Bill Johnson’s Christology: A New Age Christ?, part IV (Conclusion)

[See also: Part I, The Christ Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit, Part II, Part IIIa, and Part IIIb.]

One of the most persistent themes in early Christian accounts of heresy is that it smuggles rival accounts of reality into the household of faith.  It is a Trojan horse, a means of establishing (whether by accident or design) an alternative belief system within its host.  Heresy appears to be Christian, yet it is actually an enemy of the faith that sows the seed of faith’s destruction.*  It could be compared to a virus, which establishes its presence within the host, ultimately using its host’s replication system to achieve dominance.  Yet whatever the ultimate origins of heresy might be, the threat comes from within the community of faith.

- Alister McGrath188

 As McGrath points out, there is a long tradition of heresy distorting Truth, whether wittingly or unwittingly, to the destruction of the faith.  The asterisk above denotes a footnote reference in the original text of a Thomas Aquinas quote from Summa Theologiae: “[H]eresy is a species of unbelief, belonging to those who profess the Christian faith, but corrupt its dogmas.”189  The Trojan horse/virus analogy is an apt description of the way in which heresy is spread.  As the dark intentions of Djwhal Khul, Alice Bailey’s demon, makes clear, “The Christian church in its many branches can serve…as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished.”190  This is effected by “preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages”.191

Jesus is Our Model

Jesus Christ died for our sins.  He is also a model for us.  His sacrificial life provides an example of how we are to live:

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had:

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. [Philippians 2:3-7, TNIV]

We are to serve others in humility not thinking ourselves more important keeping in mind Christ’s example as He, though fully God, condescended to take the form of man (without diminishing His deity) with all its inherent limitations, except for the sin nature, in order to redeem man.

18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. [1 Peter 2:18-25, NASB]

We are to submit to authority even to the point of enduring unfair treatment, as Jesus had.  We must “die to sin” by yielding to the indwelling Holy Spirit rather than our inherent sinful nature [Romans 8:1-17] which never takes leave this side of glory.  Those who remain in Christ will bear much fruit [John 15:1-17] evidenced by good works [James 2:14-26].

In contrast, the Theosophical/New Age/New Spirituality writings of Alice Bailey also cite Jesus as an example to follow, but, of course, not in the same way as orthodox Christianity.  As noted in Part IIIa, in occult literature man has two natures: one human and one latent divine nature (divine spark/seed), the latter needing to be awakened.  Once activated, the divine nature (the “ego”, or “higher self”) is to be actualized while the human nature (the “lower self”) is simultaneously diminished.  This process is also known as “dying to self”.  One ‘dies to self’ through much self-effort such that the divine spark/seed grows eventually overtaking the lower human nature (aka the “not self”) so as to fully actualize inherent divinity, to become ‘gods’.  This is a works-based system accomplished in part by asceticism and service.192  This is the polar opposite of Christianity.

The New Age / New Spirituality Jesus’ life both symbolically and actually represents “The Path” of the aspirant signified by five markers, or initiations, as identified in Alice Bailey’s From Bethlehem to Calvary: the Initiations of Jesus.193  Recall also that these five initiations do not have to be achieved in one lifetime as they are cumulative carrying over from past incarnations, just as they had for the Theosophical Jesus of Nazareth.  Following are the signposts:

1)     Birth at Bethlehem – a/k/a virgin birth, or new birth.  “The birth of Christ in the cave of the human heart.194 Recognizing the “Christ in you, the hope of glory” – your inherent but latent divinity (duality).195  The divine spark/seed is activated.  “Freedom from the control of the physical body and its appetites.”196

2)     Baptism in Jordan – Water baptism “purifies the emotional nature” which precedes the “purification of the mind by fire,”197 or the “baptism of spirit and fire” / “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” thus providing the ability to consciously reject all evil.198What therefore lies ahead for the initiate who has entered the purificatory water, or rather fire?”199  This is the point at which Jesus of Nazareth became “the Christ”200 having received this title and name at Baptism.201

3)     Transfiguration on Mount Carmel – “transfiguration of the [human] nature” into “full-grown man in Christ” – learning to “die to self;” i.e., working towards overcoming the ‘lower, human nature.’  “Develops fourth dimensional vision.”202 Full-grown man working towards manifested son of God.203 Receives “terrific voltage” of Kundalini.204  “[T]he mind…begins its true task as an interpreter of divine truth…205 (i.e., new revelations, reinterpretations {usually allegorical} of Scripture).  “Third eye” is opened.206

4)     Crucifixion on Mount Golgotha – “The Great Renunciation.”207 The “sacrifice of humanity” by totally “dying to (lower, human) self” in order to achieve divinity and to arise as fully manifested son of God.208  Sin becomes impossible.209  Moving towards attainment of full ‘group consciousness.’210  At the final stage of this initiation, post-‘Great Renunciation’, one dispenses with the fleshly body and attains resurrection body thereby becoming free from death:211 “and the causal body, the soul body is relinquished and disappears.”212 “[Christ] thereby liberated us from the form side of life, of religion and matter, and demonstrated to us the possibility of being in the world and yet not of the world, living as souls, released from the trammels and limitations of the flesh, while yet walking on earth.”213

5)     Resurrection and Ascension – “The cave of the tomb into the fullness of the resurrection life.”214 Attainment to full status of ascended Master in which the individual can move between and live in the physical and/or the astral realms.215If he chooses to take a physical vehicle (as many will when the Christ reappears and the Hierarchy is externalised on Earth), the Master will ‘function from the above to the below’ and not (as is the case today with all disciples, though naturally not with the Masters) on ‘the below towards the above.’…They will therefore need no centres on the etheric levels of our planetary physical plane.”216

This is “The Path” open to all regardless of religious affiliation.217  Bailey summarizes the five steps above:

The babe in Christ, the little child, the full-grown man, the perfected man!  Through the Bethlehem experience the babe is born.  The little child grows to maturity and manifests his purity and power at the Baptism.  He demonstrates at the Transfiguration as the full-grown man, and, on the Cross, he stands forth the perfected Son of God.  An initiation is that moment in which a man feels and knows through every part of his being that life is reality and reality is life.  For a brief moment his consciousness becomes all-enfolding; he not only sees the vision and hears the word of recognition, but knows that the vision is of himself, and that the word is himself made flesh.218

Recall Bill Johnson’s statement about ‘the word becoming flesh in us again’ in part IIIb:

…It’s the Spirit of God that makes this thing [the Bible] 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.219

As Johnson states quite often, Jesus is our model – even to the point that we become the ‘Word made flesh’.  Is Johnson using the New Age / New Spirituality Jesus as his model?  Let’s compare some of his doctrine to the five initiations above.

New Birth

Bill Johnson says little about initial conversion, yet each time he does, there always seems to be more attached to it.  For example, he’s made it clear that “an authentic gospel” is “the gospel of the Kingdom220 which means one in which it is accompanied by signs and wonders in order to supposedly take dominion back from Satan (Dominionism) – in distinction from merely preaching the plain ol’ Gospel.  However, he rarely, if ever, actually explicitly states the Gospel message.  Johnson’s ‘gospel’ always includes miracles221 as if any gospel preached which doesn’t include a manifestation of miracles is not authentic:

The gospel of Jesus Christ is one of power and must become manifest through supernatural demonstration.  Miracles aren’t optional.222

Does this mean those individuals whose conversion experiences were without signs, wonders and miracles in evidence are not true Christians?

As noted in part IIIb, Johnson refers to the “seed of God’s Word, the sperma of God,” which is “released into the seed,” within the individual, “through His Word,” which is deposited “into the soil” of the individual (the ‘soil’ containing the individual’s ‘seed’).  He claims this is the proper exposition of Matthew 13:18-23.  However, this seems more in line with Bailey’s ‘new birth’ in which the divine spark/seed is activated thereby marking this ‘new birth’.

In addition, the “spiritual DNA” concept, which resembles the “sperma of God” schema, is correlated to the ‘new birth’ or being born again as evidenced by the following Bill Johnson statements:

When the Spirit of the resurrected Christ took up residence in our bodies, all of heaven positioned itself to see what we would conquer in His name. Resurrection power is in our nature, in our spiritual DNA.  When we were born again, we received the same spiritual DNA as Jesus.  His resurrection power now is to dwell in us through the Holy Spirit…223

Every born-again believer has the DNA of Christ.224

Progressive Repentance

In Johnson’s book When Heaven Invades Earth is a chapter titled “Repent to See” with the ‘seeing’ referring to the Kingdom: “Most Christians repent enough to get forgiven, but not enough to see the Kingdom.225  Progressive repentance?  Is this a form of Gnosticism (recall that Gnosticism is inherent in Theosophy / New Age) – the quest for secret knowledge, new revelation, via mysticism in order to advance one’s spiritual walk?

This subject has been covered in-depth in a previous CrossWise article illustrating the strong possibility that Johnson’s use of the term repentance is of the likes of Unity, Christian Science and New Thought which were all influenced by Theosophy.  This alternative definition is used by New Ager / Episcopal priest Cynthia Bourgeault who goes back to the Greek metanoia claiming, “[t]he word literally breaks down into meta and noia, which…means ‘go beyond the mind’ or ‘go into the larger mind.’”226  One goes ‘beyond the mind’ and ‘into the larger mind’ through meditation a/k/a contemplative prayer a/k/a ‘soaking’.

Johnson has distorted Jesus’ words to Nicodemus (John 3:3) to mean that in becoming ‘born again’ one will, with the benefit of additional training, attain the ability to literally see the Kingdom in the here and now:

Through Christ, God has made it possible for every person to see the kingdom. Our conversion experience gives us access to that realm, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3, NKJV). However, it is our responsibility to develop this capacity, to train our senses to perceive God through renewing our minds and feeding the affections of our hearts on the truth227

In the John 3 passage, Jesus is making the statement that no one will see the eschatological Kingdom unless one is ‘born again’.  Jesus is not saying we will literally ‘see’ the Kingdom upon conversion (not initially, but after enough ‘repentance’).  Yet, this is a persistent theme of Bill Johnson:

If the Kingdom is here and now, then we must acknowledge it’s in the invisible realm.  Yet being at hand reminds us that it’s also within reach…That which is unseen can be realized only through repentance.  It was as though He said, “If you don’t change the way you perceive things, you’ll live your whole life thinking that what you see in the natural is the superior reality.  Without changing the way you think you’ll never see the world that is right in front of you.  It’s my world, and it fulfills every dream you’ve ever had.  And I brought it with me.” All that He did in life and ministry, He did by drawing from that superior reality.228

The Kingdom does not gradually unfold before our eyes as we ‘renew our minds’ or through repentance (as defined by Johnson) as Johnson asserts by essentially putting words in Jesus’ mouth.  The Kingdom will only come at the eschaton, the end of all things, when Jesus Christ returns.  However, this concept of progression in general and of the ‘hidden’ Kingdom on earth in particular is part of Theosophy:

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 controlThe 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….229

Here’s Alice Bailey describing the purpose of initiations indicating a progressive ‘seeing’:

…[E]ach initiation enables the initiate to “see ahead” a little further, for revelation is always a constant factor in human experience.  The whole of life is revelation; the evolutionary process is, in relation to consciousness, a process of leading the blind out of darkened areas of consciousness into greater light, and therefore into vaster vision.230 

…It is a spiritual fact that those who have passed from the cave of the tomb into the fullness of the resurrection life can be seen, and at the same time evade the vision of the believer; seeing and recognition are two very different things…231

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

In addition, Bailey says at the second initiation, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, the tri-part aspect of human personality (physical body, emotional nature, and the mind) is perfected bringing man “en rapport with the existing universe, and therefore with God, immanent in nature.”232

The physical body enables us to touch the tangible, visible world.  The emotional, feeling nature enables us to say, “I lift up my heart unto the Lord.”  Most people live in their heart nature and in the feeling body, and it is through the heart that we find our way to the Heart of God.  Only through love can Love be revealed.  When through right use and understanding the mind is definitely and properly oriented, it is brought en rapport with the Mind of God, the Universal Mind, the Purpose, the Plan and the Will of God.  Through the illumined mind of man, the Mind of Deity stands revealed.  Thus man is seen as “made in the image of God.”233

Is this what Johnson means by ‘repenting enough to see the Kingdom’?  Is the above what Johnson is referring to in the following?

…‘Re’ means to go back.  ‘Pent’ is like the penthouse, the top floor of the building.  Repent, then, means to go back to God’s perspective on reality. And in that perspective there is a renewal, a reformation that affects our emotions, and every part of our lives234

Bill Johnson claims that it’s only at the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Christ anointing), that Jesus obtained the ability to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the Father and this same ‘anointing’ is available to every believer providing these same abilities:

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.235

It was the Holy Spirit upon Jesus [“baptism in the Holy Spirit” / “Christ anointing”]  that enabled Him to know what the Father was doing and saying.  That same gift of the Spirit has been given to us for that same purpose.236

This means, according to Johnson (and other hyper-charismatics) that those Christians who have not experienced the ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’ lack the ability to commune with the Father.  Yet the writer of Hebrews tell us that believers have the right to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood sacrifice of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-24) with no mention of a ‘second blessing’ being necessary for this privilege.

(See Part IIIa and Part I for more details on Johnson’s baptism in the Holy Spirit / Christ anointing.)

Transfiguration

So far we have Johnson claiming we are ‘the Word made flesh’ with the baptism in the Holy Spirit enabling Christians to both ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the Father.  In addition, we can ‘see’ the kingdom increasingly unfold in front of our eyes through ‘progressive repentance’.  Thus far, this appears to parallel the Theosophic model as put forth by Bailey above.  But Johnson goes further in the Theosophic ‘Jesus is our model’ theme:

Most all of the experiences of Jesus recorded in Scripture were prophetic examples of the realms in God that are made available to the believer.  The Mount of Transfiguration raised the bar significantly on potential human experience…The overwhelming lesson in this story is that Jesus Christ, the Son of man, had the glory of God upon Him.  Jesus’s face shone with God’s glory, similar to Moses’s after he came down from the mountain.  But Jesus’s clothing also radiated the glory of God, as if to say this was a new era as compared to Moses’s day. In this era the boundaries had changed – a veil could not be used to cover Jesus’s face as it shone with glory, as the veil itself would also soon radiate the same glory.  We influence and impart what God has given us to change the nature of whatever we touch…In the kingdom, things are different.   

…Through the Spirit of the resurrected Christ living in us we are designed to carry the same glory.  But we still must go up the mountain – to the place where we meet with God face to face.237

First, let’s get this straight.  At the Transfiguration it was Jesus’ inherent divine Glory that was radiated; it wasn’t God’s glory coming down upon Him like Moses on Mount Sinai.  As Grant Osborne explains, “Moses reflected the glory of God in his ‘radiance’ when he descended the mountain (Exod 34:29, 33-35), but here Jesus’ true preincarnate glory shines through his humanity.”238

Note how Johnson not only humanizes Jesus, but he raises man up to the Incarnate Christ’s (lowered) level in the last two sentences of the quote.  This is just like New Age / New Spirituality teachings.  Johnson is saying we can match the glory of Jesus, that our garments will radiate God’s glory as we ‘go up the mountain’, as we progress in the “kingdom”.

At Todd Bentley’s ‘commissioning’ ceremony at the “Lakeland Revival” on June 23, 2008, Bill Johnson spoke the following words over Bentley:

…We shape the course of history by partnering with you giving honor where it’s due.  You welcome the glory as well as anybody I’ve ever seen in my life – I long to learn from you in that and I bless you.  And, I pray with the rest of these that the measure of glory would increase, that Moses would no longer be considered the high water mark with the glory shown from his face but instead the revelation of the goodness of God would change the face of the Church.  And that he would use your voice, he would use your grace, your anointing, to alter the face of the Church before this world239

Wait, wasn’t Jesus’ example at the Transfiguration a progression from Moses and thereby the new high water mark?  Well, so much for theological consistency from Johnson.  (Please note the publishing of Johnson’s Face to Face with God, from which the above quote on the Transfiguration is found, predates the Bentley commissioning by at least 1.5 years.)

Crucifixion, the Great Renunciation

The Theosophical / New Age / New Spirituality “dying to self” culminates in the “Great Renunciation,” the cross.  In the Theosophical model, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection are very closely related with the latter usually immediately following the former.

Christ’s major task was the establishing of God’s kingdom upon earth.  He showed us the way in which humanity could enter that kingdom – by subjecting the lower nature to the death of the cross, and rising by the power of the indwelling Christ.240

Let’s compare the above words of Alice Bailey to those of Bill Johnson in a sermon from February 2011:

…How did you get into the Kingdom in the first place? The Cross. What does the Christian life look like? It is only as strong as our connection to how we got in. It is the Cross.  It never deviates from that.  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…My emphasis is on – the Christian life is not the Cross, the Christian life is the Resurrection; but, you can’t get there without the Cross…But the problem is, is the focus of the people of God – it can create an appetite for success.  Meaning, more books sold.  Or, ya know, you put it in your world; I have to try to filter this through the things that I face – that success has some sort of external measurement instead of that internal sense: ‘I have laid my life down for His honor, for His glory’. It’s the Cross; it’s the Cross.  My job is to die; HIS is to raise me. My job is to prefer others; HIS job is to exalt ME…241

Taking the first sentences in and of themselves, this can be understood as orthodox.  Yes, the Cross is the only way into the Christian life.   However, one may call this quibbling, but we are either ‘connected’ to the Cross by salvation through faith in Jesus Christ or we aren’t.  There aren’t degrees of ‘connectedness’.

As already pointed out in part I, Jesus did, in fact, raise Himself from the dead (John 2:19-22, 10:17-18) as it was the entire Trinity who raised Jesus: Father, Son and Spirit.  And, as pointed out in part IIIa, Johnson’s phraseology on this reads like New Ager Benjamin Crème’s.

Yet, it’s the portion in the middle and following which is of interest here: “the Christian life is not the Cross, the Christian life is the Resurrection; but, you can’t get there without the Cross.”  From an orthodox perspective, we cannot reach the future resurrection of the saints (1 Corinthians 15:50-54) unless we’ve accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross by grace through faith and nothing else – no works.  But Johnson states that ‘the Christian life IS the Resurrection’ as if that is for the here and now.  By Johnson’s full context, it makes more sense when viewed with a Theosophical / New Age lens.  He seems to be comparing Jesus being raised ‘by the Father through the Spirit’ with himself, “My job is to die; HIS is to raise me.”  So, presumably, like Jesus, Johnson is to be raised ‘by the Father through the Spirit’ by ‘dying to self’ as per Theosophy – in virtue of works through self-effort.

