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Brian Tamaki’s Destiny Church is Now a Cult
Brian Tamaki the self proclaimed “Tangible Expression of God” is the leader of Destiny Church who encourages his male followers to wear his branded ring. His idea that we are all God and that Jesus was not resurrected bodily has turned Destiny into a cult. His failed prophecy that his church would rule a country and his weird rules about how he should be treated by Destiny Church members are detailed in this article.
Brian Tamaki’s Destiny Church is Now a Cult
Brian Tamaki has turned his Destiny Church into a cult by denying an essential of the Christian faith, saying the bodily resurrection of Jesus did not occur – for Christians this is a really big deal. In 2004 on national TV Cultwatch designated Destiny Church as an “emerging mind control cult”. By denying an essential of the Christian faith Cultwatch is reluctantly forced to classify Destiny Church as a cult. Read this article to review Brian Tamaki’s 2010 preaching that moved Destiny Church out of the orthodox Christian sphere. Discover in this article video of Brian’s failed prophesy to rule the country, audio of his doctrinal errors, and a picture of the ring that Brian has many of his male followers wear to show their submission to Brian Tamaki the supposed “tangible expression of God”.
Watch as Brian Tamaki fronts up to Cultwatch Director Mark Vrankovich on national TV. Click here to watch.
Update: Due to the significant reaction from Christians triggered by this Cultwatch article, Destiny Church’s Brian Tamaki is recanting his May 2010 statements on the resurrection. However, he has not changed his other unorthodox view (detailed below). Read this article, it remains as first published, except for the addition of a new section at the end detailing the reaction it has caused.
Note: We have always provided the full context of Brian’s May 2010 statements as audio in this article’s resources section.
Table of Contents
Who is Brian Tamaki?
Brian Tamaki Denies the Bodily Resurrection of Christ
Brian Tamaki Says We Are All God
Does Brian Tamaki Think he is Jesus Christ?
Brian Tamaki’s Failed Prophecy
Reaction to this Article
Who is Brian Tamaki?
Brian Tamaki is the leader and founder of Destiny Church, a group of churches located in New Zealand. He has appointed himself bishop of these churches, and has often attracted the attention of the media due to his outlandish ideas: such as prophesying that Destiny Church would soon be ruling New Zealand, and getting the men of his church to swear their allegiance to him by wearing wedding like rings with his name on them.
Brian Tamaki Denies the Bodily Resurrection of Christ
In May 2010 Brian Tamaki preached a sermon as part of a series called “Activating Christ Within You”. In this sermon he dropped two doctrinal bombshells, blasting Destiny Church off its orthodox foundations and landing it firmly in the realm of the cults. Brian taught in this sermon that God revealed to him that Jesus did not have a bodily resurrection, and that all Christians are actually Jesus. In the following paragraphs we’ll look in detail at what Brian said, and then compare Brian’s teachings to scripture and orthodox Christianity.
Brian obviously knew that he was breaking with orthodox Christianity when he admitted he had been softening up his congregation for a year beforehand, to get them ready to accept what was coming in this sermon. Brian said…
“This is, this is something, that you have to get by revelation because you will never be convinced enough by your natural understanding. You’ll never sustain it if you ever go back into your mind, or your flesh, you’ll give up on this or you’ll let it go, because there are too many forces and too much teaching and too much backlog of religion that will cause you to go back. You will doubt it. So revelation has to hold this. Hence, I’ve been for the last year preparing you so that you could be a people who could receive revelation, so you could get and understand what the Bible is really saying.”
Revelation in the context of Destiny Church is what comes out of Brian Tamaki’s mouth. Brian is the mouthpiece of God in the Destiny ethos. What Brian says is what God says, what Brian says is what scripture says. Here Brian is blaming what he labels as the “backlog of religion”, which we can reasonably interpret as orthodox Christianity, for the teachings that would cause his people to doubt what he is about to tell them. And using their rational minds would cause them to doubt too. So he had to spend a year softening up his people to get them ready for his new teachings. Brian also admits later in the sermon that…
“Theologians would have great difficulty with me. A lot of reverends, pastors, vicars, bishops, and Pentecostal pastors would all curl right now, um, because they would have difficulty with this. The first thing they would do is that they would immediately move into a spirit of condescension. They, they would say, ‘you cannot say that’.”
