Jer. 29:12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
Jer. 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
We are to seek the Lord with all our might. We are to pursue Him with the assurance that He will be found. It is when we get hungry for spiritual encounters and leave the safe parameters of Scripture and Community that we are in danger of "Encounterism." What is Encounterism? Enounterism is when we seek encounters over intimacy with Christ. It is when one desires to have encounters for the sake of having encounters. That is not the goal of any encounter. The reason for encounters is to have intimacy with Christ. It is not to write a book, nor to attract people to ourselves.
There have been many who have sought signs for the purpose of an experience. I am someone who loves spiritual encounters, but not at the expense of my relationship with the Scripture or Christ Himself. Jason Westerfield has been exposed. I have known this for three years, and those who are close to me have known for some time my feelings on this matter. It is not with any glee, but I want to speak about the warning signs that I saw back then. Maybe they will help us in the future.
1. Jason liked secrecy. No one should be exempt from the community of believers when it comes to our doctrine. When one is requesting no recording or video of meetings, it is a warning that they are trying to hide something. Our doctrine should be subject to a community of believers. When it is not subject the opinions of others we are in danger of pride. The Apostle Paul made this statement about his ministry.
Gal. 2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me.
Gal. 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.
2. He based everything off of his encounters. I do believe encounters, but I do not believe that we should base everything off of them. The more you get away from Scripture, the more you get away from Christ Jesus. Even though the Apostle forged new ground in part by experiences, they did not do it apart from Scripture. The encounters brought revelation to Scripture. They also believed in testing the spirits.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
He would wow the people with his stories, but there was no foundation for his teaching. Remember, the apostles were not trying to write Scripture with their epistles, but instructing the new believers in Christ how to live out their faith.
3. There was a distinct absence of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I said it. The Holy Spirit was not present in the meetings. We are to know the presence of God so that we can feel the difference. In a morning meeting I had with him later that week, I was instantly aware that a spirit of deception came with him. I called my wife after the meeting and told her this. I could tell that Jason was purposely trying to deceive me. He called me an hour after the meeting and apologized for not being honest, but there was obviously something deeper going on.
Jason spent much of his time on the far reaches of scripture at best. However, he stated things like you have to go through your DNA history and unroot all evil and pollution out of your DNA. Scripture speaks nothing of this. When someone excepts Christ, he is a new creation.
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
If the work of Christ is not enough, then nothing will be. DNA was discovered 50 years ago. To think that there was something that the apostles had to do, that they had no knowledge of is dangerous. It puts us on this elite status that the Scriptures do not. The appearance of revelation wows people. However, it was not a revelation at all. It was knowledge of current things mixed with spectacular speech so it could be packaged as a revelation.
When you remove the foundation of Scripture, you can pass off anything like a revelation. So this is how it works. You start with a story of an encounter. This way people think that whatever they state next must be truth based on the story. How could it not be true because they had such an encounter? Once the group is fixed on the amazing wow of the encounter, they can lead you anywhere. In this case, there was a lack of focus on Christ or the Holy Spirit. We need to be wise in this hour and pursue the Lord with all our hearts. Through the haze of deception, there are true encounters to be had by all.
Remember this from the Apostle Paul.
Gal. 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Gal. 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
There is a real danger to those who lead people away from Christ. He is to be accursed. This means to be excommunicated or banned. Jason has now been kicked out of the Church and should not be allowed in any way into the fellowship of the brethren until he repents. Jesus instructed us to do this, and so did the Apostle Paul. Now he is the Lord's hands, and the way it turns out is up to Him. He has walked away from the faith and; therefore, he has brought trouble on his soul. As far as scripture goes, Jason is no longer part of the Body of Christ. That sounds harsh, and it is. It needs to strike fear in the people lest they think this is a small matter. It is not.
May the Lord be glorified by this.