Saturday, April 12, 2014

The 2nd Coming of the “Presence”

Part 5 
The PASSION of the PRESENCE & the Purpose of the Passion 

Read Part 1 
Read Part 2 
Read Part 3 
Read Part 4 

We’ll have the power to raise people from the dead,
that even death won’t stand before the power of the Church.

—Mike Bickle[1]

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.
—Paul Cain[2]

God spoke to the children of Israel to build Him a tabernacle because He wanted to come and dwell with them. If you don't build it He won't come and stay. You won't have a habitation without it. We are talking about creating an atmosphere so He can dwell and linger, a sanctuary, a place reserved. A place where the heavens open and we keep going back to keep it open.
—Todd Bentley[3]

Now, in this age, there are people being transformed
from natural earthly spirit beings into supernatural spiritual sons of God –
literally becoming as Christ
is in this world today.

—Ron McGatlin[4]

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) teaches the same basic doctrines as the IHOP movement. This is because they both have the same historical roots that track directly back the old Manifest Son of God/Latter Rain cult. There is a noticeable difference, however. Mike Bickle invented his own unique verbiage in his “Bridal Paradigm” in order to update the old Latter Rain doctrines with the prophetic visions of his group of “Kansas City Prophets.” It takes some in-depth indoctrination to grasp the gist of Bickle’s message. But it is somewhat easier to figure out what the NAR is teaching. Both groups rely upon the old George Warnock “Feast of Tabernacles” allegory[5] for their eschatology. And both are eagerly anticipating a “Second Pentecost” experience of a coming “Presence.”

A Second Pentecost? 
Charisma magazine recently published an article about this titled “Spirit-Empowered Believers Praying for Second Pentecostal Outpouring.” The article reveals a meeting of a group calling itself “Empowered 21” (E21),[6] featuring Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson, Oral Roberts University’s President Billy Wilson, and top-ranking NAR “apostle” Cindy Jacobs. These leaders met together to plan their long-anticipated “Second Pentecost,” a key component of their Latter Rain endtime beliefs. Charisma reported:

Could the world experience a second Pentecost? That's the hope of a global movement called Empowered 21, with organizers setting their sights on Jerusalem, where the first Pentecost took place.[7][bold added] 

Billy Wilson stated E21’s vision of a secondary Pentecost in terms of this coming “Presence”:

“And the big vision is that every person on earth will have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033….” [8][bold added] 

Not only are these leaders planning and working on a “Second Pentecost,” but they have set a date, a deadline of 2033 to accomplish this event. One might ask how it is possible that man, through his own planning and endeavors, can orchestrate a Second Pentecost. The first Pentecost was a sovereign act of the Triune God! There is no need for a second! The biblical truth of the matter is that the Holy Spirit already indwells those who believe in Jesus Christ—

"If a man love Me he will keep My words: and my Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14: 23). This promise was fulfilled at Pentecost, and the first two Persons of the Godhead now hold residence in the church through the Third. The Holy Spirit during the present time is in office on earth; and all spiritual presence and divine communion of the Trinity with men are through him…. The Holy Spirit, in a mystical but very real sense, became embodied in the church on the day of Pentecost.[9]

However, Bill Johnson, on the planning committee for E21’s “Second Pentecost” made the claim that “God has raised up” leaders “to partner with the goal,”[10] thus admitting that this is an initiative arranged by man. It sounds very much like the New Age philosophy, “If you build it, he will come.”[11]

The Charisma article contains an audio report HERE. This E21 project is founded upon the faulty belief that man can “shape the future of the Global Spirit-empowered movement.”[12] E21 will be using “an outcome based model.”[13] An outcome-based Second Pentecost?! How will an “encounter” with the “Presence” be assessed? How can these leaders claim that “every person on earth” will have an “encounter” with this “Presence”? Are they asserting that every single person will be born again? Is this about compulsion? Revelation 1:7 does mention one event that every human on earth will experience in common: “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” But this isn’t what these leaders are talking about.

The Latter Rain’s “Second Pentecost” 
The “Second Pentecost” is an old Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God (MSOG) eschatological allegory. It was based on the following:

The “latter rain” was contrasted to the “early rain” that fell on Pentecost when the Church was born. Thus, all of the gifts and ministries of the “early rain” would be restored during the “latter rain,” giving Biblical justification to their new revelations and interpretations of Scripture.[14]

Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, an expert on the history and theology of the Latter Rain, summarized their aberrant theology in its full context:

 …[A] second and final Pentecost was… bringing the church into a new and final dispensation. This second Pentecost would bring a final world revival…. 

