Bill Johnson’s Christology: A New Age Christ?, part II

[See also Part I, The Christ Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit, Part IIIa, Part IIIb, and Part IV (Conclusion).]

[T]he church movement, like all else, is but a temporary expedient and serves but as a transient resting place for the evolving life.  Eventually, there will appear the Church Universal, and its definite outlines will appear towards the close of this [20th] century…This Church will be nurtured into activity by the Christ [ED: actually Satan/antichrist] and His disciples when the outpouring of the Christ principle, the true second Coming, has been accomplished.  No date for the advent do I set, but the time will not be long.

-Alice A. Bailey, 191939

As noted in part I, Bailey’s words were channeled through her by a demon known variously as “Djwhal Khul”, “the Tibetan”, or “Master D. K.”.  Bailey was essentially a disciple of H. P. Blavatsky, one of the founders of Theosophy.  Formed in 1875, Theosophy itself is an amalgamation (uniting) of occult doctrines with some roots in 1st/2nd century Gnosticism.  These Theosophical teachings form much of the basis of the New Age / New Spirituality.

As both the Bailey quote from part I and the one above illustrate, the goal was to infiltrate the Christian Church in order to transform it into part of one large universal esoteric Aquarian Age / New Age ‘church’.  The Apostle Paul warned in 2nd Thessalonians 2:9 about this fake ‘second coming’ of which Bailey refers, which is an attempt at mimicking Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.  Paul even applies the same Greek word (parousia) to both Jesus’ Second Coming [2nd Thes 2:1, 8] and the coming of the antichrist in his warning:

7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who restrains him will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming [parousia].  9The coming [parousia] of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.  They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie [pseudos (counterfeit)]  12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.[2 Thess 2:7-12, NIV 1984]

Parousia is defined: “arrival as the first stage in presence, coming, advent.40  By the complete context it’s clear that once the ‘lawless one’ is revealed there will be “all kinds of [false, counterfeit (pseudos)] miracles, signs and wonders”.  These will be absolutely real, but they will be false in the sense that they are coming from Satan.  Ultimately, the power comes from God as He allows Satan the use of this power for His own purposes (v 11).

However, note that “the secret power of lawlessness is already at work” during the time Paul wrote this epistle which is obviously well before the ‘lawless one’s’ revealing (v 8).  These counterfeit/false signs and wonders will be in evidence before the arrival of the antichrist.   He may not yet be ‘revealed’ but his works are already made manifest.  It seems to make sense that these counterfeit signs and wonders would be increasing in both quantity and intensity in the time immediately preceding this false parousia.

Promoter of New Age / New Spirituality teachings Matthew Fox expressed the need for global mysticism in his 1988 book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ in order to bring forth this “Church Universal” of which Bailey speaks above:

Without mysticism there will be no “deep ecumenism,” no unleashing of the power of wisdom from all the world’s religious traditions…The promise of ecumenism, the coming together of religions has been thwarted because world religions have not been relating at the level of mysticism.  The Western tradition appears to have nothing to offer on a mystical level because its religious traditions are unaware of their mystical heritage…41

Perhaps Fox wasn’t aware of the mysticism already growing in the Western church primarily in the hyper-charismatic wing of Christianity.  No doubt hyper-charismaticism has grown since the time his book was written.

At last year’s Piercing the Darkness “prophetic conference” held at Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church in Redding, CA, “prophet” Bob Jones told the audience they were “called to be a mystic generation”.42

…Man is six things.  He’s mind, will, and emotions.  He is human spirit, Holy Spirit and Wisdom of the Ages.  What happens if you begin to tap into the Wisdom of the Ages?  In that little bitty God sperm seed – 1st Peter 1:23 is all the Wisdom of the Ages.  That genetic thing – you have authority over DNA43

For the record, 1st Peter 1:23 is referring to the Holy Spirit indwelling upon conversion, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” [NIV 1984].  All of mankind does not have the Holy Spirit; only true Christians will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  Of course, what Jones is teaching here is not Biblical; but, what does he mean?  More on this in a bit.  “Wisdom of the Ages” is analogous to the ‘Ancient Wisdom’, or occult teachings,44 or “the power of wisdom from all the world’s religious traditions” as Fox states above.  Jones continues later in his ‘sermon’ with even more alarming words:

…Man was created all at oncet [sic: “once”]. Bang.  And God finished it and He made man out of the clay. The DNA.  What He put in here [ED: the body] was not DNA.  It was His genetics that has authority over DNA.  And, you’re gonna have to begin to get a-hold of this.  For this conscience of yours is really your spiritual guide.  God gave this to you to guide your lives.  Don’t violate your conscience.  In certain places it’s called your spirit.  Especially in 2nd Corinthians 7:1 it’s called spirit and flesh….45

Clearly, Jones is making a distinction between the creation of the spirit / conscience / “His (God’s) genetics” which was “made all at oncet”, and the physical human body (clay) containing DNA which was made subsequent to this, indicating a two-step process.  Yet, Scripture describes the creation of man a bit differently, “the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” [Genesis 2:7, NIV 1984].  However, Jones words work well as a ‘Christianized’ explanation of the esoteric/occult/New Age doctrine of reincarnation.  To explain this doctrine, we’ll elicit help from some enthusiasts of the esoteric/occult.

In Annie Besant’s Theosophical/occult book The Ancient Wisdom from 1897 (Theosophy forms much of the basis of the New Age / New Spirituality teachings, as note above) she describes how the individual souls (spirits) await “the opportunity of incarnation” in human bodies:

…As the [human] race evolved, the human tabernacles improved, and myriads of souls [spirits] that were awaiting the opportunity of incarnation, that they might continue their evolution, took birth among its children….46

One time leader of the Theosophical Society Pasadena, Gottfried de Purucker, in his book Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, a “Commentary and Elucidation of H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine”, explains that the spirit is immortal:

…The spirit is the immortal element in us, the deathless flame within us which dies never, which never was born, and which retains throughout…its own quality, essence, and life, sending down into our own being and into our various planes, certain of its rays or garments or souls which we are; and furthermore, that these rays, in descending, constituted the life-essences of a hierarchy, whether we treat of our own selves as individual human beings, or whether we think of the atom, or the solar system, or of the universal cosmos. 47

De Purucker may seem a bit confusing here (and his run-on sentences do not help in clarifying); but, what he’s stating is that in the doctrine of reincarnation all spirits are part of the one “god” who is within all things – a doctrine known as panentheism.  These spirits are immortal, eternal.  De Purucker differentiates between spirit and “soul” with the latter referring to any vehicle containing the spirit.  Each entity has its own “soul”.  That is, the descending spirit has its own “soul”, its vehicle, which enables it to descend and it, in turn, inhabits the soul/vehicle of the human body.48  Besant above is speaking of the soul as vehicle containing this immortal spirit which is “awaiting  the opportunity of incarnation”.  According to this occult doctrine, the human being can function without acknowledging this descended spirit; however, once one acknowledges the ‘god spirit’ inside, one can begin the path to “godhood”.

After explaining how the immortal spirits emanate from the transcendent “God”, and that each spirit remains fully “God”, yet the transcendent “God” is in no way diminished, de Purucker provides a helpful analogy:

A perfect analogy is found in the intrauterine development of man and his descent into incarnation.  His [immortal] spiritual nature does not come down and become his actual body; it remains always his spiritual nature…[T]he physical man, the body, is in very truth the ‘temple of the living God,’ which is itself the glory thereof, hence a part of the temple; the temple, verily, is the lowest manifestation of the living God within.49

In the doctrine of reincarnation, the immortal, disembodied spirit must inhabit a new body at conception as de Purucker and Besant illustrate.   Going back to the first Jones quote: his teaching about “God sperm” works well when put into the context of reincarnation in which the immortal spirits ‘take birth’ in the ‘temple of the living God’.  Combining this with Jones’ second quote, he is claiming that the “God sperm seed” [immortal spirit] provides the “authority” over your DNA (your body) since this “God sperm seed” is, as he calls it, the spirit / conscience or, ‘God’s genetics’, which is placed into the “clay” (body) containing your DNA.  So, once you “tap into the Wisdom of the Ages”, according to Jones, you will gain authority over your DNA.  Apparently this is the basis for the “spiritual DNA” teachings which are becoming more prevalent both in the hyper-charismatic and “Emergent” streams of Christendom.  More on this “spiritual DNA” in part III.

Jones continues with more esoteric teaching, this time sounding decidedly New Age:

But, you’re getting ready to wake up for the night is far spent and the dawn is at hand.  And we’re getting ready for one of the greatest awakenings of all time – no revival but a’ awakening that never ends50

One can almost hear the refrain of the 1969 hit by The 5th Dimension “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” at this point: “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…”  According to the New Age / New Spirituality, we are currently in the latter stages of the Age of Pisces and the dawning of the Age of Aquarius is imminent.

But, Jones is far from through [the remainder will be the subject of a future post].  He even speaks of Christ coming in His people, a reference to the anti-biblical doctrine known as the “birth of the man-child” which is part of the heretical manifested sons of God (MSoG) teaching (MSoG is also an occult / New Age teaching):

…Recently, the Lord spoke to me and said, “I’m coming IN my people.  Christ in you, the hope of glory.  I’m comin’ IN my people.”51

This is not dissimilar to his August 08, 2008 monologue at a conference hosted by Heritage International Ministries and distributed by Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries:

As you begin to grow into the likeness of Christ you’re gonna begin to partake of the divine nature.  And, once you begin to grow up in that-away you’ll continue to mature until you look like Christ all over the world.  Jesus was one person.  Now get ready for Jesuses [sic; plural of “Jesus”] all over the world.52

Esoteric/occult/New Age literature has long proof-texted Colossians 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” to indicate the god within which needs to be first realized then actualized.  As but one example of Alice Bailey, “There is a growing and developing belief that Christ is in us, as He was in the Master Jesus…”53 Here Jones seemingly has yet another application in mind.  Is he speaking of the fake parousia, the false second coming of which both the Apostle Paul and Alice Bailey spoke?

Actually, Bob Jones has been speaking these sorts of things for about 25 years now.  To help further explain the preceding Jones material, here’s a more direct, concise quote from the late Earl Paulk which should help shed some light (actually dark):

…‘Christ in us’ is God’s continuing incarnation…The Church is Christ’s body, the incarnation of Christ today.  The mystery which has been hidden but is now revealed to His saints is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’  The mystery of this generation is Christ in us.  We never understood that mystery fully.  We pray to a ‘God beyond the clouds in heavenly places’ when Christ is in us.  The hope of glory is not in the heavenlies – the ‘hope of the heavenlies’ is on earthEvery departed saint is gathered, waiting to see how many of us are going to receive understanding and bring Christ from the heavenliesThey are waiting for total redemption as we are.

