For additional information on Graham Cooke, please look at the previous posting entitled “Graham Cooke”.
Graham Cooke is interviewed by Patricia King who indicated that the authorship of Prophetic Wisdom was supernatural in its conception. In the interview Graham indicates that this is the book that he never wrote. Graham states that the Lord said, “take a piece of paper and write this”. And for the next 8-12 weeks, eight hours a day, Graham heard,”Write this” and so it went for the content of the book. So, as Graham says, for the next two to three months God dictated the contents of this book to him. To me, if I take Graham at his word, that would mean everything that is in this book.
The video is here: Graham Cooke – Prophetic Wisdom
In addition to the videos Graham has on YouTube he has a number of videos on the XOMedia.com website (Patricia King) and a Decree proclaimed over the body of Christ at the Voice of the Prophets gathering in Harrisburg, PA, April 2009. that you can find by doing a search on the site for Graham Cooke. The Decree is at the very bottom. I have also provided a copy of the Decree on my previous article entitled “Graham Cooke” . I would strongly recommend that you read through the Decree.
As Christians, in the Word of God, we are reminded that:
Jude 1:3-4 “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
2 Tim 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
Jeremiah 23:25-26 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?”
Mark 13:22 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.“
Revelation 2:2 “ I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.”
1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
1 Tim 4:16 “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15 “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”
2 Tim 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
2 Tim2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Titus 1:9 “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”
2 John 10-11 “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”
1 Tim 1:19-20 “Some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.”
Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”
The following review of “Prophetic Wisdom” is submitted for your perusal and hopefully will be of use to you. This summary on Graham’s book is my personal conviction.
Module One : Walking in the Intentionality of God
Page 6 – “When we give ourselves to a full relationship with Him, His will becomes crystal clear. We never have to ask for a word of guidance again. Instead, it will flow to us out of the largeness of His love for us.” Never is a definitive word, although the word “guidance” is specifically stated. Examples of Jesus and the Apostles praying come to mind but in most cases they were praying for something to specifically happen. In Acts 1:24-26 the Apostles did pray for guidance on who was to replace Judas. Consequently I have problems with this statement.
Page 9 – “When we pray for a person to whom God is manifesting Himself, they fall over, shake, laugh, cry and experience physical sensations of God.” Toronto Blessing etc. Observed that you never hear of these “physical manifestations” like falling over, shaking, laughing, making animal sounds and crying taking place in the New Testament. Evidently Graham and God (dictated) think they all are valid manifestations. Even with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation Paul admonishes that all things be done in order 1 Cor 14:26-40
For those of you who may not be familiar with the controversy associated with the Toronto Blessing I have a 135 page PDF that is a A CHRONICLE of the TORONTO BLESSING and OTHER RELATED EVENTS available here. It is lengthy but it is worth the investment of time. Also see John and Carol Arnott further down on page 17 observations.
For an overview of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Church history click on the following links:
Page 9 – “Amazingly, the people who were in hiddenness during the seasons of renewal in the 1990s have generally held on to more of the presence of God than those who were in wild manifestation.” wild manifestation – not familiar with that terminology from a Biblical perspective. Again, this was supposedly dictated. Interesting to note that as Graham indicates, it was those to whom the wild manifestations did NOT occur that generally held onto more of the presence of God. I am thinking that there is a message here if you look for it.
Page 14 – “I can never understand how the Church can walk away from people when God is dealing with their sin, learned behaviour and wrong thought processes.” And, “This is perhaps the main difference between leaders who are fathers and those who are merely pharisees. Fathers are essentially redemptive. They are not embarrassed by sin or the shortcomings of people.”
Sometimes there is a need to be embarrassed such as when Paul addressed the Church at Corinth where there was sexual immorality taking place.
1 Cor 5 refers.
Tie-In (dealing with sin):
On Graham’s website under the topic “God is not dealing with your sin” he states: “We no longer have to identify ourselves in our sin nature; it died. However, we do have a sin habit that will need to be continually reformed into righteousness throughout the course of our lives.God’s approach is different than you think. It is not “get rid of this and you can become that.” Rather, He says,“you are this, and you have no need of that. We do not become a new person by changing our behaviour. We discover the person we already are in Christ and behave accordingly.”
While this perspective is understandable and correlates with Romans 6:11 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”it does not correlate with how the Apostles dealt with sin in the early church. Repentance for sin (acknowledgement, turning from and asking for forgiveness) was a requirement in the early church as it is today. 2 Corinthians 12:20-21 “For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarrelling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.”
Tie-In (dealing with sin):
I also noticed on Graham’s website, under “God doesn’t see what is wrong with you” that he states “We are dead in Christ. God does not see what is wrong with us because He nailed all those things to the Cross and has no desire to resurrect them.” While that is true of our sins that we committed before we became Christians, we as Christians can and do still commit sins (not habitually) but as the Scriptures indicate, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7-9
God does deal with our sin that we commit as Christians. It may seem like a small point but it remains a scriptural process that all of us should be mindful of and responsive to. From the above quotations of Graham, he would have you believe that our thinking needs to be adjusted because as he states, “God’s approach is different than you think.”
Page 17 – “Pastoral ministries, when not overseen by apostles and prophetic leadership, can, on their best day, only take people so far in the purposes of God.” Basically that would infer that if you are not going to a church that has an apostle and prophet, you are falling short. Again, this would be dictated by God to Graham.
