Rick Joyner - "Encountering Heaven"... Or not.

On September 7, 2014, in his Prophetic Ministry 101 speech, Rick Joyner shared about when he had a bad case of food poisoning (or flu) and ...
...was caught up in to heaven for eight hours. ... I say prophetic, but I don't know if it was just prophetic experience or if I was really there, but it seemed real. I saw things that I believe really are part of the heavenly realm. But this one was many times better than I'd ever experienced before. At the end of the whole dream - and this was an 8-hour, earth-time dream - I know because it started at midnight. I laid down at midnight, went right to sleep, went right into this dream, woke up several times during the night astonished, just trying to understand everything I'd just seen and heard. I'd then I'd fall back to sleep and go right back into the same place. Over and over. ... I'd had that experience one time before, just one time, where I woke up, went back the same place in the dream, but this time it happened over and over. It was just awesome.

At the end of the dream, I ended up on Main Street down here. [pointing]. Our Main Street. And I'm standing there, I'm in heaven and I'm on Main Street, and the Lord said 'You've got to bring this here.' We're going to have heaven on earth. Right here!
Joyner goes into 'explaining' that Jacob's ladder dream meant that the angels ascending and descending means that the angels are "bringing back to the earth evidence of heaven's reality."

In the video synopsis, we read, "In this week's Featured Video, Rick Joyner shares about a recent experience in heaven."

The phrasing, 'recent visit' made me think of the frequent hotel points you can rack up for a free gift if you travel to a place enough times. "Purchase 9 drinks, get the 10th free!" Like, on this 'recent trip', Joyner could redeem his points for either a ride on Jesus' rainbow horse Colton Burpo said Jesus owns, or enjoy a light lunch with John the Baptist.

A few things, in seriousness.

1. Joyner's "recent trip to heaven". How sacrilegious, impious, and irreverent to even describe the gift of seeing the heavenly realms in such a flippant way. Of course Mr Joyner did not go to heaven, but he thought he did, and to describe it in such a way demeans the realm our King Jesus presides over. Paul was too humble to even speak of his trip for 14 years, only did so when pressed, and then it was in the third person. Paul would never flippantly say something like, "Oh yah, this time I went up there I saw..."

2. The false visionaries like Mr Joyner try to legitimize their false experience by using biblical language to describe what happened. When Joyner says "What I saw and heard" is reminiscent of the bible's command from God to "Write what you see and hear" as in Revelation 1:19, Deuteronomy 27:8, Jeremiah 36:2. Of course Joyner's description of whether it was a prophetic experience or whether he was really there is reminiscent of Paul's description (which he was too awed to even ascribe to himself in the first person) of 2 Corinthians 12:3. That is one way the false prophets attempt to make their false teaching sound biblical, by using biblical language. But you can think it through, and you remember that Paul was too awed to even tell it, but Joyner is eager not only to tell it right away but to piggyback his 'awesome' heaven trip with his explosive flu. Also if you think it through, knowing that if Jesus is bringing people up to heaven and giving a command, then it is new revelation and equal in authority to what is already written.

So when you tell this to someone and they say "But they use the bible!" you can say of course they do. Satan did even with Jesus when satan tempted Him. If they didn't use the bible, it's easier to see they're false. So....they use the bible and biblical language. Like when Beth Moore said she saw Jesus in the heavenly realms and He purportedly said to her, "And boy you write this one down. And you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it." Who talks like that? No one, except the Old Testament prophets, so the false ones inflate their puffed up visions with puffed up language.

3. Obsessing over irrelevant details as if to legitimize it. Example: "It was an 8-hour dream." As if that matters. How long was the Jacob's Ladder dream? How long was Paul's dream in the third heaven? How long was John's vision on Patmos? How long was Daniel's dream? John simply said "After this..." and began recording the next vision.

Jacob awoke from his ladder dream, "When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." (Genesis 28:16-17).

Jacob praised God and built and altar, he didn't spend time repeating how long the dream was, as if these details have the power to cement false visions into reality.

3a. Another detail this false diviner Joyner obsessed over was the 'wonder' of waking up so many times and then falling back into the vision and being 'right back there'. If God is going to lift you into the third heaven, as He really did to Paul, are you really going to marvel at the lesser minutiae of His ability to wake you and then drowse you and bring you back up? More to the point, don't you think God has the power to keep you in the sleeping vision state until He has finished showing you what He wants to show you? I bet Joyner woke up 'over and over' because he had to pee.

4. Joyner said it felt real. Just because it feels real, it isn't. Satan performs lying signs and wonders, it is not hard for an angel to appear to a person in a dream. In Matthew 2:13 an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee with baby Jesus and Mary to Egypt. The unholy angels have lost none of their power, including entering your dreams like that holy angel did with Joseph, they just use it for evil. The unholy ones have the power to enter your dreams - obviously, because Joyner had a false one. I mean, it is up to Rick Joyner to bring heaven to earth? Or earth to heaven? And it was not clear in the speech which he meant.

Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:32)

Why teach through the filter of a dream that was filtered through a sinful brain and out a sinful tongue, when one can simply teach from the unadulterated word of God? That is what Peter meant when he said we have a more sure word (2 Peter 1:19). Peter was ranking Scripture over experience.

It should be obvious that Rick Joyner is a false teacher, a false prophet, and a wolf. These descriptions of encounters with Jesus, via visions, and dreams, like Kim Walker Smith music born from fresh encounters with Jesus in heaven, and audible devotions and romantic "Presences" a la Sarah Young, and mind-pictures and visitations and visions like Beth Moore's, and books and books and books written about people's 'recent trip to heaven' (or hell)... it is a scourge! A plague of falsity. False visions are so commonplace nowadays that it is not enough to have only one, you must have many and join the frequent heaven flier club.

The people claiming these divine experiences make a fatal mistake: they forgot that satan's ministers masquerade as righteous angels (2 Corinthians 11:15) and that the white light, or the friendly voice, or the romantic warmth is easily counterfeited by powerful angels out to lie, kill and destroy.

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (Colossians 2:18-19).

Did you catch that? People going on about their false visions are puffed up and are not even Christians (not attached to the Head).

If you have NOT encountered heaven in some kind of ecstatic vision or dream, be grateful.

If you HAVE encountered someone who says they have gone to heaven, be wary.

If you have been saved by the grace of our resurrected Jesus, be ready!

Religious deception in the church is a marker of His soon return. (Matthew 24:3–5, 11, 24; Mark 13:5–6; Luke 21:7–8).

We will all see His heaven soon enough, together. And that is good enough for me.


  1. Dear God; help us your children not to ever get caught up in false teachers but to keep in your word and prayer.
    Thank you Elizabeth for always bringing to light the darkness that prevails all around us, may he repent and come to know King Jesus.

    1. There are way more false teachers and preachers than many discern.God is the judge, let HIM take care of it.

    2. Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead EXPOSE them.

      It's a command.

    3. We are not called to be passive observers but active participants in contending for the faith, marking those who cause divisions, rebuking and more. God IS taking care of it, by giving us His word which says the above, giving us a spirit of boldness and courage, and by empowering us with His Spirit given gifts to detect the false ones. We are NOT in a 'let go and let God' religion.

      Secondly, you use the word 'judge' incorrectly. God will judge men's souls, but Christians do not put their mind at the door. We discern. We don't blindly submit to false teachings, passively allow it to flourish, or fail to protect the weak. God judges souls and motivations ultimately, but on this side of the veil, we are warned about wolves and we are given many directions about what to do when we see one. Maybe you have not read those passages yet...

    4. Seeing the Judgement Seat of Christ, talking to Enoch, Adam and Paul makes you a wolf? Not one of us comes close to knowing Jesus as intimately as Rick.

    5. Saul was sincere in his devotion to God and thought he was doing God a favor by having Steven killed (stoning). The Pharisees hated Jesus likewise, and ultimately had Him killed also.There is coming a civil war in the Church. Everyone who has blood on their hands will be unfit for God to use in the building of His Temple.

    6. The civil war in the church was prophesied by the Savior and by the Apostles, so that is not news. (1 John 2:19, Acts 20:30, 2 Cor 1:13, & etc)

      I didn't understand the biblical support for this part of your comment, please explain? "Everyone who has blood on their hands will be unfit for God to use in the building of His Temple."

    7. Anonymous said, "Seeing the Judgement Seat of Christ, talking to Enoch, Adam and Paul makes you a wolf? Not one of us comes close to knowing Jesus as intimately as Rick."

      Yes. Yes it does. I guarantee you every true Christian who has the Spirit dwelling in them is as close to the Savior as the other. Any Christian with the Spirit in them is a child of God, all standing on the SAME blood-soaked ground and co-heirs of Christ. Romans 8:17.

      This is the problem with wolves like Joyner, they purport to have special, inside information which sets them up as super-Christians with inside knowledge. This is Gnosticism, plain and simple. Here is an excerpt about Gnosticism from GotQuestions

      Gnosticism was perhaps the most dangerous heresy that threatened the early church during the first three centuries. Influenced by such philosophers as Plato, Gnosticism is based on two false premises. ...

      Second, Gnostics claim to possess an elevated knowledge, a “higher truth” known only to a certain few. Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis which means “to know.” Gnostics claim to possess a higher knowledge, not from the Bible, but acquired on some mystical higher plain of existence. Gnostics see themselves as a privileged class elevated above everybody else by their higher, deeper knowledge of God.

