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Pt.5 The change to be a Nazarite hippie and the power he exhibited that changed the church

The research to do this article was not something we sought to venture into but was necessary because of the Jesus Revolution movie. Lonnie Frisbee came to our attention back in the mid-1990s, while we were aware of some of the problems at that time, we had no idea that in the future it would be as big as it is today, and thus never ventured into finding out more at that time.

When we began our research into the Jesus Revolution Film, its producers, the life story that was based on (Greg Laurie), and Lonnie Frisbee, we did expect to find other problems associated with Lonnie Frisbee, but we didn’t expect the number of inconsistencies, discrepancies, and contradictions that we have come across as a result of our painstaking research.

In our journeying through the places, event’s, and accounts of Lonnie Frisbee, we have found that the accounts of Greg Laurie, the producers, and others who were close to Lonnie all throughout his life are extremely Flawed in light of the actual accounts and events that actually took place, both prior to and after the Jesus Revolution timeline.

Most who have written about Lonnie Frisbee firmly believe that he operated biblically, but either deny or ignore the compromised life choices and unbiblical practices all throughout most of his public popularity, even though there is an abundance of eyewitness accounts proving this to be true, also by those closest to Lonnie.

The unbiblical practices of Lonnie Frisbee didn’t just disagree with the Scriptures but were, and continue to be spiritually dangerous to those who are unaware of their danger.

A counterfeit of the genuine can have subtle differences at first, but the more it is inspected, the more flaws become apparent; that is unless you are one of those who are either unable or unwilling to see the flaws.

Lonnie states,“I labored for the next year and a half with my brothers and sisters in the Living Room ministry.” (this was located in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco) However, the timing of events in his life does not line up with his actual account of them. Several months after a pastor named David Wilkerson, who investigated and confronted the members at their Living Room outreach, for their use of drugs while telling people about Jesus; Lonnie was married (April 1968).

He then left the community to hitchhike to Orange County (Without his new wife), every month I was hitchhiking down the Coast. It was at this time that he met Chuck Smith after being picked up by his daughter’s boyfriend who brought Frisbee to Chuck’s house, because Lonnie looked and talked like a hippie, who was also claiming to be a Christian. Lonnie was about 19 years old when he showed up at Smith’s door, six weeks after his marriage.

What would possess any person (especially a Christian) to first go to get the girl he wants to marry, wait a year to marry her, and then shortly after, leave her to hitchhike down the coast of California by himself? This can’t even be explained no matter how much evangelistic fervor.

After meeting Smith, Lonnie went back up to Novato to get his newly wed wife and takes her Smith’s church, then hitchhike with her back down the almost 500 miles to Chuck Smith, Calvary chapel. But Connie loved where she was at and she told Lonnie, “I’ll make you sorry for the rest of your life if you force me to leave the ranch.” (book: Not by might nor by power)

Lonnie’s change to look like a hippie and a prophet

Did he become a hippie, or did he dress as a hippie after he became a Christian?                                                                                       





       On youtube -The Shebang Dancers dance to        Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" U.S.TV May, 1967.

Lonnie with the Novato commune 6 months later







  Lonnie at Calvary Chapel afterwards

After his experience at Tahquitz canyon Lonnie states, “so I started to immediately look around for a staff because you know all prophets have staffs, in the movies they do, ….

How does one immediately think they are a prophet?  Admittedly from the movies he's seen.

 “so I had a little taste for the flamboyant so I got a staff you know and I immediately started to grow my hair a little bit longer than it was so I grew my hair down to here I grew a long beard, … I just had a whole beard you know at a nearly age and so I, I really looked like Isaiah's grandson … I wore Saint Francis of Assisi shirts with hoods on them and wore a robe and things like that.”

It was when Lonnie came to live at Novato that he continued to grow out his hair and beard, and later began to wear a robe with bells and beads, sandals, and a staff (because he said prophets have staffs). This gave him a distinct look, as he thought an Old Testament prophet would look. But why did he immediately think of himself as a prophet?

Why did Frisbee immediately think of himself as a prophet?

Some say Lonnie changed from an evangelist to a prophet, but actually, he always saw himself as a prophet, and one having an apostolic ministry after his so-called mystical experience in the desert on LSD.

