Bill Johnson blatantly lies to Christianity Today.


NAR Apostle Bill Johnson to NAR Apostle Lou Engle: “I’m so moved… I’ll throw the whole Bethel Movement into [Azusa Now]. We’ll do signs and wonders in the stadium for hours, sitting under the glory.”

It is important to be discerning when a false teacher is speaking to you. They’ll treat you the same way they teach the bible: they will mislead you into believing false things. This has been the case in a recent article put out by Christianity Today, speaking with Bill Johnson of Bethel, Redding. You can read it here:

Cover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church

This article exposes how Bill Johnson misleads (which is a form of lying) Christianity Today in regards to both he and his ministry being a part of the dangerous New Apostolic Reformation cult.


The New Apostolic Reformation cult teaches that the church MUST be governed by modern day Apostles and Propehts.


Christianity Today reported,

“McCurdy, Johnson, and other critics believe Bethel to be instrumental in leading some Christians to embrace tenets of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), a movement known for dominion theology and a belief in the continuing ministries of apostles and prophets alongside those of evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Bill Johnson is regularly listed as an NAR leader. He believes in the apostolic and prophetic ministries, but says the church does not have any official ties to the NAR.” [Emphaiss ours]

It makes sense that a false teacher like Bill Johnson would publicly distance himself from a movement that has been identified as a dangerous cult – that being the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). However Bill Johnson goes even further than that:

“Farrelly later says that Johnson has the apostolic gift among Bethel leaders. Johnson himself says he’s far less interested in the title than the vision-casting function.”

Bill Johnson is a careful evader of the truth just like his Apostolic friend Brian Houston of Hillsong Church. In the year 2000, NAR “Apostle and Prophet” David Cartledge writes in Chapter 56 titled “No Need for Titles Down Under” in his book “The New Apostolic Reformation” about the New Apostolic Reformation in Australia:

“Almost all Australian apostolic ministries are quite emphatic that they will not use the title ‘apostle’.”

Source: David Cartledge, The Apostolic Revolution, Australia: McPherson’s Printing Group, Published 2000. pg. 393.

(There was a good reason for this. The deceased ex-AOG Pastor, Philip Powell, was exposing the corruption and cover-ups by NAR leaders in New Zealand and Australia and reporting on the NAR ruthlessly taking over the Pentecostal AOG churches of Australia. See Christian Witness Ministries.)

Cartledge continues,

“While they are usually recognised as others as apostles and are frequently referred to as such by the churches they visit, I do not know of one who personally uses ‘apostle’ as his or her personal title. In fact most are more comfortable with no titles at all, and prefer to be known by their first name. Brian Houston is the National President, and his attitude would be echoed by all of the current Assemblies of God leaders:

“Credibility and authority never come with a title. I am quite comfortable with being called Brian.”

Source: David Cartledge, The Apostolic Revolution, Australia: McPherson’s Printing Group, Published 2000. pg. 393.

(Note: Brian Houston is an Apostle of the NAR. And yes, Hillsong is an NAR Apostolic ministry, founded by “Apostle” and “Apostle” Frank Houston. See our archives for more information.)

David Cartledge

Cartledge continues on the next page:

“Apostles and prophets not only exist in modern times, but are fairly common in a variety of levels of influence and authority. However, as in biblical times, the ultimate recognition of them should come from others, based on the evidence of their gifting.”

Source: David Cartledge, The Apostolic Revolution, Australia: McPherson’s Printing Group, Published 2000. pg. 394.

So of course neither Bill Johnson or Brian Houston will tell you they are Apostles in the NAR – but the NAR network will. For instance, Farrelly “let the cat out of the bag” in the Christianity Today article below:

“Farrelly later says that Johnson has the apostolic gift among Bethel leaders.”

Now let’s look at Bill Johnson’s claim that his “church does not have any official ties to the NAR”.


One person both Brian Houston and Bill Johnson have in common is C. Peter Wagner, the recognised head “Apostle” and “Prophet” of the New Apostolic Reformation. What’s interesting to note is that Peter Wagner endorsed the book written by David Cartledge, praising the New Apostolic Network that Houston, Cartledge and many others are apart of in Australia:

Wagner’s foreword to book exposing the NAR taking over Australian churches

Back in 2008, Peter Wagner was writing in CharismaToday, after Todd Bentley of the Lakeland “Revival” was exposed for committing adultery and alcoholism. The reason why Wagner wrote this article was because he was operating out of damage control over his Apostolic Alignment and ordination of Todd Bentley. Not long after the ordination, Todd Bentley was publicly humiliated with Wagner and all of the gathered Apostles.

Wagner’s ICA (International Coalition of Apostles) and his other Apostolic buddies were exposed as false Apostles.

