sexta-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2011

Is BILL JOHNSON a false Teacher?

WARNING from Andrew Strom against BILL JOHNSON and BETHEL CHURCH


I am really hoping to make this the last of this type of article for a while. Some people think I "love" putting out this stuff. But I honestly wish it would all go away, so we could get on with the 'real' work of building the kingdom. 

However, Bill Johnson is doing such damage to the Body of Christ around the world that I simply cannot stay silent.

In New Zealand (where I am currently) he holds a huge Conference once a year called "Manifest Presence". This is almost certainly the biggest and most influential Christian conference in the whole country. And likewise in other nations, such as UK, Australia, Singapore, and many others. His influence is enormous.

Bill Johnson is a very charming man. He also emphasizes a number of things that I heartily agree with - such as street evangelism using the gifts of the Spirit, prophecy and healing on the streets, etc. But the problem is that he endorses and promotes an "anointing" exactly identical to the one that Todd Bentley promotes.

The "drunken glory", fire-tunnel, laughing, jerking, gold-dust, "Angel-mania"-type anointing that has done such damage to the Charismatic movement around the world - and in many cases reduced it to a shocking travesty of what it once was. 

What would Derek Prince or Keith Green think of the things these men are into - spiritual drunkenness, "portals", 'visualization', spirit-travel, fire-tunnels, angel-orbs and the like? (Found all the way through the New Age movement, but not in the Bible).

Bill Johnson was one of the biggest supporters of the Lakeland revival led by Todd Bentley. 

And even after the fiasco that it became, he publicly endorsed Todd Bentley's ministry again in 2011. 

But Bill does it all with such "down-to-earth" charm and wise-sounding words - "how could this be deception?" 

That is what makes him so dangerous.

His wife Beni is co-pastor with Bill of Bethel church in Redding, California. And interestingly she is even more open about the bizarre things that they are into. She even puts it in writing on the Internet, for all the world to see.

For example, in her "Life and Wellness" blog on July 6 this year, here is what she wrote in an entry called 'Love Shack Time': 

"I was talking with Ray Hughes the other day and was telling him about using a 528 HZ tuning fork as a prophetic act. Someone told me that this tuning fork is called the tuning fork of LOVE..." (Please note that crystals and tuning forks are used in NEW AGE therapy - and have nothing to do with Christianity in any way).

Beni continued: "Recently I got up to speak at a meeting and walked up to the song "Love Shack" by the B52's. I was calling people to more love. It was so fun."

I guess we are now beginning to get a sense of the strange spiritual world that these people inhabit. Another blog post that Beni wrote about 'WAKING UP ANGELS' in March 2009 was also very revealing:

"In the last couple of months, I personally have become more aware of the angelic activity in this realm. One of those times was when we were on a prayer trip to Arizona... One morning as we were driving up over Tehachapi Pass and coming down into the Mojave Desert, I began to feel angels. The closer we got, the stronger the impression felt. I could see them everywhere!..

I announced this to the group and said, "We have got to stop! We have to stop somewhere..." As we drove around a corner I said, "I think that we are going to wake up some angels here..." 

"We knew we were to turn around, get out of the RV and wake up the angels. I wish I could convey to you the energy and the quickness of how God was working. 

We jumped out of the RV, I blew the shofar and rang the bell, and we yelled ‘WAKEY, WAKEY’. We got back into the RV and drove off. As we drove off, hilarious laughter broke out! We were stunned at the speed  at which this all took place and were spinning from the adventure and the angelic activity.”

What in the world had just happened?! 

Heaven collided with earth. Woo hoo!! 

"Since that time, there has been a stirring in me to awaken the angels for use in this Kingdom reign that is upon us here on earth. I have shared these two stories in other places and have done a prophetic act of waking up the angels: having everybody cry out, ‘WAKEY WAKEY!’ I know it is strange but it is very effective... One of our gals who enjoys God's angels... gets pretty wacked when they are around..." 

