Bethel Leader Bill Johnson Denies Scripture – ‘God Doesn’t Control Everything’

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31 KJV)

Bethel Church’s newly launched YouTube Web series titled “Rediscover Bethel,” which features an in-depth Q&A that addresses some of their beliefs and distinctives, has already paid dividends, as Bill Johnson and his associate pastor talk shop about whether or not God is in control of everything, concluding that he is not.

In contrast to that, we would say that not only has God numbered the very hairs on our head, but he controls every movement they will ever make throughout their lifetime, so that a breeze cannot shift a single hair a tenth of a micron to the right without the Lord knowing about it and ordaining it to happen. There is not one stray atom in the universe for God. If this is not true, He is not God.

For Bethel? They find the notion laughable and unpalatable in the extreme. In their view, sometimes things just happen, and God has no control over them.

Q: Does he control everything? Is he in charge of everything, but doesn’t control everything? What are some of the ways you think about that and understand scripture?

Johnson: My understanding in this area creates the greatest challenges for me…my approach is that God doesn’t control everything.

He’s in charge of everything. And the way I’d illustrate is well, you’re a parent, or you’re in charge of your household, but you’re not in control of everything that happens, you know?

Some dish will break. Something will happen. Somebody will say something that was unkind. Those things aren’t because of your influence. They just happen because you have a household of free will.

So that’s my approach, is that God is absolutely sovereign and that he’s in charge of everything. But I don’t credit him with Hitler. I don’t credit him with the disasters that take place in the earth. I don’t look at these and go, “Well, this is the plan of God who’s devised wickedness so that his glory could be seen.”

For me, that’s absolute nonsense.

So I look at his, at his sovereignty seen, in that he’s written you and me into a sovereign plan. For example, God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God is not willing. So is it God’s will for people to perish? No. Are they perishing? Yes. Why? Because there’s a [sic] wiggle room in there somewhere, where we have some measure of influence on the outcome.

This eventually prompts Dann Farrelly, Bethel’s Associate Pastor and Dean of Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry, to chime in:

And I think that’s the worldview of Scripture, you see a lot of powerful decision-makers in the angelic and demonic realm, as well as the human realm. And in the Lord’s sovereignty, sometimes I’ll say it to the students. “He’s so sovereign, he’s decided to be in control of what he wants to be and not in control the things he doesn’t want to be.”

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38 thoughts on “Bethel Leader Bill Johnson Denies Scripture – ‘God Doesn’t Control Everything’

  1. The good thing about the present times in which the Marxist woke agenda is savaging the Lord’s public witness is that all the fake Christians – like Bill Johnson – are being smoked out.

    1. Jay, Bill is conservative voter and he is nothing near the woke you are projecting on him. Just because he believes that humans have power to bind and loose things outside of God’s perfect will doesn’t make hime woke or marxist.

  2. Of course his quote out of 2 Peter 3 pertains to the second coming of Christ and “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years” pertains to the gathering of the elect that come to repentance through the Messiah… over a period of thousands of years.
    2 Peter 3:9 NKJV
    “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

    He is waiting a long time to send His son the second time, because many more of His elect came after the time this part of Scripture was written, and many have come after even we were born. He has been long-suffering through all of this. None will perish that have been called or will be called.

  3. Aren’t people interesting? Mr. Johnson grapples with the question of election vs free will, which may indicate he’s read a book or two on theology, yet he still runs the scam called Bethel church. And Associate Pastor Farrelly sounds like he’s been reading the Heiser books on the divine council, or something like them. Those are interesting books for sure.
    It baffles me when some charismatic seems knowledgeable about anything theological. I guess I like to chalk them up as ignorant just to err on the side of kindness. I don’t like thinking of what it means if they are educated and still run their scams.

