Bill Johnson and Bethel Church: A Revival Culture

In the March 2007 issue of Charisma Mag. is one of my all time favorite articles: “Ignite The Fire”. There is way more important info. in this article than can be commented on in a single post. I’ve been waiting for it to finally be in the Charisma archives in order to provide a link so that everyone could actually read it.

In the article, Bill and Brenda Johnson talk about their church and the goals that they have in mind. Here is one of the first quotes:

“We’re alive for one reason” the outpouring of the Spirit of God on everything He’s given our hands to touch ”family, city, my nation and the nations of the world,” he says. “We’ve not been assigned to hang out until He returns ”we’ve been given a message and a power that completely revolutionizes life. Why would anyone want to get up in the morning and not shape the course of world history?”

Bill and Brenda talk about revival as being what normal Christianity should actually look like. They have tried to nurture a ‘revival culture’ at Bethel Church in Redding CA. An environment that encourages every member to be involved in some kind of outreach to the community:

“When you keep it within the walls, it dies. When you take it out where Jesus intended it to be, it happens.”

Now for the stuff that really blows me away. Here are a few quotes about revival. First about what they are currently experiencing at Bethel:

“…revival is like a big, ripe, red apple, I came back realizing ours is 100 percent apple but not fully developed yet. Everything is there [at Bethel]. It’s just smaller.”

Now about revival in general:

“[Revival is] happening, It’s just on a small scale. People are asking for something to happen that’s already been released, and you have to cooperate with what He’s already given.”

“Our closest friends won’t buy into what God’s doing in our life. If we’re going to carry what God’s asked for, we have to pass that test “the stigma is the important part of the test.”

“John 5:44 says, ‘How can you believe when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?’ Fear of man puts up an image of walking in wisdom. People who walk in the fear of man are cautious people and people call them wise. The fear of man masquerades as wisdom.”

“Mary had the stigma of carrying an illegitimate child, all her life,” he says. “Not even the ones who loved her and knew her the most believed [the child] was from God. That’s what it means to carry revival.

“Revival almost always has a stigma” something offensive that causes people to reject it when it comes. People don’t realize that when God manifests revival, bugs are drawn to the light, and if you don’t like dealing with stuff like that then you don’t have a revival from God.”

“In revival, everything gets brought to the surface … good, bad and ugly. Everything is open so that people are in a position to deal with what’s been in their hearts.”

“I’ve watched this for years. God will bypass people who are praying for revival and land on a couple who wasn’t even interested. He knows they’ll steward it.”

“People have a religious agenda they want revival to fit into. … [God] has agendas that are different than ours. God brought joy to people who didn’t deserve it in Toronto. It still bothers people. People who don’t adjust to that will miss out.”

Wow, I can’t even begin to add to these quotes. I’ll just let them stand on their own merits. I’m sure some of you will want to comment and shed further light. I just want to encourage you all to read the whole article. There’s a whole lot more where this came from. *Top

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46 Responses to Bill Johnson and Bethel Church: A Revival Culture

  1. Bethel Church in Redding is one of the most error-filled churches out there. Every single extreme of the prophetic movement is in evidence at this place and they are totally unwilling to even hear that they need correction.
    A friend of mine has an entire blog section just about these guys.
    http://iseeitdifferently.wordpress.com/tag/bethel-church/

  2. Thanks for posting this Michael. I cannot believe the great things that they are doing at Bill Johnson’s church.

    What is really impressive to me are the testimonies of those impacted by their ministry from far and wide.

  3. JC: I read all of your friends posts over a month ago. I disagree with what he has to say about Bill Johnson and Bethel. It does not represent the church and people that I know.

    I have ministered side by side with Bill and have seen him up close and personal. He is one of the most unassuming and humble servants of God that I know of. If he and his church is ‘error-filled’ than so I am and the church that I serve (and no doubt I probably do have some error).

    The church I attend and serve in (VCC Laguna Niguel) is like a sister church to Bethel (though we are part of the Vineyard Association). Our youth groups go on missions together, we attend each others conferences, and our ministry teams visit Bethel often and theirs visit ours.

    We have some students in their school of ministry and some of theirs have come to study in our school.

    To say: “they are totally unwilling to even hear that they need correction.” does not fairly represent the folks that I know.

