Donny's Ramblings

Bethel Is A Really Weird Church

330 Comments

I originally wrote this as a comment to this article I found about Bethel Church in Redding, California.

Ah, a post on the crazy church in Redding known as Bethel… and a detailed one at that.

First of all, let me paint a little background picture for the record:

I produced porn for 9 years. For the first 3 years of that time I was married and hid it from my now ex-wife, who was devastated when she found out. She found healing at Bethel Church in Redding. She’d tell me things that happened at that church and I’d get angry because it sounded so stupid and ridiculous.

I made fun of her all the time when she’d tell me some of the things the “School of Ministry” students did (she became a 1st year school of ministry student herself). Crazy things happened, supposedly. Like feathers falling from the sky during service…. like the time when the quadriplegic she cared for had her tooth healed (“Donny, I brushed her teeth for her this morning before taking her to church… that gold tooth wasn’t there, I swear to you!”). Like all sorts of other “healings”.

People come from all over the world to attend that church.

Last year I wanted to turn my life over to God and leave porn production. I reached out to Bethel. 4 times. They wouldn’t talk to me. I don’t know why. They wouldn’t return calls. Wendy (my ex) had her sister go directly to leadership and implore them to call me. They didn’t.

I eventually surrendered my life to God on my own. And I decided to check out Bethel.

It’s weird. That’s for sure.

But I felt God there. Very strongly. I decided to follow along on a “treasure hunt” like the one of which you spoke. I was flabbergasted at what happened. I rode along with one of the church’s pastors, in his car, as we drove around Redding. He saw a group of people standing in front of Carl’s Jr and walked up to them. I followed. The people must have thought we were really odd when he said he had “a word” for one woman in the group. He told her that God knew she hadn’t been sleeping well the last few nights and that was all going to stop as of “right now”. He told her other personal things about herself. The whole group started laughing because he was RIGHT ON about everything, including her not sleeping well the last few days.

It was really weird to witness that. I didn’t want to accept it then, and I still don’t now. But I can’t deny it happened.

One night I had a very painful ear ache. In the middle of service it was called out that someone had pain in their ear and God wanted to heal them. I took the chance and stood up. Less than 10 seconds after they started praying, my ear popped and stopped hurting.

It was really weird. But it happened.

I don’t go to that church very often anymore. This past Sunday was the first time in a few months. It weirds me out. I find some of the people odd, and one of their counselors pulled some crap I don’t appreciate at all.

They go way off into la la land on some of their teachings. They talk about things I’ve never heard in church before.

I like facts and am not as into “supernatural” stuff. It doesn’t resolve for me. But after Bethel I sometimes wonder if there’s a whole lot more “supernatural” to God than most of us realize. I wonder if he really does work in more “mysterious ways” than any of us will ever know, or allow ourselves to accept…

—-
PHOTOS FROM BETHEL CHURCH, THIS PAST SUNDAY:
(taken with my iPhone – click any photo to enlarge it)

Flags In Church
Flags in Church? Why not? They used to bother me. Now I really like them. If we can get wild and crazy at sporting events, why not while celebrating our creator? (sent from my iPhone)

Kris Vallotton Praying After Service
Kris Vallotton praying for a man who has cancer.

Kris on Stage and Onscreen
Kris Vallotton preaching onstage.

A “Mystery Worshipper” reviews Bethel – click here.

330 thoughts on “Bethel Is A Really Weird Church

  1. Yeah, I had the same experience with Vineyard Christian Church in Valparaiso, IN. VERY odd, very similar issues (including the flag-waving), but I couldn’t say that God was not there, not after just visiting. It just wasn’t for me. And eventually, God showed me to a church that was in line with my thinking AND my personality…AND God is there too!
    I look at something like this like I do race relations. It’s undeniable that people of similar races tend to congregate together. That doesn’t mean it’s racist…I’d actually consider it the opposite of racist. It just means that in a sphere for a particular ethnicity, one is more likely to find similar experiences and similar mindsets.
    In the same way, I think churches find congregations because people of a similar mindset end up finding each other. It doesn’t mean that it’s intentionally segregated…I think it’s the opposite. You see all these different churches with all the different ways of worship…and God is among all of us!!! I’m encouraged by the differences, because no matter what, it’s Christ that unifies us.

  2. Yeah, I had the same experience with Vineyard Christian Church in Valparaiso, IN. VERY odd, very similar issues (including the flag-waving), but I couldn’t say that God was not there, not after just visiting. It just wasn’t for me. And eventually, God showed me to a church that was in line with my thinking AND my personality…AND God is there too!
    I look at something like this like I do race relations. It’s undeniable that people of similar races tend to congregate together. That doesn’t mean it’s racist…I’d actually consider it the opposite of racist. It just means that in a sphere for a particular ethnicity, one is more likely to find similar experiences and similar mindsets.
    In the same way, I think churches find congregations because people of a similar mindset end up finding each other. It doesn’t mean that it’s intentionally segregated…I think it’s the opposite. You see all these different churches with all the different ways of worship…and God is among all of us!!! I’m encouraged by the differences, because no matter what, it’s Christ that unifies us.

  3. Bethel draws me like a magnet. If I lived closer that would definitely be my home church.

  4. Bethel draws me like a magnet. If I lived closer that would definitely be my home church.

  5. Jesus Friggen H’

    “In the middle of service it was called out that someone had pain in their ear and God wanted to heal them.”

    I guess God knew that someone had a ear ache, he just didn’t know who it was. Good thing that preacher was there to figure it out for him.

    Donny, your turning in to a religious NUT CASE! 🙂

    • God knew who it was.  It was Donny’s decision to respond to that.  And He did and he was healed.  I’m not always sure why God does certain miracles and not others, but I will take whatever he has for me!  And anyone else!

  6. Jesus Friggen H’

    “In the middle of service it was called out that someone had pain in their ear and God wanted to heal them.”

    I guess God knew that someone had a ear ache, he just didn’t know who it was. Good thing that preacher was there to figure it out for him.

    Donny, your turning in to a religious NUT CASE! 🙂

  7. John,

    Re-read the parts on free will in the book you were sent (“letters from a skeptic”). I’ll let you formulated the answer to that question yourself.

    – D –

    🙂

  8. John,

    Re-read the parts on free will in the book you were sent (“letters from a skeptic”). I’ll let you formulated the answer to that question yourself.

    – D –

    🙂

  9. I suppose next week he just might say “One of you out there has a tooth ache!”. I’m no Dentist, but I’d say the odds are pretty darn good that out of the 100’s of people in the building he will be right AGAIN!

  10. I suppose next week he just might say “One of you out there has a tooth ache!”. I’m no Dentist, but I’d say the odds are pretty darn good that out of the 100’s of people in the building he will be right AGAIN!

  11. ^ But only if two feathers fall from the ventilation system to prove it so.

  12. ^ But only if two feathers fall from the ventilation system to prove it so.

  13. Calling out a pain someone has is not remarkable, you’re right. But you seem to be forgetting the part where my ear popped and instantly stopped hurting. I’m not BSing you about that.

  14. Calling out a pain someone has is not remarkable, you’re right. But you seem to be forgetting the part where my ear popped and instantly stopped hurting. I’m not BSing you about that.

  15. My dad used to go to those kind of churches.
    People would ‘speak in tongues’ rattling on a bunch of useless bla that nobody understands. I’d think that if god had a message for everyone he’d put it in English. Going in to convulsions on the floor. Weird stuff. I guess like everything else else, this to evolves over time. Now it’s flag waving, feathers falling from the sky, mysterious coins. Very strange indeed!

  16. My dad used to go to those kind of churches.
    People would ‘speak in tongues’ rattling on a bunch of useless bla that nobody understands. I’d think that if god had a message for everyone he’d put it in English. Going in to convulsions on the floor. Weird stuff. I guess like everything else else, this to evolves over time. Now it’s flag waving, feathers falling from the sky, mysterious coins. Very strange indeed!

  17. I grew up in similar churches, too. Most of it is BS crap. I personally think “speaking in tongues” is meant to refer to literal languages, but that’s another story.

    As I mentioned, this church strikes me as odd in many ways. But it also intrigues me. I’m not saying I buy into what they’re selling, but I AM saying the things I’ve seen with my own eyes are very… remarkable.

    “Remarkable” things don’t happen every service, either. But I’ve seen plenty to make me think. I still don’t want to accept it all, but I can’t deny what I’ve seen.

  18. I grew up in similar churches, too. Most of it is BS crap. I personally think “speaking in tongues” is meant to refer to literal languages, but that’s another story.

    As I mentioned, this church strikes me as odd in many ways. But it also intrigues me. I’m not saying I buy into what they’re selling, but I AM saying the things I’ve seen with my own eyes are very… remarkable.

    “Remarkable” things don’t happen every service, either. But I’ve seen plenty to make me think. I still don’t want to accept it all, but I can’t deny what I’ve seen.

  19. You CRAZY!

    But your still the main man! 🙂

  20. You CRAZY!

    But your still the main man! 🙂

  21. Donnie,
    When the disciples were speaking in tongues it says that everyone heard them in their own language. That does not mean that it was each disciple spoke in another language. It seems to me that the disciples spoke in tongues of a heavenly language and the Holy Spirit interpreted to the hearers. I’ve attended Bethel for four years. I have 20 years of church leadership experience and 30 years of dealing with church politics. There is definite bullshit going on with the legit. There are some creepy weird and stupid people there. Spiritual orgies (people piling on top of each other while manifesting and trying to push the experience). You can’t always separate the fodder and try to control everything. The one with an encounter with God will always have the upper hand in a debate about what God will and will not do. I’ve had a few great encounters and have seen many real miracles, signs and wonders. The only big issue I have is that there’s not much love. I could get into a long rant on that, but I’ll save it.I can speak with tongue’s of angels, but if the relationship ain’t there I’m just clanging.
    Dalen

    • Dalen,
      I don’t know you but I pray that you would edify others with your speech, and not use words that just flat-out have no place in the mouths of believers. I don’t think there is any reason to use terms like BS, the acronym or the word spelled out.
      God Bless,
      Seth

  22. Donnie,
    When the disciples were speaking in tongues it says that everyone heard them in their own language. That does not mean that it was each disciple spoke in another language. It seems to me that the disciples spoke in tongues of a heavenly language and the Holy Spirit interpreted to the hearers. I’ve attended Bethel for four years. I have 20 years of church leadership experience and 30 years of dealing with church politics. There is definite bullshit going on with the legit. There are some creepy weird and stupid people there. Spiritual orgies (people piling on top of each other while manifesting and trying to push the experience). You can’t always separate the fodder and try to control everything. The one with an encounter with God will always have the upper hand in a debate about what God will and will not do. I’ve had a few great encounters and have seen many real miracles, signs and wonders. The only big issue I have is that there’s not much love. I could get into a long rant on that, but I’ll save it.I can speak with tongue’s of angels, but if the relationship ain’t there I’m just clanging.
    Dalen

  23. People thought John the Baptist and Jesus were pretty weird too.

  24. People thought John the Baptist and Jesus were pretty weird too.

  25. Donny,

    I am learning about these kinda churches too from a guy I work with. I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church, though I am in the process of looking for a new church, so many of these things are kinda weird to me too. Just keep an open mind, you never know what God is going to teach you about things, or what you may come to believe.

    Blake

  26. Donny,

    I am learning about these kinda churches too from a guy I work with. I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church, though I am in the process of looking for a new church, so many of these things are kinda weird to me too. Just keep an open mind, you never know what God is going to teach you about things, or what you may come to believe.

    Blake

  27. We should remember that what we do inside or even outside the church should be done to edify( instruct, improve morally, build up) other believers and lead unbelivers to faith in the Lord. If you read 1 Corinthians 14:1-33 you’ll find Paul giving this teaching. Pay particular attention to verse 33. God is not the author of confusion.
    BTW….y’all sure use some foul language to be trying to lead others in the right direction….

  28. We should remember that what we do inside or even outside the church should be done to edify( instruct, improve morally, build up) other believers and lead unbelivers to faith in the Lord. If you read 1 Corinthians 14:1-33 you’ll find Paul giving this teaching. Pay particular attention to verse 33. God is not the author of confusion.
    BTW….y’all sure use some foul language to be trying to lead others in the right direction….

  29. Then you should talk to Paul the Apostle about his use of words to communicate. Words, whether strong or soft, communicate. They’re just words bro, relax.
    Dalen

    • “They’re just words” ? Really? You think the Apostle Paul would be ok with Christians using foul language when there is no real reason to?

      “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1

      • Seth, if you really want to use Paul as an example, then you should know your facts.

      • Philippians 3:8
         8Yea doubtless, and I
        count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ
        Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do
        count them but DUNG, that I may win Christ…

        You do know what Dung is right? Dung= “SHIT”.

  30. Then you should talk to Paul the Apostle about his use of words to communicate. Words, whether strong or soft, communicate. They’re just words bro, relax.
    Dalen

  31. Donnie —-
    I am so happy for you that the Lord healed your ear. I am sorry that Bethel is so wierd (they are) and that the true love and purity of God is covered up by that wierdness. God says that he won’t take His gifts away from people and so He expects us to behave in a manner of integrity and wholeness (which does not include running around to fast food places giving a “word” to people, even if the “word” is right….. the Bible says to be in God’s timing, not our own. I have been supernaturally healed of Cystic Fibrosis and many other things and I subscribe to the idea that whatever you do, if it does not cause someone to want to know Christ, then you shouldn’t do it. Wierdness is Wierd and God isn’t wierd. The devil owns wierdness and the devil has some power too. People are stupid I guess and make a huge attempt to make God look wierd. I’m sorry that the wierdness got ya. The Lord is really full of love and His move of fullness and power and healing is so abundant and NOT wierd. In our church in Fresno, CA we are having a huge Revival and it goes on and on forever, we don’t have wierdness. We don’t have to, we have Jesus instead! So, I pray that you are able to find a place that comforts you and also lifts up Jesus. That’s what the Lord said was the big deal….. Jesus said, “If you lift me up, I’ll draw everyone to me.” and he also said…. “Don’t marvel that these miracles have happened, but rather be glad that your name is written down in the lambs book of life.” Congratulations on your name being written down in that book Donnie. thank you for defending the work of God, even in the midst of “the wierdness.” Blessings to you, Sandi

  32. Donnie —-
    I am so happy for you that the Lord healed your ear. I am sorry that Bethel is so wierd (they are) and that the true love and purity of God is covered up by that wierdness. God says that he won’t take His gifts away from people and so He expects us to behave in a manner of integrity and wholeness (which does not include running around to fast food places giving a “word” to people, even if the “word” is right….. the Bible says to be in God’s timing, not our own. I have been supernaturally healed of Cystic Fibrosis and many other things and I subscribe to the idea that whatever you do, if it does not cause someone to want to know Christ, then you shouldn’t do it. Wierdness is Wierd and God isn’t wierd. The devil owns wierdness and the devil has some power too. People are stupid I guess and make a huge attempt to make God look wierd. I’m sorry that the wierdness got ya. The Lord is really full of love and His move of fullness and power and healing is so abundant and NOT wierd. In our church in Fresno, CA we are having a huge Revival and it goes on and on forever, we don’t have wierdness. We don’t have to, we have Jesus instead! So, I pray that you are able to find a place that comforts you and also lifts up Jesus. That’s what the Lord said was the big deal….. Jesus said, “If you lift me up, I’ll draw everyone to me.” and he also said…. “Don’t marvel that these miracles have happened, but rather be glad that your name is written down in the lambs book of life.” Congratulations on your name being written down in that book Donnie. thank you for defending the work of God, even in the midst of “the wierdness.” Blessings to you, Sandi

  33. I think that we all know that signs and wonders do not show that a ministry is genuine. Think about matthew 7:22. If you haven’t read it check it out. These people plead to Jesus with their signs and wonders but he says depart from me I never knew you. Bethel may display signs and wonders but that doesn’t authenticate anything. Here is another scripture to think about:

    “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” REvelation 16:14

    “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” -Revelation 19:20

  34. I think that we all know that signs and wonders do not show that a ministry is genuine. Think about matthew 7:22. If you haven’t read it check it out. These people plead to Jesus with their signs and wonders but he says depart from me I never knew you. Bethel may display signs and wonders but that doesn’t authenticate anything. Here is another scripture to think about:

    “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” REvelation 16:14

    “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” -Revelation 19:20

  35. Wow guys, without knowing these people personally or having a good first hand knowledge you sound a bit judgmental. Let me clarify what I was saying in the first post. The leaders of this church are godly men. They have things together. Each congregation has flaws. Strengths and weaknesses. Bethel’s big weakness is the lack of connecting. The fellowship and relationship building is weak. It seems to be more of a big conference church with incredible insight into the supernatural works of God. Just like in the new testament there will be counterfeit right along with the real. The weeds that grow along with the crop will not be pulled till harvest. Just because the Bethel people work in the supernatural differently does not mean they are wrong. It does not mean that the REAL revival is only going on in Fresno. This is the classic Christian problem. “the river movement is the real one, no the seeker sensitive is best, no the regular pentecostal is the only way to go, you must worship on Saturday, you can’t be Catholic”, so on and so forth. Well like it or not we are brothers and sisters. The weird ones too. Don’t try to clone yourself. Like Steve Taylor’s song says “….cloneliness is next to godliness, right? I’m grateful that they showed the way, ’cause I could never know the way to serve him I my own. I want to be a clone.
    I now need to go watch a movie with my wife, so I’ll give the rest of my view on this later. God bless you all.
    Dalen

  36. Wow guys, without knowing these people personally or having a good first hand knowledge you sound a bit judgmental. Let me clarify what I was saying in the first post. The leaders of this church are godly men. They have things together. Each congregation has flaws. Strengths and weaknesses. Bethel’s big weakness is the lack of connecting. The fellowship and relationship building is weak. It seems to be more of a big conference church with incredible insight into the supernatural works of God. Just like in the new testament there will be counterfeit right along with the real. The weeds that grow along with the crop will not be pulled till harvest. Just because the Bethel people work in the supernatural differently does not mean they are wrong. It does not mean that the REAL revival is only going on in Fresno. This is the classic Christian problem. “the river movement is the real one, no the seeker sensitive is best, no the regular pentecostal is the only way to go, you must worship on Saturday, you can’t be Catholic”, so on and so forth. Well like it or not we are brothers and sisters. The weird ones too. Don’t try to clone yourself. Like Steve Taylor’s song says “….cloneliness is next to godliness, right? I’m grateful that they showed the way, ’cause I could never know the way to serve him I my own. I want to be a clone.
    I now need to go watch a movie with my wife, so I’ll give the rest of my view on this later. God bless you all.
    Dalen

  37. Dalen,

    That was very well written. 🙂

    – Donny –

  38. Dalen,

    That was very well written. 🙂

    – Donny –

  39. Donny,

    This is the same response I put on my blog.

    It sorta sounds like you have the same belief that many do today, i.e. if good stuff is happening then it must all be okay and there’s no need to worry about anything.

    Why is it that every time I raise questions about certain movements, the first thing that happens is folks begin talking about how nice the people are, how much supernatural stuff is happening and all the other good things they can list, but they never address the questions I raise?

    I don’t have issue with healing.
    I don’t have issue with deliverance.
    I don’t have issue with blessings.
    I don’t have issue with accurate personal prophecy.
    I don’t have issue with any of the “good” things you listed as a defense of Bethel Church. Those aren’t problems so why discuss them?

    So let’s talk about the teachings they allow, the practices they engage in and the other issues I raised. Let’s stop creating diversions and face up to what should be faced. How ’bout addressing the thrust of this post? How ’bout asking Bill Johnson to find justifacation for girls who wave flags in the front of the church wearing skin tight clothing revealing all the flesh that men like most? How ’bout asking these ladies how they justify the heavy, jerky bowing they do that causes their low rider pants to expose their G-strings and upper half of their butt cheeks in front of my boys in my youth group?

    How ’bout this Donny:
    Stop telling me about the good stuff I already know about and don’t have a problem with.
    Stop side tracking the discussion and deal with the issues, finger tip to finger tip, eyeball to eyeball, hand to hand.

    Accurate prophecy? Praise God!
    Healings? Praise God!

    Remember how Jesus dealt with those churches in the book of Revelation: He complimented what was good (read around here, I’ve done that) but took major issue with what was wrong and told these churches that even with them doing what was good they ran the risk of Him removing His presence from them if they didn’t correct their errors!!!

    Remember His phraseology: “Strengthen what remains”, “Repent” and such like.

    If you can’t do this simple thing (engage the realities of what I’m discussing) then I can’t take you seriously, nor can I take your defense of this church, as a whole, seriously. The good things cannot pacify God from dealing with what is bunk, and what is bunk is horribly and tragically wrong!

    Try having this attitude toward a marriage.

    “He works hard, loves the kids and pays all the bills…but he likes flirting with girls”.
    Uh, no.

    See what I mean?

    Engage the actual issues raised and please, PLEASE stop telling me about all the nice stuff and nice people and good things that I already know about. I used to live only 2 hours away dude…I went to Bethel a bunch of times, it’s not like I’m a stranger to it, or the movements they espouse.

    Later,
    mark jr.

    • Can I just say one thing here?  I have been going to Bethel for 6 months and I’ve NEVER seen any girls dressed like you describe, doing what you say they do. Yes, there are plenty of young people, but my experience is that they are modest in what they wear and how they behave. Maybe it’s changed since you posted this, or maybe it’s an issue of the heart.  In any case, it’s not an accurate portrayal of the church or its people.. 

  40. Donny,

    This is the same response I put on my blog.

    It sorta sounds like you have the same belief that many do today, i.e. if good stuff is happening then it must all be okay and there’s no need to worry about anything.

    Why is it that every time I raise questions about certain movements, the first thing that happens is folks begin talking about how nice the people are, how much supernatural stuff is happening and all the other good things they can list, but they never address the questions I raise?

    I don’t have issue with healing.
    I don’t have issue with deliverance.
    I don’t have issue with blessings.
    I don’t have issue with accurate personal prophecy.
    I don’t have issue with any of the “good” things you listed as a defense of Bethel Church. Those aren’t problems so why discuss them?

    So let’s talk about the teachings they allow, the practices they engage in and the other issues I raised. Let’s stop creating diversions and face up to what should be faced. How ’bout addressing the thrust of this post? How ’bout asking Bill Johnson to find justifacation for girls who wave flags in the front of the church wearing skin tight clothing revealing all the flesh that men like most? How ’bout asking these ladies how they justify the heavy, jerky bowing they do that causes their low rider pants to expose their G-strings and upper half of their butt cheeks in front of my boys in my youth group?

    How ’bout this Donny:
    Stop telling me about the good stuff I already know about and don’t have a problem with.
    Stop side tracking the discussion and deal with the issues, finger tip to finger tip, eyeball to eyeball, hand to hand.

    Accurate prophecy? Praise God!
    Healings? Praise God!

    Remember how Jesus dealt with those churches in the book of Revelation: He complimented what was good (read around here, I’ve done that) but took major issue with what was wrong and told these churches that even with them doing what was good they ran the risk of Him removing His presence from them if they didn’t correct their errors!!!

    Remember His phraseology: “Strengthen what remains”, “Repent” and such like.

    If you can’t do this simple thing (engage the realities of what I’m discussing) then I can’t take you seriously, nor can I take your defense of this church, as a whole, seriously. The good things cannot pacify God from dealing with what is bunk, and what is bunk is horribly and tragically wrong!

    Try having this attitude toward a marriage.

    “He works hard, loves the kids and pays all the bills…but he likes flirting with girls”.
    Uh, no.

    See what I mean?

    Engage the actual issues raised and please, PLEASE stop telling me about all the nice stuff and nice people and good things that I already know about. I used to live only 2 hours away dude…I went to Bethel a bunch of times, it’s not like I’m a stranger to it, or the movements they espouse.

    Later,
    mark jr.

  41. BTW,
    Vince actually does know a lot of the people from that church. He goes to a local college in Redding and has been through Bethel many, many times.

    Just so you know…

  42. BTW,
    Vince actually does know a lot of the people from that church. He goes to a local college in Redding and has been through Bethel many, many times.

    Just so you know…

  43. Donnie,

    Appreciate that you are trying to sort it all out. I believe in Pentecostalism, but it must be done with ” decency and orderliness” I Cor 12,13, 14 or else those around who don’t know us or Jesus will think we are nuts. When we get outside of the instructions of the scripture regarding the use of the Gifts and what they are for then it becomes nothing more than a “make me feel good” experience. It becomes self center-vain-imagination of man and takes our eyes off of Jesus.

    The Holy Spirit was never to be worshiped in the manner that the church does today. In fact the Holy Spirit’s task is to bring all men to the knowledge of Christ, the one we are to worship.

    We may think we are giving glory to God but ultimately it is all about us. Seeker sensitive is based off of plegiasm theology and was considered a heresy by the church in 450 A.D. It has reared it’s ugly head again.

    Much of what we see in churches today is from the “prophetic movement” and is based on a theology called Latter Rain. It was considered a heresy by the AG Church (Bethel’s denomination) and many of the people that have come to minister at Bethel (guest speakers) come from this theology and are speaking false teaching to the people.

    I personally believe the Gifts were not suppose to be used for show but to be able to validate the ministry of Jesus Christ, unto salvation. I have not been to Bethel but my in-laws have had alot of contact with them and we have had people from my church go. What they brought back, some good but much more so wacked out, I couldn’t believe my ears.

    So while I will not doubtthat you experienced “something” and it very well may have been a touch from the Lord, I would be very careful what you accept as teaching that seems right but is not because of very poor hermanuetical teaching.

  44. Donnie,

    Appreciate that you are trying to sort it all out. I believe in Pentecostalism, but it must be done with ” decency and orderliness” I Cor 12,13, 14 or else those around who don’t know us or Jesus will think we are nuts. When we get outside of the instructions of the scripture regarding the use of the Gifts and what they are for then it becomes nothing more than a “make me feel good” experience. It becomes self center-vain-imagination of man and takes our eyes off of Jesus.

    The Holy Spirit was never to be worshiped in the manner that the church does today. In fact the Holy Spirit’s task is to bring all men to the knowledge of Christ, the one we are to worship.

    We may think we are giving glory to God but ultimately it is all about us. Seeker sensitive is based off of plegiasm theology and was considered a heresy by the church in 450 A.D. It has reared it’s ugly head again.

    Much of what we see in churches today is from the “prophetic movement” and is based on a theology called Latter Rain. It was considered a heresy by the AG Church (Bethel’s denomination) and many of the people that have come to minister at Bethel (guest speakers) come from this theology and are speaking false teaching to the people.

    I personally believe the Gifts were not suppose to be used for show but to be able to validate the ministry of Jesus Christ, unto salvation. I have not been to Bethel but my in-laws have had alot of contact with them and we have had people from my church go. What they brought back, some good but much more so wacked out, I couldn’t believe my ears.

    So while I will not doubtthat you experienced “something” and it very well may have been a touch from the Lord, I would be very careful what you accept as teaching that seems right but is not because of very poor hermanuetical teaching.

  45. Mark Jr.,
    Let me just take the step of offending your religiosity to the fullest. Try this. After Adam and Eve were clothed in the garden by God, was Eve topless? Why not? The breast’s human function are to nurture. Thus the Hebrew name for God as the “many breasted One” El Shaddai. So social culture and religious culture create a conditioned response. “Don’t show the neck of a woman or it’s a sin.” I know men who have a fetish foe elbows. Control lust and choose not to. If a man sees a naked woman , the religious response is that he must lust. I was brought up in that environment. I disagree with that completely. I addressed that in the previous post, but on a mild note. Your way is to “change those naked savages into us white missionaries, and make them wear our Christian European clothing(cloning).” Those skin tight clothes that the girls wear are for dancing.(spandex or stretch pants) You seem to have a gavel in your hand. Be careful, Plankeye. That controlling spirit will eat you alive. Are you the type that stands by the principle over the person?

    Iwanthetruth,
    What heresy was according to man’s understanding 100 years ago changes. God is constantly breaking out of our boxes. I seek the truth. I seek a deeper relationship with Christ. I know His voice well. We build our principles and understanding of God from the interpretation of Scripture and the relationship with Him. (experiencing Him) Our understanding will change at times if we let God show us. Unfortunately we often put into stone our principles that were derived from our interpretation or our mentors understanding. Why do you think the Jews had such a hard time accepting Christ as the Messiah? In the early church the disciples did not think that tongues were for the gentiles until Peter reported that they had the same experience that the disciples had on the day of Pentecost. Are you following?
    well, I just got back from two photo calls for Chico State Theatre , and have a lot of photo’s to process for tomorrow. So I’ll end here, but this is very fun verbal jousting. I haven’t had this much fun since Bible College.
    Shalom
    Dalen

  46. Mark Jr.,
    Let me just take the step of offending your religiosity to the fullest. Try this. After Adam and Eve were clothed in the garden by God, was Eve topless? Why not? The breast’s human function are to nurture. Thus the Hebrew name for God as the “many breasted One” El Shaddai. So social culture and religious culture create a conditioned response. “Don’t show the neck of a woman or it’s a sin.” I know men who have a fetish foe elbows. Control lust and choose not to. If a man sees a naked woman , the religious response is that he must lust. I was brought up in that environment. I disagree with that completely. I addressed that in the previous post, but on a mild note. Your way is to “change those naked savages into us white missionaries, and make them wear our Christian European clothing(cloning).” Those skin tight clothes that the girls wear are for dancing.(spandex or stretch pants) You seem to have a gavel in your hand. Be careful, Plankeye. That controlling spirit will eat you alive. Are you the type that stands by the principle over the person?

    Iwanthetruth,
    What heresy was according to man’s understanding 100 years ago changes. God is constantly breaking out of our boxes. I seek the truth. I seek a deeper relationship with Christ. I know His voice well. We build our principles and understanding of God from the interpretation of Scripture and the relationship with Him. (experiencing Him) Our understanding will change at times if we let God show us. Unfortunately we often put into stone our principles that were derived from our interpretation or our mentors understanding. Why do you think the Jews had such a hard time accepting Christ as the Messiah? In the early church the disciples did not think that tongues were for the gentiles until Peter reported that they had the same experience that the disciples had on the day of Pentecost. Are you following?
    well, I just got back from two photo calls for Chico State Theatre , and have a lot of photo’s to process for tomorrow. So I’ll end here, but this is very fun verbal jousting. I haven’t had this much fun since Bible College.
    Shalom
    Dalen

  47. Alright, I’m now waiting for my digital negatives to export so I’ll throw this last thing in before I go to bed. I’ve known the pastor of Bethel Bill Johnson for years. My father was a guest instructor many times at his discipleship school. Bill could eat your hermetical asses for lunch, but he would not waste his time or energy on useless argument. Most people spend too much time trying to measure skirt lengths and prove their way is the only way, and have no ear for reason. The man IS a righteous “Man O God”. Yes I said asses. That’s in the King James Bible.LOL

  48. Alright, I’m now waiting for my digital negatives to export so I’ll throw this last thing in before I go to bed. I’ve known the pastor of Bethel Bill Johnson for years. My father was a guest instructor many times at his discipleship school. Bill could eat your hermetical asses for lunch, but he would not waste his time or energy on useless argument. Most people spend too much time trying to measure skirt lengths and prove their way is the only way, and have no ear for reason. The man IS a righteous “Man O God”. Yes I said asses. That’s in the King James Bible.LOL

  49. That is “hermenuetical asses.” My spell check grabbed it.

  50. That is “hermenuetical asses.” My spell check grabbed it.

  51. Donnie,

    you are a very interesting person. You have experienced the supernatural touch of the Lord in a Pentacostal Church, but I guess you feel it is a weird church (?) and then the three books that have changes your life are from the Emergent Church folks.

    Hmmm! God works mysteriously.

  52. Donnie,

    you are a very interesting person. You have experienced the supernatural touch of the Lord in a Pentacostal Church, but I guess you feel it is a weird church (?) and then the three books that have changes your life are from the Emergent Church folks.

    Hmmm! God works mysteriously.

  53. “How ’bout asking these ladies how they justify the heavy, jerky bowing they do that causes their low rider pants to expose their G-strings and upper half of their butt cheeks in front of my boys in my youth group?”

    Where at in Redding? BURP!

  54. “How ’bout asking these ladies how they justify the heavy, jerky bowing they do that causes their low rider pants to expose their G-strings and upper half of their butt cheeks in front of my boys in my youth group?”

    Where at in Redding? BURP!

  55. Hey Donny,
    Great post. Really balanced. As always. Bethel is a weird church, but so is mine… it all depends on where you’re coming from. To John, pretty much any church would come across as weird–and he’d be right.

    Most people have had a little encounter with the supernatural power of Jesus… but nothing like what happened in the apostle’s days. Dead living. Deaf hearing. Lame walking. For us today, it’s more like feathers dropping and ears popping. Bring me a revived Lazarus, and I’m down for it!

    I’m taking my son to see the Transformers today. Should be a spiritual experience.

    Later.
    Bill

  56. Hey Donny,
    Great post. Really balanced. As always. Bethel is a weird church, but so is mine… it all depends on where you’re coming from. To John, pretty much any church would come across as weird–and he’d be right.

    Most people have had a little encounter with the supernatural power of Jesus… but nothing like what happened in the apostle’s days. Dead living. Deaf hearing. Lame walking. For us today, it’s more like feathers dropping and ears popping. Bring me a revived Lazarus, and I’m down for it!

    I’m taking my son to see the Transformers today. Should be a spiritual experience.

    Later.
    Bill

  57. You can’t go wrong following the only “right” that ever lived…Jesus Christ. I got saved in adulthood, a very strong conversion after living a fairly selfish sinful life. God changed me overnight. Here is my encouragement to you. Follow JESUS and not man. Don’t be bewitched by healings, and miracles but be in awe of the cross, the atonement of Jesus for your sins.

    Maybe stop reading other books (for a while) and read the Word of God. This will give you your spiritual strength and above all DISCERNMENT. Start in New Testament, read a few times. THen go back and start at the beginning..Actually my favorite is chapter 1, Genesis. I was a zealous, passionate new believer and got misguided in a cultish church. But what led me out, was my zealous reading of the FULL COUNSEL of God. I could then know for sure if someone was saying something in a sermon out of context. The Holy Spirit will help you learn the truth and make sense of out of this bible that is not so easy to understand. But, it is the story of our Savior…it is HIS story, and it is meant for us.

    Next month is my 9th anniversary as a new creation in Christ. It took me a while to understand the bible, but now I’m very grounded in it and I can stand in truth. This is what I pray for you.

    • Wow Spinachtiger. Very good advice! Holy Spirit as Teacher. Nice reminder. Thanks. I actually googled “church is weird” and found this blog. But Jesus has never been weird. Not to me. Same goes for Holy Spirit. God is not weird. Only different. He’s so unbelievably kind. So much kinder than any person I’ve met. And classy. Clean. Refreshing. Calm. Strong. Yes, church is weird. But He is Beautiful. And I’ve run into Him there a time or two.

  58. You can’t go wrong following the only “right” that ever lived…Jesus Christ. I got saved in adulthood, a very strong conversion after living a fairly selfish sinful life. God changed me overnight. Here is my encouragement to you. Follow JESUS and not man. Don’t be bewitched by healings, and miracles but be in awe of the cross, the atonement of Jesus for your sins.

    Maybe stop reading other books (for a while) and read the Word of God. This will give you your spiritual strength and above all DISCERNMENT. Start in New Testament, read a few times. THen go back and start at the beginning..Actually my favorite is chapter 1, Genesis. I was a zealous, passionate new believer and got misguided in a cultish church. But what led me out, was my zealous reading of the FULL COUNSEL of God. I could then know for sure if someone was saying something in a sermon out of context. The Holy Spirit will help you learn the truth and make sense of out of this bible that is not so easy to understand. But, it is the story of our Savior…it is HIS story, and it is meant for us.

    Next month is my 9th anniversary as a new creation in Christ. It took me a while to understand the bible, but now I’m very grounded in it and I can stand in truth. This is what I pray for you.

    • Wow Spinachtiger. Very good advice! Holy Spirit as Teacher. Nice reminder. Thanks. I actually googled “church is weird” and found this blog. But Jesus has never been weird. Not to me. Same goes for Holy Spirit. God is not weird. Only different. He’s so unbelievably kind. So much kinder than any person I’ve met. And classy. Clean. Refreshing. Calm. Strong. Yes, church is weird. But He is Beautiful. And I’ve run into Him there a time or two.

  59. I want to mention some thing here… I do attend this church and have for well over 12 years.. We havent been in the Assembly Of God denom for a while now.. This church is my family and is as well grounded and balanced as I have ever attended in my life ( and I have been to alot of others ) .. Excesses? Yep.. but then you are gonna find that in every organization where ever people are involved.. Doesnt mean we all are that way or we all arent… I can take you to nearly any legit church and find excesses one way or another… NO one is perfect ( although I think we are close! ) Blessings.. Spirit Fire aka Mags

    🙂

  60. I want to mention some thing here… I do attend this church and have for well over 12 years.. We havent been in the Assembly Of God denom for a while now.. This church is my family and is as well grounded and balanced as I have ever attended in my life ( and I have been to alot of others ) .. Excesses? Yep.. but then you are gonna find that in every organization where ever people are involved.. Doesnt mean we all are that way or we all arent… I can take you to nearly any legit church and find excesses one way or another… NO one is perfect ( although I think we are close! ) Blessings.. Spirit Fire aka Mags

    🙂

  61. This church is my family and is as well grounded and balanced as I have ever attended in my life ( and I have been to alot of others ) .. Excesses? Yep..

    Which is it… grounded or excesses? It shouldn’t be excess at all. Excess tells me that there is no “decency and orderliness” in what is going on.

  62. This church is my family and is as well grounded and balanced as I have ever attended in my life ( and I have been to alot of others ) .. Excesses? Yep..

    Which is it… grounded or excesses? It shouldn’t be excess at all. Excess tells me that there is no “decency and orderliness” in what is going on.

  63. IWantthetruth:

    Don’t you think Christ is better served when Christians are out trying to reach the lost, rather than arguing about who’s right or wrong? SO much time is wasted on groups badgering each other over differences in beliefs.

    Choose where you fit in… and do so. It does nobody any good for us to tear each other down.

  64. IWantthetruth:

    Don’t you think Christ is better served when Christians are out trying to reach the lost, rather than arguing about who’s right or wrong? SO much time is wasted on groups badgering each other over differences in beliefs.

    Choose where you fit in… and do so. It does nobody any good for us to tear each other down.

  65. Every day of my life I am endeavoring to show the love of Christ to my neighbors and minister to them. It is a joy and honor to represent Christ because of what he has done for me. To preach to the lost. THAT is our main task, but the the blood of Christ on the cross and repentence is the ONLY thing that will save, deliver and really mean anything in the end.

    But at the same time I don’t believe that every wind of doctrine, every method of evangelism should be used. I have found that the methods seem to always come from poor doctrine.

    If Christ spoke so much about the false, if the Apostles had so many warnings and instructed those such as Timothy to tell them to stop, isn’t it prudent that we also imitate them in all areas of our walk?

    Frankly, I believe that I have been given authority through the word to bring to those who may be teaching incorrectly or falsely, correction but also if it is not taken, I walk away.

    If the pride of those is so strong to not beable to atleast listen to correction then I see no reason to go on. I am no pure, perfect bible scholar. I have missed the mark many times in my interpretation and have had to be corrected. It is hard to take sometimes but worth the freedom of knowing Christ better and the word better. I pray that someday the light will go on, but I shake the dust from my feet, still love them as commanded by our Lord, but I will have nothing to do with the false teaching.

    There are things that are just plain wrong and should stop. Not just in Bethel and other churches, but in my own church as well. God forbid that we should admit that there is abuse. Not only admit it but do anything about it.

  66. Every day of my life I am endeavoring to show the love of Christ to my neighbors and minister to them. It is a joy and honor to represent Christ because of what he has done for me. To preach to the lost. THAT is our main task, but the the blood of Christ on the cross and repentence is the ONLY thing that will save, deliver and really mean anything in the end.

    But at the same time I don’t believe that every wind of doctrine, every method of evangelism should be used. I have found that the methods seem to always come from poor doctrine.

    If Christ spoke so much about the false, if the Apostles had so many warnings and instructed those such as Timothy to tell them to stop, isn’t it prudent that we also imitate them in all areas of our walk?

    Frankly, I believe that I have been given authority through the word to bring to those who may be teaching incorrectly or falsely, correction but also if it is not taken, I walk away.

    If the pride of those is so strong to not beable to atleast listen to correction then I see no reason to go on. I am no pure, perfect bible scholar. I have missed the mark many times in my interpretation and have had to be corrected. It is hard to take sometimes but worth the freedom of knowing Christ better and the word better. I pray that someday the light will go on, but I shake the dust from my feet, still love them as commanded by our Lord, but I will have nothing to do with the false teaching.

    There are things that are just plain wrong and should stop. Not just in Bethel and other churches, but in my own church as well. God forbid that we should admit that there is abuse. Not only admit it but do anything about it.

