Friday, April 22, 2011

Jesus Culture :: Tickets to a False Anointing

" A few months ago, a group called Jesus Culture visited the UK. I knew a few folks who were attending and promoting their return, but I hadn’t heard of it and so I did a little digging and found they were linked to Bill Johnson and Bethel Church. Now Bill Johnson and Bethel Church, based in Redding, CA, I do know and so I intended to put up a blog post, warning people what was at stake. Well, in what I can only describe as a fit of cowardice, I didn’t post the piece I had written.

However, I received a link to a three-part documentary about all this which at once made me extremely sorrowful I didn’t speak out at the time. The following is a three-part documentary by Andrew Strom, a self-professed Charismatic (which fact becomes evident in the latter part of the third video) who, like myself, has seen that groups like Bethel Church and its youth arm, Jesus Culture, are not promoting Biblical Christianity in any shape or form. In fact, what is being promoted is deeply disturbing. Like I just said, Strom himself is Charismatic and does make some claims at the end of the third video, which I couldn’t possibly endorse. That said, I applaud for having the courage to speak up about this and for providing clear and uncompromisable proof that something is amiss in his own movement. And now, here’s the video:

Sound Doctrine Teaching Series - Mars Hill Church

Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA), has an excellent teaching series in video, .pdf, and text on the classical doctrines of the Christian faith.

For those seeking discernment on truth/error in the counterfeit revival movement, I recommend the sessions on:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Testimony and Book Review: The Other Side of the River

"This book is a "must read" for anyone who has come to their senses within an apostate church and wondered what to do and how to do it.  The Bible is clear that we are to mark and avoid false teachers (Rom. 16:17) and separate ourselves from those involved in sin (1 Cor. 6:17) while continuing to pray for them. 

But the issue of rejecting heresy and false prophesy becomes a matter of personal fortitude and deep emotional hurts when it involves close friends who have been brainwashed by "The River".
My testimony is similar to Kevin's in certain ways, though the Lord saved me from deep involvement in the Third Wave. 
I lost a number of close personal friends when I found myself in the position of either obeying the Lord and His Word or coming to consensus with men.  But the Bible does not give Christians an "option".  We are to stand for the truth whenever and wherever it is demanded of us, whether in the world or in the churches.  We must stand for unity, but that means we are to put on the unity of the Spirit and strive for unity in the Faith (Eph. 4). 

When unity of the Faith (unity in the core doctrines as taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles) is not being upheld and taught, then the individual Christian is duty bound to reject that heresy and seek fellowship elsewhere.  The Bible is clear that those who obey the Lord prove they love Him, and conversely those who disobey Him prove they do not love Him (John 14:15, 23, 24). ...

Staying in a church that is teaching heresy, participating in false prophecy, and promoting false anointings (which are of another spirit) is putting yourself in a position where you are violating both of the above criteria for staying in the love of Christ. 

Remember that many will come saying "Lord, Lord" in the end but they will go to hell.  They are those who think they will be justified by their many works of doing miracles, prophesying, casting out demons, etc.  Today we have a whole generation of Christians who are enamored with works, and defend those they follow by constantly referring to them.  But the Lord says this:
Matt. 7:21-23  "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
What is the will of the Father?  That we obey Jesus Christ.  Jesus says we are to reject heretics by marking and avoiding them.  The commands of the Lord are simple, but the reality of obedience is not.  But we cannot be blessed by the Lord and gain eternal life without obedience.

Leaving the Signs and Wonders Movement : A Testimonial Book Review (The Other Side of the River)

The Other Side of the River
Authored by Kevin Reeves - Reviewed by Ralph Lavallee
" "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you." Jesus of Nazareth

This book is a troubling read. It is troubling because of the indictment it brings against the modern Body of Christ, Conservative Bible teachers today are increasingly lamenting the lack of basic Biblical discernment among those who profess to love the Word of God. Kevin Reeves, in this personal, and passionate narrative, has attempted to pull back the curtain, and share with the reader some of the mystical experiences commonly taught, practiced, and encouraged by many churches which at the same time profess to follow Christ and his Word.

