Jesus set aside divinity, empty of divine capacity (Bill Johnson sermon)

This is a video of the Alabaster House of Bethel Church of Redding, California. According to the Bethel Redding website it is a place to “be in contemplative prayer and enjoy God’s presence.” You are listening to the voice of Bill Johnson from a sermon given some years ago, and Johnson is poisoning his flock with the heretical doctrine of kenosis. He wants them to believe that Jesus gave up his divinity and performed miracles etc. solely via the power of the Holy Spirit. This is false. This is not what Philippians 2:7 means at all.

but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (Phil 2:7)

According to Bill Johnson (Start at 2:37): If the Spirit of God is on a person, so what’s going on? Jesus was so empty of divine capacity. Eternally God, but He chose to live with the restrictions as man. Why? To set a model. To set something to follow, an example. His lifestyle … if He did all of his miracles as God I’m still impressed, but I’m not compelled to follow. I just stand back and go that’s amazing God, do some more, that’s awesome do some more God but when I find out that He set aside divinity

Bonus kenosis quote: According to Bill Johnson, Christ “performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God . . . not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unobtainable for us. But if He did them as a man, I am responsible to pursue His lifestyle. Recapturing this simple truth changes everything.” — Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles, op. cit., Kindle location: 259.

Christ never separated Himself from his divinity. He limited Himself, but not in the way Bill Johnson teaches. This will be covered in the article “Bill Johnson, Kenosis, and The Chosen Bible Consultant,” which, God willing, will be posted soon.

“The Chosen” Biblical Consultant met Christ via New Age/Eastern Meditation?

Many of the people involved with The Chosen are now very influential–Christians listen to them. Which is proving more and more unfortunate as some things these folks are involved with or advocate are far from biblical.

As Don Veinot notes, “If Richard Rohr, the Eastern practices of Contemplative Prayer and the Enneagram are spiritual tools that those associated with The Chosen admire and advocate, fans are very likely to trust these “tools” as safe and helpful in their personal spiritual pursuits. That would be a tragedy.” [1]

While concerns about The Chosen are being revealed on an almost daily basis, it is nevertheless shocking to learn that Rabbi Jason Sobel, one of three Biblical Consultants for The Chosen, claims to have met Christ in heaven through Eastern/New Age meditation.

Speaking on Sid Roth’s, It’s Supernatural, Rabbi Sobel states:

I wanted a real relationship, a real encounter with the Lord. So I was going to synagogue, study with my rabbi, but through martial arts and yoga, I became a Jew Bu, a new age Jew, a Jewish Buddhist. I’d meditate for hours a day. One day as I was meditating, my soul began to vibrate. It left my body. I could see my body there. It went through the clouds, and the next thing I know I was in heaven and I saw this King on this throne, in this glorious light. I felt the power of God pulsating through every cell of my body. (emphasis mine) [2]

Every fabric of my being began to come alive with the power and the presence of God. I had never felt anything like this. And this King on this throne told me I was called to serve him. And I knew that that King was Jesus, that it was Yeshua. [3]

But was it Jesus? The Christ of the Bible?

Sobel was not engaging in biblical meditation, where the mind is active while thinking about the scripture. As Ray Yungen has explained, our minds are like rushing rivers. Our thoughts go here, go there, our thought process is active and continuous. In contemplative prayer, Eastern meditation, and New Age meditation, all thought is stilled. The active river of our minds is dammed up–the rushing river is now a still pool of water. This can be done by repeating a word or phrase over and over until thought ceases and one enters the silence.

But, this repetition of a phrase or word is exactly what the Bible says we should not do:

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Matthew 6:7)

The silence of Eastern and New Age meditation (and contemplative prayer as well) is rich ground for false visions, lying “Christs,” and supernatural experiences. This practice can addle or alter theology, and often seems to lead to an inability to distinguish or be concerned about the difference between Catholic teaching on Salvation and the Truth of the Bible.

Some time later, after Jason Sobel became what Sid Roth describes as a “strong believer,” Rabbi Sobel claims he was taken up to heaven again. He told Roth:

Oh, it was incredible. So, after all of this happens, I’m like, Lord, I want to encounter you. I want to have a supernatural encounter with you. So I’m praying, and again, all of a sudden my body begins to vibrate. And the next thing I know, I’m standing in heaven and I’m standing before the throne and there’s a throng of worshipers around the throne of the Lord. And every time a syllable comes out of their mouth, my entire body shakes like a bass drum under the power of the worship and of the presence of God in heaven. And I hear two songs being sung. One is a Hebrew song, okay. It sings about the rock of Israel. And one was like a contemporary worship song. [4] (emphasis mine)

And I say, Lord, what does this mean? And the Lord brought me to the book of Revelation, where it says, they sang the song of Moses and the Lamb and spoke to me saying this represents the great revival that’s going to happen and is going to happen as a result of Jew and Gentile coming together. The song of Moses represented the song of the Jewish people and the song of the Lamb represented the New Testament and the believer song. And when those two songs merge, it’s a picture of Jew and Gentile, the one new man coming together, that’s going to help usher in a great move of God. The greatest move of God, the world has seen. [5] (emphasis mine)

It seems that Sobel has some spiritual alignment with Bill Johnson of Bethel Redding. Johnson has prophesied over Jason Sobel, and Sobel claims that after Johnson prayed for him, “there was activation in my life.” [6]

Activate or activation are terms closely associated with the New Apostolic Reformation, and are also used by hyper-charismatics. We will be back with Part 2, the Jason Sobel/Bill Johnson article as soon as possible.

