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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Kenotic Christ: A heresy that is promoted by Todd white , Bill Johnson , others

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Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1780
Hemel Hempstead


Bill Johnson
Heaven invading earth
Jesus is the eternal Son of God. He is not a created being who somehow ascended to divinity, as some cults claim. He is entirely God, entirely man. But both His life and death were lived as man. What that means is that He set aside His divinity to live as a man. He was without sin and was completely dependent on the Holy Spirit. In doing this, He became a model that we could follow. If He did His great miracles as God, I’m still impressed. But I’m impressed as an observer. When I discover that He did them as man

Todd white

What you understand with this doctrine is that bill Johnson states that he lived as man which Denys the doctrine of the hypostatic union..

hypostatic union
the combination of divine and human natures in the single person of Christ

The hypostatic union is an important doctrine as it what makes is different from the Jehovah's witnesses and mormans

The reason it so annoys me as most teachers say that Jesus used the power of the holy spirit to do miracles and you can do miracles to if you live a perfect Christian life and be like bill Johnson and Todd white and etc
Not only is it false it ends up in a works salvation and the Bible gets neglected and it is more idolatry of people like bill Johnson and Todd white and all these false teachers.

Athanasius died in the 3rd century and was exiled and the blood of many martyrs was shed so that we have doctrines as when you create a different Jesus who not in the scriptures it is a serious matter .

Jesus will simply say depart from me I never knew you because you are not worshiping the Jesus in the Bible , you are worshipping a different Christ .

Dominic Shiells

 2019/3/24 13:38Profile

Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1780
Hemel Hempstead


Good article to explain what kenosis is as jesus did not empty himself of his deity or divine attributes

Dominic Shiells

 2019/3/24 13:52Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1923


The discipleship controversy raged in the 80s and finally everyone got together and discussed the issues. I would rather see this happen, as the council of Acts 15, than say for these men to be judged or worse as some probably prefer. The body of Christ may not be in the type of shape where it can listen to one another anymore.

David Winter

 2019/3/24 13:55Profile

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 785


The problem with this doctrine is more than surface deep, and I feel like that is not being addressed here as thoroughly as it ought to be.

There is a spectrum of Kenoticism in which Christianity operates. Biblical Christianity would never deny that Jesus emptied Himself. The question is always what did He empty Himself of and how did this occur. The biblical area of the spectrum has already been discussed here and it is clear that Jesus willfully chose to not utilize some of his attributes as God while here on this Earth. We know this is true because we see it in the Scripture--can God die? Well Jesus did. God the Father can't. The Holy Spirit can't. Jesus did because He took on flesh and willfully submitted Himself to that. Can God be born? Jesus was. God the Father can't be born. The Holy Spirit can't be born. Jesus was born because He took on flesh and willfully submitted Himself to that. But all of it--every single limitation--was well within His control. That is what makes Philippians 2 shine. We know that because Jesus specifically said that He could call 12 legions of angels down to rescue Him from the crucifixion. The Godhead worked in such a way that Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, would experience certain human limitations--hunger, thirst, being tired, being hurt, suffering pain, etc, etc, etc. It is the mystery of the hypostatic union. We know these things. They are radically Christo-centric. But the heretical end of the spectrum is vastly different.

Bill Johnston and those similar teach something that is man-centered. And THAT is the crux of the whole problem with everything they teach. They teach that Christ DIVESTED Himself of His divine attributes. That word divested means that He got rid of them entirely. They teach that while on earth, Jesus was a man who operated in submission to the Father and entirely in the power of the Holy Spirit. That sounds really great on the surface, until you get to their application. Their logic: If Christ did that, and that is how we are supposed to operate, then we can do ALL (not some), but ALL the things that Christ did just by operating in faith. It is the next level of the word-of-faith movement.

