35 Comments

Bill Johnson and “Friends” – The Third Wave movement


This is an interesting article posted at Redding News:

Bethel’s ‘signs and wonders’ include angel feathers, gold dust and diamonds

Bethel Church has seen extensive growth over the past decade as the focus of the church has shifted to training people in prophecy, healing and other “supernatural gifts of God” taught under the leadership of Pastor Bill Johnson.

Though about half the estimated 2,200 people attending Bethel left when he took over in 1996, Johnson said now nearly every church service is full each week, including the Twin View campus and an overflow room, which could easily add up to more than 3,000 congregants.

Ask Johnson about the affiliations, goals and purpose of Bethel Church, and he’ll say the church has lots of “friends” who share in the pursuit of affecting the Earth with heaven, especially Pentecostals and those in the Association of Vineyard Churches.

Johnson said Bethel members believe Jesus is the son of God and died for the sins of humankind, which is the basis of Christianity. Bethel also believes in the second coming of Jesus when those who are saved will go to heaven and those who do not believe in him will go to hell, as it says in the church’s “We Believe” statement.

Bethel was part of the General Council of the Assemblies of God until January 2006 when the church membership voted to withdraw their affiliation, and today Johnson hesitates to link Bethel to a specific movement or group.

Those who examine the practices of Bethel identify it as being part of a larger movement known as the Word of Faith movement. Connected to prominent revivalists and prophets including Todd Bentley, Patricia King, Bob Jones, and the leadership of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, the Word of Faith doctrine teaches that faith is a force through which anything can be done, said John Wolf, founder of the Church Education Resource Ministries.

Wolf is one of Johnson’s many critics and is no stranger to Bethel Church.

Wolf grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and graduated from Simpson University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Church Education Ministries, he said, speaking by phone from his South Carolina office. It was during his time at Simpson that he first came across Bethel Church and the teachings of Bill Johnson.

On his Web site, http://www.cerm.info, Wolf said the Word of Faith movement, which is closely intertwined with the Third Wave movement, blends mysticism and teachings from metaphysical cults. Mysticism is the pursuit of a divine connection with God through direct experiences and usually revolves around a practice to encourage and facilitate the experiences.

“The Bible does not teach that you alone have the power to do things,” he said. “The Bible teaches that God is the one who does things.”

The Third Wave movement is based on the belief that there have been three distinct historical periods in which the Holy Spirit has been extensively active. The first was the Pentecostal revival around 1906, the second was the Charismatic movement of the 1960s and the third began in the 1980s with a new commitment to signs, wonders and supernatural experiences with God.

“Bethel thinks they can train people in the supernatural ministry and they can go out and heal people and raise the dead,” Wolf said. “It’s false teaching. Every healing I’ve heard a Third Wave person (talk about) can’t be verified.”

After a strange experience with an erratic Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry student who baby-sat his children, Bart McCurdy of Cottonwood decided to find out for himself what was going on at Bethel. (See video “The End of the Fire Tunnel – Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry”)

McCurdy said he attended a Friday night service at the church, during which he saw people painting on stage, dancing and flailing around on the ground. He found their worship music unconventional when one line of the same song was played for at least 11 minutes, he said.

McCurdy said the repetitive music, dancing, painting and excessive stimuli serve to get people worked up into an emotional frenzy where they’re expecting to see miraculous things.

“They come looking for that feel-good feeling, that high, for supposed miracles, signs and wonders, speaking in tongues, gold dust, diamonds, feathers. … It seems like they’re just ready for it,” he said.

Once, as she ran through her house frantically searching for her journals, the baby sitter told McCurdy the anti-Christ was in her house and Jesus was in hell saving people, he said. Shortly after that, she went into a trance like state and said she felt 20 feet tall before losing consciousness, he said. The behavior made him believe she was demon-possessed, he said.

McCurdy said he regularly downloads podcasts of Bethel messages and hasn’t heard the Christian gospel message taught at Bethel. His Web site, www.heraldingtruth.com, is to educate people on what he believes are false teachings and challenge those involved in the movement, he said.