  67. Iwanthetruth:
    You have no relationship with any of these congregations leaders. Without relationship you are overstepping your boundaries. Paul spoke to those he had a relationship with and corrected what he viewed as wrong. Your self-righteous religious arrogance shows clearly, bro. You don’t want the truth, you want everything to add up and be explainable. Anything that is outside of your grid must not be from God. My great grandfather said that God would never allow man to fly to the moon. He said it was wrong and God never intended for that to happen. He even used scripture. I do not remember him well, but I have been told that he was a great man of God who lived a godly life. Man went to the moon a few years after he died. So why did Christ not stop all the counterfeit that was around? Did he cloth the half naked prostitute that was caught in adultery? How about the cultural and societal prejudices that Paul brought into his writing that had nothing to do with being from God.

  68. Iwanthetruth:
    You have no relationship with any of these congregations leaders. Without relationship you are overstepping your boundaries. Paul spoke to those he had a relationship with and corrected what he viewed as wrong. Your self-righteous religious arrogance shows clearly, bro. You don’t want the truth, you want everything to add up and be explainable. Anything that is outside of your grid must not be from God. My great grandfather said that God would never allow man to fly to the moon. He said it was wrong and God never intended for that to happen. He even used scripture. I do not remember him well, but I have been told that he was a great man of God who lived a godly life. Man went to the moon a few years after he died. So why did Christ not stop all the counterfeit that was around? Did he cloth the half naked prostitute that was caught in adultery? How about the cultural and societal prejudices that Paul brought into his writing that had nothing to do with being from God.

  69. Oh, and one more thing. You have no dust on your feet. That would mean that you were actually in some sort of properly commissioned mission work that involved Christ’s love and humility.

  70. Oh, and one more thing. You have no dust on your feet. That would mean that you were actually in some sort of properly commissioned mission work that involved Christ’s love and humility.

  71. Thank you Dalen,

    I have been properly spanked.

    I was going to respond to you if only to defend myself. But I think I won’t. I have erased my comments three times now.

    I only want to say that I apologize if it seemed I was attacking any particular person, that was not my intent. I strongly believe there is a false teaching going on in the church today that is part of the “prophetic movement” that needs to be addressed. I have been a pentecostal christian for 35+ years, have seen some awesome things that the Lord has done in peoples lives along with many, many people come to know the Lord.

    I am sure your are a passionate person who wants to follow after the things of God and loves the Lord. I appreciate your response that was given to me in the “love of the Lord”. That will be my only dig at you….

    The rest I will not need to respond to as I think you are angry. Maybe my post above seemed the same way. The problems of blogging, no actual personal body language comunications to see how the person is truely responding. They say body language is a large part of any conversation.

    Blessings on you…

  72. Thank you Dalen,

    I have been properly spanked.

    I was going to respond to you if only to defend myself. But I think I won’t. I have erased my comments three times now.

    I only want to say that I apologize if it seemed I was attacking any particular person, that was not my intent. I strongly believe there is a false teaching going on in the church today that is part of the “prophetic movement” that needs to be addressed. I have been a pentecostal christian for 35+ years, have seen some awesome things that the Lord has done in peoples lives along with many, many people come to know the Lord.

    I am sure your are a passionate person who wants to follow after the things of God and loves the Lord. I appreciate your response that was given to me in the “love of the Lord”. That will be my only dig at you….

    The rest I will not need to respond to as I think you are angry. Maybe my post above seemed the same way. The problems of blogging, no actual personal body language comunications to see how the person is truely responding. They say body language is a large part of any conversation.

    Blessings on you…

  73. Oh by the way Dalen,

    I strongly believe there is a false teaching going on in the church today that is part of the “prophetic movement” that needs to be addressed.

    I question the church because it supports those that are considered to be the perpetrators of the false teaching of the “prophetic movenment”. They have been there and spread the teaching to your congregation and it is accepted.

    I guess you must be a follower of LatterRain/Dominion/Joel’s Army theology?

    Have you researched the belief system/theology of these teachings? If not do so.

  74. Oh by the way Dalen,

    I strongly believe there is a false teaching going on in the church today that is part of the “prophetic movement” that needs to be addressed.

    I question the church because it supports those that are considered to be the perpetrators of the false teaching of the “prophetic movenment”. They have been there and spread the teaching to your congregation and it is accepted.

    I guess you must be a follower of LatterRain/Dominion/Joel’s Army theology?

    Have you researched the belief system/theology of these teachings? If not do so.

  75. Iwanthetruth,
    I was not and hardly ever are angry in these types of sparring. I definitely disagree with your take that the current prophetic movement is not of God. That being said I never get mad anymore due to opposing opinions. The question is this. Are you willing to be wrong?
    Anyway, you seem to be an interesting person. Give me a call sometime, maybe we could spar over coffee sometime if you are not too far away. 530.262.5217
    Dalen

  76. Iwanthetruth,
    I was not and hardly ever are angry in these types of sparring. I definitely disagree with your take that the current prophetic movement is not of God. That being said I never get mad anymore due to opposing opinions. The question is this. Are you willing to be wrong?
    Anyway, you seem to be an interesting person. Give me a call sometime, maybe we could spar over coffee sometime if you are not too far away. 530.262.5217
    Dalen

  77. Good, I am glad you aren’t angry. And yes I am willing to be wrong but after researching for the past year and a half the basic theology of the teachings and what drives the “prophetic movement” I will not concede on.

    But I will tell you that at one time I was a cessionist and I did concede that. Why? Because I experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. That was a great experience and it has been an awesome walk with the Lord since then.

    If you are a Bethel man you must live in or around Redding. I am about 6 hours north of you in the great state of Oregon. BUT, I am and always will be a native Californian, born in Los Angeles.

    Just a small expose on myself. Iam 55, have two kids, one married the other a great guitar player and helps lead worship in a 4square church. I am alos a worship leader in a 4square church. Go figure and I question the theology of the teachings of today????

    Anyway, maybe someday as I travel to the south to visit family I’ll give a call and we can indeed talk over a cup of coffee.

  78. Good, I am glad you aren’t angry. And yes I am willing to be wrong but after researching for the past year and a half the basic theology of the teachings and what drives the “prophetic movement” I will not concede on.

    But I will tell you that at one time I was a cessionist and I did concede that. Why? Because I experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. That was a great experience and it has been an awesome walk with the Lord since then.

    If you are a Bethel man you must live in or around Redding. I am about 6 hours north of you in the great state of Oregon. BUT, I am and always will be a native Californian, born in Los Angeles.

    Just a small expose on myself. Iam 55, have two kids, one married the other a great guitar player and helps lead worship in a 4square church. I am alos a worship leader in a 4square church. Go figure and I question the theology of the teachings of today????

    Anyway, maybe someday as I travel to the south to visit family I’ll give a call and we can indeed talk over a cup of coffee.

  79. sounds great,
    I am 37 and was raised a p.k. in the Assemblies of God. I am in no way a A.G. apologist. While attending college in Santa Cruz I attended Coastlands (4square). I went to a Baptist high school, etc , and etc. I am not a follower of any of those theologies you mentioned. Just what I have experienced, observed and developed over the last 37 years of life, 32 as a Christian. By the way, I graduated from Salem Academy in ’88. Too much rain. My email if you’d like to continue to communicate is theeccentric@gmail.com.
    Dalen

  80. sounds great,
    I am 37 and was raised a p.k. in the Assemblies of God. I am in no way a A.G. apologist. While attending college in Santa Cruz I attended Coastlands (4square). I went to a Baptist high school, etc , and etc. I am not a follower of any of those theologies you mentioned. Just what I have experienced, observed and developed over the last 37 years of life, 32 as a Christian. By the way, I graduated from Salem Academy in ’88. Too much rain. My email if you’d like to continue to communicate is theeccentric@gmail.com.
    Dalen

  81. Dalen,

    What’s your thoughts on this?

    There are many varied beliefs or paradigms regarding the present apostolic/prophetic movement. They take different approaches in their doctrine to justify and explain how and why what they believe is correct. However, in the end their beliefs aren’t very different from one another. One group sees a great overcoming army being raised up by God (commonly referred to as Joel’s Army). Another group (most of the ones you named) believe in the restoration of the governmental rule of apostles and prophets to take the Church to the place of revelation and understanding necessary to restore the Church to its rightful place by their hand. Another group sees the key to the end times in the “spiritual” fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. Another sees the key in the restoration of the Tabernacle of David and Davidic worship. Others see the key in the Manifest Sons of God doctrine, where the Sons of God rise up to take there place in the earth as the great overcomes there were meant to be. There are many variations, but they all are incredibly similar in there belief of a “special” end time group of people that God will have to subdue the earth, conquer Satan and bring in a great end times revival of souls like the world has never seen all the while being so totally filled with God’s power and anointing. Some even see believers becoming so filled with God’s power that they are considered Christ incarnation among His people, or His “corporate body” on earth before He can come again and receive the Kingdom. To arrive at this type of belief scripturally, they have to allegorize God’s Word or practice what is known as Replacement Theology, where promises for literal Israel in the end times are taken to no longer be meant for Israel but for the Church. Since much is based on allegory of scripture and new fresh revelations received from God in order to bring the Church to this special place, one can see why there is so much craziness. It’s so much based on esoteric experiences of “God showed me” or “God told me”, or “God gave me a dream or a vision…blah blah blah” which contain the “new” or “fresh” truths for the Church today. That’s why the Bible, the Word of God, has become so outdated to them and holding to His Word is considered “religious” or “natural minded”. You need the “spirit” to understand what God is doing now so you can’t hold to the old way, you have to let go of your understanding and accept the new understanding God will give you if you will just yield. The point for true believes, is yield to what? If you don’t try things by the Word of God with your mind then how do you know just what you’re yielding to? Signs and wonders are not proof of God. Actually lying signs and wonders involve real healings, true words that are accurate or can come to pass. Manifestations are real. BUT they’re lying when the purpose is to deceive and mislead you from the Truth and cause you to follow another Jesus, or gospel, or Spirit. This is things in a very small nutshell.

  82. Dalen,

    What’s your thoughts on this?

    There are many varied beliefs or paradigms regarding the present apostolic/prophetic movement. They take different approaches in their doctrine to justify and explain how and why what they believe is correct. However, in the end their beliefs aren’t very different from one another. One group sees a great overcoming army being raised up by God (commonly referred to as Joel’s Army). Another group (most of the ones you named) believe in the restoration of the governmental rule of apostles and prophets to take the Church to the place of revelation and understanding necessary to restore the Church to its rightful place by their hand. Another group sees the key to the end times in the “spiritual” fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. Another sees the key in the restoration of the Tabernacle of David and Davidic worship. Others see the key in the Manifest Sons of God doctrine, where the Sons of God rise up to take there place in the earth as the great overcomes there were meant to be. There are many variations, but they all are incredibly similar in there belief of a “special” end time group of people that God will have to subdue the earth, conquer Satan and bring in a great end times revival of souls like the world has never seen all the while being so totally filled with God’s power and anointing. Some even see believers becoming so filled with God’s power that they are considered Christ incarnation among His people, or His “corporate body” on earth before He can come again and receive the Kingdom. To arrive at this type of belief scripturally, they have to allegorize God’s Word or practice what is known as Replacement Theology, where promises for literal Israel in the end times are taken to no longer be meant for Israel but for the Church. Since much is based on allegory of scripture and new fresh revelations received from God in order to bring the Church to this special place, one can see why there is so much craziness. It’s so much based on esoteric experiences of “God showed me” or “God told me”, or “God gave me a dream or a vision…blah blah blah” which contain the “new” or “fresh” truths for the Church today. That’s why the Bible, the Word of God, has become so outdated to them and holding to His Word is considered “religious” or “natural minded”. You need the “spirit” to understand what God is doing now so you can’t hold to the old way, you have to let go of your understanding and accept the new understanding God will give you if you will just yield. The point for true believes, is yield to what? If you don’t try things by the Word of God with your mind then how do you know just what you’re yielding to? Signs and wonders are not proof of God. Actually lying signs and wonders involve real healings, true words that are accurate or can come to pass. Manifestations are real. BUT they’re lying when the purpose is to deceive and mislead you from the Truth and cause you to follow another Jesus, or gospel, or Spirit. This is things in a very small nutshell.

  83. Dalen,

    By the way, I am a p.k. also……

  84. Dalen,

    By the way, I am a p.k. also……

  85. I think much of that take is bullshit, quite frankly. Dreams and visions need to be taken lightly, and one needs to see if things come to fruition. I believe God made the human race with an innate ability to sense and read in the spiritual realm. Where you take it from there is up to you. People that give very general words of knowledge are often picking up things in a natural way. I’ll expound on all that later. I have some clients to meet with soon here.

  86. I think much of that take is bullshit, quite frankly. Dreams and visions need to be taken lightly, and one needs to see if things come to fruition. I believe God made the human race with an innate ability to sense and read in the spiritual realm. Where you take it from there is up to you. People that give very general words of knowledge are often picking up things in a natural way. I’ll expound on all that later. I have some clients to meet with soon here.

  87. Dreams and visions need to be taken lightly, and one needs to see if things come to fruition.

    Taken lightly by whom, the reciever or the giver, both?

    I think part of the problem is that to many people take a dream or vision and without testing just blurt it out. The reciever thinks it’s a “word” and begins to base their “modis operandi”(if spelled right) on the given dream or vision and when it doesn’t come to pass, and many don’t, they can become wary of the faith and begin to question God. I have seen it happen.

    My intent by the way wasn’t to focus on the dreams, visions, etc,., but the theology that this person is speaking of. It (these theologies) are rampant and of course it comes down to what you believe and follow, but is it really “sound doctrine”?

    Too many people today think that the scriptures are old news and that they need to be re-defined and re-interpreted so as to be successful in the church today.

    “People that give very general words of knowledge are often picking up things in a natural way. I’ll expound on all that later. I have some clients to meet with soon here.

    I know exactly what you mean here. no to expound unless you really want to.

    Blessings

  88. Dreams and visions need to be taken lightly, and one needs to see if things come to fruition.

    Taken lightly by whom, the reciever or the giver, both?

    I think part of the problem is that to many people take a dream or vision and without testing just blurt it out. The reciever thinks it’s a “word” and begins to base their “modis operandi”(if spelled right) on the given dream or vision and when it doesn’t come to pass, and many don’t, they can become wary of the faith and begin to question God. I have seen it happen.

    My intent by the way wasn’t to focus on the dreams, visions, etc,., but the theology that this person is speaking of. It (these theologies) are rampant and of course it comes down to what you believe and follow, but is it really “sound doctrine”?

    Too many people today think that the scriptures are old news and that they need to be re-defined and re-interpreted so as to be successful in the church today.

    “People that give very general words of knowledge are often picking up things in a natural way. I’ll expound on all that later. I have some clients to meet with soon here.

    I know exactly what you mean here. no to expound unless you really want to.

    Blessings

  89. I know kids from my church that go to Bethal and they have told me pretty crazy things. Things to them are very normal. Such as: a man having oil coming from his hands for over three days and the man said he “sprunge a leak”. I have heard of the treasure hunts, tunnels, feathers, gold tooths, gold dust, diamods, being drunk in the spirit, laughing, and many other things that I do not believe are biblical because I have looked. They are no longer interested in the Word of God because it is “boring”. They are addicted to these signs and wonders, healings, and prophetic words! They have said that if the “devil” puts thoughts or doubts into their mind they have been taught to say it and then laugh at it and it will be gone. This is what they are paying to learn!!!

    These kids have been convinced that these are acts of the Lord and I would even say they have been brain washed into this. They are up agianst their parents telling them, “You just don’t understand.” Something is not okay with this.

    -Arizona

  90. I know kids from my church that go to Bethal and they have told me pretty crazy things. Things to them are very normal. Such as: a man having oil coming from his hands for over three days and the man said he “sprunge a leak”. I have heard of the treasure hunts, tunnels, feathers, gold tooths, gold dust, diamods, being drunk in the spirit, laughing, and many other things that I do not believe are biblical because I have looked. They are no longer interested in the Word of God because it is “boring”. They are addicted to these signs and wonders, healings, and prophetic words! They have said that if the “devil” puts thoughts or doubts into their mind they have been taught to say it and then laugh at it and it will be gone. This is what they are paying to learn!!!

    These kids have been convinced that these are acts of the Lord and I would even say they have been brain washed into this. They are up agianst their parents telling them, “You just don’t understand.” Something is not okay with this.

    -Arizona

  91. Wow!, Arizona
    I guess if you gave your kids some killer presents, and they loved them.They kept talking about the gifts and spent all of their time with the gifts and forgot about you. I guess they were not from you. Great logic.

  92. Wow!, Arizona
    I guess if you gave your kids some killer presents, and they loved them.They kept talking about the gifts and spent all of their time with the gifts and forgot about you. I guess they were not from you. Great logic.

  93. They are no longer interested in the Word of God because it is “boring”.

    Dalen,

    Doesn’t this bother you? The scripture is boring? Are they getting this from Bethel?

    One of the lies that these kids are being given is that there are only two spiritual buckets–the modern prophetic movement and a dry, lifeless spiritual existence. This greatly ignores history and the examples of MANY great men and women of faith who had vibrant walks with God and possessed NO CONCEPT of this type of teaching.

    These are the things that our children are hearing from “Men of God” (from other ministries outside of Bethel, I am not accusing Bethel of this)that disturb us because we are trying so hard to raise our kids in the ways of the Lord and the church that operates in the “prophetic movement” are undermining our attempts to love our kids in the Lord, teach them the truth of the word.

    Another statement by another parent,

    The last thing that was prophesied over him was that he would return home and his father would label this as heresy. Can you imagine how offensive this type of self-fulfilling trick is to a father that has invested that last twenty years into the life of a child?

    So now do you understand why I think a theology that is not based on the truth of the scriptures is dangerous. It leads people away from the truth of the Word. Instead of teaching “Honor thy Father and Mother” they are told that they are to mis-trust them and not listen to them. This is the stuff and much more within these theologies and you tell me that “I think much of that take is bullshit, quite frankly.”

    This is not the only area that this is happening in. There are many other area of Christianity that is being taught falsely.

    Signs and wonders are good. The Lord gave us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and those gifts are accompanied by signs and wonders, but not in this kind of extra-biblical crap.

    Arizona,

    Go to http://signofjonah.wordpress.com/
    and read there. You will find much support in your concerns.

  94. They are no longer interested in the Word of God because it is “boring”.

    Dalen,

    Doesn’t this bother you? The scripture is boring? Are they getting this from Bethel?

    One of the lies that these kids are being given is that there are only two spiritual buckets–the modern prophetic movement and a dry, lifeless spiritual existence. This greatly ignores history and the examples of MANY great men and women of faith who had vibrant walks with God and possessed NO CONCEPT of this type of teaching.

    These are the things that our children are hearing from “Men of God” (from other ministries outside of Bethel, I am not accusing Bethel of this)that disturb us because we are trying so hard to raise our kids in the ways of the Lord and the church that operates in the “prophetic movement” are undermining our attempts to love our kids in the Lord, teach them the truth of the word.

    Another statement by another parent,

    The last thing that was prophesied over him was that he would return home and his father would label this as heresy. Can you imagine how offensive this type of self-fulfilling trick is to a father that has invested that last twenty years into the life of a child?

    So now do you understand why I think a theology that is not based on the truth of the scriptures is dangerous. It leads people away from the truth of the Word. Instead of teaching “Honor thy Father and Mother” they are told that they are to mis-trust them and not listen to them. This is the stuff and much more within these theologies and you tell me that “I think much of that take is bullshit, quite frankly.”

    This is not the only area that this is happening in. There are many other area of Christianity that is being taught falsely.

    Signs and wonders are good. The Lord gave us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and those gifts are accompanied by signs and wonders, but not in this kind of extra-biblical crap.

    Arizona,

    Go to http://signofjonah.wordpress.com/
    and read there. You will find much support in your concerns.

  95. Arizona,
    You are mistaken in what you understand that this leadership is teaching. Hearsay is just that. If you don’t have first-hand knowledge and are actually talking to these leaders personally you have no leg to stand on. Scripture is definitely very important to Bethel, it is not discounted. Signs and wonders are not more important, but they are good. You can lead a horse to water… If the young people choose to desire the gifts over the giver that is their choice. You can’t force them to do what you want. In no way are the leaders of Bethel promoting rebellion. Quite the contrary. Bill is very big on taking what ground that was won from previous generations as inheritance and moving forward. Great respect is given to those in our history. (across denominational lines). These young people you talk about were either given bad counsel by a young leader or they have not given all the info. Maybe a little bit of both. Like Donny said. Let’s stop bitching at each other over frivolous matters and do the real work at hand. There are crazy cult-like churches and churches with false doctrine. Those ones are very easy to spot if you actually have good info and discernment. Bethel will get tagged with all sorts of names, but the truth remains. The relationship with Christ is their push, manifestations, signs and wonders follow.
    Peace
    Dalen

  96. Arizona,
    You are mistaken in what you understand that this leadership is teaching. Hearsay is just that. If you don’t have first-hand knowledge and are actually talking to these leaders personally you have no leg to stand on. Scripture is definitely very important to Bethel, it is not discounted. Signs and wonders are not more important, but they are good. You can lead a horse to water… If the young people choose to desire the gifts over the giver that is their choice. You can’t force them to do what you want. In no way are the leaders of Bethel promoting rebellion. Quite the contrary. Bill is very big on taking what ground that was won from previous generations as inheritance and moving forward. Great respect is given to those in our history. (across denominational lines). These young people you talk about were either given bad counsel by a young leader or they have not given all the info. Maybe a little bit of both. Like Donny said. Let’s stop bitching at each other over frivolous matters and do the real work at hand. There are crazy cult-like churches and churches with false doctrine. Those ones are very easy to spot if you actually have good info and discernment. Bethel will get tagged with all sorts of names, but the truth remains. The relationship with Christ is their push, manifestations, signs and wonders follow.
    Peace
    Dalen

  97. Iwantthetruth,

    Thanks for the website. I haven’t had a chance to check it out, but I will. I have been subject to these teaching for over ten years. Many things didn’t “seem” ok to me, but I trusted the people who were in leadership over me. After recent conversations, previously stated, I decided that I would look a little more into it. When I started it was like my eyes were opened up to a whole world I never knew. I am coninuing to look into these things and my family and I are in the process of finding a new church home. This is not an easy thing by any means, but the Bible says what it says and I am not willing to risk my salvation on the account that God “might” be okay with these signs and wonders.

    Dalen,

    I am a little unsure what your point is. And I feel no need to fued with you over this. It’s not right and that’s that.

  98. Iwantthetruth,

    Thanks for the website. I haven’t had a chance to check it out, but I will. I have been subject to these teaching for over ten years. Many things didn’t “seem” ok to me, but I trusted the people who were in leadership over me. After recent conversations, previously stated, I decided that I would look a little more into it. When I started it was like my eyes were opened up to a whole world I never knew. I am coninuing to look into these things and my family and I are in the process of finding a new church home. This is not an easy thing by any means, but the Bible says what it says and I am not willing to risk my salvation on the account that God “might” be okay with these signs and wonders.

    Dalen,

    I am a little unsure what your point is. And I feel no need to fued with you over this. It’s not right and that’s that.

  99. Arizona,
    I meant to address Iwanthetruth in the last post. Something you should look at. In the history of the world since the death and resurrection of Christ there have been many revivals. Most marked by signs and wonders such as these “new” ones. The church body does not do much in teaching church history. I know of a book that documents many things like what happens today, yet these happened over a hundred years ago. I have no intention of feuding with you, but I will state truth. You can believe what you want.

  100. Arizona,
    I meant to address Iwanthetruth in the last post. Something you should look at. In the history of the world since the death and resurrection of Christ there have been many revivals. Most marked by signs and wonders such as these “new” ones. The church body does not do much in teaching church history. I know of a book that documents many things like what happens today, yet these happened over a hundred years ago. I have no intention of feuding with you, but I will state truth. You can believe what you want.

  101. Arizona,

    I agree that there have been many revivals in churh history, and all as far as I know and believe have been accompanied with signs and wonders. I think the deeper issue of today is that the current revivals that have occured, Toronto Blessing, Brownsville, etc. have been based on what many mainline pentecostal/charasmatics feel are extra-biblical and when downright checked out with scripture with good hermanuetical study of the scripture, you will find that there is much that has been done contrary/out of context.

    With further research you will find that even those who supported some of these current revivals (Derek Prince, Paul Gowdy, etc) are now begining to admit that they were not of the spirit of the Lord but of some other spirit. Disturbing to say the least! Also, it seems that there are many who had spent many years in some of these “movements” are now coming forward and admitting that there is error and at time gross error in the scriptural interpretations that became the theological foundations of these supposed revivals.

    So, I think it wise that you study the scripture asking the Holy Soirit to lead into all truth and question when things just don’t seem to add up or line up.

    Dalen,

    I am not in anyway, in this post suggesting that about Bethel, so don’t get defensive… I am talking generalized regarding many of the revivals of today.

    Peace out to both of you

  102. Arizona,

    I agree that there have been many revivals in churh history, and all as far as I know and believe have been accompanied with signs and wonders. I think the deeper issue of today is that the current revivals that have occured, Toronto Blessing, Brownsville, etc. have been based on what many mainline pentecostal/charasmatics feel are extra-biblical and when downright checked out with scripture with good hermanuetical study of the scripture, you will find that there is much that has been done contrary/out of context.

    With further research you will find that even those who supported some of these current revivals (Derek Prince, Paul Gowdy, etc) are now begining to admit that they were not of the spirit of the Lord but of some other spirit. Disturbing to say the least! Also, it seems that there are many who had spent many years in some of these “movements” are now coming forward and admitting that there is error and at time gross error in the scriptural interpretations that became the theological foundations of these supposed revivals.

    So, I think it wise that you study the scripture asking the Holy Soirit to lead into all truth and question when things just don’t seem to add up or line up.

    Dalen,

    I am not in anyway, in this post suggesting that about Bethel, so don’t get defensive… I am talking generalized regarding many of the revivals of today.

    Peace out to both of you

  103. Thanks for the information guys. I will use it to help myself come closer to the truth. I did think the sign of Jonah website was good. Have you read the apologetics websites?

    Also, you can go to youtube and find some pretty disturbing videos with Todd Bentley healing people. One has this chick rolling around and really it looks more like a demonic spirit than one of the Lord.

    Check it out! AZ

  104. Thanks for the information guys. I will use it to help myself come closer to the truth. I did think the sign of Jonah website was good. Have you read the apologetics websites?

    Also, you can go to youtube and find some pretty disturbing videos with Todd Bentley healing people. One has this chick rolling around and really it looks more like a demonic spirit than one of the Lord.

    Check it out! AZ

  105. We all have our opinions, we all have our experiences, but we must measure everything against Jesus. Jesus sent a herd of pigs over a cliff by sending a legion of demons out from a man. Think about it, that would be a pretty “weird” sight to see; have you ever seen someone being delivered of a demon? It’s not pretty; just read the description in the Bible. About going to Carl’s Jr. to give a word to a woman…what about Jesus going to the Samaritan woman and “reading her mail” and, oh-by-the-way, it was a big no no to for Jewish men to speak to Samaritan women. What harm did that young man do? None. Nobody knows what the Holy Spirit was up to…who are we to judge God’s move anyway? My Pastor says with everything we see or hear, treat it like eating fruit, eat the fruit and spit out the seeds. We all have the Holy Spirit in us; if something doesn’t sit well, just ask the Holy Spirit…He’ll tell you what to do. Quit being judgemental, does, plank in your eye mean anything? Someone earlier on this blog mentioned about if we have prophesy, cast out demons and even raise the dead but don’t love people then we are a clanging cymbal. If anyone on this blog is without sin…cast your stone (boy didn’t that sound rightous and spiritual hee, hee). God bless you all and may the Lord reveal Himself to us more. Nicki

  106. We all have our opinions, we all have our experiences, but we must measure everything against Jesus. Jesus sent a herd of pigs over a cliff by sending a legion of demons out from a man. Think about it, that would be a pretty “weird” sight to see; have you ever seen someone being delivered of a demon? It’s not pretty; just read the description in the Bible. About going to Carl’s Jr. to give a word to a woman…what about Jesus going to the Samaritan woman and “reading her mail” and, oh-by-the-way, it was a big no no to for Jewish men to speak to Samaritan women. What harm did that young man do? None. Nobody knows what the Holy Spirit was up to…who are we to judge God’s move anyway? My Pastor says with everything we see or hear, treat it like eating fruit, eat the fruit and spit out the seeds. We all have the Holy Spirit in us; if something doesn’t sit well, just ask the Holy Spirit…He’ll tell you what to do. Quit being judgemental, does, plank in your eye mean anything? Someone earlier on this blog mentioned about if we have prophesy, cast out demons and even raise the dead but don’t love people then we are a clanging cymbal. If anyone on this blog is without sin…cast your stone (boy didn’t that sound rightous and spiritual hee, hee). God bless you all and may the Lord reveal Himself to us more. Nicki

  107. It sounds like you are being a little judgemental yourself Nicki. Remember that Satan can be dressed in many cloths and you can just as easily be tricked as the next person. Yes, the Spirit is inside of you, but you better check things with the Bible because You and your feelings and thoughs might get in the way of the Holy Spritit and the truth. There is no wonder to me that the Bible exists, otherwise we would have nothing to check things against.

  108. It sounds like you are being a little judgemental yourself Nicki. Remember that Satan can be dressed in many cloths and you can just as easily be tricked as the next person. Yes, the Spirit is inside of you, but you better check things with the Bible because You and your feelings and thoughs might get in the way of the Holy Spritit and the truth. There is no wonder to me that the Bible exists, otherwise we would have nothing to check things against.

  109. another interesting blog. I agree with the fact that some of us need to relax a bit and not attack your brother and sisters. I was saved into a small home group that spoke in tongues, did deliverance and maybe the best was dream interpreation and the fact that because we were so close, God would give us dreams meant for someone else in the group. There was a lot of encouragement and confirmations(meaning multiple confirmations of a dream/prophesy from outside the group)

    This is a great way that the Lord uses to build us up. I think one reason it was so great is that we were very close together and so our lives were sort of knit and intertwined so we could speak into each others lives more.

    however as of the last 2+ years from digging into the word, I can see some problems with the theology that we were believing in, and the lack of Bible teaching. I know that God was working big time, and that’s how he eventually led me to a more Bible strong group(through a dream of the Pastor). Funny, leading me through a dream to a much more Bible based church.

    I think that one problem people have is too much excitement over signs. If it is from the Lord, in my experience, he will confirm it for you more than once, and I don’t mean that after the prophesy, the guy next to him says, “I see it too” God is big and he confirms his signs in ways that are impossible to fake, like a stranger at the bus stop later saying the same thing that your brother/sister said in church, for example.

  110. another interesting blog. I agree with the fact that some of us need to relax a bit and not attack your brother and sisters. I was saved into a small home group that spoke in tongues, did deliverance and maybe the best was dream interpreation and the fact that because we were so close, God would give us dreams meant for someone else in the group. There was a lot of encouragement and confirmations(meaning multiple confirmations of a dream/prophesy from outside the group)

    This is a great way that the Lord uses to build us up. I think one reason it was so great is that we were very close together and so our lives were sort of knit and intertwined so we could speak into each others lives more.

    however as of the last 2+ years from digging into the word, I can see some problems with the theology that we were believing in, and the lack of Bible teaching. I know that God was working big time, and that’s how he eventually led me to a more Bible strong group(through a dream of the Pastor). Funny, leading me through a dream to a much more Bible based church.

    I think that one problem people have is too much excitement over signs. If it is from the Lord, in my experience, he will confirm it for you more than once, and I don’t mean that after the prophesy, the guy next to him says, “I see it too” God is big and he confirms his signs in ways that are impossible to fake, like a stranger at the bus stop later saying the same thing that your brother/sister said in church, for example.

  111. Matt,

    You experience sounds very similar to mine. I am only as far as your third paragraph and working towards the fourth. Thanks for the encouragement. Was is hard to break away from your group?

  112. Matt,

    You experience sounds very similar to mine. I am only as far as your third paragraph and working towards the fourth. Thanks for the encouragement. Was is hard to break away from your group?

  113. I have not been to the church personally, but have Bill Johnson, his team, and other pastors come to our church yearly. They are all very wise and I know that God leads them daily. What I have learned is to throw off religion. I know I will get a lot of reponses on that, but hear what I am saying…RELIGION, Not JESUS. Religion can build the walls up between christians and make the lost never want a relationship with God. You talk about the women and their clothing. Let God deal with them on that. Jesus wants to change to people and he never refused anyone. Read on who he reached out to most and the background of his diciples. On talking in tongues. This is not for others to understand. It is meant for God ears when it is you praying to him. I have found many times that when I am praying in the spirit I will have many emotions. Sometimes I will be crying and I can feel God is moving in my and healing me, maybe in ways I have’nt even seen I needed. As for when someone gives a message in tongues it should always follow with the interpertation. That is God speaking to us. I thought people were crazy at first when I would see them jerking or falling out…, but it happened to me and I never thought it would. I can tell you it is the most peaceful experience. The dancing and flag waiving do have purposes. They are breaking down walls. Yes and sometimes you will see demonic spirits in people at churches. The bible says the devil is always at church. It is crazy to see them released from a person, but thank God their are people willing to help them and work in the supernatural. Just because you think the supernatural does’nt exist does not mean it does not. There is a supernatural world at work, good and evil. If you open your eyes to it you can not ignore it. Everyone has free will, but please just do not take some ones word that they are crazy. Do your own praying about this and let God open your eyes to his truths. You could miss God from others doubts. Always put Jesus first and pray each day that he can use you as he sees. Do not worry what others think of you because it really only comes down to what Jesus thinks. Also please do not think I am bashing you for thinking they are crazy. I once thought this way, but I asked God to show me if it was real and He has. Sorry if there is many errors of spelling and stuff in this post. I have the Flu, but know that God is healing me of this:) be blessed!!!!!

  114. I have not been to the church personally, but have Bill Johnson, his team, and other pastors come to our church yearly. They are all very wise and I know that God leads them daily. What I have learned is to throw off religion. I know I will get a lot of reponses on that, but hear what I am saying…RELIGION, Not JESUS. Religion can build the walls up between christians and make the lost never want a relationship with God. You talk about the women and their clothing. Let God deal with them on that. Jesus wants to change to people and he never refused anyone. Read on who he reached out to most and the background of his diciples. On talking in tongues. This is not for others to understand. It is meant for God ears when it is you praying to him. I have found many times that when I am praying in the spirit I will have many emotions. Sometimes I will be crying and I can feel God is moving in my and healing me, maybe in ways I have’nt even seen I needed. As for when someone gives a message in tongues it should always follow with the interpertation. That is God speaking to us. I thought people were crazy at first when I would see them jerking or falling out…, but it happened to me and I never thought it would. I can tell you it is the most peaceful experience. The dancing and flag waiving do have purposes. They are breaking down walls. Yes and sometimes you will see demonic spirits in people at churches. The bible says the devil is always at church. It is crazy to see them released from a person, but thank God their are people willing to help them and work in the supernatural. Just because you think the supernatural does’nt exist does not mean it does not. There is a supernatural world at work, good and evil. If you open your eyes to it you can not ignore it. Everyone has free will, but please just do not take some ones word that they are crazy. Do your own praying about this and let God open your eyes to his truths. You could miss God from others doubts. Always put Jesus first and pray each day that he can use you as he sees. Do not worry what others think of you because it really only comes down to what Jesus thinks. Also please do not think I am bashing you for thinking they are crazy. I once thought this way, but I asked God to show me if it was real and He has. Sorry if there is many errors of spelling and stuff in this post. I have the Flu, but know that God is healing me of this:) be blessed!!!!!

  115. Does anyone have any experience with Bethel Church relating to “Recovered Memories”, or Theophostic therapy? My daughter sought counseling at Bethel 3 years ago and that was the end of our relationship. Please, if anyone who has had a similar experience I could really use any information that you have.

  116. Does anyone have any experience with Bethel Church relating to “Recovered Memories”, or Theophostic therapy? My daughter sought counseling at Bethel 3 years ago and that was the end of our relationship. Please, if anyone who has had a similar experience I could really use any information that you have.

  117. I went to Bethel Church for a healing. I was very open. I didn’t know anything about it before going to the service.

    There was no surge of God’s power. What I did see disturbed me. I saw jerking, people looking for a emotional experience, and witchery laughter. I felt a strong sense of the devel’s presence. I think people are getting demonized. I prayed God would put a protective wall around me.

    I do believe in the supernatural, and in the gifts. In some cases perhaps by faith people are healed. Healing can happen where there is faith. It can happen in your own closit.

    I am sceptical of any group where people look up to the pastor like a god. What ever he says is gospel truth. Scripture tells us to question the spirits to see if it is of the Holy Spirit. We are exhorted to examine everything by Scriptures. I think in this Church there is a strange fire happening. I would want to get burned by it.
    This Church shall come to naught.
    You should check out David Wilkerson’s article on this movement written up in the Carisma magazine.

  118. I went to Bethel Church for a healing. I was very open. I didn’t know anything about it before going to the service.

    There was no surge of God’s power. What I did see disturbed me. I saw jerking, people looking for a emotional experience, and witchery laughter. I felt a strong sense of the devel’s presence. I think people are getting demonized. I prayed God would put a protective wall around me.

    I do believe in the supernatural, and in the gifts. In some cases perhaps by faith people are healed. Healing can happen where there is faith. It can happen in your own closit.

    I am sceptical of any group where people look up to the pastor like a god. What ever he says is gospel truth. Scripture tells us to question the spirits to see if it is of the Holy Spirit. We are exhorted to examine everything by Scriptures. I think in this Church there is a strange fire happening. I would want to get burned by it.
    This Church shall come to naught.
    You should check out David Wilkerson’s article on this movement written up in the Carisma magazine.

  119. M. Barry and Arizona: M. Barry, you were under some kind of personal demonic assault when you walked into Bethel, but you weren’t consciously aware of it at the time. Don’t make it your fault or theirs. One of the gifts of the Spirit is discernment. Without becoming devil-conscious, learn to discern what is hitting you and why. Then rebuke it in Jesus’ name, the Name above every Name. Two easy biblical steps: 1) Submit to God, 2) Resist the devil and voila! he will flee from you. The presence of the Lord is at Bethel and it’s not hard to tune into. They are also very Scriptural. I was raised Baptist, have been pentecostal for many years now. I understand how they both think. All Christian churches say they believe the whole Bible, but they sure promote different emphases, don’t they? I read this whole blog here, and it wasn’t real hard to pick up denominational biases of the writers. No one just sits in a hollow tree reading the Bible with no outside influences, and they wouldn’t come up with the perfect interpretation on their own anyway because the human mind is enmity against God. Most Christians have had the Bible spun to them according to the Anabaptists’ thinking, the pentecostal thinking, the Catholic thinking, you name it. Your mind is a filter when you read the Bible. However does God manage to get through to the fundamentalist? Now that is a modern miracle in itself! They can be so mental in their relationship with God, the same shortcoming that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation. Now how is that picky error-paranoid theology more holy than being emotional and joyful and occasionally erratic? Jesus came across as weird putting mud on that guy’s eyes to heal him (they don’t do THAT at Bethel). Then He forgave the woman caught in adultery which was flat-out unscriptural. The Pharisees were absolutely correct in asserting that the Bible said she should be stoned. Then to frost them all and freak out even His own disciples, “Eat My flesh and drink My blood?!” How unscriptural can He possibly get? We have no problem with that 2000+ yrs later because we hear the spirit of what He was saying, but put yourself in the shoes of those sincere, very dedicated doctrinal experts, the Pharisees. Would YOU have had ears to hear this scary guy who claimed to be the Messiah or would you have left? Jesus even asked His own hand-picked 12 disciples, “Are you guys going to go too now?” True hunger for God gives someone ears to hear. Blessed are those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Here is a model to judge a church by: The poor received Jesus gladly and he had a big rag-tag following (not all of them perfect by the way). The Pharisees on the other hand searched far and wide to make one proselyte. Hmmm…. Bethel has gone to 3 services on Sun am they are getting so huge because people are meeting God there and getting what they need to grow. There are other churches in Redding searching far and wide to make one proselyte. Rick Warren’s church is like 25-30,000 people and I didn’t think too much of that one way or the other until I saw him on God TV. Incredible deep, deep dedication to the Lord, same as I’ve witnessed in Bill Johnson and the other Bethel pastors. The churches that are attached to the Vine are bearing fruit and their fruit is remaining, much to the chagrin of churches that are so obsessed not with the Bible per se, but limited, disempowering, unglorifying-to-God interpretations of the Bible that no doubt give the devil a better night’s sleep. Get on your face before God. Make Him tell you what He thinks of Bethel. Who cares what I think or Dalen thinks. Hope this helps. Love, Linda

  120. M. Barry and Arizona: M. Barry, you were under some kind of personal demonic assault when you walked into Bethel, but you weren’t consciously aware of it at the time. Don’t make it your fault or theirs. One of the gifts of the Spirit is discernment. Without becoming devil-conscious, learn to discern what is hitting you and why. Then rebuke it in Jesus’ name, the Name above every Name. Two easy biblical steps: 1) Submit to God, 2) Resist the devil and voila! he will flee from you. The presence of the Lord is at Bethel and it’s not hard to tune into. They are also very Scriptural. I was raised Baptist, have been pentecostal for many years now. I understand how they both think. All Christian churches say they believe the whole Bible, but they sure promote different emphases, don’t they? I read this whole blog here, and it wasn’t real hard to pick up denominational biases of the writers. No one just sits in a hollow tree reading the Bible with no outside influences, and they wouldn’t come up with the perfect interpretation on their own anyway because the human mind is enmity against God. Most Christians have had the Bible spun to them according to the Anabaptists’ thinking, the pentecostal thinking, the Catholic thinking, you name it. Your mind is a filter when you read the Bible. However does God manage to get through to the fundamentalist? Now that is a modern miracle in itself! They can be so mental in their relationship with God, the same shortcoming that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation. Now how is that picky error-paranoid theology more holy than being emotional and joyful and occasionally erratic? Jesus came across as weird putting mud on that guy’s eyes to heal him (they don’t do THAT at Bethel). Then He forgave the woman caught in adultery which was flat-out unscriptural. The Pharisees were absolutely correct in asserting that the Bible said she should be stoned. Then to frost them all and freak out even His own disciples, “Eat My flesh and drink My blood?!” How unscriptural can He possibly get? We have no problem with that 2000+ yrs later because we hear the spirit of what He was saying, but put yourself in the shoes of those sincere, very dedicated doctrinal experts, the Pharisees. Would YOU have had ears to hear this scary guy who claimed to be the Messiah or would you have left? Jesus even asked His own hand-picked 12 disciples, “Are you guys going to go too now?” True hunger for God gives someone ears to hear. Blessed are those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Here is a model to judge a church by: The poor received Jesus gladly and he had a big rag-tag following (not all of them perfect by the way). The Pharisees on the other hand searched far and wide to make one proselyte. Hmmm…. Bethel has gone to 3 services on Sun am they are getting so huge because people are meeting God there and getting what they need to grow. There are other churches in Redding searching far and wide to make one proselyte. Rick Warren’s church is like 25-30,000 people and I didn’t think too much of that one way or the other until I saw him on God TV. Incredible deep, deep dedication to the Lord, same as I’ve witnessed in Bill Johnson and the other Bethel pastors. The churches that are attached to the Vine are bearing fruit and their fruit is remaining, much to the chagrin of churches that are so obsessed not with the Bible per se, but limited, disempowering, unglorifying-to-God interpretations of the Bible that no doubt give the devil a better night’s sleep. Get on your face before God. Make Him tell you what He thinks of Bethel. Who cares what I think or Dalen thinks. Hope this helps. Love, Linda

  121. Linda,

    That was a really great comment. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

  122. Linda,

    That was a really great comment. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

  123. Linda,

    I have a few questions about your post. Would you mind answering them? I am very curious about this church.

