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The Bethel Church Upgrade

Unholy Signs & Cash Flows

Bethel’s example of Church working with Corporate and State

By Pastor Rod Page

“I dedicate this book to my children’s children’s
children’s children. Though we will not meet until we get
to heaven, I wanted you to know that I had you in mind
as I wrote every word of this book, and I continue to hold
you in my heart. You will become the answer to my
prayers and the fulfillment of my prophecies. By the time
you read this book, I will be watching you from heaven
(see Hebrews 12: 1).

This quotation above is the opening dedication to Kris
Vallotton’s upgraded book called
Heavy Rain. Its former
title was
How Heaven Invades Earth. At the outset it sounds
like a way to soften, or even spiritualize, the more militant
sounding “invade” language in his book from six years ago. I
believe this change is part of a new effort to say the same
thing in a more sophisticated, and yet more palatable, way
in order to attract a wider audience. 

In this day and age where everything is seen from a
marketing standpoint, as far as publishers and agents and
business in general, it is no surprise that this would happen
from within the headquarters of a now worldwide
movement—Bethel Church in Redding, California. 

I am writing this from Redding as it is the closest city to
where we live for groceries and doctors. It is also where I
lived for several years. It’s a pretty typical town in most
aspects, with a Costco and an old converted theater
downtown, and a mix of working people and retired folks
looking for the sun…. It is even sunnier in Redding than

But Redding is actually quite special in regard to what is
happening in Christendom. A phenomenon has grown up here. There is something
almost “magical” about the
effect that Bethel has had on
this community. The city has
fallen in love with this
“church”. Is this even possible
in our day of hysteria over
“separation of church and
state”? It is
not separate in
Redding. Bethel bailed out the
Civic Auditorium and is
running it well from all
indications. Bethel is also becoming a major property owner. They have bought and
improved several commercial properties and hope to
increase their School of Supernatural Ministry to 3000
students in the next few years. (It is currently around 1400.)
They want to build a museum of revival in Americana and
have spent around $40,000 to purchase one man’s
memorabilia collection of articles from major “moves of
God” going back into the 1950s.

Bethel is growing while the city of Redding has endured
a decline in many facets. Crime is up. The housing market is
flat at best. Homelessness is rampant. But Bethel is doing
really well. I believe they know why. I think they have
discovered a secret to moving forward at this time in their
history. Before I get back to this subject let met tell you why
I am writing this report.

The Bethel “cash flow” agenda, cited HERE

Why I Write 
Before becoming a full time pastor in 2011 I spent over 30
years being a regular Christian, with a regular secular job,
raising a family with my wife of 37 years. Before we moved
to Redding we attended a church for 10 years beginning in
1994 in Yuba City, California. We noticed after almost 7
years in that church that the teaching was changing. We
heard things that shocked us, but because of intense loyalty
to the leadership we tried to justify things we should have
checked out immediately. We were told that spiritual
warfare was calling out demons by name and defeating
them in the atmosphere, and thus allowing our city to have
a mass revival. We were told it was always God’s will for us
to be physically well. We were told our children were a
chosen seed to bring in the great harvest of all time—that
they would do miracles greater than Jesus or the Apostles.
These things came in slowly, like a steady drip. We were
told that Christians have demons that need to be cast out.
We were to go on “prayer walks” that would run the devil
out of neighborhoods and out of families as we took
dominion over our city.

The problem is it didn’t work, and we could not find a
good Biblical reason to swallow all of this new teaching.
Young people would go to the church’s new “discipleship”
school and come out on the other end bewildered by a lack
of power, not blaming the leaders who taught them but
God, who they thought did not keep up His end of the
bargain. We looked at our Bibles and saw texts that were
clearly meant for the next world being brought into ours,
with no concept for context or proper Biblical

It took us almost 3 years to realize we needed to get back to the Bible. Then we found the Discernment
Ministries’ Herescope blog (
www.herescope.net). God led
us to this small cadre of folks who had been writing for
years about different new teachings, that were really old
things wrapped up in new and upgraded lingo. As Solomon
says, there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9).

Then, because of a job, and a ministry opportunity to
take what we were finding about Satan’s schemes and warn
younger believers, we moved to Redding to start a new job
and work with a couple we thought truly were wanting to
warn others. Sadly, within a year we found out we were not
on the same page with the very people we were supposed
to serve with. Shortly after this we began to attend a church
where the Bible was taught verse by verse. God put us away
in His waiting room where we could get our thoughts and
hearts in line with His precious Word.

