Review of “Prophetic Wisdom” by Graham Cooke

prophetic-wisdom

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 13:22For 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 4:1Dear 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.”

Much of what Graham Cooke writes and presents in his videos is good, some content is very good. However, there is a significant amount of content that does not correlate, in my opinion, with the Word of God.

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 6When 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.

Tie-In

For an overview of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Church history click on the following links: 

Ministry of the Holy Spirit in Church History Part 1

Ministry of the Holy Spirit in Church History Part 2

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.

Tie-In:

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”

Pro – Source –Apostles and Prophets / where-are-the-apostles-and-prophets

Con – Source – Spirit of Error/  Assemblies of God

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 righteousnessAnd your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peaceAbove 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 GodPraying 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). 

The letter to the church at Philippi indicates the presence of “overseers” (episkopos) and “deacons”(diakonos) among them. The pastoral letters, usually assumed to have been written somewhat later, reveal great concern for the appointment of carefully qualified elders/overseers and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1–12;Titus 1:3–9). As can be seen, the names for the office are somewhat flexible and interchangeable. Nevertheless, it is certainly accurate to say the New Testament provides—by such names, qualifications, and selection—for the careful appointment and continuation in office of such leaders as overseers, elders, and deacons. It is also clear that while the apostles (with the elders) were established leaders in the Early Church, there was no provision for their replacement or continuation. To be sure, with the defection of Judas from his apostolic office, the Eleven sought divine guidance to fill the gap. Other apostles also emerged, including Paul who in his first letter to the Corinthians gave insight into their selection. After Christ’s resurrection He appeared to the Twelve and later appeared to more than “five hundred of the brothers at the same time. . . .Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Corinthians 15:6–8, emphasis added). Thus Paul seems to limit the office of apostle to those who had actually seen the risen Lord in the 40 days after His resurrection and to himself as having seen Him in a dramatic vision on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1–9). There is some uncertainty about the
exact number and identity of the apostles. However, besides the Twelve, the New Testament text appears to clearly designate such persons as Paul, James the brother of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19), Barnabas (Acts 14:14), Andronicus and Junias (probably a woman) who were “outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7).
It is instructive, however, that nowhere in the New Testament after the replacement of Judas is any attention given to a so-called apostolic succession. No attempt was made to replace James son of Zebedee (John’s brother), executed by Herod (Acts 12:2). Other than the original appointments by Christ himself, there is nothing concerning the appointment of apostles. And apart from the criteria set for the selection of Matthias (Acts 1:21–26) and the criteria implied in the actions of Jesus and the account of Paul (1 Corinthians 15:3–11), there are no directions for making such an appointment. By contrast, there are clear qualifications and instructions for the appointment of elders/overseers and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9). It seems strange that apostles of Jesus Christ, concerned about faithful preservation of their message (cf. 2 Timothy 2:2), would provide for the appointment of overseers/elders while ignoring their own succession if such were indeed to be maintained.”  
The complete document can be viewed at this link: Statement on apostles and prophets If you have the time, I would recommend reading the entire 13 page statement.

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.

———————————————————————

Page 181 – 199  Graham continues to expound on what immaturity is and on page 185 he states that “failure to enjoy our new nature in Christ will allow circumstances to challenge our identify. We learn to live without good cheer! It enables negative situations to downgrade our promises and the result is that we try to change our own behaviour rather than conform to Christ.” This correlates with what Graham has said previously, e.g. focus on our new life in Christ rather than our old nature. Assignments and study cases follow to the end of this particular section.

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.

God is still creating ways for His people to respond to His overtures. All creation speaks of Him and the language and principles of quantum physics are a vital part of His heavenly discourse with humanity. From quantum non-locality through sound waves, string theory, the mathematical order of nature, quantum geometry and the golden ratio, to the alignment between quantum physics and the supernatural, the glory of God and the key to miracles; you will understand more about the radiant nature of God in this book than in any other tome that is specifically non-specific. I heartily recommend Phil Mason to you as a leader in the field of modern day spirituality, the new sciences and the supernatural gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Graham Cooke,
Author, Speaker and Owner of Brilliant Book House.com

Phil Mason also runs https://www.naiothcollege.com/ which is recommended by Bill Johnson.

