Bill Johnson and the Sign of Jonah

Bill Johnson tweeted this today:

“If signs and wonders don’t follow you, follow them until they follow you.”

However, Jesus told the Pharisee’s who were seeking a sign from Jesus that the only sign they’d be given is His Resurrection the meaning of which, of course, they did not comprehend as their understanding was veiled (II Corinthians 3:14-18):

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” [Matt 12:38-40 NKJV]

But, Jesus is a bit more stern here in this particular account:

1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed. [Matthew 16:1-4 NKJV]

The Apostle John records yet another account:

48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”  [John 4:48 NKJV]

Seeking after a sign is a sign of unbelief and/or chasing other gods.   Coincidentally, Bill Johnson posted the following on facebook just after the quote above:

“Heaven is filled with perfect peace. This world is filled with unbelief and disorder. We will always reflect the nature of the world we are most aware of.”

I would have to say, ironically, it almost appears he is admitting his unbelief when putting the two quotes together.  I’m sure this is unintentional on his part; however, we know that God works in mysterious ways.

15 Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior,
      you work in mysterious ways. [Isaiah 45:15 NLT]

Back in the early OT days Moses had provided a warning about this sort of thing.

1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.” [Deut 13:1-5; emphasis added]

Ouch!  It”s a good thing we’re in the New Covenant!  In the Olivet discourse Jesus is describing the sign of the end times with a warning of coming deception:

24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.  [Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV]

The Apostle Paul provides a similar warning plus an alarming reason why some will be deceived into thinking these signs are of God:

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  [II Thessalonians 2:9-12 NKJV; emphasis added]

Hold fast to the Truth lest you be deceived and thus have God send the strong delusion to you!

48 Responses to Bill Johnson and the Sign of Jonah

  1. Pat says:

    “If signs and wonders don’t follow you, follow them until they follow you”

    How’s that working for Bill Johnson and all the rest of them??? Well in their “reality” it’s working just fine.

    From dictionary.com
    DELUSION: –noun
    1.
    an act or instance of deluding.
    2.
    the state of being deluded.
    3.
    a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.
    4. Psychiatry . a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion

    Strongs Concordance :
    The Greek word delusion is “4106 πλάνη [ plane / plan •ay /] deceit, delusion, roams hither and thither, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion, error which shows itself in action, a wrong mode of acting. ”

    So someone who is deluded has little or no hope of recovery, because their belief is fixed, unmovable , resistant to any form of reasoning or confrontation with the actual facts. It then becomes a paranoid delusion:

    ” What are Paranoid Delusions? Delusions are beliefs that are not backed up by reality. They may remain despite obvious evidence to the contrary, and the fact that nobody else believes them to be true.”
    Sad thing is that there are many.

    http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/simplepsych/paranoia.html

    Add to that fact that the delusion is sent by God Himself “Strong” delusion

    The Greek for STRONG: 1753 ἐνέργεια [ energeia / en• erg •i•ah /] in the NT used only of superhuman power, whether of God or of the Devil. operation, working, efficiency

    I always thought it was interesting that it wasn’t the truth that they didn’t receive, but rather the LOVE of the truth. Which means they take the truth and apply it to their own desires, which then makes the truth a lie. It’s a “wrong opinion relative to morals and religion, error which shows it’s self in action or a wrong mode of acting.

    It’s no wonder that when I’ve listened, watched , read these guys materials, sermons, fire tunnels, laughing spirit etc. that I would always come away feeling like I had just visited a freak sideshow of the spiritually crazed. I now realize that is exactly what I have done. It becomes evident in their strange and bizarre behaviors and their strange and bizarre explanations (Biblical or extra) for their actions. If what we are seeing today is the beginning of the strong delusion then there is no doubt these are on their way or are already reprobate and if we think we have heard and seen strange things to date……we “aint seen nothing yet”

    No wonder they think it’s acceptable to “follow after signs and wonder” with the conclusion that eventually the signs and wonders will follow them, the delusion causes them to ” roam hither and thither.”
    I cannot express in words how thankful I am that God has saved me from this.