According to Bailey, it is after this initiation that “the initiate now works from above downwards”.242  Compare this to Johnson’s words in the following: “He wants you to see reality from God’s perspective, to learn to live from His world toward the visible world.”243  On his Facebook page, Johnson recently stated something similar:

The most consistent way to display the kingdom of God is through the renewed mind. It is much more than thinking right thoughts. It is how we think – from what perspective. Done correctly, we “reason” from heaven toward earth.244

One other goal the New Age / New Spirituality aspirant seeks relative to this particular initiation is the attainment of full ‘group consciousness’.  This is gradually developed as one progresses on “The Path”; however, it’s full manifestation comes at the “Great Renunciation”.  In the following, Johnson speaks about a “corporate anointing” which seems akin to the Theosophical / New Age “corporate Christ” concept [This was covered more completely in a previous article.]:

…Here’s what I’m believing for – I know it’s never happened; but, I know that it must before the end.  There must be, not just individuals – I’m thankful we have individuals that are rising up with such anointing, such strength, we have people scattered all over the planet right now that are just making a mess of things in all the right ways.  We are so encouraged.  But, what I’m believing for is a generation – a generation that’ll rise up with a corporate faith, a corporate anointing to press into realms because it’s my conviction that as much as God put on a William Branham, or a Kathryn Kuhlman, or a Wigglesworth, He’ll put far greater anointing on a company of people than He ever would on an individual.  To do that, there must be that corporate sense of, ‘we have to deal with the issue of obeying the rules of this kingdom to tap into the resources of this kingdom’…we cannot use the principles of this world and expect to tap into unlimited resource of the kingdom of God245

Resurrection Life

The final stage in the Theosophical schema is the Resurrection at which point the aspirant is now a Master and no longer an earthly disciple.  The physical body is shed as it’s no longer necessary.  However, there will be some who will stay behind to help further the cause:

If He chooses to take a physical vehicle (as many will when the Christ [ED: actually antichrist] reappears and the Hierarchy is on Earth), the Master “will function from the above to the below” and not (as is the case today with disciples, though naturally not with the Masters) “on the below towards the above”… 246

The individual who stays “to help humanity on this globe” will be “in charge, also, of large work, teaching many pupils, aiding in the many schemes, and is gathering under him those who are to assist him in future times.”247  This ‘physical vehicle’ will, of course, be a ‘resurrection body’.

Bill Johnson claims that our current model is the glorified, resurrected Jesus of Revelation 1:13-16.248  He proof-texts a portion of 1 John 4:17 to make this point, yet in its context, the Apostle John is speaking of how we are to be like Christ in love, not like Christ’s current glorified state:

The “as He is, so are we” [1 John 4:17] declaration is far beyond what any of us could have imagined; especially in light of the glorified description of Jesus in Revelation, chapter 1.  Yet, the Holy Spirit was sent specifically for this purpose that we might attain…“to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” 

The Holy Spirit came with the ultimate assignment at the perfect time.  During Jesus’ ministry, it was said, “The Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”…[W]hy didn’t the Father send Him until Jesus was glorified?  Because without Jesus in His glorified state there was no heavenly model of what we were to become! As a sculptor looks at a model and fashions the clay into its likeness, so the Holy Spirit looks to the glorified Son and shapes us into His image. As He is, so are we in the world 

“The Christian life is not found on the Cross.  It is found because of the Cross.  It is His resurrection power that energizes the believer…249

Clearly, Johnson is promoting that we attain our glorified, resurrection bodies in the here and now.  This is known as the heretical Manifested Sons of God doctrine.  As can be seen, this mirrors New Age teaching.  The “resurrection power that energizes the believer” could be construed as the Theosophical “Christ in you, the hope of glory”, the divine spark/seed.  Johnson expounds further claiming emphatically that we follow Christ “all the way – to a lifestyle empowered by the resurrection!”:

At some point the reality of the resurrection must come into play in our lives – we must discover the power of the resurrection  for all who believe…we must follow Him all the way – to a lifestyle empowered by the resurrection!”250

…Religion is unable to mimic the life of resurrection with its victory over sin and hell.251

For comparison, here’s an Alice Bailey quote illustrating a few Scriptures being pulled out of their contexts in order to create pretexts, including 1 John 4:17:

…Inherent in the human consciousness…is a sense of divinity.  “We are all children of God” (Gal. III.26); “One is our Father, even God,” [John 8:41?] says the Christ and so say all the world Teachers and Avatars down the ages.  “As He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John IV:17) is another Biblical statement. …“Christ in us, the hope of glory” [Col 1:27] is the triumphant affirmation of St. Paul.252

The common theme in all of these is ‘inherent divinity’ and universalism, as in all are potential gods.  The Galatians verse should read, “You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus“; and, in the Colossians verse, the original “you” is replaced by “us” to make it more inclusive.  The verse from John’s epistle is used much like Johnson does above.  Interestingly, Johnson hints at universalism in a snippet from an advertisement for the “Open Heavens 2010 Conference“: “What does it mean to you when it says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on A-L-L flesh?’”[Acts 2:17/Joel 2:28]

Going back to the so-called Lakeland Revival, Georgian Banov delivered two anointings ‘from the Lord’ to Todd Bentley at his ‘commissioning’ ceremony.  Prior to this, Banov, speaking for ‘the Lord’, deemed Bentley a “well pleasing son” – the very words used by the Father at both Jesus’ baptism and the Transfiguration:

…And The Lord says that because you’ve loved his personal presence there are two anointings that are released on His presence and I just want to release those two anointings on you from the LORD.  By the way, the Lord says ‘you are well pleasing son.’The Father, Abba, says that to you personally.  The first anointing is the anointing of the pleasure of the LORD.253

For this first anointing, Banov quotes Isaiah 53:4-6, a Messianic passage, i.e. Scripture pertaining to Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  Interestingly, this Scripture speaks primarily about the Cross:

‘Surely He has borne our grief, sickness and weakness and carried our sorrow and the pain and the punishment of us all. He was considered stricken, smitten and afflicted by God; but, He was bruised for our transgression. He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities and chastisement that brought our peace came upon him and by His stripes we were healed and made whole.’  And, yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him and in His presence there is fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore.   And, God’s releasing his pleasure of what He did to Jesus upon you Todd.254

It seems this can well be construed as a ‘crucifixion anointing’, or the fourth initiation of Theosophy.  The second anointing is based on Psalm 45:6-7 – another Messianic passage.  Derek Kidner, in his commentary on the Psalms, explains:

…[V]erse 7 distinguishes between God, your God, and the king of verse 6.  This paradox is consistent with the incarnation, but mystifying in any other context. It is an example of Old Testament language bursting its banks, to demand more than a human fulfillment…255

These verses, as Banov notes below, are referenced in Hebrews 1:9.  The writer of Hebrews puts it in the context that Christ is above the angels in status and is worshiped by them.  Of this verse, William L. Lane states: “…The implication that the Son shares the quality of deity only intensifies the reference to his eternal rule and sharpens the contrast between the unchangeable Son and the mutable angels…”256   With this in mind, it seems Banov is ascribing deity to Bentley which, from a Theosophical standpoint would represent the fifth initiation, resurrection, in which one becomes a Master:

And, the second anointing that he wants to release upon you is in Psalm 45 but it’s also in Hebrews chapter one verse nine.  It says, ‘Because you have loved righteousness and you have delighted in integrity and virtue and uprightness in heart and thought and action and you have hated injustice and inequity; therefore God, your God has anointed you with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond your companions.’  We bless you.257

Hebrews 1:9 is also a parallel passage to Philippians 2:9 – a part of the ‘Philippians hymn’ [vv 2:6-11]: “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name” [NIV 1984].  Again, this represents Jesus Christ’s Resurrection (and Ascension).  Interestingly, Todd Bentley himself, a little over one month later, would speak of “resurrection life” describing a progression in its attainment:

…And, I just believe there’s an impartation to call forth ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ – the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. And, I want to take one moment church, and I want to press in, I want you to press in with me, to go from one floor, to two floors, to three levels, to four.  And, let’s progress and let’s say, ‘God, beyond raising the dead, beyond notable miracles, beyond healing, let there be a release in the Church of the realm of glory and power and dominion and authority that affects everything that’s death and decay around us.’  And, it’s true victory, it’s true resurrection life, true resurrection power, and true resurrection gloryPeople will be made alive – born again.258

When was it that Johnson claimed Jesus was ‘born again’?  It was at the Resurrection:

…Did you know that Jesus was born again?… I will show it. It’s in the Bible. He had to be. He became sin. 

In Hebrews 1 it says this, “For to which of the angels did he ever say, ‘You are my son. Today I have begotten you’?” And Acts 13 explains that: “God has fulfilled this for us, their children, in that he has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are my Son, Today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption.”  He was born through Mary the first time and through the Resurrection the second time. He was ‘born again.’259

Just like the name of the sermon from which the above was taken echoing words of Bill Johnson in other contexts: Jesus is our model.

Conclusion

This rather lengthy series attempts to illustrate that not only is the Bill Johnson Christology (and by extension, others within hyper-charismaticism with similar teachings), his Jesus, not like the one revealed in Scripture, his theology could fit into the New Age / New Spirituality model.  Whether one agrees or not, the hope is that the reader at least has been given food for thought and the desire for further investigation.

[See part I, The Christ Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit, part II, part IIIa, and part IIIb.]

Endnotes:

188McGrath, Alister. Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth. © 2009, HarperOne, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY; p 34
189McGrath; p 239 n3
190Bailey, Externalisation; p 510
191Bailey, Externalisation; p 511
192Bailey, Initiaton; pp 92-93: “Students must get rid of the idea that if they are ‘very good and altruistic’ suddenly some day they will stand before the Great Lord.  They are putting effect before cause.  Goodness and altruism grow out of realization and service, and holiness of character is the outcome of those expansions of consciousness which a man brings about within himself through strenuous effort and endeavor.”
193Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary.  From back cover: “…These experiences are both symbolic and actual, setting guideposts along the way of the disciple.  They exemplify the experience of the human soul through the five stages of its spiritual journey and can be invaluable to individual man facing the vast span of the same five-fold experience.”
194einterface, “The Master Jesus” par 2; as accessed 06/18/12
195Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; pp 26, 47.  Bailey, Initiation; pp 114-15
196Bailey,  Alice A. The Rays and the Initiations. 1960 Lucis, NY, 2nd paperback ed, 1976, Fort Orange Press, Inc., Albany, New York; pp 685, cf. 664-673
197Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 99
198Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; pp 27, 47-48
199Bailey, Rays; pp 677, cf. 673-687
200Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 100.  Dowling;  pp 83
201einterface, “The Master Jesus” par 2; as accessed 06/18/12
202Bailey, Initiation; p 89
203Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; pp 26, 48
204Bailey, Rays; pp 687, cf. 688-89, 367
205Bailey, Rays; pp 688
206Bailey, Rays; pp 689-91, 368
207Bailey, Initiation; pp 56-57
208Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; pp 28, 48-49, 184-194, 206-207
209Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 202
210Bailey, Rays; pp 694
211Bailey, Rays; pp 695-699.  Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; pp 178, 184, 186
212Bailey, Rays; p 695
213Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 187
214Bailey, Externalisation; p 597
215Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; pp 28, 49-51.  Bailey, Externalisation; p 468-71.  Bailey, Rays; pp 699-703
216Bailey, Rays; p 699
217Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 9
218Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 105.  Emphasis added.
219“whizzpopping” YouTube video, Bill Johnson – Friendship with God. 1:24 – 1:37; as accessed 04/23/12.   Caps from emphasis in original; other emphasis added.
220Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 27
221Johnson, Heaven Invades; pp 33-34, 25-28
222Johnson, Bill “Mandate for Miracles” Ministry Today. September/October 2008, Vol. 26, no. 5; p 70
223Johnson, Bill, “Super-Natural by Nature” Charisma, par 13; as accessed 4/26/12
224Johnson, Clark, Essential Guide to Healing; p 147. Bold from emphasis in original; underscore added.
225Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 37
226Bourgeault, Cynthia The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message. 2008, Shambhala, Boston, MA; p 37
227Johnson, Face to Face; pp 89-90.  Emphasis added.
228Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 38
229Bailey, Externalisation; p 588.  Emphasis added.  This portion originally written in 1946.
230Bailey, Rays; p 703
231Bailey, Externalisation; p 597.  Emphasis added.
232Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 88
233Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 88
234Johnson, Supernatural Power; p 44.  Emphasis added.
235Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 80.  Emphasis added.
236Johnson, Dreaming; p 136.  Emphasis in original
237Johnson, Face to Face; p 200.  Emphasis in original.  Cf. Johnson, Heaven Invades; pp 149-150
238Osborne, Grant,  Arnold, Clinton E. (Gen. Ed.) Matthew: Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. © 2010 by Grant R. Osborne, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; p 646
239“nowbelieve” YouTube video “Todd Bentley’s Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning 2/4” Todd Bentley ‘Commissioning’ of June 23, 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A05WQYi7aQ> Bill Johnson; 1:30 – 2:10
240Bailey, Bethlehem to Calvary; p 206
241“ewenhoffman” Maintaining the Cross-Walk; 16:31 – 17:55.  Caps from emphasis in original.
242Bailey, Rays; p 701
243Johnson, Supernatural Power; p 45.  Emphasis in original.
244Johnson, Bill Facebook, May 12, 2012
245“ChasingRiver” The Real Jesus – Part 4 – by Bill Johnson.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHcRI60j0HI&feature=related>; 0:36 – 1:30.  As accessed 07/03/11
246Bailey, Rays; p 699
247Bailey, Initiation; p 90
248Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 145
249Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 145
250Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 146
251Johnson, Heaven Invades; p 147
252Bailey, Alice A. The Reappearance of the Christ. 1948, Lucis Trust, 9th printing 1979 (4th Paperback ed.); Fort Orange Press, Inc., Albany, NY; p 145
253“nowbelieve” YouTube video “Todd Bentley’s Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning 3/4” Todd Bentley ‘Commissioning’ of June 23, 2008.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjl5wKso9eU&feature=player_embedded#t=0shttp://>; Georgian Banov, 6:23 – 6:49; as accessed 06/24/12
254“nowbelieve” Banov; 6:49 – 7:34; as accessed 06/24/12
255Kidner, Derek Tyndale Old Testament Commentary: Psalms 1 – 72; © Inter-Varsity Press, London, 1973 (2008 reprint), Inter-Varsity Press, Nottingham, England/Downers Grove, IL; p 189
256Lane, William L. Word Biblical Commentary: Hebrews 1-8; 1991, Thomas Nelson, Nashville/Dallas/Mexico City/Rio de Janiero; p 29
257“nowbelieve” Banov; 7:34 – 8:11; as accessed 06/24/12
258Bentley, Todd.  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>; 1956:46 – 1957:53.  Emphasis added.  As accessed 04/01/12.
259“ewenhoffman” Jesus is our Model  sermon by Bill Johnson. 33:48 – 34:57; as accessed 06/23/12.

95 Responses to Bill Johnson’s Christology: A New Age Christ?, part IV (Conclusion)

  1. Carolyn says:

    Well Craig…good presentation of the twisted Christologies that have infiltrated the church through New Age and New Apostles.

    The five initiations of Christ as per Alice Bailey is a good example of how much can be read into the simple gospel. You take a word like baptism or crucifixion and you embellish it to create a whole different story.
    In this quote: Baptism in Jordan – Water baptism “purifies the emotional nature” which precedes the “purification of the mind by fire,”197 or the “baptism of spirit and fire” / “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” thus providing the ability to consciously reject all evil.198

    That is a lot like the one nature teaching where we no longer have to deal with our old sin nature. The second blessing teaching is where we receive a baptism of fire that purifies us from all our old drives. Funny thing is, that I still see so many hyper-charismatics and theosophists struggling with their old sin nature, even though they profess otherwise. Come to think of it, my old nature still seems to be alive and well, at times, no matter how much I deny it.

    Banov uses passages specifically talking about Christ, transforming them into narcissistic prophecies over Todd Bentley. It’s funny how everyone but Christ is exalted in these NAR Dominionist prophetic notions, isn’t it?

    At Todd Bentley’s ‘commissioning’ ceremony at the “Lakeland Revival” on June 23, 2008, Bill Johnson spoke the following words over Bentley:
    …We shape the course of history by partnering with you giving honor where it’s due. You welcome the glory as well as anybody I’ve ever seen in my life – I long to learn from you in that and I bless you. And, I pray with the rest of these that the measure of glory would increase, that Moses would no longer be considered the high water mark with the glory shown from his face but instead the revelation of the goodness of God would change the face of the Church. And that he would use your voice, he would use your grace, your anointing, to alter the face of the Church before this world…237

    All these self appointed prophets, gushing their fanciful flatteries over each other:
    Jeremiah 23:29-31 (New International Version)
    30 “Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The LORD declares.’

    I actually think that Johnson’s prayer is being answered…Todd’s false anointing, along with all the other NAR false anointings ARE being used to alter the face of the Church before this world. They are the ones who Jesus was addressing in this passage
    Matthew 7:21-23 (New International Version)
    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    Unfortunately, Todd Bentley’s old nature was not destroyed by some mystical baptism of fire and his drunkenness and immorality proved the falseness of the glowing Banov and Bill Johnson “prophet-speak” . Moses remains the high water mark and Todd is a smudge on the side of the tub (prophetically speaking).

  2. Craig says:

    I’ve no doubt my sin nature has not been mortified. But, then, I’ve not had the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire. ;)

    I think you’re right about Johnson’s prayer over Bentley at Lakeland is being answered – in the same way it mirrors the Bailey quotes at the beginning of this article (and interspersed throughout) by “preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages.”

    After further reflection, I think there’s even a stronger connection between Banov’s quoting of Psalm 45:6-7 / Heb 1:9 and a ‘resurrection’ anointing. Hebrews 1:5 “You are my Son; today I have become your Father” is recognized as quoting Psalm 2:7 which Luke says is fulfilled by Christ’s Resurrection in Acts 13:33. With this in mind, the remainder of Hebrews 1 would be from a post-Easter perspective; so, the “therefore God, your God has set you above your companions” would seem to refer again to Christ’s triumph at/after the Cross. This, to me, puts it in parallel with the latter part of the Philippians hymn, specifically 2:9 and following, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name”.

    If so, I’d say Bentley’s ‘resurrection body’ is faulty given his indiscretions both prior to and following this particular time period.