If God’s love is going to be manifested on planet earth, who is going to demonstrate it?  Christ in us, the hope of glory.  God has no other place to show His love except through His body.54

Satan and his demons need our cooperation to do their bidding (“the hope of the heavenlies is on earth”).  Following is the New Age / New Spirituality teaching on the false parousia as Bailey calls it, “the outpouring of the Christ principle, the true second Coming”.  According to New Age / New Spirituality, when “the Christ” (antichrist, the new ‘World Teacher’) “reappears”, he will also have the ability to manifest through many people at one time:

The Christ, when He comes into incarnation, will most likely project himself into many parts and be where he wants to be. This is called the Law of Divisibility, a term used in Agni Yoga that means a highly developed spirit—one who is able to contact, simultaneously, various people in various locations.55

Does this not seem uncomfortably close to the Jones/Paulk version above?  Continuing:

For example, a Master can be seen in various groups at the same time. He can even be in different planes serving and teaching on different levels to meet various needs of the people. He can do different jobs in different places at one time. He impresses the space with his images, and so forth.56

Certainly, Bill Johnson bears some responsibility for Bob Jones’ teaching since this “prophetic conference” was hosted at his Bethel Church.  Presumably, he’ll likely revert back to his words here:

…As a pastor I sometimes invite speakers who come in a rough package but carry a great anointing.  I do this to train my congregation to recognize the anointing and to celebrate who people are, not who they aren’t.  People want to be doctrinally safe, not relationally safe.  Often people expect me to publicly rebuke a previous speaker for teaching against what we believe.  I will do that only if it’s actual heresy.57

One has to wonder what Johnson’s definition of heresy is.  Certainly, refusing to rebuke a specific unbiblical or anti-biblical teaching by an individual who has spoken at his church amounts to tacit approval despite his statement above.  However, given that the Bob Jones material cited in this section (excepting the MorningStar monologue) is sold in both audio and video format at Bethel, this connotes not just tacit but explicit endorsement.  And for this, Johnson should be held responsible.  With this endorsement from Bethel, one may be led to believe Jones’ teachings (at the least his words on this DVD/cd) are part of the Johnson / Bethel belief system.  Are they?

Bob Jones “The Coming Kingdom”
Piercing the Darkness, 2011

Bob Jones lurks in the background of much of hyper-charismaticism.  He is lauded as a true ‘prophet of God’.  Do his esoteric teachings form the backdrop for the movement as a whole?  “Apostles” in the New Apostolic Reformation, the very ones who claim authority, do nothing to correct any of Jones’ strange teachings.  Since Bill Johnson himself is a recognized ‘Apostle’ within his own sphere of influence, he certainly has the authority.  Will he correct any of Jones’ teachings?  Has he yet?

Bill Johnson: Deceived Deceiver or Deceiving Deceiver?

While we cannot know for certain an individual’s true heart or motives, we are to ‘know them by their fruit’ [Matthew 7:15-23], i.e. their doctrines and practices.  Following is a list of things showing redefinition of key Christian terms and concepts, apparent deceit, questionable associations and endorsements, a dubious ‘healing’, and other concerns:

– It has been demonstrated that Bill Johnson has redefined repentance and, even worse, Christ and antichrist spirit, some of this in mid-paragraph.  It is very difficult to view this as other than deliberate.  Given that Johnson has changed Christ to “anointing” and antichrist spirit to ‘anti-anointing’, and that he’s termed our present era the “post-denominational era”,58 is it any wonder that Johnson would want the anointing of William Branham, the one who called all Protestant denominations antichrist?59

…That antichrist spirit that we’re studying, in denominationalism, and proven that denominationalism is antichrist….60

– The circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the Roberts Liardon library indicate apparent deceit.  Of note also: Liardon’s book God’s Generals is highly endorsed by Johnson.61  This book contains historical snapshots of a number of “past revival leaders” including Branham.  While Liardon doesn’t shy away from some of the problems with Branham in the latter part of his days including that denominationalism was “the mark of the beast”,62 he attributes these doctrinal aberrations to be caused by Branham moving away from his ‘gift of healing’63 which he claims God “couldn’t take back”.64  Liardon mentions the fact that Branham could only heal if his ‘angel’ was “standing at his right side”.65  Apparently, according to Kurt Koch, in his book Occult A-B-C, Branham’s ‘angel’ would not appear when Christians were in the audience praying thus rendering Branham powerless:

There are disturbing powers here.  I can do nothing.66

Since when is God constrained by “disturbing powers”?

– He clearly borrows from Word of Faith (WoF) theology.  As stated in a previous article, some of his doctrines follow Kenneth E. Hagin, Sr. in the way he moves from one Biblical proof-text to the next to make his theological points.  One such example is the ‘born again Jesus’ teaching in which he moves from Hebrews 1:4-5 to Acts 13:33 although Johnson stops short of Hagin’s claim that Jesus went to hell, took on Satan’s nature and was subsequently ‘born again’.

Here’s one Johnson quote illustrating the WoF ‘prosperity gospel’:

…Jesus destroyed the power of sin, sickness, and poverty through His redemptive work on the cross. In Adam and Eve’s commission to subdue the earth, they were without sickness, poverty, and sin. Now that we are restored to His original purpose, should we expect anything less? After all, this is the better covenant! 67

Moreover, it has been demonstrated that there’s a strong possibility Johnson has even adopted the same (re)definition as E.W. Kenyon for the word reality (the spiritual realm as opposed to the physical).  Kenyon, from whom Hagin borrowed heavily, was the originator of Word of Faith doctrine.  Kenyon very likely borrowed this redefinition from Theosophy (H. P. Blavatsky) who apparently had in mind the Dualism of 1st/2nd century Gnosticism.

– Johnson has friends who have propounded and continue to promote unorthodox and heretical doctrines including Bob Jones (as noted in the previous section), Todd Bentley and others.   Conferences of which Johnson both hosts and speaks feature individuals with unbiblical and anti-biblical doctrines and some with questionable practices.  He specifically backed Todd Bentley both at the Lakeland “Revival” and in its aftermath, and he even wrote a letter last year in support of him recommending him for ‘ministry’.

– There is at least one recorded dubious (or worse) healing.  The following probably says it all: “What have I done?  This guy thinks he hobbled in here…wait until he tries to walk out!68 The Biblical witness does not once show God making an individual worse en route to divine healing.  In essence, Johnson states that God subsequently ‘covered him’ for his initial mistake in this ‘healing’.69

– Johnson promotes contradicting concepts.  Johnson states one thing one time then contradicts this very thing the next.  One example is his definitive statement, “sin and its nature have been yanked out by its roots”.70  This, of course, is not Biblical as we never get rid of our sin nature until we receive our imperishable bodies [1 Cor 15] at the resurrection of the saints.  Johnson will make statements seemingly affirming our ability to remain sinless71 (a view in common with New Age / New Spirituality) yet, at other times Johnson will make statements about our sin.72  In addition, Johnson’s followers sometimes understand his teachings in an unorthodox manner while Johnson rarely makes any attempts to correct these ‘misunderstandings’.

With all the preceding in mind, let’s look at a few statements which seem to contain orthodox statements at least in part:

Jesus was (and is) God.  Eternally God.  That never changed.  But he chose to live with self imposed restriction while living on earth in the flesh – as a man.  In doing so He defeated sin, temptation, the powers of darkness as a man.  We inherit His victory – it was for us.  He never sinned!” [Facebook 3/21/2011]

The first three sentences in and of themselves are entirely orthodox.  Adding the fourth, some have understood Johnson to be teaching what is known as functional(ist) kenosis (see here for a full discussion on kenosis, or self-emptying), i.e. that Jesus retained all His divine attributes yet chose not to use his omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience (and possibly other traits) during His earthly ministry relying instead on the Holy Spirit. [This view violates some key Scripture in any case: Heb 1:3/Col 1:17; John 5:21, 24-25.]  However, this narrow view fails to look at the rest of Johnson’s explicit statements as shown in part I and this article which prove the contrary.

Moreover, “self imposed restriction” can also be understood such that the Word voluntarily divested Himself of some or all divine attributes at the moment of the virginal conception/birth resulting in this restriction.  This would indicate a stronger form of kenosis (or worse) known as ontological kenosis.  In fact, this seems more likely given Johnson’s next sentence that Jesus defeated “the powers of darkness as a man”.  In addition, the emphatic last sentence seems to drive home that it was His sinlessness as a man which provided “His victory”.  According to orthodox Christianity, to provide effective Atonement Jesus had to be both fully God and fully man on the Cross.

In addition, it’s important to note that all modern (mid 19th century to today) kenosis theorists proclaim Jesus Christ’s eternal deity yet many effectively deny this in their theory by asserting He lacked some or all divine attributes while incarnate creating an inherent contradiction.

Here’s another quote which backs up the assertion that it’s both the stronger kenosis (or worse) and Jesus Christ’s lack of sin that is Johnson’s focus.  The following even suggests that if one were to follow Jesus’ example one could be sinless (again, this is not unlike New Age / New Spirituality teaching):

Jesus modeled what life could be like for any person that had no sin and was filled with the Spirit of God.  He’s eternally God; He’s not a created being – He’s eternally God, but He set aside divinity and chose to live with the same set of restrictions that a human being would have.  Why? To set an example for us.  Now if He did what He did as God, I’m still impressed; but, I’m not inclined to follow.  But when I find out He did it as a man with the same limitations I have, suddenly I’m no longer content to stay where I’m at.73

In the following, a statement in an article in the March 2012 Charisma, Johnson states quite explicitly that Jesus no longer had any deity/divinity during the Incarnation:

While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man (see Phil. 2:7). It’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God.

If He did them as God I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. Jesus is the only model for us to follow.74

The Charisma article states that this quote was adapted from his book (co-authored with Randy Clark) The Essential Guide to Healing.  Here’s the quote from the book which is much the same as above:

Jesus emptied Himself of divinity and became man (see Philippians 2:7).  While He is eternally God, He chose to live within the restrictions of a man who had no sin and was empowered by the Holy Spirit.  In doing this, He provided a compelling model for us to follow.75

Each of these suggests not ‘merely’ kenosis but metamorphosis instead, i.e. the Word literally became a man transforming Himself into a human devoid of any deity/divinity.76  Perhaps Johnson was not very careful with his words (and Charisma as well as Chosen Books, the publisher of his book, were equally careless in editing); however, when taken together with the other two statements above and the rest of his Christological statements, something is definitely amiss.  This reconfirms the analysis of Johnson’s Christology in part I.  Moreover, in looking over all the other evidence noted in this section one may wonder if he is not deliberately making these seemingly confusing and contradictory statements.

However, Johnson does proclaim Christ’s eternal deity in most of these statements, doesn’t he?  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.

Keeping in mind the goal as specified by Alice Bailey in part I of this article in “ preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages”,80 the kenosis/metamorphosis teachings may be a way to ‘Christianize’ the concept of reincarnation, i.e. by superimposing this on the subject of the person of Christ in a way that seemingly remains ‘Christian’.

From a Christian perspective one cannot state, “Jesus is eternally God” yet claim, “He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man”, as this is a logical contradiction.  However, in the esoteric doctrine of reincarnation all spirits are immortal.  “Immortal” can be synonymous with “eternal”.  And according to the Theosophical doctrine of reincarnation all of these immortal spirits are a part of the one transcendent “God”, so one could say these are “gods” as well.   Therefore, one could claim that not only is Jesus “eternally God”, we are also gods, for we all, including Jesus, have these immortal spirits within us!81

Essentially, Bill Johnson, like much, if not all, of the rest of hyper-charismaticism, humanizes Jesus at the expense of His deity.  This makes Jesus just like we are, and makes us just like Jesus.  Once the playing field is leveled in this way, the door is opened to deify ourselves, to make ourselves into gods.  Consider the following Johnson statement with this in mind:

…And the whole issue of Jesus going to the Father was that He would be going as the Resurrected, Ascended, glorified Son of God, and, in that condition would set the stage for what you and I would become.  It’s an amazing part of the Gospel.  Did you know that Jesus gave up everything to become a man?   He owned everything.  He and His Father owned everything…But when He became a manHe forfeited everything to become a man.

One of the most amazing truths in the Bible…in John 16 is that Jesus re-inherited everything…He’s talking to His disciples…‘The Father’s given me everything.’  Now think about this.  He gave it all up; He forfeited His right to everything to take on a human body and be murdered to take upon Himself what you and I deserve so that we could take upon ourselves what only He deserves.  Stunning. 

