To A Perfect Man
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16
If something was not possible then the word of God would not state “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ!” It would not state God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). Nor would it state “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19). Nor would it state “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57) and “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith” (1 John 5:4).
Since with God all things are possible and with God nothing is impossible, then we must acknowledge that the responsibility to see God’s word become a reality in our lives is on man, not God! And man must examine what he believes and doesn’t believe and why including about the Latter Rain!
The Wikipedia on line dictionary tell us about “Latter Rain Movement” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latter_Rain_Movement
The Latter Rain was a post-World War II movement within Pentecostal Christianity which remains controversial to this day.
The Latter Rain Movement had its beginnings in the years following World War II. It was contemporary with the evangelical awakening that was occurring with Billy Graham at the forefront, as well as the Healing Revival with Oral Roberts, Jack Coe, and William Branham. William Branham is often erroneously considered the founder of the Latter Rain because those who started it were inspired by attending one of his meetings. Rather, several leaders of Sharon Orphanage, a small Pentecostal orphanage in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, were inspired to look for a deeper dimension of Christianity after visiting Branham’s meeting, and they began to fast and pray in search of it. Later that year, revival events occurred. News quickly swept across Canada and the United States, influencing many Pentecostal believers.
As the revival itself died down after a few years, those who had been changed by the doctrine formed various groups which became known as “The Latter Rain” (Movement). The Latter Rain heavily emphasized relational networks over organizational structure. In addition, association with the Latter Rain has become somewhat of a pejorative label, therefore many ministers who were influenced in some way by it are reluctant to make this well known, or choose to emphasize their lack of any formal involvement. Much of the movement, along with elements of the Healing Revival, slowly dissolved into parts of the larger Charismatic movement.
Latter Rain proponents saw Pentecostalism as very dry in the post-war period, and in danger of slipping into a dry or mental formalism like many of their evangelical peers. Latter Rain doctrines addressed this formalism with a series of doctrinal and practical changes. These changes made the Latter Rain Movement distinct from the Pentecostal context from which it arose, and church life in Latter Rain influenced churches significantly different from traditional Pentecostal ones.
The Latter Rain brought in a new focus on the spiritual elements of Christianity including personal prophecy, and typological interpretation of Scripture, the restoration of the Five-fold ministry and a different eschatological emphasis. Many of the doctrinal emphases which later emerged, were outlined in seed form in George Warnock’s “Feast of Tabernacles,” which is the primary foundational text for the movement.
The Latter Rain broke with the dispensationalism which had become entrenched in the ranks of Pentecostalism. Dispensationalism tended to be pessimistic in its outlook whereas the Latter Rain emphasized a victorious eschatological outlook. Rather than attempting to simply save a few souls before rise of the anti-Christ, the Latter Rain emphasized the Church as overcoming and victorious in the fact that the church would come into “full stature” as taught by Apostle Paul.
The term “Latter Rain” stems from Bible passages as Jeremiah 3:3, 5:23-25, Joel 2:23, Hosea 6:3, Zechariah 10:1, and James 5:7. The idea of a “Latter Rain” was not new to the movement. In fact, it was present from the earliest days of Pentecostalism, which believed that the return of speaking in tongues and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit marked the “Latter Rain” of God’s Spirit, and that these were signs of the coming end of history. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost had been the “former rain” that established the Church, but the current “move” of the Spirit was the “latter rain” that would bring the Church’s work to completion, and culminate in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which was and is imminent.
A major feature of the expected latter rain would be the “Manifestation of the Sons of God.” or “Joel’s Army.” The Latter Rain movement taught that as the end of the age approached, that the “overcomers” would arise within the Church. There was debate among various branches as to the nature and extent of this manifestation. These Manifest Sons of God, ones who have come into the full stature of Jesus Christ would receive the spirit without measure. They would be as Jesus was when He was on earth, they would receive a number of divine gifts, including the ability to change their physical location, to speak any language through the Holy Spirit, and would be able to perform divine healings and other miracles. They would complete the work of God restoring man’s rightful position as was originally mandated in Genesis, and at last by coming into the full stature of Christ usher in the millennial reign of Christ. Extreme versions of this spoke of Jesus as a “pattern” Son and applied (Ps. 82:6) “ye are gods,” to this coming company of believers.
“The Sacrifice of Praise” and the restoration of the “Tabernacle of David” were important themes within the Latter Rain. Dancing, lifting of hands and spontaneous praise are marks of this movement. An effort was made to show the wrong of many Christians that deny the imperative form on these verbs.
