THE LAUGHING PHENOMENA
Its History and Possible Effects
on the Church
PART 2: The Impregnation of the Church:
The Man-Child of Joy
By Ed Tarkowski
Church leaders and ministry heads around the world are exchanging the
blood of the Cross for explosions of power and glory, fueling a revival
"unlike anything ever seen before" on the face of the globe. The Laughing
Shepherds proclaim that a billion people will be herded into the Kingdom
of God, and a new birthing is taking place. The promised ingathering will
be so huge that Restorationists are jumping for glee in the puddles formed
from the Latter Rain. But not all are rejoicing over the corporate "child"
that is bringing confusion and division to a body once considered one in
spite of its differences. Whether one considers these things inexorably
strange or enticingly refreshing, each member of the body of Christ must
decide for himself if it is wise and imperative to come in out of the Rain.
JUST LAUGHING IN THE RAIN: The Latter Rain, that is
Tricia Tillin, of the United Kingdom's Banner Ministries, recently tied
together the new laughing phenomena and the Latter Rain teaching, which
is based on only one verse in Scripture.(1)
"Very little is being said about the doctrine, origins, purpose and goal
of the 'new move.' It is my belief that most churches and leaders do not
know those things. Some leaders, however, are promising an escalation into
world revival, but are cagey about how the transition will take place.
Others hint at 'something being birthed in the Church' and 'God is raising
up an Army.' The truth is, the present events and the way they are being
handled by leaders point unerringly in the direction of the Latter Rain
The hints at "something being birthed in the Church" are themselves
birthed in a reality which has come about through new, progressive revelations
built on the Latter Rain foundation. Rejected as heresy by the Assemblies
of God in the 1960s, these doctrines are now finding acceptance in many
denominations and major ministries, along with their accompanying signs
and wonders. Central to this part of our series is the Latter Rain practice
of replacing Israel with the Church as the object of Scriptural prophecy.
LATTER RAIN TEACHING: Replacement Theology - The Church is Israel
We'll soon see that replacement theology has flowered into a virtual garden
of new revelations. But first look at how prophecy spoken specifically
to Israel is being applied to the endtime Church. In a 1992 Vineyard prophetic
word, the speaker equates Toronto with Jerusalem and the new anointing
"Like Jerusalem, Toronto will end up being a sending out place. It is of
God that there are so many internationals in this area. The Lord is going
to be sending out many people, filled with His Spirit with strong gifting,
vision, and love to the nations on all continents."(3)
In another instance, Master Potter ministries speaks of a worldwide
revival of dry bones starting with the Church, basing its prophecy on Ezekiel
37 (which speaks to Israel) and Acts 2 (which doesn't refer to dry bones):
"The dry bones of the Church will be revived, as described in Ezekiel 37
and Acts 2, to advance the Kingdom of God so we can go out and restore
the bones in the graveyards of the world."(4)
Out of beliefs such as these spring evermore new revelations which bring
us another message, another spirit and another Jesus.
"SARAH'S" CHILD OF THE LATTER RAIN
Prominent right now is the presentation of a major Old Testament prophetic
type of Christ as a new promise of the coming of a spiritual messiah. In
Part I of this series, we quoted John Wimber, head of the Vineyard Christian
Fellowship, saying that God told him to go to the nations in what would
be "a season of new beginnings." He believes God said, "I'm going to start
it all over again. I'm going to pour out my Spirit in your midst like I
did in the beginning." Wimber writes,
"I heard myself say: Shall I have this pleasure in my old age? The very
words that Sarah laughingly said to herself when she overheard the Lord
say she was going to have a son from her 90-year-old womb by her 100-year-old
husband. (Gen. 18:10). This was a word of life from the Lord, and it touched
What do Abraham's wife of old and her son Isaac have to do with this
latest "move of God," the laughing phenomena already affecting the nations
of the world? Did Wimber anticipate a "child" being birthed into the world
through the Church, based on an Old Testament type already fulfilled by
our Lord Jesus Christ? Wouldn't such an idea lead to a redefinition of
the Church, as well as who we are as the people of God? According to Master
Potter ministry literature, this is exactly what is happening:
"God is strategically stirring the nations and changing the governments
of the world and the Church. . . . Just as My finger is moving and redefining
the borders of the nations throughout the earth, so am I redefining the
Church to prepare you for My Bridegroom."(6)
In our research, we found that references to childbirth and to "Sarah"
and her son "Isaac" figured prominently in prophecies to the Church during
1994. Let's look at some other like-references that show a definite progression,
similar to the progressive conception and birth of a child.
A. THE PROMISE OF IMPREGNATION: Morris Cerullo - 1994 London School of
". . . . God has revealed to me revelations . . . of His Spirit, of His
endtime, so sacred . . . . You never heard this word preached anywhere.
"It is Hot, it is sacred, it is Deep! . . .
"Come away to this place where I poured out My Holy Spirit . .
. . I will make you pregnant with My reality. . . .
