Adrift In the River of God

I do not recall exactly how it started or when the decisive moment was. I do not know how I got to the point of being so deeply entrenched in apostasy and deception. I cannot definitively point to one moment and declare it was the one in which the deception began and my destructive course was charted. I simply do not know. What I do know is that I was convinced. I was convinced of my being on the right path. I was one of God’s chosen, His elite, His enlightened ones. “Get into the River” was our mantra and our manifesto.

In my home church they called us the River People, and I was hopelessly immersed. Those that loved me enough had tried to warn me. However, I did not want to listen to those I perceived as being beneath me spiritually. They simply did not understand the river’s flow, I reasoned. No, I was happy being adrift.

In the beginning, I was deeply involved in a large Pentecostal church in town. I sang on the worship team and also sang for a small Vineyard church in the same city. There was whisperings at that time of a movement in Toronto, a “blessing” of epic proportion; or so I thought.Toronto was only a few hours drive from my city and so it began. We would pile into cars like hungry pilgrims and make the frequent trek to Toronto. In the winter we would brace against the cold in our heavy coats not complaining about the long lines and torturous waiting. There was always someone who we knew, going. There was always someone we knew coming back. The returning pilgrims would laugh, jerk, and shout. They seemed only too eager to impart their “fresh fire” to anyone who would stand still long enough to have hands laid on them. Those that did not understand we scoffed at. They did not want the things of God as we did. We were special.

Things began to change in my church. A split began to form. They called us the, “River People” we called them religious zealots who refused to let loose of the old wine skins. There was long ministry times at the altar at every service complete with violent jerking, animal sounds, shouting, laughing and vibrating. Then there were those long periods of “soaking” which we fondly referred to as, “carpet time.”

The old wine-skins of our church did not like the constant emphasis on the supernatural. However, we felt above reproach never realizing that sliding underneath it all with stealth precision was a hyper-grace message that was now running unchecked through the church. Scandal ensued and the ministry team split.

I remember the first time I read anything from Rick Joyner. I was in a church pew and my pastor’s wife handed me a dog-eared, photocopied chapter from Rick Joyner’s, “The Hoards of Hell are Marching”. She was enchanted by it. “It is the most wonderful, most anointed, most inspired thing you will ever read,” she gushed. Far from the most anointed thing I had ever read, I regarded it as the ranting of a lunatic. However, it had soon circulated the church and had won the hearts and captured the attention of those I deeply respected. They thought this man was a true prophet.

The chaotic crumbling of a once mighty church disturbed me beyond words. The church was in its death throes and the sounds of her slow and arduous death rattle had replaced the raucous party atmosphere we had grown to depend on. I needed the fix that the “river” provided and I knew I would have to go where I felt it might be moving. I packed a small suitcase and hitched a ride with a friend who happened to be going to Charlotte, North Carolina. This was to begin a dizzying spiral decent into darkness and deception. Deception so sly and insidious it would take well over 15 long years to recover and find the truth.

In Charlotte, my faith was sorely tested. I was a Canadian with no legal right to work in the United States and nowhere to live. I found out very quickly that I could not rent an apartment or get a bank account without an American job, license, or social security number. I had left Canada with only a small suitcase. The friend I was with had been born in the States and was able to get a job and secure an apartment for us. I slept on the hardwood floor in her living room, and she on the floor in her bedroom. I had a thin cotton sheet to cover myself with but rarely slept. I was frightened and worried. Even though our apartment was nice, we did not realize that we were in a bad part of town. We heard gunshots at night, and heard horrific screams the night our upstairs neighbor got her throat slit. It seemed so surreal – like a nightmare I could not wake up from. I did not know then, but my money supply was soon to be exhausted. I would be there six long months, living from a small suitcase, sleeping on the floor, before I would obtain a U.S.work visa. FINDING MORNINGSTAR

I had only been in Charlotte short while before tracking down and attending MorningStar. I will never forget it. When I got to the entrance door I started to shake. I was trembling from head to foot and could not talk. I remember one of the greeters asking me if I was alright. I tried to talk but could not. “It’s the Glory,” one of the church members cooed, firmly pushing me through the doors. The church was in a warehouse off Pressley Road in Charlotte. There were chairs set up and also round tables lining the walls off to the side. People milled about in the back drinking coffee and browsing the bookstore. They were mostly young people in wrinkled, unkempt clothing. It had a hippie, modern grunge feel. It was evident that many of them had not washed for the occasion, or for any occasion in a very long while. Strangely enough, it did not seem odd that there were barely sober homeless people lolling on the floor in the back drinking coffee. They seemed to blend and homogenize themselves into the atmosphere there. It almost seemed normal, like what you would expect to see there. I was both appalled and intrigued by it all. The commotion and carnival atmosphere was like a train wreck that I could not for the life of me, pull my eyes from. I had the feeling I had entered through the looking-glass and nothing would ever be the same again.

Noise and confusion were everywhere. It was before service and the place was literally in an uproar. People rushed to and fro, running and throwing things and laughing. Some sat at tables trying desperately to talk above the din while others had food spread out enjoying a meal before service. When the music started it was reminiscent of an outdoor rock concert. No one sang but the performers. Many had arms raised, their hands snaking through the air like Indian belly dancers, eyes closed in complete abandoned ecstasy. I was uncomfortable.

Surely it must be me, I kept thinking. I mean after all, what makes me think that all of these people are wrong? That would make my pastor and friends and everyone I love and respect wrong too! No, that was not possible. It must be me. Sensing my inner struggle a woman beside me told me I would get used to it. “You are not used to being in this level of anointing” she yelled above the pulsating music. I told her it felt foreign to me, wrong even, but she admonished me and told me to relax into it. I waited for the preaching; there was none. No Bible, no scripture, nothing but dreams and visions and what God was showing Rick Joyner.

When the service was over the woman leaned over to me and told me to go forward to get a number for the prophetic booths. The booths were a regular part of every service and I came to depend on this. If I was struggling, needed an answer, or just needed a lift I would go into one of the booths and have the prophetic team prophesy over me. In time I would be on the prophetic team and prophesy over others in the services and conferences. It was not long before the prophetic ministry replaced my reading of scripture and study. I did not need to read the scriptures; I was always told everything I needed to know through prophesy. No one talked about the Bible or even brought one to the service. Certainly I never saw anyone actually read or preach from one.

Although I feel certain that in all the time I spent there, I must have seen one of two people carry a Bible, there is one time in particular that I can clearly recall. A visitor had brought it; a small framed, nicely dressed man, who looked to me to be quite innocuous. He had it open on his lap and was reading it silently. Suddenly two of the ushers came rushing down the hall and standing one on each side, strong armed him out the door. He asked what he had done but his pleas were to no avail. It left me unsettled but I reasoned it away. After all, this man must have done something to deserve removal. In thinking about it now, it is curious to me that no one had a problem with the homeless drunks coming to drink coffee and loll on the floors, or even with the witches that seemed magnetically drawn to the services, but a man reading his Bible threatened them.

Rick Joyner seemed pleased that the witches were there and we were told to make them feel welcome. The witches need to hear about Jesus. While that was certainly true, the message of the gospel was not being preached. No true disciple of the occult would feel comfortable enough in a church where the true Gospel was being preached, to come back week after week with no conversion.

Joyner made it plain to us that he was not in the business of casting out demons. In fact, in one service he told us he did not want us going to him for prayer. “It is not my job to cast out your demons” he said to an incredulous audience “In fact; I like to keep a few demons in people to keep things interesting.” Years later I asked a friend of mine who had made it out of MorningStar if he remembered Rick saying that to us. “Yes” he said, “I remember it well.” He paused and thoughtfully added, “What was wrong with us?”

LEARNING APOSTASY

After my first summer at MorningStar I enrolled in their ministry school. As Joyner was quick to point out, it was not a Bible school per se. The emphasis was on prophesy, dreams, visions, and the supernatural. We were being trained for the coming harvest and what Joyner referred to as the coming civil war in the church. He was quick to tell us that we represented the blues. Like the ocean and the sky, blue stood for revelation and expanse, spiritual enlightenment, and openness of spirit. We were special, a “New Breed”. We were Joel’s Army who would go forth victoriously to build the kingdom of heaven on earth.

The grays were spoken of with disdain and derision. Gray represented the brain and those who lived in their minds without regard to the higher life of the spirit. The grays were the legalists, the old wine-skins, those seeking to trap and keep God in a box. They were painted as the staunch, stuffed and sterile church that had long since faded into antiquity and outlived its usefulness. It seems to me, looking back, that anyone that opposed Joyner and his teachings was considered a gray and not open to the “moving of the spirit.” The grays, Joyner was quick to tell us would be overcome and destroyed in the fight for the “true” church to evolve to the next level. Of course, in his estimation, the grays would not go quietly into that good night so it might be necessary for us to assist God in finishing up the job. Let me put that in plain English. We would help God kill them. Looking back, it should have been all too clear to me but it wasn’t. Deception blinds those who are entrenched in it.