The ones who knew this about Frisbee never corrected him, and everybody else simply didn’t know what he thought about himself!

He first spoke of this when he was featured on Kathryn Kuhlman’s TV show, When she interviewed him, He said “because these are the last days, God has chosen himself some prophets” (speaking of himself). There were also other Calvary Chapel members in the audience who agreed with him in the background.

Frisbee based this on the Prophet Joel’s prophecy, that Frisbee at the time believed was currently taking place. Frisbee quoted the passage in Joel on the Kuhlman’s show (and elsewhere), in doing so he made public that he accepted the fringe Pentecostal Latter Rain viewpoint. “And so the message is that these are the last days and that Jesus Christ is returning really soon. And the prophet Joel and the prophet Peter said that in the last days, God would pour out his Spirit upon all flesh and that his sons and daughters would prophesy, and that his servants and handmaidens would speak forth the anointed word of God” (Frisbee does not continue reading the passage where it says in that day old men will dream dreams and the young men will see visions.)

Frisbee quotes the prophet Joel and the prophet Peter out of context because he applied this to the present time. While we are in the last days, this particular Scripture refers to the end of the last days when Israel is saved (as they were in Acts 2), as God pours his spirit out on the Jews first. Because of Lonnie’s limited understanding of the Bible, he did not understand that the entire passage happens in the re-established Nation of Israel during the Great Tribulation period just prior to Jesus’ second coming, but it is what Frisbee says next about himself that is also unbiblical when he states: “I had taken a Nazarite vow.”

Frisbee, “I did not trim the edges of my beard. In addition to being a hippy, I had taken a Nazarite vow, which meant I could not cut my hair, trim my beard, or drink any wine or grape products. It’s in the Old Testament.” (Not by might nor by power)

Lonnie Frisbee Project: Meet Lonnie Frisbee, a seeker turned Jesus freak evangelist who ...The Bible only records several children being dedicated by their parent[s] which was done before the birth of their child and that child would go on to live in their parent’s Nazarite vow all of their life. We see no example of anyone doing this themselves.

And unlike Frisbee, a Nazirite would end his vow by shaving his head, breaking his self-applied Nazirite vow with a sacrifice at the Temple.

In reality, this was sadly (whether intentional or unintentional) just another grandiose exercise to puff himself up and to make himself appear spiritually unique from other Christians.

 Very few people in history have said anything relating to this and taking the title of a Nazirite. One was false teacher William Branham who was the premiere Pentecostal healer while Frisbee was growing up, and Branham was also friends with another false teacher named Oral Roberts whom Lonnie was greatly influenced by, and whom Frisbee wanted to be like.

Did Frisbee see or read this about William Branham who was the premiere Pentecostal healer as he was growing up? At the time Branham along with Roberts were the most influential figures in Hyper charismatic Christianity and both also held strongly to the false Latter Rain teaching.

So if Frisbee knew of Roberts, we certainly can assume he knew of Branham, maybe seeing him on TV also. I think this is one of the steps that reinforced Lonnie to become self-deceived.

It is interesting to note, that after William Branham died Lonnie Frisbee was just about to enter into his popularity, and they both had the same unbiblical claims about themselves.

After his conversion, he goes on to explain, “ I got a deerskin to be my mantle and I painted a picture of Jesus on it and wore it like a cape. So when I would pray for people and the Spirit of God would come on `em, I'd take off my cape and throw the mantle over the top of them.”

Where did Lonnie get this idea of a mantle from, not from the Bible, but rather from modern Pentecostalism that he observed and believed in From Kuhlman’s meetings that he attended prior to Calvary Chapel and continued to attend after becoming part of Calvary Chapel. It should also be noted that shamans also wore deerskins as capes (Part of Frisbee’s knowledge and history of being part of Native American Ancestry).

The Bible does not teach mantles in the New Testament for believers, and for good reason (see part 3).

