Tagged in: Kingdom of God

My problem with Bethel Church!

Bethel Church in Redding, California is amazing and I love a lot of what comes out of there but I am not a blind dog that takes everything hook, line and sucker. The reality is that we are called to be Bereans who test the teaching against the New Testament.

I have a lot of their books and one that I bought (but never read) was Walking in the Supernatural: Another cup of spiritual java. In this book, I read something that is alarming at best that came from the main leader of Bethel Church, Bill Johnson.


One of my primary jobs is to teach Christians how to discover and spend their inheritance. This basically means teaching people to use the unlimited promises given to us by God to bring about a manifestation of His dominion for the sake of humanity…

While this sounds all great, it has a major flaw in both soteriology and missiology. The purpose of preaching the gospel is to save souls. It is to preach about the bloody Savior on a hill far away to quote the Old Rugged Cross. The primary role of any preacher is to win the lost at all cost. Period.

Any pastor or teacher that is not passionately engaging the lost for the sole purpose of seeing them washed in the blood of the Lamb has lost their way and their reason for even being in ministry. Christianity is not psychology and it is not the latest self-help scheme that quickly becomes sanctified Wicca thinking.

Secondly, the focus of the Christian life should never be “Dominion.” Our goal should be to seek and to save that which is lost. It is what Jesus came to do and it is what we should be doing as a continuation of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke 19:10 makes this very clear.


The goal of the faith is to redeem people from hell; not bring Kingdom Now theology to confused believers.

…We offer people the taste of the Kingdom, over and over, with endless variations. We are like Holy Spirit baristas offering (free) samples of our Father’s excellent  coffee, educating people to appreciate the good stuff and how to bring others into that experience…

I have a serious problem with this comparing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to a coffee of Joe from Starbucks. The power of the Spirit is holy and should be respected. You don’t treat the Ancient of Days as a latte from Gloria Jeans. The preaching of the gospel is not being a barista!

I have the same problem with John Crowder and others who think you can “toke the ghost.” Having deep respect for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is critical to walk in power and authority like the early church did.

Another major error that many like Bill Johnson and John Bevere are teaching is about the gospel is just “good news.” The gospel is the best news a person can hear if they receive it. It is the worst news they can hear if they reject it. Heaven is real but so is hell. Hell is still hot and people are still going there.


The focus of the believer is to bring people to the Cross of Christ, not into spiritual highs caused by “divine lattes.” The Cross changes everything for everyone!

Too much of the Church has left the riches of Heaven sitting in the bank, thinking that we only get them when we die and go there. The belief that Heaven is a future reality has reduced far too many of God’s declarations in Scripture to positional truth that people acknowledge but never experience.

While I agree with this as far as divine healing and deliverance; it seems they want to make the gospel about prosperity (which I do believe in). Healing is the children’s bread and it is a integral part of the gospel. It is not secondary to the salvation. Healing is part of the message. It is miracles that win the masses to Jesus around the world. Jesus saves, heals, delivers and fills!


Bill Johnson holds that believers should expect “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done.” I have no problem with that to be honest. We should expect the manifestation of the atonement to break into people’s lives. The issue is that Bethel Church thinks this is for the believer. It is not for them but through them. This is a big game changer.

The one thing that bothers me here is the disregard for “positional truth.” That is the Bill Johnson way of talking about sound doctrine. Like it or not, sound theology is pretty important. A lot of people have went nuts in the end because they did not have positional truth. Knowing what you believe keeps you from becoming a heretic. Just ask William Branham.

At the end of the day, the gospel is an experience but it is not just that. I do not need to feel saved every morning to know I am saved. I do not feel God’s mercy when I wake up but I know His mercies are new every morning. Being led by feeling is a dangerous place to be.

Many believers stay immature because they never progress beyond the revelation that they are sinners saved by grace…Those who progress are those who understand that God’s highest purpose was not to merely to forgive us of sin….

I am not even quite sure where to start with this. The soteriology of Bethel Church in Redding, CA is just completely out of wack. We never graduate from being saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. There is no progressing from that. That is always where we stand and on what basis we operate spiritually.

There is no moving beyond the salvation experience and it is something that must be valued at every turn of the faith. It is what redeemed us from the flames of hell. It is what keeps us and makes us children of God.