I am going to insert two differing points of view with regard to the continuance of Apostles and Prophets in today’s church. There are many resources to pick from, just Google “New Apostolic Reformation”
Page 17 – “I loved listening to John and Carol Arnott in the very heart of renewal.” And “I had a marvelous time in renewal because the guys with whom I walked knew how to produce transformation out of what God was doing.” In 2010, Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship changed its name to Catch The Fire Toronto, to go along with its new international church planting vision. Pastors John and Carol Arnott founded the church around 1988. The church is also the site where the Prophecy of the Golden Sword was given. This prophecy was given by Carol Arnott at the Third Anniversary Meeting of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, January 20, 1997.
Tie-In: The prophecy is as follows:
“This is My sword, this is not man’s sword, this is My golden sword. The ways you have been using My weapons, the methods that you have been using in the past, you are to throw them away because I am giving you My sword now and the old ways of doing things will not do. The old methods will not be acceptable to Me anymore because I am doing a new thing. Do not look to the yesterdays but look to the future because I am doing a new thing and this new way is not the old. This new way is new and you must throw away the old ways of doing things and take up My sword because My sword is made of pure gold and is purer and is mighty. If you wield it the captives will be set free, the chains will be broken and the healings will be manifest because it will not be by might, nor by power, but by My wonderful Holy Spirit. It is by Him, it is by Him that this new wave will be brought forth, it is by Him that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will ride again. In this next wave I am requiring those who take up this golden sword to be refined, to be pure, to have all the dross refined in the fire because if you take this sword and there is secret sin in your life this sword will kill you. This next wave is no joke. It is not a laughing matter. All those who do not want to give up their sin and are fearful, like Gideon’s men, stand back, because I am calling men and women in these next days that will allow me to refine them, that will allow me to chasten, but not with anger because I am a loving God. I am a God full of mercy but I am serious as the time is short. The bridegroom is most anxious for His bride, so those of you that will, let Me refine you and come and take up that golden sword for I will use you in ways, I will use you in ways that you can’t imagine, but I must purify you first.”
And the Biblical weapons that we are to throw away, they are:
Ephesians 6:11-18 (KJV)“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
So this would be a “new revelation” wherein the old was to be thrown away, would no longer be acceptable and the new wave to be accepted. Considering that God dictated the contents of this book to Graham Cooke, one could assume that God’s stamp of approval would also be on John and Carol Arnott. I would have to disagree.
Page 21 – “All our favor is tied into the new creation and not the old. The Father, knowing that our old nature is dead only relates to our new nature in Christ. Therefore, when He looks at us He does not see what is wrong with us. He sees what is missing from our current experience in Christ, and he is deeply committed to our ongoing encounter.”
I understand what Graham is saying but I can’t agree with it. God our Father does see what is wrong with us, the Holy Spirit sees what is wrong with us and Jesus sees what is wrong with us. There are numerous examples after Pentecost that validate what I am stating. Acts 5:3 where Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit about the money received for property. 1 Cor 5 where there was incest within the Church and Rev 3:15-17 where Jesus states to the Church that because they are neither cold or hot He is about to spit them out of His mouth. Pretty hard to know these things without seeing what is wrong!
Page 23 – “I love thinking, reasoning and comprehension, but not at the expense of faith and the Presence of God. A sound mind is one that has lined up behind our heart experience.” Here we encounter again a prevailing theme of Graham’s teachings, that experience supersedes reasoning and comprehension, in particular when experience comes in conflict with the Word of God. I have always found that the Presence of God always lines up with the Word of God. When it doesn’t and you go with the experience versus the Word of God, the Word of God tells us we have a problem. I find it interesting that Graham specifically uses the phrase “heart experience”. And what does God say about our heart in His Word, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9, which from my way of thinking, would be a good reason to stand on the Word of God versus the heart experience, if there is conflict between the two.
Page 27 – 62 I am struck by the amount of dialogue that rings true in Graham’s discourse. I do wish to reiterate that a lot of what Graham says appears to be in accordance with God’s Word, both from an experience perspective and in doctrine. I have prayed over this review and continue to pray before I start another section. At this point in time I continue to have serious reservations on how the primary pillars of Graham’s teachings deviate from the written Word of God. The only thing I can do is to continue to highlight dialogue that to me, differs from what God’s Word says.
Page 33 – To be fair to Graham, Graham’s definition of vengeance, “the anointing to extract favor when we are under attack” and “turning the tables on the enemy” (Page 33) appears to be Biblical in the context Graham uses it. He quotes the promise that God gave Israel in the Exodus from Egypt which states “I will make all your enemies turn their backs on you.” Exodus 23:27 It should be noted that vengeance per sec is an action that normally God initiates or commands to be taken. (Rom 12:19) Consequently, I am not totally comfortable with Graham’s use of the word vengeance. Graham’s use of “instead” does appear to be valid. “Instead means that the Father intends for something else to occur in place of the negative. It means that He has created an alternative occurrence for us to step into, instead.” (Page 33) It is when these Biblical truth principles are used to substantiate deviation from God’s Word that Graham’s teachings must be scrutinized. Examples being the Prophecy by Carol Arnott or the Decree by Graham Cooke as previously mentioned.
Page 46 – Graham describes the role of a New Testament Prophet. “They instruct, train, equip and release people in the prophetic gift, ministry and office of a prophet. In the process of that training directive, they also bring prophetic words to individuals and people groups.”