Brian is right, Christian theologians and pastors would have great difficulty with Brian’s new teachings. But they would only disagree, according to Brian, because the have a bad spirit of “condescension”. However, there are other possible motivations: these experts may not be trying to patronize and feel superior, instead the might be saying “you cannot say that” because these people know what the Bible actually teaches and that it differs from Brian’s claimed “revelation”.
So what is one of the teachings that the Christian theologians and pastors would disagree with? Well, in Brian’s words…
“You must get out of your mind that, that Jesus Christ is now, ah, is still Jesus of Nazareth. To whom he was. But Jesus of Nazareth did not come out of the tomb. The flesh Jesus died in the tomb.”
“So, so Jesus of Nazareth had to put off his flesh body, so the Christ that was always there could now be a life giving spirit.”
So Brian Tamaki is teaching that Jesus’ body was not resurrected, that His body did not come out of the tomb, and Jesus had to put off His “flesh body” so Jesus could be spirit only. Well that would be a surprise to Jesus, because after His resurrection…
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. - Luke 24:36-43
When the disciples first saw Jesus they thought it was His ghost, or spirit. But Jesus wants them to understand that He has risen physically, and so He has them touch Him. He points out that a ghost does not have flesh and bones – destroying Brian Tamaki’s teaching that Jesus’ “flesh body” and the “flesh Jesus” did not come out of the tomb. To underline further that He was not a ghost, Jesus eats fish in front of them. If Jesus had only been spirit as Brian claims, then the fish would have fallen to the floor. Obviously it did not. Jesus rose with His “flesh body”. The Bible disproves Brian’s supposedly revealed teaching.
But not only was Jesus keen to prove that He had risen physically, Jesus wanted us to know that He had risen in the same body He had when He died…
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. - John 20:19-20
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.“ - John 20:24-27
Thomas understood that the other disciples had told him that they had seen the physical Jesus, not just His spirit; that is why Thomas demanded physical proof. And Jesus delivered the physical proof that He had been resurrected with the same body He had when He died. Jesus’ body bore the same nail and spear marks He received when He died. The resurrected Jesus was body, not just spirit. And it was physically the same Jesus they had always known.
So there is no question that Brian Tamaki is wrong in teaching that the resurrection was not a bodily resurrection. But why is it so important? Well the Apostle Paul tells us…
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. - 1 Corinthians 15:17-20
And resurrection means resurrection of the body. Think about it. Jesus’ spirit was not killed on the cross, it was his body. So what was resurrected? Jesus’ physical body. Jesus came back to life. Denying Jesus’ physical resurrection is the same thing as denying the whole resurrection. Brian Tamaki is denying what the Apostle Paul tells us is an essential of the Christian faith.
Some of you reading this will be thinking that you have heard Brian’s teaching somewhere before. And you would be right. Denying Jesus’ bodily resurrection is a central teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of the most established cults. By denying the resurrection Brian Tamaki has moved camp from orthodox Christianity and is now in the camp of the cults. He is without question a “false teacher”.
But wait, unfortunately there is more, not only does Brian deny the resurrection of Christ, he also has redefined who Jesus is…
Brian Tamaki Says We Are All God
Orthodox Christian doctrine has always been that we humans are made in the image of God, but we are not God. We are finite creatures sharing some of God’s attributes like creativity and the ability to love, but we are different from God. In the same way an image of a car is not the car itself, we are an image of God but we are not God ourselves. Nor can we ever be. Christians become sons and daughters of God, but never become God. Humans have a body and their own separate spirit, both of which God created. This view is what the Bible teaches us, and is why we worship God and not ourselves.
This differs from the New Age Movement and branches of Hinduism, for example, who say we all are part of God – that is, made of the same stuff and being the same thing as God. The New Agers say that we have just forgotten that we are God, and so need to be reminded so we can start acting as God again. And it seems that Brian Tamaki has taken on this New Age view, abandoning orthodox Christianity by deciding that we are all the same thing as Jesus Christ.
Listen to these quotes from Brian, they come from the same sermon where Brian denies the bodily resurrection of Christ…
“It is, it is a fallacy, it is a false, it is a false mentality, it is very bad teaching, in the body of Christ to actually get believers to think or to feel or to believe that they are anything less than the actual same divinity and substance of spirit as God.”
“The same divinity and substance of Spirit as God”? Well that’s pretty clear. Brian Tamaki is saying that Christians are spiritually the same thing as God.