Frisbee also describes, “I read in Old Testament there was an anointing oil. that God gave a recipe for, so all right I got a big old wine bottle old one with cork in it and I got some olive oil from the Holy Land and I poured it in this wine bottle and I got a cinnamon stick and put that in there, and got a frankincense and myrrh put that in there, you know the Catholic flavor. And then I had also before I had been turned my life over to the Lord I have been reading a little Edgar Cayce and he put witch hazel and everything that he gave so I put witch hazel in it too, just for good measure and I shook it up and I aged it … I carried my bottle of anointing oil.”

All this should have been a warning to those he was speaking to in Wimber’s church, but instead they laughed along with him when he said this. Frisbee’s soft bubbly personality and storytelling were well received. The flaw in all this should be obvious, that is, if one is using biblical discernment.

He goes on to say “And I was reading about in Psalm 133 how unity is like the precious oil that came down upon the beard of Aaron even upon his skirt so I always wanted to do everything Scriptural, when I would anoint people I would anoint them real good and so when the Spirit of God started moving in the ministry and people were go under the power I take the cape up and put it over them like this to take the oil out take a clerk of my teeth like this and anoint them, and it ran down. But the Lord started straightening me out …”(Mother's Day 1980 sermon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ylugDXtStw )

Frisbee had assumed this was based on Scripture, but then he said it wasn’t because the Lord began to straighten him out. So, if it wasn’t God before he was told that it wasn’t God, exactly who or what was it that was working through him prior to being set straight? If it was not God who was exhibiting the power that had people go under the power (using the cape and oil).  Than who was it?

Exactly what was straightened out when he continued to slay people in the Spirit without the cape and oil? Whatever was being transferred by Frisbee (or any others) is not the true anointing. There are two prohibitions in the symbolic act of anointing. In Ex.30:32 it commands that the anointing oil must not touch the flesh or be imitated. It was sinful to mix the oil of one anointing in the same measure for another. The Hebrew text is mekudesh Lacha meaning set apart or sanctified specifically unto you. The Torah regards any attempt of someone to give his anointing to another as an abomination. In other words, this was not God’s anointing.

The Power Frisbee exhibited

Frisbee said, “I see my heritage among the Pentecostals…. I’m Pentecostal because I waited on God and the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit fell on me, just like he will fall on every desperate and open heart. I qualified in that department and was born again at the age of eight years old . That was my call. Even though I didn’t even begin to comprehend or understand much at the time, I just knew that something real and eternal had taken place–– that Jesus loved me and was my friend.”

He claimed that he became a Christian at 8 years old, then by his mystical experience in the canyon at 18 years old, (Not by faith in the Word or the gospel). Lonnie didn’t wait on God, but he went to meetings, he sought to get “IT.” He was more than curious, However, none of it lines up in a realistic timeline of the actual events he claims to have occurred.

He mainly says he became a Christian from his experience in the canyon, but later he says he became a Christian through those in the Novato commune.

“I started taking one-month journeys down to Southern California to preach on the beaches. I could draw a crowd of people if I just opened my mouth.” Lonnie describes his ability and shows a continual embellishment of events. He describes how things increased , “One believed, then two, then five, then ten, then there were fifty, and then there were a hundred people coming to know Jesus at every single meeting I preached in. There came a day down the road a little when thousands came to the beach at Corona del Mar to participate in mass baptisms in the ocean, catching the attention of the whole world––exactly like the vision I saw.”

Frisbee exaggerated his experience[s] relating it to the Bible. He states, “when I would begin to speak about Jesus, the atmosphere would fill with his reality. The presence of the Shekinah glory of God would accompany my words . I have to say that my ability to preach, understand the Word of God , and witness for Christ became multiplied when I got filled with his power.”

This same thing happened to him in the canyon.

Do we find anyone having such an ability spoken of in the Bible? This increased ability for understanding the Word of God was unnoticeable in his teaching. Frisbee’s Bible teaching, interpretations, and applications were mostly unbiblical. Even before his encounter in the canyon, Lonnie says of himself, “I always remembered that my words moved people to tears.”

His story becomes more convoluted as he continues to point to his spiritual experiences that exhibited personal power and authority. What is more accurate is that Lonnie in his own words never fully understood Christianity and continued his search for spiritual power to bring experiences, and taught others to do the same. As David DiSabatino observantly points out in his DVD documentary, “His thirst for experimentation did not stop.” n

Lonnie states, “I led a lot of people to the Lord before I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, but after I was baptized, I was able to lead hundreds to Christ—so it is “not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord!”

