@TomH I was attempting to say that Saul of Tarsus was the most famous legalist in history, who kept the letter of the law before finding grace in Jesus Christ. Martin Luther would be the second most famous in protestant circles I would imagine.
Hi all. Just came across this and had to chime in - this has been an excellent discussion.
I’ve benefitted a great deal from Graham Cooke’s teaching, and have heard him speak live on a couple of occasions. I can vouch for his character as a dynamic man of God whose teaching meets the biggest tests of all: he always points to Jesus as the only way to God, and he always points to scripture as the true and complete word of God. He does not ever add to or take away from the Word or the Gospel of Jesus’ finished work of the cross.
I think the verbiage Cooke uses (“have another thought”; “Brilliant perspectives”, etc) could certainly sound like things to be cautious of if not for one thing: Graham’s passion is to know and live out 1 Cor. 2:16, to have the mind of Christ, and this is evident in everything he teaches. He wants to know the real Jesus, and he wants others to know Him, too. Jesus was, and is, brilliant, after all. Jesus knew scripture, and used it to point back to the Father and Jesus’ own role in the Father’s plan, to teach and guide within the new (at that time) paradigm of the work He would do on the cross. He physically healed people, spoke into their lives in ways that only they and God could know in order to call them to salvation - He gave them a new way of thinking, ultimately a new Covenant with God. John 10:7-10…Salvation is only the reward - we have much exciting work to do, and an enemy to contend with, until we go to that reward, and who better to emulate to that end than the Savior himself? That’s where Cooke goes with his teaching.
I would encourage anyone who is wondering about Cooke to spend a little time listening to and/or reading his work with a spiritual peer or mentor you trust, then breaking it down together. If you feel his style or the vein of his material isn’t where God is guiding you at the moment, that’s fine - He speaks to each of us differently, through different avenues and teachers, and with a purpose that is specific to our lives and callings. But his love of Jesus and passion for leading people to Him are unquestionable, and I think you’ll find evidence of that in his Kingdom work. Please, check him out.
I have been involved for many years with a worldwide ministry to women. It has been wonderful. However, in recent years Graham Cooke has become involved in it and they rely heavily on every word that proceeds from his mouth. I have seen mature Christian women almost idolizing him. It is very frightening to watch this happening.
I was taking a course he had written. There were so many places in the book that showed obvious flaws. I red lettered those places and made some derogatory remarks - just in my own book. I obviously could not give my book to anyone else, and I ended up throwing it out. “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” There is also a saying, “You cannot take a spoon of sugar with a spoon of poison and expect the sugar to save you.”
Therefore, I have sadly left this organization that does so much good around the world, but I can see it taking a strange turn. I do NOT recommend Graham Cooke at all. I feel that God was taking me out of this and I am grateful to him for showing me and giving me discernment. I wish I could back up my statements with his written statements, but as I said, I threw the book out. I have been at meetings where the speaker would say, Graham Cooke said this, and Graham Cooke said that. I wondered why we were hanging on to every word that proceeded from his mouth. Why don’t you tell me what Jesus said, or share your thoughts or teaching? I believe it is a part of the end time deception. One thing I remember him saying was that there are no tears in heaven. I thought about how Jesus must be crying over a lost world. It is like the Word/Faith movement. You just pretend and it will be. He actually said that the Book of Acts is named that way “because that is what they were doing - acting.” I am sorry, but I cannot follow this man’s teachings.
Consider Joel Osteen. He may say many good things, but that does not mean we should follow him. I put Graham Cooke in this same category. Don’t take a spoonful of sugar with the slightly deceptive poison. I loved this women’s ministry and have been a part of it for many years in many states. However, I am seeing a change in it. They are following this man in an unhealthy way.
@Barbi_Martin Thank you for sharing your experience I am sorry to hear that an unhealthy emphasis was placed on one individual’s teaching and pray that Christ would lead you to a place where you could serve in the context of solid teaching.
While his teaching does strike me as a bit fuzzy and in that sense unhelpful, I did want to point out that he may have been referring to this verse from Revelation regarding no more tears in the New Creation:
Rev 21:4 - He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
He was not referring to Rev 21:4. I do understand that passage, but he was speaking of Kingdom Dominion and how we can have it right now because that is what heaven is like, right now.
