THE LAUGHING PHENOMENA
Its History and Possible Effects
on the Church
PART 5: The Consummation: Where Are We Headed?
By Ed Tarkowski
Tabernacles! Jubilee! Celebration! Uncontrollable Joy! There is not
a Christian on the earth today who is not being influenced toward a global
celebration in the year 2000. But does Scripture indicate there will be
a worldwide celebration drawing the world to Christ at the end of the age?
No, Scripture does not. Rather, it gives a picture of just the opposite:
a Church under severe persecution in that world. Then what are we to think
of such invitations to celebrate Tabernacles and the Year of Jubilee as
one global family? Into what are we being led?
A QUICK LOOK BACK
In Part II of this series, Alan Vincent said that God is "moving the Church
from the Day of Atonement to Tabernacles."(1) And according to Robin McMillan
and Steve Thompson,
"we will never fulfill our destiny and calling" until "we understand and
partake of this feast [Tabernacles] as we have both Passover and Pentecost,
. . We must discover the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles and 'celebrate'
it along with Passover and Pentecost. . . . What God did among Jews in
Jerusalem, He is going to do among humanity and worldwide. Pentecost will
come to maturity in the Feast of Tabernacles."(2)
In later segments, we saw that the foundation of this "move of God"
is Latter Rain replacement theology, in which the Church replaces Israel
and carries the blessings of Abraham to the nations. Scrutinizing this
teaching, we pointed out that the agenda itself is evolutionary; the Church
cannot fulfill its destiny until it celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles.
This celebration will result in the manifestation of men as Sons of God
filled with joy. According to Pastor Bill Randles, the move to celebrate
an endtime Tabernacles can be traced to the Latter Rain prophet/teacher
"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 [to] 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."(3)
TABERNACLES: Jubilee To A Lesser Power
The joy of the Feast of Tabernacles is now being linked by Latter Rain
adherents to the Old Testament Year of Jubilee (see Leviticus 25 and Sidebar).
Interestingly, although the Year of Jubilee hasn't been kept by the Jews
for millennia, the idea is being spontaneously resurrected by various groups
as the ultimate celebration of the upcoming year 2000. If the Jews had
been observing the year every 50 years, proclaiming freedom for those in
bondage, closure of debt, and rest for the land, it might have been a natural
thing for twentieth century planners to appropriate the concept as a foundation
for a cure for the world's ills. But the Year of Jubilee has been long
ignored by its original celebrators, and its sudden awakening from dormancy
within seemingly unconnected belief systems must be seen as a spiritual
move toward unity.
Though it may have seemed that celebrating Tabernacles would complete
the Latter Rain evolutionary scale, the new revelations now coming forth
tell us that Tabernacles will evolve into Jubilee. In his book, "The Star
of 2000," Jay Gary links together the three great Jewish feasts with a
call to the Church to "experience Jesus' Jubilee":
"The annual calendar of Israel was built around three major festivals:
Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. These celebrations in Jerusalem were
anything but boring. There was dancing, singing and exuberant celebration
before the living God.
"The Year of Jubilee encompassed these three festivals, only raised to
a higher power. The clear call of God across the millennia is that we are
invited to come into His presence and feast on Him.
"On the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus "stood
and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come and drink'
(John 7:37). Then as well as today, Jesus calls us to experience His jubilee."(4)
Because Tabernacles is encompassed by every Jubilee year, the celebrations
of the two become one. In fact, Gary says the three feasts, including Tabernacles,
are "raised to a higher power" by Jubilee. In his praise of "The Star of
2000," Eagle's Nest Pastor Clarice Fluitt declares,
"This is an incredibly prophetic book. Jay Gary has peered into the spirit
realm and drawn from God's secret place. He declares that the church must
prepare a celebration, a festival for, about and with Jesus, our honored
guest and royal Bridegroom. The Star of 2000 is infused with a biblical
revelation of fullness, sonship, maturity, and perfection of the glorious
triumphant church - the Feast of Tabernacles. Read the book."(5)
According to Fluitt, Gary's revelation is 1) spiritual, 2) biblical,
and 3) a revealed secret "drawn from God." But in reality, it is the spiritual,
unbiblical doctrine of the Latter Rain: "fullness, sonship, maturity, and
perfection of the glorious triumphant church." This is a description of
the Manifestation of the Sons of God as we described in earlier articles,
a manifestation to be brought about through the Feast of Tabernacles. In
his book, Gary mentions four previous "images" for the year 2000, and then
shares the "mega-image" which will "help us live out a new vision":
"When shared, a new A.D. 2000 mega-image, like a stone thrown into a pond,
would send imaginative possibilities that ripple to the shores of our social
". . . . it would provoke cracks in our preconceptions, shift our misconceptions
and help us live out a new vision together in a new world.
