How Saved Are We?

A friend mentioned to me the other day, a book by Dr. Michael Brown, the title of which came to mind, in preparing this blog. I can’t even put into words the grief, frustration, disgust and other emotions that I will not mention, as I peruse the spiritual landscape. Many have been saying for several years, that the church will soon become unrecognizable. By Paul Young’s and Kris Volloton’s standards, it’s a ‘reformation! That’s scary! I understand this in a completely different context now! I will let these articles by ‘thewordlikefire’ speak for themselves. I’m at a loss for words!

The Shack author brings new “Reformation” to the church

In an interview with The Shack author Paul Young several years ago,  Bethel Redding’s Kris Vallotton asked, “Do you think that this book is really a catalyst for Reformation in the church?” [1] (27:13 in video)

Paul Young replied, “I think this is part of whatever this is that the Holy Spirit is doing in the world.” [2] (27:23)

In another interview, given around the time the movie was released, The Shack author said, “I think that’s a move of the Holy Spirit. … I think we’re on the cusp or inside the beginnings of a Reformation.”[3]  (emphasis mine)

Great changes have indeed occurred within the visible church due to his books, beginning with The Shack, and now with Eve and Lies We Believe About God. Yet, this is not a Reformation, but a Deformation. This is not a move of the Holy Spirit as the author claims, but an infiltration of unclean spirits.

Bethel Redding’s Kris Vallotton is not alone in his admiration for Paul Young. Popular Bethel Redding speaker Abi Stumvoll frequently promotes Paul Young, his book, or his movie. [4] Young’s heresies are apparently irrelevant.

On Mother’s Day, the influence of The Shack was very clear when a congregation worshiped “Mama Ghost” and the “Mother”. A church leader spoke about the “Mother Heart of God” [5] which is also the title of a Paul Young teaching. [6] Reformation indeed.

Shawn Bolz Features Paul Young

One of the heavy hitters within the Bethel Redding sphere is Shawn Bolz, who has featured Paul Young on his podcast. Incredibly, Bolz plugged Young’s latest book, Lies We Believe About God, a book where The Shack author confirms his belief in universal reconciliation, also known as Christian universalism!

This is the belief that Christ’s death means all can enter heaven–every atheist, Buddhist, and New Ager, anybody and everybody, whether Christ has been accepted as Savior or not. In other words, heresy. Yet Shawn Bolz blithely mentioned the book at the beginning of the podcast. He said:

So today we’re talking to William Paul Young, he’s the author of The Shack, Crossroads, and Eve, and he recently released a non-fiction book, his first one, called Lies We Believe About God. [6] (37 seconds in video)

It’s also there in print on Bolz’s YouTube channel (July 9, 2018) :

In this Episode, Shawn Bolz interviews William Paul Young, who is the author of The Shack and his newest book, Lies We Believe About God[7]

How is this even possible? By the time of this interview, Lies We Believe About God had been out for months. In the book, Young states, “Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying!” (pg. 118)

Far from confronting his guest, Bolz also brings up the “R” word:

And what I love about this is you not only wrote this book [The Shack] but you’ve been defining a thought pattern, I think I don’t know if that’s the right word, but you’ve been defining a Reformation of connection to God, and I think it’s very beautiful. [ 8] (23:06 in video)

Paul Young is being used to hollow out the church from the inside. By the time this is all over, there may be a Christianity that appears biblical on the surface, but is lost in heresies and errant teaching.

James B. DeYoung, a retired seminary professor, has been warning about the effect of Paul Young’s books on the Body of Christ for years. He has written a book exposing the heresies in Lies We Believe About God.

This book of DeYoung’s should be in the hands of  pastors and church members everywhere. It is badly needed.

The Shack author has been used to bring far more than the Mother Goddess into the church. Here is the link to James B. DeYoung’s Exposing “Lies We Believe About God”: How the Author of The Shack is Deceiving Millions of Christians Again.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

Bethel Redding sister church that worshiped Mother Goddess to feature speakers aligned with “The Shack”

And when we burned incense to the Queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men? (Jeremiah 44:9)

If there is one church that absolutely doesn’t need  any more confusion about the biblical God, it is Bethesda NW. On Mother’s Day, the congregation worshiped the Mother Goddess. (Read) The blasphemous idea of El Shaddai as the Double Breasted One was introduced in early January of 2019. (Read)

It was stated in an earlier article:

The unclean spirit behind the goddess of The Shack, the novel written by Paul Young, is still at work. It seems more than coincidental that Bethesda NW, a Bethel Redding sister church,* uses Young’s hellish interpretation of El Shaddai; and just like in the novel, the Holy Spirit has also been feminized, addressed in the service as “Mama Ghost.”