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:

Here two additional links that provide a good overview of the authority process and goals that are utilized within the New Apostolic Reformation movement:

Personal Note

*** 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.

FINAL SUMMARY

There are undoubtedly red flags that should cause any serious student of the Scriptures to be concerned.

  1. Acknowledged affiliations and associations with NAR personalities, New Age advocates and False Prophets.
  2. Quoted Prophecy which clearly advocates reliance on dreaming and the abandonment of Scriptural guidance such as the full armour of God.
  3. Doctrine which dodges or side steps judgement for believers during the Church Age.
  4. 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.

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About

Follower of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 6 grand children, ex-military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Christian, Graham Cooke, Misinformation, New Age, New Apostolic Reformation, Religion
18 comments on “Review of “Prophetic Wisdom” by Graham Cooke
  1. Ike12Stones says:

    I like that you seem to be reviewing this work objectively in the light of your knowledge of God’s Word, and that your dissagreements are more corrective than critical. With any group, or movement there are always those who fully subscribe to teachings without question. This really is no indicator that the group doing the subscribed to teaching is all wrong, but we are admonished, rather, to ‘prove ALL things,’ and ‘ hold fast to that which is good.

    I have no appreciation for it when Christians reject the apostolic, and prophetic movements wholesale (partly because I am somewhat more familiar with them than are many Christians, and partly for the same reason that I am annoyed when protestants reject Catholics wholesale).

    Upon reading your review (& I hope and trust you are not reading the book simply as blog-fodder, a critiquable item (you don’t quite come accross that way)), I had one thought of [potentially]historic signifigance to a point you made about physical manifestations (simply for discussion’s sake).

    You quoted a passage from the book where physical manifestations such as shaking, falling, laughing, crying, and referenced these manifestations as specific to the ‘Toronto blessing’ movement. Obviously, a lot of that sort of thingg went on during the Toronto revival of the mid 90s, but those mentioned manifestations have actually followed revivals at least since the era of the protestant reformation. It miht be surprising to many readers that if we were living in the early 1800s, the Methodists would have been the main culprit, and those who were largely partaking of such ‘fanatic’ behavior (although these things also became common among many Presbyterian and Baptist revival movements as well (just google the Cane Ridge revival for example (or see my (so far only) two part blog titled ‘America’s spiritual birth’).

    This, of course, does not have anything to do with the biblicality of said manifestations, but as an historic point, they have followed revivals for centuries, and were typically surprising at first to the ministers who had to learn about them throuh experience, but shortly came to expect that these manner of things would happen where the Spirit of God was moving in actuality (Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and many of the Welsh revivalists all have similar retellings of their discoveries of these manifestations – which I point out because, if these be a blot against Randy Clark, or John Wimber, we protestants are overlooking our own heritage). God bless brother, look forward to seeing more of your thoughts!

    • Bruce says:

      Thanks for the feedback, sincerely appreciate. I mentioned the Toronto Revival because Graham Cooke was distributing tapes there at one point. I was aware of the historical background of John Wesley, the Methodists etc. What transpired in the Toronto Blessing eventually resulted in the charismatic Vineyard Movement, severing ties with their Toronto Airport church in 1995, prompting the name change to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. My personal experience is Pentecostal with the gifts of the Holy Spirit being present as per 1 Cor 14. I will try to find a good link that provides balanced historical background and insert it into the review at the Toronto Blessing location. At a minimum, the Toronto Blessing was controversial within and without the Church. My primary objective is to evaluate the narrative that Graham provides in his book in the light that it was dictated to him by God and should consequently be in agreement with the Word of God, for my daughter who is relatively new in the Christian faith. Trust me, this is not blog fodder. God’s blessings on you also.

      • Ike12Stones says:

        My background has been Pentecostal as well, and those of my early affiliation viewed the ‘Toronto blessing’ as the mega-fanatical. Whenever one spoke of going deeper with the Holy Spirit, always came the warning of becoming too extreme, like the Toronto people. Really it is no different than with other groups, had I been saved in the 70s, it would, doubtless have been Kenneth Hagin & the word of faith people, etc.
        No good choosing sides, however, lest we fall into schismatic snares & one of the things I have seen little of within the ‘apostolic’ (actually early Pentecostals used that term more frequently of their own movement in the early 1900s until some of the teachings of Maria Woodworth-Etter were again heeded. (she referred to miracles as ‘the Pentecostal power’)) movement which self regulates much by scripture. As aresult there is a lot of bizzare ‘prophetic’ teachings that come out of it besides a lot of fake manifestations. I’ve seen people twitch & jerk under the power of the Holy Ghost & I’ve seen lots fake it – biblical manifestations must be the central, if others occur, fine. If gold dust shows up all over the sanctuary but no sick are healed I have to wonder.
        So, again, I appreciate your objectivity.

