January 26, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music which currently sits at #16 on the 20thecountdown Magazine.
This comes from the heresy house known as Bethel Church of Redding, CA. Led by the false-teacher, Bill Johnson and his wife the false-prophetess Beni Johnson. This is undoubtedly designed as one of their worship songs… how it’s found its way onto the top 20 CCM radio charts breaks my heart, and makes me mourn for the visible church. For some background on the problems with Bethel check out PirateChristianRadio.
The voices are incredible… seriously… gifted vocalists. The song is garbage. We’ll look at the lyrics.
Bethel Music Video
Lyrics (via KLove)
You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins
You split the sea, so I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me, so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God
Publishing: ©2014 Bethel Music Publishing (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Writer(s): Brian Johnson, Jonathan David Helser, Joel Case
As with most successful cults, Bethel has mastered the art of cloaking their false theology in “churchinese”. The song hits a couple of key terms: slavery, deliverance, womb, chosen, child of God… but how it gets put together is the problem. Nothing in this song points to Christ. It points to “me” being a child of God directly. From what is the singer proclaiming he has been set free? fear. Not sin, death, and the Wrath of God… fear. How are we set free from fear? We just are, in our being, because God’s blood flows in our veins… see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just being skipped over here?
It is true that in having been forgiven of our sin and having been set free from darkness, death, and the Wrath of God we no longer have anything (or anyone) to fear. But that fear isn’t because the problems are all gone… sin still exists, death still reigns in our mortal flesh, and the Wrath of God will be poured out when Jesus Christ returns to judge the living and the dead… the difference is that Jesus Christ is the Hope of our Salvation. For we who are of the household of faith are baptized into His death and resurrection. In His death, He bore the full wrath of God against all sin, and His resurrection silenced the enemy and secures for us everlasting life in Him.
Verse 1. First 2 lines are throw-away lines. Those who’ve dabbled in mysticism long enough will key into the emotional/mystical/spiritually-sensual vibe of these first two lines and will likely close their eyes, maybe throw their hands out, possibly start weeping,… because the atmosphere is being filled with the Presence…. these folks don’t need the rest of the song, or any of the churchinese… they’ve moved beyond Christianity, beyond doctrine. The rest of the song is for the unitiated… for the Christian who still needs some indication that Bethel is somehow connected to the Bible. So they mention deliverance… from my enemies. Not from sin, no… that’s too legalistic… it’s more their speed to personify a purely external enemy, the devil, demons, scoffers, discernment bloggers… anyone who’d dare question the authenticity of their “spiritual/mystical experience”, or claim that the familiar spirit is God the Holy Spirit. The point of this mysticism is to numb out… mentally, spiritually, until all fear is gone… and all discernment… and all truth and reality. This is not how the God of the Bible instructs us to worship Him. Bethel records a lot of their live “worship experiences”… this is how they employ this song:
Chorus. Nothing more than a bold (I think the singer actually encourages the crowd to sing more boldly) declaration of self. Entitlement. Absolutely no credit to the One who bought us by His blood.
Verse 2. This verse has some more churchinese, with a reference that will remind orthodox Christians of their doctrine of election, but that’s not what Bethel teaches. And that’s not really what is being said… it’s a spiritually-sensual reference to being begotten of God. I think that’s why KLove knew to capitalize “Mother” in the lyric… or maybe Bethel gave it to them capitalized. who knows. The point here is that it’s pointing to us, not to God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit. The verse also super-spiritualizes Jesus. Bethel has very poor Christology… well, they preach a different Jesus altogether. God the Son (Jesus) still has a body, a perfect body, but still an actual body. His blood does not flow through our veins. When we receive communion, we are given His blood and body by Grace… yes… but still His blood is not flowing in our veins. We are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, sealed by Him for the day of Judgement for the Resurrection in Christ Jesus.
Bridge. Yeah, another hyper-sensual spiritualization of the Red Sea crossing. By this point you are either in, going with the flow, or you’ve left the auditorium. Rescued me from what? Well, according to the song “fear”. Why? So I can stand and sing I am a child of God. Yeah, that ain’t the Gospel.
