For a while, I had thought to call this review
“disney theology”, because of lines like this, “The familiar
things you are looking for to give you bearings are not the same, and
you are not the same. Therefore, your guidance must come from your
heart, your spirit.” (Kindle Locations 156-157); “After a few
minutes, Mary walked up to Elijah and looking him directly in the
eyes asked, “Are you the real Elijah?” “What does your heart
tell you?” he replied. After a minute, Mary answered with less
boldness, “You really are Elijah. I’m sorry, but it’s just hard
to believe that we would be so special to have you come to help us.”
(Kindle Locations 1076-1080). We needs to get guidance from our
hearts? This girl's heart tells us this guy is the real Elijah? That
is one of the main problems with this book—subjective standards
like feelings and “your heart” are set up as our guides, and the
objective standard of what the Bible says is at best secondary.
But after a while, another bit of something started
to become more obvious—the way the book boosts the egos of certain
people with rhetoric like this, “ “Every one of these is a
messenger. They are being prepared to shake cities and nations with
the power of the message they will be given. In time, they will
capture the attention of the entire earth, and everyone on earth will
marvel at them. These will be ‘the mighty ones’ that Enoch
prophesied would come. They are alive now, and they are starting to
find this path,” Elijah concluded, and walked away.” (Kindle
Locations 1725-1728). “He (Elijah) stopped , hesitated for a
moment, and then turned and said, “I have never seen so many in one
group who are called to be the mighty ones that Enoch talks about.
Every one of these is called to walk in more power than I did.
Obviously the time is now close.”” (Kindle Locations 844-846).
One thing statements like those brings up is, where
does Enoch say anything about these “mighty ones”? The Bible says
precious little about Enoch, and gives only one prophecy of his,
mentioned in Jude. It is about Christ returning with His saints,
which seems to be supported by Revelation 19. Joyner, though, spins
this differently, “You are a forerunner of the forerunners. You are
to help prepare those who will prepare the way for the King.”
(Kindle Locations 269-270). This notion of preparing the way for the
Lord is made much of in the book, which combined with his rhetoric
about how great these coming “mighty ones” will be, leads to one
conclusion—Joyner is teaching dominionism. It goes by a few
different names—Joel's Army, Manifest Sons of God, Elijah Company,
Seven Mountains, et al—but the notion is that the church has to
essentially take over the world before Jesus will return.
Now, that's questionable and important, but I came to
think that the main message is something else—that this is
self-aggrandizing for Joyner. Look at what happens in the book.
Joyner has the prophet Elijah hanging around him and his group,
approving of everything Joyner is teaching them. Joyner has a group
of people following him about, hanging on every word he says, some
asking questions but none really challenge anything he's teaching
them, and they constantly heap praise on him and what he's teaching.
Enoch gives him a staff made from wood from the Tree of Life itself,
which is suppose to represent some kind of authority Joyner now has.
This is self-aggrandizing on a pretty large scale..
There are also reasons to be concerned about the
nature of this story, if Joyner is claiming it's some kind of
For example, early on Elijah tells him, ““You
must also have the living water. You must never let it out of your
sight again. You must drink from it as soon as you begin to thirst.”
(Kindle Locations 164-165). This living water is usually found in a
stream close to the path they are suppose to take. But later, when
they start going uphill, this stream disappears from sight. Enoch
tells him, “You must always stay close to the living waters, and
they are always flowing, but here they are not on the surface. As you
go into higher places like this you will often have to dig for the
living water. The higher you go the deeper you may have to dig for
them, but they will be near you. They will always be close to the
path you are to walk,” (Kindle Locations 2489-2491). So, there's a
contradiction—Joyner is not to let the water from his sight, but
it's underground so he can't see it. These two things contradict each
Another has to do with the staff Enoch gave to him.
The group's prophetic kid says this to Joyner, “You think your rod
is new and freshly cut, but it is much older than you can imagine. It
seems like it is new and fresh because of the life that is in it, and
life will stay in it as long as you walk with God and do not depart
from His path. This was cut from the Tree of Life before the world
was formed, and it was sized just for you at that time.” (Kindle
Locations 2629-2631), but a moment later he tells him in private,
“Your rod was a bud that was given to you when you were very young
in the Lord,” (Kindle Locations 2662-2663). Those two statements
contradict each other.
One of the big problems, then, is how we are to
understand what this book is? If it is simply an allegory, then such
contradictions could be noted as maybe being some clumsiness on the
author's part, but not serious problems. But if Joyner claims that
this book is a record of a prophetic vision, things like he's claimed
to have written before, then we have serious problems, 'cause such
contradictions would not exist in a godly prophetic vision.
Honestly, this book is very disappointing, and
doesn't even succeed at being interesting reading. It's like Joyner
just mailed it in. There's not much new here, and reading obviously
stilted conversations gets very dull very quickly. Despite an
occasional good nugget, overall the last thing the reader should do
is act like the people in the group, who just take whatever Joyner
says without discernment. If you do read this book, do it as the
Bereans in Acts, looking to the Bible to see if what this book is
saying is what is taught in the Bible.