"Do not add to His words or He will reprove you,
and you will be proved a liar." (Proverbs 30:6)
Around the world, solid, Bible-based Christians rely on God's written word as their ultimate and final authority. They maintain the importance of studying the Bible on a daily basis, one-on-one with the Lord, in fellowship and prayer. The Bible is trustworthy, and is to be used to weigh and measure those who claim to be Christian teachers and prophets of God.
If the teachings of men downplay, disagree with, contradict, or deny what God has written, God Himself marks them as false teachers, false prophets, false apostles, and savage wolves. As such, their words and writings are to be totally rejected, and they are to be avoided at all costs. For where one false teaching is birthed, other false teachings incubate.
SPIRITUAL WAR ROOMS
False teachers are slick and subtle, and are overshadowed by Satan and his demonic forces. They enter into their spiritual war rooms and use their skills and imaginations to plan and conduct pre-emptive strikes on the core of the Christian faith--the Person, nature, and work of Jesus Christ. "Downplay and lower Jesus" to their level is their motto. "Gather the sheep for the slaughter" is their creedo. Condition and manipulate the innocent and unwary is their objective. Causing confusion and frustration is their nature.
Reducing Jesus to man's level results in a pre-fabricated "Christ," who is just one of the guys who shrugs his shoulders at false teachings and false prophecy; an impish avatar who jumps at the commands of men; and a super-cool dude who waves a peace sign and answers the prayers of men according to their will. This false "Jesus" grins over the stupidity of false teachers, and searches for every opportunity to betray them.
False teachers birth false teachers who, in turn, birth other false teachers. The birthing process is ongoing and a vicious cycle that spans thousands of years. False teachers are adored and idolized, and receive an overkill of admiration and praise from their followers. As such, if anything said to a false teacher is viewed as negative or judgmental, his or her followers will enter the "zone," build a defensive wall, reject Biblical truth and documented evidence, and defend their false teacher tooth and nail.
While their rotted fruits are exposed in articles, books, videos, and across the internet, false teachers grow stronger in deception and popularity. But at the same time, they and their followers slide deeper into sin and further away from the real Jesus, the One who reaches out to rescue them from eternal separation from God.
When false teachers are successful at conditioning and manipulating the minds of their followers, their followers reject the real Jesus and cling to the false. It is then when everything else falls into place--nothing is sacred--and interpretation on the essentials of the Christian faith is up for grabs. From there, the world of those who follow false teachers is topsy-turvy and always changing, and littered with fear and intimidation, confusion and frustration, and even depression.
Over the years, leaders within the hyper-Charismatic camp have declared war on the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, and have convinced their followers to believe that,
-- man is a "god" or "God" or "Jesus".
-- Jesus took on the nature of Satan and was born again in hell.
-- there are nine persons in the Trinity.
-- Jesus died on the cross for physical healing.
-- Christians do not have the sin nature, and therefore do not sin.
-- Jesus gave up or lost His divinity at the incarnation.
-- God is not in complete control of His creation, and is not sovereign.
-- those who speak negative words against "God's anointed" are unsaved agents of Satan who hate Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
-- the gospel "package" includes signs and wonders.
-- the gospel can't be fully preached unless it includes signs and wonders.
These false and blasphemous teachings are clawed into the walls of the spiritual war rooms throughout the hyper-Charismatic camp. And, posted at the entrance of each war room is a spiritual target that reads, "DESTROY JESUS CHRIST AND HIS GOSPEL".
'ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES'
"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, the Apostle Paul's inspired writings resonate with confidence and trust in God's written word. Notice that the Holy Spirit instructed Paul to write the words "according to the Scriptures" twice. These are powerful words that shout the importance of the gospel, and that belief in the gospel is essential to the salvation of man.
"According to the Scriptures" are words that should be memorized and locked away into the minds of every Christian. "According to the Scriptures" should be remembered during Sunday sermons, Sunday School, witnessing sessions, and during opportunities to defend the faith. Belief in the gospel "according to the Scriptures" is critical--life in Christ and heaven for the believer; destruction and hell for the unbeliever.
THE DEADLY GAME OF DENYING JESUS
With 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 in mind, the gospel consists of three parts: the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each part of the gospel is just as important as the other, and cannot be separated. Remove one leg from a three-legged chair and it will fall. To deny one part of the gospel is to deny it all. God set the rules and guidelines in place thousands of years ago, and He will not change.
Those who preach "another gospel" deny the real gospel and preach a false gospel. They are under a divine curse from God (Galatians 1:6-9). The same applies to those who deny one or more parts of the gospel. For example, if one agrees that Jesus died on the cross, but denies His bodily resurrection, one denies the gospel. One cannot be a Christian and deny the gospel.
Jesus Christ is God Himself in human form, second Person of the Trinity, and the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He never lied or sinned. His every word and thought was perfect, pure, and holy. He never ceased being God, which raises the question: How can Jesus stop being God? The answer is simple: He didn't, He wouldn't, He can't, and it is sheer blasphemy to believe otherwise.
In John 8:58, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am," which He stated after His incarnation. Jesus' words, "I am" are in perfect harmony with Exodus 3:14, where the pre-incarnate Christ spoke to Moses from the burning bush. Further, after Jesus' bodily resurrection, Thomas recognized Him as "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). Thus, Jesus was God, is God, and always will be God.