When one begins to read The Other side of the River, it becomes apparent quite quickly that this is not just another "I came out from among their" book. All too often a disgruntled disciple of this movement or that, within "Christendom" breaks free and feels that it is his calling to write on his experiences. The result is little mote that axe grinding--light camouflaged as an expose of the movement. Used book stores have shelves of these "Christian" books.

One is immediately struck by the grace with which Reeves writes. Although we can sense the hurt, and frustration experienced by the author, he goes out of his way to avoid questioning the motives or intentions of those in teaching and leadership positions. The book winds it's way from the entrance of the Reeves family into the "River" of these teachings, follows his rise to leadership, his gradual and growing convictions as he approached a crossroad in his relationship with Christ, and climaxes with his decision to follow the Lord and His Word. The narrative draws the reader in, as one is walked through the consequences that Reeves is then faced with.

Modern Christian mysticism is generally considered to have been birthed (at least here in North America) through the Latter Rain movement of the mid l900’s, mainly through the efforts of men like William Branham and Franklin Hall. Reeves gives us valuable documentation as a backdrop to his story, and shows how little things have changed in spite of the passage of time. The book documents the many faces of modern mysticism, bravely dealing extensively with topics such as: whether or not Christians can be demon possessed; spiritual warfare; "holy laughter"; slaying and drunkenness in the Spirit; visions; healings; prophecies, and many other such practices undertaken and taught, not as Christ and His apostles did, but as modern mysticism would dictate.

This book is not for everyone. The novice brother or sister in our Lord will
no doubt he horrified and wonder what they are getting into. At very least they might question the sanity of the rest of us. And well they should. If only we would all question a little more, That is one of Reeves’ underlining themes as the narrative moves along. He maintains throughout that we have a sure foundation in Christ and His Word. David Wilkerson is quoted as saying, "Anything that cannot be found in Scripture is to be rejected outright--totally rejected." Reeves concludes, "David Wilkerson had said what I'd been feeling for a very long time."

The Other Side of the River
is written is such a way that it offers hope in the form of a ready defense to the confusing maze of modern mysticism. It points the reader to our sure foundation in Christ and his Word, and gives the reader a working model for clear biblical discernment by making the argument of the principle of precedent convincingly. Namely: If (fill in the blank) was not commonly taught and practiced by Christ and His Apostles, we are wise to avoid it today.

This book packs a wealth of information in its
228 pages, is thoroughly filled with references to the numerous quotes, and, surprise! has a very helpful index. I highly recommend this volume as a valuable reference resource for anyone wanting to get balanced documentation on this troubling movement." 

(Review appears here; can be purchased here)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bill Johnson, Apostle of the New Apostolic Reformation

"...Bill Johnson, another New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) "apostle" and pastor of Bethel church in Redding, California, says in his book When Heaven Invades Earth, "It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus."

This mystical statement sounds lofty, but what does it mean? Could the NAR's Kingdom-Now theology be synonymous with this "new" view below, taken from a book (coincidently titled Creating Heaven on Earth) by Asa Wulfe?
We have been used to thinking of ascension in terms of leaving the Earth to enter a higher plane of being or to reach "heaven." But many now feel...that ascension in our time is really about creating Heaven on Earth, right here and now....This process can be started by activating additional strands of DNA-the spiritual DNA.
Exactly how does one "activate" one's spiritual DNA? By an "inner awakening" experience of some kind-such as yoga, centering prayer, reiki, drum circles, trance dancing, eastern meditation, etc. Even professing Christians are being guided by dozens of "prophetic evangelists" who promise (and deliver) techniques for creating "third heaven visions" and "angelic encounters." Grievously, these spirits are too often untested.

