Joseph Herrin (06-03-2014)
II Corinthians 10:12, 18
For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding... For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
One thing that I have continually come across as I have looked at the lives of men and women who laid the foundation for the prophetic movement of this day, is that these individuals were self-promoters of the highest degree. Whether a person looks into the life of Alexander Dowie, John G. Lake, Aimee Semple McPherson, Kathryn Kuhlman, A.A. Allen, Oral Roberts, or any of the other big names of the healing movement, it is quickly discovered that these individuals invested much time and resources into building up their own reputations.
The one distinction I would note regarding these men and women of an earlier generation, and the present crop of leaders among the prophetic movement, is that there is a greater degree of cooperation and networking among those who are esteemed to be prophets, apostles, and spiritually gifted men and women of renown today. Whereas the early generation of healers were well known for their spirit of competition and jealousy, today’s prophetic leaders are much more likely to be found singing the praises of one another. This spirit of cooperation has proven to be mutually beneficial to all involved. It certain bolsters the financial bottom line, and increases name recognition when Jim Bakker, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle, Bill Johnson, Steve Schultz, and a myriad of others, all sell one another’s books, CDs, and DVDs at their respective websites.
The fame and regard afforded to those who appear as luminaries in the prophetic movement largely owes its existence to the frequent accolades that these ministers pay to one another. There is a sort of “you rub my back and I will rub yours” agreement that exists among them. Somewhere along the line, the leaders of the prophetic movement discovered that they were shooting themselves in the foot whenever they criticized another leader in this group. There appears to be a sort of gentleman’s agreement that they will cease and desist from offering criticism, even when the behavior or teaching of a colleague is so egregious that it demands nothing less than bold public censure.
At times the mutual admiration and praise is so obvious that it is astonishing no one seems to question the propriety of it. Take as an example, the celebration held at Morningstar this past December 6-7th to honor Rick Joyner’s 30 years of public ministry.
It is more than a little self-serving for Morningstar, a ministry which Rick Joyner founded and where he serves as Executive Director, to organize and host a 2 day celebration in honor of a currently serving leader. As Executive Director, Rick Joyner had to approve this use of the ministry’s resources and facilities. I am reminded of the following words of King Solomon.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.
Rick Joyner, and the Morningstar leadership may protest that they actually fulfilled this verse, for the celebration did feature other men offering up praise of Rick Joyner. Such a response would be disingenuous, however, for this was not a spontaneous offering. Morningstar invited a raft of well known personalities to show up for this two day event in order to celebrate Rick Joyner’s 30 years in ministry.
Some Who Were Invited to Celebrate Rick Joyner
More Who Were Invited
These two promotional images are taken from a video on Morningstar’s website that advertises this celebratory event.
Of course, each of the speakers received plenty of praise themselves, for even on the promotional page for this event there is a short biography of each speaker. Just in case people attending the event don’t know of the fame, spiritual greatness, or worldly achievements of these men, a bio is provided so everyone can be duly impressed.
Let us take as an example, the biographical statement for Lt.Gen. (Ret.) W.G. Boykin. The following information is provided.
Lt.Gen. (Ret.) W.G. Boykin was one of the elite warriors chosen in 1978 to make up the first unit in America's ultrasecretive and deadly Delta Force. He then became commander of the unit, and later still, commander of all U.S. Army Special Forces. His thirty-six years in the military included a tour at the Central Intelligence Agency and clandestine missions around the world. Jerry retired in 2007, serving his last four years as the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
Boykin is a leader of The Oak Initiative, a ministry of Morningstar in which Rick Joyner also serves in a leadership capacity. I would question why a man with General Boykin’s background should be associated with a ministry that bills itself as being Spirit led and empowered, doing the work of the Lord on the earth. Did his background with the “ultrasecretive and deadly Delta Force” impart to him some spiritual character that made him more Christ-like? Was Boykin able to violate the Lord’s statement with impunity where He stated “those who live by the sword will die by the sword”? Did not Boykin violate the counsel of the apostle Paul who declared “Do not be entangled with the affairs of this world”?
