📣 Exciting news, AG supporters! This week (3/1/24) we are releasing a 4-hour (uncut) roundtable with Justin Peters, Jim Osman, Michael Brown, and Sam Storms. The topics of discussion center around the differences these men have in discerning false teachers and false prophets, and the work of the Holy Spirit today. As many of you know, Justin and Jim bring a cessationist view to the table, while Michael and Sam share a continuationist perspective on the gifts of the Spirit.
This discussion began with a phone call that Jim Osman made to Michael Brown's radio program in 2021, which you can watch below.
Jim’s phone call reveals some sharp differences in how he is more quick to label certain individuals as “false teachers” in comparison to Dr. Michael Brown. This led us to coordinate some behind-the-scenes conversations about these differences in Biblical discernment, which finally lead to this public discussion on April 1st, 2023.
Dr. Michael Brown unfortunately withdrew his involvement in our American Gospel: Spirit & Fire (AG3) docuseries a few months ago, leaving us unable to use the footage we recorded with him. Shortly after that was announced, he kindly gave us permission to publish this roundtable (originally intended to be part of AG3) in an uncut form, as long as it was separated from the AG3 project.
This discussion will be exclusively available to AGTV subscribers on Friday, March 1, 2024. A few weeks later, it will be accessible for free on both AGTV and YouTube. We pray that this conversation will be edifying, and leads to greater discernment within the body of Christ.
Link (Available 3/1/24): https://www.watchagtv.com/roundtable-peters-osman-vs-brown-storms
When it comes to false teaching that is in the category of “a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6-8) Scripture speaks about adding requirements (obeying the works of the law) to the gospel of grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, which is the narrow gate and way that Christ describes in Matthew 7:13-14. In other words, any teaching that says we have to DO something in order to be saved is adding a requirement to the gospel that nullifies the grace of God, creating a different gospel.
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!”
The popular prosperity teaching that physical healing is available now, through Christ’s atonement, doesn’t perfectly fit into this category of a different gospel because is it’s not in the “requirement” category, but is in the “fruit” or “benefit of the atonement” category. However, this teaching does have the potential to create a false works-based gospel in practice.
“nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
Physical healing in the atonement is a biblical benefit of Christ’s saving work that is promised in the next life (like freedom from sin and the consequences of sin— death, sickness, poverty, suffering, sorrow, etc.). Sin and all of those consequences of sin will finally be graciously removed when Christ returns, and we receive our glorified bodies.
The last enemy that will be abolished is death. — 1 Corinthians 15:26
The key error comes when people try to pull this promise of physical healing into the “here and now” and attach and bundle it with our forgiveness of sins. This false teaching can communicated in a few different ways:
So why is this teaching so spiritually deadly? Think about what happens when someone truly repents and believes the gospel, but they aren’t seeing the physical healing that’s been promised to be connected to their forgiveness by this prosperity teaching. They begin to doubt whether they’ve truly been forgiven of their sins because they aren’t seeing the promised fruit!
The same danger actually occurs in the error of pietism, which is when we make our spiritual fruit (good works) something that our assurance of salvation rests on in a primary, and objective way. Yes, our salvation should produce the fruit of good works, but that fruit is not perfect (sinless perfection), is growing through the Lord’s sanctifying work, and is meant to be a secondary, subjective basis for our assurance of salvation. Our primary and objective assurance is always found in Christ, and what He has done for us.
When physical healing is taught as a fruit of forgiveness/repentance, and that healing doesn’t happen, physical healing then becomes a primary focus in someone’s assurance of salvation. It becomes even more dangerous when they believe more false healing teaching that takes away the blame from God; they teach that it’s always His will to heal in this life, and therefore the lack of healing is not on His end of the equation, leaving the fault on us.
They buy into formulas for healing, reasons for why you haven’t been healed, how to maintain your healing, or how to use your faith a force to create healing. It becomes all about what I need to DO to somehow unlock or maintain this physical healing, which is supposed to be a gift of God’s grace (like forgiveness). “Wait, why am I now working for a gift? I thought this was grace!” Now we’ve turned grace— our forgiveness and physical healing (which promised in the next life)— into something I need to work to unlock, which nullifies grace, creating an assurance-killing, false gospel.
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
This teaching also distorts faith. Biblical faith is simply trusting or resting in what God has done for our salvation. But in Word of Faith teaching, faith becomes a scientific force that we can manipulate through our positive words (or thoughts), in order to manifest these promises that are supposed to be gifts of God’s grace. Once again, grace and faith— what we should be freely receiving through trusting in what God has done— is turned into a different gospel, since it requires the trust in our works to unlock or maintain that part of our salvation.