  4. So God is not in charge of putting plastic glitter in the AC vents at Bethel? That’s a relief…

  5. God is not to blame for your child’s death in a car accident. The world is corrupt and there’s a devil (hello!). People are going to hell everyday. Rapists are molesting and murdering children. Serial killers are committing unimaginable crimes. What an insult to God to say He’s the author of that. He’s the Author of Life and the devil is the author of death. I’m not supporting BJ, just pointing out that God’s Will IS NOT BEING DONE IN THE EARTH every minute of every day. Overall yes — the Earth will be filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. But for now if you dwell outside the Umbrella of God’s protection you are subject to time and circumstance and don’t blame/insult God for evil when it happens. Prov 1: 20-33

    1. Michael, We get it. You don’t like the depiction of God as revealed by Himself through Scripture. One could point to Job or Pharaoh, but there are literally hundreds of other examples so no point in such a narrow focus. The point is that God, as revealed in Scripture, allows all of those things that you mentioned… unless you also believe that he is powerless to stop or prevent them from happening. He specifically used the Babylonians against His people, and in the most horrific of ways. Lamentations then attributes everything that happen as being from the hand of God. The Prophets beforehand also told of what was coming, and that it would come from the hand of God. The Flood and the Tribulation are other examples among hundreds. The Potter has the prerogative to create one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use. Everything is His creation.

      1. Michael, Again, but God is not to be blamed for the sin and the consequences of sin in the world around us.

    2. The devil cannot kill a single human being. It’s utter nonsense to believe that a created being can somehow be more powerful than his Creator, God Himself. Lucifer cannot do a single thing that he is not permitted to do. People have this crazy belief that Lucifer is some red-skinned, horned guy with a tail jumping around with a pitchfork and causing humans to fall into sin when he’s a fallen Angel who is quite aware that his time is swiftly running out. The Lake of Fire is every bit as much torment and punishment for his sins as it is for all who die in their sins and without Christ. He does not rule hell and he does not rule earth. Satan being the ‘prince of this world’ was a poetic statement, meaning that people chose to do evil rather than good, not that he is the god of our planet. Only God is the God of anything.

  6. The problem is the terminology. God does not control, but He does ordain every thing. He uses the sin of men to accomplish His ends,

  7. I am persuaded that not everything that happens is God’s will. For instance, God is not willing that any should perish – yet many will perish. In the beginning He gave man dominion over all the creatures of the earth, Gen 1.26. But then Adam gave that dominion to the devil in Gen. 3, and allowed sin and sickness and death to enter the world. Did God know that would happen? Surely He did. But was it His will? He said that they should not eat the fruit of the tree of the experience of good and evil. But they ate. That was not His will. There are lots of things that aren’t His will. But praise God, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, He will cause even the evil stuff to work together for good. In His sovereignty, God gave authority to man as His deputy on earth. In His sovereignty he never took the authority back from man and the devil man gave it to. Also in His sovereignty He now gave all authority in heaven and earth to Jesus, Matt 28.18ff. So there is this conflict between satan’s kingdom and the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. It shall soon be finished with the return of Christ to destroy satan and his angels, and the followers of satan; and establish His physical presence once again on the earth. — Something like that.

    1. Frank, If He allows something to happen, then it was His will to allow it to happen. The biblical text reveals God as one who has all power and all control over all things.

    2. None of the Elect will perish, unless you mean physically die after their earthly life is run out.

  8. Not only do Gods not control everything, there are no gods like the type the christians believe in. Christians have no idea who they are praying to, and no idea who or what their gods are, because if they did they would be disgusted at being horns-waggled into believing in a cleverly constructed lie so much so that people began to believe in the lie. The lie the bible tries to push is the same as the lies our government is trying to get us to believe about this fake virus, and it is just as disingenuous, insideous and vile, because of what our progenitors wanted us to think of them. Humans were Genetically altered to become Homo-Sapiens, Sapiens by the same types of beings that are now Terra-forming Humanity.

    What the bible has done is turn most christians and muslims into a blabbering proselytizing idiots who are suffering what is called, “The Stockholm Syndrome” with no idea as to who or what is trying to control them for their own purposes. the Catholic church knows exactly what is going on, but they like the Vax crowd will try and get everyone to believe as they do, so that we all become subjects to a body of invaders who want our resources. And yes, humanity is one of those resources, as they were originally !!! WAKE UP CHRISTIANS BECAUSE YOU ARE ABOUT TO MEET YOUR GODS AND FIND THAT THEY ARE NOT GODS AT ALL.

