The Christ Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit

[See also: Bill Johnson's Christology: A New Age Christ?, Part II, Part IIIa, Part IIIb and Part IV (Conclusion)]

In Bill Johnson’s popular book When Heaven Invades Earth is a chapter titled “The Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit”.1  In Johnson’s theology “the anointing” is variously termed “the Christ anointing”,2 “the baptism in the Holy Spirit”,3 “the Holy Spirit’s presence upon” an individual (including Jesus),4 and “the presence of God”.5 The “antichrist spirit” is defined as essentially ‘anti-anointing’ in this chapter and is thus a redefining of this term as compared to the Apostle John’s definition.

Orthodox Definition of the Antichrist Spirit

Here are the Apostle John’s words in his first epistle defining the antichrist spirit:

22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?  This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.  23Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.  [1 John 2:22-23, NASB]

One must confess that Jesus is the Christ and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  John makes it clear that there is only one Christ and He is Jesus, and if one denies the Son by denying that Jesus is the Christ, then consequently the Father is also denied.  It’s a flat out rejection of God.  However, the one who confesses that Jesus is the Christ and,  hence, is also the Son, has the Father.

The Apostle John also commands us to test the spirits providing one more identifying mark of the antichrist spirit:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;  3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of antichrist of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. [1 John 4:1-3, NASB]

One must confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.  This means one must confess that Jesus was the Christ at conception or at least the Virgin Birth [Luke 1:35/2:11; Matt 1:18] thereby precluding any adoptionist or separationist Christology.6  A confession to the contrary is evidence of the antichrist spirit.  Colin G. Kruse expounds:

…[I]t is not only those who…remain faithful to the message heard from the beginning and who love fellow believers who claim an experience of the Spirit.  There are many others who claim to be indwelt by God, to have received the Spirit, and to speak in his name…[John] warns his readers to exercise discernment when they encounter people claiming to speak in the name of God…Not everyone claiming to speak in the name of God actually does so….7

Kruse continues warning about “false prophets operating within the Christian community” [Matt 7:15; 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22; 2 Pet 2:1, etc].8  He then describes the test:

…The spirit of God is recognized as the one teaching human beings (‘every spirit’) when they acknowledge that Jesus Christ ‘has come in the flesh’…The expression ‘to acknowledge Jesus’ is but a shortened version of the expression ‘to acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh’ [ED: from verse 2].  It is important to note that… here…the Spirit’s role is that of witness to the truth of Jesus Christ.

When in 4:2 the author refers to the confession ‘that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh’, he uses a perfect form of the verb ‘to come’, indicating that it is Christ’s status as one come in the flesh, rather than simply the historic act of his coming that he had in mind….9

Judith Lieu notes also the Greek perfect tense and explains the phraseology “in the flesh”.  It is not merely making reference to the Virgin Birth/miraculous conception (not to be confused with the false view of the RCC known as the “immaculate conception” of Mary) but the entire manner with which His being is made known to us during the Incarnation:

Yet to acknowledge Jesus Christ as having come in flesh is not merely another way of saying that he has come into the world.  “In flesh” signals not destination but mode and location: the means by which and wherein his presence is known….10

Bill Johnson Redefines the Antichrist Spirit

Bill Johnson initially defines antichrist spirit correctly (though not completely as anti can also mean “instead of”11):

The nature of the antichrist spirit is found in its name: anti, “against”; Christ, “Anointed One.”12

Yet, on the very next page he deceptively redefines the term:

It would seem that with all the significance attached to the name “Jesus,” anyone desiring to undermine His work of redemption might be referred to as “Anti-Jesus,” not “Anti-Christ.”  Even religious cults recognize and value Jesus, the man.  At the very least, cults consider Him to be a teacher or a prophet and possibly “a” son of God.  This horrendous error provides us with an understanding of why antichrist was the name given to this spirit of opposition.  The spirits of hell are at war against the anointing, for without the anointing mankind is no threat to their dominion.13

Notice the sleight of hand in the last sentence.  While the preceding sentences seem to build the case as to why cults and false religions value Jesus as a man yet not as the Son of God, Johnson’s conclusion totally redefines his own definition of antichrist spirit on the previous page from “against Christ” or “against the Anointed One” to ‘against the anointing’ or ‘anti-anointing’.  This revised definition is used throughout the remainder of the chapter such that anyone who is against “the anointing” (as defined in the beginning of this article) has an antichrist spirit per Johnson.

As noted in an earlier CrossWise article in which this same methodology was employed, this is the mark of cultic teaching and bears repeating here:

This is not unlike the way in which cultists work; i.e., making a series of orthodox statements and then concluding with an unorthodox sentence.  The mind is prepared for a logical, orthodox conclusion so that when what seems to be an illogical or unorthodox conclusion is reached instead, the hearer/reader may reject it assuming he just did not hear or read it correctly or some other such reason.  This is known as cognitive dissonance, the uncomfortable feeling in holding two conflicting views at once, which results in some sort of action to alleviate this feeling in this case which may be either by 1) rejecting the negative thought that the conclusion is unorthodox or illogical while mentally inserting one’s own orthodox or logical conclusion instead; or, 2) just dismissing the conclusion as a misunderstanding on the reader/hearer’s part; or, 3) assuming the speaker simply misspoke.

Yet, just as important if not more so, we see that Johnson has subtly split ‘Christ’ from ‘Jesus’ in his redefining above.  By stating “anyone desiring to undermine His work of redemption might be referred to as ‘Anti-Jesus’ rather than ‘Anti-Christ’” and his subsequent explanation and redefinition of the antichrist spirit, Johnson seems to illustrate the very thing the Apostle John warned against – that the antichrist spirit separates “Christ” from the person of Jesus Christ.  This redefinition itself could be construed as antichrist in nature.  This may be confusing, but please read on.

Johnson Redefines “Christ”

This same methodology above is in evidence in the first two paragraphs which begin this chapter in Johnson’s book – he starts with the correct definition of Christ then redefines it to anointing:

Christ is not Jesus’ last name.  The word Christ means “Anointed One” or “Messiah.”  It is a title that points to an experience.  It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title.  He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired.

The word anointing means “to smear.”  The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism.  The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit.14

In this case, Johnson is absolutely correct with his first two sentences; however, with the third through fifth he is claiming that the “title” of Christ was received in a later “experience” which he identifies as “the anointing”.  This “anointing” is consistently defined throughout Johnson’s various works as noted above in the beginning of this article.

The second paragraph continues this line of thought with his concluding sentence making his redefinition clear: “The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit”.  By further logical implication Jesus became “Christ” only after He was “anointed” or “smeared with the Holy Spirit” and, consequently, He was merely Jesus of Nazareth prior to this “anointing”.  That this explanation/analysis is itself correct is borne out in Johnson’s own redefinition of antichrist as essentially ‘anti-anointing’.  Hence, Christ = the anointing and antichrist =anti-anointing’ in Bill Johnson’s theology.

As noted in the previous article, separating Christ from the person of Jesus is known as separationist Christology and is, by the Apostle John’s very definition above, antichrist Christology.

Further Explications and Implications of Johnson’s “Anointing”

With this sort of linguistic gymnastics one is left wondering what is truth and what is falsehood and what the real definition of other terms are in Johnson’s theological corpus.  Which parts of Johnson’s theology can be trusted to be true and accurate?

Johnson carries this same redefinition of Christ as anointing into other works.  Here in another book he states that this “Christ anointing” (aka “baptism in the Holy Spirit”) was not only for Jesus but for all in the Church:

…The outpouring of the Spirit comes to anoint the church with the same Christ anointing that rested upon Jesus in His ministry so that we might be imitators of Him…15

He makes a clear distinction between believers who would by necessity have the Holy Spirit indwelling upon conversion and “the anointing”:

The spirit of antichrist is at work today, attempting to influence believers to reject everything that has to do with the Holy Spirit’s anointing….16

Just to be clear, every truly converted Christian believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and thereby has the Holy Spirit anointing as per Scripture [Eph 1:14; 2 Cor 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20].  Johnson’s “anointing” is separate and distinct.

With his redefined antichrist spirit, Bill Johnson also claims that it leads to “religious spirits” which are described as

…demonic presence that works to get us to substitute being led of our intellect instead of the Spirit of God…Anything that will take the place of dependence upon the Holy Spirit [ED actually, again, Johnson’s “anointing”] and His empowering work can be traced to the spirit of opposition.17

Here we have one of the many times Johnson promotes false dichotomies – as if the intellect and the “Spirit of God” are mutually exclusive.  We worship in Spirit and Truth [John 4:24].  Yes, a person can be led of the flesh and hence his/her own mind; but, as noted by Bob DeWaay, there’s a consistent “anti-intellectual bias” permeating this book (and other works of Johnson).  Also, notice how he has, in effect, drawn a line in the sand between his unorthodox doctrine of “the anointing” and orthodoxy by claiming those who allow the Spirit to lead the intellect have the “spirit of opposition” and a “demonic presence”.

He also promotes “Toronto Blessing” style manifestations while speaking negatively on anyone who opposes these.18  Near the end of the chapter in his book he attempts to flip the table on orthodoxy stating more clearly that those who “embrace Jesus apart from the anointing”, once again, have the antichrist spirit:

The antichrist spirit has a goal for the Church – embrace Jesus apart from the anointing.  Without the anointing, He becomes a safe religious figure who is sure not to offend us…How can people who love God be offended by the anointing of the Holy Spirit?19

If the reader does not understand that “the anointing” is separate from the true Holy Spirit indwelling, s/he would be left wondering why anyone would reject the Holy Spirit and therefore agree with Johnson.

This illustrates quite clearly that Johnson’s Jesus is not only NOT the Jesus Christ of the Bible, Johnson’s whole Christology emanates from an antichrist spirit.  His Jesus could be termed ‘Jesus, the one among many anointed by “the anointing”’ (aka “Christ anointing”, “baptism in the Holy Spirit”, “presence of God”).  The following words by the Apostle Paul could well define Johnson’s theology and his followers:

4For if someone comes to you and preaches another Jesus other than the Jesus we preached , or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough…13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve. [2 Cor. 11:4, 13-15, NIV 1984]

But, it’s not yet too late for Bill Johnson and his followers to repent.

1Johnson, Bill, When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. 2003; Treasure House/Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA; pp 79-86
2Johnson, Bill Face to Face with God: The Ultimate Quest to Experience His Presence. 2007; Charisma House ,Lake Mary, FL; p 77.  Underscore added.
3Johnson, Face to Face; pp 21-22, 58, 77-82, 100-102
4Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 80
5Johnson, Face to Face; pp 21-22.
6Judith M. Lieu [I, II & III John: A Commentary. 2008, Westminster John Knox, Louisville, KY] does an excellent job describing vv 2:22-23 in 1 John by putting it in its original context: “It appears that what sounds like the traditional formula of belief in Jesus as Messiah has taken on a new dimension of sonship…This confirms that the force of the correct confession is ‘that Jesus is the Christ,’ and not, as is grammatically possible, ‘that the Christ [about whom we know] is Jesus [rather than someone else or as not yet appeared]’…The author’s logic is simple and can be understood within its immediate context.  His strategy is to start from what matters: the real charge is not about ‘the Christ,’…Rather, it is that the antichrist denies the Father and the Son: this is no longer denial of belief about (‘that’) but a refusal to acknowledge…it is ultimately a question of acknowledging, or denying the Son…the Son is Son only in relation to the Father, and the Father is Father only in relation to the Son; to reject the Son is to reject both, even if this was not the intention” [p 106].  While Lieu refers to “sonship” this explanation works just as well with the respect to separationist or adoptionist Christology.  The term separationist as regards Christology is defined in Heikki Raisanen’s The Rise of Christian Beliefs [2010, Fortress, Minneapolis, MN; p 208] and is specifically referring to 1st century proto-gnostic Cerinthus.
7Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John: The Pillar New Testament Commentary. 2000, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI; p 144.  Emphasis added.
8Kruse; p 145
9Kruse; p 145-147
10Lieu; p 167
11Vine, W.E., Merrill F. Unger, William White, Jr. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (With Topical Index).  © 1996 W.E. Vine Copyright Ltd. of Bath, England, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN; p 30 of New Testament section.
12Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 79.  Emphasis in original.
13Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 80.  Emphasis in original.
14Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 79.  Emphasis in original except underscore added.
15Johnson, Face to Face, p 77.  Underscore added.
16Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 81
17Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 81
18Johnson, Heaven Invades; pp 81-85
19Johnson, Heaven Invades; pp 84-85

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136 Responses to The Christ Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit

  1. Kim K Anderson says:

    I read this article about Bill Johnson and would like to see it in context of the whole article. Also, the word Christ in the Greek means Anointed One and is a substitute/translation of the Hebrew word Messiah which does mean “The Anointed One.” As I understand it the use of “Jesus Christ” would mean, “The Anointed One” and was used to indicate Jesus the Man who was the Annointed One (and only). The use of both terms in connection was to point out that Jesus was both a Man w/ flesh and BLOOD and stand against the Gnostic heresies that were springing up at the end of the 1st century. It was the BLOOD and the Resurrection that singled out Jesus Christ from all other men, giving proof that he was who he said he was. The Jewish context of the prophesied messiah was not clear to the Jews, they thought two Messiahs might come, one a Kingly Messiah like David and the other a Suffering Servant like Joseph (whose Egyptian name meant “Savior of the World). The Gnostics had different beliefs about Jesus Christ. Some said that Judas took Jesus’ place and others said that Jesus was a spirit and only appeared to die. Both are heresies because it was the blood of Jesus shed for our sins that gives us salvation. When we talk about “Christ” we are acknowledging the Resurrected one and when we talk about Jesus we basically are acknowledging the Son of God when he walked the earth. When Bill Johnson said that the “Anti-Christ” was “Anti- the Anointing” he was in error because the Anti-Christ would be understood in translation to be “the Anti-Anointed One.” Satan is at war with God and the Son of God. Satan hates that the Son of God was willing to provide the atonement to redeem all mankind who were willing to believe, obey and follow the Son.
    I have read some of Bill Johnson’s books and did not find them confusing or departing from Orthodoxy but have not recently read any of his work so I cannot judge if his article is representative of his current beliefs or his explaination was not as clear as it should have been.

  2. Tim Bain says:

    I suspect it won’t be long before we start hearing about the 10 wise virgins(Christ anointed,extra virgin oil !) and 10 foolish (plain old canola oil) virgins …remember only the ones who brought the extra (anointing) oil got into the wedding! actually I’ve already heard it preached !
    Seriously though,one should really think hard about all the ramifications of where they could end up down the road once they’ve embraced this “stuff”, for instance …all the emphasis and attention to the anointing, prophetic words, dreams, visions etc.will and clearly has led to a diminished regard for scripture,and doctrine which have been tested for centuries and still can be tested drawing from proven reliable sources. ALL THAT will be at the mercy of the most anointed,God appointed,new revelation receiving and eventually “unquestionably” accurate present day Apostles and Prophets. all YOUR anointed visions, dreams,words etc. will soon be of little consequence because when the time is right that kind of power and authority in the hands of a few (fallen) Super Apostles will “manifest” itself and that’s when you realize what all this really was about .Remember the “Reformation” …scripture alone!!! not the super anointed infallible apostle ( pope) and his counsel of super anointed bishops. If you think this is far fetched I assure you I know of at least seven ministers who lost their churches or ministries because thought they were free to question the prophetic directives of their apostolic “advisers”
    which unbeknownst to them had morphed into something far more then just advisers. If BJ and the other apostles are already calling “us” antichrist for questioning a new concept that they can’t even defend, what do you think they might do if they thought they were the actual manifestation of “Christ” and you as a member of their body had the audacity to disagree with their “revealation”. Yep,could get real cult like real fast.

  3. Craig says:

    Kim K. Anderson,

    The thing is, it is easy to bypass Bill Johnson’s subtle twists and redefinitions of terms. As I point out in the article Johnson does begin with correct definitions but later redefines these and this linguistic sleight of hand is either lost on the reader or, if the reader does think something is amiss, the reader will alleviate the resultant cognitive dissonance in some way. Most just assume Johnson made a slip of the tongue/pen. But, this is not so as evidenced here. As you point out antichrist should be anti-Anointed One and not ‘anti-anointing’.

    If you’ve read his books before, I suggest you pick up your copy or borrow someone else’s copy of WHIE and read this chapter slowly to see if you see what I’ve written in here. The book has been recently been revised, so, I suppose it’s possible he’s changed this section. However, this redefining of terms/concepts is endemic to Johnson’s works.

    What you state about the Gnostics and the Jewish expectations of two Messiahs (some agree the Qumaranians were looking for three!) are true. This is why it’s SOOO important to confess Jesus is the Christ. By inference, anyone receiving the “Christ anointing” the way Johnson describes it would become a Christ, or, as some New Agers state “christed”.

    “The anointing” is an extremely important concept in hyper-charismaticism. Unfortunately, it has a New Age/occult parallel.

  4. Craig says:

    The following Johnson quote from this same book [p 184] is important when viewed within the context of the content of this article:

    The presence of God is to be realized in the anointing. Remember, anointing means smeared– it is God covering us with His power-filled presence. Supernatural things happen when we walk in the anointing!

    This illustrates a number of things. 1) “the anointing” Jesus received is the same one anyone can receive; 2) when one receives this “anointing” it could be construed that one receives the title of Christ themselves (already inferred in the article but made more clear by using the same “smeared” phraseology); 3) it makes it sound as though one does not have “the presence of God” until one receives this “anointing” 4) supernatural things may not, or even will not, happen unless one receives this “anointing” which implies that the ‘born again’ Holy Spirit indwelt believer may not or will not be able to have God work the supernatural in and through them without this “anointing”.

  5. Bud Press says:

    Craig:

    As one who has spent years researching false belief systems, I appreciate your efforts to bring the light of truth to Bill Johnson’s dark and twisted teachings.

    Johnson is well-versed in the art of manipulation, in that he has the ability to manipulate people into believing in his manipulated teachings. As a false teacher, Johnson is very subtle. He twists the truth of God’s written word into a doctrinal pretzel, which makes it virtually impossible for the average Christian to discern.

    However, Craig, you have reversed the process, exposed the ingredients that Johnson uses in his Scripture-twisting recipe, and have unwound his doctrinal pretzel for the world to see.

    I pray that God will richly bless your efforts, and use your vital research to open the eyes of those who have fallen prey to Bill Johnson’s manipulation.

    Bud Press, Research Consultant,
    Christian Research Service

  6. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Craig,

    Thanks for Part 2. You wrote, “This is known as cognitive dissonance, the uncomfortable feeling in holding two conflicting views at once, which results in some sort of action to alleviate this feeling in this case which may be either by 1) rejecting the negative thought that the conclusion is unorthodox or illogical while mentally inserting one’s own orthodox or logical conclusion instead; or, 2) just dismissing the conclusion as a misunderstanding on the reader/hearer’s part; or, 3) assuming the speaker simply misspoke.

    From my own experience, this very thing happened frequently. I used point #1 to settle the question. For example, it is often stated in our church that God wants to takes us to the “next level”. Of course, the Bible does not talk about “levels” in the Christian life. It does, however, talk about growing in Christ. So I adjusted my “receptors” and understood that term to mean spiritual growth.

    But in the hypercharismatic realm, advancing levels in the kingdom means a higher function in the “anointing”. This can mean almost anything from going deeper in “soaking”, more visions, operating in the prophetic, etc. Whereas spiritual growth is learning humility, growing in patience and wisdom and faith, more extensive knowledge of the Word, etc.

  7. Craig says:

    YesNa,

    Actually, this is not part II as this is sort of ‘bridge’ to part II. It will be referenced as a hyperlink so that I won’t have to make part II any longer than I know it’s going to be.

    Thanks for you comment on cognitive dissonance. Interestingly, in New Age there ARE levels (as in Gnosticism as well) as each one gets the individual closer to attaining godhood. Two articles ago I show how Johnson makes it sound as though increasing “repentance” brings one increasing levels of ‘seeing’ the Kingdom. Obviously, a similar concept to what you’ve experienced and similar to the New Age. While doing more research, I found this BJ quote which concisely illustrates this idea:

    Many Christians repent enough to get forgiven, but not enough to see the Kingdom.

    As I read Johnson I believe this ‘not repenting enough’ means to be ‘merely’ initial conversion; but, once you get “the anointing” you are on the path to increase your ‘seeing’ into the Kingdom. This parallels a New Age concept.

  8. Justin says:

    Is this entire blog dedicated to throwing the first stone? What is edifying about anything you say here? If we are called to follow Christ and become love, you can spend all of your time writing about other Christians you find faults with. Does anyone not agree?

  9. Craig says:

    It was Bill Johnson who ‘threw the first stone’ back in 2003 with the publishing of this book and it was aimed right at Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We are called to follow Christ, the REAL Jesus Christ of the Bible, not the one Bill Johnson preaches.

    You’re not throwing the first stone at me, are you?

  10. Tim Bain says:

    Justin, I invested 15 years of my life in my former church, establishing relationships, kids were baptised there, baby dedicated, etc. I was very involved there as was my whole family. Then the Bethel (BJ) effect hit and in a few short months I finally realized the leadership was not going to reconcider their “new” direction .Things were “happening” and those who protested were to be ignored . Think about it …. how many families across the country (globe!) had to uproot from what they thought was good soil because of the “bethel effect” on their churches leadership. It is not just a minor addition or trivial temp. program tagged on …. IT TAKES OVER THE WHOLE CHURCH !! it affects every ministry and you have to make a choice to go with it or leave.When a church embraces this stuff it more often then not results in a “split”. I really don’t think the folks that express stong feelings about this issue are just armchair critics that like throwing rocks to start fights.

  11. Arwen4CJ says:

    ‘Throwing stones’ seems to be another NAR/hyper-charismatic term that is used a lot when talking about those who have anything negative to say about their favorite teachers. When I questioned the the things that were going on in the church that I left, I was accused of ‘throwing stones’ at those whose doctrines I questioned.

    I think it’s supposed to be a reference to the biblical practice of stoning, specifically the woman caught in adultery. That’s my guess.

    Basically, saying anything negative = throwing a stone

    I’d never heard anyone use that term until this fall when I wrote my e-mail about my concerns with the Voice of Apostles web conference that they were offering to the church.

    I simply stated my concerns about the teachers that they were going to show (Randy Clark, Bill Johnson, and Heidi Baker) and the doctrines that these individuals taught. They saw my questioning of these people as ‘throwing stones.’

    I’m convinced that this ‘stone throwing’ language is being used because of the fact that they do not like critical thinking (and by critical thinking I’m talking about the concept that college professors want their students to use when reading and examining material — basically reasoning — not viewing everything negatively, as some might think.)

    I don’t know what these hyper-charismatics would have thought of Paul or Jesus or any of the Old Testament prophets when they questioned the doctrine and practices of people in their time.

    Justin, we are called to test everything. We must. Jesus told us to do this — we are commanded to guard our doctrine closely.

  12. Craig says:

    Well, I suppose stating that someone is “throwing the first stone” is better than claiming they have a “religious spirit” which results eventually in a “demonic presence” and the individual therefore has an antichrist spirit as Johnson does in this book.

  13. Carolyn says:

    Justin…pillowy, soft, undefinable, esoteric, experiential, flowery definitions of love calling all who don’t give a care in the world about concise doctrine to jump into a tributary of mysticism and ride the waves of error with them into the unknowable areas of the New Apostolic doctrine.
    Romans 16
    17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    In my Bible, love is telling the truth. And you had better be sure of your doctrine because Satan is a master at twisting doctrine for his own agenda. He has ONE agenda and MANY lies.