  2. JD says:

    Craig,

    Another great piece on discerning the season. It has always struck me that as Jesus was describing the end of the age, as in Matthew 24, describing such signs, wonders, and the abomination of desolation, that the questions that lead Him to do so were directly precipitated by His foretelling of the destruction of the temple. There is a cause and effect written in this chapter that so many of these modern “prophets” miss. The parables on preparation are warnings that accompany and should be taken with the lesson of the chapter, yet too often people take each parable and subsection simply on it’s own.

  3. Craig says:

    Pat,

    You wrote: I always thought it was interesting that it wasn’t the truth that they didn’t receive, but rather the LOVE of the truth. Which means they take the truth and apply it to their own desires, which then makes the truth a lie. It’s a “wrong opinion relative to morals and religion, error which shows it’s self in action or a wrong mode of acting.

    Very well put! Like Jesus’ words in John 8:31-32:

    To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [NIV]

    So, in essence, we must love the Truth in order to hold to it and therefore be disciples of Jesus Christ — the very definition of the word “Christian.”

  4. Craig says:

    JD,

    Yes, it’s very important to see the broader context. While the following is nothing to do with this post, it illustrates the importance of putting everything in full context:

    In the account of the widow who gave all she had, most exegetes look strictly at this account without reading the words which precede it and come to the conclusion that Jesus was teaching we should give our last penny in faith and that God would provide. However, when we look at what our Lord said prior to this, we see the REAL meaning:

    Warning Against the Teachers of the Law

    38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

    The Widow’s Offering

    41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
    43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
    [Mark 12:38-44 NIV 2010; also see Luke 20:45-47 through 21:1-4]

    Apparently, they weren’t caring for these widows as they should have. In the OT, the poor and widows were to be recipients of the tithe and NOT tithe-payers. She gave an offering as unto the LORD in faith; whereas, the Pharisees gave to make a show of themselves.

    I have to admit that I did not come to this on my own as I found it on the ‘net a few years ago when I was searching for info about the NT tithing which I find to be unbiblical. I will prolly write a post about that in the somewhat near future.

  5. JD says:

    Actually Craig, what you are pointing out is far more relevant to the type of people we are discussing as it directly addresses one of their key doctrines, i.e. pay me so the Lord can bless you. Jesus was making a point to tell us not to give what was the Lord’s over to those who had succumbed to seducing doctrines. To do so is tantamount to giving your tithe to idols or other deities. Either way you are giving it to one who is not following the Lord’s will. Like those Jesus was speaking of in His time, the modern Pharisees have used their money to build themselves up, so they can strut around proudly and mock sound doctrine.

    That is something I love about the Word when discussing such issues. You can change which dynamic the Lord was speaking of, and it is usually still applicable to the context of the conversation.

  6. Craig says:

    JD,

    Well, I hadn’t thought about this in the manner you’re describing; but, yes it would be applicable to at least some of these guys. To be fair, Johnson is not one of the “pay me so the Lord can bless you” guys — at least not directly. In an indirect way — yes, as the conferences, books, etc. are ways to pay these guys for the extra-Biblical and anti-Biblical messages. That money could be going to much better use, of course.

  7. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Craig,

    You recently posted at Constance’s blog:

    “I suppose the REAL question is when New Agers believe Jesus became “the Christ” as in the one for the Piscean Age. I’d think it would be similar to Maitreya; ie, supposedly he’s here and waiting to be revealed.”

    That reminded me of a posting I made back in 2009.

    Last night I got a call from my son, Troy, who had just seized a last minute opportunity to attend a speaking session with Leonard Sweet. Before I go further, let me explain that Troy has read portions of Constance’s books (He would have read all of them if I had let them out of my sight! Now he can read them free on line.) Leonard Sweet, speaker, author and “futurist”, is a leading proponent of Emerging Christianity.

