“Restoring your Spiritual Alertness“–by Kris Vallotton

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A friend of mine messaged me with  the link to a Kris Vallotton sermon from 2018 called “Restoring your Spiritual Alertness “–by Kris Vallotton of Bethe, Redding.. I had previously seen it talked about on Facebook but had not listened to it, not being a big KV fan. My friend actually Neither is my friend, but his messaging me actually encouraged me to go ahead and listen to it.; that and the KV quote accompanying the Facebook ad that said “Sickness is part of the law of the first heavens.”

What follows are parts of the sermon I thought significant tin demonstrated KV’s (and Bethel/Bill Johnson) theology.  If really bad eisegesis (reading into scripture) and scripture twisting offend you, read no further.

At the very beginning KV begins scripture twisting. He reads Ephesians 3 , where Paul is talking about God revealing truth to him (Paul) by revelation and then, out of the blue, starts talking about slavery and how God wants us to move out of slavery and into a relationship of friendship. A mark of friendship, of course, is God giving revelation. So early on, KV starts, making a case for ongoing extra-biblical revelation. His reasoning:

“We are in a season transition from slavery to sonship and the manifestation of that is that we are beginning to get revelation of things never before seen or heard, or even thought of.”

Sorry, Kria, but we transitioned into sonship the moment we believed in Christ for the forgiveness of our sin.

He goes on to explain his overarching theology of ‘3  heavens’.

He begins his teaching by saying that we do not ‘inhabit’ this planet, we ‘cohabit’ the earth. Furthermore, he tells us that the Bible teaches that there are three dimensions to spiritual entities that live among us. We all 9believers and non-believers) live in the first heaven. The principalities and powers spoken of in Ephesians 6 live in the second heaven. God of course lives in the third heaven.

Note also, that  there are levels of authority in the first and second heavens.

As ‘believers’ , as opposed to non-believers, we live in the first AND third heavens.  This is based on a misinterpretation of Ephesians 1:3,  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” If Christ has authority in/over all three heavens,so do we. According to KV,we just need to take our ‘rightful’ place in the third heaven.

Also, according to KV, while there are five natural senses, there are many spiritual dimensions/senses  (supernatural spiritual intelligence) that  “enable us to make decisions based on what happens in the second and third heaven. “

A month before this sermon he knew about five levels of spiritual intelligence, but because of receiving more revelation,by the time this sermon rolled around, he knew about  five more. . He said “It’s up to us to police the cosmos.”  He also said the wisdom of man is not evil, it’s just natural, which contradicts what the Bible tells us about human wisdom, being “foolishness to God”.

He then repeated some previous teaching he had given about a month earlier, telling us about spiritual gifts that he has that we can ALL have!

  • Gift of discernment concerning what entity (good or bad) is influencing a city, store, person.
  • Gift of knowledge. (Word of knowledge). He knew a lady sitting next to him on an airplane by name and what her husband was doing that day(having an affair?).We should only use ‘positive’ prophecy.
  • Gift of prophecy. Access to history before it happens – about nations, cities, people. God has a special purpose for EVERYTHING, and we can know it ALL! Using our gifts we can counsel others who come to us regarding their futures. After all, we have access to all of it!

This quite was rather ‘interesting’:

“If you are a believer, you are a mobile home for the Holy Spirit. Everywhere you go, He goes. These gifts are resident in him (the Holy Spirit) so they are resident in you. You just have to believe it and you can operate in it. You just need to move your faith into the right kingdom.”

He goes on, presenting as logical:

  • God does not live in time and space,
  • We have the  mind of God.
  • God thinks outside of time and space, therefore,
  • We can think outside of time and space.

“The way a person gets healed is that a superior ecosystem superimposes itself over an inferior ecosystem.”

He goes on to say that  “God is moving us back into his divine design – to rule the earth”,  referring back to Genesis..

“Bethel uses words of knowledge to heal people. “Vallotton used to use words of knowledge to fix cars, after he heard Bill Johnson’s teaching on it.  He actually said that.

He talked about spiritual gifts & effects. As an example he described hot to do really well in the stock market using the gift of prophecy and the gift of knowledge (we all have them,  remember).  Call it supernatural ‘insider trading’?  The key is having intimacy with God. When you get close with God (intercourse-yada) he will tell you everything!