  2. Ike12Stones says:

    (A better example would have been Randy Clark &Bill Johnson (as Wimber played no role in the Toronto revival, and passed away before the real rise of the ‘apostolic’ labelled movement that came out of it)).

  3. Jeff says:

    So, pretty much, Cooke admitted to the occult practice of automatic writing like so many of the cult leaders of the last 200 years. Great.

    I used to own a bunch of his stuff, and I thank God for getting me out from under that delusion. I’ve created some videos exposing what’s happening in these movements, and it’s completely demonic ala 1 Tim. 4:1-5.

    I feel for your daughter, it’s a real snare if you don’t test what these heretics are pushing in the light of God’s word. I actually attended Dr. Brown’s Fire School of Ministry for a time, and have a deep understanding of what’s going on in this NAR movement Cooke is clearly a part of.

    I created a website exposing this foul movement, perhaps you would share it with your daughter to help her see the manipulative, occult nature of their methods. I don’t wear thick-rimmed glasses, I can’t fit into skinny jeans, and my facial hair is too sparse to grow one of those chic beards all the trendy gentleman are wearing these days, but by God’s grace I have seen the big picture on this mess and feel led to warn anyone with eyes and ears to hear. You can check out my site here:

    http://www.becarefulhowyouhear.com

  4. Bruce says:

    Appreciate your feedback, thank you.

  5. Ike12Stones says:

    A lot of interesting points; my overall thought though is this:

    I think we can make a gnat into a camel rather easily. Most of the NAR people are not ravening wolves – as you point out. Do I think there is some error in their teaching? I’ve never found a group that I agree with completely, and its not my goal to. My goal is to agree completely with Jesus. I think that going to the utmost degree of scrutiny only really leads to vilifying people. I don’t think that’s your intent, but it does become the natural response to overmuch scrutiny.

    We could thoroughly scrutinize any group of Christians, and find out all their error – or all that we perceive to be their error based upon our own perspectives, and biases. I don’t like to jump onto band wagons; I’ve never read the book in question, or Graham Cook. I have heard a lot of trash-talking about Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, and others. Yet when I listen to them I hear earnest CHRISTIANS (albeit, in some cases – I think – mistaken ideas; frankly not near as many as people accuse them of ceaselessly).

    Errors, and excesses are seen as they come to fruition – wisdom is justified of her children. Certain individual’s in the ‘apostolic’ branches have a fixation with the getting ‘drunk in the Spirit,’ for example. Some ministers hold services where that is the central focus, and the point of the service is to get ‘drunk in the Spirit.’ This is an obvious excess – if the Apostle Paul corrected the Corinthians for having services in which speaking in tongues was the principal exercise (speaking in tongues being a biblically legitimized gift of the Spirit, mind you (which is not really the case with being ‘drunk in the Spirit’ no matter how you stretch the right verses). That is behavior that ought to be corrected – many of them refuse correction on it, and that is a problem. Baptists won’t receive my correction about using baptism as initiation into church organization membership either, but I think they’re probably saved.

    A lot of the ‘doctrinal points,’ however are really just slightly different perspectives than the norm. A lot of the thoughts and practices of the NAR that I have heard criticized (including worship style, modernization of church practice, etc.) really have to do with adaptation to culture the culture; Western culture has a fixation on ‘new thoughts,’ (like the Aereopagus). Its part of our Western culture, and it CAN allow for New Age, and occult practices to come in – all should be wary of that. Some of the new thoughts are simply different perspectives on ancient biblical Truths that will not harm anything, but could contribute to our growth, and thinking.

    Frankly I know of no Christian group or denomination that has it all together (contrary to some of our perfection doctrines:)). But many new denominations have brought lost biblical practices, and doctrines to light which had been lost for years prior.

