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"THE NEW THING" by Tricia Tillin

(Global Revival as the Key Element
In Deception in Twentieth Century Pentecostalism)

Part Two: THE LATTER RAIN ROOTS OF THE CURRENT RENEWAL

CONTENTS
(Click on heading to go direct to that subject)

INTRODUCTION

Let me begin with these two statements referring to the present renewal:

"This move of the Spirit in 1994 is not just a charismatic and pentecostal experience, concerning power or gifting. It is one thing to be clothed with power; it is another to be indwelt with the Person of God."(1)

The First Pentecost caused individual believers to be "clothed with power from on high". The Second Pentecost, as this present renewal is called, seems to be all about the incarnation of Christ into His Body as a whole. The evidence for this can be found in many documents, letters, articles and books coming from the renewal leadership. The important thing in understanding what is happening in the Church today, is to grasp at a deeper level the theological background, and historical roots of this movement. Once that is done, the rest is easy - everything falls into place. Here is the second quote:

"Restoration is the work of the Spirit to bring us personally, the Church corporately, and finally the world universally back to itsoriginal purity (Eden); Revival is the derelict Temple quickly swept clean, speedily built up and dramatically filled with glory - from the revived church will come displays of glory, works of power, fruit for the world and salvation for the nations."(2)

These are claims being made for the present outpouring. Clearly there is an agenda. This is not just a "refreshing", but the events now taking place have a goal, a purpose.Why do the leaders talk about the Temple being filled, and Christ returning to the Church as the glory-cloud to indwell his Body corporately? These concepts are not biblical, and have never been part of traditional Church doctrine. The teachings have come into the charismatic Church - especially the Restoration Movement - from the Latter Rain Revival of the 1940ís. They can also be traced back earlier to awakenings in the 19th century.

THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT - AN EXPANSION OF THE LATTER RAIN MOVEMENT

Firstly, how has the Latter Rain revival come to influence Pentecostals and Charismatics today? Most Christians think that particular movement died out in the 1950's when it was banished from the Pentecostal denominations. However, the Latter Rain doctrines did not die - they just went underground, as this quote from Bill Hamon's book, "The Eternal Church" illustrates. Bill Hamon traces spiritual movements that he believes restored the Church progressively from its dark ages. He comes to the "Fourth Doctrine" restored, that of the "laying-on-of-hands", not for healing but for the transference of the anointing and gifts:

"The Laying on of Hands produced another major movement. This movement started in the late 1940ís and infiltrated into EVERY PENTECOSTAL GROUP in the 1950ís. During this time, it was known as the Latter Rain and Revival Movement. In the early 1960ís, very few Christians were knowledgeable of the movement except Pentecostal churches which had been affected by it. However, in the mid 1960ís, the Holy Spirit had spread the truths and spiritual experiences of the restoration doctrine into every church groups within Christendom. The move of the Spirit which took the four restoration doctrines of Hebrews 6:1-2 and made them known to all Church denominations and independent groups became known as the Charismatic Movement".

Notice how Bill Hamon names the Latter Rain revelations, such as the transference of the Spirit and gifts, as a part of the "restoration" doctrines and he says these continued to operate within the Charismatic Movement right up to present times.It was the Charismatic Movement that provided a home for Latter Rain teachings, according to its own proponents.What we are dealing with in the Vineyard movement, in the Toronto blessing, in the Kansas City Prophets and to a very large extent in the Kingdom-Dominion or Restoration movement is a resurgence of the old Latter-Rain heresies.

Although it appears to some that the Charismatic Movement spawned a teaching called "restoration", in fact this doctrine was alive and well long before - and simply transplanted itself into the fertile soil of the Charismatic Renewal of the 60's. Later we shall see precisely how that happened and what effect it had.

LATTER RAIN BELIEFS

The Latter Rain teachings cover a very wide spectrum of doctrines, and different ministers teach different aspects- some are more extreme than others. Also, leaders are not open about holding to these teachings because they are afraid of losing support; and they believe these new revelations are only for the elite. So it is difficult to find out who believes what.Paul Van Der Elst, in an e-mail to Richardís Riss, (who had circulated a robust defense of the LR revival) made this revealing statement:

"I consider it one of the most important events in the history of God's restorative plan. It is the least understood but has had a profound effect on many of the present ministry involved in what God is doing today. The word of the Lord that came out of that revival continues to reverberate and influence Christians worldwide. It seems like the streams that flowed out from that divine encounter i.e.- Restoration, Sonship, Kingdom Life and Immortality messages, etc, have remained on the fringes of the mainstream Church. However, many leaders have been profoundly influenced by this revival but have not endorsed it, nor have they made explicit references to it because of the controversies and misunderstanding of what God actually did during those times." (3)

After the Latter Rain became somewhat of a scandal within Pentecostal churches in the 50's, ministers were wary of admitting to their beliefs. They hunkered down and got on with their lives, while secretly holding to the new revelations and passing them on to others. Many of those involved in the original LR revival ended up as leading figures in the Charismatic world, and remain there to this day. Thus the teachings survived - and now have re-emerged with fresh vigour.We can sum up the Latter Rain or Dominion teaching this way:

  • the Church must be restored and equipped to rule by the five-fold ministries.
  • it must come to perfection and complete visible UNITY.
  • out of the purified church will come a spiritual elite corps, a Corporate Christ who possess the Spirit without measure
  • they will purge the earth of all wickedness and rebellion
  • they will judge the apostate Church
  • they will redeem all creation, and restore the earth
  • they will eventually overcome death itself in a counterfeit of the Rapture
  • the Church will thus inherit the earth, and rule over it from the Throne of Christ.

Looking at these teachings, it is obvious that what we call "dominionism" or "restoration" doctrine is actually the Latter-Rain doctrines warmed over. Let's look now at the route these teachings took to enter the mainline churches.

"NEW THINGOLOGY"

In part one of this study we looked at the Gnostic heresy that produced certain results in Church doctrines over the ages, notably the search for new revelations to reveal hidden spiritual meaning that would unlock a deeper life for Christians.The Gnostic doctrine is ever seeking for a new thing - a new revelation that will give power and release from the fallen material world. Bear this in mind, as it provides a key to understanding the Toronto and Brownsville teachings.When the Apostle Paul was in Athens he came up against certain philosophers:

Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? "For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean." For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. Acts 17:18-21

It was the desire of pagan (and later, Christian) philosophers and mystics to seek out a "new thing". The revelation given once-for-all in Jesus Christ was somehow not enough for these seekers and they ever looked for "more, more". However, scripture tells us very plainly that there is no hidden new thing to come to light:

That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient times before us. Eccl 1:9-10

God has provided the revelation of the Truth to mankind in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus IS the Truth, God incarnate. Searching for some additional key to understanding the universe is fruitless. In any case, God does not deal in secret wisdom but all that He does is open and available to all. Seek and ye shall find.