A major theme of the Latter Rain was “unity” among the believers, in the church service, in the geographic region, and at large. They taught that God saw the church organized not into denominational camps, but along geographical lines as in the book of Acts. One church, but in different locations. They expected that in the coming last days, the various Christian denominations would dissolve, and the true church would coalesce into city wide churches under the leadership of the newly-restored apostles and prophets.
The Latter Rain taught that there would be a restoration of the five ministerial roles mentioned in Ephesians 4:11:  (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher). It was believed that the foundational roles of apostle and prophet had been lost after the time of the first apostles due to the Dark Ages, but that God was restoring these ministries in the present day. These ideas are part of the “prophetic movement” and “New Apostolic Reformation”.
Unlike Pentecostals who traditionally held that the baptism of the Holy Spirit usually comes after prolonged “tarrying” or waiting for the Spirit, the Latter Rain movement taught that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit can be imparted on one believer by another through the laying on of hands.
Here from Latter-Rain.com is an explanation of what Latter Rain teaching is. Sounds very Christian, sounds even biblical, but it is far from it. http://www.lifestylec.com/Discernment.html
“The Latter Rain is God’s great end-time ministry. The Latter Rain is the Restoration of the Church and the Harvest of souls, the gathering together of His people to be God’s Kingdom on earth. The Latter Rain is the promise given to us in the last days for the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. The Latter Rain blesses each of us with times of refreshing, it is for you and all who love peace to enter into now.
The foundation of the Latter Rain Page is firm in the pursuit of truth, justice and mercy. Deliverance to the captive church from the traditional legalism and quenching of the Spirit is through pointing you to the love of God through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers As One Body
* We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
* Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain
The critics of the latter rain movement point out:
The short version: Word of Faith / Latter Rain / Manifest Sons of God doctrine (MSoG is the more extreme version of Latter Rain) is a new doctrine per se that the Assemblies of God (AOG) rejected in 1949/50. They rejected it because it went AGAINST orthodox/normal Christian teaching.
This teaching was mainly introduced into the church via the following person: William Branham. However there was a man by the name of F.F. Bosworth who prior to Branham was creating a bit of a stir, by holding revival services in the early 1920’s. E.W. Kenyon (who took Christian teaching and mashed it with Metaphysical cult ideas or New Thought* and the Higher Life movement**) was instrumental in teaching his new doctrine: ‘Word of Faith’ to F.F. Bosworth. F.F Bosworth then met with William Branham in 1948 and became good friends as they both shared the same ideas.
William Branham was so popular (healing miracles, signs and wonders) that he is regarded by all popular Word of Faith preachers as a ‘great man of God’; Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin (who plagiarized E.W. Kenyon’s work as his own), Kenneth Copeland, Marilyn Hickey, Kathryn Kuhlman, Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard-Browne, Morris Ceruello, Patricia King, et al. The list of people who still to this day uphold William Branham as being credible is quite shocking.
Word of Faith teaching started out disguised as normal Christian teaching but contained a poisonous stream of Latter Rain teaching which for a better word I would call occult. Over the years this Latter Rain teaching has grown and grown, bigger and bigger, taking over the church completely. 80% or more of the books in your local Christian bookstore are Word of Faith/Latter Rain. The other 18% are New Age Emergent Church where ‘all faiths lead to one god’. You don’t even need to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find that Latter Rain teachers actually believe the same thing. So do prominent Word of Faith preachers as mentioned above.
This is the apostasy Jesus Christ spoke of in the last days where a fake Christianity would arise deceiving the entire world.
* New Thought: “emphasizes metaphysical beliefs. It consists of a loosely allied group of religious denominations, secular membership organizations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of metaphysical beliefs concerning the effects of positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization and personal power. It promotes the ideas that God is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, all sickness originates in the mind, and ‘right thinking’ has a healing effect.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Thought
Higher Life movement: “The Christian should move on from his initial conversion experience to also experience a second work of God in his life. This work of God is called “entire sanctification,” “the second blessing,” “the second touch,” “being filled with the Holy Spirit,” and various other terms. Higher Life teachers promoted the idea that Christians who had received this blessing from God could live a more holy, that is less sinful or even a sinless, life. This teaching has its roots in John Wesley’s doctrine of Christian perfection.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_Life_movement
What are the tell tale signs to know if your church is following Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God teaching:
1) Spiritual warfare:
Spiritual warfare conducted through intense worship and praise
Rebuking demonic powers and binding territorial spirits
Walking through towns, praying over buildings to remove/bind evil spirits
Spiritual warriors and Intercessors ‘ Sole purpose of this is to reclaim towns, cities, states/provinces, countries, and finally the earth for ‘Christ’
If the evil moves out, Christians will move in
If they ‘bind’ the evil, people will ‘get saved’ and come to Jesus.