When “angel feathers” first started to fall at Bethel Church, Bill Johnson thought birds had nested in the air conditioning ducts, he said.

“Then it happened in a restaurant and all different places – on an airplane,” he said. “I don’t know, I don’t teach it, it just happens.”

Johnson said he bases his belief that the feathers are a sign from God on a Bible verse that says, “there is healing in his wings,” and he doesn’t try to explain it.

“I don’t want to be able to explain everything,” he said. “Then I’ll have a God that looks like me. That’s not very impressive.”

Bud Press, director of the Christian Research Service based in North Carolina, devotes his time to researching claims made by Christians for the purpose of debunking or confirming the claims. Bethel is part of the Signs and Wonders movement, within the Word of Faith movement, he said. Aside from claims of angel feathers, people in the movement say diamonds and gold dust show up at church and in their homes, he said.

Press said he believes the signs and wonders movement is spiritually dangerous and cited Bible passages that warn against it.

On his Web site, Press links to the story of a Washington man who was caught and later admitted to planting gemstones in an Arizona Vineyard church, claiming they were put there by God.

“Jesus himself warned that a corrupt generation, a deceptive generation, seeks after signs and wonders,” he said. “Because individuals have been caught red-handed spreading around not only angel feathers but diamonds, precious gems, gold dust from heaven and all of that, it’s very clearly deception.” more

Bethel lists evangelical ministries as its friends

Prominent friends of Bethel as listed at http://www.ibethel.org;

Benny Hinn Ministries: Benny Hinn is an evangelist who holds Holy Spirit Miracle Crusades each year. His ministry is engaged in crisis relief and children’s programs, according to his Web site. In 2002, Dateline NBC investigated Hinn’s revivals and reported there was no medical evidence to support his claims of supernatural healings. Dateline also reported Hinn lived extravagantly in a gated Dana Point community. A May 2005 investigation into Hinn’s finances by an independent evangelical organization led to a donor alert that stated the Hinn family spent an “exorbitant” amount of money and that the ministry had far more money than it needed to carry out its mission.

Extreme Prophetic: Extreme Prophetic lists the Nicene Creed as their statement of faith. Patricia King, a self-proclaimed prophet, is the president of the ministry, which serves to equip people with prophetic ministry, intercession, and evangelism. King recently posted videos of her predictions for 2010 as given to her by God. Bill Johnson is on the apostolic advisory team.

Fresh Fire Ministries: Todd Bentley, founder of the ministry, is a Canadian evangelist who is well known for his sometimes violent methods of healing. Bentley has hosted several revivals and has publicly spoken of how he has kicked, hit and knocked over participants. Bentley said the Holy Spirit told him to do those things and that miracles were happening simultaneously. Bentley was convicted of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old Canadian boy in 1991 but said he changed his life when he became a Christian at age 18. In August 2008, Bentley announced his separation from his wife and in March married a female member of his staff. Bill Johnson said a restoration team was formed to help Bentley. Johnson serves as a member of Bentley’s accountability team, according to the ministry Web site.

Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship: Led by John and Carol Arnott, the TACF was one of the Association of Vineyard Churches until the 1994 Toronto Blessing revival. At the revival, people were anointed by God as evidenced by the worshippers being overcome with “outbreaks of laughter, weeping, groaning, shaking, falling, drunkenness, and even behaviors that have been described as a ‘cross between a jungle and a farmyard,’ ” the TACF Web site said. The church has seven campuses and estimates that 4 million people have visited to receive the power of the Holy Spirit like those who attended the Toronto Blessing, church leadership say on the Web site. Johnson will speak at the Pastors and Leaders Conference at the church from today until Friday.

Global Awakening: Founded by Randy Clark just after the Toronto Blessing revival, Global Awakening is a Pennsylvania-based international teaching, healing and impartation ministry. Clark was the guest speaker at the Toronto Blessing. From Jan. 12 through Friday, Clark headlined a School of Healing and Impartation conference hosted by Bethel Church at the Redding Convention Center. Healing services were open to the public nightly.

