< Browse > Home / Bill Johnson/Bethel Church, Revival / Blog article: The hidden pitfall of Bill Johnson’s ‘Red-Letter Revival’

The hidden pitfall of Bill Johnson’s ‘Red-Letter Revival’

January 6th, 2018 | 33 Comments | Posted in Bill Johnson/Bethel Church, Revival

Yesterday I read chapter 8 of Bill Johnson’s book Hosting the Presence: Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda. In this chapter, titled “Red-Letter Revival,” Johnson teaches that Jesus is the standard for people to follow — his words, his life, and his ministry. And Jesus’ primary mission, writes Johnson, was to reveal God the Father by doing only what he saw the Father doing.

Thus, our primary mission also should be to do only what we see the Father doing. Johnson goes so far as to suggest that perhaps bracelets should be changed from having the letters “WWJD” (“What would Jesus do?”) to “WIFD” (“What is the Father doing?).

To some, Johnson’s admonition — to seek what the Father is doing in the world and then do the same — may come across as biblical, inspiring, even revolutionary. Yet as pious as his mandate may sound, it contains a dangerous pitfall that can lead well-meaning Christians astray. I’ll summarize the three ways Johnson says he seeks to discover what the Father is doing. Then I’ll point out the danger of adhering to Johnson’s practice.

Johnson’s ways for discovering what the Father is doing

Here are ways Johnson teaches people to know what the Father is doing.

  • Direct word: Johnson says that sometimes “Jesus heard directly from the Father about what He wanted Jesus to do in a particular situation” (page 142, Kindle edition). He says that those direct words came during Jesus’ long nights in prayer, but also from the Holy Spirit who revealed direction to him in the moment. He suggests that we, too, can learn to hear directly from God in the many ways he speaks to us.
  • Seeing faith in another: Johnson says that “Jesus didn’t always seem to know what to do ahead of time, but got His direction by seeing faith in another person” (142). He gives the example of Jesus’ healing of the centurion’s servant in response to the centurion’s great faith (Matt. 8:13). He suggests that we can see how the Holy Spirit is at work in other people’s lives to receive cues for what we should be doing.
  • Using our own faith: Johnson says that “often we are unclear as to the specific will of God in a situation” (143). He says that, “in these situations, it is possible to find the will of God through our own faith as we respond to the revealed will of God in His Word” (143). How can we do this? He suggests that we respond to slight impressions we may have or ideas of what God might be doing. Responding in faith to these spiritual hunches can help us discover what the Father is doing.

The perils of a life in pursuit of Red-Letter Revival

Many issues could be raised with Johnson’s proposal, including the fact that Jesus, as the Son of God, has a unique relationship with the Father. What is entailed in that unique relationship can’t be emulated by us. But the pitfall I address here is Johnson’s teaching that believers ought to regularly pursue direction from outside of Scripture — from subjective impressions experienced by ourselves and others rather than the objective Word of God.

What we perceive as a “direct word” from God, and as directions given to us through impressions, are unreliable at best, and harmful to ourselves and others at worst. A life of chaos and confusion will inevitably follow those who follow their own imaginations. Scripture gives multiple warnings about the risks for self-deception when following our own hearts, including warnings that “the heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9) and “there is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Doing only what the Father does may sound like an admirable agenda for one’s life. Yet seeking moment-by-moment direction through direct words and impressions is not taught in Scripture, which contains all the instruction we need for a life of effective ministry (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Seeking direction in the subjective manner proposed by Johnson takes us away from the clear and trustworthy words of Scripture.

Contra Johnson, the prophet Isaiah urged his followers to resist those who urged them to look outside of Scripture for direction. In their case, they were being advised to seek direction through occult practices. But he said, “Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn” (Isaiah 8:20). In other words, Isaiah told them to look for direction in Scripture — the tried and true — rather than the new and undependable.

By suggesting that people should ask, “What is the Father doing?” Johnson has switched the focus from looking to Scripture to following subjective intuitions. That’s a dangerous path to tread.


Holly Pivec is the co-author of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement and God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.