Just look at their teachings. They teach that we can all heal the sick and raise the dead and that IF we have the right faith and right lifestyle, all of these abilities will be ours. I am not a cessationist (at least not a hard-core one), but this idea is ludicrous. They are saying that to the degree I act a certain way is the degree to which miracles will happen through me. They teach that Jesus purchased perfect health, healing of others, miracles, etc through His death on the cross. I literally met some of these guys while I was in Africa--they were from Bill Johnston's Church--Bethel in Redding, CA. I told them we were missionaries and they said to me, "Do you walk in signs and wonders?" They didn't care what kind of life I was living or if I was preaching the Gospel, they cared if I was doing a bunch of miracles. At this point, it is easy to see the problem. Whenever a miracle does not occur, they don't have the luxury of saying that it was God's will. They immediately have to blame themselves or others. I immediately become a 2nd-class Christian and their eyes. A poor soul who isn't walking in all the things Christ has purchased for me.

This teaching is also here, on my college campus. This guy started "healing" people. There was a guy with a broken arm and they cut the cast off and started trying to heal it--when it didn't happen, the guy said "Someone here isn't believing." Are you telling me that 500 Christians can be believing for something, but that the ONE guy who is skeptical ruined it all??? That false prophet was a liar. My God can heal a man if all the legions of hell were opposed to it and every unbeliever shouted at the top of their lungs, "I don't believe it!"

The singularly best argument I have found to counter this teaching is the Transfiguration. If EVERYTHING Jesus did was simply as a man in the power of the Spirit, then why aren't any of these leaders being transfigured? Why don't we get to see them in their glorified states? Cause it's not true. We cannot do every single thing Jesus did. That's because His divinity and His divine Attributes were being utilized to show that He was God.

Jesus Himself said that His signs proved who He was. If we are capable of doing the same things, then does that mean we prove ourselves to be God? No. That's ridiculous.

 2019/3/24 15:02Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3396


Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Word made flesh, who was fully God and fully man. Jesus called Himself the son of man. He came as the second Adam, a perfect man without sin, tempted in every way that we are as man.Jesus Christ was the Son of God when He walked on the earth and did not give up His divinity, neither did He use His divinity as the Son of God to overcome Satan, to cast out demons, or to heal the sick. Jesus walked in complete dependence of His heavenly Father, doing the Father's will, and performing the miraculous through faith in God and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus told His disciples that they would do the same works that He did and greater works because He would go to the Father and would send another comforter.

"The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free. " (Luke 4:18). 

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." (Luke 14:12). 

"And these signs will accompany those who believe:In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.”…(Mark 16:16-18). 


 2019/3/24 15:23Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36913
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11



It is pretty hard to really speak conclusively when we quote articles trying to demonize someone and do not speak to the actual invidual or watch recordings in context.

from Todd White's website it says:

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; Ephesians 4:4-6.

We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood on the cross, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. Matthew 1:23; John 1:1-4 and 1:29; Acts 1:11 and 2:22-24; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:1-4 and 4:15.


Whether he fully holds to the Full Godhead and manhood of Jesus Christ is a question that has to be asked, perhaps those who are accusing strongly on this thread can take the time to email their ministry with that specific question?

We can all disagree over many things, I wrote about this in a free ebook:

Disagreements in Christian Life

Slander is a terrible sin. Let us protect ourselves from it and repent. To correct another in such a strong way as to call them a false teacher really needs to be qualified by those who have spoken with him personally and with those who are in ordained ministry who share in the burden of keeping the Church pure from false teachings.

We would ask you also read slowly what is on every page before you post:

All our communication matters in the Lord and we ask that you consider that all our words will be accounted for by God one day: Matthew 12:36, James 1:26, Colossians 4:6. Speak with gentleness, with a servants heart. Imagine our Lord in the same room with you watching what you say to other believers. Speak to edify and love others and choose not always to be right but rather right in your attitude of humility and humbling yourself.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2019/3/24 15:30Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5255


//Just look at their teachings. They teach that we can all heal the sick and raise the dead and that IF we have the right faith and right lifestyle, all of these abilities will be ours. //

Just because a certain group mis-applies or takes the kenosis too far in its application for us (if there is application for us at all) it does not mean we should water down what the kenosis is/was.