Here Graham clearly identifies the New Testament Prophet as an “office” wherein the authority of the Prophet comes into play. This view in NOT held by the General Council of the Assemblies of God churches in the United States, which state:
“A crucial issue is whether the apostolic office is to be passed on as an institutionalized office of the church. It is clear from both Acts and the letters of the New Testament that certain offices were instituted and maintained. For example, the apostles led the church in the selection of seven men, often called “deacons” though that noun is not in the text, to administer the charitable ministries of the church (Acts 6:3). Early in the Acts record the Church, probably operating with familiar Jewish models, is observed to have elders who are functioning in leadership roles along with the apostles (Acts 11:30; 15:2; 16:4). As Paul and Silas established missionary churches, they were careful to appoint “elders” (presbyteros) for the leadership of those churches (Acts 14:23). Paul also summoned “elders” (presbyteros) of the church at Ephesus and then addressed them as “overseers” (episkopos) who were also to be “shepherds” (poimaino), or “pastors,” of the church of God (Acts 20:17,28).
Module Two : The Promises of God and Our Development
Page 83 – 105 Graham provides the reader with a detailed overview (many scriptural examples) of how Prophecy works (Old and New Testament) and how it is connected with favor from God, especially from the personal perspective. On page 105 Graham reiterates “All our favor is tied into the new creation, not the old. Because our old nature is dead, Father only relates to our new nature in Christ. When the Father looks at us, He does not see what is wrong with us. He sees what is missing in our relationship with Christ, and He is committed to developing that in us by the Holy Spirit. Our ongoing favor is part of that development.” Same as on page 21 previously. Graham basically builds or expounds on the role that Prophecy and God’s promises play in the Christians life and how that is associated with God’s favor and how important our perception or acceptance of God’s promises and Prophecies are in our daily walk, especially as it pertains to the gradual (degrees) change in our daily walk. The vast majority of the dialogue rings true with the exception of how Graham indicates God looks on our shortcomings, and the authority of the new Apostles and Prophets have in today’s church, at least from my perspective.
Page 107 – “Prophecy empowers our response to the Christ life that is developing within. It provides a new experience in the context of our overall journey. Jesus is the guarantor of our covenant (Hebrews 8:6), which is now (in Christ) based on better promises.”
Tie-In Graham Cooke False versus Poor Prophecy
Graham has two YouTube videos (part 1 and 2) wherein he gives an overview on False versus Poor Prophecy. The two videos can be viewed at:False vs Poor Prophecy Part 1 and False vs Poor Prophecy Part 2 The content of the two videos is discussed on the following website www.zedekiahlist.com I would highly recommend that you take the time to view the discussion provided by Zedekiah List. Graham’s expressed views tie-in with his concept that God no longer looks on our sins that we commit as Christians and also gives his explanation for Prophecies that are given by Prophets now, that do not come true.
Pages 108 to 150 contains a lot of very good dialogue , some of which I found very insightful. In fact, I was struck by the beauty of Graham’s understanding and wisdom in a number of places. On page 128 Graham states, ” I am persecuted relentlessly by well-meaning Christians who firmly believe that I am apostate and leading people astray.” I am finding that a greater percentage of his dialogue is very good in this particular book but the loftier associations regarding authority within the Church for Apostles and Prophets and how God views sin within the Church is still very troubling. Not to mention some of the content in the “Decrees” put forth in God’s name by himself and those with whom Graham associates or endorses. These “anointed” Apostles and Prophets supposedly have authority that Christians must submit to or be outside the will of God. It should be noted that the Apostle Paul, a genuine Apostle of Jesus Christ, never claimed such an authority over God’s people. He also never taught or sought to exercise such dominion or authority over the people for which Jesus bled to purchase. In fact the Apostle Paul said: “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” 2 Corinthians 1:24
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Hebrews 3:1
Here the Holy Spirit tells us to “consider … Christ Jesus” whom He tells us is “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.” The divine Person of the Holy Ghost here points us to Jesus Christ, the only Apostle that really matters. He never, not once, directs men who have been saved by the precious blood of “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession,” to look to human apostles. Not once.
“But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:12-15
Pages 151 to 180 covers a substantial amount of ground and once again, I found a lot of what Graham says very insightful. Graham covers “accountability”, which focuses on what God’s intent is for us. I didn’t encounter anything that appeared to be not scriptural. Next comes the “process” which as Graham explains, deals with changing our habits and thought patterns so that they align with God’s. On page 155 Graham states: ” Process is the manner in which He chooses for us to know Him. Accountability ensures the learning and empowers the upgrade in relationship. A lot of process is repetition and reinforcement. The same lessons over and over until we are transformed and His nature is embedded”. Once again, I didn’t encounter anything that appeared to be unscriptural. In fact, it made a lot of sense. Within this dialogue you have Prophecy introduced explaining how it provides focus so that we can walk in newness of life. I can’t really comment on the Prophecy aspect as it pertains to a prophecy on myself personally as I have not experienced this first hand. I have experienced two instances where God used me to pronounce a word of prophecy to a group of Christians but this was a word of encouragement and comfort to all of us (myself included) and was authenticated by another attending Christian as a word from the Lord as in 1 Cor 14:3. The Prophecy Graham is talking about is where God gives you personal insight on what He has planned for you and of course, it is linked to the process. I have not see this happen personally for myself or others. Is it possible, I believe it is. The Scriptures indicate this happened to Timothy.
