Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The French Prophets, the 1679 Prophecy, & the Latter Rain Movement

The French Prophets
In the video yesterday, the narrator suggested that the New Apostolic Reformation descends from the French Prophets. There is somewhat of a connection, but I see a stronger tie to the Latter Rain movement. 

 The Maltese cross was used by the Huguenots, with a downward facing dove.
This downward dove is tied to Southern Baptist ConventionAleister Crowley and Calvary Chapel.

The Comisards, who were an offshoot group of the French Protestants (Huguenots), were known as French prophets. They fled from France to London and started to prophesy against the Church in London, about their destruction and the new world to come. Religious wars between the Protestants and Catholics led many to believe that the Millennium was at hand, and spirit possession began manifesting itself in many new forms - since many spoke in tongues and went into trances. The French prophets were exiled to the New World with the Huguenots, as well as a few other locations, and had connections and influence on the Shakers.

They and their spiritual descendants not only had the very same manifestations, but also the very same fruit as today’s third wave prophets.  There is evidence among the old Shaker writings, that perhaps there was a connection between the teaching of the Shakers and the earlier prophetic writings of English Mystic, Jane Leade, who you will read about in a moment.

The New Apostolic Reformation believe that “God is restoring the office of apostles and prophets,” can be traced to the “1679 Prophecy” by the occult Christian Kabbalist sect called the Philadelphian Society. The Philadelphians believed in the Kabbalah doctrine of “Gilgul” or the Transmigration of souls. They believed that the souls of ancient Israel would reincarnate into their genetic descendants, which include to souls of the original apostles and prophets. They were a quasi-Masonic, quasi-Rosicrucian society that delved deeply into mysticism. 

 Symbol of the Kabbalah Tree of Life

Mike Bickle, Bob Weiner, John Wimber, Bill Hamon, Rick Joyner, C. Peter Wagner and all the many Latter Rain “apostles and prophets” get their “apostolic authority” through doctrines of reincarnation, and it is because of this that all of the Latter Rain “Apostles and Prophets” can be rightly labeled “occultic.” [1] It may sound as though I'm making this up, but wait until you dig into some of the background of the Latter Rain movement and people.

1619 Prophecy
One of the problems during the Reformation was the presence of “enthusiasts” who claimed direct revelation from God. The Reformers condemned such persons and movements, but that did not deter them from gaining followers. One who arose a century after the Reformation, and who continues to have followers, was an English mystic named Jane Leade. [2]

Jane Ward Leade (1624–1704) was a Christian mystic whose spiritual visions, recorded in a series of publications, were central in the founding and philosophy of the Philadelphian Society in London. The Philadelphian Society took the Christian Kabbalist teachings of Jakob Boehme, who was a well-known Rosicrucian, and incorporated them into their group. Jane's writings and prophecies were also central to the group. Her teachings covered many of the Christian mysteries: the nature of Christ, the redemption of Man through a return to the Godhead, the existence of the Sophia, the Apocalypse and the possibility of Ascension. The scope of her work drew comparisons with the Kabbalists, the Gnostics, the Alchemists, and even the Rosicrucians in her belief in the presence of God in all things (Pantheism) and the existence of the Holy Spirit in each soul (Nondualism).

In 1679, the Philadelphian Society and the Theosophists published a document containing a 60-point prophecy by Jane Leade. The document proposed ideas that would later resurface in 1948 in the Latter Rain movement, and, as we shall see, are still being promoted by key Apostle-prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation. [3]

The first several points of the prophecy are about sealed mysteries that would be revealed only to “worthy searchers.” She claimed that there was an "Ark of the Testimony" in heaven containing new revelations to be opened during the church age. Her prophecy of a perfected church (later called the “many-membered man-child” ), must take control of the earth before Jesus can return. This sets the stage for the Latter Rain movement in the 20th Century that would make the same claims. Whether that movement got its ideas from Leade or came up with the same heresy independently - the ideas are identical. She prophesied that the Church must be perfected on earth before Christ can return, and this shall be accompanied with miracles and power greater that at any time in church history—including Pentecost. [4]

A Word about Latter Rain and Elitism
At the very beginning of the 20th century a man named David Wesley Myland used the term “Latter Rain” to describe the Pentecostal revival that was going on. He allegorized Joel 2:23 that spoke of God blessing the agricultural harvest in Israel to create a theory of Church history. In Israel’s agricultural cycles, there were the spring rains (early rain) and the fall rains (the latter rain). Myland used this terminology and applied it to the Pentecost of Acts (early rain) and the one he claimed was again happening at Azusa Street and elsewhere (the latter rain). The key idea of these early Pentecostals was that the gift of tongues was being restored to the church and was going to issue forth into great power to evangelize the world. But the Pentecostal movement was fraught with aberrations that soon arose—such as the Oneness doctrine that denied the Trinity. The thinking of early “Latter Rain” Pentecostals was that God was restoring the apostolic power of the early church.

Those who wanted to maintain traditional evangelical theology yet include the idea of the gift of tongues as the sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit joined together into groups such as the Assemblies of God. The Assemblies rejected the latter rain ideas and held to traditional premillennial eschatology that many evangelicals believed.

