Bill Johnson:“I believe it is the provision of the Lord in his suffering on our behalf; Jesus bore stripes in his body through brutal beating as an atoning work to deal with the power of sickness and disease…”
Jesus did not need to go to the cross to heal your cancer. Throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus, he healed people. During his earthly ministry, Jesus appointed 72 people to go out and heal people and share the gospel. Physical healing, while miraculous, wonderful, and beautiful, was not the purpose of Jesus’ ministry—preaching the gospel (Mark 1:36–38), the good news of forgiveness of sin was the primary purpose of Jesus’ ministry. I promise you, a leper that was healed of their leprosy, but in turn rejected the gospel, received no lasting good from their physical healing.
We know why Jesus went to the cross. The apostle Peter writes, “He (Jesus) himself bore our sins in his body on the tree (cross), so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)
The phrase, “by his wounds you have been healed,” also translated as, “by his stripes” in 17th century King James English is first introduced to us by the prophet Isaiah about 700 years before Jesus’ earthly ministry. In describing the purpose and events surrounding the suffering servant (Jesus) in Isaiah 53. Isaiah records, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isa 53:5) The wounds Jesus voluntarily bore upon himself describe a healing from sin (for believers in Christ), as summed up at the end of the passage, “yet he bore the sin of many and makes intercession for the transgressors.” The same point the apostle Peter makes in 1 Peter 2:24.
While Bill Johnson’s sermon message is consistent with his legacy of an anthropocentric health, wealth, and power centered “gospel” message which appeals to the goals of every sinful human—it absolutely pales in comparison to the true gospel of Jesus. Where Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was not to provide you with the things that will pass away (health and wealth), but rather, to provide you with true grace, mercy, holiness only available through the Christ Jesus leading to eternal life that is full of goodness, joy, love, kindness, peace…because it gives us fellowship with God Himself back in the Edenic state.
The theology of Bethel Church in Redding is carefully nuanced—where we find scriptural axioms mixed between tragic errors and old heresies—the result of a faulty biblical theology, bad hermeneutics, and frequent eisegesis. Over the next few days, I am going to catalogue and write on a number of significant (i.e. Bible, Jesus, gospel) errors and heresies openly taught/advocated by Bethel Church in Redding. I am not talking about minor differences that make one a Southern Baptist versus a Presbyterian, but rather, the difference between those saved in Christ versus those outside of Christ. The difference between those who have received and teach the gospel of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins versus those who have embraced and teach a different gospel centered around health, wealth, and power.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. – Matthew 7:15 (NASB)
It really shouldn’t be a surprise that Heidi Baker is a false prophet and heretic. Heidi and Rolland Baker are founders of Iris Global (previously Iris Ministries); and while the pursuits of Iris Global certainly seem to follow a Christ-like mission (caring for orphans, widows, and loving others) we ought not get so caught up in their humanitarian goodwill that we ignore the substance of their Christian ministry.
First, naming themselves Iris Ministries should have been the first hint to brothers and sisters-in-Christ that they may want to discern their ministry before getting so caught up in their charismatic charm.
According to Wikipedia:
“In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and the underworld.”
I find it strange that a Christian ministry would name themselves after another god. While my charge of false prophet and heretic do not stem from the name of their ministry, I do believe it’s fair to point out two facts. One, we have one God (Isaiah 46:9-10), and two, he is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). I do not understand how naming a Christian ministry after another God glorifies him and I believe this point should serve subtle caution that something may not be right – and we don’t need to dig far to validate our concerns.
Heidi Baker talks a lot about being saved, the Holy Spirit, and her frequent personal experiences with God – however, in hours of listening and reading sermons/messages from Heidi Baker I’ve never actually heard her share the gospel. In fact, here is a 4-minute promotional video from her ministry titled, “The Simple Gospel.” When I found this video I was very hopeful; but, either the title is purposefully deceptive or Heidi Baker simply doesn’t know the gospel.
Ignorance or Deception
I believe that Dr. Heidi Baker is very knowledgeable, educated, and intelligent; her qualifications and depth of Christian knowledge probably far exceed my own and many of her critics. And while these achievements are notable it also makes ignorance of the facts highly improbable. Is it possible that she doesn’t know the simple good news of Christ? No, it isn’t possible.
No, I believe Dr. Heidi Baker is purposefully deceptive; and I also believe she is filled by a spirit – just not the Holy Spirit.
Heidi Baker talks a lot about being saved, the Holy Spirit, and her personal experiences with God – however, in hours of listening and reading sermons/messages from Heidi Baker I’ve never heard actually talk about the gospel.
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Heresy – Opinionordoctrineatvariancewiththeorthodoxoraccepteddoctrine, especiallyofachurchorreligioussystem. I limit my accusation of heresy to those sharing a different gospel message – or in most cases, those who don’t share any gospel message at all. Instead of sharing the gospel of salvation they focus on feelings & signs.