In fact, the pursuit of a tangible manifestation of "God" on earth has become a pre-eminent focus for multitudes of spiritually "hungry" believers who have grown impatient waiting for "the blessed hope." Today, increasing numbers are forsaking our Savior's promise to "catch us up" to be with Him, and are instead determined to forge a "golden calf" religion that promises a false rapture of ecstatic encounters "here and now."..."' Read FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dutch Sheets (Jesus Culture Awakening Speaker) New Signs and Wonders to Replace Jesus

....Sheets is comparing this “Presence Movement” to the birth of Moses! He is essentially declaring that they are giving birth to a ruler, deliver and redeemer who will work signs and wonders! They are to hide this newly birthed baby from the world for 90 days which is to correspond to the 90 days of “hosting his presence”.    Then, when Sheets and company can no longer hide what they have birthed, they will set the newly birthed movement adrift to be discovered by the world in the hopes that those who accept “Moses” and love him will give him a place of prominence and influence in the world. 
If the hairs on the back of your neck are not standing up by now – they should be.
So these next 90 days at Freedom Church is for the brooding of the Holy Spirit, the birthing of “the baby Moses Movement” and the maturation of the “baby” until he can no longer be hidden from the world. But at the end of the three months, this movement will have to be exposed to the main stream of humanity who needs deliverance from Egypt’s bondage and old religious wineskins. Millions will soon be exposed to this movement on the earth. Mainstream religious and civil governments will see this new movement as the ARK of God is carried downstream to mainstream media and religious circles. (Sheets' site here:
Have you even heard Jesus mentioned so far? Moses was merely a type and shadow of Christ but he represented the Old covenant and the law. Moses delivered his people out of slavery even as Jesus delivers us from the slavery of sin. Since Jesus was the yes and amen why are we looking to yet another deliverer? This is blasphemy in the highest form. It is essentially making what Christ did on the cross null and void. It is laughable to me that they claim that this will release us out from bondage. And what is the bondage we are being released from; Biblical Christianity, of course! The law (which Moses represents) can neither save nor deliver us from anything let alone our “old religious wineskins”. This is ludicrous!  
....Look folks, the plans that the New Apostolic Reformation has to unite us into one religious system under another gospel and another Christ are well documented. It is the same Dominionist heresy and I need not expound on it here. However, what is extra chilling to me is that they are announcing the birth of “their” redeemer in this new “Presence Movement”. 
Do you not know that these people believe they are building a new foundation for the global church and want to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth? Although they loosely veil it, they consider themselves divine, gods, and equal to Christ!  They teach that we can attain perfection here on earth. How much more “in your face” does this need to be before the church wakes from her slumber? WAKE UP! WAKE UP! We are being destroyed from within by another Christ and another gospel. 
The coming “Presence Movement” is the great and final Trojan horse not an ark! Even as the New-Agers await the “Christ consciousness” which will indwell them and lead them to the next level in their evolution toward godhood, the New Apostolic Reformation adherents are looking to the “Baby Moses Movement” to lead them out of the bondage of religion and into world domination. Of course we know that they are serving the same warmed over dish of arsenic that the New Agers have tried to make us eat. They have just sprinkled a bit of cheese on top to make it look a little more harmless to the undiscerning.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jesus Culture Fire Tunnel February 2010 Part 3 of 8

"Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature....If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? ....So my brother, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:20, 23, 39

Fire Tunnel - Jesus Culture at Bethel Church

"Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature....If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? ....So my brother, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:20, 23, 39

The Jesus Culture Deception :: Chasing Signs and Wonders:

"Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature....If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? ....So my brother, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:20, 23, 39

