May 30, 2017
The Gall of James Goll - Surrendering Common Sense to Experiential Christianity
By Anthony Wade
False Prophet James Goll teaches abandoning your senses to the "Holy Spirit" as Satan's strategy of having the church replace doctrine with experience deepens...
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. -- 1Corinthians 12: 4-11 (ESV)
Beloved, we have written before about the ongoing trend in modern Charismania to abandon the absolute truth we are assured of in Scripture in favor of what we experience and feel. This unbiblical teaching is rampant in NAR circles and promoted widely by Bethel Church, IHOP and Charisma News. The foundational premise is simple. While paying lip service to the Bible these false teachers train their adherents to "experience" the Holy Spirit using new age techniques such as centering prayer, soaking prayer, and the emptying of one's mind. Essentially, we are to seek the Spirit apart from the Word. Leaving the God that never changes for the wickedness of our own deceitful hearts. We see it in the language employed by the false prophet network all the time. They constantly refer to things they "felt" the Lord say. Renowned false teacher Joseph Prince always claims that every sermon he preaches was directly conveyed to him by God thus elevating what he preaches to Biblical truth. This is the same scheme used by those claiming the mantle of modern day prophecy. One cannot challenge for example Jennifer Leclaire claiming she was shown by God a "sneaky squid spirit" that was stalking her because of the subjective nature of the claim. All we can do is point out how silly and wildly unbiblical it is. This cartel however will merely reply that those clinging to Biblical truth need a greater revelation of the Spirit. Translation? Leave the inerrant truth for Scripture for what you heart is saying to you.
This movement has created their own worship and education programs to support it. Bethel runs a "school for the supernatural"; where they claim to be able to teach people the gifts of the Spirit. The aforementioned Leclaire runs her own "School of the Prophets" out of a hotel room by the Fort Lauderdale Airport, where for $300 you too can be taught to be a prophet. For another $300 you can join Jennifer's network of Prophets so you have immediate street cred. On the worship side we have seen the growth of mantra-related worship, where the hook is repeated over and over again and the advent of "prophetic worship." Bethel teaches their worship leaders to empty their heads when worshipping and just sing the first thing that comes to mind, calling it "prophetic." I witnessed this once at a local church where for 15 minutes the worship leader just sang and repeated over and over again, "jump in the river if you want a hug from Jesus." This was not prophetic beloved; it was demonic. In order to be prophetic, something must align with the final revealed will of God -- the Bible. The first thing that pops into our heads is often derived directly from our hearts which the Bible says is more deceitful than anything else. This is why we do not wander from the assurance of absolute truth found in the Bible. I say this as a back drop to an article on Charisma News this week from infamous false prophet James Goll. Mr. Goll is actually the prophet who "covers" the sneaky squid prophetess Jennifer Leclaire. Let us reason together beloved as we delve into the mind of a false prophet (link above):
"As light and darkness continue to polarize and grow into maturity in the world around us, it is imperative that we learn to discern the spiritual source of the inputs to which we are daily being exposed. This is actually one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit--and we can become more accurate in this gift through practice and fully submitting our bodies with its five senses to God." -- James Goll
We should have warning lights flashing the moment we see an article entitled, "It's Time to Surrender Your Senses to Holy Spirit." What a completely unbiblical premise and we see that Goll is quite open about his premise here at the start. First of all, light and darkness are not "polarizing" in these end days. If anything, they are growing closer together as the church continue to seek relevance to a world they are supposed to be called out from. The problem for people like Mr. Goll of course is he has convinced himself that his darkness is light, which Jesus teaches means he is in the deepest darkness one can imagine. His movement however is growing so he believes that his darkness is become polarized when it is actually the opposite. While it is true that discernment is one of the gifts, Goll makes three major errors in his introduction. First of all, not everyone can have every gift. Paul makes this abundantly clear when he asked rhetorically if all can prophesy, teach, or speak in tongues. The answer implied in the original language is -- no! Secondly, the notion that "practice makes perfect" when it comes to a gift of the Spirit is ludicrous. Does God give incomplete gifts? Does the Holy Spirit apportion a gift that someone does not know how to wield? How inept does James Goll think God is? Lastly from the introduction, the notion that therefore we must submit our bodies/five senses to God in order to bring about these unbiblical notions is obviously unbiblical itself. Nowhere does God instruct us to rely on our senses, especially over the truths contained in Scripture. Goll continues:
