"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' -- Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)
The bible says that we are either leading people to Christ or scattering them away from Him. There is no third option beloved. I have heard many defend the likes of Bill Johnson and Bethel Church by downplaying the true effects of false doctrine within the body of Christ. I often point them to the key verses for today which should give all believers a pause to examine and a cause to defend the true Gospel. The eternal destination of the souls of man are on the line since we know the only way one can be saved is through hearing the correct Gospel. The false gospels that we see permeating Christianity today scatter people away from Jesus Christ to a false christ and thus a false salvation. That is how so many stand in the key verses, dumbfounded, at how they could have gotten it so wrong during this life. These people are clearly churched beloved. They saw demons cast out and miracles performed in the name of Jesus but never actually knew Him. How profoundly sad. To illustrate the discussion today I present an actual response within a Charisma News article about a student at Bethel's heretical school of the supernatural. Yes, it is heretical because it teaches things that are completely oppositional to the bible. In response to someone else, this one answer struck me as a microcosm of the dangers of sitting under the false teachings of Bethel and the long-term damage it does:
No wonder you can't understand the gospel. "Minister in the style of Jesus" is the expectation of miracles and healings. Most of the church leaves it all up to God and never knows the authority and power He gave to believers to change situations. For your knowledge and anyone reading this post, God isn't judgmental. He poured out all judgment on Jesus 2,000 yrs. ago on the Cross. God is a happy God who is well pleased when we embrace Jesus. Why don't you understand that words do matter. You create the world you live in by the words of your mouth. That is basic!
Jesus made us worthy. Why can't you celebrate that?
A main focus of Bethel theology is a hyper-focus on the alleged supernatural. It is ground zero for false signs and lying wonders. It has claimed all of the hip yet bogus manifestations of the spirit such as gold dust, gem stones and angel feathers. Bill Johnson tells great yarns about being in the middle of a diner and having angel feathers just start falling around him. Bethel is also the home of the original glory cloud, where the central air system was used to provide the illusion of the spirit of God wafting throughout a service. Bethel teaches their congregants that they are super special and thus can dictate signs and wonders if they would just expect it. That is what this man is saying in the above quote. What is worse however is he has so drunk the Kool-Aid that if someone comes along with the actual Gospel, he immediately dismisses them as not being able to understand the gospel because they do not expect these false signs and wonders.
The second teaching from Bethel is in the power of the believer versus the power of God. This is the same little gods theology from the Creflo Dollars of the world but more cleverly disguised. Look at the snarky attitude at the notion of leaving it all up to God! Heaven forbid that we should leave things up to the author and finisher of our faith who created the heavens and the universe! News flash for this person and any Bethel follower -- you are being lied to. You are not special. God is special. You do not have the authority they are teaching you that you do. You cannot speak things into existence. Your ability to change situations is only rooted in petition to God if He would change situations. To minister in the style of Jesus is not to usurp the power of the Father; in fact, it is quite the opposite. The entire ministry of Jesus Christ was subject to the Father.
Thirdly there is an over-focus and promise regarding healing. Notice he places healing right next to miracles as an expectation. Bethel teaches mandatory healing. That means they believe God always must heal us and if He does not then it must be blamed on some shortcoming of our faith. This is an evil belief that wrecks people's faith and scatters them permanently away from the real Christ. God is sovereign beloved. He decides who gets healed and when. Certainly, we can pray and expect that God can heal but to insist He must is the sin of Lucifer in desiring to be God. Remember the key verses! They saw many miracles! They saw deliverance! They never knew Christ! True overcoming faith is found in accepting the answer of "no" from our Lord trusting that God knows better.
Fourth, Bethel present a squishy god who just loves and loves and loves. He is never angry, doesn't judge and just wants to hug you into eternity. If you think I am overstating just look at what this man says! God is not judgmental? He poured out all of His judgment on Jesus 2000 years ago? God is just a happy God! Wait a minute? What about the entire Book of Revelation? What about the goats and the sheep? What about all of the gnashing of teeth Jesus spoke about? What about the very first words in Christ's ministry -- repent for the kingdom of God is at hand! Does the Bridegroom always sound happy happy in the parables? This sugar-coated god that Bethel and most of modern-day Christianity sells is false to its core. Yes, God so loved the world but finish the verse and discover why He had to send His only Son! Read Revelation and see the judgments still to come. Read the key verses and realize that they are standing in judgment! Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, not bravado and nonsense.
Fifth, we see the word faith underpinnings with the notion that we create the world we live in by the words of our mouth. To this man, word faith is basic. This is the Stuart Smalley theology that teaches us to look in the mirror and just say over and over again how special we are. The bible says that God can call things that are not as though they were, not us. Notice the focus for the false believer. It is rooted in belief about who we are. We are now worthy in his mind. For someone who has believed in the true Gospel the focus is on our new belief in who God is. He is now worthy in our mind. As John the Baptist once said -- we must decrease so that He may increase. I will not celebrate myself for that is not the Gospel. These are just a handful of the Bethel teachings that will lead you straight to hell beloved. What is worse though is you will be walking in darkness fully convinced you are a blinding light. That is how so many will stand before the Lord on judgment day and say -- Lord Lord! Didn't we minister in the style of Jesus -- and He will say away from me! Lord, Lord! Did we not expect healings and miracles -- and He will say away from me! Lord, Lord! Did we not tell everyone how happy you were -- and He will say away from me! Lord, Lord! I thought I was worthy -- and He will say away from me! Beloved, there are always consequences for believing in false teachers. Bethel is a vile cesspool of false theology and this one response from one man is just a microcosm of that falseness. Stay far, far away.