NEW THING SCRIPTURES MISQUOTED

Here is the new thing as defined by Clayt Sonmore (Thy Kingdom Come Ministries) in his book "Beyond Pentecost":

"This new thing God is bringing forth is the MERGING OF GOD AND MAN, not seen in fulness since the separation of man from God in the Garden of Eden, with the possible exception of Enoch and Elijah." (5)

For many years, scriptures referring to a "new thing" have undergirded the belief in an endtimes global revival, a latter-rain outpouring, that will bring the corporate Church to fulness, glory and rulership.However, when we examine these scriptures it becomes apparent that the "new-thing" spoken of in scripture is actually the astounding birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God become human:

"How long will you gad about, O you backsliding daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth-- a woman shall encompass a man".Jer 31:22

The totally unprecedented and new event that only God could create, was the birth by a Virgin of the Son of God. A human woman encompassed in her womb the divinity. Who could have invented such a thing? This was so new that those who were told it - the Old Testament people of God - did not understand it!

Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Is 42:9

"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Is 43:18-19

This is the passage often quoted by those who believe in the new thingology. They read this allegorically to mean that God will send an unprecedented global outpouring of His Spirit in the endtimes, to bring the Church to glory and the world to salvation.But if you look at the passage as a whole, youíll find itís not about the Church - itís about the Jews and the Messiah! Reading verse 19 in context we can see that the subject is the former deliverance of the Jews from Egypt, overshadowed by the latter deliverance from the exile in Babylon.One Commentator says of this passage:

"God reminds them of the great things he did for their fathers when he brought them out of the land of EgyptÖ He that did this can, if he please, make a way in the sea when they return out of Babylon. The best exposition of this is from Jer. 16:14-15; 23:7-8. It shall no more be said, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; that is an old thing, the remembrance of which will be in a manner lost in the new thing, in the new proof that the Lord liveth, for he brought up the children of Israel out of the land of the north." (4)

The passage looks forward prophetically to an even greater restoration of Israel in the 20th Century. And, spiritually, it refers to the deliverance of mankind from captivity to sin and the devil, by the birth and death of Jesus Christ, where the "new thing" is the New Covenant in His Blood. Nothing in the passage is prophetic of a latter-rain revival!New-thing-ology is the bedrock of revival teaching - yet it falls at the first fence.

LATTER RAIN DEFINITION OF NEW THING:

Hereís another quote, from a book entitled "Doing A New Thing"by Brian Hewitt. This book contains articles by seven leaders of the charismatic church reflecting on the past, present and future of the house church movement:Speaking of the origins of the house-church or shepherding movement, he says:

"The leaders of the new churches all shared the same goal: the rebuilding or restoring of the present-day church to its New Testament splendour. And they shared the same conviction that God was actively at work in the last days to bring this to pass. Those Christians who had come to believe that a period of lukewarmness and backsliding in the church would be a sign of the nearness of Christís return WERE WRONG - the era of the apostle, not the era of apostasy was at hand."

Here we see new-thing-ology at its worst. Because of a false triumphalist interpretation of scripture, those who correctly foresee the great last-days Apostasy and Tribulation are pronounced WRONG (deluded) and a new idea is introduced - that a new breed of master apostles and prophets are to reappear in order to bring the revelations that will lead us on to purity, perfection and dominion.

PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS NEW THING:

The new-thing-ology began in the Pentecostal holiness camp meetings of the 19th century. Pentecostal preachers like Maria Woodworth-Etter taught that God would send the Latter Rain of Joel 2 to restore the church with signs and wonders before Jesus came. They expected a mighty revival before the Rapture.But at that time, Pentecostalists still believed in conventional doctrine - the Rapture, the Antichrist, the Tribulation and the pre-millennial coming of Jesus Christ.

The new thing was that, as the above quote says, they now expected God to send an spiritual outpouring, a new Pentecost, a revival that would rock the world. This idea has been floating around for centuries, and periodically rears its head, usually when Christians become so desperate for spiritual renewal that they end up accepting a deceiving spirit instead of the Holy Spirit. I recently read evidence of all the false doctrine and Toronto-style manifestations taking place as early as 1886.

This astounded me! But what was interesting was the chain of events leading up to this particular diversion from scripture. It was almost identical to today. Firstly the desire for revival. Then the disappointment when God could not be forced to convert the world according to their understanding. Next the descent into occultism in seeking an alternative power-source for the "revival".This passage will illustrate my point. It is taken from a booklet written by G. H. Lang about the Azuza Street Pentecostal Renewal.

Though sympathetic to Pentecostalism, Lang points out errors and abuses that arose at that time, many of them identical to today.He writes of the Church of God community in Tennessee that arose in 1886 from poor farming folk:

"A Baptist pastor became distressed in soul about the spiritual deadness prevailing. He devoted himself to prayer and study of the Bible. A few joined him. In 1886 these saw that no general awakening of the churches was to be expected, so nine persons formed themselves into a Christian Union, with the laudable but in part scripturally unwarranted objective "to restore primitive Christianity and bring about the Union of all denominations". (5)

Having noted that the group was biblically illiterate, and that they did not abide by the biblical prophecies of endtimes apostasy that mitigated against worldwide revival, Lang goes on to say that their influence and numbers grew, and they began to have manifestations at their meetings. He lists:

"leaping, shouting, dancing, talking in tongues, and dancing in a spiritual trance or ecstasy. While the meetings were in progress, one after the other fell under the power of GodÖ"(5)

Next, Lang writes deploring the carrying-on at the Indian version of Azuza Street , at Coonoor on the Nilgir Hills. He records damaging false prophecies that misled the entire group, and also a "terrific noise" during the meetings of animal and bird noises, wild animal sounds, roaring, people grovelling and rolling on the ground with the ladies having to be covered by shawls to keep decent as they lay prostrate on the floor.Let me at once bring this totally up to date. Part of the Toronto scene, well-documented and much-recorded, is the roaring manifestation, and the travailing as in birth-throes. Have you ever wondered where this fits into the revival? Well, we need look no further than the "new-thing" passage of Isaiah that we have just been examining! Yes, new-thing-ology strikes again, giving credence to bizarre manifestations that actually have no place in the Church. Read for yourself Is 42:1-16, especially verses 13-14:

"The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once."

1906 AZUZA STREET

The Pentecostal pioneers involved in the Azuza Street revivals also believed and taught this new thing. They believed another Pentecost had to come to empower believers to go out and win the world for God.

Because they believed the time had come for the latter-rain outpouring (the new thing) they were caught up in missionary zeal to bring the nations to God, and fulfill the prophecies.The place of tongues was central to their missionary efforts because it was believed that foreign languages were necessary to reach the pagan nations for God. If God would provide supernatural languages for preaching to the nations, then the gospel would be heard and understood by all. This was their belief, and the impetus for seeking after the gift of tongues. (The fact that they succeeded in restoring the spiritual gift of tongues to the Church is pretty much beside the point, nowadays.)

However, the promised revival never happened. Just as with the present outpouring, the great revival never comes. When people are desperate for revival, power, signs and wonders, theyíll do or believe almost anything. Theyíll even justify the bizarre manifestations caused by the spirit of Toronto as the fulfillment of the new thing teachings:

LATTER RAIN REVIVAL AT NORTH BATTLEFORD

The Latter Rain revival (at the time called the New Order of the Latter Rain) did not just spring fully formed out of Canada without any previous teaching. No, it was the product of long years of muddled thinking and false revelations given to various individuals. To save going into the history of the movement at this point, I have appended it in a separate document - See the Appendix.

In brief, the three greatest influences that led up to the 1940's LR outpouring were:

(a) Franklin Hall - fasting and prayer for power and glory, immortality

(b) William Branham - laying on of hands and words of knowledge

(c) New Thing teaching - the Latter Rain revival of Joel 2 and the restoration of the Church through the apostles and prophets (compare Zion City and Apostolic Church of the UK, in Appendix).

