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Welcome! If you are a BSSM student or involved with sozo and Bethel Church, please know this ministry loves you and prays for you. You are welcome here to browse this site. All the factual research on here has been conducted out of love for you with absolutely no financial gain. The research on this site is not merely anecdotal but research based on fact and careful study. Bethel Sozo Research does not hate any leaders or pastors at Bethel Church (no malice/ill-will toward them). We simply wish God's best for them - that they would change their deceptive ways and speak truthfully to people. If these leaders will not teach the Biblical truth about Christ's hypostatic union/divinity to the public, that is their free choice, but they must not call themselves 'Bible teachers' because that is not respecting the true Christian faith (Jude 1:3; Acts 4:12; 2 Cor. 11:4; Matt. 7:15; 1 John 4:1). Enjoy this site and God bless you! With love and civility, BSRJ
Showing posts with label Bill Johnson's Non-Divine Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill Johnson's Non-Divine Jesus. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A quick question: Is sozo more dangerous than scientology? A look at blatantly obvious vs. disguised falsehood...

Do you think sozo is more or less dangerous than Scientology?

Here is why I ask: Scientology has nothing to do with Jesus; as far as I understand, Scientologists do not really use the word Jesus or talk about Jesus at all.  They also do not claim to be Christians. 

On the other hand, sozo teachers and "sozoists" claim that what they are doing is of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  They claim that sozo is Christian, yet the followers of Bill Johnson deny Christ's divinity and hypostatic union before He was age thirty.  This disguise may prove to be particularly more enticing to others, you think? 

Which one is more dangerous, then?  The blatantly obvious cult or the disguised "Christian" cult?  "Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth" (Eph. 4:14; nlv).
 
What do you say?

"Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!" (2 Corinthians 11:1-4)

12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." (vs. 12-15)


Monday, July 11, 2016

NEW: A new booklet by Bill Randles called 'Beware of Bethel' examines some of Bill Johnson's unbiblical teachings

Hi there, friends!  Just wanted to let you all know there is a new booklet out by author and pastor Bill Randles.  I hope that this blesses you and may all who you share it with have a changed heart and changed mind, in Jesus's name.  Have a great week! 

Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson's Unbiblical Teachings by Bill Randles


"And many shall follow their shameful ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." 2 Peter 2:2

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gnostic teaching that Jesus was not divine before baptism and an interesting find about 'fear' being taught at Bethel


Several months ago, I was flipping through a Bible.  It wasn't my Bible.  It was someone who has been very involved with Bethel Church, Bill Johnson, sozo, etc.  I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to flip open to 1 John 4:1.  Here is what that verse says: 

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world".

I thought that was interesting, and I wondered why God wanted me to turn to that verse. I started reading the side notes. The person (who will remain unnamed, of course) had written in their Bible some notes. These notes said that false prophets are always motivated and characterized by fear. Over and over again, it said, "false prophets are known by their fear".

This really didn't make sense to me. In scripture, false prophets are motivated by their greed (see 2 Peter 2:3), lies/deceiving (Matthew 24:11; 2 Peter 2), and sorcery (Acts 13:6). Even in the Old Testament, the false prophets were known for their false words (Jer. 29:9 and 5:31). 2 John 1:7 says that those who don't acknowledge Jesus coming in the flesh are antichrist deceivers. That would be a sign of a false prophet. When you think about it, if Jesus was really only divine in the flesh just at and after his water baptism, like Johnson claims, wouldn't that be teaching that Jesus did not come in the flesh? I mean, if Jesus really came in the flesh, which He did, He would always be divine, even as a child.

Anyway, so where did this idea about false prophets/fear come from? The idea that false prophets are motivated by "fear"? This really doesn't make sense to me. The Apostle Paul had "fear" - he feared for the church that they would be deceived (2 Cor. 11:3). The "fear" of the Lord brings wisdom... Proverbs 9:10. I guess there are healthy fears and not so healthy fears. Does this mean that someone suffering from a fear of spiders is a false prophet? What about someone who doesn't like elevators??? Really doesn't make sense, Biblically.

