Tag Archives: Heresy

Bethel’s Signs and Wonders Include Angel Feathers, Gold Dust, and Diamonds

I got a link to this article in e-mail.  It focuses the spotlight on Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California.  Much has been said lately about Bill Johnson, but if you will look at the beliefs of Johnson and others like him, you will see that he has many commonalities with people like Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, Patricia King, etc.  No, not just commonalities, they share the same erroneous doctrine of signs and wonders at the expense of the truth.

Also of note is the fact that Bud Press, director of Christian Research Service, and a dear friend, was interviewed for the article.  Thank you, Bud.  Keep up the good work of raising awareness of these lying signs and wonders.

Bethel’s Signs and Wonders Include Angel Feathers, Gold Dust, and Diamonds

Bethel Church has seen extensive growth over the past decade as the focus of the church has shifted to training people in prophecy, healing and other “supernatural gifts of God” taught under the leadership of Pastor Bill Johnson.

Though about half the estimated 2,200 people attending Bethel left when he took over in 1996, Johnson said now nearly every church service is full each week, including the Twin View campus and an overflow room, which could easily add up to more than 3,000 congregants.

Ask Johnson about the affiliations, goals and purpose of Bethel Church, and he’ll say the church has lots of “friends” who share in the pursuit of affecting the Earth with heaven, especially Pentecostals and those in the Association of Vineyard Churches.

Johnson said Bethel members believe Jesus is the son of God and died for the sins of humankind, which is the basis of Christianity. Bethel also believes in the second coming of Jesus when those who are saved will go to heaven and those who do not believe in him will go to hell, as it says in the church’s “We Believe” statement.

Bethel was part of the General Council of the Assemblies of God until January 2006 when the church membership voted to withdraw their affiliation, and today Johnson hesitates to link Bethel to a specific movement or group.

Those who examine the practices of Bethel identify it as being part of a larger movement known as the Word of Faith movement. Connected to prominent revivalists and prophets including Todd Bentley, Patricia King, Bob Jones, and the leadership of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, the Word of Faith doctrine teaches that faith is a force through which anything can be done, said John Wolf, founder of the Church Education Resource Ministries.

Wolf is one of Johnson’s many critics and is no stranger to Bethel Church.  Read more…

Oral Roberts Passes Away at the Age of 91

I’ll keep it short.

Oral Roberts, who coined the phrase “seed faith,” as well as the doctrine, has passed away of complications of pneumonia after suffering a fall at his home.  Do I have any statement to make regarding this turn of events?  Well, I truly do sympathize with his loved ones over their loss.  I’m sure they loved him.  However, he leaves behing a legacy of false doctrine that has entered the church and has caused great destruction.

Roberts wasn’t your garden variety charismatic teacher.  He was the bees knees of the prosperity gospel.  He was one of the forebearers of the “prosperity gospel,” and along with fellow faith-healer, Kenneth Hagin, Sr., he was a main player in making Word of Faith and seed-faith doctrine palatable to the masses.  He pioneered the medium of televangelism, and since then, seed-faith doctrine has saturated the entire globe.  Turn on TBN, Daystar, The Church Channel, etc., and you can see the damage and destruction this man’s heresy has caused.  The prosperity gospel prospers no one, for it puts man’s will above God’s will, it inspires greed, and it shipwrecks the faith of millions by turning them away from the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and turning them down a path of empty faith and blindness.

Many may attempt to canonize this man, but his legacy is this:  “Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and other religious denominations questioned the authenticity of the healing. In the mid-1950s, in a step that would become familiar, a group of Arizona ministers offered to pay $1,000 to anyone who had been healed by Mr. Roberts and could provide medical proof, but got no response. Thousands of Mr. Roberts’s followers asserted that they had been cured by his hand alone.”  (Online Source)

While Roberts has passed on, his false doctrine is still here.  This is very sobering.  It causes me to reflect on myself and wonder what I’ll leave behind when I go to meet the Lord.  Let’s keep contending.

The Hirelings

I found this article at Slice of Laodicea (HT:  Ingrid Schlueter), and was so blessed after I read it.  I absolutely love Scriptural truth!  I won’t spend the entirety of this post giving an overview of what is said in the article because I could only muck it up.  Coach Dave Daubenmire said it perfectly, and I’ll just defer to him…

(Special Note:  In the article, you will hear Daubenmire refer to an article entitled, “Christian Pimps.”  Click to read it.)