1 Tim 1:18-19 ESV Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.
On page 156 Graham states: “ Prophecy tells us that we will survive the process. It gives us an outcome beyond the testing.” The testing comes with the process. Graham then goes into the different phases of the testing. “Testing is the territory where we learn to put off the old and put on the new. Prophecy provides focus so that we can walk in the newness of life. Testing times can vary in length and power.” Then Graham shows how our natural tendency for vindication needs addressing and also forgiveness. He also covers our perceived status and personal purity requirements, again, part of the process.
On page 161 through 163 Graham addresses how we view judgement. I ran into a problem with this aspect because, once again he indicates that God does not see our sins, and it appears that Graham means both our previous sins and our current sins. Previous sins we committed when we were not Christians, those sins are gone but sins that we commit after becoming a born again Christian, they need to be acknowledged (confessed) and forgiven. While I can identify with his criticism of the church when it comes to judgement, especially within the church, no where up to this point does he address the scriptures that admonish us to address sexual immorality (and other issues) within the church. He indicates that we are the only army on earth that shoots it’s wounded. On page 161 he states: ” It seems that the Church are the worst people in the world at forgiving and forgetting. Pharisees always turn a sin, a mistake or an error of judgement into a stigma. No one does shame like the Church. They put marks of shame of people that consign them to ongoing disgrace. It is as though, at our essential core, we do not believe in the power of the Gospel. We do not believe that the blood can cleanse people or that believers can be transformed. We remember sin when God does not.” This correlates with Grahams position that “We are dead in Christ. God does not see what is wrong with us because He nailed all those things to the Cross and has no desire to resurrect them.” as previously discussed.
Pages 164 through 180 deals with how Prophecy facilitates the process, how status, standing and Prophecy are linked. On page 169 Graham states: ” State is how we see ourselves. Standing is how God perceives us in Christ.” Abiding in Christ is also covered.
I think a quote from page 165 highlights where Graham is going with his logic. It reads: “Jesus is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Cor 1:30) He is our righteousness. That means we rest is His righteousness. We behave righteously because we believe we are righteous in Christ. Our abiding empowers us to live from a place, not toward it. It takes all the stress and strain out of performance. We are not trying to do anything. We are simply learning to rest in who we already are in Christ. Abiding is the key part of the process. We walk out our salvation because it is already established in us. We work out our salvation in rest, peace and confession. We do not become a new person by trying to change our behaviour. We recognize who we are already in Christ and behave accordingly.”
Once again, I have not closed the door on what Graham is saying. I obviously don’t know everything. I wish Graham would address the sins that we commit after we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour. So far he appears to push them under the rug and that does not correlate with what I read in scripture.
SIN AND JUDGEMENT – An important reality within and without the Church
Outside of the Church, ie neighbours – do not judge
Inside the Church, brothers and sisters in the Lord or wolves in sheeps clothing – necessary to make judgements only on non-disputable topics (principal doctrine or grievous sins)
Luke 6:37 ESV
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
John 7:24 ESV
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
James 4:11-12 ESV
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbour?
Romans 2:1-3 ESV
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
Romans 14:1-13 ESV
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. …
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Titus 3:2-7 ESV
To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, …
Matthew 7:1-29 ESV
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. …
Matthew 6:14-15 ESV
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Luke 6:37-42 ESV
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? …
Romans 12:16-19 ESV
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 ESV
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …
Romans 14:1 ESV
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
1 Corinthians 2:15 ESV
The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
Galatians 6:1 ESV
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Galatians 6:1-6 ESV
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour. For each will have to bear his own load. …
1 Corinthians 6:1-6 ESV
When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, …
Matthew 12:36-37 ESV
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 ESV
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
Luke 18:10-14 ESV
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Colossians 3:12-15 ESV
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Matthew 7:15 ESV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
2 Timothy 2:21-23 ESV
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
Romans 2:1 ESV
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.
Matthew 18:15-17 ESV
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Titus 2:11-15 ESV
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
John 8:15-16 ESV
You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.
1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-16 ESV
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always,
2 Timothy 3:5-6 ESV
Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
James 5:16 ESV
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
John 12:46-48 ESV
I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
1 Corinthians 5:1-3 ESV
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing.
1 John 4:1-3 ESV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
1 Peter 2:1-4 ESV
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
Philippians 2:1-4 ESV
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Romans 16:17 ESV
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
James 5:19-20 ESV
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
MODULE THREE – PROPHECY ELIMINATES NEGATIVITY
Page 200 – Graham really starts to get into his rationale behind some of his previous leanings on how we as the church handle correction within the church. On page 205 he states “The obsession of the Church with sin and judgement has created a deeply rooted animosity in our communities toward the Gospel.” He further states, “If anyone told me about a person who is angry, intolerant, negative, with a history of punishing people for wrongdoing, and then invited me to become a member of his family, I would definitely decline the offer.”
Starting on page 206 there is a host of scriptural explanations and examples given with regard to reconciliation and redemption. I would need to start quoting the complete pages (obviously something that I cannot do) to provide the thrust of Graham’s reasoning.
Suffice to say that his overview and perception of reconciliation and redemption in scripture appears sound. On page 207 Graham quotes 2 Cor 5:19 “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” and adds that 2 Cor 5:14-21 is breathtaking in its beauty and its Heavenly approach to the world in which we live.” He further states that “Reconciliation is the process of goodness and kindness leading to repentance and redemption.” On page 208 he states, ” Our message to the world cannot be double-minded. It must have a focused heart view. We are soul winners, not people destroyers. We do not put people down, we raise them up. If this is true of our relationships in the pre-Christian community, how much more true is it of our fellowship in the household of God?” While this is true in dealing with people outside of the Church, it does not correlate with what Scripture says about judging within the Church.