    God has ONE truth and it is Christ. Not the New Age Christ. Not the Anti Christ, not the New Apostolic Christ and not the Christ of our imagination and experience. It is the Christ, the Word, unchangeable, undisputible and unredefinable. Justin…dig into the Word for your wisdom. That’s the ONLY place you will find it….and the truth about love, ours and God’s.

  14. Carolyn says:

    Satan’s agenda. He intends to be worshipped as God. Right now he is worshipped by Satanists and Occultists and New Agers as God and he has prepared the apostate church to worship him as well…by following the false “annointing” doctrine, with hands raised, feelings of ecstacy, the emptying of the mind and iconic worship, etc. These have all been preparations for leading the whole world into worshipping him AS GOD.

    We know Satan’s agenda…what I think we are discussing, is How He is achieving it. That is what the discussion on Antichrist is all about. We MUST define GOD, or we WILL find ourselves worshipping some version of God other than the Biblical one, in other words, Antichrist.

  15. Rob says:

    I don’t know where you people are, but I am just north of Charlotte, NC where the majority of these people (or the remnants) are headquartered. Rick Joyner & deceivbles are in the old PTL Heritage building, they have spawned “River” movements all over, placing 1 or 2 of their people in churches & trying to take over. This has been going on for about 20 years or more. My sister kept questioning me about this man that was coming to their church and kept giving out ‘prophecies’ all during the service. If the pastor didn’t acquiesce, the member who got the ‘prophet’ there (powerful influence) would show out. I went and low & behold it was Bob Jones….he launched into one of his ‘prophecies’ and it was nothing but blubbering & hogwash. I told her the man was a charlatan, tell the pastor how they felt, if he didn’t stop it they should leave the church. He finally did stop him, big church split, the pastor resigned, Bob Jones moved back to Morning Star and the church was left in ruins. It is so sad people don’t know the word…the biggest problem facing the world today……The great apostasy of 2 Thess 2:3 that signals the end

  16. Craig says:

    Rob,

    Bob Jones is spriritually a very dangerous man. While he is not the subject of this particular post, Jones is an occasional guest speaker at Bill Johnson’s Bethel church and is specifically listed as a “friend” on one of Johnson’s sites.

    Yes, the Great Apostasy.

  17. Mary Matthews (MaryM007) says:

    Bob Jones is one of the common threads that runs through all of these ‘ministries’… he was instrumental to Mike Bickel/IHOP (in fact, when Bickel first met him he felt like he was a false prophet – but ignored the feeling – that would be ‘judging’, I guess), Todd Bentley/Rick Joyner/Patricia King, John Arnott/Toronto, Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, and on and on….they are all basing their ‘way’ on prophecies/words given by Jones to one degree or another.

  18. Craig says:

    Mary,

    You are correct, of course. Also important, although less so now it seems, is Paul Cain.

  19. Arwen4CJ says:

    While I do believe that God can give someone the gift of prophecy, I strongly believe that it is supposed to be used for the building up of the church, not its destruction.

    I think it’s far to easy for people to be lured into the idea of prophecy….and that a counterfeit prophecy (false prophecy) power can really lead people away from God. I think this counterfeit prophetic thing is a big part of why so many people have been deceived.

    I mean, if someone seems to prophecy good things about you — things that you’ve dreamed about or would really like to happen, then a person is a lot less likely to test the doctrines of the person who gave such a prophecy. If a person seems to say something and it comes true, or if they appear to have knowledge about someone — that’s very powerful. That’s also the reason that people get snared into following psychics.

    Satan will do whatever he can to pull people away from God. That’s ultimately what happens when people start following false prophets and psychics. Instead of trusting God, they are trusting in another person’s “ability.”

    Bob Jones and those he has influenced are leading people deeper and deeper into the occult. They are leading people away from the God of the Bible and away from sound doctrine.

    That was Vineyard’s mistake. They trusted in false prophets who promised great things for the movement…..and they never fully eradicated this stuff from the movement. I hope they do sometime….I still pray for the Vineyard on all levels.

  20. Craig says:

    Regarding Vineyard: Did you see my two part article on the history of KCF (roots of IHOP) and Vineyard?

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/did-ernie-gruen-recant-his-%e2%80%98aberrant-practices%e2%80%99-documentregarding-kansas-city-fellowshipgrace-ministries/

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/in-exonerating-paul-cain-is-the-%e2%80%98aberrant-practices%e2%80%99-document-invalidated/

    Of interest is that James A. Beverley [Holy Laughter & the Toronto Blessing: An Investigative Report. 1995, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI] specifically stated that some of Jones’ ‘prophecies’ were given after the fact as I note in the 2nd article above. Here’s a summation of both at the end of the 2nd article above:
    _________________________

    Let’s compare this “drought prophecy” to the circumstances surrounding the 1988
    “earthquake prophecy.” Jack Deere initially ‘misquoted’ the timing of the
    second earthquake, however later he recalled “in vivid detail” the ‘facts’ of
    this “prophecy.” As shown above, Deere had difficulty with details of a
    “prophecy” of a much more personal nature with both conflicting and added
    details coming later, so his memory would seem to be questionable. Mike Bickle
    would also incorrectly record the timing of the second earthquake in his 1996
    book Growing in the Prophetic. John Wimber later was unsure whether it was
    actually predicted or not.

    The circumstances surrounding the “drought prophecy” are similarly troubling.
    Given that the “drought prophecy” was initially one of no rain with very
    specific parameters including a drought-breaking rain on a specified date, it’s
    odd that the final Wimber (and/or Deere) version is one of limited rainfall, a
    different starting date, and no specified drought-breaking end date but instead
    a rather nebulous “early October” ending. To quote Beverley: “…many of Bob
    Jones predictions were announced ex post facto
    105 – after the fact.
    Given the evolving nature of the “drought prophecy,” was it among those announced
    after the fact despite the claim to the contrary?

    In each case there is no recorded proof either in written form or in audio to
    confirm these “prophecies” were given in advance. Given that the “earthquake
    prophecy” was to validate Cain’s message to the Vineyard and the “drought
    prophecy” was to provide legitimacy to the KCF “movement,” why weren’t these
    “prophecies” recorded in such a manner to prove their veracity? Absent any sort
    of proof, it would be prudent to remain skeptical – especially given the
    circumstances as outlined above in each of these.

    If Cain were to have remained discredited in the Gruen Document, this could cast
    further doubt on the legitimacy of Cain’s “earthquake prophecy” which would in
    turn cast a long shadow on the Vineyard in general as it was Cain’s message
    which validated the Vineyard involvement in the “prophetic movement” in the
    first place. With stakes this high, the pressure to discredit the Gruen
    Document and to exonerate Cain must have been enormous.
    ______________________________________

  21. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    Yes, I think I did see your articles regarding Kansas City Fellowship/IHop.

    I have to say that I am very thankful that IHOP, Bob Jones, Jack Deere, Paul Cain, and many of the other “prophets” are no longer officially associated with the Vineyard. This, of course, does not mean that no Vineyard pastor or church associates themselves with these people. I know that there are Vineyards that do.

    In fact, some people in the Vineyard consider Bob Jones, specifically, to be a heretic. (Those same individuals would probably consider the others to be in error as well.)

    However, this doesn’t take away the fact that these people certainly played an important role in the Vineyard, at one time. I read the forward to the Hank Hanegraaff “Counterfeit Revival.” If the Vineyard leader who wrote that testimony gave an honest account, which I don’t see any reason to doubt, then the “prophets” had a major role in Vineyard leadership at one point in time.

    Since the movement has not been decisive on these things — I have not seen an official recant of the Toronto Blessing or the prophets, and since Vineyard allows a variety of theological ideas, there are churches that are running around that still promote this stuff. There are others that are against it. I really wish Vineyard would speak out about this, and that there would be public repentance for what happened in the movements past. I wish they would say, “these people are false teachers.”

    This hunger for prophetic words to be fulfilled really is the downfall of this and other charismatic/Pentecostal type churches. I remember someone prophesying that the Vineyard congregation that I left would get a certain building. People were all excited about it. Then it didn’t happen. There were other prophecies that were given that were similar. I don’t know how people can tolerate false prophecies for years and years and years.

    It doesn’t surprise me that false prophets and their accomplices would announce things ex post facto. If they are out to deceive people, then that would be “proof” that they get things right some of the time. However, I do not doubt that false prophets are sometimes given correct words as well — like in the forward to the book — where the “prophets” give specific details about people’s childhoods or their lives.

    I know for a fact that Satan can seem to “give” people a sort of counterfeit prophecy. I witnessed this in a wiccan college student my freshmen year. I started college in the fall of 2001. A few days before 9/11, I remember she told me she was terrified because she knew that something really bad would happen on Tuesday. She didn’t know what it was, but she was scared. I believe that she had this knowledge from occult means. This wouldn’t have been difficult for demons to let her know because they could have inspired the people to carry it out.

    That is one major reason why I do not doubt a demon’s ability to correctly “predict” something, if the purpose is to lead people away from God — if the purpose is to kill, steal, and destroy. If a person can be deceived into thinking that someone is speaking for God if they can give correct information regarding a person, then I think they are going to do it. I think God allows it because these people have abandoned sound doctrine.

    I do not trust any word that has ever come from Cain. From the information you provided, it seems to me that Cain deceived people in the Vineyard regarding the earthquake prophecy, and that people wanted to see what they believed. Since they wanted Vineyard to be special, of course they would read into the prophecy, editing it as they went. This should have proved Cain to be false.

  22. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Arwen4CJ:

    I have been in a Charismatic church for 17 years. A few years ago I was in a hypercharismatic church. The pastor there said that a (personal) prophecy depends on the person receiving it. For example, if a prophecy states that one is going to walk in greater fullness and see a financial increase, etc., the requirement is for the individual to live in such a way as to receive it. In other words, if it doesn’t come to pass, it is the person’s fault, not God’s. Sure takes the spotlight off the so-called prophet. What deception! I am coming to see things more clearly as I understand law vs. grace. This stuff is all “law”– requirements. And it puts sheep into a great bondage, which is what the law does.

    When a prophet predicts an earthquake, hurricane, etc., it now becomes the responsibility of the super anointed sheep to take authority over it and bind it. If the event didn’t happen, they can claim their victory and credit. (Of course, they give God all the credit, but it’s really because we prayed in our new super- technique anointing.)

    This doesn’t account for the ex-post facto prophecies. But with all the deception going around, who notices such trivial details anyway? After all, Bonke is growing legs, arms, eyes in Africa and raising folks from the dead. He’s a Christian, after all. Why wouldn’t we believe every thing that is said?

    I think, too, that much of this stems from pride/a fear of man. Jesus talked much about faith and the lack of it. Not many works done in His own country because of their unbelief…faith to move a mountain…faith of the Centurion, etc. We have to prove our faith, so we’ll believe for great, impossible things. The stakes are high. Peoples’ lives are in the balance. We must pray the cancer away. If you don’t have faith to believe in a miracle healing, don’t come to the prayer service or visit the person in the hospital. No unbelief allowed here. (Actually had that told to me.)

    Of course, we must pray in faith believing. However, there is balance. But we have long ago gone over the edge of this spiritually destructive cliff. I was raised in a Baptist church where I heard so many glum and defeated prayers. I understand there is a prayer of faith, hope and expectation. But there must also be an acceptance of God’s purposes in grace.

    This hurts the youngest sheep the most. One boy needed surgery for a congenital defect. The parents asked for prayer. Another member got up and rebuked the church for not believing in a miracle. The entire service was wrenched away and a great “move” of prayer and praise for God’s miracle that was “already accomplished in the Spirit”. I did not join in. Because of other circumstances the surgery was cancelled only to be rescheduled 2 weeks later. What did it do to the little boy’s heart and faith in God?

    Similarly, another boy was born with a debilitating disease very similar to cerebral palsy. From the time of his infancy until he was about 10 or 11, the children of the church were taught to pray for his healing. What did it tell him? “There’s something wrong with you. You need to be fixed.” The youth of our church in this age group are extremely rebellious and disrespectful of all authority. Could anger against God and spiritual leadership be part of the cause, because the boy has never been “healed”? My heart breaks.

  23. Arwen4CJ says:

    YesNaSpanishTown,

    At the time of some of the prophecies in the congregation that I’m speaking of, the people were not really hyper-charismatic…at least not in the sense that we see in Bill Johnson and similar ministries. Yes, there were people giving personal prophecies to individuals, and some of them were false words.

    The first three years I went there, I ignored the false prophecies because it wasn’t a huge part of the church. The pastor preached orthodox doctrine and every sermon led back to the gospel. He confronted real sin in his sermons, etc. I liked the church a lot even though there were a few people who gave prophecies way too often, in my opinion. Now, there weren’t prophecies given every week or whatever, just at certain times — like when they were trying to figure out what to do with getting a new building.

    I do believe that the way they handled prophecies was wrong, and I think that they needed to put more restriction on them, but they were not what people focused on at that time in that church. I do see, however, how specific people in the church did put too much focus on this stuff. Those who did began to feel discouraged. There were also individuals in the church who thought that it should be more hyper-charismatic, but the pastor must have had some guidelines in this area and didn’t have an anything goes policy.

    Well, that pastor’s wife died and ended up getting remarried. When he got remarried, he left the church. There was a period of time between his leaving and the new pastor coming in which there was no senior pastor. It was during this period of time that the whole “revival” in Florida happened with Todd Bentley. Some in the church tried to bring that into it, however it wasn’t something that they brought up during regular worship, but it was at an extended time of worship that very few people attended that they brought it up. I was there, and I walked out when they invited people forward to receive an ‘impartation.” I couldn’t stand it. I wanted no part of that “revival.” I wrote an e-mail to some of the leaders in the church and shared my concerns with them. They prayerfully considered what I said, and they made a decision that they wanted nothing to do with Todd Bentley or the revival. I wasn’t there at there discussions, but that was the ultimate outcome.

    Well, in late summer to early fall of that year, they hired a new pastor. This new pastor is the one that I have written about before. He is certainly more hyper-charismatic than the previous pastor, having once attended Dutch Sheets’ church. He is slowly bringing in NAR doctrine and practices. That’s why I ended up leaving the church. The gospel was no longer being preached and the pastor wouldn’t take my concerns seriously. In effect, they showed me that they were going to follow this new pastor in whatever direction he led the church. The pastor called me an elder brother, said something must be wrong with my relationship with God, and said I had taken it upon myself to be doctrine police.

    So…there’s actually a continuum in regard to things like prophecy. With the old pastor, there was no sort of explanation for why a personal prophecy might not come true. There was no blame given to anyone. There was no faith language used. I would guess that this is probably the way it is in most churches before they accept all the hyper-charismatic doctrine.

    Hyper-charismatic doctrine forms on an as needed basis. Some early in the movement probably were feeling discouraged, so an explanation was created for why things didn’t happen. The church I left isn’t quite there yet…or wasn’t the last time I was there.

    What I’m trying to say is your description of what happened in the hyper charismatic churches you’ve been a part of isn’t necessarily how all people in all charismatic churches think.

  24. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Arwen4CJ:

    Yes, I agree with you. I wasn’t trying to say that it is how all people in Charismatic churches think. However, as we well know, once these “teachings” get started they spread and it becomes more common or the standard. “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Cor. 15:33.

    I made the statement by way of information–just another way of opening the door for false teachers and prophets to spread their lies.

  25. Arwen4CJ says:

    Thank you for the clarification. I do appreciate the explanation. It does demonstrate the lengths that some leaders will go in order to try to justify false teachings. It certainly makes the false teachings and practices even worse by turning the recipients of the false prophecies into victims.

    I think that your comment is valuable in showing what is going on in some hyper-charismatic churches, and why it is so hard for some in these churches not to leave — instead of judging the prophecies from biblical means, they assume that the fault was with them instead.

    Your explanation does help to explain why a large number of people in this movement do not leave due to the false prophecies given. I wondered how so many people could still follow after Bob Jones and Dutch Sheets and the others.

    It’s really good to hear the perspective of others and hear about their experiences because it does help make sense of things. :)

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood your response earlier.

  26. Tim Bain says:

    This is good, I too come from a life long Charasmatic background I have experienced dynamic miracles multiple times ,I believe in the gifts-all of them but being Charismatic by no means requires me to accept the NAR teachings on it.The scripture tells us there must needs be herisies (divisions ) among us in order that the Truth might become known more clearly. We must hold on to that which is sure and reject the false…but not throw the “baby out with the bathwater” even when discovering the right balanced perspective seems so difficult. that is a key benifit to blogs like this one. keep diggin’ cause those who read this will be much more alert to that… and remember we will always have THE more sure word of prophecy (as long as its king james of course..lol)

  27. Carolyn says:

    Hi Guys. Good comments. May I chime in with a couple of thoughts.

    Re: the pastor that said that you had taken it upon yourself to be the doctrine police. That’s nonsense. We should all be doctrine police. There would be less doctrine criminals.
    1 Peter 5:8
    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

    Do these people know what they are doing? I believe that there are three kinds of people in the church.
    The first kind are deceivers who are deliberately trying to push a New Age agenda of Paradigm Shift by prophetic chaos, Catholic mystical practice and/or Babylonish whoredom. They are tearing down all the old ways in order to bring about this transformation. And of course they are being led by the spirits of antichrist.
    Secondly there are those pastors that are caught up in the mileu with an appreciation for the excitement of numbers, the climate of change, the atmosphere of being part of something big and a sense of going places…success in their chosen field.
    And thirdly there are those who have no idea what is happening…they are being slowly and most certainly indoctrinated while having their latte, watching the latest rock concert in a church building and/or rolling on the floor, too intoxicated to think about anything but the ecstatic moment.

    Jeremiah 6:15-17 (King James Version)

    15Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
    16Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
    17Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

    Reminder to us all: There is One who sees all, as a matter of fact, he sits in the heavens and laughs at those who conspire against him. Ps. 2. We can know that nothing escapes his notice. But our one hope is to tie ourselves to the old paths, the word of truth and remain standing when everyone else around us is falling. Incidently…anyone know much about shaktipat? It’s a study in itself but it describes what’s happening in the church with the laying on of hands and people falling backwards under their (anointed) touch. We, on the other hand need to stand!

  28. Arwen4CJ says:

    Right about saying we should all be doctrine police. I think you are correct about there being different types of Christians out there. However, only God knows which category they fall into. I cannot judge people’s hearts.

    I guess I would state it a little differently:
    Type 1 = People who are knowingly in allegiance with Satan and demons — they would purposely be trying to lead the church away from God and get people to contact demons. These people know what they are doing. The New Age ideas just happen to be part of false spirituality, which is inspired by demons. The problem isn’t the New Age itself, but rather where those beliefs lead a person — to ultimately follow after Satan. These people may say they contact “angels,” and they would know full well that they were demons. They would try to trick other people down that path, and they would do whatever it would take. It wouldn’t matter if the people knew they were actually following demons or not. Maybe only the people in leadership would have to know. Yes, these would be informed deceivers.

    Type 2 = People who do not know that they are actually contacting demons or participating in occult activity. These people might sincerely believe that they are following after Christ and they may have good intentions. However, they are deceived themselves, and thus they deceive others. Yes, they may care about numbers and excitement and whatnot — but I think that they are sincere in that they want to see God move. They are fascinated by the supernatural and think they are not seeing power, something is wrong. They promote experiencing the supernatural at the expense of doctrine.

    Type 3 = Same as type 2, only more extreme. These people may or may not have the intention of wanting to follow after God. Perhaps they just want a party scene, and they see hyper-charismatic functions as a place to get the next high.

    Type 4 = True Christians who have been brought into this movement because of their sincerity of following after God. They are on fire for Him, and they think that He is moving at a particular church. If they are true Christians, then it won’t take them long to realize that the doctrine taught doesn’t line up with Scripture. They will either leave the church or they will become deceived themselves.

  29. Carolyn says:

    Arwen4CJ – It is good to see other’s perspective on what kind of people are in the apostate churches. Actually, there are many more than just 3 or 4 groups and everything in between. I guess my point (and yours) is that there are those that are “in the know” and those that are clueless followers, there for whatever reason. And then there are the true Christians who aren’t sitting in pews anymore. The sifting process has taken them out of the way of sinners and mockers and set them somewhere where they can meditate on the things of God and still be salt and light in this world until they are taken out of the world to be with the Lord forever.

    YesNaSpanishTown – what you are describing is witchcraft. The people have to perform some ritualistic (law) in order to get what they want. Performance and speaking the right words brings the desired results. Alternatively, God wants us to ask him for what we need. Simple as that.

    The reason we fall into these Satanic teachings is that we are asking God for what we need without faith because we are ignorant of the Word (and Satan’s devices). Therefore, we have the cart before the horse. We don’t know WHO God is and what he wants. Consequently, what becomes all important is what WE want. And how to get it is the next logical step. How to get it (without knowledge of God) is always based on works of the flesh be it “the law” or witchcraft (which is positive thinking, law of attraction, word of faith doctrine, secret societal doctrines, occult rituals etc.) What we do or say is central.

    Whereas when we know who God is, we can trust him, we can wait patiently, we can see things fall into place as he determines, we can cry to him and he will deliver us, we can acknowledge all his works to the children of mankind and have our faith built up, we can know the enemy that surrounds us and not be afraid because we know that he who is with us is greater than he that is in the world. The list is endless, but you get the picture.

    When we put the horse in front of the cart, everything is as it should be. Isn’t our God great!?

  30. Carolyn says:

    Ok just for the sake of discussion or to make us think, and I hope I am not being redundant…but to go along with my question of “Do these people (leaders in the churches) who are changing things in radical ways know what they are doing” I will follow it with another question: “If the leaders don’t know what they’re doing how is it that all the jargon and practices of the New Age are ending up in the church?

    Is it because:
    a. the leaders think words like paradigm shift, connect, goddess, transformation, change your DNA, convergence, awakening, Ascension, Lightening, Portal, …etc. ad infinity are cool and they just like to name their churches and conferences after them?
    b. is the world’s indoctrination via television, music, movies, media and books so pervasive that these words have quietly crept into their subconscious thinking and become part of their vocabulary?
    c. or have the leaders come in as hypocritical liars, deceivers, angels of light, wolves in sheep’s clothing who are changing things at level of evil conspiracy, and consciously and systematically
    dissolving the old order of Christianity so they can bring in a blasphemous work of the enemy of Christ?
    d. are the leaders who are working as children of disobedience knowledgeable of the hidden and secret meanings of the New Age symbols and phrases, numerology and secret language they are using or are they getting their ideas from outside marketers to grow their churches?
    e. is the seemingly chaotic thing that is happening in the churches, rather, an ordered, planned and diabolical invasion of darkness?

    Well, of course, the answer is yes to all the above. Obviously, there is a mastermind behind all that is happening in the churches. Those apostate Christians, in name only, who do not have the Spirit and have laid down their Bibles will continue to operate by the spirits of deception and under the principles of darkness as the diabolical orders are given and the planned ascension of Lucifer to his throne plays out. The dots of this kingdom of darkness are being connected with exponential speed.

