Tommy Tenney’s Book "The God Chasers"
Editors Note: Esoteric – Intended for or understood by only a particular group.
The Charismatic "New Wave" receives one of its most descriptive promotions in this new book, The God Chasers. The gods so clearly revealed in this book are the esoteric gods of paganism and Satanism, not the true Jehovah God of Holy Scripture. This is a serious charge and must be clearly demonstrated in this review.
First, let’s establish what the idea of esoteric gods actually suggests.
Second, let’s look at what it really means to know the God of the Bible. How does our God reveal Himself and to what spiritual level can we expect to experience His wonderful presence?
Third, we will use quotes and examples in Tenney’s book to show that his god is indeed an esoteric god of deception and not the God of Biblical revelation.
Pagan and Esoteric Gods
Since the day of Babylon and Nimrod, there has been a pantheon of gods that Satan has used to intrigue the hearts of men. Individuals, who actually believed that these gods were the true gods, have often worshipped these gods. Many magical and paranormal events have attested to their powers. The false deities worshipped in Egypt had given powers to the magicians and wise men so much that these false worshippers duplicated many of the miracles performed by Moses and Aaron.
The Book of Acts reveals the story of Simon, who had "used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria giving out that he was some great one." The Scripture said, concerning the people he deceived, "And to him they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, this man is the great power of God." (Acts 8:9-10). Sorcery and witchcraft has always been the chief sources of power used by false gods to attest of their genuineness. These powers are very similar to the real supernatural works of the true God. The Bible calls these powers "lying wonders." "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." (II Thessalonians 2:9).
Satan is delighted to give "lying wonders" all dressed up like a god-appearance. Apparitions of the falsely identified Virgin Mary have reached epidemic proportions all across our world. Charismatic "New Wave" leaders and publications are promoting an endless list of god-like events with many strange emotional signs. Francis Frangipane told of the image of Jesus appearing on a burrito down in Mexico. He stated that the burrito has been enshrined and is bringing forth fruit of a religious nature. "Charisma" magazine reported an image or statue of Jesus that appeared to represent the presence of God and blessed the people that gathered. The Brownsville Assembly of God placed a replica of a Jewish altar burning with fire in their sanctuary during the early stages of what is called the "Pensacola Revival." Hundreds of ministers and wives cast their "written request or burden" into this altar, while claiming a visitation of God’s Spirit in the process.
These events are esoteric in nature and represent the presence of false gods performing "lying wonders." Esoteric means secret or events of an occult nature meant for the select few, those to whom Satan or his angels would manifest themselves. At any time in human history, especially at this end time of Antichrist preparation, that men have departed from truth in their search for God, Satan has obliged to imitate the true God and manifest his imitation gods. The scale in which this is occurring right now probably surpasses anything ever seen in our world.
Please remember the story of the golden calf that Aaron made while Moses was caught up in a cloud of glory with God. Moses was having communion with the God of eternal revelation, while the false gods of Satan were manifesting their strange powers to Aaron and the Children of Israel. It is almost unbelievable that the two events could be happening simultaneously and happening within walking distance of each other. What could Aaron have done to open all of Israel to this incredible deception? Only one thing was necessary, he sought a demonstration of God apart from the plain instructions of truth. At any time that God is invited, pursued, or even desired by people who have rejected truth or the infallible Scripture, Satan is ready and waiting to manifest.
Knowing the God of the Holy Bible
The true God of Biblical revelation is knowable, but He will not manifest Himself to satisfy human curiosity as the devil and his demons manifest themselves. If you have a superstitious incantation for God, the god you discover will fit your superstition. Satan will see to that. If you are not satisfied to know the God of Revelation and eternal truth and seek a God beyond revelation, then Satan or one of his principle angels will manifest a god that fits your strange desire. These strange gods will use all the right names and say all the right things within a range of false deception, and you will be arrogantly certain that you are worshipping the eternal God. Most likely, you will never know the truth until Judgment Day.
But, let’s learn the manner in which the God of Holy Truth seeks to reveal Himself. He will not be put on display, but those who accept His revelation and His redeeming grace will know him. When Moses was determined to see God’s face, the Father flatly refused, but He invited Him to the "Rock." The Scripture says the following, "And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen." (Exodus 33:17-23).
The Father said to Moses, "I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee." Then, He said, "There is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock." The Father promised that, while he stood on that "Rock," He would put him "in a clift (cleft) of the rock" and from that cleft he would see the reflection of the Father Himself. That "Rock" was declared by Paul to be none other than the "Lord Jesus Christ." Our vision of the Father will be limited to our relationship with Jesus Christ until this earthly sojourn is completed. To try to move beyond that revelation is insanity and just the opening Satan seeks in your life.
In this life, God has ordained that our knowledge of Him be complete in Christ and Christ alone. Apostle Paul stated this clearly, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:1-3).
