Stephan Joubert: The Innovator

An innovator par excellence

Stephan Joubert is forever renewing old things. If not “The NEW new Testament” he has translated with Jan van der Watt, it is new ideas about the work of the Holy Spirit that keep popping up in his “renewed mind.” In his most recent ekerk article (29th July 2022), he wrote,

Perhaps we should stop recycling mere spiritual information and make room for the Spirit’s new learning processes, where insight replaces knowledge. Then we shall again see miracles occur before our eyes. Then we shall see how people are converted and start bowing their knees before Jesus.

Funnily enough, he quotes the apostle John where he witnesses that the Holy Spirit said or taught nothing new but was sent to empower a group of followers of Jesus to convey to others everything that was already said with boldness and firm conviction.

The Holy Spirit did not displace the old-old truths (“spiritual information”) that God had already proclaimed for centuries and replaced them with new learning processes. He merely proclaimed it with new vigor and potency via the apostles.

Why doesn’t Joubert speak of new truths but patently of new learning processes? He seems to advocate the idea that the Holy Spirit sits and waits to hear what He needs to say in the same way mystics sit and patiently wait in silence to hear what the Father wishes them to know in an apophatic meditative way.

Here’s how the Bible renders John 16:13: –

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13).

However, and funnily enough, Joubert quotes from a version of the Bible that deliberately withholds and deliberately omits vitally important truths about the Holy Spirit. False teachers are known to use Bible translations no one knows from whence they dug up their info, and hence cover up old-old truths. Here is how Joubert’s Bible renders John 16:13.

What He shall say, will not come from Himself: He will only say what He hears, and He will declare to you things to come.

Take note of how Joubert omits core truths in the version of the Bible he quotes from.

  • That He is the Spirit of Truth.
  • That He guides believers into the whole truth.

God’s revealed truth in his Word cannot possibly be renewed or revamped (Psalm 119:89-90). In fact, the Spirit of Truth has no desire to formulate new truths, let alone new learning processes. Joubert admits that God’s essence, his love, and his truth, never change, and consequently only new learning processes need to be devised to replace the stagnated spiritual information (in the Bible).

Reading between the lines, it becomes clear that Joubert is very subtly petitioning his readers to resort to meditative practices, particularly Ignatius of Loyola’s spiritual practices as well as apophatic and cataphatic spiritual practices, as we shall see later.

The eternal truth that saving faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and hearing through the unadulterated preaching thereof, is no longer sufficient. (Romans 10:17). What we need now, according to Joubert, are new learning processes, and only then will we again see miracles happen before our eyes when millions upon millions of people will get saved and begin to bow their knees before Jesus.

In reality, Joubert, like all his contemplative buddies at Mosaiek Kerk, is leading thousands along a primrose path of initiation into a new Christianized ecumenical Age of Aquarius (New World Order) and another Jesus — through contemplative meditative practices.

The art of self-realization

Self-realization is a buzzword often used in Eastern mysticism, theosophy, and Christian contemplative circles to express the view that the practitioner can attune to consciousness much higher, more blissful, and more desirable than mere head knowledge.

In this family of mystics there is absolutely no difference between the methodologies for the attainment of self-realization in Christian mysticism, Kundalini, all types of yoga, mindfulness meditation, spiritual meditation, focused meditation, movement meditation, mantra meditation, transcendental meditation, progressive relaxation, loving-kindness meditation, visualization meditation, and yes, of course, Joubert’s two favorite forms of meditation, apophatic and cataphatic meditation, and yes, we can add the slain-in-the-spirit phenomenon to the list as well.