This false promise of healing in this life also affects motives for coming to Christ, and can be an idolatry issue; am I coming to Jesus simply because of my selfish desire to gain physical healing, with little or no interest in the Giver of that gift? Jesus pointed out that same issue with the crowds that sought Him for His signs, or the miracles that satisfied their natural desires (like food), and not seeking Him for who He is, as the Bread of Life (John 6:26-35).
Avoid teachers who connect promises of physical healing in the here and now with the forgiveness of sins. Avoid teachers who assume that they always know God’s will in relationship to physical healing, and by default, leave the blame for the lack of healing on us. This teaching can only lead to a burdensome, works-based, faith-killing poison. The true gospel is much different; Christ takes the burden of your sin and finishes all the work for you. In Christ, we follow His example as the suffering servant by humbly embracing suffering, and trusting that He will use that for our good in our sanctification:
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, — Philippians 1:29
Our hope is not in our ability to take authority or dominion over the suffering in this life, bringing the promises of heaven to earth in the here and now. Our hope is in the next life, where Christ promises freedom from sin and it’s consequences, because we will be in His presence for eternity.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” — Revelation 21:3-4
Hello AG Supporters!
Happy New Year! Here’s a quick update of what I’m working on, since we’ve been getting more questions about AG3. In my previous blog post I explained that our plan was to release AG3 in “seasons” or groups of episodes that center around a specific story or theme. Over the past month I have been editing an episode tentatively titled “Redding”, which explores Bethel Church’s relationship with the city of Redding, through their school of supernatural ministry and their theology of dominionism, etc. It includes stories from local Redding residents, and Bethel alumni. This episode grew in length to the point of needing to split into a Part 1 and Part 2. In addition to those episodes, I have 3 other episodes in season one completed. That leaves 3 episodes that I have yet to start work on. Here’s my current list for season one which focuses on Bethel Redding:
When creating content like this, the process can evolve and be very unpredictable; no matter how much you plan an episode beforehand, there will always be “holes” in the story that need to be filled in with additional recording, or new ideas that you didn’t think of before. An episode might grow in length to the point of needing to split it into two, increasing your work load. In this season, I also realized that I needed to add an introductory episode (The Holy Spirit) that bridges the gap between AG2 and AG3.
It typically takes 4-6 weeks to create one episode. The episode is cut together in rough form, reviewed by those involved for approval, music is composed, and graphics/animation are created and added to the edit. Keep in mind that we have a small team; for those who are wanting an ETA… realistically, there are at least 3-4 more months of work to do (April 2024?).
Thanks for your patience, prayers, and support!
After our premiere of the AG3 episodes, “Grave Soaking” and “The House of Generals” we’ve been asked some common questions that we would like to answer here.
Q. Why did you remove the two AG3 episodes from AGTV?
From the beginning of our announcement, we made it clear that these two episodes would only be available for a week (10/25-10/31), but understandably people want to know why, and what the plan is now. First, the series is not completed, which means that the episodes could still be tweaked or changed before the final “locked” version is completed and made available. Second, please understand that the cost of producing these episodes (in addition to the entire series) is something that we need to recoup through sales in order to continue working. Typically, when a film is released, it does not first appear on a streaming service (unless it was made specifically for that streamer, and has enough subscriber support to fund an original series— Netflix, Amazon, etc.). New films typically are only available to buy at first, followed by rental, and finally are made available on a streaming service. The sales help us recoup our costs, which allow us to pay people what they’re owed for their work (editing, music composition, animation, travel, etc.), and gives us the ability to continue to work on other things— in this case, the rest of the AG3 series. Allowing these episodes to remain available through our 3-day free trial would hurt us financially, since no one wants to buy something that’s available for free. We hope to continue to preview future AG3 episodes on AGTV as they are finished to reward our supporters.
Through many of our updates, we’ve described AG3 as a 10+ episode series. In reality, the amount of content we have can create at least 20 or more episodes. The plan at this point is for AG3 to be released in about 5-6 “seasons” containing 4-5 episodes each. That's about 24-30 episodes total. This will give us the ability to release episode content more quickly (in smaller groups) vs. having to wait for the entire series to be done.
Our first season (5 episodes) of AG3 will focus on Bethel Church and the stories of people who have lived in Redding, California and/or attended BSSM. Two of those episodes are on “grave soaking” (and “anointing”) which is a small fraction of the entire series. Other seasons of AG3 will cover other topics and focus in on testimonies from those who were involved in other ministries (IHOP, YWAM, Hillsong, etc.). At this point, we have about 3 of the 5 episodes of season 1 completed. It will take a few more months before they are all completed and available to be released.
