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)
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!