By Barbara Aho
Modern Prophets have received "new revelations" of the end-time which, until now, have not been understood by the Church. Truly, a "New Breed" of Apostles and Prophets is being raised up who will assume their end-time role of leading the Church to take dominion and to execute God’s judgments in the world. Vineyard Ministries Apostle, Jack Deere, believes that the two witnesses in Revelation 11 may very well be Kansas City Prophets, Paul Cain and Bob Jones.(1) Says Paul Cain:
"God is raising up a new standard, a new banner if you will, that’s going to radically change the expression, the understanding of Christianity in our generation…God has invited us to have a role in establishing this NEW ORDER of Christianity…God is offering to this generation something He has never offered to any other generation… Beware lest OLD ORDER brethren rob you and steal this hope from you!(2)
Bob Jones has received special revelation about this new hope:
"I have called the best of every blood line in earth unto this generation…I have elected to bring them forth in this generation…THE ELECT GENERATION…even the bloodline of Paul…of David…of Peter, James and John…They will even be superior to them in heart, stature and love for me’…Your children will possess the spirit without measure…They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before…coming into the DIVINE NATURE of Jesus Christ…a Church that has reached the full maturity of the GODMAN! This generation…is going to see the beginning of this WORLD WIDE NEW ORDER."(3)
Are you having difficulty discerning or receiving this "new revelation"? Then perhaps you have been interpreting your Bible in the "old way" -- comparing Scripture with Scripture, studying diligently to account for every jot and tittle and being careful to rightly divide the Word of truth. If this describes you, then you belong to the "Old Generation" which will not enter in to "possess the land" in the Latter Rain Revival. You may even be a member of a denominational church with its dogmatic confession of faith and statement of doctrine. These legalistic forms will be relics of the past in the up and coming "Postdenominational Church." Paul Cain advises that you "dump all that carnal stuff" (doctrine) and listen to what the "spirit" is saying to the churches through the Latter Rain Prophets and Apostles, who are dispensing many "new, sacred truths."
Now, back to your Bible study. In your Bible you will want to change the book of "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" to "The Manifestation of the Sons of God." That’s right, we are not to be looking for the "coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering unto Him." Nope. That would be an "escapist mentality" to be repented of at once if we would be Overcomers. Instead, we should be looking forward to the glorification of the Corporate Church, which will become perfect and immortal here on earth before the Second Coming. In fact, as Jesus comes "spiritually and invisibly" to His Church, He will actually "incarnate" the Corporate Body and reveal Himself to the world through miraculous signs and wonders performed by the "Manifest Sons of God."
This great end-time Company is really the "Manchild" of Revelation 12 which will rule the nations with a rod of iron. (You will need to replace Israel with the Church in this passage.) Yes, this end-time Church is also the prophetic fulfillment of the dreadful army in Joel 2, which is God’s agent of judgment to cleanse the earth of evil during the "times of restitution." (You will find this army also in Revelation 9!) Since the Manifest Sons of God are "the Christ," they will be putting all things under their (oops!) His feet, including the "old order" brethren.
Are you wondering by what authority the modern Prophets and Apostles presume to confer this Divine Right upon themselves and their followers? Not to worry! Paul Crouch, President of Trinity Broadcasting Network, has provided the following exegesis of Jesus’ parable:
"Read the parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matthew 13:24-30 and you will see that at the end of this age the "ANGELS" are sent forth to remove evil from the earth. That word "ANGELS" also means messengers. So God may use some of us to finish up the work of this age."(4)
Those who would be chosen as the elect Manifest Sons of God by the modern Apostles and Prophets, must first repent of their old divisive attitude of separation from error. Christ cannot incarnate a divided church and for this reason we will need to be delivered from our narrow doctrinal point of view and join the ecumenical crowd on the Broad Way. It matters not that the blood of the martyrs was shed contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Those who persist in being contentious about doctrine may join them when the great "revival" arrives circa A.D. 2000.
