The PASSION of the PRESENCE & the Purpose of the Passion
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|Rick Joyner's Morningstar conference advertisement|
…[W]hat if we changed our focus all together and our only focus was just to be in His presence?… This is what’s burning in the heart of the culture here at Morningstar, burning to be in His presence. We’re burning to stay in His presence, we’re burning to be in love with Him and we’re burning to know Him and not just about Him and so what we’ve decided to do, is take 90 days, starting January 10th, just to sit at his feet, just to spend time with Him and develop this intimacy with Him…. So please come and join us as we pursue His presence yet again.
Simultaneously two events will manifest on earth, they will be the result of one, eternal source. The same increasing presence that causes wrath to descend upon the wicked will cause God's glory to be seen upon the righteous.
The Coming Spirit “Presence”
What does the word “Presence” mean to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and International House Of Prayer (IHOP) teachers? There is unique eschatological significance to their use of the word “presence” and its companion term “glory.” These two movements, increasingly popular in the evangelical world, are teaching a different eschatology. This eschatology is the engine that drives the entire IHOP youth movement, and it accounts for many of the strange activities of the NAR. Because many evangelical leaders are now openly associating with the IHOP and NAR, it becomes necessary to more fully explain their aberrant doctrines.
In brief, IHOP/NAR leaders hold to the old Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain cult teachings that “Christ must come TO His Church before He comes FOR His Church.” They believe there will be a separate “Spirit” or “Presence” infilling in the last days, evidenced with many signs and wonders. They say their passionate worship will invoke a “Presence” which will “energize the church with new power and demolish the works of Satan.” This Spirit of Christ (i.e., the “Presence”) will come first to indwell the church before Jesus’ Second Coming. Thus there is a doctrine of a two-phased or progressive Second Coming.
NAR and IHOP leaders teach that there will be an “increasing” return of this Spirit/”Presence” which will release a special “glory” anointing on the church to equip the powerful mobilization of an endtime “Joel’s Army” to take dominion over the earth. There is considerable evidence that they believe that the Bride of Christ will actually become Christ, Who thus returns in the Bride's fleshly bodies. Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, who has researched this eschatology for the past several decades, asserts that these teachers are not emphasizing the literal physical return of Christ Jesus:
The Glory, in the Latter Rain understanding, is the visible manifestation of the Spirit… [D]eceived 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.[all emphasis added]
There is a direct historical lineage of this eschatology. It originated in the old Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God cult that taught a prior “Secret Coming for the Elite” before the 2nd Coming:
The neo-Gnostic believes the manifestation of the Sons of God comes about in a secret inner coming of Christ TO some Christians which would transform them into “Overcomers.” [George Warnock wrote] “Christ should visit the saints . . . and minister His life ‘in secret’ before He is openly manifest.” In doing this they reject the literal Resurrection and Rapture (the personal coming of Jesus Christ FOR His Church). It is interesting to note they will acknowledge Christ is coming, but His coming is off in the future. The emphasis is not on Christ’s soon appearance but on the great “power” or “new anointing” that is to be manifest in the Church.[bold added, italics in original]
This eschatology is not classic Postmillenialism, nor is it the familiar teaching about the Rapture. In fact, it is essentially a form of Gnosticism. Some of the teachers deny that Jesus Christ returns in the flesh at all (contra 1John 4:3, 2John 1:7). Others teach that the church will become Christ, incarnating Him in the flesh to rule and reign on earth. Some teach a murky middle ground that seems to say that the 2nd Coming will only occur after Jesus has first appeared to “inhabit” His church on earth with His “Spirit” (i.e., Jesus’s secret returning as a Christ “Spirit” or “Presence”).
This alleged event is sometimes referred to as a Second Pentecost. The Second Pentecost is said to be a special secondary “outpouring” of the Spirit in response to the church’s obedience in the “restoration” of the “offices” of apostle and prophet to govern the church, a teaching also emphasized by C. Peter Wagner and his New Apostolic Reformation adherents. Then will come an endtime allegorical “Feast of Tabernacles,” a recurrent theme amongst all who teach this eschatology:
The First Pentecost caused believers to be “clothed with power from on high”. The Second Pentecost is about the incarnation of Christ into His Body.... This is what Latter Rain teachers said we must expect in the final outpouring of the Church age![emphasis added]
Old Testament scriptures are spiritualized to see birthing as the return of the ark to the temple, that is the coming of Christ invisibly into His living temple the church. This will occur when the Feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled which celebrates the Lord dwelling among His people. “When this happens, no longer will it be the Head (Jesus Christ) in heaven and the body (believers) on earth - but one Perfect Man filling both heaven and earth.”[bold and italic added, underline in original]
The belief that Jesus Christ will first come as a “Spirit” or “Presence” alters foundational doctrines about Christ and the Trinity (Rom.1:3-4). It ignores (or discounts) that Jesus is coming again in His resurrected body (Rev. 1:7; Heb. 9:27, etc.). It is not unlike Docetism, a heresy in the early church that denied that Jesus Christ came the first time in the flesh. Pastor Anton Bosch informs us that this “is also a popular device used by cults and others that have set dates for His return and then when He did not return on that date the response is that He returned ‘in Spirit.’”