  4. Michael, he attended Bethel and served on the ministry team there as well. Bethel is a part of the “prophetic movement” that has gone far astray of the truth in recent years.

    After Toronto, the flood gates were opened and experience became more important than the word. Take a look around that movement today, it is full of false prophets, gold dust, angel feathers, opening portals to the spirit world, shamanism and many, many more demonic activities.

    That was the primary reason why some of us banded together a few years ago as repentance preachers.

    I do not want to be critical, believe me. I hate critical spirits with my whole heart. I wish that places like Bethel would shake off this Laodicean revival spirit and return to biblical pentecost. But when I see it, I have to say something, like I did here, because I am afraid that the error in that community is severe enough to warrant it.

    I am sorry that you are close to the folks and so what I said hit close to home. But does that change the truth? Should it be spared because we are familiar with it? Take an honest look at what they do, look at it apart from “present truth” and see if it is not in error.

    For my part, I will look deeper into it to gain a fuller understanding of it for myself, out of respect for you, my brother.

  5. JC: Thanks for your comments I really do appreciate your perspective and specific calling. What you are saying about a part of the so called ‘prophetic movement’ is true and rather bothersome to me.

    In some respects I am part of a prophetic movement myself though none of us call it that. Yet I do not identify with a lot of the stuff that those writing against the ‘prophetic movement’ list as being part of it and neither do some of the folk that I know that are listed as some of those supposedly involved.

    Sometimes a whole lot of people get lumped together and unfairly painted with the same brush. This may or may not be the case here. I certainly will continue to be on the lookout for error especially among those that are close.

    To date I have seen a great deal of fruit coming out of some of the ministries that are criticized. For example; Rolland and Heidi Baker are consistently listed as part of the offending ‘Prophetic Movement’. Our church is associated with them also and I have experienced their ministry first hand. They have a tremendous ministry in Africa and tens of thousands of whole villages have come to Christ. Yet some are critical of them also.

  6. I have heard bad things about the Bakers, just recently. But some people are looking for the bad and they will find it if they dig deep enough. Like I said, I do not want to be hyper-critical, I think that is a snare as well. I want the true, biblical, full Gospel.
    Thanks for being open and allowing comments different than your own, that takes a brave man sometimes.

  7. JC: I appreciate your heart to seek “the, Biblical, full Gospel”. That is one of my concerns also. Another major concern for me is to respond to what the Father is doing today.

    Every time there is a sovereign move of God the enemy always sows discord and error. The error should always be dealt with and confronted. However, there is a tendency in the American church to throw the whole baby out and taint every one involved or associated with it in any way.

  8. JC, like Michael I am trying to thread the line between running after God with avoiding error. But the greatest error in the church today is spiritual pride.

    When you said, “I have heard bad things about the Bakers” you are exposing at least a willingness to listen to gossip and are rejecting the biblical mandate to meditate on the good.

    The Bakers are winning scores to Christ. I have seen first hand the impact of her ministry on people after just one meeting. These are facts. If you choose to focus on rumors of those critical of her ministry instead of the Jesus glorifying testimonies of lives changed then there is definitely something worth taking to the Lord.

    We are all for pentecost. The truth is, that it never comes like we want it. It didn’t in the book of Acts, in Azusa or today.

  9. Thanks Carl: “I am trying to thread the line between running after God with avoiding error.” -that is exactly where I am trying to be. Amen.

    I will admit that sometimes in the past I have bordered on error, but the Lord has been real good at correcting my coarse. Seeking revival always brings some risks and people sometimes misunderstand what you are trying to do or where you stand.

    It is much easier to just go to a regular church and avoid anything new that might be controversial or even look like error to some. There are a whole lot of sound Biblical teachers that I other wise respect that are cessationists and consider anything Pentecostal or Charismatic to be in error.

    I believe that the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements are moves of God, but not everything associated with them. There is some error and the Biblical cessationists are the first to point it out and lump us all together. We need to be careful not to do the same.

  10. I am with you guys, truly.
    I said that about the Baker’s because I had just heard something about them. Unfortunately, the circles that I have been in make a living by talking about everyone else.

    I agree about throwing out the baby with the bath water. I want a move of God and sometimes that gets ugly. I can accept ugly, I can not accept glaring error.