How did Lonnie lead someone else to the Lord whom he did not know himself? Remember he was believing in a Jesus that was in a UFO before he was later corrected by Ted Wise in Novato. “About 18, Frisbee admits that his doctrine was confused, affirming that it was a mixture of Christianity and Rainbow’ (‘Not by might nor by power: the Jesus Revolution’, 2012, Roger Sachs p.52.) Again, Rainbow being a local acid cult that he said he was in.

The Spirit baptism that Lonnie received

“During this season when I lived in a Christ-centered community up in Northern California, I was led to a Christian community hundreds of miles to the south that helped drug addicts and street people.”

So he was sure he was led to Novato but that was short-lived, now he is being led elsewhere. Lonnie said that at Novato, “ Bob was an “on fire,” in-yourface Christian, and I was a roaming evangelist with a purpose from the throne.”

Being in Novato Frisbee heard Bob pray in tongues. I had never in my life heard anybody speak in tongues, well, at least the way he did. I really didn’t know what speaking in tongues was all about.” He does say this of his grandmother’s church “ …around my grandmother’s church, there were people who stood up in the meetings and shouted out with shrieking glossolalia—you know, the typical Pentecostal, fanatical, shrill utterances” (Frisbee book). I bring this up to show that he does not seem to recall what he previously said. Lonnie did know what tongues were.

Lonnie being intrigued by this Bob offered to take Frisbee to Fullerton Four Square Church in Huntington Beach (at Teen Challenge) to get ‘filled with the Spirit.’ Meaning, so that he too will be able to speak in tongues like his friend Bob.

“The pastor’s name was Chuck Kruse, and he was a rockabilly Pentecostal . A visiting evangelist from Texas … I don’t even remember the man’s name.”

At this point in his story, he tells us how he received what he calls the baptism in the Spirit from this visiting Pentecostal evangelist whose name he does not remember. After preaching up a storm, the sweating evangelist slapped his hands on Lonnie’s forehead, then screamed out, ‘Whooo, Thank you Jesus.’ Frisbee states, ‘When he laid his hands on my head – heaven came down! It wasn’t a light fluffy experience. It was heavy oil – it was a heavy oil experience. The power of the Spirit started coming down through him as an instrument of ministry, and the power of God filled my whole body with about ten thousand volts of electricity .’ Underline mine

This feeling of electricity is not from God? Electricity being felt like this is described more liken to kundalini Shakti pat received from gurus, a counterfeit that we see all too often today, but this was just beginning in his day. We see this emphasized by nearly all the Latter Rain revivalists of today, whose doctrine on the Holy Spirit gives them the ability to impart from them to others, and the Holy Spirit is spoken as and treated as an ‘it.’ The Holy Spirit is a person, (The third person of the Godhead, the eternal Triune Nature of the Almighty God. He is not to be disrespectfully diminished to an ‘it.’ All being unbiblical, his description is not aligned with Scripture.

Furthermore, to not remember this man’s name is absurd, all we are told is that he was from Texas. This evasive description of not knowing the person who had this much influence on his life is absurd. Especially when Frisbee says, “ It was beyond anything I had ever experienced.”

This actually shows that Frisbee pursued an experience and went completely on his feelings to receive a ‘false anointing.’

The After baptism affect

Lonnie says, during the Calvary revival in 1971, everything was going well for the ministry. “Everyday there were miracles.” He describes the miracles as “Sometimes the power of God would descend on everyone, and all of the kids would fall on the ground under the power of the Holy Spirit.” He asks, “How can anyone orchestrate something like that? It was incredible and very supernatural.”

At School he spoke at “… The bell would ring, and the kids would still be lying under the power of the Holy Spirit all over the floor everywhere! It was mind-blowing to see that kind of raw power fall on the students. No way could I or any other human orchestrate that kind of scenario.” underline mine

Actually, there is another explanation, it can certainly happen through the power of suggestion or occult powers,  new age mysticism that he was involved with, and not just his being familiar with Hypnotic techniques, for he also continued to call himself 'a Mystic.'