2) Signs and wonders:
Small to large amount of focus on signs and wonders which will prepare you for:
An Elite group of over comer’s (false prophets) who WILL produce signs and wonders unlike anything ever seen
3) They believe in the restoration of the church.
4) They believe in the restoration of the 5 fold ministry.
Offices of apostles and prophets.
The apostles and prophets have authority.
Their focus is strong sheparding and discipleship.
If one needs Christian counselling it is to be done via the apostles, prophets or pastors who follow the same teachings.
5) A perfection of the saints.
The attainment of being Christ as we become just like Christ in nature and ability.
6) Christians will rule the earth (Dominion/Kingdom Now)
7) They mostly deny a rapture in the classic sense.
Some replace it with individual raptures.
A collective transformation to immortality on earth.
Some mention they believe Jesus Christ is coming back (as per scripture) but this is not what they really believe.
8) Manifest Sons teachings are Kingdom Dominionists
9) Great Harvest of souls (forms part of Revival):
Majority of the world will be won to Christ
A Kingdom would be established or ready to be received by Christ.
Or the church will become Christ
10) Transformation/Reformation and Reconciliation based on ‘Christian principles’ (see Christian values/Kingdom values below)
Pastors and Youth Leaders to come together
Family to come together
Political leaders to come together
Businesses to come together
Government to come together
‘ Areas targeted: family, the community, the arts, sciences, media, law, government, schools and business
11) Focus on Revival:
Toronto Blessing, Azuza Street, Pensecola, Brownsville and Lakeland (Todd Bentley), Angus Buchan (South Africa)
Global and International Prayer days, Global Revival Promise Keepers, Mighty Men Conferences ‘ Main aim: United power of agreement for global revival (preparing Joel’s army)
12) Extra-biblical teaching (New revelations, fresh new ideas):
Prophecy spoken that points towards any of the points listed in this article
New revelations and new knowledge that falls outside of orthodox (i.e., normal) Christian teaching.
13) A governing body for the Church:
Lead by apostles and prophets.
Rule the Church through establishing independent churches
Non-denominational and unaffiliated however all under the central leadership of the apostles and prophets
Christian unity (all faiths professing some form of Christianity are considered Christian)
14) They call themselves: apostles or prophets:
Consider themselves greater than the early church Apostles
Focus on signs and wonders including healing ministries
They appoint each other and belong to the same organisations
However they believe they are appointed by God
Organisation names: . New Apostolic Reformation NAR (Head: C. Peter Wagner) . International Coalition of Apostles ICA http://www.apostlesnet.net . United States Apostolic Alliance USAA http://www.usapostolicalliance.org
15) Blessings and Curses:
The apostles and prophets will give blessings on those who agree and follow them
And curses upon those who don’t follow them.
16) Words and Faith:
The power of their words would bring results (Word of Faith)
God inhabits your praises
The more faith you have the more ‘Christian’ you are
You can speak healing into your life through words/faith
Faith is a force
Faith brings wealth and health:
The healthier you are the more faith you have
The wealthier you are the more faith you have
The main belief of Prosperity is this:
God will reward His faithful
God will transfer wealth to his faithful children
Transfer of wealth will go from ‘ungodly’ people to ‘godly’ people (His faithful)
Main aim: Christians need wealth to ‘reclaim’ the earth for Christ (Kingdom Now/Dominion)
17) Christian Values / Kingdom Value:
Values that can be learned and applied to one’s life which brings about the appearance of a Christian life
The REAL Holy Spirit is not involved in bringing this change into people’s lives
18) Fake Holy Spirit:
Counterfeit spirits (’FIRE’ called down from heaven / slain in the spirit) are brought onto people
Strange manifestations (Kundalini spirit manifestations)
Laughing and other sounds
Feeling of heat in the body
No control of your body
Paralysed on the floor
Convulsing, jerking or flailing about
Trips to Heaven and Hell
Multiple anointings -there is an anointing for everything
Anointings can be transferred from one person to another
Anointing/false spirit transferred via: touching, thought, blowing, gesturing, laying on of hands, hands held above the person, etc.
Multiple mantles -there seems to be a mantle for everything
Mantles can be passed from person to person
Most famous Mantle: William Branham’s Mantle
21) Occult experiences:
Out of body experiences
Visiting people in dreams
Visiting places (earthly or heavenly)
Third Heaven or ‘trips to heaven and hell’ experiences
Communicating with the dead in visions (be it saints or angels) is necromancy
Angels that accompany the pastor
Angels that bring people messages from God
Angels that bring healing
Any focus on angels; speaking with angels, visitation by angels etc.
