Guest post – (Marsha West – Christian Research Network) There are no words to describe what the “principalities and powers” who run the cult known as Bethel Redding are conjuring up inside the walls of what they would have us believe is a Christian church. Actually, two words do spring to mind that describe Bethel Redding – shark tank.
Bethel’s Powers That Be (PTB) spend much of their time trying to figure out ways to entice naïve churchgoers into practices the Bible strongly forbids.
Bethel Church in Redding CA is run by soothsayers who think nothing of manipulating people out of their hard-earned money to grow their demonic empire–oops–church. These men and women think nothing of twisting Scripture into a theological pretzel, in fact Scripture-twisting is what they do best. Churchgoers may or may not be aware that what they’re being taught is not orthodox biblical Christianity. On the contrary. What they’re being taught is downright heresy! And they’re learning it from wolves in sheep’s clothing who describe themselves as pastors and ministry leaders. In Bethel’s shark tank the true meaning of what is contained in the scriptures is rarely, if ever, taught. Bethelites are not learning the author of the text’s intended meaning from the stage. The term for this atrocity is eisegesis. Pay close attention to CARM’s definition:
Eisegesis is when a person interprets and reads information into the text that is not there. An example would be in viewing 1 Cor. 8:5 which says, “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,” (KJV). With this verse, Mormons, for example, bring their preconceived idea of the existence of many gods to this text and assert that it says there are many gods. But that is not what it says. It says that there are many that are called gods. Being called a god doesn’t make something an actual god. Therefore, the text does not teach what the Mormons say, and they are guilty of eisegesis, that is, reading into the text what it does not say. Compare with exegesis.
The PTB, who are heavily influenced by demonic forces, are proficient at eisegesis! They are also proficient at duplicity, deception and downright lying.
These “church” leaders are fully aware that discernment ministries are onto them and that we regularly report on their misdeeds. Even so, hyper-charismaticism is growing, not just in the US, but globally. The public must be warned that this movement is not only unbiblical its teaching is heretical. Folks who attend Bethel Redding and its off shoots of which there are many must come to terms with the fact that they are being recruited into the New Apostolic Reformation cult and run as fast as their legs will carry them.
Which brings me to Protestia, a polemics and discernment ministry that holds false teacher’s feet to the fire. Protestia recently reported on a money-making scheme that Bethel is promoting:
Bethel Church in Redding, California, has many ways to make a buck. They need to, as they’ve already broken ground on their brand new $96,000,000 Campus and Apostolic Training Center. To keep the land of milk and honey from growing parched, the 12,000-member Bethel Church has over 90 ministries, many of which seem only to exist to raise capital. We wrote about one yesterday- where they interpret dreams for $125.
We have discovered a new initiative, The Prophetic Lab. The church offers advanced courses on prophesying in a laboratory-ish environment based on their best experiments and prophetic trial and error so that the mildly prophetic can hone and refine their skills using the scientific method, exercises, and experiments they have developed. According to their website:
“The Prophetic Lab is an initiative of Aqua Regia, a spiritual intelligence company that unlocks practical solutions for clients through in-depth prophetic reports, briefings, and consultations. The Prophetic Lab was started at Bethel Church in Redding, California.
“The Online Prophetic Lab is a highly interactive, virtual experience designed for those interested in honing their ability to hear God’s voice for themselves, others, and solutions. Through prophetic training, experiments, and team exercises, participants will grow in confidence in their prophetic ability.
“The Online Lab brings together the best exercises, experiments, and activations we have tested and used to refine our ability to hear God’s voice over the last three years into a single experience.”
Cloaked in scientific language, the Prophetic Lab is run by Lindsey Reiman, who is the founder of the spiritual intelligence company Aqua Regia and co-founder of the SQ Institute. The promo states that Reiman spent “years under the mentorship of Bethel Church’s prophetic director, Ben Armstrong, and has personally spearheaded the use of many of the practices taught during the Lab.” Kris Valloton, Bethels’ lead prophet, teaches one of the classes. (Source)
Protestia lists the lab’s several components. The one that caught my eye was the Prophetic Reports. $2200, $2750, Custom
That’s a lot of money to pay for a profile report from a demon—oops!–prophet.
