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Letter To Bill Johnson Of Bethel, 12/3/14

Dear Bill Johnson,

Sir, first let me honor you for the many good ways in which you have served our Glorious King and borne much fruit for his Kingdom.   I see the Lord in you and the many things that you have done well in the work all of us who serve him share in to reach a lost world for Jesus.  Sir, this is letter that is intended to be a godly challenge from one servant of God to another, one that I hope you will have the courage and integrity to accept.   In my challenge of some of your actions please understand that I am not someone who accuses you of being a worker of false miracles or any such thing that is akin to the many unkind and over-the-top accusations that are leveled against you on the internet.  I attended Bethel for fully two years in the past and therefore I am fairly familiar with how you operate and I would never wish to accuse you that way.  I well know the miracles of salvation and healing are of the Lord and I bless you for the all the real fruit you have borne and have no desire to try to attack it.  However, I do have some very real differences with you that I hope you will do me the honor of examining in light of the fact I that I believe God has provided a relationship in your life that I believe can be source of much help for you with some weaknesses I believe you have.

I am very glad to see, from your Bill Johnson/Public Figure Facebook Page post of 10/29/14, that you are having time with Ed Silvoso.  I am glad to hear that, sir, I believe this relationship can serve very greatly.  Ed Silvoso is a good man, he is a son of a true apostle, Jack SchislerJack's Life Story is recorded in the book, A Man After God's Own Heart, written by his daughter, Connie.  Jack was also my spiritual father.  I met him when I was 8 years old and became lifelong friends with him when I lived and worked with him for awhile in Brazil in the mid 80s as a young man.  I expect you are called to be an apostle someday when you are mature enough that God will call you one.  From your teaching and actions you are clearly interested in becoming and apostle  but I respectfully submit that you are not one yet and should careful of thinking you are just yet. I do not say this on the strength of claiming that I am an apostle myself or even yet a prophet as I am in training to become someday, but on the strenght of an intimate knowledge of Jack, who was a true apostle, and the comparisons I am able to make between his ministry and yours.   I believe you would be wise seek Ed out on how Jack lived and conducted himself.  I believe his example can much help you incdluding with money since I believe you are confused in that area.  Jack would never self-promote his own materials for profit the way Bethel does in your money-changing spirit.  Anyone with good discernment can see what you are doing there and it grieves the heart of God.  I believe you would do very well to learn from Jack's example.  He was my father and my friend for 25 years. His example of true apostleship is profoundly different from the way you live, sir, profoundly.   Jack lived this:

1 Corinthians 4:9-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to
angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

I do not believe, sir, however, do not really live this way of great humility and love to this depth.  I have experienced first hand how oppressive your organization can be.  I have an acquaintance with a  true office of prophet leader whose books you sell in your bookstore who once confided in me and a friend that he and others he knows, who have ministered healing to some of those who have been hurt and driven out of Bethel, are well aware that you can be "quite heavy-handed."   Those were his exact words.  This oppressiveness of yours is not true apostleship, sir, it is something short of that level of maturity.   Jack Schisler was a gentle loving leader who knew how to be firm and direct without hurting people.  Bethel hurts and excludes plenty of people.  

Jack was a leader in the foundational prayer work to two of the greatest revivals of the last century: Indonesia and Argentina. He was friends with T. L. Osborn and Edward Miller in the work in Argentina.  He understood prayer and its necessity as the backbone of the life of a church that terrifies the enemy.  These moves of God swept across whole nations, catching great numbers of people into the Kingdom and laying foundation for future generations. They both came after just several years of prayer and sowing.  This is true apostolic fruit.  Let's compare more that to what you have seen so far in your life.  Despite the fact that your family has been ministry in Redding for decades, you have not even taken this one small town. This contrast is stark, sir.  You cannot possibly hope to take this city when you do not use one of the very greatest and most essential weapons we have as the church, that of Corporate Prayer.  This is an major oversight in your ministry and one that betrays that you have not yet reached true apostolic maturity.  I do not believe that anyone who has a real biblical or experiential understanding of true apostleship will think you are and apostle yet when there are these kinds of weaknesses in your ministry but I believe that you have convinced yourself that you are.   I believe this is not good, sir.