    1. You stated to M. Barry, “you were under some kind of personal demonic assault when you walked into Bethel, but you weren’t consciously aware of it at the time.”

    Do you have some certain knowledge that he was under a demonic assault or do you just assume that he was because he stated, “I think people are getting demonized”?

    You say he was under demonic assault. He says that he thought that people were getting demonized. Linda can you tell me how I can decide which of you—if either—is correctly attributing demonic influence?

    2. You stated, “Most Christians have had the Bible spun to them according to the Anabaptists’ thinking, the pentecostal thinking, the Catholic thinking, you name it. Your mind is a filter when you read the Bible.”

    Linda can you tell me why you are immune to the Bible being spun to you if you are in fact claiming that?

    3. You wrote,” However does God manage to get through to the fundamentalist? Now that is a modern miracle in itself! They can be so mental in their relationship with God, the same shortcoming that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation.”

    Can you explain why it is wrong to be mental in our relationship with God? Can you give a scriptural reference that proves that it was being, “mental” that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation?

    4. You asked, “Now how is that picky error-paranoid theology more holy than being emotional and joyful and occasionally erratic?

    Are you saying that the Pharisees missed the day of their visitation because they were afraid of committing errors? And if that is what you are saying can you provide a scriptural reference?

    5. You stated, “Then He forgave the woman caught in adultery which was flat-out unscriptural.”

    Can you explain how it was unscriptural for God in Flesh to forgive the woman caught in adultery? And if you can will you please give a scriptural reference to support your argument?

    6. You stated, “The Pharisees were absolutely correct in asserting that the Bible said she should be stoned. Then to frost them all and freak out even His own disciples, “Eat My flesh and drink My blood?!” ?!” How unscriptural can He possibly get? We have no problem with that 2000+ yrs later because we hear the spirit of what He was saying,”

    Can you explain how it was “unscriptural” for Jesus to say that? And are you saying that we should evaluate the truth value of his statement because, “we hear the spirit of what He was saying,”?

    7. You stated, “Here is a model to judge a church by: The poor received Jesus gladly and he had a big rag-tag following (not all of them perfect by the way). The Pharisees on the other hand searched far and wide to make one proselyte. Hmmm…. Bethel has gone to 3 services on Sun am they are getting so huge because people are meeting God there and getting what they need to grow. There are other churches in Redding searching far and wide to make one proselyte. Rick Warren’s church is like 25-30,000 people and I didn’t think too much of that one way or the other until I saw him on God TV.”

    Are you saying that we can judge whether or not a church is of God by counting how many people attend the services or how many services they have? Is that how we can divide between truth and error? If that is what you are saying can you give a scriptural reference?

    Linda, I have asked you several times to give me scriptural references because you stated about Bethel, “The presence of the Lord is at Bethel and it’s not hard to tune into. They are also very Scriptural.” It is my assumption therefore that you value what the scripture says, and that you can give me scriptural references to support your arguements. If you cannot give me scriptural arguments then how else will I know who is “it” in the game of “demon tag”?

  124. Linda,

    I have a few questions about your post. Would you mind answering them? I am very curious about this church.

    1. You stated to M. Barry, “you were under some kind of personal demonic assault when you walked into Bethel, but you weren’t consciously aware of it at the time.”

    Do you have some certain knowledge that he was under a demonic assault or do you just assume that he was because he stated, “I think people are getting demonized”?

    You say he was under demonic assault. He says that he thought that people were getting demonized. Linda can you tell me how I can decide which of you—if either—is correctly attributing demonic influence?

    2. You stated, “Most Christians have had the Bible spun to them according to the Anabaptists’ thinking, the pentecostal thinking, the Catholic thinking, you name it. Your mind is a filter when you read the Bible.”

    Linda can you tell me why you are immune to the Bible being spun to you if you are in fact claiming that?

    3. You wrote,” However does God manage to get through to the fundamentalist? Now that is a modern miracle in itself! They can be so mental in their relationship with God, the same shortcoming that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation.”

    Can you explain why it is wrong to be mental in our relationship with God? Can you give a scriptural reference that proves that it was being, “mental” that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation?

    4. You asked, “Now how is that picky error-paranoid theology more holy than being emotional and joyful and occasionally erratic?

    Are you saying that the Pharisees missed the day of their visitation because they were afraid of committing errors? And if that is what you are saying can you provide a scriptural reference?

    5. You stated, “Then He forgave the woman caught in adultery which was flat-out unscriptural.”

    Can you explain how it was unscriptural for God in Flesh to forgive the woman caught in adultery? And if you can will you please give a scriptural reference to support your argument?

    6. You stated, “The Pharisees were absolutely correct in asserting that the Bible said she should be stoned. Then to frost them all and freak out even His own disciples, “Eat My flesh and drink My blood?!” ?!” How unscriptural can He possibly get? We have no problem with that 2000+ yrs later because we hear the spirit of what He was saying,”

    Can you explain how it was “unscriptural” for Jesus to say that? And are you saying that we should evaluate the truth value of his statement because, “we hear the spirit of what He was saying,”?

    7. You stated, “Here is a model to judge a church by: The poor received Jesus gladly and he had a big rag-tag following (not all of them perfect by the way). The Pharisees on the other hand searched far and wide to make one proselyte. Hmmm…. Bethel has gone to 3 services on Sun am they are getting so huge because people are meeting God there and getting what they need to grow. There are other churches in Redding searching far and wide to make one proselyte. Rick Warren’s church is like 25-30,000 people and I didn’t think too much of that one way or the other until I saw him on God TV.”

    Are you saying that we can judge whether or not a church is of God by counting how many people attend the services or how many services they have? Is that how we can divide between truth and error? If that is what you are saying can you give a scriptural reference?

    Linda, I have asked you several times to give me scriptural references because you stated about Bethel, “The presence of the Lord is at Bethel and it’s not hard to tune into. They are also very Scriptural.” It is my assumption therefore that you value what the scripture says, and that you can give me scriptural references to support your arguements. If you cannot give me scriptural arguments then how else will I know who is “it” in the game of “demon tag”?

  125. Hey Pat, that leash around your neck is so tight, you may want to back off before you lose consciousness:) If you didn’t get the humor, I mean to say call off the attack there. Are you truly wanting to have references given you? Then would you change you opinion. It doesn’t seem to me that you actually want to hear a good Bible based argument that is derived contrary from the way you interpret scripture, otherwise you would have no problem with Linda’s argument. I agree that if one is going to argue a case then one should support their findings properly, but I have my doubts you would allow the latitude used. If Linda does not provide references, and you are actually open to another point of view then I will glad roll them out for you. Then you can do what you want with them. One thing I know that is true. Intellectual doctrine based on just intellect is always trumped by an encounter and experience with God(i.e.Paul). Intellect is great, but without a certain amount of faith and walking into the unknown you get the Greeks. If you want all mystical miracles etc. you get just the Jews. There’s some scripture there, need I really give an exact reference?
    Bless You All
    Dalen

  126. Hey Pat, that leash around your neck is so tight, you may want to back off before you lose consciousness:) If you didn’t get the humor, I mean to say call off the attack there. Are you truly wanting to have references given you? Then would you change you opinion. It doesn’t seem to me that you actually want to hear a good Bible based argument that is derived contrary from the way you interpret scripture, otherwise you would have no problem with Linda’s argument. I agree that if one is going to argue a case then one should support their findings properly, but I have my doubts you would allow the latitude used. If Linda does not provide references, and you are actually open to another point of view then I will glad roll them out for you. Then you can do what you want with them. One thing I know that is true. Intellectual doctrine based on just intellect is always trumped by an encounter and experience with God(i.e.Paul). Intellect is great, but without a certain amount of faith and walking into the unknown you get the Greeks. If you want all mystical miracles etc. you get just the Jews. There’s some scripture there, need I really give an exact reference?
    Bless You All
    Dalen

  127. Dalen,

    And I am well known for my sense of humor. I was not attacking. I was asking Linda to justify her attack.

    And I don’t mean to pick on Linda actually. However she made, in my opinion, some rather irresponsible accusations against many of the churches in the Redding area. I find that quite offensive. My guess is that she wrote her post while feeling rather emotional about M. Barry’s suggestion that people at Bethel were getting demonized. However, I find it unsettling that she compared other local churches to the Pharisees. I have seen this over and over again though the years, and I am always nervous when individuals of a particular church seem to suggest that God’s favor rests on them and their church, and if you are not with us you are just not with what God is doing. Now possibly she didn’t mean to suggest this, and if that is the case maybe she would like to clarify her position.

    You stated, “It doesn’t seem to me that you actually want to hear a good Bible based argument that is derived contrary from the way you interpret scripture, otherwise you would have no problem with Linda’s argument.”

    Your statement is rather illogical since I was asking specifically for a Bible based argument. You have not provided any argument yet you seem comfortable suggesting that I don’t want to hear a good Bible based argument. I have not stated my interpretation of her oblique references to scriptures, however I would be happy to do so.

    So to answer your question, yes I very much would like to have those references. If you can provide a Bible based argument for her position then I will read it with an open mind, providing that you do so without any more ad hominem attacks against me.

    I do have a question though:

    You stated, “One thing I know that is true. Intellectual doctrine based on just intellect is always trumped by an encounter and experience with God(i.e.Paul).”

    Your use of the word “trumped” is possibly a poor choice? I doubt that you were suggesting that experience trumps doctrine. Am I correct in my assumption of what you meant? My own opinion is that an encounter with the Spirit of God augments doctrine, but never trumps it. (Clearly you were talking about strictly intellectual based doctrine and I agree with you on that.) But in the broader since I don’t think you are suggesting that an “encounter” with God carries greater weight than doctrine are you?

  128. Dalen,

    And I am well known for my sense of humor. I was not attacking. I was asking Linda to justify her attack.

    And I don’t mean to pick on Linda actually. However she made, in my opinion, some rather irresponsible accusations against many of the churches in the Redding area. I find that quite offensive. My guess is that she wrote her post while feeling rather emotional about M. Barry’s suggestion that people at Bethel were getting demonized. However, I find it unsettling that she compared other local churches to the Pharisees. I have seen this over and over again though the years, and I am always nervous when individuals of a particular church seem to suggest that God’s favor rests on them and their church, and if you are not with us you are just not with what God is doing. Now possibly she didn’t mean to suggest this, and if that is the case maybe she would like to clarify her position.

    You stated, “It doesn’t seem to me that you actually want to hear a good Bible based argument that is derived contrary from the way you interpret scripture, otherwise you would have no problem with Linda’s argument.”

    Your statement is rather illogical since I was asking specifically for a Bible based argument. You have not provided any argument yet you seem comfortable suggesting that I don’t want to hear a good Bible based argument. I have not stated my interpretation of her oblique references to scriptures, however I would be happy to do so.

    So to answer your question, yes I very much would like to have those references. If you can provide a Bible based argument for her position then I will read it with an open mind, providing that you do so without any more ad hominem attacks against me.

    I do have a question though:

    You stated, “One thing I know that is true. Intellectual doctrine based on just intellect is always trumped by an encounter and experience with God(i.e.Paul).”

    Your use of the word “trumped” is possibly a poor choice? I doubt that you were suggesting that experience trumps doctrine. Am I correct in my assumption of what you meant? My own opinion is that an encounter with the Spirit of God augments doctrine, but never trumps it. (Clearly you were talking about strictly intellectual based doctrine and I agree with you on that.) But in the broader since I don’t think you are suggesting that an “encounter” with God carries greater weight than doctrine are you?

  129. Linda and/or Dalen

    I said that I would give my “interpretation” to the scriptural references made in Linda’s post so here they are.

    Linda wrote,” However does God manage to get through to the fundamentalist? Now that is a modern miracle in itself! They can be so mental in their relationship with God, the same shortcoming that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation.”

    I asked, “Can you explain why it is wrong to be mental in our relationship with God? Can you give a scriptural reference that proves that it was being, “mental” that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation?”

    Here is what Jesus said:

    Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

    Loving God with our mind is not a suggestion, it is a command.

    Is being mental why the Pharisees missed their day of visitation?

    Luke 5:27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him,
    28. and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
    29. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.
    30. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and `sinners’?”
    31. Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
    32. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    One of the reasons that the Pharisees rejected Jesus is that they refused to recognize that they were sinners.

    And,

    Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “`The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ?
    43. “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
    44. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
    45. When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.

    They rejected Jesus. This is another reason they missed their visitation.

    Not all of the Pharisee rejected him however:

    John 19:38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.
    39. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.
    46. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

    Nicodemus was a Pharisee:

    John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.

    Yet he assisted in the burial of our Lord and Savior.

    Jesus did not have a problem with the Pharisees teaching the Law, he had a problem with their “yeast” which was hypocrisy.

    In fact, Jesus said:

    Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
    2. “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
    3. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

    It was not their teaching of the Law that he criticized, it was their lack of practicing it.

    Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

    He never criticized their teaching of the Law. It was their habit of not practicing justice, mercy and faithfulness that he criticized.

    And furthermore:

    Matthew 13:52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

    Contrary to Jesus criticizing being “mental”, he is in fact endorsing it. The great illustration of the last scripture reference is the Apostle Paul.

    Linda asked:

    “Now how is that picky error-paranoid theology more holy than being emotional and joyful and occasionally erratic?”

    I have searched and can find no example of Jesus or the apostles warning us to not to be concerned with committing errors. To the contrary:

    Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Gasp! They actually had the audacity to question Paul? How dare they!

    Linda said:

    “but put yourself in the shoes of those sincere, very dedicated doctrinal experts, the Pharisees.”

    Sincere, very dedicated?

    Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.

    Are you actually comparing the Anabaptists, pentecostals, Catholics, and other local churches of Redding to the Pharisees? The answer is yes you are. But, in order to make your comparison you first had to turn the Pharisees into “sincere” experts.

    You either don’t know the scripture or you don’t mind twisting it to suit your own needs.

    Linda stated, “Then He forgave the woman caught in adultery which was flat-out unscriptural.”

    Now this is really a problem. A really big problem. Whenever anyone actually attempts to suggest that Jesus was being “unscriptural” they are starting to tread on very very dangerous ground. The question should be asked, “Why would anyone suggest something like this?” Could it be that they want to suggest that, “God is doing a new thing?” It that sounds far fetched to anyone I know for a fact that it is not. I have encountered this line of reasoning before among Christians who are trying to justify their particular ideas of what they claim has been revealed to them by the Spirit. This should be addressed and rebuked in the strongest possible terms. And quite frankly—while I have nothing against Linda—this is “flat-out” heresy and I don’t care if my statement offends Linda or anyone else for that matter.

    Jesus said:

    Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

    Linda needs to make a decision, either accept that Jesus fulfilled the Law or he didn’t. When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery he fulfilled the Law or he didn’t. He kept the Law or he broke it. Which is it Linda? This type of cavalier misuse, and dishonest quotation of scripture is heresy and nothing less.

    Linda again indulges in this despicable reasoning when she says:

    “The Pharisees were absolutely correct in asserting that the Bible said she should be stoned. Then to frost them all and freak out even His own disciples, “Eat My flesh and drink My blood?!” ?!” How unscriptural can He possibly get? We have no problem with that 2000+ yrs later because we hear the spirit of what He was saying,”

    Linda, let me help you out with this one:

    John 6:50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.
    51. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
    52. Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
    53. Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
    54. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
    55. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
    56. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.
    57. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
    58. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.

    Linda do you know why I don’t have a “problem” with what he said? Because I read and study the scripture. It is not because I “hear the spirit of what He was saying.”

    Linda stated:

    “Here is a model to judge a church by: The poor received Jesus gladly and he had a big rag-tag following (not all of them perfect by the way). The Pharisees on the other hand searched far and wide to make one proselyte. Hmmm…. Bethel has gone to 3 services on Sun am they are getting so huge because people are meeting God there and getting what they need to grow. There are other churches in Redding searching far and wide to make one proselyte. Rick Warren’s church is like 25-30,000 people and I didn’t think too much of that one way or the other until I saw him on God TV.”

    Now this is interesting. Earlier Linda referred to this scripture:

    John 6:66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
    67. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
    68. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
    69. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

    If we follow Linda’s logic then Jesus should not be a good model for us. Her logic dictates that large numbers and multiple Sunday a.m. services apparently equates to “meeting God.”

    Linda since you like numbers, here is a scripture for you:

    2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

  130. Linda and/or Dalen

    I said that I would give my “interpretation” to the scriptural references made in Linda’s post so here they are.

    Linda wrote,” However does God manage to get through to the fundamentalist? Now that is a modern miracle in itself! They can be so mental in their relationship with God, the same shortcoming that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation.”

    I asked, “Can you explain why it is wrong to be mental in our relationship with God? Can you give a scriptural reference that proves that it was being, “mental” that caused the Pharisees to miss the day of their visitation?”

    Here is what Jesus said:

    Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

    Loving God with our mind is not a suggestion, it is a command.

    Is being mental why the Pharisees missed their day of visitation?

    Luke 5:27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him,
    28. and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
    29. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.
    30. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and `sinners’?”
    31. Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
    32. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    One of the reasons that the Pharisees rejected Jesus is that they refused to recognize that they were sinners.

    And,

    Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “`The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ?
    43. “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
    44. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
    45. When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.

    They rejected Jesus. This is another reason they missed their visitation.

    Not all of the Pharisee rejected him however:

    John 19:38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.
    39. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.
    46. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

    Nicodemus was a Pharisee:

    John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.

    Yet he assisted in the burial of our Lord and Savior.

    Jesus did not have a problem with the Pharisees teaching the Law, he had a problem with their “yeast” which was hypocrisy.

    In fact, Jesus said:

    Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
    2. “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
    3. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

    It was not their teaching of the Law that he criticized, it was their lack of practicing it.

    Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

    He never criticized their teaching of the Law. It was their habit of not practicing justice, mercy and faithfulness that he criticized.

    And furthermore:

    Matthew 13:52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

    Contrary to Jesus criticizing being “mental”, he is in fact endorsing it. The great illustration of the last scripture reference is the Apostle Paul.

    Linda asked:

    “Now how is that picky error-paranoid theology more holy than being emotional and joyful and occasionally erratic?”

    I have searched and can find no example of Jesus or the apostles warning us to not to be concerned with committing errors. To the contrary:

    Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Gasp! They actually had the audacity to question Paul? How dare they!

    Linda said:

    “but put yourself in the shoes of those sincere, very dedicated doctrinal experts, the Pharisees.”

    Sincere, very dedicated?

    Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.

    Are you actually comparing the Anabaptists, pentecostals, Catholics, and other local churches of Redding to the Pharisees? The answer is yes you are. But, in order to make your comparison you first had to turn the Pharisees into “sincere” experts.

    You either don’t know the scripture or you don’t mind twisting it to suit your own needs.

    Linda stated, “Then He forgave the woman caught in adultery which was flat-out unscriptural.”

    Now this is really a problem. A really big problem. Whenever anyone actually attempts to suggest that Jesus was being “unscriptural” they are starting to tread on very very dangerous ground. The question should be asked, “Why would anyone suggest something like this?” Could it be that they want to suggest that, “God is doing a new thing?” It that sounds far fetched to anyone I know for a fact that it is not. I have encountered this line of reasoning before among Christians who are trying to justify their particular ideas of what they claim has been revealed to them by the Spirit. This should be addressed and rebuked in the strongest possible terms. And quite frankly—while I have nothing against Linda—this is “flat-out” heresy and I don’t care if my statement offends Linda or anyone else for that matter.

    Jesus said:

    Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

    Linda needs to make a decision, either accept that Jesus fulfilled the Law or he didn’t. When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery he fulfilled the Law or he didn’t. He kept the Law or he broke it. Which is it Linda? This type of cavalier misuse, and dishonest quotation of scripture is heresy and nothing less.

    Linda again indulges in this despicable reasoning when she says:

    “The Pharisees were absolutely correct in asserting that the Bible said she should be stoned. Then to frost them all and freak out even His own disciples, “Eat My flesh and drink My blood?!” ?!” How unscriptural can He possibly get? We have no problem with that 2000+ yrs later because we hear the spirit of what He was saying,”

    Linda, let me help you out with this one:

    John 6:50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.
    51. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
    52. Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
    53. Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
    54. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
    55. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
    56. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.
    57. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
    58. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.

    Linda do you know why I don’t have a “problem” with what he said? Because I read and study the scripture. It is not because I “hear the spirit of what He was saying.”

    Linda stated:

    “Here is a model to judge a church by: The poor received Jesus gladly and he had a big rag-tag following (not all of them perfect by the way). The Pharisees on the other hand searched far and wide to make one proselyte. Hmmm…. Bethel has gone to 3 services on Sun am they are getting so huge because people are meeting God there and getting what they need to grow. There are other churches in Redding searching far and wide to make one proselyte. Rick Warren’s church is like 25-30,000 people and I didn’t think too much of that one way or the other until I saw him on God TV.”

    Now this is interesting. Earlier Linda referred to this scripture:

    John 6:66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
    67. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
    68. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
    69. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

    If we follow Linda’s logic then Jesus should not be a good model for us. Her logic dictates that large numbers and multiple Sunday a.m. services apparently equates to “meeting God.”

    Linda since you like numbers, here is a scripture for you:

    2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

  131. Hi, Pat. You are a scribe and a half; I think it’s great. I didn’t copy-paste hundreds of verses into my post, because my windows 98 dog of a computer freezes and crashes daily. But the references you pulled over are precisely the ones I was thinking of. I tend to say things a bit strongly at times and you clarified and substantiated a lot of what I was saying without realizing it. Now to clarify more, because you are obviously a very semantic person, and that’s OK- God uses all of us.

    As for M. Barry, of course I wasn’t there to witness whatever he was suffering under, so I suggested what MAY have been the case, because I have seen that phenomenon before and it’s a total drag. People in Jesus day speculated that He had a demon and that was how He did His miracles. How in the universe could someone watch Jesus doing only what He saw the Father doing and think they were feeling the devil? Jesus responded rudely to them, “If I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out?”

    Who spins my thinking? I grew up Baptist and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at 17, and I’ve been pentecostal most of my adult life. My husband was brought up Lutheran- Missouri synod, confirmation, Lutheran School, and he is also a big influence. He says he’s still Lutheran, but he LOVES Bethel, especially Jesus Culture conferences and swears Martin Luther would love it too, and he’s a devoted expert on Luther. We’re part of the AG in Dunsmuir and get to Bethel once or twice a month Fri pm. We watch a lot of God TV, so these are my influences. I love the writings of A.W.Tozer, John Robert Stevens, Bobby Conners, Bill Johnson, James Goll, to name several. This mix spins my thinking.

    About the woman caught in adultery, what did the Law say should be done to her? Bear in mind that was the whole Bible available back then, and Jesus made an un-Law-full exception just for her. The Pharisees were the ultimate Bible-thumpers, I assumed they were basically sincere as a group, maybe becase Saul/Paul stated how sincere he was when he was a Pharisee. But they were obviously TOO mental in their relationship with God to discern that not only was He was the Son of God who was there to fulfill the Law, but that God’s Son can do anything He wants. I trust we are in agreement that Jesus could and can do whatever He wants, period. It’s a clear and present danger to very cerebral people to think they know the Scriptures and not find the Scriptures pointing them to Jesus’ heart and intentions. And the fruit of their lives, like doctrinal arguments, is evident. Oops! We’re both caught in that even now. Emotionally driven people have their issues too. Whatever is born of flesh is flesh and the unredeemed mind no matter how religious and well-intentioned it is, is fully capable of missing God. Loving God with the mind is not the same as leaning on your own understanding. That applies to fundamentalists and pentecostals. If the 1st commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, check yourself and your church by that list. Worship together should exhibit all four, don’t you think? The conservative churches (I don’t want to call any church “dead” as is the habit of some, because that is judging, and who are we to judge another man’s servant) approve worship from the heart and mind, but oh my, don’t get emotional about your love for God and embarrass those around you and make the visitors think you are mentally unstable, and for heaven’s sake, DON’T JUMP, DON’T DANCE, DON’T WAVE A BANNER, DON’T MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE UNTO THE LORD OR GET PHYSICAL IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. It’s like the word “strength” in the 1st commandment is absolutely forbidden in the worship service. What’s up with that?

    As a former Baptist / fundamentalist, I know how they think. They are so paralyzed by their fear of deception which they often refer to as “error” that they lean almost entirely on their own theological understanding for safety. Displays of the gifts of the Spirit and the power of God unnerves them, so they scream “heresy!” and “cult!”. They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. However their sermons go on endlessly about the power of the devil. I think they ascribe more power to the devil in their daily speech than to God. Funny how they think all the gifts of the Spirit have ceased but God’s people will have power again someday in the Milennium, but meanwhile the devil is raging and that’s the big picture for today. Oh what is Iran doing, who wants to blow us all up with WMD, those plagues are starting, Jesus we’re so scared, make that rapture come quick please please PLEASE!!

    About the numbers in churches, I didn’t mean to imply that all the small churches in Redding are small because they are filled with Pharisees, but that Pharisee spirit is very alienating to the lost. And our own churches are the hardest to discern objectively. In most cases we attend there because we feel comfortable and we feel like we fit in with others whose theology complements ours. There are commonalities on the human level contributing as well to that warm, fuzzy feeling. Unfortunately that Sun morning togetherness is not the same as the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Visitors enter the sanctuary and feel nothing because they are not part of the club, nor do they desire to be part of your club. The unreligious in Jesus day responded to Him and His love, because He brought them the Father’s heart . The Pharisees brought them rules and more rules, lots of memorization on their part but no heart. Dalen’s right. The heart trumps the mind. Without the heart of God, aka the Holy Spirit, the mind will get the doctrines just a little wrong every time. The mind without God is the flesh and those that are in the flesh cannot please God. And that is what we ALL want to hear from God when our natural lives are over, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

  132. Hi, Pat. You are a scribe and a half; I think it’s great. I didn’t copy-paste hundreds of verses into my post, because my windows 98 dog of a computer freezes and crashes daily. But the references you pulled over are precisely the ones I was thinking of. I tend to say things a bit strongly at times and you clarified and substantiated a lot of what I was saying without realizing it. Now to clarify more, because you are obviously a very semantic person, and that’s OK- God uses all of us.

    As for M. Barry, of course I wasn’t there to witness whatever he was suffering under, so I suggested what MAY have been the case, because I have seen that phenomenon before and it’s a total drag. People in Jesus day speculated that He had a demon and that was how He did His miracles. How in the universe could someone watch Jesus doing only what He saw the Father doing and think they were feeling the devil? Jesus responded rudely to them, “If I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out?”

    Who spins my thinking? I grew up Baptist and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at 17, and I’ve been pentecostal most of my adult life. My husband was brought up Lutheran- Missouri synod, confirmation, Lutheran School, and he is also a big influence. He says he’s still Lutheran, but he LOVES Bethel, especially Jesus Culture conferences and swears Martin Luther would love it too, and he’s a devoted expert on Luther. We’re part of the AG in Dunsmuir and get to Bethel once or twice a month Fri pm. We watch a lot of God TV, so these are my influences. I love the writings of A.W.Tozer, John Robert Stevens, Bobby Conners, Bill Johnson, James Goll, to name several. This mix spins my thinking.

    About the woman caught in adultery, what did the Law say should be done to her? Bear in mind that was the whole Bible available back then, and Jesus made an un-Law-full exception just for her. The Pharisees were the ultimate Bible-thumpers, I assumed they were basically sincere as a group, maybe becase Saul/Paul stated how sincere he was when he was a Pharisee. But they were obviously TOO mental in their relationship with God to discern that not only was He was the Son of God who was there to fulfill the Law, but that God’s Son can do anything He wants. I trust we are in agreement that Jesus could and can do whatever He wants, period. It’s a clear and present danger to very cerebral people to think they know the Scriptures and not find the Scriptures pointing them to Jesus’ heart and intentions. And the fruit of their lives, like doctrinal arguments, is evident. Oops! We’re both caught in that even now. Emotionally driven people have their issues too. Whatever is born of flesh is flesh and the unredeemed mind no matter how religious and well-intentioned it is, is fully capable of missing God. Loving God with the mind is not the same as leaning on your own understanding. That applies to fundamentalists and pentecostals. If the 1st commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, check yourself and your church by that list. Worship together should exhibit all four, don’t you think? The conservative churches (I don’t want to call any church “dead” as is the habit of some, because that is judging, and who are we to judge another man’s servant) approve worship from the heart and mind, but oh my, don’t get emotional about your love for God and embarrass those around you and make the visitors think you are mentally unstable, and for heaven’s sake, DON’T JUMP, DON’T DANCE, DON’T WAVE A BANNER, DON’T MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE UNTO THE LORD OR GET PHYSICAL IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. It’s like the word “strength” in the 1st commandment is absolutely forbidden in the worship service. What’s up with that?

    As a former Baptist / fundamentalist, I know how they think. They are so paralyzed by their fear of deception which they often refer to as “error” that they lean almost entirely on their own theological understanding for safety. Displays of the gifts of the Spirit and the power of God unnerves them, so they scream “heresy!” and “cult!”. They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. However their sermons go on endlessly about the power of the devil. I think they ascribe more power to the devil in their daily speech than to God. Funny how they think all the gifts of the Spirit have ceased but God’s people will have power again someday in the Milennium, but meanwhile the devil is raging and that’s the big picture for today. Oh what is Iran doing, who wants to blow us all up with WMD, those plagues are starting, Jesus we’re so scared, make that rapture come quick please please PLEASE!!

    About the numbers in churches, I didn’t mean to imply that all the small churches in Redding are small because they are filled with Pharisees, but that Pharisee spirit is very alienating to the lost. And our own churches are the hardest to discern objectively. In most cases we attend there because we feel comfortable and we feel like we fit in with others whose theology complements ours. There are commonalities on the human level contributing as well to that warm, fuzzy feeling. Unfortunately that Sun morning togetherness is not the same as the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Visitors enter the sanctuary and feel nothing because they are not part of the club, nor do they desire to be part of your club. The unreligious in Jesus day responded to Him and His love, because He brought them the Father’s heart . The Pharisees brought them rules and more rules, lots of memorization on their part but no heart. Dalen’s right. The heart trumps the mind. Without the heart of God, aka the Holy Spirit, the mind will get the doctrines just a little wrong every time. The mind without God is the flesh and those that are in the flesh cannot please God. And that is what we ALL want to hear from God when our natural lives are over, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

  133. Linda,

    Thank you for clarifying some of your statements from your first post. I realize that my post may have seemed a bit harsh, but your points; as then stated; warranted a strong response.

    You spoke somewhat about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You are preaching to the converted with me. I do believe that the gifts are for today. The Lord has used me to minister with some of the gifts as we see outlined in Corinthians, and as demonstrated in Acts. And I have been ministered to from people exercising those gifts.

    I think that those of us who have Charismatic or Pentecostal backgrounds are just as guilty as the “fundamentalists” or “dispensationalists” of putting the Holy Spirit in a box in our thinking. Just because a person does not think that the gifts are for today, or that the Baptism or Filling of the Holy Spirit is not a possible subsequent experience; I don’t think that disqualifies them from exercising the gifts or being filled with the Holy Spirit. I have on several occasions known individuals that did not believe in the gifts exercise them. I have witnessed it. I have received messages that could only been prophetic from individuals that I have previously and subsequently argued with regarding the validity of the Charismatic gifts for today. I was wise enough, not to point out that God was using them with those gifts. I was able to accept that the Holy Spirit had it under control. It actually gave me a deeper appreciation for the workings of the Holy Spirit. The idea that just because a person intellectually does not agree with me concerning Pentecostalism therefore can not be used supernaturally by the Holy Spirit is nothing short of arrogance. I learned not to put God in “my” box.

    The reason that I mention all of that is sort of a rough attempt to qualify myself as a person who is willing to keep an open mind when considering whether or not a particular supernatural event—or alleged supernatural event—is of God.

    I was raised with virtually no religious background. I was saved in a very unusual circumstance at the age of 17. It was actually a year or two afterwards before I became involved with a church. And this church at the time (mid 70s) was considered the most radical church in Northern California. In fact, many people thought that it was a cult and they were afraid of us. There were miracles that occurred there. The gifts of the Holy Spirit flowed freely. But there was one attribute of that church that I don’t see in many of the current alleged supernatural movements. And that is the importance of knowing God through the Word of God. It seemed at times that it was beat into our heads. “You must know the Word. You must study the Word. You must understand sound doctrine. You must study and show yourself approved, you must memorize the scripture.” It seemed that they never stopped saying that you must read, study, and understand the Word.

    Through the years I have seen several “fads” creep into the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements. They sort of came and went without too much damage. And I think the reason these false doctrines did not cause too much disruption is that always there was an emphasis from the pulpit on knowing and studying the Word of God. If the general population of church is studying “doctrine” and immersing themselves in the Word, then the occasional counterfeit leader is easily spotted and remedial action can be taken. There is always some damage in such cases, but when the general population of the saints have the “two edged sword” in their hands, the devil better watch out!

    Well, you may ask yourself, “why is he saying all of this about the Word”? Linda, let me try to explain why.

    I have watched this current “movement” or “revival” for many years. I have been to many services in several churches like those I have read described in this blog. I always went into these services with—not just an open mind—but with a hunger to encounter God. And I have witnessed many of the activities described in this blog. While I felt that some of them (and to be honest most of them in my opinion) were emotive based, I thought possibly that the Holy Spirit was still moving. To be perfectly honest, I never came to a point were I was convinced that many, if any of them, were of God. I still was not totally dissuaded. I thought, ”Oh well, there is some fad stuff going on here. I have seen it before, I will see it again.” I really was not overly concerned. But, years have passed, I have watched the trends, and I have become very very concerned. And the thing that has concerned me the most is the growing lack of knowledge of the Word of God among these congregations. And my own personal observations are that this is due to too little or erroneous emphasis of the Word of God from the pulpit. And this is why, Linda, that I keyed in so emphatically on a few of your statements in your first post, and why I feel compelled to again address what you said in your second post.

    Linda, I am not attacking you. I am not trying to just get you to agree with me. I am addressing an issue that I have seen surfacing in this movement that is nothing short of dangerous and hellish.

    I have heard Christians try to substantiate many “new” doctrines and practices by suggesting that Jesus himself departed from scripture when “lead by the Spirit”. Linda, if we get this one thing wrong about what Jesus did, then anything goes.

    To put a finer point on it:

    If Jesus departed from scripture “because He was lead by the Spirit”, then it gives us license to depart from scripture “when we are lead by the Spirit”.

    You stated, “About the woman caught in adultery, what did the Law say should be done to her? Bear in mind that was the whole Bible available back then, and Jesus made an un-Law-full exception just for her.”

    Linda this is very important. Jesus did not make an exception. If Jesus broke the law, even this one single time, he did not fulfill all righteousness, and therefore he sinned. If he sinned, then he was not the required perfect sacrifice. And then it follows that if he was not the perfect sacrifice, (The Lamb of God without blemish) then we cannot be saved. God required a perfect sacrifice. There is no middle ground on this. It is not a matter of semantics. This is a matter of understanding the foundation of our salvation. This is not something that we can be flippant about, or take lightly. And by the way I don’t think that you are taking it lightly. However, if you will allow me, I would suggest that your understanding of this is not as complete as it should be.

    You stated, “I trust we are in agreement that Jesus could and can do whatever He wants, period. It’s a clear and present danger to very cerebral people to think they know the Scriptures and not find the Scriptures pointing them to Jesus’ heart and intentions.”

    Jesus is God. Of course he can do anything he wants. But according to Jesus, he never does anything that is not in accordance with the Word.

    I previously presented you with this scripture:

    Matthew 5:17 Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill them.
    18. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    Frankly, I was very surprised that after reading this passage that you still felt that Jesus had broken the Law. I need to point out to you that the only ones that said that Jesus was breaking the Law were the Pharisees. Jesus did not say he was breaking the Law. The Apostles did not say that he broke the law.

    Linda, you are in fact siding with the Pharisees—the very people that you were originally objecting too. Linda and the Pharisees are saying that Jesus broke the law. Jesus and the Apostles are saying that he did not, and that he was without blemish.

    So I am going to give you a few more scriptures to try to explain this. If you reject these I must say that I really don’t see any point in discussing it any further.

    Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
    14. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
    15. Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Then John consented.

    Here Jesus makes it clear to John the Baptist that He must fulfill all righteousness. Not part of it, ALL of it.

    1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,
    1 Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb WITHOUT BLEMISH OR DEFECT.

    Hebrews 9:13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.
    14. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself UNBLEMISHED to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

    Luke 24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: EVERYTHING MUST BE FULFILLED THAT IS WRITTEN ABOUT ME IN THE LAW OF MOSES, THE PROPHETS AND THE PSALMS.”

    There is no middle ground Linda. There are no exceptions. He either kept and fulfilled the Law or he didn’t.

    One of the things that concerns me about this movement is the growing trend of an unhealthy reliance on personal revelation based on prayer alone. Prayer is never unhealthy unless you are leaning on it more than the Word to evaluate doctrine or practices. Why don’t I hear more statements from proponents of this movement that say something like, “Pray and ask God to show you in His WORD whether or not these things are of God?” Why is that becoming such a foreign concept?

    Jesus said:

    John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
    40. yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    If we want to have Revelation from Jesus, doesn’t it make sense that we go to the scriptures that He says testify about Him?

    Incidentally, my church that I described above emphasized prayer as fervently as they emphasized the study of the Word. Intellectual study of the Word without an intimate prayer life with Christ is dead. It is just as you and Dalen alluded. It is the study of the Word AND a prayer life that enables us to be lead by the Spirit. What has bothered me about so many of the proponents of this movement that is the idea that you just pray about whether or not these things are of God and he will reveal to you the truth. No, no, no, that is not what we are to do! We are to use our mind and prayerfully compare what is taught in God’s word to the teaching we are receiving and the events that we are witnessing.

    I have been amazed at how many times in my life that I have been so directly and accurately lead by the Spirit. And I am equally amazed at how many times that I thought that I was being lead by the Spirit but was not. This is why we have the Word. If the spirit of man was able to always be lead of the Spirit of God, then why would we need the Word? Linda, you were right when you said that the mind of man is at enmity with God.

    When I talk to people in this movement and read many of the posts here, I hear and read so many statements like, “If you are hungry for God and have ears to hear then God will show you the truth.” If that were the total truth then why are there so many cults in the world? Some of the most sincere, hungry, and spiritually opened eared people I have ever met are separated from God and trapped into the false doctrine of a cult. They are not saved—they don’t know God—and their destiny is the Lake of Fire for all of eternity unless they turn to the real God. You see, that is what is ultimately at stake. That is why this is not just a trivial point of doctrinal discussion.

