Bethel Church: The Popular Charismatic Cult? – John Boruff

The ATS Bible Dictionary says this about Bethel:

House of God, the name of a city west of Hai, on the confines of the tribes of Ephraim and Benjamin (Gen. 12:8; 28:10-22), and occupying the spot where Jacob slept and had his memorable dream, the name he then gave it superseding the old name Luz (Judges 1:23). Thirty years after, he again pitched his tent there (Gen. 35:1-15). It was captured by Joshua, and given to Benjamin (Josh. 12:9; 18:22). The Ephraimites, however, expelled the Canaanites (Judges 1:22-26). Here the ark of the covenant, and probably the tabernacle, long remained (Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 10:3). Samuel held his court here in turn (1 Sam. 7:16). After Solomon, it became a seat of gross idolatry; Jeroboam choosing it as the place for one of his golden calves, from the sacredness previously attached to it (1 Kings 12:29). THE PROPHETS WERE CHARGED WITH MESSAGES AGAINST BETHEL (1 Kings 13:1, 2; Jer. 48:13; Amos 3:14; 7:10).

If it weren’t for all the alarming exposé videos coming out on YouTube about Bethel Church, then I wouldn’t feel so compelled to take a stand against it, but now I feel like I have to. The first time I heard about Bill Johnson and his Bethel Church in Redding, California, was in college. A friend of mine from summer camp (I was a counselor) showed me a book from there: Kris Vallotton’s Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry. I skimmed it over and read a section where Kris had an open vision of a guy and it brought him to repentance. I was so moved by this, that I soon became very hungry for prophetic visions and dreams in my personal life. I also found that these experiences are not only to be expected by New Testament Christians, but that they are the primary way that the Holy Spirit communicates with prophets (Num. 12:6; Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:17, etc). So, I was thankful for that little bit of Vallotton influence. I never bought the book or studied it thoroughly; I just began to pray and seek and contemplate the face of God, and listen to God, and the Holy Spirit began to speak specifically to me from time to time, in a theological framework of sermons by Leonard Ravenhill, David Wilkerson, and A. W. Tozer via sermonindex.net: a framework which I later identified as Wesleyan-holiness theology: this was ten years ago, in 2006.

Bill Johnson (2013)My friend’s campus pastor had taken a personal leave of absence for several months; and traveled to Bethel Church to learn about miraculous gifts from their School of Supernatural Ministry; during this time, my friend rented out his house, and an assistant pastor took over the leadership while he was gone. I had seen this Bethel Church as a sort of charismatic renewal movement, and I could see nothing wrong…although my actual knowledge or personal interest in Bethel was very limited. This pastor was a Derek Prince fan; and I had recently read They Shall Expel Demons, so I was a fan too. So, I just thought of Bill Johnson like Derek Prince: just another helpful charismatic teacher on spiritual gifts, but more up to date for this generation. It was in 2006 that Bethel Church broke away from the Assemblies of God, which has a solid Biblical theology. But just like William Branham, when charismatic “prophet” types turn away from AG’s theology, they can get into weird views that contradict the Word of God. This has definitely happened with Bill Johnson and Bethel Church in the past 10 years. Some people have compared Johnson to John Wimber, as a charismatic leader; but I definitely disagree. JOHN WIMBER WAS WAY MORE GROUNDED IN SCRIPTURE THAN BILL JOHNSON! This is why he attracted conservative evangelical theologians from across the world to support the Vineyard (such as Wayne Grudem, Jack Deere, John White, and Don Williams, to name a few). The Association of Vineyard Churches, along with the Assemblies of God, passed muster and was accepted into the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). But at this point, there is no way that Bethel Church would be accepted: and Bethel is planting churches in different states; they are actually trying to create a new charismatic denomination. Their popularity seems to be in their praise and worship music and their Jesus Culture band more than it has to do with their teaching and supernatural stories. Compare the Vineyard statement of faith with what you can find on the website of Bethel Church; and you’ll see what I mean.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-23, NKJV: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS!’”

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: “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.

