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

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

Cosmic humanism forms the basis of the New Age Movement and related religious expressions, particularly Eastern mysticism.  It says that man is evolving toward a state of higher consciousness that will result in the attainment of godhood…

…Many have…adopted a form of cosmic humanism, believing that they are capable of achieving the same anointing of Christhood that Jesus had.  Their beliefs are predicated upon a new Gnosticism which appears so very Christian as to deceive even the elect if possible.  Through close examination, however, they are found in an error so serious that it threatens the stability of the churches in which these people fellowship and, in some cases hold positions of leadership. 

- Albert James Dager, Vengeance Is Ours85

Occultists / esotericists cannot deny that there was a historical Jesus of Nazareth (and maintain any real credibility) as the evidence for His earthy life is insurmountable.  Instead, He is humanized at the expense of His deity and proclaimed a righteous teacher, a model to emulate.

As noted in part II, a belief in reincarnation is integral to New Age / New Spirituality teachings.  In New Age Christology, Jesus of Nazareth was merely human and His life as the son of a carpenter was one of a number of incarnations.   For example, one of his previous incarnations was as Joshua son of Nun.  In fact, He was incarnated once more following His crucifixion and resurrection.86

In the New Age / New Spirituality and some other occult teachings, there is a false Trinity made up of The Father, the Holy Spirit (Holy Breath, sometimes Wisdom Sophia), and The Son (the Christ, the Logos, the Word):

The Christ is son, the only son begotten by Almighty God, the God of Force and God omniscient, the God of thought; and Christ is God, the God of Love.87

In His incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth, the man Jesus overcame many tests and trials through much effort during the first 30 years of His life.  Because of this, He proved worthy to manifest ‘the Christ’.  Therefore, He was chosen to be the new world teacher (the Christ) of the Age of Pisces to succeed Gautama Buddha, the Christ of the Age of Aries, once Jesus would perfect Himself at Ascension.  Thus, Jesus was “christed” in a ceremony occurring just after His water baptism in the Jordan by John when the Holy Spirit (Holy Breath) descended upon Him as a dove.  It was at this point Jesus was deemed “the Christ”.88

This ‘christing’ resulted in Jesus becoming the temple of the Holy Breath (Holy Spirit) thus providing the power for His miracles, while “the Christ” completely overshadowed Him, taking full possession.89  This “Christ Spirit” stayed with Him until some time before the Crucifixion so that it was only the man Jesus who died.90  It was the “Christ Spirit” which raised Jesus’ dead body at the Resurrection while Jesus of Nazareth went on to be reincarnated as Apollonius of Tyana who subsequently ascended thereby becoming Master Jesus and world teacher as “the Christ” for the Piscean Age.91

Jesus’ life became a symbolic pattern for all to follow toward their own salvation – just as the man Jesus procured His own.

Before going further in explaining New Age Christology and comparing this to Bill Johnson’s, it’s important to keep in mind the intention as explained earlier by Alice Bailey.  As stated in part I, in order for Christianity to be “transcended” the goal is in preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages.  In other words, the doctrines must seem to be orthodox while actually teaching unorthodoxy.  By implication, a certain amount of duplicity and inherently contradictory statements would be part of the plan.

For example, in the kenosis theories claiming Jesus emptied Himself of some or all divine attributes to become a man, there is the implication of Jesus’ pre-existence as God rather than the New Age view that Jesus was previously incarnated as a man.  Certainly, no one can deny Jesus Christ’s pre-existence as God and remain in a Christian pulpit (at least not generally).  However, as noted in part II, claiming Jesus was/is eternally God yet He “emptied Himself of divinity” during the Incarnation is an inherent contradiction.  The point is, ‘Christianized’ New Age will not completely parallel New Age / occult theology.

Comparing Specific Christological Statements

Many prominent authors and conference speakers add fuel to the fire of fear assuming that because the new age movement promotes it, its origins must be from the devil92

Given Bill Johnson’s words above, obviously, he sees no trouble with at least some New Age concepts or practices.  And, of course, this illustrates that Johnson acknowledges there is a New Age movement.

As explained earlier, in New Age Christology, Jesus pre-existed as a human who had been reincarnated.  Once “christed”, He was en route to becoming “the new World Teacher”.93  Conversely, “Christ” is God’s son who pre-existed as “God”.  Here in the following is “Christ” as defined by a well-known New Age book by Levi Dowling first printed in 1907 (and presumably still in print) titled The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ:

We recognise the facts that Jesus was man and that Christ was God; so that in very truth Jesus the Christ was the God-man of the ages.94

Central to most all (if not all) occult doctrine is the belief that all humans have two natures – one human nature and one latent divine nature.  This divine nature is known as the “divine spark”, “seed”95 and/or the “Christ within” which must be awakened to begin “the Path” to self-salvation.96  The point at which one realizes and begins to actualize this inherent divinity is known as the ‘virgin birth’.97

This inherent dual nature in all humans makes us potentially the same as Jesus.  Since the term “Christ” is used in many different ways in New Age / New Spirituality teaching, it is confusing and sometimes difficult to interpret meaning which is ultimately determined by context.  In the following, in a book by Alice Bailey most likely originally written in the mid to late 1940’s, she is referring specifically to the person of the Incarnate historic Jesus at first; she then uses the term more generally in the second.  That is, in the second case Bailey is indicating that anyone can expand their “Christ consciousness” by following Jesus’ example.  By “the keynote of the Gospel story” Bailey means the so-called ‘good news’ that everyone can save him/herself and relate to the Father by our inherent divinity (awakened by the “Christ anointing” or, being “Christed”) and to humanity by our human nature:

…the keynote of the Gospel story [is] the human-divine nature of the [person of Jesus] Christ, relating Him to the Father through His essential divinity and also to man through His essential humanity.  The Christian Church gave a wrong slant to the teaching by making Christ appear as unique, though the higher criticism (deemed so shocking fifty years ago) has done much to correct this false impression.98

It seems quite possible that this “higher criticism” to which Bailey refers includes the kenosis theories at the turn of the twentieth century.

Also from Dowling’s book, who is usually affectionately referred to as simply “Levi”, is the New Age / New Spirituality teaching on two different aspects of “Christ”: the first is general, meaning “anointed” (or “christed”), while the second refers to a member of the false “Trinity” as indicated earlier:

The word Christ is derived from the Greek word Kristos [ED: actually Christos] and means anointed.  It is identical with the Hebrew word Messiah.  The word Christ, in itself, does not refer to any particular person; every anointed person is christed.  When the definitive article ‘the’ is placed before the word Christ, a definite personality is indicated, and this personality is none other than a member of the Trinity, the Son…99

Notice in the first three sentences the similarities between them and Bill Johnson’s teaching in the following:

Christ is not Jesus’ last name.  The word Christ means “Anointed One” or “Messiah.”  It [Christ] is a title that points to an experienceIt was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title [Christ].  He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired.100

…The outpouring of the Spirit comes to anoint the church with the same Christ anointing that rested upon Jesus in His ministry so that we might be imitators of Him…101

Per Levi, “every anointed person is ‘christed’” or receives “the anointing” or, “Christ anointing”, as Johnson calls it.  As previously pointed out in the CrossWise article The Christ Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit, Bill Johnson redefines Christ to “the anointing” and he subsequently redefines antichrist (spirit) to ‘anti-anointing’ in the same chapter of this particular book.

Confusingly, there is yet another aspect to the term ‘Christ’ in New Age Christology.  It is also an ‘office’ or ‘title’ for the “Christ” of the current age.  As noted above, there have been many “Christs” (or “World Teachers”) down the ages and, as previously stated, Jesus of Nazareth - more accurately, the now ascended “Master Jesus” - is the one for the Piscean Age, our current era/aeon102 having earned this ‘title’ and receiving His coronation at His “baptism in the Holy Breath (Holy Spirit)”.  This is explained in the Introduction to the book by Levi:

The word Christ means “the anointed one,” and then it is an official title.  It means, The Master of Love.  When we say ‘Jesus, the Christ’ we refer to the man and to his office; just as we do when we say…Lincoln, the President…Lincoln was not always President, and Jesus was not always ChristJesus won his Christship by a strenuous life…we have a record of the events of his christing, or receiving the degree Christ.  Here is where he was coronated…103

With the exception of the introduction, Levi’s book is written in chapter/verse format as if it were a Bible.  Here is how the (fictional) account is presented:

…and now you stand ready to take the last degree. 6  Upon your brow I place this diadem, and in the Great Lodge of the heavens and earth you are THE CHRIST. 7  This is your great Passover rite.  You are a neophyte no more; but now a master mind. 8  Now, man can do no more; but God himself will speak, and will confirm your title and degree. 9  Go on your way, for you must preach the gospel of good will to men and peace on earth; must open up the prison doors and set the captives free. 10  And while the hierophant yet spoke the temple bells rang out; a pure white dove descended from above and sat on Jesus’ head. 11  And then a voice that shook the very temple said, THIS IS THE CHRIST104

Now let’s look at one more Bill Johnson quote we’ve used previously in part I to compare with the immediately preceding:

The outpouring of the Spirit also needed to happen to Jesus for Him to be fully qualified.  This was His questReceiving this anointing qualified Him to be called the Christ, which means “anointed one.” Without the experience there could be no title.105

To reiterate, following is the latter part of the previous Johnson quote with additional context provided:

…It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title [Christ].  He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired.