"Have you ever seen or felt or discerned a supernatural presence by the Holy Spirit--whether it be angelic or a demonic one? When we "see" or "sense" or "feel" a spiritual entity nearby, we have discerned its presence." -- James Goll
Ugh. That is NOT what the gift of discernment is beloved. The Scriptural reference for the gifts of the Spirit are the key verses for today. I included the entire beginning for context because it is important to not lose track of what Paul is saying. What can we definitively say about these gifts? We can say that there are varieties of gifts, service and activities but they come from the same God. We can definitively say that only God empowers them! Not some school at the airport or mega church in California. We can say definitively that not everyone can have all of the gifts. To each a manifestation is given -- not all of the manifestations. One gets wisdom and another gets a word of knowledge. One gets healing and another prophecy. We can state definitively that these are apportioned to each person individually by the Holy Spirit as He wills. Not Bill Johnson, Jennifer Leclaire or Mike Bickle. We also see that discernment is listed here as "distinguishing between spirits." This is not meant as some form of spiritual hide and go seek, where we are to try and feel if there are good or evil spirits nearby. Commentaries agree:
"To another discerning of spirits; by which gift such that were possessed of it could, in some measure, discern the hearts of men, their thoughts, purposes, and designs, their secret dissimulation and hypocrisy; as Peter, by this gift, discerned the dissimulation and lying of Ananias and Sapphira; and by it they could also tell whether a man that made a profession of religion had the truth of grace in him, or not; so Peter knew hereby that Simon Magus was in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity, notwithstanding his specious pretences to faith and holiness, whereby he imposed upon Philip the evangelist, who might not have this gift of discerning spirits; by which also they could distinguish the Spirit of God from the lying spirits in men; of which there is an instance, Acts 15:17." -- Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Discernment in the spiritual gift context is supernaturally knowing the intents and hearts of men who are claiming what they are saying is from God. It is how Peter knew Ananias and Sapphira were lying. Now are we to practice the discernment of spirits as related to teachings and prophecies? Yes, apart from the spiritual gifts:
Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. -- 1Thessalonians 5: 20-21 (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. -- 1John 4: 1 (ESV)
What do we test teachings and prophecies against beloved? Our senses? Goosebumps and liver shivers? Why in the world would we trust our lying hearts and sinful flesh when we have access to immutable truth contained in Scripture? The Bereans were considered of more noble character because they tested everything Paul taught by referring to Scripture. Either way, this type of discernment is not the gift of the Holy Spirit, which clearly is not apportioned to everyone. We all should weigh however, what we are being taught or what is proclaimed to be from God by holding it up to the light of Scripture. Goll continues:
"This teaching is devoted to the topic of "Surrendering our Senses to the Holy Spirit." It involves the very act of presenting or surrendering the members of our physical bodies to God (Romans 6:13, 19). To whomever we present "our members," they become slaves! So let's present our entire beings unto God (Romans 12:1-2) as an act of worship!" -- James Goll
This is what happens when you proof text. This is the practice where you have an unbiblical point and you scour the Bible to find things that appear to line up with what you are saying so that you can claim your false teaching is biblical. You can usually spot it however by the lack of context. Here Goll claims two verses from Romans 6 and two from Romans 12 but ignores the entire surrounding and intermediary context. Romans 6 is clearly dealing with our sin nature and the need to submit our bodies to Christ. So yes we ought to present our bodies to God but there is zero connection to abandoning our senses beloved and remember that is the teaching Goll has outlined as his foundation. Romans 12 does speak about presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice but Goll cannot even see that verse 2 eviscerates his teaching:
Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -- Romans 12: 2 (ESV)
We do not renew our mind be abandoning it. We renew our mind with the Word of God. That is what we use to test everything and determine what is and is not from the Lord. Goll now presents what he claims as "Scriptural foundations" but three of the four listed are already debunked in this devotional. Romans 6 has nothing to do with surrendering our senses. Romans 12 clearly states to renew our mind by testing for the will of God. 1Corinthians 12 teaches the opposite of what Goll is teaching when you read the entire context. Not done however, Goll latches onto one more verse, which actually contains the word "senses."
