One of the things that this movement does is to take an OT concept or principle & redeem it or reclaim it as valid for today. When in reality it has already been ‘overruled’ as irrelevant. Because, the nature of Christ’s sacrifice has dealt with the problem ( which is sin ) once & for all.
In this way the cross is undermined & the Gospel of Christ Jesus not only misrepresented but denied.
This is a very very serious error… Please don’t be fooled..
Supporters of this movement will say & have said: Theology is not important”. Look & see just how far, if we add that thinking to our mindsets, people can be led astray from the centrality of a risen saviour.
God is supernatural and many unexplained supernatural events can occur. But we have become out of focus with “God can do anything”, and too much emphasis on the supernatural occurrences and an excess of angelic visitation, supernatural experiences and dreams and visions. Even the great prophets and disciples in the bible didn’t have THAT many. God never violates His own character or His word.
In the bible, every supernatural occurrence had a reason and an outcome. Current false teaching is just the opposite with those false teachers and prophets claiming trips to heaven and out of body experiences for no reason other than to just hang out and have a good time. They claim it is their “right” as a child of God. Really? I wasn’t aware we had rights to anything.
Ezekiel was not taken up in the spirit to “hang out”. He was called as a…
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
signs & wonders are in the bible right? so that, makes them biblical right? Jesus did them – the early church experienced them- the devil counterfeited them – yep yep all true..
however, todays “church” is off base with the signs & wonders culture & here’s why.
- S & W are a one time, in the moment event – even if we claim to be in a environment or culture where S&W are expected to be our normal experience… they only serve the purpose of that one moment…. Now, I believe our God can perform miracles & healings & I would never would want to deny someone their healing.. the problem is that the S&W culture which is created becomes addictive…. there is always a cry for more… & an expectation that God will “do the wow factor” – the mindset undergoes the change of being & taking responsibility for ones life – to a snap my fingers & God will do it for me approach..
- S&W are not a right – purchased through Christ’s atonement on the cross……. if they were so, it would automatically follow that all people after salvation would have such an experience
- Galatians 5 talks about the fruit of the spirit being “longsuffering” the S & W culture teaches the exact opposite in receiving “your breakthrough” & the implications of Kingdom now theology are that the perfection that is found in heaven is for us here on earth right now… ie : no “longsuffering”
- in the S & W culture, because of high expectation, everything is a sign… not much discernment is offered & if it is it isn’t honoured but dismissed… S& W are often exaggerated…. & embellished beyond the originators testimony. because in this environment EXPERIENCES trump everything else
- there is an undercurrent belief that the more S&W in the mix – the more God is present. & therefore it follows that the more S & W – the more spiritual or favoured a particular person or group is.
- the word of God says that S&W follow the Gospel- but if no Gospel is ever shared – how can we be sure that the S &W are genuinely of God
- even receiving a personal miracle (such as being raised from the dead) is no guarantee of a persons salvation. why because- we cannot “purchase” people into the kingdom of God this way – Jesus is the only one who has literally paid for our own salvation through his sacrifice on the cross.
- in this movement – moving in a S & W realm is all about exercising personal risk – & developing ones gifting.. the person receiving the miracle is pretty much secondary – in the equation… on the streets this is highly irresponsible because there is no care or concern for follow up for the individual unless they themselves initiate it
- risk is confused with exercising faith… & in actual fact developing a S & W culture undermines faith rather than promoting it…… I know that sounds strange. but if we are in an environment where we always need to experience “God” in a tangible & definable his presence is measured.. where then is the ability to stand through adversity & trials going to be tested out in our lives..? we need faith to know that God has that totally covered… but if that process is continually linked to our experiences- that’s not really faith…
remember the children of Israel – they had supernatural provision every day for 40 years in the wilderness.. manna, shoes that didn’t wear out, direction by a pillar of fire….. & in that 40 year moment the day came when it ended… they settled in the land & had to work for their provision- instead of God providing they had to grow up & take responsibility – they had to process that out instead of living of in the moment of the “event”
now am I saying im anti S & W nope! not at all… what i’m saying is let’s be wise, lets understand this better- S &W as part of a journey not the ultimate destination.
thinking about this for a while & correlating some of the private information – you guys are sharing with me through email – we are able now to build a greater picture of where the strongest “hubs” of bethelization are occurring. of course – this is impacting every charismatic church group nationwide – so no church is free of risk unless a) the leadership are standing firm in the word of God & b) the leadership are wise enough to see this movement for what it is – before allowing themselves to be sucked in. here are the hotspots: (England)
in these areas particularly, there are strong partnerships across local churches all promoting everything coming from Bethel, Revival Alliance & the 7 mountains mandate… its more than likely that if you are attending a charismatic church in one of these areas – that the leadership are “networking” across the hub to create “unity” – share ideas – host events &. run training courses such as local BSSM .. please do find out where you leadership is at – & if you find a hotspot that’s UK but not on the list please do let us know..
