What They Do
The following is a distillation of many of the practices of the third-wave church and the relationship of those practices with Manifest Son’s doctrine.
The Senses. Regarding the senses, it is taught that it is acceptable, in fact often desirable, to use ALL the senses when prophesying. According to Mike Bickle, concerning Bob Jones,
“When Bob feels pin pricks in his hand, that just show up, that means witchcraft is in this (place)… The Phrase that Bob uses is his senses turn golden…His five senses are literally inspired by the Holy Spirit… He could tell what was happening in the spirit realm from the five senses. (22)
And Bob Jones himself:
“I was over there with Jim a while ago. My hands turned blue, and then they turned purple. And when that happens, it means you’ve got some incense that’s gone up. You’ve got some intercession that’s gone up that Papa’s saying yes to.” (23)
The book “You May ALL Prophesy” by Steve Thompson, which has been adopted as the training manual for many prophecy classes, has much to say about sense. Thompson’s Morningstar practices include “Spiritual taste”, “Spiritual touch”, “Spiritual hearing”, “Spiritual smell”, and “Spiritual sight”. Most egregious is the practice of “Spiritual sight” where one is taught to pick up cues when meeting someone that might remind you of someone that you already have knowledge of, and applying that knowledge to the instant situation. Arguably, this technique may render bona-fide results; the practice of “reading” people is common among psychics today.
In the third-wave church it is taught that just because a technique is used by “the dark side” does not negate its use by the church. According to the proponents of this position, only “motivation of the heart” is the crucial issue.
It is pertinent to note that Jones is regarded by Bickle and others as a “seer”. More revealing, listen to this encounter as recorded by Rick Joyner when he was in Germany to be knighted into a secret order where Joyner asks Bobby Conner for a “readout”:
"I'm sitting in the lobby with Bobby Conner and a few other people there and this guy comes walking in the lobby of the hotel who was an interesting looking guy. And Reed, who was Paul Cain's assistant, was standing behind me. And he said, 'Hey, there's Newman Peyton.' And this guy was Baron Newman Peyton, who Colonel Byrd had told me was looking for me. I said, 'Reed, do you know that man.' He said, 'Oh, yeah, we met him years ago.' And he came over, walked over to me, and said he had been looking to meet with me. And I stopped him right away. I said, 'Bobby, give me a readout on this guy.' And this guy's going, 'What's a readout?' (Laughter.) And Bobby goes, 'Sir, when you came in I just saw something, I saw that you had just come from the office of a man named Kurt Waldheim . . .' And his eyes got real big 'cause he had just come from his (Kurt Waldheim) office. And then he (Bobby Conner) said, 'I saw you or I saw him opening this briefcase and giving you something out of it.' And Bobby described the briefcase. And his eyes got real big then. He said, 'This is incredible!' He (Baron Peyton) said, 'That is the only briefcase like that in the world. I had it custom made for Kurt Waldheim.' And
it was a weird thing Bobby had described." (24)
A more orthodox belief held by mainline Charismatics and Pentecostals is that many techniques used by carnal prophets, such as "reading people", "flow charts", "prophesying off of others" (2 Chronicles 18) and "fishing expeditions" are totally carnal in both motive and application. The term "getting a reading" on someone has become part of the vocabulary within the prophetic movement today. This is carnal. Accuracy is never the sole determining factor. Revelation must come from God, not from technique or other source.
Here's a man standing up at a Patricia King meeting wearing a camo ball cap. King says "This is a silly question and I don't know where its going, but have you ever hunted ducks." Man says, "a little bit, not much, a little bit." King then prophecies that "the Lord is going to make you like a sharp shooter..." (at 2:13)
Even worse, here is Todd Bentley, a King protoge, doing some really bad cold reading. You have to feel sorry for the people on the recieving end.
John Paul Jackson, who has taught at numerous Toronto conferences uses “auras” and “astrology” in his ministry, as evidenced by this report:
"During a week of corporate fasting as Olathe churches were merging with
KCF, John Paul Jackson was giving personal prophecies. He picked out seven women
with incestuous spirits. He mentioned in his presentation auras and astrology. I
confronted him afterwards with Wes Adams, John Heston and others. I suggested
these methods were of an occult nature. He said that they originated with God
and that he knew how many women had incestuous spirits by their black auras. He
recommended the book, Elijah Task by John & Paula Sandford…" (25)
The belief that occultic practices are acceptable in the church today stems from the belief that all things were created by God, and that this is an age of restoration. What is specifically problematic about the application of this doctrine is that they're using it to give them carte blanche to embrace any kooky occultic whatever that they come across. They have no rigorous doctrinal, theological or even rational litmus test to differentiate the original creation from the perverted; for example, if our ability to pray is God-given, and our ability to pray to Beelzebub is Satan's perversion thereof, then one cannot simply justify praying to Beelzebub on the grounds that praying is God-given. A Scripture-based litmus test that distinguishes the original creation from the perverted must be applied to these strange ideas.