As believers, we are new creatures (true), both human and totally like Jesus. And according to Bill Johnson’s  kenotic’  view of Jesus, Jesus put his Godhood completely aside and performed all of his miracles, signs and wonders as nothing more than a man in right relationship with God.

Nearing the end of his teaching, he dissed denominational thinking, opinions, thoughts, and divisions. as all BAD. The most brilliant people on the planet keep their minds turned off. Denominationalism doesn’t want you to think for yourself (A common Bill Johnson teaching). He left us with the following, making sure to let us know that HE wrote it (he did that a lot – patted himself on the back.

“The wisdom of God is imprisoned in believers, guarded by the spirit of religion, shackled for generations by the fear of man, and locked away by mediocrity that undermines excellence and kills inspiration. The political spirit has robbed people of the mind of Christ by disarming creativity and marching Christian soldiers to the concentration camp of black and white thinking, This accumulated climax has reduced the most brilliant people on the,planet to echoes of worldly thinking and has undermined the triumph and call of ageless wisdom.”

“Thinking people destroy churches.”. By that he was not speaking of ‘churches’ in a good way, but as representative of ‘stinkin’ thinkin’.

After listening to all of that, I can see why so many young are drawn to Bethel (besides the music). They are taught that they can be just like Jesus!

Those who have left Bethel have something in common. They all seem to have read some of the Bible for themselves!  Yet Bethel continues to attract thousands of young people, first through their music., followed by a gradual diet of false teaching. the Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry (BSSM) has a few thousand continuously enrolled. If you want to know what is taught at BSSM, you can start here.

So there it is……..Dan’s take on an entire Kris Valloton sermon. I did listen to the entire thing and took a lot of notes, all of which are not in this short post. Do with it what you will.

The Office of Apostle in the New Testament

The following is excerpted  from an article by Costi Hinn defining the  New Testament office of Apostle, and making the assertion that this office no longer exists in the church.

This used to be an open and shut case. Few, if any, were arguing that the office of apostle was in operation today. However, this is now something preachers must be clear about time and time again.

Two distinctions should be made here.

First, in a sense, there is such a thing as being apóstolos (ἀπόστολος) today. This Greek word means “a delegate” and is synonymous with those who are commissioned to pioneer new gospel-work through planting, missionary work, or other frontier-like ministries. This is being a gospel-ambassador!

Second, there is no such thing as being an apostle in the sense of the New Testament office. This was restricted to a very specific group who met a specific criterion. When you survey the New Testament, you can gather that real apostles were:

  • Commissioned and appointed personally by Christ (Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13 John 15:16; Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7-9)
  • Personally with Christ from baptism to ascension (Acts 1:21-22; Acts 10:38)
  • Fulfilling prophecy when Mathias replaced Judas’ specific office (Acts 1:19)
  • Performing undeniable and instantaneous signs and wonders (Acts 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12)
  • Given direct revelation from God (John 16:13)
  • Operating as the initial foundation for the Church (Ephesians 2:20; 4:11)
  • Distinctly gifted for their uniquely foundational office (1 Corinthians 12:29)

While many people will be “apostolic” in their ministry in the sense that they are sent forth to do gospel work, based on what the Bible teaches about the requirements for being an apostle, it’s impossible for there to be any more apostles today.

You can read the complete article, which critiques the New Apostolic Reformation, here.

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him – by Mike Ratliff

by Mike Ratliff, at Possessing the Treasure

41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:41-44 (NASB)

One of the aspects of our Christian faith that we lose sight of sometimes, and it gets us in trouble when we do, is how vital it is that we remain totally amazed that we ever got saved at all. We make a huge error when we forget this because that path leads to self-righteousness, self-absorption, and an ungrateful heart towards God. Even though we may not be fully aware that we are in that place of self-focus, we cannot be Spirit-led when we are full of self.

“God works in people’s hearts by sovereign grace, taking away their imperviousness to his word, taking away their inability to respond to that word, and changing the disposition of their hearts so that instead of saying “Nonsense” when they hear the word of Christ, they say, “That’s just what I need,” And they come.
Are you a Christian? A believer? Then you came to Christ because you found yourself willing, longing, desirous, wanting to, as well as, perhaps, not wanting to but knowing you must. How was that? It was because God worked in your heart to give you this desire. He changed you. It was his irresistible grace that drew you to the Savior’s feet. Praise him for it! It was one expression of his love to you.” – From: To All Who Will Come pp 184-185 by J.I. Packer

Even the most mature Christians are in great need of reflecting on the cross and what an astounding act of grace it is on God’s part to offer up His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross as a perfect sinless sacrifice, The Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of all those who will come. Not only has God provided the way to eternal life through the Son, He also draws His people to Him in such a way that they believe and repent in total surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Those who were God’s enemies who considered the cross as “Nonsense” and Christianity as, at best, a pie in the sky religion that is only the “Opiate of the Masses,” come to Him as the Father draws them. All who come are His and He will raise them up on the last day.