We began to serve the Lord in humble but useful ways.
We helped clean the church each week, emptying waste
cans and vacuuming the carpet. Later we taught Sunday
School. We truly had many glorious times with our 4th
grade class teaching through the entire Bible line upon line.
Eventually I was asked to teach in place of the pastor when
he was out of town. We were asked to shepherd a part of
the congregation and had a “home group” of over 40
people in our home each month. What I found in those days
was that God is gracious. When we seek Him and His ways
for His glory, He provides all we need. His Word has the
answers we need to communicate. We don’t need to make
up anything fancy to attract attention to it.

I had heard the Lord calling me to ministry when I was
12 years old. I had, because of fear, chosen not to follow His
call for many years. Finally at 50 years of age I answered
that call. I began to seek the Lord, and asked others to pray
with me about going into full time work. I assumed it would
be in a ministry to young people, as that was the reason I
moved to Redding. I wanted to warn them of what the
enemy was trying to do, both within the church and without
it. After another year of waiting, just when I began to give
up, an opportunity came as the Lord opened up a door for
ministry. I have been serving as pastor at a small
community church in Lewiston, California, ever since. I live
within 35 miles of Redding in the mountains. God is
gracious indeed. It is the hardest, and yet most fulfilling job,
I have ever had.

But Bethel is still a thorn. I suppose it reminds me of
what happened to us in Yuba City. But it is far worse. It is a
leader, a worldwide and dominant leader, in a movement
rife with error. This is grievous to me personally because it
goes after, and actually targets, young people in a huge
way. This is why I write. These young people (and old
people, too) are precious to our Savior. This movement is
swallowing them in ways I never could have imagined even
6 years ago when I lived within a mile of Bethel Church. This church is more sophisticated and more “excellent” in an
alarming way.

Kris Vallotton, Sept. 14, 2016 (source)

The New Upgrade 
A few weeks ago I listened to a message by Kris Vallotton,
who is the number two leader at Bethel. Kris is known for
saying things that are edgy and even shocking. What struck
me about his “message” was the new angle of reasonability
and normalcy that it seemed to emulate. Back when the
“Toronto Blessing” was inundating congregations with
outlandish barking and howling, and people falling out in
gatherings, where “holy laughter” was taught as a new
thing that the Spirit was doing, Bethel embraced it whole
hog. (Pun intended.) At that time in early 1996 there was a
mass exodus from Bethel church. They went from two
services on Sundays to one. But within a couple of years
they began to grow again. Like other churches they didn’t
divorce themselves from the teachings behind the
manifestations. Instead they changed the outward
appearances to be more settled, more reasonable, more
attractive. (Although I would say that there still are, and
always will be, outlandish worship activities that are
nothing but sensual in nature and do not bring glory to God
within their meetings, it is just not as “out there” as it used
to be.)

This new upgrade season, that is indicated by Kris
Vallotton’s recent message, is just one in a series of
attempts to bring legitimacy to a movement that I believe
wants to be believable and acceptable, not only to their
peers within the charismatic world, but even wider into the
evangelical world as well. In the end, I think they want to
impress the world around them. They believe they already
are a “city on a hill” and that they are defeating the
“religious spirit” of the old way of doing Christianity. If you
would like to see the documentation and history of Bethel
Church, and others they are connected to in the New
Apostolic Reformation, there is much written on this
movement on Herescope’s website. By the way, in Kris’
upgraded book titled
Heavy Rain, C. Peter Wagner (New
Apostolic Reformation) gives a hardy endorsement. For
more information on Wagner search Herescope as well.

Let me illustrate my point with some quotes from Kris’
message, “God, Government, and Prosperity.”

Promoting the bringing of Heaven to Earth (Source)

On Earth Now
Upgrade #1 – Being More “Biblical” 
In his opening prayer Kris says, “God make a message out of
this mess.” But in mixing together “God, Government and
Prosperity” he begins in Matthew 28:18 where Jesus says,
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on
We believe it is given to Christ alone in that passage.
But Kris says, “In Heaven and on earth would have been a
revelation to the Hebrews, but not just in heaven, if he had
left out
on earth.” What Kris is implying is that we in our
day have been restored to some kind of dominion over the
earth in a physical aspect. We are
now Lords of the earth,
and we must take control of it, as if this is why Jesus
came—not to deal with sin, but to restore our rulership
over this planet. The evangelical church has always argued
this is to be a reality, but only during the millennium after
Jesus returns. Kris, however, is advocating for “Kingdom
Now” type theology, but it seems kinder and more
“reasonable.” In reality it is the same old thing.

