4 i) An apparition
of St Paul? During one of his visits to “heaven” Joyner
claims he has had a long conversation with the “Apostle Paul”,
(p’s131 – 136), who he asks about this “last battle”.
But was this the real heaven and the real St Paul or demonic counterfeits?
We should be able to check this by testing this spirits message. The following
scripture shows that counterfeits can exist.
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to
you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed,” (Gal 1;
4 ii) This spirit questions
the ministry of the real Apostle Paul: Referring to the Christian spiritual civil war Joyner asks this spirit “What would
you say to my generation that will help us in this battle?” (p.131).
Answering as if it were St Paul this spirit replies “that I fell short
of all that I was called to do”, (p132), “I did not walk in all
that was available to me”, (p. 134), “I fell short of the highest
purposes that I could have walked in”, (p.132). So this spirit is leading
us to believe that there is another “higher” level of spirituality
that we should move in, one that St Paul had failed to move in or record in
the bible, which will enable them to win this Christian civil war and gain
control of the church. However we know from the scriptures that all the apostles
carefully discussed their beliefs and spiritual practice very closely and
were in complete agreement with one another, (Acts 15; 2), so if St Paul had
fallen short in this then all the other apostles must have too, i.e. the entire
N/T church. This doesn’t make sense when we consider that Paul and the
other early apostles were men who raised the dead, (Acts 20; 10), performed
great miracles, (Acts 19; 12), and whose mere shadow had healed the sick,
(Acts 5; 15). Nothing in the bible suggests that we should engage in any form
of spirituality that they had failed to move in. By casting doubt on St Paul’s
ministry in this way this spirit is also casting doubt on the parts of the
bible that Paul and the other apostles have written, i.e. on over two third
of the N/T. The real St Paul’s own Epistles also completely contradict
this spirits message about him failing:
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the
revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to
buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure,” ( 2 Cor 12:7).
“ we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things,” (2
Cor 11; 6).
“ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept
the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,” (2
Tim 4: 7 and 8).
“ I was appointed a preacher and an apostle - I am speaking the truth
in Christ and not lying – a teacher of the gentiles in faith and truth,” (1
Tim 2; 7).
4 iii) Can we only
trust the gospels for foundational teaching? After attempting to undermine our trust in St Pauls ministry, (who wrote over
one third of
the New Testament), this spirit then goes on to cast doubt on the reliability
of all of the other apostles teachings in scripture too. It repeatedly tells
Joyner, (see p.131 -5), that we should only use “the
gospels” for “teachings
as a foundation” (p.134), in the last days church, i.e. not the Old
Testament or the other two thirds of the New Testament, which means omitting
all of the Apostles letters. This would mean that the book of Acts right through
to the Book of Revelations in the N/T cannot be trusted for such teaching,
only the gospels. We have already seen though that Joyner’s messages
even contradict the gospels. Furthermore some of the most essential foundational
teachings for the church are contained in the other two thirds of the New
Testament without which we will be left wide open to deception. It would be
foolish therefore to restrict ourselves to only using the gospels for foundational
teaching as this spirit claims we should.
“ remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles,”(Jude
” And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine,” (Acts
4 iv) The teaching in the
other two thirds of the New Testament: The
two thirds of the New Testament that this spirit suggests can’t be trusted
teach even more clearly than the gospels do on the foundational issues of
salvation and the deity of Christ. They are also the only parts of the bible
that teach on baptism in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, being led by
the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, sanctification, the last days teaching
contained in the book of Revelations, the fivefold ministries and church leadership.
These are essential foundational teachings for the church and we abandon them
at our peril. Perhaps not surprisingly it is the two thirds of the N/T that
this spirit suggests we should not trust that most often contradict Joyner’s
own spiritual practice and “new revelations,” for e.g. his belief
we should be calling upon the dead for ministry, that judge’s should
rule the church, and that we should be warring against other Christians with
spiritual weapons that are not recorded in scripture. It is the Epistles that
most clearly contradict these errors. Dismissing these scriptures paves the
way for deception.
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were
taught, whether by word or our epistle,” (2 Thess 2:15).
4 v) Correct
teachings are essential: We cannot use the gospels alone for foundational
teaching in the church because the gospels only covered the ministry
and teachings of Jesus prior to the church age, (which didn’t start
until after Jesus’ death and resurrection). Jesus didn’t teach
on most of the above issues in the gospels because His disciples’ had
not then received the Holy Spirit. Most of his disciples were still struggling
to believe that Jesus was the Son of God at that time and weren’t even
expecting Him to be raised from the dead. These other scriptures record what
God had shown the early apostles by the Holy Spirit after Jesus had ascended
to heaven. Eleven of these leading apostles were personally chosen by Jesus
Himself whilst He walked the earth and St Paul was chosen by God on the road
to Damascus, and was sent out to the gentiles by the others. Their Epistles
are needed just as much as the gospels for the churches foundational teaching
in order to keep Christians from going astray into deception. There are no
other teachings on how to order the church or move in the Spirit. We will
see in section 6 how Joyner’s beliefs and spiritual practice differ
greatly from what is taught in these parts of the New Testament which this
spirit is casting doubt upon.
