Part 3: Joel's Army
As Pentecostals we love the moving of the Holy Spirit in our midst, we rejoice when the sick are healed and deliverances wrought and we pray for revival. However, we look for a revival that changes lives and brings souls to their knees in repentance before God. There are so many non-gospel ideas and heresies intermingled with the charismatic message these days that the Gospel of Christ is losing its effect. The unholy admixture is not only watering down the Gospel, it's also converting Christian thought to New Age. To enhance the effectiveness of ministries, spiritual demonstrations and experiences are being sought outside of the Gospel of Christ. As a result of this paradigm shift in the thinking of Christians, the term repentance has lost its biblical meaning and the old fashioned altar-call is fading into insignificance. Nowadays, whatever idea, novelty or gimmick attracts a following is latched onto and exploited to the full. Another ill effect on the Gospel comes when strange doctrines are ministered by popular TV, radio or conference speakers. The euphoria of their charisma and popularity seems to make whatever they say - sound doctrine.
If we have been in the Pentecostal World any time at all, we have all at one time or another expounded doctrine that was merely mimicking some "famous" evangelist. After further study, we have had to acknowledge that we were merely on a "bandwagon", swallow our pride and go on! I must admit to some pretty dumb things myself. But, I must be willing at this point to allow everything I write and say to come under the scrutiny of the Word of God. Every truth and doctrine must be judged according to the written Word of God. This is the only way that we can properly judge the visions and revelations that are pouring forth today.
DON'T BE DECEIVED BY TERMINOLOGY
Another subtle deception abounding, comes through the use of terminology to lure Christians into thinking that a very high form of godliness will earn them a distinctive place in JOEL'S ARMY as a potentate. There is a great emphasis on praying and becoming holy before the Lord. It sounds so good - so attainable. Yet when Bob Jones and Mike Bickle discuss intercession, a perfectly scriptural term, they are meaning something quite unscriptural.
Bob Jones: "Intercession releases revelation and revelation will release proclamation - so get on your knees and get what God's wisdom is and then blow the trumpet - and it'll work."
On the surface of the above quote it sounds as though Bob Jones and Mike Bickle are exhorting Christians to pray for grace, understanding and power to preach the Gospel of Christ with boldness. But, that is not what is being shared. Farthest from that, the meaning behind the terms is that Christians pray to become 'MANIFEST SONS OF GOD in 'JOEL'S ARMY' thus becoming the oracle of God and the executioner of God's wrath on those that fail to comply or conform to the NEW ORDER of the MANIFEST SONS.
George Warnock said it all already in THE FEAST OF THE TABERNACLES;
"By faith all things are and shall be possible. The very dispensations themselves are but weak barriers and obstacles if men of faith are enabled by the Spirit to reach out and leap beyond them. Enoch did it. So did Elijah. And so shall the Sons of God. The Word of faith shall grip their hearts, and they shall reach out and appropriate the Resurrection and the Life [MANIFEST SONS OF GOD] even now in this life. If they do not, Christ never will return to earth. For God hath said 'Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.' (Ps. 110:1) And the last enemy is Death."
So accordingly, JOEL'S ARMY would arise to overcome the enemies of both man and Christ. This is also brought about by a 'secret inner coming' of Christ' to some Christians which would transform them.
"Christ should visit the saints in the last great Feast and minister His life 'in secret' before He is openly manifested! Christians think it is a horrible thing that Christ's second Coming should be spoken of in this manner . . When a Christian comes to that place where he really appreciates and understands and enjoys Spiritual things, then he can truly rejoice in the fact that Christ is coming back again to be manifested within. "(ibid).
This is what is being portrayed in the teaching today when you hear Christ must come TO HIS CHURCH before He can come FOR HIS CHURCH. It has a very spiritual ring to it. The ring speaks of holiness and righteousness before God. We all long for HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and HIS HOLINESS to be manifest in our lives.
However, using Christian terminology does not make the doctrine correct. Bob Jones, a "prophet" from Kansas City says that . . . .