Dr. Brown’s Roundtables
As some of you know, Dr. Michael Brown agreed to allow us to publish his uncut interview and roundtable discussions publicly, as long as they are not a part of the AG3 docuseries. We still have some work to do getting those ready for public viewing, but we hope to release those between seasons of AG3.
Finally, I believe there is a benefit to making AG3 more “evangelistic” (like AG1’s format), which focused on the gospel of “Christ Alone”. To accomplish this, I’m considering the possibility of creating an summary version (an episode or a “film” length version) that serves as shorter, overview of the entire series, which I summarize as “rest in Christ.” This version would lead people who are interested in seeing more, into viewing the full docuseries.
Thank you everyone for your feedback and prayers!
In a recent video (which I plan to address more directly later) some claims were made related to my integrity and trustworthiness in my communication with Dr. Michael Brown. I’d like to explain and address those issues here, so that those with concerns can see the full context.
Initial Contact with Dr. Brown
In November of 2021, I sent the following email to Dr. Michael Brown as an initial email inviting him to be interviewed in AG3.
Hello Dr. Brown,
This email was sent as an introduction, and wasn’t meant to get into full details about the project (who I’ve interviewed, what questions would be asked, etc.). I figured that connecting myself to my past films would at least lead Dr. Brown to ask some followup questions before deciding to agree to do this. I sent this email at 12:14 PM, and Dr. Brown responded 9 minutes later at 12:23 PM, agreeing to participate and do the interview! I recall being surprised at how quickly he replied. Knowing now that he had never watched the previous AG films before agreeing to participate is hard to believe, and it makes sense now that there was some concerns relating to the interview questions that I would later send him.
Our interview would take place on January 24, 2022. At the beginning of the month (January 6, 2022), I emailed Dr. Brown my interview questions, which you can read below. I explained to Dr. Brown that the questions were extensive (about 40k including notes to help him understand the context) and that I wanted to be respectful of his time. I explained that I was making a docuseries, which is equivalent to multiple films, covering more topics than a single film would cover— thus the reason for the extended questions. The question also revealed the topics that I planned to discuss in this project, including allowing Dr. Brown to address criticisms that have often been directed at him by critics like Justin Peters or Chris Rosebrough.
Dr. Brown graciously agreed to give me extra time in the interview if needed (and he did), but he responded to my questions with surprise and a number of concerns. He was concerned about the questions related to the Brownsville revival being “planned” (there are local Pensacola newspaper articles caliming this). He was also not expecting to answer questions about Todd White, thinking that these issues were not directly related to “the alleged NAR”. He asked me to kindly explain my reasoning for these questions:
“…can you tell me honestly, before the Lord, why you are inviting my involvement? Will there really be an opportunity for me to present the truth clearly in a context that will not be prejudiced against it out of the gate?” - Dr. Brown
In my followup email, I explained some of the following points:
“First, while I am focusing on NAR, this is also a film about the Holy Spirit and sometimes there are topics that branch outside of topic of modern Apostles and Prophets.” -Brandon
The topic of “revival and revivalism” is outside of the topic of “modern Apostles and Prophets,” but is still a huge emphasis in this movement. I explained my background again and connections to the Toronto Blessing, and Rodney Howard Browne’s laughing revival. I also knew that the Brownsville revival was very influenced by the Toronto Blessing, and wanting to see that same move of God happen there in Florida. I found a number news articles detailing some man-centered “planning” that occurred, which lead to the start of this revival. I explained:
“I have no context for what happened at Brownsville, other than I know it came shortly after Toronto. I think what the newspaper was describing was not necessarily “planning” (even though it says that in the headline) but having a group of people (hungry for God) hearing about a revival elsewhere (Toronto), seeing the manifestations in that, and wanting to prep their church for the same thing.” -Brandon
The reason I had questions related Todd White was in connection to this false kenotic christology teaching:
“The Todd White question is connected to my first American Gospel film. We explained the kenotic christology issue (because I consider it one of those first tier issues that is common in circles like Bethel, etc.). Todd responded to the AG film a few times, and at one point said he “repented for not preaching the full gospel.” (then he kind of recanted his repentance, and said we took his teaching out of context, but simultaneously admitted that you were helping him change his language). I would just like your perspective on this, and how you would teach a Biblical view of Christ’s kenosis (this is all connected to the teaching that all believers can do the same and greater miracles as Jesus— as if the miracles are merely examples for us to follow). I want to explore the idea of what it means to follow Christ vs. duplicate Christ. If you aren’t comfortable talking about your help with Todd, we can just focus on the kenosis.” -Brandon
Notice how I pinpointed that Todd White had publicly said that Dr. Brown had helped him changed his language on his biggest error (ontological kenotic christology), where Todd essentially says thing like, “Jesus wasn’t here as God” or “Jesus emptied himself of all divinity…”
The question that I wrote for this was:
Q. Do you think Todd White should be teaching a school when he has errors in his Christology? Do you consider this a first-tier, essential issue?
