‘Voice of the Apostles’ Day 1

Voice of the Apostles logoYesterday, I watched the opening session of the 2013 Voice of Apostles conference in Orlando, Florida, sponsored by Global Awakening. Here are some of my initial impressions.

Third Day kicked off the event with a lengthy time of worship. It felt surreal hearing songs I really like–and that have moved me spiritually over the years–being performed on the stage at a New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) event. It’s still hard for me to believe that Third Day didn’t have the discernment to distance themselves from this movement or, worse yet, they knowingly wanted to lend their credibility to NAR apostles.

  • The people in the live chat room during Third Day’s performance were, sadly, clueless to the existence of the movement they are part of. When I brought up the NAR movement, they all claimed they had never heard of it and that the people organizing the event are only about Jesus, love, and worship.
  • Apostle Che Ahn gave a talk before the offering plates were passed. The essence of his talk could be boiled down to this: if you give money tonight, then I will break the “spirit of poverty” that is on you and your “bloodline” (a.k.a. your family). I thought his talk was manipulative and it disgusted me–but it did not surprise me in the slightest given the heavy-handed tactics apostles frequently use to get people to give them their money.
  • Bill Johnson–the keynote speaker for Day One–left me feeling disturbed, as he promoted a different Jesus than the one found in the Bible. I don’t have time to go into his teaching in-depth now and plan to do so later. But, in short, Johnson claimed that Jesus didn’t have any divine powers when he came to earth and gained powers only through encounters with God in worship experiences–setting a pattern for us to follow by gaining divine powers through worship experiences.

I’m hoping to watch more of the conference, which is scheduled to go through Friday night (August 13). If you get a chance to watch the Web cast, I’d love to hear your impressions.

— By Holly Pivec

Third Day performing at the 2013 Voice of the Apostles conference

Third Day performing at the 2013 Voice of the Apostles conference

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49 Responses to “‘Voice of the Apostles’ Day 1”

  1. Sherryn@thenarrowingpath Says:

    Thanks for the update Holly. You might find the articles at http://www.crosswise.com very relevant. Craig has extensive articles on the teachings of Bill Johnson and his crowd, and has done tremendous work comparing them with Scripture. BJ’s teachings contain hard-core new age doctrine, and he definitely preaches another gospel and another Jesus. Very disturbing is exactly what I would describe him as. Serpentine, even.

    I am sorry you have to watch such awful stuff, but it is a most helpful warning to others. May the Lord bless you and keep you as you defend His truth!

  2. Digis Says:

    Sadly, You have NO CLUE what truth you believe you are correcting… nor a foundation in the Scriptures that teach Jesus was FULLY HUMAN … and LAID ASIDE HIS RIGHTS (Kenosis – Phil 2) … YOU MY FRIEND are the False Prophet who, like the Pharisees of old are blind guides, straining at gnats and swallowing camels, white washed tombs that give only foolish death to your constituents. Having been raised in a fundamentalist background, and acquiring degrees in the same, I can surely attest that it is only the spirit of delusion and deception that keeps you there….that causes you to reject 90 percent of the Scriptures and only follow a few select verses from the Epistles… rejecting the wisdom of the Whole Truth for your perceived wisdom. You follow the way of the atheists who would rather not believe and turn people from truth. I pity your depressed life and hope God will deliver you!

  3. Holly Says:

    Digis,

    Yes, Jesus was fully human, but he was also fully God. This essential Christian doctrine is referred to as the “hypostatic union”–that is, that Jesus had two natures: one human and one divine. Bill Johnson does not seem to understand this orthodox doctrine or he rejects it.

    When the second Person of the Trinity (that is, the Logoos) became incarnate as Jesus Christ, he did not give up his divinity or the use of any attributes of his divine nature. Rather, in addition to his divine nature, he also acquired a human nature. Philippians 2 teaches that Jesus humbled himself by consenting to take on human flesh and acting as a servant who submitted to dying on the cross on behalf of humankind. It does not teach that he gave up his divine powers.

  4. Michelle Says:

    “gaining divine powers through worship experiences” ?!?!?  This is not in the Bible.  This is not in the Gospels, or the Acts of the Apostles or any of the letters or in Revelation. 

    Phil 2 says of Christ Jesus: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

    He was exalted because he humbled himself even to death on a cross, not because of his “worship experiences.”  He humble himself’ by coming in human flesh, but even in his humbled state he proclaimed “ego eimi” (I AM) on several occasions (read the Gospel according to John) and at least once, some of those who heard him tried to stone him for claiming to be God. (John 8:58)

    Jesus Christ was FULLY man and FULLY God.  This is a foundational doctrine of the faith, and has remained a consistent doctrine, contradicted only by those who teach “another Jesus” and a “another Gospel” (see 2nd Cor. 11:4).

  5. ali Says:

    Such sad commentary this very important post.

