Church Watch Central posted a well-thought out article entitled, “Bethel, Wake Up!” chronicling the heartbreaking, as well as theologically terrifying, incident that occurred in the wee hours before the morning of December 14—the unexpected, sudden death of 2-year old Olive Heiligentha, daughter of Bethel worship leaders, Andrew and Kalley Heiligentha.
In the article, Chris Rosebrough does not mince words.
“This is utterly tragic, utterly tragic. It’s time for Bethel to wake up, it’s time for people to wake up about Bethel. They need to bury Olive and trust in the real promises that we have in the resurrection, that we all are promised on the last day for all who believe in Jesus. They need to repent. This is just straight out spiritual abuse and manipulation, based upon false teaching, and twisting and manipulation of God’s Word – all because of their super emphasis on signs and wonders.”
“Bill Johnson is a false apostle, Kris Vallotton is a false prophet. Bethel is a cult and they should be avoided like the plague. And what we are seeing unfolding before our eyes, is one of the most tragic and sad examples being played out on social media, on the Internet and in the traditional media, of spiritual abuse that I have ever see. Have mercy on these parents and let them bury their daughter so that they can grieve and look forward to the hope they have on the last day – when Jesus returns in glory. And we will all be raised from the dead. Again this is one of the most horrific things I have ever witnessed in my life and it shows just how far off not only Bethel is but shows just how dangerous these false doctrines of theirs truly are.”
A Word About Equivocation
Equivocation is the intentional misuse of language in order to conceal truth with the intent to deceive while avoiding committing oneself to what one says. There is a plethora of equivocation going on in the Church in these last days. All kinds of New Age doctrine—using all of the same buzz words we use in Christianity—are creeping into the church simply and only because we are not taking the time to define our terms.
- When a Muslim says, “God,” – they are not talking about Yahweh.
- When a Mormon says, “Jesus Christ,” – they are not talking about Yeshua, Yahweh’s Son
- When a Kabbalist says, “the Messiah” – they are not talking about Jesus Christ.
And so on…
Likewise, the “Wake Up, Olive!” ritual played out before America on Saturday, December 14 (on the wake of a full moon, a winter solstice, AND Friday the 13th….) I believe, was the pouring out of a spell upon the nation. They are priming the pump. This wasn’t about raising a girl from the dead—it never was—it is about preparing the Church at large for an insatiable appetite for and endless stream of signs and wonders.
Following the slow drip of the Overton Window model, they will:
- Introduce the
concept of modern-day resurrection to the collective conscience via an
Instagram hashtag phenomenon. The first exposure will be met with confusion and
- The story
will have a ripple effect, slowly making way for discussion, information, and the
multiplication of similar stories…building up to a familiarity.
- Once the concept
is normalized, the collective mind will be open to the idea.
- The Church,
likely with great faith and pure motives, will begin to pray for revival via
the resurrection of their dead loved ones, all the while being unwittingly prepared
for an increased demand and susceptibility to false “signs and wonders.”
- The Great Deception is unleashed, and believers, now fully accustomed to great signs and wonders will not question what they are seeing with their own eyes.
I believe the “Wake Up, Olive!” campaign was Step One to bringing outright divination into the Church.
Prayer vs. Declaration
“A declaration is making verbal affirmations that allegedly release God’s power to create a desired reality. In much the way God spoke and brought the world into existence, believers today – who are created in the image of God – also have the power to bring things into existence through their spoken words, according to Bethel teachings.”
This, in my humble opinion, is not great faith, but magic (arcane knowledge, occult power). This brings to my mind the word “abracadabra,” which roughly translates,
“The word is of Hebrew or Aramaic origin, being derived either from the Hebrew words ‘ab’ (father), ‘ben’ (son), and ‘ruach hakodesh’ (holy spirit), or from the Aramaic ‘avra kadavra’, meaning ‘it will be created in my words’.”
Human beings, no matter how
righteous, no matter how “in the image of God” they be—do not wield the power of
speaking things into existence. The concept of ex nihilo is the idea
that God creates “out of nothing.” He alone wields that power. We can only
create out of what already exists, and we, His image bearers, have been called to
be intercessors and prayer warriors—NOT conjurers performing parlor tricks.
Resuscitation vs. Resurrection
The “resurrection” that believers are longing and waiting for is a future event. Our resurrection will involve the total destruction of our flesh, and receiving a new, incorruptible, eternal body that will never die. Any “coming back from the grave” that occurs before the second coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is not the resurrection, but a resuscitation. Because everyone who has ever come back from the grave, eventually died again. (Lazarus, the little girl (“Talitha, koum!), and those raised when Christ died) did not receive their resurrection bodies at that time. Had they, they would all still be alive today.
From the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary:
RESURREC’TION, noun s as z. [Latin resurrectus, resurgo; re and surgo, to rise.]
A rising again; chiefly, the revival of the dead of the human race, or their return from the grave, particularly at the general judgment. By the resurrection of Christ we have assurance of the future resurrection of men. 1 Peter 1:3.
It is clear from Webster’s definition that resurrection occurs in the future, namely, at the day of judgment. Webster’s definition for resuscitation also hold some intriguing clues as to what we are really dealing with here.
1. The act of reviving from a state of apparent death; the state of being revivified.
2. The reproducing of a mixed body from its ashes.
Resuscitation is a “reviving” – to recall to life, to reanimate, or to give new life or vigor. But it’s the second definition that I find most interesting. This has more of a Frankenstein feel to it. We have all seen those Twilight Zone-type plotlines—someone comes back from the dead, but they aren’t quite right. They look like the person. But they are hollow eyed, unhuman-like, detached.
This discussion has some potentially terrifying implications for the field of cryogenics. What if cryogenically frozen bodies can be easily revivified—but the corresponding soul cannot? What then (or who?) will animate that now-resurrected body?
If all the bold declarations and
incantations of Bethel Church had succeeded in “resurrecting” little Olive from
the dead by the word of their own power—would it have been Olive?
Unhappily Ever After
Sadly, for Olive’s devastated parents, Olive was not revived. A memorial service was held and Olive was laid to rest. While I believe the Church at large should be extremely wary of this whole Bethel Church ritual foisted upon us; I do not believe we should be indifferent to the pain, shock, agony, grief, disappointment, and dashed hopes of this couple unexpectedly losing their 2-year old daughter. While we do not have to buy into the tragic way in which their church chose to help them cope with their grief, we can and should be praying for this couple—who are now not only dealing with the tragic loss of their daughter; but are also dealing with the added confusion (and perhaps anger) that an almighty, loving, powerful, miracle-working God, chose to NOT heal, save, preserve, or resurrect their child. This is heartbreaking. Please pray for Andrew and Kalley Heiligentha, and anyone else the Adversary will attempt to deceive or destroy through this destructive dogma of divination.
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”2 Peter 2:1-3