Arrgh! my church has aligned & partnered with Bethel Redding!

Here in the Uk in the last 4-5 years, the influence of Bethel Church Redding has steadily impacted the charismatic church .   My personal story is that  it was the leadership  who got very “enamoured” with all that was going on, starting just after the bubble of the Lakeland Outpouring burst..  People from my neck of the woods had been to Lakeland, & watched a lot  of it on TV.   They got “Hungry”  for what they felt God was doing…

Slowly through their persistent hype for Spiritual experiences  or what they would term “encounters” they introduced everything to the church that they could. Straight from Bethel…  we had dvd teaching by  Danny Silk on the culture of honour. Impartation & soaking sessions, spiritual drunkenness – wild manifestations of the spirit – reports of Glory clouds & Gold dust & Angelic visitations.  The introduction of healing rooms, exclusively sang only Bethel songs..  &  had a visit from BSSM students.   We went totally overboard on the prophetic & talked about the anointing a lot.  Did some treasure hunting, went through the Fire Tunnels, decided to set up our own supernatural school of ministry. & started talking just like them  about being whacked in the spirit & having breakthroughs

What we didn’t do was stop to weigh all these things against the full counsel of the scriptures… & we stopped talking about Jesus, the cross & resurrection – Sin & repentance. The focus became all about entering into God’s presence- the prophetic, Healings, miracles Signs & wonders….   Does any of this sound familiar?


73 thoughts on “Arrgh! my church has aligned & partnered with Bethel Redding!

  1. Zazzy, i want to comment on two things. In one post you said presence amd miracles don’t win people. Mark 16:20.

    The other thing I would like to point out, not to condem but as a brotherly observation is you seem to do the same thing alot of the anti-Christian crowd does. They judge our Christianity by it’s people and not by it’s God. They assume God is horrible because we do horrie things. God is unappealing to them because we make Him so in how we live and fail in representing a perfect and holy God. You are essentially doing the same when you site this person did this and this person did that, and thats why this you can’t accept some of their practices. Guess what. They are people. And they screw up. Good news though: Jesus died for them too! Look at the heart of God in them…not their mistakes and flaws.

    • absolutely Ryan, people are not perfect… but you know if I could have a pound coin for the amount of times various people have said “Im just a person – im not perfect” id be super rich…. so so often people trot that phrase out for justification of their short comings … its true none of us is perfect but whats happening is this is being used as justification for bad or erroneous behaviour… which they then refuse to look at or be held accountable for… you know the bible instructs us to root out error, address it. how can any of us do that if people are not willing to have the conversations…. thats all we’re doing on & through this site… how can iron possibly sharpen iron unless we engage properly with the discussion…

  2. 1CO 2:14 NIV The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

  3. Sermons of Danny and so one have all been about Jesus being the center of everything. Why do so many people get offended when the focus is on the Holy Spirit and what He wants to do. Jesus left Him here, said “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, b’ecause it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you. They are only allowing the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do. It is exciting to see what He does. I used to be in a church like Bethel and we were having soaking meetings and the like. There was a change in pastor after the previous one died. The church took a different direction and everything stopped. I miss it so much. Wish I could get a job close to Redding. The centre of all what the Holy Spirit is doing is Jesus and the Father. Can’t understand why people get so offended and just allow the Holy Spirit to be free. 😦

    • The problem comes about when the central message of the cross & our need for repentance & redemption from sin is no longer taught. The holy spirit is not to be worshipped. His role is to uplift Jesus & make him known. Can you see the problem?

      That the most amazing act of perfect sacrifice made by Jesus his sacrifice for our sin is consistently overlooked, but at the same time this movement gets all gooey about supposed gold teeth, suspect gems from ‘heaven’ & people shaking all over the place.

      What exactly is the spirit of God promoting in this environment?

      • There is one thing that I have no doubt about and that is that Jesus is the centre at what is happening at Bethel. But people minimize the Spirit. He plays a big part in the Godhead. He doesn’t make up the numbers in the trinity. He is part of God just the same as what Jesus is. The Muslims minimize Jesus as a prophet. There is only Allah. Allot of Christian churches minimize the role of the Holy Spirit. That is like putting God in a box. God created the earth through Jesus. Through Jesus we have access to the Father’s throne. The Holy Spirit amplifies Jesus. When He wants to be Himself we shut Him down because it conflicts with our ideas of church. Sounds like religion to me. Why the Pharisees rejected Jesus. Now we are rejecting the Holy Spirit. I have seen how some people abused what God was doing and loosing focus. When there is move of God some people will be drawn closer to Himself and Jesus and some will be pushed away from Him and some will be sidetracked by it and loose sight of the truth. Sad but true. I have seen it. Doesn’t mean it is not from God. We will not win over the Muslims with theology. The presence and miracles from God will win some of them over. We need the Holy Spirit. We need God’s presence. We need to go and heal people in the Name of Jesus. We need to go and raise the dead in the Name of Jesus. I don’t want religion. I want Jesus. Bethel is so in line with what my spirit yearns for. It has to bring you closer to Jesus. Otherwise it is counterfeit.

