Signs and wonders by a different Jesus
Under Bill Johnson Bethel church's focus is training people in prophecy, healing and other "supernatural gifts and manifestations," some of which cannot be found in the Bible.
Some say Spiritual gifts manifest differently for different people, and there are those out there who have more than unique manifestations, these are those never before seen until now.
All spiritual gifts are to point to Jesus Christ, and glorify God.
But what we are hearing from Bethel is more than manifestations of the Spirit, those not hinted of in Scripture. Teachings on affirming them as genuine are supposed to be evidence. One can be wrong in two ways: 1) claiming a negative, that a certain miracle is not from the Holy Spirit, which can always be proven. 2) Another is the positive, to attribute a miracle or manifestation to the Holy Spirit when in fact there is no justification in doing so. Both of these are applicable to what we see taking place a Bethel, it just depends on which side you are looking from.
Bill Johnson’s Christianity has two main components it runs on: The Vineyard and William Branham, both which are classified in the Latter Rain category. I will establish this as I explain what is taking place and where this is all headed.
Johnson’s attitude, “Some of my brothers and sisters belittle such pursuits, saying, "Signs and wonders are supposed to follow you, not you follow them." My perspective is a bit different: If they're not following you, follow them until they follow you.”
That is not biblical advice but a philosophy of a pragmatist. His statement shows a frivolous attitude toward scripture. Johnson insists we must have signs, wonders, miracles – he claims they are now everywhere he goes. Yet his signs following are not ones found in the Bible.
Johnsons says, When we were born again, we received the same spiritual DNA as Jesus.”
DNA is a physical characteristic of a species, the carrier of genetic information, our DNA did not change. This is especially problematic because he teaches the view that Jesus was a human only.
He says“Through the shedding of His blood, it would be possible for everyone who believed on His name to do as He did and become as He was. Again he was only human. What made Jesus who he was is being empowered by the Holy Spirit like no other, so Johnson says.
“He performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God . . . . not as God.”
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. He did miracles as man in right relationship with God because He was setting forth a model for us, something for us to follow. If He did miracles as God, we would all be extremely impressed, but we would have no compulsion to emulate Him. But when we see that God has commissioned us to do what Jesus did—and more—then we realize that He put self-imposed restrictions on Himself to show us that we could do it, too. Jesus so emptied Himself that He was incapable of doing what was required of Him by the Father—without the Father’s help.”
Actually this scripture supports Jesus having power, and using it in concert with the Father. In other words, He only does what the Father wants him to do. He was not making a model for those who come after him to copy.
“Jesus had no ability . . .” and that Jesus “set aside His Divinity.” His error is a subtle denial of the deity of Christ, for divinity, Gods nature cannot be “set aside” for cannot stop being God.
Johnson emphasis on Jesus’ humanity
“While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man...” (Charisma Magazine Feb. 23, 2012)
Johnson emphasis on Jesus’ humanity does not include his deity in spite of him saying that he never stopped being deity at the same time.
Saying “Jesus set aside His divinity, choosing instead to live as a man completely dependent on God.” (Face to Face with God” (p. 108.)
“[Jesus] laid His divinity aside as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father.” (When Heaven Meets Earth, chapter 7)
Jesus put His divinity aside while on Earth means he was not the incarnate God. Truth is, if Jesus set aside His divinity and became a man, Jesus is only a man.
“Jesus was a man of the Spirit…. I sometimes emphasize the humanity of Jesus only because I want to make sure we understand that Jesus gave us an example that was followable. But I don’t want anyone to misunderstand my emphasis, Jesus is eternally God, never stopped being God.” (youtube video)
This he may say is not his emphasis all the time, but it is. I have not seen or heard him speak at length on the deity of Christ. In fact, he says of Jesus “he was born through Mary the virgin and then he was born again in resurrection.” Only if one is a man, a sinful man can he be born again. God cannot be born again (in his spirit. So either Johnson does not know what he speaks or is covering up his true beliefs.
“Jesus lived His earthly life with human limitations. He laid his divinity aside as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father: to live life as a man without sin, and then died in the place of mankind for sin.” (“The Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit.” When Heaven Invades Earth. p.79)
It is absolutely clear where his emphasis is. When someone teaches differently or redefines the meanings on a major doctrine, as Johnson does, eliminating Christ’s deity on earth and focusing on his humanity, they are coming with another Jesus.
Bill Johnson’s Jesus was not deity from His birth, until his ascension. in other words, there is no incarnation.