The word anointing means “to smear.”  The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism.  The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit.106

As pointed out in part I, as per Johnson, logically Jesus was not Christ prior to this experience as this title was given only at the point when the Spirit descended upon Him as a dove [Luke 3:16; John 1:32].  Hence, He was merely Jesus of Nazareth until this anointing.  This sure resembles the teaching of Levi above, does it not?

One other important thing to consider which is best illustrated by picking out a bit of one of Levi’s quotes above:

…When we say ‘Jesus, the Christ’ we refer to the man and to his office; just as we do when we say…Lincoln, the President…Lincoln was not always President, and Jesus was not always Christ107

If one has this in mind, one could use Luke 2:11, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” [NIV 1984], to mean that Jesus is the future Christ and NOT that Jesus was born as the Christ.  This would be similar to stating, “On February 12, 1809 President Lincoln was born.” – certainly, Lincoln wasn’t born President for he was elected to the office of the President later.  In the same way, occult / New Age / New Spirituality teachings assert Jesus wasn’t born the Christ for he wasn’t coronated until He was around thirty years of age.  Of course, Christian orthodoxy affirms that Jesus was the Christ, our Lord and Savior at birth.

In the Apocryphal/Gnostic The Gospel of Philip from the 2nd century is a similar idea.  In the following, there is a specific distinguishing between water baptism and ‘anointing’ [chrisma is the Greek transliterated word meaning anointing].  The “anointing” here is identified as the mark of a Christian rather than true Christian conversion upon which one receives the Holy Spirit indwelling:

The chrism is superior to baptism.  For from the chrism we were called ‘Christians’, not from baptism.  Christ also was (so) called because of the anointing.  For the Father anointed the Son.  But the Son anointed the apostles.  And the apostles anointed us.  He who is anointed possesses all things.  He has the resurrection, the light, the cross.108

This reads like an “ongoing incarnation”.  Alice Bailey, in her 1937 Theosophical / New Age book From Bethlehem to Calvary: the Initiations of Jesus, quotes Luke 3:16, then describes the two steps in baptism, the first by John the Baptist in water and the second by Jesus Christ “which is that of the Holy Ghost and of fire.”109  She further describes this second baptism:

…The baptism which Christ gives His followers concerns the purification of the mind by fire.  Fire, under the universal symbolism of religion, is ever symbolic of the mind nature. This baptism by fire is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.110

Those who are or were involved with the so called ‘Third Wave’ have undoubtedly heard the word “fire” used to describe those “under the anointing” (especially from Todd Bentley at Lakeland).  Bailey’s use here is referring to the transformation of the mind (continued transformation by Transcendental Meditation / contemplative prayer / centering prayer / soaking, etc.) to expand one’s “Christ consciousness”.111  [See "Christ consciousness" section of 'Christ' in the New Age article.]  This is a process that continues until one, hopefully, ascends to Master, becoming a god oneself.

In the following is Johnson as he explains the “baptism in the Holy Spirit”112 distinguishing between the Holy Spirit “that was already in Jesus’s life” and what transpired just after His baptism by John.  After quoting John 1:32, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him” [NKJV], a parallel passage to Luke 3:16 (as Bailey uses above), Johnson explains this baptism:

…Certainly this is not talking about the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that was already in Jesus’s life.  This was the inauguration of Jesus’s ministry, and the Holy Spirit came to rest upon Him [baptism in the Holy Spirit / “Christ anointing”] as a mantle of power and authority for that specific purpose.  But the fact that the Holy Spirit came to rest on Him is evidence of Jesus’s faithfulness to be perfectly trustworthy with the presence of GodThe same principle is true for us.

The Holy Spirit lives in every believer, but He rests upon very few…113

Here’s one more quote from Face to Face with God, the same Johnson book cited above:

…The baptism in the Spirit, a profound encounter with the face of God, adds the power of heaven to bring transformation to planet Earth…114

Does this not resemble the same basic teaching as the New Age / New Spirituality with respect to the ‘baptism of/in the Holy Spirit’ / “the anointing” / the “Christ anointing”?  “Transformation to planet Earth” sure has a New Age-y ring to it.

As noted in part I, Johnson claims that Jesus did not raise Himself from the dead contrary to John 2:19/10:17-18.

…Jesus GAVE Himself to be crucified.  He DID NOT raise Himself from the dead…His job was to give His life to die.  The Father raised Him by the Spirit…115

Of course, it was the entire Trinity who raised Jesus’ body from the dead as other Scripture attests [Holy Spirit – Romans 1:4/8:11; Father – Acts 5:29-31/Galatians 1:1/Ephesians 1:17-20; God - Acts 2:24/Romans 4:24].  However, Johnson’s phraseology is not that far from the words of well-known New Ager Benjamin Crème:

Jesus was raised from the dead by his teacher the Christ who entered his body 3 days after his death. Jesus was no longer in that body and it was the Christ whose personal name Lord Maitreya lived in that body for the 41 days after the resurrection.116

In essence, Crème is stating that it was the “Christ Spirit” which raised Jesus’ body and remained in Him at the instruction of the Father of the false Trinity. The difference in the Crème version is that Jesus’ immortal Spirit came back into the body of Apollonius of Tyana; and, upon his death, Jesus’ Spirit ascended and He became ‘Master Jesus’ and the “World Teacher” of the Age of Pisces.

One has to wonder why Johnson would emphatically violate Scripture in stating that Jesus DID NOT raise Himself from the dead especially when this is not much different than the occult / New Age / New Spirituality account.

Part IIIb will discuss “the Word made flesh” and “spiritual DNA” and part IV will specifically compare the Theosophical Jesus as pattern for mankind to quotes of Bill Johnson and concludes this series. [See also: part I, The Christ Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit, and part II.]

85Dager, Albert James Vengeance is Ours: The Church in Dominion. © 1990 Albert James Dager, Sword Publishers, Redmond, WA; pp 12-13.  Bold from emphasis in original; underscore added.
86Bailey, Alice A. Initiation, Human and Solar. © 1951 Lucis, NY, (4th paperback ed, 1980), Fort Orange Press, Albany, NY; pp 56-57
87Dowling; p 6.  Emphasis added.
88Dowling; pp 6-8, 82-83, 94
89Dowling; p 8
90einterface website. “The Master Jesus” taken from Benjamin Crème’s works Maitreya Mission, Volumes 1, 2, and 3. <http://www.einterface.net/gamini/indexju.html> par 1-5; as accessed 04/17/12
91Bailey, Initiation, p 56-57
92Johnson, Dreaming with God; p 86.  Emphasis added.
93Dowling; p 8
94Dowling; p 8
95Dowling; p 6
96Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary, pp 24, 26; Bailey, Externalisation, p 592
97Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary, pp 9, 21-22, 24, 26
98Bailey, Alice A. Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle. © 1950 Lucis, NY, (2nd printing, 1957), George S. Ferguson, Philadelphia, PA; pp 127-128.  Underscore added.
99Dowling; p 6.  Emphasis in original
100Johnson; Heaven Invades, p 79.  Emphasis added.
101Johnson, Face to Face, p 77. Underscore added.
102Dowling; pp 3, 8
103Dowling; p 8.  Underscore added.
104Dowling; pp 82-83.  Underscore added; caps in original.
105Johnson; Face to Face, p 109.  Underscore added; other emphasis in original.
106Johnson; Heaven Invades; p 79.  Bold from emphasis in original; underscore added.
107Dowling; p 8.  Emphasis added.
108Schneemelcher, Wilhelm; transl. R. McL. Wilson New Testament Apocrypha: Volume One: Gospels and Related Writings. © J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), Tubingen, 1990; English Translation © James Clarke & Co. Ltd, 1991 (Rev. ed.), Westminster John Knox, Louisville, KY; p 200.  All emphasis added; parenthesis in original.
109Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 98
110Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 99.  Emphasis added.
111Here are a few statements taken from Alice A. Bailey’s A Treatise on Cosmic Fire [© 1951 Lucis Trust (1925, 4th ed 1951), Lucis Publishing Company, George S. Ferguson, Philadelphia, PA; p xvii] which are themselves from H.P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine [n.d., “Third Revised Edition”; identified as “S.D.”] (all emphasis added): “Fire is the most perfect and unadulterated reflection, in Heaven as on earth, of the One Flame.  It is life and death, the origin and the end of every material thing.  It is divine substance” (S.D. I. 146).  “Fire and flame destroy the body of an Arhat [ED: 4th level initiate]; their essence makes him immortal” (I. 35).  “The fire of knowledge burns up all action on the plane of illusion, therefore those who have acquired it and are emancipated are called ‘Fires’” (I. 114).  Of what are Bentley and others referring when they use the term “fire” and “fire of God”?  I was once given a cd of Robert Stearns / Jason Upton / JoAnn McFatter / Julie Meyer titled Freedom’s Fire [see here: http://store.liveinhispresence.com/Freedom_s_Fire_Prophetic_Worship_Robert_Stearns_p/cd-ffpw.htm ] with tunes such as “Burn Away”, “Swirling in the Fire”, “Freedom’s Fire”, “Burning Desire”.  From the same individual I was also given a copy of JoAnn McFatter / Steve Mitchell / Steve Swanson Messengers of Fire [see here: http://www.joannmcfatter.com/messengers.html ] with selections titled “Contact”, “Seven Spirits Burning”, “Messengers of Fire”, and “Winds of Fire”.  One must wonder what is meant by ‘fire’ in hyper-charismatic circles in general.
112Johnson, Face to Face; p 79
113Johnson, Face to Face; pp 21-22
114Johnson, Face to Face; p 102
115“ewenhoffman” Maintaining the crosswalk- sermon of the week Feb 27th 2011. 16:45 – 17:00.  Emphasis in original; underscore added.   As accessed 03/11/12.
116einterface website.  “The Master Jesus”; par 3