"I consider the fifth mega-image, Jubilee 2000, to have the greatest potential
to define and develop the bimillennial era."(6)
It appears the stone has been cast. Our "preconceptions" are already
being cracked - wide open. The scriptural endtime scenario is being changed
from the promised blood of martyrs to a Church evolving through Tabernacles
to Jubilee to bring the Church to maturity. And what Gary calls our "misconceptions"
have already shifted; many segments of the Church have experienced what's
called a paradigm shift, in which one's beliefs and vision are totally
Sadly, New Ager Jeremy Rifkin's vision for society and the Church foreseen
in 1978 is now upon us - and it's a vision which lacks one vital element:
GOD'S plan for the end of the age. Look at how Jay Gary's dream for the
new millennium does not point to the coming of Christ as related in Scripture,
but to a new age of peace and prosperity. He writes,
"I remember when I was in sixth grade I was asked to write a poem. At first
I didn't think I had anything in my heart. After a while it came forth
- I called it, 'Looking Optimistic.' After all these years, I still can
recite it by heart:
"One day in the future
In the heart of man,
Peace will reign
Instead of evil command.
God will rule
and the world united
Bad will be banished,
And good will be sighted.
Every man will be equal,
Democratic government will be
the one to follow,
Food at every table,
And plenty to swallow.
So let's work toward these hopes,
And try to follow them too,
So that this world will become,
better than New!
"Although I didn't call this "My Dream" for the new millennium, that
is exactly what it was! What about you? What is your dream for the Third
Is Gary, like Latter Rain, looking to the establishment of the Kingdom
of God on earth before Jesus' return? He says that Jubilee can affect the
whole world, that "the year 2000 [has] the potential to be a great jubilee
and a global celebration for everyone on this planet" (8). Later, he writes,
"[Israel's] 50th year was the Jubilee - or the culmination of joy. The
entire year was consecrated to making right whatever had gone wrong. I
am convinced that the year 2000 can truly be a Jubilee year for the entire
human family." (9)
Gary describes Jubilee as "the culmination of joy." If you've wondered
where the people of the "laughing God of Tabernacles" will end up, it will
be in the Year of Jubilee, expecting their "joy" to be brought to fullness.
JUBILEE: Neo-Pentecostals, Manifest Sons of God
We have said that the Toronto Blessing is Latter Rain, and that the New
Age doctrine of Barbara Marx Hubbard is the same. Now let's look at the
similarities between the Feast of Tabernacles and the Year of Jubilee and
the New Age's Age of Aquarius.
In her book, "A Planned Deception: The Staging of a New Age 'Messiah'"
(1985),Christian writer Constance Cumbey writes,
"Rev. Ernest Ramsey, an associate pastor at Unity's Kansas City's Founder's
Church, Unity on the Plaza, is an enthusiastic follower of the Alice Bailey
and Benjamin Creme teachings. In his Research Report #2, he tells of something
he was led to by a spirit guide - what he terms 'Neo-Pentecostalism.' An
aberrant branch of Pentecostalism, this is more commonly known as the 'Manifest
Sons of God.' That movement is also referred to as 'Sonship' or 'Overcomers.'
Ramsey concludes based on even less evidence than I have personally collected
that this is part of the New Age Movement.
"Ramsey's work for his organization, 'Synthesis Fellowship,' first came
to my attention in early 1983. His major report, entitled "An Evolutionary
Basis For The Reappearance of the Christ and his Executives, the Masters
of Wisdom" was inspired by Benjamin Creme's appearance and speech at Unity
on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. . . . The most interesting section
of Ramsey's report dealt with 'Neopentecostalism.' Ramsey spent a semester
at one of the Neo-Pentecostal or Manifest Sons of God seminaries . . .
. Already familiar with the Alice Bailey writings, he was amazed to see
that there was a branch of Pentecostalism that embraced the same teachings
- albeit using sometimes different terminology.
"Like those seeking the 'Age of Aquarius' these people too were seeking
a 'New Age.' Like the other New Agers, these people taught that 'The Christ'
was an anointing - not necessarily one man. They taught that Jesus was
a pattern son who was to be a sign of something even greater to come -
the 'Manifestation of the Sons of God.' They too believed the earth was
to be cleansed of evil. And chillingly like the other New Agers, they believed
they were to be 'God's' instruments to do such cleansing. The New Agers
believed they were gods. The Manifest Sons of God likewise taught that
if one accepted their 'new revelation' that they themselves would actually
become Christ at the time of the unveiling or manifestation of the Sons
Although these similarities are frightening in themselves, Cumbey continues
her eye-opener with this revelation:
"Ernest Ramsey excitedly pointed out in his report that [the Manifest Sons]
had a teaching which indeed did parallel the Aquarian teaching of the Age
of Aquarius - the Old Testament 'Year of Jubilee' as well as the 'Feast
of Tabernacles.' The Year of Jubilee paralleled the redistribution of the
world's wealth. The Feast of Tabernacles was the equivalent of the coming
together of the World's peoples and varied religions under one tent or
tabernacle - the equivalent of the New Agers' long-awaited 'New World Religion.'
. . . ."(11)
We must not miss this point: the replacement theology of the Manifest
Sons of the Latter Rain, which New Ager Ramsey called "Neo-Pentecostalism"
has brought the Age of Aquarius into the Church under the guise of the
Feast of Tabernacles and the Year of Jubilee.
JUBILEE: Pope John Paul II
The call for the Church to celebrate the Year of Jubilee has slowly increased
since the resurgence of the Latter Rain doctrine in the mid-80s. And now
we find another religious leader, Pope John Paul II, making the same call
through the release of a 72-page papal letter. The letter, entitled "The
Coming of the Third Millennium: Preparation for the Jubilee of the Year
2000," was released on November 10, 1994. David Crumm, Religion writer
for the Detroit Free Press, reports the the document "recommends that every
50 years a special year of social justice be proclaimed, debts be canceled
and the oppressed be freed."(12)
In Section 51 of the letter, the pope leaves us in no doubt that he
is actively pursuing a Year of Jubilee for the year 2000:
"From this point of view, if we recall that Jesus came to "preach the good
news to the poor" (Mt. 11:5; Lk. 7:22), how can we fail to lay greater
emphasis on the church's preferential option for the poor and the outcast?
