"Close Encounters of the God Kind" - True or Not?
A critique of the DVD-set by Jesse Duplantis
By Kim N. Stager - May 2007
In "Close Encounters of the God Kind," Jesse Duplantis presents, in summary fashion, his supposed three hour experience being transported--in his body he believes--to heaven. His 1988 experiences in heaven is conveyed in this and other DVD presentations that Mr. Duplantis sells.
I'll start out by reminding us all of a few of the important points Mr. Duplantis makes at the outset of his DVD, which set the context in which he desires his presentation to be heard and accepted.
Number one: He tells us that God's "government" is made up of evangelists and teachers, and that he himself is a God appointed evangelist, which ipso facto makes him one of God's "government officials." This high position supposedly gives legitimacy -- both in God's eyes and ours -- to what he is about to tell us .
Note: However, God's gifts are for the building and edification of the body of Christ, not for the ruling over of some by others. (1 Corinthians 12:1-14:40; etc.).
Number two: Based on his heavenly experience in 1988, Duplantis tells us that our understanding of Heaven, of God, and of the Bible are wrong. In light of his mystical experience, we must look to those in God's "government" [himself especially] who have had direct experiences with God (the kind that the rest of us apparently do not have) thereby decoupling us from God's inerrant Word.
In other words, we must give up God's objective word of Truth and unquestioningly accept subjective "experiences" as truth from self appointed "government officials" of God.
Note: God's holy Word will neither change nor pass away until His will is accomplished (Isaiah 59:21; Proverbs 4:4, 30:4-6; Psalm 119:166-176; 1 Peter 1:19-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:18; John 5:47, 12:48-50, 14:23-24, 15:7; Luke 9:26, 21:33, 24:25-27; Psalm 119:89; Rev 22:18-19; etc.).
Number three: He not only tells us that God made us in His image, but that therefore God is like us. This man-like god needs our ministry to him in order that he might endure what he must do as god. He presents a savior who is an emotional basket case.
Duplantis clearly implies man is as God or a god, much as Lucifer did before his ouster from Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-17; etc.) and that God the Father has a literal material body. His notions about other inhabited worlds, along with other unbiblical doctrines he presents in his DVD set, are akin to Mormonism and all other pagan myth religions of Babylonia. (Zechariah 5:5-11; Ezekiel 8; etc.)
See: Numbers 23:19; Deuteronomy 30:16-29; Psalm 139:6; Isaiah 44, 45:5-25; Jeremiah 17:10, 18:23-32; Habakkuk 3:6; Rom 9:20, 11:32-36; Matthew 11:27, 17:1-9; John 1:18, 3:13-31, 36, 14:9-11; Hebrew 1:3; Colossians 1:19; etc.
Note: But the image of God Mr. Duplantis uses is actually of Jesus Who is the only image of God not made by human hands but by the "hand" of God. (Isaiah 6:1-5, 7:14, 9:6, 53; Revelation 4:2, 17:14, 19:11-16; John 12:38, 40-41; Romans 10:16; 1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 16:10; Habakkuk 1:12; Acts 2:27, 31, 13:35-37, 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 10:1-9; Numbers 21:6; Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 John 5:1-21; etc.).
Number four: He tells us to believe his supposedly literal material experiences in heaven -- of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Heaven itself -- rather than the Truth which God reveals by His Holy Spirit and Word to those who have been born again.
As all false religions are a literal material misinterpretation of God's word, so is Mr. Duplantis' mystical experience.
Note: See Hebrews 11:1-40; John 20:29; Jeremiah 33:23-25; Romans 10:6-17; etc. For we know we can come boldly before God's throne of grace and need no created being to mediate between us and God (Hebrews 4:14-16; etc.).
Before I proceed to touch on each of the above four points Mr. Duplantis makes on his DVD, I want to point out at least three clear untruths by Mr. Duplantis.
1. In both his DVD's he says he spoke to the Apostle Paul and told him he preached all he wrote in the Bible and that as such he is guilty of copyright infringement. However, I have seen at least one sermon on TBN in which Mr. Duplantis has said very explicitly that Paul's writings on suffering are tradition and not God's word. And that he, Mr. Duplantis, rejects all Paul's teachings on suffering and only looks for the positive parts of Paul's teachings.