About these ads

69 Responses to Bill Johnson’s Christology: A New Age Christ?, part IIIa

  1. Craig says:

    Part III was getting VERY long and unwieldy; so, it was decided to break it up into two sub-parts. IIIb will be longer than this one.

  2. Justin says:

    So the moral of the story is that someones doctrine can be different, or even “*off” from “someone’s” perspective, and still see the dead raised and disease healed?

    I found video testimonies – http://www.bjm.org/testimony/28/lyme-disease-healed.html

    *off – differing views, such as the calvinism vs. arminianism debate is a great example of one camp thinking the other is off, when really it’s just a never ending difference of opinion and both will fight their views to the grave. Even some reading this will disagree with me – it’s probably because you’re a Calvinist.

  3. Craig says:

    Justin,

    Even if these healings are genuine, it does not mean they’re from the Lord. From Kurt Koch’s Occult A-B-C is the following [from here: http://books.google.com/books?id=eNqb5eVr0moC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false ]:

    It is chiefly spiritism under a religious disguise which we find active in the field of healing. There are also so-called faith healers who work not by the power of the Holy Spirit, but by religious spiritism or by white magic.

    The USA had a well-known spiritist healer in Edgar Cayce, who made his diagnosis and exercised his healing powers in a trance.

    …It would be a mistake to dismiss these healing methods as pure swindle. Successful cures do take place. But at what cost! For many years I have been observing the serious negative effects of such healing on people’s mental and spiritual health. [pp 234-235]

    The writer goes on to speak of William Branham whose “angel” would not materialize when committed born again Christians (including Koch) were praying that if Branham were of God that He would use him, but if not, that God would hinder him.

    These healings could well have come from what the East calls Kundalini. This Kundalini supporter even speaks of the dangers of it: http://www.dharma-haven.org/oas/kundheal.htm

    Bill Johnson himself has recorded in one of his own books a very dubious (or worse) healing:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/by-whose-power-does-bill-johnson-perform-healings/

    Playing the Arminian – Calvinist card is a smokescreen. Let’s talk about the real meat of the issues brought forth in this and the other parts of this post. As but one example, don’t you find it appalling that Bill Johnson would violate Scripture claiming Jesus DID NOT raise himself from the dead? To what end would he have in stating that?

  4. Tim Bain says:

    Justin,
    I think you’ll find as did I… many (perhaps most) of the people who are speaking out against Bethel,NAR and their cohorts came out of the Apostolic movement or are Charasmatic,at least the ones who tend to go into great depth on the issues come out of those circles, “we” (Charasmatics) are the ones most impacted by the “movement”,( it will be our job to clean up afterward) I don’t think this is so much a Denominational issue though Im aware other denominations are very concerned as well. The primary issues are New Age, Latter Rain and mysticisum ….not Calvinisum -not by a long shot.

  5. Craig says:

    Tim,

    This is Justin’s second post and each time thus far he’s failed to actually engage the issues. From this point forward, I’m just going to delete any comment that is not related to the article. Life is too short.

  6. Carolyn says:

    Hi Craig: Re Cosmic Humanism –
    I was just reading some of the articles that Bill Johnson has on his site. In the article called “apostolic teams”, he is exalting new revelation over tried and true doctrine…God’s revealed Word to man.

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

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

    Although he confidently affirms what he is saying about some self appointed apostles, he has meanwhile managed to devalue the Word as anything more than revelation for “that day and that season” but not for ours. I find his ramblings very contradictory. He says one true thing and then cancels it out in the next breath. If we compare his “new wineskins” wisdom with this excerpt from: http://www.allaboutworldview.org/new-age-theology.htm – we will see where the New Aquarian Age spirits of error are headed with him and his fluid New Age prophets.

    “Cosmic Humanism begins by denying the preeminence of any purported special revelation over any other. That is, Cosmic Humanists believe that the Bible is no more the word of God than is the Qur’an, or the teachings of Confucius. New Age advocate David Spangler says, “We can take all the scriptures, and all the teachings, and all the tablets, and all the laws, and all the marshmallows and have a jolly good bonfire and marshmallow roast, because that is all they are worth.”1

    Obviously, if the Bible is valuable only as fuel, this nullifies the significance of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Cosmic Humanist sees Christ’s life as important only in the sense that it showed humanity to be capable of achieving perfection, even godhood. An article in the New Age publication Science of Mind states, “The significance of incarnation and resurrection is not that Jesus was a human like us but rather that we are gods like him—or at least have the potential to be.”2″

    In your article BJ says: “The outpouring of the Spirit also needed to happen to Jesus for Him to be fully qualified. This was His quest. Receiving this anointing qualified Him to be called the Christ, which means “anointed one.” Without the experience there could be no title.105″

    What is this quest that Jesus was supposed to be on? Because Bill Johnson has divested Christ of his divinity, he (Christ) has to reach his potential through some universal anointing which will change him from a mere human to reach his true divine consciousness. And because we are Christ on earth, we have the potential to do the same thing.

    Now switching back to the NA article: “This interpretation of Christ allows the New Age theologian to postulate, as John White does, that “The Son of God . . . is not Jesus but our combined Christ consciousness.”3 JESUS IS LOOKED ON AS ONE OF A SELCT COMPANY, HAVING ACHIEVED CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS. EVERY PERSON IS ENCOURAGED TO ACQUIRE THIS SAME LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

    How can anyone hope to achieve such a divine consciousness? Because everyone is a part of God. Cosmic Humanists believe that we and God are ontologically one. “What is God? God is the interlinking of yourself with the whole.”4″

    BJ further says in the apostolic teams article: “God never gives the whole picture of His plan for the church to one father/apostle, or even to one tribe. SCRIPTURES DECLARE THAT “WE” HAVE MIND OF CHIRST, NOT “I”. Dependence upon the whole is essential for us to grow up in a way that pleases Christ. As the various “tribes” learn to work together we will see a more complete picture of the Father’s intent for planet earth.

    Can you say “cosmic humanism”? With the above sentence (in caps), BJ just took every person away from his individual relationship with Christ and by twisting the meaning of Scripture, he put us all into a New Age sea of universal consciousness.

  7. Bud Press says:

    Craig, once again you have connected the dots and revealed the dark underbelly of Bill Johnson’s teachings. It’s as plain as the glasses on Johnson’s face: he has allowed the New Age to slither in and work its destruction, and the New Age “Christ” is right in the middle working overtime and overshadowing Johnson, his fellow wolves, and their dedicated followers.

    Good work! May our Lord richly bless your efforts, and use your research to bless fellow Christians and rescue those being deceived.

