On September 7, 2014, in his Prophetic Ministry 101 speech, Rick Joyner shared about when he had a bad case of food poisoning (or flu) and …
…was caught up in to heaven for eight hours. … I say prophetic, but I don’t know if it was just prophetic experience or if I was really there, but it seemed real. I saw things that I believe really are part of the heavenly realm. But this one was many times better than I’d ever experienced before. At the end of the whole dream – and this was an 8-hour, earth-time dream – I know because it started at midnight. I laid down at midnight, went right to sleep, went right into this dream, woke up several times during the night astonished, just trying to understand everything I’d just seen and heard. I’d then I’d fall back to sleep and go right back into the same place. Over and over. … I’d had that experience one time before, just one time, where I woke up, went back the same place in the dream, but this time it happened over and over. It was just awesome.
At the end of the dream, I ended up on Main Street down here. [pointing]. Our Main Street. And I’m standing there, I’m in heaven and I’m on Main Street, and the Lord said ‘You’ve got to bring this here.’ We’re going to have heaven on earth. Right here!
Joyner goes into ‘explaining’ that Jacob’s ladder dream meant that the angels ascending and descending means that the angels are “bringing back to the earth evidence of heaven’s reality.”
In the video synopsis, we read, “In this week’s Featured Video, Rick Joyner shares about a recent experience in heaven.”
The phrasing, ‘recent visit’ made me think of the frequent hotel points you can rack up for a free gift if you travel to a place enough times. “Purchase 9 drinks, get the 10th free!” Like, on this ‘recent trip’, Joyner could redeem his points for either a ride on Jesus’ rainbow horse Colton Burpo said Jesus owns, or enjoy a light lunch with John the Baptist.
A few things, in seriousness.
1. Joyner’s “recent trip to heaven”. How sacrilegious, impious, and irreverent to even describe the gift of seeing the heavenly realms in such a flippant way. Of course Mr Joyner did not go to heaven, but he thought he did, and to describe it in such a way demeans the realm our King Jesus presides over. Paul was too humble to even speak of his trip for 14 years, only did so when pressed, and then it was in the third person. Paul would never flippantly say something like, “Oh yah, this time I went up there I saw…”
2. The false visionaries like Mr Joyner try to legitimize their false experience by using biblical language to describe what happened. When Joyner says “What I saw and heard” is reminiscent of the bible’s command from God to “Write what you see and hear” as in Revelation 1:19, Deuteronomy 27:8, Jeremiah 36:2. Of course Joyner’s description of whether it was a prophetic experience or whether he was really there is reminiscent of Paul’s description (which he was too awed to even ascribe to himself in the first person) of 2 Corinthians 12:3. That is one way the false prophets attempt to make their false teaching sound biblical, by using biblical language. But you can think it through, and you remember that Paul was too awed to even tell it, but Joyner is eager not only to tell it right away but to piggyback his ‘awesome’ heaven trip with his explosive flu. Also if you think it through, knowing that if Jesus is bringing people up to heaven and giving a command, then it is new revelation and equal in authority to what is already written.
So when you tell this to someone and they say “But they use the bible!” you can say of course they do. Satan did even with Jesus when satan tempted Him. If they didn’t use the bible, it’s easier to see they’re false. So….they use the bible and biblical language. Like when Beth Moore said she saw Jesus in the heavenly realms and He purportedly said to her, “And boy you write this one down. And you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it.” Who talks like that? No one, except the Old Testament prophets, so the false ones inflate their puffed up visions with puffed up language.
3. Obsessing over irrelevant details as if to legitimize it. Example: “It was an 8-hour dream.” As if that matters. How long was the Jacob’s Ladder dream? How long was Paul’s dream in the third heaven? How long was John’s vision on Patmos? How long was Daniel’s dream? John simply said “After this…” and began recording the next vision.
Jacob awoke from his ladder dream, “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:16-17).
Jacob praised God and built and altar, he didn’t spend time repeating how long the dream was, as if these details have the power to cement false visions into reality.
3a. Another detail this false diviner Joyner obsessed over was the ‘wonder’ of waking up so many times and then falling back into the vision and being ‘right back there’. If God is going to lift you into the third heaven, as He really did to Paul, are you really going to marvel at the lesser minutiae of His ability to wake you and then drowse you and bring you back up? More to the point, don’t you think God has the power to keep you in the sleeping vision state until He has finished showing you what He wants to show you? I bet Joyner woke up ‘over and over’ because he had to pee.
4. Joyner said it felt real. Just because it feels real, it isn’t. Satan performs lying signs and wonders, it is not hard for an angel to appear to a person in a dream. In Matthew 2:13 an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee with baby Jesus and Mary to Egypt. The unholy angels have lost none of their power, including entering your dreams like that holy angel did with Joseph, they just use it for evil. The unholy ones have the power to enter your dreams – obviously, because Joyner had a false one. I mean, it is up to Rick Joyner to bring heaven to earth? Or earth to heaven? And it was not clear in the speech which he meant.
Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:32)
Why teach through the filter of a dream that was filtered through a sinful brain and out a sinful tongue, when one can simply teach from the unadulterated word of God? That is what Peter meant when he said we have a more sure word (2 Peter 1:19). Peter was ranking Scripture over experience.
It should be obvious that Rick Joyner is a false teacher, a false prophet, and a wolf. These descriptions of encounters with Jesus, via visions, and dreams, like Kim Walker Smith music born from fresh encounters with Jesus in heaven, and audible devotions and romantic “Presences” a la Sarah Young, and mind-pictures and visitations and visions like Beth Moore’s, and books and books and books written about people’s ‘recent trip to heaven’ (or hell)… it is a scourge! A plague of falsity. False visions are so commonplace nowadays that it is not enough to have only one, you must have many and join the frequent heaven flier club.
The people claiming these divine experiences make a fatal mistake: they forgot that satan’s ministers masquerade as righteous angels (2 Corinthians 11:15) and that the white light, or the friendly voice, or the romantic warmth is easily counterfeited by powerful angels out to lie, kill and destroy.
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (Colossians 2:18-19).
Did you catch that? People going on about their false visions are puffed up and are not even Christians (not attached to the Head).
If you have NOT encountered heaven in some kind of ecstatic vision or dream, be grateful.
If you HAVE encountered someone who says they have gone to heaven, be wary.
If you have been saved by the grace of our resurrected Jesus, be ready!
Religious deception in the church is a marker of His soon return. (Matthew 24:3–5, 11, 24; Mark 13:5–6; Luke 21:7–8).
We will all see His heaven soon enough, together. And that is good enough for me.