Dreaming with God (Bill Johnson) book review
Incorrect Rejection of the Devil's Power
Johnson and others in the "third wave" movement make a very critical error. They teach that Satan is incapable of performing any signs, wonders or healing miracles. On p. 43, of his book Dreaming with God, Johnson writes, "The devil himself has no creative abilities whatsoever. All he can do is distort and deform what God has made." However, the devil is very capable to send false dreams (Job 4:12), speak lies to believers (1 Chronicles 21:1; Luke 4:8), cause disease (Job 2:7), cause sickness (Luke 13:16), cause delay (1 Th 2:18), and even appear to men as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). What does Johnson think about the fact that the devil translated Jesus from the desert to the top of the Temple in Jerusalem? (Mat 4:5).
The members of the Third Wave have a necessity to say that Satan has no power. They use this to reject the notion that their own "power" comes from dark sources like "Emma-O" and from demons (often only temporarily) releasing their grip of disease. Men are created "a little below" angels. Can men not perform works in the material? If angels are unseen, and fallen angels as well, how do their works appear to us on the earth? Witchcraft? Sorcery? Mystery? False Miracles? Magic?
Here, a verse stands out as a warning against those who think the devil has no power:
"This evil man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them." (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)
The teaching in Dreaming with God that the devil has no power is dangerous and wrong.
Today, most churches suspect that we are entering into the Tribulation time. Even churches that do not believe in the gifts can see that the fig tree is producing fruit. Yet, Bill Johnson teaches that the devil has no power! It is in this end time, we are warned, that the antichrist will perform the greatest signs and wonders:
And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceives them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Rev 13:13-14)
Johnson's problem is that he must justify the strange fire he deals. To silence his critics, he must deny the Old Testament, deny that Satan and demons have power to cause (or release) sickness, and he must pick and choose scriptures in a crazed dance around the truth.
You might want to argue that Bill Johnson is still correct, that the devil's power is a future thing as far as something visible is concerned. Well, how about Job 1:16,
"While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
The devil has sent fire before (with God's permission) and will send fire during the Tribulation period. Is he doing it now in the NAR assemblies?
They are Deceived
When Todd Bentley was challenged by ABC News to produce just one person who had been healed at one of his meetings, and still claimed to be healed... Bentley only produced one lady's testimony in a letter which basically said she believed she felt a little better than before she went to Bentley's Lakeland revival.
The truth is, all the people packing the Lakeland meetings were deceived. And, all the people following after Rick Joyner, and Pat King, and Bill Johnson are also deceived. There is the appearance of something amazing in "fire tunnels", the "King David anointing", or even in the "Joseph anointing" or in the people who stand on stage and proclaim (believing it) to be healed. However, like the boy with palsy who believed he was healed... and was shown on ABC News to stumble and fall on the steps as soon as he left the building... they have believed a false miracle.
Secret Society Member Leadership
Rick Joyner, for example, is member to the Knights of Malta. This is a secret society. They keep secrets because they know nobody would approve, or even allow them to exist if they knew the full truth: Secret Mason, knight, and animal societies like the Moose Lodge are, at the top, Satanic. Personally, I recognize that the probability of these NAR leaders being demon worshiping false leaders is very, very real.
What I mean is, the more I dig into these people and their history and their associates, the more strongly I suspect they actually know full well they are not serving God, but are infiltrators and subversives.
Jesus warned us plainly that wolves would creep in unaware. He didn't say maybe. He said it is an event near the end. Do you know where those wolves are? They are somewhere. Where?
It looks like miracles to those who are being deceived.
Truth is, Bill Johnson and the other Third Wavers are producing the false signs and wonders our Father in Heaven warns us about in 2 Thessalonians and in Revelation 13. Both are quoted above.
Johnson, Bentley, Joyner
Emphasis on "Signs and Wonders"
On page 81, Johnson tells how he taught a class on "Signs and Wonders". What does Bill think of 2 Thes 2:9 "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." Of course, if you have taught yourself that Satan is impotent, then it becomes very easy to believe false signs and wonders.
