Joel’s Army ~ Army of Anointed People or Swarm of Locusts?

Over the past few years, intrigued by a seemingly blatant error in the church known as Kingdom Now Theology, I have been watching and waiting to see what would happen to the Church as a result of teachings from the “Manifest Sons of God/Joel’s Army” movement that seems to have gained momentum in the Charismatic/Evangelical Church led by the likes of Mike Bickle and Rick Joyner in the wake of William Branham’s wave of “Latter Rain” teachings from the 1950s.

Have you heard about any of these men: William Branham, Paul Cain, Bob Jones, Mike Bickle, John Crowder, Rick Joyner, or Todd Bentley? My guess is that you’ve heard a little snippet about one or two of them (good or bad) and dismissed what you heard as inconsequential in the scheme of the big picture of Christendom. This is by no means a complete list and I feel very strongly that I must warn you that these men, particularly the last two mentioned, are a rising force in what I believe is a great apostasy, maybe the greatest apostasy of our time. There are a few women who head up ministries within the Joel’s Army movement as well but nobody will take this aspect of their ministries seriously unless they are backed by men because women being totally submitted under the headship of men is also a teaching of the movement. However, you should know that some of them are as follows: Heidi Baker, Cindy Jacobs, Faytene Kryskow and Patricia King. Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

I love all of these people. You should know that most of them do very good works in the world. The problem is that they are focussed on what they can DO to EARN God’s favour while the focus should really be more about being grateful for WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR US. Being allowed to go into areas to bring relief to people who are oppressed is simply people getting involved in what GOD is already doing. At any rate, I commend anyone who does anything to help the poor.

So…on to Joel’s Army. Sometime ago, I heard a young man declare in a church, as part of a prayer, that he was going to “take by force” the ground that was rightly his as God had ordained. He may have believed he was talking about spiritual ground but I don’t think he realises that, because of his age, his spiritual teachers believe that he is one of God’s chosen who are supposed to be an army of specially anointed people, a super new breed who are commissioned by God to take the world’s physical ground by force and turn it over to Christ when He returns. It seems that the idea of this “Joel’s Army” arose out of a prophecy spoken by Bob Jones that declared anyone born after 1973 to be a part of this army of Manifest Sons of God.

Bob Jones is associated with the Kansas City Prophets and falls into the same category as Paul Cain. Even though these men have been labelled false prophets due to many failings in their lives and ministries, they are still highly esteemed in some sects that call themselves Christian. Both Bob Jones and Paul Cain have been caught in sexual and/or substance abuse sins and neither has ever fully repented, recovered or been restored to the church in a Biblical sense. Maybe Rick Joyner did some rituals with them, I don’t know. However, they do seem to have clairvoyant gifts. Whether by deductive reasoning or by powers bestowed upon them by some otherworldly force or maybe even by trickery, they are apparently able to “read your mail”. We must recognise however, the fact that a virtual plethora of entertainers such as Houdini, The Amazing Kreskin and Criss Angel have also appeared to be able to do this kind of “mental magic”.

At any rate, the leaders of the Joel’s Army movement have read the Old Testament Book of Joel in the Bible (in which an avenging swarm of locusts attacks Israel) and through their interpretation of this scripture, mixed with the Latter Rain teachings of William Branham and a couple of prophesies by Bob Jones and Paul Cain they have come up with this idea that young people in this generation are God’s anointed vessels who have favour to take, by force, any ground that is not Christian. In their view, the locusts are a metaphor for their Joel’s Army.

William Branham, a great leader of Pentecostalism, was without a doubt, a lover of Jesus, a gifted orator and was also able to “read your mail” so to speak. The problems however are; he denounced the Trinity, he relied on angels (specifically one he called “Winds of Change”) to do his workings in miracles, signs and wonders and he prophesied many things that didn’t come to pass. For these reasons, many have labelled him a false prophet. He was supposedly able to transfer his anointing to heal people and raise people from the dead by the laying on of hands. But when a drunk driver in 1965 hit and killed him, many of his young followers who believed they would have inherited his gifts, were not able to raise him from the dead though they tried whole-heartedly for many days after his death.