The Father so honored Him for His perfect obedience that He now re-inherited everything; but, now not as GodDon’t misunderstand me, Jesus is not an ascended being; He’s not, uh, He didn’t work His way up into divinity.  He is eternally God, eternally God.  But, when He re-inherited everything, He inherited it as a man without sin.  Why?  Because He became our elder brother.  He became the one who inherited everything.  Why?  So, that you and I could be positioned to inherit everything with Him.  He forfeited all so that He could re-inherit in a way that would include us.82

Note the disclaimer in the last paragraph, “Jesus is not an ascended being…He didn’t work his way up into divinity” and his stammering in the middle.  It appears Johnson is well aware of the Christological contradiction inherent in his teaching: Christ cannot be eternally God yet temporally (in our time-space continuum) merely a man during His earthly ministry.    But more importantly, he’s obviously aware of New Age teaching which he seems to be trying hard to convince the audience he is not teaching.83

Most importantly, this quote begs the question: what did Jesus relinquish when He “forfeited everything to become a man”, and what did he subsequently “re-inherit in a way that includes us”?  Did He become wholly a man complete with the human sin nature yet successfully remain sinless, thereby (re)attaining His salvation and becoming the model for the rest of mankind to follow in order to attain their own salvation in the same fashion?  Or, did He forfeit His divinity and subsequently regain it thereby paving the way for mankind to attain deity?  Considering all the Christological quotes above, one or both of these seem to be quite logical conclusions to Johnson’s teaching, for it seems Jesus gave up His divinity at the beginning of the Incarnation and reacquired it some time before or at Ascension.  This is not inconsistent with WoF doctrine.84

No matter how all this is meant, any interpretation seems not to approach Christian orthodoxy.

Part IIIa will take specific quotes of Bill Johnson and compare these to various quotes from New Age material.  In addition, Part IIIb we’ll take a closer look at the “spiritual DNA” teaching and will discuss “the Word made flesh”.  All this should prove quite ‘illuminating’.

39Bailey, Externalisation; p 510.  Emphasis added.
40Bauer, Walter, F. W. Danker, W. F.  Arndt, F. W. Gingrich A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 2000 (3rd ed.),University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL; pp 780-781.  Also known as “BDAG”.
41Fox, Matthew The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance. © 1988 by Matthew Fox, HarperCollins, New York, NY; p 65.  Bold from emphasis in original; underscore added.
42Jones, Bob “The Coming Kingdom” Piercing the Darkness Prophetic Conference, February 2011. Hosted by Bethel Church, Redding, CA, Feb 23-25, 2011, Session 4, Feb 24, 2011, 7:00pm; 16:02 – 16:05.  Available for sale at Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church website: <http://store.ibethel.org/p4810/piercing-the-darkness-february-2011-complete-set-bethel-campus> As accessed 04/01/12.
43Jones, “Coming Kingdom”; 11:30 – 11:59.  Emphasis added.
44de Purucker, G. Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy. © 1979 Theosophical University Press, 2nd rev ed (1932), Theosophical University Press, Pasadena, CA; p 147.  The front cover describes the book as a “Commentary and Elucidation of H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine.  From the text on page 147 referencing volume I of Blavatsky’s work (page 272): “The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages…”
45Jones, “Coming Kingdom”; 24:36 – 25:30.  Emphasis added.
46Besant, Annie The Ancient Wisdom: An Outline of the Theosophical Teachings. © 1939 The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, (1897; 8th Adyar ed 1969), Adyar, Madras, India; p 214.  Book is “dedicated with gratitude, reverence, and love to H. P. Blavatsky who showed me the light”.  While there are a few minor discrepancies in the teachings of Blavatsky, Besant and Bailey, they mostly agree.
47de Purucker; p 157.  Bold from emphasis in original; underscore added.
48de Purucker; p 154.  “…What do we mean by soul as contrasted with spirit?  We speak of the human soul and the spiritual soul, and we speak of the astral soul, and we speak of the animal soul.  But we do not use those terms in connection with the word spirit.  Does it not teach us that the meaning of soul is that of a vehicle, an uphadhi in general; that vehicle, or any vehicle, in which the monad [ED: spirit, i.e. part of the transcendent “God”], in any sphere of manifestation, is working out its destiny?” [Emphasis in original.]  In this doctrine of reincarnation, everything has a “soul” – minerals, plants, animals and humans – and each have an inhabiting “spirit” which is using the “soul” as a vehicle to ascend to godhood.  The mineral must first ascend its way to the plant, then the animal, then the human, and ultimately to godhood.
49de Purucker; p 150
50Jones, “Coming Kingdom”; 21:26 – 21:40.  Emphasis added.
51Jones, “Coming Kingdom”; 38:53 – 39:05.  Emphasis in original.
52Jones, Bob.  Excerpt of his monologue from an August 08, 2008 conference held at Heritage International Ministries Retreat Center featuring Todd Bentley, Bob Jones and Rick Joyner.  DVD sold through Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries, Media Store, VS19-000D. “Todd Bentley Healing and Impartation Service, 08-08-08”
<http://www.morningstarministries.org/store/teaching-sets/todd-bentley/todd-bentley-healing-and-impartation-service-08-08-08>.  Emphasis added.  As accessed 04/01/12.  Here’s an advertisement announcing the conference: <http://www.morningstarministries.org/events/morningstar-conferences/todd-bentley-healing-impartation-service-2008> As accessed 04/01/12
53Bailey, Externalisation; p 592.  Emphasis in original.
54Paulk, Earl Held in the Heavens Until…: God’s Strategy for Planet Earth. 1985, K Dimension Publishers, Atlanta, GA; p 229.  All emphasis added.
55World Service Intergroup website. Dubois, J.D. “The Christ, His Reappearance, and the Avatar of Synthesis” < http://www.worldserviceintergroup.net/#/christ-reappearance/4543145171 >   World Service Intergroup; Dubois; par 5; as accessed 03/27/12
56Dubois; par 5.  Continuing from above.
57Johnson, Face to Face; p 71, cf. 66-67
58Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 90
59Branham, William M. The Revelation of the Seven Seals. © 1993 VGR (2009 reprint), Voice of God Recordings, Jeffersonville, IA; pp 259, 283-285, cf. 259-295.  Transcribed from original tapes recorded March 17-24, 1963.
60Branham, p 259
61Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 103
62Liardon, Roberts God’s Generals: Why They Succeeded and Why Some Failed. © 1996 by Roberts Liardon (2nd prtng), Albury Publishing, Tulsa, OK; p 340.  The book is endorsed by C. Peter Wagner, Hee Kong, Jack Coe, Jr., Gerald Coates and others.
63Liardon; pp 335, 343
64Liardon; p 343
65Liardon; p 332
66Koch, Kurt Occult A-B-C. 1986 (2nd ed), Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI; p 235
67Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 33
68Johnson, Release Power of Jesus; p 107.  Emphasis added.
69Johnson, Release Power of Jesus; p 108
70Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 110
71Johnson, Heaven Invades; pp 29-30
72Johnson, Supernatural Power; p 110
73Johnson, Bill. “Authority and Power for Healing, Special Impartation and Activation Service”, NW Healing Explosion – Seattle Region, held at Sonrise Christian Center, Everett, WA, Thursday, December 1, 2011 (most likely date, as it seems there’s discrepancy between schedule on bulletin and date listed on url with Johnson’s monologue), 7pm; 42:30 – 43:10. <http://www.livestream.com/nwhealingexplosionseattle11/video?clipId=pla_49e5829f-8bef-4441-a0a1-3d91097b27a2&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb> As accessed 04/01/12.  Emphasis added.  Many thanks to the CrossWise reader who sent this to me recently.
74Johnson, Bill. “You’ve Got the Power!” Charisma. March, 2012, Vol 37, No. 8; p 26.  Emphasis added.  Also currently available online: <http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/new-man/1622-features/32505-youve-got-the-power> Feb 23, 2012; par 7-8.  As accessed 04/01/12.  Many thanks to CrossWise reader/commenter Tim Bain for providing the source.
75Johnson, Bill, Randy Clark. The Essential Guide to Healing: Equipping All Christians to Pray for the Sick. © 2011 by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark, Chosen Books (a division of Baker Publishing Group), Bloomington, MN; p 125.  Emphasis added.  Each chapter is authored by either Bill Johnson or Randy Clark.  The chapter from which this quote is taken was authored by Johnson.
76This is consistent with Word of Faith doctrine.
77Fee, Gordon D. The First Epistle to the Corinthians: The New International Commentary on the New Testament. 1987, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MN; p 581.  Emphasis added.
78Fee, Corinthians; p 582.  Emphasis added.
79Blomberg, Craig L. The New American Commentary: Vol. 22; Matthew. 1992, B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN; pp 132-133.  Emphasis added.
80Bailey, Externalisation. p 511
81See de Purucker; pp 150-151
82Johnson, Bill. Audio clip taken from 2010 Australian “When Heaven Invades Earth” Tour as accessed from Plantagenet Family Church, Mount Barker, Western Australia, 03/21/11 from the following url: <http://pfchurch.org.au/?p=357> which now is redirected to a different page altogether.  Link recovered on Internet Archive / The Wayback Machine; however, audio clip is unavailable: <http://web.archive.org/web/20101106155256/http://pfchurch.org.au/?p=357>.  Originally transcribed by CrossWise on 3/21/11 or just after; last access date to original web link unknown but likely Fall, 2011.  All emphasis added.  Many thanks to the CrossWise reader who sent this to me on 3/21/2011.
83A similar quote is available on YouTube by “whizzpopping” Bill Johnson – Bringing Heaven to Earth (Part 2 of 2). Aug 20, 2010 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxVdxzJ0vN4> 3:10 – 4:30: “He forfeited everything because He owned everything; literally all that exists was His. And, He gave it all up to become a man; and, then He re-inherited everything as a man so that you and I would have an inheritance – the absolute mercy of God.  So, now He stands after His triumphant Resurrection. The defeat of the power of death, hell and the grave – all that stuff was defeated, the power of sin. And, He stands before humanity and He says, ‘I got the keys back.  That which was lost in the Garden, I’ve got it back. Now, let’s get back to plan A.’  And, he makes this profound statement; he says, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”  Jesus did not make that declaration as GodNow, na – He’s eternally God; he’s not a created being, He didn’t ascend, ya know, to some position. He’s eternally God; but, He did not make that statement as God.  How do we know? Because He said, ‘All authority’s been given to me.’  There’s no one higher than God to give God authority.    When Jesus made that statement, He made the statement as our elder brother.”  Bold from emphasis in original; underscore added.  As accessed 04/01/12.  Once again, note the stammering in his disclaimer.
84McConnell, D. R. A Different Gospel: A Historical and Biblical Analysis of the Modern Faith Movement. 1988 (4th prtng, March 1991), Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA; pp 116-133

80 Responses to Bill Johnson’s Christology: A New Age Christ?, part II

  1. Rob says:

    Why don’t you expose the FACT that Bill Johnson & the like are behind the “Jesus Culture” shows all over the US. These people are putting demons & false spirits into our children.

  2. Bud Press says:

    Craig, once again you have connected the dots and exposed the dark underbelly of a movement that many consider “Christian”. May our Lord richly bless your efforts, and use your articles for His glory.

    The hyper-Charismatic movement slithers and undulates under the influence of its leaders, all of whom are overshadowed by Satan and his minions, and fueled by doctrines of demons (2 Corinthians chapter 11).

    In their desperation, hyper-Charismatic leaders attempt to undermind God’s written word, and destroy the One who suffered and died for them on the cross. They cannot overthrow God in heaven, as Lucifer tried, but they play into Satan’s hands and seek to be “gods” of this world. They fail to realize that their father, the devil, is the great betrayer, and that he grins over every false prophecy and every false teaching they expound.