Therefore, those who undermind, twist, add anything to, or take anything away from Jesus and His words are playing a deadly game with their eternal welfare. To deny anything about Jesus Christ is to call Him a liar. Doing so is treading on very dangerous ground, and is an open invitation to God's righteous wrath and judgement.
The Bible has much to say about denying Jesus:
"But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)
"If we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us." (2 Timothy 2:12)
"They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed." (Titus 1:16)
"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." (2 Peter 2:1)
"For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:4)
The Scriptural warnings against denying Jesus are carved in stone. To deny Him is to affirm the false. To deny Jesus is to rely on people who choose to listen to doctrines of demons. Those who play the deadly game of denying Christ will die in their sins (John 8:23-25).
On February 14, 2011, Bill Johnson stated the following on his Facebook wall:
"Jesus was sinless for sure. The spotless lamb. 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. He was born of Mary. That's one. He was raised from the dead. That's two. 'Again.' It's not a statement creating a new doctrine. It's to make people think, which gets scary for some. Primarily it's to help us appreciate the fact that Jesus had become sin and was in need of the resurrection as much as we are in need of being born again." [emp. in original]
Clearly, Bill Johnson denies that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. Although he was confronted and provided with Scriptural correction, he refused to submit to the authority of Scripture and repent. Johnson allowed his damnable dribble to stand, and he sat back while his followers defended him--despite Jesus' own words in John 2:19-22 and John 10:17-18!!!
Nonetheless, Johnson's denial of an easy-to-understand Scripture demonstrates that he does not study the Bible. It also demonstrates that he does not receive "revelations" from God. The God of the Bible won't say one thing in His word and tell Bill Johnson something entirely different. God is perfect and holy. He cannot lie.
Further, Acts chapter 13 mentions nothing about Jesus being the "first born from the dead," but Colossians chapter 1 does. Here it is in context:
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible
and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all
things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things,
and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church;
and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself
will come to have first place in everything." (Colossians 1:15-18)
The word "firstborn" in the Greek is "prototokos," and is a term of pre-eminence, and means "first begetter" or "original bringer forth". Therefore, Jesus is before all things and is the Creator. Within Christianity, the Creator is separate from His creation. Creation cannot be the Creator. The position of Creator is reserved for the God of the Bible (Genesis chapter 1; Colossians 1:15-18).
In addition, it needs to be noted that the Greek word "protoktistos" means "first-created." Since Jesus is self-existant (not created), the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to use the word "prototokos."
Indeed, Bill Johnson's damnable dribble is fourfold: 1. he denies Jesus' words. 2. he calls Jesus a liar by denying His words. 3. he denies that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. 4. by stating that Jesus "did not raise Himself," Johnson denies an essential part of the gospel--as clearly outlined in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
Again, in his above statement, Johnson wrote that he is not "creating a new doctrine," but that he wants to "make people think." Make people think about what? Telling people that Jesus did not raise Himself from the dead DOES create a new doctrine--a false doctrine--which is what the cults have done for many, many years. Yet, Johnson says it, his followers believe it, and the denial of an essential part of the Christian faith becomes the new standard--which opens the door to additional false teachings.
Compare Johnson's denial that Jesus raised Himself from the dead with what Jesus said in John 2:19-22 and John 10:16-18:
"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 HIS 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." [EM. added]
2,000 years ago, Jesus' apostles and New Testament believers testified that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. Modern-day Christians use God's written word to testify that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. The Father and Holy Spirit know that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. The evidence of Scripture proves that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. And, Jesus knows that He raised Himself from the dead.
But, Bill Johnson teaches that Jesus "did not raise Himself" from the dead. His damnable dribble will return to haunt him and his followers.
JOHNSON OR JESUS?
Common with all false teachers is that they deny one or more of the essentials. Bill Johnson is a false teacher. He relys on his skills and imagination, rejects correction, refuses to repent, draws his followers away from the truth of God's word, and drives them deeper into sin and further away from the real Jesus Christ. This is the nature of a false teacher. This is what they do.
Those who attend Bethel Church would be wise to cut the spiritual umbilical cord that connects them to Bill Johnson, evacuate Bethel Church immediately, repent, and seek solid, Bible-based council.
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20)
Bethel Church has a statement of beliefs on its website. But what seems sound and legitimate on the outside may be deadly on the inside. Bethel Church claims to believe that "The Bible to be the inspired and only infallible and authoritative Word of God." ("We Believe," http://www.ibethel.org/we-believe ).
In reality, Bethel's statement of beliefs serves as a sticky web to lure innocent and unwary Christians (Acts 20:27-31). After all, if Bill Johnson truly believed that the Bible is the "inspired and only infallible and authoritative Word of God," he would listen to God the Holy Spirit and wouldn't teach that Jesus "did not raise Himself" from the dead.
"The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son." (1 John 5:10)
Jesus testified that He would raise Himself from the dead, and He did. We have His word on it. However, Bill Johnson denies Jesus' testimony, and therefore calls Jesus a liar.
Choose this day whom you will serve: Johnson or Jesus?