The common denominator of all these meditation practices is “mindlessness.” Of course, mystics would immediately disagree. However, the purpose of meditation is to reach an awareness of “no-thing” so that the core of self-realization may kick in, an outer-bodily experience that you yourself, and everyone else are divine. Thomas Merton, one of Stephan Joubert’s and Mosaiek Kerk’s gurus, said of this. the following:

Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton

“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are…. If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other…. At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth…. This little point … is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.”[1]

Voila! This is precisely why Johan Geyser, the Mosaïek guru, advised his listeners at one of their conferences (4-5 September 2009) to “stop thinking, stop studying, and to “just sit,” and “just be.” Just be what? Well, just be what you already are, a divinity in the “thereness” (imago Dei) of God. Leonard Sweet wrote,

“Disciples of Jesus do not mimic Jesus; we manifest him. We are personators of Christ, not impersonators. Christ’s presence in our lives is more “thereness” than “likeness,” more “withness” than “whatness.” Jesus made our creation in the imago Dei more “spit” than “image” (as in “spit ‘n’ image”).”[2]

I have often exposed how mystics in the emergent movement deliberately play havoc with the meaning of words to distract Bible readers from their real meaning and intent. The above quote is a “spit ‘n’ image of how this is done. Let’s take the word “thereness” and apply it to some of the verses in which “likeness” is used.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our thereness: (Genesis 1:26).

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the thereness of God made he him; (Genesis 5:1).

It not only makes a mockery of God’s creation of man but of His complete otherness, his divine uniqueness. Sweet’s application of “thereness” implies that you can look at someone (anyone) and say, “There’s God.”

And this is precisely what Stephan Joubert had in mind when he said, “Remember, every person that you serve turns into an immediate friend of Jesus. Go one step further: see him or her as Jesus in disguise” Therefore, the person that you serve is Jesus in disguise, the “spit ‘n’ image” of Jesus. Not to worry, they always rhythmically go one step further on the road to perdition. (Proverbs 14:12).

The only permissible guidance: The guidance of the Holy Spirit

At that time, when no written New Testament texts existed, it was only the Holy Spirit who could guide the disciples into all the facts surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. One would expect that the disciples who had followed Him wherever He went and were taught of Him first-hand, would have understood everything about Him, especially his death and resurrection. Listen carefully to what Jesus said about their ignorance at that stage.

But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (John 16:4-7).

Jesus often had to console his disciples when He began to explain to them the necessity of his death, resurrection, and having to leave them when He returned to his Father in heaven. Peter misunderstood the significance of this and even had the audacity to rebuke Jesus when He spoke About his crucifixion.

Peter took Him aside [to speak to Him privately] and began to reprimand Him, saying, “May God forbid it! This will never happen to You.” But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on things of God, but on things of man.” (Matthew 16:22-23).

Even as late as Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane Peter felt obliged to protect his Master from harm and drew his sword to cut off Malchus’ ear. These were all signs of the disciples’ feelings of sorrow and despondency. Two chapters earlier, in John 14, Thomas and Philipp, asked “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” and “Lord, shew us the father, and it sufficeth us.” (John 14:5, 8).

Their sorrow caused by the knowledge that one of the disciples would betray Him and that He would leave them dimmed their understanding. Only when the Holy Spirit filled them, and they were endowed with the power from above on Pentecost, were their spiritual eyes opened and could they preach the Gospel of his death, resurrection, and ascension with much joy and conviction so that 3000 souls were saved.

No, says Joubert, we will only experience miracles like the conversion of people before our very eyes again when we’ve “made room for the Spirit’s new learning processes when knowledge is replaced with insight.” Is Joubert by any chance letting us know that he is the only eyewitness to countless conversions or that conversions have reached a cul de sac until the new learning processes of the “Holy Spirit” come into effect?

Let’s do what Joubert demands of us and replace so deftly as we can the word “knowledge” with “insight.” One thing is sure, we will also have to change Hosea 4:6,

My people are destroyed for lack of insight (intuition, vision, awareness) : because thou hast rejected insight, I will also reject thee, . . .

Does this make any sense? Of course not, unless you interpret it in the context of contemplative mysticism. Joubert is simply following one of his gurus, Karl Rahner who said, “In the days ahead, you will either be a mystic (one who has experienced God for real) or nothing at all,” and “The Christian of the future will be a mystic, or he will not exist at all.”