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-gnosticism.html#ixzz3Faeg3I00

      ALL Christians have the same access to Jesus, thru prayer and His word, revealed once for all to the saints. There is no bible AND extra information that someone like Joyner brings back from heaven. Joyner is only heaping up people with itching ears who want to hear. Follow Christ, not Joyner.

    8. Amen! I knew you would slice him to pieces with the Word of God

  2. Spot on, Elizabeth. I've had my eyes on this character ever since viewing one or two of his YouTube videos a while back. I just knew something wasn't right. So, nothing in your article surprises me in the least.

    Anyone who would like to know more about Rick Joyner might be interested to read the following article entitled "Adrift in the River of God."


    It's a bit longish, but the title says it all. It was written by a Canadian woman named Mishel who was involved in his ministry for a few years, and she tells the tale of a ministry gone horribly wrong and plunging headlong into apostasy and flat-out demonic deception. I'll warn you--it's not pretty. But people need to be warned when there's wolf on the prowl, and this is the best kind of warning there is--from someone who spent time running with his pack.

  3. Two comments:
    1. Did you know in the upcoming 10th anniversary edition, they are removing the 'concerning' language in Jesus Calling? I listened to a conference talk of Warren Smith (another Jesus Calling) and he was talking about it. Great. I threw away my copies of Jesus Calling, so now I will have no evidence to show family the problems of the book.
    2. I certainly hope that after the rapture, the brothers and sisters who had been deceived by this kind of garbage like Mr. Joyner's vision will be informed of what was deception and what wasn't here on earth. My justice-o-meter is bothered by the thought of people never being held accountable or at least being confronted with the facts.

    1. I had heard that they are taking out the concerning language...the same week I found that Beth Moore had scrubbed many of her most concerning videos. :(

      People will be held accountable for every act they did and every word they said and every deed they did. 1 Peter 4:5, Mt 12:36. Don't worry about justice, though we, like David in Psalm 109, we cry out for it. God will render it, He will!

    2. Hi Anonymous and Elizabeth,

      I tried googling for info regarding the editing of concerning language regarding Jesus Calling but couldn't find any - does anyone have a link please and thank you? I was deceived before I read writings from Elizabeth and others and I hung onto my copy of Jesus Calling and the Jesus Calling Bible. I will be more than happy to post pics of the original text on my blog when the new edition comes out.

    3. Hi Pamela,

      Here is an article from The Daily Beast aboutthe controversy surrounding Jesus Calling and the scrubbed new edition

      "The Strange Saga of Jesus Calling'

      In Tim Challies' review of Jesus Calling he remarks on what Sarah Young says about what she says


    4. Here is The Daily Beast's summary of the changes in the two editions:

      The latest edition of Jesus Calling includes some important changes. The paragraph about God Calling has been deleted, and references to received “messages” have been changed to the less mystically inflected “writings” and “devotions.” In a passage in which Young recounts her early attempts to write down what God told her, the new version characterizes this as “focusing on Jesus and His Word, while asking Him to guide my thoughts.” Thomas Nelson refers to the book as “Sarah’s prayer journal,” emphasizing that Young is not claiming to speaking for Jesus. A skeptical reader, comparing the two introductions, would see an effort by a publisher to bring an increasingly controversial but lucrative best-seller into line with mainstream evangelical orthodoxy.

    5. Thank you so very much!!! Have a blessed evening.

  4. I posted a comment under anonymous earlier idk if you saw it . I don't see it on here . Idk how this comment things work . But you're amazing . May you be blessed. If you could please provide me your email address there are some things I would like to share with you .

    1. Antonella, my email address is on the right menu bar, scroll down. :)

  5. Ma'am,

    Please see the following links regarding the erroneous theology of the church/ publishers behind the article you used, thanks.


    In Him,

    Pat Penn

    1. For readers, here is the ENTIRE quote that Mr or Mrs Penn is alerting us to

      "Three different gospel writers record Jesus' warnings that many false teachers will deceive many people as the end of the age approaches (see Matthew 24:3–5, 11, 24; Mark 13:5–6; Luke 21:7–8)."

      It is a correct quote in terms of biblical accuracy.

      The quote was from a publication of Tomorrow's World, a magazine. In the article I saw nothing wrong.

      Mr or Mrs Penn is alerting us to the fact that Tomorrow's World is a publication of the Herbert Armstrong church. I know Armstrongians are wonky. I was not aware that TW was an Armstrong publication. The article itself is good. I liked it. It is too bad the publication from which it comes is from a church from which is bad.

      I did read the entire page of their statements of belief and it was a long while till I found one that was false (they teach annihilation, not conscious hell). I stopped reading after that.

      I'll remove the link and rework the quote. The quote is accurate. Thanks for your deep research and extreme care over the short quote.