Eleven-Year-Old Dies Needlessly When Parents Refuse Medical Care and Pray Instead

This is where false doctrine turns deadly.  Unlike the two who died at Lakeland, this child would not have died if her parents had sought medical attention for their daughter.  They didn’t, she died, and now they are standing trial in her death.  Signs and symptoms of illness in this case were not ignored, they just refused to act on them, giving the argument that they had faith God would heal her.

WAUSAU, Wis. —  A Weston woman, accused of praying instead of seeking medical attention for her dying daughter, suffered a medical emergency as her homicide trial got under way but appeared OK about 30 minutes later.

Her case is believed to be the first of its kind in Wisconsin involving faith healing in which someone died and another person was charged with a homicide.  (Online Source)

I have always maintained that false doctrine is dangerous.  I guess Jim Jones and the more than 1,000 suicides in Guyana aren’t enough to convince people of this.  Sadly, this story won’t convince them either.  Here is the defense provided by her parents:

Neumann has said her family believes in the Bible, which says healing comes from God, and she never expected her daughter to die.

According to the criminal complaint, Madeline’s father considered the girl’s illness “a test of faith” and Neumann never considered taking the girl to the doctor because she thought her daughter was under a “spiritual attack.”  (Online Source)

Ask me again why I stand on the wall and sound the alarm.

Todd Bentley: Preaching the Gospel “Won’t Win Souls”

Chances are, no one here hasn’t been acquainted with Todd Bentley, his Lakeland Revival shenanigans, or others among the hypercharismatics that he is associated with.  But, Bentley’s new book, “Kingdom Rising: Making the Kingdom Real in Your Life,” does more to reveal the error in his doctrine than anything he has said so far.

Bentley’s book was published in October 2008 (yes, two months after the scandal at Lakeland), by Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.  His publishing house cared little that this man was publicly disgraced, and proved himself to be a fraud, they published the book anyway.  The gospel of the Kingdom holds little esteem to a publishing house whose bottom line is $$$$$$, and not the Word of Truth.  But, that’s the topic for another post.

In his book, Bentley teaches that preaching the gospel will not win souls.  Hypercharismatics rely heavily on experience above Scripture.  They devalue the power of Scriptural truth, and focus heavily on physical manifestations as evidence of God’s wonder-working power.  Christ Jesus, and His finished work on Calvary is belittled, or ignored all together, and the claims of miracles are exalted to a level above Scripture.

But, don’t let me rant.  Bud Press, from Christian Research Service, read the book and has written a wonderful article about Todd Bentley, his new book, and his claim that preaching the gospel is not sufficient to win souls.  I’ll defer to Mr. Press now…. 

Man’s Throne Exalted Above God?

In Word of Faith (WOF), the universal law of attraction is key.  The quick and ugly summary of this is that you can have anything you want by positive confession with your mouth.  The heresy goes even deeper when you consider that WOF believers are taught that those with enough faith can tap into the “faith force” to bring health, wealth, and prosperity to themselves, but what they don’t really stop to consider is that the only way to do that is to shackle and bind God to the human will, making Him a slave to the sinful desire of man.  What results is a multitude of greedy people who are ordering God around.

Similarly, the doctrine of the Manifest Sons of God (MSOG) share this same mentality.  This doctrine teaches that God will raise up an army in these end times (known as Joel’s Army to the MSOG insiders), and they will rise up and subdue the earth for God.  They teach that Jesus can NOT come back until the believers prepare the earth for Him, therefore, He is held in Heaven.  When the earth has been prepared, and all of God’s enemies destroyed, then Jesus can return and we will lay the pre-prepared earth at His feet.  All He needs to do is take possession of it.

The charismatic movement has removed the sovereignty of God, and has elevated man, in power and authority, above Him, essentially rendering God impotent.  This desire to elevate oneself above God is not new.  Satan was guilty of it before man was even created from the dust of the earth.  He had attempted, in his own wickedness, to exalt himself above the throne of God.  The result was his fall from Heaven.  Satan accosted Eve in the Garden of Eden, and tempted her by telling her that if she would eat of the fruit of the tree, she would be like God.  It was alluring to her, she took it, convinced her husband, and they ate.  Once more, the desire to exalt oneself above the throne of God had deadly consequences.  Mankind fell, and were alienated from God.

