Category Archives: charismatic

The Politics of Pentecostalism

Well hello all.  Nathaniel here again after…..well….let’s say awhile.  What has prodded me out of my blogging cryochamber you might ask?? Simply this concern…the NAR is flexing its political muscle.  Rick Perry, Texas GOP governor, is an early favorite for the Republican nomination.  He doesn’t mince words when taking a strong stance against illegal immigration and a swelling bait and switch Social Security problem.  However, where does his theology actually sit?  This is not as clear…especially when he links arms with self-proclaimed NAR apostles, Don Finto, Lou Engle, and of course Mike Bickle.  Do we want rabid Zionism in the form of apostolic pre-millenialism at work…not in fringe church expressions, but through the bulging bicep of the U.S. presidency?  Check out Finto  (the old bald white guy with the beard) at a recent Perry prayer rally named “The Response” (note: the official website for “The Response” has been wiped from the internet):

 Here’s Finto with Bickle and Engle getting their crazy on in Jerusalem:

Here is an amazing resource which links and exposes the NAR and their political links to Palin, Perry, and many others:

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2010/1/20/131544/037

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Filed under charismatic, dominionism, political

Let’s take a walk. How a nice-guy-stoner became a Christian. A tell all about God’s grace.

Starting out:

I smoked a lot of weed. I didn’t really drink much, but I did sometimes. The whole time I was active in some sort of church thing. I hid it very well. My really close friends in that time knew how I really got down, but didn’t know all the church/faith stuff. I wasn’t exactly raised in a Christian home, but my Mom always showed Christ to me in her tender care for me.

God really hit me hard a couple of times in those days. The first real party I went to as a Junior, I was lighting up in a friend’s back yard, and this dude I didn’t even know walked up to me and said “Hey aren’t you that preacher guy?”.. Talk about awkward, embarrassing and shameful. I played it off, said “Yeah, kind of.” He asked me (and he was hammered, very hammered) “What are you doing getting stoned?” I replied with complete irreverence of God saying “God wants His kids to have fun!” I didn’t even believe that at the time, I just said it to save face, a weakness I’ve always had. Anyways, there was that time, after that I sort of stayed out of that particular public scene but kept on doing my dirt. Still did church stuff, leading up to a time where I was allowed to speak during a contemporary church service, there was maybe 40 people there. I spoke on “In the beginning”. That’s all I remember, but people told me they liked it. Shortly after that service I went to a friend’s house where myself and 6 other people each rolled up a blunt to smoke to the head (for those who don’t know what that means, it’s weed rolled up in a cigar wrap, and “smoke to the head” means we each had one for ourselves, no sharing). That night I had a very scary experience. It was only after about 5 minutes of smoking, we were standing in a drive-way, I was leaning against a friend’s car, a bright white light flashed. I woke up about 30 minutes later (so they told me) sitting in the driver’s seat of my “friends” car at the time, they didn’t care to take me to a hospital or call 911. Anyways, the picture was clear to me. I just taught God’s people the Bible, then I just mocked God by denying him with my actions shortly after. Boom, knocked out. Weed never did that to me, not even the strongest I’d had. No doubt, it could have been the weed itself, but I can certainly see that as a means that God nudged me with. I still didn’t stop living the lie. I kept on with it, tried to be a cool kid, learned a lot of scripture at the time too. I was so deluded to believe that smoking weed and reading the Bible would actually enhance my spiritual understanding. It didn’t. Anyways, life went on, I graduated from High School by the skin of my teeth and the fake charm I showed to the teachers and counselors. At the time I just lived by every moment, I didn’t think deeply about the big picture of life. That today may be the last day I live, and it may not be. When you put life in that perspective, you see (I hope) that no matter how spiritual you are, you aren’t doing life right. Maybe we never feel that assurance, but I have something close to it.

On with the story:

I graduated High School, got an apartment at 18 years of age. Many of you remember those times. I had some parties, lots of friends crashing there and smoking a lot of weed, eating mushrooms, drinking a little. This was probably the time that I see as the darkest in my life. I was happy in a sense that I had friends, people who would take a bullet for me, all that. But what good is that really? Security provides a little bit of comfort, but the fact that we have that need for security shows that we are incapable within ourselves to achieve total independence. Anyways, after two room-mates (who are still my good friends now) came in and out of my apartment, I was left alone. I couldn’t keep a job for the life of me. I tried construction (basically the only job in my hometown) and I nearly killed my boss, seriously. I almost dropped a gigantic ladder on him. Needless to say, that didn’t work out. I started selling weed, not much, but a little here and there. This gave me some pride to think that people were dependent on something that I could provide that could in turn make them happy. Basically, I gave some weed to some guys (who were also ecstasy addicts) and they got busted with it, and ratted me out. So, this is where it all gets interesting. I had about 1/2 lb of weed with me that I had to sell. I get a call asking for that same amount, so naturally (and idiotically) I accepted the offer. Four random guys show up at my house, not the guy that I had planned the deal with. Their car backed into the parking spot, they came in weighed out the bag, broke some out of the brick, and said we could have a smoke, as I started to roll it up, they were out the door, speeding off.

They robbed me. At the time I was so furious about it. Right now I am extremely grateful to God for letting it happen. It was God’s providence that it happened. It was in God’s pursuit of me that He allowed me to see where my path was heading, in a real way.

Remember me mentioning that these guys ratted me out to the cops? Well, the whole setup was supposed to be a sting operation. They come in, make the transaction, leave, cops show up, cart me off to jail, and that’s it. In their minds, if they rob me, they’ll get the weed, and won’t have to worry about my retaliation. Which was something to worry about considering the people that I supplied, and the network of friends I had. There has been no other time in my life when I have seen exactly how pathetic I was. On top of the world, have a gang of friends, but completely pathetic, and prideful in the midst of it. To end this part of the story, ultimately nothing ever came of the sting operation, other than that the guys who robbed me went to jail for a while shortly after the whole thing happened. I can’t disclose how I know about the whole issue of me about to get arrested. I have a completely clean record, and the justice that I deserved to fall right on me did not happen.

More stuff happened in between that, in short, me hiding from people who busted in my house (guys who really wanted to hurt me). Also, me coming up with an escape plan. Escaping that town, where I had left a trail of bones. Friends, girls, Christians, I was just evil. They probably don’t think so now, I was always a pretty nice guy (I think) but in retrospect, it was all a game in order for me to get what I wanted.

So, off to Asheville I went. This was something new, going somewhere that I don’t know anybody, don’t have a job, but in a safe, and really cool place. This time was peaceful, I remember that. Although my demons followed me, I eventually found a source for some weed, and even traveled back to my home town to get some if I had to. My real friends kept in touch during this time, but we had all grown apart. We all had our own issues going on, maybe that’s just what happens after High School with people. I’ve noticed some people just stay in the same place, and do the same stuff they did in High School after High School. I admire a lot of those folks, but I’m just not one of them. I even think that some of them don’t want to be that, but they’re afraid to step out and move for various reasons. So, as a side note, if you’re one of those folks. Leave, but leave in a smart way, make plans. I was basically forced to go for a job by my loving Mom who I was living with at the time. This landed me at a grocery store, third shift stocking. What a crappy job. This too, was God’s grace flooding me. I got to working there and I met the person who is now one of my best friends, Michael Moody.

Me and Mike:

So, here I was, this little wannabe hip hop kid who just came from a world of self-deception which was fostered by his lifestyle, working 3rd shift at his first real job (that he could do, unlike construction). To describe my spirituality at the time, I really thought that I was above the religious stuff since I’d read the Bible, and knew it pretty well. I’d argued against those of other faiths. For some reason that led me to think I just had it all under control. I was 19, haha. I called myself a Christian, but there wasn’t even a bite of fruit in my life. So, this tattooed guy Mike who I worked with was a brand spanking new Christian. He may not remember this part, but I do. One of his friends from school had just died (we are the same age). He talked to me about Christ that night, but he was basically asking questions, and I found myself being able to basically answer them, or at least explore them in some fashion. This was pivotal for me, I all the sudden woke up and realized that I actually learned some things, and speaking about scripture felt natural to me. I asked myself… am I actually answering questions about Christianity? How could I do such a thing with the life I just came from?! Anyways, I had made a friend (he’s easy to become friends with, I’m going to tag him in this note, you should add him). He said I could go to church with him, and boy, talk about a journey.

We land at a very charismatic church. Some of you don’t know what I mean when I say “charismatic church”, basically it’s a church who believes in the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, which is stuff like speaking in tongues, prophecy, stuff like that. When I got there, I really let loose. I raised my hands in the service, and I felt this pull in me saying “submit to Christ”. At the time, it was just another piece of security for me. I did feel free, I do think I had some spiritual experiences, but I wasn’t whole. After 3 hours of church, we went to another church in downtown Asheville, where all the hippie Christians were. It was pretty cool, intense too. The church was meeting in Pritchard Park, during the service a man practicing voodoo walked through with incense and speaking curses on the fellowship, everyone just stared at him, didn’t react. The congregation showed amazing patience. The man was gone, and it just kept on going! What security! Then, after that, Mike dragged me to ANOTHER church! Well, this wasn’t considered a church, but it was a sanctuary for about 30 hippie kids and myself for a few years. This fellowship was something very unique. They too believed in the charismatic gifts, and the group was small, so I had a little more up close and personal experiences with the use of the gifts (to this particular group). Worship was different, guitar, and bongo drums. Everybody there loved the scripture. There were people there (very hippie’d out people) who could recite long passages of scripture from memory. I was amazed, this is something I wanted. Again, to shorten this story, I met some awesome folks who told me about a ministry in California called Prodigal Project. This ministry was primarily to the New Age kids in San Francisco and at Rainbow Gatherings. If you aren’t familiar with New Age or Rainbow Gatherings, search it out on the internet to find out about it.