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35 comments on “Bill Johnson and “Friends” – The Third Wave movement

  1. The comments left under the Redding News article are quite interesting. It seems Bethel Church has quite a reputation in the Redding, CA area. I’m not a fan of the Assemblies of God in particular, but I’d be interested to know more about the rationale behind Bethel’s decision to withdraw from the denomination in 2006.

    I was a bit surprised that Wolf identified Bill Johnson first and foremost as being in the Word of Faith camp. Third Wave, definitely, but maybe Johnson also holds to WOF tenets more closely than I’m aware of. Wolf probably has some good resources on his website, but it’s too bad that the article’s primary source holds to the Cessationist viewpoint.

    A related article even lists a glossary of “Bethel terms”:

    http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/19/glossary-of-bethel-terms/

    If you turn the volume up on that fire tunnel video, there are some rather disturbing sounds that are anything but laughter.

    • Some of the sounds certainly are not laughter. But even the laughter does not sound like normal, healthy laughter to me, does it to you? It sounds more hysterical or forced than joyful.

    • I’d be interested to know more about the rationale behind Bethel’s decision to withdraw from the denomination in 2006

      Adam, i would too. (by the way, nice to see you!)

      It could be, just a speculation on my part, Johnson and his church wanted to operate outside the specific guidelines of the AOG. The AOG does have some guidelines as far as what churches under their denominational umbrella, can do and can’t.

      Its also interesting in that i just put up a post on the topic of ‘Resource Directory for the New Apostolic Reformation’ in which it was written that,

      The Apostles and Prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation view their postdenominational movement as the future face of the Protestant church and the end of denominations as we know them.

      Their ideology and “relational networks” have taken root in the block of 400 million independent charismatics, sometimes referred to as neo-charismatics or neo-Pentecostals. This is an often overlooked mega-block of Christianity that is larger than all Protestant denominations combined, according to world missions statisticians.

      Johnson as a member of the NAR, by leaving the AOG may have been fulfilling the NARs vision.

    • Cherylu,

      I agree that the laughter in that video doesn’t sound all that joyful.

      PJ,

      Thanks. I’ve been incredibly busy ever since Christmas, not seeming to be able to keep up with my studies and other responsibilities/priorities. I’ve bookmarked a number of posts that you’ve put up since then, though, and I hope to take a look at them soon.

      Your speculation makes sense. I managed to locate a letter from Bill Johnson explaining why they left AOG. Apparently they preferred “apostolic covering” among other things:

      http://www.ibethel.org/churchlife/index.php?f=letter.html

      One line in the letter definitely goes along with what you were saying: “Our call feels unique enough theologically and practically from the call on the Assemblies of God that this change is appropriate.” That could mean almost anything, and would easily fit both scenarios you speculated on: [1] deviating from the guidelines of the AOG [2] following the patterns of the NAR by going post-denominational.

      By the way, PJ, I have a couple of practical blogging questions I’d like to ask you (and anyone in the know), but I want to make sure I ask them in the appropriate venue (i.e. I don’t want to derail a post). The questions have to do with a massive project I plan to put up on my blog regarding the Lakeland Revival, Todd Bentley, what is taking place now at MorningStar, and everything in between. Is it OK to ask these questions here, or is there another place that would be more appropriate? Thanks.

  2. Hey PJ, et al, I’ve been wanting some advice on this topic for a while, and this seems a good post to ask on.

    Bill Johnson said, “When “angel feathers” first started to fall at Bethel Church, [he] thought birds had nested in the air conditioning ducts, he said. “Then it happened in a restaurant and all different places – on an airplane,” he said. “I don’t know, I don’t teach it, it just happens.”

    So here’s my situation. I had been caught up in this movement very briefly a few years ago. I’ve been out of it for almost 2 years now. During that time, I’ve prayed for God to cleanse anything that happened to me spiritually, I’ve fully repented of the sign seeking, I haven’t listened to any of these guys, etc. Anything anyone has ever told me I should do to “clean house”, I’ve done. I cannot stress this enough.