    I don’t think that I have too much more to say about this. The scriptures that I presented are self explanatory. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to understand or “interpret” them. You just have to make a decision whether or not you are going to accept the Word of God or reject it.

  134. Linda,

    Thank you for clarifying some of your statements from your first post. I realize that my post may have seemed a bit harsh, but your points; as then stated; warranted a strong response.

    You spoke somewhat about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You are preaching to the converted with me. I do believe that the gifts are for today. The Lord has used me to minister with some of the gifts as we see outlined in Corinthians, and as demonstrated in Acts. And I have been ministered to from people exercising those gifts.

    I think that those of us who have Charismatic or Pentecostal backgrounds are just as guilty as the “fundamentalists” or “dispensationalists” of putting the Holy Spirit in a box in our thinking. Just because a person does not think that the gifts are for today, or that the Baptism or Filling of the Holy Spirit is not a possible subsequent experience; I don’t think that disqualifies them from exercising the gifts or being filled with the Holy Spirit. I have on several occasions known individuals that did not believe in the gifts exercise them. I have witnessed it. I have received messages that could only been prophetic from individuals that I have previously and subsequently argued with regarding the validity of the Charismatic gifts for today. I was wise enough, not to point out that God was using them with those gifts. I was able to accept that the Holy Spirit had it under control. It actually gave me a deeper appreciation for the workings of the Holy Spirit. The idea that just because a person intellectually does not agree with me concerning Pentecostalism therefore can not be used supernaturally by the Holy Spirit is nothing short of arrogance. I learned not to put God in “my” box.

    The reason that I mention all of that is sort of a rough attempt to qualify myself as a person who is willing to keep an open mind when considering whether or not a particular supernatural event—or alleged supernatural event—is of God.

    I was raised with virtually no religious background. I was saved in a very unusual circumstance at the age of 17. It was actually a year or two afterwards before I became involved with a church. And this church at the time (mid 70s) was considered the most radical church in Northern California. In fact, many people thought that it was a cult and they were afraid of us. There were miracles that occurred there. The gifts of the Holy Spirit flowed freely. But there was one attribute of that church that I don’t see in many of the current alleged supernatural movements. And that is the importance of knowing God through the Word of God. It seemed at times that it was beat into our heads. “You must know the Word. You must study the Word. You must understand sound doctrine. You must study and show yourself approved, you must memorize the scripture.” It seemed that they never stopped saying that you must read, study, and understand the Word.

    Through the years I have seen several “fads” creep into the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements. They sort of came and went without too much damage. And I think the reason these false doctrines did not cause too much disruption is that always there was an emphasis from the pulpit on knowing and studying the Word of God. If the general population of church is studying “doctrine” and immersing themselves in the Word, then the occasional counterfeit leader is easily spotted and remedial action can be taken. There is always some damage in such cases, but when the general population of the saints have the “two edged sword” in their hands, the devil better watch out!

    Well, you may ask yourself, “why is he saying all of this about the Word”? Linda, let me try to explain why.

    I have watched this current “movement” or “revival” for many years. I have been to many services in several churches like those I have read described in this blog. I always went into these services with—not just an open mind—but with a hunger to encounter God. And I have witnessed many of the activities described in this blog. While I felt that some of them (and to be honest most of them in my opinion) were emotive based, I thought possibly that the Holy Spirit was still moving. To be perfectly honest, I never came to a point were I was convinced that many, if any of them, were of God. I still was not totally dissuaded. I thought, ”Oh well, there is some fad stuff going on here. I have seen it before, I will see it again.” I really was not overly concerned. But, years have passed, I have watched the trends, and I have become very very concerned. And the thing that has concerned me the most is the growing lack of knowledge of the Word of God among these congregations. And my own personal observations are that this is due to too little or erroneous emphasis of the Word of God from the pulpit. And this is why, Linda, that I keyed in so emphatically on a few of your statements in your first post, and why I feel compelled to again address what you said in your second post.

    Linda, I am not attacking you. I am not trying to just get you to agree with me. I am addressing an issue that I have seen surfacing in this movement that is nothing short of dangerous and hellish.

    I have heard Christians try to substantiate many “new” doctrines and practices by suggesting that Jesus himself departed from scripture when “lead by the Spirit”. Linda, if we get this one thing wrong about what Jesus did, then anything goes.

    To put a finer point on it:

    If Jesus departed from scripture “because He was lead by the Spirit”, then it gives us license to depart from scripture “when we are lead by the Spirit”.

    You stated, “About the woman caught in adultery, what did the Law say should be done to her? Bear in mind that was the whole Bible available back then, and Jesus made an un-Law-full exception just for her.”

    Linda this is very important. Jesus did not make an exception. If Jesus broke the law, even this one single time, he did not fulfill all righteousness, and therefore he sinned. If he sinned, then he was not the required perfect sacrifice. And then it follows that if he was not the perfect sacrifice, (The Lamb of God without blemish) then we cannot be saved. God required a perfect sacrifice. There is no middle ground on this. It is not a matter of semantics. This is a matter of understanding the foundation of our salvation. This is not something that we can be flippant about, or take lightly. And by the way I don’t think that you are taking it lightly. However, if you will allow me, I would suggest that your understanding of this is not as complete as it should be.

    You stated, “I trust we are in agreement that Jesus could and can do whatever He wants, period. It’s a clear and present danger to very cerebral people to think they know the Scriptures and not find the Scriptures pointing them to Jesus’ heart and intentions.”

    Jesus is God. Of course he can do anything he wants. But according to Jesus, he never does anything that is not in accordance with the Word.

    I previously presented you with this scripture:

    Matthew 5:17 Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill them.
    18. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    Frankly, I was very surprised that after reading this passage that you still felt that Jesus had broken the Law. I need to point out to you that the only ones that said that Jesus was breaking the Law were the Pharisees. Jesus did not say he was breaking the Law. The Apostles did not say that he broke the law.

    Linda, you are in fact siding with the Pharisees—the very people that you were originally objecting too. Linda and the Pharisees are saying that Jesus broke the law. Jesus and the Apostles are saying that he did not, and that he was without blemish.

    So I am going to give you a few more scriptures to try to explain this. If you reject these I must say that I really don’t see any point in discussing it any further.

    Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
    14. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
    15. Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Then John consented.

    Here Jesus makes it clear to John the Baptist that He must fulfill all righteousness. Not part of it, ALL of it.

    1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,
    1 Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb WITHOUT BLEMISH OR DEFECT.

    Hebrews 9:13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.
    14. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself UNBLEMISHED to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

    Luke 24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: EVERYTHING MUST BE FULFILLED THAT IS WRITTEN ABOUT ME IN THE LAW OF MOSES, THE PROPHETS AND THE PSALMS.”

    There is no middle ground Linda. There are no exceptions. He either kept and fulfilled the Law or he didn’t.

    One of the things that concerns me about this movement is the growing trend of an unhealthy reliance on personal revelation based on prayer alone. Prayer is never unhealthy unless you are leaning on it more than the Word to evaluate doctrine or practices. Why don’t I hear more statements from proponents of this movement that say something like, “Pray and ask God to show you in His WORD whether or not these things are of God?” Why is that becoming such a foreign concept?

    Jesus said:

    John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
    40. yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    If we want to have Revelation from Jesus, doesn’t it make sense that we go to the scriptures that He says testify about Him?

    Incidentally, my church that I described above emphasized prayer as fervently as they emphasized the study of the Word. Intellectual study of the Word without an intimate prayer life with Christ is dead. It is just as you and Dalen alluded. It is the study of the Word AND a prayer life that enables us to be lead by the Spirit. What has bothered me about so many of the proponents of this movement that is the idea that you just pray about whether or not these things are of God and he will reveal to you the truth. No, no, no, that is not what we are to do! We are to use our mind and prayerfully compare what is taught in God’s word to the teaching we are receiving and the events that we are witnessing.

    I have been amazed at how many times in my life that I have been so directly and accurately lead by the Spirit. And I am equally amazed at how many times that I thought that I was being lead by the Spirit but was not. This is why we have the Word. If the spirit of man was able to always be lead of the Spirit of God, then why would we need the Word? Linda, you were right when you said that the mind of man is at enmity with God.

    When I talk to people in this movement and read many of the posts here, I hear and read so many statements like, “If you are hungry for God and have ears to hear then God will show you the truth.” If that were the total truth then why are there so many cults in the world? Some of the most sincere, hungry, and spiritually opened eared people I have ever met are separated from God and trapped into the false doctrine of a cult. They are not saved—they don’t know God—and their destiny is the Lake of Fire for all of eternity unless they turn to the real God. You see, that is what is ultimately at stake. That is why this is not just a trivial point of doctrinal discussion.

    I don’t think that I have too much more to say about this. The scriptures that I presented are self explanatory. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to understand or “interpret” them. You just have to make a decision whether or not you are going to accept the Word of God or reject it.

  135. Pat and Linda
    I was waiting for the semantic thing to pop up. Linda I can’t believe you are actually anti-semantic. LOL.
    Okay bad joke
    Anyway I had a feeling that there was more in common between us all than not. I’d like to comment more in depth later, but right now I’ve got to get things ready for this Jesus Culture conference coming up. Linda,
    I’ll be there again shooting the event and this time with a booth out front. I’ll be attempting to sell posters and stickers. For now I will just say this.Sign and wonders are important, being that they follow….
    ,but without foundation and structure based on the Bible it is not a good thing. This movement is great, but only as great as the foundation being strong and sound. So congregations focused mostly on the manifestations, signs and wonders will get shaken and torn up.
    well I got to get goin’ more later next week.
    Peace Rest and Blessing to y’all
    Dalen

  136. Pat and Linda
    I was waiting for the semantic thing to pop up. Linda I can’t believe you are actually anti-semantic. LOL.
    Okay bad joke
    Anyway I had a feeling that there was more in common between us all than not. I’d like to comment more in depth later, but right now I’ve got to get things ready for this Jesus Culture conference coming up. Linda,
    I’ll be there again shooting the event and this time with a booth out front. I’ll be attempting to sell posters and stickers. For now I will just say this.Sign and wonders are important, being that they follow….
    ,but without foundation and structure based on the Bible it is not a good thing. This movement is great, but only as great as the foundation being strong and sound. So congregations focused mostly on the manifestations, signs and wonders will get shaken and torn up.
    well I got to get goin’ more later next week.
    Peace Rest and Blessing to y’all
    Dalen

  137. Hey, Dalen, if I had read your reply before Jesus Culture I would have looked for you there. My husband and I brought the kids from our church and their friends from school. Saturday I was ecstatic their parents would even let us take them down the 5 from Dunsmuir in blizzard conditions, chains only with the freeway expected to close–which it did. One of the kids who comes to church off and on said on the way home Fri pm, “Now I KNOW there is a God because she would not have faked that”, referring to another girl in our group who was slain in the Spirit for about an hour Fri pm, most of it on the cold cement out front while Dutch was still talking inside. I had to go get the car, drive between the cones, and 2 guys helped her into the back seat while she kept speaking in tongues. She was so gone in the Spirit and babbling at the angels or whatever her dilated eyes were tracking we had to stop at the Shasta Lake BK because there was no way I could return her in that condition to her unsaved mom who would have called 911 hysterical and probably beaten me up while waiting for the ambulance. The other girls were advising her not to tell her mom about her experience and I said not to worry because now that she has the Holy Spirit this way, she will become a better daughter every day which her mom will definitely notice. And now she can pray to God perfectly when she doesn’t even know what to ask for. She wanted to know what had happened to her and I said to read Acts 2. She said, “What’s that?” I should have dog-eared it for her as I gave her a Bible from the back seat pocket as I dropped her off at her trailer park. She was SO excited to have one. She did decide to tell her mom and her mom thought it was great. Her grandma looked at me strangely driving by as I was shoveling out the mess the snowplow piled up at the end of our driveway. News gets all over this small town real quick. The girls deliberated over whether to tell the “popular kids” about this great Jesus or just horde Him to themselves. I reminded them that Jesus loves the popular kids at school too. I have a feeling they will share what God did for them at Jesus Culture. It starts with an experience, the hunger for the Lord explodes inside, and then the person can’t get enough of their Bible, and the Holy Spirit explains it to them….in that order. Some of these ones who really were touched by God at Jesus Culture don’t know anything at all about God, Jesus and the Bible, so we’ll start with the basics, maybe play Mel Gibson’s movie about Jesus’ crucifixion, like “see what Jesus went through because He loved you so much” and read them the story in one of the gospels as well.
    Interestingly, we offered Jesus Culture tickets and transportation to a lot of kids in our town, not just the churched kids The hungriest ones who really felt the Lord’s presence there and even invited their unsaved friends were NOT the ones in Mt Shasta’s Christian school or home-schooled (Christian). They were the kids in public school, having a single mom, a pantheistic mom, a backslidden mom, an atheistic mom, a habitually cranky mom or any combination of the above. One sent her daughter down with me because she wanted her daughter to shop around all the religions in the cosmos. This girl watched the rather epileptic-appearing manifestation on her friend and made the very astute observation that she wanted God to live in her all the time not just give her a spell like the little one she herself had. She said she had the strangest feeling that even though her tummy was full (they had just eaten), she felt an empty feeling that God was supposed to fill. She asked if it was OK to worship nature too like her mom does. I said, “Jesus is the Boss God of all the other gods and He is the only One who will tell you the truth.” Then she mentioned that her spirit guide she learned how to conjure up on Montel’s TV talk show had told her she was going to hell. I said, “See how wrong they can be? That’s why Jesus is the only One you need to listen to.” The obvious next step is to get them into reading Jesus’ words and to learn the voice of the Lord for themselves.
    Hey, Pat, we’re going to converge here, I can feel it coming. I totally understand your concerns about the Bible not being granted its full status as the infallible Word of God. It’s not an issue of the Bible versus personal words from God. The two confirm each other and of course we defer to the Word. But wait! John 1:1 says Jesus IS the Word of God from the beginning of time. And to expand it further, we are His Body, the FULLNESS of Him who fills all in all. Not this-little-light-of-mine, but He is the Head and we are the Body. It’s not good to divide the head from the body and I capitalize Body because the Body is Christ too. It’s not as simple as a written Word here and all us born again schmucks over there making whatever intellectual interpretations we feel entitled to make of the written Word. The mystery hidden from the ages is Christ in us the hope of glory. And that Christ in us is not mute, and of course He does not contradict Himself IF we are reading our Bibles with the mind of Christ in dominance. On the Law, Romans and Hebrews are my favorite epistles for a couple reasons, one because it distinguishes His righteousness from our works-based pseudo-righteousness, and another because they talk about Christ fulfilling the Law. When I said Jesus broke the Law, I was speaking from the Pharisees’ perspective; You and I know He was showing God’s mercy and mercy triumphs over judgment. Considering that Romans and Hebrews were not written when that women was caught though, imagine yourself as a sincere Pharisee trying to grapple with the glaring inconsistency. Humor me- imagine yourself in their shoes. How would you react in that situation? If any man think he stand, let him take heed lest he fall. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Apostles Peter and Paul in their epistles quoted shreds of OT right and left but not in a context the Pharisees approved of, poor exigesis anyway, which is why they kept finding themselves in jail. So even when one stands squarely on the Word of God, someone else will not like his posture or which direction he’s facing. Jesus says you will know them by their fruit. If someone is reading their Bible correctly, the attributes of Jesus should be coming out for everyone to see. If they are not, it will be the vomit of head knowledge, the letter that kills.

    On the concerns about Bethel and Global Legacy… Bill is probably more concerned than all of us put together. He knows more than enough about revival history and the rise and fall of great moves of God to recognize that it could happen to this too. Every move of God needs a lifestyle of prayer and repentance because the gravitational pull is to become either a denomination or a cult. Historians say the average life span of a move of God is 35-40 years, then it stales and stagnates into just another denomination. I watched it happen firsthand with another big group and it is the most gradual, insidious thing you have ever seen, with or without gross departures from basic Bible teaching. It can include a pastor leaving his wife for another woman, then comparing his situation to David and Bathsheba whose union was eventually “blessed” and resulted in Solomon’s birth and was in the lineage of Christ. “Walking by faith and not by sight (or feelings)”, aka putting one’s head in the sand when God’s presence lifts from the organization. Scary stuff. No one rejects the Bible consciously, there will always be verses to condone whatever you want. The devil used scripture when he tempted Jesus. Only a blooming idiot would not be scared of wandering out of the will of God, because it can happen to anyone, and I assure you Bill knows this. I sense a huge and reverant fear of the Lord on Him and he should have, because to whom much is given much will be required. Now what does this have to do with you, Pat? If God is revealing to you a danger Bethel could fall into, then why do you think He would show you? So you can PRAY for them! And as you pray and relay your burden to God humbly, God will give you compassion as well and of course answer your prayers. Works for them, works for you. Remember and pray Jesus’ prayer above all, “That they may all be one even as the Father and I are one.”

  138. Hey, Dalen, if I had read your reply before Jesus Culture I would have looked for you there. My husband and I brought the kids from our church and their friends from school. Saturday I was ecstatic their parents would even let us take them down the 5 from Dunsmuir in blizzard conditions, chains only with the freeway expected to close–which it did. One of the kids who comes to church off and on said on the way home Fri pm, “Now I KNOW there is a God because she would not have faked that”, referring to another girl in our group who was slain in the Spirit for about an hour Fri pm, most of it on the cold cement out front while Dutch was still talking inside. I had to go get the car, drive between the cones, and 2 guys helped her into the back seat while she kept speaking in tongues. She was so gone in the Spirit and babbling at the angels or whatever her dilated eyes were tracking we had to stop at the Shasta Lake BK because there was no way I could return her in that condition to her unsaved mom who would have called 911 hysterical and probably beaten me up while waiting for the ambulance. The other girls were advising her not to tell her mom about her experience and I said not to worry because now that she has the Holy Spirit this way, she will become a better daughter every day which her mom will definitely notice. And now she can pray to God perfectly when she doesn’t even know what to ask for. She wanted to know what had happened to her and I said to read Acts 2. She said, “What’s that?” I should have dog-eared it for her as I gave her a Bible from the back seat pocket as I dropped her off at her trailer park. She was SO excited to have one. She did decide to tell her mom and her mom thought it was great. Her grandma looked at me strangely driving by as I was shoveling out the mess the snowplow piled up at the end of our driveway. News gets all over this small town real quick. The girls deliberated over whether to tell the “popular kids” about this great Jesus or just horde Him to themselves. I reminded them that Jesus loves the popular kids at school too. I have a feeling they will share what God did for them at Jesus Culture. It starts with an experience, the hunger for the Lord explodes inside, and then the person can’t get enough of their Bible, and the Holy Spirit explains it to them….in that order. Some of these ones who really were touched by God at Jesus Culture don’t know anything at all about God, Jesus and the Bible, so we’ll start with the basics, maybe play Mel Gibson’s movie about Jesus’ crucifixion, like “see what Jesus went through because He loved you so much” and read them the story in one of the gospels as well.
    Interestingly, we offered Jesus Culture tickets and transportation to a lot of kids in our town, not just the churched kids The hungriest ones who really felt the Lord’s presence there and even invited their unsaved friends were NOT the ones in Mt Shasta’s Christian school or home-schooled (Christian). They were the kids in public school, having a single mom, a pantheistic mom, a backslidden mom, an atheistic mom, a habitually cranky mom or any combination of the above. One sent her daughter down with me because she wanted her daughter to shop around all the religions in the cosmos. This girl watched the rather epileptic-appearing manifestation on her friend and made the very astute observation that she wanted God to live in her all the time not just give her a spell like the little one she herself had. She said she had the strangest feeling that even though her tummy was full (they had just eaten), she felt an empty feeling that God was supposed to fill. She asked if it was OK to worship nature too like her mom does. I said, “Jesus is the Boss God of all the other gods and He is the only One who will tell you the truth.” Then she mentioned that her spirit guide she learned how to conjure up on Montel’s TV talk show had told her she was going to hell. I said, “See how wrong they can be? That’s why Jesus is the only One you need to listen to.” The obvious next step is to get them into reading Jesus’ words and to learn the voice of the Lord for themselves.
    Hey, Pat, we’re going to converge here, I can feel it coming. I totally understand your concerns about the Bible not being granted its full status as the infallible Word of God. It’s not an issue of the Bible versus personal words from God. The two confirm each other and of course we defer to the Word. But wait! John 1:1 says Jesus IS the Word of God from the beginning of time. And to expand it further, we are His Body, the FULLNESS of Him who fills all in all. Not this-little-light-of-mine, but He is the Head and we are the Body. It’s not good to divide the head from the body and I capitalize Body because the Body is Christ too. It’s not as simple as a written Word here and all us born again schmucks over there making whatever intellectual interpretations we feel entitled to make of the written Word. The mystery hidden from the ages is Christ in us the hope of glory. And that Christ in us is not mute, and of course He does not contradict Himself IF we are reading our Bibles with the mind of Christ in dominance. On the Law, Romans and Hebrews are my favorite epistles for a couple reasons, one because it distinguishes His righteousness from our works-based pseudo-righteousness, and another because they talk about Christ fulfilling the Law. When I said Jesus broke the Law, I was speaking from the Pharisees’ perspective; You and I know He was showing God’s mercy and mercy triumphs over judgment. Considering that Romans and Hebrews were not written when that women was caught though, imagine yourself as a sincere Pharisee trying to grapple with the glaring inconsistency. Humor me- imagine yourself in their shoes. How would you react in that situation? If any man think he stand, let him take heed lest he fall. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Apostles Peter and Paul in their epistles quoted shreds of OT right and left but not in a context the Pharisees approved of, poor exigesis anyway, which is why they kept finding themselves in jail. So even when one stands squarely on the Word of God, someone else will not like his posture or which direction he’s facing. Jesus says you will know them by their fruit. If someone is reading their Bible correctly, the attributes of Jesus should be coming out for everyone to see. If they are not, it will be the vomit of head knowledge, the letter that kills.

    On the concerns about Bethel and Global Legacy… Bill is probably more concerned than all of us put together. He knows more than enough about revival history and the rise and fall of great moves of God to recognize that it could happen to this too. Every move of God needs a lifestyle of prayer and repentance because the gravitational pull is to become either a denomination or a cult. Historians say the average life span of a move of God is 35-40 years, then it stales and stagnates into just another denomination. I watched it happen firsthand with another big group and it is the most gradual, insidious thing you have ever seen, with or without gross departures from basic Bible teaching. It can include a pastor leaving his wife for another woman, then comparing his situation to David and Bathsheba whose union was eventually “blessed” and resulted in Solomon’s birth and was in the lineage of Christ. “Walking by faith and not by sight (or feelings)”, aka putting one’s head in the sand when God’s presence lifts from the organization. Scary stuff. No one rejects the Bible consciously, there will always be verses to condone whatever you want. The devil used scripture when he tempted Jesus. Only a blooming idiot would not be scared of wandering out of the will of God, because it can happen to anyone, and I assure you Bill knows this. I sense a huge and reverant fear of the Lord on Him and he should have, because to whom much is given much will be required. Now what does this have to do with you, Pat? If God is revealing to you a danger Bethel could fall into, then why do you think He would show you? So you can PRAY for them! And as you pray and relay your burden to God humbly, God will give you compassion as well and of course answer your prayers. Works for them, works for you. Remember and pray Jesus’ prayer above all, “That they may all be one even as the Father and I are one.”

  139. Hey Pat
    I shot about 2400 frames over the 2 days. There should be some good ones. Luke Manwaring should have the ones he likes up on the Jesus Culture site soon. Otherwise I’ll have a section on my site up maybe tonight. On another note not everything that came out of Paul’s mouth or written down was God breathed. Some was cultural, of course you know this.Some people fear separating culture from inspired word. You know, that slippery slope. One great example is Paul saying that it is better not to marry. In his opinion it brought trouble. I wonder if he sent off his wife with a letter of divorce before his encounter with Christ.
    Suggesting that one should marry if they can’t control their sexual desires misses the whole point of the intent of God when He put man and woman together. Well got to get going on finishing some web design stuff.
    peace 2 ur noggin
    p.s. my site adderss is http://theeccentricphotography.com
    Dalen

  140. Hey Pat
    I shot about 2400 frames over the 2 days. There should be some good ones. Luke Manwaring should have the ones he likes up on the Jesus Culture site soon. Otherwise I’ll have a section on my site up maybe tonight. On another note not everything that came out of Paul’s mouth or written down was God breathed. Some was cultural, of course you know this.Some people fear separating culture from inspired word. You know, that slippery slope. One great example is Paul saying that it is better not to marry. In his opinion it brought trouble. I wonder if he sent off his wife with a letter of divorce before his encounter with Christ.
    Suggesting that one should marry if they can’t control their sexual desires misses the whole point of the intent of God when He put man and woman together. Well got to get going on finishing some web design stuff.
    peace 2 ur noggin
    p.s. my site adderss is http://theeccentricphotography.com
    Dalen

  141. Linda,

    I appreciate your comments, and I am glad to hear that you do not think that Jesus broke the law.

    Dalen,

    I had to laugh at your post regarding Paul and culture. It seems that you are trying to bait me. Well I have news for you buddy. You will only be able to bait me about 70% of the time on that subject. The other 30% of the time I would agree with you to some degree. There are a lot of clear thinking honest people on both sides of that issue. I go back and forth in with my conclusions almost every time I think about it.

    I looked at your web site. I really like your work. I do some amateur photography and it is a passion of mine. I recently—reluctantly—purchased a DSLR. I had to because I needed some high resolution shots for a work project. Not that I have anything against digital. I have always thought it was cool. It is just that I love film. However, I have not had a place to set up my darkroom for a few years so I went ahead and bought PS Elements a few weeks ago. And I have to say, that I am really having more fun with it than I thought I was going to. It is surprisingly satisfying my dark room cravings. And I can do it while watching TV. 

  142. Linda,

    I appreciate your comments, and I am glad to hear that you do not think that Jesus broke the law.

    Dalen,

    I had to laugh at your post regarding Paul and culture. It seems that you are trying to bait me. Well I have news for you buddy. You will only be able to bait me about 70% of the time on that subject. The other 30% of the time I would agree with you to some degree. There are a lot of clear thinking honest people on both sides of that issue. I go back and forth in with my conclusions almost every time I think about it.

    I looked at your web site. I really like your work. I do some amateur photography and it is a passion of mine. I recently—reluctantly—purchased a DSLR. I had to because I needed some high resolution shots for a work project. Not that I have anything against digital. I have always thought it was cool. It is just that I love film. However, I have not had a place to set up my darkroom for a few years so I went ahead and bought PS Elements a few weeks ago. And I have to say, that I am really having more fun with it than I thought I was going to. It is surprisingly satisfying my dark room cravings. And I can do it while watching TV. 

  143. Pat,
    Of course I was trying to bait you;) Anyway digital turned the corner only a few years ago, and it’s hard to justify the money on the darkroom when it’s much more simple to use CS3. I think I may have to commute to L.A. to make much of a living at the style of work I do. Redding is no art town, and it tends to suck the creativity right out of you. My plan is to try to create the environment here, but I first must be enabled myself in order to enable others. I only started trying to do this professionally 3 years ago. One of my brothers prof’s at UCLA is taken by one of my pieces and wants to meet with me. We’ll see where that goes.
    later
    Dalen

  144. Pat,
    Of course I was trying to bait you;) Anyway digital turned the corner only a few years ago, and it’s hard to justify the money on the darkroom when it’s much more simple to use CS3. I think I may have to commute to L.A. to make much of a living at the style of work I do. Redding is no art town, and it tends to suck the creativity right out of you. My plan is to try to create the environment here, but I first must be enabled myself in order to enable others. I only started trying to do this professionally 3 years ago. One of my brothers prof’s at UCLA is taken by one of my pieces and wants to meet with me. We’ll see where that goes.
    later
    Dalen

  145. Dalen,

    I know what you mean about certain environments draining your creativity. And I know for a fact that being around other creative artists does spark your own creativity. It is sort of odd how it works but it does. Several of my closest friends are writers, screenwriters, and singers. When I hang with them it somehow encourages my creativity in photography even though the discussion may be about music or writing. Moving to LA though—that is a big yuk for me. I love visiting down there but moving is another matter. Maybe you can get down there for smaller period of time, sort of get charged up, and come back until your batteries are drained again. That is, unless you like LA. One thing about LA, they are loaded with great churches down there.

    I know you were not disputing the Jesus law thing but I just came across something related to that topic that was interesting.

    I frequently read Dinesh Dsouza’s website and read his blogs. If you are into it, there are some really cool debate videos that you can watch on there. He often debates the world’s leading atheists, and I really enjoy it. Not everyone is really into that sort of thing but I like it.

    This is his website:

    http://www.dineshdsouza.com

    I read this blog today regarding the Law and Jesus.

    A Rabbi Talks With Jesus

    Posted Feb 4th 2008 8:38AM by Dinesh D’Souza
    Filed under: Religion, Christianity, Controversy, Atheism

    Pope Benedict has a favorite rabbi, none other than the distinguished Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner. At first glance this is a puzzle. Many years ago Neusner wrote a book called A Rabbi Talks With Jesus. In it, he noted, “I explain why, if I had been in the land of Israel in the first century, I would not have joined the circle of Jesus’ disciples.”

    Neusner sent his book to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, asking him to write a blurb. Ratzinger agreed, and then even more remarkably, praised the book again when he became Pope Benedict. More than a dozen pages of Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth are devoted to discussing Neusner’s argument. Benedict writes that Neusner’s work “has opened my eyes to the greatness of Jesus’ words and to the choice that the gospel places before us.”

    To understand what Benedict is getting at, recall atheist Richard Dawkins’ famous claim that we are all atheists when it comes to other people’s gods. For instance, I am an atheist when it comes to the gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans. By the same token Neusner is an atheist when it comes to the Christian notion of the divinity.

    Even so, Neusner’s treatment of Christ could not be more different than that of Dawkins. One of the main differences is that Dawkins is a biologist and Neusner is a scholar of ancient texts and history. Consequently Dawkins’ historical and literary understanding is at the eighth grade level, while Neusner brings to his work a depth and sophistication worthy of a man regarded as perhaps the greatest living scholar of Judaism.

    Neusner discusses Christ as a great and pure man whose teachings, especially at the Sermon on the Mount, embody unforgettable insight and wisdom. Taking up the oldest of Jewish prescriptions, they interpret and transform them in a powerful and surprising way. And yet Neusner notes that Christ violates the old law, as when he says that actions are permitted on the Sabbath that were regarded as forbidden on the Sabbath. This is the basis of Neusner’s rejection of Christ as a fulfillment of the old covenant.

    What gives Christ the right to change the old law? Neusner notes that Christ is not another liberal rabbi, seeking to bend the rules of the orthodox to make life easier for people. Rather, “Jesus’ claim to authority is at issue.” In effect, Christ claims to be “Lord of the Sabbath” and this provokes Neusner to ask, as if conversing with one of Christ’s disciples, “Is your master God?”

    Pope Benedict finds this a penetrating question. “The issue that is really at the heart of the debate,” he writes, “is thus finally laid bare. Jesus understands himself as the Torah–as the word of God in person.” In other words, Jesus claims to speak with a divine authority. If Jesus is God, then obviously he has the right to say what the old law really means. So ultimately Jesus confronts us with the choice of accepting or rejecting his claim to divinity.

    In the January issue of First Things, a Jewish writer Meir Soloveichik takes Rabbi Neusner to task for his admiring words about Jesus. Soloveichik charges that Neusner, despite his denials, seems to accept the divinity of Christ. Why? Here Soloveichik borrows a famous argument from C.S. Lewis. Lewis argued that since Christ claimed to be God, either he was speaking the truth or he was an astounding liar. Lewis insisted that Christ does not give us the option of considering him a great and wise human teacher. Rather, Christ compels us to take him at his word that he is the son of God, or rather reject him as an impostor and a fraud.

    Soloveichik goes with the latter option, as indeed he says all Jews must. “If we deny Christ’s divinity,” he writes, “then we can respond with nothing short of shock and dismay when we read the words of a man who puts himself in the place of God.” Yet Soloveichik notes that this is not Neusner’s reaction. Neusner treats Christ with deep respect; yet who can have respect for a liar? Neusner writes as a friend of Christ; yet who can befriend an impostor and fraud? Soloveichik concludes that “even as Neusner argues that Jesus is mistaken about his divinity and authority, it follows from much that Neusner has written that Jesus must be God.”

  146. Dalen,

    I know what you mean about certain environments draining your creativity. And I know for a fact that being around other creative artists does spark your own creativity. It is sort of odd how it works but it does. Several of my closest friends are writers, screenwriters, and singers. When I hang with them it somehow encourages my creativity in photography even though the discussion may be about music or writing. Moving to LA though—that is a big yuk for me. I love visiting down there but moving is another matter. Maybe you can get down there for smaller period of time, sort of get charged up, and come back until your batteries are drained again. That is, unless you like LA. One thing about LA, they are loaded with great churches down there.

    I know you were not disputing the Jesus law thing but I just came across something related to that topic that was interesting.

    I frequently read Dinesh Dsouza’s website and read his blogs. If you are into it, there are some really cool debate videos that you can watch on there. He often debates the world’s leading atheists, and I really enjoy it. Not everyone is really into that sort of thing but I like it.

    This is his website:

    http://www.dineshdsouza.com

    I read this blog today regarding the Law and Jesus.

    A Rabbi Talks With Jesus

    Posted Feb 4th 2008 8:38AM by Dinesh D’Souza
    Filed under: Religion, Christianity, Controversy, Atheism

    Pope Benedict has a favorite rabbi, none other than the distinguished Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner. At first glance this is a puzzle. Many years ago Neusner wrote a book called A Rabbi Talks With Jesus. In it, he noted, “I explain why, if I had been in the land of Israel in the first century, I would not have joined the circle of Jesus’ disciples.”

    Neusner sent his book to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, asking him to write a blurb. Ratzinger agreed, and then even more remarkably, praised the book again when he became Pope Benedict. More than a dozen pages of Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth are devoted to discussing Neusner’s argument. Benedict writes that Neusner’s work “has opened my eyes to the greatness of Jesus’ words and to the choice that the gospel places before us.”

    To understand what Benedict is getting at, recall atheist Richard Dawkins’ famous claim that we are all atheists when it comes to other people’s gods. For instance, I am an atheist when it comes to the gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans. By the same token Neusner is an atheist when it comes to the Christian notion of the divinity.

    Even so, Neusner’s treatment of Christ could not be more different than that of Dawkins. One of the main differences is that Dawkins is a biologist and Neusner is a scholar of ancient texts and history. Consequently Dawkins’ historical and literary understanding is at the eighth grade level, while Neusner brings to his work a depth and sophistication worthy of a man regarded as perhaps the greatest living scholar of Judaism.

    Neusner discusses Christ as a great and pure man whose teachings, especially at the Sermon on the Mount, embody unforgettable insight and wisdom. Taking up the oldest of Jewish prescriptions, they interpret and transform them in a powerful and surprising way. And yet Neusner notes that Christ violates the old law, as when he says that actions are permitted on the Sabbath that were regarded as forbidden on the Sabbath. This is the basis of Neusner’s rejection of Christ as a fulfillment of the old covenant.

    What gives Christ the right to change the old law? Neusner notes that Christ is not another liberal rabbi, seeking to bend the rules of the orthodox to make life easier for people. Rather, “Jesus’ claim to authority is at issue.” In effect, Christ claims to be “Lord of the Sabbath” and this provokes Neusner to ask, as if conversing with one of Christ’s disciples, “Is your master God?”

    Pope Benedict finds this a penetrating question. “The issue that is really at the heart of the debate,” he writes, “is thus finally laid bare. Jesus understands himself as the Torah–as the word of God in person.” In other words, Jesus claims to speak with a divine authority. If Jesus is God, then obviously he has the right to say what the old law really means. So ultimately Jesus confronts us with the choice of accepting or rejecting his claim to divinity.

    In the January issue of First Things, a Jewish writer Meir Soloveichik takes Rabbi Neusner to task for his admiring words about Jesus. Soloveichik charges that Neusner, despite his denials, seems to accept the divinity of Christ. Why? Here Soloveichik borrows a famous argument from C.S. Lewis. Lewis argued that since Christ claimed to be God, either he was speaking the truth or he was an astounding liar. Lewis insisted that Christ does not give us the option of considering him a great and wise human teacher. Rather, Christ compels us to take him at his word that he is the son of God, or rather reject him as an impostor and a fraud.

    Soloveichik goes with the latter option, as indeed he says all Jews must. “If we deny Christ’s divinity,” he writes, “then we can respond with nothing short of shock and dismay when we read the words of a man who puts himself in the place of God.” Yet Soloveichik notes that this is not Neusner’s reaction. Neusner treats Christ with deep respect; yet who can have respect for a liar? Neusner writes as a friend of Christ; yet who can befriend an impostor and fraud? Soloveichik concludes that “even as Neusner argues that Jesus is mistaken about his divinity and authority, it follows from much that Neusner has written that Jesus must be God.”

  147. Fascinating, isn’t it? I like this part: “Jesus understands himself as the Torah–as the word of God in person.” The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus confronts us with the choice of accepting or rejecting his claim to divinity. That decision made in faith is a done deal with Christians. No Christian will argue Jesus’ deity or virgin birth or His being the only Way, Truth and Life. My former pastor used to say, The Truth is not the ultimate exposition of doctrines delivered with irrefutably perfect logic to the natural intellectual mind. The Truth is a Person. Finding truth is the process of getting closer and closer to God, becoming His friend. Abraham was a friend of God. Paul says to speak the truth in love. I have also heard it said that the truth not spoken in love is not the truth (because the Truth is a Person and that same Person IS love). I hope I’m not getting too wordy here.

    So no Christian argues Jesus’ deity. Here is a big rub with many Christians though: How do we test the spirits? I Jn 4:2-3 says every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and those that don’t are of the antichrist. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. The devils knew that AND confessed it when they asked Him if He was there to torment them before the time. We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh. And this is how to test the spirits that come against us in our everyday lives: Do they acknowledge and minister to the growing Christ in us or do they beat us down to feel like struggling schmucks? Self-condemnation is a classic example of an antichrist spirit.
    On moving to LA, aka Sodom, Dalen, that is a serious decision. I lived there 27 yrs, all as an adult, and I am here to tell you, it can be extremely polluting spiritually. Many dedicated believers take immorality quite lightly “because Jesus loved sinners and was not shocked by them”. Even when their own lives are clean, they tolerate the crap in other Christians’ lives without batting an eye, even patting themselves on the back for being “unreligious”. It’s the same pervasive influence that caused Lot to offer his own daughters to the men of Sodom to be gang-raped. As far as the arts are concerned, and my former husband was a talented dancer who barely missed joining Joffrey Ballet Co, it is a ruthless ladder of self-seeking, everyone stepping on everyone’s neck to get ahead, definitely NOT “putting your brother ahead of yourself” by a long shot. We sometimes visited a church in the Valley of many people who worked in the entertainment industry, Spirit-filled, tongues-speaking, born-again believers, and there was no lack of extra-marital affairs, the rationale for that being, “My spouse is not allowing me to be who I am in God.” If a movie role included a brief topless scene, it was like, “I’m not letting this affect my spirit before God. We’re in the world but not of it, because our spirits are born of God, and we take God into the workplace so God is glorified in whatever we do because God is in us” ….or something like that. Two comedians at this church worked the top comedy clubs and used plenty of expletives in their routine, because they were “unreligious”. Of course neither being religious/circumcised nor unreligious/uncircumcised avails anything but faith working through love. I’m just saying that getting the clear voice of God through the spiritual smog there can be challenging, and a general tolerance for all kinds of stuff starts to feel OK in your heart, and there is less conviction of the Spirit over time unless you really guard your heart 24/7. The prophet Kim Clement moved his outfit to LA and he has tremendous faith to take that whole realm for the Kingdom. More power to him. He’s something of a showman and I had to get over that to accept him in the Lord. I love the museums and restaurants and of course the beach, but the rest of that metropolis sucks. As soon as I got the scholarship to Boston University graduate school in 2000 we were so out of there. Wild horses couldn’t drag us back, except for a 3-5 day foray to visit family. And you’ll find that to be the case with a lot of people who used to live down there. I repent for bashing that church if it sounded like that, I hope everyone is doing well now, obeying God in their lives. No, it wasn’t Church on the Way in Van Nuys or any church you probably ever heard of.

  148. Fascinating, isn’t it? I like this part: “Jesus understands himself as the Torah–as the word of God in person.” The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus confronts us with the choice of accepting or rejecting his claim to divinity. That decision made in faith is a done deal with Christians. No Christian will argue Jesus’ deity or virgin birth or His being the only Way, Truth and Life. My former pastor used to say, The Truth is not the ultimate exposition of doctrines delivered with irrefutably perfect logic to the natural intellectual mind. The Truth is a Person. Finding truth is the process of getting closer and closer to God, becoming His friend. Abraham was a friend of God. Paul says to speak the truth in love. I have also heard it said that the truth not spoken in love is not the truth (because the Truth is a Person and that same Person IS love). I hope I’m not getting too wordy here.