  3. Steve says:

    Thank you for your diligence in shining the light of Christ into this dark place Craig. Our salvation is indeed by grace, not of works, but you have done a good and faithful work here which, by God’s grace, will open the eyes of some who are caught in deception. This is a reminder for those of us who think we see pretty clearly to remain on our guard, lest we falter and stumble before reaching the finish line.

    The quotes from McGrath are particularly outstanding.. “[H]eresy is a species of unbelief, belonging to those who profess the Christian faith, but corrupt its dogmas.”

    The Bill Johnson’s among us are certainly not the first apostates, nor will they be the last. Someone else had the bright idea to rename Saturnalia “Christmas”, while still others had the gall to refer to America as a “Christian Nation”. (Some still do!) But if that were true, than God would not just owe an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah, but to the whole antediluvian world!

    When I look at the sickly church in America, I am reminded of the mantra made famous by Emma Lazarus in 1883 in her ode to the Statue of Liberty (a.k.a. Isis):

    “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    The above refrain enshrined on America’s conscience is not much different than the call to “come as you are, all are welcome” open-door-tolerate-everything policy of so many of our modern churches. Forget the message of repentance (our responsibility), dilute the precious blood of the lamb (cheapen grace), ignore the shame of the cross (forget the cost), just fill those pews and don’t forget to tithe 10%.

    It is a fact that grace is often accepted by the downtrodden, and the gospel spreads fastest amongst the persecuted, those with nothing left to lose. So each of us should take a good look at our own congregation next Sunday….see any “downtrodden”? See any “wretched refuse” or “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”? More likely than not our fellow parishioners arrived in an SUV or late model sedan, and most are planning on going shopping at Costco right after the service, or maybe take the boat out to the lake….

    The blessings of God, or fat for the frying pan?

    Apostasy comes in many forms. The name of “Christ” has long been misused at baptisms, weddings, and funerals, as if invoking our Lord’s name grants a baby instant salvation or blesses a marriage when those getting hitched have a long history of immoral behavior and have no real intention or desire to change their selfish ways. A paid pastor reads a few scriptures over the remains of some profoundly unrepentant sinner during a funeral service, and the onlookers shed a few tears but are comforted, welcoming the well crafted delusion with a wink and a nod, pretending those few “holy” words magically intoned over the grave of some poor dead bastard actually save him/her from eternal damnation. How often do we hear, “Well so and so is with the Lord now”, yet never mentioning the terrifying implications of a face to face encounter with a Holy God.

    Is it any wonder ever stranger “gospels” can take root and flourish in soil so well prepared for apostasy? We all need to be on guard, we all need help and encouragement, we all need prodding from time to time, less we falter and fail to finish the race.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Yes, I agree with you Craig on the connections. Sometimes I wonder why God has not put a stop to these grandiose exaltations of flesh, promoting itself into a place reserved only for the deity of Christ. But then, God always gives warning before judgement and this is the time of warning. He has warned about these false apostles through many discernment ministries. He said the sheep would be able to see through the obvious disparity between what the false prophets are saying and the reality…. both in the failure of their prophecies and the falseness of their character. Christ said that if we simply open our eyes, we would see and if we would only open our ears we would hear:
    Matthew 13:15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

    BJ quote…Through the Spirit of the resurrected Christ living in us we are designed to carry the same glory. But we still must go up the mountain – to the place where we meet with God face to face.235

    Craig quote: First, let’s get this straight. At the Transfiguration it was Jesus’ inherent divine Glory that was radiated; it wasn’t God’s glory coming down upon Him like Moses on Mount Sinai. As Grant Osborne explains, “Moses reflected the glory of God in his ‘radiance’ when he descended the mountain (Exod 34:29, 33-35), but here Jesus’ true preincarnate glory shines through his humanity.”236

    Think about it. Christ is God. We are not designed to carry the same glory that Christ did. But that’s the deception these false apostles are propagating. The truth of Christ’s deity from birth through death does not fit their roadmap to self deification and present resurrection. They promote him as a Holy Spirit empowered mortal that is our inspirational model.

    This is, of course, a Satanic triumph…to empty Christ of his deity. It has been brought into this whole Charismatic/Dominionist movement through varying and devious teachings…like self emptying of divine attributes. As discussed in previous posts on Bill Johnson’s New Age Christology, from Philippians 2, a kenotic theory has developed from twisting this one verse to say something it doesn’t say.

    In support, this excerpt from: http://carm.org/kenosis
    The kenosis theory states that Jesus gave up some of His divine attributes while He was a man here on earth. These attributes were omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. Christ did this voluntarily so that He could function as a man in order to fulfill the work of redemption. This view was first introduced in the late 1800s in Germany with Gottfried Thomasius (1802-75), a Lutheran theologian.

    Phil. 2:5-8 does not teach that Jesus gave up any of His divine attributes since it says nothing of those attributes. Instead, it is speaking of His humility that moved him, according to the will of the Father, to leave His majestic state in heaven and enter into the humble position of human nature.

    In Light of Scripture, we find the Father, Son and Holy Spirit working as a unit. They came to bring life to mankind, to save them from their sins. They came to destroy the power of the devil, to present the Son of Man as the great triumph over death and to remove the eternal sting of sin. They all three witnessed to his glory, to his deity, to his divine being, at his birth, at his baptism, at his transfiguration, at his crucifixion and his resurrection.

    Which brings up the last question. Will we serve the One who has already been given Dominion, Glory and Kingship…the One prophesied by Daniel:

    13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Dan 7:13-14)

    And will we reject the antithetical Dominionist agenda, Alister McGrath’s “rival account of reality” that has crept into the household of faith, the “Trojan horse” that has, through deception, created an alternative belief system and has, as a “virus”, penetrated the Christian church (host) and established its presence, ultimately using its host’s replication system to achieve dominance?

  5. Craig says:

    Carolyn,

    In that same passage in which he speaks of the Transfiguration, Johnson makes this statement:

    …The overwhelming lesson in this story is that Jesus Christ, the Son of man, had the glory of God upon Him…

    With this, Johnson makes the mistake of drawing a distinction between Jesus Christ as the “Son of man” (emphasizing this term in the original), by referring to this aspect as His humanity, and “the glory of God” as if to delineate the term from “Son of God”, which would presumably be the divine aspect of the person of Christ in the Johnson schema. One cannot make this distinction too sharply as the Daniel passage you cite makes clear. Jesus Christ is one Person who is both Son of man and Son of God. To make such a strong delineation is to make the mistake of Nestorianism – dividing Christ into two separate entities, one divine and one human. Yet Johnson does so in his efforts to humanize the Incarnate Christ, minimizing, or, more accurately, eliminating His divinity (pre-Resurrection) so to make Him a model for us to follow. This is why he stresses the point in a later quote that it’s the ‘glorified Christ’ which is our “heavenly model of what we [are] to become“. This is integral to the Manifest Sons of God heresy, AND to New Age Christology.

  6. Craig says:

    I wanted to go back to the Bill Johnson quote which begins this series from part I:

    Heresy has become the term used to describe anyone who disagrees with a particular leader, but that is not so. We need to give more grace to those who differ from us. The essential doctrines of the church – the Virgin Birth, the divinity and humanity of Jesus, the Atonement, and the like – qualify as issues we should fight for…

    As can be seen, it really depends on what Johnson (or anyone) means by the “Virgin Birth”, or “the divinity and humanity of Jesus”, or “the Atonement”. Since Johnson has illustrated his “sperma of God” concept, he has essentially explicated the Theosophical/New Age version of Virgin Birth, i.e. the point at which one realizes one’s inherent divinity and proceeds on ‘The Path’ constitutes the ‘Virgin Birth’. In Al Dager’s book Vengeance Is Ours, (also in this series) is a quote from G. de Purucker’s The Esoteric Tradition explaining the quite fanciful esoteric version of the Virgin Birth:

    “…[Jesus' virgin birth] was originally a highly mystical and philosophical teaching, which became in time a theologic dogma and legend….It is a mystical or symbolic tenet referring to the birth of the Christ in man from the virgin-part of one’s being, i.e., from the spiritual or highest portions of man’s constitution. It also has a cosmical significance – the Virgin-Mother of Space giving birth through the Child, the Cosmic Logos, to her multitudes of children of various kinds. There are thus two aspects of this mystical or symbolical doctrine: there is, first, the Cosmical Virgin, and, second, there is the mystical ‘virgin-birth’ of an initiate. An initiate is one ‘reborn,’ or, as the saying goes, ‘born a second time.’ He is not born of course in initiation from a physical father and mother, for his body is born in the usual manner, but in initiation, the ‘new man,’ the inner man, the Christ-man, is born ‘from himself’ because of his bringing out or unfolding into active manifestation the divinity within him and over-enlightening him; and his ‘Virgin-Mother’ is that part of himself which is the root of his being, the spiritual soul in its spotless and unstained purity. From the Virgin or Spiritual Soul is born the human Christ or the human Buddha, without admixture of extrinsic elements of any kind, and without other means than the man’s own yearnings and strivings to become the god within himself.

    “The Christian Church has interpreted these very mystical doctrines physically and thus has largely lost the far nobler and really profound symbolic sense….”

    Like Bailey insisted in the first full quote in Part I, the Christian Church should ‘go back’ to this esoteric understanding, “…The church as a teaching factor should take the great basic doctrines and (shattering the old forms in which they are expressed and held) show their true and inner spiritual significance…”

    Now, returning to the Johnson quote above in this particular comment, “the divinity and humanity of Jesus” can be understood in either an esoteric or orthodox Christian way. Given Johnson’s Christology as put forth in this series, it sure looks more esoteric than orthodox. And, with an unorthodox Christology, one can’t have an orthodox Atonement. If we construe Johnson’s ‘Jesus’ as the Theosophical one, then Atonement is via auto-soterism, self-salvation – using Jesus example of how He attained His own deity by “dying to self”, we do the same.

  7. YesNaSpanishTown says:

    Thanks for all your work, Craig! We see virtually no clear explanation of the Gospel. In all my experiences in this “camp”, the Gospel is being redefined. “Jesus never preached the Gospel of salvation. He preached the Gospel of the Kingdom,” they say. So we absolutely cannot rely on the fact that another person is necessarily using the orthodox definitions of salvation, atonement and virgin birth as our standard. We must question and define clearly in any discussion.

    There is a “lust” at work here. It is a lust of “spiritual understanding” to “know” the “deep things of God”, which at heart is Gnostic-Hermetic-Theosophic. I fell into that temptation for a number of years. I repent and return to the simplicity of the Gospel. It takes humility to confess error and courage to stand. After all, none of us liked getting that grade on a test that showed our errors. May we who have seen the error be wise, may we have a heart to speak the truth in love, and may we be bold and fear only the Lord.

    In doing so, may we also remember the instructions of Jesus, “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. “But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. “So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ “ – Mat 13:24-30

    Herescope has a good blog entry quoting J.C. Philpott, “…[W]e have little hope of convincing those who have drunk deeply into the spirit of error. The poison is already in their veins, vitiating in them all that once seemed like truth and simplicity.

    As infidelity, when once it has got full possession of the mind, rejects the clearest evidences from positive inability to credit them, so error, when once it has poisoned the heart, renders it for ever afterwards, in the great majority of instances, utterly incapable of receiving the truth.

    Against every text that may be brought forward in support of truth an objection is started, a false interpretation offered, a counter statement made, an opposing passage quoted— the object evidently being not to bow down to truth, but to make truth bow down to error; not to submit in faith to the Word of God, but to make the Word of God itself bend and yield to the determined obstinacy of a mind prejudiced to its lowest depths.”

    But there are the elect of Matthew 24. Your research and writing helps us who are trying to hold forth the Word of Truth so as to bring light to those who will see and fear and turn their hearts back to the Lord.

  8. Craig says:

    Terri,

    I saw that Philpott article on Herescope. I wondered who this Philpott guy was until I read that he wrote this in the 19th century at the end. Very powerful words there!

    I like the following two verses:

    22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. [Jude 22-23]

    19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring them back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the way of error will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. [James 5:19-20]

    I used both of the above and Matthew 13:24-30 in the following article almost two years ago:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/are-you-a-heretic/

  9. Carolyn says:

    Craig: “Had the glory of God upon him“? That’s quite different from the mind blowing experience of the the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. They had seen Jesus’ divine glory manifest before them, they saw Moses and Elijah, they heard God’s voice telling them “This is my Son, hear him”, and the cloud covering them. It was a profound experience that they could not share with the world until after the resurrection. When you understand Christ was headed into a time of suffering and humiliation at the hands of men and he was having trouble conveying this idea of suffering to his disciples, this was God’s witness to the Truth of what he was saying, of who Christ was.

    http://biblecommenter.com/matthew/17-1.htm

    The manner of it (v. 2); He was transfigured before them. The substance of his body remained the same, but the accidents and appearances of it were greatly altered; he was not turned into a spirit, but his body, which had appeared in weakness and dishonour, now appeared in power and glory. He was transfigured, metamorphoµtheµ-he was metamorphosed.
    …..2 Pt. 1:16. Christ was both God and man; but, in the days of his flesh, he took on him the form of a servant-morpheµn doulou, Phil. 2:7. He drew a veil over the glory of his godhead; but now, in his transfiguration, he put by that veil, appeared en morpheµ theou-in the form of God (Phil. 2:6), and gave his disciples a glimpse of his glory, which could not but change his form.

    The great truth which we declare, is, that God is light (1 Jn. 1:5), dwells in the light (1 Tim. 6:16), covers himself with light, Ps. 104:2. And therefore when Christ would appear in the form of God, he appeared in light, the most glorious of all visible beings, the first-born of the creation, and most nearly resembling the eternal Parent. Christ is the Light; while he was in the world, he shined in darkness, and therefore the world knew him not (Jn. 1:5, 10); but, at this time, that Light shined out of the darkness.

    The Son of Man, had very few “glory” manifestations, whereas the New Apostles and Prophets have them every day. They believe they have the “glory of God upon them”. Will we ever convince them that the glory manifestations they are experiencing are false? I’m thinking no…because they are too distracted to even care about the whole eternal plan of salvation procured for them by the Godhead. Today’s prophets want the miracles and the power and the authority for themselves and are falling for an abundance of supernatural distractions and titillating teachings of pathways to divinity. They are falling down and worshipping the god of this world and the splendour of Kingdom Dominionism.

    They have gone up to the mountain…but it’s the wrong mountain. They are falling down and worshipping but they are worshipping the wrong god.
    Matthew 4:8-10 (New International Version)
    8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
    10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
    Their focus has been diverted from the words of the Father on the Mount of Transfiguration:
    Matthew 17:5 (New International Version)
    5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

  10. Carolyn says:

    Bill Johnson’s definition of heresy “anyone who disagrees with him” may allow for some wiggle room and some toleration. But Scripture’s definition of heresy, “anyone who gets their gospel from angels and negates the deity of Christ, thereby forming a different gospel than the original” is not to be tolerated. Bill Johnson, by the words of his own mouth, is guilty of heresy by this definition…and is to be warned and then treated as a heretic.

    Galatians 1:8
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

    Hi YesNa- yes, I read the article too. Good thoughts!

  11. Steve says:

    Take a look at this article posted over on Berit Kjos website. It is a reprint of a Lighthouse Trails article by David Drombowski, “Shamanism or Cutting-Edge Christianity?” After listening to the video testimony of a Yanomamo shaman who became a follower of Jesus Christ, Drombowski noted the similarities between the spiritism techniques of this highly advanced shaman and those being incorporated by various new age “christian” leaders.

    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2012/lighthouse/shamanism.htm

    The Yanomamo were the people group memorialized in the book “Peace Child”, written by missionary Don Richardson. This is the tribe that listened attentively and cheered wildly when they first heard the gospel. Thinking he was seeing an evangelical miracle, Richardson was horrified to discover the Yanomamo all wanted to hear much more about the story’s hero, Judas, and how he so craftily betrayed such a stupid man as Jesus. These are they who turned lies and deceit into an art form and slept on the skulls of their victims. Every one of them was demonically oppressed or possessed.

    Here’s some excerpts from the Drombowski article:

    “I was listening to Chief Shoefoot share how he became a shaman or witchdoctor and about the spirituality that ensued, and I was amazed by the realization that as he was describing his spirituality as a shaman, he was describing the spirituality that is being promoted in the church today as “cutting-edge Christianity.” In fact, Chief Shoefoot’s spirituality was far ahead of contemplative spirituality and the New Age of today.”

    “… In listening to him describe his spirituality as a shaman, I also realized that he was at the same time describing where the spirituality of contemplative prayer, the New Age, and the spiritual disciplines will be in the future.”

    “… what Christians are being drawn into is very antichrist in nature. Our research shows that those who engage in contemplative prayer in time see less and less relevance to the Cross (the atonement) to where it becomes unnecessary. The reason for this is quite simple: contemplative prayer makes a person feel one with and a part of God [all powerful] to where a sacrifice for sin no longer makes any sense.”

    Scary thought.

  12. Steve says:

    Oops, sorry, I got my heathens mixed up. Richardson’s book “Peace Child” deals with the Sawi tribe of New Guinea, not the Yanomamo of the Amazon. Anyway, the idea is still valid. Bill Johnson’s “christology” (as is all the other new age experiential “christianity” which invokes altered states of consciousness to achieve communion with the divine), is a rehash of the spiritism of the heathens. Those who follow such apostasy, either by design, or because they have been deceived, will end up thinking themselves wise… and think the cross foolishness. They will gain real spiritual power, and be able to demonstrate such, but not because they are in communion with God.

  13. Craig says:

    … He literally saw into the spirit world and beheld various spirits which the Yanomamo even had names for.

    I suppose, in the Johnson vernacular, Chief Shoefoot ‘repented enough to see the Kingdom’, i.e. through years of ‘soaking’ / aka contemplative/meditative prayer he saw the ‘angels’ that Johnson talks about here:

    And, the Word of the Lord in Psalms 103 comes in two ways. It comes from God declaring a matter and it comes from Him speaking to His people and His people declaring a matter. And, they can tell when a word has originated in the heart of the Father ‘cause it carries that fragrance of the Throne Room with it and they recognize, “This is my assignment.” And, they jump all over that and enforce it. I’ve watched it; I’ve seen this happen where a word comes from the Father it’s declared in a room in a setting and instantly there is the absolute, most impossible situation reversed simply because of a declared word. And, I know there’s angelic assistance in enforcing them.