One of the biggest protagonists of this new age, Joel’s Army philosophy in this day and age is Todd Bentley who, it would seem, is the apple of Bob Jones’ and Rick Joyner’s eyes. Todd Bentley is, in my opinion, the most blatant of all the non-denominational Christian fundamentalist, charismatic and supposedly evangelical, nut-jobs out there! He is a Canadian but his own followers at Fresh Fire Ministries in Abbottsford, BC recently excommunicated him when he was found, among other questionable things, to be; fraternising with one of his female interns (even though he was married), drinking alcohol backstage with the crew and falsifying documents that would “prove” that all of the dead-raisings and healing miracles that were supposedly happening around him at The Florida Outpouring were because of some God-given power that only he had! He ended up fast tracking a divorce by moving to Nevada for 6 weeks and is now married to the intern (Jessa). He is supposedly in a “restoration process” that is being orchestrated by Rick Joyner at Morningstar Ministries. Todd has retained the business name “Fresh Fire” but he is now based in the United States. According to Bentley, and a handful of other charismatic preachers, Joel’s Army is prophesied to become “an Armageddon-ready, military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian ‘dominion’ on non-believers” and Paul Cain had the gall to walk into a big meeting during the Florida Outpouring and “prophecy” that this “revival” was the manifestation of one of his own prophecies from the 1980s! Paul once “prophesied” that some day stadiums would be filled with these new breed believers. Of course, everyone knows that many preachers have filled stadiums with young Christians for many, many years.

As a result of these teachings and belief in these “prophets” you will find young Christians dressing in camouflage clothing and wearing mock, army-issue dog tags on chains around their necks as kind of a “uniform” or “colours” like a gang might adopt as their way of recognizing each other. Todd Bentley has the dog tags tattooed on him. Some of the kids are even packing around large hunting knives worn openly on their belts and many of them are fascinated by and own one or more swords. Despite their overt militancy, there’s no evidence that these Joel’s Army followers have committed any acts of violence. But critics warn that actual bloodletting may only be a matter of time for a movement that casts itself as God’s avenging army.

Does any of this frighten you? Give you cause for concern? It does me!

What does the Bible say about Joel’s Army?

It seems clear enough to me that the army in the Book of Joel is actually a swarm of locusts that God sends as a judgement upon the land. It is only later, after this army of locusts has devoured and destroyed every good thing in the land, and has then been driven into the desert and the sea by God, that He sends a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a mighty “harvest”. In other words, this locust army of judgement and devastation sweeps through first, and it is only after it has been driven away to destruction by God that true Revival can come.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Bible prophecies that Joel’s Army is an army from heaven led by the Lord Jesus. It is not an army of men in the end-time Church being raised up to take dominion of the earth.

This all leads me to wonder, how this “manifest sons” teaching will affect people in their hometowns. The Joel’s Army Movement leaders usually look to a few local, self-proclaimed prophets and prophetesses whose words are always grounded in the ideas that “something new is in the air, God is on the move, He’s up to something, there are new wineskins being prepared for the new wine, there’s something in the wind or a wind of change is blowing through the country…etc.” You will find they also take direction from various prophetic words from Internet sites such as “Extreme Prophetic” with Patricia King and “The Elijah List” that gathers and publishes prophetic words from many so-called prophets. Some of the most notable on the Elijah List are Chuck Pierce, Steve Schultz, Matt Sorger, Ryan Wyatt, Rick Joyner, Patricia King and Kim Clement. They all say the same thing all the time…new wine, wind of change…etc. These “prophecies” spew forward daily even though we know that all prophecy concerning end times is already given in the Bible.