    The church, the bride of Christ so soiled, so stained by the lack of discernment, void of a strong Biblical foundation.  Like lambs to the slaughter they stumble and grope around; unaware of the darkness around them – swallowing and following any and everything in their path, more rather like goats than lambs.

    May the Holy Spirit of the Living God change hard hearts, open blind eyes, unclog deaf ears and set captives free as the watchman continue to sound the alarm, speaking the truth in love.

  6. KPAK Says:

    Holly,
    Thanks so much for your reports regarding this heretical movement.  When their teaching regarding the person and the work of Christ deviate from what is clearly taught in the Scriptures the church needs to be warned.  Those who are inclined to follow the NAR “apostles” need to follow the example of the Bereans who, examined the Scriptures every day to see if what was taught was true.
    May God continue to give you discernment as you expose this movement.

  7. Digis Says:

    … this will be a final post… it always amazes me that those who bear little or no fruit are the ones who carry on posts like this. When somewhere between 1.5 million and 2 million have responded to receiving Jesus through people like Heidi Baker and when the dead are raised, and the sick are healed, and those oppressed by the enemy are freed, I might start listening to you. But right now the only thing I see is a vendetta by the enemy to disqualify those who actually have not only Orthodoxy but Orthopraxy too!

  8. Holly Says:

    Digis,

    You are begging the question. I suggested that Johnson’s teaching on Christ is not orthodox. You did not present any evidence that his view is orthodox, but merely asserted that it is without offering any evidence for your assertion.

    Holly

  9. KPAK Says:

    Digis,
    When Luke wrote the Gospel which bears his name he carefully investigated the facts that he presented in his account of Jesus’ life and ministry.  He wanted Theophilus to be confident of its veracity.   Making an assertion of conversions, resurrections and healings does not make it so.  I would be very interested in hearing from a person raised from the dead and also from eyewitnesses that could verify the event. Given the availability of resources on the internet I would think it would not be too difficult.

    Again Holly, keep up the good fight.

  10. Digis Says:

    … well, I said that was my final post… but I guess “Orthodox” is “relative”… to the dispensationalist it means one thing, to the covenant theologian … something different…. to the Armenian or the Calvinist… all assert their views of “orthodox”. Bill Johnson’s theology reflects the “standard” that Jesus is fully God and fully human. He asserts to the tenants of the faith that have been held since New Testament times. Where you may feel he varies from that orthodoxy is when it challenges your perception of orthodoxy and historical theology. Having been in many meetings with him, I can assure you he believes in the deity of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the power of the Blood of the Cross, the trinity etc etc. Again, I would say… because evidently this is not sinking in. You are straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Where is the evidence of YOUR FRUIT (personally)… what nations and lives and villages have been transformed by the Power of Jesus Christ through your theological meanderings. Really, I don’t have time for this. There are 7.1 Billion people on this planet… most of whom need Jesus and most of those who perceive they have the truth are sitting in their ivory towers, or kitchens, or offices and doing nothing about the ONE THING JESUS TOLD US TO DO. Go and Make Disciples of All men… teaching them to OBSERVE (or DO) what I have commanded you… Heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, preach the Gospel etc etc. Have fun in your belief that these conversations are important…. I categorize them in the realm of “stupid” arguments… 2 Timothy 2:23. You would rather pick apart those who are actually effective with the Gospel than become effective yourself. You would rather pick out the splinters than chop down your own log. FRUIT is the evidence of the Kingdom of God… not theology- regardless of how pure you think yours is. Maybe it’s time to “listen” to what is being said from the viewpoint of someone who needs to learn… maybe you could receive something, rather than live with the critical spirit that probably affects every realm of your life.

  11. Holly Says:

    Digis,

    I have also heard and read Johnson say that he believes Jesus was fully God. But, by claiming that Jesus gave up his divine powers (or gave up the use of them) when he came to earth, he is contradicting orthodox doctrine. Jesus gave up nothing of his divinity when he took on human flesh. Johnson’s Christological and Trinitarian views–if not heretical–are highly confused at best.

    Johnson is promoting false teachings about the nature and work of Christ. These issues are serious and are not nitpicking as you suggest. Scripture gives numerous warnings about staying on guard against false teaching. But you want me to overlook false teaching.

    Spiritual fruit includes doctrine.

    Digis, you also seem to not recognize the fact that you are criticizing me teaching. Why is it OK for you to criticize my teaching, but you don’t think I should be able to criticize Johnson’s teaching? You are being inconsistent.

    Holly

  12. Aaron Lewis Says:

    I’m not sure if Third Day even knows what the NAR is (I enjoy Third Day as well).  I doubt most of the church world knows what the NAR is, either. 

    I have heard Jimmy Swaggart say this numerous times that Jesus laid aside the expression of His deity, but retained possession of His deity while He was on the earth.  In other words, everything Jesus did on the earth was as a man led by the Holy Spirit, and not as God.