After reading Protestia’s piece I took a deep breath to calm my spirit. I’ve been reporting on Bethel Redding for over a decade so nothing they conjure up surprises me anymore. But the thought of them charging people close to $3,000 to allegedly hear the Lord for an individual, a business or city made me angry – righteous anger, of course.
Hearing the Lord’s voice is accomplished how? “Through a double-blind methodology [whatever that means]…[and they claim] the prophetic company has no knowledge of the individual, business or city recipient other than an identifier code.”
What galls me is that gullible people are actually coerced into paying big bucks to “hear the Lord” through a bunch of charlatans masquerading as modern day “prophets” pretending that the Lord speaks to them directly. Those who read the Bible know that the Lord opposes the magic arts. Take for example 2 Chron 33:6 where we learn that Manasseh “used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.”
Fortune-telling, omens and necromancy are tools of the occult. As noted, Scripture calls these sorts of things sorcery. As further noted, God makes it exceedingly clear that those who play at being mediums provoke His anger.
Woe to Bethel Redding!
I take no joy in reporting that on July 13 Bethel’s lead pastor Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni, who was one of Bethel’s senior leaders, lost her battle with breast cancer. Last year when Beni’s cancer returned, her husband shared his firmly held beliefs with the public in the following statement:
We’re not begging for a miracle. It’s already been bought and paid for. The entire Christian life for me is learning what’s in my possession and what’s in my account and how to make withdrawals, and that’s the entire Christian life.
…Guilt and shame is false humility, and it introduces you to an insulation to breakthrough, and so what you want to do is stay away from that…but what we know for sure is that divine health is our portion. We know that no weapon formed against us can prosper. We know that he sent his word that is finely tuned and specifically designed for Beni’s situation.
He sent his word and healed her. We know that by the stripes of Jesus- did you know the stripes of Jesus, the suffering, was not necessary for your redemption? It was necessary for our healing. The death on the cross was necessary for our salvation- the shedding of blood, but not the suffering from a whip. That was for the healing. That was for the deliverance.
This, dear ones, is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is laid out for us in the pages of Holy Writ. Bill Johnson teaches a false gospel that saves no one.
Woe to Bill Johnson!
Because this article reveals how Bethel’s PTB are once again enticing people who attend church there into doing evil in God’s eyes, and my words clearly convey the anger I feel over what’s going on there, I will weigh my anger against the following devotion from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning for July 13:
“God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry?”—Jonah 4:9.
ANGER is not always or necessarily sinful, but it has such a tendency to run wild that whenever it displays itself, we should be quick to question its character, with this enquiry, “Doest thou well to be angry?” It may be that we can answer, “YES.” Very frequently anger is the madman’s firebrand, but sometimes it is Elijah’s fire from heaven. We do well when we are angry with sin, because of the wrong which it commits against our good and gracious God; or with ourselves because we remain so foolish after so much divine instruction; or with others when the sole cause of anger is the evil which they do. He who is not angry at transgression becomes a partaker in it. Sin is a loathsome and hateful thing, and no renewed heart can patiently endure it. God himself is angry with the wicked every day, and it is written in His Word, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.”
Far more frequently it is to be feared that our anger is not commendable or even justifiable, and then we must answer, “NO.” Why should we be fretful with children, passionate with servants, and wrathful with companions? Is such anger honourable to our Christian profession, or glorifying to God? Is it not the old evil heart seeking to gain dominion, and should we not resist it with all the might of our newborn nature. Many professors give way to temper as though it were useless to attempt resistance; but let the believer remember that he must be a conqueror in every point, or else he cannot be crowned. If we cannot control our tempers, what has grace done for us? Some one told Mr. Jay that grace was often grafted on a crab-stump. “Yes,” said he, “but the fruit will not be crabs.” We must not make natural infirmity an excuse for sin, but we must fly to the cross and pray the Lord to crucify our tempers, and renew us in gentleness and meekness after His own image.
H/T Mike Ratliff