When Phil Pringle’s ‘pneumatology’ doesn’t align with Jesus’ pneumatology. (Part 1)

A report of a survey back in 2014 revealed that more than 51% of Christians said “the Holy Spirit is a force, not a personal being”. For some reason, Christians don’t seem to connect these problematic and heretical beliefs to those they elevate in evangelicalism.

Unfortunately Christians who think biblical critique of popular ‘churches’ does more damage than good, fail to realize that the ‘critics’ of these movements are not the enemy but rather true defenders of God’s Word.

These same discerning critics are not the enemy of the church – it’s the popular movements like Hillsong and C3 who are.

It’s not the critics attacking the person of the Holy Spirit, it’s heretics like Brian Houston of Hillsong and Phil Pringle of C3 who constantly denigrate God the Holy Spirit.


At Hillsong Conference, Ps Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio accessed footage of Brian Houston talking to a panel of pastors (most ‘Apostles’ of Hillsong’s NAR network). Brian addressed the topic of the Holy Spirit with his ‘Holy Spirit people’ friends:

“Look we’re all pastors, or heavily involved in church life. And we all believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And it’s 2017, so our churches, we want to be relatable and contemporary, and yet we don’t want to lose our distinctive.
Our distinctive is, that we are Holy Spirit people.”

Holy Spirit people? For men who are so-called “Holy Spirit people,” they clearly show no regard for the Holy Spirit when they twist His Word to manipulate people or financially gain from them. If their distinctive is, “that we are Holy Spirit people, who want to be relatable and contemporary,” then they have no excuse for allowing Austin Powers (Clarke), Mr Sparkles (Houston), Mr Presents (Pringle) or Naked Cowboys (Houston) to be allowed to perform on stages, falsely prophesy (Pringle) break the law (Houston/Pringle) or endorse convicted criminals like Kong Hee in ministry (Pringle/Houston/Tracey). In spite of this, Houston praised his close friend Phil Pringle as a “Man of the Spirit”.

Chris Rosebrough asked the question:

Who are you going to believe? Are you going to believe Jesus?
Or are you going to believe Phil Pringle?

Brian Houston has no excuse for placing such a title on Phil Pringle when Pringle clearly has no problem promoting God the Holy Spirit as an ‘it’ or even a force. Pringle in the past has been documented in saying the following:

“The stuff of God can actually live in your clothes. It can get in the carpet, it can get in your hair. The stuff of God, the anointing. This stuff can get into your body and heal it. This stuff can get into your bank account. Praise God, now we’re talking amen. I need some of that in my bank account. It’s imparted through the laying on of hands. It’s inside your body, when you lay hands on people it travels.” [Source]

This is a form of heresy known as monism. And Pringle makes it clear that in his view, the Holy Spirit (aka the ‘Anointing’) is nothing more than an ‘it’ that helps us get what we want. For instance, Ps. Rosebrough reviewed Pringle earlier this year talking about the Holy Spirit. Notice what Phil Pringle calls the third person of the trinity (emphasis ours):

“Pour indicates that the Spirit is like a fluid. It’s like a liquid. It’s like water. Oil. It can be poured. It is poured out on all flesh and your sons and daughters will prophesy… And so you’ve entered into a spiritual world, a supernatural world, where gifts and qualities and parts of your life that were previously dormant, but latent, ready to be awakened, are quickened and activated as soon as the Holy Spirit comes upon you…”

This is demonic. The person of God the Holy Spirit is reduced nothing more to an activating power that awakens dormant “gifts and qualities and parts of [one’s] life,” a power that once activated, can only be used in a positive way (see transcript below). However, Jesus said the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is going to convict the world of sin. Phil Pringle, with his false understanding of pneumatology, insists if “you feel guilty, and fearful of Him” or “feel bad about your life” that this is not God. Pringle insists we need to force ourselves to think: “That’s not God making me think that. You hear voices that are trying to put you down, whether it’s inside or outside, that’s not God.”

Chris Rosebrough of PirateChristian.com

Ps. Rosebrough exposes Pringle’s ‘strawman argument’ as well as revealing just how dangerous Pringle is with the Word of God:

“When [the Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” John 16:8 

Which brings us to pneumatology. The word ‘pneumatology’ comes from two Greek words which mean ‘wind, air, spirit’ and ‘word’ – combining to mean ‘the study of the Holy Spirit’. Pneumatology is the study of God the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. It answers numerous important questions about the Holy Spirit.