    So no Christian argues Jesus’ deity. Here is a big rub with many Christians though: How do we test the spirits? I Jn 4:2-3 says every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and those that don’t are of the antichrist. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. The devils knew that AND confessed it when they asked Him if He was there to torment them before the time. We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh. And this is how to test the spirits that come against us in our everyday lives: Do they acknowledge and minister to the growing Christ in us or do they beat us down to feel like struggling schmucks? Self-condemnation is a classic example of an antichrist spirit.
    On moving to LA, aka Sodom, Dalen, that is a serious decision. I lived there 27 yrs, all as an adult, and I am here to tell you, it can be extremely polluting spiritually. Many dedicated believers take immorality quite lightly “because Jesus loved sinners and was not shocked by them”. Even when their own lives are clean, they tolerate the crap in other Christians’ lives without batting an eye, even patting themselves on the back for being “unreligious”. It’s the same pervasive influence that caused Lot to offer his own daughters to the men of Sodom to be gang-raped. As far as the arts are concerned, and my former husband was a talented dancer who barely missed joining Joffrey Ballet Co, it is a ruthless ladder of self-seeking, everyone stepping on everyone’s neck to get ahead, definitely NOT “putting your brother ahead of yourself” by a long shot. We sometimes visited a church in the Valley of many people who worked in the entertainment industry, Spirit-filled, tongues-speaking, born-again believers, and there was no lack of extra-marital affairs, the rationale for that being, “My spouse is not allowing me to be who I am in God.” If a movie role included a brief topless scene, it was like, “I’m not letting this affect my spirit before God. We’re in the world but not of it, because our spirits are born of God, and we take God into the workplace so God is glorified in whatever we do because God is in us” ….or something like that. Two comedians at this church worked the top comedy clubs and used plenty of expletives in their routine, because they were “unreligious”. Of course neither being religious/circumcised nor unreligious/uncircumcised avails anything but faith working through love. I’m just saying that getting the clear voice of God through the spiritual smog there can be challenging, and a general tolerance for all kinds of stuff starts to feel OK in your heart, and there is less conviction of the Spirit over time unless you really guard your heart 24/7. The prophet Kim Clement moved his outfit to LA and he has tremendous faith to take that whole realm for the Kingdom. More power to him. He’s something of a showman and I had to get over that to accept him in the Lord. I love the museums and restaurants and of course the beach, but the rest of that metropolis sucks. As soon as I got the scholarship to Boston University graduate school in 2000 we were so out of there. Wild horses couldn’t drag us back, except for a 3-5 day foray to visit family. And you’ll find that to be the case with a lot of people who used to live down there. I repent for bashing that church if it sounded like that, I hope everyone is doing well now, obeying God in their lives. No, it wasn’t Church on the Way in Van Nuys or any church you probably ever heard of.

  149. Linda,

    I wonder if you would like to expound on two of your statements regarding the body of Christ that you made in your last two posts.

    You stated:

    “And to expand it further, we are His Body, the FULLNESS of Him who fills all in all. Not this-little-light-of-mine, but He is the Head and we are the Body. It’s not good to divide the head from the body and I capitalize Body because the Body is Christ too. It’s not as simple as a written Word here and all us born again schmucks over there making whatever intellectual interpretations we feel entitled to make of the written Word.

    You also stated:

    “We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh.”

    I thought this time I would let you decide whether not this is really what you meant to say before commenting.

    You have tried to clarify some of your statements in your earlier posts, and—just to be perfectly frank—you have change your story entirely on some of your other statements. So I thought you might want to expand, correct, or change your statements regarding the body of Christ.

    To be honest, I have considered so much of your discourse to be so dishonest that I had decided to not engage you any further. But I am curious about your recent statements, and I would like to know if your views are held commonly by other individuals in your movement.

    If you choose to respond, would you mind giving actual scriptural references? You allude to scriptures often but don’t seem that interested in proving your positions by scripture.

    I am traveling out of state in a few days for a work project, so I will not be able to respond definitively for quite some time. So take your time, think it out, and use scripture to support your statements.

  150. Linda,

    I wonder if you would like to expound on two of your statements regarding the body of Christ that you made in your last two posts.

    You stated:

    “And to expand it further, we are His Body, the FULLNESS of Him who fills all in all. Not this-little-light-of-mine, but He is the Head and we are the Body. It’s not good to divide the head from the body and I capitalize Body because the Body is Christ too. It’s not as simple as a written Word here and all us born again schmucks over there making whatever intellectual interpretations we feel entitled to make of the written Word.

    You also stated:

    “We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh.”

    I thought this time I would let you decide whether not this is really what you meant to say before commenting.

    You have tried to clarify some of your statements in your earlier posts, and—just to be perfectly frank—you have change your story entirely on some of your other statements. So I thought you might want to expand, correct, or change your statements regarding the body of Christ.

    To be honest, I have considered so much of your discourse to be so dishonest that I had decided to not engage you any further. But I am curious about your recent statements, and I would like to know if your views are held commonly by other individuals in your movement.

    If you choose to respond, would you mind giving actual scriptural references? You allude to scriptures often but don’t seem that interested in proving your positions by scripture.

    I am traveling out of state in a few days for a work project, so I will not be able to respond definitively for quite some time. So take your time, think it out, and use scripture to support your statements.

  151. I like the way your mind works, Pat. I am not offended by any of your challenges. I’ll try to be less lazy and include all ch and vs in my discourse. I go to a small town AG church, but AG doesn’t tell me how to think. I brought most of my theology with me from a group that broke from AG in the late 40’s. Numerous anointed groups have split from AG in the last 100 yrs, Bethel and friends more recently; AG reminds me of a big ovary still capable of releasing viable reproductive cells. Like most Christians these days, we fellowship where the Lord places us. It’s not like a preference thing; it’s an obedience thing. God places people in the Body as it pleases him (I Cor 12:18). “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn 4:34). I asked my husband just now, “Hey, Mike, are we part of a movement?” He laughed and had to think about it.
    Now re: your concerns… If the NT theme about Christ in us the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) illudes you, I can’t imagine what your walk with God is all about. Eph. 1:22-23 refers “the church which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all”. Fullness means fullness. This is basic teaching and we all know these verses.
    If you can receive it, “We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh.” Do look at the wording of I Jn 4:2-3, and run the Greek words through your Young’s and your Strong’s concordances too if you want. Does anyone argue that Jesus Christ had a human body of flesh and blood? Of course not. It’s a historical fact. Mat 8:28-32 is the story of Jesus meeting up with the 2 devil-possessed guys coming up out of the tombs. These guys said, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” The demons “confessed” that Jesus Christ, Son of God had come in the flesh. NOT to be confused with the antichrist spirit referred to in I Jn who refuses to confess that Christ is coming forth in OUR flesh. Clear as mud? This is not high theology, bro. The Body of Christ is not a figure of speech in the great language of Christianese. It’s us, yep, us. Us who live every day, praying like John the Baptist that He (Jesus) increase and we decrease.
    Now take your pick of 2 other hotbuttons:
    A) Rom. 8:14,18: Who are those sons of God? As many as are led by the Spirit. Can anyone become a son of God this side of the grave?
    (B) Here is a real brainteaser: Jesus learned obedience by the things that He suffered (Heb 5:8)?! (If He was already perfect, why did He need to learn obedience like us?)

  152. I like the way your mind works, Pat. I am not offended by any of your challenges. I’ll try to be less lazy and include all ch and vs in my discourse. I go to a small town AG church, but AG doesn’t tell me how to think. I brought most of my theology with me from a group that broke from AG in the late 40’s. Numerous anointed groups have split from AG in the last 100 yrs, Bethel and friends more recently; AG reminds me of a big ovary still capable of releasing viable reproductive cells. Like most Christians these days, we fellowship where the Lord places us. It’s not like a preference thing; it’s an obedience thing. God places people in the Body as it pleases him (I Cor 12:18). “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn 4:34). I asked my husband just now, “Hey, Mike, are we part of a movement?” He laughed and had to think about it.
    Now re: your concerns… If the NT theme about Christ in us the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) illudes you, I can’t imagine what your walk with God is all about. Eph. 1:22-23 refers “the church which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all”. Fullness means fullness. This is basic teaching and we all know these verses.
    If you can receive it, “We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh.” Do look at the wording of I Jn 4:2-3, and run the Greek words through your Young’s and your Strong’s concordances too if you want. Does anyone argue that Jesus Christ had a human body of flesh and blood? Of course not. It’s a historical fact. Mat 8:28-32 is the story of Jesus meeting up with the 2 devil-possessed guys coming up out of the tombs. These guys said, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” The demons “confessed” that Jesus Christ, Son of God had come in the flesh. NOT to be confused with the antichrist spirit referred to in I Jn who refuses to confess that Christ is coming forth in OUR flesh. Clear as mud? This is not high theology, bro. The Body of Christ is not a figure of speech in the great language of Christianese. It’s us, yep, us. Us who live every day, praying like John the Baptist that He (Jesus) increase and we decrease.
    Now take your pick of 2 other hotbuttons:
    A) Rom. 8:14,18: Who are those sons of God? As many as are led by the Spirit. Can anyone become a son of God this side of the grave?
    (B) Here is a real brainteaser: Jesus learned obedience by the things that He suffered (Heb 5:8)?! (If He was already perfect, why did He need to learn obedience like us?)

  153. Linda

    My trip was delayed by a day so I thought I would post.

    I will begin by addressing a comment you made later in your last post:

    “This is not high theology, bro.”

    Well you are certainly correct about that! In the strictest sense of the word, your comments could possibly be construed as “theology”; but not as Christian theology.

    I find it interesting that you repeated a phrase that you used in your previous post. “If you can receive it”. You used it in the following statement:

    “If you can receive it, “We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh.”

    If I can receive it……………………………….? Hmmm

    Am I able? Am I willing? Am I spiritually in tune enough with God to receive it?

    I suppose that is within the realm of possibility—under certain conditions. Just as I would be able to believe and “receive” that Joseph Smith received extra-biblical revelation from God by viewing text though giant spectacles, aided by the angel moroni, as is believed by the Mormons. Or if I were to accept that the Watch Tower was the true voice of God as is believed by the Jehovah Witnesses. What would those conditions be? They would be that I would choose to ignore the scripture and follow an idea or revelation that is foreign to the teachings of the bible. A practice that you apparently engage in. I am not willing to engage in that. So the answer is no, I cannot receive it.

    So back to your comment:

    “If you can receive it, “We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh.”

    We previously agreed that Jesus is God, so lets do a little word exchange and a distillation of your fantasy:

    We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh,

    We, the Body of Christ, are God come in the flesh,

    We, the Body of Christ, are God,

    We are God.

    Oh really? Hmmmm. I did not know that Linda. I didn’t know that we achieved god status when we became part of the body of Christ. By any chance were you raised in Salt Lake City?

    Linda, I have been a Christian for a long time, and have studied the bible for a long time. But never have I heard anyone try to suggest that we are Jesus come in the flesh. There have been many false prophets that have claimed to be Jesus—and more are on their way and even are here now—but that is a new one to me. That is so absolutely ridiculous that I hardly know how to comment on it. When I first read it, I thought to myself, “Well now she is trying to be silly just to be provocative.” But when I read your comments on I John 4:2-3 (which I will get to) I realized that you were serious. Are you suggesting that this is a teaching prevalent in Bethel church? Or should I not judge Bethel based on your theology? I would like an answer to that. Since you first posted on here was in defensive of Bethel, why don’t you let us all know where these teachings come from? Are they from Bethel or are you just spinning these ideas from your own mind? And if they are from neither, would you share who is teaching this? I would really like to know the answer to that.

    You attempted to use I john 4:2-3 as proof that if we don’t believe what you are saying about us being Jesus in the flesh then we are the of the spirit of antichrist.

    You stated:

    “NOT to be confused with the antichrist spirit referred to in I Jn who refuses to confess that Christ is coming forth in OUR flesh.”

    At your suggestion I did a thorough examination of I John 4:2-3. I even read 7 or 8 different commentaries on that passage—one of which dealt with the passage word for word in the Greek. Even though it has been a long time since I had looked at that book carefully I found that my memory served me correctly.

    “I John 4:2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
    3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

    I didn’t realize that you were a Greek scholar Linda. I wish that I were but I am not. I have to rely on different bible translations that were prepared by TEAMS of Greek scholars. I also try to read as many commentaries as possible when studying a passage in depth.

    So, after reading several translations and many commentaries, I could not find one that renders that passage as:

    “NOT to be confused with the antichrist spirit referred to in I Jn who refuses to confess that Christ is coming forth in OUR flesh.”

    The only commentary I can find with that rendering is Linda’s. There is nothing directly or indirectly suggesting that it is referring to Christ coming forth in “OUR” flesh. Linda are you lying about what this passage actually states, or are you repeating a teaching that you have heard that is a lie?

    Again, you have twisted the Word of God to suit your own needs. The idea seems to be that if we don’t accept your notion then we are of the spirit of antichrist. Logically stated another way, “If we don’t believe that we are God come in the flesh then we are of the antichrist spirit”.

    This is quite a little theological bed that you made for yourself Linda. You are unfortunately attempting to teach a different gospel and a different jesus than that which is found in the scripture.

    Linda, to be honest with you, I think you are a person that wants to be a teacher of the word, but you are not one. You are in very serious error on a lot issues. I think you should consider the following passage before you continue trying to instruct anyone in theology:

    Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
    7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
    8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
    9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

    While I don’t perceive that you are coming quite up that level of error, you are starting to walk on the edge. I hope that you are just carelessly repeating a teaching that you have heard instead of actually propagating this heresy yourself. In either case, I suggest that you take your own advice and study these passages and ideas very carefully.

  154. Linda

    My trip was delayed by a day so I thought I would post.

    I will begin by addressing a comment you made later in your last post:

    “This is not high theology, bro.”

    Well you are certainly correct about that! In the strictest sense of the word, your comments could possibly be construed as “theology”; but not as Christian theology.

    I find it interesting that you repeated a phrase that you used in your previous post. “If you can receive it”. You used it in the following statement:

    “If you can receive it, “We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh.”

    If I can receive it……………………………….? Hmmm

    Am I able? Am I willing? Am I spiritually in tune enough with God to receive it?

    I suppose that is within the realm of possibility—under certain conditions. Just as I would be able to believe and “receive” that Joseph Smith received extra-biblical revelation from God by viewing text though giant spectacles, aided by the angel moroni, as is believed by the Mormons. Or if I were to accept that the Watch Tower was the true voice of God as is believed by the Jehovah Witnesses. What would those conditions be? They would be that I would choose to ignore the scripture and follow an idea or revelation that is foreign to the teachings of the bible. A practice that you apparently engage in. I am not willing to engage in that. So the answer is no, I cannot receive it.

    So back to your comment:

    “If you can receive it, “We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh, as He was God the Father come in the flesh.”

    We previously agreed that Jesus is God, so lets do a little word exchange and a distillation of your fantasy:

    We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh,

    We, the Body of Christ, are God come in the flesh,

    We, the Body of Christ, are God,

    We are God.

    Oh really? Hmmmm. I did not know that Linda. I didn’t know that we achieved god status when we became part of the body of Christ. By any chance were you raised in Salt Lake City?

    Linda, I have been a Christian for a long time, and have studied the bible for a long time. But never have I heard anyone try to suggest that we are Jesus come in the flesh. There have been many false prophets that have claimed to be Jesus—and more are on their way and even are here now—but that is a new one to me. That is so absolutely ridiculous that I hardly know how to comment on it. When I first read it, I thought to myself, “Well now she is trying to be silly just to be provocative.” But when I read your comments on I John 4:2-3 (which I will get to) I realized that you were serious. Are you suggesting that this is a teaching prevalent in Bethel church? Or should I not judge Bethel based on your theology? I would like an answer to that. Since you first posted on here was in defensive of Bethel, why don’t you let us all know where these teachings come from? Are they from Bethel or are you just spinning these ideas from your own mind? And if they are from neither, would you share who is teaching this? I would really like to know the answer to that.

    You attempted to use I john 4:2-3 as proof that if we don’t believe what you are saying about us being Jesus in the flesh then we are the of the spirit of antichrist.

    You stated:

    “NOT to be confused with the antichrist spirit referred to in I Jn who refuses to confess that Christ is coming forth in OUR flesh.”

    At your suggestion I did a thorough examination of I John 4:2-3. I even read 7 or 8 different commentaries on that passage—one of which dealt with the passage word for word in the Greek. Even though it has been a long time since I had looked at that book carefully I found that my memory served me correctly.

    “I John 4:2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
    3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

    I didn’t realize that you were a Greek scholar Linda. I wish that I were but I am not. I have to rely on different bible translations that were prepared by TEAMS of Greek scholars. I also try to read as many commentaries as possible when studying a passage in depth.

    So, after reading several translations and many commentaries, I could not find one that renders that passage as:

    “NOT to be confused with the antichrist spirit referred to in I Jn who refuses to confess that Christ is coming forth in OUR flesh.”

    The only commentary I can find with that rendering is Linda’s. There is nothing directly or indirectly suggesting that it is referring to Christ coming forth in “OUR” flesh. Linda are you lying about what this passage actually states, or are you repeating a teaching that you have heard that is a lie?

    Again, you have twisted the Word of God to suit your own needs. The idea seems to be that if we don’t accept your notion then we are of the spirit of antichrist. Logically stated another way, “If we don’t believe that we are God come in the flesh then we are of the antichrist spirit”.

    This is quite a little theological bed that you made for yourself Linda. You are unfortunately attempting to teach a different gospel and a different jesus than that which is found in the scripture.

    Linda, to be honest with you, I think you are a person that wants to be a teacher of the word, but you are not one. You are in very serious error on a lot issues. I think you should consider the following passage before you continue trying to instruct anyone in theology:

    Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
    7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
    8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
    9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

    While I don’t perceive that you are coming quite up that level of error, you are starting to walk on the edge. I hope that you are just carelessly repeating a teaching that you have heard instead of actually propagating this heresy yourself. In either case, I suggest that you take your own advice and study these passages and ideas very carefully.

  155. Jesus said, “If you can receive it” when He referred to John the Baptist as Elias (Mat 11:14). It’s a common expression. I personally do not “receive” either the Mormons or the Jehovah’s witnesses, though God will sift and sort them all out someday on an individual level based on their personal salvation experience or not, regardless of their wacky erroneous doctrines. Same goes for the Jews. It’s not my business. I’m not the Judge. I really don’t know much about Mormonism by the way, nor have I ever spoken with any.

    We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh: I didn’t say it, the Bible says it. I’ve already given you the reference. Jesus Christ IN US the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Jesus is coming forth IN US to be admired IN all those who believe (2 Thes. 1:10). You have a huge problem with Christ coming forth IN people, but that is God’s plan. It goes way beyond this-little-light-of-mine.

    That notorious fundamentalist expression “in error” and your quote of Galatians 1:6 is not proof text that you are right and I am wrong. The gospel Paul preached was CHRIST IN YOU. How have you, Pat, moved away from that? I’m still clinging to Paul’s teaching about the Body of Christ as a Body and Christ as the Head. I do not want to get off track onto slamming fundamentalists as if they are not part of Christ’s Body too, thus becoming a part of the antichrist problem and communication style. I need prayer to speak the truth to you in love. I’m getting drawn into a fruitless argument. WWJD? Sometimes He answered them not a word (Mat 27:12). I need that kind of self-control. It’s a fruit of the Spirit.

    Studying passages carefully from a cerebral, religious perspective will not show you the mind of God. Try asking God to show you what He wants you to see when you read your Bible. Learn His voice, practice His Presence. Commentaries are a mixed bag. Anyone can study to be a theologian in the same way as studying linguistics, civil engineering or epidemiology. They don’t even need to be saved, much less be able to hear from God. Do they bring you into a relationship with God, other people saved and healed through God in you (the fruit), or do they just increase head knowledge to use in doctrinal debates???? Check out Mat 12:37 in Peterson’s Message version of the Bible.

  156. Jesus said, “If you can receive it” when He referred to John the Baptist as Elias (Mat 11:14). It’s a common expression. I personally do not “receive” either the Mormons or the Jehovah’s witnesses, though God will sift and sort them all out someday on an individual level based on their personal salvation experience or not, regardless of their wacky erroneous doctrines. Same goes for the Jews. It’s not my business. I’m not the Judge. I really don’t know much about Mormonism by the way, nor have I ever spoken with any.

    We, the Body of Christ, are Jesus Christ come in the flesh: I didn’t say it, the Bible says it. I’ve already given you the reference. Jesus Christ IN US the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Jesus is coming forth IN US to be admired IN all those who believe (2 Thes. 1:10). You have a huge problem with Christ coming forth IN people, but that is God’s plan. It goes way beyond this-little-light-of-mine.

    That notorious fundamentalist expression “in error” and your quote of Galatians 1:6 is not proof text that you are right and I am wrong. The gospel Paul preached was CHRIST IN YOU. How have you, Pat, moved away from that? I’m still clinging to Paul’s teaching about the Body of Christ as a Body and Christ as the Head. I do not want to get off track onto slamming fundamentalists as if they are not part of Christ’s Body too, thus becoming a part of the antichrist problem and communication style. I need prayer to speak the truth to you in love. I’m getting drawn into a fruitless argument. WWJD? Sometimes He answered them not a word (Mat 27:12). I need that kind of self-control. It’s a fruit of the Spirit.

    Studying passages carefully from a cerebral, religious perspective will not show you the mind of God. Try asking God to show you what He wants you to see when you read your Bible. Learn His voice, practice His Presence. Commentaries are a mixed bag. Anyone can study to be a theologian in the same way as studying linguistics, civil engineering or epidemiology. They don’t even need to be saved, much less be able to hear from God. Do they bring you into a relationship with God, other people saved and healed through God in you (the fruit), or do they just increase head knowledge to use in doctrinal debates???? Check out Mat 12:37 in Peterson’s Message version of the Bible.

  157. The Apostle Paul:

    “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
    (Ephesians 4:14 New International Version)

    Bill Johnson of Bethel Church—Redding California (From his article Apostolic Teams):

    …….“There are major changes in the WIND right now. For the last several years people have started to gather around fathers instead of doctrine.”

    ……. “Apostles carry a blueprint in their hearts concerning the church and God’s purposes on the earth. They are used to bring fresh revelation to the church.”

    (From his article Faith):

    ……. ““So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Notice it does not say, faith comes from having heard. The whole nature of faith implies a relationship with God that is current. The emphasis is on hearing…in the now! In Genesis God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. As Abraham raised the knife to slay his son God spoke again. This time He told him not to slay his son, as he had passed the test of being willing to do anything for God. It’s a good thing that Abraham’s only connection with God was not just over what was said, but was based upon what He was saying!”

    Bill Johnson is the Head Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding California. He has a satellite Ministry called Global Legacy. On the Global Legacy web site he has posted two articles. One is entitled “Apostolic Teams” and the other “Faith”.

    Both articles have representative samples of his ministerial philosophy that should concern any Christian. Here is the link to those articles:

    http://www.bjm.org/articles.html

    Summary:

    Bill Johnson attempts to argue that the body of Christ would be better served by adhering to the teachings of “apostles” or “fathers” and the “fresh, present, and clarified” revelation that they are able to provide, than by adhering to and obeying sound biblical doctrine, i.e. Scripture. He does this by attempting to show that God is speaking though the apostles now, and that it should carry more weight than what has previously been said in scripture. You will see that he will twist, misquote, and lift partial passages of scripture from the bible in order to build a structure for his false arguments.

    I want to begin with an excerpt from his article, Apostolic Teams entitled “The Spirit of Revelation”:

    ……. “One of the things that helped to keep the early church strong and healthy was their continual devotion to the apostle’s doctrine.6 However, you’ll notice that there is no mention of a list of beliefs that the Bible declares to be the official record of important doctrines. It is safe to say the “apostles doctrine” is referring to something other than a specific list. Peter understood this when he exhorted the church concerning ‘present truth’.7 That phrase is to direct our attention to that which the Lord is emphasizing for this season. That is the apostle’s doctrine. The word coming from apostles is to bring clarification of the Father’s focus for the church, and in turn strengthen our resolve to His purposes. Fresh revelation carries fresh fire, which helps us to maintain the much needed fire in our souls.

    Apostles carry a blueprint in their hearts concerning the church and God’s purposes on the earth. They are used to bring fresh revelation to the church. Apostolic teams are sent to represent their spiritual father, and carry the word that has been entrusted to their ‘tribe’. They help bring an understanding and establish an order needed in the particular location they were sent to.”

    It is true that the “apostles doctrine” is not referring to a specific list. It is also true to say that there is no denoted list of beliefs referred as the “Official Record” of important doctrines. Bill Johnson is trying to use the terms, “List of Beliefs” and “Official Doctrine”, to suggest that we don’t know what the “Apostles Doctrine” was. But he apparently does. He goes on to say:

    ……. “Peter understood this when he exhorted the church concerning ‘present truth’.7”

    Please notice the quotes that he put around ‘present truth.’ He gave a footnote for II Peter 1:12. He then says regarding that phrase:

    ……. “That phrase is to direct our attention to that which the Lord is emphasizing for this season”

    Bill Johnson lifts the phrase ‘present truth’ out of that passage of scripture and uses it to support his idea that the “Apostles Doctrine” really refers to “present, fresh, and current” truth.

    Quoting him again:

    ……. “That is the apostle’s doctrine. The word coming from apostles is to bring clarification of the Father’s focus for the church, and in turn strengthen our resolve to His purposes. Fresh revelation carries fresh fire, which helps us to maintain the much needed fire in our souls”

    Well lets take a look at the full quotation of that passage instead of just a convenient part of it.

    Peter states why he is writing these things in the very passage that Bill Johnson is twisting (II Peter 1:12). Peter states that he is always ready to remind them:

    “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.”
    (King James Version)

    Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.
    (New American Standard Version)

    So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
    (New International Version)

    So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold].
    (Amplified Bible)

    If Peter was teaching a “present truth”, as Bill Johnson is defining it, then why did he say that he was “reminding” them? How do you remind someone of “fresh revelation”? Furthermore, this text is proof that the “Apostles Doctrine” is not a new truth. Peter was reminding them of what he has already taught them.

    Bill Johnson is willfully trying to deceive his readers. His problem is that he didn’t study that verse carefully enough. The very verse that he is trying to use to support his idea of “present” or “fresh” truth actually argues against that notion. Apparently the Word of God is not “fresh” enough for Bill Johnson. The Word of God as written does not seem to satisfy him. Or is it something else? Could it be that Bill Johnson needs “fresh” revelation in order to keep his agenda moving forward. An agenda that doesn’t fit in within that pesky old scripture.

    The Epistles of the New Testament are the doctrines or teachings of the Apostles. They are the official record of important doctrines. Bill Johnson is attempting to establish a mysterious unknown doctrine that was taught by the Apostles in an attempt to justify his and his fellow apostles’ authority to establish ‘present truth’. This is an egregious misrepresentation of the scripture.

    In his article “Faith” he says the following under the title “Ears To Hear”:

    ……. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Notice it does not say, faith comes from having heard. The whole nature of faith implies a relationship with God that is current. The emphasis is on hearing…in the now! In Genesis God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. As Abraham raised the knife to slay his son God spoke again. This time He told him not to slay his son, as he had passed the test of being willing to do anything for God. It’s a good thing that Abraham’s only connection with God was not just over what was said, but was based upon what He was saying!”

    Let me draw your attention to the real point that Bill Johnson is trying to make:

    ……. “It’s a good thing that Abraham’s only connection with God was not just over what was said, but was based upon what He was saying!”

    In other words, What God is saying now is more important than what He has previously said. This is a continuation of the theme that he is trying to establish in “Apostolic Teams”.

    Lets look at this issue of “hearing” versus “heard”.

    Since Bill Johnson wants to play grammatical games with the tense of this verse (Romans 10:17), lets look at another verse and consider it’s tense.

    Ephesians 2:19 and 20

    “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
    (New International Version)

    If the foundation of the apostles and prophets has already been BUILT, then why on earth do we need Bill Johnson and the rest of his so called apostles and prophets with their ‘present’ and ‘fresh’ revelation?

    I mean for goodness sake it doesn’t say “being built” does it? It says “been built”.

    I know building engineering. You don’t continue to build the foundation after it has been laid. In fact, you cannot build a building until the foundation is 100 percent complete. I have been involved with the building and erection of structures from the foundation—some of which consist of foundations that extend more than 200 feet underneath the surface of the ground—to structures that extend to well over a 1000 feet into the air. I know buildings and I know structures and I know foundations. You can knock a structure down and rebuild on the same foundation if it has been properly laid. And this is Bill Johnson’s problem that he is trying to overcome. The structure he is trying to build does not fit on the foundation that we have from the true apostles and prophets. His structure is alien to the true foundation. So what is a frustrated apostle to do? Simply build a new foundation.

    Bill Johnson from Apostolic Teams:

    ……. “While doctrine is vitally important it is not a strong enough foundation to bear the weight of His glory that is about to be revealed through true unity.”

    That is what this is all about. Move those who “have ears to hear” from the true foundation of the true Apostles and Prophets as found in scripture, and away from sound doctrine, to his newly created foundation of fresh, new, and present truth that is so graciously and humbly provided by him and his apostolic teams.

    I challenge all members of Bethel Church to examine Bill Johnson’s teaching in light of the scripture.

    Bill Johnson’s reference notes for the Apostolic Teams Article:
    1 There are three basic levels of biblical doctrine. 1. There are doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith – For example, Jesus is the eternal Son of God. 2. Then there are doctrines that are important, but not essential – For example, how we use the gifts of the Spirit in a church service. 3. And finally, there are doctrines that are good but not essential – For example, the exact nature and timing of Christ’s return.
    2 This is never in addition to scriptures. Instead He unveils what is already there.
    3 This is far from an absolute rule, as many leaders are in tune to what God is saying. However, some are more concerned with preserving past accomplishments over and above the advancement of the kingdom. This creates a weakness that tends to miss God’s present word
    4 Ephesians 2:20
    5 Acts 15
    6 Acts 2:42
    7 2 Peter 1:12
    8 1 Corinthians 2:6
    9 Ephesians 4:
    10 Ephesians 5:27
    11 Revelation 19:7

  158. The Apostle Paul:

    “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
    (Ephesians 4:14 New International Version)

    Bill Johnson of Bethel Church—Redding California (From his article Apostolic Teams):

    …….“There are major changes in the WIND right now. For the last several years people have started to gather around fathers instead of doctrine.”

    ……. “Apostles carry a blueprint in their hearts concerning the church and God’s purposes on the earth. They are used to bring fresh revelation to the church.”

    (From his article Faith):

    ……. ““So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Notice it does not say, faith comes from having heard. The whole nature of faith implies a relationship with God that is current. The emphasis is on hearing…in the now! In Genesis God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. As Abraham raised the knife to slay his son God spoke again. This time He told him not to slay his son, as he had passed the test of being willing to do anything for God. It’s a good thing that Abraham’s only connection with God was not just over what was said, but was based upon what He was saying!”

    Bill Johnson is the Head Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding California. He has a satellite Ministry called Global Legacy. On the Global Legacy web site he has posted two articles. One is entitled “Apostolic Teams” and the other “Faith”.

    Both articles have representative samples of his ministerial philosophy that should concern any Christian. Here is the link to those articles:

    http://www.bjm.org/articles.html

    Summary:

    Bill Johnson attempts to argue that the body of Christ would be better served by adhering to the teachings of “apostles” or “fathers” and the “fresh, present, and clarified” revelation that they are able to provide, than by adhering to and obeying sound biblical doctrine, i.e. Scripture. He does this by attempting to show that God is speaking though the apostles now, and that it should carry more weight than what has previously been said in scripture. You will see that he will twist, misquote, and lift partial passages of scripture from the bible in order to build a structure for his false arguments.

    I want to begin with an excerpt from his article, Apostolic Teams entitled “The Spirit of Revelation”:

    ……. “One of the things that helped to keep the early church strong and healthy was their continual devotion to the apostle’s doctrine.6 However, you’ll notice that there is no mention of a list of beliefs that the Bible declares to be the official record of important doctrines. It is safe to say the “apostles doctrine” is referring to something other than a specific list. Peter understood this when he exhorted the church concerning ‘present truth’.7 That phrase is to direct our attention to that which the Lord is emphasizing for this season. That is the apostle’s doctrine. The word coming from apostles is to bring clarification of the Father’s focus for the church, and in turn strengthen our resolve to His purposes. Fresh revelation carries fresh fire, which helps us to maintain the much needed fire in our souls.

    Apostles carry a blueprint in their hearts concerning the church and God’s purposes on the earth. They are used to bring fresh revelation to the church. Apostolic teams are sent to represent their spiritual father, and carry the word that has been entrusted to their ‘tribe’. They help bring an understanding and establish an order needed in the particular location they were sent to.”

    It is true that the “apostles doctrine” is not referring to a specific list. It is also true to say that there is no denoted list of beliefs referred as the “Official Record” of important doctrines. Bill Johnson is trying to use the terms, “List of Beliefs” and “Official Doctrine”, to suggest that we don’t know what the “Apostles Doctrine” was. But he apparently does. He goes on to say:

    ……. “Peter understood this when he exhorted the church concerning ‘present truth’.7”

    Please notice the quotes that he put around ‘present truth.’ He gave a footnote for II Peter 1:12. He then says regarding that phrase:

    ……. “That phrase is to direct our attention to that which the Lord is emphasizing for this season”

    Bill Johnson lifts the phrase ‘present truth’ out of that passage of scripture and uses it to support his idea that the “Apostles Doctrine” really refers to “present, fresh, and current” truth.

    Quoting him again:

    ……. “That is the apostle’s doctrine. The word coming from apostles is to bring clarification of the Father’s focus for the church, and in turn strengthen our resolve to His purposes. Fresh revelation carries fresh fire, which helps us to maintain the much needed fire in our souls”

    Well lets take a look at the full quotation of that passage instead of just a convenient part of it.

    Peter states why he is writing these things in the very passage that Bill Johnson is twisting (II Peter 1:12). Peter states that he is always ready to remind them:

    “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.”
    (King James Version)

    Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.
    (New American Standard Version)

    So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
    (New International Version)

    So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold].
    (Amplified Bible)

    If Peter was teaching a “present truth”, as Bill Johnson is defining it, then why did he say that he was “reminding” them? How do you remind someone of “fresh revelation”? Furthermore, this text is proof that the “Apostles Doctrine” is not a new truth. Peter was reminding them of what he has already taught them.

    Bill Johnson is willfully trying to deceive his readers. His problem is that he didn’t study that verse carefully enough. The very verse that he is trying to use to support his idea of “present” or “fresh” truth actually argues against that notion. Apparently the Word of God is not “fresh” enough for Bill Johnson. The Word of God as written does not seem to satisfy him. Or is it something else? Could it be that Bill Johnson needs “fresh” revelation in order to keep his agenda moving forward. An agenda that doesn’t fit in within that pesky old scripture.

    The Epistles of the New Testament are the doctrines or teachings of the Apostles. They are the official record of important doctrines. Bill Johnson is attempting to establish a mysterious unknown doctrine that was taught by the Apostles in an attempt to justify his and his fellow apostles’ authority to establish ‘present truth’. This is an egregious misrepresentation of the scripture.

    In his article “Faith” he says the following under the title “Ears To Hear”:

    ……. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Notice it does not say, faith comes from having heard. The whole nature of faith implies a relationship with God that is current. The emphasis is on hearing…in the now! In Genesis God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. As Abraham raised the knife to slay his son God spoke again. This time He told him not to slay his son, as he had passed the test of being willing to do anything for God. It’s a good thing that Abraham’s only connection with God was not just over what was said, but was based upon what He was saying!”

    Let me draw your attention to the real point that Bill Johnson is trying to make:

    ……. “It’s a good thing that Abraham’s only connection with God was not just over what was said, but was based upon what He was saying!”

    In other words, What God is saying now is more important than what He has previously said. This is a continuation of the theme that he is trying to establish in “Apostolic Teams”.

    Lets look at this issue of “hearing” versus “heard”.

    Since Bill Johnson wants to play grammatical games with the tense of this verse (Romans 10:17), lets look at another verse and consider it’s tense.

    Ephesians 2:19 and 20

    “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
    (New International Version)

    If the foundation of the apostles and prophets has already been BUILT, then why on earth do we need Bill Johnson and the rest of his so called apostles and prophets with their ‘present’ and ‘fresh’ revelation?

    I mean for goodness sake it doesn’t say “being built” does it? It says “been built”.

    I know building engineering. You don’t continue to build the foundation after it has been laid. In fact, you cannot build a building until the foundation is 100 percent complete. I have been involved with the building and erection of structures from the foundation—some of which consist of foundations that extend more than 200 feet underneath the surface of the ground—to structures that extend to well over a 1000 feet into the air. I know buildings and I know structures and I know foundations. You can knock a structure down and rebuild on the same foundation if it has been properly laid. And this is Bill Johnson’s problem that he is trying to overcome. The structure he is trying to build does not fit on the foundation that we have from the true apostles and prophets. His structure is alien to the true foundation. So what is a frustrated apostle to do? Simply build a new foundation.

    Bill Johnson from Apostolic Teams:

    ……. “While doctrine is vitally important it is not a strong enough foundation to bear the weight of His glory that is about to be revealed through true unity.”

    That is what this is all about. Move those who “have ears to hear” from the true foundation of the true Apostles and Prophets as found in scripture, and away from sound doctrine, to his newly created foundation of fresh, new, and present truth that is so graciously and humbly provided by him and his apostolic teams.

    I challenge all members of Bethel Church to examine Bill Johnson’s teaching in light of the scripture.

    Bill Johnson’s reference notes for the Apostolic Teams Article:
    1 There are three basic levels of biblical doctrine. 1. There are doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith – For example, Jesus is the eternal Son of God. 2. Then there are doctrines that are important, but not essential – For example, how we use the gifts of the Spirit in a church service. 3. And finally, there are doctrines that are good but not essential – For example, the exact nature and timing of Christ’s return.
    2 This is never in addition to scriptures. Instead He unveils what is already there.
    3 This is far from an absolute rule, as many leaders are in tune to what God is saying. However, some are more concerned with preserving past accomplishments over and above the advancement of the kingdom. This creates a weakness that tends to miss God’s present word
    4 Ephesians 2:20
    5 Acts 15
    6 Acts 2:42
    7 2 Peter 1:12
    8 1 Corinthians 2:6
    9 Ephesians 4:
    10 Ephesians 5:27
    11 Revelation 19:7

  159. Pat, I know Bill personally. People like you have no capacity for hearing or even laying down any kind of good reasonable argument. You throw accusations around without regard, and no real sense of a whole picture. Don’t be an ass;)
    Dalen

  160. Pat, I know Bill personally. People like you have no capacity for hearing or even laying down any kind of good reasonable argument. You throw accusations around without regard, and no real sense of a whole picture. Don’t be an ass;)
    Dalen

  161. Dalen,

    I presented an argument based on what Bill Johnson wrote, and what the Bible says. If you think my argument was not reasonable then present your argument.

    I was careful to quote him exactly as he wrote. I posted the link to his web site so that anyone could look for themselves. I even included his footnotes in my post. Unfortunately his footnotes for his article “Faith” seemed to be missing from his web site.

    Did Bill Johnson mean something other than what he wrote? I would say that he presented a pretty big picture if you ask me.

    Dalen you are obviously a pretty bright guy. This is the second time that you have answered me with ad hominem arguments. I am not sure why you don’t point out where I am wrong instead of being insulting.

    Incidentally, I didn’t post that just to engage in argumentation. I neither have the time nor desire for that. I currently have friends and family that have become totally disillusioned with God and going to church because they became involved in this movement and were eventually disappointed. They feel as if they have been fooled. I am tired of seeing the fallout.

    I had no idea that Global Legacy even existed until Linda accused me of having some sort of problem with it. So I checked it out. Just to be perfectly honest I was enraged when I saw his deception. This isn’t my first walk down the pike with this movement. I have seen the big picture, and it is not a pretty one.

    I took an honest look at his writings. I have to say Dalen, I don’t think that you took an honest look at mine. I wish I did know him personally. I would confront him. He certainly has the option of clarifying what he wrote. His ideas are not opaque. And he has the option of removing the articles.

    As for me, I am going to do my little part to defend the Faith. What he is teaching is wrong. I had a very difficult time paring down my post about his articles because they are so filled with error and lies. Yes I said lies. I just tried to hit the most important points.

    Dalen I like you and think that you are a funny guy. You have made me laugh pretty hard a few times. But I going say something to you that my gut is telling me—I don’t know this—it is just my instinct: I think you know that what I wrote was the truth, and I think that why you reacted to me that way that you did.

    I do have the capacity for hearing. I also have the capacity to think for myself and to surrender my belief system if it does not line up with scripture. Dalen do you have that same capacity?

    The only person that is throwing around accusations without regard is you.

  162. Dalen,

    I presented an argument based on what Bill Johnson wrote, and what the Bible says. If you think my argument was not reasonable then present your argument.