I’m done with this song. But I think we need to remind ourselves of what the Scriptures say regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 15… the full chapter.
1 Corinthians 15 (ESV) | The Resurrection of Christ
15 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
The Resurrection of the Dead
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
The Resurrection Body
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another.41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Mystery and Victory
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
The song is worship created and used by the heretical cult of Bethel Church in Redding. This should not be playing on Christian radio, let alone be in the top 20. Bethel preaches a false gospel, a counterfeit spirit, and a different Jesus. It doesn’t point to Christ, doesn’t preach repentance and the forgiveness of sin.
Romans 16:24-27 (ESV) | Doxology
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
13 thoughts on “DiM | “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music”
What are some resources that show the heresy/false Gospel/false Christ that Bethel teaches?
Thank you for asking.
Thanks. I will look into those.
I really appreciate your blog Jorge. I’ve been struggling with the so called Christian music that is being played in the church at large. For the last few years I have been researching these movements (Bethel, Jesus culture, Hillsong, Passion, etc..) and it has become clear to me how Satan has used music to creep into the church. It’s such a touchy subject and people seem to be so easily offended when you criticize their favorite worship band or teacher. I felt compelled to meet with my pastor regarding my concerns about the music. It’s so refreshing to hear you break down these songs biblically and to know that there are others who by God’s grace have come to recognize the mysticism and emotionalism that many seem to be oblivious to. It seems the church has gotten to a point where it actually fears worship without the fellowship of Bethel Music or Hillsong. It attracts the younger generation, maybe that’s it. It gets disheartening at times. I pray God’s grace and peace be with you as you continue to contend for the faith and speak the truth in love. May God continue to bless you and your ministry!
Thank you for reading and for your words of encouragement. The LORD be praised for His mercy on us. Always remember that Christ is still the Head of His Church. It’s not easy approaching your pastors and elders regarding this music. I pray the Lord bless you and keep you in His Word.
not all worship songs are about the gospel anyway, sometimes we sing about thanksgiving, sometimes about holiness, sometimes our songs are about God healing us or delivering us or about God staying with us in times of trouble. because God supplies all our need, God heals us, God forgives us.
just because there are questionable teachings from a certain church doesnt mean we can throw the baby with the bathwater.
first verse speaks about
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
The chorus is about
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
2nd verse is about
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
I believe we have to come to faith in what we really confess
God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). And while all our troubles are true Gods word is more true. Its not saying we will live without troubles but if we hold on to Him and continuously obey him, He will not abandon us. Although Jesus is yet to reign the word says He is in authority both in this life and the one to come.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
We have a hope that the world cannot offer, we have a treasure that cannot be bought by all the riches of this world, and the world needs it as well. the hope of eternal life, the hope of glory which is Christ in us.
I’m sorry, but you cannot proof-text the lyric of this song with single-verse references to disparate portions of scripture. Though you’ve tried to link the first verse of the song to Psalm 32:7, it’s quite the stretch to claim that the song’s verse is “about” that line in the Psalm. Being able to deconstruct the song to losely connect themes to proof texts is a far cry from demonstrating that the song as a cohesive message is doctrinally sound. This song is vague, emotional, mysticism.
Our Christian worship should always be firmly rooted and grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For each of the examples you presented and for many more. Bethel Church isn’t merely a place where “some questionable teachings” exist… it is a heresy house with false prophets, false apostles, false spirit, false gospel.
bless you brother/sister,
Once I was sharing about another song to the worship team and I was asking them,
“whats wrong with this song, it says “when I cannot stand I’ll fall on you” everyone got a different answer and I said “I thought is we as christians are supposed to put our faith in Christ at all times not just in times that we cannot stand or when we’re in trouble”
It felt kind of good, little devo thought, felt good about myself, after a while I was just reminded really that if you look at the psalms its replete with similar expressions where the psalmists look to God in times of trouble, I cannot count them. It seems that God made this reputation in the OT that He is the Deliverer and though man was stubborn he kept coming back to unbelief, God maintained His reputation. The same with hymns that we have sang for decades “a mighty fortress is our God” “great is thy faithfulness” “everlasting arms” etc. etc. arent they all about the same theme that God is our stronghold? should we remove these from our hymn books? they are not all about the Gospel but they’re written in the context that the people singing it are people who have repented and believed the Gospel and have become part of Gods covenant people.