Bethel is not a church that bases its ministry on Bible teaching. It is all based on subjective spiritual experiences; and then they twist the Bible to support their experiences non-judgmentally. They don’t believe the devil can speak to them; they have little to no Biblical discernment. As the years progress, it seems THEY ARE NOT CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICALS ANYMORE; and are becoming a lot more like a liberal Christian ecumenical version of THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT. There are some people, such as discernment ministries and heresy hunters, which are hyper prone to call anything miraculous in charismatic churches “New Age,” but I’m not like that. I wouldn’t say that about IHOP, or the Brownsville Revival, or the Vineyard (Wimber era), or even MorningStar Ministries (although I think Rick Joyner is carnal and overly tolerant of sin). But in the case of Bethel Church, and especially after the publication of their weird book on quantum mysticism called The Physics of Heaven (2012), one has to only conclude that Bethel Church in particular is sliding into New Age ideas (and actually already has). It seems that ever since 2012, when this book came out, Bethel Church has gotten weirder and weirder and more false; and hundreds if not thousands of videos have come out on YouTube against it.

The biggest problem I have with Bethel Church is their theology (or lack thereof). What are the YouTubers out there saying about Bethel?

1. Beni Johnson does “Christian” yoga (Healthy and Free, p. 71; against Deut. 18:9-14).

2. Grave sucking (some say this is occult; it is weird; not so sure: cp. 2 Kgs. 13:21).

3. Jenn Johnson blasphemes and compares the Holy Spirit to the genie in Aladdin.

4. Some youth in Bethel use the f-word and nobody corrects them.

5. Bill depreciates the Bible and exalts experience of the Holy Spirit instead.

6. Bill says people should follow him “off the map” of the Bible (When Heaven, p. 76).

7. There is an anti-theological attitude and almost despising of sound doctrine.

8. Some youth have expressed universalist “love” ideas (cp. Rob Bell’s Love Wins).

9. Painful electrical power coursing through hands and body (cp. kundalini power).

10. Seductive female musicians dancing, sexy attire, breathy singing, during worship.

11. Non-judgmental tolerance of theological errors; hostile to Biblical truth speakers.

12. They don’t preach lordship salvation or repentance from sin (they scoff at it).

13. ‘Prophetic ministry is not to be focused on the sins of the world(Dreaming, p. 89).