    So, that’s, uh, it’s just increasing all kinds of manifestations. It’s the angelic realm; it’s just the supernatural breaking into this one: the gold and the oil and the wind. We’ve been having gusts of wind that just come out of nowhere. And, uh, ya know, it’s all good. It’s all signs that make you wonder and it’s just good to be in awe again. It’s not healthy to not be in awe. It’s not healthy to live accustomed to what’s going on around you. It’s really important that we live with that sense of awe and that appreciation for God’s unusual ways of working with us.

    Paul Cain is a bit more aware of this spirit world than most as evidenced by the following from a tape I have which was originally recorded in April 1989 at Bickle’s then Kansas City Fellowship:

    …I told you the story when the Lord came to me one night I went to bed meditating on something that Augustine [ed: likely Augustine Acolla (also spelled Alcala)] said. He said, “Man was made to find his home in God and man can’t rest until he finds his home in God.” – or something like that. And I went to sleep meditating on that one night and I woke – well, I’m not even gonna tell you this ‘cause you wouldn’t believe it anyway, just leave me asleep if you want to. Call it a dream. Call it anything; but, I tell ya I call it ‘scary.’ The Lord took his two fingers and began to punch me in the chest

    Like I wrote in that article, “Now THAT must’ve left a bruise!” Like Cain, I’d have ‘called it scary’, too.

    But, that’s what happens when you try to do your own sanctification by ‘communing directly with god’, by going inward to the ‘seed’ that was awakened by the “sperma of God” through the ‘rhema word’ which activated the seed.

  14. IWTT says:

    @Carolyn—

    2 Peter 2:1
    New International Version (NIV)

    False Teachers and Their Destruction

    2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves.

    When looking into the Greek meaning of heresy you find this…

    1) act of taking, capture: e.g. storming a city
    2) choosing, choice
    3) that which is chosen
    4) a body of men following their own tenets (sect or party)
    a) of the Sadducees
    b) of the Pharisees
    c) of the Christians
    5) dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims

    I would ask if these leaders, not just BJ, but all within this camp fit this description especially point #4 and #5 and are the making point #2 to follow ther own teachings that are outside of what was considered orthodox (Jesus and the Apostles teaching)? If so this verse calles them false teachers. And their heresies are damnable or destructive.

  15. Carolyn says:

    IWTT: Excerpt from CARM

    Faith is not a substance you can put in a jar. It is belief in something. Faith is only as good as who it is placed in. If you put your faith in a false God, you are lost because a false god cannot save anyone. This is why God says in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Faith is not what saves, but faith in the true God is what saves.

    Essentials of the faith would include who God is, who Jesus is, salvation by grace, and Jesus’ resurrection. From these subjects we have derived doctrines known as the Trinity and the hypostatic union (Jesus’ two natures: God and man). The Bible tells us that these doctrines concerning God, Christ, salvation, and resurrection are essential to the faith. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that Christians know their faith and know how to defend it against the doctrines that compromise the essentials.

    Heresies

    Adoptionism – God granted Jesus powers and then adopted him as a Son.
    Albigenses – Reincarnation and two gods: one good and other evil.
    Apollinarianism – Jesus divine will overshadowed and replaced the human.
    Arianism – Jesus was a lesser, created being.
    Docetism – Jesus was divine, but only seemed to be human.
    Donatism – Validity of sacraments depends on character of the minister.
    Gnosticism – Dualism of good and bad and special knowledge for salvation.
    Kenosis – Jesus gave up some divine attributes while on earth.
    Modalism – God is one person in three modes.
    Monarchianism – God is one person.
    Monophysitism – Jesus had only one nature: divine.
    Nestorianism – Jesus was two persons.
    Patripassionism – The Father suffered on the cross
    Pelagianism – Man is unaffected by the fall and can keep all of God’s laws.
    Semi-Pelagianism – Man and God cooperate to achieve man’s salvation.
    Socinianism – Denial of the Trinity. Jesus is a deified man.
    Subordinationism – The Son is lesser than the Father in essence and or attributes.
    Tritheism – the Trinity is really three separate gods.

    My definition of heresy was specific to the increase in angel activity in this day and age. It’s in vogue to have angels in charge of revivals, to push back the darkness, the go ahead and prepare the way for really really big things!

    From the Craig’s article linked above: Signs That make you Wonder: “And, I know people get nervous when you start talking about angels and this. It’s foolish to worship angels; but, it’s equally foolish to ignore them. God sent them to assist us in our assignment. We’ve been commissioned because we embrace His mission.
    And, Jesus needed them. They came, ministered to Him. He cooperated. Paul cooperated with them. There wasn’t this praying to them – there’s not that sort of thing; but, they are there to assist us. And, quite frankly I think they have been bored for quite a few decades in this country and they’ve been looking for a generation that will live with some risk ‘cause that gives them something to back up. Because their whole deal is to enforce the Word of the Lord.”

    Did you notice how Bill Johnson just slipped that heresy in so smoothly? “Because their whole deal is to enforce the Word of the Lord.” Says who?
    I thought that was the Holy Spirit’s job…

    1 Peter 1:12
    It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

    BJ: “And, quite frankly I think they have been bored for quite a few decades in this country and they’ve been looking for a generation that will live with some risk ‘cause that gives them something to back up.”

    Well, that’s a great tall tale if I every heard one! This guy can sure spin a story.

    I remember when I first read Angels on Assignment by Roland Buck. I was all googlie-eyed over it. The part in the book about Christ was unimportant…I just wanted the stories about the angels. So I do understand the excitement they create…but if they have a false doctrine, then they aren’t good angels.

    We have an assignment “to preach the gospel”. First we have to know what the gospel is and then we can preach it. Angels that are distracting from the work of the cross, trumping the work of the Christ and running interference with their contradictory methods, their conspicuous and material presence and their strange assignments…are…well…probably not messengers of God Almighty. He prefers his angels to work in a way that doesn’t outshine the gospel and contradict the Word of His eternal Spirit. “Signs that Make You Wonder”. There was some good (angel) food for thought! It was a good read.

  16. IWTT says:

    @Carolyn,

    I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you are wanting me to understand here from your post. I hope I didn’t make you think that I was in favor of BJ and the teachings. I AM NOT!

    I was simply implying that by 2 Peter 2:1 yes indeed, the simple explanation of the verse and the Greek meanings of the word heresies that the teachings do meet the definition.

    I believe they are “choosing” (point 2) to be “a body of men following their own tenets” (point 4) causing “dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims” (point 5) through what they are saying and teaching.

    With that, meeting the definition, they are as 2 Peter 2:1 claims “false teachers” who teach “damnable heresies”. I believe that what they teach is outside the “Apostles Doctrine” as mentioned in the “gathering of the saints” in Hebrews 10:25.Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, Acts 2:42 and they continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

  17. IWTT says:

    And by the way, “following their own tenents” has already been coonsidered a heresy by the early church Fathers,,,

  18. Carolyn says:

    IWTT – So sorry. When I said: “Scripture’s definition of heresy, “anyone who gets their gospel from angels and negates the deity of Christ, thereby forming a different gospel than the original” is not to be tolerated.”, it wasn’t a concise outline of heresy. I was just thinking about all the cults that have been started and the sidetracking that has taken place because some angel brought new light…

    I wasn’t making any specific point. Your points on heresy were made in a clear, scholarly fashion and I was just adding some interesting points about heresy from CARM.
    *I forget that other people can’t read my thoughts…
    BTW…you were clear, it didn’t enter my mind that you were in favor of BJ’s false doctrine and thanks for clarifying.

  19. IWTT says:

    Cool, gotcha, we’re on the same track on the same train….

  20. Steve says:

    Hello Craig, I tried to post this comment earlier, but it seems to have vanished into cyberspace, so am rewriting it and attempting to repost, with a couple of additions. (If my previous comment dated earlier today is still in you moderation folder, please delete it.)

    Media mogul Rupert Murdock drew a lot of attention recently when he tweeted on the subject of Scientology re Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes divorce- using the words “weird”, “creepy”, and “evil” to describe the cult. The thought occurred to me that one could use those same words to describe Bill Johnson’s Christology.

    Bethel Church’s “Sozo” and the Scientology technique known as “Auditing” incorporate very similar hypnosis/mind control methods. Indeed,“Advanced Sozo” even uses nearly the same terminology, i.e. “Divine Editing” vs. “Auditing”.

    Bethel’s “Sozo” and Scientology’s “Auditing” are both designed to create/attain an altered mental state which induces vulnerability and suggestibility in the subject. For hypnosis and/or brainwashing to be most successful, the subject must be a willing participant in his/her own psychological manipulation, re-education and re-training. In both Sozo and Auditing, the subject is pre-conditioned to expect something wonderful to take place during the session, something miraculous, cleansing, healing, supernatural, etc. Those who regularly attend Bethel church already have a heightened expectation or willingness to experience the supernatural.

    Bethel’s “Sozo” and “Shabar” are designed to knock down the subject’s last remaining cautionary defenses, create psychological dependency, build new thought patterns, and open the door to the supernatural realm. The outcomes at Bethel will be no different than the outcomes achieved in the most primitive parts of the Amazon, or in the ancient palaces of the Pharaohs. There will be signs and wonders.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditing_%28Scientology%29

    http://closingstages.net/2011/01/30/sozo-ministry-of-bethel-church-ii/

  21. Craig says:

    Steve,

    I released your first comment just a few minutes ago; so, I figured I’d do as you suggest and delete the earlier one and keep this one.

  22. Craig says:

    Steve,

    Truly the common denominator in all of hyper-charismaticism (which has parallels with Eastern religions and some cults) is what is, in essence, Transcendental Meditation, whether it’s called contemplative prayer, “soaking”, or what-have-you. This provides an entryway to the demonic. True Christians may become oppressed (my current belief is that Christians cannot be possessed) while non-Christians, including those who think they are saved in virtue of the presence of signs and wonders which they deem must be ‘of God’, may well become possessed. When subjective experience trumps Truth, the result is most likely not of Christian origin.

  23. Carolyn says:

    Steve: Bethel’s “Sozo” and Scientology’s “Auditing” made me think of the word BONDAGE. It puts everyone in bondage to its control and dictatorship, including Katie Holmes.

    I had a friend who paid $5000 to go to Elijah House where they put him into a trance, told him he had 40 Alters that he would need to deal with through inner healing techniques and that with future sessions and more money, he would eventually be free.

    I personally told him that he was already free in Christ. He needed to start reading his Bible and spend his time and money on something that would benefit the gospel of Christ. It was very good news for him because, he had come back from there totally overwhelmed and disturbed.

    http://www.truthforfree.com/?p=684

    The gospel of simple faith in Christ’s atoning work on the cross…plus nothing is so hard for unbelievers to embrace. They seem compelled to get involved with the process. To add to the gospel, as works oriented religions and cults do, is to deny it!! ALL who deny the gospel will find themselves entering the realm of darkness, spiritual blindness and bondage.

    *The truth is without cost…the counterfeits will always charge for their services:

    Isaiah 55:1
    [ Invitation to the Thirsty ] “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

    Revelation 21:6
    He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

  24. Mary Matthews (MaryM007) says:

    Amen, Carolyn…there is a constant ‘working on ourselves’ mentality – so many of those I know are in turmoil over finding out their gifts/talents and destiny…and once they ‘find it’ – they’re still not sure about what to do except to go to more meetings/conferences to find out how ‘wonderful’, ‘awesome’, and ‘amazing’ they are and how dependent God is on them – which feeds into their pride/flesh.

    The heart breaking part is that these young people (change the youth and you change the world) are sincerely wanting to serve the Lord – but they have become dependent upon the ‘wolves’ to tell them the truth and are intimidated if they dare question anything against scripture – some escape – others just become part of the mob/group mentality. If they stay, they are forever questioning their destiny/gifts/talents and what to do with them…so they attend the next conference/meeting in hopes that it will give them the ‘answer’.

    When I told my pastors about my concerns about the direction our church was heading (everything is Bethel/IHOP/Toronto/Rick Joyner based) – that I felt like the Lord was saying Beware, Beware, Beware, and Foundation, Foundation, Foundation – (I was asked to write down my concerns – and turned in an 11 page paper broken down into those ‘subjects’) one of them said that they thought I should continue to pray and maybe God would give me a new topic – ‘Grow, Grow, Grow’…….so I ‘left, left, left’….

    Thanks to Craig and all those who comment on this and other sites, it’s comforting to know that there are many who are questioning this ‘stuff’.

  25. Craig says:

    Mary,

    That’s the thing: Hyper-charismaticism is all works-based. Instead of submitting to the Holy Spirit who will provide our sanctification to the extent we submit, it’s all about self. Where’s the next conference, book, etc. so I can learn more?

    And, yes, the goal of the leaders is to ‘transform’ the youth into their hyper-charismatic ideas to put them into bondage to the ‘system’. It’s quite heartbreaking when sincere individuals are led astray.

  26. Carolyn says:

    Mary: …so I left, left, left…LOL
    Mark 6:11
    And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

    As you were lamenting over the youth who become dependent on the wolves, I thought of the Bill Johnson quote from above:
    But, what I’m believing for is a generation – a generation that’ll rise up with a corporate faith, a corporate anointing to press into realms because it’s my conviction that as much as God put on a William Branham, or a Kathryn Kuhlman, or a Wigglesworth, He’ll put far greater anointing on a company of people than He ever would on an individual. To do that, there must be that corporate sense of, ‘we have to deal with the issue of obeying the rules of this kingdom to tap into the resources of this kingdom’…we cannot use the principles of this world and expect to tap into unlimited resource of the kingdom of God…243

    God has a relationship with individuals. The Dialectic has a relationship with the “corporate” groupthink.

    In the case of my friend who went to Elijah House, his background was Dutch Reformed, his upbringing created a rich, spoiled, self gratifying individual. Instead of spending time in the Word, getting to know the voice of God, coming to a knowledge of truth, righteousness, salvation and faith to establish his walk, he got caught up in the Charismatic Chaos and ended up like Simon the Sorcerer. He thought money could buy him a quick fix. Instead, he got the surprise of his life…. twisted teaching that was so deep and diabolical that it made him out to be a freak. He was so muddled when he got back from his week at Elijah House, that suddenly, he was grateful for the gospel in it’s simplicity. He accepted that he was a sinner, saved by grace.

    In the case of BJ’s “generation that’ll rise up with a corporate faith…I was part of that generation…that pressed into the anointing. I was a passionate disciple. If there was any truth in WoF I would be following it today. There isn’t. It’s all flesh…the greed for money, the occult miracles and the ever illusive overcoming of the enemy by occult methods.

    I have, instead become a passionate disciple of Christ and HIS Word. No more gurus for me!!! We don’t need more conferences, there’s no need for Kathryn Khulmans and Benny Hinns who turned out to be little more than greedy, occult masters living under false fronts. These have been part of the vast network of sorcerers that have heralded and promoted the endtime grand apostasy that is leading the world into a “corporate” thinking of oneness and unity…the prophesied Antichrist Kingdom, rising steadily and stealthily…as we speak.

    Daniel 9:26 (New International Version)The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
    1 Thessalonians 5:3
    While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

    Everything I read in the Bible points out to me that it is the false prophets that are looking for “corporate” utopia. The Bible is clear…desolations have been decreed…increase in wars, earthquakes, signs in the heavens…increase in wickedness before Christ comes back. Believe the Bible, believe the reality.

  27. Steve says:

    “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

    Right Carolyn. What we are seeing take place in the world is deception and confusion on a massive scale. I’ve often wondered how people could say such a thing in the midst of a very unbalanced perpetually violent world. Now I think I know where and how people will be able to say “Peace and safety”, thinking themselves safe even when such is not the case. I just don’t know exactly when those who are living on this earth will make such a claim, but I bet it will be sooner than we think.

    People used to say a tornado or a hurricane was an “act of God”. Some even called such things “natural” disasters. Not anymore. Notice how every environmental catastrophe is now being blamed on too many people taking up too much space and living too high a lifestyle? Nowadays a tidal wave or a wildfire is the fault of those who drive SUVs. “Never let a good catastrophe go to waste,” they say.

    Likewise, the brilliant, yet godless elites of this world have declared that the earth’s human population needs to be reduced by 2/3. I have no doubt their planned depopulation program will involve biological and radiological weapons released on our most populous cities. People might think it’s the wrath of God and the Tribulation period unfolding, but it will actually be man’s own sin coming to fruition. Knowing that our current cities will be death traps for several years, they’ve embarked on a building spree the likes of which the world has never known. The money changers are building “arks” all over the place:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-ghost-cities-2011-5#chenggong-is-building-skyscrapers-by-the-hundreds-1

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/bizarre-chinas-eerie-ghost-cities-arise/?cat_orig=world

    These new cities are planned Agenda 21 communities that will be inhabited by slaves of the NWO after the SHTF and our current cities are no longer livable. Using our own money, China is building 20 of these new cities a year. And, as you can see in the WND article, they are not just building these “ghost cities” in China. There are condos and brand new shopping malls ready and waiting for over 100 million conformists in brand new cities all over the world as of this writing. If you have a religious bent, then the brand new city of Astana in Kazakhstan, which some are calling the “New Jerusalem”, is for you.

    But I digress. The bottom line, as everybody who comments here knows, is those who think they are in control of this planet or in control of their own eternal destiny are merely deluding themselves. As men seek to remake the earth in their own image, the very thing they are grasping at will slip out of their hands. God will not be mocked. He will allow sin to reach full fruition then He will pour out His wrath on all the works of man.

  28. Carolyn says:

    Steve, as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man…violence filled the earth. How people can say that things are getting better these days? That’s the price they pay for living on a cloud of wishful thinking, mystical antennae firmly in place and revisionist goggles skewing their eyesight.

    So much happening…yes, how about those Chinese cities? The plotting of evil….shudder.

    Not to worry…
    Psalm 2
    1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
    2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
    3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
    4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.

  29. Arwen4CJ says:

    It seems that we can be deceived in more than one way. I was talking to an online friend who is from England about the opening ceremony of the Olympics. I happened to mention that President Obama was there. My friend immediately demanded proof. He said that on his broadcast of the opening ceremony, he saw Michelle, but not her husband.

    I had distinctly remembered seeing President Obama several times in the NBC broadcast. They went out of their way to show that both he and Romney were there. They showed Obama in the audience several times throughout.

    Well, my online friend and I did some research, and it seems that NBC edited the scene to include Obama being there. No wonder NBC refused to show the opening ceremony live. I just wonder — if NBC is willing to edit a tape to try to make us believe a lie, what else are they willing to do in order to deceive the American people?