"The Holy Spirit is the part of God that will manifest the pregnancy in
your being. Something great is about to happen to you."(7)
Cerullo said God instructed him to teach that He "will MAKE YOU PREGNANT
with [His] reality. . . ." through "sacred . . . revelations . . . never
heard preached anywhere." New revelations such as this are typical in the
Latter Rain movement.(8)
B. THE IMPREGNATION: January 1994 - Night Vision of Glenn Foster
In an interview with Pat Robertson (June 9, 1994), Judson Cornwall related
that Glenn Foster had a night vision in January concerning himself and
Cornwall. He saw them both in a PREGNANT condition. Foster said that during
this night vision, the Lord revealed:
"I am now impregnating some of my mature, older ministers with truth. .
. . I'm choosing my older men because I can trust them to carry that truth
to full gestation and have the patience to raise it up once it is delivered.
. . . I will bring forth truth that is not now being taught and you will
be part of it."(9)
This is a significant statement. The Church is being IMPREGNATED with
TRUTH NOT NOW TAUGHT that will eventually manifest "something" in this
world when it is raised up!(10)
C. FULL GESTATION: Rodney Howard-Browne Meeting MAY 1994 - Wallace Hickey's
This rhyming prophecy confirming that the promise of impregnation has occurred
and that the "child" is growing in the Church was given by Marilyn Hickey's
husband during a Rodney Howard-Browne meeting. The service was aired by
TBN in May 1994:
"The Spirit in this very hour says, Don't think you've seen it all as you
go in the Holy Ghost way. God is new and He's a growing person as anything
that is alive. So you don't have to work it up or try in our flesh to strive.
Just let God be God in you as a child, as a child be. God would will that
the whole of everyone in eternity would be like He is, never old, ever
young, growing, a growing thing."(11)
Some important questions arise here. Is the God of Scripture a "growing
thing" in us "as a child"? Is God a GROWING PERSON as ANYTHING that is
alive? Does the concept of God in us as a growing child, a child impregnated
within by His Spirit, contradict the fact that He is already within the
believer to form Christ in us through our submission to His word? Are these
prophetic words a departure from the word of God and the revelation of
God in Christ in that word?
D. THE BIRTH: Passion & Fire Conferences (1994) - Master Potter Ministries
The next phase seems to be well under way, according to an 8-page brochure
on the Passion & Fire conferences conducted by Jill Austin's Master
Potter ministries. These confecis arg ceing held at Vineyard churches and
others, both here and abroad. The brochure Ys entitled: "Thå Areat
Intruder," eXd its emphasis is heavy on %/œence. But more disturbing
is0i,utatement that advances the revelation of Wallace Hickey's "child"
and ties it together with the laughing phenomena and "Sarst days spoken
unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom
also he made the worlds.
Christ Jesus our Lord, who fulfilled the type of Isaac by His coming
into the world, means "Emmanuel, God with us." This movement's child is
"Isaac, meaning Laughter," and "he" is being released into the world as
new wine, bringing joy and laughter to the nations.
The ties between Rodney Howard-Browne and Vineyard have already been
established, and now other ties become apparent. Vineyard churches are
listed in great numbers on the Master Potter ministries conference schedule.(13)
Furthermore, at a Pastor's meeting on October 10, 1994, John Arnott, pastor
of Toronto Vineyard, acknowledged that Jill Austin of Master Potter ministries
shared the same laughing anointing, the same "fire of God":
". . . . I spent a year and a half trying to find some anointed evangelist
-- and they are out there, and one of them was Jill. Jill Austin is with
us and Jill's been going around the country doing this for several years.
But it wasn't transferring to people in every case. There were examples
of it, but it was still hard to get, wasn't it? It's not anymore, though,
I bet. No.
"And so we would have loved to have had Jill come and spend three or four
days with us, and we would have had a great time in the Spirit of God.
But then, Jill would have left, and in all probability the Holy Spirit
would have gone with her. . . . What could be better in terms of honouring
the office of the pastor and the senior pastor of a church than the Holy
Spirit using you [pastors] to bring renewal, revival, fire, home to that
E. THE CORPORATE SON: The Endtime Handmaidens - Prophecy October 1994
The "new revelations" prophesied at sundry times and in diverse manners
by Wimber, Foster, Cornwall, Hickey and Austin flow easily into the following
prophecy from the Endtime Handmaidens. This revelation shows us that "Sarah's
Child" has a purpose. "Isaac" is a corporate man, God's endtime army that
will bring in the Kingdom:
"Sarah is a type of the Church. The Church is 'withered,' and its womb
is dried up in many places, but God is sending a revival of joy to awaken
and renew the Church so that she can bring forth the 'man-child' of joy,
even the army of overcomers who will go forth in the likeness and image
of the Lord in these last days."(15)
Take a note of this: the stated purpose of the laughing revival is to
bring forth the "man-child" of joy that will subdue the earth. National
ministry leaders have now said God would impregnate, has impregnated, has
brought that impregnation to full gestation and has released "the child"
into all the nations to bring about God's harvest of souls and His endtime
army. But there is no mention in Scripture of such a prophetic utterance
or release after the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, "God
with us." Nor does Scripture speak of a release of any other spirit but
the Holy Spirit, sent ONCE AND FOR ALL at Pentecost to announce the glorification
of Christ at the right hand of God. This new move is founded on progressive
revelation, "truths" never heard nor seen before, a typical mark of the
Latter Rain Movement. It's no wonder, then, that "Sarah's child" sounds
exactly like the Manifest Sons of God of the Latter Rain doctrines.