What does it mean when these teachers say that Jesus secretly or invisibly returns first as a “Spirit” or “Presence”? They think that the Church (the Body, the Bride) becomes inhabited by this “Spirit”/”Presence” to the point of actually becoming Christ on earth. Note: This isn’t talking about the indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of an individual believer. Rather, they believe in a separate “filling” by a coming “Presence” that results in a corporate “God-man” or “Perfect Man.” Hence their misapplication of the phrase “manifestation of the sons of God” from Romans 8:19. One critic has summarized this theology:
In MSOG teaching this scripture is taken to mean a powerful endtimes revelation of believers as glorified, transformed and perfected, and possessed by Christ to such a degree that they become One with him and become a living corporate Son of God on the earth, ruling with him. This will be accomplished by the descent of “the glory” in a final overwhelming event that will transfigure all those who receive it. (Other less heretical versions have this event as a progression into spiritual perfection and holiness in the endtimes.)[emphasis added]
This faulty scenario discounts the risen Jesus Christ our Savior, the Son of God, sitting on the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55-56; Heb. 1:3; 12:18, etc.). Instead, their “God-man” is the “manifest sons of God” – a corporate body (the “Bride”) manifesting itself as Christ in the flesh here on earth. Due to these fundamental errors many scriptures are misapplied to the church that pertain to Jesus Christ alone.
Latter Rain teachers emphasize this “Bride” will become the flesh of Christ incarnate on earth; that this Corporate Bride will become filled or inhabited with the “fulness” of this “Spirit” of Christ, a “Presence.” This indwelling “Presence” is thus said to equip the Corporate Bride to walk out (literally) the judgments of the book of Revelation—as Christ’s incarnate body—and she is charged with the mandate to subdue the earth and put all things under His feet. Thus many Scriptures that pertain only to Jesus in the book of Revelation, are misapplied to the Bride as her duties and responsibilities. There are many variations on this theme, and many teachers contradict their own statements. But this is the belief that forms the foundation for the extreme Dominionism that is being taught.
There is actually quite a bit of confusion in IHOP and NAR documents about the “Spirit of Jesus” and the “Holy Spirit.” When they talk about the “Spirit” they often mean this secondary “Presence” that they are trying to invoke by their 24/7 prayers. Ironically, they downplay the actual Holy Spirit—especially His indwelling presence already promised to believers. Instead they insist that their followers must perform all sorts of extrabiblical exotic rituals, frenzied antics, pronounced decrees and shouting declarations in order to summon more of the “Presence” of this “Spirit.”
Their “Spirit” is not the Holy Spirit. And Jesus Christ is not returning as a “Spirit.” As Dr. Steinkamp has astutely observed:
Jesus has not become the Holy Spirit. It is rather the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer. The Resurrected Jesus is at the Father's right hand and in His glorified resurrected body He will return bodily to the earth. Obviously an indwelling spirit would not need to return from heaven. It is on this basis that some Dominion teachers assert that Jesus can be an on-going incarnation of God in His body (church) upon the earth. Consequently scriptures pertaining to Christ's ruling on earth are often seen as referring the Church rather than Jesus….
The old Latter Rain/MSOG teachers used their own unique terminology to describe their unorthodox views. Likewise, the IHOP/NAR has its own special “in-house” (pun intended) language. It can be very difficult for the “uninitiated” to wade through their gilded spiritual-speak. Nevertheless, once one understands the complex verbiage, it becomes clear that the original heresies about the “Manifest Sons of God” have been modernized for popular consumption.
The History of “Presence” Eschatology
It all began in 1951 when George Warnock, who had been at the Latter Rain Sharon Camp Meetings in Canada and who had been the personal secretary of Ern Baxter (an associate of William Branham's ministry), took up residence at the Sharon Orphanage and School doing office work. He then proceeded to write a book titled The Feast of Tabernacles, which is “based on an allegorical interpretation of the feasts of Israel that has the Feast of Tabernacles standing for a glorious end-times church that would arise before Christ can return.” In this book he laid out a systematic doctrine for this movement calling itself the New Order of the Latter Rain. Warnock stated the premise as:
"Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles typify the whole church age, beginning with the death of Jesus on the cross, consummating in the [the Feast of Tabernacles] the Manifestation of the Sons of God. These 'Overcomers' will become perfected and step into immortality in order to establish the kingdom of God on the earth." [emphasis added]
“This will come about by a secret inner coming of Christ to some Christians which would transform them into ‘Overcomers.’”[all emphasis added]
When Warnock talked of a perfected church he meant the endtime church would—by this “secret inner coming of Christ”—mature into “fullness” to become Christ (i.e., “incarnating Christ”). In other words, the church would become intrinsically one with Christ—not the biblical one in union/communion with Christ— but one in essence. This corporate group of “Overcomers” believed they would then become imbued with both perfection and immortality. Bob DeWaay, in his groundbreaking report on the NAR titled “The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation,” summarized the eschatological significance of Warnock’s teaching:
One of the most heretical teachings associated with the [New Order of the Latter Rain] was called “the manifested sons of God” that claimed that certain elite Christians would obtain the promise of immortality (as promised in Romans 8:19) now rather than at the parousia. Warnock taught that all enemies, in which he included death, the “last enemy,” had to be conquered by the church before Christ could return: “God says Christ is going to stay right where He is until all His enemies are under His feet. And His enemies include the “last enemy,” which is Death. There must arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer and become absolutely victorious over all the opposing forces of the world, the flesh, and the Devil—before this dispensation draws to a close.” The “overcomers” is another term used by the Latter Rain to describe elitist Christians who are to be distinguished from the rest of us. [emphasis added]
There are several interrelated teachings that form a further basis for this radical departure from orthodox doctrine. Note the unusual language in this summary of this eschatology:
- MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD which is the fullness and glorification of the Church on the day that “Christ is formed in his people”. They are a mighty Army of the Lord (Joel's Army). This is sometimes described as the Birth of the Manchild—i.e. the overcomers of the Church are brought (literally) to “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, and become the Glorified Christ—the “many-membered Body of Christ” on earth by means of the infilling of the Glory of God….
- THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES, understood spiritually as the Harvest Festival of joy and gladness, when the Ark returns to the Living Temple, the glory cloud returns, and Christ appears in the midst of His people. Christ is incarnated in His Body—the Coming of Christ understood as invisible and spiritual (i.e., “The Kingdom of God is within you”). Also known as “The Latter Rain” outpouring of Joel's prophecy—the Second Pentecost in which Christ indwells his entire [corporate] Body, as opposed to the first Pentecost, when he indwelt individuals.
- ASTONISHING SIGNS AND WONDERS will take place at the hands of the Manifested Sons of God. Their campaign will lead to a glorious worldwide Endtimes Harvest—as the manchild overcomers go forth to reap [the harvest, ed.]. [some emphasis added]
As noted earlier, this movement also taught the necessity of the “restoration” of the “office” of apostles and prophets, a facet which is emphasized nowadays by the NAR. This restoration of a hierarchical pyramid of dictatorial power, reigning over both the church and the world, is envisioned as the powerful enforcement mechanism to “reap” (“harvest”) the nations. More will be said on this later.
Earl Paulk, an early influential teacher, claimed that Jesus has “entered a higher realm of restoration and love by becoming an indwelling Spirit.” Note: Paulk was not referring to the Holy Spirit here. Paulk’s message of “Christ in us” was one of achieving both dominion and immortality:
Christ in us must take dominion over the earth.... The next move of God cannot occur until Christ in us takes dominion.[all emphasis added]
Jesus Christ, as the first-fruit of the Kingdom, began the work of conquering death on an individual basis, but we, as His church, will be the ones to complete the task…. Death will not be conquered by Jesus returning to earth. It will be conquered when the church stands up boldly and says, “We have dominion over the earth.” [emphasis added]
Paulk believed that Christians must release this “Spirit” into the kingdoms of this world through prayer. The prayer-induced release of this “Spirit” would cause worldly kingdoms to crumble as the church becomes empowered as overcomers to take dominion. Paulk taught that the church was the “incarnation” of Jesus:
“Jesus was God in the flesh. We must be as He was in the world, and even greater in volume and influence.”
“The completion of the incarnation of God in the world must be in His church…. Jesus Christ is the firstfruit, but without the ongoing harvest, the incarnation will never be complete.”…
“We are on earth as extensions of God to finish the work He began. We are the essence of God, His on-going incarnation in the world.” [emphases added]
If this sounds similar to the New Age teachings about the “god within” it is because both have roots in Gnosticism. Evangelical postmodern teachers have adopted similar “incarnational” language. Thus, their shared belief about “incarnating Christ” may explain why certain evangelical leaders seem to have no difficulty finding common ground with the current teachers in the IHOP and NAR.
Bill Britton, a prolific writer and Latter Rain teacher, similarly taught Jesus’s return through a corporate body of flesh. Again note the unique terminology:
Suddenly the world sees Jesus again in the flesh, as He manifests Himself through these thousands of saints simultaneously around the world…. God was manifested in the flesh, in one body [Jesus Christ], then think what it will be when He manifests that same Life through thousands at the same time.
Beloved, it is people in human, flesh bodies who shall conquer this world and defeat Satan…. Jesus defeated Satan and overcame him for us and put all of hell’s forces to an open shame. And He did this in a flesh body. Since He is the Head of the Body, it is now in order for the Body to follow in the pattern which He has set for us…. This Body of Christ, the Overcomer, shall come forth in mighty power to manifest the fullness of Christ in the earth. They are known as the Manifested Sons of God….[emphases added]
I see the great year of Jubilee, when we shall pass through the veil into the very Presence of the fullness of God, to be filled with this fullness and go forth proclaiming liberty to all of creation. [emphases added]
Notice how Bill Britton's teaching about a simultaneous manifestation of this “Presence” is remarkably similar to Barbara Marx Hubbard's proposed “Armaggedon Alternative” to bypass God's coming Judgment. This prominent New Age leader teaches a “Planetary Pentecost” that resembles the Second Pentecost taught by the Latter Rain/MSOG. Hubbard wrote in her book The Revelation of an endtime “great Instant of Co-operation which can transform enough, en masse, to avoid the necessity of the seventh seal being broken.” (See Warren Smith's book False Christ Coming, p. 100-103, to recognize the other similarities in these eschatologies.)
These older Latter Rain/MSOG doctrines about the “Presence” would go on to have a second life in the 1980s and 1990s as leaders began to revise and update these teachings for more widespread appeal.