Over 50 years ago, William Branham, George Warnock, Paul Cain and others attempted to introduce Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God teachings into the Pentecostal movement. In 1949, however, the Assemblies of God officially rejected the Latter Rain/ Manifest Sons of God doctrine as "heresy." The cult went underground but surfaced again in the 1960’s as the Manchild Company. Disregarding the Assemblies of God decision, Paul Cain, the Kansas City Prophets and Vineyard Ministries have subsequently reintroduced and successfully established this false doctrine in the Pentecostal churches.
The Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God doctrine "involved a man-child elite group of Overcomers taking dominion over all nations and reigning in the heavenlies while overseeing drastic judgment on all who remained in the 'old generation' -- i.e., the denominational churches! The Latter-Rain teachings promised a Second Pentecost outpouring to empower this elite group, and to incarnate the Christ within them to the degree that they will become perfect and invincible, even to the overthrow of heavenly powers."(5)
Today, few recall the controversy surrounding Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God doctrines fifty years ago and their repudiation by the Church. Of necessity, they are now camouflaged and Christians must have an accurate understanding of Scripture to discern these counterfeit winds of doctrine. Charismatic churches are well-established in Latter Rain doctrine and Evangelical churches are currently being indoctrinated via numerous parachurch organizations and movements. Latter Rain teachings include: Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology, Progressive Revelation, Revival/Harvest, Joel’s Army, Replacement Theology, Post-Millennial Eschatology, Signs and Wonders, Territorial Warfare, Ecumenism, Restoration of Apostles and Prophets, Jubilee/Feast of Tabernacles, and the Post-denominational Church.
Latter Rain doctrine is a modern version of the classic heresy of Gnosticism, which taught that a spiritual elite possessed "hidden knowledge" of the divine realm which placed their personal revelations, spiritual experiences, and private interpretation of Scripture above the ordinary revelation of God’s Word. In Latter Rain doctrine, Pentecost was the "former rain" or outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the Church must yet receive a second Holy Spirit visitation. At this time, the Sons of God will be glorified and manifested to all as they establish the Kingdom on earth before Jesus Christ returns bodily. Latter Rain prophets are now preparing multitudes for this transformation. In a 1991 program entitled "Manifested Sons of God," Morris Cerullo flattered his audience with the following blasphemy,
"You represent all that God is and all that God has...Jesus was the visible expression of God. Jesus was the Son of the Living God. Now, who are you? Sons of God…everyone say it. What is working inside of us is the manifestation. When you look at me, you are looking at Jesus…To see Jesus was to see God. To see me is to see Jesus. Jesus knew who He was. Don’t you think it is about time we know who we are?"(6)
Benny Hinn fills convention centers worldwide preaching a similar message, which exalts the creature rather than the Creator, and induces spiritual pride:
"This spirit-man within me is a God-man. Say after me, he’s born of heaven, he’s a super-being…Say I’m born of heaven - God-man. I’m a God-man. I’m a sample of Jesus. I’m a super being. Say it! Say it! Who’s a super being? I walk in the realm of the supernatural. Get the spirit-man renewed…when he’s strong, he’ll hold off sickness…you want to prosper? Money will be falling on you from left, right and center. God will begin to prosper you, for money always follows righteousness…Say after me, I hold my destiny."(7)
Thus, whole congregations are bewitched with the prospect of unleashing their potential as ‘Godmen’ in the approaching "Latter Rain Revival." This predicted restoration is an outgrowth of Replacement Theology which appropriates to the Church the promises of restoration which God gave to Israel, specifically Joel 2:23 and Hosea 6:3. James 5:7 simply states that the Church must patiently wait for the coming of the Lord as the husbandman waits for the "latter rain" to receive the full harvest. The saints will then reign with Christ, as seen in Revelation 19. Neither Daniel, Matthew 24, Thessalonians nor Revelation mention a great Christian revival, but characterize the period before the Second Coming as a perilous time of great deception, paganism, apostasy from the faith and persecution of the saints.
