The Significance of Youth-Filled Stadiums
Revisiting the Old Latter Rain Prophecy
in Light of Current Events
Banning Liebscher, Jesus Culture Director
Lou Giglio is scheduled to give the benediction* at the Obama Presidential Inauguration on January 21. The official announcement describes him as "the Rev. Louie Giglio, the pastor of the Passion City Church in Atlanta" and says he "is considered one of the highest-profile evangelical Christian pastors. He has been prominent in efforts to end human trafficking."
This invitation is significant because Lou Giglio is currently under a great deal of fire in some quadrants of the evangelical world for his controversial association with New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) leader Bill Johnson and a music group/ministry called Jesus Culture.
Bill and Brenda Johnson are the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church in Redding, California. Bethel Church is firmly aligned with the Word-Faith movement and identifies with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), or the Third Wave Movement with its “prophets,” “apostles,” and alleged manifestions. Bill Johnson is called an “apostle” by C. Peter Wagner (See TBC 5/97, 2/07). His theology has amounted to what some call a “ de facto denial of the deity of Christ.”
At issue is the fact that Johnson's Bethel Church spawned Jesus Culture, described as "not just a band, but a ministry to ignite revival in the nations of the earth." This end-time revival is a key doctrine of the New Apostolic Reformation. According to an Apprising Ministries report "LOUIE GIGLIO, PASSION 2013, AND JESUS CULTURE," this Jesus Culture band was featured in Lou Giglio's Passion2013 event. A previous Jesus Culture event called Awakening 2011 "was put on by the Jesus Culture ministry itself" and was billed as "IGNITING A GENERATION OF REVIVALISTS FROM AROUND THE NATION TO CHANGE THE WORLD." Key speakers included well-known NAR leaders Reinhard Bonnke, Bill Johnson, Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs, among others.
The significance of all of this is described in a series of in-depth reports published by Apprising Ministries. Lou Giglio has a widespread outreach and appeal to mainstream evangelicals, and his Passion2013 event, held at the Georgia Dome on January 1-4, included "Beth Moore, John Piper, Francis Chan, rapper Lecrae... and pastor Judah Smith of of The City Church in Seattle and popular Christian band, Jesus Culture." To read more, and view the documentary evidence and recordings, see the following reports:
JESUS CULTURE AND JUDAH SMITH TO JOIN PIPER, MOORE, CHAN AND OTHERS AT GIGLIO’S PASSION 2013
LOUIE GIGLIO TWISTS EZEKIEL 37 AT PASSION 2013
FRIENDS OF BETHEL CHURCH, HOME OF JESUS CULTURE
JESUS CULTURE—OF BETHEL CHURCH—AND PRACTICING RAISING THE DEAD
JESUS CULTURE—YOU SURE IT’S THE REAL JESUS?
AN INVASION OF ERROR—REVIEW OF WHEN HEAVEN INVADES EARTH BY BILL JOHNSON
BETH MOORE AND JOHN PIPER SET FOR PASSION 2013 WITH LOUIE GIGLIO
Of particular concern is the open association of these evangelical leaders such as Lou Giglio, Beth Moore and John Piper with controversial elements of the New Apostolic Reformation. We have been warning for a long time about the desire of the false apostles and prophets of the NAR and IHOP to mainstream themselves both into the church and American politics. The leadership hopes to gain legitimacy and credibility by piggybacking themselves onto credible-sounding causes and naive, gullible and/or like-minded evangelical mainstream leaders and groups. The question must be asked: Does Lou Giglio share Bill Johnson's beliefs about the endtimes, which dovetail with the heretical teachings of the NAR and IHOP?
Johnson believes that there will be a great end-time revival that will be initiated by an “Elijah generation” (a concept from the heretical Latter Rain movement) that shall transcend all other generations of Christians in regard to their ability to do great works of power. Johnson claims the following about himself and associates: “We will carry the Elijah anointing in preparing for the return of the Lord in the same way that John the Baptist carried the Elijah anointing and prepared the people for the coming of the Lord” (Johnson: 184).