The atmosphere at MorningStar was more like a crack house than a church with stupefied trance-like zombies bouncing to the pulsating music, not caring what was being fed to them. It felt good; it made us high and anesthetized us to the pain of anything unpleasant. In this world, we were special, separated, called. There was no sin discussed here, only visions of the glorious lands we would take for Christ.

The prophesies we received were always positive and we were instructed to prophesy positive things over others. As part of the prophetic team we did not even ask if one was saved before prophesying over them. Indeed, it did not matter, for this was what came to be known as “prophetic evangelism.” We were encouraged to prophesy over strangers in the street and market-place and many did. It amounted to fortune-telling and the accuracy was often chilling. Often I would shock myself as I would accurately tell things to strangers that I had no earthy way of knowing. However, even back then, there were things that bothered me about the constant emphasis on the prophetic. It started with an incident that happened while working the prophetic booth for a conference in Charlotte. A young lady came in and sat before us in the booth.

There were usually three of us to a booth who would prophesy in turn. One of the three would always be a team leader. In this case my team leader was an instructor at the School of Ministry. While we were prophesying over the young lady I saw something ominous. I knew that we were to speak positive and encouraging things and I started to wrestle over what to do. I felt responsible to warn her of what I had seen and pray with her. She left and the instructor turned to me and said, “What is it?” I told him what I had seen and he nodded his head saying, “Yes, that is correct, I saw the same thing”. I pleaded with him saying, “We have to tell her and pray with her; this is not right!” He responded that we were to speak only positive and encouraging words. I reasoned with him that it would be a positive word if we saved her from harm, but he would not be moved. I reluctantly obeyed, but in my mind a curtain had been pulled back and I began to question. Was this gift truly from God? If it was from God, was this the way He wanted me to use it? What if the gift was not from God? What if I had been engaging in soul reading or fortune-telling? I believed in the gifts of the Spirit but something suddenly felt very wrong.

ADDICTED TO PROPHESY

The people in the church, and the throngs of people who streamed into the conferences depended on prophesy. They gushed and cooed over it and it was the topic of almost every conversation. If it would have been possible to stand silent in the crowd and listen, the words, “Rick said” would have been sprinkled into almost every conversation. We did not read and study to show ourselves approved but depended on the extra-biblical revelations and prognostications of others we deemed more spiritual. The same people were in the prophetic booths week after week after week and most of their lives including mine were shipwrecked beyond repair. I felt like a pod; like everything of substance had been suctioned out of me and I was left a lifeless shell with hollow eyes. I could feel myself staring out from the emptiness. I needed the next fix; the next prophesy or trance producing worship session to feel something-anything. It became obscene to listen to them prophesy that I would stand before Kings and conquer nations, when my life had spiralled into such abject ruin and despair. Had I missed God? Had I done something to displease Him? Why had He forsaken me? I was not quite ready to make the connection yet between my poor spiritual health and my steady diet of false doctrine and fluff. After all, I had such an “intimate” relationship with God surely he would tell me or send someone to prophesy over me if I was on the right path. Wouldn’t He?

FALSE INTIMACY

Intimacy seemed to be the buzzword at Morningstar. Holiness and standards were not preached. We left that to the grays. Intimacy was all we enlightened blues needed and we were encouraged to pursue it with passion. One would hope that such an “intimate” relationship with God would make us better people. After all, hanging around with greatness in the natural world tends to produce greatness. We rise or fall to the level of our associations. Would we not expect to see this all the more in the supernatural realm? If we do in fact rise or fall to the level of our associations, then what would we expect to see from those who “hang out” with God? It is ironic that the very people who had the deepest “intimacy” with God were the ones whose lives were so out of control. They could touch the heavens and bring down God but they could not balance a check-book or keep a job.

Morningstar was in fact, rife with those who either would not work, or could not keep a job. Although there were exceptions, most people lived in self-induced poverty. Many would claim that God had told them not to get a job and to live in faith. Many simply were waiting for their ministry to materialize. Visions of grandeur had been prophesied over them so many times that lowering themselves to packing groceries or being someone’s secretary seemed beneath them. They had bought the lie. Everyone had a shingle out so to speak, advertising their ministry for any who would listen. Some had primitive business cards, while others presented a more professional front and started websites. I ran across one of these sites recently and saw a woman I recognized offering to prophesy over people for a donation. It brought a sudden rush of sadness.

There were a few who had arrived at MorningStar in good financial shape but it never lasted. I watched one woman blow her savings of over a hundred thousand dollars flying from conference to conference buying books and tapes. She refused to work insisting that God had told her not to. She went through her money in short order and was left penniless. Refusing to admit her folly she slid into depression demanding to know why God had allowed this to happen to her.

I knew another lady who was on the “healing” team. Her refusal to work resulted in homelessness. She slept in her car and lived off the kindness of strangers. She showered at the house of my friend who eventually took her in. However, my friend was raising three children on her own and could not afford another mouth to feed. Evidently, this once homeless woman had no intention of finding work and preferred to live from the handouts of others. She insisted that she was in full-time ministry and that God wanted her to live in faith. I wish I could tell you that these were isolated cases but they were not. Unfortunately, I could tell of dozens more.

Of course the people who worked for the ministry were barely better off than those who would not work. Joyner was proud of telling people that he did not pay his workers enough to live. Most of the workers received minimum wage. They were told they needed to suffer for the ministry, sacrifice and trust God. They exploited their workers and treated them poorly. They also exploited the students who did everything from moving them to painting their personal houses, convincing them they were ministering unto the Lord.

FALSE JUDGEMENT

Many of the students spent a great deal of time downtown in what is now known as the NoDa Arts District in Charlotte. Although it has been cleaned up considerably and is now an expensive and trendy place to live, it was far from desirable in the late 90’s. A few alternative type galleries had store space among the old abandoned and decaying buildings, simply because rent was cheap. On Friday evenings these small galleries would hold “Art Crawls” for those brave enough to visit the area after dark. Gunshots were common. Someone had started a Coffee house in one of the old corner buildings and it quickly became the favored hang-out among the students and 30-something crowd from MorningStar. It was common to see the young people from the church drinking, smoking and groping one another on North Davidson Street. However, to say all behaved this way would be grossly unfair. There were some who truly loved God and wanted to please Him. They never lasted though. MorningStar’s door seems to be a giant churning, turn-style. The broken, empty and disillusioned leaving on one side, and the bright-eyed, initiates coming in the other.

Interestingly enough, the wife of one of the worship leaders worked at the coffee shop in NoDa. She was an attractive and unique young lady, whom Rick had called out on many occasions as being a gifted prophetess. It was evident that she had most certainly won the favor of the ministry. Her husband was gifted and I have always believed his music sprung from a true relationship with God. When a dispute over promised music royalties ensued, and this young man’s wife took a stand, Rick publicly disgraced her. He called her out publicly, labelled her a witch, and forbid anyone from the ministry to fellowship with her in any fashion. This included frequenting the coffee-house. Oddly enough, she was the darling of the ministry while she was compliant, and was not called a witch until after a disagreement with Rick. Exposing as witches, those who were non-compliant was not uncommon. It was usually the ones who had been praised and held up as an example before the congregation just a short while before. In my mind this made Joyner look foolish. He was the great and terrible Oz kicking at Toto so as not to reveal the man behind the curtain. Of course once the curtain is pulled back, what do you do with the revelation? Reality is bitter, especially when one wants so desperately to believe. Do you pretend you haven’t seen? I did, or at least I tried.

THE MORAVIAN FALLS PROJECT

When I arrived at MorningStar in the 90’s the fellowship was abuzz with talk of a prophetic retreat being built-in the rural North Carolina Mountains. It was spoken of often by Joyner and his sentiments about the project were openly shared. It was affectionately referred to by Joyner as “The Moravian Falls Project.” He had purchased 400 acres of rural mountain property near the whistle-stop village of Moravian Falls. The land, he claimed, possessed a unique spiritual destiny. Joyner had a fascination and love for the Moravians and there was no doubt the area had distinct historical value. According to Joyner, the rural community of Moravian Falls had been an epi-center for Moravian newspaper publishing in the area. Their local paper had reportedly been called “The Morning Star.” Naturally this was a sign from God for Rick.