In I John 4:1-3, Christians are enjoined to "believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." However, there is a common theme in many of the new revelations that those who resist the "new move of God" as unscriptural are lukewarm, immature or even divisive members of the Body. The following prophecy by Gwen Shaw, President of End-Time Handmaidens, is typical of this attitude:
"If you can’t think in a new way, if you can’t accept what I am going to do, you will burst. You will not be able to accept the expansion of this new wine. This new wine shall cause many to expand in their understanding of the ways of God. Because some are not equipped, and some are not prepared, and because of their indifference and their critical spirit, their wineskins shall burst."(8)
Those in authority who indiscriminately censure believers for questioning new revelations are interfering with an important step in the biblical process of testing prophecy. Yet throughout the Latter Rain move, leaders have scarcely, if at all, encouraged the church to be like the noble Bereans in Acts 17 who "searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Rather, they commonly protest that any objection to the new revelations is of a judgmental spirit or a personal attack on the prophets. These rash assumptions prevent all honest discussion concerning the doctrinal bases for assumed "new" revelations. Paul Cain even advised his audience to wait until they get to heaven to examine his exposition of the ‘Manchild Company,’ which would never stand the test of Scripture:
"…I know some of you are going to disagree with this. Don’t you even stop to disagree. Revelation 12:5. If you disagree, just file it in ‘miscellaneous’ and check it out. And don’t bother with it; when we get to heaven we’ll check it out and you’ll find out I’m right…"(9)
NEW AGE PARALLELS
However inconsistent it may be with the Word of God, Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God eschatology agrees on every point with the New Age Movement’s anticipation of the exaltation of mankind to godhood and the establishment of a New World Order. The following appraisal of Latter Rain theology by New Age Unity pastor, Rev. Earnest Ramsey was cited in Constance Cumbey’s book, A Planned Deception, The Staging of a New Age Messiah,
"Rev. Ernest Ramsey, an associate pastor at Unity's Kansas City's Founder's Church, Unity on the Plaza, is an enthusiastic follower of the Alice Bailey and Benjamin Creme teachings. In his Research Report #2, he tells of something he was led to by a spirit guide - what he terms 'Neo-Pentecostalism.' An aberrant branch of Pentecostalism, this is more commonly known as the 'Manifest Sons of God.' That movement is also referred to as 'Sonship' or 'Overcomers.' Ramsey concludes based on even less evidence than I have personally collected that this is part of the New Age Movement.
"Ramsey's work for his organization, 'Synthesis Fellowship,' first came to my attention in early 1983. His major report, entitled "An Evolutionary Basis For The Reappearance of the Christ and his Executives, the Masters of Wisdom" was inspired by Benjamin Creme's appearance and speech at Unity on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. . . The most interesting section of Ramsey's report dealt with 'Neo-Pentecostalism.' Ramsey spent a semester at one of the Neo-Pentecostal or Manifest Sons of God seminaries (in upstate New York). . . Already familiar with the Alice Bailey writings, he was amazed to see that there was a branch of Pentecostalism that embraced the same teachings -- albeit using sometimes different terminology.
"Like those seeking the 'Age of Aquarius' these people too were seeking a 'New Age.' Like the other New Agers, these people taught that 'The Christ' was an anointing - not necessarily one man. They taught that Jesus was a pattern son who was to be a sign of something even greater to come - the 'Manifestation of the Sons of God.' They too believed the earth was to be cleansed of evil. And chillingly like the other New Agers, they believed they were to be 'God's' instruments to do such cleansing. The New Agers believed they were gods. The Manifest Sons of God likewise taught that if one accepted their 'new revelation' that they themselves would actually become Christ at the time of the unveiling or manifestation of the Sons of God."(10)
Other prominent New Age leaders have openly expressed the intention of their movement to infiltrate the Christian Church in order to introduce their esoteric teachings and to "draw away disciples after themselves." In The Unfinished Animal: The Aquarian Frontier and the Evolution of Consciousness, Theodore Rosak revealed that, "Charismatic congregations in main-line churches are entry points into the Aquarian frontier."(11) Alice Bailey, Theosophist and mother of the modern New Age Movement, revealed an ingenious plan in her 1957 volume, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy. Cabalist agents would infiltrate the Christian Church to modify its message, while adapting it as a vehicle for the Universal Religion of the 21st Century.