A) FRANKLIN HALL

After Azuza Street, the gifts had died out again, and people were feeling dry. Two world wars had passed without sight of revival or the nations turning to Christ. Denominational Pentecostalism had settled into a routine and had lost its original spark of excitement. Then in 1946, a man by the name of Franklin Hall (b.1907) started a series of fasting and prayer sessions for revival.Hall had involved himself in the healing revival of the 1940ís in which ministers like Oral Roberts, T.L.Osborn, Gordon Lindsay and A.A. Allen rose to prominence.

At the same time, a new evangelical awakening was bringing people like Bill Bright and Billy Graham into the circles of power and influence. William Branham was also holding revival meetings, which in 1947 in Vancouver stirred the Canadian renewal movement that was to bring the Latter Rain to birth.Franklin Hall, therefore, existed at a time when many were looking for a route to renewed power and spiritual anointing.

However, Hall's teaching, while offering a supposed easy route to power through prolonged fasting, had within in the seeds of heresy, and those seeds took root in many a young evangelist's heart.Hall's book on obtaining"Atomic Power With God Through Fasting & Prayer" influenced many in the late 40's.

Al Dager points out in "Vengeance Is Ours", that Hall's book was publicly acknowledged as having a major influence on many of the Faith Healers.I have a copy of this book, and reading it makes one wonder about the scripture knowledge of Christians of that day. It is full of the most strange and heretical statements and reads more like an occult tract than a Christian book. Hall believed that by fasting for long periods, Christians received a powerful anointing that led them to sinless perfection and immortalityby stages of spiritual transformation.

Some more of his teachings were:

  • that perfected believers would experience power over the forces of gravity
  • that they could teleport to wherever they wished
  • their clothes would not wear out, they would have no body odour, never need to wash
  • they would never be sick
  • that an immortal substance from Christ would come upon their bodies, a golden substance visible to all, that would glorify them and people would see and feel the fire of the Holy Spirit.
  • that all must pray with open eyes
  • that BODY-FELT salvation - the fire of God, the glory, had to be applied to the body for thirty days and would purge out all sickness, tiredness and weakness of the flesh
  • the doctrine of the corporate Manchild was also in the first edition of the book

All the healing evangelists, amongst them William Branham and Kathryn Kuhlman, were influenced by Franklin Hall, and set out to look for "atomic power with God through prayer and fasting". In fact, Ernest Hawtin, Georgeís brother later said that "the [LR] revival would never have been possible but for Brother Hallís teaching on prolonged fasting."Amongst those seeking for the new thing, accompanied by the power through prolonged fasting, was a group of missionaries at the Sharon Orphanage, North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

They had also been fired into a search for revival by William Branham whom they witnessed ministering in Vancouver in 1947. Rev Herrick Holt at North Battleford was one of those desperately seeking and preaching a "new-thing" according to Is 43.

B) WILLIAM BRANHAM

Branham was part of the healing revival of the 1940's and from the beginning had an unusual style, depending on revelations from his guardian angel to instruct him in healing. He taught on the Latter Rain of Joel 2, and believed it meant the Pentecostal and healing revival of his day. Thus he, too, expected an endtimes revival.Branham was right in the line of descent from the old Apostolic groups, for he believed firmly that denominations were not of God, in fact he labelled them "Babylon" and he taught that the Church must be restored to its original unity and purity before the Lord returned.

Later Branham developed a non-trinitarian doctrine, saying that the doctrine of the Trinity was the babylonian hallmark of the denominations.As for his influence and connections, there were many. Ern Baxter, later to become one of the founders of the Shepherding Movement, was Branham's Secretary - from 1947 to 53. We have already seen how Branham's meetings sparked off the Latter Rain revival in Canada; after it had begun both he and Baxter attendedthe Latter Rain meetings at North Battleford.Paul Cain - later to re-emerge as head of the Kansas City prophets in 1989 and to become one of the guiding lights of the present renewal-alsotravelled with William Branham and called him "the greatest prophet that ever lived".

NORTH BATTLEFORD MEETINGS

It was because of the teachings of Franklin Hall and the healing meetings of William Branham that three men gathered for revival meetings at North Battleford in Canada. They were GEORGE HAWTIN, PERCY HUNT and HERRICK HOLT.

George Hawtin set up the Bethel Bible Institute of Saskatchewan in 1935 but was asked to resign in 1947; Percy Hunt resigned from Bethel at the same time in sympathy with George Hawtin.In 1947, George and his brother Ernie, and Percy Hunt joined Herrick Holt who owned a plot of land and had set up the Sharon School and Orphanage in North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

Here is a fascinating fact. The first Latter Rain meetings for revival were held in a little building on the Airport at North Battleford, in Canada. The renewed revival has also, in public at least, gained a reputation for starting in the Toronto Airport Vineyard, a little building by the airport. Perhaps it is pure coincidence, or perhaps not.

Herrick Holt was already praying for the "new thing" and was expecting revival. The year before, he had read Franklin Hall's book and was fasting, as recommended, for the "atomic power". Joined by the Hawtins and Percy Hunt, and by the Bible School students, they fasted and prayed (some for over a month) for revival to break out.Then, in February 1948, the power fell.

Prophecies were given that a great unstoppable new move of revival was about to begin, and would lead to God's endtime harvest.One unique factor in the LR move was the impartation of the Holy Spirit, and gifts, through the laying on of hands.

Previously, Pentecostals had taught (in line with the Holiness groups) that soul-searching, repentance and a time of preparation ("tarrying") was necessary before anyone received the Holy Spirit. Now however, at Battleford, (as at Toronto) the power was being passed from one to another without a pause. People from all over the country started travelling to Canada to get the power, which was passed on through laying on of hands.Rather than healing, prophecy became the most prominent feature, and prophecy laid down the new revelations governing the revival.

For instance, it was promised that "If my people reverence my name, my presence and my house, I will begin to restore that which has been lost to the Church..."The group came to believe (as others before them had done) that the restoration of the Church would be accomplished through latter-day apostles and prophets, through laying on of hands for the gift of the Spirit, and through the revelations given in prophecy.J. Preston Eby later summed up the teachings of the Latter Rain as:

"the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ....which shall bring the FULNESS, a company of overcoming - Sons of God who have come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, to actually dethrone satan, casting him out of the heavenlies, and finally binding him in the earthlies, bringing hope of deliverance and life to all the families of the earth."

This great work of the Spirit shall usher a people into full redemption - free from the curse, sin sickness, death and carnality.These new revelations that became the doctrines of the new order were established BY PROPHECIES. And the choice of apostles and other ministers was made THROUGH PROPHECIES.

This recalls the Gnostic teachings discussed in Part One. Once again, prophecies, visions and words were accepted as foundational for this move. Eventually the prophecies were exalted above the word of God. Also, personal prophecies were given over peopleís lives, and ministries were destroyed as a result of accepting these. All of this, and more, led to the Latter Rain Movement falling into disrepute and ultimately being rejected by the Pentecostal denominations.