Anyway, I got to thinking...are the teachers at Bethel teaching this? Why would this be in this person's notes? I Googled it, and actually Kris Valloton DOES preach a sermon about this online. Here is what he says:

"1 John 4 reveals a test for a false prophet.  They don't acknowledge the redemptive power of God; they don't listen; nor do they love.  False prophets use fear and fear of punishment as a main motivation in their ministry to get people to do what they predict."
But, where is the teaching that false prophets are motivated by greed, lies, deceit, sorcery, false teaching, etc., etc.? John the Baptist warned the pharisees to flee from the coming wrath of God (Matthew 3:7). That sounds like using "fear and fear of punishment". Does that make John the Baptist a false prophet? Certainly not! The Bible says that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet in history. Besides Jesus, of course.

It is the false prophets who speak "peace, peace" all the time that God warned about (see Jeremiah 8:11). They speak of peace and prosperity when there is none. Therefore, God calls them false prophets. THOSE are the ones God warns about in His Word over and over again.

False prophets will be very popular with many people (Luke 6:26). True prophets won't (Matthew 5:12).

Here is the sermon that Kris preached, if anyone would like to listen to it to test it to the Word: https://shop.ibethel.org/products/false-prophets-11-00am-august-01-2010

The reason why this concerns me is that I have been accused before, when lovingly confronting (in a gentle manner) a Bethel Church follower, that I have "fear". The conversation went something like this...

(me) "Do you know that Bill Johnson preaches that Jesus laid aside his divinity? Those were his direct quotes from his books/articles."

(person) "What are you afraid of? Why do you have so much fear? You should not be afraid of deception. The elect cannot be deceived anyway. Bill Johnson is not false. False prophets and false people are known by their fear."

---

This concerns me because...I wonder if Bethel Church is teaching their followers to disregard what other Christians lovingly say to them because they must be "fearful", and "fear" is evil. I wonder. Not saying for sure! Just a thought. Isn't this what certain other groups do? They caution their followers to not listen to advice from others who might be cautious of the group or point out error? Isn't this a fear tactic? I believe this is what the cults do (try to shun or quiet outside voices who are trying to warn with love).

In the middle of the night last night, I do believe God woke me up and reminded me of a page I read in my study Bible. It's from 2 John. I believe He wanted me to include this in my post today. Gnostics taught that the divine Christ joined the man Jesus when he was baptized. Isn't this what Bill Johnson's books say? Yes! I have checked this out. For a list of direct quotes, view this article: http://blogs.christianpost.com/grace-under-fire/birds-of-a-feather-flock-together-10395/

Please check out the following photo from my Zondervan family reading Bible. Be alert and watchful!!





Monday, June 17, 2013

Updated: Gnostic heresy...an interesting find in a study Bible leads to further clarification concerning the public 'divinity' of Christ discussion and Bethel Church (pastor is Bill Johnson). A link found!

Here is the photo of the Bible page referred to in a post from June 7th, 2013.  


Look at the study notes on the left side where it says, "Gnostic heretics of his day who said that Jesus was born only a man and remained so until his baptism."

Do you see any eery similarities with Bethel Church's teaching on Christ's divinity?  BSR does.  How important it is to realize that the real Jesus was 100% man and 100% divine (the hypostatic union).  The false Jesus's are either 100% man and 0% divine, or 0% man and 100% divine.  Please browse the top of this site for helpful information on these topics.

In his book, When Heaven Invades Earth, Johnson explains that Christ is not part of Jesus's name (his last name): "Christ is not Jesus' last name. The word Christ means 'Anointed One' or 'Messiah'. It is a title that points to an experience. It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from Heaven to earth with a title. He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired".

Johnson says this "Christ" word relates to an experience.  What experience?  His baptism (age 30).  


The problem with this teaching is that even an angel of the Lord called Jesus "Christ" approximately thirty whole years before His water baptism (clearly, making it a part of His title at birth). Because Christ means Messiah, and Jesus was and is always the Messiah, He had that title before his age thirty water baptism "experience". 

Remember Luke 2:10,11 says, "Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord'". Keep in mind, Jesus was only a baby at this point, long before His water baptism experience ('the smearing', as Johnson describes), yet the mighty angel of the Lord calls Him..."Christ the Lord"!
"Therefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3).
Johnson explains, "the word anointing means 'to smear'. The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism. The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit".
**Now re-read the Bible study notes in the photo**.  

