Spiritualism or Scam Within Bethel Church and the New Apostolic Reformation?

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This article was updated after we found the video mentioned below on Bethel.tv’s Facebook page (it had previously been deleted from YouTube).


Shawn Bolz claims he can see deceased people in heaven and pass down messages from them. Either this is spiritualism, which is clearly forbidden by God, or it is a scam.

When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium , or a spiritist, or one who callsup the dead. “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before  you. “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)

For other biblical references: link

Shawn Bolz recently gave Bill Johnson a prophecy that Bob Jones, who passed away in 2014, was giving him from heaven. The event takes place at Bethel Church during a “leaders”‘ conference.

You can watch it here on Bethel.tv’s Facebook page.

“Choice morsels:”

  • I was in two spaces at once and I’m seeing Bob Jones in heaven […]

  • Bob Jones was saying that first you have to go down Olive Street, which is about the anointing oil, the anointing to press the olives into wine, and he was talking about wine, and then you have to go to Gold Street

  • talking to Bill Johnson: Bob Jones prophesies over you again, from heaven, your next installment is coming, you’re going to be a sign post to all of us of the beauty of God

Is Shawn Bolz really seeing all this, which would be an abomination to God, or is it a scam (which wouldn’t be much better)?

There is first an odd element: Shawn Bolz begins by giving some indications in the form of street names, which are supposed to “speak” to someone in the room. This person would then be the recipient of the “prophecy.” Shawn Bolz looks at Bill Johnson (first row), but the latter does not react. Someone in the room raises their voice, but instead of talking to them, Shawn Bolz ignores them and directly talks to Bill Johnson about his father:

  • your father’s name is Earl and the name of that man (whom he sees in heaven) is Alvin or Melvin or something like that

Bill Johnson then answers that his father was Melvin Earl Johnson (Shawn Bolz and people in the room react).

If we analyze Shawn Bolz’s message, we find that he delivers a restricted amount of information to cause the audience to give credit to his message, and then goes on to place Bethel Church and Bill Johnson in the spotlight. He also doesn’t fail to mention financial matters.

To give credibility to his message, he claims that the Holy Spirit is revealing him things that he doesn’t know about. In this video, these are:

  • Bill Johnson’s father’s middle name;
  • the fact that Bill Johnson’s family used to live in Minnesota;
  • the fact that Bill Johnson’s family is of Swedish descent.

None of these pieces of information prove that they were revealed to Shawn Bolz. With a quick internet search, one can find out about Bill Johnson’s father and the fact that the family lived in Minnesota. The Swedish roots are not difficult to discover either. And let’s not forget that Shawn Bolz is a close friend of Bill Johnson.

In the eyes of a won-over and undiscerning audience, his credibility is thus established (as evidenced by the audience’s exclamations).

This enables him to share the following messages:

  • God is going to pour out blessings onto Bethel Church;
  • The project of museum to the glory of the “Revival Generals” is supported;
  • Bill Johnson has a role of guide;
  • A lot of money needs to be given to Bill Johnson/Bethel Church.

Let’s build on this last point. Here is what Shawn Bolz says:

There has been people who have had… the word I will use is financial wounds… but hey have money and resources and accounts that they have been afraid to trust anybody with, but they’re wonderful, wonderful people. And I saw heaven crying out for deposits to be released now, and I saw hearts on earth saying, we’ll trust Bill.

There is a high probability that people in the room or watching the video online have a lot of money saved up for God but aren’t sure yet to whom they should give it.

These elements, along with the analysis of several videos featuring Shawn Bolz, lead us to think that such messages are a scam, rather than spiritualism. But we leave it up to each person to make up their mind about it.

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2 January 2016 admin News 6 Comments


  1. Brian

    January 25, 2018

    A major problem with the suggestion of Shawn Boltz being a spiritist is that the relevant ban in Deuteronomy 18 is about calling *up* the dead, but the Bible is clear that those who sleep/pass away in Christ do *not descend down* to sheol or hell, but *up into heaven (and eventually New Jerusalem and the new earth) where Jesus himself is seated. There is no ban about what contact can be made between those asleep in Christ and those on earth in Christ. Even if there were such a ban, it is nearly inconceivable that the former group would actually have a heart to disobey God’s commandment from their blissful position with Christ in heaven.

    • admin author

      January 29, 2018

      Hi Brian,
      There is not a single example in the New Testament of communication with the dead (in Christ or not).
      The flaw with your argument is that it is only valid if Shawn Bolz really communicates with the dead in Christ. What if he is communicating with other spirits ?
      Beside this why does he use a cellphone or tablet?

      • Brian

        February 1, 2018

        Brother, thanks for your thoughtful reply. It would seem we don’t currently have enough information to answer these questions decisively. Anyway, May God bless your ministry. And, “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.”

  2. Hannah w

    February 15, 2018

    Unfortunate translation. Deut. 18 in the original Hebrew doesn’t distinguish between “up” or “down” locations of the departed spirits – it says we are not to “inquire” of the dead – i.e. seek advice or hidden knowledge. That chapter also tells us where we CAN inquire: the proven prophets of God who walk among us.

    This was clearly carried into the New Covenant by the Holy Spirit who gives the prophetic gifts “as He wills”. That being so, there is no need for the Lord’s people to be communicating with saints who have “fallen asleep” as Paul put it.

    Not to mention that Bob Jones – of all people – did not prove himself a prophet of God, even when alive.

  3. Jaeson

    February 27, 2019

    Yep- Bob Jones physically harassed women and could be classified as a mentally ill person.. yet the ‘new apostolic reformation’ considers him a prophet!!!! This is how removed they are from reality. I know I know, their favorite verse is “God uses the foolish things to confound the wise” and they would say that Bob seemed foolish but was being used mightily by God… except.. 1) Bob’s prophecies are not verifiable, 2) Bob’s prophecies are all personal stories that have no witnesses except maybe his relatives which – lets face it if your family member is a lunatic and you can make money off of it are you going to say anything? Bob’s track record — which is strings of false doctrine and basically evil (like telling women to undress in front of him and be “naked before the Lord” to receive a “word” from him) tell us FAR more than anything. It is insane to think that anyone welcomed him back in as a “prophet” after that scandal… but no– the NAR think he is a super snowflake for God. In his 9 disc vision for IHOP that Mike Bickle uses and forces all students of his to listen to, it is very clear that Bob isn’t hearing from the Jesus of Scripture.

  4. Jaeson

    February 27, 2019

    So, in conclusion if someone says they are seeing Bob Jones in Heaven and he’ll give a prophecy from there to you, it is time to RUN out the door! Bob Jones is quite possibly in hell for preaching false doctrine and listening to lying familiar spirits.

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