The reference that Beni makes here to "Heaven colliding with earth" is of course directly tied to Bill Johnson's most famous teaching on "When Heaven Invades Earth". Clearly, this is the kind of thing they mean when they use that phrase. So if we get with their program so-to-speak, we too can go around "waking up angels" and getting "pretty wacked" when these 'angels' are around.

I guess the obvious question is whether they are "serious" about all this. Sadly, the answer is "Yes." When you get so completely deceived that you think "drunken glory" and 'tuning forks' and getting "wacked" are normal Christian behaviour, you are open to anything.

Tragically, if we look at all that these people have said and done now for years and years, we have to conclude that one of Christendom's biggest leaders (Bill Johnson) inhabits the most bizarre quasi-spiritual universe that you can imagine. And he is spreading this deceived foolishness in the Body of Christ on a mass scale. It might seem almost "funny" if it wasn't so 'New Age' serious.

One young lady named Johanna who had been a student for many months at Bill Johnson's 'Bethel' school wrote to me the following: "In August 2008 I moved to Redding, California to attend Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM). I graduated in May 2009... Almost right away I began to question the bizarre behavior that is so normal there. 

"At Bethel, there are many sayings that are tossed around daily... "God only has nice things to say," "There´s no high like the Most High." There would be all kinds of distracting behavior (random shouting, laughing, etc.) during school sessions and church services. When any guest speaker came to school, students would flock to the front to get as close to the speaker as possible. 

We were taught that any anointing we wanted could be received by simply "claiming it" for ourselves. Students would rush the stage and the front of the sanctuary so the speakers could lay hands on them. 

"Among the guest speakers were Bob Jones, Heidi Baker, Georgian and Winnie Banov, Randy Clark, John and Carol Arnott... We also had regular sessions with Bill Johnson, Beni Johnson... and other Bethel pastors. The drunken behavior and questionable teachings from some, if not all, of these speakers was shocking at times. I can safely say that I never heard the word "repentance" once in any teaching. 

"I remember when the Banovs came, the whole place was complete chaos. When they touched someone, that person would jerk violently or stumble around as if they were drunk. The Banovs minister to people in trash dumps around the world... What I remember them talking about was love, joy, bliss, and the new wine. 

"Angels were often talked about. I remember Beni Johnson actually took an RV across Arizona and New Mexico to wake up angels that were supposedly sleeping. (Another one of the common phrases, "Wakey wakey"). I would always hear people talking about their encounters with angels and how they visited heaven. 

One young woman I knew said she could see angels everywhere, she talked to them all the time, and she would help her friends to do the same... God becomes like Santa Claus. Without the preaching of the true gospel, the fear of the Lord is lost."

ANDREW AGAIN: As you can see from all these reports, the ministry of Bill Johnson is highly suspect. Sadly, because the deception is not as "obvious" as Todd Bentley, people are charmed into thinking he's "fine". Charismatic leaders around the world flock to his meetings and openly endorse his teachings. For this reason I believe he is far more dangerous than Todd Bentley ever was.

The Bible says that in the last days will come false teachers and "lying signs and wonders" to deceive if possible the "very elect." And what do we see today? New Age practices and spirits are flooding the church. And it is men like Bill Johnson that have become the "acceptable face" of this 
invasion. Please, friends, steer well clear.

God bless you all, Andrew Strom.

If you to know more about Bill Johnson on my blog Viriato Martins - Religion & Philosophy, please click below:

Bill Johnson's 'Kingdom Now' theology

Bill's Johnson twitter comments

Third Wave, Kingdom Theology....

Would you like to know if FREEMASONRY is of the devil? Please, click below:

quarta-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2011

Does the Bible prohibit abortion?

Abortion in the Bible and Church History

A major part of this article is from Christian answers:

There is a small but influential circle of prochoice advocates who claim to base their beliefs on the Bible.