14. Seth Dahl has a vision of ‘Jesus’ asking “please forgive Me” for another pastor’s sin.

15. Beni Johnson is co-pastor: exercising authority over men (against 1 Tim. 2:12).

16. Beni does “earthing” to get healing power from the ground (New Age).

17. Beni says “Wakey! Wakey!” to wake up sleeping giant angels (cp. 1 Chron. 21:16).

18. Beni does reflexology.

19. Beni says people are saved not by the Gospel, but by angels ringing bells.

20. Signing tithing contracts to remain a church member (against 2 Cor. 9:7).

21. Shepherding Movement / covering theology / authoritarianism (“culture of honor”).

22. No limit on number of prophecies in church services (1 Cor. 14:29).

23. Deification and self-glorification of charismatics (theosis / against Acts 14:14).

24. Arian view of Christ: sometimes expressed as kenosis, sometimes not.

25. Eric Johnson said, “You’re not born evil” (denial of original sin, Ps. 51:5).

26. False claims of healing.

27. Quantum Mysticism book (The Physics of Heaven).

28. Young people wallowing on the floor in a “drunken spirit” (looks like an orgy).

29. One young man said he can use animals to prophesy words from God (New Age).

30. Against open-air preaching of lordship salvation.

31. Annoyance to the community of Redding, CA (contradicts 1 Tim. 3:7).

32. Bill Johnson drives an Aston Martin (as of 2015): materialism (Jas. 5:5).

33. Gold dust and such are demonic signs for greedy preaching (cp. fairy dust / New Age).

34. Bill has a positive confession and Word of Faith view of healing and prosperity.

35. Bill has Latter Rain views and influences.

36. Bill wears glasses; and yet, he claims walking in “perfect health” is the true gospel.

37. Respect for Benny Hinn (false prophet; materialistic preacher).

38. Friends with Patricia King (sadly, she was the only “holiness” in the prophetic).

39. Friends with Todd Bentley (even after adultery; cussing, laughing; cheap grace).

40. Friends with John Crowder (blasphemous antinomian and universalist).

John Crowder is an outspoken blasphemer, antinomian, and universalist, as is evident on his Jesus Trip videos (see my video “Three Concerns About John Crowder”), and he is welcomed with open arms into Bethel Church as a teacher; there is a video of Brian “Head” Welch with John Crowder passing communion out to people; and then in the blasphemous Holy Ghost movie (2014), Welch says that God led him to join the cussing and sexually immoral band Korn again, after years before, he said to do that would be considered backsliding. In the Holy Ghost movie, Bill Johnson is revered as a leader in all of the charismatic ministries represented. Bethel Church is a kind of headquarters for this false charismatic movement. This movie is so blasphemous; over and over, the traditional evangelical lordship Gospel is disrespected, maligned, and ridiculed. Instead, a new universalist gospel of “love” emerges as what “God” is really trying to say through these New Agey, false, charismatic prophets. There is even a time when a “praise and worship leader” named Jake Hamilton goes into a Hindu temple (click link at 1:19:00); and sings a song to “god” and everyone is getting along. Afterwards, he says, “We’re not trying to sit here and convert thousands of people.”

UNIVERSALISM. ANTINOMIANISM. HERESY. NEW AGE. STAY AWAY.

I would recommend avoiding the ministries of all these people who support Bethel Church:

1. Bill Johnson – Glosses over many of the theological concerns I’ve raised in this video and article; Dr. Brown, who wishes to remain friends with him, did also, where Bill denounced about three things, leaving the rest unchecked; his two videos released after the wake of this is to point to unity through tolerance (diversity) and to avoid theological uniformity (agreement). But can two walk together except they be agreed? No, they can’t (Amos 3:3). Also he teaches that all those who engage in theological controversy have an “orphan spirit” and don’t really have a relationship with God the Father (I guess that would include John G. Lake, one of his heros!). I don’t know about some apologists, but I am totally okay, with say the Gospel of John, for example, which shows Jesus aggressively attacking the Pharisees on the offensive, and yet, finding refuge and strength in His relationship with God the Father. Bill’s approach to heresy issues is dismissive; he would rather ignore such things because he thinks they are just demonic distractions from things he would rather be doing. But folks, historically speaking, and Biblically speaking, this is not an apostolic way of handling pastoral, moral, and theological problems. It is so casual and passive, and politic. I think they just want your money. Maybe its a good thing he and Kris are so dismissive of these issues, because this article keeps getting lots of hits. In time, maybe the truth will get out there so much that it will start to negatively affect the bank account of Bethel Church; and then maybe he will consider addressing these issues. – 11/26/16

