Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bethel Church – Your kingdom come... on earth as in heaven

Bill Johnson's Bethel Church teaches that "dance can be powerful tools of transformation in other’s lives." To further this end, they hold Arts conferences where they share "testimonies and impart a supernatural anointing for signs and wonders, which can be translated in what you create though hearing God’s voice, asking for understanding and then releasing His presence as you create!"

In the conferences thay have workshops which endeavor "to teach on and activate in what it looks like to connect with what the Holy Spirit is saying in the moment and express it through dance." They advertise "You will discover how to use your talent and ability to make prophetic declarations and transform your surroundings." And they ask "What does it mean to dance prophetically or deliver a word through dance?"

OK, boys and girls, if this is prophetic, then we are instructed to judge it. This presentation was done on the last day of an Arts conference at Bethel in 2010. Have at it.

Extra points for the first reader to supply the name of the song which starts at about 1:40 in the video.

Again, just to keep things civil, I'm going to delete any responses that use the terms such as heretic, blasphemer, antichrist, Sadducee, Pharisee, or scoffer. And responses such as "I know this is right because of the burning in my bosum" are not especially helpfull. You may post as Anonymous, but listing your name (or screen name) in the post will help others to direct their responses.

Adding on 11/11/11 - another video by popular request. If the first one made you laugh, this one will sober you up real quick.


  1. This looks much more like some sort of pagan rite than anything that could have originated with the Holy Spirit. How appropriate that the song that started around 1:40 is entitled, "Witch Doctor."

  2. The song "Witch Doctor," which starts at 1:40 seems to be somewhat appropriate. From a purely observational perspective, I thought, "it looks like they're trying to do some sort of channeling dance." This would be more proper to someone trying to manufacture an experience or even open themselves up to an experience from an unwelcome spirit. Being one who is involved in various circles of healing prayer and one who has followed great teachers like Francis and Judith MacNutt and Leanne Payne for a while, I know the dangers that can lurk behind these types of practices. This just doesn't resonate with any experiences that I've had of a real and true descent of God's Holy Spirit into a place where He communicates His gifts to people and to the Church for ministry. That would be my discernment here.

  3. Uh, no way...they're using the song "Witch Doctor" @ the 1.40 mark. Okay, that's just crazy.

  4. Maybe they should do a version of Santana's Soul Sacrifice? Or, going back further, how about Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' The Sacrifice which begins with an authentic Swahili chant. They could put the album cover on an easel to add to the experience:

  5. So does anyone have the foggiest idea of what this is supposed to be "prophesying"? Beyond the coming of the Witch Doctor, that is??

    On a personal note, I remember one service I was in back in my "charismania" days. Dance wasn't involved, but incessant drumming that went on and on was. At the start of the worship time, there was a sense of God's presence with us. But I disctinctly remember as those drums went on and on, sensing His holy presence leave the room and another spirit take His place. That was something I don't think I will ever forget and I never want to have repeated again.

  6. Even though I don't get into the spritual warfare stuff, at least it would have made more sense if the singer had been singing "We pull down every stronghold..." instead of "Witch Doctor."

    And this was not a children's presentation, it was the culmination of a prophetic arts conference. Wowsers.

  7. Yep, I sat in many a prophetic worship conference and heard the drums do their "battle" beats and "war" sounds.

    Sometimes even sounded a bit African style beating as well.

    Pathetic...ops - prophetic?


  8. Say Bill,

    Have you ever seen the video (on YT) from Joyner's MorningStar church, with the shrieking woman and the maddening voodoo drums? What in the world do you call that anyway? These look like they have nothing to do with Christ whatsoever...(and quite lame I might add). Oh wait, this is somewhere in the Old Testament right? Reminds me of those voodoo dances from the original b/w King Kong movie. Thank you, Scott

  9. Yes I have seen that. What would I call it? Disturbing!

    I've posted that video with the article as the two do seem to tie in with the Voodoo theme.

  10. Andrew Strom (the Kundalini video guy) mentioned this kind of thing in his journey out of the Prophetic Movement. I believe he was saying how he was at a conference, and at one point there was a big dance taking place on the stage, replete with loud pulsating pounding African style drumming. With many of the leaders dancing around the stage like loons. And this was like one of the final straws for him I guess. Glad I could contribute to your blog today, hehehe. Ya just had to do it! Scott

  11. You guys. You remind me of Garrison Keilor and the Lutheran parents from Minnesota who sit on their hands and sweat while the black kids dance at the Lake Woebegone High School assembly. I saw Alvin Ailey’s modern dance company, (the black Choreographer from New York, one of America’s treasures) perform Revelations, which was a 45 minute presentation of the gospel from a historical black perspective. It sent chills up my spine. These are just a bunch of tallented dance kids loosening up, improvising and having fun. The guy who sings the Alvin and the Chipmunks song “Ooh eee oo ahh ahh ting tang walla walla bing bang” is hilarious and everyone laughs. After I got saved in 1970 I brought home an Andrae Crouch and the Disciples LP (Licorice Pizza) and put it on. My Conservative Baptist dad was horrified and said ”those african jungle beats are of the devil”. You are funny.