Hi guys – feel I had to post my thoughts tonight as its come to my attention that Georgian Banov will be in the UK at the end of the month (Oct 2014)
of course the event(s) are being publicised now so that many attend… please please do your research before going to any of his meetings… so far we know that:
- Georgian & his wife Winnie- minister together with John & Lilly crowder in their mystical schools & crowders church in Santa Cruz….. Crowder – remember believes in spiritual bi location – levitation – sucking from (lactating) from the breast of Jesus & smoking up the Holy spirit…. google banov & crowder they are on you tube – Georgian clearly states the position of alignment between himself, Crowder & Bethel…
- Georgian is a member of revival alliance – along with BJ & the Arnotts of “Toronto blessing” fame
- Georgian regularly imparts – the supernatural to Bssm students at Bethel
- Georgian preaches “quite well” he has the ability to take scripture – teach it & make whatever he says incredibly plausible…. there are many truths of the scriptures he communicates very effectively, however deception works by mixture- sounding good & right but having an undercurrent of false ness…
please do your own research – share here what you find.
I’ve had an email contributor ask about the term “OPEN HEAVEN” & what this term actually means. I think that’s where we need to start – time & again this we hear words & phrases used commonly movement but with very little if any explanation or teaching about what is actually meant. the term “Open Heaven” is one such phrase.. my experience of being in this movement, the river is that there is an unspoken understanding that “you know what is meant” because you are experiencing a renewal & are in the ” flow of the river” which as far as I can discern is to do with being in agreement & unity with everything going on around that is said to be prophetic or the presence of God.
ok, so as always I refer to the word of God, for specific references.. the first is from Ezekiel 1 which talks about heaven being opened so that Ezekiel can see visions of God.. the passage goes on to describe God as the four creatures. wheels within wheels. & ultimately a prophetic revelation of Jesus.
2nd reference is from John 1.. this whole chapter deals with who Jesus really is.. I urge you to review these 2 passages together in your own time. v 51 says “Jesus says to him (Nathaniel) I say to you hereafter you shall see Heaven Opened & the angels of God ascending & descending on the son of man” in other words Jesus is confirming here that he is the son of Man & he is God…
both of these scriptures are pointing towards revealing Jesus as both God & risen saviour. Jesus as king of kings is centralised in his rightful authority, from Heaven of heaven. yes it is ALL about him.
so the term “open heaven” as used in the river movement may mean something slightly different. We would expect it to mean a place where Jesus is revealed, – going by the context of these above scriptures… but does it?
here is a portion of a song by William Matthews. (Bethel Musician) we sang this in my Bethelized church
Deep Cries Out
I’ve got a river of living water, a fountain that never will run dry.
Its an Open Heaven you’re releasing and we will never be denied…
so in context of the above scriptures – this makes no sense…. because the purpose of heaven opening is to reveal Jesus – he has already been revealed & ongoingly so through our diligence in promoting the Gospel.. through our words & our lifestyle – through the witness of the Holy spirit in conviction of sin . Fair to assume then that this song teaches us & reinforces what this movement really believes an “open heaven” is…
Bethel teach that heaven can be present on earth, this is Kingdom Now – theology – & of course in Heaven there is no pain, sickness or death.. – the River movement teaches that we can have the presence of God right here & now in such abundance that there is nothing that is not allowed in heaven allowed on earth either… & that we are the ones responsible for bringing it in… through our fervent prayerful longing & obedience
the evidence for such an “open heaven” of course is the amount & magnitude of miracles signs & wonders, experienced… those inside of this movement will argue that Jesus is being revealed through signs & wonders & healings etc. because they feel that he is glorified & honoured this way.. however, is the emphasis here on knowing what Jesus has accomplished on the cross… are people responding to the Holy Spirit out of conviction of sin & repentance, are these things ever even mentioned?