The Heresy Rejected
Not surprisingly, the classic Pentecostal denominations recognised the Latter Rain teachings as heresy and eventually in 1949 they officially banned Latter Rain teachers from their pulpits.The reasons they gave were:
  • these teachings were causing division and confusion in the Body.
  • there is an over emphasis on laying on of hands for impartation of the gifts and power of the spirit.
  • the erroneous teaching that the Church is restored by present-day apostles and prophets.
  • New Order teaching about confession of sin to man, deliverance of demons, claiming to have powers and rights that belong only to Christ.
  • erroneous teaching concerning the impartation of a gift of languages as special equipment for missionary work.
  • extreme and unbiblical practice of imparting personal leadings by means of personal prophecy.
  • other heretical doctrines and distortions of scripture.

However, despite this setback the Latter Rain teachings continued to be popular amongst certain groups and several breakaway movements began from the 50's, including "the Walk" in California, led by John Robert Stevens. Others affected by Latter-Rain teachings were Bill Britton, James Beall, David Ebaugh, J. Preston Eby, Ralph Mahoney, Gerald Derstine, Carlton Spencer, and also John Poole (once part of the Fort Lauderdale Shepherding group).But apart from Sonship groups (offshoots of the LR revival) there were many more individuals who simply moved on into the Charismatic movement and became bit players there.

This is really how the heresies became legitimised within the Restoration groups of the UK, at least. Restoration churches are now the most numerically strong, and the most influential of any Christian group in the UK.

George Warnock

One man who was hugely impressed by the Latter Rain teachings went on to provide a book that stands alongside Franklin Hall's "Atomic Power" as seminal to the Movement. The man was George Warnock and the book was "The Feast of Tabernacles". It was written in the late 1940ís and reprinted in 1951 by Bill Britton.The book proposes that the three major feasts of Israel are the stages of development of the Church.

  • Passover - was deliverance from sin
  • Pentecost - was the former rain, or individual empowering
  • Feast of Tabernacles - will be when God indwells his people spiritually and causes them to rule.
This book lays out all the major doctrines of the Corporate Christ, the glorified Body, Unity, the Second Pentecost, Restoration - everything. It is sobering, therefore, to read this book and discover than many of the doctrines have been adopted by the Charismatic Movement, by the Restoration churches, and by the current Renewal leadership.Just before the LR revival broke out, George Warnock was acting as Ern Baxterís Personal Secretary and right-hand man. So Ern Baxter was doubly involved.Ern Baxter said in 1975:

We are talking of man coming into the fullness of his self realization, into his ultimate destiny as the image of God. This beloved One came to become the Pattern Son to become the Ideal Man after which he would pattern a whole community of redeemed ones. What he was in his incarnate power and life, they become in their corporate power and life.

Godís purpose is not to redeem a bunch of people to sit at a bus stop and wait for the bus to come along and get them out of the worldís mess. He came as King so that under their authority the redeemed community might become the means whereby he would establish Godís sovereign right in his own redeemed earth. We have individual salvation - but in the nation we have corporate salvation...Godís people are going to start to exercise rule and theyíre going to take dominion over the power of Satan. As the rod of his strength goes out of Zion, he will change legislation, he will chase the devil off the face of Godís earth and Godís people will bring about Godís purposes and Godís reign. (8)

Ern Baxter and John Poole (the son of Fred Poole, an early LR believer) joined the Fort Lauderdale group who introduced shepherding to the UK. Their magazine "New Wine" was THE charismatic magazine of the 1970ís.Charles Simpson was another of that group. He said of himself:

  • he denied the Rapture of the Church in 1972
  • he affirms the dominion mandate
  • he quotes Psalm 110 about Christ not returning until the Church has put all enemies under his feet, including death
  • and says: in 1972 I received a revelation of the Lordship of Christ and the Kingdom of God as a current reality. I saw Christ reigning now and teaching us to do so as well. I have thoroughly embraced this truth.

UK RESTORATION

In the UK, the Latter Rain teachings were being encouraged by such as David Lillie, Arthur Wallis and Cecil Cousen.

They taught the Restoration of the Church, the restoration of apostles and prophets for perfecting of the saints, growth into full maturity of the One New Man in Christ, and many other LR doctrines. This triumphalism was alien to the classic Pentecostal denominations, most of whom were pre-millennial.

The Latter Rain, however, saw the Millennium as the reign of the perfected church.The input of Ern Baxter and others led to a rejection of pre-millennialism, and Restoration adopted discipling as the means to perfect the church. They set up the five-fold ministries to rule the church, appointed apostles over towns and areas, and elected prophets to teach the new revelation.Since the Latter Rain teachings so successfully infiltrated the Restoration churches, let us now examine their foundational beliefs and see how they match up.

THE FOUNDATIONAL TEACHINGS OF THE LATTER RAIN &
MANIFESTED SONS MOVEMENTS
AND THEIR INFILTRATION INTO MODERN-DAY RESTORATIONISM

  1. THE DOMINION MANDATE-the Church as Ruler
  2. AN EARTHLY INHERITANCE -Heaven is not their goal
  3. THE RAPTURE OF THE WICKED -not the Christian Church
  4. THE CHURCH IS ISRAEL -Replacement Theology
  5. UNITY OF THE BODY -essential to the ongoing incarnation of Christ into His Body
  6. THE RELIGIOUS ARE BABYLON - the New Order of the Latter Rain must overtake the Old Order saints
  7. JESUS THE PATTERN SON -not Divinity, but a Man with an Anointing
  8. THE TWO WITNESSES -Moses And Elijahís miracle ministry of the Last Days
  9. THE RAPTURE -the Transformation of Man into Spirit
  10. SPIRITUAL WARFARE - replacing the heavenly powers with Church Rulers
  11. ALL ENEMIES DESTROYED -even death must be defeated
1. THE DOMINION MANDATE:

The most basic building brick of the movement is that Adam lost his dominion over the earth in the Garden of Eden, and the Great Commission and task and destiny of the Church is therefore to recover dominion, over sin, over disease, over demons, over the whole created order, and even over death.

"God had intended to rule all creation through man - that was Plan A. Now that man was in rebellion what was Godís Plan B? He HAD no plan B. Godís original and only intention was in Psalm 8 - you made man ruler over the works of your hands, you put everything under his feet." (9)
(He then goes on to speak of God calling to himself a covenant people in order to re-establish his rule through man.) Personal salvation is seen as only one step in the task to redeem the earth and bring back the dominion of man - just to be saved is not enough.
1. Brothers and sisters, we give ourselves to the perfecting of this Zion. Personal salvation, yes! But with it is the gospel of a new kingdom. Leaders like Ern Baxter and Arthur Wallis are now proclaiming this. (1975) You see the church is to inherit the promises. She is to herald the ultimate kingdom. We are prophesying a new order - Zion is the foretaste of the new earth." (10)
2. We Christians have been brought up on personal salvation, personal baptism in the Spirit and an individual walk with God. But thatís only half the story...the kingdom in its fulness will be given only to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it. Individual salvation may well be the start, but CORPORATE SALVATION is the end (11)

Leaders believe this present outpouring is a work of Restoration, or Renewal, preparing those believers who are willing to accept it, to go on to the final stage of development, which is the Birth of the Manchild.

2. EARTHLY INHERITANCE:

Going to Heaven is not the goal of Latter Rain teachers! They sneer at people who have a heavenly hope. Their realm of dominion is the earth - the earth is to be restored, renewed, cleansed and purged, and they will bring heaven down to earth. Heaven is on this earth! Heaven is the kingdom within our hearts.

