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Decoding Rick Joyner’s “THE FINAL QUEST”
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Summary of Chapter 5


4 i) An apparition of St Paul? During one of his visits to “heaven” Joyner claims he has had a long conversation with the “Apostle Paul”, (p’s131 – 136), who he asks about this “last battle”. But was this the real heaven and the real St Paul or demonic counterfeits? We should be able to check this by testing this spirits message. The following scripture shows that counterfeits can exist.

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed,” (Gal 1; 8).

4 ii) This spirit questions the ministry of the real Apostle Paul: Referring to the Christian spiritual civil war Joyner asks this spirit “What would you say to my generation that will help us in this battle?” (p.131). Answering as if it were St Paul this spirit replies “that I fell short of all that I was called to do”, (p132), “I did not walk in all that was available to me”, (p. 134), “I fell short of the highest purposes that I could have walked in”, (p.132). So this spirit is leading us to believe that there is another “higher” level of spirituality that we should move in, one that St Paul had failed to move in or record in the bible, which will enable them to win this Christian civil war and gain control of the church. However we know from the scriptures that all the apostles carefully discussed their beliefs and spiritual practice very closely and were in complete agreement with one another, (Acts 15; 2), so if St Paul had fallen short in this then all the other apostles must have too, i.e. the entire N/T church. This doesn’t make sense when we consider that Paul and the other early apostles were men who raised the dead, (Acts 20; 10), performed great miracles, (Acts 19; 12), and whose mere shadow had healed the sick, (Acts 5; 15). Nothing in the bible suggests that we should engage in any form of spirituality that they had failed to move in. By casting doubt on St Paul’s ministry in this way this spirit is also casting doubt on the parts of the bible that Paul and the other apostles have written, i.e. on over two third of the N/T. The real St Paul’s own Epistles also completely contradict this spirits message about him failing:

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure,” ( 2 Cor 12:7).

“ we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things,” (2 Cor 11; 6).

“ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,” (2 Tim 4: 7 and 8).

“ I was appointed a preacher and an apostle - I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying – a teacher of the gentiles in faith and truth,” (1 Tim 2; 7).

4 iii) Can we only trust the gospels for foundational teaching? After attempting to undermine our trust in St Pauls ministry, (who wrote over one third of the New Testament), this spirit then goes on to cast doubt on the reliability of all of the other apostles teachings in scripture too. It repeatedly tells Joyner, (see p.131 -5), that we should only use “the gospels” for “teachings as a foundation” (p.134), in the last days church, i.e. not the Old Testament or the other two thirds of the New Testament, which means omitting all of the Apostles letters. This would mean that the book of Acts right through to the Book of Revelations in the N/T cannot be trusted for such teaching, only the gospels. We have already seen though that Joyner’s messages even contradict the gospels. Furthermore some of the most essential foundational teachings for the church are contained in the other two thirds of the New Testament without which we will be left wide open to deception. It would be foolish therefore to restrict ourselves to only using the gospels for foundational teaching as this spirit claims we should.

“ remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles,”(Jude v.17).

” And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine,” (Acts 2; 42).

4 iv) The teaching in the other two thirds of the New Testament: The two thirds of the New Testament that this spirit suggests can’t be trusted teach even more clearly than the gospels do on the foundational issues of salvation and the deity of Christ. They are also the only parts of the bible that teach on baptism in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, being led by the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, sanctification, the last days teaching contained in the book of Revelations, the fivefold ministries and church leadership. These are essential foundational teachings for the church and we abandon them at our peril. Perhaps not surprisingly it is the two thirds of the N/T that this spirit suggests we should not trust that most often contradict Joyner’s own spiritual practice and “new revelations,” for e.g. his belief we should be calling upon the dead for ministry, that judge’s should rule the church, and that we should be warring against other Christians with spiritual weapons that are not recorded in scripture. It is the Epistles that most clearly contradict these errors. Dismissing these scriptures paves the way for deception.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle,” (2 Thess 2:15).

4 v) Correct teachings are essential: We cannot use the gospels alone for foundational teaching in the church because the gospels only covered the ministry and teachings of Jesus prior to the church age, (which didn’t start until after Jesus’ death and resurrection). Jesus didn’t teach on most of the above issues in the gospels because His disciples’ had not then received the Holy Spirit. Most of his disciples were still struggling to believe that Jesus was the Son of God at that time and weren’t even expecting Him to be raised from the dead. These other scriptures record what God had shown the early apostles by the Holy Spirit after Jesus had ascended to heaven. Eleven of these leading apostles were personally chosen by Jesus Himself whilst He walked the earth and St Paul was chosen by God on the road to Damascus, and was sent out to the gentiles by the others. Their Epistles are needed just as much as the gospels for the churches foundational teaching in order to keep Christians from going astray into deception. There are no other teachings on how to order the church or move in the Spirit. We will see in section 6 how Joyner’s beliefs and spiritual practice differ greatly from what is taught in these parts of the New Testament which this spirit is casting doubt upon.