Johnson preaches this about Jesus: "He laid his divinity aside" (When Heaven Invades Earth; chapter 7; page 110). Johnson also preaches that Jesus did His miracles as a man and not as God. Remember in John 10:30 when Jesus said, "I and the Father are one"? What about the immaculate conception and the virgin birth? That was divine, so Jesus had to be divine since conception, even before that - and forever for that matter! In an article from Charisma Magazine dated February 23, 2012, Johnson writes: "While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man...it’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God. If He did them as God, I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. Jesus is the only model for us to follow". 

In the same paragraph from When Heaven Invades Earth, Johnson explains that Jesus was "powerless" as well (in addition to being a non-divine man): "The sacrifice that could atone for sin had to be a lamb (powerless)".  When Scripture says Jesus was a lamb it does not mean He was powerless, but pure! 


Is this the Jesus you know, saint?
Please do some research to find out what else Johnson teaches about Jesus being a man until his baptism.  

Related: 

Bill Johnson's Non-Divine Jesus

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gnostic heresy: an interesting find in a study Bible leads to further clarification concerning the public 'divinity' of Christ discussion and Bethel Church (pastor is Bill Johnson)...stay tuned

Good morning!  Came across a very interesting blurb in a study Bible which pertains to Gnostic heresy.  Opened the Bible and looked right at it!  Looking forward to sharing it as it was eye opening and now some teachings coming out of Bethel Church are starting to make more sense (from a Gnostic viewpoint)!  In the near future, a photo of this Bible page will be posted for your information.  You will find it very interesting.  Until then, here is a blurb to ponder:

Johnson preaches this about Jesus: "He laid his divinity aside" (When Heaven Invades Earth; chapter 7; page 110). Johnson also preaches that Jesus did His miracles as a man and not as God. Remember in John 10:30 when Jesus said, "I and the Father are one"? What about the immaculate conception and the virgin birth? That was divine, so Jesus had to be divine since conception, even before that - and forever for that matter! In an article from Charisma Magazine dated February 23, 2012, Johnson writes: "While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man...it’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God. If He did them as God, I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. Jesus is the only model for us to follow". (Blog entry found on the Christian Post domain dated June 16, 2012).

Friday, March 8, 2013

Alert! Jesus Culture Video, Part 2: A Call for Discernment! Are you Sure It's Your Jesus?



The Jesus Culture Band has a massive following, and just like sozo, has originated out of Bethel Church in Redding, California.  These are the roots of this band/movement that is sweeping across the world at an alarming rate.

Oddly, BSRG cannot find a "belief" page or "statement of faith" page anywhere on Jesus Culture's website.

We have asked and asked to no avail.  We asked the page owners at the Jesus Culture/Kim Walker Band event promotional pages.  No belief statement.  The best answer we received was a direction to the Bethel Church website.  This is mysterious and concerning, and BSRG is on a quest to find out why there is no belief page on this professed Christian movement.  Wouldn't a Christian movement have a belief page?  Red flag?

Another answer we got from a follower of Jesus Culture was to just listen to the lyrics of their songs and we will know they are of God.  Even more alarming is the massive numbers of youth who are following this band (blindly) without "testing the spirits" as Jesus Christ commanded.

www.biblecc.com


Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Only One Jesus Can Save: 100% Divine and 100% Human

Check out this great comment we found on a Jesus Culture forum from a believer 
who was attempting to warn the brethren!

The Real Jesus is 100% Divine and 100% Man (Jesus of the Bible)
Not 0% Divine for thirty years and 100% Man (Jesus of Bill Johnson)
* Research the Hypostatic Union *

This was just another great comment that BSRG has come across from a faithful Berean!  This comment emphasizes the importance of exposing the false teachers and testing the spirits.  When Bill Johnson denies the full divinity of Jesus when Jesus was under the age of thirty, doesn't Johnson fail the test of a Biblical teacher?  Please research Johnson's public books, sermons and articles.  As Christians, we must be discerning and only follow the right Jesus.  After all, there is only one Jesus who can save!  If we follow a different Jesus or a different spirit, isn't that worshipping a false God?  
"You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3) 
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

* * * 

Below are two more comments we found in a Jesus Culture forum from a believer 
who was attempting to warn the brethren and admonish (edify) them with sound doctrine...  
False Miracles and False Christs
Some More Questions and Answers

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bethel Church Teachings: Bill Johnson's 'Born Again' Jesus, Part I

Hello!

