Note: We obtained our first copy of The New Age and The Kingdom Of God, by Rick Joyner, from the www.morningstarministries.org/mspbapr98.htm posting on-line at the Morningstar site at the time of its release in April, 1998. Presently however, according to www.morningstarministries.org/mspb.htm, The Prophetic Bulletin can be ordered by calling 1(800)542-0278  and is "available on a donation only basis," therefore we assume and have observed that Morningstar has discontinued their practice of leaving these old bulletins on-line. 

We have no idea if one could backorder old bulletins and if they could, whether the Answers to Frequently Asked Questions or Morning Star General Updates that would often be at the end of these bulletins would be included. The discussion of Masons and Knights of Templar is  at the Answers to Frequently Asked Questions section of this old bulletin, which we have reproduced/quoted here for research purposes only as part of our Trouble In Prophet Land article, which has been published on-line since March of 1999. We believed it only fair to fully quote Joyner on such a pivotal FAQ of his as we have below. We have 'highlighted' by color some of the more interesting sentences that are referred to, or directly related to, our research for Trouble in Prophet Land. Joyner's section on cults and Moravian Falls here, is either quoted or referred to in footnotes or addendums to what is commonly known as the Open Rebuke To Rick Joyner and Morningstar. There has been no answer for two years now, and so no reason not to round out this project with pivotal supporting evidence such as this, and then leave it be. 

-Teri Lee Earl, author



A n s w e r s 
to Frequently Asked Questions
This section contains my answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I receive. Many of these questions deserve a much more extensive answer than I can give here, so please keep that in mind. 

óRick Joyner 

ARE WE GOING TO BE SELLING LOTS, CABINS AND HOMES IN MORAVIAN FALLS? 

Yes. There will be some conditions since this is not intended to be just a Christian community, but a ministry base. We therefore can only sell to those whose purpose for having property here fits with the vision of the community. If you would like additional information, please write or fax our office, but we ask that only serious potential buyers inquire at this time. 
 
 

ARE WE GOING TO HAVE 
ADVANCED PROPHETIC CONFERENCES? 

Yes. The April conference will be a level above the previous ones in the depth of teaching and training. We feel we need to use this one to build a "bridge" for crossing over into more in-depth conferences. The bridge that we are seeking to build is to link the prophetic more strongly to the evangelistic, teaching and pastoral ministries. 

The next level of training will involve using the prophetic gifts in evangelism, working with pastors in counseling, and as watchmen. This also involves a greater depth of vision, dream interpretation, and application. To do this we must have strong relationships with the other equipping ministries of the church. Our goal is not just teaching about prophetic gifts, or even releasing people into their gifts or ministry, but to enable them to have an effective ministry for the building up of the body of Christ. We believe that the highest levels of the prophetic gifts can only function in harmony with the other ministries given to the church. 
 
 

WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO BE PREPARED FOR THE 
COMING ECONOMIC TROUBLES? 

This is probably the most frequently asked question that I receive, and it is usually in relation to an impending economic collapse that many feel is coming. I am not an authority on the economy, nor an investment counselor, but I will share some of what I believe the Lord has instructed me to do. 

1) Abide in the Lord. Seek to know His voice and follow Him. If we do not give much more attention to Him than we do to taking care of our belongings, we are going to make serious mistakes, regardless of our knowledge of the economy, or what is coming. 

2) Obey the Scriptures about giving. If we have not been obedient in this area, we are building our houses on sand, and when the storm comes, our houses will fall.

3) Do not let fear control your investment decisions because "Whatever is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). Faith works through love, not fear (Galatians 5:6). Make decisions based on faith and vision. When the world falls apart, those who know the Lord are going to be building with a vision for the future. 

4) Trust that the Lord will give specific instructions when they are needed. However, we cannot expect more guidance if we are not obedient in what He has already clearly given us in His Word, or in previous instructions.
 
 

WHAT IS A CULT? 

"Cult" is a powerful word which is often overused or misused, causing it to lose its effect. There are a multitude of cults that can be identified by the common elements which cults share, but first we need to understand the origin, evolution, and present meaning of the word.

The word "cult" is derived from the word "culture." The first group in history to be called a cult was the first-century Christians. This was because their lifestyle represented a different culture. When the Roman Empire officially became Christian, and Christianity was institutionalized, any new group or movement that was not a part of the institutional church was considered a cult, and was persecuted. 

The first Protestants were considered cults by Catholics. Many of the first evangelical and Baptist movements were later called cults by the Protestants. At one time, Pentecostals and Charismatics were considered cults by Evangelicals and Baptists. Today all of these are considered mainstream movements within Christianity. Every new movement that has helped to restore to the church truth that was lost during the Middle Ages has been initially called a cult by the previous movements, which had by then become institutionalized. 