  • No Related Post
Follow Discussion

33 Responses to “The hidden pitfall of Bill Johnson’s ‘Red-Letter Revival’”

  1. Al Persohn Says:

    Thanks Holly, great post,

    Jesus’ omniscience during His earthly ministry is well established: “Now we are sure that You know all things, …” (John 16:30)

    Contrast that with Johnson: “Jesus didn’t always seem to know what to do”

    At the heart of NAR theology is incorrect Christology. Their position is that Jesus acted as a man, devoid of deity, influenced by the Sprit. We therefore can do the same things He did if influenced by the Spirit. They will hold that Jesus performed no supernatural act prior to the Holy Spirit coming to Him.

    The scriptures give us a difference perspective. His ministry at 12 in the Temple seemed to demonstrate supernatural understanding, but more to this, 30 years of sinlessness must also be considered supernatural.

  2. AriseMyLove Says:

    In NAR circles, there is the errant belief that one can pray or command a demon or demonized person to answer John’s “anti-Christ meme” as they ask “Do you deny that Jesus has come in the flesh?” And, believing that this is a qualifier for “testing the spirits” they believe that this question is some sort of magical elixir that will reveal the spirit of AntiChrist in their midst.


    To “test the spirits” regarding the counterfeit spirit of antiChrist or counterfeit Christ is to TEST THE DOCTRINE, as we also are admonished to “test all things”. But part of this great delusion of the NAR is they misapply and misappropriate and misinterpret that which the Lord has provided for their spiritual protection, and indicated through the Bereans who put Paul to the test of Scripture.

    That’s just one instance of the wrong handling of the Word of God in the NAR.

    Holly has honed in on another one here but, without reading NAR liar Bill Johnson’s book, I sense he is doing what Rick Joyner does in his writings. Joyner “denies the Father and the Son” in another somewhat ignored test of the AntiChrist spirit; I believe it is in his book with “Garden” in the title somewhere. In the Garden or something.

    Johnson basically is discrediting Jesus here by asking us to focus on the Father. Jesus tells us “to see Me is to see the Father” and “I and the Father are one”.

    KJV: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?
    He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

    Commentary: Geneva Study Bible :
    “He shows now plainly the false doctrine of the antichrist’s,
    that is, that either they fight against the person of Christ,
    or his office,
    or both together and at once. They who do so, boast and brag of God in vain,
    for in denying the Son, the Father also is denied.”

    So, while I understand, and even have pondered how miraculously God works in my own life, when, at times, I will have a sort of “pre-vision” or foreshadowing of what I should do ahead of time but I don’t chase down this sign or vision. I don’t seek it out specifically.

    Signs and wonders are to FOLLOW believers, they are not to seek out a sign. We are to pray that “Thy will be done” in our lives and trust that He will give us all we need to be overcomers each day; we are NOT to strive spiritually with a grasping spirit that presumes an alienation from Christ, as Johnson infers.

    Johnson here is discrediting the office and authority of Jesus Christ being one with the Father: “Before Abraham ever was, I AM.” Johnson reveals he is speaking through familiar spirits, seducing spirits of AntiChrist as he denies the Father and the Son, i.e. their relationship and the fact that they are two parts of the Triune God.

    I could go on, as to how Johnson is “going beyond what is written” and that even our experiences in the Holy Spirit are subject to the boundaries of the “foundation already laid” with Christ as Chief cornerstone. In other words, we are not to go beyond what is written in terms of our experiences.

    Finally, I was reminded once again of the “supernatural sign and wonder” of seeing so many people in NAR churches “shake” seemingly supernaturally when they are attending the NAR freaky meetings. (I’m sure it is the same spirit that gave the “Shakers” their name in the 19th century.)

    I have inquired of these people as to why they believe they are literally shaking in their physical bodies at these meetings.

    Most of the time they believe it is some sort of sign of the Holy Spirit. And I agree with them, it is a supernatural “sign”.

    A bad one.

    How do I know? Because experiences in the Holy Spirit and supernatural occurrences or signs are covered by the Word of God; and God can never repudiate Himself or contradict Himself.