There is completeness in the revelation of Jesus from which the human soul can find perfect satisfaction. To suggest that we need more is to expose our failure of full surrender to Him. When He is Lord of all, He is full and complete to the very inner sanctuary of our being. Hallelujah, a thousand times!
There is a human sense in which this experience of Him is still incomplete. The Apostle Paul stated this in I Corinthians, "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12).
This incompleteness reflects our limited flesh, which we will be free of at the Resurrection. This is described perfectly in the letter to Rome, called "The Epistle of Paul to the Romans." Listen carefully. "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Romans 8:23-25). We enjoy our spiritual revelation, while we wait for our physical immortality.
It can always be identified as Satan when there is an offer to reveal God’s fullness, while still locked in this flesh. This has been a subtle method of Satan through the ages. No wonder we are told faithfully in Scripture that our flesh cannot please God. The flesh is never satisfied with spiritual revelations. We must mortify the flesh and walk after the Spirit. This Charismatic "New Wave" is steeped in "flesh life," while simultaneously pursuing an emotionally baptized experience, called "manifest presence" of God. It’s one of the biggest religious lies of church history.
Tenney’s God: Pagan Gods from the Pit
The God Chasers is one of the subtlest expressions of this dark fact as outlined above. It sounds so spiritual to talk about chasing after God. The Scripture quotes are great expressions of truth and the men Tenney quotes are some of our past greats, but his entire thrust is false. To contend with a book of this nature is like calling a pretty woman ugly. It seems so valid to call forth men to search after God. It is indeed the great need of this hour.
Why, then, must we expose this horribly deceptive book? Author Tenney sets his own agenda in the introduction. We could simply stop with the understanding of his introduction and wise Christians would fully understand. The first thing he does is to eliminate the Bible as the criteria in determining the "New Wave" experience he is promoting. Listen to several statements he begins with. "God chasers have a lot in common. Primarily, they are not interested in camping out on some dusty truth known to every one. They are after the fresh presence of the Almighty." (The God Chasers, Tommy Tenney, Introduction.) "The difference between the truth of God and revelation is very simple. Truth is where God’s been. Revelation is where God is. Truth is God’s tracks. It’s His trail, His path, but it leads to what? It leads to Him. Perhaps the masses of people are happy to know where God’s been, but true God chasers are not content just to study God’s trail." (Ibid.) "Unfortunately, the Church today spends countless hours and much energy debating where God has been, how heavy He was when He was there, and even His gender. To true God chasers, all these things are immaterial." (Ibid.) "A true God chaser is not happy with just past truth; he must have present truth. God chasers don’t want to just study from the moldy pages of what God has done; they’re anxious to see what God is doing." (Ibid.)
Tenney has eliminated the only path to God for today’s believer. The Bible is God’s revelation and it is in these revelations that we meet the true God. Our God does not walk where the Word of God has ended. What He is doing right now is fully fulfilling all that He has given in the completed revelations of truth. Tenney says, "Truth is where God’s been. Revelation is where God is." To Biblically limited people, that may sound very wise and right, but it is utter deception. Truth is where God has been all right, but truth is also where God is and He never steps outside of truth.
The fair statement above must be clearly seen as expressed by this author. To speak of the Bible as "dusty truth" or "moldy pages" is blasphemous. This is typical of the attack being leveled against those who are discerning this false anointing by the infallible Scripture. The Charismatic "New Wave" must destroy the church’s commitment to nothing but truth if they are going to succeed in spreading their new revelations and false signs. Mr. Tenney even suggested that these "God Chasers" do not care about the debate concerning whether God is male or female (third statement above). There is no idea from hell more apparent than to begin to promote the New Age thought of the Father/Mother god concept.
Please remember how Aaron led Israel to build a golden calf and conduct a pagan ceremony within hearing distance of the Mount of God. He simply left the plain revelations of truth that he had received from God and his brother, Moses. It is only one step between worshipping and chasing the true God to worshipping and chasing a pagan God. That step is to move outside truth and dare to believe that our God "is doing a new thing." Revelation cannot ever, for even one moment, be removed and separated from truth. The entire basis of Tommy Tenney’s book is in the idea of dividing truth and revelation. It is a satanic lie.
The first chapter tells of an experience in a Houston, Texas, church. For three weeks they had been searching for what I think they perceived as God. Remember, as you read what happened that the moment you accept a "revelation of God" apart from the Bible (God’s absolute truth), you open yourself to a visitation from a spirit posing as God. Here is his description, "Then he closed his Bible, gripped the edges of the pulpit with trembling hands, and said, ‘The word of the Lord to us is to stop seeking His benefits and seek Him. We are not to seek His hands any longer, but seek His face.’ In that instant, I heard what sounded like a thunderclap echo through the building, and the pastor was literally picked up and thrown backward about ten feet, effectively separating him from the pulpit. When he went backward, the pulpit fell forward. The beautiful flower arrangement positioned in front of it fell to the ground, but by the time the pulpit hit the ground, it was already in two pieces. It had split into two pieces almost as if lightning had hit it! At that instant the tangible terror of the presence of God filled that room." (Ibid., p. 7.)
