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A review of the book
THE FINAL QUEST
by Rick Joyner

The closest I have ever come to reading a book like this one was when I read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, but then, Lewis did not purport that his book to be anything but a fantasy. I have read the Pilgrim's progress, several times, but then, Bunyan did not purport that book to be anything but an allegory on the Christian life.

This book, which contains all of the elements of allegory and fantasy that you find in other fictions, is purported by the author to be directly inspired, that is, if not the book itself, he claims that the dreams and visions recorded herein are true and from God.

He asserts that there are different levels of inspiration, which I agree with, but then he goes on to define these "levels " in order to assert to his reader just what level of inspiration he claims for his own revelations.

Level one, he says, is that of prophetic "impressions." Level two he describes as "conscious illumination," which he ascribes to the Apostles when they wrote the New Testament documents. Level three, an even higher level, he calls the level of "open visions," and finally the fourth and highest level, he describes as the "trance," and it is on this level of inspiration, the highest, that Mr. Joyner claims he received his dreams and visions. In other words, he claims a higher level of inspiration than the Apostles, when they wrote the Gospels and Epistles.

Having read this book very carefully, I reject the claims of the author. There are three notable features of this book that I will bring to your attention as evidence that this author is just another false prophet. 1. Many of the propositions asserted in this book are clearly unscriptural. 2. Throughout the narrative of this book, the author gets to be seen as the primary and exemplary character. 3. The portrayal of the Church of Jesus Christ amounts to nothing less than a satanic slander against the saints.

This book is in five parts. I will summarize and comment briefly on all five sections. I will demonstrate why this author, being puffed up in his own vain imaginations, is an heretic. I consider this book to be a fulfillment of this prophecy:

(Rev 12:15) And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

The flood of water in this prophecy, I believe, signifies the veritable deluge of false teachings that have become a torrent in Christendom these days.

PART ONE: THE HORDES OF HELL ARE MARCHING

In this section, the author describes what he saw in his vision as a great war taking place in Christendom which he characterizes as similar to the Civil war of the past century in the United States. He writes:

"I was then reminded of Abraham Lincoln. The only way that he could become 'the Emancipator,' and preserve the Union, was to be willing to fight a Civil War. He not only had to fight it, but fight with the resolution not to compromise until the victory was complete."

Take particular notice of Joyner's next sentence:

"He also had to have the grace to fight the bloodiest war in our history without 'demonizing' the enemy with propaganda."

With that statement in mind, take note of his description of this "Civil war," in which he ends up demonizing virtually the entire Church, except of course, for him and his friends.

In his vision which he entitles, THE HORDES OF HELL ARE MARCHING, Joyner sees himself at the head of a great army which he calls the "army of the Lord." Take note that Rick Joyner continues to be, in all of his visions, the central character and the one most to be emulated. I found this book to be one of the most self-aggrandizing pieces of literature that I have ever read.

The larger army in opposition to Joyner's "army of the Lord," is a great horde of demons that are riding on Christians, who are completely under demonic control, dominion, and destruction. These are repeatedly described as the ones who, in the words of the author, were "seeking to pre-empt a coming move of God which was destined to sweep masses of people into the church."

It is impossible in a short space to do justice to the awful picture drawn by the author of the unbelievable demonic characterization of the opposing army. This is an army of demonic hordes, riding on Christians and holding Christians as prisoners, with demonic vultures "vomiting" condemnation upon their prisoners, demons "urinating and defecating" a slime of pride and selfish ambition upon the Christians they rode as beasts, and serpents of shame that bound the legs of the Christian prisoners which not even Truth could defeat. All the while, these demonically bound Christians are attacking and killing one another with slander and accusation.

The author's description of what he sees as the reality in Christendom is quite compelling and even convincing to those won't bother to measure these matters by the Word of God. It is typical of effective deception that the lie is closely intertwined with truth, and this book is no different. All one has to do is to look around with a cynical eye, forget about what the Bible says, and the picture painted by Joyner seems not so far-fetched. That there are rampant and virulent controversies in Christendom these days is undeniable, BUT, a distinction must be made between "Christendom" which includes all christian professors, and Jesus Christ's "little flock" (The Church) which is described in the Bible as: the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, describes The Church in terms obviously contradictory to those we find in Joyner's vision:

(Eph 2:6-7) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: {7} That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

The writer to the Hebrews make this astonishing and contradictory statement:

(Heb 10:14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Even the prophet Isaiah prophesied:

(Isa 35:8-9) And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. {9} No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

Nowhere in the language of Scripture do we find the kinds of descriptions of God's people that we find in Joyner's book.