Although I digress, I must assert the fact that for Joyner and his followers, everything was a sign from God. I can still vividly remember Robin McMillan, a member of the MorningStar leadership team, picking up trash from the street on his way to a meeting. I remember sitting there incredulous as he held up each item of trash and told us its prophetic interpretation. In the mind-bending environment cultivated by the experience-seeking MorningStar crowd, everything became a sign. Seeing leaves blowing in the wind might be a sign that God wanted us to turn over a new leaf. Finding a penny in the street might cause us to believe it was time for change. We lived like this! Of course, when you are living in the Land of Oz, seeing colored horses or tiny men singing, “Ooompah,” is not at all strange. What is common place in your environment is never viewed as peculiar. This is why women stay with their abusive husbands and why many choose to stay with abusive ministries. I was terrified that now, having discovered that the Great and terrible Oz was just an illusion, I might in time discover that God Himself was an illusion. If I left the false to find the God of the Bible, would I in turn find just another man behind a curtain? It was tyranny of the familiar. The tyranny that you know is always less frightening than the tyranny that you do not know.

Joyner was very adamant that God had instructed him to build the Moravian Falls Project. He stated publicly on several occasions that he had been told by God to construct it out of quality material and craftsmanship because it “had to last.” In Joyner’s mind all signs had pointed to confirmation of these instructions. One of these confirming signs was the fact that the area had been the focus of the longest running court battle in United States history. The Moravians, who had settled there, had wanted the land deeded to God. . Whether this is true or not, I do not know. However, the fact that Joyner attached special significance to this land because of it is unquestionable.

The retreat was to be a place where the misunderstood prophetic community could gather and be fed and restored. One of the aspects most often talked about was the twenty-four-hour worship center where they planned to offer non-stop worship “before the Lord” twenty-four hours a day. There would be lots where people could live full-time and also cottages where people could come for a season to be refreshed and restored. Rick petitioned donations from his Charlotte fellowship, from his Morningstar conference attendees, and from his international base of supporters. “I go to prepare a place for you,” Rick would say, and we would smile and clap. This vision of a prophetic utopian community was certainly no secret. He talked about it frequently and openly. Many people were eager to give towards, and invest in, the vision for this community, trusting that Joyner would do as he said.

Many people from MorningStar bought land for personal homes in the area while others bought land to develop and sell as lots. The land prices in this small farming community sky-rocketed. However, the locals were not happy. The land was being priced out of reach for most locals and whisperings of MorningStar’s mysticism made this highly conservative church-going community nervous. MorningStar’s later refusal to pay land taxes did nothing to help the way most locals viewed this “ministry.”

Male students from the ministry school were often petitioned to go and help “Build the Kingdom.” Those with carpentry or painting skills were especially encouraged. Pleas for hands-on help were often given to the Charlotte fellowship and there seemed to be a steady stream of people going up and coming back from the mountains to help. There was no remuneration. They were expected to serve, and many starry-eyed students were happy to do so, gushing over the fact that they were helping Rick. If Joyner had need of them they were happy to serve, whatever the personal cost might be. There were murmurings and mumblings among the ranks of those returning, however it was difficult to get anyone to speak openly about, “The Project”. No one wanted speak against the Lord’s “anointed” or question Rick. I remember once asking one of the men who had been there and he quickly changed the subject. The curiosity was too much for me – I had to know.

I asked several people where Moravian Falls was located and how I would get there but was always met with the same response. It was in fact very difficult to find unless you knew the area and knew exactly where to go. It was well over an hours drive and getting directions from anyone was near impossible. I soon discovered that few people in the Charlotte fellowship even knew how to get there and the amount of people who had been there was in fact very small. This was curious to me considering the fact that it was being built as a public retreat and funds for the project were being raised on an ongoing basis.

It was almost a year later that I finally made it to the area. A sister church of the Charlotte fellowship was holding a women’s conference at Apple Lodge in Moravian Falls. I thought of it as the perfect opportunity to see this mystical land that they claimed held such infinite spiritual energy. When I saw “The Moravian Falls Project” my jaw dropped. There was nothing there. I could not believe it! I could see Rick Joyner’s home, another personal home on the property, and a privately owned lodge. That was it. All the talk, all the hype, and there was nothing there. Nothing! I was unconvinced, and kept asking others where it was. Even though I was seeing it with my own eyes, I was slow to believe. I had been told it existed so many times that not even the facts could convince me it was not true.

Apple Lodge was always spoken about as if it was part of the “Moravian Falls Project” but in actuality it was independently owned by Harry and Louise Bizzell. They were a pleasant couple, who were well spoken and had an unusual mixture of worldly sophistication and down home Southern hospitality. Harry was a kindly man with warm eyes and voice that inspired trust. Louise was a perfect hostess whose cooking would leave you talking for days. They had built a breathtakingly beautiful bed and breakfast type lodge on Apple Hill which was open to the public. Listen to Rick Joyner as he explains how both he and the Bizzells came to live in Moravian Falls.

“A couple of weeks after I met Bob Jones, I received a call from him. He told me that the Lord had called me to “the mountains of North Carolina” and that he had seen the place that I was to go in a dream. Having been told myself to go to the mountains of North Carolina, but seemingly not being able to get past Charlotte, I was more than a little interested in this dream.

Bob went on to say that I was called to a place that was 100 miles from where I was (The Lamb’s Chapel) and 40 miles from the Tennessee border. To get to this land we would have to go almost due North on a major highway (which turned out to be Interstate 77) and then west on another highway (which was US 421). He then described the property itself, saying there was a mountain overseeing the property that had a rock face, and there was a beacon on another mountain close by that could be seen from the property. He said that the gospel would go out to the world from that mountain. He said the land was measured from oak trees to white rocks, and there was a red-roofed building in the middle. I asked Bob if the red roof could be a rusted tin roof, and he said that he thought it could be.

……I immediately told Harry Bizzell about the dream that Bob had. Harry was excited about this dream, but for me, not him. He and Louise were sure that their destiny was in Charlotte and that they would not leave their present location at The Lamb’s Chapel. As Harry was telling me this, I looked at the picture hanging above him, and I suddenly felt a prophetic anointing. The picture was of a chair that I recognized in the Bizzell’s back yard, but it had mountains in the background. I asked Harry who had painted the picture. He said that his sister had painted it in their backyard and gave it to them as a gift. I then asked why she put mountains in it, and there was a heavy presence that seemed to engulf us both. I could tell Harry felt it too, but he was adamant that they were not supposed to leave Charlotte. I disagreed, but knew the Lord would have to persuade the Bizzells.

Soon after this the Lord spoke to me and said that Harry and Louise’s destiny in the mountains was so crucial that it actually held “life and death consequences” for their family. I felt a terrible burden from the Lord about this, but I did not feel that I could share this with the Bizzells without it really seeming manipulative. Even so, I knew I had to share it with them for their sakes. I was very clumsy when I shared this burden with them, but they took it very graciously but still remained adamant that they were called to Charlotte. I felt that I had done all that I could and would not say anything else, even though the burden did not go away…..

As I mentioned, I had been compelled to share a warning with Harry and Louise Bizzells that their calling to move to Moravian Falls was so important that it held “life and death consequences for their family.” A few months later, Harry accompanied me to Kansas City where we spent some time with Bob Jones. When praying for Harry and Louise, Bob saw a death in the family coming before the Bizzells moved into their purpose. Harry and I assumed this would be his mother, who was very old and was advancing into senility. This was sadly not the case. Not long after this, Harry and Louise’s young granddaughter died in a tragic car accident.

…..I was shown that Spicer had prayed and offered herself for the purposes of God, even to the taking of her life. She had done this with great sincerity, and in heaven she is a martyr who lay down her life for the purposes of the Lord. Spicer Wallace did not die in vain, and she has a great investment in her family’s destiny and in the Moravian Falls project. Soon after her death, the Bizzells, who had land in Moravian Falls, were living there preceding me by several years.”

So, in essence, the Bizzells did not feel that they were to be involved in the “Project”. However Rick warned them that their move to Moravian Falls was in fact the will of God and their disobedience held life or death consequences for both them and their family! When their grand-daughter subsequently died in a car accident Rick states that God had revealed to him that Spicer had offered herself to God making her a martyr and her death an investment into the destiny of “The Project”.

It is also interesting to note that Joyner speaks of another man in connection with the “Project” who was supposedly punished for his disobedience. This man’s name was Tom Hess who ran a ministry entitled “The House of Prayer for All Nations,” near the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. According to Joyner, this man had been given a few tracts of land in the United States and had been instructed (by the donor) to use it for a “prophetic” purpose. One of the tracts of land just happened to be in Moravian Falls. Hess met with his board and it was decided that they would give Joyner a ninety-nine year lease on the property for a dollar per year. However Joyner had apparently been warned by the Lord not to accept anything with strings attached, so he declined the offer. Joyner said that donations for Hess’s ministry immediately dried up. Paul Cain, who Joyner insisted did not know anything about the situation, later prophesied to Hess that he had some land that had a prophetic destiny and the land was being wrongly tied up. Cain related to Hess that God showed him that he needed to give the land back to those who had given it to him in order to avoid the Lord’s judgment on his ministry. As Joyner tells it, Hess immediately started receiving donations again once he released the land.