Many who thank God today for their deliverance from spiritual Egypt have no concept of Godís purpose to bring them into Canaan. Unfortuntely, many people today think of Canaan in terms of "going to heaven when they die". In Moses understanding, what lay beyond Jordan was the land, the city and the temple - a land to be possessed, Zion to be populated, and a temple where Godís presence could be enjoyed and his praise expressed! Out of this Zion would go light to the world!

The idea of going to heaven is unhelpful and unbiblical. Seeking the kingdom means bringing heaven to earth. (13)
 
3. RAPTURE DENIED: (Wicked Raptured)

Obviously then, if earth is your focus, and you are not going to heaven, there is no need for a Rapture. The Church is destined to be triumphant and victorious and to rule over the earth, so the Rapture teaching they believe is false - a doom and gloom, defeatist attitude.Restorationists believe it is the WICKED who will be taken out, in judgement - that God will cleanse the earth by removing all those who rebel against this great plan of redemption.Only those who submit to the rule of God will be allowed to remain.

"The Rapture idea is ridiculous...One has to conclude that the secret rapture theory may be evangelical, but is nonetheless unbiblical. It is a grotesque idea - the rapture may be a most agreeable doctrine for cowards, but it is nothing better than wishful thinking and must be relegated to the area of myth and fantasy." (14)
The rapture spoken of in scripture is allegorised into either a rapturous feeling of joy when seeing Jesus appear, or else a spiritual transformation whilst still on earth. In this case, the Rapture would represent the saints being caught up into a spiritual third dimension.Bill Britton explains this using types like John of Revelation and Paul caught up to the third heaven; he says their bodies remained on earth, but they had a spiritual experience. Heaven therefore is not somewhere you go, but a transformation into a spiritual realm, on earth.Richard Riss - author of book on Latter Rain and avid Toronto supporter - answering questions on the Vineyard New Wine Bulletin Board, say this:
"For those who are prepared for His coming, it will be a time of unmitigated joy. He has given us a foretaste of this heavenly bliss in those moments when He has visited us with His presence during times of "revival" or spiritual awakening. If you have ever experienced the presence of God, or an infilling of His Spirit, then you have been given a hint, or intimation, of the ecstasy awaiting those who eagerly await His appearing.
"As far as the rapture is concerned, throughout the history of the church, there has been a wide spectrum of views concerning the events at the end of the age, but as far as I know, few, if any of them taught a bodily removal of the saints until 1830, when John Nelson Darby started promulgating views of this kind.
"To be caught up in the clouds of glory to meet the Lord in this atmosphere of spiritual authority does not necessarily entail a literal bodily removal from the earth. In fact, if it did entail our removal from the earth, it would be a permanent removal: "and thus we shall always be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:17). But the entire thrust of Scripture is that we will have a resurrected body on earth, and that the heavens and the earth will both be regenerated, or renewed (Acts 3:21, Matt. 19:28). If there is to be a bodily removal of the saints at all, it can only be temporary.
"The statement "and thus we shall always be with the Lord" tends to suggest, at least to me, that we will always be in the "caught up" state, i.e., we will be in heavenly places with Him from this point onward, and forever more. To my way of thinking, we can be in heavenly places while we're still on the earth." (15)
But some people are removed - the wicked are taken in judgement.
"It will be as in the days of Noah. How was it in Noahís day? The flood of judgement came and took all the wicked away, and the righteous were left to inherit the earth. The wicked had been taken away - yet man has devised a theology in which it is just the opposite; they claim the righteous will be taken away. The Bible, my friend does not teach any such thing. Proverbs 3:26 - for the Lord shall be they confidence and shall keep thy foot from being taken. - it is plain here that the righteous are not taken. Well, if someone is to be taken, who is it? Proverbs 11;6 says - the transgressors shall be taken. Think of it - the transgressors shall be taken. That is not what man has taught us, is it?" (16)
This idea, of the removal of the wicked in a rapture taking them to judgement, is one that is spreading amongst TB supporters. Richard Riss again:
"Often, the rapture is thought to involve a bodily removal of the saints. However, the Bible refers to a removal, not of the saints from among the wicked, but of the wicked from among the saints at the time of Christ's coming...
"In Matthew 24:39 it says that "they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away." Who was taken away, the wicked or the righteous? If it was the wicked who were removed in the flood, then it is the wicked and the disobedient who will be removed at Christ's coming."
4. THE CHURCH IS ISRAEL

Following on from the above points, it is obvious - since the church is to inherit the earth and reign with Christ - there is no role for Israel as a nation. Restoration believers generally claim that the Church is spiritual Israel, who will inherit the promises.This again comes from the Latter Rain teachings:

"The saints of God are the true Israel - unless we understand that the Bible was written for US (gentile christians) we are bound to deny ourselves the glory which God intended we should derive from the Word...Therefore, we have no hesitancy whatever in quoting profusely from the Old Testament and the New by way of establishing these glorious Church truths." (17)
In order to exclude Israel from prophecy, the prophetic scriptures are spiritualised in order to apply them to the Church. For example, the valley of dry bones scripture in Ezekiel is used to describe the present restoration and revival of the Church! (It is Israel that is dead, dry, and in need of revival, not the Church.)Similarly, the Latter Rain of Joel 2 is applied to the Church, not to the spiritual restoration of Israel. Indeed, I should say that several scriptures give the lie to the entire "latter-rain" revival. What the Bible means by the Latter Rain is the coming of the Messiah in power and glory!
"Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain,as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Hosea 6:1-3
This is speaking of the two comings of the Lord - Jesus as the Messiah who comes to us as the Suffering Servant to sow the seed and the Glorious King to reap the harvest.James 5:7-8 says the same thing: It is the coming of the Lord that brings refreshment, relief, blessing and the Harvest.

"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and Latter Rain.Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."James 5:7-8

A Minor Diversion - This is where allegorising the scriptures will lead you:
I want you to read all of this next passage and then I can show you how Restoration leaders deal with it, and where they go dangerously wrong: Zech 10:1-5
Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain (Latter Rain) -- the LORD who makes the storm clouds; and He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to {each} man. For the teraphim speak iniquity, and the diviners see lying visions, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore {the people} wander like sheep, they are afflicted, because there is no shepherd." My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the male goats; for the LORD of hosts has visited His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them like His majestic horse in battle." From them will come the cornerstone, from them the tent peg, from them the bow of battle, from them every ruler, {all} of them together." And they will be as mighty men, treading down {the enemy} in the mire of the streets in battle; and they will fight, for the LORD {will be} with them; and the riders on horses will be put to shame.(NAS)

THE WRONG INTERPRETATION OF THIS PASSAGE:

Terry Virgo, in "Restoration in the Church" says this is about God visiting the Church! It is treated asthe coming of the GLORY of Christ, in the Latter Rain visitation, not the physical coming.
And "the result of that visitation is that the poor misguided flock is UNITED and transformed into a majestic war-horse - a great vehicle of power and energy, a fearsome, awe-inspiring, effective tool of WAR. The sheep become "mighty men treading down the enemy in battle" Öand the flock is TRANSFORMED CORPORATELY (ie. they become the Corporate Christ).

Individual ministries emerge - the CORNERSTONE he says is the Apostle, the TENT PEG is the Prophet, the BOW OF BATTLE is the Evangelist, and the RULERS are the shepherds.

