Contact Local District Offices for False Teaching Concerns

If you attend an Assemblies of God Church, and have a concern about a false teaching or practice, please go ahead and email the district office in the state where the church of concern is located.  Certified letters may be more efficient.


To clear up any doubt, and due to the fact that there was recently some doubt/questioning on the above post by a reader, we have helpfully provided a direct quote we received from the General Council of the Assemblies of God:

Direct Quote
The General Council of the Assemblies of God
Please note that Assemblies of God was not condemning the practice of sozo.  Actually, it is unclear to BSRG if the council has researched this new, modern practice yet.  To view what AG believes, visit their website (a link was provided in the article posted above).  What they were encouraging is contacting the district office for concerns with what is erroneous at an AG church.  Hope this helps.  God bless your day!

BSRG

Friday, February 15, 2013

Jesus Culture Teachings Repudiated: Assemblies of God Rebuke Bill Johnson and Banning Liebscher's Teachings

Jesus Culture Teachings Repudiated: Assemblies of God Rebuke Bill Johnson and Banning Liebscher's Teachings by Jesus Culture Awakening

Endtime Revival–Spirit-Led and Spirit-Controlled; A Response Paper to Resolution 16 

Recently, Bethel Sozo Research lovingly warned an Assemblies of God pastor about the practice of "sozo" he promotes to his congregation.  The pastor said that the "sozo" practice is from the Holy Spirit.  He also said that Bill Johnson preaches accurately.  Oddly, there was not a hint of "sozo" information to be found anywhere on this pastor's official church website, but the pastor does indeed teach on sozo verbally in another forum.  When asked for more information on sozo, the pastor directed people straight to Bethel Church's sozo ministry page.

Why isn't "sozo" listed on the church website?  Is the pastor aware that Bill Johnson's teachings are frowned upon by the Assemblies of God Church?  What does the Assemblies of God organization do if its churches start following aberrant teachings and practices?

A manager at the official Assemblies of God headquarters has advised BSRG recently that if Christians know of an Assemblies of God Church that teaches something erroneous (the Bethel Church "sozo" practice would fall into this category, in our opinion and based on our research and study of the scriptures), they should contact the specific district office of Assemblies of God (click here).  The district offices address false teachings on the local level.

direct quotes
official Assemblies of God management
"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." (Ephesians 5:11)
Please note that Assemblies of God was not condemning the practice of sozo.  Actually, it is unclear to BSRG if the council has researched this new, modern practice yet.  To view what AG believes, visit their website (a link was provided above).  What they were encouraging is contacting the district office for concerns with what is erroneous at an AG church.

Have a blessed day,

BSRG