Source Notes:

1. https://midwestoutreach.org/2022/01/06/the-chosen-dilemma/

2. https://www.fgbt.org/Testimonies/jason-sobel.html https://sidroth.org/television/tv-archives/rabbi-jason-sobel/

3. Ibid

4. https://www.fgbt.org/Testimonies/jason-sobel.html https://sidroth.org/television/tv-archives/rabbi-jason-sobel/

5. Ibid

6. Jason Sobel on Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural 5/16/21

Former Mormon Distressed About Promotion Of “The Chosen” By Prominent Figures Jack Hibbs and Kirk Cameron

According to Lighthouse Trails:

Last week, Lighthouse Trails began posting information about the series, The Chosen, because evidence shows that this series and the story behind its creation are lacking biblical integrity though the creators say the contrary is true. Director Dallas Jenkins says that God told him The Chosen would be the “definitive portrayal of God’s people” (source: 19:50 minute mark) yet admits that 95% of the content is not in the Bible (source: 25 minute mark). The following letter to the editor is written by a former Mormon who, along with her husband, became very distressed when learning that Christian figures they have admired and trusted (who have actually warned about the teachings of Mormonism in the past) were promoting The Chosen.

A Lighthouse Trails team of writers is currently working on a booklet addressing The Chosen.

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

Some time ago, a friend called me and asked if I had heard of the TV series The Chosen and if so…continue reading letter from former Mormon to Lighthouse Trails Editor…

Altering the men, women, and events of the Bible

The following are excerpts from T.A. McMahon’ article, “The Chosen” Fiction in the December 2021 The Berean Call apologetics letter:

The Chosen’s audience has been conditioned to accept whatever the screenwriter, director, and other creative personnel contribute, with no apparent concern for biblical accuracy. The program that launched the series, for example, was the background story of Mary Magdalene that included the death of her father when she was young, her being raped by a Roman soldier, and the failure of Nicodemus as he attempted to exorcise demons from her. Those details came not from Scripture but from the imagination of those who contributed to the script. Yet for the greater number of viewers, few of whom have read the Bible, the images they watched were received as though they are actually in the Bible. …

We’re shown that the disciples are in charge of producing the speaking events Jesus (e.g., crowd control, distributing flyers for his events, setting up a stage complete with curtains for his presentation of the Sermon on the Mount). Do the Scriptures tells us that the wardrobe of Jesus for his stage appearance was decided upon by four women? Did Jesus, along with his mother, pine for his stepfather Joseph before his preaching on the Mount…or anywhere else in Scripture? Was Matthew, as seen throughout the series, the continual script advisor regarding the content of the sermons and teachings of Jesus? Did Jesus anxiously have to rehearse his preaching before delivering his teachings to the crowd? All those things are found in The Chosen. They are not only missing from God’s Word, their inclusion amounts to blasphemy—that is, a blatant mischaracterization of God manifest in the flesh. [emphasis mine]

[Reader, I found the above excerpts from The Berean Call Newsletter at The Watchman’s Bagpipes]

For the eyes of the Lord

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

Is The Chosen aimed at women ages 25 to 45?

According to the woman who researched and produced this excellent 5 minutes and 58 seconds long video, “Derral Eves, the Mormon who is Executive Producer of The Chosen wrote a book called The YouTube Formula, where he reveals his strategy behind The Chosen.”

Derral Eves writes, “We knew we wanted to resonate our message and vision with a specific persona (25-to 45-year old female, married or unmarried, church goer, volunteer.)” [1]

Early in the video (27 seconds) the question is asked, “Why would Dallas Jenkins and the producers of The Chosen feel that they could change the narrative of the Bible and replace four men who brought a paralytic to Jesus with a woman?”

Dallas Jenkins in the episode has his “authentic Jesus” [2] telling the fictitious Ethiopean woman, “Your faith is beautiful.”

Why could Jenkins not present it as it actually happened according to the Bible:

Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.

And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:3-5)

While The Chosen may have targeted women as viewers, the show has clearly appealed to men and women of all ages. And as the truth about The Chosen continues to be revealed, it would be good to remember that many people were initially drawn to The Chosen because they wanted a wholesome show, one that could be shared with family members and friends, both saved and unsaved.

Many initially believed The Chosen could be used as an evangelistic tool.

But now, after two seasons, it is evident the “authentic Jesus” is not in The Chosen. The show is serving as a vehicle to drive a false, interfaith Christ into the hearts of many.

Source Notes:

1. The YouTube Formula by Derral Eves, p.150

2. A phrase favored by Dallas Jenkins, creator of The Chosen, and Derral Eves, the show’s Executive Producer.

The authentic Jesus

And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:31-32)

You won’t find the Jesus of the Scriptures in a television show, or in a movie; or in Jesus Calling, for that matter. A division is taking place. False Christs are rising. Please take the time to research both The Chosen, and Jesus Calling.

and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son (Matthew 1:25)

The Virgin Birth.

God with us.

Christmas!

We read in Matthew 1:18-25:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

“Behold,the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. (Matthew 1:18-25)

Florist Reaches Settlement After Eight-Year Legal Battle

By Brandon Porter
Baptist Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. (BP) – Barronelle Stutzman’s defense of her religious liberty is over. The florist and owner of Arlene’s Flowers reached a settlement with the men who sued her because she would not design floral arrangements for their wedding in 2013.

Stutzman agreed to pay Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed $5,000, according to a release from Alliance Defending Freedom.

“At age 77, it’s time to retire and give my business to someone else,” Stutzman wrote in a letter.

“I’ve never had to compromise my conscience, or go against my faith.”

Rather than violate her deeply-held religious beliefs, Stutzman recommended other area florists to Ingersoll when he, a longtime customer of Stutzman’s, asked her to create an arrangement for his wedding to Freed in March 2013. Click here to continue reading.

HT: Lighthouse Trails