Terry Virgo then claims, from this passage, that these ministries are given to the Church in order to build them up into the full stature of Christ - One Mature Man. He is speaking of the Corporate Christ.

5. APOSTLES AND PROPHETS RESTORED

The Five-fold Priesthood is supposed to emerge in the endtimes to restore the Church to perfection; Apostles, Prophets and Teachers must prepare the way, like John the Baptist, for a new appearance of the Christ. The restoration of the gifts and ministries to the Church is designed to bring it to "fullness". These authoritarian leaders will judge and purge the Church until it is one undivided Body in the earth.Thus the Restoration churches have adopted a teaching more familiar to us as the Ascended Masters of the New Age, who come to lead us to spiritual transformation.

  • the New Age teaches that it is the Ascended Masters who have higher consciousness and inner light who need to teach us to evolve beyond our present experience.
  • The Gnostics taught we have to have new revelation, and we need special Spiritual Adepts to open up to us the inner wisdom that would release us from this earthly bondage.
  • LR and Restoration teach much the same thing - we need Apostles, and Prophets to open our inner eyes.
"God has established a sure and certain means by which this inexpressible UNITY is going to be brought into being, even the ministries of apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and teachers. These are given, we are told,for the perfecting of the saints... Will they bring this unity of the Body to pass? To doubt it is to doubt Godís Word. To reject the God-ordained ministry is to reject God who gave them... to refuse the ministries is to say to Christ, I prefer to be perfected some other way." (18)

"Christ will raise up apostles and prophets who will prepare and equip the church for service. This will demand a maturity beyond anything we have seen in recent years, and will result in a greater unity of faith and "the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" being visible in the Church. Only such a Church with the whole Christ released within her, is properly equipped to give opportunity for the whole world to believe." (19)

SUBMISSION NEEDED:

In order for this system to work, we are required to submit to the rule of the eldership and humbly accept the new revelations. "How does one get saved? By submitting to the rule of God - through the elders." says one Restoration leader. (20)Discussion is not allowed - THEY are the Anointed Ones! They are on a higher spiritual plane!Colin Urquart is one in the UK who believes himself to be an Apostle - and not just the ordinary Restoration kind, which is simply a church planter with authority over a certain area of the country.

Colin Urquart sees a much more important role for the Apostle: "Apostles make decisions that affect the whole Church (worldwide)".One of his team members then comments that"For example his (Urquart's) willingness to accept a new impartation of the Spirit is beginning to and was intended to affect the whole church."This is as much as to say that, because the apostle gets the Toronto Blessing, it impacts the whole Church in Britain if not throughout the world.However, this leads to a major problem for the Church. If a heretical apostle is in charge, and he insists on his teaching being accepted (as Colin Urquart does) then that teaching infects the whole body from top to bottom.

6. UNITY

Perfect unity of the Body is seen as absolutely essential. The Prayer of John 17, that they might be One, has not yet been fulfilled according to many today. For the world will not truly "see" Christ until the Body is united around the world, and manifesting Christ corporately.

What is proposed, therefore, is not just a spiritual unity with eachother and with Jesus, but a perfection, all thinking and believing alike, one organic whole.But is this prayer of Jesus unanswered? We DO have unity with eachother in the Spirit. The union of Jesus with his father was spiritual, based on love and submission. Jesus, at the time that he prayed for unity amongst His followers, also prayed that the Father would keep us, sanctify us and protect us from the evil of this world - is that still unfulfilled? If the Father answered the prayers of Jesus, then He answered them all - in full!

7. THE RELIGIOUS ARE BABYLON

Those who question the Toronto experience are being called "religious". This also comes straight out of the Latter Rain teachings!Denominations and anti-restoration believers are "part of the old order"; they are the Harlot Babylon, religious legalists, and new order believers must leave if they want to be part of the Latter Rain revival.The Old Order is also those who are still clinging to the old revelation and havenít moved on into the higher light. They have not passed beyond the veil.Those of the Old Order are compared to the religious hypocrites of Jesusí day - they resist the new move of God. They cannot let go of the old doctrines, such as the personal Antichrist and the Rapture, and the literal Millennium for Israel, etc. These people are seen as the "antichrist" that opposes the new anointing. They must be removed from the Church and the world before perfection can come.The old generation will "die out in the wilderness" and they do not enter into "fullness" or the Promised Land.

"The old generation who disbelieved God perished in the wilderness - they did not want to go in and possess the land.... they did not want to hear any talk about Christ appearing in the saints and Christ being formed in you; and as for the manifestation of the sons of God, that is definitely not for this day and age, they say.... (21)

"Do you not see then how subtly the enemy will work and how easy it is going to be for Christians to become entangled in an idolatrous religious system ...The day of reckoning is at hand, and judgement must begin at the House of God - this idolatrous ecclesiastical system is doomed!" (22)

"We are the ones who will choose if the next move of God will be a day of salvation or a day of judgement - for those who reject it...will have a more severe judgement - This next wave (of the Spirit) will not be stopped, and the opposition will soon be forgotten...the past no longer exists and those who try to live in it cease to be a part of what God is doing today." (23)

8. JESUS THE PATTERN SON

In many ministries today, Jesus Christ has been demoted. He has become simply a signpost, a pattern, and a prototype of the perfected believer, a Way-Shower.

It is taught that the Church must grow as he did to full maturity, until it can take dominion and have all power and authority as he has. The Church must follow the pattern of his life and ministry. Believers must learn to use the anointing, for it is said that Jesus was (like us) just a man with an anointing! So, rather than know salvation because of Jesus, by being incorporated into His obedience and righteousness; we have to learn to grow up into corporate salvation by following the lead that he gave.This teaching is prominent in the Word of Faith Movement. Kenneth Copeland often speaks of Jesus as the Pattern Son. We model our lives on Him, and receive the same anointing of power to do miracles; use the same creative power in our words, etc.

"Because of his sinless life, Jesus walked in perfect dominion. God did whatever he asked, NOT because he was Godís son, but because he held the position of a righteous man. But that was Jesus, you say. But the Bible says that through our believing on Him, we have been given the same position of righteousness with God that Jesus has." (24)

9. THE ELIJAH COMPANY

In Latter Rain thinking, there are not one, but two bodies we have to deal with - the Bride of Christ, and the Body of Christ. The Body must grow to perfection within the womb of the global church (The Bride), be brought to birth, and only then be manifested to the world as its rulers.

The type often used is that of the Virgin and Christ-Child. Just as Mary brought forth Jesus into the world, so the woman, the Bride of Christ has to bring the Corporate Christ into the world through her travail. (Here's the reason for all that "travailing" going on at Toronto meetings.) Before the manifestation of the Manchild Company, however, a special number of perfected saints will receive the Christ anointing - just as Christ was anointed by the Spirit in His Baptism, BEFORE his ministry. They are like John the Baptist heralding the emergence of Christ, and like Elijah before him, a prophetic ministry to prepare the way. The Elijah ministry is to cause The Woman to travail to bring forth the Son.