But this taking place does not affirm the source is from God, especially when one does not see it as a practice in the church anywhere, all spiritual experiences of power must be tested.

The primary test if something is of God, is if it’s already in the Bible, all spiritual experiences of power must be tested by the Word of God.

Just because Frisbee said that it is “the manifest presence of God!”or“Just ask the people what they experienced.” That doesn’t mean it’s of God.

What anybody experiences in the name of Christianity must be double-checked with Scripture, there are counterfeits and unknown supernatural influences that can mislead and deceive any one of us, if we’re not familiar with or trusting in God's Word alone.

The Foreword in Frisbee's autobiography (p.5) gives us the example where mocking teenagers began to shake and then prayed in tongues on Frisbee's command without repentance or faith.

Frisbee continued,“When I spoke those words to him, he was converted. He was baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of glossolalia and spoke in an unknown language. He was struck by the power of God!”“The presence of the Holy Spirit would be so powerful that it overwhelmed me.”

Where do we see New Testament believers being overwhelmed as he describes? Where is faith from those receiving this experience? Nowhere, this is nothing more than the fringe Pentecostalism he picked up throughout his life from attending Kuhlman’s meetings and seeing Oral Roberts at work, etc. (All prior to attending Calvary Chapel).

Calvary Chapels never accepted the unbiblical practices of ‘slain in the spirit.’ In fact, Chuck Smith was upset at Frisbee’s spiritual actions in his church. We also read of Frisbee’s concern, when he said to a woman named Debbie “we can't let them fall down so we've been praying for people and holding them by the hair to hold them up so that they couldn't fall” (DVD).

So God showed his power to have them fall but no power to keep them from being hurt?

Just as the Hyper Charismatics have what they call catchers today so people don’t fall down and crack their heads. So then the question has to be asked: if it’s from God showing His power, why not just let people fall down with no help? After all, the Holy Spirit is not going to be blessing somebody and then having them break something falling over.

The very fact that people have to be caught, proves that this practice is not from God.

Frisbee was notably, an early influence on a few people who eventually became Calvary Chapel leaders, such as Greg Laurie, and Danny Lehmann of YWAM, whom Frisbee claimed was his proudest disciple with the most potential.

Both men are ecumenical in their own ways, Greg Laurie who unites with Catholics. YWAM teaches Kingdom Now Theology, and their teachers use methods and teachings that are outside of Biblical scripture in evangelism. (you can further ead about YWAM on our website)

The ability to understand God’s Word and to teach it accurately, (in reality) was not given to Lonnie Frisbee, most of his teachings were filled with false interpretations and applications. His focus was experiences which would take one away from the Word.

His teaching[s]

The ability to understand God’s Word and to teach it accurately, (in reality) was not given to him, because many of his teachings were filled with wrong interpretations.

There are only a few sermons available of Lonnie Frisbee Preaching anywhere, one of those few times is when he shared what he thought the gospel was, at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Lonnie Frisbee Preaching the gospel at Calvary Chapel. He says to “Confess me before men,” confess what of Jesus is never explained? To “Receive Christ?”Christ who is not explained? All these general statements need to be defined, especially when it refers to the gospel that is to bring about salvation in an individual by them exercising faith Faith in what?

In the early Jesus movement that was a problem and it continues today, people being told to ask him into your heart as the message, which is not the gospel one is to have faith in. That is what takes place when one believes the gospel message, nowhere does one ask  this.

On Mother’s Day he began with spiritualizing Zion. “I said we're going to Zion ‘we're marching to Zion right now, I said Zion used to be a mountain a specific place but now Zion is, is the mountain of God, is where the people of God gather and I said we're going to Zion right now.”

This is not how the term is used and applied in Scripture, this is an example of Lonnie inserting his own interpretation into scripture. Another is Peter jumped out of the boat and walked on the sea toward Jesus. He did it. He walked on water, but when he noticed the waves around him and took his eyes off Jesus, he started to sink. … We all know that Jesus rescued him, but many don’t realize that in the process, Peter got to walk on water twice ! There is much to be said about a go-getter attitude.” (That would include zeal without knowledge.)