Road to leaving for Prodigal Project:

So, remember, Mike and I worked 3rd shift at a grocery store, the job was getting a little better, I was still smoking a little weed (much less than I used to). Mike and I were entertaining the idea of going to check out Prodigal Project. We sold some of his stuff, I used my last paycheck to buy a Greyhound Bus ticket from Asheville, NC to Leggett, Ca where Prodigal Project was located. Mike couldn’t come yet, had to set some things up before he could come. Maybe he’ll write out his part of the story, that’d be cool.

Greyhound Nightmares:

There I was, boarding a bus with more bags than I could carry, I had books, clothes, a bag of oranges, some drinks. Preparing for a 2 day road trip with every kind of person you could imagine. Smelly homeless people, gang members (real ones, not wannabes), met some skinheads, you name it, it was on the Greyhound. That trip was just exhausting every moment of it, I was loaded with bags to carry, and we stopped at so many sketchy stations, I didn’t use the bathroom the whole time because I had so many bags I couldn’t lug them around with me. I couldn’t go buy any food either for the same reason. I literally remember saying “Jesus, prove that you can keep me from dying on this trip.” There was even some young girls I met on the ride who I talked to, they got off in St. Louis, they were on their way to somewhere else, they never showed up to the bus (after a 5 hour layover). I still wonder what happened to them. Well, I arrived in Leggett, CA, the bus stop was right in the middle of the Redwoods, at a little gas station. I had some change, I was supposed to call Prodigal Project and they would pick me up. The first thing I did was set all of those bags down, I felt like I was on a cloud, I laid down on a picnic table and fell asleep for about an hour. I got up and called, and called, and called, no answer! Then I remembered that the ministry was within walking distance of the gas station. That could mean anything, 10 miles, 5 miles, 100 yards, who knows, but it was getting dark. I walked left down the 101 for about 30 minutes. That was the wrong way. So I turned around, got back to the gas station (it was closed) then laid down again for a bit, grabbed my stuff, turned right out of the parking lot, then this young hippie girl (who I expect was maybe stoned out of her mind?) walked out of the woods to the road. I recognized her from the Greyhound, I didn’t know she got off at my stop. Anyways, I asked her if she knew about Prodigal Project, she said that’s where she was going, and went on to tell me about how she ran away from there and stuff. So, we arrive at the ministry after walking a while (can’t really remember how far, probably less than a mile). I met some of the staff there, and it was so funny, they were just like me personality-wise saying “yeah we heard the phone, but we didn’t want to answer it” haha. It was funny to me at the time, and plus I was delirious and sleepy too. So they set me up in a cabin with some other guys who were there, and there I was, on the other side of America, in a very different place, with mega-huge trees.

The land of big trees:

I was finally at Prodigal Project. It was dark outside. I was laying on a top bunk in a tiny cabin with 3 other guys snoring in other bunks. I laid there thinking about what was going to happen next, trying to get a grip on the reality that I was hundreds of miles away from home. No family here, no friends here, nothing that I was really familiar with, but Jesus was there. To be honest, I didn’t know if I was joining some cult, or if I was with a bunch of loony tunes who claim Jesus. I had a little cash and an escape plan just in case. After thinking for a while, I remembered that I hadn’t slept in nearly 3 days, other than on a picnic table for a little while. So I slept like I never had before.

I woke up the next day, maybe around lunch-time. I walked out of the cabin and was really amazed at how gigantic all of the trees were around me, and the beauty of the land in general. I saw some little kids running around and playing, there was a small pond with a bridge and cabins all laid around in a circle with a small gravel walkway. I didn’t really know where everybody congregated, I didn’t know anything about the place. So I walked up to the porch where I first sat and laid my bags at. I saw the door on the side and knocked on it. Somebody came and opened it, I told them “yeah, I’m new here, where is everybody?” I was let in and told that the building I was at was called “The Big House”. This is where we had classes, times of prayer and worship, and the general “kick it” place. As a newbie there, the main assignment was to read 3 chapters of the New Testament every day and write a paragraph (or more) about what I thought about it. I wasn’t asked to exegete the passages, I was just asked to write what I thought, maybe how it made me feel, very relative to each day. I liked that, even though I didn’t really do it as much as I should have. The coming months that I would be there were the most influential time in my Christian walk and life. I had huge struggles there, and experienced God more than I ever had prior to getting there.

Whoa, this is spiritual!:

One thing about the group of folks who were at this ministry, everybody was very different. Most of the folks were very charismatic. Meaning they believe that the more miraculous gifts in the Bible were still going on today. Healings, speaking in heavenly languages, prophecy, all that is what they believed, and that they were a normal part of the Christian life. At the time I believed that also, but I didn’t have as much exposure to that movement as many of them did. Many of them started their Christian walk in those sorts of churches, so I had a lot to learn. I heard countless testimonies of people receiving prophecies, falling down speaking in tongues, hearing the audible voice of God, hearing that they had seen demons cast out of people. I spent hours listening to those sorts of testimonies during my time there. I was completely gung-ho about that kind of stuff. The church we attended had a “prophecy team” who would get up in our service and prophecy over different people in the church. It became something that I longed for, for somebody to prophecy over me, basically so I could hear that God had some sort of big thing for me in my life, and in retrospect, so I could hear that I was doing well in God’s eyes. It was pretty selfish of me, but at the time I didn’t know any better. I think it’s a big danger I see in the movement, but I don’t believe every person who believes this way is like me, as many solid churches believe that these gifts are still around, but they have a central focus on the Gospel itself, not just signs and wonders. But that’s another conversation.

Traveling with the brothers and sisters:

The first weekend since I arrived they had a trip to Santa Cruz (I think it was in Santa Cruz at least…) planned. I was really excited about this as I got to see more of California and have some adventures traveling with this band of believers. The group was so eclectic, I loved it. Many were total hippies, very “green” and had seen a lot of things in their life. They were all amazing testimonies of God’s grace. Saved out of very deep spiritual oppression from the New Age spirituality that goes with most of the hippy culture. We all crammed into a large RV and made our way down Highway 101 towards Santa Cruz. Along the way we stopped to meet up with the folks from the ministry who were living on Haight Street in San Francisco. This was really cool, I remember not even knowing what to do while I was there. We parked in the McDonalds parking lot right across from Golden Gate park. We were just chilling in the parking lot, talking to people who were walking through, asking them what they thought about Jesus while we waited for folks to come and load up for the trip. This is where the first (of the many) strange things I saw happen in California happened.

The man whose followers call him Jesus:

While in the parking lot we met a guy (who seemed to be drunk, or on drugs, or both) was wearing a really dirty suit with spray paint on it, and somebody asked him “Do you know Jesus?” to which he replied “Yes, he’s right down the street.” We all kind of laughed, but soon realized he said it very seriously. He emphasized that he was serious, and he’d bring him over to meet us. We all thought that he was just messing with us, and he wouldn’t come back. Sure enough about 20 minutes later he returns with a small African-American man and about 7 or 8 other people. He said “Here he is, here is Jesus, he’s God”. At this point I just stepped back a little, and let the men who were familiar with this kind of thing talk to him. I, coming from small-town NC didn’t even know this kind of thing existed! A man from our group told the man that he was not Jesus, and he needs to fall on his knees and pray to the real Jesus for forgiveness, and receive new life. The man had very large eyes, and looked “off”? The man didn’t say a word to us, but he did see this large basket of tomatoes we had and pointed at it. So one of the guys handed the whole thing to him, and he walked away with his head down. The outspoken guy who told us about him just said “thanks guys!” and ran off with him. The other people who were with this “Jesus” were others who “followed” him. Talk about strange.

Camping with new friends:

The drive to Santa Cruz seemed long, but it was really fun. We were all crammed into this RV, some of us having to stand the whole way, but just having a good time, playing cards, talking about the Bible, just having a good time. We arrived at where we were going to camp, I believe it was a National Park, but I’m not sure. If anything, the place was beautiful. It was covered in massive trees, soft ground, and a couple out-houses. I didn’t really know where I fit in with the bunch, as my background was the complete opposite of theirs. I couldn’t play a bongo drum, didn’t really know how to strike up a conversation. I only knew who some of the leaders were, and most everybody’s names. I kept to myself most of the time, and tried to connect with folks as much as I could. When it got dark we started a fire and had a little gathering, where we all just had our Bibles, played and sang worship songs, screamed loud proclamations, danced around. This was a very cool experience, I felt freedom there, and it was really strange. To be with a group of people who lived in their certainty that Christ is the only one they want to impress. I saw a lot more of how everybody got along, witnessed some arguments and squabbles, that was helpful, I felt vulnerable, and realized that I liked being vulnerable and open.

Back to Northern California:

We had gotten back to “The Land” from our camping trip and that’s when I got to really get more into the community there and see it’s every day functions. In the morning a staff member would clang a bell and everyone would go to breakfast within the next 30 minutes (well, supposed to be 30 minutes, it usually ended up being the next hour). Our food variety was really funny. The food we got was from the San Francisco food bank, and whatever we as individuals could afford from the grocery store we went to every Sunday after church. There was practically no milk (other than powdered milk) no meat, and no butter. Myself, being from NC was used to only eating the things that we typically didn’t have. So that made things interesting, and I was nearly forced to become a vegetarian! I’d never eaten Lentils, quinua, sprouts, none of it! Thankfully, my mom put money on my debit card so I could walk down the road to the local pizza place.

After breakfast we’d all congregate in the Big House to read and go through scripture, or other sorts of topics like that. These were always cool, and even pretty different from teacher to teacher. This also brought up something that I was going through, and God really made me face it.