the emphasis of the above song is having an open heaven experience where no one is denied their healing/miracle & this of course appeals to our flesh.. & its not what the bible teaches, blessed are those who are persecuted, & the poor will always be among us … furthermore, if total physical healing for all is for every person who accepts Christ, then he has power enough to restore them at the moment of conversion to him & we would see this without exception..
trials & difficulties come in our lives to help us grow in character, im not saying that God cant or doesn’t heal or work miracles I believe very much that he can.. but I also believe he works all things together for the good of those who love him.. we don’t often know his will but we submit to it even if it means the tough road… Bethelized teaching tho tends to point to “pray & believe all the bad stuff away – because God cant possibly want that for anyone” see that attitude serves our need for want very often, making our lives easier… in short it becomes all about ME my miracle, my experience, & my ministry….
& the whole slant of this teaching lives in denial of the biblical truth, that there will one day be a new heaven & a new earth…. well why so? if heaven & earth can be joined now.
this is something I have feeling/saying for a while… Mkayla puts it well…
2 Thessalonians 2:
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, and they might be saved.
11 And for this reason God will send the a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12 that they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
There is much being said today through various “Christian” groups and teachers about God’s love. I’ve heard it and have read it in various teachings, I’ve read it here as a defense mechanism against my blog as though the fact that God loves nullifies every thing else He has said to us. I am told that I have no love because I expose the deceiver…
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thank you John L for this very informative article… boy we need to pray like never before!
Below my introduction is an article further revealing the false teachings of Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California in a new book that he has contributed to, “The Physics of Heaven”. This influential cult, part of the larger “New Apostolic Reformation” movement, spreads poisonous false doctrine like a disease throughout the world.
Bill Johnson is a regular speaker at conferences and ‘churches’ in Australia, including Hillsong Sydney and C3 (Christian City Churches). There are many other Anglican, Baptist and independent churches who have also embraced the false teachings of the ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ movement in which Johnson is an ‘apostle’. I, like many other brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, have seen firsthand the devastation that these destructive heresies and deceiving spirits have on pastors and congregations.
The unbiblical and theosophical/new age foundations of Bill Johnson’s teachings have been previously addressed in the following…
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lets take some time to remember we have a risen saviour, death couldn’t hold him! hallelujah
Lord, thank You for the visitors who come each day. Many hostile to what has been shared here. I pray that You would move them to prayerfully and carefully examine the evidence here, against the truth of Your Word. I pray we all will do that in all things. Please touch their conscience regarding whether they are seeking You, or signs and wonders. I pray that they will also consider whether they have been told of You in truth. That they will read before defending this man, the things he says of you that are lies. In Your Son’s name, that precious name above all names, may all the glory be Yours.
A move of God? Or a lie?
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…
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thank you to the person who placed this question through their search engine… I think it is a very intelligent, specific question – much worthy of a proper answer.. so here goes..
the first thing to say is that “bethelization” if you will, is not limited by to those exposed to Bethel church in one form of influence or another. Remember that “Bethel” is just a “shop front ” for the exporting of the RIVER MOVEMENT which is found much further, wider & deeper than just the reach of the one church… Exploring what being “bethelized” means in reality, is the term we use on this blog to try & give some clarity as how these things affect people & churches.. & yep, I did make up the term “bethelized” those who have been in this movement, will recognise exactly what I mean by that without any need of reading what I’m writing here but for the rest of us: …..
a person under “bethelization” tends to:
- believe very highly in them self… they will most likely consider themselves as “royalty in the kingdom” & that they are no longer a “sinner” as these are specific teachings they will be sitting under… this promotes an attitude of arrogance & entitlement. which may not be in keeping with their previous personality traits.. there is a very definite personality change into this or more of this.