    Currently, Bill Johnson is the most influential person within the hyper-Charismatic camp, and the most dangerous. His followers adore and idolize him–regardless of how false and blasphemous his teachings are. He, along with others within his false belief system, have slithered in to the Christian church, laid the foundation of deception, and are now paving the way for the antichrist (Acts 20:27-31).

    Finally, there is a tremendous division between the hyper-Charismatic camp and Biblical truth, which Craig has so tirelessly pointed out. One cannot believe as Bill Johnson does and be a Christian. Johnson’s “Jesus” wears a toothy grin, and has not the authority, ability, or power to forgive sin, save, sanctify, and redeem a lost soul bound for hell.

    And those who defend Bill Johnson outright, or work diligently behind the scenes to give him the benefit of the doubt, are a part of the problem, and not the solution. Their written, pathetic sympathies speak louder than words, and will return to haunt them.

    Bud Press, Research Consultant,
    Christian Research Service
    Jude 3

  3. Craig says:

    One thing I wish to point out. Johnson states over and over that “the Son could do nothing of Himself” proof-texting a portion of John 5:19 to show Jesus’ supposed powerlessness during the Incarnation. [Of course, this is contrary to the larger context, but I'm making another point right now.] Then, in the last quote (at footnote 82) Johnson claims that in John 16 Jesus “re-inherited everything” as “The Father’s given me everything”. This is most likely John 15:16, “All things that the Father has are Mine” [NKJV]. Yet, Jesus made this statement BEFORE the Cross!

    I don’t know how it can be more clear that Johnson uses eisegesis, that is, he reads into Scripture to propound his false doctrines rather than extracting from Scripture (exegesis) as we should. Using Johnson’s method, anyone could make the Bible say whatever they want.

  4. Craig Bridgforth says:

    Craig, I never cease to be amazed as to how well you present the Truth especially when you are dealing with complicated situations. If some of your readers insist on following these fools into hell, it won’t because they did not have ample warning. Well done, Craig!!

  5. Craig says:

    Hey, thanks Craig! There’s more to come…

  6. Arwen4CJ says:

    I haven’t read the whole second article yet. I was wondering if you might have a copy of Bob Jones’ whole speech from that conference? I’d like to see the full context of what he’s saying. I think I told you that I know someone who went to that very conference. :( She saw nothing wrong with anything that any of the speakers said :(

    Anyway, I’d like to see the full context. Bob Jones is a false prophet and teacher, there is no question in my mind. I’ll finish reading this later.

  7. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    Yes, I have to whole disc of that night (photo in article). So, this person saw nothing wrong with Jones guiding folks on trips to heaven to see “your daddy and your brother” right then and there?

  8. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    I just listened to a portion of the cd at lunch and I heard him distinctly state that the “God sperm seed” is given to everyone at conception.

  9. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    I guess not :( She must be really deceived.

    Wow….I don’t know anything that was actually said at the conference (other than the quotes above). I had no idea that he spoke on his evil trips to third heaven occultic activity, or that he actually invited people to do it right in the conference. :(

    The woman attended the conference, and then when she got back she said it was great. She loved all the speakers, especially Graham Cooke. She didn’t say anything about the actual content of these people’s messages.

    I had an idea that what was taught at the conference was false, but I assumed that they at least tried to make it sort of look like orthodoxy, as she thought these people were so great. I thought that maybe there were just a couple comments that an undiscerning person might not pick up on. But wow…..

    When she got back from that conference, I went to Bethel’s website to see who the speakers were. I wrote her a couple e-mails about my concerns. I told her about Bob Jones and how he had made women “get naked so that they could receive a word from the Lord” from him. I told her that the leaders at the my church at home (the one I ended up leaving) considered Bob Jones to be a dangerous heretic, etc. I gave her links to false prophecies he had given, and I warned her about the occult third heaven and angel encounters that the man taught. I told her that he was a very dangerous false teacher who had been instrumental in Todd Bentley’s “revival.”

    She wrote back that she didn’t believe those things about him.

    I told her that if she didn’t believe me, she should research the man and his doctrines.

    She refused.

    No wonder she refused to look into it, if he was teaching that kind of stuff right there in the conference. She’d already made her decision. She’d already given in to it.

    She also told me that her pastor really liked “all those guys” and talked about them all the time. (The people at the conference or Bethel…)

    I’d like to see a transcript of this talk.

    Although it’s possible that Bob Jones meant some of that in a blatant New Age way, I’m not sure if he meant them the way that you described. He could have. Even if he didn’t mean the comments in the Bailey, I am convinced that Bob Jones gets his doctrines from demons. What we might be seeing is the demonic plan rather than humans trying to push a New Age concept. It could be both. I don’t know…that’s my thoughts. Bob Jones’ ideas are not orthodox; that is for sure. He practices occult activity and he teaches occult practices.

    You’re right that Bill Johnson shares responsibility for hosting a conference in which he invites people like Bob Jones to speak. I saw on their website that Bob Jones is one of the guest instructors for his supernatural ministry school as well. Bill Johnson is in no way ignorant of this man’s teachings. For him to continually invite this heretic to come speak at Bethel says it all. Bill Johnson has no problem with Bob Jones or his teachings.

    I saw a youtube video of Bob Jones giving “finger readings” to people. Apparently, this finger reading doctrine states that each finger stands for a different ministry in the five-fold ministry teaching. Bob Jones lays his hands on a person, and whatever finger they sense a lot of feeling in is the ministry that the person is supposed to go into :(

    I’ve seen some videos of him talking about taking trips to third heaven and whatnot. I have read his accounts of angels and all that. For Bill Johnson to condone this man by hosting him at Bethel, repeatedly, just shows how little Johnson cares about sound doctrine.

    I haven’t heard a lot of Jones — just a few video clips and quotes of his here and there. You may be right about him purposely teaching Bailey stuff. I would need to actually see these things in full context. He might just be teaching demonic doctrine that would accomplish the same purposes as Bailey, yet not be teaching it as part of a New Age conspiracy.

  10. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    Wow….a God sperm seed? That is so disturbing. Then to say that it’s given to everyone at conception — that does remind me of gnostic teaching (the divine spark concept — however they didn’t teach that the divine spark was given to everyone. So…this is a different variation on gnosticism). That just shows that the teaching is demonic in origin — the same kind of stuff that Satan has tried to weave into people’s spiritual beliefs since Eden.

    Bill Johnson has said nothing against it, so we must conclude that he doesn’t find it heretical.

  11. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    It’s not only that Johnson hosts Bob Jones that condones approval; specifically, it’s the fact that he actually sells this disc on the Bethel site. That is explicit endorsement.

    As regards “divine spark” and Gnosticism (and other occult doctrines): they do believe that everyone (and everything) has a divine spark. The key is realising you have this inherent ‘god’ spark [or "God sperm seed"] and ‘taking authority’ [Jones' words] of it in order to work towards actualizing divinity/deity. More on this in part III.

    And, yes I agree that Jones definition of the divine spark is disturbing, but I’d go further and say disgusting.

  12. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    Hmmm….maybe new gnosticism teaches that everyone and everything has a divine spark in it, but I don’t think that the earliest gnosticism taught that — at least as it was presented by my church history professor. She said that the gnostic doctrine that the early churches defended against was a teaching that salvation was limited to only those who were born with the divine spark. Not everyone had it.

    I distinctly remember her saying that not everyone had it because that was one of her problems with the gnostic salvation, in addition to their belief that Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross.

    However, the rest is the same — for those who had the divine spark, all they needed to do was to obtain the knowledge. I guess they assumed that if you were a gnostic, you did have the divine spark. This was how they defined salvation.

    I guess this could be equated with the hyper-charismatic teaching about Joel’s Army and the super special people that are elite.

  13. Arwen4CJ says:

    Oh, and you’re right…the fact that he does sell Bob Jones’ materials, including the DVD to the conference, uneditied, shows that he condones the man’s teachings.

  14. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    Well, I’m sure you’re correct that that is what your prof told you. Perhaps you are correct that’s it’s neo-Gnosticism that is panentheistic with the divine spark in everything. However, I’m relatively sure Kabbalah/Cabala from the 1st/2nd century taught that the divine spark was in everything. Now, I’m 100% sure the Lurianic Kabbalah (circa 16th century to today) teaches this. And, if I’m not mistaken, so does Rosicrucianism. Certainly, New Age / New Spirituality is panentheistic.

    As re: 1st/2nd Century Gnosticism, I know there were only the select few elites who would receive the ‘gnosis’ in order to save themselves. However, I thought those who weren’t “elected” just didn’t realize they have the “divine spark”. If correct, this would correlate to Bob Jones’ “elected seed” doctrine he taught at Mike Bickle’s Kansas City Fellowship back in the late ’80s.

  15. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    Hmmm…well, regarding 1st/2nd Century Gnosticism, you could say that those who didn’t realize that they had the divine spark wouldn’t have received the gnostic ‘salvation’ anyway. I do remember my professor saying that all that we know about 1st/2nd Century Gnosticism came from the early church leaders writing against the teaching. What we know of their teachings was pieced together from reading the Christian leader’s apologetics..

    Also, I heard one or two lectures on it, and haven’t actually studied it myself.

    This means that there could be some misunderstandings.

    It’s possible that they actually did teach that the divine spark landed in everyone and everything. What I took from the lecture was that it seemed that they believed that the divine spark got mixed up with creation, which was created by the ignorant and evil god. This would suggest that the divine spark would be in some people and some things, but not necessarily everything.

    I could have misunderstood or some of the early church leaders might have misunderstood.

    Regardless of whether or not gnosticism has changed its doctrines over time, both forms are demonic in origin, since gnosticism itself is demonic. Gnostic salvation is false, regardless of whether or not they believe everyone has a divine spark or most people have divine sparks, or some people have divine sparks.

    Kabblah is demonic, yes. There are doctrines that definitely seem to be related to gnostic ideas contained within it, but that is probably because both systems are demonic in origin.

    Whether or not the original gnosticism was pantheistic, I think it can be said that even in the “elect” version of it, that some of the things in creation besides people would have the divine spark…so it would still be pantheistic.

  16. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    You’re correct in that no one knows for sure the explicit doctrines of 1st/2nd century Gnositicism. I’m not trying to nit-pick, so to speak, just trying to arrive at what’s correct – not that I’m the final arbiter of truth in these things by any stretch. However, towards the intent of correctness, any doctrine which adheres to a divine spark in all is panentheistic (God is in all) as opposed to pantheistic (God is all). The goal of panentheistic religions is to ‘free’ the divine spark in the matter in which its trapped, so to speak.

    Here’s an article which shows the difference:

    http://websyte.com/alan/pan.htm

    In Kabbalah, for example, once all the divine sparks are free from matter then all these sparks can rejoin its divine source. Hence, all will be “god” and “god” will be all – after the remaining matter is destroyed, that is. The New Age / New Spirituality seems to adhere to this seem ideology.

  17. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    you’re right about the panetheism/pantheism argument. I forgot about the distinction.

    Anyway — both pantheism and panethism are false teachings.

  18. Carolyn says:

    Here’s the truth
    Hebrews 9:27-28 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

    1 Thessalonians 1:10
    and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

    Paulk’s contradiction:
    The hope of glory is not in the heavenlies – the ‘hope of the heavenlies’ is on earth! Every departed saint is gathered, waiting to see how many of us are going to receive understanding and bring Christ from the heavenlies. They are waiting for total redemption as we are. 54

    Here’s the twist
    If we partake of the forbidden fruit of the New Age, such as, “I am god”, we can bypass death. By focusing on manifesting as sons of god and possessing earthly dominionism, we can forget about waiting for him to come back, we can forget about the resurrection of our bodies and we can attain to the perfection of no sickness and ultimately, no death on earth.