Indeed, it has to be said that a commitment to justice and peace in a world
like ours, marked by so many conflicts and intolerable social and economic
inequalities, is a necessary condition for the preparation and celebration
of the jubilee. Thus, in the spirit of the Book of Leviticus (25:8-12),
Christians will have to raise their voice on behalf of all the poor of
the world, proposing the jubilee as an appropriate time to give thought,
among other things, to reducing substantially, if not canceling outright,
the international debt which seriously threatens the future of many nations.
. . ."(13)
But the idea of a Great Jubilee is no new thing to John Paul. In Article
23 of the new document, he writes,
"Since the publication of the very first document of my pontificate I have
spoken explicitly of the Great Jubilee, suggesting that the time leading
up to it be lived as "a new Advent." This theme has since reappeared many
times, and was dwelt upon at length in the encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem.
In fact, preparing for the year 2000 has become as it were a hermeneutical
key of my pontificate. It is certainly not a matter of indulging in a new
millenarianism, as occurred in some quarters at the end of the first millennium;
rather, it is aimed at an increased sensitivity to all that the Spirit
is saying to the church and to the churches (cf. Rv. 2:7 f), as well as
to individuals through charisms meant to serve the whole community. The
purpose is to emphasize what the Spirit is suggesting to the different
communities, from the smallest ones, such as the family, to the largest
ones, such as nations and international organizations, taking into account
cultures, societies and sound traditions. Despite appearances, humanity
continues to await the revelation of the children of God and lives by this
hope, like a mother in labor, to use the image employed so powerfully by
St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans (cf. 8:19-22)." [See Sidebar on these
The pope is no longer suggesting, but is himself acting upon plans for
the Year of Jubilee in the Holy Land. In his Detroit Free Press article,
David Crumm reported on some of the details:
"In weekend ceremonies at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II called on his
new cardinals to work with him on an ambitious plan for world peace that
includes meetings of Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders in
Bethlehem, Jerusalem and on Mt. Sinai in 1999.
"Newly elevated Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida said Sunday that he expects
to be heavily involved in the elaborate plan. . . ."(15)
Referring to the Papal Letter, Maida said, "'This is a very important
document. The Holy Father wants to bring all faiths together to try to
find the common denominators in all of our faiths that will allow us to
work together. He sees this as the only way we can hope to overcome all
the evil, the injustice and the materialism that we face in the world.'
. . .
"'The whole idea of interfaith communication between religious scholars
is an excellent idea,' said Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of Detroit's Islamic
Center of America.
"'We need to talk about how Islam, Christianity and Judaism can contribute
to society and help with the healing process in the world,' said Elahi,
who already has worked with Maida on interfaith discussions in the Detroit
area. . . .
"Bishop J. Philip Wahl, the southeast Michigan leader of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, said, 'Personally, I think it's wonderful,
the idea of Muslims, Christians and Jews meeting together in the Holy Land.'
"Wahl said he is particularly interested in the pontiff's proposal to speed
up dialogue among Christian churches. 'I can see us, as the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, working very, very hard on the dialogue the
pope has suggested,' he said.
"Evangelical Lutheran leaders are making a similar proposal to be considered
at their 1997 nationwide conference, Wahl said.
"'In our proposed statement, we would declare that the conditions existing
within the church at the time of the Reformation no longer exist. So, instead
of pointing fingers backward and trying to figure out who was wrong back
then, we would say, "Let's not let the past be a blockage between us."'
"'But Advent this year takes on a very particular importance,' he said.
'With it, in fact, begins the preparation of the whole church for the historic
rendezvous with the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, which we are already
approaching.' . . . ."
Crumm reports that the pope's plan "calls for many phases of preparation
for the jubilee, including:
"* After years of slow dialogue with many Christian denominations, the
pontiff wants to move rapidly to break down barriers between the churches.
He wants temporary agreements to allow members to worship together in special
jubilee programs. Beyond that, the pope hopes to move quickly toward full
communion, in which members of the churches would share worship services.
"* By 1996, the pope wants to publish a humble confession for the sins
of his own church over the past 2000 years. Chief among these sins, the
pope said, was the church's use of violence to promote the faith in periods
such as the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. . . .
"* In 1999, the pope wants leaders of the three faiths that look back to
the ancient patriarch Abraham as their founder to join in three meetings.