We need to bear in mind that in the mystical contemplative world, and, of course, in every other heretical teaching, there are two ways to achieve the same result. The one is a more direct approach, like the one quoted above, “The Christian of the future will be a mystic, or he will not exist at all.”

The other is a more subtle approach, like in Joubert’s statement, “Perhaps we should stop recycling mere spiritual information and make room for the Spirit’s new learning processes [experiential mysticism], where insight replaces knowledge. Then we shall again see miracles occur before our eyes. Then we shall see how people are converted and start bowing their knees before Jesus.”

Two ways, one result. The latter way is the most dangerous because it is the sphere in which the angel of light loves to operate. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15). And believe me, it is rife in ekerk and the Mosaïek church. They know how to juggle words to achieve their objectives.

“To study or not to study,” that is the question, or is it “To be or not to be”

One can only acquire knowledge through studying and once more studying. The AMPC translates 2 Timothy 2:15 as —

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.      

Consequently, the main purpose of studying the Word of God is to learn how to handle it rightly and skillfully, and to present it undiluted to lost souls so that they may be saved (Roman 10:16-17) and not as a process to facilitate so-called “divine reading” (Lectio Divina).

The first mentioned is the outreach to others to benefit their souls. The second is the supposed outreach to God to benefit yourself in allegedly becoming one with Him or to attain his “thereness” (aka Leonard Sweet).

The main purpose of Lectio Divina is to use a verse or a word from Scripture as a vehicle (a mantra, if you will) to mediate on and to reach an ecstatic experience of being in the presence of God or even reaching a sense of oneness with Him. Thomas Keating suggested that oneness with God expedites oneness with other religions.

The great treasure that interreligious dialogue could unlock is to get people to know and love Other religions and the people who practice them. The attitude of exclusivity must be laid to rest. God is too big to be contained in one. – Thomas Keating

Insight, the word Joubert wants you to use in exchange for knowledge, has more the meaning of intuition, awareness, and experience. In his book, “’n Radikale Sprong” (“A Radical Leap”) on pages 199-200, he wrote

Reflective, apophatic prayer, as well as the spiritual reading of the Word (Lectio Divina) is once again the order of the day. The revival of retraites, pilgrimages and visits to places of prayer and solitude is indicative of this worldwide quest in Christian circles for an innermost becoming part of the character of the Living God.

The new journeys of many Christians are those big inner-directed journeys. Now it concerns the journey of the soul on its way to bigger peace and rest at the feet of God. These quests are not only undertaken during the dark moments of the soul. No, it is also undertaken as part of peoples’ normal spiritual discipline(-s) of dedication to God.

It means that the present interest in retraites is complemented with the daily practice of these principles. Many faith communities arrange special occasions such as silent services, daily communion and smaller gatherings in order to experience God’s presence, holiness and magnitude through spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude.

The ultimate goal

Joubert’s ultimate goal, as of all contemplatives, is to guide you into an apophatic state of mind where you supposedly reach a bond of love and relationship with Christ and others on a level much deeper than your conscious awareness. Two of the most well-known sources advocating apophatic prayer are “The Cloud of Unknowing” by an unknown author, and “The spiritual Exercises” by Ignatius of Loyola.

The most distressing thing about “The Cloud of Unknowing” is its exclusivity, in the sense that the author warns that his work is meant only for the adept, the ones susceptible to enlightenment and extraneous sensual perceptions. Johan Geyser summed this up very well at a conference held at his church, Mosaïek Kerk, in 2009 when he said, “Stop thinking, stop studying, just sit, just be.” Manifestly, it is an aura of pride and not humility.

The occultic overtones of “The cloud of unknowing,” expressed in the author’s warning that centering prayer is the only helpful and viable method to attain a successful apophatic meditative lifestyle, do not merely expose its exclusivity but also its complete unsuitability for little children who believe in Christ Jesus. (Matthew 18:3).

Children who believe in Jesus have no hang-ups about the posture you should take when meditating, how to still the mind, how to live in the moment, how to rightly understand “The Cloud of Unknowing,” how to practice the presence of God via Ignatian prayers, how to differentiate between kataphatic and apophatic prayers, and how to be still and know who God is in the horrendously erroneous manner contemplatives do.