He then says since we were made in God’s image we are
already “like God.” In Kris’s eyes we were little gods, but
through our failure in the garden, we lost our god likeness.
He believes we lost our authority over the earth, so that
Jesus had to go into hell sometime during the crucifixion
and take back the keys of authority from the devil. Kris is
saying that we have those keys, and that this somehow
means we are
not to make disciples of the people of the
nations but we are to make disciples of “the nations”
(countries). This is an astronomical jump in logic!

There is a big difference here from the plain teaching of
the New Testament. Jesus said clearly, in John 18:36,
kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this
world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be
delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from
He said this standing in front of Pilate. If the kingdom
was coming in a physical form, why didn’t Jesus say, “But in
a few hours I will take the elevator down to hell and steal
those pesky keys from the devil and then you will see my
disciples fight and win!” In fact, we are never told to fight in
a fleshly or carnal way. In the Garden of Gethsemane Peter
was commanded to put away his sword. Now the only
weapon we have is the revealed Word of God, the Sword of
the Spirit. Even with ourselves we don’t sledge hammer the
sin out of ourselves with whips or chains as the Romans
Catholics are obliged to do. We take every thought captive
with truth, making it obey Christ with the spiritual power
and true authority we have, based on the Word and the
faith once delivered to us, the saints. Our spiritual blessing
in heaven is ours, but that leaves off many physical
blessings that will be ours in the kingdom to come.

ElijahList advertisement for Vallotton’s book, 6/10/11

Kris loves to spin this old idea of us being little gods, and
that being restored to dominion through the keys or the
tabernacle of David equals us being restored to dominion in
some mystical kind of way. And then, as a result of being
restored, having a power ministry as we
speak physical
realities into existence—all the while calling this
methodology “faith” and “power.” They call anyone who
does not go along with it all an “another Gospel”
proponent. (In fact, Bill Johnson has made the same
allegation about all who don’t major in miracles and so-
called power evangelism.)

Kris makes an upgrade claim right away in his talk. He
says that the Muslims are running five nations and
Christians are taking dominion over zero nations. All of my
Christian friends and colleagues deplore what ISIS is
currently doing. But we look at the situation from a totally
different perspective. Jesus said that the world would hate
us. In fact, He says that evil men would wax worse and
worse, up to the very point when He returns. Those that
nations are bound to fail. Yet Kris demands (and is
not below using shame manipulation) that we capture
nations and governments for God, and that if we don’t we
are failures and God’s hands are tied.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is blasphemy! Though
I fully believe in man’s free will and responsibility for his
actions, I believe that God, too, has a plan and is executing
and using our free choices to bring out His glory-filled end
to the existence of this planet and its inhabitants. We play a
part, but that will never change God’s ultimate plan to bring
about the completion of His prophetic Word.

Bethel Church has an outward form of power. They talk
about power, write about power and blog about it all day.
Their meetings are “powerful” in the realm of music and
lighting, drama and artistic creativity. All these things are
outward forms. This is the root meaning behind the exact
description of the end times apostate church movement
described in 2 Timothy 3. After describing perilous times
where the culture is in deep bondage to sin, and is
described as lovers of themselves (Kris loves to say about
his own preaching, “That is a really good word”), lovers of
money (Bethel is a money machine, as are most connected
ministries and churches in their sphere), boasters, proud,
blasphemers, etc., the aging apostle Paul says in verse 5,
“having a form of godliness, but denying its power.” True
godliness has a spiritual power that defeats sin and brings
about holiness, sincerity, humility, and an ability to
powerfully proclaim the Gospel in word and deed. A holy
life is a powerful life, not a life that twists the promises of
God meant for a future time and holds the church hostage
with a carrot of constantly changing new things, paradigms,
methodologies, and new signs and wonders.

Bethel is saying the same things they and others have
been saying since the Latter Rain movement was hatched in
1949, which was soundly refuted by leaders of the
Assemblies of God who found it to be spurious and extra-biblical in nature. No “wonder” that Bethel Church broke
away from the AOG ten years ago last January. They wanted
no real oversight.