The Manner of Prophecy
The third-wave church says is that it is acceptable, in fact desirable, to couch a prophetic word in a prayer, or counsel, rather than give it as a "thus saith the Lord".
A more orthodox belief held by mainline Charismatics (if there are any left) and Pentecostals is that if you have a prophetic word, it is generally better to state that it is indeed that. Some will disguise a word in prayer or by saying "I sense" in order to avoid having it judged. Steve Thompson even criticizes this method of stealth-prophecy but acknowledges that the Toronto stream teaches this and he feels it is appropriate for renewal-type (i.e. soaking) meetings. (26)
Furthermore, the third wave teaching is that we can take a more casual approach to prophecy and words of knowledge; we want people to grow in these things and we must extend grace and mercy always never making correction that could offend.
A more orthodox belief held by mainline Charismatics and Pentecostals is that all prophecy must be judged. There needs to be accountability. An accountable environment is one in which one can safely grow. "Prophecy" and "Words of Knowledge" are dangerous weapons able to destroy as easily as they can build up. Better to not give a word than to treat it casually.
The root of this casual approach to prophecy comes directly from the Morningstar doctrines and practices. According to Bill Randles:
"Bob Jones, in the tape “Shepherds Rod” told us that God has revealed to him that the rhema (spoken word) would be two-thirds accurate in the days to come. In other words, up to two-thirds of the time the prophets would be “right on.” Why not 100% of the time? If you listen to Bob Jones, you would be glad for inaccurate prophets! Why ? God showed Bob, supposedly, that if enough power was released to give us 100% accuracy, we would have dead Annanias’ and Sapphiras’ all over the place. (How’s that for making people actually thankful for inaccurate prophets?) Jones says we shouldn’t worry about inaccurate prophesies, for God told him that prophets are like guns and prophecies like bullets and inaccurate prophecies are like blanks. And he also says that God told him, “I’m loading the guns, I’m putting the blanks in!” Incredible. Jones would have us believe that God is responsible for inaccurate prophecies." (27)
Critical to this belief is the understanding that prophecy is something that you can grow in (learn) as opposed to an outright gift. While the point can be made that you can learn how to use the gift, it remains a gift nonetheless. And one which must be judged. At the Morningstar Church students reportedly sit at tables on the sides of the auditorium and will give you a prophecy (reading) if you ask. Sometimes they miss it, but that’s alright, they are learning. Contrast that with a statement from John Bevere, who in his seminal work on prophecy “Thus Saith the Lord” states that “There is no Junior Holy Spirit.”
Morningstar prophetic doctrine, as taught by Rick Joyner, Bob Jones, and Steve Thompson is based on the concept of “levels of revelation”. Joyner, in his 1997 book “The Prophetic Ministry” outlines these levels to include Impressions, Visions, Open Visions, Dreams, Trances, Other Prophetic Experiences, the Lord’s Audible Voice and Angelic Visitations. “Open Visions” for those who are not up to speed on such things, are when you continue to see the vision, like a movie, even as you go about everyday tasks such as driving. Steve Thompson teaches on these levels in his book “You May All Prophesy”. He includes in his lists of ways to receive the following: Impressions, Spiritual sight, Spiritual hearing, Spiritual smell, Spiritual touch, Spiritual taste, Dreams, Glimpses in the Spirit, Gentle Internal Visions, Strong Internal Visions, and Open Visions. Dreams may include Literal Dreams, Symbolic Dreams and Dreams of Angels or the Lord, which are not visitations but are high-level revelations.
According to this doctrine, Impressions are the “entry-level” revelations. Says Thompson “Many people who receive impressions like this may believe they are unstable because their emotions can change abruptly as they move from one situation to another. They do not understand that God is 'pulling the strings on their emotions' in order to speak to them.” (28)
The highest levels of revelation, according to Thompson and others, are “Trances” and “Caught up in the Spirit”. You may be more familiar with the terms “Spirit Travel”, “Astral Projection” or “Out of Body Experiences”. According to this teaching, being caught up in the Spirit is similar to a trance but the individual is actually transported somewhere.
Bob Jones reportedly experiences these (trances and spirit travel) on a regular basis. Third-wave church members have been overheard discussing participation in such activities. One wonders who is “pulling the strings on their emotions”. There does seem to be a direct correlation between the Toronto-Style of soaking, where one is told to “not pray in tongues or English for you are here to receive and that can hinder your reception” and this type of occultic activity. According to John Arnott “Don't take control, you can take control later. The whole deal is, you lose control”. (29)
There is a conspicuous tie between the doctrine of the seven hidden gospels and the levels of revelation. Because canonized scripture was given by a direct form of revelation it only seems logical to require that form of revelation to the additional seven that will be “added to the book”. And there is a connection to the restoration of the Apostolic office, as only those who have seen Jesus face-to-face have, to this point, been considered apostles. A simple vision will not suffice; one must have been transported to the throne room for this form of high revelation. Many of the Kansas City Prophets and people like Todd Bentley claim this level of authority.