The biographical statement also relates that Boykin’s 36 years in the military included service at the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA was created by none other than President Harry S Truman, the 33rd degree Freemason who dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities. The CIA serves as the intelligence gathering, and death dealing arm of the global financial elite. It is well known that the CIA controls the global drug trade as well as running prisons throughout the world where men and women are tortured, humiliated, and killed. Who was General Boykin truly serving during his many years in the military? Was his career of violence and death dealing in service to Christ, or was it in service to the one whom Christ said “comes only to kill, steal, and destroy”?
I highly recommend the book War is a Racket written in 1935 by U.S. Marine Major General Smedley Butler. After a career in the U.S. military, including service during World War I, General Smedley Butler came to the realization that the only ones who profit from war are bankers and corporations, and their profits are huge. Butler sadly confessed that he had spent his years in military service as an “enforcer” for the biggest, most corrupt, group of racketeers that exist in this world. Blinded by patriotic fervor, few in the military realize that they are not servants of the United States people, nor are their activities promoting the welfare of America as a nation. They are indentured servants of a fascist corporate/government system that seeks always its own interests and profits. General Smedley Butler wrote:
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
[Source: Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket]
Unlike Major General Smedley Butler, not only has General Boykin not admitted the truth of his service as a death dealer for the global elite, but he is using his achievements in this industry of violence and destruction to impress Christians who have lost all discernment. General Boykin was made a Knight of Malta during the same investiture ceremony as Rick Joyner. These men are either profoundly blind leaders of the blind, or they have sold themselves intentionally to be servants of Satan and corrupters of the body of Christ.
The system works very well, nonetheless. As long as Christians have abandoned discernment, and it is no longer considered politically correct to examine a man’s life to see whether he is walking in conformity to the character of Christ, the church has become defenseless. The most ungodly men, and the greatest spiritual charlatans can sing the praises of one another and the body of Christ eats it up like candy.
Let me pass on to draw attention to the man who is at the top of the list of those who were invited to speak the praises of Rick Joyner. This is Bill Johnson. After I posted the recent blog exposing the bizarre and errant activities of Bill Johnson and the students of his Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, a reader posted a comment that included a link to an expose of a book that Bill Johnson contributed to (Thank you Carina).
Three of the men who spoke at Rick Joyner’s celebratory event contributed to this book; Bill Johnson, Bob Jones, and Larry Randolph. It would be naive to think that Rick Joyner does not find agreement with what is written by these men whom he counts as colleagues and fellow ministers in the prophetic movement. This book is a shockingly blatant endorsement of New Age spiritualism. Following are some excerpts from the tract offered at the link above that reviews this book. Please note that I do NOT agree with everything in this tract. I do agree, however, that Bill Johnson, Bob Jones, Larry Randolph, and those who walk in agreement with them, are teaching New Age spirituality.
The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson
By John Lanagan
At that time I could not find a single Christian leader who shared a similar interest in finding out if there were truths hidden in the New Age. Now we are beginning to hear more and more revelation that is in line with what New Agers have been saying all along and we are hearing more and more teaching about Christians “taking back truths” from the New Age that really belong to citizens of the Kingdom of God.
[Ellyn Davis, co-author, The Physics of Heaven]
In Redding, California, Bethel Church has become one of the largest evangelical churches in North America. Many people from around the world travel to Redding to attend the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, and C. Peter Wagner (“founder” of the New Apostolic Reformation movement) has called Bethel’s senior pastor, Bill Johnson, an “apostle.”
Given that title with claims on the church website that Bethel has a “global impact as a revival resource and equipping center,” it is expedient and responsible to examine Johnson and determine if he is indeed an apostle sent from God to the body of Christ.
The Physics of Heaven, a recent book Bill Johnson contributed to, and his personal assistant co-authored, reveals a very different picture than that of the apostles described in the Bible. It appears that rather than an apostle of God, Bill Johnson may be poised to serve as the vehicle that carries the New Age and quantum spirituality deep into the Body of Christ.
