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“Bethels Bill Johnson: Jesus Was so Empty of Divine Capacity”
by Lighthouse Trails   
August 12th, 2014

Bill Johnson is an effective purveyor of kenosis, the heretical teaching that Christ operated on earth solely as a man, with no “Divine capacity” whatsoever. Every miracle, every healing that Christ performed, according to Johnson, came about through the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Johnson teaches, we can all perform healings and miracles, since we also have access to the Holy Spirit.

Thus Johnson’s kenosis doctrine serves to reduce the biblical Christ and elevate man. As Bob Dewaay points out:

“Jesus is no longer unique, but only a special enlightened one who could lead the way to many such enlightened ones in the future. Thus we have a New Age Christ.” [1]

Kenosis comes from a misunderstanding of Phillipians 2:7: "but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men."

This speaks of the King of kings coming down and living among us, for our salvation; it has nothing to do with totally and completely giving up his Divine capacity while on earth. (Please check out the resources about kenosis at the end of this article.)

In the above video of Bethel’s Alabaster Prayer House, Bill Johnson states that “Jesus is the most normal Christian in the Bible.” (4:18) Really? Jesus is a Christian? So…Jesus is worshiping Himself?

In 2012, Bill Johnson and his wife, Beni Johnson, were contributors to a book (co-authored by his personal assistant) with disturbing New Age/quantum spirituality implications. 

One factor, I believe, that has lured Bill Johnson away from biblical understanding is contemplative prayer, which is essentially Eastern/New Age meditation disguised with Christian terminology. It is fitting, then, that Bill Johnson makes these heretical statements during this short video about Bethel’s Alabaster House. According to the church website, “The Alabaster Prayer House and surrounding gardens are quiet and peaceful places to be in contemplative prayer and soaking.”

2:42 in video: “Jesus was so empty of Divine capacity, eternally God but He chose to live with the restrictions as a man. Why? To set a model. To set something to follow, an example of His lifestyle. If He did all His miracles as God I’m still impressed but I’m not compelled to follow. … But when I find out He set aside His Divinity to display…”*

3:58 in video: “So what does [Jesus] do? He models for us the normal Christian life.”

4:18 in video: “Jesus is the most normal Christian in the Bible.”

How did Bethel’s contemplative Alabaster Prayer House come about? Apparently Bill Johnson received a vision during a time when James Goll was teaching:

5:53 in video: “When I say the Lord gave it to me in a vision I was sitting right here. Jim Goll was teaching two years ago at a prophetic conference and as he was teaching I just saw this prayer chapel with a wall of windows facing North, South, East and West, and in the center of the room was a globe with a fountain, this continual flowing fountain.”

A few final words about Johnson’s kenosis teaching before the links about kenosis, where you can investigate for yourself. We see that Christ limited Himself here:

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." (Matthew 24:36)

But Christ’s self-imposed limits are not at all the same thing as giving up all Divine capacity. Bill Johnson needs Christ reduced, for all intents and purposes, to simply a man, for this is what fuels his bells and whistles theology–a theology that far exceeds traditional Pentecostal teaching, and now threatens to engulf it.

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