F. IMPREGNATION BRINGING A NEW BIRTH: Byron Mode Prophecy - October 12,
During a Toronto pastors' meeting on October 12, 1994, Byron Mode of Dallas
testified how he had previously roared like a lion. He continued,
"The second time this roaring occurred, the Lord showed me a vision. .
. . We have got to be consumed with a fire within us, burning for the lost
in order that we truly are able to pray them in. . . . 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 this IMPREGNATION
will then come NEW BIRTH,(16) 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.....(17)
Of this word, Tricia Tillin says, "Obviously, in the light of the romance
and impregnation symbols, the 'crying out' is the labour pains that bring
to birth the "harvest" - however he conceives that to be."(18)
One major area of concern in the light of these revelations is the number
of ministries that are climbing on the bandwagon. We have already mentioned
John Wimber, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Richard Roberts, Wallace
and Marilyn Hickey, Charles and Frances Hunter, and Paul and Jan Crouch(19)
as embracing the laughter phenomena.(20) But going almost unnoticed is
a major religio-political ministry, that, if supportive of the new anointing,
could possibly open doors to the political power necessary for the corporate
body of Manifest Sons to come forth. We're referring to TV Evangelist and
Religious Right activist Pat Robertson.
IMPREGNATION OF THE CHURCH: Robertson Called It Major Revival
Judson Cornwall's message of impregnation included, he said, God's promise
"I am now impregnating some of my mature, older ministers with truth. .
. . I'm choosing my older men because I can trust them to carry that truth
to full gestation and have patience to raise it up once it is delivered.
I will visit America one more time, and I will bring forth truth that is
not now being taught and you will be part of it."
Later, he said, "There has come a new authority in my ministry. It's
been scary." He explained that shortly after hearing from Foster, he went
to speak in Holland. About fifteen minutes into his talk, Cornwall said,
he was aware he was "almost bypassing the minds of the people, going right
to their spirits. I felt had I demanded of everybody, 'On your heads -
NOW!' [gesturing to show that they would have done so immediately] - phst,
upside down!" He said the presence of the Lord was awesome.
Replying to Robertson's query as to the "thrust" of what he'd been saying
in the Holland meeting, Cornwall said, "I was talking about spiritual warfare
as I see it, . . . But I was beginning to make application to their own
lives. I'm not so sure we're battling something big out there, but something
big in here. The war's inside of us." Robertson replied, "If that war gets
won, I mean, you're talking about major revival. One more time for America.
. . . It's gotta be now!"(21)
Obviously, Pat Robertson envisioned a "major revival" and new power
to come forth from Cornwall's experience. Christians across America should
take note that Robertson put his stamp of approval on a controlling power
that almost bypasses the mind, a power which came forth from this spiritual
MULTIPLIED MILLIONS!: "It's Called Belly Laugh . . . I Applaud It" (Robertson)
Are there any indications of Robertson's direct approval of the laughing
anointing and this "child" which is to come forth? If so, then is it possible
that the political power of his Christian Coalition could be used as a
covering for the prophesied Joel's Army as it subdues the nations? According
to Latter Rain teaching, we know a political component must arise. Let's
look at some of Robertson's views on the new anointing, revival, and the
Four months after Cornwall's appearance on the 700 Club, Robertson was
again bubbling over about revival, this time during an on-air discussion
with his sidekick, Ben Kinchlow:
"But what this says to me is revival is taking place in the world in a
mass wave, and we look to the coming of the Lord. I think this is a very
encouraging sign in the middle of all this trouble and all these wars and
all this confusion. God is saying, 'I'm on the throne and I'm going to
touch multiplied millions.' It's wonderful!"(23)
What was this "very encouraging sign" to Robertson that revival is wonderfully
escalating? None other that a 700 Club report on the laughing phenomena.
After viewing the report, Robertson exclaimed, "What an extraordinary thing!"
Kinchlow: "Have you ever been seized by the Holy Laughter?" Robertson:
"I've been in the presence of somebody who began it. I hate to use the
term, but it's called "belly laugh" - I mean, way down inside - and this
guy just roared and roared and roared. He was praying and asking God for
something and the power of the Lord came upon him and just, I mean, was
just convulsed with laughter. It was just a small group meeting to confer
on some matter, and this thing just came upon him. And the Bible says in
the presence of the Lord there is FULLNESS OF JOY (emphasized). . . . I
applaud it. But, again, you have to be careful that it doesn't go off into
fanaticism, and it can because they'll say, "Well, if you don't laugh this
way you don't get saved," and that kind of nonsense - so, you know, they'll
do that. But we've seen people fall over - absolutely - and all the rest
of it. It's just the way it is when God's power is (evident)." "Kinchlow:
MULTIPLIED MILLIONS, EVEN A BILLION, souls, that is
Keeping in mind Pat Robertson's constant reminders that the hour is late,
but we still have time to turn the tide in America, notice that his response
to Cornwall's prophecy was "you're talking about major revival," and to
the laughing anointing, "God is saying . . . I'm going to touch multiplied
millions." Then on January 2, 1995, Robertson spoke confidently and with
much certainty of a great revival and harvest, again placing the numbers
to be harvested in the hundreds of millions:
"Ladies and gentlemen, . . . I have been in prayer for the last several
days trying to find the mind of the Lord, and I'm relatively encouraged
about 1995. . . . I do think we are entering on the greatest spiritual
revival that has ever taken place in the history of mankind. It is going
to build in intensity over the next five years. There will be literally
hundreds of millions of people who will come to the Lord, and I think we
can look to an incredible ministry time. . . ."(25)
Flinging about such great numbers of souls who will be brought in during
"the greatest spiritual revival . . . in the history of mankind," Robertson
continued his rapturous prediction by describing this global revival as
inconceivable by our natural minds:
"But I believe God is going to send a great revival in the next five years
that will exceed anything that our minds can conceive. I'm talking about
hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of people that will come
into the Kingdom, all over the world. It's going to be fabulous."(26)
Although Robertson now predicts tremendous revival "in the next five
years," he's been expecting it for many more. In 1984, he wrote:
"Somebody has got to sew some tents together, and sew some nets together,
and get the literature together, and all the things that are going to be
needed to handle 400 million to a billion souls that are going to be saved
in the next few years! I mean, it's a staggering task and God's going to
give it to us! Someone has got to train the future leaders of this world,
because God is going to put us in positions of responsibility. . . .