He said that "tangible terror" filled the room. The pastor was knocked about ten feet backwards. The pulpit was split apart. An article about this event that was written for the web described the incredible amount of power necessary to split the acrylic pulpit. It was a clear event of great emotional, paranormal powers. The one basic problem is that nothing that tangibly happened is Biblical or in any way connected to the revelation of truth in Scripture. It could more readily be compared to God’s judgment when Nadab and Abihu offered "strange fire" on God’s altar in Leviticus chapter ten.
The leaders of this church had apparently accepted the idea that they could chase God in some revelation above and apart from the plain truth. As they pursued Him on this basis, a false spirit manifested and put on a display of esoteric and occultic proportions. This type of "New Wave" church is into visualization techniques, banner-led prayer meetings, choreographed dancing, and a multitude list of New Age ideas. It’s no wonder that they are experiencing paranormal events.
The next idea of Tenney that we will discuss is his separation of God’s "anointing" and His "manifest presence." He speaks of this throughout the book, but gives a very vivid picture in his chapter entitled "How To Handle The Holy." Here are his words, "All I could do under the anointing was make some smoke on the wrong side of the veil when what we really longed to do was slip underneath and behold His glory behind the veil. I’m thankful for the anointing, but now I know that God has even more for us – Himself. I struggled and worked at the ministry for decades, but now I’ve discovered that when the weighty presence of God comes in, everything I can do pales in comparison. When God comes on the scene in His manifested presence, everything – sinners and saints, rich and poor, wise and foolish, young and old alike – everything falls down in awe of His glory. We must move from asking for anointing to pursuing His manifest presence, the glory. Anointing empowers the flesh – you preach or sing better. ‘Glory’ flattens flesh! Go for the glory!" (Ibid., p. 88.)
Again, this idea seems to put a difference between truths as we are taught about the anointing of the Holy Ghost and new revelations that operate apart from the Bible. The premise is completely unbiblical. The anointing of God is clearly the endowment of the Spirit of God and it is always intimately related to the truth we are anointed to minister. The suggestion that God is moving in a realm bigger than this anointing is certainly an unbiblical suggestion. This idea is right out of the "Latter Reign" or "Manifest Sons of God" deception. Mr. Tenney does not use those exact terms because it would identify the source of his deception.
Let me share one last idea of this spurious book. This author presents an idea in his chapter on "He’s Done It Before; He Can Do It Again." It reveals his involvement in the false warfare praying movement. This idea involves "binding principalities over specific cities" and "conducting New Age prayer vigils." He made a statement in his first chapter concerning the church in Houston, where "lightning struck the pulpit." He said that before the event that "collective hunger was crying for a corporate visitation." (Ibid., p. 4.) That idea comes directly out of the worst of New Age gurus. It is a part of the "warfare praying" movement and gives you a further picture of the prevailing mood in the Houston church. Tenney stated, "Pastors and congregations who have put down roots in a city or region have a ‘legal right’ under God to claim their cities for the King by ‘staking’ out the territory. In the past, too many of us have been content to keep our faith contained within the four walls of our meeting halls and church buildings. Now God is calling us to extend our faith beyond to the boundaries of our cities and nation. In effect, we are literally expanding the ‘walls’ of our spiritual churches when we stake out our cities. It forces us to see ourselves as ‘the Church’ in the city, one people under God comprised of many congregations according to the first century pattern of the ‘city-church’." (Ibid., p. 103.)
This kind of "warfare praying," coupled with the false idea of ‘city-church’ (forged unity between New Wave churches), is actually creating a demonic presence in these cities. Those involved are arrogant, pushy and unteachable. Not one ounce of spirit and victory has resulted in the cities where this kind of idea has been promoted. These areas are rather centers of paranormal and demonic invasions by the very churches involved.
False spirits representing themselves as "god" are clearly manifesting throughout the world. It is Satan’s last-ditch effort to prepare to be the god of this world. Anyone that wants to encounter God, but refuses the authority of God in His Bible may soon meet a god of his or her own liking. Whether it is in the "Sophia" worship of the mainline churches, the user-friendly god of the evangelical (Willow Creek), or the Charismatic gods of the "New Wave," something paranormal is occurring worldwide.
No one is safe, unless they are hid in the "Word of God." It alone is a safe haven. "Angels of light" are visiting rank sinners, who have no thought of God. In fact, angels (mostly feminine) are clearly on the cutting edge of interest and acceptance. Whether it is a strange revelation in a church, an angel’s visit, or some emotional fantasy; everything must be judged by "truth." The Holy Bible is a supernatural book, where the Lord reveals Himself to all that seek no other source. He will not be found in a new revelation or a strange emotional event. His Word is forever settled in Heaven (Psalm 119:89) and He is the "Rock." From that "Rock," Jesus Christ, you will know the God of the Bible in a life-changing experience.