    I have an article on my blog about the Kentucky revival. Tons of error there and yet it was still God. Same holds true for almost every major move of God. Some were even led by (gasp) Calvinists!

  11. Brothers,
    Michael said, “Seeking revival always brings some risks…”
    I have been in that place of seeking revival as well, and we all know, how badly we need it; but, I’ve come to discover, seeking IT is a problem. All we can ever do is know Jesus face to face, and do what he tells us. Everything else kinda takes care of itself. When we seek revival rather than or even in conjunction with seeking Jesus, I think error is bound to follow. It can be deadly or it can be venial but it creeps in to entangle us when our eyes are on something other than Christ (Heb 12:1-2).

    IMHO, most of the error you fellas have been discussing, as well as that only alluded to, enters into the body because we sought experiences rather than Christ. Shamanistic practices, playing cowboys with pretend demons, running on dreams that feature a 900 ft Jesus who actually gives a rip about fundraising, and on and on and on… The Apostles were safe from such things because of the reality and intimacy of their fellowship with Jesus. I think if we concentrated on that, we would be safe too.

  12. SLW: “..it creeps in to entangle us when our eyes are on something other than Christ”

    Amen.

    Some very good points. Thanks for jumping in SLW.

  13. I know first hand the experiences revival can bring: the good, the bad and the ugly! And even though the revival we experienced in Lanett, Alabama didn’t make Charisma or TBN, we had revival none the less! People saved, people healed, people delivered from demons, people baptized in the Holy Ghost…and people acting goofy and strange…a lady walking in our service with a huge stick in her hand proporting to be a prophet…

    One night during some unannounced extended meetings, one of my main intercessors fell out in the Spirit…and broke her arm! Everyone who knows this woman knows she is not a cereal head (fruitloop)…so was she not in the Spirit? She and I both have wrestled with that question for many years. But I would trust this lady because I have seen first hand the fruit of the Holy Ghost in her life!

    I think satan sometimes tries to mix the pot when a move of God takes place and it’s a constant learning curve as to decide what is God what is flesh and what is demonic. I certainly don’t have all the answers. All I know, the end result for us was church growth, believers maturity, and a group of people in Alabama, and an evangelist that want God to do it again!

  14. Thanks David, Your first hand experiences with revival are really helpful and demonstrate maturity and wisdom that is God given.

  15. Revival is ugly because no one bothers to test the spirits. God is not ugly or strange. A move of the Holy Spirit brings conviction and uncomfortableness, yes. But it is not chaotic, mystical, or strange. You get what you ask for when you allow a mixing of spirits.

    Honestly James,
    I’m kinda disappointed in you.

  16. Hi to you all
    I was introduced to the ministry and teaching of Bill J several years ago. I immediately recognised that this man has a crucial message to the church today. That God has not changed and that I have access to Him and can have a relationship that can change myself, my family, my community and my world. In 2 years my wife and 3 children have all caught the flame. My 3 children have all enrolled to the Bether School next year. I live in Christchurch New Zealand. Our lives have been turned upside down in recent years and I continually pinch myself to see whether in fact this is real. The Truth is, it is real. JC I hear what you are saying. The one thing I notice from Bill’s teaching is that it is not about revival or prophetic touch, gold dust feathers etc, it is about Him. He is the one to seek, He is the One to glorify, to praise and to give honour, and I do for the change He has wrought in my family. My kids have a pasion for God, to see Him move in their own lives as well as allowing God to move through them. And God is, already other kids have caught the flame and a re up and running. Another important lesson I have learnt recently is that while not everyone I listen to I particularly like about their delivery etc, but that I don’t become offended and stifle what He maybe saying through these ones. My life will never be the same, I don’t want it to be, I have a calling and that is to take the gospel into my world and watch God move. I thank my God for Bill Johnson, for the spirit of wisdom and revelation that Bill has in the knowledge of Him and pray that he continues to be used by God in ministering to my family. Let us press on, forgetting what lies behind and rewach forward to what lies ahead. may he bless you and keep you and His face shine upon you all on a daily basis. Don

  17. I have been touched and challenged by the ministry of Bill Johnson, and Bethel Church.

    As for the issue of gold dust, falling feathers, etc., I have no answer. However, I personally know a pastor who was quite antagonistic toward, possibly still is, this sort of manifestation. This pastor did attend a meeting at Bethel, and is most likely still wondering how he came away from the meeting with a gold crown on a tooth. Perhaps these things can simply be attributed to signs and wonders. In other words, whenever God is on the move we finite beings sometimes view the signs — and wonder. :o)

    There have been aspects of this movement that I have, and still do have questions regarding. However, I have chosen to not toss the baby out with the wash.