    The ONLY place anyone EVER SHOOK in the Bible was Jeremiah in http://biblehub.com/niv/jeremiah/23.htm

    And he shook in the presence of lying FALSE PROPHETS. It is a supernatural sign, when people shake at NAR meetings. It is a sign to them that they are surrounded by false prophets, who prophesy by familiar spirits, false teaching and the NAR antiChrist spirit.

    Jeremiah 23: Lying Prophets

    9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets;
    all my bones shake;
    I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome,
    because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.

    10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth;
    the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.

    11 For both prophet and priest are profane;
    yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.


    Finally, let’s remember that the besides an improper handling of the Word of God by the NAR, there will also be a trail of sin in their lives. All false teachers will have hidden sin.

    Here is my prayer about this:

    “Lord Jesus, please reveal deception in the Church, and spare Your own, Lord God! Reveal and unveil deceivers of the NAR so the church can see openly what is done in secret by those lying spirits of NAR leadership. Amen and Amen.”

  3. bill (cycleguy) Says:

    Thanks Holly for this. I won’t waste my time reading his stuff but do appreciate others, like you, who do and pass along a good critique and suggestions. What struck me as you summarized his thoughts was the line in #2: “Jesus didn’t always seem to know what to do ahead of time.” Say what? So now Jesus is taking his cue from others? Sounds like those today who can’t eat, think, or sleep without a “word” from someone who’s supposed to know. WOW! Talk about subjectivism! Talk about going down a bad path! Jesus didn’t know what to do? I’m stunned.

  4. nan Says:

    Good article. It seems he is no different than Ellen G. White, Joseph Smith or any other cult leader. Satan will give you what you want, what ever jesus you want so long as you don’t listen to the truth that we born again believers convey through the Holy Spirit (John 16). It is hard to try to convince people of what the Scriptures really say once they have been led astray by a cult leader which is what Bill Johnson is. Like a pyramid scheme. The people at the top are the false prophets the people in the middle are the leaders who teach their doctrine, and the people who are at the bottom are the sheep. Where I live there is a pastor who on his facebook page says he loves Halloween, it’s his favorite holiday. He has written books (self published) about ghosts. You can only know what he truly believes if you go to his facebook. I had a conversation with him because I went to a funeral. I brought up the fact that angels had free will and 1/3 of the host of heaven chose to follow Satan. He said, “where is that in the Bible?” I said in Revelation. I asked him, did God create Satan evil, he said yes. This man is a cult leader, the people in his church have no clue. It’s very sad!

  5. Chris Says:

    Thanks for sharing this look at Johnson’s book.

    I was a practicing Pentecostal for many years and attended a Pentecostal Bible college back in the day when mainline Pentecostals at least made an attempt to measure prophetic words or other forms of revelation against Scripture. Perhaps there are some that still do. But the hypercharismatics in the NAR movement have abandoned such restraint to the point that pretty much anything, quite literally, can be and often is assumed to be God speaking. And the result is, as you pointed out, utter confusion.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. AriseMyLove Says:

    Dear Chris:

    There are some of us practicing Pentecostals who absolutely check everything of our experiences or words of knowledge or prophetic dreams and utterances against Scripture.

    Even a false prophecy borne of an evil entity (such as Joseph Smith’s book of Mormon) can be tested against Scripture, with amazing results: the voice of the Evil one is revealed in the precise manner in which he twists the Word into mocking accusations.

    The crazy in charismatic circles should not cause us to become Cessationists, because that would nullify the entire raison d’être for the New Covenant in this, our Messianic Age.

  7. michael Says:

    Thank you, Holly.
    How anyone can take anything that comes from these folks seriously, (except to see the serious deception) I just dont understand. Seeing things like the impartation of demonic things like that vid of Heidi Baker with Bill Johnson, for one example among many, and seeing how they applaud each other, whether the false healings, the false doctrines and practices, etc., How can ppl give them a Red Cent or support them?

    I thought folks like Benny Hinn and others like Johnson, etc., had been exposed, but I saw on Benny’s vids from 2017, he’s still doing the stage magician tricks, only I guess age or practice has changed his style a bit. Instead of violently waving his sport-jacket to fling the ‘holy ghosss’ around, now he just waves his hand over someone or gently touches their face/neck, and grown men drop on stage like jellyfish. These folks all seem to recommend each other, they have alot of money, ‘power’ and prestige, and yet ppl are still being deceived and giving them more money and power. It’s craziness. I’m no brilliant guy or perfect sinless saint, I’m not meaning to judge ppl’s motives, but how can ppl not see thru some of this trickery and ‘religious/spiritual’ bulloney?

