Acts 20:28-30: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
Last week, we highlighted a conference organised by Journey Community Church in Antrim featuring leading figures in the Bethel Ministries movement.
The ‘Kingdom Come’ conference was held at Glenmachan Church of God in east Belfast and featured notable characters within Bethel such as Eric Johnson, Chris Cruz and Kristene Di Marco.
We also highlighted some of the outrageous beliefs taught by Bethel, quoting its leading figures espousing them.
This included extra-biblical revelation, attempting to raise people from the dead and the disputed practice of ‘grave sucking’, which Bethel leader Bill Johnson described as “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”.
Bizarrely, and sadly, this wasn’t enough to convince some of those who visited the facebook page connected with this page of the dangers of Bethel.
However, the fact remains that Bethel Ministries is a church and movement which ought to be shunned and repudiated by any true child of God.
Sadly, rejecting and remaining separate from that which is offensive to God is not a strong suit of Causeway Coast Vineyard Church, based in Coleraine, County Londonderry on the north coast of Northern Ireland, who promptly invited Bethel to their Sunday services immediately after the conference ended.
Indeed, Causeway Coast Vineyard Church is not only associated with that which is offensive to God, but it has shown itself to be part of the problem by the characters it associates with.
Its former lead pastor, Alan Scott (pictured, above), now slumming it in a Vineyard Church in sunny California, said in a service at Causeway Coast Vineyard that he was “all in” with the Pope.
Peter Lynas, leader of the Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland and a leading figure in Causeway Coast Vineyard, has repeatedly acted in a way which, in the light of God’s Word, is highly questionable.
Peter Lynas endorsed so-called Protestants running down to Dublin to cower before the Pope and criticised all who dared to speak out against such rank rejection of the Word of God.
Peter Lynas eulogised the ecumenical evangelist Billy Graham at his passing, despite the fact Billy Graham instructed poor lost Roman Catholics seeking the way of salvation back into the clutches of Rome.
Peter Lynas described the likes of a Romanist Benedictine monk, Mark Ephrem-Nolan and ardent ecumenists such as Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken (No) Good as “incredible company” when speaking at the same Church of Ireland Clergy Conference as the pair specified and other unimpressive characters.
Peter Lynas described those who seek to take a stand against ecumenism as being guilty of “residual bigotry”.
Peter Lynas, as head of the Evangelical Alliance, has refused to take a stand against Biblical creation denier Glen Mitchell’s church, King’s Church in Bangor and Jesuit promoter Alain ‘Ecumenical’ Emerson’s church, Emmanuel Church in the Craigavon area, being members of that organisation.
Peter Lynas compounded this by then being filmed alongside Alain ‘Ecumenical’ Emerson (the pair are pictured together, below) in promoting a prayer event being ran by 24-7 Prayer Ireland, which Alain Emerson heads up. This organisation’s overall leader, Pete Greig, is a rampant ecumenist who has been advising the Roman Catholic Church on how to lure more people in.
And, just the day after Bethel Ministries finished their ‘Kingdom Come’ conference under the auspices of Journey Community Church in Antrim, they were taking both Sunday meetings at Causeway Coast Vineyard Church.
Eric Johnson, one of the senior pastors at Bethel, who claims to have been called to the ministry by a charismatic leader placing a finger on his head (you can hear his account of this by clicking here), spoke at the morning meeting.
The evening meeting was led by Chris Cruz, the Young Adults Pastor at Bethel Ministries.
Bethel’s arrival at Causeway Coast Vineyard was greeted with great enthusiasm on their social media outlets, demonstrating very clearly their support for such God-defiance as that demonstrated by Bethel.
So many churches are giving room to such movements as Bethel.
This is something which was foretold by the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of God, when writing to Timothy.
It says in 1 Timothy 4:1: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”.
There can be little doubt that such gatherings, where individuals are falling over, convulsing on the floor, laughing hysterically and flat out unconscious, are “giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”.
There is certainly nothing of Christ in that.
Such churches like to make much of the Holy Spirit.
That’s fine surely, isn’t it? It certainly is, the Holy Spirit is one person of the Trinity, but they make things of the Holy Spirit which are simply not part of the Bible.
Where in the Bible is there mentioned laughing uncontrollably under the influence of the Holy Spirit? Where is there mentioned all manner of riotous behaviour being carried out under the influence of the Holy Spirit?
There is none, it simply isn’t there.
Furthermore, this over emphasis on the Holy Spirit is non-Scriptural.
The role of the Holy Spirit is to lead people to Christ and to glorify Him.
John 16:13-14 says: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
The Holy Spirit doesn’t strive to bring attention to Himself, but rather to bring attention to Christ.
Being determined to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that you are falling over and laughing like a hyena is a sad corruption of God’s Word.
And, of course, these people are not filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Bible shows us what being filled with the Holy Spirit looks like.
Acts 6:3 says: “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”
It would be hard for Stephen or the other deacons to have shown much wisdom if they were writhing around on the floor, wouldn’t it? And we can’t imagine they would have been able to look after any business within the church whilst laughing uncontrollably.
Micah 3:8 says: “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.”
Micah, the servant of God, was full of the Holy Spirit and was able to show judgment and point out the sins of the Israelites.
The charismatic movement is notable for its “judge not” approach, showing its biblical illiteracy. Ironically, they turn their “judge not” approach into a form of a holier than thou contest to be the least judging type of person. No wonder so many heretics have been allowed to creep in when you daren’t speak out against them.
There is the example of Paul, being filled with the Holy Ghost in Acts 13, reproving Barjesus for trying to turn Sergius Paulus away from the true gospel.
Did Paul writhe around on the floor barking like a dog or laughing like a hyena? Absolutely not.
He spoke sensibly and clearly, saying in verse 10: “O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?”
Paul was very firm, blunt and clear in his speaking out against workers of error.
Could we not say in this day and generation, to the likes of Bethel Ministries and Causeway Coast Vineyard, “wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?”
There is an endless stream of God-defiance coming out of Causeway Coast Vineyard.
Eventually, this will lead to judgment.
God has promised this.
On numerous occasions we have highlighted the errors of Causeway Coast Vineyard and yet it appears to be falling on deaf ears
We will just leave Peter Lynas, Causeway Coast Vineyard Church and Bethel Ministries with this word of warning from God’s Word.
Proverbs 29:1: “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”
If you or anyone you know is still involved with this church and you truly love the Lord, then won’t you separate yourself now and take a stand for Christ.
Revelation 18:4-5: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
And if you have not truly come to God in repentance for your sins, won’t you please do it even now, wherever you are. Whether you are at work, sitting on the sofa watching TV, lying in your bed, out for a walk, wherever you are, won’t you put your faith and trust in Christ for salvation and leave aside all the sideshows of these churches.
2 Corinthians 6:2: “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”