    Also, I personally know Bill Johnson. Over the years I have always observed a very humble man who has two goals in life: 1) Completely die to self, but come alive in Christ; 2) To take the gospel throughout the world, that all may be saved, healed and set free, etc.

    I believe the only fear he might have is that someone,somewhere, might not be transformed while on his shift. Therefore, he has completely dedicated his life to serving the Lord, and doing all he can to insure “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I am certain he will NEVER rest until that comes to pass. Frankly, I find it quite difficult to find fault with a heart as big as this!!

    Also, doesn’t the Bible say something about the reception given to our Lord by some. In fact, I think I read somewhere that some of the “crazy things” He did actually incited some folks to kill Him. Perhaps Bill finds himself in great company!! I believe so!!

    Blessings!!!

    Ray Northern

  18. I recently came across BJ and have seen the fruit of his ministry. The fruit of humility and to point us towards Jesus the King in our lives is incrediable. He is a mature believer who has had the odd manifest in his meetings but it is not the odd that he is focussed on – it remains Jesus the Lord of his life. My challenge to those who are murmurmers – there will be no part for you in the kingdom if you do not repent. So stop it now!!!!

    As God has spoken to Jeremiah — Jer 6:27-30

    27 “I have set you as an assayer and a fortress among My people, That you may know and test their way.
    28 They are all stubborn rebels, walking as slanderers .
    They are bronze and iron, They are all corrupters;
    29 The bellows blow fiercely, The lead is consumed by the fire;
    The smelter refines in vain, For the wicked are not drawn off.
    30 People will call them rejected silver, Because the LORD has rejected them.” NKJV

    There are plenty more wher this came from. Seek first the Kingdom of God.

  19. John Ryan McNaughton

    Question… Is Ray Northern the Ray Northern, Former Pastor of Woodland Assembly? And to comment on the thread… I am a second year graduate of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and have spent personal one on one time with Bill and most of the Bethel Staff. I challenge you, once you have truly met Bill, to find a man of greater integrity, deeper love of scripture or more intimate love of the Lord. It is His Godly character along with the anointing of the Lord that His message impacts so many.

  20. Judi,
    So typical that one would use scripture out of context to support godless manifestations of a false spirit. I didn’t know Bill Johnson determines my salvation.

  21. Mary,

    I am just a lay person.

    What do you mean by “godless manifestations of a false spirit.”?

    Thanks.

  22. last week at our catholic charismatic prayer meeting I could
    see gold dust falling down on my bible &on members hands &
    faces. I would like to know what is the meaning of the gold
    dust falling at our prayer meeting.I would like to know ir it is
    from God or not from God. What is the meaning for our prayer
    group.
    archie p. chisholm
    phone #1-902-248-2626

  23. Emailed to me from Bart M.:

    “Have you ever actually read in the Bible where it talks about “feathers and gold dust” or “diamonds” falling from the sky and that they were from God? No, Bill Johnson even says that Jesus was just a man and not God when He died on the Cross! That’s called heresy! This “church” is deceiving people left and right and all in the name of God! I want to warn people, you may or may not agree with me, but you can’t disagree with God’s Word!”

    Response: I put it up to be fair though I don’t believe that it fairly characterizes Bill Johnson’s ministry. Also, there are many major theologians who agree with Bill that when Jesus was on the cross and all the sins of the world forever were put on him he was momentarily separated from his Father.

  24. Todd,
    You said: “I am just a lay person.”
    Boy, that statement gives me flash backs to roman catholicism.
    I really think you are just baiting me, but I’ll bite. So they have you snowed over to think only the spiritually elite get the mysterious moves of the “Holy Spirit”.

  25. Can anyone please verify that Bill said that Jesus was not God and just a man when he died on the Cross? Need to know the resource please..