Jesus Christ with little children.They maintain that "nowhere does the Bible prohibit abortion."

Yet the Bible clearly prohibits the killing of innocent people Exodus 20:13.

All that is necessary to prove a biblical prohibition of abortion is to demonstrate that the Bible considers the unborn to be human beings.

I. Personhood in the Bible

A number of ancient societies opposed abortion, but the ancient Hebrew society had the clearest reasons for doing so because of its foundations in the scriptures. The Bible teaches that men and women are made in the image of God Genesis 1:27. As the climax of God's creation mankind has an intrinsic worth far greater than that of the animal kingdom placed under His care. Throughout the Scriptures, personhood is never measured by age, stage of development, or mental, physical, or social skills. Personhood is endowed by God at the moment of creation - before which there was not a human being and after which there is. That moment of creation can be nothing other than the moment of conception.

The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament to refer to the unborn Exodus 21:22-25 is yeled, a word that "generally indicates young children, but may refer to teens or even young adults." The Hebrews did not have or need a separate word for unborn children. They were just like any other children, only younger. In the Bible there are references to born children and unborn children, but there is no such thing as a potential, incipient, or “almost” child.

Job graphically described the way God created him before he was born Job 10:8-12. The person in the womb was not something that might become Job, but someone who was Job, just a younger version of the same man.

To Isaiah God says, "This is what the Lord says - he who made you, who formed you in the womb" Isaiah 44:2 ". What each person is, not merely what he might become, was present in his mother's womb. Psalm 139:13-16, paints a graphic picture of the intimate involvement of God with a preborn person. God created David's "inmost being,” not at birth, but before birth. David says to his Creator, "You knit me together in my mother's womb." Each person, regardless of his parentage of handicap, has not been manufactured on a cosmic assembly line, but has been personally knitted together by God in the womb. All the days of his life have been planned out by God before any have come to be Psalm 139:16.

As a member of the human race that has rejected God, each person sinned "in Adam" is therefore a sinner from his very beginning Romans 5:12-19. David says, "Surely I was sinful at birth." Then he goes back even further, back before birth to the actual beginning of his life, saying he was "sinful from the time my mother conceived me" Psalm 51:5 ".

Each person has a sinful nature from the point of conception. Who but an actual person can have a sinful nature? Rocks and trees and animals and human organs do not have moral natures, good or bad. Morality can be ascribed only to a person. That there is a sin nature at the point of conception demonstrates that there is a person present who is capable of having such a nature.

Jacob was given prominence over his twin Esau "though not yet born" Romans 9:11. When Rebekah was pregnant with Jacob and Esau, Scriptures says, "The babies jostled each other within her" Genesis 25:22.

The unborn are regarded as “babies” in the full sense of the term. God tells Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you" Jeremiah 1:5. He could not know Jeremiah in his mother's womb unless Jeremiah, the person, was present in his mother's womb. The Creator is involved in an intimate knowing relationship not only with born people, but with unborn people.

In Luke 1:41,44 there are references to the unborn John the Baptist, who was at the end of his second trimester in the womb. The word, translated baby, in these verses is the Greek word brephos. It is the same word used for the already born baby Jesus (Luke 2:12) and for the babies brought to Jesus to receive His blessing Luke 18:15-17. It is also the same word used in Acts 7:19 for the newborn babies killed by Pharaoh. To the writers of the New Testament, like the Old, whether born or unborn, a baby is simply a baby.

Woman with children.
It appears that the preborn John the Baptist responded to the presence of the preborn Jesus in His mother Mary when Jesus was probably no more than ten days beyond His conception Luke 1:41.

The angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be "with child and give birth to a son" Luke 1:31. In the first century, and in every century, to be pregnant is to be with child, not with that which might become a child.

The Scriptures teach the psychosomatic unity of the whole person, body, soul, and spirit 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Wherever there is a genetically distinct living human being, there is a living soul and spirit.