“we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,” (Eph 4:14).

4 vi) Joyner’s revelations greater than those of all the early Apostles? In the introduction to this book Joyner suggests that his visions are more reliable than any of the apostle’s teachings in the bible. He claims that there are “levels of prophetic revelation”, (p. 9), and that the “level of revelation” that “was probably experienced by the apostles as they wrote the New Testament epistles... is still a level where we can still be influenced by our prejudices, doctrines, etc”. Whereas Joyner claims that his “Open visions,” “occur on a higher level,” implying they are therefore more reliable, and that a “Trance,” (p. 10), (such as his vision of a Christian civil war), is even greater still. But the apostles weren’t just receiving revelation as they wrote the scriptures they were often recording the revelations they had previously received beforehand from God. It is not true to suggest they were operating at a lower level of revelation which was open to prejudice as they wrote the epistles. We need to be careful as Paul warned us about people who wished to be;

“regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness,” (2 Cor 11; 12 -15).

4 vii) Joyner’s new revelations greater than St John’s book of Revelations? The same thing is subtly implied by Joyner again when he compares his revelations with those of St John, the author of the book of Revelations. In a vision in which Joyner is told he himself is in the “third heaven” he asks an angel named Wisdom “was John’s revelation part of the third heaven?” to which this angel replies “Part of Johns revelation was from the third heaven, but most of it was from the second heaven,” (p. 45). Again the whole emphasis is to get Joyner to believe that his visions are greater than those of the early apostles. Surely he has been deceived by counterfeit visions and spiritual apparitions from the kingdom of darkness?

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,”( 1 Tim 4: 1).

4 viii) Misreading scripture: The same apparition of “St Paul” also tells Joyner that, “finally realising that I was the greatest of sinners. I was not just being humble, I was speaking sober truth. I was trusted with much, much more than I used”, (p.133). But when St Paul wrote that he was the greatest of sinners, in 1 Tim 1; 15, he was referring to the fact that he “was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor” of the church, (1Tim 1; 13), before he was saved, not because he had failed in his ministry after he was saved as this spirit suggests. This spirit was claiming that St Paul believed in the same “new revelations” and spiritual practices that Joyner advocates but was the greatest sinner because he had failed to move in these when he could have done so. Joyner then says himself that “Paul had fallen short of his calling”, (p134). This is a blatant error and misreading of scripture. It is a little absurd to suggest that St Paul did not even record anything about a new, greater form of spirituality in his letters and for this reason was the greatest of sinners. St Paul did not ever mention anywhere that he fell short of his calling in this way, he stated the exact opposite;

“Are they ministers of Christ?... I am more: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently......besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches... The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying,” (2 Cor 11: 23 to 31).

4 ix) Speaking with a double edged tongue: This spirit cunningly mixed this message in with lots of persuasive Christian terminology but we should expect nothing less if it is a demonic apparition sent to deceive believers. Whilst Joyner writes in praise St Paul and claims to admire him the conversation twists as this spirit replies a way that completely undermines the early apostles ministries. I may be wrong but I do not believe Joyner would accept this spirits message so willingly if he did not already hold to these views himself, (maybe he has never truly believed in the teachings of scripture even though he claims to?). So whilst Joyner praises St Paul he is at the same time accepting a message which completely undermines St Paul’s character, ministry and teaching and also casts doubt on all of the apostles teachings, on over two thirds of the New Testament. But is this is not the classic, confusing and contradictory way in which Satan often deceives, by appearing to tell us much of what we agree with whilst all the time promoting ideas that are not biblical?

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you,” (1 Tim 4; 16).

4 x) Contradictions: Although Joyner claims that “I do not believe that any kind of prophetic revelation is for the purpose of establishing doctrine”, (p. 12), as is so often the case in “The Final Quest” he contradicts this time and again. There is no doubt that his new revelations have led to false teachings/doctrines and also led him into numerous spiritual experiences that are just not scriptural. We have to wonder then how he can make statements such as “Only scriptures deserve to be considered infallible,” (p.14), when it is so clear that he doesn’t adhere to most of the scripture’s himself. The truth is Joyner trusts his visions over and above scripture even when they contradict the bible and he has been further encouraged down this route by the message of this spirit, this counterfeit apparition of “St Paul”.

”having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,” (1 Tim 1; 19).

