(Holy Pivec – Spirit of Error) One of the core beliefs at Bethel Church in Redding, California, is the need for new revelation from God, which is in contrast to the so-called old revelation of the Bible as it has been understood for the past 2,000 years.
New revelation can refer to many different things. It includes knowledge about what’s currently taking place in heaven and new interpretations of Scripture that are based on direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, apart from a historical and grammatical hermeneutic. It also includes what Johnson calls “new revelation of Jesus.” And it includes creative ideas–such as fresh music lyrics that will result in mass conversions to Christianity and breakthrough inventions in science and medicine.
However, Bethel’s teachings about the need for new revelation inevitably shift the focus away from the written Word of God in Scripture, insofar as it has been understood for the past two millennia. Their teachings also place Bethel outside of historic Protestant Christianity, based on the 16th century Protestant Reformation, which has taught that the church is to look to Scripture–not new revelations–for its beliefs and practices.
On this note, consider that even Pentecostals and charismatics–who believe in present-day miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as the gift of prophecy–have held that the Bible contains all that is necessary for living the Christian life. See, for example, a position paper published by the Assemblies of God—the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination—which upholds the sufficiency of Scripture. It’s titled “The Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Authority of Scripture.” And see the post written by charismatic theologian Wayne Grudem titled “The Bible is enough.”
But, clearly, Bethel leaders disagree that the Bible is enough. To show you what Bethel teaches about new revelation, take a look at these words written by its senior leader, Bill Johnson.
Bill Johnson on the need for new revelation
“I’m convinced that the pace of revelation will increase very rapidly in these last hours of history…. That acceleration of revelation is beginning in our day… It’s about the purposes of God being unveiled on the planet. On-going revelation and encounters with the power of God launch us into understanding of things we’ve never understood before.” (The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, page 68)
“It is absolutely impossible to live the normal Christian life without receiving regular revelation from God.” (The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, page 58)
“The key is to be spiritually discerning–to open our spirit man to direct revelation from God.” (The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, page 60)