Yes, all of us are in great need of seeing our salvation from God’s perspective. The current trend in the 21st Century in some parts of the visible Church is for the focus to be on being a Christian for temporal gain or to gain God’s favor through being a Social Justice Warrior. However, those who see the truth of their sin and totally lost condition until God saved them will not consider this life to be the focal point of it.

31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-34 (NASB)

The part many have a problem with in this passage is in their own experience of not having what Jesus lists here as being added to them. The part that is misunderstood here though is that the condition is that they must first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness then all of the stuff is added to them. The interesting thing about this is that the key part of this passage is not in getting the stuff, but in the seeking first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness. This is describing what God’s genuine disciples do. They put God first in all things. They walk through each day seriously considering every decision in light of God’s glory and their walk with Him. When they do that the interesting thing which happens is that concern about “stuff” goes away. They become content where God has them doing what God has them doing. All of their needs are met to the point that enables them to accomplish His will in this. This passage is not a guarantor of health, wealth, prosperity, or acceptance by the world.

Those who live this way consider the cross and Christ crucified. They take that into account in all they do. They see that the cost has been counted and paid by their Saviour. They live the rest of their life seeking to be obedient to their Lord in all they do. They also know that it is by God’s grace that they can do so, not their own abilities.

Lastly, their values change to match those of Christ’s. Perhaps the believer starts out focused on the world’s concept of “justice” and “fairness” and attempts to align all that with the gospel and their walk with Christ, but when the focus of the believer becomes eternal rather than the temporal, they will see themselves as a branch attached to the vine (John 15) rather than a Social Justice Warrior. Their focus becomes that of one seeking to be that living sacrifice acceptable to God who is being transformed through the renewing of their mind daily, that is, living for Christ in all they do (Romans 12:1-2) with the result being them becoming that Christlike believer who finishes the narrow path to the Celestial City as a mature believer to be accepted into the arms of their Savior and hears that welcoming cry, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Soli Deo Gloria!

“The Chosen’ – from the Producer’s Viewpoint

If you would like to find out more about ‘The Chosen’ series, there’s an interesting article here. It’s actually an interview with Dallas Jenkins, the producer. Here’s one of the questions he was asked, along with his answer:

How would you contrast The Chosen with other dramatizations of the ministry of Christ?

Jenkins: A lot of Jesus projects are done like a docudrama. They take you from Bible verse to Bible verse, miracle to miracle, story to story — and they’re not intended to get deep into the people with whom Jesus surrounded himself.

Our show really digs in to its characters, making it as human and real as possible. Simon Peter was married, so let’s explore what married life was like back then. We know Simon’s personality from the text. How does it translate when he is at home with his wife?

One day on set, we were shooting a scene where they argue as a married couple. I remember saying to some people around me: “I’ve watched all the Bible shows, and I’ve never seen a married couple fight. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a married couple kiss in a Bible show. Or even a married couple at all in those shows!”

We’re taking the time to get deep into these stories. That’s the beauty of doing a multi-season show, as opposed to a 90-minute movie or a small miniseries. Then when the redemption or victory comes, you’ve had time to feel the desperation and need for it.

Note that the producer’s purpose was to “get deep into the people with whom Jesus surrounded himself”. It appears that this series will accomplish that purpose, and in all fairness, Episode 1 did just that. Having said that, the text of the Bible doesn’t go deep into the lives of the people who knew and surrounded Jesus. Therefore, much of the series has to come from ‘outside’ sources, from what we know of the history and culture of the day, as well as from the imaginations of the writers. I think that was done well also.

At the end of the day, the production value seems to be excellent, as is the ‘entertainment’ value. It would be interesting to find out how well it actually treats the redemption story.

At any rate, please don’t let me dissuade you from paying $30.00 to be able to view the entire series. If you want to discuss it, I’d be happy to host that discussion here at The Battle Cry, no matter what you think about it.