Saved children simply believe in the resoundingly triumphant cry of Jesus on the cross — TETELESTAI (IT IS FINISHED; PAID IN FULL). They don’t need all these other stuff that binds one to doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1). And woe to those who teach their own children, and children who believe in Jesus these things. It would be better for them that a millstone was hanged about their necks and drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6), there where God metaphorically casts sins. (Micah 7:19).

Love and respect

Having read one of Joubert’s latest articles on ekerk’s site, “Respect unlimited,” he would probably dub everything I had written above as unloving, disrespectful, and even un-Christlike. But don’t let that worry you too much. It is one of his main traits. Contemplatives who twist God’s word to their own liking do not like to be exposed in public. In fact, they always assume that God’s command to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” is not showing love but criticism, meanness, and ad hominum attacks. (Jude 1:3). In fact they lavish n this because they view it as persecution and suffering for the sake of Christ.

He writes,

Respect for God and respect for people is one of the pillars on which the gospel rests. The Bible also describes it with a more well-known word: love. Love is synonym with respect. Love is respect for God and for others.

Well, Paul of Tarsus wholeheartedly disagrees with Stephan of ekerk. Mark my words: Paul had so much love and respect for God and others that he consistently and constantly warned his brethren and others against false teachers and their false doctrines. I can assure you that Stephan Joubert would never in his entire life quote Paul’s words in Galatians 1:8-9,

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)! As we said before, so I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from or contrary to that which you received [from us], let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!

Paul practically repeated his warning word for word as if to say, “Be warned and tremble for if you persist in preaching another gospel, one at variance with the one Jesus, the twelve and I have preached to you, rest assured, a VIP seat called “love” is waiting in hell.”

Wow, Stephan, fancy that! Paul loved God and others so much that he was prepared to anathematize those who preached another Gospel, like the author of “The Cloud of Unknowing,” Ignatius of Loyola, Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton, Dallas Willard, Leonard Sweet, Rob Bell, and all the other guys you allegedly love and respect.

Don’t be mad at me. I didn’t pen down Galatians 1:8-9; it was Paul who received the Gospel directly from Jesus Christ whom he loved with all his heart, all his mind, and all his strength. His love was way beyond the love you foster. Paul’s love was the only true love God desires people to have for Him.

Jesus summed it up in these words, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) and “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (John15:10). The million-dollar question is: Do Stephan Joubert and his buddies keep God’s commandments?

Jesus is more than his doctrines (commandments)

Stephan Joubert posted a video on Youtube entitled “The Truth is more than doctrines. The Truth is Jesus,” to prove that Jesus is more and greater than his doctrines. Obviously, he is very fond of the words “more” and “greater” when he lovingly talks about Jesus. In his ekerk article “The Eternal God is Adaptable” he affirmed that Jesus is greater than his plans, meaning, of course, that Jesus is greater than his prophecies, and that He often changes his prophecies according to his lovingkindness.

An example Joubert often uses to prove this is his assertion that God has rescinded all his promises to Israel and has transferred them to the church. Consequently, the twelve tribes of Israel have vanished into thin air. At face value, this sounds so wonderfully hunky-dory and even biblically sound, but is it?

What is a doctrine or, more precise, what is biblical doctrine? Are biblical doctrines non-essentials or are they indispensable? To answer these questions, we only have a single source at our disposal, the Bible which is the Holy Spirit-inspired written Word of God, i.e. doctrines.

Notwithstanding this eternal truth, Joubert quotes Leonard Sweet to illustrate their assumption that Jesus is more than his doctrines. In short, it means that Jesus is more than his spoken and written words. Is this the reason why they have adopted the silly maxim that “silence is the first language of God” and that wordlessness and mindlessness are God’s pro-active Opus Operandi to enhance the relationship between Him and his so-called followers?