    “And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep…”
2 Peter 2:3  

Phil Pringle, along with Brain Houston, rely on their own creativity with their ‘sermons’ – and because of this the global body of Christ needs to be warned. We thank God that the faithful pastors and evangelists like Chris Rosebrough are defending Christ’s church against such movements who are openly abusing God Word and ignoring those who question the real ‘agenda’ behind their rise to global power within Christianity.


Demonic Time Warps?



00:08:29 Jennifer LeClaire Takes Authority Over Time Warps
00:19:52 Katherine Rounala Has Favor With the Catholics
00:40:56 Phil Pringle We Are Holy Spirit People
01:17:45 Sermon Review: You’re Not Dangerous Until You’re Dead by Tommy Tenney

Source: Chris Rosebrough, Demonic Time Warps?, PirateChristian.com, http://www.piratechristian.com/fightingforthefaith/2017/9/demonic-time-warps, Published 06/09/2017.

Here are some relevant quotes from the above review that we think will benefit our readers.



Brian Houston: “…”Look we’re all pastors, or heavily involved in church life. And we all believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And it’s 2017, so our churches, we want to be relatable and contemporary, and yet we don’t want to lose our distinctive.
Our distinctive is, that we are Holy Spirit people.”

Chris Rosebrough: “So your churches distinctive is that you are Holy Spirit people? Ah Ha.”

Brian Houston: “So I reckon we should just have a conversation… and I’ll start with you Phil, because you’ve always been a man of the Spirit. So right now, if you just want to take a moment and talk about how you see the Holy Spirit, and how you see the Holy Spirit working in your movement C3…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Do you see the Holy Spirit working in your, quote on quote, ‘movement’? The church is an institution, it’s not a movement.”


Phil Pringle: “…the question to know the Person is so important, much more important than trying to just see power and signs and wonders. Because that Person has been sent in the place of Jesus. Not to replace Jesus, but He’s gone and He said, ‘I’m going to send you and now they’re just like me.’

And If we reject Him, we are cutting ourselves off from the life of the New Testament. In the New Testament they didn’t have a New Testament. They only had the Holy Spirit, and a bunch of guys who had been with Jesus.”

Chris Rosebrough: “Ah, yeah, boy that’s an interesting false dichotomy. Now you’re going to note here, the New Testament, the project of writing it down began very, very early, after the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. But what did they have? They had Apostles, these were men sent as emissaries, that’s what an Apostle is, they were sent by Christ.  And Jesus said to them, ‘the one who hears you, hears Me.’ And what was the doctrine that the Apostles taught? Answer, what they taught in person, is what got recorded in the New Testament. Boy this is slick.”

(51:12- 1:14:00 second sound bite)

Phil Pringle: “Life in the Spirit. We’re talking about no turning back. Once you’ve been baptised in the Spirit, you’ve entered a dimension to which there is little turning back. Because suddenly you’ve moved from…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Is that like a dimension like the twilight zone?”

Phil Pringle: “…having no power in your life, to having a power in your life. So I’m going to start in Joel 2:28, which is a prophecy from the Old Testament which says, ‘Any who shall come to pass afterward, that I shall pour out My Spirit on all flesh.

Pour indicates that the Spirit is like a fluid. It’s like a liquid. It’s like water. Oil. It can be poured. It is poured out on all flesh and your sons and daughters will prophesy… And so you’ve entered into a spiritual world, a supernatural world, where gifts and qualities and parts of your life that were previously dormant, but latent, ready to be awakened, are quickened and activated as soon as the Holy Spirit comes upon you…”

Chris Rosebrough: “What are you talking about? What text are you exegeting? That’s not what Joel says.”

Phil Pringle: “All these doors inside you, open up, and a spiritual nature is awakened. And that spiritual nature can see, can hear things in the spiritual world that are not in the natural world.”

Chris Rosebrough: “What? Um wow, that’s not what Joel was prophesying.”

Phil Pringle: “…and this is the Holy Spirit. So when people get nervous, about wow I’m not sure about that supernatural world. Jesus said, ‘look, if you ask your Father for an egg, will He give you a serpent?

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, He wasn’t ha ha ha, He wasn’t talking about the ability to see into a supernatural dimension. He was actually talking about our physical needs. Unbelievable, wow.”

