Saturday, December 7, 2013

book review—The Path (Fire on the Mountain) by Rick Joyner

massive self-aggrandizing

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 prophetic vision.

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 other.

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.

9 comments:

NitaM said...

Unfortunately you do not understand prophetic symbolism. Joyner is one of the prophets and he has numerous encounters in the angelic/Heavenly realm. He has had the great gift of even visiting the Throne Room of Heaven. Do not mock what you do not understand. It is dangerous.

There is much information to be garnered from reading the Book of Enoch, it can be found free online. It is not scripture but it is useful. It will explain some things that you didn't understand.

Basically what Joyner is explaining is that there is a remnant of people who have been in preparation to become the Bride of Christ. It is the Bridal Company. These are those who are pursuing the Lord Jesus with great passion, those who have laid their lives down to seek Him and Him alone. These are those who are, through the process of great refining becoming the huios sons of God as opposed to those who are only teknon son. A teknon son is the initial state after becoming born again. It is great work to become a huios son (these are Greek words from New Testament). So this is all a description of those who are pressing in to be filled with the 7 Spirits of God as Isaiah 11:1 describes. To walk in perfect union with the Lord, to fulfill 2 Peter 1:1-4, walking in the earth just like Jesus, a foretaste of the powers of the Age to come. And it is the fulfillment of Isaiah 60:1. This forerunner company will evidence the spirit and power of Elijah as Joel prophesied, as Peter confirmed on the Day of Pentecost. I can assure what he speaks is true because I am one of this company. This company is being prepared to display His Glory to all the world around us. To understand these things you must be filled with the Holy Spirit-in other words, the baptism of the Spirit. Then you will learn to hear Him speaking in your heart, that still small voice. This is what is necessary to begin the journey to full sonship, the place where we begin to walk in our full inheritance as sons of God.

I hope you will allow the Spirit of God to lead you into greater understanding. You might try Paul Keith Davis' website, White Dove. He is a terrific prophetic teacher and he has webinars usually every Tuesday, free. This is meat I am talking about, not milk and not pablum. Meat.

Bless you on your journey to greater understanding in the Spirit of God.

jazzact13 said...

NitaM

Your pride in your supposed elitism would itself be enough to tell me what you're involved in is not from God, and the fact that you must take biblical verses out of context makes the false teaching you have bought into even more obvious.

Isaiah 11:1-5 is prophecy about Christ. You statement that I Peter 1:1-4 is about us "walking in the earth just like Jesus" is rank blasphemy. If you really think you are one of that company, then do some serious repenting, because what you believe in not of God.

ROBERT NGOBENI said...

it wont help to point fingers and judge what we can not prove only the Lord can separate the tares from the wheat not u..

jazzact13 said...

Robert:

Who are you to speak of not pointing fingers when you are pointing fingers? If you take your spin on "don't judge" to it's logical conclusion, you would not even be able to decide whether any person's teachings are from God or not.

It is indeed my place to determine whether or not what I'm hearing is biblical or not.

Why don't you actually try to prove anything I said in my review wrong, instead of making broad, unspecific accusations?

Kofi said...

I just read your review and had a couple of questions.

1. You pointed to a number of contradictions that give us reason to be concerned about the nature of this story. I have observed that there has been an upsurge in claims of having visions and supernatural experiences, and I have been pondering how we test them. I think your identifying contradictions is a reasonable method, but what we want to know is, what are the tests that Scripture gives us.

Those who give deference to such visions consider them as the operation of the spiritual gift 'discerning of spirits'. Fair enough. The gift is mentioned in 1 Cor. 12 where Paul starts by saying he doesn't want the Corinthians to be ignorant of spiritual gifts, which I think is pretty sound advice. Then he starts off by helping them to distinguish between their old life of idolatry and occultism, and their new life in the Spirit.

And here is the test he gives them: no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Spirit of God. My interpretation of this is that a person cannot acknowledge Christ as Lord, except by the Holy Spirit (even if they are somewhat spiritually immature and disorderly as Paul suggests the Corinthians were, in utilising their gifts).

So my first question is, do you think Rick Joyner passes this test in this book? Did He acknowledge Christ as Lord, seek to know Christ as Lord, and point people to Christ as Lord (whatever his other faults may be)?

2. You started off your review by suggesting this book was massive self-aggrandizing, and explained why. I think your comments were understandable but left me a little curious. I have come across some good teaching, by which I mean I find a bible teacher who's life and ministry demonstrates good fruit (by this you shall know them) and the read or listen to their teaching, obviously going back to check this against Scripture. This has helped me to grow.