The pope proposes gathering on Mt. Sinai in Egypt, where the Bible says
Moses received the ten commandments; in Bethlehem in the West Bank, where
the Bible says Jesus was born; and in Jerusalem, now controlled by Israel,
one of the holiest cities of all three faiths."(16)
JUBILEE: Pat Robertson
Pope John Paul II is only one of many religious leaders pursuing a Year
of Jubilee. In a 1987 report on Pat Robertson, Constance Cumbey wrote,
"Whether there is direct networking or not, it is a fact that the 'Year
of Jubilee' teachings do show up in Robertson's work in amazingly similar
format to those used both by [Manifest Son teacher] Bill Britton and [the
New Age] Synthesis Fellowship. On page 133 of his book in a discussion
of what he calls 'The Law of Use' Robertson says: 'Notwithstanding the
sneers of many in the banking community, it may be that God's way will
be the only one open to us - a year of jubilee to straighten out the mess.'"(17)
Cumbey also cited Pat Robertson's Perspective newsletter from January/
". . . . In a section called 'A Radical Proposal to Halt Inflation' Robertson
called for an International Year of Jubilee. This was modeled, said Robertson,
after the Biblical Year of Jubilee. . . . [which] canceled debts, freed
slaves, 'and the means of production would be redistributed. . . . If inflation
is to be broken, there must be a cancellation of debt - on a worldwide
basis.' He said, 'every type of debt, secured or unsecured, should be totally
released.' . . ."(18)
Pat Robertson's influence in the American and worldwide Church is enormous.
Though his teachings and beliefs are often (and often justly) criticized
by traditional Evangelicals, he retains a following of millions who tune
in daily to his 700 Club television program, who buy and read his multiple
books, and who supported his candidacy for president in 1987. A call from
Robertson for a Year of Jubilee in the year 2000 would give powerful impetus
to the move.
Besides his personal followers, Pat Robertson is in a position to influence
many more through his Family Channel, the tenth largest cable channel in
the country. Add to this the 1.4 million members of the politically active
Christian Coalition, (which he heads), those affected by the journalism,
law and government graduates of his Regent University, and the many touched
by the legal civil rights group he founded, the American Center For Law
And Justice. Because these organizations take a socio-political stance
rather than a theological one, their promotion of a Year of Jubilee wouldn't
be much affected by divisive doctrinal differences.
Robertson has already endeared himself to conservative Catholic groups
by signing the 1994 agreement, "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The
Christian Mission In The Third Millennium." And two years before this agreement,
in November of 1992, he exhorted his 700 Club audience, "It's high time
the 50 million evangelicals and the 40 million Roman Catholics GET TOGETHER
and say, 'Look. Christian bashing is over. We're not going to put up with
it in America.'"(19; emphasis ours).
Clearly, Pat Robertson's sphere of influence is wider and encompasses members
of more denominations than just about any other church leader in the nation.
Furthermore, as founder of the global relief agency Operation Blessing,
chief executive officer of CBN (which owns a television station in Lebanon),
head of Broadcast Equities (religious radio and television stations), and
major shareholder (through CBN) of Asia Pacific Media Corp., a new venture
to buy media and cable properties in Asia, his geographical sphere of influence
is widening also.
Robertson's been calling for an International Year of Jubilee including
"a cancellation of debt - on a worldwide basis," for fifteen years. Today,
he is also offering conferences on Tabernacles, the joyous festival of
ingathering. In the April 1995 Charisma magazine, CBN ran the following
ad: "Get the Word on Worship, Wisdom and Wonders.
"With God's Word as the foundation of every CBN conference, you'll be challenged
to grow spiritually and receive all that God has for you.
"Worship. Renowned speakers Judson Cornwall and Steven Fry will show you
why it's important to be more than a Sunday Christian. 'Pursuing A Life
of Worship,' June 1-4, 1995.
"Wisdom. Gain a deeper understanding of Israel, the Church and the end
times as the annual Jerusalem celebration 'Feast of Tabernacles' comes
to CBN Conferences. Featured speakers are Jan Willem van der Hoeven and
Johann Luckhoff. July 13-16, 1995.
"Wonders. . . ."(20)
In Part II of this series, we described Robertson's interview with the
same Judson Cornwall in which Cornwall testified that he had been impregnated
by God with truth not now being taught. In response, Robertson said that
this could mean major revival. We also pointed out how this prophetic word
was an important addition to the bringing forth of the Manifest Sons of
God and Barbara Marx Hubbard's Homo Universalis. In the same issue, we
saw that Robertson also applauds the laughing phenomena brought into the
Church by the same group which is now promoting the celebration of Tabernacles.
So Pat Robertson, already a supporter of the Year of Jubilee, has jumped
into the new movement and is now also promoting celebration of the Feast
JUBILEE: Jay Gary, AD2000
You may have never heard of Jay Gary, but he is another very influential
person heavily promoting a Jubilee celebration in the year 2000. One of
his books, "The Countdown Has Begun," tells how various denominations are
uniting to take the gospel to the world by the year 2000. The biographical
notes in this book tell us that Gary "serves as coordinator of the . .
. AD2000 Global Service Office. In addition, he serves as a research consultant
to the Worldwide Student NetWork, Campus Crusade for Christ's year 2000
program to reach college students worldwide. For the past three years [1986-1989]
he has worked with the Lausanne movement as the program director of Leadership
'88, a national conference for younger leaders and, more recently, as assistant
to Lausanne's International Director. Jay served as the consultation director
for the Global Consultation on World Evangelization by AD 2000 and Beyond
[GCOWE 2000], held in Singapore in 1989."(21)
The Singapore GCOWE 2000 "gathered an international Christian representation.