Incredibly, scheduled June 22 as speakers at Bethesda NW’s Fully Alive Conference, are Bethel Redding heavy hitters Justin and Abi Stumvoll, a couple closely linked with Paul Young, author of The Shack.  In the following video, Abi teaches not from the Bible, but from….Paul Young, whom she refers to as “an incredible mentor and friend to me.” (Watch)

In April 2019 the Stumvolls spoke at Catch The Fire where Ash, the woman speaking,   acknowledged them as “part of our Bethel family.” (59 seconds in video, link in paragraph below ) Justin has served as pastor at Bethel Redding and Abi has served as pastor at Bethel School of Supernatural Minstry, and as staff member at Bethel Redding.

At 5:09  in the video, Abi states: I also want to say, Ash is more like God…have any of you seen the movie, The Shack? They cast the Holy Spirit wrong, it’s Ash. You want to know what the Holy Spirit looks like, it is her. (Watch)

The Stumvolls and Paul Young, author of The Shack, have even collaborated on “The Father Series” described as a “transformational audio e-course” to “help you get healing from your past and empower you to step into a great future.”(READ–scroll down, Paul Young is #5 in the teaching in the 12 Part Audio E-Course)

In March of 2017, Paul Young came out with his book, Lies We Believe About God. After publication there could be no doubt about Young’s heretical view of God, because he admitted what many of us have known all along.

In the words of one reviewer:

The Lies We Believe About God would be a great read if it weren’t for, well, his heresies. Yep, heresies such as universalism, no hell, God submits to us, denial of our sinful nature, denial of God’s sovereignty, and a denial that sin separates us from God. (Link)

The information is readily accessible. Why, then, is this Bethel Redding couple going the way of the Mother Goddess? Why do they keep promoting Paul Young, his book, and his movie?

Can two walk together except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)

From the time Paul Young first published his book, The Shack, with the goddess character in the place of the Father, the visible church has been suffering from this heresy. And please, don’t tell me it’s just a book.

Here is what I believe is happening. The Lord is allowing this The Shack/Mother Goddess/Bethel Redding confluence to become evident. He is warning His people. We should be praying for those who are under this deception–but it is also time to draw some boundaries.  It is time to understand this thing is in the visible church.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)

Mike Oppenheimer, a researcher/writer, recently informed me that the demonically influenced William Branham taught this unholy double breasted version of El Shaddai decades ago. Branham, associated with Latter Rain, a movement determined as heretical by Assemblies of God in 1949, is nevertheless admired by Bethel Redding’s Bill Johnson.

Interestingly enough, Tisha Straup in her Bethesda NW sermon of 5/26/19, spoke of El Shaddai, the Double Breasted One, and discussed a dream that Latter Rain preacher Ma Beal had testified about decades ago.

Mike Oppenheimer writes, “Speaking of God as El Shaddai Branham used the many breasted God as his interpretation.” He then provides these quotes from Branham:

“Actually the Name was “El Shaddai.” I may not pronounce that word just right: El Shaddai. Now, “El” is God, like Elohim. “Shad” is “a breast like on a woman.” “Shaddai,” is plural, “breasts, breasted.” Then He is the breasted God.” (59-0423, Abraham’s Seed, Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, San Jose, CA)

And God called him out, and He said, “Abraham, I am El Shaddai. I’m the Almighty.” Now, the word, “El Shaddai” comes from the word, “bosomed,” means like “the woman, the breast.” “I am El Shaddai,” the breasted God, God with two breasts, like the woman.” (57-0106, Jehovah-Jireh, Arnold Memorial School, Cleveland, TN).

Speaking of Abraham, “He was what? El Shaddai, the Breast. So in other words He would be the mother to God–or to Abraham. Is God a Mother? Sure He is. We are borned of God. Is that right? So that makes God our Mother. God is our Father. God, in Christ is our brother. Is that right?” (56-0816, The Working Of The Holy Spirit, Prince Albert Arena, Prince Albert, SK).

