Showing posts with label Is it Really the Holy Spirit?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Is it Really the Holy Spirit?. Show all posts

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Beni Johnson posts another photo of herself on Instagram in cemetery and the teachings of Jenny Barger (Sozo)

I am so thankful that a reader of Bethel Sozo Research sent in a photo of Beni Johnson's Instagram page from about a week ago.  Thank you!

I have seen a similar photo before on Beni's Twitter page.  She is posting these photos of herself in cemeteries hugging or somehow embracing the gravestones of dead people.  I wrote about that previously and posted a photo of her hugging a gravestone.

What do you think of this?  Would God command someone to go hug a grave containing a dead body?  The spirit of the person is gone (2 Cor. 5:8).  This peculiar, cultic practice is not found anywhere in the Bible.  Except for perhaps the Scriptures concerning necromancy (communication/consulting with the dead is forbidden in the Scriptures.  God didn't like it then, and He doesn't like it now because He is the same God today; see Luke 24:5, Hebrews 13:8 and Deuteronomy 18:10).

Would the Holy Spirit truly want a person to get some sort of "anointing" (power) from a dead person?  Is it even possible to get an anointing from someone who is dead?  What benefit is there in hanging around dead people?  Is this seriously happening?

It is exceedingly sad that people are buying into this.  This practice was not done by Jesus nor the disciples.  None of the earlier Christians throughout the centuries did this.  The martyrs did not do this.

What's going on?  This is not Biblical Christianity, but this is Kool-Aid drinking.  Why do people listen to false prophets like Bill Johnson and his wife, Beni?

The truth is that people stop using their own reasoning when it comes to cult leaders.  Cult leaders are intelligent folks actually, and they know how pliable the human mind is.  They seek to control the minds of others.  This is why the apostle Paul wrote:
"O foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you?  It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified" (Galatians 3:1)
The word "bewitched" here in the Greek is ebaskanen or baskaino, which properly means, "to put someone under a spell so they no longer could think or act according to reason" (Strong's 940; HELPS Word-studies).  Christians should use their reasoning and not lay it aside to follow a cultist!

One Sozoer, teacher and author named Jenny Barger of Southern California wrote a "holy" memoir chock full of what she claims are "new revelations" she has received from "Jesus" Himself!  In fact, nearly every page of the book is author Jenny Barger claiming to have actual conversations with "Jesus".  She is claiming that "God" speaks to her directly.  The problem is that many of her "new revelations" simply do not line up with the Word of God and what the real Jesus spoke.  The Scriptures she uses as "proof texting" are taken entirely out of their proper context. The Bible says the false teachers will indeed twist Scriptures, "There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures" (2 Peter 3:16).

The book, entitled The Beauty of Holiness, Jenny Barger teaches numerous problematic and heterodox ideas (time does not permit for me to list them all), one of them being the following: using one's own reasoning and logic is a sin worse than the sin of adultery!  Barger explains, "Reason also can be the mother of harlots [in Revelation 17:3-5]...reason produces or gives birth to harlots...we've been relying on ourselves, our reason, our logic, and have betrayed the one we love" (2015, p. 123).  In her teachings, Barger espouses a dangerous false dichotomy by teaching that using one's own reason is equated with betraying Jesus!  She also wrote, "I talked to God about it, and He said, 'I want to give you a key.  The key is...too much thinking is not good for the soul" (Ibid, p. 142).

God gave us our brains, and He wants us to use our reasoning.  God is an intelligent God, and if anyone asks you to check your brain at the door, run!  This is why so many people are duped by con-artists with millions of followers like Bill Johnson, who also demonizes using the intellect in his book When Heaven Invades Earth.  This is how he "bewitches" his followers (remember, in Greek, to bewitch means to control another person by getting them to lay aside their own reasoning and intellect).  Why does he demonize using one's own reasoning?  Precisely because he wants to draw away disciples after him!  He is trying to create followers because once people lay aside their reasoning, they will buy into anything.  It is really quite cruel what Johnson is doing to people through his false teachings.  Johnson's teachings look a whole lot like the teachings of the ancient Montanists and Gnostics, all considered heretics by the early Christian church.  He also consistently challenges the full deity (divinity) of Christ while elevating the deity of man.

God does not discourage us from using our God-given brains.  This is how we can protect ourselves from the cultists in our midst.  "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:30).

Barger also teachers her readers that their close friends and family, if they are critics of Sozo, are suffering from a "religious spirit" and the Pharisees of Luke 11:52, and she explains these "close friends and family" are participating in a "tactic" of the devil by warning about Sozo (p. 158).  Thus, she admonishes her readers to not listen to close friends and family who are critics of the Sozo cult.  This is a tactic of the cults to isolate victims from their family and friends who would lovingly warn them.  Beware! 

I confirmed with the church staff that this is Beni Johnson's Twitter account.  Beni is Bill Johnson's wife. This is what she does in her spare time!  She lays on the graves of dead people to get "power".  If anyone asks you to do this, run, and run fast.  These teachers are not from God (1 John 4:1).  Author Jenny Barger of Southern California heavily promotes Bill Johnson's teachings in her erroneous and disturbing book, The Beauty of Holiness (2015).  


Barger, Jenny.  2015.  The Beauty of Holiness.  Zenith Publications and Innovations. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Johnson, B. 2003.  When Heaven Invades Earth.  Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. Shippensburg.  

Helps Ministries, Inc.  HELPS Word-studies.  1987, 2011.  Accessed August 1, 2015.  Retrieved from

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Boldness with the Scriptures is from the Holy Spirit, not a religious spirit!

Ministry of Apollos 
24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
Apollos had the Holy Spirit.  He was "mighty in the Scriptures".  He showed people the truth guessed it..."the Scriptures".  True, Godly, Biblical ministers who are sent by God...use the Scriptures, not their mere experiences or opinions, to teach others the Truth of God.

Some false teachers today may accuse those who teach or refute using the Scriptures of having an evil  "religious spirit".  Not so!  They are simply confusing evil as good and good for evil.  See what Isaiah said in Isaiah 5:20 about that.

This would just be a fulfillment of...

Have a wonderful day!

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)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Is it really the Holy Spirit? Bethel Church and Christianity...

Was reading in the Word this morning, and a question came up in my mind.  I posted this question on the Bethel Church and Christianity Forum today:
"Acts 5:32 -- "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." I read this today and was wondering if these people are really teaching by the Holy Spirit, why is it that they are not departing/separating themselves from the false teachings/teachers? That would be obedience to God (Romans 16:17), and the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is given to them that obey him."
Will let you know what replies I receive.  What do you think?  These people speak of the Holy Spirit so much.  In fact they are a part of a regular conference called, "the Holy Spirit Conference".  Would the Holy Spirit be comfortable with all the teachings from books, sermons, etc. that we see coming out of Bethel Church?  I don't think so...

Doesn't Jesus say to "mark and avoid" in Romans 16:17?  Not meaning, mark and avoid those who uphold/defend sound doctrine (like Jesus did!) - but those who cause divisions/offenses CONTRARY TO sound doctrine in the Bible (like the false teachers do).

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


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