    Bud Press, Research Consultant
    Christian Research Service

  8. Craig says:

    Carolyn,

    Regarding “present truth” and “new wine”, here’s a comment I posted last year on the “Christ” in the New Age article:
    ________________________________

    Here’s the New Age explanation of the ‘parable of new wine’ [Matthew 9:16-18]:

    The disciples of the world (with their nicely formulated ideals and their neatly expressed idealistic concepts) are oft glamoured by the future beauty because they are oblivious of the present opportunity. Many of them will find out later that they have been left behind as far as registering the new truths is concerned. To this Christ referred when He said that it was not possible to put new wine into old bottles for that which is old will be destroyed by the expanding new life. — A Bailey Discipleship in the New Age, Volume I; 1944; p 86 [emphasis in original]

    Most anyone who has ever been involved in hyper-charismaticism will recognize this teaching. The “new truths” are also known as “present truths” or “new revelations.” The “disciples of the world,” or “old bottles,” are those of whom modern hyper-charismaticism refer to as those who stick to historic orthodox Christian doctrine which they claim is the “human wisdom” of I Corinthians 2:12-13 compared to their “wisdom by the Spirit” — new revelation. See “Christ Consciousness” section for further explanation.

    Also, note this was written just before the modern Latter Rain movement of 1948.
    _________________________________

    I should add: the “oft glamoured future beauty” of which Bailey refers is either/both the millennial reign and/or our heavenly eternity. The NAR denigrates the millenium in favor of ‘present glory’ or, at least, near future ‘glory’. Being “left behind” is the notion that some will refuse to ‘evolve’ their ‘Christ Consciousness’ and thereby either be killed off or somehow banished to another plane of existence in New Age / occult teachings. This is a preemptive strike against the Christian doctrine of ‘the Rapture’.

  9. Craig says:

    Here’s the link to the article of which Carolyn refers: http://www.bjm.org/articles/12/apostolic-teams.html. In the following, Johnson denigrates historic Biblical Christian doctrine specifically:

    Unity based on common doctrines has a measure of success. But there is an inherent problem with this approach – unity of this nature is based upon uniformity. When God is saying something new,2 those who are listening are usually asked by their leaders to leave the group they were a part of.3

    Footnote 2 states the following: “This is never in addition to scriptures. Instead He unveils what is already there.” What Johnson means here is that eisegesis is employed, i.e. reading these ‘new revelations’ back into Scripture, proof-texting by reinterpreting passages metaphorically.

    Footnote 3 states: “This is far from an absolute rule, as many leaders are in tune to what God is saying. However, some are more concerned with preserving past accomplishments over and above the advancement of the kingdom. This creates a weakness that tends to miss God’s present word“. Yes, the NAR / New Age has been successful at crossing denominational lines.

  10. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Excellent, Craig! I cannot express how important your research is. My only problem with your articles is the time lapse between them! LOL! Of course, your carefulness to document and write in a way that expresses clearly with no ambiguity or misunderstanding is important. So do take the time you need. But I eagerly look forward to the next installment.

    Carolyn, ditto! What you write is hitting the mark in a huge way with Craig’s comments following.

    Many blessings all!

  11. Craig says:

    YesNa,

    Well, I’m glad some are reading the info here and extrapolating on it. Carolyn hit on a part of what is forthcoming in part IIIb. I’ve had some difficulty in trying to put that portion in a way that is somewhat easy to understand and at the same time not seeming as though I’m painting with a broad brush.

  12. Carolyn says:

    Craig, YesNa: The thing about comparing the “apostles” notes with what hardcore New Agers are saying is so that you can see the humanistic path both camps are on. Although the apostles super spiritual messages are veiled in Christianese, they are on the same path as their New Age cousins. What other result could you possibly expect when you take the Word of God away and exalt experience over it? And when you do that as a leader, you are fair game for Satan’s plan of attack, his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11
    Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

    Many of these leaders are just blind guides who are following the “pied piper” through spirit guides and angels and unaware that they are now what Christ referred to as “the blind leading the blind”; both are destined for the ditch. These false prophets and apostles are being told that they have a divine destiny, they have levels of authority and they can achieve their ascended potential by submitting to a powerful, miracle producing anointing. They have forgotten the admonition to test the spirits. When tested, if the message is false, you will ALWAYS discover some side door where the guide or angel has denied that Christ is the the Son of God, a denial that Christ has come in the flesh. Note of extreme importance: Our flesh will never be equal to his flesh. His flesh was divine. Ours is sinful. That’s what the Bible tells us in no uncertain terms.

    In this case, the NAR guides deny Christ his divinity under a twisted theology of anointed ascendency making themselves equal with Christ. Although the guides promise them a manifested destiny of glory, the only thing that awaits them, should they continue on this path, is the second death for their rebellion against the truth of God’s Word. The warnings are going out now…now is the day of salvation.

    Craig, you are a voice crying in the wilderness…prepare for the Day of the Lord! History repeats itself and over and over. Where the church has forsaken the Word for some extreme manifestation or ecstatic experience, it has departed from the faith. In our enlightened, aquarian age, we are walking through a wilderness of false doctrine and the best thing any of us can do is to expose error wherever we see it and point people back to the message of the gospel…which is what you are doing.
    Romans 10:6-9 (King James Version)
    6But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) ASCENDED MASTERS?
    7Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)DENY HIS ETERNAL DIVINE NATURE? CHRIST HAD TO GO TO HELL TO BE BORN AGAIN?
    8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
    9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. DON’T MESS WITH THE TRUTH…DON’T ADD TO IT SOME TWISTED ANGEL’S “NEW THING” OR THIRD WAVE THEOLOGY. DON’T SWALLOW THE EDENIC LIE THAT WE SHALL BE AS GODS. INSTEAD BELIEVE THE TRUTH AS GOD HAS SIMPLY STATED IT!

  13. Craig says:

    I’ve previously mentioned on various comments on this site that I previously held music as an idol in my life (as a collector) – both in my pre-Christian and even part of my post-Christian life. (I’ve come to Christ somewhat recently at a dozen years ago.) Ever since I was a child I was fascinated with music. With so many years involved in this I have many different memories; and, I know a LOT of music trivia (all styles of rock plus various genres of jazz with a bit of others mixed in). I say all that to say that I just out of the blue recalled a tune by post-punk/new wave band Love and Rockets (formed from the ashes of goth-rock Bauhaus) titled “Kundalini Express”. Here are the lyrics:

    This is an announcement
    For the transcendental run
    The train now standing
    Leaves for higher planes
    Due to a derailment
    There will be no other train
    So why not hop on this one?
    Hear the porter’s glad refrain
    Each carriage is connected
    As is every single train
    The rails all form a track
    Which is a link within a chain
    The chain’s connected to another chain now
    You will need no ticket
    If you wish to ride on this train
    Chorus:
    All aboard the express kundalini
    All aboard the express kundalini
    All aboard the express kundalini
    The song is in your heart
    Your heart is in the song
    The song is of the earth
    The song is of the sky
    You are disintegrating
    Into everything around
    Reintegrating
    The worm we dug from higher ground
    You have let go of ego
    Ego is no longer you
    Closer to nirvana
    Since the porters whistle blew

    I don’t generally pay that much attention to lyrics; but, as I recalled the title, I looked up the lyrics. Interesting! The lyricist(s) is describing panentheism (god is IN all) which will morph into pantheism (god IS all) once all exit the material world as nirvana is reached.

  14. Mary Matthews (MaryM007) says:

    I totally agree with YesNa! Thank you so much, Craig, for your diligence in separating the Truth from the lies!

    Just wanted to make a comment about your #111 footnote above: “One must wonder what is meant by ‘fire’ in hyper-charismatic circles in general.”

    The Johnson folks associate fire with power – as in their ‘fire tunnels’, etc. Their main focus is on the power and signs and wonders that they do – because they are proof that God is there.

    I was taught (in pentecostal/charismatic circles – pre-Bill Johnson) – fire not only speaks of judgment and damnation – but it also is cleansing and purifying…the impurities are burnt up in the fire and what comes out is more pure – as in processing gold – the dross (impurities) rises to the top and discarded and what is left is pure…So as we go through our trials and tribulations – life – (which can seem like we’re in a fire sometimes) we come out stronger in the Lord – with what should be a more humble and awestruck reverence for how great is our God.

  15. Carolyn says:

    Bud: slither is a good word. As has been discussed before, to pinpoint error is sometimes like trying to nail jello to the wall because false teachings are so fluid. They change on a daily basis. And if you are a proponent of “new revelation”, how can you argue for correct doctrine? It’s slithery and slimy…as is their father the instigator of lies and false teaching.

    Craig…the word “collective” comes to mind. We are now of the collective mind…no individuals on this train. The kundalini collective mind. The serpent rises, the pineal gland receives a sedative, the conscious mind is put to sleep, thinking lies dormant and the the third eye awakens to evil. We are now bound for reinvention of truth as the kundalini spirit interprets life for us. Scary isn’t it? That seems to be where the contemplative train is headed as well.