Being drawn to New Age ideas is not something new to Bethel’s leader. In a 2006 book titled Dreaming with God, Johnson writes, when referring to a practice associated with the New Age:
Many prominent pastors and conference speakers add fuel to the fire of fear by assuming that because the New Age promotes it, its origins must be from the devil. I find that form of reasoning weak at best. If we follow that line of thought we will continue to give the devil the tools that God has given us for success in life and ministry.
Stop and think about what is being said here: “the tools that God has given us” somehow ended up in the New Age? How did that happen? And which tools is he talking about? Why would a professing Christian say something like this? New Age teaching is in total opposition to the Word of God. To suggest that New Age practices are really just hijacked Christian truths is utterly absurd.
Research analyst Ray Yungen explains the basis of New Age thought:
Everything that exists, seen or unseen, is made up of energy - tiny particles of vibrating energy, atoms, molecules, protons, etc. All is energy. That energy, they believe, is God, and therefore, all is God. They believe that since we are all part of this “God-energy,” then we, too, are God. God is not seen as a Being that dwells in heaven, but as the universe itself.
Bill Johnson and Bethel Church exert significant influence in the body of Christ. And whatever path Bethel and its leaders travel is the path on which many will follow. We need to pay attention to what is happening here, using discernment and godly wisdom.
While Bill Johnson’s approach to prayer and worship and the extreme emphasis placed on signs and wonders has concerned many, it is the 2012 book titled The Physics of Heaven (in which Johnson is one of eleven contributors) that indicates the real direction Johnson and Bethel are heading.
In addition to Johnson’s own contribution to the book (one full chapter), his personal assistant, Judy Franklin, is a co-author; and the foreword of The Physics of Heaven is written by Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate leader at Bethel. Vallotton lauds the contributors as “seers.” Banning Liebscher, Director of Bethel’s Jesus Culture, adds his praise. Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni Johnson, also has a chapter in the book. With all that, The Physics of Heaven undeniably has the approval of Bethel’s leaders.
So what does The Physics of Heaven reveal?
The Next Move of God?
Ellyn Davis, one of the authors of The Physics of Heaven, says this:
[The contributors of the book] all agree that the next move of God will cause a shift at the deepest level of who we are - perhaps the very “vibrational level” that the New Age movement has been exploring. They also all agree that there are precious truths hidden in the New Age that belong to us as Christians and need to be extracted from the worthless.
Contributor Jonathan Welton adds:
I have found throughout Scripture at least 75 examples of things that the New Age has counterfeited, such as having a spirit guide, trances, meditation, auras, power objects, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and more. These actually belong to the church, but they have been stolen and cleverly repackaged.
We need to begin to use [New Age] counterfeits as signposts. Every time a counterfeit shows up, take it as the Lord presenting you with an opportunity to reclaim . . . the Church’s stolen property.
This is like taking a bottle with a “Poison!” warning on it and re-labeling it, “Honey.” Contemplative prayer, which is essentially Eastern/New Age meditation disguised with Christian terminology, entered the church in just this manner.
Co-author Ellyn Davis asserts:
It wasn’t that I wanted to become a New Ager, I just wanted to find out if maybe they had uncovered some truths the church hadn’t.
Davis then attempts to justify her position by claiming much of what she found “embodied biblical principles” and “could be backed up by Scripture...”
Bill Johnson’s view of Scripture may give us a clue as to how he ended up being attracted to extra-biblical leanings. According to Johnson:
Those who feel safe because of their intellectual grasp of Scriptures enjoy a false sense of security. None of us has a full grasp of Scripture, but we all have the Holy Spirit. He is our common denominator who will always lead us into truth. But to follow Him, we must be willing to follow off the map - to go beyond what we know.
This is dangerous thinking. The Bible is our map. To go “beyond what we know” is to go beyond the parameters of Scripture...
The Physics of Heaven, whether intentionally or unintentionally, serves to illustrate how the false church will form - or, more accurately, how it is forming. New Age practices will increasingly be welcomed into the Body of Christ. These practices will be presented as redeemed or Christian in origin. The church will be subverted - turned toward Eastern/New Age/Quantum mysticism. Language, terms, and trappings may even remain essentially “Christian” - but acceptance of the biblical Christ will diminish.