Jack planted churches all the way across South America and served as the apostolic head for them of several decades.  Over the decades since the 50s when he first went there these churches have never stopped growing, with 100s of thousands if not millions of people under his authority by the time he died last January, in his humble little trailer in Hemet, at age 97.  In his later years he lived in a double-wide trailer in a sub-division in Hemet, CA where I visited him many times.  He could walk through the grocery store in Hemet and nobody knew who he was but he was one of the greatest generals of the church in his time.  Ir was the light of Jesus that drew people to him in settings like that, not religious fame.  His life of humility and hiddenness is profoundly different from yours of rock-star-like religious fame where so many want their photos taken with you and you oblige.  You and I both know that God does not judge you for your lifestyle and I do not accuse you of living decadently, but Jack would never dream of his wife driving a brand new convertible BMW with personalized plates and parking it in her special church parking place where it will get no door dings. He would have spent that money to feed the hungry and kept on living his humble little trailer.   Please understand, I say this not to shame or judge you but to point out the fact that true apostolic humility and maturity is sensitve to never  do anything that opens the door to accusation but is sentive to the fact that the immature do not understand and can easily stumble over things like that.

Another area in which I believe your example falls very far short of that of a true apostle is in your lack of trust in God to provide you with Supernatural Protection.  Jack would never have dreamed of hiring a squad of 'security guards' to watch his back and protect him with the arm of the flesh as you have.   It brings great shame on the name of the Lord that your security squad attacks the mentally ill(who need love and deliverance in the house of God, not violence) and abuses them physically and handcuffs them and hands them over to law enforcement.   But this is what your men did with the young man the at your 2014 Christmas Bazaar.  True apostles do not do these things, sir.  Real apostles trust God to protect them supernaturally like all truly mature men of God always have:

2 Kings 6:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Sir, I respectfully submit that he fact that you do not think or act this way but instead rely on bodyguards to protect you from persecution that you should rejoice in is proof that you are still quite for short of the maturity it takes to qualify as an apostle in God's eyes.  True apostle's delight in persecution as Jesus taught us:

Matthew 5:10-12New King James Version (NKJV)
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

But I cannot see that you live this way, sir.  It seem to me that you rely on the arm of the flesh to protect you from persecution and that is not the life of a mature, true apostle of Jesus Christ.

This photo of Jack Schisler and myself was taken in the summer of 2005 when he and his wife Ann visited to my family home in Oroville California, USA.  Jack would have been 88 or 89 at the time(he lived to 97) and he was still very strong.  One of the highlights of this visit was when we sat on the deck of the house that overlooks the valley to the west(the deck is pictured in my poem  Holy Home here on this site) and talked about the spiritual warfare issues of the community.  Jack, being a real apostle and a true general in the Army Of Light, talked about the issues of Satanic cult activity in the community and asked if we had any witches there.  All true apostles are in touch with the realities of Satan's army in the flesh, the cults and the practioners of the arts of darkness, as well as the spirits in the second heaven.  He would never have avoided this subject matter so vital to Kingdom advancement the way you do at Bethel, he was to interested in the Kingdom and did not care to try to avoid offending people to keep the pews full.  He would never have passed up the opportunity to use the great power of agreement available in corporate meetings to into into Corporate Prayer and engage in spiritual warfare as a congregation.

When I was 18 I spent nearly months with Jack and his family in their missionary work in Brazil.  The worship among the Brazilian believers in Jack's churches would put anything one could ever hope to see in America right now to shame, the passion in worship that he led his people in was like nothing I have ever seen anywhere, ever, in person or on video.  It was the fruit of a man who walked closely with God like very few do.  Jack was a man of prayer and his churches prayed.  Even though he was American he did not play the religious game of 'now we  worship, now we have the word for this week' with a grand total of a mere 38 seconds devoted to prayer in the whole service.  In his services as in his daily life Jack devoted much time to prayer and lived and taught it as the backbone of true christian and church life.  If he were alive in this time he would be on his face in a Cry For America and leading his whole congregation to do the same in order to take advantage of the power that comes from agreement in a corporate body.  In the two years I attended Bethel I saw only a couple of minutes of this kind of corporate prayer once, led by your daughter-in-law Jenn, but not by you.   It is nothing even remotely resembling a pattern with you, as it so needs to be in light of the reality of where we are at as the body of Christ and in America as a nation.  If Jack saw your failure to do this he would lovingly take you aside and try as a father to help you see that you are failing to lead your flock in prayer adequately, sir, in a time when it is desperately needed.

Jack was full of stories of the glorious miracles he saw through his ministry.  He was so humble that he had away of describing them in a third person way that did not make clear that he was the vessel of the power of God.  I knew Jack well for 25 years and it took me most of those years to understand that the stories he was telling me were of how God used him in the anointing because his humility made it sound like it was someone else.