Is it a little bizarre that the class was called "Signs and Wonders" with such an eery parallel to this scripture warning us of Satan's works?
Then again, I am not the first person to notice that Satanists seem to always casually, or subtly announce who they really are. I wonder, "Is there a rule they must not fully deceive, or it doesn't count? Why do they actually reveal who they are? Will they use this in arguments on Judgment Day?" Is Bill using terms that refer to demonic activity to identify what is really going on? Does John Crowder use terms particular to mind-altering activities in order to relate they are just affecting the mind, not the spirit? Is Rick Joyner's logo (like a crescent moon, with a vulture, not an eagle) and his ministry name "Morning Star", both plain-site announcements of who Joyner really serves? Note that "Morning Star" refers only to Jesus in the KJV. But, in several of the New Age versions, this term also is used for Satan.
The Error that Breeds Errors
Johnson continues in error on page 142 in a section very ironically titled "The Error that Breeds Errors": Johnson writes, "To value the scriptures above the Holy Spirit is idolatry. It is not Father, Son, and Holy Bible; it's the Holy Spirit. The Bible reveals God, but is itself not God. It does not contain Him. God is bigger than His book."
God is certainly bigger than what is in the Bible. However, when what the spirit a man like Johnson hears goes against the Bible and operates very differently than God's works in the Bible... we must be reminded that an UNHOLY spirit does NOT trump scripture! Because Johnson believes and teaches that Satan cannot perform the works he sees in his church, he has been deluded. The signs and wonders he interprets also lack the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Do not be fooled. Johnson is not proactively teaching his adherents that God is bigger than the Bible. Johnson mentions these rules over and over again because he is responding to his detractors who bring biblical wisdom against what goes on at meetings of Johnson and other sideshow freaks of the NAR like Todd Bentley and John Crowder (who "tokes the Holy Ghost" as he would a pipe of crack cocaine). Detractors correctly point out the strange fruit of NAR teachers. Johnson is really telling them, disguised as a (n incorrect) teaching, that he, Johnson, has the Holy Spirit to lead him- and so this trumps the Bible. This is how he justifies himself.
Let me translate Johnson's statement into plain speech. Bill is saying, "I have the Holy Spirit, so you can't correct me with the Bible."
Put yet another way, the unstated conclusion Bill Johnson wants you to make, is this: Bill Johnson trumps the Bible.
Hey, Bill, listen to this old Marine Corps wisdom: "When you're making excuses, any excuse will do."
Glory Cloud or Smoke and Mirrors?
Interpretation Belongs to God
Read below as Bill Johnson completely misinterprets a "sign":
A roadrunner appeared several times at his church and eventually died there. Johnson interpreted this as a sign that prophecy would increase. He equates the roadrunner to an eagle, and says that eagles represent Prophets.
Actually, eagles represent those who hope in Jehovah.(Isaiah 40:31). "We will fly on wings of eagles" refers to all believers, not simply prophets. The eagle flies high above the earth where it can see for miles in all directions. An eagle's eyesight is 5 to 6 times as powerful as a human's. He has two centers of focus (foveae) and can simultaneously see forward and lateral objects. When the wind shifts, he knows first. The eagle makes his nest on the rock, in the mountains, or at the tops of trees. This is like a wise person, blessed with the Holy Spirit.
The roadrunner, contrarily, is called the "clown of the desert" and runs along the ground. Rarely, it can be found in a tree. This bird cannot see beyond the nearest bushes. It's habitats make it virtually blind! The roadrunner is not in the same Genus, Family or even ORDER as the eagle. In fact, the roadrunner is a member of the Cuckoo Family! And, this is the spirit in Johnson's church and in the book Dreaming with God. The roadrunner meaning is more likely something like "myopic and cuckoo" than anything to do with the Kingdom of God.
Would an omniscient God make this symbolic representation and interpretation thereof? Or, is this explanation the work of Johnson's private interpretation?
Do you think Bill Johnson's interpretation of the roadrunner to be same as the eagle is correct?
What Does 555 Mean?
(I have written a separate article on Bill Johnson 555)
In the book, Dreaming with God, Johnson mentions that he kept seeing "555" in different places. After a time, he concluded that this means "you should write a book."
