If you go to an evangelical church in America, you’ve probably heard Bethel’s music. This means that your church is paying royalties to Bethel Church and their artists which directly supports their ministries. Songs like This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham and Love Came Down by Bizzy B are popular songs you’d probably recognize from your modern worship service. While being able to rightly refer to this music as “worship” is questionable, at best, one thing is for certain–their music supports the church that backs them. And that church is Bethel Church in Redding, California.
Bethel Church is a New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) church pastored by the “Apostle,” Bill Johnson. Bethel Church is a hothouse for serious theological error and heresy. Bill Johnson and his associates are advocates of the heresy known as Word of Faith (WoF), which teaches that through your words you have the ability to access the power of your faith or your fears–that is, your words have power. It is then taught that this power can be used to funnel material wealth and health into your life.
Bethel Church is a highly charismatic church that is known for its manifestations of false signs and wonders. Manufactured glory clouds, speaking (babbling) in tongues, and false prophecies–all attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit–are regular occurrences at its gatherings. Bethel church also practices necromancy through a bizarre practice known as “grave sucking” (or “soaking”), in which they believe that they can suck the “anointing” out of a deceased person’s body by lying on his grave. Johnson’s wife and “Pastor” of Bethel church has been known to practice this abomination.
Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 11 that false apostles, like Bill Johnson, who lead people away from the pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor 11:4) while preaching a false gospel and promoting a false spirit (2 Cor 11:5) are deceivers masquerading as angels of light (2 Cor 11:13-14) and that their end will correspond to their deeds (2 Cor 11:15). The Word of Faith gospel proclaimed at Bethel is no doubt a false gospel, and the Holy Spirit is not present in the works of this false church.
Yet it shouldn’t surprise us that another of these false apostles was present at Bethel recently. January 15, 2017, the popular Word of Faith charlatan, Benny Hinn, joined Bethel for the Sunday evening service. Bill Johnson posted on Facebook,
What an incredible honor it was to have Benny Hinn with us last night. God showed up in a powerful way and many people were healed. As Pastor Bill said, “God has helped to raise the water level of expectation in the body of Christ because of [Benny Hinn’s] gift.” We are indebted to your powerful “yes” to God…
As Church Watch reports:
Benny Hinn has long been exposed as a false teacher and false prophet. He is also well known for defrauding millions of dollars from gullible people to support his lavish lifestyle. With such information readily available for the discerning Christian leader, we note that Bill Johnson clearly has no problem associating himself with such a dangerous man and introducing the Bethel community to this notorious con artist.
…and a notorious con artist he is. It is very common for Word of Faith preachers to elevate themselves above the moral constraints of their laypeople. Many hide behind their status to justify their adulterous relationships. Benny Hinn was sued by a publisher of one of his books for $250,000 because of an admitted “inappropriate relationship” with another Word of Faith false teacher, Paula White.
Benny Hinn is a false prophet. The Bible defines a false prophet as someone who prophesies falsely. This sounds simple enough, but certain apologists for Montanism, like Michael Brown, have redefined the biblical use of the phrase to mean something completely different–namely, that one can prophesy falsely, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a false prophet. But here’s what the bible says:
…when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. –Deuteronomy 18:22
Now, consider the “prophecies” of Benny Hinn. On January 1, 1990, Hinn prophesies falsely even claiming the Holy Spirit told him this,
The Spirit tells me – Fidel Castro will die – in the 90s. Oooh my! Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed. But there will come a change in his physical health, and he will not stay in power, and Cuba will be visited of God.
This did not come to pass. Benny Hinn spoke presumptuously. He also prophesied falsely, claiming the Lord told him,
The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid-90’s, about ’94, ’95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. [Round of applause] But He will not destroy it with what many minds have thought Him to be. He will destroy it with fire, and many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed.
This also did not come to pass. Benny Hinn spoke presumptuously. (For more on Hinn’s false prophecies, see here.)
Benny Hinn has defrauded people for millions of dollars by luring people in with fake healings, false prophecies and promises of fortune through his false teachings. Bill Johnson and Bethel church clearly and unashamedly align themselves with this movement and have no problem exposing their followers to this fraud. Churches who continue to support this movement by purchasing music and paying royalties should be obliged to consider breaking all ties with them. Bethel Church and Benny Hinn are spiritual fornicators that feed poison to their followers. They have the appearance of godliness but deny its power (2 Tim 3:5). They target the young and undiscerning youth and through these tactics, they are defrauding millions.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. – 2 Peter 2:1
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]
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