Brian Johnson: True Faith and Worship

Brian Johnson is the son of Bill and Beni Johnson and is married to Jenn Johnson: she sees the Holy Spirit as the genie in Aladdin's lamp. Both son and daughter-in-law are both happy to reflect Bill's quirky theology, seemly without question. Brian in this YouTube video is saying that Jesus calmed the storm through faith and prayer. Does this really tie in with Bill's theology.

Bill Johnson's theology sees Jesus as handing over all his divine attributes when he left heaven and became a man (this is known as kenosis). Thus this non-divine and human Jesus, lived on earth and experienced everything that we might go through until the Holy Spirit came upon him at his baptism and his earthly ministry began. From then on Jesus was empowered through the Holy Spirit to do miracles. Thus through this same Holy Spirit, according to Bill Johnson, we can also do the miracles which Jesus did and more.

One of the points that hypercharismatics miss is summed up in Jesus' words Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I in the Father. John 10 vv37-38. Thus a hallmark of Jesus' ministry was that he did many miracles and thus proved that he was the Messiah that the Jews were awaiting. Jesus' miracles proved whom he was but cannot be used as a proof in anyway that we can do the same miracles today. This damages Bill Johnson's claims badly.

Let us examine the story of Jesus calming the storm, which Brian Johnson uses. Scripture tells us: That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him?" Mark 4 vv35-41. Compare these words from scripture with those of Brian Johnson: You see when Jesus is in the boat and the storm comes when it comes and the winds are blowing and Jesus is sleeping in the boat and the disciples are freaking out. And Jesus wakes up and says "What you guys got is a problem, no?" and he commands the seas to be calm that's true worship.

There are several problems with Brian Johnson's words. The first is that if Jesus had to worship in order to win the battle (that is - the storm) then he was the kenotic Jesus of Bill Johnson's imagination. If Jesus was both human and divine (which he was) then he is also the creator and all these things (like storms) are subject to him. The second is that the calming of the storm does not prove that worship is a weapon. If it was a powerful and effective weapon as charismatics claim then why was it omitted from this Bible story or, for that matter, omitted from the Armor of Ephesians 6? , Thirdly, according to scripture Jesus did not say: "What you guys got is a problem, no?" This is simply adding to scripture.

The question which should be asked is: Why were the disciples terrified?" Afterall, they should have been relieved that they had been saved. The answer lies in Psalm 107 which says: Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men. They were at their wits end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm and he guided them to their desired haven. Psalms 107 vv23-30. So if we accept this as a description of what happened on the boat they should have been glad. In all probably they were glad when the waves ceased but they then faced a new problem. Many of them were fishermen and no doubt aware of the verses in Psalms 107. But a careful reading shows that the LORD had both started the storm and calmed it. The LORD means YAHWEH in Hebrew. They were not facing a man who was filled with the spirit but realised that they were facing YAHWEH himself and hence they were terrified.

Many modern preachers are happy to talk about "portals". These are defined as gates into heaven. The biblical example usually quoted is Jacob's words, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven. Genesis 28 v17b. The Bible also tells us: After seeking advice, the King made two golden calves. He said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of Egypt." One he set up in Bethel and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; 1Kings 12 vv28-30a. Some portal Bethel eventually turned out to be! It led people astray and brought about the eventual removal of Israel. Portals have become the latest fad amongst hypercharismatics. Find a portal and visit heaven, just like Bob Jones did! Bethel became a portal to hell and that's exactly what we see today in so many churches, including Bill and Brian Johnson's Bethel Church in Redding, California. Churches which were once "portals" to heaven, preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ have today become portals to hell.

28th March 2014

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