  13. Hope Says:

    Thank you, Holly.  Once again I look to you for insight…and I trust you.  God bless you abundantly for speaking out and warning the ones who will actually ‘take heed’.

  14. Digis Says:

    Through kenosis Jesus “emptied Himself” NO ONE SAID He lost or laid aside His Divinity, but He DID become fully dependent on the Holy Spirit and the Voice of His Father for leading, for direction, for the performing of miracles and healing. John 5:19

    Again, the problem for me exists that you are perpetuating critical judgment on someone, and others who are actually producing fruit. Evidently the “fruit” question is not something you are willing to look at. Matthew 7:16-20 should be speaking pretty loudly here, but if you are a dispensationalist you probably don’t believe that passage is yours to believe for this period of time. I often dissect teaching from others, and am not against doing so as long as the ongoing understanding is… “but the positive effect, the fruit, has evidence that God is evidently blessing some of what they are doing!” NO WHERE in these posts is there any indication of the evidence of fruit, but the lack of demonstration of fruit in this “anti-” movement that you represent is very evident to me and many others. You have very effectively given a list of those Christian Heroes who actually are accomplishing something in the earth by your reticence to receive, and yes, your apparent hatred for the views and ministry they espouse… while the fruitfulness of this “anti” movement is very suspect. That’s a huge issue for me. I’ve been there. I’ve seen the ill affect of bitterness, criticalness, and self-righteousness. I’m grateful my eyes were opened many years ago through John Wimber and others who willingly stepped into the quagmire of foolish unbiblical orthopraxy and asked the bold question. “When do we get to do the stuff?” Your movement doesn’t deal in the “stuff”… maybe it’s time to look honestly at the fruitlessness of it. I know I walked that way for many years., but have relocated the God of the Bible who does it all, all the time, whether or not the naysayers believe it or not!

  15. William Simpson Says:

    Digis,

    Your perceived knowledge actually shows your arrogant ignorance. You are deceived and are in danger of apostasy by advocating the heresy being taught by the men and women in leadership among this false christian movement. Word of faith/prosperity nonsense and the likes of Todd Bently, Benny Hinn, Che Ahn…..is all a lie! It is you my ignorant and unlearned brother who must ask GOD for forgiveness and pray for wisdom and discernment. You have much to unlearn!

    Holly, it is our responsibility to expose false teachers and rightly teach the Doctrines of Scripture to the church body. GOD brought me out of this lie after 20 years of believing what is taught to be Christianity. “It is not.” I wrote a book a few years back that goes into great detail exposing the untruths of this false christian movement. I have made the eBook available to download for free. If you want Holly, and you also Digis because you really need too, read it and forward to the people you know. We have much work to do to reach those who are deceived…

    http://wsimpson.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/living-in-the-hope-of-my-imagination-ebook/

  16. Craig Says:

    Digis,

    You wrote, “Through kenosis Jesus ‘emptied Himself’ NO ONE SAID He lost or laid aside His Divinity, but He DID become fully dependent on the Holy Spirit and the Voice of His Father for leading, for direction, for the performing of miracles and healing. John 5:19”

    So what do you do with Johnson’s statement “…While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man (see Philippians 2:7)” [‘Essential Guide to Healing’, Chosen/Baker, Bloomington, 2011, p 132]?  Does this mean Jesus was/is “eternally God” only in the eternal realm, but temporally non-divine when He “became a man” having “emptied Himself of divinity”?  And how about “Jesus so emptied Himself that He was incapable of doing what was required of Him by the Father – without the Father’s help” [‘The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind’, Destiny Image, Shippensburg, 2005, p 50]?  Doesn’t this also imply that Jesus lacked supernatural capabilities?  In fact, in the same paragraph, in words immediately preceding these, Johnson states explicitly:

     

    “…Jesus had no ability to heal the sick.  He couldn’t cast out devils, and He had no ability to raise the dead.  He said of Himself in John 5:19, ‘the Son can do nothing of Himself.’  He had set aside His divinity…”

     

    Johnson proof-texts John 5:19 in the same manner as you do apparently.  However, if you continue reading this pericope you’ll find that Jesus is actually stating that He cannot do anything independently precisely because He does everything in concert with the Father, given that He Himself was God.  In 5:21 we find Jesus proclaiming, “just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it”.  This indicates that Jesus did in fact use His own divine prerogatives; if one were to claim that Jesus did this by the power of the Holy Spirit, this would belie the plain reading of the text.  Additionally, if one were to claim Jesus “gave life” by the power of the Spirit, rather than Himself since He purportedly relied solely on the Spirit, this would indicate that the Holy Spirit indwelt Christian of today could do the same – an obviously erroneous notion!

