Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is Healing Guaranteed to Believers? A Response to Jesus Culture

Let's just keep it simple, if healing is in the atonement why does Mr.[Bill] Johnson [Bethel Church, Jesus Culture] wear glasses? 
Seriously, that really should settle the whole debate, no fancy exegesis required. Rather than paying the $200 every few years for a new pair of spectacles why not pay $25 and purchase his own teaching series,"Healing: Our Birthright" at the Bethel store and grab his healing? If God never causes sickness, then what are we to make of David's child, the tumors in Egypt and on the Ark harboring Philistines all being struck with sickness clearly by God? Not to mention the covenantal threats of disease upon the Israelites in Deuteronomy if they break the covenant?

None of that makes sense if we are to live by theology based upon quaint slogans. All slogan theology leaves us with is a God somewhat like a doting mother with a head full of curlers who showers us with kisses and cookies everytime we skin our knees playing kick the can in the alley when she told us to clean our room.

Fortunately, man does not live by quaint sayings but the word of God.

Lastly, the Johnsonite view of God's sovereignty is surely muddled, I haven't heard Mr. Johnson explain this doctrine but he is certain to have a good deal of problems in doing so. But, the doctrine of God's sovereignty is just another bloody victim that has been slain alongside Christ's Divine attributes at the idolatrous altar dedicated to miracles that Mr. Johnson has erected. If we approach theology like Mr. Johnson, and from the outset have predetermined that certain conclusions are off limits, as he said, "I refuse to create a theology where God allows sickness", then we shouldn't at all be surprised to find that we have to engage in all sorts of scriptural acrobatics, and outright cut and pasting.

But as I said previously, I have no personal axe to grind here, and I trust I have been charitable in my critique without comprimising the truth. I just haven't really seen a rebuttal of this theology done in a responsible way and am responding to the need.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

False Prophets are God's Judgment on People Who Follow Them

Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.(Jeremiah 23:9)
One of the evils of the last days is the fact that at a time when people desperately need a clear Word from the living God, false prophets abound, misleading them unto damnation. This broke Jeremiah’s heart and it breaks my heart as well.
I wrote a book about this phenomenon in 1998, called BEWARE THE NEW PROPHETS, in which I gave the scriptural tests to determine true and false prophets. The problem of false prophecy in the church is basically twofold, 1) The False prophets themselves, who prey on the flock, and 2) The faithlessness of the confessing people of God.
In other words, if there wasn’t already a Benny Hinn or a Joel Osteen, someone would have to invent one, because there is a ready-made constituency for their false ministries. The false prophets reveal the faithlessness and superficiality of the false congregations, and of the false shepherds. Jeremiah says the same,
A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?(Jeremiah 5:30-31)
The people love it, therefore it shall be ! They love the “supernatural” even if it is unscriptural, they love the idea of a “Great man of God” like Simon Magus. They love the idea of a humanistic God as presented by Joel Osteen, or Rob Bell. Such a non-judgmental God is a perfect idol for the times, suited for the psychologised, postmodern generation.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.(Jeremiah 23:16)


Jesus Culture || More False Teaching

Bill Johnson speaks softly, and in circles attempting to sound spiritually intelligent, which amounts to confusing speech that leaves the hearer thinking to themselves “What did he just say???” so they do one of two things, they think he is speaking so spiritually above their heads that they strife to follow after his teachings more diligently 
….OR….they sit down with the Word and see if what he is saying lines up with what God is saying…….
many do not do that EVEN THOUGH SCRIPTURE clearly tells us to!! So they end up being deceived and disobedient to the Word of God, participating in their own deception….
I can honestly say I’ve been there done that, embarrassing and shameful, thank God for His mercy and grace that saved a wretch like me and continues to pull me from the pits I fall into!!


Below is video from the Bethel Church of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California. Bethel is the home of hypercharismatic teacher, Bill Johnson, and the popular Jesus Culture band.