The Kansas City Prophets & the Presence
By the late 1980s the Latter Rain teachings became fully embedded in the doctrines of the movement that has now become widely known as IHOP and NAR. In 1990, just as the “Kansas City Prophets” coalesced with John Wimber of Vineyard and C. Peter Wagner of Fuller Seminary (who later set up the NAR), Discernment Ministries published an astonishing report about a 1989 Vineyard Conference where these old Latter Rain cult doctrines were being resurrected. The report summarized what was being said:
- They believe they will become Christ corporately and individually. When you hear someone say, as Mike Bickle (from Kansas City Fellowship speaking at a Vineyard Conference in 1989) said, “Christ is the Alpha and we are the Omega,” you immediately realize this is not Scriptural—only Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. What is it then? Manifest Sons of God… i.e., we are Christ corporately.…
- They believe the Church is the Ongoing Incarnation of Jesus. This is the cornerstone of Manifest Sons teaching. Instead of us partaking in the divine nature of Jesus, we become EQUAL TO and EVEN ASSUME the ROLE OF JESUS CHRIST. [bold added, underline in original]
This is a subtle deception. While acknowledging that Jesus came in the flesh, they then say that the CHURCH incarnates Jesus, becoming Christ in the flesh. They even use the term “Rapture” to refer to the “Christ within”:
The RAPTURE as looked for by the Manifests Sons of God is a coming forth of the “Christ within” every saint after the order of the Pattern Son. He made it as a divine, immortal and sinless Son of God. This can be duplicated by each individual, who by following Jesus as the Pattern Son, becomes a Manifested Son. This company is known as “The New Breed” or “Joel’s Army” etc. They will take dominion (establish a theocracy) and execute judgment on those they deem ungodly.[bold added]
The infilling “Presence” was often described as the “glory.” At the same 1989 Vineyard “Prophets Conference,” the now-disgraced “Kansas City Prophet” Paul Cain stated: “If you get close enough to God, you can extract the very breath of God, you can extract the very glory of God right out of Him and then pass that on to your generation.” Another speaker at the conference twisted Scripture to state that we “become” the Word:
“…the Lord has well planted this seed of the New Bride and the New Breed…. He’s about to open the womb and He’s about to give birth to this New Thing…. When the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us we beheld the glories of the only begotten of the Father and when YOU begin to become that Word, I want you to know that the world will behold the glory of the Father and that’s what we’re waiting to see…. I want you to know that we’re going to have some channeling one of these days, but it’s going to be channeled right out of the throne room of heaven.”[emphases added]
This “Presence” was also referred to as “fire” during the 1990s. There is a history to this. Franklin Hall, responsible for many of the teachings that came into the Latter Rain and the Manifested Sons of God in the 1940s and 1950s, taught a “fire baptism.” This “fire baptism,” he claimed, could be “passed on through the laying on of hands, (impartation) and other extremes imparting the Holy Ghost fire into people's bodies, through fasting and prayer.” Hall’s old teaching was revived in the 1990s during the Toronto and Brownsville “Laughing Revivals,” with many reports of a “Spirit” descending on people like “fire.” According to an in-depth report on this phenomenon, Benny Hinn specifically described it as “the fire of God’s presence”:
the day will come when the fire of God’s presence will visibly appear in public meetings. You may have never heard that before - it’s biblical.... We’ve known the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but we have not yet known the fire. And I’m here to tell you in Southern California, God is about to visit you and the whole Church with fresh fire.”[bold, underline added, italics in original]
A few years later, in May of 2000, at the C. Peter Wagner’s National School of the Prophets, IHOP leader Mike Bickle explained how the “fire” coming down was a second Pentecost experience that would anoint the church with a “forerunner’s spirit” for judgment:
“In Daniel 7:10, the fiery stream, or the river of fire that breaks fourth out of the throne of God, I believe is the person of the Holy Spirit. And when the fire comes forth, the fire is not just judgment. The fire is the revelation of the burning desire of God's heart for people. Now, with that burning desire, when rebellion rises up against it, the fire removes that which hinders love, and we call it judgment. But the fire breaks forth. His name is the Holy Spirit, and when this fire comes through history, Malachi 3 says, “The forerunners at the end of the age are going to loose the burning fire.” The spirit of burning is the manifestation through the House of God in prayer, of this river of fire called the Holy Spirit…. It's the anointing of the forerunner's spirit… the river of God, the Holy Spirit, clothing us with fire, bringing us into that kind of union, that intimate bridal partnership that we call intercessory worship.” [italics in original. bold added]
Bickle is saying that this “fire” is a “manifestation” of the “Holy Spirit” that can be summoned by IHOP style fervent prayer. NAR “apostle” Cindy Jacobs, immediately jumped in to reinforce Bickle’s remarks, by admitting, “We don't understand this part of Pentecost.” Thus she provided a clear indication that Bickle’s remarks were in reference to the old Latter Rain idea about a Second Pentecost. Jacobs further underscored Bickle’s statement by claiming that a “fire of the Holy Spirit” is “coming…. And it’s going to issue out from us into the nations of the earth.”
“The Days of His Presence”
Francis Frangipane, one of the original “Kansas City Prophets” along with Paul Cain, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle and others, published an influential book The Days of His Presence in 1996. In this quasi-theological treatise, Frangipane uses the same terms “glory” and “presence” in the same way as the old Latter Rain/MSOG teachers. Notice he uses the word “Presence” with a capital P:
…God’s plan is that here on earth, in us, the glory of the Lord will be revealed! The luminous, radiant light of His Presence, as it shone from Moses’ face and flooded Solomon’s temple at its dedication, as it radiated from Jesus and bathed His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration—that light of God’s Presence shall arise from within us at the end of the age! This same divine glory shall, in ever-increasing degrees of brightness, appear upon us in the years prior to the Lord’s actual second coming. [italics in original, bold added]
Frangipane bases his mystical eschatology in part on personal visions and spiritual experiences with this “Presence.” After seeing a vision of a “glorious, heavenly procession” of angelic beings, Frangipane says he “gained an understanding of Christ’s expansive Presence and the impact His glory will have on the church at the end of the age.” He writes, “the Lord’s Presence emanates from His glorified body in heaven,” a statement which sounds similar to the Gnostic idea of “emanations.” He then states this “Presence” would increase:
So also will this world change as the person of the Lord Jesus and His millennial reign draw near. The radiance of His Presence will increasingly fill the spiritual realms surrounding our world. And not only will the world as we know it begin to experience dramatic changes as demonic strongholds are confronted and toppled by the Lord, but among those whose hearts are open and longing for Him, a great transformation will occur!... The Presence of Christ will be all that fills our minds.[bold added]
Nowhere in Scripture can we find any basis for a doctrine of an increase in a “Presence of Christ.” Yet, according to Frangipane, this “Presence” will appear “prior to” the second coming of Christ and will both intensify and increase:
Yet, before He appears, while He is near but still invisible, that same radiance of glory will be poured out on “all flesh”…. For as He is in power and glory when He appears, so He is beforehand though unseen! And it is this out-raying Presence which will grow ever more resplendent in the church prior to His second coming.