Tearing down the Trinity:

At the time I didn’t really know the severity that some doctrines have. My Father is a member of “The Berean Christadelphians”. Which denies that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. During this time, I was pretty convinced of this also. After one of the Bible studies, I thought more about this and realized that everybody I was with, and the ministry itself believed in the doctrine of the Trinity. If my Father’s group is right about this, then I’m living with anti-Christs. That didn’t sit well with me, and I had to face it. This would lead me to more Bible study than I’d probably done in my life leading up to this point. For a while I only talked about it with a couple people in the group, I convinced them that the Trinity was a made up doctrine, and that Christ wasn’t really God, merely a creation of God to be the Messiah. We visited another church that wasn’t the usual one we went to, and after the service I went up to the Pastor and asked him about the Trinity, and he explained a little to me, and I just laid into him the memorized verses I had that I believed demonstrated that Christ wasn’t God in the flesh, and he didn’t respond to me. I felt victorious. Every time I would hear somebody pray to Jesus I would mock them in my head and make fun of them.

Then one day our director was teaching us about the book of Hebrews, where this verse is:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. ` Hebrews 4:15

We had discussions about what we had read, and when we came to this I openly said that Jesus couldn’t have been tempted in every way like we are. I also showed that this verse shows that Jesus wasn’t God at all, because God could not be tempted to sin.

Things got really real at this point, and our director showed me my folly, but I didn’t accept it, and walked out and went to my cabin (I had a room by myself at this point). I refused to go to any more classes, go get food, or anything until I hammered this whole issue out. Over those couple of days I went all over the Old Testament, and New Testament, got out my papers that my dad had sent me about the Trinity and did what I can to see if they lined up with scripture. During this time I nearly rejected the New Testament altogether, and thought about just becoming a Jew, or anything but a Christan. I was depressed, angry, and flat out confused. This time lead to a lot of self-reflection, and in that I realized I didn’t know God at all. Everything of the Bible that I knew was just so I could spout out some verses here and there, and fit in with the crowd.

At this point the director had come to visit me and talk to me about stuff. He was so humble about the whole deal. He told me that he respected me for really trying to understand it and study the scriptures. He handed me a set of tapes by Steve Gregg (who I now disagree with on some things, but still love him). The tape series was called something like “The Authority of the Scriptures” or “Knowing God” I can’t remember, but there were some tapes on the Trinity. I listened to them, paused them to think about what he said, debated him in my head while listening. I came to accept that the Bible does teach that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. It became inescapable to me. Also that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all called God in the Bible (Philippians 1:2/John 1:1,14/Acts 5:3.4) and that God is one (2nd Samuel 22:32). It all began to come together for me and spiritually it was all different. My prayer life became one of dependence on God, not just telling God how awesome I am like the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14. This is the point where I felt like I had really been saved by God. I felt His mercy, and all the sudden Hebrews 4:15 (the verse I quoted earlier) became a life-line for me. A little while after this we went back to San Francisco for a prayer conference that was 10 days long, and we were going to stay there and live in the church for 10 days straight! This time was absolutely amazing, they had worship bands playing 24/7 for 10 days. On the first day that I was there, a complete stranger walked up to me and said “welcome to the fold, Christ is King, God Himself”. I just cried, the guy thought I was crazy, but who cares. He was gracious, I told him my story and he praised God for it, and really showed a ton of outward joy for me and literally sort of jumped around about me coming to Christ. He then asked me if I had been baptized.

Baptism:

I had been baptized before into a Baptist church at the age of 15. Though it was a baptism into a Christian church, I honestly became to not accept it as real. I wasn’t taught a lick of doctrine, especially on who God is! If I was, perhaps I would have never fallen into the heresy of anti-trinitarianism. So I went to my mentors in the ministry and expressed to them my case for being baptized. That summed up was “I just got saved out of heresy”. They accepted, and I was baptized in the Eel River shortly after. It was a glorious time.

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Filed under charismatic, devotional, personal, theology, word of faith

Another testimony

found this at

http://www.deceptionbytes.com/content/adrift-river-god-parts-i-ii-and-iii

Adrift in the River of God (Parts I, II, and III)

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Mishel Montague

I don’t recall exactly how it started or when the decisive moment was. I do not know how I got to the point of being so deeply entrenched in apostasy and deception. I can not definitively point to one moment pand declare that that is when the deception began and my destructive course was charted. I simply don’t know. What I do know is that I was convinced. I was convinced of my being on the right path. I was one of God’s chosen, His elite, His enlightened ones.  “Get into the River” was our mantra and our manifesto.

In my home church they called us the River People, and I was hopelessly immersed. Those that loved me enough had tried to warn me.  However, I did not want to listen to those I perceived as being beneath me spiritually.  They simply did not understand the river’s flow, I reasoned.  No, I wanted nothing to do with their life-vests; I was happy being adrift.

In the beginning, I was deeply involved in a Large Pentecostal Church in town. I sang on the worship team and also sang for a small- start Vineyard church in the same city. There were whisperings at that time of a movement in Toronto, a “blessing” of epic proportion; or so I thought. Toronto was only a few hours drive from my city and so it began. We would pile into cars like hungry pilgrims and make the frequent trek to Toronto. In the winter we would brace against the cold in our heavy coats not complaining about the long lines and torturous waiting. There was always someone that we knew who was going. There was always someone we knew coming back.  The returning pilgrims would laugh, jerk, and shout.  They seemed only too eager to impart their “fresh fire” to anyone who would stand still long enough to have hands laid on them. Those that did not understand we scoffed at. They did not want the things of God as we did. We were special.

Things began to change in my church. A split began to form. They called us the “river people” we called them religious zealots who refused to let loose of the old wine skins. There were long ministry times at the altar at every service complete with violent jerking, animal sounds, shouting, laughing and vibrating. Then there were those long periods of “soaking” which we fondly referred to as “carpet time.”

The “Old Wineskins” of our church did not like the constant emphasis on the supernatural. However, we felt above reproach never realizing that sliding underneath it all with stealth precision was the sin that was now running unchecked through the church. Scandal ensued and the ministry team split.

I remember the first time I read anything from Rick Joyner. I was in a church pew and my pastor’s wife handed me a dog-eared, photocopied chapter from Rick Joyner’s, “The Hoards of Hell are Marching.”   She was enchanted by it. “It is the most wonderful, most anointed, most inspired thing you will ever read,” she gushed. Far from the most anointed thing I had ever read, I regarded it as the rantings of a lunatic. However, it had soon circulated the church and had won the hearts and captured the attention of those I deeply respected. They thought this man was a true prophet.

The chaotic crumbling of a once mighty church disturbed me beyond words. The church was in its death throes and the sounds of her slow and arduous death rattle had replaced the raucous party atmosphere we had grown so depend on.  I needed the fix that the “river” provided and I knew I would have to go where I felt it might be moving. I packed a small suitcase and hitched a ride with a friend who happened to be going to Charlotte, North Carolina. This was to begin a dizzying spiral decent into darkness and deception. Deception so sly and insidious it would take 15 long years to recover and find the truth.

In Charlotte, my faith was sorely tested. I was a Canadian with no legal right to work in the United States and nowhere to live. I found out very quickly that I could not rent an apartment or get a bank account without an American job, license, or social security number. I had left Canada with only a small suitcase. The friend I was with had been born in the States and was able to get a job and secure an apartment for us.   I slept on the hardwood floor in her living room, and she on the floor in her bedroom. I had a thin cotton sheet to cover myself with but rarely slept.  I was frightened and worried. Even though our apartment was nice, we did not realize that we were in a bad part of town. We heard gunshots at night, and heard horrific screams the night our upstairs neighbor got her throat slit. It seemed so surreal – like a nightmare I could not wake up from. I did not know then, but my money supply was soon to be exhausted. I would be there six long months, living from a small suitcase, sleeping on the floor, before I would obtain a U.S. work visa.

I had only been in Charlotte a short while before tracking down and attending MorningStar. I will never forget it. When I got to the entrance door I started to shake. I was trembling from head to foot and could not talk. I remember one of the greeters asking me if I was alright. I tried to talk but could not. “It’s the Glory,” one of the church members cooed, firmly pushing me through the doors. The church was in a warehouse off Pressley Road in Charlotte. There were chairs set up and also round tables lining the walls off to the side. People milled about in the back drinking coffee and browsing the bookstore. They were mostly young people in wrinkled, unkempt clothing. It had a hippie- modern grunge feel. It was evident that many of them had not washed for the occasion, or for any occasion in a very long while. Strangely enough, it did not seem odd that there were barely-sober homeless people lolling on the floor in the back drinking coffee. They seemed to blend and homogenize themselves into the atmosphere there. It almost seemed normal, like what you would expect to see there. I was both appalled and intrigued by it all. The commotion and carnival atmosphere was like a train wreck that you could not for the life of you, pull your eyes from.   I had the feeling I had entered through the looking glass and nothing would ever be the same again.

Noise and confusion were everywhere. It was before service and the place was literally in an uproar. People rushed to and fro, running and throwing things and laughing. Some sat at tables trying desperately to talk above the din while others had food spread out enjoying a meal before service. When the music started it was reminiscent of an outdoor rock concert. No one sang but the performers. Many had arms raised, their hands snaking through the air like Indian belly dancers, eyes closed in complete abandoned ecstasy. I was uncomfortable.

Surely it must be me, I kept thinking. I mean after all- what makes me think that all of these people are wrong. That would make my pastor and friends and everyone I love and respect wrong too! No, that is not possible- it must be me. Sensing my inner struggle a woman beside me told me I would get used to it. “You are not used to being in this level of anointing” she yelled above the pulsating music.   I told her it felt foreign to me- wrong even- but she admonished me and told me to relax into it.   I waited for the preaching; there was none. No Bible, no scripture, nothing but dreams and visions and what God was showing Rick Joyner.

When the service was over the woman leaned over to me and told me to go forward to get a number for the prophetic booths. The booths were a regular part of every service and I came to depend on this. If I was struggling, needed an answer, or just needed a lift I would go into one of the booths and have the prophetic team prophesy over me. In time I would be on the prophetic team and prophesy over others in the services and conferences.  It was not long before the prophetic ministry replaced my reading of scripture and study. I did not need to read the scriptures; I was always told everything I needed to know through prophesy. No one talked about the Bible or even brought one to the service. Certainly I never saw anyone actually read or preach from one.