Supposedly these elitists will set off a great revival of signs and wonders greater than those of Jesus. This miracle explosion, they expect, will cause a great revival before the return of Christ. Johnson states, “I live for the revival that is unfolding and believe it will surpass all previous moves combined, bringing more than one billion souls into the Kingdom” (Johnson: 23). [emphases added]
Johnson's church birthed the Jesus Culture phenomenon in 1999. Jesus Culture has described itself in Latter Rain cult terms: "A few years into hosting conferences at Redding [CA], the Lord began to speak to us about a new breed of revivalists that were emerging throughout the earth in answer to the cry of God's yearning for nations." This call for nations was described in Dominionist terms, "Our mandate was defined: to raise up, mobilize, equip, encourage, resource, and send these burning ones to fulfill the call of God on their lives, and see entire cities saved, campuses revolutionized, and nations discipled." This "mandate" would include the typical NAR/IHOP essentials of "passion," spiritual warfare and walking "in the supernatural." Calling themselves a "new breed of revivalists" (also a Latter Rain term), they "began taking Jesus Culture conferences to different regions" in order to "ignite revival in the nations of the earth." [all emphases added]
Lou Giglio & Lou Engle - Two Peas In A Pod?
Parents and grandparents, as well as pastors and church youth leaders across the evangelical world, seem very excited about youth going to these youth revival events. Ostensibly these events are supposed to help young people affirm or reaffirm a commitment of faith. But is that what these events are really all about?
Both Lou Giglio and Lou Engle head up frenzied youth movements filled with excessive "passion" and mood-altering music at popular, packed stadium events. But do they teach the full Gospel of Salvation? There have been many similarities between the two over the years, but with Lou Giglio's open association with Jesus Culture which Lou Engle endorsed as the new "mantle," the questions can now be asked: Are they working together in similar alignment? Do they share the same endtime goals and beliefs? Lou Engle's prophecy (at the top of this post) links Jesus Culture to endtime prophecies that have been circulating in the Latter Rain movement since the late 1980s about a New Breed of youth, which is an "elect seed" that will fill stadiums. These prophecies were delivered by the Kansas City Prophets (now known as the IHOP movement headed by Mike Bickle). Lou Engle, as we have reported previously, and his ministry TheCall and other groups, has been at the forefront of trying to make these prophecies come true.
One of the common denominators between the two men is the call for "justice" or "social justice," which has a definition rooted in the old Social Gospel movement of the early 20th century. For instance, Lou Engle held an event on the Washington Mall on August 16, 2008 called "God Has A Dream." We wrote at the time:
To get a sense of the extraordinary nature of this upcoming “God’s Dream” event, check out “The Vision” posted at TheCall Institute, which is to “equip, disciple and commission an emerging generation of radical Nazirites to prepare the way of the Lord by embracing a lifestyle of prayer and fasting that is energized by intimacy with Jesus…. [A] new breed of young men and women….” [emphasis added]
A highly disturbing video posted at TheCall’s website describes the extreme nature of this youth movement, and states that “those who come will be marked forever and they will be history-makers and dreamers of God's dream.” Notice the young men and women in this brownish-greyish video have marks on their foreheads.
A similarly disturbing video is posted at The Luke 18 Project which is interconnected with TheCall. It states that 10,000 apostolic young men and women, by their radical lifestyle of prayer and fasting, and in conjunction with the fulfillment of a “dream of launching massive solemn assemblies of fasting and prayer” will “release justice over the earth” and start prayer cells (called “prayer FURNACES”) that “will transform cities, finish the task of the Great Commission and prepare a way for Jesus to return to the planet to establish his kingdom forever and ever....” The context for much of this activity is through food deprivation (fasting) in conjunction with a hypnotic-like fervor of mass prayer rallies — "filled stadiums and arenas."[emphases added]
The Latter Rain prophecies about the necessity of a NEW BREED of youth for an endtime revival were given by Kansas City Prophets Bob Jones, Mike Bickle and Paul Cain in the late 1980s. Bob Jones, in a conversation with Mike Bickle, described a vision in which he saw "elected seeds" that would be an "end generation" that would be "predestined to inherit all things." He claimed they would "set the church on the proper foundations.... They’ll birth the church.... be the leaders of the last day church.... [and be] the best of all the generations." He claimed they would "move into things of the supernatural" to the point where they would actually "put death itself underneath their feet." (Note: this prophecy is significant in light of Bill Johnson's Bethel Church and reports of its attempts to raise the dead.)
This New Breed would be a "warfare" generation that would "take the promised land" and "possess it." In a sense of pure Gnostic heresy, Bob Jones claimed that this New Breed generation would reach the "full maturity of the God-Man!" He reiterated that this generation would be "coming into that divine nature of Jesus Christ."