In my studies, one common thread of the charismatic movement that tends to join all of their heretical doctrines is their tendency to attempt to elevate themselves above the throne of God.  Charismatics like Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar teach that if you speak in faith, nothing wavering, God has no choice but to obey because He is bound by man’s will, and released to act by the faith of man.  Having grown up in the WOF teaching, I was taught that if you pray, you should never, ever, ever say the word “if” because it denotes doubt.  If you speak that negative word, it shows lack of faith, and you’ll never receive anything from God.  I was taught that you should never conclude a prayer by saying, “if it’s your will, Lord,” because it is God’s will for man to have health, wealth, and anything else we could heap upon our own lusts.  WOFers stayed far away from Scriptures like 1 John 5:14 which told us to pray according to His will.  Additionally, 1 John 5:14-15 (And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.) contradicted the teachings of WOF because it taught us that if we pray according to His will, He hears us.  Many of the things we may pray for are definitely not His will for us, but WOF doesn’t make that distinction.  Through positive confession, they attempt to control God, and through materialism, they seek to feed their own greed.

In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he rebuked those who believed that Godliness was a means for great gain (materially).  When considering what Jesus said about greed, He was quite clear when He said, “for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”  (Luke 12:15)  Paul confirmed this when he said to Timothy that Godliness was only a means for great gain when it was accompanied by contentment.  (1 Timothy 6:6)  Scripture doesn’t teach that we should seek material wealth, but instead that we should seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Doing so, God has promised that He would meet our needs.

When Christians believe they can bind and release God to fulfill their own will, they have exalted themselves above His supreme and sovereign authority.  Scripture gives us another view of God:

PSALMS 99

1 The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake!
2 The LORD is great in Zion, And He is exalted above all the peoples.
3 Let them praise Thy great and awesome name; Holy is He.
4 And the strength of the King loves justice; Thou hast established equity; Thou hast executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool; Holy is He.
6 Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called on His name; They called upon the LORD, and He answered them.
7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; They kept His testimonies, And the statute that He gave them.
8 O LORD our God, Thou didst answer them; Thou wast a forgiving God to them, And yet an avenger of their evil deeds.
9 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For holy is the LORD our God.

PSALMS 97

1 The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
3 Fire goes before Him, And burns up His adversaries round about.
4 His lightnings lit up the world; The earth saw and trembled.
5 The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6 The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples have seen His glory.
7 Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, Who boast themselves of idols; Worship Him, all you gods.
8 Zion heard this and was glad, And the daughters of Judah have rejoiced Because of Thy judgments, O LORD.
9 For Thou art the LORD Most High over all the earth; Thou art exalted far above all gods.
10 Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart.
12 Be glad in the LORD, you righteous ones; And give thanks to His holy name.

Just as Satan attempted to exalt himself above God and met with disastrous consequences, so too will man.  It happened in the garden of Eden, and continues to this day.  Some have learned nothing from the lessons Adam and Eve had to learn the hard way.  They are still attempting to exalt themselves above God.  But Scripture flatly contradicts the picture of God that is painted by the WOF movement.

Deuteronomy 4:35-39

35 “To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him.
36 “Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire.
37 “Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power,
38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.
39 “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.

In these last days, there is much deception running rampant through the church.  The WOF movement is appealing to many because it requires no faith, only the desire to fulfill fleshly lusts.  It plays to the most primal and wicked part of man, and doing so, distracts man from the truth of God’s Word.  It is impossible to serve God when you don’t know who He is.  The WOF God is not the God of the Bible, but instead is a genie in a bottle – a subservient slave who is bound by man’s corrupt and greedy will. 

The error bred by the WOF teachers is destructive and damning, and pollutes the way of truth.  Instead of fostering Godliness and meekness, it encourages greed and arrogance.  Thankfully, we do not serve a God who is ignorant of these things.  Just as God wills that no man should perish, I weep at the thought of those who are wallowing in the mire of this heresy.  It’s part of the reason why I do what I do.  I know there are some who will see, and maybe a few will listen.  And, while my heart weeps for those who are blinded by this, I know they are not without blame.  They are not as innocent of this as some would suppose.  God’s Word tells us plainly why multitudes are swept away by unsound doctrine, and all of the blame can’t go solely on the heads of the teachers who are spreading false doctrine.  God’s Word says:

2TIMOTHY 4:1-5

1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;
4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths
.
5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (emphasis mine)

The way God set up the order of the church was for bishops and elders (who are apt to teach) to be over the church, and to teach the flock, the older women were to teach the younger women, and so forth.  When the teachers are proclaiming false doctrine, the flock falls prey to them.  However, Scripture also teaches that the time will come (and indeed is here) when they will not endure sound doctrine.  They don’t want it.  For this reason, false teachers have the room to flourish.

May we ever be lovers of truth, by which we can not be led astray.

Psalms 119:30  I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.