Phil Pringle: “And if you ask Him for something good, will He give you something bad? And then He says, ‘those who ask for the Holy Spirit, will get the Holy Spirit.’ You’re not going to find yourself in the grip of anything sinister or dark or evil.

And so, God says, ‘In the last days I’m going to pour out My Spirit.’ And there is a hunger on the inside of people everywhere for supernatural stuff. Sometimes the church is more nervous about it than people generally in our world. I mean every second movie is like a Harry Potter thing. You know shooting demons out of the sky… You know there’s all these weird Ghost Busters… there’s like an acceptance, that there’s a world out there, and you and I have a deep ache and hunger for connection with God in a spiritual manner, and we can have that. We are born for that…

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, again the set up here literally already taken everything off the tracks…. Opening up something to a spiritual dimension, that is not what it means to have the Holy Spirit.”

Phil Pringle: “…destined for that kind of life. Right from the beginning, the Holy Spirit was involved in the creation of everything there is, of the entire universe. It says, ‘There was darkness on the face of the earth, even the Holy Spirit was hovering on the darkness.’ There are so many people who are in deep darkness, and I’m being serious when I say this, they are in very dark places in their mind. Very negative places in their mind. Very negative places on the inside of their heart.

The Holy Spirit is just over those people, just waiting for somebody to just speak life into them. And He can take that word and energize it, and make it live on the inside of…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Take that word and energize it? What are you talking about? This sounds more like the New Age, than Biblical Christianity.”

Phil Pringle: “….people’s darkness, and give them a light on the inside. All through the Bible, every single person, who did anything amazing for God, first they were filled with the Holy Spirit, first the Spirit of God came upon them. And so you cannot achieve what God wants you to do, with your natural strength. You need to have a power from God Himself.”

Chris Rosebrough: “So notice, he’s already teaching doctrine, but he’s not teaching doctrines according to a Biblical text. He’s just making these assertions. This is not how sound Biblical doctrine is taught. He needs to be opening up Biblical texts, and demonstrating that this is what God’s word says, and means in context. He’s not doing that.”

Phil Pringle: “To do the thing that He is asking you to do. When we try to do what God is asking us to do with our own power, we’ll burn out. It can’t be done. Even when we…”

Chris Rosebrough: “What is God asking us to do?  He says, ‘Make disciples of all nations, baptising, teaching all that I have commanded.’ What are you talking about?”

Phil Pringle: “…set up rules and regulations and boundaries for our life, I believe in all those, I don’t think we should throw them away. But to keep ourselves in a life of discipline, a life of walking with Christ. As [name] said before, ‘Even in the realm of being a generous person, it takes a work of the Holy Spirit on the inside of our lives to make it all happen.’

When you need confidence, and boldness in life… how about getting filled with the Holy Ghost? Cause every time, the disciples were filled with the Spirit, it says, ‘they were full of boldness’. They became bold, and when you get bold, you’ve hit the jackpot in life. When you’re bold, nothing’s going to stop you from moving….”

Chris Rosebrough: “When you get bold, you hit the jackpot. What is he talking about?”

Phil Pringle: “…forward and making things happen in this life. Once you get a boldness from God on the inside, you’re invincible, you’re unstoppable, you’ll find you’re blasting through areas, which previously intimidated you, which gave you fear.

2 Timothy 1:7, says, ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear. But of power and of love and of a sound mind.’”

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, let’s take a look at 2 Timothy. I mean, might as well, he thinks it’s like some big, profound moment there in this sermon.

2 Timothy, Chapter 1, ‘Paul an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.’

You’re going to note here, that this is referencing a gift of the Holy Spirit. All Christians have gifts, so he is saying to fan that gift into flame. (2 Tim 1:8) ‘Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher’…

You will notice that the emphasis is on Christ and the gospel, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Phil Pringle, putting the emphases on the wrong ‘syllable’. We continue.”

Phil Pringle: (Encourages audience to clap) “Please, why does it say, ‘God has not given to us a spirit of fear’? Why does the apostle have to say that to the little Timothy guy, who has taken over the 60,000 Ephesian Church? Why does the Bible have to say, ‘God has not given to you a spirit of fear?’

I’ll tell you why, because so many expressions of religion, and even Christianity, that will try and tell you that God is here to make you feel guilty, and fearful of Him. That you live in some kind of nervousness about whether God has accepted you, and that you have to confess sins all the time, and beat yourself up, and inwardly punish yourself like psychological…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Now this is what we call a ‘strawman’. Now something he said is actually true. A lot of it he said, is false.