        Go and ask God what he wants to show through the gems. But I’m telling stuff like this is going to increase and we are not always going to understand. Saw a video of a church of Peru where huge gems also started to fall in the church. He took it too a jeweler just to get a value on it. The jeweler said the cut was so perfect that he couldn’t put a value on it. I have seen people in my church walking around like children getting excited and praising Jesus like little children about Gold dust on their hands or the carpet. Allot of these things we can only accept like children. Jesus also said we must be like children. Doesn’t mean we don’t believe in the cross anymore and lost respect for God. He is our father and will always be. We get excited about what He is doing. I pray Father let it increase. If you woke up and there was a gem of Father God under your pillow won’t you nê excited and feel special? My wife knows I love her but she likes to see signs of my love in the form of flowers or something once in a while. Don’t know why people complicate things like this. Leave the Holy Spirit to be Himself. Let Him be who He wants to be in the church and if that involves interrupting our well planned church services then so be it. We won’t be holding planned church services in heaven one day. We will just be there enjoying heaven and the presence of Jesus. Really…..

      • I can’t agree that the ” presence & miracles”. Win people… I know that this is the whole mind set that is presented. But it’s off track.. just because a random person may have his body healed does not mean that he will turn to Jesus. We have to understand that it’s about the heart & conviction on sin & subsequent repentance on our/ the guy on the streets part. Until that message us preached consistently by this movement we cannot be sure that people are Christians at all

      • The Holy Spirit is not to be worshipped!? What!? Is He not God!? God is 3 in 1 not 2.5 in one. By stating the Holy Spirit is not to be worshipped you are declaring Him as an inferior aspect of what it supposed to be a Triune God of three EQUALS. The Holy Spirit IS worthy of our praise and adoration just as Jesus amd the Father are. He is not a second class citizen.

        It amazes me when Christians CHOOSE to downplay the role of the Holy Spirit. This your God! Why do we let the fear of the mysteries of God rule in the core of our faith? Scripture tells us not to despise the prophetic, not to quench the Spirit…yet when a Christian denomination chooses to “elevate” (as if God needs elevation) the Holy Spirit to EQUAL status with Jesus and the Father we get all uptight and start claiming they are losing their focus. It’s about the Redemption and reconciliation in Jesus, to the love of the Father, through the power and immersion in the Holy Spirit.

        The other thing I don’t get is the gold dust, feather thing. Ya, that’s wierd. Guess what else is wierd. Tongues of fire! What the heck is that!? That wasn’t scriptural! I had a children’s Bible that had pictures of people with little flames in their foreheads! What could God possibly be doing with that!? I dunno. Explain it to me. What was the context? Were there other signs? Words of knowledge? Visions? I think we need to research a little more before passing judgement on sigs ad wonders we don’t understand when we werent there. We dont know the context. We dont know what God was doing in the hearts and minds of people. We dont know what season the church was in or if there was a theme God was working on at the time.

        Test these things and hold on to what is good. Test. It means you have to do it first. Guess what. Bif it turns out to be good, then you keep it. If it turns out to be bad (which none of this has been proven as such) then you toss it out and continue to seek the will of God and the heart of Jesus through the Holy Spirit’s intervention.

      • Ryan in John 16 Jesus talks about the coming of the Holy spirit… after he himself has gone to be with the father… in v 14 he clearly says that he (the Holy spirit) will glorify me (Jesus).. remember that the Holy spirit is indeed an equal member of the trinity by he is in complete relationship of authority & submission – he will never go outside of the bounds of scripture himself – this is a major way we can indeed discern whats not from God… remember that there is no other name under heaven greater than the name of Jesus – everything, everything, everything, in Heaven & on Earth points to a risen victorious saviour – thats the point… The holy spirit will always glorify Jesus.. the problem we get into is that we get worshipping the manifestations because they seem so “awesome”

    • I like the title of the article – I’m in the same position, but as a missionary, I don’t have so much contact with my church. But I can also agree with your comment, I used to be associated with people whose focus was allowing God to do what he wanted – I miss it so much. But is that what Bethel is?
      The bible talks about false prophets etc … to deceive even the elect.
      Why gold teeth, gold dust, gems, etc … How does that line up with the canonised biblical authority. It sounds more like stuff in writings like the gospel of Timothy, where boy Jesus took a clay bird and made it come alive – it was excluded from the canonised bible, because the church leaders considered that this wasn’t in line with the character of God. So if you have any understanding of the character of God – would the God of the bible randomly shower people with gold dust, and distribute gems … etc … My leaning is toward no.

  4. This is the second time Ive heard Danny Silk preach and both times I left confused and felt like his sermon made no sense. I also thought it was strange how 4 women on stage were giving prophetic messages to random people they chose in the audience. These messages were very generic and could’ve applied to almost anyone. It was kind of creepy. I kept getting this weird feeling inside me that something wasn’t right and last night after Danny’s message I couldn’t shake my concern. I decided to listen to that inner voice which I believe is the Holy Spirit cautioning me. Needless to say, I won’t be going back.

  5. Kinda concerned that my church is all about Bethel now that our Senior Pastor was killed about 2 years ago! They seem to focus only on signs and wonders, visitations and the like. My church has followed suit!!! I’m not sure about it all and to make it worse my Husband has fallen head first into this mess. I could never tell him how I feel! This is the only church he has ever known!!! Where can I find more information so that I can investigate on my own. Everything on line is either all negative or all positive no room for forming my own conclusion.