"…The church movement, like all else, is but a temporary expedient and serves but a transient resting place for the evolving life. Eventually, there will appear the Church Universal, and its definite outlines will appear towards the close of this century… This Church will be nurtured into activity by the Christ and His disciples when the outpouring of the Christ principle, the TRUE second Coming has been accomplished… the Christian church in its many branches can serve as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished… the church as a teaching factor should take the great basic doctrines and (shattering the old forms in which they are expressed and held) show their true and inner spiritual significance. The prime work of the church is to teach, and teach ceaselessly, preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages. Teachers must be trained; Bible knowledge must be spread; the sacraments must be mystically interpreted, and the power of the church to heal must be demonstrated."(12) (Italics added)
In Latter Rain doctrine, paramount emphasis is placed on the proposed Year of Jubilee A.D. 2000, when all nations and a "united" Church will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. The prophetic fulfillment of this Feast is said to occur prior to the return of Christ. Latter Rain prophets claim that this will also be a "Second Pentecost," since the first was ‘incomplete.’ Christ will then appear in the midst of His people and be incarnated in his Body, filling the Corporate "Christ" with His glory, which will then be poured out on all flesh.
"There is another realm of spiritual experience typified in scripture by the Feast of Tabernacles. Until we understand and partake of this feast, as we have both Passover and Pentecost, we will never fulfill our destiny and calling. We must discover the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles and ‘celebrate’ it along with Passover and Pentecost…What God did among Jews in Jerusalem, He is going to do among humanity and worldwide. Pentecost will come to maturity in the feast of Tabernacles."(13)
This Latter Rain "Second Pentecost" during Tabernacles is suggestive of the "Planetary Pentecost" preached by Barbara Marx Hubbard as the peaceful "alternative to Armageddon." At this time, a "quantum leap" in the evolution of mankind will occur as revealed to her by "the Christ": "At the moment of cosmic contact, I will appear to you both through inner experience and through external communication on your mass media." Says Ms. Hubbard, it will be a time when "the divisions of the religions would be over…We would each know that God is within us…If all who feel we are connected to each other, to nature and to God join in a planetary Pentecost, we shall be transformed in this lifetime. I believe in the peaceful second Coming."(14) Earnest Ramsey perceived virtually no difference at all between the New Age Tabernacles/Year of Jubilee and the Latter Rain interpretation of these celebrations.
"Ernest Ramsey excitedly pointed out in his report that [the Manifest Sons] had a teaching which indeed did parallel the Aquarian teaching of the Age of Aquarius -- the Old Testament 'Year of Jubilee' as well as the 'Feast of Tabernacles.' The Year of Jubilee paralleled the redistribution of the world's wealth. The Feast of Tabernacles was the equivalent of the coming together of the World's peoples and varied religions under one tent or tabernacle -- the equivalent of the New Agers' long-awaited 'New World Religion.'"(15)
Coincidental with the Latter Rain/New Age agenda to celebrate Tabernacles in the proposed Year of Jubilee, the Vatican Central Committee is coordinating with other Catholic Rites and church conferences, such as Episcopal, Anglican Communion, World Lutheran Federation, World Reformed Alliance, Methodist World Council, the World Council of Churches for a celebration of the Great Jubilee "which will take place simultaneously in the Holy Land, in Rome and in the local Churches throughout the world."(16) In ancient Israel, the 50 year Jubilee celebration freed all slaves, canceled all debts, and restored properties to the original owners. Pope John Paul II, New Age/New World Order planners and Pat Robertson (17) of the Christian Broadcasting Network have all called for the worldwide redistribution of wealth and cancellation of debt in 2000 A.D.--severe measures that would precipitate the collapse of secular economies which have not planned for this adjustment.