"What's going to happen when all these things that we talk about take place?
We will see them happen."(27)
But Robertson isn't the only prognosticator of a large harvest. Estimating
the number of souls God will reach through the laughing revival being globally
"distributed" through Toronto's Airport Vineyard, Wes Campbell said,
"And I'll say this, and I'll say it publicly, 'cause Mike Bickle said it
for years publicly. The Lord has showed him that the Lord is going to bring
in one billion souls in the sweep of time. A billion souls will come into
Notice that those connected with the Vineyard churches, the Kansas City
prophets, and the leading religio-political Christian influence in America
all agree that there will be a great revival with up to a billion souls
saved. Do they know this by the Holy Spirit? Or is their belief based on
the 1950s teaching of Latter Day Rain's George Warnock that the Church
would experience a 40 year lull, after which a great revival would occur?
The absence of any scriptural support in Robertson's description of
the next five years is obvious. Yet his word for the Church came after
several days of prayer "trying to find the mind of the Lord." Our concern
about this prophetic word is that such a harvest is not at all mentioned
in Scripture. Surely the Church will continue to harvest souls, but there
is no Biblical basis for expecting a revival of this magnitude. God took
such care in providing specific signs to watch for, events which would
signal the soon-coming of His Son, that it's inconceivable that He would
have neglected to promise such a great endtime revival.
PAT ROBERTSON'S "BIBLICAL MODEL": A Great Harvest Followed By Judgment
Is Pat Robertson subtly presenting Latter Rain doctrine, either consciously
or in ignorance? Consider this: on January 2, 1995, Robertson described
what he called his "Biblical model" for the end times preceding the time
of God's judgment:
". . . I do think that the Biblical model is . . . first a revival, an
outpouring of His Spirit, then a great harvest of souls, and then a judgment
on the ungodly who broke His covenant and refuse to follow His ways. And
so that's coming. It's just a question, it's being delayed for a while
till we get the harvest in."(29)
Blatantly missing is any mention of the premillennial tribulation period,
when the ungodly will persecute the godly. In fact, Robertson's scenario
proposes just the opposite. In his book Vengeance Is Ours, Al Dager made
the following statement about Robertson and his view of the rapture:
"As a well-known public figure and founder of the Christian Broadcasting
Network, Pat Robertson is more careful than most in revealing his belief
in dominion theology. He claims to believe in a literal rapture, but not
until there has been a great revival that will result in a godly society
run by the Church."(30)
On the January 2, 1995 700 Club program, Pat Robertson was asked: "Explain
about the rapture and when it will take place." He replied,
"Well, I think the rapture is going to take place when Jesus Christ comes
back again, and He's going to come back again at the end of some kind of
a tribulation or whatever. But, this could be a very short thing. It's
not necessarily going to be a, could be a seven year kind of, you know,
unwinding and a confusion in the world. But when it finally hits, it's
going to be dreadful, but right now let's get the harvest in."(31)
As Dager said, Robertson claims to believe in a literal rapture. But
in attempting to describe events that precede it, he speaks of "some kind
of a tribulation or whatever" of unsure duration. His "whatever" is not
equated with the time of Jacob's Trouble, but as a "kind of . . . unwinding
and a confusion in the world." What Robertson is sure of is that there
will be "a great harvest of souls" for five years, and then God's cleansing
of the earth from evil, "a judgment on the ungodly who broke His covenant
and refuse to follow His ways."(32) Then Jesus returns.
Considering Robertson's knowledge and understanding of current events
in the Middle East, the world, and the oppressed Church, it's hard to believe
that he made no mention of Israel, or of the antichrist and the false prophet
who scripturally precede our Lord's return. Instead, he emphasized the
Church's tremendous harvest, followed by a period of judgment that would
be dreadful when it came:
"And I do think the consequences of that revival will be profound in nations
such as what we had here in the United States of America. And I also think
that by the turn of the century, though, we may see some judgment on the
world that is beyond calculation. I won't go into great detail about that,
. . . and that will have sociological consequences, it will have political
consequences, it will have broad sweeping consequences in people's lives."(33)
Unlike the biblical wrath of God, Robertson's predicted "judgment" cannot
be found in Scripture, although it is aimed at the world and resembles
the sudden destruction which will come in the Day of the Lord. Robertson's
scenario has life going on more or less as usual afterwards, although some
will suffer "consequences." This judgment is obviously not followed immediately
by Jesus' second coming. As for the biblical tribulation, in the same conversation,
Robertson was asked, "What do you think will happen to America in five
years, in the year 2000, if things like crime, morals, etc. stay as they
are or get worse? He responded,
"You never know what can happen because countries can change, they can
repent. You know what happened up in Ninevah. When they repented, God lifted
the judgment that He had spoken by His prophet was going to happen, so
Jonah was all mad because God didn't wipe the city out, but they all repented,
they repented in sackcloth and ashes. . . . But at the end of [the revival
and harvest], God's going to cleanse the world of the evil you spoke of.