  16. Carolyn says:

    Craig…from your post – notes from BJ’s article

    Unity based on common doctrines has a measure of success. But there is an inherent problem with this approach – unity of this nature is based upon uniformity. When God is saying something new,2 those who are listening are usually asked by their leaders to leave the group they were a part of.3

    So if I understand this correctly, BJ is trying to pin the conformity of uniformity on followers of orthodox doctrine. Collective group think of third wave ideology is much better (tongue in cheek). Very slick twisting. Well I’ll pin the conformity of uniformity right back on his third wave lapel.
    *******
    Footnote 2 states the following: “This is never in addition to scriptures. Instead He unveils what is already there.” What Johnson means here is that eisegesis is employed, i.e. reading these ‘new revelations’ back into Scripture, proof-texting by reinterpreting passages metaphorically.

    This is a whole area of error….the error of “the unveiling what is already there”. Indeed!?! The occult is already there. The fifth dimension is already there. The fallen angels are already there. The serpent is already there. How can you base doctrine on partaking of something spiritually supernatural that is already there? What a vague sense of broad road inclusiveness. It’s a third wave idea like spiritually, “we can actually live off the energy that surrounds us” (because it’s already there)…or the absurdity of this song…”He’s in the air we breath” (because it’s already there). Or we can bring heaven down to earth. (because it’s already there) Like I said…nailing jello to the wall…no reasonable or biblical substance.

  17. Craig says:

    Mary,

    I’m glad you brought up “fire” as I wanted to include in the article itself, but it seemed like a bit much; therefore, it was relegated to the footnotes. I’ll copy the entire footnote here:
    _______________________________________________________

    Here are a few statements taken from Alice A. Bailey’s A Treatise on Cosmic Fire [© 1951 Lucis Trust (1925, 4th ed 1951), Lucis Publishing Company, George S. Ferguson, Philadelphia, PA; p xvii] which are themselves from H.P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine [n.d., “Third Revised Edition”; identified as “S.D.”] (all emphasis added): “Fire is the most perfect and unadulterated reflection, in Heaven as on earth, of the One Flame. It is life and death, the origin and the end of every material thing. It is divine substance” (S.D. I. 146). “Fire and flame destroy the body of an Arhat [ED: 4th level initiate]; their essence makes him immortal” (I. 35). “The fire of knowledge burns up all action on the plane of illusion, therefore those who have acquired it and are emancipated are called ‘Fires’” (I. 114).

    Of what are Bentley and others referring when they use the term “fire” and “fire of God”? I was once given a cd of Robert Stearns / Jason Upton / JoAnn McFatter / Julie Meyer titled Freedom’s Fire [see here: http://store.liveinhispresence.com/Freedom_s_Fire_Prophetic_Worship_Robert_Stearns_p/cd-ffpw.htm ] with tunes such as “Burn Away”, “Swirling in the Fire”, “Freedom’s Fire”, “Burning Desire”. From the same individual I was also given a copy of JoAnn McFatter / Steve Mitchell / Steve Swanson Messengers of Fire. [see here: http://www.joannmcfatter.com/messengers.html ] with selections titled “Contact”, “Seven Spirits Burning”, “Messengers of Fire”, and “Winds of Fire”. One must wonder what is meant by ‘fire’ in hyper-charismatic circles in general.
    ___________________________________________________________

    According to Blavatsky/Bailey, fire is “divine substance”, the “most perfect…reflection…of the One Flame”, it ‘destroys the body’ (the material part of us, “the plane of illusion” {aka ‘maya’}) leaving our ‘immortal essence’, and all those emancipated from the material realm “are called ‘Fires’”. And, while you, Mary, have correctly identified fire in Scripture, it does not seem this is what is in view in hyper-charismaticism. I dare say it seems more in line with Blavatsky/Bailey. On the flip side, what Blavatsky/Bailey describe seems to be closer to the judgment of God.

  18. Craig says:

    Carolyn,

    You’re right, of course. While the push of the NAR is ‘unity’ it is THEY who are spreading DISUNITY by not adhering to historic orthodox Christianity. We must steadfastly stand on the Truth of God’s written word – in its proper context. This includes standing on the progressive revelation of the truth of Scripture as it has been revealed to the Church body at large which includes the ecumenical creeds (Nicene, Apostle’s, Athanasian and Chalcedonian Creeds).

    I believe it was Jewel Grewe who first coined the phrase “jello” with respect to the doctrines of the hyper-charismatic movement. This is certainly true to a point, that is, the terminology and phraseology is changed once exposed; however, once one has a grasp of the essential doctrines, they are somewhat easily spotted. The difficulty is in becoming somewhat conversant with the underlying theology.

  19. Carolyn says:

    First I wish to make a correction. It is not “He is the air I breathe”..it is “This is the Air I breathe” (Mercy Me)…semantics, I suppose. I still think it sounds like something out of the New Wave theory of aeroponics. (I just made that up)
    Lyrics:
    This is the air I breathe
    This is the air I breathe
    Your holy presence
    Living in me
    If you think about it…his Holy Presence is not the air we breathe. It sounds artsy but is closer to heresy. Closer to YesNa’s description of the lady who leaned out her car window and breathed the Holy Spirit over the town.

    Craig, I guess I could agree with “somewhat” easily spotted. Error DOES change shape, or you could say it evolves(as you say, progressive revelation)…even if the substance doesn’t change. Heb. 11:1 Faith has substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. In other words, God’s real work brings real results. What faith is not, is the substance of changing dogmas, irrational behaviour, disorderly conduct, shifting doctrines or the fluid foundational creeds of men and angels where faith is a confusion of experience and fanatical NAR thinking.

    In 1951- Bert the Turtle learned to Duck and Cover when he sensed danger. Speaking of shapeshifting…does there seem to be some “duck and cover” in the ranks of the NAR whenever the discernment gets too close for comfort? Retreating to the shell of orthodoxy to ward off the heresy hunters. Then getting bolder with the deception when the heat is off. Just wondering.

  20. Craig says:

    Carolyn,

    Yes, I would say “duck and cover” is an apt description of what happens once heresy is exposed. For example, once Manfested Sons of God was exposed for the heresy it is, it went undercover a bit. There are few who explicitly state this doctrine save for the Bentley’s and the Bob Jones’s anymore, yet it’s stated in other roundabout ways.

    In re-reading what I wrote below I wasn’t very clear. I was trying to say that even our Truth is progressive in revelation. The early Church ‘fathers’ brought forth some interpretations of Scripture and others have built on them. Moreover, as we have found earlier and earlier Greek NT manuscripts we’ve come closer to the original ‘autographs’ (as the original letters/epistles are known as). And, as more scholars study Scripture, they have the advantage of relying on their predecessors. Most do not know (as I didn’t until fairly recently) that the doctrine of the Atonement wasn’t universally agreed upon until much later. Even now, there are some minor disagreements among those of orthodox persuasion.

    On the other hand, the ‘new revelations’, which themselves are progressing, are going further and further AWAY from the Truths the Church has worked so hard to codify. In fact, these are moving closer and closer to esoteric “truths”, or untruth. So, yes ERROR does indeed change as it ‘ducks and covers’ and is tends further towards esotericism.

    When “truth” becomes subjective experience as opposed to objective truth, we can expect folks adhering to said “truths” to slide further and further from historic Christian orthodoxy.

  21. Craig says:

    Carolyn,

    I had never thought of the Mercy Me song in that light; but, it sure makes sense!

  22. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    The song below is sung at our church frequently. Sadly, the true understanding of the love of God has been lost on many. He saw us in our sin and destruction, came in flesh to live among us, die and rise again. What wondrous love is that! Oh, that deep, deep love of Jesus has been turned into a sensual, panentheistic, “Just breathe”. The song below has a very sweet and lilting melody. Once you hear it, it comes back into one’s thoughts frequently. So if you get stuck on it, go to this video and be washed by the blood of our precious Lamb. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP0tEceh8Bg

    Kari Jobe “The More I Seek You”
    The more i seek you,
    the more i find you.

    The more i find you,
    the more I love you

    I wanna sit at your feet
    drink from the cup in your hand.
    Lay back against you and breathe,
    hear your heart beat

    This love is so deep,
    it’s more than I can stand.
    I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming

  23. Craig says:

    YesNa,

    What – no guitar, electric bass and drums?! ;) Thanks for sharing as I’ve not heard that one before.

    And, my money is that this is a cello and not a viola accompanying the piano and Ortega.

