What do you think of Graham Cooke? Is he biblically sound?

(Connor Nickels) #1

Hello everyone, I wanted to ask a question about a particular ministry. Please know I am not the type to find some way to be critical of others in the ministry so that is not my intent. I am simply trying to find some other sound believers (like yourselves) who can vouch for the doctrine of a particular ministry. I was given some references to listen to by a friend. He pointed me to a gentleman named Graham Cooke. I have asked all those in my life whom I would feel confident in taking their opinion about the theology of a particular speaker/etc. and no one has heard of him. I have looked him up and found multiple resources, both positive and negative. He writes/speaks about prophecy a lot and this topic, in particular, I think we have to be very cautious about. Does anyone have any objective comments that would help me is deciphering whether he would be a Biblically sound person to listen to/read from?

I remember when Nabeel was going to Bethel and people criticized him horribly for this, but he just objectively said, I will move forward with this until I see that it does not align with the Word of God and I don’t think he ever found anything.

Your constructive comments would be much appreciated. Thank you.

(SeanO) #2

@Connor_Nickels I have not heard of Graham before either, but a very brief bit of digging led me to think it would be wiser to avoid him. I am not condemning him or making any statement regarding his salvation. But there is one definite red flag - he claims that one of his books was a direct dictation from God. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and Muhammad, the author of the Quran, both also claimed direct dictation. I think this is a big red flag.

The Gospel Coalition has an article on “7 Traits of False Teachers” and one of them is that they have a different source than the Bible. They claim to have their own special revelation or make up stories to wow their audience. I believe it is wisest to follow teachers who stick to teaching the Scriptures.

“The Lord said, ‘Write this.’ And I didn’t have a thought of my own, I just started taking dictation…I’m used to writing books with God, but I’ve never taken dictation before." Graham Cooke about his book ‘Prophetic Wisdom’

Do you agree that claiming direct dictation is a red flag?

(Linda Davis) #3

Yes, I agree, that the statement, ‘direct dictation from God’, is a big red flag! The book of Revelation, says not to add to or take away from.

(SeanO) #4

@Linda Just as a means of clarification, it is possible that “this scroll” in Revelation 22:18-19 is referring to the Book of Revelation and not to the entire Bible when it warns not to add or take away from the ‘this scroll’. That being said, it is clear that Jesus is God’s final revelation and that He appointed the apostles to establish the Church, so we look to what the Spirit wrote through them and do not seek new revelation. What is more, while it is clear that the New Testament is inspired, it is not clear at all that inspiration is the same thing as direct dictation.

Revelation 22:18-19 - I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

(Connor Nickels) #5

Thank you @SeanO for responding to my question! You know, I had some uneasiness in my Spirit when I initially started looking online, but I feel like you can find a lot of negatives things about Biblically sound theology from great people. I contacted all of my personal “go to” people and none of them had heard of him. I had not read the point that you brought up about the direct dictation. I do find it weird also that he has his own publishing company and “channel” where only his stuff is sold and heard. Thank you for the links as well. I appreciate the input.

(Connor Nickels) #6

So I have been having some good conversation with this person who referred me to Graham Cooke. It is very friendly conversation which is good. I’m curious. He stated this in reference to what I told him about your quote @SeanO

"I believe the Lord can say, “Write this…” He said that to many people in the Bible. And if he’s the same yesterday, today and forever, I don’t see why he couldn’t do that in our day.

Prophetic gifts and ministry are real. We’re imperfect and we might miss something but we can supernaturally experience God and his utterances, visions, impressions, etc. I would hold them in a critical eye if they contradicted the Word or God’s character"

I was thinking the same thing about Paul and others in the Bible as far as the Lord giving them the material for what is written there. I still feel very leary about this Mr. Cooke. I feel that there is some subtle manipulation of Truth.

What are your thoughts?

(SeanO) #7

@Connor_Nickels If you have a sense that he is subtly twisting truth then I would advise avoiding his teaching. Just tell your friend you would rather err on the side of caution.

This quote from the article at the bottom of the page is from Jonathan Edwards and it echoes my own concerns - very well meaning people soaked in Scripture that feel they have heard from God have been wrong in the past. So I think extra caution is warranted when anyone, even people you trust, claim to hear directly from God.

“I . . . know by experience that impressions being made with great power, and upon the minds of true saints, yea, eminent saints; and presently after, yea, in the midst of, extraordinary exercises of grace and sweet communion with God, and attended with texts of Scripture strongly impressed on the mind, are no sure signs of their being revelations from heaven: for I have known such impressions [to] fail, and prove vain.”

My personal experience is that I have seen people who claimed to hear directly from God mislead others or abuse their authority on multiple occasions. So I simply avoid those who claim to have this ability. There is plenty of good Bible teaching out there from people like Tim Keller, Don Carson, Andy Stanley, Chip Ingram and many more who do not make these types of tenuous claims.

What I would say from Scripture is that if someone claims to have words directly from God there are 2 very severe warnings from the Bible.

  1. If their words do not come true then they are a false prophet and the penalty in the OT was death. I am certainly not saying that should be the penalty today :slight_smile: But we need to recognize the seriousness of claiming to have words directly from God.
  2. Even if their words do come true, we must not listen to them if they lead us astray from the truth of Scripture.

Also, evil often masquerades as light, so we must be careful to discern truth from error when dealing with people who claim to have direct contact with God.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 - And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Not From the Lord

Deuteronomy 18:20-22- But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.” 21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

Jeremiah 23:16 - This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.

Not Being Led Astray

Deuteronomy 13:1-4 - If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

Article on ‘God Told Me’

Hope those thoughts are helpful.

My Question:prophets and prophesy
(Valerie Schuetze) #8

I am fairly suspicious of modern day prophecy, but do believe that it exists and have experienced true prophecy in the past. Much of what we see today is simply not the real deal. I try to listen if someone gives me a “word”, politely if possible, but usually “file” it and wait. I also try to take note if I am hearing a similar message via a number of different sources and then I am more inclined to think it might be God trying to speak to me. Exercise caution, and wait to see if God confirms things in some other way, or if it s a confirmation of something God has already said to you personally.