. . . [and] was deliberately inclusive. Great Commission leaders came from
Anglican, Ecumenical, Evangelical, Catholic, Charismatic, Third World indigenous,
and Pentecostal networks."(22) Following the Global Consultation, Gary
became coordinator of the newly founded Global Service Office which promised
to "serve any group that had AD 2000 plans."(23) It's impossible to name
here all of the Church movers and shakers with whom Gary has connections,
but when he started his own Celebration 2000 Project, his Advisory Board
read like a who's who in Global Evangelization: AD2000 Global Monitor,
David Barrett; New Life 2000, Paul Eshleman (Bill Bright's Campus Crusade
For Christ); Evangelization 2000, Fr. Tom Forrest; AD2000 Together, Vinson
Synan; and Vision 2000, Dr. Joe A. Harding; Global Center, Dr. Bill O'Brien
(Samford University). Gary also networks with the March for Jesus organization,
which yearly attracts millions of Christians into the streets, and in 1994
was the Colorado coordinator for the March. With Jay Gary sitting in such
powerful places, his influence among global evangelization leaders toward
the celebration of Jubilee is disconcerting, to say the least.
The question is, "Is Gary's understanding of Jubilee the same as the
others who are promoting a Bimillennial Jubilee?" In The Star Of 2000,
"In ancient times, the law of Moses called for a year of liberty every
50 years. You can read about it in Leviticus 25. . . . the Year of Jubilee
was inaugurated by the blowing of the great ram's horn trumpet [of jubal]
throughout the land. Thus began a year-long festival, marked by canceling
outstanding debts, returning land to original owners and freeing indentured
servants. . . .
"I believe the year 2000 will be experienced as a once-in-a- lifetime Year
of Jubilee. Jubilee 2000 is the most powerful image we could use to talk
about the bimellennial of Jesus."(24)
So Jay Gary joins with the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God, Pope John
Paul II and Pat Robertson in anticipating that the bimillennial year 2000
will be, in fact, a Year of Jubilee. What does this mean? Considering the
influence of these three men and one movement, we can see that there isn't
an important segment of the universal Church that would be left untouched
by an appeal for Jubilee.
CELEBRATING TABERNACLES IN JERUSALEM
Johann Luckhoff, the Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
[ICEJ] (scheduled to speak at the CBN conference on Tabernacles in July),
recently wrote the following in the ICEJ newsletter concerning the Church
gathering in Jerusalem to celebrate Tabernacles:
"Springtime in Israel is always spectacular. This year it was more beautiful
than ever because of the excellent rains during the winter rainy season.
In this land one becomes aware of how much of the Bible and the revelations
of God's purposes revolve around the seasons, the harvest time, the desert
and the lush parts of the country. Seasonal elements, like the early and
latter rain, the times of planting and the harvest have a special symbolism
in the Bible. They are often used to illustrate spiritual truth; in fact,
the annual religious cycle is built around it. . . .
". . . . "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into
the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears
much fruit" John 12:24.
"In the verse just preceding this scripture, Jesus said "the hour has come
for the Son of Man to be glorified." Springtime in Israel . . . is a small
reminder of the glory of the Lord. It is also a sign of His faithfulness,
for as surely as the beauty of springtime follows the drabness of winter,
He will fulfill His promises to His children and to His people. . . .
". . . . it can also be exciting to see how, day by day, the prophetic
word is being fulfilled before our very eyes.
". . . . We hope in the future however that, through videos and other forms
of communication, we can help those unable to come to taste a little of
what is happening here. The video of last year's Feast of Tabernacles is
already taking the highlights of those celebrations to the ends of the
"And surely we can all rejoice that we will meet and all be present in
the New Jerusalem."(25)
Luckhoff's usage of Latter Rain imagery is a likely indication of the
message contained in the Tabernacles celebration video which he's taking
"to the ends of the earth." The April 1995 Charisma magazine report on
the events, however, is more straightforward:
"FEAST TO ATTRACT PILGRIMS
"In celebration of the 3,000th anniversary of Jerusalem, the International
Christian Embassy Jerusalem is sponsoring a series of events . . . .
"The first event [is] a Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.
. . . More than 4,000 Christians from nearly 100 countries are expected
to join in the weeklong biblical feast.
". . . . The theme, "For Jerusalem's Sake," is taken from Isaiah 62:1.
"The final event [of three] is the 1996 Christian celebration of the Feast
of Tabernacles, . . . The theme for the 1996 feast . . . is "The Holy City:
The New Jerusalem," a reference to Revelation 21:2.
"The Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the
Feast of the Ingathering, has been sponsored annually by the International
Christian Embassy Jerusalem since the organization was founded in 1980.
The feast, which marks the end of the harvest season, is the only feast
for which God instructed both the Jew and the Gentile to come together
in Jerusalem to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
"The purpose of the events, according to embassy director Johann Luckhoff,
is to bring attention to the importance of Jerusalem in light of biblical
history and prophecy. . . .
"'It's also an opportunity for Christians to learn about the biblical roots
of their faith and meet and encourage the people of Israel' he said.