     

    Moreover, in 5:24 we find Jesus proclaiming that He provided ETERNAL life – not raising from the dead in a physical sense, but granting eternal life – in the then-present, indicating inaugurated eschatology (cf. Luke 23:43), i.e., Jesus gave eternal life – certainly only something a Member of the Trinity can do – while He yet walked the earth, indicating He utilized His divine powers.

  17. AJ Says:

    The ultimate goal is to elevate man to the level of God – the same thing that got Satan kicked out of heaven, the same trick Satan pulled on Eve and Adam, and the same lies he continues to tell – “you will (can) be as gods”. And he is doing it in the same manner he did when trying to tempt Jesus, but twisting the Word, using it out of context, making it say what he wanted it to say to accomplish his desired end rather than what God was really saying. It is sad that so many Christians are falling away after these false doctrines, and so many more may not even be truly saved, believing in a different Jesus than the one in the Bible. It sounds good – I can say I was carried away by it for some years – it sounds appealing, and the false signs and wonders appear to validate it. But we cannot be deceived by our experiences, no matter how real they may be. We have have to know the truth. God says that people will do many wonders, phophecy and cast out demons in His name, but they will be told to depart from Him – workers of iniquity. We have to try the spirit, and be like the Bereans – receive the word with gladness and search the scriptures to prove what is said really is true.

  18. Digis Says:

    … actually, you have all avoided the ONLY question I have presented. “Fruit”? Where is YOUR fruit? What does YOUR fruit look like? 

    DONE.

  19. Craig Says:

    Digis,

    If you read on in Matthew re: “fruit”, you’ll see that immediately after Jesus is recorded as speaking of trees and their fruit & wolves in sheep’s clothing He proceeds to these words:

    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!’

    Could this be an indication of the “fruit”?

  20. Tim Smith Says:

    As shepherd so go the sheep.  I couldn’t agree more with Holly versus Digis.  In Thesallonians does it not say for the love of the TRUTH will wax cold, not the love of Jesus.

    If you do not love the truth of God’s word than God will send a strong delusion so they will believe a lie. The NAR movement is sent from God in my perspective among many other false spirits, false christs, false Jesus’ that the word of faith crowd promote and thousands if not millions follow.

    It is a blinding deception when Satan’s light deceives, but who can withstand the delusion that God Himself sends to test the true people of God who correctly divide the word of TRUTH, not manipulate it like the NAR and the likes.

    If God blinds the minds of men, who can reverse the consequences of blinded logic theology made for children to understand and follow.

    I find it utterly amazing when those who follow blind guides like the NAR defend these snakes giving heed to seducing spirits. 

    It is true I believe that the critics will come from the apostate Jesus that so many adhere to, and is so evident when reading the dialogue between Holly and Digis. Note, Holly responds with a gentle spirit not once degrading Digis, however Digis goes as far as misusing scripture that denounces heretics.

    Mark them which cause divisions among you is the command of the New testament and warn the sheep of a false light represented by the NAR. 

    Well done Holly and how right you are.

  21. Brenda Says:

    Amen, & thanks Holly for watching & commenting on these seminars & such by the NAR folks.

    Digis, we’re supposed to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, & self-control [Gal5:22, 23]). And our [com] mission is to preach Christ & Him crucified (1 Cor 1:1:17, 23; 1 Cor 2:2).

    The whole Christ & Him crucified Truth (you know, THE core of our faith!!) is also the test to discern false/anti-Christ spirits (ie, if they don’t preach Christ& Him crucified, then they are NOT from God (1 John 2:1,2 & 1 John 4:1-3). Please don’t try saying BJ & his ilk preach the Gospel; they don’t, as evidenced by their books.

    Please abide only in God’s Word for your teaching & doctrine. And ask God, through His Holy Spirit, to help you to will & to work for His good pleasure (Phil 2:12,13). ~Brenda

  22. digis Says:

    …look in the mirror. When will the ineffective blind guides realize that no one is coming to Christ… cause they aren’t going to the lost. FRUIT has everything to do with the fruit of the Spirit… and the effect of the fruit in people coming to Jesus.

    In fact, Jesus HAD NO ABILITY WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT WHILE ON EARTH… HE said so Himself (see quote above). He laid aside that ability when He came to earth and had to “learn obedience from what He suffered”… you carry a very selective theology and as such are misled in your understanding.

    History will record the “fruit” of those you are speaking of (and it’s very interesting there has been no post on Heidi Baker here – guess you don’t want to mess with someone who carries the fruit of the Spirit and the fruitfulness of revival). I have spent significantly too much time on this. It’s futile speaking to those who walk in the delusion of believing they are right and everyone else is wrong. Unbelievable.  

    Someone please respond if they are winning hundreds of thousands to Jesus and are actually changing the world they live in with the Gospel that is the POWER of God to Salvation. If you can’t do that… I really don’t have the time of day to reflect your foolish musings and armchair Christianity.