Let’s take a look at 1 John, ‘Now Christianity does require a pastor to preach both law and gospel.’

And when we hear God’s law, it tells us what we ought to do, what God wills for us to do, and what we’re not doing. It does convict us of our sin. And confessing our sins, is a daily practice in Christianity. How do I know? Well, the Lord taught us to pray these words:

‘Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread.’

Yeah, that’s right! Only praying for ‘daily bread’, which requires us to pray this how often? Daily, yeah we’re not asking for a weeks’ worth of groceries, we’re asking for ‘daily’ bread. And then we say these words also, ‘And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ Yep, so there is a sense we are to confess our sins. This is kind of fleshed out with a little bit more detail.

1 John, Chapter 1, where it says this, verse 8, ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have no sin, we make God to by a liar and His word is not in us.’

So you’ll note here, that confessing our sins and our need to be forgiven, and believing and trusting that we are accepted for the sake of Christ, is well, it’s part of Christianity. John was writing to Christians. Jesus taught Christians to pray every day for ‘forgive us our trespasses’. And when we read God’s word and when we hear the law, it’s going to convict us of our sins, that’s what the law does. That’s its second use, its primary use is to convict us of our sins. It’s not its only use, but it is its primary use.”

Phil Pringle: “…and feel bad about your life and somehow you think that that makes God happy. You couldn’t be more wrong…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, again, this is a strawman argument.”

Phil Pringle: “…and if you’ve come from a heritage that tells you that, you’ve got to dump that, take it to the dump, it is a deception. That is why Paul says, ‘God has not given you a spirit of fear, and of guilt, and of damnation, and of condemnation…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, if you’re going to talk about now the gospel. But see the context in which Paul wrote that to Timothy was in the use and exercise of the spiritual gift he had received.”

Phil Pringle: “…has not given you that spirit. He has not given you that feeling of shame. He has not given you that feeling of guilt. He has not given you that feeling of intimidation and of fear. But God has given…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah that’s weird because, well, Jesus himself, talking about the Holy Spirit said that, ‘when the Holy Spirit comes He would’, quote, ‘convict the world of sin and unbelief.’ That’s exactly what He said. In fact He said this in the gospel of John, Chapter 16. I’ll start at verse 7, listen to these words, ‘Nevertheless I tell you it is to your advantage I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you, and when He comes,’ listen to this, ‘He will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment, concerning sin because they do not believe in me. Concerning righteousness because I go to the Father and you will see me no longer. Concerning judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.’

Yeah, so Jesus says that one of the primary tasks, works of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of our sin, and our unbelief. Huh, you will note here that Phil Pringle’s nematology, does not actually agree with Jesus’ nematology, and what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do. That is a big problem.

Phil Pringle: “…Spirt of power, and love, and a sound mind. When you think you’re going crazy, you’ve got to say, that’s not God. That’s not God making me think that. You hear voices that are trying to put you down, whether it’s inside or outside, that’s not God. And you have got to be discerning and fight the fight against those things that would try and intimidate you…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Wow. So Jesus said, ‘the Holy Spirit is going to convict the world of sin.’ So if you’re feeling convicted, Phil Pringle just said that that’s not God so don’t listen to it. Now my questions is, who you going to believe? Are you going to believe Jesus or are you going to believe Phil Pringle? I can tell you who I’m going with, I’m going to go with Jesus, I think He knows what He is talking about.”

Phil Pringle: “…humiliate you, make you feel shame and say, that is not God, God has not given me that. That is from the other guy, I resist that. Because this is the thing, these feelings come with scripture sometimes. Don’t think the devil can’t quote scripture, he came to Jesus quoting scriptures, ‘cast yourself off the temple for it is written, if you cast yourself down, He will take care of you.’ There’s all kind of scriptures that can be misused to create fear in you, or to create guilt in you. But that’s why you need to know, it is not God who has given you that spirit of fear.

Then He comes into your life, not to give you fear but to encourage you. God is the great encourager. He’s in the grandstand, shouting while you’re running, He’s saying, ‘come on son, come on.’ If you listen you’ll hear a huge crowd, ‘come on, you can make it.’ There’s Moses and Daniel, there’s all of these guys up there… but the loudest voice of them all is Jesus Christ, He’s saying, ‘Yes I’m with you, you’re going to make it, you’re going to get through.’ And the Holy Spirit on earth is the great encourager, putting inside your heart, ‘you can make it.”