Note: However, the Bible clearly tells us we must share in Christ's sufferings in order to share in His glory in resurrection. No suffering, no glory in heaven with Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 4:13-19; etc.). Here he is calling God's word tradition and his own words about his experience in heaven as truth. Sounds like Mr. Duplantis reversed what God said making Truth a lie, and lies truth (Romans 1:25; etc.).
2. Mr. Duplantis' second point of untruth involves his question to an angel. He asked where the Holy Spirit was. The angel told him the Holy Spirit was on the earth. The implication being the Holy Spirit is somehow corporeal or limited in that He can only be in one place at a time, or some such unbiblical thing, instead of the Truth the Holy Spirit is omnipresent--as are the Father and the Son since there is but One Spirit in All, and all who believe (Psalm 139:7-12; etc.).
Note: First of all, God the Father is Pure Spirit (John 1:14, 18, 3:24-25, 4:24; Acts 17:29-31; Romans 1:18-2:10, 3:24-26; Colossians 2:9; 1 John 4:12; Revelation 21:22-22:21; etc.). Therefore, He and the Holy Spirit are invisible, regardless of the literal material notion Mr. Duplantis presents of God as some sort of energy -- with at least hands, arms, feet, and legs -- instead of a Divine Person (Colossians 1:15-2:3; etc.).
The Bible tells us God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are omnipresent everywhere at the same time and therefore the Holy Spirit is in Heaven at all times (John 3:13, 12:4-18; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16; Ephesians 2:18-22, 3:5, 4:3-6; etc.). This and much more that I will not attempt to cover in this brief letter, clearly reveal Mr. Duplantis did not experience the God, nor the Son, nor the Holy Spirit of God in his professed trip to heaven--whether he was in his body or not (2 Timothy 4:18, Gen 48:15-16; Titus 3:4-6). For "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (KJV).
3. Mr. Duplantis' third point of untruth involves his vague reference to other worlds of apparently inhabited planets. He also calls the heaven he went to a planet. He suggests that some of us who did not learn enough on earth during our lives must learn of those things we lack before we can reach the city and the throne of god (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23). Those who eventually learn all they must learn, will train for their "ministries" on other worlds.
Isaiah 45:18; Gen 1:1-31; Psalm 11:4, 14:2, 89:6-18; Matthew 24:29; 2 Peter 3:10-12; Rev 21:1-22:21; etc.
With respect to Mr. Duplantis' four points at the beginning of his DVD...
First, all four points Mr. Duplantis makes are designed to divorce you from God's word by the Holy Spirit and for you to rely instead on him because of his purported direct experiences with God, Jesus, and Heaven. According to the Bible, we are to beware and reject anyone professing themselves to be of God who instead points to themselves instead of glorifying God and who turns us to other gods (2 Peter 2:3; Psalm 10; Proverbs 13:13; Galatians 1:6-24; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Romans 1:16; etc.).
Second, knowledge and a search of the Bible will reveal virtually all Mr. Duplantis relates to us in his DVD's from his experiences in heaven to be unbiblical. And therefore to be rejected as not of God.
Third, when Mr. Duplantis says God is like us, he errs grievously (Is 43, 45; etc.). Actually blasphemously. For though we were created in the image of God, we fell from this image and perfection in the Garden. But in God's love, He made a Way back through His Son so that we can be reborn by the Holy Spirit and conformed to the image of Christ--Who is God. That process includes:
- faith in the Jesus of the Bible
- repenting of our sin and turn to Jesus as Lord and Savior.
- renewing our minds by knowing and following God's Word
- asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the true motives of our hearts so that we daily may die to self and live for God (Galatians 2:20-21; etc.).
Fourth: Duplantis' view of Jesus is totally contrary to the God of creation, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the reigning King who is coming in the clouds with great glory. (Rev 11, Jn 1, etc.). And to judge and rule the nations with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 19:15; etc.). The great I AM of the Old Testament and of the New Testament--Christ Jesus Himself (John 8:58-59; Revelation 22:12-13; Exodus 3:11-15; Isaiah 41:4, 60:16; etc.).
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