  23. Craig Says:

    Digis,

    You wrote: <<In fact, Jesus HAD NO ABILITY WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT WHILE ON EARTH… HE said so Himself (see quote above).>>

    Au contraire.  You proof-texted a portion of John 5:19.  Here it is with a bit more context:

    17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
    19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

  24. Brenda Says:

    These NAR folks are NOT winning thousands to Christ — because they do not preach Christ & Him crucified. Instead they preach power & (mostly/all ?) false signs & wonders. As you rightly say, “The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… Rom 1:16”

    The Gospel = Christ died for your sins according to Scripture, He was buried, He rose again according to Scripture (1 Cor 15:3,4). 

    We are won to Christ (born-again) when we hear and *believe* that Gospel, and we are sealed in Christ by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13). 

    [Jesus speaking:]
    “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

    Dear LORD, may all who do not know you hear the message of Truth (the Gospel of salvation), and believe, and be sealed in You. May all who are sealed in You continue to abide in You and Your Word, and thus bear fruit unto Your Glory. In Christ’s Name.

  25. Digis Says:

    Exactly. Jesus couldn’t do anything unless His Father was doing it. He saw the Father working, was being criticized for it, and communicated what He was doing, and why. he had to hear, see, and respond. He “required” the intervention of information from The Father through the Holy Spirit.

  26. Craig Says:

    Digis,

    Your conclusion @ 7:06am reads quite a bit into the text.  The Pharisees wanted to kill Him precisely because He not only worked on the Sabbath, He claimed a particular familial relationship to the Father, which implied Jesus Himself was equal to God, i.e. God Himself.  So, what did Jesus do?  Did He say “You’re right guys; I’m not really equal to the Father, I can’t do anything at all, unless the Father helps me by the Holy Spirit”?  No.  He ups the ante claiming not only is He God’s Son, but actually sees and hears the Father.  Has anyone else but Jesus ‘seen and heard the Father’?  If you believe so, please indicate chapter/verse in Scripture.

    Then, if you’ll go back and read (or re-read) my comment Aug 16, 12:08pm, you’ll see that Jesus goes even further, saying that He Himself ‘gives life to whom He chooses’ (John 5:21).  Can we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, give life to whom WE choose?  Obviously not.  And, if we suppose that Jesus was not using His own divine powers/prerogatives, instead relying on the Holy Spirit (which contradicts the clear syntax of the verse), then this verse would be stating that Jesus made in essence a HUMAN decision to give life to whom He chose, and the Holy Spirit obeyed His ‘command’.  Which, again, comes back to the rhetorical question: Can we give life to whom WE choose?

    Continuing in the earlier Aug 16 comment, by the clear meaning of John 5:24 we observe Jesus claiming to give ETERNAL life, not ‘merely’ raising from physical death.  Are you ready to claim that Jesus gave eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit?  Think about the implications on the Holy Spirit indwelt believer.

  27. Craig Says:

    Digis,

    And just in case you wish to bring up Moses as an example of one who has ‘seen God’, given your theological degrees, certainly you understand anthropomorphisms.  My comment about providing chapter/verse was intended as rhetorical; but, let me put any further thoughts down that path to rest – again, just in case – by quoting the writer of John’s Gospel:

    NKJV: No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him

    NASB: No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

  28. Gil Says:

    Digis:
    It’s ironic you claim that those who hold to sound doctrine and theology (or the study of the nature of God…through scripture) have a selective theology. That is precisely what the Charismatics in question do. They ignore the preponderance of scripture and twist them in order to support their views.
    For starters, if Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (like always) when did He stop being divine?  
    Or how about this verse in John 15:21 – “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” 
    How about John 10:17-18? – “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
    Who is expressing the power, authority and decision making here? You tell me…
    If God is indeed eternal and triune, He cannot divide Himself or deny His own eternal existence.
    On this other matter, you seem to imply that the revivals and millions saved through orators and evangelists such as Charles Spurgeon, or even Billy Graham for that matter, are of no consequence. Only the handful of recent charismatic leaders out there. Just because someone chooses to use the Bible as the final standard for truth doesn’t make that person any less effective under the unction of the Holy Spirit.
    That said, it seems interesting to me that the largest set of heretical preachers all come out of the charismatic movement or name-it-and-claim-it crowd.  Benny Hinn is an easy example. Yet, amazingly and sadly, those who are not healed say it must be their fault. They didn’t have enough faith, they say. This after donating close to their life savings to his ministry. 
    Well, tell that to the young man in a wheel chair who fasted and prayed and – for some reason, wouldn’t be invited up on stage for Hinn to heal him. He tried during many “healing crusades” but  they wouldn’t let him come up. Go figure.
    The exploits of Heidi Baker are somewhat new to me so I’ll reserve any comment. Understand I don’t doubt the power of God in any way. I’ve witnessed it first-hand. What I do know is that birds of a feather flock together. So, to hang out with and receive endorsement from a guy like John Arnott, for example, speaks volumes to me. 
    We’ve seen more than one so-called “Apostle” crash and burn. They may burn for eternity if they don’t repent.