    This is the truth
    Colossians 3
    1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

    BJ’s contradiction:”…Jesus destroyed the power of sin, sickness, and poverty through His redemptive work on the cross. In Adam and Eve’s commission to subdue the earth, they were without sickness, poverty, and sin. Now that we are restored to His original purpose, should we expect anything less? After all, this is the better covenant!” 67

    What better covenant? Until we receive our resurrected bodies, we will not see the completion of our redemption, we will not experience power over sickness and death…and that will not happen before Christ receives us into heaven.

    1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (New International Version)
    16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words

    The prideful New Age lies of entitlement give promises that they cannot fulfil but the illusion is there. By trusting in lying signs and wonders we have taken ourselves out of the place of watching for our saviour from heaven and placed ourselves in the precarious position of occult rebellion against the eternal Word that has instructed us to wait and watch before we can rule and reign.

    By believing the lies of reincarnation (gods come in the flesh), we have believed the lie…”you shall not surely die”. By believing that we are as Christ is….(gods in the flesh) we have stopped living for eternity and started living eternally (in the flesh). Truth is, we must surely die and be resurrected. We must experience death before we can experience life.

  19. Craig says:

    Carolyn,

    All excellent points! What do you make of the fake parousia that Bailey and New Age speak of as compared to the Jones’ quote:

    Bailey:
    …This Church will be nurtured into activity by the Christ [ED: actually Satan/antichrist] and His disciples when the outpouring of the Christ principle, the true second Coming, has been accomplished…

    New Age quote:
    The Christ, when He comes into incarnation, will most likely project himself into many parts and be where he wants to be. This is called the Law of Divisibility, a term used in Agni Yoga that means a highly developed spirit—one who is able to contact, simultaneously, various people in various locations.

    Jones:
    …Recently, the Lord spoke to me and said, “I’m coming in my people. Christ in you, the hope of glory. I’m comin’ in my people…”

  20. Carolyn says:

    Thanks, Craig. Excellent article btw.

    The two quotes sound identical.

    First of all to make sure we are on the same page, the New Age idea of parousia is Christ presence or Christ coming or Christ consciousness or Christ principle
    Par·ou·si·a 
    noun
    1.advent
    2. Platonism . the presence in any thing of the idea after which it was formed.

    In both quotes, I see something other than the revealed Word, the Son of God…I see a principle, a standard, a covenant, a projection, a creative force, a spirit, a diffusion, an element, an anointing…but not the Way, the Truth and the Life. Christ is separate from his creation.

    Both Bailey’s and Jones quotes tell of “many coming in my name”…just as Jesus predicted:

    Matthew 24:5
    For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
    Mark 13:6
    Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.
    Luke 21:8
    He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.

    Following is an excerpt from http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=659 that I thought my shed some light on the blurring of the lines between NA “Out on a Limb” and NA in Christian thought…and this is my thought that the lines are being blurred.

    “It is all too easy to dismiss Shirley MacLaine as spiritual eccentric, to laugh at her vivid accounts of past-life love affairs and extraterrestrial cultural exchanges. To do so is to underestimate the weight of her error. These views are proliferating in our society at an alarming rate. The distinction between opinion and truth is blurred, even as are the distinctions between desire and reality, and between Creator and creature.

    This mini-series began with the words, “Shirley reaches out for the fruit of the tree, and goes out on a limb.” Long ago in another Garden a certain pair of humans also reached for an alluring fruit in the promise of becoming deity. The original sin in the Garden is neither entirely past nor easily erased. Our desire for knowledge can be virtuous, yet such knowledge cannot be obtained through dubious means. Denying biblical and historic truth in favor of telepathic visions is perilous. Our hunger for God is real, and we should accept no plastic substitutes.”

    When we argue without the word in front of us, we can no longer see the subtle twists toward reincarnation and karma that teachers such as BJ are bringing.

    Christ in us, the hope of glory does not equal “Christ coming in my people.” It’s a different gospel.
    Here is what the Scripture actually says:
    Colossians 1:26-28 (New International Version)
    26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

    The Word is absolute. And although we cannot make these teachers say what they are not saying, we also cannot make them NOT say what they ARE saying.

  21. Craig says:

    Exactly. In hyper-charismaticism it’s all about the tangible, transferable “Christ anointing” and one day ‘Christ will be formed in you’ – as per Jones by perverting Galatians 4:19.

  22. Carolyn says:

    Craig: Ah, till Christ be formed (fashioned) in you. Would that be the New Age Christ with the drunken spirits wrapping you in their warm, fanciful embrace of super natural anointing or the powerful Living and Enduring Word that promises to abide in you if you abide in Him?

    Back to “Christ in you the hope of glory”, I was looking over Bailey’s quote in this paragraph again:

    “Esoteric/occult/New Age literature has long proof-texted Colossians 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” to indicate the god within which needs to be first realized then actualized. As but one example of Alice Bailey, “There is a growing and developing belief that Christ is in us, as He was in the Master Jesus…”53

    As a former “broad road charismatic”, I did not see the importance of precise doctrine. I would have read the above remark about the god within which needs to be first realized then actualized, and wondered, “why all the fuss?” Although both real Christianity and New Age Christianity would lay claim to “Master Jesus”, the whole basis of salvation is profoundly different. How so?

    The New Age Jesus is emptied of his power by the very nature it gives to him, and in this study, it has been shown how BJ and the NAR cats are emptying Christ of his deity and subsequently, the cross of its power.

    Where is the power in the New Age Christ? It is in hidden or secret knowledge. It is in the absence of absolutes. It is in the river of obscure love. It is in endless super natural rites and spiritual practices. It is in contemplative prayers. It is in the channeling of convoluted mystical doctrines to awaken the divine spark within and the serpent power from below.

    Is it a wonder Paul would say in 1 Corinthians 2:2
    “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”?

    We live in dangerous times…when the the light is twisted by false apostles to look like darkness and the darkness is twisted to look like light; when faithful men are shunned and deceivers are made into heros; when Biblical terms and spiritual words are redefined….

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said,…”it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    Yes, the fairytale prophets are doing their bit to assure blindness to their disciples, keeping them distracted by all means possible from the glorious gospel of simple faith in Christ.

    2 Corinthians 4:4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    Dangerous times but should be fear?
    2 Timothy 3:
    12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
    13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

    Luke 12:4-6
    4And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
    5But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

  23. Craig says:

    Tim,

    It really is too bad we even have to discuss things like this, isn’t it? When some so arrogantly continue even when confronted numerous times. I know of a number of individuals who have written to Johnson. Even one who commented on this site early on understood Johnson’s Christology in essentially the same heretical manner I understand his doctrine to explicate, yet this other individual thought it was somehow correct – another concerned person has written to Johnson about this individual with no Bethel response. I’m pretty certain Johnson has seen the myriad websites out on the ‘net questioning his doctrine and practices, yet he proceeds on.

  24. Craig says:

    Carolyn,

    It may have been better had I explained more Scripture in the post itself; but, it was already very long. I had written previously about Jones and Galatians 4:19 here: http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/bethel-to-feature-bob-jones-at-upcoming-prophetic-conference/

    Here’s a portion:
    ____________________________________________________

    Paul’s prayer of Galatians 4:19 was specifically for the Galatians who were being influenced by the Judaizers who believed that circumcision was necessary for salvation (see vv 2:11-16). Here’s the full context of this passage:

    17They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I have doubts about you! [Galatians 4:17-20 NKJV]

    According to Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament, there is a Jewish idiom: “If one teaches the son of his neighbor the law, the Scripture reckons this the same as though he had begotten him” [Vincent, Marvin, R. Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament, Volume IV. 2009; Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 5th Ed, August 2009, USA, Hendrickson Publishers; p 147]. Apparently, this is what the Apostle Paul was referring to in describing himself as being in “labor” (or “travailing” in KJV) for “my dear children.” Presumably, the Galatians would be familiar with this idiomatic phrase; so, the point would be made. [This metaphor is also used in I Corinthians 4:14-15.] Matthew Henry says:

    “…and the great thing which he was in so much pain about, and which he was so earnestly desirous of, was not so much that they might affect him as that Christ might be formed in them, that they might become Christians indeed, and be more confirmed and established in the faith of the gospel….” [Henry, Matthew Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible; Volume 6. (c) 199l by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 8th printing, April 2006, USA, Hendrickson Publishers; p 538]

    Bob Jones, on the other hand, in the New Breed “word” is using the Scripture passages referred to directly and indirectly to support his “birthing the man-child” doctrine (see pp 124-125 of Gruen report and the Birthpangs article “The Birth of the Manchild”) which is Manifested Sons of God (MSoG) teaching. This is what he means by “’Jesuses’ all over the world.”
    _____________________________________________________

    Bob Jones presents Galatians 4:19 as if it’s a prayer for the Church at large, a prayer for the “manifested sons of God” to be ‘birthed’.

    Carolyn, you wrote, “Where is the power in the New Age Christ? It is in hidden or secret knowledge. It is in the absence of absolutes. It is in the river of obscure love. It is in endless super natural rites and spiritual practices. It is in contemplative prayers. It is in the channeling of convoluted mystical doctrines to awaken the divine spark within and the serpent power from below.

    Is the hyper-charismatic stream much the same? Stay tuned for part III (and likely IV as there’s a LOT of material yet to cover!).

  25. Carolyn says:

    I read The Birth of the Manchild that you suggested. Good article…a lot of food for thought.

    A couple of quotes from there which expand on the topic of the “comings” of Christ.

    1. M. Scott-Peck, a well-known and respected new-age author, calls the coming of the new age a birthing process:

    “When I think of what is required to bring an end to the arms race… it seems to me that a virtual second coming is required. In fact, that’s what its all about. With all due respect to the traditional millennialists, I think what is meant by the second coming is not the bodily return of that one solitary man, but the coming of the mystical body of His true church, the coming of the Spirit of Christ to everyone, sweeping through the nations, sweeping through the world. Father, make us like Mary, to give birth to your Son, to give Him to everyone.” (1)

    2. Paul Cain, (held up by the Toronto leadership as a great pro-phet and leader in the Church), is unclear on the subject of the return of Jesus. He says: “I don’t know what the Second Coming means to you, there’s so many different returns of the Lord, or comings of the Lord, I don’t know, we have a cardinal doctrine like that, but let me tell you he’s coming to YOU, he’s coming to his Church, he’s coming to abide in you, to take up his abode in you.” (19)

    multiple comings…I’d say that reminds me of Lady Gaga’s “multiple births”….in some twisted way.

    Looking forward to Part III

  26. Carolyn says:

    Thought I was finished, but then I had time to read the link to http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/bethel-to-feature-bob-jones-at-upcoming-prophetic-conference/ re Galatians 4:19 and this I agree with:

    Excerpt : And, the NIV Study Bible text note for verse 4 provides further explanation:
    “…Does not indicate that Christians become divine in any sense, but only that we are indwelt by God through the Holy Spirit (see John 14:16-17). Our humanity and his diety, as well as the human personality and the divine, remain distinct and separate. [13]

    As I was reading through the article, it occurred to me that The New Breed teaching was remarkably similar to Lady Gaga’s big production at the 2011 Grammy’s.

    In the NAR world, proclamation is made for The New Breed, where utopia evolves because God diffuses himself through a birthing process to become Jesus in everyone.

    In Lady Gaga world, proclamation is made for The New Race, where a utopian new world is the outcome of a birthing experience for every individual and the universe so that everyone becomes innately loving and good.

    Two cultures light years apart but connected by New Age/New World Thought.