“we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about
with every wind of doctrine,” (Eph 4:14).
4 vi) Joyner’s
revelations greater than those of all the early Apostles? In
the introduction to this book Joyner suggests that his visions are more reliable
than any of the apostle’s teachings in the bible. He claims
that there are “levels of prophetic revelation”, (p.
9), and that
the “level of revelation” that “was
probably experienced by the apostles as they wrote the New Testament epistles...
is still a level
where we can still be influenced by our prejudices, doctrines, etc”.
Whereas Joyner claims that his “Open visions,” “occur on
a higher level,” implying they are therefore more reliable, and that
a “Trance,” (p. 10), (such as his vision of a Christian civil
war), is even greater still. But the apostles weren’t just receiving
revelation as they wrote the scriptures they were often recording the revelations
they had previously received beforehand from God. It is not true to suggest
they were operating at a lower level of revelation which was open to prejudice
as they wrote the epistles. We need to be careful as Paul warned us about
people who wished to be;
“regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such
are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles
of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel
of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves
into ministers of righteousness,” (2 Cor 11; 12 -15).
4 vii) Joyner’s new revelations greater than St John’s
book of Revelations? The same thing is subtly implied by Joyner again when he compares
his revelations with those of St John, the author of the book of Revelations.
In a vision in which Joyner is told he himself is in the “third heaven” he
asks an angel named Wisdom “was John’s revelation part of the
third heaven?” to which this angel replies “Part of Johns revelation
was from the third heaven, but most of it was from the second heaven,” (p.
45). Again the whole emphasis is to get Joyner to believe that his visions
are greater than those of the early apostles. Surely he has been deceived
by counterfeit visions and spiritual apparitions from the kingdom of darkness?
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart
from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,”(
1 Tim 4: 1).
4 viii) Misreading scripture: The same apparition of “St Paul” also
tells Joyner that, “finally realising that I was the greatest of sinners.
I was not just being humble, I was speaking sober truth. I was trusted with
much, much more than I used”, (p.133). But when St Paul wrote that he
was the greatest of sinners, in 1 Tim 1; 15, he was referring to the fact
that he “was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor” of the church,
(1Tim 1; 13), before he was saved, not because he had failed in his ministry
after he was saved as this spirit suggests. This spirit was claiming that
St Paul believed in the same “new revelations” and spiritual practices
that Joyner advocates but was the greatest sinner because he had failed to
move in these when he could have done so. Joyner then says himself that “Paul
had fallen short of his calling”, (p134). This is a blatant error and
misreading of scripture. It is a little absurd to suggest that St Paul did
not even record anything about a new, greater form of spirituality in his
letters and for this reason was the greatest of sinners. St Paul did not ever
mention anywhere that he fell short of his calling in this way, he stated
the exact opposite;
“Are they ministers of Christ?... I am more: in labours more abundant,
in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently......besides the other
things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches...
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows
that I am not lying,” (2 Cor 11: 23 to 31).
4 ix) Speaking with
a double edged tongue: This spirit cunningly mixed this message in with lots of persuasive
Christian terminology but we should expect
nothing less if it is a demonic apparition sent to deceive believers. Whilst
Joyner writes in praise St Paul and claims to admire him the conversation
twists as this spirit replies a way that completely undermines the early apostles
ministries. I may be wrong but I do not believe Joyner would accept this spirits
message so willingly if he did not already hold to these views himself, (maybe
he has never truly believed in the teachings of scripture even though he claims
to?). So whilst Joyner praises St Paul he is at the same time accepting a
message which completely undermines St Paul’s character, ministry and
teaching and also casts doubt on all of the apostles teachings, on over two
thirds of the New Testament. But is this is not the classic, confusing and
contradictory way in which Satan often deceives, by appearing to tell us much
of what we agree with whilst all the time promoting ideas that are not biblical?
“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in
so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you,” (1 Tim
4 x) Contradictions: Although Joyner claims that “I do not believe
that any kind of prophetic revelation is for the purpose of establishing doctrine”,
(p. 12), as is so often the case in “The Final Quest” he contradicts
this time and again. There is no doubt that his new revelations have led to
false teachings/doctrines and also led him into numerous spiritual experiences
that are just not scriptural. We have to wonder then how he can make statements
such as “Only scriptures deserve to be considered infallible,” (p.14),
when it is so clear that he doesn’t adhere to most of the scripture’s
himself. The truth is Joyner trusts his visions over and above scripture even
when they contradict the bible and he has been further encouraged down this
route by the message of this spirit, this counterfeit apparition of “St
”having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning
the faith have suffered shipwreck,” (1 Tim 1; 19).
4 xi) Seeking after greater
levels of revelation than those in scripture: Speaking again as if it were St Paul, in relation to revelation and teachings
in the church, this spirit says, “We can neither add
to or take away from what we planted in the earth, but you can.” “You are now
our hope,” (p. 135), and “you still have much writing to do” (p.