Although I feel certain that in all the time I spent there, I must have seen one of two people carry a Bible, there is one time in particular that I can clearly recall. A visitor had brought it; a small framed, nicely dressed man, who looked to me to be quite innocuous. He had it open on his lap and was reading it silently.  Suddenly two of the ushers came rushing down the hall and standing one on each side, strong armed him out the door. He asked what he had done but his pleas were to no avail. It left me unsettled but I reasoned it away.  After all, this man must have done something to deserve removal. In thinking about it now, it is curious to me that no one had a problem with the homeless drunks coming to drink coffee and loll on the floors, or even with the witches that seemed magnetically drawn to the services, but a man reading his Bible threatened them.

Rick Joyner seemed pleased that the witches were there and we were told to make them feel welcome. The witches need to hear about Jesus. While that was certainly true, the message of the gospel was not being preached. No true disciple of the occult would feel comfortable enough in a church where the true Gospel was being preached, to come back week after week with no conversion.

Joyner made it plain to us that he was not in the business of casting out demons. In fact, in one service he told us he did not want us going to him for prayer. “It is not my job to cast out your demons” he said to an incredulous audience “In fact; I like to keep a few demons in people to keep things interesting.” Years later I asked a friend of mine who had made it out of Morningstar if he remembered Rick saying that to us. “Yes” he said, “I remember it well.”  He paused and thoughtfully added, “What was wrong with us?”

Part II

After my first summer at MorningStar I enrolled in their ministry school. As Joyner was quick to point out, it was not a Bible school per se. The emphasis was on prophesy, dreams, visions, and the supernatural.  We were being trained for the coming harvest and what Joyner referred to as the coming civil war in the church. He was quick to tell us that we represented the blues. Like the ocean and the sky, blue stood for revelation and expanse, spiritual enlightenment, and openness of spirit. We were special, a new breed. We were Joel’s army who would go forth victoriously to build the kingdom of heaven on earth.

The grays were spoken of with disdain and derision. Gray represented the brain and those who lived in their minds without regard to the higher life of the spirit. The grays were the legalists, the old wineskins, those seeking to trap and keep God in a box. They were painted as the staunch, stuffed and sterile church that had long since faded into antiquity and outlived their usefulness. It seems to me, looking back, that anyone that opposed Joyner and his teachings was considered a gray and not open to the “moving of the spirit.”  The grays, Joyner was quick to tell us would be overcome and destroyed in the fight for the “true” church to evolve to the next level. Of course, in his estimation, the grays would not go quietly into that good night so it might be necessary for us to assist God in finishing up the job. Let me put that in plain English. We would help God kill them. Looking back, it should have been all too clear to me but it wasn’t.

The atmosphere at MorningStar was more like a crack house than a church with stupefied trance-like zombies bouncing to the pulsating music, not caring what was being fed to them. It felt good- it made us high and anesthetized us to the pain of anything unpleasant. In this world, we were special, separated, called. There was no sin discussed here, only visions of the glorious “lands” we would take for Christ.

The prophesies we received were always positive and we were instructed to only prophesy positive things over others. As part of the prophetic team we did not even ask if one was saved before prophesying over them. Indeed, it did not matter, for this was what came to be known as “prophetic evangelism.” We were encouraged to prophesy over strangers in the street and market-place and many did. It amounted to fortune telling and the accuracy was often chilling. Often I would shock myself as I would accurately tell things to strangers that I had no earthy way of knowing. However, even back then, there were things that bothered me about the constant emphasis on the prophetic. It started with an incident that happened while working the prophetic booth for a conference in Charlotte. A young lady came in and sat before us in the booth. There were usually three of us to a booth who would prophesy in turn. One of the three would always be a team leader. In this case my team leader was an instructor at School of Ministry. While we were prophesying over her I saw something ominous. I knew that we were to speak positive and encouraging things and I started to wrestle over what I should do. I felt responsible to warn her of what I had seen and pray with her. She left and the instructor turned to me and said, “What is it?” I told him what I had seen and he nodded his head saying, “Yes, that is correct, I saw the same thing.” I pleaded with him saying “We have to tell her and pray with her- this is not right!” He responded that we were to speak only positive and encouraging words. I reasoned with him that it would be a positive word if we saved her from harm, but he would not be moved.  I reluctantly obeyed, but in my mind a curtain had been pulled back and I began to question. Did I have a gift? Was this gift truly from God? If this gift was from God, was this the way He wanted me to use it? What if the gift was not from God? What if I had been engaging in soul reading or fortune telling?  I believed in the gifts of the Spirit but something suddenly felt very wrong.

The people in the church, and the throngs of people who streamed into the conferences depended on prophesy.  They gushed and cooed over it and it was the topic of almost every conversation. If it would have been possible to stand silent in the crowd and listen, the words “Rick said” would have been sprinkled into almost every conversation. We did not read and study to show ourselves approved but depended on the extra-biblical revelations and prognostications of others we deemed as more spiritual.  The same people were in the prophetic booths week after week after week and most of their lives, including mine, were shipwrecked beyond repair. I felt like a pod; like everything of substance had been suctioned out of me and I was left a lifeless shell with hollow eyes. I could feel myself staring out from the emptiness. I needed the next fix; the next prophesy or trance producing worship session to feel something-anything. It became obscene to listen to them prophesy that I would stand before Kings and conquer nations, when my life had spiraled into such abject ruin and despair. Had I missed God? Had I done something to displease Him? Why had He forsaken me? I was not quite ready to make the connection yet between my poor spiritual health and my steady diet of false doctrine and fluff. After all, I had such an “intimate” relationship with God surely he would tell me or send someone to prophesy over me if I was on the right path. Wouldn’t He?

Intimacy seemed to be the buzzword at Morningstar. Holiness and standards were not preached.   We left that to the grays.  Intimacy was all we enlightened blues needed and we were encouraged to pursue it with passion.  One would hope that such an “intimate” relationship with God would tend to make us better people.  After all, hanging around with “greatness” in the natural world tends to produce greatness. We rise or fall to the level of our associations. Would we not expect to see this all the more so in the supernatural realm? If we do in fact rise or fall to the level of our associations, then what would we expect to see from those who “hang out” with God?  It is ironic that the very people who had the deepest “intimacy” with God were the ones whose lives were so out of control. They could “touch the heavens” and “bring down God” but they could not balance a check-book or keep a job.

Morningstar was in fact, rife with those who either would not work, or could not keep a job. Although there were exceptions, most people lived in self-induced poverty.  Many would claim that God had told them not to get a job and to live in faith. Many simply were waiting for “their ministry” to materialize. Visions of grandeur had been prophesied over them so many times that lowering themselves to packing groceries or being someone’s secretary seemed beneath them. They had bought the lie. Everyone had a shingle out so to speak, advertising their ministry for any who would listen. Some had primitive business cards, while others presented a more professional front and started websites. I ran across one of these sites recently and saw a woman I recognized offering to prophesy over people for a “donation.” It brought a rush of sadness.

There were a few who had arrived at MorningStar in good financial shape but it never lasted.   I watched one woman blow her savings of over a hundred thousand dollars flying from conference to conference buying books and tapes. She refused to work insisting that God had told her not to. She went through her money in short order and was left penniless. Refusing to admit her folly she slid into depression demanding to know why God had allowed this to happen to her.

I knew another lady who was on the “healing” team. Her refusal to work resulted in homelessness. She slept in her car and lived off the kindness of strangers. She showered at the house of a friend of mine who eventually took her in. However, my friend was raising three children on her own and could not afford another mouth to feed. Evidently, this once homeless woman had no intention of finding work and preferred to live from the handouts of others. She insisted that she was in full time ministry and that God wanted her to live in faith. I wish I could tell you that these were isolated cases but they were not.  Unfortunately, I could write of dozens more.

Of course the people who worked for the ministry were barely better off than those who would not work. Joyner was proud of telling people that he did not pay his workers enough to live. Most of the workers received minimum wage. They were told they needed to suffer for the ministry, sacrifice and trust God. They exploited their workers and treated them poorly. They also exploited the students who did everything from moving them to painting their personal houses, convincing them they were ministering unto the Lord.

Many of the students spent a great deal of time downtown in what is now known as the NoDa Arts District in Charlotte. Although it has been cleaned up considerably and is now an expensive and trendy place to live, it was far from desirable in the late 90’s. A few alternative type galleries had store space among the old abandoned and decaying buildings, simply because rent was cheap. On Friday evenings these small galleries would hold “Art Crawls” for those brave enough to visit the area after dark. Gunshots were common. Someone had started a Coffeehouse in one of the old corner buildings and it quickly became the favored hang-out among the students and 30-something crowd from MorningStar. It was common to see the young people from the church drinking, smoking and groping one another on North Davidson Street. However, to say all behaved this way would be grossly unfair. There were some who truly loved God and wanted to please Him. They never lasted though.  MorningStar’s door seems to be a giant churning, turn-style. The broken, empty and disillusioned leaving on one side, and the bright-eyed, initiates coming in the other.

Interestingly enough, the wife of one of the worship leaders worked down there. She was an attractive and unique young lady, whom Rick had called out on many occasions as being a gifted prophetess. It was evident that she had most certainly won the favor of the ministry. Her husband was gifted and I have always believed his music sprung from a true relationship with God. When a dispute over promised music royalties ensued, and this young man’s wife took a stand, Rick publicly disgraced her. He called her out publicly, labeled her a witch, and forbid anyone from the ministry to fellowship with her in any fashion. This included frequenting the coffee house. Oddly enough, she was the darling of the ministry while she was compliant, and was not called a witch until after a disagreement with Rick. Exposing as witches, those who were non-compliant was not uncommon. It was usually the ones who had been praised and held up as an example before the congregation just a short while before. In my mind this made Joyner look foolish. He was the great and terrible Oz kicking at Toto so as not to reveal the man behind the curtain.   Of course once the curtain is pulled back, what do you do with the revelation? Reality is bitter, especially when one wants so desperately to believe.   Do you pretend you haven’t seen? I did.