    Now I tend to evangelize a fair bit. I’ve got a big mouth and I’m happy to use it for Jesus, lol. And despite everything I said above, and despite not praying for it or teaching on it, the “gold dust” still shows up at times while I’m preaching (the true Gospel, on my word). Not like raining buckets or anything, just a bit on my hands and those of the people I’m preaching to. When it happens, I say much what BJ did: “I don’t know, I don’t teach it, it just happens.” I make sure that anyone who notices it doesn’t get distracted by it, and I just make mention of the fact that the Bible says that signs and wonders will follow.

    So my question is, couldn’t this manifestation itself be legitimate under the right circumstances? I mean the Bible never tells us what “signs and wonders” are; it seems to expect you’ll know them when you see them. So if I’m not preaching a false Gospel (believe me, I’m really not), not following these guys, not praying for it or seeking it in any way, and I’ve gone above and beyond to make sure nothing is still “attached” to me…what other explanation is there?

    All input/advice/prayer is appreciated.

    • Chris, after reading your question earlier i’ve been thinking about a response, wanting to be very careful…

      First understand i absolutely believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit being in operation today. I don’t believe they ever ceased being needed by the Church, or were ever with-drawn. I also believe in miracles, divine healing, and Spiritual manifestations, as the bible presents it.

      Saying that, i also know we have to be very careful in saying all manifestations or even the results of what appear to be the operation of Spiritual gifts, are real and truly from God.

      If i find myself not knowing for sure, or questioning my own discernment, i rely on what George wrote,

      you have to ask what God’s purpose would be in doing this. If you look at the miracles described in scripture, they all have purpose. They all are intended to draw people to Christ.

      You say,

      So my question is, couldn’t this manifestation itself be legitimate under the right circumstances? I mean the Bible never tells us what “signs and wonders” are; it seems to expect you’ll know them when you see them. So if I’m not preaching a false Gospel (believe me, I’m really not), not following these guys, not praying for it or seeking it in any way, and I’ve gone above and beyond to make sure nothing is still “attached” to me…what other explanation is there?

      My answer would be in the form of a question to you.

      Why are you questioning it? Apparently you are in at least some doubt as to this gold dust being of God, or you would not be questioning it . Do you see what im saying?

      I can tell you what i would do in your shoes. I would pray (whenever it occurs) and rebuke anything and everything behind it which is not of God, in Jesus’ name. I would, in praying, say ‘Lord, i refuse to accept anything which appears supernaturally that is not sent by you’…

      This pleases our Father, to know we want what is real and ONLY from him Chris.

      If you do this, you will receive your answer.

      what other explanation is there?

      I think you already know the answer to that Chris. False signs and wonders, wrought by unclean spirits, are not just relegated to those who preach a false gospel. In some of the greatest true revivals of the past [the Welsh revival as example] the true gospel was preached, but still the false manifestations showed up in the meetings.

    • First of all, blessings to everyone! May God draw ever closer to you. Thank you for asking questions and seeking truth. Complacency is close to sinfulness.

      God has a plan and his plan is…you. He believes in his people. He left his church and his mission (missio dei) in our hands. His work was not just a movement in 2nd temple roman occupied Palestine but continues today. He gave us the great commission to make disciples of all nations. He knew that we couldn’t do it alone so he gave us his spirit so that through us he can heal the sick, raise the dead, freedom to the captive, etc. this IS the gospel…the good news. Signs and wonders will follow those that are filled with his spirit. If the work continues today then the story is still being written. The first, second and fourth chapters are written with the third chapter being revealed.

      Instead of working to discredit our Christian brothers working to fulfill missio dei and pointing to their human faults let us point to God and spend our lives bringing heaven and earth together.

    • Instead of working to discredit our Christian brothers working to fulfill missio dei and pointing to their human faults let us point to God and spend our lives bringing heaven and earth together.

      Hi Luke, and blessing to you too brother! 🙂

      Luke, i beieve its important to do both: take the gospel to all the lost and be aware when it concerns those who are teaching a different gospel. As an example of this, we have Paul, Peter, and Jesus himself.