Mike Bickle replied that this "end-time army" would have "300,000 enlistment notices" for the "next generation." This "300,000... would be the main leadership over one billion converts in the earth" and they would "bear a distinct anointing." This army generation was referred to in racial terms as "the best of every blood line in the earth" and "superior" to every other "seed" on earth. Bickle explained that there would be a "time of war and transitioning of whole new orders in the body." These Latter Rain leaders teach that their New Breed of Elect Seeds will be an endtime Joel's Army. For example, Rick Joyner, another Latter Rain teacher, has stated:
There will be a special anointing released for mobilizing the army of the Lord.... There will be an impartation of strategic vision... to boldly march against the greatest strongholds of our time... This army of which Joel speaks is about to be revealed.... They will take cities. They will burst through the enemy's strongholds and take houses (families). The very heavens and the earth are about to shake because of this great army... the time has come.[emphases added]
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FILLED STADIUMS
There is another key Latter Rain prophecy regarding the rise of their New Breed youth movement -- that of filled stadiums. In 1996, researcher Ed Tarkowski wrote a report about the Promise Keepers phenomenon, which was a movement that was said (at that time) to be the fulfillment of the original Kansas City Prophets prophecies about filling stadiums. But, as can be seen from the quotes at the top of this post, these prophecies are now being applied to both the Lou Giglio and Lou Engle youth movements. Below are some key excerpts from this Tarkowski report:
In a Grace Ministries ["Kansas City Prophets," ed.] tape, November 1988 called, “My Father’s House,” Kansas City Vineyard Pastor, Paul Cain, expresses this eschatological view:
I don’t know what the second coming is to you, ...but let me tell you he’s coming to you, he’s coming to his Church, he’s coming to abide in you, to take up his abode in you... I want you to know he’s coming to the Church before he comes for the Church. He’s gonna perfect the Church so the Church can be the Image, be Him, and be his representation.
In this talk, Cain defended himself that he wasn’t denying the rapture, but spoke of Jesus coming again to indwell His Church as a corporate body where the whole body experiences Him all at the same time. This is Latter Rain doctrine. Allegorical Pentecost to the Latter Rain adherent is a coming of God to the individual — it is a personal experience. To them, the allegorical Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated when God comes to the entire Church and fills it with the manifest Glory of God. Cain told his audience,
We are not just looking for glory in God, we want God to be glorified in us. Oh, let God be glorified in us, let this be your intent. Everybody in this room tonight that has the intent to follow through and act accordingly, the Lord says I will truly visit you, and I will make this real to you. The Lord will commit himself to you.
Then he tells us how to follow through and act accordingly so this glory will be made real to the Church before Christ returns.
Just dump all that stuff, just dump all that carnal knowledge, and dump some of the stuff we have learned through the years.
Is he saying dump your doctrine and your hope and go for this unbiblical experience? Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries in England has noted these peculiar doctrines:
The Glory, in the Latter Rain understanding, is the visible manifestation of the Spirit. Now, in light of the satanic nature of this deception, it is not surprising that deceived Christians are being led to expect a manifested spirit and not the visible return of the Lord Jesus. I believe the way we are headed is into teaching about the return of the `lord` to his church, in glory, before (or perhaps even instead of?) the physical return of Jesus.
This doctrine, once declared a heresy, is finding a place in all denominations through the unity of charismatics with other faiths. Cain says out of this unity will come an army, Joel’s Army, a Latter Rain belief based on the book of Joel:
I told you about ...this recurring [35 year-old] vision I had...The angel of the Lord said, `You’re standing at the crossroads of life. What do you see?’ And I saw a brilliantly lit billboard which reads, `Joel’s Army now in training.’ ...I believe one day soon Joel’s Army will be in training ...until it graduates into the stadium ...But a right understanding of the plan of God for this generation brings this tremendous inclusion... God’s offering to you, this present generation, a greater privilege than was ever offered any generation at any time from Adam clear down through the millennium.
Paul Cain claimed this was the plan of God for this generation — everybody — all denominations — because it is the plan of God for the “last of the last days.” On a Grace Ministries tape of a talk given by Cain some years ago in Missouri, he told his audience,
I had a vision of you people coming from ...a circle of maybe a hundred miles and I saw people coming from every major city within that circumference and a great conclave was taking place, and it was the training of Joel’s Army.... I believe that people are going to come together by the thousands and train for the Army of the Lord. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I mean, that’s long overdue.
When enough pastors and other leaders are trained, for the Army of the Lord, he expects the greatest revival of all time to result. During his talk in Missouri, Cain described his vision for this endtime revival:
All of the stadiums and all of the ballparks are filled with hundreds of thousands of people. They have hearses lined up, ambulances lined up. They have hundreds of stretcher cases and all that. And there are men standing there in the pulpit, there are women standing there that haven’t had a change of raiment in three days, they haven’t had a drink of water, they haven’t had any food and they’re preaching under the mighty power. “Why, did you see that last night on ABC? Did you see that man levitated? Did you see all those preachers levitated? Did you see that fixed pose? They stood there for 24 hours in a fixed pose, worshiping and praising God, and hundreds of thousands came by and fell on their face and nobody pushed them. And nobody shoved them. They fell under the power of God.” And everybody everywhere is crying, “Oh, this is God! Jesus is Lord!” It seems like the whole world is turning to God.