Kris Vallotton is speaking the same
message that other false teachers have been speaking for at
least 68 years. It is nuanced now and made to sound more
“biblical.” He quotes from Romans 4:17, saying, “Abraham
is not the father of Israel, but the father of nations.” He says
this means
we are to be fathering nations—that if the
church does not father, lead or commandeer (I suppose)
the nations, we are not following in Father Abe’s steps, as
he believes the New Testament teaches. (The New
Testament does not, of course, teach this.) Missing the
whole point of the reality, the beauty and the majesty of
the revelation in Romans about the wonder of our salvation
and the righteousness imputed to us by faith, seen in its
root form all the way back to Abraham—having missed all
that truth for a silly and obtuse vision of a mighty Joel’s
army now taking dominion by “fathering” nations, Kris
devolves into error. But he is attempting an “upgrade” here.
He is attempting to be seen as more Biblical so he can drag
unsuspecting denominations and individual churches and
precious people of God, along with weak-willed, unskilled
and struggling Christians into his camp of error. Using Kris’
perspectives, you will never come to a knowledge of the
truth because you are being tricked by a
“form of godliness”
that has no power. (See 2 Timothy 3:5-9 please!)

I remember the first time I opened a book by a Bethel
leader, titled
When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson. I
remember the tremendous emphasis, not on the Word of
God, but on word of faith, on signs and wonders and so-
called power ministry. Now, it seems, they are countering
criticism for their neglect of the teaching of God’s Word in
their church, and are trying to gain acceptance by quoting
more verses of the same Bible that they have seriously
dissed for years. I have been to their meetings and seen
firsthand that most attendees do not even carry a Bible
with them because they don’t need it very often. Usually
they “worship” for an hour or so. Then someone comes and
starts with the Bible, and then it is time to share the “new
thing God is doing,” which includes testimonies of so-called

miracles and signs and

I believe in the present
work of the Holy Spirit in
the earth. I believe in
miracles and have
experienced them. I
believe some have a gift of
faith and I have witnessed
it being used for the glory
of God. But I believe that
anything we have or know
can be turned into an idol
or, at the least, an
obsession. Bethel obsesses over miracles. Bill Johnson for years has modeled this
emphasis. It is the
modus operandi of his church. Kris
Vallotton and all the other leaders of the movement have
to fall in line or they are out. Nothing has changed at Bethel
but they are talking slightly different now…. trying their
best to put a Biblical stamp of approval on their tired
theories and “new” ideas, many of which have more roots in the New Age movement than in the Gospel of Jesus.

I know these are tough words. They are not meant to be tough but to wake up some. One of the problems with
Bethel saying the same thing over and over and over is that
people get used to it, and are worn down, and then begin to
accept it. Many have in Redding—the numbers don’t lie—
Bethel is getting bigger and their influence is growing
throughout the world. I am concerned and must warn the
flock to beware. Do not listen to strung-together verses
pulled out of their proper interpretation by those who don’t
care if it is properly preached, but care more that their
agenda is accomplished. Don’t be made captive to false
teaching, no matter how normal it may sound, by those
who use flattery or sophisticated behavioral techniques to
deliver their message.

Kris Vallotton says that we are children of Abraham so
that all the promises given to him are ours. Is that true in a
physical sense? Does everyone who comes to Christ by faith
have a baby of promise? God told Abraham he would have
a son, but not everyone has a baby, and some have only
girls. I know that sounds silly, but is it sillier to make such a
blanket statement like Kris does at every turn in his
message? Abraham was a rich man. Is every Christian
blessed in that way? It sounds good to those who are
anxiously wanting physical blessing to be poured out on
their failing business, or their empty nursery, but it is false
on its face. It is not good doctrinal teaching that accords
godliness. I am reminded of this timeless truth from 1
Timothy 6: 3-6:

“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to
wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and
to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud,
knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments
over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil
suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and
destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means
of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with
contentment is great gain.”

