i) Spiritualism instead of Gods Holy Spirit: We saw in Chapter 5 of these
notes that Joyner believes he has received some of his most important
prophetic messages from the spirits of the deceased in “heaven.” In
his visions he is also guided, gifted and empowered by the great white
eagles which he believes are the spirits of the deceased returned to earth, “I
recognised the eagle as a man,” (p. 65). This, however, is not biblical
Christianity at all but is spiritualism. Joyner’s spiritual experiences
are almost identical to the way in which New Ager’s seek assistance
from spirit guides, (which are really demons manifesting as familiar spirits).
“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).
6 ii) Witchcraft spiritual warfare: We also saw in Chapter 5 that Joyner engages
in a form of spiritual warfare that is identical to the casting of spells
within witchcraft. He does this by firing his new found “revelations” at
demons, (which supposedly get destroyed by this), as well as at the opposing
Christians. He does this in a bid to get these other Christians to accept
his “new revelations” against their will. This is highly controlling
and injures the opposing Christians that he targets, “We did wound many
of our own brethren,” (p. 129). This bad fruit is further evidence that
Joyner has been deceived and is moving in a witchcraft form of spiritual warfare.
Contrary to what a lot of Christians believe we know from scripture that the
occult can bestow real power upon people which can appear to be from God;
“Simon who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished
the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all
from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power
of God”, (Acts 8; 9, 10).
6 iii) New Age forms of spirituality: Joyner claims that, as Christians, we
should “open our own 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). As believers, though, we already know about the
spirituality that the first Christians experienced during the New Testament
era since this is described for us in the pages of the bible. What Joyner
is advocating is clearly something other than this. There is only one other
type of spirituality and that is the New Age/occult itself. This explains
why Joyner sees such a similarity between his experiences and those of New
Agers. This also explains why Joyner perceives that his “new” spirituality
is different to that of the New Testament Apostles. In Chapter 4 we saw that
Joyner believes his “new” form of spirituality is far superior
to that of the early Apostles of Jesus. We know from scripture that there
is an alternative, deceptive, occult form of miracle producing spirituality
that is sent to deceive and lead believers and unbelievers astray;
“according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying
6iv) An occult form of spiritual gifting: Joyner’s new spiritual gifts
double up as the “new revelations” he discovers as he climbs up
each new level on the spiritual mountain. These also operate as spiritual
weapons which also become more powerful the higher up the mountain he goes.
Joyner’s side fire these gifts/weapons at demons to destroy them. There
is no mention of any such practice of gifting in the bible though. Other gifts
of prophetic insights are given to Joyner’s side, and are fanned into
flame, by the great white eagles, (the spirits of people who have died). One
eagle tells Joyner, “I am here to awaken these gifts in you,” (p.
59). Joyner believes that in the future this will enable him to “look
at something or someone and know their past, present and future all at once,” (p.12),
an ability that he believes will enable him and the other new leaders to pass
judgment on other Christians. The gifts aren’t used to judge people
according to the bible though. There is no similarity at all between the gifts
Joyner claims to have discovered and the gifts of the Holy Spirit as recorded
in scripture. Joyner’s gifts come from another source altogether, not
from the Holy Spirit.
“to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working
of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another
different kinds of tongues...”(1 Cor 12; 10).
6 v) Levels and self effort spirituality: According to the bible God’s
spiritual gifts come to His people by grace alone, (1 Cor Ch 12), not by striving
to climb up ascending levels of spiritual enlightenment which is a New Age
concept. At one level on the mountain, for e.g. an angel tells Joyner “Those
who reach this level are entrusted with the powers of the age to come,” (p.
30). What Joyner describes is again identical to the spiritual ways seen within
the occult. Greater gifting and secret “revelation” and “knowledge” is
supposedly released to people the higher up they ascend within the 33 levels
of Freemasonry for e.g. It is worth noting that Joyner doesn’t inform
us what his new revelations are that he has supposedly found up this mountain,
they remain his secret, (apart from the knowledge he tells us he acquired
to control the spirits of the dead once he reached the very top level of revelation
on the mountain). The bible informs us that in Gods Kingdom the Lord can give
any of the spiritual gifts to whoever He chooses and this is not dependant
on anything other than God’s will not mans spiritual attainment. In
1 Cor 14; 1 St Paul encourages us to seek after these gifts and it is often
those who simply ask for them in prayer in response to this who God gives
these gifts to. At other times the Lord may gift someone without them even
asking. God can give the greatest gifts, (such as prophecy), to a new or young
Christian, as most of us have probably witnessed. It is simply down to Gods
choice and Gods grace not what a person has attained to spiritually. The gifts
are there to build the church up not to exalt the person who received them.