It is curious to me that Paul Cain believed that God would judge this man for not giving land freely to Joyner, while he himself was actively involved in homosexual activity and an alcoholic lifestyle. In this strange world I was a part of, you can plainly see what sorts of things brought the greatest punishment.

Louise and Harry Bizzell were never officially a part of MorningStar and yet Joyner claims they helped lay the foundation. The Bizzells had built their lodge in the middle of an apple orchard in the mountains of Moravian Falls; an orchard which according to legend, was planted by Johnny Appleseed. A ridge of land ran above the property owned by the Bizzells, and Joyner’s first purchase was this forty-six acre tract as well as a small cabin below the ridge. It was in this cabin that Joyner penned his mystical New Age epic, “The Final Quest”. As an interesting side note, I remember being in a service in which Joyner spoke fondly of the cabin and the spiritually active environment there. He added that he no longer let any one else use the cabin because they were polluting the atmosphere and interfering with the spiritual activity. It had struck me as such an odd thing to say.

After getting over the initial shock of learning that the only thing the Moravian Falls Project consisted of was Joyner’s Personal Home, the Bizzells privately owned home, and their Apple Hill Lodge, I settled in for the conference. I must admit that the conference was not my motivation in going. I had started to question and research vehemently. However, I had been so steeped in the mysticism and aberrant doctrine of this movement that it was difficult to let go of the ideas and beliefs that had obtained such tenacious stronghold on my mind. Before leaving Canada, I had gone to two colleges and had also obtained a university degree from a prestigious, world-class institution. Now I found it hard to even think my own thoughts in a logical and coherent manner. Every thing was a sign and a symbol, even a fortune cookie could be seen as a message from God. What had happened to me? My mind had truly been made over and perverted by the garbage I was ingesting. Fortunately, my heart was not totally corrupt and there was still a small ember of desire for the true and living God. I thank God that in Isaiah 42:3 (KJV), He Promises that:

“A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.”

If the flame is still lit, no matter how diffused and ineffective, He will not quench it, but thoughtfully and lovingly watch over it, tend it, and protect it until the flame can once again burn with intensity. That is what God did for me. He protected that small smouldering ember within and tended it until I reached a time where I could receive His Truth. He was faithful to me, even when I was not faithful to Him.

LISTENING

I can not remember much about the conference at Apple Lodge but one experience is indelibly etched in my memory. It was a warm sunny day and the mountains looked intoxicatingly beautiful and inviting. A group of ladies were lying on the lawn. I can not quite recall what we were doing out there, but I do remember us holding hands and praying at one point. After the prayers, some of us had dropped to the grass and were just lazing around watching the clouds and enjoying the fresh mountain air. Suddenly, I became aware of the gurgling of a mountain stream. It was unmistakable and I listened with my eyes closed, smiling, thinking about how refreshing it sounded. I do not remember how long I stayed like that, eyes closed, listening, but eventually I looked over at a friend and said, “Let’s find it!” She looked at me bewildered and asked me what I meant. I told her I was referring to the brook or stream I was hearing. She shook her head and said, “There is no stream here.” I looked at her like she had just grown another head. There most certainly was a stream, I was listening to it. “LISTEN,” I said, raising my voice a little higher than I had anticipated. She smiled, closed her eyes again, and said nothing.

Now I was angry. “I know you hear that. If you don’t want to go then I will go alone, but don’t pretend that you don’t hear it!”

To my complete annoyance she said nothing, but got up and walked to another group of women. Within earshot of everyone, she said, “Tell her there is no stream here.”

They laughed and nodded their heads vigorously, “Nope, no stream here.” I got up, brushed the grass and leaves from my clothing, and started to walk away. “Go find the stream”, they taunted, “Let us know where it is!” How dare they mock me! I stopped in the grass and listened not knowing what direction to go. “What’s wrong”, they shouted. I did not respond. I couldn’t hear it anymore and confusion was starting to overpower me. I went back to the spot where I had been laying and listened intently, but there was nothing; nothing but the sounds of birds and insects and leaves blowing in the crisp mountain breeze.

I looked at the women pleadingly. Their mocking turned to understanding and they one after the other, explained to me that I was having a supernatural experience. There is no stream, and they reassured me by telling me this had happened to others. Somehow it did not reassure me. It did not reassure me at all! It bothered me on a very deep level. It also spoke a deep penetrative truth to me.

I had spent a great portion of my spiritual life chasing after what I had heard. In fact, it was a very common thing in the circles I moved, for people to ask me what I was hearing. They asked me the question and I in turn asked others. When we wanted direction, or confirmation, we asked those we felt were gifted prophetically what they were “hearing”. In fact, I still occasionally have people talk to me about personal things and ask me what I am hearing. It is as if they feel that I can hear from God for them and give them direction or interpret their dreams. My response now to all who would ask, is to seek God on your own behalf, read His word, sit under Godly counsel, and hear God for yourself! It is not that I feel that God can not speak through me, or through anyone in fact, that has submitted their life to Him and is saturated in His Word. However, I refuse to be a fortune-teller or someone else’s connection to a God they are not willing to seek and truly know for themselves.

The experience with the water showed me that I could not trust what I was hearing. It may have sounded good, it may have sounded appealing, it may have sounded right, and it most certainly had sounded real, but it was just an illusion. Much like the dreams that populate our sleep dissolve in morning’s light, it too dissipated with the dawn of reasoning.

Although this was my first experience with hearing things that did not exist in the natural, it would not be my last. It was only a few months later that I was in a prayer meeting at an associated church in Pineville, North Carolina, and heard the gurgling of water. It was a tiny church and on this occasion there were only four or five of us present. I had stood up, mentioning to them that I was going to check the bathrooms. Someone had evidently left a tap on. The few who were there insisted they had not heard anything, but I was undeterred. Like the earlier experience in the mountains, the sound stopped when I tried to find its source.

In another experience around this same time, I heard a bell ringing. Lest you think that perhaps I was simply having auditory hallucinations, let me assure you that the bell ringing incident was heard by at least two other people.

However, the strangest incident by far, happened in my home. It occurred in my first year at MorningStar and left me very shaken. I had moved to a nice house near Fort-Mill South Carolina, near the old Heritage USA site. I had a house-mate who had left to go to Florida for a few days. She had a regular routine when she came in and it seldom if ever, varied. I would hear her car crunching up the gravel driveway; footsteps on the porch, her keys jingling in the lock, and hear her call for her dog in a sing-song voice. She did this every evening; every evening without fail.

On this particular evening, I had a friend over and we were chatting in the other end of the house. We heard my house-mate’s car on the gravel drive, heard her foot-steps on the porch, the jingle of her keys in the lock, and her familiar sing- song voice. Her dog tore across the house barking wildly, and my friend and I jumped up and scurried through the kitchen to welcome her home. There was no one there.

The dog was upset now and barking incessantly. I reached for the door, thinking she had gone out to get her suitcase, but the door was still locked. I flipped the latch, opened the door, and looked out in the driveway. There was no one. Neither my house-mate nor her car was anywhere to be seen. I turned to my visiting friend who by this time had a confused and almost frightened look on his face. He walked outside, looked around the house then stood on the porch staring blankly into the darkness.

“Where could she have gone that fast?” I finally stammered. He turned to me with the oddest look and said, “I don’t think she was ever here.” I laughed at him, not willing to entertain the idea. Even the dog was still looking for her. Her voice had been so unmistakably clear! Fear, confusion, and a sense of defilement washed over me. I turned to my friend and asked him if I was crazy. I could feel the prick of tears as I started reaching frantically in my mind for an explanation, any explanation! I had heard the car, I had heard the keys, I had heard the door open, and I had heard her call for her dog. My friend looked down at the floor and whispered haltingly, “I heard it, you heard it and even the dog heard it. Something or someone was here.”

My house-mate called several hours later. I asked her where she was and if she had been home earlier that evening. She said no, that she was still in Florida and would not be home for another day or so. She wanted to know why I would ask such a thing. I did not want to upset her. I said that there was no reason at all, and told her to have a safe trip back.

I can not explain why I had these strange experiences or why I had any of the other unexplainable phenomena that seemed to happen so frequently in this river I was now submerged in. However, they did start to open my eyes to the fact that simply believing something to be true did not make it so. Deception at this level was possible, even for someone who loved the Lord and considered herself sincere. I may have been sincere, but unfortunately I was sincerely wrong. This “River” I had so enthusiastically waded into years earlier, had deceived me. It was now more like a stagnant pond, bubbling in its own putrid filth. I wanted out.