Graham obviously feels very strongly that our attitude with regard to correction within the Church needs to be re-evaluated in light of the scriptural direction we are given. The focus is on building up the new creation versus attacking the old nature. On page 211 Graham states, “All the old things have passed away and everything has become new. Now we recognize on one after the flesh. That means that we relate to one another based upon our new nature, not the old. God is dealing solely with our new nature. He does not relate to us according to our flesh. He is constantly presenting to us, who Jesus is for us. The Holy Spirit discloses Christ in us, the confident expectation of glory.” Graham indicates that we still are performance orientated. He is NOT saying that Godly living and becoming holy are not necessary, it is the manner is which we view the learning process and the manner in which we implement this process for ourselves and others that needs correcting. Again on page 211 he states, “Prior to Christ, man was a living soul, subject to external pressures, finding their way to God through sacrifice and atonement, living by a set of rules known as the Law. Now in Christ we have no more responsibility for sacrifice; Christ has removed that in Himself. We cannot move toward God by our performance as believers in obedience to a set of rules or a code of conduct.”
Where this is heading is that for Christians, God does not see sin (past and present) in our lives as something that needs to be dealt with (e.g. Jesus already taken care of that) but rather God’s focus and the Holy Spirit’s focus is on us becoming what we are now in Christ. Graham very convincingly follows through with this concept in the following pages. Graham is NOT advocating that we ignore sin and later on he deals with immorality etc that MUST be dealt with, but he is addressing the mindset that we view sins that Christians commit (personally and others) and the manner in which sin is dealt with. I will address this when we get to that section.
On page 213 he states, “Speaking the truth in love is totally concerned with people growing up into all things in Christ (Ephesians 4:15). There is a huge difference between that which is true about a person’s sin habits and that which is the Truth about their new nature in Christ. 2 Cor 5_16-18 “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
I could be quoting complete pages here in this particular section because the content appears to be all solid reasoning in line with scripture. Most times I will just be quoting one particular sentence which hopefully captures the essence of that particular page or series of pages. This is solid meat we are dealing with, page after page.
Page 214 Graham states, “When we speak the Truth in love we are reminding, teaching and exhorting people about who they are in Christ. We are reinforcing their true identity in the Spirit. We are not calling them out because of their inappropriate old behaviour; we are calling them up to the Truth of who they really are in Jesus.” If I was to paraphrase this content that Graham expounds upon it would be to accentuate the position and minimize the negative. Nothing wrong with accentuating the positive but if we mean overlook the negative, within the body of Christ, that doesn’t correlate with what the Scriptures say.
*** On page 220 Graham makes a comment about the “New Age Movement” which I found disturbing. It reads, “The Holy Spirit is hugely involved in and around the new age movement, intent on redemption, healing, deliverance and bringing freedom.” The New Age Movement that I am aware of has many sub-divisions, but it is generally a collection of Eastern-influenced metaphysical thought systems, a conglomeration of theologies, hopes, and expectations held together with an eclectic teaching of salvation, of “correct thinking,” and “correct knowledge.” It is a theology of “feel-goodism,” “universal tolerance,” and “moral relativism.” The New Age Movement is difficult to define because “there is no hierarchy, dogma, doctrine, collection plate, or membership.” It is a collection, an assortment of different theologies with the common threads of toleration and divergence weaving through its tapestry of “universal truth.”
Either Graham is using the new age movement name in a different connotation than I am associating with it or this is a zinger right out of left field. His example of the New Age Movement is the New Earth Tribe (which he is associated with and financially supports), located in Bryon Bay, Australia. Their web site is http://newearthtribe.com/ New Earth Tribe is run by Phil Mason of which Graham had the following to say on Phil’s website http://www.philmason.org
Phil Mason is one of the most exciting thinkers, speakers and trainers in the area of Christian spirituality with regard to the New Age movement and the new sciences. Only someone steeped in the Spirit of God could write about something so complex and make it seem thoroughly natural, normal and readable.
Author, Speaker and Owner of Brilliant Book House.com
Phil Mason also runs https://www.naiothcollege.com/ which is recommended by Bill Johnson.
- Bill and Brenda (Beni) Johnson are the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church in Redding, California.
- Bethel Church is a Charismatic church, firmly planted within the Word-Faith movement and within the Third Wave movement — currently known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) — with its ‘prophets,’ ‘apostles,’ and other excesses, including strange manifestions.
- Bill Johson is deeply involved in the so-called New Apostolic Reformation, and is referred to as an ‘apostle’ by C. Peter Wagner.
Phil Mason is also the author of Quantum Glory (see video below)
Phil Mason is also an advocate of the Passion translation of the Bible, authored by Brian Simmons.
The Passion Translation Project is a groundbreaking attempt to re-introduce the passion and fire of the Bible to the English reader. God longs to have His Word expressed in every language in a way that would unlock the ‘passion’ of His heart. The goal of this work is to trigger inside of every English speaker an overwhelming response to the truth of the Bible as it is unfiltered by religious jargon – unfolding the deep mysteries of the Scriptures in the language of love, the language of the heart. Accurate to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, but passionately powerful in a contemporary form.