  24. cherylu says:

    This is maybe not the best place for this comment, but since it is still about Johnson’s Christology and is the current aritcle, I am going to put it here. If you think it would be better elsewhere Craig, please feel free to move it.

    I went on Johnson’s Facebook page yesterday and asked him this question:

    ‘Hi Pastor Bill,

    I am wondering if you could tell us your definition, or what you mean when you use the term “divinity?” For many folks, the term “divinity” is used as a synonym for the word “deity.” That being the case, when you speak of Jesus as having “laid His divinity aside,” they take it to mean that you are saying that means that Jesus wasn’t God at the incarnation.

    Could you please help folks out here? What does the term “divinity” mean to you? Thanks so much.”

    Here is his reply: “Jesus is God, never stopped being God, is eternally God.”

    While he never told me his definition of “divnity” even when I questioned him further (he never gave any further answer at all), what he did do again is state explicitly that Jesus NEVER stopped being God.

    This conversation took place yesterday, April 26, 2012 on this FB page:

    https://www.facebook.com/BillJohnsonMinistries

  25. Craig says:

    cherylu,

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t see this as very much different, if any different, from his previous Facebook comment from 3/21/11. It is just yet another display of duplicity.

    Try asking him what he means by “the Word made flesh” and if Jesus is the unique “Word made flesh” and judge that with the following:

    “…It’s the Spirit of God that makes this thing [the Bible, which he’s holding] come alive to where we actually have the privilege of the Word becoming flesh in us again, where we become the living illustration and manifestation of what God is saying.”

    The above taken from this YouTube video [1:24- 1:37]:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4RZ_ctiwlE&gt

    This will be covered in MUCH detail in the forthcoming part IIIb.

  26. Arwen4CJ says:

    cherylu,

    I appreciate you taking the time to ask Bill the question that you did — but his answer was so short. Your question was direct, but he gave a vague answer. I can’t help but wonder if he answered that way on purpose so that he would sound orthodox to anyone reading his answer — I mean, to us, he sounds orthodox because it sounds like He is affirming Jesus’ deity. To those who believe Jesus gave up His deity at the Incarnation, it would sound “orthodox” (according to their belief system) because he didn’t actually answer the question.

    What I mean is, it sounds like he gave the answer of Jesus’ status now. Sure, he said that Jesus never stopped being God and is eternally God — but from when is he speaking? He might not have the same definition of “eternally” in mind that orthodox Christians would have.

    I’m thinking that even the man from the church I left would agree with Bill’s answer — even though that man says that Jesus became God when He resurrected from the dead or ascended into heaven.

    Johnson just gave a one sentence answer without really elaborating on anything, and he didn’t actually answer your question. I would have thought that Johnson would want to jump at such an opportunity to state his position with clarity.

    Since Johnson didn’t do this, I would want him to explain how he reconciled the statement:
    “Jesus is God, never stopped being God, is eternally God” with “Jesus laid aside His divinity.” In doing so, ask him to please define divinity as part of his response.

    That’s what we need — we need him to explain how he reconciles those two sentences because they seem contradictory to us.

    Would you please ask him that?

    Just tell him that there are a lot of people that are confused by his teachings, and we would like him to clarify this.

    If he can clarify this for us, we can see where he really stands on this issue.

    If he just gives another one sentence response, then I’ll have no choice but to assume that he DOESN’T want to be clear, and he wants to be as vague as possible so that he sounds orthodox to all.

  27. Arwen4CJ says:

    cherylu,

    Oh, and where can we find your question on his Facebook page? Is it under a particular topic?

    Thanks.

  28. cherylu says:

    You know Craig, for your sake I almost hope you are right about this. I would really not like to be in your shoes if all of your charges of deceit on his part are someday proven to be false.

    And before anyone jumps down my throat here and accuses me of supporting Johnson, let me just state again: that is not the case. His theology is terrible and dangerous. And so is a great deal of what goes on in their assemblies.

  29. Craig says:

    cherylu,

    What I don’t understand is how you continue to accept his words when they clearly contradict each other. Why didn’t you use the “Jesus emptied Himself of divinity and became man” quote which is MUCH stronger than “He laid his divinity aside”? We may have to ask Johnson what he means by “Jesus”, “eternally”, “God”, “man”, etc.

    Let me ask you this question: is Jesus the unique, one and only “Word made flesh”? I’m quite confident your answer is yes and that you understand it in an orthodox manner, i.e., that the Word, the second Person of the Trinity became flesh via the hypostatic union. In what way can man become ‘the Word made flesh again’? Certainly not in the same way Jesus Christ did as per orthodoxy. But, there IS another way which will be brought forth in the next part. Johnson is playing a game of semantics using duplicity. And, I don’t like it one bit.

  30. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    You wrote, “If he just gives another one sentence response, then I’ll have no choice but to assume that he DOESN’T want to be clear, and he wants to be as vague as possible so that he sounds orthodox to all.

    Exactly and well said. Which points to duplicity.

  31. Arwen4CJ says:

    cherylu,

    If you do ask him to clarify further on Facebook, could you please use the following quote that Craig pointed out is much stronger:

    “Jesus emptied Himself of divinity and became man” and ask him to reconcile that with his statement “Jesus is God, never stopped being God, is eternally God.” Tell him to define his terms. Thanks :)

    If he honestly gives a well thought out response, in which he defines his terms, I will accept that he at least is trying to teach orthodox theology.

    However, if he gives a one or two sentence vague response, then I’m going to assume he is trying to be unclear on purpose, and that he doesn’t think this issue is very important. This might include purposely leading his followers away from the true Christ.

    I want to be fair to him, but he’s got to show us that he is thinking about this in an orthodox manner that using a little logic. If he just brushes this aside, I’m going to wonder how much on purpose he is trying to mislead people.

  32. Arwen4CJ says:

    I listened to the video up until just after he said this:
    “…It’s the Spirit of God that makes this thing [the Bible, which he’s holding] come alive to where we actually have the privilege of the Word becoming flesh in us again, where we become the living illustration and manifestation of what God is saying.”

    Wow :(

    Does he not understand Who the Word is in John 1? I mean…seriously. Is Johnson this deceived? Or is he both deceived and trying to deceive?

    This appears to be what Johnson is suggesting, considering the context in which this quote happens:
    That the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to do miracles and healings and whatnot by the Word becoming flesh in us — becoming an anointed one. When this happens, we can do all the Supernatural things that Jesus did.

    I tried to think about that quote in an orthodox manner — but I can’t. I tried thinking how someone who is simply ignorant of what John is talking about in John chapter 1 might view it — and I just couldn’t interpret it in such a way, given the context of the quote and the quote itself.

    I was going to try to suggest Johnson might have attempted to suggest that Scripture becomes alive for us by the Holy Spirit so that we understand it better. However, I’d have to ignore both the context and some parts of that quote to get it to mean that.

  33. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    There’s more to this motif which will be brought forth in the next part. MUCH more.

  34. Arwen4CJ says:

    Hmmm….then again….

    Maybe Johnson is suggesting that Jesus becomes alive in us — figuratively speaking — and thus, we display Christ’s love for the world.

    I still don’t think that’s what Johnson is saying, given the context — but it might be interpreted that way.

    And even if this is what Johnson means by the quote, then the displaying would be with signs and wonders and miracles, etc.

  35. cherylu says:

    I may well try to get further response from Johnson on FB. I am, however, going to be watching and trying to catch him when he is online as it seems he is much more likely to respond at that time.

  36. Craig says:

    Good idea!

  37. Arwen4CJ says:

    Thank you, cherylu.
    :)

  38. cherylu says:

    Still not sure just what I will say though. I have too many thoughts/possibilites running through my mind. I’d like something with a simple yes or no answer since he seems to like to do quick one liners. But don’t know if that will get my idea across or not.

    And it may be some time before I catch him on line. Waited for several days trying to catch him before and never did. Was surprised to get an anwer at all as many comments go completely unanswered.

  39. Bud Press says:

    With the exception of God, no one has the ability to read Bill Johnson’s mind. Therefore, I believe it’s a tremendous waste of time to try and figure out Johnson’s definition of certain words and phrases. Doing so distracts from the original issue, and leads people down an endless rabbit trail of confusion.

    After all, what does Sun Myung Moon mean when he says he is the “messiah”? What do New Agers mean when they say they are “God”? What do Jehovah’s Witnesses mean when they teach that Jesus is not God and that He did not raise Himself from the dead? The list is endless, and it doesn’t take an expert in linguistics to figure it out.

    For example, years ago, Benny Hinn taught that Jesus took on the nature of Satan, sinned, and had to be born again in hell. Hinn claimed to have received it through “divine revelation”.