". . . . [ICEJ's] purpose is to represent Christians who recognize the
scriptural significance of Israel's restoration and who "share the Lord's
concern for the Jewish people," its organizers say. . . ."(26)
There is certainly nothing wrong with the ICEJ's creating "an opportunity
for Christians to learn about the biblical roots of their faith and meet
and encourage the people of Israel," unless such opportunity is appropriated
by the Latter Rain adherents. The odds favor such a distortion. Look at
the facts: Latter Rain's promotion of Tabernacles is being taken to the
world through the Laughing phenomena. Pat Robertson has shown support for
the impregnation of the Church with "new truth," applauded "Holy Laughter,"
and is now promoting the Christian celebration of Tabernacles and an international
Year of Jubilee. Jay Gary has written a book that calls the Church to celebrate
Tabernacles, which Gary says is raised to "a higher power" in a global
Jubilee. Pope John Paul II is going to Jerusalem on a very serious mission
to reconcile Jews, Muslims and Christians with a goal of "full communion"
among Christians for the celebration of a Year of Jubilee in the year 2000.
National and international leaders are starting to bring the celebration
of Tabernacles to the Church, and, through conferences, videos and other
media, call the Church into that celebration. And as we draw near to the
year 2000, the final shift in the direction of a united global Church will
move it as one unit into Jubilee - its culmination of joy.
(1) Alan Vincent (UK) service, cassette 1994, location unknown.
(2) Robin McMillan and Steve Thompson, Teaching: "Beyond Pentecost," The
Morning Star Journal, Vol. 4 No. 3, 1994, p. 43-44.
(3) Pastor Bill Randles, "Weighed and Found Wanting . . . Putting the Toronto
Blessing in Context," pp. 58-59.
(4) Jay Gary, The Star of 2000, pp. 84-85.
(5) Ibid., Praise for "The Star of 2000," npn.
(6) Gary, Star, p. 74.
(7) Jay Gary, founder of B.E.G.I.N., "Get Ready To Celebrate The Year 2000,"
AD 2000 Global Service Office, 1993, promotion material.
(10) "A Planned Deception: The Staging of a New Age 'Messiah'" (1985),
Constance Cumbey, pp. 171-172.
(12) The Christian News, December 12, 1994, front page citing Detroit Free
Press, November 28, 1994, "Pope's World Peace Effort Involves Maida: Interfaith
(13) "The Coming of the Third Millennium: Preparation for the Jubilee of
the Year 2000,"Trinity Communications 1994. Provided courtesy of: The Catholic
Resource Network Trinity Communications.
(15) The Christian News.
(17) Constance Cumbey, Special Report On Pat Robertson, "Year Of Jubilee?
Or Age Of Aquarius Disguised?," Constance Cumbey's New Age Monitor, August-
December 1987, p. 34..
(18) Ibid., p. 40.
(19) Pat Robertson, 700 Club, November of 1992.
(20) Charisma, April 1995, CBN Conference advertisement.
(21) Jay Gary, The Countdown Has Begun, "About The Editors," 1989; italics
(22) Ibid., pp. 10-11.
(23) Ibid., p. 61.
(24) Gary, Star, pp. 75-76.
(25) Johann Luckhoff, Newsletter of the International Christian Embassy
Jerusalem, Letter from the Director, "A Word from Jerusalem."
(26) Charisma, April 1995.
JUBILEE AND THE MANIFEST SONS OF THE LATTER RAIN
Below are three definitions of the word "Jubilee" which together give
us a good understanding of the biblical command to celebrate the Year of
Jubilee. Note that Jubilee is seen as a type of "the restoration of all
things" promised in Acts 3:21: ("He [the Christ - even Jesus] must remain
in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised
long ago through His holy prophets"). And in the Universal Subject Guide
to the Bible found in Strong's Concordance, Jubilee is noted as "figurative
of Christ's mission . . . Isaiah 61:1-3" which of course refers to Jesus'
first and second comings. The traditional understanding of these passages
is that Christ Himself will personally come and restore all things at the
time of His visible, bodily return. But Latter Rain adherents, chief promoters
of a Year of Jubilee, nonetheless cite Acts 3:21 to bolster their claim
that the CHURCH must first restore all things, and THEN Christ can return.
Also intriguing is the Universal Subject Guide's use of Jubilee as a
figure of Romans 8:19-24 (the manifestation of the Sons of God when all
creation will be released from its subjection to decay). In Latter Rain
doctrine, this places the newly revealed Manifest Sons of God within the
celebration of the Year of Jubilee. This is exactly what we have said is
planned to occur in or around the year 2000, making even more important
our documentation that the Church has moved from Pentecost into Tabernacles,
and is heading into Jubilee. We see ever more reason to believe that the
end of the age is indeed upon us.
* CATHOLIC BIBLICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OLD TESTAMENT
JUBILEE [yobhel, ram's horn, trumpet]. The 50th year, the opening of which
was marked by the blowing of trumpets. This 50th year occurred after 7
times 7 years, or 49 years, had been counted from the institution of the
year of the Jubilee (shanath hayyobhel) or from the last Jubilee celebrations.
It was proclaimed on the 10th of Tishri, that is, the Day of Atonement.
As in the Sabbatical year, the whole land rested and was not to be cultivated.
Thus, there was no agriculture for two successive years, but God promised
to provide a superabundance of crops in the years previous to those so
that there would be no reason to fear a famine. The rest affected only
agriculture; cattle breeding and other business went on as usual. There
were two other important laws to be observed in the year of the Jubilee:
(1) All landed property, as well as the houses of the Levites which had
changed hands, reverted back to the original owners or to their descendants
without payment. The sale, therefore, had been merely a lease on the property,
and price varied according to the space of time to the next Jubilee year.