Holly Pivec over at Spirit of Error blog points out that Simmons is manipulating Scriptures to make it appear that heretical NAR teachings and practices such as “prophetic singing,” the “transference of an anointing,” and the issuing of “apostolic decrees,” are actually supported by the Bible – which of course is false. But to the biblically illiterate, it will sound so right:
This translation is potentially one of the most disturbing developments in the NAR movement. Simmons is following in the footsteps of the major cults of Christianity who have released their own translations of the Bible, including the New World Translation used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Joseph Smith Translation used by some groups of Mormons.
By creating a new NAR translation of the Bible, Simmons is shaping the way a generation of NAR followers will read and understand Scripture–and also creating a divide between those who use the NAR translation and those who don’t.
It remains to be seen how many NAR people will make the switch to thisNAR translation of the Bible. If a lot of them do switch Bibles, then The Passion Translation could truly–as its advertisements say–”impact the Church for years to come.” Source:
If this isn’t a red flag, I don’t know what is. If you would like a good overview on the Passion translation of the Bible and why it is downright dangerous, please click on this link: new-nar-bible-the-passion-translation-revisited/6021 Be sure to click on parts 2, 3 and 4 (at the bottom of part 1).
Graham does state at the bottom of page 220, “The Tribe is not for everyone; and indeed they have no aspirations to be that broad in their approach to life and spirituality. I love the way they use the gift of prophecy to open people up to the claims of Jesus. They are intent on overthrowing the enemy and prophecy is one of their weapons.”
I am curious why they have no aspirations to be that broad in their approach to life and spirituality and if according to Graham, The Tribe is not for everyone, what it is about The Tribe that some would be uncomfortable with?
*** The association and endorsement of Graham Cooke with “The Tribe” (Phil and Maria Mason) and The Tribe’s association with Bill Johnson of NAR fame are definitely NOT positives from any perspective. Not to mention the advocacy of the Passion translation of the Bible by Phil Mason. If there are lingering doubts try listening to Phil Mason’s podcast regarding “Mystic Glory” at this link: http://www.philmason.org/
Quote from Mystic Glory:
We are invited in the Scriptures to enter the ‘house of wine.’ The beloved bride says in Song of Songs 2:4 “He brought me to the house of wine and His banner over me was love.” The revelation of the hidden wine cellar is consistently obscured in the Bible by translations that lose the strength of the original Hebrew language. Almost every translation renders this passage as the ‘banqueting hall’ or something similar. Yet the Hebrew language explicitly states that we are invited into the ‘house of wine’ or the ‘wine cellar.’ This verse is one of the favourite verses of the ancient mystics of the church who all discovered the wine room of heaven and were rendered drunk on the mystical love of Christ. Jesus strongly desires to bring us into this wine tasting cellar in order to saturate our lives with His intoxicating Spirit. In this 22 minute excerpt from a recent message preached at New Earth Tribe, Phil extends the invitation of the King to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that our shadow will heal the sick.
For those looking for background on The New Apostolic Movement (NAR) I would recommend the following website: http://www.spiritoferror.org/
Other websites while provide additional background and criticism on the NAR movement are as follows:
*** It is important to note that just because an author (Graham Cooke) demonstrates the ability to zero in on a deficiency that the Church may be guilty of (not judging in love and misunderstanding the purpose of correction), or clarifies a truth of the Bible that from an experience perspective, may be overlooked by a significant number of Christians (focusing on our old nature rather than what we are now in Christ), does not in itself mean that everything that the author indicates, is in itself true. I believe that the gift of prophecy as per 1 Cor 14 (the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation) is still a valid gift. As to whether Apostles and Prophets are an official office within the Church today, that is not backed up by Scripture and very much in question, if not categorically no. The best lie is wrapped around a core of truth. Just something to be aware of.
Graham Cooke’s endorsement of John and Carol Arnott and Phil Mason, which are clearly documented within this book would lead one to believe that these people are approved by God (because the book was dictated by God to Graham). Plus we have documented associations with people such as Patricia King. The term “slippery slop” comes to mind. Another is “10 foot pole”.
Page 221- 227 is where Graham addresses the lifestyle that we should be working towards. On page 222 he states: “In particular we are developing a lifestyle in Jesus that is not present – past, but is working in the present toward a powerful future.” Graham further states: “How we interpret Romans chapters 6-8 is one of the most important foundations of our whole life and walk. This is some of the most important theology in all of the Word of God. It is so vital for us to understand the work of the Cross in our lives: what it did, how it applies and how we make practical application of that in the course of life.”
I could literally be quoting these entire seven pages because they are very explanatory with regard to how we envision ourselves now in Christ. Our old nature has been crucified and on page 223 Graham states: “What we have to overcome, conquer, and crucify in partnership with the Holy Spirit is our flesh. This is our previous bad habits, poor mindsets, learned behaviours and the memory muscles of a previous way of life that was focused on sin and self.”
Our mindset with regard to “performance” is expanded upon and it basically reiterates how we have a tendency to think that our performance establishes our position with God. Graham indicates that this is wrong, that our performance is not the criteria from a standing perspective with God. He quotes on page 225 Romans 7:6 “But now we have been released from the law (man’s religious performance), having died to that by which we were bound, so that we server in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
On page 225 Graham further states: “Romans 7 is both present – past and present – future in its application to the human condition. All religious systems (including mainstream and charismatic Christianity) have a performance orientation based around rules, codes of conduct, and behaviour control.”
On page 226 Graham states: “(Romans 8:2) This wonderful law guarantees no condemnation to believers in Christ as we learn how to put on Christ.”