In light of this, consider how The Physics of Heaven describes what God is supposedly going to bring about. A theme of the book is that God may somehow bestow incredible power on believers through vibrations/sounds/frequencies/energies, with “sound” mentioned a number of times throughout the book:
This book is just a precursor to the revelation that God is going to give us when He releases a new, transforming sound.
We’re talking about 10 times the power that was released at Pentecost.
The sound God desires to release will chase religion from the church and bring truth.
[We] suspect God is up to something new—something that will transform us at the deepest level of who we are and will be ushered in by a new form of “sound” or “vibration.”
This coming new sound . . . can change DNA so we are genetically growing up. Your genetics are the same as His was. Our genetics came out of the Father in our spirit. We are becoming like an instrument being tuned, where our genetics are getting aligned with the Father’s genetics, in harmony with Him.
What if there really are “good vibrations” that God has imbedded into everything He created and we just need to be open to experiencing them?
[W]e became interested in such weird and wonderful phenomena as energy, frequencies, vibrations, and quantum physics.
What The Physics of Heaven is doing is turning God into more of a cosmic quantum force that permeates everything rather than a Creator who is separate from His creation as described in the Bible (e.g., Romans 1:25; Isaiah 42:8; 46:9). New Agers frequently talk about sounds and vibrations as signs of this “god” force. Occult “prophetess” Alice Bailey says:
[T]here is a group of human beings, integrating now . . . upon whom is laid the burden of leading humanity. They are starting movements that have in them the new vibration, they are saying things that are universal in their tone, they are enunciating principles that are cosmic...
Bethel and Contemplative Prayer
Some may be asking, what would cause an evangelical church to become receptive to New Age ideas and concepts? For Johnson and Bethel, as with so many Christian leaders and churches today, contemplative prayer has played a significant role in “conditioning” the people at Bethel to head in the New Age direction. There is much irony in suggesting, “[E]very time a counterfeit shows up, take it as the Lord presenting you with an opportunity to reclaim . . . the Church’s stolen property,” since this is how contemplative prayer snaked its way into the body of Christ in the first place.
Contemplative adherents, such as Richard Foster, have convinced Christians that Eastern and New Age meditation are actually counterfeits of the real deal (i.e., contemplative prayer). Contemplative prayer is presented as an ancient Christian tradition.
Yet, contemplative prayer is not prayer at all. It is essentially Eastern/New Age meditation thinly coated with Christian terminology. The goal in contemplative prayer is to stop the thinking process and to enter what is known as the silence. This is accomplished by repeating a word or phrase over and over (or focusing on the breath) until the word loses its meaning and the mind becomes void.
In this void—this silence—many wonderful deceptions can occur: spirit guides, ascendant masters, oneness, bliss, false “christs.” The deception that occurs through contemplative prayer destroys doctrinal soundness and ultimately even faith.
In comparison, when we are truly “meditating” on God’s Word, the mind remains active, and we ponder upon or think about the Word of God. Never do we try to cease active thought in order to empty our mind or as Ray Yungen says putting our mind into “neutral” so that God can supposedly fill it.
Where does Bethel stand with regard to contemplative prayer? There is ample evidence that Bethel has embraced it. For example, Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni, oversees Bethel’s prayer intercessors and Prayer House. In a book that Beni compiled, in a chapter she wrote on prayer titled, “Mystics, Mystical Experiences, and Contemplative Prayer” she says that the chapter is “dedicated to the mystics, the contemplatives, those now and those who have gone on before us.”
Like all committed contemplatives, Beni believes, “When it comes to prayer and intercession, words are important but not necessary.”
Practicing contemplative prayer changes how one understands spiritual things. Beni writes:
A thin place is where heaven and earth are close. It is easier to experience the spiritual realm in these places.