This Group variously called:

  • The Two Witnesses of Revelation
  • The Elijah Company
  • The Joseph Company
  • Gideon's Army

"From within the womb of the church, there is being birthed a prophetic generation." (25)

Since it is believed that this group is the Lordís Anointed (for they have the Spirit without measure) their task is to judge and purify the Church; to oppose them is to die like Ananias and Saphira. When the leaders say, touch not the Lordís anointed, they mean that those who have the Christ anointing to do this work are literally standing in the place of Christ, and to oppose them is to oppose Christ.Paul Cain and Rick Joyner recently discussed this topic in Rick Joynerís Morning Star Journal. There they called the Elijah Ministry the "Spiritual Fathers". The idea of having a Spiritual Director, by the way, is coming back into fashion and is helpful in leading the Church into unity with Rome, for it is more a Catholic idea than a Protestant one. It sets up again mediators between man and God.

"The best is yet to come. What we are about to see can be credited to no man--no amount of money or promotions could make it happen. The Lord is going to anoint the people in these last days with the spirit of Elijah. We will see the kind of power that Elijah walked in revealed again.

"When the full apostolic power comes it will either heal or kill, build or destroy. The power that brought such glory to the first century church brought death to Ananias and Sapphira.... What we may get away with during times of a lower level anointing will carry a most terrible penalty during the time of the Lord's visitation.

"The foolishness on Ananias and Sapphira was that they failed to recognise what authority was working in Peter. Peter was no longer just a fisherman--he was a vessel for the Holy Spirit and by lying to Peter they lied to the Holy Spirit.

"In Malachi 4:5-6 we read: "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse."

"Apostolic power and life will be restored to the church, but it first requires a restoration of the spiritual fathers to the children and the children to the spiritual fathers--in God's continuum. There is a spiritual principle that we are changed into that which we behold (see II Corinthians 3:18). As we start esteeming our spiritual fathers we will start to become spiritual fathers, and our sons will want to become spiritual fathers."

This proposes a priesthood to lead us into the new order. Elijah was the last of the old order, for he passed his message on to prepare for the new order. The Elijah ministry is thus the means by which the Body steps into the new order.In true Gnostic fashion, Rick Joyner is saying we canít make it, we canít develop into this Corporate Christ, the spiritual House of God, if we donít get the teaching of the apostles and the new revelations of the prophets. He says we need mediators to lead us in. We need spiritual fathers!

But Jesus said, "call no man father - you have one Father in Heaven". It is the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth, not Priests and Apostles.This Elijah Ministry is supposedly a miracle ministry. It will lead to the greatest revival mankind has ever seen, and it lasts the same length of time as the ministry of Jesus - three and a half years! The Elijah Company possesses human bodies, but they are invincible; nobody can kill them until their work is done.

"Jesus was the Christ, which means the Anointed of God...The SAME anointing with the same power and authority (is given) to the Two Witnesses of Revelation (the Moses and Elijah ministry). There must needs be judgement upon the earth to cleanse the earth of its corrupt and rotten sin - who is to judge the earth? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world - and hear me, beloved, this judgement must begin at the house of God,...for the Holy City, the Woman, the Virgin Bride of Christ must be trodden under foot for forty-two months...until she travails in birth and brings forth the Deliverer, the many-menbered Body of Christ." (26)

"The anointing of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a glorious experience, it is the firstfruits of what comes upon the Body. But it is only the firstfruits - (the twelve spies) brought back "a sample" (from the promised land) but it was only a sample, a firstfruits. God never intended for them to subsist for the rest of their lives on these samples...they were to go in and possess the land. Jesus our High Priest was anointed of the Spirit without measure - this same divine anointing of the fulness of the Spirit that came upon Jesus shall come upon the entire Body, until every enemy shall become his footstool. This anointing does not come upon babes in Christ as does the Baptism of the Spirit. This anointing comes at the time of the Adoption." (27)

"But you say that we have already received that anointing when we received the glorious infilling or Baptism of the Holy Ghost. No, my friend, we only get the earnest of our inheritance. The anointing of the Two Witnesses is when the glory of God (Jesus) fills the entire Temple of God (Body of Christ, the Overcomer) ...suddenly he appears"! Not to everyone but to those who are looking for him. And he appears unto full salvation...to anoint us and fill us with His glory and power and the fulness of his spirit. And by the act of his appearance this group of people are made into one body". (28)

NB: At the time that the two prophets Paul Cain and Bob Jones appeared, I believe they were seen as the physical representation of the Two Witnesses referred to above.

10. THE RAPTURE = THE BIRTH OF THE MANCHILD

Since Jesus is the Pattern, it is believed that the Manchild, the Corporate Christ, follows the pattern of the ministry of Jesus.

This group thus receives a baptism of fire, then has a signs and wonder ministry for for three and a half years in increasing persecution from the religious "old order", for the perfect New Order has not yet come.Finally, they are "raptured" to become spiritually transformed - while still on earth! This follows the pattern of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ whereby He received His resurrection body. It is taught that prepared believers will also share this experience, not necessarily through death but in a parody of the biblical "rapture". Afterwards they will be immortal, invincible, all-knowing and able to perform such miracles that the whole world will be converted. Those who do not bow to their rule will be destroyed.

The whole world sees that these "Overcomers" have been "raised up to the heavenlies" though they remain on earth. They have become perfected spiritual beings in human bodies. They take the place of the evil principalities and powers, and begin to rule and reign over the earth as The Christ - the One Perfect Man, with ALL his power and authority.

"Pentecost opened the fifth day of history...At last we are coming to the final working [prophetic] day of Godís week and he makes man - this is a full-grown man established in every respect. Godís creation which appears during this sixth day will be fashioned in the image of The Man, Christ Jesus. This new man, whose destiny is to occupy the New Jerusalem, Godís city coming down from heaven to earth, is a CORPORATE MAN. He is the whole body of Christ who will wield the iron rod of Godís judgement over Babylon, the present world system. He will usher in the seventh day, a thousand years of rest and peace. This final period will establish his rule and reign with Jesus prior to the last great judgement of all flesh before the throne of God." (29)

"It is important that we do not stop at the "harvest" aspect of revival, but look beyond to Godís ultimate purpose. This involves more than saving souls from hell, more even than bringing individuals into a renewal experience; it involves a work amongst Godís people that is corporate - the Body of Christ has to come to full maturity, and so become the Bride for her husband...Before this age closes the world is again to see a man (like Jesus) striding the earth, having come to the fulness of his manhood. Not the individual Christ, but the corporate Christ, the spiritual body in union with the unseen head, having come to the mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ, and displaying throughout the earth the power and glory of God, just as Jesus did at the beginning. This is God's supreme purpose for this age." (30)

11. SPIRITUAL WARFARE

This Corporate Christ has power over all demons and will wage war in the heavenlies and pull down the satanic strongholds. They will take their place as the world's spiritual rulers.