    Although we don’t know individual’s motives, there is a Mastermind who does. It is the Living Word of God, the discerner of all things, by whose light we are able to see what is happening and where it is headed. He will divert us around the craters of deceit, as well as guide us to avoid the traps and enticements of evil both in ourselves and our leaders. As a great encouragement to us today:
    Hebrews 4 (King James Version)
    12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

  31. Arwen4CJ says:

    I agree that we do not battle against flesh and blood, but rather there are evil spirits that are deceiving people. If New Agers, pagans/wiccans, and certain “Christians” are all hearing from the same sources (demons), then it makes sense that those in these movements would come up with the same doctrines. These are doctrines taught by demons.

    Now, I do think that we need to pay more attention to the actual doctrine that is being taught by these groups rather than specific words or phrases that are used. This doesn’t mean that we should ignore the similar words and phrases, but I also think that we should be careful not to make assumptions based off of a word. Many words have more than one meaning, and it all depends on the context. I only say this because I’ve seen some very poorly done apologetic sites in which the author says, “The New Age uses this term and so does X group. Therefore they are teaching the New Age concept.”

    Now, if in context, they are using the word or phrase the same way that the occult does, then certainly expose it. If there is a practice that is done in the occult, and there is the exact same practice done in a Christian group, expose it.

    Now, as examples you brought up the following list:
    “paradigm shift, connect, goddess, transformation, change your DNA, convergence, awakening, Ascension, Lightening, Portal”

    Connect, transformation, convergence, and paradigm shift could be used to mean different things from what they mean in the New Age.

    I myself don’t like using the term ‘paradigm shift,’ but it has found meaning outside of the New Age movement. Many academic disciplines have begun using the term to mean a change in thinking in their particular field of study, such as a different theoretical model. I don’t like a pastor using it in church, but a pastor using it doesn’t mean that he’s using it in the New Age way. Maybe the pastor is trying to explain a different model or approach to evangelism, Christian education, service in the community, etc.

    Transformation is in itself a biblical concept — so it all depends on how it is defined and how it is used by a church.

    Convergence is a little odder, but it can be used in a sentence intelligently to mean something other than how the New Age would use it. If a pastor is using it, then he probably has a more educated congregation in which he could use a larger vocabulary. It isn’t a common word, and it isn’t used much in church, but I wouldn’t flag someone as a New Ager just because they used the term. As with the other words, I would need to see it used in context.

    Well, awakening and lightning or lightening might be used as an illustration to mean something non-New Age. They might say something like “When someone trusts in Christ, then that person often finds that the load they have been carrying around is lightened,” or something like that. Again, context would be essential.

    Hey, and ascension could definitely be used in church if the pastor is talking about Jesus’ ascension into heaven after His resurrection.

    Context means everything, which I’m sure you already know :) I just say that because of what I’ve seen on other people’s websites. If we’re going to have a discussion about that, I just wanted to make sure to point that out.

    Also, it might be helpful to the discussion if we used the term ‘occult’ rather than just ‘New Age’ because occult is broader, and it encompasses the New Age. I also think that using the term ‘occult’ keeps it in the front of our minds that we are dealing with demonic powers. That’s just my opinion. If others want to use ‘New Age,’ that is all right with me. I’ve used it before, but I’m going to personally try to use ‘occult’ most of the time instead.

    Oh, one quick question. Are some churches really using the term ‘goddess’ in a positive way? I think I’ve heard of certain hyper-charismatic leaders using all of the other terms in occult ways, but I haven’t heard of them using the term goddess.

  32. TimBain says:

    Carolyn, there’s an article written by Albert James Dager called “Kingdom Theology”
    ( http://www.harvestnet.org/revref/kingdom1.htm ) that I found extremely helpful in regards to the origins of many of the common themes and terminology ones encounters in this maze of mixture we are up against. Its a bit of a “read” but well worth it even for someone who came out of this “stuff”. I found the info on “Franklin Hall” and of course “William Branham” most intriguing …gold dust ,glory cloud, extreme fasting etc. its all there and a bucket load of new age, occultic ,teaching ta’ boot. I wish those who think we’re crazy for opposing this “stuff” would read this too and realize how far amiss the “movement ” they defend really is! nothin’ new under the sun…

  33. Craig says:

    Tim,

    I’ve got a section on Branham here since both Johnson and Kris Vallotton promoted him. Here’s a snippet:

    Branham also taught that all Christian denominations lacked full revelation (Branham’s, that is), that denominations were the mark of the beast [Rev 13:16], and, thus, all those attending denominational churches were not really saved and are, in fact, antichrist.8 All congregants of denominations are actually the pale horse, death, of the fourth seal of Revelation [Rev 6:7-8] and will be killed off by the collective white horses made up of Jesus and the ‘church’ [Rev 19:14].

    Notice a pattern re: antichrist?

    Also, in this article on Paul Cain and Kansas City Fellowship is something on Branham as comparison:

    Cain’s admitted association with and promotion of William Branham as “the greatest prophet that ever lived” raises an associated question as there are those who believe Branham was an agent of the occult. Kurt Koch relates that Branham was limited in his healing: “if my angel does not give the sign, I cannot heal.”42 The following, in his book Occult A-B-C, provides more indication of occultism:

    Another evidence [of spiritistic (occult) healing] is the fact that…Branham [was unable] to perform cures when faced with born-again Christians who had committed themselves to the protection of [Jesus] Christ…When he [Branham] spoke in Karlsruhe and Lausanne, there were several believers in the audience – including myself – who prayed along these lines: “Lord, if this man’s powers are from You, then bless and use him, but if the healing gifts are not from You, then hinder him.” The result? On both occasions Branham said from the platform, “There are disturbing powers here, I can do nothing.”
    __________________________________

    Disturbing powers?

  34. Craig says:

    Tim,

    The material you reference of Dager is available in his full length book Vengeance Is Ours which is available at Media Spotlight. I highly recommend the book as an overall view of hyper-charistmaticism, its roots (Latter Rain, occult, etc), Theosophical roots of parts of ‘Christianity’, etc. I’ve referenced Dager’s work on here.

  35. Arwen4CJ says:

    Wow….that article that TimBain linked……

    That is exactly the kind of thing that I’ve been looking for — a good article by someone who believes that the spiritual gifts are still for today, but who also is disturbed by some of the stuff going on, coming to the conclusion that some of what is done by hyper-charismatics is demonic in origin.

    Very good stuff! I’ll have to read that book, since Craig has informed us that it is part of a book :)

  36. Mary Matthews (MaryM007) says:

    They don’t believe they can be deceived – ‘we don’t worry about what the devil does’. They think because there are all the signs and wonders going on around them, that they must be on the right track. They have each others’ new revelations that they stand on as gospel – ignoring Paul’s warnings about not going beyond what is written.

    Sin, repentance, salvation doesn’t matter anymore – it’s all about the kingdom and signs and wonders. Jesus is on the level of man and man is on the level of God. Because Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration with Moses and Elijah – they too can converse with the ‘dead’ – and ‘absorb’ and get ‘recharged’ with their annointings from their graves…Everything is spiritual to them – and spiritual means from God. They also see themselves as equal with Jesus – the older brother – forgetting that He is God – that He is unique – and not the same as us.

    They say eat the meat and spit out the bones – only they don’t define what bones are. They also quote 1 Thes 5:21 “test all things, hold fast what is good”…only they need to have the same definition of ‘good’ that God does. Just because we think something is good – doesn’t mean God does. His thoughts are higher than ours and if we are calling something good that is actually evil then woe to us. Matthew 7:21 speaks of those who prophesied in His name, cast out demons in His name and did many wonders in His name – and yet, Jesus will say to them He never knew them….something was missing – they were doing good – but not God’s ‘good’. In fact, Jesus said they were practicing lawlessness!

    In my opinion – because the ‘power’ appealed to their pride – lust of the flesh – (like Simon the sorcerer), they probably took classes on these subjects (how to heal, prophesy, cast out demons, raise the dead, etc.) but they were not born again – We remain in the kingdom of darkness until we are – He doesn’t know us if we are not born again. And since they rarely, if at all, mention sin and repentance anymore, so as not to offend, they remain in darkness. Even Satan and the demons know Jesus and tremble. I do believe that these signs and wonders follow us as we preach the gospel – by the sovereignty of God as He works through us – not because we ‘know how to do it’ – for without Him we can do nothing.

  37. Craig says:

    …they probably took classes on these subjects (how to heal, prophesy, cast out demons, raise the dead, etc.)…

    You mean perhaps like BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry)?

    In occult lingo the devil (in Alice Bailey, the “Black Lodge”) is actually things of God. Everything is flipped on its head. Isn’t there a Scripture about ‘right’ being ‘wrong’ and ‘wrong’ being ‘right’ near the end?…

  38. TimBain says:

    Craig, Thanks for the book reference,I may just purchase a couple copies…I’m one that comprehends best when I look at things from the broader perspective, Dager sure covers that!
    You… went to a Branham meeting ?( for a moment there I felt “young” again ) My dad was at the Sharon Bible School in 48′ and my folks followed Jim Watt after he left N.Battleford…I was just a lad at the time but got plenty of “exposure” growing up in those circles. My Dad really took it hard when his “hero’s” of the faith started being exposed…kinda shut down in `a manner of speaking. I pray this generation isn’t lost to the same deception and blame God for it… so MANY of them.
    anyway … I was just thinking with regard to William Branham,the fact that he is held in such high regard by Johnson and the others demonstrates how desperate they are to “qualify” their actions, they seem to always have to Push it or Pull it to make things “work” can’t just trust and rest in a finished work.
    If only this generation was more aware of things that happened what seems like just a short time ago. We’ve been debating things that took place 2000 years ago when just 50 could make a huge difference as well.

  39. Craig says:

    Tim,

    No, sorry to confuse – I did not go to a Branham meeting, I’m much too young. I was quoting from a book by Kurt Koch (see link in the comment for full context).

  40. Mary Matthews (MaryM007) says:

    Craig, yes, I should have put quotes around ‘classes’. :)

    Also, your point about ‘cognitive dissonance’ explains so much about why those who have been believers for a long time and are staying in the whole Bethel/Toronto ‘group’. They are filtering what Johnson (& others) say through their own understanding and assume that that’s what he/they meant instead of what he/they actually said – or they doubt themselves that they may have heard wrong – but are afraid to stand up and say anything (not wanting to appear ‘picky’) – peer pressure is huge in this – no one wants to look like they just aren’t ‘spiritual’ enough to ‘get it’ – which leads to more ‘classes’…(‘classes’ that are saturated in eastern mysticism).

    Just for quick reference, Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;” – Again, it’s imperative that our definition of ‘good’ is the same as God’s. Just like a child would think it was ‘good’ to have ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – we as adults know it is not (I know, bad example? :)). In the same way, we may think it’s good to heal the sick, etc., but God says it is lawlessness….(because they ‘learned how to’ in eastern mysticism/doctrines of devils).

  41. TimBain says:

    Craig, I guess that’s what I get for staying up so late last nite (thinking you had been at a Branham meeting…) and eating too much ice cream! as my kids say “my bad”

  42. Craig says:

    Tim,

    LOL :) No problem. Sometimes I do put a LOT of information out which I’m sure can be confusing if one skims the material.

  43. Carolyn says:

    FYI – Sorry to abandon the discussion…just recovering from a raging migraine. I’ll be back tomorrow to add my 2 cents worth. Thanks for replies. Skimmed some posts but not much can sink in.

  44. Craig says:

    Ugh, sorry about your migraine. I pray you’ll be well soon.

  45. Carolyn says:

    Thanks Craig. Much better today. I can tell you that the last thing I wanted to think about for the last two days were the ins and outs of the occult and the New Age.

    Tim, I have bookmarked the article…thanks and I will read later. Looks like a long one.

    Arwen4CJ – What you will not get from me is a finely-articulated point-form apologetic masterpiece. Although I would like to be able to write that way, it’s just not there. I do appreciate those that can and of course, Craig is one of “those” kind.

    Where to start…there is so much.

    Regarding the words that are appearing in church advertisements and billboards, and conference ads, etc; true they could be just everyday words but many times they are accompanied by symbols that are secret occult symbols. You might see a man pouring out a pitcher which is a New Age symbol for the Age of Aquarius or some waves. Or you might see the word Fusion together with a triple helix. Once you know the meaning behind some of the symbols, it causes you to do a double take.

    Satan’s so called dark secrets of fusing the heavenly with the earthly, as above so below, mixing the seed of the angels with the seed of men and/or transforming the old DNA with a strand of new and so making us into immortals and trans humans is becoming the accepted hope for mankind among the New World Order. Rather than the hope of the ages which is Christ Jesus, the world is opting for this alternative, evil plan of Satan’s.

    You didn’t see the word goddess in church ads. The whole “goddess” idolatry, also known as Mystery Babylon, aka Isis, aka Diana, aka Ashthoreth, aka Ishtar, aka Queen of Heaven, Mary the Mother of God, aka Sophia, aka Shekinah, aka the Divine Feminine in the Godhead, aka the Holy Spirit aka the Annointing is being swallowed by the disciples of the New World Order as well as the Apostles of the New Reformation.

    For the sake of space…here’s just one example of the goddess showing up. I saw her in an advertisement for a Women’s Conference called Sophia Logos 2011 put on by Crossroads, Women of Worth WOW (website). As it turns out they have ties to the Pensacola Revival.

    The goddess, Shekinah…well….you have seen her showing up in many churches. According to some ministers, it is the ritual of a husband and wife coming together that will birth the Shekinah glory of God. This sexual obsession in the pulpits and billboards…where is it going? How quickly will we get to the place where the pagan sexual rituals performed by temple prostitutes to signify and seal one’s initiation into godhood will be accepted? The idea has already taken root by leaps.

    Another place where Shekinah shows up…is where God, the divine male, joins together with the divine spark within man causing the “Shekinah” (the divine feminine) glory to be released, the Anointing to be “released”, “birthed”, “born again”…where have we heard that before?

    There is a flood of New Age, occult spiritual wickedness spreading through the assemblies of Christendom. Where once there was purity of faith, there is now this mixture with paganism. The goddess doctrine is nothing new to Catholicism. Those who don’t check out their doctrines with the Bible, are just going with the flow straight back into the arms of Catholic and pagan idolatry.

    What can we do except blow the trumpet, sound the alarm…

  46. Carolyn says:

    Tim: Being raised Pentecostal, I witnessed the same thing with my dad’s spiritual heros of the faith being exposed. Particularly PTL with Jim Bakker. Wow, my parents sacrificed what little they had to go to their meetings and support them and they got their paraphernalia ….sort of like teenage groupies. My mom flew to William Branham’s meeting down in Chicago in desperation to get a healing for her special needs (Downs Syndrome) baby. She was disappointed, of course, but continued to follow these occult personalities…Kathryn Khulman, Benny the HInn, Oral Roberts, Norman Vincent Peale and Morris Cerello…her favourites. The poor working class reaching out to the “stars”.

    Well, I haven’t yet sorted out my Pentecostal roots. My charismania evolved deeply into Word of Faith Doctrine and then NAR and shortly after that involvement, through a chain of events, my ill-fated Pentecostal paradigm went up in flames. (A blessing in disguise). My whole life was turned upside down and the only thing left standing for me was the Word. I can’t adequately describe the situation.

    But since that day, I find it easier to listen to people who have their feet firmly planted in the soil of common sense and who factually and logically live by the light of the Word. The cult of the personality is dead for me, as is any attempt to get close to God through efforts of fasting, long prayers, vain repetitions or trying to find God through mystical practices.

    My salvation was to get Word oriented. Those that are still in the movement, (old friends) are still as mystical and deceived as ever. No….., MORE mystical and MORE deceived than ever. I can’t reach them because they are not in the Word for themselves. Being raised with Bible stories and Pentecostal dogma, they are a law unto themselves, a society of elite worshippers.

    As an ex Pentecostal, I believe every born again Christian has the gifts of the Spirit fully in operation as the need arises and as Christ directs. I don’t believe you have to speak in tongues to prove you have the infilling of the Spirit. There is nothing to be done to increase our spirituality but to seek him with all our hearts and be hearers and doers of the Word. The bondage is gone, simplicity reigns.

    As the article by Dager relates, it is sad to see how Pentecostalism and the Latter Rain movement have transformed themselves into something so dark and disturbing. But considering the occult roots….could we expect anything different? It’s been a journey of evolution…and I’m in the generation that has seen it evolve. Will it now assimilate with all other religions into Mystery Babylon, Mother of Harlots and Abominations?…Come out of her my people, so that you will not share in her sins.

  47. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Carolyn,

    I have greatly appreciated your comments here and would like to correspond via email if you are willing. I will post my email if you agree.

  48. Craig says:

    YesNa,

    You don’t have to post your email. If Carolyn agrees I’ll send your email to her. This will keep it off the net and protect your privacy.

  49. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Thank you so much Craig!

  50. Craig says:

    You’re quite welcome!

  51. Carolyn says:

    Absolutely, send me the email address, Craig…..and thanks!

  52. Arwen4CJ says:

    Mary,

    It would appear that you are correct — most of them do not believe they can be deceived. Some do acknowledge that they can be, but these are people that haven’t fully given themselves over to deception. (The associate pastor of the church I left even preached on not being deceived. She said that every one of us can be deceived — but that was before the new pastor came. I think that she still believes that she and every other Christian can be deceived, but she doesn’t have as big a role in the church anymore. Even the senior pastor of the church I left sort of talked about not being deceived, but I don’t think he actually meant it as applying to what he himself was teaching. Rather, he was talking about not getting caught up in worldly stuff that occurred outside the church.)

    Hmmm….In the two churches that I’ve had experience with, I would say that they still care about sin, repentance, and salvation. However, these things are very much downplayed– the senior pastors don’t talk much about these issues. The kingdom and sings and wonders took precedence over the gospel. The emphasis was completely flipped from the way it should have been. I heard the pastor of the church in my hometown emphasize the essentials of the faith at a baptism ceremony, which was good to hear. The problem is that he hardly ever actually preaches on the topic.

    The pastor at the church in my graduate school town gave a twisted sermon on Easter several years ago. I remember him saying that it saddens him that many Christians do not live like Christ has been resurrected. He explained that many Christians don’t heal people, live in signs and wonders, etc. To him, it almost seemed like that was why Jesus rose from the dead — so that we could do signs and wonders. :( I never heard him explain the gospel even once. The previous pastor explained the gospel in almost every sermon, and was very solid in what he taught. Why can’t there be more pastors like that previous pastor?

    Wow — I guess that does make sense for them to use the transfiguration as seemingly giving a biblical okay to converse with the dead. But it’s hard for me to imagine that they are using the transfiguration passage to justify the idea of absorbing or get recharged with anointings from grave. The only possible way they can explain it using that passage is if they really are twisting the meaning and the events of that passage. They are ignoring the fact that God condemned the practice of talking to the dead, and Jesus was not instituting a sacrament when He was talking to Moses and Elijah. He did not instruct them to communicate with any dead person.

    Yes, I’ve come to realize that for hyper-charismatics spiritual means that it is from God, and that it is good. Yeah…they do seem to think they are equal with Jesus, and that they can do everything that He did.

    Yep — learned the ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones’ quote from the senior pastor of the church I left :( And you’re exactly right — neither he nor the elders of the church defined what bones were, nor what to do with it. They never brought up the subject of spoiled meat or bones that had hardly any meat on them. They never drew any sort of line of how much false teaching should a person be subjected. I agree — they seem to be calling good bad and bad good. There is not much reverence for God in their worship services. In fact, they seem to view reverence for God as someone having a ‘religious spirit.’

    I do think that there is pride involved in these churches, but I also am convinced that at least some of these people do honestly want to take classes like the ones you listed because they geuinely want to be used by God. I don’t know whether or not they were born again, only God does. I do think that there is a huge problem with not talking about the gospel, and if all the information they know about the Christian faith and Jesus comes from these churches, then they would not be born again. However, if some of these people were exposed to the real gospel in another setting, then some of them could be saved.

  53. Craig says:

    Yes, I’ve come to realize that for hyper-charismatics spiritual means that it is from God, and that it is good.

    This goes back to Gnostic Dualism from the 1st/2nd century – the false dichotomy that all spiritual is good, all material is evil. Bill Johnson suggests this in the various quotes used in this article:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/learning-etymology-with-bill-johnson-a-new-age-repentance/

  54. Arwen4CJ says:

    Carolyn,

    I’m not suggesting that everyone here write a finely-articulated point-form apologetic masterpiece. What I meant by ‘bad apologetics that I have seen on other sites’ is the sort of site that says, “X uses the word Y, and the pagan group Z uses the word Y. That must mean that X belongs to pagan group Z.”

    All I was trying to suggest is that we try to be fair, and that we don’t jump to conclusions without justification of it. I’m simply asking that we take context into consideration so that we can fairly evaluate things. This has nothing to do with whether or not someone is able to write a fairly-articulated point-form apologetic masterpiece.

    For example, let’s take the subject of pagan dancing at some hyper-charismatic meetings. I have heard from multiple sources that the NAR leaders have this kind of dancing at their meetings, and that they encourage it. They state that that kind of dancing was originally from God, and now they are taking it back from Satan. They say they know it is pagan or occult, but it’s okay because it was originally from God. Okay — that is a clear example of them practicing something that is occult. Based on that, we can say that they are engaging in occultic practice. They know it is occult, and they condone it. Taken in context, they are meaning to do pagan dancing.

    So, what we need is evidence that they are using a word or practice in an occult/New Age/pagan way. That, or we need to show that a spiritual practice that they do (in the context of their worship) is identical to an occult spiritual practice (in its context.) This doesn’t need to be elaborate — just a sentence about each and how they connect. I believe that everyone who reads this blog is capable of writing such sentences.

    The hyper-charismatic folks give us plenty of examples of their occult practices without us needing to connect the two, apart from the context.

    So…what I’m asking is this:
    If someone says, “The hyper-charismatics are using the term paradigm shift, so they must be New Age,” then I’m asking them to take it a bit further. I would want them to provide an example of how the hyper-charismatics are using the term (in context) and then how New Agers use the term. That can be done in a few sentences. That way the people that are trapped in these teachings won’t just write us off as a bunch of conspiracy theorists or whatever, and they would be more likely to take us seriously.

    Of course no one has to do what I suggest, but I think it would be a better discussion if we did.

    Thank you for taking the time to provide more of a background to your case. Still, though, it seems to me that there is a weak case for saying that hyper-charismatics are all part of some New Age conspiracy. Sure, it is possible. However, I’m concerned that innocent Christian groups might be misjudged as having some secret New Age symbol just because they have a wave graphic or the word Fusion or some other word or picture on an ad.

    Unless the people responsible for making these advertisements actually comes out and says, “Hey, I know that we are using New Age symbols, but we’re really just taking back what Satan stole,” as they do with their pagan dancing and other occult practices, I’m not going to buy that there are secret symbols they are using. If it is an exact replica of a New Age picture, or symbol, then that would be another thing. This is one area that I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt on because to do otherwise would seem unfair. This in no way means justifies their doctrine. Again, they themselves can show that they are practicing and accepting occult things just by their own statements.

    Yes, Satan is at war with God and with humanity. Yes, he does have his own plans, and yes, he seeks to pull people away from God and get them to worship him instead. Yes, Satan is at work in New Age spirituality. However, he is also at work in paganism, wicca, Eastern religions, atheism, etc. Yes, Satan wants to take the attention off of Jesus Christ. Yes, there is doctrine from demons all over the place.