23) Believe and teach things that New Age and/or Occultists believe/teach/practice:
Portals, gateways, spiritual gates
Heavenly realms, prayer realms, seer realms, glory realms
Opening the Heavens
Spiritual hotspots, geographical areas that are more spiritual than others
Atmosphere, vibrations, light, sound and colours
Numerology -applying symbolism or significance to numbers
24) What they really mean by ‘repentance of sin’:
Repentance of sin is either completely ignored or there is very little focus
Repentance of sin becomes a group affair in other words the entire congregation will repent of sin in unison
Repentance for other peoples sin or the sins of the country
The Holy Spirit is not what brings about repentance
There is no conviction from the Holy Spirit
Living a good life is considered ‘repentance of sin’ and can be achieves just though counselling and practice.
25) Visitations by a ‘Jesus’:
Jesus appearing to people in visions or physically appearing to people
26) Strange prayer practices:
Meditation (clearing the mind)
Breathing practice (this also includes yoga)
Reciting scripture over and over again
Reciting someone else’s prayer e.g., The Prayer of Jabez
Contemplative Prayer (Lectio Divina or Sacred Divination)
Allowing ‘thoughts’ or a ’small voice’ to come into your mind giving you ‘revelation’ into scripture (usually done by following the above points)
27) Joel’s Army:
Joel’s army is made up of a group of ‘immortal’ beings that will bring judgment upon the ungodly
The ‘ungodly’ are those who oppose them
The mention of a Christian army of any kind is Joel’s army
Immobilizing prayer groups
All who do not accept the authority of the new apostles and prophets will be ‘removed’
Cleansing of the earth of evil to establish His Kingdom
Call for a Civil War within the church
28) Focus on Youth (Joel’s Army)
Focus on youth and ‘Christian values/Kingdom values’
Focus on youth for they are the least discerning
Focus on youth for they will ‘lead the future’ -Children are the future ‘ Parents will encourage their children because of the wonderful change in their lives ‘ Children/Teenagers are being taught the practices mentioned in point 26).
29) Holy Land / Israel:
Applying scripture meant for Israel to the church and vice versa
Main aim: Latter Rainer’s are going to try take the Holy Land for themselves.
30) Christian unity:
All faiths that profess some kind of ‘Christian’ teaching are considered Christian
Conferences are held where ‘all Christian faiths’ come together
They all believe in a ‘Christ’ and they call him ‘Jesus’ but it’s not the biblical Jesus Christ
The earth is going to be one big happy family under ‘Christ’
Global peace plan
Unity at all costs, excluding the Truth.
31) Christ comes into the church before he comes for the church
That the Church, his body will actually become Christ on earth, glorious and triumphant
32) Divinity, becoming a little ‘god’
Teaching that when you ‘accept Jesus into your life’ you become like Christ or start to actually become like Christ.
Word of Faith affirms this by teaching that we can ‘speak things into existence’ just as God did when He created the earth.
They are progressing in their godliness: The Christian life has levels to go through to reach maturity:
i. The first level is that of servant of God,
ii. The second level is that of a friend of God,
iii. The third level is to become a ’son of God’ which means you are now a ‘god’ or a ‘little god’
This is only obtained via revelation from the apostles and prophets (new revelation that falls outside of the Bible)
When you enter Heaven you will be on the same level as ‘Jesus Christ’
33) Some keywords:
apostolic, new wine, glory, refreshing, latter rain, glory cloud, soaking (same as meditating), move into the supernatural, prophetic, new breed, third wave, purpose driven, winds of change, winds of revival, supernatural motion, glory of the Lord, birthing, God’s kingdom is further being established on earth as it is in heaven, angelic hosts being released, connection points, portals, revival hubs, releasing, impartation’s or imparted with… , DNA, quantum, spiritual covering, global harvest, rains of revival, great awakening, new age, new dawn, suddenlies, oneness in Christ, unity, secret place, glory of God manifests on earth, visitation or visitations, paradigm, shifting, alignment, transported, prophetic towers, revolution, revolutionary, vertical and horizontal apostles, new beginnings, soaking in the Glory, operate in the glory and power of God, city transformation, activating and mobilizing others into their gifting, accurate prophetic words, prophetess, Nazarite, passion for revival, intercessor, releasing power and glory, promise keepers (mighty men, iron men), rise up army of believers, passing on the mantle, Elijah legacy, Anointings named after biblical people, Slain in the Spirit, transformation, reformation, third heaven, opening the heavens, God is doing a new thing in your life, increasing your anointing, pulling up the tent stakes, God is increasing your territory, etc…”