I I. The Status of the Unborn

One scholar states: "Looking at Old Testament law from a proper cultural and historical context, it is evident that the life of the unborn is put on the same par as the person outside the womb."

When understood as a reference to miscarriage, Exodus 21:22-25, is sometimes used as evidence that the unborn is subhuman. But a proper understanding of the passage shows reference is not to a miscarriage, but to a premature birth, and that the “injury” referred to, which is to be compensated for like all other injuries, applies to the child as well as to his mother. This means that, "far from justifying permissive abortion, in fact grants the unborn child a status in the eyes of the law equal to the mother's."

Meredith Cline observes, "The most significant thing about abortion legislation in Biblical law is that there is none. It was so unthinkable that an Israelite woman should desire an abortion that there was no need to mention this offense in the criminal code."

All that was necessary to prohibit an abortion was the command, "You shall not murder" Exodus 20:13.

Every Israelite knew that the preborn child was indeed a child. Therefore, miscarriage was always viewed as the loss of a child and abortion as the killing of a child.

Numbers 5:11-31 is an unusual passage of Scripture used to make a central argument in A Prochoice Bible Study, published by Episcopalians for Religious Freedom. They cite the New English Bible's peculiar translation, which makes it sound as if God brings a miscarriage on a woman if she is unfaithful to her husband. Other translations refer to a wasting of the thigh and swelling of her abdomen, but do not take it to mean pregnancy, which would presumably simply be called that directly if it were in mind.

The woman could have been pregnant by her husband, assuming they had been having sex, which Hebrews couples normally did. It appears that God was expected to do some kind of miracle related to the bitter water, creating a dramatic physical reaction if adultery had been committed. The text gives no indication of either pregnancy of abortion. Indeed, in the majority of cases of suspected adultery, there would be no pregnancy and therefore no child at risk.

The Prochoice Bible Study that cites the NEB's unique translation suggests if God indeed causes miscarriage, it would therefore be an endorsements of people causing abortions. This is a huge stretch, since neither the wife, husband, nor priest made the decision to induce an abortion, nor would they have the right to do so. The passage does not seem to refer to a miscarriage at all; but even if it did, there is a certainly nothing to suggest any endorsement of human beings initiating an abortion.

I I I. Child Sacrifice

Child sacrifice is condemned throughout Scripture. Only the most degraded societies tolerated such evil, and the worst of these defended and celebrated it as if it were a virtue. Ancient dumping grounds have been found filled with the bones of hundreds of dismembered infants. This is strikingly similar to discoveries of thousands of dead babies discarded by Canaanite's abortion clinics.

Infant to be sacrificed.One scholar of the ancient Near East refers to infant sacrifice as "the Caanaanite counterpart to abortion." Unlike the pagan sacrifices, however, with abortion, child killing need no longer be postponed till birth.

Scripture condemns the shedding of innocent blood Deuteronomy 19:10; Proverbs 6:17, Isaiah 1:15, Jeremiah 22:17. While the killing of all innocent human beings is detestable, the Bible regards the killing of children as particularly heinous Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 12:31.

The prophets of Israel were outraged at the sacrifice of children by some of the Jews. They warned that it would result in the devastating judgment of God on their society Jeremiah 7:30-234; Ezekiel 16:20-21, 36-38; 20:3; compare 2 Kings 21:2-6 and Jeremiah 15:3-4y.

I V. Abortion and Church History

Christians throughout church history have affirmed with a united voice the humanity of the preborn child.

The second-century Epistle of Barnabas speaks of "killers of the child, who abort the mold of God." It treats the unborn child as any other human “neighbor” by saying, "You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not slay a child by abortion. You shall not kill that which has already been generated" (Epistle of Barnabas 19:5).