"the Church is in no condition for the Lord to come today.. . He's going to come for a church that is mature in righteousness... progressively going in this righteousness until you take on THE VERY DIVINE NATURE OF CHRIST HIMSELF and you begin to see Christ in the Church. Christ won't come for The Church until you see Christ in The Church. Until the Church looks like Jesus. PAPA [God] planted Jesus, He sowed Him down here in this earth to have a whole nation of brothers and sisters that looked just like Jesus and he will have it. His Son was ALPHA SON, your children are the OMEGA sons and daughters. . ." [Mike Bickle interjects here, "Jesus was the beginning, but our children and us, we're included in this... we're the end of this thing.] [MANIFEST SONS OF GOD]. "The Church is asleep, but when she gets woke up, there's not any power. . . when she gets woke up and joins together in an ARMY, there's not any power anyplace that can stop her, for she'll know nothing but victory when she joins hands and becomes one in purpose and that's to REVEAL THE KINGDOM ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH." (School for Prophecy, Session 7, Vineyard Ministries, 1989).
We need more than a "jello" theology that is always in a state of flux in these serious days. The deception is so widespread and has been infiltrating the Church for so long, it is most difficult to get a handle on it. The Word of God is very clear in teaching us how to avoid error.
"The most important single principle in determining the true meaning of any doctrine of our faith is that we start with the clear statements of the Scriptures that specifically apply to it and use those to interpret the parable a, allegories, and obscure passage This allows Scripture to interpret Scripture. The Dominionists frequently reverse this order, seeking to interpret the clear passages, using obscure passages, parables, and allegories.
Let us take it as simply as possible and point out the "End-Time revival" error and compare it with the truth of the Word of God.
THE FALSE JOEL'S ARMY OUTLINED
In order to have a clear understanding of how this teaching is coming forth on Joel's Army, let us go over the background of the teaching. The teaching does not have its roots in the Word of God. The roots are in "revelations" that then find Scriptures to back them up.
AN ELITE COMPANY
According to Paul Cain, when he was 19-years-old, he saw the Angel of the Lord. The Angel was standing in his majesty like a warrior and he had a bright and shining sword in his hand. With that sword he pointed up to a billboard that had a sign on it that said, JOEL'S ARMY NOW IN TRAINING. He asked the Lord what it meant and the Lord took him by the hand and walked him through the book of Joel.
Bob Jones, a "seer" from Kansas City also has "seen" this Army. In talking about the Army he says:
"They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign and wonder that has ever been in the Bible - they'll move in it consistently. They'll move in the power that Christ did. Every sign and wonder that's ever been will be many times in the last days. They themselves will be that generation that's raised up to put death itself underneath their feet and to glorify Christ in every way...and the Church that is raising up in the government will be the head and the covering for them. So that that glorious church might be revealed in the last days because the Lord Jesus is worthy to be lifted up by a church that has reached the full maturity of the god-man!" (Visions & Revelations, Fall 1988).
John Wimber says this Army is,
"Those that are humble of heart and those who have entered into the apostolic suffering of the End Times... There will be a time where even as in Acts 2 suddenly, as they were gathered, in the midst of them, the Lord came and with an anointing beyond anything; that has ever been given to man before. Something so astounding, something so marvelous that God has kept it as a mystery as it were, behind His back and He is about to reveal it to the ages. He is about to reveal it. With the judgment of all mankind will come this incredible incarnational enduement of God's Spirit and we will see the Elijahs.... This END TIME ARMY will be made of the Elijahs of the Lord God and the characteristic of that ministry is the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the sons and the sons to the fathers. . getting our hearts ready that these that are being prepared by the spirit of God - they are going to receive a visitation. They are going to receive a great light and they are going to be turned to the Church. . . Soon He will build the temple....There will be a filling of the temple. That is why we are prophesying and saying to you that it is coming soon. While in the midst of our gatherings, while in the midst of our intercessions, while we are praying, while we are doing the things that Jesus talked about - these things-the Greater Things will come. Suddenly, immediately right-away a change - in a moment - without notice - the twinkling of an eye the Lord will fill His temple and the anointing of God, the power of God will come." (John Wimber, Docklands [England] October 1990).
Jack Deere states that....