To Latter Rain teachers it seemed obvious that if there was to be a repeated apostolic Pentecost that Apostles and Prophets must be restored as well…. The endtime body of Christ must go on to maturity and restore the apostles and prophets and these restored ministries must lead the church to a new and final dimension of power and authority not only bringing in the final harvest but establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth…. 

This dominion mentality is conceived as a gigantic end-time revival that will sweep the whole earth in its wake…. An elite company of overcomers from out of the larger church will subdue all things and will be so endued with supernatural power that the first church apostles will be envious of the latter day apostles…. 

…[N]ow the only remaining feast is that of [an allegorical Feast of] Tabernacles to be fulfilled in the last days church. [This will be] a second Pentecost with restored apostles and prophets. This endtime spiritual army will put all God's enemies under its feet, yes even the last enemy death itself.[15][bold added]

Thus the purpose of this expected “Second Pentecost” is wrapped up in Dominionist beliefs.[16] The “Second Pentecost” is believed to be the key event that will equip “Joel’s Army” with supernatural power to rule and subdue the earth.[17]

“Presence,” “glory” and “spirit” are carefully selected words that describe this much-anticipated eschatological event. These code words refer to a descent of a spirit that returns IN people, to fill them with a “Presence” that will “glorify” (indwell, transform) them to rule and reign on the earth (dominion). This isn’t about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And it isn’t about the Holy Spirit of the Trinity. The old Latter Rain doctrine teaches a separate coming and filling by a “Presence” spirit to equip the body to do great signs and wonders (i.e., experience a “Second Pentecost”).

One of the key teachings that submerges and then re-emerges throughout Latter Rain history is their belief that this event will endue them with both immortality and divinity.[18] One critic observed how this began when they over-identified with Christ:

…[T]he Latter Rain identified with “manifestation” direction with the Second Coming of Christ, the “transfigured” saints themselves actually becoming inseparably identified with Jesus Christ Himself, there being no distinction between the two…. [including] the idea of a literal “transfiguration” this side of the First Resurrection.[19]

From this fundamental error, George Warnock then leaped to a new revelation:

...that Christ is the Body—the whole Body, and not just the Head…. The Son of man in Heaven is not complete without the fulness of the Son of Man on earth, even the Body…. [20][emphasis in original]

Earl Paulk also wrote much of the early doctrine about this belief they could attain immortality and divinity:

We have been foreordained of God to become that people who will be so glorified that we can bring Christ back to the earth. This glorified Church must make the earth God’s footstool before Jesus can come again…. 

The glorified Church will be a mature Church…. 

The last enemy to be conquered is death. Who will conquer it? A mature Church…. When the Church becomes so mature that as a Body we achieve the unity of faith, God will find her pleasing and say, “She is mature enough now. She doesn’t have to die….” [21] [all emphasis added] 

The late John Wimber of the Vineyard movement, who was closely associated with both C. Peter Wagner (NAR) and Mike Bickle (“Kansas City Prophets,” now IHOP), taught this Latter Rain doctrine. Using similar language of the commonly understood “Rapture”—but meaning something entirely different—he spoke of a separate filling or “anointing.” Note how cleverly he changes doctrine by secret hidden revelation that he claims has just been unearthed:

There will be a time where… the Lord came and with an anointing beyond anything; that has ever been given to man before. Something so astounding, something so marvelous, that God has kept it as a mystery, as it were, behind His back; and He is about to reveal it to the ages. He is about to reveal it. With the judgment of all mankind will come this incredible incarnational enduement of God’s Spirit and we will see the Elijahs… This Endtime Army will be made up of the Elijahs of the Lord…. Suddenly, immediately right-away a change—in a moment—without notice—the twinkling of an eye the Lord will fill His temple and the anointing of God, the power of God will come.[22][emphasis added] 

In sum, there is now an entire block of the church world, NAR and IHOP especially, expectantly awaiting a “Second Pentecost” that will be an infilling of a “Presence” spirit to equip them to rule and reign. There are fundamental flaws with these beliefs that significantly alter doctrine of Christ, the Holy Spirit, God’s sovereignty, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. These teachings also ignore what Scripture says about man and his sin nature. Their belief that man can be an “overcomer,” and even conquer death itself, is contrary to basic doctrine found in such Scriptures as Romans 5:

“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world,
and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men,
for that all have sinned:” 
(Romans 5:12) 

A Second Infilling? 
A “breakthrough” is imminently expected. In recent months the NAR has been escalating its proclamations about being on the verge of this Second Pentecost/Feast of Tabernacles event. Ron McGatlin of OpenHeaven, an NAR-connected apostolic group that boldly teaches Latter Rain theology, recently issued a “Special Edition” of his OpenHeaven Digest newsletter to announce that the “glory of God is arising”:

This is the most significant change from heaven on earth since Pentecost. It is the time of Tabernacles as God is now dwelling with man individually one on one with us and in our small separate gatherings and in occasional large unified gatherings with other just ones made perfect in God along with the corporate manifest presence of God in Christ by the Holy Spirit and multitudes of holy ministering spirits, holy angels and ministers as a flame of fire.[23] [emphasis added] 

This secondary Pentecost is equated with the “time of Tabernacles,” an allusion to George Warnock’s allegorical “Feast of Tabernacles.” In the same OpenHeaven Digest it was also announced:

This weekend we truly had a Holy Spirit Invasion as we gathered to seek His face and His heart. We were so blessed as He revealed His Manifest Presence in our midst to lead us, guide us, equip us, direct us, and just be GOD![24][all emphasis added] 

The last phrase above is a brazen reference to the Latter Rain expectation that man can achieve godhood. Part of this pending “Second Pentecost” experience is the imagined divinization of believers.[25]

TheElijahList, chief purveyor of New Apostolic Reformation events, prophecies and doctrines, has also been pumping up the rhetoric. In a recent advertisement for an upcoming conference, leading NAR “apostle” Barbara Yoder stated:

One prominent ongoing occurrence this year will be the increasing release of realms of glory. And glory is directly connected to the intensity of God's presence with us. And God's presence is linked with worship. Glory releases the supernatural realm in our midst where healing, deliverance, miracles, signs and wonders break out…. 

Don't miss this door to the glory that is exploding open over us. It is the door of Heaven, releasing God's Kingdom on earth…. [26][emphasis added] 

Another NAR “apostle” has just announced the arrival of a “Glory Revival Awakening”—“ a revival break out from the presence and power of the Lord.”[27] And yet another “apostle” has heralded a “Third Reformation” where “the tabernacle of God is bringing God's presence fully into man.”[27] He continued:

Right now, the Church is experiencing a great reformation, and worship is being reformed as well. Understanding the Tabernacle of God, from Revelation 21:3, is the key to discovering that next dimension as well as the result of the reformation itself. The Tabernacle of David is the framework from which we will discover this next dimension, and God is calling forth a new army of worshipers who are willing to join Him in this season of discovery.[29][emphasis in original] 

The implication of these statements is that the indwelling Holy Spirit promised to all believers upon salvation is insufficient or inadequate. A secondary infilling event is deemed necessary. An elite level of spirituality is foretold—that there will be a “great reformation” when this “Presence” comes. This promise of a great revival is how the NAR ingratiates itself to mainstream evangelicaldom, desperate for a revival that does not require repentance.[30] But peel back the veneer and the Latter Rain doctrines are discovered, embedded in the very fabric of this much-touted coming “revival.” With roots like these, what sort of fruit will be produced?

“Worship Violently”
George Warnock’s book, The Feast of Tabernacles, laid the groundwork for the Latter Rain cult allegory of a Second Coming in the saints. One historical scholar has observed how Warnock's teaching connected with the “Presence” heresy:

There was widespread agreement that the “latter rain” was, in fact, the spiritual parousia of Jesus in His saints (i.e., a spiritual Second Coming)—a first stage of His Second Coming, followed by the second stage, the physical return of Christ. This parousia in His saints would bring forth the “manifestation of the sons of God”… also associated with the Manchild of Revelation… and the Elijah-Moses ministry….. This End Time Army of God would be “the fullness of God in the midst of His people, to do away with the old and to establish the new.” While it is not exactly made crystal clear by Warnock, it is strongly suggested that the “manifestation of the sons of God” implied a literal appropriation of the resurrection body in this age, this side of the First Resurrection, if, in fact, it is not meant to be the first stage of the First Resurrections….[31][italics in original, bold added]

This “parousia in His saints” event would be a “’transfiguration’ this side of the First Resurrection”[32] which, according to George Warnock, believed that “Christ is the Body ”and vice versa.[33][italics in original]

From this the IHOP and NAR glean their teaching that the Body here on earth must “manifest” Christ and “fulfill” Him during the church age, even throughout the book of Revelation. Thus the hope of Christ’s literal and real Second Coming takes a back seat to the vaunted Second Pentecost. And they believe that man’s efforts will induce it, especially via frenzied worship that can create an altered state of consciousness.[34]

Chief NAR “apostle,” Chuck Pierce, has written how “violent praise” worship is an integral component of interacting with this impending “Presence”:

How will His Presence move in the earth in this hour in history? How will we move with His Presence? How will leaders lead?... 