Author’s Note: Adrift in the River of God, was originally written and posted in three separate parts. It had always been my intention to come back and write the fourth and final part which would give the original posts more of a sense of completion and closure. However, it was difficult and painful to revisit and I put it off for many years.

This year, I felt the Lord had me expand the original posts into a book and include the total testimony of my journey into and out of deception. The book is called, “The View Beneath,” and its final chapters are currently being written! Pray for its completion and that God will allow it to fall into the hands of those who need it most.

Comments

  1. Ck says

    Hello, Mishel.
    I just read your story, and I thank the Lord for the way he saved you out of the mess! I am grateful that you have felt the desire and need to share your story so as to warn others. I am amazed by the number of people that have been so easily taken in by Rick Joyner and others that you mentioned. I have been a skeptic about these things for many years when I remember hearing certain prophecies by the KC prophets that I knew never came true, and also when I read an article about the gnosticism of Rick Joyner. I am very grateful that you have written what you did, and i pray that you will be able to finish writing your book. Please keep me informed when that becomes available.
    By the way, I live in the mountains of NC not too far from Moravian Falls, and I have some very close friends who recently moved there, and I visit from time to time. In fact I even have some contact with people who have been or still are in the Morning Star church that is still there, even though it is fairly small.
    I hope you have found a growing love and peace in Christ and his grace, and thanks again for your courage in sharing your story to help others avoid the same difficulties.
    Grace and peace to you in our Lord Jesus.

  2. Joey says

    well friend maybe we crossed paths in your MSM times ; I passed through those places while on assignment tracking nazis and cults ; I hope to read your book ; you swam across the river , great !

  3. roseanne says

    bless u sister in jesus,we need more people like u willing to speak the truth to warn others how easy it is to be deceived even when we are christians,nobody likes to question their leader ship in church,but i beleive our spirtual lives are so precious that we have to ask god to give us wisdom and deserment daily.before the service starts in my own church i bow my head and ask that nothing thats not from god touches my spirt and i feel my church is a really god beleiving,receiving church.ur right we should seek gods work and answers for our life ourself and althou god does use genuine people to speak to us ,he says seek him first.look forward to ur book im sure it will be a healing and blessings to manys spirt .much christian love in jesus altho i dont know u personally im greatfull for ur courage to write ur book.

  4. roseanne says

    well done we need more people like u who are willing to speak up,u doing this will be a warning for other christians in the same situation,its so easy to be deceived and we dont like question of church leaders but our spirtual lives are so precious we have to look to god first,he does use genuine people to talk to us throu him,daily we need wisdom,desrement in everything about our lives esp spirtuarly,the truth will set us free and thats what god has done for u.i lookforward to ur book and it will be a blessing to others in the same situation whos confused and need guidence.gods blessings for u always .

  5. kay says

    I’ve been to MorningStar several times in the past year and have never had any experiences like you describe, nor ever heard words like you wrote come out of Rick Joyner’s mouth, nor anyone else’s. But, I don’t want to be deceived and I would love to talk to you about this, because my pastor even told me not to go back there anymore. Please contact me so I can get to the truth.

    • Mishel says

      I learned a long time ago that the best way for people to come to the knowledge of the Truth is to do their own research. I have already written my testimony here and beyond that I would urge you pray and research with diligence. Start with Rick Joyner and Gnosticism or Rick Joyner Dominionism – that should get you started. I can assure you that my experiences are not unique. Morningstar is a very dangerous place and it will leave you shipwrecked.

      • Debra says

        Many like myself were kept at bay, outside the inner circle, BLIND, I guess we asked to many questions. With every Scriptural concern we brought to their attention just left us confused and believe me they’re the masters of confusion. My suggestion to those still caught up in this ((Latter Rain/Manifest sons of God/Joel’s Army)) is to ask for Scriptural answers to what they see being practiced, if you can’t get clear answers,, leave. But.. if you’re not studying the Bible, I doubt you’ll even notice their apostasy. Love to all.. Debra

      • Richard says

        Hi Mishel

        I have not seen any comments from you about todd Bentley what do you make of hi. I am a 62 year old man from London UK and I got saved at the age of 53 from a very bad life of drugs etc. I always thought Bentley and all the pentacostal preachers looked weird abut all of my freinds thought they were sound and many went off to Lakeland and TAF . I belong to a pentacostal church but have never felt very comfortable there but as it was my first church have tried to bless it will all my money effort etc

    • says

      I used to buy into Rick Joyner, thinking it was all fine, even great. I read one of his books and was hooked, then HAD to read the next vision book and so on… For many years I thought he was a true prophet of God and that it was awesome the way God had gifted him and moved in his life and so on….liked the signs and wonders taking place at MorningStar, liked the worship (only seen through the internet)…..then, I began to question some things and God told me some things…but what finished it for me was a little you tube video called “Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey.” Any man who would sit by and allow this irreverent nonsense to be sung and spoken at his “ministry” center can not be a true man of God. Anyone having doubts as to whether he is OK, just watch that video (if you already know he’s false, save yourself the trouble…it’s that bad!). If people can watch that video (or be there in the meetings thinking that song is OK and even of God) then they are too deep into it…and I can only pray their eyes are opened and they will leave this deception.

  6. says

    What an extraordinary story of God’s grace and forgiveness. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and the lessons you have learned. I can only imagine how difficult it was to write about, and I rejoice that you are now walking the narrow path of God’s truth. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you with his wisdom and understanding as you inform and encourage others.

  7. Mack says

    We come to The Lord so broken sometimes. I remember being soo desperate for god and reading the word all the time so much it just exploded on the inside of me. When I started church it was very loving and I believe The Lord lead me there, however I became deceived over the years too by experiences over sound doctrine. This whole prophetic movement is just weird and I remember being in a conference here in England (where I live) and a number of those ‘prophets’ from the USA had come over and things just getting really, well, wacky. Your right about how your mind gets into all these signs and wonders kind of thing. I ended up getting very hurt by a relationship breakdown, and part of it was because I was totally over spiritualising everything.. That’s when I started researching things and reading my bible over even going to church.. Would like to read your book. Bless u.

    • Anonymous says

      I agree with Mack having gone through a similar experience to his. Thanks for sharing your experience. It has opened my eyes some more. Indeed, our focus must be on God and not people. Bless you.

  8. says

    Regarding Joyner and Jones “warning” the Bizzells that they should leave Charlotte. That, basically, was Joyner and Jones cursing the Bizzells. Please do read the article I wrote “Lives Destroyed by the NAR.” I give more examples of people being cursed from prayers and words from NAR affiliates.

  9. Winston D. says

    uhm, ,is the continuation already available . .coz’ as a simple young man I really really want to read and learn from your wonderful and God-inspired testimony . .:) praise the Lord for using u .Godbless u & ur family and more power . . 😀

    • Mishel says

      Ah thank you so much- I am in the editing process of a very detailed book which should be released shortly. It has been slow going on it and it has been a long time coming. Thank you for your kind words.

  10. Jacquie Jantz says

    I also attended a NAR church and the Lord showed me that it was not from Him. I was going to suggest you join the group NAR-The New Apostolic Reformation- Exposing, etc. but I see you already are a member. Praise God for your testimony. May it open the eyes of many even the very elect who are deceived.

    • Brenna says

      Ah, the ‘elect’ can’t be deceived… those who are deceived temporarily are kept by the power of God thru the spirit to be led back into the light. That’s a promise. “If it were possible, the very elect would be deceived’… but it isn’t possible. Good consolation in that.