    As for the goddess list, I’m not sure how you are meaning this…but you included the Holy Spirit in the list? Please explain what you meant so that I know how to respond. Thank you.

    As for Shekinah….I don’t know Hebrew, but isn’t that a Hebrew word that is in the Old Testament? I am aware that those in the NAR crowd use the term in a weird kind of way, but I think the term itself might actually just be a word in Hebrew that doesn’t carry any weird connotations with it.

    I thought that Sophia was a gnostic concept having to do with wisdom or some weird Christ consciousness stuff by modern occultists. I haven’t heard hyper-charismatics make a reference to this, but I believe it would be in keeping with their teachings. Please explain how they use this concept. I don’t know Greek, though. Maybe sophia means wisdom, without any gnostic or occult connotation.

    As for Mary the Mother of God, I’m not Catholic, but I think it is supposed to be a term that reflects back on Jesus. I think it’s acknowledging Jesus’ deity, and is simply a statement that Mary was His earthly mother. Yes, I know that they revere Mary, and their reverence of her certainly goes beyond Scripture, but I don’t think that they are meaning to call Mary a goddess here.

    Ashtoreth is certainly a pagan goddess that God forbad Israel to worship — and it may very well be that Isis, Diana, and Ishtar are all variations of this false goddess. I haven’t heard hyper-charismatics make a reference to any of these in a positive way.

    The idea of Queen of Heaven certainly goes beyond Scripture, and does sort of make Mary into a sort of goddess. However, I don’t think that most hyper-charismatics use this term.

    New World Order? Please explain what you mean by this. I have heard some people talk about it, but I want to make sure that what I’m thinking is what you actually believe about it.

    Hmmm….without knowing anything about the conference or without knowing what they meant by the term “Sophia” in the conference title, I really think it is hard to say that they are actually meaning the gnostic/occult concept of sophia. Sorry, I just can’t make the leap without real evidence.

    Again, I thought that shekinah might be just a Hebrew word that is in the Old Testament. I don’t know about pastors using it in connection with sex, but it is possible. Still, that would take a big leap to then suggest that these pastors would want to institute pagan sexual rites. Since I don’t know of this actually happening in any hyper-charismatic church, it is unfair to use this argument against them.

    “Born again” is a biblical concept that Jesus used in John chapter 3. I don’t know if some hyper-charismatics have twisted the concept. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn if they did. However, we can’t say that because a church uses the phrase “born again” that it is a New Age church. If we did that, then we’d be labeling most orthodox churches as being New Age!

    I agree that the obsession about “releasing” things and “birthing” that is in many hyper-charismatic churches is disturbing and strange. However, I think that saying that it is connected to some gnostic or pagan group’s twisted concept of a male God and a female goddess mating is going too far with it. I don’t think that Dutch Sheets and the others who talk about birthing are meaning to connect it with the gnostic concept. It certainly is unbiblical, but let’s not take a gnostic concept to it unless the NAR crowd says that’s where they got the concept from.

    Yes, there is a flood of New Age and occult spiritual wickedness spreading. However, I think that there has been mixture for a long time. (Why do so many people knock on wood superstitiously? Many Christians do this without even thinking about it. Many Christians read their horoscopes or trust in superstitions.)

    Although I do not agree with all of Roman Catholic doctrine, I have several friends who are Catholic. I don’t agree with all of their practices, but I’m not convinced that the ones I know are actually idolaters. I asked them what they think about Mary and why they pray to her. I asked them about their saints. Although I don’t agree with the practice, I do believe them when they tell me that they do not worship Mary, nor do they see her on the same level as God. In their mind, they are praying to these individuals in order to ask them to pray for them, like how we ask people we know to pray about a situation. I think the practice goes beyond Scripture, and I think it is hindering their relationship with God, but I believe them when they say they worship God. They also told me that they believe they can pray directly to God, and they do so as well. I can’t speak for all Catholics (some probably do worship Mary), but I do trust my friends.

  55. Craig says:

    “Born again” is a biblical concept that Jesus used in John chapter 3. I don’t know if some hyper-charismatics have twisted the concept. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn if they did.

    Bill Johnson does. To him one can literally ‘see’ the Kingdom in the here and now after being ‘born again':

    Through Christ, God has made it possible for every person to see the kingdom. Our conversion experience gives us access to that realm, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3, NKJV). However, it is our responsibility to develop this capacity, to train our senses to perceive God through renewing our minds and feeding the affections of our hearts on the [ED: esoteric] truth. [Face to Face with God; p 89-90]

    Being ‘born again’ is the first step towards literally ‘seeing’ the Kingdom right now. Then, through ‘renewing our minds’ / ‘repentenance we progressively ‘see’ more of the Kingdom:

    Most Christians repent enough to get forgiven, but not enough to see the Kingdom.

    “Progressive repentance” I call it. I’ll explain the esoteric meaning of this in a subsequent article.

  56. Carolyn says:

    Arwen4CJ – wow. That was a long one. And after all that, I probably won’t change the way I write as I’m not convinced I should. Most, if not all of what I say is based in fact and can be backed up at a moment’s notice. It’s extra wording that is dispensible since so much of it what goes on is common knowledge or can be easily referenced by some research on the reader’s part.

    In this case I will do the research for you. There is no shortage of information on this goddess. Here is an excerpt from what Etta Jackson has to say in her piece on The Goddess, the Whore, The Shekinah.

    “Who is she? She is the symbolic representation of the Creative Force of the Universe— the Third Aspect of the Divine Trinity— The Holy Spirit— The Comforter —the Dark Mother—the Great Ocean, and also known as the Chief Feminine Elder of the Temple. She is the Pentecost, the Shekinah, and the Holy Ghost

    She will assist humanity in removing the guilt and shame of life, which unfortunately, has been placed at the feet of women! This Dark Mother, the Feminine Principle, is the Whore, as well as the Virgin; she is the daughter and the mother; she is the midwife and the one who gives birth. She is the barren sister. She is the mother of your father and the daughter of your brother. She is the queen upon her throne and the beggar woman on her stool. She is in every woman, and she gave birth to every Man. She is the Feminine Power and Creator behind every created thing… she is indeed the Shekinah!!!”

    Here is another link to enlighten you as to who Shekinah is.

    http://www.crystalinks.com/shekinah.html

    By the way Shekinah is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In the Kabbalah, yes.

    Just google Shekinah if you want more information.

    With regards to Mary Worship, let a former Catholic nun give you her perspective on the topic at hand.. This is very interesting. Some North Americans may not think they are worshipping Mary but…well, I’ll let you read it for yourself.

    BTW I haven’t made any specific references to Dutch Sheets and his birthing language. You are making me say something I didn’t say. I said there is an obsession in the pulpits and signage that is connecting sex to something spiritual. And if you have your ears and eyes open their is plenty of proof that it is going in a direction of cultic and occultic weirdness. I said how long will it be before we come full circle back to the temple prostitutes.

    In reality, we all think in different ways, we learn in different ways and we put our ideas forth differently and there are times and seasons when your interest is peaked in one area or another. I put my thoughts out there a bit creatively. Generally, I have already done the homework. I compare what’s happening in the world and in the church to the Biblical perspective. And the rest is up to the reader. If something strikes their interest or strikes a chord or sounds an alarm bell…they can easily find out if I am telling the truth. If its going right over their head and they don’t see the point, then I rest my case.

    All is well. Good talk. We should do it again sometime. I appreciate the effort you put into your rebuttal/debate. There’s still room for discussion. Maybe I’ll revisit it when I’m less tired. Till the morning…God Bless!

  57. Arwen4CJ says:

    Carolyn,

    Thank you for your comment. Providing links definitely helps, so thank you for that as well.

    Hmmm…maybe I’m going to have to ask you direct questions in order to get the information that I need from you for more discussion. That probably would help both of us, as I can ask you questions to clarify certain points, and you will be able to respond without really changing your style :)

    My next question to you is do you believe in the Trinity (including the Holy Spirit)?

    The reason I’m asking the question is that I’m trying to determine whether or not you are saying that the Holy Spirit is an occult concept, or if you are saying that some churches have interpreted the Holy Spirit in an occult way. There is a huge difference, and I need to know from which position you are speaking from.

    After you have answered this, we can discuss the website and the concepts that you have brought up.

    I am aware that certain theologically liberal churches and theologians have begun referring to the Holy Spirit as a ‘she.’ I’m not sure about hyper-charismatic churches — never seen the subject breached in anything that I’ve read of them. It’s possible. More on that topic once you’ve answered the above questions for me.

    Do you have a link to a page about the former Catholic nun talking about Mary worship?

    In regard to Dutch Sheets, I apologize for any misunderstanding. That was my own reference — I wasn’t trying to suggest that you said anything about him. I brought him up because I know that he teaches on birthing. It was his work that the senior pastor of the church I left referenced when he gave his sermon on birthing. Dutch Sheets isn’t the only one who speaks on the topic. When you brought up birthing, I made the assumption that you were referring to that type of birthing. Maybe I was wrong about that, and if so, then please clarify what you meant.

  58. Tim Bain says:

    Arwen, I know a great site for info on Mary worship ,( http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-radio) click on ” tube” at the top of the page and there should be a series of four interviews with Mike Gendron at the top of the list . Seriously all four are incredible I was amazed at how far the vatican has gone with their “revealations”. also, when I started my personal research on NAR and assoc. I found Chuck Pierce to be probly the most engaged in new age,kabbalah etc.and he is the second in command of all the NAR apostles (!!!) right next to Dutch Sheets…(ie. one of the teachers at his school of ministry (Joanne McFatter) stated that she had a conversation with trees ! (she may have removed it from her site by now but I made a copy). We’re told to avoid even the appearance of evil not see how close we can get with out getting burned, these guys are constantly inviting the young of the flock to play with fire…strange fire.

  59. Carolyn says:

    Arwen4CJ Heres the link:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/mary_worship_a_study.htm

    Yes I believe in the Trinity…I feel a little like I am on trial here rather than the topic at hand….

    My reference to the Holy Spirit being part of the “also known as” the Feminine side of God (which of course there is no such thing) But many churches are teaching that and I don’t know if they are hyper charismatic or not. Are we limiting our conversation to hyper charismatics?

    Revelation 17:5
    And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

    This is who I am talking about when I talk about the feminine deity, Babylon who has changed names throughout history but remains the same Luciferic doctrine. If I’m losing you, you will have to do some historical research and then come back with specific questions. As it is you are nit picking without any evidence that I’m wrong.

    Concerning calling Mary, Mother of God. It’s not what you think the Catholics mean by calling Mary Mother of God. Its the pagan cult that has filtered through history…the pagan feminine deity. Read up on it. Yours or my opinion is not what matters to God. It’s certain blasphemy.

    Jeremiah 44:19
    And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?

    The Feminine Goddess, Deity, whatever you want to call her….the Bible calls her The Queen of Heaven and is specific about about the word worship.They were worshipping her. The whole chapter of Jeremiah 44 goes into detail. And you can find her in Jeremiah 7 as well.

    You have raised questions about what I have said but you haven’t come back with any proof that what I said was false. You are sowing seeds of doubt but without concrete challenges to my comments. Once you have researched for yourself what is going on in the churches and not just hyper charismatic (why pick on them only) and have compared the words, phrases, definitions, symbols and some of the history behind them to what is going on in this generation that we live in, we will talk again. Your arguments need a little more than “maybe this or that” or “my friends say”. or “I thought that… Sophia was some gnostic concept”.

    The New World Order? Google it. I’ve been reading and studying it for years. Just assumed everyone knew what it was.

    That’s all she wrote….for now.

  60. Arwen4CJ says:

    Carolyn,

    I just did a quick google search on Etta Jackson, and I definitely will have something to say in regard to the information that you obtained from her. I’ll leave that, though, until you’ve answered my above question.

    Once you have answered it, I will give you my take on things.

    I think I might understand where you are coming from now, but I need to check to be sure. That’s why I am asking you specific questions.

  61. Carolyn says:

    FYI – My dear, I used Etta Jackson, not as a Christian example of the knowledge of the Divine goddess but as a worldly example of the ideology that is out there among the confused worldlings.

    Arwen4CJ – I am not your enemy. I don’t think you can listen to what I say and misconstrue my intentions and my beliefs as a true born again believer, unless…

    Let’s stick to attacking the message, not the messenger. agreed? I am perplexed as to why you are deflecting the conversation from Mystery Babylon to casting doubt and making innuendos about my Christian beliefs.

    Ask me nice and I’ll tell you again. I do believe most definitely in the Trinity.

  62. Arwen4CJ says:

    Carolyn,

    Okay — thank you for answering my question. What you wrote was what I was looking for. Sorry if it appeared like I was putting you on trial — it was just that I wasn’t clear what direction you were coming from, and I needed to make sure that I understood you.

    All right, good — so you were saying that some churches and people have turned the Holy Spirit into an occult goddess concept.

    I can agree with you on that. As I said before, I know that some of the liberal Christians have done this because they are trying to avoid conceptualizing God as all male. Those who hold to occult spirituality also do this, as the Etta Jackson lady you referenced does. This is going on, yes.

    There are some churches that teach this false doctrine, but I don’t think that the majority of churches teach this. It is only the extremely theologically liberal ones who do.

    I have been to the jesus-is-savior.com website before. I have found it to be extreme on some issues, and wrong on some things. Some things are good, but I’ve found that I need to be really discerning in looking at information from this source.

    Thank you for the link, though. Let me just go read the article now….
    Okay — I have read it. Assuming the information on the website is legitimate, it does seem that the Catholic church officially encourages the worship of Mary. This doesn’t mean that all Roman Catholics would agree with the official teaching.

    It is true that there is apostasy outside of the hyper-charismatic churches — definitely. I know of pastors and leaders of churches who deny the essentials of the Christian faith. Yes, we need to keep in mind that there are churches like this out there. The theologically liberal Christians are not true Christians, and they are heretics and false teachers because they deny the essentials of our faith. However, Craig’s blog seems to deal primarily with the hyper-charismatic variety. I think we should mostly limit our discussion to hyper-charismatic stuff, so as not to get too far off topic.

    Until I figured out that you were speaking of the universal church rather than just the charismatic ones, I thought you were only talking about the hyper-charismatics, since that’s what I understood everyone who was commenting to be discussing.

    Again, sorry if it seemed like I was nit picking. I just required a bit of clarity from you so that I could know which direction you were approaching these things from. You have clarified that for me in your most recent comment, so thank you. I didn’t want to misjudge you in regard to what you were saying.

    I wasn’t trying offer proofs that you were wrong so much as I was trying to get clarity from you. I needed to know what your position really was. All I was trying to say before was that I thought that we should not be quick to label a group because of their use of a word.

    Now that I know what your argument actually is, we can communicate better.

    Here’s what I get when I look up Shekinah:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shekhinah

    “Shekinah (alternative transliterations Shekinah, Shechinah, Shekina, Shechina, Schechinah, שכינה) is the English spelling of a grammatically feminine Hebrew word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling divine presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.”

    In and of itself, the word seems to be just a word that means dwelling of God. I see nothing wrong with the concept itself.

    However, I do acknowledge that just as with the Holy Spirit, some people have twisted the concept to make it a femine deity or aspect of God. This use is bad — and I can agree that anyone who is doing this is engaging in a dangerous, sinful practice.

    Here is a Jewish online source that I found:

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13537-shekinah

    Although I only briefly skimmed this article, I don’t see them actually believing it is a goddess.

    So, what I’m saying is that it is true that certain theologically liberal individuals might interpret the concept that way, and so would pagan/occult individuals. But not everyone else — only those who are goddess followers view the term this way, or those who have an occultic view of Judaism and Christianity.

    Sophia does mean wisdom in Greek.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_%28wisdom%29

    Although there is definitely an occult concept of Sophia that is like a goddess type thing, the concept of sophia isn’t in and of itself occult, since the NT writers, who were writing in Greek, used the word.

    See the NT references on the wiki page.

    As for the New World Order concept, since you didn’t tell me what your thinking was on it, I’ll have to assume that it’s the same thinking as what I’ve heard and seen on various websites. Most of what I’ve seen has been a bunch of conspiracy theories. I find the concept to be a bit far-fetched, so we probably should not discuss it any further.

    I think we can agree, though, that as it gets closer and closer to Jesus’ return, that there is more and more apostasy in the universal church. This has shown up, and continues to show up in theologically liberal churches in the denial of essential doctrines, and in the acceptance of occult spirituality.

    In the hyper-charismatic churches, there is still a denial of essential doctrines, but it looks different than in the liberal churches. The hyper-charismatic churches are also accepting occult spirituality, but again, how this happens and how it appears is different.

    The theologically liberal leaders and the leaders of the hyper-charismatics do not appear to be working together — in fact, the leaders from these groups would probably not get along at all. However, I do think that demons are behind both group’s false teachings. People are being lead astray in both groups.

    Can you agree with me on these things? If so, then I think we can call a truce :)

  63. Arwen4CJ says:

    Carolyn,

    You wrote:
    “FYI – My dear, I used Etta Jackson, not as a Christian example of the knowledge of the Divine goddess but as a worldly example of the ideology that is out there among the confused worldlings.”

    My response:
    Thank you — I understand that now, but not at the time that I asked. Since messages have to be approved by Craig before they are actually posted here, there is a delay. I didn’t see your new message until after I made the post you responded to — I think our posts were approved (and thus appeared) at the same time.

    You wrote:
    “Arwen4CJ – I am not your enemy. I don’t think you can listen to what I say and misconstrue my intentions and my beliefs as a true born again believer, unless…

    Let’s stick to attacking the message, not the messenger. agreed? I am perplexed as to why you are deflecting the conversation from Mystery Babylon to casting doubt and making innuendos about my Christian beliefs.

    Ask me nice and I’ll tell you again. I do believe most definitely in the Trinity.”

    My response:
    Again, I apologize for misunderstandings. I questioned your belief in the Trinity not because I wanted to attack your faith or you as a person, but because I was looking for clarity as to what you meant when you said that the Holy Spirit was connected to the goddess concept.

    I have encountered individuals online who have tried to convince me that the entire Christian church is pagan, and thus they call everyone who is in a church a pagan. I was trying to see if that was your position or not. I was not trying to question your intentions or beliefs or trying to suggest that you weren’t a true born again believer. All I was trying to do was figure out what your position actually was.

    Again, I was seeking clarity of your position, not trying to cast doubt about your Christian faith or trying to make innuendos about your Christian beliefs. I am really sorry if it came off that way. This is one reason it can be hard to have online discussions with people — maybe the fault here is entirely mine. I may not be the best at explaining things or wording things well.

    I wasn’t trying to deflect the conversation from Mystery Babylon, but rather I was trying to understand where you were coming from before we could discuss anything further.

    Once more, I didn’t actually see that you answered my question until after both your message and the one you just responded to were posted.

  64. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    I’m one of those of the opinion that there is a concerted effort to unite into a one world government with the UN as the focal point. It makes sense Biblically with Rev 13:16-17 in mind. For the sake of simplicity, I use New World Order (NWO) for the political aspect and New Age / New Spirituality for the spiritual. In reality, it’s all part of the same. I speak on this here:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/misplaced-trust-part-i/

    With the latter portion of the 1st part and the beginning of the 2nd part touching on the political aspects:

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

    Rick Warren is immersed in both as a well-known ‘pastor’ who is also on the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). He partnered with Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation (he’s on the board) which refers to Christianity, Judaism and Islam as the “Abrahamic” faiths – as if we all share the same basic heritage. Warren is currently embroiled in controversy surrounding his attempted bridging of Islam and Christianity, even though he denies this. He was one of the many signatories on a similar ecumenical bid back in 2007 as shown here:

    http://www.yale.edu/divinity/news/071118_news_nytimes.pdf

    Note that some Vineyard spokesmen are signatories as well.

  65. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    Yes, I think there will be a one world government someday. Yes, this is a biblical concept. This may or may not be with the U.N.

    However, I don’t think of that as being the New World Order.
    I guess what I think of when I see the term New World Order are things like this:

    http://www.infowars.com/about-alex-jones/

    Sorry, not trying to start a fight here.

    I was thinking of all these videos on youtube that were posted by people who spoke about the New World Order. The concept, as presented in those videos, seemed far-fetched to me. It seemed like a conspiracy theory.

    The concept of a one world government ruled by the Anti-Christ is biblical.

  66. Craig says:

    Alex Jones has what appears to be useful information and disinformation. One of the ploys of the enemy is to put seemingly like-minded individuals in place to confuse. Jones could well be one of them.

  67. Craig says:

    One other thing: the term conspiracy theory has sadly become a pejorative term when in actuality it’s merely descriptive. Conspiracy theories can be bogus, built upon erroneous info or info from a too broad brush, or a conspiracy theory can be backed up with valid data. They are just that – theories.

  68. Tim Bain says:

    Craig, I’ve been hoping to bring Rick Warren and his P.E.A.C.E. plan into the equation ,you may already know that he was mentored by none other then (chief Apostle) Peter Wagner and Peter Drucker the managment guru at Fuller Theological Sem. There is an excellent article (series) on Warrens Peace Plan on Bob DeWaay’s web site (cicministries.org)- its found under Redifining Christianity – click on “radio series”. Warren and Wagner, Drucker and Blair are easily connected and the “pyramid” just grows from there. I cant think of anything I’ve read that sounds more like an AntiChrist system then Warrens Peace Plan. Bob Dewaay also does an excllent job exposing the Emergent Church movement(.again in his radio series).The common denominators in ALL these “movements” seems to be an extreme postmillenial view- dominion,reconstruction,age of aquarious,etc. and mixing (oh… just a” little” leaven) with New Age /New Spirituality. Yes… I do think there is a definite “conspiracy”, no way the numerous similairities are just coincidence…just no way.

  69. Craig says:

    What I find very interesting is that of the two “E”s in Warren’s acrostic not one of them is EVANGELISM.

  70. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    One of the ploys of the enemy in general is redefining terms and concepts. One of the most diabolical is the reappropriation of Christian terms and using those esoterically. As Hannah Newman, a Jew who has exposed the anti-semitic nature (and other things) of Alice Bailey’s writings, so aptly termed this, it’s a “trojan horse of semantics”. “New World Order” is a term I’ve heard (and have video) of both Bush’s as well as many other heads of states. Now the term is primarily used pejoratively to denote whacked-out ‘conspiracy theorists’. NWO has now been replaced by global governance.

    The term fundamentalism now is used to describe religious extremism. From my perspective, I’d call myself a fundamentalist Christian BUT I’d define as one who adheres to historic orthodox Christianity as determined from Scripture and the ecumenical creeds. I mean really now – the term fundamental merely means something that is basic. Fundamentals in math are addition, subtraction and times (X) tables. What’s wrong with using the term like that? Well, nothing of course, but liberals like to redefine terms/concepts to keep everyone guessing.

  71. Craig says:

    Tim,

    Yes, and Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation has a plan remarkably like Warren’s. It openly states its goal is to further the UN Millenium Development Goals which are decidedly un- or anti-christian. Just like the Agenda 21 being pushed by the UN. Or the Alliance of Civilisations (AoC).

    I don’t want to get this discussion too far away from the subject of this post. These are valid discussions which should be best posted in the Misplaced Trust articles.

    Now, going back to the subject at hand: I’m busily preparing part II of the “BJ, A New Age Christ” article. It should prove to be an eye-opener.

  72. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    You’re right about the term conspiracy theory meaning several different things, and that it can be used in various ways.

