Shawn Bolz pulled his usual psychic cold reading trick at the recent heretical event - The Send...
For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit -- 1Corinthians 12:8 (ESV)
This past weekend saw a gathering of false prophets and teachers the likes of which are seldom seen. Lou Engle organized "The Send" in order to commission people to take his false gospel to the ends of the earth. The clip above is to the segment from Shawn Bolz, the resident false prophet of Bethel Church. Lingering on stage and in the background you can see Heidi Baker, Todd White and even Bill Johnson, just so you can an idea of the scope of heresy we are talking about. One of Bolz' favorite shticks is what he calls words of knowledge but in actuality it is just the same old psychic trick of cold reading. Bolz accesses a bit of identifying information about people in the crowd and then calls them out from the stage as if God is telling him their name. Then he "prophelies" over them with vague predictions of grandiosity mixed with other tidbits of identifying information usually garnered ahead of time. In the age of digital access to personal information and social media, you do not need a huge head start to find out something about someone. If someone can access your Facebook page? Yeah words of knowledge become much easier.
The key verse today mentions the word of knowledge gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the only verse that mentions this gift. So all we know about it is in this verse and the verses that explain the gifts are for the building up of the body of Christ and apportioned by the Holy Spirit as He wills. It is widely believed that a true word of knowledge is when God reveals to a person facts about someone they do not know so they can prove to them that God exists. My understanding then is this gift is used to convince unbelievers. A word of wisdom is used to illuminate scripture for a believer. Either way, Shawn pretends the initial knowledge of the name is the word of knowledge and then he sprinkles in other facts but he seems to do it all through his smart phone! In the above clips he acknowledges this critique but claims he is just reviewing his notes! Yes Shawn! That is our point! Let us review these two cold readings and see how the scam works.
"I'm looking for a Dennis either from the Ukraine or whose parents were from the Ukraine. You moved to America. I think either to Washington State or DC? Is there a Dennis? We have somebody! Thank God!" -- Shawn Bolz
Infamous huckster PT Barnum is credited with saying there is a sucker born every minute. This is phase one of Shawn Bolz Shtick. He draws his victims in by pretending that God has given him a word of knowledge. He gets these words however from his smart phone, while on stage, while calling out for Dennis. He tries to explain it by saying he is just looking at his notes but that's the entire point. If it is a word of knowledge how do you have notes? At best now it is a pre meditated word of knowledge he is claiming. Now we can go into the likelihood of there being a Dennis in a crowd of over 50,000 people or how Dennis is one of the top ten male names for Ukrainians but in all likelihood Shawn has notes because he researched Mr. Dennis way before he went on stage to "prophesy." You see everyone who attended The Send had to register prior. With a handful of identifying information it is actually quite easy to access all sorts of social media, such as Facebook and Instagram. Now that Shawn has reeled the sucker in, he prophelies:
"Dennis the Lord Himself has been walking with you since you were a little boy. And you have had a hard time there in the middle because of some of the things that have happened in your family but it is going to give you power over divorce and broken families and adoption and foster care. The Lord is saying He's raising you up. There's something you are supposed to build. I think you are on the West coast now but you will be on the East coast. He has put you on the highest lampstand." -- Shawn Bolz
Let's break this down beloved. The trick of fake psychic readings, tarot card readings, palm readings, and now Christian prophecy is to generalize things so that they would apply to most people in the normal course of life. You apply it to long periods of time and a level of vagueness so you always have an out. For example, you will never hear, "you were abused by your uncle Nathanial in 1994 but that will make you stronger as you continue to grow." Instead you will hear, "you have had a hard time there in the middle because of some of the things that have happened in your family." Hard time? Who doesn't have hard times and isn't family usually the most likely source? What does "in the middle mean?" This sentence is so vague it probably applies to all of our lives. Let's analyze line by line:
Dennis the Lord Himself has been walking with you since you were a little boy. -- You always lead with a sound bite of piety. A nicety that cannot be debunked or proven but settles everyone in for what they think now will be a word from God.
And you have had a hard time there in the middle because of some of the things that have happened in your family but it is going to give you power over divorce and broken families and adoption and foster care. -- The first half I reviewed above but the second half is just as bad. Was the hard thing divorce, a broken family, adoption, or foster care? Is God confused? If this is a true word of knowledge -- how does Shawn not know?
The Lord is saying He's raising you up. There's something you are supposed to build. -- Yes, this sounds prophetic until you remember this event was called The Send. Everyone who attended felt drawn to go out and be sent. To be raised up. To build something. Thank you Captain Obvious.