We have entered a season when the sound of violent praise must fill the earth…. [bold added, italitc in original] 

Celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles! 
This is a prophetic Feast for God's people in every nation. This is how the sheep and goats will be determined in the future. The Feast of Tabernacles is filled with feasting and celebration. We must begin with Praise, move into Presence and then end with JOY and celebration! [35][all emphasis in original] 

Pierce evidently is claiming that “His Presence” can “move” in present time and place, and the church must “move with His Presence.” How? Via “violent praise.” Pierce said there is a heavenly “blueprint” that must be followed. Note that one of the stated purposes of this Tabernacle event is to separate the “sheep and goats.”[36] It can be supposed that those who don’t experience the separate “infilling” of this “Presence” spirit might be considered to be the goats.

What does this have to do with normal Christianity and the Gospel of Salvation? Sadly, very little. This teaching demotes Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross for our sins, and Who was resurrected and now sits on the throne at the right hand of the Father, to an incomplete and unfinished work. Jesus didn’t get the job done; they believe that the Church must finish the task. Thus their “glorified” church claims to be “literally Christ on earth.”[37]

Chuck Pierce also wrote a piece for TheElijahList titled “This is NOT a Time to be Passive but to Go to War and Worship Violently!” In this article he stated his belief that the “restoration of David's Tabernacle is advancing in the earth realm in this generation,” explaining the new theology:

…we, as God's army in the earth, will co-labor with the Host of Heaven to express a Holy God's overcoming power throughout the nations of the earth. This will unlock a global harvest. Your violent praise is preparing a storehouse for Kingdom harvest…. 

Do not resist the major shift that is re-creating the way we worship and acknowledge God corporately.[38][bold in original] 

Don’t miss the significance of Pierce’s next claim. In an eschatological twist, he believes that he can “sit next” to Jesus in the heavenlies right now, and that we will “walk” the earth “clothed in His glory” for “dominion.”

Then, from our seated position, we can walk in the earth clothed in His glory and dispel darkness. He came to overcome the works of the devil, and we can do this as we remain in Him…. 

…what you are really contending over is your Garden or Promised Land dominion. [39][bold in original, underline added] 

Below is yet another example of how the NAR believes that “radical praise” can invoke the “Presence”:

 …the Kingdom of God in the earth realm becomes covered by prayer, causing an overshadowing of the Holy Spirit's presence. The overshadowing… is being released by prayer all over the world…. The manifestation of spiritual gifts are exploding on the earth…. 

Yet, a new realm is merging with this one. It is the passionate power of radical praise that shakes the Heavens and enthrones the King, a place of habitation for Him to dwell in

A tangible presence of God Almighty will be known.[40][all emphasis added] 

Many others have also taught this, fervently believing that there will be an “overshadowing of the Holy Spirit’s presence” when the earth “becomes covered by prayer” like a canopy. They claim that this “overshadowing” is actually being “released by prayer all over the world.” They believe that “the passionate power of radical praise” will shake the heavens and “enthrones the King.”[41] Since we know from Scripture that Jesus is already sitting on the throne on the right hand of God the Father, what is their teaching really saying? It refers back to their idea of the church becoming a “habitation for Him to dwell in.”[42] Once again, this is evidence that Latter Rain teachers are awaiting a return of a spiritual “tangible presence” to dwell in (inhabit) the church – not the literal physical return of Jesus. For example, here is one such “prophecy”:

Yet, a new realm is merging with this one. It is the passionate power of radical praise that shakes the Heavens and enthrones the King, a place of habitation for Him to dwell in. Places of manifestations will emerge as saints radically join in the celestial praise of God's own throne room—crying in unison with the redeemed, the elders, the moving Holy Spirit from dimension to dimension. …[P]raise… will transform any ordinary service into a radical out-of-the-box worship. A tangible presence of God's own Glory will be seen, smelled, felt, heard and tasted. It will change the hearts of men forever! The lost will run to this place of habitation…. 

The land will shake and the people will breakout in radical praise…. A tangible presence of God Almighty will be known….[43] [all emphases in original] 

These examples above evidence the obvious parallels to the IHOP 24/7 model of “violent” prayer discussed earlier in this article series.[44]

The Handicapped Spirit 
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) sincerely believes they are on the threshold of a great endtime revival in which there will be a huge outpouring of supernatural power.[45] They also believe that the Holy Spirit has, until now, been handicapped or “limited.” In their view, the Holy Spirit is a spiritual “force” that has been bound up by man, but will soon become unrestrained. For example, some believe He is an anthropomorphic spirit that hasn’t been “powerful” enough in the past:

The latter rain is historically known as the belief that latter-day or end-time Believers will have a greater release/outpouring of God's Holy Spirit on the earth…. [bold added] 