I love the risk culture of Bethel Church and I realize value the heart of Bill Johnson for people to expect the supernatural to break through in their lives. However, a honest look at the soteriology of what is coming out of the pulpit and their books is concerning to put it lightly.

 

Why is God silent about elections?

Over a dozen friends, many of them pastors, asked me throughout the last year what the Lord was saying about the elections and namely who will be the next President of the United States? Would the Trump of Revelation be blown? People were talking like that, believe it or not. I believe that God is silent on election matters! Continue reading…

William Seymour departs Methodism

William was a man that was deeply touched and he was living in the revelation of Jesus as the Hope of the Nations. He was hungry for more of God. He lived to study the Bible and he wanted everything God had for him.

Seymour did not have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit yet but he was hungry for more; that’s a great place to start in faith for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. He had what we learned in the renewal at John Arnott’s church: More, Lord, More.

When you are hungry for the things of the Holy Spirit, there is a place that you can only go with the teachings around you. Sometimes, you just have to go deeper. William’s though the teaching the African Methodist Eposical Church just was not cutting the mustard for him. He wanted deeper truth and more of the Lord.

SEYMOUR REJECTS METHEDISM AND AMILLENNIALISM

John Wesley believes in amillennialism and sadly in the creeping back into our Pentecostal ranks through people like Steve Gray at World Revival Church. 

Methodism

What exactly is amillennialism anyways?

Amillennialism (Greek: a- “no” + millennialism) is the view in Christian eschatology which states that Christ is presently reigning through the Church, and that the “1000 years” of Revelation 20:1-6 is a metaphorical reference to the present church age which will culminate in Christ’s return. It stands in contrast to premillennialism, which states that Christ will return prior to a literal 1000 year earthly reign; and postmillennialism, which states that Christ’s return will follow a 1000 year golden age ushered in by the church.

William did not see this in the Bible and completely rejected it as heresy. To be fair, Seymour was not alone. Most of the Church at the time and to this day reject amillennialism as heresy. There are a few that believe it but they are the minority.

Seymour believed that in the Pre-Tribulation catching away or “the rapture” that the Bible teaches. This would become the hallmark of the revival at Azusa Street and the wider Pentecostal revival. Most, if not all, of the Pentecostal movement that would come out of revivals would hold this position.

There would be a few movement, namely the Vineyard with John Wimber, that would hold a Post- Tribulation view but very few would hold a position of amillennialism. The only group that I know of does is the bunch out of the Smithton Outpouring.

One thing is for sure: God was putting in William a passion to understand the Kingdom through the teaching of Jesus, not man’s opinion. He was not led by the teaching of men such as John Wesley and others in Methodism. If it was not in the theology of Jesus, he rejected it. That was something that would become very important later as many heresy would come up in the early days of the Pentecostal movement.

We know that he was a simple man, loved the Word, didn’t have theological education, only took Jesus for His word and moved in faith. That is the man that God can use for revival!

prophetic word

Seymour believed in the power of prophecy

William was struggling with the Methodism as well over what he called “Special Revelation.” He believed that God could and would speak to us today about spiritual things and the Holy Spirit would us into all truth. He did not yet understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit but he did believe in the prophetic at this point.

One reason that I believe that he had this position was he was raised around African voodoo and had seen supernatural things happen. He knew that if voodoo doctors could do it, the Holy Spirit could do it for sure.

Seymour also had a very strong view on the power of dreams and visions. He saw that many in the Bible was led by dreams and visions and he believed that God had not changed. This was not a position of John Wesley or Methodism.

I am sure taking a strong position on the supernatural in the late 1800’s was not an easy thing to do. He was not in the majority at the time as most believe God stopped speaking or if He did, it was not very often and not to very many people. It was only to super anointed people like George Whitfield and John Wesley.

In all fairness, I do not believe that John Wesley would have being part of Methodism then and without question now. It has changed a lot and Seymour’s views where closer to Wesley than the Methodism he was confronted with at the time.

prophetic-dream

Paying the price for the move of the Spirit

As Seymour had to pay a price for hold biblical truth and believe in the supernatural, the problems has not changed that much on this side of the Pentecostal revival. We might not having rocks threw at us, tomatoes hitting us the face, or our churches burned to the ground. However, we will be mocked by many and slandered beyond anything a person should have to deal with.