    Rick. Ting tang walla walla bing bang. Quiet Alvin.

  12. On to the other video of the sobbing girl.

    “When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. 1 Sam 10:5

    Aren’t you glad you guys William doesn’t have that on video? Enthusiastic middle easterners pounding on drums, tambourine, guitar, all prophesying. Saul gets near and the Spirit falls on Him too and he begins prophesying. Then a few years later it happens again. “But on the way to Naioth in Ramah the Spirit of God came even upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy all the way to Naioth! He tore off his clothes and lay naked on the ground all day and all night, prophesying in the presence of Samuel. The people who were watching exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet?” Ah, a Youtube moment if ever there was. The people just assumed, from his actions, that he was a prophet. What would you guys do if you saw a bunch of young prophets prophesying loudly, beating drums, shaking tambourines, people overcome, laying on the ground babbling for 24 hours straight.

    The girl says, I just had a vision of Jesus. Then she says she felt deep calling unto deep, her heart longing for Jesus heart, her deep crying out for Jesus deep. She is lucky she can stand. Daniel shook uncontrollably then passed out when he caught sight of Jesus. Isaiah cried out Woe is me, I am undone. When John had a revelation of Jesus he “fell at his feet as if dead”. The woman at dinner with Jesus wouldn’t stop sobbing and crying, weeping so much that it says she “began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Of course the unemotional Pharisees, always looking for fault, muttered to themselves,” “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”


  13. Oh yeah Rick Joyner. Self-appointed, self-annointed, self-aggrandizing "Apostle". Why does there seem to be a common thread among this river bunch of stripping away the work that was completed on the Cross, returning to the Old Testament era? Rick Joyner, the guy who denies the rapture. Lovely. Umm, no thanks.

  14. Rick,

    The though occured to me that this was just a fun skit. Fun, like playing with a Ouija board during lunch break. Yeah, we've all got liberty, why not?

    But seriously, this was a presentation at the last day of a prophetic arts conference. I suppose they spent a few days rehersing this. And from the initial reaction of the crowd, I'm supposing that THEY thought that something spiritually significant was taking place.

    Maybe something was. This sort of reminded me of the scene from "The Ten Commandments" when Moses came down from the mount and the children of Israel were dancing around the golden calf. Hey, that story involved God dust as well, didn't it?

  15. As to the Morningstar video, the application of deep calling unto deep is interesting. It certainly was not a groaning, so perhaps it was not *that* deep.

    Beyond the rather strange ululation, the voodoo drum beat was rather disturbing. I do not have a problem with most conteporary Christian music and tempo, although I find many lyrics to be shallow.

    But the question to be asked - and I've asked this before when someone stated a certain drum beat was "prophetic," is "what is it saying to the church?"

    Somewhat out of context, I would want to apply 1 Cor 14 to the ululation (and the drums):

    4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.

    I did not see much edification in the ululation, and the fact that it was permitted and even encouraged causes me to question its source.

  16. So, Bill, you are comparing divination with a plectum, spirit guide and alphabet and Ouija board to a bunch of kids praising the Lord in spontaneous dance. Hmmm. Did you see the Youtube video of David, stripping down to his underwear and dancing spontaneously to the Lord? I know when His wife saw the video she felt he was disgraceful and embarrassing, unworthy of a Christian. Checkout the video of King Saul falling in the Spirit, stripping off his clothes and babbling for 24 hours. Now there is a video. There is such a focus on criticizing appearances here. Take the woman ululating. The Jewish culture, the Arab Culture, African culture all ululate when they have inexpressible grief or inexpressible joy. Listen to the sound of their funerals or their victories. It is probably related to speaking in tongues. She was having a private moment that was captured on a mic. As I say, check out how the saints in the Bible reacted to theophanies and visions.

    Voodoo drum beat. You sound like my 84 year old father criticizing rock and roll or music he didn't understand. Haven't you heard Tito Puente or latin drumming?


  17. To be precise, a bunch of kids praising the "lord" in spontaneous dance while someone was singing a song about a witch doctor. That's just wrong.

    And the "private moment" at Monringstar was not private, they brought her up to the platform to perform, and video taped it for the world to see.

    For the record, I've been a musician all my life and play on a worship band on Sundays.

  18. Rick,

    You wrote, "The Jewish culture, the Arab Culture, African culture all ululate when they have inexpressible grief or inexpressible joy. Listen to the sound of their funerals or their victories. It is probably related to speaking in tongues...Haven't you heard Tito Puente or latin drumming?"