Wanted to share this helpful article by CrossWise Ministry:


Bill Johnson's 'Born Again' Jesus, Part I


This article contains direct quotes from Bill Johnson's books and other official sources.  God bless your day as you study the scriptures like a Berean, testing all things!

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11)
"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)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Proof: Three Pieces of Evidence that Bill Johnson Teaches a Non-Divine Jesus Walked this Earth

Often, when bringing up Bill Johnson's doctrines, many will say, "Bill didn't really mean that", "Bill didn't say that" or "he is a nice guy".  The irrefutable evidence shows that this teacher really does teach a non-divine Jesus walked this earth.  Bethel Sozo Research has seen these quotes directly from books, articles and a sermon.  There is no denying that this is what Bill teaches about Jesus Christ:
"He laid his divinity aside." (When Heaven Invades Earth; chapter 7; page 110) 
Direct quotations cannot be argued; they are fact.  Furthermore, when the same teaching appears in a number of places (books, articles and sermons), proof is further established - knowing that there was no mistake in speech.  When a teacher repeats the teaching and even precedes his or her teaching with the phrase, "it's vital to note", Christians can conclude that the teaching is not a mere "slip-up", but a vital teaching to the teacher:  
"While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man...it’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God. If He did them as God, I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. Jesus is the only model for us to follow".  (In an article from Charisma Magazine dated February 23, 2012)
Elsewhere, in a sermon entitled When Heaven Comes dated May 6, 2012, Johnson teaches that Christ is eternally God, but then he explains how Christ was not divine on earth until his (age thirty) water baptism!  Is this consistent with the Hypostatic Union?  Wasn't the real Jesus Christ even divine at conception (i.e., born of a virgin)???  Yes, we are to follow the Lord's example.  But, emptying Jesus Christ of His divinity on earth to make Him like the "average Joe" is not acceptable.  Jesus was 100% divine and 100% human on earth without sacrificing either.  Being conceived by the Holy Spirit Himself (Luke 1:35) makes Jesus very different than the normal human being!  

What matters is doctrinal fruit.  
"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 Corinthians 11:4)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Digging Deeper into Doctrinal Fruit: Does claiming 'Jesus is God' make a church or practice Christian?

In a sermon dated May 6, 2012 - Johnson says that Christ is eternally God but then delves into how Christ was not divine on earth until age 30 water baptism.

Some Christians accept teachers simply because they say "Jesus is God" or they "have faith in Jesus".  It seems rare that Christians actually obey the command of Jesus to "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1).  Not testing the spirits can lead us down the road to apostasy and shipwreck our faith.

Here is a great example.  The Jehovah's Witnesses, on their official ministry page (www.jw.org), claim that "Jesus is the Son of God".  To most Christian observers, this would be "enough" to "follow" their religion and go to their church.  Some may believe that the JW's are Christian because they have the "essential doctrine" (of Jesus being the Son of God) covered.  The Word gives no distinction between essential doctrines and non-essential doctrines, in fact, all of Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and we must not pick and choose which words Christ said that were essential or non-essential.  Titus 2:1 says, "You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine".  Christ spoke of sound doctrine quite frequently and stressed the importance of hearing and doing His words in many places throughout scripture including the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders.  If it came out of His mouth, every word is essential. When the faithful Christian goes further and digs deeper and really "tests" the spirits, there is way more to be found.

The Jehovah's Witnesses explain on the questions page:
The Bible identifies why Jesus has had a greater impact than any other good man who ever lived. When Jesus asked his closest followers who they thought he was, one of them correctly answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”—Matthew 16:16.
On another questions page, they even tell others that they are Christians:


Yes. We are Christians for the following reasons:
  • We try to follow closely the teachings and behavior of Jesus Christ.—1 Peter 2:21.
  • We believe that Jesus is the key to salvation, that “there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.”—Acts 4:12.
  • When people become Jehovah’s Witnesses, they are baptized in the name of Jesus.—Matthew 28:18, 19.
  • We offer our prayers in Jesus’ name.—John 15:16.
  • We believe that Jesus is the Head, or the one appointed to have authority, over every man.—1 Corinthians 11:3.
To most readers, this would seem to be a Christian organization.  But when one digs deeper, they deny essential Christian doctrines like hell, the Trinity, and Christ's dual natures after His resurrection to name a few.