If you want to be used by the Holy Spirit today, you will still deal with a lot of the problems that Seymour dealt with. You might not be received because of one non-essential position such as Eschatology. Many movement gather based on doctrinal positions, not a common vision for revival. Many care more about their fundamental truths than they do the end time harvest.

Most of the Church, dare I say Pentecostals included, struggle with prophetic dreams. They might believe it on paper and each preach about it. However, it is a whole new ballgame when someone actually has a prophetic dream. People start question if they are crazy or they are think making things up. In the end, we struggle to believe God speaks to normal people as much as people as Methodism do.

Are you a doubting Thomas when it come to the voice of the Holy Spirit? Do you have the faith to believe in people’s experience with the Divine. Many do not.

United Pentecostal Church believers or cult?

I was on Facebook and a friend asked me “Are United Pentecostals christian or are they a cult?” This is an honest question that many have actually.

You may or may not know that Tommy Tenney, the God Chaser guy, is a member of the United Pentecostal Church International. His father just recently retired as the leader of UPC churches in the state of Louisiana.

As far as Tommy Tenney, I know there is an ongoing discussion just how much of the theology of the United Pentecostal still has. Well, I am not sure it matters. What you will not read in this article is throwing stones at them or calling them a cult.



David K. Bernard is the current President that is back in Hazelwood, Missouri. He doesn’t seem like a dumb guy from what I can tell. He preaches what he believes well and is pretty educated. Graduate of Rice University and Doctorate from University of Texas.

I have been to many services at a few United Pentecostals churches. I loved the passion of the believers at The Pentecostals of Saint Joseph in Missouri.  Really sad that they lost their facility that was overlooking I-29 out by Brian Zahnd’s Word of Life Church.

United Pentecostals do believe different

They do hold a winner takes all view of salvation. They believed that you are either baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues or you are not saved at all. They take the passage where Jesus talked about being baptized with water and spirit literal.

Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. – Jesus

One issue that I see first out the gate is they confuse being born again and the Kingdom of God. The government of God and Soteriology is no quite the same. That is a common mistake among alot of churches though.




In United Pentecostal theology, you have make a confession of Lordship, be baptized in water and be baptized in the Holy Spirit in order to be saved.

One other way that they differ is you have to be baptized in the name of Jesus only. No Father, Son, and Holy Spirit baptism.

The other passage that is used alot in their Soteriology is Acts 2:38,

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

I have heard some of the leaders in the Church say this is the gospel, not the Romans Road. I disagree but I still love them as brothers of the faith.




The position that is hold officially by United Pentecostals on a prayer language or praying in tongues is not all that different besides one thing: they believe it is a salvation issue. Most other Pentecostals do not and see it as a second grace from the Lord.

The things that really divide Pentecostals

Now the two areas that make them very different that modern Pentecostals in the Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland) and the Charismatic movement. One of them is quite silly but a major divider among the Pentecostal movement; the one is only serious about of the damage it does to the people involved.

Back in 1914, the Assemblies of God was formed and only two years later, it was under attack. You have most people believing in the Trinity but you also had a minority that demanded that there was only Jesus, no Father, Son and Holy Spirit.



It became such as issue that at the General Council of the Assemblies of God in 1916, also a third of the assemblies were kicked out and they formed what became knows as the 16 Fundamental Truths with right off the top being the Trinity.

As a result, they formed the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies that later became the United Pentecostal Church International.




 

Isn’t the United Pentecostal pretty legalistic?

The other issue is their holiness ideals. It goes way past anything the the Bible even remotely teaches. Things like how to wear your hair, how long a dress should be, what type of suit to wear, television were not allowing in your home, no  jewelry or makeup for the women to name a few.

Legalism is a real bondage that still is alive today in the United Pentecostal Church. It destroys lives, family and ministries. There is nothing positive that comes out of legalism.

The other thing about it is when someone does come out of the bondage, they go to the extreme and live in complete sin. I have seen women leave the United Pentecostal movement and just become a nymphomaniac. They do not know how to handle freedom after so much legalistic bondage.



 

So why don’t I call them a cult?

This is where I struggle. I see all the problem with the United Pentecostal movement and even the biblical areas that they have departed; I also see a pure desire to love Jesus and move in the Spirit in them.

Outside of the Trinity issue, they do believe in the gospel. They have all of that right. They only add things that are not there and misunderstand the place of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life.