Dr. Brown informed me that he preferred to NOT talk about Todd directly (or answer this question), but was happy to speak about his view of the kenosis (Christ emptying himself) in general. My original intention here was to get Dr. Brown to “change his mind” or “repent” of this specific issue, because I think it’s a serious error to allow someone who has preached heresy to first, deny it publicly, but then help them change/correct their language behind the scenes; Brown should have had a serious conversation with Todd about his qualifications in teaching, and having his own school (LCU) to teach others. But Brown declined to speak about this, so that discussion never happened.
Finally, I explained my goals and motives, and offered him the chance to watch “AG2: Christ Crucified” if he hadn't already:
Leading up to our interview, Dr. Brown wanted to solidify our agreement. He expressed the following points:
“To be sure that we’re all comfortable and get to speak and record freely, it will be important to me to have specific language in our agreement that will allow you to use our interviews only based on my final approval. This would include seeing the full context in which I am quoted at any point in the series, along with any footage in which others mention me by name. Also, I’d like to have full, unedited copies of our interviews NOT for public distribution in any form but rather for my own records.”
I responded with the following points:
1. I will provide you with the full unedited interview for your reference (not for public distribution in any form).
This language in our emails was used as the basis of our agreement. In sum, Dr. Brown knew the questions leading up to the interview, and thus, the nature of the topics in the docuseries. I tried to explain my intentions with whatever concerns that he had.
It’s hard for me to remember all the details of my time together with Dr. Brown, but I think the interview went very well, and our conversation was very friendly. Our conversation did have points where I challenged Dr. Brown or questioned some of his beliefs or practices, as I stated in my initial email (he also did the same thing in my direction on the topic of discernment and hyper-criticism). A number of the questions that I asked were related to serious concerns that people had over Dr Brown’s past associations (Benny Hinn, Sid Roth), his refusal to mark someone like Kenneth Copeland as a false teacher, and what appears to be a pattern of downplaying hyper-charismatic errors, while elevating the sins of “hyper-critics” to an equal level of error. I also believe I pushed back a bit on his perspective on God’s will and healing. We also discussed his denial of the existence of NAR, and his alleged participation in an apostolic leadership network (USCAL) which has used the “New Apostolic Reformation” language in the past on their website.
Another thing that stood out in our interview is that I asked a question related to the prophetic standards statement, which said:
“we reject the notion that… God always speaks inerrantly through prophets today.”
My problem with this statement is explained in my question here:
The wording of this statement seems to suggest that God can speak in error through prophets today. It places the error on God, rather than man, which conflicts with an essential attribute of God— that He is Truth (Titus 1:2)
Dr. Brown responded to this by thanking me for bringing this error to his attention, and he reaffirmed that he believes that God speak infallibly through prophets (who don't always hear infallibly). He also told me that he would get this language changed in the statement, which today, says the following:
“WE REJECT the notion that a contemporary prophetic word is on the same level of inspiration or authority as Scripture or that God’s inerrant speech is always communicated perfectly by prophets today…” https://propheticstandards.com/
The Facebook Post
After our interview, I posted the following on our Facebook page:
“We’re asking for your prayers for today’s AG3 interview today with Dr. Michael Brown. Like AG2, we are interviewing people we disagree with the hope of asking challenging questions and calling to repentance.”
Immediately after this post, Dr. Brown emailed me with concerns about the language “calling to repentance” and was confused as to why I used that language in front of my audience, but had not clearly communicate that to him personally. He was concerned about the public responses to the post (hyper critical bad fruit) where people would think that I was suggesting that I thought he was a “heretic” needing to repent. That was not my intention. I don’t believe that Dr. Brown is a heretic through a denial of any essential gospel issue. However, as I’ve explained above and through the nature of the questions that were sent to him, it was clear that I had a number of concerns that I wanted to challenge or “change his mind” (repent) about.
This is part of my initial response to him:
“As far as the Facebook post, I’m happy to explain. From the beginning I made you aware that we had disagreements, and I intended to ask you questions and challenge some of your beliefs by having your consider Scripture, and to consider changing your mind, or beliefs about what Scripture teaches in certain areas (This is what I meant by repentance— not necessarily in the sense of a specific sin, but changing your mind about certain charismatic practices that we were discussing).”
After more discussion on this, I edited my initial Facebook post to say the following:
This whole discussion culminated in Dr. Brown talking about this on his radio program back in February of 2022 in the episode titled, "The American Gospel, NAR, Hyper-Critics, and Me". He also asked me to post about this on our Facebook page (which you can read below):
Today, this whole issue still continues to come back up, and is used against me to attack my integrity (Again, I will address this more specifically later). Meanwhile, I still agree with what I said in February of 2022:
“Perhaps I could have been more clear in saying that I considered the purpose of these challenging questions to be that I wanted him to change his mind about certain doctrines and practices (repentance).”
I did not intend to be deceptive in my communication with Dr. Brown, but that’s how it appeared to him. When you’re dealing with a huge project like this, communicating with multiple people, working through research and hundreds of hours of footage, in the midst of the responsibilities of life... mistakes happen.
Looking back, I wish Dr. Brown would not have agreed to participate in the project so quickly. I think if he had watched the first two films, he may have concluded, “This is hyper-criticism, and I don’t want to participate.” In light of Dr. Brown’s recent decision to withdraw from the project, I still consider Dr. Brown a brother in Christ who is in error on certain issues. I appreciate his desire to help me see and turn from my own errors and blindspots in my faith, particularly in the world of online discernment. I would just hope that we all could view a “call to repentance” or “reformation” in our understanding of Scripture to be a loving act and not something to offended by.
Note: Dr. Brown recently did give us permission to post an unedited version of his interview, and roundtable discussions for the public to see (as long as they aren't part of the American Gospel: Spirit & Fire project). So if the interview questions intrigued you, you will be able to hear his answers (not every question was covered) in the future.
Hello AG supporters! Next week we are releasing two 50-minute episodes as a preview of American Gospel: Spirit & Fire (which is a 10+ episode docuseries). The episodes are titled “Grave Soaking” and “The House of Generals” and will be live-streamed on AGTV on Wednesday October 25th, 2023. They will be available for subscribers to watch through Tuesday October 31st, 2023. We’re deciding to make these available for a number of reasons, but the main reason is to reward our patient supporters, and to build excitement and support for the project.
Unfortunately this good news is connected with some bad news. As many of you know, my goal in this project has been to include charismatic voices that I disagree with, which has included Dr. Michael Brown. During the episode review process, Dr. Brown has decided to withdraw his participation in this project, meaning I am no longer able to use the 10+ hours of footage that we shot together (1 interview, 2 roundtable discussions). This issue has created a huge roadblock in the progress of this project, which I’ll explain below.
The episodes that Dr. Brown reviewed are titled “The Attraction” and “The Encounter”, which critique the documentary films of Darren Wilson, and explain their impact on individuals who were led into the NAR movement through his work. These episodes focus on essential issues, like true and false conversion, regeneration, the nature of true repentance, adoption & identity, the wrath of God, the nature of man, and evangelism through the lens of the “encounter gospel” (which includes discerning true and false miracles, faith healing manipulation tactics, etc.)— all things that both cessationists and continuationists are able to agree upon. I included both Michael Brown and Daniel Kolenda in these episodes, where they both were in agreement with the critiques of everyone else— that the “encounter gospel” is unbiblical, and can lead to false conversions.
Dr. Michael Brown reviewed and approved how I used his content in the episode, but he began to point out issues with how others in these episodes had categorized ministries that Dr. Brown was involved with as “NAR” (Dr. Brown disagreed with that label or categorization, and viewed that as harmful to those ministries). I offered Michael the opportunity to include his objections to the points that he disagreed with, but he declined to do so. I also offered to allow him to add a video disclaimer to the beginning of the episode, where he would warn of the “false” statements, or the divisive and destructive nature of the episode(s), but after speaking with his colleagues, he ultimately decided to remove himself from the project. You can read his explanation of his decision below:
“When Brandon reached out to me, he explained that he wanted “to create an honest and balanced film, and,” he wrote, “I think your participation is a step toward making that a reality.” He also stated to me in writing that, “My goal is to not make this film become a Strange Fire 2.0. I want more charismatic perspectives to be heard from someone in the continuationist group, and you are one of the few people who responds to charismatic critics.” He also assured me that, “I will not be able to use your interview in the series until you review the project (how you are edited among others), approve of it, and sign your appearance release. If you have any issues, I am willing to fix them (by allowing you to respond with further commentary, etc.), or accepting that you no longer wish to be involved with the project.” Having spent many hours in good faith filming for the project and urging Brandon to make fair editorial changes, I had to drop out because, in my view, AG3 is Strange Fire 2.0 on steroids and is anything but “honest and balanced.” Those wanting to know my own views on the subjects in question can consults my books, broadcasts, articles, and sermons (in full, rather than excerpted in sound bites).”
What I had also communicated to Dr. Brown was that there would be people involved in this project who he has considered to be “hyper-critics” who are also critical of him (his discernment, associations, etc.). Many of the questions that he answered in our interview together were in response to these issues. He also knew that he was participating in a project where people would have disagreement/debate over how the “New Apostolic Reformation” is defined or whether or not it exists (he recorded a 3-hour roundtable discussion with Holly Pivec and Doug Geivett on this very issue). Yet it was this very issue (NAR), and my refusal to edit/remove the opinions and statements of others (while inviting him to add more of his own comments to correct what he viewed as false), which caused him to begin questioning his involvement.
Another issue that caused a further rift in our discussions was the fact that I told him that I was creating a whole episode on the topic of “grave soaking.” Dr. Brown responded to this news by concluding that this project was a “Strange Fire 2.0 on steroids” much like he did in this public video below:
If you don’t have the ability to watch the video above, I’ll describe what Dr. Brown attempts to do. In the video he presents a recent instagram photo of Dr. Steve Lawson wearing the robe of Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones. In the caption, Lawson writes:
Dr. Brown acknowledges that Steve Lawson is obviously joking (Dr. Lawson doesn’t believe an actual anointing was literally in Lloyd Jones’ robe or Bible), but Dr. Brown uses this example to jokingly mock critics of grave soaking, saying: “The heresy of Bible rubbing and cloak wearing!” He also later equates what Lawson was doing (joking) to what Bethel has done in their grave soaking teaching and practice (not joking). Finally, he brings up his conversation with me (without mentioning my name, or the film specifically), and shares a conversation he had with me, where I apparently called grave soaking “communication with the dead.” Sadly, Dr. Brown put words in my mouth that I’ve never said. I’ve never called this practice “heresy” or described it as “communicating with the dead” or “receiving revelation from the dead.” The episodes that I created explicitly reject that straw man characterization and direct viewers to the key issue, which is seeking impartation of anointing or mantles from the dead. In other words, Dr. Brown created a straw man of a “heresy hunter” in order to make his point. When I told Dr. Brown that I would be responding publicly to his statements, he claimed that he was not specifically speaking about me, but about grave soaking critics in general. But his words specifically point to the “individual” who is a filmmaker making an episode on the topic of grave soaking:
“I was interacting with someone producing some films and they're they're going to do this 30-minute episode on Grave Soaking, or this one-hour episode, whatever it was, on Grave soaking. I thought, “Why?” Leaders at Bethel have repudiated it. Leaders at Bethel, where some people who practice it say it's say it's wrong, say it's unbiblical. Why? Why on earth would you put out a whole video about… especially when it represents a fringe of a fringe, of a fringe of a fringe, of a fringe of a fringe, of a fringe practice. But I also said to this individual, “But hang on, the thing itself, you're blowing out of all proportion!” It's not some: “I am going to commune with the dead. I am going to get revelation from the dead...” No! it's people with a misguided practice! But it's not that markedly different from what Steve Lawson did— putting on the D. Martin Lloyd-Jones pulpit outfit, putting his hand on the pulpit bible that he used, and saying maybe some of it will rub off on me.” —Dr. Michael Brown - 'From Grave Soaking to Bible Rubbing' (9/12/23)
Keep in mind that Dr. Brown made these comments about our conversation and these episodes without ever having watched them. Part of my reasoning for wanting to release a preview of these episodes is so that viewers can see my work and decide whether or not Michael Brown was correct in his objections. Is my work divisive, destructive, filled with lies, or out of context clips? I’m confident that any objective viewer will see the truth after watching what we've put together.
In the process of creating this episode, the one “Grave Soaking” episode was later split into 2 episodes: ”Grave Soaking” (Part 1) and “The House of Generals” (Part 2). Why would I spend so much time on this “fringe of a fringe, of a fringe” issue? First, you cannot read an article about Bethel Redding without coming across the topic of “grave soaking,” so it had to be addressed. Second, this issue goes beyond the practice of “grave soaking” into the broader topic of a biblical view of anointing, seeking impartations of additional mantles, or anointings through people, locations (graves), etc. (which apply to charismatic practices beyond Bethel Redding). This practice is foundational to understand Bethel’s culture of pursuing revival through risk-taking, their theology of favor, and the overemphasis on the practice of impartation in the broader apostolic and prophetic movement that this series is critiquing.
Finally, the truth about this issue has remained obscured (whether intentionally or not), including through the interview with Bill Johnson conducted by Dr. Michael Brown. Has Bethel actually been honest about their involvement in this practice? Have they repented of this practice? These episodes will walk you through all of the available evidence, including eyewitness testimony from former Bethel students, and an examination of Bethel’s own claims in their 25-minute “Rediscover Bethel” podcast on this issue. In sum, the content is so long and thorough because I’m trying to be fair in examining all of the evidence. Thankfully, I chose a docuseries format that allows me to go into this level of detail, without neglecting detail in other topics. So Michael Brown’s claims that I am blowing this out of proportion (“straining a gnat and swallowing a camel”) while ignoring other important issues— are false.
Dr. Brown’s assessment of my project’s honesty and balance is based on 2 episodes (a fraction of the entire series) where everyone essentially agreed on the main issues. After he began overemphasizing smaller, debatable differences, encouraging me to change the views/experiences of others, and declining to accept my invitation to add further commentary (to provide more balance), I quickly realized that his involvement was only going to hinder the project’s completion. While I am frustrated at the missed opportunity to create a balanced presentation, and the massive loss of content (as well as time and money), I am also very relieved that I no longer have to deal with the time commitment related to communicating with Dr. Michael Brown. Daniel Kolenda also followed his lead in departing from the project. Ultimately, both were not comfortable being involved in a project that critiques errors within ministries or people that they are friends or partners with.
So how do I move forward, given this roadblock in the projects’ progress and release? I will still attempt to critique and respond to Dr. Brown’s (and Kolenda’s) arguments using public “fair use” footage (from his radio/Youtube program, etc). I spent a lot of time having others respond to Dr. Brown's arguments, so I now I may need to do extra work to have others help explain his arguments. Will you ever get to see the debates that Dr. Brown and others participated in (with Justin Peters, Jim Osman, Sam Storms, or Holly Pivec & Doug Geivett)? That’s up to him. If you’re a charismatic or cessationist and are disappointed in his decision (and I know that many are, and will be), I would advise you not to attack him on social media. He will only see that as further proof that he was right to remove himself from the project. I am thankful for the time that Dr. Brown and Daniel Kolenda gave me, and have great respect for their passion and willingness to help me understand their perspectives, but I am very disappointed in how this all concluded.
Thank you for everyone who has been involved with this so far, for the prayers and encouragement. Please continue to pray for me— for wisdom as I navigate this project to the finish line, which realistically will not be finished by the end of this year due to this recent setback. I currently have five one-hour episodes completed, and hope to have more freedom to show previews like this in the near future!
Update: You can watch the post-episode discussion on these issues here:
Hello AG supporters! I have some exciting news for those who have been anticipating the release of AG3: Spirit & Fire. Next week we will be releasing two 50-minute episodes as a preview of this 10+ episode docuseries. The live-stream will begin on the evening of Wednesday 10/25 and will be available for AGTV subscribers only. They will only be available to watch until 10/31. The entire series is not finished, but we are releasing these episodes as a way to reward our patient supporters who subscribe to AGTV and make our productions possible. We’ll have more details— like the names of the episodes— at the end of this week!
Hello AG supporters! I wanted to give an update on what I'm working on. I have four one-hour episodes in progress. Two of them are 95% complete, and the other two are still in rough form, but nearing completion.
For context, “American Gospel: Spirit & Fire” is shaping up to be a 10+ episode series. The series will begin by explaining the debate regarding the existence of the New Apostolic Reformation; is it a real movement or a myth? It will also lay foundational work for understanding the Biblical views of apostles and prophets and where the new apostolic and prophetic movement goes beyond the debate between cessationists and continuationists into error that both groups can agree upon.
The 2 episodes that I chose to edit first are titled, “The Attraction” and The Encounter.” Both episodes follow the stories of people who were drawn into the NAR movement through the films of Darren Wilson (director of Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, Holy Ghost, Holy Ghost Reborn, and The God Man), examine his understanding of the gospel and his promotion of “encounter evangelism.” The episodes also dive into Biblical truths like regeneration, adoption, true and false conversion, and the nature of true repentance.
Recently, Darren Wilson was interviewed on The Remnant Radio (where his work was promoted favorably), and he had this to say about his critics:
“Maybe it’s time to start giving people a little bit of... little bit more grace than we normally do, especially like the online heresy-hunters. Maybe just be little bit open-minded, you know? And maybe just try to meet these people and talk to them.” -Darren Wilson
I have tried to communicate with Darren (through his friends) to explain my differences, and have invited him to defend his work in this series, but he has declined to communicate with me. Darren appears to have incorporated some of our criticism into the marketing of his new film, "The God Man":
“I’ll admit, my films have always been a little controversial. I've been called the devil, a deceiver, a liar, and even someone masquerading as an "angel of light". I've had a certain very large Christian retail chain refuse to stock my films simply because Bill Johnson was in them. So I'm pretty used to people saying no to my films before they've ever even seen them.
But something is different with The God Man. We're seeing people and ministries coming on board to support this film after they've seen it that we never would have dreamed would have supported me in the past. Regardless of what you think of them, the fact that they are willing to put the reputation of their ministries and names behind a movie like this is truly amazing.
Joel Olsteen's ministry supports it. Pray.com is partnering with us to promote it. David Harris Jr, a conservative political voice supports it. Kathie Lee Gifford supports it. The Belonging Co supports it. The Whosoevers support it. Shoot, Fathom Events, which isn't even a faith-based company is pushing it into theaters alongside us.
All that to say, there is something special about this film that even people outside our "charismatic" world is seeing. Jesus is glorified. Jesus is lifted up.”
Just for your information, we do not claim that Darren is a devil disguised as an angel of light in these episodes. We do however critique his encounter with a dark angel named "Breakthrough" (who he claims he saw behind his eyelids, vibrating with energy) that he claims told him to make his first movie, "Finger of God." Darren's mention of Joel Osteen's endorsement of his film as a good thing is an unfortunate reflection of the shallow gospel that can be seen in each of his films. I hope to publish a longer critique of "The God Man" (and his other films) in the future.
In another AG3 episode titled, “The Greatest,” we’re exploring Bethel’s view of man’s nature and identity for both believers and unbelievers, and what it means to follow Christ’s example. You can see a clip of that episode here:
We also have a full episode devoted to the “Grave Soaking” controversy, which examines all of the evidence (both old and new) of Bethel’s involvement in that practice, their responses to criticism, compared to eyewitness testimony.
Please continue to keep our team in your prayers! Thank you for the support!
-Brandon Kimber & The AG Team
Hello American Gospel supporters! I am writing to give you an update on the progress of AG3: Spirit & Fire and to answer some of the questions related to its estimated release date. First, I would recommend that everyone watch my recent interview with Chris Rosebrough, where much of this is explained. You can find that interview here on AGTV:
Earlier this year, during the release of the extended 12-minute preview, I gave an estimated release date of late Spring, which is a little over a month away. At this point in my progress, I have completed two 1-hour episodes in the docuseries (with progress on other episodes), which is essentially equivalent to a single film. Those episodes are being reviewed by a few individuals with whom I disagree and who appear in the docuseries. I'm inviting further commentary from them in order to make these episodes as fair as possible.
Because AG3 is a docuseries, I'm expecting to make at least 10 episodes, and I have enough content for even more than that. At this point, I'm not sure how that will impact the release. The major issue I have is that I must get permission from those who appear in opposition interviews in order to release anything. This could mean I may have to wait until all of the episodes are at least finished in rough form, or perhaps I would be able to release some episodes as I complete them (so long as I'm given the green light).
All that being said, my estimate has been pushed back until late Fall at this point. I know that is disappointing for many. Trust me, I want this to be completed more than anyone, but it has to be done within the constraints that I mentioned above, as well as the constraints of being a small team working on such a large project. As many of you know, in addition to working on AG3, we're also running and maintaining a streaming service (AGTV), which is essentially helping support us in the completion of this docuseries.
In other news, last month we finished filming an almost 4-hour roundtable discussion with Justin Peters, Jim Osman, Michael Brown, and Sam Storms, which was very successful. That roundtable has been transcribed, and a sound mix is almost completed. I'm hoping that perhaps I can release content like this in an uncut form before the total docuseries is completed.
Thank you to everyone who continues to support us with prayer, and through subscribing to AGTV (and for being patient with the release of AG3). In the meantime, I will try to keep you all more updated with examples or previews of some of the content that I am working on. Below is an edit I recently did on the topic of Kris Vallotton’s encounter with Michael the Archangel:
Description: Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church, claims that Michael the Archangel appeared by his bedside in wrestling tights, and in a bad mood. But does this description of an angelic encounter match the description of angels that we see in Scripture?
Next week we are recording our final roundtable discussion for “American Gospel: Spirit & Fire” with Michael Brown, Sam Storms, Justin Peters, and Jim Osman. We’ll be discussing where we differ and agree on the topics of discerning false teachers and false prophets, as well as the work of the Holy Spirit today. Please join us in prayer that this discussion would be fruitful, and edifying for everyone involved. Our goal is to have a respectful, and God-glorifying discussion.