In 2016, I wrote a post titled, Bethel Redding: A Dangerous Evangelical Cult. Since that time, thousands and thousands of people (Almost 14,000 viewers in 2019, 18,000 in 2018, 24,000 in 2017, and 17,000 in 2016) have come to this site seeking information about Bethel Redding, an Evangelical megachurch in Redding, California pastored by Bill and Beni Johnson. Over the past seven days, almost 2,000 people have accessed the Bethel Redding post. Why all the interest in Bethel Redding?
Bethel Redding and its leaders have an outsized influence on Evangelical churches, especially Charismatic congregations. While Bethel’s core doctrines are Evangelical, its peripheral doctrines are anything but, and anyone with an ounce of sense should be able to look at their beliefs and conclude that Bethel is a dangerous cult. Granted, all sects and churches are, by definition, cults. Christianity, in particular, is an ancient blood cult. The difference between Bethel and its affiliates and other Evangelicals churches is that Bethel’s beliefs about the work of the Holy Spirit can and do cause psychological and physical harm. Many Christian churches are quite benign, little more than social clubs for likeminded people. Bethel, on the other hand, is a world-spanning club with all sorts of magical, secret rituals. One such ritual is currently in the news.
Bethel Redding and its pastors believe that they have the power to raise people from the dead. That’s right, they believe they can reanimate corpses that have been dead for hours and days. On December 15, 2019, Bethel worship leader and songwriter Kalley Heiligenthal asked for urgent prayer after doctors pronounced her two-year-old daughter, Olive Alyane, dead. Heiligenthal wrote:
We’re asking for prayer. We believe in a Jesus who died and conclusively defeated every grave, holding the keys to resurrection power. We need it for our little Olive Alayne, who stopped breathing yesterday and has been pronounced dead by doctors. We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life. Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It’s time for her to come to life.
Friends, we are joining the Bethel family in a global movement of prayer for this little one, Olive. Ever since we heard yesterday morning, I have been praying prayers of resurrection over this little girl. We serve a miracle working God, and all night in my sleep, I kept hearing the words, ‘Talitha Koum’… little girl, I say to you, get up from the sleep of death in Jesus Name and WALK! I looked up her name meaning just now, Olive Alayne. Olive- ‘evergreen’, which speaks of LIFE in EVERY SEASON. Alayne – ‘AWAKENING’ and ‘dear child.’ ! Lets decree together over her, O-LIVE the AWAKENING breath of Jesus, dear child!
Our God is the God of miracles, and nothing is impossible for Him! We are asking you, our global church family, to join with us in prayer and in declaring life and resurrection over @kalleyheili and @apheiligenthal’s daughter, Olive Alayne. Kalley, Andrew, and Elise, we stand with you in faith and in agreement for Olive’s life!
Bethel pastor Kris Vallotton shared Heiligenthal’s request on Facebook, saying:
Please join us as we pray in bold faith for a miracle for our own Kalley an [sic] Andrew Heiligenthal.
Thousands of Bethelites left comments such as these:
In JESUS name, and by the power of Holy Spirit , I command the spirit of death to leave Olive now! I speak resurrection LIFE into sweet Olive’s body now in JESUS name and I declare Olive will live and not die and declare the works of the LORD !
Olive… we say you will live and not die in Jesus’ name. Brain – wake up! Heart – wake up! Blood of Jesus we thank you that you speak now throughout every part of Olive the resurrection power and life and unity of our Lords words – wake up!
Praying and interceding from home today. God, we speak life to Olive! You are the God of Miracles! Do it again Papa raise Olive from the dead!
Come back to life, little babe! Jesus walked out of the grave, walk out with Him!!
Jesus raised our daughter from the dead not once, not twice, but three times! I am believing that for Olive! And it is so.
Jesus raise Olive to life in your name Lord! We declare life and liberty in this beautiful child. You have a plan and purpose for Olive. Bring her life, restore her soul, heaven come down. Unite the body to pray for her and see a mighty miracle in the name of Jesus Christ! Bring a testimony to the world Lord of your resurrection power Jesus! Fill our hearts with belief in Jesus name. Amen!
