Ok, so here is the review of The Final Quest, by Rick Joyner. It was written with concern from a good friend of mine, to a book club that she attended, and she has asked that her name be removed if I publish it. It is not too in depth, but the review raises some legitimate concerns that I hope are taken seriously. Now, there is much to be said about Rick Joyner and several of his books, and some of that is mentioned here, but The Final Quest is the primary thing that is being addressed here. If any of ya’ll have any input, be it positive or negative, we would be glad to hear.
My thoughts on Rick Joyner’s The Final Quest
Test the spirits, beloved. Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. I John 4:1
What started out as an enjoyable pastime—joining a CENSURED book club—has become an unpleasant but necessary task for me. Please understand this is motivated by love for all of you. I am convinced the book we are reading contains serious error. A person can’t just make that kind of assertion and not get specific with Scriptural evidence, which is why this document is so lengthy! I don’t say this lightly, and I didn’t come to this conclusion easily. I’ve been researching the book and its author for several days and have quite a few things to share with you.
I was troubled by what I found, but also by what I didn’t find. The message of Christ and the cross never appears. This gave me a general feeling of emptiness as I read.
For example, on the subject of power (page 142), how would you expect this sentence to end? “The greatest power that I have ever revealed on the earth, or ever will…” Surely it would say something about Jesus’ power over death through His death on the cross and His glorious resurrection? But instead, it says, “The greatest power that I have ever revealed on the earth, or ever will, is still a very small demonstration of My power…” This message, while certainly whetting the reader’s appetite for more personal supernatural experiences, draws attention away from the supremacy of Christ’s power in both His first and second coming.
On the subject of healing (page 142), how might this sentence be completed? “I will give you power to heal the sick…” Maybe something like this? “…so that God’s glory will be made manifest and people will see their great need of Him!” Instead, it says this: “I will give you the power to heal the sick because you love them, and I love them, and I do not want them sick.” Sure, God loves us and being a good parent, he doesn’t like to see us sick; but His purposes are so much higher, and often are accomplished through our weakness and infirmity—not always immediate healing. But no mention of His glory here.
On the subject of faith (page 143), the Bible gives such a clear, eloquent explanation: “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yet Rick Joyner claims God told him this: “You must seek love first, and then faith. You cannot please Me without faith. But faith is not just the knowledge of My power, but the knowledge of My love and the power of My love. Faith must first be for love. Seek faith to love more, and to do more with your love. Only when you seek faith to love can I trust you with My power. Faith works by love.” No mention of Jesus Christ as the object of our faith.
Second, it greatly troubles me that Rick Joyner puts himself in a position where he is basically untouchable. While sharing things that, if true, would rightly have major influence on our Christian beliefs, his vision cannot be tested and found to be either true or false, because he gives himself an “out” by saying it’s not divinely inspired on a par with Scripture. He claims, for instance, to have eaten from the Tree of Life. Did he or did he not? If he did, then he is the first to have ever done so, and before the appointed time for everyone who overcomes, according to Revelation 2:7. If he didn’t, then he has imagined it and should never have told people that it really happened. He claims to have spoken with the Apostle Paul himself. Did he or did he not? If he did, then every word that was spoken by Paul becomes reliable doctrine for every believer. Either that, or it was not Paul he spoke with, but either an imaginary character or a deceiving spirit. Joyner cannot have it both ways, but that is exactly what he wants to do. Do you see where my frustration lies? If you say, “This doesn’t line up with what the Bible teaches,” then he pulls the “I’m not infallible” card. It is not the same as saying, “I think I have a word from God for you, but please test it,” as many people do when they pray for each other. He is calling himself a prophet of God. Prophets of God spoke the words of God. True prophets in the Bible never spoke forth things that turned out to be error; those who did so were called false prophets. Today we are told to watch out for them: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. . . . For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time” (Matthew 24:10–13;24 NIV). In the Old Testament they were simply put to death (Deuteronomy 13:1–5). Thank God for His mercy. As I have looked further into Rick Joyner’s teachings and ministry, I have discovered that he is part of a larger movement referred to as the Third Wave. Thousands of sincere believers have become involved in it innocently, by attending conferences and revival meetings where, they are told, the power of God is manifested. Some manifestations (barking, screaming, writhing and twitching), when they occurred in historic revival meetings, were quelled by good shepherds, who did all they could to restore order, because they realized their source was demonic. But now, they are not only welcomed, but sought. They replace the clear teaching of the Word and are treated as if they are evidence of true spirituality.
So, while the desire of seekers’ hearts is to seek God and have more of Him, the leaders of the Third Wave lead them in the wrong direction. They begin with seeking truth, but end up being encouraged to seek supernatural experiences. Yes, Christians will have supernatural experiences! I’m not denying the power of the Holy Spirit. What I am saying is that these particular men are not trustworthy leaders or good shepherds of God’s flock. This is evidenced by what they teach, how they brag, and their irresponsible actions (see clips of the Lakewood Revival on YouTube).
Anyone can fall into error. I’m sure there are areas of error in my own life as well. I keep praying God will reveal them and cleanse me from unrighteousness, because I do see some of my own faults all too clearly; others I’m most likely blind to, which stinks. I guess that’s why God instructs us, when we bring correction to the body, to pray for ourselves so that we won’t be deceived. That’s what I’m trying to do.
Finally, I am concerned with the occultish symbols and references that run throughout Joyner’s vision. Commonly found in occult practices are such things as talking with the dead, astral projection, the use of seer stones, mazes and doors, levels of ascendency, initiation into supernatural experiences in order to receive power and authority, and encounters with spirit beings. I see versions of all these phenomena in this book. What I do not see is the clear truth of the Gospel.
My misgivings with this book began when I could not reconcile Joyner’s interpretation of the Ten Virgins parable with the biblical account, where Jesus says he never knew them. One commentator I read said that the “outer darkness” where the foolish virgins were sent may have referred to the feast taking place at night, and it would have been dark outside the gate. END OF REVIEW
(The ending had to be censured for the sake of privacy and what not, and I apologize for that.)
There are some concerns in this book, and only a few have been brought to light. I believe that, if nothing else, we can learn to look deeper, and learn to discern the truth, and this can only be done with much prayer and lots of reading of the Holy Bible. The good friend of mine does not recommend this book, and I am inclined to agree. Now I would like to point out again, that I have not read this book, she was a guest writer (so to speak) who may contribute again. I hope ya’ll found this useful and if you have any questions or concerns feel free to let us know.