    I also learned from my friend that NBC edited out part of the opening ceremony that was to show tribute to the victims of 7/7. Instead of showing that piece, they showed that interview with Phelps.

    My friend also told me that Romney made several snide and insulting comments about the British the day before the opening ceremony. He made remarks about not knowing for sure that the British people had the ability to host the Olympics in London. What he said really angered people.

    This friend had suggested to me before that the US media censored stuff from us about other topics, but this deliberate lying and deceiving regarding Obama being there was proof of this.

    If the media is given the ability to edit truth like this, I can only imagine it getting worse and worse the closer we get to the end.

    It makes me wonder if they might concoct some evil scheme to make it look like Christians are terrorists or that innocent people did something they didn’t do. All they need is the right editing tools, and they can deceive thousands.

  30. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    There’s no doubt the liberal media (and most IS liberal) has been hiding things, distorting facts, and outright lying for quite some time. If you haven’t read yet, you may wish to read this article; especially note the info by footnote 50:

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

  31. Steve B. (omots) says:

    Thanks Arwen, for the excellent article by Peter Kreeft. Also, the idea of Obama being edited in to the Olympic coverage, if true, is a gamble that could backfire politically, but really not all that surprising considering the lateness of the hour and the ever expanding level of deception we are being subjected to these days. (Sigh) Have you found anything to verify the claim?

    Moving on…

    Craig’s article on “Misplaced Trust” was great to review again, as it makes many connections to a much larger web of deceit. The Olympics has always been anti-christ in nature, all one has to do is just research the 2012 Olympic mascots, “Wenlock” and “Mandeville”, or the NAZI foundations of the modern games to confirm how deeply occult the whole thing is.

    Speaking of deception, I’ve been researching the book, “The Harbinger”, (Lake Mary, FL: Front Line—Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Club) where author Jonathan Cahn (Messianic Rabbi??) paints America as a “covenant nation”. Cahn attributes the same kind of familial relationship between God and the citizens of the United States as existed (exists) between God and ancient (modern) Israel. Cahn bases his premise on the fact that men and women of the NEW COVENANT, i.e. (Christians) migrated to these shores and founded a government based on Biblical laws of justice and morality. In Cahn’s view, America has not replaced Israel, but is co-equal, sharing the same covenantal relationship with God, and therefore subject to the same historic disciplinary actions (attack, destruction, slavery,etc.)

    The problem, (as Cahn sees it), is that America has drifted away from our first love, which is/was NOT the blood of Jesus, but rather the LAW of God. While none could argue with the claim that America (Americans) are indeed sliding towards Gomorrah, there’s all kinds of things wrong with Cahn’s viewpoint. His book is, in a nutshell, not just wrong, but deceptively evil as well. No big deal, except that it is selling like hotcakes thanks to the endorsements of Glen Beck, Pat Robertson, Joseph Farah, and many other heavy weight “conservative” mouth pieces.

    Pastor Larry Debruyn provides a very negative, albeit scripturally sound, perspective on Cahn’s viewpoint. [See http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/06/harbinger.html%5D. Several other worthwhile reviews are posted on Berit Kjos’ Crossroad website. But perhaps the best summary is this quote which Pastor Debruyn uses to close his review:

    “The United States, let it be remembered, is a composite of all the nations of the Roman Empire, and all others beside. The evil blood, the wickedness, the false religion and philosophy, and all the principles contrary to truth and righteousness developed among other peoples have been brought into America to mingle with civilization. As the Old World is fast ripening for judgment, so is the New World.” [Keith L. Brooks, Prophetic Questions Answered (Wheaton, IL: Van Kampen Press, Inc., 1951): 41.]

    It’s not so much that “civilization” has been corrupted by the uncivil, but that Judeo-Christian morality (which has not the power unto salvation anyway) has been replaced by relativism, or self-actualization, namely the concept that each human being is on a path to the divine, distinguished only by how advanced or retarded each individual happens to be at this particular moment in time and space. Taking America back to it’s Constitutional or even “christian” foundations, even if it were possible, solves nothing simply because America was never the spiritual kin to Israel, but to ancient Babylon.

    http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/06/harbinger.html

    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2012/harbinger-zohar.htm

    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2012/olympics.htm

  32. Steve B. (omots) says:

    “The sportive, knightly battle awakens the best human characteristics. It doesn’t separate, but unites the combatants in understanding and respect. It also helps to connect the countries in the spirit of peace. That’s why the Olympic Flame should never die.” [Adolf Hitler, Berlin- 1936]

  33. Arwen4CJ says:

    I haven’t found proof yet. NBC and the Olympics committee seem to have a tight grip on what videos are posted online by removing any that have to do with the NBC’s version of the opening ceremony.

    Sigh. It seems that most Americans didn’t catch this edit, as all the websites that discuss the NBC edits that I’ve seen in searches are all talking about NBC editing out the 7/7 tribute. Of course that was huge as well.

    Are my parents and I the only ones who remember NBC showing that President Obama was in the audience? Or do most people not realize that he shouldn’t have been there, since he actually didn’t attend?

  34. Craig says:

    Someone had done a blog piece on the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing showing pagan rituals and occult symbology. I can’t find it right now; it may no longer be on the ‘net. It showed how the performance of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” by (ex-Zep guitarist) Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis resembled a pagan mating ritual (the electric guitar has long been recognized as a phallic symbol). It captured a bird’s eye view of the stadium showing a clear eye of horus design.

    The Olympics seem to bring about a whole host of pagan ritualism and occult symbology. I’ve not watched the opening ceremony; but, I feel certain someone will capture it and point out any occult imagery.

  35. Steve B. (omots) says:

    As soon as the 2012 Olympic mascots were introduced two years ago, I wrote 5 short blog articles exposing their occult connections. Here’s a brief intro about Wenlock and Mandeville from Wikipedia:

    ”Wenlock and Mandeville are animations depicting two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton. They are named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which held a forerunner of the current Olympic Games, and Stoke Mandeville, a village in Buckinghamshire where a forerunner to the Paralympic Games were first held. The writer Michael Morpurgo wrote the story concept to the mascots, and an animation was produced; Two stories have been created about the mascots: Out Of A Rainbow and Adventures On A Rainbow.”

    Snippets from my blog posts:

    The design of the 2012 Olympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, reflect several interesting ideas, not the least of which is the pagan/occultic/masonic “point within a circle”.

    These twin creatures were said to have been “forged by fire”, having dripped from molten metal during the construction of London’s Olympic stadium. Such a concept may also reflect the “Phoenix”, a new life, a new world order, arising out of the destruction of another “twin” icon, the Twin Towers, the destruction of which also resulted in molten pools of metal dripped upon “ground zero”.

    According to the chairman of the London Olympic’s organizing committee, Lord Coe, “the mascots were aimed squarely at children and designed with the digital age in mind.” Many children’s first impression of the icons is often to say that they look like “aliens”.

    The characters were designed to desensitize/condition acceptance of the Big Brother society. Note the similarities of Wenlock’s and Mandeville’s “eyes” to the thousands of mindless camera lenses seen virtually everywhere in Great Britain. The designer claims this was intentional.

    The original 2012 Olympic logo marketing video had to be discontinued, as it tended to trigger epileptic seizures in vulnerable individuals….proof that certain types of digital images coupled with powerful video technology are NOT HARMLESS.

    The history of the Much Wenlock area, Shropshire, the “Peak District” as it is called, is noteworthy. Wenlock itself has been THE center of a long tradition of paganism and neo-paganism in the UK including the birthing of modern Freemasonry.

    Ah, Wenlock, birthed in Roman times, wherein was lain the foundation stone for the modern Olympics, the Industrial Revolution, and the theory of Evolution.

    “Nestled in a beautiful wooded valley created by the magnificent River Severn… It was here, 300 years ago, that man first learned to forge the iron from which the British Empire was built.”

    Ah, Wenlock, site of the 2009 and 2010 PAN Festival gatherings which embodied “all aspects of paganism and how they are studied and taught in the UK and internationally, particularly but not exclusively in the British Isles….Topics addressed include the study and practice of : Wicca, Druidry, Shamanism, Prehistoric religions, Classical Greek and Roman religions,
    Egyptian, Slavonic, Germanic, Norse and Anglo-Saxon religions, Amerindian religion,
    African, Polynesian, Indian and Asian religions.”

    “The [2009 PAN] Conference aims to advance scholarship on paganism and to look at contributions of paganism to world culture. In a world where religion is too often a force for conflict we are keen to understand the creative overlap between faith communities, and to explore how pagan traditions often underlie the more recent revealed religions.”

    ”This event is also being held as part of IIPSGP’s [THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF PEACE STUDIES AND GLOBAL PHILOSOPHY] celebration of the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth, he being born nearby in Shrewsbury in 1809.”

    Ah, Wenlock, ancient and modern hub of witchcraft, druids, and all manner of abominations, the heart of the Peak District, site of the ancient stone circles… Arbor Low, Ninestones, and the Nine Maiden’s Circle, where the twin rituals of life and death merge into oneness.

    There’s much more, but at least you get the idea. As far as music goes, Craig, I was very into Led Zepplin back in the day, but for 2012, Jethro Tull’s “Dun Ringel” would have been a perfect choice as the 2012 Olympic theme song:

  36. Craig says:

    Steve,

    I have some thoughts about Ian Anderson (vocalist, songwriter of Jethro Tull) which I’ll post on the Misplaced Trust thread as it’s more suitable there:

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

  37. Steve B. (omots) says:

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/08/billy-graham-final-call-for-america-to-repent/

    Okay, sounds good on the surface….and I agree it may be the last chance to clearly present the GOSPEL in a mass media format to a dying nation. But notice how Jonathan Cahn and “The Harbinger” are worked into the equation? Me thinks this so-called “revival”, if it can be called such, misses the mark. AGAIN I SAY: AMERICA IS NOT ISRAEL! WE ARE NOT A COVENANT NATION!

    The allusion to Nineveh is noteworthy. Nineveh was an evil city that repented but was only spared for a very brief moment in history. Not long after Jonah walked it’s streets calling on the citizens of Nineveh to repent, they returned to their vomit and the end of that city was terrible destruction, it’s inhabitants slaughtered and left unburied. God will not be mocked!

    Talk about misplaced trust! Me thinks most people who will tune in to this last great Billy Grahm “revival” will be praying (just like the Ninevites) to be spared from judgment so as not to lose their comforts and luxuries. People want only to be happy in this world. We take great pride in what we have built for ourselves. But God’s word is black and white. Sin rules in the hearts of man and this world is corrupt and getting worse by the moment.

    Repentant Nineveh was only spared for a short time. Nineveh eventually received judgment and ceased to exist. That is a fact America needs to hear. If Nineveh had indeed been saved because of a temporary change of heart, GOD would have had to relinquish His throne. He simply gave them more time to consider His Word, (a fact which infuriated Jonah!) The Ninevites did not use the extra time wisely.

    The Kingdom of our Lord and Savior is NOT OF THIS WORLD, IF IT WERE, HE WOULD HAVE TOLD US! Salvation is through the blood of Jesus Christ, not in the desperate actions of men who are merely seeking ways to avoid discomfort and suffering.

    Think about this, what will happen to those of weak faith when prayers to “spare our nation” fail to deliver? Like Nineveh, America does not deserve deliverance. We have had more than enough time to “get it right”. But God’s will will be done. Perhaps I sound a bit like Jonah, bitter that God might spare a sinful city. But unlike Jonah, we have been told (in the scriptures) what the end will be even from the beginning. The people of Nineveh heard the Word of the Lord and responded, for a very brief moment in time, but they had no root, and they were utterly destroyed.

    Zephaniah 2:13-15

    King James Version (KJV)

    13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.

    14 And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he shall uncover the cedar work.

    15 This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/08/billy-graham-final-call-for-america-to-repent/

  38. Craig says:

    Repentant Nineveh was only spared for a short time.

    This seems to get lost on most folks. And, most just don’t get the fact that America was never a theocracy – never protected by covenant.

  39. Steve B. (omots) says:

    Craig, you’ve probably already covered this, if so my apologies. But I just read Kris Vellotton’s defense of all things “Bethel” and wanted to post a few comments. I’ve tried several times to post the link and comment about it here, but so far my comments are not appearing, so this time I’m trying it without the link. I’m sure you can find the article. It’s called “The God, the Bad and the Ugly”.

    Kris Vellotton writes:

    “….there are always malicious people who work hard to deceive the masses by intentionally ignoring the context of our teaching to make some distorted point. I really don’t understand how these people live with themselves when they intentionally twist something we teach to deface our character, or undermine our ministry.”

    Vellotton goes on to say that he knows Christians who have raised people from the dead. Call me a skeptic, but maybe Kris should share some of the details of these dead raisings as this is really big news, worthy of our attention. He defends the actions of some of the students of Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry who spend time down at the local morgue practicing raising the dead. Kris says, “They definitely have more faith and courage than I do.”

    It doesn’t seem to matter to Kris that these folks may or may not be successful in their dead raising efforts, only that they have the faith to try something new and bold. Reading “the God, the bad and the Ugly”, reminded me of an experience I had with a disabled woman.

    I used to work with a young lady who was born with a physical disability that left her unable to use her legs. This woman told me about joining one of those “signs and wonders” churches with the hope that maybe something miraculous would happen to her. One night, after lots of babblings in tongues and flailing around on the floor in spasms of the spirit, the pastors and elders of the church called out to see if anyone needed healing. My friend wheeled herself down to the front of the sanctuary where a crowd of “spirit filled believers” gathered around her. They laid their hands on her, babbled in tongues, squirmed about, danced, shook, and jostled amongst themselves. The head honcho finally commanded her to “GET UP AND WALK!”

    My friend tried very hard to push herself up out of her wheelchair, but could not. She started sobbing and crying. The leader of the bunch looked disapprovingly at her, shook his head sadly, and said, “Young lady, you just don’t have enough faith to be healed.”

    Needless to say my friend was devastated. The fault for her miserable condition was all hers. She just didn’t have enough faith to be able to walk. She didn’t deserve to walk. God simply didn’t love her enough to do anything about her condition. These were the only answers left to her.

    Now the point I’m trying to make is this…let’s say those students at Bethel practice enough and are able to perfect their craft and actually start raising people from the grave. Would they say it was their faith that made it happen, or would they say it all depends on the faith of the dead person?

    Maybe if those who prayed over my friend had just spent more time practicing their craft, maybe then they would have had more success. And what if my friend had stood up and taken a few steps, would they have told her that her faith had made her walk? Or would they have taken credit for the miracle themselves? Perhaps they would have thrown God a bone or two, but me thinks they would have been full of pride in what they had accomplished. After all, it’s not everyday that one can manipulate God into doing one’s will.

  40. Craig says:

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.kvministries.com/article/2011/10/03/bethel-church-god-bad-and-ugly

    I’ve no idea where your comments have gone as they were not in spam or my junk mail. Hmmm…

  41. Craig says:

    The story of the lady you used to work with brought tears to my eyes. The insensitiviity, arrogance, stupidity, etc. of the “leader” makes my blood boil. Barring a REAL conversion, s/he will get his/hers someday – even still I wouldn’t want to be judged at the Bema Seat with that.

    Has your ex-coworker walked away from the faith; or, is she still faithful?

    I like your phraseology “perfect their craft” for that’s what it is – ‘the craft’. Good point re: faith of the dead person!

    “After all, it’s not everyday that one can manipulate God into doing one’s will.”

    Oh, but Bill Johnson did just that! But, it’s a good thing God eventually ‘covered him':

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

    BTW, yes, I’d seen the Vollotton article, but I’ve not actually written about it. I think it’s in the comments somewhere.

  42. Steve B. (omots) says:

    Craig, your post: by-whose-power-does-bill-johnson-perform-healings, explains it all quite well.

    I know of a few shamans who would agree with Bill Johnson’s teaching that using God’s power takes some practice in order to get it right. We have to learn how to get God’s attention and convince Him to do our bidding, otherwise He’s somewhat uninvolved and uncommitted (yawn).

    According to these folks, we need to practice using God’s power, which is all around us, exactly like the FORCE. Like tapping into some cosmic power source, you may not get the voltage just right the first time, either too much power (making the leg too long) or not enough power (making the leg too short), or causing pain. We need mentors, just like Luke Skywalker needed Obiwankenobi. Good thing the folks over at Bethel have set up a Hogwarts type of school for spiritual adepts. Different brooms for different folks, I guess. But now I’m being malicious.

    FYI- Yes, the young woman found a more mainstream church, reads bible daily, and follows Jesus. She is not counting on walking around in this world (temporary), but on getting a whole new body in God’s kingdom (eternal). Amen!

  43. Craig says:

    Steve,

    My regret on that post is that I did not specify that as a result the man was 1.5″ taller – if we are to believe it. I’m of short stature – perhaps Johnson can make me taller.

    I don’t think you’re far off the mark at all in your 2nd paragraph. I DO believe “the anointing” is akin “the force”. I’ve made that connection here on CrossWise. It’s like Bailey’s White Lodge (the good side of power) vs. Black Lodge (the bad side of power – in Bailey’s case this includes Christianity, of course).

    Glad to here about the young woman who is now in a better church. I’m awaiting my own new body; this one is gaining aches and pains by the month it seems!

  44. Bud Press says:

    Hi Steve B.:

    I read your above comments about Kris Vallotton with great interest. As with all false teachers, Vallotton attempts to play damage-control, because he is too prideful to admit he is wrong, and to maintain control over his followers. After all, he has been trained by one of the most dangerous false teachers on the planet–Bill Johnson.

    Also, most faith healers claim to have resurrected the dead, such as Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson, and other carnival sideshow barkers. Their doing so somehow lends credibility to their claims to have the gift of healing, but it’s a bunch of hogwash.

    However, if anyone at Bethel church actually raised a clinically dead person back to life, surely they would shout the “miracle” from the rooftops, and play the Vindication Card in the news media?

    If I had the Biblical gift of healing, and witnessed amputated arms and legs replaced, and the dead resurrected to life, I would praise God from the rooftops, give Him all the praise and glory, inform the Christian and secular new worldwide, and provide irrefutable documentation to prove it.

    But I don’t have the Biblical gift of healing, and neither do faith healers. The continuation of and increase in hospitals, emergency rooms, prescription drug companies, funeral homes, and cemeteries is a living testimony that sickness, disease, and death is a part of the human experience, and that faith healers are frauds.