    JC smith, Micheal, Bart can have ur email? Like to talk to you about Bill Johnson if you know him well..

    thanks!

  26. The power of the mind can be remarkably deceptive, and how it embraces our whole being, including our spiritual walk with our Father, is frankly terrifying, because it can rob us of every blessing He has intended for us. These blessings are often ill understood, and awe inspiring, and when we are faced with inexplicable things , our free will and mind is left with making the simple choice of ‘Yay’ or ‘Nay’ to whether it qualifies as Godly or not. Currency in a fish mouth….why? Why not just have some lad walk up and hand Jesus the money he needed? And we think it is entirely our job to discern and determine the things of God, often out of the fear of displeasing God, and sometimes with such extreme passion that we eventually criticize our own brothers in Christ. Our most important mandate is to LOVE one another, for in love there is no fault, even if our Brother does not know the error of his ways. Since we are to do to what Jesus did , and more, and his Gospel is clear to children and hazy to ‘thinking’ adults, I prefer to believe that miracles are not only happening, but are becoming more flavorful, and in the end time we live in are radically saving those that have never been able to be saved before (partly because we as Christians, myself included, and may God have mercy on me, exude an aura of exclusivity to the world that turns them away from the message we so long to share with them). What has ensued in this blog is a ‘headstrong’ jostling of the ‘minds’ resulting in the bashing of men who serve God with all their lives, and who just maybe, anointed by God.
    I desire no part of any conversation or thought process that ultimately results in some form of judgement as to the status of another brother or leader. Very dangerous turf here folks!! Let us bless our brothers and leaders, and pray in every respect that the divine revelation of God swallow them up and, please, take us with them.
    May God bless each of you in your walks with Jesus. He is absolutely awsome, awsome, awsome!!! I love Him.

  27. When i hear all this stuff about gold dust, feathers, etc. My first reaction is to think “only in America!” Amazing how this stuff mainly seems to happen in the good old USA or in places where Roman Catholicism entwines with Animism. We live in the end times people when many will be deceived by false signs and wonders. That none of these manifestations occur in the Bible should be enough to spark just a modicum of discernment. The fact that they are more akin to shamanism and animism should provoke alarm. Interesting that people are always looking for a ‘sign’. Jesus has already given the ultimate sign in his resurrection, the sign of Jonah (Luke 11:29) and was quite clear that there will be no more signs until he returns.

    Thank you Judi, I am sure there are plenty more where that came from and similarly quoted totally out of context no doubt. Without intending any criticism of Bill Johnson, we are clearly instructed to be Berean and test the teachings of pastors and ministries to see if they accord to God’s Word. This does not make one a “murmurer” but rather a mature discerning Christian.

  28. Pingback: CHARISMATICA » Please Note: Slight Change of Address!

  29. Some thoughts on experiences. I’ve study and read the bible for years. I’ve also had spiritual experiences. In the beginning I didn’t look for them, they just happened. I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m child like in my views of things. A dreamer people would call me. The thing that I notice is, the experiences breath life this relationship. The knowledge from my head goes to my heart and sets me on fire. The more I get, the more I want. Don’t fear these at all, look forward to them. If you are a true child of God, He will protect you against the enemies deceptions. Don’t ever become fearful these experiences. You should expect them. He’s our Father, He wants a close relationship with us. The closer to Him you get, the more experiences you have. It’s just like any other relationship.
    James 4:8 Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.

    1 John 2:27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true – it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.

  30. Matthew 25:31-46 (New International Version)
    New International Version (NIV)

    Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
    [NIV at IBS] [International Bible Society] [NIV at Zondervan] [Zondervan]

    The Sheep and the Goats
    31″When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    How does this relate? Well I have decided to look after the needy instead of seeking signs and wonders. If they come then so be it. But my main focus is doing for God, by serving man.

  31. Benny,
    Thanks for visiting,

    I certainly support what you are saying,

    Blessings,
    Michael

  32. Hi Everyone,

    I am from Australia and didn’t know anything about Bill Johnson. I was given a book to read, hmm I can’t remember the name of it now. As I was reading the book I became concerned at the teaching, it was very “me” focused. Who I am in Christ. Over and over, me, me, me. I thought perhaps the book would get better so I read on. The Holy Spirit told me to stop reading and I obeyed and put the book down. I cannot read Bill Johnson or listen to his teaching because if I do I grieve the Holy Spirit.