Websterís defines a cult as "a group or system of religious worship." Other definitions are, "a system of religious observances, extravagant devotion to a person, cause or thing," or "a group of persons having an excessive interest in something." These are still ambiguous definitions that could be applied to almost any congregation of true Christians who are zealous for the Lord. The word "cult" is also still mis-applied to groups who have minor doctrinal differences or practices that deviate from what some may consider normal, but by no means should mark them as a cult. 

It is now generally accepted by most church leaders that a group should only be called a cult if they have made a clear departure from the basic Christian doctrines or practices. One characteristic that seems to generally (but not always) apply to cults is that they usually follow just one prophet or teacher. This is why many cults began as genuine Christian groups, but became eccentric when they grew overly devoted to a human leader, or excessively devoted to a single doctrine which they allowed to eclipse the centrality of Christ. 

In the groups I have studied that ended up as cults, or which made serious deviations from sound biblical doctrine or practice, there was usually a basic sin that entered into the group, such as adultery. When this sin was rationalized and justified, the authority of Scripture lost its power for that group. Then the leader typically began to supplant Scripture as the basis for doctrine and behavior. As this happened, deviations became more extreme. 
 
 

HOW DOES A GROUP WITH A STRONG IDENTITY 
AVOID BECOMING A CULT? 

I believe there are a number of safeguards that can help to keep us on the path of life. They are: 

1) Keep the first commandment firstólove God above all things. Nowhere does the Scripture warn us about those who are not properly joined to the body of Christ: The warning is to beware of those who do not hold fast to the Head (Colossians 2:19). 

2) Keep the second great commandment of loving your neighbor, but never let it eclipse the first commandment. Deception begins when we start loving anything or anyone more than God, even the things that are His, such as the church, a doctrine or ministry. However, because true Christians will be known by their love for one another (John 13:35), when we stop loving each other, we have departed from the path. 

3) "Christ is the head of every man" (I Corinthians 11:3). The purpose of the ministries given to the church is to equip all members to fulfill their own calling and destiny in Christ. Every believer must know the Lordís voice, have a solid foundation in sound biblical doctrine, and "have his own well," which is a devotion to know the Lord and to search the Scriptures to confirm what is taught. This is the foundational Christian truth of the priesthood of all believers. The only way we can protect this crucial biblical freedom is to practice it.

4) We must guard against the delusion that we are more special than any other part of the body of Christ. If we boast, let us boast in the Lord, not ourselves. "Therefore it says, ĎGod is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humbleí" (James 4:6). "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself" (Philippians 2:3).

5) Remain open to correction from other leaders of the body of Christ. Those who say that they will only get their correction from God have already made a serious departure from sound biblical practice and the humility that is required to stay on the path of life. The Lord has almost always brought correction to His people through His people. This can be difficult because many who try to bring correction to the church do not have the authority as true leaders in the church, and they often have serious problems themselves. Even so, if we are not committed to remaining open for correction through others, we will almost certainly end up in extremes. 
 
 

ARE THE MASONS A CULT? 

Many Christian leaders and former members of the Masons do consider them to be a cult. I personally believe that any organization that has secret rituals and oaths should be avoided by Christians. Satan dwells in darkness, and we are called to dwell in the light. If something has to be hidden, there is usually a reason that is not good.

We must also consider that when trying to discern the nature of any group, it is not fair to judge them by their most extreme elements. Historians have linked some of the most tragic and diabolical events to the Masons, such as the French and Bolshevik Revolutions. However, even though the plans for carrying out these revolutions can be traced to high-ranking Masons, it seems that the extremes that the revolutions went to were not the intentions of these people, but were the result of their plans having gone seriously awry. It is also very hard to make a clear link to establish that these plans were the policy of the Masonic Order, or were simply those of individuals who happened to be Masons. 

The Masons have also had some noble accomplishments in history, and a number of the American founding fathers were Masons, including George Washington. The Masons are also responsible for many effective charities. 

Almost every cult, sect or deviant group can be traced to a void created by the church not fulfilling her ministry. The ranks of the Masons tend to swell after each war because men are used to having a depth of male comradery during war that they cannot find anywhere else when they return home, including in the church. This is one reason for the popularity of movements like the Promise Keepers, which I think God has given to the church to help fill this void in men. Women also need comradery with each other, which they have been able to find within the church, or church programs, more easily than men. 