"The very unseen powers of the heavenlies must be toppled from their thrones; yea, even now they are beginning to feel the impact of heaven-tremors as the sons of God begin to mount up with wings of an eagle to take to themselves their God-given authority in the Spirit. It is this wrestling with the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies that shall cause the very heavens to shake and satan and his hosts to relinquish their kingdom into the hands of the Sons of God. Everything that can be shaken is going to quake and fall before the sons of God. And then into the very heavenlies they shall ascend, first of all in the Spirit, to take possession of the kingdom left vacant by the casting out of Satan and his evil hosts. Then they shall be in a position to administer peace and life and blessing to a Church and a world that are in bondage and under oppression." (31)

"Hebrews 2:5 reveals to us that the world to come will no longer be under subjection to angels but will be under subjection to redeemed men and women who will reign with Christ. We are at present in training for reigning. The structures (of the satanic strongholds in the heavenlies) will be refurbished with a whole new personnel.... I believe with all my heart, that the rediscovery of territorial spirits is part of Godís desire and design to get his people into the full knowledge of the Son of God so that we can grow to the full stature, geographically and territorially as well as powerfully and inwardly, and that this will enable us to fulfil the world mission of the Church." (32)

12. ALL ENEMIES DESTROYED: Church and World Judged by Manchild

The final phase, following the manifestation to the world of the Sons of God, the Manchild Company, are that they rule and reign in the heavenlies (ie by virtue of their spiritual transformation).

"Could Jesus come today? No - certain things have to be fulfilled before Jesus can return..." He quotes Psalm 110"The Lord says to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. This is the most quoted OT verse in the NT. Not until that is true will Jesus leave his Fatherís right hand to return to earth. He must reign (through the church) until he has put all his enemies under his feet; the last enemy to be destroyed is death." (33)

[Commenting on the same verse] "The Church is the feet of Jesus. God promised Jesus 'I will train your feet, and use them to tread down and crush your enemies.'"(34)

This glorified, christ-empowered company that have come to spiritual transformation see themselves as powerful enough to cast satan and his hosts out of the heavenlies. However, as Revelation tells us, what follows is a terrible Tribulation.Because satan and his hosts are cast out of the heavenlies, they make war against the Woman. There is a terrible persecution against the Woman, and she is driven into the wilderness.

But in Latter Rain doctrine the Woman is the worldwide Church, the denominations and traditional Christians (some genuine, some not). It is therefore not ISRAEL but the CHURCH that is persecuted by satan during the endtimes, according to this view.It is the perfected, ruling, glorified Manchild Company who cares for the woman in her hour of need. It is the glorified Manchild, who woes her and reveals truth to her. So it is that, in Latter Rain thinking, the Manchild is the Head of the Woman.

Where in all this doctrine (you may be thinking) is the Lord Jesus? It seems as if the Church does all the revealing, the warfare, the teaching, the judging. No doubt, for the Church is seen as God's Body on earth. So it is that when three and a half years of persecution are completed, the Woman emerges purified in order to join her spouse, the Manchild company, to inherit the restored earth. Has Jesus Christ come back physically by this time? No, not even now is Christ the Lord expected to return, for "he" (in his Body) "must reign" until ALL his enemies, including death itself, are put under "his feet" - the CHURCH!

" When the Government is clearly seen to be on his shoulders in the Church, we shall become a light and testimony to a totally new order which finds its source and strength coming from the Throne of God. The river of life will support trees whose fruit will be for the healing of the nations." (35)

The Woman emerges as the purified Bride of Christ without spot or wrinkle; andjoins in a marriage union with the Corporate Christ. A spiritual wedding of the Manchild and the Woman takes place.Thus the LR teachers are proposing that the Church represents the New Eve of the New Age, while the Overcomers who precede her purification are the New Adam of the New Age.

Events following the victory over satan, and the purification of the world and global Church are:

  • The wicked are taken out, and all sin and rebellion is removed from earth.
  • creation is restored and the earth is cleansed.
  • The kingdom is set up - but the kingdom is the rule of God expressed and exercised through his people
  • There will be a long period of rulership over the earth, possibly the 1,000 years.

During this time, all Godís enemies must be destroyed, including the last enemy of death. Although the Manchild company have already demonstrated their power over death, and have received eternal life and immortality in resurrection bodies, this power over death must be extended to all the earth before the Kingdom can be offered to Jesus Christ.

All of this work is supposed to be accomplished by the Manchild Company on earth, before the physical return of Jesus. (That is, if He returns physically at ALL! Some are now teaching that the glorification of the Manchild is actually the "return" of Jesus into His Body.)

WHERE IS THIS TEACHING LEADING US?

The concepts of the new revelations, the inner light, spiritual evolution, and especially the setting up of a powerful ruling elite in a kingdom on earth, are opening us up for the reign of Antichrist.There is little in the above teaching that could not be mistaken for the doctrine of the New Age. Indeed, I believe it comes from the same spirit, and is producing not release but delusion for the many thousands who adopt it.Will the Antichrist, when he is revealed, be seen by some as the "christ-spirit" who is to glorify the Body? Will he come with a powerful "anointing" that appears to fulfil the twisted prophecies of the Latter Rain movement?

What will happen to true believers in this scenario? To look into your possible future, go on to Part Three, "The Ezekiel 47 Model: Onwards to Glory".

FOOTNOTES

  1. Marc Dupont, of the Toronto Vineyard in "Mantle of Praise" article.
  2. David Mansell, in "Times of Refreshing" supplement to Covenant News
  3. P. Van Der Elst, Internet, Thurs 23rd Feb 1995.
  4. Matthew Henry's Commentary.
  5. "The Earlier Years of the Modern Tongues Movement" G.H.Lang.
  6. R. Riss "Latter Rain" 1987 P.55
  7. Ibid., p.65
  8. MacPherson "Can The Elect Be Deceived" 1986. P.52
  9. Restoration Magazine Jan/Feb 1986 - probably Bryn Jones
  10. Noel Stanton "Fire In Our Hearts" P.110 - speech delivered at Ashburnham 1975
  11. John Noble, "House Churches - Will They Survive?" Page 121-122.
  12. Terry Virgo, "Restoration In The Church"
  13. Chris Seaton in "Your Mind Matters" (Chris Seaton is an elder in Revelation Pioneer fellowship. and head of the Restoration environment program, Whose Earth)
  14. Gerald Coates "What On Earth Is This Kingdom" page 36
  15. Summary of two separate messages, "The Divine Unveiling of the Church" by Rob Wheeler of Aukland, New Zealand, and "Old Testament Promises" by Bill Britton
  16. Bill Britton, "A Closer Look At the Rapture", 1986
  17. George Warnock, "Feast of Tabernacles" 1951
  18. George Warnock, Feast of Tabernacles.
  19. John Noble, "Apostles & Prophets" in "Breaking The Mould" compilation, pub Pioneer Trust 1993.
  20. Bryn Jones? Restoration Mag 1986
  21. Warnock, Feast of Tabernacles Pp 70-71
  22. Ibid. P 86
  23. Paul Cain speaking at the Word and the Spirit conference in London October 1992
  24. Voice of Victory magazine, September 1995, Terri Pearsons
  25. Bryn Jones, interviewed in the Jesus Army newsletter. 1993.
  26. Bill Britton, "The Pattern Son" P.43
  27. Ibid. Pge 23
  28. Ibid
  29. John Noble, "House Churches - Will They Survive?" P.118 f. The chapter, 'Our New Day', follows Bill Britton's outline of the Days of Creation in Genesis linked with the Feasts of Israel.)
  30. Arthur Wallis, "Rain From Heaven" 1979.
  31. Warnock, "Feast of Tabernacles" page 97.
  32. Roger Forster, introduction to "Territorial Spirits", pages x and xiii
  33. Stephen Matthew in Restoration magazine, Jan 1992
  34. Francis Frangipane, in Charisma magazine July 1993
  35. John Noble, "House Churches - Will They Survive?" P.96

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© 1997 Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/  This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed or in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information.   One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.