Everything Jesus did while walking on this earth, every miracle and every other wonderful but non-miraculous thing he did was because of this:

“And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”
Mark 1:10

It should be very encouraging to us that if we have even a tiny fraction of the anointing Jesus had we too could be effective for His Kingdom. After all, we are empowered by the same Holy Spirit that empowered Him, if we will yield.

Instead, because some people get squeamish about the idea that Jesus did not perform miracles due to his own Deity (rather than by enduement by the HS) they try to water down what kenosis means.


 2019/3/25 7:52Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3396


"Just because a certain group mis-applies or takes the kenosis too far in its application for us (if there is application for us at all) it does not mean we should water down what the kenosis is/was."

"It should be very encouraging to us that if we have even a tiny fraction of the anointing Jesus had we too could be effective for His Kingdom. After all, we are empowered by the same Holy Spirit that empowered Him, if we will yield."

Amen Todd! Some groups are being presumptuous and laying hands on everything that moves. On the other extreme, others are saying that the healings have past away. (Cessationism)

Do you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you? Then the truth of the matter is that you can lay hands on the sick in faith believing the truth of the Word of God, that they will recover. The same Holy Spirit that anoints and empowers us also leads us. If He is not leading us to lay hands on a sick person we meet in Wal Mart's then we shouldn't do so. But there are times when the Holy Spirit will draw us to a person, strike up a conversation, and lead us to ask them if they are in need of prayer. When it is the Spirit leading us then we should never fear reaching out to someone.


 2019/3/25 8:56Profile

Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1165
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Todd

You wrote; “Instead, because some people get squeamish about the idea that Jesus did not perform miracles due to his own Deity (rather than by enduement by the HS) they try to water down what kenosis means.”

^^^ this^^^ 🙏🏻

While I’ll admit I am somewhat skeptical of TW &BJ, it’s more due to their personalities than their claims of healings by faith...
Honestly I wonder if I would’ve been just as skeptical of Jesus had I lived in His day? (For me) it’s an honest thing to consider and not just assume with some retrospective endowment that i would’ve recognized Him for who He truly is- the scriptures bare that most didn’t.... especially the religious minded folk.

(For me) there is no evidence that Jesus preformed miracles by His deity and the whole counsel of the word clearly shows it was as you say... by the power of Holy Spirit. Just as it was with the apostles.... is it not God the Father that does these things in and thru us? Was Jesus (although He was divine) not an example of what this looked and acted like,... (forerunner) ?

It seems some believe Jesus was God “as” flesh... while others see Jesus as God “in” flesh.... tho the words are small the distinction is a gulf-

So if it’s not by the Holy Spirit then how could this be so?
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:

A better (and sincere) question is, What did Peter give to this man that made him whole ?


 2019/3/25 9:00Profile

Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1062
Snoqualmie, WA


Kenosis: As I have read on the subject over the years, the rub is normally contained in this thought "Jesus laid aside his divinity and functioned only as a man".

Word of Faith teachers have in their articles and preaching made a special emphasis on Jesus laying aside divinity in order to show the authority and powers inherent in being a child of God. None of this is errant as far as I can see, but what is errant is any claims or implications that arise which begin to diminish his deity.
This of course is exactly what did occur. The necessity of the 'born again Jesus' arose from this.

When I read of the temptation of Jesus in the desert immediately following his baptism, you see Jesus not shifting role from Son of God to God creator and Lord. He didn't make bread, jump off temples or gain kingdoms by a show of divinity.

Jesus consistent demonstration and revealing of the Father came in the form of continual obedience, prayer, speaking and doing what the Father willed. This laying aside of Divine prerogative (showing there were not two wills between God the Son and God the Father) but only one will in Jesus and One will to be obeyed and heeded; that was the Father's will. This laying aside is not the diminishing or suppressing of God the Son, but a demonstration that in God there is no variableness or change, there is no argument and differing agenda. So, Jesus exemplifies submission to the Father God without diminution of his deity.


 2019/3/25 11:32Profile

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