    I am not writing this to criticize anyone or speak badly about another but to share how the Holy Spirit warned me.

  33. Sorry Jo,

    But my experiences with Bill Johnson has been exactly the opposite!

    It sure would have been helpful if you remember te title of the book!

  34. Michael,

    I think it was the supernatural ways of Royalty, however I don’t believe it was about my experience as such.

    I’m not led by experience, I am led by the Spirit of God. If it were not for the Lord telling me to quit reading it, I would have kept going. I am just so grateful we have the Holy Spirit to lead us and warn us.

    A few years ago I had a pastor who was trying to get me to focus on who I was in Christ but the Lord showed me it’s all about who He is in me. All this teaching available to us today, and not just from Bill Johnson, that is all about who we are, is something that grieves me so much.

    The bible tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, we are not told to fix our eyes on who we are in Him. If we look at Joshua 1, Joshua was told to meditate on the word of God day and night and not to deviate from it. Anything that takes our eyes off gazing upon Jesus is a deviation.

    It is no longer we who live but Christ who lives us. It’s all about Jesus. When our whole focus is on who He is His glory will be reaveled through our lives to others. I don’t want to give people a Jesus of the bible that I’ve made up with my own imaginings and wrong teaching. I want to give people the real Jesus of the bible and I can only do that as I keep my eyes fixed on Him, meditating on His word day and night and not deviating from it.

    It is important for us to rely on the Holy Spirit and not our experiences. What seems good is not necessarily of God at all. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals error to us not our experiences.

    God bless you Michael, may you come into a deeper communion with the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 13:14

  35. Jo,

    You are confused about what experiences are. You said:

    “I’m not led by experience, I am led by the Spirit of God. If it were not for the Lord telling me to quit reading it, I would have kept going.”

    What you say here is an experience with the Holy Spirit and your interpretation of it. So you are led by experience–experience with the Holy Spirit and experiences with the Bible.–all Christians are.

    Have you considered that maybe your understanding of the experience could be wrong– the Holy Spirit might well have been discouraging you from reading the book because it would not be beneficial for you at this time– not necessarily because there was something wrong with the book.

    Blessings,
    Michael

  36. Michael,

    I am simply pointing out that whether I have a good experience or bad experience, that in itself does not determine my choices. I base my choices on the Holy Spirit’s leading.

    In view of recent events involving Bill Johnson I am grateful that the Holy Spirit did warn me about taking in this man’s teachings. I do not believe for one minute it had anything to do with one book or for that time.

    I have also spoken to people who attend the church and the college and everything that comes out of their mouth is a teaching I am very grateful my children are not under.

    As I said, I just want to meditate on the word of God day and night and not deviate from it so I know and can share the real Jesus with others. I am not interested in any teaching that leads me away from who He really is.

    Jo

  37. Hi Michael,

    I just want to apologise for writing comments on this blog. I actually typed into google “bill johnson error” and this blog came up.

    I don’t want to offend you and am I correct in thinking this is your blog?

    Anyway love in Christ and God bless you.

  38. Thanks JO, Yes this is my blog and your comments are coming at the end of an article that I wrote about Bill Johnson and his church last year.

    God Bless,
    Michael

  39. John Anderson

    I wonder whether those (above) who debate and criticize one another – even with the occasional “bone” of gratuituous comment – have (1) met one another (2) have ever shared a platform / pulpit with one another (3) have ever confessed weaknesses / sins to one another and sought prayer for healing (4) have fasted and cried out to God for one another’s blessing / anointing / prosperity (5) defended one another in the face of unjust criticism……i.e. acted as Christians toward one another instead of passing judgment on another flawed human being.

    I wonder whether any heathen, backslidden, oppressed, rebellious, broken, deceived, addicted, or discouraged people (i.e. folk for whom Jesus shed His blood) —reading your blogs — are NOW inspired to trust their eternal souls to Jesus because you can wordsmith human knowledge and wisdom better than the other one can.

    Get a life! A prayer life..a sacrificial life..a serving life…….a loving life…a gracious life……….and let God be the judge of His church….just as he is the Savior of the world.