  29. Gil Says:

    Digis:
    It’s ironic you claim that those who hold to sound doctrine and theology (or the study of the nature of God…through scripture) have a selective theology. That is precisely what the Charismatics in question do. They ignore the preponderance of scripture and twist them in order to support their views.
    For starters, if Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (like always) when did He stop being divine?  
    Or how about this verse in John 15:21 – “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” 
    How about John 10:17-18? – “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accordI have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
    Who is expressing the power, authority and decision making here? You tell me…
    If God is indeed eternal and triune, He cannot divide Himself or deny His own eternal existence.
    On this other matter, you seem to imply that the revivals and millions saved through orators and evangelists such as Charles Spurgeon, or even Billy Graham for that matter, are of no consequence. Only the handful of recent charismatic leaders out there. Just because someone chooses to use the Bible as the final standard for truth doesn’t make that person any less effective under the unction of the Holy Spirit.
    That said, it seems interesting to me that the largest set of heretical preachers all come out of the charismatic movement or name-it-and-claim-it crowd.  Benny Hinn is an easy example. Yet, amazingly and sadly, those who are not healed say it must be their fault. They didn’t have enough faith, they say. This after donating close to their life savings to his ministry. 
    Well, tell that to the young man in a wheel chair who fasted and prayed and – for some reason, wouldn’t be invited up on stage for Hinn to heal him. He tried during many “healing crusades” but  they wouldn’t let him come up. Go figure.
    The exploits of Heidi Baker are somewhat new to me so I’ll reserve any comment. Understand I don’t doubt the power of God in any way. I’ve witnessed it first-hand. What I do know is that birds of a feather flock together. So, to hang out with and receive endorsement from a guy like John Arnott, for example, speaks volumes to me. 
    We’ve seen more than one so-called “Apostle” crash and burn. They may burn for eternity if they don’t repent.
     
     

  30. William Simpson Says:

    Gil, we cannot reason with the likes of people such as digis! GOD does not always put up with people and after a time gives them over to delusion. As Scripture instructs. This I believe is the state of digis. he is so unbiblical in his defense of these false teachers that it is quite evident that he is apostate. he is damned and is therefore irrelevant and of no concern to us. Leave him to GOD!

    Holly it would be wise to remove digis from this conversation…

  31. Holly Says:

    William,

    I agree that Digis is in error, but I do not agree that we are in a position to cast judgment on his standing before God. And I do not agree that he is irrelevant and of no concern to us. Every person is made in the image of God and is of concern to God and should be of concern to us, too. We are instructed to treat people who are in sin (including false belief systems) with mercy, not hatred (Jude 22).

  32. Joe Says:

    I would like to respond to the above postings regarding whether or not Jesus gave up or set aside some of His attributes of divinity and relied on the Holy Spirit to accomplish the ministry the Father had given  Him to do. 

    There is a scripture that illustrates very clearly that Jesus very clearly relied on the Holy Spirit to perform His ministry. Here it is:

    The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD!”
    Then He closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. and He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.   Luke 4:18-21   (NKJV)

    With respect to this matter, the ministry of Jesus was conducted under the power of the Holy Spirit according to the above passage which is a quote from Isaiah 61:1-2a.
     
    Then as Jesus received the Holy Spirit upon, He gives an exhortation to His disciples in Acts1:8 that seems to parallel His own experience of receiving the Holy Spirit upon Himself. 
    But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

    I find myself a little disappointed that Digis is said to be in error and condemned along with Bill Johnson in this issue of what Jesus did or didn’t give up or set aside in conducting HIs ministry on this earth. 

    When I consider what Jesus said at His arrest as recorded in John 18:5, I get the impression that Jesus’ divine attributes were simply veiled but available. However, it is also clear that He relied on the Holy Spirit to perform His ministry.

  33. Joe Says:

    I wanted to followup here and present a rational for why Jesus set aside His some of His divine attributes and relied on the Power of the Holy Spirit to perform His acts of ministry as is clearly implied by Luke 4:18-21 and Isaiah 61:1-2a. When He gathered His disciples he taught them, modeled ministry to them and sent them out for a trial run. At the moment He did any ministry with the aid of His divine attributes He would have rendered that act of ministry not duplicatable as His disciples would only be able to depend on the Holy Spirit.

    As to the matter of whether the Holy Spirit was received during a worship experience, it depends on how  we view the baptism of John the Baptist. Perhaps we could say that Jesus modeled what He expected of His disciples in what might be considered an act of worship to us in receiving the baptism of John. Here is the scripture:

    Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  
    Matthew 3:13-17  (NKJV)

    It is possible that Andrew and another disciple of John the Baptist (John the brother of James and later an apostle) were eye witnesses of this act of modeling righteousness and worship. John 1:35-39 (NKJV)

  34. Joe Says:

    With respect to when those of the early church received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Acts 2:1 says:
    When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place   Acts 2:1 (NKJV)
    Acts 1:14 gives an illustration of what the people were doing earlier than Pentecost being in one accord Acts 1:14 (NKJV) says:
    These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

    Could it be said that being in one accord and possibly praying is part of an act of worship?