Furthermore, the prophecies about the last days of this age speak neither of a Civil war nor of a great revival. The unanimous testimony of the apostles and prophets is that in the last days of this age, Christendom (not The Church) shall be characterized by apostasy: false prophets and teachers, false brethren and false doctrines. We are nowhere told to expect things to get better but only worse. So much worse, in fact, that our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, asked the question: Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find [the]faith on the earth?

There shall be an unstoppable incursion of wickedness within Christendom, but, the end result will be the welcoming of the Antichrist, NOT a glorious victory of The Church before the return of Christ. There is no "final conflict" before the return of Christ, and this "final conflict" is an underlying and false premise of this book. Whatever "civil wars" may be occurring in Christendom does not involve the saints, who are already obeying the warning to, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

PART TWO: THE HOLY MOUNTAIN

Part two finds our hero and his friends in the garden of God. Jesus Christ is personally present and they are allowed to eat from the Tree of Life. Joyner is personally attended by an angel named Wisdom in this place that he claims is the third heaven.

After the brief interlude in the "garden of God" on the mountain top, our central character (Joyner) is called to climb back down the mountain to rejoin his brethren in the battle which has been going on all the while he was gone. When they see him, they treat him with great deference because of the glow of God's glory emanating from him.

The mountain in Joyner's dream he identifies as levels of spiritual truth attained as the soldiers climb the mountain. At the top of the mountain is the garden of God and Jesus, Himself, but in order to get there one must first climb the "levels " of salvation, sanctification, thanksgiving and praise, etc. Wisdom (the angel, which he later says is Jesus, Himself) explains,

"The reason that you can see me and others cannot, is not because I have entered your realm, but because you have entered mine. This is the reality that the prophets knew which gave them great boldness even when they stood alone against armies."

This kind of talk is suspiciously harmonious with the gnosticism of the Eastern pagan religions and other arcane sects. Joyner represents the attainment of spiritual power as a Quest, unlike the Bible which declares:

(1 Cor 12:7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

(1 Cor 12:11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

(John 14:21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Believing and obeying the Gospel is NOT like joining the Masons: we do not work our way through levels of initiation by rituals and disciplines in order to attain power and authority.

PART THREE: THE RETURN OF THE EAGLES

The progress of this book is such that each succeeding vision or dream builds upon the false premises of the earlier visions. It is also apparent that the author is in complete agreement with the false doctrines of the "Third Wave" or as some call it, the "River Revival," which teachings are only further developments of the false doctrines of the Manifested Sons of God, and the Latter Rain, etc.

The Eagles are identified as the"hidden prophets who have been kept for this hour." One of the eagles in the story who speaks to Joyner, introduces one of the popular doctrines of the River Revival:

"I am here to awaken these gifts in you, and many others like you, and I will teach you how to use them."

False premise: God has hidden a company of prophets that he intends to bring to prominence in this hour. We are only told of two prophets that shall come into prominence at the end of this age and those are the two witnesses of Rev.11:3. Whatever bona fide prophets there are these days are doing their job of denouncing the Apostasy of Christendom, and they are neither prominent nor received publicly.

False doctrine: These prophets will "awaken" spiritual gifts within the "overcomers," and they will "teach" them how to use these spiritual gifts.

These assertions stand in contradiction to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as we find it in the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit that imparts spiritual gifts. They may be received by the impartation of the laying on of hands, but nowhere are these gifts spoken of as being latent within us, or requiring training by those who have become initiated into the "realm. "

The last half of part three of this book is where things get truly mystical. The author sees doors in different places on the mountain that he didn't notice at the first. One of the eagles tells him that these are short-cuts to the top of the mountain. The eagle further informs him that these are doors of truth which lead to different passageways toward the top of the mountain, but only one of the passages leads directly to the top. How long it takes someone to reach the top, he declares, depends upon their maturity. "I did not go directly to the top, and I haven't met anyone who has," the eagle continued. Not unexpectedly though, the author goes through the door, chooses the right passage and goes right to the top.

After he enters the door he is attended by angels who are there to serve him. They also pay deference to him because he wears the "mantle." He finds gem-like stones in the passages which are called the treasures of salvation. Each stone, when held, impart spiritual revelations about the truth of Christ and when they are eaten, the spiritual realities become a part of the one who ate them.

Quoting from Eric Weiss, who wrote his own excellent review of this book which can be found at http://home1.gte.net/eweiss/tfq.htm:

"Rick's statements about the doors and the treasures sound like they come from Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS or a fantasy novel or a "New Age" quest-adventure book. I suppose there might be passages in Proverbs or elsewhere that might suggest that such treasures are in our "heart" and that we collect more treasures as we reach higher levels (kind of like a ZORK or King's Quest computer game!), but I tend to think that all the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ (Colossians 2:3), and that they will stay in Christ, rather than us being or becoming 'the treasure house of God.'"

