Setting aside the questions: 1) "is the Bethel 'glory cloud' a Godly, devilish, or fleshly manifestation?" and 2) "is the Lord moving in the specific church we will consider in this article?", we must note that when people want something really, really bad, they will see just about anything that they want to see.
This is not to be confused with faith. No, God desires "truth in the inward parts" and it is not His will for us to fabricate things just to make him look good. He doesn't need or want that kind of help.
One of the features of the sparkly, glittery "glory cloud" at Bethel is that it is a manifestation of the ibethel generation, captured on their iPhones. Keep in mind that the typical phone camera (lens AND electronics) probably adds about $5 to the cost of a mobile phone. I have reviewed many "glory cloud" videos and the many of the outstreched hands often have phones in them.
So let's take a look at the most recent "glory glare" outbreak. After a really lively meeting, this message was posted on a church's Facebook wall by the church itself. This was a "share" and the author of the original post states: "watch the light grow. I can testify that the Holy Spirit was there!" Unless I'm reading this wrong, the church is claiming that the overexposed wall behind the drummer is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
To be fair, I should state that it appears that the author of the original post is making that claim. The church only posted that claim on their facebook page, which suggests that the church approves that claim. But here is a companion post, on a related Facebook page. The link is to the same video. Note on this page that the pastor of the church under discussion makes a response to the post: "AWESOMENESS." Here the claim is that "their (sic) is a light behind the drummer." Although the pastor now claims that he was responding to the intense worship in the video, his response (without elaboration) only encourages others to think that he too endorses the "Glory Glare."
Our hope is that this myth will be deconstructed in this congregation. Again, my thesis is that it is not God's will for us to imagine things just to make him look good. Jeremiah 23:17 warns us of those who put forth the "delusions of thier own minds." This is serious business.
The wall behind the drummer happens to be a marbleized faux-finish. It seems to reflect the light quite well. But there is much more to this story. As I mentioned, inexpensive cameras such as found in mobile phones are often brandished in church services such as these. Let's look at a still shot taken from the original Facebook video.
Do you see the glory? Or just an overexposed image from spotlights on a marbleized finish? The situation suggests a contemporary instance of "exchanging the immortal glory of God for an image" spoken of in Romans 1:23. Literally.
Here's the explanation from a broadcast engineer:
These cheap cameras have an automatic exposure control (AEC) that is not very sophisticated. They work better for still shots than movies, and work worse in dim settings with bright stage lights (i.e. the typical "river church" setting). So here's what happens: As you pan across a scene that is dark into a scene that is bright, there is a lag while the AEC makes the adjustment. In the dark area, the sensitivity is cranked WAY up. When you pan to the bright area, the sensitivity is still high for a moment, and then is reduced. This causes the bright area to "wash out" for a moment, and then become normal. The over-exposure almost looks like pulsating movement to the uninformed.
Even with a good video camera, this can still be a problem. This is why television studios use so much intense even light. It takes a lot of lumens, and a consistent lighting scheme to avoid artifacts such as these. That kind of stage lighting would be a distraction in a church service and would not enhance the worshipful mood.
An additional problem comes into play- the concept of dynamic range. This is the ability of the camera to present an accurate picture where there is much contrast between the brightest object in the picture and the darkest object. $5 will get you just so much dynamic range. $500 will do a lot better. To get near-studio quality the cameras with the best dynamic range will cost THOUSANDS of dollars.
A camera with a limited dynamic range will not handle handle the transition from bright to dim very well. Compounding this problem is the issue of lens flare- caused by cheap materials and coatings on cheaply made lenses. A good camera lens will cost several times the price of a typical smart phone (with a $5 camera built in). Internal refractions in a lens will sometimes also cause artifacts that others have claimed are "angel orbs."
In summary, there is no question that the photographic evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence at this meeting is completely bogus. I'm not saying that the Holy Spirit wasn't there in some manner. Just not on the video, and probably not visible. Let's stop making things up; it does nothing to advance the kingdom.