  8. ScottyMac Says:

    Holly, (and others): All I want to say for now is “THANK-YOU, and keep up the Good Work! I am not new to this NAR movement, and am fascinated by how quickly it has taken off! In these Last Days, that should be a RED flag in itself. I am busier than ever in coming in to what Our Father has for us, not any “seconds”. Thx!”

  9. Theresa Says:

    Bill Johnson’s statements are virtually identical to the teachings of Henry Blackaby in his book EXPERIENCING GOD.

  10. Theresa Says:

    Recently a friend recommended Henry Blackaby’s book, EXPERIENCING GOD. He indicated that it would revolutionize my Christian walk. I got as far as his butchered interpretation of John 5, which is the basis for the entire EG cottage industry that Mr Blackaby and his son have constructed. Now I see that Bill Johnson is repackaging and rebroadcasting the same dangerous misinterpretation. Very sad to see these forms of mysticism embraced within the church.

    Oh, by the way,my church and my friend are not part of a charismatic congregation. We are both Southern Baptists.

  11. Mark Says:

    Great piece! We need to keep exposing Johnson and those like him to the light to reveal their deception to all who would hear them. Johnson may not ever be turned around but perhaps we can keep some others from being deceived by him and these teachings.
    In my little corner of the world, deception is rampant and I battle constantly with those who would pervert scripture for their own desires. It’s getting worse and darker and I believe it will continue. The truth of God’s word needs to shine brighter than ever before………….

  12. roger olson Says:

    Paul the Apostle said to be like him. Should we then try to be like him? and what did he do?. and yes study scripture and then do scripture.

  13. Holly Says:


    Which Scripture passage are you referring to, specifically?

  14. roger l olson Says:

    in Philippians chapter 3, Starting at verse 17 , it says ” Brethren , join in following my example”….. , In the book of Galatians chapter 4, at verse 12, “brethren, I urge you to become like me”…

    Do you think we should want become like probably the greatest Apostle?

    again study Scripture and do Scripture. May the name of the Lord Jesus be exalted.

  15. Steve Says:

    Sounds like a pretty hyper-sensitive response to some pretty good advice given to Christians who have a relationship with God. You pointed out nothing regarding Johnson encouraging anyone to ignore or contradict biblical teachings or norms in attempting to function in a healthy relationship with the Holy Spirit as they prosecute their daily lives according to Jesus’ example (biblical teaching) of doing what He sees the Father doing.

    How do you make your daily decisions about what God’s will is in praying for someone for healing, or witnessing, or getting married to a particular individual, or accepting or rejecting a job offer, etc.? How do you know if you are called of God to a particular task or ministry — or do you believe in divine calling? If so, how does that become apparent?

  16. arisemylove Says:

    Dear Steve:

    The problem with false prophesy or false words of knowledge or counterfeit anti-Christ manifestations that mimic the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with the real indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s daily leading of us.

    First of all, the Lord will never “try us beyond our strength to bear” or beyond our strength in any situation, because “His burden is light and His yoke is easy”…

    This applies to all situations in life, including spiritual and supernatural situations.

    For example, if you come across something very scary supernaturally, say a demonic encounter of some sort, this scripture tells us that the Lord will never even allow you in that situate without the faith or strength to bear it. In other words, victory or overcoming in every situation is God’s promise (of which we very often will still fail).

    So if you are praying about marriage or a job or a certain situation that is germane to your personal life, and you pray according to Scripture (we are to pray with faithful assurance that our Heavenly Father has already heard and answered), secure that the Lord is going to answer in one way or another, and then the Lord will be faithful to make His will known to you or me.

    And then, He will confirm it, because the Lord always confirms Himself.

    I remember one crazy NAR church where the leader eventually fell away in sin; even this corrupt leader was stunned when a certain female celebrity attended and this NAR preacher had to publicly condemn the three or four suitors who all claimed “they heard from the Lord that they were to be her husband”.