This is not even dependant on the degree to which someone has attained sanctification.
The scale of a person’s ministry can depend on that but not which spiritual
gifts they are given by God.
“For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all be
Cor 14: 31).
6 vi) The Judges and a controlling and unbiblical form of leadership: In Joyner’s
visions leadership is also bestowed upon the “dreaded champions” (p.
56), who reach the highest levels of revelation at the top of the mountain.
They also acquire the greatest level of gifting and this enables them emerge
as “judges,” (p. 128), first over God’s people then over
the entire world. According to the bible, though, leaders should be chosen
on the basis of their godly character not on the basis of their visions or
spiritual gifts, although they should be able to teach. Within the occult
it is also those who obtain the most spiritual power and gifting for themselves
who emerge as leaders over others. In Gods Kingdom, however, leaders are called
to be servants who put others first. Jesus also told us that leaders should
not use their authority to lord it over people. By contrast Joyner and the
judges rule over other Christians and judge them instead of this being undertaken
by the Lord. We have seen a reflection of this in the real world amongst several
of Joyner’s compatriots in the Sheppard’s Rod scandals that shook
the church in the 1990’s. These so called “prophets” prophesied
to all the Christians in their congregations that they had to pass under the
prophets Sheppard’s Rod for judgement, even the pastors, so the prophet
could judge if each person had produced enough fruit of the Spirit that year
or not. Jesus explicitly taught against judging one another in such ways in
Matthew 7; 1, and said “judge not.” We are called to test each
other’s visions and prophecies to see if they are really from the Lord
but are not called to judge one another’s motives or fruit because only
God is permitted to do that. In his dreams Joyner’s elite group of judges
become exalted over others almost to the level of gods due to the gifting
and the power they attain. This also reflects the situation within the occult.
In Gods Kingdom, though, leaders are chosen on the basis of their godly character
not according to which spiritual gifts they have been given.
“If a man desires the position of a bishop... then he must be blameless...
temperate, sober minded, of good behaviour, hospitable... not given to wine,
not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle...” (1 Tim 3; 1 - 3).
6 vii) William Branham’s influence on Joyner: In Chapter 7 of this study
we saw that, as a child, Joyner received the teachings of William Branham
who, in ignorance, often moved in the occult himself. Branham even claimed
that the pyramids and signs of the zodiac carried as much spiritual authority
as the bible. Branham ended his days as a false prophet and false teacher,
as most Christians now agree, (see Chapter 8). He appeared to believe he was
Christ Himself or at least Gods leading Messenger angel in the end times.
Joyner’s focus on seeking after strange prophetic visions in order to
acquire extra biblical knowledge and power precisely mirrors that of Branham.
Branham’s ministry and teaching has clearly been a deceptive influence
on Joyner ever since his childhood, years before Joyner found any semblance
of faith in Christ.
“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).
6 viii) Joyner’s unhealthy longing for spiritual experiences: Rick
Joyner displays the same exaggerated desire for self glorifying visions as
Branham did. Joyner writes “I have prayed for
twenty-five years to be caught up into the third heaven like the apostle Paul,"
(p. 44). The
Apostle Paul didn’t spend his days seeking after or longing for amazing
visions though he was too busy serving others. Whilst Joyner believed he was
in heaven he then asks an “angel” named Wisdom, “Is
this the third heaven?" Wisdom answers, “this
is part of it,” (p. 45).
The same angel then informs Joyner that his visions are superior to those
of St Johns in the Book of Revelation which is quite preposterous really.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness
of mind let each esteem others as better than himself,” (Phi 2;3).
6 ix) Joyner is not led by the Holy Spirit. There is no mention of Joyner
ever being led by the Holy Spirit anywhere in the 158 pages of “The
Final Quest.” In fact I could only find a few references to the Holy
Spirit at all which was very surprising. Instead Joyner constantly refers
to being guided by messages from spirits of the deceased. This parallels the
emphasis New Agers and others involved in the occult have. Like Joyner they
occasionally use the term “holy spirit” but have hardly any emphasis
on this either. Instead of being led by the Holy Spirit Joyner is commended
by “angels” for making his own decisions concerning which spiritual
routes to take in his quest. He also uses trial and error as the way to discover
how to best use the “new gifts” he finds and as spiritual weapons.
After Joyner writes “I was stunned that we had made another decision
of such importance just by thinking and briefly discussing it,” (p.32).