2. Beni Johnson

3. Kris Vallotton – Impenitent/dismissive/evasive (avoids problems that need to be Biblically solved)/accuses back at those who accuse them without coming back to the Bible (this is not a conservative evangelical mentality, its a mainline liberal mentality). Shortly after sending this article to Bill Johnson, Kris releases two YouTube videos that suggest “those who disagree with them” are not righteous and that “they need to be the leaders” or else “unrighteous” people (like me) will end up taking their place and end up leading; he also insinuates that those who judge them are “jealous” of their popularity and influence.kris-vallotton He responds with “just be filled with God’s love” as if that solved all 40 of the serious topics I brought up. Instead of addressing the issues publicly, he thinks that people like me who raise concerns about them are just unrighteous, jealous, and hateful (same with Danny Silk here). Kris goes further to say in his September 4, 2016 “God & Government” sermon that negative comments about his sermons come from demonized Christians: and everyone had a good laugh about that. Kris also says that he and Bethel Church people are meeting with government workers. He says there’s Daniels and Josephs and Esthers in Washington, DC. Perhaps, but “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees; and of the leaven of Herod” (Mark 8:15): government and politics are generally environments of MORAL COMPROMISE. The story of the prophet Micaiah is a good example of a true repentance prophet who was unpopular; and how all the lying, smooth talking prophets of Baal were the popular ones who had government influence (1 Kings 22). Notice: Daniel, Joseph, and Esther were all living as slaves (and all Old Testament examples), but it seems Kris wants Bethel leaders to rub shoulders with Herod (he says “more often on the liberal side” or with Democrats: see 28:00): he supports abortion rights, gay marriage rights, Muslim rights, United Nations, etc, etc. Hmm. Sounds like an antichrist spirit. Kris said he’s been doing this since 2011. BIBLICAL TRUTH, yet again, is being sacrificed on the altar of these prideful charismatic pastors who think they have a special hotline to God; and on the altar of non-judgmental submission, unquestioning obedience, and “honor of leaders” as the sheep are blindly led more and more into delusion, and the problems continue to go unresolved, and the stupid POPULARITY GAME continues! Who is righteous? They who try to follow God’s Word when they are confronted with it! I am so disgusted by this lack of critical thinking. Almost all charismatic pastors are like this. They hate Biblical truth (they will not endure sound doctrine, 2 Timothy 4:3); they almost always react this way. They don’t want to conform their lives or their teaching more and more to the Bible. They just authoritatively reassert the fact that they are church leaders; and turn the truth war into a my word versus your word issue rather than one of their word versus GOD’S WORD: and that is because in practice, they really don’t see the Bible as the supreme spiritual guide. Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton are. This is definitely the kind of anti-intellectual, abusive pastoral behavior I mention in my booklet Warnings Against Pastoral Abuse. RUN AWAY FROM ALL PASTORS WHO HANDLE THINGS LIKE THIS. Sweeping problems under the carpet, accusing those who point out problems, and leading people more and more into error! Don’t be deceived by their love poems, their love talk, and their love songs: they still need your money: and they will say whatever smooth things they can to keep you thinking that their miracles are from the Holy Spirit rather than from something else. The evangelical mentality says “the Bible is the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God,” but Bethel Church and charismatic pastors like them, who adopt Derek Prince and John Bevere’s covering ideas: always come back to THE AUTHORITATIVE WORD OF BILL, OR KRIS, ETC. Their word versus your word: its all relative. If you “disagree” with them, then well, you disagree with them, they say: it’s never taken as an issue of DISAGREEING WITH THE BIBLE. Its always like, “So, what do you believe? Oh, I believe that too,” and THE BIBLE is not at the root of the discussion or looked to as a means by which to check thoughts, teachings, and ideas. BAD! Isaiah 8:20: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” When judging whether Bethel Church is a church of true or false prophets, bear one thing in mind: BIBLE, BIBLE, BIBLE, BIBLE, BIBLE. My personal view is that they fit the Biblical bill for false prophets. – 9/10/16; 9/13/16

4. Kevin Dedmon

5. Andrew White

6. Brother Yun (sorry to see that)

7. Claudio Friedzon

8. David Hogan

9. Georgian Banov

10. Graham Cooke

11. Harold Eberle

12. HEIDI BAKER (definitely stay away)

13. James Maloney

14. Larry Randolph

15. Lou Engle (sorry to see that)

16. Mahesh Chavda

17. Mario Murillo

18. Randall Worley

19. Randy Clark

20. Ray Hughes

21. Sy Rogers

22. Tracy Evans

Why? Because I do not love you? God knows! 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. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 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 11:11-15).

UPDATE: 10/17/16 – “Dr. Brown Interviews Pastor Bill Johnson

UPDATE: 10/27/16 – “Dr. Brown Answers Questions About the New Apostolic Reformation, Pastor Bill Johnson, and More” – says Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton repudiate grave sucking; Dr. Brown admits it may have been a mistake for him to have come on Benny Hinn’s show; Dr. Brown sees Hudson Taylor as a modern apostle (as I would); the Bethel “gospel” is basically telling people how “awesome” they are (Dr. Brown repudiates); spiritual experience more important than Bible study (Dr. Brown expressed concern over Todd Bentley’s angel emphases); Bethel says God can’t make people sick (Dr. Brown repudiates, admits that God smites people with disease); Dr. Brown says the commissioning of Todd Bentley by the “Revival Alliance” in 2008 at the Lakeland Revival (Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, John Arnott, Che Ahn, Heidi Baker, Georgian Banov), was totally wrong, embarrassing, and divine punishment on the charismatic movement; Dr. Brown believes Mike Bickle and Lou Engle are true men of God; Dr. Brown says you should tolerate “nonessential” doctrinal mistakes; Dr. Brown claims to have personally seen the cloud of the Lord once while preaching; he is against people recklessly touting the title of Apostle.