"But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14, NASB).
Once again, the way this verse intends to use "senses" is quite different from what James Goll is teaching. It is all related to doctrine, not some sense of experiential Christianity. Let us return to the commentaries for greater insight:
"Have their senses - The word used here means properly "the senses" - as we use the term; the seat of sensation, the smell, taste, etc. Then it means "the internal sense," the faculty of perceiving truth; and this is the idea here. The meaning is, that by long experience Christians come to be able to understand the more elevated doctrines of Christianity; they see their beauty and value, and they are able carefully and accurately to distinguish them from error; compare the notes at John 7:17.
To discern both good and evil - That is, in doctrine. They will appreciate and understand what is true; they will reject what is false." -- Barnes Notes on the Bible
Discernment in good and evil is not about angelic and demonic spirits hanging out next to you but in relation to what doctrine is being put forth. It is about discerning truth from error, such as we are doing in this devotional using only the Bible as our guide. Goll would continue:
"The act of presenting the members of our bodies to God as a spiritual act of worship is so very vital if we are going to be able to distinguish the spiritual origins of supernatural realities. We must each do this! It is a key to accurately moving in a higher realm of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Surrendering and presenting our "five natural senses" to the dove of God is a very specific and necessary part of the process. You can be empowered by God to discern both good and bad spiritual beings, manifestations and operations. The very presence of the Lord Himself will then rest upon our natural senses and enable us to feel, hear, taste, smell and see in another realm. We move from the natural into the supernatural!" -- James Goll
Say what? Notice beloved that Mr. Goll went to painstaking lengths for the first half of his article to sound biblical and pious regarding his teaching before jumping off the false signs and lying wonders cliff here. THIS paragraph however reveals the wickedness of his heart and the deception he traffics in. There is zero biblical instruction to distinguish the spiritual origins of supernatural realities, whatever that is supposed to mean. There is no moving into a higher realm of the anointing, yet another term Mr. Goll does not understand. Surrendering our five senses to the dove of God? Seriously? Where in the Bible does it state that we can be empowered to discern bad and good spiritual beings beloved? Where? Nowhere! Where does the Bible teach that the Lord Himself will rest upon our senses so we can feel, hear, taste, smell and see in "another realm?" This is demonic teaching beloved. It is the doctrine of devils that tries to get Christians to dabble into other realms. This movement from the natural to the supernatural is a cornerstone of these false teachers. They seek to normalize the supernatural, which by definition makes it ordinary. It is the same sin and desire Lucifer had when he wanted to ascend to the throne of the Most High and usurp what belongs to God. The Lord in His mercy has shared His grace with us beloved but He will not share His glory. This is a dangerous and satanic teaching. Goll is not done however with his spiritual lunacy:
"We need to move into a higher dimension of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and especially the gift of discerning of spirits. In general, discernment always involves the evaluation of some kind of evidence. We can only accomplish this by using our five bodily senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch. We notice something; then we start sifting quickly through the incoming data. We discriminate between the pieces of evidence and we detect patterns. Then we decide what to do, based in large part on what our discernment tells us. Discerning (or distinguishing) of Spirits is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:10). This gift is a little different from the Gift of the Word of Knowledge, in which facts are simply dropped into our minds or hearts. With discernment, you have to consider what is happening around you. Did what just happened make you afraid or full of faith? Did the room just get brighter or darker? Did you hear a noise? Did you perhaps smell or taste something? Is what happened from a good source--or a bad one?" -- James Goll