Part III The Moravian Falls Project:

When I arrived at MorningStar in the 90’s the fellowship was abuzz with talk of a prophetic retreat being built in the rural North Carolina Mountains. It was spoken of often by Joyner and his sentiments about the project were openly shared. It was affectionately referred to by Joyner as “The Moravian Falls Project.” He had purchased 400 acres of rural mountain property near the whistle-stop village of Moravian Falls which he claimed possessed a unique spiritual destiny. Joyner had a fascination and love for the Moravians and the area had distinct historical value. According to Joyner, the rural community of Moravian Falls had been an epicenter for Moravian newspaper publishing in the area. Their local paper had reportedly been called “The Morning Star.” Naturally this was a sign from God for Rick.

Although I digress, I must assert the fact that for Joyner and his followers, everything was a sign from God. I can still vividly remember Robin McMillan, a member of the MorningStar leadership team, picking up trash from the street, on his way to a meeting. I remember sitting there incredulous as he held up each item of trash and told us its’ prophetic interpretation. In the mind-bending environment cultivated by the experience-seeking MorningStar crowd, everything became a sign. Seeing leaves blowing in the wind might be a sign that God wanted us to turn over a new leaf. Finding a penny in the street might cause us to believe it was time for change.   We lived like this! Of course, when you are living in the Land of Oz, seeing colored horses or tiny men singing Ooompah, is not at all strange. What is common place in your environment is never viewed as peculiar. This is why women stay with their abusive husbands and why we choose to stay with abusive ministries. I was terrified that now, having discovered that the Great and terrible Oz was just an illusion, I might in time discover that God Himself was an illusion. If I left the false to find the God of the Bible, would I in turn find just another man behind another curtain? It was tyranny of the familiar. The tyranny that you “know” is always less frightening than the tyranny of the unknown.

Joyner was very adamant that God had instructed him to build the Moravian Falls Project. He stated publicly on several occasions that he had been told by God to construct it out of quality material and craftsmanship because it “had to last.”   In Joyner’s mind all signs had pointed to confirmation of these instructions. One of these confirming signs was the fact that the area had been the focus of the longest running court battle in United States history. The Moravians, who had settled there, had wanted the land deeded to God. . Whether this is true or not, I do not know.   However, the fact that Joyner attached special significance to this land is unquestionable.

The retreat was to be a place where the misunderstood prophetic community could gather and be fed and restored. One of the aspects most often talked about was the 24 hr worship center where they planned to offer non-stop worship “before the Lord” twenty- four hours a day. There would be lots where people could live full time and also cottages where people could come for “a season” to be refreshed and restored. Rick petitioned donations from his Charlotte fellowship, from his Morningstar conference attendees, and from his international base of supporters. “I go to prepare a place for you” Rick would say, and we would smile and clap. This vision of a prophetic utopian community was certainly no secret. He talked about it frequently and openly. Many people were eager to give towards, and invest in, the vision for this community, trusting that Joyner would do as he said.

Many people from MorningStar bought land for personal homes in the area while others bought land to develop and sell as lots. The land prices in this small farming community sky-rocketed. However, the locals were not happy. The land was being priced out of reach for most locals and whisperings of MorningStar’s mysticism made this highly conservative church-going community nervous. MorningStar’s later refusal to pay land taxes did nothing to help the way most locals viewed this “ministry.”

Male students from the ministry school were often petitioned to go and help “Build the Kingdom.” Those with carpentry or painting skills were especially “encouraged.” Pleas for hands-on help were often given to the Charlotte fellowship and there seemed to be a steady stream of people going up and coming back from the mountains to help. There was no remuneration. They were expected to serve, and many starry eyed students were happy to do so, gushing over the fact that they were helping Rick. If Joyner had “need” of them they were happy to serve, whatever the personal cost might be. There were murmurings and mumblings among the ranks of those returning; however, it was difficult to get anyone to speak openly about “The Project.” No one wanted speak against the Lord’s “anointed” or question Rick.   I remember once asking one of the men who had been there and he quickly changed the subject. The curiosity was too much for me – I had to know.

I asked several people where Moravian Falls was located and how I would get there but was always met with the same response. It was in fact very difficult to find unless you knew the area and knew exactly where to go. It was well over an hours drive and getting directions from anyone was near impossible. I soon discovered that few people in the Charlotte fellowship even knew how to get there and the amount of people who had been was, in fact, very small. This was curious to me considering the fact that it was being built as a public retreat and funds for the project were being raised on an ongoing basis.

It was almost a year later that I finally made it to the area. A sister church of the Charlotte fellowship was holding a women’s conference at Apple Lodge in Moravian Falls. I thought of it as the perfect opportunity to see this mystical land that they claimed held such infinite spiritual energy. When I saw “The Moravian Falls Project” my jaw dropped. There was nothing there.   I could not believe it I could see Rick Joyner’s home, another personal home on the property and a privately owned lodge. That was it. All the talk, all the hype, and there was nothing there. Nothing! I was unconvinced, and kept asking others where it was. Even though I was seeing it with my own eyes, I was slow to believe. I had been told it existed so many times that not even the facts could convince me it was not true.

Apple Lodge was always spoken about as if it was part of the “Moravian Falls Project” but in actuality it was independently owned by Harry and Louise Bizzell. They were a pleasant couple, who were well spoken and had an unusual mixture of worldly sophistication and down home Southern hospitality. Harry was a kindly man with warm eyes and voice that inspired trust. Louise was a perfect hostess whose cooking would leave you talking for days. They had built a breathtakingly beautiful bed and breakfast type lodge on Apple Hill which was open to the public. Listen to Rick Joyner as he explains how both he and the Bizzells came to live in Moravian Falls.

“A couple of weeks after I met Bob Jones, I received a call from him. He told me that the Lord had called me to “the mountains of North Carolina” and that he had seen the place that I was to go in a dream. Having been told myself to go to the mountains of North Carolina, but seemingly not being able to get past Charlotte, I was more than a little interested in this dream.

Bob went on to say that I was called to a place that was 100 miles from where I was (The Lamb’s Chapel) and 40 miles from the Tennessee border. To get to this land we would have to go almost due North on a major highway (which turned out to be Interstate 77) and then west on another highway (which was US 421). He then described the property itself, saying there was a mountain overseeing the property that had a rock face, and there was a beacon on another mountain close by that could be seen from the property. He said that the gospel would go out to the world from that mountain. He said the land was measured from oak trees to white rocks, and there was a red roofed building in the middle. I asked Bob if the red roof could be a rusted tin roof, and he said that he thought it could be.

……I immediately told Harry Bizzell about the dream that Bob had. Harry was excited about this dream, but for me, not him. He and Louise were sure that their destiny was in Charlotte and that they would not leave their present location at The Lamb’s Chapel. As Harry was telling me this, I looked at the picture hanging above him, and I suddenly felt a prophetic anointing. The picture was of a chair that I recognized in the Bizzell’s back yard, but it had mountains in the background. I asked Harry who had painted the picture. He said that his sister had painted it in their backyard and gave it to them as a gift. I then asked why she put mountains in it, and there was a heavy presence that seemed to engulf us both. I could tell Harry felt it too, but he was adamant that they were not supposed to leave Charlotte. I disagreed, but knew the Lord would have to persuade the Bizzells.

Soon after this the Lord spoke to me and said that Harry and Louise’s destiny in the mountains was so crucial that it actually held “life and death consequences” for their family. I felt a terrible burden from the Lord about this, but I did not feel that I could share this with the Bizzells without it really seeming manipulative. Even so, I knew I had to share it with them for their sakes. I was very clumsy when I shared this burden with them, but they took it very graciously but still remained adamant that they were called to Charlotte. I felt that I had done all that I could and would not say anything else, even though the burden did not go away…..

As I mentioned, I had been compelled to share a warning with Harry and Louise Bizzells that their calling to move to Moravian Falls was so important that it held “life and death consequences for their family.” A few months later, Harry accompanied me to Kansas City where we spent some time with Bob Jones. When praying for Harry and Louise, Bob saw a death in the family coming before the Bizzells moved into their purpose. Harry and I assumed this would be his mother, who was very old and was advancing into senility. This was sadly not the case. Not long after this, Harry and Louise’s young granddaughter died in a tragic car accident.

…..I was shown that Spicer had prayed and offered herself for the purposes of God, even to the taking of her life. She had done this with great sincerity, and in heaven she is a martyr who lay down her life for the purposes of the Lord. Spicer Wallace did not die in vain, and she has a great investment in her family’s destiny and in the Moravian Falls project. Soon after her death, the Bizzells, who had land in Moravian Falls, were living there preceding me by several years.

So, in essence, the Bizzells did not feel that they were to be involved in the “Project.” However, Rick warned them that their move to Moravian Falls was in fact the will of God and their disobedience held life or death consequences for both them and their family! When their grand-daughter subsequently dies in a car accident Rick states that God had revealed to him that Spicer had offered herself to God making her a martyr and her death an investment into the destiny of “The Project”

It is also interesting to note that Joyner speaks of another man in connection with the “Project” who was supposedly punished for his disobedience. This man’s name was Tom Hess who ran a ministry entitled The House of Prayer for All Nations, near the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. According to Joyner, this man had been given a few tracts of US land that he had been instructed (by the donor) to use for a “prophetic” purpose. One of the tracts of land just happened to be in Moravian Falls. Hess met with his board and it was decided that they would give Joyner a 99 yr lease on the property for $1.00 a yr. However, Joyner had apparently been warned by the Lord to not accept anything with strings attached and so he declined their offer. Joyner said that donations for Hess’s ministry immediately dried up. Paul Cain, who Joyner insisted did not know anything about the situation, later prophesied to Hess that he had some land that had a prophetic destiny and that this land was being wrongly tied up. Cain relates to Hess that God showed him that he needs to give the land back to those who had given it to him in order to avoid the Lord’s judgment on his ministry. As Joyner tells it, Hess immediately started receiving donations again once he released the land.