    I also understand what you’re saying about the redefinition of terms. I agree that fundamentalism has been redefined so that it now has a negative connotation. The same thing is now happening with the term evangelical. It’s getting a really negative connotation now.

    I don’t know what any group of people might be planning, and it’s really hard to sort through some of the information that is available. Some of it is just made up, while some of it is probably true. I don’t know who is planning what. I do know that eventually there will be some sort of peace plan that the world will swallow, and it will be the Anti-Christ’s government. I don’t know exactly how that will play out. I’m not going to say any more on the topic.

    I am sorry to have steered us so far off topic.

    I’m just going to call a truce on all of this.

  73. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ/all,

    No harm done at all. I was only suggesting to all on here – no one in particular – that the topic of NWO would be better served on another thread. And, I don’t mind talking about Rick Warren – just that we do this on the other thread noted above.

    The written word is an imperfect medium as it’s difficult to convey tone. For example, I try my best to write in a tone devoid of any emotion although that doesn’t always come through. So, it’s natural that written exchanges may be miscontrued by the parties.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with what you wrote re: NWO; I was merely trying to explain that there are some who are doing a good job in trying to sort out the global governance thing and others who do it quite poorly and that there is disinformation put forth for a purpose.

    Your contributions on here are welcomed as are everyone’s. I think the conversation with Carolyn was merely one of a misunderstanding of each other’s position. It’s one of the problems inherent in the limitations of written exchanges when they are not always in real time due to the delay of releasing comments.

  74. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    Understood :) Thank you.

    And I agree that NWO stuff would be better served on a different thread. You are also right that there are some who are doing a better job than others in trying to sort out the global governance thing, and other sources that do not. I don’t really have any first hand knowledge in this area, so I’m uncomfortable really delving into the topic. I’ve mostly seen bad examples of the topic explored, but there are sites and videos that have made me think. If I knew someone in government that was a Christian, and that I knew I could trust, I would ask them about this issue to see what they had to say.

    I agree that the conversation with Carolyn was one of misunderstanding each other’s positions, and that written exchanges are prone to misunderstandings sometimes.

  75. Craig says:

    Part II of the “Bill Johnson’s Christology: A New Age Christ?” is now posted:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/bill-johnsons-christology-a-new-christ-part-ii/

  76. Pingback: Bill Johnson’s Christology: A New Age Christ?, part IV (Conclusion) « CrossWise

  77. Omar says:

    I disagree with this article. I think scripture makes it clear that we should be like Jesus. Apart from the meaning of terms (such as defining Christ, Anointing, extra Anointing, is intellect an antiChrist) terminology isn’t important, it’s what you mean. I think we are supposed to be like Christ. So that’s the goal. I’m not looking for an “anointing” or to be recognized as an “apostle”, I’m just going to give my all in being like Christ, and God will give me an anointing if he wants, if he doesn’t it doesn’t matter. Like the apostle Paul says, “We make it our goal to please Him.”

  78. Craig says:

    Omar,

    Just so I’m clear: Do you disagree with the analysis within the article; or, do you disagree with what Johnson is stating re: Christ as anointing and antichrist as anti-anointing?

  79. Yessy says:

    2 Tim 4:8

    “8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

    Bill Johnson loves the appearing of the Lord. So do I. What about you?

  80. Craig says:

    Yessy,

    Are you actually going to engage in the conversation; or, do you just like to say your piece while mostly ignoring others. Frankly, that’s rude. Any further comment that goes off the topic into another area will just be deleted.

    Once again, you take Scripture out of context, this time 2 Timothy 4:8. Did Bill Johnson, or another one of your favorite teachers, apply this verse in the manner you are doing? Take a look at other translations:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20tim%204:8&version=NKJV;NASB;CEB

    This verse is speaking of when we see Him in the future. However, Eastern (and Western) mystics love to “soak in His presence” aka practice Transcendental Meditation (TM), contemplative prayer, etc. However, this is not an orthodox Biblical practice. Did you know that in Transcendental Meditation, one communes with the ‘god within’ in order to eventually become “one” with this ‘god’ which is actually communing with demons? Do you know that the Western practice of “soaking” and contemplative prayer is essentially the same thing? Think about it: this particular practice is seen as the way to increase one’s knowledge of God (just like Gnosticism) which exactly parallels the TM in the East. Of course, if you were actually reading the material here instead of making knee-jerk reactions to defend your ‘guru’ Bill Johnson, you might actually start to see this sort of thing.

    Here’s the bottom line: either I’m wrong or you are. What if I’m right? Is there any sort of possibility that I’m actually right on this? What would be the harm in you reading the material here, comparing the Bill Johnson quotes I use to his own material (to see if I’ve taken him out of context), comparing what I’m writing to Scripture (by looking at more than one translation AND putting in full context)?

    Frankly, the research which goes into these articles takes a LOT of time and effort. That’s not to mention the actual writing of the material. I don’t get one dime to do any of this (yet just imagine how much money Bill Johnson receives for his books and other materials, his conference appearances, etc.). So, why do I do this? My love for people, to warn against the very real and present dangers of these teachings. Very lives are in the balance! It would be much easier if I just posted the articles and deleted any dissenting voice while allowing those who agree with my position. I could get much more done without responding here.

    You want to ‘commune with God’? Get in His Word, pray to Him giving praise and thanksgiving and, yes, even ask (not demand or command) for things.

  81. just1ofhis says:

    “Frankly, the research which goes into these articles takes a LOT of time and effort. That’s not to mention the actual writing of the material.”

    Craig, if you allow it, I would also add that it takes a mighty gift of discernment and understanding from the Holy Spirit of God. I am very humbled when I come on your sight and see the degree of care and research you give to this work. As it is me saying this about you and not you saying it about yourself, I hope you allow it.

    In Romans 12, Paul gives a list of “gifts” of the Holy Spirit, a list that many charismatics do great violence to in their hunger to surround themselves with “those who hunger after the works of God”:

    “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him to it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8)

    The person who was trying to get me to participate in the Healing Room kept bringing books and dvds and cds to me from all sorts of “teachers”. She would call me to see if I had read or watched or listened to them. I actually tried to do this, but every time I would begin something would seem “off”; and I would put the material away and get back in my Bible. This is also a gift of the Holy Spirit; His wise counsel in all things, and His gentle correction when we are in error. Anyway, one day she called me and sounded a bit frustrated with my lack of progress. I responded that I was happily sticking with God’s Word and learning about healing there. She stated that “you can’t learn about healing in the Bible”. That is absolutely chilling.

    She now carries several titles behind her name and has a high position in the organization. It suits their purpose, however; you need people pushing your books, dvds, and cds if you are going to make any money. You don’t make money running a healing room, although you do need to pay an annual fee–if this hasn’t changed–to the organization. They also suggest that you purchase their books and materials, which they gladly sell to you at a discount, to sell in your healing room to help fund it. Even if you don’t sell a book, they have profited.

  82. just1ofhis says:

    Yessy, you stand on such perilous ground.

    “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Tim 4:6-8)

    I like the Amplified version of verse 8:

    [As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor's] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day–and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return).

    If you are busy admiring the crown on your head, you have no time to wash your robes:

    “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

    Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

    I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Rev 22:12-16)

    At the end, when the Righteous Judge does appear in truth (an event that will be seen by all on the earth…as lightning that comes from the East is visible even in the West); you will not be able to use Bill Johnson as a scapegoat. You will stand or fall based solely on your own love for God’s Word (his Son in the flesh) and His place in your heart.

  83. Arwen4CJ says:

    Yessy,

    Did you read any of the comments in the other thread, in response to what you wrote about the Anti-Christ? I think that this particular thread is a better place to discuss this further.

    What do you think of early gnosticism as being a backdrop to what John was confronting in 1 John?

    I will quote part of my previous posts in this thread:

    “Let’s look at a study Bible’s introduction of 1 John.

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/1-john/

    This intro is similar to the intros that I find in all intros that I’ve seen.

    Let me highlight a few of the points made in this intro:

    “Date

    The letter is difficult to date with precision, but factors such as (1) evidence from early Christian writers (Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria), (2) the early form of Gnosticism reflected in the denunciations of the letter and (3) indications of the advanced age of John suggest the end of the first century. Since the author of 1 John seems to build on concepts and themes found in the fourth Gospel (1Jn 2:7-11), it is reasonable to date the letter somewhere between a.d. 85 and 95, after the writing of the Gospel, which may have been written c. 85 (see Introduction to John: Date).

    Gnosticism

    One of the most dangerous heresies of the first two centuries of the church was Gnosticism. Its central teaching was that spirit is entirely good and matter is entirely evil. From this unbiblical dualism flowed five important errors:

    The human body, which is matter, is therefore evil. It is to be contrasted with God, who is wholly spirit and therefore good.
    Salvation is the escape from the body, achieved not by faith in Christ but by special knowledge (the Greek word for “knowledge” is gnosis, hence Gnosticism).
    Christ’s true humanity was denied in two ways: (1) Some said that Christ only seemed to have a body, a view called Docetism, from the Greek dokeo (“to seem”), and (2) others said that the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at baptism and left him before he died, a view called Cerinthianism, after its most prominent spokesman, Cerinthus. This view is the background of much of 1 John (1:1; 2:22; 4:2-3 and notes.
    Since the body was considered evil, it was to be treated harshly. This ascetic form of Gnosticism is the background of part of the letter to the Colossians (Col 2:21,23 and notes.
    Paradoxically, this dualism also led to licentiousness. The reasoning was that, since matter — and not the breaking of God’s law (1Jn 3:4) — was considered evil, breaking his law was of no moral consequence.

    The Gnosticism addressed in the NT was an early form of the heresy, not the intricately developed system of the second and third centuries. In addition to that seen in Colossians and in John’s letters, acquaintance with early Gnosticism is reflected in 1,2 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Peter and perhaps 1 Corinthians.

    Occasion and Purpose

    John’s readers were confronted with an early form of Gnostic teaching of the Cerinthian variety (see Gnosticism above). This heresy was also libertine, throwing off all moral restraints.

    Consequently, John wrote this letter with two basic purposes in mind: (1) to expose false teachers (2:26 and note) and (2) to give believers assurance of salvation (5:13 and note). In keeping with his intention to combat Gnostic teachers, John specifically struck at their total lack of morality (3:8-10); and by giving eyewitness testimony to the incarnation, he sought to confirm his readers’ belief in the incarnate Christ (1:3). Success in this would give the writer joy (1:4).”

    Specifically, what do you think about this part:
    In the intro I found on 1 John, it says this:
    “and (2) others said that the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at baptism and left him before he died, a view called Cerinthianism, after its most prominent spokesman, Cerinthus.”

    My thoughts —
    The divine Christ joining the man Jesus at baptism seems to be the exact argument that Bill Johnson and others make when they claim that that was when Jesus became Christ!!!

    It seems that some aspects of the Cerinthianism form of gnosticism have survived intact from their early gnostic days. It seems this same teaching is what most New Agers and New Thought adherents believe as well. Nothing shows the origin of this demonic teaching clearer.

    Do you not see the connection that this same Cerinthianism form of gnosticism has been passed down through time, and it has become one of the central parts of Bill Johnson’s theology?

    If you don’t understand Johnson’s theology to be compatible with Cerinthianism, then how do you explain Johnson’s many quotes about Jesus not being the Christ until after the baptism? Or the quotes about how important the “anointing” is, etc. Craig has list some of these quotes in the above article.

    So, how do you respond?

  84. Arwen4CJ says:

    Yessy,

    It’s time to define terms again. I asked you in the other thread, and I’ll ask you again…….how do you define what the second coming is?

    Do you believe that Jesus Christ will physically return? Or do you believe that Jesus spiritually returns in believers?

    What do you think the appearing of the Lord is like? Is it an event that you believe already happened, is happening now, or will happen in the future?

  85. just1ofhis says:

    The Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exo 4:11)

    Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. (Acts 5:9-11)

    Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. (Acts 13:9-11)

    Paul, in Acts 27 is stuck on a ship in the middle of a storm “for many days”. Does he command the storm to stop as Jesus did? No, he waits in faith for the deliverance that God has promised. Did God end the storm? No, He wrecked the ship, but spared the souls aboard, sending His angel to encourage Paul and inform him of the plan. How wonderous and unsearchable His ways!

    There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I WILL NOT BRING ON YOU ANY OF THE DISEASES I BROUGHT ON THE EGYPTIANS, for I am the LORD, who heals you. (Exo 15:26)

    “I will heap calamities upon them and spend my arrows against them.
    I will send wasting famine against them,
    consuming pestilence and deadly plague;
    I will send against them the fangs of the wild beasts,
    the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.
    In the street the sword will make them childless;
    in their homes terror will reign.
    Young men and young women will perish, infants and gray-haired men.” (Duet 32: 23-25)

  86. just1ofhis says:

    In the clip above (around minute 4:30 or so), Bill Johnson does great violence to the passage in Galatians dealing with a “different gospel”.

    Bill Johnson, “If I, or even an angel comes to you and preaches a different gospel, you are to reject it……

    ….What gospel is it? It is the gospel of Jesus. The gospel of the Kingdom….(deep sigh)”

    What did Paul actually say? (Galatians 1:1-9)

    “Paul, an apostle–sent not from men not by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead–and all the brothers with me,

    To the churches in Galatia:
    Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen

    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–which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

    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! 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!”

    Paul’s statement is a far cry from simply telling the Galatians to reject a different gospel; he eternally condemns the person who brings it, not once, but twice. What gospel is he referring to? The verse before it lays it out, doesn’t it? The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age; Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

    Has anyone ever counted all the books, dvds, cds, and other miscellaneous things for sale on ibethel?

  87. Pingback: That Song is SO Anointed « the untangling

  88. Ekene Moses says:

    The subtle serpent is let loose. The wounded dragon is angry. Lucifer has intensified his endtime deception, knowing that the end is near. We must arise as the endtime army of Jesus Christ and stand to defend the truth with our life and works. Apologetics and criticisms will not be enough. Witnessing and wrestling with the weapons of the word and the works of Jesus Christ is all we need. Jesus is coming sooooooon!

  89. Craig says:

    Ekene,

    Could you kindly show me in Scripture where it’s indicated there shall be an “endtime army of Jesus Christ”, besides the one in Revelation 19:11-16?

  90. David Paul says:

    There is a lot of misinformation here and misquoting of “When Heaven Invades Earth”. Also there are really important clarifying points left out, which are in the book. I have met Bill Johnson, been to many of his conferences and have read his books, not with a spirit of fear, yet also not with an allegiance to him. I have no reason to defend him or his book. I am only interested in defending the gospel, which clearly shows how many scriptures you all are violating while you claim to be defending it. Whether you see scripture the same way or not, he is our brother. This spirit of division you are operating under is why the Church is as fractured and as fragmented as it is!

    I will say in Bill’s defense that you are way off base. He is solid on the deity of Christ and everything they do revolves around the understanding that it is ALL ABOUT JESUS (Colossians 1:15-17). Bill and the Bethel folks always stress that they can do NOTHING without Jesus the Christ!

    A false prophet is clearly identified in 1 John 4:1-3 1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world
    Well, Bill and everyone at Bethel definitely celebrates the wonderful fact that Jesus came in the flesh!

    Here is the point: Jesus is God and was before the foundation of the world, as is clearly shown in Colossians 1:15-17 (my favorite) verses above. It is all about Jesus! The world was made through Him, for Him and in Him it all holds together! He CHOSE to be born into a human body! That doesn’t mean He ever stopped being Himself!

    Here’s the really amazing part, God cannot be tempted! (James 1:13) Yet, Jesus has been tempted in every way known to man! (Hebrews 4:15) Can you explain that apparent contradiction? I can. So can Bill! It makes sense when you understand that God did choose to live with human limitations! Otherwise, please explain this to me. This does not diminish our God Jesus Christ, because our God Jesus Christ Chose to do this! It was His plan!
    When Heaven Invades Earth is actually seeking to explain WHY He did it!

    What you guys seem to be implying is that Bill Johnson believes in the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus, but that then He all of a sudden magically became just some average dude, like the rest of us. I notice you mention Him emptying Himself in Philippians 2:7. How would you explain the meaning of that verse? It is so lame and asinine to suggest that Bill thinks less of Jesus, or would try to elevate himself or the rest of us to the level of Jesus.

    That brings up another good question though. What do you make of 1 John 3:2?
    2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

    What does this verse mean to you?
    1 Tim. 2:5: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
    The “man” Jesus Christ? Surely Paul is not insinuating that Jesus is merely a man is he?
    Of course not! The fact is that Jesus’ part of the trinity chose to come and operate through the limitations of humanity, showing us what can be accomplished with the Helper He promised to send us, the Holy Spirit! That is the whole point of the book! Jesus died for 1.Our Salvation, 2. For us to help get others saved 3.For us to be Clothed with Power from on high and partner with Him in destroying the works of the devil on earth! (which includes healing and miraculous signs of God’s Love for us) 4. to restore us to our original purpose of bringing God pleasure! Not that He needs anything from us, but He did create us for this! see Revelation 4:11 KJV

    Revelation 4:11
    King James Version (KJV)
    11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

    Muslims often criticize Christians by saying that we believe God died on the cross, while scripture makes it clear that God cannot die – He is immortal by nature (Ps. 90:2; 1 Tim. 6:16). So, what you are actually doing here is helping them prove their point!

    No one would ever diminish the One who is the ONE it is ALL ABOUT! Bill gets this, I get this and many others who are listening to Jesus, the Christ get this! What have you heard Jesus telling you today?
    John 10:27
    King James Version (KJV)
    27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me

    The sad truth is you may be the true heretics. You have violated and spat upon John 17 where Jesus prays for us to be ONE! You are not listening to Jesus! You are listening to the voice of the accuser, who is causing you to accuse your brethren! Yes there are absolutely some Kooks out there, who are doing goofy stuff in the Name of Jesus (Like John Crowder), but no one assigned you to be the false prophet police! No one gave you the spiritual gift of accusation and slander! If Bill Johnson or anyone says something or does something off, they need to be corrected in LOVE! Where is your LOVE? False prophets, who are claiming Jesus did not come in the flesh, as the Gnostics in the early church were doing, absolutely need to be avoided! But you are simply going on a witch hunt, peddling fear and suspicion amongst the brethren and dividing up the Body of Christ! Someone can be off theologically or be getting in their flesh in worship without being a false prophet or being demonized! What they need is for you and I to be what Jesus asked us to be, Disciple Makers! Jack Hayford corrected Beni Hinn in Love and Beni Hinn publically confessed and apologized! I am not here to defend Beni Hinn either, but I am suggesting that Jack has the right approach.

    What if you are wrong? What if the Holy Spirit is doing something through these guys and you are saying He isn’t! Good Lord! That sounds dangerously close to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit! I beg of you to reconsider this witch hunt and if you disagree with a brother or sister, go and seek to correct them. Recognize that you DO NOT know it all like you think you do and may have a thing or two to learn still as well!

    Read your Bible and stop violating scripture in the name of defending it!

    -David Paul <

  91. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    Thanks for engaging here; but, let’s tone it down a bit, cutting down on the rhetoric. Also, keep the comments shorter, breaking them into smaller, mulitiple posts, if necessary. However, it’s best to make one point, then wait for a response to make your next one.

    First, as to your suggestion to meet Bill Johnson face to face, others have tried to contact him by various means and have been ignored. He’s answered a few queries on Facebook (in his usual short, summary statements), but that’s about it.

    However, one doesn’t need to contact him face to face – assuming one could even get the opportunity. Public teaching needs to be rebuked in the same public realm.

    Interesting that you bring up Gnosticism, as I’ve been more recently pointing to Johnson (and others in the NAR) as being Neo-Gnostic, based upon the doctrines espoused. Check out the articles since July of this year.

    This “spirit of division” that you charge me with should actually be leveled at Johnson, for HE is the one who has departed from the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3), by his various Christological statements that are either flat out self-contradictory or unclear (as many believe), or indicate a metamorphosis of the 2nd Person of the Trinity from divine to human w/o divinity (as I believe).

    As to your point about the absurdity of (I’ll have to paraphrase a bit) ‘affirming the virgin birth’ yet denying it by claiming Jesus was just a man, this very thing has been done since the mid-1800’s starting with Gottfried Thomasius. See here which will explain Phil 2:7.

    You say Bill Johnson and Bethel are “all about Jesus”. Which one? Scripture does speak on the fact that there were false Christs back in Paul’s day (2 Cor 11:3-4) and that there will be false Christs in ours, as per Jesus as recorded by Matthew (Matthew 24).

    You wrote:

    A false prophet is clearly identified in 1 John 4:1-3 1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world
    Well, Bill and everyone at Bethel definitely celebrates the wonderful fact that Jesus came in the flesh!

    Yes, Johnson affirms that JESUS came in the flesh, but not that Jesus CHRIST came in the flesh. Johnson’s teaching on “the anointing” makes the explicit claim that Jesus could not and did not receive the title of Christ until His “Christ anointing” aka ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’ (when the Spirit came down as a dove following John’s baptism), as I make clear in this very article. Logically, then Jesus was NOT the Christ at the virgin birth.

    There are so many things to address in your comment (again, next one must be shorter, or I will edit it for you), that I’ll do so in multiple comments.

  92. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    You wrote:

    Here’s the really amazing part, God cannot be tempted! (James 1:13) Yet, Jesus has been tempted in every way known to man! (Hebrews 4:15) Can you explain that apparent contradiction? I can. So can Bill! It makes sense when you understand that God did choose to live with human limitations! Otherwise, please explain this to me. This does not diminish our God Jesus Christ, because our God Jesus Christ Chose to do this! It was His plan!
    When Heaven Invades Earth is actually seeking to explain WHY He did it!

    This seeming contradiction has been explained by the early church on up through the current era by theologians. This does not need to entail that Jesus “lived with human limitations”, as if Jesus had all divine attributes yet He chose not to use them (a view some think Johnson is espousing, yet I do not, as I think he’s espousing that Jesus had no divine attributes, as illustrated here). It’s called the hypostatic union – something Johnson implicitly denies in his many seemingly self-contradictory statements, which I deem instead to deny the union of the human and the divine, as pointed out in the article I referenced in the previous sentence.

    You wrote:

    Here is the point: Jesus is God and was before the foundation of the world, as is clearly shown in Colossians 1:15-17 (my favorite) verses above. It is all about Jesus! The world was made through Him, for Him and in Him it all holds together! He CHOSE to be born into a human body! That doesn’t mean He ever stopped being Himself!

    Yes, and precisely because He must have been sustaining the cosmos (holding it all together) illustrates that He had divine powers AND used these divine powers while walking the earth in a human body.

    You wrote:

    That brings up another good question though. What do you make of 1 John 3:2?
    2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

    At the Second Coming we will be transformed into our glorious new non-flesh and blood bodies “we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is”. We will NOT receive our new bodies before His return.

    You wrote:

    What does this verse mean to you?
    1 Tim. 2:5: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
    The “man” Jesus Christ? Surely Paul is not insinuating that Jesus is merely a man is he?
    Of course not! The fact is that Jesus’ part of the trinity chose to come and operate through the limitations of humanity, showing us what can be accomplished with the Helper He promised to send us, the Holy Spirit! That is the whole point of the book! Jesus died for 1.Our Salvation, 2. For us to help get others saved 3.For us to be Clothed with Power from on high and partner with Him in destroying the works of the devil on earth! (which includes healing and miraculous signs of God’s Love for us) 4. to restore us to our original purpose of bringing God pleasure! Not that He needs anything from us, but He did create us for this! see Revelation 4:11 KJV

    Revelation 4:11
    King James Version (KJV)
    11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

    Muslims often criticize Christians by saying that we believe God died on the cross, while scripture makes it clear that God cannot die – He is immortal by nature (Ps. 90:2; 1 Tim. 6:16). So, what you are actually doing here is helping them prove their point!