[In the 1990s], Cain spoke at Christ Chapel in Florence, Alabama, and shared a dream he’d received when he was 19 years old. Again, the emphasis was on huge numbers of people in stadiums:
I had a dream that became a recurring dream, and it was about all the stadiums — and we’ve told this hundreds and hundreds of times all across America, all over the world, in fact — and I saw these stadiums and football fields, soccer fields and sports arenas, all of them filled with thousands of people, sometimes over 100,000 in each place. (August 30, 1995, evening session)
In the Alabama meeting Cain connected his prediction of stadiums-full of soldiers in his Army of the Lord with the reality of stadiums-full of warriors in the Promise Keepers army. He said,
We call it “the last days ministry,” ...I believe we’re on the threshold of it...And I know the Lord is coming to His Church and he’s going to prepare us.... We’re closer to it than we’ve ever been before. Who would think that there would be a group like Promise Keepers who’d already be setting the stage and filling stadiums with tens of thousands of people, ...They’ll be over 100,000 in no time, and maybe they already are. I think an event’s already planned that way. So, what if God shows up at just one of those meetings? That could just be the kick-off for “last days ministry.” Think about that... What if 120,000 get together and then the fire comes from heaven and the glory of God...?
...Cain said we are on the threshold of God’s glory possibly coming upon 100,000 pastors.... When you read this in conjunction with Latter Rain proponent Francis Frangipane’s new book, The Days of His Presence, there is reason for concern. Is Promise Keepers the catalyst for the anticipated Latter Rain “revival”? In a write-up on the book, Frangipane himself says,
The Spirit of the Lord is moving on so many fronts. In just the past ten months we have seen racial reconciliations take place among Southern Baptists in Atlanta; in Memphis, leaders from Pentecostal denominations, once divided along racial lines, are now reunited, while white Evangelical leaders repented with blacks in Chicago. We can truly say the Lord is moving mightily on his people. Mix in the March for Jesus and the 750,000 Promise Keepers, and we are seeing the stage set for what I believe will be the greatest awakening of this century.
March for Jesus drew 20,000,000.... Promise Keepers [drew] 750,000. That adds up to 20,750,000 Christians, and Frangipane is saying that this multitude will set the stage for revival.... Frangipane describes this next great awakening in his book:
This book chronicles the vision the Lord gave me in 1971.... The Holy Spirit revealed the baptism of glory that the Father has prepared for the end of the age.
Prior to Jesus Christ’s physical return, His living presence will companion the church in ever increasing power. During this time the visible glory of the Lord will rise and appear upon God’s people.
Notice this: God’s visible glory will rise and appear on His people prior to Jesus’ return. This is new revelation — it’s Latter Rain teaching, and Frangipane [claimed] 20,750,000 members of Christ’s body [were] being prepared to have the visible glory of God come on them! This prophetic word says that the Church will be glorified and changed to be like Christ Jesus our Lord — not when we see Him face to face, but when we reconcile our differences. This appears to be the goal of the ecumenical unity movement. Jesus can’t come back until everybody agrees and gets along....
In conclusion, there are growing concerns about Lou Giglio, who is going very public this month with his high profile benediction at Obama's inauguration ceremony. Unfortunately this pastor will represent the new face of evangelicaldom -- exhibiting an evangelical world that has lost its Gospel moorings and is now involved in Social Gospel issues. Furthermore, because he is a youth leader who has chosen to associate with the New Apostolic Reformation, which is derived from the old Latter Rain cult, questions need to be raised about whether he believes their prophecies about a New Breed of Elect Seeds/Joel's Army generation that will take over the earth.
It is one thing for Giglio to take a stand against global slavery -- which he purports to do. But there is no "social justice" in a false cult teaching that proclaims that there is a superior race generation, and inflames the "passions" of a purported new breed of elect seed who are said to be destined to become an army to rule the earth!
nor any pleadeth for truth:
they trust in vanity, and speak lies;
they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity."