    1. Christians do not believe in gods. Have you ever read the Bible from cover to cover? I encourage you to do so. You will find that what you believe about the state of being in Christ (the literal meaning of the word, Christianity) is quite false. Don’t take my word for it. Read it. 🙂

      1. At this very moment, very real demons are being banished by the invoking of the name of the God you deny. Apparently, even demons know more than you. Educate yourself.

  9. It is so amazing to watch human beings try to apply human standards and logic to God, the Almighty, Omnipotent God, instead of going to His Word in the whole, repeating what He tells us about Himself. Of course He is in control of all things. He created all things. While He did not and does not create evil (evil is not a concept. Good is the concept. Evil is simply the lack of the created Good just like Dark is not the concept but is only the lack of the created Light) He can choose whether to let things happen or not happen. The example of Hitler is a really dumb example. God did not create Hitler to be evil, but God was in control of whether Hitler rose to power or not and whether Hitler would be allowed to the evil he did. In 2 Kings 19:25-29, when Sennacherib brags that he has taken down nations and destroyed people, God says, “Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it; in days of old I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass, that you should crush fortified cities into piles of rubble. Therefore their inhabitants, devoid of power, are dismayed and ashamed. They are like plants in the field, tender green shoots, grass on the rooftops, scorched before it is grown. But I know your sitting down, your going out and coming in, and your raging against Me. Because your rage and arrogance against Me have reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bit in your mouth; I will send you back the way you came.”

    And why does God do what He does in His total control? “For My name’s sake” (vs 34) “that they may know that I am God.” God is in control of everything because He is God and everything He does with that which He has control is to let people know who He is and to draw them to Him. These two ministers obviously do not know who God is or how He works. Too sad…and too dangerous.

    1. BlessedinChrist, Your example of going to Scripture is appreciated. I posted in this thread a few times about God being in control, however, there can indeed be some confusion involved in the observation of cause and effect all around us that may, for some, create questions about the level of God’s control concerning every aspect of creation.

      There are endless examples. God created gravity, so does that mean that God is pulling everything towards Earth on a continuous basis, or is that His design of creation that is doing it. Also, just the law of inertia alone would translate into the Earth rotating on its axis for a very, very long time without God’s assistance. Again, is God continuing the rotation of the Earth, or is that part of God’s creative design? Areas like this is where the semantics of word usage is helpful as a way to include everything as revealed in Scripture when the sovereignty of God is explained.

  10. Stupid discussion. Waste of time. We will NEVER agree on this topic so why feed the disunity? Paul said our time is better spent on shouldering the Lord’s burden and staying away from this kind of crap. Let’s see, America is being taken over by Satanic Marxism and the church is arguing about whether or not God is the author of this. Bravo!

  11. Stupid discussion. Waste of time. We will NEVER agree on this topic so why feed the disunity? Paul said our time is better spent on shouldering the Lord’s burden and staying away from this kind of crap. Let’s see, America is being taken over by Satanic Marxism and the church is arguing about whether or not God is the author of this. Bravo!

  12. Free will. God chooses to give us free will to choose. Obviously if God gives us the right to free will, he does not control us! That would mean: That Gid does not control everything! What is the point of this article? Pastor Bill Johnson is absolutely scripturally correct in what he said!

    1. Arseneau, Correct only according to modern-day traditions that have overtaken the majority of evangelical churches perhaps. The Apostles, Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, William Tyndale, John Calvin, and Charles Spurgeon would not agree with you. Neither would Martin Luther and many others. Free-will and the us choosing emphasis did not become widely popularized until the 20th century… primarily through Billy Graham and others. Great for marketing, but not very biblical.

      We are completely dependent upon God to change our heart before we would even consider submitting to Him.
      Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV
      “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

      Unless God chose us before the foundation of the world, we are not His sheep.
      Ephesians 1:4-5 NKJV
      “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, [5] having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,”
      Romans 8:29-30 NKJV
      ” For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. [30] Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
      Romans 9:11 NKJV
      “(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),”
      Ephesians 1:11 NKJV
      “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,”
      Romans 9:16 NKJV
      “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”
      John 6:37 NKJV
      “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
      John 6:44 NKJV
      “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
      Etc, etc, etc.