"...this army is totally unique. This army, there's never been one like it and there never will be one like it in ages to come....It's's so mighty that there's never been anything like it before. Not even Moses, not even David, not even Paul. What's going to happen now will transcend what Paul did, what David did. . what Moses did, even though Moses parted the Red Sea. . there'll be a numerous company. . . Revelation hints at this when it talks about the 144,000 that follow the Lamb wherever He goes and no one, no one can harm that 144,000. See, that's a multiple of 12. What's 12? Twelve is the number of the Apostles, 12 is Apostolic government. And when you take an important number in the Bible and you multiply it, it means you intensify it. So, 12,000 times 12,000 = 144,000. [Wrong math]. That is the ultimate in Apostolic government. Revelation talks about that. Well here Joel is talking about it now in different words, a powerful, a MIGHTY ARMY with many Pauls, many Moses', many Davids." (JOEL'S ARMY, VINEYARD MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL 1990.)
This is portraying an "elite" special group which is exactly what the Jehovah Witnesses teach. The Jehovah Witnesses claim that they are the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 16.
Mike Bickle also brings this thought across:
"There's Apostles, there's Imminent Apostles and there's MOST IMMINENT APOSTLES.... There's various levels of Apostles and the Lord was showing that..... out of This Movement there would be 35 apostles.... that will be of the highest level of apostolic ministry..... the whole government of this movement in it's highest level in all places it goes. . . . the government rests on Apostles and Prophets. . . . Though I believe there will be hundreds apostles in this movement and every movement will have its apostles and prophets, I believe God. He's merging Apostles in a number of movements now and He's going to add prophets to the prophets that are already there and He's going to bring us to higher statures." (Visions & Revelations, Kansas City Fellowship Audio Cassette).
THE TRUE ARMY
It is hard to fathom how this cheap imitation, that does not even take an expert to discern, is being mistaken for the wonderful, glorious Army that Joel is talking about. In Malachi the Word of God says, "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? . . ." There is no flesh that will be able to stand in His Presence. This Army spoken of by the Prophet Joel is the TRUE END-TIME ARMY that will return at the DAY OF THE LORD. It is when Christ returns with HIS SAINTS (His End-Time Army) at the end of the tribulation. (Joel 2:10-11; Zech. 14:5; Jude 14; Rev. 19:11-21; II Thess. 1:7-10). When OUR KING OF KINGS sets His feet on the Mount of Olives. When Israel repents and is saved as a Nation in one day. When all the forces of hell are let loose at the battle of Armageddon. Them "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love him." This MARVELOUS, TERRIBLE DAY of the Lord will cause every other day in history to dim in comparison. This all happens after the Church has been RAPTURED (or "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air) out of the earth and glorified in His physical Presence (1 Theesalonians 4:16-17; Rom. 8:22-25). After the Antichrist has wrought his deadly havoc. After the remnant (144,000 of the Jewish nation) have ministered throughout the time of the tribulation and been translated as the "manchild" to heaven. (Isaiah 66:7-8; Rev. 7:3-8; 12:1-5; 14:1-5).
MESSIANIC JEWS BEING DECEIVED
It is also hard to understand how even Messianic Jews are being deceived by this teaching today. Yet, in Scripture the Anti-Christ does make a pact with Israel (Dan. 9:27), so obviously he is able to deceive the nation as a whole, so we shouldn't be too surprised at the way this deceptive teaching is taking the Messianic Jews and Church as a whole into an unprecedented apostasy.
Apostate teachings such as "Joel's Army", "New Breed", "Manifest Sons", "Latter Rain", "Elijah Company", "Son of Man Company", etc., all have three basic traits in common:
1. Discredit the Word of God.
a. Wrest the fundamental doctrines "as they do also the other Scriptures" II Pet. 3:16).
b. Allegorize the truth away.
c. Deny the literal meaning of Scripture.
d. Compare the Bible to other books and irreverence the written Word.
e. Place their revelations on a par with Scriptures.
f. Emphasize their thoughts and ideas above Scriptures.
g. Esteem the authority of the Church over the Scriptures.