Jesus Culture holds conferences nationally and internationally, and recently featured Hillsongs United in Chicago and in Europe. Many young people, ungrounded in sound Biblical teaching, have attended these concerts, thinking they are innocently going to attend a worship concert. Yet Jesus Culture is only the door to the many demonic teachings, and  practices of the occult,

The dangerous, deceptive spirits of these teachings are leading many young people into false doctrine and clearly demonic influence. The Bible warns of massive endtimes deception, and exhorts us to warn the brethren of these spirits and teachings. 
"the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons….In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following." ~ 1 Timothy 4:1, 6 
Yet, despite many Biblical warnings and public rebuke from the faithful--including the organized leadership of the Assemblies of God, former members, respected Christian teacherscharismatic leaders, --Bethel, Jesus Culture, Bill Johnson, T.D. Jakes and related teachers and churches (Vineyard, International House of Prayer, among others) and ministries continue to practice and spread these teachings, drawing more young people into their demonic cultic practices.

Praise the Lord that many have been saved and delivered. 

Brethren, we urge and warn you: run from these wolves. Christ said that they only seek to ravage you. If He is your Lord, will you not heed him? 
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. ~ 1 John 4:1
Grace and Peace,
Followers of Christ 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bethel Occultic Healing Practices || Jesus Culture

On the JesusCulture.Com website, David writes in his post, Mobile healing rooms,

I drove with some friends to Spokane, WA to visit the Healing Rooms and go to John G. Lake's grave. I had checked on the Healing Rooms website and found that they were closed that day, but we wanted to go anyway. After getting directions to the grave from one of the office staff we got back in my car and just sat in the parking lot for a few minutes asking God for an impartation. Finally I asked my friend if he was ready to go and so I had to decide which way to go to the cemetery. As I tried to decide whether to turn, going back the way we came, or to go straight, I noticed a woman straight ahead in an electric wheelchair. I thought that I should just turn so that nobody else in the car would see her and I would be off the hook, but after I looked again I realized that I couldn't just let her go, she needed an encounter with God!
So I drove off in her direction and then she was about to cross the street, so I turned so that I could try to meet her up the road somewhere. However, she stopped right across the street and I was stuck driving away without a place to turn around. I thought to myself sarcastically, "this is great, I am can't even track down this lady in a wheelchair." I finally found a place to turn around and am now starting to question myself."
For background on this post, see the following article, "John G. Lake and the Healing Rooms-False Teachings and Unbiblical Practices Exposed" 

John G. Lake had this to say to his followers, back in the day.  These statements by John G. Lake are found in John G. Lake, His Life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, 1995, Kenneth Copeland Publications:

 ”The power of God, the Holy Ghost, is the Spirit of Dominion.  It makes one a god.” (Page 13)

“I want you to hear what Jesus said about himself.  God was in Christ, wasn’t He?  An incarnation.  God is in you, an incarnation, if you were born again.  You are incarnate"  (Ibid. page 196)

“"For God's purpose through Jesus Christ is to deify the nature of men and thus forever make them like unto, ... Thus he becomes the Son of god, a Savior and redeemer forever" (Ibid. page 304)

To note, many ministires are also warning about the cult doctrine of Prosperity Healing, Word Faith Teachings, Latter Rain Teachings, Dominion Theology, etc., that are being sold through the Healing Room International Ministries Online Bookstores, i.e., - Patricia King, John and Carol Arnott, Todd Bentley, James Goll, Georgian Banov, Stacey Campbell, Joshua Mills, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Kim Clement, Mike Bickle, and many, many more.
Touted as being Christian, one wonders how so many in the Healing Room Ministries International can reject sound Biblical theology and run headlong after subjective, experience based methodology and cultic teachings.  Unfortunately, many do not discern what is actually taking place, nor the extent of spiritual deception that John G. Lake and his followers were steeped in.  As the articles listed on this page reveal, Scripture clearly refutes the teachings and practices that fuel the Healing Room Ministries International, and other like-minded ministries.

The Counterfeit Revival || Jesus Culture

Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of major proportions — a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation. Leaders of this Counterfeit Revival, such as Rodney Howard-Browne and John Arnott, have peppered their preaching and practice with fabrications, fantasies, and frauds, seemingly unaware of the profound consequences. Many of the followers who at first flooded into Counterfeit Revival "power centers" have become disillusioned and have now slipped through the cracks into the kingdom of the cults.
John the Apostle warned, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). This warning is particularly relevant today, as Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of major proportions — a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation. This paradigm shift is what I call the Counterfeit Revival. 