Years ago Bill Johnson was not content with his faith. He
had been to John Wimber’s place and saw some miracles
and realized all he had was “doctrine.” He spent the next
several years trying to find the power. He ended up at
Toronto and “found it.” It split his church in two as people
began barking, howling and crawling on the floor, and
calling it worship. But he says it was worth it. I don’t think it
was. I think it possibly shipwrecked his faith. It certainly has
done that for many. I have personally watched many young
people be in this movement for a few years but come out
so disgusted, and so let down, and so confused that they
give up and fall headlong into the world. It has affected
some who are very close to me like that. It is because of this
that I cry out for discernment in these last days. I am not
the only one. There are a few others, and though it is not “cost effective” to speak out, we must. Some think we are
just mean or old or jealous. Those are unjust charges. The
Old Testament prophets had similar opposition. They were
told to prophesy “smooth things,” but they could not
because God had not told them to. They had to say the
truth. It was a fire in them that boiled with holy zeal. That
sounds exciting, but it is indeed a heavy burden to bear.
God’s Word is being tampered with. It is being used to say
things it was never meant to say. Far from being more
biblical, though they may appear so to their following,
Bethel church continues to move away from the Bible.

In the message by Kris Vallotton, he admits openly that
he doesn’t like the book of Leviticus. All the killings bother
him. Yet it is the death of the Lamb of God that is pointed to
in that book. Every lamb points to Jesus and the atonement
for sin. But that is not the point of Bethel. The Gospel of the
precious blood of Jesus is not the focus of their outreaches
or their expansions or of their school. They call it revival,
but can there ever be true revival without confession? Is
redemption possible without teaching Christ’s blood being
spilled? No. It is a waste of time. A biblical church teaches
the whole counsel of God. Bill Johnson refuses to answer
questions that come from the book of Job, as though
sickness is not a reality in a fallen world, because he teaches
it is always God’s plan to heal everything. This is not a
biblical church at all. God’s Word deals with all of life, and
all of the affects of sin, and still points us to Jesus who died
for us a violent death so we may have life eternal. There will
be a day when all will be made right but it is not this day.

Kris Vallotton – “Your Identity as Sons of God” (Source)

The Bold Eschatology  
Upgrade #2 
Kris Vallotton has been saying for some time that he
refuses to accept an eschatology that says things have to
get worse in order for Jesus to return. To Kris’ credit he
loves the story of Joseph. But what he likes so much is that
Joseph “profited Potiphar’s house.” “If you put a prince in a
prison it will become a palace,” he says. He then goes on to
dreams and declares, “Pharaoh is dreaming again.” He says
Joseph knew how to interpret dreams because “Joseph was
raised in a dreaming family, having been taught the supernatural
ways of
God.” Then
he says
“Pharaoh is
again and the
world is
again.” God
is not lifted up, but the dreamer is. He says that the light is turned on in
a room, but we don’t come in the room to look at the light,
but you come in to “see.” Friends, the Light is what we are
to look at. Jesus is the Light of the world. Kris is teaching
that self-realization is the goal. Seeing what is around us is
the most important thing to him—so we can “see” the
dreams. He says, “If we don’t dream then the world dies.”
In his eschatology, then, it is all dependent on us. We will
save the world if we dream. You must hang with the
dreamers here at Bethel, he is implying.

He then moves to the prophecies of Jesus being king in
Isaiah 9. This is where he builds his “eschatology now”
doctrine. He rips partial verses from the context of the Bible
and declares that God’s government is on earth
now, in our
time. He also declares that God is not “ashamed of
humanity” because “His shoulders” are us. Secondly, he
says that the government
now is increasing and we must
advocate for this increase. You might think he means to
advocate for a spiritual increase of God’s kingdom. But,
there is a bait and switch coming. He leaps from God ruling
in His people to talking about government that “actualizes
your personhood.” This sounds like the liberal politicians
and psychologists today, as though the government is
responsible for making us fully developed people. That is
not what Isaiah teaches at all. That is not even good
American talk. He is emphasizing a New Age idea, right in
the middle of a precious part of God’s Word. He has not
studied prophecy apparently. He does not realize that God
does things in different periods of time. There are two
comings, not just one, Kris. Maybe that is why, in another
book of the Bible that he does not like, he has not taken this
to heart: Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 says: 

“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal”

From here Kris continues to “build” an eschatology
where he simply justifies the governmental take over, albeit
in an altruistic sense, of the “spheres” of the society (i.e.,
dominion), by people and movements and churches like
himself. His case in point is that Bethel is running the Civic
Auditorium in Redding
.[3] This sounds like it is just the
beginning of many “good things” to come. “Great
government empowers you,” he says, as though an
empowered unsaved person is still a good thing. He then
points to Korea as a great illustration of why government is
the answer. It is a false argument because he holds up
democracy in the south as some kind of an endgame for the church’s mission. The only difference is “government” he
says. But more government is what has doomed the north,
not less. If South Korea is better it is because of “less”
government, as we have proved in our own country. But he
says, “Government is powerful and meaningful.”

