This article was obtained from Deception Bytes.
More than ever before, today’s Church is enthusiastically exchanging sound Biblical doctrine for New-Age type revelations received by self styled prophets and apostles. These “new” revelations place more emphasis on visions and mystic experiences then they do on the Word of God. It is curious to me how anyone who has studied scripture can teach such blatantly misleading doctrines. One of the most deadly is that of the great and terrible end-time Army commonly referred to as Joel’s army. Today’s prophets and apostles such as Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, Paul Cain, Bob Jones, Todd Bentley, Jack Deere, Chuck Pierce, C. Peter Wagner, and a host of others too numerous to mention, would have us believe that this army is a “New Breed” of believer that brings revival to the nations and conquers governments for the sake of righteousness. Is this really scriptural? Let’s take a look.
An Army of Locusts (taken From Joel Chapter 2)
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming.
It is close at hand-
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness.
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army comes,
such as never was of old
nor ever will be in ages to come.
3 Before them fire devours,
behind them a flame blazes.
Before them the land is like the Garden of Eden,
behind them, a desert waste—
nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses;
they gallop along like cavalry.
5 With a noise like that of chariots
they leap over the mountaintops,
like a crackling fire consuming stubble,
like a mighty army drawn up for battle.
6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;
every face turns pale.
7 They charge like warriors;
they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
not swerving from their course.
8 They do not jostle each other;
each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
without breaking ranks.
9 They rush upon the city;
they run along the wall.
They climb into the houses;
like thieves they enter through the windows.
10 Before them the earth shakes,
the sky trembles,
the sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars no longer shine.
11 The LORD thunders
at the head of his army;
his forces are beyond number,
and mighty are those who obey his command.
The day of the LORD is great;
it is dreadful.
Who can endure it?
When you read the biblical passage above it is clear that army is NOT bringing anything positive to the land!
· Inhabitants of earth tremble before them
· It is a day of thick darkness and gloominess
· A fire goes before them
· The land in front of them is like the Garden of Eden but after they pass by it is desolate.
· They leap like flames and DEVOURETH
· They run like Mighty men and climb walls like men of war
· When they fall upon their swords and they are not wounded
· They enter in the windows like thieves
· The earth will quake before them
· The sun and moon shall be dark
Does this sound like this army is bringing revival? Listen to Jack Deere’s description.
It’s so mighty that there’s never been anything like it before…‘begin the slaughter and begin it in the temple and begin it with the elders, the leaders of my people.’ And they walk through the land and they start and they begin to slaughter and you know it’s already started with the biggest names in His household? He has already started the slaughter…and it is coming now among the Church.”(It Sounds Like the Mother of All Battles, Jack Deere, VMI, Joel’s Army, 1990, “Joel’s Army”)
According to Terry Virgo, The sheep become “mighty men treading down the enemy in battle” … and the flock is TRANSFORMED CORPORATELY (they become the Corporate Christ).
There are several things wrong with the Joel’s Army teaching
1) They teach the deification of man and deny exclusive deity of God. Proponents of this teaching believe we will be as God and that this army literally BECOMES Christ!
2) They teach and believe in the immortality and glorification of the elect “New Breed” or “Manifested Sons of God” aside from the literal presence of Christ.
3) They deny the rapture.
4) They believe that scripture is NOT the ONLY source of redemptive truth but rather there is progressive revelation through angelic visitations, dreams, and visions that are discouraged from being examined in the light of scripture.
5) They seek unity at any cost
6) Their agenda is political- they want to take over the world (for Jesus of course) and believe that those in opposition to this should die.
This New Breed is “an elite group of believers endowed with supernatural power that would enable them to be part of the army of “dread warriors” that God was said to be raising up in our generation. According to John Wimber this is a type of “Joel’s Army” who will overcome all opposition to the gospel and eventually subdue the nations. This teaching is part of what is known as “dominion theology” which teaches that an elite army of “overcomers” will either destroy or subdue all the enemies of Christ until they eventually gain power and authority throughout the world. The government of the nations will be upon their shoulders and when all the secular authorities, governments, princes and kings have finally submitted to them, Christ will return and they will present the kingdom to him. (Prophecy Today, Vol. 7, No. 1, England)
7) They believe that they will overcome death (not Christ).
The last enemy to be conquered is death. Who will conquer it? A mature Church will come forth with the kind of authority and power that will be able to stand in the very face of Satan [“Joel’s Army,” ed.]. When the Church reaches that state of maturity, God will be able to say, “This generation of the Church does not need to die. She has reached a place of maturity. I will translate her because her maturity pleases me.” What was the testimony about Enoch? He pleased God. When the Church becomes so mature that as a Body we achieve the unity of faith, God will find her pleasing and say, “She is mature enough now. She doesn’t have to die…” [“Manifest Sons of God,” ed.] Earl Paulk – in “The Wounded Body of Christ”
Who is being glorified in these teachings? The Church! According to these teachers apostles, and prophets, the Church that is now coming forth and being manifest is the coming Christ we’ve been looking for!! This is not just error it is blasphemy!
However, no matter how many visions or angelic visitations these Gnostic Christians receive, the scripture is clear that this army is actually an army of locusts that God has sent as judgment on the land! It is NOT an end time company of “super-Christians” bringing revival. In fact, it is only after the destruction of this so called army that the true revival comes. If this army is really made up of a “New Breed” of believers come to bring revival and conquer nations, then they are prophesying their own destruction. While indeed God does send this army to bring Judgment (not revival) the scripture says God will turn, have pity on his people and destroy this destructive army.
Then the LORD became jealous for His land, and had pity on His people. The LORD answered and said to His people, ‘Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied;… I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate Land, his front into the eastern sea, and his rear into the Western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things.‘” (Joel 2:18-20).
Only after the army’s destruction does the following occur.
“He has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. The threshing floors shall be full of grain, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great Army, which I sent among you” (Joel 2:23-25). “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions…” (Joel 2:28).
Have YOU been deceived by these Teachings? My intent in providing this information is not to persuade you. There has been quite enough manipulation in the church thank you. However I do ask that you would prayerfully consider these things and do some study on your own. I have been raised with these teachings my whole life and have spent considerable time around some of these self styled apostles and prophets. It is only after I prayed a seemingly innocent prayer asking God to reveal deception in my life that the truth of these teachings began to open to me. I pray that you too would ask God to reveal any deception in your life. People do not KNOW when they are deceived – other wise they would not be deceived!!! Asking questions does not make you a bad person, nor does it mean you have a “religious spirit”. Strive to be like the noble Bereans who searched the scriptures with diligence to see if these things were so. Be blessed in your journey.