    It depends on what spirit is behind this stuff. Yes, I've heard Tito Puente as I'm very well versed in all sorts of music as music used to be a HUGE idol in my life especially in my BC days. Just like the Art Blakey I reference above which is based on African witch doctor rituals, I used to have percussion-heavy music with a belief in Santeria as a backdrop. Here are two examples:

    Going back to the post itself: what exactly is being 'prophesied'? Where is the REAL Jesus in all this?

  19. Craig, you asked what was prophetic about this dance. Dance as an art form is non-verbal. Perhaps that disqualifies it as prophesy. However, actions can be prophetic as well. For example, Elisha instructed Jehoash to pound the ground with arrows. The number of times he struck the ground signified the number of his victories over Aram. I see a lot of the warfare and victory motifs in this student dance. David did a non-verbal, improvised dance in praise of God when the Ark of the Covenant was being moved. His dance was certainly more wild and scandalizing than this as his wife noted. Psalm 149 says “Let them praise his name in the dance and Psalm 150 urges God’s people to “Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.” Exodus 15:20 says that “Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.”

    Thanks, Rick

  20. Rick,

    You wrote, I see a lot of the warfare and victory motifs in this student dance.

    I don't disagree with you on that. However, Who, in your opinion, are/will be the victims of this 'prophetic' "warfare" of whom these students are/will be victors? What war is this speaking of?

  21. Craig, Guess. I give you 3 chances. These are saved, spirit filled kids who love the Jesus, who believe they are praising Jesus as does everyone in the audience. Jesus is the victor, He won the war, He is coming back on a white horse carrying a sword. The point of dance is that it is non-verbal, symbolic communication. What was David saying in his dance? I've got a bug in my linen ephod? You are exhausting.

  22. I suppose that's one interpretation...

  23. I taught "prophetic worship" for years and it is all based on false scripure interpretation out of context.

    The idea of this dance was that it was warring against the demons with the "sounds" of the heavy drum beat and waring sound.

    unfortunately this dance has nothing to do with "prophecy". I spent too many years myself in this "junk".

    @RickD... Sorry brother, you can come up with all of the intelectual support and scriptures you want. You are wrong!Period!


  24. TJH, scripture don't matter? My life is deeply rooted in the word of God as it has been for the last 40 years. You'll notice that anything I say here makes reference to the word of God. Intellectual support doesn't matter? The mind doesn't matter either? be like the Bereans who searched the scriptures daily to see if these things be true. I don't accept what some of these leaders teach uncritically if it doesn't line up with scripture. For example I believe the Bible teaches a pre-trib rapture which puts me at odds with Rick Joyner and many others. But, by gosh, defend your positions scripturally and with your intellect.

  25. @RickD

    Yep I can use that too, I have been steep in the word for 40+ years myself. But apparently that didn't mean much since I was deceived.

    So @RickD, I am going to apologize to you for making that statement that you are wrong, period!

    I have seen many a scripture posted here, single verse taken out of context to support the video, I have also seen many a post adding words to others when that was not said at all by the poster. Makes me think if the person does this to scripture as well then how can I trust that they are telling the truth and interpreting Gods word properly. Frankly, I could make any verse fit and grid a theological belief or manifestation.

    So I sit here, getting really angry that this ---- stuff goes on and it is defended because of some "new revelation" from God when I don't believe that God gives new revelation outside of the boundries he set.

    Sooo... RickD, you and Craig, Bill and the other discuss. I will sit out because I am still getting worked up and all that does is make me respond out of "emotions" and my bad "experiences" with this manifestation stuff that became lies in the end.

    Sorry..... go for it....

  26. I'm a dancer and dance teacher, and I've been involved in encouraging dance in the church for many years. It really grieves me that dancing is becoming linked to dodgy churches.

    I do believe that God can inspire people to dance, just as He can inspire them to write songs or books, and He can speak through all these art forms. So, in principle, I don't have a problem with dance being labelled as prophetic (and no, before anyone picks up on this, it is not in the same league as biblical prophecy).

    However, this video from Bethel (probably the dodgiest church in the world right now) doesn't really seem to communicate anything and I can understand people's concerns. I don't really want to defend it, but it is worth mentioning that we don't know the context in which it occured.

    But, just as we don't write off all music because it is abused by some, please don't dismiss dance for the same reason.

  27. I completly regret and have repented of all involvement with this church and all its connections.I use to dance wildly and with total abandon during worship.I was totally uninhibited by anything or anyone around me I truly believed I was worshiping God with all my heart.The problem was it took me some time to realize this movement was aligned with freemasonry and pulled its teachings from ancient practices used by druids and egyptian sorcery and then cleverly packaged with biblical wrappings.Many professional dancers especially in flamenco style describe a moment in dance called the "Dunde".This is a moment when the dancer is no longer orchestrating the dance but the spirit.All though God knew my true heart for worshiping Him only I was truly taken over by demonic spirits in my dance due to my ignorance of the true false move of these false teachers and false so called prophets.My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.I thank God daily He woke me up like many others from this unholy mystical dimesion of lies and ancient occult practices.I have learned my lesson to guard my heart and test everything.


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