The False Doctrines of Bill Johnson

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Bill Johnson is a fifth-generation pastor and has held the position of Senior Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California, since 1996. He is known for leading a church and Christian movement that is focused on pursuing the Holy Spirit gifts and manifestations in everyday life, based on the simple premise that God is good. His father, M. Earl Johnson, previously held the Senior Pastor position from 1968 to 1982, when Bethel Church was part of the Assemblies of God. In November 2005, the membership of Bethel Church voted unanimously to withdraw the church’s affiliation with the Assemblies of God and become a non-denominational church. Prior to this position, Johnson, along with his wife, served as the Senior Pastors of Mountain Chapel in Weaverville, California from 1978 to 1996.

Johnson attended a John Wimber signs and wonders conference in 1987 with the specific goal of seeking a revival of healing. He left discouraged because he had been teaching the same concepts John Wimber had been teaching, but the fruit was drastically different. Johnson states that this discouragement brought about a realization that faith required risk, and after this realization, the healing miracles began to happen. He traveled to Toronto, Canada in 1995 to attend some of the Toronto Blessing revival meetings. Johnson recounts receiving a fresh touch from God at these meetings that focused his life’s work on pursuing the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.

In 1998, Johnson, along with Bethel Senior Associate Leader Kris Vallotton, started the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry to train students to become revivalists.

Bethel Church provides a variety of ministries to congregants and the general public that include weekly services for adults, teenagers, and children, a form of inner-healing ministry known as Sozo (based on the Greek word sózó which can mean saved, delivered, healed, rescued, or made whole), various forms of community service, and street ministry. The church hosts a variety of conferences and schools each year. The church also runs a preschool through 8th grade school.

Bill Johnson is closely tied to the New Apostolic Reformation movement. Documentation of this affiliation can be viewed here.

The following links provide documentation of how and where Bill Johnson has departed from adhering to the sound doctrines of the Bible as the Apostle Paul advised Titus in 1:9 NIV “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Some of the “false teachings” that Bill Johnson and others within the NAR movement promote are as follows:

— man is a “god” or “God” or “Jesus”.
— Jesus took on the nature of Satan and was born again in hell.
— there are nine persons in the Trinity.
— Jesus died on the cross for physical healing.
— Christians do not have the sin nature, and therefore do not sin.
— Jesus gave up or lost His divinity at the incarnation.
— God is not in complete control of His creation, and is not sovereign.
— those who speak negative words against “God’s anointed” are unsaved agents of Satan   who hate Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
— the gospel “package” includes signs and wonders.
— the gospel can’t be fully preached unless it includes signs and wonders.

This list is NOT all inclusive but rather a small sampling of a vast host of documentation that identifies Bill Johnson with New Age and New Apostolic Reformation beliefs.

An Invasion of Error-Book Review of “When Heaven Invades Earth” by Bob Dewaay

Hey Bill Johnson & Bethel Church, God Put Himself in a Box Called “Bible” by Defining Deception (with links to more articles)


  1. Are there actually Christians being deceived by such blatant contradictions of Scripture? Some false movements sound reasonable to seekers at first, but then the lies are slipped in after a person is already entrenched in the group.

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  2. Some of this is just shocking… wow! I cannot believe that anyone who claims to be a believer could think that Christ was born again in hell. That seems utterly blasphemous to me. Thank you for your posts, Bruce. They are incredibly important! God bless you greatly!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was at the Toronto Vineyard around 30 years ago. I cant remember if it was called the Toronto blessing at the time or what. It was involved with a movement that started in Brownsville Florida near Pensacola.

    They claimed that gold dust was falling in the services. They claimed people got gold teeth. John Arnott and the catch the fire stuff starting out from the Airport ministries are a bungle of Christianity mixed with witchcraft and bogus miracles that are not at all anything but barking and rolling on the ground.

    The problem is that guys like John Arnott in the beginning, John Wimber and others were born again Christians hopping for some work of the spirit.

    its my belief that they are unbelieving Pentecostals angry at God for not allowing them to have miracles coming from their fingertips. So they have deceived themselves inventing an appearance of fire but its just smoke. No fire, no spirit, no miracle totally mislead to think they can control spirit.

    At first you think Wow, these guys are spiritual, but in the end, they are controlling bitter people who produce a fake product and cause people to lose their trust in God. Because people buy in and then are disappointed and end up seeing its bogus they walk away.

    The fundamental issue is people doubt and contempt and when they buy in and get disappointed they end their relationships with God rather than seek further clarification as to why God is not jumping when they pray. They should ask, Has God Abandoned his People and pull that apart and Not try to invent things that are just false.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Terri, yes they are and the more that one digs into the whole New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement, the worse it gets. Lots of info here if you are interested. Blessings Terri!


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