    God bless,
    Bud Press

  45. Bud Press says:

    Also, I have to remind myself that despite all the schools that Bethel church offers (i.e., prophetic, healing, and whatever), and despite the tuition money they rake-in from their students, they still can’t get it right, because Bethel church’s faculty is inundated with false prophets, false teachers, and false healers.

    False teachers produce false teachers, and it’s a vicious cycle that will not end until Jesus returns.

    Bud Press

  46. Steve B. (omots) says:

    Bud,

    I don’t have to tell you Jesus didn’t need to practice dead raising. He got it right the first time, and every time.

    What is interesting to me is that the leaders of Bethel seem to be saying that practicing such things, just making the attempt to raise the dead, is a courageous example of faith. Attaining results, (dead people who live again to prove that God’s power is real), is not the main goal. If it were, we’d be seeing a whole bunch of dead people walking around praising the Lord.

    Building up the “faith” of those who are practicing dead raising is the goal.

    The students are being taught to have faith in the process of apprenticeship, to have faith in the teachings of the School of Supernatural Ministry, to have faith in the teachings of Bill Johnson and the other false teachers. The ability to perform signs and wonders is a carrot held out to entice the gullible, the arrogant, and the lost. There is no room for naysayers. The apprentices are being led to believe that eventually they will be successful, if not for real, then at least in their own minds. They just have to stick with the program.

    Shaman’s do exactly the same thing. They continually entice people with promises of power. And our adversary, the devil, is only happy to oblige them by making a few unworldly things happen once in awhile, just to keep people on his leash. Fits of laughing, gold dust and feathers falling from nowhere are no substitute for the power of God.

    Amazing what people will settle for.

  47. cherylu says:

    Bill J made a very intersting comment on his FB page yeserday. A couple of days ago he made a very typical comment. He said, “If Jesus Christ performed His earthly miracles as God, I stand amazed. But if He did them as a man dependent on God, I am compelled to follow His lead.”

    Yesterday that comment was followed up with this one, “Jesus is God, eternally God, and never stopped being God. But He was also man, completely man. In His earthly life He lived from His humanity to illustrate dependence on the Father in a way that could be emulated. Jesus said, “the Son of man can do nothing of Himself . . .” illustrating His dependence. His limitations were in His humanity, not His divinity. Understanding the difference can help us to successfully live the life He gave for us to live.”

    https://www.facebook.com/BillJohnsonMinistries

  48. Craig says:

    Cherylu,

    Thanks for posting. Someone else had sent this to me as well. I’m working on a short article with these newest quotes.

  49. Craig says:

    New article incorporating the newest Bill Johnson Facebook quotes is completed:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/round-the-mulberry-bush-with-bill-johnson/

  50. Sarah says:

    Have you seen Mike Hoggard’s Watchmen Report called “When Heaven Invades Earth”? Its on youtube. He references Marilyn Fergusen (Aquarian Conspiracy) in relation to all this. I think its very similar to this post. Sadly I know quite a few people who are deceived by Johnson’s teachings, unfortunately its a very strong spirit that is heavly blinding people to the truth of the error in these teachings, you try and warn and they just dont get it. I have had to cut ties with people over this, its been hard.

  51. Craig says:

    I’ve not seen that particulary Mike Hoggard Watchmen Report, no.

    Yes, it can be difficult to separate from those heavily entrenched in this error. And, you are correct; it’s a very strong spirit indeed. The gate is narrow and few find it.

  52. Craig says:

    Here’s a brief video by an individual formerly a part of the New Age movement who is now a believer in the REAL Christ (praise Jesus!). He discusses the New Age false Jesus and compares him to the Jesus Christ of the Bible:

  53. Craig says:

    In Heikki Raisanen’s excellent The Rise of Christian Beliefs [2010, Fortress, Minneapolis, MN; p 240] is the 2nd century (or even earlier) gnostic idea that there is a ‘divine spark’ inside all humans which becomes activated by the descent of the Spirit upon an individual signifying a new birth:

    For gnostically inclined Christians, pneuma [spirit] is the divine spark that is found inside all humans, even though it must be discovered and activated through special illumination.

    This results in a pneumatic, a spiritual person. The “special illumination” comes from the anointing of the spirit.

    Raisanen then quotes from the gnostic Apocalypse of John:

    Those on whom the spirit of life will descend and whom the spirit will empower will be saved, and will become perfect…and be cleansed of all evil and the anxieties of wickedness…

    Hence they are ‘sinless’. Recall that Johnson said “sin and its nature have been yanked out by its roots”.

    Caveat: the book is excellent but the author uses the term “Christian” broadly to include all sects claiming Christ in one way or another. But, the book gives an excellent history of the beginnings of Christianity and the diverging thoughts of the gnostics and Judaizers, etc.

  54. Arwen4CJ says:

    I found this article the other day:

    http://www.apologeticsindex.org/2776-e-bernard-and-manasseh-jordan

    The author of this article makes a clear connection between hyper-charismatic Word of Faith/Prosperity theology with New Thought.

    Furthermore, this article:

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

  55. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    Glad to see you back! I was wondering where you were.

    Note that the author of the piece cites McConnell’s “A Different Gospel” at footnote 11. McConnell made the connection of New Thought with E.W. Kenyon the ‘grandfather’ (since most call Kenneth E. “Papa” Hagin the Father of WoF). I reference McConnell’s work in this series and cite it specifically in the “Johnson’s Word of Faith Roots Showing” section here in the following making the connection to New Thought:

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

  56. Craig says:

    In Johnson’s most recent sermon titled “Becoming Glorious”, he states that we’ll become as “glorious” as Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration:

    We were designed to be glorious. Jesus’s radiant experience with glory on the Mount of Transfiguration is a picture of what the renewed mind of a believer looks like. Jesus is the prototype of a glorious people. As He is, so are we in the world!

    http://www.ibethel.org/podcast/2013/02/11/becoming-glorious

    I’m unclear how one can taken an honest look at Johnson’s material and deduce that he’s teaching Orthodox Christianity [ED: this sentence amended as I stated the exact opposite of my intention initially]. Do we really reach Jesus’ ‘Glory’ here in this fallen world? Once again, this diminishes Jesus to a man who had some sort of inner glory manifest itself at the Transfiguration presumably on His way to full deity (a “god within” Jesus rather than Jesus being God Incarnate), while simultaneously elevating mankind to this “Jesus” who serves as a model to attain our own divinity/deity.

    And, I’ve not even listened to the “sermon” just yet. I’m not sure that I will.

    Also, once again, Johnson perverts 1 John 4:17 (see “Resurrection Life” section of article).

  57. Steve B. (omots) says:

    Cheer up! God is good! Bethel’s couples retreat “Love After Marriage 5 Day Intensive Workshop” is scheduled to be held at The Gaia, 4125 Riverside Place -Anderson, CA Feb. 18-22….

    The most recent review of the Gaia says this..

    “Pass on the Gaia hotel in Anderson, CA. BAD CHOICE”

    “The only good thing here in the food. The rooms stink, are dark and dingy, and are infested with bugs. This has been consistent with our past two visits, each were 7 days long.”

    “All of our issues were addressed with the General Manager, however, her responses was “sorry to hear about that.”. Nothing else like please tell me more or anything. The only consistence here is their lack of detail and care. Do not stay here.”

  58. Craig says:

    Well, I find it amusing: 1) that attendee’s must stay at a hotel named Gaia (the personification of Earth – a New Age ‘god’); and, 2) the fact that this hotel has received such poor reviews. Poetic justice all the way ’round, I’d say.

  59. Steve B. (omots) says:

    Where’s your faith Craig? Maybe the Bethel folks will change Gaia’s bugs into gems, the weeds into flowers, and the dirt into gold!

    And just to show that such negative comments aren’t an aberration…here’s a few more gems from other dissatisfied Gaia customers, just for laughs…

    “The carpet in my room is stained and I found hair in my shower, YUKKKKK!!! Stay elsewhere!”

    “This is a dirty, nasty MOTEL and I’m still kicking myself for not demanding a refund after seeing the room. It was late, I was tired and couldn’t go looking for another hotel. I wanted to shower but no clean towels. Traveler, you have been warned.”
    “Won’t stay here again…”

    “This hotel has gotten terrible. We stayed here at Christmas 2010 and, while not the best hotel ever, it was ok. This time around, we couldn’t wait to leave. The guy who checked us in was disinterested enough to the point of rudeness, giving one word answers to our questions and never elaborating unless asked. The 24 hour coffee service in the lobby has been eliminated, something that most nice hotels always offer. Our room was dirty – some weird wet spot on the carpet, a grimy feel to the linen, and a large spider had been living in a corner near the floor long enough to lay several egg sacks. Gross! What else aren’t they cleaning if they can’t even get the obvious stuff?”

    “We were unimpressed by the grounds too, which seemed well kept near the front of the hotel, but was overgrown with weeds – right up to our patio – around the back buildings”

    “We complained to the front desk, who moved us to another building. This one was slightly better – if you discount the greasy face prints all over the windows, the broken toilet seat, and hair in one of the beds. Plus, in the morning, we discovered that we were supplied with only one coffee mug.”

    Good grief, only “one coffee mug”? How barbaric!

  60. Carolyn says:

    oh boy. you had me laughing on this exchange!

    Steve said, “Where’s your faith Craig? Maybe the Bethel folks will change Gaia’s bugs into gems, the weeds into flowers, and the dirt into gold!”

    Sounds like a marijuana gro op.

    “Good grief, only “one coffee mug”? How barbaric!”

    Well, y’know Steve, with cutbacks…

  61. Steve B. (omots) says:

    Deception in the church is a very serious matter, but we have to know God is good, and even in this little example there is more than just irony and mirth. If you think about it, this dirty hotel represents the fallen world, with all it’s creepy crawly things and decay. The owners are obviously liberal non-believers, or “anti-christs” and have called their little piece of heaven, “Gaia” after the “Goddess Mother Earth”. As a “goddess” she is PERFECT and has been constantly under attack not by nature itself, but by the pestilence called “man”. Consider the fact that the radical environmentalists reject God the Creator and worship the earth (GAIA) in it’s fallen “natural” state, which explains why they have recently began calling for the protection of lice, mosquitoes, mayflies, wolves, and even rodents. They reject the notion that creation is fallen and has been subjected to futility. To them the natural world (GAIA) is perfect as is, and the only problem is people. In order for people to be “perfect” we have to mind meld with “GAIA”. We have to recognize that the bugs and viruses are our brothers and allow them to live in peace with us. We have to learn to love death and decay. That is radical earth-worshiping environmentalism in a nutshell.

  62. Carolyn says:

    Yes, Steve…I know it’s serious. Just watched this video this morning. The alliances with witchcraft are astounding…all is being melded into one big witches brew. Doug Hamp is aligning with these characters who are aligning with other characters and so on and so on and so on…

  63. Carolyn says:

    I should have said that the interesting part starts about the 4:20 mark with Randy DeMain using the tuning forks to aid in “healing”. The first part is the witch telling why, how and what is behind the tuning frequencies.

  64. just1ofhis says:

    These are the last two paragraphs of John Belt’s “word” on Elijahslist today (2/14/13):

    “For this reason, it is important for us to ask the Spirit to tenderize our hearts to receive the “fullness” of Who Christ is within us, not just the aspects we enjoy to look at. The Father had the entire heart of Jesus to work with, not just a portion. That is why He was able to follow the Father’s plan fully. Jesus was entirely man and entirely God, but emptied Himself of the divine attributes, making Himself a man completely dependent on the Holy Spirit to accomplish the Father’s work.

    The yielded life is essential for us to walk in the fullness of what God has for our lives. He has only good things in store as we empty ourselves of the things we hold on to, allowing Him to have His perfect work within us. In this way, we become partakers in “the Lamb of God” who was slain before the foundation of the world.
    God’s Blessings,
    John & Brandi Belt
    Overflow Global Ministries”

    http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=11858

    This is similar to Bill Johnson’s “jesus” who was emptied himself out of his “godly attributes”. I know Craig has covered that in detail.

    But the last sentence was new to me: “the Lamb of God” who WAS SLAIN before the foundation of the world.

    Jesus Christ was CHOSEN before the foundation of the world (1 Pet 1:20), but He was not slain until the day had come for Him to glorify His Father on the cross.

    If it was a mistake, then it was an odd one. Even my children could spot this error with little trouble. A “lamb” slain “before the foundation of the world” would definitely be a different “jesus” (maybe the one who is going to show up at a hotel called “Gaia” with meat tenderizer and turn the spiders’ egg sacs into diamonds).

    Such strange days in which we live….

  65. Craig says:

    just1ofhis,

    Certainly, this “jesus” of Johnson is very prevalent within hyper-charismaticism. However, there is Biblical support for ‘the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world’, specifically Revelation 13:8:

    NKJV: 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    There is, however, not scholarly consensus on just what “from the foundation of the world” refers to. That is, it could be either “the Book of Life” or “the Lamb slain” by the construction in the Koine Greek as the following in the NASB illustrates. I only know this off the top of my head as I’ve been researching this specifically for an upcoming article.

    NASB: 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been [a]written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

    Footnotes:
    [a]Revelation 13:8 Or written in the book…slain from the foundation of the world

    Myself, as I’ve pondered which one it could be, I’m not sure it matters either way – that is, if we look at things strictly from an eternal perspective, as opposed to an earthly perspective relative to time. As to the Book of Life, God knew which ones would heed his call and therefore receive eternal life. As to the “Lamb slain”, God knew he had to have a “back up plan” for the Fall in the Garden of Eden. That’s my two cents, anyway.

    But, in any case, I always appreciate your input; and, these are VERY strange days, indeed.

  66. just1ofhis says:

    It will be interesting to see what your research shows. John Belt states “before” the foundation of the world for the “Lamb who was slain”, not from. Even if you follow the NKJV on this, the word “before” still doesn’t work.

  67. Carolyn says:

    @just1ofhis: Hey, missed yer… quackbacks…I just wanted to say thanks for all your input as well. You are one good looking bird (not the false kind) and wise too…I wish I had been able to discuss more carefully some of the comments you made last time. I seem to be always running to keep up with my shadow. Then when I stop for a brief touchdown here at Crosswise, I stuff it
    in, wash it down with a diet coke and follow the wagon around the corner on two wheels. But, honestly, I do enjoy your comments and I appreciate the time you invest in putting them together. You have been a real blessing to me….Blessings, Sister! Love ya!

    And the same goes for everyone who is attuned to what’s going on these days, alert to the false and alive to the truth…the Holy Spirit is doing His work in and through whomever he wills. We just make ourselves available.

    Wow…what a day to be alive!

  68. Craig says:

    I’m disappointed that I forgot to add the following quote to the Crucifixion, the Great Renunciation section as this was a major point I wished to make:

    Many believe His power exists only to help us overcome sin. This understanding stops very short of the Father’s intent for us to become witnesses of another world. Doesn’t it seem strange that our whole Christian life should be focused on overcoming something that has already been defeated? Sin and its nature have been yanked out by its roots

    …Many in the church are camped on the wrong side of the Cross…I don’t need power to overcome something [ED: sin] if I’m dead to it. [When Heaven Invades Earth. 2003, Treasure House/Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA; p 110]

    As per Alice Bailey “sin becomes impossible” at the Crucifixion, as one totally “dies to self”, that is, “when the spiritual man controls the activities of the carnal man, sin becomes impossible, and man moves on towards greatness” [From Bethlehem to Calvary; p 202] . Doesn’t Johnson’s quote here sound very much like this? Doesn’t this sound like what Johnson’s getting at with his claim that “many in the church are camped on the wrong side of the Cross”? That is, by Johnson’s phraseology most are stuck somewhere before Bailey’s “Great Renunciation” (Cross), whereas Johnson is speaking of moving past “the Cross” to “resurrection life” (as I quote Johnson about in “resurrection life” above).

  69. Arwen4CJ says:

    I help teach the fifth and sixth grade class at the church that I grew up in, and the curriculum that we were asked to use, up until this point, has focused on the Old Testament. When we had to make the leap into our lessons from the OT to the NT, we had to create a bridge that made sense to the kids.

    In order to set things up for the kids, we asked the kids who Jesus was and also what they already knew about Jesus. Then we briefly talked about the fact that He had performed miracles. We especially mentioned Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

    Some of the kids in the class expressed disbelief over Jesus having the ability to bring someone back to life. One kid asked us how Jesus could do that. My answer was that Jesus could do that because He is God.

    We’re going to tell the kids next week that God has certain attributes, and we’re going to read part of John 11 to the kids. Clearly in that story the fact that Jesus is able to raise Lazarus from the dead is to show that Jesus is the Messiah (look at the conversation that Jesus and Martha had), and that Jesus can do this because He is God. Lazarus had been dead for several days. This was a little different than previous times that Jesus or any of the OT prophets raised someone from the dead — those were almost immediate.

    I couldn’t help but think of what people in hyper-charismatic churches would say. They would teach the kids that Jesus did this, so so can they. They would not be emphasizing Jesus’ deity at all. Instead, they would be teaching the kids that we are on Jesus’ level.

    For them, the whole point of Jesus’ resurrection seems to be in order to empower us to do the things that Jesus did. What kind of hope does that really offer someone?

    I know we’ve been talking a lot to our class about putting hope in Jesus. People can only really do that if we are not on Jesus’ level.

    I’m really hoping that if we as teachers can give the kids a solid foundation about Jesus and trusting in Him, and how important it is to study the Bible — then hopefully the kids won’t fall for false teaching later. I know we can’t prevent it entirely, but this has been one of my main goals — just to equip the kids with the truth. Some of these kids don’t go to church at all, and this might be the only exposure to Christianity that they get. (Our class is in the middle of the week).

    Having the privilege of helping to teach these kids really highlights for me how Jesus’ miracles did really point to His uniqueness and His deity. I want the kids to see this.

    That way if the kids ever get exposed to these false teachings for hyper-charismatic land (and they will — it’s really hard to be passionate about your faith and not meet anyone ever who is not into this stuff…especially as some of their friends may already attend churches that teach these things, or they’ll hear about it in college, or whatever) then they will know that it isn’t right.

    We’ve been having the kids look things up in the Bible in class so that they can start to know their Bibles. Some of the kids have started reading their Bibles on their own at home, which is great.

    Could you keep these children in your prayers. We will be talking about the holy week events the next few weeks, leading up to Easter. Pray that the other teacher and I teach what the Holy Spirit wants us to teach, and that the kids hearts are open to the Holy Spirit as well as we talk about the gospel.