He [the Holy Spirit] started to prance around in a fun, graceful manner and, with His arms outstretched, He would literally shower people with Himself. He was so happy and free, because He could finally pour Himself on mankind like He had always wanted to. And I heard Him joyously singing as He did, "The latter rain, the latter rain, the latter rain!"[bold in original] 

Holy Spirit was so happy and relieved to finally be releasing His latter rain on the earth, because He has endured much alongside of us through the centuries. Of course, He's simply overjoyed to have finally come to the time in man's history when He can unleash everything He's been anticipating….[bold added] 

He will get to shower you with the power necessary for you to become the Kingdom Bride that Jesus' prophesied you would become. He will finally be able to zap our unbelief, destroy strongholds with His powerful truth, and raise up the Bride that Christ is anticipating….[bold in original] 

For centuries, Holy Spirit has been so limited, not because He wasn't powerful, but because we were limited in our experience/knowledge of Him. With the new release of the LATTER RAIN, He will finally get to act on our behalf! [46] [bold added] 

How does this sort of errant teaching mangle the doctrine of the Holy Spirit? The truth from Scripture is plain—

When in turn Christ had completed his redemption-work by dying on the cross for our sins, and rising again from the dead for our justification, and had taken his place at God's right hand for perpetual intercession, then the Holy Ghost came down to communicate and realize to the church the finished work of Christ. In a word, as God the Son fulfills to men the work of God the Father, so God the Holy Ghost realizes to human hearts the work of God the Son.[47]

Yet this finished work of Christ doctrine is murky to those caught up in Latter Rain (IHOP and NAR) heresy. Plain truth becomes confused and garbled when mixed with their revelatory errors. They see everything through the lens of their own imminent “glorification,” to be experienced here on earth, in order to rule and subdue the planet. They anticipate this secondary spiritual empowerment to enable them to perform powerful signs and wonders, even achieve divinity and immortality. How can they justify this new doctrine? Because they believe they are receiving “new revelations and interpretations of Scripture” during this “latter rain” period.[48]

In an ElijahList article titled “Entering a New Season,” Wade Taylor presented classic Latter Rain/MSOG eschatology that Jesus will come again secretly “within,” with his “presence” to empower. This is stated quite explicitly:

This speaks of a present increase in the Lord's manifested presence and glory in the Body of Christ…. 

Before Jesus comes to appear "outwardly," He must first come "within" us so His glory can radiate out from us to affect the nations…. 

…as a part of His second coming, there will be a powerful manifestation of His glory through a corporate Body….[bold and italics added] 

There is a present urgency and need to present ourselves as being available to become a "place of habitation" for the presence and glory of the Lord, beyond anything that has previously been experienced or seen. This manifestation of His glory will impact the nations.[49] [bold in original, underlining added] 

 NAR “apostle” James Goll has written quite a bit about the coming “Presence.” Below is an example. Clearly this is not speaking about the indwelling Holy Spirit that is promised to all believers. This is talking about a separate “Presence”:

This I know – He wants us to cherish and care for His Presence. Pray for His presence. Love His presence. Nurture His presence. After all, isn't this what you have longed for all your life? Isn't this what you were made and created for – to be a carrier of the most brilliant presence?!... 

Let His presence come forth! [50] [emphasis in original] 

The NAR differentiates between God’s abiding presence—the Holy Spirit promised to all believers upon salvation—and something they call “His manifest presence,” which is experiential. This is the “presence” which they are expecting. They look for signs and wonders or, as in the case below, evidence of a sensory (even olfactory) experience:

When He manifests His presence, there is absolutely no doubt that we are experiencing Him at a higher level. During divine visitations we can hear Him speak, witness His glory and sometimes even smell His fragrance…. I have been in meetings before when the fragrance of myrrh filled the room…. 

His manifest presence… We will sense it and have knowledge of Him. Remember that our senses involve touching, smelling, hearing, seeing and feeling. Isn't it great to know He really desires that we "feel" His presence?[51][bold added] 

This explains much of the Toronto and Brownsville “revival” phenomena of the past few decades, where there were many reports of strange signs and wonders such as “gold dust” falling upon people (a clear allusion to the “health and wealth” promises that usually accompany these endtime teachings). The examples are too numerous to enumerate, but all of these incidents were viewed as a manifestation of the soon appearing “Presence.”