Prophets of the Counterfeit Revival claim that a bloody civil war is going to polarize the entire Christian community. On one side will be those who embrace new revelations. On the other will be those who obstinately cling to reason. One "prophet" went so far as to say, "God is going to renovate the entire understanding of what Christianity is in the nations of the Earth....In twenty years there will be a totally different understanding of Christianity as we know it."1

Some of the most recognizable names in the Christian community are endorsing this paradigm shift with little or no reservation. The appeal is so staggering that churches on every continent are now inviting their people to "experience" God in a brand new way. It is now estimated that seven thousand churches in England2 alone have embraced the Counterfeit Revival. And with each passing day the numbers are escalating dramatically.
Sardonic laughter, spasmodic jerks, signs and wonders, super apostles and prophets, and being "slain in the spirit" are pointed to as empirical evidence of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. The form and function of the church are being so radically rearranged that even the secular world has taken note.

Time magazine, in an article titled "Laughing for the Lord," pointed out that Anglican parishes across England today bear a greater resemblance to "rock concerts" and "rugby matches" than to Christian worship. The article says that sanctuaries throughout the world are littered with bodies as "supplicants sob, shake, roar like lions and strangest of all, laugh uncontrollably."3 Newsweek, in an article titled "The Giggles Are for God," reported that people in churches worldwide were jerking spasmodically, dancing ecstatically, and acting like animals. The article reported that this behavior by Christians has already spread from Canada to "roughly 7,000 congregations in Hong Kong, Norway, South Africa, and Australia, plus scores of churches in the United States."4

Newspapers from the Orlando Sentinel to the Dallas Morning News have written stories on what is termed the "fastest-growing trend within Christianity." According to The New York Times, this trend promotes an "experiential" Christianity that "promises an emotional encounter with God" manifested by "shaking, screaming, fainting and falling into trances."5


Many are Being Deceived || Jesus Culture, Bethel Church, Word-Faith

In Matthew 7:22, Jesus says that MANY will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord, Was it not in Your name that we prophesy, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many wonderful works? Then I will say to them, I never knew you. Depart from Me, workers of iniquity." 

Jesus singles out their marks as to who these MANY people are:

1)  they will/or have prophesied (taught the Bible; preached sermons) in His name
2)  drove out many demons in His name
3)  have done many wonderful works in His name

Also, something similar in Matthew 24:5:  "For MANY shall be coming in My name, saying, I am the Christ and shall be deceiving MANY."

So again, who are the "MANY" today who preach sermons about Jesus; teach about Him in the Bible; rule over His people, all done of course, through and in His name?  Who are the ones who are sending away devils in His name?  Who are the ones who do MANY wonderful works in the name of Jesus Christ?  According to Jesus, just who are these MANY deceivers, as well as the MANY deceived?

Is it the Muslims?  Maybe the Jews?  How about the Chinese or Russians?  What about the Atheists?  

Do any of these people evangelize, preach, teach, drive out devils, and do many wonderful works in the name of Jesus Christ?

If not, then who are the MANY who do?  How about today’s local institutional church that we find on every street corner!  How about the millions and millions of professing Christians in the world today who belong to these churches and who teach and preach in His name, put forth devils and demons in His name, and doMANY wonderful works in His name!

These are the “MANY” that Jesus is warning us about.  But, is anyone listening?  

These are the people to watch out for; to be on guard against.  These are the people who are guilty of being“workers of iniquity.”

It’s the same issue when Jesus said in Matthew 24, “For MANY shall be coming in My name, saying, I am the Christ and shall be deceiving MANY."
MANY Christians today teach and preach that Jesus is in fact, the Christ.  They even proudly proclaim to be His mouthpiece and representative!  It is not only those who preach sermons and teach the Bible, who drive out devils, who do MANY wonderful works in His name who are deceiving and being deceived but also the MANY who teach in His Name, claiming to be authorized by Him, that Jesus is actually the Christ, the Son of God!  

Now, dear reader, the Truth is at stake here, and perhaps for some of you, your life is at stake too.  What Jesus is saying here is either the Truth or He is full of hot air!  If you think it is the latter and you refuse to hear and receive His words, you might as well leave this site and find another that is more to your liking.  I can't be of any help to you.

Has Truth become so enfeebled that it fears honest and open examination?  Sadly, this is exactly the case.  If the millions upon millions of professing Christians attending their church services week after week are totally ambivalent to what’s going on, or worse; refuse to search for the Truth themselves, isn’t that an open exhibition to the truth of Jesus’ words?  How readily people are being deceived, swallowing poisonous false teachings and practices without question. 