    Every time I disagree with a Christian, I have to remember that they are Christian brothers who may be in error; even in their error, however, I can learn from them. I do not get the option of rejecting them entirely, for Christ died for them – AND they’ve received that sacrifice. I guess I am a bit closer to George Fox in my thinking on the church – your walk with God, and revelation in Him are your own; no one can really share that.

    If you don’t like a denomination, steer clear (unless, of course, the Holy Spirit is leading you to them for some reason, then figure out what the reason is – whether to contribute, and help the movement, or learn from it – but that, too, is between you and God.)

    Do I think – as some have postulated – that the NAR will bring the great end-time deception? Nope. I believe that is already in place in the church, and that the NAR – and any group of people who do not receive a love for the Truth – will fall into it according to Paul’s prophecy. I also think that certain groups are not given the fair shakes as Christians, and any innovative thought or practice they have is discarded out-of-hand.

    Here’s an example of how I feel that the NAR is treated:
    I did some research a while back (not super-in-depth, just a bit of reading) on Richard Nixon, and the Watergate scandal – specifically in the context of the Frost/Nixon interviews. You know what I found out? I found out that people were genuinely angry about Watergate – but that a WHOLE LOT of people’s anger at Nixon had absolutely nothing to do with that. A lot of the real contempt for Nixon really was based on basic Republican vs. Democrat politics, and things he did in office as a republican. Watergate really just became the cannon that could be fired to get all the Republicans on page with the democrats in attacking his cabinet by revealing corruption in his political practice.

    I think the same is true of people’s beef with the NAR – there are some definite foolish excesses, and some faulty doctrines. I think that to those who know the bible, these excesses, and faulty doctrines are obvious, and we should avoid getting wrangled in by them; but much of the attacks lobbied against them are things that cessationists have attacked Pentecostals for for a hundred years. The major errors (however few, or plentiful) act as the Watergate scandal, lobbying the cessationist’s message in a way that even other Pentecostals start attacking the group.

    I think the NAR tries so hard to be spiritual that they find themselves falling into some of the same pitfalls that others have in the past without even realizing it (I mentioned to you how I see correlations with Roman Catholic doctrines). But – at least they are trying.

    • Bruce says:

      Thanks again for your input. I think I understand your perspective and I agree with you that perfection or complete agreement with regard to doctrine is hard to come by within any denomination but the NAR movement goes way beyond a variance in perspective. If you take a look at what is stated in some of the NAR prophet decrees, plus the authority that a NAR prophet holds and demands within the NAR churches and the strong tendency to slide into the New Age acceptance of “spirituality” and all that it encompasses, it quickly approaches a floodgate of intolerability where literally anything goes. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle. The key word here is governance. I have no problem with prophecy in the church. I Cor 14:32-33 “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” Unfortunately, within the NAR movement, not even close.
      Accommodation of variance on non-critical doctrine is understandable and desirable but this is not non-critical doctrine. I have also studied Roman Catholicism and I am sure you are aware that there are serious differences in doctrine that most Protestants who have studied church history cannot buy into. Would I condemn a Roman Catholic because of their beliefs, no I would not but neither would I recommend a new believer to move their new faith in the Roman Catholic direction. Spend a bit of time on https://spiritoferror.org and it shouldn’t take too long to see what I mean. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” Not endure sound doctrine. The NAR movement is not sound doctrine and from my perspective absolutely dangerous and to be avoided. The reason I did this review of Graham Cooke’s book was because my daughter, who is a relatively new Christian, asked my opinion. I did not take her request lightly.

      I do sincerely appreciate your taking the time to look over what I wrote and I do understand, or at least I think I do, your perspective. But I can’t in all honesty send a relatively new Christian in the NAR direction. Check out this URL for a good overview of where the NAR is heading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Apostolic_Reformation

  6. Ike12Stones says:

    Yes, I totally understand – but then, I find generally in the church that I have difficulty affirming just about any ministry for deeper levels of adherence. Does that sound bad? To many, it probably does. In reality though (I guess this is back to my ‘George Fox’ thought) I could think of no group, denomination, or organization which one could go in to adhere to. Each should know Christ for themselves, be led of the Lord for themselves, etc. That is a difficulty in the concept of church government, and verses you pointed out I appreciate regarding the disciples not exercising authority over the faith of others.