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, notice he’s not actually reading a single Biblical text. And he literally just told the people there at C3, that sometimes they’re going to feel convicted of their sin, and feel guilt while reading the scriptures, but just be assured that’s not God the Holy Spirit speaking in those times. All I can say to that is, WOW! Unbelievable, I mean I’ve never heard anything quite like this before. This is unbelievable. I mean this is just a blasphemous denial of what scripture so clearly teachers. Oh wow.”

Phil Pringle: “…you can’t always hear a preacher, but if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are filled with the encourager. I’ve never met a person who is filled with the Holy Ghost who discourages people. People who are great in God, are always encouraging and boosting.

Ezekiel 36, ‘I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you. I will take out the heart of stone and flesh. I’ll give you a heart of flesh, I’ll put my spirit…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, have you read any of the Old Testament prophets? I mean one of the complaints about them, were that they gave prophecies that didn’t encourage people, but convicted them of their sin. Think of Jonah, what was his message to Nineveh? ’40 days and God’s going to destroy this place.’ Ah ha, that doesn’t sound very encouraging.”

Phil Pringle: “…within you, cause you to walk in my statutes.’ Don’t you love that? All the things that God requires of you, are in the power of the spirit, casing you to walk in the statutes. This power comes in you, so you can love people that you hate. You’re going to rejoice when you feel depressed. You’re going to be able to speak good, when you want to speak bad. Cause there’s a power that’s overwhelming your natural forces…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, that’s not what these texts say. Wow.”

Phil Pringle: “….fire. Luke 3:16, ‘Jesus will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’ When we lived at Eleonora, there were fires up in Terry Hills, and the police were going around the streets saying to evacuate, evacuate, get out of the town. And everyone was meant to leave, but you know there were traffic jams up at Terry Hills, cause so many people drove up to see the fire. As soon as they knew there was a fire, ‘let’s go look at it.’

Fire attracts people. Even when it seems like its dangerous people are just drawn to fire. If you’re a preacher and nobodies coming to listen to you, set yourself on fire. Let’s get on fire, get enthusiastic. You cannot think that being boring is representing Jesus, anyway at all. Everybody wanted to be around Him because He was on fire. It’s beautiful being around…”

Chris Rosebrough: “This is so bizarre.”

Phil Pringle: “…something warm, something that gives light, something that’s heat, something that’s got passion. And when you’re frozen and cold and paralysed, one of the greatest things to be around is people that are warm. People that are on fire….”

Chris Rosebrough: “Well he’s on fire, but it doesn’t sound like he has been ignited by the fires of the Holy Spirit. More like the fires of Hell. Yeah, people on fire in Hell, that’s not a good thing, just saying. Why would I say such a thing? Because he’s not actually teaching what scripture says about the Holy Spirit? So just let me ask, are you on fire enough? You need to fire yourself up more, what temperature do I need to be? Notice, this is law preaching here, and it’s like, ‘am I on fire enough, I don’t know, I better go get a match, or maybe a blowtorch, or some napalm.”

Phil Pringle: “…baptism of fire on the inside of them. When you are baptised in the Holy Spirit, you’re baptised in fire. But Jesus says, ‘hey look go and wait for the power from on high in Jerusalem.’ So there’s a point about getting this power on you, where you’ve got to go wait for it. And that’s why we have Presence Conference, that’s why you need to register tonight…”

Chris Rosebrough: “What? So I’m supposed to go to Presence Conference in order to wait for the power? What? The waiting for the Holy Spirit was not spoken to me, or to you. That was spoken to the disciples, at the time of Christ’s ascension. Oh my word!”

Phil Pringle: “…be at Presence Conference, and you know, I make no apology whatsoever for telling you to do that. In fact, I would urge you as your pastor to make every means you can to be at that meeting. And I’m just not talking about one night, or a couple of meetings. I’m talking the whole lot. These guys waited for 10 days before it turned up…”

Chris Rosebrough: “Yeah, so you need to go to Presence Conference, it’s a multi night, almost week long affair, kind of thingy. So since the disciples were told to wait for the Holy Spirit, you’ve got to do the same thing by going to Presence Conference. What a load of malarkey.”

Categories: C3 Church, Hillsong