“Here is the problem because God’s Spirit is in you, that in the beginning he even blew in the nostrils of, of the first man, he had no life until he put zoe spirit life into him. God put His Spirit, His Spirit is His Spirit, it is no less just because it touches something. God’s Spirit is God’s Spirit whether it touches this pulpit, whether it touches your flesh, or whether it touches a tree, or or touches nothing. It is still spirit and it is still the very essence of what God is. In other words it cannot be less because he puts it into something else and then begins to, to give, give the endorsement that what He puts it in is actually in His image and in His likeness. What I’m trying to tell you is that there is no difference between what is in you and what is God.”
“There is no difference between what is in you and what is God”? “The very essence of what God is”? Brian Tamaki clearly states that he thinks man’s spirit is the same thing as God. Brian believes that when God created man and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7), that God actually transferred man a portion of God’s own Spirit; instead of orthodox Christianity’s view that God created a separate spirit for man. By the way, the Greek word “zoe” means life and does not refer to the Spirit of God as Brian seems to think it does.
“So the church of the first born is the church simply, put in this way, of many Christs in one Christ. It can be no other. They are many Christs of the one Christ, so they are all portions of Christ, cause Christ is in them and we are in Him, [indiscernible word], I no longer live but Christ who lives in me. So the church of the first born is simply the first beginnings of the church of many Christs who are sons of God. Which is the same revelation that God gave to Peter about seeing who Jesus of Nazareth was, he was Christ in there, and he was the son of God.”
“Many Christs in one Christ”? “They are all portions of Christ”? Christians believe we have Christ in us (2 Corinthians 13:5), but not that we are portions of Christ. A person might have a pacemaker in them, but that does not make them a portion of a pacemaker. Having a pacemaker inside you does not turn your spirit into metal, plastic, and circuitry. But Brian seems to think that having Christ in us means we are Christ. As if eating a baked-bean, and so having a baked-bean inside you, turns you into a baked-bean. He even thinks Christians are the sons of God in the same way Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 16:16).
Brian has misunderstood the concept of having Christ in us. In fact he must believe that every human has always had Christ in them since he believes God transferred a portion of His own Spirit to humans. That is, every human must have the Spirit of God in them from the moment they were created. Indeed we see that Brian does believe this…
“When you were born again you were born from above, regenerated in your spirit that was dormant. But when Christ touched it as Corinthians says He was joined to the Lord as one in spirit with Him. So your spirit and His Spirit became one. [thumping]. That’s the union that then now puts Christ in you, that Spirit that God gave you that was basically locked up because of our soulish living, and I want to tell you that this is exciting. Because Christ has always been there, He’s always been in you. It’s the activation, it’s the revelation that activates the Christ in you.”
“Because Christ has always been there, He’s always been in you.”? Really? Then what is the point of this verse…
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test? - 2 Corinthians 13:5
The test of having Christ in you does not work if we all have Christ in us by default. Because this test exists, it proves that humans must be able to be in a state where Christ is not in them. This contradicts Brian Tamaki’s assertion that we have always had Christ in us.
In fact if you look at Brian’s last quote you’ll see he not only contradicts scripture, but he contradicts himself. On one hand Brian says, “That’s the union that then now puts Christ in you” and then he says, “Because Christ has always been there, He’s always been in you.” So on one hand we need a “union” to put Christ in us, but on the other hand Christ has always been there, so Christ is to be put into somewhere where He already is? In fact these are not the only absurdities that Brian’s teaching leads us to. Here are a few more…
If every human has God’s Spirit as their spirit, that is Christ in them, and some humans decide to reject God and so end up in hell. Doesn’t that mean that God ends up in hell too?
If every human has God’s Spirit as their spirit, and then they sin. Doesn’t that mean God has sinned?
The Old Testament commonly says things like “Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Gideon“, but why would the Spirit of the Lord need to come on Gideon when the Spirit of the Lord was already in Gideon? It’s as confusing as saying that, “I got into a car I was already in”.
What about the verse that says, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.” – Hebrews 2:5-8? If man has, as Brian Tamaki claims, “the actual same divinity and substance of spirit as God”, then how could man be lower than the angels?
What is more no Christian could ever share the same divinity as God anyway, since we do not possess God’s glory, we only reflect it…
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:18
The contradictions between Brian Tamaki’s new doctrine and what scripture teaches are seemingly endless. Brian Tamaki is in error with this new home-brew doctrine of his. He makes created finite man equal to God Himself. It’s a little used word in Christianity today, but Brian Tamaki’s new teaching is nothing short of blasphemy.