  11. Mimi says

    Wow! I can relate….oh, the bizarre encounters I have had with prophets for hire, plagiarizing apostles who are no more than new age occultist! I like what you said about refusing to be anybody’s fortune teller. The apostasy is so wide spread. You are right about encouraging people to do their own research. My aunt used to say, ”Birds of a feather stick together.” Apostates and wolves hang out together, speak the same language and publish books on their latest revelation. If you have to depend on someone else for ”a word” , then, perhaps, you are not saved or you are spiritually dead for God says in James, ”Draw near to me and I will draw near to you”. There is no hierarchy among the brethren. What He does for one, He will do for another! He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Read the Word….don’t be deceived! Blessings

  12. Anani Elioenai says

    Searching for NAR because of an article exposing that movement led me to your testimony. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Trev says

    Hi Mishel,
    Cant thankyou enough for this testimony.
    Having experienced as an elder in a AOG church in australia.We as a leadership struggled with the “movements” of RJ,Wimber,the extreme “signs and wonders” etc ect,in our church.there were those that embraced it and followed,there where others including myself,that preached the word of God in season and out,studied the Word and found a lot of the stuff was found very wanting.
    While i was mostly against it it was hard not to fall into similar practices.”Wanting MORE’.
    my wife at the time was very heavely into RJ,and others,the pastors wife was also and influenced him.I eventually Left,i believe as a result of the Lord quickening a scripture to me to do so.
    We moved into the city and Went to another AOG church.under a pastor who was very grounded in the Word,went on a Mission to thailand with Him,came home and a few moths later he took a position as pastor of another church.
    New Pastor came and was into the River movement.
    i spoke against it but after He visited My home one night unannounced and told me that would
    not be allowed to preach or conduct Bible studies in His church anymore.
    I closed the door and declared to my then wife to never step foot inside a church again.
    And except for weddings and funerals I have’nt.
    That was 7 years ago.
    i backslid dramatically,ended up divorcing wife and started living a life of sin….
    i have in resent months been thinking about going back to church and getting my life right again.

    i have tried to commit suicide several times,been in and out of hospital and suffer such debilitating Depression i hardly functionas a Living person.
    I have on a couple of occasions called out to God to help me but it seems like i am calling to the wind…Nothing.
    As i was reading your above experience i found Myself nodding in agreement to what You were saying….Even tho in a backslidden state i was recognising the Truth.

    I however was reduced to tears when you quoted this verse
    I thank God that in Isaiah 42:3 (KJV), He Promises that:

    “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.”
    For the first time in 7 years I realized that God hadnt given up on me yet.
    Thankyou and i would love to read your book when it is completed

    Trev

    • Debra says

      Trev, I’d wondered about our local AOG , I could never put my finger on it, I just new it had changed greatly over the years,, ty for info.

  14. Suzie says

    I just finished reading your testimony, Mishel. The last comment was posted in early Spring, but I’d like to comment, even though a bit late. It’s interesting that often times it takes about 15 years for our eyes to be opened to the Truth; for error to be exposed; for us to admit we’ve been blinded and duped. I noted that you were enmeshed is the gross and grievous error of the likes of Rick Joyner for about that long. Testimonies of others caught up in similar apostasies have stated it took them about 15 years to sever those relationships, as well. It took me 15 years to recognize the mess I found myself in with the likes of Hagin, Copeland, Savelle, Capps, et al (i.e. the Charismaniacs). I even became a close friend to a family member, a teacher of their perverted “gospel of prosperity”, a “believer”, if you like. I finally had my eyes opened one Sunday morning in an A/G church service which was heavily Charismatic. The preacher made a statement…the only one I heard that morning….that turned my life upside down. The Holy Spirit abruptly opened my eyes I left the church and spent the next 15 years searching and researching God’s Holy Word for Truth. And when I found it, I continued searching His Word, totally immersing myself in it, because I pleaded with God to help me to never again be deceived or deluded by men (or women) who don’t preach to the whole, unadulterated, unperverted and unvarnished Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to the precious Holy Spirit, I now can discern quite readily “those who practice to deceive”, being deceived themselves. There are a number of us who no longer enjoy much fellowship with like believers because we are few and far between. I, for one, cannot find a local church that hasn’t incorporated some bit aberrant teaching, a perverted form of praise and worship, adopted a new or current craze of New Age/Gnostic psychology. I have tried to warn several local pastors of sizeable congregations about certain popular teachers who’s books and CDs are being used as teaching tools in their churches, but “they or their wives “have found them to be good and reputable materials”. Deception is rampant, so what do you do when no one wants to hear the truth? I’m glad to be out of the midst of all the perversion, but as many reading this post knows well, it is lonely out here.

    • Anonymous says

      Suzie, you are so correct!!! I took abut the same time having started in a local church at the age of 16 then to have the deception exposed via a shocking experience 15 years or so after. It took pretty long to find a place with some semblance of Word soundness given the extensive perversion and deception in many churches now. Plus, I had to get over my ‘desire’ for the hype and high and overemphasis on the seeming ‘spiritual’ that is not grounded on God’s Word and to have other men lead me since I was afraid to examine the Word of God for myself… But God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a soundmind (2 Tim 1:7). His Holy Spirit will help us to rightly divide the Word of God. But we must build our personal relationship with Him and study the Word. And indeed, what I feared came upon me as I was greatly deceived by these same ‘prophets’ who in many ways did not display the fruit of the spirit. Indeed we are in the last days and the wheat and the tares are growing together. But God is faithful to those who sincerely desire Him. We must truly be sober and vigilant and remain grounded in His Word. At the same time, we must not despise prophesies but examine it and hold fast to what is good (1Thessalonians 5: 20) We must obey the Word in its fullness and test the spirits with the plumbline that the Word provides. An accurate prophesy does Not necessarily prove that the person giving it is of God. (Deuteronomy 13:1-4, Acts 16:16-18). Despite these challenges, we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Though difficult as it seems by now, lets do our best to not forsake the assembling of the saints (Heb 10:25). God will indeed order our steps and will use those of us who have been set free from these circumstances to be there to help others out (2 Cor 10:6). Best wishes to you all.

    • Naneki Aloha says

      Suzie: Just as in the old testament, up to & including our Lord Jesus: the messengers God sent to the people – they spoke whether the people received or rejected. Obedience. It’s not by might, nor by (our own power) but by the Holy Spirit. Be strong in the Lord.
      If we’re a born-again believer, born of the spirit of Christ, and surrendered to His will, when His Holy Spirit moves, yield. IF they receive, great. If not, it’s not for us to take a mind of it. Seeds are planted, God does the watering. Being led by His Holy Spirit. Trust Him. Rejoice in being & staying in His will. It’s not what we do. It’s what He does.

      • Betty K says

        Thank you for your wise words Naneki Aloha. We do seem to be few and far between.
        You give great perspective.

    • Sydow says

      Thank God for Mishel’s testimony. No doubt the devil has infiltrated the church and continue to wreck lives. On the basis of this testimony, I believe that Rick Joyner has or operates by a familiar spirit. Familiar spirits are well entrenched in the church. However care must be exercised when reaching conclusion because Suzi has named certain individuals who are no question servants of the most high God. Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Charles Capps are without question being led by the Holy Spirit There may be certain areas off their ministries which some considers to be excessive, especially the prosperity principle but it does not mean that they are operating under a spirit of error.

      • says

        the people you list as led by god are NOT led by God since they teach heresy and blasphemy. in general the whole charismatic Pentecostal style is wrong, and while leaning on the bible keeps the worst at bay you should come out from among them and forget about signs and wonders. God isn’t some showman or errand runner.

  15. jazz88 says

    Not sure how I ended up here..so many have been affected by the influence of people like this or others similar.
    May I suggest listening to a series on youtube by a Walter Veith? He’s a professor zoology. Who had similar experience.
    The Series: Total Onslaught. 36 lectures. Series deals with Total onslaught against the Word of God. His Son, Jesus Christ and the True Believers of Jesus Christ and Sola Scriptura..the Bible alone. He researched history of the church from Bibical time through the reformation to current. He let’s the people in these anti-christ systems speak for themselves with the references. Lots of scriptures to counter the beliefs systems we see. Joyner is not mentioned specifically. But he is Gnostic and that is definitely covered. The roots up to present. He covers the reformation period, which killed millions of true believer of belief of scripture alone. (Reformers: Luther, Huss, Tyndal, Wycliff -THE GREYS and THE BLUES) Jesus Christ is the only way, only truth and only light. It was cleansing for me and stablizing. He just gives the facts. He says one of the most precious gifts God gave man was the freedom of choice. Veith gives the facts and leaves the choice to you.
    I wanted to say I enjoyed reading your testimony, but it was so painful to walk through it again, so I will say Thank you so much for sharing . My prayers are with you and so many that are still in these systems. I will definitely look for your book and support it, if you can find a publisher,because it goes against the grain…Funny how the Bible begins with deception and ends with it..well until Revelation. Oh, 2 lectures cover how the Bible and scripture were manipulated into a watered down gospel, for those inclined to read Bible.

  16. Nancy Hollo says

    Thank you for your testimony. I’ve just had an eye opening experience of how devious Satan is and what lengths of planning he goes to trying to ensnare people into this. My husband and I have actually been in a Bible study group for over a year with someone who just moved here from North Carolina and is trying to ignite some strange fire here. We didn’t realize the depth of evil of this, or why she was always talking about “manifesting” and “imparting” and “prophesying” and “fire” and how vicious she would become if I refused to join her in occult prayer practices. She actually had me on a conference prayer call with people from Morning Star the other night and I had no idea who they were until at our Saturday meeting my husband and I made a stand, we don’t want to pray in tongues and we don’t have to prophesy! I honestly didn’t know what they meant by prophecy until I read your article. I couldn’t understand her lack of comprehension about that prophecy will cease but faith, hope and love remain and the greatest of these is love. That is basic spiritual life, it’s ALL about love. I asked her repeatedly as she mocked and scorned and talked down to me, “Where is the humility? Where is the love?” but she began getting nasty and so my husband and I left. After we got home we watched Kundalini Warning again and then I watched another Youtube about deception and found out that I had just had a very narrow escape from Morning Star Ministries. But it took a personal attack from a friend turned foe to really bring it home Thank you so much for this article! I honestly thought the “prophetic” was just a new name for charismatic! Now I am better informed and so I’m better armed. Thank you Lord for bringing us through, a little singed, a lot humble, safe home to Your everlasting arms!