(2) All Hebrews who had been reduced to slavery were set at liberty. Because
of these two laws, this year was also called the year of freedom (Lev.
By returning the landed property to its original owners or their descendants,
the division of the land according to God's plan was retained for future
times and God's ownership stressed. The freedom from slavery was to remind
the Hebrews that not only the land, but also the people belonged to God.
The year of Jubilee is a type of "the restoration of all things" (Acts
3, 21) at the end of the world, when the children of God will receive their
entire heritage and full freedom (John E. Steinmueller, S.T.D., S.Scr.L.
and Kathryn Sullivan, R.S.C.J., Ph.D., New York: Joseph F. Wagner, Inc.
Publishers, 1956, p. 597).
* THE ZONDERVAN PICTORIAL BIBLE DICTIONARY
JUBILEE ( . . . ram's horn, trumpet . . .) According to Leviticus 25, every
50th year in Israel was to be announced as a jubilee year. Three essential
features characterized this year. First, liberty was proclaimed to all
Israelites who were in bondage to any of their countrymen. The law provided
that the price of slaves was to vary according to the proximity of the
Jubilee Year. Second, there was to be a return of ancestral possessions
to those who had been compelled to sell them because of poverty. This,
of course, excluded the possibility of selling a piece of land permanently.
This law applied to lands and houses outside of the walled cities, and
also to the houses owned by Levites, whether in walled cities or not. As
the case of the price of slaves, the law made provision that the price
of real property was to vary according to the proximity of the Jubilee
Year. The third feature of this year was that it was to be a year of rest
for the land. The land was to remain fallow, even though it had been so
in the previous sabbatical year. The people were to live simply, on what
the fields had produced in the sixth year and whatever grew spontaneously.
It is impossible to say whether the Jewish people ever really observed
the Jubilee Year. [General Editor Merrill C. Tenney (Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1968), pp. 452-453].
* THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
JUBILEE - noun: (1) (a) A specially celebrated anniversary, especially
a 50th anniversary. (b) The celebration of such an anniversary. (2) A season
or an occasion of joyful celebration. (3) Jubilation; rejoicing. (4) Often
Jubilee. (Bible) In the Hebrew Scriptures, a year of rest to be observed
by the Israelites every 50th year, during which slaves were to be set free,
alienated property restored to the former owners, and the lands left untilled.
(5) Often Jubilee. (Roman Catholic Church) A year during which plenary
indulgence may be obtained by the performance of certain pious acts (Third
Edition Copyright 1992, Houghton Mifflin Company).
In the accompanying article, we quote Pope John Paul II as "proposing
the jubilee as an appropriate time to give thought . . . to reducing substantially,
if not canceling outright, the internastional debt . . . ." We also report
that New Ager Earnest Ramsey paralleled the Year of Jubilee with the New
Age concept of redistribution of the world's wealth. And the article quotes
Pat Robertson as insisting that "every type of debt, secured or unsecured,
should be totally released." Robertson says, "it may be that God's way
will be the only one open to us - a year of jubilee to straighten out the
mess." But is this "God's way"? Did God intend for a Year of Jubilee to
be suddenly foisted onto the world, forcing all unsuspecting lenders to
cancel debts legally owed to them, possibly resulting in their own bankruptcy?
Of course not. In the first place, God's decree was given to the Israelites
as part of His laws governing their society, not that of their neighboring
nations. Secondly, as can be seen in the above definitions, the law provided
that the terms of all debts were never to exceed the fifty year span between
Feasts of Jubilee, so all prices for property were set according to the
length of time left until the next Jubilee year. In other words, lenders
were never to lose their investment by being caught off guard, and borrowers
were protected from borrowing so much that their descendents would inherit
the debt. "God's way" combined mercy with justice. *
TABERNACLES: Will the Church FULFILL ITS DESTINY by celebrating Tabernacles?
In their article "Beyond Pentecost," Robin McMillan and Steve Thompson
replace Israel with the Church and assert that the gospel was foreshadowed
in the three Old Testament feasts of Israel named in Exodus 23:15-16:
PASSOVER: celebration of deliverance from the Angel of Death while in slavery.
Christ our Passover has been slain (1 Corinthians 5:7-8); for the saved,
Passover has been celebrated (Robin McMillan and Steve Thompson, Teaching:
"Beyond Pentecost," The Morning Star Journal, Vol. 4 No. 3, 1994, pp. 42-43.
Much of this article was quoted in our own Part III).
PENTECOST: the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church, the reality
of the Old Testament giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai. Pentecost, according
to McMillan and Thompson, "is not the complete harvest. . . . it is not
enough" (pp. 43-44).
TABERNACLES: "There is another realm of spiritual experience typified in
scripture by the Feast of Tabernacles. Until we understand and partake
of this feast, as we have both Passover and Pentecost, we will never fulfill
our destiny and calling. We must discover the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles
and 'celebrate' it along with Passover and Pentecost. . . .
"What God did among Jews in Jerusalem, He is going to do among humanity
and worldwide. Pentecost will come to maturity in the Feast of Tabernacles"
(pp. 43-44, 48; italics deleted).
In their call to celebrate Tabernacles, McMillan and Thompson reduce
this Feast to the "realm of spiritual experience." It is not. Another fallacy
of this Latter Rain "new revelation" is that the fulfillment of "our destiny
and calling" relies on OUR partaking of Tabernacles. But it doesn't.