Here is the link to Mike Oppenheimer’s well researched website. 

The Paul Young/William Branham/Bethesda NW misunderstanding of El Shaddai, as Breasted One, Double Breasted One, Many Breasted one etc. is refuted here.

Can you imagine Abraham or Paul believing this of El Shaddai?

Let’s close here, for now. There is more to be said regarding Branham and The Shack, and also more on Bethesda NW and the misuse of El Shaddai.  The spirit behind the Mother Goddess is influencing many, and this seduction is only going to increase.

The Send conference features Bethel Redding speaker known for “grave soaking”

thewordlikefireUncategorized  December 9, 2018 4 Minutes

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (2 Tim 4:3)

Sixty thousand people are expected at The Send stadium event, scheduled for February 23, 2019. According to the organization’s website, it is “A NEW ERA.” We may indeed be entering a new era, but not necessarily one of increased evangelism or missions, which is the purported goal of The Send.

Something is very different in the visible church these days. According to a recent PEW survey, many Christians now accept concepts associated with the new age, such as “belief in reincarnation, astrology, psychics and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains or trees.”[1]

One of the speakers scheduled for The Send is Ben Fitzgerald, now a Bethel Redding pastor.  Bethel Redding leader Bill Johnson will be speaking as well. Readers may recall that Fitzgerald was one of the Bethel Redding people who tried to absorb or soak up the “anointing” from the bones of  the controversial evangelist, Smith Wigglesworth.

Most grave soakings involve touching or lying on the grave of a deceased saint. Whether Fitzgerald and his group did this is unclear.  The video shows Fitzgerald and others at Smith Wiggleworth’s grave where Fitzgerald, in the role of spiritual middleman, tries to transfer the “impartation” into those viewing the video. He states:

And God can release this same impartation to you. (1:23 in video)

We release the anointing of God that’s in this place … we release right now the anointing. (2:15)

Thank you Father that what was on Smith Wigglesworth’s life, let it come on us. (2:52)

Later in the video, there is a similar effort at Moriah Chapel in Wales, where evangelist Evan Roberts is buried. (3:08)

Fitzgerald has recently “responded to commentary about ‘grave sucking’, suggesting that he had acted unwisely but that he was not attempting to draw out the spiritual powers of dead saints. Instead, he visited the tombs for inspiration and prayer (to God, not to these dead saints).” [2]

That is not entirely accurate. The video makes it clear he was attempting to summon and transfer the “spiritual powers of dead saints,” as writer Murray Campbell puts it. [3] Why? Why would Fitzgerald believe he could do this?

Bethel Redding’s Bill Johnson has belatedly stated his church does not teach or accept grave soaking. Here, however, is Johnson’s statement about anointing and mantles in the book, The Physics of Heaven:

There are anointings, mantles, revelations and mysteries that have lain unclaimed, literally where they were left, because the generation that walked in them never passed them on. I believe it’s possible for us to recover realms of anointing, realms of insight, realms of God that have been untended for decades simply by choosing to reclaim them and perpetuate them for future generations. [4] (emphasis added)

And here is a screenshot of Beni Johnson, Bill Johnson’s wife, lying on the grave of C.S. Lewis. Note that one comment states, “Grab some for me.” This would seem to indicate that grave soaking is familiar to Bethel Redding people.

Image result for picture of beni johnson on c.s. lewis grave

In an interview with Michael Brown, Bill Johnson rejected the idea of seeking impartation of anointing from the dead. Then, a little later, he said this:

We’re actually building a library museum with various artifacts from past revivals. Not to go backwards but to just try to give honor. I really felt that the Lord put it on my heart several years ago that if we honor the moves of God in the past, he would release those same anointings again. [5 ]

What is this supposed to mean? When the museum library is built, are we going to  hear about people who pray over artifacts for impartation of a dead saint’s alleged anointing?

According to Bill Johnson’s own website:

The Lord has made it very clear to us that a practical way we can do this is through what we have called The House of Generals. It is both a library and museum containing a collection of historical literature and artifacts from past revivals and revivalists. I have no desire to move backwards. But God has let us know that if we will honor those who walked faithfully before us then He will give us access to their anointings. [6] (emphasis added)

This is not the first time Bethel Redding people have misinterpreted the Word of God  to justify an unbiblical practice. (2 Kings 13:21, 2 Kings 2:14) There is much more to this grave soaking saga, so for those interested there are links to well researched articles at the end of this post.