With surge of His glory many things will be quickened on earth….
[W]e who are open and yielded to Christ will watch in amazement as His Presence in us also intensifies and increases…. He will present to Himself a bride without spot or wrinkle….
The church will be beautified with His glory and filled with His radiance before He physically comes for her!
He must increase and we must decrease until His Presence fills everything, everywhere, with Himself. [Italics in original, bold added]
This last statement sounds like Panentheism, which teaches that God is IN everything. Like the other Latter Rain teachers, Frangipane believes there is a “Transcendent Purpose” for this indwelling corporate “Presence.” The church has a mission, and it is dominion:
…[T]he church at the end of the age is to be given a stewardship, a mandate from heaven. At the bidding of the Sovereign King, we are called to participate with God in the process of divine consummation.
For the unrepentant world, the apostate church, and the demons of hell, this will manifest as a period of God’s judgment and wrath. However, for those who are yielded to God, the same Spirit which comes to judge the wicked is also coming to inhabit and transform the righteous!  [emphases added]
Note that Frangipane states that a “Spirit” would come to judge the wicked, and that this same “Spirit” would “inhabit” the righteous. Scripture does not say that a “Spirit” will judge the wicked, nor does it say that the church will be indwelt by a “Presence” to judge the wicked. The Bible specifies that it is “the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead” (2Tim. 4:1). The church is not Jesus. This is yet another teaching that has the effect of corrupting the doctrine of the Trinity.
Frangipane explains his view that “the church” would be “entering Christ’s glory in successive stages of spiritual fulness.” He alleges that “during this last great time of fulness, the Presence of Christ will expand in the lives of those surrendered to His Lordship….” This progressive return of the Lord via His “Presence” is said to be as an inner coming: “before the day of the Lord breaks, the morning star shall rise in our hearts!” and there shall be an “unveiling of Christ rising in His people… the glory of God shall rise within us” which is said to create a “harmony” and “unity” that “is the consequence of Christ’s Presence.”
Frangipane focuses on the Greek word parousia which can mean “presence.” Based in part on another vision he experienced, he believes that “the entire sign-period is activated directly by Christ’s increasing Presence, the Parousia, at the end of the age.” He clearly states his belief that “the Lord will increasingly manifest Himself in His Presence before He physically returns.” To underscore this point, he asserts that “there is a difference between the calendar day of Christ’s return and the season of spiritual fulness introducing it.” Thus, as like the early Latter Rain taught, the return of Christ is split into two parts beginning with the “arrival of Christ’s Presence.” In case there is any doubt, Frangipane reiterates:
…I am not saying this time of Christ’s Presence will take the place of the rapture; only that it will precede it.
Our destiny is not just to carry Christ inside but to reveal the fulness of His glory in this world….
As Jesus was both God and man, so the church is actually the dwelling of Christ in the temple of man. There is not a different Jesus in us than He who dwells in heaven. He is Christ wrapped in glory in heaven. He is Christ wrapped in our human flesh on earth….
He has chosen to hide His glory not from us but in us  [Italics in original, bold added]
It is at this juncture that Frangipane introduces the ominous doctrine that explains the purpose of this “fulness” of “Presence”—“a final cleansing would occur during the last years of the age.” This is a thinly-disguised reference the Latter Rain’s oft-prophesied endtime “harvest.” “Harvesting” the earth is synonymous with the idea of “cleansing” the earth. Those who “cannot accept God’s promises of a glorified church at the end of the age” are categorized with the warning “beware of the dogs.” Lest there be any doubt, he reiterates, “At the end of the age, everything short of oneness with Christ will appear as sin.” Does this mean that sin will be defined as anything short of experiencing this Christ “Presence” within? One can only wonder.
These unorthodox ideas would go on to become an integral part of the doctrine of both IHOP and the NAR. The next sections of this article series will examine the evidence.
Stay tuned for Part 3. . . .
|Due to inclement weather the Presence could not show up and needed to be rescheduled.|
Pastor Larry DeBruyn recently published an article “The Present of ‘His Presence’” which is very germane to the issues brought up in this current article series. Below are a few key excerpts:
The Bible teaches that the risen and glorified Christ has a corporeal presence, not on earth, but in heaven. According to the apostle Peter, Jesus Christ “has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand–with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him” (I Peter 3:22, NIV). The author of Hebrews agrees (Hebrews 4:14; 8:1). Jesus said He was going to that place (John 14:2-3).
The Bible promises Jesus’ spiritual presence with believers on earth (Matthew 28:20), but precludes His earthly physical presence until His Second Advent, which will be personal, physical, visible, and public. At the time of His ascension, two men in white assured the disciples, “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11)….
- On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit (the “Comforter”) descended. “…in His goodness the Lord offered to them His presence again as He came to dwell not just with them, but in them, both individually (as saints) and corporately (as the church).”
- “As such, the divine presence with people would no longer be associated, as during the Old Testament Era, with a place (i.e., a land, a city, a mount, and a building)….”