UPDATE: 1/1/17 – Bill Johnson’s God Is Good is in stores; in it he speaks against universalism (yay!) (p. 104) – this makes me respect him more; hopefully more people in his movement will follow his lead on that point; because ultimately universalism is the dividing line between the charismatic movement and the New Age Movement.


YouTube Exposé Videos on Bethel Church:
References and Notes

I personally don’t agree with everything on these videos. For instance, I believe in Christian contemplative prayer (Christ-centered), but I reject centering prayer. I believe people can be slain in the Spirit during true Gospel preaching, and I believe all of the miraculous gifts are for today. I just side against the “lawless enthusiasts” of Bethel Church; and I am against them trying to hijack Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity with antinomianism and universalism, that’s all. I would recommend watching Tony Miano’s videos (“Why I Must Speak Out,” “Bethel Church and the NAR,” “On the Road,” “Bethel Church’s Statement of Faith: They Don’t Believe It”) and Andrew Strom (“BILL JOHNSON & THE NEW AGE”), and “Bethel Redding Exposed.”

1. Bill Johnson on Wretched Radio with Todd Friel – 3/26/09 (Man cusses on stage with Todd Bentley at Lakeland Revival and everyone laughs; Bill Johnson compares Todd Bentley to the woman caught in adultery; however, Todd wasn’t told “go and sin no more,” he’s still “married” to the adulteress: no regard for 1 Timothy and Titus).

2. New Apostolic Reformation Heresy – 2/15/12 (The NAR is the continuation of the Latter Rain movement started by William Branham, and continued through Paul Cain and Mike Bickle (IHOP): see DVD called The Life, Teachings, and Legacy of William Branham; in 1949 the Assemblies of God condemned the Latter Rain movement and again in 2000; I disagree that charismatic prophecy necessitates an open canon; I disagree with his rejection of contemplative prayer as only “Catholic” and not Biblical; the NAR thinks that doing special charismatic prayer is a better way to impact society than Gospel preaching and Bible teaching; dominionism is the NAR idea that they need to take over all world governments through NAR influence (like Rick Perry); refers to an audio exposé and article with Bob DeWaay called Bill Johnson, IHOP, and Ancient Heresy Reborn – renamed in the next point: “Bill Johnson’s and Mike Bickle’s False Teachings.”

3. Bill Johnson’s and Mike Bickle’s False Teachings – 12/28/12 (I disagree with some things in this video. I think that Bickle himself has kept himself safe from supporting heresies that have cropped up by some of his associates; anti-theological attitude; charismatic cult followings of Johnson or Bickle due to the downplaying of Biblical authority; I disagree with this video’s cessationist view of Christ, as if the Scripture never said, “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12); quotes Bill Johnson’s When Heaven Invades Earth, p. 76, where he says charismatics should be willing to go “off the map” of Bible knowledge in order to experience supernatural things; man acting like a turkey at the Toronto Blessing, at which Bill Johnson got his “power” from (“power animal” / New Age); Bickle and the “manifested sons of God,” sensual “bridal paradigm,” revelations for an elite end-times “Joel’s Army” (Latter Rain).

4. Exposing the False Teaching of Bill Johnson at Bethel Church – 8/13/13

5. Bethel Church and the False Gospel of Kris Vallotton – 10/23/13 (Miano thinks Bethel Church is a spiritist cult; Paul Washer and Tony Miano meeting together in Norway in 2013 to rebuke Bethel Church’s influence there; John Crowder’s meetings are blasphemous, orgy like, bong party like (see 2 Peter 2); Vallotton seems like a really nice guy, but don’t know if he’s born again; we have to judge the fruit and words of prophets (Matthew 7:15-19); Bill said Jesus once taught Scripture out of context to make a point; Vallotton teaches non-judgmentalism (hence prophecies won’t be judged either); reply to Vallotton’s “7 Signs of a Poor Gospel” on Facebook; Vallotton: “Do I believe in a prosperity gospel? You bet”; materialism is against salvation (Matthew 19:16-30); Bethel Church believes sickness serves no sanctifying purpose; Reformed cessationists would be more persuaded to become charismatics if they would just be provided with documentation of serious physical healings: see Dr. David Lewis’ Healing: Fiction, Fantasy or Fact? (1989), provides the oft-requested documentation: about 30% of the people prayed for by JOHN WIMBER experienced total physical healing of serious sicknesses at the November 1985 Harrogate Conference; see also similar medical documentation of before-and-after cases for KATHRYN KUHLMAN healings: I Believe In Miracles (1962), God Can Do It Again (1969), and Nothing Is Impossible with God (1974);  Bill believes in kenosis: that Jesus was not fully God while on earth; “honor theology” (shepherding / discipleship / covering theology / unquestioning submission to the pastor = “humility”); James 1:2: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds”; Luke 9:58: “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head'” (in contrast to Bethel Church’s health-and-wealth triumphalism); Vallotton’s “gospel” is man-glorifying rather than Christ-glorifying and is not cross-centered).