    The basis for Christian growth is discipleship – God created us to be malleable, changeable, adaptable – why? So that He can CONFORM us into His likeness. Because we are made to be conformed to the image, we conform – even ourselves – automatically. Albeit we can only emulate those things that we PERCEIVE – this is why the prophetic (i.e. PERCEIVING GOD is an essential function in EVERY CHRISTIAN), the more you perceive God, the more you can emulate Him. If you do not perceive God, you can only emulate others – other Christians can be exemplifying God, but they also are in the process of change. Furthermore if they become what we emulate in order to be Christian, they have become our intermediary (intermediaries are unnecessary under the Covenant of Jesus Christ – He is the intermediary: He said: ‘Call no man father,’ (Also Heb 10:16; 1 John 2:27, etc.).

    That said, no group or religious affiliation should ever direct our development, but Jesus Christ, the Great Apostle, and High priest alone. (The Holy Spirit is the teacher – in these days ‘…they shall TEACH NO MORE every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,’ (Jer 31:34)) So you are absolutely right when you point out the flaw of decrees – once again I point to the Catholics, as though the Pope had authority over Christians’ faith!

    That is to say, each person’s journey is their own – I can think of no one to follow, and in the New Covenant era it is un-biblical to expect anyone else to know God for us, or to enter a church fellowship as though it were Christ, Himself (inerrant)! Christ IN YOU is the hope of glory, His sheep hear His voice.

    My perspective, then, is that we, you and I are on parallel journey’s to Christ. Anything I can contribute to your growth and gains in the Lord which benefits you is ministry; and anything you contribute to my growth and gains in the Lord to benefit me is ministry. I believe in apostles and prophets – though, like you, I am skeptical of a movement which uses that terminology. Anyone can claim to be an apostle, or a prophet, but those are positions of attainment in God. I can easily make the blanket statement (and do) that I believe that most of those claiming to be apostles, and prophets are probably not exactly that. Nevertheless it is in their perspective, and they may believe that using the biblical terminology completes it. But what do I care? Do they have valid ministry to contribute to me? To others?

    Here is a glimpse into my journey: the ‘apostolics’ (so called) taught me the 1) value of, and 2) SOME of the technical aspects of, and 3) to have faith for: the prophetic (by that, as I said, I mean simply perceiving God).

    They claimed to have a lot of other things that I didn’t see manifest; they teetered occasionally on New Age thought, though my own grounding in the Word was meet for the challenge because other Christians do not define my walk with Christ – yet I submit to SPIRITUAL governing authority as much as is appropriate in God, not based upon title (apostle, priest, Bishop, etc.) but what spiritual authority actually exists there in God (which is – as far as I can tell – a REAL apostolic perspective – the Church (body of Christ) is not defined by denominational lines, or even by doctrinal distinctions). Not a lot of groups actually give place to the anointing of God above their liturgies – here also I say: at least the apostolics generally try to. Here’s one: Jesus said: ‘You will know them by their…’ doctrine…? …strength of intellect not to fall into biblical error? No, by their ‘fruit.’

    I’ve come to often think to those of that particular circle as ‘splashers.’ Sort of ready to jump into anything spiritual at a moments notice. More discernment (even as you’ve been studying) is prudent.

    It may well be wise to steer your daughter away from NAR circles, particularly at early stages of development. My only point is – there is a ditch on either side of the road. Jesus HIMSELF is the strait (that is, difficult) gate – if she learns to be directed from Him, alone (rather than by any church government, culture, or minister) she will be able to go in and out among whatever circles of believers as exist, and be untainted by any their error. ‘To the pure, all things are pure.’ (Titus 1:15) The real issue arises when we begin to ‘follow’ ministers, or movements.

    A difficulty in many denominations is that they have the same ‘power trip’ so as to define each individual’s walk with the Lord, and control their faith without the terminology to. In such cases it is done subtly, and even, generally unconsciously. Yet, there may certainly be better influences to guide her to.

    I think that the investigation you’ve done to that end is quite noble. (Out of curiosity, what denominations, or groups do you feel you could recommend?)