      But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; (2Peter 2)

      This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2Timothy 3)

      “Watch out for false prophets who come to you in sheeps’ clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7)

      And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24)

  3. Chris – If gold dust appeared on me or my clothing I would collect it and have it analysed. Not as a proof of it being from God (in and of itself) but just as a start point to establish if it is gold. If it is, what is the purity? If it isn’t, what material is it?

    Once I knew the answer to that I would then ask God of it’s significance – what message is He conveying to me through allowing (even if demonic at source) the dust to manifest? I can’t see God leaving you hanging at the whim of speculation.

  4. I once found sparkles on the passenger seat of my car – mulled over it for a while – then remembered I had bought a birthday card with glitter on it – ha ha

  5. … although it could have been the time I gave that angel a lift…

  6. Here is how I feel about the gold dust. First of all you have to ask what God’s purpose would be in doing this. If you look at the miracles described in scripture, they all have purpose. They all are intended to draw people to Christ. They are NOT intended to distract people from Christ and draw their attention to that phenomena instead. This is the problem I have with a lot of modern day signs and wonders. I BELIEVE in signs and wonders and I believe they not only are for today, I believe that they happen today. But the key is to test the spirits. What is the purpose? What is the effect? If the effect is to draw attention to the phenomena and cause people to chase after phenomena, you can be sure that what you are observing is NOT from God. If, on the other hand, people are drawn to God and to the Gospel and NOT to the signs, God may well be at work. In the case of the gold dust, I suspect another spirit is simply trying to draw people AWAY from what you are preaching and distract them from the gospel message. I suspect that spirit is also trying to confuse you regarding how you view supernatural phenomena. Remember, demoniacs followed the apostles seemingly “supporting” their ministry, but their actual purpose was anything but that of advancing the message of the gospel. Beware. Test the spirits. – George

  7. Chris – just realised I sounded flippant about your serious question – didn’t mean to – I guess my view is that there is always a logical explanation.

  8. Chris,

    Share with us your understanding of the Gospel, please?

  9. As for signs and wonders, besides pointing to the “impossibilities” only God can do for with God all things are possible, I have experienced a fair amount of them.

    Most of the time was not I expecting someone to be healed. I was just responding to a request from them for prayer.

    On several occasions I sensed a prodding to ask to pray for a person. When it was not my own imagination, the person was healed or a miracle occurred.

    On one occasion while traveling in the Philippines I was asked to pray for a dead baby. I did. Nothing happened and while in the presence of many witnesses, with my hands still on this child of about 14 or 15 months of age, I stepped back and with some anger looked up to Heaven and yelled at God, “God, I asked you in Jesus Name” and instantly the child came to life again. It startled the kabeegees out of me and everybody else seeing they had all just heard me pray for the child with no response.

    What was even more remarkable was the whole region became divided over this miracle and later on at night I was attacked by a violent group of villages who were expressing some hatred for my being present in their area! Go figure that one out?

    Another time, while in Sierra Leone, W. Africa, I was up country just about to start a diamond mining project and because of custom I was taken to the region’s high official for a courtesy call to get his “blessing” so I could work there. During that visit a daugther of a man who was just bitten by a deadly snake came yelling out of the woods crying hyper emotionally. I asked my interpreter what this woman was saying as she ran to every hut. He said she was announcing the fact her father was bitten by the snake and to prepare for his dying. Without thinking I asked if i could be taken to the man to pray for him? The next thing I know, without thinking about it I was taken to the man. There he was thrashing on the ground foaming at the mouth. I reached down and put my hand on his forehead was about to pray and instantly he jumped up and exclaimed that his head was spinning and that something happened. It happened so fast and it startled me that I don’t even believe I prayed anything. I just stood there frozen in time. The next day when I and my crew came to the mining sight to begin the mining this man and the whole village showed up with a goat. They wanted to make a blood sacrifice to the “gods” in my honor by slitting the goat’s throat and doing some kind of something. Obviously I protested fervently so they didn’t do the sacrifice and some of them went away angry with me!