2. Deify Man.
a. "Change the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped . . . the creature more than the Creator".
b. The Church (man) is the ongoing incarnation of Jesus Christ, in other words, the Church IS Jesus Christ come in the flesh,
c. The believer is a god-man, i.e. a supernatural being.
d. The focus of the "gospel" centers on MAN - his self love, esteem, glorification and dominion.
3. Disregard Israel (the Wife of God). Israel is an outcast and has been replaced by the Church,
a. "Ethnic Israel's" rebirth depends on the "Son of Man Company" (The END TIME prophets) and not the Messiah (Jesus Christ) at His Second Advent.
b. "Ethnic Israel's" only hope of ever being restored is contingent on the prophetic word of the prophets and being birthed into the "One New Man Company" of the CHURCH.
Subtlety and deception has always been part of Satan's strategy in "spiritual warfare", but the latest doctrinal maneuver - the Church giving birth to Israel - is a master deception. It is postured to kill two birds with one stone. Kill the belief that Israel is an everlasting people of God and that Israel is to be saved and reborn spiritually in one day through the advent of their MESSIAH - Jesus Christ. Satan knows his time is short, that this age is drawing to a close and the advent of the Messiah is at hand. Therefore, he is wasting no time doing everything in his power to demise the nation of Israel. As in the past, he will go to all extremes to estrange and frustrate Israel's Messianic faith and hope and what better means can he use than the apostate Church. The following is an example of yet another distortion of Scripture, the Church and the Messianic message:
"The very nation [Israel] that once gave birth - now is in need to be birthed by another. Who will provide it?. . . This premise of spiritual revival still hinges upon the rising and completion of the ministry of the prophetic "Son of Man" who is to prophecy the life-giving Word of God. Today the Lord is calling forth a SON OF MAN COMPANY to corporately prophecy and speak to Israel's lifeless, hopeless white bones until the vision is completed. The church is birthing Israel [used the illustration of Ruth coming back with Naomi Ruth 4:I3] 'Who was this son? Who was this male child of whom the neighbor women said, 'a son has been born to Naomi'. How could it be that old lifeless and bitter Naomi is now given credit for the birth of this child. Boaz was not Naomi's husband, nor was it her womb that brought forth the child, yet the prophetic declaration was that the child was born to Naomi. Young and loving Ruth offered her vibrant womb so that old and wrinkled Naomi could bear a male child one last time. There is a young and loving church whom God is calling forth to lend her womb as a chamber of travail and tears to old and hopeless Israel that she might bear a son. Who is this SON? And what name did they give Him but Obed'. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
If history is anything to go by, it would be fair to say that should Israel fail to fulfill the so-called prophetic view of the Church giving birth to Israel, she (Israel) will again be blamed and accused of continued stubbornness and indifference. Again she becomes the "scape-goat" for reckless and irresponsible theological views.
Israel's only Hope is their Messiah. IF all the Church would accept that Israel's national salvation comes through their Messiah (Jesus Christ at His Second Advent) it would know how to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and how to preach the Gospel of Christ.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Matt. 24:29).
The secret of their endurance is twofold.
1. Their National Law.
It preserved them from disease, controlled and regulated their passions, checked the baser impulses of their nature, and secured the vigor of their offspring.
2. Their National Hope.
Amid all the vicissitudes of their history the Jewish people have been upheld by their 'National Hope,' A 'Hope' so radiant, and 'Faith' so beautiful, that the world has never seen its like. The'Hope of a
The 'Hope' of the coming of this 'Messiah' has flamed like a 'Morning Star' through the darkness of Israel's long night, and has turned their thoughts toward the dawning of that day when the
shall arise and dispel the gloom and usher in that bright 'Millennial Day' when Righteousness and Peace shall cover the earth as the waters cover the deep." (Dispensational Truth, Clarence Larkin.)
Jewel van der Merwe is the editor/publisher of Discernment Newsletter and other articles and booklets. If you would like more information or a list of available articles from this ministry write her at the address below. Please include a small offering to cover postage and handling. God Bless You!
(EDnote: Though pretribulaitnists/dispensationalists are quoted in this report, I do not agree with those doctrines. But, I do believe this booklet is important to keep before the Church, as an aid to discernment, the foundational teachings about Joel's Army.)