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The Way of Cain - Page 7

New teachings in the Christian Church- Where are They Leading Us?

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Is the Latter Rain gospel legitimate as a biblical worldview?

I do not believe it is and would like to go into a few of the many substantial reasons why.

Does the Bible teach that the church is supposed to rule the world?

Jesus certainly didn't teach this. He said ''My kingdom is not of this world.'' (Jn 8:36). The epistles teach that we are ''aliens and strangers'' in this world (1Pet 2:11), that we are to set our minds ''on the things above, not on the things that are on earth'' (Col 3:2).

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ... Phil 3:20

Reflect on the following passage. When did God change His mind and begin doing the opposite of this?

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God. 1Cor 1:26-29

The Bible teaches that, rather than a great end-time revival and the salvation of the entire world, there will be a great end-time apostasy -a falling away from the faith by even those who profess to be Christians (There are many references to this, such as: Matt 24:24; 2Tim 3:1-5, 13; Luke 18:8; 2 Tim 4:3-4; 2Th 2:1-12; 2 Pet 2:1-19; 1Tim 4:1; 2Pet 3:3-4).

Jesus never even implied He would return to a glorious, triumphant church and world-wide Christianity- in fact, He asked ''when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?'' (Luke 18:8). We have between this movement and the Bible two visions for the church which are complete opposites. Which one is the truth?

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, `A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. Jn 15:19-20

Let's remember that political rule by a global 'church' organization has been done, and it did not bring about an authentically Christian world or the Kingdom of God on earth. Instead, it illustrated that ''absolute power corrupts absolutely'' just as surely in the church as in the secular world. Religious rule brought religious abuse, persecution, and oppression -

''From dawn till nightfall, the miserable captives [in the Pope's prison] would cling to the iron bars of their horrible dwellings, and perpetually call upon the passer-by for alms in the name of God. A Papal prison! How I shudder in writing the words... human beings were heaped confusedly together, covered with rags, and swarming with vermin.''  (9) 

''When Napoleon conquered Spain in 1808, a Polish officer in his army... reported that the Dominicans [in charge of the Inquisition] blockaded themselves in their monastery... When... troups forced an entry, the inquisitors denied the existence of any torture chambers. The soldiers searched the monastery and discovered them under the floors. The chambers were full of prisoners, all naked, many insane. The French troops, used to cruelty and blood, could not stomach the sight.''  (10) 

Do we really want to go there again?

Please don't make the mistake of thinking the human race has ''evolved'' beyond such behavior! This is a false New Age hope. Human nature today remains just exactly what it has been since the fall and very predictable.

Superiority Complex The movement carries an attitude of superiority over the church of the past which brings to mind the church of Laodicea, which is believed to be representive of the final end-time church (the word ''Laodicea'' interestingly denotes the idea of the rule of the people, as opposed to God):

...you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked... Rev 3:16-17

No human being is ever going to be equal to Jesus Christ- He is God. This is nothing but the age-old sin- ''I will be as the Most High,'' - ''in the day you eat from it... you will be like God,'' (Isa 14:4, Gen 3:5) restated and repackaged for modern consumption. Contrary to this gospel,

The proud look of man will be abased, and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. Isa 2:10

Newspeak

The movement has redefined biblical words to fit their theology. They speak of ''Christ's return'' or ''the rapture'' while really meaning the concept of the church becoming Christ. They speak of ''the Kingdom'' meaning the earthly dominion they are trying to achieve. ''Revival'' is another word whose meaning has been severely altered (more on that later).

People are being misled because they assume the familiar words mean what they've always meant. They don't.

Reinterpreting the Scriptures

The movement splinters the Bible to make it support this theology, taking scriptures obviously referring to Israel or even Christ out of context, and applying them to the church, haphazardly pulling prophetic scriptures out of their context and applying them- even ones that have already been fulfilled.

An Earth-Centered Gospel of Power

Ambition for earthly power, and prestige and glory for the church in the here and now, drives the movement and has replaced the ''blessed hope'' of Christ's return (Titus 2:13). There is a hunger, a craving for power constantly vocalized in all of their teachings and testimonies. The doctrine of the Rapture or Christ's imminent physical return are ridiculed as ''escapist.''

The doctrine of the rapture was a great and effective ruse of the enemy to implant in the church a retreat mentality...

...in the last days mockers will come with their mocking... saying, ''Where is the promise of His coming?'' 2Pet 3:3

There have been a lot of different names given to this basic theology by those with one bent or another. It is sometimes called the ''Third Wave'' or ''postdenominationalism.'' Other theologies which follow the same basic theme with some minor variations are ''Kingdom,'' ''Dominion,'' and ''reconstructionism.'' They don't always carry the idea of achieving the level of godhood to such an extreme, but still emphasize the necessity of the church becoming unified and global, taking dominion of and ''Christianizing'' the earth, and the benefits this will supposedly provide to society; and put trust in man's ability to achieve for God.

Variation within the Movement

There is a lot of variation of belief among followers of the movement - people and churches have become involved from many doctrinal backgrounds and are all at different stages of assimilating the new teachings. Though the core of the movement itself is built upon and driven by ''Latter Rain'' theology, it is important not to judge anyone involved too quickly. Many genuine, sincere believers involved at a superficial level are unaware and are sincerely serving God with honest hearts. (''To the pure, all things are pure,'' Titus 1:15.)