    • Bruce says:

      I think we are pretty much in agreement. Your last question was a zinger! “(Out of curiosity, what denominations, or groups do you feel you could recommend?)” I don’t think you can make a generalization anymore with regard to denominations. I look for a church that is focused on our Lord and feeding the local church with God’s Word. I realize that is all subjective but like you said, “His sheep hear His voice”. I remind God frequently in my prayers that I have put my hand in His and I am relying on Him to tell me, go to the right, go to the left. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to graciously communicate with me. We are brothers. May God richly bless you and yours!

  7. Ike12Stones says:

    I guess to whittle my point down to a more graspable chunk – I think that the issues of concern that generally lie within the NAR is lack of discernment through biblical understanding. The second issue that comes about is that there is also a lot of teaching about ‘armor bearing’ or ministry to support the minister – which causes people not to point out any error which was spoken from the pulpit (which is, in my opinion the greatest danger). There has been a number of times when something was stated that I recognized was outright wrong, but in the spirit of giving support to the minister, correction is generally not tolerated if not done by other ‘official’ ministers. (Need I point out the poor Catholics, again and the order of their priesthood?)

    In general though Just about all the balony I’ve seen or heard come out from leaders among them is easily distinguished if there is any real degree of bible knowledge, and real discernment.

    • Bruce says:

      Unfortunately the number of churches that are buying into this are growing and it is alarming. You are correct in that some of the garbage that is being put out there is relatively easy to discern as garbage but once you buy into their thinking, it is almost like that switch is turned off for some. I have listened to a fair amount of what Graham Cooke has out there, on video and quotes etc, plus of course his book “Prophetic Wisdom”. A good amount of it is very good. Interestingly enough, Graham does not classify himself as part of the NAR movement yet much of what he expounds upon is right in line with their collective thinking and of course he is present at a number of their annual conferences. It’s those one liners that he slips into his books on New Age spirituality and “wild” manifestation of the Holy Spirit etc, that if you don’t take the time to do the background research on the subject, you just zing right over it. Those with whom he associates and endorses paints a radically different picture from the one he displays on his personal self. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a title used to describe a movement that seeks to establish a fifth house within Christendom, distinct from Catholicism, Protestantism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Eastern Orthodoxy, largely associated with the Pentecostal and the Charismatic movements. Its fundamental difference from other movements is the belief that the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of prophet and apostle are being restored. Inspired by the G12 movement, it grows by discreetly recruiting pastors of independent congregations and nondenominational churches, by assimilating members from other churches through cell group meetings, and by frequent Church planting and rapid cytokinesis, including foreign missions around the globe. The churches spun out then form a loose network with a tightly knit history that serves as the basis of an otherwise informal and generally unadvertised far ranging governmental structure. With this strategy, it expects to rapidly overwhelm and dominate the preexisting Christian denominations in the world. This is not a small movement and it is growing at an alarming rate.

  8. Ike12Stones says:

    That is an interesting perspective. Ironically ringing, again, of Roman Cotholocism (universal church, all encompassing). I could even easily see the roots – in the 1960s & 70s people began to realize that Pentecostalism was broader than any denomination on the planet, large enough to constitute its own recognition as ‘Protestantism.’ But that much you allude to.

    Another irony I see in it is that in the early 1900s the Pentecostal movement was essentially the same thing. In fact the fixation with the terminology of ‘apostolic’ – even apparently in the perspective it exists in today – existed, and was believed by many. What took overall, however, was not the growing apostolic thought, but the fixation on the doctrine of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I suppose culture is only ready to swallow so much thought at a time.

    There certainly are many who believe that the NAR has revived apostles, and prophets – ironically I heard Randy Clark decry this perspective. He stated essentially the same as my belief on the matter – that apostles and prophets have been throughout church history, but in the past they have not generally been recognized by that name. He used the Methodists as an example, believing that John Wesley was an ‘apostle’ in the biblical sense of the word, though the terminology for church governance in Methodism mirrored the church of England.

    At my initial exposure to Apostolic churches I thought that the fixation on the terminology was a good thing because: ‘they are using biblical terms for ministerial offices.’ Since doing my own biblical research, however, I think that there is little understanding of what apostles really are. I liked the discussion you shared from the AG documents about apostles, which ought to show that the early Pentecostals were thinking about it (as I mentioned before). Subsequently, however, AG became the largest Pentecostal denomination on the planet, and their own pet doctrines and biases became the norm of thinking (even among smaller Pentecostal denominations).