A higher dimension of the gifts of the Spirit? Beloved there is no Scripture that supports such teaching. Goll then confuses his carnal understanding of discernment with the Biblical notion. We can only accomplish discernment through the senses? Says no biblical text anywhere! We cannot discern without the inerrant Word of God! Notice the completely subjective nature of what he is teaching. We notice something through our senses. We sift through the incoming data. Do we feel afraid? Did the room just get brighter or darker? Did I hear a noise! Is that a smell of Sulphur in the air? Do I taste brimstone in my mouth? Then we decide? Gee, nothing can go wrong there. It is absolute spiritual insanity to discern if there are angelic or demonic spirits associated with things, events and people based upon our subjective senses. Goll continues:
"To discern spiritual realities, we need spiritual perception. To flow in the prophetic, to see people get healed, to see people be set free from demonic bondage, we need God's supernatural anointing! We need to detect the very source working behind the scenes. Is this thing just my imagination, or is it coming from someone else's human spirit? Is the source of the manifestation demonic? Is it in fact an angel? Is it the Holy Spirit? God doesn't just take the gift of discerning of spirits and plug it into you, fully developed though. Normally, it takes a lot of practice to get good at it, and some of your "discernment lessons" will involve making mistakes. This is why it so clearly states in our theme verse of Hebrews 5:14 that "the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." Let's take practice lessons!" -- James Goll
Ahh yes the ole flowing in the prophetic teaching. Very common in these circles. So is the abuse of the term "anointing." You too can heal people and deliver them from demonic oppression if you could just learn to discern if the source of the manifestation is angelic, demonic or from the Holy Spirit! What kind of spiritual gobbledygook is this? To Goll, Hebrews 5:14 clearly states that we are to practice this kind of nonsense. The truth is that discernment is about doctrine, not our five subjective senses. It is through Scripture that we test everything and hold onto what is good. James Goll can't sell that though so his wickedly deceitful heart invents these teachings to bring the supernatural powers of God down to your level or more accurately, teach you how to usurp the throne of God. Mercifully he concludes:
This is a normal aspect of any learning process--and all the more when it comes to discernment, the prophetic and flowing in the supernatural life. This is part of your maturation as a disciple of Jesus, which always stems from Bible study, experience, and discipline. Don't forget--you can always ask God to give you more ability to discern spirits and grow into greater maturity. He wants this for us more than we want it ourselves! So join with me in "Surrendering Your Senses to the Holy Spirit" and together let's become more mature in our discernment for Jesus Christ's sake. Let's press on to the upward call in God. Yes, we can! And yes, we will by the grace of God! -- James Goll
No beloved. There is nothing normal about this. There is no "flowing in the supernatural life" that Goll is trying to sell you either. If we wish to mature as a disciple of Jesus Christ then we need to read His Word. If we wish to gain prophetic insight then we need to read His Word. If we wish to discern better what teachings are and are not from God then we need to read His Word. Notice that Goll lists experience right up there with Bible study? That is what he is really selling here. Abandon your senses and whatever you feel must be from God; except it does not work that way. Abandoning our senses means also abandoning common sense. It also means abandoning Biblical sense. In favor of what? What we experience? What we feel? So if we smell something off then the person or event must be deemed demonic? If we taste angel food cake it must be angelic? This is not discernment beloved it is witchcraft. God does not want us abandoning reason for spiritual psychosis based upon the deceitfulness of our lying hearts and the sinfulness of our carnal senses. If you have the gift of discernment you knew this the moment you read the title. If not, you still were able to test everything and determine that there is nothing good to hold onto regarding James Goll or this teaching.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- May 30, 2017
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.