Likewise, Bethel Church says sozo is a Christian practice.  They claim to be a Christian church.  Bill Johnson says that Jesus is eternally God, just like the Jehovah's Witness religion says Jesus is the Son of God.  Everything looks peachy on the surface, but what do you see when you dig deeper?  James 2:19 says that the demons also believe there is one God.  The Greek word for believe is pisteuo.  The definition of this word is to have faith in/to believe in (click on hyperlink on word to view the Greek Concordance)!  This is the same word used for believe in John 3:16.

Some have said, if a church says they believe in Jesus than that is good enough for me!  What they do not realize is that the doctrine must be "sound" or correct to be a true Christian church.  Jesus said you will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:20).  The Bible says that truth is a fruit (Ephesians 5:9).  

Remember in Matthew 16 when Jesus warned His disciples of unsound doctrine (bad leaven)?
Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?[c] Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10 Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 
How important it is to come to know how tricky and deceptive satan is.  Remember what the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians?
Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity[a]that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it! For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested[b] among you in all things. Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows! 12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11)

Source:

http://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/jesus-good-man/

Birds of a Feather Flock Together: Strange Manifestations in 'Christian' Circles - from God or not? Feathers in Church? Bill Johnson of Bethel Church, Redding California...by Anne Heers (Christian Post Blog)