 

 

“The Chosen”– AngelVid TV Series

The Chosen is recently launched television drama based on the life of Jesus Christ. The series’ creators wanted to distinguish this new series from previous portrayals of Jesus by crafting a multi-season, episode-based story rather than a single film that depicts a single moment or attempts to depict his entire life. The series will portray Jesus “through the eyes of those who met him”.

When I first saw the Facebook advertisements, I confess I was not really interested in another film version of the life of Christ, for reasons I won’t explain here. They kept coming (thank you, Facebook algorithm). Even with an offer to watch the first episode for free was an insufficient inducement to dive in. Then I read some interesting Facebook comments, ranging from a couple that were extremely negative, to the majority that really loved the first episode, with some purchasing the next three episodes (more on that later).

So why not watch the free episode? So I did.

Here’s the opening disclaimer which was similar to those at the beginning of previous Bible based films.

“The Chosen is based on the true stories of the gospels of Jesus Christ. Some locations and timelines have been combined or condensed. Backstories and some characters or dialogue have been added.

However, all biblical and historical content and artistic imagination are designed to support the truth and intention of the Scriptures. Viewers are encouraged to read the gospels.”

The key phrases in the above disclaimer are “based on true stories”, “designed to support the truth and intention of scriptures”. “Viewers are encouraged to read the gospels.” might well have been followed by “….. if you are more interested in what is actually true”. Trust me.

If you hate spoilers, read no further.

The Episode 1 main biblical characters are Nicodemus, Peter & Andrew, Lilith/Mary Magdalene, Matthew, and Jesus of curse (at the very end of the episode). That they are actual characters in the Bible is definitely true. Most of what is told about them in the first episode is pretty much some of the material that was ‘added’ to the biblical account.

The episode follows three story lines. It begins with the Lilith/Mary Magdalene character as a small child who is often troubled in the night, and whose Father tells her to ‘read the words’, a reference to a passage in Isaiah. She appears off and on throughout the film, at the end having demons cast out by Jesus, but not as dramatically as the Jesus in the “Jesus, His Life” Mary Magdalene episode. I had to look up the ‘Lilith’ name, by which she is called until the very end when Jesus calls her ‘Mary’. Lilith was a winged female demon in Babylonian mythology. Her story actually appears in Hebrew mythology.

Next we see Nicodemus traveling down a dusty road with his wife, on his annual visit to Capernaum. It was during this visit that Nicodemus is called upon to perform an exorcism on a woman who was causing a lot of trouble. It was the Lilith character, and Nicodemus fails, setting up the deliverance by Jesus at the end of the episode.

We meet Peter and Andrew in an early form of ‘Fight Club’, or so it seems. They have a racket going. Peter does the fighting and Andrew controls much of the gambling going on. They are of course fishermen, but Roman taxes are driving them out of business. They are condemned by Nicodemus as unholy and wicked men because they go fishing on Shabbat.

Then we have Matthew, the much hated Hebrew tax collector. In the film, there is a scene in which Peter and Andrew appear at his tax collection window and they don’t have enough to pay their taxes and penalties, even though they filed numerous extensions (like with the IRS). The get out of paying (for now) because of a ‘deal’ made with Quintus, a Roman official.

Enough of the story lines. I left out a lot of the details, which were actually interesting, even though most of it was from the imagination of the writers. In the telling of the stories there was also a bit of well-planned suspense. It was hard to put things together during the film sequence, but if you know your Bible, you can see how things are tied together. The ending was intended to get you interested in watching more, for sure! If you like a good story, with some pretty good action, some suspense, and a good sound track, go for it – for a price

To ‘unlock’ the next episodes all you need to is pay $29.99 you can watch all of the episodes, get an exclusive DVD, a free devotional guide, and a FREE 3 month subscription to VidAngel, the streaming service hosting the multi-year series.

If you like this sort of entertainment, go for it. Judging by Facebook comments, may do. Some thought the first episode was REALLY good! One lady said she ‘was moved to tears’! I was hammered by one person who thought my saying I would review it for Biblical accuracy was being way too ‘negative’.

On the other hand, if you don’t think that wrapping a lot of fiction around characters of the Bible is appropriate for serious Christians, if you think that God’s written revelation to his children is worth far more than being used for entertainment purposes, don’t waste your money.

It’s up to you.