“Rodeo Angels” & “Circuit Riders”
This “Presence” may manifest as an apparition. It is often preceded by bizarre-sounding angelic visitations. Bill Yount recounted a vision on TheElijahList of a “Rodeo Angel” who promised to “Shake My People onto the Field of Their Dreams!” Younts’ “Rodeo Angel”

proclaimed, "It's time to grab the bull by the horns...It's time to get back on your bull that threw you off!" Many who had been thrown off course of their God-given dreams and visions by wild, furious circumstances and situations stomping on them were now seeing and sensing the presence of "rodeo" angels now with them, strengthening them to do all things through Christ... even riding broncos and bulls![52][emphasis in original]

The late “Kansas City Prophet” Bob Jones reported that he had seen a vision of “circuit-riding angels,” which he interpreted as an electrical circuit to equip the church with supernatural power:

As Bob and I discussed the circuit riders revelation, it was quickened to us that a circuit is an electrical device that provides a path for electrical current to flow. We believe these circuit riders are being released with power. That was like the line coming out of Heaven. It's the breaker anointing being released with the power of the Word. And it was like a direct power line coming straight out of Heaven…. Get ready to see the power of God revealed![53] [emphasis in original]

Jones connected this with the idea that God will be “welcomed into His temple now,” meaning the indwelling of this “Presence,” especially because of the foundation that has been laid by NAR’s “apostles and prophets.” Note that he says the “purpose” is for “cohabitation” with God!

The purpose is for cohabitation with our Father. That temple is coming into place now with living stones. It's a round temple that no wind can get hold of to harm in any way. There the Father will cohabitate with us in the spirit. Get ready now for the living stones to be built into a living temple of relationships and intimacy joining together the Body of Christ in a common purpose.[54][emphasis in original]

It is outside the scope of this article to review the extent to which the NAR has built its empire of downline networking apostles and prophets, as part of the fulfillment of the Latter Rain/MSOG mandate to “restore” these offices in the church.[55] We have examined this issue in detail previously. Suffice it to say that since the NAR has built its global network that they believe that now is the time for the promised “Presence” to “manifest.” They had a timeline and it is on target.[56]

An “open portal to Heaven” 
During this “Presence” experience, many believe that heaven and earth will meet together, “as above, so below.” They believe that they can touch heaven, and that heaven can touch earth. So one leader prays as follows:

Father, I pray for these precious readers today and ask that You empower each one with zeal and determination to seek Your presence. I am confident that each of them desires to witness Your manifest presence in their lives. We want to touch Heaven and see Your glory! [58][italics in original, bold added] 

Julia Loren wrote on TheElijahList about generating passion and intimacy, so that “His presence” could equip her with supernatural gifts to “release the realm of Heaven on earth.” She claims that passion creates an “open portal” between heaven and earth so that “God infuses us with His presence”:

Recently, the Lord revealed to me that we are entering into a season of sweetness and awe. He showed me how we can position our hearts to become an open portal to Heaven – where God infuses us with His presence and revelation abounds – flowing to us and through us in naturally, supernatural ways…. [emphases in original]

…I changed the language of my prayers, calling Jesus "My Love". Immediately, I felt His presence drawing nearer…. 

Let your heart become an open portal of His love. It won't be long before the awe of His power thunders around you and you find yourself walking IN THE FULLNESS of Him, not just alongside of Him; carrying His authority to release the realm of Heaven on earth. [59][bold added]

Pastor Larry DeBruyn has critiqued this “as above, so below” worldview, which perhaps not coincidentally means the same thing as “open heaven.” This is a New Age worldview. He wrote:

The things of earth lie within our ability to observe and understand. But heaven lies beyond our ability to observe and comprehend. While some things on earth below might be considered the shadow of things in heaven above, the one is not the replicate of the other (See Hebrews 8:5.). The reality of earth may infer the reality of heaven, but the realities are separate, not “one.” 

New Age spiritualists reject this understanding of the two realities. They suppose that reality is one unified sphere (as above, so below), that “here-is-there” and that “there-is-here.” In their view, two different realities do not comprise the universe. The cosmos is but a divinized “One.” Science and spirituality are viewed to be but two aspects of the same cosmic One. This humanistic holism ends up believing that whether in a pantheistic or panentheistic sense, nature is God.[60]

Jesus Christ Himself warned that in the last days there would be a marked increase in “signs and wonders.” Especially because these current Latter Rain teachers believe they will become divinized as Christ, the following verses seem appropriate to cite:

“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.” 
(Matthew 24:24. See also Mark 13:22) 

 Professor Johan Malan has recently issued a paper warning about aberrant endtime eschatologies. His comments are relevant to the issue at hand:

When biblical prophecies are shrouded by denying their primary meaning, the way has been opened to also degrade and undermine other biblical principles. In this way, man takes the liberty to enforce his own ideas on the Bible in order to avoid unpleasant realities, invent an easier way of salvation, adopt a more tolerant approach to sin, thereby effectively deviating from the narrow way of the Lord and joining the broad way of sin. In this manner, self-justifying man establishes his own kingdom and does not look forward to the future kingdom of Christ which will be revealed after His second coming…. 