  17. Michael Gwisdala says

    Mishel, I have “The hounds of hell is marching” by RJ, on my computer. I have heard of it since the late 1990’s, and a lot of my college aged friends have read it. It makes for good reading, but since of reading of your experience, I do not think I should have it anymore. Some of the stuff RJ was saying was mirrored somewhat of the late Dumitru Duduman. http://www.handofhelp.org Have you heard of Dumitru or his visions concerning America before? This man here, I believe, had visions from God. Believe it or not, my pastor gave a sermon today on How we can become holy by submitting to your elders.

    Michael

  18. says

    I am Pentecostal and believe in signs and wonders and gifts of the Spirit and will always pray in a Heavenly prayer language…but I realize there is much deception that has come in and has led people into all kinds of error. Rick Joyner has heavily influenced some I know, and when this book comes out, I am praying for boldness to give it to them (in the Lord’s timing, as He already told me I don’t have to go running to these people and tell them all He has told me about Rick being false…since they won’t receive it).

    My biggest concern (or on a par with prosperity teaching) right now is this new breed teaching, and, recently, it became so plain to me this is nowhere in the Bible…but I know Rick has it in his vision book or books (and this is related to his well known remark that civil war is coming in the church). I hear constantly about “the new generation,” “this generation,” “Joel’s army” and various other names…and a lot of times it’s included in modern worship, and it’s all a subtle brain washing getting people (especially the youth) to buy into the whole new breed army concept. A lot of people I talk to haven’t heard of it, and, yet as I research, a ton of the newer “ministries” are promoting it. I believe it’s lining people up to accept the anti-Christ, and ultimately, take the mark of the beast. How so? When they see that there is no special new breed of army (we are all just Christians and none superior to others), they will join forces with the world’s “new breed” (this is also a term used by those who are not Christian who want to breed a superior race).

    This is one of the great warnings to me that Rick Joyner does not speak on behalf of God. You cannot find “the new breed of army” anywhere in the Bible…yet, Rick pushes this in his book or books. Sorry, I do not remember which one — I read both The Vision and The Final Quest. It’s probably in both books. I have been looking for more info on line about who teaches new breed and what they say, but it’s hard to find. I often find quotes on websites exposing this as false teaching, but it’s hard to find the teachers of it actually saying it out of their mouths or on their websites. But I did read Rick’s books, and he had this whole deal about this army he saw coming rank on rank…and if we didn’t get in this army we were rebelling against God basically. I had swallowed this all as gospel back when I read his books, but now I realize this is nowhere to be found in Scripture, no matter how hard I look, so I have had to reject it as false.

    The new breed teaching goes much deeper than that, from what I have heard, as supposedly it will be direct descendants of the apostles and prophets, but, again, I can’t track that down as spoken or written right out of the “prophets” mouths…so I continue to research it. Bob Jones supposedly has a vision all this and saw “seeds” that was this future new breed army…but getting proof, right out of the horses mouth, is the issue.

    Someone asked why I listen to these guys (prosperity and new breed types), and I said “I’m a watchman. So I can warn people.” And that I am doing here.

  19. Dayl Yaun says

    WOW. I tried to get that ‘anointing’ when “The River” came through my church in Jacksonville, FL. It never touched me and I felt so unworthy, like a outcast. All my friends were prophesying and vibrating and doing ‘carpet time’. I am so grateful to the Lord for protecting me!!!

  20. says

    I was just on youtube listening to some worship music and for some reason a video called ‘Rick Joyner’s demonic church’ came up. Out of curiousity ( and maybe a little offence, honestly) I started watching it, and while I was watching it I clicked on this link. This is all very interesting to me. I first heard about RJ in the early 90s when the Hounds of Hell are marching came out, and then the final quest. My church in Texas would have the newsletters and even the morning star journals in the lobby, and I would read it. When th Final Quest came out, I read it in one sitting, something I never do. I was hooked. It happens that Charlotte NC is my home town, so when I was in town, I finally visited on Pressely Road. Years later, just a few years back actually, I moved to Fort Mill. Yeah I was in deep. I became a lot like this lady described, not working, substitute teaching, just getting by. I even lived on the PTL property for a while which is now HIM, belonging to Morningstar. I feel like I could write a book about my experience as well. I met some sweet people to be sure, but none of the handful of the people I keep up with now go there or even live in the area. I saw some things that bothered me, but for me the worse was what I didn’t see. Bible preaching. Holiness. I’m not suggesting that everybody there is in debauchery by any stretch. I think there are many sincere and even godly people there, and that includes much of the leadership. On the other hand, smoking and drinking seemed to be de rigueur even right there on the property. There would be campfires with cigars and wine or beer. Not once or twice, but every week or even several times a week. Moderation was what was taught regarding alcohol. I guess tobacco too. Among the ministry school students, and I got to know some personally, there was a lot of drinking and also some of the guys really obsessed with working out and their own bodily appearance. Several of the ones who worked worked at very worldly clothing stores at the mall. Going to clubs and bars seemed not only tolerated but almost expected. It was some kind of ‘witness’ I guess. I myself didn’t participate in any of this, although I was surrounded by people who did. The ‘best’ people in the church there seemed to be the ones who lived some distance away, who had jobs, families, etc., and who just chose to go to church there. Some that I met early on (I was there about two years) got frustrated and went to other churches nearby or in Charlotte. This was encouraged by RJ himself frequently. Some would go to the other megachurches on the original PTL property (like Mahesh Chavda’s church, the one that meets in the old ptl tv studio, or several others), and some I would see returning for conferences. I was on the prophetic teams and one guy was offended when I actually wanted to PRAY before we prophesied!! There were specific dream interpretation teams too…. but I digress. My biggest grief while I was there was definitely the students at the ministry school. They were from all over the country and the world, even Mongolia! Many were sincere, but many others were VERY carnal and worldly from what I saw. There seemed to be absolutely no standards as far as dress, speech, or behavior. Many were rude and quite crude. And this is how they acted on the church property!! It was very common to see them having beers even at lunch time in the pizza place nearby. As far as what they were being taught, I have no idea. Looking back, I’m glad I never sat in on any of their classes. There was a big emphasis on military style training and physical fitness. I ran and exercised with them a couple of times as best I could on their early morning workouts. I hope they studied the Bible, but looking back I don’t recall seeing them carrying them, even to class. Not saying they didn’t. But they didn’t quote Scripture to me or seem to be getting a Biblical knowledge and world view. On the other hand. RJ and the ministry is very strong in history and they do publish a lot of books, not just on prophecy, but also history and some study bibles and bible study materials. Can’t say I’ve used them much. Every aspect of church life at MS is different. The worship, I used to love it, but some of it is really out there. The sermons are definitely different and there is no Bible expository preaching, ever. Fellowship is hard to come by unless you want to sit around a campfire drinking beer and smoking cigars, two things I refuse to do. There are many other things I saw and experienced, but this post is already long! Let me wrap it up: I started having panic attacks while there. I started feeling my heart grow cold and even felt lust grow in my heart. I started feeling confused and bewildered about my future and even the present. I just started feeling uneasy around certain people and saw situations that weren’t being resolved biblically. I was not without error in this, I want to say that. I had my share of faults and sins, but it seemed like it all got magnified while I was there. I started loosing the ability to sleep. Finally, I left. It took me about a year to begin to feel the presence of God again, to have peace. I felt condemned when I left. Sorry for rambling but I didn’t realize till TONIGHT when I stumbled on this video and story just how weird the whole thing was. This is the first time I’ve been able to look back without feeling condemned. I am in recovery not just from MS but from a lot of deception and bad personal choices. I’m not blaming anyone, and not saying all the people at MS are bad or even that all the teaching is bad or wrong. I’m just beginning the process of trying to sort through things, and asking the Lord for discernment. But I think there is deception there at that place. [Funny, the friends I made there, except for me, all started going to other churches, even before they moved away! Even those that had volunteered heavily or gone to the ministry school! ] Anyway, we all need discernment in the last days. Blessings to those who read this. Amen.