But it does solve one issue about Brian Tamaki that many have wondered about, does Brian Tamaki think he is Jesus Christ? Read on to find out…
Does Brian Tamaki Think he is Jesus Christ?
People, including us at Cultwatch, have wondered over the past years if Brian Tamaki might think that he is in some way a physical manifestation of God. There have been hints, rumors, and allusions that point in that direction; but nothing concrete – perhaps until now. Read the following evidence and arguments, and decide for yourself if you think Brian Tamaki considers himself to be not just an ordinary Christian, but perhaps God incarnate on Earth…
Brian Tamaki calls himself the “Tangible Expression of God”. In our first item of evidence, the ten page Destiny Church document “Protocols & Requirements Between Spiritual Father & His Spiritual Sons” (the rule book for the men who swore their allegiance to Brian and wear his ring), it states on page 7 that the Bishop (Brian) is the “tangible expression of God”. When I (Cultwatch’s director) asked Brian Tamaki on national TV (Close Up, TV1, 29th of October 2009) if he is the “Tangible Expression of God”, Brian Tamaki confirmed that he thinks he is. Here is the excerpt from page 7 of the Destiny Church document:
Note that the designation is singular: it states that “Bishop is the tangible expression of God”, not “Bishop is a tangible expression of God”. It seems Brian is claiming to be the only one of these tangible expressions, hence making himself different from all other Christians.
Now for our next item of evidence, we have the May 2010 sermon “Activating Christ Within You” that we have just examined. Here is another quote from that sermon…
“Again in Philippian he tells the Galatians he tells the Philippians he says this, he says for me to live, is Christ, and he even says dying is gain, because he no longer saw his old life or his previous life, flesh life, but he saw Christ. In other words he wasn’t Paul any longer, he was Christ.”
Does Brian mean that Paul was acting as Christ? Which Christians believe, since we are all called to be representing Jesus as His ambassadors to the world. Or does Brian mean that Paul was Christ, as in the same thing as Christ. Paul = Christ? Well if you’ve read the section before this one you’ll know that when Brian Tamaki says, “he wasn’t Paul any longer, he was Christ”, that Brian means Paul was literally spiritually the same thing as Jesus Christ.
The next item of evidence is the way that Destiny Church treats Brian Tamaki. He gets the best food at the gatherings and everybody has to stand when he enters. Destiny members are forbidden to criticize Brian. One man reported that in a Destiny Sunday night sermon – when Brian Tamaki was not speaking – he counted, and Brian Tamaki’s name was mentioned one hundred and two times, while the name of Jesus Christ was only mentioned twice – once at the end of a prayer, the second time as part of a joke. For those who have had anything to do with Destiny Church you know that Brian Tamaki is the focal point of that church. Read these instructions from the Tauranga branch of Destiny Church to it’s men folk, who were about to pledge their allegiance to Brian Tamaki and put on his Covenant ring (eye witness testimony confirms that the actions in these instructions occurred)…
As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. Stand up, he said, I am only a man myself. - Acts10:25-26
My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? - 1 Corinthians 1:11-13
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. - Luke 22:24-27
Looking at the evidence we know these things. First, Brian Tamaki claims to be the “Tangible Expression of God”, and that is singular, there are no room for any others. Second, Brian thinks that Christians are the same thing spiritually as Jesus Christ, it therefore follows that Brian must think he is the same spiritually as Jesus, or in his words “the actual same divinity and substance of spirit as God”. Finally we see how Destiny Church members seem to almost worship Brian Tamaki, and that he is their focal point.
Given all of that, is it possible that Brian Tamaki thinks he has “activated” the Spirit of Christ more than any other Christian, and therefore is the closest thing to God on earth? The preeminent Christ? In other words the tangible expression or physical manifestation of God among us? Well, you can decide on that question yourself.