The fifth and most important foundation of the Christian faith is the Rock, Jesus Christ, with full recognition of biblical facts on His virgin birth, deity, atoning death, bodily resurrection, and ascension. He is the incarnated Word – God who became flesh and dwelt among us. When the Bible is no longer recognised as the inspired Word of God it stands to reason that Jesus Christ will also not be regarded as the perfect God-man. Consequently, Christianity will no longer be perceived as unique and will be relegated to a position of equality with the other world religions. 

It is important to determine how far the rejection of the biblical Jesus has already taken place within backslidden churches, and how members react to these views. It undeniably amounts to treason against the true Christ if confessing members remain within a church in which these serious errors are condoned and accepted without protest. The Lord Jesus says that if we deny Him He will also deny us: “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10:33). 

Nobody will get away with spiritual treason of this nature without incurring eternal damage to his soul, while at the same time deceiving many other people. When people turn away from the true Jesus, “another Jesus” is proclaimed to them under the guidance of the spirit of error (2 Cor. 11:2-4), and in this way people are conditioned to accept the Antichrist instead of the true Christ. The warning of Jesus in Matthew 24:4-5 refers to the seriousness of this form of deception….. 

The time is now ripe for the appearance of the false christ of all faiths, as the world is in such an advanced stage of delusion that the vast majority of people will follow him in amazement and also worship him (Rev. 13:3-4, 8). 

However, before that will happen, the true Christ will secretly come as the heavenly Bridegroom to catch away His bride to heaven (1 Thess. 4:16-18). These believers were not involved with the destruction of the foundations of the Christian faith, and for that reason Christ will say to them: “You have kept My word, and have not denied My name” (Rev. 3:8). Because they have accepted the Lord Jesus with the full recognition of His divine attributes and the great significance of His crucifixion, and have honoured the Bible as the inerrant and inspired Word of God, they have seriously regarded the command to be born again and also trusted the Lord for the further work of grace to be filled with His holy Spirit. In this spiritual state they eagerly look forward to the second coming of Christ. This is a sanctifying hope, as “everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).[61]