The average person is completely unaware of the theology that underlies the movement when they first begin to get involved. Teachings at public events and church services are superficial. As people become more involved, they are gradually exposed to the deeper parts of the theology. It is spread by covert seduction more than open instruction. The deeper someone gets into the movement, the more their old theology gets displaced by the new. You often hear a speaker mixing parts of this theology with traditional theology - they have not yet absorbed it all and don't even realize they are mixing two contradictory worldviews.

Pastor Joseph Chambers writes,

...authors among this movement are extremely skillful in hiding the ultimate doctrines they promote. Using terminology that Orthodox Christians are acquainted with, they slowly move the reader or hearer along a planned path. They do exactly what any cult would do. They dare not tell you the whole story, because you are not ready. It's an elitist air of arrogance and demon controlled deception.

My earnest prayer is that those involved will return to the Bible when they become aware of the deeper teachings involved.

A New Age Mirror?

In spite of the biblical words, the movement's core theology is not biblical, it is, in fact, practically identical to the New Age (and Mormon) theology that man will attain to godhood and establish a ''New World Order'' of harmony and peace.  (11) 

Listen to some teachings of New Age authors (note that they often use biblical terms for New Age teachings):

''I think what is meant by the second coming is not the bodily return of that one solitary man, but the coming of the mystical body of His true church, the coming of the Spirit of Christ to everyone, sweeping through the nations, sweeping through the world. Father, make us like Mary, to give birth to your Son, to give Him to everyone.''

''In each person on Earth there is an inner being in a chrysalis, ready to be born. Turn to it for guidance. Let it speak to you. It is growing rapidly now. The signal for its birth en masse is the gathering of the attracted people by the sound of the voice of God - the 'trumpet' that shall surely sound. Then we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye... At the Quantum Instant, Christ-consciousness will emerge at once in many who are prepared'' ''These words: Virgin Mary, Jesus, the elect, Israel, the New Jerusalem, must be REINTERPRETED now. They do not relate to doctrines, ideologies, institutions, powers or principalities. They relate to human potentials in every person on Earth...The New Jerusalem is our potential, collectively, to transcend all creature/ human limitations through the harmonious use of our capacities, achieving a society of Universal Humans whose minds and bodies are total reflections of the mind of God''
(Barbara Marx-Hubbard)

''Deep ecumenical possibilities emerge when we shift from the quest for the historical Jesus to the quest for the Cosmic Christ. This shift requires making mysticism central to our faith once again. What the human race needs today is mystical solidarity.'' ''Indeed, the birthing of the Cosmic Christ is the purpose of the incarnation... Divinity wants to birth the Cosmic Christ in each and every individual...''
(Matthew Fox)

Do you see the similarity between this and the movement's teaching? Now, compare those quotes to this movement's leaders - -

''In another sense, Mary, the mother of Jesus, also was 'a body [God] had prepared'... Mary's life symbolized the qualities the church must possess to walk in the fullness of Christ... Even now, in the spiritual womb of the virgin church, the holy purpose of Christ is growing, awaiting maturity... Before Jesus Himself returns, the last virgin child shall become pregnant with the promise of God. Out of her travail the body of Christ shall come forth, raised to the full stature of its Head, the Lord Jesus...''
(Francis Frangipane, ''Holiness,Truth, And the Presence of God)

''What's happening right now is a romantic thing. God is romancing his Church, and through that romance he says I'm going to then IMPREGNATE and through the IMPREGNATION will then come NEW BIRTH, and we're in the romancing and IMPREGNATION stage right now but we've got to pray in and cry out for the harvest. The harvest isn't just gonna happen. This is the pre-stage of it, of God's romancing of his Church.....''  (12) 
(Byron Mode)

The earth and all of creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, the time when they will come into their maturity and immortalization...The church has a responsibility and ministry to the rest of creation. Earth and its natural creation is anxiously waiting for the church to reach full maturity and come to full sonship. When the church realizes it's full sonship, it's bodily redemption will cause a redemptive chain reaction throughout all creation.  (13) 
(Bill Hammon)

Do you see the likeness, sometimes word-for-word?

It appears that New Age doctrine is the ''New Thing'' the movement would like to see ''redefine'' the Christian church.

Tricia Tillin sums it up well:

''When comparisons are made, suddenly it becomes apparent that a central core of doctrine is feeding into the revival. The same phrases, words and scriptures keep cropping up; the same inexplicable ideas which mean little by themselves but trigger off alarm bells when put together... Church leaders will insist that they do not believe nor teach the heretical aspects of the latter-rain doctrines; yet I believe the system is one coherent whole and adopting some parts of the teaching will inevitably lead to adopting the whole ... ignorance is no excuse, since the concepts are unbiblical and ought to be rejected outright.''
(Tricia Tillin, ''Birth of the Manchild,'' 1995)

I believe her last comment is especially important. Many are trying to rationalize bringing at least fragments of these new teachings into the church, trying hard to believe they can be complimentary to the Bible's teachings. Tricia is correct, however. The teachings, even when not carried to the extreme, are not biblical and should be rejected outright.

While we are trying to bend the Bible and the church to fit the Latter Rain worldview, we are neglecting and being distracted from that which the Bible does teach and the purposes God has given us.

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