Bill Johnson tweeted this today:
“If signs and wonders don’t follow you, follow them until they follow you.”
However, Jesus told the Pharisee’s who were seeking a sign from Jesus that the only sign they’d be given is His Resurrection the meaning of which, of course, they did not comprehend as their understanding was veiled (II Corinthians 3:14-18):
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” [Matt 12:38-40 NKJV]
But, Jesus is a bit more stern here in this particular account:
1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed. [Matthew 16:1-4 NKJV]
The Apostle John records yet another account:
48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”  [John 4:48 NKJV]
Seeking after a sign is a sign of unbelief and/or chasing other gods.   Coincidentally, Bill Johnson posted the following on facebook just after the quote above:
“Heaven is filled with perfect peace. This world is filled with unbelief and disorder. We will always reflect the nature of the world we are most aware of.”
I would have to say, ironically, it almost appears he is admitting his unbelief when putting the two quotes together.  I’m sure this is unintentional on his part; however, we know that God works in mysterious ways.
15 Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior,
      you work in mysterious ways. [Isaiah 45:15 NLT]
Back in the early OT days Moses had provided a warning about this sort of thing.
1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.” [Deut 13:1-5; emphasis added]
Ouch!  It”s a good thing we’re in the New Covenant!  In the Olivet discourse Jesus is describing the sign of the end times with a warning of coming deception:
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.  [Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV]
The Apostle Paul provides a similar warning plus an alarming reason why some will be deceived into thinking these signs are of God:
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, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  [II Thessalonians 2:9-12 NKJV; emphasis added]
Hold fast to the Truth lest you be deceived and thus have God send the strong delusion to you!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Bill Johnson at Jesus Culture Awakening | False Teacher - Another Christ, Another Gospel

"Does Bill Johnson's teaching remain faithful to orthodox Christianity?

The way to find out is to check what is taught about the Bible and what is taught about Jesus.  If the teaching regarding Jesus is contrary to the whole counsel of teaching about Him contained in the Bible then a person's teaching is not in accord with the Spirit of God and is not from God (1 John 4:1-6).

Sadly, this appears to be the case in the teaching of Bill Johnson, this is all the more surprising because it is so widely espoused.

In Summary

Philippians 2:7 teaches that Jesus restrained part of His divine nature at certain times during His ministry but used it at other times, but was at all times Divine.

We cannot deny that miracles can and do still occur, but are they something we should contend for, was Jesus a "miracle working pattern" that we should emulate, is this what it really means to grow in Christlikeness, don't miracles and healings occur according to the Holy Spirit's intentions and purposes? 

Surely, the greatest miracle is when someone repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus was born of the Spirit, He was and is and is to come.  John 1 is clear that Jesus was in the beginning with God, so to say, as Johnson does, that, "He had no supernatural capabilities in Himself" is to deny and remove something from His person (see Colossians 1:15-20 and John 1). 

He did choose to live with the same limitations as man, but He did not lose any part of His divinity in so doing.

Think about it, the supernatural miraculous power of God was evident when He swept back the sea as the Israelites fled Egypt (Exodus 14:21). 

How did Israel respond to this great miracle?

"When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord,
and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses "
(Exodus 14:31).

Contrast this with Johnson's response to a miracle performed by God in the person of Jesus Christ,

If he (Jesus) performed miracles as God, I am still impressed, but not compelled to follow.  His example would be admirable, but unattainable.

What does this reveal about what Bill Johnson believes about Jesus? When he says that he is not compelled to follow Jesus if He performed miracles as God  in other words, Jesus did not perform miracles as God - doesnt it necessarily follow that the only reason he follows Jesus is to be able to work miracles?  Dont truly repentant sinners follow Christ because He is the way, the truth and the life and because they know they have been saved from their sin and Gods wrath?

Ask yourself, is Bill Johnson's response similar to that of the Israelites or that of Pharaoh, who refused to humble himself before God, Exodus 10:3, and never truly repented Ex 10:17?

Hasn't the focus changed from God to man and what man can achieve, thus de-deifying Christ and deifying man?

What other miracles fail to impress Bill Johnson? Is he not impressed with the incarnation, Jesus walking on water and calming the storm, the resurrection, saving those dead in their sins, etc, etc? To say that God's miracles are admirable but not compelling is dumbfounding. Is this how we should view God? 

Bill Johnson's "doctrine of Christ" undermines the person and work of Christ and, as such, it is not a secondary issue. 

This is not an issue about whether or not miracles are for today or whether we think gifts of healing and miracles have ceased or continue; it is an argument which directly relates to who Jesus is. 

In order for the "supernatural to become the natural" you have to create a system which accommodates the power of God with the "so called" power of man. 

In the case of Bill Johnson's teaching this is achieved by combining the false view of Christ emptying Himself with an equally false view of the Holy Spirits work in the life of Jesus, which should be mimicked by all true believers.  ..."

