Heidi Baker has an amazing story. She’s had a life of service on the mission field in Africa and Asia. She’s well-educated. She says she has experienced the miraculous. She encourages Christians to lay down their life for the Lord. It’s very difficult to find fault with Heidi.
Even though she has led an exemplary life of love and kindness, and seems to have started out with Jesus in purity, unfortunately I have to argue that she no longer serves the Lord in obedience and truth. I watched a video where she prayed for the “Azusa Now” rally. In that video she seems to be very intimate with the Lord, but how is it possible that a person who loves Jesus so much could violate so many of his teachings?
I’m saddened to write this, but in order to protect the sheep and keep them from being deceived I need to show the ways Heidi is being led astray by seducing spirits. She claims to love Jesus so much, but Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15) Here is a list of the ways Heidi disobeyed the commandments of Jesus (and rejected the scriptures) in that one prayer for “Azusa Now.”
- She is praying a repetitive prayer.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7, ESV)
Heidi repeats phrases such as “harvesting angels, harvesting angels, harvesting angels” or “fire, fire, fire, fire . . .” or “Send us out. Send us up. Send us in. Send us out. Send us up. Send us in. Send us out. Send us up. Send us in.” Does God hear us for our many words? According to Jesus, these repetitive prayers aren’t pleasing to God. In fact, this is the way the pagans pray! If Heidi truly loved Jesus, wouldn’t she obey this commandment? Imagine if you were God . . . is this the way you would like your friend to talk to you?
- She is praying a long, public prayer.
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 ESV)
Jesus commanded us to not pray long prayers in public. He taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer (as a model). You may argue that Heidi isn’t praying this way to be seen, but if that were the case, then all she has to do is obey the commandment of her Lord to not pray long prayers in public–and pray in secret instead. If she truly loved Jesus, wouldn’t she obey this commandment?
- She is praying in tongues without an interpreter. According to 1 Corinthians 14:13-16 there needs to be an interpreter–even for praying in tongues. Look at these verses:
“Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?”
If a Christian prays in tongues in public, there needs to be an interpreter because it’s wrong to say “Amen” to a prayer spoken in tongues since we have no idea what the person prayed. Yet Heidi prays many prayers in tongues without an interpretation.
If Heidi prays with her spirit, she must also pray with her mind. In other words, if she prays with tongues, she must also give the interpretation. (The “position of an outsider” is simply a person who doesn’t know the spiritual language that is being spoken.) Prayers spoken in tongues without an interpretation are not able to be prayers of agreement.
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:19-20, ESV)
- Heidi has an uncontrollable tic when she prays. At points in her prayer (around the 19 minute mark) Heidi loses control of herself and blurts out a phrase that isn’t able to be understood. She isn’t able to control the jerking movement. It just comes upon her. This isn’t a work of the Holy Spirit because one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV)
Not being able to control an action brought about by “the spirit” is evidence that the source of her spiritual experience isn’t the Holy Spirit, but is another spirit.
- She is praying for a meeting of people who want Christians to join with Catholics, calling them our brothers and sisters, and wanting to experience the “outpouring of the Holy Spirit” with them. Why would Heidi pray for a meeting which would emphasize unity between two groups that aren’t in agreement? (Amos 3:3)
Catholics have so many teachings that are contrary to the truth of the scriptures (including the priesthood, celibacy, purgatory, the papacy, the Eucharist, indulgences, the role of Mary, repetitive prayers, and on and on . . . ) Catholics need to love the truth and come out of their false religion, not be told they are our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
What “spirit” will be poured out on those who have false doctrines and practices? The Holy Spirit? Do we forget that Jesus is the TRUTH? (John 14:6) and that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH (John 14:17, 16:13)?! Why would the Spirit of Truth manifest in a place that is filled with lies and disobedience?
As wonderful as Heidi and her ministry appears to be, we have to love Jesus and the truth of his Word more than anything else. We were warned this day would come–the day when men would not endure sound doctrine, when they would give heed to seducing spirits and be deceived by false signs and wonders because they didn’t love the truth . . . a day when even the very elect might be deceived. And this delusion would come by the hand of God–to test them and see if they would choose the truth over manifestations of power and signs and wonders.
“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, ESV)
If you think I’m being too critical of Heidi because I point out her disobedience to the commands of Jesus, then I would point you to another teaching of our Lord:
” Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4, KJV)
If anybody knows Heidi Baker, perhaps they could give her a copy of this article. I have to believe that Heidi loves Jesus, but if she does love Him as much as she says she does, then she needs to repent and begin to obey the commandments of her Lord and the teaching of sound doctrine.
” . . . because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13; KJV)
Finally, grace and truth came through Jesus (John 1:17). They are yoked together. There is no grace without truth. Deliberate rejection of the truth is a deliberate rejection of grace. If grace covers all sin (even rejection of the truth) then why were so many warnings given to false teachers and false prophets?
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” ( 2 Peter 2:1, ESV)
Why were the Pharisees rebuked by Jesus for being of their father, Satan, who had no truth in him (John 8:44) if truth wasn’t important to the Lord? Jesus called the Pharisees “sons of hell.”(Matthew 23:15) We are saved, not only by grace, but by grace through faith. Faith is the belief in the truth.