Now you know where all the nonsense about visiting graves of dead mystics who professed to be disciples of Christ comes from. You can perceive why Mike Bickle at IHOP thinks there is spiritual blessing and impartation to be received by locating to President Harry S Truman’s property, and why Rick Joyner and Morningstar feel the same way about Moravian Falls, North Carolina. These are viewed as “thin places” where access to the spiritual realm is more readily accomplished.
It should be noted that what Mike Bickle has promoted at IHOP with its non-stop, 24/7 music and open prayer rooms, is a form of contemplative prayer. The interns at IHOP are taught to fixate on some romantic image of the Christ, and to quiet their minds. They open themselves up to mystical experiences, and the music serves as a mind drug to put them into the proper contemplative attitude. This is more readily accomplished when interns are encouraged to visit the prayer rooms at all hours of the night when their minds are tired, and their thoughts are fuzzy.
The same thing occurs at Morningstar with their emphasis on “prophetic music.” If you listen to the albums Morningstar produces, a single song may be 20-30 minutes long, consisting of phrases that are repeatedly sung producing a sort of spiritual stupor among those in the audience.
As far back as 1933, Watchman Nee warned about this form of New Age/Eastern Mysticism entering into the church. In his book titled The Latent Power of the Soul he warns Christians of the danger of mistaking the stimulation of the soul of man for a divine spiritual work. This is another book that I highly recommend. The Preface includes the following statement.
When in 1924 I first called the attention of God’s children to the dividing of spirit and soul, many well-disposed brethren thought of it as merely a dispute over words having no great significance. What they failed to see was that our conflict is not concerned with word but with that which lies behind. The spirit and the soul are two totally different organs: one belongs to God, while the other belongs to man. By whatever names one may call them, they are completely distinct in substance. The peril of the believer is to confuse the spirit for the soul and the soul for the spirit, and so be deceived into accepting the counterfeit of evil spirits to the unsettling of God’s work.
This series of articles had originally been intended to be written immediately following the completion (in 1928) of “The Spiritual Man.” But because of physical weakness and the heavy burden of other service, I was only able to have them published in last year’s issues of Revival magazine. In response to the request of its readers, I now put forth this booklet.
The greatest advantage in knowing the difference between spirit and soul is in perceiving the latent power of the soul and in understanding its falsification of the power of the Holy Spirit. Such knowledge is not theoretical but practical in helping people to walk in God’s way.
Just last night I was reading what F. B. Meyer once said in a meeting shortly before his earthly departure. Here is a section of it:
“This is an amazing fact that never has there been so much spiritualism outside the church of Christ as is found today... Is it not factual that in the lower part of our human nature the stimulation of the soul is quite prevailing? Nowadays the atmosphere is so charged with the commotion of all kinds of counterfeit that the Lord seems to be calling the church to come to a higher ground.”
Today’s situation is perilous. May we “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5.21). Amen.
March 8, 1933
There exists today a large number of evil workers among the body of Christ who are leading the people of God into the bondage of deception. These men and women in positions of leadership go about praising one another, extolling the spiritual insight and divine power resident in each other. Christians who are impressed with spiritual manifestation more than spiritual fruit will be led astray. Tragically, these false leaders are immensely successful in their efforts. Their influence goes far beyond their own churches and organizations and is infiltrating churches worldwide.
Brothers and sisters, you need to test ALL THINGS carefully. Do not be impressed with the pedigrees of men. How many do you suppose read on the Morningstar website of the accomplishments of General Boykin, his involvement with the elite killers of Delta Force and service with the CIA, and were impressed by what they read? The Son of God is NOT impressed by such things. The day will come when men like W.G. Boykin will stand ashamed of the very things of which they now boast. Like the apostle, Paul they should renounce the vanity and shame of all the years they spent in darkness.
If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Yahshua my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, that I may gain Christ...
Brothers and sisters, we live in a very dark hour spiritually. Truth is being eclipsed. Spiritual manifestations are accounted as evidence of divine approval. Those who despise the practice of discernment, of judging all men and their teachings, will suffer greatly as Satan’s deceptions advance. The end of the age is upon us. Let us walk in soberness and wisdom
The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
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