Vallotton then goes on to twist his dominion theology
into a misplaced understanding of Isaiah 61, going beyond
what Jesus read as He began His ministry there in Nazareth.
Jesus stopped reading at exactly the point where He
intended to because the rest is for a later time. Read Luke
4:18-20 where Jesus closed the book exactly where it
needed to be closed for now. In Kris’ eschatology, there is
no need for heaven because through Christians taking
dominion over the “spheres” of society we can bring it
now. Look at their website, www.ibethel.org. “Your
Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” is their motto.
What they mean is for the Kingdom to come now, exactly in
all of its fulfillment,
NOW! It is not according to the timing
that God has set forth, but according to Bethel’s
understanding—ALL FOR

Is this a place we want to send our children or
grandchildren in order to learn the supernatural ways of
God? No, this is natural, fleshly, and is man centered.
[4] Kris
says, “I don’t know what your eschatology says, but mine
says that ‘God cares about cities.’” Does He? Doesn’t He
care about individual people in the cities? Isn’t it better to
be accurate when we make blanket statements? Does God
care about sidewalks or paths people take to class at the
Shasta College, like Kris declares in his illustration about
how we should be smart as we govern every part of our
society? This is pragmatism and “kingdom now” theology
married together! It is silly talk.

There is no Gospel here except the gospel of man. “Your
job when you get well is to help everyone else get well,”
Kris confidently asserts. The question is, “Well, from what?”
If he were talking about getting well from sin through the
shed blood of the cross of Christ, I would be all in for that.
But he is talking about the ills of society, and that is just not
deep enough to be called Bible! That does not go far
enough. That is only scraping the surface and does nothing
for the soul of man to be truly well. There is no cure for
society in this age, but there is a cure for sin found only in
the finished work of Christ at Calvary where He willingly
poured out His precious blood for atonement for sin. God is
angry with man and his sin but He placed that wrath on
Jesus for our sakes. But if we don’t receive that gift we are
under condemnation. That is the simple Gospel. It is a good
news of love, but it cost our Savior His very life as foretold
by all those sacrifices of old, in Leviticus.

1 Timothy 4 is an explicit warning for our times. It is
opposed to the cozy picture that Bethel Church preaches
that is couched in hope of their “kingdom now” type
eschatology. I must end share this warning in hopes that

some caught in this movement will hear its words: 

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times
some will
depart from the faith,
giving heed to deceiving spirits and
doctrines of demons,
speaking lies in hypocrisy,
having their
own conscience seared with a hot iron
. (1 Timothy 4:1-2) 

Bill Johnson with leading 7 mountain dominion advocate Lance Wallnau

Years ago a friend of mine developed throat cancer. He
had a family and a wife and was in the prime of his life. He
loved to serve the church we attended by doing practical
help for anyone who was in need. If a car needed repair, he
would find a way to fix it. If someone needed a ride, he
provided it. He loved the Lord and yet he got very sick. Our
church at that time declared that he would recover—that
God had told them he would beat the cancer. It did not
happen that way. My friend died from the cancer, an
agonizing death witnessed by his kids and wife and by all of
us. A few months afterwards we were talking with some
friends who happened to also be on the church staff. They
told us that my friend had given up the battle and his lack of
faith was the reason he died. Those words burned in me.
They disgusted me. They maligned my friend’s memory and
character. The church had lied.

Likewise, Bethel is lying today when it says the same
types of things. If you look closely at the leadership there,
they are living a lie. They are living a lie in hypocrisy
because their current pastor needs glasses and the son of
the pastor is still deaf. So whose fault is this in their scheme
of things? People in Redding and at Bethel get cancer and
still get sick, so is the problem with God or with their faith…
or with Bethel’s defective teaching?

Budweiser furthers the kingdom agenda?!
The ends justify the means in dominion theology.