It is curious to me that Paul Cain believed that God would judge this man for not giving land freely to Joyner, while he himself was actively involved in homosexual activity and an alcoholic lifestyle. In this strange world I was a part of, you can openly see what sorts of things brought the greatest punishment.

Louise and Harry Bizzell were never officially a part of MorningStar and yet Joyner says that they helped lay the foundation. The Bizzels had built their lodge in the middle of an apple orchard in the mountains of Moravian Falls; an orchard which, according to legend, was planted by Johnny Appleseed.  A ridge of land ran above the property owned by the Bizzells and Joyner’s first purchase here was this 46 acres tract as well as a small cabin below the ridge. It was in this cabin that Joyner penned his mystical New Age epic “The Final Quest.” As an interesting side note, I remember being in a service in which Joyner spoke fondly of the cabin and the spiritually active environment there. He added that he no longer let any one else use the cabin because they were polluting the atmosphere and interfering with the spiritual activity. It had struck me as such an odd thing to say.

After getting over the initial shock of learning that the only thing the Moravian Falls Project consisted of was Joyner’s Personal House, the Bizzells privately owned house, and their Apple Hill Lodge, I settled in for the conference. I must admit that the conference was not my motivation in going. I had started to question and research vehemently. However, I had been so steeped in the mysticism and aberrant doctrine of this movement that it was difficult to let go of the ideas and beliefs that had obtained such tenacious stronghold in my mind.    Before leaving Canada, I had gone to two colleges and had also obtained a university degree from a prestigious, world class institution.  Now, I found it hard to even think my own thoughts in a logical and coherent manner. Every thing was a sign and a symbol, even a fortune cookie could be seen as a message from God in my world. What had happened to me?    My mind had truly been made over and perverted by the garbage I was ingesting. Fortunately, my heart was not totally corrupt and there was still a small ember of desire for the true and living God. I thank God that in Isa 42:3 (KJV) He Promises that,

“A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.”

If the flame is still lit, no matter how diffused and ineffective, He will not quench it, but thoughtfully and lovingly watch over it, tend it, and protect it until the flame can once again burn with intensity. That is what God did for me. He protected that small smoldering ember inside me, and he tended it until I reached a time where I could receive His Truth. He was faithful to me, even when I was not faithful to Him.

I can not remember much about the conference at Apple Lodge but one experience is indelibly etched in my memory. It was a warm sunny day and the mountains looked intoxicatingly beautiful and inviting. A group of ladies were lying on the lawn. I can not quite recall what we were doing out there, but I do remember us holding hands and praying at one point. However, after the prayers, some of us had dropped to the grass and were just lazing around, watching the clouds and enjoying the fresh mountain air. Suddenly, I became aware of the gurgling of a mountain stream. It was unmistakable and I listened with my eyes closed, smiling, and thinking about how refreshing it sounded. I don’t remember how long I stayed like that, eyes closed, listening, but eventually I looked over at a friend and said, “Let’s find it!” She looked at me bewildered and asked me what I meant.  I told her I was referring to the brook or stream I was hearing. She shook her head and said, “There is no stream here.” I looked at her like she had just grown a third eye. There most certainly was a stream because I was listening to it. “LISTEN,” I said, raising my voice a little higher than I had anticipated. She smiled, closed her eyes again, and said nothing. Now I was angry. “I know you hear that. If you don’t want to go then I will go alone, but don’t pretend that you don’t hear it!” To my complete annoyance she said nothing, but got up and walked to another group of women. Within earshot of everyone, she said, “Tell her there is no stream here.” They laughed and nodded their heads vigorously, “Nope- no stream here.” I got up, brushed the grass and leaves from my clothing, and started to walk away. “Go find the elusive stream”, they taunted, “Let us know where it is!” How dare they mock me! I stopped in the grass and listened not knowing what direction to go. “What’s wrong”, they shouted. I did not respond. I couldn’t hear it anymore and confusion was starting to envelop me. I went back to the spot where I had been laying and listened intently, but there was nothing; nothing but the sounds of birds and insects and leaves blowing in the crisp mountain breeze. I looked at the women pleadingly. Their mocking turned to understanding and they one after the other, explained to me that I was having a supernatural experience. There is no stream, and they reassured me by telling me this had happened to others. Somehow it did not reassure me.  It bothered me on a very deep level. It also spoke a truth to my heart in a deeply penetrative way.

I had spent a great portion of my spiritual life chasing after what I had heard. In fact, it was a very common thing in the circles I moved, for people to ask me what I was hearing. They asked me the question and I in turn asked others. When we wanted direction, or confirmation, we asked those we felt were gifted prophetically “what they were hearing.” In fact, I still occasionally have people talk to me about personal things and ask me. what I am hearing. It is as if they feel that I can hear from God for them and give them direction, or interpret their dreams. My response now to all who would ask, is to seek God on your own behalf, read His word, sit under Godly counsel, and hear God for yourself! It is not that I feel that God can not speak through me, or through anyone in fact, that has submitted their life to Him and is saturated in His Word. However, I refuse to be a fortune- teller or someone else’s connection to a God they are not willing to seek and truly know for themselves.

The experience with the water showed me that I could not trust what I was hearing. It may have sounded good, it may have sounded appealing, it may have sounded right, and it most certainly had sounded real, but it was an illusion. Just as the vivid dreams that populate our sleep in the night’s long hours, dissipate with the morning light, it too dissipated with the dawn of reasoning. Light does that.

Although this was my first experience with hearing things that did not exist in the natural, it would not be my last. It was only a few months later that I was in a prayer meeting at an associated church in Pineville, North Carolina, and again heard the gurgling of water. It was an infinitesimal church and on this occasion there were only four or five of us present. I got up, mentioning to them that I was going to check the bathrooms. It sounded as if someone had left a tap on. The few who were there remarked that they had not heard anything, but I was undeterred. Like the earlier experience in the mountains, the sound stopped when I tried to find the source.

In another experience around this same time, I heard a bell ringing. Lest you think that perhaps I was simply having auditory hallucinations, let me assure you that the bell ringing incident was heard by at least two other people.

However, the strangest incident by far, happened in my home. It occurred in my first year at MorningStar and left me very shaken. I had moved to a nice house near Fort-Mill South Carolina, near the old Heritage USA site. I had a house-mate who had left to go to Florida for a few days. She had a regular routine when she came in and it seldom, if ever, varied. I would hear her car crunching up the gravel driveway; footsteps on the porch, her keys jingle in the lock, and hear her call for her dog in a sing-song voice.   She did this every evening. On this particular evening, I had a friend over and we were chatting in the other end of the house. We heard my house-mate’s car on the gravel drive, heard her foot-steps on the porch, the jingle of her keys in the lock, and her familiar sing- song voice calling for her dog. Her dog tore across the house barking wildly, and my friend and I jumped up and scurried through the kitchen to welcome her home. There was no one there.

The dog was upset now and barking incessantly. I reached for the door, thinking she had gone out to get her suitcase from the car, but the door was still locked. I flipped the latch, opened the door, and looked out in the driveway; but neither my house-mate, nor her car, were anywhere to be seen. I turned to my visiting friend who by this time had a confused and almost frightened look on his face. He walked outside, looked around the house then stood on the porch staring blankly into the darkness.

“Where could she have gone that fast” I finally stammered. He turned to me with the oddest look on his face and said, “I don’t think she was ever here.” I laughed at him not even willing to entertain the idea. Even the dog was still looking for her, and her voice had been so unmistakably clear! Fear, confusion, and a sense of defilement washed over me. I turned to my friend and asked him if I was crazy. I could feel the prick of tears as I started reaching frantically in my mind for an explanation, any explanation!  I had heard the car, I had heard the keys, I had heard the door open, and I had heard her call for her dog.   My friend, looking downward, eyes to the floor, whispered haltingly, “I heard it, you heard it, the dog heard it, something or someone was here.”

My house-mate called several hours later. I asked her where she was and if she had been home earlier that evening. She said no, that she was still in Florida and would not be home for another day or so. She asked me why I would ask such a thing. I did not want to upset her, so I said that there was no reason, and told her to have a safe trip back.

I can not explain why I had these strange experiences or why I had any of the other unexplainable phenomena that seemed to happen so frequently in this river I was now submerged in. Unfortunately, these auditory experiences were far less troubling then the ones I was soon to have.  However, they did start to open my eyes to the fact that simply believing something to be true did not make it so. Deception at this level was possible, even for someone who loved the Lord and considered herself sincere.   I may have been sincere, but unfortunately I was sincerely wrong. This “River” I had so enthusiastically waded into years earlier, had deceived me. It was now more like a stagnant pond, bubbling in its own putrid filth. I wanted out.

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Julie’s story part 2

There is such a shocking lack of knowledge as to how IHOP’s vision was birthed, it’s driving me crazy! So, I want to give a little more insight into the going’s on behind Kansas City Fellowship (early IHOP) becoming a Vineyard.

My husband and I had been away from the church (Kansas City Fellowship) for approximately 3 or 4 months praying earnestly for the leadership at KCF to repent. Actually, by this time, the name had changed to Metro Christian Fellowship, having first been known as South Kansas City Fellowship, then Kansas City Fellowship, then Metro Christian. We expected their repentance to be forthcoming at any day. I mean, with the damning report that Ernie Gruen had just written, there was no defending the current prophetic, and “let’s take over the city”, teaching that had become common place by then. This was the spring of 1990. I remember it well because I was well along in my pregnancy with my fourth child.

