The False Doctrines of Bill Johnson – Revisited

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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 (updated).

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 NASB “holding firmly the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict 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.
— 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 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)

Bill Johnson, IHOP and the “Passion” Translation by Spirit of Error

The false doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement are invading the visible Christian Church like never before, (which is saying something in itself), including “Dominionism” and a host of other fallacies. In order for Christians to know why we believe, what we believe, we also need to take a stand on what we don’t believe. Adhering to doctrines that are “contrary to” the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that we have been given, is not optional. (Galatians 1:8).

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. You make some excellent points. I do not know much about Bill Johnson’s theology and the song I most remember from Bethel is the old hymn Here is Love. I would simply ask you to consider that Jesus has bought us with a price ….which includes our bodies and is why they are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He certainly did signs and wonders while on earth to reveal that He was God’s only Son and Messiah; however He was also moved with compassion and sometimes demonstrated that by healing. I would not be so quick to throw the baby out with the bathwater. No I am not in favor of “healing ministries” however God certainly may continue to exercise His compassion to His people by healing our bodies in response to our prayers. Just a respectful thought here my brother. Thanks for your thoughtful warning on all the rest of the “prophetic movement” foolishness. Blessings on your weekend.


    • I hear what you are saying and I can assure you, I am not throwing the baby out with the bath water. I acknowledge that these subjects can be complicated but examining their doctrines and practices carefully should clarify the accusations. I thank you for your patience and understanding. Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post, Bruce. Whenever I read about the NAR (mostly from your blogs!) I can’t help throwing a lot of blame at the masses of adherents who flock to these churches and so willingly accept their false teaching.

    Yes, some are legitimately of the “fleeced flock,” but most of them are willing dupes as they only want to hear teaching that tickles their itching ears. At some point, those who call themselves Christians are responsible to God in that they must read their Bibles and put such false teaching to the test.

    I have very little sympathy for such “sheep.”

    Much thanks for these posts, Bruce.


    • Thanks, David. It’s interesting how there is a duplicate stream produced in every area and selected Scriptures to back them up, usually taken out of context, with the fruit of “experience” and “new revelations” all dovetailing into what this “new army” can and will do. Heavy on the “can” and darn scarce on the “will do”. It is unsettling to say the least. Blessings David!

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  3. It’s an important topic that needs attention. I watched a video of Bill Johnson boldly declaring to a rapt audience of yound disciples that anyone who denies his teaching that miraculous, instant healing is available to anyone, anytime is anathema. He repeated this declaration several times for emphasis.

    When asked about the example of Job, and whether or not this biblical example contradicts his doctrines (because it shows God as sovereign over suffering and affliction), he has a pat response of, “Job is the question. Jesus Christ is the answer.” Which sounds very sage but simply dodges the question.

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