  6. Beautifully said Elizabeth!
    Thank you once again!
    I've just recently attended another Warren Smith conference where he talks in depth about how The New Age has crept in amongst the church and so many are falling into it's deceptive teaching and spirit.
    So good to have watchmen on the wall such as you Elizabeth, as well as being wise and discerning in these times we live in.

  7. Either you believe or you don't! God speaks to all of us in a different way. Proverbs 3:4-7 speaks the truth! If you have never had an experience with God that has spoken to you like "no one would ever believe this" then I feel sorry for y'all.

    1. A few things, Anonymous.

      "He operates in supernatural ways that are not seen or heard by the people that have fear, doubt and unbelief."

      Unbelievers can't understand what God is doing anyway. 1 Corinthians 2:14. As for the rest of us, we know God is supernatural and His ways are not our ways. But He did reveal Himself in the bible and that part is knowable.

      "He is warning that this could happen not to cause fear but to make Mature Christians to pray and to be aware that we are in the end times."

      No He is not. He already spoke and told us we are in the end times. (1 John 2:18). 'Mature Christians" do not rely on the ravings of a madman's satanic visions to tell us this. Not when we have a more sure word in the bible.

      The verse you quoted in Acts 2 was fulfilled at Pentecost, and was finished when the foundation of the church was laid. The visionary gifts died out with the apostles, because when they died the foundation was finished. (Eph 2:20).

      Here is a good sermon which will explain the case for cessationism, using the Acts verse correctly

      Besides, I had a dream where Jesus told me you are wrong.

  8. Elizabeth..I can understand your stance on this topic..as Christians we are told to search the scriptures and test the spirits..and be discerning..but I looked up the scripture you referred to in Colossians ....and this particular scripture is Paul speaking to the Colossians..warning them of False teachers who are leading them into the worship of angels and legalism..men who lead from fleshly desires...My question to you about Rick Joyner specifically is how is He leading people down a dark path by talking of Heaven? Maybe he saw it maybe he didnt? God spoke through the prophets in the old testament through dreams and visions...why wouldn't He continue to do so now? Has God changed? We have His word..and His Holy Spirit that speaks to each of us individually now because of what Jesus did on the cross ..but what if He also chooses men and women to reveal somethimg more to us?

    1. Joyner is leading people down a dark path because of several reasons. I've already mentioned them in the comment stream but I'm glad to re-state them.

      1. Gnosticism. Here is an excerpt about Gnosticism from GotQuestions

      Gnosticism was perhaps the most dangerous heresy that threatened the early church during the first three centuries. Influenced by such philosophers as Plato, Gnosticism is based on two false premises. ...

      Second, Gnostics claim to possess an elevated knowledge, a “higher truth” known only to a certain few. Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis which means “to know.” Gnostics claim to possess a higher knowledge, not from the Bible, but acquired on some mystical higher plain of existence. Gnostics see themselves as a privileged class elevated above everybody else by their higher, deeper knowledge of God.

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-gnosticism.html#ixzz3Faeg3I00

      2a. The canon is closed. No God has not changed but His methods have. Hebrews 1:1-2 explains this.
      "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe."

      2b. Revelation says that anyone adding information to the bible or taking information away will be cursed. Therefore, since Joyner clams to have spoken to Jesus and returned with new information we cannot find from the bible, he has added to the canon and by biblical decree, he is cursed.

      The problem that Jesus "chooses men and women to reveal something more to us" is that we cannot test these things against the bible. As a Berean who has just told me you have tested the Colossians verse, you know searching the SCRIPTURES, and not some guy's personal visions, is the final and ultimate test. 2 Peter 1:19 conforms this, we have a more sure word in scripture than we do in experiencing visions.

      3. Heaven tourism. It's false. Joyner is definitely meeting with a supernatural being. But it's not Jesus.

      Please read these essays. They explain the scriptures as to why heaven tourism is false.

      4. Joyner, by his alleged inside information, is gathering people to follow him and not Jesus. They cling to Joyner in order to hear the next message from Jesus. In this way he has put a stumbling block and led people down a path of darkness and not light, because he is pointing to himself and not to Jesus. "Let me tell you about my latest vision" instead of "Let me explain the scriptures that reveal who Jesus is." he does not explain the scriptures, he explains his personal "visions". It is like in 1 Corinthians 3:4 where Paul says, "For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere human beings?"

      5. Cessationism is the proper biblical stance. If people are having visions these days they are false. Please refer to these sermons explaining why.

      The Case for Cessationism

      The Case for Cessationism Stands

  9. Yes and amen at time into meet heavenly realms today by grace with visdom and the angels host to visit us in blessing and to strengthes us ot fight and be glory to God in our thanksgiving with hope,thanks and bless and pray,keijo sweden


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