The good thing God did use this for was to bring me to a deeper hunger for truth and desiring to go back to the gospel. Desiring to hear solid preaching. When I was saved in the 70’s I got into the Word/Faith movement. Now I want to hear about holiness and repentance. I do hope that I can know the truth of the Bible and not be led astray. I just want to dig deeper into God’s Word. Sometimes I tell God I want to know Him more. He always answers, “Read My Word.” So simple, and yet sometimes we want to make it harder.
God bless you and thank you for responding.
@Barbi_Martin So encouraged you want to grow deeper in your knowledge of God’s Word You might find the following thread helpful. Christ be with you.
I would same some good teachers to listen, none of whom I agree with on every point of doctrine, are:
- Tim Keller (https://gospelinlife.com/free-sermon-resource/ )
- John Piper (https://www.desiringgod.org)
- Chip Ingram (https://livingontheedge.org)
- Matt Chandler (https://thevillagechurch.net )
- Andy Stanley (http://northpoint.org/messages/)
- Steve Gregg (http://thenarrowpath.com)
- John Stott - he has gone to be with the Lord, but you can still listen to his sermons by choosing his name from the sermons page (https://www.allsouls.org/Media/AllMedia.aspx)
Hey Connor! I was looking up this man again because I had similar interest after I found a quote I liked by him that I wanted to share.
As far as what you said, I think your friend has a point. With that said, anything God would impress upon someone’s heart that truly comes from the Spirit would never, ever contradict the written Word of God. False prophets arise when it does.
As in the case of Joseph Smith, who did come out of Christianity, he received and claimed “special revelation”
which totally contradicted what Churches have taught since Jesus. He claimed God told him “all the denominations were wrong. But Methodists were closest.” Drugs are a scary thing…
I think Christians today need the “backbone” of a Baptist Biblically with the freedom to soar and fire of a Pentecostal. I think that is what it looks like to be healthy, if I were to try to describe it sort of speak.
Sean mentioned the Gospel Coalition’s article about marks of false teachers. The thing with that, first off, is that the Gospel Coalition is solid in many ways, but let me point out that they’ve run into their own issues come the Southern Baptist cover-up with some pastors. No denomination is free from its stuff. While some on the more “reformed/Calvinist” camps assign themselves as “watchmen on the wall” for God, quick to point out “heresy” and “false teachers,” it has become so rampant that it easily becomes toxic and then you begin pointing out “heretics” that aren’t heretics. If someone is truly a watchman on the wall, they ought to have God’s HEART before they have HIS EYES. Right?
As for “false teachers” everywhere, I think people are far too quick to call someone a “heretic” for bad reasons. I’d be very slow to do that for a number of reasons. First off, do you know their motives and heart? Second, you will answer for your words, as we are accountable for them. Choice wisely.
Third, it seems much of what Bible teachers such as John MacArthur and some others disagree with are those in the Pentecostal camp who believe in continuation. Let me tell you, miracles, signs and wonders are for today!
I know the video you are talking about with regards to Nabeel. Loved it!! 'Cus I was curious what he would think of Bethel as well. I think you can be open, but cautious, which is the position I’ve taken.
Use discernment. But I do think it’s good to embrace prophecy. Paul said it in Corinthians!
As for Mr. Graham, I’d have to do more research, honestly! What happened since your initial interest? I realize this thread is “older” now. Lol.
Check out this article:
I just realized it comes from gospel coalition. Look at that!!
I hear your heart here, man. I do think it’s “His ability” though we grow in to discern these things, not ours. As a branch cannot bear fruit apart from the Vine, we can do nothing apart from our Dear Lord.
@AO77 Glad you’ve jumped in It’s interesting you brought up Nabeel Qureshi in the context of this conversation. I followed his entire Vlog and remember when he became very interested in Bethel. At one point, William Lane Craig actually went and met with him and, from what Nabeel said, offered some gentle warnings against assuming healing was God’s will. Many people prophesied Nabeel would be healed and he was not. I think Nabeel actually serves as a warning against the damage that can be done when we give people false expectations in regard to the miraculous gifts.
That said, I agree with you that God can still do miracles! In my own family people have been healed, though certainly many have not as well.
Regarding discernment, I think that learning to tell truth from error requires the presence of the Spirit in our lives, wisdom gained from godly mentors, years spent seeking to walk in obedience to God’s commands and just plain old life experience.