    She married none of them. The truth of the matter is “My sheep know My voice”.

  17. roger olson Says:

    i will respond to one thing in what is wrote here. And i don,t have his book or even going to buy it. not interested. but in point 2 of what is wrote here about “seeing faith in another” in the book of Acts i know of at least 1 or 2 times where it says that Paul “saw” faith on somebody. As Paul was looking at the crippled man it says He saw faith on him to be healed. Now what did that look like? have you ever thought about this. I happen to know some people that are involved in Charismatic ministry and not involved in Bethel. but have told me about “seeing faith on somebody to be healed”, It is through the Holy Spirit and his gifts that it happens. a person can not just say to a person to get up and walk in Jesus name. by the leading of the Spirit of God does a person can do this. in Acts15 it says that …”listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders GOD had worked through them… . Now see it is all God,s work , not ours. If God wants to heal somebody then He can do that. Now remember when it says in the Gospels that Jesus Himself could not heal those in his hometown? Now think God Himself could not heal because of unbelief. Do you think the church in the US is full of unbelief? I know i struggle with unbelief. Lets be honest here.

  18. Brenda Says:

    Hi Roger,
    Matt 13:58 says that Jesus * did not * heal, not that He * could not * heal. Big difference. Jesus was able to heal (because He is God Incarnate); however, due to their lack of faith, Jesus chose not to heal.

    I, too, struggle with unbelief (sigh). In those times, i cling to 2Tim 2:13:

    “If we are faithless,
    He remains Faithful,
    For He cannot deny Himself. (2 Tim 2:13)”

    Holly, thanks for your excellent research & reporting! And to others, thx for your comments. PS when I read about Johnson’s “what would the father do?” I couldn’t help but think “what would the father of lies do?” ~Brenda

  19. roger olson Says:

    Brenda. in Mark, chapter6 verse5 it says ” and He could do no deed or power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.”… NRSV.

    Jesus is fully God and fully Man.

  20. roger olson Says:

    Brenda and yes it says that he was amazed at their unbelief.

  21. Deborah Shah Says:

    Thanks for a great article. I’m also so glad you included this proviso below as I’m currently praying for the Lord to confirm something I feel He showed me not directly from Scripture (although not contradicting Scripture) but through an inner impression combined with a specific external event:

    “when, at times, I will have a sort of “pre-vision” or foreshadowing of what I should do ahead of time but I don’t chase down this sign or vision. I don’t seek it out specifically.
    Signs and wonders are to FOLLOW believers, they are not to seek out a sign. We are to pray that “Thy will be done” in our lives and trust that He will give us all we need to be overcomers each day; we are NOT to strive spiritually with a grasping spirit that presumes an alienation from Christ, as Johnson infers.”

  22. Roelf Says:

    The following comes to mind:

    You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
    John 8:44 ESV

    Another gospel, another Jesus, another father.

  23. Sola Scriptura Says:

    The Apostle Peter, a man who walked and talked with Jesus in the flesh, and heard the voice of God the Father from a cloud at the transfiguration, teaches us that the scriptures are even more certain than the voice of God from that cloud.
    “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
    ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1:16-21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    …So, if I have, in my hands and on my phone, something even more certain than the voice of God himself, why would I ever trust myself or anyone else to tell me what God thinks? We don’t need anything else. It might seem boring to this lazy and vain generation who wants to be told they are world changers, but God has told us this great truth. Let us therefore heed it and flee the vanities of men, because Peter also taught us;“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
    ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:23-25‬ ‭KJV‬‬

  24. Michael Says:

    Yes ‘Sola Scriptura ‘ . I wish somebody would tell the MandelaCultists this, too. They’re all over youtube CLAIMING to be believers in Jesus, CLAIMING to believe in His Word, but then CLAIMING the words on the pages of our bibles ate magically changing (either by demons or Cern or by God, or some blasphemous combination of them. They never seem to agree if God is causing or allowing or helpless to these ‘so-called changes’. Is God God causing satan or Cern to ‘change His Word? or just allowing it?! Either way, it can’t be true…that scripture you just posted proves it…(along with a thousand other. But they refuse to listen to reason, they are very cult-like in their claims and practices. Some may be innocently caught up in the deception or have been manipulated…but there are others who are wolves and ate deliberately doing the manipulating. Deceiving and being deceived. But God’s Word is sure and true. These folks, whether it’s the NAR or Mandelites, or some other cult, can’t have it both ways. Either God’s Word is forever settled in heaven, or He’s changing it and giving NARites and Mandelites ‘new revelation’. Thx for posting the good comments here, friends. God bless you.