We were told that “Mike’s going to repent” so be sure to be there.  “Major anouncement at the church, don’t miss it.” These were the encouragements we received from our friends, the friends we had been warning regarding the error that had crept in.

So, we went to this meeting with high expectations. We were expecting the mood to be somber, sober, serious, repentant, etc. Nothing could have prepared us for what we witnessed that night.

First of all, the place was PACKED. Not a seat in the house remained empty.  People standing in the back as well. I think there were between 1500 and 2000 people in attendance.

After a very celebratory worship service, Mike began to repeat some of the prophetic history which brought the church into existence in the first place. Augustine’s prophecies (although, by this time, I think his name had ceased to be mentioned), Bob Jones’s prophecies, etc. How God had brought the prophetic into our midst – but it was still in it’s infancy. Still young and messy and some messes have occurred. Soooo, it was time to set the prophetic down, come under the umbrella of the Vineyard. The prophets would still minister to the leadership behind closed doors, but it was necessary for them to mature in their anointings.

This was the gist of the meeting. That the leadership was just delighted to be joining hands with John Wimber and Co.  It was going to be a great future in God. Blah blah blah.

Even stating that the rift between Mike and Ernie was hurting the body and that it needed to be resolved as soon as possible. That Ernie Gruen had misrepresented the prophetic movement, but some of the things he said were true: there was a spiritual elitistism that needed to be eradicated. Ernie was on board with this current move by the church leadership to become a Vineyard, and so the proposed meeting (hearing?) before the agreed upon leaders from around the country was no longer necessary. The error of the prophetic was in check with the setting down of the prophets.

The mood reminded me of a high school pep rally. Everyone seemed relieved and elated. No longer was the church going to be considered “cultish.” John Wimber had ridden in on a white horse, and they had dodged a bullet. They were becoming a respectable Vineyard; the loony prophetic was going to become less visual and less loony; and so on, and so forth.

At the end of Mike’s lengthy announcement, he opened up the microphone for questions.  When my husband looked at me and said “I’m going up,” my heart rose to my throat and stayed there until we left. I knew that the happy atmosphere was going to be dampered a little once my husband took the mic.

Person after person got up and asked numerous, non-threatening questions, of the legistical variety. Will the other locations join, too? Would Mike’s position change? How will this affect the church type questions.

My husband was one of the last in line that night. Perhaps he was the last. He first asked Mike if the men who had originally been agreed upon to “hear” the accusations  that were brought against Mike, if they were honorable and capable of judging these teachings, etc.  Mike agreed that they, in fact, were honorable men. (All of the men chosen for this task were from the charismatic side of the isle, btw).  He then asked Mike why he wouldn’t just submit to their “hearing” instead of, essentially, hiding behind John Wimber. That is when the mood in the room suddenly changed. It felt hostile, and I swear, you could hear a pin drop. But, my heart was in my throat and I just wanted to get out of there, so, who knows what other people felt. At this point, my husband challenged Mike regarding these doctrines NOT coming into line with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He handed the mic back and began walking back to me.

Many, many of our friends were there. Some of our best friends were also in attendance, and they were not really sure how to take all of this stuff. We had given them our take, yet they were still quite loyal to the church/Mike. Heck, we were still loyal. We were just waiting for everyone to repent and BELIEVE the truth and get free of all this garbage.  This was our church, for crying out loud. These were our leaders and the devil had pulled the wool over their eyes!

As my husband was leaving the stage, Mike turned to the sound man, and told him to get rid of what my husband had just said. “Erase that part.” This is what our friends heard. They were so appalled, it became the beginning of the end of their stay at KCF. So began my first knowledge of historical revisionism at the hands of KCF.

One person came up and thanked my husband. Everyone else treated us like the plague. Indeed, for many years, my husband was kept at arms length by those still loyal to Mike. Now, one can dispute whether or not Mike had the tape erased. But, there are people, to this day, who remember my husband standing up and standing against Mike Bickle. No one ever did that! I think it went down the same memory hole with the prophecies regarding Pat Bickle getting healed. We knew, then, that they weren’t going to be repenting anytime soon.

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Good ol Bob and Ricky stopped the swine flu ??

This blows my mind. Bob says God has given us all power . That we speak things into existence.  Same old same old yet they aren’t latter rain I mean that would just be crazzzy. Can anyone tell me whats wrong with this picture ?

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Good examples from IHOP of historical revisionism.

Special thanks to IHOP who’s copy right is the right to copy , and Let us reason.org

This is my modest attempt at showing you how the history of this movement is being revised. While I am sure many will not be impressed with the effort all I am asking is that we be honest. If you can read this and truly say IHOP has not been doctoring it’s past then fine , but if this raises questions in your mind then …

For those of you who don’t know this is taken from Ihops affirmations and denials page. the bold italics are mine. the other italics are quotes and historical info.

Affirmations and Denials

The Manifest Sons of God Theology

We Affirm all born-again believers will be “manifest” as sons of God after the second coming of Christ.

We Deny that we will experience the fullness of our inheritance as sons of God before Jesus returns.

Explanation: Some uphold the false teaching that in this age believers can have faith that will enable them to attain to qualities of life that are reserved only for believers in the resurrection. ( Where would they get that idea from ? lets ask Mike )

“There is a dimension that is coming, and now is, that we have no frame of reference for and most of us think that we do.” “… and they (apostles, prophets) do things that you have no frame of reference for understanding because, believe me, what’s going to be coming down in the next twenty years you and I have no frame of reference for understanding. It is going to be so unusual you are not going to be able to look at the word for every manifestation and find one there because the Spirit of the Lord has so many manifestations that you and I know nothing about.”

I believe that God is going to allow us to see and to even partake in this restoration, this is a major statement and I want you to pay attention closely, to the restoration of the New Testament standard… I believe that God is going to renovate the entire understanding of what Christianity is in the nations of the Earth. I believe that the way that 99 per cent of us across the world as believers understand Christianity, in 20 years there will be a totally different understanding of what Christianity is from what it is right now. I believe the understanding of it, the standard of life and the expression of Christianity as we know it, I believe God is going to restore it in the Earth in this generation”

( The arrogance of this statement is almost mind blowing. 99% of what all Christians believe ??? Lets hope substitutionary atonement is the other 1 %.  Not to mention the doctrine of the Holy Trinity , the divinity of Christ,  our union with Christ , etc, etc…. This begs the question what exactly is contained in that tiny 1 % that will remain the same ? Will the rest of the church be truly keen on jettisoning 99% of what they believe ? The answer to that question is a clear no.  Thats why we have the visions of the civil war within the church . )

“God intends us to be like gods, he intends us to be like the Son of God. … God has conceived in His heart of a plan to make a race of men that would live like gods on the Earth. He has conceived in His heart to have Sons that would live like His Son, the Lord Jesus lived… That we were to be on earth the extension and manifestation of God’s life in heaven. …When a person comes up and declares what Sonship is about, the religious community comes up and says “blasphemy!” That’s what they did to Jesus. The religious mind will always call this heresy. When the religious mind comes in contact with the revelation of what a Son of God is they will always say it is not right because it’s too high.”

(The religious said Jesus blasphemed because He said He was equal to God not because He talked about the true meaning of sonship. )

The Latter Rain

We Affirm that the Church will experience the greatest outpouring of the Spirit in history before Jesus returns (Joel 2:28–32). This outpouring will result in a great ingathering of souls and a renewing of the Church so that it walks in godliness as declared in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:1–7:28). We affirm the presence of the fivefold ministry for the equipping of the saints (Eph. 4:11–13).

We Deny the distinctive doctrines that go beyond Scripture that are often associated with the Latter Rain theology that was popularized in the 1950s.

Explanation: Some have wrongly identified our ministry today with the false teachings that were popularized by some in the Latter Rain movement. At no time in the past did we have any relationship with this movement.

(hmm well lets see if this statement holds water, I know William Branham and Paul Cain were documented propagators of latter rain theology lets see If Mike has anything to say about them.)


Mike Bickle has stated that he does not recognize the current leaders as full-fledged prophets: “There’s no one in our midst that we give the title “prophet.” The only one I would feel comfortable of giving that office would be Paul Cain, but he refuses to accept it.”

Some of Cain’s beliefs are certainly unheard of in the history of our faith, they are new founded in the Latter Rain teachings of the late 40’s. “If you’re really in the vine and you’re the branch, then the life sip from the Son of the living God keeps you from cancer, keeps you from dying, keeps you from death … Not only will they not have diseases, they will also not die. They will have the kind of imperishable bodies that are talked about in the 15th chapter of Corinthians … this army is invincible. If you have intimacy with God, they can’t kill you. they just can’t. There’- something about you; you’re connected to that vine; you’re just so close to him. oh, my friends, they can’t kill you.” ( Paul Cain, “Joel’s Army,” cited in Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Shawnee, KS: Full Faith Church of Love, 1990, p. 218)

Paul Cain was part of the healing revival of the mid 1940’s when he was 18 years old. During that time his fellow ministers were William Branham, Jack Coe, T.L. Osborne, and A.A. Allen, etc. He saw the excesses of that movement and backed away from it until 1987 when the Kansas City Fellowship’s leaders Mike Bickle and Bob Jones felt impressed to serve Paul Cain and his ministry in any way they could. Bob Jones said “the Lord named Paul Cain’s ministry, “The terror of the Lord.” Why this name? Paul Cain is reported to be able to reveal peoples hidden sins and details of their lives supernaturally. He predicted an earthquake and it happened! Also people report surges of electrical power that blow out circuits.