Bill Johnson says Jesus needed to be born again after his death on the cross. He is then saying that God in His spirit became sin which is the blasphemous teaching of the word faith movement. The only difference, they claim he became sin on the cross in his spirit. Johnson says he was not the incarnate God.
The whole point of Christianity is that God became enfleshed and lived among us, that is the mystery of godliness (2 Tim 3:15-16). His teaching is a denial of many Scriptures. All the religions and cults say Jesus is not God. Johnson's Jesus is no better than there’s. This is not the Biblical view of Jesus.
I can tell you when a person speaks the truth and then speaks the opposite, what is incorrect more times than the truth, there is something seriously wrong. When someone says what is correct and then later says something different on the same subject it means that they do NOT believe what is correct.
Most Christians focus on Christ’s deity because that is who the person is inside the human Body. Without this there is no incarnation of God on earth, there is no payment for all mankind’s sins to all generations.
Phil.2:5: “Who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.” V.7: “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”
The Greek word for “form” is morphe, meaning that quality, the essential character that makes something what it is. Whatever the Father is in nature and essence so is the Son. His being made of “no reputation” is referring to His humanity, coming as a servant.
The word “being” (in the form of God) in Greek it is huparcho. A participle, which means never stopped being, which implies a prior existence. The Son (Jesus Christ) never ceased to be deity.
The emptying of Christ has to do with a change of position, not nature. As man He became a servant; not to show us what we can do, like (a model) as Johnson entertains. “There was a voluntary emptying to give up His independent use of His divine attributes while living on earth in a subordinate role to the Father. This did not change His nature as being the Son of God. That Christ gave up the “Independent exercise of the divine attributes” (Strong's Systematic Theology p.382).
Johnson states: “Christ is not Jesus’ last name. The word Christ means “Anointed One” or “Messiah . . . [Christ] is a title that points to an experience. It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title. He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired. (Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth, p. 87.)
Christ is not every believer’s last name either. Logically, if all have the same experience they are what Jesus was. “Receiving this anointing qualified Him to be called the Christ, which means “anointed one.” “Without the experience [the anointing] there could be no title. (ibid.) Which is not true, Luke 2:11 tells us Jesus was called the Christ from birth. So when he says “It’s not Father, Son and Holy Bible.” we should understand the Bible used in teaching is not as important as the Spirit he hears from which he believes is the Holy Spirit.
So he says “God gave every believer the power to heal as Jesus did.” Again, Jesus had to depend on the Holy Spirit to do his miracles.
Bill Johnson claims that it’s only at the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Jesus is anointed), that Jesus obtained the ability to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the Father and this same ‘anointing’ is available to every believer providing these same abilities:
Johnsons continually portrays Jesus during His earthly ministry as relying on the Holy Spirit, having no power of himself.
Which is what Dake's Annotated Reference Bible states,“He did not claim the attributes of God, but only the anointing of the Spirit to do His works.” Which is also what William Branham stated.
Pastor Johnson and associate pastor Kris Vallotton both Want the Mantle of William Branham.
W.M. Branham “The time has come for the signs to follow the believers. We're at the end time. We're in the latter rain.” (56-1002A, Father, The Hour Has Come, Lane Tech High School, Chicago, IL)
“a great church universal that would sweep from one side of the world to the other side of the world. A great message, great signs and wonders, would be accomplished by this church." (61-0121, Mary's Belief, American Legion Hall, Beaumont, TX).
This is certainly what Bill Johnson is promoting and wanting to see happen. And he is not alone
Jim Rutz in his book “Megashift” says: we will “do types of miracles that aren't even mentioned in the Bible.”
Rick Joyner who is personally involved has said these “Miracles which exceed even some of the most spectacular biblical marvels will cause whole nations to acknowledge Jesus.” (The Harvest, p. 33)
I would say see feathers, gold gems and diamonds falling in their sanctuary qualifies for this. However, these same manifestations are found in the paranormal called apport.
Bill Johnson attributes these manifestations all to the Holy Spirit, he explains: “He (God) is teaching people to learn to recognize his move by recognizing his presence.”
In other words, if you see something supernatural, go with it, its God.
These manifestations are not at all found in Scripture, and he does not use the Bible at all to recognize whether they are, or are not God, he is using his own measurement, what he thinks the Spirit is doing. He has no discernment on the supernatural, and that is not being a good shepherd to the flock, its negating a pastor’s duty to protect the children.
What happens when people start to say I can’t produce these miracles like Bill Johnson states they should? They think there’s something wrong, that “I’m not a Christian,” “there is something wrong with me.”