Concurrent with Rome’s initiative, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is promoting "Taste of Tabernacles" celebrations in Christian churches and parachurch ministries worldwide. Johann Luckhoff, Director of ICEJ, was invited by New Age advocate, Jay Gary, to speak at the ecumenical A.D. 2000 Global Conference on World Evangelism in Seoul, South Korea in 1989. Says Luckoff, "One of the reasons I was invited to Korea was because the organizers of the GCOWE hope to have the next gathering in Jerusalem at the end of the millennium. That should be quite an event." George Warnock would agree. In 1951, Warnock forged a definitive doctrine for the Latter Rain Movement in his book, The Feast of Tabernacles, and specifically noted that the "Christ should visit the saints…and minister his life ‘in secret’ before He is openly manifest."(18)
Zechariah 14:16 states that the nations will go to Jerusalem annually to worship the King and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, after the return of Jesus Christ. Which "Christ" will the Latter Rain prophets worship?
"We must not miss this point: the replacement theology of the Manifest Sons of the Latter Rain, which New Ager Ramsey called ‘Neo-Pentecostalism,’ has brought the Age of Aquarius into the Church under the guise of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Year of Jubilee."(19)
To defend their unbiblical exposition of many doctrines, Latter Rain prophets and apostles claim that "new" teachings, prophecies and interpretations of Scripture are progressively being unveiled which have heretofore not been revealed to the Church. Even though such visions, prophecies and revelations are unsupported by the Word of God, they are nonetheless canonized as doctrine because they were accompanied by spiritual experiences. However, Hebrews 1:1,2 states, "God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." Since Jesus Christ is the Word of God, I Corinthians 14:29 contains the provision that all prophecy in the church be tested and judged by its conformity to Scripture. Isaiah 8:20 declares, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
In 1993, Charismatic Pastor John Hinkle prophesied nationally that on Thursday, June 9, God would remove the evil from the earth. That this was a false prophecy should have been apparent to believers from the beginning, for Scripture is clear that evil will not only remain in the world, but will increase before Jesus Christ returns. Deuteronomy 18:22 states, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously." False prophets in Israel were to be stoned. Mercifully, the church is to judge prophets and reject those who do not speak according to sound doctrine or whose word is not specifically fulfilled. However, Christian leaders did not reject Hinkle’s prophecy as false but dissembled, claiming that an earthquake in South America or unknown event in the invisible realm fulfilled its conditions. Could not the latter rationalization be made for all prophecies that default?
"New" revelations extend beyond the parameters of God’s Word and give opportunity for false teachings to be introduced to the Church. The mischief that ensues from the acceptance of false prophecy is considerable. The transition from John Hinkle’s prophecy to Paul Crouch’s outrageous statement that Christians will soon remove the tares from the wheat was subtle. We have yet to see the damage that will result from Pat Robertson’s astonishing claim in a 1984 televised sermon that, "God spoke through a word of prophecy in May 1968, and said, ‘I have chosen you to usher in the coming of My Son.’"(20) Robertson also announced then that the Christian Broadcasting Network will provide worldwide coverage of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Which "coming" is precarious, for it seems that more than one "Christ" is presently expected to return. One researcher has pondered Pat Robertson’s prophecy:
"I can’t see any way out of his cameras melting if he attempted such a thing with the true coming. II Thessalonians 1:7,8 describes that extraordinary day, ‘…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.’ II Peter 3:10 states, ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.’"(21)
It is unlikely that Pat Robertson will televise the Lord Jesus Christ in His glorious return from heaven. Perchance it may be "that Wicked One, even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."
New Agers have studied Bible prophecy carefully, especially Matthew 24, and have documented plans to technically stage a "Second Coming," which would be acceptable to Christians, New Agers, et al. David Bay, Director of Old Paths Ministries, says that these plans have been published in a book entitled, The Armageddon Script, by New Age leader Peter LeMesurier. However, before that event, there will be another supernatural, psychic occurrence:
"Pope John Paul II is anxiously awaiting a potent world-wide Marian Vision. (World) chaos is to precede this vision. This vision will validate the global reign of Pope John Paul II and will establish him as the ultimate spiritual Judge of the Planet… the purpose of this super-natural vision is to validate the Roman Catholic church as the only true church and this Pope as God's ordained leader.’…According to Vatican official, Malachi Martin, author of The Keys of This Blood, this event will be most powerfully psychic. The force accompanying this vision will be so powerful it will literally bring the normal activity of the world to a standstill. Men will be so moved that their ‘consciences will cry out with fear.’ This vision will produce an ‘engulfing chaos, along with misdirection, and disequilibruim in human affairs. In other words, the entire population of the world will experience a simultaneous changing of their minds…The vision will be preceded by either a loud sound, a bright light...