- “Although Jesus would no longer be physically present with His faithful followers, the Spirit, whom He would send to take His place, would, and by faith we have that presence NOW! The Spirit of Christ is both with us and in us! (Romans 8:9b)”
- “The error of the new spirituality is that it assumes that God’s presence can be ginned-up via the exercise of human passion…. Rather, Jesus’ presence in us depends upon our acceptance of His propitiation for us—that He died for our sins to make us fit vessels to be in (Romans 6:3-11). Christ graces sinners with His presence when by faith they receive the cleansing that can only come through His blood and new birth from above (John 3:3, 7).” [underline added]
When will we see Jesus again? Not as an invisible “Presence” sneaking in the backdoor. Rather Scripture is clear:
and unto them that look for Him
shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
An old commentary on this verse from Hebrews states:
The Scripture is express unto a double appearing or coming of Christ. The first was His coming in the flesh, coming into the world, coming unto His own,—namely, to discharge the work of His mediation, especially to make atonement for sin in the sacrifice of Himself, unto the accomplishment of all promises made concerning it, and all types instituted for its representation; the second is in glory, unto the judgment of all, when He shall finish and complete the eternal salvation of the church. Any other personal appearance or coming of Christ the Scripture knows now, and in this [verse] expressly excludes any imagination of it. His first appearance is past; and appear the second time He will not until that judgment comes which follows death, and the salvation of the church shall be completed….
There shall be a public vision and sight of Him. He was seen on the earth in the days of His flesh: He is now in heaven, where no mortal eye can see Him, within the veil of that glory which we cannot look into….
The present long-continued absence of Christ in heaven is the great trial of the world…. The promise of His coming, recorded in the Scripture, is the ground of our faith herein…. In the continual supplies of His Spirit which believers do receive… is the great pledge of His mediatory life in heaven, of the continuance of His love and care towards the church, and consequently the great assurance of His second coming.
1. Transcript of a video message that was posted at http://morningstarministries.org advertising a Feb. 14-16 event “90 Days in His Presence,” which was postponed due to bad weather. Note that the original weekend was Valentine’s Day, in keeping with the bridal intimacy theme. Transcribed by Kim Treweek, January 15, 2014. Emphasis added.
2. TheElijahList advertisement for Bill Johnson’s book Hosting the Presence: Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda, in which appears as a quote from his book, emphasis added, http://www.elijahshopper.com/Hosting_the_Presence_p/bk-bj016.htm
3. Francis Frangipane, “The Intensifying Presence,” TheElijahList, Jan. 30, 2013. Note that Frangipane, who is most noted for his mystical Gnostic beliefs, has authored a number of books about “presence.” This excerpt was attributed to his book The Days of His Presence. See also his writings: http://elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=12298 and http://elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=12182. Frangipane disparages doctrine in favor of the experiences of God, saying: “When we accept Christ into our hearts, He does not enter simply as a doctrine. No, He enters us as a living voice. His Spirit brings conviction and direction; He speaks through dreams, visions, revelation, and understanding of the Scriptures.”
4. This article series has been authored by Sarah Leslie with the assistance of both Jewel Grewe and Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, both of whom had firsthand experiences with these teachings. Research assistance, historical insights and theological perspective was provided by Pastor Anton Bosch, Pastor Larry DeBruyn, Dr. Martin Erdmann and Susan Conway.
5. See this history: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ditc11.htm
6. See Travers and Jewel van der Merwe, Strange Fire: The Rise of Gnosticism in the Church (Conscience Press, 2005), posted online at: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/StrangeFire.pdf Also quoted in this key Herescope post that explains the endtime eschatology of this movement: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/03/post-apostolic.html
7. Dr. Steinkamp, “The Restoration of Davidic Warfare/Worship,” The Plumbline, Volume 7, No. 4, September/October 2002. This is a quote from Michael Moriarity, The New Charismatics (Zondervan, 1992), p. 280.
8. See the booklet Joel’s Army posted online at: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/JoelsArmy.pdf
9. See “Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism” for a full survey of this doctrine: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/ChristianImperialism.htm. Also see the summary “What Is Dominionism?” posted at http://apprising.org/2011/01/26/what-is-dominionism/
10. Ibid, Dr. Steinkamp. This quote is attributed to Tricia Tillen of Banner Ministries. I am indebted to Dr. Steinkamp for his many hours of in-depth assistance with this writing project.
11. See this timeline: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/modern.htm
12. Jewel Grewe, “Joel’s Army: The ‘New Breed,” Discernment Newsletter (Vol. 18, No.3), May/June 2007, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/May-June2007.htm The quote in italics from George Warnock is attributed to his book The Feast of Tabernacles, Springfield, MO – Bill Britton, 1951, pp 108.
13. According to Henry Hart Milman, in his History of Christianity (Harper & Bros., 1844), p. 209, classic Gnosticism taught: “The Christ… the Emanation from the Pleroma, descended upon the man Jesus at his baptism…. Before the death… of Jesus, the Christ had broken off his temporary association with the perishable body of Jesus, and surrendered it…. [T]he whole union with the material human form was an illusion upon the sense of men; it was but an apparent human being, an impassive phantom, which seemed to undergo all the insults and the agony of the cross.” Milman (p. 212) notes that the Gnostics referred to Jesus as the Paraclete, meaning as a spirit. Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, who has researched the Manifest Sons of God eschatology for several decades, confirms that it is closely akin to Gnosticism.