I assume you've read some good teaching books as well. In most cases the teachers directly presents their material as the result of their own study, learning and devotion, to educate, equip and benefit the receiver. However, if instead of presenting it directly, they put into a story form where students ask questions, and the same teaching is given as answers to those questions, would you characterize the authors of those good teaching books you have read as self-aggrandizing?

3. My third questions relates more to you than the book. Jesus said, He is the vine and we are the branches and He has called us to bear eternal fruit which we can only do by abiding in Him. I obviously don't know you, but I want to believe that as a disciple of Christ, you want to abide in Him and bear eternal fruit, or rather let Him bear fruit through you. I guess my question is what do you feel Christ has called you to do, and what do you consider the fruit of that (in terms of fruit, I'm asking more generally rather than actual specifics, like if I am called to encourage, then the fruit may be people encouraged in their faith to remain faithful and fruitful to Christ).

I ask this last question to help me put your words into context. I know in the past, I would read a single blog entry, build up a mistaken caricature, and respond based on this mistaken perspective. So I decided to go back and look at some of your blog entries from when you began in 2007. Off course I could only read a sample, and I wouldn't claim by any stretch of the imagination to now know you from what I've read, but certainly, it has given me a very different perspective from reading one blog entry.

I think you are witty and thoughtful, and judging by some of your entries on your chess exploits and failures, you have a logical mind, which comes out in your posts. You think about what you are saying, and don't claim to always be correct. I don't think I agree with all your statements, but I did find insightful comments, and I am interested to hear what you have to say, if you will oblige.

amos said...

i have read a couple of Rick Joyner's book's; the final quest and the torch and the sword. i have been blessed through them. i believe in visions(Acts 2:17)and dreams(Job 33:14-17.I receive insight through them. Daniel understood by the books and Paul asked for the parchments.

komi m.k said...

I have read all of Rick books and i must tell you i have drawn closer to God and began to walk with Him in deeper level since.

Anonymous said...

I have read Rick Joyner books, articles, word for the week, prophetic perspectives, and the like. I have studied and read these material for years. I have been blessed and encouraged in my walk with the Lord. The fruit of what he writes is evidenced in the relationship that i have with the Lord. I thank God for Rick Joyner and pray that God will continue to use him mightily as a forerunner of those who will be a part of what God is building in the earth. Shalom

LindacaroL said...

The discerning of the Holy Spirit is the one who gives us and leads us into understanding the Word and prophetic. The main thing here is again, the Word and the Spirit do not disagree if there is fruit. We are called to be THE CHURCH and 'they will know we are Christians by our LOVE'! It is time the CHURCH comes together not DIVIDE. LET GOD work out the differences. We are called we are called we are called to worship HIM in Spirit and in Truth. We are called to Love each other and Love the Lord with all of our heart, soul strength and mind and might......so! The main things we agree with are what the CHURCH has always agreed on, Jesus was born of a virgin, filled with the Spirit, God was pleased with Him, He went about doing only what He saw the Father do, and Jesus told us to follow Him and do only what He said to do. Simple. We bow down at His feet, repent, rise renewed in mind spirit and body and filled with the Holy Spirit, and then bow at His feet again and worship Him and stay in His Presence until we hear His Word. We stay in His Word by reading it and meditating on it day and night until it becomes a part of us. We are called we are called to LOVE God the Father, and no one else and to Love each other as ourselvesl. We again bow down at His feet and repent, listen to the Word and then rise and GO in the power of the Holy Spirit and DO what He says to do. We gather together as the Body of Christ to encourage each other and to be accountable and to worship and praise the Lord and serve Him together. There is NO place in this time of His Story to point fingers and cause people do doubt especially younger in the faith. We exault the Lord Jesus Christ, and are covered by His blood, we live in repentance and strive to be Holy as He is Holy and are full of the Holy Spirit and Listen and Do and Obey what He tells us to do. The fruit is souls won to the Lord Jesus Christ and to then disciple and train them and they go out and win souls and disciple and train and so forth. The CHURCH must get ready for the great Harvest that is coming! It is here. Jesus called the disciples. They left everything even family and businesses and friends and FOLLOWED HIM. They did what He told them to do and they were NOT yet filledl with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said we WILL do GREATER things as we are filled with the same HOLY Spirit. This is just out of the Bible. It is what it says it is. It is getting to be difficult in these to have everyone theologize and pontificate and dispute and rip apart everything to the point of being a 'religious spirit' and this MUST STOP so that the WORLD will not laugh at us, seeing how we are in strife and division that the WORLD is already in already. Why would they want to become Christians, little Christs, if it is no different than the WORLD?