I think you are on the West coast now but you will be on the East coast. -- The fact that he lived on the west coast was probably ascertained through the research. Once known there is little danger in prophesying that he will be called to the other coast. If true that would be confirmation and of false it just has not come to pass yet.
He has put you on the highest lampstand. -- Really. Just as you start with a Christianese platitude you end with one. This is not how the term lampstand was ever used in the bible but undiscerning Christians will lap it up. Dennis certainly will because both the intro and exit piety was directly about HIM, not God.
There is Shawn's first cold reading and prophelies. The sad thing is Dennis put out a YouTube video to say how accurate Shawn was and how profound The Send was to him because of these words spoken over his life. How profoundly sad. Dennis now believes that God has placed him in the highest lampstand and wants to build something through him. The reality is however that there is a very good chance that Dennis is not even saved if he is following the gaggle of false teachers at the Send. There are real victims here beloved. Let's move onto Shawn's second victim:
"I saw this so clearly -- Genesis 28:3 connected to an and1dan? This is a user name or something, maybe it's your email. And1dan? Oh there he is! Does baron mean something to you? Oh it's his middle name?" -- Shawn Bolz
Hmm"did God not know the man's name that He had to give you his user name? One of the required fields to register for The Send by the way was email address. Beloved God does not work like this. He does not give partial gifts. Half a word of knowledge. For this to be true God must have told Shawn to ask for and1dan and gave him the name Baron without telling how it connected. That is not a word of knowledge. That is a word of utter confusion. With the bait taken, Bolz starts to prophelie:
"Dan, God is not only identifying you by your first name but by your fullness because you are about to walk into your fullness. Genesis 28:3 says, "God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. God is going to bless something. He is going to commission you. Does the 2803 mean something to you? A phone number or address perhaps. Some of you are being sent today. I want to read this verse over the leadership of The Send today (rereads Gen 28:3). So Dan, this is your send moment." -- Shawn Bolz
Remember the shtick. Open with a Christianese platitude that has no real meaning other than to make you feel good and lower your discernment guard. God is identifying you by the fullness you are about to walk into"whoa. Then he throws a little bible reference into the mix but since the entire mess is not from God it is no wonder that the verse is ripped violently out of context.
Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, "You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother's father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. -- Genesis 28:1-3 (ESV)
This is how false teachers and prophets act every single day in the apostate church. Verse three by itself sounds pious but without the proper context it can be misused. God did not include Genesis 28:3 so Shawn Bolz can proclaim it for and1dan or the false leaders of The Send. This is part of an historical narrative where Isaac blesses Jacob. That aside let us dissect the prophelie spoken to Dan line by line:
Dan, God is not only identifying you by your first name but by your fullness because you are about to walk into your fullness.
First of all, God apparently did not even identify him by his first name! He had to use his email address, which is absurd. Then there is the reference to walking into fullness. What does that even mean? It is so open for interpretation that one can feel it is met by the smallest of blessings or feel betrayed that it never came to pass. It is inherently dangerous to say thus sayeth the Lord when He simply had nothing to do with it.
Genesis 28:3 says, "God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. God is going to bless something. He is going to commission you.
Yes Genesis 28:3 does say that but it has nothing to do with Dan. God is going to bless something? Wow, there is a bold prophecy! Beloved we must see the utter vacuous nature of such a statement. It is solely designed to scratch the itching ears but there is no substance behind it. He is going to commission you? This is another easy target given the fact that Dan is at a commissioning event. Heck it is even called "the send!"
Does the 2803 mean something to you? A phone number or address perhaps.
Dan never really answers this so we cannot tell if Shawn was just throwing more against the wall to make it sound as if God was still communicating to him during the cold reading or if Shawn knew the significance from his research found now in his "notes."
Some of you are being sent today. I want to read this verse over the leadership of The Send today (rereads Gen 28:3). So Dan, this is your send moment.
Never lose sight that the purpose of this event was to get people to commit to enter the field to spread the heresy to the corners of the earth. So while these cold readings seem to be important to Dan and Dennis they were really designed for everyone else in attendance. What better way to convince people than to pretend God is singling out folks for his great commissioning?
Dan did not have a send moment. Neither did Dennis. What they had was an extraordinary huckster playing parlor tricks on them. This nonsense is what passes for modern day prophecy every day. Christianese platitudes followed by vague generalities, scratching itching ears, and bible verse fragments torn from their context. Do not be fooled beloved. God will not be mocked. The issue of our time is not people going to bring the Good News; it is whether they actually know the Good News. People can be given a false hope through a false gospel that uses a false christ and produces a false conversion. They are more interested in sending because they do not want to test themselves and discover that they do not need to be sent. They need to be saved.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- March 1, 2019
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.