In 1987 Cain met with the leadership of Kansas City Fellowship and they received him as a father. Grace Ministry’s other major prophet, Bob Jones, said that Cain’s ministry is called by God “the terror of the Lord,” or “the jealousy of God.” He called Cain “the most anointed prophet that’s in the world today.” “’ Cain, in turn, his called William Branham “the greatest prophet who ever lived.” This would make Branham greater than Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Daniel, David, and John the Baptist, just to name a few. Considering the occult manifestations and false doctrines that characterized Branham’s work, one must question whether Cain himself understands truth. This also calls into question Jones’ claims about Cain.(Media Spotlight , Al Dager)

“You know this message is 35 years old and I’m just preaching it again, Thank God I’ve found somebody to preach it to. I told you about the vision, what I’ve had… See, I’ve been wanting to share this so long and find somebody -how would you like to have something on the back burner for 35 years and nobody had any – boy this is, I mean this isn’t leftovers. I mean this has been hot with me all these years, but everywhere I tried to preach it, they cooked my goose. Don’t you boo me. This kind of fiery preaching is a lost art today except in a very mild degree.” (Joel’s Army cassette from Kansas city prophets)

The source of this message (35 years at the time said) is none other than the latter Rain heresy of which many have not let go of but continue to promote vigorously. “For quite a while I have been embarrassed to say anything about the latter rain, because you are associated and identified with something that people don’t seem to appreciate in certain evangelical circles. So I have played it cool and haven’t said much about it. But I don’t care what they think any more… I believe we are going to have the latter rain and I am looking forward to it.” (Paul Cain, Toronto church on May 28, 1995)

Cain said in 1989 that God was raising a new standard and the understanding of Christianity that would radically change us and our generation God has him to have a role in establishing this New Order of Christianity.

That God is offering them a “greater privilege than was ever offered to any people of any generation at any time from Adam clear down through the end of the millennium”; and that they are “gonna have more than just a little omnipotent surge — you’re gonna behold that glory and become that glory.” (Bob Jones and Paul Cain, “Selections from the Kansas City Prophets,” audio, from Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival, 1997)

The fact of the matter is that Cain and other so-called Kansas City prophets should have never been placed into an area of Christian leadership in the first place.  Cain (who has also claimed trips to heaven) has a questionable testimony, has demonstrated a lengthy absence of Christian service in his life, and he has called the late William Branham, with whom he once had an association, “the greatest prophet who ever lived.” Branham, however, denied the historic doctrine of the Trinity (even claiming it comes from the devil), and taught extensive error, including the he that the zodiac and Egyptian pyramids are on par with the authority of Scripture. 34  Branham taught what has now become known as the “Serpent Seed” doctrine that is popular with various neo-Nazi and “Christian” identity cults — that the Bible’s Cain was produced through a sexual coupling between the serpent in the Garden of Eden and Eve. 35

Dominion Theology

We Affirm that God’s purpose is for Jesus to come back to fully establish His kingdom rule over all the earth. After the second coming, the saints will rule the earth under the leadership of Jesus Christ when He sets up His government on earth in the millennial kingdom (1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 5:10; 20:3–6). We believe that believers in this age are called to serve Jesus in politics and to help establish righteousness and justice in legislation. We do not have the assurance that all laws and governments will be changed until after the second coming of Jesus to establish His millennial kingdom.

We Deny that the Church will take over all the governments of the earth before the return of Christ.

Explanation: Some believe and teach that all governments on earth will be transformed by the Church before the second coming of Jesus.

While this is a nice albeit brief denial of dominion theology It doesn’t really tell the reader what dominion theology truly is. Not all dominionists fall in the same category nor do they believe all the same things. Don’t take my word for it. Here is a quote from Keith Gibson on the issue.

“Essentially, dominion theology arises from a distorted interpretation of Romans 8:19 and a few other passages. It teaches that a perfected, glorified church will usher in the kingdom of God by taking dominion over the world. To this end, the church must be placed in order by coming under the authority of present-day apostles and prophets. Many of these prophets are foretelling a great civil war that will take place within the church between the “grays”, associated with the brain or gray matter who focus on the scripture, and the “blues”, those associated with the sky who are open to new revelation. This is a gross oversimplification and not all dominionists would accept all that was just said but these are many of the central tenants of the movement.

Associated with this major teaching are a host of other doctrines and practices necessary to facilitate the rise of this perfected body of Christ. These can be found interspersed throughout the writings and messages of those in the movement.

It is taught that Christ must be incarnated within the church before He can return. The church will literally become the fullness of Christ. Francis Frangipane states, “When the Spirit of Christ comes into the physical world, He must enter through a physical body…When Christ first entered our world as a child, it was Mary whom God chose to give Christ birth….God is preparing us as He did Mary to give birth to the ministry of His Son. Even now, in the spiritual womb of the virgin church, the holy purpose of Christ is growing, awaiting maturity; ready to be born in power in the timing of God….the virgin Church is “in labor and in pain to give birth” (Rev. 12:1-2)…I say to you, once again, the virgin is with child. Before Jesus Himself returns, the last virgin Church shall become pregnant with the promise of God. Out of her travail, the Body of Christ shall come forth, raised to the full stature of its Head, the Lord Jesus. Corporately manifested in holiness, power and love, the Bride of Christ shall arise.” (Francis Frangipane, “In the Presence of God”, 1994 emphasis mine) But it must be noted that, in context, the manifestation of the sons of God spoken of in Romans 8 does not occur until the redemption of the body at the resurrection. The scriptures are clear that it is Christ who brings the kingdom not the church.”

Now I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that latter rain and dominion theology are just about the same thing. By that I mean they include one another. I have already shown that Ihop has indeed been connected to latter rain teachers like Paul Cain . Even though they say they have not.  You decide .

Joel’s Army

We Affirm that the army in Joel 2:1–11 was an ungodly Babylonian army that destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC. We believe that this passage has a double fulfillment in that it also points to the Antichrist’s army that will attack Israel at the end of the age. We affirm that Joel was prophesying of the lifestyle of godly believers in Joel 2:12–17.

We Deny that Joel 2:1–11 describes the end-time Church.

Explanation: The term “Joel’s army” has been used to signify the people who walk out the principles of prayer with fasting as taught in Joel 2:12–17. The term has been used much like “Joseph Company,” “Gideon Band,” or “David Company” to signify the people who embraced the godly qualities that Joel taught about prayer, fasting, and wholehearted obedience. Paul Cain had a prophetic word about a “Joel’s army in training,” referring to a group of people who would give themselves to prayer and fasting according to Joel 2:12–17. When used like this, “Joel’s army” does not refer specifically to the destroying army mentioned in Joel 2:1–11, but to people who walk out the Joel 2:12–17 lifestyle. The misunderstanding comes from giving the title “Joel’s army” to both the destroying army (Joel 2:1–11) and the group of people who give themselves to fasting and prayer (Joel 2:12–17).

Hmmm… maybe so , but I am not convinced. Since I have already established a link to Bickle and Paul Cain who is the coiner of the phrase Joel’s army lets look at some historical quotes.

Cains Joel’s army is starting to take shape as he explains “Many years ago,.. I have came to the crossroads of life and I saw a vision of an illuminated billboard on which was written: Joel’s army in training. “It was on these crossroads with an arrow pointing to the spot-though there was no building on it then! I believe God has shown me that here he is going to raise up an army. This army is not a destructive army but a deliverance army…”( David Ptyche’s, Some Said It Thundered, p.132)

While this is what he may like it to be,  the biblical view is an army of destruction which God himself destroys in the end.

There seems to be much double speak coming from the prophets of the Latter Rain camp.

Jack Deere describes Joel 2 it is hardly to deliver “When this army comes, He says it’s large and it’s mighty. It’s so mighty that there’s never been anything like it before…‘begin the slaughter and begin it in the temple and begin it with the elders, the leaders of my people.’ And they walk through the land and they start and they begin to slaughter and you know it’s already started with the biggest names in His household? He has already started the slaughter…and it is coming now among the Church.” ( It Sounds Like the Mother of All Battles, Jack Deere, VMI, Joel’s Army, 1990, “Joel’s Army”)

The only thing that I seem to notice getting slaughtered in the church today is correct doctrine and the fact is they don’t seem to care.

Jack Deere supports Paul Cain and Bob Jones, and is convinced they are the two prophets of Revelation. He alleges that Cain is virtually right all the time. “You see why we’re excited about someone like Paul Cain or Bob Jones coming on the scene? Or others that we’ve met…you know those two powerful witnesses in Revelation 11:3? You know what – they are first and foremost? They are prophets. He said they will prophesy for 1,260 days. He’s going to end the last days just before His Son returns with a prophetic movement that will sweep the entire face of the earth and will eclipse anything we have ever seen before…the significance of these signs and wonders…But they don’t just happen on the earth. They come because they are prayed for and they are predicted by God’s people.” (Jack Deere, “Joel’s Army”)

Revelation 11 “… And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. … And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. … These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.” (Jack Deere, “Joel’s Army”)

Rick Joyner speaks of a civil war inside the Church. The blues battling the grays in his end-time scenario that is likened to the American Civil war. It is clear from his writings that he is speaking of the new thing that is to be the standard. Those who fight against it are holding on to the old. It’s been said birds of the same feather flock together. Cain is a joint partner in writing Joyner’s morning star Journal.  (wonder why we called ourselves the grey coats)

Frangipane agrees with an army that, as “it follows Christ, initiates spiritual warfare against the various gates of Hell.” … “There are growing number of churches around the world who are being gathered together by the Lord for War”(The Three Battlegrounds, Francis Frangipane p124,128)

http://www.letusreason.org/latrain5.htm

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A great example of Historical revisionism.

Does it look like Crowder cares one ounce about the real history behind Dowie ?

Does he even come close to telling the historical story ?

Is Crowder telling us some big whoppers ?

See my point is clear. Most folks don’t know about Dowie nor will they look him up. They trust Crowder to have integrity as a man of God. Does he look like he has any integrity ?

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