"These effects are identical to those which New Age writers have predicted during the appearance of Anti-Christ… (1) A loud sound will be heard world-wide which will herald the coming of Maitreya, the Christ. Prompted by this sound, people will be aware of his coming on three distinct levels: Spiritual, physical, and emotional. (Alice Bailey's The Externalisation Of The Hierarchy, p. 173.) (2) ‘...When Lord Maitreya appears, he will appear as different beings to different people… Thus, he will show that he is all things to all people.’ (Bill Lambert, speaking at Seminar, ‘Possible and Probable Events In The Future,’ Theosophical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, August 8, 1991). (3) His three-dimensional image will appear over all nations of the earth simultaneously. He will speak to each ethnic group in their own language. We know this is technologically possible with computer images via telecommunication satellite. (Constance Cumbey, Hidden Dangers Of The Rainbow, p. 24-25).
"We also know that Satan could produce this phenomenon by his Super-Natural power alone. New Age writers clearly state, however, there will be a mixing of super-natural phenomena and advanced technology when the staging of the Anti-Christ occurs… New Age Leaders boldly state in their Plan to use the special effects of modern TV and movies to persuade the people of the world that Maitreya is who he claims to be. ‘...the use of such special effects should not be ruled out on this occasion. The world's news-media can be counted upon to do the rest.’ (The Armageddon Script, Peter Lemesurier, St. Martin's Press, 1981, p. 236) The New Age book, The Messianic Legacy, states that the only way the Messiah could be super-naturally staged in all aspects that Christians are expecting would be through the use of "Hollywood."(22)
True believers will meet the Lord "in the air" (not on earth) and He will return with them to earth, not as a "peacemaker," but to destroy the nations gathered at Armageddon. The unthinkable will become "religiously correct" when Evangelical and Charismatic shepherds lead an apostate Church in the worship of a false Christ. Revelation 13:15 further states that, "as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
In view of this prospect, an alarming "new revelation" taught by the modern prophets is that the end-time Church is God’s army in Joel 2, which will judge the Old Order and bring in the Kingdom. In Prophecy Today, Clifford Hill explained, "This teaching is part of what is known as ‘dominion theology’ which teaches that an elite army of ‘overcomers’ will either destroy or subdue all the enemies of Christ until they eventually gain power and authority throughout the world. The government of the nations will be upon their shoulders and when all the secular authorities, governments, princes and kings have finally submitted to them, Christ will return and they will present the kingdom to him."(23) According to Rick Joyner, Christianity must be destabilized and redefined by modern apostles, prophets, etc. to finalize Alice Bailey’s plan to "take the great basic doctrines and shatter the old forms in which they are expressed and held."(24)
"What is about to come upon the earth is not just a revival, or another awakening; it is a veritable revolution. The vision was given in order to begin to awaken those who are destined to radically change the course, and even the very definition of Christianity. The dismantling of organizations and disbanding of some works will be a positive and exhilarating experience for the Lord’s faithful servants. A great company of prophets, teachers, pastors and apostles will be raised up with the spirit of Phineas…"(25)
To sanctify this Machiavellian plot, Jack Deere recasts Joel 2 in the context of Ezekiel 9: "When this army comes, He says it’s large and it’s mighty. It’s so mighty that there’s never been anything like it before…‘begin the slaughter and begin it in the temple and begin it with the elders, the leaders of my people.’ And they walk through the land and they start and they begin to slaughter and you know it’s already started with the biggest names in His household? He has already started the slaughter…and it is coming now among the Church."(26) Vineyard pastors James Ryle (Promise Keepers), John Arnott and Wes Campbell (Toronto Blessing) and prophets Bob Jones and Rick Joyner all report visions of "a bloody civil war" in the Church:
"James Ryle has had a similar vision. The Lord even showed him how the blue coats stand for the revelatory, the revelation, and the grey for grey matter, man's wisdom. And in this context the north fought the south and the south fought the north, and the south wanted to keep the people enslaved. They wanted their money. They wanted their keep the system going. And the north said ‘No! Freedom! Freedom!’ And they went into a terrible fight, and it was father against son, brother against brother, and a man's enemies were in his own house. And the angel said this: ‘There won't be a house that escapes weeping.’" (27)