    • Francine nice to hear from you. The only conclusion you need come to is whether or not these things are biblical. Do they line up with the word…? I hope on this blog we have not been negative.. I’ve tried really hard to present things so certainly I don’t come over as having some big grudge against people + situations that have left me wounded.. nope it’s not that. But people do need to know my observations having been a part of this movement & watching it spiral into a new age occult accepting bunch of experiences..

      I would also ask when was the last time you heard any reference to the cross of Jesus, any mention of Jesus at all in fact in context of him being risen saviour & king of kings & not just someone to be like in copying signs & wonders. Is anyone sobbing under the realisation that they are a sinner & need to repent? These things are central to true Christianity. So if our centre point has shifted – well that’s indicator of going somewhere else.

      For me what did it finally was the realisation of hypocrisy. We had times when it was said we were in the holy presence of God everyone believed people gave testimony of small miracles. But, the senior pastor was aggressive, unaccountable & very domineering & controlling to the point where people were very much watching what they said to keep in favour. So once the lightbulb goes on you realise that these things cannot stand & operate in the true presence of God. People cannot be prophetic through pressure & fear to be so or else be seen as not spiritual enough. In overview this does not line up with kingdom of God ways which is so declared by these guys… Scratch the surface a little.. this blog is here to help but ultimately you must make your own decision on this. Be blessed. Z

  6. Last year I visited a Weekend billed as Revival Conference in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The pastor I know and respect …I honour him and had visited on occasions… however can not equate that a man of some years experience and like me grew up in the leadership of the charismatic house church movement of the early 70’s in the UK is novice. There was a visiting speaker…the music was drab and uninspiring, derge type montonous stuff from Bethel…not worship, not creating a channel through which we could reach into the heart of God..just singing uninspiring choruses that it appeared some of the congrgation did not know…my wife who accompanied me a worship leader herself, left in the first 45mins it was that bad. Having paid for the weekend I wanted to at least to hear what the visiting speaker from New Zealand had to bring. He was a stand up comedian…a performing theatrical clown..not an “able minister of the New Covenant”..a disgrace to the name of Christ…his “drunken anticts” and congrgational manipulation showed very clearly that this was not the Holy Spirit but some other spirit manifesting through his uncrucified flesh. There was no bread from heaven, no mention of the work and person of Christ….I wrote to my friend expressing my sadness at the blasphemous stuff he as a pastor was allowing to be put onto his flock…they are into Bethel like so many…dancing to the “pied pipers” tune…so sad…a whole generation of lambs being seduced away by this “other gospel” of so called “signs and wonders”

  7. Greetings in Jesus name. I learned of your blog about three hours ago. Thank you for taking the time to shed light on what has become a very confusing situation. The famine for the true word of God has resulted in the springing up of churches such as Bethel Redding and a host of others across the western world. It’s an indicator of just how late the hour is as the great falling away continues to take on attributes that would have seemed unthinkable in previous generations.

    I’m looking forward to making regular visits here. Thank you again.

  8. I once went on a trip to Israel with some folks from Bethel and some of John Crowder’s/Georgian Banov’s ministry several years ago. When I say it was incredibly uncomfortable being around some of these people, it is a complete understatement. We were in Bethlehem, and before we went out to preach and share the Gospel these people were speaking of “getting high” on the Holy Ghost. Some of them even mimicked “shooting up” and “snorting up” to get “high” on the Holy Ghost. Or “smoking” the Holy Ghost. I’m not even sure how one is supposed to respond to that. When I asked a few people what was going on as I was very uncomfortable with this, the response I got was “some of them are ex-addicts or users and that’s their way of feeling the Holy Spirit.” I’m not saying I have the greatest discernment, but it felt kind of strange. To see people mimicking drug use and saying they were feeling the Holy Spirit. As someone who has struggled with addiction I took great offense to this (perhaps I am missing or missed something though).

    Having been at Bethel for a few years, I can say that the emphasis is definitely on signs and wonders and prophesy. If you aren’t moving in these things then your relationship with God must not be as good as mine because people are getting “healed” when I pray for them. Everyone is super “charismatic” and “happy” ALL THE TIME. It almost feels fake in a sense. Bethel Church seems to think they are above repentance and the fundamental truths of Christianity.

    I’ve met some wonderful people at Bethel, but unfortunately, they have been few and far between. Most of the people I’ve met there seem to just want that quick fix, the quick healing, I don’t think they want or want to understand the process in some things. Just a “ZAP” and “YOU’RE HEALED.” It really does seem to be more about people’s “gifts” than about God which is truly sad. Also, questioning anything they teach or say will more likely get you a reaction, than a response. I think some leaders are afraid to admit they may not have all the answers, and that there is some insecurity under all the “Ra-Ra” attitude (which is totally ok to feel).