6. Escaping Bethel Church, Bill Johnson and Jesus Culture – 10/29/13 (Probably kundalini spiritual power that electrically shocks, burns, and hurts your body; sensual women in worship; non-judgmental tolerance; no lordship salvation).

7. The New Apostolic Reformation – 11/11/13 (Mike Bickle says most of what is said by charismatic prophets is false and nauseating and disgusting: this makes me respect him more. Yes, there have been Latter Rain influences, but I still respect Bickle the most out of all the charismatic leaders out there. I’ve never heard of antinomianism or universalism coming from IHOP like I’ve had with Bethel Church, but IHOP’s Onething 2016 conference features Bill Johnson and Todd White (both in the universalist Holy Ghost movie): so, there is a guilt-by-association thing going on here. I reject the “sufficiency of Scripture” cessationism expressed in this video).

8. Bethel Church’s Statement of Faith: They Don’t Believe It – 11/27/13 (I disagree with the cessationism of this video. $450 per year membership fee to be recognized as an “apostle” in the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL); reportedly, Todd Bentley was told by God, not to preach about Jesus, but to talk about angels and the supernatural; Nightline found no verifiable healings in Bentley’s Lakeland Revival; Bentley’s adultery, alcoholism, and remarriage to mistress, and endorsement by Bill Johnson and others to go into ministry in that state; grandiose prophecies made about Bentley, and the cover-up that followed; Bill Johnson wears glasses and yet, he claims walking in perfect “divine health” is the true gospel (positive confession view); Bill does not believe God is fully in control of the world, but that Christians have some control over events and circumstances through prayer; Bill depreciates the Bible and exalts the Holy Spirit instead (57:00ff); Miano believes Bill Johnson is a cunning deceiver: cunning means to “show skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit or evasion”; Bill said Jesus lived as a mere man emptied of all divine attributes while on earth (Arianism): denying the hypostatic union (fully God and fully man) (1:15:00ff); street praying, not street preaching (charismatics don’t really preach the Gospel much); charismatic experiences are used like heroin is for addicts, and for this reason, they don’t have much of a desire to preach the Gospel; Eric Johnson said, “You’re not born evil” (denial of original sin, Pelagianism, Ps. 51:5) (1:34:00): from his sermon: “The Joy of Consecration” at 14:45; Miano: “We have to care more about the souls of these people than whether or not they want to be our friends”).

9. Why I Must Speak Out Against the NAR and Bethel Church – 12/13/13 (I disagree with Miano labeling Mike Bickle a false prophet; states that John Piper associated with Jesus Culture once at an event; have a false Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4), false gospel, false Holy Spirit; Word of Faith prosperity gospel; Beni Johnson mocked Tony Miano’s call to repentance and faith (the lordship salvation gospel); they deny original sin (Eric Johnson); “honor the leaders” (authoritarianism / shepherding movement); John Crowder identified as a friend of Bethel Church).

10. Bethel Church and the NAR’s False Ideas of Glory – 12/21/13 (No limit on number of prophecies in church services (1 Cor. 14:29); I disagree with Miano’s cessationism; deification of charismatic Christians; Arian view of Jesus; friends with Todd Bentley; Patricia King in 2015 on Facebook said, “I deeply respect Bill Johnson…as a lead apostle”; how opposite to the Reformed view of “glory to God alone” (soli Deo gloria).