Thus, Graham is solidifying the understanding that God does not see when we sin because this has already been dealt with (old nature), instead God is focused on how we learn to abide in Christ. Graham also ties in how prophecy is always forward looking for the believer.
Pages 228 through 236 deals with how Christians improperly associate correction within the Church without keeping love as the prime factor and showing the believer what they now are in Christ. On page 228 Graham states: “Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) is not concerned with speaking out what we find wrong about people and trying to do it in a loving way. We see no one after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16). We are looking at people in terms of their potential to become Christ like. What has the Father provided and set aside for us in Christ? We speak the truth of our new nature in order to inspire people to grow up in Christ. We do not speak what is true of the old nature that God has already declared dead in Christ! A fountain cannot pour out sweet water and bitter (James3:11).”
So one can easily see again where Graham is going, focusing on what the believer is now in Christ and learning to abide rather than the negative condemnation about what old nature habits are still hanging around. The logic and scriptural quotations appear quite convincing. He also ties in how this continues to be performance orientated. Plus he ties in how prophecy always is focused on getting the believer to focus on what he/she already is in Christ. To see how thoroughly Graham deals with this you would need to read this entire section.
Page 237 through 242 primarily deals with “Identity”. On page 238 Graham states: “They need to be told who they are, not condemned for not being what they have yet to attain.” Once again, Graham’s narrative and scripture quotations appear convincing.
If you are like me, you are probably saying, what about the blatant immoral sins that Christians can commit. Graham actually does deal with this. On page 242 through 251 Graham specifically deals with this and what biblical shame is. Lets look at what Graham says and then deal with the dilemma that this presents.
Starting on page 242 Graham states, “How do we handle people who refuse to obey the instructions of God and are careless of their behaviour and its effect and impact on other people? How do we relate to people who are a continual source of aggravation and annoyance? How do we connect with people who are abusive, blame shifting, refuse responsibility and are uncaring of the needs of others? How do we respond to people who delete their own worst behaviour, distort the actions or words of another out of all proportions and who generalize about their personal accountability? Often they exhibit no conscience and are not remotely embarrassed at the situation in which they find themselves. Clearly in these cases, admonition must go to a deeper level of instruction.“
I don’t know about you but “these cases” covers a lot of ground, a number of which I have been guilty of myself. They are sins and as such need to be acknowledged, confessed and forgiven. This verse keeps coming back into my mind: 1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
On page 244 Graham quotes 2 Thess 3:14-15 which reads: “Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.”
On the next few pages Graham gives examples of how shame can be used effectively. On page 247 he states, “True shame elevates the inner man of the spirit back to its rightful position. ” He further states, ” We cannot properly exhort, encourage or admonish people if we only express our disapproval. We need to declare our commitment to them as people. They must see our willingness for engagement and support of their true identify in Christ. Do not treat people as enemies, but as brothers. We have a relationship and we want to safeguard our fellowship. Our relationship is not under attack; that should be safe and inviolate in Jesus. It is our fellowship that is under huge threat. Fellowship is the external outworking of an internal relationship.”
On page 248 he states,” There are two kinds of shame. The first is from the Kingdom which empowers us to develop a reverence for the truth. It is a wholesome change that allows us to examine where we are and rediscover the goodness of God. It is transformational. The second type of shame is worldly. It humiliates without empowering. It causes disgrace rather than an opportunity to change. It contains dishonour, contempt, and degradation. It detaches people from the goodness of God and allows people to feel unworthy and wretched. It prevents the discovery of God’s nature and creates inertia at a time when we need momentum.”
Graham’s overview on shame doesn’t disagree with what I see in the Bible. This is a good example of the what is encountered on a good number of pages.
On page 249 Graham gives an example of how God witnessed to him, the sins that a young man was dealing with, at an alter call. Graham states that God said to him (Graham) about the young man, “he is into lust and pornography and he thinks I don’t love him. He hates himself and is full of self-loathing, and he thinks that I feel the same way about him.”
The point I want to bring out here is that according to Graham, God did see the sin that this young man was dealing with. Either God sees the sins that we commit or He doesn’t, you can’t have it both ways.
Later on in page 249 Graham indicates that “The Father did not see the sin, He saw the pain.” I’ll give you the whole statement, to be fair to Graham.
“There is no enmity, anger, or displeasure in God’s heart toward sinners. He is well pleased with the sacrifice of Jesus. The Advocate has paid the price and people are free to be loved regardless of their character, bad habits and stupidity. The Father did not see the sin, He saw the pain. Sin has been taken away and nailed to a tree (Colossians 2:13-14) The sin nature is dead and the sin habit can now be overcome by love, grace and truth.”
Pages 250 to 252 deal with how this man was restored and how prophecy helped destroy the man’s worldly shame. Pretty hard narrative to argue against. But it still doesn’t sit right, regarding God seeing or not seeing sin.
Pages 253 to 265 primarily deals with prophecy and responsibility. On page 253 Graham reiterates that “We need the freedom of the Cross to be applied so we can recognize that we are dead to the past and need to become alive to God in the present.” On page 255 Graham indicates that he is affiliated with The Mission in Vacaville, CA. ” I am part of a relational community within The Mission in Vacaville, CA, known as the Tribe. We practice a relational community that is present-future.” The Mission is frequently associated with other NAR personalities such as Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in CA. On page 259 Graham states: “State and standing are important components in our liberation and our development. We need to be released from what we are not as part of the process of becoming who we already are in Jesus.” The vast majority of the written dialogue deals with who we are in Jesus, e.g. our standing. While this is scriptural, Graham seems to go beyond the norm in totalling moving away from personal condemnation of any kind. It is, in reality, a different mindset from what we normally encounter. Graham is consistent in this theme throughout the entire book. I found the following on http://brilliantperspectives.com/god-is-not-dealing-with-your-sin/ by Graham Cooke which appears to encapsulate his logic. It reads as follows:
God is not “dealing with” our sin. He is establishing our righteousness.