And if you read in the 21st chapter of Luke and you see what Jesus had
to say, its going to be so horrible that people are literally going to
be fainting or having heart attacks for fear to see what's happening. It's
going to be absolutely awful, it's going to come on the entire earth. So
it won't just be America, but God is going to cleanse His earth and then
Jesus is going to come back. Now is this going to happen five years from
now or whenever, I would hesitate to make dates, but . . . ."(34)
Robertson's words eliminate the tribulation period! Revival followed
by God's judgment to cleanse His earth of evil leaves no evil to bring
about the persecution and martyrdom of the saints. Tossing to and fro between
Dominionism and Scripture, Robertson manages to hedge his bet on the future.
But no matter how it goes, God will "cleanse the earth" with such horrible
events that men will faint for fear and then Jesus will come back. Although
he ignores most other events in Luke 21, Robertson is correct about the
three verses describing the terror accompanying Jesus' return (vv. 25-27).
The other predictions in Luke 21 absolutely contradict Robertson's mandate
to take dominion, so he concentrates instead on preparing the Church for
In his previous 1984 writings, Pat Robertson stated, "Someone has got
to train the future leaders of this world, because God is going to put
us in positions of responsibility." Are these positions to be brought about
by the global revival's effect on societal and governmental structures?
In the same book, Robertson asked,
"Now what do you do? What do I do? What do all of us do? We get ready to
take dominion! We get ready to take dominion! It's all going to be ours
- I'm talking about all of it. Everything that you would say is a good
part of the secular. Every means of communication, the news, the television,
the radio, the cinema, the arts, the government, the finance - it's going
to be ours! God's going to give it to His people. We should prepare to
reign and rule with Jesus Christ."(35)
This statement shines much light on the previous ones, and again what
stands out by its absence is the premillennial tribulation. This is the
Dominion teaching of prophets such as Bob Jones, who stated in 1988:
"And the Church that is raising up in the government will be the head and
the covering for them. So that that glorious Church might be revealed in
the last days because the Lord Jesus is worthy to be lifted up by a Church
that has reached the full maturity of the God-man."(36)
Jones' words concerning "the government" that "the Church . . . is raising
up" exclude any personal, visible presence of the Lord Jesus Christ on
the earth. We must ask: If the Manifest Sons are being raised up through
the Laughing phenomena, will Robertson's "future leaders of this world"
be feasible candidates for their "head and covering"?
Let's look once more at Robertson's "Biblical model." The first three
points were given in order. The other two were gleaned from other statements:
1. a revival, an outpouring of God's Spirit
2. then a great harvest of souls, with judgment delayed for a while until
the Church gets the harvest in
3. then a judgment on the ungodly who broke God's covenant and refuse to
follow His ways
4. some [vague, unclarified] kind of tribulation of unwinding and confusion
5. Jesus will come back and the rapture takes place
This is Dominion theology, pure and simple. Robertson "sought God" and
came up with a model that transforms the tribulation from a time of evil's
reign and persecution of the Church to a time of great revival, followed
by God's judgment on the evil remaining. Robertson's scenario is strongly
compatible with the reign of the Manifest Sons as the corporate ongoing
incarnation of Christ, ruling on earth until Christ returns.
Steven Montgomery, a critic of the Manifest Sons of God, observes:
"A distinction is made between Christ's coming, appearing or manifestation
to rule and judge the world through the Sons of God and His later individual,
personal return. He is unable to return until the stage is set by the establishment
of His rule and reign through the sons of God subduing the nations, or
taking dominion, and executing judgement on the ungodly. This would usher
in the new age, the new world order, the theocracy, divine government,
divine order or kingdom age."(37)
What makes all of this rather scary is Robertson's prediction of "judgment
on the ungodly who . . . refuse to follow His ways." If those who "follow
His ways" are the Manifest Sons, who, in their eyes, will be "the ungodly"?
Will Christians who stand on God's written word be shepherded into this
category? If so, the scriptural tribulation won't have disappeared. It
will just have been renamed.
Robertson and other leaders of major ministries across America have
said yes to the impregnation, yes to the laughing, and therefore yes to
the corporate child of joy. Do these leaders realize that they are supporting
the doctrines of the Latter Rain?