    Did I or others scratch our heads and try to figure out what Hinn meant? No! We tested what Hinn said by Scripture, and determined that he not only denied Scripture and called God a liar, but that he was guilty of blasphemy. Hinn’s “born again Jesus” was not divinely inspired, but was learned from E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, and other false teachers within the hyper-Charismatic movement.

    Bill Johnson claims that Jesus is eternally God, then claims that Jesus “emptied” Himself of His Godhood. Claiming and denying is a classic tactic of a false teacher, which the cults are infamous for.

    Why is it that the cults are dead wrong and going to hell, but Bill Johnson is looked upon as misunderstood? Where do we draw the line? Better yet, where does God draw the line? If a professing Christian teaches cultic theology, God says both are dead wrong!

    Now, shall we discuss Bill Johnson’s agreeing with Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus did not raise Himself from the dead? Or, shall we waste our time trying to figure out Johnson’s definition of the word “raise”?

    Bud Press, Research Consultant,
    Christian Research Service
    Jude 3

  40. Arwen4CJ says:

    cherylu,

    Okay — then the shortest possible question that I would like to see Bill Johnson answer is this:

    How do you reconcile your statement “Jesus emptied Himself of divinity and became man” with your statement “Jesus is God, never stopped being God, is eternally God?” Please explain, as several people are confused.

  41. cherylu says:

    Bud,

    The whole problem here is that Johnson never said He emptied Himself of His Godhood. He said He emptied Himself of His divinity. “Divinity” is not only defined as “Godhood” but is used in other ways too. Check out the dictionary definitions if you don’t believe me.

    THAT is why it pays to know what Johnson means by the word “dvinity”. If he uses it as a synonym for Godhood, or deity, then of course he is totally contradicting himself. If he uses it in some way other then that there is no sense in us insisting that he is using it to mean Godhood.

    Obviously, at the very least, he is using it in some way that teaches a form of kenoticism. And I am not in any way saying I agree with what he is teaching. But should we go around adamantly telling folks he is teaching something that may or may not be true?

    It has been stated here and on other sites repeatedly that he teaches Jesus wasn’t God while on this earth. Yet when asked, he has denied that He was ever anything else then God. Now it may be that he is outright lying, or it may be that he is telling the truth and folks don’t understand what he means. It seems to me it is well worth the effort to try and find out.

  42. Craig says:

    cherylu,

    Yes, but Johnson has made statements which are VERY hard to understand apart from believing “divinity” means divine essence including divine attributes as pointed out here:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/bill-johnsons-christology-a-new-age-christ/

    Here’s one such:

    …The anointing is what linked Jesus, the man, to the divine enabling Him to destroy the works of the devil.

    Even if one tries to interpret this as “Jesus, in His humanity…” we still have a problem for Jesus was already “linked to the divine” via the hypostatic union.

  43. cherylu says:

    Craig,

    I certainly never said he hasn’t made statements that are hard to understand! But in the face of so many outright denials that he believes Jesus wasn’t God, I think it only makes sense to try and see what he is saying rather then to just assume that he is lying. Assumptions have a way of getting folks into very deep and troubled waters at times!

  44. Craig says:

    So, then if you can unscramble the one you’re trying to unscramble, how does that help interpret the one comment I quoted above? It doesn’t seem like a different meaning for divinity would work in that context, would it?

  45. cherylu says:

    Craig,

    I reckon it would if he thinks “divinity” means supernatural capabilities or some such thing. Which is, if my memory is correct, one of the dictionary definitions that I believe I quoted in one of these discussions.

    Personally, I have no idea how God could have given up His supernatural capabilities and still remain God. Doesn’t mean Johnson sees it that way though. If he believes He was still in essense (ontologically?) God but could and had laid aside those capabilities, then yes, He would “as a man” need a way–the anointing–to connect Him back to those abilities in order to do what He came to do.

  46. Craig says:

    But, doesn’t he make the claim that “the anointing” is the ‘Holy Spirit’; and, if so, isn’t the Holy Spirit deity?

  47. Arwen4CJ says:

    I agree with cherylu. Since Johnson is confusing and unclear about what he teaches, I want to at least be fair to him. I want to give him the chance of answering the following question:

    How do you reconcile your statement “Jesus emptied Himself of divinity and became man” with your statement “Jesus is God, never stopped being God, is eternally God?” Please explain, as several people are confused. The statements seem contradictory.

    If he ignores the question, or if he gives a one sentence answer like, “They are both true,” or something like that, then I’ll have no choice but to say that he wants to be unclear so that he sounds orthodox to whomever listens to him.

    However, if he actually explains how he reconciles those two together — if he says both statements are true, but explains how he thinks they are true, then, depending on his answer, I will have to acknowledge that maybe he doesn’t believe Jesus gave up His deity while on earth.

    Yes, it does appear that at least sometimes Johnson uses divinity like deity. However, that may not always be the case. I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt here. When faced with such a direct question like “how do you reconcile those two statements because they seem contradictory,” all of this should be clearer — if Johnson is trying to be orthodox in his understanding.

    I want to let him explain. He has hundreds of followers.

  48. cherylu says:

    Not following your last question, Craig.

  49. Craig says:

    Let’s try this one:

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

    If we assume that Jesus couldn’t use any divine attributes since He “emptied Himself of divinity” and that it’s only by “the anointing” that he gains the possibility of ‘hearing/seeing the Father’, then how did Jesus know to “be about My Father’s business” as a 12-year-old?

  50. cherylu says:

    If I am remembering correctly, Johnson said somewhere that Jesus had the Holy Spirit all of the time. Is that correct, do you know? I think that the anointing he says He received at His baptism would be more thought of to be for power and service, for the miraculous. That is what he says we receive from the anointing that is “modeled” by Jesus, is it not?

    Have to go take care of dinner here so may not be commenting much now.

  51. Craig says:

    Yes, Johnson says Jesus had the Holy Spirit prior to “the anointing” but, he makes the explicit point that it was only by “the anointing” that Jesus could ‘hear/see the Father’ thus making a logical fallacy as He would be unable to know to ‘be about His Father’s business’ prior to “the anointing”.

  52. cherylu says:

    I just found some very interesting Johnson quotes. So what do you guys think of these?

    From “Face to Face With God” published in 2010: “Everything He did in His life and ministry He did as a man who, though He was fully God, had set aside the privileges of His divinity in order to show us a model of the kind of life He would make available to each of us through His death, resurrection, and ascension.”

    From here.

    And this one from “The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind” published in 2005.

    “In the same way that Jesus is fully God and fully man, so the kingdom is fully now and full then.”

    That one is found here.

  53. cherylu says:

    One more quick comment for the night.

    In the book I linked to above, “Face to Face With God”, Johnson has a long discussion about worship. He uses the example of the woman that anointed Jesus for His burial as an example of what He is talking about. And he in no uncertain terrms makes it clear that what that woman did was wholehearted worship of God.

    If he doesn’t believe Jesus was God while on this earth, how in the world could he think this woman’s act was worshipping Him?? It seems very obvious that he is equating Jesus with God here.

    (See pages 54 and 55 in the online book).

  54. Bud Press says:

    cherylu, what do you think Bill Johnson meant when he said Jesus “did not raise Himself” from the dead?

  55. Craig says:

    cherylu,

    These passages are not sufficiently clear in stating that Jesus Himself was God on earth. You may persuaded as such; but, you must read those in line with everything else he writes/states. They, rather, show his duplicity by seemingly affirming divinity.

    Check out the new part:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/bill-johnsons-christology-a-new-age-christ-part-iiib/

    Is Jesus the “Word made flesh”? Yes, He, like anyone of us can be, was the “rhema” Word made flesh. Not convinced? Wrap your mind around this statement:

    …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 – Word made flesh; Word made Spirit

    So, Jesus was indwelt with the “rhema” Word and each time He spoke, He imparted the “rhema” Word – and, we, of course, can do the same thing.

    I implore you to read through the entire article very carefully and then make any commments over there.

  56. Craig says:

    cherylu,

    And, I think Bud asks a really good question. Why go through the trouble of emphatically declaring Jesus DID NOT raise Himself from the dead thereby violating two Scriptures – John 2:19-22 / 10:17-18?

    In fact, Johnson claims it was only “the Spirit” BY the Father who raised Jesus implying the Father was only passively active in opposition to Acts 2:24/5:30.

  57. TimBain says:

    “Duplicity”….yes THAT is the key to understanding BJ’s teaching…. I’d like to know if he thinks the tree in the center of the Garden was actually a “mulberry bush!”
    I’m thinkin “annointing” is to Johnson what rhema was to Hagin – their ” real” God,everything else gets pushed out of place or distorted (including Christ) so it can fit where it does’nt belong…and that is why BJ dosnt want to discuss the details -remember thats were the devil is…in the details.

