Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Double Portion of Your Spirit"

Two years ago, Bob Thiel left Living Church of God and started Continuing Church of God. He seems to indicate that he thinks he is a prophet, though he does not often outright say, "I am a prophet". To my knowledge, he has never been given a direct prophetic message from God to deliver to the Church, a message that can be verified by its future fulfillment. "When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him" (Deuteronomy 18:22).

He left LCG because of his disagreements with some LCG doctrines (minor doctrines, I think), and also he may have left to form Continuing Church of God because he believes he is a prophet. Whether he would have left Living Church of God to start Continuing Church of God if he did not think he was a prophet, only he can answer. Part of the reason he thinks he is a prophet seems to be that an ordained minister in LCG, Mr. Gaylyn Bonjour, anointed him for some "non-debilitating matters" (a minor physical illness or injury I would presume) and asked God to give him a double portion of His Holy Spirit. It is an unanswered question if he would have left LCG eventually over his disagreements even if Mr. Bonjour did not mention a double portion of God's Spirit. In any case, that is what has happened.

If an ordained minister anoints a man and asks God to give him a double portion of the Holy Spirit, does that make that man a prophet?

The only place a double portion of the Spirit is mentioned is in the account of Elijah passing his office, and gifts, to Elisha, and both Elijah and Elisha were prophets. Here is the account: "And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, 'Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?' Elisha said, 'Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.' So he said, 'You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.' " (2 Kings 2:9-10).

Because of this passage, and because an ordained minister asked God to give Bob Thiel a double portion of His Spirit, Dr. Thiel seems to think he has been ordained as a prophet.

But that is not the only place a "double portion" is mentioned in the Bible. That term is used for the inheritance that a firstborn son would receive from his father. "But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his" (Deuteronomy 21:17).

The phrase "double portion" can refer to inheritance or the passing on of something from one to another.

That is why Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah's spirit. He was asking that Elijah's office, miracle working power, and prophetic gifts be passed on to him, in full, as if it were an inheritance figuratively speaking passed from father to firstborn son. In the culture of the day, when all Israelites knew that the firstborn son should receive a double portion of the inheritance from his father, Elijah understood exactly what Elisha was asking. He was asking for the same gifts Elijah had, in full.

Was Elisha asking for the office of prophet? NO, absolutely not! How do I know this? God already told Elijah that Elisha would be prophet in Elijah's place. "So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' And he said, 'I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.' Then the Lord said to him: 'Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.' " (1 Kings 19:13-16).

Notice something very important in this passage. God specifically told Elijah that Elisha would be prophet in Elijah's place. From that point on, Elijah KNEW that Elisha was to be prophet. Remember that. There could be no doubt in Elijah's mind that Elisha was to be prophet in his place. God had told him.

Then, if that was all Elisha was asking, why would Elijah say, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so."?

Was Elijah doubting God's word? Did he forget what God had told him, that Elisha would be prophet after Elijah?

No. The explanation is that Elijah knew that Elisha was not asking for the office of prophet. Elisha already had that. He was asking for something else. He was asking that all the spiritual gifts and power that Elijah had as prophet, including miracle working power, be given to Elisha in full, that Elisha would not have less power or fewer gifts than Elijah had.

It is one thing to have the office of prophet. It is something else to have all the gifts of a major prophet like Elijah including the gift of working miracles. There were many prophets in the Bible who never had all the spiritual gifts that God had given to Elijah.

So in this case, a "double portion" of Elijah's spirit did not refer to the receiving of the office of prophet at all.

And right here we can notice a difference between what happened with Elijah and Elisha and what happened with Mr. Bonjour and Bob Thiel. Elisha was asking that the gifts Elijah had be given to him also. In that case, Elijah was a prophet with great miracle working gifts and Elisha would not only be prophet but would have the same miracle working gifts Elijah had. But no such passing of a gift of miracles or prophecy was possible from Gayland Bonjour to Bob Thiel because Gayland Bonjour was never a prophet nor did he have any special gift of working miracles. He had no prophetic gift to pass on, as if by inheritance symbolically. Gayland Bonjour was only a pastor.

Remember, the phrase "double portion" refers to the passing on of something from father to firstborn son, and can symbolically refer to the passing on of gifts and offices from one person to another. No such passing on could occur from Mr. Bonjour to Dr. Thiel, unless it was only the office of pastor, because Mr. Bonjour did not have anything more than the office of pastor to pass on to Dr. Thiel.

The fact is, Gayland Bonjour never had the authority to ordain anyone a prophet. I don't think it was his intention to do so. The "double portion" wording of his prayer is a reference the use of that term in the Bible, and that is a reference to inheritance, the passing on of something from one to another as from father to son, metaphorically speaking. That is how Elisha used the term with Elijah, and Elijah understood the analogy and what Elisha was asking. One could say that Gayland Bonjour did not ask that a "double portion" of his spirit be given to Bob Thiel, but that a double portion of God's Spirit be given. But that only highlights the fact that this is different from the occasion in the Bible with Elijah and Elisha. Elisha referred to the double portion as Elijah's spirit because it was the specific gifts that Elijah had - miracles and prophecies - that Elisha was asking for.

