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Archive for May, 2010

In my first entry, I briefly wrote on the history of Pentecostalism.  I have since explained some troublesome doctrines within Protestant churches and some of the outliers which broke off of mainline Pentecostalism.  This blog will first relay the historical roots of the Latter Rain Movement with following blogs on the doctrine of the movement, and than a Scriptural exposition and analysis.  

            Riding on the first and second waves of the Pentecostal Revival (tongues and healings) during the early 20th Century, the Latter Rain Movement had its origins in October of 1947.  Students of the Pentecostal Bible College in Saskatchewan Canada broke off to found the Sharon Bible College.  It was during one of the chapel services, February 11, 1948, that a prophecy was given to begin a revival in order to seek afresh the spirit of God.[1]  The revival quickly spread throughout the U.S. and Canada but was claimed heretical by the Assemblies of God Churches.[2]  According to the minutes of the General Council, they “rejected the practice of personal prophecy accompanied by the laying of hands and the doctrine of the Manifest Sons of God.”[3]  “It’s lax exegesis of Scripture became the cause of their doctrinal drift on a variety of theological themes” [4]  “The Latter Rain Movement was condemned by the Pentecostal Assemblies of God as heresy in 1959. The teachings were kept alive through Demos Shakarian and the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowships and resurfaced in the 1960’s as the Charismatic Movement. The Vineyard Fellowships, the “Toronto Blessing,” and the Pensacola Revival are all Latter Rain influenced, even though the leaders will not admit it since the LRM was heretical.  Latter Rain teachers promoted the restoration of “Davidic Tabernacle Worship.” Services began with the emotional, repeated singing of praise choruses whereby the assembly came into the presence of God (or brought God into the assembly).” [5]

The major leaders of the Latter Rain included:

 Reg Layzell, George Wamock, George Hawtine/Ern Hawtine, Earl Lee, Murtile Beall, James Watt, J. Preston Eby, Thomas Wyatt

Current Direct Descendents of Movement:

Ministers Fellowship International, Portland Bible College, Kevin Conner; Dick Iverson; David Schoch; Violet and David Kitely

 Other People (abbreviated) influenced by the Movement:

Bill Hamon, Bill Briton, Rick Joyner, C. Peter Wagner, Paul Cain, Cindy Jacobs, Mike Bickle

 Doctrinal Beliefs:

 Personal Prophecy, Typological Interpretation of Scripture, 5-fold Ministry, Spiritual Elite Corps, Anti-Denominational, Non-Dispensationalist, Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Manifest Sons of God, Joel’s Army, One New Man, Corporate Christ, Melchizadek Priesthood, Harp and Bowl, Kingdom Now


[1] Holdcroft, T. The New Order of the Latter Rain Pheuma. The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 2(2):48. 

[2] Schmitt, C. (2002) Floods upon the Dry Ground. Shippensberg, PA: Revival Press.

[3] Minutes of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, Resolution 7: “The New Order of the Latter Rain.”

[4] Hjalmarson L. “Hype or Hope” http://nextreformation.com/wp-admin/resources/Restorationism.pdf

 [5] Marat, Don. “Four Movements” http://www.zlcb.org/Four%20Movements.pdf

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In the past few essays I have written, I indicated that I wished to trace the history of the Charismatic revivals during the 20th century.  Some confusion has arisen as to what exactly I mean or meant by Charismatic revivals.  I am not referring to Pentecostalism or Charismatics as a whole-far from it.  While I may have doctrinal differences with these particular groups, it is not my intention with these essays to discuss them.  In fact let me mention briefly some highly reputable scholars within this denomination: Dr. Gordon Fee, Dr. Walter Martin, Dan McConnell, Charles Farah, Elliot Miller, H. Terris Neuman and Dale H. Simmons (Christianity in Crisis 21st Century, by Hank Hanegraff page13).  What I am trying to do is delineate some groups from the overall spectrum of the Charismatics -that is separate the wheat from the chaff.  There are some outliers who espouse doctrines which are either opposed to basic beliefs of Christianity or are heresies which do not align with scripture as a whole.  One commonality that they hold is the ideology of restoration.  Some major revivals which have come to my attention are as follows:  Latter Rain Movement, Toronto/Anahiem Vineyard, and the Kansas City Prophets.

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One of my favorite books is the C.S. Lewis series Chronicles of Narnia.  In writing about them, Thomas Williams describes creation, “In seeing creation in its relationship to God, we see beneath the surface to the soul of it; its wonder and beauty becomes a reality.  The muggles that surround us will disdain that vision, accusing us of being incurable romantics looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses.  ‘It’s a jungle out there,’ they say, ‘a treacherous, messed-up world, a vale of tears, an arena of struggle for survival, and to see things otherwise is simply not facing up to reality.’  But the Christian sees everything through a new set of lenses-not rose tinted but polarized.  Rather than coloring reality with an artificial hue, the Christian lens filters out the glare and shows it with new clarity.  We see the solid truth about creation-the original steel beneath the coating of rust.  The rust is not the truth about the metal; it is a blight that obscures the truth.”[1]

Do you believe that the earth is fallen and cursed?  Do you believe that because of the curse the only redeemable part of man is his soul?  It might surprise a great number of my readers to learn that that second belief is incorporated into our Christian theology due to the large number of Classical philosophers during the early church.  (more…)

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