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for breathing the breath of life back into this child’s body. We command her spirit to return to her body, and thank you, Holly Spirit, for quickening and making alive her mortal body right now, in Jesus’ mighty name. We thank you for miracles, signs, and wonders coming forth from the life of this precious little girl. May she be a testimony of your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Her name is Olive???? She will LIVE!!! The very olive tree sprouts new life… Jesus— we ask the same, by your authority… Resurrection power— gives birth to resurrection life— we join together— as one body— to the LIFE of Jesus! Rise up little Olive!!!!
Holy Spirit come and blow the breath of God unto her lungs, neurons we command you to fire, heart we command to pump!! We claim healing in Jesus Name!!
I rebuke the spirit of death off this child. Jesus bore all sickness and disease and lack for this child. He is healed and whole and well. All parts are straight from the warehouse to Olive. God bless you all.
I command the spirit of death to lift off Olive’s little body right now!!! She will live and not die! Breath of Life breathe in her nostrils right now!! In the mighty name of Jesus Christ!!!! HOLY SPIRIT invade that room tight now!!! Hallelujah God we cry out to You! The Giver if life!!! Hallelujah Lord!!!
Four days later, the child is still dead, yet True Believers® continue to delusionally believe that Jesus is going to resurrect Olive from the dead:
I commend the blood of Jesus over her right now in Jesus name every demonic Spirit every Spirit of Witchcraft every sickness every disease every thing that’s trying to choke her out I lose it right now in Jesus name we command healing power to rise up in her right now in Jesus mighty name amen.
Still praying. I feel God tell me to connect more and more to this. The power of Christ’s resurrection is the power that cancels everything. I keep studying scripture and my heart is full of such promises.
We partner with Him by being wise as kings and seeking out the connections. I’m back 3 major events so far and I will not stop until God tells me to stop. Do I ever love God!
I raise a Hallelujah! IN Jesus’ resurrection power I speak LIFE over Olive. Raise up, and live your Destiny Olive.
Covered by the blood of Jesus we are declaring Life over Olive Alayne in Jesus precious name. Thank you Father that you answer to our prayers in Jesus name Amen!
23yrs ago, our 14 mo old baby girl was dead and came back to life on a quiet Winter night to NOW worship AT BETHEL with with Olive’s parents. Olive, Sweetheart, come back and tell us what you know.
Bethel Redding has a “Dead Raising Team.” Let that sink in for a moment.
According to The Dead Raising website, Dead Raising teams:
The DRT offers a service of support to any family that is grieving the loss of a loved one. In addition to giving the bereaved spiritual and emotional support, our team of trained ministers will offer prayers of resurrection on behalf of the deceased. Handling each situation with the utmost sensitivity, our team travels to the funeral home, morgue, or family’s home where the deceased is being kept. Upon arrival, we spend time in prayer with the family, as well as the deceased. We will stay as long as we are needed.
Since it was started in late 2006, the DRT has comforted families in the midst of grief, as well as having 15 resurrections to date as a result of their prayers. If this is a service that you would like to make use of in the midst of your pain, please contact us as soon as possible.
Nothing is impossible with God. – The DRT
Fifteen alleged “resurrections” in thirteen years. That’s roughly one reanimated corpse per year. Think of all the prayers that these Deadraiser’s have prayed, and what, exactly, do they have to show for it? Fifteen alleged “resurrections.” No evidence for these science defying resurrections is provided on the Dead Raising website. Until I see solid, verifiable scientific evidence for their claims, I remain skeptical.
The death of any child is tragic, regardless of the religious inclinations of their parents. Sadly, Bethel Redding and its leaders used Olive Heiligenthal’s death as a means to promote their fanatical beliefs. That Olive remains dead is no surprise. That’s what dead people do — stay dead. Reason and common sense tell us that once people die, they stay that way, and all the prayers and magic tricks in the world won’t change that fact.
If you had any doubts about whether Bethel Redding is a cult, the church’s latest foray into raising the dead should put an end to your doubts.
On Friday, December 6th, forty Evangelical preachers and worship leaders gathered at the White House to pray for “baby Christian” President Donald Trump. Seven of those gathered: Brian Johnson, Jenn Johnson, Sean Feucht, Luke Hendrickson, Kiley Goodpasture, Dominic Shahbon, and Jeremy Edwardson were affiliated with Bethel Redding.
About Bruce Gerencser
Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.
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