    I think that Bill Johnson is an incredibly wise-man. He is a great speaker and his sermons provoke a lot of thought. However, I think people there think he is the 2nd coming of Christ sometimes. The way they quote him and shake their heads in disbelief after a great thought/idea seems strange. I really don’t think it is his intention to get the praise, but sometimes it happens this way. I think sometimes the leaders just tell people interesting thoughts/ideas, etc. because it generates more people/revenue for the Church. Sometimes it’s ok to preach the “boring” stuff, it keeps you grounded. Bethel seems more New Age a lot of times, rarely preaching basic principles of the Kingdom. They have this notion/thought that all the elementary stuff is below them. I’m still not sure what to make of Bethel after all these years. God Bless you all.

    • hi Peter – good to hear from you… lets just clarify: the basic principle of the Kingdom of God is our risen saviour Jesus.. the Gospel… – truthfully is Bethel preaching the message of the cross? I concur that my bethelized church also had the attitude of all “that” was old fashioned Christianity… but since when – was the cross no longer relevant? in my opinion they have moved outside the remit of scriptural foundations… New Age is an accurate assessment…

    • Sadly, many of your statements you’ve made here are simply untrue. Everyone is welcome to an opinion, but it dishonours the Body of Christ when we malign His people.

      • Gideon, we are commanded by the scriptures to test & weigh things so my view is that this is a biblical process when we do this with dilligence…
        In this way the body of Christ is built up, made strong. See we have to have the word of God as our final authority otherwise we would be in the position where individuals could make things up in all sincerity & be cause of their status or power/influence they would be believed… Nothing they say would or could be questioned. That I’m afraid is exactly how deception works…

        I’m not sure how it is you can accurately assess that the statements here are untrue.. in all honesty I have been truthful about my experiences in a bethelized church under a leadership who rushed in never stopping to ask any questions about anything, much less have proper discussion with any of the church. Just an expectation we would follow on in a place of complete trust & submission… No questioning allowed. I lived under the heavy heavy weight of this dominance & control… It’s not freedom as they proclaim – it’s doing anything possible to keep on side & out of trouble. It’s fear based… & most important the Gospel of Christ crucified & our need for repentance is no longer ( if it ever was) the central message of this movement

  9. I was initially tempted to post a very sarcastic comment, but instead will attempt to reason with you. This website reminds me of the people in Jesus’ day that claimed that he was casting out demons by Beelzebub – Jesus responded that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Why on earth would Satan be out healing people of sickness, and teaching them that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Bethel leads people to Jesus. What brand of Christianity thinks that this is a demonic interest?

    • for sure Alec these are great questions & Im super glad you are asking & grateful you didn’t resort to sarcasm as that would have contributed nothing (positive) to the discussions..

      first up; you ask why Satan would be healing people out of their sickness (implication – if this movement is not of God) ?? remember that Satan is a great deceiver, he will go to any lengths to replicate signs & wonders & healings to lead people away from Jesus that is his whole deal!! ,which leads us to important questions about the validity & longevity & partial healings that are given as pure testimony time & time again throughout this movement. & secondly to this strong belief that signs & wonders- miracles & healings are somehow supernatural objectives to be achieved, facilitated & or evidenced as ultimate proof of faith at all costs- the end goal!! a supernatural “product” if you will….

      I have posted before about the testimony of Johanna Michaelson… she was apprentice to a “supernatural” psychic surgeon who claimed to be operating through the Holy Spirit under the authority of the name of Jesus but in fact was channelling the demonic, an imposter “jesus” please do google this lady as I think some of the original links I posted may have been taken down (from other sources)

      point being that people would come & receive healing for sure, & be deceived into thinking it was of God… it totally can happen…

      second: teaching them that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh… well there are many reviews a of BJ’s book “when heaven invades earth” where he states in at least 2 places his belief that Jesus came in the flesh & was as an ordinary Man & not God – & that he operated only as a man in obedience to God when he walked the earth & performed miracles… Bj’s express intention is to teach the church that any of us can do likewise…

      this is not the meaning of this text, scripture has been twisted because its full meaning is that Jesus – 2nd person of the God head – fully God & fully man came in the flesh… Bethel’s teaching interpretation tends to imply that the full nature of Jesus as God was laid aside for him to become fully flesh… this is NOT what the bible teaches – please review our Odd theology page for more on this –

      3rdly.. Bethel – leads people to Jesus – how so? are they – is this movement actively ensuring that everyone they are spiritually responsible for has heard, understood & is responding with a repentant heart to the Gospel of a crucified saviour? I’ve yet to hear that come from Redding …

      so in conclusion, which “Jesus” are they leading people towards.? & if not Jesus of nazereth, born fully God & fully flesh, who died in our place as a substitute for our sin.. then the only alternative we are left with is to conclude, that we are dealing with a high profile doctrine of demons..

      • Well what if it were demons – then we could be obtaining restoration by spirits that were against God. Salvation still belongs to Jesus right? My soul has been saved by his sacrifice which I have entered into by faith – and now confessing with my mouth that Jesus is Lord believing in my heart that God raised him from the dead – I am surely saved. But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit leads me into all truth – whom I received when baptised by the Holy Spirit – Jesus is the one who baptises with the spirit and with fire (remember what John the Baptist said). And he will surely keep my soul and is able to complete the good work which was started. Then getting physical restoration by a demon – can this separate me from the love of God – surely much like drinking alcohol for medicinal purposes the potentially dangerous substance has induced a good result. My implication is that demons healing people is demons missing a trick – God wants us to be healthy. What fundamental truth is Satan undermining? What does he gain by healing his enemies, God must be laughing – since the people at Bethel church are giving him the glory. Satan heals people and then they turn around and give Jesus the glory… surely not an advantageous situation…?