So far, the Joel’s Army movement has not picked up much steam in my hometown, in fact it has probably lost steam over the last year or two but is has proven to divide the body here a bit. (Of course the leaders in this movement will say that people like me pointing out what we think is error actually causes the division) but really, the young people who think they are supposed to be this “army” are finding that their convictions are short-lived when they actually face the idea of taking anything by force. They hear other people comparing them to the Talaban and other terrorist organisations and they start to wane a little in their own stance. There are a few “hangers-on” who are probably ashamed to admit their folly and they do band together but it is sad to see them not finding themselves able to fit in with other youth groups in the greater Christian community. They are generally great kids though and when they get out from under this teaching they’ll be fine. I’m not suggesting that young people should abandon ALL the traditions and teachings associated with their particular brand of Christianity but when it comes to this issue of Joel’s Army, I think they will want to take a long, hard look at what they are being told they should believe. God does not need people to fight other people on earth in order to bring His Kingdom. Even if some teachers of the Kingdom Now Theology back off a little and say that they are training warriors for battle in the spiritual realm, young people should know that they don’t need to enlist in this boot camp. Christians can rest in the comforting knowledge that Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross at Calvary has provided the Grace we needed in order to free us from the struggles of this world. And we know that there are no struggles in the next world! Praise God!

Here are some of the sources I used for this collage of ideas:

The Holy Bible – KJV

http://www.letusreason.org/
http://www.apostasyalert.org/
http://www.gotquestions.org/
http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/

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9 Responses to “Joel’s Army ~ Army of Anointed People or Swarm of Locusts?”

  1. Adam Brown Says:

    Good stuff. Indeed the Manifest Sons of God and Joel’s army is on the base level, another form of gnosticism.
    Hebrews 8:11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
    God bless

  2. Lucille Says:

    I wondered what all this Joel’s Army-wineskin-fire stuff was !
    I am familiar with the “Locust Plague”.
    -God is not always happy with how we are living and sends signals-
    is what I got from the story in Sunday School years ago.
    To think that children are being manipulated to grow a congregation is sad.
    Adults that are supposed to be loving and kind that teach children
    that being angry and self righteous can win them God’s favour is disheartening to me.
    I guess they figure that Teens are at an impressionable age and they can get them all fired up with Swatika mentality.
    I am sad over it all.
    Our world needs more LOVE and kindness and respect for one another.
    This Movement breeds hostility and separation.
    We only know what we are taught from day one.
    Teach the children well.

    No wondeer the

  3. An Introduction to the NAR – New Apostolic Reformation « Insights With Billy Vee Says:

    […] The mystics of the new age, fringe churches have latched on to the spiritual warfare component of the dominionist theology of leaders of the NAR quite readily. Notable among these mystics are John Wimber, Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, Patricia King, Bob Jones, Stacey Campbell, John Arnott, Mike Bickle, Randy Clark, Che Ahn and Ryan Wyatt (to name only a few!!) All these people are supporters of the “New Wave” which is supposedly God’s own “New Breed” of young people that He is raising up in the church today. These people will take by force all the ground that is not Christian ground and make it perfect and holy so that Jesus can return to earth to set up His Kingdom. See “Joel’s Army.” […]

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  6. Maggie Says:

    The language that I’ve heard coming from these young “recruits”, so to speak, is that they are wrestling not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in the Spirit realm. So there is no need to plant fear about thw possibility of these kids slashing in a blood bath of warfare. They dance and sing about blood that was already shed for them on a cross once for all. These fatugues, just like vestments, robes, banners, flags, crosses and statuary in the churches are used as visuals that invoke remembrance and stir worship I’m the heart of the onlooker. Little children learn songs in Sunday schools about being in the army of the Lord. The Scripture talks about putting on the whole armour of God. The youth in these movement know that it is a spiritual battle. They know the word says they aren’t battling flesh and blood ( human beings). I think you are reading too much into the language and outward appearance of the movement. I know some of the young people who esteem and listen to some of these leaders and teachings. They are the ones spreading the gospel, living pure lives, honoring there parents and marrying their sweethearts( not living in sin with them). These young people pray, encourage, exhort and build each other up and they exhibit love for Jesus and enjoy worship and dance. Just a reminder- David danced.
    I go to an evangelical church and I have seen a difference in the youth that attend these gatherings and the youth that attend this church. Most of them here could care less about being in church on Sunday. Most of them are drug by their parents and have no relationship or desire for Jesus. I heard one of the youth call the church based school here a f..k fest, because of how easy the church girls are. I would rather have my children be on fire for the Lord, wearing fatigues and living purposed pure lives than what I’ve seen in the youth today at my church.

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