- become defensive: they have been taught that the power of agreement & alignment is spiritually powerful & that “unity” with the movement’s teachings & ideals cant be challenged… they embrace what they have been told – wholeheartedly. – internally. On challenging a Bethelized person, we find their response is one of being threatened, & they can become angry & intolerant, judgemental & unrepentant.. they feel they can’t challenge the teachings, & find it extremely difficult to really “hear” when someone (in disagreement with them) brings challenge They also tend to totally defend – the teachings, characters & behaviours of the big names… believing that the anointing that they are apparently under “trumps” sinful or plain bad behaviour… there is what seems to be a complete lacking of humility.. & a definition of “grace” that permits error…
- live an out & out prophetic lifestyle… this is what is taught – to be ready to speak prophetically, a word from God to anyone they may meet… with no point of reference, accountability or much care & concern beyond the “event” – personal prophecy may also be being used to direct the outworking of people’s lives in a minute way… bethelized people tend to both give & receive excessive personal prophecy (which must be always “encouraging” & positive in nature) which they then submit to.. in my experience I found they were more likely to live out life in accordance with “given prophecy” than they were seeking God’s word for truth…
- use experiences to trump & justify everything else…. the evidence of a healing or the physical manifestation of a spiritual outworking when someone is prayed for is all that’s needed to prove that particular “power encounter” is genuinely from God.. in otherwords experiences are evaluated subjectively, through peoples’ feelings rather than tested & weighed in the word of God
- be grounded in the teachings of the big names – there is a constant stream of quoting through social media in soundbite values – scripture – when & if used is often skewed & twisted to fit in with current teachings… oftentimes quoted verbatim without reference to the actual “word” whereby it sounds “right” but is often inaccurate & out of context- which produces an “off ness”
- have a physical response – whilst praying being prayed for & worshipping (& other times too) ( check out our info on kundalini) this is where people shake their parts of or their entire bodies as a spiritual response… there is a belief that the more one manifests – the more God has touched a person…
- have a sense of identity change – may now seriously think of or describe themselves as “world changers” or “revivalists”… or similar there is a sense of agenda in their lives – where no matter their vocation, they see themselves specifically placed to bring about the kingdom of God in their “sphere”… this is taught through the 7 mountains mandate teaching.
- have noticeable everyday language changes – words & phrases specific to the movement are increasingly used…
- live now for the movement- rather than Jesus (although they would deny this totally) – old ambitions may be done away with… all money, time, interest & relationships are focused on this “movement” & this is particularly difficult for family members to address..
- has confusion about the person of Jesus & what the Gospel actually is – they may not be totally clear on that.
- is taught & therefore believes that authority flows downwards, senior leadership operate under a banner of “always being right” there is little humility & submission demonstrated…
I’m guessing if you feel any of this this applies to you- you will have a hard time recognising it… if it prompts a response in you that is angry/dismissive I would urge you to get real & explore this more fully… for others, I know you will see these things in people around you… this then is your cue to pray! & as a community we will stand with you…
I love mark-downs because they’re cheap! My mom loved bargains too. She would wait until Christmas Eve day, catch the bus, ride downtown and buy all of our gifts in one day at the fabulous marked-down prices.
The Word of God is far from cheap — it is the most valuable book ever written. The Psalmist wrote “For you have magnified your word above all your name!” Ps 138:2
Today there are “movements,” particularly within the Charismatic/Pentecostal realm, which are “marking down” the Word of God. They are placing “man’s writings, experiences, prophecies, visions, angelic visitations and manifestations above God’s word. Many believe they are “God-Chasers” when in reality they are often “itching ear” chasers. There is grave danger in this pursuit. As to the pastors/teachers/leaders that are directing believers into these movements . . . there’s is a more severe judgement.
Paul underscored the value of God’s word in the New…
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when we talk of the Gospel – we definitely need to clarify what we mean by that…! ( also review our true Jesus-False Jesus page)
Gospel means the good news.. & in particular the good news of Jesus… so in a sense we can see how the confusion has run away with itself in the church.. now being genuinely healed & delivered is of course good news & if genuine healing has formed part of any of our experiences Im not here to undermine that at all – please hear me correctly BUT the better news, than healing is salvation & salvation from what?
well the separation between God the father & us because of our sin — this is the issue – the problem of sin that separates – so what to do about it?
mark 16 v 15-18 http:///www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mark+16%3A15-18&version=A
Believe In Jesus for salvation, but NOT because of what he CAN DO FOR US but what he has already done… his precious sacrifice at the cross dealt with the whole problem of separation through sin once & for all…
Once we see this – this way we understand that it is ALL about him & nothing to do with our wants & desires for more of an “experience” or a special touch… sure those things are nice but truly – what are they when they stroke our egos & overinflated senses of self entitlement but do nothing to truly reveal to our hearts as to why Jesus Came & the significance of his sacrifice for us?
