Deeper Revelation


The false prophets are gathering this week. I keep receiving invitations to join Global Celebration Online, with Georgian and Winnie Banov, pictured in various poses laughing and giggling, along with a whole host of big names from the American New Apostolic Reformation movement. They are offering “a 9 month online interactive school that trains believers in their identity and in the supernatural.” In capitals, it proclaims:


The organisers clearly believe this to be an attractive proposition, a deal-clincher for the undecided. It will not all be listening to the Banov family, however:

In addition to our GCSSM pastoral team, we periodically bring in live guest speakers who are nationally and internationally known and respected. Whether in the classroom or at a conference, in-person or online, you will receive deep revelation from a variety of ministry streams.

Ah, they have just given the game away: ‘deep revelation’. You may have some revelation now, but there’s more available. Sure, it’s great to read the Bible, but isn’t there more to come? And it’s deeper, much deeper than anything Paul or John could write. Join the course, join the conference, pay the fee ($2,500), and the deep revelation is all yours to enjoy.

A first-century Christian would recognise this kind of thing as early Gnosticism which began infiltrating the Church even while the apostles lived. This was the blending of Christian truth with fashionable pagan and philosophical concepts of secret knowledge. The existence of an initiated few, a higher stream, a promoted clique- this is one of the age-old lies of Satan. There will always be some believers who are more mature, in possession of a more loving spirit, who have a more perfect love. But the idea that there are separate classes of Christian, be this the exalted medieval priest, the tongue-speaking (“baptised in the Spirit”) Pentecostal, or attendee at the latest apostolic teaching school in receipt of a deeper revelation, is part and parcel of the same lie. The early Gnostics seemed to teach that there were several levels of initiation, not unlike freemasonry. By appealing to different angels, various passwords could be obtained by which higher levels of ecstasy or paradise could be unlocked, not unlike levels of a 90’s video game. The early years of the Keswick Convention were plagued by a similar ill-teaching. The theologically questionable Hannah Whittall Smith was pushing her book The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, part of the higher life movement. Middle class Victorian evangelicals thronged to the lakeside resort in order to learn how one might move onto that higher spiritual plane. With time’s passing, that emphasis was quietly dropped, its theology becoming more mainstream.

There is a deeper faith we might all have, a closer walk, a greater love for Christ and each other, a keener expectation of heaven. Yet when a group offers to exchange $2k for a deeper revelation, they offer nothing new worth having. With the Bible in your hand, you have all you need for revelation. With the Holy Spirit in your heart, you have all you need for communion with Christ. With a faithful, local church iregularly in your diary, you have all you need for Christian service.

Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

Revelation 2:20

I see no evidence that the Banovs and their colleagues have anything other than orthodox views of sexual ethics. Yet the essential danger of new and fresh revelation is that it invariably replaces and supersedes the old. Buyers beware.