    So, this whole thing we are seeing, to me, is a bunch of soulish immaturity intended for some other purpose than the purpose of bringing Glory to God so that people will, indeed, know that the Gospel is the Truth and that there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved.

    Isn’t it interesting that at these meetings it’s the saved people ministering to the saved people?

    I have a number of other stories that I can share that seems to shine some light on what truly is a miracle or a true healing that lines up with what we read about in the Scriptures.

    So, again, I make this simple request to Chris, Chris, would you share with us what the Gospel is that you preach?

    • Michael, You make some excellent points here. The miracles of Jesus and the apostles all occurred out amongst the public, not in some controlled atmosphere inside a revival tent or auditorium. And they all had purpose and met the need of the moment. They were not cookie cutter supernatural gimmicks occurring in a carnival atmosphere. Additionally, they certainly didn’t make everybody happy and adoring of the one through whom the miracle came. This is all evidence that much of what we are seeing these days is nothing more or less than the devil’s cheap imitation of the work of the Holy Spirit. God NEVER supplies us with cheap imitations. He always meets us in a very personal and unique way when he applies his supernatural power to our lives. We need to beware of the cheap rip offs that surround us on all sides and be willing to wait on God for the real thing.

  10. I would definitely not regard Bethel as a Word of Faith church (although I’m not an expert on the place or Bill Johnson). I consider them as part of the charismaniac false revival movement, which is evident from their associations. Bill Johnson endorsed Todd Bentley and the Lakeland “revivial” before it all went wrong, which shows that he has no discernment whatsoever. Avoid.

  11. “Once, as she ran through her house frantically searching for her journals, the baby sitter told McCurdy the anti-Christ was in her house”….

    Amazing, sad really…

  12. Thanks to all who responded.

    PJ, as to why is it I’m uneasy about it enough to have to ask, it’s not as self-evident as that. My primary concern is that everyone on discernment blogs denounces such manifestations wholesale, regardless of what is being preached. Given that as my starting point, I am of course uneasy, not wanting to have any part in false signs, despite the fact that I’m doing absolutely nothing to encourage these manifestations.

    George, thanks you for that balanced insight. I would only further make clear, I do everything I can to make sure it isn’t a distraction. I try to give a kind of cool-headed, dismissive explanation and move on. Not to say that something couldn’t be trying to use it as a distraction, but if so it isn’t working very well.

    Michael, glad to hear all of those accounts of miraculous events that you’ve witnessed. Please take this in the calm and appreciative fashion that it is intended: I did not post this to be put on trial, like a baby dangled by his ankles and inspected from every angle for deformity. I have spent the last 2 years studying not only the Bible, but also the works of the major Reformers, as well as early church history, systematically attempting to determine exactly what is the orthodox position on every possible doctrine I can think of. Not to say I believe myself without error or complete in my understanding; far from it. But I am on a constant quest for the truth, as presented by historic orthodoxy rather than contemporary teaching. That is the clearest answer I will give to your question, because I am not here to attempt to pass a Theology exam. Again, please take this in the calm manner it is intended. I mean no offense nor bear ill-will, but that sort of response was precisely why I’ve waited so long to ask this question. If my word is not enough, neither will any answer I give be succinct enough.

    Thanks again for all the responses. I have much to ponder. I spent a while earlier praying that anything that is not of God in my ministry be taken away or exposed for what it is. In the meantime, I suppose I will continue deflecting until something changes.

    • PJ, as to why is it I’m uneasy about it enough to have to ask, it’s not as self-evident as that. My primary concern is that everyone on discernment blogs denounces such manifestations wholesale, regardless of what is being preached. Given that as my starting point, I am of course uneasy, not wanting to have any part in false signs, despite the fact that I’m doing absolutely nothing to encourage these manifestations.