    I was careful to quote him exactly as he wrote. I posted the link to his web site so that anyone could look for themselves. I even included his footnotes in my post. Unfortunately his footnotes for his article “Faith” seemed to be missing from his web site.

    Did Bill Johnson mean something other than what he wrote? I would say that he presented a pretty big picture if you ask me.

    Dalen you are obviously a pretty bright guy. This is the second time that you have answered me with ad hominem arguments. I am not sure why you don’t point out where I am wrong instead of being insulting.

    Incidentally, I didn’t post that just to engage in argumentation. I neither have the time nor desire for that. I currently have friends and family that have become totally disillusioned with God and going to church because they became involved in this movement and were eventually disappointed. They feel as if they have been fooled. I am tired of seeing the fallout.

    I had no idea that Global Legacy even existed until Linda accused me of having some sort of problem with it. So I checked it out. Just to be perfectly honest I was enraged when I saw his deception. This isn’t my first walk down the pike with this movement. I have seen the big picture, and it is not a pretty one.

    I took an honest look at his writings. I have to say Dalen, I don’t think that you took an honest look at mine. I wish I did know him personally. I would confront him. He certainly has the option of clarifying what he wrote. His ideas are not opaque. And he has the option of removing the articles.

    As for me, I am going to do my little part to defend the Faith. What he is teaching is wrong. I had a very difficult time paring down my post about his articles because they are so filled with error and lies. Yes I said lies. I just tried to hit the most important points.

    Dalen I like you and think that you are a funny guy. You have made me laugh pretty hard a few times. But I going say something to you that my gut is telling me—I don’t know this—it is just my instinct: I think you know that what I wrote was the truth, and I think that why you reacted to me that way that you did.

    I do have the capacity for hearing. I also have the capacity to think for myself and to surrender my belief system if it does not line up with scripture. Dalen do you have that same capacity?

    The only person that is throwing around accusations without regard is you.

  163. Dalen,

    I presented an argument based on what Bill Johnson wrote, and what the Bible says. If you think my argument was not reasonable then present your argument.

    I was careful to quote him exactly as he wrote. I posted the link to his web site so that anyone could look for themselves. I even included his footnotes in my post. Unfortunately his footnotes for his article “Faith” seemed to be missing from his web site.

    Did Bill Johnson mean something other than what he wrote? I would say that he presented a pretty big picture if you ask me.

    Dalen you are obviously a pretty bright guy. This is the second time that you have answered me with ad hominem arguments. I am not sure why you don’t point out where I am wrong instead of being insulting.

    Incidentally, I didn’t post that just to engage in argumentation. I neither have the time nor desire for that. I currently have friends and family that have become totally disillusioned with God and going to church because they became involved in this movement and were eventually disappointed. They feel as if they have been fooled. I am tired of seeing the fallout.

    I had no idea that Global Legacy even existed until Linda accused me of having some sort of problem with it. So I checked it out. Just to be perfectly honest I was enraged when I saw his deception. This isn’t my first walk down the pike with this movement. I have seen the big picture, and it is not a pretty one.

    I took an honest look at his writings. I have to say Dalen, I don’t think that you took an honest look at mine. I wish I did know him personally. I would confront him. He certainly has the option of clarifying what he wrote. His ideas are not opaque. And he has the option of removing the articles.

    As for me, I am going to do my little part to defend the Faith. What he is teaching is wrong. I had a very difficult time paring down my post about his articles because they are so filled with error and lies. Yes I said lies. I just tried to hit the most important points.

    Dalen I like you and think that you are a funny guy. You have made me laugh pretty hard a few times. But I going say something to you that my gut is telling me—I don’t know this—it is just my instinct: I think you know that what I wrote was the truth, and I think that why you reacted to me that way that you did.

    I do have the capacity for hearing. I also have the capacity to think for myself and to surrender my belief system if it does not line up with scripture. Dalen do you have that same capacity?

  164. Dalen,

    I presented an argument based on what Bill Johnson wrote, and what the Bible says. If you think my argument was not reasonable then present your argument.

    I was careful to quote him exactly as he wrote. I posted the link to his web site so that anyone could look for themselves. I even included his footnotes in my post. Unfortunately his footnotes for his article “Faith” seemed to be missing from his web site.

    Did Bill Johnson mean something other than what he wrote? I would say that he presented a pretty big picture if you ask me.

    Dalen you are obviously a pretty bright guy. This is the second time that you have answered me with ad hominem arguments. I am not sure why you don’t point out where I am wrong instead of being insulting.

    Incidentally, I didn’t post that just to engage in argumentation. I neither have the time nor desire for that. I currently have friends and family that have become totally disillusioned with God and going to church because they became involved in this movement and were eventually disappointed. They feel as if they have been fooled. I am tired of seeing the fallout.

    I had no idea that Global Legacy even existed until Linda accused me of having some sort of problem with it. So I checked it out. Just to be perfectly honest I was enraged when I saw his deception. This isn’t my first walk down the pike with this movement. I have seen the big picture, and it is not a pretty one.

    I took an honest look at his writings. I have to say Dalen, I don’t think that you took an honest look at mine. I wish I did know him personally. I would confront him. He certainly has the option of clarifying what he wrote. His ideas are not opaque. And he has the option of removing the articles.

    As for me, I am going to do my little part to defend the Faith. What he is teaching is wrong. I had a very difficult time paring down my post about his articles because they are so filled with error and lies. Yes I said lies. I just tried to hit the most important points.

    Dalen I like you and think that you are a funny guy. You have made me laugh pretty hard a few times. But I going say something to you that my gut is telling me—I don’t know this—it is just my instinct: I think you know that what I wrote was the truth, and I think that why you reacted to me that way that you did.

    I do have the capacity for hearing. I also have the capacity to think for myself and to surrender my belief system if it does not line up with scripture. Dalen do you have that same capacity?

  165. okay, Pat, I see that you actually may want real discussion here. Right now I’m working about 80 hrs a week. I’ll have a day off next week to reply in a well articulated manner. I still believe we will be in complete disagreement on interpretation of certain scripture, but I think there will at least be a better more clear understanding that there are more things in common between you and Bill than you think. Like I said taking one area without understanding and missing the points completely mis-characterizes Bill. He has no agenda, but passion to follow Christ.
    Dalen

  166. okay, Pat, I see that you actually may want real discussion here. Right now I’m working about 80 hrs a week. I’ll have a day off next week to reply in a well articulated manner. I still believe we will be in complete disagreement on interpretation of certain scripture, but I think there will at least be a better more clear understanding that there are more things in common between you and Bill than you think. Like I said taking one area without understanding and missing the points completely mis-characterizes Bill. He has no agenda, but passion to follow Christ.
    Dalen

  167. Yes I am interested in real discussion. I am not willing to go all over the map though. The issues that I addressed in my post are the ones that concern me the most, and I have been very clear about them. I suggest that we decide specifically where we either agree or disagree regarding what Bill Johnson said in those two articles before moving on to other topics.

    I am working a lot hours also. I am on the east coast right now and flying back to California tomorrow and then back here Tuesday. I don’t have much time either. If you think I have presented invalid arguments regarding Bill Johnson then I want to hear it.

    I am not saying this to be contentious, but I really don’t care if Bill Johnson is a nice guy, or if he truly has a heart for the Lord while we engage in these discussions. I addressed what he wrote, and argued against his teachings. If my arguments were wrong, and if you can show me, then I will correct what I said. If my arguments were correct, then I expect you to acknowledge that.

    I know that I am being rather point blank right now, but I feel very strongly about what he wrote.

  168. Yes I am interested in real discussion. I am not willing to go all over the map though. The issues that I addressed in my post are the ones that concern me the most, and I have been very clear about them. I suggest that we decide specifically where we either agree or disagree regarding what Bill Johnson said in those two articles before moving on to other topics.

    I am working a lot hours also. I am on the east coast right now and flying back to California tomorrow and then back here Tuesday. I don’t have much time either. If you think I have presented invalid arguments regarding Bill Johnson then I want to hear it.

    I am not saying this to be contentious, but I really don’t care if Bill Johnson is a nice guy, or if he truly has a heart for the Lord while we engage in these discussions. I addressed what he wrote, and argued against his teachings. If my arguments were wrong, and if you can show me, then I will correct what I said. If my arguments were correct, then I expect you to acknowledge that.

    I know that I am being rather point blank right now, but I feel very strongly about what he wrote.

  169. being point blank does not scare or offend me, Pat. I’ll address your points and what Bill teaches.
    Dalen

  170. being point blank does not scare or offend me, Pat. I’ll address your points and what Bill teaches.
    Dalen

  171. Dalen,

    Are you still working alot of hours or did you change your mind?

  172. Dalen,

    Are you still working alot of hours or did you change your mind?

  173. I have a few days off this week, so I’ll reply tonight or tomorrow. It’ll be brief and to the point.

  174. I have a few days off this week, so I’ll reply tonight or tomorrow. It’ll be brief and to the point.

  175. Dear Donny and All Who Are On This Site,

    First off I want to start with praise for our Holy, and Mighty Creator! The Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Who is like our God! He plants the seed and causes it to grow! We do not come to know Christ Jesus out of our own will and want, but out the election of God Almighty! Election! We did not chose to know God, but rather, we are known by God! The thought is almost too much to fathom! I am nothing, he Jesus Christ is everything! I don’t want a will of my own, I don’t want any part of the fleshly nature in my life ever again! I only want to walk in the will of the Father through the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will constantly point me back to Jesus Christ! He is the measure, the pattern of who we are to be (Ezekiel 43: “the house” is Jesus Christ)! It is no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives in me! I don’t mean anything to God! I am but a servant covered by the Master Jesus Christ.

    I want to lift you up and share with you a little of the strength the Holy Spirit has been pouring into me over the past couple weeks. This is a word that the Holy Spirit revealed to me in the scripture, I want to share this with you all because as true Christians and members of the body of Christ (this is not a building, but a body formed of living tissue). I encourage all who read this to test it against the scripture! Test everything against the scripture (1 John 4:1-6) If all of it does not line up with the word of God through it out(1 Thessalonians 5:21,22: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.) (1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron)!

    Don’t ever let ANYONE translate the bible for you! You yourself must pour into the Word of God! The Bible is your life source and the Holy Spirit is your teacher (John 16:13-14 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.), and if you do not hold stead fast in the light you will be overcome by the darkness!

    You have left your first love!

    There is no separation between the Father and the Son. What Jesus spoke are the Words of God to us! The words of Jesus are the words of God!

    John 12:49-50
    “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”

    John 13 – Washing the disciples feet:

    13:6-11: Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do though knowest not now; but thou shalt know here after. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

    Unless Jesus washes our feet, we are not clean, and will have no part of Him. Once our feet are clean, we are clean. We do not need any other part cleaned. Jesus only has to wash us once to get rid of anything unclean. He does not need to revisit and clean specific parts out. Once we are washed we are delivered (there are no more generational curses or need for further deliverance or Sozo), for we have died and Christ now lives through us. We are to be the embodiment of His Spirit on and in this earth. I am the candle stick, and he is the light.

    John 13: 13-15
    “You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”

    Jesus washing the disciples feet is a two fold message:

    1. He must wash us and make us clean.
    2. Once He washes us we are to take up His life and wash others.

    This passage not only implies salvation, but the attitude of servant hood to the vessel, and message of salvation. Which is confirmed in John 13:16:
    “Verily, verily (brother, brother) I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”

    Jesus himself was the salvation, and a servant to the salvation which came through the will of his Father. If we are servants of Him, the salvation, we will be happy if we give our all for the salvation of others. God’s commandment is eternal life!

    John 13:17- “If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them.”

    John 13:34-35
    “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye also love one another.”

    John 14:6
    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

    Way = Hodōs; path, a way, a road in which one travels, a journey, manner of life or action, custom, removal or impediments for his reception, no man comes in a state of blessedness only through Christ.

    Truth: Alếtheia; truth as the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested, or the veritable essence of matter. The reality pertaining to an appearance. Reality lying clearly before our eyes.

    Life: Zoē; life referring to the principle of life in the spirit and soul. Expresses the highest and best, which is Christ, and the life he gives to the saints.

    Everything is about the Father, everything Jesus does is the Father’s will not his own. As followers of Christ we are to take on that same life, a life that is not our own, but a life that is wholly devoted to the will of the Father.

    John 14:13
    “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

    Shall ask: Aitéo: ask, request, beg (beg for alms).

    I am poor and weak, but he is rich and mighty. Whatever I beg of Him in the name of Jesus Christ, (or better said: the name of salvation), He will do it so that He will be glorified in the Son. His commandment is eternal life!

    John 14:15
    “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    John 14:21
    “He that has my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

    John 14:26
    “But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

    John 15:1-4 Abiding in Christ
    “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth fruit.”

    Purgeth: Kathaírō: pure, clean, without stain, without spot, to cleanse, purify.

    A Christian is to strive be pure, clean, without stain, without spot. In essence we are to strive to live a righteous and holy life(1 Peter 1:16: Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy). We cannot do this in our own will, but if we submit to the will of the Father, through the Holy Spirit which guides us through the Bible, God conforms us to the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ.

    John 15:3 “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

    John 15:4: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

    Abide: Ménō: to remain, dwell, last, persevere, remain alive.

    In other words, abide means to dwell in the person of Jesus Christ himself. Loosing all of one’s identity and taking on the identity and persona of Jesus Christ through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.

    John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

    John 15:6-13
    “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herin is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    We are to love, but love does not turn a blind eye to sin, it points it out to correct it so that we will not be consumed by it and be cast forth (Matthew 7:13-23). God loves the ones that he disciplines and purges. He does this so that we may bear more fruit. God is merciful and just but he does not tolerate those who fail to keep his commandments and refuse to do his will. He has plainly stated that if we love him we are to keep his commandments and do his will, and if we don’t, we do not love him.

    There is nothing I will add to this, because I do not want to add my words to what the Holy Spirit has revealed. All I can say is that I am not my own, my life belongs wholly to the one who laid his down for me. I abide in Christ, who is in heaven, even now with the Father.

    With my love and my prayers for all of you!

    -Rachel

  176. Dear Donny and All Who Are On This Site,

    First off I want to start with praise for our Holy, and Mighty Creator! The Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Who is like our God! He plants the seed and causes it to grow! We do not come to know Christ Jesus out of our own will and want, but out the election of God Almighty! Election! We did not chose to know God, but rather, we are known by God! The thought is almost too much to fathom! I am nothing, he Jesus Christ is everything! I don’t want a will of my own, I don’t want any part of the fleshly nature in my life ever again! I only want to walk in the will of the Father through the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will constantly point me back to Jesus Christ! He is the measure, the pattern of who we are to be (Ezekiel 43: “the house” is Jesus Christ)! It is no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives in me! I don’t mean anything to God! I am but a servant covered by the Master Jesus Christ.

    I want to lift you up and share with you a little of the strength the Holy Spirit has been pouring into me over the past couple weeks. This is a word that the Holy Spirit revealed to me in the scripture, I want to share this with you all because as true Christians and members of the body of Christ (this is not a building, but a body formed of living tissue). I encourage all who read this to test it against the scripture! Test everything against the scripture (1 John 4:1-6) If all of it does not line up with the word of God through it out(1 Thessalonians 5:21,22: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.) (1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron)!

    Don’t ever let ANYONE translate the bible for you! You yourself must pour into the Word of God! The Bible is your life source and the Holy Spirit is your teacher (John 16:13-14 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.), and if you do not hold stead fast in the light you will be overcome by the darkness!

    You have left your first love!

    There is no separation between the Father and the Son. What Jesus spoke are the Words of God to us! The words of Jesus are the words of God!

    John 12:49-50
    “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”

    John 13 – Washing the disciples feet:

    13:6-11: Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do though knowest not now; but thou shalt know here after. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

    Unless Jesus washes our feet, we are not clean, and will have no part of Him. Once our feet are clean, we are clean. We do not need any other part cleaned. Jesus only has to wash us once to get rid of anything unclean. He does not need to revisit and clean specific parts out. Once we are washed we are delivered (there are no more generational curses or need for further deliverance or Sozo), for we have died and Christ now lives through us. We are to be the embodiment of His Spirit on and in this earth. I am the candle stick, and he is the light.

    John 13: 13-15
    “You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”

    Jesus washing the disciples feet is a two fold message:

    1. He must wash us and make us clean.
    2. Once He washes us we are to take up His life and wash others.

    This passage not only implies salvation, but the attitude of servant hood to the vessel, and message of salvation. Which is confirmed in John 13:16:
    “Verily, verily (brother, brother) I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”

    Jesus himself was the salvation, and a servant to the salvation which came through the will of his Father. If we are servants of Him, the salvation, we will be happy if we give our all for the salvation of others. God’s commandment is eternal life!

    John 13:17- “If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them.”

    John 13:34-35
    “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye also love one another.”

    John 14:6
    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

    Way = Hodōs; path, a way, a road in which one travels, a journey, manner of life or action, custom, removal or impediments for his reception, no man comes in a state of blessedness only through Christ.

    Truth: Alếtheia; truth as the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested, or the veritable essence of matter. The reality pertaining to an appearance. Reality lying clearly before our eyes.

    Life: Zoē; life referring to the principle of life in the spirit and soul. Expresses the highest and best, which is Christ, and the life he gives to the saints.

    Everything is about the Father, everything Jesus does is the Father’s will not his own. As followers of Christ we are to take on that same life, a life that is not our own, but a life that is wholly devoted to the will of the Father.

    John 14:13
    “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

    Shall ask: Aitéo: ask, request, beg (beg for alms).

    I am poor and weak, but he is rich and mighty. Whatever I beg of Him in the name of Jesus Christ, (or better said: the name of salvation), He will do it so that He will be glorified in the Son. His commandment is eternal life!

    John 14:15
    “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    John 14:21
    “He that has my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

    John 14:26
    “But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

    John 15:1-4 Abiding in Christ
    “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth fruit.”

    Purgeth: Kathaírō: pure, clean, without stain, without spot, to cleanse, purify.

    A Christian is to strive be pure, clean, without stain, without spot. In essence we are to strive to live a righteous and holy life(1 Peter 1:16: Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy). We cannot do this in our own will, but if we submit to the will of the Father, through the Holy Spirit which guides us through the Bible, God conforms us to the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ.

    John 15:3 “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

    John 15:4: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

    Abide: Ménō: to remain, dwell, last, persevere, remain alive.

    In other words, abide means to dwell in the person of Jesus Christ himself. Loosing all of one’s identity and taking on the identity and persona of Jesus Christ through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.

    John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

    John 15:6-13
    “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herin is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    We are to love, but love does not turn a blind eye to sin, it points it out to correct it so that we will not be consumed by it and be cast forth (Matthew 7:13-23). God loves the ones that he disciplines and purges. He does this so that we may bear more fruit. God is merciful and just but he does not tolerate those who fail to keep his commandments and refuse to do his will. He has plainly stated that if we love him we are to keep his commandments and do his will, and if we don’t, we do not love him.

    There is nothing I will add to this, because I do not want to add my words to what the Holy Spirit has revealed. All I can say is that I am not my own, my life belongs wholly to the one who laid his down for me. I abide in Christ, who is in heaven, even now with the Father.

    With my love and my prayers for all of you!

    -Rachel

  177. i’ll stick my head out..i go to bethel…i understand where you are coming from, at my first conference i thought it was all hypnosis, until God touched me Himself and I am forever changed. God uses words of knowledge, like the calling out of the ear to show you that God knows about your condition and wants to heal you! He is saying, here I am, believe in me. Use the Bible as a reference for any of your questions. be blessed.

  178. i’ll stick my head out..i go to bethel…i understand where you are coming from, at my first conference i thought it was all hypnosis, until God touched me Himself and I am forever changed. God uses words of knowledge, like the calling out of the ear to show you that God knows about your condition and wants to heal you! He is saying, here I am, believe in me. Use the Bible as a reference for any of your questions. be blessed.

  179. Pat & anyone else who has concern about Bethel, etc…

    We recently came out of a very close knit Church that was heavily involved with Bethel and Global Legacy (we left days before people came back from Lakeland to impart the demons to the entire Church).

    I was highly involved with their teachings and stuff. I own every Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton book there is, listened to 2+ years of the podcast, and all the tapes we had in the library.

    When I started cracking open the Word, and doing some research into the roots of all the stuff their into (and the inherent connections to William Branham …ick), I was appalled to see how far off they all were.

    In the months since then, I’ve done truck loads of reading on the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), Todd Bentley & Lakeland, Toronto & Brownsville, the modern “Prophetic” movement, the teachings of Mike Bickle (and IHOP), Word-of-Faith, etc… Many of these are very well documented, and well debunked (thank God). However, I can’t seem to find much on the teachings unique to Bethel. I’ve found a few people who’ve done some stuff on Bill’s Word-Of-Faith doctrines, but nothing, save for Pat’s post, has attempted to pick apart their unique ideas, etc… Having a good grasp on their teachings, I’ve thought of start of starting a site to pick apart the heresy, but I don’t know if somebody is already doing this.

    Thanks

    God Bless!!!

    Matt

  180. Pat & anyone else who has concern about Bethel, etc…

    We recently came out of a very close knit Church that was heavily involved with Bethel and Global Legacy (we left days before people came back from Lakeland to impart the demons to the entire Church).

    I was highly involved with their teachings and stuff. I own every Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton book there is, listened to 2+ years of the podcast, and all the tapes we had in the library.

    When I started cracking open the Word, and doing some research into the roots of all the stuff their into (and the inherent connections to William Branham …ick), I was appalled to see how far off they all were.

    In the months since then, I’ve done truck loads of reading on the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), Todd Bentley & Lakeland, Toronto & Brownsville, the modern “Prophetic” movement, the teachings of Mike Bickle (and IHOP), Word-of-Faith, etc… Many of these are very well documented, and well debunked (thank God). However, I can’t seem to find much on the teachings unique to Bethel. I’ve found a few people who’ve done some stuff on Bill’s Word-Of-Faith doctrines, but nothing, save for Pat’s post, has attempted to pick apart their unique ideas, etc… Having a good grasp on their teachings, I’ve thought of start of starting a site to pick apart the heresy, but I don’t know if somebody is already doing this.

    Thanks

    God Bless!!!

    Matt

  181. Good post Matt.

    I also found that there is little to no analysis of Bill Johnson’s teachings. I actually started a blog to expose his heresy, but have not advertised it. It is very needed. I would be very interested in going forward with it, especially if I had help.

    It would have to be based on doctrine and not the whole signs and wonders thing. Those are go nowhere arguments. I don’t want to deal with the gold dust etc.

    Bill Johnson seems to be under the radar. He is not getting the scrutiny that he should be getting. You may have noticed that his followers defend him to the hilt, but they don’t offer any cogent arguments to support his teaching.

    I have intended to buy more of his materials to go over them but I am and have been working 60 to 80 hours a week. However I am game to go ahead, especially if there are some other serious people that want to help.

  182. Good post Matt.

    I also found that there is little to no analysis of Bill Johnson’s teachings. I actually started a blog to expose his heresy, but have not advertised it. It is very needed. I would be very interested in going forward with it, especially if I had help.

    It would have to be based on doctrine and not the whole signs and wonders thing. Those are go nowhere arguments. I don’t want to deal with the gold dust etc.

    Bill Johnson seems to be under the radar. He is not getting the scrutiny that he should be getting. You may have noticed that his followers defend him to the hilt, but they don’t offer any cogent arguments to support his teaching.

    I have intended to buy more of his materials to go over them but I am and have been working 60 to 80 hours a week. However I am game to go ahead, especially if there are some other serious people that want to help.

  183. Matt,

    As an example, notice the post before yours by “Anonymous”. His whole argument is based on his experience. No mention of teaching or doctrine. Anonymous said, “Use the Bible as a reference for any of your questions.” But, he is not interested in answering the questions that I raised in my earlier post.

    Their rhetoric is always that they teach the word but they can’t seem to follow or rebut arguments against Bill Johnson’s teachings. Where’s the beef? My friend Dalen promised a response to my post but has not come through.

    In my previous posts on here I have made it very clear that I am a Pentecostal and I believe in the super natural power of God. The problem is that Satan believes in it also. We can’t judge a move of God based on the super natural alone. If they don’t line up with the Word then we are to reject that movement.

  184. Matt,

    As an example, notice the post before yours by “Anonymous”. His whole argument is based on his experience. No mention of teaching or doctrine. Anonymous said, “Use the Bible as a reference for any of your questions.” But, he is not interested in answering the questions that I raised in my earlier post.

    Their rhetoric is always that they teach the word but they can’t seem to follow or rebut arguments against Bill Johnson’s teachings. Where’s the beef? My friend Dalen promised a response to my post but has not come through.

    In my previous posts on here I have made it very clear that I am a Pentecostal and I believe in the super natural power of God. The problem is that Satan believes in it also. We can’t judge a move of God based on the super natural alone. If they don’t line up with the Word then we are to reject that movement.

  185. Hey Pat,
    I never did respond to your challenge. Mainly from being so busy over the last few months that I didn’t see the value in wasting time farting in the wind. I’ll glaze quickly to one of your points, and say of course one of the scriptures Bill used to support one of his statements was out of context if he intended to use literal interpretation. Your assumption that he purposefully misled is a bit of a stretch. I don’t know what was in his mind, whether he was in the middle of reading devotions one day and the Holy Spirit used that scripture as rama is possible. It’s also possible he grabbed the scripture of the top of his head and missed the right one. the fact is that there are other scriptures to support the fact that God changes things, and that he is still speaking. I guess you dispute that. also you talk about foundations being laid first then building on top. Yes here on earth with the way we do things that is true. Remember Yeshua smacked the disciples for not getting things when he related earthly equals to them. He said if you can’t get this then how will you receive what I want to show you when there is nothing on earth to relate it to. The fig tree not producing fruit out of season was cursed. Get it? What the hell have we really walked in here on earth that is so heavenly that the earth has no equal?? That is starting to happen, but is only the tip. I no longer attend Bethel. Not because of doctrine, although I don’t rubber stamp Bill and his cronies, but because they suck tremendously at relationship and truly understanding how to honor people. That’s a whole other story. So launch your blog, but it will be futile. Fighting God tends to be that way;) He always wins and does what he wants with those willing to be chastised for stepping out of popular thought.
    Cheers
    Dalen

  186. Hey Pat,
    I never did respond to your challenge. Mainly from being so busy over the last few months that I didn’t see the value in wasting time farting in the wind. I’ll glaze quickly to one of your points, and say of course one of the scriptures Bill used to support one of his statements was out of context if he intended to use literal interpretation. Your assumption that he purposefully misled is a bit of a stretch. I don’t know what was in his mind, whether he was in the middle of reading devotions one day and the Holy Spirit used that scripture as rama is possible. It’s also possible he grabbed the scripture of the top of his head and missed the right one. the fact is that there are other scriptures to support the fact that God changes things, and that he is still speaking. I guess you dispute that. also you talk about foundations being laid first then building on top. Yes here on earth with the way we do things that is true. Remember Yeshua smacked the disciples for not getting things when he related earthly equals to them. He said if you can’t get this then how will you receive what I want to show you when there is nothing on earth to relate it to. The fig tree not producing fruit out of season was cursed. Get it? What the hell have we really walked in here on earth that is so heavenly that the earth has no equal?? That is starting to happen, but is only the tip. I no longer attend Bethel. Not because of doctrine, although I don’t rubber stamp Bill and his cronies, but because they suck tremendously at relationship and truly understanding how to honor people. That’s a whole other story. So launch your blog, but it will be futile. Fighting God tends to be that way;) He always wins and does what he wants with those willing to be chastised for stepping out of popular thought.
    Cheers
    Dalen

  187. Pat,
    Cool!! If you’d like, I could make a DVD-ROM with pretty much every single one of their published teaching CDs and tapes, as well as the last how many years of the Podcast. I, too am extremely busy (and will be a full time student in a month).

    Note to Dalen: You assume Bill and the gang are from God and all they teach is from God. I’m not saying AT ALL that God doesn’t speak to Bill or that their intentionally mislead. I just see some huge gaping holes in their doctrine and stuff. It’s all experience based. Not only that, but I still have yet to hear Bill preach anything resembling a proper exegesis (reading entire passages in context and going verse by verse and dissecting it’s meaning). Not to mention the fact that the true Gospel and true repentance have somehow just showed up missing. Back when Bill first got to Bethel in 1996, he preached with conviction and had real alter calls after the messages, but the conviction and anointing on the messages just fizzled over time. I figured this out years ago and never knew why, until a few months ago.

    On a side note, I’m not totally with the other guys either (Kris and Danny mostly), but I do have to say that Kris has/had a real genuine prophetic edge to some of the stuff he says.

    My biggest bone with those guys is this idea of continuing revelation. See, the Scripture has already been written. It’s concrete, infallible and widely available. Somehow, these new Apostles and Prophets get to supersede the Word with their own experience. For all practical purposes, our previous Church treated Bill and Kris’s teaching AS gospel truth, and never once questioned what they heard. This includes the more outlandish practices, like their prosperity gospel offering declarations, “prophetic” painting, automatic writing, etc…

    So, the Church spends precious time and money flying out to Redding every few months to get the newest “revelation.” We could be spending that same money feeding the poor, going on mission trips or doing something besides trying to get ourselves more “blessed”.

    Not only that, but our pastor used to have a real teaching gift. I knew a lady from another Church who used to come just to hear him teach. Now, he mostly just re-packages some Bethel teaching.

    We talked and talked about signs & wonders, but it pretty much never happened. A bunch of people in the Church could prophecy (I’ve gotten some genuine words from people), and a few people were miraculously healed. There was talk about how signs & wonders and the prophetic were gonna revolutionize evangelism. Did it ever happen? Nope. And the Church has been affiliated with Bethel for eight years!

    I’m mostly frustrated that the whole supernatural end of the Gospel gets over-emphasized and lusted after so heavily, and we completely neglect true repentance, holiness, objective study of the Word of God, evangelism, fasting and small group discipleship as a result.

    Later,
    Matt

  188. Pat,
    Cool!! If you’d like, I could make a DVD-ROM with pretty much every single one of their published teaching CDs and tapes, as well as the last how many years of the Podcast. I, too am extremely busy (and will be a full time student in a month).

    Note to Dalen: You assume Bill and the gang are from God and all they teach is from God. I’m not saying AT ALL that God doesn’t speak to Bill or that their intentionally mislead. I just see some huge gaping holes in their doctrine and stuff. It’s all experience based. Not only that, but I still have yet to hear Bill preach anything resembling a proper exegesis (reading entire passages in context and going verse by verse and dissecting it’s meaning). Not to mention the fact that the true Gospel and true repentance have somehow just showed up missing. Back when Bill first got to Bethel in 1996, he preached with conviction and had real alter calls after the messages, but the conviction and anointing on the messages just fizzled over time. I figured this out years ago and never knew why, until a few months ago.

    On a side note, I’m not totally with the other guys either (Kris and Danny mostly), but I do have to say that Kris has/had a real genuine prophetic edge to some of the stuff he says.

    My biggest bone with those guys is this idea of continuing revelation. See, the Scripture has already been written. It’s concrete, infallible and widely available. Somehow, these new Apostles and Prophets get to supersede the Word with their own experience. For all practical purposes, our previous Church treated Bill and Kris’s teaching AS gospel truth, and never once questioned what they heard. This includes the more outlandish practices, like their prosperity gospel offering declarations, “prophetic” painting, automatic writing, etc…

    So, the Church spends precious time and money flying out to Redding every few months to get the newest “revelation.” We could be spending that same money feeding the poor, going on mission trips or doing something besides trying to get ourselves more “blessed”.

    Not only that, but our pastor used to have a real teaching gift. I knew a lady from another Church who used to come just to hear him teach. Now, he mostly just re-packages some Bethel teaching.

    We talked and talked about signs & wonders, but it pretty much never happened. A bunch of people in the Church could prophecy (I’ve gotten some genuine words from people), and a few people were miraculously healed. There was talk about how signs & wonders and the prophetic were gonna revolutionize evangelism. Did it ever happen? Nope. And the Church has been affiliated with Bethel for eight years!

    I’m mostly frustrated that the whole supernatural end of the Gospel gets over-emphasized and lusted after so heavily, and we completely neglect true repentance, holiness, objective study of the Word of God, evangelism, fasting and small group discipleship as a result.

    Later,
    Matt

  189. Matt,

    I have an inquiry of a personal nature regarding your post. Would you be willing to contact me at bigsir474@hotmail.com? Thanks.

    SeriouslyUglyWhiteMan

  190. Matt,

    I have an inquiry of a personal nature regarding your post. Would you be willing to contact me at bigsir474@hotmail.com? Thanks.

    SeriouslyUglyWhiteMan

  191. Heh Dalen,

    I understand the busy thing. I thought I was busy several months back when I posted about his articles, but now I know that I am busy.

    You only addressed two of the issues in my post—granted they were the most significant. One was regarding foundations, which I will address a little further on. The other was “present truth”.

    Regarding “present truth” you admitted that Bill Johnson used II Peter 1:12 out of context. Then you proceeded to act as his apologist offering excuses as to why he may have improperly quoted that verse. You stated:

    “Your assumption that he purposefully misled is a bit of a stretch.”

    Well it is possible that he is spiritually blinded to the truth, and therefore thinks that he is telling the truth. Either way his teachings are false. This man is a trained theologian. We all make careless remarks and statements. However, he took the time to draw our attention to that verse to fortify his idea about the “apostles doctrine”. Just so there is no mistake about this:

    ……. “One of the things that helped to keep the early church strong and healthy was their continual devotion to the apostle’s doctrine.6 However, you’ll notice that there is no mention of a list of beliefs that the Bible declares to be the official record of important doctrines. It is safe to say the “apostles doctrine” is referring to something other than a specific list. Peter understood this when he exhorted the church concerning ‘present truth’.7 That phrase is to direct our attention to that which the Lord is emphasizing for this season. That is the apostle’s doctrine. The word coming from apostles is to bring clarification of the Father’s focus for the church, and in turn strengthen our resolve to His purposes. Fresh revelation carries fresh fire, which helps us to maintain the much needed fire in our souls

    Take another look at it Dalen. He didn’t just throw a verse out there. He offered commentary on it. He used II Peter 1:12 to support his fanciful ideas about the mysterious apostles doctrine. He even attempted to give us insight in to Peter’s understanding of the apostles doctrine by using that verse. I am sorry. I don’t think he accidentally used it. I have a pretty good idea why he did use it though. It is really quite simple. He needed something to support his apostles doctrine ideas and that was the only verse he could find to lift out of context. He needs to establish some basis for his “fresh revelation” campaign, and unfortunately the scripture is not in agreement with him. He has no choice but to take verses out of context.

    After your comments about his mistake, you stated:

    “the fact is that there are other scriptures to support the fact that God changes things, and that he is still speaking. I guess you dispute that ”

    Yes I do dispute that. Here is what the bible says:

    Malachi 3:6 NIV

    I the LORD do not change.

    Bill Johnson is suggesting that God changes, and you state it point blank. The scripture says that God does not change

    Then you said:

    “also you talk about foundations being laid first then building on top. Yes here on earth with the way we do things that is true.”

    You seem to have mentioned this to suggest that things are done different in heaven. May I remind you that Jesus and Paul were relating to us the way the church is being built by using an earthly example? The foundation first then the remainder of the structure. I am not the one who laid it out like that.

    Why do so many in this movement spend so much time trying to convince us all that God is so full of changes? The answer is, if he does not change then it destroys their whole belief system.

    When it comes to learning about God I am going to go to the original apostles—not the new ones that are trying to prove that God and His Word can change.

    So to sum up your response:

    You agree that Bill Johnson used a passage out of context. Then it follows that you agree that he did not support his idea of the “apostles doctrine” with scripture in his article.

    You did not like my example of foundations and structures even though I merely plagiarized Jesus and Paul and their teachings of the foundation of the church.

    I really don’t think that you were able to discredit anything that I said in my post about Bill Johnson.

  192. Heh Dalen,

    I understand the busy thing. I thought I was busy several months back when I posted about his articles, but now I know that I am busy.

    You only addressed two of the issues in my post—granted they were the most significant. One was regarding foundations, which I will address a little further on. The other was “present truth”.

    Regarding “present truth” you admitted that Bill Johnson used II Peter 1:12 out of context. Then you proceeded to act as his apologist offering excuses as to why he may have improperly quoted that verse. You stated:

    “Your assumption that he purposefully misled is a bit of a stretch.”

    Well it is possible that he is spiritually blinded to the truth, and therefore thinks that he is telling the truth. Either way his teachings are false. This man is a trained theologian. We all make careless remarks and statements. However, he took the time to draw our attention to that verse to fortify his idea about the “apostles doctrine”. Just so there is no mistake about this:

    ……. “One of the things that helped to keep the early church strong and healthy was their continual devotion to the apostle’s doctrine.6 However, you’ll notice that there is no mention of a list of beliefs that the Bible declares to be the official record of important doctrines. It is safe to say the “apostles doctrine” is referring to something other than a specific list. Peter understood this when he exhorted the church concerning ‘present truth’.7 That phrase is to direct our attention to that which the Lord is emphasizing for this season. That is the apostle’s doctrine. The word coming from apostles is to bring clarification of the Father’s focus for the church, and in turn strengthen our resolve to His purposes. Fresh revelation carries fresh fire, which helps us to maintain the much needed fire in our souls

    Take another look at it Dalen. He didn’t just throw a verse out there. He offered commentary on it. He used II Peter 1:12 to support his fanciful ideas about the mysterious apostles doctrine. He even attempted to give us insight in to Peter’s understanding of the apostles doctrine by using that verse. I am sorry. I don’t think he accidentally used it. I have a pretty good idea why he did use it though. It is really quite simple. He needed something to support his apostles doctrine ideas and that was the only verse he could find to lift out of context. He needs to establish some basis for his “fresh revelation” campaign, and unfortunately the scripture is not in agreement with him. He has no choice but to take verses out of context.

    After your comments about his mistake, you stated:

    “the fact is that there are other scriptures to support the fact that God changes things, and that he is still speaking. I guess you dispute that ”

    Yes I do dispute that. Here is what the bible says:

    Malachi 3:6 NIV

    I the LORD do not change.

    Bill Johnson is suggesting that God changes, and you state it point blank. The scripture says that God does not change

    Then you said:

    “also you talk about foundations being laid first then building on top. Yes here on earth with the way we do things that is true.”

    You seem to have mentioned this to suggest that things are done different in heaven. May I remind you that Jesus and Paul were relating to us the way the church is being built by using an earthly example? The foundation first then the remainder of the structure. I am not the one who laid it out like that.

    Why do so many in this movement spend so much time trying to convince us all that God is so full of changes? The answer is, if he does not change then it destroys their whole belief system.

    When it comes to learning about God I am going to go to the original apostles—not the new ones that are trying to prove that God and His Word can change.

    So to sum up your response:

    You agree that Bill Johnson used a passage out of context. Then it follows that you agree that he did not support his idea of the “apostles doctrine” with scripture in his article.

    You did not like my example of foundations and structures even though I merely plagiarized Jesus and Paul and their teachings of the foundation of the church.

    I really don’t think that you were able to discredit anything that I said in my post about Bill Johnson.

  193. Matt,

    You wrote:

    I’m mostly frustrated that the whole supernatural end of the Gospel gets over-emphasized and lusted after so heavily, and we completely neglect true repentance, holiness, objective study of the Word of God, evangelism, fasting and small group discipleship as a result.

    I would have to tell you that when discussing Bethel with my son’s mother, this is one of my complaints as well. She is of the opinion that filling oneself with God and growing closer to Him, spending time with Him and falling totally in love with Him will lead to a life in which holiness becomes reality. If one is in love with God, that person won’t want to sin.

    This is a basic interpretation of her sentiments. Only she could truly tell you her total opinion, but that is a general idea. I believe there is merit in it. No one person can ever speak on behalf of a whole group of people (ie the Bethel Congregation) but I have an idea that many who do attend Bethel feel this same way… that supernatural encounters with God lead to a life in which focusing on correction of our sinful natural is less necessary.

    It’s kinda like a new love interest… when things are brand new and really exciting, a person changes their behaviors to be more compatible with the love interest. Likewise, truly falling in love with God changes one’s nature.

    I must say that I am still not in a place where Bethel “does it” for me. I attend another church across town. I have some personal problems with Bethel, but they are just that: MY personal problems. For me it all boils down to this: if God can use a donkey, He can use Bethel. I know many people receive there. I have, upon occasion, as well. I just am better fed elsewhere.

  194. Matt,

    You wrote:

    I’m mostly frustrated that the whole supernatural end of the Gospel gets over-emphasized and lusted after so heavily, and we completely neglect true repentance, holiness, objective study of the Word of God, evangelism, fasting and small group discipleship as a result.

    I would have to tell you that when discussing Bethel with my son’s mother, this is one of my complaints as well. She is of the opinion that filling oneself with God and growing closer to Him, spending time with Him and falling totally in love with Him will lead to a life in which holiness becomes reality. If one is in love with God, that person won’t want to sin.