In the 1930s, a man by the name of William Branham began to preach and exhibit supernatural manifestations. George Hawtin and P. G. Hunt heard Branham speak in Vancouver and brought his ideas to North Battleford, Saskatchewan where the “Latter Rain” revival that became the New Order of the Later Rain (NOLR) actually began. A key book that was circulated at that time was Atomic Power with God Through Prayer and Fasting by Franklin Hall. A key idea that still persists is that God is continually desiring to do great and powerful miracles through the church, but is unable to do so because the church has not become holy enough, desired it badly enough, has failed in numerous other ways, or lacks the faith that is necessary to precipitate these miracles. The Latter Rain has always been predicated on elitist ideas such as those of Jane Leade previously cited. They consider ordinary churches to be miserable failures that God cannot use. [5]

Latter Rain Beliefs Enter the NAR
Bill Hamon was born in 1934, and according to his book, Apostles, Prophets, and the Coming Moves of God, he entered the ministry as a teenager. In his adult life, Hamon became involved with C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation at its very inception:

Hamon says in his book, "The National Symposium on the Post-Denominational Church was convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner.  The consensus of the panelists was that there are still apostles and prophets in the Church, and that there is an emerging Apostolic Movement that will revolutionize the 21st-century Church. The last-generation Church will have an Apostolic Reformation that will be as great as the first-generation Apostolic Movement."

With Wagner’s endorsement, Hamon brought the teachings of the Latter Rain movement into the New Apostolic Reformation. Wagner “highly recommends” Hamon’s book on Apostles and Prophets and wrote the foreword to it. But Hamon’s book reiterates nearly every claim of the discredited Latter Rain movement. For example, one of the more extreme teachings of the Latter Rain was the “manifested sons” teaching; but Hamon teaches the same thing citing a version of the Bible that translates it “revealing of the sons”:
"The whole creation is waiting for the last generation Church. The earth and all of creation are waiting for the manifestation of God’s last-day apostles and prophets and fully restored Church. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19 NKJV). When the Church is fully restored, then the saints will receive their final redemption, the immortalization of the mortal bodies."
Hamon claims that this has to happen before the return of Christ so the church can fulfill her role. [6]

This doctrine was denounced by the Assemblies of God in 1948. Yet, today, the Manifest Sons of God idea is pushed by big-name charismatic preachers (and their puppet minions in local churches), who talk of a "great end time army", who will "take nations for God" and will "usher in the kingdom of God" or bring the "next revival". These people would probably deny being influenced by the  Manifest Sons of God or Latter Rain heresies - but that is exactly what they are preaching! Movements that bear the core of this  Manifest Sons of God heresy, include 'Word of Faith,' 'Kingdom Now,' 'Dominion,' 'The Prophetic Move,' the 'Toronto Blessing,' and others. [7]

The Latter Rain movement had an outwardly orthodox Christian Gospel message while they simultaneously believe and practice the Gospel using the Kabbalah and hermetic doctrines as interpretive lenses. They may profess Jesus on the outside, but their practices come straight from the occult.

I haven't personally resolved the experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. I know the cleansing experience I had, and there has never been anything in my life to match it. But I am thoroughly convinced that the people who are pushing the Dominion/Kingdom Now theology and the 3rd Reformation are not getting their marching orders from the Lord Jesus.

Leaders of this movement base their beliefs on astrology, mysticism and spiritualism (including speaking to angels), with a sprinkling of scripture. Perhaps this is the same problem Paul spoke about in the heretical teachings that were flowing from some of the churches he ministered to.  They were using Gnostic practices mixed with the Truth, with signs and wonders.

The Christian Kabbalah can never be the life-saving Gospel, and its proponents can never be Christian in the same way Mormons, Freemasons, Rosicrucians and other Kabbalist-based individuals can never be Christian. These unknowing followers of Jesus are being fed what is essentially the ancient Mystery Religion wrapped in Christian terminology. The role these teachings will play is that of Antichrist. The true Christ will return bodily and catch His church up to meet Him in the air (1Thessalonians 4:17).

The Bible says in Matthew 24:24, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." These Charismatic churches are showing great signs and wonders, which is why many mainline churches are losing membership to the churches that seem to be full of life. The teachings seem to be scripturally-based, but they are being twisted to teach the doctrine of demons. Jesus said that these false prophets can fool the elect, therefore it must be pretty slick. This movement contains the elements of what I consider to be the slickest yet.

I read something that John Wesley said about the French Prophets. He may have been a Socialist, but I think he had his version of the Gospel correct. This could act as good advice for us today concerning the Charismatic movement and the New Apostolic Reformation. He had concluded that the French prophets were not sent by God and “earnestly exhorted all that followed after holiness to avoid, as fire, all who do not speak according to the law and the testimony." He urged them to "not believe every spirit but to try the spirits to see if they are of God." He told them not to judge the Spirit on the basis of appearances, common report, or by their own inward feelings. "No, nor by any dreams, visions, or revelations supposed to be made to their souls, anymore than by their tears or any involuntary effects wrought upon their bodies."

John Wesley was not against dreams and visions or even heavenly manifestations and feelings. He attempted to distinguish between divine inspiration and “enthusiasm” which he said was false and imaginary. He wrote that weak minds could pervert visions “to an idle use” but he also strongly said “does it follow that visions and dreams in general are bad branches of a bad root? God forbid!”

Perhaps we should take his advice.

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Mike Bickle's Connection with the Occult 
Heavenly Portals or Unholy Deception
What Do Rick Joyner, the CIA, and Knights of Malta Have in Common?
Larry Randolph: Behind Closed Door #1
The Iron Cross and American Christians
Dr. Albert Mohler: Between Two Worlds