It is only much later on in the book, when Joyner is close to becoming one
of the greatest Christian leaders of all time in his visions, that he realizes
that he could have been praying to God for guidance, something which many
young Christians do from day one. Joyner’s lack of knowledge about being
led by the Spirit is also reflected in his following statement, “We
passed levels of truth very fast. On most of them we did not even bother to
look around if there was not a weapon apparent that would work,” (p.
34). Joyner therefore describes a form of spirituality that is directed by
the spirits of the dead and the carnal mind not the Holy Spirit.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God,” (Rm’s
6 x) Joyner is followed by an angel who turns out to be Jesus. Instead of
attempting to be led by the Holy Spirit Joyner is followed by an angel named
Wisdom, “The angel... it was wisdom,” (p. 42). Later on Joyner
realises that this angel is Jesus Christ Himself, “Lord...when you first
appeared to me as Wisdom”, (p. 149). So Jesus Christ follows Joyner
throughout most of his visionary quest rather than the other way around. Joyner
also informs us that as he ascended the mountain of new revelations, “I
had not noticed that we had left Wisdom far behind... He would catch up with
us at the top,” (p. 34). Jesus said, however;
“He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you
can do nothing,” ( Jn 15; 5).
6 xi) A self centered form of spirituality: The self centeredness of Joyner’s
spirituality is also reflects that of the occult. This consistently glorifies
Joyner himself instead of the Lord which appeals to the flesh. Joyner “Immediately
the entire host of heaven seemed to stand at attention, and I knew that I was
the centre of their attention,” (p.110). This self centred focus exists
throughout all of Joyner’s spiritual experiences in “The Final Quest” and
is in complete contrast to scriptures directions on what attitude to adopt;
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,” (Luke
6 xii) Jesus is not glorified: None of Joyner’s visions or dreams give
very much glory to the Lord; instead it is Joyner and the eagles, (the spirits
of deceased saints), who are constantly exalted. Joyner claims, for example,
that “As I began to walk past these angels, they bowed to one knee and
showed me great respect”, (p.56). I do not recollect any mention of God
in “The Final Quest,” and Jesus, the Son of God, plays an almost
background, minor role in events. Joyner claims that Jesus only joined in the
spiritual battle towards the very end once Joyner had battled his way to the
very top of the mountain. When claiming to see “Jesus,” in heaven
Joyner also says, “His appearance was rather ordinary,” (p. 40).
The references to Jesus in Chapter IV of “The Final Quest” are also
of a distant far off Judge who it is very hard to warm to. Instead of the God
centered emphasis we see in the bible Joyner’s entire book reflects a situation
where angels, the spirits of the dead and Joyner himself are the focus of glory
instead of Jesus. This is also the emphasis we see in the occult. Whilst supposedly
worshipping Jesus Joyner claims, “When I opened my eyes I was surprised
to see that the Lord was not there any longer, but a troop of angels standing
where He had been,” (p. 42). This suggests that Joyner had ended up unintentionally
worshipping these angels in “heaven” instead of the Lord without
even realizing that the Lords presence had departed from there. There are many
other subtle ways in which Joyner’s visions undermine the glorified position
the Lord really has in heaven.
“Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility
of angels” (Col 2:18, 19).
6 xiii) Angels bow to Joyner: Joyner claims that he is also given authority to
control angels. One angel tells Joyner “We are your servants... you must
lead us,” (p.70). He informs us that he has this authority over angels
because he has “the highest rank in the kingdom,” (p. 56). Joyner
becomes so accustomed to such experiences that he writes “I had become
so familiar with the spiritual realms that I hardly noticed angels anymore,” (p.
72). In the bible the angels always do Gods will though and receive direction
from Him alone not the will of man.
“What is man...You have made him a little lower than the angels,” (Heb
6 xiv) Joyner alone issues the commands to the spirits of the deceased: As we
have seen in Chapter 5 of these notes it is Joyner alone who is given authority
to command the spirits of the deceased, (the great white eagles), into battle
on his sides behalf. No one except Joyner is ever described as ever having any
authority over these spirits or over the angels. It is always Rick Joyner and
no one else who is seen exalted. His visions, trances and dreams are self glorifying
in the extreme.
“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).
6 xv) Other men in awe of Joyner: Joyner also believes that other Christians
will be in awe of him. He writes, for example, that the other, “soldiers...
looked at me in astonishment with a deference,” (p. 48). Whilst in “heaven” Joyner
also claims that, “Everyone there showed respect to me,” (p. 115).
I am not suggesting that Joyner is more self centred or egotistical than other
people by nature but that his visions and dreams promote this earthbound, self
centred and grandiose attitude. This is further bad fruit and evidence that these
visions do not come from the Lord but are occult in nature.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness
mind let each consider others as better than himself,” (Phil 2; 3 ).