I do receive them as brothers in the faith with some theological reservation. They have serious error but I receive the Baptist, Church of God (Cleveland) and the Calvary Chapel that all have some theological issues as well.

One thing I do know is a group of United Pentecost people can pray and they can get the devil of people. They do know how to tarry and war in the Spirit. They don’t mind praying all night for someone to get set free from bondage.

Call a prayer meeting, the UPC people will be there until you lock the door; the Assemblies people will give you about trinity minutes than they will be out back playing basketball for the next three hours.




World Revival School of Ministry

World Revival School of Ministry is legit? Think again

The other day, I did an article on concerns about IHOP University; I would amiss to not address the issues at World Revival School of Ministry that makes IHOP looks like the perfect school! This is a school ran by World Revival Church of Kansas City.

Read why I consider World Revival Church dangerous to the Body of Christ 

Before we even start, we have to establish the evolving theology of Steve and Kathy Gray, JD King and others at the ministry. They have long forgotten about revival and more to this odd take on the Kingdom of God that is not taught by any legit ministry today.

George Eldon Ladd would not even sign on this. He would roll his grave to know what he is accused of teaching. That Baptist boy would be rolling in his grave knowing what people say that he said. On a side note, I highly suggest his book called Gospel of the Kingdom. Amazing work of literature and a revelation from the Father.

As far as the church, I have watched it go from renewal or limited revival, to dead, back to renewal into being an epic-center for every heresy known to mankind.

If for no other reason that the controlling spirits in the church, I recommend that no one serious consider the World Revival School of Ministry. Your son would come home as a robot that can only think under “his covering” and has no ability to think for himself.

In the last few years, the Sherperding movement (Think Bob Mumford) has taken complete roots thanks to some odd ideas from heretical preacher John Bevere. If you follow Azusa Report, you know I believe in blessing ministries but Bevere is a vessel of control and shame.

What about World Revival School of Ministry?

The claim they are training people for revival is simply not true. They are training people to be members of World Revival Church, not take the gospel of revival to the nations. To date, after years of “revival,” they have TWO missionaries on the field. One in Kenya and one in Mali. That is hardly a sending capacity.

The school has NO accreditation whatsoever and a contact of mine has had to try and help graduates get some credit for what they did. Just like IHOP University, it is a useless piece of paper that gives you zero marketable skills in life or ministry.

I guess you could be a debater on Eschatology or Ecclesiology but besides that, not much of a marketable skills. I know, without question, they could not lead a sinner to the foot of the cross upon graduation. What is the point of biblical training if you can’t win souls?

Another growing concern that I have is the faculty are all very loyal staff to Steve Gray (Remember Sheperding movement) and I question if any of them would get a real teaching position at a major school like Oral Roberts or Evangel University. The few solid teachers have had have long been gone. One of them told personally that the school has been in trouble and they have no vision for sending students to the nation.

Another thing to know, you are required to attend every service at World Revival Church, regardless if you are a part of the ministry at an Assembly. As my mother was a pastor, it was one reason I never attended the school before it went crazy.

The deeper concern: Witchcraft against Graduates

I know many graduates of the school that have moved on from World Revival School of Ministry only to trash and wound by members and if they live World Revival; they are leaving revival. I guess, God can only move if Steve Gray gets the glory. I will include a video about that outdated Man of God thinking at the end.

I know first hand this witchcraft spirit in the house of World Revival. I openly question the lack of missiology of the ministry. Everyone that I had relationship with there cut me off, never to speak to me again, and slandered me on Facebook. All because I questioned the lack of the evangelism in the church and the lack of the presentation of the gospel in services.

The way people are treated when they are called away from World Revival is nothing less than a cult. In all honesty, they remind me of Tony Alamo camp down in Alma, Arkansas.

A word to World Revival Church members

I am sure many of you will come and tell how how wrong I am and how you want nothing to do with me. That is old you. You have written me off a long time ago. The question is what will you do to fix a relationship? You talk about community and relationship but do not live it. Living your faith is not when people agree but when people disagree. You have been challenged. Will you answer the challenge or just gossip about me even more?

How about instead of slandering me for questioning the theology and missiology of your idol of choice; you engage in educational and thoughtful dialog that leads us to better understanding. After all, that is what Jesus would do, isn’t it?

Now for the Song about Steve Gray…. the whole world is straying at you but they can’t see Jesus. Humble yourself and get out of the Lord’s way.