  27. Craig says:

    I did not see Lady Gaga as I don’t watch much TV in general; so I cannot comment specifically. I can’t say I’m surprised, though. I have some work of Barbara Marx Hubbard who believes we will have a ‘planetary birth experience’ and she describes a ‘Joel’s Army’ just like the LR/NAR. It’s the same teaching

    I see that I misspelled “deity” as “diety” in that article; I do this quite often as I keep getting the two letters transposed somehow hitting the i before the e as I type even though I know the correct spelling. I’ll have to fix that. I’m not one of the best typists out there…

  28. TimBain says:

    Carolyn, you should listen to Bob Dewaays “Lecture on the Emergent Church” (cicministries.org) (MP3/ 30-40 min.), the similarities again are borderline verbatim enough to clearly demonstrate the connection between yet another tenicle of the lie of the last days utopian world wide spiritual coming together of the “divine” in all. Mysticism is truly the spirituality of the unconverted , our “absolutes” must remain absolutely absolute…amen.
    PS….Lady Gaga!?!???,…… well… if Oprah and Beck can preach it I guess anybody can!

  29. TimBain says:

    Craig, the part on Bob Jones regarding the correlation between “conscience” (as Bob defines it) and the “God sperm seed” was very helpful in clarifying his perverted view of the conscience, I’ve heard him repeatedly emphasis how important it will be to let it be your “spiritual guide” (he’s gettin bolder by the day). Also the correlation of the divine spark and God sperm seed was an eye opener…. I think “Bob and Bill” are playin tag team to protect Bill especially from having to say too much incriminating stuff himself, matter of fact Rick Joyner and the rest are using the same approach….thats why it’s so important for folks to connect all the dolts…oops- I mean dots. I’m impressed how well this DNA (Divine Nature Activation) stuff connects with New`Age, I was only seeing its correlation to Manifest Sons`of God at first….why am I not surprised?….thanks again for your careful,meticulous research .

  30. Craig says:

    Tim,

    Very good observations! Wait until part III.

  31. Carolyn says:

    Hahaha Tim..Lady Gag…I mean Gaga. Normally I don’t pay much attention to the wildcats and weirdos but the egg…that got my attention. I was curious. And she is after all one of the goddess/prophet/channelers of the New Age.

    You have to be a little curious and aware of the predictions as per Satan’s messengers foretelling the coming of antichrist. I see her as a harbinger (Dictionary Def: a harbinger is an indication of the approach of something or someone;) of what is to come. After all she makes no bones about her occult sources. There are many messengers today…but basically the same message…the “Christ” by a thousand different names is coming.

    When you see these things begin to happen, look up for your redemption draws near!

  32. TimBain says:

    Amen Carolyn….interesting isn’t it, how we’re told to look UP! -not inside or around us but UP! Satan’s best will be no match for the true splendor of His glorious coming in the clouds, we won’t need “youtube” to see it -EVERY eye will see it and every tongue will readily confess Jesus Christ as Lord! (my Easter “sermon in a second”)
    On a lesser note this ” Lady Gag-a “… got me thinkin…funny how the “character” of so many leaders or front -runners who bring the LIE into the Church or the character of their closest associates seems to be as out of line with Biblical standards as the lie itself! I was reading in the Pastoral Epistles regarding the character qualities of an Elder or Deacon and THAT ALONE should be enough to red flag most of BJ’s close “friends”…ie. Bently, Jones, Crowder/Dunn, Joyner,Pierce.. (not to mention past “heros”). its hard to fathom a fifth generation Pastor now Apostle (with a “capitol” A) alining himself with men who have actually disqualified themselves from the office of Elder or even deacon on the basis of behavior let alone doctine!
    Well ya gotta admit this “show” definitely has no lack of curious characters one might not have expected for the closing act….maybe Lady Gaga fits the scene after all.

  33. Paul Munro says:

    I love your articles Craig- can’t wait for Part III! As you know it was your site that was instrumental in my questioning my own Church involvement within a Charismatic setting (and one that endorses the Bethel stuff too). We left and praise God found somewhere ‘reformed and non-Charismatic” and that don’t hold a kenotic view of Christ either. God is good all the time!! Bless you as you put this information out- and I pray that God may grant wisdom to the reader so that He opens their eyes and they see the truth….before it is too late :(

  34. IWTT says:

    @Tim, @Carolyn

    Lets face it. The standards for elders, pastors, prophets and especially apostles within the third wave “ain’t too high”… look at Bentley.

  35. Craig says:

    BTW, I noted the following in a previous article here on CrossWise: Barack Obama used the 2nd half of the Medley “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” as part of his election campain as noted on the wiki link used in this article:

    The “Let the Sunshine In” portion of the song was used as one of the official theme songs for the 2008 general election campaign of Barack Obama.

    Just sayin’…

  36. Craig says:

    Paul,

    I’m remiss in not responding to your post. Praise God you’ve found a church that does not embrace a heretical view of the kenosis of Christ! Jesus Christ emptied Himself not of divinity or the use of divine attributes; He humbled Himself by condescending to take the form of man and becoming our servant and ultimately dying on the Cross for the sins of all (who would believe on Him). I inserted the last bit in parentheses for those of a Calvinist (as opposed to Arminian) bent.

  37. TimBain says:

    Craig,

    there’s a name that you may or may not be aware of that I think might be of significant interest to your research regarding your next post….David Van Koevering, he is part of the NAR conference speakers, a Quantum Physicist and inventor -a very interesting fellow to say the least. His favorite topic is “frequencies” and he’s got more of ‘um then then Bently has angels. (see youtube- David Van Koevering- light,sound,matter). He spoke often with Ray Hughes (Bethels new “Librarian”) Ray is a big promoter of “frequencies” as well but obviously mentored by Koevering . Also I might add Chuck Pierce (Top Apostle)and his assoc. JoAnn McFatter (youtube-JoAnn McFatter Manifest Sons of God) are heavily into the same stuff (she even speakes to trees remember). He has also spoke along side John Paul Jackson and of course Bob Jones is in the mix. The key signif. of this Frequency stuff is your “voice” (being sound freq.) has the power to penetrate,alter or create just like God did when he spoke (sound freq.) everything into being ,thus everything is really just “frequencies” and the skies the limit where you can go with this -Kovering even has a hand held frequency activated “laser”- he speakes through it and it magnifies the freq. as he points it at people speaking healing words which “penetrate more deeply”- or something like that!? I watched it on God-tv last year, didnt know if I should laugh or cry. (if you could find a copy of that audio/video and post it …well, its worth a thousand words-”frequncies” that is)Listening to him was the last straw for me regarding whether or not New Age was due to play a`lead role in the NAR.
    “Quantum Spirituality ” apparently is big in New Age and God only knows how much Koevering has spread it among NAR front runners, Im pretty sure the DNA ( Divine Nature Activation ) stuff has Koeverings fingerprints all over it .(ie. speaking to your DNA to activate its dormant strands via “frequencies”) Anyway…keep fighting the good fight, people ARE becoming savvy to Satans Counterfiets …of this I have no doubt and remember, God is not the author of “confusion” rather… “in returning and resting will be your salvation and in quietness and confidence will be your peace”-(my favorite scripture )

  38. Craig says:

    Tim,

    I’ve not heard of this Van Koevering; but, I’m familiar, of course, with McFatter, Chuck Pierce, etc. However, I’m trying to keep this particular series narrowly focused on Bill Johnson and info directly attached to him. I have quite enough on Johnson for part III (I’m diligently trying to put it in a readable form) to show he’s teaching not only spiritual DNA (there are quite a few quotes) but the roots for these teachings and how Johnson’s related teachings fit it to it will be shown as well.

    Pierce is an admitted Kabbalist/Cabalist which means he comes at this from a different angle (however, Kabbalah and Gnosticism seem to have emerged around the same time from a similar root perhaps borrowing from one another). McFatter will be mentioned in a footnote as regards her music (I have other info on her which may be the subject of a future post). I’m sure you’ll see how these “frequencies” fit in, though.

    This DNA teaching undergirds much occult literature apparently.

    Thanks for the info as everything helps! My prayer is that if some readers are not convinced by my words, they’ll be induced to look up info either that I’ve presented in the articles or than commenters have posted.

  39. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Thanks a million, Tim!

    I saw the Van Koevering stuff a few years ago, and foolishly didn’t keep the links and couldn’t remember his name. I’ve been looking for it ever since.

    Galatians 3:1-3 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
    This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh
    ?

    Wow! Here, all this time, we’ve been thinking that you need to pray, study the Bible and obey it, go through fiery trials, crucify our flesh with its passions and desires, and trust God for our sanctification. That takes too much effort, though. I hope they’ll be offering this vibration machine on “As Seen On TV” soon! It’ll be a great hit! So easy!

  40. Craig says:

    This is proof positive that posting information here is beneficial!

  41. Tim Bain says:

    Craig, I get ya, this stuff can be confusing enough just focusing on one or two aspects let alone the” smorgusboard” of related distortions of Truth. Im encouraged that you say you have multiple links between BJ and spiritual DNA,this should open some eyes…Part of the reason I mentioned David Van Koevering was his tight relations with Ray Hughes who is now on staff at Bethel running their new library and teaching “muuussic” (attempted pun here) -my “favorite ” clip on Ray H. and David K. demonstrates the extremes they have gone to in this frequency stuff, its found on Youtube at” Oxygen Bell 333″ ( 6 min. long )….I’ll leave it at that and get back to BJ.

  42. Craig says:

    Tim,

    Here’s the video. I’d be inclined to think he’s got ‘bats in the belfry’; but, I’ve a feeling there’s more to it than that.

  43. Carolyn says:

    Hi Tim – I didn’t get to Bob DeWaay’s Lecture yet for lack of time, but I did have a bit of a read on Larry D’Bruyn’s site http://guardinghisflock.com/2012/03/01/deliteralizing-the-bible-from-plato-to-peterson/#more-2038

    LD is again showing the creativity of the Emergents. The Bible is a metaphor, a Story. And the Word of God is open to our imaginative, mystical and subjective interpretation to find the meaning behind the literal words.
    Quote: “The reason for asserting allegory as a dominant method of interpreting Scripture was the Platonic assumption that human language was an inadequate carrier for God’s Word.”

    Obviously, just as Plato, the new Emergents also think that the Bible is inadequate as a carrier for the the thoughts of God.

    In kind, here come the NAR prophets who assert that the conscience is a much more accurate carrier of guidance to us than God’s own revelation through the inspired Word.

    The quote from Bob Jones in 45 from Craig’s article above:
    “And, you’re gonna have to begin to get a-hold of this. For this conscience of yours is really your spiritual guide. God gave this to you to guide your lives.”

    He wants a subjective conscience to guide us. That could take us anywhere from the errors of the Platonian philosophical age over the bridge of Emergent metaphorical mysticism into dark solitudes of the Catholic mystics, and winding our way back into today’s prophets of purpose driven and contemplative.

    We are the age of aquarius, the travellers of New Age thought, maneuvering over the bumpy roads formed by NAR and Dominionist strategists and their ilk. From there we will easily play into the hands of Satan’s antichrist who will be the greatest conductor/carrier of Spiritual Guidance and Relevant thought ever. There will be no need for the Scriptures. Our Christ will have come….

  44. Craig says:

    Carolyn,

    I, too, read DeBruyn’s article. I’ve noted before it seems we are on similar wavelengths. I’ve recently purchased some books on “Middle Platonism”. Origen was the first person of note to promote a metaphorical interpretation of Scripture espousing the Song of Song/Solomon as metaphor of Jesus and His bride the Church.

    Now, if I could just find some time to read those books…

  45. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    From Brannon Howse’s newsletter–this link: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-radio/play.php?id=showsFlat-20994

    It’s a very good quick overview (I do mean quick–he talks so fast!) of the NAR. At the end he quotes Kenneth Copeland saying exactly the same thing that Bill Johnson is saying and which Craig is emphasizing.

  46. Craig says:

    YesNa,

    Thanks for the link. Part III (and IV) will go into more detail on this stuff.