      • Alec, im going to cut to the chase here- so its really clear

        signs & wonders- miracles/healings are not the be all end all objective… they are pretty ineffective in providing conviction of sin & a humble heart of repentance in response..

        the fundamental truth that satan opposes is always always the cross, our crucified saviour, the gospel ( good news of) God made as a man & sent in our place to his death for our sin as a substitute.. whether covert or overt – the demonic will seek to squash this message…

        so, when we have a situation as we do in this movement where the Gospel is not being preached & people are believing they are “receiving” from God because of some supernatural event we have to ask some very serious questions…

        remember that the word says that signs & wonders FOLLOW the Gospel… but if there is no Gospel, just a show, a feel good factor – “a come & get some” mentality we have to conclude that the signs & wonders we see are lying signs & wonders…… many are being deceived here, please think about this very carefully

      • God’s kindness leads us towards repentance – that’s biblical and true in my experience. Those sick who came to Jesus were healed, some were grateful others not so much but Jesus loved them and blessed them and rewarded their faith. We should love sinners before they repent – and that sometimes means giving them money and sometimes when we don’t have money to give then like Peter in Acts 3:6 we say “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” This is loving and being loved inspires a loving response.
        I won’t say any more now – because its late, but I’ll just say a prayer that I hope you can say amen to: “Lord Jesus, thank you for saving me, please lead me into all truth and don’t let me be deceived. Thanks also for Zazzy, I pray that Zazzy is blessed to know you in increasing measure, and continues to faithfully serve you, and also knows the truth and is not deceived. Fill us with more of your Holy Spirit, Amen.”

    • There has been no confirmation of any real healings at Bethel. The gospel is not preached at Bethel, Bill Johnson himself has stated this many times, so I’m not sure why you think that Bethel “leads anyone to Jesus.” That is not Bill’s intent as he has stated. Bill has also said that Jesus came in the flesh as a pure man and was not the Christ until He was baptized in the Holy Spirit. The bible teaches us that God was born in the flesh and never stopped being “the Christ” at any point. So by his own teaching in a book, an interview, and via videos on the Bethel website, Bill is teaching heresy.

      By all means continue to ask questions, but I’d be pretty careful about assuming that it is those of us who are speaking out that are the deceived ones.

      • Well I can’t offer you a confirmation, but I haven’t got personal confirmation of many things… I guess I just go on whether I trust a person. The reason I trust Bill is his testimony is exactly what I would expect from a Christian from having read the Bible. Christians are told by Jesus that they would do greater works. And one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is healing. By his stripes we are healed – that is he’s won the victory over sin and all its consequences; our healing is paid for. So I expect Christians filled with God to act like Christ did and do the things he did.
        Jesus was the Son of God since conception, he was also the Christ – true point. But Christ means anointed one, and Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit – anointed. Bill Johnson’s point is Jesus didn’t need baptism, so why did he do it? As an example, to show us the way to live – he himself baptises us in the Holy Spirit, so we do the things he did. Kings and priests are anointed, Jesus is King of Kings and we are a royal priesthood who will reign with him. Bill Johnson doesn’t deny Jesus’ sonship he only magnifies the fact that he is the Christ and especially so once he is anointed publicly. You would agree that Jesus is alive right? But he was once dead – but that didn’t mean that he was any less destined to rise. We are the bride of Christ right? But the marriage hasn’t happened yet – he has to come back for his bride first. Simple time periods don’t change truths of identity.
        I will try an be more careful about assuming you are wrong, but I hope you consider the possibility that God loves to make the sick well – and that Bill Johnson isn’t a wolf but someone who has the gift of healing – a biblical gift of the Spirit.

      • Alec, context is a great helper when seeing to understand God and certainly the bible. The Isaiah 53 quote is speaking about salvation, not physical healing. To assume that it is is esigesis and not exegesis. Can God heal? most assuredly, does He heal all? No, He does not.

        As to Bill’s comments on Χριστός, οῦ, ὁ or Xristós (Christ) – these are Greek translations. In the Hebrew, it means Messiah. So unless you’re are willing to concede that Jesus was not always the Messiah and, as Bill says, we can be the Messiah too, since Jesus was an example of to us, you might have to start asking yourself if Bill interpreted this correctly.

        Why was Jesus baptized in water? To be obedient in all things and as John tells us, the Holy Spirit alighting on Jesus’ head was a testimony to John the Baptist of who the the Messiah (Xristós) would be.

        There is actually another researcher who shows quite clearly that Bill is teaching heresy and has even wandered further afield from the description you provided. If you have an interest in digging deeper, check out the crosswise blog – the author is very familiar with what “the anointing” means from a biblical perspective.