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Experience in the Bethel-Prophetic Movement (Testimonial)

" For 2 ½ years I was involved in a healing room ministry under the International Association of Healing Rooms by Cal Pierce and before him, John G. Lake.  There are 1,000+ healing rooms throughout the world at my last notice.  Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding CA is on their board of directors.
I became involved with them knowing there was a power of God stronger than what I was seeing in my church and because I truly wanted to help other people. Much of what they did was new to me, but I wrote it off thinking they knew more than I did about the word of God and one day it would make better sense to me as I learned. For the last year I was known as their “intercessor” and the last six months their Associate Director.

After I took the leadership position I started to really think about some of their methods and teachings such as word of faith, which means our words having the power to create, that we could actually speak things into existence, teaching about generational curses, Christian curses, word curses, soul ties, authority, and a whole mess of other weird stuff.

Before I was involved with them I had started taking mail correspondence courses through Ken Hagin’s Rhema.  I had also been an online intercessor for Cindy Jacobs’ 40 days of prayer and fasting that took place several years ago.  I remember my parent’s involvement in the charismatic long ago even though it was slight and short lived, and how they often had Praise the Lord playing on the TV.  Whenever I went to their house I got a little bit of the lies and so little by little, and even though I was not walking with the Lord, it sunk in.

When I came back to the Lord after 30 years or so, I had that PTL and Jesus Movement stuff in my head, thinking it was all good and true. (I was originally saved when I was 9 years old. We attended a little Baptist Church, which my grand parents also did.)  When the Jesus Movement hit, we got it too and the entire church changed. Some time later the church fell apart and the youth became so angry that we just turned from God.)

Some time ago when I was still very new to the healing rooms I was given a word that I was a seer.  I had asked the Lord for this gift, because I was told you could do that.  No one knew about this and so when I received that prophecy I was astounded.  He said, “The Lord calls you a seer”.  Quite a bit of that prophecy was about writing down the dreams and visions and allowing others to help me understand them and how this is such a vital gift to the Body of Christ, and that I could be kicked out of churches and misunderstood, blah, blah. But, I believed this word and held it close to my heart as I felt I finally found my purpose in life!  (The seer/prophetic gift has been the hardest for me to come to terms with after having come out of all the falseness!)

After that word I learned about John Paul Jackson and was happy to pay him tons of money to teach me to interpret dreams and visions and learn about all the whacky supernatural stuff we were created to do.  Truly, I had a very hard time with his teachings, but again, I wanted to learn. I thought I was going to him to learn how to biblically interpret, but instead it was his own method, which is based on lies.  He also endorses, encourages and experiences many out of body and throne room trips to the “third” heaven.

I was involved in reading the Elijah List constantly and yes, I went to see Kim Clement a couple of times. The first time he prophesied about my brother and had the whole building praying for him. I was an extremely powerful night and convinced me Kim was a true prophet, how else could he know all that he did about someone he has never met?

Shortly after this time I was invited to join the prophetic team at the Vineyard church I started attending with my husband about a year before. I was involved in learning the prophetic and going on retreats, giving word after word after word.  On these trips you were eating, sleeping or giving words – nothing else!  For instance say 60 people would be attending and only 3 or 4 of us were on the team, from the math you can see the demand because every one was supposed to get a word!

So, last October during intercession with the healing room team I just seemed to have run into this very ugly thing, like I hit a wall.  I could no longer pray with them or for them and I no longer wanted to.  Earlier in the summer I began researching things on the internet. I had spoken out against Todd Bentley; I could see his folly but not my own!  I wanted to know what had been going on and where it had all come from.  Not just Bentley’s but the healing rooms and the whole prophetic – charismatic thing.  And, I wanted to know what God had to say about it all...."

Saved from Bethel Church | Jesus Culture Deception (Testimonial)

Cover Photo

  " God saved me, and brought me out of the Signs and Wonders Movement, after being involved in it for nearly twenty-two years; I am now twenty-three years of age and have been saved for about a year and a half. This is my testimony, and in writing this I pray that God would use this to save others out of the movement that I was so heavily involved in, and that above all else, Christ will be magnified and made much of!