    If I can only get more folks to really study the things the articles are bringing forth. I’m hopeful the info in part III will be a bit more eye-opening and allow some to see beyond the semantics and contradictions in Johnson’s Christological statements.

  47. Carolyn says:

    I don’t suggest putting much time into reading the following New Age site but certainly, you will see the similarities to the Oxygen Bell.
    http://www.healingsounds.com/articles/sonic-entrainment.asp
    I-yiyi…how much more New Age can you get with lingo about “elements” and “frequencies”? Obviously David K is not the first to come up with the aquarian shift to a frequencies paradigm when we will be able to communicate on a telepathic and ultrasonic wave. I mean…look at the dolphins. They made the shift eons ago. (according to some New Agers)

  48. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Aww, come on now, Carolyn. JoAnn McFatter even said that this frequency stuff is not New Age, so it must not be… right?!?!

    All they have to do is say, “It’s not NA,” that is their disclaimer. McFatter is a regular teacher at Bill Johnson’s school. I’ve listened to some of her stuff. She says the most preposterous things as fact without any verifiable documentation. Par for the course.

  49. TimBain says:

    @Carolyn, @YesNa

    Ray Hughes actually has spoken at Bethel at least Twice that I Know of on this “sound-Frequency” topic…He calls it the “sound of Heaven” although he tames it down a little to tickle their ears instead of frying their circuits, (ya gotta start um out slow and easy ya know.)… you can see it on betheltv under Ray Hughes -sound of Heaven. Bill Johnson picks yet another “winner” for his team.

  50. Carolyn says:

    YesNa – 57 minutes is a quick overview?!? Brannon House covered a lot of ground in a short time, many of the things we’ve talked about lately and a few we haven’t. (Minus the commercials, it was probably only 20 minutes.)

    If JoAnn McFatter denies being New Age, why does she use NA language? First, her Home Page has a good NA feel: http://www.joannmcfatter.com/
    I find her song” “Messengers of Fire, tra la tra la…. Imparting the Divine”…interesting
    and her teaching series on “The Quantum Leap” would suggest a New Age savour or is that saviour?
    You really can’t believe these people to be telling the truth. They are just a special kind of New Ager…one who entwines biblical gnosis into their own mystical enterprise, rather than…say, giving it a Mayan twist.
    Obviously, Bill Johnson shares the platform and is as “thick as thieves” with these NAR prophets and New Age pundits. (Idiom Definitions for ‘Thick as thieves’
    “If people are thick as thieves, they are very close friends who have no secrets from each other.”)
    Any denial that BJ is unaware of what the gurus that he associates with, are teaching, is contradictory or calculated self delusion.

  51. Carolyn says:

    YesNa, Tim…as well, I clicked on one article or JoAnn’s called Sound of Supplication unto Transformation and what should I encounter? frequency teaching. Read it for yourself.

    Quote: There is a principal of physics called entrainment. It is when two things with different patterns of frequency are placed side by side, they begin to adapt to each other and vibrate at the same frequency. For example, it is a proven fact that if you place two pendulum clocks together, they will begin to swing in unison, thus increasing the strength and fullness of that vibrating frequency.
    When we come together in unity, worshipping God, releasing a sound of intercession into the atmosphere – again, in unity – we cause there to be a physical change in the atmosphere. When we come into agreement with God’s ways, with His purposes and desires, we cause the earth to vibrate with the frequency of heaven. There will be a fullness released into the atmosphere when unity between heaven and earth – the desires of God – begin to manifest. The vibration of the sounds coming from heaven and the vibration of the sounds coming from the earth will meet……..could that be a part of what Psalms 85 refers to? “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness shall look down form heaven. Yes, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its increase.”
    **********
    Strange times….she says, “could that be part of what Psalms 85 refers to?” um….nooooo…! I don’t see the word “sound” anywhere in that verse, or anything else she is talking about.

  52. Craig says:

    Very interesting! Look at what I transcribed the other day:

    …So Jesus makes this declaration: “My words to you are spirit and they are life…Jesus is the Word of God made flesh; but, every time He spoke the word
    of God became spirit…when words become [Holy] Spirit, the realms of God’s dominion are released over humanity. When we say what the Father is saying then
    we literally impart presence through speech.

    and:

    …When we say what the Father is saying we change the options of every hearer. When Jesus said, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand”, He
    was letting them know ‘when I talk to you, a reality is released over you that changed your options’ and ‘your answer is within reach’. It’s at hand…

    I have to admit, I didn’t know what to make of it; but, now I see the New Age connection! My purposes for transcribing were different as some other content from this will be brought forth in part III.

  53. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Carolyn,

    “Quick overview” because I was also in the middle of reading Charles Graves’ “Anointing- or Apostasy (138 pages). I’ve also read a lot of Dager in addition to the tons of stuff on Herescope and other sites. So, relatively speaking, Howse gave a good synopsis for the uninitiated. Aren’t we all glad for the fast forward feature!

    My tongue was firmly planted in my cheek re. my comment on McFatter. It bugs me when these folks get up and cavalierly say, “It’s not NA…” The sheep just gullibly believe and follow. (See another story below as another example of what I mean.)

    I note on the website that you gave on healing sounds, the following:
    If you have a room full of pendulum-type grandfather clocks and start the pendulums in motion at different times, they will all swing differently. However, if you walk out of this room and come back the next day, you will find that all the pendulums are swinging together at the same rate. This locking in step of rhythms is entrainment. The Dutch scientist Christian Huygens discovered it in 1665.” Exactly the same stuff.

    Craig, can you give us the details of that transcription–who said it? event? date? It reminds me of a prayer meeting I was in once. I was livid when a woman declared, “Most people don’t know that you can just roll down your car window and blow out the Holy Spirit over your community.” Everyone, including the pastor, laughed in agreement, and said, “Hallelujah!–Yeah–Amen!” in typical hyperCharismatic lunacy.

    Maybe I’m just being too concrete, but why preach the Gospel that people must hear, agree with, believe and respond in repentance to? If we just blow, ring bells, intone a frequency of oxygen and liberty over people, faith will not be necessary. Isn’t this universalism at it’s core?

  54. Craig says:

    YesNa,

    Sorry, I should have been more descriptive. It was Johnson ‘preaching’ at a different church somewhat recently as posted on YouTube. At this point, I don’t wish to publicize it just yet; but, it will be referenced in part III.

    Yes, you’re right, it does sound like universalism. I’ve noted that in a previous article referencing Johnson:

    ________________________________________
    If there was any doubt, Johnson makes it clear that he adheres to Latter Rain (or New Order of the Latter Rain) doctrine – an aberrant branch of Pentecostalism/charismaticism:

    “On the Day of Pentecost, Peter declared that the promise of Joel 2 was fulfilled. …Yet, that day was only the initial fulfillment of the promise – the Spirit was poured out on that day, but there is a day coming in which He will truly be poured out on all flesh….” [29] [bolding from emphasis in original]

    The way this is worded it sounds as though Johnson is adhering to universalism – a New Age concept that all will be (or can be) saved. In a video advertisement for a recent ”Open Heavens” conference (October 13-15, 2010) once again Johnson stresses the word “all”:

    “What does it mean to you when it says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on A-L-L flesh?’ Everywhere I go IS an open heaven. Miracles follow those who believe. Whenever He restores something, he restores it to a place greater than before. I’ve lived without miracles, and I’ve lived with miracles. With miracles is better.” [30]

    Continuing with Johnson from the quote above regarding Joel 2:

    “…This is a fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit being poured as the early and latter rain. The early rain was the first century, and the latter is now.” [31]
    ___________________________________________________

    I can see how this all ties together!

  55. Tim Bain says:

    Funny thing happened last evening, watching the news and low and behold they start reporting on “Binaural Beat”…. sound frequencies being used to induce altered states of conscience, appearently young people are using it (thru their headphones ) like a drug ! It seems to be a growing problem …. isnt that ironic, I thought this was all a” God thing” according to Kovering and Hughes . I goggled it and -good grief ! talk about New Age smorgusboard -lucid dreaming, meditation you name it. Looks to me like this stuff could play a role in introducing a new “spiritual age” and folks would already be pre-conditioned….every body say ummmmmmmm.

  56. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Tim,

    We had a funny thing happen last night, too. My husband connected to a new tv show via internet. We were curious so we tuned in. We don’t get tv reception, so we’re behind the times on all things television (I’m not complaining, mind you!).

    There is a new series, apparently, called “Touch”. WOW talk about NA! All things are inter connected. It’s described as a “mix of spirituality and science, familial and global struggles…” The episode we saw showed the protagonist’s son begin to “vibrate”– a low humming noise which gets progressively louder until he screams out. He continues to scream enabling the woman in Africa to beat a pot until a man stops beating her friend. Her beating awakens her neighbors to do the same. The boy’s scream (primal scream?) also enables an African boy to dance and win a contest. Additionally, his scream enables his own father to run through busy New York streets to deliver vital documentation that proves fraud just in time. I know that sounds disjointed and crazy, but you’d have to see the show to see how they try to make it all fit. It takes a lot of imagination to follow the show. But clearly the idea is that all things are interconnected and what one person does has an effect on all.

    The connection to the sound/frequency stuff blew me away since we had just been talking about it here.

    Another new series we caught was “Awake”. This series depicts a man accessing his subconscious and living in an alternate reality to solve crimes. What’s really scary is that the networks would not produce this stuff it were not watched and did not generate income.

    Considering what the younger generation takes in these days, in addition to what Craig writes about here in regards to spiritual deception, it’s obvious to me that what the Bible describes as a great delusion is surely upon us and will completely overtake us soon. God have mercy on us all.

    We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,
    so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, [which is] manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since [it is] a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,
    and to [give] you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of [His] goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    2 Thess. 1:

  57. Craig says:

    There’s also a show called “Ghost Whisperer” in which the star talks to dead relatives and friends of others and relays those messages.

    Being in the world for nearly the entire first 40 years of my life and previously having an idol/obsession with all sorts of music, I’m well aware of the hypnotic effects of music whether it be repetitive lyrics/music, music itself, etc. And, this is not limited to any certain type of music as it can be any type of Rock (hard/psychedelic/punk/new wave/alternative, etc.) classical, jazz, afro-cuban, etc. I’ve never taken any recreational drugs, but I’m sure I was put in altered states of consciousness in listening to certain musics. One of the pieces that comes to mind is the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” from Abbey Road in its coda which seems to go an ad infinitum then abruptly stops.

    Of course, even a mechanical droning noise from construction, an A/C unit, etc. can induce hypnotic effects.

    YesNa, you mentioned you had been reading Dager and you mention spiritual deception: I plan on using one of Dager’s quotes from Vengeance is Ours to begin part III (as I’ve done the first two) with deception as the point. For those who have his book, it’s on page 13.

    I am amazed when these sorts of ‘coincidences’ occur as these happen quite a bit in my ongoing research. It also happens on local Christian radio in which I’ll hear one program speak on a subject of interest to me and a subsequent program will speak on the same thing! It happened to me this Monday as I was out on the road at work. New Agers (and Sting) call it ‘synchronicity’; we call it the Holy Spirit!

  58. zeemanb says:

    I flamed out of Bible College too soon to gauge the potential impact or relevance of the following Bill Johnson quote, but he threw it out there this morning, and while most of his little gems that get no less than 1,000 “likes” lead me to believe he’s the Jedi Master of non-committal phraseology, this one really stood out to me (could have had something to do with recently running across an online tour schedule for their Dead Raising Team’s instructional workshops)…. “Why did Jesus raise the dead? Because not everyone dies in God’s perfect timing”.

  59. Craig says:

    Interesting that someone had just sent that to me!