1. Mike Bickle, Kansas City Fellowship, School of Prophecy, Session 7, Vineyard Ministries, 1989. Discernment Ministries has the original tape and transcript. Emphasis added. This is quoted in the booklet Joel’s Army 
2. Paul Cain, in a Grace Ministries (“Kansas City Prophets,” precursor to IHOP) tape, November 1988, titled “My Father’s House. This is cited by Ed Tarkowski in the article “The Signifiance of Filled Stadiums,” Emphasis added. Mike Bickle has a longtime association with C. Peter Wagner of the NAR. See, e.g., 
3. Advertisement on TheElijahList for Todd Bentley’s CD “Preparing for Habitation: Secrets to Having God’s Presence in Your Life Continuously,” April 23, 2008. Emphasis added.
4. Ron McGatlin, “Partaking of the Divine Nature,” OpenHeaven Digest, July 26, 2012. Emphasis added.
5. For more background, see: HTTP://HERESCOPE.BLOGSPOT.COM/2011/11/FIELD-OF-DREAMS.HTML and and and and 
6. For the history of this group, see this E21 webpage: For a revealing list of “partners” see: Alternate site for video to watch: 
7. Chris Mitchell, “Spirit-Empowered Believers Praying for Second Pentecostal Outpouring,” Charisma, 4/1/14, 
8. “Second Pentecostal Outpouring,” Ibid. The “Vision Statement” is also posted at the E21 webpage: 
9. A.J. Gordon, D.D. “The Ministry of the Spirit,” 
10. Charisma, Ibid. 
11. This well-known phrase comes from the esoteric movie, Field of Dreams, which ostensibly had to do with baseball players, but also promoted a New Age eschatology. Dr. Orrel Steinkamp even wrote an article about the similarities in doctrine: and also: HTTP://HERESCOPE.BLOGSPOT.COM/2011/11/FIELD-OF-DREAMS.HTML 
12. “Mission Statement” webpage of The Commission on Spirit-Empowered Discipleship in the 21st Century (E21), 
13. “Discipleship Commission” webpage of The Commission on Spirit-Empowered Discipleship in the 21st Century (E21), 
14. Woodrow Nichols, The Walk of John Robert Stevens: The History, Beliefs, and Spiritual Dynamics of a Christian Cult, 1980, unpublished manuscript, p. 31, footnote 6. 
15. Dr, Orrel Steinkamp, “Assessing Current Teachings, Issues, 
And Events With Scripture: A Second Pentecost?” 
16. See articles on Herescope: IHOP Enters Dominion/Christian Right Politics: IHOP is starting to feel its Dominion oats, IHOP: International House of Political Action: IHOP Enters Dominion/Christian Right Politics, IHOP & the NAR: The Formation of a Revolution, IHOP's New Breed Leaders, Prayer Warfare Evangelism: The New Order Prayer Cover and also: 
17. See, for example, and 
18. For more evidence on this, see: 
19. Woodrow Nichols, Ibid, p. 39. 
20. Woodrow Nichols, Ibid, p. 39 citing George Warnock’s The Feast of Tabernacles, p. 38. 
21. Earl Paulk, The Wounded Body of Christ, Dimension Publishers, 1985, as quoted in the booklet Joel’s Army, 
22. John Wimber, Docklands. This is quoted in the booklet Joel’s Army 
23. Ron McGatlin, “A New Day,” OpenHeaven Digest,, April 7, 2014. 
24. Henry Falcone, “This Weekend We Truly Had a Holy Spirit Invasion,” OpenHeaven Digest,, April 7, 2014. 
25. See Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s article “On Theosis, Or Divinization,” Herescope, February 25, 2011, 
26. Barbara Yoder, “Releasing the Glory,” TheElijahList, advertisement, April 8, 2014. 
27. Keith Miller, “Stirred Up: An Awakening To The Glory,” TheElijahList, April 3, 2014, 
28. Dean Michum, “Discovering The Next Dimension of Worship,” TheElijahList, April 2, 2014, Bold and italic emphasis added. 
29. Dean Mitchum, Ibid. 
30. See “How can there be revival without repentance?” 
31. Woodrow Nichols, Ibid, p. 37. 
32. Woodrow Nichols, Ibid, p. 39 
33. Woodrow Nichols, Ibid, quoting The Feast of Tabernacles by George Warnock, pp. 48-49. 
34. See “Altered States: A Different Gate,” and also read the earlier articles in this series.
35. Chuck Pierce, “Join us for THE ARK IS MOVING! (Sept 30 - Oct 2, Jacksonville, FL),” letter from Global Harvest dated August 20, 2010. Graphic illustration accompanied this letter. 
36. Chuck Pierce, Ibid. 
37. Woodrow Nichols, Ibid, p. 40. Emphasis in original. 
38. Chuck Pierce, “This is NOT a Time to be Passive but to Go to War and Worship Violently!” TheElijahList, August 7, 2010, 
39. Chuck Pierce, “NOT,” Ibid. 
40. Theresa Phillips, “The Merging of Three Kingdoms is at Hand,” TheElijahList, February 8, 2010 
41. Theresa Phillips, Ibid. 
42. Theresa Phillips, Ibid. Emphasis added. 
43. Theresa Phillips, Ibid. 
44. Especially in Part 3, “Bridal Eschatology,” 
45. Take the quiz here to see how much of this doctrine you have already embraced: 
46. Victoria Boyson, “The Latter Rain: Holy Spirit’s Release – A Vision,” TheElijahList, March 1, 2014. 
47. A.J. Gordon, Ibid. 
48. Woodrow Nichols, Ibid., p. 31. 
49. Wade E. Taylor, “Entering a New Season,” TheElijahList, August 26, 2012 
50. James W. Goll, “The Brilliance of His Great Presence!” TheElijahList, July 29, 2012, 
51. Sandie Freed, “We Need His Manifest Presence,” TheElijahList, June 19, 2010 
52. Bill Young, “Rodeo Angels are Being Released...'Tis the Season to Ride Broncos and Bulls ,” TheElijahList, August 25, 2011, 
53. Bob and Bonnie Jones, “The Circuit Riders and the Lost Coin,” TheElijahList, Sept. 6, 2013, 
54. “Circuit Riders,” Ibid. 
55. See, for example, the many articles at Deception In The Church, especially: 
56. See, for example, the 2001 prophecies: 
57. This is a New Age worldview. See Herescope articles, such as: and and 
58. “We Need His Manifest Presence,” Ibid. 
59. Julie Loren, “The Season of ‘Sweetness and Awe” is Upon Us,” TheElijahList, August 15, 2012, 
60. Pastor Larry DeBruyn, “Quantum Consciousness: Part 5: FROM COSMOS, TO CHAOS, TO CONSCIOUSNESS,” Herescope, Nov. 1, 2010, See also his article at the beginning of this article series, 
61. Professor Johan Malan, “Spiritual Foundations are being Destroyed,” Mossel Bay, South Africa (April 2014),

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