1. Emphases added. Graphic image and quotes from Jesus Culture Awakening 2011 promo piece, featuring Bill Johnson, Reinhard Bohnnke and Cindy Jacobs, Be sure to watch the video archived and posted at http://apprising.org/2013/01/02/louie-giglio-passion-2013-and-jesus-culture/ to hear the prophecies about the new generation. Original ource given is: http://web.archive.org/web/20110703122815/http://www.jesusculture.com/awakening/
1. Daniel Strauss, "Evers-Williams, Giglio to give invocation and benediction at inauguration," The Hill's Blog Briefing Room, Jan. 8, 2013, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/276041-evers-williams-giglio-to-give-invocation-and-benediction-at-inauguration-#ixzz2HPLgwSCA
2. Ken Silva, "Lou Giglio, Passion 2013, and Jesus Culture," Apprising Ministries, Jan 2, 2013, http://apprising.org/2013/01/02/louie-giglio-passion-2013-and-jesus-culture/ citing the Berean Call's report, posted at http://www.thebereancall.org/content/august-2012-q-and-a-1
3. Ken Silva, Ibid. http://apprising.org/2013/01/02/louie-giglio-passion-2013-and-jesus-culture/
5. Ken Silva, "JESUS CULTURE AND JUDAH SMITH TO JOIN PIPER, MOORE, CHAN AND OTHERS AT GIGLIO’S PASSION 2013," January 1, 2013, http://apprising.org/2013/01/01/jesus-culture-and-judah-smith-to-join-piper-moore-chan-and-others-at-giglios-passion-2013/
6. Note that Lou Giglio also has an association with Hillsong of Sydney, Australia. See Erin Benziger's report "LOUIE GIGLIO TO JOIN WORD FAITH LINEUP AT 2012 HILLSONG CONFERENCE," at Apprising Ministries: http://apprising.org/2012/07/01/louie-giglio-to-join-word-faith-lineup-at-2012-hillsong-conference/#more-70639. This association is a long one, as we have in our files a September 2008 e-mail from GodTV that advertises "the Hillsong Colour Conference - Bobbie Houston, Louie Giglio."
7. See the online report by Bob DeWaay, and expert on the NAR, titled "AN INVASION OF ERROR—REVIEW OF WHEN HEAVEN INVADES EARTH BY BILL JOHNSON," posted at: http://apprising.org/2013/01/06/an-invasion-of-error-review-of-when-heaven-invades-earth-by-bill-johnson/#more-82769. Note that Bill Johnson was key in in restoring Todd Bentley with Rick Joyner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXNa1u87cXc and also see: http://apprising.org/2012/09/14/todd-bentley-bring-the-power-not-the-gospel/. See the many articles posted online about this: http://www.morningstarministries.org/resources/special-bulletins/2011/update-todd-bentley-note-bill-johnson#.UOxxfKVJWQc and http://www.morningstarministries.org/resources/special-bulletins/2009/todd-bentley-begins-restoration-process-0#.UOxxk6VJWQc. See more on Bill Johnson with C. Peter Wagner and the NAR: http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/6611 and he is included in the NAR book THE REFORMER'S PLEDGE with Cindy Jacobs and Chuck Pierce and other NAR leaders: http://www.amazon.com/Reformers-Pledge-Bill-Johnson/dp/0768432693
8. See the graphic exhibits at "JESUS CULTURE AND JUDAH SMITH TO JOIN PIPER, MOORE, CHAN AND OTHERS AT GIGLIO’S PASSION 2013," http://apprising.org/2013/01/01/jesus-culture-and-judah-smith-to-join-piper-moore-chan-and-others-at-giglios-passion-2013/. Original source is http://www.jesusculture.com/about
9. "God's Dream? A KINGDOM BUILDING DREAM," July 17, 2008, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/07/gods-dream.html.
The original video links are no longer online, but the young people in them were sporting actual MARKS on their foreheads. Emphases added.
10. This conversation is transcribed and posted at the Herescope post, "The NEW BREED defined," 2/3/06, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/02/new-breed-defined.html. Transcripts of the Latter Rain prophecies of the Kansas City Prophets are available from Discernment Ministries.
11. See the Herescope post, "IHOP's New Breed Leaders," 7/16/11, and read the list of quotations there: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/07/ihops-new-breed-leaders.html. This particular quote comes from Rick Joyner, The Morning Star Prophetic Bulletin, August 1994, footnote 20 in the Oct/Nov/Dec 1994 Discernment Ministries Newsletter, http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Newsletters/NL1994OctNovDec.pdf
12. Ed Tarkowski, "The Significance of Filled Stadiums," reprinted from the February 1996 issue of The Christian Conscience magazine, Vol. 2 No. 2. Republished here in its entirety: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Articles/FilledStadiums.pdf. We note with sadness that Ed Tarkowski passed away last week after a long battle with illness. Some emphases added.
*UPDATE 1-10-13: Giglio has now pulled out. See the article LOUIE GIGLIO OUT OF OBAMA INAUGURATION OVER “ANTI-GAY COMMENTS