Brian Tamaki’s Failed Prophecy
There is one event Brian Tamaki would likely want to pass unnoticed. Forgotten about and lost in the mists of time. Because with this one mistake his mystique, the very foundation of his power, was obliterated. He is the Wizard of Oz caught pulling the strings behind his facade. He is Icarus plummeting to earth with melted wings. He is the emperor without clothes. Watch this video recorded during October 2003…
The countdown started in October 2003 at a Destiny Church conference. This video of the conference shows Brian on stage holding his wife’s hand. He says, “I predict, in the next five years by the time we hit our tenth anniversary, and I don’t say this lightly, but we will be ruling the nation.” His Destiny audience breaks into cheers, then a standing ovation. Brian continues, “…but I feel very strongly in my heart that the word of the Lord came to me very strong, and stronger over this weekend, that this will actually be the first nation historically in the world to be under the governance of God.” To ensure his meaning was clear, Brian’s “spiritual father” Bishop Eddie Long takes the stage. Brian Tamaki stands there as Long jabs his finger at him, “He made a declaration, that in five years you shall be ruling and reigning in this nation. That means you control the wealth; that means you control the riches; that means you control the politics; that means you control the social order; that means you are in charge!” Another standing ovation.
This video, first leaked to Cultwatch, of what Brian called a “prophetic utterance” caused a strong reaction when it first aired nationwide on TV2′s Sunday program in October 2004. The next day Brian was ridiculed around water coolers across the nation. It even inspired a Tui’s billboard, “It’s Not a Cult. Yeah Right.”.
In the weeks following the prophecy’s release to the nation mixed messages came from Destiny. Some of Brian’s followers tried to dismiss it, saying he had meant ruling the country “spiritually”. But the video, and his actions, clearly showed his intent. Remember the Destiny political party that crashed and burned in the 2005 elections with only 0.06% of the vote? That was Brian’s power play to make his prophecy reality. Brian himself reaffirmed his prediction in October 2006 on TV1′s Close Up. Reporter Robyn Janes stated, after the video of Brian’s prophesy had played again, “You predicted that by 2008 Destiny will rule the nation, you’re nowhere near there.” And Brian replied, “2008 hasn’t come yet, anything can happen and it’s not over.”
But Brian, it’s over now. The five years ended at Destiny’s tenth anniversary in October 2008, and Destiny Church does not and never did rule the nation. Brian Tamaki’s prophecy has failed – there is no question about that.
So Bishop Brian “Tangible Expression of God” Tamaki got it wrong. So what? Why does it matter?
Understand that this false prophecy has destroyed Brian Tamaki’s one claim to power. His claim that he hears from God. By allowing us undeniable empirical evidence that he doesn’t know the difference between God speaking and the machinations of his own mind, Brian has kicked himself a home goal of staggering proportions.
Destiny Church members are taught that Brian Tamaki is the head of the church and they must submit to him. Brian hears from God, and tells them what God says – effectively replacing scripture and the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. But with this failed prophecy the Destiny member has concrete reason to doubt anything that Brian pronounces as coming as revelation from the Lord. Brian might claim something he says is the Lord’s revelation, but now the Destiny member has every reason to throw up his hands and say “who knows”. Brian Tamaki has swept the very authority that he claimed out from under himself. Suddenly, their beloved emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.
What is more, surely the “Tangible Expression of God” would at least know what God was saying? This failed prophecy and Brian’s recent denial of the bodily resurrection of Christ, which he claimed was revelation, and his teaching that we are all Christ, also claimed to be revelation. Are proof that he is not a prophet or an apostle of God. False doctrine and false prophecies are not the fruit of a true prophet or apostle. Instead Brian Tamaki is nothing more than another charismatic speaker who has a confused understanding of scripture and orthodox Christianity – the history of Christianity is littered with these sorts of people, he is nothing unique, and the Bible even warns us of these types…
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. – 2 Peter 2:1-3
You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. – Deuteronomy 18:21-22
A lot has been said in the media about Destiny Church and how it extracts money from its members. We would recommend you read the Cultwatch article “How Pastors Get Rich“, and see if you think anything applies to Destiny Church and its leaders.
Destiny Church’s leader Brian Tamaki has denied the bodily resurrection of Christ, he also claims that Christians are spiritually the same thing as Christ, and his claim to be the mouthpiece of God has been refuted by his own prophecy. Destiny Church has moved itself into the realm of the cults, and needs to be treated the same way Christians treat other cults.
It might be hard for some to grasp that Brian Tamaki and his church is no longer part of orthodox Christianity, but that is the reality of the situation. We need to reach out to members of Destiny Church to encourage them to leave and join an orthodox church which follows scripture and focuses on Jesus Christ.
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. - Joshua 24:15
Those in contact with Destiny leadership need to prompt those leaders to return to scriptural beliefs. Destiny Church and it’s members should no longer be allowed to have leadership over any Christian organisations or programs, in the same way that the Jehovah’s Witnesses for example are excluded from such positions.