11. Jesus Culture: The Next Generation of Heretics – 5/31/14 (Exalting the presence of God over Bible study; I disagree with labeling John Wimber as a heretic, simply because Jesus Culture was influenced by Vineyard music (but they do say they are partnered with Bethel Church); Heather Clark (seductive musician); Bill Johnson blessed Todd Bentley at the false Lakeland Revival (and after); ecstatic prophecy by Jessa Bentley; they respect Benny Hinn; they respect Reinhard Bonnke (I’m undecided about; has weak statement of faith, but still strongly evangelical).

12. Women From Bethel – 7/1/14 (Yoga; universalism; scoffing at lordship salvation).

13. THE BETHEL DESTINY – 7/19/14 (Bill Johnson says, “Prophetic ministry is not to be focused on the sins of the world” (Dreaming with God, p. 89): contradicts 1 Corinthians 14:24-25: “If an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!'” (thankfully Gary Wilkerson’s David Wilkerson shows that his words of knowledge often operated this way); and also the words of Jesus in John 16:7-8, KJV: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Bill Johnson is operating in a false prophetic spirit because he blatantly contradicts this sin-exposing principle of the Holy Spirit’s ministry through New Testament prophets. Jesus’ way is to comfort people with the love of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 13) as their sins are exposed by visions and dreams and words of knowledge (1 Cor. 14:24-25). Jeremiah said that FALSE PROPHETS are the kind of guys that prophesy smooth things and absolutely refuse to share revelations about other people’s sins, and they refuse to preach against sin, because they want to please and flatter people in order to gain popular influence. Jeremiah 14:10, 13-14: “This is what the Lord says about this people: ‘They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them; He will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.’ But I said, ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in My name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.'” Jeremiah 23:11-12, 14-17: “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickednessI will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished…among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness…I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.’ This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.'” FALSE PROPHETS COMFORT SINNERS IN THEIR SINS, JUST LIKE BILL JOHNSON TEACHES IN HIS BOOK DREAMING WITH GOD, PAGE 89; Bill admits on Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural that he experienced a painful electrical power that coursed through his body (he thought it was a Holy Spirit baptism he received from Toronto Airport Vineyard, but it sounds more like a kundalini awakening); it is believed that the Assemblies of God’s 2000 position paper on “Endtime Revival” was a rebuke to Bethel Church and the New Apostolic Reformation (prophetic movement); Jesus Culture musicians have a high-minded attitude about their band being a “movement”; Bill rejects “He must increase, I must decrease” in Hosting the Presence (spirit of pride).

14. Lying Signs and Wonders – 10/26/14 (Neo-universalism connected with many charismatics and their miracles; Beni says salvation by angels ringing bells; Benny Hinn blatantly teaches that born again Christians are little gods: refers to John Lanagan’s The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson; money-centered preaching and gold dust, gold filling miracles, jewels, diamonds).

15. Bill Johnson Exposed – 2/25/15 (Word of Faith, name it and claim it, and positive confession).

16. On the Road: The Dangers of Bethel Redding – 5/26/15 (I disagree with Miano’s statement “I don’t have a problem with a guy being rich” driving a ridiculously expensive sports car; Johnson drives a $250k Aston Martin; no preaching of repentance and faith (no lordship salvation); false claims of healing; Beni Johnson is co-pastor, exercising authority over men; Beni “earthing”; Beni says she can wake up giant angels in the desert by saying “Wakey! Wakey!”; annoyance to their community; against open-air gospel preaching; one kid said he can use animals to prophesy words from God (sounds like “power animals” / New Age: this originated with John Arnott’s The Father’s Blessing, ch. 11: “The Prophetic: Animal Sounds and Insights” (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 1995): and it was because of this that John Wimber excommunicated the Toronto Airport church from the Vineyard).

17. BILL JOHNSON & THE NEW AGE – 9/14/15 (Grave sucking; young people wallowing on the floor in a “drunken spirit” (looks like an orgy); Beni likes reflexology; Physics of Heaven; mentions 2015 edition of Andrew Strom’s Kundalini Warning with updated material on Bill Johnson).