  40. TruthDiscern,

    I realize that this is a very old thread. But I read your question wanting verification that Bill Johnson believed Jesus was just a man and not God when He died on the cross. I just came across a lenghty review of his book, “When Heaven Invades Earth”. Here is the link to that site: http://books.google.com/books?id=msDOo0EM6ucC&pg=PA79&lpg=PA79&dq=bill+johnson+Jesus+laid+aside+divinity&source=web&ots=9TK8GFk24q&sig=0ATWPAlV1Z6Yeh-5f4e_a6t2oUY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA79,M1

    Note that on page 79 he says, “Jesus lived His life with human limitations. He laid His divinity aside’ as He sought to fulfill the assignment given Him by the Father: to live life as a man without sin, and then die in the place of mankind for sin.”

  41. Cheryl u,
    I am tired of all the slander against Bill Johnson. The quote here is a paraphrase of Philippians 2:6-8–If you don’t like it take it up with Paul and the Holy Spirit who inspired it.

    It is a fact that the Son of God put aside his divine prerogatives and lived as a man without sin—voluntarily with human limitations–he got hungry, he got tired, and he suffered pain. No major Christian theologian would disagree. He was fully God and fully man.

    Notice the last line: “…and then die in the place of mankind for sin.”–how could he die in the place of all mankind–only because he was divine. The line confirms his divinity–it doesn’t say that he died on the cross as merely a man.

  42. Michael,

    Sorry Michael, but the plain meaning of putting aside divine prerogatives and laying His divinity aside, are in my mind, two vastly different things. It is one thing to lay aside some of the things that go with divinity. It is another all together to lay your divinity aside. Maybe he is not very clear in his meaning, but if you take what he says literally, he is saying exactly what I said he was. Bill Johnson is also quoted as saying that everything Jesus did on the earth was as a man in right relationship with the Father and that the anointing was his connection with divinity. If Bill means he was fully God as you claim, why in the world would He need the anointing to connect Him with divinity? To say that He was fully God but that the way He was connected to God was through the anointing makes absolutely no sence whatsoever. I am not saying at all that I believe the Holy Spirit wasn’t working through Jesus while He was on this earth. I just simply don’t think Bill Johnson’s statements make any sence at all if he does indeed believe that Jesus was fully divine.

  43. Michael,

    I need to amend my last comment to you. I just discovered that I misquoted Mr. Johnson about the anointing being Jesus connection to the divine. Actually he said the anointing was Jesus, the man’s connection to the divine. That may have a different connotation. However, I can’t change my mind any about what he seems to say about Jesus laying His divinity aside. I’m sorry about my error above.

  44. Okay, for the record here. I have been doing more reading from Bill Johnson. I see he has said in other places that Jesus was both God and man. However, to say that “he laid his divinity aside” as he has said on more than one occassion, is saying He no longer had His divinity with Him when He was on the earth. Bill Johnson can’t have it both ways. He has to mean one or the other, or at best he needs to clarify his language so that when people read what he says they do not get a totally wrong idea of what he means. And I am certainly not the only one that has understood him very literally on this issue!

  45. Cheryl u,
    Sorry, –“to say that “he laid his divinity aside” as he has said on more than one occassion, is saying He no longer had His divinity with Him when He was on the earth.”–you are still wrong here. As you admit Bill teaches that Jesus was both God and man when he was on the earth period. He is not saying that he no longer had his divinity while on earth.

    As I said earlier, it is a paraphrase of Philippians 2:6-8—the Son of God put aside his divine prerogatives and lived as a man voluntarily with human limitations–he got hungry, he got tired, and he suffered pain. Nevertheless, He was still fully God and fully man. He lived as a man with voluntary limitations yet still had access to his divine attributes which was demonstrated on numerous occasions.

    I get it that maybe you don’t like his teaching and some of the things he has to say, but nothing that I have ever read or heard him say is actually theologically heretical. I am pretty tired of all the nitpicking and out of context quotes that folks have tried to use against him.

    **Note: After a year and a half I am finally closing the comment line on this article. Nearly all of the comments to date have violated my comment policy in some way or another and I don’t expect it to get any better. Of the 40+ comments, only a couple actually referred to my original article. I doubt that most of commentors ever even bothered to read it in the first place.

    Blessings,
    Dr. Michael G. Davis

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