  35. Holly Says:

    Mark,

    I am being biblical in my critique of NAR teachings. Bill Johnson’s teaching that Jesus did not access his divine powers while on earth does not have biblical backing. Nowhere does Scripture say that he gave up the use of his divine powers and, in fact, Jesus’ miracles are presented as evidence of his deity (see the Gospel of John). Nowhere does Scripture teach that Jesus gained power through worship experiences as he already possessed all the divine attributes as the unique God-man. It is not only biblically false to say he gave up the use of his divine powers; it is also logically absurd to suggest the one of the members of the Trinity could give up the use of his divine attributes for 33 years. I disagree with you that I should just overlook erroneous NAR teachings. We are not talking about disagreements about minor issues. On the contrary, NAR apostles and prophets claim that all Christians must submit to their authority and receive their new truths or else be outside of God’s will. They are the ones making these bold–and unbiblical–claims. They leave me no choice but to challenge these teachings.

  36. Raphi Says:

    blessings from Germany!
    to make it short:

    proof people by their fruits and Not by their doctrine!
    and all who like to judge People (children of God)
    should be very careful or they will be judged too!
    you will know a child of God by their actions!!:
    heal the sick!!!
    cast out demons!!!
    raise the dead!!!
    making disciples!!!

    and if YOU do none of it, You should proof yourself, and Repent!
    in Bill johnsons church (bethel church) most of this is happening
    they are driven by love for all humankind!

    the pharisees know a Lot about God and the hundreds of rules but they did 
    not know God himself! if you do Not know god personally and you do not hear his voice,
    you should be silent, or they will call you a fasle Prophet in Heaven!

    i just want to make that clear!
    i love you, so dont judge Your Brothers and call them false prophet!!

  37. Michelle Says:

    In their letters, Paul, Peter and John all judged certain doctrine, teachings, and prophets to be false.  They warned others about this, and Paul pointed out false teachers by name.  1 John 4:1 tells us to test the spirits because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  It takes time for fruit to grow to maturity so that people can really know just how good it is, but false teaching can be discerned right away by comparing ALL teaching to the Bible.  If it contradicts the Bible, it is false, and the prophecy or teaching is false.  If, after being shown that the prophecy or teaching contradicts the Bible, the person continues to declare it, the person is a false prophet or false teacher.  We are commanded in the Bible to judge between true and false teaching, prophecy, teachers, and prophets.
    Raphi, why are you calling someone a false prophet for obeying the Bible?

  38. Raphi Says:

    you Test spirits by proofing them if they are from God,
    you cant proof everything with the bible, especially different
    illness, or different prophesees about your life!
    i call Nobody a false prophet.

    WE SHOULD STAY TOGETHER AS BROTERS AND SISTERS AS A FAMILY,
    INSTEAD OF DESTROYING US, WHILE WE JUDGE EACH OTHER WE DO 
    NOTHING TO CHANGE THE WORLD! LETS STEP OUT AND SHARE THE KINGDOM
    OF GOD TO ALL PEOPLE OF THIS PLANET!

    Looking forward to See you in Heaven!

    be Blessed with truth and Knowledge of gods kingdom in Jesus Name!

  39. Chris Says:

    Digis is right.  Its about the fruit.  You are not saved to have perfect theology.  You are saved to be like Jesus and to live and do as he did.  Anything else is just self serving and not what Jesus was about.

  40. Michelle Says:

    Perfect doctrine is obviously not required. We are all growing in understanding and holiness. 
    HOWEVER (I wrote it in caps because it is a BIG HOWEVER.) 
    If the God you are praying to is not the God of the Bible,
    If the Jesus you are following is not the one who came in the flesh, was crucified for our sins, rose from         the dead, ascended into heaven (bodily) and will come again (still in his glorified body),
    If the spirit that is filling you is not God’s own Holy Spirit, 
    then
    You are worshiping idols, your fruits are poison fruits, your signs and wonders are demonic.

    So theo – God     logy – knowledge  IS vital.  You must know the one true God, or all that you do is worse than useless.

    How can you know if the God you are chasing is the true God?  The Bible is God’s self-revelation.  We learn about the true God from God’s own self-revelation.  It is the standard by which all teachings and experiences MUST be measured, or we WILL be deceived. 
    I’m amazed by how often people think that they are wise enough and holy enough to determine this on their own, without the Bible.  It is the height of arrogance and self-pride!  They reject God’s own self-revelation and think that they know better based on their puny human experiences.  God has TOLD us the truth.  We need to pay attention!