In recent years just about everything in the third-wave church has been declared to be prophetic, be it “prophetic evangelism”, “prophetic soaking prayer” or even “prophetic flag waving” during the duration of the services. One of the most common terms these days for these third-wave churches within the Manifest Son’s movement is “The Prophetic Church”.
The Gnostic emphasis on the mystical experience, coupled with the need for a perverse emphasis on personal prophecy (negating the need for each believer to establish a direct working relationship with God) has brought the church to adopt stranger and stranger ways of hearing from God. The doctrines of “inherent inaccuracies” and “levels of prophecy” are now being taught and propagated in the third-wave church.
The Laying on of Hands
“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22
The third-wave church will very often say that "Laying on of hands suddenly" relates only to installing elders (leaders) and does not have a broad application. According to this belief, we must lay hands on all who come without question.
A more orthodox belief held by mainline Charismatics and Pentecostals is that 1 Timothy 5:22 has a much broader application in its original intent and context, that it really does not specifically relate to any installation ceremony, and that one can (and should) exercise the gift of discernment while in the midst of ministry because there are consequences (defilement) to laying hands suddenly (without due consideration).
Amazingly, this viewpoint (defilement) was taught in the early days of the Charismatic Church, as study groups used the Derek Prince Foundation Series. Prince states that there are three different type of laying on of hands: Healing, to receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost, and Ordination. He discusses 1 Timothy 5:22 in his chapter on the baptism but does not mention it in the chapter on the installation of leaders or sending out.
I believe that the interpretation of this verse, which applies it only to installation, comes from those with backgrounds in churches where the only time hands were laid on was during an installation. Third-wavers will allegorize other forms of laying on of hands as just a “point of contact”.
Historically, the emphasis on the laying on of hands in the modern spirit-filled church today can be traced back to the Latter Rain revival of 1948. This was one of the things that God was “restoring” to the church, along with “impartation of the mantle” and “sitting under one”. Not everyone has bought into this. To paraphrase theologian Fuschia Pickett: “You want my mantle? I don’t know what that really is, but if you want one, you should get yours where I got mine– from God.”
The practice of “laying hands on anything that moves” (as Rodney Howard-Browne instructed Randy Clark) can be traced directly back to Toronto, the birthplace of Soaking Prayer.
Related to this concept is the common practice of the “Fire Tunnel” where everyone is prayed for in an assembly-line fashion. Aside from the fact that the speed of the conveyor belt alone determined the amount of time that would be spent in ministry to an individual, one of the prime objections to this practice is that ALL who pass through will have hands laid on them. If you believe in the concept of transference (defilement) you can see that this has the potential to spread defilement through out the church.
The problem with laying hands on “all who come” is that some may come with hidden sins or bad motives. Jesus himself did not pray for everyone who wanted prayer. Let’s say that an individual has been secretly looking at pornography and comes forth for prayer. In the tradition of the current teaching on prophecy he receives a “safe” word, one which edifies, uplifts and comforts. “The Lord says I see your heart and I am well pleased. You cannot believe the things I have prepared for you. Whatever you set your hand to will prosper…”
The end result is that this person has been encouraged to continue in the manner of living that he has adopted, and in all likelihood the person offering the prayer and “prophecy” has somehow been defiled. It’s a downhill spiral from there.
Interestingly, at the Brownsville Revival (the revival of repentance) I observed that those in ministry would frequently just skip over some in line for “hands on” ministry. One should be very careful when some come forward (during ministry times) wanting hands laid on them, as they seek an illegitimate affirmation of their ministry.
I remain a firm believer that “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”; I am not afraid of demons, or their power. But I will not casually lay hands on anyone (without due consideration) simply because the scriptures teach me to be prudent.
Go to Part 3.
22 Audio tape “The Shepherd’s Rod” Mike Bickle, Bob Jones. Fall, 1989.
23 Bob Jones, “Visions and Revelations” 1989.
24 Audio tape, Rick Joyner. See http://www.pawcreek.org/articles/endtimes/NewWorldOrderPart1PaulCainRickJoyner.htm
25 Ernest Gruen, “Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of the Kansas City Fellowship” available at http://www.banner.org.uk/kcp/Abberent Practises.pdf
26 Steve Thompson “You May All Prophesy”.
27 Bill Randles, “Weight and Found Wanting” p. 64.
28 Steve Thompson “You May All Prophesy”