As the PEW survey showed, New Age concepts are already in the church. The Send, where Bill Johnson and Ben Fitzgerald are slated to speak, represents a false spiritual movement, one that is rapidly coalescing.

With Bethel Redding leading the way, biblical terms such as “anointing” and “mantle” have been hijacked, and seem to have taken on a meaning that is more akin to the spiritual energy of the New Age. Bethel Redding undeniably has a real propensity for aspects of the New Age. (Read)

In Dreaming with God, Bill Johnson writes:

Many prominent pastors and conference speakers add fuel to the fire of fear by assuming that because the New Age promotes it, its origins must be from the devil. I find that form of reasoning weak at best. If we follow that line of thought we will continue to give the devil the tools that God has given us for success in life and ministry. [7](emphasis added)

So…there are New Age tools given to us by God? That can only be called delusional.

As previously noted in Part 1 of this series, The Send speaker/artist list is dominated by: New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) advocates; contemplative prayer practitioners; and those who push for Protestant/Catholic spiritual unity.

“Behind the music: The baffling views about God held by Bethel Music’s Amanda Lindsey Cook” by Holly Pivec

According to Holly Pivec over at Spirit of Error:

I was baffled and dismayed by the responses in an interview the Christian Post conducted, in April, with Amanda Lindsey Cook, a prominent worship leader and songwriter with Bethel Music. The interview was about her most recent album, House on a Hill, and about what Cook was thinking about God as she wrote the songs for this album.

I was baffled because it is very difficult to make any sense of Cook’s words. And I was dismayed because she makes a number of statements about God that raise many serious questions, including, most basic, what is her view of God? You can read excerpts of her statements below, but the bottom line is she seems to have some very confused and unbiblical views of God.

Yet, despite her muddled and misleading statements about God, her music is very popular. Some of her songs that you may have heard include “You Make Me Brave,” “Closer,” and “I Will Exalt.” They’re played on Christian radio stations and sung in churches throughout the nation. But the combination of Cook’s half-baked theological views and the popularity of her music raises the question: does the songwriter’s viewpoint or intent matter when it comes to writing songs for others to worship God?

Consider that question as you read some excerpts from her interview, below.

Amanda Lindsey Cook’s peculiar statements about God

  • “Every day I increasingly felt like gravity and the great beyond, called God, was working in my favor.”
  • “I love this divine essence that we so commonly refer to as God. I think it becomes this common, almost familiar thing that it has connotations because we basically impose our belief system on whatever we think God is when we say the word ‘God.’”
  • “I love the names that this essence and this divine presence gives itself. In the Old Testament, where God describes themselves as ‘I am,’ also the name Yahweh, ‘the intake and the exhale of breath.’”
  • “It’s this common acknowledgment, this communal aspect of living, where we’re all connected, we’re all part of the common thread … to be connected at the source to this divine presence, this Christ consciousness…”

If that interview isn’t cause enough for concern, Amanda Lindsey Cook also teaches at Bethel Church in Redding, California, home to Bethel Music. Given her unclear and curious responses during the interview, one may wonder how she ever was approved to teach at any church, let alone one as large and influential as Bethel Church.

2 thoughts on “How Saved Are We?

  1. Not sure why people are so shocked by this. They (the heretics referred to in the articles presented here) clearly believe and promote Luciferian (satanic) doctrine. The language, attitudes, belief systems, etc, all point to the same conclusion. What I don’t get is why the “Christian whistleblowers” like Openheimeir, don’t just come right out and say this! And why they don’t support those of us who have come out of Luciferianism and who actually KNOW what Satan’s plan is regarding this part of his plan within Christianity and who actually have the guts to call it out for what it is! Seems to me that the issue is tiptoed around by not naming it for what it actually is: occultism… Luciferianism… Satanism….

    But maybe they have and I have just not seen it. If so, ignore this comment. Lol 😆

    Anyway, great compilation of articles overall. Thanks for sharing! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Loren. I’ve only become aware of the degree of occult infiltration into the church in the past year. My detox journey has been a process! I’m with you in calling these things for what they really are. Many will remain in denial. I don’t know what it will take to shake them out of it!

      Liked by 1 person

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