Yet, many Christians convince themselves that this nicely ordered religious routine equals "spirituality" and now, this makes them feel righteous before God.  In this state, they are easily pacified, distracted from biblical reality, controlled by their leaders and easily manipulated by deceptive teachings

Today, those calling themselves “Christians” hardly know true men of God from deceivers coming in the Name of Jesus Christ.  This is because many of them do not have the Spirit of God to discern.  They are lost and without a shepherd.  They remain mere followers of men and will always be so, unless the Lord Himself intervenes on their behalf.  If you were to read “The Christian Church: Distorted and Deformed" and/or “Obey Them,” you would find far more than enough sure evidence that this is precisely the case.

But yet, the burning question must be asked again:  Is anyone listening?  


Isn’t it absolutely amazing how many times we have heard or read these words of Jesus and rarely no one ever looks in the mirror at themselves, but always applies these verses of the “MANY” to other people outside of their particular group.  So many times they will hear, “….MANY shall say unto Me in that day…AND DECEIVE THE MANY….,” and yet they do not hear, see, or really believe what is said.  Perhaps there might have been a time where someone actually got serious and started to ask some questions, but when they were rebuked, or ridiculed for asking questions that caused division, they learned not to question anymore.  They learned to go along with the crowd. 

Brethren, this is NOT how it should be.  Each Christian has a command from God to "Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  2 Timothy 2:15.  How many Christians who say that “the New Testament is a sufficient guide for our faith and practice”have ever really studied it

The problem with many Christians in our day is that they read their Bible, not expecting to be taught of God from it, but will get their teaching from their pastors, preachers, and commentaries, and then go to the Bible only expecting to find proof for what they have already been taught!  Can't we see how dangerous this is?

Every Christian needs to ask themselves if they know for sure why they believe what they profess to believe, and to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." 1 Peter 3:15

The fact that so many in our day carelessly and mindlessly accept a teaching or practice just because it comes from “my church” or “my pastor” is very troubling in light of the apostle Paul's words: 

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.  
Acts 20:29-31

The Spirit says clearly that some people will abandon the faith in later times; giving heed to deceiving spirits and teachings of devils.  1 Timothy 4:1


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jesus Culture One-Night: A Call for Discernment

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 

But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. ...

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve
~ 1 Corinthians 11: 3-5; 13-15

Can there be counterfeit gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation in the Church today? Gifts of healing and prophesy and even counterfeit tongues? (False tongues, a counterfeit of real tongues). 

In Acts 16:16 we see a counterfeit gift of prophesy – a spirit of divination (fortune-telling). This is the same practice promoted at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, and at the Jesus Culture "Power Evangelism" workshops at their conferences.

Amazingly, according to participants, this workshop does not teach participants how to preach the gospel, but focuses on fortune-telling and mind-reading, rather than the gospel, which is "the power of God unto salvation."(Rom. 1:16)  Men are not saved through the demonstration of occultic powers. They are saved through faith. Paul asks in Romans 10:14:  

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?  

Many of the elect now worship a different jesus, not our Jesus. They drive out demons and perform many miracles and healings in the name of this different jesus. Our Lord warned directly about this in Matthew 7.

According to Bill Johnson, who claims to be an "apostle" from Jesus Culture's Bethel Church, this jesus they believe in was a mere man, "smeared" by the Holy Spirit who performed miracles not as God, but "as a man in right relationship to God." After after taking on our sins, he needed to be born again. Is this your Jesus? 

This is the jesus they refer to when preaching 'in Jesus name' or 'Jesus is Lord' or when performing the most beautiful worship songs - it is their jesus, a different jesus – not our Jesus!

How does this false spirit, this “fire” or “outpouring” spread? By the laying on of hands! “Fire Tunnels” “Catching the Fire” “catching the glory” “ the anointing”......

A recurring theme that we see here is that a certain Pastor went somewhere to catch this “fire” or someone brought this “fire” to their Church. Is this "fire" true or false - of God or of another spirit?

As born-again spirit-filled Christians, we don't have to go anywhere to catch anything, because we have the Spirit of the living God in us already!  

This Scripture-based study is intended to equip believers to discern through God's Word whether the jesus of Jesus Culture is "another Christ"                  

(Read full article here)
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