      Chris, the reason for my question in reply to yours,

      Why are you questioning it? Apparently you are in at least some doubt as to this gold dust being of God, or you would not be questioning it . Do you see what im saying?

      is that in my own experience, if i have found myself with any lingering question [or doubt] as to if something supernatural was from God, i have learned in the end, it most likely wasn’t.

      That lesson has been so deeply instilled within me that it even operates in the opposite way also. 🙂 …..

      In that even if the majority proclaim something “isn’t” of God, and my ‘discerner’ tells me it is, without doubt–no question–i go by what i believe.

      In fact, there was a thread here over a year ago in which i posted something in which 4 out of 5 people called it of satan. I did not agree with them, though i did not argue the point.

      My point is if it is a true manifestation of the Spirit of God, i believe we should recognize it without question [or any lingering doubt]. We have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, who will give us confirmation and peace about it.So, when the least little question or doubt is present, for me personally, its an indicator something is not right. That the Holy Spirit is warning me to be careful.

      I was trying to get you to think about why you asked,

      ….couldn’t this manifestation itself be legitimate under the right circumstances?

      I’m sorry if you got the impression my question was judging you Chris…for i can tell you dear brother, i wasn’t.

      I spent a while earlier praying that anything that is not of God in my ministry be taken away or exposed for what it is.

      Amen & Bravo! That’s the way to go… I believe God will honor that request Chris. 🙂

  13. Thanks again, PJ. By no means did I get the impression that you were judging me. I just wanted to be clear that my “check” wasn’t so much from a feeling, as it was an emotional reaction to everyone writing this off wholesale. What you said about recognizing legitimate signs and wonders without question rings true to me, though, so I’m forced to conclude that something is going on here that doesn’t make sense to me. Thanks so much, both for giving me a platform for this question, as well as for your gracious and sage answers.

    • I don’t doubt that God can do anything, but I don’t see the point of gold dust – unless you get enough to pay the bills. My spirit does not sit easy with some things I have read about Bill Johnson, since looking into it, as a friend of mine has decided to up-sticks and go to Bethel. It’s not really for me to say what to do, but if these things are not of God, and I were in your position I would have someone pray with me, who is used in the ministry of deliverance. I’m not saying you necessarily have picked up an unclean spirit, but sometimes these things can get attached to us, especially if anyone has prayed for us who themselves has an unclean spirit. I am always very particular about who I allow to pray for me. You are right to question this, especially since so many others seem to. We are told to test the spirits and to use the gift of discernment. I’m stil uncertain on Bill Johnson’s theology but even the most devout can get derailled when they allow just the smallest chink to appear in their armour. From my reading on the internet, if Bill is in error at all, I imagine his chink was not seeing the New Age movement as totally counter-christian; he has stated that we shouldn’t necessarily write-off everything in the New Age movement; or so I am lead to believe from the quotes I read. I pray you get some peace in your your spirit as regards this dust, whatever your final diagnosis. It seems a bit strange that they find these dubious manifestations up at Bethel; I’ve been a part of charismatic churches from the late 70s and never heard of anything like that. Healings, tongues, interpretaions, prophesy, visions, deliverance etc but never seemingly pointless menifestations. It’s interesting that the only time that a material miracle happened in the gospels was when Peter was told to find a coin to pay the required tax in a fish; a very practical miracle. Oh and the water turned to wine, which came with a message. I see no message being delivered by God with gold dust and angel feathers.

    • Thank you Craig… God bless

  14. PJ this is a very good article, lots of information and links – so important at this time.

    Just to add, we heard Bill Johnson at IAHR conference a few years ago. The feather thing happened. My husband who has been in building maintenance for quite a few years was not impressed by the “falling feathers”. Anything and everything happens to birds in those heating/air ducts, they roost, get stuck, die – whatever – and what do you think happens to those feathers when the air flows??? Yeah.

    So maybe the next time someone is witness to this feather – falling -sign and wonder-…ahem… -they may want to consider first the putrid rotting bird flesh they fell out of.