We believe Tricia Tillin more than adequately answers this question:
"Almost without exception, these Latter Rain heresies are also now the
teachings of the Restoration Movement! Slowly, carefully, and without ruffling
too many feathers, Latter Rain teachings have been introduced to the Church
until (in the UK at least) almost the entire Charismatic Church is under
"A great sea-change has taken place over the last twenty years. What the
early Pentecostal Assemblies discerned as heresy and banned from their
platforms has crept back under another guise, been adopted by the great
majority of evangelicals, and is now racing towards its fulfillment - the
spurious Feast of Tabernacles!"(38)
Tillin closes her remarks with this warning:
"Few people involved in the current events know the origins of the phrases
they are using (like Second Pentecost, or Latter Rain); few leaders understand
where the concepts they have been taught in conferences, fraternals and
elders' meetings have been coming from! Many have never even heard of the
Latter Rain, and would deny having anything to do with such doctrine. Yet
still they accept the beliefs with which they have been subtly indoctrinated
over a period of decades! Ignorance is no excuse, for the teachings are
plainly contrary to the Word of God. Leaders, as well as individual Christians,
have a responsibility to test supposed new revelations, not to accept and
promote them just because they are popular.
"The only answer is to revert to teaching and preaching solid, biblical
doctrine - about the all-sufficiency of Jesus, about the coming apostasy
and about the benefits of the first Pentecost. If this were done, not only
would Christians not be 'barren' and 'thirsty,' so that they queue up to
experience something 'beyond Pentecost,' but they would be mentally and
spiritually equipped to reject the Latter Rain heresies."(39)
THE PROPHETIC TIMECLOCK TICKS: Everyone Must Make A Choice Now!
Master Potter ministries, like the Vineyard churches, has declared that
the laughing anointing and its Latter Rain teaching is a sovereign global
move of God and that people will have to make a choice:
"There are prophetic time clocks for the different nations to reveal God's
sovereign global purposes.
"It's a sovereign move. It's a prophetic time clock of My Spirit that is
turning. The nations are full of the glory of the Lord. It's like different
nations have different amounts of the glory and the brightness. There are
different time clocks on different nations. I'm ticking it off. There are
explosions of My anointing and My glory. The time clock is moving forward.
You will be a part of the great end time harvest that I am bringing to
the earth. So there are choices."(40)
How much time do we have to make a choice? Robertson's five years? In
Part I of this series, we, too, noted the urgency of making a decision.
Now here we repeat a line from the beginning of the present article: "Whether
one considers these things inexorably strange or enticingly refreshing,
each member of the body of Christ must decide for himself if it is wise
and imperative to come in out of the Rain."
(1) Joel 2:23: "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord
your God; for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will
cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain
in the first month."
(2) Tricia Tillin, Banner Ministries, unpublished research paper, 1994.
(3) Mantle of Praise Ministries, Inc. A two part prophecy by Mark Dupont
concerning revival coming to part of the church of Toronto. May 1992 &
July 1993, Part One: May 92, While In Toronto For The Area Of Southern
Ontario, Point E.
(4) Master Potter, Prophetic Insights For The '90's: Quarterly Perspectives
from Jill Austin, "The Great Intruder" Passion & Fire Conferences,
(5) John Wimber, "Season of New Beginnings," File NEWBEG.TXT, 23879 Bytes,
Compuserve, CIN-4, Lib 2. Originally published in the May/June 1994 edition
of Vineyard Reflections newsletter published by Association of Vineyard
Churches. John Wimber, Publisher; Bill Henderson, editor.
(6) Master Potter ministries.
(7) Morris Cerullo, London School of Ministry promotional material, 1994
(8) Cerullo: "I will make you pregnant with My reality": In Latter Rain
teaching, the Church replaces Israel. This is the impregnation of the Church
and the resulting pregnancy symbolized by the woman with child in Revelation
12:2: "And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained
to be delivered."
(9) Pat Robertson interview with Judson Cornwall, 700 Club, Family Channel,
June 9, 1994.
(10) The statement is significant considering the global implications of
"something being "raised up" based on "truth not now being taught." Jude
3 states that we are "to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted
to the saints." A "new truth" can only lead toward a great delusion.
(11) Wallace Hickey, prophecy delivered during Rodney Howard-Browne service,
videotape, aired on TBN May 1994.
(12) Master Potter ministries.
(13) Master Potter conference schedule: KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI TOUR - June
13-17, Metro Vineyard Fellowship "Moving in the Anointing" with Jim Goll.
June 21-24, Metro Vineyard Fellowship "Passion for Jesus" Conference with
Paul Cain, Mahesh Chavda, and Mike Bickle with seminars by Michael Sullivant,
Jill Austin, and other speakers.; METRO VINEYARD FELLOWSHIP - June 25,
"Prophetic Seminar" with John P. Jackson, Michael Sullivant, Jill Austin
and Phil Elston; CALIFORNIA TOUR - October 6-9, Coast Community Vineyard,
Santa Barbara, "Passion and Fire" III Conference; CANADA TOUR - November
25-27, Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada,
"Passion and Fire" III Conference (Summer '94).
In a "Special Friends Report" from Master Potter Ministries, the following
Vineyard churches were mentioned: VINEYARD CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP - Sept.
29 - Oct. 2 "Passion & Fire" Conference, Oklahoma City, OK.; METRO
VINEYARD FELLOWSHIP - Oct. 7-10 Kansas City, MO.; COAST COMMUNITY VINEYARD
- Oct. 27-31 "Catch the Fire" Conference, Santa Barbara, CA.; VCF OF VINITA
- Dec 1-4 "Passion and Fire" Conference, Vinita, OK.; VINEYARD CHRISTIAN
FELLOWSHIP OF TULSA - Dec 8-11 "Passion and Fire" Conference, Tulsa, OK.