Most of all when Destiny Church and its leaders claim to speak for Christians, then Christians need to point out that Brian Tamaki does not represent Christianity in this country.
Stay tuned, this article will be updated with any new developments.
Reaction to this Article
The shockwaves this article caused as Christians listened to Brian’s statements about the flesh Jesus not coming out of the tomb, and his idea that we are all God, have been massive. Most Christians thought Brian was orthodox, but that changed as they listened to Brian’s own words. The pressure became so intense that Brian Tamaki was forced to backpedal on his statements about the resurrection. (However he has not yet changed his views about the human spirit actually being God’s Spirit.)
Brian Tamaki has claimed that actually, despite not mentioning it in his May 2010 sermon, all he was talking about regarding the resurrection was the fact that Jesus’ post resurrection body was improved from his pre resurrection body, the same issue we detailed in this article’s footnotes. That was all, and that he was just taken out of context.
But if that were true, why did Brian say he had been preparing his followers for a year to receive this “revelation”? Why would that be needed if it was an orthodox teaching? Also why would Brian tell his followers that Theologians would have “great difficulty” with this new revelation, and pastors and vicars would “curl” at this teaching? That also would not be required if his teaching was orthodox.
Christians listening to Brian’s own words agreed on mass that Brian was teaching that only the Spirit of Jesus came out of the tomb, and not the flesh or physical Jesus. Christians understood what Brian was saying. And so did those Christians with Masters of Divinity and Doctorates in Theology, Bible School lecturers and those like us who do Christian apologetics. Even media people like Garth George of the NZ Herald and the staff at News Talk 1ZB understood what Brian was saying. These people, like we did, listened to Brian’s May 2010 statements in context and came to the same understanding found in this article. (Remember we have always provided the full context of Brian’s statements in the Resources section below.)
We at Cultwatch are pleased to have played a part in protecting Christians from Brian Tamaki’s false teaching. But we are even more thankful that, at least on the issue of the bodily resurrection, Brian is heading back towards orthodox teaching. Our private conversations with Destiny regarding this issue were unfruitful, it is a shame that the media picking up the story seems to be what made Brian change his mind.
Read Garth George’s NZ Herald opinion piece here to get a flavor of the reaction Brian’s word’s have caused. Also check out Brian’s retraction in this NZ Herald article here. Keep checking back, we will continue updating this article with any new developments.
MP3 of Sermon. The audio quotes in this article taken from the Brian Tamaki’s May 2010 “Activating Christ Within You” series are arranged by subject and not in the sequence in which they were delivered. To listen to these quotes in their full context download this twelve minute unabridged mp3 (10.8 MB) hereBrian_Tamaki_May_2010.mp3.
PDF of Covenant Protocol Document 2009. The “Protocols & Requirements Between Spiritual Father & His Spiritual Sons” document mentioned in the “Does Brian Tamaki Think he is Jesus Christ?” section makes interesting reading. Download all 10 pages of this document in PDF format (3.4 MB) here Destiny_Cov_Protocol_2009.pdf.
1. Some may be confused to learn that Jesus’ resurrected body was the same body which was nailed to the cross. Wasn’t Jesus’ resurrected body the first of the imperishable type all will have when we are resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Corinthians 15:42)? The answer is yes, it is. But there is no contradiction since it is still the same body. Think of it this way, imagine that you own a car, and one day your car goes through a magic machine that treats it so it will never rust and never wear out. It is still the same car, it’s now just much better than it was before. In the same way our mortal bodies will put on immortality, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’” – 1 Corinthians 15:51-54. Notice that the mortal body is not replaced, but changed and clothed with immortality. You can’t clothe something if it is not there. You can’t change something if it disappears (that would be replacement). “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” – 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. See that the mortal body is not replaced, rather “it is raised…”. So while our resurrection body is far superior than it was before the resurrection, it is the same body that has been changed, not a completely new replacement body. The nail and spear marks on Jesus’ resurrected body prove this point. Of course the idea that Jesus’ body was replaced at the resurrection is not one that Brian Tamaki allows, obviously he claims that Jesus put off His body and now is only a bodiless spirit. But this footnote is for those Christians that might find confusing the comments about Jesus’ resurrection body being the same body He died with.
CW Article Version 1.0 – First Published 9th December 2010