    Blessings to you. 🙂

  15. Hey everyone! My name is Bart McCurdy and I’m one of the guys that was quoted in the above article regarding Bethel “Church” in Redding, Ca. I must say that I’ve been overwhelmed with the feedback that I’ve received since those articles came out. Up until today, Jan 30, I hadn’t received one negative comment. Whether it be on Facebook, through my site or on the streets. Matter of fact, what those articles have done is they have caused pastors and leaders in the area to talk about what’s going on at Bethel. I think this is a good thing! I’ve always wondered as to why I’ve never heard any local pastors stand up and say something about their theology, or lack of. (At least not that I know of.)
    So, I’ve heard some great feedback from people on this blog and I appreciate it very much.
    I wish we were all in the same room as I have so many stories and experiences I could tell about. From my “possessed” babysitter, to being told that I needed a “Jesus bubble” on me to experience Jesus to “treasure hunts” and much much more.
    As you can imagine, I’m not in agreement with anything that goes on up there. I’ve heard nearly every message from the past year and a half and have yet to hear one clear Gospel message. He couldn’t even talk about Jesus on Easter Sunday of all days! He talked about having things miraculously appear out of no where in thin air! From a buck knife to a Bluetooth headset to whatever, weird and blasphemous.
    I’ve been up there on quite a few Friday night services and have walked out of every one as it’s complete blaspheme the things they say and do. I even went to their “Healing and Impartation” conference 2 weeks ago with Randy Clark. 2 nights not one Scripture. Not one mention of the cross, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I saw some things up there that I could never have made up in a million years, very bizarre behavior.
    Anyways, if you like my site, please book mark it as I’ll be adding new content hopefully every week. The program I use for the site is all written in Flash right now but soon they’re going to add html which will allow me to add a blog and forum and a few other things.
    By the way, that babysitter was going to the School of Supernatural Ministry, training to be a “prophetess”. The day we went and tried to help her out, she told us that during her classes they told her to write down in her journals all her prophecies etc. As she’s half way passed out in our truck’s back seat, she tells us that when she was writing those journals, “the pen would take over for me”. I kid you not. From what I understand, that’s a practice which takes place in the Occult called “auto-pen”. So, how in the world can you tell me that what they’re teaching up there isn’t satanic? You can’t. It doesn’t line up with Scripture, they’re preaching a “different gospel” which is really no Gospel at all. Anyways, love the blog, I’ll be back more often.

    Bart

  16. One more thing, please consider attending this conference in May of this year, it’s going to be outstanding.

    http://www.wretchedradio.com/wretched-events.cfm

  17. Hi Bart!

    Thank you so much for dropping by.

    Your personal insight in the article, was invaluable. God bless you for sharing it with many others.

    I did bookmark your website, and plan on doing some reading. I’ve also added the link to the discernment category here on the blog.

    You brought up one point in particular which i noticed back when watching the lakeland meetings–that being that Christ, the Cross, and a clear presentation of the Gospel is always absent in these type of meetings,

    I’ve heard nearly every message from the past year and a half and have yet to hear one clear Gospel message. He couldn’t even talk about Jesus on Easter Sunday of all days! He talked about having things miraculously appear out of no where in thin air

    Yes, it seems to be all any of these folks want to talk about; signs and wonders, trips to heaven, portals, etc etc etc…

  18. I’m giving away 2 pairs of tickets to the Psalm 119 – Discernment Conference on my site!
    Check out http://www.heraldingtruth.com for details!
    Please pass this information on to everybody you know! Thanks

  19. GEORGE, I believe you hit this nail right on the head. The Bible tells us that satan himself masquerades as an angel of light and he and his demons can also perform miracles. PJMiller good job exposing the devil.

  20. Let our focus be on JESUS…He promised us the Holy Spirit and power so that we could do “greater things than these” …healing, casting out demons etc…as long as the signs point to Jesus and bring salvation to people why do we waste our time arguing…the signs shouldn’t be our focus…but if they point us to Jesus and Father God…and bring about true transformation and a focus on reaching the lost….why not!! Let God be God! Lets just keep proclaiming the gospel and keep our eyes on Jesus…

  21. Grateful to see more materials exposing Bill Johnson

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