The Didache, a second-century catechism for young converts, states, "Do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant" (Didache 2.2). Clement of Alexandria maintained that "those who use abortifacient medicines to hide their fornication cause not only the outright murder of the fetus, but of the whole human race as well" (Paedogus 2:10.96.1).

Defending Christians before Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 177, Athenagoras argued, "What reason would we have to commit murder when we say that women who induce abortions are murderers, and will have to give account of it to God? …The fetus in the womb is a living being and therefore the object of God's care" (A Plea for the Christians, 35.6).

Tertullian said, "It does not matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. In both instances, destruction is murder" (Apology, 9.4). Basil the Great affirmed, "Those who give abortifacients for the destruction of a child conceived in the womb are murderers themselves, along with those receiving the poisons" (Canons, 188.2).

Jerome called abortion "the murder of an unborn child" (Letter to Eustochium, 22.13). Augustine warned against the terrible crime of "the murder of an unborn child" (On Marriage, 1.17.15). Origen, Cyprian, and Chrysotom were among the many other prominent theologians and church leaders who condemned abortion as the killing of children. New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger comments, "It is really remarkable how uniform and how pronounced was the early Christian opposition to abortion."

Throughout the centuries, Roman Catholic leaders have consistently upheld the sanctity of human life.

Likewise, Protestant reformer John Calvin followed both the Scriptures and the historical position of the church when he affirmed:

Biblical woman and man.The fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, and it is a most monstrous crime to rob it of the life, which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man's house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.
Modern theologians with a strong biblical orientation agree that abortion is the killing of a child. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who lost his life standing up against the murder of the innocent in Germany, argued that abortion is “nothing but murder.” Karl Barth stated,

"The unborn child is from the very first a child… it is a man and not a thing, not a mere part of the mother's body… Those who live by mercy will always be disposed to practice mercy, especially to a human being which is so dependent on the mercy of others as the unborn child."
In the last few decades it has become popular for certain theologians and ministers to be proabortion. The Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, for instance, has adopted the motto, “Prayerfully Prochoice,” and prochoice advocates point to it as proof that conscientious Christians can be prochoice.

Yet the arguments set forth by such advocates are shallow, inconsistent, and violate the most basic principles of biblical interpretation. Their arguments are clearly read into the biblical texts rather than derived from them.

The “Christians” prochoice position is nothing more than an accommodation to modern secular beliefs, and it flies in the face of the Bible and the historical position of the church. If the church is to be the church, it must challenge and guide the morality of society, not mirror it.

V. Conclusion: The Bible and the Children

Even if church history were unclear on the matter, the Bible is very clear.

Every child in the womb has been created by God, and He has laid out a plan for that child's life. Furthermore, Christ loves that child and proved it by becoming like him - He spent nine months in His mother's womb. Finally, Christ died for that child, showing how precious He considers him to be.

Jesus with children.Christ's disciples failed to understand how valuable children were to Him, and they rebuked those who tried to bring them near Him Luke 18:15-17.

But Jesus called the children to Him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." He did not consider attention to children a distraction from His kingdom business, but an integral part of it.

The biblical view of children is that they are a blessing and a gift from the Lord Psalm 127:3-5. Society is treating children more and more as liabilities. We must learn to see them as God does - "He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing" Deuteronomy 10:18.

Furthermore, we must act toward them as God commands us to act:
Biblical woman with her baby. Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless; Maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them from the hand of the wicked Psalm 82:3-4.
As we intervene on behalf of His littlest children, let's realize it is Christ Himself from whom we intervene Matthew 25:40.

V I. How do I ask the Lord for forgiveness?

If you have committed an abortion or you have helped someone get an abortion, and you would like to ask the Lord forgiveness for your sins, you can do the following prayer:

"Heavenly Father, I want to ask you forgiveness for all my sins and I want to put my trust in Jesus today. Please, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless.

Please, forgive me ...
I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Him from the dead. Please Jesus forgive me, for every sin I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgive me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Savior and my Father.

I give you my life and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ."


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