14. For a more complete understanding of this “Second Pentecost” read Dr. Orrel Steinkamp’s article on the topic: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/secondpentecost.html
15. “Second Pentecost,” Ibid. See also the many Herescope articles about the restoration of the office of prophets and apostles: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/apostolic-dominionism.html and the 2007 8-part series “Networking the Church”: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/02/networking-church.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/02/networking-church-part-2.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/03/networking-for-army.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/03/return-of-warrior-prophets.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/03/emerging-apostolic-movement-will-be.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/03/apostolic-regions-spheres-of-authority.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/03/post-apostolic.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/03/synergy-river.html
16. Tricia Tillen, “Looking Beyond Toronto: The Source and Goal of the Second Pentecost,” http://www.banner.org.uk/tb/byndtor.html
17. “Second Pentecost,” Ibid, citing Tricia Tillen’s report: “The Source and Goal of the Second Pentecost,” (UK: Banner Ministries, 1994).
18. These aberrations in the doctrine of the Trinity will be the topic of a future post by Pastor Larry DeBruyn.
19. Pastor Anton Bosch, personal e-mail, Feb. 6, 2014. Pastor Bosch explained that the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Jesus returned to earth secretly and invisibly in 1914 ‘in the spirit’ (This Means Everlasting Life, p. 221) [and] ‘it was as a spirit that he ascended to his Father’s presence’ (p. 216).” He also noted that Harold Camping, in his failed date-settings, ended up teaching something quite similar: “Following the failure of the prediction, media attention shifted to the response from Camping and his followers. On May 23, Camping stated that May 21 had been a 'spiritual' day of judgment, and that the physical Rapture would occur on October 21, 2011, simultaneously with the destruction of the universe by God.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_end_times_prediction
20. Giovanni Chinnici, “an autopsy of…Mike Bickle,” posted at: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2521723/posts and http://www.freewebs.com/thechinnicis/Bible%20Studies/An%20authopsy%20of%20Mike%20Bickle.pdf
21. Misapplying verses such as 1Cor. 15:24-28, e.g. See explanation of their dominionism teachings here: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/who-invented-dominionism.html, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/11/dominion-entering-into-new-season.html, http://www.discernment-ministries.org/ChristianImperialism.htm and follow the many links.
22. See an earlier article: Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, “Field of Dreams: Dominion Eschatology,” Nov. 7, 2011, HTTP://HERESCOPE.BLOGSPOT.COM/2011/11/FIELD-OF-DREAMS.HTML
23. See Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s “The Present of ‘His Presence’” which effectually refutes some of these heresies: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-present-of-his-presence.html
24. For a thorough, biblically sound treatment of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, read J.C. Philpot's excellent work, “Meditations on the Person, Work, and Covenant Offices of God the Holy Spirit” published in his book Meditations: On Matters of Christian Faith and Experience: Vol. 1, Old Paths Gospel Press, 406-466-2311.
25. “Second Pentecost,” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/secondpentecost.html
26. For more history, see Kevin Reeves’ report “Latter Rain: The Spawning of Apostasy,” http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1501
27. This description comes via Bob DeWaay, who authored a definitive article on “The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation,” http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue103.htm
28. George Warnock, The Feast of Tabernacles, pp. 14-20.
29. George Warnock, Ibid, p. 104, 109, cited by Jewel van der Merwe in her Discernment Newsletter article “Latter Rain and the Rise of Joel’s Army,” Oct.-Dec. 1994.
30. This section is adapted from a previous Herescope post by Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, “Field of Dreams: Dominion Eschatology,” Nov. 7, 2011, HTTP://HERESCOPE.BLOGSPOT.COM/2011/11/FIELD-OF-DREAMS.HTML. See also Pastor Larry DeBruyn, “On Theosis, or Divinization,” http://guardinghisflock.com/2012/01/11/on-theosis-or-divination/
31. Bob DeWaay, Ibid.
32. Tricia Tillen, Ibid, summarizing contents of Warnock’s The Feast of Tabernacles book. Tillen was an early research on how the Latter Rain/MSOG teachings were coming into the mainstream via IHOP, Vineyard and what is now known as NAR.
33. See footnote 9.
34. Earl Paulk, Thrust In The Sickle And Reap (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986, p. 132. Cited in Dr. Steinkamp’s article “Second Pentecost,” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/secondpentecost.html
35. Earl Paulk, Held in the Heavens Until... 1985, p.234, as cited by Sandy Simpson in his article “Pre Millennial And Post Millennial Doctrines Do Not Mix,” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/premilpostmil.html, Emphases added.
36. Earl Paulk, The Proper Function of the Church (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, undated p. 13. Cited in Dr. Steinkamp’s article “Second Pentecost,” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/secondpentecost.html, emphasis added.
37. See this report, “The Third Wave ‘New Apostolic Reformation’” which includes quite a bit of historical background: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/thirdwaveteachings.html and for further research see this comprehensive page: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/geneology.html
38. Discernment Newsletter, Ibid, July 1990. The tapes of the 1989 Vineyard conference are on file. The September 1990 Discernment Newsletter mentions a few of the attendees at this conference, which included Paul Cain, Bob Jones, Mike Bickle, John Wimber and many other prominent leaders.