the problem is, that when this is misrepresented to ” the man on the street” & he/she receives some sort of “power encounter” which makes them feel good.. with no other point of reference, people are literally bought & sold into an understanding of the experiential – Power trip… we cannot blame them – when they truly believe that this is what Christianity is.. this is after all, pretty much all they know.
now, the above passage talks about going & preaching the gospel – to everyone everywhere. well the word preach implies at least some sort of communicative discussion about what Jesus has come to do on the cross & then signs & wonders follow – this is the biblical order… its not signs & wonders first as an opener, sweetener, or hook for attention.. its the GOSPEL preached first…
the scripture makes a distinction here & so should we. – that lead us to the opposite conclusion that signs & wonders in activation ARE NOT the demonstration of the Gospel… when you think about it actually – signs & wonders on their own are in fact A DIFFERENT GOSPEL…
my friends I so want to show you clearly & up front how this is being twisted in the river movement, please, please review these things in the words of Jesus himself…. when Jesus spoke these words in Mark 16 he had of course not yet gone to the cross – but knew absolutely that he would.. notice he DOES not say – something like “promote me through providing healings” which would have made more sense to the disciples as at that point – their experience having been with him would have lead to that assumption straight off – no; notice he first says that “you must BELIEVE” & believe what exactly? that HE is the Christ – sent to bring reconciliation of man to God… in some senses harder for those disciples in the days before the event than for us today… but believe this we must – Do you? & if we believe these truths in our inmost being, we know that this is what we must share with others waaaaay ahead of physical needs & feel good factors. having a few supernatural experiences proves nothing except that the person either receiving it or administering it is engaging with a very powerful spiritual force..
believing by FAITH.. is ultimate conviction by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is who he says he is & that all honour , blessing & glory belongs to him..
where are you at?
Many in the River movement are promoting what they believe the Gospel to be: & in essence & for the sake of clarity I’m going to write about what that seems to be, as this forms the basis for the belief that the giving of random personal prophetic words to all & any, Treasure hunting & the absolute tenacity in which signs wonders & miracles are pushed & sought after… some sort of credibility.. This is the culture of the “supernatural” in which they live for & in & crave.. & this is the backdrop of the “Gospel in action”
belief 1) demonstrating signs & wonders on the street to a “non Christian” where they become touched or healed in some way – demonstrates the Gospel in action…
question then; what is the “Gospel” being demonstrated…? receiving a healing or an encounter is NOT the same as Receiving the Gospel of Christ crucified & making an appropriate response to it..
belief 2) people who receive a touch (of blessing) or encounter & maybe demonstrate some physical manifestation.. & then are receptive to other supernatural powerful wonders have now turned to follow Jesus – (because they have seen & experienced the benefit) this means they are a follower of Jesus & thus saved & or considered “a Christian”
– ohh so so wrong… these people have made a response to a powerful, maybe emotional encounter, they have not made a response out of a conviction of sin & that Jesus is their saviour from that sin through his accomplished work on the cross… — in fact they may have no Knowledge of these things — they are not truly saved in the sense that the Bible presents “salvation” to us… remember that muslims feel that Jesus is a good example & teacher – & to a degree – “follow” him out of respect – the difference we need to always remember, is the cross & a persons understanding of it & response to it…
belief 3) loving people in supernatural ways is enough to convince & convict them in to turning to Jesus.. & this is enough to qualify as “repentance in action” – as repentance means to “turn” towards Jesus
nope sorry guys- because following him in repentance is about the heart conviction & not about the physical body or experiences that cant be explained .
belief 4) this must be “of God” because people are being healed & we can justify this because we are making a reasonable evaluation that this “stuff works” besides – we are loving them right — so how can it be wrong…?
friends; this is a new age mindset… hook line & sinker… whatever works & whatever feels good must be right – right? but the bible teaches that false signs & wonders will occur & that we must examine & weigh & test things… the sheer overwhelmingness of speed that these practices occur & with persons unknowledgable about the scriptures – generally on the street… stopping to weigh & test is not practical even if people on the receiving end knew that they should or even how they should…
please lets be clear about what the Gospel actually is – as taught in the word – we have a page here on the blog ” true & false Jesus” that you can check it out.. please review how exactly these practices line up with what the bible actually teaches – rather than the implications of what is being worked out at street level…
I have more thoughts which I will add to later…