One of the biggest names in many churches today is Bethel it’s usually because of their music. However, whilst there are many people who love their music there are many people who do not like it. The reasons for such feelings vary; some people don’t like the sound of their music but other dislike their music because of the lyrics.
Therefore, when I picked up When Heaven invades Earth I had a feeling that I would not like the book.
But Sabine, my wife, challenged me to read the book with an open mind and to underline the book with two different pens; green for the parts that I agreed with and red for the things that I disagreed with. Sabine also told me that there needed to be at least one green line in every chapter. This challenge sounds easy, but I’m afraid to say it wasn’t.
This book has sold in the millions, people say that they have been ‘blessed’ by it but as I read it all I could feel was sadness, disappointed and frankly anger.
Words are important and there are many words that I do not use lightly, but sometimes things need to be brought to the light. This book is heresy, and I do not say that lightly!
The book supposedly teaches how the gospel brings the power of Heaven down to earth and Johnson argues that Christians can do this.
The reason this book made me angry is because it does not portray the Trinity accurately, it denies Christ as the Son of God and it reduces the Holy Spirit to a ‘miracle dispenser’. These teachings are so dangerous but sadly they are not as far away from us as we would like to think. Many churches sing songs from Bethel music and as pastor of Bethel Church in California, this is the theology that is behind their songs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that in every song there is heresy, nor am I saying that every person who likes Bethel is a heretic. But I am saying the the theology that Johnson promotes in this book is not in accordance with Scripture and nor is it glorifying to God.
Johnson says that Jesus could only do miracles once He ‘received the Holy Spirit’ and that today Christians can do far more than Jesus did. As I read this, and I marked pages upon pages of red lines I was shocked to know that many Christian listen to this teaching and do not see it for what it is.
One of the allegations brought against Reformed Christians is that they put the Holy Spirit in a box and restrict His work, and I’ve heard it said that charismatics ‘unleash’ the Holy Spirit. However, the opposite is often true. To reduce the work of the Holy Spirit simply to Him dispensing miracles, giving Christians ‘power’ and being an impersonal force in fact reduces the work of the Holy Spirit.
All you need to do is study Church History and you can see that there is nothing new under the sun, heresies come back but with different makeup and clothes.
This book promotes things contrary to Scripture, it denies the sufficiency of the Bible and it does not give an accurate description of God.
I cannot give this book a rating, because it is false teaching and I don’t think any Christian should read it for their ‘edification’. Instead I think that everyone needs to be aware of the false teaching that this book and this man promotes and we cannot shy away from calling it what it is… heresy.
If you are a Christian in the pulpit or in the pew, I encourage you to warn people about this book and this teaching.
As I flick through the book to see the bits that I underlined with the green marker, there is at least one in every chapter, I see bible verses and statements like “Jesus is Lord”.
There were other things in the book that sounded ok, but I know that Johnson would take them further than I would and further than the Bible would.
The heresy in this book is so dangerous because it seems so close to the truth. If you do not think about his teaching properly or if you do not take the whole book into consideration then you might want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Johnson has such a small view of God, of Christ and of the Holy Spirit and it saddens me to know that many people are caught up in such teachings.
The only person I would recommend this book to is someone who is trying to understand a modern day heresy or someone who has others around them who are caught up in such teachings.
This review was not written out of a hatred for Johnson or for Bethel music, but it was written out of my heart for Christians to be taught well. I have been praying for Johnson and will continue to do so, please join me and warn people about this teaching.