Source:
"...for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness"? (2 Corinthians 6:14)  
In chapter 12 of When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles, Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California writes:
I have seen the small gems that suddenly appeared in the people's hands as they worshipped God. Since early in 1998, we have had feathers fall in our meetings. At first I thought birds were getting into our air conditioning ducts, but then they started falling in other rooms of the church not connected with the same ductwork. They now fall most anywhere we go - airports, homes, restaurants, offices and the like...He [God] 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. (Page 204,205)
Johnson convinces people that these signs are from God and the Holy Spirit and our present understanding of scripture cannot take us far enough. On the same pages, he says that laughter, gold dust, oil and a cloud (appearing in the church building) are also signs of God's presence. He further explains in the same chapter that these signs and manifestations "are simple indicators of God's presence and purpose". He calls these signs God's "personal notes" to us. He clearly links these signs to our holy God and the Holy Spirit.
But are they? In scripture, believers are commanded to be scrutinizing (not blindly accepting) by putting what they see and hear to the test instead of accepting a teaching, sign or wonder right away, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
Are all signs from God? Clearly scripture teaches that the apostles did signs and wonders. God is still powerful just like He was back then: "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders done among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch" (Acts 5:12).
However, scripture also contains warnings about following signs and wonders: "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which 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 know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him" (Deuteronomy 13:1-4).
Johnson preaches this about Jesus: "He laid his divinity aside" (When Heaven Invades Earth; chapter 7; page 110). Johnson also preaches that Jesus did His miracles as a man and not as God. Remember in John 10:30 when Jesus said, "I and the Father are one"? What about the immaculate conception and the virgin birth? That was divine, so Jesus had to be divine since conception, even before that - and forever for that matter! In an article from Charisma Magazine dated February 23, 2012, Johnson writes: "While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man...it’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God. If He did them as God, I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. Jesus is the only model for us to follow". The proof text he gives is Philippians 2:7 (which does not state that Christ's divine nature ceased, but basically that Jesus humbly became a servant despite His divinity).
In the same paragraph from When Heaven Invades Earth, Johnson explains that Jesus was "powerless" as well (in addition to being a non-divine man): "The sacrifice that could atone for sin had to be a lamb (powerless)".
Is this the Jesus you know, saint?
Jesus walked on water. Was that powerless and done as a mere man with an anointing? Was He non-divine during His incarnation? Or both divine and human in nature? Wasn't the real Jesus divine and human at the same time?
Is this the same Jesus of the Bible that is preached here - a Jesus who was a non-divine man? I personally believe that Jesus was and is always divine in nature and never ceased to be divine in nature and one with God (because God is divine) for a split second. If someone is divine, it is in their nature and cannot be changed. Divinity cannot be laid aside or stopped. I am human in nature, and I cannot lay that aside. Jesus was and always will be divine in nature, so how could He lay His divine nature aside as He has always been divine, Godhead and deity forever?
Interestingly, there are no records of feathers falling on the apostles in the Bible, though this is an occurrence happening in occult religions and practices. According to a new age ministry called Krysalis Training Academy, which supports the Dalai Lama, psychic practices, reiki, new age spiritual healing, hypnotherapy, eastern meditation, shamanism, Wicca, mysticism and more - feathers are indeed a sign.
Angels often send us little reminders of their presence as angel feathers, which are small white feathers. These seem to appear from nowhere when we are down and in need of comfort. I remember sitting in a café, watching the rain falling on the pavement outside and feeling blue. Suddenly, a small white feather floated down in front of me and landed on my table. I smiled, knowing the angels were around me, with their comforting presence.
Feathers falling - from God or not? As we see here, feathers do appear as signs from other spirits of the occult.
The Apostle Paul spoke in 2 Corinthians 11:4 on "another Jesus" and "another spirit". Could this be?
Another peculiar manifestation in professed Christian circles these days are uncontrolled animal behaviors/sounds, hysterical uncontrolled laughing and drunkenness. Bill Johnson endorses John and Carol Arnott (Catch the Fire Ministries and Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) on his own website's friend list (see this list and all the ministries he has not turned away from; Romans 16:17). In fact, Johnson and the Arnott's are together having an upcoming conference in the UK in August 2012 called the Revival Alliance Conference. The Arnott's promote jungle and barnyard animal sounds as a manifestation from the Holy Spirit on their official website. Interestingly, we do not see any apostles being "overcome" by a lack of self-control with animals behaviors/sounds in the entire history of Christianity nor from our plumbline, the Word of God (remember, self-control is the fruit of the Spirit, not a loss of self-control; see Galatians 5:22).
According to the same occult ministry mentioned above, animal sounds are characteristic of spirits of shamanism.
The Arnott's, friends of Johnson, explain:
The Toronto Blessing is a transferable anointing. In its most visible form itovercomes worshippers with outbreaks of laughter, weeping, groaning, shaking, falling, 'drunkenness,' and even behaviours that have been described as a 'cross between a jungle and a farmyard.' Of greater significance, however, are the changed lives.
Bill Johnson attributes these manifestations to the Holy Spirit when he states:
Our new list includes falling, shaking, laughing, etc...we must learn to recognize his move by recognizing his presence. (When Heaven Invades Earth; chapter 12; page 205)
The Apostle Paul said that if all spoke in tongues and an unbeliever walked in, they would think everyone was crazy (and turn around and walk right out!). "So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?" (1 Corinthians 14:23; NIV). Are these manifestations from God? If you walked into a church and one or more people were barking uncontrollably like a dog, hissing like a snake, moo-ing like a cow, or jumping around like a monkey, would you stay to hear the message? What would God say about this? What about the Apostle Paul? Some things to ponder.