    The “man Christ Jesus” does not have to mean that Jesus lived through the limitations of humanity such that He did not (could not) exercise His divine powers as Johnson claims. Yet, Jesus was fully God and fully man on the Cross, as our sinless and sufficient sacrifice. This does not have to entail that God died on the Cross (though some argue that this IS true in a sense), as, of course, God cannot die. So, Jesus died qua human and not qua divine. Just because the Incarnation is a divine mystery that cannot be fully understood by the finite human mind, does not mean that it’s somehow incoherent and so must be explained away by mere humans.

    But, let’s not get too far away from the subject of the individual posts. The bottom line in this particular article is that Johnson affirms one thing at one point yet denies it the next, as illustrated by his phraseology with respect to his definition of both antichrist and Christ, as shown in this article.

    “Antichrist” does not mean …The spirits of hell are at war against the anointing, for without the anointing mankind is no threat to their dominion. Antichrist means “against Christ”, i.e. against the Person and work of Jesus Christ, the PERSON – not “the anointing”. Moreover, “Christ” is not merely a “title” Jesus received when “smeared with the Holy Spirit” (following John’s baptism), as per Johnson as quoted in the article; Jesus IS the Christ from the moment of conception (Luke 1:35, 2:11), and some will argue that He’s always been the Christ (from ‘eternity past’).

  93. just1ofhis says:

    David Paul,

    Did Jesus mean that we were to be ONE with all professing Christians in the world regardless of their fruits or doctrines?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-assures-atheists-you-dont-have-to-believe-in-god-to-go-to-heaven-8810062.html

    Quote from the pope: “Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

    The pope leads over a billion Catholics globally. Is he my “brother in Christ”? How can he be, when he openly teaches things against the very Word of God who is Jesus Christ in the flesh. Am I an “accuser”, because I point out that the pope’s teachings are in opposition to the true Word of God? If I am to believe the pope, than there is no need to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I simply need to encourage people to follow their “conscience”, and they can go to heaven.

    We are instructed in the Bible to test all things, holding on to what is good and avoiding every kind of evil. (1 Thes 5:21) We are instructed to earnestly contend for the faith for once and all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3) We are to expel the immoral brother, in hopes that he will turn and repent. (1 Cor 5)

    “But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who CALLS HIMSELF A BROTHER but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside of the church? ARE YOU NOT TO JUDGE THOSE INSIDE? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you.” (1 Cor 5:11-13, my emphasis)

    Would the God of Heaven who hates the behavior of the drunkard send His Holy Spirit to make His people “drunk”? Would the God of Heaven who hates sexual immorality work through men like Todd Bentley and Bob Jones when they were in open sexual sin? Would the Most High who hates greed shower “gold dust” on his people and “grow precious gems” in their midst or condone the sales of endless books, dvds, cds, programs, messages, pictures, etc. in His Name?

    WITH SUCH A MAN DO NOT EVEN EAT! Jesus came to divide, and the sword of His Mouth is a two edged sword. It cuts both ways: against the unbelieving world and against the harlot church in all its variations.

  94. Carolyn says:

    Quote: “The bottom line in this particular article is that Johnson affirms one thing at one point yet denies it the next, as illustrated by his phraseology with respect to his definition of both antichrist and Christ, as shown in this article.”

    Craig, I think you have taught me a thing or two about listening to what these false prophets are actually saying versus our own perception of what they are saying…two vastly different things.

    I learned a very valuable lesson while attending SDA sessions on prophecy. Those in attendance were systematically being brainwashed with a paradigm shift…works in place of faith. And because we liked the speaker, (he was very approachable and knowledgeable…even came down and stood around in small groups answering our questions after the sessions), he soon had us believing everything he said, even bold faced lies. Though we struggled with some of the passages that he twisted, we ignored the inner convictions and travelled on…

    Sadly, that is not the last time I had to learn that lesson…

    By reading their material, going to their conferences, etc., we have been trained to see the Word through their eyes in spite of our denials that “it is not so”. They have taught us to FEAR those who would look at the words of Scripture with logic and reason and plain old common sense. We have been seduced into their methods and ways of thinking by spirits who are confirming their lies with powerful blinding and deluding influences (signs and wonders being at the top of the list).

    The buyer beware signs, the beware of dogs signs, the warning signs of the Bible have all been taken down by their false teaching. The unsuspecting captive wanders around, not even able to determine anymore, truth from error. He has lost connection with even his own influences of reason.

    The question God continues to ask us…”Do you want Truth?” If not, he will say to us, “Go your way…there is nothing more to be said”.

    Jeremiah 23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.
    28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.
    29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
    30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

    One of the things that you will notice, if you are honest, is that all these prophets build on each other’s words. So the foundation is false. Build your house on the Word of God (not Bill Johnson’s et al) and you will have a firm foundation for your faith…common “spiritual” sense.

  95. Harold says:

    Actually, the word Ant-Christ is from the Latin- Antis-Cristos, (which coincidentally is one of the titles of the Roman Catholic Pope while he holds the office of the “Holy One”) also translates- another in the place of Christ or the deceiver. The Roman Catholics acknowledge that not only is the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, but he also sits as Christ. The kissing of his ring is acceptance of him as Christ on earth. This begins the deception of the 2nd Thess. great apostasy of the Protestant and Evangelical church. In 2Tim- he is told ‘men will not hold with sound doctrine’. Never has there been a time since the Crucifixion that Christendom has faced such a horde of false teachers and false prophets. Heresy is poured out in the vast majority of all churches, not just the Cult Churches. That Bill Johnson is a false prophet was proven when he ‘prophesied’ that Todd Bentley was gonna be one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time and have one of the greatest anointings. He ‘prophesied’ this while Todd was in the middle of a lurid affair with one of his back-up singer- a woman whom- if watched on you tube- clearly has a Hindu Kundalini demon in her- as do most of these people. I have not seen Todd on anything since then-not even Rick Joyner’s Demon Rock Show.

    The infamous “Healing Rooms”- shut down in the latter 19th century & resurrected in the latter 20th- are hotbeds of Hinduism Impartations of these demons. All of this is being done to usher in the “Cosmic Christ” as Tal Brooke taught in his book -“When the World will Be as One”. In the “Avatar of Night” he also showed where the middle eastern religions made popular by the Beatles and Stones and all the popular rock groups of the day were brought to Southern CA, where they soon gave way to the “Jesus Culture” or “Jesus Freaks” or “Jesus Movements” of the late 60’s early 70’s. These were the basis that spawned all of this Heresy today (Manifest Sons of God, Latter Day Reign, Dominion Theology, Prosperity Gospels {Based on the occultist work of Napoleon Hill-‘Think & Grow Rich’} and on & on}. All new age mysticism and demonism.

    The ‘Cosmic Christ’ will be the answer to the heresies currently taught in our churches. All of these apostates and heretics will be able to say- ‘see-see? I told you all of this was true. Here is the man who has achieved “godhood status” by following these things we’ve been teaching you all this time’. They will be ‘vindicated’ at last. Of course, the true believers, the ‘remnant church’ will be removed because they stood against these people. (commonly referred to as the Rapture). 2nd Thess also says “and God will send them strong delusion that they will believe a lie and be damned who refused to hold not the truth of God in righteousness”. It will be 3 1/2 years before the Jews (and the rest of the world) realized they’ve been had. But not these “Apostate Church People” who believed the new age lies of these heretics. God said they would be damned. Refusal to the last. Damned for all eternity.

    The Anti-Christ will not be ‘against’ Christ; he will pretend to be Christ; the “Anointed One”. That’s why it is so easy for people to gather themselves to these false teachers. Paul Washer said, “Bill Johnson, Rick Warren & Joel Osteen are not deceivers- their followers came to them deceived because they had itching ears and were looking for someone to tell them what they wanted to hear. No, these men are God’s judgment on those people”.

    Not only are the Jews looking for their Messiah (as they rejected Christ when he came and chose to kill Him), the Muslims are looking for their “Messiah” as well, or the reincarnation of Mohammed. He will have to be a direct descendant of Mohammed and will bring peace to the Middle East- one thing our Prez is doing by helping to create the United Emirates (States) of Islam with our much needed US Tax dollars. He is obeying the Beast system that is hurriedly preparing for globalization.

    Our churches are full of programs- good works. Good works will not save, – only the Cross of Christ & His finished work. Nothing you can do-ever – will make you worthy of God’s favor except the cross. No prayer meetings or singings or feeding the hungry or clothing the poor- these are all good things and we are told to do them- but they cannot save you or get you favor with God- only the Cross. Sadly, in most churches today the Cross is not preached. just the good works and an heretical ‘decision’ that does not include accepting the cross and picking up our on. It’s all warm & fuzzy. And lots of people with lots of money. “Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

    Interesting to note that ,most theologians of the last 80 years or so, note and show that the ‘Antichrist’ is used interchangeably with ‘The Assyrian’ or the ‘Syrian’. You can research that on your own.

  96. Craig says:

    Harold,

    I don’t disagree with the basic thrust of your comment, though I do disagree with some parts specifically and some of the details.

    Antichrist comes directly from the Greek, specifically only in John’s first and second epistles – a total of four times in the entirety of Scripture. While Jesus is recorded as using the term “false Christs” (pseudo-Christos), John put the prefix “anti” in front of Christ to show opposition. Yes, I agree that the antichrist will be the, as I call it, “instead-of-Christ” (see the body of this article at the parenthetical remark pointing to footnote 11). The Latin, therefore, comes from the Greek – not vice versa.

    I also don’t hold to the pre-trib view, as I’m pre-wrath – though I could perhaps be persuaded to the post-trib position. In any case, I don’t argue/divide over the pre-trib view.

    I’ve not read Brooke, so I can’t specifically comment; however, if you continue to look on this site, you’ll see that I equate much of the teachings of the NAR (what I term hyper-charismaticism) to New Age / New Spirituality teachings (which have a Gnostic root).

    While I’ve not read Hill, a quick “google” search yields that he was from New Thought. Yup, that’s where E.W. Kenyon got much of his teaching; and, he taught the prosperity gospel, which Kenneth E. Hagin passed on to others more recently.

  97. David Paul says:

    How did the Pope become a part of this discussion? Is this a Catholic blog? Not that I am anti Catholic, but as for the office of Pope, I wont even go there.

    Craig, please forgive my long rant and for becoming a little indignant. I seem to have contradicted my own point there about how brethren should deal with one another and I apologize. Still, I hold fast the idea Jesus taught us that we must continually seek to be of one mind. This does not mean attacking one another and making a mission out of destroying people, who may be off. This just isn’t How we are to behave. On the internet you can find web pages like yours calling every well known Pastor and Evangelist there is false prophets, even Billy Graham (although the following link does disturb me)

    I do not agree with all of the teachings of Bill Johnson, but I know that you are stretching and embellishing here a bit. Not to mention you are drawing conclusions and stating them as if he had taught these things. I have personally heard him preach about Jesus as young man teaching at the temple, saying He had to be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49). There was nothing taught that would indicate that Jesus was not yet the Christ. I just really think things are being taken out of context.

    Some of the statements you are quoting from When Heaven Invades Earth I cannot find in the book. Is it that you are looking at an older edition and the page numbers are different? If so, let me know.

    Why does the idea that Jesus would choose to lay aside some of His divine attributes threaten you? All things are possible with God.

    1 John 2:6
    “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

    How would that be possible if He was walking and operating in His divine attributes? Or are you implying that we also have divine attributes?

    Philippians 1:21
    “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

    Who do you model your life after? Jesus? Or are you of Paul or Apolos? Or of the Pope?
    No offense intended at all. I have had Pastors tell me that we are not to model our life after Jesus, but rather after the Apostles; that it would be impossible to model our lives after Him because of His divinity.

    How do you explain what Jesus says to us here in John 14

    John 14:12
    Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

    Do you believe He will do miracles, including healing through us today?
    Or, do you believe that He only allowed the apostles to do certain things and not the rest of us?
    If so, who gave you the right to decide which things Jesus spoke, TO THE APOSTLES, that were for us and which things were not? He spoke the great commission in Matthew 28 to the Apostles and yet we all claim that is for us.

    Sorry if this one was too long. I have many more questions. Thank you for being loving and respectful. I will continue to do the same. My aim is to find common ground and continue to seek oneness with all believers, including you all here. Obviously we will have to agree to disagree on some items, but should that stop us from being one? Much of what you seem to believe comes from the teachings of St. Augustine. He was a man like us, seeking to interpret and exegete scripture. Do you not believe you have the same Holy Spirit in you that he did and can actually interpret scripture as well? What people seem to be defending is not scripture itself but different interpretations of scripture handed down by people who were just like us, but perhaps more bold in that they attempted to do it on their own.

    If you are defending the interpretation of theologians and so is Bill Johnson, should one really be pointing to the other and crying false prophet or heretic? Many theologians have disagreed throughout the centuries, yet there can only be one truth. So, clearly even the most godly men can make mistakes. The only thing that is indisputable is the Word itself (Himself).

  98. David Paul says:

    Oh I see you guys are against the Pope. My error.

    Well, what if God got a hold of the Pope and he started preaching the real Gospel? What if he told the Catholics to stop praying to Mary and saints, etc. Would you guys be ready to accept him and them? Is a miracle like this possible for God? All things are possible for Him right?
    Or have we already condemned the Catholics to hell while they are still alive?

    Question about Holy Spirit Drunkenness: Why was it that Peter had to assure the crowd that “these men are not drunk”? What do you suppose it looked and sounded like when the Holy Spirit fell on them like a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire rested on them?

    I find it very offensive by the way when guys like John Crowder, etc. liken the Holy Spirit filling to being on drugs. I am not crazy about the term drunk in the Spirit either. However, the times I personally have been filled with His Presence, you definitely would notice something different about me. Overwhelming Joy for one thing :)

    The Kundalini argument is just silly. I have studied other religions and new age garbage and have personally seen demonic manifestations. I have studied Kundalini as well to further examine this issue. The thing is, when something supernatural happens, whether it is from the Holy Spirit or a demon, the physical manifestations can “look” similar, until you look a little closer and until you talk to the person. Satan can masquerade as an angel of light, but he cannot produce real joy and healing. He cannot cause lives to transform and become righteous, divorced couples to get remarried and the thousands of other miracles we have seen. Satan can masquerade as an angel of light because he is a fallen angel; he is an angelic being. However, scripture does not say he can pretend to be the Holy Spirit. It does not say he could or would want to produce good of any kind in our lives. Jesus however said “you will know them by their fruit”.

    Yes some of the Charismatics act goofy during worship or when encountering the Holy Spirit. And ya, I’m pretty sure some are probably faking it. But, ultimately, what is the fruit of these people’s lives? That’s what we should be looking at. Tons of people coming to Jesus and tons of lives restored and people set free from addiction and all sorts of other evil bondage sounds like God is involved to me. Satan would not set anyone free from the bondage he has put them under, not even to deceive. Jesus made that clear when He said, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?” (Matthew 12:26)

    I was more skeptical of all this than anyone I have seen on this blog, until I decided to see for myself. I took God at His Word that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world and I had nothing to fear. I can walk into any gathering, even religious, on earth without fear. Because the blood of Jesus has covered me and He promised to be with me and never leave me. As missionaries, my wife and I have encountered many false religions and have walked right into their midst and shared Jesus, not even fearing death, and have seen Him show up and do His thing and people come to know Him and leave their false religions. :)

  99. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    I’m going to address some of the things in your posts, but PLEASE, hold all further commenting until I do. I’m glad you now see the proper context of the comment re: the Pope. But, let’s not go down the rabbit trail of the RCC and its adherents – we’re already far afield from the subject of this post.

    This website is the work of one guy – me, Craig. Now give me some time to work through your comments. For this one, I’ll start with this:

    …This does not mean attacking one another and making a mission out of destroying people, who may be off. This just isn’t How we are to behave. On the internet you can find web pages like yours calling every well known Pastor and Evangelist there is false prophet…

    Criticizing someone’s doctrine is not “attacking” and certainly not “destroying” anyone. Again, let’s cut down the rhetoric. Strike two. No more.

    This site is not like others out there. I do my best to keep things civil. Let’s keep the comments same.

    This does not mean I won’t be direct, but I’ll have info, in the form of the person’s direct words, to make any sort of claim.

    I do not agree with all of the teachings of Bill Johnson, but I know that you are stretching and embellishing here a bit. Not to mention you are drawing conclusions and stating them as if he had taught these things…

    Did you follow the hyperlink in the article to the one previous ( http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/bill-johnsons-christology-a-new-age-christ/ ) ? Apparently not, as you would have found quotes supporting the info here. I’ll explain in my next comment.

  100. Craig says:

    You wrote:

    …I have personally heard him preach about Jesus as young man teaching at the temple, saying He had to be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49). There was nothing taught that would indicate that Jesus was not yet the Christ. I just really think things are being taken out of context.

    From the article previous to this are the following Bill Johnson quotes:

    ” It was the Holy Spirit upon Jesus [“baptism in the Holy Spirit” / “Christ anointing”] that enabled Him to know what the Father was doing and saying. That same gift of the Spirit has been given to us for that same purpose.”

    “This anointing [“Christ anointing” / “baptism in the Holy Spirit”] is what enabled Jesus to do only what He saw the Father do, and to say only what He heard the Father say. It was the Holy Spirit that revealed the Father to Jesus.”

    Following Johnson’s logic here, it was not until “the anointing” that Jesus possessed the ability to ‘see and hear what the Father was doing’ (paraphrase). This implies that Jesus could not have known to be about His Father’s business as a 12 year old, contrary to Luke 2:49. This is pointed out in footnote 27 of the (previous) article.

    Here’s one more quote:

    “The outpouring of the Spirit also needed to happen to Jesus for Him to be fully qualified. This was His quest. Receiving this anointing qualified Him to be called the Christ, which means “anointed one.” Without the experience [“Christ anointing” by the Spirit after water baptism] there could be no title.”

    I’m not sure how this could be any clearer. Jesus BECAME the Christ at “the anointing”, and not before. This backs up the analysis under the Johnson Redefines “Christ” section.

    Yes, I’m referencing the first edition of Johnson’s When Heaven Invades Earth. This is all in chapter 7 (going off the top of my head, as I don’t have the book handy at the moment), the one titled “The Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit”. The first portion quoted in the Johnson Redefines “Christ” section is the very first page of that chapter.

    I’m aware of at least one revision in the newest edition of the book: the deletion of (if I recall correctly) the verbiage about the antichrist spirit being “a demonic presence…”

  101. Craig says:

    The following goes off the topic of this post, so I’ll direct to the relevant articles in which you may make any follow up comments. First your comment:

    How do you explain what Jesus says to us here in John 14

    John 14:12
    Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

    Right here: http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/greater-works-shall-you-do/

    Next; you wrote:

    Why does the idea that Jesus would choose to lay aside some of His divine attributes threaten you? All things are possible with God.

    I’m not threatened at all by the idea; however, it goes against Scripture – John 2:19-22; John 10:17-18; and most especially John 5:21-25 (“giving life”, i.e., eternal life, in the then present). You’ll see John 5 referenced in the “greater works” article above; I also cover that here:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/kenosis-christology-and-bill-johnson-part-i/

    Any comments re: kenosis (Jesus living strictly as a man) should be addressed in that series. Please read through the whole thing before commenting. You may skip the more technical parts, but be sure to get to part II with the specific quotes of Bill Johnson and my refutation of these quotes, paying attention to the footnoting in that section (which contain more references to John 5).

  102. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    You do seem to have a penchant for bringing up tangential subjects. Instead let’s stick to the substance of the individual posts, or discussing specific comments under the posts. And, please, let’s keep the comments a bit more succinct.

    I’m through now responding to your recent comments. I hope that I’ve responded to the portions you’ve responded to that are specifically related to this particular post to your satisfaction. If not, feel free to respond to my responses.

  103. Arwen4CJ says:

    David Paul,

    I’m glad to see that you are willing to engage with us on this site :) And it’s nice to see that you are seeking unity, etc. These are all good things. In general, I agree with you that we need to seek unity in the church, and that there is far too much division.

    However, there is a line that, when crossed, cannot be ignored. That line is the essential doctrines of the Christian faith — Christian orthodoxy. If someone preaches another Jesus, another gospel, or contradicts the very essentials of our faith, we can no longer have unity with this person. The New Testament writers said as much numerous times. Paul went so far as to say if anyone preaches another gospel, may they be eternally condemned. And he repeats it.

    So we cannot have unity at the expense of sound doctrine. I believe we actually bring judgment against ourselves if we do this. Regardless of whether or not we agree with them, to not speak out is equivalent to saying that what they are teaching is okay. It is putting others in spiritual danger. How can someone be saved if they have never heard the real gospel or about the real Jesus?

    So then, as Christians, it wouldn’t be loving to allow doctrine that goes against Christian orthodoxy, that goes against the Bible, and that is really no gospel at all. This is especially true when the teacher is extremely popular.

    Second thing to note — those of us who comment here are not all the same. We don’t think all the same, and we don’t necessarily view everything the same way. Given that, we probably don’t all have the same view about Catholics. Let’s not get into that right now, though. I will say this, though. I believe that if someone (regardless of denomination) believes the real gospel and confesses Christ as true Lord and Savior that they are not condemned to hell. I believe that God can work in anyone’s heart, and that He has the ability to draw anyone to Himself.

    Here is what I understand about that passage in Acts where Peter had to assure the crowd that they were not drunk: the Holy Spirit came on the apostles suddenly, and He empowered them to speak in all kinds of different languages. This was obviously not something the crowd expected. All of a sudden a group of men started speaking in foreign languages. They had no idea what had happened, so the people in the crowd assumed that they were drunk.

    No where in the text does it say that they were actually acting drunk. No where does it say they were falling over each other. No where does it say they slurred their speech, etc. Instead, the passage shows that Peter gave them a clear, coherent answer. He wasn’t laughing while speaking. He wasn’t speaking so that he was barely getting out the words. He boldly spoke. The Holy Spirit empowered him to speak for Christ and give an awesome sermon.

    I think everyone here believes that the Holy Spirit is still at work today, transforming lives, convicting people of sin, bringing restoration to marriages, etc. That isn’t what we are debating here.

    I think we need to be very careful about making assumptions of what Satan can and cannot do, otherwise we open the window for deception….neo-pagans and wiccans hold healing services, and people really do get healed there, otherwise they would not hold these services. People in occult religions have good feelings from their spiritual practices, too. That is why they are so attractive to people. Feelings and emotions are not a good measure of whether or not something is of God. Feelings and emotions are not fruits, either.

    Scripture doesn’t say either way whether or not Satan pretends to be the Holy Spirit. However, I do know that multiple people into the New Age and other occult spiritualities have made the claim that “God” spoke to them. Sometimes they specifically say “Holy Spirit.”

    As for tons of people coming to Jesus — the question is which Jesus? The Jesus of the Bible? Or a feel-good genie type Jesus who will give them whatever they want, always telling them how wonderful, loved, and special they are — a Jesus who will make them powerful.