        Again, keep asking questions and do your own research – I applaud you for doing both. As for me, after doing these two things for almost two years, I can say with all confidence that Bill teaches heresy, has no gift of healing, and I also believe him 100% when he says he does not preach the gospel – I’ve checked, he does not 🙂

        You can also check out a Facebook group called “Bethel Church & Christianity” to learn about Bethel’s interesting in sucking “the anointing” off the graves of dead people, trying to “wake up angels,” and using tuning forks to sense God – none of it’s biblical of course, but if you’re going to support the man in public, it’s always a good idea to peek behind the curtains.

  10. You people are the the ones the bible is talking about when Jesus is going to say – ” I did not know you.. leave..” Saying love is just a way to confuse people and deceive them. What bible are you reading ? NON of these post are in the fruit of the spirit. You wan’t to be in the will of God stop criticizing other ministry’s and start loving people

    • Dear “stop” my heart is breaking for you… just the very use of the comment “you people” creates division automatically… Im not going to ping pong any argument here about who is right & who is not.. but I promise you as moderator of this site if there are comments which are not loving & anti fruit of the spirit – (galatians 5 & 6 explains all this) we take it very seriously & don’t allow such things on the blog… as it stands I see contributors who are sharing concerns about the things they see around them that simply do not line up with scripture.. the same scriptures that commend us to be as the bereans who seek out truth… commended by Paul in doing so…. is this not loving? it has to have a place if done right.. but here I see you are saying this blog is not done right… im making no apology for people’s comments borne out of their circumstances – some of us have been through a very painful & difficult situations – my self included where there have been threats, hypocrisy & spiritual abuse directed personally at us who in many cases just asked questions & wanted to have a proper grown up discusssions… because of this – this blog exists…

      • I was really impressed by her. I thought she seemed like fun and clearly is experiencing God. I’m not sure she understood the question which is a shame – she didn’t answer it well 🙂

      • Matthew, she had fun?? ‘she’s experiencing God’?
        Such a lack of fear and awe!
        Her whole attitude is an offence to God, the God of the Bible.
        She behaves like a drunkard fool!!
        Is that how a God’s child is suppose to be, with no control over herself whatsoever??
        And the fact the she won’t tell a dying sinner he/she needs to repent but will pray for healing instead, that dear Matthew says it all.
        People like her are tools in the hands of Satan and, if she doesn’t wake up soon, she might get a certain answer: depart from Me, for I NEVER knew YOU!
        This might apply to you too.
        So, if that is so, repent.
        I don’t have time for niceties for the time is near and Jesus is coming!

  11. Definition of:
    the act of making someone believe something that is not true : the act of deceiving someone
    an act or statement intended to make people believe something that is not true
    getting what is wanted in a clever and often deceptive way

    Recently I’ve come out of this movement and have been researching the subject of spiritual deception in the church for over a year now. It is a miracle that I came out of this crazy movement since I was so far deep that I became addicted to the euphoric worship, fire tunnels, etc…
    I traded in the truth for a “Feel Good” message that tickled my ears and flesh. Ironically enough I believe this is tied into the “holy laughter” movement but this is just an opinion.
    I am praying for believers to open their eyes and be willing to accept the truth. I have found that pride is rampant in these types of churches.
    I live in California where it’s hard to find a church that doesn’t buy into some form of this deception.
    Somehow I found this blog by accident and glad I did.

    • Hi Ann Im so glad you found us here… please do post your “story” of how you came out of this on our special “story of your Journey” page.. if you feel able to do so … it gives real strength & encouragement for people who are trapped to see others who have made their way out…. many blessings to you my friend …… Z

  12. Lot’s of good debate here. John Wimber was in many ways the catalyst for a ‘re-visit’ to moving in the Spirit and evangelism in the power of the Spirit in the mid 1980’s and was a major influence on Bill Johnson. However, Wimber’s theology was rooted in Isaiah 58, that when we do ‘social justice’ (natural hard work!) then we will see ‘our healing increase’ (God’s supernatural power). If a church, any church, becomes one sided – either totally with ‘hands and feet work’ (natural) but no allowance for the supernatural, or the opposite – focused on the supernatural but with now allowance for the natural (our own hard work, serving the poor etc.) then it fails to be all it can be. I think a lot of the discussion here is about balance, the balance of working in the Power of the Spirit and also working in the natural. They are intrinsically related. If a church won’t put food on the table for the poor (when they have resources), then God is not going to turn up supernaturally. I don’t know enough about Bethel CA to make specific comments but if people are meeting Jesus and their lives are being transformed then amen.

    • Hi Jazzy J thank you for your thoughts, I have some things to say in response: however im going to stand back & let some of our other contributors develop the discussion a bit

  13. If you truly know any of these people and their teachings, you would know that they simply preach personal relationship with Jesus and His Word!!! They teach all students to learn how to study scriptures and to never take their word for anything and to test everything against scripture. AND as noted above…they will be known by their fruit – and they are very well known by their fruit EVERYWHERE and their unconditional love of everyone….even peeps that disagree and slander them.