    (One example of where (I think) this went wrong was the ‘initial evidence doctrine’ (actually it was called something else initially), wherein the gift of tongues was taken for the evidence that one was baptized in the Holy Spirit (this actually goes back to Charles Parham’s school, but became accepted wide-scale among Pentecostals). They took something that they perceived to be a principal of scripture and turned it into a doctrine. I could never teach that the first gift everyone receives when they are baptized in the Holy Spirit is the gift of tongues because that is nowhere actually stated in scripture. Even if it is True, or generally True, it doesn’t have the support from scripture to actually be a doctrine – but there it is, and almost every Pentecostal believes it to this day (even though it is nowhere actually stated by any biblical writer, even though Paul asks of Christians baptized in the Holy Spirit: ‘Do all speak with tongues?’)

    The issue I find with the terminology being used is also biblical. Like the initial evidence doctrine, one assumes that because of the usage of the term ‘apostle’ in scripture (which is used to describe the twelve, Paul, Silas, Barnabas, and others), and because of the prominence of apostolic office within the early churches, that apostleship is a transferable church government position – another reason I liked the discussion on it that you included.

    Generally as the term comes into common vernacular people assess someones ministry from the outside; they see maybe this pastor operates in words of knowledge quite a bit (or some other prophetic gifting), then they assess that person’s personality: they seem to be fairly judicial in thinking, and are adamant about holding to the things of God. Now because of those few external evidences we are prepared to label that person an office prophet!

    Well…

    The same goes with ‘apostles.’ Certain tendencies, and characteristics – we’ll call this person an apostle.

    Now the problem is that you have only done part of the job of assessing a person’s ministry skills, and abilities, but are giving them a assumed government label, which essentially means nothing but gives (perceived) definition to the ministry they already have.

    In my understanding of scripture, and of those two terms in particular: ‘Apostle’ meaning ‘sent one’ is determined only by Jesus Christ. Who ‘sends’ anyone? Not the church, but Jesus Christ! The first apostles were those specifically commissioned, and sent by the person of Jesus Christ, none other. Even so, now that He is ascended, what man on the earth has the authority to ‘send’ someone? Well, you can send anybody, but it doesn’t mean that Jesus called, commissioned, and sent them. If someone is not sent by Jesus Christ Himself, that person (from my perspective, and understanding of scripture) – no matter what their talents, gifting, or personality – is not an apostle.

    If apostle means that one is sent by Christ – how can you (even if you be a True apostle) give someone else that office? From my understanding, and perspective in reading scripture it is not exactly a ‘church government’ position at all, and when one tries to give apostolic authority to church government positions, the church government has too much power given to it.

    Maybe that is the root of the NAR ‘decrees,’ and such like…

    I think it is similar of prophets – these two offices, are positions in the Lord, not necessarily church GOVERNMENT offices (though any True apostle, and prophet also ought to be recognized, and given appropriate place in the church).

    (You mentioned that the you transcribed the decree at the bottom of your post, but I don’t actually see it…?)

  9. […] – videos of actual church services – includes Bill Johnson from Bethel Church https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/review-of-prophetic-wisdom-by-graham-cooke/   Review of Graham Cooke’s book Prophetic Wisdom. Includes condensed history of ministry of […]

  10. […] “My exposure to the NAR is less comprehensive, and really came to the forefront upon attending the recent Convergence 2010 conference in Ft. Worth. The major speaker there was Graham Cooke, although Lance Wallnau provided an opening presentation on the “seven mountains” concept. While Cooke’s talks did not deal explicitly with either Wallnau’s 7-M perspective or the dominionist viewpoint of the NAR, some of what he said was certainly consistent with NAR thinking. Upon further review of Cooke’s writing and speaking, my conclusion is that he is not an NAR ideologue – his teaching seems to transcend any particular viewpoint or stance, rather focusing on encouraging Christians to understand their identity in the body of Christ, and to be earnestly seeking “upgrades” in their walk with God, especially relative to a prophetic calling.” Personally I do not agree with this assumption due in large measure to what I encountered in my study of Graham’s book entitled “Prophetic Wisdom”. I would strongly encourage you to go through the review that I did on this particular book and I am pretty sure you will see why. The link to my review is here: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/review-of-prophetic-wisdom-by-graham-cooke/ […]

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