135), encouraging Joyner to add to and take away from the teachings of the
apostles in scripture through his own writings. Concerning the church it states “We
will not be the building we are supposed to be unless you go higher”,
(135), encouraging Joyner to go higher into greater revelatory knowledge than
he believes the bible presently contains. This apparition of “St Paul” also
says “if what I have written is used as a foundation, it will
not be able to hold the weight of that which needs to be built upon
133), again suggesting that if the church is based on the early apostles teaching
it will not support the new revelations and spiritual practices that Joyner
believes he is called to introduce. It is the epistles that most often contradict
Joyner’s “new revelations” and would have protected him
from deception had he adhered to them.
“avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what
is falsely called knowledge – by professing it some have strayed concerning
the faith,” (1 Tim 6; 20 - 21).
4 xii) Seeking new
revelations on a spiritual mountain: The message this
spirit brings is also reflected in Joyner’s earlier visions in Ch’s
1 and 2. These describe him seeking after new revelations as he climbs a spiritual
mountain. These visions contain a huge amount of symbolic imagery with very
little interpretation of this. Neither are we are told what any of Joyner’s
great new revelations are. Surely the reason God gives people genuine prophetic
revelations is so that this can be shared openly with the rest of the church
to edify the body of Christ, not that these revelations should be kept a secret?
Instead the emphasis of Joyners visions is simply to encourage the reader
to seek after new revelations themselves, in the same way that Joyner does,
with the vague promise of how amazing and empowering these will be. By undermining
their trust in most of scriptures those who follow this route will, like Joyner,
have nothing to test their revelations against.
4 xiii) Salvation a low
level of revelation? These visions depict “salvation” (p.78),
as the very lowest level of revelation on the mountain, whereas the bible
clearly states that this is the greatest possible revelation. Eph Ch 3 tells
us that “the fellowship of the mystery, (v. 9), and “the unsearchable
riches of Christ,” (v. 8), “has now been revealed,” (v.5),
so “that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made know by
the church” (v.
10). So the greatest revelations have already been revealed by God to the
church and there are no higher revelations to seek after as Joyner claims.
Instead the greatest revelations are all plainly displayed for us within the
pages of the bible. But Joyner states that “many Christians never wanted
to leave this level, being content to marvel at the basic doctrines of the
faith” (p.78). Joyner is then told by an eagle “You must go on!” (p.78),
and he and the dreaded warriors climb up toward the top of the mountain to
seek after these “higher” revelations that are not contained in
scripture. Joyner has clearly been deceived. The fact that he can’t,
or won’t, tell us plainly what his greater revelations are is in itself
“For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…they
will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from
the truth, and be turned aside to fables,” (2 Tim 4: 3, 4).
4 xiv) Using “new revelations” to
build a church that resembles the New Age: This apparition of “St Paul” tells Joyner that he
wants to see “the church in the last days become everything that the
church in their day had failed to attain,” (p.137). Concerning this
Joyner also states that we should “open our hearts and minds to realms
we do not now even know exist. This is what Satan is attempting to counterfeit
through the New Age Movement”. (p.127). It would appear therefore that
the new revelations that Joyner believes should be added to the church parallel
the beliefs and ideas of the New Age Movement. But the ways of Gods Holy Spirit
are nothing like those of the New Age Movement which is founded on witchcraft.
And if we do not presently even know that these realms exist then this can’t
be the spirituality recorded for us in the bible. See this video as an example
of the type of spirituality now practiced at Rick Joyner’s church, for
consideration, (link), (for more on this issue try sections 6 and 9).
“they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe
the lie… Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which
you were taught, whether by word or our epistle,” (2 Thess 2 11, 15).
4 xv) The message of
the kingdom: Oddly it is not until Joyner’s side
reach the very top level of revelation, at the peak of the mountain, that
they supposedly have an encounter with “Jesus,” and that “Jesus” unleashes
his sword and engages in the battle with them. This vision of “Jesus” tells
them “I must now share with you what I shared with your brothers after
My ascension – the message of my kingdom,” (p.36). But the message
of the kingdom has already been disclosed in the scriptures by Jesus and the
early apostles. It has not been kept a secret for Joyner’s side to discover
and then reveal to us 2000 year later. Joyner is implying that Christians
don’t already know what the message of the kingdom is which is a little
absurd. As with most of “The Final Quest” we are not told what
this great new revelation is. However we don’t need to go through a
long process of seeking increasingly great revelations during trances and
mystical experiences in order to obtain this knowledge. Joyner must therefore
believe in a different message of the kingdom, one that he does not reveal
to us in this book. Joyner has clearly been deceived by these visions and
a demonic manifestation falsifying an appearance of St Paul. Everything about
this spirits message encourages a movement away from the teachings of scripture
and to instead seek after new revelations which it claims are not contained
in the bible or presently known to the body of Christ. It is of great concern
that Joyner and his readers are also encouraged to use these new revelations,
and the new spiritual techniques they discover, in a spiritual civil war against
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless
the falling away comes first... The coming of the lawless one is according
to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with
all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive
the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will
send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,” (2 Thess
2; 3, 9 -12),