  104. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    Thanks for addressing the “not drunk as you suppose” argument, as I meant to do so.

    Mike Oppenheimer addresses this subject here:

    http://www.letusreason.org/Pent61.htm

    ADDED: One thing not mentioned in the Let Us Reason article above (unless I missed it) is that the mockers were being VERY derogatory in suggesting Peter and the others were “drunk”. It was especially condescending – and meant to be so – because this was during the Jewish Festival of Pentecost, and one was to continue to fast until about 10am. Some translations record Peter as saying “It’s only the third hour”, while others have “It’s only nine in the morning” (the “third hour” meant the third hour after sunrise, which would be approximately 9am). So, this does not necessarily indicate that Peter and the men were actually looking as though they were drunk, i.e. “drunk in the Spirit”; it was their mockers who stated this in order to be antagonistic and purposely disrespectful.

  105. David Paul says:

    Thank you for responding to some of my questions. I’m sorry for upsetting you. I wish I had the time to go back and read hundreds of posts and articles, but I don’t. I have been reading some though. If you would like me to stop asking questions, I will. I am only asking because unlike many Christians I meet, I admit I am not perfect and could possibly be off on something. So, if I am convinced, I will prayerfully change my view.

    Romans 10 makes it pretty clear how we get saved does it not?
    9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    So are you telling me if Bill Johnson believes the above is true, which I’m pretty sure he does, yet still had misunderstandings about doctrine, he would not make it to heaven? I feel like we are going to be surprised who we will see in heaven.

  106. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    By all means, you may ask questions. Just try to keep them pertinent.

    You wrote:

    I am only asking because unlike many Christians I meet, I admit I am not perfect and could possibly be off on something. So, if I am convinced, I will prayerfully change my view.

    I certainly don’t claim any sort of perfection – far from it. But I do try to be as exacting as possible in the articles. That doesn’t mean I’m infallible by any means.

    Your question re: Romans 10:9-13 is a straw man. Neither you nor I can know with any certainty whether Johnson really believes this or not. Other Scripture is clear that there are tares that look much like the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30) and wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-23).

  107. Craig says:

    Let me quote from my own words and words of two other scholars, both of whom are sympathetic to charismatic Christianity here:

    As regards this ‘affirmation’ issue, this proclamation of Christ, we must look at some Scripture such as 1st Corinthians 12:3, “…and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit”. Gordon Fee, in his commentary on 1st Corinthians, does not see this as a “means of ‘testing the spirits’…” because “…it would seem possible for anyone to say these words at will“.77

    ‘The presence of the Spirit in power and gifts makes it easy for God’s people to think of the power and gifts as the real evidence of the Spirit’s presence. Not so for Paul. The ultimate criterion of the Spirit’s activity is the exaltation of Jesus as Lord. Whatever takes away from that, even if they be legitimate expressions of the Spirit, begins to move away from Christ to a more pagan fascination with spiritual activity as an end in itself’.78

    Following is Craig Blomberg expounding on Matthew 7:15-23:

    ‘Jesus now explicitly addresses the situation in which greater numbers profess Christ than actually follow him. He describes some of the pretenders as “false prophets,” those who claim to be God’s spokespersons but are not. Yet, like wolves in sheep’s clothing, they give all external appearances of promoting authentic Christianity in both word and work. “Prophets” as in the Old Testament, refer to those who either foretell or “forthtell” God’s word.

    ‘Verses 21-22 enumerate some of the ways in which individuals can masquerade as Christians. They may verbally affirm that Jesus is their Master, perhaps with great joy and enthusiasm…some [may] work various kinds of miracles…We are reminded that signs and wonders can come from other sources other than God…It is worth emphasizing, however, that one can never know with absolute certainty the spiritual state of any other individual’.79

    Blomberg’s last statement works both ways: one cannot affirm with absolute certainty whether another is a Christian and one cannot affirm with absolute certainty that s/he is not. We must look at their ‘fruit’. Johnson’s ‘fruit’, as outlined above, should give us cause for concern.

  108. David Paul says:

    Regarding 1 John 4:1-3, NASB:
    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of antichrist of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. [1 John 4:1-3, NASB]

    Would you say this scripture is also doing a slight of hand? Notice it says Jesus Christ, then in the last verse it just says Jesus? Bill does believe Jesus came in the flesh doesn’t he?

    Regarding:
    Christ is not Jesus’ last name. The word Christ means “Anointed One” or “Messiah.” It is a title that points to an experience. It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title. He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired.

    The word anointing means “to smear.” The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism. The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit.14

    In this case, Johnson is absolutely correct with his first two sentences; however, with the third through fifth he is claiming that the “title” of Christ was received in a later “experience” which he identifies as “the anointing”. This “anointing” is consistently defined throughout Johnson’s various works as noted above in the beginning of this article.

    The second paragraph continues this line of thought with his concluding sentence making his redefinition clear: “The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit”. By further logical implication Jesus became “Christ” only after He was “anointed” or “smeared with the Holy Spirit” and, consequently, He was merely Jesus of Nazareth prior to this “anointing”. That this explanation/analysis is itself correct is borne out in Johnson’s own redefinition of antichrist as essentially ‘anti-anointing’. Hence, Christ = the anointing and antichrist = ‘anti-anointing’ in Bill Johnson’s theology.

    I believe the root of the problem is found in your paragraph above, where you say “By further logical implication”. I can totally see how you are arriving at your conclusion, but I can tell you with somewhat certainty that Bill does not believe Jesus became the Christ at His baptism and was just an ordinary nobody before that. If he believes that, I will get ahold of him through friends of mine and take him to task.

    Christ does mean “anointed one” does it not? So why is it so awful to talk about His anointing?
    Do we not also receive anointing? And receive the Holy Spirit?

    What was the purpose of the Holy Spirit descending on Him as a dove?

    Why did He do no miracles before that?

    Again if I am asking too many questions or writing too many posts, please let me know and I will wish you all well and be on my way. I am just trying earnestly to do diligence and understand BOTH sides of this debate.

    Thank You
    David

  109. Craig says:

    You wrote:

    Regarding 1 John 4:1-3, NASB:
    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of antichrist of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. [1 John 4:1-3, NASB]

    Would you say this scripture is also doing a slight of hand? Notice it says Jesus Christ, then in the last verse it just says Jesus? Bill does believe Jesus came in the flesh doesn’t he?

    Now I KNOW you’re not accusing the Apostle Paul of deception! I’ll answer that part here, which is right in this very article, quoting scholar Colin G. Kruse:

    “…The spirit of God is recognized as the one teaching human beings (‘every spirit’) when they acknowledge that Jesus Christ ‘has come in the flesh’…The expression ‘to acknowledge Jesus’ is but a shortened version of the expression ‘to acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh’ [ED: from verse 2]. It is important to note that… here…the Spirit’s role is that of witness to the truth of Jesus Christ.

    When in 4:2 the author refers to the confession ‘that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh’, he uses a perfect form of the verb ‘to come’, indicating that it is Christ’s status as one come in the flesh, rather than simply the historic act of his coming that he had in mind….”

    You wrote:

    I believe the root of the problem is found in your paragraph above, where you say “By further logical implication”. I can totally see how you are arriving at your conclusion, but I can tell you with somewhat certainty that Bill does not believe Jesus became the Christ at His baptism and was just an ordinary nobody before that. If he believes that, I will get ahold of him through friends of mine and take him to task.

    Are you claiming omniscience in your “I can tell you with somewhat certainty that Bill does not believe Jesus became the Christ at His baptism and was just an ordinary nobody before that”? As I stated before, we absolutely cannot know the mind of an individual. I’ll quote yet again the Johnson quote I used in an earlier comment:

    “The outpouring of the Spirit also needed to happen to Jesus for Him to be fully qualified. This was His quest. Receiving this anointing qualified Him to be called the Christ, which means “anointed one.” Without the experience [“Christ anointing” by the Spirit after water baptism] there could be no title.” [F2F, p 109]

    There could be NO TITLE of Christ “without the experience”, i.e., “the ‘Christ’ anointing”. To illustrate that Johnson does in fact call it the “Christ anointing”, here’s a quote from Face to Face with God, the same source as the immediately preceding:

    “…The outpouring of the Spirit comes to anoint the church with the same Christ anointing that rested upon Jesus in His ministry so that we might be imitators of Him…” [F2F, p 77]

    As noted earlier, I don’t know how it can be made any clearer. Will you concede that Johnson has made the EXPLICIT statement that Jesus only received the “title” of Christ at His “anointing” (Baptism in the Holy Spirit), which logically implies Jesus was NOT the Christ at any time prior?

  110. Craig says:

    I’ve just put in page references for the two quotes in Face to Face with God in the previous comment. You can find those quotes here:

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Face_to_Face_with_God.html?id=VdzH8O-x3qQC

  111. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    You wrote:

    I can tell you with somewhat certainty that Bill does not believe Jesus became the Christ at His baptism and was just an ordinary nobody before that. If he believes that, I will get ahold of him through friends of mine and take him to task.

    First of all, I was a bit hasty in my “omniscience” remark. I read through your comment quickly and initially missed your “somewhat”. Sorry ’bout that.

    If you really wish to ask him about whether he believes Jesus was not the Christ prior to “the anointing”, then I’d suggest quoting those two sections from Face to Face with God, which clearly indicate that Johnson is conveying that Jesus was not the Christ until the “Christ anointing”.

  112. Craig says:

    David Paul, you wrote:

    Christ does mean “anointed one” does it not? So why is it so awful to talk about His anointing?
    Do we not also receive anointing? And receive the Holy Spirit?

    What was the purpose of the Holy Spirit descending on Him as a dove?

    Why did He do no miracles before that?

    Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah. Jesus Christ is THE Anointed ONE. There are no others. While there’s no doubt Jesus was ‘anointed’ following John’s baptism, this does not mean He was not the Christ prior to this. This is specifically addressed here in the following:

    The term Christ is used universally within orthodox Christianity indicating divinity111,112 [see Hebrews 13:8, 1:12/Psalm 102:27] as the Messiah must, by necessity, be deity in order to atone for our sins. Jesus Christ, the Eternal Logos [John 1:1-18], was “from the beginning” [I John 1:1] and is the “Alpha and the Omega” [Rev 1:8, 1:17, 21:6, 22:13] and no one can rightly be called Christ except Jesus. Berkhof states:

    “There are especially five names [Jesus, Christ, Son of Man, Son of God, Lord] that…are partly descriptive of His natures, partly of His official position, and partly of the work for which He came into the world.”

    “…Christ is the official…name of the Messiah…Christ was set up or appointed to His offices from eternity, but historically His anointing took place when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Luke 1:35, and when He received the Holy Spirit, especially at the time of His baptism…It served to qualify Him for His great task…” 113

    Note that Berkhof explains that Christ was “eternally appointed” yet did not receive the anointing for His office until conception by the Holy Spirit [Luke 1:35; Matt 1:18-20]. This does not mean Jesus was not ‘officially’ called “Christ” until then. The angel Gabriel referred to Him as “Son of God” in Luke 1:35 and the angel in Luke 2:11 referred to Him as “Savior,” “Christ,” and “Lord.” He was also understood to be the Messiah/Christ by Herod [Matt 2:3-4] and He was Immanuel, “God with us,” [Matt 1:22-23/Isaiah 7:14] from the moment of the virgin birth. Moreover: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” [Heb 13:8 NIV 1984] To claim, as Johnson does, that Jesus did not receive the name or title of Christ until Baptism is serious error. Jesus Christ is the Eternal Logos made flesh [John 1:1-14].

    The purpose of the Holy Spirit descending as a dove was for John the Baptist, and for us to know that Jesus was/is Jesus Christ:

    32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One [or, Son of God].”[John 1:32-34, NIV]

    The reason Jesus did no miracles (but, I’d say the experience of Him as a 12 year old teaching in the temple was miraculous) before John’s baptism and the Holy Spirit’s descended as a dove, is because this was His consecration to begin His earthly ministry. It was NOT His empowering.

  113. David Paul says:

    Then what would be the point of the Spirit descending and remaining on Him? If He was operating with all the attributes of His divinity, the Spirit would have already been on Him and remaining.

    By the way, on page 127 of “When Heaven Invades Earth” Bill refers to Jesus as the “Christ Child”. I think there is just a serious misunderstanding here. It sounds like you think Bill is interested in getting us to minimize Jesus and elevate ourselves to be mini gods. That would be insane. I think

    Do you believe Jesus and the Holy Spirit are literally living inside you? Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you and He said I will be with you always” and we are called temples of the Holy Spirit. Or is that just figurative?
    I believe Jesus is inside of us and is still doing what He has always done, miracles.

    As for “I can tell you with somewhat certainty”, true I do not know Bill’s mind or heart, only he and the Father do, but I am also deriving my analysis from logical implications based on the dozens of unbiased times I have heard him speak and from what I have read. I was skeptical at first and had to lay that aside, without fear, to truly listen and make my assessment, based on my understanding of Scripture and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit inside of me (Whom shall I fear? Greater is He who is in me).

    What do you think Bill’s purpose is in leading us all astray? Why is it when we go to the conferences there isn’t 60 seconds that pass without Jesus being mentioned and glorified?
    How can I be crying out for Jesus to fill me with the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ Name and be filled with something or someone else? Whatever you ask in My Name…

    For arguments sake, even if Bill does believe Jesus did not receive the title of Christ until He was baptized, would that not still count as Him believing Jesus is the Christ? Do you think this detail would earn him a ticket to hell?

    I have not read Face to Face and will definitely check up on it. It seems to me that in saying we can receive the same anointing as Christ did we could be imitators of Him, he is still holding Jesus in a much higher (divine) regard. We need the anointing or we would not be able to follow His command to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons, nor even His command to make disciples.

    Someone commented earlier that they have seen new age services where people got healed, experienced true joy, etc. Can you please give me a biblical reference that says something other than God can heal or produce real joy? I know there are counterfeit things going on, but they are not the real deal. The fruit is evidenced by a lifestyle of salvation, righteousness, purity, peace, love, and all the Holy Spirit fruits.

    Anyways, I am getting tired and I will concede to look more into these subjects.
    I would encourage you, if you are not already doing so, to pray for Bill and all the leaders at Bethel. We really should not see any living human being as being already condemned. God wants ALL to come to repentance! No I am not starting a debate on Calvinism vs Arminianism.

    Please consider what I said at first. We are to reject a GOSPEL other than what we have heard and truly it is what we have read, because we were not there to hear it first hand. What a lot of these debates seem to consist of is arguing theology that has been created over the last 2k years. God will never contradict His Word, but He is perfectly comfortable contradicting your understanding of His Word.

    Peace
    David

  114. Craig says:

    Then what would be the point of the Spirit descending and remaining on Him? If He was operating with all the attributes of His divinity, the Spirit would have already been on Him and remaining.

    How long did the Spirit as a dove remain on Him? Scripture does not specify duration, does it? The answer to your question has already been made been as to why the Spirit remained – it was so that John the Baptist would know that Jesus is the one “who will baptize with the Holy Spirit”, i.e. bring salvation by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

    By the way, on page 127 of “When Heaven Invades Earth” Bill refers to Jesus as the “Christ Child”. I think there is just a serious misunderstanding here. It sounds like you think Bill is interested in getting us to minimize Jesus and elevate ourselves to be mini gods. That would be insane. I think

    I’d say there’s a serious problem with Johnson’s conveyance. Either he’s being 100% self-contradictory here… or, this can be explained, as I do here, in the Overcoming Some Objections section.

    Yes, I do think that Johnson is minimizing Jesus, with the goal of elevating us to virtual gods. I think so because of Bill Johnson’s words, which are not inconsistent with Word of Faith theology – which does this very thing.

    What do you think Bill’s purpose is in leading us all astray? Why is it when we go to the conferences there isn’t 60 seconds that pass without Jesus being mentioned and glorified?
    How can I be crying out for Jesus to fill me with the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ Name and be filled with something or someone else? Whatever you ask in My Name…

    I’m not going to try to guess Bill’s purpose. Which Jesus does Johnson mention? The one who received the title of Christ only at the “Christ anointing”? The answer to your last question is the answer you supplied “Whatever you ask IN MY NAME”, i.e. the character of Jesus as laid out in the Truths of Scripture.

    For arguments sake, even if Bill does believe Jesus did not receive the title of Christ until He was baptized, would that not still count as Him believing Jesus is the Christ? Do you think this detail would earn him a ticket to hell?

    I don’t understand how you keep missing the point of John 4:1-3. It’s very clear that one must affirm that Jesus CHRIST came in the flesh. Are you aware that scholars believe that the Apostle John was battling a specific belief that claimed Jesus was not the incarnate Christ (i.e. at birth), because He received the “Christ spirit” at baptism? That’s the heresy John was refuting, according to some scholars. And that sounds VERY much like what Johnson is propounding. This same doctrine is prevalent in the New Age / New Spirituality of today.

    This doctrine is based on a dualism – spirit is good, matter is evil. Given that, it was determined that a man could not also be divine. With that in mind, Jesus merely had the “Christ spirit” descend UPON Him and subsequently leave Him at the Cross. Does Johnson speak of a powerless Jesus on the Cross? You bet!:

    “Jesus lived His earthly life with human limitations. He laid his [sic] divinity aside as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father: to live life as a man without sin, and then die in the place of mankind for sin. This would be essential in His plan to redeem mankind. The sacrifice that could atone for sin had to be a lamb, (powerless), and had to be spotless, (without sin)” [When Heaven Invades Earth, Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2003, p. 79].

    “Powerless”?!

    Someone commented earlier that they have seen new age services where people got healed, experienced true joy, etc. Can you please give me a biblical reference that says something other than God can heal or produce real joy? I know there are counterfeit things going on, but they are not the real deal. The fruit is evidenced by a lifestyle of salvation, righteousness, purity, peace, love, and all the Holy Spirit fruits.

    Counterfeit does not mean fake in the sense of not real at all; they are counterfeit because they come from the enemy. Of course, Satan can only do what God allows (Job 1:6-12). Pharoah’s magicians performed the miraculous. And, if Satan can afflict, as he had done to Job, could he remove affliction and hence cause healing? In any case, there are enough cases of healings in metaphysical cults to lend credence to the fact that Satan can effect healings of some sort. They may well be psychosomatic, I dunno. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 indicates Satan does ‘counterfeit’ miracles that fool many – those who refuse to adhere/love the Truth. Also, Matthew 7:21-23 indicates that there WILL be those who perform the miraculous, yet Jesus ‘never knew’ them, i.e., they were not His, meaning their miracles were not OF HIM.

    Fruit is not quite as easy to discern as you seem to state. Wouldn’t the Dalai Lama be considered to have “righteousness, purity, peace, love…”? As for looking at fruit, here’s an article on that very thing:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/look-at-the-fruit/

    As far as the gospel, Johnson has stated that his gospel is one of no sickness; here it is in his own words:

    Also, Johnson has expressly stated that he teaches a “different gospel”; so, either Johnson is right and the Church has been wrong for 2000 years, or…:

    http://beyondgrace.blogspot.com/2013/06/does-bill-johnson-claim-that-he-teaches.html

  115. David Paul says:

    Thank you Craig for giving my questions so much time and attention. I really appreciate it. I will be doing some more research on all of this and on Bill J. For the record, I believe Jesus came in the flesh and was fully God and fully Man at Birth and was the Christ at Birth. I do also believe He chose to live with human limitations, otherwise saying He was tempted in every way we were would be pointless, not to mention the contradiction of the fact that God can’t be tempted. I will even pray more about these points though and ask God for more clarity. To me I can accept Him as being fully God and making a choice in His sovereignty to live with human limitations to model a sinless life for us (dependent on the Holy Spirit) and die on the cross for us, knowing full well He could call down a thousand angels to destroy His enemies with a word. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are ONE and always have been and always will be. Just as my Spirit and I are inseparable and I am dependent on the role my spirit plays, so was Jesus with His Holy Spirit.

    If I don’t talk to you again here,
    see you in heaven :)
    Shalom
    David Paul <

  116. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    Thanks for taking the time to pose your questions and for ‘listening’ to my answers. As to the question of whether Jesus could or could not sin, I highly recommend Oliver Crisp’s book God Incarnate (a book I’ve meaning to write a review on for some time), in which is a chapter “Was Christ Sinless or Impeccable?” Impeccable means ‘incapable of sinning’. Here’s a snippet:

    Christ can only have acted differently and sinned if, in a give circumstance, he had the power to sin (he could have chosen to sin) and there was nothing preventing him from acting in a way consistent with that option [ED: the author here is referring to the divine nature with which the human nature was in hypostatic union as the means of "preventing him..."]…To remain consistent, the defender of the sinlessness view must affirm that Christ (a) had the capacity to sin (qua human) and (b) had the capacity to sin (qua divine). To affirm the first without the second is to play into the hands of the advocates of Christ’s impeccability. In short, if Christ really could have sinned – but did not – then he must have been able to choose to sin as the God-man. The logic of the sinlessness position drives in this direction.

    The upshot of this is that Christ has the capacity to sin as a divine being. Moreover, if Christ has the capacity to sin qua divine, then it is a very short step from here to the view that the Triune God can sin….

    We must remember that Jesus Christ is the eternal Word, Second ‘Person’ of the Trinity made flesh. That is, Jesus Christ IS the Second ‘Person’ of the Trinity, both fully human and fully divine – fully human because He added a human nature/body to Himself (the kenosis of Philippians 2:7). He is the divine ‘God-man’. A claim that He could have sinned (yet didn’t) entails the belief that God could sin. That’s an impossibility.

  117. Arwen4CJ says:

    David Paul,

    “I have heard of”, not, “I have seen,” people attending New Age and other occult healing services. I had a friend in graduate school who was required to attend a pagan healing ceremony as part of a class assignment. I have also read online testimonies of people who state that they practiced various kinds of healing while in the occult, before they came to Christ. I have also seen occult websites that have testimonies in which people talk about being healed (not much different from the testimonies that people have given at NAR gatherings.)

    Now, given that, there are only four options:
    1.) All of it is fake — it was all in people’s heads or made up
    2.) There was some real healing, but it didn’t last
    3.) Actual healings did occur, but the power used had a demonic source, and was allowed by God — it was a counterfeit healing, done so that people who have refused the truth of God will believe a lie
    4.) The Holy Spirit is in all religions, and works in them all, regardless of whether or not the participants believe in God. This is the argument that many universalists and theologically liberal Christians make. Some in the NAR also believe this.

    Now, biblically speaking, #4 is ruled out. So that leaves options 1, 2, and 3. Which of these is it? Only God knows. We do not. I think all three are possibilities, and probably all happen in occult healing. What we do know for sure is that people believe that there is real healing in the occult, whether or not it is actual.

    We also know from the Bible that God allows Satan to perform false signs and wonders. God allows this as judgment on those people, but Satan uses this power in order to deceive people and lead them into abandoning the real God and the real gospel.

    Colossians 2:6-19 (NASB)
    6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

    8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

    16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath [o]day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NASB)
    Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and [h]signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be [m]judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

    1 Timonty 4:1-5 (NASB)
    4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

    2 Peter 3:14-18 (NASB)
    14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

    Matthew 7:21-23 (NASB)
    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

    Revelation 13:11-17 (NASB)
    11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

    There are more — but these are the ones that stand out to me the most. Furthermore, the counterfeit demonic displays of signs and wonders have to be pretty convincing. I don’t see why these signs and wonders wouldn’t include miraculous healings. We know from Matthew 7 that it includes casting out demons.