  58. Craig says:

    TimBain,

    Yes, “the anointing” is the central aspect of the entire hyper-charismatic movement and hence its ‘god’. Part IIIb shows that it looks an awful lot like the occult ‘etheric realm’, or panentheistic realm.

  59. Bud Press says:

    cherylu or anyone:

    Concerning the word “divinity,” who is being referred to in the following Scriptures?

    Acts 17:29: “Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the DIVINE NATURE is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.”

    Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His ETERNAL power and DIVINE NATURE, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

  60. Brenda says:

    Greetings Saints,
    Bill Johnson may dance around his answers regarding Jesus’ divinity/deity while on earth, but one has to wonder why. Teachers/Preachers are supposed to clarify, not confuse.

    On BJs Facebook wall, April 13th, he states: “Why did Jesus raise the dead? Because not everyone dies in God’s perfect timing.”

    Scripture, however, states that Jesus raised Lazarus so that: the Son of God would be glorified (Luke 11:4), the Disciples would believe (Luke 11:15, 25, 26), and those who witnessed the resurrection would believe that Jesus was sent by God (Luke 11:42).

    So leaving aside BJs claims about Jesus’ Nature during His Incarnation, what does BJs April 13th post say about his belief in God’s Sovereignty? We’re left with two choices: believe God and His Clear Word, or believe BJ who is either willfully or ignorantly teaching things that are not true.

    And if you’re gonna believe BJ over God, you should examine your heart to determine why. God Bless, and thank you Craig for your research and postings. ~Brenda (a sheep who grieves)

  61. Craig says:

    Brenda,

    Thanks for your comment. The whole ‘divinity/deity of Christ Incarnate’ issue I see as purposeful cognitive dissonance. This site has shown he employs this cultic method elsewhere. And, he’s not averse to what I can only construe as obvious deception and manipulation as evidenced in the Roberts Liardon library acquisition.

    Since I don’t have a Facebook account (I’d probably NEVER get anything else done if I did LOL), at present I occasionally receive info from others. I was made aware of Johnson’s quote denying God’s sovereignty when he first posted it. It’s amazing his fans (which is short for “fanatics”) eat this sort of stuff up in their idolotrous worship of Johnson.

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

  63. CD says:

    Without getting into all of your misconceptions and accusations, what do you think Jesus meant when He said “…the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can only do what He sees His Father doing…” and also “very truly I say to you, whoever believes in Me, He will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name and I will do it.”

    I could go on and on with things that Jesus did and said that are completely contrary to what you believe, so I guess my question is, are you afraid of what Bill Johnson says or what Jesus said?

  64. CD says:

    Also, John the baptist said that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire… Also God is referred to as an “all-consuming Fire” among other references to fire in scripture, so obviously these songs and everything else that you are so skeptical of are referring to things in scripture. I don’t see why you are so bent on making everything seem so spooky like a reference to fire is automatically of the occult or something. Also, Philippians 2:6– Jesus would not be as offended as you are if you suggested that He “emptied Himself”… He is humble, He came to serve… maybe the word “empty” is scaring you because of that teaching you mentioned about some “Christ-spirit” entering into him and making him some new-age teacher… But Phillipians 2:6-7 is saying that Jesus emptied Himself to become a servant, and to die for our sin…

    I dont know about all the things you mentioned in your article, and i dont care to study the teachings of the occult as you obviously do because that is the stuff that deceives and leads to fear…Study the Scriptures, ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your heart, and see and hear Jesus the way He wants you to see and hear Him. I am fully committed to Jesus… He is Lord of heaven and earth, and He is much kinder than you realize. Be free from the religious fear that has you judging and accusing anyone and everyone you don’t agree with or understand!

    I dare you to put away ALL other books, commentaries, articles, sermons, etc… For a while and read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John over and over again… just you and the Holy Spirit. Let that renew your mind and transform you!

  65. CD says:

    Ok, and about the sovereignty of God… sovereignty means absolute independence, (there are sovereign nations) which He obviously is, and He is all powerful– He created all that exists with His word! but sovereign does not mean responsible for every little detail and in charge of everything that happens- good, bad, and ugly… He has given us a lot of responsibility down here. Jesus said that “the Father is not willing that any of these little ones should perish…” (Matthew 18:14) and yet little ones perish all the time. In John 10:10 Jesus states that “the thief comes only to steal kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life, and life abundantly”. So you are in dangerous territory if you say that Gods sovereignty means that everything that happens is exactly the way He likes it. you must not deny the role of the one who comes to steal kill and destroy. And I know that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes” but “all things” includes the terrible things that happen that break Gods heart. He doesn’t cause the terrible things, but He can still use them for His glory. Thats what it says– it doesnt say He causes everything that happens. He is brilliant!! No matter what the enemy does, God turns it around for our good and His glory!! That is power! Let’s be honest- if you treated your children the way a lot of Christians think our Father treats us- you would be locked up for child abuse! He is kind!!! He hates sickness and death and everything that destroys our lives! Look at Jesus and tell me God makes people sick for His glory. Jesus NEVER told ANYONE that!!! And Jesus said if youve seen Him youve seen the Father. so Father causes sickness and Jesus heals sickness? NO. That would mean Jesus and His Father were working against each other.. But Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil! Come down from your academic theological dispositions and accept the Truth that defies your logic!

  66. Craig says:

    CD,

    Take a slow, deep breath. Now, slowly exhale. One more time. Better? Now maybe you can slow down enough to read through the material here.

    You wrote, “what do you think Jesus meant when He said “…the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can only do what He sees His Father doing…”

    That meant that Jesus worked in concert with the Father. Since the Word, the Logos, the Son of God is the second Person of the Trinity, He would not oppose the Father; he’d work right along with Him in harmony. But, to the Scripture that you reference above – which Johnson takes out of its proper context – see article here at the Bill Johnson’s Kenotic Concept section which explains the proper interpretation of Johnson’s proof-texting of John 5:19.

    You wrote, “and also “very truly I say to you, whoever believes in Me, He will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name and I will do it.”

    See Greater Works Shall You Do

    You wrote, “…so I guess my question is, are you afraid of what Bill Johnson says or what Jesus said?

    I am not afraid of what Bill Johnson says; but, I AM ‘afraid’ that Johnson is leading others astray. I have reverential fear/awe of Jesus Christ as He is God – part of the Trinitarian Godhead.

  67. Craig says:

    CD,

    Three things: context, context and context.

    You wrote, “Also, John the baptist said that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire…

    Why, yes he did. Let’s put this in context:

    11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:11-12 TNIV]

    and:

    16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Luke 3:16-17 TNIV]

    burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire and he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire – both of these sure sound like judgment, don’t they? So, clearly, the message is that Jesus will gather the elect (wheat into his barn) and destroy His enemies (burning the chaff with “unquenchable fire”).

    You wrote, “…Also God is referred to as an “all-consuming Fire” among other references to fire in scripture, so obviously these songs and everything else that you are so skeptical of are referring to things in scripture. I don’t see why you are so bent on making everything seem so spooky like a reference to fire is automatically of the occult or something.

    Yes, “consuming fire” – that’s in Scripture. But, it refers to God’s judgment:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=consuming+fire&searchtype=all&version1=49&language1=en&spanbegin=1&spanend=73

    As this article points out, the occult does reference “fire”; and, interestingly, in some of the ways hyper-charismaticism does.

    You wrote, “…Be free from the religious fear that has you judging and accusing anyone and everyone you don’t agree with or understand!

    Hmmm. You aren’t judging ME are you?

    You wrote, “I dare you to put away ALL other books, commentaries, articles, sermons, etc… For a while and read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John over and over again… just you and the Holy Spirit. Let that renew your mind and transform you!

    You are under the mistaken notion that commentaries are all somehow in opposition to Scripture. Yet, what you don’t realize is that good commentaries draw upon the last 2000 years of Scripture interpretation. Christians don’t learn in a vacuum; we learn as a body. And, that body includes Christians past, present and yet future.

  68. Craig says:

    CD,

    I don’t think I’ve stated anywhere on here that my belief is that everything is “exactly the way He likes it”. In fact, I’m quite sure I didn’t.

    You would do much better by actually reading or more carefully reading what I write instead of making straw man arguments based upon your own misunderstandings of what I write. It might save you some embarrassment.

    Your last sentence in your most recent comment crosses over into disrespect thereby violating my standards as stated in the Before You Comment tab. I’ll leave it here as an object lesson. Next time (if there is one) you cross this line your comment(s) will not see the light of day.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 247 other followers

%d bloggers like this: