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What is the origin of the “Fire Tunnel” ritual at Bethel Church?

Discussion in 'Sign Gifts' started by TruthSeek3r, May 4, 2021 at 6:30 AM.

  1. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    According to Wikipedia:

    Bethel Church is an American non-denominational hyper-charismatic megachurch in Redding, California with over 11,000 members. The church was established in 1952 and is currently led by Bill Johnson. Bethel has its own music labels and Bethel Music and Jesus Culture ministries, which have gained large popularity within contemporary worship music. The church runs the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry with over 2,000 students annually. Senior church leaders have been supporters of conservative politics.

    At Bethel Church, they have a very peculiar ritual known as "Fire Tunnel" or "Tunnel of Fire" (you may come across either wording). In a nutshell, people who are deemed more mature in the faith form two lines (a human tunnel) that novices are made to go through so that those forming the tunnel may lay hands on them and transfer into them the same "anointing" that they supposedly carry. It's very common to see people display strange physical manifestations during these events, which may include appearing drunk, laughing hysterically, being "slain in the spirit", jerking or shaking, etc.

    Here are a few videos illustrating the ritual: video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4, video 5. (You may find many more by using your favorite search engine.)

    Question: What is the origin of the practice? When was the first time that a "Fire Tunnel" was ever practiced in the history of the Church? Did Bethel Church originally come up with the idea of the ritual or did they borrow it / take inspiration from a prior source?
     
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  2. ss51

    ss51 Active Member

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    Jesus told the 12 at the time He imparted Holy Spirit as He had received from John the Baptist "freely you were given, freely give".
     
  3. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Kundalini Yoga?
     
  4. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    Can you expand on that? It looks like you are familiar with the topic.
     
  5. Gregorikos

    Gregorikos Ordinary Mystic

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    It looks to me like it's just a practical way to pray and lay hands on people en masse. "Prayer lines" have been common in Pentecostal circles for decades. So what should you do if you have a bunch of people praying? Make it a really long line that goes out the door? Or double the line? It makes sense to double the line.

    I'm betting the name "fire line" or "line of fire" was just said off the cuff one day and it stuck.
     
  6. ss51

    ss51 Active Member

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    No it isn't kunda whatever.
     
  7. Rene Loup

    Rene Loup Saved Wolf Among Sheep

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    Bethel Church does not test the spirits and holds on to extra-Biblical teachings. The main appeal of that church seems to be based more on selfish ambition than genuine love for God. They just want supernatural power more than serving The Most High.

    ~Matthew 24:22-25 (ICB)

    Bible Gateway passage: Luke 21, Mark 13, Matthew 24, 2 Timothy 3 - King James Version
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    Bible Gateway passage: Luke 21, Mark 13, Matthew 24, 2 Timothy 3 - International Children’s Bible

    ~1 John 4:1-6 (ICB)

    Bible Gateway passage: 1 John 4:1-6 - King James Version
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    ~1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (ICB)

    Bible Gateway passage: 1 Corinthians 12 - King James Version
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    ~2 Timothy 3:15-17 (ICB)

    Bible Gateway passage: 2 Timothy 3 - King James Version
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    Why is it so important to test the spirits by making them quote Scripture, confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ, among other ways of testing their devotion to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel?

    Here's an example: God can mute people, but so can demons:

    ~Luke 1:5-25 (ICB)

    Bible Gateway passage: Luke 1 - King James Version
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    ~Matthew 9:32-33 (ICB)

    Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 9 - King James Version
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    YOU MUST ALWAYS TEST THE SPIRITS!!!

    1.) Does it line up with Scripture?
    2.) Does it line up with God's principles?
    3.) Does it bring you peace?

    If it does not pass all three, then you should not be doing it.

    Keep in mind too, NEVER rely on a single test for a spirit. None of us are their first rodeo, and they WILL adapt accordingly as we learn more about God and His Holy Word.

    READ, STUDY, AND KNOW SCRIPTURE, DAILY!!!
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 8:22 AM
  8. Rene Loup

    Rene Loup Saved Wolf Among Sheep

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    An example of selfish ambition was Simon the sorcerer. He practised witchcraft, converted to Christianity, and attempted to bribe the Apostles to receive power from God. He legit attempted to buy off God.

    There are people out there who are both Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians and practising witches. They want to have the best of both worlds, but it will only end in disaster for them. Selfish ambition is an Act of the Flesh, and it will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.

    ~Acts 8:9-25 (ICB)

    Bible Gateway passage: Acts 8 - King James Version
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    ~Galatians 5:13-26 (ICB)

    Bible Gateway passage: Galatians 5 - King James Version
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  9. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Sure. Certain people in Christianity, (especially conscientious people within Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement) have criticized some of the general practices you are talking about. The fire tunnel thing is just one specific example of a large phenomenon. This guy in the video below is probably the best example.




    As far as the OP goes. I joined the Charismatic movement in 1990 and left on good terms so to speak in 1997 because I believed God was leading me in traditional Christianity, as far as things like Orthodox Christianity etc.


    But in terms of the questions your asking as far as history. I know this sort of thing didn't really start till the the Toronto Blessing (late 1993). One of the benefits of familiarizing with traditional Christianity is actually studying Church history that exists in between the writing of the New Testament books and Martin Luther. (Knowing what happened immediately after the writing of the NT books and the death of the Apostles is especially useful). Anyway in different times, you had people responding with things like quaking and shaking when listening to sermons like "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" etc. but not anything like this.

    The New Testament actually advocates order during worship and saint Paul also says that "The Spirit is subject to the prophets" (prophets even under the Holy Spirit are still in control of their will). In the early Church, their was a movement called Montanism that was the first thing sort of like this, where some prophets prophesied in an ecstatic way that was different than how it was done in the past (more dignified and in control), and their was some questionable doctrine also preached as well.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 9:27 AM
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  10. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The "fire tunnel" was birthed through zealous youth while attending the Supernatural School of Ministry. Along with this abhorrent ritual other practices such as grave soaking, glory puppeteering, destiny cards,holy yoga and probably more rose from this dangerous school. These are man made flesh driven inventions orchestrated by Satan himself. I do hope you stay away from such things.
    On a personal note my niece is on the road of recovery after attending this school. Unfortunately she may have left the faith.

    Be blessed.
     
  11. spiritfilledjm

    spiritfilledjm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As previously stated, the "fire tunnel" thing is something that has gone on for many many years outside of bethel. In fact, a lot of what Bethel does I have seen in other charismatic circles well before I had even heard of Bethel in the mid-late 2000's. Bethel though, has come under fire due to several things that have happened that have resembled witchcraft (like a "Christian" tarot reading essentially) and, of course, the "You shall not pass" staff thing.

    Some circles have always come under fire for seeming to want signs and wonders more than converts and wisdom. I feel that a lot of the persecution Bethel gets, while some is warranted, is from a lot of folks that were hurt at one point or another by the charismatic movement and have moved on to other movements (reformed being the one I see most common)

    As far as the "fire line" goes...hey...the more prayer I can get, the better.
     
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  12. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    How were people hurt by the charismatic movement? Can you expand on that "hurt" you alluded to?
     
  13. spiritfilledjm

    spiritfilledjm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You'd have to ask them...

    I, for instance, was hurt by an International House of Prayer wannabe that I was involved in an internship with. I was forced to go through a spiritual warfare/deliverance thing that I did not want to go through as I felt I didn't need to be delivered of anything. It ended up causing a lot of hurt and damage spiritually and was a catalyst in me stepping away from the faith for a time. That's just me though and while I no longer hold any bitterness in my heart, it was from a movement that strikes me as very similar to what I observe out of Bethel.

    Ultimately, I was saying that a lot of the criticism I see towards Bethel seems to be coming from life-time cessationists or folks who were hurt by their Charismatic churches (as in folks who believe in the gifts being for today) and have since left and became cessationist.
     
  14. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    That's kind of a broad question @TruthSeek3r probably a better one is to ask about Bethel or NAR specifically. On NAR aka The New Apostolic Reformation, I can answer that one.

    There are a lot of stuff with prophesy, where people prophesy things that don't come to pass. The controversy over the US election and Trump not being elected is a big case in point!




    Or prophesy very dubious things.
    Todd Bentley – Is he now ashamed of his angel Emma?

    I personally could see that the movement could be a lot about success, prosperity etc. where leadership is often about going to big deal conferences, that generate fame, and pay really well than doing more routine local ministry that does not pay well and has little or no fan fare.


    I got to say, there was more money grubbing from the prophetic movement than any other church movement. Basically the ministers can live high on the hog, and want their buddies to who visit the church and run up big bills paying for it that they pass on to their congregations, and can do so using very questionable methods (manipulative).
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 12:04 PM
  15. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    People have been hurt by every single "movement". Just because some people abuse the truth doesn't mean we should refuse the truth.
     
  16. spiritfilledjm

    spiritfilledjm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not saying one should. I'm just saying that doing Christian Tarot and stuff is not the truth and I'm actually, in fact, agreeing that the "fire line" is not against the bible.
     
  17. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    I know, I get that. I'm just putting it out there because people are so quick to disregard the legitimate things of God because of a few misguided folks these days.
     
  18. spiritfilledjm

    spiritfilledjm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Gotcha. This is where discernment comes into play lol
     
  19. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    I don't know the exact lineage, but this has roots in the Toronto Blessing, and before that, the laughing revival, for lack of a better name. People were encouraged to pray for one another, and it was quite free-flowing. I don't know that it had as organized a modality as what's in those videos.

    Some of what I saw in the videos struck me as being not necessarily the Holy Spirit in action. Man could have had something to do with it. People are in dire need of community, and that goes exponentially for young Christians, who have the dominant culture against them. They don't want churchianity, they want relationship and brotherly love.

    There were excesses back in the day as well. And they were very well-reported on in the media. But what went less noticed by critics was the large numbers of people lying prostrate before the Lord, experiencing deep communion, which far outweighed the excesses. You are always going to get excesses during revival. It happened in both Great Awakenings. But much good fruit came of those revivals as well, including the birth of the USA.
     
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  20. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    I think having people praying on either side of the new people was so they didn't fall down, a natural progression perhaps.

    I recall participating in something like that years ago and I didn't fall down, go into convulsions, or any of that I just wanted to receive God.

    Of course after measuring how it affected me years later, I wouldn't recommend it as a Christian experience.

    The origin of the practice is the times we are living in. Since the early church emulated the end of Deuteronomy in their application of the anathemas, this set the church organization on a program to follow the histories of the old testament. The resonating scripture verse is Jeremiah 23:9, and this means captivity is pretty close.
     
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