PART FOUR: THE WHITE THRONE

Part four is probably the most obvious departure from historic Christian orthodoxy. Now Rick Joyner is in the Throne room of heaven approaching the judgement seat of Christ. His journey down the long hall takes him past throngs of people who have died and are now in heaven. One after another he experiences real-time conversations with actual acquaintances of his that had died, and long deceased personalities of Christian history, including a personal conversation with the apostle Paul. We have heard of similar experiences from Benny Hinn, who claims to have been in contact with Kathryn Kuhlman since her demise.

It is notable that the present campaign for unity in Christendom has been accompanied by a serious attempt at breaking down the barriers between Roman Catholicism and Protestant Christianity. Well, here in one chapter, Rick Joyner opens wide the door for the Roman Catholic doctrine of the communion of saints wherein we can not only pray to the saints but even to have conversations with them. Please remember that the only instance in the Bible where this was attempted was by King Saul when he appealed to the witch at Endor to call up Samuel. For which he was condemned.

Joyner may protest that these were only dreams and visions but the fact remains that he has recorded these meetings and conversations as having actually taken place. By writing these things in the way that he did, Joyner is clearly advocating occultic practices that have been condemned in the Bible as abominations.

The conversations that Joyner supposedly had with these glorified and perfected saints is quite revealing as to their real source. Some of the doctrines that they communicated to him are patently false. It doesn't take much discernment to realize that if you think that you are in heaven talking to glorified saints, but they are telling you things contrary to the Bible, that you ain't in heaven and these things ain't saints.

In a personal conversation with one whom the author only identifies as, "a famous Reformer" and his wife, who tell him that they were failures on the earth and now they are among the least in heaven. The conclusion of the matter voiced by the great Reformer's wife was that if they had not swerved out of the path of life that, "this great hall [of heaven] would be filled with many more souls."

This is an abominable false doctrine which directly contradicts the words of Christ:

(John 6:37) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

The author claims a higher degree of inspiration than even the apostle Paul. He claims to have been to heaven and spoken to saints who presumably and finally know the Truth perfectly. To assert such a thing as that any man's salvation depends upon the faithfulness of any other man than our Lord Jesus Christ is abhorrent heresy which, all by itself, belies this entire book.

And again, he records a conversation with yet another that he does not name, who he only refers to as one he considers to be one of the greatest Christian writers of all time. This person spews the same lie:

"If I had spent as much time seeking to know Him as I did seeking to know about Him in order to impress others with my knowledge, many of those who are in this lowest of companies [in heaven] would be sitting in the thrones that were prepared for them, and many others would be sitting in this room."

The "high point" of this chapter is where Joyner has a face to face conversation with Jesus Christ at His Judgement seat. Jesus mourns for the those lost who had died rejecting His salvation, then He hands Joyner a cup with one of His tears in it, and bids Joyner to drink it. Any comment necessary?

PART FIVE: THE OVERCOMERS

Part five contains an almost continuous dialogue between Jesus and Joyner, in which Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, contradicts Himself.

Rick Joyner says, that Jesus Christ said to him,

"My church is now clothed with shame because she does not have judges."

Notwithstanding the fact that our Lord NEVER spoke of judges in the church, this statement is impossible to reconcile to such words as,

(Mat 16:18) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Never has our God, who calls those things that be not as though they were, make such a declaration about His Church. What church is Joyner speaking about here? Certainly not the assembly of saints that are seated with Christ in the heavenlies, far above all principalities and powers of this world. For him to attribute such a statement to our Lord Jesus Christ is abominable. If the Church of Jesus Christ is clothed with anything, it is with the reproach of Christ, which is also it's glory.

Joyner continues to "quote" Jesus Christ:

"I have imputed righteousness to the people I have chosen, but like Israel in the wilderness, even the greatest saints of the church age have only aligned themselves with My ways a small part of the time, or with a small part of their minds and hearts."

Here, we are told that the same God who spoke through Balaam and testified that He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel, is the same God who also laments that not one of the saints throughout history has ever forsaken their lives in this world for Christ's sake or treated their Faith as any more than a hobby? Let me remind you that there is one who is called the accuser of the brethren, and it is not our Lord and Saviour. I assert that whatever the source of Joyner's dreams and visions, they have come from a god that we have not known from the Bible.

The fact that this book has sold in the millions and that both the book and the author are widely acclaimed, is alarming, but not surprising. These are the days of the great and final Apostasy of Christendom and there are very few left, who care what the Bible says, anymore.

Review by Richard Engstrom

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