(Passion & Fire Conferences with Jill Austin, A ministry of Master
Potter, "Fresh Fire in Ohio, Connecticut, & Yale University," Special
(14) John Arnott, Pastors' Meeting - Airport Vineyard, Toronto, Ontario,
transcript of audiotape, Wednesday, October 19, 1994.
(15) Discernment newsletter, Jewel van der Merwe, LATTER RAIN and The Rise
of Joel's Army, p. 5 citing End-Time Handmaidens, Angel Letter #2, September/October
(16) Mode: "through the IMPREGNATION will then come NEW BIRTH." One must
consider 1 Peter 1:23 when discerning Mode's "new birth": "For you have
[already] been born again . . . of imperishable seed, through the living
and enduring word of God."
(17) Testimony of Byron Mode of Dallas, Toronto pastor's meeting on October
(18) Personal correspondence from Tricia Tillin.
(19) In Part I, we said that TBN had a potential 60 million viewers, but
in his February 1995 TBN Praise The Lord newsletter, Paul Crouch wrote,
"So when you put TV stations, cable stations, backyard satellite receivers,
shortwave radio, and long wave radio all together, we are accessing about
70 to 75% of the population of America or about 300 million souls!" (italics
and bold print deleted from original text). TBN periodically airs Rodney
Howard-Browne services and fully supports the laughing revival.
(20) These leaders were mentioned in Part I.
(21) Cornwall interview, 700 Club, June 9, 1994.
(22) The idea of bypassing the natural thinking and reasoning faculties
of the mind are not foreign to this movement. In a video tape aired on
TBN in May 1994, Rodney Howard-Browne laid hands on a woman and encouraged
her to "Step over, step over, step over, step over into the realm of the
supernatural. Step over out of the realm of reason into the realm of glory."
But God never calls us to forsake reason. He forms in us the mind of Christ
as described in James 3:15-18.
(23) Pat Robertson, 700 Club, Family Channel, Oct 27, 1994.
(24) Ibid. The inaudible word ending this quote seems to be "evident."
(25) Pat Robertson, Family Channel, 700 Club, January 2, 1995. Our taping
of the 700 Club program was not dated, and may have been aired New Year's
Day. But one day's difference does not negate the authenticity of what
was said on the video.
(27) Al Dager, Vengeance Is Ours, 1990 p. 93-94 citing Pat Robertson, Answers
to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson,
1984), pp. 145-146.
(28) Tricia Tillin, Not Peace But A Sword, Banner ministries, Mainstream
newsletter, Winter 1994, p. 2 citing Wes Campbell at a Airport Vineyard
meeting, October 14, 1994.
(29) Pat Robertson, 700 Club, January 2, 1995.
(30) Al Dager, Vengeance Is Ours, p. 90.
(31) Pat Robertson, 700 Club, January 2, 1995.
(32) "a judgment on the ungodly who broke His covenant and refuse to follow
His ways": Does this judgment include Christians rejecting the current
laughing phenomena and revival as a way of God? In future parts to this
series, we will see this is not as far-fetched as it sounds.
(33) Pat Robertson, 700 Club, January 2, 1995.
(35) Dager, p. 93-94 citing Pat Robertson, Answer's, pp. 145-146.
(36) Al Dager, Vengeance is Ours, 1990, p. 146 citing Bob Jones, Visions
& Revelations, 1988.
(37) Reprint of article by Steve Montgomery, "An Introduction of the Potential
Social Significance of the Doctrine of the Manifestation of the Sons of
God," 1985 in Constance Cumbey's New Age Monitor, p. 13-14, May 1989.
(38) Tillin, research paper.
(40) Master Potter ministries.
SIDEBAR: Part 2
THE TEACHING OF THE LATTER RAIN:
The distinctive teachings of the Latter Rain that have so penetrated the
Charismatic Renewal, Pentecostalism, and the Restoration Movement. Supposed
Scriptural basis: Joel 2:23; Hosea 6:3; James 5:7.
the Church replaces Israel. For instance, Latter Rain sees the dead dry
bones of Ezekiel 37 as the Church, the New Israel, who will live because
God is putting His Spirit into them. Consequently, Israel no longer has
a major role to play in the endtime scenario. In order to experience God's
promises to Israel, both Jew and Gentile must become part of God's endtime
correct OT interpretation: the "former rain" rightly typifies giving of
the Law at Mt. Sinai on Pentecost.
Latter Rain doctrine: teaches that the NT Pentecost, not the giving of
the Law at Sinai, was the "former rain," leaving the "latter rain" yet
correct NT interpretation: as the former rain typified the giving of the
OT Law at Pentecost, so the latter rain typifies the Pentecost of the NT
giving of the Holy Spirit.
Latter Rain doctrine: since Pentecost is considered the "former rain,"
it is only fulfilled in the Church's later celebration of the Feast of
Tabernacles, which replaces Pentecost as the "latter rain" of Joel 2:23.
the celebration of this feast, says Latter Rain, fulfills these phases:
unity, the "latter rain" revival, harvest, defeat of the Church's adversaries,
establishment of the Kingdom. Tabernacles is understood spiritually as
the Harvest Festival of joy and gladness, thus it is likened to the current
laughing phenomena. Also considered to be the invisible and spiritual coming
of Christ to indwell His corporate Body, as opposed to Pentecost, when
he indwelt individuals.