    This is a basic interpretation of her sentiments. Only she could truly tell you her total opinion, but that is a general idea. I believe there is merit in it. No one person can ever speak on behalf of a whole group of people (ie the Bethel Congregation) but I have an idea that many who do attend Bethel feel this same way… that supernatural encounters with God lead to a life in which focusing on correction of our sinful natural is less necessary.

    It’s kinda like a new love interest… when things are brand new and really exciting, a person changes their behaviors to be more compatible with the love interest. Likewise, truly falling in love with God changes one’s nature.

    I must say that I am still not in a place where Bethel “does it” for me. I attend another church across town. I have some personal problems with Bethel, but they are just that: MY personal problems. For me it all boils down to this: if God can use a donkey, He can use Bethel. I know many people receive there. I have, upon occasion, as well. I just am better fed elsewhere.

  195. Pat,

    Based upon our discussions via email, I have asked that you not post here. Should you choose to stop threatening me I would welcome you back.

    You mentioned:

    I the LORD do not change.

    Bill Johnson is suggesting that God changes, and you state it point blank. The scripture says that God does not change

    Perhaps Bill is suggesting that our perspective and understanding of God changes. When something is declared “new” by us, that usually is not the case. That, however, does not mean that humans cannot have deeper revelations of God than ever before, nor does it mean that deeper meanings of scriptures can’t come to light either.

    For example, we were not there when it was written, nor do we speak the language of the writers of our Bible. We have all become used to simply accepting that our translation of scripture is all that we need, sometimes neglecting context and the fact that certain ideas just don’t translate correctly into our language.

    Bible translation is actually my next course in Hope International’s Londen Institute seminary program. I look forward to it, as I’ve already been reading a few books on the subject.

  196. Pat,

    Based upon our discussions via email, I have asked that you not post here. Should you choose to stop threatening me I would welcome you back.

    You mentioned:

    I the LORD do not change.

    Bill Johnson is suggesting that God changes, and you state it point blank. The scripture says that God does not change

    Perhaps Bill is suggesting that our perspective and understanding of God changes. When something is declared “new” by us, that usually is not the case. That, however, does not mean that humans cannot have deeper revelations of God than ever before, nor does it mean that deeper meanings of scriptures can’t come to light either.

    For example, we were not there when it was written, nor do we speak the language of the writers of our Bible. We have all become used to simply accepting that our translation of scripture is all that we need, sometimes neglecting context and the fact that certain ideas just don’t translate correctly into our language.

    Bible translation is actually my next course in Hope International’s Londen Institute seminary program. I look forward to it, as I’ve already been reading a few books on the subject.

  197. I commented specifically on specific texts of scripture and the teachings of Bill Johnson. You made some general comments. Are you able to address these subjects with more specificity?

  198. I commented specifically on specific texts of scripture and the teachings of Bill Johnson. You made some general comments. Are you able to address these subjects with more specificity?

  199. Actually there was nothing in Bill Johnson’s article that resembled your ideas of what you think he could have meant.

    I presented text of his articles, and demonstrated how he misquoted scripture. You have said nothing to contradict that.

  200. Actually there was nothing in Bill Johnson’s article that resembled your ideas of what you think he could have meant.

    I presented text of his articles, and demonstrated how he misquoted scripture. You have said nothing to contradict that.

  201. Patrick F Rhodes,

    I am not here to discredit Bethel, as you are. I realize you have some very intense personal issues with Bethel, and if you’d like to discuss them, by all means, let’s do so.

    Otherwise, take your attacks elsewhere.

    I’m not Bethel’s number one fan by any means, and have issues with their leadership myself as I’ve told you before, but I do not make a personal vendetta against them because of such issues.

    If you’d like to continue attacking Bethel we can bring your issues to light so that the reader has more context on why you are saying what you are saying.

    It’s your call.

  202. Patrick F Rhodes,

    I am not here to discredit Bethel, as you are. I realize you have some very intense personal issues with Bethel, and if you’d like to discuss them, by all means, let’s do so.

    Otherwise, take your attacks elsewhere.

    I’m not Bethel’s number one fan by any means, and have issues with their leadership myself as I’ve told you before, but I do not make a personal vendetta against them because of such issues.

    If you’d like to continue attacking Bethel we can bring your issues to light so that the reader has more context on why you are saying what you are saying.

    It’s your call.

  203. I did not give you permission to post my name on this blog.

    I have not attacked Bethel. I have addressed Bill Johnson’s teachings. If you can point out where I have attacked Bethel then please do so.

    I don’t understand why you don’t address my comments and arguments.

    I have dealt with scripture, and how Bill Johnson’s teachings depart from orthodoxy. If you can show with scripture where I am wrong I will recant in kind.

  204. I did not give you permission to post my name on this blog.

    I have not attacked Bethel. I have addressed Bill Johnson’s teachings. If you can point out where I have attacked Bethel then please do so.

    I don’t understand why you don’t address my comments and arguments.

    I have dealt with scripture, and how Bill Johnson’s teachings depart from orthodoxy. If you can show with scripture where I am wrong I will recant in kind.

  205. Patrick,

    You are missing the point. The point, Mr. Rhodes, is that this is not the place to discuss whether or not Bill Johnson’s teachings are correct. I have asked you to cease doing so here. Feel free to start your own website and do as you wish with it.

  206. Patrick,

    You are missing the point. The point, Mr. Rhodes, is that this is not the place to discuss whether or not Bill Johnson’s teachings are correct. I have asked you to cease doing so here. Feel free to start your own website and do as you wish with it.

  207. Pat,

    http://bethelwatch.wordpress.com/ is yours, is it not? Take your personal agenda against Bethel there. I promise, it won’t change anything with the issues you have against Bethel, but rage away anyway.

    – D –

  208. Pat,

    http://bethelwatch.wordpress.com/ is yours, is it not? Take your personal agenda against Bethel there. I promise, it won’t change anything with the issues you have against Bethel, but rage away anyway.

    – D –

  209. Hey Matt,

    What happened to my post?

    SeriouslyUglyWhiteMan

  210. Are you unable to or unwilling to respond to my arguments? I hate to point out the obvious but you are the one that started a blog about Bethel. There are several people that have posted here that have made very nasty comments about Bethel. I have not. Why are you attacking me? You attack me but do not address the points that I have made.

  211. Hey Matt,

    What happened to my post?

    SeriouslyUglyWhiteMan

  212. Are you unable to or unwilling to respond to my arguments? I hate to point out the obvious but you are the one that started a blog about Bethel. There are several people that have posted here that have made very nasty comments about Bethel. I have not. Why are you attacking me? You attack me but do not address the points that I have made.

  213. Pat,

    That’s the last post of yours that will remain here. I’ve asked you to take it elsewhere. The difference between your post and others is that your agenda clearly shines through. You continue to post and continue to visit to see who has replied.

    You’re not going to undue the harm that you think Bethel has done to you by posting here, nor by “proving” anything. All further posts from you will be deleted.

    Thanks,

    D

  214. Pat,

    That’s the last post of yours that will remain here. I’ve asked you to take it elsewhere. The difference between your post and others is that your agenda clearly shines through. You continue to post and continue to visit to see who has replied.

    You’re not going to undue the harm that you think Bethel has done to you by posting here, nor by “proving” anything. All further posts from you will be deleted.

    Thanks,

    D

  215. To all readers,

    The user posting as Pat is a man named Patrick F Rhodes. He has a chip on his shoulder towards Bethel. This was evident to me as far back as January 12th, 2008, when with his very first post he wrote:

    Does anyone have any experience with Bethel Church relating to “Recovered Memories”, or Theophostic therapy? My daughter sought counseling at Bethel 3 years ago and that was the end of our relationship. Please, if anyone who has had a similar experience I could really use any information that you have.

    Mr. Rhodes now seems to expend quite a bit of energy raising questions about Bethel (as if that will undo the damage he feels they’ve caused him?). I’ve spoken with other parties familiar with this particular case and received a broader perspective than has been presented here by Mr. Rhodes. It is my opinion that he needs to seek God and his Pastor or spiritual leader for healing rather than attacking, particularly on my blog.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, and I assume most of you are in the same boat. You nor I owe Mr. Rhodes any of the “scriptural arguments” he’s seeking.

    I, too, have some serious chips on my shoulder toward Bethel. You won’t, however, see me voicing my frustrations with Bethel here.

    Goodbye, Mr. Rhodes.

  216. To all readers,

    The user posting as Pat is a man named Patrick F Rhodes. He has a chip on his shoulder towards Bethel. This was evident to me as far back as January 12th, 2008, when with his very first post he wrote:

    Does anyone have any experience with Bethel Church relating to “Recovered Memories”, or Theophostic therapy? My daughter sought counseling at Bethel 3 years ago and that was the end of our relationship. Please, if anyone who has had a similar experience I could really use any information that you have.

    Mr. Rhodes now seems to expend quite a bit of energy raising questions about Bethel (as if that will undo the damage he feels they’ve caused him?). I’ve spoken with other parties familiar with this particular case and received a broader perspective than has been presented here by Mr. Rhodes. It is my opinion that he needs to seek God and his Pastor or spiritual leader for healing rather than attacking, particularly on my blog.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, and I assume most of you are in the same boat. You nor I owe Mr. Rhodes any of the “scriptural arguments” he’s seeking.

    I, too, have some serious chips on my shoulder toward Bethel. You won’t, however, see me voicing my frustrations with Bethel here.

    Goodbye, Mr. Rhodes.

  217. UglyWhiteMan,

    Your post is here. It was posted today (July 24th, 2008 ) at 2:02 pm.

  218. UglyWhiteMan,

    Your post is here. It was posted today (July 24th, 2008 ) at 2:02 pm.

  219. Thank you.

  220. Thank you.

  221. As has been stated by others, I am not here to attack Bethel. Rather, I’m trying to get connected with other people who share concerns about the teaching and practices coming out of there.

    We should probably take this discussion elsewhere.

  222. As has been stated by others, I am not here to attack Bethel. Rather, I’m trying to get connected with other people who share concerns about the teaching and practices coming out of there.

    We should probably take this discussion elsewhere.

  223. Donny – in response to your post about my statement:

    I’ve heard this argument before. Heck, I’ve argued this point my self. The problem is: what about those days when we don’t see the Supernatural happening, when we can’t “feel” God: the tough times. Do we still love God then? Our relationship with the Lord should be more then emotions and affection. We should tenaciously cling to and study the Word of God: the infallible truth. This whole group (not just Bethel) has a pretty serious disregard for the Word, as evidenced with their “new revelation” seriously un-orthodox doctrine, high respect for known false prophets and obsession with the “heavy drunken glooray.” And for good reason. The Spirit behind this (Bethel, Lakeland, Toronto) is really satisfying to the flesh (trust me, I was one of the “top manifesters” at my ex-Church, and have since repented) If you ever hear people like Georgian Banov, Benjamin Dunn or John Crowder, they constantly refer to the “Holy Spirit” as some kind of drug. They have “Holy Ghost House Parties” where they “Toke the Ghost,” smoke “Jehovawana” and “get drunk on the New Wine.” It’s disgusting. There’s no fear of the Lord involved. He’s now become our big celestial buddy who makes us feel good.

    Also, I’m pretty concerned about this whole “Jesus is my Boyfriend” approach to Christianity, and all the sensual worship that’s come out of it.

  224. Donny – in response to your post about my statement:

    I’ve heard this argument before. Heck, I’ve argued this point my self. The problem is: what about those days when we don’t see the Supernatural happening, when we can’t “feel” God: the tough times. Do we still love God then? Our relationship with the Lord should be more then emotions and affection. We should tenaciously cling to and study the Word of God: the infallible truth. This whole group (not just Bethel) has a pretty serious disregard for the Word, as evidenced with their “new revelation” seriously un-orthodox doctrine, high respect for known false prophets and obsession with the “heavy drunken glooray.” And for good reason. The Spirit behind this (Bethel, Lakeland, Toronto) is really satisfying to the flesh (trust me, I was one of the “top manifesters” at my ex-Church, and have since repented) If you ever hear people like Georgian Banov, Benjamin Dunn or John Crowder, they constantly refer to the “Holy Spirit” as some kind of drug. They have “Holy Ghost House Parties” where they “Toke the Ghost,” smoke “Jehovawana” and “get drunk on the New Wine.” It’s disgusting. There’s no fear of the Lord involved. He’s now become our big celestial buddy who makes us feel good.

    Also, I’m pretty concerned about this whole “Jesus is my Boyfriend” approach to Christianity, and all the sensual worship that’s come out of it.

  225. Oh…. and anybody who tries to be a good Berean, and suggests that maybe things don’t line up with the Word, or that something is getting a little excessive is labeled as “religious” or having a “religious demon” or resisting the “Holy Spirit” or not “flowing in the River,” etc…

    Basically, anyone who dares speak out against this move is judged as being religious , “prophesied” against (ie, “if you dare life a finger against God’s anointed leaders and this sovereign move of God, He’s gonna turn you into toast”), etc… These people look REALLY nice on the surface, but oh boy …you better watch out, they don’t like anyone questioning their doctrine (as evidenced with the whole Kansas City Prophets disaster, Toronto & Brownsville, etc…..)

  226. Oh…. and anybody who tries to be a good Berean, and suggests that maybe things don’t line up with the Word, or that something is getting a little excessive is labeled as “religious” or having a “religious demon” or resisting the “Holy Spirit” or not “flowing in the River,” etc…

    Basically, anyone who dares speak out against this move is judged as being religious , “prophesied” against (ie, “if you dare life a finger against God’s anointed leaders and this sovereign move of God, He’s gonna turn you into toast”), etc… These people look REALLY nice on the surface, but oh boy …you better watch out, they don’t like anyone questioning their doctrine (as evidenced with the whole Kansas City Prophets disaster, Toronto & Brownsville, etc…..)

  227. Fear of Gid, as you know, is to respect Him, not to be literally afraid. I have no problems with Jesus being a buddy or “boyfriend”.

    When it comes to infallibility, this has nothing to do with Bethel but you might find my post to Carrie the Atheist a bit interesting. It’s just a few blog posts back from my most recent posts. Or search for it in the search box above.

    I often wonder why people seek so desparately to prove that some other group of people are teaching false doctrines. Why does it matter what those who attend Bethel believe? But then I recall how I feel when my son’s mother tells me she wants to enroll my son in Bethel’s elementary school and I begin to understand. Under no circumstances do I want him to attend that school, and I begin voicing my concerns to her. I haven’t blogged publicly about the red flags that go up in my mind about Bethel because I just don’t feel it’s my place to do so.

    Matt, perhaps you should collaborate with Pat on his blog “Bethel Watch”. I really don’t want to continue the Bethel Bashing here. I just feel it’s in bad taste for my blog to be used as such, especially since I live in the same town as the church.

  228. Fear of Gid, as you know, is to respect Him, not to be literally afraid. I have no problems with Jesus being a buddy or “boyfriend”.

    When it comes to infallibility, this has nothing to do with Bethel but you might find my post to Carrie the Atheist a bit interesting. It’s just a few blog posts back from my most recent posts. Or search for it in the search box above.

    I often wonder why people seek so desparately to prove that some other group of people are teaching false doctrines. Why does it matter what those who attend Bethel believe? But then I recall how I feel when my son’s mother tells me she wants to enroll my son in Bethel’s elementary school and I begin to understand. Under no circumstances do I want him to attend that school, and I begin voicing my concerns to her. I haven’t blogged publicly about the red flags that go up in my mind about Bethel because I just don’t feel it’s my place to do so.

    Matt, perhaps you should collaborate with Pat on his blog “Bethel Watch”. I really don’t want to continue the Bethel Bashing here. I just feel it’s in bad taste for my blog to be used as such, especially since I live in the same town as the church.

  229. Yep… we will get off your blog.

    FWIW, I’m not trying to Bethel Bash. I think there are certainly some fine people there, and some really do love the Lord. Not everything Bill says is heresy. Their not the anti-christ or something. Scrutinizing doctrine and taking hard looks at what we believe and why, IMHO, really only produces good fruit.

    I’m just concerned that there are some really un-Biblical doctrines being promoted there, and for the sake of our brothers and sisters, WE should speak up and ask some legitimate questions about that stuff. I’m concerned for our now ex-church who are very into everything they teach. If this was just about me, I wouldn’t even be writing this.

    Again, I don’t have a vendetta against Bethel or any of their leaders, and I really like the people at the Global Legacy Church we left. If their promoting their doctrine through books, tapes, conferences and Church networks, then it’s only right that we should be noble bereans, pick apart this stuff, and report our findings to our brothers and sisters. What they do with this is up to them.

  230. Yep… we will get off your blog.

    FWIW, I’m not trying to Bethel Bash. I think there are certainly some fine people there, and some really do love the Lord. Not everything Bill says is heresy. Their not the anti-christ or something. Scrutinizing doctrine and taking hard looks at what we believe and why, IMHO, really only produces good fruit.

    I’m just concerned that there are some really un-Biblical doctrines being promoted there, and for the sake of our brothers and sisters, WE should speak up and ask some legitimate questions about that stuff. I’m concerned for our now ex-church who are very into everything they teach. If this was just about me, I wouldn’t even be writing this.

    Again, I don’t have a vendetta against Bethel or any of their leaders, and I really like the people at the Global Legacy Church we left. If their promoting their doctrine through books, tapes, conferences and Church networks, then it’s only right that we should be noble bereans, pick apart this stuff, and report our findings to our brothers and sisters. What they do with this is up to them.

  231. SeriouslyUglyWhiteManm….

    If you’ve checked your e-mail, you probably already noticed this, but I did shoot you an e-mail.

  232. SeriouslyUglyWhiteManm….

    If you’ve checked your e-mail, you probably already noticed this, but I did shoot you an e-mail.

  233. Ok Pat. I should have posed the statements as questions in regards to why Bill used that specific scripture. In no way was I trying to speak for him. All I was saying is that you have judged his heart motive, and that is usurping the real judge.
    I did not say that God changes in the context you are saying. He does change things though. Old covenant/New covenant. Nineveh to be destroyed, then not. “I will kill all these stiff necked people”, but they are still here because a man named Moses influenced him. God’s character does not change. Never. I lightly touched on the fig tree, but either you didn’t pick what I was eluding to or don’t agree. Christ told the disciples that principles in heaven don’t always relate to earth. Look at that scripture again. I’m not going to spell it out for you.
    Tell me. Do you think that as soon as the apostles died all revelation ceased? I was taught that in Bible school. I no longer believe that. Not because of Bill, but because it just does not follow in character with God. Yes it’s dangerous to step out into that belief, but I’d rather be dangerous than dead. People want safe. They want to read scripture and say this is all, God does not speak in the way anymore. If you choose to believe that he does not speak with continuing revelation, then there is no way you can say that anybody hears his voice at all. You can’t have it both ways. I’m not saying that it should contradict the nature of God, or the character of God. I’m probably not articulating this properly. I’ve been up since 3am. I will try to be more clear this weekend if I have time. Matt, I agree. Bethel sucks at “pastoring”. They are trying to disciple and pastor through small groups. The structure may not be what you like, but that is not wrong. Bill does not preach the way he used to with exegetical prowess. Is that a problem? Is that not just taste? Like I said before, there are plenty of stupid fucks running around “manifesting” in their excited states some legit some only brought on by their own over stimulated minds. There have been more than a few times I’ve wanted to bitch-slap some over the “mature” students, but whatever. Also there seems to be a lot of pablum eating saints. They need to move on. Start eating real food, and take the signs and wonders(which by themselves will only make one shit all over themselves, metaphorically speaking) and do more than roll around on the floor. In the end I think most of you problem is taste. I know pastors that only preach hell and judgment. Bill tends to be more towards grace. In the end it’s not what one emphasizes from the pulpit that we should judge. It’s the fruit produced. A pastor can only preach one or two days a week. It’s relationship evangelism that reaches people most effectively. Right now most people attracted to Bethel need to hear about God’s grace and his desire to bring them into an encounter with him. I would never want a God that wants me to believe anything about him without an experience. The disciples wouldn’t have and surely didn’t believing in God based only on reasoning and intellect would be foolish. Look at the people in the bible. Tell an Arab that has never been to the Grand Canyon that it’s a mile deep. They will say, “ok”. Then ask that same Arab that’s never been to see the Grand Canyon “how deep is the Grand Canyon” they will say “I don’t know, I’ve never been there.” I think that culture can teach us something. You need both. Jews want a sign (experience) Greeks want philosophy.

  234. Ok Pat. I should have posed the statements as questions in regards to why Bill used that specific scripture. In no way was I trying to speak for him. All I was saying is that you have judged his heart motive, and that is usurping the real judge.
    I did not say that God changes in the context you are saying. He does change things though. Old covenant/New covenant. Nineveh to be destroyed, then not. “I will kill all these stiff necked people”, but they are still here because a man named Moses influenced him. God’s character does not change. Never. I lightly touched on the fig tree, but either you didn’t pick what I was eluding to or don’t agree. Christ told the disciples that principles in heaven don’t always relate to earth. Look at that scripture again. I’m not going to spell it out for you.
    Tell me. Do you think that as soon as the apostles died all revelation ceased? I was taught that in Bible school. I no longer believe that. Not because of Bill, but because it just does not follow in character with God. Yes it’s dangerous to step out into that belief, but I’d rather be dangerous than dead. People want safe. They want to read scripture and say this is all, God does not speak in the way anymore. If you choose to believe that he does not speak with continuing revelation, then there is no way you can say that anybody hears his voice at all. You can’t have it both ways. I’m not saying that it should contradict the nature of God, or the character of God. I’m probably not articulating this properly. I’ve been up since 3am. I will try to be more clear this weekend if I have time. Matt, I agree. Bethel sucks at “pastoring”. They are trying to disciple and pastor through small groups. The structure may not be what you like, but that is not wrong. Bill does not preach the way he used to with exegetical prowess. Is that a problem? Is that not just taste? Like I said before, there are plenty of stupid fucks running around “manifesting” in their excited states some legit some only brought on by their own over stimulated minds. There have been more than a few times I’ve wanted to bitch-slap some over the “mature” students, but whatever. Also there seems to be a lot of pablum eating saints. They need to move on. Start eating real food, and take the signs and wonders(which by themselves will only make one shit all over themselves, metaphorically speaking) and do more than roll around on the floor. In the end I think most of you problem is taste. I know pastors that only preach hell and judgment. Bill tends to be more towards grace. In the end it’s not what one emphasizes from the pulpit that we should judge. It’s the fruit produced. A pastor can only preach one or two days a week. It’s relationship evangelism that reaches people most effectively. Right now most people attracted to Bethel need to hear about God’s grace and his desire to bring them into an encounter with him. I would never want a God that wants me to believe anything about him without an experience. The disciples wouldn’t have and surely didn’t believing in God based only on reasoning and intellect would be foolish. Look at the people in the bible. Tell an Arab that has never been to the Grand Canyon that it’s a mile deep. They will say, “ok”. Then ask that same Arab that’s never been to see the Grand Canyon “how deep is the Grand Canyon” they will say “I don’t know, I’ve never been there.” I think that culture can teach us something. You need both. Jews want a sign (experience) Greeks want philosophy.

  235. One other thing that’s been on my mind to state. In Movements like this there will always be many followers blindly following, blurting out the teachings without really understanding them. Other people’s words coming out of their mouth, with no real experience themselves. It sounds good to them, but they are like that rookie cop that knows in his head what to do, but not from experience. Give them some grace. I personally can’t handle it any longer, so I will attend some where else eventually. Right now I just don’t go.
    Donny,
    I just read your postings. I hope my postings as well didn’t get too critical for your taste. I have definitely not aired all the laundry, but I can get specific at times.
    Dalen

  236. One other thing that’s been on my mind to state. In Movements like this there will always be many followers blindly following, blurting out the teachings without really understanding them. Other people’s words coming out of their mouth, with no real experience themselves. It sounds good to them, but they are like that rookie cop that knows in his head what to do, but not from experience. Give them some grace. I personally can’t handle it any longer, so I will attend some where else eventually. Right now I just don’t go.
    Donny,
    I just read your postings. I hope my postings as well didn’t get too critical for your taste. I have definitely not aired all the laundry, but I can get specific at times.
    Dalen

  237. I don’t know if any of you remember me, but I thought I’d read the posts. This won’t be long, but what is standing out to me, having read forward from March 08 to now is: 1) I don’t get the flap about doctrinal correctness, exegesis, and all these contrived methods of studying Scripture. Where in the Gospels does Jesus validate hermeneutics, homoletics, escatology and all these lofty intellectual/theological pursuits? On the contrary, He told the Pharisees then… and now, “You search the Scriptures, thinking in them you’ll find eternal life, but they testify of Me.” It’s the arrogant human intellect sitting on the throne determining how to interpret every verse and how to connect them all in some system. Maybe I am oversimplifying this, but the whole point of giving oneself to study of the written Word is that God’s Spirit will enlighten to us what we are to know and more importantly what to use and how to use it. Like Paul said, “You have no need of anyone to teach you, but the Holy Spirit will teach you all things.” I so appreciate Bill’s apostolic ministry. I hear solid teaching that is true and useful both. I don’t flop on the ground myself or have an issue with those who do. I don’t sweat the small stuff. A much bigger mistake is to get overly analytical. I have a little problem though with the theory that God doesn’t / can’t cause a hurricane or forest fire because He is GOOD, and only the devil can cause nasty weather or personal tragedy because he is BAD. The book of Revelation describes God’s population-decimating endtime judgments on the earth as censors poured out from heaven. Now that that’s off my chest, I say we all have to eat the fish and spit out the bones with any ministry no matter how anointed the teaching is 99% of the time. For the record, the scarier danger is in defining and exalting “Bethel Culture”. Groupthink is the start of any denomination.

    I go to the Dunsmuir AG and Bethel both actually. Fridays I work in Redding, so I just stay for the worship, then bail. The remainder of that particular service is rarely anything to write home about, unlike Sun pm’s. My husband and I are working with a Bethel pastor and his wife on a youth group church plant in Mt Shasta, and Deeper Life or BSSM was required. BSSM is not an option now, so we shoot down to Bethel for Dann Farrelly’s Deeper Life Sunday School class (very basic, I wouldn’t call it deep) then zoom back to Dunsmuir to our own church 20 minutes late. Our Dunsmuir pastor said if we needed to do that to get revival going in Dunsmuir, then do it. I also go to AGLOW in Mt Shasta, a pro-Bethel worship and intercession machine composed of women from the local Catholic church, Baptists, EV Free, you-name-it, closet pentecostals, very prophetic. A church is NOT like Jesus’ statement about having two masters,”You must love one and hate the other, or hate one and love the other.” It’s OK to be part of more than one fellowship. Our commitment is to our home church in Dunsmuir, but we feed spiritually at Bethel as needed via conferences, whatever and are definitely enriched by the connection. We don’t go there to give. We go there to receive. We go there to tank up for the ministry which would other wise suck us dry. Apostolic teaching is high octane and we need it for what we’re into up here. That’s no insult to our local pastor, and he knows it. I give him handouts and books from Bethel, and he feeds too. And he was a Wycliffe translator, hardly gullible doctrinally.

    Oh yes, my other point: 2) Is there a perfect church out there anywhere? Why all the pressure on Bethel to be perfect in every area? Lighten up on your demands, all you perfectionists. When Bethel becomes as screwed up as the church at Corinth, then get concerned. If a perfect church did exist, would they let YOU in? God moves through believers with major failures, ie Todd Bentley, Samson, David, Paul, Moses, Peter. So God hasn’t changed after all, has He?!

  238. I don’t know if any of you remember me, but I thought I’d read the posts. This won’t be long, but what is standing out to me, having read forward from March 08 to now is: 1) I don’t get the flap about doctrinal correctness, exegesis, and all these contrived methods of studying Scripture. Where in the Gospels does Jesus validate hermeneutics, homoletics, escatology and all these lofty intellectual/theological pursuits? On the contrary, He told the Pharisees then… and now, “You search the Scriptures, thinking in them you’ll find eternal life, but they testify of Me.” It’s the arrogant human intellect sitting on the throne determining how to interpret every verse and how to connect them all in some system. Maybe I am oversimplifying this, but the whole point of giving oneself to study of the written Word is that God’s Spirit will enlighten to us what we are to know and more importantly what to use and how to use it. Like Paul said, “You have no need of anyone to teach you, but the Holy Spirit will teach you all things.” I so appreciate Bill’s apostolic ministry. I hear solid teaching that is true and useful both. I don’t flop on the ground myself or have an issue with those who do. I don’t sweat the small stuff. A much bigger mistake is to get overly analytical. I have a little problem though with the theory that God doesn’t / can’t cause a hurricane or forest fire because He is GOOD, and only the devil can cause nasty weather or personal tragedy because he is BAD. The book of Revelation describes God’s population-decimating endtime judgments on the earth as censors poured out from heaven. Now that that’s off my chest, I say we all have to eat the fish and spit out the bones with any ministry no matter how anointed the teaching is 99% of the time. For the record, the scarier danger is in defining and exalting “Bethel Culture”. Groupthink is the start of any denomination.

    I go to the Dunsmuir AG and Bethel both actually. Fridays I work in Redding, so I just stay for the worship, then bail. The remainder of that particular service is rarely anything to write home about, unlike Sun pm’s. My husband and I are working with a Bethel pastor and his wife on a youth group church plant in Mt Shasta, and Deeper Life or BSSM was required. BSSM is not an option now, so we shoot down to Bethel for Dann Farrelly’s Deeper Life Sunday School class (very basic, I wouldn’t call it deep) then zoom back to Dunsmuir to our own church 20 minutes late. Our Dunsmuir pastor said if we needed to do that to get revival going in Dunsmuir, then do it. I also go to AGLOW in Mt Shasta, a pro-Bethel worship and intercession machine composed of women from the local Catholic church, Baptists, EV Free, you-name-it, closet pentecostals, very prophetic. A church is NOT like Jesus’ statement about having two masters,”You must love one and hate the other, or hate one and love the other.” It’s OK to be part of more than one fellowship. Our commitment is to our home church in Dunsmuir, but we feed spiritually at Bethel as needed via conferences, whatever and are definitely enriched by the connection. We don’t go there to give. We go there to receive. We go there to tank up for the ministry which would other wise suck us dry. Apostolic teaching is high octane and we need it for what we’re into up here. That’s no insult to our local pastor, and he knows it. I give him handouts and books from Bethel, and he feeds too. And he was a Wycliffe translator, hardly gullible doctrinally.

    Oh yes, my other point: 2) Is there a perfect church out there anywhere? Why all the pressure on Bethel to be perfect in every area? Lighten up on your demands, all you perfectionists. When Bethel becomes as screwed up as the church at Corinth, then get concerned. If a perfect church did exist, would they let YOU in? God moves through believers with major failures, ie Todd Bentley, Samson, David, Paul, Moses, Peter. So God hasn’t changed after all, has He?!

  239. One more thing about Bethel, embarrassingly obvious. Jeus kept speaking about those who DO, yes actually DO the will of His Father. The Bethel regulars DO a lot of things right. They are out in the malls, WinCo, Walmart, all over Redding several times a week, looking for people to pray for, to shower the love of God onto. Jesus commanded His followers to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. God doesn’t change, this commission hasn’t either. The Kingdom of God doesn’t consist in words but in power Paul told the Corinthians. Do you really think God will tell them on the judgment day, “You were way off on this point or that.” No, I think He’ll be happy with those who didn’t bury their talents in the ground, those who went out on a limb to believe for too much rather than too little. There is entirely too much doctrinal sparring and too little DOING in many parts of the Christian world, not to mention the perception that attention to doctrinal detail is the modern replacement for the power of God. These discussions are a big distraction and I get convicted even spending time in them. Pray for me to be more attentive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to minister deliverance and a word in due season to people in my path.

  240. One more thing about Bethel, embarrassingly obvious. Jeus kept speaking about those who DO, yes actually DO the will of His Father. The Bethel regulars DO a lot of things right. They are out in the malls, WinCo, Walmart, all over Redding several times a week, looking for people to pray for, to shower the love of God onto. Jesus commanded His followers to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. God doesn’t change, this commission hasn’t either. The Kingdom of God doesn’t consist in words but in power Paul told the Corinthians. Do you really think God will tell them on the judgment day, “You were way off on this point or that.” No, I think He’ll be happy with those who didn’t bury their talents in the ground, those who went out on a limb to believe for too much rather than too little. There is entirely too much doctrinal sparring and too little DOING in many parts of the Christian world, not to mention the perception that attention to doctrinal detail is the modern replacement for the power of God. These discussions are a big distraction and I get convicted even spending time in them. Pray for me to be more attentive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to minister deliverance and a word in due season to people in my path.

  241. Man – what a FIRESTORM! Never been there – but I would caution you to be cautious – I would advise you (you don’t have to take it) to FOLLOW the Holy Spirit who lives in you as HE’S much more important than WHAT the men or women of Bethel do or don’t do. I’ve been there – following man and woman in the name of Jesus and He wants us to FOLLOW HIM – not them.
    So pray and READ THE WORD for yourself – in LARGE amounts – preferably the Gospels – see what Jesus said – what He DID! Who He loved. I think if you do this and don’t follow what any man does … you will be safe. God bless you and I’ll be praying for your spiritual walk on this earth …

    • I really like your response. I absolutely agree with you. I just really think that its so dangerous to make comments about the work of the Holy Spirit. Who are we to question God’s work

  242. Man – what a FIRESTORM! Never been there – but I would caution you to be cautious – I would advise you (you don’t have to take it) to FOLLOW the Holy Spirit who lives in you as HE’S much more important than WHAT the men or women of Bethel do or don’t do. I’ve been there – following man and woman in the name of Jesus and He wants us to FOLLOW HIM – not them.
    So pray and READ THE WORD for yourself – in LARGE amounts – preferably the Gospels – see what Jesus said – what He DID! Who He loved. I think if you do this and don’t follow what any man does … you will be safe. God bless you and I’ll be praying for your spiritual walk on this earth …

    • I really like your response. I absolutely agree with you. I just really think that its so dangerous to make comments about the work of the Holy Spirit. Who are we to question God’s work

  243. Interesting topic to say the least.Ive been to bethel a couple of times with my ex-wife,of course we were still married at the time.let me just say the whole flag waving, “prophetic” painting on stage,speaking in tongues,really made me wonder about this place,not to mention they have “Illuminati”symbolism everywhere,pyramids everywhere the whole nine yards..coffee shops with 4$ latte’s,wi-fi spots, people surfin the net outside the main church while service is goin on.but at the time i just wrote it off as not being what i was used too.a few months into our marriage me and my wife had several back to back arguments, so the following sunday she goes to bethel for church,i didnt because Sunday at that time was my only day off.She proceeds to come home and tell me that after church she spoke with some of the “elders”who did marriage counseling,she told them our story,they advise her “if you guys are having a lot of arguments you should do a trial separation”mind you who knows how bad my wife blew things out of proportion(which was her trademark),but these”elders”never asked my side of the story nor did they try to bring us in for help. i knew at that point things between us were seriously in trouble. I tried to say how this may be the end of us if we do this,regardless she was determined to do this,so we did.so needless to say,things spiraled out of control and we divorced about a year later never to speak to each other again.now im not saying that bethel caused all this,BUT unfortunately my wife was very impressionable,and they DEFINITELY did not help our situation,nor did i to be honest,after you just get married,then your wife comes home and says she wants a trial separation which i really had no say in,i did say and do many things that made our divorce inevitable.Who GOD joins in marriage let no man separate kept coming to my mind about all this.I just believe that a Church should want to keep people together,not divide them.I just hope im wrong about this church,but this is my personal story about my experience there.And IF I AM WRONG….JESUS PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

  244. Interesting topic to say the least.Ive been to bethel a couple of times with my ex-wife,of course we were still married at the time.let me just say the whole flag waving, “prophetic” painting on stage,speaking in tongues,really made me wonder about this place,not to mention they have “Illuminati”symbolism everywhere,pyramids everywhere the whole nine yards..coffee shops with 4$ latte’s,wi-fi spots, people surfin the net outside the main church while service is goin on.but at the time i just wrote it off as not being what i was used too.a few months into our marriage me and my wife had several back to back arguments, so the following sunday she goes to bethel for church,i didnt because Sunday at that time was my only day off.She proceeds to come home and tell me that after church she spoke with some of the “elders”who did marriage counseling,she told them our story,they advise her “if you guys are having a lot of arguments you should do a trial separation”mind you who knows how bad my wife blew things out of proportion(which was her trademark),but these”elders”never asked my side of the story nor did they try to bring us in for help. i knew at that point things between us were seriously in trouble. I tried to say how this may be the end of us if we do this,regardless she was determined to do this,so we did.so needless to say,things spiraled out of control and we divorced about a year later never to speak to each other again.now im not saying that bethel caused all this,BUT unfortunately my wife was very impressionable,and they DEFINITELY did not help our situation,nor did i to be honest,after you just get married,then your wife comes home and says she wants a trial separation which i really had no say in,i did say and do many things that made our divorce inevitable.Who GOD joins in marriage let no man separate kept coming to my mind about all this.I just believe that a Church should want to keep people together,not divide them.I just hope im wrong about this church,but this is my personal story about my experience there.And IF I AM WRONG….JESUS PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

  245. I have been on a couple of treasure hunts as our church has them on a monthly basis. I have also visited a Bethel church in Valpo Indiana. Having grown up in a charismatic church I have seen about everything. It really bothers me when people are told how to respond to the spirit of God. We are all different and our response to the Holy Spirit can be different as well. Sure there are alot of “strange” things happening in some of these services, but from my experience, God is always glorified. We go on treasure hunts not to see cool stuff happen but because God cares about our community and wants to let them know that He does. Who do you think He asked to tell others that He loves them…Christians!! I have seen people healed of sickness or broken hearts mended from a word that the Lord had for them. I also remember thinking how crazy what I was telling someone sounded followed by amazment after learning how spot on it was to thier situation. If you do not agree with these types of things, that is fine. What on earth ever happened to brothers and sisters in Christ having the ability to disagree with doctrine yet still love each other. Christ did not say, on this doctrine I will build my church or the greatest commandment is agree on doctrine. Although it is important to know and agree that Christ is our way to eternal life, some of these other issues, in my opinion, are debatable and do not decide our eternal fate. Let’s not waste too much time arguing about these types of things, there is a world full of lost souls that require our attention.

  246. I have been on a couple of treasure hunts as our church has them on a monthly basis. I have also visited a Bethel church in Valpo Indiana. Having grown up in a charismatic church I have seen about everything. It really bothers me when people are told how to respond to the spirit of God. We are all different and our response to the Holy Spirit can be different as well. Sure there are alot of “strange” things happening in some of these services, but from my experience, God is always glorified. We go on treasure hunts not to see cool stuff happen but because God cares about our community and wants to let them know that He does. Who do you think He asked to tell others that He loves them…Christians!! I have seen people healed of sickness or broken hearts mended from a word that the Lord had for them. I also remember thinking how crazy what I was telling someone sounded followed by amazment after learning how spot on it was to thier situation. If you do not agree with these types of things, that is fine. What on earth ever happened to brothers and sisters in Christ having the ability to disagree with doctrine yet still love each other. Christ did not say, on this doctrine I will build my church or the greatest commandment is agree on doctrine. Although it is important to know and agree that Christ is our way to eternal life, some of these other issues, in my opinion, are debatable and do not decide our eternal fate. Let’s not waste too much time arguing about these types of things, there is a world full of lost souls that require our attention.

  247. I was just reading through the comments and your blog. I’m not here to judge or start a discussion. I just wanted to tell you that if you open your heart and really give yourself a chance to get to know God for who He is…. you’d be amazed at how great our God really is. We often describe God according to our experience or our level of understanding. Which is far from the reality of who He really is. The truth is, God is all powerful and supernatural. He is not limited by time, space or resources. Its difficult for us to comprehend His greatness and we often question God for His work or the way He does things. because we live in the natural world with limited knowledge. Our sights and knowledge are limited, but God sees us from the perspective of history, present and future.

    We feel uncomfortable or use words like “weird” or “strange” to define what we experience or see when God does something beyond our level of understanding. So since we’re just human…maybe we should stop trying to explain God… I suggest that we just let God be God and for our part, get to know Him better before we question Him and His work. Invest more time in reading His words, and begin to understand His heart and His love for all mankind. If God can do miracles 2000 years ago, and He never changes, then why should we find it weird to see miracles happening today?

  248. I was just reading through the comments and your blog. I’m not here to judge or start a discussion. I just wanted to tell you that if you open your heart and really give yourself a chance to get to know God for who He is…. you’d be amazed at how great our God really is. We often describe God according to our experience or our level of understanding. Which is far from the reality of who He really is. The truth is, God is all powerful and supernatural. He is not limited by time, space or resources. Its difficult for us to comprehend His greatness and we often question God for His work or the way He does things. because we live in the natural world with limited knowledge. Our sights and knowledge are limited, but God sees us from the perspective of history, present and future.

    We feel uncomfortable or use words like “weird” or “strange” to define what we experience or see when God does something beyond our level of understanding. So since we’re just human…maybe we should stop trying to explain God… I suggest that we just let God be God and for our part, get to know Him better before we question Him and His work. Invest more time in reading His words, and begin to understand His heart and His love for all mankind. If God can do miracles 2000 years ago, and He never changes, then why should we find it weird to see miracles happening today?

