the full version of this chapter I refer to various quotes that Rick
has made about himself in “The Final Quest". This throws
a great deal of light on his spiritual experiences and walk with God
over the years. I will just put a few examples here. Joyner claims that
as “a child” he had “read about... and listened to...
recorded messages,” of an “evangelist” whose “teachings
had gone seriously awry,” (p. 144). Before he was a Christian
Joyner therefore fed on these false teachings. In Chapter 7 we saw that
this false teacher was none other than William Branham, one of the most
deceived ministers of the modern era. Joyner claims that “I have
never been able to trust my own heart... It is subject to so many conflicts.
I am too subject to delusions, deceptions, and selfish ambitions. It
is hard for me to even hear the Lord speaking to me above its clamor,” (p.
74). We have to then ask why is Joyner promoting himself as a great
prophet and why is he sharing his visions with others so confidently
in “The Final Quest?” Joyner writes, “I know that
my rebellion and pride has kept me from having a real spiritual father,” (p.
93). However, if Joyner has never submitted to another leader’s
authority or guidance why is he expecting us to submit to him as a prophet
judge over the church in the future? Would God choose such a person
to lead the body of Christ anyway? After believing that he had heard
deceased former great leaders in heaven admit to far worse sins Joyner
then reports that, “I recalled how I had allowed disgruntled former
members of a church to spread their poison about that church without
stopping them. I knew that by just allowing them to do this without
correcting them I had encouraged them to continue... I had even repeated
many of their stories, justifying it under the guise of enlisting prayers
for them,” and claims that there has been, “a great flood
of other such incidents,” (p. 109). Surely, though, this goes
far beyond the level of bad behaviour that most leaders would descend
into and is a sign of really bad fruit? Despite claiming to be called
to be a great “judge” over the church in the future Joyner
writes “I have judged so many people and so many situations wrongly,” (p.
64). Since Joyner calls for his followers to fight against other Christians
with spiritual warfare in a way that will “wound many of our own
brethren”, (p. 129), his following statement has to be a concern, “I
had not seen such ruthlessness and cruelty as I was now seeing in my
own heart,” (p. 109). Most of us have hidden, un- dealt with sides
to our flesh that are potentially unpleasant. However, if someone believes
that God is calling them to engage in harmful spiritual warfare against
other Christians this provides the ideal opportunity for the flesh within
that person to manifest. We know from scripture that in the end times
the enemy will persecute those who hold fast to the faith whilst many
others will become apostate, abandon the faith, betray those who remain
loyal to God, and that some will even join in with those persecutions.
Unless Joyner turns away from the many false teachings he has received
this has to therefore be a concern.