“If someone asks you, “what is Christianity about?” you tell them it’s about Jesus. Jesus Christ is the gospel. You don’t tell them about values or virtues or doctrines. You tell them stories about Jesus, who lived, died, and rose again so that we might live and die and rise again.” — Leonard Sweet.

You can only tell people about Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension if you’ve read and studied the only written source available and competent to do so – the Bible. The doctrines concerning Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and ascension are not something you can suck out of your thumb.

The eyewitnesses to these historical events were the Holy Spirit-inspired persons God chose and used to tell us about the real and genuine Jesus of the Bible. Anyone who dares to circumvent their godly inspired writings about God’s doctrines and its inseparable, undividable unity in the Godhead, is not telling you about Jesus but another Jesus, a false Jesus. Christianity for the most part is no longer about Jesus Christ but a false Jesus who has no desire to tell anyone about “values or virtues or doctrines.”

Is the Truth Jesus?

Aside from the fact that you cannot separate the words “the way” and “the life” from “the truth” without doing an injustice to the meaning of “the truth,” Stephan Joubert glibly changes the meaning of John 14:6 into a “truth” that suits his “truth.” It is a well-known fact, as I have mentioned in many of my articles, that Stephan Joubert believes there is truth in Buddhism, Judaism, and even atheism. If the truth is Jesus and there is truth in all religions, then Jesus must be in all those religions. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize that Joubert’s statement echoes Thomas Keating’s infamous and God-dishonouring affirmation —

The great treasure that interreligious dialogue could unlock is to get people to know and love Other religions and the people who practice them. The attitude of exclusivity must be laid to rest. God is too big to be contained in one.

If, as Joubert says, Jesus is more than his doctrines and greater than his plans, we will have to remove the passages where Jesus affirms that his doctrines are not his own.

For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak. (John 12:49).

Similarly, Jesus said of the Holy Spirit.

 But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father—the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future]. (John 16:13).

The unique and perfect oneness in the godhead renders the utterances of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost perfectly harmonious and agreeable in every little iota and tittle. There is no disagreement, no disharmony, or discord within the ranks of the Trinity, and there never will be. If there had been, they could never have been God in three Persons. If it were true, as Joubert says, that Jesus is more than his doctrines and greater than his plans (contained in biblical doctrines issued by God the Father), it follows that He is greater than his Father from whom He’d received his doctrines, which, to say the least, is untenable, Indeed, it is palpable blasphemy.

[1] Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Publishers, 1989), pp. 157-158.).

[2] Leonard Sweet, “The Well-Played Life: Why Pleasing God Doesn’t Have to Be Such Hard Work.”

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

2 Responses

  1. Twanette Fourie says:

    Thank you for this excellent article. I had a question about Stephan Joubert recently at a presentation I did about the occult moving into the church, and I was not familiar with his teaching. This has been valuable time spent!

    Is there anywhere on this site where I can search for churches that align with the statement of faith of DTW, or close to it at least?

  2. Twanette Fourie. We are often asked to give our advice on where to find a truly biblically based church in South Africa. During the Apartheid years South Africa was dominated by Calvinism plus Freemasonry. When the younger generation became disillusioned with the mainstream churches, they left their churches to join either one of two streams of churches – Pentecostalism (Word of Faith) and Mysticism (Emergent Church). They became, as they said, tired of the rigid style of worship. They began to yearn for something more experiential. exciting and other-worldly. Well, this, unfortunately, was from the frying pan into the fire. Millions of young people, among them hippies throughout the world, were mesmerized by their jumping, yelling, and speaking in tongues etc. Biblical faith, which is substance of things NOT SEEN or experienced, but things hoped for was set aside for the sake of experience (Hebrews 11:1). Most churches, for the purpose of not losing members, started incorporating some of these phenomena to draw the young folk. In short, we cannot direct you to any churches we may think are still true to God’s Word. Timothy was taught by his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois from the Old Testament. I would suggest that you continue to study the Word of God on your own and to trust the Holy Spirit to lead you into all God’s truth. You may even want to begin a little Bible Study. Ask God to help you find those who are interested. God bless.

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