Moreover, just asking for something does not make it so.

After Elisha made his request, Elijah did not assume Elisha would receive what he asked for. Rather, Elijah knew it was God's call, yes or no, and that Elisha might not be granted his request. "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so" (2 Kings 2:10).

But afterwards, it appeared that he did receive his request, and it was verified with the sons of the prophets who saw the proof (Kings 2:11-15).

Nothing like that has happened with Bob Thiel.

Just because Gayland Bonjour asked God to give Dr. Thiel a double portion of the Holy Spirit, whatever that might mean in this case, does not mean God said, "yes".

Consider healing, which is what anointing that a pastor does is usually for. Does God always heal? Sometimes God reserves the timing to Himself and does not heal right away. But sometimes He does not heal at all. As Mr. Armstrong pointed out, there are conditions for healing.

There is a promise of healing (James 5:14-15), but I challenge you to find one promise of God in the Bible that He will make a man a prophet if a minister requests a double portion of the Holy Spirit be upon him.

Anyone can request the office of prophet, but God will only grant that office if it is His will. Making a request does not make it God's will.

No, being anointed by a minister who asks that a double portion of God's Spirit be given to the man does not make that man a prophet of God.

Moreover, even if a man makes prophetic statements that come true, that does not make him a true prophet. Even if that man is able to predict the future, he must be consistent in his teaching with God's word, and if not, he is a not a true prophet though he may be a false one (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). Christ warned of false prophets who would work signs and wonders, but would deceive many (Matthew 24:4-5, 24). He said we would know false prophets by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).

If sometime in the future Bob Thiel or some other man makes prophetic predictions that come true, we must still judge if the man is a true or false prophet based on overall fruits.

Those are the criteria for knowing a true prophet that God gives in the Bible. Not whether an ordained pastor asks God to give a man a double portion of the Holy Spirit.

To sum up, Elisha was not asking for office of prophet when he referred to a "double portion" of Elijah's spirit, otherwise Elijah would not have told him that he might not receive it. Elisha already had the office of prophet - God had already guaranteed that and Elijah knew it. He was asking for ALL the gifts, including miracle working power, that Elijah had to be given him. Moreover, just making the request did not make it so, for Elijah knew that God could say, "no". Likewise, God could say no to Gayland Bonjour's request for a double portion of God's Spirit for Bob Thiel no matter what Mr. Bonjour and Bob Thiel had in mind, just as God can say no to a request for healing or to some other request if it is not God's will to grant the request. In the matter of being made a prophet, God never promised such an office upon request or anointing anyway. Finally, the "double portion" refers symbolically to the passing on of something from one to another. Mr. Bonjour had no such prophetic office or gifts to pass on to anyone. And if the passing on of such gifts, as if by inheritance, was to be from God Himself to Bob Thiel, only God can make that call, not Mr. Bonjour.

Making a request for a double portion of God's Spirit, or making a request for the office of prophet, does not guarantee God will grant the request. It may not be His will.

The whole matter of Mr. Bonjour anointing Bob Thiel to be prophet is ridiculous anyway because Mr. Bonjour never intended to anoint Bob Thiel as prophet.

And if the anointing Dr. Thiel received from Mr. Bonjour did not make him a prophet (it did not), then on what basis does Dr. Thiel think he is a prophet? Has he received a prophetic message from God for delivery to the Church predicting some future event that can be verified? God is not the author of confusion. God knows He has commanded us to "prove all things" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). God does not expect us to accept people's claims without proof, without evidence. If God wanted us to know that Bob Thiel is a prophet, God would give us the evidence. I know of no such evidence.

And if Bob Thiel is not a prophet, why did he break away from Living Church of God to start a new fellowship over disagreements about minor doctrinal issues? Would he have left LCG anyway even if he knew he is not a prophet?

Here are links to posts in this blog that relate to this one:

"Is It Always Wrong to Use to Pagan Writings in Teaching?", dated February 1, 2014, link:

"Bob Thiel and Dreams", dated November 9, 2013, link:

"How Should We Prepare to Resist Satan's Deceptions?", dated May 5, 2013, link:

"Do Not Cause Others to Sin", dated April 28, 2013, link:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Bob Thiel, as you have pointed out, is no prophet.

God's Church is built upon a very important foundation, that includes prophets:

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave SOME, apostles; and SOME, prophets; and SOME, evangelists; and SOME, pastors and teachers;

:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

However, the word "SOME" does not occur in Ephesians 4:11, and the real word that should be used is "THE" when properly translated. Verse 11 should read as follows:

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave THE, apostles; and THE, prophets; and THE, evangelists; and THE, pastors and teachers;

We're still learning from The apostles, THE Prophets...etc.

Bob Thiel is nowhere a part of THE Prophets of Eph 4:11! We don't need a prophet Bob Thiel.

God's Church, composed of sealed Firstfruits, are built upon a very sound foundation:

Ephesians 2:20 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"

God never needed a Bob Thiel to be a part of that foundation. Bob is self-delusional...and a false prophet at the most...