Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Age Parallels with the NAR's Manifest Sons of God

In an eye-opening post on the Herescope blog, the author writes about the parallels between the Latter Rain cult teachings (which were adopted by the New Apostolic Reformation), and the teachings which flow from the New Age movement. It was through the writings of Rev. Ernest Ramsey, an associate pastor of a New Age church, that Constance Cumbey learned of the connection between the New Apostolic Reformation's Manifest Sons of God and the New Age.

To recap: 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. Latter Rain prophets are now preparing multitudes for this transformation.

The blogger writes:

In the old Latter Rain cult heresies about a great endtime "harvest," there was an aberrant teaching about the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles which has since become very popular in some segments of the evangelical world. According to Pastor Bill Randles in his book critiquing the Toronto Blessing (laughing movement) Weighed and Found Wanting . . . Putting the Toronto Blessing in Context,
In 1951, [George Warnock] wrote his book, The Feast of Tabernacles, in which he laid out a specific doctrine for the Latter Rain Movement. He taught that the Church was about to usher in the completion of God's feasts through perfection of the saints and their dominion over the earth. Essentially, this Latter Rain teaching implies that the three great annual feasts of the Lord in Israel's worship (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles) typify the whole Church Age, beginning with the death of Jesus on the cross, and consummating in 'the manifestations of the Sons of God' - the 'overcomers' who will become perfected and step into immortality in order to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. According to Warnock, this will be accomplished through the restoration of the Church in unity.... (p. 57)
This quotation was cited by Ed Tarkowski, a noted discernment researcher, in his 2000 paper titled "Prophecies Announcing The Birthing Of The Corporate Child: Part Four." He described the new doctrines that arose during the "Toronto Blessing" of the mid-1990s, a manic group phenomenon of uncontrollable laughing and other wild behaviors which quickly spread to Pensacola, Florida. These "revivals" were supported by the leaders of the present-day NAR. One particularly bizarre feature of the Toronto "blessing" was women writhing on the floor, acting out a mystical portrayal of the prophesied birth of a corporate "manchild" that would fulfill old Latter Rain prophecies. Why was it so necessary to do this? The answer may shed some light on the current prophecies about a great outpouring of wealth.

In his article, Tarkowski noticed that Constance Cumbey, renowned attorney and researcher of the New Age movement, had written that the Feast of Tabernacles had specific New Age significance, and was connected to a coming Year of Jubilee, in which the wealth of the world would be redistributed. He wrote:

POINT 5: THE TRUTH IS THAT THE LATTER RAIN FEAST OF TABERNACLES PARALLELS THE NEW AGE AGE OF AQUARIUS - In her 1985 book, A Planned Deception: The Staging of a New Age 'Messiah', Christian writer Constance Cumbey writes about Rev. Ernest Ramsey, an enthusiastic follower of the Alice Bailey and Benjamin Creme teachings. She says that his major report was entitled "An Evolutionary Basis For The Reappearance of the Christ and his Executives, the Masters of Wisdom." Cumbey writes,
"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.' . . . Ramsey concludes . . . that this is part of the New Age Movement."
Cumbey continues,
"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 . . . . 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."
Cumbey continues her eye-opener with this revelation:

"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.' . . . ."
We must not miss this point: the Replacement Theology of the Manifest Sons of the Latter Rain has brought the Age of Aquarius into the Church under the guise of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Year of Jubilee.

Constance Cumbey's book A Planned Deception: The Staging of a New Age 'Messiah', which Tarkowski was quoting from, examined the concept of a Year of Jubilee from the writings of New Ager Jeremy Rifkin, who in the early 1980s had been promoted by Pat Robertson on his 700 Club. She wrote that "Robertson praised Rifkin's Entropy unpublished manuscript," which was part of the Bantam New Age book series."( p. 157) She quoted from Rifkin's book, which called for a "fundamental redistribution of wealth," observing, "One way Rifkin says we will have the moral courage to make this changeover or voluntary redistribution of wealth is through a new metaphysical orientation - a new world view."(p. 159)

Rifkin's metaphysical worldview, however, unlike that promoted by the modern NAR Dominionists, called for voluntary poverty, simplicity, communal sharing, a reduction in the world's population, etc. Clearly this austere worldview didn't appeal to the CBN or TBN crowd, which were by then gorging on a daily banquet of "name it and claim it" health, wealth and prosperity delicacies. Rifkin's less popular voluntary poverty message remained submerged in the evangelical world until the rise of the recent mystical contemplative and emergent movements, where this teaching is now gaining a new life.

There is much more that could be said on the linkages between the New Age dominionists and the leaders of the NAR, but the simple fact is that they share a common goal of changing the world's economic system to facilitate their coming "kingdom."