When one tries to summarize these vague “modern worship” songs into a simple thought and then saying “what’s wrong with that thought” is that you’re no longer evaluating the song’s lyric, you’re justifying a thought that you think the song conveys. The only modern song I can think of with that line is Matt Maher’s “Lord, I Need You”. If that’s the song you were discussing, you pulled just the line from the Bridge and argued against the whole song for it, despite the fact that the song’s chorus sings that we need the Lord every hour. That song has some merit, though there is still no clarity in repentance and the forgiveness of sin. Matt uses some coded, softer language. In your list of hymns, you set songs on equal footing that aren’t. You’ve argued them as the same by giving them the same summary thought. The “everlasting arms” song is very repetitive and unclear. It relies on us to know what it means to “lean in His everlasting arms”. “Great is thy faithfulness” is also very repetitive, but it is clear and it does include “pardon for sin”. “A Mighty Fortress” is in a completely different league. It actually teaches sound doctrine around a central theme of God as our Fortress. The Psalms are Scripture. Yes, they proclaim the LORD as the One who Saves. They do that and much, much, more. They need to be read as full Psalms, not just a catalogue of expressions similar to the songs you want to sing in church.
Worship songs should teach and reinforce sound doctrine so that as believers sing them, they are learning more about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The songs should remind us of our sin and our need for repentance and faith in the One who paid for our sin.
In Christ Jesus,
Yes I may have meant “whats wrong with this verse?” and not “the song” as we have used it anyway on that service because I mentioned the chorus emphasized the continuous depending on the Lord.
Thank you for your vigilance and grace. May the Lord bless you and use you mightily in wherever you are working on in his body
Just some food for thought:
Matt Maher is a devout Roman Catholic who has a tremendous influence on multitudes of people, especially the youth. He speaks and plays music at conferences, gatherings and other events where tens of thousands of people attend. He is a prominent leader in the ecumenical movement within Contemporary Christian Music. He calls for unity among all denominations incorrectly using John 17 as his reference.
“My personal mission is really rooted in John 17 in the Gospel, when Jesus prays for unity,” he said, “I’ve really tried to be a Catholic, ministering alongside my fellow brothers and sisters from different denominations …. But with that being said, it’s a different kind of ecumenism. It’s not one where I’m trying to convince anyone of anything as much as I’m first of all, trying to stand alongside and proclaim Jesus to the world with them,” Maher said.
“Jesus is at the center of the Church, even for Catholics with the Eucharist. The Eucharist is Jesus, so Jesus is the center of our Catholic faith,” he said. “Being able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other Christians and just proclaim the importance and beauty of who Jesus is is a great thing. And I think this is what the Holy Father (Pope Francis) has been trying to say. ‘Look, if we can stand together and proclaim Christ on the way, we can understand our differences and talk about them and learn to have a greater respect for each other.’”
Maher has also written worship songs about Catholic beliefs such as “Adoration.” He said he thinks music is a way to allow other Christians and non-Christians to become familiar with such beliefs. “…You can just expose them to something and give them space to think about it on their own. I think that’s what I’ve definitely tried to do,” Maher said. “Music is music, and they appreciate it, but at the same time, there are things we sing about from a Catholic context. A lot of it is how you articulate it. I think the Eucharist is just inherently a part of Christianity. You can’t remove it, but you can lose sight of its importance.”
In One Lord and one faith,
thanks for that info, so I’ll stop using his songs from now on!
Not a bad idea.. not kidding: )