My greatest concern is that this “move of the spirit” isn’t a move of the true Holy Spirit, but a move of the spirit of oneness, a false spirit acting as the Holy Spirit. This spirit has a goal of uniting false religions into a “oneness” that mimics the unity of the Holy Spirit (who unifies us according to truth. [John 17:17]) Instead, this lying spirit attempts to unite all religions who reject the truth–through mystical experiences and false power displays.
It just seems that so many today want “more”. Getting into the Bible and learning God’s truth is just not enough compared to these ‘spiritual leaders’ that can give us weird mystical experiences. What’s so sad is that these people (the followers) obviously are seeking more of Jesus…God…the Word…etc, and there are sure worse things to occupy one’s mind, but they’re looking in the wrong direction and finding a lot of error. Same with all those Pentecostal congregations…they just can’t seem to be content with the simple truth, so they fall into falsehoods, which only serve to abuse and hurt the people. Again, many are easily led astray because they don’t learn the truth that’s in their Bible so that leaves them defenseless against these ‘spiritual leaders’ who feed them lies. And that just leaves them hungry and poisoned.
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I know…the saddest thing to me is how those who are deep into deception have such a desire to please God…yet the best way to please God is to study his Word and agree with His truth. “Study to show thyself approved unto God…” “Martha, Martha, one thing is needful.” That one thing is to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His Word. I guess that isn’t very exotic or mysterious or exciting, though!
I think it’s confusing when Christians say they want more of God…and that they’re thirsty…for two reasons. 1) Because of the cross the veil was torn and we now have full access to God through the blood. 2) Jesus told the woman at the well to drink of Him and she would never thirst again. So why should Christians continually be in pursuit of more of God? Why should they be thirsty?
Nonsense! Those things you mention “repetitive prayer”, long prayers, tics, etc are not spoken against at large in the Bible. The Bible talks of love 100000 times and these things one or two times. No one is perfect. Even if you are right, its nonsense – she gets the vast majority right – hence she right with a few minor errors….
But I have more to say – you’re actually quite wrong even with most of these minor “errors” – Even the angels in heaven repeat “Holy, Holy, Holy” over and over and over again. So should we… Hence you must interpret the minor parts of scripture where things are mentioned only once or twice, in the light of the whole of scripture, or you risk becoming a Pharisee, concerned with detail, and not the major important things! When Jesus said not to be repetitive, there was a reason – and he MUST have meant GOD LISTENS TO THE HEART AND NOT OUR WORDS OR LENGTH OF SHOWY PRAYER. She is NOT wrong – interpret it in the light of the rest of Scripture – Jesus simply MUST have meant: focus on the heart, not the words – that’s all he must have meant by this!
Even if you’re right about tongues – I don’t really care – its a minor thing – once again not a theme of Scripture – Weird things happened in the book of Acts too, remember – The disciples were mistaken as “drunk” – Anyway – regardless – its minor – Take the log out of your own eye, and repent before the LORD!
So Claeb, do you really think God doesn’t mean what he says, or is speaking lies if he doesn’t address something “at large”? You didn’t expound on what you meant but you do seem to imply that only if God says something about 100,000 times then can we believe it’s true. God says in John 11:35 that, “Jesus wept.” Do you also believe that is a lie (or ‘minor error’) or simply not important because God spoke it only once and not ‘at large’?
You speak of “minor errors.” Would that be just small sins? Just a little disobedience? Nothing to worry about? You admit that Ms. Baker is disobedient where ‘tongues’ are concerned, but say you don’t really care because it’s a minor thing. I have never gotten the impression from God that he considers any sin a minor thing. In fact, not interpreting your ‘tongue’ when God commands you to do so is certainly not a minor sin because there would be zero understanding going on. (Is there such a thing as a ‘minor’ sin?)
You also said the disciples being ‘mistaken as drunk’ is a ‘minor’ thing. Is it really so minor when people mistake a miracle of God for drunkeness?
It’s a shame, but probably Heidi Baker has just fallen into the common error of Christian leadership pride…wanting to be seen by others as greatly ‘spiritual’, and more so than everyone else. (Why else would God specifically teach us not to be showy in our prayers, etc?) Pride (showing off) instead of humility is not an uncommon feature of fallen leaders, but it’s sure a shame when it happens, because it can be accompanied by a myriad of other disobediences as well.
Caleb – exactly. It’s our sincerity and motive that God’s looking at.
Turning our hearts sincerely towards God when we pray is what’s important., which Heidi certainly does. We’re not prohibited from repeating pheases or words, just from their being ’empty’. And we’re not forbidden to pray in public – look at the disciples! Just from doing it to look holy to other men – to show off. And there’s nothing against praying long prayers in public. – again it’s about the heart.
I appreciate your clear passion for Jesus, everyone who’s written here – and Diana, it’s wonderful that you write about the Lord when your life is so full.. .it’s beautiful. But I believe its necessary to read the scriptures deeply before we judge our brothers and sisters – especially those who bear so much good fruit. I’ve found for myself that I often feel I’ve understood a scripture fully but it’s possible to miss a profound part of its meaning and end up judging, and wrongly.
A blessed week ahead, all.