Johnson says in this book, Dreaming with God, that explaining how 555 means the person noticing it or seeing it many times should write a book is difficult to explain. And, therefore, Johnson declines to explain this to the reader.
However, in the Bible, the number 5 is associated with death. Here are some examples:
The number of death: 2 Samuel verses 2:23 (Abner kills Asahel), 3:27 (Joab kills Abner), and 20:10 (Joab kills Amasa). All these men were speared or knifed "under the fifth rib."
The number of division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. (Luke 12:52)
Are these the three fives Johnson saw? How has he interpreted these? Since interpretation belongs to God, why does Bill Johnson decline to inform us how he interpreted it? Johnson says in his book that it would take too long. It is short, simple, and easy to write, "I prayed and my Father in Heaven showed me the meaning." What force interpreted for Johnson? Perhaps it was a very long series of synchronicities, like the initial coincidences of 555 he noticed.
Interpretation belongs to God:
(Gen 40:8) "And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you."
In Daniel 2:17 - 2:23, Daniel asks his friends to pray with him for an interpretation from God. In a "night vision", God reveals the thing to Daniel. Daniel praises God and says, "He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him."
Notice this important point: Popularly, people in the church use these two scriptures to teach that interpretation of dreams belongs to Jehovah. However, notice that neither Joseph nor Daniel specify or limit their statements to just dreams. Interpretation of any sign, dream, open vision, closed vision, scriptural passage, meeting with an angel, or revelation belongs to Jehovah. It is Interpretation itself, not the more defined interpretation of dreams, which belongs to God. Even when an angel is the direct giver of the meaning, it is because God gave him the meaning. There is no private interpretation.
If any man desires understanding, wisdom, and discernment, let him ask our Father in Heaven, who knows how to give a good gift to fulfill our righteous desires.
Why can't Bill explain himself?
See how simply I have explained it? What is it that Johnson cannot share with us? How long can it really take? I suspect Mr. Johnson's reason for excluding his interpretive methods is because the darkness is afraid of the Light. And... that is the seed that inspired his book!
Some examples of 555:
1. The Washington Monument, which is an Egyptian obelisk, is 555 feet tall. It was designed and built by Freemasons. The masonic temple is a place where "the god of your choice" is worshiped. Top masons, who surpass the highest official degree of 32, must sign a document that the "Great Architect" they worship in the temple lodge is really Satan.
2. In a warning the Holy Spirit gave me in April, 2011, I was shown that the stock market descent would begin with a 4.04% percent, one-day, decline. On that day, August 8th, 2011, the combined change for the Chicago and S&P indexes was a 4.04% drop. The S&P alone dropped 6.66%. The Dow dropped 5.55%. Does 555 in this case seem to represent something good, or something negative? Here are links to the warning I posted on my blog, and a second post the day it was fulfilled:
3. (Note: I am adding this on October 20, 2011. The previous parts of this article relating to 555 were all written before I found this article!) Third example of 555- It is used by the occultists! That is correct, occult followers, numerologists and such consider 5 to be the number of death (just as I found reading the Bible), and they also believe that something is amplified when applied in triplicate! 555, therefore, is an enhanced death power. Wow. Here is the article I found today: Master Number 555
I hope some people are being set free by this article. And, yes, that includes Mr. Bill Johnson of Redding. We are praying for you, Bill.
Interesting note: Bill is the 5th in a line of Johnson pastors. Hmm...
Further Reading & Resources
- JOHN THE BAPTIST TV - Revival, Repentance, Reformation - Andrew Strom, Paul Washer, Ray Comfort, Leo
An overview of bizarre events and teachings of Bill Johnson: "waking up angels", "getting wacked", and more strange fire exposed...
- BeyondGrace: Bill Johnson and John Crowder's Leaven
Some photos of Bill Johnson's congregants sitting on the graves of healing ministers of decades past... and "soaking up the anointing".
- Some honest concerns about the teachings of Bill Johnson and Bethel Church at Redding, CA.
Ben Valentine provides extensive scriptural support to counter some of the false teachings of Bill Johnson.