Wagner writes (emphasis ours):

“If Todd was not apostolically aligned, this alignment needed to be formalized before I was prepared to go any further.  I am well aware that some friends thought I should have stopped right there and pulled out.  Perhaps I should have, but I felt that I would be disobeying the word from the Holy Spirit if I did.  Some of my friends have not yet forgiven me for not taking their advice, and, who knows?  Someday they might be telling me, “I told you so!”

Regardless, I knew that alignment needed to come first.  Chuck Pierce, with whom I am closely aligned prophetically, wholeheartedly agreed.  I did my due diligence and discovered that Ché Ahn was the ICA member who had the closest contact with Todd, and that Todd was willing to accept this alignment.  Ché felt that he should bring in Bill Johnson and John Arnott since all three of them were close to Todd and they lead the newly-formed Revival Alliance.  Unbelievably, all four of us had one date in common  open all summer, Monday, June 23, so we decided that we would propose it to Todd.  He enthusiastically agreed and invited us to come.

By now the word was getting out and I was receiving a quantity of email correspondence from other apostles who were interested.  I opened the door for those who desired to accompany us on the platform. I did not allow prophets, evangelists pastors, or teachers to join the group-apostles only.  A total of 17 apostles participated representing three apostolic streams:  ICA, Revival Alliance, and Morning Star (Rick Joyner).”

Source: Peter Wagner, A Report From Peter, CharismaMagazine,, Published 13/08/2008. (Accessed 09/05/2016.)

Do you still believe Bill Johnson’s claims that he is not a NARpostle?

Do you still believe that “Bethel church does not have any official ties to the NAR”?

According to Wagner, Johnson is part of the NAR Revival Alliance; has official relations with Wagner’s NAR ICA and was bringing Todd Bentley’s NAR ministry into alignment under NAR governance.

If that is not enough, you have Bethel’s worship ministry leading worship at Hillsong conferences. And much more recently, Bill Johnson managed to get his church committed to being a part of a very significant NAR “revival” known as ‘Azusa Now: The Call’. Engle claimed Bill Johnson said to him:

“I’m so moved. I’m cancelling South Africa. I’ll throw the whole Bethel Movement into this thing. We’ll do signs and wonders in the stadium for hours, sitting under the glory.’” [Source]

You can see Bethel advertising this NAR revival meeting on their own website:

“Bethel is partnering with Lou Engle’s The Call to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Outpouring. Azusa Now will be held on Saturday, April 9th at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. We want to invite you to join us as we believe for a fresh outpouring of signs, wonders, miracles and the proclamation of the gospel!”

Source: (Accessed 10/05/2016.)



If you are still not convinced Bethel is a New Apostolic Cult, just examine Johnson’s words, concepts and scripture usage. They are the classical cult-talk of the NAR (as the Christianity Today article pointed out).

Chris Rosebrough has also reviewed a sermon by Bill Johnson, calling him out for peddling NAR theology.

Super Shemitah, Debunked

In this sermon review, Bill Johnson is alluding to the heretical “New Breed” doctrine when he says God is “looking for a generation he can entrust the world to” (1:10:11). Not only does he peddle this throughout the sermon, he uses the classic NAR “On earth as it is in heaven” mantra and preaches the false NAR gospel. Johnson even called it what the NAR call it: ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’.

Johnson also believes and teaches the NAR false commission: the Seven Mountain Mandate (aka the Cultural Mandate or Seven Pillars of Society) and has written about it with other prominent NAR Apostles and Prophets.



Bill Johnson, the head of Bethel Church is recognised as an NARpostle by the head of the NAR and is called upon by other NARpostolic ministries to align with their international cult network. We are dealing with a sophisticated liar who represents himself as a shepherd when he is fact a wolf – a false teacher and false prophet (Matthew 7), parading his false humility as a servant of righteousness. But in truth, Bill Johnson’s deception and craftiness only exposes that he is a servant of his father, the devil. Heed the words of Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul, lest Bill Johnson and these “lawless ones” deceive you by their false teachings:

“I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11:12-15

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5 replies

  1. Difficult to remove people from the lies of NAR teachings. Many are spiritually hardened.

  2. There are splinter groups forming around Johnsons teachings. Such as the ICovenenat Church in Coldwater and Burr Oaks , Michigan. Just a heads up!

  3. The website I listed below is one that is mentioned in the post above. I had to do some searching, but found a 3 part series on Bill Johnson and Bethel Church written by Jamie Smith in 2013. This is the best research I’ve read to date on the history and heresy of Bill Johnson. I will be passing this on to my family members who are big fans of Bethel. If this doesn’t open their eyes, then I’m afraid there is no hope for them.

  4. this bill johnson is 1 of the hugest liars influencing churches today. why is anyone with any common sense whatsoever listening to his foolishness?

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