And what happens when others start seeing signs and wonders that are not in the Bible or even function the same way or purpose, they follow the signs that are against the word and they become deceived.
Johnson states “God gave every believer the power to heal as Jesus did” is from John Wimber who also said, 'My perception is that every born-again Christian can manifest any gift that he wants to, because with the coming of the Holy Spirit you have the Source of all gifts.' (bestofjwspiritual-gifts4of5 Posted on wikipedia under Wimber)
Going back to the Bible, something we should all instinctively do when we hear such boisterous claims, Paul asked “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”(1 Cor. 12:29-31)
The answer is no to all these. He saying as a church we are to desire the best gifts, not that everyone has all these gifts, or chooses what gift they want. Besides, the nine “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22-23) are just as much an indication of the fullness of the Spirit than any gift.
When Bill Johnson speaks of pursuing miracles at the Vineyard
In 1995, he began to cry out to God day and night for about eight months. My prayer was, 'God, I want more of You at any cost! I will pay any price!'
From what I see in scripture God wants more of us, then we have more of him.
Johnson says, in the middle of the night, God came in answer to my prayer for more of Him, he went from a dead sleep to being wide-awake in a moment. Unexplainable power began to pulsate through my body, seemingly just shy of electrocution. It was a though I had been plugged into a wall socket with a thousand volts of electricity flowing through my body. My arms and legs shot out in silent explosions as if something was released through my hands and feet.
“This was simply the most overwhelming experience of my life. It was raw power. . . IT was God”
No comparable reference to the Scripture. The same description is given of Hinduism’s Kundalini power. Johnson unequivocally states this power, “was God” … By his experience.
Experience shaped his doctrine. While the Bible teaches us that doctrine is to shape our experience.
Bethel offers William Branahm’s books by Owen Jorgenson in their course, which are untrustworthy.
Through the school of Supernatural Bethel Church offers 30 courses to teach one how to do all Jesus did, here are two examples.
Module Seven: The Glory Realm - we are to do what Jesus did. As disciples we cannot engage in the quality of ministry that Jesus did unless we are immersed in the glory of God which is the atmosphere of heaven.
Supernatural Healing Ministry
Does not healing come from the Lord? They think we can be trained to do it.
There are spiritual gifts to believers for ministry, (different from apostolic gifts) Jesus was able to produce these because of his nature, being God. We cannot duplicate them.
The problem with the appeal of Bethel is that You don’t do the signs and wonders. God does.
God follows the preaching of his word by signs (and not all the time). So where is the preaching of the word,… which is Christ crucified?
A mere question to have you think this through so that you can have a different conclusion. Do we have signs follow with or without the word being preached? The answer is obvious, signs only follow the word, as the Lord wills.
So then how do these signs (which are for the most part unbiblical) take place without the word being preached? (references to the Bible do not count when you have the intention to produce signs and wonders)
So let the Bible settle the matter…
1 Cor. 1:22-24 “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.”
The Jews want to see miracles and what did Jesus say to them, you have them? No.
Mark 8:11-12 “Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."
It’s the religious persons that wants a sign. Why? Because they are unable to walk in faith, to adhere to the word.
Let’s examine what the Scripture says happened.
Matt. 12:38-40 "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
The second time: Matt 16:1-4 “Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.
Both times he says he will give them a sign that is not just for them but for the whole world.
Again in John 2:18-22 So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
Bill Johnson does not believe this sign even though it is the main one that Jesus said he would give them after he died, he says Jesus GAVE Himself to be crucified. He DID NOT raise Himself from the dead…His job was to give His life to die. The Father raised Him by the Spirit…” BUT He BECAME SIN. He needed to be raised from the dead. Acts 13 calls Him 'the first born from the dead.' He did not raise Himself. The Father through the Spirit raised Him. (Facebook Feb.14, 2011)
Johnson denies the word making Jesus to be a liar.
John 2:19-22 Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews then said, 'It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking of the temple of this body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken." John 10:17-18
The disciples believed it, but not Johnson.
You see he can’t say Jesus raised himself from the dead because he was not God until after the resurrection “Jesus lived His earthly life with human limitations. He laid his divinity aside as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father: to live life as a man without sin.” (“The Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit.” When Heaven Invades Earth. p.79)\
So we now see how the Jesus that Bill Johnson presents affects other doctrines, core doctrines.
This is a different Jesus than the Bibles and so the signs and wonders being done by this Christ must be questioned, discerned for the people’s safety. When one begins to look under the surface instead of just accepting it because someone popular stated it. they may see the truth and be removed from the signs and wonders movement that is misleading them.