  25. roger olson Says:

    Holly , thank you for posting this. i can see somewhat where Bill Johnson is coming from. but at the same time i agree with you and it is very dangerous to go off chasing after experiences. stay glued to Scripture. Yes God will lead. but He has Given us the sure Word of Scripture. I don,t know how to write this since i believe God still calls us to ask for Spiritual Gifts. I know on a few times that God did give me Words of Knowledge. been very few over the years but sometimes He would reveal sometime to me about somebody. Not Sin in their life. but sickness.

  26. Lance Wonders Says:

    Please stop with the vile accusations. This shows hate of Bill Johnson, not grieving over his missteps. He is an errant BROTHER, NOT an evil servant of Satan. Good people can and do get deceived. You, too, can manage to be deceived. Treat other people the way that you yourself would want those people to treat you. God will judge: YOU don’t have to. Pray for him, please just stop showing so much hatred towards him — in Jesus’ name!

  27. John B Says:

    Lance Wonders – there is a big difference between hating Bill Johnson the man, and hating the teachings of Bill Johnson.

    I, like apparently many others, believe he is doing huge damage to the body of Christ. Whether he is doing so as an act of malice against the church or as a seriously misguided man is not my place to judge, however I am called by Scripture to test his teachings and reject them if they do not align with Scripture.

    Since I do not believe his teachings align with Scripture I must reject them. Terms like “watchman on the wall” tend to come across as very sanctimonious, as if the person claiming the title is somehow specially anointed to spot falsehoods, but the simple reality is that we should all be watching out for false teachings and warning others if they look like they might be getting sucked in to them. How can we claim to love our brother if we leave him to be led astray by those promoting a false gospel based on a false idea of who Jesus Christ is?

    You are absolutely right that I may also be deceived. One big difference is that I don’t have a global following buying my books and watching my teachings. I’m sure it’s for good reason that Scripture says not many should become teachers because teachers will face a stricter judgment.

  28. Lance Wonders Says:

    The tone and balance of your reply were sound and accurate and within what believers are indeed charged to do. I agree with various criticisms of Bill Johnson’s teachings and practices that are offered in that kind of spirit. Thank you.

  29. roger olson Says:

    I agree mostly with John. in that i mean that i hate some of the teachings of Bill Johnson. I don,t hate the man, but pray for him. I don,t believe in any way that Bill Johnson thinks he is doing his teaching as an act of malice. He thinks he is teaching Scripture. I think it is flawed. i have never been there and do wonder how many times do they actually open up Scripture to read? and how many verses and do they encourage those there to read and read and read more of Scripture?
    also as on a radio show i happened to hear about a couple whose daughter went to Bethel and the couple said that the daughter cut off communication with them. Now that is not right and that is one of the ways of a cult. So if Bethel told this daughter to do this then Bethel should be held to account about this.

    My problem with some of those who are attacking him though , do so because they don,t believe that God still uses sign gifts are for today. That is where i think they are flawed in their teachings. and they will also answer to God why they taught that. I see it no where in Scripture where God has stopped with “sign Gifts” They can,t use Scripture since Paul said that All spiritual Gifts are until the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  30. Brandon Says:

    “Seeing faith in another: Johnson says that “Jesus didn’t always seem to know what to do ahead of time, but got His direction by seeing faith in another person” (142).”

    When I read this statement, I also see another slight of hand attack at the Deity of Christ. Christ being with the Father from the beginning is fully aware of the Past, Present and Future. So, to suggest that He didn’t know what to do…I read that as another put down of Christ’s deity in order that they can promote man to an equal status with Christ. That’s heretical…plain and simple.