    • Candace, sweetheart I have to tell you that I & many others who contribute to this blog do know some of these people who have completely “aligned” with Bethel very very well indeed. Sadly – unconditional love for people who disagree with them is not the “fruit” demonstrated… there is testimony after testimony on this blog & through the links we provide that indicate the exact same spirit that this movement is operating under…& it doesn’t seem Holy at all

      you see all is well & rosy in the garden as long as one IS in agreement, however, the very second an individual has a question – which by nature implies some doubt about any aspect of what they see going on around them – their faith, their unity- everything – gets questioned though a reaction of defensive oppression… in my circumstances I was literally told “get on board – or be removed” & what was the trigger for that? simply asking (senior leaders) if it were possible that BJ’s teachings could be erring into deception…

      now, you could argue that it was my local circumstances, personality clash etc etc – nothing to do with Bethel itself… & that’s a fair point but the problem is that these same type of responses to “disagreement” & questioning & the reactions to that are being replayed over & over – & being reported by people who have no knowledge of each other & have no gain in making up stories for blogging purposes… their joint perspective has to be valid in indicating what’s really going on here…

  14. The humble demeanor of Bill Johnson is seductive I was taken in and moved to Redding to attend Bethel for 8 months I found even if someone humbly implies that personal experience trumps the inerrant word it is time to start testing the spirits. When Johnson and his freakish entourage state that if the holy spirit tells you something that is not written in “the book” is more relevant than the Word, stated humbly or not its time to scream and run.

    I saw more bizarre, pointlessly strange antics at this “holy ghost” circus than I ever saw when I monitored mental hospitals for compliance to state laws. It was disturbing to watch disturbed people act like they were losing their minds. And then I had jobs with a couple of Bethelites and got the lovely experience of working with flaky, arrogant, self promoting fools that had a reputation for laziness.

    In the end I really believe most believers are discomforted by the Holy Spirit with conviction that this isn’t God, that the convulsing, hyena laughter and arrogant strutting is all about man and very little about a Holy God that is to be reverenced. I heard the senior worship leader from Jesus culture describe the Holy Spirit as a genie in a bottle, who is blue and likes to play tricks on people because he is sneaky and funny. At that point I wondered “who are we worshiping then” and I realized they were worshiping a man made effigy of Jesus, a false representation.

    I could go on and on, what saddens me is that to avoid controversy few churches here that figured out they are dealing with a cult have the guts to say it out loud. Everyone is so afraid of getting a “religious spirit” (a new way to keep people from exercising discernment) If you don’t drink the Kool-Aid of their deception you have a “religious phariseeical spirit”‘ Ironically those walking in such deception with such arrogance are exhibiting that while accusing those calling for discernment — are merely asking people to test this.

    • I thought that what I was seeing was a local phenomenon, but it seems that it is all part of the package! By their fruits you shall know them!

      • Absolutely Brian, what we are seeing is local & national this whole thing is about ALIGNMENT & AGREEMENT those who dare to step out of that by requiring even a moments discernment & providing questions to think through are deemed to be somehow “anti unity” & thus supposedly not of God… such arrogance… when the Bible teaches the exact opposite – that we must TEST & WEIGH…

    • Dear Overcomer, I found your testimony really helpful. Someone in my family has got totally immersed in this evil deception here in the UK, and it’s so helpful to see that person’s attitude and behaviour mirrored in what you personally experienced in the mothership!

      • This isn’t the “mothership” – the gold dust tactic has been used for decades by these crooks. A woman named “Ruth Haflin” was running some revival where they tried this trick: A different church is said to have tested the gold dust and found it to be glitter – so either God’s a total cheap-skate – or the ministers are conning people.

    • overcomer, we are hearing this time & time again that people who ask in all humility for weighing & testing in the word are dismissed as having a “religious” spirit.. character assassinated, ostracized whilst those who suck up through the power of agreement out of fear – do indeed strut about in arrogance of being “right”… cultic is exactly the word to describe this inside out – black is the new white – phenomena.. or put in simple terms – DECEPTION

    • Wow. It’s interesting that you were able to be a first hand witness to the character of some of these people. Laziness would explain a lack of diligence to be a Berean and check the scriptures for the truth. I have to admit I got caught up this all the non-sense myself but the first warning signs I noticed was the lack of character in most of these people. Also the pride and inability to reason was enough to turn me off. The “Great Love and Acceptance” I found was more of a smoke screen for “we will accept all your sins if you accept ours” but this is part of the unspoken deception.

  15. And we know that signs and wonders and words can be done, yet Jesus is not the source (Matt 7:21-23). I started to realize this when I read some journals of Mormons who emigrated to the Western US. They spoke of “blessing” each other. I don’t know completely what that meant to them, but it at least meant giving each other “words”

    That was a big eye opener, and I remember thinking as I read those journals that it sounded strangely similar to conversations withing my charismatic church.

    • My father was a Reorganised LDS. They claimed tongues and healings. Also the ‘prophet’ in Independence Missouri claimed to lead the church by dreams & direct revelation. Strangely the Utah LDS made the same claims – but denounced the RLDS as apostates & vice versa

      • the mess of division & error always comes about when the scriptures are directly or indirectly not considered as the final authority… not that Latter day saints (Mormons) have anything to do with true Christianity in the first place, they don’t!