    Our hope is that if the kids here the truth, and be so familiar with the truth, then they will be able to dismiss the counterfeit stuff when they hear it. Obviously I don’t tell them what the false teaching is, but I have mentioned that there are churches out there that teach things that go against Scripture. I also said that if they really get to know their Bibles, they will be able to recognize the false when they encounter it.

  70. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    You, the other teacher and your students will be in my prayers. The work you are doing is very important.

    If I may add my two cents: You could point out that Jesus had told the unbelieving Jews to believe in Him because of the miracles He performed in John 10:37-38. I don’t think it coincidence that these words come just before the account of Lazarus in John 11. In addition, the way I see it, Jesus’ raising of Lazarus after he had been dead is a precursor both to Jesus raising Himself from the dead (which is also mentioned in John 10, specifically 10:18-19), which provides the means by which true believers receive spiritual life and our own future resurrection in glorified bodies [1 Cor 15] at the eschaton.

  71. Arwen4CJ says:

    Thank you. Yes, clearly John says that the miracles Jesus does point to who Jesus is…not some argument that Jesus is our model, and we should do everything that Jesus does. That’s why people who use other passages in John to justify their false teaching are missing the boat here. They’re not looking at the whole Gospel of John.

    I’m thinking if we tell the kids that God is all powerful, and since He created the whole world out of nothing, then He certainly has the power to intervene into people’s lives and break the laws of physics in order to accomplish what He wants to….and being all powerful is one of God’s attributes.

    But yes….good point about John 10:37-38 — we could definitely bring up that verse to further emphasize that the miracles Jesus performed were done in order to show who Jesus was — that He is both the Messiah and God in the flesh.

    And yes, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after he’d been dead for several days is a precursor for both Jesus raising Himself from the dead and the future resurrection — which is the reason I wanted to bring it up in the first place to make sure the kids understood that Jesus has the power to raise the dead.

    I was thinking that if the kids didn’t believe Jesus had the power to raise Lazarus from the dead, then how could they believe that Jesus had the power to raise Himself from the dead? I was planning on telling them about the Jewish belief in the resurrection of the dead, and that this was yet another belief the Jews had about the Messiah. Then I will tell them that as Christians we believe that too. It’s in our creeds — the line about the resurrection of the body.

    Martha affirmed that she believed in the resurrection of the dead, and she was basically saying — yes, I believe You are the Messiah, and that You will raise the dead at the end of the world.

    And Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah with His questions to her about whether or not she believed He was the resurrection and the life.

    And that’s exactly why Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead showed that He was the Messiah and that it showed His deity.

    And yes, we will explain about the glorified bodies, etc, and tell the kids that that Jesus was the first person to receive a glorified body. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it was the same kind of body that he had died in — not the glorified body yet….but that it still showed that Jesus had the power to raise the dead…..and so Jesus does have the power to raise Himself from the dead, and has the power to raise us all from the dead at His Second Coming.

    And Orthodox Jews and at least some Conservative Jews today still believe in the resurrection of the dead, and that it happens when the Messiah comes. If I remember correctly when I looked up what the believed, I think it is part of their statement of faith when they define Jewish orthodoxy. They consider essential to their beliefs.

    To claim that Jesus only did this because He was a man empowered by the Holy Spirit is to miss all this, and you end up with a powerless Jesus who can offer you no more hope than your best friend can. Since hyper-charismatics claim that Jesus didn’t even have the power to raise Himself from the dead…..the only “hope” that they try to offer is that we have the right and power within ourselves to do everything that Jesus did, and that this should be our goal. But why should people in hyper-charismatic churches even put their faith in Jesus at all? They’re not really trusting in Jesus, but rather in the power that they think they can get too….

    It’s kind of ironic — Jesus raising the dead is about the clearest example of the demonstration of Jesus’ power AS GOD, and yet, the hyper-charismatics say Jesus didn’t have the power to do this. They want the power for themselves, so they claim that if you get the Christ anointing that everyone can have this power. So we’re just basically a bunch of gods running around. It’s exactly the same as occult magic — you just need to tap into the spiritual source, and then you can have all kinds of power.

  72. Craig says:

    And for many of the reasons you cite above, I see the hyper-charismatic belief system as a ‘Christianized’ version of Alice Bailey’s Theosophy: that Jesus was a man who was “Christed” at Baptism and whose 5 major events (Birth, Baptism, Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection/Ascension) point the way, both symbolically and actually, for the ‘Christian’. That is, we first realize we have inherent divinity, a seed/spark/’Christ within’ (Birth), which is awakened at Baptism (“Baptism of the Holy Spirit”), we continue to grow and become ‘Transfigured’, we fully “die to self” thereby supplanting our human nature with our inherent divine nature at which point it becomes “impossible to sin”, then we rise as manifested sons of ‘god’, to later ascend as divine Masters, gods ourselves.

  73. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    I think you are right — or even if teachers like Bill Johnson don’t consciously set out to teach this, that is really what they are doing, whether or not they are aware of it. I think that is the goal of the spirits (demons) behind much of hyper-charismatic doctrine. That is the end goal of what these demons want. They want the church to become a ‘Christianized’ version of the occult. They want to pull people away from Christ and deceive them into believing that what they are doing and believing is Christian.

    I don’t know Bill Johnson’s heart or the heart of the other charismatic leaders. They may or may not know what they are doing here. Some of them may know. Some of them may just be deceived. They may sincerely believe that what they are doing and teaching is Christian. However, in either case, the demons are spreading their doctrine. The demons behind these doctrines certainly know what they are doing.

    For sake of discussion, let’s assume that a hypothetical hyper-charismatic leader is sincerely deceived. We’ll call his name Steve. That wouldn’t mean he was not guilty, but it would mean that he was not willfully trying to teach people occult doctrine.

    Let’s say Steve was really passionate about Jesus and wanted to grow in his faith. However, he did not have a very solid understanding of Scripture. He did want to get more involved in church, though. He hears about a really exciting church in town. His friends have said great things about this church. So he attends it. It’s a hyper-charismatic church, but he thinks it is great.

    He becomes more and more involved with the church, and because of his personality, he is well-liked. He rises up in leadership in the church fast. He is so hungry to know more and more, and he tries to apply the teachings that he has been hearing from the senior pastor into his own life.

    All the while, the senior pastor and other leaders have taken him under their wing, and have been helping to mold him into a church leadership position. Part of what Steve has gotten into has been trying to hear from God directly. Through several guided imagery type sessions, Steve feels that he has seen Jesus or angels in these sessions, and he starts to have spiritual experiences.

    This Jesus or the angels that he meets in these spiritual experiences start telling him how loved he is and how valuable he is to the kingdom. Everything that this Jesus or the angels tell him seems to line up with what he’s been hearing at the hyper-charismatic church. Things seem to have started to really click for him. He starts to see miracles happen when he prays. He receives specific words for people, and he starts to know things about others that he couldn’t have known in the ‘natural’ realm.

    Because these spiritual experiences have been such a major part of his spiritual life, when he is asked to start preaching, that is the main subject that he starts to talk about. He also passes along messages that he has seen or heard from his spiritual encounters. He might not always give the source of these teachings, but he still passes along the knowledge.

    Some of the things that he learns from these spiritual experiences, and thus says, are “new” understandings of old Scripture passages. He thinks such teachings are really important, and he is excited for other Christians to learn them as well. After all, these spiritual beings gave him the information. It would be selfish to keep it all to himself.

    He is completely unaware that the doctrine the spiritual beings have been passing along to him is actually occult things, dressed up in Christian language. He’s never heard of Alice Bailey or her writings, but these demons are feeding him the same lies, and he believes them. He begins to feel more and more confident about these teachings when his hyper-charismatic friends in leadership also have been receiving similar doctrine from the angels that they have experience with.

    So thus, being completely deceived by these teachings, then by demons, he teaches Alice Bailey’s Theosophy, and he doesn’t even know it.

    Maybe someone points it out to him, and then his comment is, “Well, it is God’s truth, so if people in the occult teach it, then we’re just taking back the teachings for God.” This is what Steve’s heard his friends say when people point out that something being taught is of the occult, so he just continues to repeat what he’s learned

    Steve never learns the correct way to study Scripture, as Steve has learned from others that experience is more important than anything else. He is even taught that if something he hears from the spiritual realm seems to contradict Scripture, then he needs to change the Scripture to line up with what he’s heard from the spiritual realm.

    He continues to deceive those listening to him, and he is also all the while deceived himself.

    Perhaps there comes a time when the demons decide to tell Steve what they really are, and what is going on. This might be after Steve started to question them about the similarities between the teachings they are giving him and the occult. In any case, these demons have been careful to butter Steve up, into telling him how much they love him, how much power he can have, how much power they have given him, how they have helped him get his respected place in the church, etc. And they offer him promises for the future.

    Steve, being completely caught up in the deception, decides that demons aren’t really so bad after all. Maybe they’ve just been misunderstood by Christians who were not as spiritual as he is now. He might see it as his goal to rid Christianity of the “false” teaching — teaching that denies the occult and the things he has learned.

    So Steve might actively start to teach the occult, and mentor other leaders who are coming up in leadership in the hyper-charismatic world, feeding them lies and the false doctrine until they too are deceived.

    Even if Steve never reaches the point where he knows that his doctrine is from demons, the demons are happy for him to keep teaching him the false doctrine, and for him to keep teaching people the false doctrine.

    Steve became guilty when he first started attending the church, and he did not search the Scriptures to make sure what was being taught lined up with it in context. He just accepted what was being taught without any thought. He kept going deeper and deeper into it, ignoring the Holy Spirit’s warnings. He then sought to make contact with beings in the spiritual realm — something that Scripture forbids. Again, he doesn’t check what he is learning with the full counsel of Scripture — this is a constant problem, as he is never able to figure out that what he is learning is false. He then starts to teach it himself, etc. He gets further and further into error.

    Some of the hyper-charismatic leaders might have known what they were doing from the beginning — people like Patricia King who was a witch before she “converted” to Christianity. Wasn’t Bob Jones also into some occult stuff before he “converted?” And that could be the case with other leaders as well.

    So this deception might be happening both actively by occult “converted” Christians as well as directly by the demons themselves.

    Regardless, the end result is the same — they are teaching Alice Bailey’s theology.

  74. Craig says:

    You’ve articulated that very well. I recall having an earlier discussion with someone who, essentially, insisted that since I can’t know Johnson’s intent, I can’t say whether he’s really culpable, i.e., if Johnson’s really just following others who’ve taught the same thing, then he’s less culpable. But, as you pointed out he became guilty when he failed to be a Berean. It matters not whether an individual consciously seeks out the demonic or whether they do so unknowingly. At some point the Holy Spirit will provide warnings, and if said teacher continues, I believe they will eventually have their conscience seared.

  75. Arwen4CJ says:

    I think I was part of that conversation — or at least read the conversation. At first I might have been of the position that he was less culpable, or a little less so, but I’ve been really trying to understand this whole issue of false teaching and falling away…..I’ve been praying about it and thinking about it, and the above comment is what my current understanding of the issue is.

    I’ve also been trying to understand the connections between all these teachings, and I think that all of them can be traced back to the same demons behind ancient gnosticism. That’s really what Theosophy, New Thought, Unity, New Age, etc. all teach a form of. They all took ideas from ancient gnosticism, and they all were talking to demons who continued to feed them the same lies.

    Since gnostic like ideas existed at the time that the New Testament was still being written in, and since it was one of the main enemies of the gospel, I think it will continue to be around until Jesus returns. Not only that, but some of the lies in gnosticism and in these movements can be traced back to the Fall and to Satan’s lies.

    This hyper-charismatic doctrine is no different — it’s yet another re-packaged, modern form of gnosticism. That’s also what the whole Word of Faith movement is too…..what with the magic words and speaking things into existence, etc.

    Plain and simple, the hyper-charismatic gospel is a gnostic gospel, with ties to other gnostic teaches, such as Theosophy, etc, all reinforced by the same demons who are behind all these movements.

  76. Craig says:

    As for “falling away”, the Apostle John explains this quite well in 1 John 2:18-22 [NIV]:

    18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

    20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.

    John the Apostle is making a distinction between those who “know the truth” because of the “anointing from the Holy One” (Holy Spirit indwelling), and the liar who, in some form or fashion, denies that Jesus is the Christ. I think it’s very obvious that Johnson (as but one example in hyper-charismaticism) has denied that Jesus is the Christ – just like the early Gnostics. Those who “went out from us”, in reality, “did not belong to us” in the first place, for if they had “they would have remained with us”.

  77. Carolyn says:

    Quote from above article: “In contrast, the Theosophical/New Age/New Spirituality writings of Alice Bailey also cite Jesus as an example to follow, but, of course, not in the same way as orthodox Christianity. As noted in Part IIIa, in occult literature man has two natures: one human and one latent divine nature (divine spark/seed), the latter needing to be awakened. Once activated, the divine nature (the “ego”, or “higher self”) is to be actualized while the human nature (the “lower self”) is simultaneously diminished. This process is also known as “dying to self”. One ‘dies to self’ through much self-effort such that the divine spark/seed grows eventually overtaking the lower human nature (aka the “not self”) so as to fully actualize inherent divinity, to become ‘gods’. This is a works-based system accomplished in part by asceticism and service.192 This is the polar opposite of Christianity.

    The New Age / New Spirituality Jesus’ life both symbolically and actually represents “The Path” of the aspirant signified by five markers, or initiations, as identified in Alice Bailey’s From Bethlehem to Calvary: the Initiations of Jesus.193 Recall also that these five initiations do not have to be achieved in one lifetime as they are cumulative carrying over from past incarnations, just as they had for the Theosophical Jesus of Nazareth. Following are the signposts:

    1) Birth at Bethlehem – a/k/a virgin birth, or new birth. “The birth of Christ in the cave of the human heart.”194 Recognizing the “Christ in you, the hope of glory” – your inherent but latent divinity (duality).195 The divine spark/seed is activated. “Freedom from the control of the physical body and its appetites.”196

    2) Baptism in Jordan – Water baptism “purifies the emotional nature” which precedes the “purification of the mind by fire,”197 or the “baptism of spirit and fire” / “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” thus providing the ability to consciously reject all evil.198 “What therefore lies ahead for the initiate who has entered the purificatory water, or rather fire?”199 This is the point at which Jesus of Nazareth became “the Christ”200 having received this title and name at Baptism.201

    3) Transfiguration on Mount Carmel – “transfiguration of the [human] nature” into “full-grown man in Christ” – learning to “die to self;” i.e., working towards overcoming the ‘lower, human nature.’ “Develops fourth dimensional vision.”202 Full-grown man working towards manifested son of God.203 Receives “terrific voltage” of Kundalini.204 “[T]he mind…begins its true task as an interpreter of divine truth…”205 (i.e., new revelations, reinterpretations {usually allegorical} of Scripture). “Third eye” is opened.206

    4) Crucifixion on Mount Golgotha – “The Great Renunciation.”207 The “sacrifice of humanity” by totally “dying to (lower, human) self” in order to achieve divinity and to arise as fully manifested son of God.208 Sin becomes impossible.209 Moving towards attainment of full ‘group consciousness.’210 At the final stage of this initiation, post-‘Great Renunciation’, one dispenses with the fleshly body and attains resurrection body thereby becoming free from death:211 “and the causal body, the soul body is relinquished and disappears.”212 “[Christ] thereby liberated us from the form side of life, of religion and matter, and demonstrated to us the possibility of being in the world and yet not of the world, living as souls, released from the trammels and limitations of the flesh, while yet walking on earth.”213

    5) Resurrection and Ascension – “The cave of the tomb into the fullness of the resurrection life.”214 Attainment to full status of ascended Master in which the individual can move between and live in the physical and/or the astral realms.215 “If he chooses to take a physical vehicle (as many will when the Christ reappears and the Hierarchy is externalised on Earth), the Master will ‘function from the above to the below’ and not (as is the case today with all disciples, though naturally not with the Masters) on ‘the below towards the above.’…They will therefore need no centres on the etheric levels of our planetary physical plane.”216″

    Can you just imagine Satan gathering his Council together for their weekly meeting and saying, “Ok, let’s hear your newest ideas on how you can go out and deceive the church people. You’ve done a fine job with the UN, the Obama Administration, Globalization, the Roman Catholic Church, the New Age Movement, etc, so now let’s hear what you have laid out for the deception of the Church.”

    Well, says one spirit named Orb, “I think we can take the New Age propaganda, give it a facelift and recycle it for the church.”

    “Brilliant”, says the Master of Darkness. Give them the dual nature, divine spark to activate them, give them a baptism with fire to initiate them, give them the kundalini transformation process to enlighten them, move toward the attainment of Christ consciousness to interpret themselves by, and bring them through the levels of ascension by mastery of the etheros. And of course…propagate the LIE. You guys know the drill…Oh and don’t forget clothe it in the Christianese which you will then bury in ritual or works…your choice.”

    The New Age 5 point Alice Bailey works system, is Craig, as you said, different song, same dance…or same song, different dance…something like that. Bill Johnson’s NAR gospel has taken on the shape and form of the 5 point dimensions of the New Age Transformation, without a doubt.

  78. Carolyn says:

    Jeremiah 23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
    Matthew Henry:
    “Verses 9-32 from: http://mhcw.biblecommenter.com/jeremiah/23.htm

    Here is a long lesson for the false prophets. As none were more bitter and spiteful against God’s true prophets than they, so there were none on whom the true prophets were more severe, and justly. The prophet had complained to God of those false prophets (ch. 14:13), and had often foretold that they should be involved in the common ruin; but here they have woes of their own.

    I. He expresses the deep concern that he was under upon this account, and what a trouble it was to him to see men who pretended to a divine commission and inspiration ruining themselves, and the people among whom they dwelt, by their falsehood and treachery (v. 9): My heart within me is broken; I am like a drunken man. His head was in confusion with wonder and astonishment; his heart was under oppression with grief and vexation. Jeremiah was a man that laid things much to heart, and what was any way threatening to his country made a deep impression upon his spirits. He is here in trouble, 1. Because of the prophets and their sin, the false doctrine they preached, the wicked lives they lived; especially it filled him with horror to hear them making use of God’s name and pretending to have their instruction from him. Never was the Lord so abused, and the words of his holiness, as by these men. Note, The dishonour done to God’s name, and the profanation of his holy word, are the greatest grief imaginable to a gracious soul. 2. “Because of the Lord, and his judgments, which by this means are brought in upon us like a deluge.” He trembled to think of the ruin and desolation which were coming from the face of the Lord (so the word is) and from the face of the word of his holiness, which will be inflicted by the power of God’s wrath, according to the threatenings of his word, confirmed by his holiness. Note, Even those that have God for them cannot but tremble to think of the misery of those that have God against them.”