    He was very well aware of Sweet and his leanings. We discussed Sweet and I sent him excerpts from Warren Smith’s new book “Wonderful Deception” via Lighthouse Trails site, and by virtue of that book, Constance’s quotes from David Spangler.

    So Troy got a crash course before attending the meeting. He just called me and gave me a rundown of his notes. He said that at one point Sweet referenced “Christ” and said (Troy’s account of Sweet) “I personally believe that Christ is in the world today.”
    Troy said no one in that room batted an eye, but the comment gave him cold chills, understanding fully the veiled reference to Maitreya.

    We are in very dangerous spiritual times. Thank you for the research you are doing. I look forward to your next posting.

  8. Craig says:

    Thanks! I’ll be sure to post a link to the BJ III article (the one I’m doing this research for on CC’s blog when I’m through. I actually recall you posting that comment over there. It’s GREAT that Troy already had an overview; so, he recognized the problem right away. HOWEVER, it’s a sure sign of the sad spiritual state when no one would question a teacher who claimed Christ is “in the world today” in light of Matthew 24:30 and other Scriptures which make it clear we will KNOW when the REAL Christ returns.

  9. D says:

    I would heartily echo the warnings about Leonard Sweet… Such a statement like, “I personally believe that Christ is in the world today” should serve as a loud warning to anyone who doesn’t already know what he is teaching. That phrase doesn’t even make any sense outside of the New Age interpretation. Of course, I’d bet anything that if Sweet was pressed about that line, he’d probably come up with some response that would make it sound he was just talking about the “Christ being manifest through us”, and make it sound evangelical… But if that was what he really meant, why would he add, “I personally believe”, as though he was offering some novel idea?

    I recently finished reading Sweet’s 20 yr. old book “Quantum Spirituality”, and it felt like I was reading the primer for all the mysticism and new age doctrines that have infected the Church over the last decade… Beyond that, the way that Sweet defends that highly occultic book only serves to prove his deceptiveness and ability to obscure his true teaching using Christian language.

    At this point I definitely agree that he has the M.O. of being one of the key figures who would be used to help convince the Church to embrace the man of lawlessness…

  10. Pat says:

    YesNaSpanishTown, Craig & D,
    Greatly appreciate the comments on Leonard Sweet. Our daughter is in her 2nd year of seminary and needless to say it is VERY challenging for her trying to navigate through all the post modern, culturally relevant spin and twists the professors put on the simple gospel message. We thank God that she is grounded. Got an email from her about a week ago all it said was “Leonard Sweet… what do you have for me?” He is coming in a couple of months to speak at her university.
    She certainly knows that we are always watching and looking into false doctrines and teachings as she was with us (by default, she’s the youngest) when we were under false teachings and of course when we came out of it. We are so thankful that God has and continues to keep her grounded by His Word. The tragedy is that the Word is so mangled in even the mainline denominational seminaries and churches that it is just astounding . Thanks again, BTW we sent her several articles on Sweet, she wasn’t surprised, said she thought he was a little flakey.

  11. Craig says:

    I keep hearing stories of individuals who actually dropped out of seminary due to the numerous false teachings they encountered. Truly a travesty.

    Thanks be to God that your daughter is grounded!

  12. takitheterrible says:

    I also thought that his tweet was a horrible quote and wildly perplexing.

    However, his point wasn’t the same as the Pharisees and Jewish leaders of Biblical times. What he was trying to iterate has a contrastive heart. I think Johnson wants people to stay where G-d is “moving,” until He would move in our lives as well. This is different from the scribes seeking signs (which was just coaxing Jesus to do what one wills so personal gratification.)

    I’m surprised he used such polarizing language like that.

  13. Craig says:

    Taki,

    Bill Johnson provides no context beyond his “clever” tweet; so, really neither you nor I can say what he means without speculation. I merely applied it — in its limited context — to the closest applicable Scripture.

    Johnson uses much polarizing language such as he does right here:

    http://beyondgrace.blogspot.com/2010/10/most-horrific-tweet.html

    He seems to like to stir up controversy while pretending to be some sort of philosophical sage.

  14. takitheterrible says:

    quoting Craig: I merely applied it — in its limited context — to the closest applicable Scripture.

    Isn’t that how the Salem witch trials began? Johnson has relayed this idea before plenty of times in sermons. I added the context of his past expressions.

  15. Craig says:

    Well, no one here is going to go that far, obviously. You — at least initially — agreed that the tweet was “horrible” and “wildly perplexing.” He should probably stop with his clever polarizing quotes.

    I do think his subsequent comment is ironic when placed with the context of the first one.

  16. mbaker says:

    Taki,

    Yes, BJ and company may be doing some wonderful outreaches in their ministry but as Christians we are called to defend the gospel, not the person or their works. There is a huge difference. If someone is calling our Lord and Savior’s diety into question, do we not owe Him our first loyalty? After all the the BJ’s of this world cannot save us no matter good their stated intentions, or ministries might seem to be.

    Very important distinction to remember.

  17. takitheterrible says:

    I know Bill Johnson believes in the deity of Christ. He erroneously believes Jesus emptied Himself of deity, instead of the privileges of deity. I don’t think that is heresy, but I think he’s incorrect. Christ has my loyalty on that one. Yet, I rather hang with Johnson who does a lot, than someone with perfect theology who is confortable with doing little.

  18. Craig says:

    I would say Oprah does QUITE a bit, wouldn’t you? Of course, she admits to NOT being a Christian but is, rather, a New Ager instead.

  19. Craig says:

    I’m curious as to how you KNOW Johnson believes in the deity of Christ especially given his faulty Christology (as you have already admitted).

  20. Craig says:

    I’m still waiting for your direct answer to this (over on the Bill Johnson’s ‘Born Again’ Jesus, part I thread):

    OK, I re-read your first paragraph; so, you do concede that this depiction is faulty Christology. Then, adding his statement ““The sacrifice that could atone for sin had to be a lamb, (powerless)…” solidifies the Kenotic heresy does it not?

    I think it only fair to specifically address this — either refute it or agree with it — as your very first comment over here stated that “but I don’t find him to be a proponent of kenosis as [this] blog suggests.”

  21. Craig says:

    For the record: correct kenosis is that Jesus’ divine attributes were veiled — He did not empty Himself of any of his “privileges of deity” as you state. See here:

    http://www.theopedia.com/Kenosis

  22. mbaker says:

    Taki., you said:

    “Yet, I rather hang with Johnson who does a lot, than someone with perfect theology who is confortable with doing little.”

    Both are extremes which are not supported biblically. We do not have to choose one or the other, but rather our theology should be supported by scripture first. Everything that follows is an off shoot of that.

    We must remember that Christ did both. In His own theology, He carefully followed only what the Father said, not the religious folks of his day who added their own traditions and interpretations to the original word of God. In fact, he more often spoke vehemently against following that kind of thing than for it.

  23. takitheterrible says:

    quoting Craig: “He did not empty Himself of any of his ‘privileges of deity’ as you state”

    Of course He did. In fact, Eugene Peterson illustrated this very well in the Message.

    Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Philippians 2:5-8

  24. takitheterrible says:

    quoting mbaker: “Both are extremes which are not supported biblically.”

    It was hyperbole.

  25. cherylu says:

    Hyperbole or not, Taki, our theology still needs to be supported by Scripture. And many of us find a lot about Johnson’s theology that we don’t believe is.

    By the way, Craig asked you how you knew Johnson believes in the deity of Christ. I don’t believe you answered that question. Can you explain?

  26. takitheterrible says:

    quoting cherylu: “Hyperbole or not, Taki, our theology still needs to be supported by Scripture. And many of us find a lot about Johnson’s theology that we don’t believe is.”

    And someone around the world is returning the favor.

    quoting cheryl: “By the way, Craig asked you how you knew Johnson believes in the deity of Christ”

    FROM WEBSITE – - iBethel.com:
    The L-rd Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of G-d, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin, Mary, and is G-d’s Anointed One, empowered by the Holy Spirit to inaugurate G-d’s Kingdom on earth. He was crucified for our sins, died, was buried, resurrected and ascended into heaven, and is now alive today, in the presence of G-d the Father and in His people. He is “true G-d” and “true man.”

  27. Craig says:

    taki,

    How much do you know about New Age? I’ve written about Peterson’s The Message here in this post:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/misplaced-trust-part-ii/

    Peterson never once refers to Jesus Christ as “Lord Jesus” in his paraphrase preferring the term “Master Jesus” instead — the same term given by New Agers and occultists — with a different, esoteric meaning.

  28. Craig says:

    Taki,

    Yes, I’ve seen that on his site; but, unfortunately, given that it is at odds with some of the theology as laid out in his sermons/books, etc. we’re left not knowing what to believe. I’ve seen other church’s website statement of belief’s which are contrary to their actual practice. Sad to say.

    You’ve still not answered my question regarding your very first post re: Johnson and kenosis. I’m waiting…

    For someone who claims they are not an apologist for Johnson I’d say you rather adopted that role.

  29. Bill Fawcett says:

    Thought I would throw in this excerpt from Bill Randles’ book “Weighed and found Wanting”

    Manifested Sons of God Promotes Distorted Christology

    The whole premise for a book written by Bill Britton called Jesus, the Pattern Son, can be summed up in this sentence from its preface. The life of Jesus in His humanity here on earth was a divine pattern for the perfect, end time body of Christ.

    In short, Jesus is the pattern for the ultimate expression of God: us of course, the end-time body of Christ. There is a blurring of distinction between the roles of Christ and His church, and even the person of Christ and we, the church. It amounts to an exalting of the “new man.”

    The very life of Jesus Christ is reproduced in fragile earthen vessels of this human clay…it is the perfecting into maturity of the Christ who came into our hearts as the seed when we received Him as Saviour.

    Is he telling us that Christ comes into us as a seed and needs to be perfected in us? This is a totally inverted concept. Christ, Himself, is complete in and of Himself, and in Him we partake of His completeness!

    http://www.theothersideoftheriver.com/Books/Weighed.pdf

  30. Craig says:

    I don’t think this is far off from Johnson’s theology — in fact, it may be right on. It’s a “Christianized” new age (and Rosicrucian and even Kabbalistic) concept of Christ.

  31. cherylu says:

    Taki,

    As Craig said, Johnson has left us not knowing what to believe on this issue. And this is what I myself tried to contact Johnson/Bethel about to clarify this. That was months ago and I have had no answer.

  32. takitheterrible says:

    I’m leaving this conversation because it’s not novel, and it’s not edifying.

  33. takitheterrible says:

    However, here is a past quote from Johnson’s Twitter espousing what he means: “If you want to kill giants, hang around giant killers. That’s what happen to David’s mighty men.”

  34. cherylu says:

    Sorry Taki,

    But I just can’t resist! The Bible makes the observation that a little leaven leavens the whole loaf. Mix with false leaven for a while and it is sure as shootin’ you will find yourself leavened by it. You might even find that the leaven does a whole lot more to you in a negative way then the “giant killers” do in a positive way. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

  35. cherylu says:

    Taki,

    If you are still reading here and are remotely interested in continuing this conversation, I have a question for you. You say Bill Johnson believes Jesus is God. And yes he has stated that at times. But the trouble is as Craig says, he seems to go on to contradict that in the rest of what he says. Maybe he doesn’t realize he is contradicting it, and maybe he does, that I don’t know.

    However, he has said accoding to you, that He emptied Himself of His deity. My question is, how do you empty yourself of your deity and continue to be God? How do you empty yourself of the attributes that makes God be God and still continue to be God? Do you see the problem here? When is the line crossed and he can no longer say he believes Jesus is God if he believes He no longer has the attributes of God?

    I

  36. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for posting this! I’m glad someone is finally saying it! I don’t get how “followers of Jesus” can go about ignoring most of what He’s said.

    God Bless you.

  37. Stephanie says:

    VERY well put, Pat. and very true.

  38. Sara says:

    All I can say to all of this is, if you all ever heard Bill Johnson speak more than a couple of times, you will see his heart & know he is a true man for Christ…theology might be different than yours but as long as the foundational truth is biblical, which Bill’s is, different views on Scripture interperatation doesn’t matter. How about embracing fellow believers who might have a different view from yours instead of coming against them. We should be unified not divided.

  39. Craig says:

    Sara,

    Thanks for your comment. I have heard Bill Johnson speak, although not in person. However, if you search around this site you will find quite a few videos and audio files I’ve referenced. I’ve heard many hours of Johnson’s teachings and I’ve read even more. What I see is some erroneous doctrine and much conflicting doctrine.

    After analysis — which you can read elsewhere on this site — I would say Johnson’s theology is not based on sound Biblical truth. He sure looks sincere, I’ll admit that. However, the man who used to cut my hair, a Jehovah’s Witness, was also very sincere — a very nice guy. A few months ago, I met up with two young Mormon’s who were very sincere. I engaged in a lengthy conversation with them and by their answers to my questions actually sounded very orthodox; so, either they were not being truthful or they had not yet been introduced to some of the other Mormon teachings just yet. I use these examples to lead to this question: Should we unify with my former hairstylist and the two Mormon’s? Both have “different views of Scripture interpretation.”

  40. Sara says:

    As long as we all agree on the central & fundamental truths upon which our Christian faith rests: the absolute authority & integrity of God’s Word as our standard for everything; God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One eternal God, existing simultaneously in three distinct Persons. The three Persons of the godhead are each fully God, sharing the same nature and attributes; personal repentance of sin & faith in & devotion to Jesus; the unchanging bedrock message of Jesus Christ crucified, buried, risen, & returning and dependence on the Holy Spirit for power in daily living & ministry. The rest is just secondary. If a Mormon or a JW truly believes this (nice guy or not), then they are just being decieved by false religion, just because they are “mormon” doesn’t make them not a Christian, we don’t know their hearts, only God does. Please don’t read into this as I am saying all mormons or JW are Christians, I am not. I am just saying if they believe the central & fundamental truths upon which our Christian faith rests, the rest isn’t as important. It is important because we need to grow & to grow we need truth, but we can’t say if they are a Christian or not. Do you get what I am saying? So back to Bill Johnson. He believes & lives from the central truths, all the rest might differ from you or me but we still need to be unified.
    I did read one other of your posts, from your wife? I am sorry to hear about what she went through but her deception didn’t come from what Bethel Church preaches. It is not taught or suggested that soaking is all about experience and to stop reading your bible. “soaking” in their terms are spending time with the Lord, just like we call it having a “quiet time”. In my Baptist view of a quiet time, is reading your bible and spending time worshipping the Lord. Same thing with soaking. If she was lead astray from the wrong version of soaking or by what other people were focusing on, I am so sorry. There are always people in any church/move of God that are wrong. Many charismatics focus to much on feelings & experience, not enough or any scripture as many orthodox focus only on scripture & no experience. It needs to be both. With the scripture as our model.

  41. Craig says:

    Sara,

    The testimonial you read is from someone else whose permission I received to post it here.

    You will likely benefit from reading this post, Bill Johnson’s ‘Born Again’ Jesus, Part I, which shows some of his aberrant doctrine. Further, you may wish to look at the Open Challenge to Bill Johnson/Bethel Supporters post.

    Bill Johnson’s view of Jesus Christ, as borne out in his teachings, is not that of the historical orthodox church.

    A man who identified himself by the pseudonym “John Ashton” mentioned in a comment here on this site that he was told by a senior member of Bethel at Redding to stop reading his Bible for a year. Do you think that’s good advice? I’m assuming you’re answer would be “no” based upon what you’ve just written.

  42. JimmyKrackKorn says:

    Mormons do not worship the God of the bible. Mormonism was born out the encounter between Joseph Smith who according to Peter Levanda in “Sinister Forces” A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft- Part 1….Joseph Smith was a practicing witch. He roamed the countryside offering his services as a diviner of sorts, consulting familiar spirits…by using an ancient pagan method of staring into a hat with a stone inside it. The stone had supernatural power as well. Joseph Smith also was a treasure seeker. While out looking for gold bars that he believed to be buried at a certain location, he was visited by an angel named Maroni. This angel told him that everything about religion what was known to date was all wrong and that it was up to Joseph to make it right. Thus Mormonism was born.
    The account of the angel telling Joseph it is up to him to “get it right,” begs to consider that everything Jesus did must have been wrong. In other words the Infinite Creator of the Universe comes to Earth and “gets it wrong,” but a man (con man, practicing witch, polygamist, Freemason, and self admitted liar…no less) will get it right and save humanity.
    Joseph goes on to teach that God is just one of many gods….ours is from the planet Kolob. Our god had sex with one of his many celestial wives and produced 2 sons. Son #1 named Lucifer, son #2 named Jesus. He taught that when men die they become the god of their own planet and are surrounded by celestial wives who make “spirit babies” to inhabit the new planet.
    So to say that Mormons …might be Christian is an oxymoron. If they believe Mormon doctrine they worship another Jesus. If they worship the Jesus of the Bible, then they cannot be a Mormon.
    This is why Glenn Beck is so dangerous. Most American Christians are completely clueless when it comes to knowledge of different faiths. Heck, most are ignorant of the Bible and Christian faiths. They are so lacking in discernment that they would follow Glenn, believing that a Mormon is really just like a Christian.
    My source is from a variety of places, Brannon Howse at Worldview Radio, and Ed Decker interviews. Ed left the Mormon faith and exposes it today.

  43. Martin says:

    Again I find the use of the word ‘appears to’ in relation to Bill Johnson, followed by if A then B and C and D. Not at all right.

  44. Martin says:

    You have also only used some scriptures to support your own position. You have missed many scriptures which support miracles. Completely biased.

  45. Craig says:

    I’ve taken Johnson’s context at face value.

    Of course, there are Scriptures which support miracles. I don’t understand your point(?).

  46. Martin says:

    “If signs and wonders don’t follow you, follow them until they follow you.” –

    At the top of the post you have given us several informative scriptures which point towards people seeking signs and wonders in a negative context.

    But you completely neglect the balance of other scriptures. Your posts are completely biased. So my suggestion would be balance out the argument and present all of the scriptures not just the ones supporting the point your trying to make. Here are a few scriptures that balance out the ones you have quoted.

    Mark 16:17 – And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

    1 Corinthians 12:28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.

    James 5:15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

    I know there are many other scriptures. But if you are not interested in a balanced argument, i suppose you won’t post them.

  47. Craig says:

    Martin,

    None of these Scriptures are an admonition to “follow signs and wonders” at all. Mark 16:17 simply states signs will “accompany,” i.e. be present alongside, “those who believe.” We don’t follow signs, we follow Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit gives to each as He determines [I Cor 12:11] not as we determine. “Desiring” spiritual gifts [I Cor 14:1] is different from “following” signs and wonders.

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