4 xi) Seeking after greater levels of revelation than those in scripture: Speaking again as if it were St Paul, in relation to revelation and teachings in the church, this spirit says, “We can neither add to or take away from what we planted in the earth, but you can.” “You are now our hope,” (p. 135), and “you still have much writing to do” (p. 135), encouraging Joyner to add to and take away from the teachings of the apostles in scripture through his own writings. Concerning the church it states “We will not be the building we are supposed to be unless you go higher”, (135), encouraging Joyner to go higher into greater revelatory knowledge than he believes the bible presently contains. This apparition of “St Paul” also says “if what I have written is used as a foundation, it will not be able to hold the weight of that which needs to be built upon it”, (p. 133), again suggesting that if the church is based on the early apostles teaching it will not support the new revelations and spiritual practices that Joyner believes he is called to introduce. It is the epistles that most often contradict Joyner’s “new revelations” and would have protected him from deception had he adhered to them.

“avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith,” (1 Tim 6; 20 - 21).

4 xii) Seeking new revelations on a spiritual mountain: The message this spirit brings is also reflected in Joyner’s earlier visions in Ch’s 1 and 2. These describe him seeking after new revelations as he climbs a spiritual mountain. These visions contain a huge amount of symbolic imagery with very little interpretation of this. Neither are we are told what any of Joyner’s great new revelations are. Surely the reason God gives people genuine prophetic revelations is so that this can be shared openly with the rest of the church to edify the body of Christ, not that these revelations should be kept a secret? Instead the emphasis of Joyners visions is simply to encourage the reader to seek after new revelations themselves, in the same way that Joyner does, with the vague promise of how amazing and empowering these will be. By undermining their trust in most of scriptures those who follow this route will, like Joyner, have nothing to test their revelations against.

4 xiii) Salvation a low level of revelation? These visions depict “salvation” (p.78), as the very lowest level of revelation on the mountain, whereas the bible clearly states that this is the greatest possible revelation. Eph Ch 3 tells us that “the fellowship of the mystery, (v. 9), and “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” (v. 8), “has now been revealed,” (v.5), so “that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made know by the church” (v. 10). So the greatest revelations have already been revealed by God to the church and there are no higher revelations to seek after as Joyner claims. Instead the greatest revelations are all plainly displayed for us within the pages of the bible. But Joyner states that “many Christians never wanted to leave this level, being content to marvel at the basic doctrines of the faith” (p.78). Joyner is then told by an eagle “You must go on!” (p.78), and he and the dreaded warriors climb up toward the top of the mountain to seek after these “higher” revelations that are not contained in scripture. Joyner has clearly been deceived. The fact that he can’t, or won’t, tell us plainly what his greater revelations are is in itself highly suspicious.

“For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables,” (2 Tim 4: 3, 4).

4 xiv) Using “new revelations” to build a church that resembles the New Age: This apparition of “St Paul” tells Joyner that he wants to see “the church in the last days become everything that the church in their day had failed to attain,” (p.137). Concerning this Joyner also states that we should “open our hearts and minds to realms we do not now even know exist. This is what Satan is attempting to counterfeit through the New Age Movement”. (p.127). It would appear therefore that the new revelations that Joyner believes should be added to the church parallel the beliefs and ideas of the New Age Movement. But the ways of Gods Holy Spirit are nothing like those of the New Age Movement which is founded on witchcraft. And if we do not presently even know that these realms exist then this can’t be the spirituality recorded for us in the bible. See this video as an example of the type of spirituality now practiced at Rick Joyner’s church, for consideration, (link), (for more on this issue try sections 6 and 9).

“they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie… Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle,” (2 Thess 2 11, 15).

4 xv) The message of the kingdom: Oddly it is not until Joyner’s side reach the very top level of revelation, at the peak of the mountain, that they supposedly have an encounter with “Jesus,” and that “Jesus” unleashes his sword and engages in the battle with them. This vision of “Jesus” tells them “I must now share with you what I shared with your brothers after My ascension – the message of my kingdom,” (p.36). But the message of the kingdom has already been disclosed in the scriptures by Jesus and the early apostles. It has not been kept a secret for Joyner’s side to discover and then reveal to us 2000 year later. Joyner is implying that Christians don’t already know what the message of the kingdom is which is a little absurd. As with most of “The Final Quest” we are not told what this great new revelation is. However we don’t need to go through a long process of seeking increasingly great revelations during trances and mystical experiences in order to obtain this knowledge. Joyner must therefore believe in a different message of the kingdom, one that he does not reveal to us in this book. Joyner has clearly been deceived by these visions and a demonic manifestation falsifying an appearance of St Paul. Everything about this spirits message encourages a movement away from the teachings of scripture and to instead seek after new revelations which it claims are not contained in the bible or presently known to the body of Christ. It is of great concern that Joyner and his readers are also encouraged to use these new revelations, and the new spiritual techniques they discover, in a spiritual civil war against other Christians.

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first... The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,” (2 Thess 2; 3, 9 -12),

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Summary of Chapter 5

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