We do need to understand the Masons and warn Christians about any group that has serious deviations or counterfeits. However, I think we should spend even more energy on filling the voids in our church ministries that enable such groups to become attractive. When the church is delivered from her bondage to her own walls and starts to march like the army she is called to be, men will flock to her. In Scripture, one of the most frequent names used by the Lord is "the Lord of hosts," or "Lord of armies." This is because there is a marshall aspect to His nature, and this a part of His nature with which men tend to identify. 
 
 

A NOTE ON THE ORIGIN OF THE MASONS: 

Masons generally claim that they are the spiritual decedents of the builders of Solomonís temple. However, the true origin of the Masons is considered by most to be the Catholic order known as The Knights Templar, or Knights of the Temple, that was founded in the Middle Ages. This order eventually became so rich and powerful that it was considered a threat to the authority of both the pope and kings. The pope renounced the order and instigated a persecution against it, claiming that these knights had become worshipers of the occult. This drove the order underground, forcing it to develop secret codes and rituals for the recognition of their members. 

Some historians believe that the popeís persecution was unjustified, and is what actually drove the order into the secrecy and practices that eventually took on forms of the occult. Others believe that these practices were, in fact, the reason for the persecution. Either way, many of the rituals of the Masons are now considered by many Christian leaders to be occult practices. The basic Masonic vows are also in conflict with our basic Christian doctrine. 
 
 

IS THE ORDER OF ST. JOHN (POPULARLY KNOWN AS 
"THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA") RELATED TO THE MASONS? 

No. They are sometimes confused with the Knights Templar, even by historians, because they both came into existence in the same period, and were both originally chivalrous and military orders within the church. However, the Order of St. John has remained a distinctly Christian order devoted to the defense of the Christian faith, Christian unity and Christian charity. Neither do the Knights of Malta have any secret rituals, vows or practices. After the Crusades, the Knights Templar and the Knights of Malta took divergent courses. 

The Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta is still recognized as a sovereign order having its diplomatic center in Malta. It is considered by some to be the only true international registry of nobility still in existence. It has remained intact as a Christian order for over 900 years and its vows center on serving the Lord Jesus Christ, defending Christian unity, and serving "our lords, the poor and the oppressed." It is considered by many to be the only true chivalrous order remaining. 

In some ways, the history of the Order of St. John is an amazing parallel to the history of the church since the Middle Ages. It has at times risen to be one of the great examples of true Christian nobility and charity. It also experienced military victories of almost biblical stature. Then, for periods of time, it would seem to be nothing more than a noblemenís club that knights belonged to so that they could pass their titles on to their children. There were periods when the Order of St. John fell into a debauchery that would embarrass any true nobleman or lady. A few times it seemed on the verge of disappearing altogether, but then it would experience a spiritual revival and rise to new heights. 

Now there is a Protestant/Evangelical/Ecumenical Order (which is known as the "Sovereign Order") and a Catholic Order. The Sovereign Order has been significantly revitalized in recent years. With little or no fanfare, its knights have been instrumental in important world affairs, and have done much to keep the Christian faith alive in nations under communist domination, or other places where Christianity is persecuted. Some of these knights must be secretive about their roles in these affairs because of the sensitive nature of them, and for the protection of persecuted believers. However, this has nothing to do with secret beliefs or practices. 

There have also been a host of splinter groups and outright imposters which claim to be the Knights of Malta, and have no connection to the Sovereign Order or the Catholic Order. Some of these do have questionable doctrines and practices. Just as the whole church usually takes the blame for the actions of its most extreme elements, even those who are not true Christians, some naively consider these splinter groups to be a reflection of all who claim to be knights of the Order of St. John. Even so, when I asked the present leader of the Sovereign Order about these other groups, he was magnanimous, saying that those who do the deeds of true knights and ladies and are genuine Christians should be recognized. 

For additional information about the Knights of Malta, you may wish to read a booklet I have written entitled Courage that Changed the World which is available through MorningStar. 
 
 

WHAT DO I MEAN WHEN I SAY THAT 
CHRISTIANITY IS ABOUT TO BE REDEFINED? 

I am not the first, or the only one to say this, but I can only speak for myself with this answer. As is true of any prophetic word, I too "see through a glass, darkly" (I Corinthians 13:12 KJV). My impression of what I saw coming was that there would be such a sweeping return to biblical Christianity that the very understanding of Christianity, by both the world and the church, will be changed. 

This does not imply any kind of doctrinal change as to what it means to be a Christian, but a change that causes us to live by the truths we proclaim. This will be reflected when we truly become known by our love for one another. The change will be so profound that it will cause a great esteem for Christianity around the world. When we really become Christlike, the world will be drawn to us as it is to Him when He is truly lifted up. However, I do not feel that this will eliminate persecution against Christians, because those in power will become either jealous or intimidated by it, just as they were by the Lordís own popularity with the people.

 

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