This coming of Christ to indwell His corporate body is now being expressed
through "new truths": God is impregnating His Church to "raise up" Joel's
Army, and thus the means to bring in the Kingdom of God. RESTORATION:
Latter Rain bases its concept of restoration on Acts 3:21: Jesus can't
return until all things are restored. The primary need is restoration of
the 5-fold ministry (Eph. 4:11-12), especially the office of Apostles and
Prophets. These would bring about the perfection of the saints. REVELATIONS:
the new, progressive revelations of the Latter Rain Apostles and Prophets
by which the saints will reach a state of sinless perfection. The Scriptures
are allegorized or spiritualized. Church direction is also delivered through
these "new, sacred truths." IMMORTALITY:
Latter Rain teaches that as the saints reach a state of sinless perfection,
death is overcome. These are the Manifest Sons (Romans 8:19), who attain
immortality by incarnating Christ before Christ returns. Signs and wonders
will be wrought by the Manifest Sons of God, leading to a glorious worldwide
endtime harvest. UNIFICATION:
corporately, the Manifest Sons of God are known as Joel's Army. The Church's
unity on a global basis is absolutely essential to Latter Rain doctrine,
because Christ cannot incarnate in a divided body. ESCHATOLOGY:
in Latter Rain doctrine, Jesus cannot physically return until the Church
has torn down, and taken the place of, demonic powers in the heavenlies.
The warfare is territorial in nature. Having overcome death, the members
of Joel's Army will then reign until all God's enemies, including the last
enemy of death, are destroyed and the earth is made a footstool for His
feet. The Tribulation is replaced by a period during which the Manifest
Sons execute God's judgment and cleanse the earth of evil in order to establish
the Kingdom of God. Latter Rain discounts the classic understanding of
the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the Premillennial Rapture as presented
in Pretribulation, Midtribulation, Posttribulation and Pre-Wrath doctrines.
the religious "Old Generation," the denominational Christians who reject
the new teachings by holding to the "old way," will not enter in to "possess
the land" nor achieve "fullness." According to Latter Rain, these will
be destroyed during the "Tribulation," while Joel's Army reigns from the
heavenlies. As the ongoing incarnation of Christ, the Manifest Sons will
have the power to judge God's enemies and cleanse His Church by destroying
all who refuse to "repent". EVOLUTION:
the Latter Rain doctrine presupposes that the Church must progress in maturity
to reach a point where Christ can incarnate His body in order to establish
His Kingdom on earth before His physical return. But Scripture says Christians
"have come to fullness of life in Him," which means that we are complete
in Him (Colossians 2:10). We need only to learn to walk in our new life.
In his latest book, "Weighed and Found Wanting . . . Putting the Toronto
Blessing in Context," Bill Randles writes,
"An interesting example of the evolutionary model of the church is a little
book written in 1951 by George Warnock called 'The Feast of Tabernacles.'
This book is a virtual primer of Latter Rain, Manifested Sons of God teaching,
. . . a pattern for the progress of the church through time. Starting at
Passover, which is Calvary, the church has been passing through the different
feasts, over the years, to Pentecost. Warnock writes that we, the church,
still have got to go through the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Trumpets,
and come into the Feast of Tabernacles, which to him represents God's consummate
purposes for us, the Last Days Church. When we come into Tabernacles, which
was a tremendous time of celebration for Israel, God will finally dwell
within His people" (pp. 58-59).
Though the New Age was unheard of in 1951, this evolutionary model is typical
of today's futurists who also believe that the human race as a whole is
birthing the next stage of man's evolution toward Godhood.
(Appreciation to Tricia Tillin, Banner Ministries (U.K.) and Pastor
Bill Randles for their original outlines and commentary on which this was
FROM: Bill Randles, 3336 Prairie Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, Phone:
319-366-0884 or 319-366-7208.
* "Making War in the Heavenlies: A Different Look at Spiritual Warfare,"
Pastor Bill Randles, 194 pages, 1994.
FROM: Discernment, PO Box 129, Lapeer, MI 48446-0129
* Joel's Army by Jewel van der Merwe, a critical analysis of the Latter
Rain teaching concerning Joel's Army, 42 page booklet, 1991.
* Latter Rain and The Rise of Joel's Army by Jewel van der Merwe, 12 page
newsletter (Volume 5, Number 5, October-December 1994).
FROM: Media Spotlight, PO Box 290, Redmond, WA 98073-0290 Phone (206)
* Special Report: Latter-Day Prophets, "The Restoration of Apostles and
Prophets and the Kansas City-Vineyard Connection" by Al Dager, and "Testing
the Fruit of Vineyard" by John Goodwin, a former minister at Vineyard who
travelled extensively with John Wimber, 32 pages, 1990.
* Albert James Dager, "Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion," Book,
FROM: The Good Life, P.O. Box 6922, Clearwater, FL 34618.
The Good Life, 2-hour videotaped interview with Rodney and Adonica Howard-Browne
with excerpts from various Browne services. Ask for videotape GL93-0420,
1994. Available for a gift of $20 or more.
Go To Part III