  60. Craig says:

    “the Jedi Master of non-committal phraseology”

    That’s priceless! LOL

  61. Arwen4CJ says:

    Hey everyone — the church that I’m now attending (and grew up in) is doing a group study on World Religions vs. Christianity. Today was our first day doing the study, and Hinduism was the topic. I knew some things aobut it before the class, but I learned more about it today then I had before.

    The New Age borrows from Eastern religions.

    But, more importantly, it was suggested by the author of the material that Hinduism has a link with the pagan Greek and Roman beliefs — something that I had wondered about, but was made clearer. While I was watching the video in class, all I could think about was that the Hindu belief system stems from Satan’s lies in the garden.

    If all humanity can be traced back to Adam and Eve, which I believe it can, then everyone originally knew about the real God. Then, false teaching was introduced — eventually each false teaching developed into things like Hinduism. It promotes the samse lie that modern gnosticism teaches — we all have some little divine spark within us, and we all need to realize our ignorance of this — and connect to God.

    These lies are ancient — they are just repackaged throughout time. They are doctrines taught by demons. Now they are invading churches, as we see is happening within the NAR.

  62. Craig says:

    The New Age borrows from Eastern religions.

    If you haven’t sought out Dager’s book Vengeance is Ours I really think you should. In addition, Constance Cumbey’s first book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow from ’83, thereby predating Dager’s, is worth a read as that’s exactly what Cumbey states. It’s clear as well in the Alice Bailey books I’ve read through (which are essentially much of the basis of the New Age).

    New Agers believe that the Garden of Eden is a spiritual state – not a physical place – from which men fell. They believe that we will soon re-attain the same state as Adam pre-Fall and thereby realize the “Kingdom”. I find it interesting that in the Bob Jones disc that his claim is (paraphrase) that God communicated with Adam ‘in his Spirit’ which is how Adam named the animals.

    Cumbey has made her material available for FREE: https://public.me.com/cumbey. Her first book is the 12th one down, while her second book is the 6th one down. I prefer (and have) hard copies (they can be found fairly inexpensively online); but, these provide an easy way to search by using key words utilizing the ‘ctrl + f’ search function.

  63. Craig says:

    Also, many occultists/esotericists claim Jesus went to India at some point in his first 30 years.

  64. Arwen4CJ says:

    Wow — Bill Johnson actually thinks and preached that that was why Jesus rose from the dead?!! :(

    Unbelievable — no wonder he has so many dead raising teams. :(

  65. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    Read that again; he didn’t say that was why Jesus rose from the dead specifically, he said Jesus raised the (other) dead because some (others) don’t die in God’s timing.

    Of course, Johnson DOES say that Jesus didn’t raised Himself from the dead because it was the “Father by the Spirit”.

  66. Arwen4CJ says:

    Thanks Craig,

    I’m definitely going to check out both of those books.

    I just found it very interesting that nirvana in Hinduism is identical to what New Agers and the NAR folks are teaching in regard to connecting with God. The whole idea of TACF’s soaking is to get into an alterted state so that they can feel one with God.

    It completely undermeans Jesus Christ and what He did for us.

    If Jesus doesn’t return anytime soon, I wonder if the NAR will develop into its own religion, given enough time. It seems like it’s already doing such a thing, given Johnson’s quote about the purpose of Jesus’ resurrection.

  67. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    Oh, you’re right — I read that too fast. Johnson wasn’t talking about that being the purpose of Jesus’ resurrection.

    Still, it does seem like they are slowly inventing their own religion.

  68. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    Just to be clear, Nirvana is the final state of oneness with ‘god’ in Hinduism; it’s ascension. “Soaking” is analogous to Transcendental Meditation / comtemplative prayer / centering prayer which has as its goal a uniting with the divine (in Brahmanism, a sect of Hinduism, it’s uniting with Brahma); however, it’s achieved in progression.

  69. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    You’re right to point out that distinction. I meant that it was identical in its goal of uniting with the divine. I’m being a little too simplisitc with this connection. I know what I mean in my head — but it’s not quite coming out right.

  70. Craig says:

    I just wanted to be sure readers understood.

  71. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    Also, attendant with the Hindu doctrine of nirvana is reincarnation. If one doesn’t ascend in one incarnation, it’s quite alright because their progress is cumulative. It continues from one life to the next. Given that, it makes sense that as time marches on more and more folks are getting closer and closer to ascension. With that in mind, what about the Latter Rain idea of end times ‘super Christians’? Earl Paulk’s (and E.W. Kenyon’s/Kenneth Hagin’s) doctrine of an ongoing incarnation seems to fit right in there, doesn’t it?

  72. TimBain says:

    A couple weeks ago a friend of mine and I were talking along these same lines ( origins of many western cultic belief systems) …he made an intriguing yet sadly….humorous(?) observation as to why there has been such a divide between Eastern and Western spirituality. re; Westerners are so independent and obsessed with “self” they are only interested in being little Gods in charge of their own personal domains…no sharing here -”find your own planet this ones mine! ….and no thanks on the evolving into one big nothingness”… note; I think Lucifer was from the “West”
    …..gotta find a little humor in this mess

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

  74. Craig says:

    For those who may be unpursuaded by my analysis regarding Jones’ words as reincarnation in this article, here are some words of Jones from 1988 in a long ago deleted tape from Kansas City Fellowship titled Visions and Revelations 1988:

    I went and I seen the Lord, and it was like He was looking at little yellow things – little round, yellow things like a spirit of God Himself. [!] And there were billions of them. And it was like Him and all the angels were looking through these and every once in awhile they’d say, “Hey, here’s an end-time one; get it down here on the end. Here’s another good one.”

    I said, “What are you doing?”

    He said, “Oh, we’re collecting those who are foreknown and predestined for the end-times, for you see, they’ll be the best of all the seed that’s ever been. And we’re looking through the seeds and this’ll be your grandkids. This will be the end generation that is foreknown and predestined to inherit all things…They’ll birth the Church…

    “[T]hey are the best of all the generations that have ever been upon the face of the earth. And the best of all generations are those elected seeds that will glorify Christ in the last days…They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign and wonder that has ever been in the Bible, they’ll move in it consistently. They’ll move in the power that Christ did…They themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death underneath their feet and to glorify Christ in every way.

    “And the Church that is raising up in the government will be the head and the covering for them. So that the glorious Church might be revealed in the last days because the Lord Jesus is worthy to be lifted up by a Church that has reached the full maturity of the God-man!

    This was in Al Dager’s Special Report of August 1990. Part of his comments on the above:

    Jones’ “little, round yellow things” imply preexistence of the soul…

    Why, yes Jone’s words do. These “seeds” and “elected seeds” sure sound like the divine spark/seed concept, does it not? Now, I admit this is not a slam dunk regarding the doctrine of reincarnation, but, this doctrine of seeds is NOT Christian by any stretch and is certainly esoteric while not inconsistent with reincarnation.

  75. Matt says:

    I just want to thank you for all the effort and the obvious large amount of time you have put into this section. Im seeing a lot of Bill Johnsons teachings come up in our Church, espicially with the younger crowd, and it eases my mind to know that the bad feeling I have had about all of it is vefrifiable in scripture and has been going on long before Bill J started teaching it. Im a fairly new believer (2 years), so my knowledge of scripture isnt the best… yet. The way you lay out all your information with scripture right behind it is extremely helpful. Thank you!!

  76. Craig says:

    Matt,

    Thanks for your comment! I sometimes think the information may well be overwhelming, much like drinking water from a firehose. I can appreciate that one would have to go through this very slowly and not necessarily comprehend it initially even then. There’ve been some Bill Johnson detractors who have not agreed with some of the information put forth here; but, I feel, after much research, that this is on target. They may agree with some points while disagreeing others. I just ask that one approach the information with an open mind and, if doubtful, at least check the sources used.

  77. Craig says:

    And, now Charisma just posted a new article by Bob and Bonnie Jones:

    http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/prophetic-insight/16639-a-prophetic-word-for-2013-make-a-decision-and-commitment-for-christ

    …By developing relationship with God, we take on the divine nature of Christ and sanctify the imagination (thoughts). When we surrender our soul to our spirit we allow the spirit within us to rule over the soul.

    See the first section above and compare to my thoughts about Jones teaching reincarnation. Then, go over to part IIIb and see the spiritual DNA section.

    And, Bob Jones is a recognized leader in the hyper-charismatic movement. The more I read, the more I’m convinced it’s New Age teaching in Christian guise.

    …Then what is seen in our sanctified imagination we speak according to the will of the Father, bringing “on earth as it is in Heaven” into the natural realm.

    Yes, bringing in the Alice Bailey’s New Age kingdom – again see part IIIb. See this Bailey quote:

    Emphasis should be laid on the evolution of humanity with peculiar attention to its goal, perfection…man in incarnation, by the indwelling and over-shadowing soul…The relation of the individual soul to all souls should be taught, and with it the long-awaited kingdom of God is simply the appearance of soul-controlled men on earth in everyday life and at all stages of that control…The fact will appear that the Kingdom has always been present but has remained unrecognized, owing to the relatively few people who express, as yet, its quality….

    And, how about this one:

    …It will then be possible for the Hierarchy [Masters of Wisdom], the Church of Christ hitherto invisible, to externalise itself and to function openly upon the physical plane. This will indicate a return to the situation which existed in Atlantean days when (to use Biblical symbology, Genesis Chaps. 2 and 3) God Himself walked among men; He talked with them and there was no barrier between the Kingdom of men and Kingdom of God. Divinity was then present in physical forms and the Members of the spiritual Hierarchy were openly guiding and directing the affairs of humanity, as far as man’s innate freedom permitted. Now, in the immediate future, and on a higher turn of the spiral of life, this will again happen. The Masters will walk openly among men; the Christ [antichrist] will reappear in physical Presence….

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

  79. youngjoon says:

    Thanks for referring me to this post, Craig. It was helpful to see what Fee and Blomberg have said on this topic.

    Honestly, I’m still a bit vague on what 1 Cor. 12:3 is trying to say. I feel like Fee addressed what it couldn’t be, which provided some measure of clarity; but having read over the commentary from Fee in context, am I correct in interpreting what Fee says as this:

    -that 1 Cor. 12:3 is more regarding believers being deceived by those who exhibit spiritual activity, and becoming obsessed with the spiritual activity and forgetting the centrality of Christ?
    -and so regardless of what power or activity there may be in a setting, without the exaltation of Jesus as Lord, it may be heading astray (similar to a linked post from here on Johnson’s healing)?

  80. Craig says:

    youngjoon,

    I’d say you’re correct in your interpretation. Apparently, some at the Corinthian church had come from paganism and were still hanging on to pagan practices, attributing those wrongly to the work of the Spirit. Without the centrality of Jesus Christ – as opposed to spiritual activity – Christ is not actually exalted. I don’t think we are to take the words literally, that is, I don’t think it likely that the pagans were saying “Jesus be cursed.”

    It comes down which “Jesus” one is actually serving. Of course, Paul notes this in his second letter (II Corinthians 11:1-15). If a person is promoting a ‘genie-in-a-bottle Jesus’ and then states Jesus is Lord, they’ve not proclaimed the Jesus Christ of the Bible at all. It’s sort of like claiming allegiance to the US Constitution while effectively undermining it in policy decisions.

    As pointed out in part I of this particular article, Bill Johnson’s Christology can be construed as antichrist as per the Apostle John’s words in 1 John; so, even if Johnson claims “Jesus is Lord”, he’s proclaiming a Jesus who is different from the One as revealed in Scripture. And, the following article, which acts as a sort of ‘bridge’ to parts I and II, explains Johnson’s “Jesus” and “Christ” a bit more:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/the-christ-anointing-and-the-antichrist-spirit/

    And this “Jesus” and “Christ”, or slight variations thereof, lies at the root of many leaders of hyper-charismaticism.

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