    I couldn’t leave the last comment I made without adding something a little more substantial to my conjecture. Yes, there is some truth to the divine counsels of Satan, and it is from these sources that the lying prophets get their inspiration. When I read Matthew Henry’s commentary on Jeremiah 23 I thought how true his observation that these false prophets are most bitter and spiteful toward those who keep to the purity of the Word of God. Interesting…

    In this one paragraph alone, I found a connection with my own heart. I do feel so troubled by men/women who pretend to have a divine commission and inspiration ruining themselves and the people they are influencing, just as Jeremiah was troubled. “They speak from their own minds”, the counsel of the gods, principalities and rulers of darkness, ignoring the sinful condition and promising peace. All the while, in this day we can see all around us the judgement of God being poured out on the wicked, and YET, they still persist with the promise of peace!!!

    They speak from their own minds…true statement. When true prophets speak God’s Word…there is no doubt. It’s like a fire and a hammer. It changes the sinful condition of those who hear. When false prophets speak the counsels of the wicked spirits whispering things into their minds, there is only straw…no change in the sinful condition of the heart.

    After I wrote the above conjecture, I had the same feeling I had when I started reading Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti years ago. Although there is some truth to the conjecture of Angels on Assignment (which I also read) or postulations of how Powers of the Air inspire chaos and vengeful activity, it leaves the reader with an incomplete picture. The Scripture gives us the complete picture as it tells us what happens when we listen to the True words of God and what happens when we don’t…and the whole solution for sin is the victory of Christ…NOT some knowledge(gnosis) about how the enemy operates.

    To be sure, we can do some comparisons of similarities between New Age teachings and NAR theology, which is helpful in exposing error, but the solution comes from the Lord and from his Word. No wonder Satan and his minions work so hard to create a distraction to keep their duped and deceived initiates from a desire for it. They fill them with straw…puffed up notions and prideful encounters.

    God will not be mocked. PSALM 82:1 {A Psalm of Asaph.} God has taken His place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods He holds judgment: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I say, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for to Thee belong all the nations! (RSV)

    Colossians 1:13-15 NIV
    13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

  79. Arwen4CJ says:

    I have no idea how the demons are organized or what specific assignments they are given. In my previous comments, all I meant was a general thing.

    2 Timothy 3:12-14 (NASB)
    12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NASB)
    4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will [a]fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

    Ephesians 6:10-17 (NASB)
    10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

    2 Corinthians 2:10-11 (NASB)
    10 But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

    We know from these passages in the Bible (and others) that Satan his demons do scheme. They do have a plan…they are active, etc. There is a truth to the concept of spiritual warfare. The unfortunate thing is that the hyper-charismtics have twisted the term to be something that isn’t biblical at all.

    We aren’t really to concern ourselves with exactly how Satan operates, but we should be aware that he does scheme. We also should be aware that at least some of the false doctrines out there are demonic in origin.

    We also know that people who are deceived sometimes have spirit guides that teach them things. I’m convinced that these ‘spirit guides’ are actually demons. I also know for a fact that the same sort of false teachings are taught by these spirit guides in various groups — people into the occult always come up with the same anti-Christ doctrine. It’s the same sort of stuff that has been taught from the NT times, and from before. It’s the same lies over and over again, repackaged.

    This is as far as we need to go with this…..we don’t need to speculate about how Satan organizes his demons, where he sends them, etc. All we need to know is a general idea — just be aware.

    However, our real focus needs to be on Christ and understanding the gospel and Scripture.

  80. Craig says:

    We also know that people who are deceived sometimes have spirit guides that teach them things. I’m convinced that these ‘spirit guides’ are actually demons. I also know for a fact that the same sort of false teachings are taught by these spirit guides in various groups — people into the occult always come up with the same anti-Christ doctrine. It’s the same sort of stuff that has been taught from the NT times, and from before. It’s the same lies over and over again, repackaged.

    Yes, I do believe you are correct about these ‘spirit guides’. I make note of this in part IIIb in responding to a Bob Jones quote. And, yes these lies are perpetuated in various formats to appeal to different groups. If folks could just get a basic understanding of these underlying occult doctrines, they’d be much more likely to see how these have been repackaged within the ‘Church’.

  81. Craig says:

    Maitreya is purportedly set to speak later today:

    http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/06/maitreya-interviewed-on-hour-with-an-angel-june-3-2013/

    As we said earlier this week, on this Monday’s Hour with an Angel, we hear from Lord Maitreya, long expected as a central figure in the Return of the Masters. He’s hailed as a World Teacher and says he’ll begin his world speaking tour later this summer.

    Who is Maitreya? Well, as Benjamin Creme has noted:

    “He has been expected for generations by all of the major religions. Christians know him as the Christ, (1) and expect his imminent return. Jews await him as the Messiah; Hindus look for the coming of Krishna; Buddhists expect him as Maitreya Buddha; and Muslims anticipate the Imam Mahdi or Messiah.” (2)

    Last week there was a purported interview, An Hour with an Angel with Sanat Kumara, May 27, 2013 (aka Satan; see “Christ” in the New Age for info):

    http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/05/sanat-kumara-many-of-you-have-already-ascended-and-straddle-dimensions/

    In this interview, the planetary logos, Sanat Kumara – or Raj, as he prefers to be called – updates us on Ascension, tells us that there may be waves of early ascenders – though not those who have agreed to be gatekeepers and pillars – that we remain at around 50-55% ready to ascend, and that the Ascension of all who choose to go is not in some distant future.

    He says that many ascended masters have taken bodily form, including Moses, Abraham, Mohammed, the old prophets, disciples, and apostles. From the far East, a new buddha is in form and already practising, Lao Tzu/Dhjwal Khul, Kuthumi, the Blue Tara, the Green Tara, an aspect of Quan Yin, Maitreya. St. Germain pops in and out of form (as he did in the seventeenth century).

    And, we have Todd Bentley in South Africa purporting the “Great Awakening” (a New Age term/concept):

    His monologue begins at 1:14 or so.

    1:16:45: “How many of you know He wants to give us…the full measure of His Spirit? We’ve received it already, but there’s a manifest fullness coming for every nation of the world…”

    He’s at least getting more careful with the language. This is the same old ‘manifest sons of God’ teaching, but with less overt.

    1:18:45: “Greater works are here…”

    Well, yeah, Todd, since the Pentecost of Acts 2 as God has worked the Peter to effect salvation. But, Todd here is referring to miracles, signs and wonders by themselves.

    1:20:30: “…It’s the beginning of stadiums…”

    The Paul Cain / Bob Jones ‘revival’ consisting of “Joel’s Army” / MSoG.

    1:23:30: “I had a visitation from Jesus Christ. It lasted for 4 hours…It started with a glory liquid honey cloud.”

    A “glory liquid honey cloud”? …riiiiigghhhht…

    1:25:22: “…and as I was praying I felt like I was giving birth…I was giving birth to something as I prayed in tongues…”

    1:26:02: “…all of a sudden Jesus stepped into my apartment…”

    1:31:20: Bentley waxes on about “hippie preacher” Lonnie Frisbee. Wimber had invited him to speak on Mother’s Day 1980 (evening service). Frisbee was a sexually active gay man.

  82. Arwen4CJ says:

    So is this Todd Bentley speech something recent? If so, I have to wonder how anyone, even hyper-charismatics, can take him seriously. The whole world knows what happened in 2008. But then again, there were people who were set on defending him, even after all that happened with the “revival.”

    Has Todd abandoned his false doctrine? It appears not, just as I would have expected. Sigh. Anyone who follows Bentely now, with all the exposure done back in 2008 has been blinded. Yet he has been welcomed back as an “anointed” speaker by many in the hyper-charismatic movement.

    All we are doing is seeing prophecy come to life. Jesus said that there would be many false christs…….and what the New Agers are doing is just confirming Jesus’ words. It’s so sad that so many have abandoned the true God for something false.

    We have Christians going after false signs and wonders, visions, and people going on and on about what they have seen and the worship of angels. We have non-Chrisitans doing very much the same, but in New Age terms.

    These demonic spirits behind these “ministries” are deceiving many, just as the Bible said would happen.

  83. Craig says:

    It’s all a set up for the world to embrace Maitreya as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the coming of the Imam Mahdi, the coming of the Fifth Buddha, and, for the Jews, the coming of the Messiah.

  84. Craig says:

    To get an idea of the similarities between hyper-charismaticism and New Age, check out the following. There was a big deal made of 12/12/12 last year in hyper-charismatic circles; now compare to the following:

    http://goldenageofgaia.com/the-2012-scenario/the-people-awaken/to-those-awakening-on-121212-or-wondering-whats-occurring/

    Change some of the terminology a little bit, and this approximates hyper-charismatic teachings:

    The rest of us will awaken in a world that is like and yet not like this one. It’ll have trees and flowers and grass. It’ll have lakes and mountains and seas. It’ll have animals and people and even angels.

    But it’ll exist within a higher-vibrational setting where flowers and grass will sing, water will run off our clothing without wetting, and, as we’ve heard it said since ancient times, the lion will lie down with the lamb.

    These are those “end times” but they won’t be catastrophic.

    We’re about to see Heaven return to Earth and Earth become Heaven. And it doesn’t depend on whether you believe what I’m saying or not. These events will occur whatever you believe. It does depend on whether you choose to be a part of it or not because your freewill will be honored.

    All of this is being midwifed by powers and beings that we have till now regarded as living only in fables and science fiction. Angels and archangels, elohim and light beings, men and women from other galaxies and other dimensions of life are all co-operating with the Father/Mother One to cause the transformation we’re at the moment going through.

    It’s being caused by waves of light and love hitting the Earth, gates and portals opening, and grids of consciousness firing up.

  85. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    Just remember that both Bill Johnson and Che Ahn were initially behind Bentley’s “restoration” with Rick Joyner completing it. The gullible think this was a real ‘restoration’, forgetting Bentley’s continued disobedience as he divorced his wife Shonna to marry the one he had an affair with, namely Jessa. Of course, that’s not to mention all the other goings-on at Lakeland.

  86. Arwen4CJ says:

    http://share-international.org/maitreya/Maitreya_faq.htm

    Q. One of the most surprising facts I’ve learned from reading Share International is that Maitreya and the Masters seem to have a wonderful sense of humour. This makes Them more real and closer, somehow. I hope it is not disrespectful or offensive to say that some of the miracles are very amusing, like gems popping out from under someone’s big toe.
    A. I quite agree. When people come to know the Masters more closely they will recognize that They are filled with the joy of life and have an extraordinary and quick sense of humour. The inventiveness of their imagination is one of the outstanding qualities of their activity.

    My response:
    Gems appearing out of nowhere in the presence of unholiness and just plain silliness. Where have I heard something like this before? Oh yeah…..in hyper-charismatic churches.

  87. Arwen4CJ says:

    Yes, I guess that they thought Todd’s only problem was that he had an inappropriate relationship with someone who wasn’t his wife, and that that relationship was sexual. So, in their eyes, divorcing his wold wife for the one he had an affair with fixed everything, along with those hyper-charismatics giants overseeing his restoration. If those prophets/apostles approved of his restoration, it must be real.

    And some of the Todd Bentely/Lakeland supports accuse those of us who opposed what was going on there to be at fault for Todd Bentley’s affair. We put him under Satanic attack and made him have the affair even though he started the affair in like Jan. or Feb. of that year, which was a couple months before his “revival” started.

    Oh…and the “birthing something new” and “laboring something” to make it happen in the spirit realm so that it can happen in the physical realm stuff that Bentley mentions above :(

    Ugh……

    Back to the New Agers — they seem to be going after signs and wonders just as much as hyper-charismatics. Both groups have experienced the gem “miracles.” I wonder how many other miracles, signs, and wonders they have in common. What other “miracles” have New Agers experienced?

    I’m sure that they would talk about healings. But what about gold dust, angel feathers, glory clouds, angel visitations, trips up to third heaven, bilocating, walking on water, pushing away storms, oil oozing out of people’s skin, speaking in tongues and whatever else hyper-charismatics claim to be able to do?

  88. Craig says:

    Arwen4CJ,

    You wrote, Oh…and the “birthing something new” and “laboring something” to make it happen in the spirit realm so that it can happen in the physical realm stuff that Bentley mentions above :(

    Yup, I mentioned that above, 1:25:22: “…and as I was praying I felt like I was giving birth…I was giving birth to something as I prayed in tongues…” This is MSoG teaching, the “birth of the man-child” which I mention here (and part of this info is interspersed throughout the ‘A New Age Christ?’ series):

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/christ-in-the-new-age/

    AAB in From Bethlehem to Calvary states:

    “…We can produce, and as a [human] race, give birth to, the next kingdom in nature, which Christ called the kingdom of God; this is the kingdom of souls, the kingdom of spiritual lives, and herein, uniquely, Christ emerges…” [99]

    Here Bailey is referring to the “reappearance” of “the Christ,” or Lord Maitreya. Note her words: “give birth to.” This sounds eerily similar to what is known as “Birthing the Man-Child” in some hyper-charismatic circles:

    “The key event toward which all of today’s world events as well as all of earth history has been working since the cross is a birthing of a first generation of believers directly into a place of immortal union with Christ. It is by this birthing that heaven will definitively declare that the kingdoms of this world have at last come under actualized captivity to the Lord and His church.” [all emphasis in original] [100]

    And, here are some excerpts from Todd Bentley’s monologue from May 28, 2008 at the Lakeland ‘Revival.’ Notice the New Age references:

    “’Tonight is a crossing over and we have a moment,’ says the Lord, ‘where we can labor and travail until Christ is formed in you…’

    “…I feel if we gave it a big push that we can literally form Christ – Christ in you. I’m talking about a maturing of what God has placed on the inside of your spirit. It’s gonna come out of the birth canal – it’s gonna come out of the womb – because there is a labor and there is a travailing that is going on in the spirit…

    “…And, we are saying LET THERE BE LIFE. And, there was life—speaking things into existence. I am talking about a creative realm… …Under the anointing you make a declaration and it forms tonight…

    “…We’re going to go back into travail right now until Christ is formed. God promised a day where heaven and earth must retain Him until the restoration of all things. Heaven will hold back the coming of Jesus Christ until sons and daughters come into maturity. It’s called the Manifestation of the sons of God.

    “Heaven will hold back the Second Coming… A mature church manifests the glory of God. A mature church manifests the Word of God in truth and power. A mature church walks in holiness and character. A mature church walks in miracle, signs, and wonders.

    “I’m talking about a maturity tonight – and it’s being formed in you. Let Christ be formed in maturity. Let the full man, let the fullness of God come forth, and let the womb open tonight… and let there be a great birthing…” [101]

    Also, as part of the “Birthing the Man-Child” doctrine is the belief that Christ will return in “His body, the Church.” This is what Bob Jones was speaking of in his monologue on August 8, 2008 at the Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries when he proclaimed there will be “’Jesuses’ all over the world”:

    The New Breed will be those that are partaker of the divine nature. 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.” [102]

    According to New Age, when “The Christ” “reappears,” he will also have the ability to manifest through many 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. 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.” [103]

    In the following, “Christ” refers to the coming antichrist which will be empowered by “the Christ” aka Lucifer:

    “Christianity will not be superseded. It will be transcended, its work of preparation being triumphantly accomplished, and Christ will again give us the next revelation of divinity….” [104]

  89. Arwen4CJ says:

    Craig,

    I think that hyper-charismatics are into the manifest sons of God teaching to different various degrees. For example, the “birthing” concept. While it probably had its origin in Manifest Sons of God, because some people have cloaked Manifest Sons of God teaching, some are unaware of the full teaching.

    So, for some, birthing something in the spirit realm is something occultic, but not necessarily the manchild or Revelation. It is a kind of witchcraft in which they think that speaking words in a prayer can make something happen in the spirit realm — either force God to do something, or to use god powers themselves by speaking the word and then making it happen in the physical realm.

    It’s like instead of asking for God for something in prayer and trusting Him with the results — they think of prayer as a means to accomplishing something themselves. It’s similar to speaking something into existence, except in this case they think they have to “labor” for it.

    I think that this birthing and the kind of birthing in full Manifest Sons of God teaching are related, but not identical.

  90. Craig says:

    I think that this birthing and the kind of birthing in full Manifest Sons of God teaching are related, but not identical.

    Sure. But like most of this stuff, it’s the followers who don’t know what the leaders are actually teaching. The leaders will make a term mean different things depending on context, which can dupe the follower into thinking one thing while the leader really means another.

    However, in the quote I used above Bentley was very clear he was referring to MSoG – a New Age concept. Additionally, the whole ‘corporate anointing’ concept leads to this as I point out here:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/kris-vallotton-and-the-mantle-of-jesus-christ-bill-johnson-on-corporate-anointing/

    But, again, the followers don’t understand the full ramifications of the teaching; and Johnson & Vallotton are not explicit (by design).

  91. Arwen4CJ says:

    Yes, you are right that Todd Bentley does seem to be referring to Manifest Sons of God in his Lakeland speech, and probably in his more recent speech as well. It’s just that “birthing” seems to have more than one connotation in hyper-charismatic circles, which is probably by design.

    I just meant that I knew of the popular hyper-charismatic “birthing” language that they used for “intercessory prayer” (their version of it, of course). I’ve heard it used lot to mean occult prayer magic. So this might be a hyper-charismatic term with a definition one and a definition two.

    I noticed that the New Age website referred to a similar concept, only they called it midwifing. They were all about “birthing something new,” too.

    The Bob Jones quote is very disturbing. I’m amazed that he felt that free to be so heretical — that means he didn’t have any fear that his audience would likely question it….which shows how far hyper-charismaticism has fallen.

  92. Craig says:

    The following article has the full context of Bob Jones’ “word”:

    http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/bethel-to-feature-bob-jones-at-upcoming-prophetic-conference/

    In addition, Jones was featured speaker at Bethel once again in 2012, and part of this were transcribed in part II of this series, including Jones’ statement that there will soon be “a awakening that never ends”, alluding to the New Age “Great Awakening” – the same name of Todd Bentley’s “revival” in South Africa.

  93. Arwen4CJ says:

    Wow — I think I had read that before — but I forgot how heretical that man’s words were. Clearly anyone inviting Bob Jones to speak, or anyone who admires his doctrines is completely accepting of Manifest Sons Of God.

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

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