The Apostle Paul said, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:12-17).
Have you ever looked up the Greek meaning for seducers ('imposters')? This word is translated from the Greek word "góēs". Here is how the HELPS Word-studies defines the word 'imposter':
Originally, a sorcerer (in ancient Greek literature); in New Testament times, 1114 (góēs) is a swindler – a shameless cheat pretending to use supernatural power; an actor (cheap imposter), looking for self-gain, i.e. posing to be someone he isn't. "A charlatan", used only in 2 Tim 3:13, refers to a seducer (properly, a wailer) – a fraud who "sounds off" like a whining enchanter. This person uses their verbal spells and incantations to give the (false) impression they can do miracles.
Are these signs and wonders from the real Jesus and the real Holy Spirit? Or is this another Jesus and another spirit bringing "lying signs and wonders" as prophesied? What do you think? I know what I think, and that is based upon the scriptures.
The Intellect
It is important to note that Johnson uses interesting statements about the intellect (that is, using the God-given intellect/brain), from a section of his book entitled Following Your Leader Off the Map: "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). He also says, "to follow Him [the spirit], we must be willing to follow off the map - to go beyond what we know". 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".
Christians, we know that the Holy Spirit wrote the scriptures. He is the very author! "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). Furthermore, scripture encourages the importance of being smart and discerning: "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding" (Proverbs 23:23). Proverbs is a great book to read about the importance of getting Godly wisdom into your mind (from the scriptures). "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).
Also, the Holy Spirit does work with our minds (Romans 12:2), for the scriptures even say that He "re-minds" us of things: "But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). To remember is to use the mind. Friends, don't think for a minute that God does not want you to use your brain, mind or God-given intellect and discernment (1 John 4:1).
Johnson also explains in the same chapter that Christ is not part of Jesus's name (his last name): "Christ is not Jesus' last name. The word Christ means 'Anointed One' or 'Messiah'. It is a title that points to an experience. It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from Heaven to earth with a title. He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired".
The problem with this teaching is that even an angel of the Lord called Jesus "Christ" approximately thirty whole years before His water baptism (clearly, making it a part of His title). Because Christ means Messiah, and Jesus was and is always the Messiah, He had that title before age thirty. Remember Luke 2:10,11 says, "Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord'". Keep in mind, Jesus was only a baby at this point, long before His water baptism experience ('the smearing', as Johnson describes), yet the mighty angel of the Lord calls Him..."Christ the Lord"!
"Therefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3).
Johnson explains, "the word anointing means 'to smear'. The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism. The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit".
1 John 4:1-3 says, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world."
Christ came in the flesh, even before his anointing at age thirty. Jesus is the Messiah (Christ), and was the Messiah even as a kid. Remember when Jesus Christ, the twelve year old, was teaching the teachers in the temple in Luke 2? While Johnson says Christ is "a title that points to an experience", we see in scripture that Christ was his title even before that experience at age thirty (Luke 2:11).
Johnson here clearly links the term "Christ" (the smearing) to His water baptism (approximately age thirty).
To further prove this point, a simple Bible search of the word 'Christ' will reveal to you the numerous scriptures where Jesus was indeed called...'the Christ'...even long before age thirty. Jesus is called Christ as His title because He alone is the Messiah. Galatians 3:27 says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ".
Furthermore, Luke 1:35 makes it clear that the Holy Spirit was upon Jesus' conception in Mary's womb, with power (not without power): "And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God".
What is this teaching? Jesus was and is a part of the holy trinity! That means He was and is always divine. But Johnson explains in chapter seven, "The anointing is what linked Jesus, the man, to the divine". Remember, the anointing here that Johnson is referring to in his chapter is the water baptism (at approximately age thirty).
What about before this "smearing" - was Jesus divine then? Or, just a powerless, non-divine man who had yet to get his link (smearing) to the divine?
Jesus did not need a "link" to the divine to become divine at age thirty, for He was already deity and Godhead (part of the trinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit). Jesus said that He and the Father are one (John 10:30). If they were one, then they were (and are) both divine. Nowhere in scripture does it say that Jesus Christ was non-divine before age thirty or that He gave up His divinity ("laid His divinity aside" as Johnson explains) before age thirty. God cannot cease being God; deity cannot cease being deity. True divinity cannot be stopped. The Bible says that Christ does not change: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). This is what happened at His water baptism at age thirty: "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up immediately out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him" (Matthew 3:16).
The Spirit of God descended on a divine Messiah (Christ) who was already "one with God" (John 10:30).
Encouraging you to study the Greek meaning of divinity (divine nature) and how it cannot be removed from somebody who is truly Godhead and deity.
Johnson claims that Jesus was eternally God but teaches these other doctrines contrary to that statement. To call someone God is not enough (Mark 5:7; James 2:19). If we are a teacher, we must teach accurately about Jesus Christ and who He is because this is the command from the Spirit and from the Lord: "speak thou the things which become sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1; 2 Timothy 4:3; Revelation 22:19) and we are commanded to turn away from those teachers who do not teach sound doctrine (please read Romans 16:17). We must not mess with Christ's two natures, the very person and identity of the real Jesus Christ.
"For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (Ephesians 5:9).
"Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them" (Matthew 7:20).
Thank you for reading, may the Spirit give you ears to hear, and God bless you.
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