39. See Travers and Jewel van der Merwe, Strange Fire: The Rise of Gnosticism in the Church (Conscience Press, 2005), posted online at: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/StrangeFire.pdf
40. We refer readers to Tamara Hartzell’s excellent 2-volume compendium of the history of this very teaching, titled “Reimagining” God. Visit her webpage, scroll down, and note that her book is downloadable: http://www.inthenameofpurpose.org It becomes apparent when reading her book that there has been excessive crossover between New Age doctrines and postmodern evangelical teachings. The Latter Rain cult influence is yet another influence, especially via new doctrines concocted at Fuller Theological Seminary during the 1980s. See especially Paul Smith’s book New Evangelicalism: The New World Order available at http://home.etcable.net/hestervanboven/Books.htm
42. See Part 1 of this series for some examples and follow the footnotes: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-passion-of-presence.html
43. Bill Britton, Jesus, the Pattern Son (Springfield, MO, 1966), pp. 36-40. Bill Britton, Eagle Saints Arise, cited in Discernment Newsletter, Oct.-Dec. 1994.
44. See the many articles published on Herescope and follow the links: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/10/c-peter-wagner.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/apostolic-dominionism.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/who-invented-dominionism.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/documenting-dominionism.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/08/denying-dominionism.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/08/c-peter-wagner-spins-nar.html
45. Travers and Jewel van der Merwe, “A New Age or an Old Lie?” Discernment Newsletter, July 1990 (Vol. 1, No. 3). For history and doctrine see their books Strange Fire: The Rise of Gnosticism in the Church: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/StrangeFire.pdf and Joel’s Army: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/JoelsArmy.pdf. Jewel van der Merwe (now Grewe) grew up in a home where her parents were part of all this early history. She and her first husband set up Discernment Ministries specifically to warn the evangelical world about these old cult doctrines she had grown up with. Hence our personal familiarity with both the old and the new Latter Rain/MSOG teachings.
46. Travers and Jewel van der Merwe, “A New Age or an Old Lie?”
47. Discernment Newsletter, July 1990 (Vol. 1, No. 3). Discernment Newsletter, Ibid, July 1990.
48. See report: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/8.htm
49. See this report: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/geneology.html#Cain and for context see this report: http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain12.htm. Also: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/thirdwaveteachings.html
50. Travers and Jewel van der Merwe, “If It Talks Like A Duck and Acts Like A Duck,” Discernment Newsletter, October 1990 (Vol. 1, No. 6). The tapes of the 1989 Vineyard conference are on file. Emphasis added.
51. Discernment Newsletter, Oct-Dec., 1994, Ibid. The tapes of the 1989 Vineyard conference are on file. The speaker is not identified in the written report. We have written extensively about the “New Breed” and the other concepts: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/07/ihops-new-breed-leaders.html, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/02/new-breed-defined.html, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/02/new-breed-and-incarnating-christ.html, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/05/military-new-breed.html, and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/02/history-of-new-breed.html
52. Mike Oppenheimer, “FIRE On You,” http://www.letusreason.org/pent56.htm
53. “FIRE On You,” Ibid. Transcription of a November 1998 airing of This Is Your Day.
54. See report: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/unsoundbytes1wagner.html
55. “FIRE On You,” Ibid. A transcription of the May 22, 2000 National School of the Prophets, Tape 6. Note that Malachi 3 does not say what Bickle quotes. See: http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Mal&c=3&t=KJV
56. “FIRE On You,” Ibid.
57. See Bill Alnor’s report, “The Kansas City Prophets,” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/kcp.html
58. Francis Frangipane, The Days of His Presence (Arrow, 1996), pp. 21-22. Frangipane defines “glory” in his footnotes as “the manifestation of the Lord’s actual Presence” (p. 147, notes on Chapter 2, emphasis added).
59. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 31. Emphasis added.
60. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 32.
61. The Gnostics taught that the “Pleuroma, the fulness of the Godhead, expanded itself in still outspreading circles, and approached, till it comprehended, the universe. From the Pleroma emanated all spiritual being, and to him they were to return and mingle again in indissoluble unity.” Milman, Ibid., p. 208, emphasis added.
62. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 33.
63. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 35-36.
64. See Larry DeBruyn’s excellent description of Panentheism in the Herescope post “God's Relationship to Everything,” Jan. 30, 2008: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/01/god-i.html
65. Frangipane, Ibid., subtitle p. 46.
66. Frangipane, Ibid., pp. 47-48.
67. Frangipane, Ibid.,. p. 49. Emphasis added.
68. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 51. Emphasis added.
69. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 55. Emphasis added.
70. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 58. Emphases added.
71. Compare this statement with Footnote 19, Anton Bosch’s comments. Frangipane, Ibid., pp. 60-61. His entire premise is based on this “presence” interpretation of the Greek word parousia. This idea is attributed to Dr. Robert Young, “the respected compiler of Young’s Analytical Concordance” and Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible in which the word “Presence” (capital P) alters many Bible verses. (See Chapter 9, “The Sign” to see these Young translations.)
72. Frangipane, Ibid, p. 61.
73. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 95-97. Note that in a “Questions” section in the back of the book, Frangipane states that the “day of Christ’s Presence is not a doctrinal substitute for the rapture of the church. The Lord Himself, in His glorified body (not just His Spirit), shall physically return to the earth both to receive His church and to judge the world.” Here we can see evidence of the double-speak that accompanies much of this endtime teaching.
74. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 62. Bold added.
75. See Herescope posts such as: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/07/kicking-kingdom-into-high-gear.html and http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/08/great-outpouring-of-wealth.html. Also see description of harvest in this report: http://apprising.org/2011/01/26/what-is-dominionism/
76. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 106, subheading “Beware of the Dogs.”
77. Frangipane, Ibid., p. 143.
78. See Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s “The Present of ‘His Presence’” which effectually refutes some of these heresies: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-present-of-his-presence.html
79. John Owen, An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Vol. 6 (reprinted by Banner of Truth Trust, 1991), pp. 413-415.