      Basically, you are elevating the opinion of Bill Johnson above all of these theologians, the Apostles and Scripture.

  13. Free will. God chooses to give us free will to choose. Obviously if God gives us the right to free will, he does not control us! That would mean: That Gid does not control everything! What is the point of this article? Pastor Bill Johnson is absolutely scripturally correct in what he said!

    1. God gave you ‘free will’ to choose what, exactly? Do you deny that Adam fell, and his posterity with him? Original Sin is the chain that binds your ‘free will’. You came into this world condemned and depraved, or you would never have sinned at all. Admitting that you are a sinner is admitting that there’s something wrong with you, some factor that makes you sin on a daily basis (your fallen nature). If you truly have free will, then you would have the ability choose to do good 100% of the time; but you can’t. Without Christ you can do nothing. For a man in Adam to say, I can always choose the good because I have free will, is a lie that many people tell themselves. Pelagius told himself that. Dr. Donald Barnhouse was told by a man from a holiness church, “I haven’t sinned in 7 years. ” Barnhouse replied, “Oh, really? May I ask your wife?” Only the God-man, Jesus Christ, has the power to choose the good all the time. Obedience is better than sacrifice. If your free-will is so powerful that it could keep you from sinning, what’s preventing your holiness from approaching the throne and taking your place?

  14. NOTHING happens outside of God’s WILL. He is SOVEREIGN over EVERYTHING. He KNOWS EVERYTHING. Before He created the UNIVERSE,
    there was NOTHING He did NOT know that was going to happen. If there is ONE sub-atomic particle in the bowels of Jupiter, that God does not know about…HE IS NOT GOD. Because puny FINITE MAN cannot comprehend an INFINITE ALMIGHTY GOD, some lost souls have to whittle God down to a size they can deal with. This is a FALSE GOD, and when they stand before the TRUE GOD, only to discover they have been worshiping a “god” of THEIR OWN CREATION, it will be TOO LATE for them.

  15. I don’t agree with these pastors on a lot of things but in this discussion they literally said NOTHING that disagrees with scripture. To label them as heretics for this discussion shows a lack of understanding of scripture and of church history. Christians have never agreed on the details of this topic. Also Christians that hold these views have been in full fellowship. Go tell people about Jesus and stop the character killing of your brothers in Christ.

    There are a lot of things in tension in the Bible. That’s one of my favorite things about it:
    God CAN control every single atom in this entire universe but He just doesn’t always choose to do that. He has free will. He’s given us free will. Our free will isn’t free will if we don’t have choices. God promises to work everything for good for those who love him AND are called according to his purpose. We aren’t capable of saving faith but he gives it to those that repent.

  16. Where did the idea that God ‘controls’ everything come from. If he controls everything then he is responsible for Hamas attacking Israel wit over 4000 missiles last week. He is responsible for a woman ‘deciding’ to kill the baby He created inside her. It means He chooses who He saves and who He doesn’t save. Did God want the Jews to wander in the wilderness NO. He told them He was taking them to a land of milk and honey. That was His plan, they refused His plan. Does God choose certain people to get drunk then drive and kill people?
    This is a great question though. In the Garden God gave Adam authority and responsibility to rule and subdue the earth, He was not going to do it. From notes above, people who believe God controls everything have a lot of explaining to do for the thing that happen in this world that go against what the Bible tells us He wants. They have no explanation only exceptions. If God doesn’t control everything does that screw with your view of Fod so bad you can’t accept that and still have Him be the sovereign Lord? I feel bad for you.

  17. This article is a good example of how a supposed discernment ministry can become a heresy hunter. Johnson is a false teacher but on this matter he happens to be correct. What must we insist that a false teacher be wrong about everything? They are not — that is why they are able to deceive with error — it is buried within some truth. When these discernment ministries take this path they come across as petty — hardly seekers of the truth.

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