  249. Hi Guys Love your blog and the discussions, I just wanted to share a insight that I received after praying and reading my bible. I first need to share some of my background info for it to make sense. I was adopted when I was 2 years old, to a Caucasian Military family. When I was 11 years old I was given custody to the State of Hawaii. I lived with many different Nationalities by living in many foster homes. By God’s grace I was adopted again at 21 years old to a Korean family. My Korean Mother is a Assembly of God Pastor and She is a First Generation Korean. Her way of thinking is very different from my own. I must admit the way she operates and handles the church go against my logic, and sometimes even what I believe. So I asked God in prayer one night, I was upset and Asked god how can you use someone like that, and I got this from him. “Because my Grace is sufficient” I guess I felt the Church needed to be done in a manner that goes in sync with my logic, and my own personal belief. I am wrong we are all sinners and we all are saved by grace. I think only when we have his heart, mind, and will above our own interest, can we truly be selfless, and be Christ lead. If we are drawing theological lines…that separate us. Then we are not truly one God brought down the curtain that Enclosed the holy of holies when Jesus died. He made the way for us to come to him. I think we should encourage one another, rebuke one another, but it should be done to build up and not to tear down. I remember when I first came to Christ. My understanding about the bible and gods word was borderline heretical. Then only thing I knew that I had right was that God loved me and he was my savior. The bible has one recurring message and it all points to Jesus. Lets Preach Christ and Him Crucified and let the Holy spirit direct them. “He that is in me is greater than he who is in the world.” May God Bless you and touch you.
    Your brother in Christ

  250. Hi Guys Love your blog and the discussions, I just wanted to share a insight that I received after praying and reading my bible. I first need to share some of my background info for it to make sense. I was adopted when I was 2 years old, to a Caucasian Military family. When I was 11 years old I was given custody to the State of Hawaii. I lived with many different Nationalities by living in many foster homes. By God’s grace I was adopted again at 21 years old to a Korean family. My Korean Mother is a Assembly of God Pastor and She is a First Generation Korean. Her way of thinking is very different from my own. I must admit the way she operates and handles the church go against my logic, and sometimes even what I believe. So I asked God in prayer one night, I was upset and Asked god how can you use someone like that, and I got this from him. “Because my Grace is sufficient” I guess I felt the Church needed to be done in a manner that goes in sync with my logic, and my own personal belief. I am wrong we are all sinners and we all are saved by grace. I think only when we have his heart, mind, and will above our own interest, can we truly be selfless, and be Christ lead. If we are drawing theological lines…that separate us. Then we are not truly one God brought down the curtain that Enclosed the holy of holies when Jesus died. He made the way for us to come to him. I think we should encourage one another, rebuke one another, but it should be done to build up and not to tear down. I remember when I first came to Christ. My understanding about the bible and gods word was borderline heretical. Then only thing I knew that I had right was that God loved me and he was my savior. The bible has one recurring message and it all points to Jesus. Lets Preach Christ and Him Crucified and let the Holy spirit direct them. “He that is in me is greater than he who is in the world.” May God Bless you and touch you.
    Your brother in Christ

  251. Very interesting church indeed. Want more ? Take a peek at ibethel.tv — real, supernatural television 🙂

    • I love ibethel tv I love the Lord..and I love what I have through Jesus. He is so good to all of us…nothing is going to stop His love for us…Nothing eill change His goodness !!!!

  252. Very interesting church indeed. Want more ? Take a peek at ibethel.tv — real, supernatural television 🙂

    • I love ibethel tv I love the Lord..and I love what I have through Jesus. He is so good to all of us…nothing is going to stop His love for us…Nothing eill change His goodness !!!!

  253. Donny….I have learned over the years that my Lord…my God is who he is and not who I want him to be in my image…I am made in His image. Many thing have happened in Vineyard and Bethel that I personally experienced, that I personally can not explain..that I personally have been changed by. I believe that is what it is about…Trusting God and His goodness. Living a full life lead by the Holy Spirit, and not being part of this world but of His Kingdom and submitted under God authority and rule of your life.
    I respect that you are so open about your past…that truth has set you free…an you are fgree indeed.
    Goodness was done for you in your healing…greater good was done for you through your experiencing and recogizing there are just some things you may never know about God until that day you are fully in His presence. God Bless you Donny. John Wimber founder of Vineyard use to say “my mind has been oftended that my heart be effected.

  254. Donny….I have learned over the years that my Lord…my God is who he is and not who I want him to be in my image…I am made in His image. Many thing have happened in Vineyard and Bethel that I personally experienced, that I personally can not explain..that I personally have been changed by. I believe that is what it is about…Trusting God and His goodness. Living a full life lead by the Holy Spirit, and not being part of this world but of His Kingdom and submitted under God authority and rule of your life.
    I respect that you are so open about your past…that truth has set you free…an you are fgree indeed.
    Goodness was done for you in your healing…greater good was done for you through your experiencing and recogizing there are just some things you may never know about God until that day you are fully in His presence. God Bless you Donny. John Wimber founder of Vineyard use to say “my mind has been oftended that my heart be effected.

  255. From my vantage point, the American church is religous, without life and soulish for the most part. We have become pastor mills that do not follow the word of God for how church should be run. Ephesians 4 describes the model for church. Who besides Bethel and a handful of others is following it? So who is being the church and who isn’t?

    American churches are packaged, predictable and for the large part dead and without power. Look at what they produce as evidence. Is the Christian church-goer different than the world? Not really. What plagues the world, plagues the church because we are all soul. We wouldn’t know a spiritual experience if it bit us on the nose.

    It seems here too, most are only comfortable with what is predictible and soulish. We pray all the time for miracles and the supernatural power of God – as long as that doesn’t lead to the manifest presence of God, right? Then it’s starting to get weird. What makes anyone so sure that a supernatural God is predictible?

    There is verse that fits here: “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

  256. From my vantage point, the American church is religous, without life and soulish for the most part. We have become pastor mills that do not follow the word of God for how church should be run. Ephesians 4 describes the model for church. Who besides Bethel and a handful of others is following it? So who is being the church and who isn’t?

    American churches are packaged, predictable and for the large part dead and without power. Look at what they produce as evidence. Is the Christian church-goer different than the world? Not really. What plagues the world, plagues the church because we are all soul. We wouldn’t know a spiritual experience if it bit us on the nose.

    It seems here too, most are only comfortable with what is predictible and soulish. We pray all the time for miracles and the supernatural power of God – as long as that doesn’t lead to the manifest presence of God, right? Then it’s starting to get weird. What makes anyone so sure that a supernatural God is predictible?

    There is verse that fits here: “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

  257. Krametorg,

    Have you been to Bethel?

  258. Krametorg,

    Have you been to Bethel?

    • I’ve been many times. Many, many times. I am quite aware of what they wish to be, but what one wishes to be and what one actually is are almost entirely different realities. I hear lots of exciting talk, terminology that gets people exciting, and even personal healings. But personal healing’s not any different from other churches. The attitude that one will only encounter spiritual experiences at places like Bethel is not accurate.

      One WILL, however, encounter sermons about the importance of giving, followed by a rush of the “Kingdom Finance Company” buckets, on Easter Sunday. That was one of the last times I attended. I’d been overlooking the overwhelming push for money for a long time prior to that (one of my close friends had been a volunteer for a few years until he started having to PAY to VOLUNTEER) but that sermon is what did it for me. I can tell you one area where Bethel IS different than most other churches: the size of their miraculous offerings are definitely above the norm.

    • Also, it should be known that I want with everything inside of me to be able to embrace Bethel. My inability to do so is the single biggest issue that separates me from my son’s mother. But I will NOT pretend for her. I just can’t get into Bethel. EVERYTHING costs money there. All these “conferences”… volunteering… watching sermons online… taking to someone about your problems (yes, even counseling at Bethel costs money)… EVERYTHING. Every service is “supernatural” at Bethel. People will pay a lot of money when you make them feel good. Knowing that, I can’t attend very often when such a push for money is so blatant.

    • I’ve been many times. Many, many times. I am quite aware of what they wish to be, but what one wishes to be and what one actually is are almost entirely different realities. I hear lots of exciting talk, terminology that gets people exciting, and even personal healings. But personal healing’s not any different from other churches. The attitude that one will only encounter spiritual experiences at places like Bethel is not accurate.

      One WILL, however, encounter sermons about the importance of giving, followed by a rush of the “Kingdom Finance Company” buckets, on Easter Sunday. That was one of the last times I attended. I’d been overlooking the overwhelming push for money for a long time prior to that (one of my close friends had been a volunteer for a few years until he started having to PAY to VOLUNTEER) but that sermon is what did it for me. I can tell you one area where Bethel IS different than most other churches: the size of their miraculous offerings are definitely above the norm.

    • Also, it should be known that I want with everything inside of me to be able to embrace Bethel. My inability to do so is the single biggest issue that separates me from my son’s mother. But I will NOT pretend for her. I just can’t get into Bethel. EVERYTHING costs money there. All these “conferences”… volunteering… watching sermons online… taking to someone about your problems (yes, even counseling at Bethel costs money)… EVERYTHING. Every service is “supernatural” at Bethel. People will pay a lot of money when you make them feel good. Knowing that, I can’t attend very often when such a push for money is so blatant.

  259. From what I hear it seems you are saying that wanting and not being, is somehow worse than NOT wanting and not being.

    Of course God has not reserved Bethel as the only place we can encounter him. I totally agree with that. But there are a number of amazing things going on there and the question should not be why is it happening there, it should be “why isn’t it happening here too?”

    As for the teaching differences, I guess I need follow the advice of Kris Vollaton. “Some truths are weightier than others.” Of course we should give to the Lord (weighty truth), but we under no absolute obligation being under grace (weightier truth). So that is between God and you. Remember Rom. 12:9, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

    By the way, if you find that perfect church, let me know. That would finally end my lifetime pursuit to find one. (c:

    Blessings to you and your ministry, Bro! May you be OUTRAGEOUSLY blessed for the choices you have made.

  260. From what I hear it seems you are saying that wanting and not being, is somehow worse than NOT wanting and not being.

    Of course God has not reserved Bethel as the only place we can encounter him. I totally agree with that. But there are a number of amazing things going on there and the question should not be why is it happening there, it should be “why isn’t it happening here too?”

    As for the teaching differences, I guess I need follow the advice of Kris Vollaton. “Some truths are weightier than others.” Of course we should give to the Lord (weighty truth), but we under no absolute obligation being under grace (weightier truth). So that is between God and you. Remember Rom. 12:9, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

    By the way, if you find that perfect church, let me know. That would finally end my lifetime pursuit to find one. (c:

    Blessings to you and your ministry, Bro! May you be OUTRAGEOUSLY blessed for the choices you have made.

  261. Hi, I just came upon this website… I’m actually studying for a final exam tomorrow as I am a college student. I just don’t know how to feel about this whole Redding, Bethel stuff.

    Our church is from Vancouver, BC. We’ve had our pastor for 3 years now. Before, he was the associate pastor. Recently though, he has been very hyped up about Bethel. There was a team from Bethel that stayed with our church for a few days. And our pastor is starting to act like them in terms of expressions, starting to dress like Bill Johnson, starting to mention him a lot in sermons. And I can see that he is really passionate about heading into the direction Bethel is. A few of our congregation have talked to him about there being more “Spirit” and less “word”, and that they weren’t learning anything (Biblical-wise) anymore aside from the Holy Spirit sermons and stuff, but mostly their concerns have been blocked, with the pastor pointing out that they have struggles with sin they couldn’t deal with, even with the word having been present for years now. My pastor says the church is heading for a revival but I am honestly not feeling it. This is getting creepy and I am becoming concerned. I don’t know what to do…

    Many families I know are also concerned and thinking of moving churches. I personally believe in healings and speaking in tongues (which I can do), but I am extremely uncomfortable in terms of the direction the church is being led into. My family members are thinking of changing churches, but I feel it is wrong to just abandon your home church just because you aren’t getting the word anymore or it’s getting too “spriritual”. I have suggested that we form a big group and confront the pastor about this, but I have been told that the pastor hasn’t been listening to individuals who have talked to him and instead pointed out the sins in their lives (which I honestly think is not right either). Any thoughts, please…?

    • Alissa,

      I don’t have time to elaborate, but, please be careful. If your family does not attend the church you must find a family that you greatly respect to share your cautions. Please consider an exhortation found in I John 2:5-6,please read all the chapter to understand the context, “But if anyone obeys his work, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” To me this says, Jesus is our example in how to live this life, do not imitate this person or that organization or Bill Johnson. Read the Word, preferably both the Old and New Testament and pray and find a godly family to share your concern and glean from their wisdom.

  262. Hi, I just came upon this website… I’m actually studying for a final exam tomorrow as I am a college student. I just don’t know how to feel about this whole Redding, Bethel stuff.

    Our church is from Vancouver, BC. We’ve had our pastor for 3 years now. Before, he was the associate pastor. Recently though, he has been very hyped up about Bethel. There was a team from Bethel that stayed with our church for a few days. And our pastor is starting to act like them in terms of expressions, starting to dress like Bill Johnson, starting to mention him a lot in sermons. And I can see that he is really passionate about heading into the direction Bethel is. A few of our congregation have talked to him about there being more “Spirit” and less “word”, and that they weren’t learning anything (Biblical-wise) anymore aside from the Holy Spirit sermons and stuff, but mostly their concerns have been blocked, with the pastor pointing out that they have struggles with sin they couldn’t deal with, even with the word having been present for years now. My pastor says the church is heading for a revival but I am honestly not feeling it. This is getting creepy and I am becoming concerned. I don’t know what to do…

    Many families I know are also concerned and thinking of moving churches. I personally believe in healings and speaking in tongues (which I can do), but I am extremely uncomfortable in terms of the direction the church is being led into. My family members are thinking of changing churches, but I feel it is wrong to just abandon your home church just because you aren’t getting the word anymore or it’s getting too “spriritual”. I have suggested that we form a big group and confront the pastor about this, but I have been told that the pastor hasn’t been listening to individuals who have talked to him and instead pointed out the sins in their lives (which I honestly think is not right either). Any thoughts, please…?

    • Alissa,

      I don’t have time to elaborate, but, please be careful. If your family does not attend the church you must find a family that you greatly respect to share your cautions. Please consider an exhortation found in I John 2:5-6,please read all the chapter to understand the context, “But if anyone obeys his work, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” To me this says, Jesus is our example in how to live this life, do not imitate this person or that organization or Bill Johnson. Read the Word, preferably both the Old and New Testament and pray and find a godly family to share your concern and glean from their wisdom.

  263. I and my family left Bethel after 5 years for a number of reasons. One big one was lack of HEALTHY accountability with middle management. Lack of any kind of covering for those people as well. In my opinion Bethel has very few good things in integrity that outweigh the liabilities. There is actually a bubble that seems to cloud good judgment when people dive into the culture. It seems that many of the students check their God-given brain at the door in favor of spiritual-orgie manifestations. Miracles are great, but God is the one doing that, not them.

  264. I and my family left Bethel after 5 years for a number of reasons. One big one was lack of HEALTHY accountability with middle management. Lack of any kind of covering for those people as well. In my opinion Bethel has very few good things in integrity that outweigh the liabilities. There is actually a bubble that seems to cloud good judgment when people dive into the culture. It seems that many of the students check their God-given brain at the door in favor of spiritual-orgie manifestations. Miracles are great, but God is the one doing that, not them.

  265. I’ve been in ministry since 1984 and have worked around the world with well known leaders and many more not so well known. I’ve carefully observed a number of so called “moves of God” and was in a church fraught with miracles through the 80’s — one of the more notable ones was a woman whose spine had been severed in several places in an auto accident. Her xrays were sent to various outstanding medical specialists and the consensus was unanimous — there was no medical help for her.

    One night she called me up and told me she had been healed. (she’d been paraplegic and had no sensation or movement below her arms.) I had hauled her wheelchair in my hatchback car for several lunches we had before she was healed) Now she was walking. She went on to marry and have children. Incidentally she was healed one night while being prayed for by a woman (and her daughter) who was the most notorious gossip I’ve ever met. That woman’s gossip caused more hurt and pain to more people than anyone else I know. But God used her (and her daughter) anyway to heal this paraplegic. Just because there are sin and faulty people involved — does not mean that grace does not abound. Why wasn’t she healed when being prayed for by one of many ministers who walked in holiness that had prayed for her? I don’t know.

    The church that she was attending (which I also attended) was also weird like Bethel — which my wife and I have visited a few times. Like Bethel, there was also lots going on at that church that angered people. There was misguided focus on supernatural events — but there was also a focus on God. People sin regardless of what church they are at. You can’t stop it and if you try you’ll go crazy. The same appears to be true at Bethel.

    Miracles and the environment that fosters them is mostly only weird because it is unusual. As it becomes more common at more churches (and it will) we will learn how to flow more with God, become more focused on him, and less distracted by the unusual nature of miracles because they will be more commonplace. Churches are always weird for one reason or another — some are weird because they are so dead. Others are weird because they are so alive and some are weird because they are so conformist. One thing is for sure — you’ll never have miracles in abundance where people do things the way they do them at the churches where miracles are scarce or non-existent. You cannot have outstanding results by doing average things. It defies any form of reason to expect otherwise.

    What I do know is that the purity of God’s spirit can be felt, it can be sensed, and it can be experienced when it is in manifestation. If you visit Bethel you can experience God for yourself in that environment. Yes there will be youth, and some adults, who do strange things — at times the strange things such as laughing, are clearly from a liberating encounter with God.

    At other times it is just people, often youth, who are trying to make something happen — sometimes because they are drunk or stoned on things other than the spirit. People in any church will not always be perfect. Also the kind of people that are drawn to the atmosphere at Bethel are drawn there because they are weird enough that nobody would let them into a more sedate church. They’d either leave due to alienation or be thrown out. Why? They are damaged people that the sedate church has no hope, tolerance, or answers for. At least in an environment like Bethel they stand a chance of getting something from God that can transform them. At most churches there would be no hope of that.

    If Bethel started kicking out the people that were out of line, leadership that made mistakes God is dealing with them about, the kids who went to services high or drunk, the people with real or desperate needs, then Bethel would settle down and become just like your favorite church. We live in a people pleasing society and most of us are sick from pleasing others, from others saying things to us to please us, and from all sorts of dishonesty that is socially acceptable. However we serve a God who, in the old testament, found the smell of burning flesh to be a sweet savor in his nostrils. God is clearly pleased in different ways from us. Therefore let’s not be so quick to judge that which is different in case we need that power someday to get our wife, husband, or child back from the brink of death.

    At Bethel my wife was healed instantly of an injured leg, and also from something that made it virtually impossible for us to have sex. We’d have it a couple times a year and it was no fun. We tried many medical solutions but as a husband I can tell you it sure is wonderful after a decade of marriage — to have sex often instead of only a couple times a year and with unbelievable complications when we did. Try having a married life without the intimacy of sex and then have that suddenly and miraculously restored. You people who are so small minded as to criticize that which you don’t understand — to the point where you’d want it stopped, and who would attempt to dissuade others from it — are unbelievably selfish. God is not sending anyone to hell because they seek healing from places where it is happening in abundance. People go to hell because of their attitude toward God — not because they got a little weird at a celebration of his miraculous power.

  266. I’ve been in ministry since 1984 and have worked around the world with well known leaders and many more not so well known. I’ve carefully observed a number of so called “moves of God” and was in a church fraught with miracles through the 80’s — one of the more notable ones was a woman whose spine had been severed in several places in an auto accident. Her xrays were sent to various outstanding medical specialists and the consensus was unanimous — there was no medical help for her.

    One night she called me up and told me she had been healed. (she’d been paraplegic and had no sensation or movement below her arms.) I had hauled her wheelchair in my hatchback car for several lunches we had before she was healed) Now she was walking. She went on to marry and have children. Incidentally she was healed one night while being prayed for by a woman (and her daughter) who was the most notorious gossip I’ve ever met. That woman’s gossip caused more hurt and pain to more people than anyone else I know. But God used her (and her daughter) anyway to heal this paraplegic. Just because there are sin and faulty people involved — does not mean that grace does not abound. Why wasn’t she healed when being prayed for by one of many ministers who walked in holiness that had prayed for her? I don’t know.

    The church that she was attending (which I also attended) was also weird like Bethel — which my wife and I have visited a few times. Like Bethel, there was also lots going on at that church that angered people. There was misguided focus on supernatural events — but there was also a focus on God. People sin regardless of what church they are at. You can’t stop it and if you try you’ll go crazy. The same appears to be true at Bethel.

    Miracles and the environment that fosters them is mostly only weird because it is unusual. As it becomes more common at more churches (and it will) we will learn how to flow more with God, become more focused on him, and less distracted by the unusual nature of miracles because they will be more commonplace. Churches are always weird for one reason or another — some are weird because they are so dead. Others are weird because they are so alive and some are weird because they are so conformist. One thing is for sure — you’ll never have miracles in abundance where people do things the way they do them at the churches where miracles are scarce or non-existent. You cannot have outstanding results by doing average things. It defies any form of reason to expect otherwise.

    What I do know is that the purity of God’s spirit can be felt, it can be sensed, and it can be experienced when it is in manifestation. If you visit Bethel you can experience God for yourself in that environment. Yes there will be youth, and some adults, who do strange things — at times the strange things such as laughing, are clearly from a liberating encounter with God.

    At other times it is just people, often youth, who are trying to make something happen — sometimes because they are drunk or stoned on things other than the spirit. People in any church will not always be perfect. Also the kind of people that are drawn to the atmosphere at Bethel are drawn there because they are weird enough that nobody would let them into a more sedate church. They’d either leave due to alienation or be thrown out. Why? They are damaged people that the sedate church has no hope, tolerance, or answers for. At least in an environment like Bethel they stand a chance of getting something from God that can transform them. At most churches there would be no hope of that.

    If Bethel started kicking out the people that were out of line, leadership that made mistakes God is dealing with them about, the kids who went to services high or drunk, the people with real or desperate needs, then Bethel would settle down and become just like your favorite church. We live in a people pleasing society and most of us are sick from pleasing others, from others saying things to us to please us, and from all sorts of dishonesty that is socially acceptable. However we serve a God who, in the old testament, found the smell of burning flesh to be a sweet savor in his nostrils. God is clearly pleased in different ways from us. Therefore let’s not be so quick to judge that which is different in case we need that power someday to get our wife, husband, or child back from the brink of death.

    At Bethel my wife was healed instantly of an injured leg, and also from something that made it virtually impossible for us to have sex. We’d have it a couple times a year and it was no fun. We tried many medical solutions but as a husband I can tell you it sure is wonderful after a decade of marriage — to have sex often instead of only a couple times a year and with unbelievable complications when we did. Try having a married life without the intimacy of sex and then have that suddenly and miraculously restored. You people who are so small minded as to criticize that which you don’t understand — to the point where you’d want it stopped, and who would attempt to dissuade others from it — are unbelievably selfish. God is not sending anyone to hell because they seek healing from places where it is happening in abundance. People go to hell because of their attitude toward God — not because they got a little weird at a celebration of his miraculous power.

  267. Just check out this 8 part documentary and see if it looks a little familiar.

  268. Just check out this 8 part documentary and see if it looks a little familiar.

  269. a href=#comment-1625 rel=nofollow@krametorg /a

  270. a href=#comment-1625 rel=nofollow@krametorg /a

  271. a href=#comment-1587 rel=nofollow@Pat /a

  272. a href=#comment-1587 rel=nofollow@Pat /a

  273. a href=#comment-1627 rel=nofollow@alissa /a
    Give it to the Lord. Put your life in His hands in a deeper way. Be anxious for nothing but in prayer and supplication let your requests be known to God. If God wants you to stay there, He will make the new direction real to you; if not then maybe you are supposed to move on. Commit your ways to the Lord, and He shall direct your paths. If anyone wills to do the will of the Father, he will know whether the teaching is true or false. Not everyone is supposed to think like Bethel. There are ex-Bethel people all over Redding being a tremendous blessing where God has moved them, growing more than if they had stuck around, going with the flow. Maybe some offense drove them out. Who cares? Apparently all things worked together for good to all those involved. The Body of Christ has room for a lot of doctrinal diversity. No one but the Holy Spirit can tell you where you are supposed to be–He sets people in the Body as it pleases Him. Lighten up in your mind, press into God in your will and your spirit. Linda

  274. a href=#comment-1627 rel=nofollow@alissa /a
    Give it to the Lord. Put your life in His hands in a deeper way. Be anxious for nothing but in prayer and supplication let your requests be known to God. If God wants you to stay there, He will make the new direction real to you; if not then maybe you are supposed to move on. Commit your ways to the Lord, and He shall direct your paths. If anyone wills to do the will of the Father, he will know whether the teaching is true or false. Not everyone is supposed to think like Bethel. There are ex-Bethel people all over Redding being a tremendous blessing where God has moved them, growing more than if they had stuck around, going with the flow. Maybe some offense drove them out. Who cares? Apparently all things worked together for good to all those involved. The Body of Christ has room for a lot of doctrinal diversity. No one but the Holy Spirit can tell you where you are supposed to be–He sets people in the Body as it pleases Him. Lighten up in your mind, press into God in your will and your spirit. Linda

  275. Bill came to my town. I was leading worship elsewhere, but left after the worship to go hear him. At the end of the meeting he said that God had directed them as to what He would be healing first and he asked anyone with cronic pain to stand. 11 years of pain daily after a car crash vanished without anyone even laying hands on me. I love it when Jesus said…”if you don’t believe in me because of what i say, at least believe in me because of the miracles I do.” The gospel does not consist in words, but in power. I LOVE BETHEL! BLESS THE LORD. AND THANK YOU LORD FOR USING BILL TO HEAL ME. (yes, i believe bill healed me – and that i’m called to heal the sick too. think thats nuts? it isn’t. jesus told us to … “go…heal the sick” thankfully, bill just took him literally.)

  276. Bill came to my town. I was leading worship elsewhere, but left after the worship to go hear him. At the end of the meeting he said that God had directed them as to what He would be healing first and he asked anyone with cronic pain to stand. 11 years of pain daily after a car crash vanished without anyone even laying hands on me. I love it when Jesus said…”if you don’t believe in me because of what i say, at least believe in me because of the miracles I do.” The gospel does not consist in words, but in power. I LOVE BETHEL! BLESS THE LORD. AND THANK YOU LORD FOR USING BILL TO HEAL ME. (yes, i believe bill healed me – and that i’m called to heal the sick too. think thats nuts? it isn’t. jesus told us to … “go…heal the sick” thankfully, bill just took him literally.)

  277. @Matt
    Exactly what I was thinking, Matt. There’s no fear of the Lord involved at ALL. Bethel just focuses on the feel-good aspect of God & doesn’t ever talk about sin or fear or reverence.
    Amen to what you’re saying.

    Also, as far as Bethel goes, I’ve heard two preachers preach from there & both prayed for wealth, as in money & said they deserved rewards from God because he owes them such for doing good works.
    Sorry, but it’s not biblically sound.

  278. @Matt
    Exactly what I was thinking, Matt. There’s no fear of the Lord involved at ALL. Bethel just focuses on the feel-good aspect of God & doesn’t ever talk about sin or fear or reverence.
    Amen to what you’re saying.

    Also, as far as Bethel goes, I’ve heard two preachers preach from there & both prayed for wealth, as in money & said they deserved rewards from God because he owes them such for doing good works.
    Sorry, but it’s not biblically sound.

  279. @Dalen Muster

    Hello,
    Just thought I’d add our experiences. My husband and I were there for the school of ministry.We feel like the people there are very sincere and the leadership team really started off on the right track (many years ago and up until recently – listen to Bill’s and Kris’ old sermons). We went there because we were excited about what God was doing there and hungry for more of God in our lives. However, while we were there we saw some things that really disturbed us.

    One thing was when one of the Heads of the 2nd year school taught the second year class that they needed to “spend less time with God.” He stated that they needed to be at Bethel, serving and using their time for that, and if they needed to cut something they should cut their time with God. He further stated that he considered his time with his family at home to be his “time with God.” We talked with a close friend and they heard the same thing. Someone confronted the teacher about it and he did not back down at all or modify his statements.

    There was very little emphasis on the Bible.

    We were getting uncomfortable with some things, and also we felt the Lord leading us to leave Redding and go do what we are called to do- plant a church.

    We told one of the head leaders of the church, whom we trusted and whom we loved (and still love) very much. He told us ( this is a direct quote) that we should “lose our identity” and just hang out for a while at Bethel and see what happened. We had been in a lot of prayer and had fasted some because we wanted to know for sure what God’s will was for our next step. He said that we should relax and stop praying so much, stop putting forth effort, and just “go with the flow at Bethel.”

    Another thing that made us concerned was the lack of emphasis on sin and repentance and over-emphasis on joy and laughing.

    I believe that there are legitimate things (healings, etc) going on there, but that now there is a mixture of “real God stuff” and other stuff – I am concerned for their future. We still love them and still have dear friends there, but we could never recommmend their school of ministry. We feel like they have shifted to the point that there is some danger of going “off”. It was very, very hard to find a forum where one felt comfortable disagreeing with the leaders or sharing an alternate point of view. There was a lot of “groupthink” going on – a lot of pressure to conform.

    One time a close friend shared with me that she had visited a party where many of the main “women leaders” were there. The host of the party gave out these huge fake diamonds to everyone, and said that these fake diamonds “put out vibrations that draw angels to you.” My friend was totally enamoured with the whole thing. I have serious concerns about this, for many reasons.

    I don’t want to hurt Bethel, but it would be nice if someone there would consider the idea that they need to adjust some things, so that they can keep on track…
    We do still love them very much and have prayed for them for hours and hours.

  280. @Dalen Muster

    Hello,
    Just thought I’d add our experiences. My husband and I were there for the school of ministry.We feel like the people there are very sincere and the leadership team really started off on the right track (many years ago and up until recently – listen to Bill’s and Kris’ old sermons). We went there because we were excited about what God was doing there and hungry for more of God in our lives. However, while we were there we saw some things that really disturbed us.

    One thing was when one of the Heads of the 2nd year school taught the second year class that they needed to “spend less time with God.” He stated that they needed to be at Bethel, serving and using their time for that, and if they needed to cut something they should cut their time with God. He further stated that he considered his time with his family at home to be his “time with God.” We talked with a close friend and they heard the same thing. Someone confronted the teacher about it and he did not back down at all or modify his statements.

    There was very little emphasis on the Bible.

    We were getting uncomfortable with some things, and also we felt the Lord leading us to leave Redding and go do what we are called to do- plant a church.

    We told one of the head leaders of the church, whom we trusted and whom we loved (and still love) very much. He told us ( this is a direct quote) that we should “lose our identity” and just hang out for a while at Bethel and see what happened. We had been in a lot of prayer and had fasted some because we wanted to know for sure what God’s will was for our next step. He said that we should relax and stop praying so much, stop putting forth effort, and just “go with the flow at Bethel.”

    Another thing that made us concerned was the lack of emphasis on sin and repentance and over-emphasis on joy and laughing.

    I believe that there are legitimate things (healings, etc) going on there, but that now there is a mixture of “real God stuff” and other stuff – I am concerned for their future. We still love them and still have dear friends there, but we could never recommmend their school of ministry. We feel like they have shifted to the point that there is some danger of going “off”. It was very, very hard to find a forum where one felt comfortable disagreeing with the leaders or sharing an alternate point of view. There was a lot of “groupthink” going on – a lot of pressure to conform.

    One time a close friend shared with me that she had visited a party where many of the main “women leaders” were there. The host of the party gave out these huge fake diamonds to everyone, and said that these fake diamonds “put out vibrations that draw angels to you.” My friend was totally enamoured with the whole thing. I have serious concerns about this, for many reasons.

    I don’t want to hurt Bethel, but it would be nice if someone there would consider the idea that they need to adjust some things, so that they can keep on track…
    We do still love them very much and have prayed for them for hours and hours.

  281. I am very familiar with the pastors, people, and ministries of Bethel. I want to encourage you to search the Word of God and see what it says about how a church should function and the teaching of pastors and elders. Titus, Galatians, 1 & 2 Timothy, etc. I think you will find that the pastors at Bethel do indeed preach “a different Christ” and “a different Gospel” than “the one we have received.” It also tells us that in the last days Satan himself will perform works of great power, signs and wonders, to deceive and to keep people running after the very things that will lead them to destruction.

    The Bible never says that false teachers will go about with devilish horns and a sinister sneer on their faces. They will appear as angels of light. People we love and who genuinely care for others. This is what makes following Christ so difficult sometimes, but those who are in Christ have no real choice in the matter. We must choose the true God, the true Gospel. We must RUN AWAY from what is false.

    @M

  282. I am very familiar with the pastors, people, and ministries of Bethel. I want to encourage you to search the Word of God and see what it says about how a church should function and the teaching of pastors and elders. Titus, Galatians, 1 & 2 Timothy, etc. I think you will find that the pastors at Bethel do indeed preach “a different Christ” and “a different Gospel” than “the one we have received.” It also tells us that in the last days Satan himself will perform works of great power, signs and wonders, to deceive and to keep people running after the very things that will lead them to destruction.

    The Bible never says that false teachers will go about with devilish horns and a sinister sneer on their faces. They will appear as angels of light. People we love and who genuinely care for others. This is what makes following Christ so difficult sometimes, but those who are in Christ have no real choice in the matter. We must choose the true God, the true Gospel. We must RUN AWAY from what is false.

    @M

  283. @Susu
    Hi Susu,
    I am not sure if you were commenting directly on our experiences. I am very familiar with the scriptures and the warnings about false teachers are very serious.

    If you actually read the entire new Testament, the Bible is clear that miracles, signs and wonders are great things from God. Yes, there are also false signs and wonders. However you cannot label someone a false teacher just because they happen to believe that God does miracles in the present day. Millions and millions of Christians all over the world believe this, and experience it. For example, the millions of Christians in China need miracles frequently just to live.They are persecuted and many of them give their lives for the gospel. God does miracles for them.

    I think you should be careful before labeling someone a “false teacher.” I think some of the leaders (and followers) at Bethel may be going off course into error, but that is not because they believe that Jesus wants to heal people’s bodies. The issues I have are about other beliefs and emphases in their ministry that have slowly crept in. Although I would not label them “false teachers”, I would say that there is a lack of emphasis on the Bible that is getting worse, and some teachings that are not Biblical. There is a big difference.

    I wish people would give a little more grace to brothers and sisters in the Lord who may be becoming misled. If you are a Christian you should be praying for this church and its members, not accusing them of being the antichrist!

  284. @Susu
    Hi Susu,
    I am not sure if you were commenting directly on our experiences. I am very familiar with the scriptures and the warnings about false teachers are very serious.

    If you actually read the entire new Testament, the Bible is clear that miracles, signs and wonders are great things from God. Yes, there are also false signs and wonders. However you cannot label someone a false teacher just because they happen to believe that God does miracles in the present day. Millions and millions of Christians all over the world believe this, and experience it. For example, the millions of Christians in China need miracles frequently just to live.They are persecuted and many of them give their lives for the gospel. God does miracles for them.

    I think you should be careful before labeling someone a “false teacher.” I think some of the leaders (and followers) at Bethel may be going off course into error, but that is not because they believe that Jesus wants to heal people’s bodies. The issues I have are about other beliefs and emphases in their ministry that have slowly crept in. Although I would not label them “false teachers”, I would say that there is a lack of emphasis on the Bible that is getting worse, and some teachings that are not Biblical. There is a big difference.

    I wish people would give a little more grace to brothers and sisters in the Lord who may be becoming misled. If you are a Christian you should be praying for this church and its members, not accusing them of being the antichrist!

  285. @M

    By best man at my wedding and friend since middle school, a brother to me has moved to redding to be at this church. I am concerned not because of his love for Christ, but because he says things like, “I healed this girl this weekend”. I’m drunk, parties that are strange. I may not understand everything, but legitimate faith based churches do not have tons of negative stuff pop up when you type it in google. I’m really praying for him to stay focused on Jesus as he has a very addictive personality. He also does not come see me anymore and I live 2 hours away??? troubling

    • That is concerning. (not sure if I already replied to this…)
      All you can really do is pray- which will help a lot! And gently confront him and remind him what the Bible says…

  286. @M

    By best man at my wedding and friend since middle school, a brother to me has moved to redding to be at this church. I am concerned not because of his love for Christ, but because he says things like, “I healed this girl this weekend”. I’m drunk, parties that are strange. I may not understand everything, but legitimate faith based churches do not have tons of negative stuff pop up when you type it in google. I’m really praying for him to stay focused on Jesus as he has a very addictive personality. He also does not come see me anymore and I live 2 hours away??? troubling

  287. This has been one of the most interesting discussions. I recently visited Bethel (three day visit) and participated in 4 of their ministries (including Sunday worship), and feel drawn there for a few reasons. 1) People in ministry are trying to restore broken people with damaged connections to God. 2) When I left their encounter room, I felt led to go home and spend more time with God and in the Word. 3) I have a lot of things to work thru (damage from my childhood), and I prefer not to do it by means of the flesh (traditional counseling). Can anyone give me some insight (based on what I'm looking for). Thanks –

  288. Donny! WOW. I am bawling right now….you are sooo great. I have always struggled with the WEIRDNESS…and definitely don't want to be weird myself. But, you're right — God is weird — weirdly mysterious. I looked up 'weird' it says, suggesting something supernatural; uncanny , informal very strange; bizarre. I agree…Bethel is a weird church….but I love it. It's not some magic show…it's God showing himself in weird supernatural…very strange bizarre ways!THANKS For your post.YOU are amazing…and I bet a little weird – just like me.

  289. don't be afraid or judge the supernatural. just ask God to show you. it's hard to talk to people about something they can't see. i promise you he won't disappoint, and if he doesnt than oh well… we were floating off into a land of strangeness and partaking in weirdness. but remember, God wants to show you how alive he really is, ok?

  290. I have been reading a book called Jesus Culture by Banning Liebscher… Everything that I've ready thus far lines up with scripture… Yes the bible warns us of false prophets and such. And the “signs and wonders” you speak of that seem weird are things that happened in Jesus' day. The “supernatural” is a very real thing. Just people today are scared that there might actually be a God up there. These supernatural things prove that… I firmly believe that God is in the process of showing himself in a very real way through supernatural healing and things of this nature… He is doing this, to show people that he is very real. And to give them no reason to doubt him. This will in turn, will require of man kind to make a decision to either live for God or not… And then very shortly after he will come back to take those who chose him home. Don't be weirded out… It's all in the bible! God is moving in a major way, and there is no greater time than this… This is called the Great Awakening! Revival is going to sweep the land! All will see God as who he says he is… God bless!

  291. We always loved Banning.

    We actually love the emphasis on miracles and the supernatural that Bethel has. There is nothing unbiblical about that. Our concerns are with some other aspects of the ministry.

  292. If you don’t focus on our “LORD JESUS CHRIST” then all is missed. Jesus is the truth the light and the way!!!

  293. We should not shooting down these Men and Women of God as it says in 1 Cons 3 & 4, rather focus on Jesus!!!
    Yes, some weird goings on at Bethel, er, Jesus spat in a blind mans eye, a Virgin gave birth to the saviour of the world, Abraham was asked to kill his only son, need I go on!!!
    God is a supernatural, signs and wonders God!! I am not saying lets not highlight some of the misgivings Bethel has, but is ANY Church perfect? If yours is then please let me know!!!!
    Lets Pray for our Brothers and Sisters to come back to their first love, Jesus Christ!!

  294. I like this blog Bethels and interesting place
    I enjoy some of the worship and stuff they do.
    Interesting point when it said
    Johnson, who himself required hernia surgery last year and wears prescription glasses
    for some one with a big healing ministry even he visits a doctor!
    It would be controversial if one of the big preacher guys like this ever got cancer or some thing like that and see how they deal with it. Or if they get healed.
    I like the church but some of the stuff they get up to is a bit strange.

  295. Donny, for more on the supernatural, go to http://WWW.sidroth.org and watch “It’s Supernatural!” on the web.

  296. Does anyone who posted here know a couple from Bethel Church named Tim & Lynette Jenne? I knew them when they lived in Astoria, OR. Please contact me at melinski42265@yahoo.com. Thank you.

  297. I liked the article. You gave a very “normal” and ordinary perspective on it. I like the way you steered more toward how you felt about it rather than badmouthing Bethel. I have had TON of experiences with such churches and I think you might have the right kind of attitude. This whole reply is hypocritical because I don’t believe in critiquing and assessing and appraising what people say, but the proof is right here. I’m guilty of it. I had better find a church with confession! 🙂 Thanks for raising awareness of what Bethel and other similar churches may have to offer.

    Pat

  298. I liked the article. You gave a very “normal” and ordinary perspective on it. I like the way you steered more toward how you felt about it rather than badmouthing Bethel. I have had TON of experiences with such churches and I think you might have the right kind of attitude. This whole reply is hypocritical because I don’t believe in critiquing and assessing and appraising what people say, but the proof is right here. I’m guilty of it. I had better find a church with confession! 🙂 Thanks for raising awareness of what Bethel and other similar churches may have to offer.

    Pat

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