  31. Lance Wonders Says:

    No, it is not “heretical plain and simple”. In the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus laid aside His omniscience and took on genuine human limitations (Phil. 2:2-11). His “reading of people” came as a part of His Spirit-anointed ministry as divine-but-also-human Messiah, it was not an aspect of His pre-existent omniscience as the eternal Son. Johnson is indeed heretical when he avers that Jesus was annihilated — in BOTH His divinity and humanity — by Satan in hell after the crucifixion; but His self-limitations as a man among us is NOT heretical, any more than when we claim that He REALLY became “hungry” or wept or got tired or slept or “grew up” from babyhood to young adulthood to full manhood. Don’t throw stones where they are not called for, please do keep to only proper targets….

  32. AuTisha Says:

    A man with an experience can never argue with a man without an experience. I do not know Holly, or anything about Holly. It’s wonderful that Holly has all these credituals, but it makes me wonder if she has the spirit. I have had the experience of God speaking to me in a dream about someone and it total truth. The dream that I had concerning the person is not in the Bible. But God speaking to man in dreams is in the Bible. I have an experience with God trying to get my attention concerning a person by letting me see there name everywhere I would go, license plates, telephone poles, logistics truck, etc. God will use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;. My suggestion to Holly is step lightly when it comes to the things of God and passing judgement on the elect of God, and pray seek God’s face first before making these kind of statements.

  33. John Says:

    A key trouble with Bill Johnson’s rather confused Christology is the assertion in his book When Heaven Invades Earth that Christ did miracles as “a man in right relationship with God” and not as God. This causes all sorts of problems, not least when he healed the lame man after forgiving his sins. As a man in right relationship with Go he had no authority to forgive sins, but as God he had every authority. So unless Jesus had some kind of “God-hat” that he put on and took off and somehow flip-flopped between being God and being not-God the assertion is patently absurd.

    Sadly Johnson needs Jesus to be somehow less than God in order to be able to attain his desire that we should be able to do the same thing. But in that regard he could easily have just looked to Peter – a sinful man like the rest of us who truly did witness miracles based on being nothing more than a man in right relationship with God. Peter walked on the water (albeit for a short time), healed the lame man at the Beautiful Gate and so on. One can speculate why Johnson feels the need to make Jesus something less than fully God.

    AuTisha – I fear you miss the mark when you talk of “a man with an experience”. I agree there are times when it is appropriate to simply accept that someone without experience cannot understand, although falling back on this alone opens the door to all sorts of foolish and dangerous teachings. It doesn’t work to simply say we should avoid passing judgment on the elect of God because firstly you need to demonstrate that the person (Johnson in this instance) is actually “the elect of God” at all (given his teachings I would have to question that) and secondly you have to acknowledge the Scriptural call to test. Paul praised the Bereans for studying the Scriptures to test his teachings. Nowhere did Paul tell people to simply accept his teachings because of some experience he claimed to have had.

    Experience alone is often a really bad master. You describe the dreams you had and say (quite rightly) that the Bible talks of God speaking to people through dreams. The trouble is that such experiences are by no means limited to Christians. Years ago I had similar things that might be called “prophetic dreams”, and every once in a while just knew things about people that I couldn’t possibly have known through normal means. The catch is that at the time I was heavily involved in the occult. Simply using the notion of some supernatural experience, as some in the hyper-charismatic movement are depressingly prone to do, would regard my experience as some kind of validation of my views on spirituality at the time. Trust me, they weren’t anything you would want promoted especially within the church.

    John took the trouble to give us some pointers as to how we should test the spirits. Curiously he didn’t mention the notion that someone who claims to have had an experience we have never had might be all the testing we need to do. Jesus even mentioned that false christs and false prophets may perform miracles. He didn’t say we should test them by their claimed experiences, nor even by their miracles – he said we would know them by their fruit. I have never met Bill Johnson so have no way of judging the fruit of his life. The closest thing to fruit I can see are his published teachings and, with that as a gauge, I don’t want anything to do with the man.

    Finally, you suggest “seeking God’s face” before making statements. I don’t want to make assumptions about Holly but I wouldn’t be surprised if she already thought that praying before posting might be a good idea.

Leave a Reply

* Please read my Comment Policy