But in Matt 14:31-331 “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.”

Clearly, Peter did not walk on the water by himself again as Frisbee implies.

Frisbee teaches that just before Jonah “ was absorbed by the juices and the acids in the belly of the whale, just before he was about to expire, near death …, he was purged and washed ashore exactly where he was supposed to be, in Nineveh. Frisbee explains this event “ Instead of having to come up with the money for a Pan Am flight to Nineveh, the Lord by divine guidance drove him by the obedient fish, and he was delivered onto the shore nearby where he was supposed to go.”

Scripture shows us that Jonah was brought to the shores of Israel, Nineveh is 250 miles inland. I don’t know of any whale walking on water.

The first time Jonah was told to journey to the city he disobeyed. Jonah died, The Lord brought him back to life and took him out of the Great Fish. And so, the second time Jonah was told to go to Nineveh he was obedient and did so (Jonah 3:1.)

Jonah was resurrected according to Jesus, and Jesus used him as the last sign for Israel, teaching us that Just as Jonah spent his 3 days in the fish Jesus would spend it in the tomb (Jesus was dead).

There are many other examples of Frisbee’s lack of Bible understanding that we point out throughout our article series. All of these led to a misapplication of the work of the Holy Spirit.

The clandestined meeting with Pastor Smith

Lonnie’s first meeting with Pastor Chuck Smith, Smith commented “I was not at all prepared for the love that this young man would radiate,” Smith said. For Chuck to hear a hippie speak about the Bible, certainly helped develop their friendship.

Over time, as the church grew - Smith eventually put Frisbee in charge of one of Calvary Chapel’s ministries, “(The House of Miracles)” which ministered to hippies, addicts, and street people.

Between the contemporary Christian music in worship on Wednesday nights and Chuck’s teachings on Sundays, the Church grew rapidly.

Frisbee also led a Wednesday night Bible study. With very brief bible stories he led people into the unbiblical spiritual experiences (It was those experiences that Chuck would later have to ask Lonnie to leave for). When Smith was present, Lonnie refrained from getting people to pray in tongues, and to have them collapse on the church floor. i.e., slain in the Spirit, but when Chuck wasn’t there, Frisbee would practice those things behind Chuck’s back, against Chuck’s wishes.

Speaking of C. Smith at the Palladium, “I do remember that at one point a man from the audience came up for prayer and started falling over when Kathryn laid hands on him. Chuck Smith saw that no one was there to help break his fall, so he jumped up to catch him. More people who came up for prayer started falling over around him, so Chuck kept catching people, which was funny because he felt really uncomfortable with people being “slain in the Spirit.” In fact, I remember some time earlier Lonnie told me that he’d lose his job at Calvary if people kept falling over, so we’d pray for people and grab them, saying, “Don’t fall!”(Not by might nor by power)

Pray for them not to fall, from the power of God? This is like working against God’s will (according to them). Why not just pray that Chuck Smith and others would get convinced that falling was a result of God’s power? But that could not ever happen, because it was not god’s power! Chuck was never convinced because he knew that it could not be found in the Bible, he knew that what was happening was not of God.

We find that Lonnie would not only lay his hand on people’s forehead but would also wave his coat as a mantle over them, something that Benny Hinn who also copied Kuhlman would do later that became his signature move. This flamboyant way to spread the anointing came from Benny Hinn; Rodney Browne, Todd Bentley. The majority who believe this slaps people on the forehead. What they need is to get spanked!

Frisbee became famous for his ability to display (false, counterfeit) Pentecostal power. But the Calvary Chapel movement was not founded on the signs and wonders that were exhibited through Frisbee, but nine years later one can say the Vineyard was. Lonnie caused people to be slain and they thought that this is what Christianity is; it was not. He would jump over the Pugh’s in the Vineyard church and say to people, speak in tongues, hitting them on the forehead (why there and not take their hand?) This does not look like someone exercising a spiritual gift found in Scripture. This became commonplace in the Vineyard.

p.6 The Lonnie Frisbee most do not know- The Vineyard’s transition time -The enduring Illegitimate Legacy of Lonnie Frisbee