Such prophecies do not edify the Church, but are inflammatory and undermine the true unity of believers for which Jesus prayed in John 17. Nevertheless, they give increased momentum to the program of New Age leaders such as Alice Bailey, who wrote, "The reorganization of the world’s religions…is for the new world religion."(28) Barbara Marx Hubbard divulged the real reason for the New Age mission, "There is an anti-evolutionary cadre of orthodox believers who focus on the limits of this life and the unworthiness of human nature. Now they would destroy our capacity to transcend…"(29)
She and other New Age leaders have estimated "that for planetary transformation to take place, up to one quarter of the inhabitants of the earth will have to be excised like a cancer." Given the animosity that has been generated by Latter Rain prophets toward Biblical Christianity and the affinity of this movement for warfare terminology, it is hard to resist the suspicion that the New Age/Latter Rain regime will be using a militant Church to accomplish this. Prophet Rick Joyner has even identified "Antichrist" as the traditional Church (30) and Jack Deere claims that modern prophets will execute the Tribulation judgments.
"You see why we're excited about someone like Paul Cain or Bob Jones coming on the scene? Or others that we've met…you know those two powerful witnesses in Revelation 11:3? You know what - they are first and foremost? They are prophets. He said they will prophesy for 1,260 days. He's going to end the last days just before His Son returns with a prophetic movement that will sweep the entire face of the earth and will eclipse anything we have ever seen before…the significance of these signs and wonders…But they don't just happen on the earth. They come because they are prayed for and they are predicted by God's people."(31)
It would be unwise to nonchalantly dismiss these claims as idle braggadocio. Paul Cain, Bob Jones, Rick Joyner and other Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God proponents have paranormal experiences on a regular basis and have demonstrated occult powers.
"Bob Jones (KFC’s resident seer) is a man who claims to have five to six visions and revelations per day. We are talking about a man who thought he was a backslider when two days went by without a visitation from Jesus…Paul Cain…is called the ‘Terror of the Lord’…and has exhibited the ability to tell people the details of their lives, hidden sins and even things they have said in confidence to others. There have been reports of earthquakes and other natural disasters predicted by him…(and) power surges of electricity at places where he ministers." (32)
False prophets preach "another gospel," which is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Vineyard scholar Jack Deere has even admitted that he is not sure of the true gospel. In an interview, Deere told Robert Dean of Biblical Perspectives, "I used to be like you…thinking the gospel was simply justification by faith."(33) This spiritual advisor to John Wimber, late Director of Vineyard Ministries, added that the gospel would have to include works, such as healing and deliverance. This false gospel of works is leading a vast religious system into spiritual deception. Enchanted by signs and lying wonders and riding the ecumenical bandwagon, the Latter Rain/ Manifest Sons of God will be easily assimilated into the Mystery Religion revival foretold in Revelation 17. II Thessalonians 2:10-11 describes God’s judgment, which has already begun in this movement: "…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."
Gnostic doctrines are not a new revelations, as modern prophets tell us. Although they come in various expressions, they always contain the same lie the Serpent used to beguile Eve --"…then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods." Neither are Gnostic doctrines the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, but rather the false gospel of the "King over all the children of pride." This corrupt tree always bears evil fruit in the Church. "Gone is the understanding that we must be cross-bearers. The church now seeks adulation and quickly becomes a seed bed for pride, greed and power all under the guise of spiritual growth."(34)
There are few today who are willing to take the low seat at the Wedding Feast. Often we must look to the message of older generations (of whom the world was not worthy) for inspiration to seek a better resurrection and an heavenly country. Amy Carmichael, missionary to India in the early 1900s, scorned the vain imaginations of a worldly Church and would not glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. She wrote –
HAST THOU NO SCAR?
Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent.
Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?
No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole. Can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?