18. Bethel Blasphemy Alert – 9/22/15 (Seth Dahl, the Children’s Pastor, has a vision of Jesus holding him, and then says, “Please forgive Me,” on behalf of a pastor who said emotionally abusive things to him: totally demonic blasphemy…JESUS ISN’T TO BLAME…JESUS IS SINLESS! (1 John 3:5).

19. The Heretic Bill Johnson of Bethel Church – 12/24/15 (Says that Bill Johnson denies the deity of Christ; signing tithing contracts for church membership; “apostolic” authoritarianism; reference to R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec’s A New Apostolic Reformation? on apologeticsindex.org).

20. False Prophet Bill Johnson EXPOSED – 1/6/16 (Heidi Baker at 8:05 at Bethel Church laying hands on a young man and imparting a painful spiritual power into his body, probably a New Age spirit, kundalini possibly, Baker expresses universalist view in Holy Ghost).

21. While a Guest Speaker at Bethel Church, Dr. Mark Chirrona Says Christians Are the True “New Agers,” and That God Speaks Through the Constellations, Like in Astrology – 3/6/16 – I will admit, there seems to be Biblical basis for God speaking through constellations (Job 38:31; Matt. 2:1-2), but not through horoscopes. Its a totally inappropriate comment about identifying with the New Age. He should know better. 1 Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

22. Bethel Church Horror Story – 5/11/16 (Yoga and f-words).

23. Bethel Redding Exposed – 5/18/16 (Yoga; scoffing at lordship preaching; universalist).

24. Todd Bentley’s “Emma” Angel (Demon) – This is not from a video, but an article. It contains a quote which is found on many apologetics websites, and because the quote is exactly the same, it leads me to believe it is a true quote: but was later deleted, and publicly denied by Bentley at the Lakeland Revival (because he is a liar). (In this video Bob Jones refers to a 3 foot spirit he saw called “ERMA,” that represented the ascension of women into ministry (anti-Biblical; feminism; Jezebel spirit); at first he asked if it was an angel, but she said no “I AM NOT AN ANGEL–I AM A ‘BEING’ FROM AROUND THE THRONE”); The original article says that Bentley saw a vision of a young female angel named Emma who started the Kansas City prophetic movement (Mike Bickle and Bob Jones); the gold dust manifestations, and helped Bentley heal people at the Lakeland Revival. There is evidence that Bentley, like William Branham, was very angel-focused during his revival, rather than Christ-focused or even Holy Spirit focused. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 says that healings and miracles through prophets come from the Holy Spirit, not from their personal angels. While John 5:4 does mention angelic healing at the Pool of Bethesda, that is hardly the New Testament norm. The concept of angelic healing pervades the New Age, the occult, and all witchcraft cults. “Fairy dust” is also a real occult phenomenon that witches and psychics say can happen. Here’s the quote, originally from Todd Bentley’s 2003 article “Angelic Hosts” and its subtitle “EMMA, ANGEL OF THE PROPHETIC”:

“Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: ‘Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?’ He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, ‘Bob, who is Emma?’ He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out.

“Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, ‘Here’s Emma.’ I’m not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor…Emma appeared beautiful and young–about 22 years old–but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life. She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began distributing gold dust. The Lord answered: ‘She is releasing the gold, which is both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that I am bringing into this church. I want you to prophesy that Emma showed up in this service–the same angel that appeared in Kansas City–as a sign that I am endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church on people.’

“Within three weeks of that visitation, the church had given me the biggest offering I had ever received to that point in my ministry. Thousands of dollars! Thousands!…During this visitation the pastor’s wife (it was an AoG church) got totally whacked by the Holy Ghost–she began running around barking like a dog or squawking like a chicken as a powerful prophetic spirit came on her. Also, as this prophetic anointing came on her, she started getting phone numbers of complete strangers and calling them up on the telephone and prophesying over them…Then angels started showing up in the church.’” 

25. MANY, MANY, MORE

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About John Boruff

John Boruff is the founder of WesleyGospel.com, a husband, father, and sometimes an open air preacher. He graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2008 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and views himself as a Wesleyan Pentecostal. As a Christian, he feels connected with all members of the body of Christ, but can identify the most with churches like the Assemblies of God and the Vineyard. In 2015, he released "The Gospel of Jesus Christ," which is meant to be a Bible study for open air preaching. For his other writings, search articles on this site or see the E-Books section.
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