    I was born and raised in the “Prophetic Movement” (which is now in the process of morphing into the “New Apostolic Reformation”), and I grew up completely oblivious to what Biblical Christianity is meant to look like. Some of the leaders who had an influence on how I perceived what the church is to look like, have included John and Carol Arnott of the “Toronto Blessing”, Rodney Howard Browne of the “Brownsville Revival”, and others such as Kim Clement, Benny Hinn, Chris Harvey, Todd Bentley, Bob Jones, Randy Clark, Patricia King, Georgian Banov, Bobby Conners, Mike Bickle, Lou Engle, and Bill Johnson.

   In the fall of 2002 I ended up moving to Redding, California to get “plugged-in” to Bethel Church, which Bill Johnson (a self-proclaimed “apostle”) oversees. It was here where I ended up jumping into and entertaining the supernatural phenomenon, signs and wonders, and mystical experiences (which were falsely attributed to God) in a much greater way then I did when I was a kid growing up. I soon got involved in the youth group, which was heavily influenced by Lou Engle who heads up “The Call” and Mike Bickle who heads up “IHOP” (International House Of Prayer). I later enrolled in Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry in 2006, and went through the whole three-year program. I was heavily engaged and supportive of many of the things, which were being taught and practiced. When Todd Bentley and his, “Lakeland Revival” began to take place, I jumped on board with that as well, and became a full supporter and advocate for it. I was gladfully defending it against all the, “Religious Pharisees” (or so I called them at the time). It was also at this time that I noticed the, “Toking the Ghost” movement and became a “Toker” myself, and a full supporter of John Crowder and Ben Dunn.

   However, when Todd Bentley’s affair was made public (August ’08), I ended up becoming grieved by what happened and by the poor response that was to follow. Shortly after the crash of the “Lakeland Revival” I received some severe rebukes for being involved with John Crowder’s and Ben Dunn’s “Toking Mania”, and so I withdrew myself from this aspect of the chaos. It was also at this time, while I was in my third year internship with Bethel, that I was starting to notice that things didn’t line up and I began to question the legitimacy of the Prophetic Movement.

   First off, before I share my testimony of how God saved me and brought me out of this movement, I want to explain why I believe that Bethel is a cult, and not just on the charismatic fringe. Labeling someone or a group a “cult” is not a thing to take lightly and so I hope to explain why I believe this to be true with the Word of God. The following statements are examples of the beliefs and practices of Bethel, their school of supernatural ministry, and other ministries who they consider to be their friends and partners in revival. I will not be able to share everything that I was involved with, but in sharing some things I hope to bring some awareness to the dangers that this movement possesses, and bring encouragement to those of you who are praying for friends and loved ones who are entangled in this deception...."


You Are in Danger - The Gospel Message (Mark Driscoll Video)

Jude: Contending Against False Teachers

Jude: Contending Against False Teachers

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
Jude 5-16

Last week, I began a series here based on a small group study I wrote a year ago examining the epistle of Jude, by first examining “our common salvation” of which he was so eager to write. It is critical for us to understand “the faith once for all delivered” for which we must contend—because knowing what is right is critical for us to distinguish what is wrong.

As Jude continues down this road, so do we, looking at what he (and the rest of Scripture) tell us about those who have “crept in unnoticed.”

Perverting the Grace of God
Jude verse 4 tells us that, “certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

This is a pretty serious charge, isn’t it? To say that some among us—leading, teaching, writing books, blogging, making videos—that some of these are not servants of Christ at all. They’re servants of Satan seeking to destroy God’s Church? Without question it is, but it’s one to which all believers must pay careful attention.

I would suggest that today the ability to be deceived by false teaching is greater than in any other generation. Podcasts, vodcasts, books, blogs… There’s so much out there, some good, some great and some that is extremely sketchy. And quite honestly, it can be difficult to discern who is on the level and who might not be. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean that we don’t try.