In 2016 Kris Vallotton rewrote a book from 2010
because he said it was now more relevant than ever. In this
book he talks extensively about how the church has failed
at transforming society, and how his church has begun to
succeed at it. I want to conclude this exposė of Bethel
Church’s “upgrade” with a direct quote from Kris’ book and
a screenshot (above) from their website. (Notice the
advertisement for beer!) Upcoming events at the Redding
Civic Auditorium are referenced in the quote below. My
question for the reader to ask is this: what does any of this
have to do with the Gospel mandate that Jesus so clearly
gave in Matthew 28? Is this the “new” goal of Christianity?
What government role should the church “take over” next?
What further compromises in content and marketing will
the church make in order to win the praise of the public and
government officials?

Here is the quote from Vallotton’s book:

“We wanted to run the Redding Convention Center the same
way our students beautified our city. Our goal was to make it
an excellent experience for everyone who came into the
building. We spent $500,000 remodeling the building and
installing a state-of-the-art ticket system. We replaced all the
seats, installed a new sound system and remodeled the entire
interior of the building. We hired an almost entirely new staff,
employing only friendly people who had a heart for excellence.
It took us two long years to learn the entertainment business,
but we were passionate about getting it right. At first we lost
money on many of the shows. To make matters worse, in our
zeal to make sure the venue stayed secular and not “Christian,”
we booked some acts that were pure filth… actually nearly
porn. At times things were tough, but we knew we had to
climb or die. For the first two years, the community (led by the
media) scrutinized everything we did and cut us no slack. But
as time went on, their fear of a ‘religious takeover’ evaporated
in light of the obviously improved experience our community
was having in the convention center. We were hosting as many
shows and events as ever, while still meeting the needs of our
school there. In our third year of managing the building, we
finally began to win the praise of our community. In fact, many
of the people who had protested against us that night at the
city council meeting came back and apologized to our team.
And our city manager and his team have since said openly,
‘This is the best the convention center has been run in 43

Where is the truth in all of this? 
It is found in God’s Word. It is found in the true God of the
Bible and
not in god we make according to our own dreams
and desires. It’s found in the One who has given us His Spirit
through the new birth in Christ, who will lead us into all
truth. It is found in churches that, though they may be small
and are certainly not perfect, are preaching and living the
whole counsel of God in humility and by His power. It is
found in the holy lives of the people of God who seek not
the glory of an earthly kingdom but who are waiting for this

But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for He
has prepared a city for them
Hebrews 11:16)

Much more can be said about this movement that is
Bethel Church. Though it is constantly upgrading its
message to bring more and more people and churches into its orbit, please beware of the dangers in its teaching. The
“upgrade” is really a downgrade—a sophisticated and well-
marketed ploy to repackage the old Latter Rain heresy of
the 1940s that has roots deep in the darkness of the old
Gnostics that were plaguing the church at the time the New
Testament was being written. Certainly the preacher of
Ecclesiastes was right:
“there is nothing new under the sun.” 

Do not let anyone lead you astray to anything less than
the glorious truths found in God’s Word, even if it sounds
innovative and relevant, and has really good music high up
on the iTunes charts (Bethel’s rock group
Jesus Culture).
Keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our
faith! Keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh!
Beware, beware, beware and don’t settle for anything less!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a
living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that
does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept
by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be
revealed in the last time

(1 Peter 1:3-5)

THE LORD at His glorious return! 

I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed. 

 (Daniel 7:13-14)

Then the seventh angel sounded:
And there were loud voices in
heaven, saying,
“The kingdoms of this world have become the
of our Lord and of His Christ,
and He shall reign
forever and ever!”

(Rev. 11:15)

1. Vallotton, Kris, (2016-08-02),
Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World
with God’s Transforming Power
, published by Chosen Books – From the
Introduction of the Kindle Edition. Emphasis added.
2. Link is https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bethel-church-sermon-week/id76583739?mt=2&i=374737430
3. Screen shot of Convention Center article photo is from:
4. Herescope articles about Bethel, Jesus Culture, its youth movement,
and its popularity in evangelicaldom include
https://herescope.net/2013/01/the-significance-of-youth-filled.html. Also see: the associated article at:
http://apprising.org/2013/01/02/louie-giglio-passion-2013-and-jesus-culture/ and the 6 part series that begins here:

This article was originally in the Discernment Newsletter, Vol. 27, No. 4, Sept./Oct. 2016. It is reproduced here in its entirety with additional graphic exhibits supplied by the author, Pastor Rod Page, with comments. Other exhibits added by the editor for the purpose of documentation.