Christ our passover has been sacrificed. His Spirit sent at Pentecost indwells
all who have partaken of God's passover meal: Christ. The New Testament
leaves us in no doubt that we have a part in these. But there is no mention
in Scripture of the Church celebrating Tabernacles; this call is a product
of Latter Rain teaching. The biblical truth is that those who have experienced
Christ as their Passover and Pentecost must await His visible, personal
return and His defeat of the nations gathered against Jerusalem before
they can celebrate Tabernacles:
16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem
will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and
to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
17 If any of the people of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship
the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.
18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no
rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations
that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations
that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14).
Latter Rain denies that the return of Christ is crucial to the fulfillment
of Tabernacles, resulting in their plan to establish the Kingdom of God
by the Church SO THAT Christ can return. But Tabernacles cannot be fulfilled
until our Lord Jesus Christ returns and personally sets up the Kingdom
of God on earth (the millennial reign). The Jewish Passover bears this
out, and must take precedence over any new revelations of the modern Church.
THE FIRST TWO CUPS OF PASSOVER
The first two cups of the Passover meal were drunk as a REMEMBRANCE of
Israel's past deliverance from Egypt, a deliverance that was celebrated
in Tabernacles. We can see the oneness of Tabernacles with the Passover
meal in this remembrance.
Israel's deliverance from Egypt is an established fact of her history.
The Church of today had no part in the events that took place in Egypt,
and to apply them to the Church (the "New" Israel) through replacement
theology is to "unfulfill" that which God has fulfilled. The allegorizing
Egypt as today's world, and of the Church as Israel celebrating Tabernacles
in which it will fulfill its destiny, is totally outside the bounds of
Scripture. The second cup of Passover is a remembrance, not a "new revelation"
given to the Church today. This second cup is a "cup of the past" and must
always remain so.
THE THIRD AND FOURTH CUP OF PASSOVER
The third cup of the Passover meal is called the Cup of Redemption, after
the promise "and I will redeem you." The fourth cup is called the Cup of
Praise. When I communicated with messianic believers about the Passover,
I was surprised to learn that Jesus did not drink the third cup at the
Last Supper, but instead gave it to his disciples and instructed them to
drink it in remembrance of Him:
27 Then he took the cup (third cup), gave thanks and offered it to them,
saying, 'Drink from it, all of you.
28 This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for
the forgiveness of sins.
29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until
I drink it (fourth cup) anew with you in my Father's kingdom.'
30 [After the third cup] When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the
Mount of Olives (Matthew 26).
What we must not miss here is that neither Jesus nor His disciples drank
of the fourth cup, the Cup of Praise. Why? According to a messianic researcher,
"If we understand the context of the Passover and the analogy of the .
. . third cup . . . [it] was not drunk by Yeshuah [Jesus]. When did he
drink of it? After the third cup they sang the Hallel. Yeshuah went to
the garden. . .
"'My Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless,
not my will but thine be done'" (Luke 22:42). So he 'drank a cup' here.
'Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?' (John 18:11).
"'And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like
great drops of blood falling upon the ground' (third cup)" (Luke 22:44).
[So the seder was truncated, cut short, and was lived out outside the upper
room. Our researcher continues,] "The seder [Passover] was continuing on
into the real world. So the ritual meal opened up into the horror of the
then present age. . . . He was in the time of his third cup. [The last
words of the Passover meal were spoken from the cross: "It is finished!"]
"After the third cup comes the rest of the Hallel, Ps. 115-118 [which they
most likely sung as they went to the garden]. . . . The fourth cup was
never drunk: 1) not by Yeshuah; 2) perhaps not by the disciples either.
"The Hallel concludes with Psalm 118: the Great Hallel. Here the transition
from the present to the messianic future finds its completion" (Notes,
The Great Hallel, Psalm 118, was usually sung at the festivals of Passover
and Tabernacles. It is important to mention verse 26 here:
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the
Lord we bless you.
Of this verse, another researcher says, "The most important thing to note
is that it is only on a few festive occasions during the course of the
year when the words, 'Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord'
are spoken. [Near the end of His ministry, Jesus cried out to the once
holy city, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone
those sent to you . . .] You will not see me again until you say, "Blessed
is He who comes in the Name of the Lord" (Matthew 23:39). By this He directly
pointed them to His coming reign as King at the time of Succot (Tabernacles).
So He implied that He would be revealed as King and begin His reign, also
fulfilling Tabernacles, at the appointed time. This would be a very good
reason why, beginning with the thousand year reign of Christ, we would
celebrate only Tabernacles. All peoples will be required to come to Jerusalem
at this time of year (Zech. chapters 12 thru 14 - a must read!)." So
during His celebration of the Passover just before His crucifixion, Jesus
pointed in two ways to the true celebration of Tabernacles at His return:
1) quoting Psalm 118:26, and 2) leaving the fourth cup untouched on the
Passover table as He left to go to the garden. But Latter Rain beliefs,
through the Laughing Phenomena, say we are to drink from the cup now, "as
the new wine is being passed" (Master Potter Ministries). What cup can
this be, if it is not the Lord's cup drunk after His visible return? One
possibility is Revelation 17:3-6:
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw
a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names
and had seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with
gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled
with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
5 This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE
MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood
of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
Go To Part VI