The Old and New Testaments are not silent on this issue. Virtually every book of the New Testament has a severe warning against false teachers. Matthew 7:15-20; Mark 13:22; 2 Cor. 11:1-15; Phil 3:2-3; Col. 2:18-19; 1 Tim 1:2-20, 4:1-3, 6:2-5; 2 Tim 3:1-9; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; 2 John 7-11; Rev 2: 14-16, 20… These are just a few of the New Testament examples of warnings against false teaching.
Perhaps one of the most severe is the Apostle Paul’s warning to the elders of the Ephesian church:
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
Acts 20:28-31 (emphasis mine)
In other words, Paul tells them, “Pay attention! Men are coming who will distort the truth and lead people astray—and you might be one of them!”
He even applies this warning to himself in Galatians 1:6-9,
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
The Old Testament warnings are equally severe. Significant portions of Jeremiah address false prophets and priests who lead the people of Israel astray (see Jeremiah 14:13-22, 23:9-40, 28:1-29:32) as does chapter 13 of the book of Ezekiel. These false prophets are called ”liars,” their messages “worthless divinations” and “vain hopes” that are the “deceit of their own minds.” And God makes it clear: “I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them.”

Designated for Condemnation
Beginning in verse 5, Jude begins to describe in unbelievably clear terms the authority of Christ and the judgement that awaits those who seek to lead God’s people astray. Perhaps most powerful in verse 5 is that Jude emphatically states it was Jesus who freed the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. “Jesus is God,” says Jude, who grew up with Jesus as his half-brother. “And Jesus will judge the living and the dead.”
Jesus destroyed those who did not believe in the desert (v. 5). Jesus brought judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah for their gross sexual immorality (v. 7). Jesus chains the devil and his angels in anticipation of the judgement to come (v. 6). It is Jesus who rules over hell and will judge (v. 6-7).
The Scriptures are clear: Judgement belongs to God alone—and Jude makes it equally clear that Jesus is the one who will judge.

This should give us pause for ”it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
Those who are warned about are blasphemers.

They rely on their own dreams, on a “private word from God” that they put on par with the authority of Scripture, despite the fact that it might contradict Scripture. They “defile the flesh,” falling into sexual immorality. They reject authority, refusing to obey godly counsel or even Scripture. They “blaspheme the glorious ones,” possibly a reference to flippant talk against fallen angels when even the archangel Michael wouldn’t rebuke Satan, instead saying “the Lord rebuke you!” (v. 9).
They are controlled by their base instincts and desires. They are rebels motivated by greed and self-aggrandizement. They exemplify depravity.
They have no fear of the Lord.
They are blasphemers.

And Jesus will “execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (v. 15). These things will not go unchecked. God will not allow His name to be maligned, nor His people to be destroyed.

Be Steadfast
The challenge is false teachers don’t usually make themselves obvious; it’s not some dude who looks like Dick Dastardly with a sinister moustache waiting in the wings to snatch you. These are “Christians” who reject the truth; they are pastors of the serpent. They say nice words and say nice things that make us feel good but deny Scripture, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly. They sow doubt under the guise of a conversation. Like the serpent in the garden speaking to Eve, they ask, “Did God really say…?”
Looking at the OT examples in particular, these are men and women who would speak as though God had given them revelation. Their intent always is always to turn us away from the God that is to the god of their imagining.
The point of knowing what to look for is not to go heretic-hunting. It’s to be discerning. To help us identify godly teachers and authors. To understand when God is being honored, and when He is being blasphemed. To encourage others to do the same. But it’s not to go on a smear campaign or to watch-blog or declare someone a heretic if they’ve misspoken. That happens far too often and is something that we must avoid.
In the end, judgement belongs to the Lord. He will render all judgement. So we must be cautious in how we approach countering false doctrine and teachers that we do not ourselves blaspheme God. We are called to contend for the faith, not abandoning it for what sounds pretty but is altogether unhelpful. We are called to persevere in the face of false teaching with a holy fear

An Insider's Warning of the Signs and Wonders Movement - (Video)

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