  41. Andreas Says:

    After reading all of the arguments, I am amused at people who feel the urgency to point out biblical error of men and women who are clearly anointed by God.   As if God needed some kind of biblical error security force that watches over the children of God, and calls out their mistakes.  If any of you would understand the heart of Jesus, exemplified by his teachings and his ministry, you would know that Jesus would not condone such fruitless criticism of his anointed.  Your posts are disturbing, and my prayer is that all of you would ask Jesus for forgiveness and repent of  such a bitter heart.  There is such great ignorance in your words, regarding the work of the Spirit of God in the world.  While people are dying of hunger and sickness, and others are being persecuted for Christ, you criticize individuals who actually doing something for the Kingdom of God, and change lives.  While you sit in from of your keyboards, and go to conferences simply to find fault with people who are called by God.  My heart is deeply troubled over the arrogance, that thinks that you are qualified or even worse, “called by God,” to point out the fault of other leaders.  I echo Paul’s prayer for you, because clearly you do not understand the “root” of love.
    Eph 3:16-21 (NIV)
    I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. 

  42. Ernie Says:

    Brothers and sisters in Christ ….enough …,I’ve read these posts with much sorrow …know you not what spirit ye are of ?  Jesus asked that same question to His apostles ” whom do you say that I am ” and He told Peter how he knew it.  None of us can teach another who Christ is …they must meet Him face to face .  As far as the rest of this discussion , each of you now have many to pray for , fast for , and to lay your life down for ….these your theological adversaries .

  43. Rachel Says:

    Michelle, The word speaks truth to us. Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to teach us and comfort us. Jesus said that we would know we are His when we hear His voice and we follow Him.
        I just read in Romans 8:10-11 vs10 And if Christ be in you, the body id dead because of sin;but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. vs11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwell in you. Chew on that verse people and pray and ask the Holy Spirit in you to teach you. Don’t rely on what you think or how you feel. Why would Satan use a person to lead thousands to Jesus? The fruit is people on fire for Jesus and desperate to share Jesus with others. We all have gifts according to the measure God has given us. We are to use our gifts and walk by faith and not by sight. Do not judge the gifts that God has given men or women. If I saw things that made me uncomfortable, I could easily find verses that accommodate my feelings to what is going on to convince myself and other people it is not of God. Anyone can manipulate verses in the bible to persuade and convince. Make sure that if you are uncomfortable about something, that you will ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in your seeking. If you aren’t, then you are guilty. It doesn’t matter what degree you have in bible theology….you still have to answer to God and He is the one that wrote the bible. He knows it more than anyone and He sent His Holy Spirit to teach us.The new age movement opposes Jesus and denies Him. A lot of things that Jesus did didn’t make sense to even His own disciples! The human nature is to judge, but when we walk in the Spirit of God, we are in agreement with Him and what He wants to accomplish on earth. There will always be division in the body until Jesus comes and does away with it. He wants us to love one another. God hates discord with the brethren. If God put wisdom in Bill Johnson’s heart to share, Bill is taking a step of faith and is being obedient to God. God wants people set free. I once had a dear friend tell me that God leaves much room for error in his body. He knows we aren’t perfect and we are forever learning. If Bill is wrong…..so what? He loves the Lord. We are to seek God on our own anyways…not rely on man for the final answer.GROWTH.

  44. Rachel Says:

    Jesus loves us!

  45. John Jacob Says:

    Man, this blog of your so reminds me of the Pharisees.

  46. Holly Says:

    In what way, John?

  47. Martha Says:

    Digis,

    Many cult leaders have produced “fruit” (followers) doesn’t that validate them as right with God?
    NO! Just because you have many followers (fruit as you see it) doesn’t mean anyything. Narrow is the way & there is few who find it!

    Don’t be Naive

  48. Robert Says:

    Digis, you are right on.  This webpage could be called “spirit of rebellion” or “spirit of unbelief.” However, since its proponents are in complete error, it is aptly named.
    Jesus said, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.  So everything Jesus did through the power of the Holy Spirit, revealed the will of the Father. In the incarnation, He made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He became sin so that we could become the righteousness of God. After He rose from the grave by the power of the Holy Spirit, He declared, All authority is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go and make disciples.  So we do.
    You are right, Digis. Go and preach the gospel of the Kingdom. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Leave these unbelievers to wallow in their fruitless rebellion.

  49. Scott Miller Says:

    This would have to be the saddest blog I have come across. As a pastor I pray God gives you and encounter with his Love in the most supernatural way. No wonder we have a crisis with people leaving the church everyday if we a preaching a gospel that is dead. I can assure you Bill Johnson prays for you judges out there you will get rocked by the Love of the father. There is a hurting world out there that need to meet Jesus not whether Bill Johnson is preaching a false gospel.  I think I prefer Bills fruit compared to what I am tasting on this forum.

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