  16. Colin, I just wanted to (gently) comment on your comment. It’s really important that we don’t view the Spirit and Word as two things balancing each other out. The Spirit is God, and the Word is His word. You can’t go into the Word so much that you dry up. If you are drying up, then your are not really “in” His Word. You cannot be so much “in the Spirit” that you blow up…that isn’t God.

    One thing I’ve noticed about Bill Johnson and his teaching and writing is that he is very quick to diminish the Word of God – do you notice his “humble” admissions of not being a Biblical Scholar, or the silly comments about “not worshipping the Bible”? These are all suble attempts to lower the validity or surety or “knowability” of scripture in order to elevate his own thoughts and opinions.

    Now read again Genesis 3:1-3. Notice how Satan’s first goal is to cause Eve to question the Word of God. Then to make matters worse, Eve actually attempts to add to God’s Word (“neither shall you touch it”). This is the tactic used by Bill Johnson and many others, and belies their “humble” demeanor. If I may say, the oldest trick in the book.

    • “You can’t go into the Word so much that you dry up”

      Thanks Sandy, we do not want to set up a false dichotomy between the Word of God and the Spirit of God. They are not balancing in the sense that they have equal but opposite affect or out comes.

      @Zazzy God bless your endeavor to speak the truth. Both of my churches-left-behind are totally Bethel enamoured.

      • yes we need to have word & spirit together – anyone can read the word in a historical informational sense & that would be pretty flat I suppose but of course we know that those words are of God himself & act as a double edge sword. Jesus said that those who know him would follow his commands – well how are we going to be able to do that if we dont know what they are: its all written in the Word of course.. but on balance – having a form of Godliness but denying its power is all about looking like we are doing & saying the right things & yet not having the right heart relationship with God… & anyone could do that & fake it… it is our hearts he is after.

        now the big thing that we see going on here in the Uk is a lot of people are praying for people & ministering to people on the street. & the church & the report comes back that they have had a prophetic word, touch or anointing or even a healing from God… well great if that is true… but is that all? have their hearts moved towards him any…? its impossible to tell as there seems to be little to none follow up.. & for people in the church their inward focus is on getting to the next event where they can have that encounter again. I know this is true because I was like that myself . Worryingly it seems that some people feel that this is enough- – that the gospel is shared through this activity when it is not! & I’m doubtful that it even is the Holy Spirit giving these warm fuzzy feelings & touches in many cases.

  17. Sadly Beth, your perception was spot on… we so need a strong Gospel-centric – Jesus centred commitment to right standing before a Holy God once again …

    ..We have swapped God’s pure Truth in favour of (as saved by grace put it the other day) this hissing snake.

    we are indeed worn down by many years of hype & falseness – its heartbreaking & tiresome

    thank you for your prayers & support.

  18. I spent some time in the UK and was astonished at the extent of the “spiritualism” I found there. The believers seemed to me worn down by years and years of increasingly occultic movements, til they were adrift, like they could not fight the tide and could not remember what was the difference between a gospel of repentance and healing, soaking, prophetic hype.. We would ask in a locale, “What are your church options?” And the answers would shock is. It seemed that there were either some dead state churches or seemingly alive hyper-charismatic ones. Our hearts broke for the precious, true believers we met. I HOPE our perception of the situation was wrong and far too limited to be accurate. But I did not find evidence where we were of a strong gospel-centric church presence, keeping the faith, and preaching unpopular truth, as we still do have in the US. Hopefully, a bunch of Brits will jump on and say that I am just ignorant, and the traditions of Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, John Wesley and Marin Lloyd-Jones are going strong!!!

    • I have to tell you Beth….you got it right first time Sis. The Church here in Kent is one thing or the other and Bethel has infiltrated almost all those ‘other’ Charismatic fellowships unfortunately. Pray for us here please Beth, as we too pray for you guys across the pond, that God will raise up champions who like David Wilkerson will speak out and expose the unfruitful works of darkness coming out of Bethel Redding as well as elsewhere..e.g. Wales too at this time!
      Love in the real Jesus
      Dan Carlton. South of England.

      • Dan, I am grieved to be accurate at all in this. I will pray for strengthening, and for an emerging voice, as you referenced–powerful, convicting and sure. There needs to be a turning away from this latest Christianized form of occultism, so long the bold enemy of Christ there in England. How dare it take His name and pretend to be His way! My husband led many families here in the States out of the trauma and theological fallout from their years in the prophetic movement. It takes several years for people to heal and get their grounding in the Word, and that is only AFTER they fully decide to come out and dedicate themselves to repentance. The destruction to people’s souls, the effect the doctrines and practices really have, are hard to overstate. There needs to be such a hopeful path of exit for true believers caught in deception and confusion there in England. Blogs like these are so important for that reason. Bless you all!!!

  19. 2 Thessalonians 2 v 13

    But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

    the thing is to know the truth, we must have an “absolute” yardstick to go by – which is the word of God — once we go beyond,off the map the balance between becomes off centre.. we open ourselves up to deception & legalism either way. You are right Colin – & it is never a case of “either – or”

    We cannot know the Spirit of God without the word of God & we cannot get to grips with the revalation of the truths of scripture without the Holy Spirit..

  20. Such deception. Such a lack of Christian maturity and discernment. These people are foolishly seeking for an experience of “Crack Christianity”!

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