He gave Jesus both as Savior, to bring closure to the old nature, and as Redeemer, to turn a sin habit into righteous behavior. Then he gave the Holy Spirit to empower us in the process of being made in His image. God loves to give us permission to be like Him — to view ourselves as He does and then to take on that identity.
God also gave us authority.
Which means we have the right to confess our new identity, refuse temptation, and choose righteousness. Thankfully, The Lord behaves towards us as though we are dead to sin and alive to Him (Romans 6:11), and this gives us the authority and permission to do the same. We must behave towards Him as He behaves towards us.
He considers us dead to our sinful self and alive in a new life hidden with Christ, in Him (Colossians 3:3). As we all know, death is an end of something but it doesn’t mean it’s not the beginning of something better.
In fact, he who has died is freed from sin. (Romans 6:7)
The Good News is now that we are in Christ.
We get to become everything that He is in His relationship before God. “For the death that He died, He died to sin once and for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so (in the same way) consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 6:10–11).
As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
God dealt with sin once and for all in Christ. He is now focused entirely on righteousness. Jesus did not just take our sin; He became the embodiment of it, so that we could become the embodiment of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
In Christ, it is grace that reigns in life through righteousness (Romans 5:21). So now that we are free from sin, we can become servants of righteousness. Everyday we get to show up and present ourselves as righteous servants (Romans 6:18–19).
You must learn to love righteousness.
In the Gospel, the righteousness of God is always being revealed; because the righteous live by faith (Romans 1:16– 17). When we learn to love righteousness, we’re able to narrow our focus on being right with God and enjoying all the benefits of sanctification (Romans 6:22).
This incomparable gift of being in Christ is only by God’s doing. With this gift, Jesus becomes not only our righteousness, but our wisdom, sanctification, and redemption as well (1 Corinthians 1:30). God truly dealt with our sin once and for all by sacrificing Jesus. It would be an insult to Jesus if the Father still considered sin to be alive in us. Our old nature is dead.
It is only our new nature that occupies God’s attention.
The Holy Spirit works to establish righteousness as our lifestyle, empowering us to become Christlike. He reminds us always of who we are in the Beloved and He speaks to our new position in Christ.
When the Spirit puts His finger on a part of our life that is not working, it is to remind us of our righteousness and to establish it in this part of our life.
We no longer have to identify ourselves in our sin nature; it died. However, we do have a sin habit that will need to be continually reformed into righteousness throughout the course of our lives.
God’s approach is different than you think.
It is not “get rid of this and you can become that.” Rather, He says,“you are this, and you have no need of that.”
We do not become a new person by changing our behavior. We discover the person we already are in Christ and behave accordingly.
May we together begin to see this role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as this: to empower that discovery and transformation.
In what ways are you still claiming your old nature? What practice could you add to your daily routine that would help you better claim who you already are in Christ?
This is consistent with what Graham has said throughout this book. My problem is that Graham’s logic, while scriptural from one perspective (what we are in Christ), fails to coincide with the scriptures that speak about the other perspective, e.g. our old nature and judgement that does take place now. Graham Cooke teaches the erroneous fallacy that God’s judgment ended at the cross and there is no judgement now until the Great White Throne. This is, of course, is not true. From the Acts of the Apostles, we see the judgment of God on Ananias and Saphira. In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul uses the term “judgment”(krino) as a divine means of “correcting” (pedeou) His children. We see the judgment of God to take place upon the church of Thyatira with the slaughter of her children prior to the Great White Throne, and we likewise see God using deception as an instrument of judgment in 2 Thessalonians 2.
God does in fact see our imperfections and He is dedicated to changing us into that which he has ordained for us to be. God does see our sinful habits and bad habits and convicts us so that we can stop doing what it is that is not according to the character of Jesus. Graham Cooke’s logic does not fully align with scripture. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin that we might repent from those sinful actions of the flesh and be forgiven.
1 John 2:1-2 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Christ is called the “propitiation for our sins.” Here a different Greek word is used (hilasmos). Christ is “the propitiation,” because by his becoming our substitute and assuming our obligations he expiated our guilt, covered it, by the vicarious punishment which he endured.
1 John:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Pages 267 – 279 are exercises and assignments
Pages 283 – are workshops, case studies, final applications and a prophecy.
There are undoubtedly red flags that should cause any serious student of the Scriptures to be concerned.
- Acknowledged affiliations and associations with NAR personalities, New Age advocates and False Prophets.
- Quoted Prophecy which clearly advocates reliance on dreaming and the abandonment of Scriptural guidance such as the full armour of God.
- Doctrine which dodges or side steps judgement for believers during the Church Age.
- Acknowledgement that the contents of this entire book where dictated to Graham by God.
Some of Graham Cooke narrative was very insightful. Unfortunately other parts of the narrative were not. I make no judgement on Graham Cooke’s faith. I do make a negative judgement on some of his affiliations, associations and teachings and I would not recommend this book.