    During the Exodus, the Egyptian magicians were able to perform some counterfeit miracles, but they weren’t able to copy all of them. There was real power there. These magicians were certainly not on God’s side.

    You wrote:
    Please consider what I said at first. We are to reject a GOSPEL other than what we have heard and truly it is what we have read, because we were not there to hear it first hand. What a lot of these debates seem to consist of is arguing theology that has been created over the last 2k years. God will never contradict His Word, but He is perfectly comfortable contradicting your understanding of His Word.

    This is the exact issue that many of us have with Bill Johnson and others in the NAR. We are to reject any gospel other than the one that is found in the Bible and handed down to us. Bill Johnson is preaching another gospel.

    Johnson might give lip service to Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, etc. If directly questioned, I’m sure he would affirm this. However, in actual practice he is preaching another gospel. His main emphasis is on signs and wonders. He teaches that the whole reason Jesus came here, died on the cross, and rose again, was so that we can do miracles, signs, and wonders. For him nothing else matters.

    His idea is to do solely power evangelism — to have people walk around and do signs and wonders and then have them believe in the God who gives them this power. He thinks that witches, pagans, and other non-believers can show up to his services, or meet his church members, see or experience signs and wonders, and then believe in the power behind these actions. It’s like he wants to wow people into Jesus by the demonstration of signs and wonders and miracles.

    For him, sound doctrine doesn’t matter. He doesn’t care if people reading his books or hearing him speak walk away with the orthodox understanding of Jesus, etc. All he seems to care about is whether or not these people perform miracles and have spiritual experiences — encounters with the supernatural.

    In practice, then, Johnson is teaching a signs and wonders gospel, in which people find Jesus by having a spiritual experience — seeing power demonstrated or by seeing something in the supernatural realm, which might include “Jesus” or the “Holy Spirit” tell them how much loved and special they are.

    Some of the deception is quite subtle, so what I would suggest that you do is not just listen or read what Johnson and others in the NAR say, but more importantly, what they don’t say. Are they leaving any important doctrines out? If a person received their entire Christian education from Johnson, would the person truly understand who Jesus is, what Jesus did for us, etc.

    Your last sentence that I quoted above reminds me of something I read in a Graham Cooke booklet. In it he was instructing people how to hear from God. He said something like, “if you receive a word that seems to contradict the Bible, then change your understanding of the Bible to make it line up with the word your received from God.”

    That’s dangerous! That is how Scripture gets twisted, and how people get deceived by lying spirits. Our theology wasn’t created in a vacuum. It is based on Scripture — the faith that has been handed down. All Scripture has a context to it, and we can’t just make it mean whatever we want it to mean. Anyone can get the Bible to mean anything that they want, if they just take a passage or verse out of context.

  118. IWTT says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments yet and this may have already come forth but the verse plainly tells us why the decending of the Holy Spirit as a dove…

    First off, John the Baptist says…“…And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “…The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ …

    Why is this so hard to understand… It was simply a method that God used to let John the Baptist KNOW who the ONE was and to let those around see that Jesus is Gods Son… He told John how he would know and this sign confirmed it. Jesus was already full of the Spirit and needed no other impowerment.

  119. Craig says:

    IWTT,

    Thanks for your input. And, what did it also signify? It indicated that Jesus was the one who would “baptize with the Holy Spirit”, i.e., provide the Holy Spirit’s indwelling/salvation to those who believe, or send judgment to the unbelieving. This is what is stated in the Synoptic Gospels such as Matthew 3:11-12:

    11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

    He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The Holy Spirit signifies eternal life (“gathering his wheat into the barn”), while fire signifies “burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire”. This is, of course, contrary to the charismatic belief in the “second blessing” or “baptism in the Holy Spirit”. The two (Holy Spirit and fire) are separate things.

  120. David Paul says:

    Acts 10

    34 Opening his mouth, Peter said:

    “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. 36 The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)— 37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38 You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. 40 God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

    44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the [ah]circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

  121. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    It would be helpful if you posted a specific reason for why you post Scripture, otherwise we’re left guessing. Please do so next time. Not being omniscient myself, of course, I’ll hazard a guess as to why you posted this.

    I’m aware that some use this section to make the claim that this proves Jesus was empowered by the Spirit to do all His miracle workings, and without the Spirit He could not have done any miracles. But, this does not have to be the interpretation. The “empowering” can be by virtue of the consecration, that is, He already had the power inherent in Him (by virtue of His divine nature and Spirit), but, He could not exercise this power until He was formally consecrated for His mission – which was when the Holy Spirit descended as a dove.

    I’m also aware that Pentecostals/charismatics use this (and other sections in Acts) to support a ‘second blessing’, or “baptism in/of the Holy Spirit”. Yet, the way I read this it’s simply stating that Gentiles, under conviction of the Holy Spirit by Peter’s words, believed and hence were indwelt by the Spirit, which caused them to praise God, speaking in a tongue not known to them, but likely known to others within hearing distance (so as to further the Gospel even more).

  122. Craig says:

    I should add the following for clarity:

    According to Berkhof, the initial anointing of Jesus came at the virginal conception, the second one at baptism. The first was for the joining of the Word to His human nature/body; the second was a consecration. As to the second one, certainly it can be construed from Acts 10 (and Luke 4) that the Holy Spirit provided His power; but, then that would contradict some other verses (John 2:11, 2:19-22/10:17-18, etc.).

    So how do we interpret Acts 10? Here’s an analogy: a king calls in one of his servants and pronounces him as governor of a certain region of his territory. Thus, the king ‘empowers’ the servant by his promotion. The new governor did not receive any tangible power from the king, but he did receive authority (power) by the king’s decree.

  123. just1ofhis says:

    Craig, so then can you (or do you) conclude that this consecration of Jesus is primarily for the benefit of His servants?

    That seems to be the sentiment of John the Baptist, as IWTT pointed out. He would not have known who Jesus was (the physical man) if not for the sign that was promised to him via the Holy Spirit. John knew that he had come to prepare the way of the LORD. He knew who he was expecting. The Holy Spirit had given John a sign to look for as he was baptizing in the Jordan. He saw that sign and declared its meaning.

    A bit like this, maybe:

    “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from his hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”

    Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

    Jesus said, “THIS VOICE WAS FOR YOUR BENEFIT, NOT MINE.” (John 12:27-30, my emphasis)

  124. David Paul says:

    I understand what your saying Brother, but I also understand it is rooted in the theology that has been handed down to you by men who really believed they could hear from God and interpret scripture. Just as Bill has had much of his theology handed down to him through the Pentecostal movement. What grieves me on both sides of this unfortunate fence is when people do not believe that the same Holy Spirit who was speaking to the forefathers of the church will speak to us now and bring even more clarity. If Bill Johnson had it all right, then most Christians would be accepting all of his interpretation of scripture with open arms. So clearly he is off on some points or off on his delivery. But what you are offering Craig is not a revelation you have had about scripture, but a theology you seem to have been indoctrinated with. People have their heroes of the faith, as do I. I love CS. Lewis, Smith Wigglesworth, and modern day revivalists like David Platt, Francis Chan and yes I like Randy Clark and Bill Johnson. But I am no more “of” them, then I am “of Paul or of Apolos”. I am “OF JESUS CHRIST”, the God Man, Immanuel and that is it. Clearly you love the teachings of Berkhof, but brother if he had all the answers, then the church would be ONE as it should be through his leading. Craig, I believe the Holy Spirit could use YOU to unite the church through a more clear understanding of scripture than Spurgeon and all the theologians put together could convey. You have the same Holy Spirit living inside of you that they did and because of Him, I love you. LOVE covers a multitude of sin, including someone misunderstanding scripture OR conveying it in a way that leads people to misunderstand their teaching. I am done defending Bill J or this book, because my life, like yours was made for being the instrument of Christ Jesus, to reach the nations and pack heaven full of souls!

    You have the same Holy Spirit in you Craig that Berkhof does. Ask Him for more clarity. Many of the articles and blog posts give answers, but those answers lead to 10 more questions. Why would Jesus say not my will but yours be done? Was God being schizophrenic in this moment? Certainly not. God cannot die. Clearly something of Jesus’ divinity had to be put aside in order for the death on the cross to even happen. This does not have to be interpreted as minimizing Jesus in any way! If anything it makes Him even more amazing that He would choose to do this! How could God who cannot sin “become sin” on the cross (2 cor. 5:21)? Jesus made it clear that He and the Father are ONE. So the Holy Spirit is also His Spirit via the Trinity right? So why would it be heretical to suggest that He is dependent on His own Spirit? Can we not just admit that the miraculous nature of the Trinity and even Jesus’ life as fully man and fully God is beyond our puny comprehension? God said your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts. Why do we keep thinking we can intellectualize the Bible and figure it all out? Your spirit comingling with the Holy Spirit understands the Gospel way better than your brain does! Yet we continue to let the mind of man cause division in the body, while the mind of Christ wants to unite us through love. I don’t hear any Love at all in this blogs people write. It’s almost as if they are promoting seeing people as being already condemned. Well that certainly would make sense with the twisting of Calvin’s teachings that have been going on far too long now. No time at all to get in to that! I am not a Calvinist or an Arminist, or of Paul or of Apolos or of John MacArthur, etc. etc.

    “Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45-46)

    Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 which begins with, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”. Jesus quoted this Psalm in order to draw attention to it and the fact that He was fulfilling it there on the cross. Consider verses 11-18 in Psalm 22:
    Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help.12 Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. 13 They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And Thou dost lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.

    The term ‘dogs’ was used by the Jews to refer to Gentiles (cf. Matt. 15:21-28). His heart has melted within Him (v. 14). During the crucifixion process, the blood loss causes the heart to beat harder and harder and become extremely fatigued. Dehydration occurs (v. 15). Verses 16b-18 speak of piercing His hands and feet and dividing his clothing by casting lots. This is exactly what happen as described in Matt. 27:35.

    Look I know you will have ten articles to answer all of these questions about Jesus the Man and to what level He did or didn’t lay aside any of His divine attributes. But, my point is, what you are offering is doctrine, not scripture itself. Yes the doctrine will use certain scriptures, as everyone’s doctrine does, even Bill’s. But it is doctrine nonetheless. It is a man or group of men’s interpretation of scripture that you are defending. I am suggesting that you should not be causing division and promoting fear based on differences of doctrine. Otherwise, should we next go after the Lutherans for practicing infant baptism? Where will you stop dicing up the Body of Christ? The Body of people who all believe Jesus is the Messiah and only way to heaven? You and your friends here have suggested many things that are not backed by scripture, like the idea that satan can withdraw an affliction or illness to make it appear to be a healing from God. Should we start a website to go after you as a false prophet now? Certainly not.

    2 Timothy 1:7

    7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

    I’m sorry to point out the obvious, but you are using fear tactics to lead Christians into a place of wondering if they are really saved or not. This is not of the Lord! Jesus never commissioned you to do this!

    Matthew 7:21-23

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

    Notice Jesus does not affirm their claim, that they actually did prophesy (false prophets), cast out demons (they were probably faking these scenarios as seems to possibly be the case on so many Youtube videos now a days), or do miracles? He said those that do the “will” of His Father who is in heaven will enter. If they were really prophesying, casting out demons or doing real miracles, that WOULD BE the will of the Father in Heaven. Is David Blaine doing real miracles, signs and wonders? Of course not; he is an illusionist and magician, just like the counterfeits who stood before Pharoah. If something supernatural happens through a magician, it is by the power of the devil. It simply could not by virtue of the above mentioned scripture be within the “will of God”. The miracles I have seen, including some at Bethel, would definitely be within His will. The goats mentioned above practice LAWLESSNESS. There is another sign of someone off track. And no it is not hard to discern fruit. I think the Dali Lama is very sad soul. When the Holy Spirit resides in you, you can sense false light a mile away.

    Anyways, I know I am yet again wasting time here because for every point, you already have an arsenal of your theological doctrine that has been handed down to you to come back at me with. Some of the points you are making about scripture could be seen as heresy in my opinion and in no way am I trying to offend you, just to point out that you are not putting your trust in the Jesus who says, “My sheep hear My voice”, or you would not even be on this witch hunt. You would be asking Him directly how to handle this and not just regurgitating what other Christians have written who were actually bold enough to make a statement themselves. You would be grieving over the possibility of Bill’s soul being lost in hell forever. You would be seeking ways to approach a Brother in Love and sit and reason together as the Bible tells us to.

    I’m sorry for losing my patience, but I am so done with this as it is a pointless waste of time and your hearts here are way too hard to respond to the Holy Spirit the way Jesus tells you to and to Love the Brethren and this lost world the way He tells you to. You are promoting fear and hate.

    Jesus was “God with us” from the moment of His Birth to His death on the cross and He is still with us (inside of us) now. Bill Johnson does not change that for me or for others I know who are listening to Jesus, yet graceful enough to still love and appreciate people who are human and can make a mistake in their attempt to convey what God has shown them, and we don’t agree with every point on. Are you human Craig? Is it possible you are off on anything? If you do not believe you are possible off on any of your understanding of scripture, then I guess you should be a Pope too. I hope you get off this war path soon and see that Jesus the Christ has called you to something better. I pray that one day you will offer a teaching that will help us all understand better and come together in love more the way Jesus Himself prayed for us to in John 17. Interesting that He prayed to the Father isn’t it?

  125. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    Last time/warning on this: break up your comments into smaller bits or I WILL delete/edit portions.

    You are making a lot of assumptions about me. I quote Berkhof because I agree with the particular point he is making. I also quote Grudem, who is Pentecostal (I’m not anti-Pentecostalism); however, Grudem admits that Jesus used His own divine powers to calm the storm on the sea (I don’t have page #/quote reference at present, but I’ve used in comments here on the site – though not in an actual article, yet). But, I’m not Reformed. I’m not Pentecostal, Baptist, etc. I consider myself a non-denominational Christian, and I do not follow any man. This does not mean that I don’t listen to others – others far more learned than me. In fact, I make a point to quote from others of various denominational streams, as long as their views are not clearly in violation of Scripture.

    Here are some questions from Scripture for you to ponder. Why did Jesus declare Himself the “I am” in John 8:58? Why did Jesus state, “I and the Father are one”? But, then again, why did Jesus say, “The Father is greater than I”? This is the mystery of the Incarnation, the hypostatic union. It’s the fact that He was/is both God and man.

    I don’t have time at present to address the rest of your comment; but, I’ll say this: we do not unite at the expense of sound doctrine. Sure, there are going to be minor doctrinal differences. We don’t divide over non-essentials such as eschatology, etc. And if someone ‘merely’ believes Jesus did all the miraculous by the power of the Holy Spirit, I’ll think they’re wrong, as this violates other Scripture; but, I won’t declare them a heretic strictly on that basis. However, if the rest of their doctrine is suspect…

  126. just1ofhis says:

    David Paul,

    You stated, “What grieves me on both sides of this unfortunate fence is when people do not believe that the same Holy Spirit who was speaking to the forefathers of the church will speak to us now and bring even more clarity.”

    Even more clarity? Was there lack in the early church?

    “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.” (1 John 2:26-27)

    If the true anointing of the Holy Spirit brought truth in all things to the church 2000 years ago, how can there be “more clarity” brought to the same body of Christ today?

  127. Craig says:

    just1ofhis,

    Yes, I’d say the consecration was primarily for the benefit of His servants (I made a comment to this effect at the bottom of my 9/13 8:26pm comment). And, your other comments back this up, of course.

  128. David Paul says:

    You are not allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you. You are following the teachings of men who have interpreted scripture. Too bad not many have had the chance to read the Bible without having been handed down all the presuppositions and understanding of others.

  129. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    Let’s cut the rhetoric. The charge you level at me could well be directed back at you. Your claim, at its essence, is that I’m misinterpreting Scripture because I don’t agree with your interpretation. Do you fail to see your hypocrisy?

    Just because I quote another doesn’t mean that I’ve fully relied on these others for interpretation. I’m not arrogant enough to think that I’ve got the final interpretation; so, I look at what others say. If it were a question of just ‘any man, his Bible, and the Holy Spirit’, then there’d be no divergent views on Scripture by Holy Spirit indwelt Christians. But, there’ve been disagreements on doctrine since the early Church. However, on the essentials, there is near-agreement.

    Scripture interpretation is cumulative. It took 400 years to arrive at a proper Christological Definition (the Council of Chalcedon), which still enjoys near-universal agreement today. And, interestingly, the basis of that document, letters which were acknowledged at that Council, affirmed that Christ performed His own miracles, rather than by the Holy Spirit.

  130. just1ofhis says:

    David Paul, you stated: “Too bad not many have had the chance to read the Bible without having been handed down all the presuppositions and understanding of others.”

    So, when Bill Johnson warns people not to study their Bibles too much or they might become bound by a “religious” spirit; is he working toward the goal of people reading their Bibles apart from presuppositions and understandings of others? Should any teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ever teach against reading and studying and relying on the Word of God who IS Jesus Christ in the flesh?

    The real “too bad” is that most people don’t read their Bibles much, if at all. The level of Bible illiteracy among so-called-Christians, especially in the West, is alarming. That is why men like Bill Johnson are thriving. The path out is what it has been for 2000 years…repentance and a heart that is asking and seeking and knocking for the truth…NOT at the feet of Bill Johnson, but at the feet of Jesus Christ.

    Craig has consistently urged people to read and study their Bibles prayerfully, as have the majority of folks who post here. Would satan encourage that?

  131. Arwen4CJ says:

    David Paul,

    You wrote:
    “You are not allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you. You are following the teachings of men who have interpreted scripture. Too bad not many have had the chance to read the Bible without having been handed down all the presuppositions and understanding of others.”

    My response:
    How do you know that we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us? Is it because we don’t draw the same conclusions as you do? Or is it because we have come to the same conclusion as orthodox Christianity?

    Is the hallmark of allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us whether or not we come up with new doctrine?

    Here’s one thing that is missing from many in the NAR movement: a sense of holiness and reverence for God; a healthy, proper fear of God. God isn’t all grace. He is also just. Jesus came full of both grace and truth. We need both.

    One of the main roles of the Holy Spirit is convicting us of sin and sanctification.

    I don’t know exactly what you read in this blog or in the comments that caused fear, or caused you to question your salvation, but perhaps what you felt was the Holy Spirit convicting you of some truth? The truth isn’t always comfortable, but God loves us too much to leave us just how we are.

  132. Craig says:

    David Paul,

    I don’t know if I’ll engage fully with your very long post; but, one thing you fail to see is that when one talks about Jesus, God, etc. ONE IS SPEAKING DOCTRINE.

    You wrote: When the Holy Spirit resides in you, you can sense false light a mile away. Tell that to those who were caught up in the many false movements in the “Church”. Six years ago I was told by a woman hyper-charismatic (my term for charismatics who take things well beyond Scripture in both doctrine and practice) that any Holy Spirit indwelt person can seek experiences and the Holy Spirit Himself will protect them. Yet, without using objective Truth to gauge a subjective experience, how could one know for sure? Where in Scripture is the guarantee my former friend (her choice, not mine) and you will not encounter false experiences as a true Christian? Satan comes as an angel of light; he doesn’t came with horns on his head and a pitchfork in his hand. Paul warned about this:

    3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. [2 Corinthians 11:3-4]

    What do you mean one with “sincere and pure devotion to Christ” can be “led astray” / “deceived by the serpent’s cunning”?! Yes, it’s right there in Scripture.

  133. just1ofhis says:

    There are many wonderful testimonies on the internet of people who were actively involved in “hyper-charismatic” churches and doctrines and were blessed to have the Holy Spirit open their eyes to the falsehood and correct them, mainly via the Word of God, safely to the narrow road. In the midst of deception, one does not know they are being deceived. Only God can clear that up, and that is a miracle of the Holy Spirit brought about by conviction as to the truth of the Word of God.

    Some of those people, myself included, post on this blog.

    The idea that the Holy Spirit enables us to “sense false light a mile away” is a dangerous falsehood. We are to stay “in the Word of God in faith” as we mature in our knowledge of the Son of God and grow up into Him who is the Head, Jesus Christ.

    “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.” (Eph 4:14)

  134. Arwen4CJ says:

    Sometimes the Holy Spirit brings correction to us because we’re going the wrong way, etc.

    Yet, this is specifically ignored by the NAR. In fact, they teach against it. They call everything that doesn’t tell you how wonderful you are “negative.” They claim that the Holy Spirit doesn’t say “negative” things.

    Someone I know once defined prophecy as “speaking to the truth in power,” and I think that is actually a more accurate definition than the one that the NAR uses. Sometimes the Holy Spirit encourages, but I think far more often He brings correction. Prophecy isn’t primarily concerned with predicting the future. It does include that, but that’s not the essential task of it. This is what the NAR forgets. They have a very narrow definition of prophecy that fits a whole lot more with the false prophecy given in the Old Testament than with the prophets of the Bible.

    The false prophets in the OT used to say things like, “God likes us how we are. No destruction will come, etc.”

    The real prophets of God were warning people because they had fallen away and were in spiritual danger. They warned that God was holy and that if the people kept doing the things the way they were, judgment would come upon them. God was angry at the false prophets and spoke against them.

    So sorry, NAR, but we don’t need words that puff us up — which is exactly the kinds of things that they are saying are the things that the Holy Spirit says. Sometimes we do need encouragement, but way more often than that we need correction.

    If the entire NAR ignores corrective words because they call them “negative,” then who is really not listening to the Holy Spirit?

  135. just1ofhis says:

    David Paul says:
    September 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    “But what you are offering Craig is not a revelation you have had about scripture, but a theology you seem to have been indoctrinated with. “

    “I don’t hear any Love at all in this blogs people write. It’s almost as if they are promoting seeing people as being already condemned.”

    “I am suggesting that you should not be causing division and promoting fear based on differences of doctrine.”

    “Where will you stop dicing up the Body of Christ?”

    “You and your friends here have suggested many things that are not backed by scripture, like the idea that satan can withdraw an affliction or illness to make it appear to be a healing from God.”

    “I’m sorry to point out the obvious, but you are using fear tactics to lead Christians into a place of wondering if they are really saved or not. This is not of the Lord! Jesus never commissioned you to do this!”

    “Anyways, I know I am yet again wasting time here because for every point, you already have an arsenal of your theological doctrine that has been handed down to you to come back at me with.”

    “ Some of the points you are making about scripture could be seen as heresy in my opinion and in no way am I trying to offend you, just to point out that you are not putting your trust in the Jesus who says, “My sheep hear My voice”, or you would not even be on this witch hunt.”

    “I’m sorry for losing my patience, but I am so done with this as it is a pointless waste of time and your hearts here are way too hard to respond to the Holy Spirit the way Jesus tells you to and to Love the Brethren and this lost world the way He tells you to. You are promoting fear and hate.”

    “Are you human Craig? Is it possible you are off on anything? If you do not believe you are possible off on any of your understanding of scripture, then I guess you should be a Pope too. I hope you get off this war path soon and see that Jesus the Christ has called you to something better.”

    These comments made me so very sad. I thought about addressing them each with scripture. Instead, I will deal with them as one big basket and answer them with this:

    “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt 5:11-12)

  136. Pingback: Heresy!! Bill Johnson’s Christology | The Shepherd/Guardian

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