    • Mishel says

      Wow- thank you for your testimony. I think everyone that leaves that place goes through a loooooong period of detox whether they are aware of it or not. Do some research, and stay free of all influence of MorningStar- it is steeped in occult doctrine. If you feel like writing any more of your experiences come back and do so. It can help others. I am interested in the military emphasis.

  21. Doug Swaffield says

    Thank you, Michel, for your thirst for righteousness. I know it is painful to overcome having been deceived. A book which helped me a lot is “Thus Saith the Lord?” by John Bevere. It outlines how we can genuinely want to please the Lord, and can get led astray. He is our Shepherd and brings us back. Thank you for your courage to fight the good fight.

  22. Doreen says

    Mishel; God bless you for opening the eyes of so many ppl. I have to admit I’ve never heard of Rick Joyner until a week ago I watched an episode of “It’s Supernatural with Sid Roth” and the guest was none other than Rick Joyner. The interview was conducted in a beautiful garden and when the host made his comment that this man had being to heaven for 8hrs and Jesus told him he could ask him anything he wanted he asked if he liked sports, and Jesus replied “I like anything you like”…excuse me???? and Jesus also told him he has being His servant but now He wants him to be His friend, He told Mr Roth Jesus wants friends, He went swimming with him, He asked him to go on a 900 miles motorcicle ride to Florida and asked him not to take his cell phone on this trip because He wanted to spend some time with him and revealed some things to him. His voice was soft, his words humble but the Holy Spirit in me was showing me a wolf disguised in sheep skin. The Lord is about to return soon and this man is saying He’s going swimming with him and wasted 8 hrs with this man and all He told him was He wanted friends??? If you would like to see this episode go to “It’s Supernatural with Sid Roth”. It aired the week of February16,2015 thru 21,2015. I came across your testimony by chance and I read it because I remember his name. I am grateful to my Lord Jesus for His true Word and for witnesses like you. May God keep you and bless you and give you strength to finish your so much need and awaited book, Will be praying for your and your love ones.

  23. David says

    I Listened to the youtube and then found and read this. The first time I remember hearing Rick Joyner (think it was on sid roth) he just seemed unclean, unkempt. Later when he had supported the defamed so-called lakeland revival it was confirmed for me. Why some I respect would continue to be associated with that ministry is beyond me and brings me to question them. I listened to some Bob Jones tonight, and remembered the scripture that said ‘the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy’ and just listened for ‘Jesus’, not the Father’s heart etc (which may be valid) but salvation through faith in the son of God. ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father’. ‘He disciplines those he loves’ Thank you Father for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ. We need to hold fast to the head (Ephesians) from which all the members are nourished, the head of the church. Wow, how could we ever forget?

  24. Jerry Denton says

    Mishel, Thanks so much for this personal account of what happened in your experience. I just met a new guy who was telling me about Terry Bennett and all his visions, etc., which sounded pretty far outto me, even though I’ve been a Charismatic since 1972. I “grew up” spiritually under Derek Prince and have always trusted his solid foundation of Scripture and the place of the Word as the filter by which we judge anything. After looking up Terry Bennett and the “Will the 7000 Arise” conference, I noticed that Paul Keith Davis(whom I’d never heard of either) and Rick Joyner were connected. I listened to most of the first speaker, well over an hour and a half, and one thing stood out: a subtle elite attitude that came through even though the speaker tried to mask it with humble phrases but without a humble attitude. A red flag went up and I began to research Joyner first of all, since he is more well known. That’s how I found your article. Back to Derek Prince, . . .I just happened to be watching an old video of Dr. Prince on the topic of deception and how a Christian could have both God’s Spirit and another spirit. It’s on YouTube for anyone interested. In it he happened to mention that any leader or group who begins to proclaim themselves as elite or special . . . .Watch Out! They’re deceived and it’s not Biblical, and several of your commentors have pointed out. I was also listen to a message by Guillermo Maldonado yesterday in which he was expounding on “A Broken and Contrite Heart”. He wisely clarified the difference between a broken heart and a wounded heart, and then went on to say no one with a wounde heart should be allowed to serve or lead until they are healed because they will HURT people. It’s a well-known fact that people who are insecure and needy are attracted to anything that will make them feel “special” and some even have visions of grandeur. This seems to be the foundation for these “cultish” movements and groups, and in many ways, it makes you feel sorry for them. Most, if not all of them, start out with a heart to seek God’s help and healing but when they move God’s Word from it’s central place the real enemy comes in with deception that grows by degrees. Sad, very sad, and it seems to be getting worse. I intend to read your other articles and appreciate your willingness to swim against the stream. Heb.6:10

  25. says

    “The View Beneath”

    Dear Mishel,

    I would like to translate the above book and publish it in German (small edition, I can give you 5% royalties).
    Would you grant me the rights to do so?

    Blessings

    Georg

    • Mishel says

      No, I have a book that is very close to being done. It has been a rough road with it and I have had many spiritual attacks while completing it. It is finally on the home stretch. I would certainly consider letting you translate that into German as I know Joyner has a strong following there. I really want to get this message out. I hope you understand why I do not want to translate this smaller article version. I really want to keep this one free.

      • David says

        Mishel, I would encourage you to get this book out in other languages. As you are no doubt aware, Leonard Jones, one of their primary songwriter-worship leaders, has left MorningStar but hasn’t really separated himself from their teachings, and goes all over the world. He has also hosted master classes for worship in Germany among other places. While Leonard is an incredibly skillful musician, some of his aberrant theology does come across in his lyrics (which I have pointed out to him personally and privately.) So telling people about where the root of all this mess springs from, as far and wide as possible, is a great idea. But let your publisher handle/sub out the translation work; it’s part of their job. I hope to read your book when it is finished; I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.

  26. says

    Hi Mishel. May I use this article for my website? My site is still in the early stages
    but I’m certain that My Father has called me to do it. I really enjoy your site This
    article is strong, I can tell it is from deep in your soul. We who are the true followers
    of Christ Jesus are a small bunch. You cannot make the ones who have been sent
    the strong delusion see the truth. We must reach out and let out Father decide who
    will accept the truth. Keep fighting, my site will be complete in a matter of weeks with
    help from my Father. I’m ready to join all my family in this fight. I love you Christ Jesus.
    Say it loud Say it proud! Never deny your King or he will deny you!

  27. Heather Schwalen says

    Websites like this have been such an encouragement to me. There is so much I want to write. But basically I was part of a small group who gradually over the years got deeper into the NAR ministries and everything in the ‘prophetic stream.’ I realized it was the only stream being received from. I never felt comfortable with so many things but I was never a good Berean – for which I have deeply repented. When I started to challenge and question, I experienced rage from my small group leader, told I was deceived, was communicated about behind my back, shunned by the group, and labeled as having a mental illness. I have been a missionary and thankfully God defended me thru all of this. I also lost a bestfriend of 10 years who was in the group too. I wish the people no ill will. I fellowshipped with them for 9 years. I researched these matters over the past several months – so many things i researched – and know God pulled me out. I have lost so much in relationships but I have gained more peace and freedom in my heart and mind and a love for the Word than I have known in along time. I am considering starting a blog to share my story in hopes it will help others.

  28. says

    “He was quick to tell us that we represented the blues. Like the ocean and the sky, blue stood for revelation and expanse, spiritual enlightenment, and openness of spirit.”
    interesting the mix. of course it is his kind of all that, plus “expanse” and “openness of spirit” to let any damn thing in.

    Blue does have a certain entity repellant reputation because being the color of the sky it is a standing prayer to the God of Heaven, but I doubt he was painting the building blue on the outside to keep things out (and I suspect only those that are etheric level a bit more material than spirit are kept out, the pure spirit (not pure in a good sense just only spirit) form of them can still reach somewhat. The Ohio River Valley haint blue is lighter more sky like shades and they were more serious about preventing all that, the deep south New Orleans voodoo land haint blues are darker, greyer more purply, like not wanting to keep everything out or not entirely.

    Someone noted that the colors of the Temple and the Tabernacle veils were purple, blue and scarlet, but the colors of Babylon the great are only purple and scarlet, not blue.

  29. Bobby Wilson says

    If you haven’t yet finished your book please do! We need an insiders’ account. I am currently writing a book(let) on NAR and would love to review your work. Joyner and Johnson are such major players. Would you be willing to provide critical feedback for my NAR primer? I have a number of pastors and apologists who have offered to review it but none have the inside view that you have. Richest blessings in Christ!

Trackbacks

  1. […] An interview by Susan Puzio done in November of 2012 on Prophetic News. Mishel Mccumber who heads up http://deceptionbytes.com/ gives her account of her time at Rick Joyner’s church and all the false teachings and demonic happenings that are prevalent there. For more in-depth look at her testimony read here http://deceptionbytes.com/adrift-in-the-river-of-god/ […]

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